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People v.

Balanon
FACTS:
- Sgt. Jerry Balanon is an enlisted man of the Philippine Army stationed in the Southern Command
Headquarters, Zamboanga City.
- He is convicted to have shot and killed two inmates of the San Ramon Penal Farm while the former two
were having (a likely alcohol-induced) altercation. They were each shot twice.
- There are two witnesses to the case. Both of which positively identified the accused.
o The inmate Rogene Acasio who was having drinks with the deceased inmates.
o The teacher Elsa de la Cruz who attempted to separate the deceased inmates but was prevented
by the accused shortly before the latter committed the killings.
- The accused contests the veracity of the testimony of both witnesses.
o The accused believes that the Acasios testimony must not be given credibility because aside from
being probably drunk, the witness is a person convicted of the crime of hijacking and falsification of
public documents. Therefore, he cannot be trusted as his testimony may be entirely fabricated.
o The accused also contests the inconsistencies in the testimony of de la Cruz as her testimony
alleges that she was able to get a close look at the accused as she boarded a bus, but, upon a
seeming cue from the prosecutor, suddenly alleges that she was already on the bus.

ISSUES:
W/N the lower court erred in appreciating the testimony of Acasio
W/N the lower court erred in appreciating the testimony of e la Cruz

HELD:
No. Appellant faults the trial court for giving credence to the testimony of Acasio who was not only probably drunk, but
was a convicted hijacker and falsifier of public documents as well; hence, apt to fabricate his testimony. But,
probability is not evidence, and even if Acasio took alcohol, it does not follow that he was drunk. Moreover, a drunk
person is competent to testify on what he sees or experiences, however limited or hazy his perception may be. In the
same way, a hijacker or a falsifier is not necessarily a liar. Under the Rules of Court, conviction of a crime, unless
otherwise provided by law, shall not be a ground for disqualification of witnesses.

No. Appellant also discredits prosecution witness Elsa de la Cruz by highlighting her alleged inconsistent statements,
i.e., she allegedly averred that she got a close view of the accused when she was still boarding the bus, but on cue
from the prosecution, she said she was already on board the bus. . . ., Ms. de la Cruz could be referring to two
instances when accused came along to Ms. Sinsuan, i.e., when the latter was already inside the bus and when she
was still boarding the bus, and the follow-up question of the prosecutor referred to the instance when the witnesses
were still boarding. But even if we consider as inconsistent this portion of Ms. de la Cruz testimony, this is too trivial
to affect their straightforward account of the shooting of the victims by Appellant.