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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 accused-appellant merely
fondled her or inserted his finger in her vagina, are all minor and trivial details which do not touch upon the
commission of the offense. These lapses, to THE courts mind, serve to strengthen rather than weaken the
credibility of a witness because they erase any suspicion of coached or rehearsed testimony. The Court noted that
a child of tender age cannot be expected to understand every question asked of her in the course of examination.
Ample margin of error and understanding should be accorded to young witnesses who, much more than adults,
would be gripped with tension due to the novelty of the experience of testifying before a court.

PEOPLE V. LAZARO
October 26, 1999

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

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

Republic Act No. 8294 has since amended P.D. No. 1866 by reducing the penalties for simple and aggravated forms
of illegal possession and considering the use of an unlicensed firearm simply as an aggravating circumstance in
murder or homicide. The law now provides:

"Section 1. Unlawful Manufacture, Sale, Acquisition, Disposition or Possession of Firearms or Ammunition or


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

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

PEOPLE V. ARQUILLOS TABUSO


October 26, 1999

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

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

PEOPLE V. ROMANO MANLAPAZ


October 26, 1999

Accused-appellant admits that he was a passenger of the jeep of the victim, Israel Lacson but denies that
participated in the commission of the crime. He insists that when he boarded the jeep he sat himself at the back of
the jeepney as there were already several passengers on board at that time. He argues that he was not clearly,
convincingly and positively identified as the perpetrator of the crime charged. Prosecution witness allegedly did not
have ample opportunity to see the faces of the alleged malefactors; and in fact did not actually see who fired the
gun.

HELD:
This Court has ruled on countless occasions that the trial court is in the best position to determine facts and to
assess the credibility of witnesses as it is in a unique position to observe the witnesses deportment while testifying
which opportunity the appellate court is denied on appeal; this Court will respect the findings and conclusions of
the trial court provided that they are supported by substantial evidence on record.
The crime of robbery with homicide is a special complex crime punishable under Article 294 of the Revised Penal
Code with reclusion perpetua to death. Considering the absence of any modifying circumstance, the penalty
imposable in the present case 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 under-aged relative, the prosecution must
allege and prove the ordinary elements of 1) sexual congress, 2) with a woman, 3) by force and without consent,
and in order to warrant the imposition of the death penalty, the additional elements that 4) the victim is under 18
years of age at the time of the rape and 5) the offender is a parent (whether legitimate, illegitimate or adopted) of
the victim. Well-settled too, is the doctrine that when a woman testifies that she has been raped, she says, in
effect, all that is necessary to constitute the commission of the crime, and this rule applies with more vigor when
the culprit is a close relative of the victim. The judgement of the lower court was affirmed.

PEOPLE V. JOEL PINCA


November 17,1999

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

PEOPLE V. RUSTICO RIVERA


November 17,1999

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

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

PEOPLE V. MATEO BALLUDA


November 19,1999
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 accused-appellant that the victim
Ainness Montenegro fell accidentally into the canal. The victim had bruises only on the sex organ, sides of the
neck, etc.
The fact that no perineal laceration was found on the genital of the victim does not dispel a finding of rape. The
slightest degree of penetration of the pudenda by a male sex organ suffices to consummate the crime of rape.
Jurisprudence is well-settled to the effect that for rape to be consummated, rupture of the hymen is not necessary,
nor is it necessary that the vagina sustain a laceration, especially when the victim is a young girl.
The crime subject matter of the instant appeal was committed before the death penalty law, Republic Act No. 7659
became effective so the penalty for the complex crime of rape with homicide should only be reclusion perpetua.

PEOPLE V. EDGARDO DE LEON


DECEMBER 10, 1999

Accused supposedly raped his daughter in front of the latters own 2 year old daughter. Accused flatly denied the
charge. He alleged that the prosecution evidence had not proven his guilt beyond reasonable doubt because: (1)
the evidence for the prosecution which consisted of the victim's sole testimony is insufficient; (2) this testimony is
inconsistent; and (3) the other pieces of vital evidence, i.e., the knife and the victim's torn clothes, were not
presented to substantiate the victim's testimony.

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

PEOPLE V. ARNOLD DIZON


DECEMBER 10, 1999

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

HELD:
Guilty of 1 count of rape with homicide, 2 counts of homicide and 1 count of frustrated homicide.
The trial court erred in finding accused guilty of robbery. For a person to be guilty of robbery, it must be proved
that there was intent to gain & the taking of personal property belonging to another by means of violence against
or intimidation of any person, or by using force upon anything.
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 accused-appellant 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 medico-legal officer testified that the pubic area of the victim bore
blisters brought about by a contact with a lighted cigarette.

PEOPLE V. RUDY CORTES


January 24, 2000

Before the Court for automatic review is the Decision of the Masbate RTC convicting the accused-appellant, Rudy
Cortes y Caballero, of the crime of rape committed against Analiza Germina y Banculo, sentencing him to suffer the
supreme penalty of death.

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

PEOPLE V. HON. BONIFACIO MACEDA


January 24, 2000

This case stems from denial by the SC of the Peoples motion seeking reconsideration of our August 13, 1990
decision holding that respondent Judge Bonifacio Sanz Maceda committed no grave abuse of discretion in issuing
the order of August 8, 1989 giving custody over private respondent Avelino T. Javellana to the Clerk of Court of the
Antique RTC, Atty. Deogracias del Rosario, during the pendency of Criminal Cases Nos. 3350-3355. At that time,
sufficient reason was shown why Javellana should not be detained at the Antique Provincial Jail. The trial courts
order specifically provided for private respondents detention at the residence of Atty. del Rosario. However, private
respondent was not to be allowed liberty to roam around but was to be held as detention prisoner in said
residence. It was howevere found that the order was not strictly complied with because Javellana was not detained
in the residence of Atty. Del Rosario. He went about his normal activities as if he were a free man, including
engaging in the practice of law.
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. 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.Boy Ising raped Analyn by poking a knife to her
side.Analyn, who merely finished grade two, was 26 years old but with a mental capacity of a eight-year old child.

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. Accused-appellant therefore, maintains that he was
deprived of his right to a preliminary investigation. In Mercado vs. Court of Appeals, this Court reiterated the rule
that the New Rules on Criminal Procedure "does not require as condition sine qua non to the validity of the
proceedings (in the preliminary investigation) the presence of the accused for as long as efforts to reach him were
made, and an opportunity to controvert the evidence for the complainant is accorded him. The obvious purpose of
the rule is to block attempts of unscrupulous respondents to thwart the prosecution of offenses by hiding
themselves or by employing dilatory tactics."
Being a mentally retarded woman, twenty-six years of age, Analyn is in the same class as a woman deprived of
reason or otherwise unconscious when she was raped by 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 well-
settled 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
However, as opined inThe 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." 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 95-6047, 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.
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.There was no evidence that Maximo executed a waiver of his right to counsel. In light of
these facts, we are constrained to rule that Maximo Velardes extra-judicial statement is inadmissible in evidence.
An uncounselled extra-judicial confession without a valid waiver of the right to counsel - that is, in writing and in
the presence of counsel - is inadmissible in evidence. Contrary to the ruling of the trial court, the defect in the
confessions of Tito and Nelson was not cured by their signing the extra-judicial statements before Judge Bagalacsa.
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 common-law husband had raped her. But even
assuming for arguments sake, that the alleged penile penetration of private complainants vagina had not been
shown with indubitable proof, this Court has ruled consistently, that penetration is not an essential element of
rape. The mere touching of the labia or pudendum by the phallus is already enough to consummate the crime of
rape. Phallic intrusion necessarily entails contact with the labia and even the briefest contact under circumstances
of force, intimidation, or unconsciousness, even without the rupture of the hymen is already rape.
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 accused-appellant Pepito Alama Magdato (hereafter
PEPITO) guilty beyond reasonable doubt of six (6) counts of rape committed on her 12-year old daughter Cherry
Ann Magdato.

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

PEOPLE v. ALFREDO CABANDE


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

Appellant Alfredo Cabande appeals the July 24, 1997 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Malolos, Bulacan (Branch
16) in a Criminal Case, finding him guilty of two counts of murder and sentencing him to two terms of reclusion
perpetua. The accused appealed that the State did not correctly appreciate the evidence of the accused. The Court
addressed the following matters: (1) sufficiency of the prosecution evidence, (2) presence of qualifying
circumstances and (3) damages.

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

PEOPLE v. CORNELIA SUELTO


G.R. No. 126097. February 8, 2000
Accused-appellant Cornelia Suelto alias Rogelia Suelto appeals from the judgment rendered by the RTC finding her
guilty of the murder of Isabel Ruales. The prosecutions case rests primarily on the testimony of two witnesses who
claimed to have personally witnessed the killing. h Y

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 accused-appellant 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 accused-appellant scared her.
Accused-appellant can not also dismiss the complaints against him as merely instigated by Kristines mother. Even
assuming that accused-appellant and Kristine were lovers, this fact alone is not exculpatory. A sweetheart can not
be forced to have sex against her will. Love is not a license for lust. Accused-appellants sweetheart theory can not
stand in the light of Kristines positive assertions that he raped her.

PEOPLE v. APOLINAR DANDO


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

This is an appeal from a decision of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 33, Siniloan, Laguna finding PO3 Apolinar E.
Dando ("accused-appellant") guilty beyond reasonable doubt of murder.

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

PEOPLE v. JULIAN CASTILLO


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

With the passage of Republic Act No. 8294 on June 6, 1997, the use of an unlicensed firearm in murder or homicide
is now considered, not as a separate crime, but merely a special aggravating circumstance. In the case at bar,
appellant JULIAN CASTILLO y LUMAYRO was charged with Murder and Illegal Possession of Firearms.

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

PEOPLE v. ABUNDIO MANGILA


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

Death is the most severe penalty for crime. It is imposed in incestuous rape, regardless of any mitigating or
aggravating circumstance. In the case at bar, sixteen (16) year old MADRILYN D. MANGILA accused her father,
ABUNDIO MANGILA y PAREO, of two (2) counts of RAPE, allegedly committed as follows:

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

PEOPLE v. ELRANIE MARTINEZ


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

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.
Echegaraythat R.A. 7659 insofar as it prescribes the penalty of death is unconstitutional, nevertheless submit to
the ruling of the majority that the law is constitutional and that the death penalty should accordingly be imposed.

PEOPLE v. LIBERATO MENDIONA


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

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

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 six-year old girl. Accused pleaded not guilty
on the ground of insanity.

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

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

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

HELD:
To be caught flagrante delicto necessarily implies positive identification by the eyewitness or eyewitnesses. Such is
a "direct evidence" of culpability, which is "that which proves the fact in dispute without the aid of any inference or
presumption", in contrast to circumstantial evidence, which is "the proof of facts from which taken collectively the
existence of the particular fact in dispute may be inferred as a necessary or probable consequence." Circumstantial
evidence, however, is not a weaker form of evidence 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 11-year 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 criminisat 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 accused-appellants arrest was defective, such is deemed cured upon her voluntary
submission to the jurisdiction of the court. It should be stressed that the question of legality of an arrest affects
only the jurisdiction of the court over the person of the accused. Consequently, if objections based on this ground
are waived, the fact that the arrest was illegal is not sufficient cause for setting aside an otherwise valid judgment.
The technicality cannot render the subsequent proceedings void and deprive the State of its right to convict the
guilty when all the facts on record point to the culpability of the accused.
Estafa is committed by any person who defrauds another by using a fictitious name, or falsely pretends to possess
power, influence, qualifications, property, credit, agency, business or imaginary transactions, or by means of similar
deceits executed prior to or simultaneously with the commission of the fraud. The offended party must have relied
on the false pretense, fraudulent act or fraudulent means of the accused-appellant and as a result thereof, the
offended party suffered damages.

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

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 naturalsitus or location beneath the mons pubis or the vaginal surface, to touch them with the
penis is to attain some degree of penetration beneath the surface, hence, the conclusion that touching the labia
majora or the labia minora of the pudendum constitutes consummated rape.
Thus, a grazing of the surface of the female organ or touching the mons pubis of 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 pudendumby the penis, there can be no consummated rape; at most, it can only be attempted
rape, if not acts of lasciviousness.

PEOPLE VS. BALTAZAR


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

HELD:
The more pressing issue is whether all the elements of rape as alleged in the Information were duly proved by the
prosecution. Here we find the following duly established beyond reasonable doubt. First, appellant had carnal
knowledge with the victim. Second, carnal knowledge took place by using force or intimidation. Appellant insists
that "the complainant did not offer any tenacious resistance to the alleged sexual assault." Nowhere is it required
in our law or jurisprudence, however, that a woman must offer "tenacious" resistance to a sexual assault. The law
does not impose upon the rape victim the burden of proving resistance. We have held countless of times that "the
force or violence required in rape cases is relative. When applied, it need not be overpowering or irresistible; it is
enough that it has enabled the offender to consummate his purpose or to bring about the desired result." For rape
to exist, it is not necessary that the force or intimidation employed in accomplishing the crime be so great or of
such character as could not be resisted. What is necessary is that the force or intimidation be sufficient to
consummate the purpose which the accused had in mind. Thus we have held that physical resistance need not be
established in rape cases when intimidation is exercised upon her and she submits herself against her will to the
rapist's lust because of fear for her life and personal safety. The victim's failure to resist the accused's assault
successfully and to escape when the opportunity presented itself should not be construed as a manifestation of
consent. Thirdly, the coitus was against her will and without her consent.
Insofar as the evidentiary value of a medical examination is concerned, we have held that "a medical examination
of the victim, as well as the medical certificate, is merely corroborative in character and is not an indispensable
element in rape. What is important is that the testimony of private complainant about the incident is clear,
unequivocal and credible." A medical examination is not indispensable to the prosecution of rape as long as the
evidence on hand convinces the court that a conviction for rape is proper.

PEOPLE VS. SUITOS


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, above-quoted the penalty of death is imposable
where the detention is committed for the purpose of extorting ransom, and the duration of the detention is not
material.

PEOPLE VS. REGALA


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

Accused-appellant was charged and convicted of robbery with rape.

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

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

PEOPLE VS. ALVERO


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

HELD:
The allegation of the exact time and date of the commission of the crime are not important in a prosecution for
rape. This is because the precise time of the commission of the crime is not an essential element of rape and it has
no substantial bearing on its commission. Rule 110, Section 11 of the Rules of Court provides that it is not
necessary to state in the complaint or information the precise time at which the offense was committed except
when time is a material ingredient of the offense, but the act may be alleged to have been committed at any time
as near to the actual date at which the offense was committed as the information or complaint will permit. It is
equally settled that a variance of a few months between the time set out in the indictment and that established by
the evidence during trial has been held not to constitute an error so serious as to warrant reversal of a conviction
solely on that score.

PEOPLE V. ROCHE, ET AL.


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

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

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 ofqualified theft.
In the crime of theft, if the value of the thing stolen exceeds P22,000.00, the penalty shall be prision mayor in its
maximum period and one year for each additional P10,000.00, but the total penalty shall not exceed twenty years
or reclusion temporal. However, if that crime of theft is attended by any of the qualifying circumstances which
convert the taking into qualified theft, the penalty next higher by two degrees shall be imposed, that is, at
least, reclusion perpetua.

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 accused-appellant 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 accused-appellants were armed with bladed weapons while their victim was unarmed and defenseless does
not make the attack treacherous. Treachery must be proved by clear and convincing evidence or as conclusively as
the killing itself.
2. As to the aggravating circumstance of Evident Premeditation
Mere presumptions and inferences, no matter how logical and probable they might be would not suffice to
establish evident premeditation. In the case at bar, there was no evidence of the planning and preparation to kill
the victim. In fact, no attempt was ever made to establish the requisites of evident premeditation, viz : a.] the time
when the accused determined to commit the crime, b.] an act manifestly indicating that the accused has clung to
his determination, and c.] sufficient lapse of time between such determination and execution to allow them to
reflect upon the consequences of their act. In the absence of any evidence of the planning to kill or when the plan
was conceived, there is no basis for appreciating evident premeditation.
3. As to the aggravating circumstance of Abuse of Superior Strength
Abuse of superior strength, however, attended the killing of Domingo Francisco. Abuse of superior strength
requires, at base, a deliberate intent on the part of the malefactor to take advantage thereof. Besides the inequality
of comparative force between the victim and the aggressor, there must be a situation of strength notoriously
selected and made use of by the offender in the commission of the crime.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 self-
defense. 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 co-conspirators by being present at the
time of the commission of the crime, or by exerting moral ascendancy over the other co-conspirators by moving
them to execute or implement the conspiracy.

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

The appellant shot the victim who later died. After charges were filed and his commanding officer was told of the
incident, he was ordered not to leave camp, where he surrendered.

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.

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

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

PEOPLE V. BAUTISTA
G.R. No. 131840(April 27, 2000)
The appellants were convicted for conspiring to murder the victim. One of the co-conspirators surrendered
voluntarily. Whether the liability of each co-conspirator should be always equal.

HELD:
No. Since the existence of a conspiracy does not prevent the appreciation of a mitigating circumstance exclusively
in favor of the 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, accused-appellants 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 perpetuashould 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.