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People v.

G.R. No. 210710, July 27, 2016
Facts: On 2 February 2007 at around 10:30 in the evening, Rey Perfecto De Luna (De
Luna) and Sixto Elizan (Elizan) entered a videoke bar8 at Barangay Mugdo,
Hinabangan, Samar. Noli Abayan (Abayan), appellant and Joselito Bardelas (Bardelas)
followed five minutes thereafter.10chanrobleslaw

While Elizan and De Luna were drinking, singing and merely having fun, four successive
gunshots were fired through the window. Because of this, Elizan and De Luna were hit
from behind. Later on, De Luna and Marialinisa Pasana (Pasana) saw appellant, who
was then wearing a black t-shirt and a black cap, holding a gun aimed at their
location. Pasana also saw accused-appellant and Bardelas escape after the incident.

Elizan and De Luna were brought to St. Paul's Hospital at Tacloban City. Unfortunately,
Elizan was pronounced dead upon arrival. De Luna, on the other hand, survived.

Appellant steadfastly denied the accusations. According to him, he and his

companions ordered for bottles of beer. However, when they tried to order for more
bottles, the waitress refused to give them their order unless they pay for their previous
orders first. While Abayan was explaining to the father of the owner of the videoke bar,
appellant and Bardelas went out to urinate,however, the waitress locked the front door.
While standing outside, he heard the waitress utter the words, "If you will not pay, I [will]
have you killed, all of you, right this moment. He also consistently contend that it was a
man wearing black shirt and camouflage pants who fired shots to the videoke bar, not

The following day, appellant and Bardelas were arrested and underwent paraffin test.
RTC: Found them guilty
CA: Upheld the ruling

Issue: 1) Whether the lower court committed error in finding the accused guilty of the
commission of the crime.
2) Whether Illegal Possession of firearms should be treated as a mere aggravating
Held: 1) No. The elements of murder are: (1) that a person was killed; (2) that the
accused killed him or her; (3) that the killing was attended by any of the qualifying
circumstances mentioned in Article 248 of the RPC; and (4) that the killing is not
parricide or infanticide are present in the case.
There is treachery when the offender commits any of the crimes against the person,
employing means, methods or forms in the execution thereof, which tend directly and
specially to insure its execution, without risk to himself arising from the defense which the
offended party might make.38chanrobleslaw

In addition, the lower courts appropriately found appellant liable for the crime of
Frustrated Murder.
A felony is frustrated when the offender performs all the acts of execution which would
produce the felony as a consequence but which, nevertheless, do not produce it by
reason of causes independent of the will of the perpetrator

2) Yes. In view of the amendments introduced by R.A. No. 8294 and R.A. No. 10591,
to Presidential Decree No. 1866, separate prosecutions for homicide and illegal
possession are no longer in order. Instead, illegal possession of firearm is merely to
be taken as an aggravating circumstance in the crime of murder.59 It is clear from
the foregoing that where murder results from the use of an unlicensed firearm, the
crime is not qualified illegal possession but, murder. In such a case, the use of the
unlicensed firearm is not considered as a separate crime but shall be appreciated as
a mere aggravating circumstance. Thus, where murder was committed, the penalty
for illegal possession of firearms is no longer imposable since it becomes merely a
special aggravating circumstance. The intent of Congress is to treat the offense of
illegal possession of firearm and the commission of homicide or murder with the
use of unlicensed firearm as a single offense.61chan

In the case at hand, since it was proven that accused-appellant was not a licensed
firearm holder, and that he was positively identified by the witnesses as the one
who fired shots against the victims, the use of an unlicensed firearm in the
commission of the crimes of Murder and Frustrated Murder should be considered as
an aggravating circumstance thereof.

With regard to the appreciation of the aggravating circumstance of the use of an

unlicensed firearm, we agree with the trial court and the appellate court that the
same must be appreciated in the instant case. In People v. Lualhati, this Court
ruled that in crimes involving unlicensed firearm, the prosecution has the burden of
proving the elements thereof, which are: (1) the existence of the subject firearm
and (2) the fact that the accused who owned or possessed the firearm does not
have the corresponding license or permit to possess the same.
Dizon v. CA
G.R. No. 111762 July 22, 1999
Facts: The prosecution evidence shows that at around 7:00 in the evening on May 11,
1990, patrolmen Ernesto Marquez and Alfredo Opriasa of the Western Police District
followed a group of rallyists, numbering about 20 to 25, that marched along Recto
Avenue then turned left on Nicanor Reyes Street (formerly Morayta Street) and
proceeded to España Street. The group was protesting the coming exploratory talks
between the governments of the Philippines and the United States concerning the
extension of the Military Bases Agreement which was due to expire on September 16,
1991. Upon reaching the intersection of España and A. Maceda Streets, the
demonstrators stopped to stage a noise barrage.

Marquez, who was driving the patrol car, stopped the vehicle about seven meters from
the group. Marquez and Opriasa remained in the car for about ten minutes, observing
the rallyists. When some of them started burning tires in the middle of the street, Opriasa
alighted and ran towards the students who scampered when they saw him. Marquez
followed Opriasa shortly after. Opriasa got hold of accused-appellant who was left
behind while trying to light one of the tires on the street. Opriasa frisked accused-
appellant and confiscated from him a pillbox. Following standard procedure, they first
took accused-appellant to the Jose B. Reyes Memorial Hospital for examination before
proceeding to the WPD Station 4 on UN Avenue where accused-appellant was booked
and detained for illegal possession of pillbox. The sealed object seized by Opriasa from
accused-appellant was turned over to him at the WPD station by Pfc. Calingling, in the
presence of patrolmen Marquez and Opriasa, for examination. The device, measuring
8.5 cm. x 4 cm., was wrapped in a "Sustagen" tin foil and tied with electrical tape. Inside
was a marble rock, two pieces of broken glass, and black powder. Police forensic
chemist Marilyn Dequito tested the silvery black powder for presence of explosive
substances by dissolving it in water and mixing the solution with certain chemicals. The
liquid product tested positive for potassium, nitrate, aluminum, and carbon, all
composite elements of an explosive. She opined that the presence of these elements
makes the object an explosive so that when thrown on the ground.
On July 16, 1990 killer earthquake struck the country, the Pillbox failed to explode
notwithstanding that Dequito's cabinet which contained the device fell sideways on a

Issue: 1) Whether the failure of the device to explode should be interpreted to be in

favour of the accused.
2) Whether conflicting testimonies of the arresting officer should warrant the acquittal of
the accused.

Held: 1) No. Forensic chemist Marilyn Dequito explained:

“[T]he pillbox was not really totally sealed. What I placed in my locker [is an] explosive
that [was] not totally sealed. It [was] opened already. In fact, moisture has already
been absorb[ed] by that mixture of substances and I don't thin[k] it will explode and
there will be no explosion anymore. But if the pillbox is totally sealed, when you throw it,
pressure will be built inside so when you throw it the pressure will be released. That is the
time that there will be an explosion when the pressure will be released.”
Moreover, proof of actual explosion is not necessary to establish that the device is an
explosive under P.D. No. 1866.

2) No. As stated in People v. Manahan:

“[Minor] contradictions and inconsistencies are normal infirmities that result from
individual differences in the appreciation of events, time, place, and circumstances.
The rule is, as it were, that inconsistencies on minor details do not destroy the probative
value of the testimonies of the witnesses because, generally, they may be due to
innocent mistake and not to deliberate falsehood.”

In the absence of a clear showing that the trial court's conclusions were arbitrarily
reached or that it overlooked certain facts of substance or value which, if considered,
might alter the result, findings of the trials court of credibility of witnesses and their
testimonies are to be accorded great respect on appeal. The reason for this is that the
trial court had opportunity to hear the witness and observe their deportment and
manner of testifying. Furthermore, the policemen have in their favor the presumption
that they have regularly performed their duty. In the absence of showing of any
improper motive in testifying against accused-appellant, this presumption must be
indulged in, this case. For the same reason, accused-appellant's claim that he is the
victim of a frame-up cannot be given much credence.