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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 recogniti on 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. fulfillment of a duty.

He interposed self-defense and that he acted in the

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. defense. He questions credibility of witness.

Accused interposed alibi as

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. warrant conviction. He questions sufficiency of evidence to

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 alibi as defense,. Information however failed to allege the minority of the complainant. HELD: 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. sufficiency of the prosecutions evidence. Defense challenges the

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 poseur-buyer. 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. complainant. He questions the credibility of the testimony of the

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 contr ived 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., confession was made as to the ownership of marijuana plants. An extrajudicial

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 self-serving 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 commonlaw 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 self-serving 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, accusedappellant 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 accused-appellants 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;

5)

3) the accuracy of any prior description given by the witness; 4) the level of certainty demonstrated by the witness at the identification; 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 half-sister 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-inlaw. 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.