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Opinion Rule: Expert witness

Avelino v. People
G.R. No. 181444
July 17, 2013

VILLARAMA, J.:

FACTS:
Renato Sosas (Sosas) was an employee of Bobby Avelino (Avelino) in his wood business.
Sosas was instructed by avelino to summon the Toto Mata, Nato, Domeng Bakukang, Bobot Tuwad,
Boy Muslim, Angkol, Charlie, Sonny Muslim and Mon. an hour later, the group convened at Avelino’s
warehouse at Tagaytay, Baseco Compound, Tondo Manila. While Sosas was only 1 step away he
heard that the group planned to kill Chairman Gener. Sosas kept mum about what he had heard.

Alfredo Manalangsang (Manalangsang) was riding a tricycle to the Baseco Compund. The
tricycle gave way to the home owner jeep of Chariman Generoso Hispano (Hispano). Suddnely 2
men blocked the path of the jeep and another fired gunshots at Hispano. Manalangsang hed behind
the island and waited for the incident to finish. While hiding he was near the gunman and saw that
the gunman had removed his bonnet and saw it was Avelino who was them making sure that
Hispano was dead. The 3 persons then took the jeep of Hispano and drove off. Manalangsang once
again rode the tricycle and went home.

While the assailants were riding the jeep, it was incidentally blocked by a tricycle and a white
car. A Mary Ann Canada (Canada) saw Avelino driving the jeep of Hispano.

The police arrived to the crime scene but Hispano was already dead. The jeep was then
found in Tondo with empty 9mm shells scattered on the floor.

Defense presented P02 Anthony Galang (Galang) and Adonis Bantiling (Bantiling) and
SOCO PSI Lito Cabamongan (Cabamongan), and used the defense of denial and alibi. The Avelino
alleged that he and his wife went to the LTO and got a drivers license and rested at the Pharoah
Hotel in Sta. Cruz, Manila to spend the night. That he parked the car, and come next morning it was
lost. He went to the plice station, along UN Ave. to report the incident. He then learned form a
certain Tata Randy that someone had killed Hispano.

RTC Ruled in favor of Avelino


CA reversed and convicted Avelino

ISSUE:
Whether the CA erred in rejecting the expert witness presented by Avelino.

HELD:
No. Avelino’s defense that Manalangsang’s testimony contradicts with the medical
findings, and should then be disregarded, must fail. Petitioner claims that Manalangsang’s
statements that Hispano was shot in a downward direction conflict with the findings of the
medico-legal that the trajectory of the bullets is in an upward direction.
The CA was also correct in not giving credence to the opinion of SOCO PSI Cabamongan as
regards the position of the gunman when the latter shot Hispano. Cabamongan asserted that the
gunman was on board the owner-type jeep when Hispano was shot, which is opposed to
Manalangsang’s testimony. However, case records reveal that Cabamongan was presented as an
ordinary witness.

Hence, his opinion regarding the location of the gunman in relation to the place where the
empty shells were found is immaterial.

Expert evidence is admissible only if: (a) the matter to be testified to is one that requires
expertise, and (b) the witness has been qualified as an expert.27 In this case, counsel for the
petitioner failed to make the necessary qualification upon presenting Cabamongan during trial.