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12/3/2017 G.R. No.

175784

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FIRSTDIVISION


PEOPLEOFTHEPHILIPPINES, G.R.No.175784
PlaintiffAppellee,
Present:

CORONA,C.J.,
Chairperson,
versus VELASCO,JR.,
LEONARDODECASTRO,
DELCASTILLO,and
PEREZ,JJ.

JAIMEAYOCHOKyTAULI, Promulgated:
AccusedAppellant.
August25,2010
xx

DECISION

LEONARDODECASTRO,J.:

[1]
BeforeUsisanappealfiledbyJaimeAyochokyTauli(Ayochok)assailingtheDecision dated
June28,2005oftheCourtofAppealsinCAG.R.CRNo.00949,entitledPeopleofthePhilippinesv.
Jaime Ayochok y Tauli, which affirmed with modifications the Decision dated August 13, 2003 of the
[2]
RegionalTrialCourt(RTC)ofBaguioCity,Branch6,inCriminalCaseNo.18658R. TheRTCfound
AyochokguiltybeyondreasonabledoubtofthecrimeofMurder.

[3]
In an Amended Information dated September 21, 2001, Prosecutor Benedicto T. Carantes
chargedAyochokwithMurder,committedasfollows:
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That on or about the 15th day of July, 2001, in the City of Baguio, Philippines, and within the
jurisdictionofthisHonorableCourt,theabovenamedaccused,beingthenarmedwithagun,withintentto
kill and with evident premeditation and by means of treachery and with cruelty by deliberately and
inhumanlyoutragingatthevictim,didthenandtherewillfully,unlawfullyandfeloniouslyattack,assault
andshootSPO1CLAUDIOCALIGTANyNGODOinthefollowingmanner,towit:thatwhilethevictim
was relieving himself with his back turned to the accused, the latter coming from the blind side of the
victim,shoothimseveraltimeshittinghimonthedifferentpartsofhisbodyandtherewasnoopportunity
or means to defend himself from the treacherous act of the assailant, thereby inflicting upon the latter:
hypovolemic shock due to massive hemorrhage multiple gunshot wounds on the head, neck, and upper
extremitieswhichdirectlycausedhisdeath.


Whenarraigned,Ayochokpleadednotguilty.

AftertrialonthemeritsofCriminalCaseNo.18658R,theRTCrenderedaDecisiononAugust
13,2003,thedispositiveportionofwhichreads:

WHEREFORE,theCourtfindstheaccusedJaimeAyochokguiltybeyondreasonabledoubtofthe
offense of Murder, defined and penalized under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code as amended,
qualified by treachery as charged in the Information and hereby sentences him to reclusion perpetua to
indemnifytheheirsofthedeceasedSPO1ClaudioCaligtanthesumofP75,000.00ascivilindemnityforhis
death P200,000.00 as moral damages P378,956.50 as actual damages in connection with his death
P2,573,096.40asunearnedincome,allindemnificationsbeingwithoutsubsidiaryimprisonmentincaseof
insolvencyandtopaythecosts.
The accused Jaime Ayochok being a detention prisoner is entitled to be credited 4/5 of his
preventiveimprisonmentintheserviceofhissentenceinaccordancewithArticle29oftheRevisedPenal
[4]
Code.


AyochokwascommittedattheNewBilibidPrisoninMuntinlupaCityonOctober31,2003.

ThecasewasdirectlyelevatedtousforautomaticreviewandwasdocketedasG.R.No.161469.
[5]
However,pursuanttoourdecisioninPeoplev.Mateo whichmodifiedthepertinentprovisionsofthe
Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure on direct appeals from the RTC to the Supreme Court in cases
where the penalty imposed is death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment G.R. No. 161469 was
[6]
transferredtotheCourtofAppeals, whereitwasdocketedasCAG.R.CRNo.00949.

In its Decision dated June 28, 2005, the Court of Appeals affirmed with modifications the RTC
judgment,towit:

WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing premises, the Decision subject of this review is hereby
AFFIRMED,saveforseveralmodificationsinthecivilaspect.Accordingly,thecivilindemnityisreduced
to P50,000.00 moral damages reduced to P50,000.00 actual damages reduced to P144,375.75 and
[7]
unearnedincomereducedtoP2,571,696.10.
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[8]
Initially,AyochokfiledaMotionforReconsideration oftheforegoingDecisionoftheCourtof
Appeals.Subsequently,however,AyochokfiledaMotiontoWithdrawMotionforReconsiderationwith
[9]
NoticeofAppeal sincehebelievedtherewasnochancethattheappellatecourtwouldreverseitself,
and prayed that the case already be forwarded to us instead. In a Resolution dated June 14, 2006, the
Court of Appeals denied Ayochoks Motion to Withdraw Motion for Reconsideration with Notice of
Appeal.InanotherResolutiondatedAugust11,2006,theappellatecourtdeniedAyochoksMotionfor
ReconsiderationoftheDecisiondatedJune28,2005.

Ayochok, through counsel, filed a Notice of Appeal with the Court of Appeals conveying his
intention to appeal to us the Decision dated June 28, 2005 of said court. On December 29, 2006, the
JudicialRecordsDivisionoftheCourtofAppealselevatedtoustheoriginalrecordsofCAG.R.CRNo.
[10]
00949, andAyochoksappealwasdocketedasG.R.No.175784.

OnFebruary12,2007,werequiredthepartiesinG.R.No.175784tofiletheirsupplementalbriefs.
[11]
[12]
Ayochok filed his Supplemental Appellants Brief on May 31, 2007, while the Office of the
[13]
Solicitor General filed a Manifestation on March 29, 2007, stating that it would no longer file a
supplemental brief given that its Appellees Brief, originally filed in G.R. No. 161469, is adequate to
[14]
ventilatethePeoplescause.OnAugust6,2007,wesubmittedG.R.No.175784forresolution.

However,inaletterdatedFebruary16,2010,JulioA.Arciaga,theAssistantDirectorforPrisons
andSecurityoftheBureauofCorrections,informedusthatAyochokhaddiedonJanuary15,2010atthe
PhilippineGeneralHospital,Manila.AcopyofthedeathreportsignedbyamedicalofficeroftheNew
BilibidPrisonHospitalwasattachedtosaidletter.

InaResolutiondatedApril28,2010,wenotedtheletterandrequiredtheDirectoroftheBureauof
Corrections to submit a certified true copy of Ayochoks death certificate from the local civil registrar
withinfivedaysfromnoticeofthesaidresolution.

OnJune22,2010,MelindM.Alipe,HeadoftheMedicalandDentalDivisionoftheNewBilibid
Prison,MuntinlupaCity,submittedacertifiedtruecopyofthedeathcertificateofAyochok.

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Given Ayochoks death, we are now faced with the question of the effect of such death on the
presentappeal.

AyochoksdeathonJanuary15,2010,duringthependencyofhisappeal,extinguishednotonlyhis
criminalliabilityforthecrimeofmurdercommittedagainstSeniorPoliceOfficer1ClaudioN.Caligtan,
butalsohiscivilliabilitysolelyarisingfromorbasedonsaidcrime.

AccordingtoArticle89(1)oftheRevisedPenalCode,criminalliabilityistotallyextinguished:

1.Bythedeathoftheconvict,astothepersonalpenaltiesandastopecuniarypenalties,liabilitythereforis
extinguishedonlywhenthedeathoftheoffenderoccursbeforefinaljudgment.


[15]
Applyingtheforegoingprovision,welaiddownthefollowingguidelinesinPeoplev.Bayotas :

1.Deathoftheaccusedpendingappealofhisconvictionextinguisheshiscriminalliabilityaswellasthe
civilliabilitybasedsolelythereon.AsopinedbyJusticeRegalado,inthisregard,thedeathofthe
accusedpriortofinaljudgmentterminateshiscriminalliabilityandonlythecivilliabilitydirectly
arising from and based solely on the offense committed, i.e., civil liability ex delicto in senso
strictiore.

2.Corollarily,theclaimforcivilliabilitysurvivesnotwithstandingthedeathof(the)accused,ifthesame
mayalsobepredicatedonasourceofobligationotherthandelict.Article1157oftheCivil Code
enumeratestheseothersourcesofobligationfromwhichthecivilliabilitymayariseasaresultof
thesameactoromission:

a)Law

b)Contracts

c)Quasicontracts

xxxx

e)Quasidelicts

3.Wherethecivilliabilitysurvives,asexplainedinNumber2above,anactionforrecoverythereformay
bepursuedbutonlybywayoffilingaseparatecivilactionandsubjecttoSection1,Rule111ofthe
1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure as amended.This separate civil action may be enforced either
againsttheexecutor/administratorortheestateoftheaccused,dependingonthesourceofobligation
uponwhichthesameisbasedasexplainedabove.

4.Finally,theprivateoffendedpartyneednotfearaforfeitureofhisrighttofilethisseparatecivilactionby
prescription,incaseswhereduringtheprosecutionofthecriminalactionandpriortoitsextinction,
theprivateoffendedpartyinstitutedtogethertherewiththecivilaction.Insuchcase,thestatuteof
limitations on the civil liability is deemed interrupted during the pendency of the criminal case,
conformably with the provisions of Article 1155 of the Civil Code that should thereby avoid any
[16]
apprehensiononapossibleprivationofrightbyprescription.


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Clearly,inviewofasuperveningevent,itisunnecessaryfortheCourttoruleonAyochoksappeal.
Whetherornothewasguiltyofthecrimechargedhasbecomeirrelevantsince,followingArticle89(1)
of the Revised Penal Code and our disquisition in Bayotas, even assuming Ayochok had incurred any
criminalliability,itwastotallyextinguishedbyhisdeath.Moreover,becauseAyochoksappealwasstill
pending and no final judgment of conviction had been rendered against him when he died, his civil
liabilityarisingfromthecrime,beingcivilliabilityexdelicto,waslikewiseextinguishedbyhisdeath.

Consequently,theappealedDecisiondatedJune28,2005oftheCourtofAppealsinCAG.R.CR
No. 00949 finding Ayochok guilty of Murder, sentencing him to imprisonment, and ordering him to
[17]
indemnifyhisvictimhadbecomeineffectual.

WHEREFORE, in view of the death of accusedappellant JaimeAyochok y Tauli, the Decision


dated June 28, 2005 of the Court of Appeals in CAG.R. CR No. 00949 isSET ASIDE and Criminal
CaseNo.18658RbeforetheRegionalTrialCourtofBaguioCityisDISMISSED.Costsdeoficio.

SOORDERED.


TERESITAJ.LEONARDODECASTRO
AssociateJustice


WECONCUR:

RENATOC.CORONA
ChiefJustice
Chairperson






PRESBITEROJ.VELASCO,JR. MARIANOC.DELCASTILLO
AssociateJustice AssociateJustice

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JOSEPORTUGALPEREZ
AssociateJustice



CERTIFICATION

PursuanttoSection13,ArticleVIIIoftheConstitution,Icertifythattheconclusionsintheabove
Decisionhadbeenreachedinconsultationbeforethecasewasassignedtothewriteroftheopinionofthe
CourtsDivision.

RENATOC.CORONA
ChiefJustice

[1]
Penned by Associate Justice Bienvenido L. Reyes with Associate Justices Godardo A. Jacinto and RosalindaAsuncionVicente concurring
rollo,pp.313.
[2]
CArollo,pp.123147.
[3]
Id.at20.
[4]
Id.at146147.
[5]
G.R.Nos.14767887,July7,2004,433SCRA640.
[6]
CArollo,p.211.
[7]
Rollo,p.13.
[8]
CArollo,pp.236243.
[9]
Id.at252254.
[10]
Rollo,p.1.
[11]
Id.at14.
[12]
Id.at2441.
[13]
Id.at1518.
[14]
Id.at44.
[15]
G.R.No.102007,September2,1994,236SCRA239.
[16]
Id.at255256.
[17]
DeGuzmanv.People,459Phil.576,580(2003).

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