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4/17/2017 Marzalado Jr vs People : 152997 : November 10, 2004 : J.

Quisumbing : First Division : Decision

FIRSTDIVISION

[G.R.No.152997.November10,2004]

SALVADOR MARZALADO,* JR., petitioner, vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,


respondent.

DECISION
QUISUMBING,J.:

[1]
ThispetitionforreviewoncertiorariassailstheDecision datedNovember9,2001oftheCourt
[2]
ofAppeals,inCAG.R.CRNo.22645,whichaffirmedtheDecision datedNovember5,1998ofthe
Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Quezon City, Branch 79, in Criminal Case No. Q9874695. The RTC
upheld the Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) of Quezon City, Branch 35, convicting herein petitioner
[3]
SalvadorMarzalado,Jr.,forviolationofArticle280 oftheRevisedPenalCodeonQualifiedTrespass
to Dwelling, and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of two (2) months and one (1) day of arresto
[4] [5]
mayorandtopayafineofP500andtopaythecosts. ThispetitionlikewiseassailstheResolution
datedApril23,2002,oftheCourtofAppeals,denyingthepetitionersMotionforReconsideration.
Theantecedentfactsareasfollows:
CristinaN.AlbanowasthelesseeofaunitinthehouseownedbyLuzMarzalado,themotherof
herein petitioner, Salvador Marzalado, Jr. Sometime in February 1993, Luz Marzalado filed an
ejectmentcaseagainstAlbano.JudgmentwasrenderedagainstAlbano,whowasorderedtovacate
theleasedpremisesandtopaytheunpaidrentals.AlbanoappealedtotheRTC.
InSeptember1993,duringthependencyoftheappeal,theelectricitysupplyoftheunitwascutoff
due to nonpayment of bills. As a result, Albano transferred her children to her fathers house, four
housesaway,leavingamaidtosleepintheunit.
AlbanoclaimsthatonNovember2,1993,ataround1:00p.m.,shewenttoherunit.Shenoticed
thattheleadpipesheusedtohangclothestodrywasmissing.Whenshereturnedatabout8:00a.m.
the following day, November 3, 1993, she discovered the padlock of the main door changed,
preventingherfromenteringthepremises.Shewenttoseepetitionerbuthewasnotaround.
On November 4, 1993, Albano again returned to her unit. She peeked through the window
jalousies and saw that the place was already empty. She immediately reported the matter to the
barangayofficials, who in turn, advised her to go to the police. Thereafter, she filed a complaint for
gravecoercion,qualifiedtrespasstodwellingandtheftagainstpetitioner.
OnNovember14,1993,Albanotriedtoseetheaccused,butagainfailed.Thistimeshenoticed
that the roofing of her unit had been removed and the main door locked from the inside. She was
informedthatonNovember1,1993,Marzalado,Jr.,andhisfemalecompaniontookherleadpipeand
on November 2, 1993, Marzalado, Jr., took her personal belongings and brought them inside his
house.
Accordingly, Albano filed a suit for trespass to dwelling with the MeTC of Quezon City against
Marzalado,Jr.,thus:
TheundersignedaccusesSALVADORMAR[Z]ALADO,JR.,ofthecrimeofTrespasstoDwelling,
committedasfollows:
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4/17/2017 Marzalado Jr vs People : 152997 : November 10, 2004 : J. Quisumbing : First Division : Decision

Thatonoraboutthe2nddayofNovember,1993,inQuezonCity,Philippines,theabovenamed
accusedwithoutanyjustifiablecause,didthenandthere,wilfully,unlawfullyandfeloniouslyenterthe
dwellingplaceofCRISTINAN.ALBANOlocatedatNo.241Road1,PagAsa,thisCity,againstthe
latterswillandwithoutherconsentoranymembersofthehousehold,tothedamageandprejudiceof
thesaidoffendedparty.

CONTRARYTOLAW.
[6]
QuezonCity,Philippines,March16,1994.

OnMay12,1994,theaccusedwasarraignedandpleadednotguiltytothecharge.Asummary
hearingfollowed,withAlbanoandherwitness,NarcisoRaniedo,testifyingfortheprosecution.
Raniedo, the owner of the house fronting Albanos unit, testified that at around 5:00 p.m., on
November1,1993,hewasabouttoenterhishouse,whenheglancedattheunitleasedbyAlbano.
HesawMarzalado,Jr.,takealeadpipeandhandittoawomanwaitingattheterraceofMarzalado,
Jr.s house. Raniedo further said that on November 2, 1993, sometime between 4:30 p.m. and 5:00
p.m. he was relaxing in front of his house, when he heard noises coming from Albanos apartment.
There he saw Marzalado, Jr., forcibly open the door of the unit, bring out the belongings of Albano,
andtakethesetohisownhouse.
For his defense, Marzalado, Jr., testified that after the MeTC ruled against Albano in the MeTC
ejectmentcasefiledbyhismotherandbecauseofthedisconnectionoftheelectricity,Albanoalready
vacatedtheleasedunitandmovedtoherfathersplace.Accordingtopetitioner,onNovember3,1993,
hewasonhiswayhomewhenhesawwaterinacontinuousstreamflowingoutofAlbanosunit.He
thensearchedforAlbanobuttonoavail.Hereportedthemattertothebarangayofficersandaskedfor
two barangay tanods to accompany him to the vacated unit. They went inside the unit where they
found an open faucet, with water flooding the floor. He accused Albano of deliberately leaving the
faucet open. He claimed Albano filed the criminal case of trespass to dwelling to harass him and to
retaliateagainsthimandhisfamily.
OnOctober28,1997,theMeTChandeddownthefollowingjudgment:

WHEREFORE,theCourtfindsaccusedSalvadorMar[z]alado,Jr.GUILTYbeyondreasonabledoubt
ofQualifiedTrespassToDwellingunderArticle280oftheRevisedPenalCodeandheishereby
sentencedthepenaltyofTWO(2)MONTHSandONE(1)DAYofArrestoMayorandtopayafineofP
500.00andtopaythecosts.
[7]
SOORDERED.

Thetrialcourtobservedthatthedefensewouldhavebeenagooddefensehadtheallegedentry
been made on November 2, 1993, the date stated in the Information, instead of November 3, 1993,
thedatetheaccusedsaidheenteredthepremisesbecauseAlbanodeliberatelyleftthefaucetopen.
Marzalado,Jr.,appealedtotheRTC,whichruledthematterinthiswise:

WHEREFORE,findingnoreversibleerrorintheappealeddecisiondatedOctober28,1997,thesame
isherebyaffirmedintoto.
[8]
SOORDERED.

Undaunted,Marzalado,Jr.,elevatedthemattertotheCourtofAppealsinCAG.R.CRNo.22645.
TheCourtofAppealsfoundnoerrorinthechallengedRTCdecisionandheld:

WHEREFORE,premisesconsidered,thelowercourtsdecisionisherebyAFFIRMEDintotoandthe
instantpetitionisDISMISSED.
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4/17/2017 Marzalado Jr vs People : 152997 : November 10, 2004 : J. Quisumbing : First Division : Decision
[9]
SOORDERED.

Hence,petitionercomestothisCourtassigningaserrorsofthecourtaquothefollowing:
I

THEHONORABLECOURTOFAPPEALSERREDINAFFIRMINGTHEDECISIONSOFTHE
METROPOLITANTRIALCOURTANDTHEREGIONALTRIALCOURT,BOTHOFQUEZONCITY
BECAUSETHEINCIDENTHAPPENEDONNOVEMBER3,1993,ANDNOTNOVEMBER2,1993,
ANDTHEPETITIONERSENTRYINTHEPREMISESISFULLYJUSTIFIEDBECAUSEHEWAS
ASSISTEDBYTHEIRBARANGAYSECRETARYANDTWOBARANGAYTANOD[S]ANDTHE
ENTRYISFORAVALIDPURPOSE.HENCE,THEREISNOTRESPASSTODWELLING.
II

THEHONORABLECOURTOFAPPEALSERREDINSUSTAININGTHEINFORMATIONTHATTHE
ALLEGEDTRESPASSTODWELLINGHAPPENEDONNOVEMBER2,1993.THUS,WITHDUE
RESPECTTOTHEHONORABLECOURTOFAPPEALS,THEREWASAMISAPPREHENSIONOF
FACTS,ANDITSHOULDNOTHAVEADOPTEDTHEFINDINGSOFFACTSOFTHE
[10]
METROPOLITANTRIALCOURTANDREGIONALTRIALCOURT.

The foregoing may be reduced to one issue: Did the Court of Appeals err in sustaining the
convictionofMarzalado,Jr.,forqualifiedtrespasstodwelling?
The petitioner argues that the Court of Appeals committed a reversible error in sustaining the
lowercourt,sinceintheproceedingsbelow,therewasagravemisapprehensionoffactsbyboththe
MeTC and RTC in finding that he committed trespass to dwelling despite the glaring proof that his
[11]
entry was justifiable under paragraph 4, Article 11 of the Revised Penal Code to prevent an
imminent danger to property. He stresses that while he did enter the unit, he did so with the aid of
barangayofficersandforthesolepurposeofturningoffthefaucetthatwascausingthefloodingofthe
unit.HeaddsthattheInformationfiledagainsthimshouldbeconsideredfatallydefectiveforhaving
statedthathisentrywasonNovember2,1993,wheninfactitwasonNovember3,1993.
TheOfficeoftheSolicitorGeneral(OSG)countersthatpetitionersentrycannotbejustifiedsince
thefloodingofthefloorwasnotadangertolifenorproperty.Rather,theOSGclaimsthattheflooding
oftheunitcouldhavebeenavertedhadthepetitionerresortedtomerelyturningofftheinletvalveof
thewatersource.TheOSGalsostressespetitionersfailuretorefutethechargethatheenteredthe
complainants unit on November 2, 1993. Moreover, the OSG asserts that the exact time of the
commissionofthecrimeintheInformationneednotbesoaccuratetoprecludeotherdatesnearthe
actualdate.ItissufficientthattheInformationstatesatimeasneartotheactualdate,moreso,where
thetimeisnotanessentialelementoftheoffense,asinthiscase.
Anent the Information, the contention of petitioner that the Information is defective is untenable.
Admittedly, there is a discrepancy on the precise date of the alleged trespass the Information
chargespetitionerMarzalado,Jr.,withtrespasstodwellingallegedlycommittedonNovember2,1993,
while petitioners defense relate to an entry made the following day. The discrepancy however, does
notmaketheinformationdefective.Factsandcircumstancesnecessaryforinclusionintheinformation
[12]
are determined by reference to the definition and elements of the specific crime. In trespass to
dwelling, the elements are: (1) the offender is a private person (2) that he enters the dwelling of
anotherand(3)suchentranceisagainstthelatterswill.
Theexactdatewhentheallegedtrespassoccurredisnotanessentialelementoftheoffenseof
trespass.ItissufficientthattheComplaintorInformationstatesthatthecrimehasbeencommittedat
[13]
anytimeasnearaspossibletothedateofitsactualcommission. Rule110,Section11oftheRules
ofCourtprovidesthatitisnotnecessarytostateinthecomplaintorinformationtheprecisetimethe
offensewascommittedexceptwhentimeisamaterialingredientoftheoffense,buttheactmaybe
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4/17/2017 Marzalado Jr vs People : 152997 : November 10, 2004 : J. Quisumbing : First Division : Decision

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. A variance between the time set out in the
indictmentandthatestablishedbytheevidenceduringtrialdoesnotconstituteanerrorsoseriousas
[14]
towarrantreversalofaconvictionsolelyonthatscore. Thus,theerrorinvokedbythepetitionerin
the date of the alleged trespass in the Information is of no grave import, for it is far from being the
decisiveissueinthiscase.
However,stillincumbentupontheprosecutionistoestablishthecriminalintentandtheguiltofthe
accusedbeyondreasonabledoubt.Criminalcasesriseandfallonthestrengthoftheevidenceofthe
[15]
prosecutionandnottheweaknessoftheevidenceofthedefenseorthelackofit. Intheprosecution
fortrespass,thematerialfactorcircumstancetobeconsideredistheoccurrenceofthetrespass.The
[16]
gravamenofthecrimeisviolationofpossession orthefactofhavingcausedinjurytotherightof
[17]
thepossession.
To prove trespass, the prosecution presented as witness Narciso Raniedo who testified that he
sawpetitionerentertheunitataround4:30p.m.to5:00p.m.onNovember2andtakeoutAlbanos
belongings. No other eyewitness corroborated Raniedos testimony. However, by her own account,
[18]
AlbanodeclaredthatshediscoveredthetrespassintheeveningofNovember3, thesamedaythe
barangaycertified Marzalado, Jr.s entry. This obviously does not discount the fact that although the
exactdateofentryvariedasbetweenpetitionerandrespondent,theybothwerereferringtothesame
entry.
What remains now is the issue of whether the entry of petitioner Marzalado, Jr., was legally
justified.Werulethatitis,basedonthecircumstancesofthiscase.
As certified by Barangay Lupon Secretary Romulo E. Ragaya, the unit rented by Albano was
[19]
forcibly opened by the owner because of the strong water pressure coming out of the faucet As
Albanoherselfadmitted,sheandherchildrenalreadylefttheunitwhentheelectricitysupplywascut
offinthemonthofSeptember.Hence,nobodywaslefttoattendtotheunit,exceptduringsomenights
whenAlbanosmaidsleptintheunit.Clearly,Marzalado,Jr.,actedforthejustifiedpurposeofavoiding
further flooding and damage to his mothers property caused by the open faucet. No criminal intent
couldbeclearlyimputedtopetitionerfortheremedialactionhehadtaken.Therewasanexigencythat
had to be addressed to avoid damage to the leased unit. There is nothing culpable concerning
Marzalado,Jr.sjudgmentcalltoentertheunitandturnoffthefaucetinsteadofclosingtheinletvalve
assuggestedbytheOSG.
Thus,wefindtheevidenceonrecordinsufficienttoholdpetitionerguiltyoftheoffensecharged.
Palpabledoubtexistsinourmindastotheguiltofpetitioner.Inourview,theCourtofAppealserredin
affirming the Decision of the Regional Trial Court and of the Metropolitan Trial Court when it found
petitioner guilty of Qualified Trespass to Dwelling. In a situation of ambiguity, where the act of the
accusedpermitsoftwopossiblesignification,oneculpableandanotherinnocent,theambiguityshould
beresolvedinfavoroftheaccused.Theevidenceinthiscasesimplyfailstoconvinceusofhisguilt
beyondreasonabledoubt.
WHEREFORE,thepetitionisGRANTED.TheDecisiondatedNovember9,2001oftheCourtof
Appeals in CAG.R. CR No. 22645, and its Resolution dated April 23, 2002 denying the Motion for
Reconsideration, are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Petitioner SALVADOR MARZALADO, JR., is
herebyACQUITTED of the charge against him for lack of evidence to sustain a conviction beyond
reasonabledoubt.
SOORDERED.
Davide,Jr.,C.J.,(Chairman),YnaresSantiago,Carpio,andAzcuna,JJ.,concur.

*AlsoSpelledasMarsaladoinsomepartsoftherecords.

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4/17/2017 Marzalado Jr vs People : 152997 : November 10, 2004 : J. Quisumbing : First Division : Decision
[1]
Rollo,pp.5159.PennedbyAssociateJusticeRamonA.Barcelona,withAssociateJusticesBernardoP.Abesamis,and
PerlitaJ.TriaTironaconcurring.
[2]
Id.at4650.
[3]
ART.280.Qualifiedtrespasstodwelling.Anyprivatepersonwhoshallenterthedwellingofanotheragainstthelatters
will,shallbepunishedbyarrestomayorandafinenotexceeding1,000pesos.
Iftheoffensebecommittedbymeansofviolenceorintimidation,thepenaltyshallbeprisioncorreccionalinitsmediumand
maximumperiodsandafinenotexceeding1,000pesos.
The provisions of this article shall not be applicable to any person who shall enter anothers dwelling for the
purpose of preventing some serious harm to himself, the occupants of the dwelling, or a third person, nor shall it be
applicabletoanypersonwhoshallenteradwellingforthepurposeofrenderingsomeservicetohumanityorjustice,norto
anyonewhoshallentercafes,taverns,innandotherpublichouses,whilethesameareopen.
[4]
Rollo,p.52.
[5]
Id. at 60. Penned by Associate Justice Perlita J. Tria Tirona, with Associate Justices Bernardo P. Abesamis, and
RebeccadeGuiaSalvadorconcurring.
[6]
Id.at61.
[7]
Rollo,p.45.
[8]
Id.at50.
[9]
Id.at58.
[10]
Id.at18.
[11]
Art.11.Justifyingcircumstances.Thefollowingdonotincuranycriminalliability:
...
4.Anypersonwho,inordertoavoidanyevilorinjury,doesanactwhichcausesdamagetoanother,providedthat
thefollowingrequisitesarepresent:
First.Thattheevilsoughttobeavoidedactuallyexists
Second.Thattheinjuryfearedbegreaterthanthatdonetoavoidit
Third.Thattherebenototherpracticalandlessharmfulmeansofpreventingit.
...
[12]
Serapiov.Sandiganbayan,G.R.Nos.148468,148769&149116,28January2003,396SCRA443,460.
[13]
Peoplev.Mauro,G.R.Nos.14078688,14March2003,399SCRA126citingPeoplev.SalalimaG.R.Nos.137969
71,15August2001,363SCRA192.SeealsoRule110,RulesofCriminalProcedure,SEC.11.Dateofcommissionofthe
offense. It is not necessary to state in the complaint or information the precise date the offense was committed except
whenitisamaterialingredientoftheoffense.Theoffensemaybeallegedtohavebeencommittedonadateasnearas
possibletotheactualdateofitscommission.
[14]
Peoplev.Alvero,G.R.Nos.13453638,5April2000,329SCRA737,748.
[15]
Peoplev.Gomez,G.R.No.101817,26March1997,270SCRA432,444.
[16]
Munseyv.Hanly67A217(1907).
[17]
Austinv.Hallstrom86A.2d549(1952).
[18]
Rollo,pp.19,37.
[19]
Idat27.

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