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RepublicofthePhilippines
SUPREMECOURT
Manila
THIRDDIVISION

G.R.No.109775November14,1996
PEOPLEOFTHEPHILIPPINES,plaintiffappellee,
vs.
JOSEENCARNACIONMALIMITalias"MANOLO",accusedappellant.

FRANCISCO,J.:
Appellant Jose Encarnacion Malimit, charged with 1 and convicted of the special complex crime of robbery with
homicide,2wasmetedbythetrialcourt 3thepenaltyofreclusionperpetua.Hewasalsoorderedtoindemnifytheheirsof
OnofreMalakithesumofFiftyThousandPesos(P50,000.00)withoutsubsidiaryimprisonmentincaseofinsolvency,andto
paythecost.4

Inthisappeal,appellantasksforhisacquittalallegingthatthetrialcourtcommittedthefollowingerrors,towit:
I
THETRIALCOURTERREDINGIVINGCREDENCETOTHEUNRELIABLETESTIMONIESOFTHE
PROSECUTION WITNESSES ON THEIR ALLEGED IDENTIFICATION OF THE ACCUSED
APPELLANTASTHEPERPETRATOROFTHECRIMEDESPITETHEFACT(SIC)THEYREVEALED
THEIR ALLEGED "KNOWLEDGE" OF TH6E CRIME MORE THAN FIVE MONTHS AFTER THE
INCIDENT.
II
THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN ADMITTING AS EVIDENCE THE WALLET AND ITS CONTENTS
ALTHOUGH THE CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH LEAD TO ITS PRODUCTION WAS OBTAINED IN
VIOLATIONOFTHECONSTITUTIONALRIGHTSOFTHEACCUSED.
III
THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN CONVICTING THE ACCUSEDAPPELLANT DESPITE FAILURE OF
THEPROSECUTIONTOPROVEHISGUILTBEYONDREASONABLEDOUBT.5
ThefollowingistherecitaloffactsassummarizedbytheappelleeinitsBrief,anddulysupportedbytheevidence
onrecord:
On April 15, 1991, around 8:00 o'clock in the evening, [Onofre] Malaki was attending to his store.
Malaki's houseboy Edilberto Batin, on the other hand, was busy cooking chicken for supper at the
kitchenlocatedatthebackofthestore(TSN,June19,199(sic),p.14).
Soonthereafter,FlorencioRondon,afarmer,arrivedatthestoreofMalaki.Rondonwastopurchase
chemicalforhisricefarm(TSN,May22,1992,p.19).Rondoncamefromhishouse,approximately
onehundredandfifty(150)metersdistantfromMalaki'sstore(Ibid.,p.24).
Meanwhile,Batinhadjustfinishedcookingandfromthekitchen,heproceededdirectlytothestoreto
ask his employer (Malaki) if supper is to be prepared. As Batin stepped inside the store, he was
takenabackwhenhesawappellantcomingoutofthestorewithabolo(TSN,June9,1992,p.14),
whilehisboss,bathedinhisownblood,wassprawledonthefloor"strugglingforhislife"(hovering

betweenlifeanddeath)(Ibid.).
Rondon, who was outside and barely five (5) meters away from the store, also saw appellant Jose
Malimit (or "Manolo") rushing out through the front door of Malaki's store with a bloodstained bolo
(TSN, May 22, 1992, p. 29). Aided by the illumination coming from a pressure lamp ("petromax")
insidethestore,RondonclearlyrecognizedMalimit(Ibid.,p.22).
Batinimmediatelywentoutofthestoretoseekhelp.Outsidethestore,hemetRondon(TSN,June
9, 1992, p. 15). After a brief conversation, both Batin and Rondon rushed to the nearby house of
Malaki's brotherinlaw Eutiquio Beloy and informed Beloy of the tragic incident which befell Malaki.
Batin,alongwithBeloy,wentbacktothestore.Inside,theysawthelifelessbodyofMalakiinapool
of blood lying prostrate at the floor. Beloy readily noticed that the store's drawer was opened and
ransackedandthewalletofMalakiwasmissingfromhispocket(Ibid.,pp.1617).6
Inhisfirstassignmentoferror,appellantquestionsthecredibilityofprosecutionwitnessesFlorencioRondonand
EdilbertoBatinbypointingouttheirallegeddelayinrevealingwhattheyknewabouttheincident.Hepositsthat
while the crime took place on April 15, 1991, it was only on September 17, 1991 when these witnesses tagged
himastheculprit.
Wefindthesecontentionsbereftofmerit.AppellanthaphazardlyconcludedthatRondonandBatinimplicatedthe
appellant to this gruesome crime only on September 17, 1991. The aforementioned date however, was merely
thedate7whenRondonandBatinexecutedtheirrespectiveaffidavits, 8narratingthattheysawtheappellantonthenight
ofApril15,1991carryingabolostainedwithbloodandrushingoutofMalaki'sstore.Astoappellant'sclaimofdelay,suffice
it to state that extant from the records are ample testimonial evidence negating appellant's protestation, to wit: (1) after
havingdiscoveredthecommissionofthecrime,RondonandBatinimmediatelylookedforEutiquioBeloy,Malaki'sbrother
inlaw,andinformedhimthatappellantwastheonlypersontheysawrunningawayfromthecrimescene 9 (2) Beloy and
Batin reported the crime with the CAFGU detachment in their barangay where Batin declared that it was appellant who
robbedMalakionthatfatefulnight10and(3)BatinagainmadeasimilarstatementlaterattheSilagoPoliceStation.11

Next,appellantderidedthenonpresentationbytheprosecutionofthepoliceblotterwhichcouldproveifappellant
wasindeedimplicatedrightawaybyBatintothecrime.12 We do not believe, however, that it was necessary for the
prosecution to present as evidence a copy of the aforementioned police blotter. Neither was its nonpresentation in court
fatal to the prosecution's case. Entries in the police blotter are merely corroborative evidence of the uncontroverted
testimony of Batin that he identified the appellant as the perpetrator of the crime before the Silago police. As such, its
presentationasevidenceisnotindispensable. 13 Besides, if appellant believed that he was not identified therein, then he
should have secured a copy thereof from the Silago Police Station and utilized the same as controverting evidence to
impeachBatin'scredibilityaswitness. 14 Having failed to do so, appellant cannot now pass the blame on the prosecution
forsomethingwhichappellanthimselfshouldhavedone.

EvenassumingarguendothatRondonandBatinidentifiedtheappellantonlyonSeptember15,1991,orafterthe
lapseoffivemonthsfromcommissionofthecrime,thisfactalonedoesnotrendertheirtestimonylesscredible.
Thenondisclosurebythewitnesstothepoliceofficersofappellant'sidentityimmediatelyaftertheoccurrenceof
thecrimeisnotentirelyagainsthumanexperience. 15 In fact the natural reticence of most people to get involved in
criminal prosecutions against immediate neighbors, as in this case, 16 is of judicial notice. 17 At any rate, the consistent
teachingofourjurisprudenceisthatthefindingsofthetrialcourtwithregardtothecredibilityofwitnessesaregivenweight
and the highest degree of respect by the appellate court. 18 This is the established rule of evidence, as the matter of
assigning values to the testimony of witnesses is a function best performed by the trial court which can weigh said
testimonyinthelightofthewitness"demeanor,conductandattitudeatthe
trial. 19 And although the rule admits of certain exceptions, namely: (1) when patent inconsistencies in the statements of
witnessesareignoredbythetrialcourt,or(2)whentheconclusionsarrivedatareclearlyunsupportedbytheevidence, 20
wefoundnoneinthiscase.

In his second assignment of error, appellant asseverates that the admission as evidence of Malaki's wallet 21
togetherwithitscontents,viz.,(1)Malaki'sresidencecertificate 22(2)hisidentificationcard23and(3)bunchofkeys, 24
violates his right against selfincrimination. 25 Likewise, appellant sought for their exclusion because during the custodial
investigation,whereinhepointedtotheinvestigatingpolicementheplacewherehehidMalaki'swallet,hewasnotinformed
ofhisconstitutionalrights.

We are not persuaded. The right against selfincrimination guaranteed under our fundamental law finds no
applicationinthiscase.Thisright,asputbyMr.JusticeHolmesinHoltvs.UnitedStates,26"...isaprohibitionof
the use of physical or moral compulsion, to extort communications from him . . ." It is simply a prohibition against legal
processtoextractfromthe[accused]'sownlips,againsthiswill,admissionofhisguilt.27Itdoesnotapplytotheinstant
case where the evidence sought to be excluded is not an incriminating statement but an object evidence. Wigmore,
discussingthequestionnowbeforeusinhistreatiseonevidence,thus,said:

If, in other words (the rule) created inviolability not only for his [physical control of his] own vocal
utterances,butalsoforhisphysicalcontrolinwhateverformexercise,then,itwouldbepossiblefora
guiltypersontoshuthimselfupinhishouse,withallthetoolsandindiciaofhiscrime,anddefythe
authority of the law to employ in evidence anything that might be obtained by forcibly overthrowing
his possession and compelling the surrender of the evidential articles a clear reduction ad
absurdum. In other words, it is not merely compulsion that is the kernel of the privilege, . . . but
testimonialcompulsion28
Neitherarewepreparedtoordertheexclusionofthequestionedpiecesofevidencepursuanttotheprovisionof
theConstitutionunderArticleIII,Section12,viz:
(1) Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to be
informedofhisrighttoremainsilentandtohavecompetentandindependentcounselpreferablyof
his own choice. If the person cannot afford the services of counsel, he must be provided with one.
Theserightscannotbewaivedexceptinwritingandinthepresenceofcounsel.
xxxxxxxxx
(3)AnyconfessionoradmissionobtainedinviolationofthisorSec.17hereof,shallbeinadmissible
inevidenceagainsthim.(Emphasisours.)
xxxxxxxxx
These are the socalled "Miranda rights" so oftenly disregarded by our men in uniform. However, infractions
thereof render inadmissible only the extrajudicial confession or admission made during custodial investigation.
Theadmissibilityofotherevidence,providedtheyarerelevanttotheissueandisnototherwiseexcludedbylaw
orrules,29isnotaffectedevenifobtainedortakeninthecourseofcustodialinvestigation.Concededly,appellantwasnot
informed of his right to remain silent and to have his own counsel by the investigating policemen during the custodial
investigation. Neither did he execute a written waiver of these rights in accordance with the constitutional prescriptions.
Nevertheless,theseconstitutionalshortcutsdonotaffecttheadmissibilityofMalaki'swallet,identificationcard,residence
certificate and keys for the purpose of establishing other facts relevant to the crime. Thus, the wallet is admissible to
establishthefactthatitwastheverywallettakenfromMalakionthenightoftherobbery.Theidentificationcard,residence
certificate and keys found inside the wallet, on the other hand, are admissible to prove that the wallet really belongs to
Malaki. Furthermore, even assuming arguendo that these pieces of evidence are inadmissible, the same will not detract
from appellant's culpability considering the existence of other evidence and circumstances establishing appellant's identity
andguiltasperpetratorofthecrimecharged.

We, now come to appellant's third assignment of error where he demurs on the prosecution's evidence,
contendingthattheyareinsufficienttosustainhisconviction.
Our close scrutiny of the record reveals otherwise. Time and again, we ruled that there can be a verdict of
convictionbasedoncircumstantialevidencewhenthecircumstancesprovedformanunbrokenchainwhichleads
toafairandreasonableconclusionpinpointingtheaccused,totheexclusionofalltheothers,astheperpetrator
of the crime. 30 In order that circumstantial evidence may be sufficient to convict, the same must comply with these
essential requisites, viz., (a) there is more than one circumstance (b) the facts from which the inferences are derived are
provenand(c)thecombinationofallthecircumstancesissuchastoproduceaconvictionbeyondreasonabledoubt. 31 In
this case, there were at least five (5) circumstances constituting an unbroken chain of events which by their "concordant
combinationandcumulativeeffect",satisfytherequirementsfortheconvictionoftheappellant,32specifically:(1)appellant
was seen by Rondon and Batin, whose credibilities were untarnished, holding a bolo in his right hand and rushing out of
Malaki'sstoresecondspriortotheirdiscoveryofthecrime 33(2)Malakisustainedmultiplestabwounds 34andhediedof
"cardiac arrest, secondary to severe external hemorrhage due to multiple stab wounds", 35 (3) witness Elmer Ladica saw
the appellant on August 6, 1991, accompanied by some policemen, retrieve Malaki's wallet underneath a stone at the
seashore in Barangay Hingatungan 36 (4) appellant himself admitted in his testimony that on August 6, 1991, he
accompanied several policemen to the seashore where he hid Malaki's wallet 37 and (5) appellant's flight and his
subsequentdisappearancefromHingatunganimmediatelyaftertheincident.38

Ontheotherhand,appellant'sversionofthestorydoesnotinspirebelief.Hemaintainsthatonthatfatefulnight
hewasinhishousetogetherwithhiswife.Heclaimsthattheyhadjustarrivedfromagamblingspreeallegedlyin
thehouseofacertainMauiPetalcorin.Surprisingly,however,thedefensedidnotbothertocallappellant'swifeto
thewitnessstandtocorroborateappellant'salibi.NeitherdiditpresentaswitnessMauiPetalcorin,oranyother
person who may have seen the appellant in the said place, if only to provide a semblance of truth to this
assertion.Asthedefenseofalibiisweakinviewofthepositiveidentificationoftheappellantbytheprosecution
witnesses, 39 it becomes weaker because of the unexplained failure of the defense to present any corroboration. 40
Furthermore, proof that appellant was in his house when the crime was committed is not enough. Appellant must likewise
demonstrate that he could not have been physically present at the place of the crime or in its vicinity, at the time of its
commission. 41 In this case, appellant himself admitted that his house was just about eighty (80) meters away from the

houseof
Malaki.42Itwas,therefore,notimpossibleforhimtohavebeenphysicallypresentattheplaceofthecommissionofthe
crime,asinfact,noevidencetonegatethispossibilitywaseveradducedbyhimatthetrial.

Appellant'sinsistencethathemerelyfoundMalaki'swalletbychancewhilegatheringshellsalongtheseashore,
and that he feared being implicated in the crime for which reason he hid the wallet underneath a stone, hardly
inspiresbelief.Weareataloss,justasthetrialcourtwas,astowhyappellantshouldfearbeingimplicatedinthe
crimeifindeedhemerelyfoundMalaki'swalletbychance.Noinferencecanbedrawnfromappellant'spurported
apprehension other than the logical conclusion that appellant had knowledge of the crime. Besides, proof that
appellantisinpossessionofastolenpropertygivesrisetoavalidpresumptionthathestolethesame.43
Infine,asthekillingofMalakitookplaceontheoccasionofrobbery,appellantwascorrectlyconvictedbythetrial
courtofthespecialcomplexcrimeofrobberywithhomicide,definedandpenalizedunderArticle294,paragraph
1oftheRevisedPenalCode.
WHEREFORE,theappealedjudgmentofconvictionisherebyAFFIRMEDintoto.
SOORDERED.
Narvasa,C.J.,Davide,Jr.,MeloandPanganiban,JJ.,concur.
Footnotes
1Informationdated28November1991Record,p.10.
2PunishableunderArticle294(1),RevisedPenalCode.
3RegionalTrialCourt,SouthernLeyte,Branch26.
4RTCdecisiondated18January1993Rollo,pp.5767.
5Rollo,p.44.
6Rollo,pp.7981.
7Exhibit"2B",BillofExhibition,p.5Exhibit"3B",BillofExhibits,p.6.
8Exhibit"2",BillofExhibition,p.5Exhibit"3",BillofExhibits,p.6.
9TSN,EutiquioBeloy,May22,1992,p.10.
10TSN,EdilbertoBatin,June9,1992,p.19.
11Id.,pp.2021.
12BrieffortheAppellant,p.8Rollo,p.51.
13SeePeoplev.Comia,236SCRA185(1994)SeealsoPeoplev.Watson,278Ala.425,178So.2d819,
821(1965).
14RulesofCourt,Rule132,Section11.Impeachmentoftheadverseparty's
witness. A witness may be impeached by the party against whom he was called, by contradictory
evidence,byevidencethathisgeneralreputationfortruth,honestyorintegrityisbad,orbyevidencethat
hehasmadeatsomeothertimesstatementsinconsistentwithhispresenttestimony,butnotbyevidence
ofparticularwrongfulacts,exceptthatitmaybeshownbytheexaminationofthewitness,ortherecordof
thejudgment,thathehasbeenconvictedofanoffense.(Emphasisours)
15 People v. Pacabes, 137 SCRA 158 (1985) See also People v. Danico, 208 SCRA 472 (1992), and
Peoplev.Caraig,202SCRA357(1991).
16ThehouseofMalakiisjust80metersawayfromappellant'shousewhilethehouseofwitnessRondon
is150metersawayfromMalaki'shouse.
17Peoplev.Rubio,G.R.No.118315,June20,1996Peoplev.Sabellono,198SCRA196(1991)People
v.Caraig,202SCRA357(1991).
18Peoplev.Bondoc,232SCRA478(1994)Peoplev.Nimo,227SCRA69(1993)Peoplev.delaCruz,
217 SCRA 283 (1993) People v. Dominguez, 217 SCRA 170 (1993) People v. Caraig, 202 SCRA 357

(1991)Peoplev.Sarol,139SCRA125(1985).
19SeePeoplev.Bondoc,232SCRA478(1994)Peoplev.Ocampo,226SCRA1(1993)Peoplev.Juma,
220 SCRA 432 (1993) People v. Baez, 214 SCRA 109 (1992) citing People v. Abrogar, 73 SCRA 466
(1979).
20SeePeoplev.Gumahin,21SCRA729(1967)Peoplev.Secapuri,et.al.,16SCRA199(1966).
21Exhibit"A".
22Exhibit"A1".
23Exhibit"A2".
24Exhibit"A3".
25Constitution,Article111,Sec.17.Nopersonshallbecompelledtobeawitnessagainhimself.
26218U.S.245.
27U.S.v.TanTeng,23Phil.145,152.
284Wigmore2263
29Rule128,Sec.3,RevisedRulesofCourt.
30Peoplev.Adriano,226SCRA131,135(1993),citingPeoplev.Galendez,210SCRA360(1992)See
Peoplev.Alvero.Jr.,224SCRA16(1993)Peoplev.Briones,219SCRA134(1993)Peoplev.Ocampo,
218 SCRA 609 (1993) People v. Tiozon, 198 SCRA 368 (1991) People v. Ganohon, 196 SCRA 431
(1991)Peoplev.Subano,73Phil.692(1942).
31Section4,Rule133,RevisedRulesofCourt.
32Peoplev.Alvero,Jr.,224SCRA16,28(1993).
33TSN,EdilbertoBatin,June9,1992,pp.15,18,23TSN,FlorencioRondon,May22,1992,pp.2022,
31.
34Exhibit"C1",BillofExhibits,p.3.
35Exhibit"B1",BillofExhibits,p.1SeealsoExhibit"C",BillofExhibits,p3.
36TSN,ElmerLadica,June9,1992,pp.45.
37TSN,JoseMalimit,September23,1992,p.89.
38TSN,FlorencioRondon,May22,1992,p.22TSN,EdilbertoBatin,June9,1992,p.22.
39Peoplev.JohnJennPorras,G.R.No.11426364,March29,1996Peoplev.Miranday,242SCRA620
(1995),citingPeoplev.Claudio,216SCRA647(1992)Peoplev.Cabuang,217SCRA675(1993).
40Peoplev.Malonzo,212SCRA85(1992)Peoplev.Paciente,210SCRA87(1992)SeePeoplev.Lazo,
198SCRA274(1991).
41Peoplev.JohnJennPorrasandSergioEmelo,G.R.11426364,March29,1996Peoplev.Manero,Jr.,
218SCRA89(1993),citingPeoplev.Pugal,215SCRA247(1992).
42TSN,JoseMalimit,July2,1992,p.10.
43Peoplev.Alhambra,233SCRA604,613(1994).
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