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People vs Ramirez The Case Criminal Case No.

6275 "That on or about the 7th day of May, 1999, in the evening, at Sitio Mangas, Barangay Baquieon, Municipality of Sual, Pangasinan, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, armed with a knife, through force, threats and intimidation, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously have sexual intercourse with Diana F. Pagaduan, a minor 14 years old, against her will, to her damage and prejudice."4 Criminal Case No. 6276 "That on or about the 26th day of May, 1999 early dawn[,] at Sitio Mangas, Barangay Baquieon, Municipality of Sual, Pangasinan, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, armed with a knife, through force, threats and intimidation, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously have sexual intercourse with Diana F. Pagaduan, a minor 14 years old, against her will, to her damage and prejudice."5 The version of the facts offered by the defense is summarized in appellants Brief as follows: "Accused FLORENTINO O. RAMIREZ, JR., under oath, testified that he is 29 years old, married, farmer and a resident of Urdaneta, Pangasinan. "He is the same Florentino Ramirez, Jr. the accused in Criminal Case Nos. 6275 and 6276 for rape filed against him by Diana F. Pagaduan, his stepdaughter. It is not true that he sexually abused the latter sometime in the evening of May 7, 1999, because he was then [at] Camp 8, Baguio City working as a laborer for his uncle Piano Ramirez, who was then repairing his three-storey house x x x. On the said date that he was working at his uncles house, he was with his co-workers, namely: Boy Ramirez, Julie Ramirez, Rudy Ramirez, Joel Pagaduan and one person [whose name he forgot]. He never left his uncles house on May 7, 1999 particularly in the evening [thereof]. x x x, he slept at his uncles house together with his fellow workers, leaving only his stepdaughter Diana and his wife Zenaida Pagaduan in their house at Barangay Bacquioen, Sual, Pangasinan. However, on May 26, 1999, he was in the residence of Diana Pagaduan [at] Sitio Mangas, Barangay Bacquioen, Sual, Pangasinan, where he slept in the same house where Diana Pagaduan was staying, together with his father, mother, their siblings and his wife. "The house where he slept on the said date is made up of two storeys. He slept on the second floor x x x which has no room, together with his wife and Diana Pagaduan. He slept beside his wife Zenaida, but was only two (2) meters away from Diana, whom he could easily touch by just stretching his hand. "It is not true, as testified to by his step-daughter Soledad Pagaduan, that the latter saw him suspiciously wearing his brief half naked inside the mosquito net where Diana Pagaduan was then sleeping. While he admit that Diana Pagaduan is beautiful, young and was studying in high school, he denied having a secret liking [towards] her. He considered Diana as his own child. Diana Pagaduan filed these instant case[s] against him because his stepchildren wanted him to be separated from their mother Zenaida Pagaduan. However, he never confronted any of his stepchildren on this matter, neither did he ask his wife Zenaida, if the latter really wanted to separate

from him. "BOY RAMIREZ, 41 years old, laborer, and a resident of Camp 8, Baguio City, testified under oath on the following facts: that he was with his brother Florentino Ramirez, Jr., the accused in these cases, on May 7, 1999, [at] Camp 8, Baguio City particularly [i]n their uncle Cipriano Pianong Ramirez house[; t]he accused arrived thereat in the morning of May 7, 1999 and stayed at Camp 8, Baguio City for more than a week[; t]he accused worked for their uncle Pianong Ramirez in the construction of a one[-]room extension at the latters house, and was assigned in digging a hole for the tie [b]eam foundation; that their working time thereat was from 8:00 oclock in the morning to 12:00 oclock noon, and 1:00 oclock in the afternoon to 5:00 oclock in the afternoon; that he has never seen the accused leave their uncle Pianong Ramirez house on May 7, 1999; that after their work on May 7, 1999, he was not with his brother Florentino, instead he attended to his family from 5:00 oclock p.m. to 9:00 oclock p.m. when he and his wife went to sleep. The RTC gave more credence and weight to the prosecutions evidence, specifically to the testimony of private complainant. It held that she had no ill motive to charge appellant falsely. For lack of proof of the physical impossibility of his being at the locus criminis at the time of its commission, scant consideration was given to his defense of alibi. Holding that denial was intrinsically weak and must therefore be supported by strong evidence of non-culpability to merit credence, the trial court likewise debunked his denial of the alleged second rape incident on May 26, 1999. After appeal: Mere accusation is not enough.26 The simplistic assertion of private complainant that appellant had sexual intercourse with her on May 7 and May 26, 1999, cannot suffice to establish moral certainty as to his guilt. Her statements miserably fell short of the requirement of the law on the quantum of evidence required in the prosecution of criminal cases.27 As appellant correctly argued, her testimony was sorely lacking in details. Equally important, there was absolutely no proof of force or intimidation. Our legal culture demands that before any person may be convicted of any crime and deprived of life, liberty or property, the requisite quantum of proof must be presented. A strong suspicion or possibility of guilt is not sufficient.30 Correlatively, to determine the sufficiency of the evidence for the State, it is important to examine it cautiously. If it falls short of establishing moral certainty of guilt, the verdict must be one of acquittal.31 "Rape is undoubtedly a vicious crime, and it is rendered more loathsome in this case where the victim is a minor and the accused is a person whom she perceives as a figure of authority. However, our sympathy for the victim and our disgust at the bestial criminal act cannot prevail over our primordial role as interpreters of the law and dispensers of justice."32 If the prosecution fails to discharge its burden, the court must sustain the presumption of innocence of the accused, whose exoneration must then be granted as a matter of right. Finally, we cannot leave unnoticed the lackadaisical, if not inept, manner in which the prosecution presented its case before the trial court. Prosecuting attorneys are admonished to lay out painstakingly the pertinent facts at their disposal, clarify contradictions, and fill the gaps and loopholes in their evidence, in order to avert legal repercussions that may prove prejudicial to the interest of the State and of the private offended parties. WHEREFORE, the appeal is GRANTED and the appealed Decision REVERSED. Appellant Florentino O. Ramirez Jr. is ACQUITTED on reasonable doubt. His immediate RELEASE from confinement is ORDERED, unless he is being detained for some other legal cause. The director of prisons is DIRECTED to inform this Court, within five days from receipt of this Decision, of the actual date appellant is released. No costs.

People vs. Go chico The defendant is charged with the violation of section 1 of Act No. 1696 of the Philippine Commission, which reads as follows: Any person who shall expose, or cause or permit to be exposed, to public view on his own premises, or who shall expose, or cause to be exposed, to public view, either on his own premises or elsewhere, any flag, banner, emblem, or device used during the late insurrection in the Philippine Islands to designate or identify those in armed rebellion against the United States, or any flag, banner, emblem, or device used or adopted at any time by the public enemies of the United States in the Philippine Island for the purpose of public disorder or of rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States in the Philippine Islands, or any flag, banner, emblem, or device of the Katipunan Society, or which is commonly known as such, shall be punished by a fine of not less that five hundred pesos for more than five thousand pesos, or by imprisonment for not less than three months nor more than five years, or by both such fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the court. That on or about the 4th day of August, 1908, in the city of Manila, the appellant Go Chico displayed in one of the windows and one of the show cases of his store, No. 89 Calle Rosario, a number of medallions, in the form of a small button, upon the faces of which were imprinted in miniature the picture of Emilio Aguinaldo, and the flag or banner or device used during the late insurrection in the Philippine Islands to designate and identify those in armed insurrection against the United States. On the day previous to the one above set forth the appellant had purchased the stock of goods in said store, of which the medallions formed a part, at a public sale made under authority of the sheriff of the city of Manila. On the day in question, the 4th of August aforesaid, the appellant was arranging his stock of goods for the purpose of displaying them to the public and in so doing placed in his showcase and in one of the windows of his store the medallions described. The appellant was ignorant of the existence of a law against the display of the medallions in question and had consequently no corrupt intention. The facts above stated are admitted. In the opinion of this court it is not necessary that the appellant should have acted with the criminal intent. In many crimes, made such by statutory enactment, the intention of the person who commits the crime is entirely immaterial. This is necessarily so. If it were not, the statute as a deterrent influence would be substantially worthless. It would be impossible of execution. In many cases the act complained of is itself that which produces the pernicious effect which the statute seeks to avoid. In those cases the pernicious effect is produced with precisely the same force and result whether the intention of the person performing the act is good or bad. The case at bar is a perfect illustration of this. The display of a flag or emblem used particularly within a recent period, by the enemies of the Government tends to incite resistance to governmental functions and insurrection against governmental authority just as effectively if made in

the best of good faith as if made with the most corrupt intent. The display itself, without the intervention of any other factor, is the evil. It is quite different from that large class of crimes, made such by the common law or by statute, in which the injurious effect upon the public depends upon the corrupt intention of the person perpetrating the act. If A discharges a loaded gun and kills B, the interest which society has in the act depends, not upon B's death, upon the intention with which A consummated the act. If the gun were discharged intentionally, with the purpose of accomplishing the death of B, then society has been injured and its security violated; but if the gun was discharged accidentally on the part of A, then society, strictly speaking, has no concern in the matter, even though the death of B results. The reason for this is that A does not become a danger to society and institutions until he becomes a person with a corrupt mind. The mere discharge of the gun and the death of B do not of themselves make him so. With those two facts must go the corrupt intent to kill. In the case at bar, however, the evil to society and the Governmental does not depend upon the state of mind of the one who displays the banner, but upon the effect which that display has upon the public mind. In the one case the public is affected by the intention of the actor; in the other by the act itself. People vs. Landicho

That on or about 2:00 o'clock in the morning of January 23, 1994, at Sitio Tico, Brgy. Tabuc, Pontevedra, Capiz, and within the jurisdiction of this Court, the said accused did then and there, and with deliberate intent to take the life of ISIDRO BUI, wilfully, feloniously and treacherously stab the latter [ ] inflicting upon him a mortal wound on the stomach thereby causing the untimely death of said victim. CONTRARY TO LAW and with the qualifying circumstance of treachery. Besana knew ROGER, whose wife was his (Besana's) cousin. He testified that in the early morning of 23 January 1994 he was in a benefit dance. His companions included Danilo Tapayan and the victim, Isidro Bui. At that time, ROGER was some three meters away from Isidro, who was conversing with Danilo and facing the dance hall. He saw ROGER approach Isidro from behind, place his hand on Isidro's shoulder, and stab him in his stomach. Besana was just one-and-a-half meters away. He was certain of what he saw because the place was well lit. He described the weapon as "a small long knife" and twice demonstrated how ROGER stabbed Isidro. He also claimed that Isidro had no opportunity to defend himself. He knew no reason for the attack, since no altercation between the two took place. After the incident, ROGER fled the scene. Besana then approached Isidro, who was slumped on the ground. Seeing the gravity of Isidro's injury, he and several men brought Isidro to the hospital. Isidro eventually died. 4 Defense version: Carlos Borbon testified that in the evening of 22 January 1994 he could not sleep at home because of the blaring music coming from the benefit dance. He left home to watch the affair from outside the dance hall. 10 He claimed that an altercation between ROGER and the victim, Isidro Bui, occurred that evening. It involved the bidding of a basket of goods held in the benefit dance. The emcee of

the benefit dance declared that Isidro was buying the basket at P200. Part of the prize was the honor to dance with the lady who held the basket. Isidro got to dance with the lady. Thereafter, the emcee again inquired who would like to dance next with the lady. ROGER volunteered and declared that, he also wanted to buy the basket at P250. The emcee thus took the basket from Isidro and handed it to ROGER, who also danced with the lady. After the dance, ROGER returned to his seat. Isidro accosted him, thrusted his fingers on ROGER's face, and demanded why ROGER bought the basket which was already his. Isidro then kicked ROGER's foot. ROGER stood up, and Isidro immediately brandished a knife from his waist. Before Isidro could harm ROGER, the latter was able to get the knife from the former by twisting Isidro's hand. Isidro tried to grapple the knife. In the process, ROGER stabbed Isidro once. Thereafter, ROGER ran out of the dance hall. 11 ROGER insists that he acted in self-defense. He asserts that there was a prior altercation between him and the deceased. The latter assaulted him and then brought out a knife. He feared for his life and tried to wrest the knife away. In taking possession thereof he stabbed the victim. We are not persuaded. Immediately after the stabbing, ROGER fled. He also admitted that he was in hiding. He remained in hiding until his bail bond was ready four months after the incident. His explanation for not surrendering earlier was that the victim's family was powerful and on that fateful night, the victim had several companions. Yet on cross-examination, he admitted that he did because at that time he had no bail bond. 19 These admissions that he fled, hid for four months, and surfaced only when his bail was ready taken with his failure to invoke self-defense at the outset and his waiver of his right to present evidence in the preliminary investigation strongly contradict the actions of an innocent man. These acts can only be attributed to a guilty conscience, for an innocent man will readily surrender and clear his name. ROGER's flight evidences guilt. 20 His alleged fear of the deceased's companions and powerful family deserves scant consideration. We can only conclude that the defense's version was contrived to exculpate ROGER of his crime. We, therefore, uphold the version of the prosecution. The testimonies of the witnesses are in accord with the sworn statements executed by the eyewitnesses immediately after the stabbing incident. Well-settled is the rule that where the credibility of witnesses is in issue, the appellate courts will generally not disturb the findings of the trial court, which is an a better position to determine the issue, having the advantage of hearing and witnessing the deportment of the witnesses during trial. While this rule admits of exceptions, this Court sees no reason to apply any to the instant appeal. 21 The next issue to settle is whether the crime is homicide or murder. The

prosecution clearly established that the killing was attended with treachery. This is culled from the testimonies of eyewitness Gigger Besana and the victim's widow, Nelly Bui. Besana declared that the attack was sudden, swift, and without any provocation, thus leaving the victim totally defenseless. 22 Nelly Bui testified that when she inquired from her husband who could have attacked him, his reply was that he was unable to see his assailant because the latter came from behind. 23 For treachery to be considered a qualifying circumstance, two elements must concur: (1) the employment of means of execution which gives the person attacked no opportunity to defend himself or retaliate; and (2) the means of execution is deliberately or consciously adopted. 24 Jurisprudence has consistently held that an unprovoked, sudden, and unexpected attack by the accused towards the back of an unarmed victim, unabling the victim to defend himself, is an attack done in a manner which directly and specifically insures the execution thereof without any risk to the accused which may arise from the defense the victim may make. 25 In such instances, the qualifying circumstance of treachery, as properly alleged in the information and proved in court, is present. WHEREFORE, the appeal is DISMISSED. The decision of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 18, Roxas City, in Criminal Case No. C-4588 findings accusedappellant Roger Dorado guilty beyond reasonable doubt; as principal, of murder and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to pay the heirs of the victim P50,085.50 as actual damages and P50,000.00 as civil indemnity is hereby AFFIRMED in toto.

People vs Lucero Before the RTC, the accused was charged with the crime of Rape with Homicide in an Information dated July 31, 1997, which reads as follows: That on or about June 7, 1997, in the Municipality of Tagum, Province of Davao, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, by means of force and intimidation, armed with a knife, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge of AAA,2 an eighteen (18) year old girl, against her will, and on the occasion of said rape, the said accused, with intent to kill, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault and stab the said AAA, thereby inflicting upon her wounds which caused her death, and further causing actual, moral and compensatory damages to the heirs of the victim. The Case for the Prosecution The prosecution presented Alejandro Jao (Jao); Anastacio Langgoy (Langgoy); Police

Officer 2 Galileo Gurrea (PO2 Gurrea); Dr. Ricardo M. Rodaje (Dr. Rodaje), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Medico-Legal Officer; and Dimpna D. Bermejo-Dulay (Dulay), NBI Regional Chemist as witnesses. Jao, Purok Leader of XXX in Tagum, Davao del Norte, testified that on June 6, 1997, at around 11:00 p.m., he saw the accused and a certain Digoy Tewok drinking outside the Olympic Battery Shop, along the National Highway, where the accused was employed as a cook. He noticed that the accused was wearing green short pants.5 About 10 meters from where the accused was drinking, Jao saw the victim, AAA, a certain May Laribas, and his daughter looking at pictures in an album, inside the purok hut. 6 He then told his daughter and her companions to go home, as there were people drinking in the area, especially since he knew that the accused was attracted to AAA. His daughter and her companions left after that, and Jao and his wife slept in their store.7 At around 2 oclock the next morning, Jao was awakened by his daughters shouting that someone had entered the room of AAA. He went outside the store and saw his daughter coming from the direction of AAAs house, followed by the accused being chased by a neighbor, Langgoy. Jaos daughter pushed him inside the store, and then the accused, wearing only white briefs, with something covering the top of his head, ran by, at a distance of six feet. The area was lighted by a 40-watt fluorescent lamp, which was about seven meters from accused. Jao did not join the chase, and instead went to check on AAA. AAAs uncle, BBB, also went into her house and shouted that AAA had a stab wound on her breast.8 AAA was then brought to the Tagum Doctors Hospital where she was declared "dead on arrival." At 3:00 a.m. on June 7, 1997, Jao saw the accused come out of the Patalinghug Funeral Homes, after which he proceeded to his room in his place of work. Jao said that the accused was barefoot, his feet were muddy, and he wore the same green short pants Jao saw him wearing the night before.9 Later on, Jao peeped through a hole in the wall of the room of the accused, and he saw the latter washing his green short pants, all the while looking in different directions. At 11 oclock that morning, in the Olympic Battery Shop, Jao, along with the police, saw scratches on the back of the accused when he took off his shirt. Half an hour later, Jao accompanied the police and a radio reporter to the room of the accused, where upon questioning, the accused said that the knife he used in killing AAA was at the left side of his beds headboard. Jao recovered the knife, which he later identified during his testimony in court.10 The elements of rape with homicide are present. Art. 335 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act No. (RA) 7659, reads as follows: Art. 335. When and how rape is committed.Rape is committed by having carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following circumstances: 1. By using force or intimidation; 2. When the woman is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious; and 3. When the woman is under twelve years of age or is demented. The crime of rape shall be punished by reclusion perpetua.

xxxx When by reason or on the occasion of the rape, a homicide is committed, the penalty shall be death.

Potenciano Tadeo live with his wife in his parent's house of the barrio of Dolores, municipality of Ormoc, Leyte. On January 16, 1932, a fiesta was being celebrated in the said barrio and visitors were entertained in the house. Among them were Fred Tanner and Luis Malinao. Early that afternoon, Potenciano Taneo, went to sleep and while sleeping, he suddenly got up, left the room bolo in hand and, upon meeting his wife who tried to stop him, he wounded her in the abdomen. Potenciano Taneo attacked Fred Tanner and Luis Malinao and tried to attack his father after which he wounded himself. Potenciano's wife who was then seven months pregnant, died five days later as a result of her wound, and also the foetus which was asphyxiated in the mother's womb.

Our conclusion is that the defendant acted while in a dream and his acts, with which he is charged, were not voluntary in the sense of entailing criminal liability. In arriving at this conclusion, we are taking into consideration the fact that the apparent lack of a motive for committing a criminal act does not necessarily mean that there are none, but that simply they are not known to us, for we cannot probe into depths of one's conscience where they may be found, hidden away and inaccessible to our observation. We are also conscious of the fact that an extreme moral perversion may lead a man commit a crime without a real motive but just for the sake of committing it. But under the special circumstances of the case, in which the victim was the defendant's own wife whom he dearly loved, and taking into consideration the fact that the defendant tried to attack also his father, in whose house and under whose protection he lived, besides attacking Tanner and Malinao, his guests, whom he himself invited as may be inferred from the evidence presented, we find not only a lack of motives for the defendant to voluntarily commit the acts complained of, but also motives for not committing said acts.

PP vs Anacito Opuran

That on or about November 19, 1998, at nighttime, at Km. 1, South Road, Municipality of Catbalogan, Province of Samar, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, said accused, with deliberate intent to kill and treachery, did, then and there willfully, unlawfully, and feloniously attack, assault and stab Demetrio Patrimonio, Jr., with the use of a bladed weapon (5" long from tip to handle with scabbard), thereby inflicting upon the victim fatal stab wounds on the back of his body, which wounds resulted to his instantaneous death. The evidence for the prosecution discloses that on 19 November 1998, at about 6:30 p.m., prosecution witness Bambi Herrera was studying his lessons inside his house. His brother and a certain Jason Masbang were outside sitting side by side with each other on a plastic chair; opposite them was Allan Dacles, who was lying on a bench.4 Moments later, Jason barged into Bambis house, shouting: "Theres a long-haired man!" Bambi stood up and looked through the open door. He saw appellant Anacito Opuran stab Allan on the chest with a knife while the latter appeared to be trying to stand up from the bench. Although Allan had several stab wounds on different parts of his body, he managed to stand up and run inside Bambis house, with Anacito chasing him. Bambi immediately locked the door from the inside to prevent Anacito from entering. But the latter tried to force the door open by thrusting a knife at the door shutter. He also threw stones at the door. After a short while, Anacito left.5 With Anacito gone, Bambi went out to ask the aid of his neighbors so he could bring Allan to the hospital. He saw Anacitos two brothers and asked for their assistance. But one of them merely said: "Never mind because he [referring to Anacito] is mentally imbalanced."6 As nobody from among his neighbors responded to his plea for help, Bambi carried Allan on his shoulders and dragged him to the lower portion of the neighborhood. Several persons, who were having a drinking session, helped Bambi bring Allan to the hospital. Allan, however, died about fifteen minutes later.7 At about 7:45 p.m. of the same day, prosecution witness Tomas Bacsal, Jr., of Barangay San Pablo, Catbalogan, Samar, was in the house of Demetrio Patrimonio, Sr., seeking medical advice from the latters wife. While there, Tomas heard a commotion outside. He looked out from the balcony and saw people running. He learned that Anacito had stabbed somebody.8 After about fifteen minutes, while Tomas was on his way home, he saw Demetrio Patrimonio, Jr. He likewise noticed Anacito hiding in a dark place. When Demetrio Jr. reached the national highway, near the so-called "lovers lane," Anacito emerged from his hiding place and stabbed Demetrio Jr. with a knife about three to four times.9 Tomas immediately ran to the house of the Demetrios to inform them of what he had just witnessed. He then saw Demetrio Jr. running towards his parents house, but the latter did not make it because he collapsed near the fence. Tomas also caught sight of Anacito

running towards the direction of the house of the Opurans. Meanwhile, Demetrio Jr. was brought by his parents to the Samar Provincial Hospital, where he died the following day.10 Interestingly, Anacito failed to raise insanity at the earliest opportunity. He invoked it for the first time in the year 2000 and only after he had already testified on his defenses of alibi and denial. It has been held that the invocation of denial and alibi as defenses indicates that the accused was in full control of his mental faculties.58 Additionally, the trial judge observed that, during the hearings, Anacito was attentive, well-behaved, and responsive to the questions propounded to him. Thus, the shift in theory from denial and alibi to a plea of insanity, made apparently after the appellant realized the futility of his earlier defenses, is a clear indication that insanity is a mere concoction 59 or an afterthought.60 In any event, Anacito failed to establish by convincing evidence his alleged insanity at the time he killed Demetrio Jr. and Allan Dacles. He is thus presumed sane, and we are constrained to affirm his conviction.61 We likewise reject the alternative plea of Anacito that he be credited with the mitigating circumstance of diminished willpower. In the cases where we credited this mitigating circumstance after rejecting a plea of insanity, it was clear from the records that the accused had been suffering from a chronic mental disease that affected his intelligence and willpower for quite a number of years prior to the commission of the act he was being held for.62 We, therefore, sustain the penalty imposed by the trial court on Anacito. For the crime of murder, which is punishable by reclusion perpetua to death, he was correctly sentenced to suffer reclusion perpetua, the lower of the two indivisible penalties, since there was no other aggravating circumstance attending the commission of the crime. For the crime of homicide, which is punishable by reclusion temporal, he may be sentenced to an indeterminate penalty whose minimum is within the range of prision mayor and whose maximum is within the range of reclusion temporal in its medium period, there being no modifying circumstances. PP vs Formigones The law presumes that an offender possesses full control of his mental faculties. Thus, the exempting circumstance of insanity or imbecility under Art. 12, par. 1 of the Revised Penal Code, must be established by clear and competent evidence showing that the accused completely lost his reason, or was demented immediately prior to or at the very moment the crime was committed. That on or about the 20th day of May, 1992, at about 11:00 o'clock in the evening, in Barangay Kaingin, Municipality of San Pascual, Province of Batangas, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, armed with a balisong knife, with intent to kill, with treachery and evident premeditation and without any justifiable cause, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault and stab with the said balisong knife one Andres M. Dalisay, suddenly and without warning, thereby inflicting upon the latter stab wounds on the different parts of his body, which directly caused his death.

WHEREFORE, the court finds the accused, ALBERTO MEDINA y CATUD, guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder as defined and penalized by Article 248 of the Revised Penal [Code] and there being no mitigating circumstance to offset the qualifying circumstance of treachery generic aggravating circumstance of evident premeditation, and hereby sentences him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to pay the heirs of the deceased Andres M. Dalisay the sum of P50,000.00. Costs against the deceased. 13. Dr. Adigue testified that based on the evaluation of accused-appellant, the latter has been shown to be suffering from depression and was exhibiting homicidal tendencies, and that he did not know the difference between right and wrong (TSN, May 24, 1993, p. 10 and TSN, July 20, 1993, p. 16). On cross-examination, the witness affirmed that a person suffering from depression may be insane (TSN, July 20, 1993, p. 10). 14. Dr. Adigue stated that the psychological evaluation made on accused-appellant was based on the behavioral history of the latter furnished to her by Lorna Medina and Leticia Regalado, (TSN, July 20, 1993, p. 11) a case study based on the family background of accused-appellant (Ibid., p. 12), and on a series of psychological tests ("draw a person" test, the "card" test wherein the emotions of the subject are represented by the cards, and the thematic perception test) (TSN, May 24, 1993, p. 7). Ruling of the Trial Court The trial court rejected the appellant's defense of insanity. It ruled that Dr. Adigue was not properly qualified as an expert witness because: (1) she did not have the appellant's complete behavioral history; (2) she failed to demonstrate satisfactorily how she arrived at her conclusions; (3) her method of testing was incomplete and inconclusive; (4) her examination lasted for only a few hours without any follow-up evaluation; (5) the university from where she allegedly obtained her doctoral degree is not known to specialize in psychology or psychiatry; (6) she is not known as a psychiatrist; and (7) she reported that 'the mental activity [of the accused was] functioning on the normal level' at the time of the evaluation, that he comprehended instructions fast, and that he was suffering only from mild depression. The testimony of appellant's sister that she had observed unusual behavior on the part of appellant did not constitute sufficient proof of his insanity, "because not every aberration of the mind or mental deficiency constitute[s] insanity." That the accused was released from confinement at the National Center for Mental Health on October 4, 1982 and was not readmitted for any mental disorder for about ten years militated against his alleged lunacy. Additionally, the trial judge observed that, during the hearings, appellant was attentive, well-behaved and responsive to the questions propounded to him in English even without translation. On the other hand, appellant's mental agility was shown when he admitted seeing the deceased take something our of his pocket, for which reason he decided to beat him to the draw ("Inunahan ko na"). With his balisong, he repeatedly stabbed the deceased. The trial court appreciated treachery based on Andal's narration of the stabbing incident.

Voluntary surrender was credited as mitigating circumstance in favor of the appellant.

People vs Beronilla This is an appeal by accused Manuel Beronilla, Policarpio Paculdo, Filipino Velasco, and Jacinto Adriatico from the judgment of the Court of First Instance of Abra (Criminal Case No. 70) convicting them of murder for the execution of Arsenio Borjal in the evening of April 18, 1945, in the town of La Paz , Province of Abra. Arsenio Borjal was the elected mayor of La Paz, Abra, at the outbreak of war, and continued to serve as Mayor during the Japanese occupation, until March 10, 1943, when he moved to Bangued because of an attempt upon his life by unknown persons. On December 18, 1944, appellant Manuel Beronilla was appointed Military Mayor of La Paz by Lt. Col. R. H. Arnold, regimental commander of the 15th Infantry, Philippine Army, operating as a guerrilla unit in the province of Abra. Simultaneously with his appointment as Military Mayor, Beronilla received copy of a memorandum issued by Lt. Col. Arnold to all Military Mayors in Northern Luzon, authorizing them "to appoint a jury of 12 bolomen to try persons accused of treason, espionage, or the aiding and abetting (of ) the enemy" (Exhibit 9). He also received from the Headquarters of the 15th Infantry a list of all puppet government officials of the province of Abra (which included Arsenio Borjal, puppet mayor of La Paz), with a memorandum instructing all Military Mayors to investigate said persons and gather against them complaints from people of the municipality for collaboration with the enemy (Exhibit 12-a). Sometime in March, 1945, while the operations for the liberation of the province of Abra were in progress, Arsenio Borjal returned to La Paz with his family in order to escape the bombing of Bangued. Beronilla, pursuant to his instructions, placed Borjal under custody and asked the residents of La Paz to file complaints against him. In no time, charges of espionage, aiding the enemy, and abuse of authority were filed against Borjal; a 12-man jury was appointed by Beronilla, composed of Jesus Labuguen as chairman, and Benjamin Adriatico, Andres Afos, Juanito Casal, Santiago Casal, Benjamin Abella, Servillano Afos, Mariano Ajel, Felimon Labuguen, Felix Murphy, Pedro Turqueza, and Delfin Labuguen as members; while Felix Alverne and Juan Balmaceda were named prosecutors, Policarpio Paculdo as clerk of the jury, and Lino Inovermo as counsel for the accused. Later, Atty. Jovito Barreras voluntarily appeared and served as counsel for Borjal. Sgt. Esteban Cabanos observed the proceedings for several days upon instructions of Headquarters, 15th Infantry. The trial lasted 19 days up to April 10, 1945; the jury found Borjal guilty on all accounts and imposed upon him instruction from his superiors. Mayor Beronilla forwarded the records of the case to the Headquarters of the 15th Infantry for review. Said records were returned by Lt. Col. Arnold to Beronilla on April 18, 1945 with the following instructions: Ruling:

It appearing that the charge is the heinous crime of murder, and that the accusedappellants acted upon orders, of a superior officers that they, as military subordinates, could not question, and obeyed in good faith, without being aware of their illegality, without any fault or negligence on their part, we can not say that criminal intent has been established (U. S. vs. Catolico, 18 Phil., 507; Peo. vs. Pacana, 47 Phil., 48; Sent. of the Tribunal Supremo of Spain, 3 July 1886; 7 January 1901; 24 March 1900; 21 Feb. 1921; 25 March 1929). Actus non facit reum nisi mens si rea. To constitute a crime, the act must, except in certain crimes made such by statute, be accompanied by a criminal intent, or by such negligence or indifference to duty or to consequence, as, in law, is equivalent to criminal intent. The maxim is, actus non facit reum, nisi mens rea-a crime is not committed if the minds of the person performing the act complained of be innocent. (U. S. vs. Catolico, 18 Phil., 507). But even assuming that the accused-appellant did commit crime with they are charged, the Court below should not have denied their claim to the benefits of the Guerrilla Amnesty Proclamation No. 8 (42 Off. Gaz., 2072)on the ground that the slaying of Arsenio Borjal took place after actual liberation of the area from enemy control and occupation. The evidence on record regarding the date of liberation of La Paz, Abra, is contradictory. The Military Amnesty Commission that decided the case of one of the original accused Jesus Labuguen, held that La Paz, Abra, was liberated on July 1, 1945, according to its records; and this finding was accepted by Judge Letargo when he dismissed the case against said accused on March 15, 1949. On the other hand, Judge Bocar and Hilario, who subsequently took cognizance of the case, relied on Department Order No. 25, of the Department of the Interior, dated August 12, 1948, setting the liberation of the Province of Abra on April 4, 1945, fifteen days before Borjal was slain. The two dates are not strictly contradictory; but given the benefit of the Presidential directive to the Amnesty Commissions (Adm. Order No. 11, of October 2, 1946) that "any reasonable doubt as to whether a given case falls within the (amnesty) proclamation shall be resolved in favor of the accused" (42 Off. Gaz., 2360), as was done in People vs. Gajo, Phil., 107 46 Off. Gaz., (No. 12) p. 6093. People vs Lopez This Court is tasked, once again, to pass upon by way of automatic review the judgment of conviction imposing the death penalty 1 in an incestuous rape, said to have been perpetrated by the accused, NORBERTO LOPEZ Y SOLEMA, on his own daughter Christine Rose A. Lopez. The accusatory portion of the indictment against the father of the complainant states That sometime in September, 1996 at Barangay Carusocan Norte, municipality of Asingan, province of Pangasinan, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused being the father of minor CHRISTINE ROSE A. LOPEZ, by means of force and intimidation, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously have sexual intercourse with said CHRISTINE ROSE A. LOPEZ, a minor, 15 yrs. of age, against her will and without her consent, to her damage and prejudice. 2 Lopez pleaded "not guilty" to the charge and stood trial. 3

On 04 June 1997, following the reception of evidence presented by the prosecution and the defense, respectively, the Regional Trial Court of Pangasinan, Branch 46, 4 found Lopez guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime charged; it held: WHEREFORE, finding accused NORBERTO @ NESTOR LOPEZ guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape aggravated by relationship and age, the Court sentences said accused to suffer the penalty of death, to be implemented in the manner provided by law. Accused is likewise ordered to pay victim Christine Rose Lopez the amount of P50,000.00 moral damages plus P20,000.00 as exemplary damages. Norberto Lopez Y Solema is hereby ordered committed to the National Bilibid Prisons fifteen (15) days from to day. The Branch Clerk of Court is hereby ordered to transmit the records of this case to the Honorable Supreme Court of the Philippines after fifteen (15) days hereof. US vs Catangay This is an appeal from a judgment of the Court of First Instance of Ambos Camarines convicting the appellant of the crime of causing death by gross or reckless negligence in that he, on or about the 29th day of November, 1914, discharged an airgun, loaded with a shot, against the person of Isabel Dalmita, causing a wound in the left breast from which death resulted in about 9 days. From the evidence in the case it appears that, on the 29th of November, 1914, one Candido Sabit, being the owner and in possession of a rifle operated by compressed air, placed it in a corner of a room in a house owned by Quirico Labordio, where he was, at the time, a guest. On that occasion there were several persons in the room, including the accused and a girl about 14 years old named Isabel Dalmita. The accused picked up the rifle, asked its owner if it was loaded, who answered in the negative, and, after receiving certain instructions with respect to the manner of handling and using it, and without knowing that it was loaded, discharged it. Unfortunately, however, the gun was loaded, and, at the time it was discharged, was pointed directly at Isabel Dalmita, who received the shot in her left breast. The accused was convicted of the crime already mentioned and was sentenced to 1 year and 6 months of prision correccional, to the accessories provided by law, to pay to the heirs of the deceased girl the sum of P1,000, and to subsidiary imprisonment in case of non-payment.

From the consideration of these three classes into which, the Penal Code divides all crimes committed by negligence, it is clear that the case at bar belongs to the class first named, that is, the class in which the person committing the offense fails to use the most common prudence; and this result turns us back to our conclusion stated at the beginning of this discussion, viz., that the trial court was correct in declaring that, in causing the death of Isabel Dalmita, the accused was guilty of gross negligence.

Joseph Estrada vs PP Decision: Republic Act (RA) No. 7080 as amended was approved on July 12, 1991, creating and introducing into our criminal legal system the crime of "plunder". This law penalizes public officers who would amass immense wealth through a series or combination of overt or criminal acts described in the statute in violation of the public trust. RA No. 7080 or the Anti-Plunder Law was a consolidation of Senate Bill no. 733 and House Bill No. 22752. The Explanatory Note of Senate Bill No. 733, quoted in the case of Estrada v. Sandiganbayan (G.R. No. 148965, February 26, 2002, 377 SCRA 538, 555), explains the reason behind the law as follows: Plunder, a term chosen from other equally apt terminologies like kleptocracy and economic treason, punishes the use of high office for personal enrichment, committed thru a series of acts done not in the public eye but in stealth and secrecy over a period of time, that may involve so many persons, here and abroad, and which touch so many states and territorial units. The acts and/or omissions sought to be penalized do not involve simple cases of malversation of public funds, bribery, extortion, theft and graft but constitute plunder of an entire nation resulting in material damage to the national economy. The above-described crime does not yet exist in Philippine statute books. Thus, the need to come up with a legislation as a safeguard against the possible recurrence of the depravities of the previous regime and as a deterrent to those with similar inclination to succumb to the corrupting influence of power. The majority opinion in the above-cited case, penned by Honorable Justice Josue N. Bellosillo, further explained the rationale behind the Anti-Plunder Law in this manner: Our nation has been racked by scandals of corruption and obscene profligacy of officials in high places which have shaken its very foundation. The anatomy of graft and corruption has become more elaborate in the corridors of time as unscrupulous people relentlessly contrive more and more ingenious ways to milk the coffers of the government. Drastic and radical measures are imperative to fight the increasingly sophisticated, extraordinarily methodical and economically catastrophic looting of the national treasury. Such is the Plunder Law, especially designed to disentangle those ghastly tissues of grand-scale corruption which, if left unchecked, will spread like a malignant tumor and ultimately consume the moral and institutional fiber of our nation. The Plunder Law, indeed, is a living testament to the will of the legislature to ultimately eradicate this scourge and thus secure society against the avarice and other venalities in public office. These are times that try mens souls. In the checkered history of this nation, few issues of national importance can equal the amount of interest and passion generated by petitioners ignominious fall from the highest office, and his eventual prosecution and trial under a virginal statute. This continuing saga has driven a wedge of dissension among our people that may linger for a long time. Only by responding to the clarion call for patriotism, to rise above factionalism and prejudices, shall we emerge triumphant in the midst of ferment. Facts: That during the period from June, 1998 to January, 2001, in the Philippines, and within

the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, accused Joseph Ejercito Estrada, by himself and in conspiracy with his co-accused, business associates and persons heretofore named, by taking advantage of his official position, authority, connection or influence as President of the Republic of the Philippines, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and criminally amass, accumulate and acquire ill-gotten wealth, and unjustly enrich himself in the aggregate amount of P4,097,804,173.17, more or less, through a combination and series of overt and criminal acts, described as follows: People vs Tio Won Chua This is an appeal from the decision of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila, Branch 27, convicting appellants Tiu Won Chua a.k.a. Timothy Tiu (Tiu Won) and Qui Yaling y Chua a.k.a. Sun Tee Sy y Chua (Qui Yaling) for violation of Section 16, Article III of Republic Act No. 6425, otherwise known as the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972, as amended by Republic Act No. 7659. Appellants were charged with the crime of illegal possession of a regulated drug, i.e., methamphetamine hydrochloride, otherwise known as "shabu," in an information which reads: The undersigned accuses TIU WON CHUA aka "Timothy Tiu" and QUI YALING Y CHUA aka "Sun Tee Sy Y Chua" of violation of Section 16, Article III in relation to Section 2 (e-2), Article I of Republic Act No. 6425, as amended by Batas Pambansa Blg. 179 and as further amended by Republic Act No. 7659, committed as follows: That on or about the 3rd day of October 1998, in the City of Manila, Philippines, the said accused without being authorized by law to possess or use any regulated drug, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully, knowingly and jointly have in their possession and under their custody and control the following, to wit: A sealed plastic bag containing two three four point five (234.5) grams of white crystalline substance; Four (4) separate sealed plastic bags containing six point two two four three (6.2243) grams of white crystalline substance; Sixteen (16) separate sealed plastic bags containing twenty point three six seven three (20.3673) grams of white crystalline substance; or a total of 261.0916 grams, and; An improvised tooter with traces of crystalline substance known as "SHABU" containing methamphetamine hydrochloride, a regulated drug, without the corresponding license or prescription thereof. An admission is an act or declaration of a party as to the existence of a relevant fact which may be used in evidence against him.19 These admissions, provided they are voluntary, can be used against appellants because it is fair to presume that they correspond with the truth, and it is their fault if they do not.20

Qui Yaling likewise argues that the lower court erred in attributing ownership of the handbag to her considering that there was another girl present at the apartment during the search. She contends that since the prosecution was not able to establish the ownership of the bag, then such could have also been owned by Chin. We do not subscribe to this argument. The defense failed to bring Chin to court, although during the course of the presentation of their evidence, they manifested their intention to present her testimony. Furthermore, a visitor does not normally leave her bag lying anywhere, much more in the masters bedroom. Being the occupant of the apartment, it is more logical to presume that the handbag belongs to Qui Yaling. The failure of the prosecution to present the bags and proofs that the bags belong to the appellants is immaterial because the bags, the license of Tiu Won found inside the mans handbag and the passport of Qui Yaling found inside the ladies handbag are not illegal. Having no relation to the use or possession of shabu, the authorities could not confiscate them for they did not have the authority to do so since the warrant authorized them to seize only articles in relation to the illegal possession of shabu.21 Not within their control, they could not have been presented in court. We now come to the penalties of the appellants. R. A. No. 6425, as amended by R. A. No. 7659, applies. Thus, since 234.5 grams of shabu were found inside the mans handbag, deemed to be owned by Tiu Won, he is guilty of violating Section 16, Article III of R.A. No. 6425, while Qui Yaling, whose handbag contained only 20.3673 grams of shabu is guilty of violating Section 20 thereof. Section 16, in connection with Section 20 (1st paragraph), provides the penalty of reclusion perpetua to death and a fine ranging from five hundred thousand pesos to ten million pesos where the amount of shabu involved is 200 grams or more. Where the amount is less than 200 grams, Section 20 punishes the offender with the penalty ranging from prision correccional to reclusion perpetua. IN VIEW WHEREOF, the decision of RTC Br. 27, Manila as to the penalty of appellant Tiu Won is affirmed, while that of appellant Qui Yaling is modified. Tiu Won Chua is sentenced to a penalty of reclusion perpetua, and a fine of five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000.00) in accordance with Section 16 and Section 20 (1st paragraph) of R.A. No. 6425, as amended by R.A. No. 7659. Qui Yaling y Chua is sentenced to an indeterminate sentence of prision correccional as minimum to prision mayor as maximum, there being no mitigating or aggravating circumstances.