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41 G.R. No.

205316, June 29, 2015

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v.


ROMEO DE CASTRO AND RANDOLF1PABANIL, Accused-Appellants.

DECISION

VILLARAMA, JR., J.:

On appeal is the May 23, 2012 Decision2 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. CR.-H.C. No. 04343
affirming appellants' conviction for the crime of murder.

The factual antecedents

Eric De Castro (Eric), Roland Pabanil (Roland) and appellants Romeo De Castro (Romeo) and Randolf Pabanil
(Randolf) were charged with Murder under the following Information:

That on or about the 16th day of August, 2006, in the City of Makati, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of
this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, armed with LPG tank, conspiring and confederating together
and all of them mutually helping and aiding one another, with intent to kill, abuse of superior strength and insult
or in disregard of the respect due the offended party on account of his rank, did then and there willfully,
unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault and hit on the head with the said LPG Tank one Senior Police Officer
II (SPOII) Orlando De Leon, a police officer, while in the performance of his official duties, thereby inflicting
upon the latter traumatic and fatal injuries which caused his death.

CONTRARY TO LAW.3
When arraigned, the four accused pleaded not guilty. Trial on the merits ensued.

Evidence for the prosecution established that at around 3:00 a.m. of August 16, 2006, Edwin Lonzame
(Lonzame), who works as a baker at AMM Bakery at Apolinario Street, Bangkal, Makati City, saw the victim
SPOII Orlando De Leon (De Leon) at their bakery buying milk and bread. A man later identified as Randolf also
came to buy from the bakery. Shortly, another man arrived and punched Randolf. De Leon pacified them until
the man ran away but he continued talking with Randolf and they had an altercation. At this point, another man,
later identified as Romeo, arrived and hit De Leon on the head. De Leon fell and was mauled by Randolf,
Romeo, Eric and Roland, the latter two are familiar with Lonzame as they used to stand-by at the bakery almost
everyday being car wash boys in the car wash area near the bakery.4chanrobleslaw

While pinned down, De Leon was hit on the face by Randolf with a stove and gas tank he took from a nearby
store. De Leon tried to stand up but Romeo prevented him from doing so and they grappled for possession of De
Leon's service firearm. The said gun went off, and shortly Romeo again took it and pointed the gun at De Leon.
When the gun did not fire, Romeo hit De Leon's head with the gun, dragged him to the street and left. De Leon
was again mauled by Randolf, Eric and Roland who took turns in hitting him with a gas stove. When Romeo
returned, he picked up the gas tank and dropped it on De Leon's face.5chanrobleslaw

In the morning of the same day, all four accused were arrested and De Leon's service firearm was surrendered to
the arresting officer, Randy Laman Ozo.6chanrobleslaw

In the meantime, Eric died and the case against him was dismissed.7chanrobleslaw

Dr. Voltaire Nulud of the Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory testified that, based on his autopsy and
medico-legal report, De Leon died of intracranial hemorrhages and sustained traumatic head injuries caused by a
heavy, solid material.8chanrobleslaw

The defense gave a different version of the incident. Randolf testified that in the morning of August 16, 2006, he
was drinking with his brother, Roland and cousins Romeo and Eric, and with another friend they call "Kabayo"
in the interior of Apolinario Street. Around 2:30 a.m., he went out to buy cigarettes at AMM Bakery and saw a
man (De Leon) talking to Liezl, the bakery's saleslady who is his (Randolf s) textmate. When Liezl finally
attended to him, another man in white sando approached and hit him at the back of his ear and ran away. He
went after said man but he met De Leon who told him "Siga ka ba rito?" De Leon then poked his gun at him,
kicked him and told him to go home. He went back to his drinking session and told Romeo that he was punched
at the bakery. Romeo went to the place of the punching incident and he tried to stop Romeo, warning the latter
that one of the men at the bakery had a gun. After five minutes, he followed Romeo and saw him infront of the
bakery having an altercation with De Leon who was trying to draw his gun. He then approached De Leon slowly
from the side so De Leon would not see him, thinking that De Leon would shoot Romeo. De Leon fell after he
hit him. Romeo then held De Leon's hand and he punched the man three times. The gun fired and he hit De
Leon with a gas tank. When he was about to hit De Leon a third time, Roland arrived, took the gas tank from
him, and told him to go home.9 He then stood up and took the gun from Eric. They left De Leon unconscious
and bloodied.

Romeo gave similar statements as that of Randolf. He had a heated conversation with De Leon, they were
hurling invectives. He testified that Randolf approached De Leon as the latter was trying to pull his
gun.10chanrobleslaw

On the part of Roland, he testified that he had nothing to do with the killing but merely pacified De Leon and his
brother Randolf whom he saw trying to hit De Leon with a gas tank. However, he failed to submit his counter-
affidavit during the preliminary investigation.

In its Decision11 dated December 4, 2009 in Criminal Case No. 06-1675, the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of
Makati City, Branch 66, found appellants guilty of murder. They were sentenced to suffer the penalty
of reclusion perpetua and ordered to pay De Leon's heirs P12,000 as burial expenses, P50,000 as life indemnity,
P50,000 as moral and exemplary damages, and costs. Roland Pabanil was acquitted.12chanrobleslaw

In their appeal before the CA, appellants argued that the RTC erred in considering the qualifying circumstances
of abuse of superior strength and disregard of the respect due on account of De Leon's rank. 13 They pointed out
that the prosecution failed to prove the qualifying circumstance of abuse of superior strength. They claimed that
Randolf punched De Leon as he thought the latter was about to shoot Romeo. When De Leon fell and drew his
gun, Randolf was forced to get the LPG tank and hit De Leon with it. Appellants also argue that at the time of
the incident, they did not know that De Leon is a police officer.14chanrobleslaw

The CA denied the appeal and affirmed with modification the RTC Decision. The fallo of the assailed CA
Decision reads:

WHEREFORE, the appeal is DENIED for lack of merit. The Decision dated December 4, 2009 of the
Regional Trial Court of Makati City, Branch 66 in Crim. Case No. 06-1675, which found ROMEO DE
CASTRO alias "Omeng" and RANDOLF PABANIL alias "Oloy" GUILTY of MURDER and sentenced to
suffer the penalty of RECLUSION PERPETUA is hereby AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION in that the
amount of P12,000.00 as interment and burial expenses to be awarded [to] the heirs of Sr. Police Officer II
Orlando De Leon shall be DELETED. The amount of civil indemnity to be awarded [to] the heirs of SPO II De
Leon shall also be increased from P50,000.00 to P75,000.00. In addition, Appellants ROMEO DE CASTRO and
RANDOLF PABANIL are ORDERED to pay the heirs of SPO II De Leon moral damages in the amount of
P50,000.00, exemplary damages in the amount of P30,000.00 and temperate damages in the amount of
P25,000.00. All awards shall further incur interest at the legal rate of six percent (6%) per annum from the date
of finality of this Decision until fully paid.

SO ORDERED.15
The CA agreed with the RTC that appellants failed to prove the elements of defense of a relative. The CA noted
that there was no unlawful aggression on the part of De Leon. In fact, Randolf hit De Leon because he thought
that De Leon was with the man who punched him and not because he was threatened by De Leon's gun. And if it
was indeed the threat of a gun which prompted appellants to hit De Leon, there was no more unlawful
aggression when Randolf repeatedly attacked De Leon. The CA also said that Romeo admitted he already had
possession of the gun when appellant Randolf repeatedly hit De Leon with a gas tank. If De Leon was the
aggressor, De Leon's aggression ceased the moment he was disarmed. When Randolf repeatedly hit De Leon
who had no more weapon and had fallen, there is thus no more self-defense or defense of a relative, said the CA.
The CA further noted that De Leon's skull was broken into small pieces and held that the severity of De Leon's
injuries reveals that the force used against him by appellants was not reasonable to disarm him or prevent him
from harming others.

But while the CA agreed with appellants that the prosecution failed to prove the circumstance of disregard of the
respect due on account of De Leon's rank, it nevertheless ruled that abuse of superior strength is present in this
case. The CA said that De Leon was already helpless when he was repeatedly attacked with a gas tank.
Hence, this appeal. Appellants filed a manifestation in lieu of supplemental brief. 16chanrobleslaw

Did the CA err in affirming appellants' conviction for the crime of murder?

We rule in the negative.


Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, defines the crime of murder, to wit:

ART. 248. Murder. - Any person who, not falling within the provisions of Article 246, shall kill another, shall be
guilty of murder and shall be punished by reclusion perpetua, to death if committed with any of the following
attendant circumstances:

1. With treachery, taking advantage of superior strength, with the aid of armed men, or employing means to
weaken the defense, or of means or persons to insure or afford impunity;

x x x x (Emphasis supplied)
To be convicted of murder, the following must be established: (1) a person was killed; (2) the accused killed
him; (3) the killing was with the attendance of any of the qualifying circumstances under Article 248 of
the Revised Penal Code, as amended; and (4) the killing neither constitutes parricide nor
infanticide.17chanrobleslaw

In this case, the foregoing elements of the crime of murder were duly established. De Leon was killed.
Appellants killed him. De Leon's killing was attended by abuse of superior strength, one of the qualifying
circumstances under Article 248 (1) of the Revised Penal Code, as amended. De Leon's killing is not parricide or
infanticide. In fact, appellants do not dispute the first, second and fourth elements. They merely questioned the
second element, the presence of the qualifying circumstance of abuse of superior strength.

To take advantage of superior strength is to purposely use excessive force, out of proportion to the means of
defense available to the person attacked.18 We agree with the CA that the qualifying circumstance of abuse of
superior strength is present in this case. As aptly pointed out by the CA, De Leon was already helpless when he
was repeatedly attacked with a gas tank. Appellants clearly used excessive force against the already unarmed
and defenseless De Leon. This is clear from Romeo's own testimony:

Q - You said that your cousin Randolf Pabanil came, where did he come from?
A - From behind, sir.

Q - From behind of whom?


A - Behind the man wearing leather jacket, sir.

xxxx

Q - xxx what did Randolf do to this man?


A - He suddenly punched the man behind his ear, sir.

Q - So what happened to the man wearing leather jacket?


A - He went off balance but he was able to draw his gun.

Q - Now, what did you do next, Mr. Witness?


A - I was able to grab the gun and then Randolf punched the man 3 times.

Q - You said you were able to get hold the gun and you also said that Randolf was able to punch that man, how
many times he punched that man?
A - Two or three times, sir.

Q - Now what happened after Mr. Randolf Pabanil punched him 2 to 3 times, what happened next, Mr.
Witness?
A - Nabitawan ko yong baril.

Q - Mr. Witness, you said that the man wearing leather jacket was able to draw the gun and you said that you
were able to get hold of this, you likewise stated that Mr. Randolf Pabanil punched him while he was still
holding the gun, now what happened after this?
A - The gun went-off sir.

Q - Now, was there anything that was hit by this gunshot?


A - None, sir.

Q - Now, after the gun went-off what happened next?


A - The man dropped his gun and then Randolf got the gas tank and hit him on his neck.

Q - Q - After the gun was dropped what did you do next Mr. Witness?
A - I took the gun, sir.

Q- Now, while you are holding the gun what was Mr. Randolf Pabanil doing?
A - He hit the man another (sic) times, sir.

Q - What did he hit the man with?


A - LPG gas tank, sir.

Q - So all in all how many time[s] did Randolf Pabanil hit the man with the LPG gas tank?
A - Twice, sir.19 (Emphasis supplied)
And as testified to by Lonzame, after the accused left, appellant Romeo returned, picked up the gas tank and
dropped it to De Leon.20chanrobleslaw

Indeed, the justifying circumstances of self-defense or defense of a relative cannot be appreciated in favor of
appellants. Article 11 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, reads:

ART. 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 circumstances 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.

2. Anyone who acts in defense of the person or rights of his spouse, ascendants, descendants, or legitimate,
natural, or adopted brothers or sisters or of his relatives by affinity in the same degrees, and those by
consanguinity within the fourth civil degree, provided that the first and second requisites prescribed in the next
preceding circumstance are present, and the further requisite, in case the provocation was given by the person
attacked, that the one making defense had no part therein.

xxxx

Unlawful aggression is the condition sine qua non for the justifying circumstances of self-defense and defense
of a relative.21 Here, we agree with the CA that there was no unlawful aggression on the part of De Leon.
Randolf himself testified that he hit De Leon because he thought that De Leon was with the man who punched
him and not because he was threatened by De Leon's gun, to wit:

Atty. Villalon:
Why did you hit him, Mr. Witness?

Witness:
Because I thought he was with the guy who punched me, sir.

xxxx

Atty. Villalon:
So what did you think when you saw Mr. Orlando de Leon holding his gun and cursing your cousin and
telling him not to come near him, what did you think?
Witness:
Nothing, sir, I just thought of hitting him, sir.

Atty. Villalon:
Why?

Witness:
Because I thought that he was the one who ordered that I would be hit, sir.22
As to the award of damages, the CA correctly awarded P75,000 as civil indemnity, P50,000 as moral damages,
P30,000 as exemplary damages and P25,000 as temperate damages. The award of 6% interest per annum on the
monetary awards from the date of finality of this Decision until fully paid is also correct. 23chanrobleslaw

WHEREFORE, we DISMISS the appeal and AFFIRM the May 23, 2012 Decision of the Court of Appeals in
CA-G.R. CR.-H.C. No. 04343.

With costs against the accused-appellants.

SO ORDERED.

45. People vs PO3 Fallorina


G.R. No. 137347
March 4, 2004

Facts:

At about 2:30 p.m. of September 26, 1998, Vincent Jorojoro, an eleven-year old minor and the third child of
Vicente and Felicisima Jorojoro, residing at Sitio Militar, Brgy. Bahay Toro, Project 8, Quezon City, asked
permission from his mother Felicisima if he could play outside. She agreed. Together with his playmate Whilcon
Buddha Rodriguez, Vincent played with his kite on top of the roof of an abandoned carinderia beside the road.

Beside the carinderia was a basketball court, where a fourteen-year old witness Ricardo Salvo and his three
friends, were playing basketball. Ricardo heard the familiar sound of a motorcycle coming from the main road
across the basketball court. Cognizant to Ricardo of the appellant, PO3 Ferdinand Fallorina, a Philippine
National Police (PNP) officer, detailed in the Traffic Management Group (TMG), knew that he abhorred kids
playing on the roof, since one of his friends was previously been scolded by the appellant before.

Ricardo called on Vincent and Whilcon to come down from the roof. When PO3 Fallorina saw them, the former
stopped his motorcycle, he shouted and badmouthed at them. After hearing the shouts of the appellant, Whilcon
rushed to jump off from the roof while Vincent was lying on his stomach on the roof flying his kite. When he
heard the appellants shouts, Vincent stood up and looked at the latter. As soon as Vincent turned his back, ready
to get down from the roof, suddenly, the appellant pointed the .45 caliber pistol towards the direction of Vincent
and fired a shot. Vincent fell from the roof, lying prostrate near the canal beside the abandoned carinderia and
the basketball court.

The appellant approached Vincent and carried the latters hapless body in a waiting tricycle and brought him to
the Quezon City General Hospital. Vincent was pronounced dead on arrival caused by a single gunshot wound
in the head.

Issues:

(a) Whether the appellant is exempted from criminal liability?

(b) Whether the appellant can offset an aggravating circumstance by taking advantage of his public position
from a mitigating circumstance of his voluntary surrender?

Held:

The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) cites that the basis for exemption from a criminal liability under
Article 12, paragraph 4 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC), is the complete absence of intent and negligence on
the part of the accused. For the accused to be guilty for a felony, it must be committed either with criminal intent
or with fault or negligence.

Thusly, the elements of exempting circumstances are (1) a person is performing a lawful act; (2) with due care;
(3) he causes an injury to another by mere accident; and (4) without any fault or intention of causing it.

In the case at bar, the Court a quo erred in inequitably appreciating exculpatory and inculpatory facts and
circumstances which should have been considered in favor of the accused. The court also failed to appreciate the
mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender in favor of the accused since it was only after three days that the
appellant gave himself up and surrendered his service firearm. And lastly, the court considered the aggravating
circumstance of taking advantage of his position by the accused.

On January 19, 1999, the trial court rendered judgment convicting the appellant-accused of murder, qualified by
treachery and aggravated by abuse of public position. The trial court did not appreciate in favor of the appellant
the mitigating circumstances of voluntary surrender.

The Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 95, found the accused PO3 Ferdinand Fallorina y Fernando
GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder defined and penalized by Article 248 of the RPC, as
amended by the Republic Act No. 7659, and in view of the presence of the aggravating circumstance of taking
advantage by the accused of his public position (par. 1, Art. 14, RPC). Hence, the accused is hereby ordered to
indemnify the heirs of late Vincent Jorojoro, Jr. the amounts of actual damages of P49,174.00 (paid for funeral
services); P50,000.00 for moral damages; P25,000.00 as exemplary damages; and P50,000.00 as death
indemnity. The court a quo sentenced the appellant to suffer the Death Penalty.

47 People v. Jalosjos [G.R. Nos. 132875-76. February 3, 2000]

FACTS
The accused-appellant, Romeo G. Jalosjos is a full-fledged member of Congress who is now confined at the
national penitentiary while his conviction for statutory rape on two counts and acts of lasciviousness on six
counts is pending appeal. The accused-appellant filed this motion asking that he be allowed to fully discharge
the duties of a Congressman, including attendance at legislative sessions and committee meetings despite his
having been convicted in the first instance of a non-bailable offense.
ISSUE
Whether or not being a Congressman is a substantial differentiation which removes the accused-appellant as a
prisoner from the same class as all persons validly confined under law by reason of the mandate of the
sovereign will.
RULING
NO. While the Constitution guarantees: x x x nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of laws., this
simply means that all persons similarly situated shall be treated alike both in rights enjoyed and responsibilities
imposed. The duties imposed by the mandate of the people are multifarious. The Court cannot validate badges
of inequality. The necessities imposed by public welfare may justify exercise of government authority to
regulate even if thereby certain groups may plausibly assert that their interests are disregarded. Here, election to
the position of Congressman is not a reasonable classification in criminal law enforcement. The functions and
duties of the office are not substantial distinctions which lift him from the class of prisoners interrupted in their
freedom and restricted in liberty of movement. Lawful arrest and confinement are germane to the purposes of
the law and apply to all those belonging to the same class. Hence, the performance of legitimate and even
essential duties by public officers has never been an excuse to free a person validly in prison.

49 People vs Amadeo Peralta, et al.


G.R. No. L-19069
October 29, 1968

Facts:

On February 16, 1958, in the municipality of Muntinglupa, province of Rizal, two known warring gangs inside
the New Bilibid Prison as Sigue-Sigue and OXO were preparing to attend a mass at 7 a.m. However, a fight
between the two rival gangs caused a big commotion in the plaza where the prisoners were currently assembled.
The fight was quelled and those involved where led away to the investigation while the rest of the prisoners
were ordered to return to their respective quarters.

In the investigation, it was found out that the accused, OXO members, Amadeo Peralta, Andres Factora,
Leonardo Dosal, Angel Paramog, Gervasio Larita and Florencio Luna (six among the twenty-two defendants
charged therein with multiple murder), are also convicts confined in the said prisons by virtue of final
judgments.

They conspired, confederated and mutually helped and aided each other, with evident premeditation and
treachery, all armed with deadly weapons, did, then and there, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously killed
Sigue-Sigue sympathizers Jose Carriego, Eugenio Barbosa and Santos Cruz, also convicts confined in the
same institution, by hitting, stabbing, and striking them with ice picks, clubs and other improvised weapons,
pointed and/or sharpened, thereby inflicting upon the victims multiple serious injuries which directly caused
their deaths.

Issues

(a) Whether of not conspiracy attended the commission of the multiple murder?

(b) Whether or not an aggravating circumstance of quasi-recidivism is present in the commission of the crime?

Held:

A conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an agreement concerning the commission of a felony
and decide to commit it. Generally, conspiracy is not a crime unless when the law specifically provides a penalty
thereof as in treason, rebellion and sedition. However, when in resolute execution of a common scheme, a
felony is committed by two or more malefactors, the existence of a conspiracy assumes a pivotal importance in
the determination of the liability of the perpetrators. Once an express or implied conspiracy is proved, all of the
conspirators are liable as co-principals regardless of the extent and character of their respective active
participation in the commission of the crime/s perpetrated in furtherance of the conspiracy because in
contemplation of law the act of one is the act of all.

The collective criminal liability emanates from the ensnaring nature of conspiracy. The concerted action of the
conspirators in consummating their common purpose is a patent display of their evil partnership, and for the
consequences of such criminal enterprise they must be held solidarity liable. However, in order to hold an
accused guilty as co-principal by reason of conspiracy, it must be established that he performed an overt act in
furtherance of the conspiracy, either by actively participating in the actual commission of the crime, or by
lending moral assistance to his co-conspirators by being present at the scene of the crime, or by exerting moral
ascendancy over the rest of the conspirators as to move them to executing the conspiracy.

Conspiracy alone, without execution of its purpose, is not a crime punishable by law, except in special instances
(Article 8, Revised Penal Code) which, do not include robbery.

Reverting now to the case at bar, the trial court correctly ruled that conspiracy attended the commission of the
murders. To wit, although there is no direct evidence of conspiracy, the court can safely say that there are several
circumstances to show that the crime committed by the accused was planned. First, all the deceased were
Tagalogs and members of sympathizers of Sigue-Sigue gang (OXO members were from either Visayas or
Mindanao), singled out and killed thereby, showing that their killing has been planned. Second, the accused
were all armed with improvised weapons showing that they really prepared for the occasion. Third, the accused
accomplished the killing with team work precision going from one brigade to another and attacking the same
men whom they have previously marked for liquidation and lastly, almost the same people took part in the
killing of the Carriego, Barbosa and Cruz.

In view of the attendance of the special aggravating circumstances of quasi-recidivism, as all of the six accused
at the time of the commission of the offenses were serving sentences in the New Bilibid Prison by virtue of
convictions by final judgments that penalty for each offense must be imposed in its maximum period, which is
the mandate of the first paragraph of article 160 of the RPC. Hence, severe penalty imposed on a quasi-recidivist
is justified because of the perversity and incorrigibility of the crime.

Accordingly, the judgment a quo is hereby modified as follows: Amadeo Peralta, Andres Factora, Leonardo
Dosal, Angel Paramog, Gervasio Larita and Florencio Luna are each pronounced guilty of three separate and
distinct crimes of murder, and are each sentenced to three death penalties; all of them shall, jointly and severally,
indemnify the heirs of each of the three deceased victims in the sum of P12,000; each will pay one-sixth of the
costs.

54 PEOPLE VS. DIONALDO, ET AL.


July 23, 2014, G.R. No. 207949
PERLAS-BERNABE, J.

FACTS: Edwin Navarro, had been kidnapped by four men from Health Is Wealth Gym. The kidnappers,
including Dionaldo, demanded from Edwins brother 15 million as a ransom. After negotiations, the ransom has
been lowered to P110,000. However, the payment of the ransom and subsequent rescue operations with the
police failed. The dead body of Edwin was later on found by the police and the kidnappers was later on
identified and arrested by the police.

Thus, accused-appellants as well as Virgilio were charged in an Information which reads:

That on or about the 16th day of May, 2003 in Caloocan City, Metro Manila and within the
jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, conspiring together and mutually
helping one another, being then private persons, did then and there by force and intimidation willfully,
unlawfully and feloniously with the use of motor vehicle and superior strength take, carry and deprive
EDWIN NAVARRO Y ONA, of his liberty against his will, for the purpose of extorting ransom as in
fact a demand of P15,000,000.00 was made as a condition of the victims release and on the occasion
thereof, the death of the victim resulted.

The RTC and CA convicted the four kidnappers of the crime of Kidnapping and Serious Illegal Detention
sentencing each of them to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua.

ISSUE: Whether the RTC and CA erred in convicting the kidnappers with the crime of Kidnapping and Serious
Illegal Detention

HELD: YES. The court held that it was constrained to modify the ruling of the RTC and the CA, as the crime
does not, as the records obviously bear, merely constitute Kidnapping and Serious Illegal Detention, but that of
the special complex crime of Kidnapping for Ransom with Homicide. This is in view of the victim's (i.e.,
Edwin's) death, which was (a) specifically charged in the Information, and (b) clearly established during the trial
of this case. Notably, while this matter was not among the issues raised before the Court, the same should
nonetheless be considered in accordance with the settled rule that in a criminal case, an appeal, as in this case,
throws open the entire case wide open for review, and the appellate court can correct errors, though unassigned,
that may be found in the appealed judgment.

56 PEOPLE VS BALDOGO G.R. No. 129106-07

FACTS: The accused Gonzalo Baldogo and Edgar Bermas who were both serving time for the crime Murder at
the Iwahig Penal Colony, were employed as domestic helpers by Julio Camacho Sr. One evening while their
master was away, they killed his son Jorge and kidnapped his daughter Julie whom they took to the mountains
and detained her for more than five days, contrary to law and attended by the aggravating circumstance of
Recidivism. Upon arraignment, the accused Baldogo pleaded not guilty. Bermas on the other hand died before
he could be arraigned.
ISSUE(S)/DEFENSE OF THE ACCUSED:
The burden of proof lies in the prosecution to prove the aggravating circumstance of quasi-recidivism by the
same quantum of evidence as the crime itself.
RULING: The prosecution adduced in evidence merely the excerpt of the prison record of accused-appellant
showing that he was convicted of Homicide by the Regional Trial Court of Baguio City with a penalty which he
was serving at the Iwahig Penal Colony. The excerpt of the prison record is not the best evidence under Section
3, Rule 130 of the Revised Rules of Court, to prove the judgment of the Regional Trial Court of Baguio City and
to prove that said judgment had become final and executor. Said excerpt is merely secondary or substitutionary
evidence which is inadmissible, absent proof that the original of the judgment had been lost or destroyed or that
the same cannot be produced without the fault of the prosecution. Therefore the aggravating circumstance of
quasi-recidivism cannot be appreciated in this case.
58 G.R. No. 110097; December 22, 1997
FACTS:
Appellant Arnulfo Astorga appealed the courts decision on Criminal Case No. 8243 wherein
appellant was charged with violation of Article 267, paragraph 4 of the Revised Penal Code or the
kidnap and detention of a minor.
Astorga insisted that the inconsistencies and the contradictions of the prosecutions witnesses should
be deemed incredible and that the delay in the filing of the accusation weakened the case.
Furthermore, Astorga claimed that he had no motive to kidnap the 8-year-old Yvonne Traya which
shouldve been apparent and proven upon conviction. Ultimately, Astorga claimed that the court erred
in convicting him despite the fact that he had not detained nor locked Yvonne up which is an
important element in kidnapping.
ISSUES:
1.) Whether or not the prosecutions witnesses were credible.
2.) Whether or not the lack of motive by the appellant is significant in the courts decision.
3.) Whether or not it was kidnapping or coercion.
RULING:
1.) The delay in the making of the criminal accusation does not necessarily weaken the credibility of
the witnesses especially if it had been satisfactorily explained. In the case, one week was reasonable
since the victim was a resident in Binaungan and that the case was filed in Tagum, Davao.
2.) The court found it irrelevant to identify the motive since motive is not an element of the crime.
Motive is totally irrelevant when ample direct evidence sustains the culpability of the accused beyond
reasonable doubt. Besides, the appellant himself admitted having taken Yvonne to Maco Central
Elementary School.
3.) The court agreed with the appellants contention. The evidence does not show that appellant
wanted to detain Yvonne; much less, that he actually detained her. Appellants forcible dragging of
Yvonne to a place only he knew cannot be said to be an actual confinement or restriction on the
person of Yvonne. There was no lock up. Accordingly, appellant cannot be convicted of kidnapping
under Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code. Rather, the felony committed was grave coercion under
Article 286 of the same code.

59 SALVADOR MARZALADO vs. People


G.R. No. 152997. November 10, 2004

Facts: Cristina N. Albano was the lessee of a unit in the house owned by the mother of the petitioner. His
mother filed an ejectment case against Albano. Judgment was rendered against Albano, who was ordered to
vacate the leased premises and to pay the unpaid rentals. Albano appealed to the RTC.
During the pendency of the appeal, the electricity supply of the unit was cut off due to non-payment of bills. As
a result, Albano transferred her children to her fathers house, four houses away, leaving a maid to sleep in the
unit. Albano claims that she noticed that the lead pipe she used to hang clothes to dry was missing. When she
returned the following day she discovered the padlock of the main door changed, preventing her from entering
the premises. She went to see petitioner but he was not around. On the next day she again returned to her unit.
She peeked through the window jalousies and saw that the place was already empty. She immediately reported
the matter to the barangay officials, who in turn, advised her to go to the police. Thereafter, she filed a
complaint for grave coercion, qualified trespass to dwelling and theft against petitioner. 10 days after, Albano
tried to see the accused, but again failed. This time she noticed that the roofing of her unit had been removed
and the main door locked from the inside. She was informed that the petitioner and his female companion took
her lead pipe and also took her personal belongings which brought inside his house.
Albano filed a suit for trespass to dwelling with the MeTC against Marzalado, Jr.. witness named
Raniedo, the owner of the house fronting Albanos unit, testified that he saw the petitioner, take a lead pipe and
hand it to a woman waiting at the terrace of Marzalado, Jr.s house. He further testified that the next when he
was relaxing in front of his house, he heard noises coming from Albanos apartment. There he saw Marzalado,
Jr., forcibly open the door of the unit, bring out the belongings of Albano, and take these to his own house.
On his defense, he accused Albano of deliberately leaving the faucet open causing it to flood on the floor. The
MeTC handed a judgment finding the accused Salvador Mar[z]alado, Jr. GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt
of Qualified Trespass To Dwelling under Article 280 of the Revised Penal Code. Marzalado appealed the
decision to the RTC. RTC affirmed the MeTCs decision. The CA also affirmed the decision. Defense said that
the Court of Appeals erred in affirming the decisions of the MTC and the RTC because the incident happened on
Nov. 3 and not Nov. 2 and so there is a misapprehension of facts and that his entry in the premises is fully
justified because he was assisted by their brgy. Secretary and 2 brgy. tanods.
Issue: Whether or not the petitioner is guilty of qualified trespass to dwelling

Ruling: The decision of the CA is reversed and that the accused is hereby acquitted.
The Court states that the exact date when the alleged trespass occurred is not an essential element of
the offense of trespass. It is sufficient that the Complaint or Information states that the crime has been
committed at any time as near as possible to the date of its actual commission. However, the Supreme Court
further stated that as certified by Barangay Lupon Secretary the unit rented by Albano was forcibly opened by
the owner because of the strong water pressure coming out of the faucet even Albano herself admitted, she
and her children already left the unit when the electricity supply was cut off. Hence, nobody was left to attend
to the unit, except during some nights when Albanos maid slept in the unit. Clearly, Marzalado, Jr., acted for
the justified purpose of avoiding further flooding and damage to his mothers property caused by the open
faucet. No criminal intent could be clearly imputed to petitioner for the remedial action he had taken. There
was an exigency that had to be addressed to avoid damage to the leased unit. There is nothing culpable
concerning Marzalado, Jr.s judgment call to enter the unit and turn off the faucet instead of closing the inlet
valve as suggested by the OSG. The Court also stated that in a situation of ambiguity, where the act of the
accused permits of two possible signification, one culpable and another innocent, the ambiguity should be
resolved in favor of the accused.

61 Doctrine: Special complex crime - where the law provides a single penalty for two or more component
offenses. Nature of Case: PEOPLE OF THE PHILS. V. TALUSAN G.R. No. 179187, July 14, 2009 Appellee:
PEOPLE OF THE PHILS. Appellant: RENATO TALUSAN Nature of Case: Special complex crime of
kidnapping with rape Brief: The accused Renato Talusan conspired and confederated together with one ELJOY
SALONGA and kidnapped, AAA, a SIX (6) year old, minor, which lasted for eight (8) days, and inserted his
finger into the vagina of AAA for several instances thereby subjecting her to sexual abuse. Dispositive: The
Court ruled that the appellant was guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the special complex crime of kidnapping
with rape. Facts: In the early morning of January 14, 2004, as AAA was on her way to school, appellant, who
was sitting by a tree in Las Pias, pulled her aside and cajoled her into joining him by telling her that they would
go to Jollibee. AAA obliged as she knew appellant to be a fellow attendee of Sunday Bible classes. Appellant
brought AAA, however, to a house in Imus, Cavite occupied by one El Joy Salonga and two unidentified
individuals to whom he introduced her as his daughter. AAA was thereafter under appellants control and custody
for eight days during which he abused her by inserting his finger inside her vagina on a daily basis before
breakfast, despite her resistance. AAA having failed to return home by noon of January 14, 2004, her stepfather
BBB went to her school to inquire. With the help of a neighbor and a former co-worker of the appellant, the
latter was apprehended. The initial medico-legal examination revealed the following: Findings: - Hymen: Deep
fresh 3 & 9oclock position - Vestibule congested Conclusion: - Subject compatible with recent loss of virginity -
There are no ext. signs of application of any form of trauma Hence, the filing of the Information for kidnapping
with rape. Issue of the Case: Whether or not the trial court has fault in convicting the appellant on the basis of an
improvident plea of guilt - NO Actions of the Court: Regional Trial Court (RTC) -The trial court in its Decision
of June 7, 2004 found the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt by his voluntary and spontaneous plea
of guilty, while the Presiding Judge does not believe in the imposition of death penalty as a form of punishment,
nevertheless, in obedience to the law which is his duty to uphold, this Court finds the accused, GUILTY, beyond
reasonable doubt for the special complex crime of KIDNAPPING with RAPE and hereby sentences him to
suffer the supreme penalty of DEATH. The accused is hereby ordered to pay the victim AAA, the amount of
P50,000.00 by way of civil indemnity and an additional amount of P50,000.00 by way of moral damages which
by case law is automatically awarded to rape victims without need of proof. The case was forwarded to this SC
on automatic review due to the death penalty imposed. However, the SC referred the case to the Court of
Appeals by Resolution of November 22, 2005 for intermediate disposition. Court of Appeals (CA) - In May 25,
2007, the decision dated 07 June 2004 of the RTC, Branch 199, Las Pinas City is hereby AFFIRMED with
MODIFICATION by the CA. Appellant Renato Talusan y Panganiban is sentenced to reclusion perpetua,
conformably with R.A. No. 9346, without eligibility for parole and is ordered to indemnify the AAA the
following: (a) P50,000.00 as civil indemnity; and (b) P50,000.00 as moral damages. Supreme Court (SC) -
Affirmed the decision of May 25, 2007 of the CA with modification. Supreme Court Ruling: In the present case,
even without the plea of guilty of the appellant, the evidence presented by the prosecution supports his guilt
beyond reasonable doubt of the special complex crime of kidnapping with rape under Article 267 of the Revised
Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 7659. Thus in People v. Larraaga the Court held: Where the law
provides a single penalty for two or more component offenses, the resulting crime is called a special complex
crime. Some of the special complex crimes under the Revised Penal Code are (1) robbery with homicide, (2)
robbery with rape, (3) kidnapping with serious physical injuries, (4) kidnapping with murder or homicide, and
(5) rape with homicide. In a special complex crime, the prosecution must necessarily prove each of the
component offenses with the same precision that would be necessary if they were made the subject of separate
complaints. As earlier mentioned, R.A. No. 7659 amended Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code by adding
thereto this provision: When the victim is killed or dies as a consequence of the detention, or is raped, or is
subjected to torture or dehumanizing acts, the maximum penalty shall be imposed; and that this provision gives
rise to a special complex crime. WHEREFORE, the Decision of May 25, 2007 of the Court of Appeals is
AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION in that the separate awards of civil indemnity and moral damages are
increased from P50,000 to P75,000. In all other respects, the Decision is AFFIRMED.