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Criminal Law Digests 1

OCTOBER 1999

PEOPLE V. MARCELINO
October 1, 1999

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.

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

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, 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.

PEOPLE V. NARIDO
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:
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: 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.

PEOPLE V. VILLABLANCA
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

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
October 4, 1999

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.

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.
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 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 year-old niece. In one occasion he drugged the lugaw of said victim.

Issue: Was there rape?

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.

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.

PEOPLE V. ORTIZ
October 7, 1999

Accused threw stones on the roof of the victim's house. After the victim
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

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 above-named 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.

PEOPLE V. LACHICA
October 12, 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:
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. MANEGDEG
October 13, 1999

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 accused-appellant 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. BELLO
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.

PEOPLE V. AGUNOS
October 13, 1999

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?

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 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.

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.

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.

PEOPLE V. TABION
October 20, 1999

Accused in several occasions, raped his 16- year 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.

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

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


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
October 20, 1999

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:
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, 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
accused-appellant 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 accusedappellant 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. Sc-juris

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 coconspirator. 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 is reclusion 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 cardio-respiratory 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 all-important 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 non for the justifying circumstance of self-defense. 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 self-defense.

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.

PEOPLE V. EDUARDO ALTABANO


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 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


November 16, 1999

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 underaged 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 paternity relationship 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

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 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

November 19,1999

The accused in this case is invoking alibi as a defense. Significantly, the alibi
of accused-appellant 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,
accused-appellant 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."

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.

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.
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:
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

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 co-accused 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.

HELD:

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-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.
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.

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.

PEOPLE V. MAGBANUA
DECEMBER 2, 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
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 non-culpability 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. DE LEON
DECEMBER 3, 1999

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.

PEOPLE V. RALPH VELEZ DIAZ


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 accused-appellant 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 accused-appellant 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.
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.
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.

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.

HELD:
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.

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 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."

PEOPLE V. RONDERO
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:
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 accusedappellant 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 accusedappellant. 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.
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.
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.

PEOPLE V. AGAPITO FLORES


DECEMBER 13, 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.

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 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.
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. FERNANDO CALANG MACOSTA


DECEMBER 14, 1999

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.

HELD:
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.

PEOPLE V. RENATO RAMONAMON


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 under
eighteen (18) years of age and the offender is her step-parent, the
information, however, has failed to allege any relationship between accusedappellant and his victim.

PEOPLE V. CABALIDA
DECEMBER 15, 1999

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.

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.

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.

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 the back of the
school. The RTC found him guilty of illegal possession of firearms and
sentenced him to reclusion perpetua.

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.

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 medicolegal 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.

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 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:
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 counter-affidavits 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. Accusedappellant 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 accused-appellant. 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 wellsettled that sexual intercourse with a woman who is a mental retardate
constitutes statutory rape.
Neither is the Court persuaded by accused-appellants 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;
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 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.

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


January 25, 2000

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.

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.

Issue:
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
accused-appellant. 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.

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 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 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 extrajudicial 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 accused-appellant 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 long-standing 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 commonlaw 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.
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.

PEOPLE V. ROMENCIANO RICAFRANCA


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.

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:
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.
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. JESUS TANAIL


January 28, 2000

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.

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.

FEBRUARY 2000

PEOPLE V. PEDRO LUMACANG


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.

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 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.

PEOPLE V. ALBERTO BLANCO Y SEORA


February 1, 2000

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:
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 accusedappellant 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

HELD:
Alibis are generally considered with suspicion and are always received with
caution, not only 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 frame-up. To prove this, BARITA alleges that the prosecution evidence is
replete with numerous flaws and glaring inconsistencies.

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

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 accusedappellant for illegal 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.
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.

PEOPLE v. ALFREDO ENTILA


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. Accused-appellant 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.

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.

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 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. Accused-appellant bears the
burden of proving that he and complainant had an affair which naturally led
to a sexual relationship. This accused-appellant failed to do.

PEOPLE v. BERLY FABRO


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

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:
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 accusedappellant 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, accusedappellant, 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

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

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.

HELD:
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."
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.

PEOPLE v. ROGELIO GALAM


G.R. No. 114740. 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


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

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.

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 assailants to reflect upon the consequences of their actions.

PEOPLE v. RODOLFO BATO


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

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.

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
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.

PEOPLE v. REYNALDO QUILLOSA


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

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:
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.
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. RADEL GALLARDE


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 and sale 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 three-year-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. Echegaray that 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.

PEOPLE v. LIBERATO MENDIONA


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

Before this Court for automatic review is the decision finding accusedappellant 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.

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 aggravating circumstances of dwelling and unlawful entry attended the
commission of the rape. The attendance of these aggravating circumstances

is not contested by the accused-appellant.


On a final note, we correct the trial courts erroneous classification of the
award of P50,000.00 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. RENATO DE GUZMAN


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

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:
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 sixyear 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 vis-a-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. 124526. March 17, 2000.
Irregularities in arrest
Conviction based on proof beyond reasonable doubt

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.

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


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

Rape jurisprudential guidelines

HELD:
In rape cases, courts are guided by the following considerations:
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;
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.
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.
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

Accused-appellant was charged and convicted for incestuously raping his 11year old stepdaughter. He interposed the defense of denial and alibi.

HELD:
The defense of alibi interposed by the accused-appellant 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 criminis at the time thereof.

PEOPLE V. SAPINOSO
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.

PEOPLE V. DEDACE
G.R. No. 132551. March 22, 2000.
Statutory rape

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.

PEOPLE V. MAMALIAS
G.R. No. 128073. March 27, 2000.
APPEAL OF AN ACCUSED-ESCAPEE

HELD:
The general rule is that a party appealing who flees the jurisdiction, pending
the appeal, is in 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. MITRA
G.R. No. 130669. March 27, 2000.
Rape physical resistance

HELD:
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. MERIS
G.R Nos. 117145-50 & 117447. March 28, 2000.
JURISDICTION OVER PERSON OF THE ACCUSED
Estafa

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 accusedappellants 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

HELD:
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.

PEOPLE V. CABINGAS
G.R. No. 79679. March 28, 2000.
Rape with a feeble-minded person

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.

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

Accused appellant was charged and convicted of murder and frustrated


murder.

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.

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. AQUINO
G.R. No. 129288. March 30, 2000.
Robbery with homicide

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:
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:
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 penetration of 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 natural situs 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 the pudendum 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 pudendum by 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


G.R. No. 125280. March 31, 2000.
Defense of alibi

Accused-appellant was charged and convicted of murder. His defense was


one of alibi.

HELD:

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."

PEOPLE VS. ABALDE


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

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

PEOPLE VS. DELOS SANTOS


G.R. No. 121906. April 5, 2000.
Qualifying circumstance alleged in the information

Accused-appellant was sentenced to death after he was convicted of raping


his stepdaughter. He argues that the Information 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.
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.

HELD:
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. 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, abovequoted 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 accusedappellant 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.

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 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 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.

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)

Appellant was accused and convicted of the crime of qualified theft through
taking cold-rolled 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 of qualified
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.

PEOPLE V. SUZA
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 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
G.R. No. 120280 (12 April 2000)

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 cross-examination.
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.

PEOPLE V. FRANCISCO
G.R. 121682(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.

HELD:
a. On the claim of defense of relative
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 accused-appellant 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. BALLENAS
G.R. No. 124299(12 April 2000)

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 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

PEOPLE V. ROJAS
G.R. No. 125292(12 April 2000)

Accused-appellant was charged and convicted of rape, after he was positively


identified by his victim in a 20-man police line-up, twice.

HELD:
Amidst the sea of faces before her, the victim readily pointed out accusedappellant as her attacker. This positive identification of accused-appellant will
prevail over the defense of alibi and denial of accused-appellant. Besides, for
the defense of alibi to prosper, accused-appellant 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.
b. As to abuse of superior strength
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. 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 accusedappellants 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.

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

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.

HELD:
Direct proof of previous agreement to commit a crime is not necessary. It may
be deduced from 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 23-year old mental retardate with a
mind of a 4-year 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:
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.

PEOPLE V. FRAGA
G.R. No. 134130-33(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 self-defense.

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 self-defense because they demonstrate a
determined effort to kill the victim and not just defend oneself.

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 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)

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?


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.

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 coconspirators 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.

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)

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 law-enforcement 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. Scjuris

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 coconspirator 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 co-conspirator 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 non-presentation 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
G.R. No. 132470(April 27, 2000)

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.

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 perpetua should be imposed on accused-appellant. Spp

MAY 2000

PEOPLE V TANOY

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:
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.

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 ill-motivated.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 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


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
Gr. No. 132319 May 12,2000

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 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.

HELD:
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.

Issue:W/N guilt was established beyond reasonable doubt.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.
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.

PEOPLE V BABERA
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:
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-and-fast
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.

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:
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.

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.

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

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:
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.