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Criminal Law

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1. A, B, and C agreed to kill D. They went to look for D and they found him in his garden tending his orchard. A,
B, and C further agreed that A would be the one to shoot D. A while aiming his rifle against D had second
thoughts about what he is about to do. A back-tracked and was followed by B and C. Is there a conspiracy?
What crime, if any, was committed by A, B, and C? Why?

2. A hit B with his fist inside a running jeepney because B was snatching his (A's) watch. B fell from the
jeepney and hit his head on the pavement causing his (B's) death. Is A liable? Why?

3. A, armed with a 9mm caliber pistol, and B, who has no weapon robbed a store. In the course of the
robbery, they were seen by policeman C who was armed with a 38 caliber revolver. C demanded that A and
B surrender but A instead fired at C and missed. C returned the shot and in the exchange, A and B were
killed so with the store-owner X. It was found that the three were killed by 38 caliber bullets fired from C's
gun. Is C liable for the death of A, B, and X? Why?

4. A and B lived as husband and wife for several years. B, the woman, helped A in their daily lives by selling
vegetables in the public market. A subsequently fell in love with a younger woman, X, and left B. One day, B
saw A and X walking. She became jealous and rushed to A and stabbed him. B was prosecuted
for homicide and was convicted, B claimed on appeal that she be credited with the mitigating circumstance
of passion and obfuscation. Is B correct? Why?

5. A was convicted of rape on October 1, 2006. A appealed the judgment of conviction. While A's conviction
was on appeal, he committed homicide inside the national penitentiary. Is A a recidivist? Why? Supposing
while A's conviction was on appeal, A escaped and after escaping, A raped X. Is he a recidivist?

6. X was charged of homicide for killing Y. During the trial, it was proven that when X killed Y he came from
a drug den and that while in said place he smoked marijuana. X was convicted. What is the effect if any on
the penalty imposable upon X of his having been in a drug den? Why?

7. A was charged with the crime of frustrated homicide. Homicide is penalized by reclusion temporal in its
full extent.
a.) What is the penalty for frustrated homicide?
b.) Suppose there is one mitigating circumstance, what would be the penalty?
c.) Suppose there are two mitigating and one aggravating circumstances, what would be the penalty?

8. When is the Indeterminate Sentence not applicable?

9. In January 1980, X killed B after an argument. The killing was witnessed by Y, but Y kept silent. X left the
place and went to Mindanao. In 2001, X came back to Manila. After X came back, Y broke his silence and
pointed to X as the culprit in the killing of B. X was charged with homicide. X moved to dismiss the case on
the ground that the crime has prescribed. If you were the judge, how would you rule on the motion?

10. A was charged before the RTC of Manila for the crime of homicide. After trial, the court convicted the
accused of the crime charged, and after considering the mitigating and aggravating circumstances, imposed
a penalty of prision correccional in its medium period of 4 years to the medium period of prision mayor of 8
years. A, finding the decision of the trial court not to his liking, appealed the decision of the trial court to the
Court of Appeals. The latter court found that the imposable penalty should not exceed 6 years after
considering the other mitigating circumstances present which the trial court failed to appreciate. The
accused then filed an application for probation because the penalty imposed by the appellate court was
probationable. Is the accused entitled to probation? Why?

11. X was charged with murder. X was convicted of murder and the trial court imposed the penalty of
reclusion perpetua. Is X entitled to the imposition of the indeterminate sentence? Why?

12. Who are not entitled to the benefit of the Probation law?

13. X was charged and convicted of homicide. The court found that there were three ordinary mitigating
circumstances and one aggravating circumstance. Homicide is penalized by reclusion temporal. Impose the
indeterminate penalty upon X.

14. When would a person incur criminal liability?

15. Ricky was reviewing for the bar exam when the commander of a vigilante group came to him and
showed him a list of five policemen to be liquidated by them for graft and corruption. He was further asked if
any of them is innocent. After going over the list, Ricky pointed to two of the policemen as honest. Later, the
vigilante group liquidated the three other policemen in the list. The commander of the vigilante group
reported the liquidation to Ricky. Is Ricky criminally liable? (Bar Question)

16. Marlon, envious of his brother Jerome, planned to kill the latter by poison. Pursuant to his plan, he
purchased a poisonous substance from the drugstore. He put the substance in his brother's coffee the
following morning. Unknown to him, however, the store clerk mistakenly gave him powdered milk instead of
poison; hence his brother did not die.
a.) What crime, if any, did Marlon commit?
b.) Suppose that, because of his acute lactose intolerance, Jerome suffered from severe diarrhea and had to
be hospitalized for 10 days for ingesting the coffee with powdered milk. Would your answer to the first
question be the same? (2008 SBC Pre-Week reviewer)
















OCTOBER 1999

PEOPLE V. MARCELINO
October 1, 1999

Victims Pineda and Bajos were sent by the governor to investigate reported abuses by
para-military groups in the hinterlands. Barangay Chairman Marcelino and some of his
Civilian Home Defense (CHDF) cohorts shot to death and incinerated the corpses of said
victims.

Issue:
Was there treachery?
Was conspiracy established to hold other accused equally liable for the murder?

HELD: YES
Elements of treachery (1) the employment of means of execution that gives the person attacked
no opportunity to defend himself or to retaliate, and (2) the said means of execution was
deliberately or consciously adopted.
Victims were deliberately led toward Nabilog by Marcelino when he claimed there was a taxi
there waiting for them. When they reached Tampa Creek, said unforwarned victims were
suddenly shot to death without chance to defend themselves. Marcelino effectively ordered his
men to kill the two by means of a signal (drawing a line across his neck with a finger). The
gesture was so conspicuous that even the witness saw it. The group followed the deceased
then killed them. Their bodies were set on the ground side-by side, their clothes removed, their
personal belongings stolen. Thereafter Marcelino ordered that the bodies be burned in order to
conceal their evil deed. These circumstances, taken together, sufficiently established a unity of
purpose, community of interest and intent, which were carried out in concert. For conspiracy to
exist, there need not be an agreement for an appreciable period prior to the occurrence; 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.

PEOPLE V. NARIDO
October 1, 1999

Accused raped his 11-year-old daughter while they are gathering firewood. On another
occasion, his common law wife caught him laying on top of his daughter.

Issue:
W/N said crime is punishable by death? (special circumstance imposing death penalty
automatically - victim is under 18 years of age and offender is a parent.)

HELD: No.
Guilty only of simple statutory rape and not qualified rape for want of allegation of relationship.
Said special circumstances introduced by RA 7659 which sanction automatic imposition of
death penalty partake of the nature of qualifying circumstances since these circumstances
increase the penalty for rape by one degree. Nonetheless, to be properly appreciated as a
qualifying circumstance, it must be specifically pleaded in the information. Information in this
case reveals that although the complainant's minority was alleged, the fact of relationship, albeit
proven during the trial, was not so specified.

PEOPLE V. PADAMA
October 1, 1999

Victim Gatchalian was chased by the two accused, each armed with a knife, and stabbed
simultaneously several times. He eventually died of severe blood loss. Said killing arose from a
previous incident where victim confronted accused regarding their plan of stealing from the
store of the former.

Issue: W/N there was treachery? Yes.
W/N there was evident premeditation? No.

HELD:
The conclusion that the killing was attended with treachery or taking advantage of superior
strength, as the two accused each armed with bladed weapons and continuously attacking and
raining knife thrusts upon the unarmed and unsuspecting victim which caused his eventual
death is also not to be disturbed. The evidence shows that the two accused took turns in
stabbing the victim while the latter had already fallen down on the pavement.
Proof of the alleged resentment does not constitute conclusive proof of evident premeditation.
An expression of hatred does not necessarily imply a resolution to commit a crime; there must
be a demonstration of outward acts of a criminal intent that is notorious and manifest.

PEOPLE V. VILLABLANCA
October 1, 1999

Villablanca brothers barged in to the house of victim Pedro Natanio late in the night. Pedro and
his family was awakened by their chickens flying off the perch. Victim was made to kneel on the
floor and then stabbed him on the stomach with a samurai, while the other pointed a gun to his
face. Victim rolled to his side and was again stabbed thrice which led to his death

Issue: W/N there was treachery? Yes.
W/N there was abuse of superior strength? No.
W/N there was conspiracy? Yes.

HELD:
Pedro may have been warned of a possible danger to his person. However, what is decisive is
that the attack was executed in a manner making it impossible for Pedro to retaliate. When
Pedro was made to kneel on the floor, he was unarmed. There was no risk to the accused when
they commenced the stabbing. Pedro's helplessness was bolstered by the fact that he was
suffering from a congenital limpness which allowed him to walk only short distances.
There is no evidence that accused took advantage of superior strength. In any event, even
if it was present it was absorbed in treachery. Both accused shall suffer the same fate, as
there was conspiracy between them. When the other pointed a gun to Pedro, he provided
his brother with moral assistance. This is enough to make him a co-conspirator. It is not
necessary to show that he actually he hit and killed Pedro to make him liable for his
brother's acts.

PEOPLE V. VERGEL
October 4, 1999

Vergel and Duran, both drunk and armed with a gun and a fan knife, fetched and forcibly
brought victim on board a tricycle to an apartment. Vergel had carnal knowledge with said victim
after he poked the gun at her side and pulled her into a bedroom, while Duran stayed guard
near the door of the sala.

Issue: W/N there was rape?

HELD: Yes.
It is clear there was rape. The prosecution was able to prove that (1) the accused had carnal
knowledge of the complainant (2) because he intimidated her by pointing a gun at her. Failure to
shout or offer tenacious resistance did not make voluntary the complainant's submission to the
criminal acts of the accused. Such resistance is not an element of the felony. It is enough that
the malefactor intimidated the complainant into submission. Not every victim of rape can be
expected to act with reason or in conformity with the usual expectation of everyone.

PEOPLE V. YABUT
October 5, 1999

Spouses Yabut on several occasions received money from complainants promising them
they will be able to work in Japan. After several cancellation of their scheduled departure,
complainants discovered that said spouses were not licensed to engage in recruitment and
placement activities. Wife eluded arrest and remains at-large. Husband contends that he
was not engaged in recruitment for overseas employment and but only in processing visas.
He was acquitted of the crime of estafa.

Issue: W/N accused could be convicted of illegal recruitment in large scale despite his acquittal
of the crime of estafa?

HELD: Yes.
It is settled that a person who commits illegal recruitment may be charged and convicted
separately of illegal recruitment under the Labor Code and estafa Art. 315 of the RPC. The
former is mala prohibitum where the criminal intent of the accused is not necessary for
conviction, while estafa is mala in se where the criminal intent of the accused is crucial for
conviction.

PEOPLE V. CARATAY
October 5, 1999

Accused in several occasions had carnal knowledge with his common-law wife's 13 year-old
niece. In one occasion he drugged the lugaw of said victim.

Issue: Was there rape?

HELD: Yes.
We have ruled that if the ability to resist is taken away by administering a drug, even though
the woman may be conscious, sexual intercourse with her will be rape. Moral character is
immaterial in the prosecution and conviction of the accused in a rape case. We have ruled
that even prostitutes can be rape victims.

PEOPLE V. SUELTO
October 7, 1999

Appellant came home late, and his wife was angry with him because she believed that he came
from Sing-A-Long. Quarrel ensued resulting to death of the wife after being shot on the head.

Issue: W/N guilty of parricide?

HELD: Yes.
Appellant was the only person with his wife when she was shot in their room. Considering,
that his defense was built on the theory that the shooting was purportedly accidental,
appellant has the inescapable burden of proving the elements of the exempting
circumstance of accident.

PEOPLE V. FLORO
October 7, 1999

Witness and victim were walking along a trail on a cassava plantation owned by accused, who
suddenly appeared and shot the victim then striked the head several times with the gun.

Issue: W/N guilty of murder?

HELD: Yes.
The killing in this case is murder qualified by treachery. The evidence shows that accused
suddenly sprang from the cassava plants and shot the victim. The victim was unarmed and
unsuspecting of any impending peril to his life and limb at the time he was shot by accused. The
swift and unexpected attack by accused rendered the victim helpless.
The rule that treachery may be shown if the victim is attacked from behind does not mean it
cannot be appreciated if the attack is frontally launched. The suddenness of the shooting
without the slightest provocation from he victim who was unarmed and had no opportunity to
defend himself, ineluctably qualified the crime with treachery.

PEOPLE V. ORTIZ
October 7, 1999

Accused threw stones on the roof of the victim's house. After the victim hurled challenge for the
stone thrower to come out, the four accused suddenly emerged from the dark. Victim was held
by the arms and dragged towards the barangay hall. Accused fired their rifles on the ground to
dissuade witnesses from coming to his aid. Later, bursts of gunfire were heard coming from the
direction of the barangay hall. Lifeless body of the victim was later found near the barangay hall.

Issue: W/N guilty of murder? W/N there was conspiracy?

HELD: Yes.
The only clear circumstance that qualifies the killing to murder in this case is the abuse of
superior strength between the victim and his four aggressors, as well as the degree of force and
the weapons used by the latter.
Conspiracy among the four assailants was proven by proof beyond reasonable doubt. The
accused were together when two of them held the victim, while one was firing his rifle. All of
them dragged the latter towards the barangay hall. To establish conspiracy, it is not necessary
that there be proof of the previous agreement to commit the crime, it being enough that the
malefactors shall have acted in concert pursuant to the same objective. At the very instant the
plotters agree, expressly or impliedly, to commit the crime and decide to pursue it, each and
everyone of the conspirators is criminally liable for the crime committed by anyone of them.

PEOPLE V. APELADO
October 11, 1999

Victim Rodolfo de Jesus was overtaken by Jose Apelado and his group while walking in front of
a house. His line of way was cut. De Jesus asked him, "What is my fault to you?" He raised his
hands and prepared to fight. German hit his lower legs with a piece of wood. He fell down. The
three surrounded him. German pulled out a knife and stabbed him at his legs and then at his
throat. Apelado hacked him with a bolo using his left hand. De Jesus was hit twice - at the top of
his head and nape. Robert thrust an ice pick at his back and side below the armpit. They then
ran away and left him sprawled on the ground.

HELD:
To establish conspiracy, it is not essential that there be proof as to the previous agreement to
commit a crime. It is sufficient that the form and manner in which the attack was accomplished
clearly indicate unity of action and purpose. In this instance, the fact that the assailants followed,
overtook, surrounded and took turns in inflicting injuries to the victim show a common purpose.
Abuse of superior strength also attended the commission of the crime. This circumstance is
appreciated when the aggressors purposely use excessive force out of proportion to the means
of defense available to the person attacked. In the case at bar, the aggressors who were all
armed first hit the legs of their unarmed victim which caused him to fall kneeling. This was
followed by a stab above the knee. Having deprived him of his means to stand or run, they took
turns in inflicting mortal wounds on him.
Neither treachery nor evident premeditation was present in the commission of the crime.
Treachery is absent as the accused-appellants were not entirely risk free during their attack. As
stated, the victim prepared to fight it out with the accused-appellants. Evident premeditation
cannot be considered for lack of evidence that accused-appellants preconceived the crime.

PEOPLE V. RENATO
October 11, 1999

Victim Ludovico Romano and his wife Melecia were selling tuba in a makeshift hut, several
meters away from the highway. Melecia sat on a bench, while Ludovico squatted on the ground,
waiting for customers to arrive. Suddenly, a shot was fired. Melecia hid herself in an irrigation
canal while Ludovico stood up and tried to find out where the shot came from. When another
shot was fired, Melecia shouted for Ludovico to duck. Ludovico then stood an arm's length away
from the highway. It was too late, Melecia saw accused-appellant Ruben Ronato shoot
Ludovico. Victim was rushed to the hospital and died two days later.

Issue: W/N there was treachery? Yes.

HELD:
The essence of treachery is the sudden and unexpected attack, without the slightest
provocation on the part of the person attacked. There is treachery when the attack on the victim
was made without giving the latter warning of any kind and thus rendering him unable to defend
himself from an assailant's unexpected attack. What is decisive is that the attack was executed
in such a manner as to make it impossible for the victim to retaliate. As testified to by Melecia,
the victim was "squatting on the ground" in their makeshift hut when the shooting started. The
victim stood up to find out what was happening. On the third time, accused-appellant shot him
point blank and in a helpless position.

PEOPLE V. RAGANAS
October 12, 1999

Accused entered the guardhouse of the Yasay Compound and the office beside it and forthwith
proceeded to attack, assault, and stab one Mamerto Lucion, the security guard thereat, who
died instantaneously from multiple stab wounds, after which the above-named accused
destroyed, cut off, and disconnected the electrical and communication facilities therein such as
the radio power supply unit and an intercom set and carried away one cassette recorder.

Issue: W/N accused are guilty of robbery with homicide?

HELD: Yes.
In order that circumstantial evidence may be sufficient to convict, the same must comply with
these essential requisites, viz.: (a) there is more than one circumstance; (b) the facts from which
the inference are derived are proven; and (c) the combination of all the circumstances is such
as to produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt. All the foregoing requisites are here
present. The testimonies of Daayata, Obsioma, and Baba pieced together reveal an unbroken
chain of events that leads to but one fair and reasonable conclusion that the appellant, is guilty
of the crime charged.

PEOPLE V. LACHICA
October 12, 1999

Accused boarded the tricycle of Pascasio as his tricycle was running on the shoulder of the
road, he heard somebody inside the tricycle cry out 'aray' and felt warm blood spurt from inside
the sidecar of the tricycle landing at the back of his right palm. He then stopped the tricycle and
accused brought out victim Rodolfo Pamoleras, Jr. and started to stab him while others served
as lookout.

Issue: W/N there was conspiracy? Yes.
W/N there was treachery? Yes.

HELD:
Conspiracy - The act of Junuario dela Cruz of hiring a tricycle on the pretext of needing to throw
something; their strategic seating positions inside the tricycle, depriving the deceased an
opportunity to free himself; their respective acts of stabbing the deceased, and their washing the
blood off the tricycle all evinced a unity of action and common design to kill the victim. It is not
necessary that there be evidence of a previous plan or agreement to embark upon the assault.
It is sufficient that their actions indicate a common intent such that the act of one is the act of all.
Treachery - The deceased had no inkling that he would be killed that fateful night. There was no
force employed on him when he boarded the tricycle. Neither was there a heated argument with
any of the culprits. In fact, they appeared to be in a jubilant mood even as they were singing
"Tayo na sa Heaven". Evidently, from all appearances the deceased was lured into going with
the assailants who suddenly stabbed him inside the moving tricycle, giving the latter no
opportunity to retaliate or defend himself from the means or method consciously adopted by the
felons in taking his life. Qualifying circumstance of treachery suffices to qualify the offense to
murder.

PEOPLE V. MANEGDEG
October 13, 1999

Accused was seen running through the rice fields towards the house of the victim. At about that
time, Federico, his wife Lorie and son Ronel, were inside their house listening to the radio.
Federico requested Ronel to switch to another radio station while he will go out to urinate and
proceeded to the door. As Federico held the door frame with his hand, he was stabbed by
appellant. Prior said incident, accused was requesting Federico's consent to marry his daughter
but to which he replied that is more honorable for his daughter to marry son of accused.

Issue: W/N there was treachery?

HELD: Yes.
Circumstances surrounding the killing of the victim Federico Abian clearly indicate the presence
of alevosia or treachery, for accused-appellant attacked the victim while he was about to exit his
house to urinate, with no inkling whatsoever that he would be attacked. A sudden and
unexpected attack, without the slightest provocation on the person of the one attacked, is the
essence of treachery. Moreover, the trial court correctly considered the generic aggravating
circumstance of dwelling. Where the crime was committed in the place of abode of the victims,
the aggravating circumstance of dwelling shall be appreciated against the accused.

PEOPLE V. GAILO
October 13, 1999

Sotela and Mañale went to the store to drink beer. Some minutes later, they were joined in
their drinking by Renato Gailo and his elder brother, Ronaldo Gailo, alias "Mukong". A minor
altercation ensued when Ronaldo boxed the victim, but the two were soon pacified and the
group resumed their drinking. Ronaldo then invited Sotela and the victim to his house,
where allegedly there was a birthday party.
On the way to the said party, Gailos assaulted the victim. Sotela witnessed Ronaldo stab the
victim on the face with a bolo, then Renato stabbed the victim on the back, and Rudy hit the
victim with a lead pipe on the neck. A minute later, three other accused arrived, and for five
minutes, helped stone the victim, hitting him on the head and body.

Issue: W/N guilty of murder?

HELD: Yes.
Said killing was qualified to murder by the use of superior strength, the accused having clearly
overpowered the victim in terms of number and weapons used. We reverse, however, to the
extent that it appreciated nighttime as an aggravating circumstance. There are two tests for
nocturnity to be aggravating - the objective test, under which nocturnity is aggravating because
it facilitated the commission of the offense, and the subjective test, under which nocturnity is
aggravating because it was purposely sought by the offender in order to facilitate the
achievement of his objectives, prevent discovery or evade capture. In the instant case, there is
no evidence that nighttime was sought for any of these purposes, or that it aided the accused in
the consummation of the murder. Moreover, at the time of the killing, there was sufficient
illumination from the moon such that the two eyewitnesses were able to identify the six accused.
When the place of the crime is illuminated by light, nighttime is not aggravating.
Neither was treachery proven, as there was no showing that the attack was made swiftly and
unexpectedly as to render the victim helpless and unable to defend himself. Neither can we
appreciate the presence of evident premeditation, there having been no indication that accused-
appellants earlier resolved to kill the victim and clung to such determination for a considerable
length of time.

PEOPLE V. PANIQUE
October 13, 1999

Complainant, eldest child of the accused, was left to the care of latter when her mother went to
Hong Kong to work as a domestic helper. While complainant was asleep, accused laid himself
on top of her. When she awoke, she found accused fondling her breasts even as he inserted his
penis into her vagina. All she could do was cry, because she was afraid of her father whom she
knew was hooked on drugs.

Issue: W/N there was rape?

HELD: Yes.
In a rape committed by a father against his own daughter, the former's moral ascendancy and
influence over the latter substitutes for violence or intimidation. That ascendancy or influence
necessarily flows from the father's parental authority, which the Constitution the laws recognize,
support and enhance, as well as from the children's duty to obey and observe reverence and
respect towards their parents. Such reverence and respect are deeply ingrained in the minds of
Filipino children and are recognized by law. Abuse of both by a father can subjugate his
daughter's will, thereby forcing he to do whatever he wants.
The minority of the victim and her relationship to the offender constitute a special qualifying
circumstance which should be alleged in the information and proved to warrant the imposition of
the death penalty. For this reason, said penalty should be reduced to reclusion perpetua.

PEOPLE V. LANGRES
October 13, 1999

Sindo bothers attended a dance which ended about midnight. They proceeded to the house of
their elder brother. They sat on a bench opposite said house while sharing light moments.
Restituto greeted PO3 Langres when he came, who instead gave a fistblow on the former
without provocation. Victim Teodorico intervened to ask what is his brother's fault. Accused
drew his gun and shot the victim at the forehead.

Issue: W/N there was self-defense?

HELD: No.
The presence of unlawful aggression is a condition sine qua non. At best, the victim's brother
was discourteous to accused. Even then, such behavior could not be taken as an unlawful
aggression to justify the shooting of the victim. The unlawful aggression contemplated under the
law must come from the victim himself. Mere belief of an impending attack is not sufficient to
constitute unlawful aggression. Neither is an intimidating or threatening attitude. Even a mere
push or shove not followed by other acts placing in peril the life or personal safety of the
accused is not unlawful aggression. It is noteworthy hat the Sindo brothers were unarmed. They
were young men having a jovial, innocuous conversation when appellant passed by. Without
such imminent threat on his life, the person invoking self-defense has nothing to repel.

PEOPLE V. CLEMENTE
October 13, 1999

Complainant was selling balut in front of Lanai beerhouse when she met accused. They had
sexual intercourse in friend's house.
Issue: W/N there was rape?

HELD: No.
In rape cases alleged to have been committed by force, it is imperative for the prosecution
to establish that the element of voluntariness on the part of the victim to be absolutely
lacking. Testimony inexorably shows that complainant obviously consented to the sexual
act which was done not only once but twice. Glaring too is the fact that by her own
admissions that her mouth was not covered and that the accused was not holding or poking
the pointed object at her while doing the sexual act, she certainly had every opportunity to
make an outcry against the alleged rapist or shout for help had she wanted to. No woman
would meekly give in to a sexual intruder where her life is not in serious jeopardy.

PEOPLE V. BELLO
October 13, 1999

Accused allegedly raped his daughter in several occasions. His previous plea of not guilty was
substituted to a plea of guilty before the date of his scheduled cross-examination. Later,
accused moved for the reinstatement of his plea of not guilty but was denied by the trial court.

HELD: Case remanded for proper arraignment.
A formal plea of not guilty should be properly entered if an accused admits the truth of some or
all the allegations of the information, but interposes excuses or additional facts which, if duly
established would exempt or relieve him in whole or in part of criminal responsibility.

PEOPLE V. AGUINALDO
October 13, 1999

Accused allegedly raped his 17 year-old daughter.

Issue: W/N there was rape?

HELD: NO.
Complainant's claim that she bled implies that there must have been laceration of her sex
organ. When physical evidence runs counter to testimonial evidence, conclusions as to physical
evidence must prevail. Physical evidence is that mute but eloquent manifestation of truth which
rate high in our hierarchy of trustworthy evidence.

PEOPLE V. AGUNOS
October 13, 1999

Accused raped complainant while her husband was away serving as a poll watcher.

Issue: W/N there was rape?

HELD: Yes.
Force and violence in rape cases need not be overpowering or irresistible when applied. The
record shows that amidst complainant's pleas and struggles, accused pinned complainant's
hand behind her back, covered her mouth with his hand and pulled her underwear to her knee
before spreading hr legs apart with such force that her undergarments were ripped. It appears
that accused remained unfazed when complainant slapped him and struggled to point the beam
of the flashlight at him not only to take a look at her assailant but apparently to deter him from
consummating his bestial desires.

PEOPLE V. GABALLO
October 13, 1999

Two construction workers heard a girl scream for a distance, then saw her being hugged and
pulled by accused towards the ipil trees. When they reached the place, they saw the girl in
school uniform lying face down. They also saw the accused sitting down, who immediately ran
away. Unfortunatey, they were not able to apprehend the unidentified man.

Issue: W/N there was treachery?

HELD: YES.
Treachery is appreciated when the offender commits any of the crimes against persons,
employing means, methods or forms in the execution thereof which tend directly and specially to
ensure its execution, without risk to himself arising from any defense which the offended party
might make. We ruled that the killing of children, who by reason of their tender years cannot be
expected to put up a defense, is considered attended with treachery even if the manner of
attack is not precisely shown.

PEOPLE V. COSTELO
October 13, 1999

Accused Conde grabbed victim Remy by the neck, then stabbed her at the mouth and at the
back. When Remy was able to escape from Conde, she ran towards Costelo, who pushed her
towards Conde, who again squeezed Remy's mouth and dragged her. Pablo, who suddenly
appeared, sat on her chest and stabbed her more than fifteen times. Costelo held Remy on the
shoulders in a stooping position while the latter was being stabbed by Pablo.

Issue: W/N there was treachery?
W/N there was conspiracy?

HELD: Yes.
That the locus criminis was a heavily populated area where others could thus intervene is not
significant at all. The essence of treachery is that the attack was deliberate and without warning.
The defense or retaliation contemplated here must come from the victim, not from anyone else.
Treachery was irrefutably indicated in the method by which the assailants waited for the victim
to pass by before suddenly attacking her and preventing her escape. At any rate, no help was
forthcoming because anyone inclined to lend assistance was intimidated.
Direct proof is not essential, for conspiracy may be inferred from the acts of the accused prior
to, during or subsequent to the incident. Such acts must point to a joint purpose, concert of
action or community of interest. Hence, the victim need not be actually hit by each of the
conspirators for the act of one of them is deemed the act of all. In this case, conspiracy was
shown because Conde grabbed and stabbed the victim while Costelo impeded her escape and
shoved her towards Pablo, who in turn straddled her on the ground and stabbed her. Their prior
act of waiting for the victim outside her house affirms the existence of conspiracy, for ti speaks
of a common design and purpose.

PEOPLE V. CELIS
October 20, 1999

Complainant Racquel arrived from Manila at Magundanao and boarded the passenger jeep
driven by accused appellants Roque and Carlos. Upon reaching the terminal, Racquel
discovered that there was no more tricycle trip going to San Antonio. Accused invited Racquel
to sleep in their house, who agreed after the initial hesitation because she is not familiar with the
area. She was raped in several occasions, once in a makeshift hut and twice in a school
building.

Issue:
W/N there was a rape?

HELD: Yes.
For rape to exist, it is not necessary that the force or intimidation employed be so great or of
such character as could not be resisted. It is only necessary that the force or intimidation be
sufficient to consummate the purpose which the appellant had in mind. When Racquel was
dragged to the makeshift hut by Carlos, he told her to cooperate with him or she would be shot.
These threats were enough to implant fear in the mind of the complainant, who was alone and
helpless. Roque, in turn, managed to have sexual intercourse with complainant by flashing a
knife in her face. Threatening the victim with a knife, a deadly weapon, is sufficient to cow the
victim. It constitutes an element of rape.

PEOPLE V. MOTOS
October 20, 1999

Accused invited 7 year-old Jenalyn and her younger sister in his room. Vicitim Jenalyn fell
asleep beside her sister, who was playing with a doll. Jenalyn woke up after feeling pain and
saw accused on top of her. She was asked to take a bath but was later rushed to the hospital by
her parents due to her continuous bleeding.

HELD:
Neither does the complaint allege, nor does the evidence introduced show, any qualifying
circumstance in the commission of the offense that can make the offense fall within the category
of rape punishable by death. The only penalty that can be properly decreed is the lower
indivisible penalty of reclusion perpetua.

PEOPLE V. TABION
October 20, 1999

Accused in several occasions, raped his 16- year old daughter while his wife is away. She could
not resist the accused because she was afraid of him and of his threat to kill her and her family.

Issue: W/N there was rape?

HELD: Yes.
In the incestuous rape of a minor, proof of force and violence exerted by the aggressor is not
essential. The moral and physical ascendancy of the father over his daughter-victim is sufficient
to cow her into submission to his bestial desires. Fear oftentimes overwhelms the victim. In the
instant case, the appellant enhanced his physical supremacy over his daughter by holding the
knife to her neck. In the face of such brutal intimidation, she knuckled under, thus enabling him
to satisfy his incestuous lust.
The death penalty may be imposed only if the information has alleged and the evidence has
proven both the age of the victim and her relationship to the victim.

PEOPLE V. MARAMARA
October 20, 1999

A quarrel transpired between the friend of the accused and the victim in a benefit dance.
Accused shot to death victim after a rumble occurred.
Issue: W/N accused is guilty of murder?

HELD: No. Guilty of Homicide only
The use of a firearm is not sufficient indication of treachery. In the absence of any convincing
proof that accused-appellant consciously and deliberately adopted the means by which he
committed the crime in order to ensure its execution, the Court must resolve doubt in favor of
the accused. Accused cannot be held liable only for death caused in a tumultuous affray
because he joined the fray purportedly to pacify the protagonist before shooting the victim.

PEOPLE V. ARIZALA
October 20, 1999

Accused stabbed to death Sgt. Cara.

Issue: W/N accused is guilty of murder? Yes.
W/N there was self-defense? Yes.

HELD:
Even if deceased hurled incentives at him and moved as if to draw something from his waist, we
are unable to establish a finding of unlawful aggression on the victim's part. Unlawful aggression
presupposes an actual, sudden, unexpected attack or imminent danger thereof, not merely a
threatening or intimidating attitude and the accused must present proof of positively strong act
of real aggression. Though deceased was in uniform, the latter did not have a firearm or a
holster for the same, and none was retrieved from the scene of the crime.
Deceased was killed with treachery. Not only was it not proven that there was provocation on
the part of the hapless victim but the attack at the back of the victim was made in such a
manner that would make it difficult for the deceased to offer an effective defense against his
aggressor.

PEOPLE V. PARANZO
October 26, 1999

HELD:
Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, states:
"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, even though neither of the circumstances
mentioned in the two next preceding paragraphs shall be present."
Circumstances 1, 2 and 3 are alternative circumstances...When the rape is committed by using
force or intimidation, the victim does not have to be less than twelve (12) years of age...It is only
required that the proper complaint and information for rape must clearly describe the specific
circumstance which would make the carnal knowledge of a woman qualify as rape under Article
335. In addition, in rape cases, the accused may be convicted solely on the testimony of the
complaining witness provided such testimony is credible, natural, convincing and otherwise
consistent with human nature and the course of things.

PEOPLE V. GARIGADI
October 26, 1999

Defendant was convicted of rape and sentenced. He contends that the testimony of the
complainant was unsubstantiated, and contradictory.

HELD:
The testimony of Gloridel was clear and convincing. Her declaration that accused-appellant
inserted his penis into her vagina was made in a straightforward and unshaken manner.
Errorless and accurate to the last detail testimony cannot be expected of Gloridel, who was
seven (7) years of age at the time of the trial. The alleged inconsistencies and lapses
pointed by accused-appellant to discredit Gloridel’s testimony, e.g. that accused-appellant
merely fondled her or inserted his finger in her vagina, are all minor and trivial details which
do not touch upon the commission of the offense. These lapses, to THE court’s mind, serve
to strengthen rather than weaken the credibility of a witness because they erase any
suspicion of coached or rehearsed testimony. The Court noted that a child of tender age
cannot be expected to understand every question asked of her in the course of
examination. Ample margin of error and understanding should be accorded to young
witnesses who, much more than adults, would be gripped with tension due to the novelty of
the experience of testifying before a court.

PEOPLE V. LAZARO
October 26, 1999

The accused was found guilty of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition. In his
appeal the accused-appellant raises the sole assignment of error that the trial court erred in
finding the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of illegal possession of
firearms and ammunition qualified by homicide.

HELD:
In cases involving illegal possession of firearms under P.D. 1866 "Codifying the Laws on
Illegal/Unlawful Possession, Manufacture, Dealing in, Acquisition or Disposition, of Firearms,
Ammunition or Explosives or Instruments Used in the Manufacture of Firearms, Ammunition or
Explosives, and Imposing Stiffer Penalties for Certain Violations Thereof and for Relevant
Purposes", as amended, the prosecution has the burden of proving the elements thereof, viz.:
(a) the existence of the subject firearm; and (b) the fact that the accused who owned or
possessed it does not have the corresponding license or permit to possess the same.

Republic Act No. 8294 has since amended P.D. No. 1866 by reducing the penalties for simple
and aggravated forms of illegal possession and considering the use of an unlicensed firearm
simply as an aggravating circumstance in murder or homicide. The law now provides:

"Section 1. Unlawful Manufacture, Sale, Acquisition, Disposition or Possession of Firearms or
Ammunition or Instruments Used or Intended to be Used in the Manufacture of Firearms or
Ammunition. - The penalty of prision correccional in its maximum period and a fine of not less
than Fifteen thousand pesos (P15,000.00) shall be imposed upon any person who shall
unlawfully manufacture, deal in, acquire, dispose, or possess any low powered firearm such as
rimfire handgun, .380 or .32 and other firearm of similar firepower, ammunition, or machinery,
tool or instrument used in the manufacture of any firearm or ammunition: Provided, That no
other crime was committed.oiµu¢÷_E

The penalty of prision mayor in its maximum period and a fine of Thirty thousand pesos
(P30,000.00) shall be imposed if the firearm is classified as high powered firearm which
includes those with bores bigger than .38 caliber and 9 millimeter such as caliber .40, .41, .45
and also lesser caliber firearms but considered powerful such as caliber .357 and caliber .22
center-fire magnum and other firearms with firing capability of full automatic and by burst of two
or three: Provided, however, That no other crime was committed by the person arrested. If
homicide or murder is committed with the use of unlicensed firearm, such use of an unlicensed
firearm shall be considered as an aggravating circumstance.
Thus in People v. Molina, it was held: "Fortunately for appellants, however, RA 8294 has now
amended the said decree and considers the use of an unlicensed firearm simply as an
aggravating circumstance in murder or homicide, and not as separate offense.‖

PEOPLE V. ARQUILLOS TABUSO
October 26, 1999

Arquillos Tabuso was found guilty of murder. In the service of his sentence, he is entitled to the
provision of Article 29 [Period of Preventive imprisonment deducted from term of imprisonment.
– Offenders or accused who have undergone preventive imprisonment shall be credited in the
service of their sentence consisting of deprivation of liberty, with the full time during which they
have undergone preventive imprisonment, if the detention prisoner agrees voluntarily in writing
to abide by the same disciplinary rules imposed upon convicted prisoners xxx.] of the Revised
Penal Code, as amended.

HELD:
Conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an agreement on the commission of a
felony and decide to commit it. In a number of cases, this Court ruled that similar to the physical
act constituting the crime itself, the elements of conspiracy must be proven beyond reasonable
doubt. The mere presence of a person at the scene of the crime does not make him a co-
conspirator. Assumed intimacy between two persons of itself does not give that much
significance to the existence of criminal conspiracy. Conspiracy certainly transcends
companionship. Settled is the rule that to establish conspiracy, evidence of actual cooperation
rather than mere cognizance or approval of an illegal act is required.

PEOPLE V. ROMANO MANLAPAZ
October 26, 1999

Accused-appellant admits that he was a passenger of the jeep of the victim, Israel Lacson but
denies that participated in the commission of the crime. He insists that when he boarded the
jeep he sat himself at the back of the jeepney as there were already several passengers on
board at that time. He argues that he was not clearly, convincingly and positively identified as
the perpetrator of the crime charged. Prosecution witness allegedly did not have ample
opportunity to see the faces of the alleged malefactors; and in fact did not actually see who fired
the gun.

HELD:
This Court has ruled on countless occasions that the trial court is in the best position to
determine facts and to assess the credibility of witnesses as it is in a unique position to observe
the witnesses’ deportment while testifying which opportunity the appellate court is denied on
appeal; this Court will respect the findings and conclusions of the trial court provided that they
are supported by substantial evidence on record.
The crime of robbery with homicide is a special complex crime punishable under Article 294 of
the Revised Penal Code with reclusion perpetua to death. Considering the absence of any
modifying circumstance, the penalty imposable in the present case isreclusion perpetua. [Article
63, Revised Penal Code.]


PEOPLE V. WILLIAM BATOON
October 26, 1999

At issue in this case is the credibility of the victim, Regina. In a prosecution for rape, the
complainant’s candor is the single most important issue. This must be primarily resolved by the
trial court because it is in a better position to decide the question, having heard the witnesses
and observed their deportment and manner of testifying. Accordingly, the trial court’s findings
are entitled to the highest degree of respect and will not be disturbed on appeal unless it
overlooked or misapplied some facts which could have affected the result of the case. A
painstaking review of the records of the case show that the appellant has failed to controvert the
clear, candid, and straightforward testimony of the complainant.

PEOPLE V. ROLANDO ESPIRITU
October 27, 1999

Forcible abduction, as defined and penalized under Article 342 of the Revised Penal Code, is
the taking of a woman against her will and with lewd designs, or of a girl below 12 years of age.
When the accused forcibly took away the victim, for the purpose of raping her, as in fact he did
rape her, lewd and unchaste designs existed since the commencement of the crime.
Consequently, when accused raped Aharan, he committed the complex crime of forcible
abduction with rape. The trial court correctly imposed the penalty of reclusion perpetua, for the
crime of forcible abduction with rape, in relation to Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code.

PEOPLE V. ARMANDO DE LABAJAN
October 27, 1999

It is well-settled that where there is no evidence, and nothing to indicate that the principal
witness for the prosecution were actuated by any improper motive, the presumption is that they
were not so actuated and their testimonies are thus entitled to full faith and credence." "It is
doctrinally settled that the assessment of the credibility of witnesses and their testimonies is a
matter best undertaken by the trial court, because of its unique opportunity to observe the
witnesses firsthand and to note their demeanor, conduct and attitude under grilling examination.

PEOPLE V. GRACIANO BOLIVAR
October 28, 1999

Renato Balbon, Joel Soberano and Graciano Bolivar were found by the lower court to be
conspirators in committing murder and frustrated murder against the victims Hugo Callao
and Damaso Suelan. The case against Bolivar was dismissed, since he died of cardio-
respiratory arrest during the trial. This is in line with the ruling in the case of People v.
Bayotas, where the Court ruled that the death of the accused pending appeal extinguishes
his criminal liability as well as the civil liability based solely thereon. The evidence on record
is likewise insufficient to convict Barrion as a principal by inducement.

HELD:
Article 17 of the Revised Penal Code provides that principals are those who "directly force or
induce others" to commit an offense. "One is induced to commit a crime either by a command
(precepto) or for a consideration (pacto), or by any other similar act which constitutes the real
and moving cause of the crime and which was done for the purpose of inducing such criminal
act and was sufficient for that purpose. Where the circumstances of force, fear, price, promise
or reward are not present, the question that may arise is whether the command given by a
person to the author of the crime amounts to a criminal inducement. The inducement exists
whenever the act performed by the physical author of the crime is determined by the influence
of the inducer over the mind of him who commits the act whatever the source of such influence.
Thus, the inciting words must have great dominance and influence over the person who acts;
they ought to be direct and as efficacious, or powerful as physical or moral coercion or violence
itself.
A conspiracy may be deduced from the mode and manner by which the offense was
perpetrated, however, a conspiracy must be established by positive and conclusive evidence. It
cannot be based on mere conjectures but must be established as a fact.

PEOPLE V. JERONICO LOBINO
October 28, 1999

Appellant was convicted for murdering his common-law wife. He contends he would not stab
her without any apparent reasons, and that he attacked her because he could no longer stand
her going home late at night and her sarcastic remarks whenever her attention was called to
what she was doing. He contends he should have been credited with the mitigating
circumstance of passion and obfuscation.

HELD:
The Court disagrees. The requisites of passion and obfuscation are:
1. That there be an act, both unlawful and sufficient to produce such a condition of mind;
2. That said act which produced the obfuscation was not far removed from the commission
of the crime by a considerable length of time during which the perpetrator might recover his
normal equanimity.
It has been held that there is passional obfuscation when the crime was committed due to
an uncontrollable burst of passion provoked by prior unjust or improper acts, or due to a
legitimate stimulus so powerful as to overcome reason. The obfuscation must originate
from lawful feelings. The turmoil and unreason which naturally result from a quarrel or fight
should not be confused with the sentiment or excitement in the mind of a person injured or
offended to such a degree as to deprive him of his sanity and self-control, because the
cause of this condition of mind must necessarily have preceded the commission of the
offense.

PEOPLE V. ELPIDIO HERNANDO
October 28, 1999

Spouses Elpidio and Elena Hernando were convicted to reclusion perpetua for estafa. On
different dates, they issued checks to Johnny Sy which were dishonored upon presentment to
the bank. Accused spouses asserted that the checks had been issued merely an evidence of
their indebtedness to the complainant. In this case, all the checks that bounced were issued
and drawn by Elpidio Hernando’s wife, Elena Aban Hernando...The checks, all payable to cash,
were personally delivered and negotiated to Johnny Sy by Elpidio. Though he was not the
drawer of the checks, accused Elpidio coaxed the complainant to exchange the checks with
cash by guaranteeing that the checks were good checks and funded...In all the transactions,
Elpidio was present and personally received the money...Though Elena was not present during
the negotiation of the checks, except for the first transaction, she issued and signed the checks.

HELD:
To constitute estafa, the act of postdating or issuing a check in payment of an obligation must
be the efficient cause of defraudation and, as such, it should be either prior to or simultaneous
with the act of fraud...The offender must be able to obtain money or property from the offended
party because of the issuance of the check or that the person to whom the check was delivered
would not have parted with his money or property had there been no check issued to
him...Stated otherwise, the check should have been issued as an inducement for the surrender
by the party deceived of his money or property and not in payment of a pre-existing obligation."
In this kind of estafa by postdating or issuing a bad check, deceit and damage are essential
elements of the offense and have to be established with satisfactory proof to warrant conviction.
Estafa, under Article 315, paragraph 2(d) of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Republic
Act No. 4885, has the following elements:..(1) postdating or issuance of a check in payment of
an obligation contracted at the time the check was issued; (2) lack of sufficiency of funds to
cover the check; and (3) damage to the payee thereof.

PEOPLE V. ROMEO TIZON
October 28, 1999

The Rules of Court have set exacting standards to be strictly complied with by the trial court in
the arraignment of an accused. Rule 116 of the Rules of Court, in part, provides:

"Section 1. Arraignment and plea; how made. – (a) The accused must be arraigned
before the court where the complaint or information has been filed or assigned for trial. The
arraignment must be made in open court by the judge or clerk by furnishing the accused a
copy of the complaint or information with the list of witnesses, reading the same in the
language or dialect known to him and asking him whether he pleads guilty or not guilty. The
prosecution may, however, call at the trial witnesses other than those named in the
complaint or information.
"(b) The accused must be present at the arraignment and must personally enter his plea. Both
arraignment and plea shall be made of record, but a failure to enter of record shall not affect the
validity of the proceedings.
"(c) If the accused refuses to plead, or makes a conditional plea of guilty, a plea of not guilty
shall be entered for him.
"x x x x x x x x x
"Section 3. Plea of guilty to capital offense; reception of evidence. – When the accused
pleads guilty to a capital offense, the court shall conduct a searching inquiry into the
voluntariness and full comprehension of the consequences of his plea and require the
prosecution to prove his guilt and the precise degree of culpability. The accused may also
present evidence in his behalf."

These rules are mandatory, affording, such as they do, the proper understanding of the all-
important constitutional mandate regarding the right of an accused to be so informed of the
precise nature of the accusation leveled against him so essential in aptly putting up his defense.
The searching inquiry, which must be recorded , requires the court to make it indubitably certain
that the accused is fully apprised of the consequences of his plea of guilt.
In sum, the searching inquiry under Section 3, Rule 116 must focus on: (1) the voluntariness of
the plea, and (2) a complete comprehension of the legal effects of the plea, so that the plea of
guilt is based on a free and informed judgment. So indispensable is this requirement that a plea
of guilt to a capital offense can be held null and void where the trial court has inadequately
discharged the duty of conducting the prescribed "searching inquiry."

PEOPLE V. ARMANDO SARABIA
October 29, 1999

The appellant invokes the justifying circumstance of self-defense in the charge of murder
against him. Having invoked such circumstance, he is deemed to have admitted having
killed the victim and the burden of proof shifts to him to establish and prove the elements of
self-defense : (a) unlawful aggression on the part of the victim, (b) reasonable necessity of
the means employed to prevent or repel it, and (c) lack of sufficient provocation on the part
of the person defending himself.
It has also been held by this Court that, "unlawful aggression is a condition sine qua nonfor 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 and the appellant must present proof of positively strong act of real aggression.
Absent such unlawful aggression, there can be no self-defense.

If evident premeditation is also proven, it shall be considered as a generic aggravating
circumstance. "The essential elements for evident premeditation to be appreciated are: (1) the
time when the appellant decided to commit the crime; (2) an overt act showing that the appellant
clung to their determination to commit the crime; and (3) the lapse of a sufficient period of time
between the decision and the execution of the crime, to allow the appellant to reflect upon the
consequences of the act.

PEOPLE V. EDUARDO ALTABANO
October 29, 1999

The appellant raises in his defense an alibi. Firmly settled is the doctrine "that for the defense of
alibi to prosper, the accused must prove not only that he was at some other place at the time
the crime was committed but that it was likewise physically impossible for him to be at the locus
criminis at the time of the alleged crime." In the case under scrutiny, appellants failed to prove
and demonstrate the physical impossibility of their being at the scene of the crime at the
approximate time of its commission. Moreover, "defense of alibi cannot prevail over the positive
identification of the accused by the eyewitness who had no untoward motive to falsely testify."
Conspiracy was correctly established in this case and as such, "all the conspirators are
liable as co-principals regardless of the manner and extent of their participation since in
contemplation of law, the act of one would be the act of all."
In analyzing the facts, the Court also found that evident premeditation could not be appreciated
against appellants. Although the defamatory words uttered by the victim against Corazon Caro-
Lascano must have spawned the grudge of appellants towards the victim, the evidence for the
prosecution has not established all the elements of evident premeditation, to wit: (1) the time the
offender determined to commit the crime; (2) an act indicating that the offender had clung to his
determination; and (3) sufficient lapse of time between the determination to commit the crime
and the execution thereof to allow the offender to reflect upon the consequences of his act.


NOVEMBER 1999

PEOPLE V. MOROY GALLO
November 16, 1999

Moroy Gallo was convicted by the trial court of murder. He questions the testimony of the
witness, Amelita Elarmo because of her relationship with the deceased.

HELD:
The Supreme Court repeated the well-settled doctrine that mere relationship of a witness to the
victim does not render her testimony less worthy of credit, especially where there is no showing
of improper motive. The Court also upheld the claim of conspiracy. To establish conspiracy it is
not essential that there be previous agreement to commit the crime; it is sufficient that there be
a common purpose and design, concerted action and concurrence of the interest and the minds
of the parties meet understandingly so as to bring about a deliberate agreement to commit the
offense charged, notwithstanding the absence of a formal agreement. The Supreme Court also
upheld the trial court’s appreciation of the qualifying circumstance of abuse of superior
strength. The armed assailants used their greater number and superior power to overwhelm
the unarmed victim.
In addition, since the murder was committed prior to the effectivity of RA 7659, the applicable
provision is Art. 248 of the Revised Penal Code, which penalizes murder with reclusion temporal
in its maximum period to death. The imposable penalty which has three periods, namely,
minimum (reclusion temporal), medium (reclusion perpetua) and maximum (death), makes Art.
64 of the Revised Penal Code applicable. In this case the prosecution was able to establish the
qualifying aggravating circumstances of abuse of superior strength. In the absence of any other
generic aggravating and mitigating circumstance, the imposable penalty is reclusion perpetua,
the medium period of the penalty pursuant to Art. 64 of the Penal Code. 'Scnc

PEOPLE V. ROSALINDA ARIOLA
November 16, 1999

Elvira Obana, with Rosalinda Ariola were convicted of illegal recruitment in large scale,
under Article 38 and 39 of the Labor Code. The 6 accused presented themselves as part of
the Manila Booking Agency, and offered jobs in New Guinea. They promised employment
upon the payment of recruitment fees. The victims discovered that the office was not
actually Manila Booking Agency, and the recruiters were unlicensed.

HELD:
The crime of illegal recruitment in large scale is committed when three (3) elements concur,
namely: (a) The offender has no valid license or authority required by law to enable him to
lawfully engage in recruitment and placement of workers; (b) The offender undertakes either
any activity within the meaning of "recruitment and placement" defined under Art. 13, par.
(b), of the Labor Code.

ART. 13. Definitions. - x x x x (b) "Recruitment and placement" refers to any act of canvassing,
enlisting, contracting, transporting, utilizing, hiring or procuring workers, and includes referrals,
contract services, promising or advertising for employment, locally or abroad, whether for profit
or not: Provided, That any person or entity which, in any manner, offers or promises for a fee
employment to two or more persons shall be deemed engaged in recruitment and placement. or
any of the prohibited acts enumerated in ART. 34. Prohibited practices. - It shall be unlawful for
any individual, entity, licensee, or holder of authority: (a) To charge or accept, directly or
indirectly, any amount greater than that specified in the schedule of allowable fees prescribed
by the Secretary of Labor, or to make a worker pay any amount greater than that actually
received by him as a loan or advance; (b) To furnish or publish any false notice or information or
document in relation to recruitment or employment; (c) To give any false notice, testimony,
information or document or commit any act of misrepresentation for the purpose of securing a
license or authority under this Code; (d) To induce or to attempt to induce a worker already
employed to quit his employment in order to offer him to another unless the transfer is designed
to liberate the worker from oppressive terms and conditions of employment; (e) To influence or
to attempt to influence any person or entity not to employ any worker who has not applied for
employment through his agency; (f) To engage in the recruitment or placement of workers in
jobs harmful to public health or morality or to the dignity of the Republic of the Philippines; (g)
To obstruct or attempt to obstruct inspection by the Secretary of Labor or by his duly authorized
representatives; (h) To fail to file reports on the status of employment, placement, vacancies,
remittances of foreign exchange earnings, separation from jobs, departures and such other
matters or information as may be required by the Secretary of Labor; (i) To substitute or alter
employment contracts approved and verified by the Department of Labor from the time of actual
signing thereof by the parties up to and including the periods of expiration of the same without
the approval of the Secretary of Labor; (j) To become an officer or member of the Board or any
corporation engaged in travel agency or to be engaged directly or indirectly in the management
of a travel agency; and, (k) To withhold or deny travel documents from applicant workers before
departure for monetary or financial considerations other than those authorized under this Code
and its implementing rules and regulations.] of the same Code; and (c) The offender committed
the same against three (3) or more persons, individually or as a group.

PEOPLE V. RODRIGO LASOLA
November 17, 1999

This is a case for automatic review where Rodrigo Lasola was convicted of two counts of
rape of an under-aged relative.

HELD:
The Court reiterated the principle that in cases of qualified rape of an under-aged relative,
the prosecution must allege and prove the ordinary elements of 1) sexual congress, 2) with
a woman, 3) by force and without consent, and in order to warrant the imposition of the
death penalty, the additional elements that 4) the victim is under 18 years of age at the time
of the rape and 5) the offender is a parent (whether legitimate, illegitimate or adopted) of the
victim. Well-settled too, is the doctrine that when a woman testifies that she has been
raped, she says, in effect, all that is necessary to constitute the commission of the crime,
and this rule applies with more vigor when the culprit is a close relative of the victim. The
judgement of the lower court was affirmed.

PEOPLE V. JOEL PINCA
November 17,1999

To properly appreciate the qualifying circumstance of treachery, two conditions must first
concur: (1) the offender employed such means, method or manner of execution as to
ensure his or her safety from the defensive or retaliatory acts of the victim; and (2) the said
means, method or manner of execution was deliberately adopted. The essence of treachery
is the deliberateness and the unexpectedness of the attack, which give the hapless,
unarmed and unsuspecting victim no chance to resist or to escape.
With respect to evident premeditation, there must be clear and convincing proof of the
following: (1) the time when the offender determined to commit the crime, (2) an act
manifestly indicating that he clung to his determination, and (3) a sufficient lapse of time
between such determination and the execution that allowed the criminal to reflect upon the
consequences of his act.
For voluntary surrender to be appreciated as a mitigating circumstance, the following
requisites must concur: (1) the offender has not been actually arrested, (2) the offender
surrendered to a person in authority, and (3) the surrender was voluntary. If the only reason
for the supposed surrender is to ensure the safety of the accused whose arrest is inevitable,
the surrender is not spontaneous and hence not voluntary.
Ordinarily, intoxication may be considered either aggravating or mitigating, depending upon
the circumstances attending the commission of the crime. Intoxication has the effect of
decreasing the penalty, if it is not habitual or subsequent to the plan to commit the
contemplated crime; on the other hand, when it is habitual or intentional, it is considered an
aggravating circumstance. A person pleading intoxication to mitigate penalty must present
proof of having taken a quantity of alcoholic beverage prior to the commission of the crime,
sufficient to produce the effect of obfuscating reason. At the same time, that person must
show proof of not being a habitual drinker and not taking the alcoholic drink with the
intention to reinforce his resolve to commit the crime.

PEOPLE V. RUSTICO RIVERA
November 17,1999

The case is a review by the Court of the issue of whether the constitutional presumption of
innocence accorded to an accused has been sufficiently overcome by the State enough to
sustain the judgment of the trial court finding the indictee guilty beyond reasonable doubt of
qualified rape and thereby imposing upon him the death penalty.

HELD:
The trial court has correctly imposed the death penalty in the case at bar after taking into
account the qaulifying circumstances of minority of the victim and the paternityrelationship
between appellant and the victim, as provided for in Section 11 of Republic Act No. 7659,
amending Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code. The crime of rape has been established.
Alphamia, the victim, is a minor (merely 10 years of age at the time of commission of the
offense), and the offender is the father of the victim. These elements have been properly
alleged in the information and proven during the trial.

PEOPLE V. MATEO BALLUDA
November 19,1999

Appellant was convicted for violation of Republic Act No. 6425. He contends that he was
neither selling, delivering, nor transporting drugs at the time he was apprehended.

HELD:
Under the Rules of Evidence, it is disputably presumed that things which a person possesses or
over which he exercises acts of ownership, are owned by him. In U.S. vs. Bandoc, the Court
ruled that the finding of a dangerous drug in the house or within the premises of the house of
the accused is prima facie evidence of knowledge or animus possidendi and is enough to
convict in the absence of a satisfactory explanation. The constitutional presumption of
innocence will not apply as long as there is some logical connection between the fact proved
and the ultimate fact presumed, and the inference of one fact from proof of another shall not be
so unreasonable as to be a purely arbitrary mandate. The burden of evidence is thus shifted on
the possessor of the dangerous drug to explain absence of animus possidendi. In the case
under consideration, it is not disputed that appellant was apprehended while carrying a sack
containing marijuana. Consequently, to warrant his acquittal, he must show that his act was
innocent and done without intent to possess, i.e. without knowledge that what he possessed
was a prohibited drug.
The legality of the warrantless search and arrest in the case under scrutiny is also beyond
question. It bears stressing that appellant was caught transporting a prohibited drug in flagrante
delicto. Consequently, a peace officer or any private person, for that matter, may, without
warrant, arrest a person when in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is
actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense; and the person lawfully arrested may
be searched for dangerous weapons or anything which may be used as proof of the commission
of an offense, without a search warrant. Hence, the warrantless search in this case, being an
incident to a lawful arrest, is in itself lawful.

PEOPLE V. PASCUA GALLADAN
November 19,1999

The accused in this case is invoking alibi as a defense. Significantly, the alibi of accused-
appellant cannot prosper. For alibi to be validly invoked, not only must he prove that he was
somewhere else when the crime was committed but he must also satisfactorily establish that it
was physically impossible for him to be at the crime scene at the time of commission. In the
instant case, accused-appellant only attempted to prove that he was at a different place when
Sgt. Galladan was gunned down. He did not even attempt to establish that it was impossible for
him to be at the locus criminis when the offense was committed. For this fact alone, his alibi
must fail.

PEOPLE V. MARIO BASCO
November 19, 1999

Under Article 14, paragraph 16 of the Revised Penal Code, there is treachery when the
offender commits any of the crimes against persons, employing means, methods, or forms
in the execution thereof which tend directly and specifically to insure its execution without
risk to himself arising from the defense which the offended party might make. "For treachery
to be appreciated as 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."

PEOPLE V. EMBERGA
G.R. 116616 Nov. 26, 1999

The victim supposedly attacked the Emberga brothers with a knife. The accused then threw
rocks at the victim causing the latter to drop his knife. The accused then grabbed the knife
and stabbed the victim 25 times. They were then charged with murder aggravated by
treachery & cruelty. Accused plead defense of a relative and self defense.

HELD:
Both were guilty of homicide only. Treachery cannot be presumed but must be proven
which was not done here. As for the aggravating circumstance of cruelty, such is
unavailing. The mere fact that the wounds were in excess of what was indispensably
necessary does not imply cruelty.
Self defense and defense of a relative may not be availed of. The alleged unlawful
aggression on the part of the victim was not proven by clear & convincing
evidence. Assuming there was an attack, the means used to repel the attack were not
reasonably necessary since the victim already dropped the knife after the accused threw
rocks and could no longer threaten the accused.

PEOPLE V. SUBA
NOVEMBER 29, 1999

The accused raped his niece twice. He was caught in the act by the victim's brother on the
second time and was reported to the police. Charged with rape, he denied the charge
against him. No sperm was found in the victim's vagina.

HELD:
Guilty. Trial courts assessment as to the credibility of witnesses is to be accorded great
weight. Both the victim and her brother positively identified the accused as the rapist.
The absence of spermatozoa in the vagina does not negate the commission of rape. There
may be a valid explanation for such absence, as when the sperm was washed away or the
accused failed to ejaculate.

PEOPLE V. PARAISO
NOVEMBER 29, 1999

Accused, with 1 John Doe, Forced their way into the house of the victim. The victim's 4
children were herded into 1 room while the accused ransacked the house for cash and
other valuables. Before leaving, the accused stabbed the victim who died. He was charged
of robbery with homicide aggravated by dwelling, superior strength and disregard of
sex. Accused raised the defense of alibi.

HELD:
Guilty. The defense of alibi is no good when the witnesses have positively identified the
accused. The fact that the witnesses did not identify him immediately to the police is not a
defense either. There is no standard behavior for persons confronted with a shocking
incident. One may either report the crime immediately or after a long lapse of time.
The aggravating circumstance of dwelling is appreciated since robbery may be committed
without trespassing the sanctity of the home. He who goes to another's house to hurt or do
wrong is guiltier than he who offends elsewhere.
Superior strength is also present since there was a notorious inequality between the
accused who were both armed males and the unarmed female victim.
Disregard of sex is not an aggravating circumstance here since it only applies to crimes
against honor and persons.

PEOPLE V. CAPCO, AGPOON, ET. AL.
NOVEMBER 29, 1999

The accused were charged with robbery with homicide and physical injuries for robbing one
Alberto S. Flores of P30,000.00 in cash and, on the occasion thereof, shot him to death as
well as inflicted physical injuries on his son Bolivar J. Flores. All 4 accused were found
guilty.

HELD:
Accused Agpoon should be acquitted for failure to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he
committed the crime.
Well-settled is the rule that for evidence to be believed it must not only proceed from the mouth
of a credible witness but it must be credible itself. Agpoon was implicated on the sole
testimony of Bolivar who contradicted himself in Court. Besides, Agpoon's 3 co-accused also
retracted their statements that Agpoon was with them went they barged into the store of the
victims. Supposedly, Agpoon loitered outside the store after the crime was committed. The
Court state that it is contrary to human experience for a criminal to choose to remain at the
crime scene within a considerable period of time when he could see his companions escape.

PEOPLE V. OCUMEN
GR 120493-94 & 117692

Ocumen was accused of murder & frustrated murder. He was at a wedding party & argued with
2 guests. He pulled out a knife and chased the 2 but went amok and stabbed 2 other people
instead. One man died while his other victim, a 14-yr. old girl, lived.

HELD:
Guilty of homicide and frustrated homicide only. There was no treachery here. The fact that
both victims were unarmed does not amount to treachery. An altercation precedes both
incidents.
But, the aggravating circumstance of abuse of superior strength must be considered since his
2nd victim was an unarmed 14-yr. old, 4'11'' girl.

PEOPLE V. BARELLANO
NOVEMBER 29, 1999

The victim was drinking tuba with friends when the accused walked up to the victim from behind
and shot him in the head. The victim fell to the ground and was shot again in the
head. Charged with murder, the accused raised the defense of alibi.

HELD:
Guilty. The accused was positively identified by witnesses as the perpetrator of the
crime. Treachery was present since the victim was approached from behind, was unarmed and
totally defenseless.


DECEMBER 1999

PEOPLE V. PEREZ
DECEMBER 2, 1999

Perez was a boarder who raped the 5-year-old niece of the boarding house's owner. It was
done in the bodega of the house. A medical exam showed no lacerations but showed a
reddening of the victim's labia majora, which corroborated the victim's testimony that she was
raped. Accused denied the whole thing citing inconsistencies in the victim's testimonies in court
and that the victim's mother put her child up to lying because of a grudge against the accused.

HELD:
Guilty. For rape to be consummated, full penetration is not necessary. Even the slightest
penetration of the lips of the sex organ constitutes carnal knowledge.
Minor discrepancies or inconsistencies between a witness' affidavit and testimony do not impair
his credibility but even enhance the truthfulness of his declarations as they erase any suspicion
of a rehearsed testimony. Plus, it is a settled rule that testimonies of child-victims are given full
weight and credit. It is inconceivable that the naïve and innocent 5-yr. old victim could make up
a story of sexual molestation.
It is also unnatural for a parent to use her offspring as an engine of malice, especially if it will
subject a daughter to embarrassment and even stigma.

PEOPLE V. SANTIAGO
DECEMBER 2, 1999

The victim was asleep with her child when she woke up after hearing a noise in the house. She
went downstairs thinking it was her husband but it was actually the accused that entered the
victim's house with a scythe. The accused ordered the victim to remove her clothing &
underwear. The victim refused so she was threatened with her and her child's death. The
accused raped the victim and threatened her again with death if she told anyone about the
incident. Charged with rape, the accused gave the defense of alibi and the fact that there was
no presence of sperm in the victim.

HELD:
Where there is even the least chance for the accused to be present at the crime scene, alibi will
not hold water. The victim also positively identified the accused and it is settled that the
negative presence of sperm is immaterial in the crime of rape. Penetration and not emission is
the important consideration.

PEOPLE V. TUMARU
DECEMBER 2, 1999

The accused shot and killed a municipal councilor and OIC in Kalinga Apayao. The prosecution
was based on 12-yr. old Miguel's testimony as he saw the crime occur. Found guilty of murder,
they appealed saying that the judge erred in not holding witness Miguel's testimony as biased
and imputing motive to the accused without any evidence.

HELD:
Proof of motive is not crucial where the identity of the accused has been amply established.
Witness Miguel's testimony was sufficient to convict the accused. The testimony of minors of
tender age will suffice to convict a person of a crime as long as it is credible. The fact that
Miguel eventually stayed with one of the victim's widows does not prove bias. It is but natural
for the bereaved family to be concerned about the safety of the lone witness. The concern for
the victim does not make him biased or unreliable.


PEOPLE V. MAGBANUA
DECEMBER 2, 1999

The victim was sexually abused continuously from the time she was13 years old until she got
pregnant after 4 years of sexual abuse by appellant, her own father. The sexual assaults usually
took place at noontime when she was left alone with appellant while her mother went to town to
buy their basic needs and while her brother and sisters were at the house of their grandmother
which was far from their house.
She did not report the rape incidents to her mother because appellant threatened to kill her.
When her mother noticed her pregnancy and asked her about the supposed father, she did not
tell her that it was appellant who authored her pregnancy. Instead, as suggested by appellant,
she named one Ricky Pacaul as the one who impregnated her. However, later on, she claimed
that she does not know any person by that name. And only later on when she moved to live
with her aunt did she tell the truth about the crime.

HELD:
Denial, just like alibi, is insufficient to overcome the positive identification made by the witness
for the prosecution. Denial is an inherently weak defense which cannot prevail over the credible
testimony of the witness that the accused committed the crime charged. It must be supported
by strong evidence of non-culpability in order to merit acceptability. Appellant, in the present
case, failed to discharge this burden. His lame attempt to shift the blame to a certain Ricky
Pacaul, who may not even exist, in order to exculpate himself, cannot save him. Moreover,
where there is no evidence to show any dubious reason or improper motive why a prosecution
witness would testify falsely against an accused or falsely implicate him in a heinous crime, the
testimony is worthy of full faith and credit.


PEOPLE V. DE LEON
DECEMBER 3, 1999

Accused was charged with raping his 9 year old daughter 17 times. He denied the charge and
his defense was that the charge was filed because his daughter was jealous of her father's
affection for another sibling. He was convicted for all 17 charges of rape.

HELD:
He was found guilty of only one count of rape. Each and every charge of rape is a separate and
distinct crime so that each of the 16 other rapes charged should be proven beyond reasonable
doubt. The victim’s testimony was overly generalized and lacked specific details on how each of
the alleged 16 rapes was committed. Her bare statement that she was raped so many times on
certain weeks is clearly inadequate and grossly insufficient to establish the guilt of accused-
appellant insofar as the other sixteen rapes charged are concerned.

PEOPLE V. JUACHON
DECEMBER 6, 1999

Juachon was a tricycle driver who was charged with Rape with Murder. The accused was a
suitor of the victim. Witnesses saw the victim ride the accused's tricycle and also saw a tricycle
similar to that owned by the accused at the place where the victim was found. Juachon's
slippers were also found there and he was heard to have told the victim the night before, "ang
sarap mong halikan". He raised the defense of denial and alibi.

HELD:
Settled is the rule that the real nature of the crime charged is determined not from the caption or
preamble of the Information nor from the specification of the provision of law alleged to have
been violated, such being conclusions of law, but by the actual recitation of facts alleged in the
Complaint or Information.
The facts recited in the Information constitute the crime of Rape with Homicide. The elements of
said crime are clearly spelled out in the Information, particularly the sexual intercourse against
the will of the victim, perpetrated with violence and force and the killing of said victim on
occasion of the rape by immersing her in muddy water.
Denial and alibi cannot overcome the amount of circumstantial evidence against the accused
showing his carnal desire for the victim and his presence at the scene of the crime.


PEOPLE V. NABLO
DECEMBER 6, 1999

The victim had just come from the barrio fiesta mass when the 5 accused, armed with bladed
weapons, attacked and killed the victim. The accused were convicted solely on the testimony of
the prosecution witnesses

HELD:
Well-settled is the rule that on the issue of credibility of witnesses, appellate courts will not
disturb the findings by the trial court, which was decisively in a better position to rate the
credibility of witnesses after hearing them and observing their deportment and manner of
testifying during the trial. This doctrine stands absent any showing that certain facts and
circumstances of weight and value have been overlooked, misinterpreted or misapplied by the
lower court which, if considered, would affect the result or outcome of the case.
The absence of a dying declaration is also unnecessary to convict the accused. The evidence
on record suffices to support the judgment of conviction under scrutiny. Neither is proof of
motive crucial since the identity of appellants has been established by eyewitnesses.

PEOPLE V. LADRILLO
DECEMBER 8, 1999

Facts:
The accused asked the 8 year old victim to come to his house to pick lice from his head. But
then after, he stripped naked and stripped the victim of his clothes and raped her 4 times during
that one day. He raised the defenses of denial and alibi and questioned the sufficiency of the
information since it states that the crime was committed "on or about 1992".

HELD:
ACQUITTED of rape based on insufficiency of evidence and reasonable doubt. Denial and alibi
may be weak but courts should not at once look at them with disfavor. There are situations
where an accused may really have no other defenses but denial and alibi which, if established
to be the truth, may tilt the scales of justice in his favor, especially when the prosecution
evidence itself is weak. The crime was supposedly narrated by the victim 2 yrs. after. The crime
was alleged to have been perpetrated at the accused's residence when the accused was not
even living in Abanico at that time. The victim's narration of the incident was also not credible


PEOPLE V. SEVILLA
DECEMBER 8, 1999

The accused raped his 14 yr. old daughter. He started making sexual advances when she was
6 and finally had sexual intercourse with her 8 yrs. later. Appellant questions the credibility of
the victim's testimony since it took 8 yrs. before she complained of his acts.

HELD:
Guilty. The Court is not persuaded by accused-appellant’s submission. As held by this Court in
People v. Miranda, there is no standard form of human behavioral response when one has just
been confronted with a strange, startling or frightful experience as heinous as the crime of rape
and not every victim to a crime can be expected to act reasonably and conformably with the
expectation of mankind.
The fact that Myra did not complain to her mother or her aunts about the sexual abuses
committed by her father against her for eight long years, is of no moment. Myra, who was of a
very tender age when the horrible events in her life began to unfold, could have, in all
probability, been confused and bewildered by her experience that for more than half of her
young life, she was shocked into utter insensibility.
Furthermore, a rape victim’s testimony is entitled to greater weight when she accuses a
close relative of having raped her, as in the case of a daughter against her father.

PEOPLE V. FELICIANO
DECEMBER 8, 1999

Feliciano was charged with highway robbery and robbery with homicide. He was beaten at the
police station and was forced to sign a statement that he was responsible for several hold-ups in
the area including the one where the victim was killed. He was examined without counsel by
police and even when counsel was given to him, the lawyer did not advise him of the
implications of his testimony.

HELD:
Acquitted for lack of evidence. His testimonies were inadmissible. The right to counsel is a
fundamental right and contemplates not a mere presence of the lawyer beside the accused. He
was questioned before his counsel de officio arrived and even when his counsel was present,
his lawyer did not explain to accused-appellant the consequences of his action — that the sworn
statement can be used against him and that it is possible that he could be found guilty and sent
to jail.
We also find that Atty. Chavez’s independence as counsel is suspect — he is regularly engaged
by the Cagayan de Oro City Police as counsel de officio for suspects who cannot avail the
services of counsel. He even received money from the police as payment for his services.

PEOPLE V. RALPH VELEZ DIAZ
DECEMBER 8, 1999

Diaz was convicted of killing and sexually abusing a 12 year old boy. The trial court
convicted him notwithstanding the exclusion of the extrajudicial confession of accused-
appellant and the absence of any eyewitness to the crime because of:
(a) the testimony of 10-year old Felbart that he saw his brother last alive in the company of
accused-appellant;
(b) the physical evidence of sexual abuse through sodomy committed against the victim;
(c) the plea of insanity which only tended to negate liability but was an admission of guilt;
(d) the reenactment of the crime by accused-appellant the details of which could not have been
known to anybody but himself; and,
(e) the fact that accused-appellant voluntarily confessed to the crime without any evidence of
coercion, duress or intimidation exerted upon him.
Accused pleads he is not guilty of murder since there was no evident premeditation. He
pleads insanity and pleads that he cannot be sentenced to death since the information filed
didn’t mention the sodomy.

HELD:
The crime committed by accused-appellant was murder even in the absence of the
qualifying circumstance of evident premeditation because treachery and abuse of superior
strength were present - either of which qualified the crime to murder. Since the victim was
an 11 yr old boy, both were present although treachery absorbs superior strength.
Insanity must be proved. All that was proved by the psychiatrists was that accused was
sexually perverted or that he was sick of pedophilia but such is different.
But, he may not be sentenced to death. A careful scrutiny of the records shows that the
Information charged him only with murder qualified by treachery, abuse of superior strength
and evident premeditation. It failed to mention the commission of sexual abuse or "sodomy"
on the victim. The Information designated the crime as "murder in relation to RA 7610," but
as a rule, what controls is not the designation of the offense but its description in the
complaint or information.

PEOPLE V. ALBERTO FLORES AND RODOLFO FLORES
DECEMBER 8, 1999

The Flores brothers were convicted of murder on the testimony of the victim’s wife. The
wife says she saw the accused enter the victim’s home and one brother stabbed the victim
while the other strangled him. But right after the crime was committed, she said she saw
nothing.

HELD:
Jurisprudence forewarns that when serious and inexplicable discrepancies are present
between a previously executed sworn statement of a witness and her testimonial
declarations with respect to one's participation in a serious imputation such as murder,
there is raised a grave doubt on the veracity of the witness' account. In the case at bar, it is
difficult to reconcile the inconsistencies made by Marissa in her sworn statement and
testimony in court. It is even more difficult to accept her explanation in committing these
inconsistencies.

PEOPLE V. LORETO RINGOR, JR.
December 9, 1999

Appellant Ringor and his two companions entered a restaurant where the accused worked.
After seating themselves, the group ordered a bottle of gin. Appellant approached one of
the tables where Florida, the restaurant’s cook was drinking beer. Without any warning,
appellant pulled Florida’s hair and poked a knife on the latter’s throat. Florida stood up and
pleaded with appellant not to harm him Appellant relented and released his grip on Florida.
Thereafter, he left the restaurant together with his companions. However, a few minutes
later he was back Appellant brandished a gun and menacingly entered the restaurant. Not
encountering any resistance, he thus proceeded to the kitchen where Florida worked.
Stealthily approaching Florida from behind, appellant fired six successive shots at Florida
who fell down. Ringor left thereafter. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to death.

HELD:
On the matter of the aggravating circumstance of "use of unlicensed firearm" in the
commission of murder or homicide, the trial court erred in appreciating the same to qualify
to death the penalty for the murder committed by accused-appellant. It should be noted that
at the time accused-appellant perpetrated the offense, the unlicensed character of a firearm
used in taking the life of another was not yet an aggravating circumstance in homicide or
murder. Sentenced to reclusion perpetua instead.

PEOPLE V. ROLANDO ALFANTA
DECEMBER 9, 1999

Accused entered the place where the victim was sleeping with a bolo. He brought her to an
abandoned place where he raped her, inserting his fingers and penis into her vagina and
anus. He was sentenced to death because of the aggravating circumstances of use of a
deadly weapon, night time and ignominy.

HELD:
The use of a deadly weapon was not alleged in the information, hence the offense cannot
be considered as qualified rape. Night time and ignominy were present (sa pwet ba
naman).
Simple rape is punishable by a single indivisible penalty of reclusion perpetua. Thus, even if
there were aggravating circumstances of nighttime and ignominy in attendance the
appropriate penalty would still be reclusion perpetua under the law. Article 63 of the
Revised Penal Code provides that in "all cases in which the law prescribes a single
indivisible penalty, it shall be applied by the courts regardless of any mitigating or
aggravating circumstances that may have attended the commission of the deed."

PEOPLE V. RONDERO
DECEMBER 9, 1999

The accused was seen by the victim’s father with an ice pick and washing his bloodied
hands at the well. The 9 year old victim was later found dead and half naked with
lacerations in her vagina but no sperm. He was convicted of homicide only.

HELD:
Guilty of the special complex crime of rape with homicide. The absence of sperm does not
negate the commission of rape since the mere touching of the pudenda by the male organ
is already considered as consummated rape. The presence of physical injuries on the victim
strongly indicates the employment of force on her person. Contusions were found on
Mylene's face, arms and thighs. Hence, death is the appropriate penalty.

PEOPLE V. JAIME QUISAY
DECEMBER 10, 1999

A 3 year old girl was found dead in a canal. Accused was the last person seen with the little
girl. He was charged with rape with homicide. He put forth the defense that he was with
the girl but she ran away and fell into the canal as an exempting circumstance (―Any person
who, while performing a lawful act with due care, causes an injury by mere accident without
fault or intention of causing it.‖Par. 4 of Article 12 of the Revised Penal Code).

HELD:
Guilty. The physical evidence failed to support the version of accused-appellant that the victim
Ainness Montenegro fell accidentally into the canal. The victim had bruises only on the sex
organ, sides of the neck, etc.
The fact that no perineal laceration was found on the genital of the victim does not dispel a
finding of rape. The slightest degree of penetration of the pudenda by a male sex organ
suffices to consummate the crime of rape. Jurisprudence is well-settled to the effect that for
rape to be consummated, rupture of the hymen is not necessary, nor is it necessary that the
vagina sustain a laceration, especially when the victim is a young girl.
The crime subject matter of the instant appeal was committed before the death penalty law,
Republic Act No. 7659 became effective so the penalty for the complex crime of rape with
homicide should only be reclusion perpetua.

PEOPLE V. EDGARDO DE LEON
DECEMBER 10, 1999

Accused supposedly raped his daughter in front of the latter’s own 2 year old
daughter. Accused flatly denied the charge. He alleged that the prosecution evidence had
not proven his guilt beyond reasonable doubt because: (1) the evidence for the prosecution
which consisted of the victim's sole testimony is insufficient; (2) this testimony is
inconsistent; and (3) the other pieces of vital evidence, i.e., the knife and the victim's torn
clothes, were not presented to substantiate the victim's testimony.

HELD:
The sole testimony of the victim sufficiently establishes the guilt of accused-appellant.
Amelia de Leon testified naturally, spontaneously and positively.
Accused-appellant's claim that the charge against him was merely trumped up by Amelia
cannot be believed. No woman, especially a daughter, would subject herself and her family
to the humiliation of a public trial and send her father to jail for the rest of his life if her
accusation were not true. Since the rape was committed with the use of a knife, a deadly
weapon, the crime is therefore punishable by reclusion perpetua to death.

PEOPLE V. ARNOLD DIZON
DECEMBER 10, 1999

Accused supposedly entered the victims’ house, robbed them, raped one of the occupants
and stabbed all of them. Only 12 yr. Old Ruel survived the massacre of his family and
positively identified the accused as the perpetrator. Death was imposed upon accused after
the RTC found him guilty beyond reasonable doubt of special complex crime of Robbery
with Homicide aggravated by Rape, Dwelling and Nocturnity. Accused pleaded not guilty.

HELD:
Guilty of 1 count of rape with homicide, 2 counts of homicide and 1 count of frustrated
homicide.
The trial court erred in finding accused guilty of robbery. For a person to be guilty of
robbery, it must be proved that there was intent to gain & the taking of personal property
belonging to another by means of violence against or intimidation of any person, or by using
force upon anything.
In his testimony, Ruel only testified that he saw accused opening their closets and throwing
things on the floor. Not that accused took something from the house.
On the other hand, this Court agrees with the trial court that rape was satisfactorily
established by the prosecution. Ruel’s testimony positively identifying the accused was
enough to convict.

PEOPLE V. AGAPITO FLORES
DECEMBER 13, 1999

Accused, at knife point, forced his 13 year old daughter to undress and then raped her. All
the time and while the accused-appellant was on top of her the knife was poked at
her. Victim also testified her father had raped her 4 times when she was in grade
4. Accused denied the charges as fabricated. Appellant cites the inconsistencies in the
victim's testimony and further contends that the medical findings reveal that the healed
lacerations in the victim’s hymen were already existing prior to the alleged date of rape, in
which case there is no evidence to prove that appellant raped Ma. Cristina on November 8,
1994. Sentenced to death.

HELD:
Guilty but reclusion perpetua only. It is unthinkable for a daughter to falsely impute the
crime of rape against her own father if it was not real. The supposed inconsistencies in the
victim's testimonies refer only to minor details and collateral matters which do not really
affect either the substance of her declaration, and its veracity.
But, the information only alleged the minority of Ma. Cristina that she was thirteen years old
but did not allege the relationship of the accused to the victim. The seven (7) modes of
committing rape introduced under RA 7659 which warrant automatic imposition of death
penalty partake of the nature of a qualifying circumstance under the Revised Penal Code
since it increases the penalty of rape to one (1) degree. It would be a denial of the right of
the accused to be informed of the charges against him, and consequently, a denial of due
process, if he is charged with simple rape only on which he was arraigned, and be
convicted of qualified rape punishable by death. Thus, accused-appellant should only suffer
the penalty of reclusion perpetua.

PEOPLE V. FERNANDO CALANG MACOSTA
DECEMBER 14, 1999

Accused invited herein complainant to catch shrimps at the side of the Magpayang
River.The victim acceded but when they were at an uninhabited place, the accused kissed
and touched the victim. He tried to insert his penis but once the penis was in the mouth of
her vagina she felt pain so she pleaded for his mercy not to deflower her and she continued
crying and pushed him hard until she was able to be free. Charged with rape, accused
denied the incident and said that he and the victim were even sweet hearts.

HELD:
Guilty. Being sweethearts does not prove consent by complainant to the sexual act. And, it
is perplexing how accused could vigorously deny that the alleged incident ever took place
and in the same breath argue that if anything untoward happened it was because they were
sweethearts.
It is also well-settled that for a conviction of rape, medical findings of injuries in the victim’s
genitalia are not essential. Even the slightest touching of the female genitalia, or mere
introduction of the male organ into the labia of the pudendum constitutes carnal knowledge.
The Court has also ruled that a medical examination is not indispensable to the prosecution
of rape as long as the evidence on hand convinces the court that a conviction of rape is
proper.

PEOPLE V. RENATO RAMONAMON
DECEMBER 15, 1999

Accused first raped his stepdaughter at knife point when she was 5 yrs. old. Because
of Analyn's tender age, the rape resulted in the dislocation of her legs and pelvic bones
which caused her to become temporarily lame. That same night, Analyn reported the
incident to her mother in the presence of appellant. Analyn's mother refused to believe her.
Neither was she brought to the hospital for treatment.
She was raped 2 more times and only told her grandmother of the crime after accused tried
to rape her a 4th time. She didn’t tell her mother about the incidents since the latter refused
to believe her anyway. Accused denied the charges.

HELD:
Guilty but sentenced to reclusion perpetua only. The averment that Analyn could have run
away when accused-appellant started removing her panties hardly deserves consideration.
Different people, previous cases can tell us, react differently to given situations. Most
women might, when given the chance, immediately flee from their aggressors but others
may become virtually catatonic because of mental shock
But while the law holds that the death penalty shall be imposed if, among other instances,
the crime of rape is committed against a victim under eighteen (18) years of age and the
offender is her step-parent, the information, however, has failed to allege any relationship
between accused-appellant and his victim.


PEOPLE V. CABALIDA
DECEMBER 15, 1999

Accused raped his then 15 yr. old grandniece at gunpoint and threatened her with death if
she told on him. The victim became pregnant and only then did she tell her mother about
the crime.

HELD:
Acquitted for failure to prove beyond reasonable doubt. The victim supposedly told nobody of
the crime since she feared for her life. But accused had left for Manila already for several
months and the victim supposedly only told her mother when it was obvious she was
pregnant. Second, victim's motive for accusing appellant is only so that her stepfather will not
be suspected of being the father of the child. Finally. accused returned to Zamboanga City to
clear his name. This is a strong indication of innocence.

PEOPLE V. LYNDON SANEZ
DECEMBER 15, 1999

Victim was found in a canal with hack wounds in his nape and near death. He gave a dying
declaration naming his own son, the accused, as the assailant. An eyewitness also saw the
accused dragging a body across the road and dumping it into the canal where the victim
was found. He was found guilty of parricide.

HELD:
Guilty. Direct evidence of the actual killing is not indispensable for convicting an accused
when circumstantial evidence can sufficiently establish his guilt. The consistent rule has
been that circumstantial evidence is adequate for conviction if: a) there is more than one
circumstance; b) the facts from which the inferences are derived have been proven; and c)
the combination of all circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond reasonable
doubt. All these requisites, not to mention the dying declaration of the deceased victim
himself, are extant in the instant case.

PEOPLE V. AUGUSTO TANZON
DECEMBER 15, 1999

Victim was walking with his common law wife when he was invited for drinks by the
accused. Victim refused. When the wife turned around, she saw the accused shoot her
husband with a sumpak twice. On the ground, he was kicked by accused and 4 of his
friends and then shot again by the accused with a short gun. Accused also shot at thee
wife who was able to flee. An eyewitness corroborated the wife’s version of the events. He
was found guilty of murder.

HELD:
Gulilty. The rule is settled that in the absence of any fact or circumstance of weight and
influence which has been overlooked or the significance of which has been misconstrued as
to impeach the findings of the trial court, the appellate courts will not interfere with the trial
court’s findings on the credibility of the witnesses or set aside its judgment considering that
it is in a better position to decide the question having heard the witnesses themselves
during trial.
Also, the non-presentation by the prosecution of the items which the accused is charged of
having armed himself with in attacking, assaulting, stoning and stabbing the victim is not
fatal where the accused has been positively identified

PEOPLE V. NICASIO ENOJA
DECEMBER 17, 1999

The victim, Siegfred G. Insular, was a suspected commander of the "New People's Army"
(NPA). A day before the incident, the house of Romulo Enoja, brother of the Enojas, was
allegedly sprayed with bullets by the NPA, killing Romulo's daughter and son. Before that,
the house of Catelina Enoja, mother of the Enojas, at Barangay Caraudan, was allegedly
burned by the NPA.
The victim was walking home with his wife when the accused blocked the couple and took
terms shooting the victim.

HELD:
Appellants assail the trial court's finding of conspiracy by pointing out alleged
inconsistencies in the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses Salamanca and Paterna.
The two testimonies constitute cumulative evidence on who participated in the shooting of
Siegfred. Both witnesses pointed to all five accused-appellants. Accused were positively
identified by the witnesses and their testimony is sufficient to convict the accused.

PEOPLE V. ABORDO, ET. AL.
DECEMBER 17, 1999

The 4 accused took the victim to an uninhabited area near a creek and hit the victim with stones
and pieces of wood. The victim died before arriving at the hospital. A witness saw the incident
and positively identified the accused as the perpetrators of the crime. Accused put up the
defense of alibi and that the witness is not reliable.

HELD:
All guilty. Although appellant merely held the victim while the other hit the latter, he is still
guilty as a co-principal because of conspiracy where the act of one is the act of all.
Appellants contend that the trial court convicted them on the basis of the testimony of the
lone eyewitness, Hermogenes Pan, which is allegedly not worthy of belief. Appellants allege
that it was highly impossible for Pan to have witnessed the alleged commission of the crime
as he was drinking all the time that afternoon until the time that he was informed of the
victim's death.
Where there is no concrete evidence to indicate that the witness against the accused has
been actuated by any improper motive, and absent any compelling reason to conclude
otherwise, the testimony given is ordinarily accorded full faith and credit. Hence, eyewitness
Pan's straightforward testimony against the appellants was rightly accorded credence. The
absence of sufficiently convincing evidence as to ill motives actuating the principal witness
of the prosecution strongly tents to sustain the finding that no improper motive existed and,
thus, his testimony is worthy of full faith and credit.

PEOPLE V. GILBERT DORIMON
December 17, 1999

At the time of the incident. appellant was an eighteen (18) year-old senior high school
student at the Salug National High School of Salug, Zamboanga del Norte. Found in his
possession was a 22 cal. paltik, that he allegedly used to threaten a classmate who had
defeated him in a basketball game at school. One of his classmates went to the police who
frisked Dorimon and found the gun. Dorimon said he merely found the gun at the back of
the school. The RTC found him guilty of illegal possession of firearms and sentenced him
to reclusion perpetua.

HELD:
Acquitted due to insufficient evidence. In cases involving illegal possession of firearm, the
requisite elements are: (a) the existence of the subject firearm and (b) the fact that the
accused who owned or possessed the firearm does not have he corresponding license or
permit to possess. While the information alleged that the appellant did not possess any
license or permit to carry, such fact was not established during trial. The only reference to
the non-possession of a license or permit of the appellant was when the trial judge
propounded clarificatory questions to the officers who accosted appellant and nothing else.

PEOPLE V. MERINO
December 17, 1999

The 2 accused, with 4 John Does, entered the home of Ernesto Pagadian, robbed him
and raped his 2 minor daughters, aged 15 and 16. One year later, one of the victims saw
one of the accused at a market and reported such to the NBI who subsequently arrested
him and his co-accused.

HELD:
Guilty. The trial court's assessment of the credibility of witness is generally accorded great
respect. Both accused were positively identified by the private complainants. There was no
hesitation on their part to point to the accused as the culprits.
Both are guilty of rape since although it was only Siervo who raped the 2 girls, Merino did
nothing to stop it. There was conspiracy because both of them acted as one in their greed
and lust. In a conspiracy, the act of one is the act of all. Nocturnity, to be appreciated as an
aggravating circumstance, must have purposely been sought to facilitate the commission of
the crime or to prevent recognition of the perpetrator.

PEOPLE V. SANTOCILDES, JR.
December 21, 1999

Appellant was charged with and found guilty of the crime of rape of a girl less than nine (9)
years old. Appellant entered a plea of not guilty under the advice of a certain
Ompong. Appellant later changed lawyers after he found out that Ompong was not a
member of the bar.

HELD:
Judgement set aside and case remanded for new trial. Being represented by a non-lawyer is a
denial of due process.

PEOPLE V. MORENO
December 21, 1999

According to the prosecution, accused entered the secluded house of his 14 year old cousin
who was alone in the house. He held a bolo to her body and succeeded in raping her. She
said nothing until her mother noticed her swelling belly and it was determined that she was
pregnant. Accused put up the defense of denial and alibi.

HELD:
Acquitted on the ground of reasonable doubt. While the version of the defense is not
entirely satisfactory, as in any criminal prosecution, conviction must rest on proof beyond
reasonable doubt. The State must rely on the strength of its own evidence and not on the
weakness of the evidence of the defense. Force and intimidation not proven. Supposed
victim’s actuations before and during the alleged sexual assault did not show the kind of
resistance expected of a young woman defending her virtue and honor. A much more
vigorous opposition to the assault on her virtue is only to be expected of an inexperienced
victim on the threshold of womanhood.


JANUARY 2000

PEOPLE V. VICENTE VALLA
January 24, 2000

On appeal is the Quezon RTC's decisions dated March 29, 1993 convicting Valla of the crime of
rape with homicide. Pines, a twelve-year old girl, was passing by a ricefield near the road when
she heard a voice coming from the direction of the forested area. They finally found Dyesebel.
Her body was found near the river with her neck blackened and her vagina bloodied. Allarey
and his companions immediately confronted appellant who, out of remorse, admitted that he
raped and killed. The trial court found Valla guilty of the crime of "rape with homicide." Hence,
the present appeal.

HELD:
More importantly, the declaration of appellant acknowledging his guilt of the offense may be
given in evidence against him under Section 33 of Rule 130 of the Revised Rules of Court. Note
that his extrajudicial confession is corroborated by the corpus delicti as required by Section 3 of
Rule 133. The Rules do not require that all the elements of the crime must be clearly
established by evidence independent of the confession. Corpus delicti only means that there
should be some concrete evidence tending to show the commission of the crime apart from the
confession.
The statement of the accused asking for forgiveness and even offering his own daughter in
exchange for his crime may also be regarded as part of the res gestae under Section 42 of Rule
130 of the Rules of Court. Res gestae means "things done." There are three requisites to admit
evidence as part of the res gestae:
(1) that the principal act, the res gestae, be a startling occurrence, in this case the discovery of
the body of the victim;
(2) the statements were made before the declarant had the time to contrive or devise a
falsehood, in this case, appellant had begged for forgiveness immediately after the body was
found; and
(3) that the statements must concern the occurrence in question and its immediate attending
circumstances, in this case, appellant had admitted to raping and killing the victim, and even
"offered" his daughter in exchange for the victim.
As to the crime committed, the trial court correctly convicted appellant of the special complex
crime of "rape with homicide," and not "rape with murder" as designated in the Information,
since "homicide" is herein taken in its generic sense. The aggravating circumstance of
ignominy under Article 14, No. 17 of the Revised Penal Code should be appreciated considering
that the medico-legal officer testified that the pubic area of the victim bore blisters brought about
by a contact with a lighted cigarette.

PEOPLE V. RUDY CORTES
January 24, 2000

Before the Court for automatic review is the Decision of the Masbate RTC convicting the
accused-appellant, Rudy Cortes y Caballero, of the crime of rape committed against Analiza
Germina y Banculo, sentencing him to suffer the supreme penalty of death.

HELD:
Time-honored is the rule that alibi is inherently weak and easily contrived. Accused-appellant
must therefore prove with clear and convincing evidence that it was physically impossible for
him to be at the place and approximate time of commission of the felony, which quantum of
proof he failed to come forward with.
In a long line of rape cases, the Court has consistently held that lust is no respecter of time and
place, and rape can be and has been committed in even the unlikeliest of places. Venues of
rape have been inside a house where there were other occupants, in a room adjacent to where
the victim’s family members were sleeping or even in a room which the victim shares with the
sister of the offender. There is no rule that rape can be committed only in seclusion. Neither
does the Court find convincing the claim of delay on the part of the victim in reporting the sexual
assault against her. This Court has consistently held that delay in reporting rape incidents in the
face of threats of physical violence, cannot be taken against the victim.

PEOPLE V. HON. BONIFACIO MACEDA
January 24, 2000

This case stems from denial by the SC of the People’s motion seeking reconsideration of our
August 13, 1990 decision holding that respondent Judge Bonifacio Sanz Maceda committed no
grave abuse of discretion in issuing the order of August 8, 1989 giving custody over private
respondent Avelino T. Javellana to the Clerk of Court of the Antique RTC, Atty. Deogracias del
Rosario, during the pendency of Criminal Cases Nos. 3350-3355. At that time, sufficient reason
was shown why Javellana should not be detained at the Antique Provincial Jail. The trial court’s
order specifically provided for private respondent’s detention at the residence of Atty. del
Rosario. However, private respondent was not to be allowed liberty to roam around but was to
be held as detention prisoner in said residence. It was howevere found that the order was not
strictly complied with because Javellana was not detained in the residence of Atty. Del Rosario.
He went about his normal activities as if he were a free man, including engaging in the practice
of law.

HELD:
Private respondent Javellana has been arrested based on the filing of criminal cases against
him. By such arrest, he is deemed to be under the custody of the law. The trial court gave Atty.
Deogracias del Rosario the custody of private respondent Javellana with the obligation "to hold
and detain" him in Atty. del Rosario’s residence in his official capacity as the clerk of court of the
regional trial court. Hence, when Atty. del Rosario was appointed judge, he ceased to be the
personal custodian of accused Javellana and the succeeding clerk of court must be deemed the
custodian under the same undertaking.
As a matter of law, when a person indicted for an offense is arrested, he is deemed placed
under the custody of the law. He is placed in actual restraint of liberty in jail so that he may be
bound to answer for the commission of the offense. He must be detained in jail during the
pendency of the case against him, unless he is authorized by the court to be released on bail or
on recognizance. Let it be stressed that all prisoners whether under preventive detention or
serving final sentence can not practice their profession nor engage in any business or
occupation, or hold office, elective or appointive, while in detention.

PEOPLE V. LEON LUMILAN
January 25, 2000

Accused-appellants Leon Lumilan and Antonio Garcia were found by the RTC of Ilagan, Isabela
guilty beyond reasonable doubt of three (3) counts of murder, two (2) counts of frustrated
murder, and three (3) counts of attempted murder, under an Information charging them and
accused Fred Orbiso with the crime of Qualified Illegal Possession of Firearms Used in Murder,
in violation of Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 1866.

Issue:
Whether or not appellants may be properly convicted of murder, frustrated murder and
attempted murder under an Information that charges them with qualified illegal possession of
firearms used in murder in violation of Section 1 of Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 1866?

HELD:
At the time the trial court promulgated its judgment of conviction in September 1990, it had
already been six (6) months since We held in People v. Tac-an that the unlawful possession of
an unlicensed firearm or ammunition, whether or not homicide or murder resulted from its use,
on one hand, and murder or homicide, on the other, are offenses different and separate from
and independent of, each other. While the former is punished under a special law, the latter is
penalized under the Revised Penal Code. Consequently, the prosecution for one will not bar
prosecution for the other, and double jeopardy will not lie.
Under Sec. 7 of Rule 117 of the Revised Rules of Court, double jeopardy lies when after the
accused has pleaded to the first offense charged in a valid complaint or information and he is
subsequently convicted or acquitted or the case against him is dismissed or otherwise
terminated without his express consent by a court of competent jurisdiction, he is prosecuted for
a second offense or any attempt to commit the same or frustration thereof or any other offense,
which necessarily includes or is necessarily included in the offense charged in the former
complaint or information. It cannot be said that murder or homicide necessarily includes or is
necessarily included in qualified illegal possession of firearms used in murder or homicide. To
state otherwise is to contradict Tac-an and its progeny of cases where We categorically ruled
out the application of double jeopardy in the simultaneous prosecution for murder or homicide
and qualified illegal possession of firearms used in murder or homicide against same accused
involving the same fatal act.
Sec. 4, Rule 120 of the Revised Rules of Court provides that an accused may not be convicted
of an offense other than that with which he is charged in the Information, unless such other
offense was both established by evidence and is included in the offense charged in the
Information. Since murder or homicide neither includes or is necessarily included in qualified
illegal possession of firearms used in murder or homicide, the trial court may not validly convict
an accused for the former crime under an Information charging the latter offense. Conversely,
an accused charged in the Information with homicide or murder may not be convicted of
qualified illegal possession of firearms used in murder or homicide, for the latter is not included
in the former.
We observe that the Information charging appellants with Qualified Illegal Possession of
Firearms Used in Murder, violates Sec. 1 of P.D. No. 1866, as amended by R.A. No. 8294,
which obliterated the now obsolete concept of qualified illegal possession of firearms or
illegal possession of firearms in its aggravated form, i.e., where the penalty for illegal
possession is increased to reclusion perpetua or death by the attendance of homicide or
murder. In fact, qualified illegal possession of firearms, which used to be a distinct offense,
no longer exists in our statute books.

PEOPLE V. ESTEBAN ARLEE
January 25, 2000

Complainant Analyn Villanueva and the accused "Boy Ising" were. As months passed,
Analyn’s belly started to swell and when asked about her bulging stomach, Analyn readily
confessed to her mother that Boy Ising was responsible therefor. Analyn then narrated her
horrific experience in the hands of accused-appellant. The trial court gave full faith and credit to
the testimony of the victim, Analyn. Boy Ising raped Analyn by poking a knife to her
side. Analyn, who merely finished grade two, was 26 years old but with a mental capacity of a
eight-year old child.

HELD:
In this appeal, the accused contends that the subpoenas directing submission of counter-
affidavits for purposes of preliminary investigation, were not received by him since the same
were sent to his former residence at A. Del Rosario Street and not to Dalahican Street where he
moved to. Accused-appellant therefore, maintains that he was deprived of his right to a
preliminary investigation. In Mercado vs. Court of Appeals, this Court reiterated the rule that the
New Rules on Criminal Procedure "does not require as condition sine qua non to the validity of
the proceedings (in the preliminary investigation) the presence of the accused for as long as
efforts to reach him were made, and an opportunity to controvert the evidence for the
complainant is accorded him. The obvious purpose of the rule is to block attempts of
unscrupulous respondents to thwart the prosecution of offenses by hiding themselves or by
employing dilatory tactics."
Being a mentally retarded woman, twenty-six years of age, Analyn is in the same class as a
woman deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious when she was raped by accused-
appellant. Proof of force and intimidation is not required if the victim is "deprived of reason" or
suffering from mental abnormality or deficiency since the same deprives the victim of the natural
instinct to resist a bestial assault on her chastity and womanhood. It is well-settled that sexual
intercourse with a woman who is a mental retardate constitutes statutory rape.
Neither is the Court persuaded by accused-appellant’s submission that he cannot be required to
acknowledge and support the child begotten by him with Analyn. In point is the following
provision of the Revised Penal Code:
ART. 345. Civil liability of persons guilty of crimes against chastity. - Persons guilty of rape,
seduction, or abduction, shall also be sentenced:
1. To indemnify the offended woman;
2. To acknowledge the offspring, unless the law should prevent him from so doing;
3. In every case to support the offspring. (Underscoring ours)
xxx xxx xxx
However, as opined in The aforecited provision of law is qualified by jurisprudence to the effect
that "acknowledgment is disallowed if the offender is a married man, with only support for the
offspring as part of the sentence." People vs. Bayani, there is no more need for the prohibition
against acknowledgment of the offspring by an offender who is married, because of the
elimination by the Family Code of the distinctions among illegitimate children. No further positive
act is required of the parent as the law itself provides the child’s status as illegitimate. Therefore,
under Article 345 of the Revised Penal Code, the offender in a rape case who is married should
only be sentenced to indemnify the victim and support the offspring, if there be any.

PEOPLE V. ARMANDO GALLARDO
January 25, 2000

On July 28, 1991, Edmundo Orizal was found dead in the rest house of Ronnie Balao. The
victim was found to have sustained seven (7) gunshot wounds in the chest, abdomen, back, left
and right thighs, and two (2) grazing wounds on the left arm and back. The two suspects
Armando Gallardo and Alfredo Columna were brought to the Tuguegarao Police Department.
They were investigated by Police Investigator SPO4 Isidro Marcos, and they gave statements
admitting that they, together with Jessie Micate, killed Edmundo Orizal. The trial court rendered
decision finding accused Armando Gallardo y Gander and Alfredo Columna y Correa guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of murder qualified by evident premeditation and aggravated by
treachery and sentencing each of them to reclusion perpetua. Hence, this appeal.

HELD:
Under rules laid by the Constitution, existing laws and jurisprudence, a confession to be
admissible must satisfy all four fundamental requirements, namely: (1) the confession must be
voluntary; (2) the confession must be made with the assistance of competent and independent
counsel; (3) the confession must be express; and (4) the confession must be in writing. All
these requirements were complied with. It would have been different if the accused were merely
asked if they were waiving their Constitutional rights without any explanation from the assisting
counsel.

PEOPLE V. JOVITO BARONA
January 25, 2000

At about 8:30 o'clock in the evening on June 26, 1988, Eduardo Dimapilisan was requested by
his sister to fetch her husband Celedonio Baron at the store of a certain. When he arrived at the
store, Dimapilisan was told by Pinang that Celedonio was in the house of appellant Jovito. While
waiting at the store, Dimapilisan saw Celedonio come out of the house of Jovito. He was able to
clearly identify his brother-in-law because of the electric light from the store and the lamp in
Jovito's house. Shortly, he saw the four appellants follow Celedonio. While the latter was
walking, Roberto held, choked and strangled him.

HELD:
The stabbing and the shooting rendered the victim weak and defenseless. The collective action
of the four appellants readily shows that there was a concurrence in their evil design in
perpetrating the crime. Their superiority in number and the fact that they were armed with a
bladed weapon and a gun shows that treachery was attendant in the commission of the crime.
Evidently, there is notorious inequality of forces between the victim and the four accused-
appellants. The excessive force was out of proportion to the means available to the person
attacked. However, the circumstance of abuse of superior strength cannot be appreciated
separately, it being necessarily absorbed treachery. Treachery requires the concurrence of two
conditions, both of which are present in the case at bar:
1.) employment of means of execution that gives the person attacked no opportunity to defend
himself, much less, to retaliate; and
2.) deliberate or conscious adoption of the means of execution.
Likewise established with certainty is that the appellants’ concerted actions were indicative of
their conspiracy. No direct proof is necessary to show that conspiracy exists among the
assailants. Community of criminal design may be inferred from the conduct of the accused
before, during and after the commission of the crime.

PEOPLE V. CRESENCIANO ENOLVA
January 25, 2000

At around seven o'clock in the evening of July 25, 1995, Rogelio Abunda and his three-year old
daughter Julie were shot while they were sleeping on the floor of their house at Barangay
Bagombong. Cresenciano "Sonny" Enolva y Alegre was charged in Criminal Case No. 95-6021
and Criminal Case No 95-6047, both for murder. The trial court convicted the accused thus this
appeal.

HELD:
It has been held that delay or vacillation in making a criminal accusation will not necessarily
impair the credibility of the complaining witness if such delay is satisfactorily explained. The trial
court found that the testimony of Pedro Abunda was rendered in a "very straight forward
manner," complete with details of the incidents that could not have been the product of coaching
from anyone. The court a quo also found Lorlita credible. The court did not err in ruling that the
alibi of the accused that he was drunk and asleep in his house at the time that the shooting
occured will not lie against the positive identification of Lorlita and Pedro Abunda. It is doctrinal
that the Supreme Court will not interfere with the judgment of the trial court in passing upon the
credibility of witnesses unless there appears in the record some fact or circumstance of weight
and substance which has been overlooked or the significance of which has been misinterpreted.
We find no such basis.

PEOPLE V. ALFONSO BALGOS
January 26, 2000

The accused-appellant denied raping Crisselle but claimed that he only inserted his left index
finger into her vagina because he was sexually aroused at that time. The trial court convicted
accused.

Issue:
Whether or not the trial court erred in convicting the accused of rape and not just acts of
lasciviousness?

HELD:
The trial is court correct in imposing the supreme penalty of death on the accused-appellant.
Under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code as amended by Section 11 of Republic Act No.
7659, Further amended by Republic Act No. 8353, otherwise known as "The Anti-Rape Law."
the penalty of death shall be imposed if the crime of rape is committed against a child below
seven (7) years of age. In the present case, there is no dispute that the victim was six (6) years
of age when the accused-appellant had carnal knowledge with her. The victim's age was duly
established by the prosecution, through the testimony of the victim's mother, Criselda Fuentes,
and further corroborated by Crisselle's Certificate of Live Birth.

PEOPLE V. ZOILO BORROMEO
January 27, 2000

The RTC of Pasay City found the accused Zoilo A. Borromeo alias "Sonny" guilty of kidnapping
a minor for ransom and sentenced him to death and to pay the offended parties moral damages
of P250,000.00 and the costs of suit.

HELD:
The essence of the crime of kidnapping is the actual deprivation of the victim's liberty coupled
with indubitable proof of intent of the accused to effect the same. And if the person detained is
a child, the question that needs to be addressed is whether there is, evidence to show that in
taking the child, there was deprivation of the child's liberty and that it was the intention of the
accused to deprive the mother of the child's custody. We find abundant evidence of this fact in
this case.
There is no question that the elements of kidnapping for ransom were sufficiently established:
(a) the accused is a private individual; (b) the accused kidnapped or detained the victim and
deprived him of his liberty; and, (c) the deprivation of the victim's liberty was illegal. As provided
for in Art. 267 of the Revised Penal Code as amended, the imposition of the death penalty is
mandatory if the victim is a minor. In this case, the minority of Kenneth Hernandez was never
disputed. Assuming arguendo that minority was not proved, still under the same provision of
law, the imposition of the death penalty is obligatory if the kidnapping was committed for the
purpose of extorting ransom from the victim or any other person. This was certainly so in this
case.

PEOPLE V. TITO ZUELA
January 28, 2000

The case is an appeal of accused Maximo Velarde y de los Reyes, Nelson Garcia y Temporas
and Tito Zuela y Morandarte from the decision of the RTC, Camarines Sur, Libmanan, Br. 24,
finding them guilty beyond reasonable doubt of robbery with homicide.

Issue:
Whether or not the extra-judicial confessions were executed in accordance with the provisions
of the 1973 Constitution?

HELD:
The right to counsel attaches the moment an investigating officer starts to ask questions to elicit
information on the crime from the suspected offender.. In other words, "the moment there is a
move or even urge of said investigators to elicit admissions or confessions or even plain
information which may appear innocent or innocuous at the time, from said suspect, he should
then and there be assisted by counsel, unless he waives the right, but the waiver shall be made
in writing and in the presence of counsel.
Nevertheless, the infirmity of accused-appellants’ sworn statements did not leave a void in the
prosecution’s case. Accused-appellant Maximo repeated the contents of his sworn statement to
Romualda Algarin who, in turn, related these in court. Such declaration to a private person is
admissible in evidence against accused-appellant Maximo pursuant to Rule 130, Section 26 of
the Rules of Court stating that the "act, declaration or omission of a party as to a relevant fact
may be given in evidence against him." The trial court, therefore, correctly gave evidentiary
value to Romualda’s testimony. There was no evidence that Maximo executed a waiver of his
right to counsel. In light of these facts, we are constrained to rule that Maximo Velarde’s extra-
judicial statement is inadmissible in evidence. An uncounselled extra-judicial confession without
a valid waiver of the right to counsel - that is, in writing and in the presence of counsel - is
inadmissible in evidence. Contrary to the ruling of the trial court, the defect in the confessions of
Tito and Nelson was not cured by their signing the extra-judicial statements before Judge
Bagalacsa.
And in the recent case of People vs. Andan, the Court reiterated the doctrine enunciated in
the Maqueda case. In Andan, the Court said that "when the accused talked with the mayor as
confidant and not as a law enforcement officer, his uncounselled confession did not violate his
constitutional rights. Constitutional procedures on custodial investigation do not apply to a
spontaneous statement, not elicited through questioning by the authorities, but given in an
ordinary manner whereby appellant orally admitted having committed the crime."
Treachery was not alleged in the information but the suddenness of the assault upon Hegino
and Maria from behind was proven beyond reasonable doubt. As such, treachery may be
appreciated as a generic aggravating circumstance. Treachery exists when an adult person
illegally attacks a child of tender years and causes his death.
The crime committed is the special complex crime of robbery with homicide defined and
penalized in Article 294 of the Revised Penal Code. The trial court correctly considered the
crime as robbery with homicide and not "robbery with triple homicide" as charged in the
information. The term "homicide" in Article 294(1) is used in its generic sense, embracing not
only the act which results in death but also all other acts producing anything short of death.
Neither is the nature of the offense altered by the number of killings in connection with the
robbery. The multiplicity of victims slain on the occasion of the robbery is only appreciated as an
aggravating circumstance. This would preclude an anomalous situation where, from the
standpoint of the gravity of the offense, robbery with one killing would be treated in the same
way that robbery with multiple killings would be.

PEOPLE V. DOMINGO BRIGILDO
January 28, 2000

Appellant Domingo Brigildo was acquitted of the charge of attempted rape. But the trial court
found him guilty of two counts of rape, for which he was twice sentenced to death. When
arraigned, appellant Domingo Brigildo, assisted by counsel, pleaded not guilty to the
charges. The lower court rendered its decision finding the accused Domingo Brigildo GUILTY
beyond reasonable doubt of RAPE (as) defined and penalized under Article 335 of the Revised
Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act 7659. Finding the victim Marites Belic to have been
below eighteen (18) years of age at the time of the rape on March 30, 1994 and finding the
offender to be the common-law spouse of Marites’ mother, this court imposes upon the same
Domingo Brigildo the mandatory penalty of DEATH.

HELD: In reviewing rape cases, the Court has consistently observed the following long-standing
guidelines:
(1) An accusation for rape can be made with facility. Such accusation is difficult to prove but
even more difficult for the accused though innocent to disprove it;
(2) In view of the intrinsic nature of the crime of rape where only two (2) persons are involved,
the testimony of the complainant must be scrutinized with extreme caution; and
(3) The evidence of the prosecution must stand and fall on its own merits and cannot be allowed
to draw strength from the weakness of the evidence for the defense..

The testimony of the victim leaves us no doubt that her mother’s common-law husband had
raped her. But even assuming for argument’s sake, that the alleged penile penetration of private
complainant’s vagina had not been shown with indubitable proof, this Court has ruled
consistently, that penetration is not an essential element of rape. The mere touching of the labia
or pudendum by the phallus is already enough to consummate the crime of rape. Phallic
intrusion necessarily entails contact with the labia and even the briefest contact under
circumstances of force, intimidation, or unconsciousness, even without the rupture of the hymen
is already rape.
In addition, the Court has repeatedly ruled that when a victim says she has been raped, she
almost always says all that has to be said. So long as the victim’s testimony meets the test of
credibility, the accused can be convicted on the sole basis thereof.

PEOPLE V. ROMENCIANO RICAFRANCA
January 28, 2000

The case is an appeal from a decision of the RTC of Pinamalayan finding the accused guilty of
murder and guilty of illegal possession of firearms.

Issue:
Whether or not the Court erred in disregarding the fact that the evidence of the prosecution did
not overcome the time-honored presumption of innocence of the accused in criminal cases?

HELD:
We advert to that all-too familiar rule that findings of fact of the trial court, especially its
assessment on the credibility of witnesses, are not to be disturbed on appeal. The trial court is
in a better position than the appellant court to properly evaluate testimonial evidence because of
their unique opportunity to directly observe the witness’ demeanor, conduct, deportment and
manner of testifying.
Conspiracy need not be proved by direct evidence, it may be inferred from the conduct of all the
accused before, during and after the commission of the crime. It may be deduced from the
mode and manner in which the offense was perpetrated or inferred from the acts of the accused
evincing a joint or common purpose and design, concerted action and community of interest.
We disagree, however, with the trial court’s finding of cruelty. The test for determining the
presence of cruelty is whether the accused deliberately and sadistically augmented the victim’s
suffering. Consequently, there must be proof that the victim was made to agonize before he was
killed.

PEOPLE V. JESUS TANAIL
January 28, 2000

Accused Jesus Tanail y Borbe has appealed from the decision of the Bulacan RTC finding him
guilty beyond reasonable doubt of rape punished under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code.
The court a quo rejected the accused’s defense of denial and alibi. It said that this could not
prevail over the positive identification of the accused.

HELD:
The court found no reason to disturb the findings of the trial court. Contrary to the contention of
the accused-appellant that inconsistencies materially affected the credibility of the witnesses,
we rather view the minor inconsistencies as indicative of truth. Marites testified with candor and
in a straightforward manner. In between sobs and tears, she recounted how she had been
sexually abused by the accused in a "dog-style manner."
It is not uncommon for young girls to conceal for some time the assaults on their virtue because
of the rapist’s threats on their lives. Delay in making a criminal accusation does not impair the
credibility of a witness if such delay is satisfactorily explained. In any case, the failure of the
victim to immediately report a rape is not an indication of a fabricated charge. The lapse of three
(3) months prior to the criminal accusation for rape is not sufficient to show that the charge of
rape is doubtful.


FEBRUARY 2000

PEOPLE V. PEDRO LUMACANG
February 1, 2000

Brothers Lumacang went out on a drinking spree with 2 friends and the deceased Elmer
Salac. Without warning, Pedro unsheathed his hunting knife and stabbed Elmer Salac. They
were charged with murder, which crime was attended with the qualifying circumstances of
treachery, abuse of superior strength, and generic aggravating circumstance of nighttime. RTC
found them guilty. Only Pablo appealed.

HELD:
The essence of treachery is a swift and unexpected attack on an unarmed victim without the
slightest provocation on his part. The the severity of the assault during the first incident of
stabbing had already rendered the deceased completely defenseless. That he was able to run
away to seek succor does not negate the presence of alevosia because the wounded victim, in
fact, had little opportunity to run far. He was easily overtaken by the three brothers who
mercilessly stabbed him to death.
There is treachery when the offender commits any of the crimes against the person employing
means, methods or forms in the execution thereof which tend directly and specifically to insure
execution without risk to himself arising from the defense which the offended party might make.
Since treachery has already been appreciated as a qualifying circumstance, abuse of superior
strength should not have been considered separately inasmuch as it is absorbed in treachery.
For night time to be appreciated as an aggravating circumstance it must be shown that the
accused had purposely sought such period to facilitate the commission of the crime or to
prevent its discovery or to evade the culprit's capture.

PEOPLE V. ALBERTO BLANCO Y SEÑORA
February 1, 2000

Edgardo Tolentino and Arnel Leovido were riding a tricycle. During the trip, the driver, Blanco,
allowed 3 men to board the tricycle, accelerated its speed, and engaged in a different route than
that intended by Tolentino and Leovido. Sensing that something was wrong, both passengers
jumped out the moving tricycle. After they jumped, Tolentino found out that Leovido had been
stabbed by one of the three men who boarded the tricycle. Leovido died. Alberto Blanco, and
Arturo Punzalan were charged with murder

HELD:
For the defense of alibi to prosper, appellant must prove not only that he was elsewhere when
the crime was perpetuated but also that it was physically impossible for him to have been at the
crime scene or its immediate vicinity at the approximate time of its commission. Appellant failed
to demonstrate either scenario. Where there is absence of strong and convincing evidence,
alibi cannot prevail over the positive identification of appellant by an eyewitness to the stabbing
incident, who has no improper motive to testify falsely.
There is conspiracy where, at the time the malefactors were committing the crime, their
actions showed a unity of purpose among them, a concerted effort to bring about the death
of the victim. Thus, although it appears that it was one of appellant’s co-accused who dealt
Leovido the death blow, appellant performed acts to carry out the felonious killing
complained of, for which he should be held answerable.

PEOPLE V. JALOSJOS
February 3, 2000

The accused-appellant, Romeo G. Jalosjos is a full-fledged member of Congress who is now
confined at the national penitentiary while his conviction for statutory rape on two counts and
acts of lasciviousness on six counts is pending appeal. The accused-appellant filed this motion
asking that he be allowed to fully discharge the duties of a Congressman, including attendance
at legislative sessions and committee meetings despite his having been convicted in the first
instance of a non-bailable offense. Does membership in Congress exempt an accused from
statutes and rules which apply to validly incarcerated persons in general?

HELD:
True, election is the expression of the sovereign power of the people. In the exercise of
suffrage, a free people expects to achieve the continuity of government and the perpetuation of
its benefits. However, inspite of its importance, the privileges and rights arising from having
been elected may be enlarged or restricted by law. The election to the position of Congressman
is not a reasonable classification in criminal law enforcement. The functions and duties of the
office are not substantial distinctions which lift him from the class of prisoners interrupted in their
freedom and restricted in liberty of movement. Lawful arrest and confinement are germane to
the purposes of the law and apply to all those belonging to the same class. Imprisonment is the
restraint of a man’s personal liberty; coercion exercised upon a person to prevent the free
exercise of his power of locomotion.

PEOPLE V. NICOLAS
February 4, 2000

MELANDRO NICOLAS y FAVELLA was convicted by the court a quo of two (2) counts of
statutory rape and one (1) simple rape committed against his own daughter, Shellome Nicolas y
Dalisay. The statutory rapes were committed when Shellome was only eleven (11) years old
while the simple rape was perpetrated when she was already twelve (12).

HELD:
We strongly sustain his conviction. The rule is settled that this Court does not generally disturb
the findings of fact of the trial court. Having observed the manner, conduct and demeanor of the
witnesses while on the stand, the trial court is clearly in a better position to determine the weight
to be given to their respective testimonies. Unless there is a clear showing that it overlooked
certain facts and circumstances which might alter the result of the case, this Court accords
respect, even finality, to these findings of fact made by the trial court.
The pattern of instilling fear, utilized by the perpetrator in incestuous rape to intimidate his victim
into submission, is evident in virtually all cases that have reached this Court. The relationship of
the victim to the perpetrator magnifies this terror, because the perpetrator is a person normally
expected to give solace and protection to the victim.

PEOPLE V. LLANES
February 4, 2000

Appellants Nicanor Llanes and Leandro Llanes were charged with the crime of murder in the
RTC.

HELD:
The declaration of a dying person, made under a consciousness of an impending death, may be
received in any case wherein his death is the subject of inquiry, as evidence of the cause and
surrounding circumstances of such death. The essential requisites for the admission of a dying
declaration under Section 37 of Rule 130 of the Rules of Court are,viz: (a) the declaration must
concern the cause and surrounding circumstances of the declarant’s death; (b) at the time the
declaration was made, the declarant was under the consciousness of an impending death; (c)
the declarant was at that time competent as a witness; and (d) the declaration is offered in any
case wherein the declarant’s is the subject of inquiry. All these requisites have been met in this
case.
It is a well-settled rule that different witnesses testifying on the circumstances of a criminal event
would naturally differ in various details. The fact that witnesses Arevalo and Valenzuela gave
varying testimonies as to the dying declaration of the victim does not indicate that they are lying.
A truth-telling witness is not always expected to give an error-free testimony, considering the
lapse of time and the treachery of human memory.

PEOPLE V. MAGDATO
February 7, 2000

Before us for automatic review of the Criminal Cases finding accused-appellant Pepito Alama
Magdato (hereafter PEPITO) guilty beyond reasonable doubt of six (6) counts of rape
committed on her 12-year old daughter Cherry Ann Magdato.

HELD:
We find to be correct the penalty of death imposed by the trial court for each of the six (6)
crimes of qualified rape. Such penalty is justified under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code,
as amended by R.A. 7659. The informations for rape in these cases explicitly allege that
CHERRY ANN is the daughter of PEPITO and she was only twelve (12) years old when he
committed the rapes in question. Under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by
Section 11 of R.A. No. 7659, the death penalty shall be imposed if the crime of rape is
committed with, inter alia, the following attendant circumstances:
1. When the victim is under eighteen (18) years of age and the offender is a parent,
ascendant, stepparent, guardian, relative by consanguinity or affinity within the third civil degree,
or the common-law spouse of the parent of the victim.

PEOPLE v. ALFREDO CABANDE
G.R. No. 132747. February 8, 2000

Appellant Alfredo Cabande appeals the July 24, 1997 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of
Malolos, Bulacan (Branch 16) in a Criminal Case, finding him guilty of two counts of murder and
sentencing him to two terms of reclusion perpetua. The accused appealed that the State did not
correctly appreciate the evidence of the accused. The Court addressed the following matters:
(1) sufficiency of the prosecution evidence, (2) presence of qualifying circumstances and (3)
damages.

HELD:
Well-settled is the rule that the trial court's findings on the credibility of witnesses and their
testimonies are accorded great weight and respect, in the absence of a clear showing that some
facts or circumstances of weight or substance that could have affected the result of the case
have been overlooked, misunderstood or misapplied. Thus, the SC found no reason to reverse
or modify the trial court’s assessment.
There is treachery when one commits any of the crimes against persons by employing means,
methods or forms in the execution thereof without risk to oneself arising from the defense which
the offended party might make. The mere fact that there was a feud between appellant and the
victims did not necessarily prove that the attack was expected. As the solicitor general pointed
out, what was decisive was the suddenness of the attack which made it impossible for the
victims to retaliate, flee, or defend themselves.
In line with current jurisprudence, we affirm the award of indemnity ex delicto to the heirs of
each victim in the sum of P50,000 or a total of P100,000. This may be awarded without need of
proof other than the commission of the crime. We cannot sustain, however, the award of
exemplary damages, which are awarded only in the presence of one or more aggravating
circumstances. None was established in this case.

PEOPLE v. CORNELIA SUELTO
G.R. No. 126097. February 8, 2000

Accused-appellant Cornelia Suelto alias Rogelia Suelto appeals from the judgment rendered by
the RTC finding her guilty of the murder of Isabel Ruales. The prosecution’s case rests primarily
on the testimony of two witnesses who claimed to have personally witnessed the killing. Â h Y

HELD:
Alibis are generally considered with suspicion and are always received with caution, not only
because they are inherently weak and unreliable, but also because they can be easily
fabricated. Therefore, for alibi to serve as a basis for acquittal, the accused must establish by
clear and convincing evidence (a) his presence at another place at the time of the perpetration
of the offense and (b) that it would thus be physically impossible for him to have been at the
scene of the crime. Furthermore, the alibi must receive credible corroboration from disinterested
witnesses.We hold that accused has failed to establish her alibi by clear and convincing
evidence.
The trial court found that the killing of Isabel Ruales by accused was attended by the qualifying
circumstance of treachery. Treachery exists when the offender commits any of the crimes
against persons, employing means, methods, or forms which tend directly and specially to
insure the execution of the crime without risk to himself arising from the defense which the
offended party might make.


PEOPLE v. DIOLO BARITA
G.R. No. 123541. February 8, 2000

Diolo Barita (BARITA), Denver Golsing (GOLSING) and Dionisio Cuison (CUISON) were
charged with violation of Section 4, Article II of Republic Act 6425, the accused was charged
with selling and delivering more or less 2,800 grams of dried marijuana. In support of his appeal,
BARITA denies any participation in the alleged sale of marijuana. He claims that no buy-bust
operation was conducted and that the accusation against him was all part of a frame-up. To
prove this, BARITA alleges that the prosecution evidence is replete with numerous flaws and
glaring inconsistencies.

HELD:
Accused-appellants’ defense of "frame-up" does not convince us of their innocence. Such
defense has been invariably viewed by this Court with disfavor for it can easily be concocted but
difficult to prove and is a common and standard line of defense in most prosecutions arising
from violations of the Dangerous Drugs Act. Any person who sells or acts as a broker in the
sale of marijuana shall be punished with reclusion perpetua to death and a fine ranging from five
hundred thousand pesos to ten million pesos if 750 grams or more of marijuana is sold.

PEOPLE v. GOMEZ
G.R. Nos. 131946-47. February 8, 2000

On 29 December 1995 an Information was filed before the Regional Trial Court of Parañaque
charging Rogelio Gomez y Reyes a.k.a. Philip Roger Lacson or Roger Eleazar Gomez with
illegal recruitment in large scale resulting in economic sabotage.

HELD:
Anent the first issue, we have consistently ruled that any objection to the warrant of arrest or the
procedure in the acquisition by the court of jurisdiction over the person of the accused must be
made before he enters his plea, otherwise the objection is deemed waived.
The more significant issue at hand is whether the culpability of accused-appellant forillegal
recruitment in large scale and estafa has been proved beyond reasonable doubt. Under the
Labor Code, there are three (3) elements which constitute illegal recruitment in large
scale. First, the accused undertakes any recruitment activity defined under Art. 13, par. (b), or
any practice enumerated under Art. 34 of the Labor Code; second, the accused does not
comply with the guidelines issued by the Secretary of Labor and Employment, particularly with
respect to the securing of a license or authority to recruit and deploy workers, either locally or
overseas; and third, the accused commits the same against three (3) or more persons,
individually or as a group.
On several occasions, this Court has held that there is illegal recruitment when one purports to
have the ability to send a worker abroad although without the authority or license to do so. He
may merely give such an impression in order to induce an applicant to tender payment for fees.
Although accused-appellant initially might not have done anything to encourage individuals to
apply to him for employment abroad, such fact does not in any way blot out his liability for illegal
recruitment. Recruitment is a legal term; its meaning must be understood in the light of what the
law contemplates and not of common parlance.

PEOPLE v. ALFREDO ENTILA
G.R. No. 135368. February 9, 2000

The RTC found appellant Alfredo Entila alias "Bogie" guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the
crime of kidnapping and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. He contends
in his appeal that the trial court erred in rendering a decision against him.

HELD:

In convicting the appellant, the trial court relied on the oft-cited rule that denial, like alibi, is a
weak defense since it is easily fabricated or concocted. There are nonetheless settled
pronouncements of this Court to the effect that where an accused sets up alibi, or denial for that
matter, as his line of defense, the courts should not at once look at the same with wary eyes for
taken in the light of all the evidence on record, it may be sufficient to reverse the outcome of the
case as found by the trial court and thereby rightly set the accused free. Furthermore, the
defense of alibi or denial may assume significance or strength when it is amply corroborated by
a credible witness, as in the instant case.

PEOPLE v. ALFREDO ARAFILES
G.R. No. 128814. February 9, 2000

The accused was charged withed rape. Maria Corazon Dampil (Corazon) was 15 years old at
the time she was allegedly raped. Accused-appellant is her uncle. He interposed this appeal
claiming that the trial court erred in giving full faith and credit to the testimony of complaining
witness.

HELD:
It is well-settled that full penile penetration is not necessary in order to consummate the crime of
rape; it is enough that the male organ touches the female external genitalia for there to be
carnal knowledge. When there is no evidence to show any improper motive on the part of the
complainant to testify against the accused or to falsely implicate him in the commission of a
crime, the logical conclusion is that the testimony is worthy of full faith and credence.

PEOPLE v. JOEY BARCELONA
G.R. No. 125341. February 9, 2000

Barcelona was charged with the rape of Dolly Maglinte, a 17 year old minor.

HELD:
In adjudging rape cases, the Court is guided by the following principles: (a) an accusation of
rape can be made with facility; it is difficult to prove but more difficult for the person accused,
though innocent, to disprove; (b) in view of the nature of the crime in which only two persons are
involved, the testimony of the complainant must be scrutinized with extreme caution; and (c) the
evidence for the prosecution must stand or fall on its own merits, and cannot be allowed to draw
strength from the weakness of the evidence for the defense.
The Court has repeatedly held that rape is committed when intimidation is used on the victim
and the latter submitted against her will because of fear for her life or personal safety. It is not
necessary that the force or intimidation employed be so great or of such character as could not
be resisted because all that is required is that it be sufficient to consummate the purpose that
the accused had in mind. . .
While the Court has upheld the defense of consensual sex in some cases, this was on the basis
of strong evidence, consisting of letters and the testimonies of witnesses, showing that the
alleged rape was actually sex by mutual consent.Having been raised as an affirmative defense,
the "sweetheart theory" must be established by convincing proof. Accused-appellant bears the
burden of proving that he and complainant had an affair which naturally led to a sexual
relationship. This accused-appellant failed to do.

PEOPLE v. BERLY FABRO
G.R. No. 114261. February 10, 2000

Appellant Berly Fabro y Azucena, together with her common-law husband Donald Pilay y Calag
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: sell and/or deliver to PO2 ELLONITO APDUHAN,
who acted as poseur-buyer, one (1) kilo of dried marijuana leaves.

HELD:
As between a writing or document made contemporaneously with a transaction in which are
evidenced facts pertinent to an issue, when admitted as proof of these facts, is ordinarily
regarded as more reliable proof and of greater probative value than oral testimony of a witness
as to such facts based upon memory and recollection. The reason behind this is obvious,
human memory is fallible and its force diminishes with the lapse of time.
It must be stressed, however, that failure to present the marked money is of no great
consequence. The Dangerous Drugs Law punishes the mere act of delivery of prohibited drugs
after the offer to buy by the entrapping officer has been accepted by the prohibited drug seller. It
is clear that 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.

PEOPLE v. EULOGIO IGNACIO
G.R. No. 134568. February 10, 2000

The RTC convicted Eulogio Ignacio of murder.The trial court ruled that appellant failed to prove
by credible, clear and convincing evidence that he had acted in lawful defense of the
landowner’s property. There was no legal reason for him to shoot the victim, an unarmed minor
at the time of the incident. The said court qualified the killing to murder because of the presence
of treachery.

HELD:
In the present case, we find ample evidence that appellant did shoot the victim. It should be
stressed that appellant’s conduct cannot be justified as a lawful defense of property rights. For
this justifying circumstance to be appreciated, the accused has the burden of proving unlawful
aggression on the part of the victim and reasonable necessity of the means employed to
prevent or repel it. In this case, the first requisite was not proven, because he was not attacked
by the victim. In fact, he did not even see the victim steal the crabs; he merely suspected him of
doing so. Furthermore, assuming that unlawful aggression was proven, there was no necessity
to shoot because, according to him, the victim was already running away when hit.
There is treachery when the accused unexpectedly and deliberately shoots an unarmed minor
who is thus not in a position to put up a defense or to inflict harm on the former. Voluntary
surrender is not appreciated even if the accused submits himself to the members of the
barangay tanod who, by their presence in his house, precluded his escape.
In order that the mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender may be appreciated, the
defense must clearly satisfy three requisites: (a) the offender has not been actually arrested; (2)
the offender surrenders himself to a person in authority or the latter's agent; and (c) the
surrender is voluntary. The defense must show an intent to surrender unconditionally to the
authorities, because of an acknowledgement of guilt or because of a wish to spare them the
trouble and the expense concomitant to the search and the capture of the accused.

PEOPLE v. CARLIE ALAGON
G.R. No. 126536-37. February 10, 2000

Two separate Informations were filed against ALAGON and RAFAEL, both dated February 2,
1994, charging them with two counts of murder for the deaths of Elarde Magno and Isidro
Barcelona. The case for the prosecution is woven mainly on the testimony of Remedios
Punzalan. Accused-appellants ALAGON and RAFAEL had denial for their defense.

HELD:
As a general rule, the factual findings of trial courts deserve respect and are not disturbed on
appeal, unless some facts or circumstances of weight and substance have been overlooked,
misapprehended or misinterpreted, and would otherwise materially affect the disposition of the
case. ALAGON points out, however, that this rule does not apply when the judge who penned
the decision was not the same one who had heard the prosecution witnesses testify, as in the
present case. The SC has carefully perused and considered the records of this case, and we
find no reason to alter the findings of the trial court in regard to the credibility of the prosecution
witnesses and their testimonies.
Conspiracy was not duly proven. There is conspiracy where, at the time the malefactors were
committing the crime, their actions impliedly showed a unity of purpose among them, a
concerted effort to bring about the death of the victim. Conspiracy, like the crime itself, must be
proven beyond reasonable doubt. Existence of conspiracy must be clearly and convincingly
proven. The accused must be shown to have had guilty participation in the criminal design
entertained by the slayer, and this presupposes knowledge on his part of such criminal design.

PEOPLE v. ROMMEL BALTAR
G.R. No. 130341. February 10, 2000

Three criminal complaints were filed by Kristine against Rommel Baltar. The prosecution
presented Kristine. She relayed that on four separate incidents Baltar came to her house and
forced her to have iintercourse with him.

HELD:
The evidence proving the use of force by the accused-appellant is overwhelming. Kristine also
adequately explained why she did not immediately report to the police authorities. The threats
made by accused-appellant scared her. Accused-appellant can not also dismiss the complaints
against him as merely instigated by Kristine’s mother. Even assuming that accused-appellant
and Kristine were lovers, this fact alone is not exculpatory. A sweetheart can not be forced to
have sex against her will. Love is not a license for lust. Accused-appellant’s sweetheart theory
can not stand in the light of Kristine’s positive assertions that he raped her.

PEOPLE v. APOLINAR DANDO
G.R. No. 120646. February 14, 2000

This is an appeal from a decision of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 33, Siniloan, Laguna
finding PO3 Apolinar E. Dando ("accused-appellant") guilty beyond reasonable doubt of murder.

HELD:
Well-settled is the rule that "inconsistencies on minor and trivial matters only serve to strengthen
rather than weaken the credibility of witnesses for they erase the suspicion of rehearsed. Alibi is
one of the weakest defenses in criminal cases and it should be rejected when the identity of the
accused is sufficiently and positively established by the prosecution.
The essence of treachery is that the attack comes without a warning and in a swift, deliberate
and unexpected manner, affording the hapless, unarmed and unsuspecting victim no chance to
resist or escape this case, accused-appellant, whose face was covered by a handkerchief,
approached the victim, who was merely standing by the gate in front of his house, and shot him.
The victim was undoubtedly caught unaware and had no chance of putting up any defense.
Clearly, treachery attended the commission of the crime since the attack, although frontally, was
no less sudden and unexpected, giving the victim no opportunity to repel it or offer any defense
of his person.

PEOPLE v. JULIAN CASTILLO
G.R. No. 131592-93. February 15, 2000

With the passage of Republic Act No. 8294 on June 6, 1997, the use of an unlicensed firearm in
murder or homicide is now considered, not as a separate crime, but merely a special
aggravating circumstance. In the case at bar, appellant JULIAN CASTILLO y LUMAYRO was
charged with Murder and Illegal Possession of Firearms.

HELD:
P.D. 1866, which codified the laws on illegal possession of firearms, was amended on June 6,
1997 by Republic Act 8294. Aside from lowering the penalty for said crime, R.A. 8294 also
provided that if homicide or murder is committed with the use of an unlicensed firearm, such use
shall be considered as a special aggravating circumstance. This amendment has two (2)
implications: first, the use of an unlicensed firearm in the commission of homicide or murder
shall not be treated as a separate offense, but merely as a special aggravating circumstance;
second, as only a single crime (homicide or murder with the aggravating circumstance of illegal
possession of firearm) is committed under the law, only one penalty shall be imposed on the
accused.
Two (2) requisites are necessary to establish illegal possession of firearms: first, the existence
of the subject firearm, and second, the fact that the accused who owned or possessed the gun
did not have the corresponding license or permit to carry it outside his residence. The onus
probandi of establishing these elements as alleged in the Information lies with the prosecution.

PEOPLE v. ABUNDIO MANGILA
G.R. No. 130203-04. February 15, 2000

Death is the most severe penalty for crime. It is imposed in incestuous rape, regardless of any
mitigating or aggravating circumstance. In the case at bar, sixteen (16) year old MADRILYN D.
MANGILA accused her father, ABUNDIO MANGILA y PAREÑO, of two (2) counts of RAPE,
allegedly committed as follows:

HELD:
Section 3, Rule 116 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure provides:
"Section 3. Pleas of guilty to capital offense; reception of evidence - When the accused pleads
guilty to a capital offense, the court shall conduct a searching inquiry into the voluntariness and
full comprehension of the consequences of his plea and require the prosecution to prove his
guilt and the precise degree of culpability. The accused may also present evidence in his
behalf." (emphasis supplied)
To breathe life into this rule, we made it mandatory for trial courts to do the following:
(1) conduct a searching inquiry into the voluntariness and full comprehension of the
consequences of the accused's plea;
(2) require the prosecution to prove the guilt of the accused and the precise degree of his
culpability; and
(3) inquire whether or not the accused wishes to present evidence on his behalf and allow him
to do so if he so desires.
The records show that the trial court failed to comply to the letter with these guidelines. It did not
conduct a searching inquiry on whether accused understood the legal consequences of his
admission of guilt. It is not shown that accused was informed of the effect of the concurrence of
the special qualifying circumstance of minority of the victim and his parental relationship to her.
After the accused testified on how he raped his daughter, he was not apprised that his crime is
punishable by death. The trial court also failed to explain to him that as the penalty of death is
indivisible, it shall be imposed despite any mitigating or aggravating circumstance attending its
commission. Apparently, the trial court entertained the erroneous notion that the alleged
intoxication of accused would lessen his liability.

PEOPLE v. ELRANIE MARTINEZ
G.R. No. 130606. February 15, 2000

This is an appeal from the decision of the RTC finding accused-appellant Elranie Martinez guilty
of rape of Melina and imposing on him the penalty of reclusion perpetua.

HELD:
While denial is a legitimate defense in rape cases bare denials can not overcome the
categorical testimony of the victim. Here, Melina’s testimony is clear, candid, straightforward
and consistent. She had positively identified accused-appellant as her malefactor and
established all the elements of the offense. That the physical examination yielded no conclusive
evidence that she had been raped does not affect her credibility. The lack of tell-tale signs of
rape on her private part can be explained by the fact that she is a married woman with four
children. This fact actually bolsters her credibility. She had no motive to falsely implicate
accused-appellant.

PEOPLE v. BULU CHOWDURY
G.R. No. 129577-80. February 15, 2000

In November 1995, Bulu Chowdury and Josephine Ong were charged before the Regional Trial
Court of Manila with the crime of illegal recruitment in large scale.

HELD:
The last paragraph of Section 6 of Republic Act (RA) states who shall be held liable for the
offense, thus:
"The persons criminally liable for the above offenses are the principals, accomplices and
accessories. In case of juridical persons, the officers having control, management or
direction of their business shall be liable."
As stated in the first sentence of Section 6 of RA 8042, the persons who may be held liable for
illegal recruitment are the principals, accomplices and accessories. An employee of a company
or corporation engaged in illegal recruitment may be held liable as principal, together with his if
it is shown that he actively and consciously participated in illegal recruitment. It has been
held that the existence of the corporate entity does not shield from prosecution the corporate
agent who knowingly and intentionally causes the corporation to commit a crime. The
corporation obviously acts, and can act, only by and through its human agents, and it is their
conduct which the law must deter. The employee or agent of a corporation engaged in unlawful
business naturally aids and abets in the carrying on of such business and will be prosecuted as
principal if, with knowledge of the business, its purpose and effect, he consciously contributes
his efforts to its conduct and promotion, however slight his contribution may be. The law of
agency, as applied in civil cases, has no application in criminal cases, and no man can escape
punishment when he participates in the commission of a crime upon the ground that he simply
acted as an agent of any party. The culpability of the employee therefore hinges on his
knowledge of the offense and his active participation in its commission. Where it is shown that
the employee was merely acting under the direction of his superiors and was unaware that his
acts constituted a crime, he may not be held criminally liable for an act done for and in behalf of
his employer.

PEOPLE v. ROGELIO GALAM
G.R. No. 114740. February 15, 2000

On appeal is the decision of the RTC convicting accused-appellant of the crime of murder,
imposing upon him the penalty of reclusion perpetua.

HELD:
The qualifying circumstance of treachery attended the killing as the two conditions for the same
are present, i.e., (1) that at the time of the attack, the victim was not in a position to defend
himself and (2) that the offender consciously adopted the particular means, method or form of
attack employed by him. The attack was not only sudden, it was unexpected, as the victim even
cried out in surprise "Why are you firing at me, I have not done anything wrong!" Further,
appellant deliberately or consciously adopted the means of attack as shown by the fact that he
even wrapped the gun inside a jacket prior to shooting the victim.
However, evident premeditation cannot be appreciated inasmuch as the following elements
were not duly proven: (1) the time when the offender determined to commit the crime; (2) an act
manifestly indicating that the offender had clung to his determination; and (3) sufficient lapse of
time between the determination and the execution to allow the offender to reflect on the
consequences of his act.
Nor can the aggravating circumstance of nighttime be appreciated, for the prosecution failed to
demonstrate (1) that the malefactor particularly sought or took advantage of the darkness to
commit the offense, or (2) that nighttime facilitated the commission of the crime. Although the
crime took place at around 11:00 in the evening, the store/house where the incident occurred
was sufficiently lighted by a fluorescent lamp, and there were still people milling around because
of the dance held at a nearby plaza.

PEOPLE v. GREGORIO TOLIBAS
G.R. No. 103506. February 15, 2000

On appeal is the decision the RTC convicted accused-appellant Rodel Quijon and accused
Gregorio Tolibas of the crime of murder and sentencing them to suffer the penalty of reclusion
perpetua, to indemnify the widow of the victim in the amount of P30,000.00 and to pay the
costs.

HELD:
Once more, we are guided by the tenet that "when the issue is one of credibility of witnesses,
appellate courts will generally not disturb the findings of the trial court, considering that the latter
is in a better position to decide the question, having heard the witnesses themselves and
observed their deportment and manner of testifying during the trial, unless it has plainly
overlooked certain facts of substance and value that if, considered, might affect the result of the
case.
For conspiracy to exist, it is not required that there be an agreement for an appreciable period
prior to the occurrence. The concerted actions of the four accused showed their intent to kill the
victim. The qualifying circumstance of treachery was present in this case as the two conditions
therefore were proved: (1) that at the time of the attack, the victim was not in a position to
defend himself and (2) that the offenders consciously adopted the particular means, method or
form of attack employed by him. Treachery absorbs the generic aggravating circumstance of
abuse of superior strength so the same need not be appreciated separately.

PEOPLE v. CIELITO BULURAN
G.R. No. 113940. February 15, 2000

On May 20, 1993, appellant Cielito Buluran and three (3) John Does were charged with the
crime of murder. The Information was later amended when Leonardo Valenzuela was identified
as one of the assailants. Upon arraignment, both accused entered pleas of not guilty. On
February 4, 1994, the trial court, finding conspiracy and treachery, rendered judgment
convicting appellants of murder.

HELD:
First. Appellants are estopped from questioning the validity of their respective arrests since they
never raised this issue before arraignment. Any objection involving a warrant of arrest or the
acquisition of jurisdiction over the person of an accused must be made before he enters his
plea, otherwise the objection is deemed waived. Second. There is no violation of the
constitutional rights of the accused during custodial investigation since neither one executed an
extrajudicial confession or admission. In this case, the basis of the conviction by the trial court
was the testimonies of the three eyewitnesses, Artemio Avendaño, Jacinto Castillo, and Gloria
Castillo.
Third. The failure to accord appellants their right to preliminary investigation did not impair the
validity of the information nor affect the jurisdiction of the trial court. While the right to
preliminary investigation is a substantive right and not a mere formal or technical right of the
accused, nevertheless, the right to preliminary investigation is deemed waived when the
accused fails to invoke it before or at the time of entering a plea at arraignment.
The SC found that no treachery attended the killing. On numerous occasions, we have held that
where a killing was preceded by an argument or quarrel, then the qualifying circumstance of
treachery can no longer be appreciated since the victim could be said to have been forewarned
and could anticipate aggression from the assailants. Moreover, the aggravating circumstance of
evident premeditation alleged by the prosecution was not proved clearly and convincingly.
Considering that the attack was made about two minutesafter the initial altercation, it cannot be
said that there was sufficient lapse of time between such determination to commit the crime and
its execution so as to allow the assailants to reflect upon the consequences of their actions.

PEOPLE v. RODOLFO BATO
G.R. No. 134939. February 16, 2000

Rodolfo Bato alias "Rudy Bato" is charged of rape and sentenced to suffer imprisonment
of reclusion perpetua. He raped Delia Hernandez, a minor of nine (9) years old, against her will,
to the damage and prejudice of the latter.

HELD:
Neither is the absence of spermatozoa in Delia’s genitalia fatal to the prosecution’s case. The
presence or absence of spermatozoa is immaterial in a prosecution for rape. The important
consideration in rape cases is not the emission of semen but the unlawful penetration of the
female genitalia by the male organ.
The crime committed is statutory rape, defined and penalized under paragraph 3 of Article 335
of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Section 11, R. A. 7659. This Court has held that if
the woman is under twelve (12) years of age, proof of force and consent becomes immaterial,
not only because force is not an element of statutory rape but the absence of free consent is
presumed when the woman is below such age. The two (2) elements of statutory rape are: (1)
that the accused had carnal knowledge of a woman; and (2) that the woman is below twelve
(12) years of age. Sexual congress with a girl under twelve (12) years old is always rape."

PEOPLE v. GALLARDER
G.R. No. 133025. February 17, 2000

On 24 June 1997, GALLARDE was charged with the special complex crime of rape with
homicide of a minor.

Held:
A reading of the accusatory portion of the information shows that there was no allegation of any
qualifying circumstance. Although it is true that the term "homicide" as used in special complex
crime of rape with homicide is to be understood in its generic sense, and includes murder and
slight physical injuries committed by reason or on the occasion of rape it is settled in this
jurisdiction that where a complex crime is charged and the evidence fails to support the charge
as to one of the component offense, the accused can be convicted of the other. In rape with
homicide, in order to be convicted of murder in case the evidence fails to support the charge of
rape, the qualifying circumstance must be sufficiently alleged and proved. Otherwise, it would
be a denial of the right of the accused to be informed of the nature of the offense with which he
is charged. It is fundamental that every element of the offense must be alleged in the complaint
or information. The main purpose of requiring the various elements of a crime to be set out in an
information is to enable the accused to suitably prepare his defense. He is presumed to have no
independent knowledge of the facts that constitute the offense
Direct evidence of the commission of a crime is not the only matrix wherefrom a trial court may
draw its conclusion and finding of guilt. The prosecution is not always tasked to present direct
evidence to sustain a judgment of conviction; the absence of direct evidence does not
necessarily absolve an accused from any criminal liability.

PEOPLE v. REYNALDO QUILLOSA
G.R. No. 115687. February 17, 2000

The RTC convicted Quillosa of the murder of Ambrosio Ilocto, imposing upon him the penalty
of reclusion perpetua, and ordering him to indemnify the heirs of the victim the amount of
P50,000.00.

HELD:
We have long held that "the testimony of a single eyewitness is sufficient to support a conviction
so long as it is clear, straightforward and worthy of credence by the trial court. Minor and
inconsequential flaws in the testimony of the witness strengthen rather than impair his
credibility. As to appellant’s participation in the killing, the Court in previous cases have held
that holding the hand of the victim to render him immobile while he is being stabbed amounts to
an act of indispensable cooperation without which the crime would not have been
accomplished. Appellant’s act of holding the right arm of the victim, while another held the left
arm, thus enabling their third companion to stab the victim, shows that they acted together with
one purpose and design to kill the victim.
As to the crime committed, we find that treachery attended the commission of the offense,
hence the crime is murder. For treachery to be present, two conditions must be shown: (1) the
employment of means of execution that give the person attacked no opportunity to defend or
retaliate; and (2) the deliberate or conscious adoption of the means of execution.In this case,
appellant and another person held the hands of the victim to enable their companion to stab him
while he was in a defenseless position. While abuse of superior strength was alleged in the
Information, it is already absorbed in treachery and need not be appreciated separately. Evident
premeditation was not proven by the prosecution.

PEOPLE v. RADEL GALLARDE
G.R. No. 133025. February 17, 2000

This is an appeal from the judgment of the RTC finding accused-appellant Radel (hereafter
GALLARDE) guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder and sentencing him to
suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua.

HELD:
We sustain GALLARDE’s contention that the trial court erred in convicting him of murder in an
information charging him of rape with homicide. A reading of the accusatory portion of the
information shows that there was no allegation of any qualifying circumstance. Although it is true
that the term "homicide" as used in special complex crime of rape with homicide is to be
understood in its generic sense, and includes murder and slight physical injuries committed by
reason or on the occasion of rape it is settled in this jurisdiction that where a complex crime is
charged and the evidence fails to support the charge as to one of the component offense, the
accused can be convicted of the other. In rape with homicide, in order to be convicted of murder
in case the evidence fails to support the charge of rape, the qualifying circumstance must be
sufficiently alleged and proved. Otherwise, it would be a denial of the right of the accused to be
informed of the nature of the offense with which he is charged.
The rules on evidence and precedents sustain the conviction of an accused through
circumstantial evidence, as long as the following requisites are present: (1) there must be more
than one circumstance; (2) the inference must be based on proven facts; and (3) the
combination of all circumstances produces a conviction beyond doubt of the guilt of the
accused. The importance of circumstantial evidence is more apparent in the prosecution of
cases of rape with homicide. It is well settled that the absence of spermatozoa in or around the
vagina does not negate the commission of rape. Our doubt on the commission of rape is based
on the fact that there is at all no convincing proof that the laceration of the vagina and the
rupture of the hymen of EDITHA were caused in the course of coitus or by a male organ.

PEOPLE v. CHEN TIZ CHANG
G.R. Nos. 131872-73. February 17, 2000

Before the Court is an appeal by Chen Tiz Chang and Chen Jung San, also known as Willy Tan
challenging the October 16, 1997 Decision of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Quezon City
(Branch 95) in a Criminal Case finding them guilty of illegal possession andsale of shabu and
sentencing each of them to two counts of reclusion perpetua.

HELD:
In a prosecution for illegal possession of dangerous drugs, it must be shown that (1) the
accused is in possession of an item or an object identified to be a prohibited or a regulated drug,
(2) such possession is not authorized by law and (3) the accused freely and consciously
possessed the said drug. Here, as in Boco, the prosecution witnesses were able to establish
these elements.
We are not persuaded by the argument that the samples examined were not taken from the
drugs seized. On the contrary, the testimonies of all the prosecution witnesses fairly established
that the shabu taken from the appellants is the same substance examined by the forensic
chemist and later presented as evidence in court. Verily, the presumption of regularity must
prevail over appellants’ unfounded allegations and speculations. Appellants’ behavior during the
entrapment showed that there was conspiracy between them and a third person who got away
with the buy-bust money. It is an established rule that direct proof is not essential to establish
conspiracy, as it may be inferred from the acts of the accused before, during and after the
commission of the crime, all of which indubitably point to or indicate a joint purpose, a concert of
action and a community of interest.

PEOPLE v. RAMIL DACIBAR
G.R. No. 111286. February 17, 2000

On appeal is the decision dated January 25, 1993 of the Regional Trial Court finding appellants
guilty of the crime of murder, imposing upon them the amended penalty of reclusion
perpetua with its accessory penalties, instead of life imprisonment.

HELD:
While the principal witnesses for the prosecution did not actually see appellants shoot and kill
the victim, direct proof of their culpability is not necessary when circumstantial evidence would
suffice. The requisites thereof are: (1) there is more than one circumstance; (2) the facts from
which the inferences are derived are proven; and (3) the combination of all the circumstances is
such as to produce a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt.
We have held that conspiracy need not be established by direct evidence of acts charged, but
may and generally must be proved by a number of indefinite acts, conditions and
circumstances, which vary according to the purpose accomplished. Thus, the rule is that
conspiracy must be shown to exist by direct or circumstantial evidence, as clearly and
convincingly as the crime itself. In the absence of direct proof thereof, as in the present case, it
may be deduced from the mode, method and manner by which the offense was perpetrated, or
inferred from the acts of the accused themselves when such acts point to a joint purpose and
design, concerted action and community of interest.
The trial court was correct in appreciating the aggravating circumstance of dwelling. Although
the triggerman fired the shot from outside the house, his victim was inside. For the circumstance
of dwelling to be considered, it is not necessary that the accused should have actually entered
the dwelling of the victim to commit the offense; it is enough that the victim was attacked inside
his own house, although the assailant may have devised means to perpetrate the assault from
without.

PEOPLE v. RAUL ACOSTA
G.R. No. 126351. February 18, 2000

Accused was charged with arson. He interposes this appeal because he claims that the trial
court erred in finding him guilty basing its conclusion merely on circumstantial evidence.

HELD:
Arson is defined as the malicious destruction of property by fire. In this case, we find the trial
court correctly held that the following circumstances taken together constitute an unbroken
chain of events pointing to one fair and logical conclusion, that accused started the fire which
gutted the house of private complainant. Although there is no direct evidence linking appellant to
the arson, we agree with the trial court in holding him guilty thereof in the light of the following
circumstances duly proved and on record.
In prosecutions for arson, proof of the crime charged is complete where the evidence
establishes (1) the corpus delicti, that is, a fire because of criminal agency; and (2) the identity
of the defendants as the one responsible for the crime.

PEOPLE v. BONIFACIO TOREJOS
G.R. No. 132217. February 18, 2000

Accused-appellant Bonifacio Torejos y Pañares @ Boning was convicted for raping a three-
year-old child and was meted the supreme penalty of death.

HELD:
Accused-appellant's attempt to discredit ROSALIE is unconvincing. The assessment of
credibility of witnesses is primarily the function of the trial court. It is well established in this
jurisdiction that the findings of the trial court on the credibility of witnesses and their testimonies
are accorded great respect unless the court a quo overlooked substantial facts and
circumstances which, if considered, would materially affect the result of the case.
The information filed against TOREJOS specifically alleges that he raped MARY CRIS, a three-
year-old child. We therefore affirm the judgment of the RTC imposing the death penalty for
being in accordance with law. Four (4) members of the Court, although maintaining their
adherence to the separate opinions expressed in People v. Echegaraythat R.A. 7659 insofar as
it prescribes the penalty of death is unconstitutional, nevertheless submit to the ruling of the
majority that the law is constitutional and that the death penalty should accordingly be imposed.

PEOPLE v. LIBERATO MENDIONA
G.R. No. 129056. February 21, 2000

Before this Court for automatic review is the decision finding accused-appellant Liberato
"Renato" Mendiona guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape and sentencing him to
suffer the supreme penalty of death and to pay the complainant, Maricel Capongcol, the amount
of fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00) as moral damages.

HELD:
Accordingly, the range of penalty imposable on appellant is composed of two indivisible
penalties, i.e., reclusion perpetua to death. Following Article 63 (1)of the same Code, which
provides the rules for the application of indivisible penalties, appellant was correctly meted the
supreme penalty of death since the aggravating circumstances of dwelling and unlawful entry
attended the commission of the rape. The attendance of these aggravating circumstances is not
contested by the accused-appellant.
On a final note, we correct the trial court’s erroneous classification of the award ofP50,000.00 as
moral damages. In People v. Prades, we explained that "x x x the award authorized by criminal
law as civil indemnity ex delicto for the offended party x x x is mandatory upon the finding of the
fact of rape; it is distinct from and should not be denominated as moral damages which are
based on different jural foundations and assessed by the court in the exercise of sound
discretion." Further, our more recent rulings hold that the indemnification for the victim shall be
in the increased amount of P75,000.00 if the crime of rape is committed or effectively qualified
by any of the circumstances under which the death penalty is authorized by law. Applying the
foregoing rulings, the civil indemnity to be awarded to the complainant should be seventy five
thousand pesos (P75,000.00).

PEOPLE v. RENATO DE GUZMAN
G.R. No. 118670. February 22, 2000

Renato de Guzman, Marciano Ramos, Frederick Mosqueda and Paquito Ancheta were charged
with Robbery with Homicide and were found guilty. Only De Guzman, Ramos and Mosqueda
were apprehended. Ancheta remains at-large. When they were arraigned, the three accused
entered a plea of "not guilty." At the trial and upon motion of the prosecution, Mosqueda was
discharged and was utilized as state witness.

HELD:
The requirements for the discharge and utilization of an accused as a state witness are
enumerated in Rule 119, Section 9 of the Rules of Court, viz:
(a) There is absolute necessity for the testimony of the accused whose discharge is requested;
(b) There is no other direct evidence available for the proper prosecution of the offense
committed, except the testimony of the accused;
(c) The testimony of the accused can be substantially corroborated in its material points;
(d) Said accused does not appear to be the most guilty; and
(e) Said accused has not at any time been convicted of any offense involving moral turpitude.
While this Court agrees that some of the requirements under Section 9 of Rule 119 for the
discharge of Mosqueda to become state witness were not strictly and properly met,
nonetheless, this Court does not subscribe to the suggestion of the defense that Mosqueda’s
testimony should be disregarded. This issue has long been settled. Although the trial court may
have erred in discharging the accused, such error would not affect the competency and the
quality of the testimony of the defendant. The discharge of an accused under these
circumstances is not reversible. Once his discharge is effected, the legal consequence of
acquittal follows unless the accused so discharged fails or refuses to testify pursuant to his
commitment. The order for his discharge may only be recalled in one instance, and that is when
he subsequently fails to testify against his co-accused.


MARCH 2000

PEOPLE V. PAMBID
G.R. No. 124453. March 15, 2000.
DEFENSE OF INSANITY

Facts:
A man diagnosed of schizophrenia and mild mental retardation raped a six-year old
girl. Accused pleaded not guilty on the ground of insanity.

HELD:
Accused-appellant’s plea of insanity is unacceptable. While Art. 12(1) of the Revised Penal
Code provides that an imbecile or insane person is exempt from criminal liability, unless he has
acted during a lucid interval, the presumption under Art. 800 of the Civil Code is that every man
is sane. Anyone who pleads the exempting circumstance of insanity bears the burden of proving
it. He must show that he was completely deprived of reason when he committed the crime
charged, for mere abnormality of his mental faculties does not exclude imputability.

PEOPLE V. FRONDA
G.R. No. 130602. March 15, 2000.
Direct Evidence v. Circumstantial Evidence

Facts:
Three students were convicted of violating the Dangerous Drugs Act after they allegedly
delivered a brick of marijuana to policemen who posed as buyers.

HELD:
To be caught flagrante delicto necessarily implies positive identification by the eyewitness or
eyewitnesses. Such is a "direct evidence" of culpability, which is "that which proves the fact in
dispute without the aid of any inference or presumption", in contrast to circumstantial evidence,
which is "the proof of facts from which taken collectively the existence of the particular fact in
dispute may be inferred as a necessary or probable consequence." Circumstantial evidence,
however, is not a weaker form of evidence vis-a-vis direct evidence, for our rules make no
distinction between direct evidence of fact and evidence of circumstances from which the
existence of a fact may be inferred. No greater degree of certainty is required when the
evidence is circumstantial than when it is direct; for in either case, the trier of fact must be
convinced beyond reasonable doubt of the guilt of the accused.
Under the Rules of Court, circumstantial evidence would be sufficient for conviction if the
following concur: (a) there is more than one circumstance; (b) the facts from which the
inferences are derived are proved; and (c) the combination of all the circumstances is such as to
produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt. Or, as jurisprudentially formulated, a judgment
of conviction based on circumstantial evidence can be upheld only if the circumstances proven
constitute an unbroken chain which leads to one fair and reasonable conclusion pointing to the
accused, to the exclusion of all others, as the guilty person, i.e., the circumstances proven must
be consistent with each other and consistent with the hypothesis that the accused is guilty.

PEOPLE V. ARIZAPA
G.R. No. 131814. March 15, 2000.
Improvident plea of guilt

Facts:
Accused was sentenced to death after being convicted of incestuously raping his stepdaughter.

HELD:
The record discloses the failure of the lower court to make a searching inquiry on whether the
accused’s admission of guilt was voluntarily made and whether he understood the legal
implications of such admission. However, since the trial court extensively received evidence in
determining the guilt of the accused, the manner in which the plea of guilt was made, whether
improvidently or not, loses its significance for the simple reason that the conviction of the
accused was based on the evidence proving his commission of the offense charged and not on
his admission in open court; his conviction may only be set aside when the improvident plea of
guilt was the sole basis for the condemnatory judgment.

PEOPLE V. FABON
G.R. No. 133226. March 16, 2000.
Aggravating circumstance – robbery with homicide
Circumstantial evidence

HELD:
The proper designation of the crime committed is robbery with homicide aggravated by rape.
When rape and homicide co-exist in the commission of robbery, it is the first paragraph of Article
294 of the Revised Penal Code that applies, the rape to be considered as an aggravating
circumstance. Moreover, dwelling is also considered aggravating in cases such as this primarily
because of the sanctity of privacy that the law accords to the human abode. Dwelling is
aggravating in robbery with violence or intimidation because this class of robbery can be
committed without the necessity of trespassing the sanctity of the offended party's house.
Circumstantial evidence is defined as that which indirectly proves a fact in issue. Under
Section 4 of Rule 133 of the Revised Rules on Evidence, circumstantial evidence is
sufficient to convict an accused if the following requisites concur: (a) there is more than one
circumstance, (b) the facts from which the inferences are derived are proven, and (c) the
combination of all the circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond reasonable
doubt.

PEOPLE V. MACARSE
G.R. No. 121780. March 17, 2000.
DEFENSE OF ALIBI

Facts:
Accused-appellant was charged and convicted of Highway Robbery with Homicide. His main
defense was alibi.

HELD:
For alibi to be believed, the following must be shown: (a) presence of accused-appellant in
another place at the time of the commission of the offense, and (b) physical impossibility for
him to be at the scene of the crime.

PEOPLE V. MANRIQUEZ
G.R. Nos. 122510-11. March 17, 2000.
Waiver of Counsel; Extrajudicial Confession
Conspiracy
Treachery

Facts:
Accused-appellant was charged and convicted of Murder. He impugned the validity of his
waiver of counsel and extrajudicial confession and denied conspiracy and the attendance of
treachery.

HELD:
One’s right to be informed of the right to remain silent and to counsel contemplates the
transmission of meaningful information rather than just the ceremonial and perfunctory recitation
of an abstract constitutional principle. It is not enough for the interrogator to merely repeat to the
person under investigation the provisions of Section 12, Article III of the 1987 Constitution; the
former must also explain the effects of such provision in practical terms -- e.g., what the person
under interrogation may or may not do -- and in a language the subject fairly understands. The
right to be informed carries with it a correlative obligation on the part of the police investigator to
explain, and contemplates effective communication, which results in the subject’s understanding
of what is conveyed. Since it is comprehension that is sought to be attained, the degree of
explanation required will necessarily vary and depend on the education, intelligence, and other
relevant personal circumstances of the person undergoing investigation. In further ensuring the
right to counsel, it is not enough that the subject is informed of such right; he should also be
asked if he wants to avail of the same and should be told that he could ask for counsel if he so
desired or that one could be provided him at his request. If he decides not to retain a counsel of
his choice or avail of one to be provided for him and, therefore, chooses to waive his right to
counsel, such waiver, to be valid and effective, must still be made with the assistance of
counsel, who, under prevailing jurisprudence, must be a lawyer.
A conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an agreement concerning the
commission of a felony and decide to commit it. To establish the existence of a conspiracy,
direct proof is not essential since it may be shown by facts and circumstances from which
may be logically inferred the existence of a common design among the accused to commit
the offense charged, or it may be deduced from the mode and manner in which the offense
was perpetrated.
There is treachery when the offender commits any of the crimes against persons, employing
means, methods or forms in the execution thereof which tend directly and specially to insure its
execution without risk to himself arising from the defense which the offended party might make,
which means that no opportunity was given to the latter to do so.

PEOPLE V. SAPAL
G.R. No. 124526. March 17, 2000.
Irregularities in arrest
Conviction based on proof beyond reasonable doubt

Accused-appellant was arrested based on a warrant issued against him after he failed to attend
his arraignment. He contends that certain irregularities attended his arrest, and that the
prosecution failed to show his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

HELD:
Admittedly, accused is deemed to have waived his right to question the irregularities
attending his arrest for his failure to raise the same at the opportune time, i.e., before he
entered his plea. Nonetheless, the peculiar factual circumstances surrounding the case,
e.g., the police authorities’ failure to comply with the clear directive of the warrant of arrest
issued by Judge Barrios, the undue delay in preparing the documents relating to the arrest
of accused and his wife and in delivering them to the proper authorities for inquest, and the
failure of the law enforcers to provide accused with a counsel during the custodial
investigation, effectively destroy the presumption of regularity in the performance by Gomez
and his colleagues of their duties. Such being the case, the presumption of regularity cannot
be made the sole basis of the conviction of accused.
It is well-settled that "where the circumstances shown to exist yield two or more inferences, one
of which is consistent with the presumption of innocence while the other or others may be
compatible with the finding of guilt, the court must acquit the accused: for the evidence does not
fulfill the test of moral certainty and is insufficient to support a judgment of conviction."

PEOPLE V. SAN DIEGO
G.R. No. 129297. March 17, 2000.
Rape – jurisprudential guidelines

HELD:
In rape cases, courts are guided by the following considerations:
1) An accusation for rape can be made with facility; it is difficult to prove but more difficult
for the person, though innocent, to disprove the same;
2) In view of the intrinsic nature of the crime of rape where only two persons are usually
involved, the testimony of the complainant must be scrutinized with extreme caution; and
3) The evidence for the prosecution must stand or fall on its own merits and cannot be
allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the evidence for the defense.
The test of sufficiency of force or intimidation in rape is whether it produces a reasonable
fear in the victim that if she resists or does not give in to the sexual demands of the
accused, the threat would be carried out.

PEOPLE V. CHE CHUN TING
G.R. Nos. 130568-69. March 21, 2000.
WARRANTLESS SEARCHES AND SEIZURES
Fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine

Accused-appellant was charged and convicted for dispatching in transit and having in his
possession large amounts of shabu. He contends that the shabu is inadmissible in
evidence as it was seized without a valid search warrant.

HELD:
The lawful arrest being the sole justification for the validity of the warrantless search under
the exception, the same must be limited to and circumscribed by the subject, time and place
of the arrest. As to subject, the warrantless search is sanctioned only with respect to the
person of the suspect, and things that may be seized from him are limited to "dangerous
weapons" or "anything which may be used as proof of the commission of the offense." With
respect to the time and place of the warrantless search, it must be contemporaneous with
the lawful arrest. Stated otherwise, to be valid, the search must have been conducted at
about the time of the arrest or immediately thereafter and only at the place where the
suspect was arrested, or the premises or surroundings under his immediate control.
It must be stressed that the purposes of the exception are only to protect the arresting
officer against physical harm from the person being arrested who might be armed with a
concealed weapon, and also to prevent the person arrested from destroying the evidence
within his reach. The exception therefore should not be strained beyond what is needed in
order to serve its purposes.
As a consequence of the illegal search, the things seized on the occasion thereof are
inadmissible in evidence under the exclusionary rule. They are regarded as having been
obtained from a polluted source, the "fruit of a poisonous tree." However, objects and
properties the possession of which is prohibited by law cannot be returned to their owners
notwithstanding the illegality of their seizure. Thus, the shabu seized by the NARCOM
operatives, which cannot legally be possessed by the accused under the law, can and must
be retained by the government to be disposed of in accordance with law.

PEOPLE V. ADILA, JR.
G.R. No. 133434. March 21, 2000.
Defense of alibi

Accused-appellant was charged and convicted for incestuously raping his 11-year old
stepdaughter. He interposed the defense of denial and alibi.

HELD:
The defense of alibi interposed by the accused-appellant hardly deserves any serious
consideration. For this defense to prosper, the accused must prove, among other things, that
not only has he been at some other place at the time of the commission of the crime but that it
would have also been physically impossible for him to be at the locus criminisat the time thereof.

PEOPLE V. SAPINOSO
G.R. No. 122540. March 22, 2000.

HELD:
In rape cases, three well-known principles guide the Court, namely: (1) an accusation for rape
can be made with facility; it is difficult to prove but more difficult for the person accused, though
innocent, to disprove, (2) in view of the intrinsic nature of the crime of rape where two persons
are usually involved, the testimony of the complainant must be scrutinized with extreme caution,
and (3) the evidence of the prosecution must stand or fall on its own merits and cannot be
allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the evidence for the defense. Likewise, when
the complainant in a rape case, more so if she is a minor, testifies that she has been raped, she
says in effect all that is necessary to show rape has been committed, the offended party most
often being the only one available to prove directly the commission of rape. The credibility of the
complainant is, thus, of utmost importance, for the accused may be convicted solely on the
basis of the complainant's testimony if the same meets the test of credibility. Furthermore, we
have held that the conduct of the victim immediately following the alleged sexual assault is of
utmost importance in establishing the truth or falsity of the charge of rape.
Well-settled is the rule that alibi is an inherently weak defense which cannot prevail over the
positive identification of the accused by the victim. For alibi to prosper, the defendant must
prove not only (1) that he was somewhere else when the crime was committed but (2) it
must be likewise demonstrated that he was so far away that he could not have been
physically present at the place of the crime or its immediate vicinity at the time of its
commission.

PEOPLE V. DEDACE
G.R. No. 132551. March 22, 2000.
Statutory rape

HELD:
The gravamen of statutory rape is carnal knowledge of a woman below twelve (12) years of
age. It is well-settled that complete or full penetration of the complainant's private part is not
necessary to consummate rape. What is essential is that there be penetration of the sexual
organ, no matter how slight. Neither is the rupture of the hymen essential for the offense of
consummated rape. It is enough that there is proof of entrance of the male organ within the
labia of the pudendum. Therefore, it is unnecessary to show to what extent penetration of the
woman's body has been made.

PEOPLE V. MAMALIAS
G.R. No. 128073. March 27, 2000.
APPEAL OF AN ACCUSED-ESCAPEE

HELD:
The general rule is that a party appealing who flees the jurisdiction, pending the appeal, is in
contempt of the authority of the court and of the law and places himself in a position to
speculate on the chances for a reversal, meanwhile keeping out of the reach of justice and
preparing to render the judgment nugatory or not, at his option. Moreover, the escapee loses
his standing in court and unless he surrenders or submits to the jurisdiction of the court, he is
deemed to have waived any right to seek relief from the court. Be that as it may, the escape of
an accused-appellant during the pendency of his appeal will not necessarily prevent the Court
from exercising its jurisdiction in exceptional cases.

PEOPLE V. MITRA
G.R. No. 130669. March 27, 2000.
Rape – physical resistance

HELD:
It is well-settled that "physical resistance need not be established in rape when intimidation is
exercised upon the victim and the latter submits herself, against her will, to the rapist’s
advances because of fear for her life and personal safety." It is sufficient that the intimidation
produces fear in the mind of the victim that if she did not submit to the bestial demands of the
accused, something far worse would befall her at the time she was being molested. As
pronounced by the Court, "if resistance would nevertheless be futile because of intimidation,
then offering none at all does not mean consent to the assault so as to make the victim’s
submission to the sexual act voluntary."

PEOPLE V. MERIS
G.R Nos. 117145-50 & 117447. March 28, 2000.
JURISDICTION OVER PERSON OF THE ACCUSED
Estafa

Accused-appellant was charged and convicted of illegal recruitment in large scale and
estafa. She contends that her conviction was erroneous because the court never acquired
jurisdiction over her person, as her arrest was illegal, and that the prosecution failed to establish
estafa.

HELD:
Jurisdiction over the person of the accused is acquired either by arrest or voluntary appearance
in court. Hence, granting arguendo that accused-appellant’s arrest was defective, such is
deemed cured upon her voluntary submission to the jurisdiction of the court. It should be
stressed that the question of legality of an arrest affects only the jurisdiction of the court over the
person of the accused. Consequently, if objections based on this ground are waived, the fact
that the arrest was illegal is not sufficient cause for setting aside an otherwise valid judgment.
The technicality cannot render the subsequent proceedings void and deprive the State of its
right to convict the guilty when all the facts on record point to the culpability of the accused.
Estafa is committed by any person who defrauds another by using a fictitious name, or
falsely pretends to possess power, influence, qualifications, property, credit, agency,
business or imaginary transactions, or by means of similar deceits executed prior to or
simultaneously with the commission of the fraud. The offended party must have relied on
the false pretense, fraudulent act or fraudulent means of the accused-appellant and as a
result thereof, the offended party suffered damages.

PEOPLE V. TIPAY
G.R. No. 131472. March 28, 2000.
Rape – jurisprudential guidelines

HELD:
The Court has laid down certain guiding principles in reviewing rape cases, to wit: (a) an
accusation of rape can be made with facility and while the accusation is difficult to prove, it
is even more difficult for the person accused, although innocent, to disprove the charge; (b)
considering the intrinsic nature of the crime, only two persons are usually involved in the
crime of rape, the testimony of the complainant should be scrutinized with great caution,
and (c) the evidence for the prosecution must stand or fall on its own merit, and cannot be
allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the evidence for the defense.

PEOPLE V. CULA
G.R. No. 133146. March 28, 2000.
Rape – physical resistance; burden of proving victim’s minority

The law does not impose upon a rape victim the burden of proving resistance. Physical
resistance need not be established in rape when intimidation is exercised upon the victim
and she submits herself against her will to the rapist's lust because of fear for life and
personal safety.
At all events, it is the burden of the prosecution to prove with certainty the fact that the
victim was below 18 when the rape was committed in order to justify the imposition of the
death penalty. The record of the case is bereft of any independent evidence, such as the
victim's duly certified Certificate of Live Birth, accurately showing private complainant's age.

PEOPLE V. BARREDO
G.R. No. 133832. March 28, 2000.
Rape

HELD:
In rape cases, the courts are guided by the long-standing rule that penetration is not essential
for conviction of the culprit. Mere knocking at the doors of the pudenda, so to speak, by the
accused’s penis suffices to constitute the crime of rape, and the fact that her hymen is still intact
does not negate its commission.

PEOPLE V. CABINGAS
G.R. No. 79679. March 28, 2000.
Rape with a feeble-minded person

HELD:
Sexual intercourse with a feeble-minded woman is rape. The offense charged is within the
contemplation of paragraph 2 of Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, like when the offender
had carnal knowledge of a woman deprived of reason.

PEOPLE V. CAVERTE
G.R. No. 123112. March 30, 2000.
SELF-DEFENSE; TREACHERY

Accused appellant was charged and convicted of murder and frustrated murder.

HELD:
There is self-defense when the following elements concur: (1) unlawful aggression on the
part of the person injured or killed by the offender; (2) reasonable necessity of the means
employed to prevent or repel it; and (3) lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the
person defending himself. It is a doctrinal rule that when an unlawful aggression that has
begun no longer exists, the one making a defense has no right to kill or even to wound the
former aggressor.

There is treachery when two conditions concur, to wit: (1) the employment of means of
execution that gives the person attacked no opportunity to defend himself or to retaliate;
and (2) deliberate or conscious adoption of the means of execution. Treachery exists where
the attack was perpetrated suddenly and without warning.

PEOPLE V. AQUINO
G.R. No. 129288. March 30, 2000.
Robbery with homicide

Accused-appellants were charged and convicted of the complex crime of robbery with
homicide. They contend that they should have been convicted of homicide only.

HELD:
The elements of the crime were proved beyond reasonable doubt. In any event, in robbery
with homicide, the important consideration is that there be a nexus between the robbery and
the killing whether prior, subsequent to or committed at the same time.

PEOPLE V. BALTAZAR
G.R. No. 115990. March 30, 2000.

HELD:
The more pressing issue is whether all the elements of rape as alleged in the Information were
duly proved by the prosecution. Here we find the following duly established beyond reasonable
doubt. First, appellant had carnal knowledge with the victim.

PEOPLE V. BASE
G.R. No. 109773. March 30, 2000.
Extrajudicial confessions
Conspiracy; treachery

HELD:
For an extrajudicial confession to be admissible, it must be: 1.] voluntary; 2.] made with the
assistance of competent and independent counsel; 3.] express; and 4.] in writing. While the
initial choice in cases where a person under custodial investigation cannot afford the services of
a lawyer is naturally lodged in the police investigators, the accused really has the final choice as
he may reject the counsel chosen for him and ask for another one. A lawyer provided by the
investigators is deemed engaged by the accused where he never raised any objection against
the former’s appointment during the course of the investigation and the accused thereafter
subscribes to the veracity of his statement before the swearing officer. Verily, to be an effective
counsel "[a] lawyer need not challenge all the questions being propounded to his client. The
presence of a lawyer is not intended to stop an accused from saying anything that might
incriminate him but, rather, it was adopted in our Constitution to preclude the slightest coercion
as would lead the accused to admit something false. The counsel, however, should never
prevent an accused from freely and voluntarily telling the truth."
When, as in this case, "[a]n extrajudicial statement satisfies the requirements of the
Constitution, it constitutes evidence of a high order because of the strong presumption that
no person of normal mind would deliberately and knowingly confess to a crime unless
prompted by truth and conscience. The defense has the burden of proving that it was
extracted by means of force, duress, promise or reward."
Section 3, Rule 133 of the Rules of Court provides that "[a]n extrajudicial confession made by
an accused shall not be sufficient ground for conviction, unless corroborated by evidence
of corpus delicti." In this case the prosecution presented other evidence to prove the two
elements of corpus delicti, to wit: a.] a certain result has been proven, i.e. a man has died; and
2.] some person is criminally responsible.
Conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an agreement concerning the
commission of a felony and decide to commit it. Direct proof is not essential, for conspiracy may
be inferred from the acts of the accused prior to, during or subsequent to the incident. Such acts
must point to a joint purpose, concert of action or community of interest.
There is treachery "[w]hen the offender commits any of the crimes against persons, employing
means, methods or forms in the execution thereof which tend directly and specially to insure its
execution without risk to himself arising from the defense which the offended party might
make." The essence of alevosia is the swift and unexpected attack on the unarmed victim
without the slightest provocation on the victim’s part. The fact that treachery may be shown if
the victim is attacked from behind does not mean it can not also be appreciated if the attack is
frontal. Even a frontal attack can be treacherous when it is sudden and the victim is unarmed.

PEOPLE V. CAMPUHAN
G.R. No. 129433. March 30, 2000.
Stages of rape

In the case of People v. Orita, the SC held that rape was consummated from the moment the
offender had carnal knowledge of the victim since by it he attained his objective. All the
elements of the offense were already present and nothing more was left for the offender to do,
having performed all the acts necessary to produce the crime and accomplish it. We ruled then
that perfect penetration was not essential; any penetrationof the female organ by the male
organ, however slight, was sufficient. The Court further held that entry of the labia or lips of the
female organ, even without rupture of the hymen or laceration of the vagina, was sufficient to
warrant conviction for consummated rape. We distinguished consummated rape from attempted
rape where there was no penetration of the female organ because not all acts of execution were
performed as the offender merely commenced the commission of a felony directly by overt
acts. The inference that may be derived therefrom is that complete or full penetration of the
vagina is not required for rape to be consummated. Any penetration, in whatever degree, is
enough to raise the crime to its consummated stage.
But the Court in Orita clarified the concept of penetration in rape by requiring entry into
thelabia or lips of the female organ, even if there be no rupture of the hymen or laceration of the
vagina, to warrant a conviction for consummated rape. While the entry of the penis into the lips
of the female organ was considered synonymous with mere touching of the external genitalia,
e.g., labia majora, labia minora, etc., the crucial doctrinal bottom line is
that touching must be inextricably viewed in light of, in relation to, or as an essential part of, the
process of penile penetration, and not just mere touching in the ordinary sense. In other words,
the touching must be tacked to the penetration itself. The importance of the requirement of
penetration, however slight, cannot be gainsaid because where entry into the labia or the lips of
the female genitalia has not been established, the crime committed amounts merely to
attempted rape.
Where the accused failed to achieve an erection, had a limp or flaccid penis, or an oversized
penis which could not fit into the victim's vagina, the Court nonetheless held that rape was
consummated on the basis of the victim's testimony that the accused repeatedly tried, but in
vain, to insert his penis into her vagina and in all likelihood reached the labia of
her pudendum as the victim felt his organ on the lips of her vulva, or that the penis of the
accused touched the middle part of her vagina. Thus, touching when applied to rape cases does
not simply mean mere epidermal contact, stroking or grazing of organs, a slight brush or a
scrape of the penis on the external layer of the victim’s vagina, or the mons pubis, as in this
case. There must be sufficient and convincing proof that the penis
indeed touched the labias or slid into the female organ, and not merely stroked the external
surface thereof, for an accused to be convicted of consummated rape. As thelabias, which are
required to be "touched" by the penis, are by their natural situs or location beneath the mons
pubis or the vaginal surface, to touch them with the penis is to attain some degree of
penetration beneath the surface, hence, the conclusion that touching the labia majora or
the labia minora of the pudendum constitutes consummated rape.
Thus, a grazing of the surface of the female organ or touching the mons pubis of
thepudendum is not sufficient to constitute consummated rape. Absent any showing of the
slightest penetration of the female organ, i.e., touching of either labia of the pudendum by the
penis, there can be no consummated rape; at most, it can only be attempted rape, if not acts of
lasciviousness.

PEOPLE VS. BALTAZAR
G.R. No. 115990. March 31, 2000.
ELEMENTS OF RAPE
Evidentiary value of medical examinations

HELD:
The more pressing issue is whether all the elements of rape as alleged in the Information were
duly proved by the prosecution. Here we find the following duly established beyond reasonable
doubt. First, appellant had carnal knowledge with the victim. Second, carnal knowledge took
place by using force or intimidation. Appellant insists that "the complainant did not offer any
tenacious resistance to the alleged sexual assault." Nowhere is it required in our law or
jurisprudence, however, that a woman must offer "tenacious" resistance to a sexual assault.
The law does not impose upon the rape victim the burden of proving resistance. We have held
countless of times that "the force or violence required in rape cases is relative. When applied, it
need not be overpowering or irresistible; it is enough that it has enabled the offender to
consummate his purpose or to bring about the desired result." For rape to exist, it is not
necessary that the force or intimidation employed in accomplishing the crime be so great or of
such character as could not be resisted. What is necessary is that the force or intimidation be
sufficient to consummate the purpose which the accused had in mind. Thus we have held that
physical resistance need not be established in rape cases when intimidation is exercised upon
her and she submits herself against her will to the rapist's lust because of fear for her life and
personal safety. The victim's failure to resist the accused's assault successfully and to escape
when the opportunity presented itself should not be construed as a manifestation of consent.
Thirdly, the coitus was against her will and without her consent.
Insofar as the evidentiary value of a medical examination is concerned, we have held that "a
medical examination of the victim, as well as the medical certificate, is merely corroborative in
character and is not an indispensable element in rape. What is important is that the testimony of
private complainant about the incident is clear, unequivocal and credible." A medical
examination is not indispensable to the prosecution of rape as long as the evidence on hand
convinces the court that a conviction for rape is proper.

PEOPLE VS. SUITOS
G.R. No. 125280. March 31, 2000.
Defense of alibi

Accused-appellant was charged and convicted of murder. His defense was one of alibi.

HELD:
For alibi to prosper, the accused should prove not only that he was at some other place
when the crime was committed but also that it was physically impossible for him to be at
the locus criminis at the time of the commission.

PEOPLE VS. CUPINO
G.R. No. 125688. March 31, 2000.

Cupino and Dejoras were charged and convicted for conspiring to commit murder.

HELD:
Conspiracy must be proved as indubitably as the crime itself through clear and convincing
evidence, not merely by conjecture. To hold an accused guilty as a co-principal by reason of
conspiracy, he must be shown to have performed an overt act in pursuance or furtherance of
the complicity. Hence, conspiracy exists in a situation where at the time the malefactors were
committing the crime, their actions impliedly showed unity of purpose among them, a concerted
effort to bring about the death of the victim. In a great majority of cases, complicity was
established by proof of acts done in concert, i.e., acts that yielded the reasonable inference that
the doers thereof were acting with a common intent or design. Therefore, the task in every case
is determining whether the particular acts established by the requisite quantum of proof do
reasonably yield that inference."

PEOPLE VS. ABALDE
G.R. No. 123113. March 31, 2000.
Rape - guidelines

HELD:
In the disposition of rape cases, the Court is guided by the following principles: (1) an
accusation for rape can be made with facility; it is difficult to prove but more difficult for the
person accused, though innocent, to disprove; (2) in view of the intrinsic nature of the crime
of rape where only two persons are usually involved, the testimony of the complainant must
be scrutinized with extreme caution, and (3) the evidence for the prosecution must stand or
fall on its own merits and cannot draw strength from the weakness of the evidence of the
defense.

PEOPLE VS. AMIGABLE
G.R. No. 133857. March 31, 2000.
MEDICAL EXAMINATION/FINDINGS – EVIDENTIARY VALUE IN RAPE CASES

HELD:
Lack of lacerated wounds does not negate sexual intercourse. A freshly broken hymen is
not an essential element of rape. For that matter, in crimes against chastity, the medical
examination of the victim is not an indispensable element for the prosecution of the crime as
her testimony alone, if credible, is sufficient to convict the accused as in this case.


APRIL 2000

PEOPLE VS. DELOS SANTOS
G.R. No. 121906. April 5, 2000.
Qualifying circumstance – alleged in the information

Accused-appellant was sentenced to death after he was convicted of raping his
stepdaughter. He argues that the Information filed against him failed to state that he is the
stepfather of the victim, hence, his relationship with the victim may not be considered as a
qualifying circumstance to justify the imposition of the death penalty.

HELD:
The circumstances under the amendatory provisions of Section 11 of Republic Act 7659 the
attendance of any which mandates the single indivisible penalty of death, instead of the
standard penalty of reclusion perpetua to death prescribed in Article 335 of the Revised Penal
Code, are in the nature of qualifying circumstances." Qualifying circumstances must be properly
pleaded in the indictment.

PEOPLE VS. PAVILLARE
G. R. No. 129970. April 5, 2000.
Police line-ups
Kidnapping with ransom

Accused-appellants were charged and convicted of kidnapping for ransom for abducting an
Indian national. He contends that the identification made by the private complainant in the
police line-up is inadmissible because the appellant stood at the line-up without the assistance
of counsel, and that the money given to them was not ransom money but was given in
exchange for their dropping of the charges of rape against private complainant.

HELD:
The accused-appellant’s defense is without merit. Section 12 (1) Art III of the Commission
states that "Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right
to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel preferably of his own choice. If
the person cannot afford the services of counsel, he must be provided with one. These rights
cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence of counsel." Thus the prohibition for
custodial investigation conducted without the assistance of counsel. Any evidence obtained in
violation of the constitutional mandate is inadmissible in evidence. The prohibition however,
does not extend to a person in a police line-up because that stage of an investigation is not yet
a part of custodial investigation. It has been repeatedly held that custodial investigation
commences when a person is taken into custody and is singled out as a suspect in the
commission of the crime under investigation and the police officers begin to ask questions on
the suspect's participation therein and which tend to elicit an admission. The stage of an
investigation wherein a person is asked to stand in a police line-up has been held to be outside
the mantle of protection of the right to counsel because it involves a general inquiry into an
unsolved crime and is purely investigatory in nature. It has also been held that an uncounseled
identification at the police line-up does not preclude the admissibility of an in-court identification.

The duration of the detention even if only for a few hours does not alter the nature of the crime
committed. The crime of kidnapping is committed by depriving the victim of liberty whether he is
placed in an enclosure or simply restrained from going home. As squarely expressed in Article
267, above-quoted the penalty of death is imposable where the detention is committed for the
purpose of extorting ransom, and the duration of the detention is not material.

PEOPLE VS. REGALA
G.R. No. 130508. April 5, 2000.
Robbery with rape

Accused-appellant was charged and convicted of robbery with rape.

HELD:
It should be noted that there is no law providing that the additional rape/s or homicide/s
should be considered as aggravating circumstance. The enumeration of aggravating
circumstances under Article 14 of the Revised Penal Code is exclusive as opposed to the
enumeration in Article 13 of the same code regarding mitigating circumstances where there
is a specific paragraph (paragraph 10) providing for analogous circumstances.

It is true that the additional rapes (or killings in the case of multiple homicide on the occasion of
the robbery) would result in an "anomalous situation" where from the standpoint of the gravity of
the offense, robbery with one rape would be on the same level as robbery with multiple rapes.
However, the remedy lies with the legislature. A penal law is liberally construed in favor of the
offender and no person should be brought within its terms if he is not clearly made so by the
statute.
In view of the foregoing, the additional rape committed by herein accused-appellant should not
be considered as aggravating. The penalty of reclusion perpetua imposed by the trial court is
proper.

PEOPLE VS. ALVERO
G.R. Nos. 134536-38. April 5, 2000.

HELD:
The allegation of the exact time and date of the commission of the crime are not important in a
prosecution for rape. This is because the precise time of the commission of the crime is not an
essential element of rape and it has no substantial bearing on its commission. Rule 110,
Section 11 of the Rules of Court provides that it is not necessary to state in the complaint or
information the precise time at which the offense was committed except when time is a material
ingredient of the offense, but the act may be alleged to have been committed at any time as
near to the actual date at which the offense was committed as the information or complaint will
permit. It is equally settled that a variance of a few months between the time set out in the
indictment and that established by the evidence during trial has been held not to constitute an
error so serious as to warrant reversal of a conviction solely on that score.

PEOPLE V. ROCHE, ET AL.
G.R. No. 115182(6 April 2000)

Accused-Appellants were charged and convicted of murder based on testimonies of
witnesses which contradicted each other and was inconsistent with the physical evidence.
The sole reliable testimony does not show complicity among the appellants before, during,
or after the commission of the crime.

HELD:
a. On oral testimony of witnesses
A witness whose testimony is perfect in all aspects, without a flaw and remembering even
the minutest details which jibe beautifully with one another, lays herself open to suspicion of
having been [coached] or having memorized statements earlier rehearsed.
b. On importance of physical evidence
Physical evidence is a mute but an eloquent manifestation of truth, and it ranks high in our
hierarchy of trustworthy evidence. In criminal cases such as murder or rape where the accused
stands to lose his liberty if found guilty, this Court has, in many occasions, relied principally
upon physical evidence in ascertaining the truth.
c. On Conspiracy
For conspiracy to exist, proof of an actual planning of the perpetration of the crime is not a
conditionprecedent. It may be deduced from the mode and manner in which the offense
was perpetrated or inferred from the acts of the accused evincing a joint or common
purpose and design, concerted action and community of interest.
Conspiracy must be proved as indubitably as the crime itself through clear and convincing
evidence, not merely by conjecture. To hold an accused guilty as a co-principal by reason of
conspiracy, he must be shown to have performed an overt act in pursuance or furtherance
of the complicity. Hence, conspiracy exists in a situation where at the time the malefactors
were committing the crime, their actions impliedly showed unity of purpose among them, a
concerted effort to bring about the death of the victim. In a great majority of cases,
complicity was established by proof of acts done in concert,i.e., acts which yield the
reasonable inference that the doers thereof were acting with a common intent or design.
Therefore, the task in every case is determining whether the particular acts established by
the requisite quantum of proof do
d. On being an accomplice
The following requisites must concur in order that a person may be considered an accomplice:
(a) community of design, i.e., knowing that criminal design of the principal by direct participation,
he concurs with the latter in his purpose;
(b) he cooperates in the execution of the offense by previous or simultaneous acts; and,
(c) there must be a relation between the acts done by the principal and those attributed to
the person charged as accomplice.

PEOPLE V. BAGO
G.R. No. 122290(6 April 2000)

Appellant was accused and convicted of the crime of qualified theft through taking cold-rolled
steel from the company which he is employed as a leader in the cutting department.

HELD:
Clearly, when all the elements of theft were established, to wit: (1) there was a taking of
personal property; (2) the property belongs to another; (3) the taking was without the consent of
the owner; (4) the taking was done with intent to gain; and (5) the taking was accomplished
without violence or intimidation against the person or force upon things.When the theft is
committed with grave abuse of confidence, accused is guilty ofqualified theft.
In the crime of theft, if the value of the thing stolen exceeds P22,000.00, the penalty shall be
prision mayor in its maximum period and one year for each additional P10,000.00, but the total
penalty shall not exceed twenty years or reclusion temporal. However, if that crime of theft is
attended by any of the qualifying circumstances which convert the taking into qualified theft, the
penalty next higher by two degrees shall be imposed, that is, at least, reclusion perpetua.

PEOPLE V. SUZA
G.R. No. 130611(6 April 2000)

Appellant was convicted of the crime of robbery with homicide, based on the testimony of a lone
eye-witness who saw how he and his co-accused killed the victim, and was sure that they took
the victim’s clothes, money and other wares, which she sold.

HELD:
a. On the crime of robbery with homicide.
It is well settled that in order to sustain a conviction for robbery with homicide, it is
necessary that the robbery itself be proven conclusively as any other essential element of a
crime. In order for the crime of robbery with homicide to exist, it is necessary that it be
clearly established that a robbery has actually taken place, and that, as a consequence or
on the occasion of such robbery, a homicide be committed. Where the evidence does not
conclusively prove the robbery, the killing of the victim would therefore, be classified either
as a simple homicide or murder, depending upon the absence or presence of any qualifying
circumstance, and not the complex offense of robbery with homicide.
b. On the aggravating circumstance of use of superior strength
There was a clear and notorious disparity of force between the victim and the aggressors as the
former was unarmed and alone. The felons took advantage of their collective strength to
overwhelm their comparatively defenseless victim. Thus, it was held that "an attack made by a
man with a deadly weapon upon an unarmed and defenseless woman constitutes the
circumstance of abuse of that superiority which his sex and the weapon used in the act afforded
him, and from which the woman was unable to defend herself.

PEOPLE V. RAMOS
G.R. No. 120280 (12 April 2000)

The appellant was convicted of raping his own 10-year old daughter and relies solely on the
defense of denial of the said accusation against him.

HELD:
A rape victim's testimony is entitled to greater weight when she accuses a close relative of
having raped her, as in the case of a daughter against her father. Earlier and long-standing
decisions of this Court have likewise held that when a woman testifies that she has been raped,
she says all that is needed to signify that the crime has been committed. This is true when made
against any man committing the crime; it is more so when the accusing words are said against a
close relative.

PEOPLE V. ASPIRAS
G.R. No. 121203(12 April 2000)

The appellant is a policeman who was positively identified by a witness to be the killer of the
victim, who was gun-downed during a political rally. The witness is alleged to be biased against
the appellant since he has a grudge against the latter.

HELD:
a. As to credibility of a witness
The credibility of a witness could not be affected by an alleged grudge where said witness was
not discredited on cross-examination.
b. As to damages awarded
Only actual expenses supported by receipts shall be granted as actual damages. As to future
earnings of the victim, it is computed by multiplying the years for which the victim could have
worked with his employer were it not for his death by his annual gross earnings.

PEOPLE V. FRANCISCO
G.R. 121682(12 April 2000)

Appellant was convicted of the crime of murder qualified by the aggravating circumstance of
treachery and pleads the justifying circumstance of defense of relative.

HELD:
a. On the claim of defense of relative
As correctly pointed out by the trial court, anyone who admits the killing of a person but invokes
the defense of relative to justify the same has the burden of proving these elements by clear
and convincing evidence. The accused must rely on the strength of his own evidence and not
on the weakness of that of the prosecution, for even if the prosecution evidence is weak it
cannot be disbelieved if the accused has admitted the killing.
b. On the essence of treachery
There is treachery when the offender commits any of the crimes against the person, employing
means, methods, or forms in the execution thereof which tend directly and especially to ensure
its execution without risk to himself arising from the defense which the offended party might
make. In People v. Belaro, the Court explained that the essence of treachery is a swift and
unexpected attack on the unarmed victim without the slightest provocation on the part of the
victim. Even a frontal attack can, therefore, be treacherous if it is sudden and unexpected and
the victim is unarmed.
The swift and unexpected attack by accused-appellant rendered the victim helpless. The rule
that treachery may be shown if the victim is attacked from behind does not mean it cannot be
appreciated if the attack is frontally launched. The suddenness of the shooting, without the
slightest provocation from the victim who was unarmed and has no opportunity to defend
himself, ineluctably qualified the crime with treachery.

PEOPLE V. BALLENAS
G.R. No. 124299(12 April 2000)

The appellants abducted a 19-year old girl from her dwelling, raped her several times, and
stabbed her to death 13 times.

HELD:
a. On the aggravating circumstances of nighttime and cruelty
For the court to consider nighttime as an aggravating circumstance, it must have been
deliberately taken by the perpetrator to augment the wrong they committed, not being necessary
for its completion. It has been held that when the scene of the crime was sufficiently illuminated
by a lamp, nocturnity cannot be appreciated.

The aggravating circumstance of cruelty is present when "the wrong done in the commission of
the crime is deliberately augmented by causing other wrong not necessary for its
commission".There is cruelty when the culprit enjoys and delights in making his victim suffer
slowly and gradually, causing him unnecessary physical pain in the consummation of the
criminal act.
b. Whether the accused indeed committed forcible abduction with rape
The accused committed the crime of forcible abduction with rape punished under Article 335 of
the Revised Penal Code in relation to Article 342 and 48 of the same Code. The two elements
of forcible abduction are (1) the taking of a woman against her will and (2) with lewd designs.
The crime of forcible abduction with rape is a complex crime that occurs when there is carnal
knowledge with the abducted woman under 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

PEOPLE V. ROJAS
G.R. No. 125292(12 April 2000)

Accused-appellant was charged and convicted of rape, after he was positively identified by his
victim in a 20-man police line-up, twice.

HELD:
Amidst the sea of faces before her, the victim readily pointed out accused-appellant as her
attacker. This positive identification of accused-appellant will prevail over the defense of alibi
and denial of accused-appellant. Besides, for the defense of alibi to prosper, accused-appellant
must show that it was physically impossible for him to be at the scene of the crime at the
approximate time of its commission.

PEOPLE V. RAZONABLE
G.R. No. 128085-87(12 April 2000)

Appellant was charged and convicted of murder for hacking to death a neighbor, qualified by
treachery, evident premeditation and abuse of superior strength. Supreme Court held that the
aggravating circumstance were not proven by conclusive evidence.

HELD:
a. As to evident premeditation
Like treachery, the requisites of evident premeditation must be proven by clear and convincing
evidence. The requisites of evident premeditation are: a.] the time when the accused
determined to commit the crime, b.] an act manifestly indicating that the accused has clung to
his determination, and c.] sufficient lapse of time between such determination and execution to
allow them to reflect upon the consequences of their act.
b. As to abuse of superior strength
Abuse of superior strength requires, at base, a deliberate intent on the part of the malefactor to
take advantage thereof. Besides the inequality of comparative force between the victim and the
aggressor, there must be a situation of strength notoriously selected and made use of by the
offender in the commission of the crime.

PEOPLE V. ORIO
G.R. No. 128821(April 12, 2000)

Appellants, both armed with Balisongs attacked and killed their unarmed victim. They were
charged and convicted of murder qualified by treachery, evident premeditation, and abuse of
superior strength.

HELD:
1. As to the aggravating circumstance of Treachery
There is treachery when the offenders commit any of the crimes against persons employing
means, methods or forms in the execution thereof which tend directly and specially to insure its
execution without risk to himself arising from the defense which the offended party might make.
In order that alevosia may be appreciated as a qualifying circumstance, it must be shown that :
a.] the malefactor employed means, method or manner of execution affording the person
attacked no opportunity to defend himself or to retaliate; and b.] the means, method or manner
of execution was deliberately or consciously adopted by the offender. However, the fact that
both accused-appellants were armed with bladed weapons while their victim was unarmed and
defenseless does not make the attack treacherous. Treachery must be proved by clear and
convincing evidence or as conclusively as the killing itself.
2. As to the aggravating circumstance of Evident Premeditation
Mere presumptions and inferences, no matter how logical and probable they might be would not
suffice to establish evident premeditation. In the case at bar, there was no evidence of the
planning and preparation to kill the victim. In fact, no attempt was ever made to establish the
requisites of evident premeditation, viz : a.] the time when the accused determined to commit
the crime, b.] an act manifestly indicating that the accused has clung to his determination, and
c.] sufficient lapse of time between such determination and execution to allow them to reflect
upon the consequences of their act. In the absence of any evidence of the planning to kill or
when the plan was conceived, there is no basis for appreciating evident premeditation.
3. As to the aggravating circumstance of Abuse of Superior Strength
Abuse of superior strength, however, attended the killing of Domingo Francisco. Abuse of
superior strength requires, at base, a deliberate intent on the part of the malefactor to take
advantage thereof. Besides the inequality of comparative force between the victim and the
aggressor, there must be a situation of strength notoriously selected and made use of by the
offender in the commission of the crime.

PEOPLE V. BAER
G.R. No. 130333(April 12, 2000)

The appellant is the step grandfather of the victim who at her tender age was repeatedly raped
by the appellant. The appellant argued that the victim did not resist his alleged sexual assault,
since she did not even scream. As to the amount of force required to constitute rape

HELD:
In rape cases, the force applied need not be irresistible. It merely has to be enough to
successfully carry out the assailant’s carnal desire. In the present case, appellant did apply
sufficient force and intimidation to consummate his lustful desire.

PEOPLE V. ADOC
G.R. No. 133647(April 12, 2000)

The victim was held by Danny and Tony while Eddie delivered several blows, flowed by Tony
stabbing the victim. Appellants questioned their conviction of murder and the liability imposed on
each of them, since it is not clear who inflicted the fatal wound. Whether there is conspiracy
between the appellants

HELD:
Conspiracy exists when two or more person come to an agreement concerning the commission
of a felony and decide to commit it. It need not be proved by direct evidence but may be inferred
from the acts of the accused. It is sufficient that the accused acted in concert at the time of the
commission of the offense, that they had the same purpose or common design, and that they
were united in its execution. Coming now to the instant case, the successive acts of the
accused – the blow delivered by EDDIE, while DANNY and TONY were holding Ricky; followed
immediately by the infliction of a second blow by DANNY; and finally, the stabbing of the victim
by TONY – clearly manifest the existence of a common intent among the three accused to
commit the crime. Since conspiracy has been established, there is no need to determine 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.

PEOPLE V. REYES
G.R. No. 133647(April 12, 2000)

The appellants assails the ruling of the court finding that conspiracy attended their attack to
the victim. Whether direct evidence is necessary to prove conspiracy.

HELD:
Direct proof of previous agreement to commit a crime is not necessary. It may be deduced from
the mode and manner in which the offense was perpetrated, or inferred from the acts of the
accused which point to a joint purpose and design, concerted action, and community of interest.
The actuations of the appellants clearly established a conspiracy. One started the attack with an
utterance coupled with the actual stabbing of victim. Finally, the rest of the assailants'
companions ganged up on the helpless victim by successively stabbing and hitting him. All
these acts sufficiently prove that they conspired to kill victim.

PEOPLE V. ANTOLIN
G.R. No. 133880(April 12, 2000)

The appellant was convicted of raping a 23-year old mental retardate with a mind of a 4-year old
girl. The appellant questions the credibility of the victim since she is the sole witness against
him. What is the importance of credibility of the victim in rape

HELD:
In a prosecution for rape the complainant’s credibility becomes the most important issue since
her testimony alone is sufficient for a verdict of conviction. It is well established that when the
credibility of a witness is questioned, the appellate courts will generally not disturb the findings
of the trial court, considering that it is in a more advantageous position to determine the issue as
it heard the witness and observed his deportment during trial. The exceptions to the rule are
when such evaluation was reached arbitrarily, or when the trial court overlooked, misunderstood
or misapplied certain facts or circumstances of weight and substance which could affect the
result of the case.

PEOPLE V. FRAGA
G.R. No. 134130-33(April 12, 2000)

The appellant had an altercation before they embarked to go out to sea, after they came back
the accused with his CAFGU firearm went to the house of the victim and shot him to death. The
appellant raises the defense of self-defense. Whether or not the appellant is entitled to the
justifying circumstance of self-defense.

HELD:
The invocation of self-defense is an admission of the killing and of its authorship. By this
admission, the burden of proof shifts to the accused who must now establish with clear and
convincing evidence all the elements of this justifying circum, stance, to wit: (a) unlawful
aggression on the part of the victim; (b) reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent
or repel it; and, (c) lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person resorting to self-
defense. In proving these elements, the accused must rely on the strength of his own evidence.
He can no longer assail the weakness of the evidence against him simply because it cannot be
disbelieve after his open admission of responsibility for the killing. Indeed, a plea of self-defense
cannot be justifiably appreciated where it is not only uncorroborated by independent and
competent evidence, but also extremely doubtful by itself. It is an oft- repeated rule that the
nature and number of wounds inflicted by the accused are constantly and unremittingly
considered as importantindicia which disprove a plea for self-defense because they
demonstrate a determined effort to kill the victim and not just defend oneself.

PEOPLE V. ESTROCO
G.R. No. 111941(April 27 2000)

In order to appreciate allevosia, it must clearly appear that the method of assault adopted by the
aggressor was deliberately chosen with a special view to the accomplishment of the act without
risk to the assailant from any defense that the party assailed might make. While a victim may
have been warned of a possible danger to his person, in treachery, what is decisive is that the
attack was executed in such a manner as to make it impossible for the victim to retaliate.

PEOPLE V. GUIWAN
G.R. No. 117324(April 27, 2000)

The victim was the biological daughter of the appellant who was raped several times by the
latter and was only able to disclose such bestial acts after two years.

HELD:
Two important doctrines on rape
- The moral influence of a father over his daughter suffices to establish rape.
- At any rate, although a woman may be viewed by the public as unchaste or impure she can still
be raped as she is still free to refuse a man's lustful advances. The victim's character in rape is
immaterial.

PEOPLE V. LEGASPI
G.R. No. 117802(April 27 2000)

What is required to establish the defense of alibi?
Alibi is one of the weakest defenses an accused can invoke, and the courts have always looked
upon it with caution, if not suspicion, not only because it is inherently unreliable but likewise
because it is rather easy to fabricate. To prosper, alibi must strictly meet the requirements of
time and place. Thus, we have consistently ruled that it does not suffice to prove that the
accused was somewhere else at the time of the commission of the crime. Similarly,
jurisprudence dictates that the element of physical impossibility be clearly shown; The accused
must clearly establish that he was so far away that it was not possible for him to have been
physically present at the locus criminis or its immediate vicinity at the time of the commission of
the crime.

What constitutes robbery with homicide?
In this specie of offense, the phrase "by reason" covers homicide committed before or after the
taking of personal property of another, as long as the motive of the offender (in killing a person
before the robbery) is to deprive the victim of his personal property which is sought to be
accomplished by eliminating an obstacle or opposition, or to do away with a witness or to
defend the possession of stolen property.

What is the proof necessary to establish conspiracy?
Similar to the physical act constituting the crime itself, the elements of conspiracy must be
proven beyond reasonable doubt. For this purpose overt acts of the accused may consist of
active participation in the actual commission of the crime itself, or it may consist of moral
assistance to his co-conspirators by being present at the time of the commission of the crime, or
by exerting moral ascendancy over the other co-conspirators by moving them to execute or
implement the conspiracy.

PEOPLE V. ACURAM
G.R. No. 117954(April 27, 2000)

The appellant shot the victim who later died. After charges were filed and his commanding
officer was told of the incident, he was ordered not to leave camp, where he surrendered.

HELD:
Whether the accused is entitled to the mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender
The essence of voluntary surrender is spontaneity and the intent of the accused to give himself
up and submit himself unconditionally to the authorities either because he acknowledges his
guilt or he wishes to save them the trouble and expense necessarily incurred in his search and
capture. In this case, it was appellant's commanding officer who surrendered him to the custody
of the court. Being restrained by one's superiors to stay within the camp without submitting to
the investigating authorities concerned, is not tantamount to voluntary surrender as
contemplated by law.

PEOPLE V. VILLA
G.R. No. 129899(April 27, 2000)

The appellant fired his rifle at the victim causing the latters death. After such incident the
appellant surrendered to his commanding officer and pleaded guilty before the court but
claimed the defense of temporary insanity. Whether the appellant is entitled to the defense
of insanity

HELD:
No. The fact that immediately after the incident (accused) thought of surrendering to the law-
enforcement authorities is incontestable proof that he knew that what he had done was wrong
and that he was going to be punished for it." Similarly, a feeling of remorse is inconsistent with
insanity, as it is a clear indication that he was conscious of his acts, he acknowledged his guilt
and was sorry for them.oiµu¢_E

PEOPLE V. CASTILLO
G.R. No. 130188 (April 27, 2000)

The lone witness saw the appellant running out of the house of his cousin, after a shot was
heard. His cousin was later found dead. The appellant was convicted of murder.
Whether or not the testimony of the lone witness was sufficient.
No, the witness only testified that the appellant fled the scene of the crime in a rush with a gun.
Flight, in most cases, strongly indicates guilt. As a lone circumstantial evidence, however, it
does not suffice as plurality of circumstantial evidence is required before guilt beyond
reasonable doubt may be inferred from such indirect proof. To fully dispose of this issue, the
motive of accused-appellant is a key element in the web of circumstantial evidence.

PEOPLE V. BAUTISTA
G.R. No. 131840(April 27, 2000)

The appellants were convicted for conspiring to murder the victim. One of the co-conspirators
surrendered voluntarily. Whether the liability of each co-conspirator should be always equal.

HELD:
No. Since the existence of a conspiracy does not prevent the appreciation of a mitigating
circumstance exclusively in favor of the co-conspirator to whom such circumstance may relate,
to him alone.

What constitutes civil liability arising from a crime
The civil liability of accused-appellants for indemnity for death and actual and moral damages,
however, is solidary and not joint as ruled by the trial court. Moral Damages. Under Art. 2206 of
the Civil Code, the spouse, legitimate and illegitimate descendants and ascendants of the
deceased are entitled to moral damages "for mental anguish by reason of the death of the
deceased." The victim’s widow testified that she suffered pain from the death of her husband.
Thus, in accordance with recent decisions of this Court, accused-appellants should be awarded
the additional amount of P50,000.00 as moral damages. Exemplary Damages. Under Art. 2230
of the Civil Code, "exemplary damages as a part of the civil liability may be imposed when the
crime was committed with one or more aggravating circumstances."

PEOPLE V. MUYCO
G.R. No. 132252(April 27 2000)

As a rule, documentary evidence should be presented to substantiate the claim for loss of
earning capacity. In People v. Verde, the non-presentation of evidence to support the claim for
damages for loss of earning capacity did not prevent the Court from awarding said damages.
The testimony of the victim’s wife as to earning capacity of her murdered husband, who was
then 48 years old and was earning P200.00 a day as a tricycle driver, sufficed to establish the
basis for such an award.

In that case, Erwin Gesmundo was only 15 years old at the time of his death and was earning a
daily wage of P100.00 as a construction worker. As in People v. Verde, this Court is inclined to
grant the claim for damages for loss of earning capacity despite the absence of documentary
evidence. To be able to claim damages for loss of earning capacity despite the nonavailability of
documentary evidence, there must be oral testimony that: (a) the victim was self-employed
earning less than the minimum wage under the current labor laws and judicial notice was taken
of the fact that in the victim’s line of work, no documentary evidence is available; (b) the victim
was employed as a daily wage worker earning less than the minimum wage under current labor
laws.

PEOPLE V. SULTAN
G.R. No. 132470(April 27, 2000)

The victim was abducted by the appellant, who brought her to his house. When they arrived at
the appellant’s house the victim was divested of her jewelry and other valuables, afterwhich she
was raped several times. The appellant was convicted of the special complex crime of robbery
with homicide. Whether multiple rape can be considered as an aggravating circumstance.

HELD:
No. In several cases the Court realized that there was no law providing for the additional rape/s
or homicide/s for that matter to be considered as aggravating circumstance. It further observed
that the enumeration of aggravating circumstances under Art. 14 of the Revised Penal Code is
exclusive, unlike in Art. 13 of the same Code which enumerates the mitigating circumstances
where analogous circumstances may be considered, hence, the remedy lies with the legislature.
Consequently, unless and until a law is passed providing that the additional rape/s or homicide/s
may be considered aggravating, the Court must construe the penal law in favor of the offender
as no person may be brought within its terms if he is not clearly made so by the statute. Under
this view, the additional rape committed by accused-appellant is not considered an aggravating
circumstance. Applying Art. 63, par. (2), of the Revised Penal Code which provides that "(i)n all
cases in which the law prescribes a penalty composed of two indivisible penalties, the following
rules shall be observed in the application thereof x x x x 2. (w)hen there are neither mitigating
nor aggravating circumstances in the commission of the deed, the lesser penalty shall be
applied," the lower penalty of reclusion perpetua should be imposed on accused-appellant. Spp


MAY 2000

PEOPLE V TANOY
GRNo 115692 May 12,2000

After a prior incident, the victim went to the police station. The victim therein found the
appellant who is a policeman. After, a few exchanges appellant shot the victim with an
armalite hitting him in the chest. He alleges that they were grappling for the gun before the
"accident" occured thus he is entitled to an exempting circumstance under par 4 Art 12.

HELD:
The shooting was intentional as shown by the location and nature of the wounds. Also a brown
envelope remained tucked under his arm and was bloodied after he was shot.If they were
grappling for possession of the gun then the envelope containing his complaint should have
fallen.It would be highly inconceivable for a retired PC colonel to hold the barrel of the gun
pointing towards him while grappling for its possession.
It is settled jurisprudence that the assessment of the credibility of the witnesses lies within the
province and expertise of the trial courts.Absent any showing of abuse of discretion or that trial
courts overlooked material and relevant facts which could affect the outcome of the case, their
findings are accorded great weight and respect.
There is also treachery in the commission of the crime. The deceased did not expect any attack
coming from the accused when he went to the police station. Treachery may still be appreciated
even when the victim was forewarned of the danger to his person.What is decisive is that the
execution of the attack mde it impossible for the victim to defend himself or retaliate.The victim
was totally defenseless when he went out of his hiding place(went behind a cemented wall
when the accused pointed the gun).he was 71 years old and his left hand was extended as if in
supplication and surrender but the accused shot him nonetheless.

PEOPLE V AVILLANA
GRNo119621 May 12,2000

Accused was convicted for murder by the lower court.He allegedly approached the victim
and two others while they were waiting for a jeepney.He stabbed the victim in the chest and
attacked the two others who were able to escape.

HELD:
Conviction affirmed. The testimony of the sole witness is upheld.Witnesses are weighed, not
numbered, such that the testimony of a single, trustworthy and credible witness could be
sufficient to convict./there is no showing that the implication by the witness was ill-
motivated.Where the locus criminis afforded good visibility and where no improper motive can
be attributed to the prosecution eyewitnesses for testifying against the accused, then his version
of the offense deserves much weight.Alibi,though supported by the testimonies of friends,
weakens in the face of positive identification by one credible, unbiased witness.His place was
only 1 kilometer from the scene.There was treachery as the victim was caught by surprise and
defenseless when accused made his stealthful approach from behind and lunged a knife into
the victim's chest.

PEOPLE V DE LEON
GRNo-124338-41 May 12,2000

The victim, a ten year old girl, was raped by the appellant in the tobacco field in four
occasions. Appellant avers he was on the field with his wife.

HELD: While denial is a legitimate defense in rape cases, bare denials cannot overcome the
categorical testimony of the victim.Also, when there is an inconsistency between affidavits and
the testimony of a witness in court, the testimony commands greater weight.Delay in reporting
rape incidents in the face of threats of pysical violence, cannot be taken against the victim.It is
fear, springing from the initial rape, that the perpetrator hopes to build up a climate of extreme
sychologiccal terror,w/c would, he hopes, numb his victim to silence and submissiveness.

PEOPLE V PO1 MAING
GRNo122112 May 12, 2000

The victim was shot four times with a witness standing three meters away.The witness
reported the incident that the victim was gunned down by an unidentified assailant. Two
weeks later he executed an affidavit pinpointing the appellant. In the witness stand he
denied having identified the assailant and clarified that he only heard rumors on who was
the killer from his townmates.The appellant was in a mosque only 5oo meters away and
there was motive, the appellant was boxed and kicked by the victim before.

HELD:
Despite his familiarity with appellant's figure, the witness still failed to identify the assailant of the
victim.He only based his testimony from rumors, thus he did not have first-hand knowledge of
the identity of the assailant.His testimony was pure hearsay and has no evidentiary
weight.Without any testimony positively identifying accused as the gunman nor any evidence
directly linking him as the author of the crime, the appellant cannot be convicted of the
murder.he enjoys the presumption of innocence, which can only be overcome by reasonable
doubt.Mere suspicions or conjectures, however strong, can never become substitutes for this
required quantum of proof.There must be moral certainty that the accused is guilty.Appellant's
alibi may be the weakest of all defenses.Nonetheless, this weakness ought not be used as proof
of his guilt.The prosecution must rest on the strength of its evidence and not rely on the
weakness of the defense.

PEOPLE V MADARANG
Gr. No. 132319 May 12,2000

Appellant was convicted of parricide for stabbing his wife, causing her death. Appellant
alleges he was in a state of insanity and claims he had no recollection of the stabbing
incident.He insists that he was deprived of intelligence , making his act involuntary.His
psychiatric evaluation revealed he was suffering from schizophrenia but after two years in
the National Center for Mental Health his condition improved thus, he was released.

HELD:
In the Philippines, the courts have established a more stringent criterion for insanity to be
exempting as it is required that there must be a complete deprivation of intelligence in
committing the act,i.e., the accused is deprived of reason; he acted without the least
discernment because there is a complete absence of the power to discern, or that there is
total deprivation of the will.Mere abnormality of the mental faculties will not exclude
imputability.The issue of insanity is a question of fact.The state or condition of a man's mind
can only be measured and judged by his behavior.Establishing one's insanity requires
testimony of an expert witness, such as a psychiatrist.The proof must relate to the time
preceding or coetaneous with the commisssion of the offense with which he is
charged.None of the witnesses declared that he exhibited any of the symptoms associated
with schizophrenia immediately before or simultaneous with the stabbing incident.Also
schizophrenics have lucid intervals during which they are capable of distinguishing right
from wrong.

PEOPLE V DEQUITO
G.R. No.-132544 May 12,2000

A fifteen year old girl was raped by the common-law husband of her sister in the field.

HELD:
A torn underwear is not indispensable to prove the crime of rape.Rape can be committed
without damaging the apparel of the victim.The victim testified that appellant already started to
remove her clothes but she ran away. He caught up with her and forced himself on her.The
delay in reporting the incident can not diminish her credibility.Our consistent doctrine is that
delay in reporting a rape, if sufficiently explained, does not affect the credibility of the witness.In
this case, she was dependent on him, her parents were absent.Appellant threatened that he
would leave the victim's sister if the victim reported the incident. Also the information is
sufficient alleging therein that rape was committed on or about the month of July 1996.Thus, the
prosecutor's error in stating that what was being tried was the last rape committed in July in his
offer of proof did not prejudice the rights of the appellant.Also, counsel for the defendant did not
object to the offer of victim's testimony. Sec 34-36 of Rule 132 govern.

PEOPLE V RIMORIN
GRNo-124309 May 16,2000

Two persons were kidnapped and brought to a forest area where they were killed.The
bodies were set afire while in a pit then buried in the same spot.A helper of the suspects
and the families of the victims were threatened with retaliation if they reported the
incident.Ten years later, the helper, after learning that one of the suspects have died,
reported the incident and the bodies were then exhumed. Appellants were convicted of
kidnapping with murder.

Issue:W/N guilt was established beyond reasonable doubt.

HELD:
The trial courts are in the best position to view the witness' demeanor and deportment during
the trial. Since the offense were committed prior to RA7659 on Deceber 31, 1993 thus said law
amending Art267 of the RPC providing: "when the victim is killed or dies as a consequence of
the detention or is raped or is subjected to torture or dehumanizing acts, the maximum penalty
shall be imposed."Since in this instance the purpose of the appellant and his companions when
they kidnapped the victims was to kill them the two counts of complex crime of kidnapping with
murder is valid. However, as ruled in P v Ramos 297SCRA618, the rule now is: where the
person kidnapped is killed in the course of the detention, regardless of whether the killing was
purposely sought or was merely an afterthought, the kidnapping and murder or homicide can no
longer be complexed under the last paragraph of Art267as amended by RA7659.
There was also treachery as the victims' hands were tied behind their backs when they were
killed.However, there is no evident premeditation.there was no showing by the prosecution of
the 1)time when the offender determined to commit the crime 2)act manifestly indicating that the
offender had clung to his determination3)sufficient lapse of time between the determination to
commit the crime and the execution thereof, to allow the offender to reflect on the consequence
of his act.

PEOPLE V OBRERO
G.R. No.-122142 May 17, 2000

Appellant was convicted of robberry with homicide.He executed a written confession as a
result of a custodial ivestigation.The issue is whether such is valid.

HELD:
The extrajudicial confession was invalid. The perfunctory reading of the Miranda rights is
inadequate to transmit information to the suspect. Also, Art IIISec12(1) requires an independent
and competent counsel of the suspect's choice. Atty de los Reyes was not an independent
counsel being the PC Captain and Station Commander. As held in P v Bandula, the
independent counsel cannot be a special prosecutor, private or public prosecutor, municipal
attorney or counsel of the police whose interest is adverse to the accused.
While there is evidence to the homicide consisting of the corpus delicti, there is no evidence of
the robbery except the confession. The lack of objection of appellant to the introduction of the
constitutionally proscribed evidence did not satisfy the burden of proof which rested on the
prosecution. Acquitted of robbery with homicide.

PEOPLE V TOLEDANO
G.R. No.-110220 May 18,2000

Bunao, while a member of Sangguniang Bayan, entered into a lease contract covering 2
public market stalls.Two administrative cases were filed against against him violating
RA3019 and R6713 with the Ombudsman.However, said cases were dismissed. An
information for violation of Sec41(1) in relation to Sec221 of BP337 was filed against
respondent before the RTc of Iba, Zambales which prohibits gov't officials from engaing in
any business transaction with the local gernment unit.The RTC, upon motion of the
accused, dismissed the criminal case on the ground of the dismissal of the administrative
cases.

HELD:
There is nothing in the law(Art 89RPC) which states that exoneration from an administrative
charge extinguishes criminal liability.It is a fundamental principle of administrative law that
administrative law that administrative cases a independent from criminal actions for the same
act or omission. RA 7160,LGC of 1991, which replaced BP337 reenacted in its Sec89 the legal
provision of Sec 41 of BP337.Thus, the act committed before the reenactment continuous to be
a crime.

PEOPLE V SARAGINA
G.R. No.-128281 May 30,2000

Accused stabbed and klled a Vulpangco, who uttered malicious remarks and showed his
private part to the appellant's sister a week earlier. He admits the incident but claims it was
self-defense.

HELD:
Because of this claim, the burden of proof was shifted to the appellant to establish the
elements thereofa)unlawful aggression on the part of the victim;b)reasonable necessity of
the means employed to prevent or repel it; c)lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the
person defending himself. The first element is lacking.Evidence must positively show that
there was a previous unlawful and unprovoked attack on the person of the accused which
placed him in danger and justified him in inflicting harm upon his assailant hrough the
employment of reasonable means to repel the aggression. In this, case the appellant
attacked the victim while the latter was fanning charcoal.
The second element is also absent.The nature, location and number of the wounds belie
appellant's defense.Even considering he was able to wrest the knife away from Vulpanco and
stab him on the chest, he still ran after the victim and stabbed him againin the face. However,
there was no treachery because before he attacked, the appellant uttered "Ano pare,
umpisahan na natin?".Also, victim's niece shouted "Tiyong Takbo".The victim was able to run
away bu the accused caught up with him.Treachery cannot be appreciated when the victim was
aware of the attack against him and was even able to flee even though briefly from his attacker.
Also, there is o evident premeditation.The prosecution failed to adduce evidence showing when
and how the accused planned and prepared to kill Vulpangco.The mere fact that the accused
learned that Vulpangco was pestering his sister a week before the killing is insufficient to prove
evident premeditation beyond reasonable doubt.

PEOPLE V BABERA
G.R. No.-130609, May 30,2000

Appellant was convicted of two counts of rape. He raped a 17 yr old having moderate
retardation with the use of a balisong.

HELD:
Since the participants are usually the only witnesses in crimes of this nature, the conviction
or acquittal of the accused would virtually depend on the credibility of the complainant's
testmony. The trial court observed that the victim remained consistent and answered in a
frank, sincere and straighforward manner. Also, factual findings of the trial court are
generally sustained on appeal unless arbitrary or baseless.

PEOPLE V FRANCISCO

The appellant was convicted of frustrated murder.Together with two more persons, he assaulted
and stabbed Ariel while seated in the driver's seat of a jeepney.

HELD:
The mere fact that the principal witness was the victim of the crime does not make him a biased
witness and does not make his testimony incredible.It would be unnatural and illogical for him to
impute the crime to an innocent person and let the culprit escape prosecution.
A conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an agreement concerning the
commission of a crime and decide to do it.Proof of the agreement need not rest on direct
evidence as the same may be inferred from the conduct of the parties indicating a common
understanding among them with respect to the commission of the offense.It is not
necessary to show that two or more persons met together and entered into an explicit
agreement setting out the details of an unlawful scheme or the details by which an illegal
objective is to be carried out.It may be deduced from the mode and manner in which the
offense was perpetrated or inferred from the acts of the accused evincing a joint or common
purpose and design, concerted action and community of interest.In this case, the two John
Does pulled the victim out of the jeepney.As the victim was getting down, he was stabbed
by the appellant. As to Antonio his participation was limited to shouting "heto na sila".In a
case, we ruled that the phrase "andiyan na", which has similar import with the phrase
herein, does not have conclusive conspiratorial meaning for the supposedly damning
utterances are susceptible of varied inerpretations.One's overt act, to be shown in
pursuance of the conspiracy, may consist of active participation in the actual commission of
the crime itself, or it may consist of moral assistance to his conspirators by being present at
the time of the commission of the crime, by exerting moral ascendancy over the other co-
conspirators by moving them to execute or implement the conspiracy.
As to Ricardo's physical disability, the limp suffered by him due to polio has not been shown to
restrict his means of action, defense or communication with his fellow beings as required by Art
13(8). The location of the stab wounds (stomach) manifest his intention to kill thus contradicting
his claim of not intending to commit so grave a wrong.
The mitigating circumstance of sufficient provocation must immediately preceded the act and
that it was adequate to excite a person to commit a wrng, which must accordingly be
proportionate in gravity.
The lack of aversion in the information of "intent to kill" does not not make it insufficient.An
information is sufficient if it states the designation of the offense by statute.The information
more than substantially satisfies the requirement of designating the offense of frustrated
murder considering that it contains the acts constituting the felony, the name of the crime by
statue and the stage (frustrated) of the commission of the crime by definition.Besides the
absence of the averment of intent to kill may be inferred from the allegation that the stab
wound would have caused the death of the victim.

PEOPLE V BALORA
G.R. No.-124976 May 31, 2000

The victim was raped inside the cubicle of the women's restroom of the cinema theater of
Manuela Complex.The appellant went over the divider and banged the head of the victim on
the wall.After the incident, he was captured by the guards and mobbed by the other
watchers.

HELD:
Appellant avers that the victim could not be made to lie on the floor there being a toilt bowl in
the middle an the cubicle was too small.The evil in man has no conscience.The beast in him
bears no respect for time and place, driving him to commit rae anywhere--even in places where
people congregate.Rape does not necessarily have to be committed in an isolated place and
can in fact be committed in places which to many would appear to be unlikely and high-risk
venues for sexual advances.
Physical resistance need not be established in rape when intimidation is exercised upon the
victim and the latter submits herself, against her will, to the rapist's advances because of
fear for her life and personal safety.it is sufficient that the intimidation produces fear in the
mind of the victim that if she did not submit to the bestial demands of the accused,
somehing far worse would befall her at the time she was being molested. In P v Luzorate
we held that intimidation was addressed to the mind of the victim and therefore subjective,
its presence could not be tested by any hard-and-fast rule but must be viewed in light of the
victim's perception and judgment at the time of the crime.When a victim become paralyzed
with fear, she cannot be expected to think and act coherently, her failure to take advantage
of the early opportuniy to escape does not automatically vitiate the credibilityoher
account.Complainant cannot be faulted for not taking any action inasmuch as different
people react differently to a given type of situation, there being no standard form of human
behavioral response when one is confronted with a strange, startling or frightful experience.
Lack of lacerated wounds does not negate sexual intercourse.A freshly broken hymen is not a
essential element of rape.

PEOPLE V ALICANTE
G.R. No.-127026-27 May 31,2000

The appellant, a father, raped his 13 yr old daughter fifteen times impregnating her.

HELD:
The purpose of a formal offer is to enable the trial judge to know the purpose or purposes fro
which the proponent is representing the evidence.As it is the victim herself who testified, to state
the reason for the presentaiton of said witness is to state the obvious.The Court has consistently
upheld that the presumptio hominis that a young filipina will not charge a person with rape if it is
not true, does not go against theconstitutional presumption of innocence.It has been decided, in
case of statutory crimes, that no constitutional provision is violated by a statute providing that
proof by the Sate fo some material fact or facts shall constitute prima facie evidence of guilt, and
that then the burdeen is shifted to the defendant for the purpose of showing that such act or acts
are innocent and are committed without unlawful intention. The actor in the affidavit of
desistance, as worded, was the mother.Thus, it cannot be given weight.Also, an affidavit of
desistance by itself, even when construed as pardon in so-called private crimes is not a ground
for the dismissal of the criminal case once the action has been instituted. Sec 11 RA7659
applies the offender being a parent.Thus the penalty of death is to be imposed

PEOPLE V MENDOZA
GRNo-128890 May 31, 2000

While playing mahjong the victim was suddenly attacked from behind with a bolo by
Sanches and stabbed by the appellant.

HELD:
We uphold the testimony of the witness.In the absence of proof to the contrary and by the
defense's failure to impugn the credibility of prosecution witness Ignacio.
In criminal jurisprudence, when the issue is one of credibility of witnesses, appellate courts will
not disturb the findings of the trial court for it is in a better position to decide the question, having
heard the witnesses and obsereved their deortment and manner of testifying.There are are
exceptions:a)when patent inconsistencies in the statement of witnesses are ignored by the trial
court, or b) when the conclusions arrived at are clearly unsupported by the evidence.
As the victim was totally unprepared for the unexpected attack from behind with no weapon
to resist it, the stabbing could only be describes as trechearous.As the attack waas
synchronl, sudden and unexpected, treachery was evident.But the trial court erred in
appreciating the aggravating circumstance of abuse of superior strength since this is
deemed absorbed in treachery.

PEOPLE V TRAYA
G.R. No.-129052 May 31, 2000

This is a case of incestuous rape.

HELD:
The fact of minority of the victim was not stated in the Information.Only the relationship of
the victim as daughter of the offender was alleged therein.The rule is that the elements of
minority of the victim and her realtionship to the offender must concur.The failure toa llege
on of these elements precludes the imposition of the death penalty. There being no
allegation of the minority of the victim in the Information, he cannot be convicted of qualified
rape as he was not informed that he is being accused of qualified rape.

PEOPLE V MAGAT
G.R. No.-130026 May 31, 2000

This is a case of incestuous rapeTwo informations were filed against appellant.Upon
arraignment, he pleaded guilty but bargained for a lesser penalty for each case.The mother of
the complainant and the public prosecutor agreed and an order was issued the same day
imposing tenyears imprisonment for each case.After three months, the cases were revived at
the instance of the complainant on the ground that the penalty was too light.Appellant was re-
arraigned and he entered a plea of not guilty.Two months later, he entered anew a plea of
guilty.The court then imposed the enalty of death.He now appeals on the ground that there was
double jeopardy upon the re-arraignment and trial on the same information.

HELD:
The first order issued by the trial is void ab initio on the ground that the accused's plea is not the
plea bargaining contemplated by law and the rules of procedure.The only instance where a plea
bargaining is allowed under the Rules is when the accused pleads guilty to a lesser
offense.Sec 2 Rule 116 (note that there is a new set of Rules of Criminal Procedure).Here the
reduction of the penalty is only a consequence of the plea of guilt to a lesser penalty.The
appellant did not plead to a lesser offense but pleaded guilty to the rape charges and only
baargained for a lesser penalty.He did not plea bargain but made conditions on the penalty to
be imposed.This is erroneous because by pleading guilty to the offense charged, accused
should be sentenced to the penalty to which he pleaded.It is the essence of a plea of guilty that
that the accused admits absolutely and unconditionally hid guilt and responsibilty for the offense
imputed to him.Hence, an accused may not foist a conditional plea of guilty on the court by
admitting his guilt provided that a certain penalty will be meted unto him. Since the judgment of
conviction is void, double jeopardy will not lie. Whatever procedural infirmity in the arraignment
of the accused was rectified when he was re-arraigned and entered a new plea.he did not
question the procedural errors in the first arrraignment and having failed to do so, waived the
errors in procedure.
Under the present rule, if the present rule, if accused enters a plea of guilty the trial courts
are now enjoined to conduct searching inquiry into the voluntariness and full comprehension
of the consequences of his plea, to require the prosecution to present evidence to prove the
guilt and precise degree of culpability, and to ask if he so desires to present evidence in his
behalf and allow him to do so.

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