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FIRST DIVISION
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,
Plaintiff-Appellee,

G.R. No. 187044


Present:
CORONA, C.J.,
Chairperson,
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO,
BERSAMIN,
DEL CASTILLO, and
VILLARAMA, JR., JJ.

- versus -

RENATO LAGAT y GAWAN a.k.a. RENAT


GAWAN and JAMES
PALALAY y VILLAROSA,
Accused-Appellants.

Promulgated:
September 14, 2011

x---------------------------------------------------- x
DECISION
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, J.:
This appeal was filed by accused-appellants Renato Lagat y Gawan (Lagat), also known as Renat
Gawan, and James Palalay y Villarosa (Palalay) to challenge the Court of Appeals October 8,
2008 Decision[1] in CA-G.R. CR.-H.C. No. 02869, for affirming with modification the March 19,
2007 Decision[2] of the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 21, Santiago City, wherein they were found
guilty beyond reasonable doubt of Qualified Carnapping in Criminal Case No. 21-4949.
Accused-appellants Lagat and Palalay were charged with the crime of Carnapping as defined under
Section 2 and penalized under Section 14[3] of Republic Act No. 6539. The accusatory portion of the
Information,[4] reads:
That on or about the 12 th day of April 2005, at Santiago City, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of
this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, conspiring, conniving with each other, and mutually
helping one another and with intent to gain and without the consent of the owner thereof, did then and
there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously take, steal and carry away one (1) unit YASUKI tricycle
bearing Engine No. 161FMJ41535420 and Motor No. LX8PCK0034D002243 then driven and owned by
JOSE BIAG, valued at70,000.00, to the damage and prejudice of the owner thereof.
That in the course of the commission of carnapping, or on occasion thereof, the above-named accused,
conspiring, conniving confederating and helping each other, and with intent to kill, did then and there
assault, attack and wound the said JOSE BIAG with sharp and pointed instrument directing blows against
the vital parts of the body of the latter thereby inflicting upon him multiple stab and hacking wounds
which directly caused the death of the said JOSE BIAG.

Lagat pleaded not guilty upon arraignment on June 16, 2005. [5] Palalay, on the other hand, did not enter
any plea; hence, a plea of not guilty was entered by the RTC for him. [6]
On August 1, 2005, both accused proposed to plead guilty to a lesser offense. [7] In their plea-bargaining
proposal,[8] they asked that they be allowed to plead guilty to the crime of Homicide under Article 249 of the
Revised Penal Code and that the mitigating circumstances of plea of guilty and/or no intention to commit so
grave a wrong be considered in their favor. They also asked that damages be fixed at 120,000.00. This proposal

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was rejected[9] by the prosecution; thus, the pre-trial conference proceeded. The pre-trial Order contained the
following facts as admitted by the parties:
1. That the cadaver of Jose Biag was recovered along Angadanan and Sn. Guillermo road by
members of the police together with Barangay Captain Heherson Dulay and Chief Tanod Rumbaoa, Sr.
2. That the two accused were arrested in possession of palay allegedly stolen in Alicia, Isabela.
3. That the cause of death of Jose Biag was multiple stab and hack wounds as described in the
Autopsy Report and death certificate which shall be submitted during trial.[10]

After the pre-trial conference, trial on the merits ensued.


The prosecution first presented Florida Biag (Florida), the wife of the victim Jose Biag (Biag), to testify
on the circumstances leading to Biags disappearance and the discovery of his body, the recovery of Biags
tricycle, and the expenses she incurred and the income she had lost as a result of her husbands death. Florida
testified that her husband was a farmer, a barangay tanod, and a tricycle driver.[11] On April 12, 2005, at around
two oclock in the morning, her husband left to operate his tricycle for public use. It was around 11:00 a.m. of
April 13, 2005, when news reached her that their tricycle was with the Philippine National Police (PNP) of the
Municipality of Alicia and that her husband had figured in an accident. After learning of the incident, Florida
sought the help of their Barangay (Brgy.) Captain, Heherson Dulay, who immediately left for Angadanan
without her. At around 2:00 p.m., Brgy. Captain Dulay informed[12] Florida of what had happened to her
husband.[13] Florida then presented in court the receipts [14] evidencing the expenses she had incurred for her
husbands wake and funeral and for the repair of their tricycle, which was recovered with missing parts. She also
testified as to the income Biag was earning as a farmer, a tanod, and a tricycle driver, and claimed that his death
had caused her sleepless nights.[15]
The second witness for the prosecution was the Chief Tanod of Barangay Rizal, Poe Rumbaoa, Sr.
(Rumbaoa). He testified that on April 13, 2005, after he and Brgy. Captain Dulay received Floridas report, they
immediately went to the Alicia Police Station, wherein they found Biags tricycle. The PNP of Alicia showed
them the identification card recovered in the tricycle and told them that the tricycle was used in
stealing palay from a store in Angadanan, Isabela that belonged to a certain Jimmy Esteban (Esteban). Rumbaoa
and Brgy. Captain Dulay were also told that the owner of the tricycle was killed and dumped along the
Angadanan and San Guillermo Road. They were thereafter shown the two suspects and the place where Biags
body was dumped. Rumbaoa said that he was able to identify the body as Biags, which was almost
unrecognizable because it was bloated all over, only because Biag had a mark on his right shoulder, which
Rumbaoa knew of.[16]
Police Officer 2 (PO2) Arthur Salvador, a member of the PNP in Alicia, took the witness stand next. He
testified that on April 13, 2005, he was on duty along with other colleagues at the Alicia PNP Station, when they
received a report from Esteban that the cavans of palay stolen from him were seen at Alice Palay Buying Station
in Alicia, Isabela, in a tricycle commandeered by two unidentified male persons. PO2 Salvador said that upon
receipt of this report, their Chief of Police composed a team, which included him, PO2 Bernard Ignacio, and
PO2 Nathan Abuan, to verify the veracity of the report. At Alice Palay Buying Station, they saw the tricycle
described to them by their chief, with the cavans of palay, and the two accused, Lagat and Palalay. PO2
Salvador averred that he and his team were about to approach the tricycle when the two accused scampered [17] to
different directions. After collaring the two accused, they brought them to the Alicia PNP Station together with
the tricycle and its contents. PO2 Salvador asseverated that when they reached the station, they asked the two
accused if they had any papers to show for both the tricycle and the palay, to which the two accused did not
answer. They allegedly kept silent even after they were informed of their rights not only to remain as such, but
also to have counsel, either of their own choosing, or to be assigned to them if they cannot afford one. PO2
Salvador then continued that when they unloaded the tricycle, they discovered bloodstains inside and outside the
sidecar. He also personally found a wallet containing the tricycles Certificate of Registration and Official

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Receipt[18] issued by the Land Transportation Office in the name of Jose Biag. When they asked the two accused
about their discoveries, Lagat and Palalay voluntarily answered that the name in the papers is that of the owner
of the tricycle, whom they killed and dumped along Angadanan and San Guillermo Road, when they carnapped
his tricyle. PO2 Salvador alleged that upon hearing this revelation, they again informed Lagat and Palalay that
anything they say would be used against them, and that they had a right to counsel. Thereafter, they coordinated
with the PNP of Angadanan Police Station, and together with the two accused, they proceeded to AngadananSan Guillermo Road, where they found Biags body in a ravine just after the bridge near the road. [19]
The prosecutions last witness, PO2 Ignacio corroborated PO2 Salvadors testimony on the events that led
them to the tricycle, the palay, the two accused, and the body of Biag. He also confirmed PO2 Salvadors claim
that they had informed the two accused of their rights but the latter just ignored them; hence, they continued
with their investigation.[20] PO2 Ignacio added that the two accused also told them how they killed Biag, to wit:
A-

They rented a tricycle from Santiago to Alicia but they proceeded to Angadanan. And upon arrival
at the site, they poked a knife to the driver and the driver ran away. They chased him and stabbed
him, sir.[21]

Upon cross-examination, PO2 Ignacio averred that they were not able to recover the murder weapon
despite diligent efforts to look for it and that they had questioned the people at Alice Palay Buying Station and
were told that the two accused had no other companion. PO2 Ignacio also admitted that while they informed
Lagat and Palalay of their constitutional rights, the two were never assisted by counsel at any time during the
custodial investigation.[22]
The prosecution also submitted the Post-Mortem Autopsy Report [23] on Biag of Dr. Edgar Romanchito P.
Bayang, the Assistant City Health and Medico-Legal Officer of Santiago City. The Report showed that Biag was
likely killed between 12:00 noon and 2:00 p.m. of April 12, 2004, and that he had sustained three stab wounds,
an incise wound, two hack wounds and an avulsion of the skin extending towards the abdomen. [24]
After the prosecution rested its case, the accused filed a Motion to Dismiss on Demurrer to
Evidence[25] without leave of court[26] on the ground that the prosecution failed to prove their guilt beyond
reasonable doubt. Lagat and Palalay averred that their constitutional rights on custodial investigation were
grossly violated as they were interrogated for hours without counsel, relatives, or any disinterested third person
to assist them. Moreover, the admissions they allegedly made were not supported by documentary
evidence. Palalay further claimed that Rumbaoas testimony showed that he had a swelling above his right eye
and a knife wound in his left arm, which suggests that he was maltreated while under police custody. [27]
The accused also claimed that the circumstantial evidence presented by the prosecution was not
sufficient to convict them. They averred that aside from the alleged admissions they had made, the prosecution
had nothing else: they had no object evidence for the bloodstains allegedly found in the tricycle; the murder
weapon was never found; and no eyewitness aside from the police officers was presented to show that they were
in possession of the tricycle at the time they were arrested.Lagat and Palalay argued that the prosecution failed
to establish an unbroken chain of events that showed their guilt beyond reasonable doubt, thus, they were
entitled to enjoy the constitutional presumption of innocence absent proof that they were guilty beyond
reasonable doubt.[28]
As the accused filed their Demurrer to Evidence without leave of court, they in effect waived their right
to present evidence, and submitted the case for judgment on the basis of the evidence for the prosecution. [29]
On March 19, 2007, the RTC rendered a Decision, the dispositive portion of which reads:
WHEREFORE in the light of the foregoing considerations the Court finds the accused Renato
Lagat y Gawan and James Palalay y Villarosa GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of qualified carnapping
and hereby sentences each of them to the penalty of reclusion perpetua. They are also ORDERED TO

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PAY Florida Biag the sum of Twelve thousand three hundred pesos ( 12,300.00) as actual damages plus
Fifty thousand pesos (50,000.00) for death indemnity and another Fifty thousand pesos ( 50,000.00) for
moral damages.[30]

After evaluating the evidence the prosecution presented, the RTC agreed with the accused that their
rights were violated during their custodial investigation as they had no counsel to assist them. Thus, whatever
admissions they had made, whether voluntarily or not, could not be used against them and were inadmissible in
evidence.[31]
However, the RTC held that despite the absence of an eyewitness, the prosecution was able to establish
enough circumstantial evidence to prove that Lagat and Palalay committed the crime, to wit:
1. The accused were caught by the Alicia PNP in possession of Biags tricycle, loaded with stolen palay;
2. The accused ran immediately when they saw the Alicia PNP approaching them;
3. The Alicia PNP found bloodstains on the tricycle and Biags wallet with documents to prove that Biag
owned the tricycle;
4. The Alicia PNP contacted the PNP of Santiago City to inquire about a Jose Biag, and this was how
the barangay officials of Santiago City and Florida found out that Biags tricycle was with the Alicia
PNP;
5. Biag left early morning on April 12, 2005 and never returned home;
6. The accused themselves led the Alicia PNP and Barangay Captain Dulay and Rumbaoa to where
they dumped Biags body.[32]
The RTC convicted Lagat and Palalay of the crime of carnapping, qualified by the killing of Biag,
which, according to the RTC, appeared to have been done in the course of the carnapping. [33]
Lagat and Palalay asked the RTC to reconsider its Decision on the grounds that it erred in giving full
credence to the testimonies of the prosecutions witnesses and in relying on the circumstantial evidence presented
by the prosecution.[34]
On May 29, 2007, the RTC denied[35] this motion, holding that the testimonies of the witnesses were
credible and supported by the attending facts and circumstances, and that there was sufficient circumstantial
evidence to convict the accused.
Lagat and Palalay went[36] to the Court of Appeals, asserting that their guilt was not established beyond
reasonable doubt.[37] They averred that circumstantial evidence, to be sufficient for a judgment of conviction,
must exclude each and every hypothesis consistent with innocence, [38] which was allegedly not the case in their
situation. They elaborated on why the circumstantial evidence the RTC enumerated could not be taken against
them:
1. The accuseds possession of the tricycle cannot prove that they killed its owner;
2. Their act of fleeing may be due to the stolen palay (which is not the subject of this case), and not the
tricycle;
3. No evidence was given that would link the bloodstains found in the tricycle to Biag himself. They
could have easily been Palalays, who was shown to have a knife wound; and
4. The accuseds act of pointing to the police and the barangay officials the ravine where Biags body
was dumped was part of their interrogation without counsel, which the RTC itself declared as
inadmissible in evidence.[39]
On October 8, 2008, the Court of Appeals rendered its Decision with the following dispositive portion:
WHEREFORE, the Decision dated March 19, 2007 of the RTC, Branch 21, Santiago City, in
Criminal Case No. 21-4949, is AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that accused-appellants Renato

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Lagat y Gawan and James Palalay y Villarosa are ordered to pay to private complainant the increased
amount of 14,900.00 as actual damages.[40]

In affirming the conviction of the accused, the Court of Appeals held that the elements of carnapping
were all present in this case. The Court of Appeals pointed out that Lagat and Palalay were in possession of the
missing tricycle when they were apprehended by the Alicia PNP. Moreover, they failed to offer any explanation
as to how they came to be in possession of the tricycle. The Court of Appeals also agreed with the RTC that
whatever confession or admission the Alicia PNP extracted out of the accused could not be used in evidence for
having been done without the assistance of counsel. The Court of Appeals nonetheless affirmed the RTCs
judgment as it was convinced that the following circumstantial evidence supported the conviction of the accused
for qualified carnapping:
1. Biag and his tricycle went missing on April 12, 2005;
2. Lagat and Palalay were found in unauthorized possession of the tricycle on April 13, 2005;
3. The Alicia PNP, upon inspection of the tricycle, found traces of blood inside it, together with the
original receipt and certificate of registration of the vehicle in the name of Jose Biag;
4. Palalay had a stab wound on his left arm when the Alicia PNP presented him and Lagat to Brgy.
Capt. Dulay and prosecution witness Rumbaoa;
5. Biag bore five (5) hack wounds on his body when the Alicia PNP recovered his corpse in a ravine;
and
6. Lagat and Palalay failed to account for their possession of the bloodstained tricycle immediately
after their arrest.[41]
The accused are now before us with the same lone assignment of error they posited before the Court of
Appeals, to wit:
THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN FINDING THE ACCUSED-APPELLANTS GUILTY OF
THE CRIME CHARGED DESPITE FAILURE OF THE PROSECUTION TO ESTABLISH HIS GUILT
BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT.[42]

Ruling of the Court


Lagat and Palalay have been charged and convicted of the crime of qualified carnapping under Republic
Act. No. 6539[43] or the Anti-Carnapping Act of 1972.Section 2 of the Act defines carnapping and motor vehicle
as follows:
Carnapping is the taking, with intent to gain, of a motor vehicle belonging to another without the latters
consent, or by means of violence against or intimidation of persons, or by using force upon things.
Motor vehicle is any vehicle propelled by any power other than muscular power using the public
highways, but excepting road rollers, trolley cars, street-sweepers, sprinklers, lawn mowers, bulldozers,
graders, fork-lifts, amphibian trucks, and cranes if not used on public highways, vehicles, which run only
on rails or tracks, and tractors, trailers and traction engines of all kinds used exclusively for agricultural
purposes. Trailers having any number of wheels, when propelled or intended to be propelled by
attachment to a motor vehicle, shall be classified as separate motor vehicle with no power rating. [44]

The elements of carnapping as defined and penalized under the Anti-Carnapping Act of 1972 are the
following:
1. That there is an actual taking of the vehicle;
2. That the vehicle belongs to a person other than the offender himself;
3. That the taking is without the consent of the owner thereof; or that the taking was committed by
means of violence against or intimidation of persons, or by using force upon things; and
4. That the offender intends to gain from the taking of the vehicle. [45]

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The records of this case show that all the elements of carnapping are present and were proven during
trial.
The tricycle, which was definitively ascertained to belong to Biag, as evidenced by the registration
papers, was found in Lagat and Palalays possession. Aside from this, the prosecution was also able to establish
that Lagat and Palalay fled the scene when the Alicia PNP tried to approach them at the palay buying station. To
top it all, Lagat and Palalay failed to give any reason why they had Biags tricycle. Their unexplained possession
raises the presumption that they were responsible for the unlawful taking of the tricycle. Section 3(j), Rule 131
of the Rules of Court states that:
[A] person found in possession of a thing taken in the doing of a recent wrongful act is the taker and the
doer of the whole act; otherwise, that thing which a person possesses, or exercises acts of ownership over,
are owned by him.

In Litton Mills, Inc. v. Sales,[46] we said that for such presumption to arise, it must be proven that: (a) the
property was stolen; (b) it was committed recently; (c) that the stolen property was found in the possession of
the accused; and (d) the accused is unable to explain his possession satisfactorily. [47] As mentioned above, all
these were proven by the prosecution during trial. Thus, it is presumed that Lagat and Palalay had unlawfully
taken Biags tricycle. In People v. Bustinera,[48] this Court defined unlawful taking, as follows:
Unlawful taking, or apoderamiento, is the taking of the motor vehicle without the consent of the
owner, or by means of violence against or intimidation of persons, or by using force upon things; it is
deemed complete from the moment the offender gains possession of the thing, even if he has no
opportunity to dispose of the same.[49]

Lagat and Palalays intent to gain from the carnapped tricycle was also proven as they were caught in
a palay buying station, on board the stolen tricycle, which they obviously used to transport
the cavans of palay they had stolen and were going to sell at the station. In Bustinera, we elucidated on the
concept of intent to gain and said:
Intent to gain or animus lucrandi is an internal act, presumed from the unlawful taking of the
motor vehicle. Actual gain is irrelevant as the important consideration is the intent to gain. The term gain
is not merely limited to pecuniary benefit but also includes the benefit which in any other sense may be
derived or expected from the act which is performed. Thus, the mere use of the thing which was taken
without the owners consent constitutes gain.[50]

Having established that the elements of carnapping are present in this case, we now go to the argument
of the two accused that they cannot be convicted based on the circumstantial evidence presented by the
prosecution.
Under Section 4, Rule 133 of the Rules of Court, 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; and
(c) The combination of all the circumstances results in a moral certainty that the accused, to the exclusion of all
others, is the one who has committed the crime.

In People v. Mansueto,[51] we said:


Circumstantial evidence is that evidence which proves a fact or series of facts from which the
facts in issue may be established by inference. Such evidence is founded on experience and observed

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facts and coincidences establishing a connection between the known and proven facts and the facts sought
to be proved.[52]

Hence, to justify a conviction based on circumstantial evidence, the combination of circumstances must
be interwoven in such a way as to leave no reasonable doubt as to the guilt of the accused. [53]
A careful and exhaustive examination of the evidence presented, excluding those that are inadmissible,
show that the circumstantial evidence, when viewed as a whole, effectively establishes the guilt of Lagat and
Palalay beyond reasonable doubt. We considered the following pieces of evidence as convincing:
First, Lagat and Palalay were found in possession of the tricycle the same day that it, together with its
owner Biag, was reported missing.
Second, Lagat and Palalay were found at a palay buying station, with the stolen tricycle packed
with cavans of palay allegedly stolen in Alicia, Isabela.
Third, Lagat and Palalay who were then on board the tricycle, jumped and ran the moment they saw the
Alicia PNP approaching them.
Fourth, Lagat and Palalay could not explain to the Alicia PNP why they were in possession of Biags
tricycle.
Fifth, Biags wallet and his tricycles registration papers were found in the tricycle upon its inspection by
the Alicia PNP.
Sixth, Biags body bore hack wounds as evidenced by the post-mortem autopsy done on him, while his
tricycle had traces of blood in it.
The foregoing circumstantial evidence only leads to the conclusion that Lagat and Palalay conspired to
kill Biag in order to steal his tricycle. Direct proof that the two accused conspired is not essential as it may be
inferred from their conduct before, during, and after their commission of the crime that they acted with a
common purpose and design.[54] The pieces of evidence presented by the prosecution are consistent with one
another and the only rational proposition that can be drawn therefrom is that the accused are guilty of killing
Biag to carnap his tricycle.
When a person is killed or raped in the course of or on the occasion of the carnapping, the crime of
carnapping is qualified and the penalty is increased pursuant to Section 14 of Republic Act No. 6539, as
amended:
Section 14. Penalty for Carnapping. Any person who is found guilty of carnapping, as this term
is defined in Section Two of this Act, shall, irrespective of the value of motor vehicle taken, be punished
by imprisonment for not less than fourteen years and eight months and not more than seventeen years and
four months, when the carnapping is committed without violence or intimidation of persons, or force
upon things; and by imprisonment for not less than seventeen years and four months and not more than
thirty years, when the carnapping is committed by means of violence against or intimidation of any
person, or force upon things; and the penalty of reclusion perpetua to death shall be imposed when the
owner, driver or occupant of the carnapped motor vehicle is killed or raped in the course of the
commission of the carnapping or on the occasion thereof. (As amended by R.A. No. 7659.) (Emphasis
ours)

As there was no aggravating circumstance attendant in the commission of the crime, the RTC properly
imposed the penalty of reclusion perpetua.

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In conformity with prevailing jurisprudence, we affirm the award of 50,000.00 as civil indemnity ex
delicto for the death of Jose Biag and 50,000.00 as moral damages for the proven mental suffering of his wife
as a result of his untimely death. However, when actual damages proven by receipts during trial amount to less
than 25,000.00, as in this case, the award of temperate damages for 25,000.00 is justified in lieu of actual
damages of a lesser amount.[55] Thus, an award of 25,000.00 as temperate damages in lieu of the amount of
14,900.00 that the Court of Appeals awarded as actual damages is proper in this case.
Both the RTC and the Court of Appeals failed to consider that under Article 2206 of the Civil Code, the
accused are also jointly and severally liable for the loss of the earning capacity of Biag and such indemnity
should be paid to his heirs.[56] In People v. Jadap,[57] this Court said:
As a rule, documentary evidence should be presented to substantiate the claim for damages for loss of
earning capacity. By way of exception, damages for loss of earning capacity may be awarded despite the
absence of documentary evidence when (1) the deceased is self-employed and earning less than the
minimum wage under current labor laws, in which case judicial notice may be taken of the fact that in the
deceased's line of work no documentary evidence is available; or (2) the deceased is employed as a daily
wage worker earning less than the minimum wage under current labor laws. In this case, no documentary
evidence was presented to prove the claim of the victims heirs for damages by reason of loss of earning
capacity. However, the victims father testified that at the time of his sons death, he was only 20 years old
and was working as a mason with a monthly income of 3,000.00.We find the fathers testimony
sufficient to justify the award of damages for loss of earning capacity.[58]

Biags widow, Florida, testified that Biag worked as a farmer, tanod, and tricycle driver, and that his
income amounted to 40,000.00 per cropping season as a farmer, 2,000.00 per month as a tanod, and 300.00
per day as a tricycle driver. However, since the prosecution failed to present any document pertaining to Biags
appointment as a tanod, or that he actually worked as a farmer, we shall consider only his earnings as a tricycle
driver. According to the death certificate [59] submitted by the prosecution, Biag was 56 years old at the time of
his death.
The amount of damages recoverable for the loss of earning capacity of the deceased is based on two
factors: 1) the number of years on the basis of which the damages shall be computed; and 2) the rate at which
the losses sustained by the heirs of the deceased should be fixed. The first factor is based on the formula (2/3 x
80 age of the deceased at the time of his death = life expectancy) which is adopted from the American
Expectancy Table of Mortality.[60] Net income is computed by deducting from the amount of the victims gross
income the amount of his living expenses. As there is no proof of Biags living expenses, the net income is
estimated to be 50% of the gross annual income. [61] Thus, the loss of earning capacity of the deceased is
computed as follows:
Net Earning Capacity = life expectancy x [gross annual income living expenses] [62]
= 2/3 [80-age at time of death] x [gross annual income - 50% of gross annual income]
= 2/3 [80-56] x [109,500.00 - 54,750.00]
= 16 x 54,750.00
= 876,000.00
WHEREFORE, we AFFIRM with MODIFICATION the October 8, 2008 decision of the Court of
Appeals in CA-G.R. CR.-H.C. No. 02869. Accused-appellants Renato Lagat y Gawan and James Palalay y
Villarosa are found GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of QUALIFIED CARNAPPING and are
sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. They are hereby ORDERED to pay the heirs of the
victim Jose Biag the following: (a) 50,000.00 as civil indemnity; (b) 50,000.00 as moral damages;
(c) 25,000.00 as temperate damages; (d) 876,000.00 as loss of earning capacity; and (e) interest on all
damages awarded at the rate of 6% per annum from the date of finality of this judgment.

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SO ORDERED.
TERESITA J. LEONARDO-DE CASTRO
Associate Justice

[1]

Rollo, pp. 2-17; penned by Associate Justice Hakim S.


Abdulwahid with Associate Justices Portia AlioHormachuelos and Teresita Dy-Liacco Flores,
concurring.
[2]
Records, pp. 126-133.
[3]
As amended by Republic Act No. 7659.
[4]
Records, pp. 1-2.
[5]
Id. at 22.
[6]
Id. at 21.
[7]
Id. at 28.
[8]
Id. at 38.
[9]
Id. at 41.
[10]
Id. at 39.
[11]
TSN, January 9, 2006, p. 10.
[12]
Records, p. 4.
[13]
TSN, January 9, 2006, pp. 3-6.
[14]
Records, pp. 98A-98I.
[15]
TSN, January 9, 2006, pp. 7-13.
[16]
TSN, April 20, 2006, pp. 3-6.
[17]
TSN, September 18, 2006, p. 5.
[18]
Records, p. 8.
[19]
TSN, September 18, 2006, pp. 4-16.
[20]
TSN, November 15, 2006, pp. 4-10.
[21]
Id. at 9.
[22]
Id. at 13-21.
[23]
Records, pp. 94-96.
[24]
Id.
[25]
Id. at 104-110.
[26]
Rules of Court, Rule 119, Section 23.
[27]
TSN, April 20, 2006, p. 10.
[28]
Records, pp. 108-109.
[29]
Rules of Court, Rule 119, Section 23, paragraph 2.
[30]
Records, p. 133.

[31]

Id. at 130-131.
Id. at 131-132.
[33]
Id. at 131-133.
[34]
Id. at 135-138.
[35]
Id. at 141-142.
[36]
Id. at 143.
[37]
CA rollo, p. 29.
[38]
Id. at 34.
[39]
Id. at 35-36.
[40]
Rollo, p. 16.
[41]
Id. at 14.
[42]
CA rollo, p. 33.
[43]
As amended by Republic Act No. 7659.
[44]
Republic Act No. 6539, Section 2.
[45]
People v. Bernabe and Garcia, 448 Phil. 269, 280 (2003).
[46]
G.R. No. 151400, September 1, 2004, 437 SCRA 488.
[47]
Id. at 502.
[48]
G.R. No. 148233, June 8, 2004, 431 SCRA 284.
[49]
Id. at 295.
[50]
Id. at 296.
[51]
391 Phil. 611 (2000).
[52]
Id. at 629.
[53]
People v. Casitas, Jr., 445 Phil. 407, 417 (2003).
[54]
People v. Sube, 449 Phil. 165, 176-177 (2003).
[55]
People v. Magdaraog, G.R. No. 151251, May 19, 2004, 428
SCRA 529, 543.
[56]
People v. Sirad, 390 Phil. 412, 426 (2000).
[57]
G.R. No. 177983, March 30, 2010, 617 SCRA 179.
[58]
Id. at 196-197.
[59]
Records, p. 9.
[60]
People v. Librando, 390 Phil. 543, 559 (2000).
[61]
People v. Templo, 400 Phil. 471, 494 (2000).
[62]
People v. Verde, 362 Phil. 305, 321 (1999).
[32]

THIRD DIVISION

FERNANDO ESTABAS MAHAWAN


alias PADO,

G.R. No. 176609

Petitioner,
Present:

YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.,

CRIMINAL LAW 1 10
Chairperson,
AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ,
CHICO-NAZARIO,
NACHURA, and
REYES, JJ.

- versus -

Promulgated:
December 18, 2008

PEOPLE OF THEPHILIPPINES,
Respondent.
x - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x
DECISION
CHICO-NAZARIO, J.:
In this Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, [1] petitioner
Fernando Estabas Mahawan alias Pado, seeks the reversal of the Decision[2] of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R.
CR No. 00071, dated 25 May 2006, which affirmed in toto the Decision[3] of the Cebu City Regional Trial Court
(RTC), Branch 10, in Criminal Case No. CBU-42385, dated 10 August 2004, finding him guilty of frustrated
homicide.
The records of the case bear the following facts:
On 18 October 1996, an Information[4] was filed before the RTC charging petitioner with frustrated
homicide. The accusatory portion of the information reads:
The undersigned Prosecutor I of Cebu City accuses FERNANDO ESTABAS MAHAWAN alias
PADO of the crime of FRUSTRATED HOMICIDE, committed as follows:
That on or about the 5th day of October, 1995, about 9:30 p.m., in the City of Cebu, Philippines,
and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused, armed with a firearm, with
deliberate intent and with intent to kill, did then and there attack, assault and use personal violence upon
the person of Diosdada Paradero, by firing shots at saidDiosdada Paradero, hitting her on the vital parts of
her body, thereby inflicting upon her the following physical injuries:
GUNSHOT WOUND POINT OF ENTRY 3 rd ICS (LEFT) MCL. NO POINT
OF EXIT, 4 PT. PERFORATION DESCENDING COLON, GRADE II LIVER

CRIMINAL LAW 1 11
INJURY SEGMENT I, 1.5 CM. DIAPHRAGMATIC RENT (LEFT) INCISED
WOUND (LEFT) EAR LOBULE, (RIGHT) WRIST
which injuries, under ordinary circumstance, would cause the death of said Diosdada Paradero,
thus performing all the acts of execution which would have produced the crime of homicide, but which
nevertheless did not produce it by reason of causes independent of the will of the herein accused, that is,
by the timely and able medical assistance rendered to said Diosdada Paradero which prevented her death.

When arraigned on 22 April 1997, petitioner, assisted by his counsel de parte, pleaded Not guilty to the
charge. Trial on the merits thereafter followed.
[5]

The prosecution presented as witnesses private complainant Diosdada S. Paradero (Paradero), Dr.
James Guardiario (Dr. Guardiario), and Police Chief Inspector Myrna Arreola (Inspector Arreola). Their
testimonies, woven together, produce the following narrative:
Paradero is a resident of B. Aranas Extension, Cebu City. Her house has two floors. She operates a store
on the ground floor, while the second floor is utilized by her and her family as sala and bedrooms.
On 5 October 1996, at about 9:30 p.m., Paradero was tending her store when petitioner arrived and
asked her for a bottle of beer. She told petitioner that there was no more beer. When she was about to open the
refrigerator in the store to show petitioner that there was really no more beer, petitioner sneaked inside the
store. She closed the refrigerator and faced petitioner. Suddenly, petitioner pulled out a gun (caliber .38 revolver)
and shot her on the left chest. She retreated and fell on the ground. As petitioner moved closer to her, she
grabbed a kitchen knife nearby to defend herself. Petitioner shot Paradero again but the bullet this time merely
grazed her left earlobe. Petitioner snatched the kitchen knife from her hand and fled the store.
Paraderos sister and some neighbors brought her to Chong Hua Hospital where the gunshot wound in
her left chest was treated. She also underwent a surgical operation on her colon (large intestine), liver and
diaphragm as these vital organs were hit by the trajectory of the bullet. Dr. Guardiario performed the said
treatment and operation.
Meanwhile, petitioner was brought by the police authorities to the Cebu City Police Station for
investigation. Thereupon, a paraffin test was conducted on him by Inspector Arreola. The result of the test
showed there was gun powder residue on his right hand.
On 16 October 1996, Paradero was discharged from the Chong Hua Hospital.
On 3 February 1997, Paradero was confined and she underwent another operation on her colon at
the Don Vicente Sotto Medical Center. She was discharged therefrom on 14 February 1997.[6]
The prosecution adduced documentary pieces of evidence to buttress the aforesaid allegations, to wit:
(1) medical certificate of Paradero issued by Dr. Guardiario(Exhibit A);[7] (2) medical certificate
of Paradero issued by the chief of Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (Exhibit B); [8] (3) list of expenses and
official receipts as regards Paraderos treatment and confinement for a gunshot wound (Exhibit C); [9] (4)
subpoena duces tecum issued by the RTC to Inspector Arreola (Exhibit D);[10](5) physical science report on the
paraffin test conducted on petitioner (Exhibit E); [11] and (6) letter-request for paraffin test on petitioner (Exhibit
F).[12]
For its part, the defense presented the testimonies of petitioner and his friend/neighbor named
Antonio Artiaga (Artiaga) to refute the accusations against him.Petitioner disclaimed any liability and invoked
self-defense. His version of the incident, as corroborated by Artiaga on some relevant points, is as follows:

CRIMINAL LAW 1 12
On 5 October 1996, at around 9:30 p.m., petitioner went to Paraderos store to buy cigarettes. Upon
arriving there, he saw Paradero standing near the stores door.He asked Paradero if he could buy
cigarettes. Paradero replied in a loud voice that she did not have any stock of cigarettes. Suddenly, Paradero,
then holding a knife, went out of the store and approached him. Paradero tried to stab him with the knife but he
parried the thrust. He and Paradero grappled for possession of the knife causing him injury on the left finger. He
did let go of Paradero. The latter, however, attacked him again with the knife. This time he was slightly hit by
the knife on the stomach. He drew his firearm and shot Paradero who, upon being hit by the bullet, slumped on
the ground. He took Paraderos knife and went home. Subsequently, he proceeded to his brothers house where he
called a policeman named Senior Police Officer 2 (SPO2) Quevedo. He surrendered to SPO2 Quevedo upon the
latters arrival at his (petitioner) brothers house. SPO2 Quevedo brought him to the Cebu City Police Station
where he was investigated. Afterwards, he was taken to the Cebu CityMedical Center for treatment of the
injuries sustained during the incident. Later, he learned that Paradero attacked him with a knife
because Paradero had a quarrel with his (petitioner) wifes relative named Dindo Ruiz (Ruiz), who was allegedly
stabbed and killed by Paraderos bata-bata (subordinates).[13]
The defense likewise proffered the medical certificate of petitioner to support his claims. The medical
certificate states that petitioner was treated for incised wounds on the left finger and for abdominal abrasion. [14]
After trial, the RTC rendered a Decision convicting petitioner of frustrated homicide, sentencing him to
an indeterminate term of 6 years of prision correccional, as minimum, to 10 years of prision mayor, as
maximum. He was also ordered to pay Paradero the amounts of P110,000.00 as actual damages, P50,000.00 as
exemplary damages, P9,000.00 as unearned income, and P50,000.00 as attorneys fees. The dispositive portion
of the RTC Decision reads:
WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, this Court finds the accused FERNANDO
ESTABAS MAHAWAN, GUILTY of committing the crime of FRUSTRATED HOMICIDE. He is hereby
sentenced to suffer the indeterminate term of SIX (6) YEARS of PRISION CORRECCIONAL as
minimum to TEN (10) YEARS OF PRISION MAYOR as maximum thereto.[15]

Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration [16] of the RTC Decision but this was denied. [17] Undaunted,
he appealed to the Court of Appeals.
On 25 May 2006, the appellate court promulgated its Decision affirming in toto the RTC
Decision. Petitioner sought a reconsideration[18] of the appellate courts decision but it was denied. [19] Thus,
petitioner lodged the instant petition before us assigning the following errors:
I.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN CONCLUDING IN ITS QUESTIONED
DECISION THAT ACCUSED-APPELLANT, PETITIONER HEREIN, FAILED TO FIRMLY
ESTABLISH THAT UNLAWFUL AGGRESSION PRECEDED HIS ATTACK ON THE PRIVATE
OFFENDED PARTY;
II.
COROLLARILY TO THE FOREGOING, BOTH THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS AND
THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT LIKEWISE ERRED IN CONCLUDING THAT THE SECOND AND
THIRD ELEMENTS OF SELF-DEFENSE ARE WANTING IN THE CASE AT BAR;
III.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS LIKEWISE ERRED IN NOT FINDING THAT THERE
WAS NO INTENT TO KILL ON THE PART OF ACUSED-APPELLANT, PETITIONER HEREIN;

CRIMINAL LAW 1 13
IV.
BOTH THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS AND THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT ERRED IN
NOT APPRECIATING THE EQUIPOISE DOCTRINE IN FAVOR OF THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT,
PETITIONER HEREIN;
V.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN AFFIRMING IN TOTO THE AWARD FOR
DAMAGES GRANTED BY THE LOWER COURT;
VI.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN DENYING ACCUSED-APPELLANTS,
PETITIONER HEREIN, EARNEST MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION WITHOUT CLEARLY
SETTING FORTH THE FACTS AND LAW AS BASIS FOR THE DENIAL THEREOF.[20]

In the main, petitioner argues he should be acquitted because he merely acted in self-defense when he
shot Paradero during the incident.
It is axiomatic that where an accused pleads self-defense, he thereby admits authorship of the
crime. Accordingly, the burden of evidence is shifted to the accused who must then prove with clear and
convincing proof the following elements of self-defense: (1) unlawful aggression on the part of the victim; (2)
reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel the attack; and (3) lack of sufficient provocation
on the part of the person defending himself. Although all three elements must concur, self-defense must rest
firstly on proof of unlawful aggression on the part of the victim. If no unlawful aggression attributed to the
victim is established, there can be no self-defense, whether complete or incomplete. Unlawful aggression is a
condition sine qua non for the justifying circumstance of self-defense to apply.[21]
As an element of self-defense, unlawful aggression refers to an assault or attack, or a threat thereof in an
imminent and immediate manner, which places the defendants life in actual peril. There is an unlawful
aggression on the part of the victim when he puts in actual or imminent danger the life, limb, or right of the
person invoking self-defense. There must be actual physical force or actual use of weapon. To constitute
unlawful aggression, the person attacked must be confronted by a real threat on his life and limb; and the peril
sought to be avoided is imminent and actual, not merely imaginary.[22]
Petitioner asserts that the findings of the RTC and the Court of Appeals are in contrast as to whether
there was unlawful aggression on the part of Paradero during the incident; that the Court of Appeals erred in
concluding that he failed to establish unlawful aggression on the part of Paradero; that such conclusion
contradicts theRTCs finding that there was unlawful aggression on the part of Paradero; and that the RTCs view
is more consistent with the facts and evidence on record as compared with the disquisition of the Court of
Appeals.[23]
We shall first ascertain whether the findings of the RTC and the Court of Appeals are contradictory as to
whether petitioner failed to establish unlawful aggression on the part of Paradero.
In support of his claim that the RTC found unlawful aggression on the part of Paradero, petitioner
quoted the following excerpts[24] from the RTC Decision:
This Court cannot sustain private complainants claim that accused Mahawan, for a flimsy reason
that she had no more beer, would immediately enter her store and shoot her with his firearm. x x x.
xxxx

CRIMINAL LAW 1 14
Correspondingly, this Court would find Mahawans claim that it was the private complainant who
attacked him first, to be in accordance with human knowledge and experience of mankind, more so, that
accused has a corroborative witness in the person of Mr. Antonio Artiaga, who testified that he saw
private complainant holding a knife and was attempting to stab the accused.

As can be gleaned from the foregoing, the RTC believed petitioners allegation that it was Paradero who
attacked first during the incident. It should be observed, however, that the RTC does not specifically state or
conclude that there was unlawful aggression on the part of Paradero.
In the succeeding paragraph, the RTC categorically pronounced that there was insufficient evidence to
determine the unlawful aggressor during the incident, thus:
In the case at bar, there is insufficient evidence to determine who was the unlawful aggressor
from the start, which would qualify accuseds claim of self-defense. It was thus held that:
In the absence of evidence showing that the victim was the unlawful aggressor
at the start, the law will consider the aggression as reciprocal between the combatants.
[25]

The subsequent disposition of the RTC implies that although the prosecution failed to show by sufficient
evidence that it was petitioner who first attacked Paradero, the defense likewise failed to establish that unlawful
aggression on the part of Paradero preceded petitioners attack on her. This, in effect, means that petitioner failed
to discharge his burden of proving with clear and convincing evidence that there was unlawful aggression on the
part of Paradero. This conclusion was evident from the fact that the RTC disregarded petitioners claim of selfdefense and convicted the latter of frustrated homicide. [26]
The seemingly confusing statements in the RTC Decision may be a mere result of inadvertence in the
drafting of the same. Nevertheless, petitioner cannot capitalize on such in arguing his case. He cannot pluck and
cite some portions of the RTC Decision which fit his defense and disregard or omit those parts which are
adverse to him. It should be borne in mind that the decision of the court should be read and understood in its
entirety.[27]
Given the foregoing, we rule that there is no contradiction between the findings of the RTC and the
Court of Appeals that petitioner failed to establish unlawful aggression on the part of Paradero.
We shall now determine whether the findings of both courts that petitioner failed to establish unlawful
aggression on the part of Paradero were correct.
Paradero testified that on the night of the incident, petitioner went to her store and asked for a bottle of
beer. When she told petitioner that there was no more beer, the latter entered her store, confronted her, and shot
her with a gun. There is nothing in the foregoing which evinces unlawful aggression on the part of Paradero.
What is clear is that petitioner was the aggressor during the incident. We have carefully examined the testimony
of Paradero and found it to be credible and trustworthy. She testified in a clear and consistent manner during the
trial. She was faithful and steadfast in recounting her ordeal despite the grueling cross-examination of the
defense. Besides, Paradero testified that petitioner was drunk at the time of the incident. She also declared that
she had known petitioner since 1988 and that the latter had, under the influence of alcohol, assaulted several
persons.[28] These circumstances reinforce the allegation petitioners propensity for harming people when he gets
drunk.
On the other hand, petitioner narrated that when he went to Paraderos store to buy cigarettes, the latter
replied in a loud voice that she did not have any stock of cigarettes. Paradero, then holding a knife, suddenly
went out of the store and attacked him. This testimony does not inspire belief. It is inconsistent with logic and
human experience that after Paradero told petitioner that there were no more cigarettes, Paradero would

CRIMINAL LAW 1 15
thereafter immediately attack petitioner. Precisely, there was no reason for Paradero to be angry and thereupon
assault petitioner. It was petitioner who had more reason to be angry and attack Paradero, because the latter had
told him in a loud voice that there were no more cigarettes. Petitioner alleged that Paradero attacked him
because she had a grudge against his wifes relative named Dindo Ruiz. He also claimed that Ruiz had been
stabbed and killed by Paraderos bata-bata (subordinates). These uncorroborated allegations deserve scant
consideration for being unsubstantiated and unsupported by evidence.
The fact that petitioner sustained injuries on his hand and stomach, allegedly caused
by Paraderos knife, does not signify that he was a victim of unlawful aggression. The medical certificate
presented by petitioner states that the latter sustained incised wounds on the 2 nd and 5th fingers measuring 2
centimeters and abdominal abrasion measuring 2.5 centimeters. Petitioner was discharged on the same day he
was treated in the hospital. [29] It is clear from the foregoing that the injuries he sustained were not serious or
severe. The superficiality of the injuries was not indication that his life and limb were in actual peril. [30]
In stark contrast, Paradero sustained a gunshot wound on the left chest. The trajectory of the bullet hit
and seriously injured her liver, colon and diaphragm. This caused her to undergo two surgical operations. She
also sustained wounds on her left forearm, right wrist and left earlobe. Based on the foregoing, it is difficult to
believe that Paradero was the unlawful aggressor. The gravity, location, and number of wounds she sustained
belie self-defense on petitioners part.[31]
Hence, the RTC and the Court of Appeals were correct in concluding that petitioner failed to establish
unlawful aggression on the part of Paradero.
Apropos the second issue, petitioner maintains that the second element of self-defense, which is
reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel the attack, was present in the instant case; that
although he was younger, taller, and heavier than Paradero, it does not mean that there was no reasonable
necessity on his part to shoot Paradero; that the RTC and the Court of Appeals overlooked the fact that he was
forced to shoot Paradero because the latter had already stabbed him twice and thus caused a wound on his belly
measuring 4 centimeters; that people react differently to a given situation, and that he merely acted under the
instinct of self-preservation; that any person placed in his situation during the incident would do the same thing
he did and would not risk the chance of being stabbed for the third time or expose himself to unnecessary
danger; and that it was unfair to judge his act as totally and morally wrong.
Further, petitioner avers that the third element of self-defense, which is lack of sufficient provocation
on the part of the person making the defense, was present in the case at bar; and that he did not commit any
act or omission which provoked Paradero to attack him.[32]
The second element of self-defense requires that the means employed by the person defending
himself must be reasonably necessary to prevent or repel the unlawful aggression of the victim. The
reasonableness of the means employed may take into account the weapons, the physical condition of the
parties and other circumstances showing that there is a rational equivalence between the means of attack and
the defense.[33]
In the case at bar, there was no reason or necessity for petitioner to shoot Paradero with a
gun. Paradero was merely tending her store and did not attack or place in danger the life of petitioner during
the incident. Even if we are to adopt petitioners version of the incident, his act of shooting Paradero would
not also be a reasonable and necessary means of repelling the aggression allegedly initiated by Paradero. As
aptly observed by the RTC:
Indubitably, considering the age, height, built and sex of the accused and the victim, the accused
was 31 years old and about 59 to 510 in height and heavily built, while the victim is frail and about 51,
more or less, in height, the struggle for the possession of the knife would be over in a few seconds and
accused would be able to disarm the victim. There is, therefore, no immediate need for the accused to fire

CRIMINAL LAW 1 16
his gun to stop the victim from attacking him. Proof of this is the knife presented by the accused in court
which he had allegedly confiscated from the private complainant.[34]

In addition, petitioner was armed with a gun while Paradero supposedly held a knife. Petitioner should
have fired a warning shot first to ward off Paradero or, if the latter persisted in attacking, fired a shot at a nonvital portion of her body in order to disable her instead of shooting her instantly in the chest. Further, when
Paradero allegedly approached and tried to stab him, petitioner was not trapped or cornered in a specific area
such that he had no way out. He testified that he and Paradero were outside the store during the incident. He
could have run away and called the neighbors or police for help. In short, petitioner had other less harmful
options than to shoot Paradero. Indeed, petitioners act failed to pass the test of reasonableness of the means
employed in preventing or repelling an unlawful aggression.
As we earlier found, petitioner shot Paradero when she told him there was no more stock of
cigarettes. Paradero then was forced to grab a knife to defend herself. Clearly, petitioner provoked Paradero and
not the other way around. Hence, the element of lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person making
the defense is also wanting in the present case.
Self-defense is inherently a weak defense because, as experience has demonstrated, it is easy to fabricate
and difficult to prove.[35] Thus, for this defense to prosper, the accused must prove with clear and convincing
evidence the elements of self-defense. He must rely on the strength of his own evidence and not on the
weakness of that of the prosecution. Even if the evidence of the prosecution is weak, it cannot be disbelieved if
the accused admitted responsibility for the crime charged. [36] In the case before us, petitioner failed to prove with
plausible evidence all the elements of self-defense. Hence, his plea of self-defense must fail.
Regarding the third issue, petitioner posits that the fact that he shot Paradero only once showed that he
had no intent to kill her. There would have been intent to kill on his part if he shot Paradero several times, but
such was not the case. Further, when Paradero fell on the ground, he immediately left the scene. He could have
finished her off at that moment if he really intended to kill her.[37]
An essential element of homicide, whether in its consummated, frustrated or attempted stage, is intent of
the offender to kill the victim immediately before or simultaneously with the infliction of injuries. Intent to kill
is a specific intent which the prosecution must prove by direct or circumstantial evidence, while general criminal
intent is presumed from the commission of a felony by dolo.[38]
Evidence to prove intent to kill in crimes against persons may consist, inter alia, of the means used by
the malefactors; the nature, location and number of wounds sustained by the victim; the conduct of the
malefactors before, at the time of, or immediately after the killing of the victim, the circumstances under which
the crime was committed; and the motive of the accused. [39]
In the instant case, petitioner used a lethal weapon, i.e., a gun, in assaulting Paradero. He
shot Paradero twice at a distance of two meters. [40] The bullet from the first shot hit Paraderos left chest. The
trajectory of the bullet hit Paraderos vital organs such as the liver and colon. The bullet from the second shot
hit Paraderos left earlobe. Moreover, Dr. Guardiario testified that the injury on Paraderos colon was fatal and
would have caused her death were it not for the timely medical attention given her. [41] The seriousness
of Paraderos injuries was also shown by the fact that she was confined and operated on twice in different
hospitals for the wound sustained in the colon. Verily, the foregoing circumstances clearly manifest intent to kill
on the part of petitioner.
Even assuming, arguendo, that Paradero sustained only one gunshot wound, such does not negate intent
to kill on the part of petitioner. The number of wounds inflicted is not the sole consideration in proving intent to
kill.[42] As earlier mentioned, the means used by the malefactors and the nature and location of the wounds also

CRIMINAL LAW 1 17
manifest intent to kill. Petitioners use of a gun in shooting Paradero on the chest and the fact that the bullet hit
some of her vital organs of Paradero clearly indicate intent to kill.
With regard to the fourth issue, petitioner claims that his testimony was corroborated by Artiaga, while
the testimony of Paradero was uncorroborated. As such, his testimony deserves credence and the equipoise
doctrine should be applied in his favor.[43]
Credibility is weighed not by the number of witnesses but by the quality of their testimonies.
Witnesses are to be weighed, not numbered. Evidence is assessed in terms of quality and not quantity.
Therefore, it is not uncommon to reach a conclusion of guilt on the basis of the testimony of a lone witness. For
although the number of witnesses may be considered a factor in the appreciation of evidence, preponderance is
not necessarily on the greatest number, and conviction can still be had on the basis of the credible and positive
testimony of a single witness.[45]
[44]

We have earlier found the sole testimony of Paradero to be more credible than that of petitioner, even if
the latters testimony was corroborated by Artiaga on some relevant points. Paraderos account of the incident
was clear and consistent. On the other hand, petitioners narration of the incident, though corroborated by
Artiaga, hardly inspires belief, as it does not conform to reason and human experience. Further, the RTC and CA
upheld the sole testimony of Paradero over that of petitioner. They concluded that petitioner failed to prove his
claim of self-defense despite the fact that her testimony was corroborated by Artiaga. Basic is the rule that
factual findings of the trial court deserve great weight and respect especially when affirmed by the appellate
court.[46] We found no compelling reason to disturb the ruling of both courts. Given the
foregoing, Paraderos testimony outweighs the testimonies of petitioner and Artiaga.
Petitioners reliance on the equipoise rule is misplaced. Under the equipoise rule, where the evidence on
an issue of fact is in equipoise (evenly balanced), or there is doubt on which side the evidence preponderates,
the party having the burden of proof loses. [47] The equipoise rule finds application if the inculpatory facts and
circumstances are capable of two or more explanations -- one of which is consistent with the innocence of the
accused and the other with his guilt -- in which case the evidence does not fulfill the test of moral certainty and
is not sufficient to support a conviction.[48]
In the instant case, there are no inculpatory facts and circumstances which are capable of two or more
explanations because petitioner has already admitted shooting Paradero. In other words, there is no more issue
as to the innocence or guilt of petitioner. What is left to be resolved is whether he can be relieved of liability by
virtue of the self-defense he pleaded. We have earlier held that petitioner failed to discharge his burden of
proving with clear and convincing evidence the presence of the elements of self-defense. Thus, the equipoise
rule does not apply to this case.
As regards the fifth issue, petitioner avers that the award of actual damages to Paradero in the amount
of P110,000.00 was unwarranted, because her name was not indicated in the hospital and medication receipts
presented by the prosecution; that the grant of exemplary damages was not proper because there was unlawful
aggression on the part of Paradero; that the award of P9,000.00 as unearned income was inappropriate, as there
was no basis or evidence to support the same; and that the award of attorneys fees amounting to P50,000.00 was
improper because there was unlawful aggression on the part of Paradero.[49]
To be entitled to an award of actual damages, there must be competent proof of the actual amount of
loss. Credence can only be given to those that are supported by receipts. [50]
Most of the receipts on record[51] were issued in Paraderos name. Although her name was not stated in
the other receipts, it appears, however, that these receipts were issued to Paraderos relatives and that the items
covered by the same were purchased for Paradero. Also, it is a fact that some pharmacy outlets do not specify
the name of the purchaser in the receipts they issue, but only indicate the items sold and their corresponding
amounts.

CRIMINAL LAW 1 18
The receipts on record show that Paradero incurred expenses in the amount of P22,426.06. She claimed
other expenses, but they are not supported by receipts or other competent proofs. As such, the amount of actual
damages awarded by the RTC and the Court of Appeals should be reduced from P110,000.00
to P22,426.06.However, we have held that when actual damages proven by receipts amount to less
than P25,000.00, such as in the present case, the award of temperate damages amounting to P25,000.00 is
justified in lieu of actual damages for a lesser amount. [52] This is based on a sound reasoning that it would be
anomalous and unfair that the victim who tried but succeeded in proving actual damages of less than P25,000.00
only would be in a worse situation than another who might have presented no receipts at all but would be
entitled to P25,000.00 temperate damages.[53] Thus, instead of P22,426.06, the amount of P25,000.00 as
temperate damages should be awarded to Paradero.
We agree with petitioner that Paradero is not entitled to exemplary damages, but we differ in his reason
for the disallowance thereof. Exemplary damages may be awarded only when one or more
aggravating/qualifying circumstances are alleged in the information and proved during the trial. [54] In the instant
case, no aggravating/qualifying circumstance was alleged in the information. Hence, the award of exemplary
damages by the RTC and the Court of Appeals is unwarranted.
The general rule is that documentary evidence should be presented to substantiate a claim for damages
for loss of earning capacity. As an exception, damages may be awarded in the absence of documentary evidence,
provided that there is testimony that the victim was either (1) self-employed and earning less than the minimum
wage under current labor laws, and judicial notice may be taken of the fact that in victims line of work, no
documentary evidence is available; or (2) employed as a daily wage worker earning less than the minimum
wage under current labor laws. [55] In the case under consideration, no documentary evidence was adduced to
support Paraderos claim for loss of earning capacity. Nonetheless, Paradero testified that she derived her income
from operating a small sari-sari store, which she also owned. She also stated that she earned less than P50.00 a
day from selling goods in her sari-sari store.[56] It is a fact and commonly recognized in our country that owners
or operators of small sari-sari store, such as Paradero, do not issue official receipts since the quantity of the
items being sold is minimal and these are sold cheap. Thus, Paradero is entitled to indemnity for loss of earning
capacity. As to its proper amount, we agree with the RTC and the Court of Appeals that Paradero is entitled
to P9,000.00. Records[57] show that Paradero underwent treatment and medication, which incapacitated her from
working in her store for a period of 6 months. Hence, the computation is P50.00 multiplied by 180 days or 6
months. Consequently, the amount which she could have earned during the said period wasP9,000.00.
Likewise, the award of attorneys fees in the amount of P50,000.00 is in order[58] because the records
show that Paradero incurred such expenses in hiring a private prosecutor for the instant case. [59]
In his last assigned error, petitioner insists that the Court of Appeals erred in denying his motion for
reconsideration without setting forth the factual and legal bases for the denial.
Art. VIII, Sec. 14 of the Constitution provides that no petition for review or motion for
reconsideration of a decision of the court shall be refused due course or denied without stating the legal
basis therefor. This requirement was fully complied with when the Court of Appeals, in denying
reconsideration of its decision, stated in its resolution that it found no reason to change its ruling, because
petitioner had not raised anything new.[60] Thus, its resolution denying petitioners motion for reconsideration
states:
For consideration is accused-appellants motion for reconsideration of this Courts decision
promulgated on May 25, 2006. Acting on the motion filed by the accused-appellant, and considering that
the same discloses no substantial argument or cogent reason to warrant a reconsideration or modification
of our assailed decision which has already considered, if not squarely ruled upon, the arguments herein
presented, we resolve to deny the motion.
WHEREFORE, there being no cogent reason for us to depart from our questioned findings, we
hereby DENY the aforementioned motion.[61]

CRIMINAL LAW 1 19

We shall now determine the propriety of petitioners conviction for frustrated homicide and the
corresponding prison term imposed.
We have held that the crime of frustrated homicide is committed if the following are present: (1) the
accused intended to kill his victim, as manifested by his use of a deadly weapon in his assault; (2) the victim
sustained fatal or mortal wound/s but did not die because of timely medical assistance; and (3) none of the
qualifying circumstance for murder under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code is present. [62]
All of the aforementioned are present and were duly establish in the case at bar. First, petitioners use of a
gun and his act of firing it twice from a distance of 2 meters towards Paradero clearly indicated his intent to kill
her. Second, vital organs of Paradero like her liver and colon were hit by the trajectory of the bullet. Dr.
Guardiario testified that the injury on Paraderos colon was fatal and would have caused her death were it not for
the timely medical attention given her. And third, none of the qualifying circumstances for murder was alleged
in the information. Thus, the RTC and the Court of Appeals were correct in convicting petitioner of frustrated
homicide.
Petitioner, nonetheless, alleges that he is entitled to the mitigating circumstance of voluntary
surrender. We agree on this point with petitioner. For voluntary surrender to be appreciated as a mitigating
circumstance, the following requisites must concur: (1) that the offender has not been actually arrested; (2) that
the offender surrendered himself to a person in authority; and (3) that the surrender was voluntary. [63] The
foregoing requisites are present in the case before us. Petitioner has not been actually arrested. After the
incident, he immediately went to his brothers house and thereupon called via telephone a policeman named
SPO2 Quevedo. He told SPO2 Quevedo that he wanted to surrender. Upon the latters arrival at the house of
petitioners brother, petitioner turned himself in and, thereafter, he was brought to the police station. [64] The
prosecution did not rebut the foregoing facts.
The penalty for frustrated homicide, pursuant to Article 250 of the Revised Penal Code,
is prision mayor. There being one mitigating circumstance and no aggravating circumstance, pursuant to Article
64(2) of the Revised Penal Code, the minimum period of prision mayor should be imposed. Applying the
Indeterminate Sentence Law, the range of the penalty is 4 years, 2 months and 1 day to 6 years
of prision correccional as minimum, to 6 years and 1 day to 8 years of prision mayoras maximum. Thus, the
RTC and the Court of Appeals erred in sentencing petitioner to a term of 6 years of prision correccional as
minimum to 10 years of prisionmayor as maximum. The proper penalty to be imposed on petitioner is 6 years
of prision correccional, as minimum to 8 years of prision mayor, as maximum.
WHEREFORE, the Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR No. 00071, dated 25 May 2006,
is hereby AFFIRMED with the following MODIFICATIONS: (1) petitioner Fernando Estabas Mahawan is
sentenced to an indeterminate sentence of 6 years of prision correccional, as minimum to 8 years of
prision mayor, as maximum; (2) the amount of P25,000.00 as temperate damages is awarded
to Diosdada Pardero in lieu of the actual damages; and (3) the award of exemplary damages in the amount
of P50,000.00 is deleted.
SO ORDERED.

MINITA V. CHICO-NAZARIO
Associate Justice

CRIMINAL LAW 1 20

[1]

Rollo, pp. 15-39.

[2]

Penned by Associate Justice Isaias P. Dicdican with Associate


Justices Ramon M. Bato, Jr. and Apolinario D. Bruselas, Jr.
concurring; rollo, pp. 41-50.
[3]

Penned by Judge Soliver C. Peras; rollo, pp. 92-118.

[4]

Records, pp. 1-2.

[5]

Id. at 29.

[6]

TSN, 30 June 1997, pp. 1-7; TSN, 10 March 1999, pp. 1-7.

[7]

Records, p. 115.

[8]

Id. at 116.

[9]

Id. at 117-120 & 125-187.

[28]

TSN, 18 January 2000, p. 2.

[29]

Records, p. 221.

[30]

People v. Beltran, Jr., G.R. No. 168051, 27 September 2006, 503


SCRA 715, 731.
[31]

Id.

[32]

Rollo, pp. 25-31.

[33]

Palaganas v. People, supra note 22.

[34]

Rollo, p. 112.

[35]

People v. Noay, 357 Phil. 295, 306 (1998).

[36]

Palaganas v. People, supra note 22.

[37]

Rollo, pp. 31-33.

[10]

Id. at 121.

[11]

Id. at 122-124.

[12]

Id. at 188.

[39]

People v. Delim, 444 Phil. 430, 450 (2003).

[13]

TSN, 9 October 2002, pp. 1-7; TSN, 11 April 2003, pp. 1-3.

[40]

TSN, 6 July 1999, p. 5.

[14]

Exhibit 1, records, p. 221.

[41]

TSN, 9 February 2000, p. 9.

[15]

Rollo, p. 118.

[42]

Novicio v. People, G.R. No. 163331, 29 August 2008, p. 10.

[16]

Records, pp. 375-381.

[43]

Rollo, pp. 33-35.

[17]

Id. at 390.

[44]

Novicio v. People, supra note 42.

[18]

CA rollo, pp. 129-159.

[45]

People v. Hillado, 367 Phil. 29, 45 (1999).

[19]

Id. at 172.

[46]

[20]

Rollo, pp. 21-22.

[38]

Rivera v. People, G.R. No. 166326, 25 January 2006, 480 SCRA


188, 196-197.

Mendoza v. People, G.R. No. 173551, 4 October 2007, 534 SCRA


668, 692.
[47]

[21]

People v. Arizala, 375 Phil. 666, 674-675 (1999).

[22]

Palaganas v. People, G.R. No. 165483, 12 September 2006, 501


SCRA 533, 549-550.
[23]

[24]

[25]

Vergara v. People, G.R. No. 160328, 4 February 2005, 450 SCRA


495, 506.
[48]

Id.

[49]

Rollo, pp. 35-37.

[50]

People v. De Castro, 451 Phil. 664, 682 (2003).

[51]

Records, pp. 117-120.

Rollo, pp. 22-24.


Id. at 107-109.
Id. at 111.
[52]

[26]

Id.

[27]

People v. Belaro, 367 Phil. 90, 100-101 (1999).

People v. Beltran, Jr., supra note 30; People v. Dela Cruz, 459 Phil
130, 138-139 (2003).
[53]

Id.

CRIMINAL LAW 1 21
[54]

People v. Cachapero, G.R. No. 153008, 20 May 2004, 428 SCRA


744, 758.

[59]

TSN, 10 March 1999, pp. 6-7.

[60]

Fr. Martinez v. Court of Appeals, 410 Phil. 241, 256-257


(2001); JRB Realty v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No.
119043, 14 April 1997, 271 SCRA 225, 230.

[55]

People v. Agudez, G.R. Nos. 138386-87, 20 May 2004, 428 SCRA


692, 711-712.
[56]

TSN, 10 March 1999, p. 5.

[61]

Rollo, p. 62.

[57]

Records, pp. 15-116.

[62]

Palaganas v. People, supra note 22.

[58]

People v. Salva, 424 Phil. 63, 80 (2002); Resayo v. People, G.R. No.
154502, 27 April 2007, 522 SCRA 391, 409.

[63]

Mendoza v. People, supra note 46.

[64]

TSN, 9 October 2002, pp. 5-6.

FIRST DIVISION
G.R. No. 202847

October 23, 2013

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee,


vs.
ANTERO GAMEZ y BALTAZAR, Accused-Appellant.
RESOLUTION
REYES, J.:

CRIMINAL LAW 1 22
For review1 is the Decision2 dated May 25, 2011 of the Court of Appeals CA) in CA-G.R. CR-H.C. No.
00671 which affirmed the Judgment3 dated May 9, 2006 of the Regional Trial Court RTC) of Burauen,
Leyte, Branch 15 convicting and sentencing accused-appellant Antero Gamez y Baltazar accusedappellant) to reclusion perpetua for the crime of parricide.
The Facts
Accused-appellant was accused of killing his own father, Apolinario Gamez (Apolinario) through an
Information articulating the following criminal charges, viz:
That on or about the 21st day of August, 2004, in the Municipality of Burauen, Province of Leyte,
Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, with intent to kill
and with treachery, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault, hack and wound
one APOLINARIO GAMEZ y AMORILLO, his father, with the use of a long bladed weapon (sundang) and
sickle (sarad) which the accused provided himself for the purpose, thereby hitting and inflicting upon
Apolinario Gamez y Amorillo multiple hacking and incised wounds on the different parts of his body which
were the direct and approximate cause of his death.
CONTRARY TO LAW.4
When arraigned, he entered a "Not Guilty" plea. He thereafter desired to amend his plea to "Guilty" during
the pre-trial conference held on September 26, 2005 but the RTC denied the said plea bargaining. In view
however of the accused-appellants invocation of self-defense, an inverted trial scheme ensued. 5
Through the testimonies of the accused-appellant himself, Dr. Irene Astilla Dacut, his attending physician,
and eyewitness Bienvenido Buhalog, the defense narrated the events that culminated into the encounter
that claimed Apolinarios life.6
The accused-appellant and 69-year old Apolinario had a less than ideal father and son relationship with the
former claiming that the latter did not treat him well when he was a child. Their relationship got more
strained when Apolinario meddled with the accused-appellants personal relationship with his wife.
Apolinario apparently told the accused-appellant that his wife was being unfaithful. The unsolicited
information irked the accused-appellant.
On August 21, 2004, the accused-appellant had a drinking spree in his house at Barangay Gamay,
Burauen, Leyte, with his two brothers, Nicolas and Cornelio from 12 noon until 3:00 p.m. As he was about
to go out of the kitchen door, the accused-appellant saw Apolinario standing at the doorway with a long
bolo. Apolinario appeared to be drunk.
To prevent any commotion, Nicolas held Apolinario but he was able to free himself from his sons grip. The
accused-appellant then spoke to Apolinario: " I think that you are looking for me and I believe it is since last
night ." An argument ensued between them. In order not to prolong the spat, the accused-appellant and his
brothers took their father to his nipa hut about 500 meters away. But before the accused-appellant could
leave, he got into another argument with Apolinario.
The accused-appellant then set out to the place where he gathered tuba while his brothers went back to
his house. After gathering tuba and tethering his carabao, the accused-appellant proceeded home. He met
Apolinario along a pathway. With no one to pacify them, they decided to resume their quarrel.
The accused-appellant first remarked: "Father, what are the words that you uttered?" to which Apolinario
responded, "It is better if one of us will perish." Apolinario then instantaneously hacked the accusedappellant with a long bolo hitting him twice on the head for which he sustained a 5-centimeter long and
scalp-deep incised wound with fracture of the underlying bone and another 5-cm long incised wound on
the frontal right portion of his head.

CRIMINAL LAW 1 23
The accused-appellant fell to his knees as Apolinario delivered another blow which the former was able to
parry by raising his left arm. The accused-appellant was wounded on the left 3rd interdigital space
posterior to his palm.
The accused-appellant then held Apolinarios hands, grabbed the bolo and used the same to hack the
latter several times, the count of which escaped the accused-appellants consciousness as he was already
dizzy. The accused-appellant thereafter left the scene and went home. His brother brought him to the
hospital upon seeing that his head was teeming with blood. He was hospitalized for six (6) days before he
was taken to the municipal hall by the police officers.
The rebuttal evidence for the prosecution, on the other hand, principally consisted of the testimony of
Maura Anadia (Maura), Apolinarios daughter and the accused-appellants sister. According to Maura, at
around 4:30 p.m. of August 21, 2004, she was with her father at their house located at Barangay Gamay,
Burauen, Leyte when his elder brother, the accused-appellant, arrived. He was carrying a long bolo and a
scythe was tucked on his waist.
He approached her and said: "Will you join the killing spree today including your child that you are
carrying? "before turning to Apolinario with this query: "What are the stories that you were talking?"
Frightened, Maura ran away and hid at a grassy portion near the house. She then saw her father flee but
the accused-appellant gave him a chase. Apolinario was able to run for about 20 m before the accusedappellant was able to catch up.
The accused-appellant then hacked the unarmed Apolinario on the right side of his head using the bolo.
Apolinario fell down and the accused-appellant finished him off by slashing his neck with the scythe. Maura
thereafter left to report the incident to the police.
The autopsy conducted on Apolinarios cadaver by Dr. Leonita Azores, MD,7 showed that he sustained two
(2) fatal wounds one of which almost decapitated his head while the other hit the parietal aspect thereof
exposing the skin and connective tissue. Apolinario also obtained two (2) incised wounds on his neck and
left forearm and two (2) lacerations on his fingers. He perished at the crime scene. 8
Ruling of the RTC
In its Judgment9 dated May 9, 2006, the RTC found that both the prosecution and the defense deliberately
withheld vital details of the incident. The prosecution did not reveal that the initial unlawful aggression was
committed by Apolinario who, based on medical records, hacked the accused-appellant in the parietal area
of his head. The defense, on the other hand, concealed that accused-appellant pursued the victim after the
latter fled. These findings completed the sequence of the incident and revealed that the accusedappellants claim of self-defense is unmeritorious.
The RTC held that when accused-appellant hacked and killed Apolinario, the unlawful aggression which
the latter initially perpetrated has already ceased because he has already ran away for 20 m. Hence,
accused-appellants act was not self-defense but rather one of retaliation which, in turn, props up the
conclusion that he intentionally killed his father. The decretal portion of the RTC decision thus reads:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, this Court finds the accused ANTERO GAMEZ y Baltazar GUILTY
BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT of the crime of Parricide penalized under Art. 246 of the Revised Penal
Code and considering the presence of one (1) mitigating circumstance without any aggravating to offset it,
hereby sentences him to suffer imprisonment of RECLUSION PERPETUA; to pay the Heirs of Apolinario
Gamez Php50,000.00 as civil indemnity for his death and to pay the costs of this suit.
The accused who underwent preventive imprisonment since August 21, 2004 shall be credited with the full
time during which he was deprived of his liberty if he agreed voluntarily and in writing to abide by the same

CRIMINAL LAW 1 24
disciplinary rules imposed upon convicted prisoners, otherwise, he will be entitled to only four-fifths (4/5)
thereof.10
Ruling of the CA
The CA adopted the RTCs findings and similarly concluded that the accused-appellant put up retaliation
and not self-defense because the aggression proffered by the victim has already ended when the accusedappellant attacked him. From the time Apolinario ran away and was disarmed by the accused-appellant,
the aggression originally heaved by the former has ceased. Hence, when the accused-appellant chased
and hacked Apolinario several times, self-defense can no longer be invoked. The CA affirmed the
conviction and sentence rendered by the RTC as well as the award of civil indemnity but an additional
award of moral damages was granted for Apolinarios heirs. The CA Decision 11 dated May 25, 2011
disposed thus:
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing premises, the assailed May 9, 2006 Decision of the Regional Trial
Court of Burauen, Leyte, Branch 15, in CRIM. CASE NO. Bn-05-03-4125, is hereby AFFIRMED with
modification. Aside from the civil indemnity already awarded, the accused is also hereby directed to pay
the heirs of Apolinario Gamez the amount of Php50,000.00 as moral damages in accordance with the
recent jurisprudence.
No pronouncement as to cost.
SO ORDERED.12
The accused-appellant manifested before the Court that in the present review, he is adopting the
arguments contained in his Brief filed before the CA whereby he argued that his guilt for the crime of
parricide was not proved beyond reasonable doubt and that the trial court erred in ruling that he failed to
prove self-defense.
The Courts Ruling
The Court affirms the accused-appellants conviction.
The arguments proffered by the accused-appellant essentially attack the evaluation by the trial court of the
testimony of the prosecutions principal witness, Maura, and its ruling that the same satisfactorily repudiate
his claim of self-defense.
This Court has consistently adhered to the rule that the matter of assigning values to declarations on the
witness stand is best and most competently performed by the trial judge, who had the unmatched
opportunity to observe the witnesses and to assess their credibility by the various indicia available but not
reflected on the record. Hence, the corollary principle that absent any showing that the trial court
overlooked substantial facts and circumstances that would affect the final disposition of the case, appellate
courts are bound to give due deference and respect to its evaluation of the credibility of an eyewitness and
his testimony as well as its probative value amidst the rest of the other evidence on record. 13
We see no compelling reason to depart from the foregoing tenets especially in view of the accusedappellants failure to identify significant details, which if considered, will alter the outcome of the trial courts
judgment and the affirmation accorded it by the CA. At any rate, an examination of the records at hand
shows that the factual basis of accused-appellants plea of self-defense cannot relieve him from criminal
liability.
Self-defense, when invoked, as a justifying circumstance implies the admission by the accused that he
committed the criminal act.14 Generally, the burden lies upon the prosecution to prove the guilt of the
accused beyond reasonable doubt rather than upon the accused that he was in fact innocent. However, if

CRIMINAL LAW 1 25
the accused admits killing the victim, but pleads self-defense, the burden of evidence is shifted to him to
prove such defense by clear, satisfactory and convincing evidence that excludes any vestige of criminal
aggression on his part.15
In order to escape criminal liability, it becomes incumbent upon the accused to prove by clear and
convincing evidence the concurrence of the following requisites under the second paragraph of Article 11
of the Revised Penal Code, viz: (1) unlawful aggression; (2) reasonable necessity of the means employed
to prevent or repel it; and (3) lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person defending himself. 16
Unlawful aggression is a condition sine qua non for the justifying circumstance of self-defense. Without it,
there can be no self-defense, whether complete or incomplete, that can validly be invoked. 17 "There is an
unlawful aggression on the part of the victim when he puts in actual or imminent danger the life, limb, or
right of the person invoking self-defense. There must be actual physical force or actual use of a
weapon."18 It is present only when the one attacked faces real and immediate threat to ones life. It must be
continuous; otherwise, it does not constitute aggression warranting self-defense. 19
Here, the accused-appellant, miserably failed to discharge his burden of proving that unlawful aggression
justifying self-defense was present when he killed Apolinario.
The aggression initially staged by Apolinario was not of the continuous kind as it was no longer present
when the accused-appellant injured Apolinario. As testified by the accused-appellant himself, he was able
to grab the bolo from Apolinario. From that point on, the aggression initially staged by Apolinario ceased to
exist and the perceived threat to the accused-appellants life was no longer attendant.
Hence, the accused-appellant was no longer acting in self-defense, when he, despite having already
disarmed Apolinario, ran after the latter for about 20 m and then stabbed him. The accused-appellants
claim of self-defense is further negated by the fatal incision on Apolinarios neck that almost decapitated
his head, a physical evidence which corroborates Mauras testimony that after stabbing Apolinario with the
bolo, the accused-appellant pulled out the scythe on his waist and used the same to slash Apolinarios
neck. The use of a weapon different from that seized from the victim and the nature of the injury inflicted
show the accused-appellants determined resolve to kill Apolinario.
When unlawful aggression ceases, the defender no longer has any justification to kill or wound the original
aggressor. The assailant is no longer acting in self-defense but in retaliation against the original aggressor.
Retaliation is not the same as self-defense. In retaliation, the aggression that was begun by the injured
party already ceased when the accused attacked him; while in self-defense the aggression still existed
when the aggressor was injured by the accused.20
The CA was thus correct in upholding the findings and conclusions of the RTC, thus:
Although, it is supported by the medical report, that the accused-appellant was indeed initially attacked by
the victim, the act of the accused-appellant of going after the victim, who was already running away from
the accused-appellant after the latter has gained possession of the weapon, is anathema to the selfdefense theory invoked by the accused appellant.
xxxx
In the instant case, the trial court gave credence to the testimony of the prosecution witness that the victim
tried to run away from the accused-appellant but the accused-appellant ran after him. When the accusedappellant was able to overtake the victim, the latter was hacked on the right side of his head. To finish him
off, the accused-appellant slashed the victims neck with the use of a scythe until the victim (his own father)
died. Thus, assuming arguendo that the father was indeed the first aggressor, the aggression ceased the
moment the accused-appellant disarmed him and the victim tried to run away from the accused-appellant.

CRIMINAL LAW 1 26
When the accused-appellant then continued to chase his 69 year-old father and hacked several times the
already disarmed victim, self-defense can no longer be invoked.21
In fine, there is no justifiable cause exempting the accused-appellant from criminal liability and the courts a
quo were correct in convicting him for parricide.
Parricide is committed when: (1) a person is killed; (2) the deceased is killed by the accused; and (3) the
deceased is the father, mother, or child, whether legitimate or illegitimate, or a legitimate other ascendant
or other descendant, or the legitimate spouse of the accused.22 Here, it is an undisputed fact that Apolinario
was the accused-appellants father.
Under Article 246 of the Revised Penal, the crime of parricide is punishable by reclusion perpetua to
death. It must be noted that the declaration of the RTC in its Judgment dated May 9, 2006 on the
presence of a mitigating circumstance is not supported by any allegation or evidence on record.
Nonetheless, in view of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 934623 prohibiting the imposition of death penalty, the
courts a quo correctly sentenced the accused-appellant to reclusion perpetua. 24
1wphi1

It must be emphasized, however, that the accused-appellant shall not be eligible for parole pursuant to
Section 3 of R.A. No. 9346 which states that "persons convicted of offenses punished with reclusion
perpetua , or whose sentences will be reduced to reclusion perpetua , by reason of this Act, shall not be
eligible for parole under Act No. 4180, otherwise known as the Indeterminate Sentence Law, as
amended."25
The award of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity to the heirs of Apolinario is proper and in line with current
jurisprudence.26 Civil indemnity is mandatory upon proof of the fact of death of the victim and the culpability
of the accused for such death.27 The award of P50,000.0028 as moral damages is likewise correct. Even in
the absence of any allegation and proof of the heirs emotional suffering, it has been recognized that the
loss of a loved one to a violent death brings emotional pain and anguish. 29
The Court finds that an award of exemplary damages in the amount of P30,000.0030 is in order considering
that the qualifying circumstance of relationship is present in the crime of parricide. 31
Lastly, in conformity with current policy, we impose on all the monetary awards for damages an interest at
the legal rate of six percent (6%) per annum from the date of finality of this judgment until fully paid. 32
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Decision dated May 25, 2011 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R.
CR-H.C. No. 00671 finding the accused-appellant, Antero Gamez y Baltazar, guilty beyond reasonable
doubt of the crime of Parricide, is hereby AFFIRMED WITH MODIFICATIONS. Antero Gamez y Baltazar is
sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua without eligibility for parole and ordered to pay the
heirs of the victim, Apolinario Gamez, the amounts of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity, P50,000.00 as moral
damages and P30,000.00 as exemplary damages. The award of damages shall earn legal interest at the
rate of six percent (6) per annum from the finality of this judgment until fully paid.
SO ORDERED.
BIENVEDNIDO L. REYES
Associate Justice
Footnotes
1
Pursuant to People v. Mateo G.R. Nos.
147678-87, July 7, 2004, 433 SCRA 640,
653-658.
2
Penned by Associate Justice Edgardo L.
Delos Santos, with Associate Justices

Ramon Paul L. Hernando and Victoria


Isabel A. Paredes, concurring; CA rollo pp.
73-81.
3
Issued by Executive Judge Yolan9a U.
Dagandan; id. at 10-17.
4
Id. at 10.

CRIMINAL LAW 1 27
5

16

Id. at 74.
As culled from accused-appellants Brief
filed before the CA, id. at 27-30; and from
the narration of facts in the RTC Judgment
dated May 9, 2006, id. at 12-13 and CA
Decision dated May 25, 2011, id. at 74-75.
7
His testimony was dispensed with on
account of the admission by the defense of
the authenticity and due execution of the
medical certificate he issued for the victim,
Apolinario Gamez; id. at 11.
8
As culled from the appellees Brief filed
before the CA, id. at 54-65; and from the
narration of facts in the RTC Judgment
dated May 9, 2006, id. at 12-13 and CA
Decision dated May 25, 2011, id. at 76.
9
Id. at 10-17.
10
Id. at 16-17.
11
Id. at 73-81.
12
Id. at 80-81.
13
People of the Philippines v. Ronald Credo
aka "Ontog", Randy Credo and Rolando
Credo y Buenaventura, G.R. No. 197360,
July 3, 2013.
14
People v. Maningding, G.R. No. 195665 ,
September 14, 2011, 657 SCRA 804, 813.
15
Simon A. Flores v. People of the
Philippines, G.R. No. 181354, February 27,
2013.

People v. Concillado, G.R. No. 181204,


November 28, 2011, 661 SCRA 363, 379.
17
People v. Paycana, Jr., 574 Phil. 780, 787
(2008).
18
People v. Comillo, Jr., G.R. No. 186538,
November 25, 2009, 605 SCRA 756, 772.
19
Simon A. Flores v. People of the
Philippines, supra note 15.
20
Id.
21
CA rollo, pp. 79-80.
22
People v. Paycana, Jr., supra note 17, at
789.
23
An Act Prohibiting the Imposition of Death
Penalty in the Philippines.
24
See People v. Tibon, G.R. No. 188320,
June 29, 2010, 622 SCRA 510, 521.
25
See People v. Dejillo, G.R. No. 185005,
December 10, 2012, 687 SCRA 537, 556,
citing People v. Tadah, G.R. No. 186226,
February 1, 2012, 664 SCRA 744, 747.
26
People v. Sales, G.R. No. 177218,
October 03, 2011, 658 SCRA 367, 381.
27
People v. Dela Cruz, G.R. No. 187683,
February 11, 2010, 612 SCRA 364, 374.
28
Supra note 26.
29
Supra note 24, at 522.
30
Supra note 26.
31
Supra note 24, at 523.
32
Supra note 26.

SECOND DIVISION
LADISLAO ESPINOSA,
Petitioner,

G.R. No. 181071


Present:
CARPIO, J.,
Chairperson,

CRIMINAL LAW 1 28
-versus-

BRION,
DEL CASTILLO,
ABAD, and
PEREZ, JJ.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,


Respondent.

Promulgated:
March 15, 2010

x------------------------------------------------------x

DECISION
PEREZ, J.:
The Case
This case comes before this Court as an appeal, by way of a Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of
the Rules of Court, from the Decision [1] of the Court of Appeals affirming the conviction of herein
petitioner, Ladislao Espinosa, for the crime of Serious Physical Injuries under the third paragraph of Article 263
of the Revised Penal Code.[2] The dispositive portion of the assailed decision reads:
WHEREFORE, the Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Iba, Zambales, Branch 71 dated 30 March
2005, finding appellant Ladislao Espinosa GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime
of SERIOUS PHYSICAL INJURIES is AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that he will suffer
the straight penalty of six (6) months of Arresto Mayor and pay the amount of P54,925.50 as actual
damages.
With costs against accused-appellant.

The Facts
The undisputed facts of the case, as found by the Regional Trial Court, and as confirmed by the Court of
Appeals on appeal, may be so summarized:
On 6 August 2000, at about 10 oclock in the evening, private complainant Andy Merto, bearing a grudge
against the petitioner, went to the house of the latter in the Municipality of Sta. Cruz, Zambales. While standing
outside the house, private complainant Merto shouted violent threats, challenging the petitioner to face him
outside.
Sensing the private complainants agitated state and fearing for the safety of his family, petitioner went out of his
house to reason with and pacify Merto. However, as soon as he drew near the private complainant, the latter
hurled a stone at the petitioner. The petitioner was able to duck just in time to avoid getting hit and instinctively
retaliated by hitting the left leg of the private complainant with a bolo scabbard. The private complainant fell to
the ground. Petitioner then continuously mauled the private complainant with a bolo scabbard, until the latters
cousin, Rodolfo Muya, restrained him.[3]
As a consequence of the incident, private complainant Merto sustained two (2) bone fractures, one in his left leg
and another in his left wrist. It took about six (6) months for these injuries to completely heal. [4]
On 22 September 2000, petitioner was originally charged with Frustrated Homicide, under an
Information[5] which reads as follows:

CRIMINAL LAW 1 29
That on or about the 6th day of August 2006 at about 10 oclock in the evening, at Brgy. Pagatpat,
in the Municipality of Sta. Cruz, Province of Zambales, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this
Honorable Court, the said accused, with treachery, evide[nt] premeditation and intent to kill, did then and
there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, assault, attack and hack several times one Andy Merto,
thereby inflicting upon the latter the following physical injuries, to wit:
1. Fracture open III A P/3 Tibia left secondary to Hacking Wound;
2. Incised wound, wrist joint with Incised Extensor Pollicis Brevis Tendon, Left S/P F
Debridement Right Wrist S/P Long Circular Cast, Left
thus performing all the acts of execution which would produce the crime of murder as a consequence, but
nevertheless, did not produce it by reason of causes independent of his will, that is by the timely and able
medical assistance rendered to said Andy Merto which prevented his death.
CONTRARY TO LAW.

Petitioner pleaded not guilty, and trial thereafter ensued.


On 14 December 2004, the Regional Trial Court of Iba, Zambales, Branch 71, convicted petitioner only of
Serious Physical Injuries under the third paragraph of Article 263 of the Revised Penal Code, noting that the
prosecution had failed to prove the element of intent to kill, which is necessary to a conviction for Frustrated
Homicide.The dispositive[6] portion of the ruling reads:
WHEREFORE premises considered, judgment is rendered finding accused Ladislao Espinosa GUILTY
beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Serious Physical Injuries defined and penalized under Art. 263,
paragraph 3 of the Revised Penal Code and is hereby sentenced [to] suffer the penalty of six (6) months
of Arresto Mayor as minimum to two (2) years, eleven (11) months and ten (10) days
of prision correccional as maximum. Accused is ordered to pay private complainant Andy Merto the
amount of P54,925.50 as and by way of actual damages.

Undeterred, petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration dated 7 February 2005, before the trial court, invoking
for the first time complete self-defense, under the first paragraph of Article 11 of the Revised Penal Code. In a
Resolution[7] dated 30 March 2005, the trial court denied petitioners motion for reconsideration holding that
self-defense cannot be appreciated to justify the act of petitioner. The trial court cites the means adopted by the
petitioner in repelling the attack as not reasonably necessary in view of the surrounding circumstances and the
severity of the victims injuries.
On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment of conviction with the modification that the penalty
imposed by the trial court should be lowered by one degree in accordance with the privileged mitigating
circumstance of incomplete self-defense under Article 69 [8] of the Revised Penal Code. Consequently, the
Motion for Reconsideration[9] filed by the petitioner was also denied by the Court of Appeals via a
Resolution[10] dated 4 January 2008.
Hence, this appeal.
The Issue
The sole issue raised in this appeal is whether under the set of facts given in this case, complete self-defense
may be appreciated in favor of the petitioner.
The Ruling of the Court
The Court rules in the negative.
The requirements of self-defense as a justifying circumstance are found in the first paragraph of Article 11 of
the Revised Penal Code, to wit:

CRIMINAL LAW 1 30
Article 11. Justifying circumstances. The following do not incur any criminal liability:
1.
Anyone who acts in defense of his person or rights, provided that the following requisites
concur:
First. Unlawful aggression;
Second. Reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel it;
Third. Lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person defending himself.

In their decisions, both the trial court and the Court of Appeals found that the first and third elements of selfdefense are present in the case at bar. This finding was never questioned by either of the parties and, as such,
may be taken as established for purposes of this appeal. Nonetheless, to dispel any doubts, the Court hereby
affirms the existence of the first and third elements of self-defense, based on the following reasons:
First, unlawful aggression on the part of private complainant Merto was manifested by his attack upon the
person of the petitioner in throwing a stone at the latter. This sudden and unexpected assault posed actual danger
on the life or limb of the petitioner, prompting the latter to take steps in his defense. To the mind of the Court,
this is an offensive positively strong enough to be the basis for a defensive action.
Second, there is lack of sufficient, if not total absence of, provocation on the part of the petitioner. The facts are
clear that it is private complainant Merto who invited the confrontation with petitionerby shouting violent
threats at the latter.
The argumentation is on the existence of the second element, i.e., reasonable necessity of the means employed
to prevent or repel the unlawful aggression. The trial court and the Court of Appeals were in agreement that the
means employed by the petitioner in conducting his defense is disproportionate to what was necessary to
prevent or deter the attack of private complainant Merto.
In arguing that the means employed was reasonable to repel the unlawful aggression, the petitioner invokes the
application of the doctrine of rational equivalence, delineated in People v. Gutual,[11] to wit:
x x x It is settled that reasonable necessity of the means employed does not imply material
commensurability between the means of attack and defense. What the law requires is rational
equivalence, in the consideration of which will enter the principal factors the emergency, the imminent
danger to which the person attacked is exposed, and the instinct, more than the reason, that moves or
impels the defense, and the proportionateness thereof does not depend upon the harm done, but rests
upon the imminent danger of such injury. (Emphasis supplied)

Tersely put, petitioner contends that the trial court and the Court of Appeals erred in citing the severity of the
injuries sustained by private complainant Merto, as an indicator that belies the reasonableness of the means
adopted by the former to repel the attack of the latter. Instead, petitioner wants to place emphasis on the fact that
he merely acted out of instinct and that he used a bolo scabbard as opposed to using the bolo itself in
incapacitating the private complainant.
The Court is not impressed.
The very application of the doctrine of rational equivalence, invoked by the petitioner, militates against his
claim. The doctrine of rational equivalence presupposes the consideration not only of the nature and quality of
the weapons used by the defender and the assailant but of the totality of circumstances surrounding the
defense vis--vis, the unlawful aggression.

CRIMINAL LAW 1 31
Significantly, a perusal of the facts shows that after petitioner was successful in taking down private
complainant Merto the former continued to hack the latter, who was, by then, already neutralized by the
blow. This fact was clearly established by the testimony of Rodolfo Muya, who recounted having seen the
petitioner continuously hacking the private complainant with the bolo scabbard, even as the latter lay almost
motionless upon the muddy ground.[12] Clearly, this continuous hacking by the petitioner constitutes force
beyond what is reasonably required to repel the private complainants attack and is therefore unjustified.
People v. Beltran, Jr.,[13] which also involves repetitious hacking by the accused even after the aggressor had
been neutralized, is especially instructive:
The act of appellant in repeatedly hacking Norman on his head and neck was not a
reasonable and necessary means of repelling the aggression allegedly initiated by the latter. As
stated earlier, no convincing evidence was presented to show that Norman was armed with an ice-pick at
the time of the incident. In fact, no ice-pick was found in the crime scene or in the body of the victim.
There was also no proof showing that Norman attempted to stab appellant or tried to barge into the latter's
house. Granting arguendo that Norman was armed with an ice-pick, the repeated hackings were not
necessary since he can overpower or disable Norman by a single blow on non-vital portion/s of his body.
Again, as correctly observed by the OSG, had the appellant merely wanted to protect himself
from what he perceived as an unlawful aggression of Norman, he could have just disabled
Norman. When Norman fell on the ground, appellant should have ceased hacking the former since
the alleged aggression or danger no longer exists. By appellant's own testimony, however, he hacked
Norman with his bolo even when the latter was already lying on the ground. It appears, therefore,
that the means used by appellant, which were simultaneous and repeated hackings, were adopted
by him not only to repel the aggression of Norman but to ensure the latter's death. In sum, such act
failed to pass the test of reasonableness of the means employed in preventing or repelling an
unlawful aggression. (Emphasis supplied)

Notwithstanding the fact that the petitioner merely used a scabbard in fending off the unlawful aggression the
totality of the circumstances shows that after the aggressor was taken down to the ground, the petitioner ceased
to be motivated with the lawful desire of defending himself. He was, by then, acting with intent to harm the
private complainant whose aggression had already ceased.
Finally, in trying to disprove the testimony of Rodolfo Muya that there was continuous hacking, the petitioner
also posits that the injuries sustained by the private complainant could not have been serious enough to be the
product of repeated hacks, and claims that the same are merely a product of a single blow. This contention has
had ample study and consideration in the trial court and in the Court of Appeals. It deserves no further ado.
As to whether the fractures suffered by the private complainant resulted from a single blow or a product of
multiple hackings is a question of fact best left to the judgment of the trial court. It is a well-settled principle that
factual findings of the trial court especially if already affirmed by an appellate court are binding and conclusive
upon this Court, save only for certain compelling reasons which are absent in this case. [14] Hence, the Court
refuses to disturb the facts, and defers to the determination of the Regional Trial Court and of the Court of
Appeals.
WHEREFORE, the instant appeal is DENIED for lack of merit. Accordingly, the appealed Decision of the
Court of Appeals, dated 25 September 2007, in CA-G.R. CR No. 29633 is hereby AFFIRMED IN TOTO. No
pronouncement as to costs.
SO ORDERED.
JOSE PORTUGAL PEREZ
Associate Justice

CRIMINAL LAW 1 32
[1]

Penned

by Associate Justice Marlene Gonzales-Sison with Associate Justices Juan Q. Enriquez, Jr. and Vicente
S.E. Veloso concurring. Rollo, pp. 28-48.
[2]
Act No. 3185, as amended.
[3]
Rollo, pp. 32-33.
[4]
Id. at 30-31.
[5]
Id. at 52-53.
[6]
Id. at 76.
[7]
Id. at 77-81.
[8]
Article 69 of the Revised Penal Code provides:
Article 69. Penalty to be imposed when the crime committed is not wholly excusable . A penalty lower by one or two degrees than that
prescribed by law shall be imposed if the deed is not wholly excusable by reason of the lack of some of the conditions required
to justify the same or to exempt from criminal liability in the several cases mentioned in Articles 11 and 12, provided that the
majority of such conditions be present. The courts shall impose the penalty in the period which may be deemed proper, in view
of the number of the nature of the conditions of exemption present or lacking.
[9]
Filed on 15 October 2007. Rollo, pp. 110-118.
[10]
Id. at 50-51.
[11]
324 Phil. 244, 259-260 (1996).
[12]
Rollo, pp. 32-33.
[13]
G.R. No. 168051, 27 September 2006, 503 SCRA 715, 734.
[14]
Republic v. Casimiro, G.R. No. 166139, 20 June 2006, 491 SCRA 499, 523.

FIRST DIVISION

SPO2 RUPERTO CABANLIG, G.R. No. 148431


Petitioner,
Present:
Davide, Jr., C.J.,
Chairman,
Quisumbing,
- versus-

SANDIGANBAYAN and OFFICE

Ynares-Santiago,
Carpio, and
Azcuna, JJ.

Promulgated:

OF THE SPECIAL PROSECUTOR,


Respondents,
July 28, 2005
x- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - x

DECISION

CRIMINAL LAW 1 33
CARPIO, J.:

The Case
This petition for review[1] seeks to reverse the Decision[2] of the Fifth Division of the Sandiganbayan
dated 11 May 1999 and Resolution[3] dated 2 May 2001 affirming the conviction of SPO2 Ruperto Cabanlig
(Cabanlig) in Criminal Case No. 19436 for homicide. The Sandiganbayan sentenced Cabanlig to suffer the
indeterminate penalty of four months of arresto mayor as minimum to two years and four months of prision
correctional as maximum and to pay P50,000 to the heirs of Jimmy Valino (Valino). Cabanlig shot Valino after
Valino grabbed the M16 Armalite of another policeman and tried to escape from the custody of the police. The
Sandiganbayan acquitted Cabanligs co-accused, SPO1 Carlos Padilla (Padilla), PO2 Meinhart Abesamis
(Abesamis), SPO2 Lucio Mercado (Mercado) and SPO1 Rady Esteban (Esteban).
The Charge

Cabanlig, Padilla, Abesamis, Mercado and Esteban were charged with murder in an amended information that
reads as follows:

That on or about September 28, 1992, in the Municipality of Penaranda, Province of Nueva
Ecija, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, SPO[2]
Ruperto C. Cabanlig, SPO1 Carlos E. Padilla, PO2 Meinhart C. Abesamis, SPO2 Lucio L. Mercado and
SPO1 Rady S. Esteban, all public officers being members of the Philippine National Police, conspiring
and confederating and mutually helping one another, with intent to kill, with treachery and evident
premeditation, taking advantage of nighttime and uninhabited place to facilitate the execution of the
crime, with use of firearms and without justifiable cause, did then and there, wilfully, unlawfully and
feloniously attack, assault and shoot one Jimmy Valino, hitting him several times at the vital parts of his
body, thereby inflicting upon the latter, serious and mortal wounds which were the direct and immediate
cause of his death, which crime was committed by the accused in relation to their office as members of
the Philippine National Police of Penaranda, Nueva Ecija, the deceased, who was then detained for
robbery and under the custody of the accused, having been killed while being taken to the place where he
allegedly concealed the effects of the crime, to the damage and prejudice of the heirs of said victim, in
such amount as may be awarded under the provisions of the New Civil Code.
CONTRARY TO LAW.[4]

Arraignment and Plea

On 15 December 1993, the accused police officers Cabanlig, Padilla, Abesamis, Mercado and Esteban pleaded
not guilty.

Version of the Prosecution

CRIMINAL LAW 1 34
On 24 September 1992 a robbery occurred in the Municipality of Penaranda, Nueva Ecija. Four days
later or on 28 September 1992, the investigating authorities apprehended three suspects: Jordan Magat
(Magat), Randy Reyes (Reyes) and Valino. The police recovered most of the stolen items. However, a flower
vase and a small radio were still missing. Cabanlig asked the three suspects where these two items were.
Reyes replied that the items were at his house.
Cabanlig asked his colleagues, Padilla, Mercado, Abesamis and Esteban, to accompany him in
retrieving the flower vase and radio. Cabanlig then brought out Reyes and Magat from their cell, intending to
bring the two during the retrieval operation. It was at this point that Valino informed Cabanlig that he had
moved the vase and radio to another location without the knowledge of his two cohorts. Cabanlig decided
instead to bring along Valino, leaving behind Magat and Reyes.
Around 6:30 p.m., five fully armed policemen in uniform Cabanlig, Padilla, Mercado, Abesamis and
Esteban escorted Valino to Barangay Sinasahan, Nueva Ecija to recover the missing flower vase and radio.
The policemen and Valino were aboard a police vehicle, an Isuzu pick-up jeep. The jeep was built like an
ordinary jeepney. The rear end of the jeep had no enclosure. A metal covering separated the drivers
compartment and main body of the jeep. There was no opening or door between the two compartments of the
jeep. Inside the main body of the jeep, were two long benches, each of which was located at the left and right
side of the jeep.
Cabanlig, Mercado and Esteban were seated with Valino inside the main body of the jeep. Esteban
was right behind Abesamis at the left bench. Valino, who was not handcuffed, was between Cabanlig and
Mercado at the right bench. Valino was seated at Cabanligs left and at Mercados right. Mercado was seated
nearest to the opening of the rear of the jeep.
Just after the jeep had crossed the Philippine National Railway bridge and while the jeep was slowly
negotiating a bumpy and potholed road, Valino suddenly grabbed Mercados M16 Armalite and jumped out of
the jeep. Valino was able to grab Mercados M16 Armalite when Mercado scratched his head and tried to
reach his back because some flying insects were pestering Mercado. Mercado shouted hoy! when Valino
suddenly took the M16 Armalite. Cabanlig, who was then facing the rear of the vehicle, saw Valinos act of
taking away the M16 Armalite. Cabanlig acted immediately. Without issuing any warning of any sort, and
with still one foot on the running board, Cabanlig fired one shot at Valino, and after two to three seconds,
Cabanlig fired four more successive shots. Valino did not fire any shot.
The shooting happened around 7:00 p.m., at dusk or nag-aagaw ang dilim at liwanag. Cabanlig
approached Valinos body to check its pulse. Finding none, Cabanlig declared Valino dead. Valino sustained three
mortal wounds one at the back of the head, one at the left side of the chest, and one at the left lower back.
Padilla and Esteban remained with the body. The other three policemen, including Cabanlig, went to a funeral
parlor.
The following morning, 29 September 1992, a certain SPO4 Segismundo Lacanilao (Lacanilao) of the
Cabanatuan Police went to Barangay Sinasahan, Nueva Ecija to investigate a case. Lacanilao met Mercado who
gave him instructions on how to settle the case that he was handling. During their conversation, Mercado related
that he and his fellow policemen salvaged (summarily executed) a person the night before. Lacanilao asked who
was salvaged. Mercado answered that it was Jimmy Valino. Mercado then asked Lacanilao why he was
interested in the identity of the person who was salvaged. Lacanilao then answered that Jimmy Valino was his
cousin. Mercado immediately turned around and left.
Version of the Defense

CRIMINAL LAW 1 35
Cabanlig admitted shooting Valino. However, Cabanlig justified the shooting as an act of self-defense
and performance of duty. Mercado denied that he told Lacanilao that he and his co-accused salvaged Valino.
Cabanlig, Mercado, Abesamis, Padilla, and Esteban denied that they conspired to kill Valino.
The Sandiganbayans Ruling

The Sandiganbayan acquitted Padilla, Abesamis, Mercado and Esteban as the court found no evidence
that the policemen conspired to kill or summarily execute Valino. Since Cabanlig admitted shooting Valino, the
burden is on Cabanlig to establish the presence of any circumstance that would relieve him of responsibility or
mitigate the offense committed.

The Sandiganbayan held that Cabanlig could not invoke self-defense or defense of a stranger. The only
defense that Cabanlig could properly invoke in this case is fulfillment of duty. Cabanlig, however, failed to show
that the shooting of Valino was the necessary consequence of the due performance of duty. The Sandiganbayan
pointed out that while it was the duty of the policemen to stop the escaping detainee, Cabanlig exceeded the
proper bounds of performing this duty when he shot Valino without warning.

The Sandiganbayan found no circumstance that would qualify the crime to murder. Thus, the Sandiganbayan
convicted Cabanlig only of homicide. The dispositive portion of the decision reads:

WHEREFORE, premises considered, accused CARLOS ESTOQUE PADILLA, MEINHART


CRUZ ABESAMIS, LUCIO LADIGNON MERCADO and RADY SALAZAR ESTEBAN are hereby
ACQUITTED of the crime charged. Accused RUPERTO CONCEPCION CABANLIG is found GUILTY
beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Homicide and is hereby sentenced to suffer the indeterminate
sentence of FOUR (4) MONTHS of arresto mayor, as minimum, to TWO (2) YEARS and FOUR (4)
MONTHS of prision correccional, as maximum. He is further ordered to pay the heirs of Jimmy Valino
the amount of FIFTY THOUSAND (P50,000.00) PESOS, and the costs.
SO ORDERED.[5]

On motion for reconsideration, Associate Justice Anacleto D. Badoy Jr. (Associate Justice Badoy) dissented
from the decision. Associate Justice Badoy pointed out that there was imminent danger on the lives of the
policemen when Valino grabbed the infallible Armalite [6] from Mercado and jumped out from the rear of the
jeep. At a distance of only three feet from Cabanlig, Valino could have sprayed the policemen with bullets. The
firing of a warning shot from Cabanlig was no longer necessary. Associate Justice Badoy thus argued for
Cabanligs acquittal.

In a vote of four to one, the Sandiganbayan affirmed the decision. [7] The dispositive portion of the Resolution
reads:

CRIMINAL LAW 1 36

WHEREFORE, for lack of merit, the motion for reconsideration is hereby DENIED. [8]

The Issues

Cabanlig raises the following issues in his Memorandum:

WHETHER THE SANDIGANBAYAN ERRED IN RULING THAT THE DEFENSE OF


FULFILLMENT OF DUTY PUT UP BY CABANLIG WAS INCOMPLETE
WHETHER THE SANDIGANBAYAN ERRED IN RULING THAT CABANLIG COULD NOT
INVOKE SELF-DEFENSE/DEFENSE OF STRANGER TO JUSTIFY HIS ACTIONS
WHETHER THE SANDIGANBAYAN ERRED IN SENTENCING CABANLIG TO SUFFER
IMPRISONMENT AND IN ORDERING HIM TO PAY THE AMOUNT OF P50,000 TO THE HEIRS
OF VALINO[9]

The Courts Ruling

The petition has merit. We rule for Cabanligs acquittal.

Applicable Defense is Fulfillment of Duty

We first pass upon the issue of whether Cabanlig can invoke two or more justifying circumstances.
While there is nothing in the law that prevents an accused from invoking the justifying circumstances or
defenses in his favor, it is still up to the court to determine which justifying circumstance is applicable to the
circumstances of a particular case.

Self-defense and fulfillment of duty operate on different principles. [10] Self-defense is based on the
principle of self-preservation from mortal harm, while fulfillment of duty is premised on the due performance of

CRIMINAL LAW 1 37
duty. The difference between the two justifying circumstances is clear, as the requisites of self-defense and
fulfillment of duty are different.

The elements of self-defense are as follows:

a) Unlawful Aggression;
b) Reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel it;
c) Lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person defending himself.[11]

On the other hand, the requisites of fulfillment of duty are:

1. The accused acted in the performance of a duty or in the lawful exercise of a right or
office;

2. 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.[12]

A policeman in the performance of duty is justified in using such force as is reasonably necessary to
secure and detain the offender, overcome his resistance, prevent his escape, recapture him if he escapes, and
protect himself from bodily harm. [13] In case injury or death results from the policemans exercise of such force,
the policeman could be justified in inflicting the injury or causing the death of the offender if the policeman had
used necessary force. Since a policemans duty requires him to overcome the offender, the force exerted by the
policeman may therefore differ from that which ordinarily may be offered in self-defense. [14] However, a
policeman is never justified in using unnecessary force or in treating the offender with wanton violence, or in
resorting to dangerous means when the arrest could be affected otherwise. [15]

CRIMINAL LAW 1 38
Unlike in self-defense where unlawful aggression is an element, in performance of duty, unlawful
aggression from the victim is not a requisite. In People v. Delima,[16] a policeman was looking for a fugitive who
had several days earlier escaped from prison. When the policeman found the fugitive, the fugitive was armed
with a pointed piece of bamboo in the shape of a lance. The policeman demanded the surrender of the fugitive.
The fugitive lunged at the policeman with his bamboo lance. The policeman dodged the lance and fired his
revolver at the fugitive. The policeman missed. The fugitive ran away still holding the bamboo lance. The
policeman pursued the fugitive and again fired his revolver, hitting and killing the fugitive. The Court acquitted
the policeman on the ground that the killing was done in the fulfillment of duty.

The fugitives unlawful aggression in People v. Delima had already ceased when the policeman killed
him. The fugitive was running away from the policeman when he was shot. If the policeman were a private
person, not in the performance of duty, there would be no self-defense because there would be no unlawful
aggression on the part of the deceased. [17] It may even appear that the public officer acting in the fulfillment of
duty is the aggressor, but his aggression is not unlawful, it being necessary to fulfill his duty.[18]

While self-defense and performance of duty are two distinct justifying circumstances, self-defense or
defense of a stranger may still be relevant even if the proper justifying circumstance in a given case is
fulfillment of duty. For example, a policemans use of what appears to be excessive force could be justified if
there was imminent danger to the policemans life or to that of a stranger. If the policeman used force to protect
his life or that of a stranger, then the defense of fulfillment of duty would be complete, the second requisite
being present.

In People v. Lagata,[19] a jail guard shot to death a prisoner whom he thought was attempting to escape.
The Court convicted the jail guard of homicide because the facts showed that the prisoner was not at all trying to
escape. The Court declared that the jail guard could only fire at the prisoner in self-defense or if absolutely
necessary to avoid the prisoners escape.

In this case, Cabanlig, Padilla, Abesamis, Mercado and Esteban were in the performance of duty as
policemen when they escorted Valino, an arrested robber, to retrieve some stolen items. We uphold the finding
of the Sandiganbayan that there is no evidence that the policemen conspired to kill or summarily execute Valino.
In fact, it was not Valino who was supposed to go with the policemen in the retrieval operations but his two
other cohorts, Magat and Reyes. Had the policemen staged the escape to justify the killing of Valino, the M16
Armalite taken by Valino would not have been loaded with bullets. [20] Moreover, the alleged summary execution
of Valino must be based on evidence and not on hearsay.

CRIMINAL LAW 1 39
Undoubtedly, the policemen were in the legitimate performance of their duty when Cabanlig shot
Valino. Thus, fulfillment of duty is the justifying circumstance that is applicable to this case. To determine if this
defense is complete, we have to examine if Cabanlig used necessary force to prevent Valino from escaping and
in protecting himself and his co-accused policemen from imminent danger.

Fulfillment of Duty was Complete, Killing was Justified

The Sandiganbayan convicted Cabanlig because his defense of fulfillment of duty was found to be
incomplete. The Sandiganbayan believed that Cabanlig exceeded the fulfillment of his duty when he
immediately shot Valino without issuing a warning so that the latter would stop. [21]

We disagree with the Sandiganbayan.

Certainly, an M16 Armalite is a far more powerful and deadly weapon than the bamboo lance that the
fugitive had run away with in People v. Delima. The policeman in People v. Delima was held to have been
justified in shooting to death the escaping fugitive because the policeman was merely performing his duty.

In this case, Valino was committing an offense in the presence of the policemen when Valino grabbed
the M16 Armalite from Mercado and jumped from the jeep to escape. The policemen would have been justified
in shooting Valino if the use of force was absolutely necessary to prevent his escape. [22] But Valino was not only
an escaping detainee. Valino had also stolen the M16 Armalite of a policeman. The policemen had the duty not
only to recapture Valino but also to recover the loose firearm. By grabbing Mercados M16 Armalite, which is a
formidable firearm, Valino had placed the lives of the policemen in grave danger.

Had Cabanlig failed to shoot Valino immediately, the policemen would have been sitting ducks. All of
the policemen were still inside the jeep when Valino suddenly grabbed the M16 Armalite. Cabanlig, Mercado
and Esteban were hemmed in inside the main body of the jeep, in the direct line of fire had Valino used the M16

CRIMINAL LAW 1 40
Armalite. There would have been no way for Cabanlig, Mercado and Esteban to secure their safety, as there
were no doors on the sides of the jeep. The only way out of the jeep was from its rear from which Valino had
jumped. Abesamis and Padilla who were in the drivers compartment were not aware that Valino had grabbed
Mercados M16 Armalite. Abesamis and Padilla would have been unprepared for Valinos attack.

By suddenly grabbing the M16 Armalite from his unsuspecting police guard, Valino certainly did not
intend merely to escape and run away as far and fast as possible from the policemen. Valino did not have to grab
the M16 Armalite if his sole intention was only to flee from the policemen. If he had no intention to engage the
policemen in a firefight, Valino could simply have jumped from the jeep without grabbing the M16 Armalite.
Valinos chances of escaping unhurt would have been far better had he not grabbed the M16 Armalite which only
provoked the policemen to recapture him and recover the M16 Armalite with greater vigor. Valinos act of
grabbing the M16 Armalite clearly showed a hostile intention and even constituted unlawful aggression.

Facing imminent danger, the policemen had to act swiftly. Time was of the essence. It would have been
foolhardy for the policemen to assume that Valino grabbed the M16 Armalite merely as a souvenir of a
successful escape. As we have pointed out in Pomoy v. People[23]:

Again, it was in the lawful performance of his duty as a law enforcer that petitioner tried to
defend his possession of the weapon when the victim suddenly tried to remove it from his holster. As an
enforcer of the law, petitioner was duty-bound to prevent the snatching of his service weapon by anyone,
especially by a detained person in his custody. Such weapon was likely to be used to facilitate escape and
to kill or maim persons in the vicinity, including petitioner himself.

The Sandiganbayan, however, ruled that despite Valinos possession of a deadly firearm, Cabanlig had
no right to shoot Valino without giving Valino the opportunity to surrender. The Sandiganbayan pointed out that
under the General Rules of Engagement, the use of force should be applied only as a last resort when all other
peaceful and non-violent means have been exhausted. The Sandiganbayan held that only such necessary and
reasonable force should be applied as would be sufficient to conduct self-defense of a stranger, to subdue the
clear and imminent danger posed, or to overcome resistance put up by an offender.
The Sandiganbayan had very good reasons in steadfastly adhering to the policy that a law enforcer must
first issue a warning before he could use force against an offender. A law enforcers overzealous performance of
his duty could violate the rights of a citizen and worse cost the citizens life. We have always maintained that the
judgment and discretion of public officers, in the performance of their duties, must be exercised neither
capriciously nor oppressively, but within the limits of the law.[24] The issuance of a warning before a law
enforcer could use force would prevent unnecessary bloodshed. Thus, whenever possible, a law enforcer should
employ force only as a last resort and only after issuing a warning.

CRIMINAL LAW 1 41
However, the duty to issue a warning is not absolutely mandated at all times and at all cost, to the
detriment of the life of law enforcers. The directive to issue a warning contemplates a situation where several
options are still available to the law enforcers. In exceptional circumstances such as this case, where the threat to
the life of a law enforcer is already imminent, and there is no other option but to use force to subdue the
offender, the law enforcers failure to issue a warning is excusable.
In this case, the embattled policemen did not have the luxury of time. Neither did they have much
choice. Cabanligs shooting of Valino was an immediate and spontaneous reaction to imminent danger. The
weapon grabbed by Valino was not just any firearm. It was an M16 Armalite.
The M16 Armalite is an assault rifle adopted by the United Sates (US) Army as a standard weapon in
1967 during the Vietnam War.[25] The M16 Armalite is still a general-issue rifle with the US Armed Forces and
US law enforcement agencies.[26] The M16 Armalite has both semiautomatic and automatic capabilities. [27] It is
39 inches long, has a 30-round magazine and fires high-velocity .223-inch (5.56-mm) bullets. [28] The M16
Armalite is most effective at a range of 200 meters [29]but its maximum effective range could extend as far as 400
meters.[30] As a high velocity firearm, the M16 Armalite could be fired at close range rapidly or with much
volume of fire.[31] These features make the M16 Armalite and its variants well suited for urban and jungle
warfare.[32]

The M16 Armalite whether on automatic or semiautomatic setting is a lethal weapon. This highpowered firearm was in the hands of an escaping detainee, who had sprung a surprise on his police escorts
bottled inside the jeep. A warning from the policemen would have been pointless and would have cost them
their lives.
For what is the purpose of a warning? A warning is issued when policemen have to identify themselves
as such and to give opportunity to an offender to surrender. A warning in this case was dispensable. Valino knew
that he was in the custody of policemen. Valino was also very well aware that even the mere act of escaping
could injure or kill him. The policemen were fully armed and they could use force to recapture him. By grabbing
the M16 Armalite of his police escort, Valino assumed the consequences of his brazen and determined act.
Surrendering was clearly far from Valinos mind.

At any rate, Valino was amply warned. Mercado shouted hoy when Valino grabbed the M16 Armalite.
Although Cabanlig admitted that he did not hear Mercado shout hoy, Mercados shout should have served as a
warning to Valino. The verbal warning need not come from Cabanlig himself.
The records also show that Cabanlig first fired one shot. After a few seconds, Cabanlig fired four more
shots. Cabanlig had to shoot Valino because Valino at one point was facing the police officers. The exigency of
the situation warranted a quick response from the policemen.
According to the Sandiganbayan, Valino was not turning around to shoot because two of the three
gunshot wounds were on Valinos back. Indeed, two of the three gunshot wounds were on Valinos back: one at
the back of the head and the other at the left lower back. The Sandiganbayan, however, overlooked the location

CRIMINAL LAW 1 42
of the third gunshot wound. It was three inches below the left clavicle or on the left top most part of the chest
area based on the Medico Legal Sketch showing the entrances and exits of the three gunshot wounds. [33]

The Autopsy Report[34] confirms the location of the gunshot wounds, as follows:

GUNSHOT WOUNDS modified by embalming.


1. ENTRANCE ovaloid, 1.6 x 1.5 cms; with area of tattooing around the entrance, 4.0 x 3.0
cms.; located at the right postauricular region, 5.5 cms. behind and 1.5 cms. above the right external
auditory meatus, directed forward downward fracturing the occipital bone, lacerating the right occipital
portion of the brain and fracturing the right cheek bone and making an EXIT wound, 1.5 x 2.0 cms.
located on right cheek, 4.0 cms. below and 3.0 cms.. in front of right external auditory meatus.
2. ENTRANCE ovaloid, 0.7 x 0.5 cms., located at the left chest; 6.5 cms. from the anterior
median line, 136.5 cms. from the left heel directed backward, downward and to the right, involving soft
tissues, fracturing the 3rd rib, left, lacerating the left upper lobe and the right lower lobe and finally
making an EXIT wound at the back, right side, 1.4 x 0.8 cms., 19.0 cms. from the posterior median line
and 132.0 cms. from the right heel and grazing the medial aspect of the right arm.
3. ENTRANCE ovaloid, 0.6 x 0.5 located at the back, left side, 9.0 cms. from the posterior
median line; 119.5 cms. from the left heel; directed forward, downward involving the soft tissues,
lacerating the liver; and bullet was recovered on the right anterior chest wall, 9.0 cms. form the anterior
median line, 112.0 cms. from the right heel.

The Necropsy Report[35] also reveals the following:

1. Gunshot Wound, entrance, 0.5 cm X 1.5 cms in size, located at the left side of the back of the head. The
left parietal bone is fractured. The left temporal bone is also fractured. A wound of exit measuring 2
cms X 3 cms in size is located at the left temporal aspect of the head.
2. Gunshot [W]ound, entrance, 0.5 cm in diameter, located at the left side of the chest about three inches
below the left clavicle. The wound is directed medially and made an exit wound at the right axilla
measuring 2 X 2 cms in size.
3. Gunshot Wound, entrance, 0.5 cm in diameter located at the left lower back above the left lumbar. The
left lung is collapsed and the liver is lacerated. Particles of lead [were] recovered in the liver tissues.
No wound of exit.
Cause of Death:
Cerebral Hemorrhage Secondary To Gunshot Wound In The Head

The doctors who testified on the Autopsy[36] and Necropsy[37] Reports admitted that they could not
determine which of the three gunshot wounds was first inflicted. However, we cannot disregard the significance
of the gunshot wound on Valinos chest. Valino could not have been hit on the chest if he were not at one point
facing the policemen.

CRIMINAL LAW 1 43
If the first shot were on the back of Valinos head, Valino would have immediately fallen to the ground
as the bullet from Cabanligs M16 Armalite almost shattered Valinos skull. It would have been impossible for
Valino to still turn and face the policemen in such a way that Cabanlig could still shoot Valino on the chest if the
first shot was on the back of Valinos head.

The most probable and logical scenario: Valino was somewhat facing the policemen when he was shot,
hence, the entry wound on Valinos chest. On being hit, Valino could have turned to his left almost falling, when
two more bullets felled Valino. The two bullets then hit Valino on his lower left back and on the left side of the
back of his head, in what sequence, we could not speculate on. At the very least, the gunshot wound on Valinos
chest should have raised doubt in Cabanligs favor.

Cabanlig is thus not guilty of homicide. At most, Cabanlig, Padilla, Abesamis, Mercado and Esteban are
guilty only of gross negligence. The policemen transported Valino, an arrested robber, to a retrieval operation
without handcuffing Valino. That no handcuffs were available in the police precinct is a very flimsy excuse. The
policemen should have tightly bound Valinos hands with rope or some other sturdy material. Valinos
cooperative demeanor should not have lulled the policemen to complacency. As it turned out, Valino was merely
keeping up the appearance of good behavior as a prelude to a planned escape. We therefore recommend the
filing of an administrative case against Cabanlig, Padilla, Abesamis, Mercado and Esteban for gross negligence.

WHEREFORE, we REVERSE the decision of the Sandiganbayan in Criminal Case No. 19436
convicting
accused
RUPERTO
CONCEPCION CABANLIG of
the
crime
of
homicide.
We ACQUIT RUPERTO CONCEPCION CABANLIG of the crime of homicide and ORDER his immediate
release from prison, unless there are other lawful grounds to hold him. We DIRECT the Director of Prisons to
report to this Court compliance within five (5) days from receipt of this Decision. No costs.

SO ORDERED.

ANTONIO T. CARPIO
Associate Justice

[1]

Under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.

[2]

Penned by Associate Justice Minita V. Chico-Nazario with Associate


Justices Anacleto D. Badoy, Jr. and Ma. Cristina Cortez-Estrada,
concurring.

CRIMINAL LAW 1 44
[3]

Penned by Associate Justice Minita V. Chico-Nazario with Associate


Justices Ma. Cristina Cortez-Estrada, Raoul V. Victorino,
Nicodemo T. Ferrer, concurring. Associate Justice Anacleto D.
Badoy, Jr. dissented.

[4]

Records, pp. 29-30.

[5]

Rollo, p. 56.

[6]

Ibid., p. 90.

[7]

See note 3.

[8]

Rollo, p. 84.

[9]

Ibid., p. 161.

[20]

TSN, 11 July 1996, p. 21.

[21]

Rollo, p. 47.

[22]

LUIS B. REYES, THE REVISED PENAL CODE, supra note 10, p.


198.

[23]

G.R. No. 150647, 29 September 2004, 439 SCRA


439.
[24]

Calderon v. People and Court of Appeals, 96 Phil. 216 (1954).

[25]

http://concise.britannica.com/ebc/article?tocId=9370808, 19 May
2005.

[26]

http://world.guns.ru/assault/as18-e.htm, 19 May 2005.

[10]

LUIS B. REYES, THE REVISED PENAL CODE, 15th ED., 2001,


BOOK ONE, p. 202.

[27]

http://concise.britannica.com/ebc/article?tocdI=9370808, 19 May
2005.

[11]

Paragraph 1, Article 11 of the Revised Penal Code.

[28]

Ibid.

[12]

People v. Oanis, 74 Phil. 257 (1943).

[29]

http://www.olive-drab.com/od_other_firearms_rifle_m16.php3,
May 2005.

[13]

Ibid..
[30]

http://world.guns.ru/assault/as18-e.htm, 19 May 2005.

[31]

http://www.answer.com, 19 May 2005.

[32]

Ibid.

[14]

RAMON C. AQUINO AND CAROLINA C. GRIOAQUINO, THE REVISED PENAL CODE, 1997
ED., VOL. I, p. 205, citing United States v. Mojica,
42 Phil. 784 (1922).

19

[15]

Supra note 12.

[33]

Exhibit B-1.

[16]

46 Phil. 738 (1922).

[34]

Exhibit A.

[17]

LUIS B. REYES, THE REVISED PENAL CODE, supra note 10, p.


203.
[35]

Exhibit B.

[36]

Testimony of Dr. Dominic L. Aguda, TSN, 28 July 1994, p. 26.

[37]

Testimony of Dr. Marcelo H. Gallardo Jr., TSN, 27 July 1994, pp.


19-20.

[18]

[19]

Ibid., p. 202.
83 Phil. 150 (1949).