Sunteți pe pagina 1din 90

CRIM CASES: OCTOBER 1999

PEOPLE V. MARCELINO

there need not be an agreement for an


appreciable period prior to the occurrence; it is
sufficient that at the time of the commission of
the offense, the accused had the same purpose
and were united in its execution.

October 1, 1999
PEOPLE V. NARIDO
Victims Pineda and Bajos were sent by the
governor to investigate reported abuses by
para-military groups in the hinterlands.
Barangay Chairman Marcelino and some of his
Civilian Home Defense (CHDF) cohorts shot to
death and incinerated the corpses of said
victims.

October 1, 1999

Accused raped his 11-year-old daughter while


they are gathering firewood. On another
occasion, his common law wife caught him
laying on top of his daughter.

Issue:
Was there treachery?
Was conspiracy established to hold other
accused equally liable for the murder?

Issue:
W/N said crime is punishable by death? (special
circumstance imposing death penalty
automatically - victim is under 18 years of age
and offender is a parent.)

HELD: YES
Elements of treachery (1) the employment of
means of execution that gives the person
attacked no opportunity to defend himself or to
retaliate, and (2) the said means of execution
was deliberately or consciously adopted.
Victims were deliberately led toward Nabilog by
Marcelino when he claimed there was a taxi
there waiting for them. When they reached
Tampa Creek, said unforwarned victims were
suddenly shot to death without chance to
defend themselves. Marcelino effectively
ordered his men to kill the two by means of a
signal (drawing a line across his neck with a
finger). The gesture was so conspicuous that
even the witness saw it. The group followed the
deceased then killed them. Their bodies were
set on the ground side-by side, their clothes
removed, their personal belongings stolen.
Thereafter Marcelino ordered that the bodies
be burned in order to conceal their evil deed.
These circumstances, taken together,
sufficiently established a unity of purpose,
community of interest and intent, which were
carried out in concert. For conspiracy to exist,

HELD: No.
Guilty only of simple statutory rape and not
qualified rape for want of allegation of
relationship. Said special circumstances
introduced by RA 7659 which sanction
automatic imposition of death penalty partake
of the nature of qualifying circumstances since
these circumstances increase the penalty for
rape by one degree. Nonetheless, to be
properly appreciated as a qualifying
circumstance, it must be specifically pleaded in
the information. Information in this case
reveals that although the complainant's
minority was alleged, the fact of relationship,
albeit proven during the trial, was not so
specified.

PEOPLE V. PADAMA
October 1, 1999

Victim Gatchalian was chased by the two


accused, each armed with a knife, and stabbed
simultaneously several times. He eventually
died of severe blood loss. Said killing arose
from a previous incident where victim
confronted accused regarding their plan of
stealing from the store of the former.

Issue: W/N there was treachery? Yes.


W/N there was evident premeditation?
No.

HELD:
The conclusion that the killing was attended
with treachery or taking advantage of superior
strength, as the two accused each armed with
bladed weapons and continuously attacking
and raining knife thrusts upon the unarmed
and unsuspecting victim which caused his
eventual death is also not to be disturbed. The
evidence shows that the two accused took
turns in stabbing the victim while the latter had
already fallen down on the pavement.
Proof of the alleged resentment does not
constitute conclusive proof of evident
premeditation. An expression of hatred does
not necessarily imply a resolution to commit a
crime; there must be a demonstration of
outward acts of a criminal intent that is
notorious and manifest.

Issue: W/N there was treachery? Yes.


W/N there was abuse of superior
strength? No.
W/N there was conspiracy? Yes.

HELD:
Pedro may have been warned of a possible
danger to his person. However, what is
decisive is that the attack was executed in a
manner making it impossible for Pedro to
retaliate. When Pedro was made to kneel on
the floor, he was unarmed. There was no risk to
the accused when they commenced the
stabbing. Pedro's helplessness was bolstered
by the fact that he was suffering from a
congenital limpness which allowed him to walk
only short distances.
There is no evidence that accused took
advantage of superior strength. In any event,
even if it was present it was absorbed in
treachery. Both accused shall suffer the same
fate, as there was conspiracy between them.
When the other pointed a gun to Pedro, he
provided his brother with moral assistance.
This is enough to make him a co-conspirator. It
is not necessary to show that he actually he hit
and killed Pedro to make him liable for his
brother's acts.

PEOPLE V. VERGEL
PEOPLE V. VILLABLANCA

October 4, 1999

October 1, 1999

Villablanca brothers barged in to the house of


victim Pedro Natanio late in the night. Pedro
and his family was awakened by their chickens
flying off the perch. Victim was made to kneel
on the floor and then stabbed him on the
stomach with a samurai, while the other
pointed a gun to his face. Victim rolled to his
side and was again stabbed thrice which led to
his death

Vergel and Duran, both drunk and armed with a


gun and a fan knife, fetched and forcibly
brought victim on board a tricycle to an
apartment. Vergel had carnal knowledge with
said victim after he poked the gun at her side
and pulled her into a bedroom, while Duran
stayed guard near the door of the sala.

Issue: W/N there was rape?

HELD: Yes.
It is clear there was rape. The prosecution was
able to prove that (1) the accused had carnal
knowledge of the complainant (2) because he
intimidated her by pointing a gun at her. Failure
to shout or offer tenacious resistance did not
make voluntary the complainant's submission
to the criminal acts of the accused. Such
resistance is not an element of the felony. It is
enough that the malefactor intimidated the
complainant into submission. Not every victim
of rape can be expected to act with reason or
in conformity with the usual expectation of
everyone.

criminal intent of the accused is crucial for


conviction.

PEOPLE V. CARATAY
October 5, 1999

Accused in several occasions had carnal


knowledge with his common-law wife's 13 yearold niece. In one occasion he drugged the
lugaw of said victim.

Issue: Was there rape?


PEOPLE V. YABUT
October 5, 1999

Spouses Yabut on several occasions received


money from complainants promising them they
will be able to work in Japan. After several
cancellation of their scheduled departure,
complainants discovered that said spouses
were not licensed to engage in recruitment and
placement activities. Wife eluded arrest and
remains at-large. Husband contends that he
was not engaged in recruitment for overseas
employment and but only in processing visas.
He was acquitted of the crime of estafa.

Issue: W/N accused could be convicted of


illegal recruitment in large scale despite his
acquittal of the crime of estafa?

HELD: Yes.
We have ruled that if the ability to resist is
taken away by administering a drug, even
though the woman may be conscious, sexual
intercourse with her will be rape. Moral
character is immaterial in the prosecution and
conviction of the accused in a rape case. We
have ruled that even prostitutes can be rape
victims.

PEOPLE V. SUELTO
October 7, 1999

Appellant came home late, and his wife was


angry with him because she believed that he
came from Sing-A-Long. Quarrel ensued
resulting to death of the wife after being shot
on the head.

HELD: Yes.
It is settled that a person who commits illegal
recruitment may be charged and convicted
separately of illegal recruitment under the
Labor Code and estafa Art. 315 of the RPC. The
former is mala prohibitum where the criminal
intent of the accused is not necessary for
conviction, while estafa is mala in se where the

Issue: W/N guilty of parricide?

HELD: Yes.
Appellant was the only person with his wife
when she was shot in their room. Considering,

that his defense was built on the theory that


the shooting was purportedly accidental,
appellant has the inescapable burden of
proving the elements of the exempting
circumstance of accident.

PEOPLE V. FLORO
October 7, 1999

Witness and victim were walking along a trail


on a cassava plantation owned by accused,
who suddenly appeared and shot the victim
then striked the head several times with the
gun.

Issue: W/N guilty of murder?

HELD: Yes.
The killing in this case is murder qualified by
treachery. The evidence shows that accused
suddenly sprang from the cassava plants and
shot the victim. The victim was unarmed and
unsuspecting of any impending peril to his life
and limb at the time he was shot by accused.
The swift and unexpected attack by accused
rendered the victim helpless.
The rule that treachery may be shown if the
victim is attacked from behind does not mean
it cannot be appreciated if the attack is
frontally launched. The suddenness of the
shooting without the slightest provocation from
he victim who was unarmed and had no
opportunity to defend himself, ineluctably
qualified the crime with treachery.

hurled challenge for the stone thrower to


come out, the four accused suddenly emerged
from the dark. Victim was held by the arms and
dragged towards the barangay hall. Accused
fired their rifles on the ground to dissuade
witnesses from coming to his aid. Later, bursts
of gunfire were heard coming from the
direction of the barangay hall. Lifeless body of
the victim was later found near the barangay
hall.

Issue: W/N guilty of murder? W/N there was


conspiracy?

HELD: Yes.
The only clear circumstance that qualifies the
killing to murder in this case is the abuse of
superior strength between the victim and his
four aggressors, as well as the degree of force
and the weapons used by the latter.
Conspiracy among the four assailants was
proven by proof beyond reasonable doubt. The
accused were together when two of them held
the victim, while one was firing his rifle. All of
them dragged the latter towards the barangay
hall. To establish conspiracy, it is not necessary
that there be proof of the previous agreement
to commit the crime, it being enough that the
malefactors shall have acted in concert
pursuant to the same objective. At the very
instant the plotters agree, expressly or
impliedly, to commit the crime and decide to
pursue it, each and everyone of the
conspirators is criminally liable for the crime
committed by anyone of them.

PEOPLE V. APELADO
October 11, 1999

PEOPLE V. ORTIZ
October 7, 1999

Accused threw stones on the roof of the


victim's house. After the victim

Victim Rodolfo de Jesus was overtaken by Jose


Apelado and his group while walking in front of
a house. His line of way was cut. De Jesus
asked him, "What is my fault to you?" He
raised his hands and prepared to fight. German

hit his lower legs with a piece of wood. He fell


down. The three surrounded him. German
pulled out a knife and stabbed him at his legs
and then at his throat. Apelado hacked him
with a bolo using his left hand. De Jesus was hit
twice - at the top of his head and nape. Robert
thrust an ice pick at his back and side below
the armpit. They then ran away and left him
sprawled on the ground.

HELD:
To establish conspiracy, it is not essential that
there be proof as to the previous agreement to
commit a crime. It is sufficient that the form
and manner in which the attack was
accomplished clearly indicate unity of action
and purpose. In this instance, the fact that the
assailants followed, overtook, surrounded and
took turns in inflicting injuries to the victim
show a common purpose.
Abuse of superior strength also attended the
commission of the crime. This circumstance is
appreciated when the aggressors purposely
use excessive force out of proportion to the
means of defense available to the person
attacked. In the case at bar, the aggressors
who were all armed first hit the legs of their
unarmed victim which caused him to fall
kneeling. This was followed by a stab above
the knee. Having deprived him of his means to
stand or run, they took turns in inflicting mortal
wounds on him.
Neither treachery nor evident premeditation
was present in the commission of the crime.
Treachery is absent as the accused-appellants
were not entirely risk free during their attack.
As stated, the victim prepared to fight it out
with the accused-appellants. Evident
premeditation cannot be considered for lack of
evidence that accused-appellants preconceived
the crime.

PEOPLE V. RENATO
October 11, 1999

Victim Ludovico Romano and his wife Melecia


were selling tuba in a makeshift hut, several
meters away from the highway. Melecia sat on
a bench, while Ludovico squatted on the
ground, waiting for customers to arrive.
Suddenly, a shot was fired. Melecia hid herself
in an irrigation canal while Ludovico stood up
and tried to find out where the shot came from.
When another shot was fired, Melecia shouted
for Ludovico to duck. Ludovico then stood an
arm's length away from the highway. It was too
late, Melecia saw accused-appellant Ruben
Ronato shoot Ludovico. Victim was rushed to
the hospital and died two days later.

Issue: W/N there was treachery? Yes.

HELD:
The essence of treachery is the sudden and
unexpected attack, without the slightest
provocation on the part of the person attacked.
There is treachery when the attack on the
victim was made without giving the latter
warning of any kind and thus rendering him
unable to defend himself from an assailant's
unexpected attack. What is decisive is that the
attack was executed in such a manner as to
make it impossible for the victim to retaliate.
As testified to by Melecia, the victim was
"squatting on the ground" in their makeshift
hut when the shooting started. The victim
stood up to find out what was happening. On
the third time, accused-appellant shot him
point blank and in a helpless position.

PEOPLE V. RAGANAS
October 12, 1999

Accused entered the guardhouse of the Yasay


Compound and the office beside it and
forthwith proceeded to attack, assault, and
stab one Mamerto Lucion, the security guard
thereat, who died instantaneously from
multiple stab wounds, after which the abovenamed accused destroyed, cut off, and

disconnected the electrical and communication


facilities therein such as the radio power supply
unit and an intercom set and carried away one
cassette recorder.

Issue: W/N accused are guilty of robbery with


homicide?

HELD: Yes.
In order that circumstantial evidence may be
sufficient to convict, the same must comply
with these essential requisites, viz.: (a) there is
more than one circumstance; (b) the facts from
which the inference are derived are proven;
and (c) the combination of all the
circumstances is such as to produce a
conviction beyond reasonable doubt. All the
foregoing requisites are here present. The
testimonies of Daayata, Obsioma, and Baba
pieced together reveal an unbroken chain of
events that leads to but one fair and
reasonable conclusion that the appellant, is
guilty of the crime charged.

Conspiracy - The act of Junuario dela Cruz of


hiring a tricycle on the pretext of needing to
throw something; their strategic seating
positions inside the tricycle, depriving the
deceased an opportunity to free himself; their
respective acts of stabbing the deceased, and
their washing the blood off the tricycle all
evinced a unity of action and common design
to kill the victim. It is not necessary that there
be evidence of a previous plan or agreement to
embark upon the assault. It is sufficient that
their actions indicate a common intent such
that the act of one is the act of all.
Treachery - The deceased had no inkling that
he would be killed that fateful night. There was
no force employed on him when he boarded
the tricycle. Neither was there a heated
argument with any of the culprits. In fact, they
appeared to be in a jubilant mood even as they
were singing "Tayo na sa Heaven". Evidently,
from all appearances the deceased was lured
into going with the assailants who suddenly
stabbed him inside the moving tricycle, giving
the latter no opportunity to retaliate or defend
himself from the means or method consciously
adopted by the felons in taking his life.
Qualifying circumstance of treachery suffices to
qualify the offense to murder.

PEOPLE V. LACHICA
October 12, 1999

PEOPLE V. MANEGDEG
October 13, 1999

Accused boarded the tricycle of Pascasio as his


tricycle was running on the shoulder of the
road, he heard somebody inside the tricycle cry
out 'aray' and felt warm blood spurt from inside
the sidecar of the tricycle landing at the back
of his right palm. He then stopped the tricycle
and accused brought out victim Rodolfo
Pamoleras, Jr. and started to stab him while
others served as lookout.

Issue: W/N there was conspiracy? Yes.


W/N there was treachery? Yes.

HELD:

Accused was seen running through the rice


fields towards the house of the victim. At about
that time, Federico, his wife Lorie and son
Ronel, were inside their house listening to the
radio. Federico requested Ronel to switch to
another radio station while he will go out to
urinate and proceeded to the door. As Federico
held the door frame with his hand, he was
stabbed by appellant. Prior said incident,
accused was requesting Federico's consent to
marry his daughter but to which he replied that
is more honorable for his daughter to marry
son of accused.

Issue: W/N there was treachery?

HELD: Yes.
Circumstances surrounding the killing of the
victim Federico Abian clearly indicate the
presence of alevosia or treachery, for accusedappellant attacked the victim while he was
about to exit his house to urinate, with no
inkling whatsoever that he would be attacked.
A sudden and unexpected attack, without the
slightest provocation on the person of the one
attacked, is the essence of treachery.
Moreover, the trial court correctly considered
the generic aggravating circumstance of
dwelling. Where the crime was committed in
the place of abode of the victims, the
aggravating circumstance of dwelling shall be
appreciated against the accused.

PEOPLE V. GAILO
October 13, 1999

Sotela and Maale went to the store to drink


beer. Some minutes later, they were joined in
their drinking by Renato Gailo and his elder
brother, Ronaldo Gailo, alias "Mukong". A minor
altercation ensued when Ronaldo boxed the
victim, but the two were soon pacified and the
group resumed their drinking. Ronaldo then
invited Sotela and the victim to his house,
where allegedly there was a birthday party.
On the way to the said party, Gailos assaulted
the victim. Sotela witnessed Ronaldo stab the
victim on the face with a bolo, then Renato
stabbed the victim on the back, and Rudy hit
the victim with a lead pipe on the neck. A
minute later, three other accused arrived, and
for five minutes, helped stone the victim,
hitting him on the head and body.

Issue: W/N guilty of murder?

HELD: Yes.

Said killing was qualified to murder by the use


of superior strength, the accused having clearly
overpowered the victim in terms of number
and weapons used. We reverse, however, to
the extent that it appreciated nighttime as an
aggravating circumstance. There are two tests
for nocturnity to be aggravating - the objective
test, under which nocturnity is aggravating
because it facilitated the commission of the
offense, and the subjective test, under which
nocturnity is aggravating because it was
purposely sought by the offender in order to
facilitate the achievement of his objectives,
prevent discovery or evade capture. In the
instant case, there is no evidence that
nighttime was sought for any of these
purposes, or that it aided the accused in the
consummation of the murder. Moreover, at the
time of the killing, there was sufficient
illumination from the moon such that the two
eyewitnesses were able to identify the six
accused. When the place of the crime is
illuminated by light, nighttime is not
aggravating.
Neither was treachery proven, as there was no
showing that the attack was made swiftly and
unexpectedly as to render the victim helpless
and unable to defend himself. Neither can we
appreciate the presence of evident
premeditation, there having been no indication
that accused-appellants earlier resolved to kill
the victim and clung to such determination for
a considerable length of time.

PEOPLE V. PANIQUE
October 13, 1999

Complainant, eldest child of the accused, was


left to the care of latter when her mother went
to Hong Kong to work as a domestic helper.
While complainant was asleep, accused laid
himself on top of her. When she awoke, she
found accused fondling her breasts even as he
inserted his penis into her vagina. All she could
do was cry, because she was afraid of her
father whom she knew was hooked on drugs.

Issue: W/N there was rape?

HELD: Yes.
In a rape committed by a father against his
own daughter, the former's moral ascendancy
and influence over the latter substitutes for
violence or intimidation. That ascendancy or
influence necessarily flows from the father's
parental authority, which the Constitution the
laws recognize, support and enhance, as well
as from the children's duty to obey and
observe reverence and respect towards their
parents. Such reverence and respect are
deeply ingrained in the minds of Filipino
children and are recognized by law. Abuse of
both by a father can subjugate his daughter's
will, thereby forcing he to do whatever he
wants.
The minority of the victim and her relationship
to the offender constitute a special qualifying
circumstance which should be alleged in the
information and proved to warrant the
imposition of the death penalty. For this reason,
said penalty should be reduced to reclusion
perpetua.

PEOPLE V. LANGRES
October 13, 1999

Sindo bothers attended a dance which ended


about midnight. They proceeded to the house
of their elder brother. They sat on a bench
opposite said house while sharing light
moments. Restituto greeted PO3 Langres when
he came, who instead gave a fistblow on the
former without provocation. Victim Teodorico
intervened to ask what is his brother's fault.
Accused drew his gun and shot the victim at
the forehead.

Issue: W/N there was self-defense?

HELD: No.

The presence of unlawful aggression is a


condition sine qua non. At best, the victim's
brother was discourteous to accused. Even
then, such behavior could not be taken as an
unlawful aggression to justify the shooting of
the victim. The unlawful aggression
contemplated under the law must come from
the victim himself. Mere belief of an impending
attack is not sufficient to constitute unlawful
aggression. Neither is an intimidating or
threatening attitude. Even a mere push or
shove not followed by other acts placing in
peril the life or personal safety of the accused
is not unlawful aggression. It is noteworthy hat
the Sindo brothers were unarmed. They were
young men having a jovial, innocuous
conversation when appellant passed by.
Without such imminent threat on his life, the
person invoking self-defense has nothing to
repel.

PEOPLE V. CLEMENTE
October 13, 1999

Complainant was selling balut in front of Lanai


beerhouse when she met accused. They had
sexual intercourse in friend's house.
Issue: W/N there was rape?

HELD: No.
In rape cases alleged to have been committed
by force, it is imperative for the prosecution to
establish that the element of voluntariness on
the part of the victim to be absolutely lacking.
Testimony inexorably shows that complainant
obviously consented to the sexual act which
was done not only once but twice. Glaring too
is the fact that by her own admissions that her
mouth was not covered and that the accused
was not holding or poking the pointed object at
her while doing the sexual act, she certainly
had every opportunity to make an outcry
against the alleged rapist or shout for help had
she wanted to. No woman would meekly give
in to a sexual intruder where her life is not in
serious jeopardy.

PEOPLE V. AGUNOS
PEOPLE V. BELLO

October 13, 1999

October 13, 1999

Accused allegedly raped his daughter in


several occasions. His previous plea of not
guilty was substituted to a plea of guilty before
the date of his scheduled cross-examination.
Later, accused moved for the reinstatement of
his plea of not guilty but was denied by the
trial court.

HELD: Case remanded for proper arraignment.


A formal plea of not guilty should be properly
entered if an accused admits the truth of some
or all the allegations of the information, but
interposes excuses or additional facts which, if
duly established would exempt or relieve him
in whole or in part of criminal responsibility.

PEOPLE V. AGUINALDO
October 13, 1999

Accused allegedly raped his 17 year-old


daughter.

Issue: W/N there was rape?

HELD: NO.
Complainant's claim that she bled implies that
there must have been laceration of her sex
organ. When physical evidence runs counter to
testimonial evidence, conclusions as to
physical evidence must prevail. Physical
evidence is that mute but eloquent
manifestation of truth which rate high in our
hierarchy of trustworthy evidence.

Accused raped complainant while her husband


was away serving as a poll watcher.

Issue: W/N there was rape?

HELD: Yes.
Force and violence in rape cases need not be
overpowering or irresistible when applied. The
record shows that amidst complainant's pleas
and struggles, accused pinned complainant's
hand behind her back, covered her mouth with
his hand and pulled her underwear to her knee
before spreading hr legs apart with such force
that her undergarments were ripped. It appears
that accused remained unfazed when
complainant slapped him and struggled to
point the beam of the flashlight at him not only
to take a look at her assailant but apparently to
deter him from consummating his bestial
desires.

PEOPLE V. GABALLO
October 13, 1999

Two construction workers heard a girl scream


for a distance, then saw her being hugged and
pulled by accused towards the ipil trees. When
they reached the place, they saw the girl in
school uniform lying face down. They also saw
the accused sitting down, who immediately ran
away. Unfortunatey, they were not able to
apprehend the unidentified man.

Issue: W/N there was treachery?

HELD: YES.

Treachery is appreciated when the offender


commits any of the crimes against persons,
employing means, methods or forms in the
execution thereof which tend directly and
specially to ensure its execution, without risk to
himself arising from any defense which the
offended party might make. We ruled that the
killing of children, who by reason of their
tender years cannot be expected to put up a
defense, is considered attended with treachery
even if the manner of attack is not precisely
shown.

PEOPLE V. COSTELO
October 13, 1999

Accused Conde grabbed victim Remy by the


neck, then stabbed her at the mouth and at the
back. When Remy was able to escape from
Conde, she ran towards Costelo, who pushed
her towards Conde, who again squeezed
Remy's mouth and dragged her. Pablo, who
suddenly appeared, sat on her chest and
stabbed her more than fifteen times. Costelo
held Remy on the shoulders in a stooping
position while the latter was being stabbed by
Pablo.

Issue: W/N there was treachery?


W/N there was conspiracy?

forthcoming because anyone inclined to lend


assistance was intimidated.
Direct proof is not essential, for conspiracy may
be inferred from the acts of the accused prior
to, during or subsequent to the incident. Such
acts must point to a joint purpose, concert of
action or community of interest. Hence, the
victim need not be actually hit by each of the
conspirators for the act of one of them is
deemed the act of all. In this case, conspiracy
was shown because Conde grabbed and
stabbed the victim while Costelo impeded her
escape and shoved her towards Pablo, who in
turn straddled her on the ground and stabbed
her. Their prior act of waiting for the victim
outside her house affirms the existence of
conspiracy, for ti speaks of a common design
and purpose.

PEOPLE V. CELIS
October 20, 1999

Complainant Racquel arrived from Manila at


Magundanao and boarded the passenger jeep
driven by accused appellants Roque and
Carlos. Upon reaching the terminal, Racquel
discovered that there was no more tricycle trip
going to San Antonio. Accused invited Racquel
to sleep in their house, who agreed after the
initial hesitation because she is not familiar
with the area. She was raped in several
occasions, once in a makeshift hut and twice in
a school building.

HELD: Yes.
That the locus criminis was a heavily populated
area where others could thus intervene is not
significant at all. The essence of treachery is
that the attack was deliberate and without
warning. The defense or retaliation
contemplated here must come from the victim,
not from anyone else. Treachery was irrefutably
indicated in the method by which the
assailants waited for the victim to pass by
before suddenly attacking her and preventing
her escape. At any rate, no help was

Issue:
W/N there was a rape?

HELD: Yes.
For rape to exist, it is not necessary that the
force or intimidation employed be so great or
of such character as could not be resisted. It is
only necessary that the force or intimidation be
sufficient to consummate the purpose which

the appellant had in mind. When Racquel was


dragged to the makeshift hut by Carlos, he told
her to cooperate with him or she would be
shot. These threats were enough to implant
fear in the mind of the complainant, who was
alone and helpless. Roque, in turn, managed to
have sexual intercourse with complainant by
flashing a knife in her face. Threatening the
victim with a knife, a deadly weapon, is
sufficient to cow the victim. It constitutes an
element of rape.

PEOPLE V. MOTOS
October 20, 1999

Accused invited 7 year-old Jenalyn and her


younger sister in his room. Vicitim Jenalyn fell
asleep beside her sister, who was playing with
a doll. Jenalyn woke up after feeling pain and
saw accused on top of her. She was asked to
take a bath but was later rushed to the hospital
by her parents due to her continuous bleeding.

Issue: W/N there was rape?

HELD: Yes.
In the incestuous rape of a minor, proof of force
and violence exerted by the aggressor is not
essential. The moral and physical ascendancy
of the father over his daughter-victim is
sufficient to cow her into submission to his
bestial desires. Fear oftentimes overwhelms
the victim. In the instant case, the appellant
enhanced his physical supremacy over his
daughter by holding the knife to her neck. In
the face of such brutal intimidation, she
knuckled under, thus enabling him to satisfy
his incestuous lust.
The death penalty may be imposed only if the
information has alleged and the evidence has
proven both the age of the victim and her
relationship to the victim.

PEOPLE V. MARAMARA
October 20, 1999

HELD:
Neither does the complaint allege, nor does the
evidence introduced show, any qualifying
circumstance in the commission of the offense
that can make the offense fall within the
category of rape punishable by death. The only
penalty that can be properly decreed is the
lower indivisible penalty of reclusion perpetua.

A quarrel transpired between the friend of the


accused and the victim in a benefit dance.
Accused shot to death victim after a rumble
occurred.
Issue: W/N accused is guilty of murder?

HELD: No. Guilty of Homicide only


PEOPLE V. TABION
October 20, 1999

Accused in several occasions, raped his 16year old daughter while his wife is away. She
could not resist the accused because she was
afraid of him and of his threat to kill her and
her family.

The use of a firearm is not sufficient indication


of treachery. In the absence of any convincing
proof that accused-appellant consciously and
deliberately adopted the means by which he
committed the crime in order to ensure its
execution, the Court must resolve doubt in
favor of the accused. Accused cannot be held
liable only for death caused in a tumultuous
affray because he joined the fray purportedly
to pacify the protagonist before shooting the
victim.

PEOPLE V. ARIZALA

1......By using force or intimidation;

October 20, 1999

2......When the woman is deprived of reason or


otherwise unconscious; and

Accused stabbed to death Sgt. Cara.

Issue: W/N accused is guilty of murder? Yes.


W/N there was self-defense? Yes.

HELD:
Even if deceased hurled incentives at him and
moved as if to draw something from his waist,
we are unable to establish a finding of unlawful
aggression on the victim's part. Unlawful
aggression presupposes an actual, sudden,
unexpected attack or imminent danger thereof,
not merely a threatening or intimidating
attitude and the accused must present proof of
positively strong act of real aggression. Though
deceased was in uniform, the latter did not
have a firearm or a holster for the same, and
none was retrieved from the scene of the
crime.
Deceased was killed with treachery. Not only
was it not proven that there was provocation
on the part of the hapless victim but the attack
at the back of the victim was made in such a
manner that would make it difficult for the
deceased to offer an effective defense against
his aggressor.

PEOPLE V. PARANZO
October 26, 1999

HELD:
Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, states:
"Art. 335...When and how rape is
committed...Rape is committed by having
carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the
following circumstances:

3......When the woman is under twelve years of


age, even though neither of the circumstances
mentioned in the two next preceding
paragraphs shall be present."
Circumstances 1, 2 and 3 are alternative
circumstances...When the rape is committed by
using force or intimidation, the victim does not
have to be less than twelve (12) years of
age...It is only required that the proper
complaint and information for rape must
clearly describe the specific circumstance
which would make the carnal knowledge of a
woman qualify as rape under Article 335. In
addition, in rape cases, the accused may be
convicted solely on the testimony of the
complaining witness provided such testimony
is credible, natural, convincing and otherwise
consistent with human nature and the course
of things.

PEOPLE V. GARIGADI
October 26, 1999

Defendant was convicted of rape and


sentenced. He contends that the testimony of
the complainant was unsubstantiated, and
contradictory.

HELD:
The testimony of Gloridel was clear and
convincing. Her declaration that accusedappellant inserted his penis into her vagina
was made in a straightforward and unshaken
manner. Errorless and accurate to the last
detail testimony cannot be expected of
Gloridel, who was seven (7) years of age at the
time of the trial. The alleged inconsistencies
and lapses pointed by accused-appellant to
discredit Gloridels testimony, e.g. that
accused-appellant merely fondled her or
inserted his finger in her vagina, are all minor

and trivial details which do not touch upon the


commission of the offense. These lapses, to
THE courts mind, serve to strengthen rather
than weaken the credibility of a witness
because they erase any suspicion of coached
or rehearsed testimony. The Court noted that a
child of tender age cannot be expected to
understand every question asked of her in the
course of examination. Ample margin of error
and understanding should be accorded to
young witnesses who, much more than adults,
would be gripped with tension due to the
novelty of the experience of testifying before a
court.

PEOPLE V. LAZARO
October 26, 1999

The accused was found guilty of illegal


possession of firearms and ammunition. In his
appeal the accused-appellant raises the sole
assignment of error that the trial court erred in
finding the accused guilty beyond reasonable
doubt of the crime of illegal possession of
firearms and ammunition qualified by
homicide.

HELD:
In cases involving illegal possession of
firearms under P.D. 1866 "Codifying the Laws
on Illegal/Unlawful Possession, Manufacture,
Dealing in, Acquisition or Disposition, of
Firearms, Ammunition or Explosives or
Instruments Used in the Manufacture of
Firearms, Ammunition or Explosives, and
Imposing Stiffer Penalties for Certain Violations
Thereof and for Relevant Purposes", as
amended, the prosecution has the burden of
proving the elements thereof, viz.: (a) the
existence of the subject firearm; and (b) the
fact that the accused who owned or possessed
it does not have the corresponding license or
permit to possess the same.

Republic Act No. 8294 has since amended P.D.


No. 1866 by reducing the penalties for simple
and aggravated forms of illegal possession and
considering the use of an unlicensed firearm
simply as an aggravating circumstance in
murder or homicide. The law now provides:

"Section 1. Unlawful Manufacture, Sale,


Acquisition, Disposition or Possession of
Firearms or Ammunition or Instruments Used
or Intended to be Used in the Manufacture of
Firearms or Ammunition. - The penalty
of prision correccional in its maximum period
and a fine of not less than Fifteen thousand
pesos (P15,000.00) shall be imposed upon any
person who shall unlawfully manufacture, deal
in, acquire, dispose, or possess any low
powered firearm such as rimfire handgun, .380
or .32 and other firearm of similar firepower,
ammunition, or machinery, tool or instrument
used in the manufacture of any firearm or
ammunition: Provided, That no other crime was
committed.

The penalty of prision mayor in its maximum


period and a fine of Thirty thousand pesos
(P30,000.00) shall be imposed if the firearm is
classified as high powered firearm which
includes those with bores bigger than .38
caliber and 9 millimeter such as caliber .40, .
41, .45 and also lesser caliber firearms but
considered powerful such as caliber .357 and
caliber .22 center-fire magnum and other
firearms with firing capability of full automatic
and by burst of two or three: Provided,
however, That no other crime was committed
by the person arrested. If homicide or murder
is committed with the use of unlicensed
firearm, such use of an unlicensed firearm shall
be considered as an aggravating circumstance.
Thus in People v. Molina, it was
held:"Fortunately for appellants, however, RA
8294 has now amended the said decree and
considers the use of an unlicensed firearm
simply as an aggravating circumstance in
murder or homicide, and not as separate
offense.

PEOPLE V. ARQUILLOS TABUSO


October 26, 1999

Arquillos Tabuso was found guilty of murder. In


the service of his sentence, he is entitled to the
provision of Article 29 [Period of Preventive
imprisonment deducted from term of
imprisonment. Offenders or accused who
have undergone preventive imprisonment shall
be credited in the service of their sentence
consisting of deprivation of liberty, with the full
time during which they have undergone
preventive imprisonment, if the detention
prisoner agrees voluntarily in writing to abide
by the same disciplinary rules imposed upon
convicted prisoners xxx.] of the Revised Penal
Code, as amended.

HELD:
Conspiracy exists when two or more persons
come to an agreement on the commission of a
felony and decide to commit it. In a number of
cases, this Court ruled that similar to the
physical act constituting the crime itself, the
elements of conspiracy must be proven beyond
reasonable doubt. The mere presence of a
person at the scene of the crime does not
make him a co-conspirator. Assumed intimacy
between two persons of itself does not give
that much significance to the existence of
criminal conspiracy. Conspiracy certainly
transcends companionship. Settled is the rule
that to establish conspiracy, evidence of actual
cooperation rather than mere cognizance or
approval of an illegal act is required.

PEOPLE V. ROMANO MANLAPAZ


October 26, 1999

Accused-appellant admits that he was a


passenger of the jeep of the victim, Israel
Lacson but denies that participated in the
commission of the crime. He insists that when
he boarded the jeep he sat himself at the back

of the jeepney as there were already several


passengers on board at that time. He argues
that he was not clearly, convincingly and
positively identified as the perpetrator of the
crime charged. Prosecution witness allegedly
did not have ample opportunity to see the
faces of the alleged malefactors; and in fact did
not actually see who fired the gun.

HELD:
This Court has ruled on countless occasions
that the trial court is in the best position to
determine facts and to assess the credibility of
witnesses as it is in a unique position to
observe the witnesses deportment while
testifying which opportunity the appellate court
is denied on appeal; this Court will respect the
findings and conclusions of the trial court
provided that they are supported by
substantial evidence on record.
The crime of robbery with homicide is a special
complex crime punishable under Article 294 of
the Revised Penal Code with reclusion
perpetua to death. Considering the absence of
any modifying circumstance, the penalty
imposable in the present case isreclusion
perpetua. [Article 63, Revised Penal Code.]

PEOPLE V. WILLIAM BATOON


October 26, 1999

At issue in this case is the credibility of the


victim, Regina. In a prosecution for rape, the
complainants candor is the single most
important issue. This must be primarily
resolved by the trial court because it is in a
better position to decide the question, having
heard the witnesses and observed their
deportment and manner of testifying.
Accordingly, the trial courts findings are
entitled to the highest degree of respect and
will not be disturbed on appeal unless it
overlooked or misapplied some facts which
could have affected the result of the case. A

painstaking review of the records of the case


show that the appellant has failed to controvert
the clear, candid, and straightforward
testimony of the complainant.

PEOPLE V. ROLANDO ESPIRITU


October 27, 1999

Forcible abduction, as defined and penalized


under Article 342 of the Revised Penal Code, is
the taking of a woman against her will and with
lewd designs, or of a girl below 12 years of
age. When the accused forcibly took away the
victim, for the purpose of raping her, as in fact
he did rape her, lewd and unchaste designs
existed since the commencement of the crime.
Consequently, when accused raped Aharan, he
committed the complex crime of forcible
abduction with rape. The trial court correctly
imposed the penalty of reclusion perpetua, for
the crime of forcible abduction with rape, in
relation to Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code.

PEOPLE V. ARMANDO DE LABAJAN


October 27, 1999

It is well-settled that where there is no


evidence, and nothing to indicate that the
principal witness for the prosecution were
actuated by any improper motive, the
presumption is that they were not so actuated
and their testimonies are thus entitled to full
faith and credence." "It is doctrinally settled
that the assessment of the credibility of
witnesses and their testimonies is a matter
best undertaken by the trial court, because of
its unique opportunity to observe the witnesses
firsthand and to note their demeanor, conduct
and attitude under grilling examination.

PEOPLE V. GRACIANO BOLIVAR


October 28, 1999

Renato Balbon, Joel Soberano and Graciano


Bolivar were found by the lower court to be
conspirators in committing murder and
frustrated murder against the victims Hugo
Callao and Damaso Suelan. The case against
Bolivar was dismissed, since he died of cardiorespiratory arrest during the trial. This is in line
with the ruling in the case of People v. Bayotas,
where the Court ruled that the death of the
accused pending appeal extinguishes his
criminal liability as well as the civil liability
based solely thereon. The evidence on record is
likewise insufficient to convict Barrion as a
principal by inducement.

HELD:
Article 17 of the Revised Penal Code provides
that principals are those who "directly force or
induce others" to commit an offense. "One is
induced to commit a crime either by a
command (precepto) or for a consideration
(pacto), or by any other similar act which
constitutes the real and moving cause of the
crime and which was done for the purpose of
inducing such criminal act and was sufficient
for that purpose. Where the circumstances of
force, fear, price, promise or reward are not
present, the question that may arise is whether
the command given by a person to the author
of the crime amounts to a criminal inducement.
The inducement exists whenever the act
performed by the physical author of the crime
is determined by the influence of the inducer
over the mind of him who commits the act
whatever the source of such influence. Thus,
the inciting words must have great dominance
and influence over the person who acts; they
ought to be direct and as efficacious, or
powerful as physical or moral coercion or
violence itself.
A conspiracy may be deduced from the mode
and manner by which the offense was
perpetrated, however, a conspiracy must be
established by positive and conclusive
evidence. It cannot be based on mere
conjectures but must be established as a fact.

PEOPLE V. JERONICO LOBINO


October 28, 1999

Appellant was convicted for murdering his


common-law wife. He contends he would not
stab her without any apparent reasons, and
that he attacked her because he could no
longer stand her going home late at night and
her sarcastic remarks whenever her attention
was called to what she was doing. He
contends he should have been credited with
the mitigating circumstance of passion and
obfuscation.

HELD:
The Court disagrees. The requisites of passion
and obfuscation are:
1. That there be an act, both unlawful and
sufficient to produce such a condition of mind;
2. That said act which produced the
obfuscation was not far removed from the
commission of the crime by a considerable
length of time during which the perpetrator
might recover his normal equanimity.
It has been held that there is passional
obfuscation when the crime was committed
due to an uncontrollable burst of passion
provoked by prior unjust or improper acts, or
due to a legitimate stimulus so powerful as to
overcome reason. The obfuscation must
originate from lawful feelings. The turmoil and
unreason which naturally result from a quarrel
or fight should not be confused with the
sentiment or excitement in the mind of a
person injured or offended to such a degree as
to deprive him of his sanity and self-control,
because the cause of this condition of mind
must necessarily have preceded the
commission of the offense.

PEOPLE V. ELPIDIO HERNANDO


October 28, 1999

Spouses Elpidio and Elena Hernando were


convicted to reclusion perpetua for estafa. On
different dates, they issued checks to Johnny
Sy which were dishonored upon presentment to
the bank. Accused spouses asserted that the
checks had been issued merely an evidence of
their indebtedness to the complainant. In this
case, all the checks that bounced were issued
and drawn by Elpidio Hernandos wife, Elena
Aban Hernando...The checks, all payable to
cash, were personally delivered and negotiated
to Johnny Sy by Elpidio. Though he was not the
drawer of the checks, accused Elpidio coaxed
the complainant to exchange the checks with
cash by guaranteeing that the checks were
good checks and funded...In all the
transactions, Elpidio was present and
personally received the money...Though Elena
was not present during the negotiation of the
checks, except for the first transaction, she
issued and signed the checks.

HELD:
To constitute estafa, the act of postdating or
issuing a check in payment of an obligation
must be the efficient cause of defraudation
and, as such, it should be either prior to or
simultaneous with the act of fraud...The
offender must be able to obtain money or
property from the offended party because of
the issuance of the check or that the person to
whom the check was delivered would not have
parted with his money or property had there
been no check issued to him...Stated
otherwise, the check should have been issued
as an inducement for the surrender by the
party deceived of his money or property and
not in payment of a pre-existing obligation." In
this kind of estafa by postdating or issuing a
bad check, deceit and damage are essential
elements of the offense and have to be
established with satisfactory proof to warrant
conviction.
Estafa, under Article 315, paragraph 2(d) of the
Revised Penal Code, as amended by Republic
Act No. 4885, has the following elements:..(1)
postdating or issuance of a check in payment
of an obligation contracted at the time the
check was issued; (2) lack of sufficiency of

funds to cover the check; and (3) damage to


the payee thereof.

PEOPLE V. ROMEO TIZON


October 28, 1999

The Rules of Court have set exacting standards


to be strictly complied with by the trial court in
the arraignment of an accused. Rule 116 of the
Rules of Court, in part, provides:

"Section 1. Arraignment and plea; how made.


(a) The accused must be arraigned before the
court where the complaint or information has
been filed or assigned for trial. The
arraignment must be made in open court by
the judge or clerk by furnishing the accused a
copy of the complaint or information with the
list of witnesses, reading the same in the
language or dialect known to him and asking
him whether he pleads guilty or not guilty. The
prosecution may, however, call at the trial
witnesses other than those named in the
complaint or information.
"(b) The accused must be present at the
arraignment and must personally enter his
plea. Both arraignment and plea shall be made
of record, but a failure to enter of record shall
not affect the validity of the proceedings.
"(c) If the accused refuses to plead, or makes a
conditional plea of guilty, a plea of not guilty
shall be entered for him.
"x x x x x x x x x
"Section 3. Plea of guilty to capital offense;
reception of evidence. When the accused
pleads guilty to a capital offense, the court
shall conduct a searching inquiry into the
voluntariness and full comprehension of the
consequences of his plea and require the
prosecution to prove his guilt and the precise
degree of culpability. The accused may also
present evidence in his behalf."

These rules are mandatory, affording, such as


they do, the proper understanding of the allimportant constitutional mandate regarding the
right of an accused to be so informed of the
precise nature of the accusation leveled
against him so essential in aptly putting up his
defense. The searching inquiry, which must be
recorded , requires the court to make it
indubitably certain that the accused is fully
apprised of the consequences of his plea of
guilt.
In sum, the searching inquiry under Section 3,
Rule 116 must focus on: (1) the voluntariness
of the plea, and (2) a complete comprehension
of the legal effects of the plea, so that the plea
of guilt is based on a free and informed
judgment. So indispensable is this requirement
that a plea of guilt to a capital offense can be
held null and void where the trial court has
inadequately discharged the duty of
conducting the prescribed "searching inquiry."

PEOPLE V. ARMANDO SARABIA


October 29, 1999

The appellant invokes the justifying


circumstance of self-defense in the charge of
murder against him. Having invoked such
circumstance, he is deemed to have admitted
having killed the victim and the burden of proof
shifts to him to establish and prove the
elements of self-defense : (a) unlawful
aggression on the part of the victim, (b)
reasonable necessity of the means employed
to prevent or repel it, and (c) lack of sufficient
provocation on the part of the person
defending himself.
It has also been held by this Court that,
"unlawful aggression is a condition sine qua
nonfor the justifying circumstance of selfdefense. For unlawful aggression to be
appreciated, there must be an actual, sudden,
unexpected attack or imminent danger thereof,
not merely a threatening or intimidating and
the appellant must present proof of positively
strong act of real aggression. Absent such
unlawful aggression, there can be no selfdefense.

If evident premeditation is also proven, it shall


be considered as a generic aggravating
circumstance. "The essential elements for
evident premeditation to be appreciated are:
(1) the time when the appellant decided to
commit the crime; (2) an overt act showing
that the appellant clung to their determination
to commit the crime; and (3) the lapse of a
sufficient period of time between the decision
and the execution of the crime, to allow the
appellant to reflect upon the consequences of
the act.

the crime; (2) an act indicating that the


offender had clung to his determination; and
(3) sufficient lapse of time between the
determination to commit the crime and the
execution thereof to allow the offender to
reflect upon the consequences of his act.

NOVEMBER 1999

PEOPLE V. MOROY GALLO


PEOPLE V. EDUARDO ALTABANO

November 16, 1999

October 29, 1999

The appellant raises in his defense an


alibi. Firmly settled is the doctrine "that for the
defense of alibi to prosper, the accused must
prove not only that he was at some other place
at the time the crime was committed but that it
was likewise physically impossible for him to be
at the locus criminis at the time of the alleged
crime." In the case under scrutiny, appellants
failed to prove and demonstrate the physical
impossibility of their being at the scene of the
crime at the approximate time of its
commission. Moreover, "defense of alibi cannot
prevail over the positive identification of the
accused by the eyewitness who had no
untoward motive to falsely testify."
Conspiracy was correctly established in this
case and as such, "all the conspirators are
liable as co-principals regardless of the manner
and extent of their participation since in
contemplation of law, the act of one would be
the act of all."
In analyzing the facts, the Court also found that
evident premeditation could not be appreciated
against appellants. Although the defamatory
words uttered by the victim against Corazon
Caro-Lascano must have spawned the grudge
of appellants towards the victim, the evidence
for the prosecution has not established all the
elements of evident premeditation, to wit: (1)
the time the offender determined to commit

Moroy Gallo was convicted by the trial court of


murder. He questions the testimony of the
witness, Amelita Elarmo because of her
relationship with the deceased.

HELD:
The Supreme Court repeated the well-settled
doctrine that mere relationship of a witness to
the victim does not render her testimony less
worthy of credit, especially where there is no
showing of improper motive. The Court also
upheld the claim of conspiracy. To establish
conspiracy it is not essential that there be
previous agreement to commit the crime; it is
sufficient that there be a common purpose and
design, concerted action and concurrence of
the interest and the minds of the parties meet
understandingly so as to bring about a
deliberate agreement to commit the offense
charged, notwithstanding the absence of a
formal agreement. The Supreme Court also
upheld the trial courts appreciation of the
qualifying circumstance of abuse of superior
strength. The armed assailants used their
greater number and superior power to
overwhelm the unarmed victim.
In addition, since the murder was committed
prior to the effectivity of RA 7659, the
applicable provision is Art. 248 of the Revised
Penal Code, which penalizes murder with

reclusion temporal in its maximum period to


death. The imposable penalty which has three
periods, namely, minimum (reclusion
temporal), medium (reclusion perpetua) and
maximum (death), makes Art. 64 of the
Revised Penal Code applicable. In this case the
prosecution was able to establish the qualifying
aggravating circumstances of abuse of superior
strength. In the absence of any other generic
aggravating and mitigating circumstance, the
imposable penalty is reclusion perpetua, the
medium period of the penalty pursuant to Art.
64 of the Penal Code. Scnc

PEOPLE V. ROSALINDA ARIOLA


November 16, 1999

Elvira Obana, with Rosalinda Ariola were


convicted of illegal recruitment in large scale,
under Article 38 and 39 of the Labor Code. The
6 accused presented themselves as part of the
Manila Booking Agency, and offered jobs in
New Guinea. They promised employment upon
the payment of recruitment fees. The victims
discovered that the office was not actually
Manila Booking Agency, and the recruiters
were unlicensed.

HELD:
The crime of illegal recruitment in large scale is
committed when three (3) elements concur,
namely: (a) The offender has no valid license or
authority required by law to enable him to
lawfully engage in recruitment and placement
of workers; (b) The offender undertakes either
any activity within the meaning of "recruitment
and placement" defined under Art. 13, par. (b),
of the Labor Code.

ART. 13. Definitions. - x x x x (b) "Recruitment


and placement" refers to any act of
canvassing, enlisting, contracting, transporting,
utilizing, hiring or procuring workers, and
includes referrals, contract services, promising
or advertising for employment, locally or

abroad, whether for profit or not: Provided,


That any person or entity which, in any
manner, offers or promises for a fee
employment to two or more persons shall be
deemed engaged in recruitment and
placement. or any of the prohibited acts
enumerated in ART. 34. Prohibited practices. - It
shall be unlawful for any individual, entity,
licensee, or holder of authority: (a) To charge or
accept, directly or indirectly, any amount
greater than that specified in the schedule of
allowable fees prescribed by the Secretary of
Labor, or to make a worker pay any amount
greater than that actually received by him as a
loan or advance; (b) To furnish or publish any
false notice or information or document in
relation to recruitment or employment; (c) To
give any false notice, testimony, information or
document or commit any act of
misrepresentation for the purpose of securing a
license or authority under this Code; (d) To
induce or to attempt to induce a worker
already employed to quit his employment in
order to offer him to another unless the
transfer is designed to liberate the worker from
oppressive terms and conditions of
employment; (e) To influence or to attempt to
influence any person or entity not to employ
any worker who has not applied for
employment through his agency; (f) To engage
in the recruitment or placement of workers in
jobs harmful to public health or morality or to
the dignity of the Republic of the Philippines;
(g) To obstruct or attempt to obstruct
inspection by the Secretary of Labor or by his
duly authorized representatives; (h) To fail to
file reports on the status of employment,
placement, vacancies, remittances of foreign
exchange earnings, separation from jobs,
departures and such other matters or
information as may be required by the
Secretary of Labor; (i) To substitute or alter
employment contracts approved and verified
by the Department of Labor from the time of
actual signing thereof by the parties up to and
including the periods of expiration of the same
without the approval of the Secretary of Labor;
(j) To become an officer or member of the
Board or any corporation engaged in travel
agency or to be engaged directly or indirectly
in the management of a travel agency; and, (k)
To withhold or deny travel documents from
applicant workers before departure for

monetary or financial considerations other than


those authorized under this Code and its
implementing rules and regulations.] of the
same Code; and (c) The offender committed
the same against three (3) or more persons,
individually or as a group.

PEOPLE V. RODRIGO LASOLA


November 17, 1999

This is a case for automatic review where


Rodrigo Lasola was convicted of two counts of
rape of an under-aged relative.

HELD:
The Court reiterated the principle that in cases
of qualified rape of an under-aged relative, the
prosecution must allege and prove the ordinary
elements of 1) sexual congress, 2) with a
woman, 3) by force and without consent, and in
order to warrant the imposition of the death
penalty, the additional elements that 4) the
victim is under 18 years of age at the time of
the rape and 5) the offender is a parent
(whether legitimate, illegitimate or adopted) of
the victim. Well-settled too, is the doctrine that
when a woman testifies that she has been
raped, she says, in effect, all that is necessary
to constitute the commission of the crime, and
this rule applies with more vigor when the
culprit is a close relative of the victim. The
judgement of the lower court was affirmed.

PEOPLE V. JOEL PINCA


November 17,1999

To properly appreciate the qualifying


circumstance of treachery, two conditions must
first concur: (1) the offender employed such
means, method or manner of execution as to
ensure his or her safety from the defensive or
retaliatory acts of the victim; and (2) the said
means, method or manner of execution was

deliberately adopted. The essence of treachery


is the deliberateness and the unexpectedness
of the attack, which give the hapless, unarmed
and unsuspecting victim no chance to resist or
to escape.
With respect to evident premeditation, there
must be clear and convincing proof of the
following: (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 such determination and the execution
that allowed the criminal to reflect upon the
consequences of his act.
For voluntary surrender to be appreciated as a
mitigating circumstance, the following
requisites must concur: (1) the offender has
not been actually arrested, (2) the offender
surrendered to a person in authority, and (3)
the surrender was voluntary. If the only reason
for the supposed surrender is to ensure the
safety of the accused whose arrest is
inevitable, the surrender is not spontaneous
and hence not voluntary.
Ordinarily, intoxication may be considered
either aggravating or mitigating, depending
upon the circumstances attending the
commission of the crime. Intoxication has the
effect of decreasing the penalty, if it is not
habitual or subsequent to the plan to commit
the contemplated crime; on the other hand,
when it is habitual or intentional, it is
considered an aggravating circumstance. A
person pleading intoxication to mitigate
penalty must present proof of having taken a
quantity of alcoholic beverage prior to the
commission of the crime, sufficient to produce
the effect of obfuscating reason. At the same
time, that person must show proof of not being
a habitual drinker and not taking the alcoholic
drink with the intention to reinforce his resolve
to commit the crime.

PEOPLE V. RUSTICO RIVERA


November 17,1999

The case is a review by the Court of the issue


of whether the constitutional presumption of
innocence accorded to an accused has been
sufficiently overcome by the State enough to
sustain the judgment of the trial court finding
the indictee guilty beyond reasonable doubt of
qualified rape and thereby imposing upon him
the death penalty.

HELD:
The trial court has correctly imposed the death
penalty in the case at bar after taking into
account the qaulifying circumstances
of minority of the victim and
the paternityrelationship between appellant
and the victim, as provided for in Section 11 of
Republic Act No. 7659, amending Article 335 of
the Revised Penal Code. The crime of rape has
been established. Alphamia, the victim, is a
minor (merely 10 years of age at the time of
commission of the offense), and the offender is
the father of the victim. These elements have
been properly alleged in the information and
proven during the trial.

PEOPLE V. MATEO BALLUDA


November 19,1999

constitutional presumption of innocence will


not apply as long as there is some logical
connection between the fact proved and the
ultimate fact presumed, and the inference of
one fact from proof of another shall not be so
unreasonable as to be a purely arbitrary
mandate. The burden of evidence is thus
shifted on the possessor of the dangerous drug
to explain absence of animus possidendi. In the
case under consideration, it is not disputed
that appellant was apprehended while carrying
a sack containing marijuana. Consequently, to
warrant his acquittal, he must show that his act
was innocent and done without intent to
possess, i.e. without knowledge that what he
possessed was a prohibited drug.
The legality of the warrantless search and
arrest in the case under scrutiny is also beyond
question. It bears stressing that appellant was
caught transporting a prohibited drug
in flagrante delicto. Consequently, a peace
officer or any private person, for that matter,
may, without warrant, arrest a person when in
his presence, the person to be arrested has
committed, is actually committing, or is
attempting to commit an offense; and the
person lawfully arrested may be searched for
dangerous weapons or anything which may be
used as proof of the commission of an offense,
without a search warrant. Hence, the
warrantless search in this case, being an
incident to a lawful arrest, is in itself lawful.
PEOPLE V. PASCUA GALLADAN

Appellant was convicted for violation of


Republic Act No. 6425. He contends that he
was neither selling, delivering, nor transporting
drugs at the time he was apprehended.

HELD:
Under the Rules of Evidence, it is disputably
presumed that things which a person
possesses or over which he exercises acts of
ownership, are owned by him. In U.S. vs.
Bandoc, the Court ruled that the finding of a
dangerous drug in the house or within the
premises of the house of the accused is prima
facie evidence of knowledge or animus
possidendi and is enough to convict in the
absence of a satisfactory explanation. The

November 19,1999

The accused in this case is invoking alibi as a


defense. Significantly, the alibi of accusedappellant cannot prosper. For alibi to be validly
invoked, not only must he prove that he was
somewhere else when the crime was
committed but he must also satisfactorily
establish that it was physically impossible for
him to be at the crime scene at the time of
commission. In the instant case, accusedappellant only attempted to prove that he was
at a different place when Sgt. Galladan was
gunned down. He did not even attempt to
establish that it was impossible for him to be at
the locus criminis when the offense was

committed. For this fact alone, his alibi must


fail.

PEOPLE V. MARIO BASCO


November 19, 1999

Under Article 14, paragraph 16 of the Revised


Penal Code, there is treachery when the
offender commits any of the crimes against
persons, employing means, methods, or forms
in the execution thereof which tend directly
and specifically to insure its execution without
risk to himself arising from the defense which
the offended party might make. "For treachery
to be appreciated as a qualifying circumstance,
two elements must concur: (1) the employment
of means of execution which gives the person
attacked no opportunity to defend himself or
retaliate; and (2) the means of execution is
deliberately or consciously adopted."

Self defense and defense of a relative may not


be availed of. The alleged unlawful aggression
on the part of the victim was not proven by
clear & convincing evidence. Assuming there
was an attack, the means used to repel the
attack were not reasonably necessary since the
victim already dropped the knife after the
accused threw rocks and could no longer
threaten the accused.

PEOPLE V. SUBA
NOVEMBER 29, 1999

The accused raped his niece twice. He was


caught in the act by the victim's brother on the
second time and was reported to the
police. Charged with rape, he denied the
charge against him. No sperm was found in
the victim's vagina.

HELD:
PEOPLE V. EMBERGA
G.R. 116616 Nov. 26, 1999

The victim supposedly attacked the Emberga


brothers with a knife. The accused then threw
rocks at the victim causing the latter to drop
his knife. The accused then grabbed the knife
and stabbed the victim 25 times. They were
then charged with murder aggravated by
treachery & cruelty. Accused plead defense of
a relative and self defense.

Guilty. Trial courts assessment as to the


credibility of witnesses is to be accorded great
weight. Both the victim and her brother
positively identified the accused as the rapist.
The absence of spermatozoa in the vagina
does not negate the commission of rape. There
may be a valid explanation for such absence,
as when the sperm was washed away or the
accused failed to ejaculate.

PEOPLE V. PARAISO
NOVEMBER 29, 1999

HELD:
Both were guilty of homicide only. Treachery
cannot be presumed but must be proven which
was not done here. As for the aggravating
circumstance of cruelty, such is
unavailing. The mere fact that the wounds
were in excess of what was indispensably
necessary does not imply cruelty.

Accused, with 1 John Doe, Forced their way into


the house of the victim. The victim's 4 children
were herded into 1 room while the accused
ransacked the house for cash and other
valuables. Before leaving, the accused
stabbed the victim who died. He was charged
of robbery with homicide aggravated by

dwelling, superior strength and disregard of


sex. Accused raised the defense of alibi.

HELD:
Guilty. The defense of alibi is no good when
the witnesses have positively identified the
accused. The fact that the witnesses did not
identify him immediately to the police is not a
defense either. There is no standard behavior
for persons confronted with a shocking
incident. One may either report the crime
immediately or after a long lapse of time.
The aggravating circumstance of dwelling is
appreciated since robbery may be committed
without trespassing the sanctity of the
home. He who goes to another's house to hurt
or do wrong is guiltier than he who offends
elsewhere.
Superior strength is also present since there
was a notorious inequality between the
accused who were both armed males and the
unarmed female victim.
Disregard of sex is not an aggravating
circumstance here since it only applies to
crimes against honor and persons.

PEOPLE V. CAPCO, AGPOON, ET. AL.


NOVEMBER 29, 1999

The accused were charged with robbery with


homicide and physical injuries for robbing one
Alberto S. Flores of P30,000.00 in cash and, on
the occasion thereof, shot him to death as well
as inflicted physical injuries on his son Bolivar J.
Flores. All 4 accused were found guilty.

HELD:
Accused Agpoon should be acquitted for failure
to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he
committed the crime.

Well-settled is the rule that for evidence to be


believed it must not only proceed from the
mouth of a credible witness but it must be
credible itself. Agpoon was implicated on the
sole testimony of Bolivar who contradicted
himself in Court. Besides, Agpoon's 3 coaccused also retracted their statements that
Agpoon was with them went they barged into
the store of the victims. Supposedly, Agpoon
loitered outside the store after the crime was
committed. The Court state that it is contrary
to human experience for a criminal to choose
to remain at the crime scene within a
considerable period of time when he could see
his companions escape.

PEOPLE V. OCUMEN
GR 120493-94 & 117692

Ocumen was accused of murder & frustrated


murder. He was at a wedding party & argued
with 2 guests. He pulled out a knife and
chased the 2 but went amok and stabbed 2
other people instead. One man died while his
other victim, a 14-yr. old girl, lived.

HELD:
Guilty of homicide and frustrated homicide
only. There was no treachery here. The fact
that both victims were unarmed does not
amount to treachery. An altercation precedes
both incidents.
But, the aggravating circumstance of abuse of
superior strength must be considered since his
2nd victim was an unarmed 14-yr. old, 4'11''
girl.

PEOPLE V. BARELLANO
NOVEMBER 29, 1999

The victim was drinking tuba with friends when


the accused walked up to the victim from

behind and shot him in the head. The victim


fell to the ground and was shot again in the
head. Charged with murder, the accused
raised the defense of alibi.

victims are given full weight and credit. It is


inconceivable that the nave and innocent 5-yr.
old victim could make up a story of sexual
molestation.

HELD:

It is also unnatural for a parent to use her


offspring as an engine of malice, especially if it
will subject a daughter to embarrassment and
even stigma.

Guilty. The accused was positively identified


by witnesses as the perpetrator of the
crime. Treachery was present since the victim
was approached from behind, was unarmed
and totally defenseless.

DECEMBER 1999

PEOPLE V. PEREZ
DECEMBER 2, 1999

Perez was a boarder who raped the 5-year-old


niece of the boarding house's owner. It was
done in the bodega of the house. A medical
exam showed no lacerations but showed a
reddening of the victim's labia majora, which
corroborated the victim's testimony that she
was raped. Accused denied the whole thing
citing inconsistencies in the victim's
testimonies in court and that the victim's
mother put her child up to lying because of a
grudge against the accused.

HELD:
Guilty. For rape to be consummated, full
penetration is not necessary. Even the slightest
penetration of the lips of the sex organ
constitutes carnal knowledge.
Minor discrepancies or inconsistencies between
a witness' affidavit and testimony do not impair
his credibility but even enhance the
truthfulness of his declarations as they erase
any suspicion of a rehearsed testimony. Plus, it
is a settled rule that testimonies of child-

PEOPLE V. SANTIAGO
DECEMBER 2, 1999

The victim was asleep with her child when she


woke up after hearing a noise in the
house. She went downstairs thinking it was her
husband but it was actually the accused that
entered the victim's house with a scythe. The
accused ordered the victim to remove her
clothing & underwear. The victim refused so
she was threatened with her and her child's
death. The accused raped the victim and
threatened her again with death if she told
anyone about the incident. Charged with rape,
the accused gave the defense of alibi and the
fact that there was no presence of sperm in the
victim.

HELD:
Where there is even the least chance for the
accused to be present at the crime scene, alibi
will not hold water. The victim also positively
identified the accused and it is settled that the
negative presence of sperm is immaterial in
the crime of rape. Penetration and not emission
is the important consideration.

PEOPLE V. TUMARU
DECEMBER 2, 1999

The accused shot and killed a municipal


councilor and OIC in Kalinga Apayao. The
prosecution was based on 12-yr. old Miguel's

testimony as he saw the crime occur. Found


guilty of murder, they appealed saying that the
judge erred in not holding witness Miguel's
testimony as biased and imputing motive to
the accused without any evidence.

HELD:
Proof of motive is not crucial where the identity
of the accused has been amply established.
Witness Miguel's testimony was sufficient to
convict the accused. The testimony of minors
of tender age will suffice to convict a person of
a crime as long as it is credible. The fact that
Miguel eventually stayed with one of the
victim's widows does not prove bias. It is but
natural for the bereaved family to be
concerned about the safety of the lone
witness. The concern for the victim does not
make him biased or unreliable.

she moved to live with her aunt did she tell the
truth about the crime.

HELD:
Denial, just like alibi, is insufficient to overcome
the positive identification made by the witness
for the prosecution. Denial is an inherently
weak defense which cannot prevail over the
credible testimony of the witness that the
accused committed the crime charged. It must
be supported by strong evidence of nonculpability in order to merit acceptability.
Appellant, in the present case, failed to
discharge this burden. His lame attempt to shift
the blame to a certain Ricky Pacaul, who may
not even exist, in order to exculpate himself,
cannot save him. Moreover, where there is no
evidence to show any dubious reason or
improper motive why a prosecution witness
would testify falsely against an accused or
falsely implicate him in a heinous crime, the
testimony is worthy of full faith and credit.

PEOPLE V. MAGBANUA
DECEMBER 2, 1999

PEOPLE V. DE LEON
DECEMBER 3, 1999

The victim was sexually abused continuously


from the time she was13 years old until she got
pregnant after 4 years of sexual abuse by
appellant, her own father. The sexual assaults
usually took place at noontime when she was
left alone with appellant while her mother went
to town to buy their basic needs and while her
brother and sisters were at the house of their
grandmother which was far from their house.
She did not report the rape incidents to her
mother because appellant threatened to kill
her. When her mother noticed her pregnancy
and asked her about the supposed father, she
did not tell her that it was appellant who
authored her pregnancy. Instead, as suggested
by appellant, she named one Ricky Pacaul as
the one who impregnated her. However, later
on, she claimed that she does not know any
person by that name. And only later on when

Accused was charged with raping his 9 year old


daughter 17 times. He denied the charge and
his defense was that the charge was filed
because his daughter was jealous of her
father's affection for another sibling. He was
convicted for all 17 charges of rape.

HELD:
He was found guilty of only one count of rape.
Each and every charge of rape is a separate
and distinct crime so that each of the 16 other
rapes charged should be proven beyond
reasonable doubt. The victims testimony was
overly generalized and lacked specific details
on how each of the alleged 16 rapes was
committed. Her bare statement that she was

raped so many times on certain weeks is


clearly inadequate and grossly insufficient to
establish the guilt of accused-appellant insofar
as the other sixteen rapes charged are
concerned.

PEOPLE V. JUACHON
DECEMBER 6, 1999

Juachon was a tricycle driver who was charged


with Rape with Murder. The accused was a
suitor of the victim. Witnesses saw the victim
ride the accused's tricycle and also saw a
tricycle similar to that owned by the accused at
the place where the victim was
found. Juachon's slippers were also found
there and he was heard to have told the victim
the night before, "ang sarap mong
halikan". He raised the defense of denial and
alibi.

HELD:
Settled is the rule that the real nature of the
crime charged is determined not from the
caption or preamble of the Information nor
from the specification of the provision of law
alleged to have been violated, such being
conclusions of law, but by the actual recitation
of facts alleged in the Complaint or
Information.
The facts recited in the Information constitute
the crime of Rape with Homicide. The elements
of said crime are clearly spelled out in the
Information, particularly the sexual intercourse
against the will of the victim, perpetrated with
violence and force and the killing of said victim
on occasion of the rape by immersing her in
muddy water.
Denial and alibi cannot overcome the amount
of circumstantial evidence against the accused
showing his carnal desire for the victim and his
presence at the scene of the crime.

PEOPLE V. NABLO
DECEMBER 6, 1999

The victim had just come from the barrio fiesta


mass when the 5 accused, armed with bladed
weapons, attacked and killed the victim. The
accused were convicted solely on the
testimony of the prosecution witnesses

HELD:
Well-settled is the rule that on the issue of
credibility of witnesses, appellate courts will
not disturb the findings by the trial court, which
was decisively in a better position to rate the
credibility of witnesses after hearing them and
observing their deportment and manner of
testifying during the trial. This doctrine stands
absent any showing that certain facts and
circumstances of weight and value have been
overlooked, misinterpreted or misapplied by
the lower court which, if considered, would
affect the result or outcome of the case.
The absence of a dying declaration is also
unnecessary to convict the accused. The
evidence on record suffices to support the
judgment of conviction under scrutiny. Neither
is proof of motive crucial since the identity of
appellants has been established by
eyewitnesses.

PEOPLE V. LADRILLO
DECEMBER 8, 1999

Facts:
The accused asked the 8 year old victim to
come to his house to pick lice from his
head. But then after, he stripped naked and
stripped the victim of his clothes and raped her
4 times during that one day. He raised the
defenses of denial and alibi and questioned the
sufficiency of the information since it states

that the crime was committed "on or about


1992".

HELD:
ACQUITTED of rape based on insufficiency of
evidence and reasonable doubt. Denial and
alibi may be weak but courts should not at
once look at them with disfavor. There are
situations where an accused may really have
no other defenses but denial and alibi which, if
established to be the truth, may tilt the scales
of justice in his favor, especially when the
prosecution evidence itself is weak. The crime
was supposedly narrated by the victim 2 yrs.
after. The crime was alleged to have been
perpetrated at the accused's residence when
the accused was not even living in Abanico at
that time. The victim's narration of the
incident was also not credible

PEOPLE V. SEVILLA
DECEMBER 8, 1999

The accused raped his 14 yr. old daughter. He


started making sexual advances when she was
6 and finally had sexual intercourse with her 8
yrs. later. Appellant questions the credibility of
the victim's testimony since it took 8 yrs.
before she complained of his acts.

HELD:
Guilty. The Court is not persuaded by
accused-appellants submission. As held by this
Court in People v. Miranda, there is no standard
form of human behavioral response when one
has just been confronted with a strange,
startling or frightful experience as heinous as
the crime of rape and not every victim to a
crime can be expected to act reasonably and
conformably with the expectation of mankind.
The fact that Myra did not complain to her
mother or her aunts about the sexual abuses

committed by her father against her for eight


long years, is of no moment. Myra, who was of
a very tender age when the horrible events in
her life began to unfold, could have, in all
probability, been confused and bewildered by
her experience that for more than half of her
young life, she was shocked into utter
insensibility.
Furthermore, a rape victims testimony is
entitled to greater weight when she accuses a
close relative of having raped her, as in the
case of a daughter against her father.

PEOPLE V. FELICIANO
DECEMBER 8, 1999

Feliciano was charged with highway robbery


and robbery with homicide. He was beaten at
the police station and was forced to sign a
statement that he was responsible for several
hold-ups in the area including the one where
the victim was killed. He was examined
without counsel by police and even when
counsel was given to him, the lawyer did not
advise him of the implications of his testimony.

HELD:
Acquitted for lack of evidence. His testimonies
were inadmissible. The right to counsel is a
fundamental right and contemplates not a
mere presence of the lawyer beside the
accused. He was questioned before his counsel
de officio arrived and even when his counsel
was present, his lawyer did not explain to
accused-appellant the consequences of his
action that the sworn statement can be used
against him and that it is possible that he could
be found guilty and sent to jail.
We also find that Atty. Chavezs independence
as counsel is suspect he is regularly
engaged by the Cagayan de Oro City Police as
counsel de officio for suspects who cannot avail
the services of counsel. He even received

money from the police as payment for his


services.

Insanity must be proved. All that was proved


by the psychiatrists was that accused was
sexually perverted or that he was sick of
pedophilia but such is different.

PEOPLE V. RALPH VELEZ DIAZ

But, he may not be sentenced to death. A


careful scrutiny of the records shows that the
Information charged him only with murder
qualified by treachery, abuse of superior
strength and evident premeditation. It failed to
mention the commission of sexual abuse or
"sodomy" on the victim. The Information
designated the crime as "murder in relation to
RA 7610," but as a rule, what controls is not
the designation of the offense but its
description in the complaint or information.

DECEMBER 8, 1999

Diaz was convicted of killing and sexually


abusing a 12 year old boy. The trial court
convicted him notwithstanding the exclusion of
the extrajudicial confession of accusedappellant and the absence of any eyewitness
to the crime because of:
(a) the testimony of 10-year old Felbart that he
saw his brother last alive in the company of
accused-appellant;
(b) the physical evidence of sexual abuse
through sodomy committed against the victim;
(c) the plea of insanity which only tended to
negate liability but was an admission of guilt;
(d) the reenactment of the crime by accusedappellant the details of which could not have
been known to anybody but himself; and,
(e) the fact that accused-appellant voluntarily
confessed to the crime without any evidence of
coercion, duress or intimidation exerted upon
him.
Accused pleads he is not guilty of murder since
there was no evident premeditation. He pleads
insanity and pleads that he cannot be
sentenced to death since the information filed
didnt mention the sodomy.

HELD:
The crime committed by accused-appellant
was murder even in the absence of the
qualifying circumstance of evident
premeditation because treachery and abuse of
superior strength were present - either of which
qualified the crime to murder. Since the victim
was an 11 yr old boy, both were present
although treachery absorbs superior strength.

PEOPLE V. ALBERTO FLORES AND


RODOLFO FLORES
DECEMBER 8, 1999

The Flores brothers were convicted of murder


on the testimony of the victims wife. The wife
says she saw the accused enter the victims
home and one brother stabbed the victim while
the other strangled him. But right after the
crime was committed, she said she saw
nothing.

HELD:
Jurisprudence forewarns that when serious and
inexplicable discrepancies are present between
a previously executed sworn statement of a
witness and her testimonial declarations with
respect to one's participation in a serious
imputation such as murder, there is raised a
grave doubt on the veracity of the witness'
account. In the case at bar, it is difficult to
reconcile the inconsistencies made by Marissa
in her sworn statement and testimony in court.
It is even more difficult to accept her
explanation in committing these
inconsistencies.

PEOPLE V. LORETO RINGOR, JR.

December 9, 1999

Appellant Ringor and his two companions


entered a restaurant where the accused
worked. After seating themselves, the group
ordered a bottle of gin. Appellant approached
one of the tables where Florida, the
restaurants cook was drinking beer. Without
any warning, appellant pulled Floridas hair and
poked a knife on the latters throat. Florida
stood up and pleaded with appellant not to
harm him Appellant relented and released his
grip on Florida. Thereafter, he left the
restaurant together with his companions.
However, a few minutes later he was back
Appellant brandished a gun and menacingly
entered the restaurant. Not encountering any
resistance, he thus proceeded to the kitchen
where Florida worked. Stealthily approaching
Florida from behind, appellant fired six
successive shots at Florida who fell down.
Ringor left thereafter. He was convicted of
murder and sentenced to death.

anus. He was sentenced to death because of


the aggravating circumstances of use of a
deadly weapon, night time and ignominy.

HELD:
The use of a deadly weapon was not alleged in
the information, hence the offense cannot be
considered as qualified rape. Night time and
ignominy were present (sa pwet ba naman).
Simple rape is punishable by a single
indivisible penalty of reclusion perpetua. Thus,
even if there were aggravating circumstances
of nighttime and ignominy in attendance the
appropriate penalty would still be reclusion
perpetua under the law. Article 63 of the
Revised Penal Code provides that in "all cases
in which the law prescribes a single indivisible
penalty, it shall be applied by the courts
regardless of any mitigating or aggravating
circumstances that may have attended the
commission of the deed."

HELD:

PEOPLE V. RONDERO

On the matter of the aggravating circumstance


of "use of unlicensed firearm" in the
commission of murder or homicide, the trial
court erred in appreciating the same to qualify
to death the penalty for the murder committed
by accused-appellant. It should be noted that
at the time accused-appellant perpetrated the
offense, the unlicensed character of a firearm
used in taking the life of another was not yet
an aggravating circumstance in homicide or
murder. Sentenced to reclusion perpetua
instead.

DECEMBER 9, 1999

The accused was seen by the victims father


with an ice pick and washing his bloodied
hands at the well. The 9 year old victim was
later found dead and half naked with
lacerations in her vagina but no sperm. He was
convicted of homicide only.

HELD:
PEOPLE V. ROLANDO ALFANTA
DECEMBER 9, 1999

Accused entered the place where the victim


was sleeping with a bolo. He brought her to an
abandoned place where he raped her, inserting
his fingers and penis into her vagina and

Guilty of the special complex crime of rape


with homicide. The absence of sperm does not
negate the commission of rape since the mere
touching of the pudenda by the male organ is
already considered as consummated rape. The
presence of physical injuries on the victim
strongly indicates the employment of force on
her person. Contusions were found on Mylene's
face, arms and thighs. Hence, death is the
appropriate penalty.

PEOPLE V. JAIME QUISAY


DECEMBER 10, 1999

A 3 year old girl was found dead in a


canal. Accused was the last person seen with
the little girl. He was charged with rape with
homicide. He put forth the defense that he
was with the girl but she ran away and fell into
the canal as an exempting circumstance (Any
person who, while performing a lawful act with
due care, causes an injury by mere accident
without fault or intention of causing it.Par. 4 of
Article 12 of the Revised Penal Code).

HELD:
Guilty. The physical evidence failed to support
the version of accused-appellant that the
victim Ainness Montenegro fell accidentally
into the canal. The victim had bruises only on
the sex organ, sides of the neck, etc.
The fact that no perineal laceration was found
on the genital of the victim does not dispel a
finding of rape. The slightest degree of
penetration of the pudenda by a male sex
organ suffices to consummate the crime of
rape. Jurisprudence is well-settled to the effect
that for rape to be consummated, rupture of
the hymen is not necessary, nor is it necessary
that the vagina sustain a laceration, especially
when the victim is a young girl.
The crime subject matter of the instant appeal
was committed before the death penalty law,
Republic Act No. 7659 became effective so the
penalty for the complex crime of rape with
homicide should only be reclusion perpetua.

PEOPLE V. EDGARDO DE LEON


DECEMBER 10, 1999

Accused supposedly raped his daughter in front


of the latters own 2 year old

daughter. Accused flatly denied the charge. He


alleged that the prosecution evidence had not
proven his guilt beyond reasonable doubt
because: (1) the evidence for the prosecution
which consisted of the victim's sole testimony
is insufficient; (2) this testimony is inconsistent;
and (3) the other pieces of vital evidence, i.e.,
the knife and the victim's torn clothes, were
not presented to substantiate the victim's
testimony.

HELD:
The sole testimony of the victim sufficiently
establishes the guilt of accused-appellant.
Amelia de Leon testified naturally,
spontaneously and positively.
Accused-appellant's claim that the charge
against him was merely trumped up by Amelia
cannot be believed. No woman, especially a
daughter, would subject herself and her family
to the humiliation of a public trial and send her
father to jail for the rest of his life if her
accusation were not true. Since the rape was
committed with the use of a knife, a deadly
weapon, the crime is therefore punishable by
reclusion perpetua to death.

PEOPLE V. ARNOLD DIZON


DECEMBER 10, 1999

Accused supposedly entered the victims


house, robbed them, raped one of the
occupants and stabbed all of them. Only 12 yr.
Old Ruel survived the massacre of his family
and positively identified the accused as the
perpetrator. Death was imposed upon accused
after the RTC found him guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of special complex crime of
Robbery with Homicide aggravated by Rape,
Dwelling and Nocturnity. Accused pleaded not
guilty.

HELD:

Guilty of 1 count of rape with homicide, 2


counts of homicide and 1 count of frustrated
homicide.
The trial court erred in finding accused guilty of
robbery. For a person to be guilty of robbery, it
must be proved that there was intent to gain &
the taking of personal property belonging to
another by means of violence against or
intimidation of any person, or by using force
upon anything.

the victim's testimonies refer only to minor


details and collateral matters which do not
really affect either the substance of her
declaration, and its veracity.

On the other hand, this Court agrees with the


trial court that rape was satisfactorily
established by the prosecution. Ruels
testimony positively identifying the accused
was enough to convict.

But, the information only alleged the minority


of Ma. Cristina that she was thirteen years old
but did not allege the relationship of the
accused to the victim. The seven (7) modes of
committing rape introduced under RA 7659
which warrant automatic imposition of death
penalty partake of the nature of a qualifying
circumstance under the Revised Penal Code
since it increases the penalty of rape to one (1)
degree. It would be a denial of the right of the
accused to be informed of the charges against
him, and consequently, a denial of due
process, if he is charged with simple rape only
on which he was arraigned, and be convicted
of qualified rape punishable by death. Thus,
accused-appellant should only suffer the
penalty of reclusion perpetua.

PEOPLE V. AGAPITO FLORES

PEOPLE V. FERNANDO CALANG MACOSTA

DECEMBER 13, 1999

DECEMBER 14, 1999

Accused, at knife point, forced his 13 year old


daughter to undress and then raped her. All the
time and while the accused-appellant was on
top of her the knife was poked at her. Victim
also testified her father had raped her 4 times
when she was in grade 4. Accused denied the
charges as fabricated. Appellant cites the
inconsistencies in the victim's testimony and
further contends that the medical findings
reveal that the healed lacerations in the
victims hymen were already existing prior to
the alleged date of rape, in which case there is
no evidence to prove that appellant raped Ma.
Cristina on November 8, 1994. Sentenced to
death.

Accused invited herein complainant to catch


shrimps at the side of the Magpayang
River.The victim acceded but when they were
at an uninhabited place, the accused kissed
and touched the victim. He tried to insert his
penis but once the penis was in the mouth of
her vagina she felt pain so she pleaded for his
mercy not to deflower her and she continued
crying and pushed him hard until she was able
to be free. Charged with rape, accused denied
the incident and said that he and the victim
were even sweet hearts.

In his testimony, Ruel only testified that he saw


accused opening their closets and throwing
things on the floor. Not that accused took
something from the house.

HELD:
HELD:
Guilty but reclusion perpetua only. It is
unthinkable for a daughter to falsely impute
the crime of rape against her own father if it
was not real. The supposed inconsistencies in

Guilty. Being sweethearts does not prove


consent by complainant to the sexual act.
And, it is perplexing how accused could
vigorously deny that the alleged incident ever
took place and in the same breath argue that if
anything untoward happened it was because
they were sweethearts.

It is also well-settled that for a conviction of


rape, medical findings of injuries in the victims
genitalia are not essential. Even the slightest
touching of the female genitalia, or mere
introduction of the male organ into the labia of
the pudendum constitutes carnal knowledge.
The Court has also ruled that a medical
examination is not indispensable to the
prosecution of rape as long as the evidence on
hand convinces the court that a conviction of
rape is proper.

under eighteen (18) years of age and the


offender is her step-parent, the information,
however, has failed to allege any relationship
between accused-appellant and his victim.

PEOPLE V. RENATO RAMONAMON

Accused raped his then 15 yr. old grandniece at


gunpoint and threatened her with death if she
told on him. The victim became pregnant and
only then did she tell her mother about the
crime.

DECEMBER 15, 1999

Accused first raped his stepdaughter at knife


point when she was 5 yrs. old. Because
of Analyn's tender age, the rape resulted in
the dislocation of her legs and pelvic bones
which caused her to become temporarily lame.
That same night, Analyn reported the incident
to her mother in the presence of appellant.
Analyn's mother refused to believe her. Neither
was she brought to the hospital for treatment.
She was raped 2 more times and only told her
grandmother of the crime after accused tried
to rape her a 4th time. She didnt tell her
mother about the incidents since the latter
refused to believe her anyway. Accused denied
the charges.

HELD:
Guilty but sentenced to reclusion perpetua
only. The averment that Analyn could have run
away when accused-appellant started
removing her panties hardly deserves
consideration. Different people, previous cases
can tell us, react differently to given situations.
Most women might, when given the chance,
immediately flee from their aggressors but
others may become virtually catatonic because
of mental shock
But while the law holds that the death penalty
shall be imposed if, among other instances, the
crime of rape is committed against a victim

PEOPLE V. CABALIDA
DECEMBER 15, 1999

HELD:
Acquitted for failure to prove beyond
reasonable doubt. The victim supposedly told
nobody of the crime since she feared for her
life. But accused had left for Manila already for
several months and the victim supposedly only
told her mother when it was obvious she was
pregnant. Second, victim's motive for
accusing appellant is only so that her
stepfather will not be suspected of being the
father of the child. Finally. accused returned to
Zamboanga City to clear his name. This is a
strong indication of innocence.

PEOPLE V. LYNDON SANEZ


DECEMBER 15, 1999

Victim was found in a canal with hack wounds


in his nape and near death. He gave a dying
declaration naming his own son, the accused,
as the assailant. An eyewitness also saw the
accused dragging a body across the road and
dumping it into the canal where the victim was
found. He was found guilty of parricide.

HELD:
Guilty. Direct evidence of the actual killing is
not indispensable for convicting an accused
when circumstantial evidence can sufficiently
establish his guilt. The consistent rule has been
that circumstantial evidence is adequate for
conviction if: a) there is more than one
circumstance; b) the facts from which the
inferences are derived have been proven; and
c) the combination of all circumstances is such
as to produce a conviction beyond reasonable
doubt. All these requisites, not to mention the
dying declaration of the deceased victim
himself, are extant in the instant case.

PEOPLE V. AUGUSTO TANZON


DECEMBER 15, 1999

Victim was walking with his common law wife


when he was invited for drinks by the
accused. Victim refused. When the wife
turned around, she saw the accused shoot her
husband with a sumpak twice. On the ground,
he was kicked by accused and 4 of his friends
and then shot again by the accused with a
short gun. Accused also shot at thee wife who
was able to flee. An eyewitness corroborated
the wifes version of the events. He was found
guilty of murder.

HELD:
Gulilty. The rule is settled that in the absence
of any fact or circumstance of weight and
influence which has been overlooked or the
significance of which has been misconstrued as
to impeach the findings of the trial court, the
appellate courts will not interfere with the trial
courts findings on the credibility of the
witnesses or set aside its judgment considering
that it is in a better position to decide the
question having heard the witnesses
themselves during trial.
Also, the non-presentation by the prosecution
of the items which the accused is charged of
having armed himself with in attacking,

assaulting, stoning and stabbing the victim is


not fatal where the accused has been positively
identified

PEOPLE V. NICASIO ENOJA


DECEMBER 17, 1999

The victim, Siegfred G. Insular, was a


suspected commander of the "New People's
Army" (NPA). A day before the incident, the
house of Romulo Enoja, brother of the Enojas,
was allegedly sprayed with bullets by the NPA,
killing Romulo's daughter and son. Before that,
the house of Catelina Enoja, mother of the
Enojas, at Barangay Caraudan, was allegedly
burned by the NPA.
The victim was walking home with his wife
when the accused blocked the couple and took
terms shooting the victim.

HELD:
Appellants assail the trial court's finding of
conspiracy by pointing out alleged
inconsistencies in the testimonies of the
prosecution witnesses Salamanca and Paterna.
The two testimonies constitute cumulative
evidence on who participated in the shooting of
Siegfred. Both witnesses pointed to all five
accused-appellants. Accused were positively
identified by the witnesses and their testimony
is sufficient to convict the accused.

PEOPLE V. ABORDO, ET. AL.


DECEMBER 17, 1999

The 4 accused took the victim to an


uninhabited area near a creek and hit the
victim with stones and pieces of wood. The
victim died before arriving at the hospital. A
witness saw the incident and positively
identified the accused as the perpetrators of

the crime. Accused put up the defense of alibi


and that the witness is not reliable.

the back of the school. The RTC found him


guilty of illegal possession of firearms and
sentenced him to reclusion perpetua.

HELD:
All guilty. Although appellant merely held the
victim while the other hit the latter, he is still
guilty as a co-principal because of conspiracy
where the act of one is the act of all.
Appellants contend that the trial court
convicted them on the basis of the testimony
of the lone eyewitness, Hermogenes Pan, which
is allegedly not worthy of belief. Appellants
allege that it was highly impossible for Pan to
have witnessed the alleged commission of the
crime as he was drinking all the time that
afternoon until the time that he was informed
of the victim's death.
Where there is no concrete evidence to
indicate that the witness against the accused
has been actuated by any improper motive,
and absent any compelling reason to conclude
otherwise, the testimony given is ordinarily
accorded full faith and credit. Hence,
eyewitness Pan's straightforward testimony
against the appellants was rightly accorded
credence. The absence of sufficiently
convincing evidence as to ill motives actuating
the principal witness of the prosecution
strongly tents to sustain the finding that no
improper motive existed and, thus, his
testimony is worthy of full faith and credit.

HELD:
Acquitted due to insufficient evidence. In
cases involving illegal possession of firearm,
the requisite elements are: (a) the existence of
the subject firearm and (b) the fact that the
accused who owned or possessed the firearm
does not have he corresponding license or
permit to possess. While the information
alleged that the appellant did not possess any
license or permit to carry, such fact was not
established during trial. The only reference to
the non-possession of a license or permit of the
appellant was when the trial judge propounded
clarificatory questions to the officers who
accosted appellant and nothing else.

PEOPLE V. MERINO
December 17, 1999

The 2 accused, with 4 John Does, entered the


home of Ernesto Pagadian, robbed him and
raped his 2 minor daughters, aged 15 and
16. One year later, one of the victims saw one
of the accused at a market and reported such
to the NBI who subsequently arrested him and
his co-accused.

PEOPLE V. GILBERT DORIMON


December 17, 1999

At the time of the incident. appellant was an


eighteen (18) year-old senior high school
student at the Salug National High School of
Salug, Zamboanga del Norte. Found in his
possession was a 22 cal. paltik, that he
allegedly used to threaten a classmate who
had defeated him in a basketball game at
school. One of his classmates went to the
police who frisked Dorimon and found the
gun. Dorimon said he merely found the gun at

HELD:
Guilty. The trial court's assessment of the
credibility of witness is generally accorded
great respect. Both accused were positively
identified by the private complainants. There
was no hesitation on their part to point to the
accused as the culprits.
Both are guilty of rape since although it was
only Siervo who raped the 2 girls, Merino did
nothing to stop it. There was conspiracy
because both of them acted as one in their
greed and lust. In a conspiracy, the act of one

is the act of all. Nocturnity, to be appreciated


as an aggravating circumstance, must have
purposely been sought to facilitate the
commission of the crime or to prevent
recognition of the perpetrator.

PEOPLE V. SANTOCILDES, JR.


December 21, 1999

Appellant was charged with and found guilty of


the crime of rape of a girl less than nine (9)
years old. Appellant entered a plea of not guilty
under the advice of a certain
Ompong. Appellant later changed lawyers
after he found out that Ompong was not a
member of the bar.

HELD:
Judgement set aside and case remanded for
new trial. Being represented by a non-lawyer
is a denial of due process.

PEOPLE V. MORENO
December 21, 1999

According to the prosecution, accused entered


the secluded house of his 14 year old cousin
who was alone in the house. He held a bolo to
her body and succeeded in raping her. She
said nothing until her mother noticed her
swelling belly and it was determined that she
was pregnant. Accused put up the defense of
denial and alibi.

HELD:
Acquitted on the ground of reasonable doubt.
While the version of the defense is not entirely
satisfactory, as in any criminal prosecution,
conviction must rest on proof beyond
reasonable doubt. The State must rely on the

strength of its own evidence and not on the


weakness of the evidence of the
defense. Force and intimidation not proven.
Supposed victims actuations before and during
the alleged sexual assault did not show the
kind of resistance expected of a young woman
defending her virtue and honor. A much more
vigorous opposition to the assault on her virtue
is only to be expected of an inexperienced
victim on the threshold of womanhood.

JANUARY 2000

PEOPLE V. VICENTE VALLA


January 24, 2000

On appeal is the Quezon RTC's decisions dated


March 29, 1993 convicting Valla of the crime of
rape with homicide. Pines, a twelve-year old
girl, was passing by a ricefield near the
road when she heard a voice coming from the
direction of the forested area. They finally
found Dyesebel. Her body was found near the
river with her neck blackened and her vagina
bloodied. Allarey and his companions
immediately confronted appellant who, out of
remorse, admitted that he raped and
killed. The trial court found Valla guilty of the
crime of "rape with homicide." Hence, the
present appeal.

HELD:
More importantly, the declaration of appellant
acknowledging his guilt of the offense may be
given in evidence against him under Section 33
of Rule 130 of the Revised Rules of Court. Note
that his extrajudicial confession is corroborated
by the corpus delicti as required by Section 3 of
Rule 133. The Rules do not require that all the
elements of the crime must be clearly
established by evidence independent of the
confession. Corpus delicti only means that
there should be some concrete evidence

tending to show the commission of the crime


apart from the confession.
The statement of the accused asking for
forgiveness and even offering his own daughter
in exchange for his crime may also be regarded
as part of the res gestae under Section 42 of
Rule 130 of the Rules of Court. Res
gestae means "things done." There are three
requisites to admit evidence as part of the res
gestae:
(1) that the principal act, the res gestae, be a
startling occurrence, in this case the discovery
of the body of the victim;
(2) the statements were made before the
declarant had the time to contrive or devise a
falsehood, in this case, appellant had begged
for forgiveness immediately after the body was
found; and
(3) that the statements must concern the
occurrence in question and its immediate
attending circumstances, in this case,
appellant had admitted to raping and killing
the victim, and even "offered" his daughter in
exchange for the victim.
As to the crime committed, the trial court
correctly convicted appellant of the special
complex crime of "rape with homicide," and not
"rape with murder" as designated in the
Information, since "homicide" is herein taken in
its generic sense. The aggravating
circumstance of ignominy under Article 14, No.
17 of the Revised Penal Code should be
appreciated considering that the medico-legal
officer testified that the pubic area of the
victim bore blisters brought about by a contact
with a lighted cigarette.

PEOPLE V. RUDY CORTES


January 24, 2000

Before the Court for automatic review is the


Decision of the Masbate RTC convicting the
accused-appellant, Rudy Cortes y Caballero, of
the crime of rape committed against Analiza

Germina y Banculo, sentencing him to suffer


the supreme penalty of death.

HELD:
Time-honored is the rule that alibi is inherently
weak and easily contrived. Accused-appellant
must therefore prove with clear and convincing
evidence that it was physically impossible for
him to be at the place and approximate time of
commission of the felony, which quantum of
proof he failed to come forward with.
In a long line of rape cases, the Court has
consistently held that lust is no respecter of
time and place, and rape can be and has been
committed in even the unlikeliest of places.
Venues of rape have been inside a house
where there were other occupants, in a room
adjacent to where the victims family members
were sleeping or even in a room which the
victim shares with the sister of the offender.
There is no rule that rape can be committed
only in seclusion. Neither does the Court find
convincing the claim of delay on the part of the
victim in reporting the sexual assault against
her. This Court has consistently held that delay
in reporting rape incidents in the face of
threats of physical violence, cannot be taken
against the victim.

PEOPLE V. HON. BONIFACIO MACEDA


January 24, 2000

This case stems from denial by the SC of the


Peoples motion seeking reconsideration of our
August 13, 1990 decision holding that
respondent Judge Bonifacio Sanz Maceda
committed no grave abuse of discretion in
issuing the order of August 8, 1989 giving
custody over private respondent Avelino T.
Javellana to the Clerk of Court of the Antique
RTC, Atty. Deogracias del Rosario, during the
pendency of Criminal Cases Nos. 3350-3355. At
that time, sufficient reason was shown why
Javellana should not be detained at the Antique
Provincial Jail. The trial courts order specifically
provided for private respondents detention at

the residence of Atty. del Rosario. However,


private respondent was not to be allowed
liberty to roam around but was to be held as
detention prisoner in said residence. It was
howevere found that the order was not strictly
complied with because Javellana was not
detained in the residence of Atty. Del Rosario.
He went about his normal activities as if he
were a free man, including engaging in the
practice of law.

guilty beyond reasonable doubt of three (3)


counts of murder, two (2) counts of frustrated
murder, and three (3) counts of attempted
murder, under an Information charging them
and accused Fred Orbiso with the crime of
Qualified Illegal Possession of Firearms Used in
Murder, in violation of Presidential Decree (P.D.)
No. 1866.

Issue:
HELD:
Private respondent Javellana has been arrested
based on the filing of criminal cases against
him. By such arrest, he is deemed to be under
the custody of the law. The trial court gave
Atty. Deogracias del Rosario the custody of
private respondent Javellana with the
obligation "to hold and detain" him in Atty. del
Rosarios residence in his official capacity as
the clerk of court of the regional trial court.
Hence, when Atty. del Rosario was appointed
judge, he ceased to be the personal custodian
of accused Javellana and the succeeding clerk
of court must be deemed the custodian under
the same undertaking.
As a matter of law, when a person indicted for
an offense is arrested, he is deemed placed
under the custody of the law. He is placed in
actual restraint of liberty in jail so that he may
be bound to answer for the commission of the
offense. He must be detained in jail during the
pendency of the case against him, unless he is
authorized by the court to be released on bail
or on recognizance. Let it be stressed that all
prisoners whether under preventive detention
or serving final sentence can not practice their
profession nor engage in any business or
occupation, or hold office, elective or
appointive, while in detention.

PEOPLE V. LEON LUMILAN


January 25, 2000

Accused-appellants Leon Lumilan and Antonio


Garcia were found by the RTC of Ilagan, Isabela

Whether or not appellants may be properly


convicted of murder, frustrated murder and
attempted murder under an Information that
charges them with qualified illegal possession
of firearms used in murder in violation of
Section 1 of Presidential Decree (P.D.) No.
1866?

HELD:
At the time the trial court promulgated its
judgment of conviction in September 1990, it
had already been six (6) months since We held
in People v. Tac-an that the unlawful possession
of an unlicensed firearm or ammunition,
whether or not homicide or murder resulted
from its use, on one hand, and murder or
homicide, on the other, are offenses different
and separate from and independent of, each
other. While the former is punished under a
special law, the latter is penalized under the
Revised Penal Code. Consequently, the
prosecution for one will not bar prosecution for
the other, and double jeopardy will not lie.
Under Sec. 7 of Rule 117 of the Revised Rules
of Court, double jeopardy lies when after the
accused has pleaded to the first offense
charged in a valid complaint or information and
he is subsequently convicted or acquitted or
the case against him is dismissed or otherwise
terminated without his express consent by a
court of competent jurisdiction, he is
prosecuted for a second offense or any attempt
to commit the same or frustration thereof or
any other offense, which necessarily includes
or is necessarily included in the offense
charged in the former complaint or information.
It cannot be said that murder or homicide
necessarily includes or is necessarily included

in qualified illegal possession of firearms used


in murder or homicide. To state otherwise is to
contradict Tac-an and its progeny of cases
where We categorically ruled out the
application of double jeopardy in the
simultaneous prosecution for murder or
homicide and qualified illegal possession of
firearms used in murder or homicide against
same accused involving the same fatal act.
Sec. 4, Rule 120 of the Revised Rules of Court
provides that an accused may not be convicted
of an offense other than that with which he is
charged in the Information, unless such other
offense was both established by evidence and
is included in the offense charged in the
Information. Since murder or homicide neither
includes or is necessarily included in qualified
illegal possession of firearms used in murder or
homicide, the trial court may not validly
convict an accused for the former crime under
an Information charging the latter offense.
Conversely, an accused charged in the
Information with homicide or murder may not
be convicted of qualified illegal possession of
firearms used in murder or homicide, for the
latter is not included in the former.
We observe that the Information charging
appellants with Qualified Illegal Possession of
Firearms Used in Murder, violates Sec. 1 of P.D.
No. 1866, as amended by R.A. No. 8294, which
obliterated the now obsolete concept of
qualified illegal possession of firearms or illegal
possession of firearms in its aggravated form,
i.e., where the penalty for illegal possession is
increased to reclusion perpetua or death by the
attendance of homicide or murder. In fact,
qualified illegal possession of firearms, which
used to be a distinct offense, no longer exists
in our statute books.

PEOPLE V. ESTEBAN ARLEE


January 25, 2000

Complainant Analyn Villanueva and the


accused "Boy Ising" were. Analyn, who merely
finished grade two, was 26 years old but with a
mental capacity of a eight-year old child.Boy

Ising raped Analyn by poking a knife to her


side. As months passed, Analyns belly started
to swell and when asked about her bulging
stomach, Analyn readily confessed to her
mother that Boy Ising was responsible therefor.
Analyn then narrated her horrific experience in
the hands of accused-appellant. The trial court
gave full faith and credit to the testimony of
the victim, Analyn.

HELD:
In this appeal, the accused contends that the
subpoenas directing submission of counteraffidavits for purposes of preliminary
investigation, were not received by him since
the same were sent to his former residence at
A. Del Rosario Street and not to Dalahican
Street where he moved to. Accused-appellant
therefore, maintains that he was deprived of
his right to a preliminary investigation.
In Mercado vs. Court of Appeals, this Court
reiterated the rule that the New Rules on
Criminal Procedure "does not require as
condition sine qua non to the validity of the
proceedings (in the preliminary investigation)
the presence of the accused for as long as
efforts to reach him were made, and an
opportunity to controvert the evidence for the
complainant is accorded him. The obvious
purpose of the rule is to block attempts of
unscrupulous respondents to thwart the
prosecution of offenses by hiding themselves
or by employing dilatory tactics."
Being a mentally retarded woman, twenty-six
years of age, Analyn is in the same class as a
woman deprived of reason or otherwise
unconscious when she was raped by accusedappellant. Proof of force and intimidation is not
required if the victim is "deprived of reason" or
suffering from mental abnormality or deficiency
since the same deprives the victim of the
natural instinct to resist a bestial assault on her
chastity and womanhood. It is well-settled that
sexual intercourse with a woman who is a
mental retardate constitutes statutory rape.
Neither is the Court persuaded by accusedappellants submission that he cannot be
required to acknowledge and support the child

begotten by him with Analyn. In point is the


following provision of the Revised Penal Code:
ART. 345. Civil liability of persons guilty of
crimes against chastity. - Persons guilty of
rape, seduction, or abduction, shall also be
sentenced:
1. To indemnify the offended woman;

they gave statements admitting that they,


together with Jessie Micate, killed Edmundo
Orizal. The trial court rendered decision finding
accused Armando Gallardo y Gander and
Alfredo Columna y Correa guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of murder qualified by
evident premeditation and aggravated by
treachery and sentencing each of them
to reclusion perpetua. Hence, this appeal.

2. To acknowledge the offspring, unless the law


should prevent him from so doing;
3. In every case to support the offspring.
(Underscoring ours)
xxx xxx xxx
The aforecited provision of law is qualified by
jurisprudence to the effect that
"acknowledgment is disallowed if the offender
is a married man, with only support for the
offspring as part of the sentence."However, as
opined in People vs. Bayani, there is no more
need for the prohibition against
acknowledgment of the offspring by an
offender who is married, because of the
elimination by the Family Code of the
distinctions among illegitimate children. No
further positive act is required of the parent as
the law itself provides the childs status as
illegitimate. Therefore, under Article 345 of the
Revised Penal Code, the offender in a rape case
who is married should only be sentenced to
indemnify the victim and support the offspring,
if there be any.

PEOPLE V. ARMANDO GALLARDO


January 25, 2000

On July 28, 1991, Edmundo Orizal was found


dead in the rest house of Ronnie Balao. The
victim was found to have sustained seven (7)
gunshot wounds in the chest, abdomen, back,
left and right thighs, and two (2) grazing
wounds on the left arm and back. The two
suspects Armando Gallardo and Alfredo
Columna were brought to the Tuguegarao
Police Department. They were investigated by
Police Investigator SPO4 Isidro Marcos, and

HELD:
Under rules laid by the Constitution, existing
laws and jurisprudence, a confession to be
admissible must satisfy all four fundamental
requirements, namely: (1) the confession must
be voluntary; (2) the confession must be made
with the assistance of competent and
independent counsel; (3) the confession must
be express; and (4) the confession must be in
writing. All these requirements were complied
with. It would have been different if the
accused were merely asked if they were
waiving their Constitutional rights without any
explanation from the assisting counsel.

PEOPLE V. JOVITO BARONA


January 25, 2000

At about 8:30 o'clock in the evening on June


26, 1988, Eduardo Dimapilisan was requested
by his sister to fetch her husband Celedonio
Baron at the store of a certain. When he
arrived at the store, Dimapilisan was told by
Pinang that Celedonio was in the house of
appellant Jovito. While waiting at the store,
Dimapilisan saw Celedonio come out of the
house of Jovito. He was able to clearly identify
his brother-in-law because of the electric light
from the store and the lamp in Jovito's house.
Shortly, he saw the four appellants follow
Celedonio. While the latter was walking,
Roberto held, choked and strangled him.

HELD:

The stabbing and the shooting rendered the


victim weak and defenseless. The collective
action of the four appellants readily shows that
there was a concurrence in their evil design in
perpetrating the crime. Their superiority in
number and the fact that they were armed with
a bladed weapon and a gun shows that
treachery was attendant in the commission of
the crime. Evidently, there is notorious
inequality of forces between the victim and the
four accused-appellants. The excessive force
was out of proportion to the means available to
the person attacked. However, the
circumstance of abuse of superior strength
cannot be appreciated separately, it being
necessarily absorbed treachery. Treachery
requires the concurrence of two conditions,
both of which are present in the case at bar:
1.) employment of means of execution that
gives the person attacked no opportunity to
defend himself, much less, to retaliate; and
2.) deliberate or conscious adoption of the
means of execution.
Likewise established with certainty is that the
appellants concerted actions were indicative of
their conspiracy. No direct proof is necessary to
show that conspiracy exists among the
assailants. Community of criminal design may
be inferred from the conduct of the accused
before, during and after the commission of the
crime.

PEOPLE V. CRESENCIANO ENOLVA

HELD:
It has been held that delay or vacillation in
making a criminal accusation will not
necessarily impair the credibility of the
complaining witness if such delay is
satisfactorily explained. The trial court found
that the testimony of Pedro Abunda was
rendered in a "very straight forward manner,"
complete with details of the incidents that
could not have been the product of coaching
from anyone. The court a quo also found
Lorlita credible. The court did not err in ruling
that the alibi of the accused that he was drunk
and asleep in his house at the time that the
shooting occured will not lie against the
positive identification of Lorlita and Pedro
Abunda. It is doctrinal that the Supreme Court
will not interfere with the judgment of the trial
court in passing upon the credibility of
witnesses unless there appears in the record
some fact or circumstance of weight and
substance which has been overlooked or the
significance of which has been misinterpreted.
We find no such basis.

PEOPLE V. ALFONSO BALGOS


January 26, 2000

The accused-appellant denied raping Crisselle


but claimed that he only inserted his left index
finger into her vagina because he was sexually
aroused at that time. The trial court convicted
accused.

January 25, 2000


Issue:
At around seven o'clock in the evening of July
25, 1995, Rogelio Abunda and his three-year
old daughter Julie were shot while they were
sleeping on the floor of their house at
Barangay Bagombong. Cresenciano "Sonny"
Enolva y Alegre was charged in Criminal Case
No. 95-6021 and Criminal Case No 956047, both for murder. The trial court
convicted the accused thus this appeal.

Whether or not the trial court erred in


convicting the accused of rape and not just
acts of lasciviousness?

HELD:
The trial is court correct in imposing the
supreme penalty of death on the accusedappellant. Under Article 335 of the Revised

Penal Code as amended by Section 11 of


Republic Act No. 7659, Further amended by
Republic Act No. 8353, otherwise known as
"The Anti-Rape Law." the penalty of death shall
be imposed if the crime of rape is committed
against a child below seven (7) years of age. In
the present case, there is no dispute that the
victim was six (6) years of age when the
accused-appellant had carnal knowledge with
her. The victim's age was duly established by
the prosecution, through the testimony of the
victim's mother, Criselda Fuentes, and further
corroborated by Crisselle's Certificate of Live
Birth.

PEOPLE V. ZOILO BORROMEO


January 27, 2000

The RTC of Pasay City found the accused Zoilo


A. Borromeo alias "Sonny" guilty of kidnapping
a minor for ransom and sentenced him to
death and to pay the offended parties moral
damages of P250,000.00 and the costs of suit.

of Kenneth Hernandez was never disputed.


Assuming arguendo that minority was not
proved, still under the same provision of law,
the imposition of the death penalty is
obligatory if the kidnapping was committed for
the purpose of extorting ransom from the
victim or any other person. This was certainly
so in this case.

PEOPLE V. TITO ZUELA


January 28, 2000

The case is an appeal of accused Maximo


Velarde y de los Reyes, Nelson Garcia y
Temporas and Tito Zuela y Morandarte from the
decision of the RTC, Camarines Sur, Libmanan,
Br. 24, finding them guilty beyond reasonable
doubt of robbery with homicide.

Issue:
Whether or not the extra-judicial confessions
were executed in accordance with the
provisions of the 1973 Constitution?

HELD:
The essence of the crime of kidnapping is the
actual deprivation of the victim's liberty
coupled with indubitable proof of intent of the
accused to effect the same. And if the person
detained is a child, the question that needs to
be addressed is whether there is, evidence to
show that in taking the child, there was
deprivation of the child's liberty and that it was
the intention of the accused to deprive the
mother of the child's custody. We find
abundant evidence of this fact in this case.
There is no question that the elements of
kidnapping for ransom were sufficiently
established: (a) the accused is a private
individual; (b) the accused kidnapped or
detained the victim and deprived him of his
liberty; and, (c) the deprivation of the victim's
liberty was illegal. As provided for in Art. 267 of
the Revised Penal Code as amended, the
imposition of the death penalty is mandatory if
the victim is a minor. In this case, the minority

HELD:
The right to counsel attaches the moment an
investigating officer starts to ask questions to
elicit information on the crime from the
suspected offender.. In other words, "the
moment there is a move or even urge of said
investigators to elicit admissions or confessions
or even plain information which may appear
innocent or innocuous at the time, from said
suspect, he should then and there be assisted
by counsel, unless he waives the right, but the
waiver shall be made in writing and in the
presence of counsel.
There was no evidence that Maximo executed a
waiver of his right to counsel. In light of these
facts, we are constrained to rule that Maximo
Velardes extra-judicial statement is
inadmissible in evidence. An uncounselled
extra-judicial confession without a valid waiver

of the right to counsel - that is, in writing and in


the presence of counsel - is inadmissible in
evidence. Contrary to the ruling of the trial
court, the defect in the confessions of Tito and
Nelson was not cured by their signing the
extra-judicial statements before Judge
Bagalacsa.Nevertheless, the infirmity of
accused-appellants sworn statements did not
leave a void in the prosecutions case.
Accused-appellant Maximo repeated the
contents of his sworn statement to Romualda
Algarin who, in turn, related these in court.
Such declaration to a private person is
admissible in evidence against accusedappellant Maximo pursuant to Rule 130,
Section 26 of the Rules of Court stating that the
"act, declaration or omission of a party as to a
relevant fact may be given in evidence against
him." The trial court, therefore, correctly gave
evidentiary value to Romualdas testimony.
And in the recent case of People vs. Andan, the
Court reiterated the doctrine enunciated in
the Maqueda case. In Andan, the Court said
that "when the accused talked with the mayor
as confidant and not as a law enforcement
officer, his uncounselled confession did not
violate his constitutional rights. Constitutional
procedures on custodial investigation do not
apply to a spontaneous statement, not elicited
through questioning by the authorities, but
given in an ordinary manner whereby appellant
orally admitted having committed the crime."
Treachery was not alleged in the information
but the suddenness of the assault upon Hegino
and Maria from behind was proven beyond
reasonable doubt. As such, treachery may be
appreciated as a generic aggravating
circumstance. Treachery exists when an adult
person illegally attacks a child of tender years
and causes his death.
The crime committed is the special complex
crime of robbery with homicide defined and
penalized in Article 294 of the Revised Penal
Code. The trial court correctly considered the
crime as robbery with homicide and not
"robbery with triple homicide" as charged in
the information. The term "homicide" in Article
294(1) is used in its generic sense, embracing
not only the act which results in death but also
all other acts producing anything short of
death. Neither is the nature of the offense

altered by the number of killings in connection


with the robbery. The multiplicity of victims
slain on the occasion of the robbery is only
appreciated as an aggravating circumstance.
This would preclude an anomalous situation
where, from the standpoint of the gravity of the
offense, robbery with one killing would be
treated in the same way that robbery with
multiple killings would be.

PEOPLE V. DOMINGO BRIGILDO


January 28, 2000

Appellant Domingo Brigildo was acquitted of


the charge of attempted rape. But the trial
court found him guilty of two counts of rape,
for which he was twice sentenced to
death. When arraigned, appellant Domingo
Brigildo, assisted by counsel, pleaded not guilty
to the charges. The lower court rendered its
decision finding the accused Domingo Brigildo
GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of RAPE (as)
defined and penalized under Article 335 of the
Revised Penal Code, as amended by Republic
Act 7659. Finding the victim Marites Belic to
have been below eighteen (18) years of age at
the time of the rape on March 30, 1994 and
finding the offender to be the common-law
spouse of Marites mother, this court imposes
upon the same Domingo Brigildo the
mandatory penalty of DEATH.

HELD: In reviewing rape cases, the Court has


consistently observed the following longstanding guidelines:
(1) An accusation for rape can be made with
facility. Such accusation is difficult to prove but
even more difficult for the accused though
innocent to disprove it;
(2) In view of the intrinsic nature of the crime
of rape where only two (2) persons are
involved, the testimony of the complainant
must be scrutinized with extreme caution; and
(3) The evidence of the prosecution must stand
and fall on its own merits and cannot be

allowed to draw strength from the weakness of


the evidence for the defense..

The testimony of the victim leaves us no doubt


that her mothers common-law husband had
raped her. But even assuming for arguments
sake, that the alleged penile penetration of
private complainants vagina had not been
shown with indubitable proof, this Court has
ruled consistently, that penetration is not an
essential element of rape. The mere touching
of the labia or pudendum by the phallus is
already enough to consummate the crime of
rape. Phallic intrusion necessarily entails
contact with the labia and even the briefest
contact under circumstances of force,
intimidation, or unconsciousness, even without
the rupture of the hymen is already rape.

We advert to that all-too familiar rule that


findings of fact of the trial court, especially its
assessment on the credibility of witnesses, are
not to be disturbed on appeal. The trial court is
in a better position than the appellant court to
properly evaluate testimonial evidence
because of their unique opportunity to directly
observe the witness demeanor, conduct,
deportment and manner of testifying.
Conspiracy need not be proved by direct
evidence, it may be inferred from the conduct
of all the accused before, during and after the
commission of the crime. It may be deduced
from the mode and manner in which the
offense was perpetrated or inferred from the
acts of the accused evincing a joint or common
purpose and design, concerted action and
community of interest.

In addition, the Court has repeatedly ruled that


when a victim says she has been raped, she
almost always says all that has to be said. So
long as the victims testimony meets the test
of credibility, the accused can be convicted on
the sole basis thereof.

We disagree, however, with the trial courts


finding of cruelty. The test for determining the
presence of cruelty is whether the accused
deliberately and sadistically augmented the
victims suffering. Consequently, there must be
proof that the victim was made to agonize
before he was killed.

PEOPLE V. ROMENCIANO RICAFRANCA

PEOPLE V. JESUS TANAIL

January 28, 2000

January 28, 2000

The case is an appeal from a decision of the


RTC of Pinamalayan finding the accused guilty
of murder and guilty of illegal possession of
firearms.

Accused Jesus Tanail y Borbe has appealed


from the decision of the Bulacan RTC finding
him guilty beyond reasonable doubt of rape
punished under Article 335 of the Revised
Penal Code. The court a quo rejected the
accuseds defense of denial and alibi. It said
that this could not prevail over the positive
identification of the accused.

Issue:
Whether or not the Court erred in disregarding
the fact that the evidence of the prosecution
did not overcome the time-honored
presumption of innocence of the accused in
criminal cases?

HELD:

HELD:
The court found no reason to disturb the
findings of the trial court. Contrary to the
contention of the accused-appellant that
inconsistencies materially affected the
credibility of the witnesses, we rather view the
minor inconsistencies as indicative of truth.

Marites testified with candor and in a


straightforward manner. In between sobs and
tears, she recounted how she had been
sexually abused by the accused in a "dog-style
manner."
It is not uncommon for young girls to conceal
for some time the assaults on their virtue
because of the rapists threats on their
lives. Delay in making a criminal accusation
does not impair the credibility of a witness if
such delay is satisfactorily explained. In any
case, the failure of the victim to immediately
report a rape is not an indication of a
fabricated charge. The lapse of three (3)
months prior to the criminal accusation for
rape is not sufficient to show that the charge of
rape is doubtful.

to run far. He was easily overtaken by the three


brothers who mercilessly stabbed him to death.
There is treachery when the offender commits
any of the crimes against the person
employing means, methods or forms in the
execution thereof which tend directly and
specifically to insure execution without risk to
himself arising from the defense which the
offended party might make. Since treachery
has already been appreciated as a qualifying
circumstance, abuse of superior strength
should not have been considered separately
inasmuch as it is absorbed in treachery. For
night time to be appreciated as an aggravating
circumstance it must be shown that the
accused had purposely sought such period to
facilitate the commission of the crime or to
prevent its discovery or to evade the culprit's
capture.

FEBRUARY 2000
PEOPLE V. ALBERTO BLANCO Y SEORA
PEOPLE V. PEDRO LUMACANG

February 1, 2000

February 1, 2000

Brothers Lumacang went out on a drinking


spree with 2 friends and the deceased Elmer
Salac. Without warning, Pedro unsheathed his
hunting knife and stabbed Elmer Salac. They
were charged with murder, which crime was
attended with the qualifying circumstances of
treachery, abuse of superior strength, and
generic aggravating circumstance of
nighttime. RTC found them guilty. Only Pablo
appealed.

Edgardo Tolentino and Arnel Leovido were


riding a tricycle. During the trip, the driver,
Blanco, allowed 3 men to board the tricycle,
accelerated its speed, and engaged in a
different route than that intended by Tolentino
and Leovido. Sensing that something was
wrong, both passengers jumped out the
moving tricycle. After they jumped, Tolentino
found out that Leovido had been stabbed by
one of the three men who boarded the
tricycle. Leovido died. Alberto Blanco, and
Arturo Punzalan were charged with murder

HELD:

HELD:

The essence of treachery is a swift and


unexpected attack on an unarmed victim
without the slightest provocation on his part.
The the severity of the assault during the first
incident of stabbing had already rendered the
deceased completely defenseless. That he was
able to run away to seek succor does not
negate the presence of alevosia because the
wounded victim, in fact, had little opportunity

For the defense of alibi to prosper, appellant


must prove not only that he was elsewhere
when the crime was perpetuated but also that
it was physically impossible for him to have
been at the crime scene or its immediate
vicinity at the approximate time of its
commission. Appellant failed to demonstrate
either scenario. Where there is absence of
strong and convincing evidence, alibi cannot

prevail over the positive identification of


appellant by an eyewitness to the stabbing
incident, who has no improper motive to testify
falsely.
There is conspiracy where, at the time the
malefactors were committing the crime, their
actions showed a unity of purpose among
them, a concerted effort to bring about the
death of the victim. Thus, although it appears
that it was one of appellants co-accused who
dealt Leovido the death blow, appellant
performed acts to carry out the felonious killing
complained of, for which he should be held
answerable.

PEOPLE V. JALOSJOS
February 3, 2000

The accused-appellant, Romeo G. Jalosjos is a


full-fledged member of Congress who is now
confined at the national penitentiary while his
conviction for statutory rape on two counts and
acts of lasciviousness on six counts is pending
appeal. The accused-appellant filed this motion
asking that he be allowed to fully discharge the
duties of a Congressman, including attendance
at legislative sessions and committee meetings
despite his having been convicted in the first
instance of a non-bailable offense. Does
membership in Congress exempt an accused
from statutes and rules which apply to validly
incarcerated persons in general?

HELD:
True, election is the expression of the sovereign
power of the people. In the exercise of
suffrage, a free people expects to achieve the
continuity of government and the perpetuation
of its benefits. However, inspite of its
importance, the privileges and rights arising
from having been elected may be enlarged or
restricted by law. The election to the position of
Congressman is not a reasonable classification
in criminal law enforcement. The functions and
duties of the office are not substantial
distinctions which lift him from the class of

prisoners interrupted in their freedom and


restricted in liberty of movement. Lawful arrest
and confinement are germane to the purposes
of the law and apply to all those belonging to
the same class. Imprisonment is the restraint
of a mans personal liberty; coercion exercised
upon a person to prevent the free exercise of
his power of locomotion.

PEOPLE V. NICOLAS
February 4, 2000

MELANDRO NICOLAS y FAVELLA was convicted


by the court a quo of two (2) counts of
statutory rape and one (1) simple rape
committed against his own daughter, Shellome
Nicolas y Dalisay. The statutory rapes were
committed when Shellome was only eleven
(11) years old while the simple rape was
perpetrated when she was already twelve (12).

HELD:
We strongly sustain his conviction. The rule is
settled that this Court does not generally
disturb the findings of fact of the trial court.
Having observed the manner, conduct and
demeanor of the witnesses while on the stand,
the trial court is clearly in a better position to
determine the weight to be given to their
respective testimonies. Unless there is a clear
showing that it overlooked certain facts and
circumstances which might alter the result of
the case, this Court accords respect, even
finality, to these findings of fact made by the
trial court.
The pattern of instilling fear, utilized by the
perpetrator in incestuous rape to intimidate his
victim into submission, is evident in virtually all
cases that have reached this Court. The
relationship of the victim to the perpetrator
magnifies this terror, because the perpetrator
is a person normally expected to give solace
and protection to the victim.

PEOPLE V. LLANES
February 4, 2000

Appellants Nicanor Llanes and Leandro Llanes


were charged with the crime of murder in the
RTC.

HELD:
The declaration of a dying person, made under
a consciousness of an impending death, may
be received in any case wherein his death is
the subject of inquiry, as evidence of the cause
and surrounding circumstances of such death.
The essential requisites for the admission of a
dying declaration under Section 37 of Rule 130
of the Rules of Court are,viz: (a) the declaration
must concern the cause and surrounding
circumstances of the declarants death; (b) at
the time the declaration was made, the
declarant was under the consciousness of an
impending death; (c) the declarant was at that
time competent as a witness; and (d) the
declaration is offered in any case wherein the
declarants is the subject of inquiry. All these
requisites have been met in this case.
It is a well-settled rule that different witnesses
testifying on the circumstances of a criminal
event would naturally differ in various details.
The fact that witnesses Arevalo and Valenzuela
gave varying testimonies as to the dying
declaration of the victim does not indicate that
they are lying. A truth-telling witness is not
always expected to give an error-free
testimony, considering the lapse of time and
the treachery of human memory.

PEOPLE V. MAGDATO
February 7, 2000

Before us for automatic review of the Criminal


Cases finding accused-appellant Pepito Alama
Magdato (hereafter PEPITO) guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of six (6) counts of rape

committed on her 12-year old daughter Cherry


Ann Magdato.

HELD:
We find to be correct the penalty of death
imposed by the trial court for each of the six
(6) crimes of qualified rape. Such penalty is
justified under Article 335 of the Revised Penal
Code, as amended by R.A. 7659. The
informations for rape in these cases explicitly
allege that CHERRY ANN is the daughter of
PEPITO and she was only twelve (12) years old
when he committed the rapes in question.
Under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, as
amended by Section 11 of R.A. No. 7659, the
death penalty shall be imposed if the crime of
rape is committed with, inter alia, the following
attendant circumstances:
1.
When the victim is under eighteen (18)
years of age and the offender is a parent,
ascendant, stepparent, guardian, relative by
consanguinity or affinity within the third civil
degree, or the common-law spouse of the
parent of the victim.

PEOPLE v. ALFREDO CABANDE


G.R. No. 132747. February 8, 2000

Appellant Alfredo Cabande appeals the July 24,


1997 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of
Malolos, Bulacan (Branch 16) in a Criminal
Case, finding him guilty of two counts of
murder and sentencing him to two terms
of reclusion perpetua. The accused appealed
that the State did not correctly appreciate the
evidence of the accused. The Court addressed
the following matters: (1) sufficiency of the
prosecution evidence, (2) presence of
qualifying circumstances and (3) damages.

HELD:
Well-settled is the rule that the trial court's
findings on the credibility of witnesses and

their testimonies are accorded great weight


and respect, in the absence of a clear showing
that some facts or circumstances of weight or
substance that could have affected the result
of the case have been overlooked,
misunderstood or misapplied. Thus, the SC
found no reason to reverse or modify the trial
courts assessment.
There is treachery when one commits any of
the crimes against persons by employing
means, methods or forms in the execution
thereof without risk to oneself arising from the
defense which the offended party might make.
The mere fact that there was a feud between
appellant and the victims did not necessarily
prove that the attack was expected. As the
solicitor general pointed out, what was decisive
was the suddenness of the attack which made
it impossible for the victims to retaliate, flee, or
defend themselves.
In line with current jurisprudence, we affirm the
award of indemnity ex delicto to the heirs of
each victim in the sum of P50,000 or a total
of P100,000. This may be awarded without
need of proof other than the commission of the
crime. We cannot sustain, however, the award
of exemplary damages, which are awarded
only in the presence of one or more
aggravating circumstances. None was
established in this case.

PEOPLE v. CORNELIA SUELTO


G.R. No. 126097. February 8, 2000

Accused-appellant Cornelia Suelto alias Rogelia


Suelto appeals from the judgment rendered by
the RTC finding her guilty of the murder of
Isabel Ruales. The prosecutions case rests
primarily on the testimony of two witnesses
who claimed to have personally witnessed the
killing. h Y

because they are inherently weak and


unreliable, but also because they can be easily
fabricated. Therefore, for alibi to serve as a
basis for acquittal, the accused must establish
by clear and convincing evidence (a) his
presence at another place at the time of the
perpetration of the offense and (b) that it
would thus be physically impossible for him to
have been at the scene of the crime.
Furthermore, the alibi must receive credible
corroboration from disinterested witnesses.We
hold that accused has failed to establish her
alibi by clear and convincing evidence.
The trial court found that the killing of Isabel
Ruales by accused was attended by the
qualifying circumstance of treachery. Treachery
exists when the offender commits any of the
crimes against persons, employing means,
methods, or forms which tend directly and
specially to insure the execution of the crime
without risk to himself arising from the defense
which the offended party might make.

PEOPLE v. DIOLO BARITA


G.R. No. 123541. February 8, 2000

Diolo Barita (BARITA), Denver Golsing


(GOLSING) and Dionisio Cuison (CUISON) were
charged with violation of Section 4, Article II of
Republic Act 6425, the accused was charged
with selling and delivering more or less 2,800
grams of dried marijuana. In support of his
appeal, BARITA denies any participation in the
alleged sale of marijuana. He claims that no
buy-bust operation was conducted and that the
accusation against him was all part of a frameup. To prove this, BARITA alleges that the
prosecution evidence is replete with numerous
flaws and glaring inconsistencies.

HELD:
HELD:
Alibis are generally considered with suspicion
and are always received with caution, not only

Accused-appellants defense of "frame-up"


does not convince us of their innocence. Such
defense has been invariably viewed by this

Court with disfavor for it can easily be


concocted but difficult to prove and is a
common and standard line of defense in most
prosecutions arising from violations of the
Dangerous Drugs Act. Any person who sells or
acts as a broker in the sale of marijuana shall
be punished with reclusion perpetua to death
and a fine ranging from five hundred thousand
pesos to ten million pesos if 750 grams or more
of marijuana is sold.

PEOPLE v. GOMEZ

On several occasions, this Court has held that


there is illegal recruitment when one purports
to have the ability to send a worker abroad
although without the authority or license to do
so. He may merely give such an impression in
order to induce an applicant to tender payment
for fees. Although accused-appellant initially
might not have done anything to encourage
individuals to apply to him for employment
abroad, such fact does not in any way blot out
his liability for illegal recruitment. Recruitment
is a legal term; its meaning must be
understood in the light of what the law
contemplates and not of common parlance.

G.R. Nos. 131946-47. February 8, 2000


PEOPLE v. ALFREDO ENTILA
On 29 December 1995 an Information was filed
before the Regional Trial Court of Paraaque
charging Rogelio Gomez y Reyes a.k.a. Philip
Roger Lacson or Roger Eleazar Gomez with
illegal recruitment in large scale resulting in
economic sabotage.

HELD:
Anent the first issue, we have consistently
ruled that any objection to the warrant of arrest
or the procedure in the acquisition by the court
of jurisdiction over the person of the accused
must be made before he enters his plea,
otherwise the objection is deemed waived.
The more significant issue at hand is whether
the culpability of accused-appellant forillegal
recruitment in large scale and estafa has been
proved beyond reasonable doubt. Under the
Labor Code, there are three (3) elements which
constitute illegal recruitment in large
scale. First, the accused undertakes any
recruitment activity defined under Art. 13, par.
(b), or any practice enumerated under Art. 34
of the Labor Code; second, the accused does
not comply with the guidelines issued by the
Secretary of Labor and Employment,
particularly with respect to the securing of a
license or authority to recruit and deploy
workers, either locally or overseas; and third,
the accused commits the same against three
(3) or more persons, individually or as a group.

G.R. No. 135368. February 9, 2000

The RTC found appellant Alfredo Entila alias


"Bogie" guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the
crime of kidnapping and sentencing him to
suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. He
contends in his appeal that the trial court erred
in rendering a decision against him.

HELD:

In convicting the appellant, the trial court relied


on the oft-cited rule that denial, like alibi, is a
weak defense since it is easily fabricated or
concocted. There are nonetheless settled
pronouncements of this Court to the effect that
where an accused sets up alibi, or denial for
that matter, as his line of defense, the courts
should not at once look at the same with wary
eyes for taken in the light of all the evidence
on record, it may be sufficient to reverse the
outcome of the case as found by the trial court
and thereby rightly set the accused free.
Furthermore, the defense of alibi or denial may
assume significance or strength when it is
amply corroborated by a credible witness, as in
the instant case.

PEOPLE v. ALFREDO ARAFILES


G.R. No. 128814. February 9, 2000

The accused was charged withed rape. Maria


Corazon Dampil (Corazon) was 15 years old at
the time she was allegedly raped. Accusedappellant is her uncle. He interposed this
appeal claiming that the trial court erred in
giving full faith and credit to the testimony of
complaining witness.

HELD:
It is well-settled that full penile penetration is
not necessary in order to consummate the
crime of rape; it is enough that the male organ
touches the female external genitalia for there
to be carnal knowledge. When there is no
evidence to show any improper motive on the
part of the complainant to testify against the
accused or to falsely implicate him in the
commission of a crime, the logical conclusion is
that the testimony is worthy of full faith and
credence.

to draw strength from the weakness of the


evidence for the defense.
The Court has repeatedly held that rape is
committed when intimidation is used on the
victim and the latter submitted against her will
because of fear for her life or personal safety. It
is not necessary that the force or intimidation
employed be so great or of such character as
could not be resisted because all that is
required is that it be sufficient to consummate
the purpose that the accused had in mind. . .
While the Court has upheld the defense of
consensual sex in some cases, this was on the
basis of strong evidence, consisting of letters
and the testimonies of witnesses, showing that
the alleged rape was actually sex by mutual
consent.Having been raised as an affirmative
defense, the "sweetheart theory" must be
established by convincing proof. Accusedappellant bears the burden of proving that he
and complainant had an affair which naturally
led to a sexual relationship. This accusedappellant failed to do.

PEOPLE v. BERLY FABRO


G.R. No. 114261. February 10, 2000

PEOPLE v. JOEY BARCELONA


G.R. No. 125341. February 9, 2000

Barcelona was charged with the rape of Dolly


Maglinte, a 17 year old minor.

Appellant Berly Fabro y Azucena, together with


her common-law husband Donald Pilay y Calag
and Irene Martin, was charged with the crime
of "violation of Section 21 (b) Art. IV, in relation
to Section 4, Art. II of Republic Act No. 6425:
sell and/or deliver to PO2 ELLONITO APDUHAN,
who acted as poseur-buyer, one (1) kilo of
dried marijuana leaves.

HELD:
In adjudging rape cases, the Court is guided by
the following principles: (a) an accusation of
rape can be made with facility; it is difficult to
prove but more difficult for the person accused,
though innocent, to disprove; (b) in view of the
nature of the crime in which only two persons
are involved, the testimony of the complainant
must be scrutinized with extreme caution; and
(c) the evidence for the prosecution must stand
or fall on its own merits, and cannot be allowed

HELD:
As between a writing or document made
contemporaneously with a transaction in which
are evidenced facts pertinent to an issue, when
admitted as proof of these facts, is ordinarily
regarded as more reliable proof and of greater
probative value than oral testimony of a
witness as to such facts based upon memory
and recollection. The reason behind this is

obvious, human memory is fallible and its force


diminishes with the lapse of time.
It must be stressed, however, that failure to
present the marked money is of no great
consequence. The Dangerous Drugs Law
punishes the mere act of delivery of prohibited
drugs after the offer to buy by the entrapping
officer has been accepted by the prohibited
drug seller. It is clear that Section 21 (b) of R.A.
6425 punishes the mere conspiracy to commit
the offense of selling, delivering, distributing
and transporting of dangerous drugs.
Conspiracy herein refers to the mere
agreement to commit the said acts and not the
actual execution thereof. While the rule is that
a mere conspiracy to commit a crime without
doing any overt act is not punishable, the
exception is when such is specifically penalized
by law, as in the case of Section 21 of Republic
Act 6425. Conspiracy as crime should be
distinguished from conspiracy as a manner of
incurring criminal liability the latter being
applicable to the case at bar.

PEOPLE v. EULOGIO IGNACIO


G.R. No. 134568. February 10, 2000

The RTC convicted Eulogio Ignacio of


murder.The trial court ruled that appellant
failed to prove by credible, clear and
convincing evidence that he had acted in
lawful defense of the landowners property.
There was no legal reason for him to shoot the
victim, an unarmed minor at the time of the
incident. The said court qualified the killing to
murder because of the presence of treachery.

HELD:
In the present case, we find ample evidence
that appellant did shoot the victim. It should be
stressed that appellants conduct cannot be
justified as a lawful defense of property rights.
For this justifying circumstance to be
appreciated, the accused has the burden of
proving unlawful aggression on the part of the
victim and reasonable necessity of the means

employed to prevent or repel it. In this case,


the first requisite was not proven, because he
was not attacked by the victim. In fact, he did
not even see the victim steal the crabs; he
merely suspected him of doing so.
Furthermore, assuming that unlawful
aggression was proven, there was no necessity
to shoot because, according to him, the victim
was already running away when hit.
There is treachery when the accused
unexpectedly and deliberately shoots an
unarmed minor who is thus not in a position to
put up a defense or to inflict harm on the
former. Voluntary surrender is not appreciated
even if the accused submits himself to the
members of the barangay tanod who, by their
presence in his house, precluded his escape.
In order that the mitigating circumstance of
voluntary surrender may be appreciated, the
defense must clearly satisfy three requisites:
(a) the offender has not been actually arrested;
(2) the offender surrenders himself to a person
in authority or the latter's agent; and (c) the
surrender is voluntary. The defense must show
an intent to surrender unconditionally to the
authorities, because of an acknowledgement of
guilt or because of a wish to spare them the
trouble and the expense concomitant to the
search and the capture of the accused.

PEOPLE v. CARLIE ALAGON


G.R. No. 126536-37. February 10, 2000

Two separate Informations were filed against


ALAGON and RAFAEL, both dated February 2,
1994, charging them with two counts of
murder for the deaths of Elarde Magno and
Isidro Barcelona. The case for the prosecution
is woven mainly on the testimony of Remedios
Punzalan. Accused-appellants ALAGON and
RAFAEL had denial for their defense.

HELD:
As a general rule, the factual findings of trial
courts deserve respect and are not disturbed

on appeal, unless some facts or circumstances


of weight and substance have been
overlooked, misapprehended or misinterpreted,
and would otherwise materially affect the
disposition of the case. ALAGON points out,
however, that this rule does not apply when
the judge who penned the decision was not the
same one who had heard the prosecution
witnesses testify, as in the present case. The
SC has carefully perused and considered the
records of this case, and we find no reason to
alter the findings of the trial court in regard to
the credibility of the prosecution witnesses and
their testimonies.
Conspiracy was not duly proven. There is
conspiracy where, at the time the malefactors
were committing the crime, their actions
impliedly showed a unity of purpose among
them, a concerted effort to bring about the
death of the victim. Conspiracy, like the crime
itself, must be proven beyond reasonable
doubt. Existence of conspiracy must be clearly
and convincingly proven. The accused must be
shown to have had guilty participation in the
criminal design entertained by the slayer, and
this presupposes knowledge on his part of such
criminal design.

PEOPLE v. ROMMEL BALTAR


G.R. No. 130341. February 10, 2000

Three criminal complaints were filed by Kristine


against Rommel Baltar. The prosecution
presented Kristine. She relayed that on four
separate incidents Baltar came to her house
and forced her to have iintercourse with him.

HELD:
The evidence proving the use of force by the
accused-appellant is overwhelming. Kristine
also adequately explained why she did not
immediately report to the police authorities.
The threats made by accused-appellant scared
her. Accused-appellant can not also dismiss the
complaints against him as merely instigated by
Kristines mother. Even assuming that accused-

appellant and Kristine were lovers, this fact


alone is not exculpatory. A sweetheart can not
be forced to have sex against her will. Love is
not a license for lust. Accused-appellants
sweetheart theory can not stand in the light of
Kristines positive assertions that he raped her.

PEOPLE v. APOLINAR DANDO


G.R. No. 120646. February 14, 2000

This is an appeal from a decision of the


Regional Trial Court, Branch 33, Siniloan,
Laguna finding PO3 Apolinar E. Dando
("accused-appellant") guilty beyond reasonable
doubt of murder.

HELD:
Well-settled is the rule that "inconsistencies on
minor and trivial matters only serve to
strengthen rather than weaken the credibility
of witnesses for they erase the suspicion of
rehearsed. Alibi is one of the weakest defenses
in criminal cases and it should be rejected
when the identity of the accused is sufficiently
and positively established by the prosecution.
The essence of treachery is that the attack
comes without a warning and in a swift,
deliberate and unexpected manner, affording
the hapless, unarmed and unsuspecting victim
no chance to resist or escape this case,
accused-appellant, whose face was covered by
a handkerchief, approached the victim, who
was merely standing by the gate in front of his
house, and shot him. The victim was
undoubtedly caught unaware and had no
chance of putting up any defense. Clearly,
treachery attended the commission of the
crime since the attack, although frontally, was
no less sudden and unexpected, giving the
victim no opportunity to repel it or offer any
defense of his person.

PEOPLE v. JULIAN CASTILLO

G.R. No. 131592-93. February 15, 2000

With the passage of Republic Act No. 8294 on


June 6, 1997, the use of an unlicensed firearm
in murder or homicide is now considered, not
as a separate crime, but merely a special
aggravating circumstance. In the case at bar,
appellant JULIAN CASTILLO y LUMAYRO was
charged with Murder and Illegal Possession of
Firearms.

HELD:
P.D. 1866, which codified the laws on illegal
possession of firearms, was amended on June
6, 1997 by Republic Act 8294. Aside from
lowering the penalty for said crime, R.A. 8294
also provided that if homicide or murder is
committed with the use of an unlicensed
firearm, such use shall be considered as a
special aggravating circumstance. This
amendment has two (2) implications: first, the
use of an unlicensed firearm in the commission
of homicide or murder shall not be treated as a
separate offense, but merely as a special
aggravating circumstance; second, as only a
single crime (homicide or murder with the
aggravating circumstance of illegal possession
of firearm) is committed under the law, only
one penalty shall be imposed on the accused.
Two (2) requisites are necessary to establish
illegal possession of firearms: first, the
existence of the subject firearm, and second,
the fact that the accused who owned or
possessed the gun did not have the
corresponding license or permit to carry it
outside his residence. The onus probandi of
establishing these elements as alleged in the
Information lies with the prosecution.

PEOPLE v. ABUNDIO MANGILA


G.R. No. 130203-04. February 15, 2000

Death is the most severe penalty for crime. It is


imposed in incestuous rape, regardless of

any mitigating or aggravating circumstance. In


the case at bar, sixteen (16) year old
MADRILYN D. MANGILA accused her father,
ABUNDIO MANGILA y PAREO, of two (2)
counts of RAPE, allegedly committed as
follows:

HELD:
Section 3, Rule 116 of the 1985 Rules on
Criminal Procedure provides:
"Section 3. Pleas of guilty to capital offense;
reception of evidence - When the accused
pleads guilty to a capital offense, the court
shall conduct a searching inquiry into the
voluntariness and full comprehension of the
consequences of his plea and require the
prosecution to prove his guilt and the precise
degree of culpability. The accused may also
present evidence in his behalf." (emphasis
supplied)
To breathe life into this rule, we made it
mandatory for trial courts to do the following:
(1) conduct a searching inquiry into the
voluntariness and full comprehension of the
consequences of the accused's plea;
(2) require the prosecution to prove the guilt of
the accused and the precise degree of his
culpability; and
(3) inquire whether or not the accused wishes
to present evidence on his behalf and allow
him to do so if he so desires.
The records show that the trial court failed to
comply to the letter with these guidelines. It
did not conduct a searching inquiry on whether
accused understood the legal consequences of
his admission of guilt. It is not shown that
accused was informed of the effect of the
concurrence of the special qualifying
circumstance of minority of the victim and his
parental relationship to her. After the accused
testified on how he raped his daughter, he was
not apprised that his crime is punishable by
death. The trial court also failed to explain to
him that as the penalty of death is indivisible, it
shall be imposed despite any mitigating or
aggravating circumstance attending its

commission. Apparently, the trial court


entertained the erroneous notion that the
alleged intoxication of accused would lessen
his liability.

PEOPLE v. ELRANIE MARTINEZ


G.R. No. 130606. February 15, 2000

The last paragraph of Section 6 of Republic Act


(RA) states who shall be held liable for the
offense, thus:
"The persons criminally liable for the above
offenses are the principals, accomplices and
accessories. In case of juridical persons,
the officers having control, management
or direction of their business shall be
liable."

In November 1995, Bulu Chowdury and


Josephine Ong were charged before the
Regional Trial Court of Manila with the crime of
illegal recruitment in large scale.

As stated in the first sentence of Section 6 of


RA 8042, the persons who may be held liable
for illegal recruitment are the principals,
accomplices and accessories. An employee of a
company or corporation engaged in illegal
recruitment may be held liable as principal,
together with his if it is shown that he actively
and consciously participated in illegal
recruitment. It has been held that the
existence of the corporate entity does not
shield from prosecution the corporate agent
who knowingly and intentionally causes the
corporation to commit a crime. The corporation
obviously acts, and can act, only by and
through its human agents, and it is their
conduct which the law must deter. The
employee or agent of a corporation engaged in
unlawful business naturally aids and abets in
the carrying on of such business and will be
prosecuted as principal if, with knowledge of
the business, its purpose and effect, he
consciously contributes his efforts to its
conduct and promotion, however slight his
contribution may be. The law of agency, as
applied in civil cases, has no application in
criminal cases, and no man can escape
punishment when he participates in the
commission of a crime upon the ground that he
simply acted as an agent of any party. The
culpability of the employee therefore hinges on
his knowledge of the offense and his active
participation in its commission. Where it is
shown that the employee was merely acting
under the direction of his superiors and was
unaware that his acts constituted a crime, he
may not be held criminally liable for an act
done for and in behalf of his employer.

HELD:

PEOPLE v. ROGELIO GALAM

This is an appeal from the decision of the RTC


finding accused-appellant Elranie Martinez
guilty of rape of Melina and imposing on him
the penalty of reclusion perpetua.

HELD:
While denial is a legitimate defense in rape
cases bare denials can not overcome the
categorical testimony of the victim. Here,
Melinas testimony is clear, candid,
straightforward and consistent. She had
positively identified accused-appellant as her
malefactor and established all the elements of
the offense. That the physical examination
yielded no conclusive evidence that she had
been raped does not affect her credibility. The
lack of tell-tale signs of rape on her private part
can be explained by the fact that she is a
married woman with four children. This fact
actually bolsters her credibility. She had no
motive to falsely implicate accused-appellant.

PEOPLE v. BULU CHOWDURY


G.R. No. 129577-80. February 15, 2000

G.R. No. 114740. February 15, 2000

G.R. No. 103506. February 15, 2000


On appeal is the decision of the RTC convicting
accused-appellant of the crime of murder,
imposing upon him the penalty of reclusion
perpetua.

HELD:
The qualifying circumstance of treachery
attended the killing as the two conditions for
the same are present, i.e., (1) that at the time
of the attack, the victim was not in a position
to defend himself and (2) that the offender
consciously adopted the particular means,
method or form of attack employed by him.
The attack was not only sudden, it was
unexpected, as the victim even cried out in
surprise "Why are you firing at me, I have not
done anything wrong!" Further, appellant
deliberately or consciously adopted the means
of attack as shown by the fact that he even
wrapped the gun inside a jacket prior to
shooting the victim.
However, evident premeditation cannot be
appreciated inasmuch as the following
elements were not duly proven: (1) the time
when the offender determined to commit the
crime; (2) an act manifestly indicating that the
offender had clung to his determination; and
(3) sufficient lapse of time between the
determination and the execution to allow the
offender to reflect on the consequences of his
act.
Nor can the aggravating circumstance of
nighttime be appreciated, for the prosecution
failed to demonstrate (1) that the malefactor
particularly sought or took advantage of the
darkness to commit the offense, or (2) that
nighttime facilitated the commission of the
crime. Although the crime took place at around
11:00 in the evening, the store/house where
the incident occurred was sufficiently lighted
by a fluorescent lamp, and there were still
people milling around because of the dance
held at a nearby plaza.

PEOPLE v. GREGORIO TOLIBAS

On appeal is the decision the RTC convicted


accused-appellant Rodel Quijon and accused
Gregorio Tolibas of the crime of murder and
sentencing them to suffer the penalty
of reclusion perpetua, to indemnify the widow
of the victim in the amount of P30,000.00 and
to pay the costs.

HELD:
Once more, we are guided by the tenet that
"when the issue is one of credibility of
witnesses, appellate courts will generally not
disturb the findings of the trial court,
considering that the latter is in a better
position to decide the question, having heard
the witnesses themselves and observed their
deportment and manner of testifying during
the trial, unless it has plainly overlooked
certain facts of substance and value that if,
considered, might affect the result of the case.
For conspiracy to exist, it is not required that
there be an agreement for an appreciable
period prior to the occurrence. The concerted
actions of the four accused showed their intent
to kill the victim. The qualifying circumstance
of treachery was present in this case as the
two conditions therefore were proved: (1) that
at the time of the attack, the victim was not in
a position to defend himself and (2) that the
offenders consciously adopted the particular
means, method or form of attack employed by
him. Treachery absorbs the generic
aggravating circumstance of abuse of superior
strength so the same need not be appreciated
separately.

PEOPLE v. CIELITO BULURAN


G.R. No. 113940. February 15, 2000

On May 20, 1993, appellant Cielito Buluran and


three (3) John Does were charged with the
crime of murder. The Information was later

amended when Leonardo Valenzuela was


identified as one of the assailants. Upon
arraignment, both accused entered pleas of not
guilty. On February 4, 1994, the trial court,
finding conspiracy and treachery, rendered
judgment convicting appellants of murder.

assailants to reflect upon the consequences of


their actions.

PEOPLE v. RODOLFO BATO


G.R. No. 134939. February 16, 2000

HELD:
First. Appellants are estopped from questioning
the validity of their respective arrests since
they never raised this issue before
arraignment. Any objection involving a warrant
of arrest or the acquisition of jurisdiction over
the person of an accused must be made before
he enters his plea, otherwise the objection is
deemed waived. Second. There is no violation
of the constitutional rights of the accused
during custodial investigation since neither one
executed an extrajudicial confession or
admission. In this case, the basis of the
conviction by the trial court was the
testimonies of the three eyewitnesses, Artemio
Avendao, Jacinto Castillo, and Gloria Castillo.
Third. The failure to accord appellants their
right to preliminary investigation did not impair
the validity of the information nor affect the
jurisdiction of the trial court. While the right to
preliminary investigation is a substantive right
and not a mere formal or technical right of the
accused, nevertheless, the right to preliminary
investigation is deemed waived when the
accused fails to invoke it before or at the time
of entering a plea at arraignment.
The SC found that no treachery attended the
killing. On numerous occasions, we have held
that where a killing was preceded by an
argument or quarrel, then the qualifying
circumstance of treachery can no longer be
appreciated since the victim could be said to
have been forewarned and could anticipate
aggression from the assailants. Moreover, the
aggravating circumstance of evident
premeditation alleged by the prosecution was
not proved clearly and convincingly.
Considering that the attack was made
about two minutes after the initial altercation,
it cannot be said that there was sufficient lapse
of time between such determination to commit
the crime and its execution so as to allow the

Rodolfo Bato alias "Rudy Bato" is charged of


rape and sentenced to suffer imprisonment
of reclusion perpetua. He raped Delia
Hernandez, a minor of nine (9) years old,
against her will, to the damage and prejudice
of the latter.

HELD:
Neither is the absence of spermatozoa in
Delias genitalia fatal to the prosecutions case.
The presence or absence of spermatozoa is
immaterial in a prosecution for rape. The
important consideration in rape cases is not
the emission of semen but the unlawful
penetration of the female genitalia by the male
organ.
The crime committed is statutory rape, defined
and penalized under paragraph 3 of Article 335
of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by
Section 11, R. A. 7659. This Court has held that
if the woman is under twelve (12) years of age,
proof of force and consent becomes
immaterial, not only because force is not an
element of statutory rape but the absence of
free consent is presumed when the woman is
below such age. The two (2) elements of
statutory rape are: (1) that the accused had
carnal knowledge of a woman; and (2) that the
woman is below twelve (12) years of age.
Sexual congress with a girl under twelve (12)
years old is always rape."

PEOPLE v. GALLARDER
G.R. No. 133025. February 17, 2000

On 24 June 1997, GALLARDE was charged with


the special complex crime of rape with
homicide of a minor.

The RTC convicted Quillosa of the murder of


Ambrosio Ilocto, imposing upon him the
penalty of reclusion perpetua, and ordering
him to indemnify the heirs of the victim the
amount of P50,000.00.

Held:
A reading of the accusatory portion of the
information shows that there was no allegation
of any qualifying circumstance. Although it is
true that the term "homicide" as used in
special complex crime of rape with homicide is
to be understood in its generic sense, and
includes murder and slight physical injuries
committed by reason or on the occasion of
rape it is settled in this jurisdiction that where a
complex crime is charged and the evidence
fails to support the charge as to one of the
component offense, the accused can be
convicted of the other. In rape with homicide,
in order to be convicted of murder in case the
evidence fails to support the charge of rape,
the qualifying circumstance must be
sufficiently alleged and proved. Otherwise, it
would be a denial of the right of the accused to
be informed of the nature of the offense with
which he is charged. It is fundamental that
every element of the offense must be alleged
in the complaint or information. The main
purpose of requiring the various elements of a
crime to be set out in an information is to
enable the accused to suitably prepare his
defense. He is presumed to have no
independent knowledge of the facts that
constitute the offense

HELD:
We have long held that "the testimony of a
single eyewitness is sufficient to support a
conviction so long as it is clear, straightforward
and worthy of credence by the trial court.
Minor and inconsequential flaws in the
testimony of the witness strengthen rather
than impair his credibility. As to appellants
participation in the killing, the Court in previous
cases have held that holding the hand of the
victim to render him immobile while he is being
stabbed amounts to an act of indispensable
cooperation without which the crime would not
have been accomplished. Appellants act of
holding the right arm of the victim, while
another held the left arm, thus enabling their
third companion to stab the victim, shows that
they acted together with one purpose and
design to kill the victim.

Direct evidence of the commission of a crime is


not the only matrix wherefrom a trial court may
draw its conclusion and finding of guilt. The
prosecution is not always tasked to present
direct evidence to sustain a judgment of
conviction; the absence of direct evidence does
not necessarily absolve an accused from any
criminal liability.

As to the crime committed, we find that


treachery attended the commission of the
offense, hence the crime is murder. For
treachery to be present, two conditions must
be shown: (1) the employment of means of
execution that give the person attacked no
opportunity to defend or retaliate; and (2) the
deliberate or conscious adoption of the means
of execution.In this case, appellant and another
person held the hands of the victim to enable
their companion to stab him while he was in a
defenseless position. While abuse of superior
strength was alleged in the Information, it is
already absorbed in treachery and need not be
appreciated separately. Evident premeditation
was not proven by the prosecution.

PEOPLE v. REYNALDO QUILLOSA

PEOPLE v. RADEL GALLARDE

G.R. No. 115687. February 17, 2000

G.R. No. 133025. February 17, 2000

This is an appeal from the judgment of the RTC


finding accused-appellant Radel (hereafter
GALLARDE) guilty beyond reasonable doubt of
the crime of murder and sentencing him to
suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua.

HELD:
We sustain GALLARDEs contention that the
trial court erred in convicting him of murder in
an information charging him of rape with
homicide. A reading of the accusatory portion
of the information shows that there was no
allegation of any qualifying circumstance.
Although it is true that the term "homicide" as
used in special complex crime of rape with
homicide is to be understood in its generic
sense, and includes murder and slight physical
injuries committed by reason or on the
occasion of rape it is settled in this jurisdiction
that where a complex crime is charged and the
evidence fails to support the charge as to one
of the component offense, the accused can be
convicted of the other. In rape with homicide,
in order to be convicted of murder in case the
evidence fails to support the charge of rape,
the qualifying circumstance must be
sufficiently alleged and proved. Otherwise, it
would be a denial of the right of the accused to
be informed of the nature of the offense with
which he is charged.
The rules on evidence and precedents sustain
the conviction of an accused through
circumstantial evidence, as long as the
following requisites are present: (1) there must
be more than one circumstance; (2) the
inference must be based on proven facts; and
(3) the combination of all circumstances
produces a conviction beyond doubt of the
guilt of the accused. The importance of
circumstantial evidence is more apparent in
the prosecution of cases of rape with homicide.
It is well settled that the absence of
spermatozoa in or around the vagina does not
negate the commission of rape. Our doubt on
the commission of rape is based on the fact
that there is at all no convincing proof that the
laceration of the vagina and the rupture of the
hymen of EDITHA were caused in the course of
coitus or by a male organ.

PEOPLE v. CHEN TIZ CHANG


G.R. Nos. 131872-73. February 17, 2000

Before the Court is an appeal by Chen Tiz


Chang and Chen Jung San, also known as Willy
Tan challenging the October 16, 1997 Decision
of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Quezon City
(Branch 95) in a Criminal Case finding them
guilty of illegal possession andsale of shabu
and sentencing each of them to two counts
of reclusion perpetua.

HELD:
In a prosecution for illegal possession of
dangerous drugs, it must be shown that (1) the
accused is in possession of an item or an object
identified to be a prohibited or a regulated
drug, (2) such possession is not authorized by
law and (3) the accused freely and consciously
possessed the said drug. Here, as in Boco, the
prosecution witnesses were able to establish
these elements.
We are not persuaded by the argument that
the samples examined were not taken from the
drugs seized. On the contrary, the testimonies
of all the prosecution witnesses fairly
established that the shabu taken from the
appellants is the same substance examined by
the forensic chemist and later presented as
evidence in court. Verily, the presumption of
regularity must prevail over appellants
unfounded allegations and speculations.
Appellants behavior during the entrapment
showed that there was conspiracy between
them and a third person who got away with the
buy-bust money. It is an established rule
that direct proof is not essential to establish
conspiracy, as it may be inferred from the acts
of the accused before, during and after the
commission of the crime, all of which
indubitably point to or indicate a joint purpose,
a concert of action and a community of
interest.

PEOPLE v. RAMIL DACIBAR


G.R. No. 111286. February 17, 2000

On appeal is the decision dated January 25,


1993 of the Regional Trial Court finding
appellants guilty of the crime of murder,
imposing upon them the amended penalty
of reclusion perpetua with its accessory
penalties, instead of life imprisonment.

HELD:
While the principal witnesses for the
prosecution did not actually see appellants
shoot and kill the victim, direct proof of their
culpability is not necessary when
circumstantial evidence would suffice. The
requisites thereof are: (1) there is more than
one circumstance; (2) the facts from which the
inferences are derived are proven; and (3) the
combination of all the circumstances is such as
to produce a conviction beyond a reasonable
doubt.
We have held that conspiracy need not be
established by direct evidence of acts charged,
but may and generally must be proved by a
number of indefinite acts, conditions and
circumstances, which vary according to the
purpose accomplished. Thus, the rule is that
conspiracy must be shown to exist by direct or
circumstantial evidence, as clearly and
convincingly as the crime itself. In the absence
of direct proof thereof, as in the present case, it
may be deduced from the mode, method and
manner by which the offense was perpetrated,
or inferred from the acts of the accused
themselves when such acts point to a joint
purpose and design, concerted action and
community of interest.
The trial court was correct in appreciating the
aggravating circumstance of dwelling. Although
the triggerman fired the shot from outside the
house, his victim was inside. For the
circumstance of dwelling to be considered, it is
not necessary that the accused should have
actually entered the dwelling of the victim to
commit the offense; it is enough that the victim
was attacked inside his own house, although

the assailant may have devised means to


perpetrate the assault from without.

PEOPLE v. RAUL ACOSTA


G.R. No. 126351. February 18, 2000

Accused was charged with arson. He


interposes this appeal because he claims that
the trial court erred in finding him guilty basing
its conclusion merely on circumstantial
evidence.

HELD:
Arson is defined as the malicious destruction of
property by fire. In this case, we find the trial
court correctly held that the following
circumstances taken together constitute an
unbroken chain of events pointing to one fair
and logical conclusion, that accused started
the fire which gutted the house of private
complainant. Although there is no direct
evidence linking appellant to the arson, we
agree with the trial court in holding him guilty
thereof in the light of the following
circumstances duly proved and on record.
In prosecutions for arson, proof of the crime
charged is complete where the evidence
establishes (1) the corpus delicti, that is, a fire
because of criminal agency; and (2) the
identity of the defendants as the one
responsible for the crime.

PEOPLE v. BONIFACIO TOREJOS


G.R. No. 132217. February 18, 2000

Accused-appellant Bonifacio Torejos y Paares


@ Boning was convicted for raping a threeyear-old child and was meted the supreme
penalty of death.

HELD:
Accused-appellant's attempt to discredit
ROSALIE is unconvincing. The assessment of
credibility of witnesses is primarily the function
of the trial court. It is well established in this
jurisdiction that the findings of the trial court
on the credibility of witnesses and their
testimonies are accorded great respect unless
the court a quo overlooked substantial facts
and circumstances which, if considered, would
materially affect the result of the case.
The information filed against TOREJOS
specifically alleges that he raped MARY CRIS, a
three-year-old child. We therefore affirm the
judgment of the RTC imposing the death
penalty for being in accordance with law. Four
(4) members of the Court, although
maintaining their adherence to the separate
opinions expressed in People v. Echegaraythat
R.A. 7659 insofar as it prescribes the penalty of
death is unconstitutional, nevertheless submit
to the ruling of the majority that the law is
constitutional and that the death penalty
should accordingly be imposed.

aggravating circumstances of dwelling and


unlawful entry attended the commission of the
rape. The attendance of these aggravating
circumstances is not contested by the accusedappellant.
On a final note, we correct the trial courts
erroneous classification of the award
ofP50,000.00 as moral damages. In People v.
Prades, we explained that "x x x the award
authorized by criminal law as civil indemnity ex
delicto for the offended party x x x is
mandatory upon the finding of the fact of rape;
it is distinct from and should not be
denominated as moral damages which are
based on different jural foundations and
assessed by the court in the exercise of sound
discretion." Further, our more recent rulings
hold that the indemnification for the victim
shall be in the increased amount of P75,000.00
if the crime of rape is committed or effectively
qualified by any of the circumstances under
which the death penalty is authorized by law.
Applying the foregoing rulings, the civil
indemnity to be awarded to the complainant
should be seventy five thousand pesos
(P75,000.00).

PEOPLE v. LIBERATO MENDIONA


G.R. No. 129056. February 21, 2000

PEOPLE v. RENATO DE GUZMAN


G.R. No. 118670. February 22, 2000

Before this Court for automatic review is the


decision finding accused-appellant Liberato
"Renato" Mendiona guilty beyond reasonable
doubt of the crime of rape and sentencing him
to suffer the supreme penalty of death and to
pay the complainant, Maricel Capongcol, the
amount of fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00) as
moral damages.

Renato de Guzman, Marciano Ramos, Frederick


Mosqueda and Paquito Ancheta were charged
with Robbery with Homicide and were found
guilty. Only De Guzman, Ramos and Mosqueda
were apprehended. Ancheta remains at-large.
When they were arraigned, the three accused
entered a plea of "not guilty." At the trial and
upon motion of the prosecution, Mosqueda was
discharged and was utilized as state witness.

HELD:
Accordingly, the range of penalty imposable on
appellant is composed of two indivisible
penalties, i.e., reclusion perpetua to death.
Following Article 63 (1)of the same Code, which
provides the rules for the application of
indivisible penalties, appellant was correctly
meted the supreme penalty of death since the

HELD:
The requirements for the discharge and
utilization of an accused as a state witness are
enumerated in Rule 119, Section 9 of the Rules
of Court, viz:

(a) There is absolute necessity for the


testimony of the accused whose discharge is
requested;
(b) There is no other direct evidence available
for the proper prosecution of the offense
committed, except the testimony of the
accused;
(c) The testimony of the accused can be
substantially corroborated in its material
points;
(d) Said accused does not appear to be the
most guilty; and
(e) Said accused has not at any time been
convicted of any offense involving moral
turpitude.
While this Court agrees that some of the
requirements under Section 9 of Rule 119 for
the discharge of Mosqueda to become state
witness were not strictly and properly met,
nonetheless, this Court does not subscribe to
the suggestion of the defense that Mosquedas
testimony should be disregarded. This issue
has long been settled. Although the trial court
may have erred in discharging the accused,
such error would not affect the competency
and the quality of the testimony of the
defendant. The discharge of an accused under
these circumstances is not reversible. Once his
discharge is effected, the legal consequence of
acquittal follows unless the accused so
discharged fails or refuses to testify pursuant
to his commitment. The order for his discharge
may only be recalled in one instance, and that
is when he subsequently fails to testify against
his co-accused.

MARCH 2000

PEOPLE V. PAMBID
G.R. No. 124453. March 15, 2000.
DEFENSE OF INSANITY

Facts:
A man diagnosed of schizophrenia and mild
mental retardation raped a six-year old
girl. Accused pleaded not guilty on the ground
of insanity.

HELD:
Accused-appellants plea of insanity is
unacceptable. While Art. 12(1) of the Revised
Penal Code provides that an imbecile or insane
person is exempt from criminal liability, unless
he has acted during a lucid interval, the
presumption under Art. 800 of the Civil Code is
that every man is sane. Anyone who pleads the
exempting circumstance of insanity bears the
burden of proving it. He must show that he was
completely deprived of reason when he
committed the crime charged, for mere
abnormality of his mental faculties does not
exclude imputability.

PEOPLE V. FRONDA
G.R. No. 130602. March 15, 2000.
Direct Evidence v. Circumstantial
Evidence

Facts:
Three students were convicted of violating the
Dangerous Drugs Act after they allegedly
delivered a brick of marijuana to policemen
who posed as buyers.

HELD:
To be caught flagrante delicto necessarily
implies positive identification by the
eyewitness or eyewitnesses. Such is a "direct
evidence" of culpability, which is "that which
proves the fact in dispute without the aid of
any inference or presumption", in contrast to
circumstantial evidence, which is "the proof of
facts from which taken collectively the
existence of the particular fact in dispute may

be inferred as a necessary or probable


consequence." Circumstantial evidence,
however, is not a weaker form of evidence visa-vis direct evidence, for our rules make no
distinction between direct evidence of fact and
evidence of circumstances from which the
existence of a fact may be inferred. No greater
degree of certainty is required when the
evidence is circumstantial than when it is
direct; for in either case, the trier of fact must
be convinced beyond reasonable doubt of the
guilt of the accused.
Under the Rules of Court, circumstantial
evidence would be sufficient for conviction if
the following concur: (a) there is more than one
circumstance; (b) the facts from which the
inferences are derived are proved; and (c) the
combination of all the circumstances is such as
to produce a conviction beyond reasonable
doubt. Or, as jurisprudentially formulated, a
judgment of conviction based on circumstantial
evidence can be upheld only if the
circumstances proven constitute an unbroken
chain which leads to one fair and reasonable
conclusion pointing to the accused, to the
exclusion of all others, as the guilty
person, i.e., the circumstances proven must be
consistent with each other and consistent with
the hypothesis that the accused is guilty.

PEOPLE V. ARIZAPA
G.R. No. 131814. March 15, 2000.
Improvident plea of guilt

Facts:
Accused was sentenced to death after being
convicted of incestuously raping his
stepdaughter.

HELD:
The record discloses the failure of the lower
court to make a searching inquiry on whether
the accuseds admission of guilt was
voluntarily made and whether he understood

the legal implications of such admission.


However, since the trial court extensively
received evidence in determining the guilt of
the accused, the manner in which the plea of
guilt was made, whether improvidently or not,
loses its significance for the simple reason that
the conviction of the accused was based on the
evidence proving his commission of the offense
charged and not on his admission in open
court; his conviction may only be set aside
when the improvident plea of guilt was the sole
basis for the condemnatory judgment.

PEOPLE V. FABON
G.R. No. 133226. March 16, 2000.
Aggravating circumstance robbery with
homicide
Circumstantial evidence

HELD:
The proper designation of the crime committed
is robbery with homicide aggravated by rape.
When rape and homicide co-exist in the
commission of robbery, it is the first paragraph
of Article 294 of the Revised Penal Code that
applies, the rape to be considered as an
aggravating circumstance. Moreover, dwelling
is also considered aggravating in cases such as
this primarily because of the sanctity of privacy
that the law accords to the human abode.
Dwelling is aggravating in robbery with
violence or intimidation because this class of
robbery can be committed without the
necessity of trespassing the sanctity of the
offended party's house.
Circumstantial evidence is defined as that
which indirectly proves a fact in issue. Under
Section 4 of Rule 133 of the Revised Rules on
Evidence, circumstantial evidence is sufficient
to convict an accused if the following requisites
concur: (a) there is more than one
circumstance, (b) the facts from which the
inferences are derived are proven, and (c) the
combination of all the circumstances is such as
to produce a conviction beyond reasonable
doubt.

PEOPLE V. MACARSE
G.R. No. 121780. March 17, 2000.
DEFENSE OF ALIBI

Facts:
Accused-appellant was charged and convicted
of Highway Robbery with Homicide. His main
defense was alibi.

HELD:
For alibi to be believed, the following must be
shown: (a) presence of accused-appellant in
another place at the time of the commission of
the offense, and (b) physical impossibility for
him to be at the scene of the crime.

PEOPLE V. MANRIQUEZ
G.R. Nos. 122510-11. March 17, 2000.
Waiver of Counsel; Extrajudicial Confession
Conspiracy
Treachery

Facts:
Accused-appellant was charged and convicted
of Murder. He impugned the validity of his
waiver of counsel and extrajudicial confession
and denied conspiracy and the attendance of
treachery.

HELD:
Ones right to be informed of the right to
remain silent and to counsel contemplates the
transmission of meaningful information rather
than just the ceremonial and perfunctory
recitation of an abstract constitutional

principle. It is not enough for the interrogator


to merely repeat to the person under
investigation the provisions of Section 12,
Article III of the 1987 Constitution; the former
must also explain the effects of such provision
in practical terms -- e.g., what the person
under interrogation may or may not do -- and
in a language the subject fairly understands.
The right to be informed carries with it a
correlative obligation on the part of the police
investigator to explain, and contemplates
effective communication, which results in the
subjects understanding of what is conveyed.
Since it is comprehension that is sought to be
attained, the degree of explanation required
will necessarily vary and depend on the
education, intelligence, and other relevant
personal circumstances of the person
undergoing investigation. In further ensuring
the right to counsel, it is not enough that the
subject is informed of such right; he should
also be asked if he wants to avail of the same
and should be told that he could ask for
counsel if he so desired or that one could be
provided him at his request. If he decides not
to retain a counsel of his choice or avail of one
to be provided for him and, therefore, chooses
to waive his right to counsel, such waiver, to be
valid and effective, must still be made with the
assistance of counsel, who, under prevailing
jurisprudence, must be a lawyer.
A conspiracy exists when two or more persons
come to an agreement concerning the
commission of a felony and decide to commit
it. To establish the existence of a conspiracy,
direct proof is not essential since it may be
shown by facts and circumstances from which
may be logically inferred the existence of a
common design among the accused to commit
the offense charged, or it may be deduced
from the mode and manner in which the
offense was perpetrated.
There is treachery when the offender commits
any of the crimes against persons, employing
means, methods or forms in the execution
thereof which tend directly and specially to
insure its execution without risk to himself
arising from the defense which the offended
party might make, which means that no
opportunity was given to the latter to do so.

PEOPLE V. SAPAL

G.R. No. 129297. March 17, 2000.

G.R. No. 124526. March 17, 2000.

Rape jurisprudential guidelines

Irregularities in arrest
Conviction based on proof beyond reasonable
doubt

HELD:

Accused-appellant was arrested based on a


warrant issued against him after he failed to
attend his arraignment. He contends that
certain irregularities attended his arrest, and
that the prosecution failed to show his guilt
beyond reasonable doubt.

1) An accusation for rape can be made with


facility; it is difficult to prove but more difficult
for the person, though innocent, to disprove
the same;

HELD:
Admittedly, accused is deemed to have waived
his right to question the irregularities attending
his arrest for his failure to raise the same at the
opportune time, i.e., before he entered his
plea. Nonetheless, the peculiar factual
circumstances surrounding the case, e.g., the
police authorities failure to comply with the
clear directive of the warrant of arrest issued
by Judge Barrios, the undue delay in preparing
the documents relating to the arrest of accused
and his wife and in delivering them to the
proper authorities for inquest, and the failure of
the law enforcers to provide accused with a
counsel during the custodial investigation,
effectively destroy the presumption of
regularity in the performance by Gomez and
his colleagues of their duties. Such being the
case, the presumption of regularity cannot be
made the sole basis of the conviction of
accused.
It is well-settled that "where the circumstances
shown to exist yield two or more inferences,
one of which is consistent with the presumption
of innocence while the other or others may be
compatible with the finding of guilt, the court
must acquit the accused: for the evidence does
not fulfill the test of moral certainty and is
insufficient to support a judgment of
conviction."
PEOPLE V. SAN DIEGO

In rape cases, courts are guided by the


following considerations:

2) In view of the intrinsic nature of the crime of


rape where only two persons are usually
involved, the testimony of the complainant
must be scrutinized with extreme caution; and
3) The evidence for the prosecution must stand
or fall on its own merits and cannot be allowed
to draw strength from the weakness of the
evidence for the defense.
The test of sufficiency of force or intimidation
in rape is whether it produces a reasonable
fear in the victim that if she resists or does not
give in to the sexual demands of the accused,
the threat would be carried out.

PEOPLE V. CHE CHUN TING


G.R. Nos. 130568-69. March 21, 2000.
WARRANTLESS SEARCHES AND SEIZURES
Fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine

Accused-appellant was charged and convicted


for dispatching in transit and having in his
possession large amounts of shabu. He
contends that the shabu is inadmissible in
evidence as it was seized without a valid
search warrant.

HELD:

The lawful arrest being the sole justification for


the validity of the warrantless search under the
exception, the same must be limited to and
circumscribed by the subject, time and place of
the arrest. As to subject, the warrantless
search is sanctioned only with respect to the
person of the suspect, and things that may be
seized from him are limited to "dangerous
weapons" or "anything which may be used as
proof of the commission of the offense." With
respect to the time and place of the
warrantless search, it must be
contemporaneous with the lawful arrest. Stated
otherwise, to be valid, the search must have
been conducted at about the time of the arrest
or immediately thereafter and only at the place
where the suspect was arrested, or the
premises or surroundings under his immediate
control.

Accused-appellant was charged and convicted


for incestuously raping his 11-year old
stepdaughter. He interposed the defense of
denial and alibi.

It must be stressed that the purposes of the


exception are only to protect the arresting
officer against physical harm from the person
being arrested who might be armed with a
concealed weapon, and also to prevent the
person arrested from destroying the evidence
within his reach. The exception therefore
should not be strained beyond what is needed
in order to serve its purposes.

PEOPLE V. SAPINOSO

As a consequence of the illegal search, the


things seized on the occasion thereof are
inadmissible in evidence under the
exclusionary rule. They are regarded as having
been obtained from a polluted source, the "fruit
of a poisonous tree." However, objects and
properties the possession of which is prohibited
by law cannot be returned to their owners
notwithstanding the illegality of their seizure.
Thus, the shabu seized by the NARCOM
operatives, which cannot legally be possessed
by the accused under the law, can and must be
retained by the government to be disposed of
in accordance with law.

PEOPLE V. ADILA, JR.


G.R. No. 133434. March 21, 2000.
Defense of alibi

HELD:
The defense of alibi interposed by the accusedappellant hardly deserves any serious
consideration. For this defense to prosper, the
accused must prove, among other things, that
not only has he been at some other place at
the time of the commission of the crime but
that it would have also been physically
impossible for him to be at the locus criminisat
the time thereof.

G.R. No. 122540. March 22, 2000.

HELD:
In rape cases, three well-known principles
guide the Court, namely: (1) an accusation for
rape can be made with facility; it is difficult to
prove but more difficult for the person accused,
though innocent, to disprove, (2) in view of the
intrinsic nature of the crime of rape where two
persons are usually involved, the testimony of
the complainant must be scrutinized with
extreme caution, and (3) the evidence of the
prosecution must stand or fall on its own merits
and cannot be allowed to draw strength from
the weakness of the evidence for the
defense. Likewise, when the complainant in a
rape case, more so if she is a minor, testifies
that she has been raped, she says in effect all
that is necessary to show rape has been
committed, the offended party most often
being the only one available to prove directly
the commission of rape. The credibility of the
complainant is, thus, of utmost importance, for
the accused may be convicted solely on the
basis of the complainant's testimony if the
same meets the test of credibility. Furthermore,
we have held that the conduct of the victim
immediately following the alleged sexual

assault is of utmost importance in establishing


the truth or falsity of the charge of rape.
Well-settled is the rule that alibi is an
inherently weak defense which cannot prevail
over the positive identification of the accused
by the victim. For alibi to prosper, the
defendant must prove not only (1) that he was
somewhere else when the crime was
committed but (2) it must be likewise
demonstrated that he was so far away that he
could not have been physically present at the
place of the crime or its immediate vicinity at
the time of its commission.

contempt of the authority of the court and of


the law and places himself in a position to
speculate on the chances for a reversal,
meanwhile keeping out of the reach of justice
and preparing to render the judgment nugatory
or not, at his option. Moreover, the escapee
loses his standing in court and unless he
surrenders or submits to the jurisdiction of the
court, he is deemed to have waived any right
to seek relief from the court. Be that as it
may, the escape of an accused-appellant
during the pendency of his appeal will not
necessarily prevent the Court from exercising
its jurisdiction in exceptional cases.

PEOPLE V. DEDACE

PEOPLE V. MITRA

G.R. No. 132551. March 22, 2000.

G.R. No. 130669. March 27, 2000.

Statutory rape

Rape physical resistance

HELD:

HELD:

The gravamen of statutory rape is carnal


knowledge of a woman below twelve (12) years
of age. It is well-settled that complete or full
penetration of the complainant's private part is
not necessary to consummate rape. What is
essential is that there be penetration of the
sexual organ, no matter how slight. Neither is
the rupture of the hymen essential for the
offense of consummated rape. It is enough that
there is proof of entrance of the male organ
within the labia of the pudendum. Therefore, it
is unnecessary to show to what extent
penetration of the woman's body has been
made.

It is well-settled that "physical resistance need


not be established in rape when intimidation is
exercised upon the victim and the latter
submits herself, against her will, to the rapists
advances because of fear for her life and
personal safety." It is sufficient that the
intimidation produces fear in the mind of the
victim that if she did not submit to the bestial
demands of the accused, something far worse
would befall her at the time she was being
molested. As pronounced by the Court, "if
resistance would nevertheless be futile
because of intimidation, then offering none at
all does not mean consent to the assault so as
to make the victims submission to the sexual
act voluntary."

PEOPLE V. MAMALIAS
G.R. No. 128073. March 27, 2000.

PEOPLE V. MERIS

APPEAL OF AN ACCUSED-ESCAPEE

G.R Nos. 117145-50 & 117447. March 28,


2000.

HELD:

JURISDICTION OVER PERSON OF THE


ACCUSED

The general rule is that a party appealing who


flees the jurisdiction, pending the appeal, is in

Estafa

HELD:
Accused-appellant was charged and convicted
of illegal recruitment in large scale and
estafa. She contends that her conviction was
erroneous because the court never acquired
jurisdiction over her person, as her arrest was
illegal, and that the prosecution failed to
establish estafa.

HELD:
Jurisdiction over the person of the accused is
acquired either by arrest or voluntary
appearance in court. Hence,
granting arguendo that accused-appellants
arrest was defective, such is deemed cured
upon her voluntary submission to the
jurisdiction of the court. It should be stressed
that the question of legality of an arrest affects
only the jurisdiction of the court over the
person of the accused. Consequently, if
objections based on this ground are waived,
the fact that the arrest was illegal is not
sufficient cause for setting aside an otherwise
valid judgment. The technicality cannot render
the subsequent proceedings void and deprive
the State of its right to convict the guilty when
all the facts on record point to the culpability of
the accused.
Estafa is committed by any person who
defrauds another by using a fictitious name, or
falsely pretends to possess power, influence,
qualifications, property, credit, agency,
business or imaginary transactions, or by
means of similar deceits executed prior to or
simultaneously with the commission of the
fraud. The offended party must have relied on
the false pretense, fraudulent act or fraudulent
means of the accused-appellant and as a result
thereof, the offended party suffered damages.

PEOPLE V. TIPAY
G.R. No. 131472. March 28, 2000.
Rape jurisprudential guidelines

The Court has laid down certain guiding


principles in reviewing rape cases, to wit: (a)
an accusation of rape can be made with facility
and while the accusation is difficult to prove, it
is even more difficult for the person accused,
although innocent, to disprove the charge; (b)
considering the intrinsic nature of the crime,
only two persons are usually involved in the
crime of rape, the testimony of the
complainant should be scrutinized with great
caution, and (c) the evidence for the
prosecution must stand or fall on its own merit,
and cannot be allowed to draw strength from
the weakness of the evidence for the defense.

PEOPLE V. CULA
G.R. No. 133146. March 28, 2000.
Rape physical resistance; burden of
proving victims minority

The law does not impose upon a rape victim


the burden of proving resistance. Physical
resistance need not be established in rape
when intimidation is exercised upon the victim
and she submits herself against her will to the
rapist's lust because of fear for life and
personal safety.
At all events, it is the burden of the prosecution
to prove with certainty the fact that the victim
was below 18 when the rape was committed in
order to justify the imposition of the death
penalty. The record of the case is bereft of any
independent evidence, such as the victim's
duly certified Certificate of Live Birth,
accurately showing private complainant's age.

PEOPLE V. BARREDO
G.R. No. 133832. March 28, 2000.
Rape

HELD:

In rape cases, the courts are guided by the


long-standing rule that penetration is not
essential for conviction of the culprit. Mere
knocking at the doors of the pudenda, so to
speak, by the accuseds penis suffices to
constitute the crime of rape, and the fact that
her hymen is still intact does not negate its
commission.

There is treachery when two conditions concur,


to wit: (1) the employment of means of
execution that gives the person attacked no
opportunity to defend himself or to retaliate;
and (2) deliberate or conscious adoption of the
means of execution. Treachery exists where the
attack was perpetrated suddenly and without
warning.

PEOPLE V. CABINGAS
G.R. No. 79679. March 28, 2000.

PEOPLE V. AQUINO

Rape with a feeble-minded person

G.R. No. 129288. March 30, 2000.


Robbery with homicide

HELD:
Sexual intercourse with a feeble-minded
woman is rape. The offense charged is within
the contemplation of paragraph 2 of Article 335
of the Revised Penal Code, like when the
offender had carnal knowledge of a woman
deprived of reason.

Accused-appellants were charged and


convicted of the complex crime of robbery with
homicide. They contend that they should have
been convicted of homicide only.

HELD:
PEOPLE V. CAVERTE
G.R. No. 123112. March 30, 2000.
SELF-DEFENSE; TREACHERY

Accused appellant was charged and convicted


of murder and frustrated murder.

The elements of the crime were proved beyond


reasonable doubt. In any event, in robbery with
homicide, the important consideration is that
there be a nexus between the robbery and the
killing whether prior, subsequent to or
committed at the same time.

PEOPLE V. BALTAZAR
G.R. No. 115990. March 30, 2000.

HELD:
There is self-defense when the following
elements concur: (1) unlawful aggression on
the part of the person injured or killed by the
offender; (2) reasonable necessity of the
means employed to prevent or repel it; and (3)
lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the
person defending himself. It is a doctrinal rule
that when an unlawful aggression that has
begun no longer exists, the one making a
defense has no right to kill or even to wound
the former aggressor.

HELD:
The more pressing issue is whether all the
elements of rape as alleged in the Information
were duly proved by the prosecution. Here we
find the following duly established beyond
reasonable doubt. First, appellant had carnal
knowledge with the victim.

PEOPLE V. BASE
G.R. No. 109773. March 30, 2000.
Extrajudicial confessions
Conspiracy; treachery

HELD:
For an extrajudicial confession to be
admissible, it must be: 1.] voluntary; 2.] made
with the assistance of competent and
independent counsel; 3.] express; and 4.] in
writing. While the initial choice in cases where
a person under custodial investigation cannot
afford the services of a lawyer is naturally
lodged in the police investigators, the accused
really has the final choice as he may reject the
counsel chosen for him and ask for another
one. A lawyer provided by the investigators is
deemed engaged by the accused where he
never raised any objection against the formers
appointment during the course of the
investigation and the accused thereafter
subscribes to the veracity of his statement
before the swearing officer. Verily, to be an
effective counsel "[a] lawyer need not
challenge all the questions being propounded
to his client. The presence of a lawyer is not
intended to stop an accused from saying
anything that might incriminate him but,
rather, it was adopted in our Constitution to
preclude the slightest coercion as would lead
the accused to admit something false. The
counsel, however, should never prevent an
accused from freely and voluntarily telling the
truth."
When, as in this case, "[a]n extrajudicial
statement satisfies the requirements of the
Constitution, it constitutes evidence of a high
order because of the strong presumption that
no person of normal mind would deliberately
and knowingly confess to a crime unless
prompted by truth and conscience. The
defense has the burden of proving that it was
extracted by means of force, duress, promise
or reward."
Section 3, Rule 133 of the Rules of Court
provides that "[a]n extrajudicial confession
made by an accused shall not be sufficient

ground for conviction, unless corroborated by


evidence of corpus delicti." In this case the
prosecution presented other evidence to prove
the two elements of corpus delicti, to wit: a.] a
certain result has been proven, i.e. a man has
died; and 2.] some person is criminally
responsible.
Conspiracy exists when two or more persons
come to an agreement concerning the
commission of a felony and decide to commit
it. Direct proof is not essential, for conspiracy
may be inferred from the acts of the accused
prior to, during or subsequent to the incident.
Such acts must point to a joint purpose,
concert of action or community of interest.
There is treachery "[w]hen the offender
commits any of the crimes against persons,
employing means, methods or forms in the
execution thereof which tend directly and
specially to insure its execution without risk to
himself arising from the defense which the
offended party might make." The essence
of alevosia is the swift and unexpected attack
on the unarmed victim without the slightest
provocation on the victims part. The fact that
treachery may be shown if the victim is
attacked from behind does not mean it can not
also be appreciated if the attack is
frontal. Even a frontal attack can be
treacherous when it is sudden and the victim is
unarmed.

PEOPLE V. CAMPUHAN
G.R. No. 129433. March 30, 2000.
Stages of rape

In the case of People v. Orita, the SC held that


rape was consummated from the moment the
offender had carnal knowledge of the victim
since by it he attained his objective. All the
elements of the offense were already present
and nothing more was left for the offender to
do, having performed all the acts necessary to
produce the crime and accomplish it. We ruled
then that perfect penetration was not
essential; any penetrationof the female organ
by the male organ, however slight, was

sufficient. The Court further held that entry of


the labia or lips of the female organ, even
without rupture of the hymen or laceration of
the vagina, was sufficient to warrant conviction
for consummated rape. We distinguished
consummated rape from attempted rape where
there was no penetration of the female organ
because not all acts of execution were
performed as the offender merely commenced
the commission of a felony directly by overt
acts. The inference that may be derived
therefrom is that complete or full penetration
of the vagina is not required for rape to be
consummated. Any penetration, in whatever
degree, is enough to raise the crime to its
consummated stage.
But the Court in Orita clarified the concept of
penetration in rape by requiring entry into
the labia or lips of the female organ, even if
there be no rupture of the hymen or laceration
of the vagina, to warrant a conviction for
consummated rape. While the entry of the
penis into the lips of the female organ was
considered synonymous with mere touching of
the external genitalia, e.g., labia majora, labia
minora, etc., the crucial doctrinal bottom line is
that touching must be inextricably viewed in
light of, in relation to, or as an essential part of,
the process of penile penetration, and not just
mere touching in the ordinary sense. In other
words, the touching must be tacked to the
penetration itself. The importance of the
requirement of penetration, however slight,
cannot be gainsaid because where entry into
the labia or the lips of the female genitalia has
not been established, the crime committed
amounts merely to attempted rape.
Where the accused failed to achieve an
erection, had a limp or flaccid penis, or an
oversized penis which could not fit into the
victim's vagina, the Court nonetheless held
that rape was consummated on the basis of
the victim's testimony that the accused
repeatedly tried, but in vain, to insert his penis
into her vagina and in all likelihood reached
the labia of her pudendum as the victim felt his
organ on the lips of her vulva, or that the penis
of the accused touched the middle part of her
vagina. Thus, touching when applied to rape
cases does not simply mean mere epidermal
contact, stroking or grazing of organs, a slight
brush or a scrape of the penis on the external

layer of the victims vagina, or the mons pubis,


as in this case. There must be sufficient and
convincing proof that the penis
indeed touched the labias or slid into the
female organ, and not merely stroked the
external surface thereof, for an accused to be
convicted of consummated rape. As the labias,
which are required to be "touched" by the
penis, are by their naturalsitus or location
beneath the mons pubis or the vaginal surface,
to touch them with the penis is to attain some
degree of penetration beneath the surface,
hence, the conclusion that touching the labia
majora or the labia minora of
the pudendum constitutes consummated rape.
Thus, a grazing of the surface of the female
organ or touching the mons pubis of
thepudendum is not sufficient to constitute
consummated rape. Absent any showing of the
slightest penetration of the female organ, i.e.,
touching of either labia of the pudendumby the
penis, there can be no consummated rape; at
most, it can only be attempted rape, if not acts
of lasciviousness.

PEOPLE VS. BALTAZAR


G.R. No. 115990. March 31, 2000.
ELEMENTS OF RAPE
Evidentiary value of medical
examinations

HELD:
The more pressing issue is whether all the
elements of rape as alleged in the Information
were duly proved by the prosecution. Here we
find the following duly established beyond
reasonable doubt. First, appellant had carnal
knowledge with the victim. Second, carnal
knowledge took place by using force or
intimidation. Appellant insists that "the
complainant did not offer any tenacious
resistance to the alleged sexual
assault." Nowhere is it required in our law or
jurisprudence, however, that a woman must
offer "tenacious" resistance to a sexual assault.
The law does not impose upon the rape victim

the burden of proving resistance. We have


held countless of times that "the force or
violence required in rape cases is relative.
When applied, it need not be overpowering or
irresistible; it is enough that it has enabled the
offender to consummate his purpose or to
bring about the desired result." For rape to
exist, it is not necessary that the force or
intimidation employed in accomplishing the
crime be so great or of such character as
could not be resisted. What is necessary is that
the force or intimidation be sufficient to
consummate the purpose which the accused
had in mind. Thus we have held that physical
resistance need not be established in rape
cases when intimidation is exercised upon her
and she submits herself against her will to the
rapist's lust because of fear for her life and
personal safety. The victim's failure to resist
the accused's assault successfully and to
escape when the opportunity presented itself
should not be construed as a manifestation of
consent. Thirdly, the coitus was against her will
and without her consent.
Insofar as the evidentiary value of a medical
examination is concerned, we have held that "a
medical examination of the victim, as well as
the medical certificate, is merely corroborative
in character and is not an indispensable
element in rape. What is important is that the
testimony of private complainant about the
incident is clear, unequivocal and credible." A
medical examination is not indispensable to
the prosecution of rape as long as the evidence
on hand convinces the court that a conviction
for rape is proper.

PEOPLE VS. SUITOS

For alibi to prosper, the accused should


prove not only that he was at some other place
when the crime was committed but also that it
was physically impossible for him to be at
the locus criminis at the time of the
commission.

PEOPLE VS. CUPINO


G.R. No. 125688. March 31, 2000.

Cupino and Dejoras were charged and


convicted for conspiring to commit murder.

HELD:
Conspiracy must be proved as indubitably as
the crime itself through clear and convincing
evidence, not merely by conjecture. To hold an
accused guilty as a co-principal by reason of
conspiracy, he must be shown to have
performed an overt act in pursuance or
furtherance of the complicity. Hence,
conspiracy exists in a situation where at the
time the malefactors were committing the
crime, their actions impliedly showed unity of
purpose among them, a concerted effort to
bring about the death of the victim. In a great
majority of cases, complicity was established
by proof of acts done in concert, i.e., acts that
yielded the reasonable inference that the doers
thereof were acting with a common intent or
design. Therefore, the task in every case is
determining whether the particular acts
established by the requisite quantum of proof
do reasonably yield that inference."

G.R. No. 125280. March 31, 2000.


Defense of alibi

PEOPLE VS. ABALDE


G.R. No. 123113. March 31, 2000.

Accused-appellant was charged and convicted


of murder. His defense was one of alibi.

HELD:

Rape - guidelines

HELD:

In the disposition of rape cases, the Court is


guided by the following principles: (1) an
accusation for rape can be made with facility; it
is difficult to prove but more difficult for the
person accused, though innocent, to disprove;
(2) in view of the intrinsic nature of the crime
of rape where only two persons are usually
involved, the testimony of the complainant
must be scrutinized with extreme caution, and
(3) the evidence for the prosecution must
stand or fall on its own merits and cannot draw
strength from the weakness of the evidence of
the defense.

PEOPLE VS. AMIGABLE


G.R. No. 133857. March 31, 2000.
MEDICAL EXAMINATION/FINDINGS
EVIDENTIARY VALUE IN RAPE CASES

filed against him failed to state that he is the


stepfather of the victim, hence, his relationship
with the victim may not be considered as a
qualifying circumstance to justify the
imposition of the death penalty.

HELD:
The circumstances under the amendatory
provisions of Section 11 of Republic Act 7659
the attendance of any which mandates the
single indivisible penalty of death, instead of
the standard penalty of reclusion perpetua to
death prescribed in Article 335 of the Revised
Penal Code, are in the nature of qualifying
circumstances." Qualifying circumstances must
be properly pleaded in the indictment.

PEOPLE VS. PAVILLARE


G. R. No. 129970. April 5, 2000.

HELD:
Lack of lacerated wounds does not negate
sexual intercourse. A freshly broken hymen is
not an essential element of rape. For that
matter, in crimes against chastity, the medical
examination of the victim is not an
indispensable element for the prosecution of
the crime as her testimony alone, if credible, is
sufficient to convict the accused as in this case.

APRIL 2000

Police line-ups
Kidnapping with ransom

Accused-appellants were charged and


convicted of kidnapping for ransom for
abducting an Indian national. He contends that
the identification made by the private
complainant in the police line-up is
inadmissible because the appellant stood at
the line-up without the assistance of counsel,
and that the money given to them was not
ransom money but was given in exchange for
their dropping of the charges of rape against
private complainant.

PEOPLE VS. DELOS SANTOS


G.R. No. 121906. April 5, 2000.

HELD:

Qualifying circumstance alleged in the


information

The accused-appellants defense is without


merit. Section 12 (1) Art III of the Commission
states that "Any person under investigation for
the commission of an offense shall have the
right to remain silent and to have competent
and independent counsel preferably of his own
choice. If the person cannot afford the services
of counsel, he must be provided with one.

Accused-appellant was sentenced to death


after he was convicted of raping his
stepdaughter. He argues that the Information

These rights cannot be waived except in


writing and in the presence of counsel." Thus
the prohibition for custodial investigation
conducted without the assistance of counsel.
Any evidence obtained in violation of the
constitutional mandate is inadmissible in
evidence. The prohibition however, does not
extend to a person in a police line-up because
that stage of an investigation is not yet a part
of custodial investigation. It has been
repeatedly held that custodial investigation
commences when a person is taken into
custody and is singled out as a suspect in the
commission of the crime under investigation
and the police officers begin to ask questions
on the suspect's participation therein and
which tend to elicit an admission. The stage of
an investigation wherein a person is asked to
stand in a police line-up has been held to be
outside the mantle of protection of the right to
counsel because it involves a general inquiry
into an unsolved crime and is purely
investigatory in nature. It has also been held
that an uncounseled identification at the police
line-up does not preclude the admissibility of
an in-court identification.

The duration of the detention even if only for a


few hours does not alter the nature of the
crime committed. The crime of kidnapping is
committed by depriving the victim of liberty
whether he is placed in an enclosure or simply
restrained from going home. As squarely
expressed in Article 267, above-quoted the
penalty of death is imposable where the
detention is committed for the purpose of
extorting ransom, and the duration of the
detention is not material.

PEOPLE VS. REGALA


G.R. No. 130508. April 5, 2000.
Robbery with rape

Accused-appellant was charged and convicted


of robbery with rape.

HELD:
It should be noted that there is no law
providing that the additional rape/s or
homicide/s should be considered as
aggravating circumstance. The enumeration of
aggravating circumstances under Article 14 of
the Revised Penal Code is exclusive as opposed
to the enumeration in Article 13 of the same
code regarding mitigating circumstances where
there is a specific paragraph (paragraph 10)
providing for analogous circumstances.

It is true that the additional rapes (or killings in


the case of multiple homicide on the occasion
of the robbery) would result in an "anomalous
situation" where from the standpoint of the
gravity of the offense, robbery with one rape
would be on the same level as robbery with
multiple rapes. However, the remedy lies with
the legislature. A penal law is liberally
construed in favor of the offender and no
person should be brought within its terms if he
is not clearly made so by the statute.
In view of the foregoing, the additional rape
committed by herein accused-appellant should
not be considered as aggravating. The penalty
of reclusion perpetua imposed by the trial court
is proper.

PEOPLE VS. ALVERO


G.R. Nos. 134536-38. April 5, 2000.

HELD:
The allegation of the exact time and date of
the commission of the crime are not important
in a prosecution for rape. This is because the
precise time of the commission of the crime is
not an essential element of rape and it has no
substantial bearing on its commission. Rule
110, Section 11 of the Rules of Court provides
that it is not necessary to state in the
complaint or information the precise time at
which the offense was committed except when
time is a material ingredient of the offense, but
the act may be alleged to have been

committed at any time as near to the actual


date at which the offense was committed as
the information or complaint will permit. It is
equally settled that a variance of a few months
between the time set out in the indictment and
that established by the evidence during trial
has been held not to constitute an error so
serious as to warrant reversal of a conviction
solely on that score.

PEOPLE V. ROCHE, ET AL.


G.R. No. 115182(6 April 2000)

Accused-Appellants were charged and


convicted of murder based on testimonies of
witnesses which contradicted each other and
was inconsistent with the physical evidence.
The sole reliable testimony does not show
complicity among the appellants before,
during, or after the commission of the crime.

perpetrated or inferred from the acts of the


accused evincing a joint or common purpose
and design, concerted action and community
of interest.
Conspiracy must be proved as indubitably as
the crime itself through clear and convincing
evidence, not merely by conjecture. To hold an
accused guilty as a co-principal by reason of
conspiracy, he must be shown to have
performed an overt act in pursuance or
furtherance of the complicity. Hence,
conspiracy exists in a situation where at the
time the malefactors were committing the
crime, their actions impliedly showed unity of
purpose among them, a concerted effort to
bring about the death of the victim. In a great
majority of cases, complicity was established
by proof of acts done in concert, i.e., acts
which yield the reasonable inference that the
doers thereof were acting with a common
intent or design. Therefore, the task in every
case is determining whether the particular acts
established by the requisite quantum of proof
do
d.

HELD:
a.

On oral testimony of witnesses

A witness whose testimony is perfect in all


aspects, without a flaw and remembering even
the minutest details which jibe beautifully with
one another, lays herself open to suspicion of
having been [coached] or having memorized
statements earlier rehearsed.
b.

On importance of physical evidence

Physical evidence is a mute but an eloquent


manifestation of truth, and it ranks high in our
hierarchy of trustworthy evidence. In criminal
cases such as murder or rape where the
accused stands to lose his liberty if found
guilty, this Court has, in many occasions, relied
principally upon physical evidence in
ascertaining the truth.
c.

On being an accomplice

The following requisites must concur in order


that a person may be considered an
accomplice:
(a) community of design, i.e., knowing that
criminal design of the principal by direct
participation, he concurs with the latter in his
purpose;
(b) he cooperates in the execution of the
offense by previous or simultaneous acts; and,
(c) there must be a relation between the acts
done by the principal and those attributed to
the person charged as accomplice.

PEOPLE V. BAGO
G.R. No. 122290(6 April 2000)

On Conspiracy

For conspiracy to exist, proof of an actual


planning of the perpetration of the crime is not
a conditionprecedent. It may be deduced from
the mode and manner in which the offense was

Appellant was accused and convicted of the


crime of qualified theft through taking coldrolled steel from the company which he is

employed as a leader in the cutting


department.

HELD:
Clearly, when all the elements of theft were
established, to wit: (1) there was a taking of
personal property; (2) the property belongs to
another; (3) the taking was without the consent
of the owner; (4) the taking was done with
intent to gain; and (5) the taking was
accomplished without violence or intimidation
against the person or force upon
things.When the theft is committed with grave
abuse of confidence, accused is guilty
ofqualified theft.
In the crime of theft, if the value of the thing
stolen exceeds P22,000.00, the penalty shall
be prision mayor in its maximum period and
one year for each additional P10,000.00, but
the total penalty shall not exceed twenty years
or reclusion temporal. However, if that crime of
theft is attended by any of the qualifying
circumstances which convert the taking into
qualified theft, the penalty next higher by two
degrees shall be imposed, that is, at
least, reclusion perpetua.

a crime. In order for the crime of robbery with


homicide to exist, it is necessary that it be
clearly established that a robbery has actually
taken place, and that, as a consequence or on
the occasion of such robbery, a homicide be
committed. Where the evidence does not
conclusively prove the robbery, the killing of
the victim would therefore, be classified either
as a simple homicide or murder, depending
upon the absence or presence of any qualifying
circumstance, and not the complex offense of
robbery with homicide.
b. On the aggravating circumstance of use of
superior strength
There was a clear and notorious disparity of
force between the victim and the aggressors as
the former was unarmed and alone. The felons
took advantage of their collective strength to
overwhelm their comparatively defenseless
victim. Thus, it was held that "an attack made
by a man with a deadly weapon upon an
unarmed and defenseless woman constitutes
the circumstance of abuse of that superiority
which his sex and the weapon used in the act
afforded him, and from which the woman was
unable to defend herself.

PEOPLE V. RAMOS
PEOPLE V. SUZA

G.R. No. 120280 (12 April 2000)

G.R. No. 130611(6 April 2000)

Appellant was convicted of the crime of


robbery with homicide, based on the testimony
of a lone eye-witness who saw how he and his
co-accused killed the victim, and was sure that
they took the victims clothes, money and
other wares, which she sold.

HELD:
a.

On the crime of robbery with homicide.

It is well settled that in order to sustain a


conviction for robbery with homicide, it is
necessary that the robbery itself be proven
conclusively as any other essential element of

The appellant was convicted of raping his own


10-year old daughter and relies solely on the
defense of denial of the said accusation against
him.

HELD:
A rape victim's testimony is entitled to greater
weight when she accuses a close relative of
having raped her, as in the case of a daughter
against her father. Earlier and long-standing
decisions of this Court have likewise held that
when a woman testifies that she has been
raped, she says all that is needed to signify
that the crime has been committed. This is true
when made against any man committing the

crime; it is more so when the accusing words


are said against a close relative.

PEOPLE V. ASPIRAS
G.R. No. 121203(12 April 2000)

The appellant is a policeman who was


positively identified by a witness to be the killer
of the victim, who was gun-downed during a
political rally. The witness is alleged to be
biased against the appellant since he has a
grudge against the latter.

HELD:
a. As to credibility of a witness
The credibility of a witness could not be
affected by an alleged grudge where said
witness was not discredited on crossexamination.
b.

As to damages awarded

Only actual expenses supported by receipts


shall be granted as actual damages. As to
future earnings of the victim, it is computed by
multiplying the years for which the victim could
have worked with his employer were it not for
his death by his annual gross earnings.

As correctly pointed out by the trial court,


anyone who admits the killing of a person but
invokes the defense of relative to justify the
same has the burden of proving these
elements by clear and convincing evidence.
The accused must rely on the strength of his
own evidence and not on the weakness of that
of the prosecution, for even if the prosecution
evidence is weak it cannot be disbelieved if the
accused has admitted the killing.
b. On the essence of treachery
There is treachery when the offender commits
any of the crimes against the person,
employing means, methods, or forms in the
execution thereof which tend directly and
especially to ensure its execution without risk
to himself arising from the defense which the
offended party might make. In People v.
Belaro, the Court explained that the essence of
treachery is a swift and unexpected attack on
the unarmed victim without the slightest
provocation on the part of the victim. Even a
frontal attack can, therefore, be treacherous if
it is sudden and unexpected and the victim is
unarmed.
The swift and unexpected attack by accusedappellant rendered the victim helpless. The
rule that treachery may be shown if the victim
is attacked from behind does not mean it
cannot be appreciated if the attack is frontally
launched. The suddenness of the shooting,
without the slightest provocation from the
victim who was unarmed and has no
opportunity to defend himself, ineluctably
qualified the crime with treachery.

PEOPLE V. FRANCISCO
G.R. 121682(12 April 2000)

PEOPLE V. BALLENAS
G.R. No. 124299(12 April 2000)

Appellant was convicted of the crime of murder


qualified by the aggravating circumstance of
treachery and pleads the justifying
circumstance of defense of relative.

The appellants abducted a 19-year old girl from


her dwelling, raped her several times, and
stabbed her to death 13 times.

HELD:
a. On the claim of defense of relative

HELD:

a. On the aggravating circumstances of


nighttime and cruelty
For the court to consider nighttime as an
aggravating circumstance, it must have been
deliberately taken by the perpetrator to
augment the wrong they committed, not being
necessary for its completion. It has been held
that when the scene of the crime was
sufficiently illuminated by a lamp, nocturnity
cannot be appreciated.

The aggravating circumstance of cruelty is


present when "the wrong done in the
commission of the crime is deliberately
augmented by causing other wrong not
necessary for its commission".There is cruelty
when the culprit enjoys and delights in making
his victim suffer slowly and gradually, causing
him unnecessary physical pain in the
consummation of the criminal act.
b. Whether the accused indeed committed
forcible abduction with rape
The accused committed the crime of forcible
abduction with rape punished under Article 335
of the Revised Penal Code in relation to Article
342 and 48 of the same Code. The two
elements of forcible abduction are (1) the
taking of a woman against her will and (2) with
lewd designs. The crime of forcible abduction
with rape is a complex crime that occurs when
there is carnal knowledge with the abducted
woman under the following circumstances: (1)
by using force or intimidation; (2) when the
woman is deprived of reason or otherwise
unconscious; and (3) when the woman is under
twelve years of age or is demented

HELD:
Amidst the sea of faces before her, the victim
readily pointed out accused-appellant as her
attacker. This positive identification of accusedappellant will prevail over the defense of alibi
and denial of accused-appellant. Besides, for
the defense of alibi to prosper, accusedappellant must show that it was physically
impossible for him to be at the scene of the
crime at the approximate time of its
commission.

PEOPLE V. RAZONABLE
G.R. No. 128085-87(12 April 2000)

Appellant was charged and convicted of


murder for hacking to death a neighbor,
qualified by treachery, evident premeditation
and abuse of superior strength. Supreme Court
held that the aggravating circumstance were
not proven by conclusive evidence.

HELD:
a. As to evident premeditation
Like treachery, the requisites of evident
premeditation must be proven by clear and
convincing evidence. The requisites of evident
premeditation are: a.] the time when the
accused determined to commit the crime, b.]
an act manifestly indicating that the accused
has clung to his determination, and c.]
sufficient lapse of time between such
determination and execution to allow them to
reflect upon the consequences of their act.

PEOPLE V. ROJAS

b. As to abuse of superior strength

G.R. No. 125292(12 April 2000)

Abuse of superior strength requires, at base, a


deliberate intent on the part of the malefactor
to take advantage thereof. Besides the
inequality of comparative force between the
victim and the aggressor, there must be a
situation of strength notoriously selected and
made use of by the offender in the commission
of the crime.

Accused-appellant was charged and convicted


of rape, after he was positively identified by his
victim in a 20-man police line-up, twice.

PEOPLE V. ORIO
G.R. No. 128821(April 12, 2000)

Appellants, both armed with Balisongs attacked


and killed their unarmed victim. They were
charged and convicted of murder qualified by
treachery, evident premeditation, and abuse of
superior strength.

HELD:
1. As to the aggravating circumstance
of Treachery
There is treachery when the offenders commit
any of the crimes against persons employing
means, methods or forms in the execution
thereof which tend directly and specially to
insure its execution without risk to himself
arising from the defense which the offended
party might make. In order that alevosia may
be appreciated as a qualifying circumstance, it
must be shown that : a.] the malefactor
employed means, method or manner of
execution affording the person attacked no
opportunity to defend himself or to retaliate;
and b.] the means, method or manner of
execution was deliberately or consciously
adopted by the offender. However, the fact that
both accused-appellants were armed with
bladed weapons while their victim was
unarmed and defenseless does not make the
attack treacherous. Treachery must be proved
by clear and convincing evidence or as
conclusively as the killing itself.
2. As to the aggravating circumstance of
Evident Premeditation
Mere presumptions and inferences, no matter
how logical and probable they might be would
not suffice to establish evident premeditation.
In the case at bar, there was no evidence of
the planning and preparation to kill the victim.
In fact, no attempt was ever made to establish
the requisites of evident premeditation, viz : a.]
the time when the accused determined to
commit the crime, b.] an act manifestly

indicating that the accused has clung to his


determination, and c.] sufficient lapse of time
between such determination and execution to
allow them to reflect upon the consequences of
their act. In the absence of any evidence of the
planning to kill or when the plan was
conceived, there is no basis for appreciating
evident premeditation.
3. As to the aggravating circumstance
of Abuse of Superior Strength
Abuse of superior strength, however, attended
the killing of Domingo Francisco. Abuse of
superior strength requires, at base, a
deliberate intent on the part of the malefactor
to take advantage thereof. Besides the
inequality of comparative force between the
victim and the aggressor, there must be a
situation of strength notoriously selected and
made use of by the offender in the commission
of the crime.

PEOPLE V. BAER
G.R. No. 130333(April 12, 2000)

The appellant is the step grandfather of the


victim who at her tender age was repeatedly
raped by the appellant. The appellant argued
that the victim did not resist his alleged sexual
assault, since she did not even scream. As to
the amount of force required to constitute rape

HELD:
In rape cases, the force applied need not be
irresistible. It merely has to be enough to
successfully carry out the assailants carnal
desire. In the present case, appellant did apply
sufficient force and intimidation to
consummate his lustful desire.

PEOPLE V. ADOC
G.R. No. 133647(April 12, 2000)

The victim was held by Danny and Tony while


Eddie delivered several blows, flowed by Tony
stabbing the victim. Appellants questioned
their conviction of murder and the liability
imposed on each of them, since it is not clear
who inflicted the fatal wound. Whether there is
conspiracy between the appellants

HELD:
Conspiracy exists when two or more person
come to an agreement concerning the
commission of a felony and decide to commit
it. It need not be proved by direct evidence but
may be inferred from the acts of the accused. It
is sufficient that the accused acted in concert
at the time of the commission of the offense,
that they had the same purpose or common
design, and that they were united in its
execution. Coming now to the instant case, the
successive acts of the accused the blow
delivered by EDDIE, while DANNY and TONY
were holding Ricky; followed immediately by
the infliction of a second blow by DANNY; and
finally, the stabbing of the victim by TONY
clearly manifest the existence of a common
intent among the three accused to commit the
crime. Since conspiracy has been established,
there is no need to determine who among the
accused delivered the fatal blow. All of the
accused are liable as principals regardless of
the extent and character of their participation,
for in conspiracy the act of one is the act of all.

the mode and manner in which the offense was


perpetrated, or inferred from the acts of the
accused which point to a joint purpose and
design, concerted action, and community of
interest. The actuations of the appellants
clearly established a conspiracy. One started
the attack with an utterance coupled with the
actual stabbing of victim. Finally, the rest of the
assailants' companions ganged up on the
helpless victim by successively stabbing and
hitting him. All these acts sufficiently prove
that they conspired to kill victim.

PEOPLE V. ANTOLIN
G.R. No. 133880(April 12, 2000)

The appellant was convicted of raping a 23year old mental retardate with a mind of a 4year old girl. The appellant questions the
credibility of the victim since she is the sole
witness against him. What is the importance of
credibility of the victim in rape

HELD:

The appellants assails the ruling of the court


finding that conspiracy attended their attack to
the victim. Whether direct evidence is
necessary to prove conspiracy.

In a prosecution for rape the complainants


credibility becomes the most important issue
since her testimony alone is sufficient for a
verdict of conviction. It is well established that
when the credibility of a witness is questioned,
the appellate courts will generally not disturb
the findings of the trial court, considering that
it is in a more advantageous position to
determine the issue as it heard the witness and
observed his deportment during trial. The
exceptions to the rule are when such
evaluation was reached arbitrarily, or when the
trial court overlooked, misunderstood or
misapplied certain facts or circumstances of
weight and substance which could affect the
result of the case.

HELD:

PEOPLE V. FRAGA

Direct proof of previous agreement to commit a


crime is not necessary. It may be deduced from

G.R. No. 134130-33(April 12, 2000)

PEOPLE V. REYES
G.R. No. 133647(April 12, 2000)

The appellant had an altercation before they


embarked to go out to sea, after they came
back the accused with his CAFGU firearm went
to the house of the victim and shot him to
death. The appellant raises the defense of selfdefense. Whether or not the appellant is
entitled to the justifying circumstance of selfdefense.

without risk to the assailant from any defense


that the party assailed might make. While a
victim may have been warned of a possible
danger to his person, in treachery, what is
decisive is that the attack was executed in
such a manner as to make it impossible for the
victim to retaliate.

PEOPLE V. GUIWAN
G.R. No. 117324(April 27, 2000)

HELD:
The invocation of self-defense is an admission
of the killing and of its authorship. By this
admission, the burden of proof shifts to the
accused who must now establish with clear and
convincing evidence all the elements of this
justifying circum, stance, to wit: (a) unlawful
aggression on the part of the victim; (b)
reasonable necessity of the means employed
to prevent or repel it; and, (c) lack of sufficient
provocation on the part of the person resorting
to self- defense. In proving these elements, the
accused must rely on the strength of his own
evidence. He can no longer assail the
weakness of the evidence against him simply
because it cannot be disbelieve after his open
admission of responsibility for the killing.
Indeed, a plea of self-defense cannot be
justifiably appreciated where it is not only
uncorroborated by independent and competent
evidence, but also extremely doubtful by itself.
It is an oft- repeated rule that the nature and
number of wounds inflicted by the accused are
constantly and unremittingly considered as
important indicia which disprove a plea for selfdefense because they demonstrate a
determined effort to kill the victim and not just
defend oneself.

The victim was the biological daughter of the


appellant who was raped several times by the
latter and was only able to disclose such
bestial acts after two years.

HELD:
Two important doctrines on rape

The moral influence of a father over his


daughter suffices to establish rape.

At any rate, although a woman may be


viewed by the public as unchaste or impure
she can still be raped as she is still free to
refuse a man's lustful advances. The victim's
character in rape is immaterial.

PEOPLE V. LEGASPI
G.R. No. 117802(April 27 2000)

What is required to establish the defense of


alibi?
PEOPLE V. ESTROCO
G.R. No. 111941(April 27 2000)

In order to appreciate allevosia, it must clearly


appear that the method of assault adopted by
the aggressor was deliberately chosen with a
special view to the accomplishment of the act

Alibi is one of the weakest defenses an accused


can invoke, and the courts have always looked
upon it with caution, if not suspicion, not only
because it is inherently unreliable but likewise
because it is rather easy to fabricate. To
prosper, alibi must strictly meet the
requirements of time and place. Thus, we have
consistently ruled that it does not suffice to
prove that the accused was somewhere else at

the time of the commission of the crime.


Similarly, jurisprudence dictates that the
element of physical impossibility be clearly
shown; The accused must clearly establish that
he was so far away that it was not possible for
him to have been physically present at
the locus criminis or its immediate vicinity at
the time of the commission of the crime.

What constitutes robbery with homicide?


In this specie of offense, the phrase "by
reason" covers homicide committed before or
after the taking of personal property of
another, as long as the motive of the offender
(in killing a person before the robbery) is to
deprive the victim of his personal property
which is sought to be accomplished by
eliminating an obstacle or opposition, or to do
away with a witness or to defend the
possession of stolen property.

HELD:
Whether the accused is entitled to the
mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender
The essence of voluntary surrender is
spontaneity and the intent of the accused to
give himself up and submit himself
unconditionally to the authorities either
because he acknowledges his guilt or he
wishes to save them the trouble and expense
necessarily incurred in his search and capture.
In this case, it was appellant's commanding
officer who surrendered him to the custody of
the court. Being restrained by one's superiors
to stay within the camp without submitting to
the investigating authorities concerned, is not
tantamount to voluntary surrender as
contemplated by law.

PEOPLE V. VILLA
G.R. No. 129899(April 27, 2000)

What is the proof necessary to establish


conspiracy?
Similar to the physical act constituting the
crime itself, the elements of conspiracy must
be proven beyond reasonable doubt. For this
purpose overt acts of the accused may consist
of active participation in the actual commission
of the crime itself, or it may consist of moral
assistance to his co-conspirators by being
present at the time of the commission of the
crime, or by exerting moral ascendancy over
the other co-conspirators by moving them to
execute or implement the conspiracy.

PEOPLE V. ACURAM
G.R. No. 117954(April 27, 2000)

The appellant shot the victim who later died.


After charges were filed and his commanding
officer was told of the incident, he was ordered
not to leave camp, where he surrendered.

The appellant fired his rifle at the victim


causing the latters death. After such incident
the appellant surrendered to his commanding
officer and pleaded guilty before the court but
claimed the defense of temporary insanity.
Whether the appellant is entitled to the
defense of insanity

HELD:
No. The fact that immediately after the incident
(accused) thought of surrendering to the lawenforcement authorities is incontestable proof
that he knew that what he had done was wrong
and that he was going to be punished for it."
Similarly, a feeling of remorse is inconsistent
with insanity, as it is a clear indication that he
was conscious of his acts, he acknowledged his
guilt and was sorry for them.

PEOPLE V. CASTILLO
G.R. No. 130188 (April 27, 2000)

The lone witness saw the appellant running out


of the house of his cousin, after a shot was
heard. His cousin was later found dead. The
appellant was convicted of murder.
Whether or not the testimony of the lone
witness was sufficient.
No, the witness only testified that the appellant
fled the scene of the crime in a rush with a
gun. Flight, in most cases, strongly indicates
guilt. As a lone circumstantial evidence,
however, it does not suffice as plurality of
circumstantial evidence is required before guilt
beyond reasonable doubt may be inferred from
such indirect proof. To fully dispose of this
issue, the motive of accused-appellant is a key
element in the web of circumstantial evidence.

PEOPLE V. BAUTISTA
G.R. No. 131840(April 27, 2000)

The appellants were convicted for conspiring to


murder the victim. One of the co-conspirators
surrendered voluntarily. Whether the liability of
each co-conspirator should be always equal.

HELD:
No. Since the existence of a conspiracy does
not prevent the appreciation of a mitigating
circumstance exclusively in favor of the coconspirator to whom such circumstance may
relate, to him alone.

What constitutes civil liability arising from a


crime
The civil liability of accused-appellants for
indemnity for death and actual and moral
damages, however, is solidary and not joint as
ruled by the trial court. Moral Damages. Under
Art. 2206 of the Civil Code, the spouse,
legitimate and illegitimate descendants and
ascendants of the deceased are entitled to

moral damages "for mental anguish by reason


of the death of the deceased." The victims
widow testified that she suffered pain from the
death of her husband. Thus, in accordance with
recent decisions of this Court, accusedappellants should be awarded the additional
amount of P50,000.00 as moral damages.
Exemplary Damages. Under Art. 2230 of the
Civil Code, "exemplary damages as a part of
the civil liability may be imposed when the
crime was committed with one or more
aggravating circumstances."

PEOPLE V. MUYCO
G.R. No. 132252(April 27 2000)

As a rule, documentary evidence should be


presented to substantiate the claim for loss of
earning capacity. In People v. Verde, the nonpresentation of evidence to support the claim
for damages for loss of earning capacity did
not prevent the Court from awarding said
damages. The testimony of the victims wife as
to earning capacity of her murdered husband,
who was then 48 years old and was
earning P200.00 a day as a tricycle driver,
sufficed to establish the basis for such an
award.

In that case, Erwin Gesmundo was only 15


years old at the time of his death and was
earning a daily wage of P100.00 as a
construction worker. As in People v. Verde, this
Court is inclined to grant the claim for damages
for loss of earning capacity despite the
absence of documentary evidence. To be able
to claim damages for loss of earning capacity
despite the nonavailability of documentary
evidence, there must be oral testimony that:
(a) the victim was self-employed earning less
than the minimum wage under the current
labor laws and judicial notice was taken of the
fact that in the victims line of work, no
documentary evidence is available; (b) the
victim was employed as a daily wage worker
earning less than the minimum wage under
current labor laws.

PEOPLE V. SULTAN

MAY 2000

G.R. No. 132470(April 27, 2000)


PEOPLE V TANOY
The victim was abducted by the appellant, who
brought her to his house. When they arrived at
the appellants house the victim was divested
of her jewelry and other valuables, afterwhich
she was raped several times. The appellant
was convicted of the special complex crime of
robbery with homicide. Whether multiple rape
can be considered as an aggravating
circumstance.

GRNo 115692 May 12,2000

After a prior incident, the victim went to the


police station. The victim therein found the
appellant who is a policeman. After, a few
exchanges appellant shot the victim with an
armalite hitting him in the chest. He alleges
that they were grappling for the gun before the
"accident" occured thus he is entitled to an
exempting circumstance under par 4 Art 12.

HELD:
No. In several cases the Court realized that
there was no law providing for the additional
rape/s or homicide/s for that matter to be
considered as aggravating circumstance. It
further observed that the enumeration of
aggravating circumstances under Art. 14 of the
Revised Penal Code is exclusive, unlike in Art.
13 of the same Code which enumerates the
mitigating circumstances where analogous
circumstances may be considered, hence, the
remedy lies with the legislature. Consequently,
unless and until a law is passed providing that
the additional rape/s or homicide/s may be
considered aggravating, the Court must
construe the penal law in favor of the offender
as no person may be brought within its terms if
he is not clearly made so by the statute. Under
this view, the additional rape committed by
accused-appellant is not considered an
aggravating circumstance. Applying Art. 63,
par. (2), of the Revised Penal Code which
provides that "(i)n all cases in which the law
prescribes a penalty composed of two
indivisible penalties, the following rules shall
be observed in the application thereof x x x x
2. (w)hen there are neither mitigating nor
aggravating circumstances in the commission
of the deed, the lesser penalty shall be
applied," the lower penalty of reclusion
perpetuashould be imposed on accusedappellant. Spp

HELD:
The shooting was intentional as shown by the
location and nature of the wounds. Also a
brown envelope remained tucked under his
arm and was bloodied after he was shot.If they
were grappling for possession of the gun then
the envelope containing his complaint should
have fallen.It would be highly inconceivable for
a retired PC colonel to hold the barrel of the
gun pointing towards him while grappling for
its possession.
It is settled jurisprudence that the assessment
of the credibility of the witnesses lies within the
province and expertise of the trial
courts.Absent any showing of abuse of
discretion or that trial courts overlooked
material and relevant facts which could affect
the outcome of the case, their findings are
accorded great weight and respect.
There is also treachery in the commission of
the crime. The deceased did not expect any
attack coming from the accused when he went
to the police station. Treachery may still be
appreciated even when the victim was
forewarned of the danger to his person.What is
decisive is that the execution of the attack mde
it impossible for the victim to defend himself or
retaliate.The victim was totally defenseless
when he went out of his hiding place(went

behind a cemented wall when the accused


pointed the gun).he was 71 years old and his
left hand was extended as if in supplication and
surrender but the accused shot him
nonetheless.

PEOPLE V AVILLANA
GRNo119621 May 12,2000

Accused was convicted for murder by the lower


court.He allegedly approached the victim and
two others while they were waiting for a
jeepney.He stabbed the victim in the chest and
attacked the two others who were able to
escape.

occasions. Appellant avers he was on the field


with his wife.

HELD: While denial is a legitimate defense in


rape cases, bare denials cannot overcome the
categorical testimony of the victim.Also, when
there is an inconsistency between affidavits
and the testimony of a witness in court, the
testimony commands greater weight.Delay in
reporting rape incidents in the face of threats
of pysical violence, cannot be taken against the
victim.It is fear, springing from the initial rape,
that the perpetrator hopes to build up a
climate of extreme sychologiccal terror,w/c
would, he hopes, numb his victim to silence
and submissiveness.

PEOPLE V PO1 MAING


HELD:
Conviction affirmed. The testimony of the sole
witness is upheld.Witnesses are weighed, not
numbered, such that the testimony of a single,
trustworthy and credible witness could be
sufficient to convict./there is no showing that
the implication by the witness was illmotivated.Where the locus criminis afforded
good visibility and where no improper motive
can be attributed to the prosecution
eyewitnesses for testifying against the
accused, then his version of the offense
deserves much weight.Alibi,though supported
by the testimonies of friends, weakens in the
face of positive identification by one credible,
unbiased witness.His place was only 1
kilometer from the scene.There was treachery
as the victim was caught by surprise and
defenseless when accused made his stealthful
approach from behind and lunged a knife into
the victim's chest.

PEOPLE V DE LEON
GRNo-124338-41 May 12,2000

The victim, a ten year old girl, was raped by


the appellant in the tobacco field in four

GRNo122112 May 12, 2000

The victim was shot four times with a witness


standing three meters away.The witness
reported the incident that the victim was
gunned down by an unidentified assailant. Two
weeks later he executed an affidavit
pinpointing the appellant. In the witness stand
he denied having identified the assailant and
clarified that he only heard rumors on who was
the killer from his townmates.The appellant
was in a mosque only 5oo meters away and
there was motive, the appellant was
boxed and kicked by the victim before.

HELD:
Despite his familiarity with appellant's figure,
the witness still failed to identify the assailant
of the victim.He only based his testimony from
rumors, thus he did not have first-hand
knowledge of the identity of the assailant.His
testimony was pure hearsay and has no
evidentiary weight.Without any testimony
positively identifying accused as the gunman
nor any evidence directly linking him as the
author of the crime, the appellant cannot be
convicted of the murder.he enjoys the

presumption of innocence, which can only be


overcome by reasonable doubt.Mere suspicions
or conjectures, however strong, can never
become substitutes for this required quantum
of proof.There must be moral certainty that the
accused is guilty.Appellant's alibi may be the
weakest of all defenses.Nonetheless, this
weakness ought not be used as proof of his
guilt.The prosecution must rest on the strength
of its evidence and not rely on the weakness of
the defense.

PEOPLE V MADARANG

immediately before or simultaneous with the


stabbing incident.Also schizophrenics have
lucid intervals during which they are capable of
distinguishing right from wrong.

PEOPLE V DEQUITO
G.R. No.-132544 May 12,2000

A fifteen year old girl was raped by the


common-law husband of her sister in the field.

Gr. No. 132319 May 12,2000


HELD:
Appellant was convicted of parricide for
stabbing his wife, causing her death. Appellant
alleges he was in a state of insanity and claims
he had no recollection of the stabbing
incident.He insists that he was deprived of
intelligence , making his act involuntary.His
psychiatric evaluation revealed he was
suffering from schizophrenia but after two
years in the National Center for Mental Health
his condition improved thus, he was released.

HELD:
In the Philippines, the courts have established
a more stringent criterion for insanity to be
exempting as it is required that there must be
a complete deprivation of intelligence in
committing the act,i.e., the accused is deprived
of reason; he acted without the least
discernment because there is a complete
absence of the power to discern, or that there
is total deprivation of the will.Mere abnormality
of the mental faculties will not exclude
imputability.The issue of insanity is a question
of fact.The state or condition of a man's mind
can only be measured and judged by his
behavior.Establishing one's insanity requires
testimony of an expert witness, such as a
psychiatrist.The proof must relate to the time
preceding or coetaneous with the commisssion
of the offense with which he is charged.None of
the witnesses declared that he exhibited any of
the symptoms associated with schizophrenia

A torn underwear is not indispensable to prove


the crime of rape.Rape can be committed
without damaging the apparel of the victim.The
victim testified that appellant already started
to remove her clothes but she ran away. He
caught up with her and forced himself on
her.The delay in reporting the incident can not
diminish her credibility.Our consistent doctrine
is that delay in reporting a rape, if sufficiently
explained, does not affect the credibility of the
witness.In this case, she was dependent on
him, her parents were absent.Appellant
threatened that he would leave the victim's
sister if the victim reported the incident. Also
the information is sufficient alleging therein
that rape was committed on or about the
month of July 1996.Thus, the prosecutor's error
in stating that what was being tried was the
last rape committed in July in his offer of proof
did not prejudice the rights of the
appellant.Also, counsel for the defendant did
not object to the offer of victim's testimony.
Sec 34-36 of Rule 132 govern.

PEOPLE V RIMORIN
GRNo-124309 May 16,2000

Two persons were kidnapped and brought to a


forest area where they were killed.The bodies
were set afire while in a pit then buried in the
same spot.A helper of the suspects and the

families of the victims were threatened with


retaliation if they reported the incident.Ten
years later, the helper, after learning that one
of the suspects have died, reported the
incident and the bodies were then
exhumed. Appellants were convicted of
kidnapping with murder.

PEOPLE V OBRERO
G.R. No.-122142 May 17, 2000

Appellant was convicted of robberry with


homicide.He executed a written confession as a
result of a custodial ivestigation.The issue is
whether such is valid.

Issue:W/N guilt was established beyond


reasonable doubt.
HELD:
HELD:
The trial courts are in the best position to view
the witness' demeanor and deportment during
the trial. Since the offense were committed
prior to RA7659 on Deceber 31, 1993 thus said
law amending Art267 of the RPC
providing: "when the victim is killed or dies as
a consequence of the detention or is raped or
is subjected to torture or dehumanizing acts,
the maximum penalty shall be imposed."Since
in this instance the purpose of the appellant
and his companions when they kidnapped the
victims was to kill them the two counts of
complex crime of kidnapping with murder is
valid. However, as ruled in P v Ramos
297SCRA618, the rule now is: where the person
kidnapped is killed in the course of the
detention, regardless of whether the killing was
purposely sought or was merely an
afterthought, the kidnapping and murder or
homicide can no longer be complexed under
the last paragraph of Art267as amended by
RA7659.
There was also treachery as the victims' hands
were tied behind their backs when they were
killed.However, there is no evident
premeditation.there was no showing by the
prosecution of the 1)time when the offender
determined to commit the crime 2)act
manifestly indicating that the offender had
clung to his determination3)sufficient lapse of
time between the determination to commit the
crime and the execution thereof, to allow the
offender to reflect on the consequence of his
act.

The extrajudicial confession was invalid. The


perfunctory reading of the Miranda rights is
inadequate to transmit information to the
suspect. Also, Art IIISec12(1) requires an
independent and competent counsel of the
suspect's choice. Atty de los Reyes was not an
independent counsel being the PC Captain and
Station Commander. As held in P v Bandula,
the independent counsel cannot be a special
prosecutor, private or public prosecutor,
municipal attorney or counsel of the police
whose interest is adverse to the accused.
While there is evidence to the homicide
consisting of the corpus delicti, there is no
evidence of the robbery except the confession.
The lack of objection of appellant to the
introduction of the constitutionally proscribed
evidence did not satisfy the burden of proof
which rested on the prosecution. Acquitted of
robbery with homicide.

PEOPLE V TOLEDANO
G.R. No.-110220 May 18,2000

Bunao, while a member of Sangguniang Bayan,


entered into a lease contract covering 2 public
market stalls.Two administrative cases were
filed against against him violating RA3019 and
R6713 with the Ombudsman.However, said
cases were dismissed. An information for
violation of Sec41(1) in relation to Sec221 of
BP337 was filed against respondent before the
RTc of Iba, Zambales which prohibits gov't
officials from engaing in any business

transaction with the local gernment unit.The


RTC, upon motion of the accused, dismissed
the criminal case on the ground of the
dismissal of the administrative cases.

HELD:
There is nothing in the law(Art 89RPC) which
states that exoneration from an administrative
charge extinguishes criminal liability.It is a
fundamental principle of administrative law
that administrative law that administrative
cases a independent from criminal actions for
the same act or omission. RA 7160,LGC of
1991, which replaced BP337 reenacted in its
Sec89 the legal provision of Sec 41 of
BP337.Thus, the act committed before the
reenactment continuous to be a crime.

PEOPLE V SARAGINA

The second element is also absent.The


nature, location and number of the wounds
belie appellant's defense.Even considering he
was able to wrest the knife away from
Vulpanco and stab him on the chest, he still ran
after the victim and stabbed him againin the
face. However, there was no treachery because
before he attacked, the appellant uttered "Ano
pare, umpisahan na natin?".Also,
victim's niece shouted "Tiyong Takbo".The
victim was able to run away bu the accused
caught up with him.Treachery cannot be
appreciated when the victim was aware of the
attack against him and was even able to flee
even though briefly from his attacker.
Also, there is o evident
premeditation.The prosecution failed to adduce
evidence showing when and how the accused
planned and prepared to kill Vulpangco.The
mere fact that the accused learned that
Vulpangco was pestering his sister a week
before the killing is insufficient to prove evident
premeditation beyond reasonable doubt.

G.R. No.-128281 May 30,2000


PEOPLE V BABERA
Accused stabbed and klled a Vulpangco, who
uttered malicious remarks and showed his
private part to the appellant's sister a week
earlier. He admits the incident but claims it was
self-defense.

G.R. No.-130609, May 30,2000

Appellant was convicted of two counts of rape.


He raped a 17 yr old having moderate
retardation with the use of a balisong.

HELD:
Because of this claim, the burden of proof was
shifted to the appellant to establish the
elements thereofa)unlawful aggression on the
part of the victim;b)reasonable necessity of the
means employed to prevent or repel it; c)lack
of sufficient provocation on the part of the
person defending himself. The first element is
lacking.Evidence must positively show that
there was a previous unlawful and unprovoked
attack on the person of the accused which
placed him in danger and justified him in
inflicting harm upon his assailant hrough the
employment of reasonable means to repel the
aggression. In this, case the appellant attacked
the victim while the latter was fanning
charcoal.

HELD:
Since the participants are usually the only
witnesses in crimes of this nature, the
conviction or acquittal of the accused would
virtually depend on the credibility of the
complainant's testmony. The trial court
observed that the victim remained consistent
and answered in a frank, sincere and
straighforward manner. Also, factual findings of
the trial court are generally sustained on
appeal unless arbitrary or baseless.

PEOPLE V FRANCISCO

The appellant was convicted of frustrated


murder.Together with two more persons, he
assaulted and stabbed Ariel while seated in the
driver's seat of a jeepney.

HELD:
The mere fact that the principal witness was
the victim of the crime does not make him a
biased witness and does not make his
testimony incredible.It would be unnatural and
illogical for him to impute the crime to an
innocent person and let the culprit escape
prosecution.
A conspiracy exists when two or more persons
come to an agreement concerning the
commission of a crime and decide to do it.Proof
of the agreement need not rest on direct
evidence as the same may be inferred from the
conduct of the parties indicating a common
understanding among them with respect to the
commission of the offense.It is not necessary to
show that two or more persons met together
and entered into an explicit agreement setting
out the details of an unlawful scheme or the
details by which an illegal objective is to be
carried out.It may be deduced from the mode
and manner in which the offense was
perpetrated or inferred from the acts of the
accused evincing a joint or common purpose
and design, concerted action and community
of interest.In this case, the two John Does
pulled the victim out of the jeepney.As the
victim was getting down, he was stabbed by
the appellant. As to Antonio his participation
was limited to shouting "heto na sila".In a case,
we ruled that the phrase "andiyan na", which
has similar import with the phrase herein, does
not have conclusive conspiratorial meaning for
the supposedly damning utterances are
susceptible of varied inerpretations.One's overt
act, to be shown in pursuance of the
conspiracy, may consist of active participation
in the actual commission of the crime itself, or
it may consist of moral assistance to his
conspirators by being present at the time of
the commission of the crime, by exerting moral
ascendancy over the other co-conspirators by

moving them to execute or implement the


conspiracy.
As to Ricardo's physical disability, the
limp suffered by him due to polio has not been
shown to restrict his means of action, defense
or communication with his fellow beings as
required by Art 13(8). The location of the stab
wounds (stomach) manifest his intention to kill
thus contradicting his claim of not intending to
commit so grave a wrong.
The mitigating circumstance of sufficient
provocation must immediately preceded the
act and that it was adequate to excite a person
to commit a wrng, which must accordingly be
proportionate in gravity.
The lack of aversion in the information of
"intent to kill" does not not make it
insufficient.An information is sufficient if it
states the designation of the offense by
statute.The information more than
substantially satisfies the requirement of
designating the offense of frustrated murder
considering that it contains the acts
constituting the felony, the name of the crime
by statue and the stage (frustrated) of the
commission of the crime by definition.Besides
the absence of the averment of intent to kill
may be inferred from the allegation that the
stab wound would have caused the death of
the victim.

PEOPLE V BALORA
G.R. No.-124976 May 31, 2000

The victim was raped inside the cubicle of the


women's restroom of the cinema theater of
Manuela Complex.The appellant went over the
divider and banged the head of the victim on
the wall.After the incident, he was captured by
the guards and mobbed by the other watchers.

HELD:
Appellant avers that the victim could
not be made to lie on the floor there being a

toilt bowl in the middle an the cubicle was too


small.The evil in man has no conscience.The
beast in him bears no respect for time and
place, driving him to commit rae anywhere-even in places where people congregate.Rape
does not necessarily have to be committed in
an isolated place and can in fact be committed
in places which to many would appear to be
unlikely and high-risk venues for sexual
advances.
Physical resistance need not be established in
rape when intimidation is exercised upon the
victim and the latter submits herself, against
her will, to the rapist's advances because of
fear for her life and personal safety.it is
sufficient that the intimidation produces fear in
the mind of the victim that if she did not
submit to the bestial demands of the accused,
somehing far worse would befall her at the
time she was being molested. In P v Luzorate
we held that intimidation was addressed to the
mind of the victim and therefore subjective, its
presence could not be tested by any hard-andfast rule but must be viewed in light of the
victim's perception and judgment at the time of
the crime.When a victim become paralyzed
with fear, she cannot be expected to think and
act coherently, her failure to take advantage of
the early opportuniy to escape does not
automatically vitiate the credibilityoher
account.Complainant cannot be faulted for not
taking any action inasmuch as different people
react differently to a given type of situation,
there being no standard form of human
behavioral response when one is confronted
with a strange, startling or frightful experience.
Lack of lacerated wounds does not negate
sexual intercourse.A freshly broken hymen is
not a essential element of rape.

HELD:
The purpose of a formal offer is to enable the
trial judge to know the purpose or purposes fro
which the proponent is representing the
evidence.As it is the victim herself who
testified, to state the reason for the
presentaiton of said witness is to state the
obvious.The Court has consistently upheld that
the presumptio hominis that a young filipina
will not charge a person with rape if it is not
true, does not go against theconstitutional
presumption of innocence.It has been decided,
in case of statutory crimes, that no
constitutional provision is violated by a statute
providing that proof by the Sate fo some
material fact or facts shall constitute prima
facie evidence of guilt, and that then the
burdeen is shifted to the defendant for the
purpose of showing that such act or acts are
innocent and are committed without unlawful
intention. The actor in the affidavit of
desistance, as worded, was the mother.Thus, it
cannot be given weight.Also, an affidavit of
desistance by itself, even when construed as
pardon in so-called private crimes is not a
ground for the dismissal of the criminal case
once the action has been instituted. Sec 11
RA7659 applies the offender being a
parent.Thus the penalty of death is to be
imposed

PEOPLE V MENDOZA
GRNo-128890 May 31, 2000

While playing mahjong the victim was suddenly


attacked from behind with a bolo by Sanches
and stabbed by the appellant.

PEOPLE V ALICANTE
G.R. No.-127026-27 May 31,2000

The appellant, a father, raped his 13 yr old


daughter fifteen times impregnating her.

HELD:
We uphold the testimony of the witness.In the
absence of proof to the contrary and by the
defense's failure to impugn the credibility of
prosecution witness Ignacio.
In criminal jurisprudence, when the issue is one
of credibility of witnesses, appellate courts will

not disturb the findings of the trial court for it is


in a better position to decide the question,
having heard the witnesses and obsereved
their deortment and manner of testifying.There
are are exceptions:a)when patent
inconsistencies in the statement of witnesses
are ignored by the trial court, or b) when the
conclusions arrived at are clearly unsupported
by the evidence.
As the victim was totally unprepared for the
unexpected attack from behind with no weapon
to resist it, the stabbing could only be
describes as trechearous.As the attack waas
synchronl, sudden and unexpected, treachery
was evident.But the trial court erred in
appreciating the aggravating circumstance of
abuse of superior strength since this is deemed
absorbed in treachery.

This is a case of incestuous rapeTwo


informations were filed against appellant.Upon
arraignment, he pleaded guilty but bargained
for a lesser penalty for each case.The mother
of the complainant and the public prosecutor
agreed and an order was issued the same day
imposing tenyears imprisonment for each
case.After three months, the cases were
revived at the instance of the complainant on
the ground that the penalty was too
light.Appellant was re-arraigned and he
entered a plea of not guilty.Two months later,
he entered anew a plea of guilty.The court then
imposed the enalty of death.He now appeals
on the ground that there was double jeopardy
upon the re-arraignment and trial on the same
information.

HELD:
PEOPLE V TRAYA
G.R. No.-129052 May 31, 2000

This is a case of incestuous rape.

HELD:
The fact of minority of the victim was not
stated in the Information.Only the relationship
of the victim as daughter of the offender was
alleged therein.The rule is that the elements of
minority of the victim and her realtionship to
the offender must concur.The failure toa llege
on of these elements precludes the imposition
of the death penalty. There being no allegation
of the minority of the victim in the Information,
he cannot be convicted of qualified rape as he
was not informed that he is being accused of
qualified rape.

PEOPLE V MAGAT
G.R. No.-130026 May 31, 2000

The first order issued by the trial is void ab


initio on the ground that the accused's plea is
not the plea bargaining contemplated by law
and the rules of procedure.The only instance
where a plea bargaining is allowed under the
Rules is when the accused pleads guilty to a
lesser offense.Sec 2 Rule 116 (note that there
is a new set of Rules of Criminal
Procedure).Here the reduction of the penalty is
only a consequence of the plea of guilt to a
lesser penalty.The appellant did not plead to a
lesser offense but pleaded guilty to the rape
charges and only baargained for a lesser
penalty.He did not plea bargain but made
conditions on the penalty to be imposed.This is
erroneous because by pleading guilty to the
offense charged, accused should be sentenced
to the penalty to which he pleaded.It is the
essence of a plea of guilty that that the
accused admits absolutely and unconditionally
hid guilt and responsibilty for the offense
imputed to him.Hence, an accused may not
foist a conditional plea of guilty on the court by
admitting his guilt provided that a certain
penalty will be meted unto him. Since the
judgment of conviction is void, double jeopardy
will not lie. Whatever procedural infirmity in the
arraignment of the accused was rectified when
he was re-arraigned and entered a new plea.he
did not question the procedural errors in the
first arrraignment and having failed to do so,
waived the errors in procedure.

Under the present rule, if the present rule, if


accused enters a plea of guilty the trial courts
are now enjoined to conduct searching inquiry
into the voluntariness and full comprehension
of the consequences of his plea, to require the
prosecution to present evidence to prove the

guilt and precise degree of culpability, and to


ask if he so desires to present evidence in his
behalf and allow him to do so.