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People of the Philippines vs.

Ricardo
Dearo, Paulino Luague, Wilfredo
Toledo; G.R. No. 19!"#, $cto%er
9, #1&
Circumstantial evidence is sufficient for conviction if: (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.
'acts(
On February 2! "## at the house of $ose at %ayawan &e'ros Oriental accused
(icardo )earo! *aulino +ua'ue! and ,ilfredo Toledo -illed .meterio! *roferia and
/nali0a while they were sleepin'.
/bout "1 meters away from the house! $ose and (olly heard the sound of a 'unshot
comin' from inside the house! after which they saw +ua'ue come out sayin'! 2Ti,
tapos ka man!3 (There! now you are finished4). $ose and (olly heard women5s cries
for help immediately followed by a series of rapid 'unfire comin' from the bac- of
the house. )earo and Toledo emer'ed from the bac- of the house carryin' lon'
firearms! wal- with +ua'ue towards the road. /fter the perpetrators lef! $ose and
(olly found the victims with 'unshot wounds inside the house! with .meterio and
*orferia already dead! and /nali0a still moanin' in pain.
6n three 6nformations! the accused were char'ed with murder! all committed by
conspiracy and attended by treachery and evident premeditation.
The (TC found the accused 'uilty beyond reasonable doubt of three counts of murder
and sentenced them to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua for each count. On
appeal to the C/! +ua'ue and appellants )earo and Toledo decried the alle'ed
violation of due process due to supposed partiality and vindictiveness of $ud'e
(osendo %. %andal! $r. ($ud'e %andal). They also pointed out the lac- of evidence!
which do not satisfy the standard of proof of beyond reasonable doubt. On 7 $uly
211#! the C/ rendered a )ecision affirmin' (TC5s rulin'.
)ssue(
". ,hether or not the 'uilt of accused was proven beyond reasonable doubt even
if the evidences were circumstantial
2. ,hether or not the crime was attended with the 8ualifyin' circumstance of
treachery
Ruling(
699:. 6
9ection ;! (ule "<< of the (ules of Court! applies when no witness has seen the actual
commission of the crime. 6t states:
9.C. ;. Circumstantial evidence, when sufficient. = Circumstantial evidence is
sufficient for conviction if:
(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.
:nder the rule on circumstantial evidence! the circumstances shown must be
consistent with each other. They should all support the hypothesis that the accused is
'uilty and! at the same time! be inconsistent with the hypothesis that the accused is
innocent.
,e a'ree with the (TC and the C/ in their findin' that the followin' circumstances!
proven by the prosecution and uncontroverted by the defense! combine to leave no
reasonable doubt that the appellants conspired to -ill the victims:
a) +ua'ue was at odds with *orferia re'ardin' the sharin' of their inherited tract of
land! as a result of which +ua'ue had threatened her life a few times before.
b) .meterio was the overseer of the land.
c) Three days before the -illin'! appellant )earo vowed to -ill .meterio.
d) /bout "1 meters away from the house! $ose and (olly heard the sound of a 'unshot
comin' from inside the house! after which they saw +ua'ue come out sayin'! 2Ti,
tapos ka man!3 (There! now you are finished4).
e) $ose and (olly heard women5s cries for help immediately followed by a series of
rapid 'unfire comin' from the bac- of the house.
f) /ppellants )earo and Toledo emer'ed from the bac- of the house carryin' lon'
firearms.
') $ose and (olly found the victims with 'unshot wounds inside the house! with
.meterio and *orferia already dead! and /nali0a still moanin' in pain.
h) / ballistic e>amination of the recovered metallic fra'ments and cartrid'e cases
showed that they were fired from an ?@" rifle! alon' firearm.
699:. 2
,e also find that the 8ualifyin' circumstance of treachery was
properlyappreciated by the (TC and the C/. There is treachery when the offender
commits any of the crimes a'ainst persons! employin' means! methods or forms in
the e>ecution thereof that tend directly and especially to ensure its e>ecution! without
ris- to himself arisin' from the defense that the offended party mi'ht ma-e. ,e have
ruled that treachery is present when an assailant ta-es advanta'e of a situation in
which the victim is asleep! unaware of the evil desi'n! or has Aust awa-ened.
Thus! it has been established that appellants -illed .meterio! *orferia and /nali0a.
/ppreciatin' treachery as a 8ualifyin' circumstance! the crime is properly
denominated as murder. /rticle 2;B of the (evised *enal Code ((*C) punishes
murder with reclusion perpetua to death. 9ince the penalty of death has been
prohibited under (/ #<;! accused is hereby sentenced the penalty of reclusion
perpetua without eli'ibility for parole.
,herefore! the decision of Cebu City Court of /ppeals in C/@C.( &o. 111<D is
affirmed with modification. /ccused )earo and Toledo is sentenced to reclusion
perpetua without eli'ibility for parole for each of the three counts of murder and
ordered to pay heirs of .meterio! *roferia and /nali0a amount of *7D! 111. 11 as civil
indemnity! *7D! 111.11 moral dama'es! *<1! 111.11 as e>emplary dama'es and *2D!
111.11 as temperate dama'es plus le'al interest at the rate of E from finality of this
decision.