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PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee,

vs.
ERWIN LALOG, ROOSEVELT CONCEPCION, EDWIN RAMIREZ, and RICKY
LITADA, Accused-Appellants.
G.R. No. 196753 | April 21, 2014
DOCTRINE OF THE CASE:
To avail of self-defense as a justifying circumstance so as not to incur any criminal liability, it must be proved with certainty
by satisfactory and convincing evidence which excludes any vestige of criminal aggression on the part of the person invoking it. It
cannot be entertained where it is not only uncorroborated by any separate competent evidence but is also doubtful. If the accused fails
to discharge the burden of proof, his conviction, shall of necessity follow on the basis of his admission of the killing.
_____________________________________________________________________________________
DEL CASTILLO, J.:

FACTS:
On September 29, 1999 at around 8:00 o'clock in the evening, Ryan Gain, Roswel Mercado, Rex Rey
and Jayson Manzo were strolling at the Municipal Park, when they were blocked by four (4) persons, namely
Erwin Lalog, Roosevelt Concepcion, Edwin Ramirez and Ricky Litada. Lalog angrily talked to Gain, but
Mercado intervened and apologized to the group of Lalog.
Later, Gain and Mercado went down the stairs of the park locally known as the "RAINBOW".
Mercado was walking ahead of Gain. When he looked back, he saw Gain being ganged upon by the group of
the accused-appellants held both the hands of Gain, while Lalog stabbed Gain. Fearing for his life, Roswel
immediately fled the scene. Sensing that the assailants had left the scene, Mercado approached Gain and
brought him to the hospital but it was already too late for he was declared dead on arrival.
On the other hand, Lalog admitted stabbing Gain in self-defense, while the other three appellants,
Concepcion, Ramirez, and Litada denied their participation in the stabbing incident, claiming that the three of
them were in a drinking session.
The RTC ruled against the accused-appellants and the CA affirmed this decision.

ISSUE/S:
1. Whether or not the lower courts erred in disregarding Lalog’s claim of self-defense.
2. Whether or not the qualifying circumstance of treachery was duly proved.

HELD:
1. The lower courts did not err in disregarding Lalog’s claim of self-defense.
To avail of self-defense as a justifying circumstance so as not to incur any criminal liability, it must be
proved with certainty by satisfactory and convincing evidence which excludes any vestige of criminal aggression
on the part of the person invoking it. It cannot be entertained where it is not only uncorroborated by any
separate competent evidence but is also doubtful. If the accused fails to discharge the burden of proof, his
conviction, shall of necessity follow on the basis of his admission of the killing (People v. Suyum et. al. G.R.
No. 137518, March 6, 2002).
The testimony of prosecution witness Mercado that Gain was stabbed at his back by Lalog while both
his hands were being held by the other appellants is more logical, believable and in consonance with the physical
evidence. Gain could not have been easily stabbed at his back if his hands were not being held considering that
Gain is much taller and bigger in built than the accused particularly Lalog. Furthermore, the number of wounds
sustained by Gain is indicative of Lalog’s desire to kill the former and not really defend himself because not a
single moment of the incident was his life and limb being endangered which is the essence of self-defense. The
fact that the deceased Gain was not armed all the more negates self-defense.
2. The qualifying circumstance of Treachery was duly proved.
The Court agrees with the trial court’s observation that appellants attacked Gain in a treacherous
manner. They held Gain’s arms, rendered him immobile and then thrust the knife into his body several times.

SUMMARY FORMAT
Q: Gain, Mercado, Rey and Manzo were strolling at the Municipal Park, when they were blocked by four (4)
persons, namely Lalog, Concepcion, Ramirez and Litada. Mercado was walking ahead of Gain. When he looked
back, he saw Gain being ganged upon by the group of the accused-appellants held both the hands of Gain,
while Lalog stabbed Gain. Lalog admitted stabbing Gain in self-defense. Will his defense lie? If yes, why? If
not, what crime can he be convicted of?
A: Lalog’s defense will not lie. To avail of self-defense as a justifying circumstance so as not to incur any criminal
liability, it must be proved with certainty by satisfactory and convincing evidence which excludes any vestige of
criminal aggression on the part of the person invoking it. The testimony of prosecution witness Mercado that
Gain was stabbed at his back by Lalog while both his hands were being held by the other appellants is more
logical, believable and in consonance with the physical evidence. Furthermore, the number of wounds sustained
by Gain is indicative of Lalog’s desire to kill the former and not really defend himself because not a single
moment of the incident was his life and limb being endangered which is the essence of self-defense.
The crime committed was murder as treachery is present in this case.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee,
vs.
FRANCISCO ABAIGAR, Accused-Appellant.
G.R. No. 199442 | April 7, 2014
DOCTRINE OF THE CASE:
It is settled that the assessment of the credibility of witnesses is within the province and expertise of the trial court.
_____________________________________________________________________________________
DEL CASTILLO, J.:

FACTS:
An Information was filed charging appellant Francisco Abaigar with the crime of murder. The RTC
ruled in against the accused and relied on the testimony of prosecution witness Relecita del Monte. According
to her, that at about 9 o’clock in the evening of July 11, 2001, at a distance of about 3 1/2 meters, she saw
appellant shoot Joseph Gabuya from behind hitting the victim at the back of his head. The trial court also
found that treachery attended the killing as the victim was merely in the act of opening the front door of his
house without any inkling of the impending attack coming from behind.
The CA affirmed the decision of the lower court.
Appellant basically argues that the trial court and the Court of Appeals erred in lending credence to
the testimony of eyewitness Relecita. Appellant claims that Relecita could have forewarned the victim of his
presence if indeed Relecita saw him in the vicinity; and that it was improbable that Relecita could see him
considering the poor lighting condition of the place.

ISSUE/S:
1. Whether or not the testimony of the witness is credible
2. Whether or not treachery is present in this case

HELD:
1. The testimony of the witness is credible.
It is settled that the assessment of the credibility of witnesses is within the province and expertise of
the trial court. In this case, we find no cogent reason to depart from the findings of the trial court. The court
below categorically found that Relecita had no ill motive to testify against appellant; she "has no reason to
impute on him the heinous crime of murder had she not witnessed the actual killing of the victim." Similarly,
the appellate court found Relecita to have "positively identified the appellant as the perpetrator of the
crime." Also, the failure of Relecita to warn the victim of the appellant’s impending attack should not be taken
against her.
Neither should it be taken as a blemish to her credibility.
2. Treachery is present in this case.
Records show that the victim was about to enter his house when suddenly he was shot from behind
by the appellant hitting him at the back of his head. The victim suffered five gunshot wounds, four of which
proved fatal. Considering the qualifying circumstance of treachery, appellant was correctly found guilty of
murder.

SUMMARY FORMAT
Q: According to Recelita, at about 9 o’clock in the evening of July 11, 2001, at a distance of about 3 1/2 meters,
she saw Francisco Abaigar shoot Joseph Gabuya from behind hitting the victim at the back of his head.
Francisco Abaigar basically argues that the testimony of Recelita is not credible. He further claims that Relecita
could have forewarned the victim of his presence if indeed Relecita saw him in the vicinity; and that it was
improbable that Relecita could see him considering the poor lighting condition of the place. Is Recelita’s
testimony credible? What crime is committed in this case?
A: It is settled that the assessment of the credibility of witnesses is within the province and expertise of the trial
court. In this case, we find no cogent reason to depart from the findings of the trial court. The court below
categorically found that Relecita had no ill motive to testify against appellant; she "has no reason to impute on
him the heinous crime of murder had she not witnessed the actual killing of the victim." Also, the failure of
Relecita to warn the victim of the appellant’s impending attack should not be taken against her.
Francisco Abaigar is liable for the crime of murder as treachery is present in this case.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee,
vs.
ANTONIO LUJECO y MACANOQUIT alias "TONYO", Accused-Appellant.
G.R. No. 198059 | April 7, 2014
DOCTRINE OF THE CASE:
In cases of rape, it is worthy to note that jurisprudence is one in recognizing that when the offended parties are young and
immature girls, courts are inclined to lend credence to their version of what transpired, considering not only their relative vulnerability
but also the shame and embarrassment to which they would be exposed by court trial if the matter about which they testified is not
true.
_____________________________________________________________________________________
DEL CASTILLO, J.:

FACTS:
Appellant Antonio Lujeco was charged with the crime of rape committed on June 29, 2002 against
"AAA," a seven-year old minor. The RTC found him guilty of such offense. As found by the trial court, the
prosecution has satisfactorily established that in the morning of June 29, 2002, "AAA" was playing with her
friends near the old market at Don Carlos, Bukidnon, which was about 20 meters away from her house. After
her playmates left, appellant suddenly grabbed "AAA" and dragged her to the house of his granddaughter which
was located nearby. Inside the house, appellant forcibly undressed "AAA," poked a knife at her, and then had
carnal knowledge of her. After satiating his lust, appellant told "AAA" to go home.
The CA affirmed the RTC’s decision, hence this appeal.

ISSUE/S:
1. Whether or not the accused is guilty of the crime of rape.
2. Whether not the accused’s alibi that he was in the public market at the time the crime was committed can be
upheld.

HELD:
1. The accused is guilty of the crime of rape.
Based on AAA’s testimony, it is clear that the appellant had carnal knowledge of the victim who was
under twelve (12) years old. AAA categorically recounted the details of how appellant raped her by pushing
hard to insert his penis into her labia majora. She was only seven (7) years old when she was raped. It is
improbable that a victim of tender years, especially one unexposed to the ways of the world as AAA must have
been, would impute a crime as serious as rape if it were not true. There is no doubt that AAA was impelled
solely by a desire to let justice find its way.
In this regard, it is worthy to note that jurisprudence is one in recognizing that when the offended
parties are young and immature girls, courts are inclined to lend credence to their version of what transpired,
considering not only their relative vulnerability but also the shame and embarrassment to which they would be
exposed by court trial if the matter about which they testified is not true.
2. The accused’s alibi that he was in the public market at the time the crime was committed cannot
be upheld.
It has been held, time and again, that alibi, as a defense, is inherently weak and crumbles in light of
positive identification by truthful witnesses. It should be noted that for alibi to prosper, it is not enough for the
accused to prove that he was in another place when the crime was committed. He must likewise prove that it
was physically impossible for him to be present at the crime scene or its immediate vicinity at the time of its
commission. As testified by the appellant, he was at the public market of Don Carlos, Bukidnon. Undoubtedly,
it was not impossible for him to be at the crime scene.

SUMMARY FORMAT
Q: "AAA", who was 7 years old, was playing with her friends near the old market at Don Carlos, Bukidnon,
which was about 20 meters away from her house. After her playmates left, Antonio Lujeco suddenly grabbed
"AAA" and dragged her to the house of his granddaughter which was located nearby. Inside the house, Antonio
Lujeco forcibly undressed "AAA," poked a knife at her, and then had carnal knowledge of her. After satiating
his lust, Anonio Lujeco told "AAA" to go home. What crime was committed?
A: He is guilty of the crime of rape. Based on AAA’s testimony, it is clear that the appellant had carnal
knowledge of the victim who was under twelve (12) years old. AAA categorically recounted the details of how
appellant raped her by pushing hard to insert his penis into her labia majora.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee,
vs.
ROY SAN GASPAR, Accused-Appellant.
G.R. No. 180496 | April 2, 2014
DOCTRINE OF THE CASE:
Parricide is committed when: (1) a person is killed; (2) the deceased is killed by the accused; (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.
_____________________________________________________________________________________
DEL CASTILLO, J.:

FACTS:
According to the Prosecution, in the afternoon of April 25, 1999, appellant, without informing his
lawfully married wife Imelda, went to Norala, South Cotabato together with his father to attend the funeral of
a relative. At that time, appellant and Imelda were not on speaking terms for about a week already.
At around 11:30 p.m. of the same day and while Imelda and her two children Joramel and Cherme
were already fast asleep, appellant returned home and pounded on their front door. The thudding sound roused
the whole household. Apparently, appellant was mad because nobody immediately opened the door for him.
He got even more furious when he entered the house and saw Imelda sleeping side-by-side with her grown-up
children. Appellant thus kicked Imelda on the leg while she was still lying on the floor and this started a heated
altercation between them.
Still enraged, appellant went upstairs and returned with a shotgun. He loaded it and lit a kerosene lamp
which he placed near the door of their room. He then aimed the shotgun at his wife and in front of Joramel
and Cherme, shot Imelda on the head. Appellant thereafter immediately ran away. Imelda was brought to the
hospital where she passed away.
On the other hand, according to the Defense, appellant went to Norala, South Cotabato with his father
to attend the funeral of a relative. He returned home by himself at around 7:00 p.m. just to change clothes and
again returned to Norala after asking permission from Imelda. Imelda and her two children from her previous
relationship, Joramel and Cherme, were left behind in their house.
It was already around 11:00 p.m. when appellant came home. But as he pushed the door to enter their
room, he heard a gunshot from a shotgun. Since it was dark, appellant rushed downstairs to fetch a lamp to see
what had just happened. With a lit lamp, he saw Imelda lying on the floor drenched in her own blood. Joramel
and Cherme were beside her crying. Appellant thus immediately went out of their house to look for a tricycle
to transport Imelda to the hospital.
Both the RTC and the CA convicted the accused-appellant of the crim of parricide.
The accused-appellant argues that the lower courts erred in not giving exculpatory weight to his defense
that the shooting of Imelda was entirely accidental. He alleges that it was when he pushed the door of their
room that he heard the bursting sound of the shotgun. Clearly, therefore, the proximate cause of the discharge
of the shotgun that hit Imelda and eventually led to her death was the movement of their bedroom door.
ISSUE/S:
1. Whether or not the accused-appellant is guilty of the crime of parricide.

HELD:
The accused-appellant is guilty of the crime of parricide.
Elements of Parricide obtaining in this case. Parricide is committed when: (1) a person is killed; (2) the
deceased is killed by the accused; (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.
In this case the prosecution was able to satisfactorily establish that Imelda was shot and killed by
appellant based on the eyewitnesses’ account.
Joramel and Cherme positively and categorically identified appellant as the one who shot and killed
Imelda. Their testimonies corroborated each other on material details. Moreover, there is no showing that
Joramel and Cherme were impelled by any ill motive to testify against appellant. It has been held that in the
absence of any ill motives on the part of the witnesses, their testimonies are worthy of full faith and credit. On
the other hand, appellant only offered his bare denial of the offense. However, "the Court had consistently
stressed that denial, like alibi, is a weak defense that becomes even weaker in the face of positive identification
of the accused by prosecution witnesses."
Anent the relationship of appellant and Imelda as legitimate husband and wife, the CA correctly
observed that the same has been sufficiently established by appellant’s admission that Imelda was his wife and
by a copy of their Marriage Certificate presented during trial. Clearly, all the elements of the crime of Parricide
under Article 246 of the RPC are present in this case.
Appellant’s defense of accident deserves no credence.
While appellant describes the prosecution’s version of events as "unnatural, implausible, and contrary
to human nature and experience," the Court finds that it is his story of accidental discharge of the shotgun that
is incredulous and unbelievable. Contrary to what appellant wants this Court to believe, a shotgun will not go
off unless it is loaded, cocked, and its trigger squeezed. To this Court, appellant’s allegation is nothing but a
self-serving statement without an ounce of proof or a lick of credibility.

SUMMARY FORMAT
Q: Imelda and her two children Joramel and Cherme were already fast asleep, when Roy San Gaspar, Imelda’s
husband, returned home and pounded on their front door. Roy San Gaspar was mad because nobody
immediately opened the door for him. He got even more furious when he entered the house and saw Imelda
sleeping side-by-side with her grown-up children. He thus kicked Imelda on the leg while she was still lying on
the floor and this started a heated altercation between them.
Still enraged, Roy San Gaspar went upstairs and returned with a shotgun. He loaded it and lit a kerosene lamp
which he placed near the door of their room. He then aimed the shotgun at his wife and in front of Joramel
and Cherme, shot Imelda on the head. What crime/s were committed, if there is any?
A: Roy San Gaspar is guilty of the crime of Parricide. Parricide is committed when: (1) a person is killed; (2)
the deceased is killed by the accused; (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.
Joramel and Cherme positively and categorically identified Roy San Gaspar as the one who shot and killed
Imelda. Anent the relationship of appellant and Imelda as legitimate husband and wife, the same has been
sufficiently established by Gaspar’s admission that Imelda was his wife and by a copy of their Marriage
Certificate presented during trial. Clearly, all the elements of the crime of Parricide under Article 246 of the
RPC are present in this case.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee,
vs.
RENE SANTIAGO, Accused-Appellant.
G.R. No. 196970 | April 2, 2014
DOCTRINE OF THE CASE:
Whenever there is a variance between the statements in the affidavit and those made in open court by the same witness,
the latter generally prevail. Indeed, it is doctrinal that open court declarations take precedence over written affidavits in the hierarchy
of evidence.
_____________________________________________________________________________________
DEL CASTILLO, J.:

FACTS:
Appellant Rene Santiago was charged with two counts of rape. The first incident happened on
December 25, 2004 and the second incident happened on January 21, 2005 where according to the Prosecution,
the said accused, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, by means of threats and intimidation,
have carnal knowledge of "AAA", who was then an eleven-year old girl, by inserting his penis into her vagina
against her will and consent and effectively prejudicing her development as a child.
Both the RTC and the CA convicted the accused of the crime of rape.
Appellant claims that the prosecution failed to establish that he intimidated or coerced "AAA" into
having sexual intercourse with him as such was not mentioned in the latter’s Sinumpaang Salaysay.

ISSUE:
1. Whether or not the appellant is guilty of the crime of rape.

HELD:
The appellant is guilty of the crime of rape.
Contrary to appellant’s contention, "AAA" testified that she was threatened, forced, and coerced into
sexual copulation. When "AAA" was placed on the witness stand, she categorically testified that during the first
rape incident, appellant threatened to hurt her if she would report the incident to anyone. As regards the second
rape incident, "AAA" declared that appellant consummated the dastardly act by pointing an "ice pick" at
her. Admittedly, these were not mentioned in "AAA’s" Sinumpaang Salaysay; however, they did not diminish
her credibility.
It is generally conceded that ex parte affidavits tend to be incomplete and inaccurate for lack of or
absence of searching inquiries by the investigating officer. It is not a complete reproduction of what the
declarant has in mind because it is generally prepared by the administering officer and the affiant simply signs
it after it has been read to him. Hence, whenever there is a variance between the statements in the affidavit and
those made in open court by the same witness, the latter generally prevail. Indeed, it is doctrinal that open court
declarations take precedence over written affidavits in the hierarchy of evidence. What is important is that the
victim’s declarations, both in her sworn statement and her testimony in court, are consistent on basic matters
constituting the elements of the crime of rape and the positive identification of the culprit.
However, the accused is guilty of simple rape only as the victim is already 13 years old, according to
the latter’s birth certificate, at the time the crime was committed and not 11 years old.

SUMMARY FORMAT
Q: Rene Santiago was charged with two counts of rape. according to the Prosecution, the said accused, did
then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, by means of threats and intimidation, have carnal knowledge
of "AAA", who was then an eleven-year old girl, by inserting his penis into her vagina against her will and
consent and effectively prejudicing her development as a child. Appellant claims that the prosecution failed to
establish that he intimidated or coerced "AAA" into having sexual intercourse with him as such was not
mentioned in the latter’s Sinumpaang Salaysay. Can he be convicted of the crime of rape?
A: Yes, he can be convicted of the crime of rape. Contrary to appellant’s contention, "AAA" testified that she
was threatened, forced, and coerced into sexual copulation. When "AAA" was placed on the witness stand, she
categorically testified that during the first rape incident, appellant threatened to hurt her if she would report the
incident to anyone. As regards the second rape incident, "AAA" declared that appellant consummated the
dastardly act by pointing an "ice pick" at her. Admittedly, these were not mentioned in "AAA’s" Sinumpaang
Salaysay; however, they did not diminish her credibility.
Whenever there is a variance between the statements in the affidavit and those made in open court by the same
witness, the latter generally prevail. Indeed, it is doctrinal that open court declarations take precedence over
written affidavits in the hierarchy of evidence.
JOSE ESPINELLI VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES
GR No. 179535 | June 09, 2014
DOCTRINE OF THE CASE:
Jurisprudence teaches us that "for circumstantial evidence to be sufficient to support a conviction, all circumstances must be consistent
with each other, consistent with the hypothesis that the accused is guilty, and at the same time inconsistent with the hypothesis that
he is innocent." Thus, conviction based on circumstantial evidence can be upheld provided that the circumstances proven constitute
an unbroken chain which leads to one fair and reasonable conclusion that points to the accused, to the exclusion of all others, as the
guilty person.
_____________________________________________________________________________________
DEL CASTILLO, J.:

FACTS:
In the early evening of December 15, 1996, Alberto Berbon was shot in the head and different parts
of the body in front of his house by unidentified malefactors who immediately fled the crime scene on board a
waiting car.
Meanwhile, the group of Atty. Orly Dizon of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) arrested and
took into custody one Romeo Reyes for the crime of Illegal Possession of Deadly Weapon. Reyes confided to
the group of Atty. Dizon that he was willing to give vital information regarding the Berbon case. Reyes claimed
that on December 15, 1996, he saw petitioner and Sotero Paredes (Paredes) board a red car while armed with
a .45 caliber firearm and armalite, respectively; and that petitioner told Paredes that "ayaw ko nang abutin pa ng
bukas yang si Berbon."
Petitioner, on the other hand, did not adduce evidence for his defense. Instead, he filed a Demurrer
to Evidence without leave of court. As no action whatsoever was taken thereon by the trial court, petitioner
just moved that the case be deemed submitted for decision.
The RTC convicted the accused of the crime of Murder. The CA, on the other hand, convicted the
accused of the crime of Homicide finding that no qualifying circumstance has attended this case.
Petitioner anchors his quest for the reversal of his conviction on the alleged erroneous admission in
evidence of the Sinumpaang Salaysay of Reyes for being hearsay and inadmissible. He avers that the said sworn
statement should not have been given probative value because its contents were neither confirmed nor
authenticated by the affiant. Thus, all circumstances emanating from or included in the sworn statement must
be totally brushed aside as lacking any evidentiary and probative value.

ISSUE/S:
1. Whether or not the Sinumpaang Salaysay is admissible as evidence.

HELD:
The Sinumpaang Salaysay, which is contested by the petitioner as hearsay, is admissible as evidence.
Evidence is hearsay when its probative force depends in whole or in part on the competency and
credibility of some persons other than the witness by whom it is sought to produce. However, while the
testimony of a witness regarding a statement made by another person given for the purpose of establishing the
truth of the fact asserted in the statement is clearly hearsay evidence, it is otherwise if the purpose of placing
the statement on the record is merely to establish the fact that the statement, or the tenor of such statement,
was made. Regardless of the truth or falsity of a statement, when what is relevant is the fact that such statement
has been made, the hearsay rule does not apply and the statement may be shown. As a matter of fact, evidence
as to the making of the statement is not secondary but primary, for the statement itself may constitute a fact in
issue or is circumstantially relevant as to the existence of such a fact. This is known as the doctrine of
independently relevant statements.
In the present case, the testimony of NBI Agent Segunial that while he was investigating Reyes, the
latter confided to him that he (Reyes) heard petitioner telling Sotero "Ayaw ko nang abutin pa ng bukas yang si
Berbon" and that he saw the two (petitioner and Sotero) armed with a .45 caliber pistol and an armalite,
respectively, before boarding a red car, cannot be regarded as hearsay evidence. This is considering that NBI
Agent Segunial's testimony was not presented to prove the truth of such statement but only for the purpose of
establishing that on February 10, 1997, Reyes executed a sworn statement containing such narration of
facts. This is clear from the offer of the witness' oral testimony.
Moreover, NBI Agent Segunial himself candidly admitted that he is incompetent to testify on the
truthfulness of Reyes' statement. Verily then, what the prosecution sought to be admitted was the fact that
Reyes made such narration of facts in his sworn statement and not necessarily to prove the truth thereof. Thus,
the testimony of NBI Agent Segunial is in the nature of an independently relevant statement where what is
relevant is the fact that Reyes made such statement and the truth and falsity thereof is immaterial. In such a
case, the statement of the witness is admissible as evidence and the hearsay rule does not apply.
The Court agrees with the CA that petitioner is guilty only of the crime of homicide in view of the
prosecution's failure to prove any of the alleged attendant circumstances of abuse of superior strength and
nighttime. The circumstance of abuse of superior strength is present whenever there is inequality of forces
between the victim and the aggressor, assuming a situation of superiority of strength notoriously advantageous
for the aggressor, and the latter takes advantage of it in the commission of the crime. However, as none of the
prosecution witnesses saw how the killing was perpetrated, abuse of superior strength cannot be appreciated in
this case. Neither can nighttime serve as an aggravating circumstance, the time of the commission of the crime
was not even alleged in the Information.

SUMMARY FORMAT
Q: Alberto Berbon was shot in the head and different parts of the body in front of his house by unidentified
malefactors who immediately fled the crime scene on board a waiting car. Reyes confided to the law enforcers
that he was willing to give vital information regarding the Berbon case. Reyes claimed that on December 15,
1996, he saw petitioner and Sotero Paredes (Paredes) board a red car while armed with a .45 caliber firearm and
armalite, respectively; and that petitioner told Paredes that "ayaw ko nang abutin pa ng bukas yang si Berbon." Are
the qualifying circumstances of abuse of superior strength and nighttime present in this case?
A: NO. The petitioner is guilty only of the crime of homicide in view of the prosecution's failure to prove any
of the alleged attendant circumstances of abuse of superior strength and nighttime. The circumstance of abuse
of superior strength is present whenever there is inequality of forces between the victim and the aggressor,
assuming a situation of superiority of strength notoriously advantageous for the aggressor, and the latter takes
advantage of it in the commission of the crime. However, as none of the prosecution witnesses saw how the
killing was perpetrated, abuse of superior strength cannot be appreciated in this case. Neither can nighttime
serve as an aggravating circumstance, the time of the commission of the crime was not even alleged in the
Information.
PEOPLE OF THE PIDLIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee,
vs.
WILFREDO SOLANO, JR. y GECITA, Accused-Appellant.
G.R. No. 199871 | June 2, 2014
DOCTRINE OF THE CASE:
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 is such as to produce a conviction beyond
reasonable doubt.
_____________________________________________________________________________________
DEL CASTILLO, J.:

FACTS:
Edwin Canon, Jr. testified that in the morning of 22 April 2007, he and his brother were on their way
home when he saw appellant chasing AAA on a grassy area located at the outskirts of their barangay. Not
minding the two, they left and proceeded home. That same morning, he learned that people were looking for
AAA so he told his father of what he saw. His father in turn informed the barangay officials and, after
conducting a search, AAA’s lifeless body was found in a swamp near the place where Edwin, Jr. saw appellant
chasing the victim.
Meanwhile, prosecution witness Nestor Armenta claimed that in a grassy place in Barangay Palanas,
he saw appellant holding an unconscious AAA by her armpits and dragging her while ‘she was facing up lying
on the ground.’ Upon seeing him, appellant gave him a dagger look, so, he hurriedly left the place and proceeded
to the barangay proper where he reported the matter to the barangay tanod.
On the other hand, Chief Tanod Campo claimed that after Edwin Canon, Sr. reported the matter to
them, a group of about 30 persons, some of whom were relatives of AAA, proceeded to the swampy area where
Edwin, Jr. saw appellant and AAA. At around 7 o’clock in the evening, with the aid of a petromax, they saw
the body of AAA buried in mud. Being the only suspect, they proceeded to the house of appellant’s uncle to
apprehend him. According to him, appellant confessed to raping and killing AAA when investigated at the
barrio hall. He was remorseful and repentant when investigated and did not react when they told him that they
found the body of AAA in the swamp.
The RTC and CA convicted the appellant of the crime of Rape with Homicide.
Appellant claims that the pieces of circumstantial evidence presented by the prosecution are
insufficient to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. He insists that it was highly improbable for prosecution
witness Edwin Jr. to have seen him chasing "AAA" from a distance of 50 to 60 meters or even identify him as
the perpetrator of the crime. Appellant also assails the testimony of Nestor that he saw appellant dragging the
victim’s body towards the swamp considering the lack of explanation why he was in the vicinity or how he
reached the place.

ISSUE/S:
1. Whether or not the accused committed the special complex crime of rape with homicide
HELD:
The accused committed the special complex crime of rape with homicide.
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 is such
as to produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt. In this case, it is beyond doubt that all the circumstances
taken together point to the singular conclusion that appellant, to the exclusion of all others, committed the
crime.
As found by the trial court and affirmed by the appellate court, the victim was last seen in the presence
of the appellant. Edwin Jr. saw appellant chasing the victim. Nestor also saw appellant dragging the motionless
body of "AAA." The body of the victim was eventually found buried in the mud near the place where she was
last seen with the appellant. Appellant admitted holding a grudge against the family of "AAA" because he
believes that a relative of "AAA" had raped his appellant’s sister. The autopsy report showed that "AAA" was
raped and strangled. Likewise, appellant could not ascribe any ill-motive on the part of prosecution witnesses
Edwin Jr., Edwin Sr. and Nestor whom he even considered as friends.
While no direct evidence was adduced by the prosecution, the Court, however, agree with the trial
court that there was sufficient circumstantial evidence to hold appellant for the special complex crime of Rape
with Homicide. Contrary to the appellant’s supposition, the Court finds that the distance of about 50-60 meters
is enough for one person to recognize another person’s face. This is especially true since it had been established
by one witness that appellant turned his face towards him and that he was able to see him before AAA ran.

SUMMARY FORMAT
Q: Edwin Canon, Jr. testified that he and his brother were on their way home when he saw Wilfredo Solano
chasing AAA on a grassy area located at the outskirts of their barangay. Not minding the two, they left and
proceeded home. Nestor Armenta claimed that in a grassy place, he saw appellant holding an unconscious AAA
by her armpits and dragging her while ‘she was facing up lying on the ground.’ Chief Tanod Campo claimed
that after Edwin Canon, Sr. reported the matter to them, a group of about 30 persons, some of whom were
relatives of AAA, proceeded to the swampy area where Edwin, Jr. saw appellant and AAA. At around 7 o’clock
in the evening, with the aid of a petromax, they saw the body of AAA buried in mud.
Appellant claims that the pieces of circumstantial evidence presented by the prosecution are insufficient to
prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Is he correct? What crime/s were committed?
A: The accused committed the special complex crime of rape with homicide. 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 is such as to produce a conviction beyond
reasonable doubt. In this case, it is beyond doubt that all the circumstances taken together point to the singular
conclusion that appellant, to the exclusion of all others, committed the crime. Considering the facts given,
clearly, the accused is guilty of the said crime.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee,
vs.
JOJO SUMILHIG, RICARDO SUMILHIG alias CARDING SUMILHIG, PASOT
SALOLI, ERIC ENOC, WARLITO MONTEBON, and CIO LIMAMA, Accused,
G.R. No. 178115 | July 28, 2014
DOCTRINE OF THE CASE:
Conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an agreement concerning the commission of a felony and decide to
commit it. It is not necessary to adduce evidence of a previous agreement to commit a crime.
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 the execution, without risk to himself arising from any defense
which the offended party might make.
_____________________________________________________________________________________
DEL CASTILLO, J.:

FACTS:
The prosecution established that, Jerry Masaglang (Jerry), together with Eugenio Santander (Eugenio)
and his son Mario, were in the living room of Eugenio’s house. Suddenly, they heard gun bursts and saw six
persons firing at the kitchen where members of the Santander family were having dinner. Jerry and Mario
recognized the assailants to be the appellants and their co-accused.
The strafing of the kitchen lasted for about two minutes. Before the gunmen dispersed, Jojo shouted,
"At last, I have retaliated!" In the aftermath, the children of Eugenio’s other son Remegio Santander sustained
gunshot wounds. Unfortunately, 2 of his children died and the other one was wounded.
Jojo denied involvement in the incident and interposed the defense of alibi. Carding, for his part,
claimed to be illiterate and unaware of the incident. Pasot, on the other hand, maintained that he was with his
wife at the house of Pablo Mot in Davao at the time the crime was committed. Both claimed total ignorance
of the incident.
The RTC convicted the appellants of the complex crime of double murder and double frustrated
murder. the CA did not find any reason to disturb the findings of the RTC. However, it found merit in
appellants’ argument that the crime committed could not have been a complex crime since the death and injuries
complained of did not result from a single act but from several and distinct acts of shooting. Hence, this appeal.

ISSUE/S:
1. Whether or not the court a quo gravely erred in finding that conspiracy was present and in finding that the
crimes committed were murder and frustrated murder.

HELD:
The court a quo did not err in finding that conspiracy was present and in finding that the crimes
committed were murder and frustrated murder.
"Conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an agreement concerning the commission of
a felony and decide to commit it." It is not necessary to adduce evidence of a previous agreement to commit a
crime. "Conspiracy may be shown through circumstantial evidence, deduced from the mode and manner in
which the offense was perpetrated, or inferred from the acts of the accused themselves when such lead to a
joint purpose and design, concerted action, and community of interest."
Here, there is no proof of a previous agreement among the accused but there is a series of events that
clearly established conspiracy among them. First, they were all armed with firearms. Second, they surreptitiously
approached the crime scene. Third, when they were within close range of the intended victims, they
simultaneously discharged their firearms. Fourth, they ceased firing at the same time and fled together.
Undoubtedly, their acts before, during and immediately after strafing the house of Eugenio evince their
unanimity in design, intent and execution.
Treachery attended the commission of the crime. 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 the execution, without risk to himself arising from any defense which the
offended party might make.
Treachery is evident in this case as the suddenness and unexpectedness of the assault deprived the
victims of an opportunity to resist it or offer any defense of their persons. This is considering that the victims
were unaware that they would be attacked by appellants with a hail of bullets from their firearms fired at close
range. Indeed, "the suddenness of the attack, without the slightest forewarning thereof, placed the victims in
such a position that they could not have defended themselves from the aggression."The crime committed is
two counts of murder and two counts of frustrated murder. As earlier discussed, treachery attended the
commission of the crime. This qualifies the killing of Cresjoy and Rolly to murder.

SUMMARY FORMAT
Q: Jerry Masaglang, together with Eugenio Santander and his son Mario, were in the living room of Eugenio’s
house. Suddenly, they heard gun bursts and saw six persons firing at the kitchen where members of the
Santander family were having dinner. The strafing of the kitchen lasted for about two minutes. Before the
gunmen dispersed, Jojo shouted, "At last, I have retaliated!" In the aftermath, the children of Eugenio’s other
son Remegio Santander sustained gunshot wounds. Unfortunately, 2 of his children died and the other one was
wounded. The RTC convicted the appellants of the complex crime of double murder and double frustrated
murder. The CA affirmed RTC’s decision. Did the lower courts erred in finding that conspiracy was present
and in finding that the crimes committed were murder and frustrated murder?
A: The court a quo did not err in finding that conspiracy was present and in finding that the crimes committed
were murder and frustrated murder. Conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an agreement
concerning the commission of a felony and decide to commit it. It is not necessary to adduce evidence of a
previous agreement to commit a crime. Here, there is no proof of a previous agreement among the accused but
there is a series of events that clearly established conspiracy among them. First, they were all armed with
firearms. Second, they surreptitiously approached the crime scene. Third, when they were within close range of
the intended victims, they simultaneously discharged their firearms. Fourth, they ceased firing at the same time
and fled together. Undoubtedly, their acts before, during and immediately after strafing the house of Eugenio
evince their unanimity in design, intent and execution. Treachery is evident in this case as the suddenness and
unexpectedness of the assault deprived the victims of an opportunity to resist it or offer any defense of their
persons.