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Criminal Law Case Digests

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Digested Cases on Criminal law

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(31) [G.R. No. 114261. February 10, 2000] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. BERLY FABRO y AZUCENA, accused-appellant. FACTS: Appellant Fabro, together with her common-law husband Donald Pilay and Irene Martin, was charged with the crime of "Violation of Section 21 (b) Art. IV, in relation to Section 4, Art. II of Republic Act No. 6425, as amended of the RTC of Baguio City in an information that reads: That on or about the 7th day of April 1993, in the City of Baguio, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, conspiring, confederating and mutually aiding one another, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously sell and/or deliver to PO2 ELLONITO APDUHAN, who acted as poseur-buyer, one (1) kilo of dried marijuana leaves, a prohibited drug without any authority of law, in violation of the aforementioned provision of law. Two concerned individuals, Gloria and Emma Borce, reported to Chief Inspector Evasco of the 14th Narcotics Regional Field Office, that a couple living together as husband and wife was engaged in selling marijuana. Acting on the report, Chief Inspector Evasco organized two teams to conduct a buy-bust operation. SPO2 Apduhan was designated poseur-buyer in the operation. As Apduhan, Gloria and Emma drew near Pilay’s residence, appellant met them. Her common-law husband who appeared drunk was inside the house by the main door. Gloria and Emma introduced Apduhan to appellant as a stranger in the place who wanted to buy marijuana. After Apduhan had ordered a kilo of the contraband, appellant told them to wait a while. She returned in the company of Irene Martin. Appellant was holding something that looked like a brick wrapped in newspaper and placed inside a transparent plastic bag. Appellant handed the stuff to Apduhan. Her companion, Irene Martin, demanded payment therefor. After ascertaining that it was a brick of marijuana, Apduhan made the pre-arranged signal of lighting his cigarette; the back-up team rushed towards their direction and arrested appellant and Pilay. Irene Martin was able to escape. The trial court rendered a decision finding appellant Fabro guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the offense charged.

ISSUE: W/N there is conspiracy in the commission of the crime. HELD: Yes. Appellant’s contention that Irene Martin was the real culprit being the source of the contraband does not in any way absolve her of the crime of selling marijuana. While it is true that it was Irene Martin who took the money, appellant was the one who negotiated with the poseur-buyers; fetched her coaccused; carried and handed over the marijuana to Apduhan. The acts of Martin and appellant clearly show a unity of purpose in the consummation of the sale of marijuana. In other words, between Martin and appellant, conspiracy in the commission of the crime was indubitably proven by the prosecution. Section 21 (b) of R.A. 6425 punishes the mere conspiracy to commit the offense of selling, delivering, distributing and transporting of dangerous drugs. Conspiracy herein refers to the mere agreement to commit the said acts and not the actual execution thereof. While the rule is that a mere conspiracy to commit a crime without doing any overt act is not punishable, the exception is when such is specifically penalized by law, as in the case of Section 21 of Republic Act 6425. Conspiracy as crime should be distinguished from conspiracy as a manner of incurring criminal liability the latter being applicable to the case at bar. * Sec. 21. Attempt and Conspiracy. The same penalty prescribed by this Act for the commission of the offense shall be imposed in case of any xxx conspiracy to commit the same in the following cases:  xxx b) Sale, administration, delivery, distribution and transportation transportation of dangerous drugs.

(32) [G.R. No. 124871. May 13, 2004] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. MARIFE BELLO y ROSCO @ “Joann Redillo,” JOHN DOE @ “Eladio M. Consuelo, Jr.” and “Boyet,” PETER DOE @ “Danny Dineros,” and RICHARD DOE @ “George” and/or “Cayo,” accused, MARIFE BELLO y ROSCO @ “Joann Redillo” and JOHN DOE @ “Eladio M. Consuelo, Jr.” and “Boyet,” accused -appellants.

FACTS: ROLANDO ANDASAN is a messenger/collector at the Sunshine Moneychanger in Pasay City, earning a measly net net income of P2,000.00 per month. On July

25, 1995, in the course of his employment, he was mercilessly stabbed 28 times and died. An Information for robbery with homicide was filed against 4 accused: Marife Bello alias ―Joann Redillo,‖ Eladio M. Consuelo, Jr. alias ―Boyet,‖ Danny Dineros and ―Cayo‖ or ―George.‖  Only accused Marife and Eladio, Jr. were arrested. Accused Danny and Cayo remain at large. On July 25, 1995, a cab entered the Queensland Lodge in Pasay City, with accused Marife and Eladio, Jr. on board. They alighted in front of the private garage of room no.2 and informed the roomboy that they needed a room. The latter then ushered them to their room and then gave a stub to their telephone operator, Digna Siazon, where he indicated that two customers checked in at room no. 2. Accused Marife called up Digna and asked for an outside line and later on given a line. She then called up the Sunshine Moneychanger in Pasay City and talked with the officer-in-charge, Eduardo Rafael. Identifying herself as Joann Redillo, accused Marife misrepresented to Eduardo that she came from Japan and would like to convert her 40 pieces of yen to pesos. She requested that the currency conversion be made in her room inside the nearby Queensland Lodge. Eduardo agreed to the arrangement. Eduardo instructed his messenger ROLANDO ANDASAN to proceed to the lodge and give the lady occupant of room no. 2 the sum of P114,000.00 in exchange for her 40 pieces of yen. Rolando left the office and proceeded to the lodge. The appellants later on checked out from the lodge and subsequently, the roomboys discovered the lifeless body of Rolando inside the room, lying beside the bed and covered by blood-stained bedsheets. And while accused Marife admitted that she participated in the perpetration of the crime, albeit under duress, accused Eladio, Jr. raised the defenses of denial and alibi. Accused Marife admitted that she was present at every stage of the crime  –   from the time it was planned until its consummation. She alleged however that she joined the conspirators under duress as Danny threatened to kill her if she refused to cooperate.

After trial, the court found the accused guilty as charged and imposed on them the maximum penalty of death as they were found to be part of an organized or syndicated crime group under Article 62 (1) (a) of the Revised Penal Code, as amended.

ISSUE: (1) W/N there exists a conspiracy in the commission of the crime. (2) Is direct proof of previous agreement to establish conspiracy essential? HELD: (1) Yes. (2) No. Conspiracy exists where the plotters agree, expressly or impliedly, to commit the crime and decide to pursue it. Conspiracy is predominantly a state of mind as it involves the meeting of the minds and intent of the malefactors. Consequently, direct proof is not essential to establish it. The existence of the assent of minds of the co-conspirators may be inferred from proof of facts and circumstances which, taken together, indicate that they are parts of the complete plan to commit the crime. In the case at bar, the records clearly reveal that appellant Marife was part of the plan to rob the moneychanger. This plan was mapped out in accused Danny’s house in Cavite by appellants, together with accused Danny and Cayo. On the whole, the incriminating circumstantial evidence against the appellants sufficiently proves their complicity. Circumstantial evidence is that which proves a fact or series of facts from which the facts in issue may be established by inference. Resort to circumstantial evidence is, in the nature of things, a necessity as crimes are usually committed clandestinely and under conditions where concealment is highly probable. To require direct testimony would, in many cases, result in freeing criminals and deny proper protection to society. Thus, the guilt of an accused may be established through circumstantial evidence provided that the requisites are present, viz: (1) there is more than one circumstance; (2)

the inferences must be based on proven facts; (3) the combination of all the circumstances produces a conviction beyond doubt as to the guilt of the accused. In the case at bar, while no witness testified to the actual stabbing and robbing of the victim, the circumstantial evidence adduced by the prosecution supports a judgment of conviction.

Robert’s father, Barangay Councilman Jaime Agbanlog. As the drinking session went on, Robert and the others noticed appellants Antonio Comadre, George Comadre and Danilo Lozano walking. The three stopped in front of the house. While his companions looked on, Antonio suddenly lobbed an object which fell on the roof of the terrace. Appellants immediately fled by scaling the fence of a nearby school.

In sum, the Court finds that the defenses raised by the appellants are clouded with improbability and uncertainty. As the conspiracy among the accused was sufficiently established by the prosecution, the appellants are equally guilty of the special complex crime of robbery with homicide for in conspiracy, the act of one is the act of all. Thus, although the original plan may have been to simply rob the victim and while appellant Marife may not have actually participated in the horrendous killing, the conspirators are equally liable as co-principals for all the planned or unanticipated consequences of their criminal design.

The object, which turned out to be a hand grenade, exploded ripping a hole in the roof of the house. Agbanlog, Wabe, Bullanday, Camat and Eugenio were hit by shrapnel and slumped unconscious on the floor. They were all rushed to the San Jose General Hospital in Lupao, Nueva Ecija for medical treatment. However, Agbanlog died before reaching the hospital.

* Be that as it may, we find that the trial court erred in

Similar to the physical act constituting the crime itself, the elements of conspiracy must be proven beyond reasonable doubt. Settled is the rule that to establish conspiracy, evidence of actual cooperation rather than mere cognizance or approval of an illegal act is required.

holding that the appellants were part of a syndicated or organized crime group under Article 62 (1) (a) of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, which merits the imposition of the maximum penalty of death. While the appellants and their co-accused confederated and mutually helped one another for the purpose of gain, it was neither alleged nor proved that they formed part of a group organized for the general purpose of committing crimes for gain which is the essence of a syndicated or organized crime group.

(33) [G.R. No. 153559. June 8, 2004] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, appellee, vs. ANTONIO COMADRE, GEORGE COMADRE and DANILO LOZANO, appellants. FACTS: Appellants Antonio Comadre, George Comadre and Danilo Lozano were charged with Murder with Multiple Frustrated Murder. At around 7:00 in the evening of August 6, 1995, Robert Agbanlog, Jimmy Wabe, Gerry Bullanday, Rey Camat and Lorenzo Eugenio were having a drinking spree on the terrace of the house of

ISSUE: W/N conspiracy exists in the commission of the crime. HELD: No.

A conspiracy must be established by positive and conclusive evidence. It must be shown to exist as clearly and convincingly as the commission of the crime itself. Mere presence of a person at the scene of the crime does not make him a conspirator for conspiracy transcends companionship. The evidence shows that George Comadre and Danilo Lozano did not have any participation in the commission of the crime and must therefore be set free. Their mere presence at the scene of the crime as well as their close relationship with Antonio is insufficient to establish conspiracy considering that they performed no positive act in furtherance of the crime. Neither was it proven that their act of running away with Antonio was an act of giving moral assistance to his criminal act. The ratiocination of the trial court that ―their presence provided encouragement and sense of security to Antonio‖, is devoid of any factual basis. Such finding is not

supported by the evidence on record and cannot therefore be a valid basis of a finding of conspiracy. Time and again we have been guided by the principle that it would be better to set free ten men who might be probably guilty of the crime charged than to convict one innocent man for a crime he did not commit. There being no conspiracy, only Antonio Comadre must answer for the crime. Under the Article 48 (complex crimes), when a single act constitutes two or more grave or less grave felonies the penalty for the most serious crime shall be imposed, the same to be applied in its maximum period irrespective of the presence of modifying circumstances, including the generic aggravating circumstance of treachery in this case. Applying the aforesaid provision of law, the maximum penalty for the most serious crime (murder) is death. The trial court, therefore, correctly imposed the death penalty. Antonio Comadre is convicted of the complex crime of Murder with Multiple Attempted Murder and sentenced to suffer the penalty of death. Appellants Gregorio Comadre and Danilo Lozano are ACQUITTED for lack of evidence to establish conspiracy, and they are hereby ordered immediately released from confinement unless they are lawfully held in custody for another cause.

(34) [G.R. No. 141066. February 17, 2005] EVANGELINE LADONGA, petitioner, vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondent. FACTS: The Petitioner Evangeline Ladonga seeks a review of the Decision of the Court of Appeals affirming the Decision of the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 3 of Bohol, convicting her of violation of B.P. Blg. 22, otherwise known as The Bouncing Checks Law. The RTC, convicted both Evangeline Ladonga and her spouse Adronico, both are regular customers in the pawnshop business of Mr. Oculam in Tagbilaran City, Bohol; sometime in May 1990, the Ladonga spouses obtained a P9,075.55 loan from him, guaranteed by United Coconut Planters Bank

(UCPB) Check No. 284743, post dated to dated July 7, 1990 issued by Adronico; sometime in the last week of April 1990 and during the first week of May 1990, the Ladonga spouses obtained an additional loan of P12,730.00, guaranteed by UCPB Check No. 284744, post dated to dated July 26, 1990 issued by Adronico; between May and June 1990, the Ladonga spouses obtained a third loan in the amount of P8,496.55, guaranteed by UCPB Check No. 106136, post dated to July 22, 1990 issued by Adronico; the three checks bounced upon presentment for the reason "CLOSED ACCOUNT"; when the Ladonga spouses failed to redeem the check, despite repeated demands, he filed a criminal complaint against them.

ISSUE: (1) W/N conspiracy is applicable in violations of BP Blg. 22 by invoking the last sentence of Article 10, RPC. (2)W/N petitioner Ladonga is considered a conspirator in the commission of the offense charged. HELD: (1) Yes. Some provisions of the Revised Penal Code are applicable to special laws. It submits that B.P. Blg. 22 does not provide any prohibition regarding the applicability in a suppletory character of the provisions of the Revised Penal Code to it. Article 10 of the RPC reads as follows: ART. 10. Offenses not subject to the provisions of this Code. –   Offenses which are or in the future may be punishable under special laws are not subject to the provisions of this Code. This Code shall be supplementary to such laws, unless the latter should specially provide the contrary. The article is composed of two clauses. The first provides that offenses which in the future are made punishable under special laws are not subject to the provisions of the RPC, while the second makes the RPC supplementary to such laws. The first clause should be understood to mean only that the special penal laws are controlling with regard to offenses therein specifically punished. The second clause contains the soul of the article. The

main idea and purpose of the article is embodied in the provision that the "code shall be supplementary" to special laws, unless the latter should specifically provide the contrary. B.P. Blg. 22 does not expressly proscribe the suppletory application of the provisions of the RPC. Thus, in the absence of contrary provision in B.P. Blg. 22, the general provisions of the RPC which, by their nature, are necessarily applicable, may be applied suppletorily.

(2) No. Article 8 of the RPC provides that ―a conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an agreement concerning the commission of a felony and decide to commit it.‖ To be held guilty as a coprincipal by reason of conspiracy, the accused must be shown to have performed an overt act in pursuance or furtherance of the complicity. The overt act or acts of the accused may consist of active participation in the actual commission of the crime itself or may consist of moral assistance to his co-conspirators by moving them to execute or implement the criminal plan. In the present case, the prosecution failed to prove that petitioner performed any overt act in furtherance of the alleged conspiracy. As testified to by the lone prosecution witness, complainant Alfredo Oculam, petitioner was merely present when her husband, Adronico, signed the check. Oculam also did not describe the details of petitioner’s participation. He did not specify the nature of petitioner’s involvement in the commission of the crime, either by a direct act of participation, a direct inducement of her co-conspirator, or cooperating in the commission of the offense by another act without which it would not have been accomplished. Apparently, the only semblance of overt act that may be attributed to petitioner is that she was present when the first check was issued. Conspiracy must be established, not by conjectures, but by positive and conclusive evidence. Conspiracy transcends mere companionship and mere presence at the scene of the crime does not in itself amount to conspiracy. Even knowledge, acquiescence in or agreement to cooperate, is not enough to constitute one as a party to a conspiracy,

absent any active participation in the commission of the crime with a view to the furtherance of the common design and purpose. The instant petition is GRANTED. Petitioner is acquitted of the charges against her under BP Blg. 22.

(35) [G.R. No. 154182. December 17, 2004] EDGAR Y. TEVES and TERESITA Z. TEVES, petitioners, vs. THE SANDIGANBAYAN, respondent. FACTS: Edgar Y. Teves, former Mayor of Valencia, Negros Oriental, and his wife Teresita Z. Teves seeks to annul and set aside the Decision of the Sandiganbayan convicting them of violation of Section 3(h) of the Anti-Graft Law for possessing direct pecuniary interest in the Valencia Cockpit and Recreation Center in Valencia. That on or about February 4, 1992, and sometime subsequent thereto, in Valencia, Negros Oriental, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, accused Edgar Y. Teves, a public officer, being then the Municipal Mayor of Valencia, Negros Oriental, committing the crime-herein charged in relation to, while in the performance and taking advantage of his official functions, and conspiring and confederating with his wife, herein accused Teresita Teves, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and criminally cause the issuance of the appropriate business permit/license to operate the Valencia Cockpit and Recreation Center in favor of one Daniel Teves, said accused Edgar Y. Teves having a direct financial or pecuniary interest therein considering the fact that said cockpit arena is actually owned and operated by him and accused Teresita Teves.

ISSUE: W/N petitioner Teresita Teves conspired with, or knowingly induced or caused, her husband (Edgar Teves) to commit the second mode of violation of Sec. 3 of the Anti-Graft Law. HELD: No. Conspiracy must be established separately from the crime itself and must meet the same degree of

proof, i.e., proof beyond reasonable doubt. While conspiracy need not be established by direct evidence, for it may be inferred from the conduct of the accused before, during, and after the commission of the crime, all taken together, the evidence must reasonably be strong enough to show community of criminal design. Certainly, there is no conspiracy in just being married to an erring spouse. For a spouse or any person to be a party to a conspiracy as to be liable for the acts of the others, it is essential that there be intentional participation in the transaction with a view to the furtherance of the common design. Except when he is the mastermind in a conspiracy, it is necessary that a conspirator should have performed some overt act as a direct or indirect contribution in the execution of the crime planned to be committed. The overt act must consist of active participation in the actual commission of the crime itself or of moral assistance to his co-conspirators. Section 4(b) of the Anti-Graft Law, the provision which applies to private individuals, states: SEC. 4. Prohibitions on private individuals. – … (b) It shall be unlawful for any person knowingly to induce or cause any public official to commit any of the offenses defined in Section 3 hereof. We find no sufficient evidence that petitioner Teresita Teves conspired with, or knowingly induced or caused, her husband to commit the second mode of violation of Section 3(h) of the Anti-Graft Law. As early as 1983, Edgar Teves was already the owner of the Valencia Cockpit. Since then until 31 December 1991, possession by a local official of pecuniary interest in a cockpit was not yet prohibited. It was before the effectivity of the LGC of 1991, or on January 1990, that he transferred the management of the cockpit to his wife Teresita. In accordance therewith it was Teresita who thereafter applied for the renewal of the cockpit registration. The acts of petitioner Teresita Teves can hardly pass as acts in furtherance of a conspiracy to commit the violation of the Anti-Graft Law that would render her equally liable as her husband. If ever she did those

acts, it was because she herself was an owner of the cockpit. Not being a public official, she was not prohibited from holding an interest in cockpit. In criminal cases, conviction must rest on a moral certainty of guilt. The burden of proof is upon the prosecution to establish each and every element of the crime and that the accused is either responsible for its commission or has conspired with the malefactor. Since no conspiracy was proved, the acquittal of petitioner Teresita Teves is, therefore, in order.

(36) [G.R. No. 134938. June 8, 2000] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. CARLOS FORCA (at large), RUFINO TESTON and ROGELIO GACO, accused. RUFINO TESTON and ROGELIO GACO, accusedappellants. FACTS: On July 12, 1995, Forca, Teston, Gaco and Osorio were charged with MURDER before the RTC of Palawan and Puerto Princesa City. Except for Forca who has remained at large, all the accused pleaded not guilty for conspiring, confederating together and mutually helping each other, with evident premeditation, treachery and abuse of superior strength, with intent to kill and while armed with bladed weapons, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault, stab and hack with their bladed weapons, one VLADINER DECENA, hitting him in the different vital parts of his body and inflicting upon him multiple stab and hack wounds which cause cardio-pulmonary arrest which were the direct and immediate cause of his death shortly thereafter. Bucol testified that he played basketball with Vladiner Decena. Forca, Teston, Gaco and Osorio were already there drinking at a nearby store. After they had finished playing, he and Vladiner watched the butchering of a shark; Vladiner was seated inside a cart, while Bucol stood about ten meters away from him. When Bucol turned to look at his friend, he saw Forca about to stab Vladiner with a bolo, prompting him to shout "Toto, sasaksakin ka," but

nevertheless, Vladiner was stabbed. Forca stabbed the victim once, then Osorio held Vladiner’s hair and Gaco his armpits, thus allowing Forca to stab Vladiner two more times. Osorio and Gaco then released Vladiner, and it was at this point that Teston came forward and hacked him 19 times.

ISSUE: W/N there is conspiracy in the commission of the crime. HELD: Yes. The court found that the accused acted in conspiracy. It held that, in the killing of Vladiner, each of the accused performed specific acts with such closeness and coordination so as to indicate a common purpose and design. In full agreement with the trial court, the OSG asserts that accused acted in conspiracy. Based on the testimony of Bucol, Forca stabbed Valdiner, after which Gaco held him by the armpits, while Osorio grabbed his hair. Thereupon, Teston hacked the victim several times with his bolo. Their various acts clearly show that they were animated by the same purpose and impelled by a common design. The manner in which the accused attacked Vladiner also shows that they acted with abuse of superior strength since they clearly outnumbered the victim who was utterly defenseless. Thus, the trial court was correct in holding the accused liable for the crime of murder. As shown by their concerted acts, accused clearly harbored and were united in the execution of the same criminal purpose  —   to end the life of Vladiner Decena. Since conspiracy has been proven, it need not be determined who among the accused delivered the fatal blow. All of the accused are liable as principals regardless of the extent and character of their participation; for in conspiracy the act of one is the act of all.

(37) [G.R. No. 139531. January 31, 2002] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. REYNALDO BAGANO* alias Pugot a.k.a. REYNALDO FRIOLO, and PABLITO CAÑETE, accused-appellants.

FACTS: This is an appeal from the Decision of the RTC of Cebu City, finding Reynaldo Bagano alias Pugot and Pablito Cañete guilty of murder. Bagano and Cañete were charged with murder qualified by conspiracy and aggravated by treachery and evident premeditation in an Information dated 3 July 1995. On 1997 the trial court convicted both accused of murder for the killing of Jeremias Montecino and sentenced Bagano, a recidivist, to reclusion perpetua, and Cañete to reclusion temporal to reclusion perpetua. The court a quo rejected the defense of alibi and denial raised by accused Bagano and Cañete on the basis of the following findings: About 3am, Jeremias Montecino and his wife Merlinda were sleeping in their home, when they were awakened by someone repeatedly calling Jeremias' name. The call came from outside. Jeremias went to the window to see who it was and thereafter left their room to go outside. Merlinda remained in their room, but peering through the window she saw Canete suddenly embrace Jeremias as the latter was opening the gate. Thereupon, Bagano with ice pick in hand stabbed Jeremias on the chest. Jeremias struggled to free himself from Cañete's clasp and ran, but Reynaldo Bagano gave chase. Upon hearing Merlinda's screams for help Bagano withdrew and fled with Canete following him. Merlinda rushed Jeremias to the Cebu City Medical Center but he succumbed to severe hemorrhage secondary to the stab wound on the left side of his chest. He died upon arrival at the hospital.

ISSUE: W/N there is conspiracy in the commission of the crime. HELD: Yes. Conspiracy is attendant in the commission of the crime. For conspiracy to exist, it is sufficient that at the time of the commission of the offense the accused had the same purpose and were united in its execution. Proof of an actual planning of the perpetuation of the crime is not a condition precedent. From the

mode and manner in which the offense was perpetrated, and as can be inferred from their acts, it is evident that Bagano and Cañete were one in their intention to kill Jeremias Montecino. Hence, in accordance with the principle that in conspiracy the act of one is the act of all, the fact that it was Bagano who delivered the fatal blow on Montecino and Cañete's participation was limited to a mere embrace is immaterial. Conspiracy bestows upon them equal liability; hence, they shall suffer the same fate for their acts. * Article 248 of The Revised Penal Code prescribes the penalty of reclusion perpetua to death for the crime of murder. Absent any mitigating or aggravating circumstance in the commission of the crime, the lower penalty of reclusion perpetua shall be imposed.

(38) G.R. No. 159280

May 18, 2004

AUGUSTO SIM, JR., petitioner, vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS and The PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents. FACTS: Petitioner Augusto Sim, Jr. and co-accused Elison Villaflor were found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of estafa under Article 315, paragraph 2 (a) of the Revised Penal Code. Elison Villaflor and Augusto Sim, Jr., were formally charged with the crime of Estafa in an Information which reads: …the said accused, conspiring and confederating together and mutually helping one another, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously defraud Jay Byron Ilagan in the following manner, to wit: the said accused by means of false manifestations which they made to said Jay Byron Ilagan to the effect that they are selling one (1) colored green Nissan Pathfinder pick-up in the amount of P480,000.00 registered in the name of Henry Austria, and by means of other similar deceits, induced and succeeded in inducing said Jay Byron Ilagan to give and deliver, as in fact he gave and delivered to said accused the amount of P480,000.00 on the strength of said manifestations and representations, said accused well knowing that

the same were false and fraudulent, as the said car is a stolen car and they are not the owner, and were made solely, to obtain, as in fact they did obtain the amount of P480,000.00 which amount once in their possession, with intent to defraud, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously misappropriated, misapplied and converted to their own personal use and benefit, to the damage and prejudice of said Jay Byron Ilagan.

ISSUE: W/N there was conspiracy between petitioner Augusto Sim, Jr. and Elison Villaflor in defrauding private complainant Jay Byron Ilagan. HELD: Yes. Even in the absence of direct evidence of prior agreement to commit the crime, conspiracy may be deduced from the acts of the perpetrators before, during and after the commission of the crime, which are indicative of a common design, concerted action and concurrence of sentiments. Conspiracy is deemed implied when the malefactors have a common purpose and were united in its execution. Spontaneous agreement or active cooperation by all perpetrators at the moment of the commission of the crime is sufficient to create joint criminal responsibility. Conspiracy, as a rule, has to be established with the same quantum of proof as the crime itself and shown as clearly as the commission of the crime. However, conspiracy need not be shown by direct evidence, but may take the form of circumstances which, if taken together, would conclusively show that the accused came to an agreement to commit a crime and decided to carry it out with their full cooperation and participation. (Erquiaga v. Court of Appeals)

As correctly pointed out by the appellate court, petitioner’s actions in relation to the fraudulent sale of the Nissan Pathfinder to private complainant clearly established conspiracy as alleged in the information, which acts transcend mere knowledge or friendship with co-accused Elison.17 Notwithstanding the fact that it was only Elison who dealt with or personally transacted with private complainant until the time the sale was consummated, by his own testimony petitioner admitted all the acts by which he actively cooperated and not merely acquiesced in

perpetrating the fraud upon private complainant.18 That petitioner is a conspirator having joint criminal design with Elison is evident from the fact that as between them, both knew that petitioner was the person selling the vehicle under the false pretense that a certain Henry Austria was the registered owner.19 Petitioner, together with Elison, clearly deceived private complainant in order to defraud him in the amount of P480,000.00, to the latter’s damage and prejudice. The totality of the evidence indicates a common or  joint design, purpose and objective of the accusedappellants to defraud private complainant

(39) [G.R. No. 135204. April 14, 2004] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, appellee, vs. NARCISO RAMOS y MATIAS, RAMON SAN ROQUE y DELA CRUZ, EULALIA SAN ROQUE DE FRANCISCO y DELA CRUZ alias LALING, WILLIAM RAMOS alias WILFREDO RAMOS, (provisionally dismissed), and three (3) other John Does, accused. EULALIA SAN ROQUE DE FRANCISCO y DELA CRUZ alias “LALING”, appella nt. FACTS: Eulalia San Roque alias Laling, appealed from the Decision of the RTC, Branch 122, Caloocan City, declaring her guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder. The Information filed against appellant and her coaccused is quoted as follows: ―That on or about the 11th day of February 1993 in Kalookan City, Metro Manila, and within the  jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above named accused, with deliberate intent to kill, conspiring together and mutually helping one another, with treachery, evident premeditation and abuse of superior strength, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously tie up on a santol tree, stab, shoot and burn one WILLIAM LOMIDA, resulting to the death of the latter.‖ Prosecution witness, Bernie Ambal, narrated that around 7pm of Feb. 11, 1993, he was standing

outside his store when he saw Narciso Ramos, Ramon San Roque and three (3) others passed by. They proceeded to the house of William Lomida and appellant, who were then live-in partners. Narciso and Ramon stood by the door, while one of their companions, holding an armalite, positioned himself behind Narciso. Their other companion, armed with a pistol, stayed on the street, and the third one, also armed with a pistol, went to the backyard. Narciso pulled out his .45 caliber pistol and knocked at the door. Appellant then opened the door and Ramon went inside. Soon thereafter, William and appellant, accompanied by Narciso, Ramon, and three (3) others left the house. The group headed to Narciso’s house, about ½ kilometer away from Ambal’s store. Unknown to them, Ambal trailed behind. Hiding himself behind a tree fifteen meters away, Ambal saw one of their companions poking his armalite at William. Then, they tied William to a santol tree. He was pleading to appellant, but she simply turned her back. Ramon stabbed William twice at the stomach with a 29‖ bladed knife. Then Narciso shot William five to seven times with his .45 caliber pistol. When William was already dead, Ramon and Wilfredo Ramos untied his body and brought it to a dumpsite (of used tires) twenty five meters away. There they placed William’s body atop a pile of rubber tires. Ramon poured gasoline on his body and set it on fire. Appellant and the others were closely watching. After thirty minutes, appellant and the men left.

ISSUE: W/N appellant Eulalia San Roque conspired and confederated with her co-accused in perpetrating the crime of murder. HELD: Yes. In determining the existence of conspiracy, it is not necessary to show that all the conspirators actually hit and killed the victim. The presence of conspiracy among the accused can be proven by their conduct before, during or after the commission of the crime showing that they acted in unison with each other, evincing a common purpose or design. There must be a showing that appellant cooperated in the commission of the offense, either morally, through advice, encouragement or agreement or materially through external acts indicating a

manifest intent of supplying aid in the perpetration of the crime in an efficacious way. In such case, the act of one becomes the act of all, and each of the accused will thereby be deemed equally guilty of the crime committed.

feloniously attack, assault and stab with a bolo, one Ricky F. Guarte, which causes his untimely death.

The above circumstances clearly show the common purpose and concerted efforts on the part of appellant and her co-accused. We agree with the trial court in concluding that their acts were indications of a criminal conspiracy to commit the crime of murder.

The evidence on record shows that on September 16, 1995, appellant went to a black-smith who made the design of his bolo. When he went home late in the afternoon, appellant saw the group of Lani Famero, Michael Fosana, Rex Cortez and Ricky Guarte drinking gin at the house of the Sps Manuel and Eliza Guarte, Ricky’s parents. Appellant’s house is about five (5) meters away from the house of Spouses Guarte. Appellant requested the group of Ricky to refrain from making any noise and they obliged. Later that evening, they heard stones being hurled at the roof of the house. The stoning was made three (3) times. Ricky rose from bed and peeped through a window. He saw appellant stoning their house. Ricky went out of the house and proceeded to appellant’s house. Ricky asked appellant, his uncle, why he was stoning their house. Appellant did not answer but met Ricky at the doorstep of his (appellant’s) house and, without any warning, stabbed Ricky on the abdomen with a bolo. Ricky was taken to the Romblon Provincial Hospital. Ricky had sustained one (1) stab wound but due to massive blood loss, he died while being operated.

(40) [G.R. No. 158057. September 24, 2004]

ISSUE: W/N petitioner acted in complete self-defense when he stabbed the victim.

The series of events in this case convincingly show that appellant and her co-accused acted in unison and cooperated with each other in killing William Lomida. Appellant was the one who opened the door and allowed the other accused to enter the house. She joined them in bringing the victim to the residence of Narciso Ramos, her brother-in-law. While her co-accused dragged the helpless victim, tied him to a santol tree, stabbed him twice by a bladed knife, and shot him 5 to 7 times, appellant merely watched intensely. She even ―turned her back‖ as the lifeless body of the victim was being burned. And after attaining their purpose, she fled with the other accused.

NOE TOLEDO y TAMBOONG, petitioner, vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondent. FACTS: This is a petition for review of the Decision of the CA affirming on appeal the Decision of the RTC of Odiongan, Romblon, Branch 82, convicting the petitioner of homicide. The Information filed against petitioner is quoted as follows: ―That on or about the 16th day of September 1995, at around 9:30 o’clock in the evening, in Barangay Libertad, municipality of Odiongan, province of Romblon, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused, with intent to kill, did then and there, willfully, unlawfully and

HELD: No. The OSG asserts that the petitioner failed to prove self-defense with clear and convincing evidence. Hence, the decision of the CA affirming, on appeal, the decision of the RTC is correct. The petitioner testified that his bolo hit the victim accidentally. He asserted in the RTC and in the CA that he is exempt from criminal liability for the death of the victim under Article 12, paragraph 4 of the Revised Penal Code which reads: 4. Any person who, while performing a lawful act with due care, causes an injury by mere accident without fault or intention of causing it.

However, petitioner now alleges that he acted in self-defense when he stabbed the victim. As such, he contends, he is not criminally liable under Article

11, paragraph 1 of the Revised Penal Code which reads: Art. 11. Justifying circumstances.  –   The following do not incur any criminal liability: 1. Anyone who acts in defense of his person or rights, provided that the following cir cumstances concur:

qua non for the justifying circumstances of selfdefense, whether complete or incomplete.[23] Unlawful aggression presupposes an actual, sudden, and unexpected attack, or imminent danger thereof, and not merely a threatening or intimidating attitude.[24] We agree with the ruling of the CA that the petitioner failed to prove self-defense, whether complete or incomplete:

First. Unlawful aggression; Second. Reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel it: Third. Lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person defending himself.

The petitioner avers that he was able to prove the essential elements of complete self-defense. The petitioner is proscribed from changing in this Court, his theory of defense which he adopted in the trial court and foisted in the CA –  by claiming that he stabbed and killed the victim in complete selfdefense. The petitioner relied on Article 12, paragraph 4 of the Revised Penal Code in the trial and appellate courts, but adopted in this Court two divergent theories  –   (1) that he killed the victim to defend himself against his unlawful aggression; hence, is justified under Article 11, paragraph 1 of the Revised Penal Code; (2) that his bolo accidentally hit the victim and is, thus, exempt from criminal liability under Article 12, paragraph 4 of the Revised Penal Code. Self-defense, under Article 11, paragraph 1, and accident, under Article 12, paragraph 4 of the Revised Penal Code, are affirmative defenses which the accused is burdened to prove, with clear and convincing evidence. The petitioner failed to prove that the victim was killed by accident, without fault or intention on his part to cause it. Thus, to prove self-defense, the petitioner was burdened to prove the essential elements thereof, namely: (1) unlawful aggression on the part of the victim; (2) lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the petitioner; (3) employment by him of reasonable means to prevent or repel the aggression. Unlawful aggression is a condition sine

The evidence on record revealed that there is no unlawful aggression on the part of Ricky. While it was established that Ricky was stabbed at the doorstep of appellant’s house which would give a semblance of verity to appellant’s version of the incident, such view, however, is belied by the fact that Ricky arrived at appellant’s house unarmed and had only one purpose in mind, that is, to ask appellant why he threw stones at his (Ricky’s)  house. With no weapon to attack appellant, or defend himself, no sign of hostility may be deduced from Ricky’s arrival at appellant’s doorstep. Ricky was not threatening to attack nor in any manner did he manifest any aggressive act that may have imperiled appellant’s well-being. Ricky’s want of any weapon when he arrived at appellant’s doorstep is supported by the fact that only one weapon was presented in court, and that weapon was the bolo belonging to appellant which he used in stabbing Ricky. Thus, appellant’s version of the events does not support a finding of unlawful aggression. Appellant was not justified in stabbing Ricky. There was no imminent threat to appellant’s life necessitating his assault on Ricky. Unlawful aggression is a condition sine qua non for the  justifying circumstance of self-defense. For unlawful aggression to be appreciated, there must be an actual, sudden, unexpected attack or imminent danger thereof, not merely a threatening or intimidating attitude. In the absence of such element, appellant’s claim of self-defense must fail. Further, appellant’s plea of self-defense is not corroborated by competent evidence. The plea of self-defense cannot be justifiably entertained where it is not only uncorroborated by any separate competent evidence but is in itself extremely doubtful.

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