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People v Sope (1946) Self-serving evidence / J. Jaranilla FACTS: st Dimalanta, Sope and Cruz were charged with robbery.

(1 nd information against Sope and Cruz; 2 information on Dimalanta as co-conspirator. CFI tried the case jointly) The CFI found them guilty. The testimony of Juliana Chan stated that: When she was on her way home at 6pm, a calesa stopped in front of her From the calesa, came down Sope and Cruz Sope pointed a revolver at her Cruz poked a hard object at her back Dimalanta remained in the calesa Cruz ordered her to board the rig of the calesa while Sope stayed behind. Cruz and Dimalanta pretended to be peace officers and that she was found violation the law unlawfully dealing in US Army goods (they were pointing at her back for such indication) They stopped at Victory Cafe Dimalanta and Cruz asked her to have coffee with them, yet still threatening her to give them money She gave P200 She reported the incident so the 3 of them were arrested She claims that Dimalantas lawyer (Atty. VEGA) offered to settle the case by paying back P200 on the condition that she would not testify against Dimalanta because she did not really see him among those who held her up anyway. She turned this down. Atty. RESURECION (also in behalf of Dimalanta) managed to pay her P120 Dimalanta did not appeal. Sope and Cruz appealed contending: Their guilt beyond reasonable doubt was not proven That she was actually carrying contraband items and for fear of discovery, her husband fled the scene and did not come back for her (the SC, in the ratio, seem to connote that they testified this during the trial) Her testimony is inconsistent and contradict each other. The CFI convicted them on the basis of her lone testimony By what she testified, it should have been bribery not robbery! OSG CONTENDS: repeated negotiations for the dropping of the case is an admission on the part of the conspirator Dimalanta. ISSUE: WoN they were guilty beyond reasonable doubt? YES! DISPOSITIVE: Conviction.

Contradictions and inconsistencies of the principal witness are not serious enough to affect her credibility The trial judge had opportunity to observe her demeaner while on the stand and gave it full weight and credit as against those of the appellants It was duly established that their lawyers managed to negotiate the dropping of the case by paying the amount allegedly taken from her Admission by conduct in this case: The repeated offer of a conspirator constitutes a strong indication and an implied admission of guilt of said conspirator and the 2 accused in this case. Re: It is not bribery, it is robbery! Prosecutor was right in charging the accused of Robbery. They pretended to be peace officers and employed threats and intimidation to obtain P200 this is obviously robbery Although it seems true what the appellants testified that Juliana Chua was carrying a bundle containing contraband and for fear of discovery her husband ran away and did not come back, there was no evidence regarding said contraband other than the testimony of the accused WHICH IS NOT POSITIVE NOR CONVINCING. Re: Self-serving testimonies Such testimony coming as it does from the accused who naturally want to exculpate themselves, cannot be regarded as free from bias and desire to so intensify the details thereof as to suit their case. The disappearance of the husband does nothing to unfavorable to the prosecution because he might have gone to a policeman