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People va Sangalang Nature: Appeal from CFI Tagaytay judgment June 9, 1968, 6 a.m.

: Ricardo Cortez left his nipa hut in Silang, Cavite to gather tuba from a nearby coconut tree. His wife Flora Sarno was left inside the hut. While on top of the tree, Cortez was struck by a valley of shots. He later on fell to the ground at the base of the coconut tree. Flora went outside & was supposed to help his husband but the five persons each armed w/a long firearm fired at her too. She went back to the hut for cover but she was able to recognize the 5 as Conrado Gonzales, Irineo Canuel, Perino Canuel, Eleuterio Cuyom & Laureano Sangalang. The latter was known to Flora & her bro Ricardo since childhood. The five left after about 5mins & when she returned to her husband, he was already dead. ? Ricardo Sarno, Floras bro who lived nearby, heard the gunshots too. He went out & saw Sangalang shooting Cortez w/a Garand carbine. He was supposed to help Cortez but he was fired upon by the men too. Sarno & Flora executed sworn statements & based on these, a complaint against the 5 offenders was filed. Only Sangalang was arrested. CFI convicted him of murder & was sentenced to RP. Defense: Sangalang claims that during that time, he was in Sampaloc, Manila to borrow money from a certain Gatdula for the tuition fees of his children. He likewise impugns the credibility of Mrs. Cortez & Ricardo. Issues & Ratio: 1. WON Sangalangs alibi is admissible NO. Discrepancies in the testimonies of Sarno & Mrs. Cortez are not glaring and instead these strengthen their credibility & show that they did not rehearse their testimonies. Cortez & Sarno clearly & consistently testified that Sangalang was among those who shot Ricardo. Their unwavering identification negates Sangalangs alibi. Although motive for killing was not proven, it was not shown either that Cortez & Sarno were impelled by malicious desires to falsely incriminate Sangalang. 2. WON the qualifying AC of treachery (alevosia) should be appreciated. YES. When the crime happened, victim was on top of a coconut tree. He was unarmed & defenseless. The assault was unexpected. He didnt give any immediate provocation. Deliberate & surprise attack insured victims killing w/o any risk to the offenders arising from any defense w/c the victim could have made. Thus, offense is murder. Treachery absorbs the AC of band. Evident premeditation, though alleged, was not proven. Held: CFI affirmed.

The trial court correctly imposed the penalty of reclusion perpetua on Sangalang (Arts. 64[1] and 248, Revised Penal Code).Finding no error in its judgment, the same is affirmed with costs against the appellant. SO ORDERED.

[Aggravating Treachery; Alternative Degree of Instruction] People vs. San Pedro, and Banasihan (Jan. 22, 1980) FACTS: June 2, 1970: A corpse was found in the Municipality of Bay, Laguna (stab wounds and multiple abrasions). It was identified as the body of Felimon Rivera (V), a jeep driver he was working that day, but then his jeep was nowhere to found. June 11, 1971: Rodrigo Esguerra was apprehended and he admitted his participation and named his companions. 1972: Artemio Banasihan was apprehended and he confessed his participation in the robbery and killing of Felimon Rivera. He confessed that before June 2, he and his co-accused met and planned to get the jeep. In the afternoon of said day, they approached V on the pretext of hiring his jeep to haul coconuts. In Brgy. Puypuy, they were joined by Salvador Litan and Rodrigo Esguerra, who was carrying a water pipe wrapped in paper. At Esguerras signal, Litan hit V at the nape. V was then stabbed at the back by San Pedro and Litan with a dagger. The jeep was brought to Cavite City and sold for P2k. ISSUES/ HELD: 1. WoN the aggravating circumstance of craft is absorbed by treachery No. Craft in instant case was directed towards facilitating the taking of the jeep in the robbery scheme. From the definition of treachery, meanwhile, it is manifest that the element of defense against bodily injury makes treachery proper for consideration only in crimes against person. Hence, craft cannot be absorbed by treacher; they are held as separate aggravating circumstances. 2. WoN the aggravating circumstance of treachery should be offset by the mitigating circumstance of lack of instruction with the presence of 2 aggravating circumstances, craft and treachery, it would make no difference even if the mitigating circumstance of lack of instruction was appreciated, as was Ds contention that he cannot read and write but can only sign his name. Lack of instruction is not applicable to theft and robbery, much less to homicide. They are, by their nature, wrongful acts. The criteria in determining lack of instruction is not illiteracy alone, but rather lack of sufficient intelligence. + TC decision imposing the death penalty for the crime of robbery with homicide, together with the indemnity awarded, is affirmed

[Aggravating Circumstances Treachery] People v. Clarito Arizobal (at large) G.R. Nos. 135051-52, December 14, 2000 Ponente: Per Curiam

Facts: On 12 August 1994, accused were charged in the RTC with Robbery in Band with Homicide for robbing and slaying Laurencio Gimenez and his son. Laurencios wife testified: on March 24, 1994, they were asleep in their house in Tuybo, Masbate. At 930PM, Laurencio roused her from sleep and told her to open the door because there were persons outside the house. Since it was dark, she lit a lamp, opened the door, and was confronted by 3 armed men pointing guns at her. She recognized the accused. They entered the bedroom and forcibly opened the aparador and got money. They forced Laurencio to come with them, and then Clementina heard a volley of shots. Her grandchild, as if sensing what befell her grandfather, could only mutter in fear, "Lolo is already dead!" While the wife was in the process of skinning a chicken for their supper, three (3) men suddenly appeared and ordered them to lie face down. One of them pushed her to the ground while the others tied Francisco and Jimmy as they whipped the latter with an armalite rifle. She noticed one of them wearing a mask, another a hat, and still another, a bonnet. Helpless, they consumed the food and cigarettes in the sari-sari store. They demanded P100K in exchange for Jimmys life, but they did not have the money, then gunshots. On July 7, 1998, accused were convicted of robbery with homicide, death. Issue: Whether or not treachery attended the crime. Held: But treachery was incorrectly considered by the trial court. The accused stand charged with, tried and convicted of robbery with homicide. This special complex crime is primarily classified in this jurisdiction as a crime against property, and not against persons, homicide being merely an incident of robbery with the latter being the main purpose and object of the criminals. As such, treachery cannot be validly appreciated as an aggravating circumstance under Art. 14 of The Revised Penal Code.[18] This is completely a reversal of the previousjurisprudence on the matter decided in a litany of cases before People v. Bariquit.[19]

WHEREFORE, the Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Cataingan, Masbate, finding accusedappellant ERLY LIGNES and accused CLARITO ARIZOBAL GUILTY of Robbery with Homicide and imposing upon both of them the penalty of DEATH, is AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that accused-appellant ERLY LIGNES and his co-accused CLARITO ARIZOBAL (who is still at large) are ordered in addition: (a) to pay jointly and solidarily the legal heirs of Laurencio Gimenez and Jimmy Gimenez P50,000.00 for civil indemnity, another P50,000.00 for moral damages, andP20,000.00 for exemplary damages, for each set of heirs; and, (b) to pay jointly and solidarily the legal heirs of Laurencio Gimenez P8,000.00 and those of Jimmy Gimenez P1,000.00 representing their respective actual damages.

People of the Philippines vs. Gonzales, Jr. People of the Philippines, plaintiff-appellee, vs. Inocencio Gonzales, Jr., accused-appellant. G.R. No. 139542 June 21, 2001 Gonzaga-Reyes, J. FACTS: On October 31, 1998 at about 2:30 p.m., the families of Noel Andres and herein accused-appellant were both on their way to the exit of the Loyola Memorial Park. At the intersection point, the cars they were driving almost collided. Later on, when Andres found an opportunity, he cut Gonzalez off, disembarked from his car and went over to Gonzales. Altercation then ensued. Meanwhile, Dino Gonzalez, son of Inocencio, entered the scene in defense of his father. Fearing that his son was in danger, Gonzalez took out the gun which was already in his car compartment. Upon seeing his father, Gonzalezs daughter, Trisha, hugged her father and in the process held his hand holding the gun. The appellant tried to free his hand and with Trishas substantial body weight pushing against him the appellant lost his balance and the gun accidentally fired. Feliber Andres, Noels wife, was shot to death while their son, Kenneth and nephew Kevin were wounded. The trial court found the accused guilty of the complex crime of murder and two counts of frustrated murder and accordingly sentenced him to death. Accused were also ordered to pay for civil liabilities to the heirs of Mrs. Andres, and the parents of Kevin Valdez. Hence, an automatic review of this case. ISSUES: 1. Whether or not the trial court committed reversible error when it found treachery was present in the commission of the crime. 2. Whether or not the trial court committed reversible error when it failed to appreciate voluntary surrender, passion and obfuscation, incomplete defense of a relative and lack of intent to commit so grave a wrong be considered as mitigating circumstances. RULINGS: 1. It has been consistently held by this court that chance encounters, impulse killing or crimes committed at the spur of the moment or that were preceded by heated altercations are generally not attended by treachery for lack of opportunity of the accused to deliberately employ a treacherous mode of attack. Thus, the sudden attack made by the accused due to his infuriation by reason of the victims provocation was held to be without treachery. Sudden attacks made by the accused preceded by curses and insults by the victim or acts taunting the accused to retaliate or the rebellious or aggressive behavior of the victim were held to be without treachery as the victim was sufficiently forewarned of reprisal. For the rules on treachery to apply the sudden attack must have been preconceived by the accused, unexpected by the victim and without provocation on the part of the latter. We affirm the recommendation of the SolicitorGeneral that the shooting was not attended by treachery and accordingly the crime committed for the death of Feliber Andres is homicide and not murder. 2. The mitigating circumstances of voluntary surrender, passion and obfuscation, incomplete defense of a relative and lack of intent to commit so grave a wrong, pleaded by the defense, were not convincingly proved and none can be considered in the imposition of penalties. The testimony of prosecution witness contradicts the appellants pretense of voluntary surrender. The mitigating circumstance of passion and obfuscation is also not obtaining. Provocation must be sufficient to excite a person to commit the wrong committed and that the provocation must be commensurate to the crime committed. The sufficiency of provocation varies according to the circumstances of the case. The aggressive behavior of Noel Andres towards the appellant and his son may be demeaning or humiliating but it is not sufficient provocation to shoot at the complainants vehicle. The plea for the appreciation of the mitigating circumstance of

incomplete defense of a relative is also unmeritorious since the act of Andres in cursing and shouting at the appellant and his son do not amount to an unlawful aggression against them, Dino Gonzalez. Finally, the plea for the appreciation of the mitigating circumstance of lack of intent to commit so grave a wrong is likewise devoid of merit. This mitigating circumstance is obtaining when there is a notable disparity between the means employed by the accused to commit a wrong and the resulting crime committed. The intention of the accused at the time of the commission of the crime is manifested from the weapon used, the mode of attack employed and the injury sustained by the victim. The appellants use of a gun, although not deliberately sought nor employed in the shooting, should have reasonably placed the appellant on guard of the possible consequences of his act. The use of a gun is sufficient to produce the resulting crimes committed.

People vs Dollendo G.R. No. 181701 January 18, 2012PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. EDUARDO DOLLENDO AND NESTORMEDICE, NESTOR MEDICE Facts: On February 13, 2001, Del Valle, together with one Erles Anquillo and victim Ruiz were playing cards in the sala of Romines house. Meanwhile, Romines was getting their pulutan ready. He was in the kitchen, which was about less than two meters away from the sala, with an unobstructed view of the sala.The drinking session had not yet begun when appellant arrived. Hedid nothing and left immediately upon seeing them. After two minutes, appellant returned with his brother-in-law Dollendo. Ruiz did not notice them enter the house because his back was turned against the door. Appellant pulled out a bolo (dipang), handed it over to Dollendo saying, "Uh! You take care of it," after which, he stepped back. Dollendo, in turn, immediately stabbed Ruiz on the left chest. Del Valle ran to seek police assistance while Romines was left behind. Romines recounted that after the first blow, three successive stab blows were further delivered hitting Ruiz in his chest near the heart and in arm. Thereafter, appellant and Dollendo fled towards the direction of P. Tingzon. Ruiz died on his way to the hospital. Issue: Whether or not treachery is present in the case Ruling: The Supreme Court held that the law provides that an offender acts with treachery when he "commits any of the crimes against a person, 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." There is, thus, treachery when the attack against an unarmed victim is so sudden that he had clearly no inkling of what the assailant was about to do. It is clear in the records that the circumstance of treachery is attendant in this case. The aggressors ensured that the victim had no opportunity to resist or defend himself through the sudden and unexpected attack.

[Aggravating Circumstances Ignominy] People v. Torrefiel 45 OG 803 FACTS: December 17, 1942, 5:00 p.m. Torrefiel and Ormeo were on their way to the USSAFE headquarters in themountains. They passed by Eadys residence and talked to him at the balcony to ask for khakis. Ceferina Cordero also came to the balcony and inquired about their mission. She scolded Torrefiel and Ormeo because all their belongings have been looted by USSAFE soldiers. Torrefiel threatened her with slapping; brought out revolver. Eady and Cordero were charged with being communists as they refused to give aid. They were taken to the USSAFE headquarters. Their hands were free but were blindfolded. Cordero called to Eady every now and then to know if he was following. After a while Eady did not respond anymore so they stopped to wait for them. Torrefiel had taken the wrong way so he went back to a guardhouse & left Eady there. He tried to find a way to overtake Ormeo and Cordero but was unsuccessful. At the guardhouse, he discovers Eady had escaped. Torrefiel followed a different route enabling him to find Ormeo and Cordero. Ormeo rushed back to the guardhouse upon discovering that Eady had escaped; Cordero was left with Torrefiel. As Cordero was about to urinate, Torrefiel pushed her and carried her to a log and laid her on it and raped her. Torrefiel began to unbutton his pants and wound cogon leaves around her genitals. It was visible to Cordero as her blindfold had fallen down a little. Pressing her neck so she would remain silent, Torrefiel proceeded to have intercourse with her. Ormeo taking advantage, also had sex with her. The soldiers desisted from bringing Cordero to their headquarters and returned her to their house. Servant informed Cordero that Eady had gone away. Upon Eadys return, Cordero informed him that she was abused by Torrefiel. Ignominy is present. The novelty of the act of winding cogon grass on his genitals before raping the victim augmented the wrong done by increasing its pain and adding moral disgrace thereto. Issue: Can ignominy be added as an aggravating circumstance? Held: Yes. The act of raping her with cogon leaves wrapped around the penis added to her pain, and this qualifies for ignominy.

Note: Ignominy: circumstance pertaining to the moral order, which adds disgrace ad obloquy to the material injury caused by the crime. Applicable to crimes against chastity and persons. When the accused raped a woman after winding cogon grass around his genital organ, he thereby augmented the wrong done by increasing its pain and adding ignominy there to. (According to Ambion, not ignominy but cruelty.) The means employed or the circumstances brought about must tend to make the effects of the crime more humiliating or to put the offended party to shame, e.g. when accused raped a married woman in the presence of her husband.).

[Aggravating Circumstances Ignominy] People v. Jaime Jose G.R. No. L-28232, February 6, 1971 Ponente: Per Curiam Facts: Information: June 26, 1967, QC, accused conspiring abducted complainant against her will and took her to the Swanky Hotel in Pasay where the 4 of them raped her. Means were employed or circumstances brought about which added ignominy to the natural effects of the act. October 2, 1967 decision: guilty, death penalty. Automatic review. Complainant Magdalena Maggie de la Riva was 25,. 430PM June 26, 1967, was driving her bantam car, already near house when a Pontiac two-door convertible with 4men tried to bump her. They got her in their car. Inside the car they started fondling her body. She was blindfolded as she was led out into one of the rooms on the 2nd floor of the Swanky Hotel. She was forced to get naked. Then Jose began undressing himself and succeeded having carnal knowledge of the complainant. The other three also took their turns. While one was inside the room, the other three were outside, threatening complainant with acid. Then she was told to get dressed and wash up for no one to notice her. She was dropped off near the Channel 5 building. Jose was first caught, said he never assaulted her. The others followed, gave the defense that she voluntarily acceded to have sex with them. Pleaded not guilty. The purported the story that they were drunk, and that their car was almost bumped by complainant so they followed her, Pineda unrelenting while they did nothing, strip tease, conceded as long as not too long. After the act, they waited in the car for Boy Pineda and her, negotiating on the payment (thats when they said he raped her, but 3-4 minutes!). Issue: Whether or not ignominy attended the crime. Held: While a plea of guilty is mitigating, at the same time it constitutes an admission of all the material facts alleged in the information, including the aggravating circumstances, and it matters not that the offense is capital, for the admission (plea of guilty) covers both the crime and its attendant circumstances qualifying and/or aggravating the crime. We are convinced that the herein four appellants have conspired together to commit the crimes imputed to them in the amended information quoted at the beginning of this decision. Consequently, the appellants should suffer the extreme penalty of death. Nevertheless, to put matters in their proper perspective and for the purpose of determining the proper penalty to be imposed in each of the other three crimes of simple rape, it behooves Us to make a definite finding in this connection to the effect that the commission of said crimes was attended with the following aggravating circumstances: (a) nighttime, appellants having purposely sought such circumstance to facilitate the commission of these crimes; (b) abuse of superior strength, the crime having been committed by the four appellants in conspiracy with one another; (c) ignominy, since the appellants in ordering the complainant to exhibit to them her complete nakedness for about ten minutes, before raping her, brought about a circumstance which tended to make the effects of the crime more humiliating; and (d) use of a motor vehicle. With respect to appellants Jose, Aquino and Ca__al, none of these aggravating circumstances has been offset by any mitigating circumstance. Appellant Pineda should, however, be credited with the mitigating circumstance of voluntary plea of guilty, a factor which does not in the least affect the nature of the proper penalties to be imposed, for the reason that there would still be three aggravating circumstances remaining. As a result, appellants should likewise be made to suffer the extreme penalty of death in each of these three simple crimes of rape. RPC63(2). 4 death penalties.

[Aggravating Circumstances Ignominy] People v. Michael Butler G.R. No. L-50276, January 27, 1983 Ponente: Justice Guerrero Facts: Automatic review of CFI Zambales death penalty for murder with the attendence of scoffing at the deceaseds corpse. October 16, 1975 information: August 8, 1975 in Olongapo, accused attacked with a statute of Jesus Christ Enriquita Alipo and when she fell, choked her, killing her. August 7, 1975, 1030PM, parties were together at a restaurant in Olongapo. Victim came home with accused to her house; they rushed to the bedroom. The next morning, victim was found dead with the broken figurine beside her head. Navy officers. A waiver of constitutional rights and extra-judicial confession was created. Butler: after they screwed, he noticed a P5 note in his sock missing. They argued. Ah, fuck it, they fought. She started tussling and acting like she was going to hit me with a karate chop. They wrestled on the bed, she grabbed him by the throat so he picked up the statue and hit her. Cause of death: asphyxia due to suffocation. The doctor testified that the anal intercourse was after her death, testified that the victim died of asphyxia due to suffocation when extreme pressure was exerted on her head pushing it downward, thereby pressing her nose and mouth against the mattress. December 3, 1976, guilty, death. Issue: Whether or not there was ignominy. Held: There is no evidence showing that the accused was roughly handed from the very start. Neither is there any evidence to prove that he was first handcuffed and informed that he was a suspect in a murder case before he was warned of his rights. The Miranda Doctrine does not apply in this case as the accused had already waived his right to remain silent and to counsel after he was duly informed of said rights by his investigators. Abuse of superior strength: People vs. Cabiling, a guideline: To take advantage of superior strength means to purposely use excessive force out of proportion to the means of defense available to the person attached. This circumstance should always be considered whenever there is notorious inequality of forces between aggressor, assuming a situation of superiority of strength notoriously advantageous for the aggressor selected or taken advantage of by him in the commission of the crime. To properly appreciate it, not only is it necessary to evaluate the physical conditions of the protagonists or opposing forces and the arms or objects employed by both sides, but it is also necessary to analyze the incidents and episodes constituting the total development of the event. There was superior strength, striking her on the head and in shoving her head against the mattress, strong pressure to kill her. It is true as maintained by the defense that the aggravating circumstance of outraging at the corpse of the victim is not alleged in the information and that the lower court found it had been proved but its contention that the said aggravating circumstance should not have been appreciated against the accused is without merit. And this is so because the rule is that a generic aggravating circumstance not alleged in the information may be proven during the trial over the objection of the defense and may be appreciated in imposing the, penalty. Aggravating circumstances not alleged in the information but proven during the trial serve only to aid the court in fixing the limits of the penalty but do not change the character of the offense. But case dismissed due to PD603(192), fully rehabilitated.


G.R. No. 123819 November 14, 2001 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. STEPHEN MARK WHISENHUNT FACTS: On November 19, 1993, accused-appellant was formally charged with the murder of Elsa Santos-Castillo. During the trial the following circumstances were successfully proven by the prosecution without a shadow of doubt, to wit: that Elsa Santos Castillo was brought to accused-appellants condominium unit on September 23, 1993; that on September 24, 1993, accused-appellants housemaid was looking for her kitchen knife and accused-appellant gave it to her, saying that it was in his bedroom; that on September 25, 1993, accused-appellant and Demetrio Ravelo collected the dismembered body parts of Elsa from the bathroom inside accused-appellants bedroom; that accused-appellant disposed of the body parts by a roadside somewhere in San Pedro, Laguna; that accused-appellant also disposed of Elsas personal belongings along the road going to Bagac, Bataan; that the mutilated body parts of a female cadaver, which was later identified as Elsa, were found by the police and NBI agents at the spot where Demetrio pointed; that hair specimens found inside accused-appellants bathroom and bedroom showed similarities with hair taken from Elsas head; and that the bloodstains found on accused-appellants bedspread, covers and in the trunk of his car, all matched Elsas blood type. On January 31, 1996, the trial court promulgated the appealed judgment, convicting accused-appellant of the crime of murder, sentencing him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua, and ordering him to pay the heirs of the deceased actual damage, moral damages, exemplary damages and attorneys fees ISSUE: Whether or not the trial court is correct in appreciating the crime to be murder with qualifying circumstances of abuse of superior strength and outraging and scoffing at the victims person or corpse? HELD: Abuse of superiority is present whenever there is inequality of forces between the victim and the aggressor, assuming a situation of superiority of strength notoriously advantageous for the aggressor and selected or taken advantage of by him in the commission of the crime. The fact that the victim was a woman does not, by itself, establish that accused-appellant committed the crime with abuse of superior strength. There ought to be enough proof of the relative strength of the aggressor and the victim. Abuse of superior strength must be shown and clearly established as the crime itself. In this case, nobody witnessed the actual killing. Nowhere in Demetrios testimony, and it is not indicated in any of the pieces of physical evidence, that accused-appellant deliberately took advantage of his superior strength in overpowering Elsa. On the contrary, this Court observed from viewing the photograph of accusedappellant that he has a rather small frame. However, the other circumstance of outraging and scoffing at the corpse of the victim was correctly appreciated by the trial court. The mere decapitation of the victims head constitutes outraging or scoffing at the corpse of the victim, thus qualifying the killing to murder.[77] In this case, accusedappellant not only beheaded Elsa. He further cut up her body like pieces of meat. Then, he strewed the dismembered parts of her body in a deserted road in the countryside, leaving them to rot on the ground. The sight of Elsas severed body parts on the ground, vividly depicted in the photographs offered in evidence, is both revolting and horrifying RECLUSION PERPETUA.

[Aggravating Circumstances Evident Premeditation/Cruelty] People v. Ruben Ilaoa G.R. No. 94308, June 16, 1994 Ponente: Justice Bellosillo Facts: Police Officer Reynaldo Angeles was dispatched early morning of November 5, 1987 to Balibago, Angeles City, where a beheaded body of Nestor de Loyola, was found, 43 stab wounds and slight burns. Head 2 feet away. Accused were charged. June 15, 1990, RTC Angeles convicted them, evident premeditation (deceased was seen 11PM November 4, drinking with them outside their apartment. Drunken voices in argument. Deceased then mauled by accused, being drunk, dragged to Ilaoas apartment, Pare, bakit ninyo ako ginaganito, hirap na hirap na ako!, Ilaoa borrowed a tricycle for bringing the pregnant to the hospital but sack which looked like it contained a human body, life imprisonment. Blood was found on Rubens shirt during investigation. Issue: Whether or not accused are guilty. Held: Yes. Rogelio acquitted. To warrant a conviction on the basis of circumstantial evidence, three requisites must concur: (a) there must be more than one circumstance; (b) the circumstances from which the inferences are derived are proven; and, (c) the combination of all the circumstances is such as to prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. Unlike that of his brother, Ruben Ilaoas fate was most definitely assured by the unbroken chain of circumstances which culminated in the discovery of Nestor de Loyolas decapitated body in the early morning of 5 November 1987. Ruben was heard arguing with Nestor. A few moments later, Ruben mauled and kicked the deceased with the help of their drinking companions just outside Rubens apartment. He was seen driving the tricycle alone with a sack placed in the sidecar. The sack looked as if it contained a human body. 12 Then, an hour later, or at three oclock in the morning, the tricycle was returned with bloodstains on the floor. He claims that the sack contained buntot ng pusa, a local term for marijuana, not a human body, which he delivered to a designated place in Fields Avenue as a favor to his compadre Nestor de Loyola whom he could not refuse. But the fact that appellant quarreled with the deceased, then mauled and pulled him to the apartment where the latter was last seen alive, in addition to borrowing a tricycle which was found with bloodstains when returned, sufficiently point to Ruben as the culprit responsible for the crime. The fact that the deceased was his compadre, hence, presumably would have no motive to kill the latter, is not enough to exculpate appellant. It is a matter of judicial knowledge that persons have been killed or assaulted for no apparent reason at all, 13 and that friendship or even relationship is no deterrent to the commission of a crime. Evident premeditation cannot likewise be considered. There is nothing in the records to show that appellant, prior to the night in question, resolved to kill Nestor de Loyola, nor is there proof to show that such killing was the result of meditation, calculation or resolution on his part. On the contrary, the evidence tends to show that the series of circumstances which culminated in the killing constitutes an unbroken chain of events with no interval of time separating them for calculation and meditation. Absent any qualifying circumstance, Ruben Ilaoa should only be held liable for homicide.

Cruelty: The fact that Nestor de Loyolas decapitated body bearing forty-three (43) stab wounds, twentyfour (24) of which were fatal, 18 was found dumped in the street is not sufficient for a finding of cruelty where there is no showing that appellant Ruben Ilaoa, for his pleasure and satisfaction, caused Nestor de Loyola to suffer slowly and painfully and inflicted on him unnecessary physical and moral pain. 19 Number of wounds alone is not the criterion for the appreciation of cruelty as an aggravating circumstance. 20 Neither can it be inferred from the mere fact that the victims dead body was dismembered. ILAOA- ACQUITTED FOR INSUFFICIENCY OF EVIDENCE

PEOPLE v. ATOP [286 SCRA 157 (1998)] Nature: Appeal from the Automatic Review of the joint decision of the RTC of Ormoc FACTS Alejandro Atop alias Ali guilty beyond reasonable doubt of three (3) counts of rape and sentencing him to two terms of reclusion perpetua for the first two counts, and to death for the third. According to the prosecution: Regina Guafin, told the court that she is a granddaughter of Trinidad Mejos and that the accused Alejandro Atop is the common law husband of said Trinidad Atop Her mother is a daughter of Trinidad Atop and lives in Pangasinan. She is an illegitimate child and she does not even know her father. Since her early childhood she stayed with her grandmother Trinidad Atop and the accused. Sometime in 1991 when she was already 10 years of age the accused started having lustful desire on her. The accused then inserted his finger into her vagina. She told her grandmother about this but her grandmother did not believe her. She was then told by her grandmother, Trinidad Mejos, that what her grandfather did to her was just a manifestation of fatherly concern. She continued staying with her grandmother and her common law husband Alejandro Atop. Oct. 9, 1992 Atop had carnal knowledge of Regina. Regina informed her grandmother but her grandmother refused to believe her. Regina reported the incidents of rape that happened in 1992, 1993, and 1994 only in January 1995. She said that she was afraid to report the incident because Ali threatened to kill her. According to Defense: Ali denied the accusations of Regina and imputed ill motive upon her aunts, who were the daughters of his live in partner. ISSUES and HELD 1. WON the circumstances of nighttime and relationship as aggravating can be appreciated. NO. Nocturnity Must have been deliberately sought by the offender to facilitate the crime or prevent its discovery or evade his capture or facilitate his escape. Must have purposely taken advantage of the cover of night as an indispensable factor to attain his criminal purpose. The prosecution failed to prove that nighttime was deliberately sought by appellant to facilitate thisdastardly acts. In fact, the prosecution failed to show that appellant consummated his carnal designs at night, except only for the December 26, 1994 incident which the victim said occurred at 11:00 p.m. There are no evidence substantiating the trial courts conclusion that appellant intentionally sought the darkness to advance his criminal exploits

Scope of Relationship o Spouse o Ascendant o Descendant o Legitimate, natural or adopted brother or sister o Relative by affinity in the same degree Relationship by affinity refers to a relation by virtue of a legal bond such as marriage. Relatives by affinity are those commonly referred to as in-laws, stepfather, stepmother, stepchild and the like. Relatives by consanguinity or blood relatives encompassed under the second, third and fourth enumeration above. The law cannot be stretched to include persons attached by common-law relations. There is no blood relationship or legal bond that links the appellant to his victim. Thus, the modifying circumstance of relationship cannot be considered against him 11 of A335 of the RPC as amended: The death penalty shall also be imposed if the crime of rape is committed with any of the following attendant circumstances: when the victim is under eighteen (18) years of age and the offender is a parent, ascendant, step-parent, guardian relative by consanguinity or affinity within the third civil degree, or the common law spouse of the parent of the victim Appellant is not the common-law spouse of the parent of the victim. He is the common-law husband of the girls grandmother. Neither is appellant the victims parent, ascendant, step-parent, guardian, relative by consanguinity or affinity within the 3rd civil degree. Hence, hes not encompassed in any of the relationships expressly enumerated. Penal statutes are to be liberally construed in favor of the accused 2. WON accused committed the crime beyond reasonable doubt. YES. No simple barrio lass would so candidly admit before the public that a man who had lived as common-law husband to her grandmother had inserted his penis in her vagina for so many times in the past. It is unthinkable that complainant, a young lady of fifteen years, would allow her private parts to be examined and would withstand the rigors of a public trial along with the shame, humiliation and dishonor of exposing her own mortifying defilement if she was not in fact ravished It is unnatural and unbelievable for Reginas aunts to concoct a story of rape of their own very young niece, that would bring shame and scandal not only to her but to the entire family, especially to their mother.

WHEREFORE, the Decision appealed from is hereby AFFIRMED, with the MODIFICATION that Appellant Alejandro Atop shall not suffer the penalty of death but shall SERVE three (3) terms of reclusion perpetua, one for each of the three (3) counts of rape for which he was found GUILTY by the trial court, and is ordered toPAY Regina Guafin indemnity in the amount of P150,000 plus moral damages of P50,000.

[Aggravating Treachery; Alternative Degree of Instruction] People vs. San Pedro, and Banasihan (Jan. 22, 1980) FACTS: June 2, 1970: A corpse was found in the Municipality of Bay, Laguna (stab wounds and multiple abrasions). It was identified as the body of Felimon Rivera (V), a jeep driver he was working that day, but then his jeep was nowhere to found. June 11, 1971: Rodrigo Esguerra was apprehended and he admitted his participation and named his companions. 1972: Artemio Banasihan was apprehended and he confessed his participation in the robbery and killing of Felimon Rivera. He confessed that before June 2, he and his co-accused met and planned to get the jeep. In the afternoon of said day, they approached V on the pretext of hiring his jeep to haul coconuts. In Brgy. Puypuy, they were joined by Salvador Litan and Rodrigo Esguerra, who was carrying a water pipe wrapped in paper. At Esguerras signal, Litan hit V at the nape. V was then stabbed at the back by San Pedro and Litan with a dagger. The jeep was brought to Cavite City and sold for P2k. ISSUES/HELD: 1. WoN the aggravating circumstance of craft is absorbed by treachery No. Craft in instant case was directed towards facilitating the taking of the jeep in the robbery scheme. From the definition of treachery, meanwhile, it is manifest that the element of defense against bodily injury makes treachery proper for consideration only in crimes against person. Hence, craft cannot be absorbed by treacher; they are held as separate aggravating circumstances. 2. WoN the aggravating circumstance of treachery should be offset by the mitigating circumstance of lack of instruction with the presence of 2 aggravating circumstances, craft and treachery, it would make no difference even if the mitigating circumstance of lack of instruction was appreciated, as was Ds contention that he cannot read and write but can only sign his name. Lack of instruction is not applicable to theft and robbery, much less to homicide. They are, by their nature, wrongful acts. The criteria in determining lack of instruction is not illiteracy alone, but rather lack of sufficient intelligence. + TC decision imposing the death penalty for the crime of robbery with homicide, together with the indemnity awarded, is affirmed

[Persons who incur criminal liability Principals] People v. Murphy Banzales and Josephine Diadola G.R. No. L-63260, March 20, 1987 Ponente: Justice Fernan Facts: Accused appeal from CFI Lucena City conviction of rape. At 3PM, June 17, 1982, Rosalina Ricafort, then a 17 student, visited her elder half-sister Nida at the resthouse of the family-owned resort in the university site. When Rosalina left, she took the shortcut leading to an uphill road which is the usual stopping place for jeepneys plying the university area. The shortcut is a narrow footpath in the middle of tall cogon grasses, thick under brushes, trees and bamboo groves. Josephine approached her and requested they look for a boy who had died in that area. Then victim was pulled into a thickly forested area where Banzales grabbed Rosalina from behind. Together he and Dialola forcibly laid Rosalina down on a grassy portion. While Dialola covered Rosalina's mouth with her hands, Banzales pinned the struggling girl down with his thighs. Banzales raped her. She woke when it was dark, clad only in underwear, and trudged back to the resthouse and called out for Nida. Police apprehended Banzales and Diadola on June 18, 1982. Complaint for rape filed on June 21, 1982 with Banzales as principal by direct participation and Josephine by indispensable cooperation. Guilty, but mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender. Banzales was 24, a jeepney driver, defense was that he was only driving that day, and turned himself in when police were looking for him. Josephine, 20, was a jeepney conductress and raised alibi that she was also working that day. Issue: Whether or not accused are guilty. Held: Yes. Victim had ample opportunity to recognize accused, for victim would see accused on her jeepney rides. Victim and Banzales talked on the jeepney, he suggested the use of the shortcut. Also, the rape was in broad daylight. Trial court correctly ruled on the participation of both. Appellants' combined actions easily induce the belief that everything had been prearranged between them in order that Banzales might carry out his bestial designs upon the victim. Dialola cooperated in the perpetration of the rape by Banzales by acts without which the crime could not have been consummated. She paved the way by luring the unsuspecting victim into a secluded wooded area, delivering her to Banzales and then covering the girl's mouth so that she could not summon for help. However, voluntary surrender will not be appreciated, for both were picked up by police authorities. Where the record does not clearly show that the accused voluntarily surrendered to the authorities, the doubt cannot be resolved in their favor. The fact that Banzales and Dialola went willingly with the police does not amount to voluntary surrender. Rp to death, which are two principal indivisible penalties. ISLAW does not include indivisible penalties.

[Persons who incur criminal liability Accomplices]

Benjamin Abejuela v. People G.R. No. 80130, August 19, 1991 Ponente: Chief Justice Fernan Facts: Certiorari seeking reversal of September 16, 1987 CA decision affirming January 11, 1984 RTC conviction of accused as accomplice in the complex crime of estafa through falsification of a commercial document under RPC315 (2) in relation to RPC172. Petitioner is a businessman engaged in manufacturing agricultural equipment, and in 1978, he was befriended by Glicerio Balo, Jr., Banco Filipino in Tacloban. They became close friends. In 1978, Balo went to Abejuelas welding shop to borrow latters passbook, for he wanted to deposit proceeds of his fathers insurance policy in Abejuelas account with BF. Balo explained he could not from opening an account with BF since he was employed as BFs savings bookkeeper, insisted accuseds account be used. The depositing and withdrawing money continued for some time. Abejuela borrowed P20K from Balo and closed his BF account. BFs bank accountant then discovered a discrepancy between the interest reconciliation balance and the subsidiary ledger balance. Accuseds account reflected 4 large deposits, but the deposit slips could not be located. BF was convinced that irregularities were caused by Balo who was the savings bookkeeper, by posting the fictitious deposits after banking hours when the posting machine was already closed and cleared by the bank accountant. Balo admitted. December 5, 1978, information for estafa. Balo was killed by the NPA. January 11, 1984, Abejuela guilty, 15- 16years rt. September 16, 1987, CA affirmed. Issue: Whether or not accused is a principal of the crime. Held: No. Accused was completely unaware of the scheme. Balo himself admitted deceiving accused through sweet talk, and showing him checks gave the impression that he had money. Plus they were really close friends. SC takes judicial notice of the practice of banks in allowing anybody to deposit in an account even without the owner's passbook, as long as the account number is known. Thus, even without Abejuela's passbook, the false deposits could still have been posted by Balo in the savings account ledger of Abejuela. Evidence points at Balo as the one who had posted the bogus deposits in Abejuela's ledger. He was also the one who wisely manipulated petitioner Abejuela in order that the fictitious deposits could be placed at his Balo disposal, He actually believed that the money was really owned by Balo and he did not want Balo to think that he was interested in it. Knowledge of the criminal intent of the principal in this case, (Glicerio Balo, Jr.) is essential in order that petitioner Abejuela can be convicted as an accomplice in the crime of estafa thru falsification of commercial document. To be convicted as an accomplice, there must be cooperation in the execution of the offense by previous or simultaneous acts. However, the cooperation which the law punishes is the assistance rendered knowingly or intentionally, which assistance cannot be said to exist without the prior cognizance of the offense intended to be committed. Abejuela must be acquitted, but civil liability remains. Civil liability is not extinguished by acquittal where the same is based on reasonable doubt as only preponderance of evidence is required in civil cases, or where the court has expressly declared that the liability of the accused is not criminal but only civil in nature. Abejuela nevertheless unwittingly contributed to their eventual consummation by recklessly entrusting his passbook to Balo and by signing the withdrawal slips. Abejuela failed to exercise prudence and care. Therefore, he must be held civilly accountable.

WHEREFORE, on reasonable doubt, Benjamin Abejuela is hereby ACQUITTED of the complex crime of estafa thru falsification of commercial documents. [Persons who incur criminal liability Accomplices] People v. Cresencio Doble G.R. No. L-30028, May 31, 1982 Ponente: Justice De Castro Facts: Bank robbery by band, with multiple homicide, multiple frustrated homicide, and assault upon agents of persons in authority, on June 14, 1966, in Navotas, Rizal. Accused sentenced to death. Late night on June 13, 1966, 10 men almost all heavily armed with guns left Manila in a motor banca to Navotas to rob the Navotas Branch of Prudential Bank and Trust Company (open midnight to 8AM). Many were killed, including agents of the law. A police outpost was beside the bank, and police heard gunfire. Accused shot at the police, felling several of them. The three appellants in this case had not participation in the shooting and robbery, for evidence only shows that accused met in his house to discuss the plan. Issue: Whether or not appellants are guilty. Held: No. The only link between Simeon Doble and the crime is his house having been used as the meeting place before robbing the bank. He did not join them because of a foot injury which would make him only a liability, not one who can help in the devilish venture. To the malefactors he was most unwanted to join them. His mere presence in his house where the conspirators met, and for merely telling them that he could not join them because of his foot injury, and will just wait for them; evidently as a mere gesture of politeness in not being able to join them in their criminal purpose, for he could not be of any help in the attainment thereof, and also to avoid being suspected that he was against their vicious plan for which they may harm him, Simeon is by no means a co-conspirator, not having even taken active part in the talks among the malefactors in his house. Doble could also not be liable due to his physical condition, for he could not have helped in the pursuit of the criminal design. But Romaquin and Cresencio are guilty as accomplices because it was Cresencio who was asked to procure a banca knowing the plan. Cresencio accompanied an accused to Romaquin. Cresencio then asked Romaquin to bring his friend in his banca. Cresencio's consenting to look for a banca did not necessarily make him a co-conspirator. Neither would it appear that Joe Intsik wanted to draft Cresencio into his band of malefactors that would commit the robbery more than just asking his help to look for a banca. Romaquin, for his part, appears not to be known to the principal malefactors still at large, to be asked to join actively in the conspiracy. The money he was given was only rental. At most they are accomplices. They joined in the criminal design when Cresencio consented to look for a banca and Romaquin provided it when asked by the gang leader Joe Intsik, and then brought the malefactors to the scene of the robbery, despite knowledge of the evil purpose for which the banca was to be used. It was the banca that brought the malefactors to the bank to be robbed and carried them away from the scene after the robbery to prevent their apprehension. Appellants thus cooperated but not in an indispensable manner. Even without appellants providing the banca, the robbery could have been committed, especially with the boldness and determination shown by the robbers in committing the crime. Cresencios complicity is further shown when he told Romaquin not to reveal the names of accused. Romaquin is liable because he could have tried to get away, but did not. His act of hiding the money he received from the malefactors, and repainting his boat, all attest to his guilty conscience arising from the act of cooperation he knowingly extended to the principal culprit to achieve their criminal purpose. An accomplice is one who, not being principal as defined in Article 17 of the Revised Penal Code, cooperates in the execution of the offense by

previous or simultaneous acts. There must be a Community of unlawful purpose between the principal and accomplice and assistance knowingly and intentionally given, to supply material and moral aid in the consummation of the offense and in as efficacious way. In this case, appellants' cooperation is like that of a driver of a car used for abduction which makes the driver a mere accomplice.

The penalty imposable upon appellants Cresencio Doble and Antonio Romaquin, as accomplices for the crime of robbery in band is prision mayor minimum which has a range of 6 years, 1 day to 8 years as provided ill Article 295 of the Revised Penal Code in relation to Article 294, paragraph 5 of the same code. The commission of the crime was aggravated by nighttime and the use of a motorized banca. There being no mitigating circumstance, both appellants should each be sentenced to an indeterminate penalty of from five (5) years, four (4) months, twenty-one (21) days of prision correccional to eight (8) years of prision mayor as maximum, and to indemnify the heirs of each of the deceased in the sum of 1112,000.00 not P6,000.00 as imposed by the trial court.

[People who incur criminal liability Accomplices] People v. Ludovico Doctolero G.R. No. 343286, February 7, 1991 Ponente: Justice Regalado Facts: Accused and his brothers were convicted in CFI Pangasinan of multiple murder, Ludovico as principal, brothers Conrado and Virgilio as accomplices, with Ludovico to suffer 3 life imprisonments. In evening of November 8, 1970, Epifania Escosio and Lolita de Guzman were killed in Marcial Saguns house in San Fabian, Pangasinan, where they lived. Evidence shows 3accused were responsible for the deaths and infliction of physical injuries. According to Marcial Sagun, he and his wife were going home. They came from a field where they bundled their harvests, and upon reaching a crossing, they met accused Ludovico who held the left shoulder of Marcial and struck him with a bolo. The wife got scared and ran to their house. The sister of Marcial saw accused throwing stones at the house of Marcial asking Marcelo Doctolero, 81, to come out. Marcelo Doctolero told them why they can't be patient and forget, but the three accused replied "Vulva of your mother, we will also kill you." Then they struck Marcelo Doctolero several times with their bolos. And when their father Antonio Doctolero arrived, he also struck Marcelo Doctolero with a bolo on the head. Marcelo Doctolero fell and then all the accused ran away. Ludovico and Marcial are cousins. Issue: Whether or not accused are guilty. Held: Yes. Conrado Doctolero participated as an accomplice. Denial of his participation cannot overthrow the positive and categorical testimony of the principal witnesses of the prosecution, and between the positive declarations of the prosecution Witness and the negative statements of the accused, the former deserves more credence. Conrado Doctolero and his brother, Virgilio, participated as accomplices in the slaying of the women and the infliction of injuries on the child. Appellants were still stoning the house of Marcial when they heard people protesting what they were doing, after which all the three appellants went up the house. Here, it is impossible that Virgilio and Conrado did not know that Ludovico was killing two women and wounding a child inside the room of the house. It could have been impossible for the brothers not to hear the screams. Brothers knew what was going on, but they just stood by. Their presence gave Ludovico encouragement to proceed as he did. Where one goes with the principals, and in staying outside of the house while the others went inside to rob and kill the victim, the former effectively supplied the criminals with material and moral aid, making him guilty as an accomplice. One can be an accomplice even if he did not know of the actual crime intended by the principal provided he was aware that it was an illicit act. There being ample evidence of their criminal participation, but a doubt exists on the nature of their liability, the courts should favor the milder form of liability or responsibility which is that of being mere accomplices, 26 no evidence of conspiracy among the appellants having been shown. Brothers liability is less serious physical injuries. Conrado with 3 indeterminate sentences of 10-17years.

WHEREFORE, the decision of the trial court is MODIFIED and judgment is hereby rendered IMPOSING on appellant Conrado Doctolero three (3) indeterminate sentences of ten (10) years of prision mayor to seventeen (17) years and four (4) months of reclusion temporal each for the death of Epifania Escosio, Lolita de Guzman Oviedo and Marcelo Doctolero, and a penalty of twenty (20) days of arresto menor for the less serious physical injuries inflicted on Jonathan Oviedo. Appellant Conrado Doctolero and the estate of Virgilio Doctolero are ORDERED to indemnify, in the sum of P50,000.00 for each set or

group of heirs, the respective heirs of Epifania Escosio, Lolita de Guzman Oviedo and Marcelo Doctolero, and to pay one-half (1/2) of the costs. People vs. Talingdan (Crim1) The People of the Philippines, plaintiff-appellee, vs. Nemesio Talingdan, Magellan Tobias, Augusto Berras, Pedro Bides and Teresa Domogma, accused-appellants En Banc Per Curiam, July 6, 1978 Facts: Teresa Domogma was the supposed wife of the deceased Bernardo Bagabag No certificate or any other proof of their marriage could be presented by the prosecution They lived with their children in Sobosob, Salapadan, Abra Their relationship had been strained and beset with troubles for Teresa had deserted her family home a couple of times and each time Bernardo took time out to look for her On 2 different occasions, appellant Nemesis Talingdan has visited Teresa in their house while Bernardo was out at work, and during those visits Teresa had made Corazon, their then 12-year old daughter to go down the house and leave them Bernardo had gotten wind that an illicit relationship was going on between Talingdan and Teresa About a month before Bernardo was killed, Teresa had again left their house and did not come back for a period of more than 3 weeks, and Bernardo came to know later that she and Talingdan were seen together in the town of Tayum Abra during that time Just two days before Bernardo was killed (Thursday), Bernardo and Theresa had a violent quarrel; Bernardo slapped Theresa several times, resulting in Theresa seeking the help of the police Accused Talingdan, a policeman, came armed to the vicinity of Bernardo's house and called him to come down; Bernardo ignored him; Talingdan instead left and warned Bernardo that someday he would kill him On Saturday, June 24, 1967, Bernardo was gunned down in his house The defendants' and Corazon's accounts of what happened had variations Corazon's version: Friday morning: Corazon was in a creek to wash clothes. She saw her mother Teresa meeting with Talingdan and their co-appellants Magellan Tobias, Augusto Berras, and Pedro Bides in a small hut owned by Bernardo She heard one of them say "Could he elude a bullet" When Teresa noticed Corazon, she shoved her away saying "You tell your father that we will kill him" Saturday, after sunset: Corazon was cooking food for supper when she saw her mother go down the house to go to the yard where she again met with the other appellants. She noted the long guns the appellants were carrying. Teresa came back to the house and proceeded to her room. Corazon informed Bernardo, who was then working on a plow, about the presence of persons downstairs, but Bernardo paid no attention Bernardo proceeded to the kitchen and sat himself on the floor near the door He was suddenly fired upon form below the stairs of the batalan The four accused climbed the stairs of the batalan and upon seeing that Bernardo was still alive, Talingdan and Tobias fired at him again Bides and Berras did not fire at that precise time but when Corazon tried to call for helo, Bides warned her that he will kill her if she calls for help Teresa came out of her room and when Corazon informed her that she recognized the killers, the former threatened to kill the latter if she reveals the matter to anyone The defendants'' version: Teresa loved Bernardo dearly, they never quarreled, and her husband never maltreated her.

Teresa came to know Talingdan only when the latter became a policeman in Sallapadan; an illicit relationship never existed between them Talingdan was not in Sallapadan at the time of the killing on June 24; he escorted the Mayor in Bangued from June 22 to June 26 Tobias, Bides, and Berras claimed to be in the house of one Mrs. Bayongan in Sallapadan, 250300 meters from the place of the killing Issue: Whether or not Teresa Domogma is an accessory to Bernardo's murder It is contended that there is no evidence proving that she actually joined in the conspuracy to kill her husband because there is no showing of actual cooperation on her part with co-appellants in their culpable acts that led to his death It is claimed that what is apparent is "mere cognizance, acquiescence or approval thereof on her part, which it is argued is less than what is required for her conviction as a conspirator Holding: Yes. She is an accessory to Bernardo's murder. Ratio: Note: The court believed Corazon's testimony. It is true that proof of her direct participation in the conspiracy is not beyond reasonable doubt; she cannot have the same liability as her co-appellants. She had no hand in the actual shooting. It is also not clear if she helped directly in the planning and preparation thereof. But the court is convinced that she knew it was going to be done and did not object. There is in the record morally convincing proof that she is at the very least an accessory to the offense committed. She did not only order her daughter not to reveal what she knew to anyone, she also claimed to have no suspects in mind when the peace officers came into their house later to investigate Whereas before the actual shooting she was more or less passive in her attitude regarding the conspiracy, after Bernardo was killed, she became active in her cooperation with her coappellants These acts constitute "concealing or assisting in the escape of the principal in the crime" Male appellants sentenced to death. Guilty beyond reasonable doubt is Teresa Domogma, sentenced to suffer the indeterminate penalty of 5 years of prision correccional as minimum to 8 years of prision mayor as maximum.

[Persons who incur criminal liability Conspirators] People v. Eduardo Jorge G.R. No. 99379, April 22, 1994 Ponente: Justice Bellosillo Facts: Accused appeals from court conviction of murder sentencing him to rp. June 15, 1989, amended information against accused for killing Francisco Palma with treachery and evident premeditation. Testimony of a barangay tanod of Barangay Dona Imelda, QC, narrates that one June 26, 1990, 930PM, near barangay hall, he was informed that Francisco Palma was being molested by three men. There, accused were seen holding hands of Palma and a woman stabbing him, killing him. He shouted at them and they ran. Jorge denies participation, claiming he was sleeping when it happened and only awakened when policemen arrived, forcing him out of his house. Issue: Whether or not accused is guilty. Held: No. To convict appellant as a principal by direct participation, necessary that conspiracy be proved. Conspiracy must be proved as sufficient as the crime itself through clear and convincing evidence, not only by mere conjectures. Proof beyond reasonable doubt is required to establish the presence of criminal conspiracy. Here, no unity of purpose was shown, his only involvement was holding the hand of Palma when he was stabbed by Bernales on the left chest. No other evidence to show unity of design. The simultaneousness of the act of stabbing the victim by Bernales with the holding of the hand of the same victim by appellant does not of itself demonstrate concurrence of wills or unity of purpose and action. 12 For, it is possible that the appellant had no knowledge of the common design. If the tragedy was a chance stabbing, there can be no conspiracy to speak of. It would have been different if the victim was stabbed more than once and appellant still held on to the hand of the victim. Evidence does not show that he knew that Bernales had a knife. The holding could have meant desire to prevent physical encounter between Palma and Bernales, a woman. The rule is well settled that if the facts apparently inculpatory may equally be explained consistent with one's innocence, the evidence does not fulfill the test of moral certainty to support a conviction. In the absence of conspiracy, each of the accused is responsible only for the consequences of his own acts. 15 All that appellant did was to hold the hand of Palma, which is not a crime. Note To be a principal by indispensable cooperation, one must participate in the criminal resolution, a conspiracy or unity in criminal purpose and cooperation in the commission of the offense by performing another act without which it would not have been accomplished. 16 In order that a person may be considered an accomplice, the following requisites must concur: (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. The cooperation that the law punishes is the assistance knowingly or intentionally rendered, which cannot exist without previous cognizance of the criminal act intended to be executed. 17 It is therefore required in order to be liable either as a principal by indispensable cooperation, or as an

accomplice, that the accused must unite with the criminal design of the principal by direct participation. There is indeed nothing on record to show that appellant knew that Bernales was going to stab Palma, thus creating a doubt as to appellant's criminal intent.

WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is REVERSED and accused-appellant EDUARDO JORGE Y RAMIREZ is ACQUITTED of the crime charged. Accordingly, it appearing that he is detained, his immediate release from custody is ordered unless he is held for another cause.

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