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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 accusedappellants earlier resolved to kill the victim and clung to such determination for a considerable length of time.

PEOPLE V. PANIQUE
October 13, 1999
Complainant, eldest child of the accused, was left to the care of latter when her mother went to Hong Kong to work as a domestic helper. While complainant was asleep, accused laid himself on top of her. When she awoke, she found accused fondling her breasts even as he inserted his penis into her vagina. All she could do was cry, because she was afraid of her father whom she knew was hooked on drugs. Issue: W/N there was rape? HELD: Yes. In a rape committed by a father against his own daughter, the former's moral ascendancy and influence over the latter substitutes for violence or intimidation. That ascendancy or influence necessarily flows from the father's parental authority, which the Constitution the laws recognize, support and enhance, as well as from the children's duty to obey and observe reverence and respect towards their parents. Such reverence and respect are deeply ingrained in the minds of Filipino children and are recognized by law. Abuse of both by a father can subjugate his daughter's will, thereby forcing he to do whatever he wants. The minority of the victim and her relationship to the offender constitute a special qualifying circumstance which should be alleged in the information and proved to warrant the imposition of the death penalty. For this reason, said penalty should be reduced to reclusion perpetua.

PEOPLE V. LANGRES
October 13, 1999
Sindo bothers attended a dance which ended about midnight. They proceeded to the house of their elder brother. They sat on a bench opposite said house while sharing light moments. Restituto greeted PO3 Langres when he came, who instead gave a fistblow on the former without provocation. Victim Teodorico intervened to ask what is his brother's fault. Accused drew his gun and shot the victim at the forehead. Issue: W/N there was self-defense? HELD: No. The presence of unlawful aggression is a condition sine qua non. At best, the victim's brother was discourteous to accused. Even then, such behavior could not be taken as an unlawful aggression to justify the shooting of the victim. The unlawful aggression contemplated under the law must come from the victim himself. Mere belief of an impending attack is not sufficient to constitute unlawful aggression. Neither is an intimidating or threatening attitude. Even a mere push or shove not followed by other acts placing in peril the life or personal safety of the accused is not unlawful aggression. It is noteworthy hat the Sindo brothers were unarmed. They

were young men having a jovial, innocuous conversation when appellant passed by. Without such imminent threat on his life, the person invoking self-defense has nothing to repel.

PEOPLE V. CLEMENTE
October 13, 1999
Complainant was selling balut in front of Lanai beerhouse when she met accused. They had sexual intercourse in friend's house.

Issue: W/N there was rape? HELD: No.


In rape cases alleged to have been committed by force, it is imperative for the prosecution to establish that the element of voluntariness on the part of the victim to be absolutely lacking. Testimony inexorably shows that complainant obviously consented to the sexual act which was done not only once but twice. Glaring too is the fact that by her own admissions that her mouth was not covered and that the accused was not holding or poking the pointed object at her while doing the sexual act, she certainly had every opportunity to make an outcry against the alleged rapist or shout for help had she wanted to. No woman would meekly give in to a sexual intruder where her life is not in serious jeopardy.

PEOPLE V. BELLO
October 13, 1999
Accused allegedly raped his daughter in several occasions. His previous plea of not guilty was substituted to a plea of guilty before the date of his scheduled cross-examination. Later, accused moved for the reinstatement of his plea of not guilty but was denied by the trial court. HELD: Case remanded for proper arraignment. A formal plea of not guilty should be properly entered if an accused admits the truth of some or all the allegations of the information, but interposes excuses or additional facts which, if duly established would exempt or relieve him in whole or in part of criminal responsibility.

PEOPLE V. AGUINALDO
October 13, 1999
Accused allegedly raped his 17 year-old daughter. Issue: W/N there was rape?
HELD: NO.

Complainant's claim that she bled implies that there must have been laceration of her sex organ. When physical evidence runs counter to testimonial evidence, conclusions as to physical evidence must prevail. Physical evidence is that mute but eloquent manifestation of truth which rate high in our hierarchy of trustworthy evidence.

PEOPLE V. AGUNOS
October 13, 1999
Accused raped complainant while her husband was away serving as a poll watcher.

Issue: W/N there was rape? HELD: Yes. Force and violence in rape cases need not be overpowering or irresistible when applied. The record shows that amidst complainant's pleas and struggles, accused pinned complainant's hand behind her back, covered her mouth with his hand and pulled her underwear to her knee before spreading hr legs apart with such force that her undergarments were ripped. It appears that accused remained unfazed when complainant slapped him and struggled to point the beam of the flashlight at him not only to take a look at her assailant but apparently to deter him from consummating his bestial desires.

PEOPLE V. GABALLO
October 13, 1999
Two construction workers heard a girl scream for a distance, then saw her being hugged and pulled by accused towards the ipil trees. When they reached the place, they saw the girl in school uniform lying face down. They also saw the accused sitting down, who immediately ran away. Unfortunatey, they were not able to apprehend the unidentified man. Issue: W/N there was treachery?
HELD: YES.

Treachery is appreciated when the offender commits any of the crimes against persons, employing means, methods or forms in the execution thereof which tend directly and specially to ensure its execution, without risk to himself arising from any defense which the offended party might make. We ruled that the killing of children, who by reason of their tender years cannot be expected to put up a defense, is considered attended with treachery even if the manner of attack is not precisely shown.

PEOPLE V. COSTELO
October 13, 1999
Accused Conde grabbed victim Remy by the neck, then stabbed her at the mouth and at the back. When Remy was able to escape from Conde, she ran towards Costelo, who pushed her towards Conde, who again squeezed Remy's mouth and dragged her. Pablo, who suddenly appeared, sat on her chest and stabbed her more than fifteen times. Costelo held Remy on the shoulders in a stooping position while the latter was being stabbed by Pablo. Issue: W/N there was treachery? W/N there was conspiracy? HELD: Yes. That the locus criminis was a heavily populated area where others could thus intervene is not significant at all. The essence of treachery is that the attack was deliberate and without warning. The defense or retaliation contemplated here must come from the victim, not from anyone else. Treachery was irrefutably indicated in the method by which the assailants waited for the victim to pass by before suddenly attacking her and preventing her escape. At any rate, no help was forthcoming because anyone inclined to lend assistance was intimidated.

Direct proof is not essential, for conspiracy may be inferred from the acts of the accused prior to, during or subsequent to the incident. Such acts must point to a joint purpose, concert of action or community of interest. Hence, the victim need not be actually hit by each of the conspirators for the act of one of them is deemed the act of all. In this case, conspiracy was shown because Conde grabbed and stabbed the victim while Costelo impeded her escape and shoved her towards Pablo, who in turn straddled her on the ground and stabbed her. Their prior act of waiting for the victim outside her house affirms the existence of conspiracy, for ti speaks of a common design and purpose.

PEOPLE V. CELIS
October 20, 1999
Complainant Racquel arrived from Manila at Magundanao and boarded the passenger jeep driven by accused appellants Roque and Carlos. Upon reaching the terminal, Racquel discovered that there was no more tricycle trip going to San Antonio. Accused invited Racquel to sleep in their house, who agreed after the initial hesitation because she is not familiar with the area. She was raped in several occasions, once in a makeshift hut and twice in a school building. Issue: W/N there was a rape? HELD: Yes. For rape to exist, it is not necessary that the force or intimidation employed be so great or of such character as could not be resisted. It is only necessary that the force or intimidation be sufficient to consummate the purpose which the appellant had in mind. When Racquel was dragged to the makeshift hut by Carlos, he told her to cooperate with him or she would be shot. These threats were enough to implant fear in the mind of the complainant, who was alone and helpless. Roque, in turn, managed to have sexual intercourse with complainant by flashing a knife in her face. Threatening the victim with a knife, a deadly weapon, is sufficient to cow the victim. It constitutes an element of rape.

PEOPLE V. MOTOS
October 20, 1999
Accused invited 7 year-old Jenalyn and her younger sister in his room. Vicitim Jenalyn fell asleep beside her sister, who was playing with a doll. Jenalyn woke up after feeling pain and saw accused on top of her. She was asked to take a bath but was later rushed to the hospital by her parents due to her continuous bleeding.
HELD:

Neither does the complaint allege, nor does the evidence introduced show, any qualifying circumstance in the commission of the offense that can make the offense fall within the category of rape punishable by death. The only penalty that can be properly decreed is the lower indivisible penalty of reclusion perpetua.

PEOPLE V. TABION
October 20, 1999

Accused in several occasions, raped his 16- year old daughter while his wife is away. She could not resist the accused because she was afraid of him and of his threat to kill her and her family. Issue: W/N there was rape? HELD: Yes. In the incestuous rape of a minor, proof of force and violence exerted by the aggressor is not essential. The moral and physical ascendancy of the father over his daughter-victim is sufficient to cow her into submission to his bestial desires. Fear oftentimes overwhelms the victim. In the instant case, the appellant enhanced his physical supremacy over his daughter by holding the knife to her neck. In the face of such brutal intimidation, she knuckled under, thus enabling him to satisfy his incestuous lust. The death penalty may be imposed only if the information has alleged and the evidence has proven both the age of the victim and her relationship to the victim.

PEOPLE V. MARAMARA
October 20, 1999
A quarrel transpired between the friend of the accused and the victim in a benefit dance. Accused shot to death victim after a rumble occurred. Issue: W/N accused is guilty of murder? HELD: No. Guilty of Homicide only The use of a firearm is not sufficient indication of treachery. In the absence of any convincing proof that accused-appellant consciously and deliberately adopted the means by which he committed the crime in order to ensure its execution, the Court must resolve doubt in favor of the accused. Accused cannot be held liable only for death caused in a tumultuous affray because he joined the fray purportedly to pacify the protagonist before shooting the victim.

PEOPLE V. ARIZALA
October 20, 1999
Accused stabbed to death Sgt. Cara. Issue: W/N accused is guilty of murder? Yes. W/N there was self-defense? Yes.
HELD:

Even if deceased hurled incentives at him and moved as if to draw something from his waist, we are unable to establish a finding of unlawful aggression on the victim's part. Unlawful aggression presupposes an actual, sudden, unexpected attack or imminent danger thereof, not merely a threatening or intimidating attitude and the accused must present proof of positively strong act of real aggression. Though deceased was in uniform, the latter did not have a firearm or a holster for the same, and none was retrieved from the scene of the crime. Deceased was killed with treachery. Not only was it not proven that there was provocation on the part of the hapless victim but the attack at the back of the victim was made in such a manner that would make it difficult for the deceased to offer an effective defense against his aggressor.

PEOPLE V. PARANZO
October 26, 1999
HELD:

Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, states: "Art. 335...When and how rape is committed...Rape is committed by having carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following circumstances: 1......By using force or intimidation; 2......When the woman is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious; and 3......When the woman is under twelve years of age, even though neither of the circumstances mentioned in the two next preceding paragraphs shall be present." Circumstances 1, 2 and 3 are alternative circumstances...When the rape is committed by using force or intimidation, the victim does not have to be less than twelve (12) years of age...It is only required that the proper complaint and information for rape must clearly describe the specific circumstance which would make the carnal knowledge of a woman qualify as rape under Article 335. In addition, in rape cases, the accused may be convicted solely on the testimony of the complaining witness provided such testimony is credible, natural, convincing and otherwise consistent with human nature and the course of things.

PEOPLE V. GARIGADI
October 26, 1999
Defendant was convicted of rape and sentenced. He contends that the testimony of the complainant was unsubstantiated, and contradictory. HELD: The testimony of Gloridel was clear and convincing. Her declaration that accused-appellant inserted his penis into her vagina was made in a straightforward and unshaken manner. Errorless and accurate to the last detail testimony cannot be expected of Gloridel, who was seven (7) years of age at the time of the trial. The alleged inconsistencies and lapses pointed by accused-appellant to discredit Gloridels testimony, e.g. that accusedappellant merely fondled her or inserted his finger in her vagina, are all minor and trivial details which do not touch upon the commission of the offense. These lapses, to THE courts mind, serve to strengthen rather than weaken the credibility of a witness because they erase any suspicion of coached or rehearsed testimony. The Court noted that a child of tender age cannot be expected to understand every question asked of her in the course of examination. Ample margin of error and understanding should be accorded to young witnesses who, much more than adults, would be gripped with tension due to the novelty of the experience of testifying before a court.

PEOPLE V. LAZARO
October 26, 1999
The accused was found guilty of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition. In his appeal the accusedappellant 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 coconspirator. Assumed intimacy between two persons of itself does not give that much significance to the existence of criminal conspiracy. Conspiracy certainly transcends companionship. Settled is the rule that to establish conspiracy, evidence of actual cooperation rather than mere cognizance or approval of an illegal act is required.

PEOPLE V. ROMANO MANLAPAZ


October 26, 1999 Accused-appellant admits that he was a passenger of the jeep of the victim, Israel Lacson but denies that participated in the commission of the crime. He insists that when he boarded the

jeep he sat himself at the back of the jeepney as there were already several passengers on board at that time. He argues that he was not clearly, convincingly and positively identified as the perpetrator of the crime charged. Prosecution witness allegedly did not have ample opportunity to see the faces of the alleged malefactors; and in fact did not actually see who fired the gun.
HELD:

This Court has ruled on countless occasions that the trial court is in the best position to determine facts and to assess the credibility of witnesses as it is in a unique position to observe the witnesses deportment while testifying which opportunity the appellate court is denied on appeal; this Court will respect the findings and conclusions of the trial court provided that they are supported by substantial evidence on record. The crime of robbery with homicide is a special complex crime punishable under Article 294 of the Revised Penal Code with reclusion perpetua to death. Considering the absence of any modifying circumstance, the penalty imposable in the present case isreclusion 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 allimportant 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 nonfor 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 CaroLascano 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 underaged 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 accusedappellant 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 accusedappellant 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 coprincipal 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. Analyn, who merely finished grade two, was 26 years old but with a mental capacity of a eight-year old child. Boy Ising raped Analyn by poking a knife to her side. As months passed, Analyns belly started to swell and when asked about her bulging stomach, Analyn readily confessed to her mother that Boy Ising was responsible therefor. Analyn then narrated her horrific experience in the hands of accused-appellant. The trial court gave full faith and credit to the testimony of the victim, Analyn.
HELD:

In this appeal, the accused contends that the subpoenas directing submission of counteraffidavits 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 accusedappellant. 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 The aforecited provision of law is qualified by jurisprudence to the effect that "acknowledgment is disallowed if the offender is a married man, with only support for the offspring as part of the sentence." However, as opined in People vs. Bayani, there is no more need for the prohibition against acknowledgment of the offspring by an offender who is married, because of the elimination by the Family Code of the distinctions among illegitimate children. No further positive act is required of the parent as the law itself provides the childs status as illegitimate. Therefore, under Article 345 of the Revised Penal Code, the offender in a rape case who is married should only be sentenced to indemnify the victim and support the offspring, if there be any.
PEOPLE V. ARMANDO GALLARDO

January 25, 2000 On July 28, 1991, Edmundo Orizal was found dead in the rest house of Ronnie Balao. The victim was found to have sustained seven (7) gunshot wounds in the chest, abdomen, back, left and right thighs, and two (2) grazing wounds on the left arm and back. The two suspects Armando Gallardo and Alfredo Columna were brought to the Tuguegarao Police Department. They were investigated by Police Investigator SPO4 Isidro Marcos, and they gave statements admitting that they, together with Jessie Micate, killed Edmundo Orizal. The trial court rendered decision finding accused Armando Gallardo y Gander and Alfredo Columna y Correa guilty beyond reasonable doubt of murder qualified by evident premeditation and aggravated by treachery and sentencing each of them to reclusion perpetua. Hence, this appeal.
HELD:

Under rules laid by the Constitution, existing laws and jurisprudence, a confession to be admissible must satisfy all four fundamental requirements, namely: (1) the confession must be voluntary; (2) the confession must be made with the assistance of competent and independent counsel; (3) the confession must be express; and (4) the confession must be in writing. All these requirements were complied with. It would have been different if the accused were merely asked if they were waiving their Constitutional rights without any explanation from the assisting counsel.
PEOPLE V. JOVITO BARONA

January 25, 2000

At about 8:30 o'clock in the evening on June 26, 1988, Eduardo Dimapilisan was requested by his sister to fetch her husband Celedonio Baron at the store of a certain. When he arrived at the store, Dimapilisan was told by Pinang that Celedonio was in the house of appellant Jovito. While waiting at the store, Dimapilisan saw Celedonio come out of the house of Jovito. He was able to clearly identify his brother-in-law because of the electric light from the store and the lamp in Jovito's house. Shortly, he saw the four appellants follow Celedonio. While the latter was walking, Roberto held, choked and strangled him.
HELD:

The stabbing and the shooting rendered the victim weak and defenseless. The collective action of the four appellants readily shows that there was a concurrence in their evil design in perpetrating the crime. Their superiority in number and the fact that they were armed with a bladed weapon and a gun shows that treachery was attendant in the commission of the crime. Evidently, there is notorious inequality of forces between the victim and the four accusedappellants. 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. 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. Nevertheless, the infirmity of accused-appellants sworn statements did not leave a void in the prosecutions case. Accused-appellant Maximo repeated the contents of his sworn statement to Romualda Algarin who, in turn, related these in court. Such declaration to a private person is admissible in evidence against accused-appellant Maximo pursuant to Rule 130, Section 26 of the Rules of Court stating that the "act, declaration or omission of a party as to a relevant fact may be given in evidence against him." The trial court, therefore, correctly gave evidentiary value to Romualdas testimony. And in the recent case of People vs. Andan, the Court reiterated the doctrine enunciated in the Maqueda case. In Andan, the Court said that "when the accused talked with the mayor as confidant and not as a law enforcement officer, his uncounselled confession did not violate his constitutional rights. Constitutional procedures on custodial investigation do not apply to a spontaneous statement, not elicited through questioning by the authorities, but given in an ordinary manner whereby appellant orally admitted having committed the crime." Treachery was not alleged in the information but the suddenness of the assault upon Hegino and Maria from behind was proven beyond reasonable doubt. As such, treachery may be appreciated as a generic aggravating circumstance. Treachery exists when an adult person illegally attacks a child of tender years and causes his death. The crime committed is the special complex crime of robbery with homicide defined and penalized in Article 294 of the Revised Penal Code. The trial court correctly considered the crime as robbery with homicide and not "robbery with triple homicide" as charged in the information. The term "homicide" in Article 294(1) is used in its generic sense, embracing not only the act which results in death but also all other acts producing anything short of death. Neither is the nature of the offense altered by the number of killings in connection with the robbery. The multiplicity of victims slain on the occasion of the robbery is only appreciated as an aggravating circumstance. This would preclude an anomalous situation where, from the standpoint of the gravity of the offense, robbery with one killing would be treated in the same way that robbery with multiple killings would be.
PEOPLE V. DOMINGO BRIGILDO

January 28, 2000 Appellant Domingo Brigildo was acquitted of the charge of attempted rape. But the trial court found him guilty of two counts of rape, for which he was twice sentenced to death. When arraigned, appellant Domingo Brigildo, assisted by counsel, pleaded not guilty to the

charges. The lower court rendered its decision finding the accused Domingo Brigildo GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of RAPE (as) defined and penalized under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act 7659. Finding the victim Marites Belic to have been below eighteen (18) years of age at the time of the rape on March 30, 1994 and finding the offender to be the common-law spouse of Marites mother, this court imposes upon the same Domingo Brigildo the mandatory penalty of DEATH. HELD: In reviewing rape cases, the Court has consistently observed the following long-standing guidelines: (1) An accusation for rape can be made with facility. Such accusation is difficult to prove but even more difficult for the accused though innocent to disprove it; (2) In view of the intrinsic nature of the crime of rape where only two (2) persons are involved, the testimony of the complainant must be scrutinized with extreme caution; and (3) The evidence of the prosecution must stand and fall on its own merits and cannot be allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the evidence for the defense.. The testimony of the victim leaves us no doubt that her mothers 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 forillegal 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 minutesafter 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 andsale 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 threeyear-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 threeyear-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 ofP50,000.00 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 penetrationof 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 thelabia 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 thelabias, which are required to be "touched" by the penis, are by their natural situs or location beneath the mons pubis or the vaginal surface, to touch them with the penis is to attain some degree of penetration beneath the surface, hence, the conclusion that touching the labia majora or the labia minora of the pudendum constitutes consummated rape. Thus, a grazing of the surface of the female organ or touching the mons pubis of thepudendum is not sufficient to constitute consummated rape. Absent any showing of the slightest penetration of the female organ, i.e., touching of either labia of the pudendum by the penis, there can be no consummated rape; at most, it can only be attempted rape, if not acts of lasciviousness.

PEOPLE VS. BALTAZAR


G.R. No. 115990. March 31, 2000.
ELEMENTS OF RAPE

Evidentiary value of medical examinations


HELD:

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

PEOPLE VS. SUITOS


G.R. No. 125280. March 31, 2000.

Defense of alibi
Accused-appellant was charged and convicted of murder. His defense was one of alibi.
HELD:

For alibi to prosper, the accused should prove not only that he was at some other place when the crime was committed but also that it was physically impossible for him to be at the locus criminis at the time of the commission.

PEOPLE VS. CUPINO


G.R. No. 125688. March 31, 2000.
Cupino and Dejoras were charged and convicted for conspiring to commit murder. HELD:

Conspiracy must be proved as indubitably as the crime itself through clear and convincing evidence, not merely by conjecture. To hold an accused guilty as a co-principal by reason of conspiracy, he must be shown to have performed an overt act in pursuance or furtherance of the complicity. Hence, conspiracy exists in a situation where at the time the malefactors were committing the crime, their actions impliedly showed unity of purpose among them, a concerted effort to bring about the death of the victim. In a great majority of cases, complicity was established by proof of acts done in concert, i.e., acts that yielded the reasonable inference that the doers thereof were acting with a common intent or design. Therefore, the task in every case is determining whether the particular acts established by the requisite quantum of proof do reasonably yield that inference."

PEOPLE VS. ABALDE


G.R. No. 123113. March 31, 2000. Rape - guidelines HELD: In the disposition of rape cases, the Court is guided by the following principles: (1) an accusation for rape can be made with facility; it is difficult to prove but more difficult for the person accused, though innocent, to disprove; (2) in view of the intrinsic nature of the crime of rape where only two persons are usually involved, the testimony of the complainant must be scrutinized with extreme caution, and (3) the evidence for the prosecution must stand or fall on its own merits and cannot draw strength from the weakness of the evidence of the defense. PEOPLE VS. AMIGABLE

G.R. No. 133857. March 31, 2000.


MEDICAL EXAMINATION/FINDINGS EVIDENTIARY VALUE IN RAPE CASES

HELD: Lack of lacerated wounds does not negate sexual intercourse. A freshly broken hymen is not an essential element of rape. For that matter, in crimes against chastity, the medical examination of the victim is not an indispensable element for the prosecution of the crime as her testimony alone, if credible, is sufficient to convict the accused as in this case. APRIL 2000 PEOPLE VS. DELOS SANTOS

G.R. No. 121906. April 5, 2000.

Qualifying circumstance alleged in the information


Accused-appellant was sentenced to death after he was convicted of raping his stepdaughter. He argues that the Information filed against him failed to state that he is the stepfather of the victim, hence, his relationship with the victim may not be considered as a qualifying circumstance to justify the imposition of the death penalty. HELD:

The circumstances under the amendatory provisions of Section 11 of Republic Act 7659 the attendance of any which mandates the single indivisible penalty of death, instead of the standard penalty of reclusion perpetua to death prescribed in Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, are in the nature of qualifying circumstances." Qualifying circumstances must be properly pleaded in the indictment.

PEOPLE VS. PAVILLARE

G. R. No. 129970. April 5, 2000.

Police line-ups
Kidnapping with ransom Accused-appellants were charged and convicted of kidnapping for ransom for abducting an Indian national. He contends that the identification made by the private complainant in the police line-up is inadmissible because the appellant stood at the line-up without the assistance of counsel, and that the money given to them was not ransom money but was given in exchange for their dropping of the charges of rape against private complainant.
HELD:

The accused-appellants defense is without merit. Section 12 (1) Art III of the Commission states that "Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel preferably of his own choice. If the person cannot afford the services of counsel, he must be provided with one. These rights cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence of counsel." Thus the prohibition for custodial investigation conducted without the assistance of counsel. Any evidence obtained in violation of the constitutional mandate is inadmissible in evidence. The prohibition however, does not extend to a person in a police line-up because that stage of an investigation is not yet a part of custodial investigation. It has been repeatedly held that custodial investigation commences when a person is taken into custody and is singled out as a suspect in the commission of the crime under investigation and the police officers begin to ask questions on the suspect's participation therein and which tend to elicit an admission. The stage of an investigation wherein a person is asked to stand in a police line-up has been held to be outside the mantle of protection of the right to counsel because it involves a general inquiry into an unsolved crime and is purely investigatory in nature. It has also been held that an uncounseled identification at the police line-up does not preclude the admissibility of an in-court identification. The duration of the detention even if only for a few hours does not alter the nature of the crime committed. The crime of kidnapping is committed by depriving the victim of liberty whether he is placed in an enclosure or simply restrained from going home. As squarely expressed in Article 267, 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 selfdefense. 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 importantindicia 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 lawenforcement 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 perpetua should be imposed on accused-appellant. Spp MAY 2000

PEOPLE V TANOY
GRNo 115692 May 12,2000
After a prior incident, the victim went to the police station. The victim therein found the appellant who is a policeman. After, a few exchanges appellant shot the victim with an armalite hitting him in the chest. He alleges that they were grappling for the gun before the "accident" occured thus he is entitled to an exempting circumstance under par 4 Art 12. HELD:

The shooting was intentional as shown by the location and nature of the wounds. Also a brown envelope remained tucked under his arm and was bloodied after he was shot.If they were grappling for possession of the gun then the envelope containing his complaint should have fallen.It would be highly inconceivable for a retired PC colonel to hold the barrel of the gun pointing towards him while grappling for its possession.

It is settled jurisprudence that the assessment of the credibility of the witnesses lies within the province and expertise of the trial courts.Absent any showing of abuse of discretion or that trial courts overlooked material and relevant facts which could affect the outcome of the case, their findings are accorded great weight and respect. There is also treachery in the commission of the crime. The deceased did not expect any attack coming from the accused when he went to the police station. Treachery may still be appreciated even when the victim was forewarned of the danger to his person.What is decisive is that the execution of the attack mde it impossible for the victim to defend himself or retaliate.The victim was totally defenseless when he went out of his hiding place(went behind a cemented wall when the accused pointed the gun).he was 71 years old and his left hand was extended as if in supplication and surrender but the accused shot him nonetheless.

PEOPLE V AVILLANA
GRNo119621 May 12,2000
Accused was convicted for murder by the lower court.He allegedly approached the victim and two others while they were waiting for a jeepney.He stabbed the victim in the chest and attacked the two others who were able to escape. HELD:

Conviction affirmed. The testimony of the sole witness is upheld.Witnesses are weighed, not numbered, such that the testimony of a single, trustworthy and credible witness could be sufficient to convict./there is no showing that the implication by the witness was illmotivated.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 coconspirators 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 rearraigned 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.

Criminal Law Digests 2

PEOPLE V MAMAC
G.R. No.-130332 May 31,2000 Appellant woke up the victim by poking her with along stick while lying alongside her brother and sister.When she opened the window, she saw appellant brandishing a bolo and ordered her to go dwon.Appellant brought her to the bank of the river and raped her there while sticking the bolo at her.
HELD:

We have long recognized that different people react differently to a given type of situation and there is no standard behavioral response when one is confronted with a strange,startling or frightful experience.Appellant cannot claim that the victim had no reason to be cowed outside by his mere act of stabbing her with a stick or mere brandishing of the bolo. The information does not charge appellant with qualified rape and he cannot be sentenced to death.Unlike a generic aggravating circumsance which may be proved even if not alleged, aqualifying aggravating cannnot be proved unless alleged in the information.It must be alleged to properly inform the acused of the nature and cause of accusation against him in order not to violate due process. The appellant is not a step-grandfather.he co-habited and lived with the materialgrandmother of Bernadette without the benefit of marriage.The word "step", when used as a prefix in conjunction with a degree of kinship, is repugnant to blood relationship and is indicative of relationship by affinity.There is no relationship by affinity between Bernadetted and appellant, thus he cannot be considered as a step-grandfather.At most he is a common law husband of Bernadette's grandmother thus not a parent, ascendant, step-parent, guardian, relative by consanguinity or affinity within the 3rd civil degree or the common law spouse of the parent of the victim.Thus only recusion perpetua may be imposed. .

PEOPLE V DECENA
G.R. No.-131843 May 31,2000 Appellant raped the daughter of his common-law wife.
HELD: The minority and the relationship of the complainant to the accused must be alleged in the information in order to convict the appellant of qualified rape.Qualifying circumstances under Sec11 of RA7659 must be alleged with particularity in the information to be proved and used in the imposition of the penalty.It would be a denial of due process, if he is charged with simple rape but convicted of its qualified form punishable by death although the attendant circumstance qualifying the offense and resulting in capital punishment was not aleged in the indictment under which he was arraigned.

PEOPLE V COTAS
G.R. No.132043 May 31,2000 Appellant stabbed the victim whiles sleeping. He alleges that it was self-defense.
HELD:

Even Assuming that the victim was the aggressor, it is clear that at the time was killed, the danger to accused has already ceased.It is a settled rule that when unlawful aggression ceases, the defende has no longer any right to kill or wound the former aggressor, otherwise, retaliation and not self-defense is committed. There was treachery.It is settled that if the victim, whenkilled, was sleeping or had just awakened, the killing is with treachery because in such cases, the victim was not in a position to put up any form of defense.

PEOPLE V OBOSA
G.R. No.-132069 May 31, 2000
The appellant, with two other persons, waylaid former Secretary of Local Government Jaime Ferrer and his driver. The appellant's defense is that as aprison inmate who based on prison records was inside the compound of the Nat'l Bilibid Prisons Prisons on the date and time of the incident, he could not have

participated in the ambush; and if indeed he was able to leave the prison premises it is unbelievable that an escaped convict would return to prison. HELD:

The cited circumstances do not present a physical impossibility for the appellant to have participated in the commission of the crime.First, the log book presented in court referred only to the south gate.The Director of the Bureau of Prisons testified that Obosa was given preferential treatment in prison and was allowed to park his vehicle inside the prison compound despite prohibition.
Appellant's objection to the admissibility of the testimony of an inmate that the accused confided his participation in the crime is without merit.A convicted felon is not disqualified by the Rules of Evidence from testifying in Court.The judgment of conviction did not rest on the alleged confession made by Obosa.Treachery is present for the car was shot at while it was slowing down as it approached a corner ensuring the accomplishment of the attack and eliminating any risk from possible defenses that the victim may put up.

PEOPLE V GOMEZ
G.R. No.-132171May 31,2000 Appellant stabbed the victim while in a drinking session.
HELD:

Physical ipossibility in relation to alibi takes into consideration not only the geographical distance between the scene of the crime and the place where accused maintains he was at, but more importantly, the accessibility between these two points---in the instant case, how this distance translate to hours of travel.Thus, although geographical distances may be taken judicial notice of, this alone will not suffice for purposses of proving an alibi, because it remains for the defense to prove the relative accessibility of accused from the scene of the crime at the time the crime was committed.The defense should have introduced evidence of a verage travel time as of that day from between the two points---and it should have done so during the trial, not on appeal. The burden is upon the accused to present credible and tangible proof of physical impossibility to be at the scene of the crime; otherwise, an alibi may not prevail over the positive testimony and clear identification of the accused by prosecution witnesses.
Also, the presence of treachery is not discounted by the fact that the killing was effected by a single stab wound or that the attack was frontal---for as long as the method employedtended directly and especially to ensure the execution of the crime without risk of defense or retaliation of the offender.

P V LEONARDO
G.R. No.-133109 May 31,2000 The appellant was convicted of homicide.The lower court relyed solely on the testimony of victim's father.
HELD: The rule as to motive and how it affects the witness' credibility is: absent evidence to show any reason or motive why witnesses for the prosecution should have testified falsely, the logical conclusion is that no improper motive existed and that their testimony is worthy of full faith and credit.On the other hand, if for any motive there is a possibility that a witness might have been prompted to testify falsely, courts should be on guard in assessing the witness' credibility. it is basic in criminal law that the prosecution has the obligation of proving beyond reasonable doubt the identity of the malefactor and his participation in the crime or offense charged.Such degree of proof does not mean excluding the possibility of error, as producing absolute certainty.Only moral certainy is required or that degree of proof which produces conviction in an unprejudiced mind.Only when the conscience is satisfied that the crime has been committed by the person on trial should the sentence be for conviction.

PEOPLE V CONTEGA G.R. No.-133579 May 31,2000 The victim was found bleeding while lying face down on the floor. When asked who his assailant was he answered; "Rogelio,former pakyaw worker."
HELD:

It is axiomatic that the prosecution bears not only the onus to show that a crime has been committed but also to establish beyond reasonable doubt the identity of the person or persons who should be responsible therefor.The utterance of the victim did not sufficiently identify the appellant.The prosecution has not eliminated the possibility that another piecemeal worker with the name "Rogelio" was employed by the Barbas. The conclusion that accused was the same person referred to by the prosecution has not been established beyond reasonable doubt. Alibi is a weak defense because it is easy to fabricate and concoct between relative, friends and even those not related to the offender. In order to sustain a conviction for robbery with homicide, it is necessary that the robbery itself be established as conclusively as any other essential element of the crime. JUNE 2000

PEOPLE V ROBLES

G.R. No.-101335 June 8,2000 Appellant was convicted of robbery with homicide.He was apprehended after admitting the crime. He was with the other perpetratorsin a taxi which was stopped in a routine inspection.
HELD: The unexplained possession of stolen articles gives rise to apresumption of theft, unless it is proved that the owne of the articles was deprived of possession by violence, intimidation, in which case the presumption becomes one of robbery.In robbery with homicide cases, the prosecution need only to prove these elements: 1)the taking of personal property is perpetrated by means of violence or intimidation against a person; 2)property taken belongs to another; 3)the taking is characterized by intent to gain or animus lucrandi, and 4)on the occasion of the robbery or by reason thereof the crime of homicide, here used in a generic sense is committed.The homicide may precede the robbery or may occur after the robbery.What is essential is that there an intimate connection between robbery ad the killing whether the latter be prior or subsequent to the former or whether both crimes be committed at the same time.The rule is that whenever homicide has been committed as a consequence of or on occasion of the robbery, all those who took part as principals in the robbery will also be held guilty as principals of the crime of robbery with homicide although they did not take part in the homicide, unless it clearly appears they endeavored to prevent the homicide.

PEOPLE V ANTONIO
G.R. No.-122473 June 8,2000 This is a case of incestuous rape.
HELD:

Rape may be committed even when the rapist and the victim are not alone, or while the rapist's spouse are asleep, or in a small room where other family members also slept.A daughter would not accuse her own father of such unspeakable crime as incestuous rape had she really not been aggrieved.It is highly improbable for a woman, especially one of tender age, to concoct a brutal tale of ravishment, allow a gynecologic examination, and undergo the humiliation of a

public trial if she is not motivated solely by a desire to have the culprit apprehended and punished.

PEOPLE V MUMAR
G.R. No.-123155 June 8,2000
The victim was shot while his back was turned towards his assailants. HELD:

A direct proof to show that the accused had come to an agreement to commit a felony is not necessary.It is sufficient that all the accused manifested by their acts a common intent to do harm to the victim.

PEOPLE V MONIEVA
G.R. No.123912 June 8,2000
The victim was hacked with a bolo and was decapitated by the appellant. HELD:

Inconsistencies and discrepancies in the testimony referring to minor details and not upon the basic aspect of the crime do not impair the witness credibility. Even where a witness is found to have deliberately falsified the truth in some particular, and it was not shown that there was such intended prevarication, it is not required that the entire testimony be rejected, since such portions thereof deemed worthy of belief may be credited.
Abuse of superior strength means to purposely use excessive force out of proportion to the means available to the person attacked to defend himself. Before it may be appreciated, it must be clearly shown that there was deliberate intent on the part of the malefacto to take advantage thereof.The prosecution is of the opinion that since the appellant was armed with a bolo and was chasing the unarmed victim who was trying to flee, this shows that the latter was powerless to offer resistance thereby admitting his inferiority and superiority of the defendant.This is mere conjecture, it was not all apparent that the appellant consciously adopted that particular means. The mere fact that the victim was running away from the appellant who was wielding a bolo shows that the victim was aware of the danger to himself, thus negating the suddenness of the attack for which reason treachery cannot be appreciated.

PEOPLE V CAMBI
G.R. No.127131 June 8, 2000 The 15 yr old complainant was rape by the appellant.
HELD: The absence of illumination in the place of the commission of the crime does not detract from the positive identification by Margie of the appellant as her assailant. Although visibility is an important factor in the identification of a criminal offender, its relative significance depends largely on the attending circumstances and the discretion of the trial court.In the case at bar, the assailant was well known to Margie as the former was her employer.Also, the voice of the appellant was heard when he uttered threats against the complainant.It has been this Court's observation that it is the most natural reaction for victims of criminal violence to strive to see the looks and faces of their assailants and observe the manner in which he crime was committed. Not every rape victim can be expected to act conformably to the usual expectations of everyone.Some may shout, some may faint; and some may be shocked into insensibility, while others may openly welcome the intrusion. The force or violence that is 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 to bring about the desired result.It is not even necessary that the offender be armed with a weapon.

PEOPLE V. OSCAR CARILLO


G.R. NO. 129528

Oscar Carillo together with Eduardo Candare were accused of murder. The physical evidence shows that the death of the victim was caused by 2 stab wounds probably caused by 2 separate instruments. Candare executed an affidavit admitting sole responsibility. Prosecution presented a second cousin of the victim as its main witness. HELD: Physical evidence ranks high in the hierarchy of evidence. As physical evidence is compatible with the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses but inconsistent with the claim of the defense witnesses, the former should prevail. For the same reason, the court cannot accept as true the affidavit of Candare owning sole responsibility for the crime. Relationship per se does not automatically discredit a witness. In fact, kinship by blood or marriage to the victim would deter one from implicating innocent persons as ones natural interest would be to secure conviction by the real culprit. PEOPLE V. ROMEO CAPILI G.R. NO. 130588 Accused was convicted of murder. Three high school students testified for the prosecution and claimed that they actually saw the accused in flagrante delicto actually striking and submerging the head of the victim in the river. Right after the incident, accused apparently saw them by the riverbank and offered them a ride across the river, to which they readily acceded. HELD: Evidence to be believed must not only proceed from the mouth of a credible witness but it must be credible in itself such as the common experience and observation of mankind can approve as probable under the circumstances. There can never be a better gauge by which a witness testimony may be evaluated and analyzed than the ordinary common human experience. In this case, it is rather unnatural, to say the least, actually defying sound reasons for 3 young students, to allow themselves to be ferried by an adult male whom they have just recently witnessed kill and drown a helpless and unsuspecting victim. It makes the court wonder if the 3 supposed eye witness directly saw the actual killing in this case. PEOPLE V. RUFINO TESTON & ROGELIO GACO G.R. NO. 134938 The 3 accused were charged with murder. The prosecution presented one eyewitness. The defense interposed self-defense. Accused questions trial courts appreciation of the credibility of the prosecution witness as unbelievable and biased. HELD: The trial courts evaluation of a witness trustworthiness is entitled to highest respect for it has the distinct opportunity to observe directly the demeanor of a witness and to determine whether he is telling the truth. Moreover, the defense has not presented any evidence that witness was impelled by dubious or improper motives, therefore, it must be presumed that he was not so moved. The testimony of a single prosecution witness, if found credible and positive, is sufficient to convict, for the truth is not established by the number of witnesses, but by the quality of their testimonies. Besides, credibility of witness is no longer the issue since self-defense was invoked as justifying circumstance. Whenever the accused admits inflicting a fatal injury on his victim and invokes self-defense, the burden of proof immediately shifts from the prosecution to the defense, the

accused must rely on the strength of his own evidence and not on the weakness of the prosecutions evidence. PEOPLE V. JOSE GERAL ALIAS JOSE G.R. NO. 122283 Accused was convicted of murder. He assails the credibility of the prosecution witness and the sufficiency of evidence against him. HELD: On the credibility of witnesses, appellate courts accord the highest respect to the assessment made by the trial court. Moreover, patent inconsistencies in and between appellants testimony and those of his witnesses only undermine appellants defense. PEOPLE V. MACARIO U. CASTILLO G.R. NO. 111734-35 Spouses Castillo were convicted as conspirators in the kidnapping for ransom of Wilhelmina. The victim is a businesswoman engaged in the real estate business. The 2 accused are both her sales agents on commission basis. HELD: Conspiracy need not be proved by direct evidence. It may be inferred from the conduct of all accused before, during and after the commission of the crime. The conduct should point to a joint purpose and design, concerted action and community of interest. Conspiracy may be proved by circumstantial evidence or deduced from the mode and manner in which the offense was perpetrated. Here, the spouses referred the main perpetrator to the victim. The perpetrator who posed as buyer did not even inform the seller who referred him, which is contrary to common practice. PEOPLE V. EPIE ARLALEJO G.R. NO. 127841 The accused was convicted for Robbery with Homicide in an information alleging conspiracy. The 2 accused hoisted the defense of denial and alibi. One of the accused was acquitted and so the accused questions his conviction because in as much as conspiracy was not proved by the prosecution, the appellant should likewise be acquitted. HELD: By its nature, conspiracy is a joint offense as one person cannot conspire alone. In conspiracy, the commission of a crime is through the joint act or intent of 2 or more persons. However, there is nothing irregular with the acquittal of one of the supposed co-conspirators and the conviction of another. Generally, conspiracy is only a means by which a crime is committed as the mere act of conspiring is not by itself punishable. Hence, it does not follow that one person alone cannot be convicted when there is a finding of conspiracy. As long as the acquittal of a co-conspirator does not remove the basis of a charge of conspiracy, one defendant may be found guilty of the offense. In the case at bar, it is incorrect to state that the accused was acquitted because conspiracy was not proved. The evidence established beyond doubt the existence of conspiracy to rub. However, the evidence proved only the existence of a conspiracy but not the culpability of the appellant. The trial court noted that the victims had no sufficient opportunity to recognize

the acquitted accused. The evaluation of evidence reveals that the same is true insofar as the appellant is concerned. PEOPLE V. DOMINADOR HISTORILLO G.R. NO. 130408 Appellant was convicted for raping his 12 year old daughter and was sentenced to death. Appeal assails the criminal complaint which was not under oath and is therefore void. Also, prosecution failed to establish the use of force in the occasion of the crime. Further, the penalty of death was also questioned as the information does not allege the age of the victim and her relationship with the offender. HELD: A complaint presented by a private person when not sworn by him is not necessarily void. The want of an oath is a mere defect of form which does not affect the substantial rights of the defendant on the merits. The law does not impose upon a rape victim the burden of proving the resistance where there is intimidation. Moreover, in a crime of rape committed by a father against his own daughter, the fathers moral ascendancy and influence over the latter substitutes for violence or intimidation. Age and relationship are special qualifying circumstances that changes the nature of simple rape by producing a qualified form punishable by death. Since the charge of rape in the complaint is not in its qualified form so as to fall under the special qualifying circumstance stated in section 11 of RA 7659, the penalty of reclusion perpetua should be imposed. PEOPLE V. ROBERTO ESTRADA G.R. NO. 130487
Accused was convicted for murder and sentenced to death. Defense interposed insanity with proof of his history of mental illness filed for suspension of arraignment and suspension of proceedings. Both were denied without subjecting accused to mental examination.

HELD: Case remanded for the conduct of a proper mental examination to determine competency to stand trial. By depriving appellant of mental examination, the trial court effectively deprived appellant of a fair trial and the proceedings before the court are therefore nullified. He who invokes insanity as an exempting circumstance must prove it by clear and positive evidence. The absence of direct proof however, does not entirely discount the probability that accused was not of sound mind at that time. In passing the question of the propriety of suspending the proceedings, the test is found in the question whether the accused would have a fair trial with the assistance which the law secures or gives. There are 2 distinct matters to be determined under this test (1) whether the defendant is sufficiently coherent to provide his counsel with information necessary or relevant to constructing a defense and (2) whether he is able to comprehend the significance of the trial and his relation to it. The determination of whether a sanity investigation or hearing should be ordered rests generally in the discretion of the trial court. In the case, the trial court took it solely upon itself to determine the sanity of the accused. The trial judge however is not a psychiatrist or psychologist or some other expert equipped with the specialized knowledge of determining the state of a persons mental health. The court should have at least ordered the examination of the accused, especially in the light of the latters history of mental item. PEOPLE V. VENANCIO FRANCISCO G.R. NO. 130490

Accused was convicted of murder and slight physical injuries. The trial court imposed penalty of reclusion temporal maximum to reclusion perpetua medium. In imposing the penalty, the trial court applied the Indeterminate Sentence Law stating that RA 7659 (An act to impose the death penalty on certain heinous crimes) made the penalty of reclusion perpetua divisible.

HELD: Notwithstanding RA 7659, the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua remains an indivisible penalty. Although RA 7659 has fixed the duration of reclusion perpetua to 20 years and 1 day to 40 years, there was no clear legislative intent to alter its original classification as an indivisible penalty. It remains as an indivisible penalty. PEOPLE V. MARCELO NAVA JR. G.R. NO. 130509-12
Accused was convicted of 4 counts of rape of his 13 year old daughter. The information does not allege the age of the victim and her relationship with the offender. He was sentenced to death and made to pay civil indemnity only.

HELD: Crime is only simple rape since the information does not allege the age of victim and her relationship with he offender. Civil indemnity 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. An award of 50,000 as moral damages for each of the counts of rape is granted in recognition of the victims injury as being inherently concomitant with and necessarily resulting from the odious crime of rape and to warrant per se an award of moral damages. PEOPLE VS ROMEO ARILLAS G.R. NO. 130593
Accused was convicted for raping his 16 year old daughter. He was sentenced to death despite the fact that the information does not allege the age of the victim and her relationship with the offender.

HELD: When the age and the relationship are not alleged in the information, such should not be considered as special qualifying circumstances that will change the nature of simple rape and punish offender with the penalty of death. If the qualifying circumstance is not alleged but proved, it shall only be considered as an aggravating circumstance. It is a denial of the right of an accused to be informed of the nature of the accusation against him and consequently a denial of due process if he is convicted of a crime in its qualified form notwithstanding the fact that the information on which he was arraigned charges him only of the crime in its simple form by not specifying the circumstance that qualifies the crime. PEOPLE V. ANGEL RIOS G.R. NO. 132632
Accused was convicted of murder. The crime was preceded by a heated argument. The accused left and came back minutes after the altercation and stabbed victim at the latters terrace.

HELD: Homicide and not murder. Treachery was not proved beyond reasonable doubt. Qualifying and aggravating circumstances before being taken into consideration for the purpose of increasing the degree of the penalty to be imposed must be proved with equal certainty and clearness as

that which establishes the commission of the act charged as a criminal offense. Dwelling was correctly considered aggravating. The word dwelling includes every dependency of the house that forms part thereof. PEOPLE V. JOEL TANEZA G.R. NO. 121668
Accused was convicted of murder for shooting a bakery delivery man. The victim was brought to the hospital and subjected to an operation. He was interviewed and he named the accused as his assailant. He died a day after giving his statement.

HELD: The statement was considered as a dying declaration and is admissible in evidence as part of the res gestae. The requirements for the admissibility of an ante-mortem statement are: (1) it must concern the crime and the surrounding circumstances of the declarants death; (2) at the time it was made, the declarant was under a consciousness of impending death; (3) the declarant was competent as a witness; (4) the declaration was offered in a criminal case for homicide, murder or parricide in which the decedent was the victim. Although it may not be ascertained from the written statement whether the victim was speaking with a consciousness of impending death, the degree and seriousness of the wounds and the fact that death supervened shortly afterwards may be considered as substantial evidence that the declaration was made by the victim with full realization that he was in a dying condition. PEOPLE V. WILSON DREU G.R. NO. 126282
Accused was convicted of rape. He interposed the defense that he and the victim was sweethearts. He offered marriage but was rejected.

HELD: The sweethearts defense cannot be appreciated as the defense failed to come up with convincing proof. Indeed, the accused bears the burden of proving that he and the complainant had an affair which naturally led to a sexual relationship. The guilt of the accused was also established by the fact that he offered marriage to the complainant after the incident was reported to the authorities. As a rule in rape cases, an offer of marriage is an admission of guilt. PEOPLE V. PATROLMAN DOMINGO BELBES G.R. NO. 124670
Accused was convicted of murder. He interposed self-defense and that he acted in the fulfillment of a duty.

HELD: Self defense cannot be appreciated. Where the accused admits to killing the victim in self defense, the burden of evidence shifts to him. For a person not to incur criminal liability when he acts in the fulfillment of a duty, 2 requisites must concur: (1) that the offender acted in the performance of a duty; (2) that the injury or offense committed be the necessary consequence of the due performance of such right or office. However, second requisite here was not proved since killing need not be a necessary consequence of his duty. PEOPLE V. JOHNNY DELA CRUZ G.R. NO. 133921

Accused was convicted of rape. The charge was filed 12 years after the alleged incident, when the victim was already 20 years old.

HELD: 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. In rape cases, the testimony of the complainant must stand or fall on its own merits and should never be allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the evidence of the defense. The long delay of the complainant in reporting the incident makes it difficult for the court not to have compelling doubts on the veracity of her episode. Proof of guilt beyond reasonable doubt not proven. PEOPLE V. ROLANDO FLORES G.R. NO. 124977
Accused was convicted of murder. The conviction was based purely on circumstantial evidence because there was no eye witness to the actual killing of the victim.

HELD: A judgment of conviction based purely on circumstantial evidence can be upheld only if the following requisites concur: (1) there is more than one circumstance; (2) the facts from which the inferences are derived are proven; (3) the combination of all the circumstances is such as to produce conviction beyond reasonable doubt. The corollary rule is that the circumstances proven must 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. PEOPLE V. FELIPE HOFILENA G.R. NO. 134772
Accused was convicted of raping a 12 year old girl. The accused interposed alibi as defense.

HELD: When a victim of rape says that she has been defiled, she says in effect all that is necessary to show that rape has been inflicted on her and so long as her testimony meets the test of credibility, the accused may be convicted on the basis thereof. In the absence of strong and convincing evidence, alibi could not prevail over the positive testimony of the victim, who had no improper motive to testify falsely against him. PEOPLE V. HENRY FLORES G.R. NO. 116794
Accused was convicted of murder. Only one eyewitness was presented.

HELD: The testimony of a single witness, if credible and positive, is sufficient to produce a conviction. PEOPLE V. HERMOGENES FLORA G.R. NO. 125909
The 2 accused (Hermogenes and Edwin) were convicted for the murder of Emerita and Ireneo and the attempted murder of Flor. The 2 were found to have conspired to kill Ireneo. However, during the commission of the crime, Emerita was also killed and Flor hit by a bullet.

HELD:

Co-conspirators are liable only for acts done pursuant to the conspiracy. For other acts done outside the contemplation of the co-conspirators or which are not the necessary and logical consequence of the intended crime, only the actual perpetrators are liable. Evidence only shows conspiracy to kill Ireneo and no one else. Hence, both can be convicted for the murder of Ireneo. However, only Hermogenes who fired at Emerita and Flor can be convicted for the murder of Emerita and Flor respectively. PEOPLE V. EDDY PANEZA G.R. NO. 131829
The 3 accused were convicted of highway robbery. They assert that they cannot be convicted of highway robbery as the crime was not committed by at least 4 persons as required in Article 306 of the Revised Penal Code.

HELD: Highway robbery is now governed by PD No. 532, otherwise known as Anti-Piracy and AntiHighway Robbery Law of 1974. It is no longer required that there be at least 4 armed persons forming a band of robbers. The no. of offenders is no longer an essential element of the crime of highway robbery. PD 532 only requires proof that persons were organized for the purpose of committing highway robbery indiscriminately. The robbery must be directed not only against specific, intended or preconceived victims but against any and all prospective victims. PEOPLE V. JUDGE ESTRELLA ESTRADA G.R. NO. 124461
Motion for the return of seized goods on the ground that the warrant was illegal. Further, the seized medicines were found genuine but were only illegally imported.

HELD: Even if the medicines were genuine if the seller has no permit from the appropriate government agency, the drugs or medicines cannot be returned although the search warrant was declared illegal. PEOPLE V. MARIANO AUSTRIA G.R. NO. 123539
Accused, 82 years old at the time of the commission of the offense, was convicted of the crime of rape. He raises as defense the 2 week delay in reporting the offense and his alleged impotency.

HELD: Delay or vacillation in criminal accusations do not necessarily impair the complainants credibility if such delay is satisfactorily explained. It is not uncommon to conceal rape because of rapists threats to life, fear of public humiliation and lack of courage. Silence is not an odd behavior of a rape victim. The presumption is always in favor of potency. Impotency is considered an abnormal condition and should not be presumed. The doctors testimony stated that his sex organ was diseased but never was there even a hint that accused was impotent. The trial court also observed that accused was still strong, agile and capable of committing the sexual act and seriously doubts that he is 82 years old. PEOPLE V. ABDULAJID SABDANI G.R. NO. 134262 The accused was convicted of murder. He interposed self-defense as defense.

HELD: The accused who invokes self-defense admits authorship of the killing and therefore the burden of proof shifts to him who must then establish with clear and convincing evidence all the elements of self-defense. Accused failed to prove unlawful aggression. Unlawful aggression presupposes not merely a threatening/intimidating attitude, but an actual and sudden attack or an imminent danger thereof, which imperils ones life or limb. In the case at bar, there was no sign that victim was armed other than the fact that his hands were tucked inside his shirt. Accused did not ascertain whether victim was really armed, or warn him to drop his weapon. PEOPLE V. ROLANDO TABANGGAY G.R. NO. 130504
Accused was convicted of raping his 2 minor children. He was sentenced to suffer the supreme penalty of death.

HELD: Penalty reduced to reclusion perpetua. The victims minority was not sufficiently proved. In accusations involving incestuous rape, the relationship of the accused with the offended party as well as the latters age must be alleged in the information and proven by the prosecution with competent evidence during their trial. A bare photocopy of the victims birth certificate which is neither certified nor offered formally in evidence is not sufficient proof of the victims age. PEOPLE V. PEPE LOZADA G.R. NO. 130589
As Danilo Morin and his cousin were walking one evening, Lozada followed from behind and shot Morin to death. Lozada was convicted of murder appreciating treachery as a qualifying circumstance.

HELD: Affirmed. There was treachery since Morin was unsuspectingly shot from behind. The essence of treachery is the sudden and unexpected attack by an aggressor on an unsuspecting victim, depriving the latter of any chance to defend himself and thereby ensuring its commission without risk to himself. The 2 conditions for treachery to be considered as qualifying circumstance are: (1) employment of means, methods and manner of execution to ensure the safety of the malefactor from defensive and retaliatory acts of the victim; (2) and the deliberate adoption of such means, methods and manner of execution. PEOPLE V. ARMANDO REANZARES G.R. NO. 130656
Accused was held guilty of highway robbery with homicide. Accused interposed alibi as defense. He questions credibility of witness.

HELD: For alibi to be believed it must be shown that: (a) the accused was in another place at the time of the commission of the offense; and (b) it was physically impossible for him to be at the crime scene. This was not shown here. However, he cannot be held liable for highway robbery. Conviction for highway robbery requires proof that several accused were organized for the purpose of committing it indiscriminately. There is no proof in the instant case that the accused and his cohorts organized themselves to commit highway robbery. Neither is there

proof that they attempted to commit robbery as to show the indiscriminate perpetration thereof. On the other hand, what the prosecution established was only a single act of depredation is not what is contemplated under PD 532 as its objective is to deter and punish lawless elements who commit acts of depredation upon persons and properties of innocent and defenseless inhabitants who travel from one place to another. Accused should be held liable for the special complex crime of robbery with homicide as the allegation in the information are enough to convict him therefore. PEOPLE V. REYNALDE LAZARTE G.R. NO. 130711
Accused was convicted of the crime of murder. Accused interposed self-defense.

HELD: In instances where an accused acknowledges full responsibility for the death of the victim but claims self-defense, the burden of evidence is transferred to the accused to prove that his taking of a life was justified and that he did not incur any criminal liability for the same. In order that he may be acquitted, the accused must prove that the 3 circumstances are present, namely: (a) 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 accused. Unlawful aggression was not proven. The alleged revolver used by the victim was not even presented in evidence. Further, accused did not even voluntarily surrender and opted to remain silent about the incident. A person claiming self-defense would have reported the incident to the police as he has nothing to hide. As to civil liability, aside from the ordinary indemnity of P50,000 accused is obliged to compensate the heirs of the victim for the latters lose of earning capacity and pay the heirs of the victim moral damages for the mental anguish suffered by them. PEOPLE V. ERNESTO SANTOS G.R. NO. 131103 & 143472
Accused was found guilty of 2 counts of rape of his 14 year old daughter. The information alleges that the crime was committed on or about sometime in 1988 and 1989. He avers that such allegations are indefinite and have deprived him of the right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him.

HELD: It is too late for the accused to question the form or substance of the information in these cases since he did not move to quash the information before he was arraigned. Further, in the crime of rape, the date of the commission is not an essential element of the crime. PEOPLE V. PACITA ORDONO G.R. NO. 132154 The 2 accused were convicted of the special complex crime of rape with homicide attended with conspiracy on the bases of their extra judicial confession. An interview with a radio announcer was also done where the 2 accused accepted responsibility for the crime. They now assail their conviction as their confession was attended by infirmities i.e. mainly the lack of counsel to assist them during custodial investigation. HELD: The absence of counsel renders the extra judicial confession inadmissible. The presence of the mayor, municipal judge and the family of the accused during the confession did not cure the

defect. However, statements spontaneously made by a suspect to a news reporter on televised interview are deemed voluntary and are admissible in evidence. By analogy, statements made by herein accused to a radio announcer should likewise be held admissible. The interview was not in the nature of an investigation, and thus, the uncounselled confession did not violate accuseds constitutional rights. PEOPLE V. BENIDO ALCARTADO G.R. NO. 132379-82 The 2 accused, stepfather and step grandfather of the victim, were convicted of rape and sentenced to suffer supreme penalty of death. The information, however, does not allege the relationship of the accused with the victim. HELD: The absence of the allegation of relationship in the information converted the crime to simple rape which is not punishable by death. Qualifying circumstances must be properly pleaded in the indictment. If the same are not pleaded, but are proved, they shall be considered only as aggravating circumstances. PEOPLE V. ARNOLD RATUNIL G.R. NO. 137270 The accused was convicted of the crime of rape with the use of force. Accused used sweetheart defense. He presented a letter written by the victim asking for money from the accused since she was leaving town. HELD: In a rape case, the testimony of the complainant is scrutinized with great caution, for the crime is usually known only to her and to her rapist. The dubious behavior of the alleged victim after the rape detracts from her credibility and creates reasonable doubt that may lead to the acquittal of the accused. Conviction always rests on the strength of the prosecutions evidence, never on the weakness of that of the defense. PEOPLE V. EDISON ARELLANO G.R. NO. 122477
Accused was convicted of murder. He assails credibility of the witnesses.

HELD: Positive identification, where categorical and consistent, without any showing of ill-motive on the part of the eyewitnesses testifying on the matter prevails over alibi and denial which if not substantiated by clear and convincing evidence are negative and self-serving evidence undeserving of weight in law. However, appellant should be convicted of homicide not murder since treachery was not established. Appellants stabbing of the victim was done on an impulse. As appellant did not consciously adopt the means of attack, treachery cannot be appreciated. As regards the monetary award, aside from the civil indemnity in the amount of P50,000 in accordance with Art. 2206 of the Civil Code, the defendant shall be liable for the loss of the earning capacity of the deceased and the indemnity shall be paid to the heirs of the latter; such indemnity shall be assessed and awarded by the court, unless the deceased on account of permanent and physical disability not caused by the defendant, had no earning capacity at the

time of award. The amount of loss of earning capacity is based mainly on 2 factors: (1) the number of years of which the damages shall be computed; and (2) the rate at which the losses sustained by the respondent should be fixed.

JULY 2000
PEOPLE V. AGAPITO LISTERIO G.R. NO. 122099
The accused was convicted of murder and frustrated murder committed with conspiracy. He assails the testimony of the witness as insufficient to convict him of her crime charged.

HELD: It is well settled that witnesses are to be weighed, not numbered, such that the testimony of a single, trustworthy and credible witness could be sufficient to convict an accused. The trial court found the witness testimony as candid and straightforward. Court defer to the lower courts findings consistent with the principle that the trial judge is the best and the most competent person who can weigh and evaluate the testimony of witnesses. Conspiracy was also proven. 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. If there is a chain of circumstances to that effect, conspiracy can be established. PEOPLE V. ELMER YPARRAGUIRE G.R. NO. 124391 Accused was convicted of raping a mentally retarded girl. Appellant contends that the trial court never acquired jurisdiction over the case because the complainant was signed and filed by the chief of police and not by the complainant. HELD: Pursuant to Section 5, Rule 110 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure, the offended party can initiate a prosecution for rape even if she is a minor, unless she is incompetent or incapable of doing so upon grounds other than her minority. Although the victim in this case is no longer a minor, it is undisputed that she is a mental retardate and suffering from physical deformity. No woman would come out in the open, inform the authorities of the injustice done to her, unless her purpose is to redress the wrong done against her honor. Once the violation of the law becomes known through a direct original participation initiated by the victim, the requirement of Art 344 of the RPC to the effect that the offense of rape shall not be prosecuted excerpt upon a complaint filed by the offended party or her parents are satisfied. Said provision is not determinative of the jurisdiction of courts over the private offenses because the same is governed by the Judiciary law, not the RPC. The complaint required in Art 344 is but a condition precedent to the exercise by the proper authorities of the power to prosecute the guilty parties. The complaint simply starts the prosecutory proceeding but does not confer jurisdiction on the court to try the case. PEOPLE V. KENNETH CANEDO G.R. NO. 128382

Accused was convicted of murder. HELD: Accused acquitted on reasonable doubt. The records do not show how witness described appellant and which description enabled an anonymous person to point at appellant as the one who stabbed the victim. In the absence of these critical details of description, we cannot adjudge whether the appellant was correctly and properly identified. Further, the crime was committed when a dance was being held. The fight was a rumble, participated in by a lot of people. All theses circumstances should make the identification of appellant difficult and we should be extra careful in evaluating witness testimony. Positive identification of malefactors should not be disregarded just because the name of some of them were supplied to the eyewitness. But in such cases, the description of the criminal was detailed and fitted the accused. In the instant case, these reliable details which could provide a good index for identification are missing. PEOPLE V. PETRONIL CASTILLO G.R. NO. 130205 Accused was convicted of raping the 9 year old daughter of his live-in partner. He assails the credibility of testimony since there are inconsistencies with the executed affidavit. HELD: Although there are omissions in the affidavit, such omissions did not diminish nor affect her credibility as a witness. Ex parte affidavits are generally considered incomplete and inaccurate and will thus not prevail over a witness statements on the stand. PEOPLE V. ORLIE SULTAN G.R. NO. 130594 Accused was convicted of carnapping with homicide. Appellants defense is alibi and denial. They also content that their identification in the police line up was a violation of their constitutional right and thus inadmissible. 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 easily be fabricated. Ergo, 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 crime and (b) that it would be physically impossible for him to have her at the scene of the crime. Since accused was unable to present witnesses to corroborate his testimony, his alibi cannot be appreciated. In resolving the admissibility of and relying on out of court identification of suspects, courts have adopted the totality of circumstances test where they consider the following factors: (1) he witness opportunity to view the criminal at the time of the crime; (2) the witness degree of attention at that time; (3) the accuracy of any prior description given by the witness; (4) the level of certainty demonstrated by the witness at the identification; (5) the length of time between the crime and the identification and (6) the suggestiveness of the identification procedure. Applying this, there was no violation of constitutional right. The witnesses positively identified the 3 accused inside the jail. The 3 accused were in the company of other inmates. Thus, they were in a group.

PEOPLE V. ROBERT ARANETA G.R. NO. 137604 The accused was convicted of the crime of murder. He anchors his defense on mistaken identity and denial and alibi. HELD: The appellants claim that witness was mistaken in naming him as Gilbert Araneta and not Robert Araneta does not destroy her credibility and is not sufficient to exculpate him. For even assuming that the accused real name is Robert, it is sufficient that she was positive as to his physical identity as a participant in the shooting of her son from her personal knowledge for purposes of identifying him in the present case. Given the positive identification made by the lone prosecution witness, the appellants uncorroborated defense of denial and alibi must fail. However, treachery and evident premeditation were not established, therefore, the crime committed can only be homicide, not murder. Abuse of superiority was however established. Considering that the victim when assaulted was unarmed, he was therefore no match to his 3 adversaries who were all armed with handguns. Our jurisprudence is exemplified by the holding that where 3 armed persons attacked the defenseless victim but there was no proof as to how the attack commence and treachery was not proved, the fact that there were 3 armed assailants would constitute abuse of superior strength. PEOPLE V. ROSENDO MENDEZ G.R. NO. 132546 Accused was found guilty of raping his 16 year old step daughter. He assails the defective information. HELD: The failure of the information to state that the accused raped the victim through force or intimidation is not a fatal omission in this case because the complaint alleged the ultimate fact that the accused raped the victim by means of force. So at the outset, the appellant could have readily ascertained that he was being accused of rape committed through force, a charge that sufficiently complies with Art 335. However, since the information alleges that the victim was his daughter, when in truth the actual relationship of the appellant with the victim is that of stepfather and stepdaughter, the appellant can be held liable only for simple rape. PEOPLE V. BERNARDINO CARANGUIAN G.R. NO. 124514 Accused was convicted of murder. He assails credibility of witness and interposed alibi as defense. HELD: The prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that it was appellant who perpetrated the killing. The information given by the witnesses at the identity of appellant is hearsay. The hearsay rule bars the testimony of a witness who merely recites what someone else has told him, whether orally or in writing. Section 36 of Rule 130 provides that a witness can testify only to those facts which he knows of his personal knowledge that is, which are derived from his own perception, except as otherwise provided in the rules. In fact, the witness testimony is even double or multiple hearsay since it is based upon third hand information related to the witness

by someone who heard it from others. Multiple hearsay is no more competent than single hearsay. PEOPLE V. FERNANDO DIASANTA G.R. NO. 128108 Accused was convicted of the crime of rape committed against his 12 year old daughter. He interposed alibi ad defense. HELD: Established is the rule that testimonies of rape victims especially of child victims are given full weight and credit. Well settled is the rule that when a woman, more so if she is a minor, says that she has been rapes, she says in effect all that is necessary to prove that rape was committed. Considering the categorical and unequivocal testimonies of the victim and an eyewitness, appellants alibi and self-serving denial cannot prosper. PEOPLE V. RAELITO LIBRANDO G.R. NO. 132251 The accused were convicted of murder. Appellants point out that they have no reason to assault the deceased since they had never any quarrel with the victim. They also assail the credibility of the child witness. HELD: While it is true that they have no motive to assault the deceased, nevertheless, it is hornbook knowledge that crimes have been attributed to persons who appear to have no reasons for committing them as long as they have been clearly identified as the offenders. Motive gains importance only when the identity of the culprit is suspect. It is also well-established that any child regardless of age can be competent witness if he can perceive and can make known his perceptions to others and that he is capable of relating truthfully facts for which he is examined. The childs competence as a witness are: (a) capacity of observation; (b) capacity of recollection; (c) capacity of communication. The childs lone testimony is sufficient to sustain a conviction. PEOPLE V. ROBERT FIGUEROA G.R. NO. 134056 Accused was convicted of violating Sec 14-A of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 972 Unauthorized manufacture of regulated drugs. He contends that since his alleged coconspirator was acquitted due to insufficiency of evidence to prove that she conspired with him, he should likewise be acquitted. HELD: Once a conspiracy is established, the act of one is the act of all, and each of the conspirators is liable for the crimes committed by the other conspirators. It follows then that if the prosecution fails to prove conspiracy, the alleged conspirators should be held individually responsible for their own respective acts. Accordingly, appellants criminal liability in this case must be judged on the basis of his own acts as established by the quantum of proof required in criminal cases. PEOPLE V. EVANGELINE ORDONO G.R. NO. 129593 143533-35

Accused was convicted of 2 counts of illegal recruitment and 2 counts of estafa. HELD: To be convicted for illegal recruitment, 2 elements must concur: (1) the offender has no valid license or authority required by law to enable one to lawfully engage in recruitment and placement of workers; and (2) he undertakes either any activity within the meaning of recruitment and placement. The 2 elements were proven. The testimonies of complainant corroborated each other and were buttressed by other prosecution witnesses. The elements of estafa are: (1) the accused defrauded another by abuse of confidence or by means of deceit; and (2) damage or prejudice capable of pecuniary estimation is caused by offended party. These were also established in the case. PEOPLE V. MEYNARD PANGANIBAN G.R. NO. 133028 Accused was convicted of estafa. Appellant contends that his conviction should be reversed because the element of fraud or deceit was not proven. He insists that the stop payment order was made in good faith and was not meant to evade payment of the debt. HELD: Despite his denials during testimony, it is obvious that appellant was aware at the time he made the postdated checks for several creditors that he would have several debts maturing at the same time, of which are recoverable from the same bank account. Then knowing that the balance is not sufficient to cover complainants check, he immediately ordered the drawee bank to stop its payment. These circumstances, taken together, indicate appellants intent to deceive and defraud at the time he issued the check. The indeterminate sentence law must also be applied. PEOPLE V. LEONCIO ALIVIANO G.R. NO. 133985 Accused was convicted of raping a 7 year old girl. He interposed denial and assails the admissibility of the medical certificate since the doctor who prepared it was not presented. HELD: Concededly, the subject medical certificate cannot be given any probative value. It is settled that since a medical certificate involves an opinion of one who must first be established as an expert witness, it could not be given weight nor credit unless the doctor who issued it be presented in court to show his qualifications. In any case, medical certificate is not indispensable to prove the commission of rape. It is merely a corroborative evidence. The lone testimony of the complainant which is credible and free from serious and material contradictions is sufficient to warrant the conviction of appellant. PEOPLE V. LUDIGARIO CANDELARIO G.R. NO. 125550 Accused was convicted of the crime of robbery with multiple rape. One of the accused is a youth offender and was thus placed under the custody of DSWD, Regional Rehabilitation Center for Youth. DSWD recommended that the case of the accused be dismissed and his custody be transferred to his father after taking into account the minors performance in the rehabilitation center.

HELD: The Final Report and Recommendation of the DSWD should be referred to the RTC for its appropriate action and disposition. Where the DSWD recommends the discharge of a youthful offender, it is the trial court before whom the report and recommendation is subject to judicial review. Recommendation alone is not sufficient to warrant the release of a youthful offender. The youthful offender however is not to be tries anew by the trial court. The inquiry is not a criminal prosecution but is rather limited to the determination of the offenders proper education and his moral and social fitness to re-join the community. PEOPLE V. FEDERICO ULGASAN G.R. NO. 131824-26 Accused was convicted of 3 counts of rape committed against an 11 year old girl. Accused interposed denial and alibi. He assails the credibility of witness. HELD: A witness who testified in a categorical, straightforward, spontaneous and frank manner and remained consistent on cross-examination is a credible witness. When the accused was positively identified by the victim who harbored no ill motive against the accused, the defense of alibi must fail. For the defense of alibi to prosper, it is essential that he can show physical impossibility for him to be at the locus criminis. In the case at bar, it is possible for appellant to be present at the scene of the crime. PEOPLE V. ROLDAN BOHOL G.R. NO. 130587 Accused was convicted of kidnapping with murder. He interposed alibi as defense. HELD: For alibi to be tenable, accused must establish by clear and convincing evidence that he was somewhere else when the crime was committed and that it was physically impossible for him to be at the crime scene at the time of the commission of the crime. Here, the alleged place where the accused was at the time of the crime was only 40 meters from the place where the victim was shot. It was not physically impossible for him to be at the scene of the crime at the time of the shooting. PEOPLE V. MARCOS MUCAM G.R. NO. 137276 Accused was convicted of robbery with homicide. He questions sufficiency of evidence to warrant conviction. HELD: As a rule, the trial courts assessment of the credibility of witnesses and their testimonies is binding on appellate courts, absent any fact or circumstance of weight and substance that may have been overlooked, misapprehended or misapplied. In this case, the court a quo committed serious lapses which warrant the acquittal of the appellant. PEOPLE V. ERNESTO DELA CRUZ G.R. NO. 118967

Accused was convicted of murder. Defense interposed denial and alibi. He questions credibility of sole witness and testimonies being insufficient to sustain conviction. He points inconsistencies between the witness testimony and her declarations during preliminary investigation. HELD: The testimony of a sole witness, if found convincing and credible by the trial court is sufficient to support a finding of guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Declarations at the preliminary investigation which are conducted to determine the existence of a probable cause and to secure the innocent against hasty, malicious and oppressive prosecution, should not be equated with testimonies before the court. While transcripts of a preliminary investigation may form part of the records of the case, testimony taken at the trial on the merits of the case where the adverse party has the full opportunity to cross-examine the witness and to ferret out the truth, deserves more credence. Similarly, sworn statements that are taken ex-parte are generally incomplete and therefore, discrepancies between statements made on the witness stand and those in an affidavits are generally subordinated in importance in open court declarations because they are often times not in such a state as to afford him a fair opportunity of narrating in full the incident which transpired. PEOPLE V. ALBERTO ANTONIO G.R. NO. 128900 Accused was convicted of murder. He questions credibility of witness because the latters first statement differed with his succeeding statements and his testimony in open court. HELD: Affidavits or statements taken ex-parte are generally considered incomplete and inaccurate. Thus, by nature, they are inferior to testimony given in court and whenever there is inconsistency between the affidavit and the testimony of a witness in court, the testimony commands greater weight. Moreover, inconsistencies between the declaration of the affiant in his sworn statements and those in open court do not necessarily discredit said witness. Previous statements cannot serve as bases for impeaching the credibility of a witness unless his attention was first directed to the discrepancies and he was then given an opportunity to explain them. It is only when no reasonable explanation is given by a witness in reconciling his conflicting declarations that he should be deemed impeached. Further, in an appeal, where the culpability or innocence of an accused would hinge on the issue of credibility of witnesses and the veracity of their testimonies, findings of trial court are entitled to and given the highest degree of respect. There was no treachery. It is not only the sudden attack that qualifies a killing into murder. There must be a conscious and deliberate adoption of the mode of attack for a specific purpose. All the evidence shows was that the incident was an impulse killing. It was a spur of the moment crime. A sudden and unexpected attack would not constitute alevosia where the aggressor did not consciously adopt a mode of attack intended to penetrate the homicide without risk to himself. PEOPLE V. ROLANDO BAYBADO G.R. NO. 132136 Accused was convicted for raping his own daughter. He interposed defense,. Information however failed to allege the minority of the complainant. HELD: alibi as

For evidence to be believed, it must not only proceed from the mouth of a credible witness but must be credible in itself such as the common experience and observation of mankind can approve as probable under the circumstances. The test to determine the value of the testimony of a witness is whether such is in conformity with knowledge and consistent with the experience of mankind. Whatever is repugnant to these standards becomes incredible that lies outside pf judicial cognizance. In this case, the testimony of appellant barely meets the minimum standard of credibility. Accused however is guilty only of simple rape as there was no allegation as to the minority of the complainant. PEOPLE V. VALENTIN MATIBAG G.R. NO. 110515 Accused was convicted of murder. Statements from 2 witnesses were taken. However, only 1witnes was presented. HELD: Their extrajudicial statement of the witness who was not placed in the witness stand should not be considered because it deprived the defense of its right to cross-examination. The veracity of her statements, not having been ascertained, should not have been given any probative value at all. Be that as it may, her testimony is merely corroborative and its exclusion will not affect the finding of guilt of the accused. PEOPLE V. BERNARDO DAROY G.R. NO. 118942 The accused was convicted of murder. Defense questions the credibility of witnesses. HELD: Well-entrenched is the tenet that this Court will not interfere with the trial courts assessment of the credibility of the witnesses absent any indication or showing that the trial court has overlooked some material facts or gravely abused its discretion. The matter of assigning values to declarations at the witness stand is best and most competently performed or carried out by a trial judge, who, unlike appellate magistrate, can weigh such testimony in light of the accuseds behavior, demeanor, conduct and attitude at the trial. PEOPLE V. ANICETA AQUINO G.R. NO. 130742 Accused was convicted of estafa. Trial court found conspiracy on the acts of the accused appellant of facilitating and initiating the meeting between the other 2 accused and the complainant and in convincing the latter to sell rice to the former and following it up till the delivery of the same. HELD: Court is not convinced that conspiracy to defraud complainant was proven. A conspiracy exists when 2 or more persons come to an agreement concerning the commission of a felony and decide to commit it. It is the unity of purpose and intention in the commission of a crime. To establish conspiracy, there must be proof that 2 or more persons agreed to commit the crime. However, mere knowledge, acquiescence or agreement to cooperate is not enough to constitute one as a conspirator, absent any active participation in the commission of the crime, with a view to the furtherance of the common design and purpose. And to be he basis of

conviction, conspiracy must be proven in the same manner as any element of the criminal ct itself. The same degree of proof required to establish the crime is necessary to support a finding of the presence of conspiracy, that is, it must be shown to exist s clearly and convincingly as the commission of the offense itself. PEOPLE V. BETH BANZALES G.R. NO. 132289 Accused was found guilty of illegal recruitment in large scale. Defense challenges the sufficiency of the prosecutions evidence. HELD: Despite non presentation of POEA officer to testify, the POEA certification will suffice to prove that she has no permit to engage in the business. POEA certification is a pubic document issued by a public officer in the performance of an official duty, hence, it is a prima facie evidence of the facts therein stated. Public documents are entitled to presumption of regularity, consequently, the burden of proof rests upon him who alleges the contrary. PEOPLE V. ANTHONY MELCHOR PALMONES G.R. NO. 136303 The accused were convicted of murder. Defense interposed alibi as defense. The conviction of the 2 accused was based largely on the alleged dying declaration of the victim made to 2 witnesses of the prosecution and the apparent weakness of their defense. HELD: Dying declaration is one of the exceptions to the rule of inadmissibility of hearsay evidence. The requirement are: (1) it must concern the crime and the surrounding circumstances of the declarants death; (2) at the time it was made, the declarant was under a consciousness of impending death; (3) the declarant was competent as a witness; (4) the declaration was offered in a criminal case for murder, homicide or parricide where the declarant was the victim. In the instant case, it was not established by the prosecution that the statements of the declarant were made under the consciousness of impending death. No proof to this effect was ever presented by the prosecution. Neither may the alleged statements be admissible as part of the res gestae. Res gestae refers to those exclamations and statements made by either the participants, victims, or spectators to a crime immediately before, during, or after the commission of a crime when the circumstances are such that the statements were made as a spontaneous reaction or utterance inspired by the excitement of the occasion ands there was no opportunity for the declarant to deliberate and to fabricate a false statement. In order to admit the statements as evidence part of res gestae, the element of spontaneity is critical. PEOPLE V. ROLANDO CARDEL G.R. NO. 105582 The accused were convicted of murder. They boxed and stabbed a snatcher who was caught while running with the loot. Conspiracy, treachery and abuse of superior strength were found by the trial court. Defense interposed alibi. HELD:

The defense of alibi cannot prevail over the positive identification of the appellants by the prosecution witnesses. Conspiracy was not proven. The existence of conspiracy is never presumed. It is axiomatic that the prosecution must establish conspiracy beyond reasonable doubt. Hence, appellant will be separately adjudged according to the extent of their individual participation in the commission of the crime charged in the information. Treachery was also not present. The fact that the victim had a stab wound at the back is not, in itself, indicative of treachery. Where treachery is alleged, the manner of attack must be proven. It cannot be presumed or concluded merely on the basis of the resulting crime. Also, the appellant does not appear to have consciously adopted the mode of attack to facilitate the killing of the victim without risk to himself. The stabbing was the result of a rash and impetuous impulse of the moment, rather than from a deliberate act of will, thus negating the existence of treachery. Abuse of superior strength may not be appreciated to qualify the killing to the crime of murder for the reason that the same is not alleged in the information. It has been the rule that qualifying circumstances must be properly pleaded in the indictment. PEOPLE V. ARIEL PEDROSO G.R. NO. 125128 The accused was convicted of robbery with homicide. He was sentenced by the trial court to suffer the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua to death. HELD: Under Art. 63 of the Revised Penal Code, if an accused is found guilty of a felony for which the law prescribes a penalty composed of 2 indivisible penalties, the trial court judge has to impose one or the other, not both. Since no aggravating circumstance was alleged in the information and since neither was any mitigating circumstance established by the defense, the lesser penalty of Reclusion Perpetua should be imposed. PEOPLE V. DOMINADOR GUILLERMO G.R. NO. 111292 The accused were convicted of murder. Defense interposed alibi. HELD: Prosecution witness inconsistencies are more than enough to engender some doubt as to the guilt of the appellants. The onus probandi in establishing the guilt of an accused for a criminal offense lies with the prosecution. The burden must be discharged by it on the strength of its own evidence and not on the weakness of the evidence for the defense or the lack of it. Proof beyond reasonable doubt, or that quantum of proof sufficient to produce a moral certainty that would convince and satisfy the conscience of those who are to act in judgment, is indispensable to overcome the constitutional presumption of innocence. The overriding consideration is not whether the court doubts the innocence of the accused but whether it entertains a reasonable doubt as to his guilt. PEOPLE V. LIBERATO GIGANTO, SR. G.R. NO. 123077 The accused were convicted of murder. The defense interposed alibi. Conviction was rendered based on the testimony of he eyewitness. HELD:

Trial court relied on the weakness of the defense rather than on the strength of the prosecution evidence, by emphasizing that alibi is a weak defense. It is settled that where the evidence of the prosecution is itself feeble, particularly as to the identity of the accused as the author of the crime, the defense of alibi assumes importance and acquires commensurate strength. The rule that alibi must be satisfactorily proven was never intended to change the burden of proof in criminal cases, otherwise, the accused would be put in the difficult position of proving his innocence even where the prosecutions evidence is vague and weak. The prosecution cannot profit from the weakness of the appellants alibi. It must rely on the strength of its evidence and establish the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. PEOPLE V. ERNST GEORG HOLZER G.R. NO. 132323 The accused were convicted of estafa. Appellants contend that their liability is only civil and not criminal since the check was issued only to secure the loan they obtained from complainant and that there was no deceit on their part because they duly informed the complainant that the check was not yet funded. HELD: The elements of estafa involved in this case are: (1) the offender has postdated or issued a check in payment of an obligation contracted at the time of the postdating or issuance; (2) at the time of postdating or issuance of said check, the offender has no funds in the bank or the funds deposited were not sufficient to cover the amount of the check; (3) the payee has been defrauded. The drawer of the dishonored check is given 3 days from receipt of the notice of dishonor to deposit the amount necessary to cover the check. Otherwise, a prima facie presumption of deceit will arise which must then be overcome by the accused. In this case, no evidence of deceit accompanied the issuance of the check. The prosecution presented evidence to show that a notice of dishonor had been sent to appellant. The complainant actually knew at the time of the issuance of the check that it was not funded and that the money to cover it was still to come from Switzerland. PEOPLE V. JIMMY ANTONIO G.R. NO. 128149 The accused was found guilty of 3 counts of rape. Appellants make issue of the trial; courts reliance on the victims testimony. HELD: Credible, natural and convincing testimony of the victim is sufficient basis to convict. The inconsistencies pointed out cannot overthrow the trial courts conviction. For a discrepancy in testimony to acquit, such must refer to significant facts crucial to the guilt or innocence of the accused. Inconsistencies irrelevant to the elements of the crime are not grounds to reverse the conviction. Further, appellants were at large for 5 years. Flight indicates guilt. Accuseds acts of not confronting their accuser goes against the principle that the first impulse of an innocent man when accused with wrong doing is to express his innocence at the first opportune time. PEOPLE V. ALEJANDRO SURILLA G.R. NO. 129164 The accused was found guilty of the crime of rape committed against his 14 year old daughter. HELD:

There are 3 guiding principles in rape cases: (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 2 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. Here, the trial courts finding as to the credibility of the complainants testimony deserve respect. Further, the accused escaped from jail and was only recaptured. Flight is an implied admission of guilt and his desire to evade responsibility therefore. Death penalty however cannot be imposed because relationship of complainant with the accused was not alleged in the information. PEOPLE V. SALVACION CAPARAS G.R. NO. 133568 Accused was found guilty of violating the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1072. Appellant questions judgment of conviction because there was no showing that a sale of prohibited drug took place. She argues that the prosecution has failed to establish that money or specifically marked money was paid or exchanged hands between her and the supposed poseurbuyer. She theorizes that in a contract of sale, the payment of the contract price is essential to consummate the transaction. Considering that there was no payment made, the contract of sale was not consummated and inevitably, the accused cannot be convicted for the illegal sale of prohibited drug. HELD: Under Sec 4, the act of selling or acting as broker in a sale of marijuana and other prohibited drugs consummates the crime. It punishes the mere act of delivery of prohibited drugs after the offer to buy by the entrapping officer has been accepted by the seller. The absence of the marked money does not create a hiatus in the evidence for the prosecution as long as the sale of the dangerous drugs is adequately proven and the drug subject of the transaction is presented before the court. In every prosecution for the illegal sale of dangerous drugs, what is material and indispensable is the submission of proof that the sale of illicit drug took place between the seller and the poseur-buyer. PEOPLE V. ROLAND MOLINA G.R. NO. 134777-78 Accused was found guilty of murder and frustrated murder. Accused denied commission of the crime and imputed the same to another person. HELD: As weighed against the positive identification of accused by one of his victims, which was further corroborated by an eyewitness to the scene, and the absence of any showing of illmotive on their part other than their quest for justice, appellants denial of the commission of the crime and imputation of the same to another person is demolished to obscurity. Besides, the imputation of the crime to another malefactor was heard of only during his testimony, and was never raised before the police authorities during the investigation. Clearly, his bare denial amounts to nothing more than negative and self-serving evidence undeserving of weight in law. As to the amount of damages, prevailing jurisprudence sets the civil indemnity for death in the amount of P50,000, which can be awarded without need of further proof other than the death of the victim. With respect to actual damages, the court can only grant such amount for expenses if they are supported by receipts. Moral damages may be recovered in criminal offenses

resulting in physical injuries but there must be a factual basis for the award. As to exemplary damages, there being one aggravating circumstance, exemplary damages in the amount of P30,000 may be awarded in both murder and frustrated murder case pursuant to Art 2230 of the New Civil Code. PEOPLE V. FEDERICO CAMPANER G.R. NO. 130500 & 143834 The accused was found guilty of 2 counts of rape against his 15 year old daughter of his common law spouse. HELD: In evaluating the credibility of rape victims, the court has repeatedly held that it is not unnatural for inconsistencies to creep into the testimony of a rape victim, especially one who is of tender age, as the witness is narrating the details of a harrowing experience. So long as the testimony is consistent on material points, slightly conflicting statements will not undermine the witness credibility nor the veracity of her testimony. On the contrary, these mistakes in fact strengthen, rather than weaken, the complainants credibility as they erase suspicion that the testimony is rehearsed. However, death cannot be imposed since the relationship of the complainant with the accused was not alleged in the information. PEOPLE V. MARCELINO SAN JUAN G.R. NO. 112449-50 Accused was convicted of (1) robbery with rape and (2) highway robbery. He contends that since he did not flee from his residence, he should be exonerated. HELD: It is true that the flight of an accused is competent evidence against him tending to establish his guilt. However, no law nor jurisprudence holds that non-flight per se is conclusive proof of his innocence. Further, for alibi to be validly invoked, the accused must not only prove that he was somewhere else when the crime was committed but must also establish that it was physically impossible for him to be at the locus criminis at the time of the commission of the crime. PEOPLE V. RICARDO TORTOSA G.R. NO.116739 Accused was convicted of murder. He questions the credibility of witnesses. HELD: The trial court did not err in giving full faith and credit to the testimonies of the prosecution witness. The record is bereft of any evidence to show that the witnesses had improper motive to testify falsely against appellant and the rule is well settled that absent evidence showing any reason or motive for a prosecution witness to perjure, the logical conclusion is that no such improper motive exists, and that the testimony is worthy of full faith and credit. PEOPLE V. JAIME BALACANO G.R. NO. 127156 Accused was found guilty of the crime of rape committed against his 14 year old step daughter. He contends that there is reasonable doubt as to his guilt to warrant his acquittal.

HELD: Reasonable doubt is not a mere guess that the appellant may or may not be guilty. It is such a doubt that a reasonable man may entertain after a fair review and consideration of the evidence. It is a state of mind engendered by insufficient proof. But, time and again, the Court has ruled that the lone testimony of the victim may suffice to convict the rapist. When a victim says she has been raped, she says in effect all that is necessary to show that rape has been committed and if her testimony meets the test of credibility, the accused may be convicted on the basis thereof. Further, absence of threats does not negate the charge of rape. Although it is true that there were no physical injuries found in the victims body, in rape cases, absence of bodily threats does not matter where there is an existing relationship between the appellant and the victim, resulting to moral ascendancy of the former over the latter. PEOPLE V. RAMIL SAMOLDE G.R. NO. 128551 Accused was convicted of murder. Accused executed an extrajudicial confession. He also admitted in open court to the commission of the crime. HELD: Extrajudicial confession of accused is not admissible in evidence. He was not informed of his constitutional right before his statements were taken. However, his open court testimony is enough to convict him. His subsequent allegation that he was given money to accept culpability deserves scant consideration. Judicial confession constitutes evidence of a high order. The presumption is that no sane person would deliberately confess to the commission of a crime unless prompted to do so by truth and conscience. Further, accused went into hiding. Flight has been held to be an indication of guilt. PEOPLE V. ERIC BAID G.R. NO. 129667 Accused was convicted of rape committed against a mental patient. He contends that as complainant is schizophrenic, her testimony should not have been given credence by the trial court. Further, he contends that victim consented with the sex. HELD: Notwithstanding her mental illness, complainant showed that she was qualified to be a witness. She could perceive and was capable of making known her perceptions to others. Her testimony indicates that she could understand questions particularly relating to the incident and could give her responsive answers to them. Although complainant herself admitted that she agreed to have sex with him after he gave her a stick of cigarette, it should be stressed that complainant was in no position to give her consent. Accused is to be convicted under Art 335 par 2, rape of a woman deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious. The phrase deprived of reason has been construed to include those suffering from mental abnormality or deficiency or some other form of mental retardation, those who are feebleminded although coherent. PEOPLE V. ANTONIO DE LA TONGGA G.R. NO. 133246 Accused was convicted of murder. Defense argues that prosecution failed to establish the identity of the assailant. HELD:

The finding of the trial court as to the credibility of the witnesses deserves respect. Further, the defense of alibi is so weak. In order to prosper, it must be so convincing as to preclude any doubt that the accused could not have been physically present at the place of the crime or its vicinity at the time of the commission of the crime. Further, treachery was properly appreciated. The fact that the victim had been forewarned by somebody against possible attack does not negate the presence of treachery. What is important is that the victim was attacked even before he and his companions could get out of the tricycle. The mode of attack ensured the commission of the crime without risk to the accused. PEOPLE V. OSCAR MANSUETO G.R. NO. 135196 The accused was convicted of murder. Defense interposed denial and alibi. HELD: Alibi is an inherently weak defense, easy to fabricate and highly unreliable. For said defense to prosper, he accused must not only prove that he was at some other place at the time the crime was committed but that it was physically impossible for him to be at the locus criminis at the time of the alleged crime. However, this was not shown here.

AUGUST 2000

PEOPLE V. FRANCISCO VILLANOS G.R. NO. 126648 Accused was convicted of rape. The victim was raped when unconscious. HELD: In cases where the victim is raped in a state of unconsciousness, the fact of sexual assault and the identity of the assailant can be established from the events preceding or following the victims loss of consciousness. True, there was no test conducted to determine the presence of any sedative or drug in the drinks given to the victims which caused them to lose momentarily control of their faculties. But this is of little consequence as the same is not an indispensable element in a prosecution for rape. Under the circumstances, it suffices that the victim was found to have been unconscious at the time the offender had carnal knowledge of her. PEOPLE V. BLAS ROSARIO G.R. NO. 122769 Accused were convicted of murder. Defense assails credibility of prosecutions lone witness. HELD: Assessment of the credibility of witnesses lies within the province and competence of the trial courts. Appellate courts will not disturb the credence, or lack of it, accorded by the trial court to the testimonies of the witnesses, unless it be clearly shown that the latter could have overlooked or disregarded arbitrarily the facts and circumstances of significance in the case. In the case at bar, the findings of the trial court are supported by substantial evidence. PEOPLE V. PONCIANO AGLIPA G.R. NO. 130941

Accused was found guilty of murder and frustrated murder. Defense interposed self-defense. HELD: The burden of proof shifts to the person invoking self-defense, who, with clear and convincing evidence must establish all the following requisites: (a) 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 claiming self-defense. Upon failure to establish these requisites, conviction is inevitable because the accused, by setting up self-defense, admits being the author of the killing. PEOPLE V. RAMWELL LOMIBAO G.R. NO. 135855 Accused was convicted of raping his 11 year old daughter. Defense interposed denial. HELD: Defense of alibi is the weakest of all defenses for it is easy to contrive and difficult to prove. A positive identification of the accused made by an eyewitness prevails over such a defense. The denial of the accused cannot prevail over the categorical testimony of the victim that he raped her. The absence of convincing evidence showing any improper motive on the part of the principal witness for the prosecution strongly tends to sustain the conclusion that no such improper motive exists, and that their testimonies are worthy of full faith and credit. Even if the victim was not familiar with the precise date of the commission of the offense and the time of its occurrence, this fact does not convince the court that she was not raped by him. The date of commission of the rape is not an essential element of the crime. However, since relationship was not alleged in the information, death sentence cannot be imposed in the absence of the qualifying circumstance. PEOPLE V. ELMER FEGIDERO G.R. NO. 113446 Accused was convicted of robbery with homicide. He was committed based on circumstantial evidence. HELD: 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. Circumstantial evidence suffices to convict if the ff. elements are present: (1) there is more than one circumstance; (2) the facts from which the inferences are derived are proven; (3) the combination of all the circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt. A judgment of conviction based on circumstantial evidence can be sustained only when the circumstances proved form an unbroken chain which leads to a fair and reasonable conclusion pointing to the accused, to the exclusion of all others, as the culprit. In the case at bar, the combination of all the circumstancial evidence presented established the participation of the accused in the robbery and death of the victim. PEOPLE V. CRISPIN CANONIGO G.R. NO. 133649 Accused was convicted of statutory rape committed against an 11 year old girl in full view of the latters 5 year old sister. Death was imposed.

HELD: Death cannot be imposed. In the case at bar, the attendant aggravating circumstance that the victim was raped in full view of a relative within the third civil degree of consanguinity was not alleged in the information filed against the accused. Further, trial court erred in considering this as statutory rape. To effectively prosecute for statutory rape, its elements must be set out in the complaint or information to apprise the accused of the crime of which he is being charged. The gravamen of the offense of statutory rape is in having carnal knowledge with a girl under 12 years of age. In the case a bar, although it was established during the trial that the victim was only 11 years old at the time the crime was committed, the information filed against the accused charged him with having carnal knowledge of a girl who is 12 years of age. PEOPLE V. BERNALDO DOCDOC G.R. NO. 134679 Accused was convicted of rape. HELD: There is an absence of physical evidence to corroborate victims claim of resistance. Verily, the law does not impose on the rape victim the burden of proving resistance where force was used on her. However, in the case at bar, where the victims narration of the rape incident is open to doubt and does not jibe with human experience, physical evidence of bruises and scratches on her face or arms which were allegedly pinned behind her back would have spoken louder than words. PEOPLE V. DELANO MENDIOLA G.R. NO. 134846 Accused was convicted of raping his 5 year old daughter. HELD: A rape victim who testifies in a categorical, straightforward, spontaneous and frank manner and remains consistent is a credible witness. The lone testimony of the victim, which if credible and free from any serious and material contradictions, as in this case, is enough basis for the accuseds prosecution and conviction. PEOPLE V. JOCELYN ACBANGIN G.R. NO. 117216 Accused was convicted of kidnapping and serious illegal detention. Two days after the taking of the child, she informed the childs parents of the whereabouts of the child. HELD: In cases of kidnapping, if the person detained is a child, the question is whether there was actual deprivation of the childs liberty and whether it was the intention of the accused to deprive the parents of the custody of the child. The child in this case was deprived of liberty. True, she was treated well, however, there is still kidnapping. For there to be kidnapping, it is not necessary that the victim be placed in an enclosure. It is enough that the victim is restrained from going home. The intention to deprive the childs parents of her custody is indicated by the accuseds hesitation for 2 days to disclose the whereabouts of the child and more so by her actual taking of the child. Accuseds motive at this point is not relevant. It is not an element of

the crime. The fact that she later on felt remorse and showed the childs parents where the former was, cannot absolve her. At that point, the crime was consummated. The testimony of the child is also credible. A witness young age will not deter him or her from being a competent and credible witness. To be a competent child witness, the following must be met: (a) capacity of observation; (b) capacity of recollection; (c) capacity of communication PEOPLE V. VIVENCIO LABUGUEN G.R. NO. 127849 Accused was convicted of robbery with homicide. Defense interposed denial and alibi. He was convicted based on circumstantial evidence. HELD: Circumstantial evidence is sufficient for conviction if: (a) there is more than one circumstance; (b) the facts from which the inferences are derived are proven; (c) the combination of all the circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt. In this case, the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses spawn and generate facts which constitute an unbroken chain of events leading to the inevitable conclusion of guilt on the part of the appellant. PEOPLE V. POTENCIANO ARCO G.R. NO. 132062 Accused was convicted of raping a 10 year old child. Defense interposed alibi. HELD: Not only was accuseds alibi weak, it also did not rule out the possibility of his having committed the crime. It was not physically impossible therefore, for the accused to be at the crime scene, rape the victim and go back to his work. PEOPLE V. AGAPITO AGRAVANTE G.R. NO. 119955 Accused was convicted of raping a 14 year old retardate. He contends that victims testimony is unreliable because of her mental capacity or state of mind. HELD: A mental retardate is not for this reason alone disqualified from being a witness. In this case, the victim was able to intelligently make known such perceptions or narrate them truthfully despite the grueling examination by both prosecutor and defense counsel. PEOPLE V. PEDRO DUCTA G.R. NO. 134608 Accused was convicted of raping a 43 year old retarded woman. HELD: State of mental retardation of a victim of rape can be established by evidence other than the medical findings of a specialist. So also, the court has said that a woman need not be completely deprived of reason for sexual intercourse by a man with her to constitute the crime of rape. The term deprived of reason has been construed to include the feeble-minded although coherent and those suffering from mental deficiency or some form of mental disorder. Further,

a mental retardate who has the ability to make known her perceptions is still a competent witness. PEOPLE V. MARIO MYRNO TAN G.R. NO. 120672 Accused was found guilty of estafa. Appellant contends that the prosecution failed to sufficiently prove that the merchandise he ordered were delivered to and received by him or his authorized representatives. Thus, he argues, he cannot be held liable for estafa since he was not able to obtain the goods from the private complainant by means of the check he issued. HELD: Art 315 (2)(d) of the RPC penalizes any person who shall defraud another by postdating a check or issuing a check in payment of an obligation when the offender has no funds in the bank. The transaction between the parties here is in the nature of contract of sale. The contract of purchase and sale is reciprocal and from it arises not only the obligation to deliver the thing but also that of paying the price. In this case, there is no ample proof that appellant or his representatives ever received the merchandise. Since no damage was sustained by complainant in as much as appellant received nothing of value from the complainant, appellant cannot be held guilty of estafa. He had no obligation to pay or to make good the issued check. PEOPLE V. PEDRO GABIANA G.R. NO. 123543 Accused was convicted of raping an 11 year old girl. Appellant interposed the defense of denial and alibi. HELD: Basic is the rule that alibi which is easy to concoct cannot prevail over the positive identification by the witnesses. What is more, appellant utterly failed to prove that it was physically impossible for him to be at the scene of the crime at the approximate time of his commission.

PEOPLE V. IAN CONTRERAS


G.R. NO. 137123-34 Accused was convicted of raping several children. On appeal to CA, the accused escaped from jail. HELD: His appeal should be dismissed. He cannot invoke the jurisdiction of the Court to seek a review of his conviction after he has made a mockery of the judicial process by escaping from prison. However, this does not affect the review in criminal cases where death penalty had been imposed because review in such case is not only automatic but also mandatory. PEOPLE V. AGUSTIN AGPAWAN G.R. NO. 123853 Accused was convicted of murder. Conspiracy and treachery were found by court. HELD: Conspiracy exists when 2 or more persons come to an agreement concerning the commission of a felony and decide to commit 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. Conspiracy was established in the instant case by the concerted and synchronized actions of the accused and his companions in carrying out the ambush. Treachery was also correctly appreciated as the method employed in the execution of the crime ensured no risk to the assailants arising from the defense which their victims might put up. PEOPLE V. FELIX ANTIDO G.R. NO. 129217 The 2 accused were convicted of murder. Defense questions adequacy of evidence and finding of treachery. HELD: One of the witnesses is a victim himself having been stabbed by the appellant. As such, his testimony, standing alone, can be made the basis of accuseds prosecution and conviction, if such testimony meets the test of credibility. The matter of accuracy of the identification by the victim of the offenders is a factual issue resolved by the trial court which should be given weight on appeal, unless there are convincing indications that certain facts or circumstances of weight and significance have been overlooked. An unexpected and sudden attack under circumstances which render the victim unable and unprepared to defend himself by reason of the suddenness and severity of the attack constitutes alevosia and the fact that the act was frontal does not preclude the presence of treachery. PEOPLE V. ROBERTO BANIHIT G.R. NO. 132045 Accused was convicted of raping his 9 year old niece. He contends that death penalty should not be imposed since the information accuse him of rape under Art 335 par 3 which is punishable by reclusion perpetua. HELD: What is controlling in an information should not be the title of the complaint, nor the designation of the offense charged or the particular law or part thereof allegedly violated, these being, by and large, mere conclusions of law made by the prosecutor, but the description of the crime charged and the particular facts therein cited. The real nature of the criminal charge is determined not from the caption or preamble of the information nor from the specification of the law allegedly violated, but from the actual recital of facts alleged in the body of the information. However, the relationship to the victim, while proven by competent evidence, was not sufficiently alleged in the information. PEOPLE V. RENATO PUZON G.R. NO. 123156-59 Accused was found guilty of statutory rape for raping his own daughters. The victims testified that appellant was not able to insert his penis into their vagina because they kept on moving in an effort to evade the sex organ of the appellant. However, they recounted that the penis of appellant touched the lips of their vagina and they felt pain in the process. The information indicted him for the crime of rape with force and intimidation under par 1 of Art. 335, although the prosecutor established that complainants were below 12 years old at the time of the rape. HELD:

Conviction of appellant for statutory rape absent any allegation in the information that the complainants were below 12 years old at the time of the rape and not for rape through force or intimidation which was the method alleged would violate the right of the appellant to be informed of the nature of the accusation against him, which right is granted by the Constitution. Convicting appellant of a crime not alleged while he is concentrating his defense against the offense alleged would be unfair and underhanded. However, the force or intimidation employed by the culprit and resistance put up by the victim are not necessary for the conviction of the perpetrator. In incestuous rape, the absence of violence or offer of resistance by the victim would not matter because of the overpowering and overbearing moral ascendancy by the father over his daughter. Lack of penetration cannot exculpate appellant. Settled is the rule that complete penetration is not essential. The slightest touching of the lips of the female organ or labia of the pudendum constitutes rape. PEOPLE CARLOS MENEQUE G.R. NO. 129964-65 Accused was convicted of 2 counts of murder. Accused invoked self-defense. HELD: A plea of self-defense automatically shifts the burden of proof from the prosecution to the defense since such a plea means that the accused admits to having performed the criminal act, but disclaims legal liability on the ground that his life had been exposed to harm first before he committed the act in defense of himself. Thus, when the accused invokes self-defense, he must rely on the strength of his own evidence and not on the weakness of the prosecutions evidence, for even if the latter were weak, it could not be disbelieved after the accuseds open admission of responsibility for the killing. In the case at bar, apart from self-serving statements, appellants testimony is uncorroborated by independent and competent evidence, thus cannot be given weight. PEOPLE V. SEGUNDO CANO G.R. NO. 130631 Accused was convicted of 2 counts of rape committed against his 15 year old daughter. He assails delay in filing of complaint and interposed alibi as defense. HELD: By itself, delay in prosecuting rape is not an indication of fabricated charges. The charge is only rendered doubtful if the delay was unreasonable and unexplained. PEOPLE V. MARIO LACBAYAN G.R. NO. 125006 The 2 accused were convicted of murder. In their defense, appellants denied any knowledge of the incident. They assail the credibility of prosecution witnesses by pointing to alleged inconsistencies. HELD: It is perfectly natural for different witnesses testifying on the occurrence of a crime to give varying details as there may be some details which one witness may notice while the other may not observe or remember. In fact, jurisprudence even warns against a perfect dove tailing of narration by different witnesses as it could mean that their testimonies were prefabricated and rehearsed. Finally, a careful examination of the evidence on record shows that while the

prosecution witnesses differ in their narration of trivial details like those mentioned on appeal, they did not waver in their identification of the appellants as the perpetrators of the crime. PEOPLE V. CESAR MELENDRES G.R. NO. 133999-4001 Accused was convicted of 3 counts of rape committed against the 11 year old daughter of his common law wife. He contends that accused and complainant were actually lovers. HELD: In rape cases falling under Art 335 (3) when the woman is under 12 years of age or is demented, 2 elements must be established to hold the accused guilty of rape: (1) that the accused had carnal knowledge of a woman; (2) that the woman is below 12 years of age. Proof of consent of the woman is immaterial. Sexual intercourse with a woman below 12 years old is statutory rape. Her consent to the intercourse is involuntary because she is considered to have no will of her own. SEPTEMBER 2000 PEOPLE V. ALBERTO DANO G.R. NO. 117690 Acused was convicted of murder. An extrajudicial confession was made. Defense interposed self-defense. HELD: Extrajudicial statement is inadmissible because of violation of constitutional rights during custodial investigation. A suspects confession, whether verbal or non-verbal, when taken without the assistance of counsel without a valid waver of such assistance regardless of the absence of coercion, or the fact that it had been voluntarily given, is inadmissible in evidence, even if appellants confession were gospel truth. However, his statements made to the barangay captain, who is neither police officer nor a law enforcement agent is admissible. When an accused invokes self-defense, the onus probandi to show that the killing was justified shifts to him. Even if the prosecutions evidence was weak, it could not be readily dismissed after the accused had openly admitted his responsibility for the killing. PEOPLE V. PAUL LAPIZ G.R. NO. 129239 Accused was convicted of rape. He questions the credibility of the testimony of the complainant. HELD: There are 3 guiding principles in the review of rape cases: (1) to accuse a man of rape is easy, but to disprove it is difficult though the accused may be innocent; (2) considering that in the nature of things, only 2 persons are usually involved in the crime of rape, the testimony of the complainant should be scrutinized with great caution; and (3) evidence for the prosecution must stand or fall on its own merits and should not be allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the evidence for the defense. Equally unquestionable is the principle that as long as the complainants testimony meets the test of credibility, the accused may be convicted on its basis.

PEOPLE V. ARMANDO JUAREZ G.R. NO. 128158 The accused were found guilty of rape. Defense put up denial and alibi. HELD: Alibi is a weak defense which becomes even weaker in the face of the positive identification of appellants by the prosecution witness. Denial and alibi unsubstantiated by clear and convincing evidence are negative and self-serving evidence bearing no real weight in law and jurisprudence. Moreover, alibi might be aptly considered only when an accused had been shown to be in some other place at the crucial time and that it would have been physically impossible form him to be at the locus criminis or its immediate vicinity at the time of the commission of the crime. The presence of the appellants at the crime scene immediately after the victim was raped indicates strongly that they were the culprits. Also, there is nothing to show that the victim was moved by any ill motive to testify falsely against the accused. She did not know them before the fateful evening. Her honest and straightforward testimony deserves full faith and credence. PEOPLE V. ROBERTO BANIGUID G.R. NO. 137714 Accused was found guilty of raping his minor daughter. He questions credibility of complainant. HELD: There are 3 guiding principles in reviewing rape cases: (1) 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; (2) in view of the intrinsic nature of the crime of rape where only 2 persons are usually involved, the testimony of the complainant is scrutinized with extreme caution; and (3) the evidence for the prosecution stands or falls on its own merits and cannot be allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the defense. Even if the complainant is less than chaste, this fact would not detract from the fact that appellant violated her. As long as the victims testimony measures up to the standard of credibility, the fact that she had sexual relations with other men would not destroy or affect her credibility. The moral character of the victim is immaterial in rape cases. For even a prostitute can be the victim of rape. PEOPLE V. JIMMY DAGAMI G.R. NO. 123111 Accused was found guilty of murder. In his defense, he denied responsibility and pointed to a certain person as the real culprit. One eyewitness was presented by prosecution. HELD: The testimony of a single witness, if credible and positive, is sufficient to produce a conviction. Appellants likewise failed to show any ill-motive on the part of the witness. There is no showing of improper motive, the presumption is that they were not so actuated and their testimonies are entitled to full faith and credit. PEOPLE V. LITO ROSALES G.R. NO. 126402 Accused was convicted of rape. He raises the credibility of complainants testimony.

HELD: The general rule in criminal cases is that the conclusions as to the credibility of witnesses in rape cases lie heavily on the sound judgment of the trial court which is accorded great weight and respect, if not conclusive effect. In this case, there is nothing that would warrant a deviation from the general rule. PEOPLE V. EDGARDO ALORO G.R. NO. 129208 Accused was convicted of 2 counts of rape. He was convicted on the basis of the lone testimony of the victim despite lack of physical injuries. HELD: It is doctrinally settled that the lone testimony of a rape victim, by itself, is sufficient to convict if credible. Equally settled is the principle that when a woman declares that she has been raped, she says in effect all that is necessary to mean that she has been raped and where the testimony passes the test of credibility, the accused can be convicted on the basis thereof. Further, in proving rape cases, it is not necessary that the act was committed with genital injury. And a finding that the victims hymen is intact, as in this case, does not disprove rape. In fact, a medial examination is not indispensable in the prosecution for rape. PEOPLE V. FAUSTINO CAMPOS G.R. NO. 133373-77 Accused, 72 years of age, was convicted of 5 counts of rape committed against 2 minors. He insists in his appeal that he could not be convicted considering that the medical examination showed that the complaining witnesses suffered no lacerations, abrasions or contusions. HELD: Medical examination is not indispensable in a prosecution for rape. In fact, there can be rape even if the medical examination shows no vaginal laceration. Medical findings only serve to corroborate the testimonies of the victims. The accused may be convicted on the basis of the lone uncorroborated testimony of the rape victim provided that her testimony is clear, positive, convincing and consistent with human nature and the normal course of this. PEOPLE V. WALPAN LADJAALAM G.R. NO. 136149-51 The accused was convicted of the crime of direct assault with multiple attempted homicide for firing an M14 rifle to police men who were about to enter his house to serve a search warrant. Further, he was also convicted for illegal possession of firearm. HELD: RA no. 8294 penalizes simple illegal possession of firearms, provided that the person arrested committed no other crime. Furthermore, if the person is held liable for murder or homicide, illegal possession of firearms is an aggravating circumstance, but not a separate offense. Hence, where an accused was convicted of direct assault with multiple attempted homicide for firing an unlicensed M14 rifle at several policemen who were about to serve a search warrant, he cannot be held guilty of the separate offense of illegal possession of firearms. Neither can such unlawful act be considered to have aggravated the direct assault. PEOPLE V. AMADEO TRELLES

G.R. NO. 137659 Accused was convicted of raping a 22 year old retardate woman. He questions credibility of complainant. HELD: A mental retardate or a feebleminded person is not, per se, disqualified from being a witness, her mental condition not being a vitiation of her credibility. It is now universally accepted that intellectual weakness, no matter what form it assumes, is not a valid objection to the competency of a witness so long as the latter can still give a fairly intelligent and reasonable narrative of the matter testified to. PEOPLE V. SPO1 ERNESTO ULEP G.R. NO. 132547 Accused was convicted of murder. He interposed self-defense and justifying circumstance of fulfillment of a duty. HELD: Preliminarily, having admitted the killing, the accused assumed the burden of proving legal justification therefore. He must establish clearly and convincingly how he acted in the fulfillment of his official duty and/or in complete self-defense, otherwise, he must suffer all the consequences of his malefaction. He has to rely on the quantitative and qualitative strength of his own evidence, not on the weakness of the prosecution, for even if it were weak, it could not be disbelieved after he had admitted the killing. To justify the incident as fulfillment of a duty, 2 requisites must concur: (1) that he acted in the performance of a duty or in the lawful exercise of a right or an office; (2) that the injury caused or the offense committed be the necessary consequence of the due performance of duty or the lawful exercise of such right or office. The second shot, which was the fatal shot was uncalled for and therefore was no longer a necessary consequence of appellants due performance of duty. Thus, only an incomplete justifying circumstance of fulfillment of a duty can be appreciated. PEOPLE V. EDGAR BACALSO G.R. NO. 129055 Accused was convicted of the complex crime of double murder with frustrated murder. The conviction hinges on the testimony of 2 prosecution witnesses. HELD: In every criminal case, the task of the prosecution is always two-pronged: (1) to prove beyond reasonable doubt the commission of the crime charged; and (2) to establish with the same quantum of proof the identity of the person or persons responsible therefore, for even if the commission of the crime is given, there can be no conviction without the identity of the malefactor being likewise clearly ascertained. The identification of the perpetrator of the crime bears heavily on the reasonableness or probability of the testimony of the prosecution witness. There is unfortunately, no single test to determine with all exactitude the probity of testimony, and the courts can only give conformity to the quotidian knowledge, observation and experience of man. It has been observed that the most positive testimony of a witness may be contradicted on the fact that the testimony is contrary to common observation or experience or the common principles by which the conduct

of mankind is governed. The courts are not required to believe that which they judicially know to be incredible. A close scrutiny of the accounts given by the witnesses produce a serious doubt as to the veracity of the malefactors identity almost as if it were merely contrived to pin the liability of the crime upon appellant. PEOPLE V. ABE VALDEZ G.R. NO. 129296 Accused was found guilty of violating the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972., An extrajudicial confession was made as to the ownership of marijuana plants. HELD: The marijuana plants seized were product of an illegal search because of the absence of search warrant and are therefore inadmissible in evidence. The voluntary confession of ownership of marijuana was in violation of the custodial rights because of the absence of competent and independent counsel, and thus, inadmissible too. In sum, both the object evidence and the testimonial evidence as to the appellants voluntary confession of ownership of the prohibited plants relied upon to prove appellants guilt failed to meet the test of constitutional competence. Without these, the prosecutions remaining evidence did not even approximate the quantum of evidence necessary to warrant appellants conviction. Hence, the presumption of innocence on his favor stands. PEOPLE V. FERIGEL OLIVA G.R. NO. 122110 Accused was convicted of arson and murder. HELD: There are 2 elements of arson: (1) that there is intentional burning; (2) that what is intentionally burned is an inhabited house or dwelling. Proof of corpus delicti is indispensable in prosecution for felonies and offense. Corpus delicti is the body or substance of the crime. It refers to the fact that a crime has actually been committed. Corpus delicti is the fact of the commission of the crime that may be proved by the testimonies of the witnesses. In arson, the corpus delicti rule is satisfied by proof of the bare occurrence of the fire and of its having been intentionally caused. The uncorroborated testimony of a single eyewitness, if credible, may be enough to prove the corpus delicti and to warrant conviction. Here, corpus delicti of the arson and murder was duly proven beyond reasonable doubt. PEOPLE V. ELMEDIO CAJARA G.R. NO. 122498 Accused was convicted of qualified rape and sentenced to death. The victim was the sister of the common law wife of the accused. HELD: Although the circumstance of relationship by affinity within the third civil degree was alleged in the information, evidence for the prosecution clearly showed the lack or absence of such circumstance to qualify the rape because the accused and the sister of the victim were common law husband and wife and were not legally married at the time of the tape. The accused and the victim cannot be said to be related by affinity within the third civil degree at the time of the commission of the crime.

PEOPLE V. OSCAR NOGAR G.R. NO. 133946 Accused was convicted of statutory rape committed against a 9 year old girl. However, during trial, the fact of age was not proven. Can the accused be convicted of simple rape when the charge against him was for statutory rape? HELD: It is too late to assail the duplicitous character of the information as no objection was raised in a motion to quash before a plea to the information is made. The defect is deemed waived. PEOPLE V. EFREN TEMANEL G.R. NO. 97138-39 The accused were convicted of Robbery with Homicide. They contend that in as much as they were the only ones apprehended and held for trial, their non-flight should have been considered as indication of their innocence. HELD: While flight indicates guilt, non-flight does not mean innocence. PEOPLE V. ARMANDO QUILATAN G.R. NO. 132725 Accused was convicted of incestuous rape committed against his 13 year old daughter. He questions credibility of the complainant. HELD: The bare denial of the accused cannot overcome the categorical testimony of the victim. Denial, when unsubstantiated by clear and convincing evidence, as in this case, is a negative and selfserving evidence which deserves no greater evidentiary value than the testimony of credible witnesses who testify on affirmative matters. PEOPLE V. PEDRO ABUNGAN G.R. NO. 136843 Accused was convicted of murder. He died pending appeal. HELD: The death of the appellant pending appeal and prior to the finality of conviction extinguished his criminal and civil liabilities (civil liability ex delicto) arising from the delict or crime. Hence, the criminal case against him, not the appeal, should be dismissed. However, it must be added that his civil liability may be based on sources of obligation other than delict. For this reason, the victims may file a separate civil action against his estate, as may be warranted by law or procedural rules. PEOPLE V. CARUNGAL AND ESPINOSA G.R. No.123299 Sept. 29, 2000
This is a hold-up but a passenger was a policeman. He was stabbed. Later a tabloid reported that his gun was found with a killed hold-upper not a party to the case. HELD:

In the light of positive identification, appellant's defense of alibi and denial must fail. Positive testimony is stronger that negative testimony, and alibi becomes worthless in the face of positive identification of the accused. For alibi to prosper it must be shown that it was physically impossible to be at the scene of the crime at the time of its commission (place of alibi was only 5 minutes away). Even if there are flaws in the testimony as to who stabbed the victim is immaterial because conspiracy was proven. They masqueraded as passengers, positioned themselves strategically inside the jeep, pulled out their knives simultaneously, concertedly inflicted stab wounds upon learning that he was a policeman. It is no moment that an accused has not taken part in the actual commission of every act constituting the crime. The precise modality or extent of participation of each individual conspirator becomes secondary since the act of one is the act of all. As to the report of the gun, it is merely hearsay. The authors of the newspaper reports had no personal knowledge of the identity of the perpetrators. Such was only obtained from the police investigators handling the case. This fact is of no moment for a possession thereof could have reached this person for a number of reasons.

PEOPLE V. PO2 RODEL SAMONTE G.R. No.126048 Sept.29, 2000


There was a shooting incident resulting to the death of Perez. Accused was detailed in the Mayor's Office. His revolver and a 38 palter was taken from him. Branch 9 acquitted him of the crime of homicide but Branch 3 found him guilty of illegal possession of firearms aggravated by homicide under PD1866. Issue: W/N the doctrine of P v Quijada stating that qualified illegal possession of firearms and homicide are distinct and separate offenses is still followed. HELD: No Applying the new law RA8249 in P v Molina the Court has declared that under the amendment in said law that if homicide or murder is committed with the use of an unlicensed forearm, such use of the same should only be considered as an aggravating circumstance.

PEOPLE V. JOSE PATRIARCA G.R. No.135457 Sept.29, 2000


Accused was found guilty of murdering a fellow member of the NPA. Accused now appeals on the ground that the crime of murder is an offense committed in pursuance or in furtherance of rebellion. HELD:

The court acquitted the appellant. His application for amnesty was approved and one of the acts listed in the resolution of the Nat'l Amnesty Commission is the killing of the victim in this case. The approval was pursuant to Proc. No 347 granting amnesty to all persons who shall apply who have committed crimes on or before June 1 1995 in pursuit of their political beliefs.
Pardon is granted by the Chief Executive. It is a private act, which must be pleaded and proved by the person pardoned, because the courts take no notice thereof; while amnesty by Proclamation of the CE with the concurrence of Congress is a public act of w/c the courts should take judicial notice. Pardon is granted to one after conviction; while amnesty is granted to classes of person or communities who may be guilty of political offenses, generally before or after the institution of the criminal prosecution and sometimes after conviction. Pardon looks forward and relieves the offender from the consequences of an offense of which he has been convicted, it abolishes or forgives the punishment thus it does not work the restoration of the rights to hold public office or right of suffrage unless such rights be expressly restored by the terms of the pardon and it in no case exempts the culprit from the payment of the civil indemnity imposed upon him by the sentence (Art 36).

PEOPLE V. GENOSA GRNo.-135891 Sept. 29, 2000


Appellant was found guilty of parricide. She now requests an examination by psychologists to determine her state of mind then under the ground of the "battered woman syndrome".

HELD: There are four characteristics of the syndrome:1)woman believes that the violence was her fault;2)she has an inability to place the responsibility for the violence elsewhere;3)she fears for her life and/or the children's lives;4)she has an irrational belief that the abuser is omnipresent and omniscient. Trapped in a cycle of violence and constant fear, it is not unlikely that she would succumb to her helplessness and fail to perceive possible solutions to the problem than to injure or kill her batterer. She is seized by fear of an existing or impending lethal aggression and thus would have no opportunity beforehand to deliberate o her acts and to choose a less fatal means of eliminating her sufferings. Petition granted. In P v Pares, after a final conviction of appellant therein, the Court granted his Urgent Omnibus Motion and allowed him to undergo mental and neuralgic other examinations to determine that he was a deaf-mute. Based on that finding and that he was unaided in the trial, he was granted a rearrangement and retrial. This action is justified on the rule that only upon proof of guilt beyond reasonable doubt may an accused to consigned to a lethal injection chamber. Also as Justice Pun said, man should be adjudged or held accountable for wrongful acts so long as free will appears unimpaired.

OCTOBER 2000
PEOPLE V. SANTIAGO GRNO.129371 OCT. 4, 2000
Appellant was convicted of murder for shooting the victim after a prior street altercation that erupted when the parties' vehicles collided. HELD: Only Homicide. No treachery. Treachery must be proved by clear and convincing evidence, or as conclusively as the killing itself. When the witnesses did not see how the attack was carried out and cannot testify how it began, the trial court cannot presume from the circumstances of the case that there was treachery. Treachery cannot be considered where the lone witness did not see the commencement of the assault. Since the lone witness failed to witness the initial attack inflicted upon the victim, treachery cannot be considered a qualifying circumstance. All the elements of evident premeditation must also be proven. Premeditation to kill must be plain notorious and sufficiently proven by the evidence of outward acts showing the intent to kill. A 15-minute interval is not sufficient time for the accused to coolly reflect on their plan to kill the victim. In one case, 30 minutes was held also insufficient time between determination to commit and the execution is insufficient for full meditation on the consequences of the act. Liability of one whose participation in crime was limited to driving for the killers is only that of an accomplice. The lack of complete evidence of conspiracy, which creates the doubt whether he has acted as principal or an accomplice, implies the court to resolve the question in favor of the accused.

PEOPLE V. BAWANG GRNo.-131942 October 5, 2000 A case of incestuous rape.


HELD: The fact that the hymen is intact does not prove absence of sexual intercourse and the presence of laceration does not prove defloration. The hymen may be lacerated due to some other causes not sexual intercourse.

The qualifying circumstance provided by RA7658 for the imposition of death penalty is present in the information--minority and relationship having been averred. However, it is the burden of the prosecution to prove the victim was below 18 when the rape was committed in order to

justify the imposition of the death penalty. In this case, no evidence was given--not even a Certificate of Live Birth. PEOPLE V. LOPEZ GRNo.-132168 October 10, 2000
An old woman was hacked to death by appellant because of a land dispute. HELD: There was treachery. Accused suddenly and unexpectedly grabbed the hair of the deceased and simultaneously hacked her to death. The deceased had no inkling whatsoever of the murderous intent of the accused. The essence of treachery is that the attack comes without warning and in a swift, deliberate and unexpected manner, affording the unarmed and unsuspecting victim no chance to resist, to avoid or escape. Abuse of superiority was proved. She was unarmed. The accused was a 22-year old male, in the prime of his life, and armed with a deadly weapon. Since aloveosia is already appreciated as a qualifying circumstance, abuse of superiority is absorbed therein.

The fact that the victim has 7 hacking wounds does not conclusively demonstrate cruelty. The number of wounds does not per se give rise to cruelty. The test is whether the accused deliberately and sadistically augmented the wrong by committing another wrong not necessary for its commission, or inhumanely increased the victim's suffering, or outraged or scoffed at his person or corpse. Records are bereft of evidence showing the accused continued to hack the victim when she was already dead. Passion or obfuscation to be appreciated must arise from lawful sentiments. The act of victim demanding the family of appellant to vacate her land was not unlawful or unjust. The exercise of a lawful right cannot be a proper source of obfuscation that may be considered a mitigating circumstance. NOVEMBER 2000 PEOPLE V. BALMORIA GRNo.-134539 November 15, 2000 A case of rape of an eight-year old.
HELD: It is not uncommon for young girls to conceal for some time the assault against their virtue because of the threat on their lives. A young girl, unlike a mature woman, can not be expected to have the courage and intelligence to immediately report a sexual assault committed against her especially when a death threat hangs ver her head. We cannot reject the testimony of victim on the ground that her 3 other companions were not awakened by her groans while she was being raped. It is not impossible to commit rape in a small room even if there are several persons in it.

PEOPLE V. MOYONG
GRNo.-135413-15 November 15, 2000 Facts: The hotel guests and manager were stabbed to death in a room. Appellant was caught while fleeing the establishment with stained clothes. HELD: A conviction based on circumstantial evidence is proper if:1)there is more than just one circumstance in attendance;2)the facts from which inferences can be derived are adequately proven;3)the combination of all the circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt. These circumstances must be consistent with the hypothesis that the accused is guilty of the crime sought to be established and can lead to no rational assumption that may be congruent with the innocence of the accused. Since no eyewitness was

presented and no evidence was shown on how the killings transpired the aggravating and qualifying circumstances cannot be appreciated.

PEOPLE V. PACANA G.R. No.97472-73 Nov.20, 2000


A case of murder and frustrated murder. HELD: If the accused was positively identified by the victim himself who harbored no ill motive against the former, the defense of alibi must fail. In any even the proof of motive is not indispensable for conviction when there is positive identification. Motive assumes significance only when there is no showing of who the perpetrator of the crime might be. An appeal taken by one or more of several accused shall not effect those who did not appeal, except insofar as the judgment of the appellate court is favorable and applicable to the latter. Hence, the reduction of the indeterminate penalty for the frustrated murder case shall affect not only the appellant but also those who withdrew their appeal.
PEOPLE V. CASTURIA

GRNo.-122819 Nov 20, 2000


Appellant was convicted of murder. HELD: For conspiracy to exist it does not require an appreciable period lapsed prior to the occurence. It is sufficient that the form and manner in which the attack was accomplished clearly indicate unity of action and purpose. The accused act of mauling the victim and thereafter handling the bolo to his brother who hacked the victim.

PEOPLE V. ALVAREZ GRNo.-121769 November 22, 2000


Appellant was convicted of murder after shooting the victim with a bardog--a locally made shotgun. HELD: It is well-settled that the testimony of a self-confessed accomplice or co-conspirator imputing the blame for the killing and implicating his co-accused cannot by itself and without corroboration, be considered as proof to a moral certainty that the latter had committed or participated in the commission of the crime. Thus, it is required that the testimony be substantially corroborated by other evidence in all its material points. The reason for the above cited rule is that the testimony of a co-conspirator proceeds from a polluted source. It must be received with caution because, as is usual with human nature, a culprit, confessing a crime, is likely to put to blame as far as possible on others rather than himself.

The settled rule is that testimony of a witness ma be believed in part and disbelieved in part as the corroborative evidence or improbabilities of the case may require. There was treachery. Victim was unaware of the evil design of the accused and his group who concealed themselves behind colon grasses. Being unarmed, he could not offer resistance nor attempt to escape from their sudden and unexpected attack. Conspiracy was present, the assailants one after the other shot at the victim.
PEOPLE V. VELASQUEZ

GRNo.-137383-84 Nov. 23, 2000 Appellant used a toy gun in abducting and raping the victim.

HELD: The mere fact that Karen did not attempt to escape when the opportunity resented itself should not be construed as a manifestation of consent and does not necessarily negate her charge of rape or taint her credibility considering the accused employed force and intimidation. A complainant's act in immediately reporting the commission of rape is a factor in strengthening her credibility. Appellant imputes no ill motive towards the victim to falsely accuse him. In the absence of such motive, it is presumed that no such motive exists. To support a conviction for rape, the court may rely solely on the testimony of the victim provided such testimony is credible, natural, convincing and consistent with human nature and the normal course of things. By its nature, rape is committed with the least possibility of being seen by the public.

FEBRUARY 2001 PEOPLE V. REYNALDO DE VILLA GR 124639; Feb1, 2001 Accused was charged of raping a 12yr old minor who is his niece by affinity. ISSUE: Nature of Rape: Penalty; Whether the death penalty should be imposed
HELD: SIMPLE RAPE! RECLUSION PERPETUA! Although, art. 335, RPC says, death penalty shall be imposed when the victim is under 18 and the offender...is a relative by affinity within the third civil degree... such circumstances (minority and relationship) are in the nature of qualifying circumstances which should be alleged in the information and proved at the trial (Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, Dec1, 2000). IN THIS CASE, the prosecution failed to allege the relationship of the accused with the victim, Thus the accused cannot be convicted of qualified rape punishable by death but only simple rape punishable by reclusion perpetua.

PEOPLE V. FERNANDEZ GR 137647; Feb.1, 2001 Accused was charged of raping the 15yr old daughter of his common law spouse.
HELD: SIMPLE RAPE! RECLUSION PERPETUA! Although art.335 of the RPC says that death penalty shall be imposed when the victim is under 18 and the offender is ...the common-law spouse of the parent of the victim... having been charged only of simple rape in the information, the accused is held guilty only of simple rape with the penalty of reclusion perpetua

PEOPLE V. LAUT, ET AL. GR 137751; Feb1, 2001 The three accused were charged of murder
HELD: GUILTY! The Defense of self-defense and alibi was outweighed by the positive and categorical eyewitness accounts corroborated by the extent of hack wounds on the victim; MURDER! The killing was qualified by abuse of superior strength.

PEOPLE V. BAYOD

GR 122664; Feb 5, 2001 Accused was charged with murder and frustrated homicide
HELD: Accused is GUILTY of MURDER and FRUSTRATED MURDER not frustrated HOMICIDE. There was intent to kill and treachery, accused and his companions ganged up with advantage in number and strength, in both instances; a felony is frustrated when the offender performs all the acts of execution which would produce the felony as a consequence which nevertheless, do not produce it by reason or causes independent of the will of the perpetrator. In this case, timely medical attention.

PEOPLE V. BAYANG GR 134402; Feb 5, 2001 Accused was charged of robbery with homicide
HELD: GUILTY and sentenced to reclusion perpetua under art. 294, RPC. Although there were NO eyewitness accounts of the robbery with homicide, the circumstantial evidence presented was sufficient to convict. Under the revised rules on evidence, circumstantial evidence is sufficient, when a) there is more than one circumstance; b) the facts from which the inferences are derived are proven; and c) the combination of all circumstances is such as to produce conviction beyond reasonable doubt. In affirming convictions beyond reasonable doubt the degree of proof required is NOT proof that excludes all possibility of error but only moral, not absolute certainty, is what the fundamental law requires.

PEOPLE V. PABILLANO GR 108618; Feb.6, 2001


Accused was found guilty of the complex crime of robbery with homicide by the trial court HELD: Accused are guilty or robbery with homicide and were sentenced to reclusion perpetua; Alibi is a weak defense. It should be rejected when the identity of the accused is sufficiently and positively established by eyewitnesses to the offense. Note there is no law that a police line-up is an essential requisite to proper identification.

PEOPLE V. LOYOLA GR 126026; Feb.6, 2001


The trial court sentenced the accused to reclusion perpetua for the rape of a 16yr old girl while aboard a bus. HELD: Accused is guilty and was sentenced to reclusion perpetua. The defenses of alibi and denial by the accused were found unavailing in the face of positive and credible testimony of prosecution witnesses. Note, no young Filipina of decent repute even in modern times, would publicly admit she had been raped unless that was the truth. Accused was not able to prove that he and the victim were indeed lovers. Likewise, the claim of lack of force or intimidation cannot prevail. The TEST is whether the threat or intimidation produces a reasonable fear in the mind of the victim that is she resists or does not yield to the desires of the accused, the

threat would be carried out. Where resistance would be futile, offering none at all does not amount to consent to sexual assault. Lastly, an offer of marriage which occurred in this case is an admission of guilt.

PEOPLE V. RAYOS GR 133823; Feb.7,2001 Accused was charged of raping a 9yr. old girl
HELD: Accused is guilty and sentenced to DEATH in accordance with art 335 of the RPC (as amended by RA 7659) or where on the occasion of a rape homicide was committed, the penalty is death. ! The guilt of the accused was established through circumstantial evidence, taken in entirety unmistakably pointing to guilt. Circumstantial evidence may be resorted in the absence of eyewitnesses and is sufficient for conviction if, a)there is more than one circumstance; b) the facts from which that inferences were derived are proven; and c) the combination of all circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt.

PEOPLE V. FRANCISCO GR 135200; Feb.7,2001 The trial court found the accused guilty of qualified rape sentencing him to death for raping his daughter. HELD: SIMPLE RAPE with the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua; The prosecution failed to allege the qualifying circumstance of relationship between the accused and the victim in the information. This is not a mere technicality but a concept of due process as provided in the Constitution. PEOPLE V. CORDERO GR 136894-96; Feb.7, 2001
Accused, a 63yr old was charged of 3 counts of rape of the Nana sisters, one was 13 and the other 15. HELD: GUILTY and sentenced to reclusion perpetua on each information charged. The assertions of the accused cannot stand against the testimonies and positive identification of the two rape victims. Alibi is weak and age is not a determinant of the inability to have carnal knowledge rather it is impotency, which nonetheless should be proven by the defense.

PEOPLE V. RONDILLA GR 134368; Feb.8,2001


The accused was sentenced to death by the trial court in accordance with art 335 of the RPC for raping his own daughter. HELD: The accused is guilty but only of simple rape for the prosecution merely charged him of simple rape. Nonetheless he is guilty and was sentenced to reclusion perpetua. Hardly can any defense stand a chance

against the unimpeached testimony of the young victim in great detail the sexual assault. The testimony is even given greater weight when the victim accuses a close relative.

PEOPLE V. NAVARRO GR 132696 Feb.12,2001


Accused was convicted by the trial court for the crime of murder with the use of an unlicensed firearm. HELD: GUILTY! Trial court Affirmed and the accused was sentenced to reclusion perpetua. The crime was murder because the killing was attended with treachery. There was no opportunity for the deceased to retaliate or defend himself, the particular means employed which was the use of a motor vehicle, and, the circumstance of nighttime, all point to the nature of the killing. On the issue of the firearm, there can be no separate conviction for the illegal use of a firearm. As the law now stands, this is merely considered as an aggravating circumstance (P.D. 1866 as amended by RA 8294). Since the death penalty was not yet effective at the time of the offense, the penalty is reclusion perpetua. The original penalty for murder was reclusion temporal but since there was an aggravating circumstance of the use of an unlicensed firearm, the penalty was raised to reclusion perpetua.

PEOPLE. V. OPTANA GR 133922; Feb.12,2001


4 informations for the violation of the sec. 5 RA7610 (Special Protection of Children against Child Abuse) and 4 informations for rape were filed against the accused.

HELD: The SC affirms the decision of the trial court convicting the accused for one incident of rape, sentencing him to reclusion perpetua and one charge violating RA7610, sentencing him to suffer 8yrs and 1 day of prison mayor as minimum to 17 yrs. and 4mos of reclusion temporal as maximum. The other informations failed to be proven beyond reasonable doubt. Likewise, charging the accused with two different offenses for the same act committed on the same date against the same victim is erroneous and illegal except where the law itself so allows. This is not allowed by RA7610. It specifically provides that in instances where the victim is under 12, the case should fall under art. 335 of the RPC, thus only cases where the victim is over 12 but under 18 can fall under this law. In the case at bar, where the accused was charged for several occasions of rape and abuse the conviction or acquittal on the informations was based on the age of the child, the concept of non-multiplicity of suits, and the evidence presented. Thus, only one rape case prospered (incident when the child was below 12) and one violation of RA7610 (when the child was above 12 but below 18). PEOPLE V. VELASCO GR 128089; Feb13,2001 The accused was indicted for parricide under art 246 of the RPC for the killing of his wife.
HELD: The accused is guilty of parricide and was sentenced to reclusion perpetua. Parricide is committed when 1) a person is killed; 2)the deceased is killed by the accused; 3)the deceased is the...or the legitimate spouse of the accused. The key element is the relation of the offender to the victim. In case of a marital relationship the best evidence is the marriage certificate. The own testimony of the accused as married to the

victim may also be taken as an admission against penal interest. The case was proved through circumstantial evidence sufficiently establishing the malefactor, destroying the presumption of innocence, and fulfilling the standard of moral certainty. Circumstantial evidence may be resorted in the absence of eyewitnesses and is sufficient for conviction if, a)there is more than one circumstance; b) the facts from which that inferences were derived are proven; and c) the combination of all circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt. Further, a conviction based on such can be upheld if the circumstances established would lead to a fair and reasonable conclusion pointing to the accused, to the exclusion of all others, as the author of the crime.

PEOPLE V. PEREZ GR 134756; Feb.13,2001


Accused was found guilty of murder and sentenced to reclusion perpetua by the trial court. HELD: Accused is guilty of murder. A frontal attack does not necessarily rule out treachery. Although the shots were taken facing the accused, according to witnesses, the victim was eating merienda with her back turned to the accused when he came; the victim only stood and faced him after he cursed her. The accused deliberately sought the manner of the attack, going to the victim's barangay, armed with a pistol, approaching the victim from behind and shooting her at close range. Treachery was present. The attack was sudden and the victim was defenseless, had no opportunity to escape, and lastly, there was no risk to the accused when he fired his gun.

PEOPLE V. GUZMAN GR 117952-53; Feb.14,2001 The accused was found guilty by the trial court of violating RA 6425 (Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972).
HELD: The accused is GUILTY. The accused was caught in flagrante delicto, possessing an unlicensed firearm. The search conducted thereafter was valid. It was within the immediate control of the arrested person. Likewise, the drugs and paraphernalia obtained where in plain view of the police when the accused was arrested. Quoting PEOPLE v. Khor, the elements of illegal possession of dangerous drugs are: 1) the accused is in possession of an item or object which is identified as a prohibited drug; 2) such possession is not authorized by law; and 3) the accused freely and consciously possessed the said drug. All elements concurring, the accused is thus guilty. Lastly, the accused failed to quash the information against him before arraignment thus he is estopped from questioning the legality of his arrest.

PEOPLE V. YBANEZ GR 136257; Feb.14, 2001 Accused was charged of raping a 10yr old girl who is the daughter of his common law spouse. He was sentenced to death by the trial court.
HELD: Accused was sentenced by the SC to reclusion perpetua convicting him only of simple rape. The prosecution failed to indicate the relationship of the accused to the victim in the information thus merely charging Ybanez of simple rape. Convicting the accused of an offense not specifically charged in the complaint is a violation of his right to due process.

PEOPLE V. AVECILLA GR117033; Feb.15, 2001


Accused was charged of qualified illegal possession of a firearm; accused willfully, unlawfully, and feloniously with intent to kill, and actually killing a victim as a consequence, possess and carry an unlicensed firearm. ISSUE: Conviction and Retroactivity of RA8294 (An act Amending the Provisions of PD 1866) HELD: SC dismissed the case. Originally he could have been convicted of illegally possessing a firearm separately from his conviction on the killing that occurred as a consequence thereof, which happened in 1991. With the passage of RA 8294 in 1997 amending PD1866, the possession of an unlicensed firearm has become merely an aggravating circumstance to a murder or homicide charge. As a general rule, penal laws have prospective effect EXCEPT where the new law will be advantageous to the accused, as in this case, sparing him of two separate convictions.

PEOPLE V. PAGDAYAWON GR 130522; Feb.15,2001


Accused, a police officer was charged of raping his 11yr. Old stepdaughter. Both circumstances, minority and relationship was indicated in the complaint. The trial court sentenced the accused to death. HELD: The accused is guilty. The witness is credible and there was indeed force and intimidation in the act. The penalty prescribed by the trial court was also correct. Under art335 of the RPC, death penalty shall be imposed when the victim is under 18 and the offender is the stepparent of the victim. Such information was formally included in the charge.

PEOPLE V. B. TUMANON GR 135066, Feb.15, 2001 The accused were charged on murder.
HELD: The accused are guilty of murder. There was abuse of superior strength shown through superiority in number and the use of arms. To take advantage of superior strength is to use force out of proportion to the means available to the person attacked to defend himself. Conspiracy was also present. It is not necessary that there be a previous plan or agreement to commit the assault. It is sufficient that at the time of the aggression, all the accused, by their acts, gave evidence of common intent to kill the victim, so that the act of one becomes the act of all and all of them will thus be liable as principals.

PEOPLE v. NAAG GR No. 136394; Feb. 15, 2001 Accused was charged and found guilty by the lower court of the special complex crime of robbery with rape.

ISSUE: Was there rape? Was he guilty of the special complex crime of robbery with rape?
HELD: There was rape. In rape cases, what is material is that there is penetration no matter how slight. The only essential point is to prove the entrance or at least the introduction of the male organ into the labia of the pudendum. The moment the accuseds penis knocks at the door of the of the pudenda it suffices to constitute the crime of rape. Accused is guilty of separate crimes of rape and theft. Facts show that the primary intent of accused was to rape the victim and not to rob her. Moreover, the crime of taking away the property is theft and not robbery because of the absence of violence and intimidation.

PEOPLE v. MACAYA GR No. 137185-86; Feb 15, 2001 Accused was charged of raping the two children of his common-law spouse in two separate complaints and was found guilty in both cases and was sentenced to reclusion perpetua in one case and death in the other.
HELD: NO. The accused was charged only with simple rape. Under Art. 355 of the Revised Penal Code, the death penalty shall be imposed when rape is committed against a victim who is under 18 years of age, and the offender among other circumstances, is the common-law spouse of the parent of the victim. But these circumstances must be alleged in the complaint or information. Otherwise, even if the minority of the victim and the relationship of the victim and the accused are established during the trial, he cannot be punished for a graver offense than that with which he is charged. He can only be convicted of simple rape the imposable penalty for which is reclusion perpetua.

PEOPLE v. ALBIOR GR No. 115079; Feb 19, 2001 Accused was charged and found guilty by the lower court of rape and was sentenced to a penalty of reclusion perpetua. ISSUE: Is the absence of spermatozoa in the victims genitalia negate rape? Do minor inconsistencies in victims testimonies destroy credibility?
HELD: Absence of spermatozoa in the victims genitalia does not negate rape. Further, as for appellants claim that the victim did not suffer complete lacerations and other signs of physical violence, suffice it to say that even the absence of hymenal laceration does not rule out sexual abuse, especially when the victim is of tender age. Nor is it necessary for the victim to suffer external injuries in order for the crime of rape to be established. As for the minor inconsistencies, these are badges of truthfulness and candor for they erase the suspicion the testimony was rehearsed. Also, victims are not expected to have a total recall of the incident.

PEOPLE v. NAVARRA GR No. 119361, Feb 19, 2001

The accused-appellants were charged and found guilty by the RTC of illegal recruitment committed in a large scale resulting to economic sabotage and sentenced to life imprisonment. ISSUE: Did the RTC err in disregarding their defense of denial and in finding them guilty of the offense charged.
HELD: Denials, without clear and convincing evidence to support them, can not sway judgement. They are selfserving statements and are inherently weak. Decision of lower court affirmed. Illegal recruitment has 2 essential elements: first, the offender has no valid license or authority required by law to enable him to lawfully engage in recruitment or placement of workers; second, the offender undertakes any activity within the meaning of recruitment and placement defined under Article 13 (b), or any prohibited practices enumerated under Art 34 of the Labor Code. A non-licensee or non-holder of authority means any person, corporation or entity without a valid license or authority to engage in recruitment or placement from the Secretary of Labor, or whose license or authority has been suspended, revoked or cancelled by the POEA or the Sec. of Labor. Under Article 13 (b) of the Labor Code, recruitment and placement refer 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, for profit or not: Provided, that any person or entity which in any manner, offers or promises for a fee employment to 2 or more persons shall be deemed engaged in recruitment or placement. Accused-appellants committed acts of recruitment and placement, such as promises to the complainants of profitable employment abroad and acceptance of placement fees. They were also not authorized to recruit workers for overseas employment as certified by the DOLE. Art. 38 (b) of the Labor Code provides that illegal recruitment shall be considered an offense involving economic sabotage if any of the following qualifying circumstances exists: first, when illegal recruitment is committed by a syndicate; second when it is committed in a large scale, committed against three or more persons individually or as a group.

PEOPLE v. BLAZO GR No. 127111; Feb 19, 2001 Accused was charged and found guilty of rape and was sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. ISSUE: Whether the prosecution proved the accuseds guilt beyond reasonable doubt?
HELD: Delay in criminal accusation is not an indication of a fabricated charge, if such charge is satisfactorily explained. A young girl, such as the victim in this case, cannot be expected to have the courage and intelligence of a mature woman to immediately report her defilement, especially when accompanied by a death threat. A medical examination and a medical certificate are merely corroborative and are not indispensable to the prosecution of a rape case. Lacerations of the hymen, while considered as the most telling and irrefutable physical evidence of a penile invasion, are not always necessary to establish the commission of rape, where other evidence is available to show consummation

PEOPLE v. MURILLO GR No. 128851-56; Feb 19, 2001

Accused were charge and found guilty of rape and were sentenced to death. ISSUE: Whether the penalty of death was correct?
HELD: NO. The death sentence given to the accused was based on the following attendant circumstances: first, the victim is under the custody of the police or military officers, and second, when committed by and member of the Armed Forces of the Philippines or the Philippine National Police or any law enforcement agency. To merit the punishment of death, these circumstances must be properly alleged in the information. For the prosecutions failure to do so, these circumstances cannot be appreciated as aggravating circumstances, therefore the proper penalty is reclusion perpetua.

PEOPLE v. MOLINA GR No. 133917; Feb 19, 2001 Accused were charged and found guilty of violating the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972 for having in their possession 946.9 grams of marijuana and were sentenced to death.
HELD: NO. Accused-appellants manifested no outward indication that would justify their arrest. In holding a bag on board a trisikad, accused-appellants could not be said to be committing, attempting to commit, or have committed a crime. There was no probable cause in arresting the accused thus making the arrest illegal. Because the arrest was illegal, so was the search made by the police officers. This being the case, the evidence is inadmissible and the accused are found not guilty of the alleged offense.

PEOPLE vs AWING GR No. 133919-20; Feb 19, 2001 Accused was charged and found guilty of 2 counts of rape against his stepdaughter. ISSUE: Whether the lower court gave him the correct sentence of death?
HELD: NO. Sec. 11 of R.A. No. 7659 imposes the death penalty when the rape victim is under 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 victims parent. Both the age of the offended party and the filiation or kinship with the accused must be alleged in the information as part of the constitutional right of the accused to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. In this case, complainants age n the accusatory portion of the informations were omitted, hence appellant was only charged of simple rape and not qualified rape. The proper penalty to be imposed to the appellant is reclusion perpetua and not death.

PEOPLE v. TOLENTINO GR No. 139834; Feb 19, 2001

Accused was charged and convicted for committing the crime of rape.
HELD: Victim will not go through the humiliation if it is not to seek justice, hence her testimony is credible. Also, there was no showing that the victim was impelled by ill motive to testify against the accused. Conviction for rape may be based on circumstantial evidence when the victim cannot testify on the actual commission of the rape because she was unconscious when the act was committed, provided that one circumstance is duly proved and the totality or the unbroken chain of the circumstances proven lead to no other logical conclusion than accuseds guilt.

PEOPLE v. MUSTAPA GR No. 141244; Feb. 19, 2001 Accused was charged and found guilty of violating Sec. 16 of RA No 6425 (Dangerous Drugs Act) and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. ISSUE: Whether the court erred in not appreciating the accuseds testimony denying ownership of bag containing shabu?
HELD: Lower Courts decision affirmed. Denial is a weak form of defense, particularly when it is not substantiated by clear and convincing evidence. The defense of denial or frame-up, like alibi, has been viewed by courts with disfavor for it can easily be concocted and is a common and standard defense ploy in most prosecutions for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act. Also, issues raised by the defense are factual and involves credibility of witnesses, a matter addressed to the trial court because it is in a better position to decide such questions. It is a well-entrenched doctrine that the trial courts findings are entitled to the highest degree of respect and will not be disturbed on appeal. Also, minor inconsistencies or discrepancies in the testimony of prosecution witnesses refer merely to minor details and does not impair the credibility of witnesses. Witnesses are not expected to remember everything that happened in exact detail, since a long time has already lapsed.

PEOPLE v. CONSEJERO GR No. 118334; Feb 20, 2001


Accused-appellant was charged and found guilty of the crime of robbery with homicide and was sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua.

ISSUE:

Whether

accused-appellant

was

guilty

beyond

reasonable

doubt?

HELD: The circumstances proved constitute an unbroken chain which leads to one fair conclusion, that the appellant is guilty beyond reasonable doubt. The circumstances or a combination thereof should point to overt acts of the appellant that would logically lead to the conclusion that the appellant is guilty. Rule 113, Sec 4 of the Rules of Court provides the requisites for the sufficiency of circumstantial evidence: a) there is more than one circumstance; b) facts from which the inferences are derived are proven; and c) combination of all the circumstances is such to produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt. However, the crime committed was not robbery with homicide; in this case, the primary purpose of the accused was not to rob but to take the life of the victim, the taking of property came only as an afterthought subsequent to the killings. The crimes committed are separate offenses of homicide, murder, and theft.

PEOPLE v. TIO GR Nos. 132482-83; Feb 20, 2001


Accused was charged and found guilty of committing the crime of murder qualified by treachery and with the aggravating circumstance of use of unlicensed firearm and sentenced him to reclusion perpetua.

ISSUE: Whether relationship of witnesses to the victim affects their credibility?


HELD: NO. Relationship per se does no give rise to a presumption of bias or ulterior motive, nor does it ipso facto impair the credibility or tarnish the testimony of the witnesses. The eyewitnesses were not shown to have any ill feeling or resentment against the appellant as to prevaricate and impute upon him a heinous crime. Besides, there is also a mere chance witness that pointed to the appellant as the assailant and whose account of the incident coincided with the accounts of the other witnesses. Moreover, the eyewitness accounts of the prosecution witnesses not only reinforced and corroborated each other but were also confirmed by the physical evidence.

PEOPLE v. ENDINO GR. No. 133026; Feb 20, 2001


The crime of murder was charged against accused Endino and accused-appellant Galgarin. Galgarin was arrested and convicted for the crime of murder qualified by treachery, while on the other hand Endino remained at large.

HELD: Admission of videotaped confessions is proper. The interview was recorded on video and it showed accused-appellant unburdening his guilt willingly, openly and publicly in the presence of newsmen. Such confession does not form part of custodial investigation, as it was not given to police officers but to media men in an attempt to elicit sympathy and forgiveness from the public. PEOPLE v. DE LEON GR No. 124297; Feb 21, 2001 Accused-appellant was charge and convicted of several counts of the crime of rape and was sentenced to suffer the penalty of death.
HELD: GUILTY. Rule 110, Sec. 11 provides that it is not necessary for the information to allege the exact date and the time of the commission of the crime is such is not an essential ingredient of the offense. In the crime of rape, the date of the commission is not an essential element. The delay in reporting the crime committed can also be attributed to the tender age of the victim and the moral ascendancy of the accused over the victim. Oftentimes, a rape victim's actions are moved by fear rather than by reason, and because of this, failure of the victim to report the crime immediately is not indicative of fabrication. Also, victims are not expected to recall the exact and accurate account of their traumatic experiences. However, accused cannot be sentenced to death because the information against him failed to allege victims minority and her relationship to the accused. RA 7659 enumerates the circumstances that justify the imposition of the death penalty. Consistent with the accuseds right to be informed of the nature and the cause of the accusation against him, these circumstances

must be specifically pleaded or alleged with certainty in the information and proven during the trial. Accused is guilty only of simple rape and sentenced only to reclusion perpetua on each count of rape.

PEOPLE V. ZUNIEGA GR 126117; Feb. 21,2001 Accused was charged for the murder of a certain Aujero.
HELD: Accused is guilty of murder and sentenced to reclusion perpetua (since the accused was found guilty by the trial court prior to the effectivity of the death penalty law the proper penalty is reclusion perpetua). The facts show that the accused perpetrated the crime in such a way that he easily rendered his victim totally defenseless, with no opportunity to escape or defend himself, and without the slightest provocation. NOTE: 1)The circumstance that the judge who penned the decision did not personally hear the testimonies of witnesses does not disturb the decision more so when the judgment is supported by evidence on record such as the transcript of stenographic notes. 2) Failure of a witness to reveal at once the identity of the perpetrator of a felony does not impair the credibility of the witness more so if the delay has been adequately explained, such as due to fear of a great danger to his life and/or his family.

PEOPLE V. BOLIVAR GR130597; Feb. 21, 2001 Three accused were charged of murder.
HELD: The accused were guilty of murder and were sentenced to reclusion perpetua. The accused alibi cannot prosper against positive identification of prosecution witnesses. For alibi to prosper 2 requisites must concur: 1) accused must prove that he was at another place at the time of the crime; and 2)the accused must demonstrate that it would be physically impossible for him to be at the scene of the crime at the time it was committed. The court also found that there was conspiracy, as inferred from the acts of the accused before, during and after the crime, which are indicative of a joint purpose, concerted action, and concurrence of sentiments.

PEOPLE V. VELASQUEZ GR132635 & 143872-75; Feb. 21, 2001


Accused was found guilty by the trial court of Acts of Lasciviousness against his 2 yr. old granddaughter and the crime of Rape against his alleged stepdaughter who is a minor. He was sentenced to death for the rape. HELD: SC found the accused guilty of acts of lasciviousness and simple rape which modified his sentence for the rape to reclusion perpetua. NOTE: (A)On the 1st charge: acts of lasciviousness... 1)By failing to invoke the lack of a preliminary investigation during the trial, the court deems that the accused has waived the same; 2)The testimony of the mother of the 2 yr. Old child/victim is sufficient considering the victim's age and the medical examination conducted. B) On 2nd charge: rape of his alleged minor stepdaughter...1)The sole testimony of the victim is sufficient; 2) The three yr. delay in the filing of a complaint does not necessarily mean that the charge was fabricated. The delay was due to fear; 3) The penalty for the rape is reclusion perpetua since the court found the marriage of the accused to the victim's mother as doubtful, the information against the accused being different from what was actually proven, that the relationship of the accused to the victim is one

of daughter of a common law spouse, the crime was considered as only simple rape punishable by reclusion perpetua. PEOPLE V. MANALO

GR 135964-71; Feb. 21, 2001


Accused was charged of 8 counts of rape of two minors (4 counts of rape for each child). One was 6 yrs. old and the other 7.

HELD: The accused is guilty and is sentenced to death. According to art.335 of the RPC, the death penalty shall be imposed if rape is committed on a child below seven yrs. of age.
PEOPLE v. FERNANDO SABALAN

G.R. No. 134529. February 26, 2001. Accused was convicted of incestuous rape (raped 12-yr old daughter), and meted out with the supreme penalty of death. HELD:
The SC affirmed the decision of the lower court, but lowered the penalty to reclusion perpetua. The settled rule is that when the issue involves the credibility of a witness, the trial court's assessment is entitled to great weight, even finality, unless it is shown that it was tainted with arbitrariness or there was an oversight of some fact or circumstance of weight and influence.

It must be stressed that the law does not impose upon a rape victim the burden of proving resistance, particularly when intimidation is exercised upon the victim and the latter submits herself to the rapist's will for fear for life or personal safety. It suffices that the threat or intimidation produces a reasonable fear in the mind of the victim that if she resists or does not yield to the desires of the accused-appellant, the threat would be carried out. Accused was meted out with the penalty of reclusion perpetua, since the special circumstance of minority of the victim and her relationship to the offender was not alleged and proven. In the case at bar, the information alleged the special qualifying circumstance of relationship and minority. The prosecution evidence, however, is insufficient to prove the minority of the victim. Besides the bare declaration of the victim as to her age, there was no independent evidence presented by the prosecution that could accurately show her age. We have held that the minority of the victim must be proved with equal certainty and clearness as the crime itself. Failure to sufficiently establish the victim's age will bar any finding of rape in its qualified form. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. RAYMUNDO VISAYA G.R. No. 136967 February 26, 2001 Accused was convicted of murder (with circumstances of treachery and conspiracy), and meted out with the penalty of reclusion perpetua. HELD:
The SC affirmed the decision of the lower court. It is well settled that conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an agreement concerning the commission of a crime and decide to commit it. The presence of the element of conspiracy among the accused can be proven by their conduct before, during or after the commission of the crime showing that they acted in unison with each other, evincing a common purpose or design. In such case, the act of one becomes the act of all, and each of the accused will thereby be deemed

equally guilty of the crime committed. The prosecution was able to establish that accused and the other suspects, by their acts at the time of the aggression, manifested a common intent or desire to kill the victim, so that the act of Visaya became also the act of appellant Ocampo. Moreover, their coordinated escape from the crime scene when somebody shouted "sibat na" confirmed the existence of conspiracy.

With regard to the circumstance of treachery, it exists when the offender employs means, methods, or forms in the execution of the offense which tend directly and specially to insure its execution, without risk to himself arising from the defense which the offended party might make. In the case at bar, the evidence showed that the unsuspecting victim was completely unprepared for the unexpected attack as he was facing a wall and totally deprived of a chance to ward off or escape from the criminal assault. THE PEOPLE v. EDGAR CAWAYAN y CRUZ G.R. No. 128117. February 28, 2001. Accused was found guilty of murder attended by the generic aggravating circumstance that the crime was committed in the dwelling of the offended party (morada), but offset by the alternative mitigating circumstance of intoxication. He was sentenced to the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua. HELD:
The SC affirmed the decision of the lower court. Two witnesses, Vilma and Maricris, positively identified accused-appellant as the assailant. Accused's alibi cannot overcome the eyeball testimonies, especially since it has not been shown that it was impossible for him to be physically at the scene of the crime at the time of its commission. For the defense of alibi to prosper, it is not enough that the accused can prove his being at another place at the time of its commission; it is likewise essential that he can show physical impossibility for him to be at the locus delicti.

PEOPLE v. DANIEL MAURICIO Y PEREZ G.R. No. 133695. February 28, 2001. The trial court found accused guilty of raping his 11-yr old daughter and sentenced him to death. He was also found guilty of attempted rape in the other case, and sentenced to seventeen (17) years, four (4) months, and one (1) day to twenty (20) years of reclusion temporal maximum. HELD: With regard to the first criminal case, the SC convicted the accused of simple rape, punishable by reclusion perpetua. In the case at bar, although the Information did properly allege the complainant's minority, it failed to specify the relationship between the complainant and accused-appellant. It is not enough that the relationship was subsequently proved during the trial. Both relationship and minority must be alleged in the Information to qualify the crime as punishable by death.
With regard to the second criminal case, the SC ruled that the evidence on record cannot sustain a conviction for attempted rape. There is an attempt when the offender commences the commission of a felony directly by overt acts, and does not perform all the acts of execution which should produce the felony by reason of some cause or accident other than his own spontaneous desistance. Applying the above definition to the facts of the case, it would be stretching the imagination to construe the act of the accused of throwing the victim to her bed as an overt act that will "logically and necessarily ripen" into rape. The external act must have a direct and necessary connection with the crime that the accused intended to commit. Whether accused indeed intended to commit the crime of rape cannot be seen merely from this particular act. Thus, accused should be acquitted of the charge of attempted rape.

PEOPLE v. CASTANITO GANO

G.R. No. 134373 February 28, 2001 Accused was convicted of the crime of robbery with homicide, and sentenced to the penalty of death. The core issue now before us is whether the three (3) killings should be appreciated as separate aggravating circumstances to warrant the imposition of the penalty of death. HELD: The SC found the accused guilty of robbery with homicide, but imposed the penalty of reclusion perpetua. 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 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. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. BLESIE VELASCO G.R. Nos. 135231-33 February 28, 2001 The accused was convicted of 3 counts of rape (rape of his 12-yr old stepdaughter), and sentenced to death for each count. HELD:
The SC affirmed the decision of the lower court. In qualified rape, the concurrence of the minority of the victim and her relationship to the offender must both be alleged and proved with certainty, otherwise the death penalty cannot be imposed.

Since the allegation of minority (twelve 12 years old) in the Informations was established by the complainant herself, who is considered competent to testify on her age as it constitutes an assertion of family tradition, 67 and by the open admission of the accused as well as the categorical finding of the trial court, then such fact is deemed established with certainty. In this case, the birth certificate or any other official document proving minority serves no other purpose than to corroborate the testimonies of the competent witnesses and the categorical finding of the trial court. The second circumstance to be established is the relationship of the accused to the complaining witness. In this case, such a relationship was also shown by the testimonies of witnesses. PEOPLE v. FILOMENO SERRANO G.R. No. 137480 February 28, 2001 Accused was convicted for the crime of rape, aggravated by the fact that the victim was the minor daughter of the accused. He was sentenced to suffer the penalty of DEATH. HELD: The SC affirmed the decision of the lower court. In imposing the penalty of death, the trial court took into consideration the testimonial and documentary evidence adduced. The SC agreed that it has been duly established that the victim is the daughter of accused-appellant and that she was only thirteen years old at the time of her sexual assault. Proof of these circumstances are

the marriage contract between accused-appellant and Adeluisa ("Adel") Biato Agos, and the certificate of live birth of victim indicating therein that she was the second child of accusedappellant and Adeluisa ("Adel") Biato Agos, and that she was born on June 13, 1983. Accusedappellant never disowned this relationship when he was put on the stand during the trial. There was likewise no competent evidence presented by accused-appellant to rebut the documents presented by the prosecution. PEOPLE v. REFORMADOR VIDAL y BALLADARES G.R. No. 137946. February 28, 2001.
Accused was found guilty of the crime of rape, and was sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua.

HELD: The SC upheld the decision of the lower court. The issues raised by accused-appellant boil down to a question of the credibility of the complainant's testimony. The SC found the contentions to be without merit. First. The SC found no reason to reverse the findings of the trial court that complainant was raped. It is settled that the evaluation by the trial court of the testimony of a witness is accorded the highest respect because the trial court had the opportunity to observe the facial expression, gesture, and voice tone of a witness while testifying and, therefore, competent to determine whether or not the witness is telling the truth. Furthermore, the alleged inconsistency is minor and inconsequential in nature and does not detract from the fact that complainant was raped. Second. In rape cases, the prosecution is not bound to present witnesses other than complainant herself, as accused-appellant may be convicted solely on the testimony of complainant, provided the same is credible, natural, convincing, and otherwise consistent with human nature and the normal course of things. The testimony of complainant complied with such standards. Third. The failure of complainant to shout or offer tenacious resistance does not imply her submission to accused-appellant's desires. To be sure, it is not required that the victim of rape resists her assailant unto death. All that is necessary is that the force or intimidation employed against complainant enabled the assailant to effect sexual penetration. Fourth. The absence of fresh injuries in complainant's private part does not negate rape as proof of hymenal lacerations is not an element of rape. Fifth. Accused-appellant's contention that he and complainant were lovers is not worthy of any consideration at all. He presented no witness to corroborate his claim. Sixth. While it is true that flight raises the presumption of guilt on the part of an accused, the converse does not necessarily mean innocence. There is no rule that, in every instance, the fact that the accused did not flee is a proof of his innocence. It is not unnatural for a criminal, as in this case, to desist from leaving the place where the crime was committed to feign innocence. THE PEOPLE v. SANDY HINTO y BUENO G.R. Nos. 138146-91. February 28, 2001.
In the first criminal case, accused was found guilty of the crime of rape, and was sentenced to suffer the penalty of death. He was also found guilty of 45 counts of acts of lasciviousness, there being the presence of the aggravating circumstance of relationship. He was sentenced to suffer the indeterminate penalty of twelve (12) years, as minimum, to fifteen (15) years, both of reclusion temporal, as maximum, in each of the forty-five (45) cases and to pay the costs of the suit.

HELD:

The SC affirmed the decision of the lower court. With regard to the credibility of witnesses, settled is the rule that the trial court's evaluation of the credibility of the testimony of witnesses is entitled to great respect. Unless shown that it has overlooked some facts which would affect the result of the case, the trial court's factual findings will not be disturbed by the appellate court. With regard to the defense of alibi, it is settled that for the defense of alibi to prosper, there must be proof not only that the accused was at some other place at the time the crime was committed but also that it was physically impossible for him to be at the locus criminis at the time of the alleged crime.
Under Art. 335, par. 7(1) of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by R.A. 7659, if the victim is under eighteen (18) years of age and the offender is a common-law spouse of the parent of the victim, the imposable penalty is death. In these cases, the information for rape alleges that the victim was under 18 years of age at the time she was raped and that accused-appellant is the common-law spouse of her mother. Her birth certificate was offered as evidence in this case. It was also proven during the trial that accused-appellant is the common-law spouse of the victims mother. Considering the foregoing, the SC was constrained to affirm the death sentence imposed by the trial court on accused-appellant.

PEOPLE v. EDGARDO MACEDA G.R. No. 138805 February 28, 2001 Accused was convicted for the crime of rape of a mental retardate, and sentenced to suffer the penalty of death.
HELD:

With regard to the contention of accused that the prosecution failed to prove that force or intimidation was used against complainant, the SC found the contention to be unmeritorious. To begin with, under Art. 266-A (1)(a) of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, 34 the crime of rape may be committed by a man who shall have carnal knowledge of a woman through force, threat, or intimidation. The force necessary in rape is relative. The intimidation must be judged in the light of the victim's perception and judgment at the time of the commission of the crime, and not by any hard and fast rule. It must be stressed that complainant in this case does not possess the intelligence of an average individual. Indisputably, her mental faculties are different from those of a fully-functioning adult; hence, the degree of force or intimidation needed to overwhelm her is less than what it would take to frighten an ordinary woman.
Furthermore, it is erroneous for accused-appellant to contend that no rape was committed because the prosecution failed to prove that the mental age of the victim was equivalent to a girl below 12 years old. It must be emphasized that this requirement is necessary if the charge is statutory rape under Art. 266-A, par. 1(d). In this case, complainant was deprived of reason, and, under Art. 266-A, par. 1(b) of the Revised Penal Code, having sexual intercourse with her, even if accomplished without the use of force or intimidation, constitutes rape.

However, the trial court erred when it imposed the penalty of death on accused-appellant under Art. 266-B (10) of the RPC. True enough, accused-appellant knew of the mental condition of the victim prior to and at the time of the incident, as evidenced by his own admission in open court. Be that as it may, accused-appellant cannot be meted the death penalty. Under Art. 266-B in relation to Art. 266-A, par. (1), of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, simple rape is punishable by reclusion perpetua. When rape is committed by an assailant who has knowledge of the victim's mental retardation, the penalty is increased to death. This circumstance must, however, be alleged in the information because it is a qualifying circumstance which increases the penalty and changes the nature of the offense. In this case, while accused-appellant admitted that he knew complainant to be a mental retardate, this fact was not alleged in the information. Therefore, even if it was proved, it cannot be appreciated as a qualifying, but only

as a generic aggravating, circumstance. Accordingly, accused-appellant must be sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua for the crime of simple rape.

MARCH 2001
PEOPLE v. ROBERT NUEZ y LAGASCA G.R. No. 112092. March 1, 2001. Accused was found guilty of Illegal possession of firearm resulting to the death of the victim and pursuant to P.D. 1866 in relation to the 1987 Constitution the court sentences the said accused to suffer the penalty of life imprisonment and with costs. HELD: Appellant was convicted of "illegal possession of firearms resulting to the death of the victim." At the time of the commission of the crime, the existing jurisprudence was People v. Quijada. The SC held then that the use of an unlicensed firearm in a killing results in two separate crimes one for the aggravated form of illegal possession of firearm and two, for homicide or murder. In the meantime, however, Congress passed Republic Act No. 8294, 27 which lowered the penalties for illegal possession of firearms. Further, Section 1, third par. of R.A. No. 8294 provides If homicide or murder is committed with the use of an unlicensed firearm, such use of an unlicensed firearm shall be considered as an aggravating circumstance. In the present case, there were four cases filed against appellant which were all separately tried. Hence, the evidence as to the homicide and frustrated homicide cases were neither adopted nor presented before the trial court trying the illegal possession case. For this reason, there is a dearth of evidence on record to support the finding of homicide and/or frustrated homicide. The Court held that accordingly, appellant should only be convicted of simple illegal possession of firearms. The lowered penalties as provided in R.A. No. 8294, being favorable to the accused, should be applied retroactively. PEOPLE v. PEDRO SASPA, ET AL. G.R. No. 123069 March 1, 2001
The trial court found both Pedro Saspa and Rafael Sumiling principally liable for the murder of Isidro Hayo, and sentenced each of them to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua, together with its accessory penalties, and ordered them to indemnify the heirs of the victim in the amount of P50,000.00.

HELD: The SC affirmed the trial court's holding that appellants employed superior strength in the execution of the crime, thus qualifying the killing to murder. When appellants attacked the victim, they had the advantage of numerical superiority and were carrying high-powered firearms; whereas the victim was unarmed and utterly defenseless, not to mention that he was taken by surprise by the swiftness of the assault. Clearly, there was a notorious inequality between the strength of the victim and his assailants. The Court, however, did not sustain the trial court's appreciation of the aggravating circumstances of band and ignominy. A band consists of at least four armed malefactors acting together in the commission of an offense. The prosecution failed to prove that there were at least four armed men Thelma testified that three of Isidro's assailants were armed, while Sulpicio did make any declaration as to how many of his son's attackers were actually armed. Neither did the prosecution prove the existence of

ignominy, which is a circumstance that adds disgrace and obloquy to the material injury caused by the crime. There was no showing that appellants deliberately employed means which would cause more suffering or humiliation to the victim. At the time the crime was committed the penalty for death was reclusion temporal in the maximum period to death. In the absence of any aggravating and mitigating circumstances, the penalty should be imposed in its medium period, or reclusion perpetua. The SC found appellants guilty of the crime of murder, and sentenced them each to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to pay the heirs. PEOPLE v. MARIO CALDONA y LLAMAS G.R. No. 126019 March 1, 2001 Accused was found guilty of raping his 15-yr old daughter. He was sentenced to suffer the penalty of death. HELD: The SC found accused guilty, but sentenced him to suffer reclusion perpetua instead of death. The Court said that when a victim of rape says she has been defiled, she says in effect all that is necessary to show that rape has been inflicted on her and so long as her testimony meets the test of credibility, the accused may be convicted on the basis thereof. As in most rape cases, accused-appellant assails the credibility of the victim. However, the SC has consistently held that the trial court's assessment of the credibility of complainant's testimony is entitled to great weight, absent any showing that some facts were overlooked which, if considered, would affect the outcome of the case. Nevertheless, while the guilt of the accused-appellant was proved beyond reasonable doubt, the Court finds the imposition of the death penalty against him unwarranted. The circumstances under the amendatory provisions of R.A. No. 7659, Section 11, are in the nature of qualifying circumstances which can not be proved as such unless alleged in the information. Even if such circumstances are proved, the death penalty can not be imposed where the sane were not properly alleged in the Information.
However, while the qualifying circumstance of relationship has been alleged in the Information, it is devoid of any averment on private complainant's minority. Since one of the twin requirements mentioned, namely, minority, was not alleged in the Information, accused-appellant can neither be convicted for qualified rape nor could the death penalty be meted upon him because to do so would be to deprive him of the right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him.

PEOPLE v. RODELIO PERALTA G.R. No. 131637 March 1, 2001 Accused was found guilty of the crime of murder, qualified by treachery as charged in the Information and sentenced to suffer the penalty reclusion perpetua.
HELD: The SC affirmed the decision of the lower court. With regard to the issue of conspiracy, the SC held that it was amply and sufficiently proven in this case. Accused-appellants approached the victim from behind. When accused-appellant Quiambao told Peralta to stab the victim, accused-appellant Peralta yanked the left shoulder of Ramon and immediately stabbed the latter on his chest. After the stabbing, both accused-appellants fled and were apprehended only after more than nine (9) years from the filing of the criminal case in court. These acts taken together, are sufficient to establish the existence of a common design among accused-appellants to commit the offense charged.

With regard to the presence of the aggravating circumstance of treachery, the SC also agreed with the lower court. In crimes against persons, treachery exists when the accused employs, means, methods, and forms which directly and specially ensure its execution, without risk to himself arising from the defense which the offended party might make. To rule that treachery exists in the commission of the crime it must be shown that at the time of the attack, the victim was not in a position to defend himself and accused-appellants consciously and deliberately adopted the particular means, methods or forms of the attack employed by him. In the instant case, the victim was stabbed on his chest. While the stab wound appears frontal, it was shown that accusedappellants came from behind and yanked the victim's shoulder in order to inflict the fatal blow. The manner of attack was duly proven and the infliction of the stab wound was the result of a deliberate act. At the time of the fatal attack, the victim was standing in front of the parlor while waiting for his wife. The victim, at that moment was unaware of what would befall him and was not given an opportunity to defend himself or retaliate.

PEOPLE v. ALFREDO NARDO G.R. No. 133888 March 1, 2001 Accused was found guilty of raping his 14-yr old daughter, and was sentenced to suffer the penalty of death. For humanitarian reasons, however, the trial court recommended that the DEATH penalty be commuted to RECLUSION PERPETUA.
HELD: The SC found accused guilty, and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of death. The concurrence of the two special qualifying circumstances, namely the victim's minority and the relationship between the victim and the culprit, increases the penalty of rape to one (1) degree, thus resulting in the imposition of the death penalty. In order to be appreciated as qualifying circumstances, however, these must be properly pleaded in the indictment. In addition, the qualifying circumstances should be duly proved during the trial.

The SC held that these requirements were met in this case. The Information sufficiently alleges that accused-appellant is the father of the victim, and that the latter was fourteen (14) years old at the time of commission of the rape. These elements, furthermore, were categorically affirmed by Elizabeth Nardo, the victim's mother and the most competent witness. Moreover, the victims birth date and her relationship to accused-appellant were shown by her Certificate of Baptism. This was presented by her mother, Elizabeth, in lieu of her Certificate of Live Birth, which was destroyed by fire. The baptismal certificate, coupled by her mother's testimony, is sufficient to establish victims age. PEOPLE v. JESSIE VENTURA COLLADO G.R. Nos. 135667-70 1 . March 1, 2001.
The trial court found accused-appellant guilty of statutory rape and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. Likewise, it found him guilty of three (3) counts of acts of lasciviousness and sentenced him to suffer imprisonment of six (6) years of prision correctional in its maximum period for each count. It also ordered him to indemnify the private complainant in the amount of P50,000.00, and P100,000.00 for moral damages.

HELD: The trial court was correct in finding accused-appellant guilty of three (3) counts of acts of lasciviousness. The SC took however to its finding that statutory rape was committed by him on 5 June 1993. A thorough evaluation of the records will show that accused-appellant should only be convicted for acts of lasciviousness and not for consummated rape. The SC held that absent any showing of the slightest penetration of the female organ, i.e. touching of either the labia of the pudendum by the penis, there can be no consummated rape; at most, it can only be attempted rape, if not acts of lasciviousness.

The SC found accused guilty of 4 counts of acts of lasciviousness, aggravated by obvious ungratefulness. Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, accused-appellant was sentenced to an indeterminate prison term of four (4) months and twenty (20) days of arresto mayor maximum as minimum, to four (4) years six (6) months and ten (10) days of prision correccional maximum as maximum, in each count of Acts of Lasciviousness. Accused-appellant was further directed to pay the private complainant P30,000.00 as civil indemnity, P40,000.00 for moral damages, P20,000.00 for exemplary damages, in each of the four (4) counts of Acts of Lasciviousness, and to pay the costs. PEOPLE v. BALTAZAR AMION y DUGADUGA G.R. No. 140511. March 1, 2001.
Accused was found guilty as Principal by Direct Participation of the crime of Murder, qualified by treachery, defined and penalized under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code as amended by R. A. 7659. The following ordinary aggravating circumstances were present in the commission of the crime:

1. Abuse of public office due to the use of his service firearm in the killing; 2. Use of motor vehicle which facilitated the commission of the crime; and 3. Aid of armed men in the commission of the crime. There is present only one (1) mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender. The accused was sentenced to suffer the MAXIMUM PENALTY OF DEATH. HELD: The SC held that with respect to the attendant circumstances, the use of a motor vehicle cannot be considered as an aggravating circumstance, as the police vehicle used to reach the Sanicas residence was not used directly or indirectly to facilitate the criminal act.
Neither may the aggravating circumstance of aid of armed men be appreciated in this case. The trial court found that during the shooting, an armed companion was on board the patrol car pointing his rifle in the direction of Dejoras. In the first place, this aggravating circumstance contemplates more than one armed man, as the use of the plural form easily suggests. In the second place, the requisites of this aggravating circumstance are: 1) that armed men or persons took part in the commission of the crime, directly or indirectly, and 2) that the accused availed himself of their aid or relied upon them when the crime was committed. Neither circumstance was proven present; it is clear from the evidence that the accused-appellant carried out the killing all by himself and did not rely on his companion for assistance.

The SC also did not agree that the fact that accused-appellant used his service firearm in shooting Vaflor should be considered as an aggravating circumstance as he took advantage of his public position. There is authority to the effect that for public position to be appreciated as an aggravating circumstance, the public official must use his influence, prestige and ascendancy which his office gives him in realizing his purpose. In the absence of proof that advantage was taken by appellant, the aggravating circumstance of abuse of position could not be properly appreciated against him. In view of the absence of aggravating circumstances and the presence of one mitigating circumstance, the penalty imposed by the trial court should be modified. The penalty for murder Under Article 248 is reclusion perpetua to death. Pursuant to Article 63, in case of two indivisible penalties, when the commission of the act is attended by some mitigating circumstance and there is no aggravating circumstance, the lesser penalty shall be applied. Hence the imposable penalty is reclusion perpetua. PEOPLE v. MANUEL PEREZ y MAGPANTAY G.R. No. 113265. March 5, 2001.

Accused was found guilty of raping a 12-yr old, and sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. Appellant is the common-law husband of the victim's mother. HELD:
Having examined the entire record, the SC found that the totality of the evidence presented by the prosecution proved beyond doubt all the elements of rape. Private complainant testified as to how appellant had carnal knowledge of her. The carnal knowledge took place under circumstances of violence and intimidation. Her testimony is supported by the results of the medico-legal examination conducted upon her at the police crime laboratory. Moreover, she positively pointed to appellant in open court as the person responsible for her defilement. Against said positive identification, appellant's puerile defense of denial will not hold water, for he does not even deny that he was with the offended party at the time of the commission of the crime. Moreover, his attempts to cast ill motive on private complainant or her family for fabricating the charge of rape against him have no evidentiary weight. It would be most unnatural for a young and immature girl to fabricate a story of rape by her mother's common-law spouse; allow a medical examination of her genitalia; and subject herself to a public trial and possible ridicule, all because her maternal relatives want her mother to separate from her common-law spouse. Perforce, appellant's conviction must stand.

As to the penalty imposed, the SC held that the trial court correctly sentenced appellant to reclusion perpetua. Note that the rape complained of in this case took place on May 31, 1990 or way before the restoration of the death penalty for cases of qualified rape by virtue of R.A. No. 7659. The death penalty law took effect only on December 31, 1993, as per the Courts holding in People v. Simon, 234 SCRA 555, 569 (1994). PEOPLE v. ROQUE "UKING" ELLADO G.R. No. 124686. March 5, 2001.
Appellant was convicted of the crime of murder, and sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua.

HELD:
The SC affirmed the decision of the lower court. The SC held that both of the accused acted in concert in the assault on the victim. They had the same purpose and were united in its execution. Conspiracy exists at the time of the commission of the offense. Their actuation could only point to the existence of a pre-conceived plan to maim and kill the victim. Where the acts of the accused collectively and individually demonstrate the existence of a common design towards the accomplishment of the same unlawful purpose, conspiracy is evident, and all the perpetrators will be liable as principals.

The SC also held that the acts of appellant indicate that he and Bakunawa had planned the attack in a manner that would catch the victim unaware. Their move initially was in the guise of a conciliatory overture. It served to cover their nefarious plot. Even if it was Bakunawa who inflicted the fatal wound, liability also exists on the part of appellant notwithstanding nonparticipation in every detail in the execution of the crime. The deceptive manner by which the two accused fatally assaulted the victim shows that they had intended to catch him off guard, to insure the success of the attack. An unexpected and sudden attack under circumstances which render the victim unable and unprepared to defend himself by reason of the suddenness and severity of the attack constitutes alevosia. As treachery attended the killing of the victim, the offense committed by appellant and his coaccused Bakunawa is murder. However, the aggravating circumstances of evident premeditation and abuse of superior strength alleged in the information to be attendant cannot be appreciated, as the elements of the former were not proven, and the latter is deemed absorbed by treachery. PEOPLE v. JULIO HERIDA, ET AL. G.R. No. 127158 March 5, 2001

Accused was found guilty of the crime of murder, and sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. Accused Jamila, on the other hand, was acquitted for failure of the prosecution to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. HELD: The SC agreed with appellant that nowhere in the assailed judgment is it shown how the trial court arrived at its conclusion that the killing of the victim was attended by treachery. There was absolutely no showing from the testimony of the witness how the attack commenced; no indicia whether the attack was so sudden and unexpected that it afforded the victim no chance to defend himself. In the absence of this information, treachery cannot be established from the circumstances. Treachery cannot be presumed; it must be proved by clear and convincing evidence as clearly as the killing itself. Where the attack was not treacherous, the number of aggressors would constitute abuse of superior strength. Abuse of superior strength, therefore, qualifies the killing as murder. In finding the killing aggravated by evident premeditation, the trial court characterized the method of attack as deliberately and consciously adopted by the three attackers. For evident premeditation to be appreciated, the following must be proven: (1) the time when the accused decided to commit the crime; (2) an overt act manifestly indicating that he has clung to his determination; and (3) sufficient lapse of time between the decision and the execution to allow the accused to reflect upon the consequences of his act. In the instant case, however, there is no showing of the time when appellant and his confederates decided to commit the crime. Neither is there proof to show how appellant and the other two assailants planned the killing of the victim. Nor is there any evidence showing how much time elapsed before the plan was executed. Absent all these, the conclusion by the trial court that evident premeditation qualified the killing of Delara is devoid of any factual mooring. With regard to the issue of conspiracy, there was a transparent manifestation of their common sentiment to inflict harm and injury upon the victim. First, while Rene and Edmund were hacking and stabbing the victim, appellant was with them, pounding him with a concrete hollow block. Evidently, appellant was performing overt acts, which directly or indirectly contributed to the execution of the crime. Second, after the victim somehow managed to fend off his attackers and flee, all three attackers pursued him.
Clearly, the aforementioned acts point to a common purpose, concert of action, and community of interest among the assailants. In conspiracy, it is immaterial who inflicted the fatal blows. A conspirator, no matter how minimal his participation, is as guilty as the principal perpetrator of the crime.

PEOPLE v. ALFREDO IBO G.R. No. 132353 March 5, 2001 Accused was convicted of the crime of murder, and sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. HELD: The SC affirmed the decision of the lower court. The court found that there was treachery in the taking of the life of the victim as without any warning, accused-appellant suddenly and unexpectedly shot the victim in front of his family right in his own home. Neither the victim nor his family had any opportunity to put up any defense. The mode of attack was executed in such a manner that retaliation was not possible. The victim did not even have an inkling of the danger to his life, the attack against him being sudden and unexpected. The prosecution has effectively shown that the shooting was calculated as to ensure the infliction of the fatal wounds without giving the victim and his family any opportunity to put up a defense. The qualifying circumstance

of treachery having been likewise proven beyond reasonable doubt, the accused-appellant is guilty of the crime of murder.
At the time of the commission of the crime in 1995, the penalty for murder was reclusion perpetua to death. There being no aggravating nor mitigating circumstance, the SC held that the trial court correctly sentenced accused-appellants to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua.

PEOPLE v. JOMER CABANSAY y PALERMO G.R. No. 138646. March 6, 2001. Accused was found guilty of the crime of murder. After considering in his favor the mitigating circumstance of surrender, the accused was sentenced to suffer the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua. HELD: The accused admits the killing of the victim but denies any liability by invoking self-defense. Taking into account the version of the prosecution, the theory of self-defense is not tenable. At the outset, we mentioned that for self-defense to prosper, all the essential elements thereof must be adequately proven by the accused. Unlawful aggression, the first of these three essential elements, presupposes an actual, sudden and unexpected attack or imminent danger on the life and limb of the person defending himself. Without this element, there can be no successful invocation of self-defense. When the accused stabbed the victim, the latter and his companions were conversing and sorting "bulang". They posed no threat or danger to the accused. If there is any aggression present in this case, it would be that authored by the accused which resulted in the death of Castillo. Absent the element of unlawful aggression, the theory of self-defense of the accused collapses. Inevitably, the result would be the conviction of the accused springing from his own admission that he killed the victim. Anent the qualifying circumstance of treachery, the SC held that it was duly proven by the prosecution. In this case, the qualifying circumstance of treachery was established by the prosecution witness who testified that he and the victim, together with two other companions, were conversing and sorting "bulang" when the accused suddenly and without provocation stabbed the victim. The location of the wound indicates that the victim was stabbed by the accused from the back. After the victim fell to his side, the accused-appellant made a follow-up thrust. The witness, who was shocked by the suddenness of the attack, was likewise stabbed by the accused three times. The SC held that the mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender was properly appreciated by the trial court. Prosecution witness SPO4 Patrocinio Abesia himself testified that the mother of the accused interceded for the latter's surrender, and subsequently, the accused voluntarily surrendered to him. PEOPLE v. ANTONIO SAMUDIO G.R. No. 126168. March 7, 2001. All of the accused-appellants were found guilty of the crime of murder, and sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua.
HELD:

With regard to the claim of self-defense of Samudio, he failed to discharge this burden convincingly for he did not adequately support his allegation of self-defense. No one corroborated his testimony that the aggression was initiated by the victim. Thus, his testimony is self-serving. An accused who invokes self-defense has to rely on the strength of his evidence

and not on the weakness of the prosecution's evidence, for, even if the latter were weak, it could not be disbelieved after his open admission of responsibility for the killing. It is alleged in the Information that the killing was qualified by treachery, evident premeditation, abuse of superior strength and disregard of respect due to the offended party on account of his rank. However, the SC held that the trial court failed to make a finding as to the existence of any of these qualifying circumstances. In the instant case, treachery cannot be appreciated considering that the only eyewitness to the actual stabbing, did not see the initial stage and particulars of the attack on the victim. Similarly, the prosecution failed to establish the attendance of evident premeditation. There was no proof or showing of (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) a sufficient lapse of time between the determination to commit and the execution thereof, to allow the offender to reflect on the consequence of his act. None of these elements of evident premeditation can be fairly inferred from the evidence adduced by the prosecution in the case at bar. Neither can abuse of superior strength be appreciated. Mere superiority in number is not enough to constitute superior strength. The prosecution did not present any direct proof that there was a deliberate intent on the part of the accused-appellants to take advantage of the obvious inequality of force between the victim and the accused-appellants.
The qualifying circumstance of "disregard of respect due to the offended party on account of his rank, being a barangay captain" alleged in the information is likewise unavailing. The prosecution failed to establish proof of the specific facts demonstrating that Samudio's act of killing the victim was deliberately intended to disregard or insult the respect due him on account of his rank as a barangay captain.

Absent any of the above qualifying circumstances, the crime committed is not murder, but only homicide under Article 249 of the Revised Penal Code which is punishable by reclusion temporal. It appears, however, that the mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender should be appreciated in Samudio's favor. To be thus considered, three (3) requisites must be proven, namely, (a) the offender had not actually been arrested; (b) the offender surrender himself to a person in authority; and (c) the surrender was voluntary. The acts of Samudio vis-a-vis those of his co-accused failed to establish beyond reasonable doubt the presence of conspiracy. Since the sole prosecution witness to the actual killing, did not see its inception and the details as to how it progressed, the prosecution failed to adduce sufficient evidence to completely establish the existence of conspiracy among the accused. It bears stressing that conspiracy must be proved as convincingly and indubitably as the crime itself. Nonetheless, the failure of the prosecution to prove the existence of conspiracy does not eliminate any criminal liability on the part of the other accused-appellants. Although they could not be convicted as a co-principal, they are liable as accomplices. PEOPLE v. ERNESTO ICALLA y INES G.R. No. 136173. March 7, 2001. Accused was found guilty of the crime of murder, and sentenced to suffer the penalty of death. HELD: The SC noted that appellant faults the trial court for its reliance on circumstantial evidence. However, it is well-settled that 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. Conviction may still be proper if factual circumstances duly proven by the prosecution constitute an unbroken chain which lead to a fair and reasonable conclusion that the accused is guilty to the exclusion of all others. To support a conviction based on circumstantial evidence, the concurrence of the following requisites is essential: (a) there must be more than one circumstance; (b) the facts from which the inference of guilt is based must be proved; and (c) the combination of all the

circumstances is such as to produce conviction beyond reasonable doubt. Even if there is no eyewitness to the crime, responsibility therefor can be established by the totality of the duly proven facts that yield an inevitable conclusion consistent with the guilt of the accused. The offense committed is not murder. Appellant cannot be held liable for the crime of murder as charged in the information, but only for homicide, which was the offense proved. As observed by the OSG, there is no evidence as to the manner in which the assault was made or how the stabbing began and developed. Although the deceased sustained five wounds, some of which were at the back, this fact by itself does not constitute treachery which would qualify the killing to murder. There being no eyewitness to the killing or evidence on the mode of attack adopted by appellant, treachery could not be appreciated in this case as a qualifying circumstance. Likewise, there is a dearth of evidence to establish evident pre-meditation as either a qualifying or generic aggravating circumstance. While the witnesses may have testified regarding incidents prior to the killing, there is no evidence that appellant had ever conceived or expressed a resolve to kill the victim. PEOPLE v. CONRADO SALADINO Y DINGLE G.R. Nos. 137481-83 & 138455 March 7, 2001
Accused was convicted of three (3) counts of rape for raping his 13-yr old niece. Taking into account the qualifying circumstance of the minority of the victim and her relationship to accused-appellant, the lower court meted three (3) death penalties pursuant to RA 7659. The trial court also found accused-appellant guilty of attempted rape, and sentenced him to serve an indeterminate penalty of eight (8) years and one (1) day of prision mayor minimum as minimum, to fourteen (14) years, eight (8) months and one (1) day of reclusion temporal minimum, as maximum.

HELD: The SC said that the victims failure to shout or offer tenacious resistance did not make voluntary her submission to the criminal acts of the accused-appellant. They held that the "(i)ntimidation must be viewed in the light of the victim's perception and judgment at the time of the commission of the crime and not by any hard and fast rule; it is therefore enough that it produces fear fear that if the victim does not yield to the bestial demands of the accused something would happen to her at that moment or even thereafter as when she is threatened with death if she reports the incident." The failure to shout or offer resistance was not because she consented to the deed but because she honestly believed she would be killed if she shouted or resisted. Such threat is sufficient intimidation as contemplated by our jurisprudence on rape. And be that as it may, if resistance would nevertheless be futile because of a continuing intimidation, then offering none at all would not mean consent to the assault as to make the victim's participation in the sexual act voluntary. However, the lower court erred in imposing the death penalty. In People v. Ramos 20 the concurrence of the minority of the victim and her relationship to the offender, being special qualifying circumstances should be alleged in the information, otherwise, the death penalty cannot be imposed. In the case at bar, although the prosecution did prove complainant's minority and relationship to accused-appellant, it failed to implead both minority and relationship in the four (4) Informations filed against accused-appellant. It is not enough that the relationship was subsequently proved during the trial. Both relationship and minority must be alleged in the Information to qualify the crime as punishable by death. To hold otherwise would deny accusedappellant's constitutional right to be informed of the nature and the cause of the accusation against him. Thus, he can only be convicted of simple rape, punishable by reclusion perpetua.
The imposition of an indeterminate penalty of eight (8) years and one (1) day of prision mayor minimum as minimum, to fourteen (14) years, eight (8) months and one (1) day of reclusion temporal minimum as maximum, in attempted rape is also erroneous. The proper penalty for rape in the attempted stage should be

two (2) degrees lower than the penalty for consummated rape, or prision mayor. Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, the maximum imposable penalty should be taken from prision mayor in its medium period and the minimum from prision correccional.

PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. EUGENIO MANGOMPIT G.R. Nos. 139962-66 March 7, 2001 Accused was found guilty for 5 counts of rape, and sentenced to suffer the penalty of death for each count. He was found guilty for raping his 16-yr old niece. HELD: The SC found the accused guilty, but reduced the penalty to reclusion perpetua for each count. In the case at bench, the trial court apparently relied on the 1st special circumstance introduced by R.A. 7659, that of minority of the victim and relationship with the offender, in imposing the death penalty. However, the concurrence of the minority of the victim and her relationship to the offender should be specifically alleged in the information conformably with the right of an accused to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. Even though the minority of Marites and her relationship with accused-appellant were proven beyond doubt, the death penalty cannot be imposed because both of these qualifying circumstances were not alleged in the information. Therefore, despite the five (5) counts of rape committed by accusedappellant, he cannot be sentenced to the supreme penalty of death. Accordingly, the penalty of death imposed by the trial court should be reduced to reclusion perpetua. The SC held that the trial court likewise correctly imposed the amount of P25,000 for each count of rape, or a total of P125,000.00, as and by way of exemplary damages. Under Article 2230 of the New Civil Code, "(I)n criminal offenses, exemplary damages as a part of the civil liability may be imposed when the crime was committed with one or more aggravating circumstances." In the case at bench, the aggravating circumstances of relationship, dwelling, and, for two of the charges, nighttime were proven to have attended the commission of the crime. Relationship, that of uncle and niece, was proven by the testimony of the victim and by the admission of accused-appellant himself. Dwelling was likewise proven as it was shown that the five incidents of rape were all committed inside the house of the family of the victim where accused-appellant was staying as a houseguest. Finally, the aggravating circumstance of nighttime was likewise proven in two of the five rape incidents as it was shown that accused-appellant waited until late in the night when the other family members were in deep slumber before consummating his carnal desire for the victim. PEOPLE v. ARNEL MATARO G.R. No. 130378. March 8, 2001.
Accused-appellants were found guilty for the crime of murder, and both were sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to pay the heirs of the victim.

HELD: The accused appellants invoke the "equipoise" rule because their guilt had not been established beyond reasonable doubt. The SC said that it has enumerated the requisites for credible identification in the case of People v. Teehankee, Jr., 249 SCRA 54 (1995) as follows: 1) the witness' opportunity to view the criminal at the time of the crime; 2) witness' degree of attention at that time; 3) the accuracy of any prior description given by the witness; 4) the level of certainty demonstrated by the witness at the identification;

5)

the length of time between the crime and the identification; and 6) the suggestiveness of the identification procedure. 18 The Court held that in their view, these requirements were met. In the instant case, there is no question that both witnesses had the opportunity to view the incident as it unfolded before them with a degree of attention that allowed them to take in the important details and recall them clearly. Moreover, as repeatedly stressed, appellate court should accord to the factual findings of trial courts and their evaluation great weight and respect concerning the credibility of witnesses. The conditions of visibility being favorable and these witnesses not appearing to be biased, the conclusion of trial courts regarding the identity of the malefactors should normally be accepted.
The SC also held that the trial court did not err in qualifying the killing as murder. There was treachery in this case since, as testified to by prosecution witness Fernandez, the victim had already dismissed the appellants after they talked to him. The victim was deliberately allowed to enjoy a false sense of security. They shot the victim when the latter had his hands raised. The SC therefore affirmed the ruling of the lower court, but made modifications with the costs to be paid by the accused.

PEOPLE v. RICKY ROGER AUSTRIA G.R. No. 134279 March 8, 2001


Accused was found guilty of the crime of murder, and sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua with all the accessory penalties provided by law, and to pay the costs

HELD: The SC held that the inconsistencies in Rowena Junio's testimony do not refer to incidental or collateral matters. The basis of her identification of accused-appellant as the victim's assailant was precisely her purported familiarity with accused-appellant. She did not pick him out of a police line-up nor did she provide the police with a description of the assailant. She pointed to accused-appellant because she allegedly knew him prior to the killing. If the witness was not at all familiar with accused-appellant, the prosecution's whole case collapses for such familiarity was its very foundation. In the face of doubts regarding the familiarity of the witness with the alleged assailant, the distance of the witness from the scene and the visibility conditions thereat assume greater significance. The prosecution did not show, however, whether the intensity of the defective lamp was sufficient to enable the witness to see accused-appellant's face, considering her distance from the scene. Accused-appellant invoked alibi, which he failed to corroborate with other evidence. Nevertheless, this circumstance would not sustain his conviction. As a rule, alibis should be considered with suspicion and received with caution, not only because they are inherently weak and unreliable, but also because they can easily be fabricated. But equally fundamental is the axiom that evidence for the prosecution must stand or fall on its own merits and cannot be allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the defense. And, where the prosecution's evidence is weak or just as equally tenuous, alibi need not be inquired into. The prosecution has also failed to establish any motive on the part of the accused-appellant to kill the deceased. While generally, the motive of the accused is immaterial and does not have to be proven, proof of the same becomes relevant and essential when, as in this case, the identity of the assailant is in question.
Considering the apparent unreliability of the evidence proffered by the prosecution, this Court is constrained to rule for an acquittal. In all criminal cases, all doubts should be resolved in favor of the accused on the principle that it is better to liberate a guilty man than to unjustly keep in prison one whose guilt has not been proven by the required quantum of evidence. Conviction, it is said, must rest on nothing less than a moral certainty of guilt

that we find here to be wanting. The SC reversed the decision of the lower court, and acquitted the accused on ground of reasonable doubt.

PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. RODOLFO VILLADARES G.R. No. 137649 March 8, 2001 Accused was found guilty of raping a 12-yr old girl, and was sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. HELD: Accused assails the credibility of the witness and the supposed inconsistencies in the testimonies. The SC still affirmed the ruling of the lower court. First. It is doctrinal that the evaluation by the trial court of the testimony of a witness is accorded with highest respect because the trial court had the direct and singular opportunity to observe the facial expression, gesture and tone of voice of a witness while testifying and therefore, competent to determine whether or not the witness is telling the truth.
Second. The alleged inconsistency between the testimony of Eliza (victim) and Emma, that is, that the latter testified that Eliza shouted, is trivial and cannot affect the veracity of their testimonies. Inconsistencies in the testimonies of witnesses which refer to minor and insignificant details do not destroy their credibility. Such minor inconsistencies even manifest truthfulness and candor and erase any suspicion of rehearsed testimony. Third. The inconsistencies in Emma's statement before the police authorities and her testimony in open court cannot detract from Eliza's testimony that she was raped on July 20, 1996 by accused-appellant. Discrepancies and/or inconsistencies between a witness' affidavit and testimony in open court do not impair credibility as affidavits are taken ex parte and are often incomplete or inaccurate for lack of or absence of searching inquiries by the investigating officer. In any event, we find that Emma's testimony in court sufficiently corroborates that of Eliza on material points. Lastly, with or without the medical certificate, the testimony of Eliza, as corroborated by her sister Emma is sufficient to convict. This Court has ruled that a medical examination of the victim is not indispensable in a prosecution for rape; and that a victim's testimony alone if credible is sufficient to convict the appellant of the crime.

PEOPLE v. EFREN VALEZ G.R. No. 136738. March 12, 2001. Accused was found guilty of raping a 12-yr old girl, and sentenced to suffer the penalty of death. In the Information that was filed, it was indicated that there was abuse of confidence and trust, the accused being the husband of complainant's half-sister.
HELD: Accused-appellant maintains that he should only be convicted for acts of lasciviousness because there was no sexual intercourse. The SC held that it is well-settled that where the accused tried to insert his penis into his victim's vagina, that was all that was necessary to commit consummated rape. Full penetration of the victim's genital organ is not required in order to sustain a conviction for rape. In fact, so long as there was an attempt to insert, even without rupture of the hymen, rape is considered to have already been consummated. In this case, undoubtedly, there is no issue as to whether or not there was insertion or penetration which calls for a fine distinction between mere brushing or "epidermal contact" and actual touching or sliding into the female organ as enunciated in the case of People v. Campuhan.

The SC found the accused guilty, but reduced the penalty to reclusion perpetua. Minority and relationship under the first paragraph are special qualifying circumstances which qualify rape to warrant the mandatory penalty of death. As such, they must both be specifically pleaded in the Information and proven during trial. These two circumstances, minority and relationship, must

concur; otherwise, if only one is proven during trial, even if the Information alleged both, the death penalty cannot be imposed. And, as special qualifying circumstances, the same must be proven beyond reasonable doubt as the crime itself. In the case under review, the SC found that evidence is wanting as to the special qualifying circumstance of minority. The only proof as to the minority of the complainant is her testimony during direct examination that she was 13 years old and a Grade VI student. No other proof, was presented by the prosecution to establish complainant's minority at the time of the incident. Even complainant's mother failed to testify as to her daughter's age on the witness stand.
As to filiation, the Court notes that the circumstance of relationship by affinity within the third civil degree was properly alleged in the Information which stated that accused-appellant "is the husband of complainant's halfsister and likewise duly proven during trial. Complainant herself declared that accused-appellant was the husband of her elder sister. The mother of the complainant and mother in-law of the accused also testified that accused-appellant is his son-in-law. Moreover, the accused himself admitted that the victim is his sister-in-law. This notwithstanding, for failure of the prosecution to establish minority by proof beyond reasonable doubt, the death penalty cannot be imposed.

PEOPLE V. NELLIE CABAIS Y GAMUELA


G.R. No. 129070. March 16, 2001. Accused was convicted of illegal recruitment committed in large scale by a syndicate, and sentenced to life imprisonment and a fine. She was also convicted for two counts of estafa, and sentenced to (a) in Criminal Case No. 13999-R, to six (6) months and one (1) day of prision correccional, as minimum, to seven (7) years, eight (8) months and twenty-one (21) days of prision mayor, as maximum, and to indemnify the offended party Joan Merante, in the amount of P40,000.00 as actual damages, and costs; (b) in Criminal Case No. 14000-R, to six (6) months and one (1) day of prision correccional, as minimum, to six (6) years, eight (8) months and twenty (20) days of prision mayor, as maximum, and to indemnify the offended party, Nancy Oidi, in the amount of P21,000.00 as actual damages, and costs.
HELD:

The essential elements of illegal recruitment committed in large scale are: (1) that the accused engaged in acts of recruitment and placement of workers as defined under Article 13 (b) or in any prohibited activities under Article 34 of the Labor Code; (2) that the accused had not complied with the guidelines issued by the Secretary of Labor and Employment, particularly with respect to the requirement to secure a license or an authority to recruit and deploy workers, either locally or overseas; and (3) that the accused committed the unlawful acts against three (3) or more persons, individually or as a group. Accused-appellant contends that she was not involved in recruitment but was merely an employee of a recruitment agency. An employee of a company or corporation engaged in illegal recruitment may be held liable as principal, together with his employer, if it is shown that he actively and consciously participated in illegal recruitment. In this case, accused was the one who informed complainants of job prospects in Korea and the requirements for deployment. She also received money from them as placement fees. All of the complainants testified that they personally met accused-appellant and transacted with her regarding the overseas job placement offers. Complainants parted with their money, evidenced by receipts signed by accused Cabais and accused Forneas. Thus, accused-appellant actively participated in the recruitment of the complainants. Furthermore, accused-appellant did not possess any license to engage in recruitment activities, as evidenced by a certification from the POEA and the testimony of a representative of said government agency. Her acts constituted recruitment, and considering that she admittedly had no license or authority to recruit workers for overseas employment, accused-appellant is guilty

of illegal recruitment. Despite the fact that she was just an ordinary employee of the company, her criminal liability would still stand for being a conspirator with the corporate officers in undertaking illegal recruitment activities. Since the recruitment involves three or more persons, accused-appellant is guilty of illegal recruitment in a large scale punishable under Article 39 of the Labor Code with life imprisonment and a fine of one hundred thousand pesos. As to the charges of estafa, accused-appellant contends that she is not liable for the offenses charged because she did not appropriate for her own use the money given to her by complainants as placement and passport fees. The elements of estafa are: (a) that the accused defrauded another by abuse of confidence or by means of deceit, and (b) that damage or prejudice capable of pecuniary estimation is caused to the offended party or third person. From the foregoing, the fact that the money was appropriated by accused for her own use is not an element of the crime of estafa. Thus, accused-appellant Cabais' contention under such ground is untenable. Moreover, accused-appellant misrepresented herself to complainants as one who can make arrangements for job placements in Korea. Complainants were successfully induced to part with their money, causing them damage and prejudice. Consequently, accused-appellant is guilty of estafa.

PEOPLE V. EDGARDO LIAD


G.R. Nos. 133815-17. March 22, 2001.
Facts:

Accused-appellants were found guilty as principals by direct participation of the crime of robbery with homicide, and sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. They were also found guilty of illegal possession of firearms, and sentenced to suffer the penalty of four (4) years, nine (9) months and eleven (11) days to five (5) years, four (4) months and twenty (20) days of prision correctional sic.
HELD:

The Court finds that the prosecution established beyond reasonable doubt the existence of a conspiracy between accused-appellants and the deceased. In conspiracy, direct proof of a previous agreement to commit a crime is not necessary. It may be deduced from the mode and manner by which the offense was perpetrated, or inferred from the acts of the accused themselves when such point to a joint purpose and design, concerted action and community of interest. Conspiracy may be inferred from the conduct of the accused before, during or after the commission of the crime. In this case, there were several circumstances immediately before, during and after the robbery indubitably which show that the perpetrators were one in their purpose to rob the victim. Where conspiracy is shown, the precise extent of participation of each accused in the crime is secondary and the act of one may be imputed to all the conspirators. The SC held that the trial court, therefore, did not err in convicting accused-appellants of robbery with homicide. Whenever homicide has been committed as a consequence or on the occasion of the robbery, all those who took part as principals in the robbery will also be held guilty as principals for the special complex crime of robbery with homicide, although they did not actually take part in the homicide. 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 the corresponding license or permit to possess. The latter is a negative fact that constitutes an essential ingredient of the offense of illegal possession, and it is the duty of the prosecution not only to allege it but also to prove it beyond reasonable doubt. The Court agrees with accused-appellants and the Solicitor General that the prosecution in this case failed to prove the second element.

The SC does not agree with the contention of the Solicitor General that since a paltik is a homemade gun, is illegally manufactured as recognized in People v. Fajardo, and cannot be issued a license or permit, it is no longer necessary to prove that it is unlicensed. This appears to be, at first blush, a very logical proposition. The Court, however, yield to it because Fajardo did not say that paltiks can in no case be issued a license or a permit, and that proof that a firearm is a paltik dispenses with proof that it is unlicensed.