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Criminal Law

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. MARCELO ALETA et al. 584 SCRA 578 (2009), SECOND DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.)

584 SCRA 578 (2009), SECOND DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J .) A witness’ testimony deserves full faith

A witness’ testimony deserves full faith and credit where there exists no evidence to show any dubious reason or improper motive against the accused, or why he should implicate the accused in a serious offense.

While the deceased Acob‘s mother Marina was at the community center of Barangay Nagsurot, Burgos, Ilocos Norte, she heard a commotion at the yard of Marcelo Aleta, et al. (the Aletas). Soon after returning home, she told Acob that there was a quarrel at the Aletas‘ compound. Against his mother‘s pleas, Acob repaired to the Aletas‘ compound. Marina followed and upon reaching appellants‘ compound, she saw her nephew appellant Rogelio striking her son Acob twice at the left cheek and at the back of his head with a piece of wood, causing Acob to fall on the ground. She thereafter saw Rogelio striking Acob‘s father-in-law Duldulao twice on the face drawing his eyes to pop up, and again on the head causing him to fall on the ground. Rogelio then ran towards the family house whereupon Marina heard gunshots. Rogelio‘s brothers-co-appellants Jovito, Marlo and Ferdinand and their father Marcelo at once began clubbing Acob and Duldulao with pieces of wood, mainly on the face and head, as well as on different parts of their bodies. Even while the victims were already lying prostrate on the ground, Marcelo, Jovito, Marlo, and Ferdinand continued to hit them. And when Rogelio emerged from the house, he got another piece of wood and again clubbed the victims.

he got another piece of wood and again clubbed the victims. As found by Dr. Arturo

As found by Dr. Arturo G. Llabore, a medico-legal officer of the National Bureau of Investigation-Regional Office, San Fernando, La Union who supervised the exhumation and autopsy of the bodies of Acob and Duldulao on June 3, 1994, the two victims suffered multiple abrasions, lacerations, open wounds, contusions and fractures on their face, head, scalp, arms, legs and thighs; that Acob‘s death was due to ―hemorrhage, intercranial, severe, secondary to traumatic injuries, head‖ while Duldulao‘s was due to ―hemorrhage, intercranial, severe, secondary to traumatic injuries, head, multiple;‖ that both victims could have died within one (1) hour after the infliction of the injuries; and that because of the severity and multiplicity of the injuries sustained, the same could not have been inflicted by only one person.

Ferdinand and Marlo interposed self-defense and defense of relative, respectively. Additionally, Marlo invoked voluntary surrender as a mitigating circumstance. Marcelo, Rogelio and Jovito invoked alibi. Crediting the prosecution version, the trial court found the Aletas guilty beyond reasonable doubt of Murder in both cases. The trial court held that although what triggered the incidents was never explained, Acob and Duldulao died as a result of the attacks on them, qualified by abuse of superior strength and cruelty. The Aletas moved for a reconsideration of the trial court‘s decision which was denied. Hence, the present appeal.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the trial and the appellate courts erred in giving full weight and credence to the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses

HELD:

As in most criminal cases, the present appeal hinges primarily on the issue of credibility of witness and of testimony. As held in a number of cases, the trial court is best equipped to make the assessment on said issue and, therefore, its factual findings are generally not disturbed on appeal, unless:

(1) the testimony is found to be clearly arbitrary or unfounded; (2) some substantial fact or circumstance

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that could materially affect the disposition of the case was overlooked, misunderstood, or misinterpreted; or (3) the trial judge gravely abused his or her discretion.

or (3) the trial judge gravely abused his or her discretion. As held in a cat

As held in a catena of cases and correctly applied by both lower courts, Marina‘s positive identification of the Aletas as the assailants and her accounts of what transpired during the incidents, which were corroborated on all material points by prosecution witnesses Loreta Duldulao (Loreta) and Willie Duldulao (Willie), as well as the findings of the medico-legal officer, carry greater weight than the Aletas‘ claims of self-defense, defense of relative and alibi. More particularly, that Marina‘s narration was so detailed all the more acquires greater weight and credibility against all defenses, especially because it jibed with the autopsy findings.

especially because it jibed with the autopsy findings. Respecting the defense‘s questioning of Loreta‘s

Respecting the defense‘s questioning of Loreta‘s testimony that Willie had told her that Duldulao was already dead, but was later to claim that on reaching the scene of the crime, Duldulao was still alive, lying on the ground and being clubbed by Aleta, et al., the same deserves scant consideration. Far from being inconsistent, the same is in sync with the other witnesses‘ claim and Marlo‘s own admission that Aleta, et al. continued to club the two victims even as they lay motionless and helpless on the ground.

At any rate, inconsistencies in the testimonies of witnesses which refer to minor and insignificant details, such as whether Duldulao was still alive or not, cannot destroy Loreta‘s testimony. Minor inconsistencies in fact even guarantee truthfulness and candor.

A witness‘ testimony deserves full faith and credit where there exists no evidence to show any dubious reason or improper motive why he should testify falsely against the accused, or why he should implicate the accused in a serious offense. That the prosecution witnesses are all related by blood to the Aletas should a fortiori be credited, absent a showing that they had motive to falsely accuse the Aletas.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. RODRIGO "RUDY" OPELIÑA et al. 412 SCRA 343 (2003), THIRD DIVISION (Carpio Morales,J.)

Proof of injury is not an essential element in proving the crime of rape.

Private complainant Merrylin Rambuyon, who was then a minor, was hired as househelper by the Spouses Rodrigo "Rudy‖ Opeliña and Mary Rose Leones Opeliña. One night, she was awakened by Mary Rose and was told to go inside the bedroom of the Spouses.

Upon entering the room, the spouses undressed themselves. Then, Rudy had a sexual intercourse with complainant Merrilyn. All this time, Mary Rose was by Merrilyn‘s right side, holding her down and telling her to bear the pain.

The following day, Merrilyn stayed outside the house when the father of Mary Rose called her, she did not respond prompting the latter to pull her hair and smash her head to the wall. Inside the house, Mary Rose told her that she would report her to the police for leaving her baby unattended. Due to the event, Merrilyn went to the police station to report the rape and the physical abuse but she saw Mary Rose in the station who just blottered her. Afraid of what might happened, she only reported the physical abuse. On her way home, the taxi driver heard what Merrilyn and her friend was talking about. He then brought them to a radio station where Merrilyn told what really transpired.

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Criminal Law Spouses Opeliña denied the accusation of rape, telling that it was a consented sex

Spouses Opeliña denied the accusation of rape, telling that it was a consented sex because Merrilyn wanted to abort her baby by having sexual intercourse with Rudy. They also contend that the reporting of the rape was only an afterthought of Merrilyn and that she really consented to the sex which can be proven that no extra-genital injuries were found. However, the Regional Trial Court found the spouses guilty of the crime of rape with conspiracy.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the Spouses Opeliña are guilty of rape

HELD:

That no extra-genital injuries were noted in Merrilyn does not necessarily negate the occurrence of rape, proof of injury not being an essential element thereof. Nor does Merrylin's resumption of discharging her duties as househelper after the rape took place militate against the commission of rape, there being no standard form of human behavioral response when one has just been confronted with an experience as heinous as the crime of rape, not to mention the fact that not every victim of a crime can be expected to act reasonably and conformably with the expectation of mankind. As for Spouses Opeliña's branding as mere afterthought the filing of the rape charge against them, the Court is not persuaded. For Merrylin gave a credible explanation why she failed to immediately report the rape incident. In the instant case, it was established by the prosecution that Mary Rose summoned Merrylin into their bedroom, locked the door to prevent her escape, pinned her down while Rogelio had sexual intercourse with her, told her thrice to just bear the pain, and cautioned her not to divulge what transpired among them. Clearly, Spouses Opeliña conspired in the commission of the rape.

Spouses Opeliña conspired in the commission of the rape. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ROLANDO REYES

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ROLANDO REYES y NACE 512 SCRA 712 (2007), EN BANC (Carpio Morales, J.) No mother in her right mind would expose her daughter to the disgrace and trauma resulting from a prosecution for rape if she was not genuinely motivated by a desire to incarcerate the person responsible for her daughter’s defilement.

Rolando Reyes y Nace (Reyes) was charged with four counts of rape committed against his 15- year old daughter AAA. Reyes denied the charges against him and interposed denial and alibi. Reyes claimed that his wife had an affair with Felixberto Viernes, the former chief of police of Villaverde who insinuated her to fabricate charges against him. The RTC found Reyes guilty beyond reasonable doubt of four counts of rape. Subsequently, the Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the RTC with modification. Hence, this petition.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Reyes‘ defense should be given credence HELD:

AAA‘s credibility as a witness has not been questioned. And her testimony is indeed credible and consistent, and bears the earmarks of sincerity. While Reyes‘ denial and alibi are legitimate defenses, they are mere assertions, however; hence, they cannot overcome the testimony of AAA. The insinuation of Reyes that his wife instigated the filing of the charges against him, which is not uncommon in rape cases, appears to be just a futile attempt to exonerate himself. Not a few persons convicted of rape have attributed the charges against them to family feuds, resentment, or revenge. However, such alleged motives have never swayed us from lending full credence to the testimony of a complainant who remained steadfast through her direct and cross-

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Criminal Law examination. It is unnatural for a parent to use her offspring as an instrument

examination. It is unnatural for a parent to use her offspring as an instrument of malice, especially if it will subject them to embarrassment and even stigma. No mother in her right mind would expose her daughter to the disgrace and trauma resulting from a prosecution for rape if she was not genuinely motivated by a desire to incarcerate the person responsible for her daughter‘s defilement.

CATALINO P. ARAFILES v. PHILIPPINE JOURNALISTS, INC., et al. 426 SCRA 336 (2004), THIRD DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.)

Press reporters and editors must not be held accountable for honest mistakes or imperfection in the choice of words.

for honest mistakes or imperfection in the choice of words. Emelita Despuig (Emelita) lodged a complaint

Emelita Despuig (Emelita) lodged a complaint against petitioner Catalino Arafiles for forcible abduction with rape and forcible abduction with attempted rape before the then on duty Patrolman Benito Chio at the General Assignments Section of the Western Police District (WPD) Headquarters. In the presence of respondent Romy Morales, reporter of People‘s Journal Tonight, Emelita executed a sworn statement narrating the events surrounding the reported offenses committed against her by Arafiles. Morales thereupon personally interviewed Emelita for the purpose of reporting the same in People‘s Journal Tonight. By his claim, he tried to contact Arafiles after the interview to verify Emelita‘s story but failed to do so. Morales then wrote an account about Emelita‘s complaint and submitted it to his editor, which later on appeared as a headline on the paper. About a year following the publication of the report, Arafiles instituted a complaint for damages before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Quezon City against respondents Philippine Journalists, Inc., et al. on account of ―grossly malicious and overly senationalized repoting in the news item.‖ ISSUE:

Whether or not the publication of the news item is libelous and was attended with malice HELD:

In determining the manner in which a given event should be presented as a news item and the importance to be attached thereto, newspapers must enjoy a certain degree of discretion. Every citizen of course has the right to enjoy a good name and reputation, but the Court do not consider that the Morales, et al., under the circumstances of this case, had violated said right or abused the freedom of the press. The newspapers should be given such leeway and tolerance as to enable them to courageously and effectively perform their important role in our democracy. In the preparation of stories, press reporters and editors usually have to race with their deadlines; and consistently with good faith and reasonable care, they should not be held to account, to a point of suppression, for honest mistakes or imperfection in the choice of words.

CGR CORPORATION, et al. v. ERNESTO L. TREYES, JR. 522 SCRA 765 (2007), SECOND DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.) The recoverable damages in forcible entry and detainer cases refer to “rents” or “the reasonable compensation for the use and occupation of the premises” or “fair rental value of the property” and attorney’s fees and costs. CGR Corporation, owned by Herman M. Benedicto and Alberto R. Benedicto, leased several hectares of public land, mostly consisting of fishponds, in Negros Occidental. Ernesto L. Treyes, Jr., with his men, forcibly entered the leased properties and barricaded the entrance to the fishponds, set up a barbed wire fence along the road going to CRG Corporation‘s fishponds, and harvested several tons of milkfish, fry and fingerlings. CGR filed with the Municipal Trial Court (MTC) in Sagay City separate complaints for Forcible Entry with Temporary Restraining Order with Preliminary Injunction and Damages and reserved a separate civil action. The MTC found Treyes and his men guilty of forcible entry. CGR filed a separate complaint alleging therein that he suffered damages for the actions of Treyes during and after the

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Criminal Law forcible entry. A claim for additional damages which arose from incidents occurring after

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forcible entry. A claim for additional damages which arose from incidents occurring after the dispossession by Treyes of the premises was thereafter prayed for. The MTC awarded the claims of CGR. ISSUE:

Whether or not additional damages can be awarded resulting from events that took place after Treyes left the property HELD:

The Court held that the ―rents‖ or the ―reasonable compensation for the use of the premises or the fair rental value of the property and attorney‘s fees may be recovered through a separate action while the forcible entry case is pending. The recoverable damages in forcible entry and detainer cases refer to ―rents‖ or ―the reasonable compensation for the use and occupation of the premises‖ or ―fair rental value of the property‖ and attorney‘s fees and costs. There is no basis for the MTC to award actual, moral, and exemplary damages in view of the settled rule that in ejectment cases, the only damage that can be recovered is the fair rental value or the reasonable compensation for the use and occupation of the property. Considering that the only issue raised in ejectment is that of rightful possession, damages which could be recovered are those which the plaintiff could have sustained as a mere possessor, or those caused by the loss of the use and occupation of the property, and not the damages which he may have suffered but which have no direct relation to his loss of material possession. Other damages must thus be claimed in an ordinary action. As reflected in the allegations in the complaint for damages of CGR et al., it had to do with Treyes‘ alleged harvesting and carting away several tons of milkfish and other marine products in their fishponds, ransacking and destroying of a chapel built by CGR Corporation, and stealing religious icons and even decapitating the heads of some of them, after the act of dispossession had occurred. Restated in its bare essentials, the forcible entry case has one cause of action, namely, the alleged unlawful entry by petitioner into the leased premises out of which three (3) reliefs arose: (a) the restoration by the lessor of the possession of the leased premises to the lessee, (b) the claim for actual damages due to the losses suffered by private respondent such as the deterioration of perishable foodstuffs stored inside the premises and the deprivation of the use of the premises causing loss of expected profits; and, (c) the claim for attorney‘s fees and costs of suit. CGR Corporation‘s filing of an independent action for damages other than those sustained as a result of their dispossession or those caused by the loss of their use and occupation of their properties could not thus be considered as splitting of a cause of action.

not thus be considered as splitting of a cause of action. GEMMA ILAGAN et al. v.

GEMMA ILAGAN et al. v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES 522 SCRA 699 (2007), SECOND DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.) Deceit and damage are the essential elements of estafa. Gemma Ilagan issued four post dated checks to Jazshirt Trading, which is owned by petitioner Aldwyn Sy. Jaime Tan, on the other hand, is the general manager of Jazshirt. Tan and Sy endorsed the checks to Rosita Tan for the purposes of changing to cash, relying on the assurance of Ilagan that the checks are backed by sufficient funds. On the day of maturity of the checks, the first three checks were dishonored due to "Account Closed." The fourth check was dishonored due to "Drawn Against Insufficiency of Funds‖. Rosita Tan then filed 3 complaints of violation of B.P. 22 on Ilagan, Sy, and Jaime Tan. Ilagan admitted issuing the post-dated checks payable to Jazshirt Trading. She contends that she was unable to re-sell the goods; hence, she returned them to Jazshirt Trading, hoping to recover the checks. Sy and

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Jaime Tan contend that they never knew that the checks do not have sufficient funds and claims that they were only included by Rosita Tan on the complaint because of a family dispute.

by Rosita Tan on the complaint because of a family dispute. ISSUE: Whether or not an

ISSUE:

Whether or not an endorser of a check, who believed in good faith that the check is backed by sufficient sureties, can be held liable for B.P. 22 HELD:

Deceit and damage are the essential elements of estafa. Deceit to constitute estafa under Article 315 2(d) of the Revised Penal Code must be the efficient cause of the defraudation. There must be concomitance: the issuance of the check should be the means to obtain money or property from the payer.

By Rosita‘s own admission, she and petitioner Tan had, prior to the transaction in question, been engaged in "rediscounting" or "discounting" transactions for four (4) years in which she charged interests which varied because she sourced the cash for the purpose from different persons. Given the admitted previous 4-year period of "rediscounting" transactions between Rosita and petitioner Tan, if he indeed assured her that the checks in question would be sufficiently funded on maturity, the same was unnecessary to convince her to change them with cash. Any such assurance was not the efficient cause which induced Rosita to change the checks with cash. It is in this light that this Court credits the disclaimer of petitioner Sy of having gone with petitioner Tan to Rosita‘s house to negotiate the checks and assure her that they would be sufficiently funded on maturity.

her that they would be sufficiently funded on maturity. ERLINDA K. ILUSORIO v. MA. ERLINDA I.

ERLINDA K. ILUSORIO v. MA. ERLINDA I. BILDNER, et al. 575 SCRA 272 (2008), SECOND DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.)

The action for perjury must be tried and instituted in the municipality or territory where the deliberate untruthful statement was made.

Ma. Erlinda Bildner (Bildner) and Lily Raqueno (Raqueno) were charged by Erlinda Ilusorio (Ilusorio) before the Metropolitan Trial Court of Pasig City with perjury arising from their filing, on behalf of Lakeridge Development Corp. (LDC), of a petition in the Makati RTC and Tagaytay RTC for issuance of new owner‘s duplicate copy of Certificate of Condominium Title (CCT) covering condominium units in both Makati and Tagaytay. Bildner and Raqueno claimed, in their statement before notary public Rafael Dizon, that the owner‘s copies of the condominium units could no longer be found ―despite earnest and diligent efforts‖ to locate the same.

Using as bases the contents of the original petitions filed in the Makati and Tagaytay RTCs, Ilusorio filed charges of falsification of public documents and perjury against Bildner and Raqueno before the Pasig Prosecutor‘s Office. Investigating Prosecutor Edgardo Bautista dismissed the falsification charges but found probable cause to indict Bildner and Raqueno for perjury. Bildner and Raqueno moved for the quashal of the Information filed against them on the following grounds: a.) lack jurisdiction due to improper venue; b.) lack of bases of the charges as the original petitions had already been withdawn, since it had already been amended upon the instance of Bildner of Raqueno; and the alleged perjurious statements were made in the jurisdictional territories of Makati and Tagaytay, respectively.

The MeTC found in favor of Ilusorio, holding that the vital point is the allegation in the complaint or information of the situs of the offense charged. The court held that since the information

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alleges that the offenses were committed in Pasig City, then the Pasig City MeTC has jurisdiction over the case of perjury.

ISSUE:

City MeTC has jurisdiction over the case of perjury. ISSUE: Whether or not the place were

Whether or not the place were perjurious statements are made control the jurisdiction to hear perjury cases

HELD:

It is the deliberate making of untruthful statements upon any material matter, however, before a competent person authorized to administer an oath in cases in which the law so requires, which is imperative in perjury.

which the law so requires, which is imperative in perjury. Venue, in criminal cases, being jurisdictional,

Venue, in criminal cases, being jurisdictional, the action for perjury must be instituted and tried in the municipality or territory where the deliberate making of an untruthful statement upon any matter was made, in this case, in Makati and Tagaytay.

It was in Makati and Tagaytay where the intent to assert an alleged falsehood became manifest and where the alleged untruthful statement finds relevance or materiality in deciding the issue of whether new owner‘s duplicate copies of the CCT and TCTs may issue.

Whether the perjurious statements contained in the four petitions were subscribed and sworn in Pasig is immaterial, the gist of the offense of perjury being the intentional giving of false statement.

PEDRO C. CONSULTA v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES 578 SCRA 648 (2009), SECOND DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.)

The overt acts of the offender establishes the animus lucrandi or intent to gain. Pedro Consulta and his brother allegedly blocked the tricycle of private complainant Nelia Silvestre, threatened her, and grabbed her gold necklace. Consulta denied the charge and claimed that Nelia was only harassing him due to the pre-existing sour relationship between their families. The trial court, holding that intent to gain on Consulta‘s part ―is presumed from the unlawful taking‖ of the necklace, convicted Consulta of Robbery. The appellate court affirmed Consulta‘s conviction with modification on the penalty.

ISSUES:

Whether or not Consulta was guilty of robbery beyond reasonable doubt

HELD:

The elements of robbery are thus: 1) there is a taking of personal property; 2) the personal property belongs to another; 3) the taking is with animus lucrandi; and 4) the taking is with violence against or intimidation of persons or with force upon things. Animus lucrandi or intent to gain is an internal act which can be established through the overt acts of the offender. It may be presumed from the furtive taking of useful property pertaining to another, unless special circumstances reveal a different intent on the part of the perpetrator. The Court finds that under the above-mentioned circumstances surrounding the incidental encounter of the parties, the taking of Nelia‘s necklace does not indicate presence of intent to gain on Consulta‘s part. That intent to gain on Consulta‘s part is difficult to appreciate gains light given his undenied claim that his relationship with Nelia is rife with ill-feelings, manifested by, among other things,

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the filing of complaints against him by Nelia and her family which were subsequently dismissed or ended in his acquittal.

which were subsequently dismissed or ended in his acquittal. Absent intent to gain on the part

Absent intent to gain on the part of Consulta, robbery does not lie against him. He is not necessarily scot-free, however. From the pre-existing sour relations between Nelia and her family on one hand, and appellant and family on the other, and under the circumstances related above attendant to the incidental encounter of the parties, appellant‘s taking of Nelia‘s necklace could not have been animated with animus lucrandi. Consulta is, however, just the same, criminally liable.

. Consulta is, however, just the same, criminally liable. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ARDEL CANUTO

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ARDEL CANUTO 528 SCRA 366 (2007), EN BANC (Carpio Morales, J.)

The testimony of the victim that she felt nothing when the rape was committed does not negate the commission

thereof.

AAA, a 15-year old girl, was allegedly raped by Ardel Canuto. Six (6) months later, AAA related the incident to her aunt DDD who accompanied her to a hospital where she was medically examined by a doctor. The examination showed that AAA‘s genitalia had an old hymenal laceration. AAA then filed a case against Canuto and the Regional Trial Court convicted Canuto of rape, sentencing him to a penalty of death. After a review of the case by the Court of Appeals, the appellate court affirmed the trial court‘s decision with modification consisting of an increase in the amount of civil indemnity and moral and exemplary damages awarded to AAA. Hence, this appeal.

ISSUES:

Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in finding Canuto guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the offense charged

HELD:

In his Brief filed with this Court, Canuto maintains that the lower courts erred in convicting him, the prosecution having failed to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. The Supreme Court said that the fact that AAA felt nothing while she was being raped by Canuto does not negate the commission of the crime. A 15-year-old naive barrio lass, threatened with death or serious injury if she repulses the sexual advances of the accused, can only cower in fear and yield into submission.

As for AAA‘s delay of almost six months in reporting the incident to the authorities, People v. Francisco, People v. Marcelo and People v. Bayani enlighten. In these cases, this Court declared that a six- month delay in reporting the rape to the authorities does not impair the credibility of the private complainant or indicate a fabricated charge if satisfactorily explained. In AAA‘s case, the fear instilled in her by Canuto that he would kill her and her kin if she reported the questioned act could explain the delay, especially given her awareness that appellant had been previously convicted and detained for killing someone. Besides, many victims of rape never complain or file criminal charges against the rapist, they preferring to silently bear the ignominy and pain, rather than reveal their shame to the world or risk the offender‘s making good his threats.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. EMETERIO RICAMORA y SUELLO 510 SCRA 514, (2006), THIRD DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.)

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Criminal Law In a rape case, the conviction or acquittal more often than not depends

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In a rape case, the conviction or acquittal more often than not depends entirely on the credibility of the victim’s testimony, given that it is usually she who can testify as to its occurrence. Emeterio Ricamora y Suello (Suello) is the common law spouse of BBB who left for Singapore to work as a domestic helper. She left the custody of her children to Suello and was considered as the stepfather of the children. AAA, the eldest of four children, was repeatedly abused by Suello at nighttime when her younger siblings were sleeping in the same room. She was twelve years old then, when the first rape incident happened. She resisted but Suello threatened to kill hers younger siblings if she shouted or resisted. On January 21, 1998, Suello again had sexual intercourse with her after the slapping incident by Suello to AAA and her younger sister. The following day, AAA finally filed a complaint together with her godmother and a barangay kagawad. As she could no longer remember the exact dates of the previous incidents of rape, only the last which occurred on January 21, 2008 was made basis for her complaint. A physical examination was made by Dr. Martinita Leobrera to the victim who was then 20 years old. There is a presence of old healed hymenal lacerations, indicating positive signs of penetration. The trial court convicted Suello of rape. The Court of Appeals (CA) subsequently, affirmed the decision of the trial court. Hence, this petition for reversal of the CA decision. ISSUE:

Whether or not Suello is guilty of rape HELD:

In a rape case, the conviction or acquittal more often than not depends entirely on the credibility of the victim‘s testimony, given that it is usually she who can testify as to its occurrence. Here, the court finds the testimony of AAA with simplicity, consistency, and candor to merit full faith and credit. Suello‘s contention that AAA did not resist to the sexual intercourse is without merit because, the court said that because of Suello‘s moral ascendancy over the victim takes the place of violence and intimidation. On Suello‘s contention that they were sweethearts and the witnesses for Suello said that they were seen naked and lying together is too improbable to merit belief. According to the court, it would be in the height of incredulity for live-in partners between a young lady and a middle age man to display for others to see their intimate moments and will normally find a place where they can be alone together. Hence, the alibi of Suello cannot be given merit.

together. Hence, the alibi of Suello cannot be given merit. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ROMEO

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ROMEO MOLE y SANTOS 416 SCRA 520 (2003), THIRD DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.)

When inconsistencies in the testimony of the victim put serious doubts on her claim of rape, the Court shall resolve the same in favor of the accused. Accused Romeo Mole (MOLE), an albularyo (quack doctor) was consulted by Emerita Reyes, her husband Wilfredo and their three children sometime in April 1997 as they have been experiencing itchiness all over their bodies. The Reyeses were diagnosed to be victims of kulam (witchcraft).

Mole went to the house of the Reyeses the next day to continue their treatment. At about 11:00 p.m., Romeo left the Reyeses residence after receiving the payment for his services. However, he came back at about 12:00 midnight looking for Emerita‘s youngest son, he was saying that the sorcerer will kill her son and to save him, Romeo needed P2,500.00. The distressed Emerita immediately gave the said amount to Mole who thereafter went to the bedroom and sprinkled an overpowering liquid on Wilfredo and their three children. Mole also sprinkled the same on Emerita, blew something on her chest and, while looking at her eyes, mumbled as if in prayer upon which Emerita instantly felt weak and dizzy. Romeo then hauled Emerita to the kitchen, laid her on the floor and removed her underwear. She wanted to resist, however she was too weak and dizzy. Romeo, who was naked from waist down, lay on

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top of her after removing her underwear, whereupon she lost consciousness; and that after she regained consciousness, her entire body, including her vagina, was aching. She thus concluded that she was raped.

vagina, was aching. She thus concluded that she was raped. She reported her experience to the

She reported her experience to the police and upon physically examination it was found that there was no medical basis to conclude that she had been subjected to sexual abuse. Giving weight to the testimony of Emerita and relying on Romeo‘s verbal admission to the police of having raped the victim, as reflected in the aforementioned datum in the Final Investigation Report, the Regional Trial Court (RTC) convicted Romeo Mole of rape.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the RTC is correct in convicting Romeo Mole of rape when it failed to consider certain unrebutted substantial matters of facts tending to show the non-occurrence or at least a doubtful occurrence of rape

the non-occurrence or at least a doubtful occurrence of rape HELD: Although the findings of trial

HELD:

Although the findings of trial courts are normally respected and not disturbed on appeal, Inconsistencies in the testimony of Emerita put serious doubts on her claim of rape, compelling this Court to reverse Romeo‘s conviction. Emerita‘s vacillating account of the incident failed to stand the test of consistency. The Court is thus put on guard as to the veracity of her claim.

For while minor inconsistencies do not detract from the actual fact of rape, those in Emerita‘s testimony may not be considered minor for they relate to the fact of commission of the offense charged.

The credibility of the private complainant is of vital importance for, in view of the peculiar nature of rape, conviction or acquittal rest entirely upon her. It has thus become doctrine that the accused may be convicted solely on the basis of the victim‘s testimony by rigid cross-examination and unflawed by inconsistencies or contradictions in its material points. A woman raped in as state of unconsciousness would not be able to narrate her defloration during that state, and her violation may be proved indirectly by other evidence, Whereas, a woman fully conscious at the time of rape need only testify in a categorical, straightforward, spontaneous and frank manner, and remain consistent in her testimony to convict the accused. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. CRISPIN PAYOPAY 417 SCRA 463 (2003), THIRD DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.)

“Sexual abuse” cannot be equated with rape, absent any showing, nay claim, that the accused’s organ entered or penetrated the victim’s pudendum. Crispin Payopay was charged before the Regional Trial Court with the crime of rape committed against AAA. During the trial, AAA stated that she was ―sexually abused‖ by Crispin. The lower court found Payopay guilty of the crime charged.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the testimony of AAA is sufficient to convict Crispin Payopay

HELD:

Faculty of Civil Law Digest Pool 2010

Criminal Law An accused may be convicted [of rape] on the basis of the lone,

Criminal Law

An accused may be convicted [of rape] on the basis of the lone, uncorroborated testimony of the rape victim, provided that her testimony is clear, positive, convincing and otherwise consistent with human nature. However, AAA‘s testimony does not pass the test of credibility. In fact, even gratuitously

crediting the victim‘s account that appellant ―abused‖ her, the Court does not appreciate the commission of rape. Thus, she claimed that she was ―abused‖ or ―sexually abused‖ as her counsel suggested. ―Sexual abuse‖ cannot, however, be equated with rape, absent any showing, nay claim, that AAA‘s organ entered or penetrated the victim‘s pudendum. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. BERNARDO SARA

417 SCRA 431 (2003), THIRD DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.)

417 SCRA 431 (2003), THIRD DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J. ) It is unnatural for aggrieved relatives

It is unnatural for aggrieved relatives to falsely accuse someone other than the actual culprit, for their natural interest in securing the conviction of the guilty would deter them from implicating any other. Paterno Morcillo was about to transfer his Carabao in front of their house in Cabatuan, Iloilo when gunshots were fired against him which caused his death. Morcillo‘s two sons, Benjamin and Felipe saw that the perpetrator was Bernardo Sara and Efren Robles. Upon investigation, the police found Berning and Efren to be positive for gunpowder residue but they denied the allegation. The Regional Trial Court (RTC) acquitted Efren and convicted Berning guilty of murder. The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the RTC.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the evidence of the prosecution established the guilt of Bernardo Sara beyond reasonable doubt

HELD:

Both Felipe and Benjamin testified that there was ample illumination from the moon to enable them to see the face of there father‘s assailant. There was thus no possibility for both witnesses to be mistaken in identifying their father‘s assailant, especially considering that they have known Bernardo Sara, their neighbor, for a long time. There being no indication that Felipe and Benjamin were actuated by any improper motive to falsely testify against appellant, their relationship with the victim notwithstanding, there is no reason to doubt the veracity of their testimonies. Relationship could in fact even strengthen the witnesses‘ credibility; it being unnatural for aggrieved relatives to falsely accuse someone other than the actual culprit, for their natural interest in securing the conviction of the guilty would deter them from implicating any other.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. SONNY CANON alias “POGI”

420 SCRA 634 (2004), THIRD DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.)

It is inconceivable for a mother to drag a daughter, a mental retard into a rape scam. Sonny Canon alias ―POGI‖(Sonny) was charged and found guilty for raping AAA, a mental retard who has inferior mental capacity and has speech problem known in the local parlance as ―bulol‖. Upon conviction, Sonny went into hiding. AAA got pregnant and delivered a child that thereafter led Sonny to cease from hiding. Sonny subsequently sought settlement with AAA‘s family and proposed to marry AAA but the same was rejected. Upon appeal to the Supreme Court, Sonny contends that he and AAA were sweethearts and that the inconsistencies and lack of clarity in AAA‘s testimonies indicates that her parents have coached and harmed her to impute the crime to him. He likewise contends that the prosecution‘s characterization of

Faculty of Civil Law Digest Pool 2010

Criminal Law AAA as a mental retard based on the mothers‘ testimonies and a medical

Criminal Law

AAA as a mental retard based on the mothers‘ testimonies and a medical certificate lacks supporting evidence to convict him of the crime charged. ISSUE:

Whether or not the prosecution has met the quantum of proof to establish the commission of

rape

HELD:

In People v. Duranan, the Court, citing Senator J. Francisco‘s treatise on evidence, laid down the following judicial dictum: The mother of an offended party in a case of rape, though not a psychiatrist, if she knows the physical and mental condition of the victim, how she was born, what she is suffering from, and what her attainments are, is competent to testify on the matter. Sonny‘s insinuation that it was really the victim‘s parents who instituted this rape case deserves scant attention. As was pronounced in People V. Rosare, the Court finds it inconceivable for a mother, like that of AAA‘s, to drag a daughter, a mental retard at that, into a rape scam with all its attendant scandal and humiliation for the flimsiest of reasons that she merely did not want her child to be married to the accused.

merely did not want her child to be married to the accused. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ALEX BALAGAT 586 SCRA 640 (2009), SECOND DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.)

If there is no certainty that what was submitted and subjected for chemical examination was the specimen obtained from appellant, the latter shall be acquitted.

PO1 Erwin Taasin of the Station Drug Enforcement Unit Office (SDEU) of the San Juan Metro Manila Police Station received a report from an informant that someone was selling shabu at Tabing-Ilog Street, Barangay Salapan, San Juan. The informant specifically described the suspect and his clothes. SDEU organized a buy-bust operation composed of Taasin as the poseur buyer, along with PO1 Romeo G. Lañada and PO2 Mario Madarang.

Arriving at Tabing-Ilog Street, Taasin immediately spotted appellant Alex Balagat using the description given by his informant. Taasin approached him and said ―Ii-score ako ng piso‖ and handed Balagat One-Hundred (P100) Peso bill previously marked. Balagat took the money and gave a plastic sachet of suspected shabu. Lañada and Madarang apprehended Balagat in his house. They recovered the marked money, and other plastic sachets also suspected as shabu.

Taasin immediately turned over the plastic sachet recovered from Balagat to the investigator and marked it ―AMB‖. It was found out that the content of the plastic sachet was positive for shabu. Balagat denied all these allegations. The RTC of Pasig City convicted Balagat and was affirmed by the Court of Appeals.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in finding Alex Balagat is guilty of Section 5, Article II of Republic Act 9165

HELD:

From a review of the records of the case, the Court entertains nagging doubts on whether the substance allegedly confiscated from Balagat was the same specimen examined and established to be a

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regulated drug. In other words, there is no certainty that what was submitted and subjected for chemical examination was the specimen obtained from Balagat.

chemical examination was the specimen obtained from Balagat. By Taasin‘s claim, he turned over the shabu

By Taasin‘s claim, he turned over the shabu to PO2 Ricardo Cristobal (Cristobal) who marked it with "AMB" and prepared the request for laboratory examination; and the buy-bust team members were the ones who brought the request, together with the specimen, to the laboratory for examination. The records show, however, that the specimen examined by the forensic chemist was delivered by PO3 Arnel Cave (Cave), who does not appear to have been part of the buy-bust team. Cave did not even take the witness stand.

The Court finds the prosecution‘s failure to prove the evidence‘s chain of custody to merit Balagat‘s acquittal.

chain of custody to merit Balagat‘s acquittal. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v . ROBERTO BALACANAO y

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ROBERTO BALACANAO y QUINES et al 398 SCRA (2003), THIRD DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.)

The failure of the prosecution’s witness to point the exact number of perpetrators is of no consequence.

Fifteen (15) armed men stormed the house of Manuel Calata and his wife ―AAA‖ in Cagayan. Conspiring together and helping one another with intent to gain, the armed men stole and carried away several personal properties to the damage and prejudice of the owner and on occasion thereof, had sexual intercourse with the offended party AAA against her will. Roberto Balacanao, Ensu Caronan, Eriberto Batuelo, Abraham Camayang, Elpidio Gangan, Roberto Salvador, Martin Soriano and Tacio Acorda pleaded not guilty upon arraignment. Five of those charged, namely: Jessie Acorda, Herminio Acorda, Villamor Agana, Elvis Bangayan and Gil Tambiao, eluded arrest. On motion of the prosecution, Damaso Cabana was discharged to become a state witness. The trial court found Balacanao, Salvador, Soriano, Batuelo, Gangan, Camayang, Caronan, Tacio Acorda and Ruben Acorda guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the special complex crime of Robbery with Rape aggravated by abuse of superior strength and ignominy.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the trial court erred in basing its decision of conviction on the confessional testimony of Damaso Cabana in the identification of the accused

HELD:

Balacanao et al. contend that the prosecution failed to establish their identity as participants in the crime, hence, it was error for the trial court not to have appreciated their alibi. They assail the credibility of the prosecution witnesses, particularly drawing attention to Cabana‘s statement that there were five who sexually abused AAA which contradicts the latter‘s testimony that there were four, thus rendering his testimony unworthy of belief From the testimony of state witness Cabana, and his identification in court of Balacanao et al., there can be no mistaking in their participation in the crime. Cabana‘s failure to point out the exact number of AAA‘s sexual tormentors is of no consequence, Balacanao et al. themselves having noted that the testimony of Cabana as regards this point is hearsay and inadmissible.

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Criminal Law AAA also positively identified accused Balacanao, Caronan and accused-appellants Camayang and Tacio Acorda as

AAA also positively identified accused Balacanao, Caronan and accused-appellants Camayang and Tacio Acorda as the four men who sexually abused her. Balacanao et al. also capitalize on the failure of AAA to correctly identify her sexual abusers during the preliminary investigation AAA‘s confusion should not militate against her given the number of malefactors and the ordeal she went through. What counts is that she was firm at the witness stand that her rapists, and the order in which they raped her, were what she mentioned thereat. AAA‘s incorrect identification during the preliminary investigation of her sexual abusers is inconsequential with respect to the criminal liability of accused-appellants.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ROBERTO PAJABERA y DOE

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ROBERTO PAJABERA y DOE 582 SCRA 763 (2009), SECOND DIVISION (Carpio

582

SCRA 763 (2009), SECOND DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.)

Findings of fact by the trial court, when affirmed by the appellate court, are afforded greatest respect. Roberto Pajabera was charged with Murder before the Regional Trial Court of Camarines Sur. Pajabera admitted having stabbed Bolanos. He alleged however that he did so because of self-defense. By his account, he and Bolanas had a wager, and he won. When he tried to collect his winning, Bolanos refused to pay and instead he pulled out a bladed instrument and attacked him with it. Pajabera further alleged that when they were grappling for the possession of the bladed instrument he accidentally pushed the bladed instrument unto Bolanos‘ shoulder. The trial court convicted Pajabera of murder, qualified by treachery. It rejected Pajabera‘a claim of self-defense and found it improbable that the victim could be accidentally hit on the shoulder with the knife during the respective positions of the parties as described by Pajabera. On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court‘s decision, holding that Pajabera failed to discharge the burden of proving self-defense. ISSUE:

Whether or not Pajabera‘s claim of self-defense must be admitted HELD:

It is settled that the issue of credibility is a question best addressed to the trial court, and that its findings of fact, especially when affirmed by the appellate court as in the present case, are accorded the greatest respect in the absence of a showing that it ignored, overlooked, or failed to properly appreciate matters of substance or importance likely to affect the results of the litigation. Independently of the factual findings of the lower courts, this Court, in its review of the records, found the findings in order. Pajabera would have it that he was lying with his back flat on the floor while the victim was kneeling and stooping down on him holding the knife. Given that, the thrust of the knife could only have been downwards pointing to Pajabera. Even assuming that Pajabera was able to twist the victim‘s hand which held the knife, it was unlikely that Pajabera could "accidentally" stab the victim on the right shoulder.

Pajabera‘s attack having been made in a swift and unexpected manner on the unsuspecting and

unarmed victim who did not give the slightest provocation, treachery attended the killing. Perforce, appellant‘s conviction for Murder stands. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ILLUSTRE LLAGAS a.ka. NONOY LLAGAS

586 SCRA 707 (2009), SECOND DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.)

Absence of ill-motive to testify against the appellant, the straightforward and candid testimony of a rape victim is sufficient to warrant conviction. Appellant Illustre Llagas was accused of raping AAA, a waitress at a restaurant and karaoke bar in Baguio City. It was alleged that Llagas and AAA agreed to meet because the latter was going to buy his

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Criminal Law cellphone. Llagas however, told AAA that he left his charger at his house and

cellphone. Llagas however, told AAA that he left his charger at his house and suggested that they go there to get it. He assured AAA that they would not be alone there. Upon arriving at Llagas‘ house, AAA found that they were alone so she tried to leave but Llagas locked the door. She insisted to leave but Llagas boxed her and threatened her with a kitchen knife when she struggled. He succeeded in pulling her inside a room and did then and there raped her. While she was crying, his cellphone rang, which gave AAA an opportunity to escape. Llagas denied such accusation and claimed that he had sexual intercourse with her and that it happened by mutual consent. The trial court found Llagas guilty of rape. On appeal, the appellate court affirmed the factual findings of the trial court, but modified the award of moral damages.

ISSUE:

trial court, but modified the award of moral damages. ISSUE: Whether or not Llagas committed the

Whether or not Llagas committed the crime of rape by using force and intimidation

HELD:

In the main, Llagas submits in his Appellant‘s Brief filed before the appellate court that his act of answering a phone call from his wife ―on the very same date and time that he was allegedly raping [AAA] is more of an evidence of consensual sexual intercourse and not of forced carnal knowledge.‖ Such change of theory on appeal can only be construed against his innocence, however. For while before the trial court appellant denied having had sexual intercourse with AAA on April 16, 2003, he admitted having done so but on February 28 or 29, 2003 and with AAA‘s consent. But even if the Court were to credit Llagas‘ change of position when the case reached the appellate court, his citation of his having received his wife‘s phone call as negating the use of force or intimidation is illogical, to say the least. For it was, in fact, on account of his talking to his wife on the phone that AAA found the opportunity to escape. AAA‘s vivid account, which was punctuated with her crying, of how she was sexually assaulted by appellant clearly shows the total absence of consensual sex as claimed by him. The trial and appellate courts found AAA‘s straightforward, candid, and spontaneous testimony credible as it bears the hallmarks of a truthful witness, unflawed by inconsistencies or contradictions. The credibility of a rape victim is augmented where, as here, there is absolutely no evidence which even remotely suggests that she could have been actuated by ill-motive to testify against appellant.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. CONCHITO AGUSTIN 547 SCRA 136 (2008), EN BANC (Carpio Morales J.)

In rape cases, if the testimony of the victim passes the test of credibility, the accused may be convicted solely on that

basis.

Conchito Agustin (Agustin), uncle within the third civil degree of the offended party, AAA, a twelve year old minor, was convicted for two counts of qualified rape before the Regional Trial Court of Tuao, Cagayan. On appeal, Agustin denied the allegation by stating an alibi that he was away from his house and was at his farm to supervise the planting of rice. He further contends it was thus impossible for him to have raped AAA at the unfinished house.

On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the decision of the Court of Appeals in convicting appellant for two (2) counts of rape must be upheld base solely on the testimony of the victim

Faculty of Civil Law Digest Pool 2010

HELD:

Criminal Law

HELD: Criminal Law In rape cases, if the testimony of the victim passes the test of

In rape cases, if the testimony of the victim passes the test of credibility, the accused may be convicted solely on that basis. The testimony of the young victim is entitled to full credence for no young and decent Filipina would publicly admit that she was ravished unless that is the truth because her natural instinct is to protect her honor.

The testimony of AAA as regards to the two (2) counts of rape was subjected by the Court to the minutest of scrutiny. As to her testimony regarding the July 7, 2001 sexual assault, the Court finds no reason to disbelieve AAA when she claims that she was forcibly deflowered Agustin in the second floor of the latters house at Mungo, Tuao, Cagayan. There appears no plausible reason for the young victim to falsely charge the accused who is her uncle-in-law, with rape. Thus, in the absence of any showing of an illicit motive to falsely impute so grievous a crime as qualified rape against the herein accused, the testimony of the young victim is entitled to full credence for no young and decent Filipina would publicly admit that she was ravished unless that is the truth because her natural instinct is to protect her honor.

truth because her natural instinct is to protect her honor. However, while the Court affirms Agustin‘s

However, while the Court affirms Agustin‘s conviction for two counts of rape, the evidence points to only simple, not qualified rape. Under Article 266-B of the Revised Penal Code, rape is qualified when the victim is under 18 years of age and the offender is a parent, ascendant, step-parent, guardian, relative by consanguinity or affinity within the third civil degree, or the common-law spouse of the parent of the victim, in which case the death penalty should be imposed. The relationship of the accused to the victim cannot be established by mere testimony or even by the accused‘s very own admission of such relationship.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. LEONEL PASAOL PALAC ALIAS JOY-JOY TALAC, REY ARGENTILLO AND JOJO VILARDE, LEONEL PASAOL PALAC 553 SCRA 616 (2008), SECOND DIVISION, (CarpioMorales, J.) Inconsistencies on matters that transpired prior to the actual commission of the crime and have no bearing to the elements of the crime charged are not treated as proof of a feigning witness but as hallmark of an unrehearsed testimony. Defendants Leonol Pasaol et al. were charged with three (3) counts of rape committed against AAA. Pasaol denied the charges. He claimed that during the incident, he was with AAA‘s uncle. The Regional Trial Court of Pasay City found Pasaol guilty beyond reasonable doubt of three counts of rape. His co-accused Vilarde and Argentillo remained at large. On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the RTC decision. Thus, Pasaol elevated the case to the Supreme Court.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Pasaol is guilty of the crime of rape beyond reasonable doubt HELD:

The Court finds that no reversible error was committed by the appellate court which analyzed the evidence vis-a -vis the established facts of the cases in arriving at its decision affirming the conviction

Pasaol.

of

If the testimony of the victim is credible, natural, convincing, and consistent with human nature and the normal course of things, the accused in a rape case may be convicted solely on that basis. The assessment or evaluation by the trial court of the credibility of the victim's testimony is given primordial consideration. The credibility given by the trial court to the rape victim is an important aspect of evidence which appellate courts can rely on because of its unique opportunity to observe the witnesses, particularly their demeanor, conduct and attitude during the direct and cross-examination by counsel.

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Criminal Law The court‘s independent scrutiny of the record confirms the trial court's assessment of [AAA]'s

The court‘s independent scrutiny of the record confirms the trial court's assessment of [AAA]'s credibility. Her declarations are indeed replete with details that bolster the truthfulness of her allegations. Pasaol‘s harping on the alleged inconsistencies committed by AAA does not persuade. Minor lapses are to be expected when a person is recounting details of a traumatic experience usually too painful and agonizing to recall. Besides, the courtroom atmosphere can affect the accuracy of the testimony and the manner in which a witness answers questions.

The appellate court's following treatment of any inconsistencies in AAA's testimony thus merits approval.

circumspect examination of the record shows that when confronted with the foregoing

A

the record shows that when confronted with the foregoing A inconsistencies on cross-examination, AAA clarified that

inconsistencies on cross-examination, AAA clarified that it was at 6:00 p.m., not 9:00 p.m., when she was offered a drink by Vilarde; and that it was not she but Vilarde who knocked at the door which appellant opened. In any event, inconsistencies on matters that transpired prior to the actual commission of the crime and have no bearing to the elements of the crime charged are not treated as proof of a feigning witness but as hallmark of an unrehearsed testimony. Such minor inconsistencies even guarantee

truthfulness and candor and serve to strengthen rather than destroy AAA's credibility. AAA's delay in reporting the incident does not affect her credibility as well.

The filing of

complaints for rape months and even years after their commission may or may not dent the credibility of witness and of testimony, depending on the attending circumstances. In the present cases, the threats

that the young AAA received from appellant and his co- accused were enough to cow and intimidate her. Moreover, as the appellate court noted, her experience when she confided her harrowing ordeal taught her that revealing it "could drive away people who may not understand what she had gone through."

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ARIEL PAOYO 520 SCRA 662 (2007), SECOND DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.)

Absence of ill-motive against the defendant, the testimony of the witness is given full faith and credence. After a fatal shooting involving Margarito Carelo, Eugenia Carelo who is the wife of the victim, gave a sworn statement before the police implicating Ariel Paoyo as one of the two shooters who killed her husband. Carelo narrated in her testimony that she saw Paoyo and another unidentified person knock on the door their house. Upon seeing her husband, the unidentified person with Paoyo fired on Margarito Carelo‘s neck, killing him instantly. The trial court convicted Paoyo with Murder. On appeal, Paoyo contended that he was on duty on as a CAFGU in Barangay Silang, Lopez, Quezon which is more or less five kilometers away from the house of Carelo. On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court‘s decision.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Paoyo was convicted of evidence beyond reasonable doubt by the trial court

HELD:

At all events, Eugenia, an eyewitness to the actual shooting incident who has not been shown,

nay alleged, to have an ill motive to incriminate Paoyo, narrated early on in her sworn statement before the police that she saw Paoyo, in the company of John Doe when the latter shot the victim, and that the two immediately fled thereafter. And despite the lengthy cross-examination to which she was subjected,

she maintained and never waned in such tale.

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Criminal Law Since conspiracy between Ariel Paoyo and his unidentified companion who shot and killed Margarito

Since conspiracy between Ariel Paoyo and his unidentified companion who shot and killed Margarito Carelo was proven by prosecution‘s evidence, the act of the unidentified gunman becomes the act of Ariel Paoyo and both of them will thus be liable as principals. Moreover, there was no evidence presented by the defense showing that Ariel Paoyo tried to prevent his unidentified companion from shooting Margarito Carelo. If Ariel Paoyo was not in conspiracy with his unidentified companion, then why is it that he did not report to the authorities the identity of the gunman in order to show his innocence in the killing. It was obvious that accused Ariel Paoyo and his unidentified companion consciously adopted the mode of attack, which was sudden and unexpected firing upon the victim Margarito Carelo when the latter was about to open the gate of the fence of their house. Ariel Paoyo and his co-accused John Doe deliberately called Margarito Carelo who was then inside his house, and when the latter comes out and about to open the gate of the fence, John Doe fired upon the victim.

open the gate of the fence, John Doe fired upon the victim. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. JASON S. NAVARRO et al. 414 SCRA 395 (2003), THIRD DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.)

Failure of the accused to object on the insufficiency of the information is deemed a waiver thereof. Josefa P. Noel (Noel) was walking along Avila street, Cebu City when a Tamaraw FX boarded by Jason Navarro, Solomon Navarro, Reynante Olila and Roberto Olila approached her and asked for directions. Subsequently, the victim rode the FX to accompany them and teach the directions. When they reached the place, Jason Navarro insisted to go around with her. During the trip, Jason Navarro started to kiss the Noel and punch him in the stomach. While Solomon Navarro was holding the Noel‘s hands, Jason removed her short pants and panties and inserted his penis to her vagina. Noel was able to ran out of the vehicle and asked for help from the people. Jason and Solomon Navarro denied the accusation against them but the Regional Trial Court (RTC) held them guilty of rape. Their co-accused Roberto Olila was acquitted for insufficiency of evidence.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Navarro et al. may be validly convicted for rape despite the failure to allege ―force or intimidation‖ in the information

HELD:

The gravamen of the offense of rape is sexual intercourse with a woman against her will or without her consent. While generally an accused cannot be convicted of an offense that is not charged in the information, this rule is not without exception. The right to assail the sufficiency of the information or the admission of evidence may be waived by the accused. In the case at bar, while the information failed to specifically allege that the sexual intercourse was committed through force or intimidation, the prosecution presented evidence, no objection to which was interposed appellants, that they committed rape through force. Besides the information alleged that the sexual intercourse was against the victim‘s will.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. MICAHEL MURO 575 SCRA 493 (2008), SECOND DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.)

Inconsistencies on important details create doubts on the guilt of the accused.

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Criminal Law Michael Muro (Muro) was tried and convicted by the Regional Trial Court of Mandaluyong

Michael Muro (Muro) was tried and convicted by the Regional Trial Court of Mandaluyong City of raping AAA a deaf-mute. AAA, at the witness stand, testified that she was grabbed by Muro outside her house in Mandaluyong, took her to a vacant lot with a lot of trees and water, and there had carnal knowledge of her. She said that she did not go home immediately and instead, spent the night in a stranger‘s house. The following day, she was picked up by a person on board a motorcycle who brought her to the barangay hall. Soon after, her mother BBB arrived together with Muro. She then informed the police what had happened to her and pointed to Muro as the culprit.

Muro interposing alibi and claimed that he was a someplace else with his friends during the time of the alleged rape. He claimed that on his way home, he met a barangay tanod who was with AAA. He went with AAA to the barangay hall because he knew her. When they reached the hall, Muro asked the tanod what happened to AAA, and the barangay tanod answered him that eight men took turns in abusing her in Mangahan. He was also told that if AAA‘s parents do not fetch her, they would be sued and AAA would be turned over to the Department of Social Welfare. He thus offered to fetch AAA‘s parents and thereupon, he was surprised when AAA pointed to him as her attacker.

he was surprised when AAA pointed to him as her attacker. The RTC found Muro guilty

The RTC found Muro guilty of the crime of rape and sentenced him to reclusion perpetua. On appeal,, the appellate court affirmed the RTC decision. Hence, this appeal.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Michael Muro is guilty of rape beyond reasonable doubt

HELD:

The uncorroborated testimony of the victim in a rape case may, under certain circumstances, be adequate to warrant conviction. The testimony must, however, be clear, impeccable and ring true throughout or bear the stamp of absolute candor, free from any serious contradictions. The version of AAA at the witness stand and that given in her complaint-affidavit which she identified in court contain discrepancies.

In her complaint-affidavit, AAA claimed that on appellant‘s invitation, they walked and conversed until they reached the vacant lot where he suddenly grabbed her, forcefully removed her short pants and panties, slapped her causing her to fall down, raped her, threatened to hurt her should she narrate what happened, and then left.

At the witness stand, she, however, claimed that appellant grabbed her from outside her residence and brought her to the alleged watery vacant lot at J. Rizal Street where she accidentally tripped after which he raped her, put on his clothes, and left.

On cross-examination, AAA claimed that that was her first time to have sexual intercourse. In her complaint-affidavit, however, AAA claimed that appellant had previously raped her three times, and that a certain Nonoy had been raping her everyday except Sundays from May 3, 1999 to May 30, 1999.

Such inexplicable discrepancies on important details vis a vis the result of her physical examination which bears no indication of the commission of sexual intercourse committed hours earlier nag the Court to entertain serious doubts on whether appellant committed the crime charged.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. JESUS MACAPAL, JR. 463 SCRA 387 (2005), THIRD DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.)

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Criminal Law While it may be difficult to determine the credibility of one who is a

While it may be difficult to determine the credibility of one who is a mental retardate, it can still be attained by deducing from the manner he or she testifies in court as to the surrounding facts of the crime committed

AAA, a mentally retarded person alleges that appellant Jesus Macapal Jr. raped her by means of force and intimidation. During the arraignment, Macapal pleaded not guilty.

The doctor opined that while mental capacity of victim is comparable to that of a child between 9 to 12 years old, she could testify in court under closed door and leading questions should be avoided as retarded people may be suggestible and wish to please others. Dr. Selim, on the other hand testified that the victim was pregnant. Macapal denied the allegations, and alleged that the victim has a boyfriend named Edsel. He contends that the Edsel could have impregnated the victim. Another witness name Mansueto Pande testified that he witnessed the victim and Edsel having sexual intercourse in the house of Nelson Gultiano. Sebastian Bermudez (Bermudez) likewise testified that Macapagl could not have committed the rape because he was in the farm of Bermudez working as helper.

because he was in the farm of Bermudez working as helper. The Regional Trial Court (RTC)

The Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Butuan rendered decision finding accused Jesus Macapal, Jr. guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime rape. On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction.

ISSUE:

Whether or not AAA, a mental retardate, proved beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of Macapagal

HELD:

In rape cases, the victim‘s credibility is crucial to the determination of the accused‘s culpability as the crime generally involves two persons only and usually perpetrated in seclusion. While it may be difficult to determine the credibility of one who is a mental retardate, it can still be attained by deducing from the manner he or she testifies in court as to the surrounding facts of the crime committed.

As long as a witness‘ testimony is straightforward, candid and unflawed by inconsistencies or contradictions in its material points, and his or her demeanor is consistent with one who has been victimized to thus bolster credibility with the verity born out of human nature and experience, as in the herein victim‘s case, credibility can be accorded to him or her. In People v. Limio, the complainant‘s low intelligence notwithstanding, this Court entertained no doubt in her testimony, it having categorically showed that ―she had been subjected to a harrowing unspeakable experience, which left an indelible impression in her mind‖ as a rape victim. In the case at bar, albeit the victim‘s testimony was tainted with inconsistencies, these are mere collateral and minor matters which would not compel this Court from discrediting her testimony, given her mental retardation. In fact, testimonial discrepancies, which could have been caused by the natural fickleness of memory, tend to strengthen, rather than weaken, credibility as they negate any suspicion of rehearsed testimony and do not destroy the substance of the victim‘s testimony.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. MELITON

JALBUENA y TADIOSA,

526 SCRA 500 (2007), SECOND DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.)

If the testimony of the victim passes the test of credibility, the accused may be convicted solely on that basis. Meliton Jalbuena y Tadiosa was charged and convicted with rape of his daughter, AAA, who is a minor. On appeal, Jalbuena contends that the testimony of his daughter was inconsistent. He also

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Criminal Law questions as fatally defective the information for failure to allege the date and time

questions as fatally defective the information for failure to allege the date and time of the commission of the offense charged, thus violating his constitutionally protected right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him and depriving him of the opportunity to prepare for his defense. Furthermore, Jalbuena contended that the prosecution failed to present testimony from the victims uncle who saw him on top of AAA. On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Jalbuena was convicted on evidence beyond reasonable doubt HELD:

In rape cases, the credibility of the victim is almost always the single most important issue. If the testimony of the victim passes the test of credibility, the accused may be convicted solely on that basis. The credibility of the testimony of the offended party is put to a stringent test in order that it could be said as credible to sustain a conviction. The Court finds AAA‘s testimony to have passed said test. Her testimony given in open court is clear, consistent, direct and without any hesitation when confronted by the presence of her own abuser. It is noted that AAA had to tell her story several times to her two classmates, to the teacher, the principal, the police, the doctor, the Municipal Trial Court Judge who conducted the preliminary investigation, to the prosecutor, to the social worker and to this Court, in the presence of the public and her father. Jalbuena never objected to the presentation of evidence by the prosecution to prove that the offenses were committed ―on or about sometime 1987, prior and subsequent thereto. He cannot now pretend that in view of the vagueness of the allegation in the Information as to when the crimes were committed, as it was shown to the contrary that he participated in the trial and was even able to give an alibi in his defense.

the trial and was even able to give an alibi in his defense. PEOPLE OF THE

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. RICARDO FERNANDO y MONTIAS 520 SCRA 675 (2007), SECOND DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.)

Minor inconsistencies will not impair the credibility of the prosecution’s witness. Ricardo Fernando y Montias (Fernando) was arrested in a buy bust operation with one (1) heat sealed transparent plastic bag containing white crystalline substance which tested positive results of Methylamphetamine in Caloocan City. The Regional Trial Court found him guilty of violating Sec. 11, Art. II of Republic Act 9165 otherwise known as the Dangerous Drugs Act. On appeal, Fernando contended that his arrest was an organized extortion or hulidap by the police. He also alleged that the police tried to extort money from his mother while he was in jail. He pointed out on the inconsistencies of the testimonies of the police who apprehended him.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Fernando was convicted of evidence beyond reasonable doubt HELD:

Fernando did not present evidence to overcome the presumption that he had no authority to sell shabu nor that he had animus possidendi. Neither did he substantiate his defense of hulidap or extortion nor present evidence that the prosecution witnesses had motive to falsely charge him and/or that they did not perform their duties regularly. No evidence was adduced by Fernando to show that the buy-bust operation was resorted to in order to harass, extort, or abuse him. Moreover, for the police officers to frame him up, they must have

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Criminal Law known Fernando prior to the incident. This is clearly not the case here for

known Fernando prior to the incident. This is clearly not the case here for Fernando himself admitted that he does not know any of the police officers who arrested him prior to the incident. Settled is the rule that discrepancies on minor matters do not impair the essential integrity of the prosecution‘s evidence as a whole or reflect on the witnesses‘ honesty. These inconsistencies, which may be caused by the natural fickleness of memory, even tend to strengthen rather than weaken the credibility of the prosecution witnesses because they erase any suspicion of rehearsed testimony. What is important is that the testimonies agree on the essential facts and that the respective versions corroborate and substantially coincide with each other to make a consistent and coherent whole. In the absence of proof of motive for falsely imputing such a serious crime, the presumption of regularity in the performance of official duty, as well as the findings of the trial court on the credibility of witnesses, shall prevail over the self-serving and uncorroborated claim of frame-up. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. SALVADOR GOLIMLIM 427 SCRA 15 (2004), THIRD DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.)

A mental retardate is not per se disqualified from testifying.
A mental retardate is not per se disqualified from testifying.

AAA is a mental retardate. When her mother Amparo Hachero (Amparo) left for Singapore to work, she entrusted Evelyn to the care and custody of her sister Jovita Guban (Jovita) and the latter‘s husband appellant Salvador. In August 1996, Jovita left the house to meet someone, leaving Evelyn with Golimlim. Taking advantage of the situation, Golimlim instructed AAA to sleep, and soon after she had laid down, he kissed her and took off her clothes. As he poked at her an object which to Evelyn felt like a knife, he proceeded to insert his penis into her vagina. When Jovita arrived, AAA told her about what Golimlim did to her. Jovita, however, did not believe her. Lorna Hachero (Lorna), AAA‘s half-sister, received a letter from their mother Amparo instructing her to fetch Evelyn from Sorsogon and allow her to stay in Quezon City. Dutifully, Lorna immediately proceeded to Golimlim‘s home and brought Evelyn with her to Manila.

A

week after she brought Evelyn to stay with her, Lorna suspected that her sister was pregnant

as she noticed her growing belly. She thereupon brought her to a doctor for check-up and ultrasound examination. The examinations revealed that Evelyn was indeed pregnant. She thus asked her sister how she became pregnant, to which Evelyn replied that appellant had sexual intercourse with her while holding a knife. The Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Sorsogon convicted Golimlim of the crime of rape. On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the testimony of a mental retardate should be given weight and credence

HELD:

The trial judge‘s assessment of the credibility of witnesses‘ testimonies is accorded great respect on appeal in the absence of grave abuse of discretion on its part, it having had the advantage of actually examining both real and testimonial evidence including the demeanor of the witnesses.

A mental retardate or a feebleminded person is not, per se, disqualified from being a witness, her

mental condition not being a vitiation of her credibility. It is now universally accepted that intellectual weakness, no matter what form it assumes, is not a valid objection to the competency of a witness so long as the latter can still give a fairly intelligent and reasonable narrative of the matter testified to.

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Criminal Law

In the present case, no cogent reason can be appreciated to warrant a departure from the findings of the trial court with respect to the assessment of Evelyn‘s testimony.

with respect to the assessment of Evelyn‘s testimony. It is settled that sexual intercourse with a

It is settled that sexual intercourse with a woman who is a mental retardate constitutes statutory rape which does not require proof that the accused used force or intimidation in having carnal knowledge of the victim for conviction. The fact of Evelyn‘s mental retardation was not, however, alleged in the Information and, therefore, cannot be the basis for conviction. Such notwithstanding, that force and intimidation attended the commission of the crime, the mode of commission alleged in the Information, was adequately proven. It bears stating herein that the mental faculties of a retardate being different from those of a normal person, the degree of force needed to overwhelm him or her is less. Hence, a quantum of force which may not suffice when the victim is a normal person may be more than enough when employed against an imbecile.

may be more than enough when employed against an imbecile. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v .

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. EFREN CUSTODIO Y ESTEBAN 557 SCRA 293 (2008), SECOND DIVISION, (Carpio Morales, J.)

An information that fails to allege the use of force and intimidation in a rape case is cured by the failure of the accused to question before the trial court the sufficiency of that information.

Efren Custodio was charged before the Regional Trial Court of Bulacan for three (3) counts of rape. Custodio raised as defense the sweetheart theory. He likewise contends that the Information were defective for failing to allege the use of force and intimidation. The RTC rendered judgment finding him guilty of the offense charged. On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the CA erred when it affirmed conviction of Esteban

HELD:

What the Court said People v. Galido is instructive: An information that fails to allege the use of force and intimidation in a rape case is cured by the failure of the accused to question before the trial court the sufficiency of that information; by the allegation in the original complaint that the accused is being charged with rape through force and intimidation; and by unobjected competent evidence proving that the rape was indeed committed through such means. All of these circumstances obtain in the case at bar. Custodio was arraigned and pleaded not guilty to each of the Informations. There was no showing that he did not understand the import of his plea. He did not raise the issue of defect in the Informations prior to his arraignment by filing either a motion to quash under then Section 8 (now Section 9), Rule 117 or a motion for a bill of particulars under then Section 10 (now Section 9), Rule 116 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure.

The trial court's Order of March 6, 2000 records show the arraignment was carried out: The accused Efren Custodio y Esteban, assisted by PAO lawyer Atty. Benjamin Medrano[,] having been furnished a copy of the Informations, was arraigned by reading in open Court the Informations specifying the nature and cause of the accusation against him in Tagalog, which is the dialect understood by him, and knowing fully well its import and significance, he pleaded "Not Guilty" to all the offense[s] charged.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. SALOMON DIONEDA Y DELA CRUZ a.k.a. SIMON DIONEDA DELA CRUZ 587 SCRA 312 (2009), SECOND DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.)

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Forthright witnesses are not immune from committing minor inaccuracies in their narration of events.

committing minor inaccuracies in their narration of events. Salomon Dioneda was charged with rape before the

Salomon Dioneda was charged with rape before the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City. The Information alleged that Dioneda willfully, unlawfully and feloniously had carnal knowledge with AAA who was then six (6) years old.

The RTC of Quezon City found Dela Cruz guilty of rape and was credited the privilege mitigating circumstance of minority. The Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction. Dioneda later assails AAA‘s credibility due to the inconsistency of her testimonies as to the floor where the she was told to wait.

testimonies as to the floor where the she was to ld to wait. ISSUE: Whether or

ISSUE:

Whether or not the inconsistencies of the narration of facts of AAA warrant the acquittal of Salomon Dioneda y Dela Cruz

HELD:

The place where AAA met Dioneda when she was about to leave the Dajao residence, whether on the ground or second floor is a trivial matter. AAA, a child of tender age, could not be expected to give a perfect recollection of the exact floor of the house where she met appellant.

Forthright witnesses are not immune from committing minor inaccuracies in their narration of events. Trivial inconsistencies and inconsequential discrepancies on minor details in the testimonies of witness do not impair their credibility.

Dioneda‘s challenge to the assailed decision having failed, and no circumstance which creates reasonable doubt on his guilt being extant, his conviction must be upheld.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. EFREN G. DE TAZA

410 SCRA 518 (20030, EN BANC, (Carpio Morales, J.)

Medical findings of injuries in the victim’s genitalia are not essential in rape cases. Efren De Taza, an officer of the Philippine Airforce (PAF), was charged with four (4) counts of rape commited against his minor stepdaughter. The medical examination of the victim proved inconclusive regarding the said rape. Upon hearing of the case, the witness testified regarding the alleged rape committed against her. The Regional Trial Court of Cavite found De Taza guilty of four (4) cunts of rape and the penalty of death was imposed. Hence, the automatic review of the Court.

Issue:

Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in finding De Taza guilty of rape

Held:

In his Brief, De Taza draws attention to matters testified on by AAA which to him create doubts on the credibility of her testimony. He particularly cites her account of the May 15, 1993 incident (subject of the first information) that De Taza was able to insert his penis into her vagina which is belied by the medico-legal report conducted on her following such incident indicating that there was no evident sign of extra-genital injuries and that her hymen was still intact.

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Criminal Law It is well settled that for a conviction of rape, medical findings of injuries

It is well settled that for a conviction of rape, medical findings of injuries in the victim‘s genitalia are not essential. The above-quoted findings of Dr. Bernales on his examination of AAA on May 17, 1993, two days after the May 5, 1993 incident - subject of the first information, merely rule out complete penetration.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. JERRY CANTUBA y DEBLOIS

392

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v . JERRY CANTUBA y DEBLOIS 392 SCRA 76, 18 November 2002,

SCRA 76, 18 November 2002, EN BANC (Carpio Morales, J.)

When the evidence proves beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of the accused, the Court should reject the alibi offered by the accused.

Accused-appellant Jerry Cantuba (Cantuba) was charged with rape by Private Complainant AAA. The rape allegedly took place in the house of Rosemarie, Cantuba‘s sister. Cantuba interposed alibi as defense alleging that he was mistaken for another named Jerry Teves. He further claimed that at the time of the commission of the crime, he helped Avelino Magno (Magno) make hollow blocks and plaster walls and theeafter proceeded to the house of a certain Zaldy Salas‘ (Salas). The Regional Trial Court of Quezon City (RTC) found Cantuba guilty of rape and sentenced him to death.

ISSUES:

Whether or not Accused-Appellant Cantuba is guilty beyond reasonable doubt

HELD:

Evidence establish beyond reasonable doubt that AAA was raped. There is no proof that the house where the offense was committed was indeed swarming with people at the time of its commission. In any case, the Court has held that rapists are not deterred from committing their odious act by the presence of people nearby or the members of the family; that lust does not respect time or place; and that rape is not only committed in seclusion.

The trial court thus correctly rejected not only Cantuba‘s theory of mistaken identity but his alibi as well. Cantuba claimed that he proceeded to the house of Zaldy where he watched television while Magno left for home, whereas Magno claimed that the two of them proceeded to Zaldy‘s house and both watched television. The attempt of the accused to foist doubt into the mind of the court by suggesting that it might be the other Jerry (Teves/Obregon) who did it, proved insensible as the little girl stuck to her earlier declaration pointing to Jerry Cantuba as the perpetrator of the rape. And the court believed her. The court gives her narration full faith and credence and rejects the alibi offered by the accused.

JAMES SVENDSEN v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

546 SCRA 659 (2008), SECOND DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.)

The failure of the prosecution to prove the existence and receipt by the accused of the requisite written notice of dishonor and that he was given at least five banking days within which to settle his account constitutes sufficient ground for his acquittal.

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Criminal Law Cristina Reyes (Reyes) extended a loan to James Svendsen (Svendsen) in the amount of

Cristina Reyes (Reyes) extended a loan to James Svendsen (Svendsen) in the amount of P200,000, to bear interest at 10% a month. After Svendsen had partially paid his obligation, he failed to settle the balance which had reached P380,000 inclusive of interest.

Reyes thus filed a complaint against Svendson, which was eventually settled when Svendson paid her P200,000 and issued in her favor a postdated International Exchange Bank check. The same was co- signed by one Wilhem Bolton. When the check was presented for payment it was dishonored for having been Drawn Against Insufficient Funds (DAIF).

Reyes then filed a complaint against Svendsen and his co-signatory to the check, Bolton, for violation of B.P. Blg. 22 before the Metropolitan Trial Court of Manila. Svendsen denied the allegation against him stating that he has no knowledge about the insufficiency of his funds with the drawee bank for the payment of the check in full upon its presentment.

for the payment of the check in full upon its presentment. The MeTC rendered judgment and

The MeTC rendered judgment and found Svendsin guilty of the offense charged. The Regional Trial Court (RTC) affirmed the MeTC judgment. On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction. Hence, this appeal.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the CA erred in denying the Svendson‘s appeal despite failure of the prosecution to prove all the elements of violation of B.P. Blg. 22

HELD:

For Svendsen to be validly convicted of the crime under B.P. Blg. 22, the following requisites must thus concur: (1) the making, drawing and issuance of any check to apply for account or for value; (2) the knowledge of the maker, drawer, or issuer that at the time of issue he does not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the payment of the check in full upon its presentment; and (3) the subsequent dishonor of the check by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds or credit or dishonor for the same reason had not the drawer, without any valid cause, ordered the bank to stop payment

The spirit and letter of the Bouncing Checks Law require for the act to be punished thereunder not only that the accused issued a check that is dishonored, but also that the accused has actually been notified in writing of the fact of dishonor. This is consistent with the rule that penal statues must be construed strictly against the state and liberally in favor of the accused.

The same penalty shall be imposed upon any person who, having sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank when he makes or draws and issues a check, shall fail to keep sufficient funds or to maintain a credit to cover the full amount of the check if presented within a period of ninety (90) days from the date appearing thereon, for which reason it is dishonored by the drawee bank. Where the check is drawn by a corporation, company or entity, the person or persons who actually signed the check in behalf of such drawer shall be liable under this Act.

The making, drawing and issuance of a check payment of which is refused by the drawee because of insufficient funds in or credit with such bank, when presented within ninety (90) days from the date of the check, shall be prima facie evidence of knowledge of such insufficiency of funds.

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MARCIANO TAN v. PHILIPPINE COMMERCIAL INTERNATIONAL BANK 552 SCRA (2008), SECOND DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.)

BANK 552 SCRA (2008), SECOND DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.) Full payment at the time of its

Full payment at the time of its presentment or during the five-day grace period could exonerate one from criminal liability under B.P. Blg. 22.

Petitioner Marciano Tan, executive vice president of Master Tours and Travel (MTT) applied for Usance Letter of Credit (LC) with respondent Philippine Commercial International Bank (PCIB) to import four tourist buses with a total value of US430, 000.00 from Daewoo Corporation of Korea (Daewoo) which, as agreed upon by the parties, amounted to P 10 Million Pesos.

agreed upon by the parties, amounted to P 10 Million Pesos. MTT issued five post dated

MTT issued five post dated checks. Consequently, PCIB then issued the Usance LC. The tourist buses were delivered to MTT covered by Trust Receipts with PCIB as entruster and MTT as entrustee. All of the six checks issued by MTT to PCIB were cleared except that last one. PCIB soon demanded the settlement of the dishonored check. MTT thus issued 14 post dated checks payable every fifteen days. Of the 14 checks, only the first five were honored. MTT, having suffered financial losses availed of the provision of the Trust Receipt. Under said provision, MTT surrendered the buses to PCIB which the latter accepted. PCIB sent MTT a letter demanding payment of MTT‘s remaining obligation. In response, MTT claimed that its obligation has been extinguished since the buses were already delivered to PCIB.

PCIB subsequently filed criminal complaint against Tan for violation of B. P. Blg. 22 before Regional Trial Court of Makati. The RTC convicted Tan of all nine charges. On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the RTC‘s decision. Hence, Tan filed Petition for Review with the Supreme Court.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Tan may be held liable for violation of B.P. 22 despite MTT‘s delivery of buses in favor of PCIB

HELD:

While issuing of a bouncing check is malum prohibitum, the prosecution is not excused from its responsibility of proving beyond reasonable doubt all the elements of the offense. The prosecution must prove that the accused knew, at the time of issuance, that he does not have sufficient funds or credit for the full payment of the check upon its presentment. The element of "knowledge" involves a state of mind that obviously would be difficult to establish, hence, the statute creates a prima facie presumption of knowledge on the insufficiency of funds or credit coincidental with the attendance of the two other elements.

In order to create such presumption, it must be shown that the drawer or maker received a notice of dishonor and, within five banking days thereafter, failed to satisfy the amount of the check or arrange for its payment. The above-quoted provision creates a presumption juris tantum that the second element prima facie exists when the first and third elements of the offense are present. The presumption is not conclusive, however, as it may be rebutted by full payment. If the maker or drawer pays, or makes arrangement with the drawee bank for the payment of the amount due within the five-day period from notice of the dishonor, he or she may no longer be indicted for such violation. It is a complete defense that would lie regardless of the strength of the evidence presented by the prosecution. In essence, the law affords the drawer or maker the opportunity to avert prosecution by

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Criminal Law performing some acts that would operate to preempt the criminal action, which opportunity

Criminal Law

performing some acts that would operate to preempt the criminal action, which opportunity serves to mitigate the harshness of the law in its application.

It is a general rule that only a full payment at the time of its presentment or during the five-day

grace period could exonerate one from criminal liability under B.P. Blg. 22 and that subsequent

payments can only affect the civil, but not the criminal, liability.

In the present case, PCIB already exacted its proverbial pound of flesh by receiving and keeping

in possession the four buses-trust properties surrendered by Tan in about mid 1991 and March 1992 pursuant to Section 7 of the Trust Receipts Law, the estimated value of which was "about P6.6 million". It thus appears that the total amount of the dishonored checks P1,785,855.75, the undisputed claim of petitioner of a mistaken agreement to pay the exchange differential (which the same checks represented) aside, was more than fully satisfied prior to the transmittal and receipt of the July 9, 1992 letter of demand. In keeping with jurisprudence, the Court then considers such payment of the dishonored checks to have obliterated the criminal liability of Tan.

checks to have obliterated the criminal liability of Tan. JESUS GERALDO and AMADO ARIATE v. PEOPLE

JESUS GERALDO and AMADO ARIATE v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES 571 SCRA 420 (2008), SECOND DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.) At all events, even if the victim's dying declarations were admissible in evidence, it must identify the assailant with certainty; otherwise it loses its significance.

Jesus Geraldo (Geraldo) and Amado Ariate (Ariate) were accused before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) for Homicide, resulting in Arthur U. Ronquillo‘s death. Although gasping for breath, Arthur was able to utter to his daughter and within the hearing distance of his son that he was shot by ―Badjing and Amado‖.

Geraldo and Ariate, who were suspected to be ―Badjing‖ and ―Amado‖ were subjected to paraffin tests and were found negative for gunpowder residue. The RTC found the accused guilty based on the dying declaration of Arthur. The Court of Appeals affirmed with modification the RTC‘s decision.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the identities of Jesus and Amado has been established by proof beyond reasonable doubt

HELD:

The trial court relied on the dying declaration of the victim as recounted by his daughter Mirasol and corroborated by his son Arnel.

A dying declaration is admissible as evidence if the following circumstances are present: (a) it

concerns the cause and the surrounding circumstances of the declarant's death; (b) it is made when death appears to be imminent and the declarant is under a consciousness of impending death; (c) the declarant would have been competent to testify had he or she survived; and (d) the dying declaration is offered in a case in which the subject of inquiry involves the declarant's death. At all events, even if the victim's dying declarations were admissible in evidence, it must identify the assailant with certainty; otherwise it loses its significance.

PAMELA CHAN v. SANDIGANBAYAN 466 SCRA 190 (2005), THIRD DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.)

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The inconsistency between the finding of RTC and the SB as to the computation of the actual amount of remittance is not sufficient to merit re-audit.

amount of remittance is not sufficient to merit re-audit. Petitioner Pamela Chan (Chan) was hired as

Petitioner Pamela Chan (Chan) was hired as Accounting Clerk II and assigned at the Regional Office of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Cebu City, discharging the function of Cashier or Collection Officer. When Chan went on leave, Josephine Daclan (Daclan), the auditor from the Commission on Audit (COA) assigned to the NBI, conducted a routine audit examination of the accountability of Chan and found out that she had a cumulative shortage in the amount of P333,360.00. With this, the COA Region VII thus filed a complaint against Chan for Malversation of public funds.

a complaint against Chan for Malversation of public funds. Chan was eventually indicted before the Regional

Chan was eventually indicted before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) which found her guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime charged, with the mitigating circumstance that she had no intention to commit so grave a wrong as that committed. As the RTC credited Chan‘s claim ―that during the preliminary investigation, she was able to remit P150,000.00 to the government‖ and noted that such claim was not denied by the prosecution, it held that she had an unremitted balance of P183,360.00.

Chan sought for reinvestigation but such was denied by the RTC. On appeal, the Sandiganbayan (SB) affirmed the conviction of Chan but found that the amount totally remitted was P150,547.82, not P150,000.00 as found by the RTC. Chan claimed that her right to due process was violated by the denial of her plea for the conduct of a re-audit of her accountabilities.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the subject audit reports of Chan‘s accountabilities contain errors sufficient to merit a re-audit

HELD:

The burden of proof that the subject audit reports contain errors sufficient to merit a re-audit lies with Chan. What degree of error suffices, there is no hard and fast rule. While COA Memorandum 87-511 dated October 20, 1987 recognizes that a re-audit may be conducted in certain instances, it does not specify or cite what those instances are. Chan draws attention to the conflicting findings of the COA, the RTC, and the SB regarding her total liability as indication that a re-audit was called for. As against the amount of P333,360.00 demanded by the COA, the trial court found her total liability to be P183,360.00 and the SB found it to be P182,812.18. These inconsistent findings were not due to any error in the audits, however. The liability of Chan as found by the RTC and the SB was lower than that found by the COA because there were remittances made while the case was already pending which were deducted from Chan‘s accountability. On the other hand, the inconsistency between the findings of the RTC and the SB was due to their different computations as to the actual amount of remittances, not due to any error in the audits.

ROBERTO CHANG et al. v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES 496 SCRA 321 (2006), THIRD DIVISION (Carpio Morales J.)

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Criminal Law In entrapment, the mens rea originates from the mind of the criminal; the idea

In entrapment, the mens rea originates from the mind of the criminal; the idea and the resolve to commit the crime come from him. Roberto Chang (Chang) was the Municipal Treasurer of Makati, while Pacifico San Mateo (San Mateo) was the Chief of the Operations of the Makati Treasurer‘s Office. Edgar Leoncito Feraren (Feraren), on the other hand, was a driver-clerk at the same office. They work hand in hand to collect from Group Developers Incorporated (GDI), through its employee Mario Magat, an amount of P 125, 000. In exchange for the said sum, they issue to the GDI a Certificate of Examination stating that the company had no tax liability for a particular period. The GDI reported the said incident to National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) as part of an entrapment operation against the said individuals. The Sandiganbayan convicted Chang and San Mateo while Feraren was acquitted. Chang and Mateo maintain that the alleged ―entrapment operation‖ by the authorities was actually an instigation; which is an absolutory cause under criminal law, and therefore not punishable.

cause under criminal law, and therefore not punishable. ISSUE: Whether or not the incident can be

ISSUE:

Whether or not the incident can be counted as instigation and not entrapment operation

HELD:

There is entrapment when law officers employ ruses and schemes to ensure the apprehension of the criminal while in the actual commission of the crime. There is instigation when the accused is induced to commit the crime. The difference in the nature of the two lies in the origin of the criminal intent. In entrapment, the mens rea originates from the mind of the criminal. The idea and the resolve to commit the crime comes from him. In instigation, the law officer conceives the commission of the crime and suggests to the accused who adopts the idea and carries it into execution. From the evidence for the prosecution, it was clearly established that the criminal intent originated from the minds of Chang et al. Even before the June 19, 1991 meeting took place, Chang et al. already made known to Magat that GDI only had two options to prevent the closure of the company, either to pay the assessed amount of P494,601.11 to the Municipality, or pay the amount of P125,000 to them.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. VICTOR AÑORA y BACALLA 406 SCRA 433 (2003), THIRD DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.) When the evidence of the prosecution is weak and betrays lack of concreteness, appellant’s alibi assumes importance. Appellant Victor Añora y Bacalla was charged with murder for fatally shooting Fernando Lim. Fernando‘s death resulted from the two gunshot wounds that he received because of the shooting. After three days, two witnesses namely: Pablo Rico, Jr. and Jonas Niala executed a joint affidavit recounting that at the time of the incident they heard a single gunshot and saw two persons one holding a gun which they came to know as the appellant Bacalla and the other sprawled on the floor which was Fernando. After three years and more than nine months Rico gave his testimony during trial reiterating what he said in the joint affidavit and adding that the killing of Fernando by Bacalla was caused by an altercation involving drugs since the Fernando was a drug pusher. The defense suggested that it was Bacalla‘s uncle and namesake Victor Añora y Cempron who committed the crime and that Bacalla during the time when said murder took place was busy working at a Fish Market in Cebu which was corroborated by Roberto Tesoro head of the laborers of fish vendors. The Regional Trial Court (RTC) found Victor guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of

murder.

ISSUE:

Faculty of Civil Law Digest Pool 2010

Criminal Law

Whether or not erred in finding Victor guilty of murder

Law Whether or not erred in finding Victor guilty of murder HELD: Since Rico claimed at

HELD:

Since Rico claimed at the witness stand that he and Niala were only about 8 arms length away from the chapel and they immediately, after hearing the ―gunburst‖, walked towards where it came from, it is incredible why it took them five minutes, after taking merely 10 steps, to reach the spot where Bacalla and Fernando allegedly were. But even assuming that it was only after five minutes that Rico and Niala repaired to where Bacalla and Fernando were, it is improbable that within said span of time, the assailant would still be tucking his gun into his waist and not leave the locus criminis right away, given the fact that there were many houses at the back of the chapel, the curiosity of the occupants of which would likely be aroused. It bears noting that by Rico‘s claim, soon after the shooting and after he informed the victim‘s father about it, the latter arrived as did the policemen who picked him up and Niala. Yet it was only after three days that Rico and Niala executed a joint affidavit relating what they claimed to have seen after hearing a ―single burst of fire.‖ Just as it bears noting that in said affidavit, Rico and Niala heard only a ―single burst of fire‖ despite the fact that the medico legal found wounds in the victim which were the result of two gunshots; and that in the same affidavit, Rico and Niala declared that ―they came to know‖ the name of the man who tucked a gun into his waist as Victor Añora, but four and a half years later, when Rico took the witness stand on January 27, 1995, he claimed that prior to the date of the incident, July 22, 1990, he had known and had twice seen Bacalla ―because he (Rico) frequented to (sic) their house because he is a friend of my lady friend‖. In fine, the alleged facts and circumstances testified on by Rico, if not inconsistent with the joint affidavit he and Niala executed, are improbable, not being in consonance to reason and the common experience, knowledge and observation of ordinary men. They are, therefore, unworthy of credence. Rico‘s testimony having been discredited, this Court appreciates no other evidence to incriminate Bacalla for the fatal shooting of the victim. It is a settled doctrine that the prosecution must rely on the strength of its evidence and not on the weakness of that of the defense. Since in the case at bar the evidence for the prosecution is weak and betrays lack of concreteness, appellant‘s alibi assumes importance.

ck of concreteness, appellant‘s alibi assumes importance. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. LUSTRISIMO ARELLANO 563 SCRA

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. LUSTRISIMO ARELLANO 563 SCRA 181 (2008), SECOND DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.)

Delay in reporting a rape incident renders the charge doubtful only if the delay is unreasonable and unexplained.

Four criminal cases, the first three for statutory rape, and the last for simple rape, were filed against appellant Lustrisimo Arellano before the Regional Trial Court (RTC). Denying the charges, Arellano surmised that AAA filed the cases against him at BBB‘s instigation because he was very strict with them and did not allow BBB to have a boyfriend as she was still studying

The RTC, by a consolidated decision, found the positive testimony of AAA more credible than the denial of Arellano, and convicted Arellano of all four charges, aggravated by relationship. By the decision, the Court of Appeals, to which the Supreme Court forwarded the appeal following People v. Mateo, resolved in the negative the sole issue raised by appellant whether delay in reporting the incidents of rape affected the credibility of AAA, affirmed the trial court‘s decision.

ISSUE:

Whether or not AAA‘s delay in reporting the incidents of rape affected the credibility of AAA

Faculty of Civil Law Digest Pool 2010

HELD:

Criminal Law

HELD: Criminal Law Indeed, AAA‘s delay in filing the cases against Arellano does not, in light

Indeed, AAA‘s delay in filing the cases against Arellano does not, in light of the attendant facts and circumstances, detract from her credibility. Delay in reporting a rape incident renders the charge doubtful only if the delay is unreasonable and unexplained.

In the case of AAA who was only seven years old when the first rape took place and still a minor at the time the fourth rape occurred, her explanation that Arellano threatened to kill her mother if she disclosed what he did to her, coupled with the fact that Arellano is her own father who exercises moral ascendancy over her, reasonably justifies the delay.

moral ascendancy over her, reasonably justifies the delay. As in most criminal cases, decision thereof hinges

As in most criminal cases, decision thereof hinges on credibility of witness and of testimony. This Court appreciates no reason to doubt AAA‘s credibility and that of her testimony vis-à-vis the findings of Dr. Mercado. Arellano‘s bare denial of the charges fails to overcome the evidence against him.

In a rape committed by a father against his daughter, his moral ascendancy and influence over his daughter substitutes for violence or intimidation, hence, evidence thereof is unnecessary to secure his conviction.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. FERNANDO BUENAVIDEZ alias “NANDING BEDEA” 411 SCRA 202 (2003), THIRD DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.)

Testimonies of witnesses giving a positive identification of a person as the malefactor, categorically and consistently giving a credible account of what they witnessed shall prevail over an alibi.

Ferdinand Dariagan was riding a tricycle when he decided to urinate on the roadside while waiting for the driver, moments later appellant Fernando Buenavidez who came from the barangay chapel struck Dariagan several times with a knife. Consequently, Dariagan died. There were two persons who witnessed the killing. During trial, Buenavidez invoked the defense of alibi. Buenavidez claims that it is impossible for him to be at the crime scene because at the date and time of the incident, he was tending the chickens in the farm of his employer. The Regional Trial Court (RTC) found the Buenavidez‘s defenses of denial and alibi discordant or inconsistent with his statements in his direct testimony and thus convicted Buenavidez with the crime of murder.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the Buenavidez is guilty of murder

HELD:

As for the trial court‘s discrediting appellant Fernando Buenavidez‘ alibi, it is settled that the issue of credibility is a question best addressed to the province of the trial court because of its unique position of having observed the witnesses‘ deportment on the stand while testifying which opportunity is denied to appellate courts. Where, as in the prosecution witnesses‘ case, they positively identified appellant Buenavidez as the malefactor and categorically and consistently gave a credible account of what they witnessed, their testimonies should indeed prevail over Buenavidez‘s alibi.

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Criminal Law

Criminal Law Additionally, as the trial court also found, the eyewitnesses had no ill-motive to testify

Additionally, as the trial court also found, the eyewitnesses had no ill-motive to testify falsely against appellant. Patanao, who was not a resident of Barangay Dayao, Roxas City, going to said place only occasionally, has had no encounter with the victim and knew appellant only as the person taking care of the fighting cocks of one Jun-Jun Borda. Mamburan on the other hand does not know appellant personally and saw him only in the afternoons of February 6 up to 11, 1995 gathering fighting cocks ―beside the road.‖

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. HENRY CARPIO y NATIVIDAD and JULIE MOLINA Y NATIVIDAD (Acquitted) 429 SCRA 676 (2004), EN BANC (Carpio Morales, J.) Aggravating circumstance must be stated in ordinary and concise language and not necessarily in the language used in the statute but should still be in terms sufficient to enable a person of common understanding. While Leonila Zabala and her daughter Eldie Grace Michelle Zabala were sleeping in the brightly lit master‘s bedroom of their house, Leonila was awakened by the sound of a wallet being opened. Leonila stood up and saw appellant Henry Carpio sitting on the floor. On seeing Leonila stand up, Carpio approached her, poked a knife at her neck. Soon Eldie Grace woke up, Carpio also poked a knife at her and told her not to shout. Carpio thereupon tied Leonila‘s hands at her back with a blanket, stuffed her mouth with her husband‘s silk shorts and blindfolded her. Appellant subsequently also tied Eldie Grace‘s hands and tried to spread her legs sideways. As Eldie Grace refused to spread her legs, Carpio threatened her. Carpio thereafter removed Eldie Grace‘s pajama and panty then inserted his penis into the private part of Eldie Grace. Carpio‘s lust satisfied, Carpio ransacked the cabinets inside the bedroom after which he exited through the jalousie window of the bedroom. After Carpio‘s co-accused Julie Molina took the witness stand, appellant moved, through his counsel, that he was withdrawing his earlier plea of not guilty and was instead entering a plea of guilty which the trial court granted. The trial court found the accused guilty of robbery with rape as principal, committed with the use of a deadly weapon and with aggravating circumstances of dwelling, nighttime, unlawful entry and/or breaking of window, without any mitigating circumstance to offset the same and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of death. ISSUES:

Whether or not Carpio is guilty of robbery with rape committed with aggravating circumstances of dwelling, nighttime, unlawful entry and/or breaking of window HELD:

As to Carpio‘s contention that nighttime and unlawful entry and/or breaking of window were not alleged in the information as required by the Rules, the same is meritorious. Parenthetically, the crime was committed at 5:00 a.m., certainly not at nighttime. And so is appellant‘s contention with respect to dwelling, it not having been duly reflected in the information that, following paragraph 3 of

Article 14 of the RPC, "the act be committed

not given provocation." The earlier quoted information only describes a room of the house where the victims were sleeping. It did not, however, state that the house-venue of the crime was the dwelling of the victims. Though the aggravating circumstances must be stated in ordinary and concise language and not necessarily in the language used in the statute, it should still be in terms sufficient to enable a person of common understanding to know what offense is being charged and its qualifying and aggravating circumstances. As to Carpio‘s plea of guilty, it cannot be considered mitigating, it having been made after the prosecution had rested its case.

having been made after the prosecution had rested its case. in the dwelling of the offended

in the dwelling of the offended party if the latter has

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. JESUS CASTRO

Faculty of Civil Law Digest Pool 2010

Criminal Law

566 SCRA 92 (2008), SECOND DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.)

566 SCRA 92 (2008), SECOND DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J. ) Failure to satisfy the conditions for

Failure to satisfy the conditions for circumstantial evidence is failure to prove the crime charged.

Roman Cruz owns a trucking business known as Romy's Freight Services. Cruz hired appellant Jesus Castro as a tinsmith-mechanic. Cruz then promoted Castro to the position of shop supervisor whose duties included purchasing spare parts during emergencies, receiving deliveries of spare parts, and supervising the mechanics. As shop supervisor, Castro had access to the storeroom. In March, July and August of 1993, Cruz purchased truck spare parts. In December 1993, he conducted an inventory of the spare parts in the storeroom and discovered missing spare parts all of which were valued at P64, 000.

missing spare parts all of which were valued at P64, 000. Subsequently, Cruz discovered that Castro

Subsequently, Cruz discovered that Castro had authorized the hauling of two truckloads of cement without Castro remitting the overhauling fee. Remembering the spare parts lost in 1993, Cruz spoke with Torres again and asked about the spare parts Castro had supplied to him. This time, Torres divulged that Castro supplied him in 1993 the said spare parts that were lost in Cruz‘s shop which Torres‘ business associate Romeo Inso delivered to Rosita Crispin, an operator and part-owner of a Greenland‖ bus. For his part, Castro, admitting having sold spare parts to Rosita through Inso and Torres but claiming that the same did not come from Cruz's storeroom. Castro claimed that said items came from the shop of Angel Boleyley, a licensed contractor of the Department of Public Works and Highways.

Cruz filed a complaint-affidavit charging Castro for qualified theft. The Regional Trial Court (RTC) found Castro guilty of qualified theft. Castro appealed to the Court of Appeals (CA). The CA affirmed Castro's conviction but increased the penalty of imposed upon Castro.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Castro is guilty of qualified theft

HELD:

The Court at once notes that the trial court found that the spare parts delivered by appellant to Inso did ―correspond‖ to the alleged missing spare parts. ―Correspond‖ does not mean ―the same.‖ It means to ―match‖ or ―compare closely.‖ Cruz himself admitted this when on cross examination he stated that the missing spare parts ―matched what appellant had sold to Torres and Inso as described by them.‖ Cruz in fact additionally admitted also during cross-examination that the missing spare parts were not unique and were readily available in the market.

Given the length of time that had elapsed between the date of purchase (March, July and August 1993) of the spare parts, and the discovery of their loss (December 1993), the lack of claim that those spare parts were not used on broken down trucks that were repaired in March, July and August 1993, the lack of concrete proof that the missing spare parts and those eventually sold to Rosita were the same, the Court finds that the prosecution failed to satisfy the conditions for circumstantial evidence to suffice to prove its case against Castro.

In fine, the prosecution failed to discharge the onus of prima facie proving Castro's guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

The burden of evidence did not thus even shift to the defense. Such notwithstanding, Castro by his evidence, proved that, contrary to the trial court's observation, he sourced the spare parts which were

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Criminal Law

Criminal Law delivered to Torres and Inso from Boleyley who corroborated Castro's claim that he purchased

delivered to Torres and Inso from Boleyley who corroborated Castro's claim that he purchased spare parts from him on or about the time that Castro claimed. And Castro proved too, and this was corroborated by Viloria, that it was "only when there was a defective spare part that has to be replaced" that a new one would be bought by Castro, who would give the newly bought ones to the mechanics which they would "immediately" install in the motor or engine of Cruz's trucks to replace the destroyed spare parts; and that there were no spare parts stored in the bodega of Cruz.

That Cruz executed a complaint-affidavit charging Castro which resulted in the filing of the Information in a criminal case because Castro had priorly filed a case for illegal dismissal against him, as theorized by the defense, is thus not far-fetched. Cruz himself admitted that a complaint for illegal dismissal had been priorly filed.

a complaint for illegal dismissal had been priorly filed. In fine, contrary to the trial court's

In fine, contrary to the trial court's decision, the prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Castro is guilty of the crime charged. The appellate court's affirmance of the trial court's decision must thus fail.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. EUSEBIO DUBAN y DOMINGO @ “JUN” 412 SCRA 131 (2003), THIRD DIVISION (Carpio Morales,J.)

Persons who act in legitimate defense of their persons or rights invariably surrender themselves to the authorities and describe fully and in all candor all that has happened with a view to justify their acts.

Appellant Eusebio Duban (Duban) admittedly hurled a stone, estimated to weigh one kilo, hitting Dinonisio Barboza (Barboza) at the right rear portion of his head and ear, causing him to fall on the ground unconscious. Barboza died hours later after he was brought to the Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center. During trial, Duban interposed that the hurling of the stone that resulted to the death of Barboza was due to self-defense.

The Regional Trial Court (RTC) brushed aside Duban‘s claim of self-defense and found him guilty of murder.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the Court erred in not giving credence to Duban‘s claim of self-defese

HELD:

While Duban claimed during direct examination that he told his side of the incident when he was arrested two weeks later, the police progress report accomplished on his arrest shows that he, after being apprised of his constitutional rights and of the charge against him, ―opted to remain silent.‖

Persons who act in legitimate defense of their persons or rights invariably surrender themselves to the authorities and describe fully and in all candor all that has happened with a view to justify their acts. But Duban did not.

In fine, Duban‘s version of the incident and his actuations soon after do not speak of his innocence. The trial court did not err thus in not crediting Duban‘s claim of self-defense. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. GERRYMEL ESTILLORE y POSTICO 406 SCRA 605 (2003), EN BANC (Carpio Morales, J.)

Faculty of Civil Law Digest Pool 2010

Criminal Law

Criminal Law Circumstantial evidence is sufficient for conviction if: 1) there is more than one circumstance;

Circumstantial evidence is sufficient for conviction if: 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 reasonable doubt. Appellant Gerrymel Estillore y Postico was charged with murder with aggravating circumstance of treachery and evident premeditation and taking advantage of superior strength for killing his common-law wife Mary Jane Del Carmen by setting her on fire. The prosecution presented three witnesses: Guinaja, Cadavis and Dr. Bautista. Guinaja testified regarding what occurred after the said murder particularly the plea of the victim for help from him and Estillore‘s sister. Cadavis testified that Esillores and Mary Jane were having a quarrel before the said murder. Dr. Bautista, a medico-legal officer testified that based on the examination on the body of the victim it is highly improbable that she committed suicide.

victim it is highly improbable that she committed suicide. As a defense, Estillore alleges that his

As a defense, Estillore alleges that his wife committed suicide and that while being rushed to the hospital she told him that she loved him. The Regional Trial Court (RTC) appreciated the aggravating circumstance and convicted Estillore of the crime of murder.

Issue:

Whether or not the RTC erred in finding Estillore guilty beyond reasonable doubt

Held:

In determining whether Postico is guilty beyond reasonable doubt, the trial court considered the circumstantial evidence presented by the prosecution, which included the facts testified to by Cadavis and Guinaja whom it found to be both friends of appellant and who have no motive to falsely testify against him. Circumstantial evidence is sufficient for conviction if: 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 reasonable doubt. It cannot then be gainsaid that a combination of all these enumerated circumstances, along with the unrequited opinion of Dr. Bautista points to Estillore as the one who set the victim on fire which caused her death. Estillore having failed to disprove the prosecution evidence showing his guilt beyond reasonable doubt, the affirmance of his conviction for murder under Article 248, par. 3 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, is in order. The Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure requires, however, that every complaint or information should state not only the qualifying but also the aggravating circumstances. In the case at bar, the information did not specifically allege that Estillore employed means to weaken the defense nor show how the act which resulted in the death of the victim was committed. The said aggravating circumstance cannot thus be appreciated. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. WILLY MARDO GANOY y MAMAYABAY 593 SCRA 624 (2009), SECOND DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.)

Failure to overcome the prosecution’s evidence amounts to guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

AAA, 17 years old was working as a waitress at a videoke bar. At around 1:30 a.m., AAA boarded a tricycle on her way to his brother‘s residence. Appellant Willy Mardo Ganoy accompanied her, but upon reaching the house they found that her brother was not there. AAA and Ganoy thereupon boarded another tricycle to look for her brother at the Home Centrum. On approaching a dimly lighted area, Ganoy suddenly grabbed AAA and dragged her to a nearby vacant lot. When she tried to run,

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Criminal Law

Criminal Law Ganoy twisted her hands and arms and pulled her down. Her head hit a

Ganoy twisted her hands and arms and pulled her down. Her head hit a stone which made her dizzy. Ganoy held her neck, pulled a knife and poked it at the side of her body and threatened to stab her. After having sexual intercourse with her against her will, he brought her to a deserted bodega and held her until daybreak.

Two witnesses testified for Ganoy. One alleged that, AAA went to the warehouse asking money from him. Another witness also testified that AAA was Ganoy‘s girlfriend, and that AAA delivered a child by another man. Ganoy claimed that he left the videoke bar at 2:00 a.m. and proceeded to the warehouse. Ganoy also claimed that AAA followed him because she wanted to apologize for their quarrel. He further claimed that he impregnated AAA but she had the child aborted, hence, she needed money to pay for the hospital bills. Ganoy did not give her money, however, so AAA left.

bills. Ganoy did not give her money, however, so AAA left. The trial court found Ganoy

The trial court found Ganoy guilty of rape. The Supreme Court to which appellant appealed referred the case to the Court of Appeals by Resolution. By decision, the appellate court affirmed the trial court‘s decision with modification.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Ganoy is guilty of rape

HELD:

The evaluation of the credibility of witnesses in rape cases is addressed to the sound discretion of the trial judge whose conclusion deserves much weight and respect because he/she has the direct opportunity to observe them on the stand and ascertain if they are telling the truth or not.

In brushing aside the defense of Ganoy, the appellate court held that settled is the rule that allegations are not synonymous to proofs. In the same breath, the Ganoy‘s claim that on the occasion of the alleged rape, [AAA] was asking money from him to defray the hospitalization bill she incurred a day before due to an abortion, is simply preposterous. It would be the height of absurdity, if the same was true, that [AAA] would be able to report for work and served as a waitress until early morning of that day, if she underwent abortion. Besides, based on the medico-legal findings, there was neither evidence nor report of any unusual abrasions on [AAA]‘s internal sexual organs that would prove any recent abortion. On the contrary, the fact that she was raped is conclusively buttressed by the presence of spermatozoa in her vagina.‖

AAA‘s credibility gains light from the fact that she lost no time to immediately report the commission of the rape to police authorities. The presence of spermatozoa in complainant‘s vagina as reflected in the above-quoted Medico-Legal Report of her examination on the same day she claimed to have been raped all the more fortifies the case for AAA. In fine, the Court finds that appellant failed to overcome the prosecution evidence showing his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ABRAHAM AGSALOG and JOVITO SIBLAS y OBAÑA 427 SCRA 624 (2004), EN BANC (Carpio Morales, J.)

It does not follow that a sudden and unexpected attack is tainted with treachery for it could have been that the same was done on impulse, as a reaction to an actual or imagined provocation offered by the victim.

While Eduardo Marzan y Teñoso (Marzan) and his uncle Tony Opiña was drinking at the Jessica Mae Videoke at the San Quintin Public Market in Pangasinan, they had a misunderstanding with

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Criminal Law

Abraham Agsalog (Agsalog) and Jovito Siblas y Obaña (Siblas). Later that day, Agsalog went to the house of the Marzan and they had an exchange of words after which Agsalog stabbed Marzan who died as a result thereof.

which Agsalog stabbed Marzan who died as a result thereof. Agsalog and Siblas provided for a

Agsalog and Siblas provided for a different version of the story. Agsalog claims that there was unlawful aggression on the part of the victim and he was merely defending himself. The Regional Trial Court brushed aside the version of Agsalog and Siblas and convicted them of Aggravated Murder punishable by Death Penalty.

Hence the automatic review of the Supreme Court.

Penalty. Hence the automatic review of the Supreme Court. ISSUES: Whether or not the defense raised

ISSUES:

Whether or not the defense raised by Agsalog and Siblas is meritorious

HELD:

That the stabbing is not self-defense

Even assuming that the victim indeed held the shoulder of Agsalog, that could not have constituted actual or imminent peril to Agsalog‘s life, limb or right, especially in light of Siblas testimony that after that stage of the incident, the victim and Agsalog pushed each other. It is unthinkable for Siblas to have missed witnessing the alleged attempt of the victim to stab Agsalog if indeed there was such an attempt.

There being no unlawful aggression, there is no self-defense, complete or incomplete.

That the killing is not qualified by evident premeditation and treachery

As for the qualifying circumstance of evident premeditation, for it to be appreciated, the following requisites should be proven: (1) the time when the offender determined to commit the crime, (2) an overt act manifestly indicating that the culprit had clung to his determination, and (3) a sufficient lapse of time between the determination and execution, to allow him to reflect upon the consequences of his act.

While the victim slapped Siblas hours before the stabbing and it is thus not improbable for Agsalog and Siblas to have hatched a plan to avenge the same, still, the circumstances as presented by the prosecution fail to show evident premeditation, which must be based upon external acts and not presumed from mere lapse of time.

The testimony of Edwin that when Agsalog and Siblas arrived at his yard and called for the victim, Agsalog ―sounded like he was mad,‖ must surely have put the victim on guard, given the fact that a few hours before he slapped Siblas. There is thus reasonable doubt on whether treachery and evident premeditation attended the commission of the crime. The crime committed was then only homicide.

MANILA ELECTRIC COMPANY v. HSING NAN TANNERY PHILS., INC. 578 SCRA 640 (2009), SECOND DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.)

Faculty of Civil Law Digest Pool 2010

Criminal Law

For an allegation of tampering to be the basis for the disconnection of a customer’s electric supply, the discovery of such must be personally witnessed and attested to by an officer of the law or an Energy Regulatory Board representative, said requirement cannot be dispensed with.

representative, said requirement cannot be dispensed with. The employees of Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) inspected

The employees of Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) inspected the electric meters of Hsing Nan Tannery Phils., Inc. (Hsing Nan) and discovered that the meters appeared to be tampered with, hence they replaced the meters with a new one and brought it to the laboratory for testing. MERALCO thereafter issued a differential billing to Hsing Nan through a demand letter and asked it to appear in a conference which did not push through, MERALCO subsequently issued another demand letter to Hsing Nan.

subsequently issued another demand letter to Hsing Nan. Hsing Nan filed for a complaint for damages

Hsing Nan filed for a complaint for damages in the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Malolos, Bulacan and an issuance of a temporary restraining order and writ of preliminary injunction against MERALCO. On MERALCO‘s, counterclaim, the RTC held Hsing Nan liable for manipulating the electric meters and ordered it to pay the differential billing, attorney‘s fees and exemplary damages. Hsing Nan appealed to the Court of Appeals (CA) which reversed the ruling of the RTC due to the non presentation of tampered meters during trial and the absence of representatives from the Energy Regulatory Board (ERB) as required by law during the inspection of Hsing Nan‘s meters. MERALCO filed a motion for reconsideration of the CA‘s decision but the same was denied.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the inspection made by MERALCO of the electric meters of Hsing Nan was lawful and proper

HELD:

For an allegation of tampering to be the basis for the disconnection of a customer‘s electric supply, the discovery of such must be personally witnessed and attested to by an officer of the law or an ERB representative. This requirement cannot be dispensed with.

In the present case, it is admitted that no police officer or ERB representative was present during the inspection, removal and subsequent replacement of the electric meters alleged to have been tampered with; hence, the requirement of the law was not complied with a lapse fatal to MERALCO‘s cause.

MERALCO‘s argument that Section 4 of Republic Act No. 7832 applies only to criminal proceedings does not lie. Under said provision, the investigation by the prosecutor, as well as the subsequent filing of the appropriate information if warranted, is only one of the courses of action to be taken once any of the therein enumerated circumstances establishing a prima facie case for illegal use of electricity is discovered.

SU ZHI SHAN @ ALVIN CHING SO v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES/SOLICITOR GENERAL 518 SCRA 48 (2007), SECOND DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.)

Even if no prior surveillance were made, the validity of an entrapment operation, especially when the buy-bust team members were accompanied to the scene by their informant, is not affected.

Faculty of Civil Law Digest Pool 2010

Criminal Law A confidential informant reported Philippine National Police (PNP) that appellant Su Zhi Shan

Criminal Law

A confidential informant reported Philippine National Police (PNP) that appellant Su Zhi Shan alias Alvin Ching So (Su Zhi Shan) was pushing drugs in Manila. The PNP Narcotics Group conducted a 10-day surveillance within the vicinity of his residence. As part of the surveillance, they conducted a test-buy operation, during which they gathered a substance, which later on was tested and found positive for shabu.

Subsequently SPO1 Badua arranged a buy-bust operation. It was SPO1 Guste who acted as a poseur-buyer. During the operation SPO1 Guste, in exchange of boodle money, received a red plastic, which contained shabu. Then Su Zhi Shan was arrested. Su Zhi Shan denied the allegation. The Regional Trial Court (RTC) held that Su Zhi Shan was guilty of illegal possession of prohibited drugs and selling of illegal drugs and imposed death penalty as punishment. The case was forwarded to Court of Appeals (CA). The CA lowered the penalty from death to reclusion perpetua in the case of selling of illegal drugs, while it acquitted Su Zhi Shan in the case of illegal possession of prohibited drugs. Su Zhi Shan contended that the credibility of SPO1 Guste, was not part of test-buy operation as such is hearsay, since there was no surveillance conducted in the vicinity of the buy-bust operation.

ISSUE:

conducted in the vicinity of the buy-bust operation. ISSUE: Whether or not the buy-bust operation is

Whether or not the buy-bust operation is invalid

HELD:

PO1 Guste‘s testimony was not hearsay. He was the poseur-buyer who participated in the buy- bust operation. His testimony was corroborated by the Chief Inspector. PO1 Guste‘s account is likewise complemented by overwhelming documentary and object evidence, including his request for laboratory examination of the seized substance, the laboratory examination reports, the buy-bust money used, the pre-operational coordination sheet of the PNP Narcotics Group, the Booking Sheet/Arrest Report, and the substance obtained during the buy-bust operation and a photograph thereof. That the prosecution failed to present SPO1 Badua and the confidential informer does not weaken its case as the discretion to choose witnesses to be presented for the State and to dispense with the testimonies of witnesses who would only give corroboration rests on the prosecution.

That no evidence was presented on the conduct of the surveillance and of the venue for the test- bust operation and that the surveillance was for the purpose of procuring the search warrant do not help Su Zhi Shan‘s case. For even if no prior surveillance were made, the validity of an entrapment operation, especially when the buy-bust team members were accompanied to the scene by their informant, as in the case at bar, is not affected.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. DANTE NARRA Y ARIOLA 404 SCRA 125 (2003), THIRD DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.) Witnesses are not expected to recall with accuracy or uniformity every single detail of the incident, given the frailty of human memory; as long as their testimonies dovetail on material points, the courts may not just disregard them. Appellant Dante Narra Y Ariola was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt by the Regional trial Court (RTC) on two consolidated cases of murder and homicide. Narra now comes to the Supreme Court contending, among others, that it was physically impossible for him to be at the scene, contrary to the claim of the witnesses. Moreover, he contends that the testimony given by the witnesses are inconsistent, contradictory, and doubtful and cannot be the sole bases for his conviction.

ISSUE:

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Whether or not the witnesses gave credible testimonies which are sufficient to convict Narra of the crimes charged

which are sufficient to convict Narra of the crimes charged HELD: Narra, claiming that the prosecution

HELD:

Narra, claiming that the prosecution failed to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt, draws attention to alleged inconsistent, conflicting and contradictory testimonies of prosecution witnesses. And Narra questions the credibility of Dula Bautista who testified only after eight (8) months from the occurrence of the incident; of Lita Manuel, who like Dula Bautista, was not listed as a witness for the prosecution and only volunteered to give her statement several months after the incident, upon the prodding of witness Manlangit; and of Brigida Viloria, a close friend of the Manlangits, whose testimony is suspicious and doubtful as she surfaced only after one year from the occurrence of the incident. With respect to Amangcas questioned testimony on when appellant alighted from the motorcycle and his recollection of Narra‘s footwear and length of his pants, any variation thereon is too insignificant to erode his credibility. It bears noting that right after the incident, Amangca picked up the empty bullet shells from the scene of the crime which he handed to the police, a reflection of his presence of mind and keen attention both of which enhance his capacity for correct observation. And he, also after the incident, gave a vivid, credible account of what transpired. What is important is that he positively identified Narra as the gunman soon after he was arrested. Amangcas credibility as a witness having been unimpeached and the credibility of his testimony having been unsuccessfully impeached, discussion of the corroborative testimony of the other prosecution witnesses becomes unnecessary. Suffice it to state that any discrepancies in their testimonies are too trivial to affect their credibility and in fact render them more believable as they preclude the possibility of rehearsal. For witnesses are not expected to recall with accuracy or uniformity every single detail of the incident, given the frailty of human memory. As long as their testimonies dovetail on material points, the courts may not just disregard them. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. DANTE NARRA Y ARIOLA 404 SCRA 125 (2003), THIRD DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.) Witnesses are not expected to recall with accuracy or uniformity every single detail of the incident, given the frailty of human memory; as long as their testimonies dovetail on material points, the courts may not just disregard them. Appellant Dante Narra Y Ariola was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt by the Regional trial Court (RTC) on two consolidated cases of murder and homicide. Narra now comes to the Supreme Court contending, among others, that it was physically impossible for him to be at the scene, contrary to the claim of the witnesses. Moreover, he contends that the testimony given by the witnesses are inconsistent, contradictory, and doubtful and cannot be the sole bases for his conviction.

doubtful and cannot be the sole bases for his conviction. ISSUE: Whether or not the witnesses

ISSUE:

Whether or not the witnesses gave credible testimonies which are sufficient to convict Narra of the crimes charged

HELD:

Narra, claiming that the prosecution failed to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt, draws attention to alleged inconsistent, conflicting and contradictory testimonies of prosecution witnesses. And Narra questions the credibility of Dula Bautista who testified only after eight (8) months from the occurrence of the incident; of Lita Manuel, who like Dula Bautista, was not listed as a witness for the prosecution and only volunteered to give her statement several months after the incident, upon the prodding of witness Manlangit; and of Brigida Viloria, a close friend of the Manlangits, whose

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Criminal Law

Criminal Law testimony is suspicious and doubtful as she surfaced only after one year from the

testimony is suspicious and doubtful as she surfaced only after one year from the occurrence of the incident. With respect to Amangcas questioned testimony on when appellant alighted from the motorcycle and his recollection of Narra‘s footwear and length of his pants, any variation thereon is too insignificant to erode his credibility. It bears noting that right after the incident, Amangca picked up the empty bullet shells from the scene of the crime which he handed to the police, a reflection of his presence of mind and keen attention both of which enhance his capacity for correct observation. And he, also after the incident, gave a vivid, credible account of what transpired. What is important is that he positively identified Narra as the gunman soon after he was arrested. Amangcas credibility as a witness having been unimpeached and the credibility of his testimony having been unsuccessfully impeached, discussion of the corroborative testimony of the other prosecution witnesses becomes unnecessary. Suffice it to state that any discrepancies in their testimonies are too trivial to affect their credibility and in fact render them more believable as they preclude the possibility of rehearsal. For witnesses are not expected to recall with accuracy or uniformity every single detail of the incident, given the frailty of human memory. As long as their testimonies dovetail on material points, the courts may not just disregard them. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. RUSSEL NAVARRO y MARMOJADA 535 SCRA 644 (2007), SECOND DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.)

535 SCRA 644 (2007), SECOND DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J. ) Since appellant was arrested in flagrante

Since appellant was arrested in flagrante delicto while selling a sachet of shabu to the poseur-buyer, his arrest without warrant was legal.

Russel Navarro (Navarro) was apprehended in a buy-bust operation for selling and possession of shabu. He was charged with violation of Republic Act 9165 or The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. The Regional Trial Court of Makati convicted him of the offense charged. The Court of Appeals affirmed his conviction. Hence, this petition. Navarro contends that the warrantless arrest and subsequent warrantless search were illegal. He also contends that there is no proof that the substance in the sachet was indeed shabu and that the equipoise rule should apply in his case.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the warrantless arrest of Russel Navarro was valid

HELD:

Since Navarro was arrested in flagrante delicto while selling a sachet of shabu to the poseur-buyer, his arrest without warrant was legal. On the warrantless search on Navarro's body during which he was found to be in possession of

a sachet of shabu, the same was legal too, it having been done during a lawful arrest. On Navarro's claim that there was no proof that the substance in the sachets was indeed shabu, the same fails. The Physical Science Report found that the substance contained inside both sachets which came from appellant was positive for methylamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu. That the forensic chemist who examined the contents of the sachets was not presented as a witness does not

render the Physical Science Report hearsay as the parties stipulated, during the Pre-trial of the cases, that

it was issued by a qualified Forensic Chemist of the PNP Crime Laboratory. As for Navarro's invocation of the equipoise rule that if the inculpatory facts and circumstances are capable of two or more explanations, one of which is consistent with the innocence of the accused and the other consistent with his guilt, then the evidence does not fulfill the test of moral certainty, and does not suffice to produce a conviction the same must be denied. The inculpatory

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facts are not capable of any explanation other than appellant's guilt of sale and possession of methylamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. FREDDIE FONTANILLA 410 SCRA 446 (2003), EN BANC (Carpio Morales, J.)

410 SCRA 446 (2003), EN BANC (Carpio Morales, J .) An affidavit of recantation cannot qualify

An affidavit of recantation cannot qualify as newly discovered evidence to justify a new trial.

Appellant Freddie Fontanilla was charged with two counts of rape for allegedly raping his fourteen year old step daughter on two different occasions. During the hearing, the private complainant testified regarding the rape(s) committed by Fontanilla. The Regional Trial Court of Urdaneta City found Fontanilla guilty of the crime of rape and imposed upon him the penalty of death.

the crime of rape and imposed upon him the penalty of death. Subsequently, after the RTC

Subsequently, after the RTC rendered its decision private complainant executed an affidavit of recantation stating that Fontanilla never raped her. Taking advantage of this new development, Fontanilla then filed a Motion for New Trial. The court however denied the same.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the RTC erred in finding Fontanilla guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape despite the recantation made by the complainant

HELD:

As for the trial court‘s denial of Fontanilla‘s motion for new trial arising from private complainant‘s affidavit of recantation: Said affidavit cannot qualify as newly discovered evidence to justify a new trial, the following requisites for which, and these must concur, are not present: (a) the evidence was discovered after the trial; (b) such evidence could not have been discovered and produced at the trial even with the exercise of reasonable diligence; and (c) such evidence is material, not merely cumulative, corroborative, or impeaching, and is of such weight that, if admitted, would probably change the judgment.

Besides, affidavits of retraction of testimonies are generally looked with disfavor because there is always the probability that they may later be repudiated. The unreliable character of this document is shown by the fact that it is quite incredible that after going through the process of having Fontanilla arrested by the police, positively identifying him as the person who raped her, enduring the humiliation of a physical examination of her private parts, and then repeating her accusations in open court by recounting her anguish, private complainant would suddenly turn around and declare that ―after a careful deliberation over the case, [she] find[s] that the same does not merit or warrant criminal prosecution.

RICARDO BACABAC v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES 532 SCRA 557 (2007), SECOND DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.)

Bacabac’s failure to assist the victims after the shooting reinforces this Court's appreciation of community of design between him and his co-accused to harm the victims. Following a heated argument in a dance hall which resulted in a brawl, Jose Talanquines, Jr. (Jose), and Edzel Talanquines (Edzel), herein referred to as Talanquines brothers, proceeded to confront their enemies armed with guns. They were accompanied by Jonathan Bacabac, Pat. Ricardo Bacabac, and Jesus Delfin (Jesus). In the dance hall, they encountered Hernani Quidato and Eduardo Selibio. After a physical confrontation, The Talanquines brothers shot Quidato and Selibio. Quidato and Selibio later died from their wounds.

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Criminal Law The Talanquines brothers, together with Jonathan Bacabac, Pat. Ricardo Bacabac, and Jesus Delfin

Criminal Law

The Talanquines brothers, together with Jonathan Bacabac, Pat. Ricardo Bacabac, and Jesus Delfin was charged and found guilty of the crime of Murder. Ricardo Bacabac (Bacabac) appealed his conviction, contending that he cannot be deemed to be in conspiracy with the other accused because he was not the one who pulled the trigger. He also alleged that even if he was convicted of Murder, in gratis argumenti, the correctness of the pronouncement of guilt should have been attended by the mitigating circumstance of immediate vindication of a grave offense, in the same manner as the other accused. ISSUE:

Whether or not there is conspiracy among Jonathan Bacabac, Pat. Ricardo Bacabac, and Jesus Delfin in the murder of the victims HELD:

Bacabac‘s failure to assist the victims after the shooting reinforces this Court's appreciation of community of design between him and his co-accused to harm the victims. What is decisive in treachery is that "the attack was executed in such a manner as to make it impossible for the victim to retaliate." In the case at bar, petitioner, a policeman, and his co-accused were armed with two M-16 armalites and a revolver. The victim and his companions were not armed. The attack was sudden and unexpected, and the victim was already kneeling in surrender when he was shot the second time. Clearly, the victim and his companion Eduardo had no chance to defend themselves or retaliate. Conspiracy presupposes the existence of evident premeditation does not necessarily imply that the converse that evident premeditation presupposes the existence of a conspiracy is true. In any event, a link between conspiracy and evident premeditation is presumed only where the conspiracy is directly established and not where conspiracy is only implied, as in the present case.

where conspiracy is only implied, as in the present case. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. FLORANTE

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. FLORANTE PADRONES 471 SCRA 447 (2005), THIRD DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.)

To be credible, testimonial evidence must not only come from the mouth of a credible witness, more so, it should be reasonable and in accord with human experience for there is no better test has yet been found to determine the weight of the testimony of a witness than its conformity to the knowledge and common experience of mankind.

One evening, a grenade exploded near the Northern Operators and Drivers Association (NODA) Terminal which killed Elias Laurente and slightly injured two children and an elderly lady in the vicinity. Elpidio Presto gave a sworn statement that Florante Padrones had an altercation with Ome Pareja in the NODA terminal and that while Presto attempted to pacify them, Padrones threw a grenade at his adversaries. Anastacio and Domingo Lastrella gave a joint sworn statement that while they were standing by the NODA terminal, they saw Padrones threw the grenade and immediately fled away. Two months later, Presto and the Lastrellas withdrew their respective statements.

Nathan Hermosura, a tricycle driver, for the first time after more than a year since the incident occurred, testified that he saw Padrones threw the grenade at his enemies who were two to three meters away. On the basis of hid testimony, the trial court and the Court of Appeals found Padrones criminally liable.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the RTC and CA erred in giving credence to Hermosura‘s testimony

HELD:

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Criminal Law

Criminal Law Hermosura claimed that he brought the 2 children in the hospital; however, he could

Hermosura claimed that he brought the 2 children in the hospital; however, he could not furnish their names which, is incredible given the usual procedure in hospitals to note down the names of patients. Also such testimony was belied by Pareja‘s claim that he brought his children to the hospital and that they were more or less 12 meters away from the explosion and not 2 meters as testified by Hermosura. For by the natural course of things, if the children were merely two meters away from the place where the blast occurred, they would have been killed or maimed or seriously wounded. But they merely suffered slight injuries. Pareja in testifying for the defense, instead of for the prosecution, only indicates that he was not convinced of appellant‘s involvement.

Also, Hermosura could have not known that the victim Laurente was in the second floor of his house if he was at the front of the NODA terminal when the incident happened. And why Hermosura remained in the scene despite his claim that he saw appellant was dangling the grenade for 2 minutes before he threw it, defies credulity for the normal reaction of a person is to go to a safe place to avoid being hit. Hermosura‘s lack of credibility becomes more pronounced on considering his belated posturing as a witness for the prosecution.

his belated posturing as a witness for the prosecution. To be credible, testimonial evidence should come

To be credible, testimonial evidence should come not only from the mouth of a credible witness. The testimony must also be credible, reasonable and in accord with human experience. No better test has yet been found to determine the weight of the testimony of a witness than its conformity to the knowledge and common experience of mankind. The Supreme Court finds that Hermosura's testimony failed to pass this test.

Since the prosecution must rely on the strength of their own evidence but it has failed to discharge its own burden of prima facie proving the guilt beyond reasonable doubt of Padrones, it is unnecessary to discuss the merits of the defense.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ENRIQUE CEBALLOS JR. Y CABRALES 533 SCRA 493 (2007), EN BANC (Carpio Morales, J.)

When the Information charges the accused of acts of lasciviousness, he cannot be convicted of rape by sexual assault.

Enrique Ceballos Jr. y Cabrales was charged with six counts of rape, five on complaint of his minor daughter AAA, and one on complaint of another minor daughter BBB. The Informations were filed before the Regional Trial Court (RTC).

In one information, particularly Criminal Case No. C-55119, it is alleged that one nighttime AAA and four of her siblings were sleeping at the second floor of their house in Caloocan City when their father touched AAA‘s private parts thereafter removed her short pants and underwear and tried to insert his penis inside her vagina but failed, drawing him to, while AAA was in a lying position, instead insert his finger inside her vagina and mash her breasts. She boxed appellant but she was subdued by him. And she cried, but appellant covered her mouth, rendering it difficult for her to breathe. Appellant thereafter dozed off to sleep. AAA did not report the incident as appellant had threatened that he would kill the members of the family if she did.

The RTC of Caloocan City, found the testimonies of AAA ―straightforward, categorical and convincing‖ and accordingly convicted appellant of rape in all the charges except that in Criminal Case No. C-55119 where it convicted appellant only of acts of lasciviousness.

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The Court of Appeals (CA) affirmed the decision of the RTC but modified the penalty for the conviction of acts of lasciviousness there being no aggravating or mitigating circumstance alleged and proven in this case.

ISSUE:

circumstance alleged and proven in this case. ISSUE: 1.) Whether or not the CA erred in

1.) Whether or not the CA erred in convicting Cabrales only for acts of lasciviousness in Criminal case No. C-55119 2.) Whether or not the CA erred in ruling that there were no aggravating or mitigating circumstance alleged and proven in this case

or mitigating circumstance alleged and proven in this case HELD: The conviction in Criminal Case No.

HELD:

The conviction in Criminal Case No. C-55119, for acts of lasciviousness, is in order. While under R.A. No. 8353, which was, as reflected above, already in effect when the criminal act was committed in December 1997, the act of inserting a finger into another‘s genital is penalized as rape by sexual assault under paragraph 2 of Article 266-A of the Revised Penal Code, the Information charged Ceballos with rape still under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code.

Thus, Ceballos cannot be convicted of rape by means of sexual assault even if it was established that he inserted his finger into the vagina of AAA. To do so would violate his constitutional right to be informed of the nature of the charge against him. It bears noting, however, that the crime of acts of lasciviousness is necessarily included in the crime of rape.

ANGEL CELINO, SR. v. COURT OF APPEALS, CEBU CITY, et al. 526 SCRA 195 (2007), SECOND DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.)

Prosecution under the COMELEC gun ban will not constitute a bar to separate prosecution under R.A. 8294.

Celino was

Angel Celino, Sr. was arrested for possession of a colt M16 rifle without a license.

charged with violating COMELEC Resolution No. 6446 (gun ban) and Section 1, Paragraph 2 of Republic Act No. (R.A.) 8294.

Celino filed a motion to quash contending that he cannot be prosecuted for illegal possession of firearms if he was also charged of having committed another crime of violating the COMELEC gun ban under the same set of facts. Celino also contends that RA 8294 only aggravates the penalty of COMELEC Resolution No. 6446.

ISSUE:

Whether or not prosecution under COMELEC Resolution No. 6446 will constitute a bar to prosecution under R.A. 8294 HELD:

A simple reading if R.A. 8294 shows that if an unlicensed firearm is used in the commission of any crime, there can be no separate offense of simple illegal possession of firearms. Hence, if the ―other crime‖ is murder or homicide, illegal possession of firearms becomes merely an aggravating circumstance, not a separate offense. COMELEC Resolution No. 6446 does not fall in any of these qualifications.

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Criminal Law The denial of a motion to quash an information for illegal possession of firearm

The denial of a motion to quash an information for illegal possession of firearm on the ground that the other offense charged, such as the violation of gun ban, is not one of those enumerated under R.A. 8294. All pending cases involving illegal possession of firearm should continue to be prosecuted and tried if no other crimes expressly indicated in Republic Act No. 8294 are involved.

The law is indeed clear. The accused can be convicted of illegal possession of firearms, provided no other crime was committed by the person arrested. The word ―committed‖ taken in its ordinary sense, and in light of the Constitutional presumption of innocence, necessarily implies a prior determination of guilt by final conviction resulting from successful prosecution or voluntary admission.

from successful prosecution or voluntary admission. Celino has only been accused of committing a violation of

Celino has only been accused of committing a violation of the COMELEC gun ban. As accusation is not synonymous with guilt, there is yet no showing that petitioner did in fact commit the other crime charged. Consequently, the proviso does not yet apply. GERARDO BIONG v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES 500 SCRA 163 (2006), THIRD DIVISION, (Carpio Morales, J.) For evidence to be worthy of credit, it must not only proceed from a credible source; it must, in addition, be credible in itself in conformity to knowledge, observation, and experience of ordinary men. Danilo Cayubit (Cayubit), who was serving prison and was tagged as the leader of the Akyat Bahay Gang which allegedly broke into the Vizconde residence, charged herein petitioner Gerardo Biong (Biong) with attempted murder alleged to have been committed more than four years ago, before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Parañaque City. Cayubit alleged that abducted by Biong, was forced to strip off his clothes, brought to a house and was about to be shot. Cayubit said that he was able to escape after Biong and his companions conversed outside of the house. Biong denied all the allegations but by Decision rendered by the RTC, he was held guilty beyond reasonable doubt giving credence to the testimony of Cayubit. On appeal to the Court of Appeals, Biong faulted the RTC for giving full credence to the testimony Cayubit and for holding that the testimony of Cayubit, being an affirmative testimony, is much stronger than his testimony. He further alleged that the RTC faulted in convicting him of attempted murder notwithstanding the absence of proof beyond reasonable ground. The Court of Appeals found that no inconsistencies are extant from the evidence on record, thus, rendered a decision affirming the RTC decision. Biong filed a Motion for Reconsideration but was denied. ISSUES:

Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in giving full faith and credence to the uncorroborated testimony of the lone prosecution witness as basis for the conviction of petitioner HELD:

The findings of a trial court are no doubt generally not disturbed on appeal with respect to credibility of witnesses. The same does not hold true, however, with respect to credibility of testimony. In another vein, the delay of more than four years in reporting the alleged murder attempt against Cayubit casts serious doubts on the truth of the accusation. This Court notes that the trial court and the Court of Appeals relied on People v. Salison, Jr. and People v. Dela Torre, respectively, in holding that the defense of denial is very easy to concoct and hard to prove and cannot prevail over positive identification. The guilt beyond reasonable doubt of the accused must be proven, however, on the strength of the evidence of the prosecution, and not on the weakness of the evidence of the defense. Under our laws, the onus probandi in establishing the guilt of an accused for a criminal offense lies with the prosecution. The burden must be discharged by it on the strength of its own evidence and not on the weakness of the evidence of the defense or lack of it. Proof beyond reasonable doubt, or that quantum of proof sufficient to produce a moral certainty that would convince and satisfy the conscience

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Criminal Law of those who are to act in judgment, is indispensable to overcome the constitutional

of those who are to act in judgment, is indispensable to overcome the constitutional presumption of innocence. The prosecution failed, however, to discharge the onus of proving beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of Biong. The weakness of Biong‘s defense, vis a vis the incredible, unreliable evidence for the prosecution, thus assumes importance and acquires commensurate strength. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. RODOLFO BIYOC Y WENCESLAO 532 SCRA 528 (2007), EN BANC (Carpio Morales, J.)

Mere penetration of the labia by the penis is enough to consummate rape.

Private complainant AAA was in a room on the second floor of the family house in San Mateo, Rizal when her father, Rodolfo Biyoc y Wenceslao, entered the room and touched her genitals, after which he told her to lie down on the floor. Overcome by fear, AAA did lie down on the floor as told. After which he went on top of her and tried to insert his penis into her vagina. Appellant was not able to fully penetrate AAA‘s vagina, however, as her elder sister BBB went up the second floor and saw appellant sitting in front of AAA who was lying down, face up. Appellant immediately warned BBB not to tell their mother about what she just saw. After BBB left, appellant inserted his penis inside AAA‘s vagina.

left, appellant inserted his penis inside AAA‘s vagina. CCC, mother of AAA, accompanied AAA the following

CCC, mother of AAA, accompanied AAA the following day to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to report the incident then proceeded to the police station of San Mateo, Rizal where they lodged a complaint against Rodolfo.

AAA was examined by Dr. Winston Tan, a medico-legal officer at Camp Crame, concluded that AAA is non-virgin and there is no sign of external signs of application of any form of physical trauma. Mr. Wenceslao was convicted of qualified rape by the Regional Trial Court and affirmed by the Court of Appeals. On appeal to the Supreme Court, he raised the issue that he should not be convicted of rape because he claims that there is no evidence that he‘s penis was successfully inserted in the victim‘s vagina.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the successful insertion of the penis in a vagina is necessary for a crime of rape to be consummated

HELD:

po niya kaunti" his penis inside her vagina

"hindi lang

penis inside her vagina. Respecting the alleged inconsistency, attention to which appellant likewise draws, between AAA's testimony that he was able to successfully insert his penis inside her vagina to thus cause her pain, and the medico-legal expert's testimony.

ito naituloy" due to the arrival of BBB, but that after BBB left, he successfully inserted his

By AAA's account, appellant at first "naipasok

The Medico-legal officer's finding that "[t]here is no external signs [sic] of application of any form of physical trauma" and his above-quoted testimony about the possibility that the act was not consummated do not rule out the commission of rape. For mere penetration of the labia by the penis is enough to consummate rape PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. JOEL ALIBUYOG Y BULALA G.R. No. 144976, 11 March 2004, THIRD DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.)

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Criminal Law

Criminal Law For a conviction of consummated rape to prosper, complete or full penetration of the

For a conviction of consummated rape to prosper, complete or full penetration of the victim’s private part is not necessary because mere introduction of the male organ into the labia majora of the victim’s genitalia consummates the crime.

Joel Alibuyog was charged before the Regional Trial Court of Davo City (RTC) for the crime of rape. The RTC convicted Alibuyog for the crime charged. On appeal, Alibuyog contends that the crime of conviction should be for attempted rape instead of consummated rape for there was no complete or full penetration as proven by the evidence and testimonies presented.

ISSUE:

as proven by the evidence and testimonies presented. ISSUE: Whether or not Alibuyog should be convicted

Whether or not Alibuyog should be convicted of Attempted Rape instead of Consummated

Rape

HELD:

Given the victim‘s testimony which is too ambiguous to prove the vital element of penetration of her private part and the result of her physical examination which was bereft of telltale marks suggestive of penetration, Alibuyog‘s proposition that he is liable only for attempted rape persuades. In fine, since Alibuyog had started the commission of rape but failed to perform all the acts of execution, not on account of his own spontaneous desistance, he is liable only for attempted rape. For a conviction of consummated rape to prosper, complete or full penetration of the victim‘s private part is not necessary because mere introduction of the male organ into the labia majora of the victim‘s genitalia consummates the crime. What is fundamental, however, is that the entry or at least the introduction of the male organ into the labia of the pudendum must be convincingly proved. Of critical importance is that there must be sufficient and convincing proof that the penis indeed touched even just the labia or slid onto the victim‘s organ, and not merely stroked the external surface thereof. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. HAROLD WALLY CABIERTE 529 SCRA 311 (2007), SECOND DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.)

It is not necessary to show that irresistible force or intimidation accompanied the crime of rape; it suffices to show that force or intimidation was present and did result in the accused copulating with the offended woman against her will.

Harold Wally Cabierte, together with Jerry Macabio and Norbert Viernes, was charged before the Regional Trial Court of Baguio with three counts of rape for willfully, unlawfully and feloniously having carnal knowledge of AAA against her will and consent.

AAA sneaked out of her house to meet with her boyfriend. As she arrived in the meeting place, she saw a bonfire, a makeshift tent, and five members of her friends, Cabierte, Macabio and Viernes included. Her boyfriend was not yet there at the time so she decided to hang around. She conversed with the group and had a few drinks. While waiting for her boyfriend to arrive, the alleged rape happened. The RTC imposed the the penalty of death, life imprisonment, or reclusion perpetua. On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction.

ISSUE:

Whether or not force attended the sexual intercourses as alleged in the case

HELD:

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Criminal Law On the degree of force as an element of rape, the Court finds it

On the degree of force as an element of rape, the Court finds it "not necessary to show that irresistible force or intimidation accompanied the crime of rape; it suffices to show that force or intimidation was present and did result in the accused copulating with the offended woman against her will."

That force attended each sexual intercourse by the conspirators as claimed by AAA is confirmed by the findings of Dr. Bandonill. Thus, Dr. Bandonill noted the presence of abrasions on AAA's lower back and at the back of her chest, as well as contusions on her right forearm and left knee.

In an attempt to destroy AAA's credibility, the defense draws attention to her supposed reputation as a pokpok girl and her admission that prior to December 2, 1997 she already had sexual intercourse with her boyfriend. Assuming that AAA is, indeed, a pokpok girl, it is settled that the victim's character in rape is immaterial. Even the fact that the offended party may have been of unchaste character constitutes no defense to the charge of rape, provided that it is proved that the illicit relations described in the complaint was committed with force and violence.

in the complaint was committed with force and violence. As for her staying with the male

As for her staying with the male members of her barkada despite the circumstances indicated above, AAA's explanation therefor that the group told her that her boyfriend would arrive and she trusted themis plausible. Her naïvete of trusting the three accused is understandable, given that she was only 14 years old when the incidents occurred.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. RUEL BACONGUIS y INSON 417 SCRA 66 (2003), EN BANC (Carpio Morales, J.)

It is settled that circumstantial evidence to suffice to convict, the following requisites must be met: 1) there is more than one circumstance; 2) the facts from which the inferences are derived are proven; and 3) the combination of all circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt.

While Lydia Mercado-Lledo was sleeping in her bedroom, she heard a gunshot and when she looked at the window, she saw a man jumping at their fence. The man allegedly turned his face which enabled Lydia to see his face. When Lydia went to the sala, she saw her younger brother Roberto Mercado bleeding. She thereafter brought him to the hospital but subsequently died. The investigating officers found that the description of the man that Lydia saw matched that of Ruel Baconguis who was a suspect in several cases of theft and robbery. Baconguis was then captured by the police and was subjected to paraffin testing where he was found positive for gunpowder nitrates on both hands. Lydia, upon seeing Baconguis, told the police that he was the man she saw.

Baconguis denied the allegations against him. The Regional Trial Court (RTC), however, gave credence to the results of the paraffin test and found Baconguis guilty of Murder.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the paraffin test and Lydia‘s testimony are sufficient to convict Ruel Baconguis of the crime charge

HELD:

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Criminal Law It bears noting that the evidence relied upon by the prosecution is circumstantial. It

It bears noting that the evidence relied upon by the prosecution is circumstantial. It is settled that for circumstantial evidence to suffice to convict, the following requisites must be met: 1) there is more than one circumstance; 2) the facts from which the inferences are derived are proven; and 3) the combination of all circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt.

The value of the in-court identification made by Lydia, however, is largely dependent upon the out-of-court identification she made while Baconguis was in the custody of the police. In People v. Teehankee, Jr., the Court held that corruption of out-of-court identification contaminates the integrity of in-court identification during the trial case. The totality of circumstances test has been fashioned to assure fairness as well as compliance with the constitutional requirements of due process in regard to out-of- court identification. Under the circumstances attendant to the identification of Bocanguis, the Court is not prepared to hold that the prosecution had established that Bocanguis was the man seen leaving the house-scene of the crime soon after a gunshot was hear. As for the positive paraffin findings on Bocanguis, it is well settled that nitrates are also found in substances other than gunpowder. But even assuming arguendo that Bocanguis being positive for gunpowder may be credited as circumstantial evidence indicating his culpability, that is only one circumstance, and since no other circumstance was established by the prosecution, the first requirement of circumstantial evidence to warrant conviction of Bocanguis has not been met. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ROLANDO MENDOZA, JR. y DELA CRUZ 407 SCRA 563 (2003) EN BANC (Carpio Morales, J.)

CRUZ 407 SCRA 563 (2003) EN BANC (Carpio Morales, J .) It is not sufficient to

It is not sufficient to simply allege the qualifying circumstances in the caption or the preamble but, more importantly, these must be alleged in the body or the accusatory portion of the information.

Respondent Rolando Mendoza Jr. was charged with two separate counts of incestuous rape committed against his 13 year old daughter. Before pre-trial, the prosecution amended its complaint adding the word Jr. to Rolando‘s last name. The trial court convicted Mendoza Jr. of two separate counts of qualified rape and sentenced him to two separate penalties of death.

Mendoza Jr. avers that the trial court erred in finding him guilty beyond reasonable doubt of two counts of qualified rape and in imposing the penalty of death for the prosecution failed to allege the qualifying circumstances in the accusatory portion of the complaint.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the trial court erred in finding Mendoza Jr. guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of qualified rape

HELD:

Mendoza Jr. argues that assuming arguendo that he is guilty, the trial court erred in imposing death on him since the prosecution failed to allege the minority of his daughter in the accusatory portion of each of the complaints. Mendoza Jr.‘s position in this regard is well-taken. Private complainant‘s age at the time of the filing of the complaints appears in the caption or preamble thereof as a description of her as the private complainant. Her age at the time the incidents occurred was, however, not specified in the accusatory portion of each of the complaints. Such omission is prejudicial to the right of Mendoza Jr. to be informed of the nature of the accusations against him. Thus, in several cases, the Court held that it is not sufficient to simply allege the qualifying circumstances in the caption or the preamble but, more importantly, these must be alleged in the body or the accusatory portion of the information.

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As for the special qualifying circumstance of private complainant‘s relationship with Mendoza Jr, the prosecution failed to prove it beyond reasonable doubt.

the prosecution failed to prove it beyond reasonable doubt. The February 10, 1997 Certification of the

The February 10, 1997 Certification of the Bais City, Negros Oriental Civil Registrar which therein quotes entries on the ―facts of birth appear[ing] in our Registry of Births on page 99 of book number 32‖ shows that private complainant was born on October 30, 1982 to Nena Rebuya and Rolando Mendoza. This does not, however, clearly prove with moral certainty the father-daughter relationship as the name of private complainant‘s father as indicated in the Certification is Rolando Mendoza and not Rolando Mendoza, Jr. ROSALINDA SERRANO v. COURT OF APPEALS et al. 404 SCRA 639 (2003), THIRD DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.) In the absence of a satisfactory explanation, one who is found in possession of a forged document and who used or uttered it is presumed to be the forger. Petitioner Rosalinda Serrano was charged with estafa through falsification of commercial documents. Private complainant Ramon C. Mojica, a businessman alleged that Serrano together with her co-accused Nelia Giron and Edna Sibal acting in conspiracy delivered to Mojica three falsified Centrerre Bank (St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.) checks in exchange for Php553,500 which when he deposited in his dollar account, he was notified that said checks were fraudulent.

account, he was notified that said checks were fraudulent. The Regional Trial Court (RTC) convicted Serrano

The Regional Trial Court (RTC) convicted Serrano of three counts of estafa through falsification of commercial documents. Serrano interposed an appeal with the Court of Appeals (CA), which affirmed the RTC decision, thus, this present petition.

Issue:

Whether or not the CA erred in finding Serrano guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of estafa

Held:

From a review of the evidence on record, there is no cogent reason to disturb the factual findings of the trial court and the Court of Appeals which both found that there was proof beyond reasonable doubt that the acts committed by Serrano constitute the complex crime of estafa through falsification of commercial documents. Article 172 of the Revised Penal Code punishes any private individual who shall commit any of the acts of falsification enumerated in Article 171 in any public or official document or letter of exchange or any other kind of commercial document. Article 171 provides that the penalty of prision mayor and a fine not to exceed 5,000 pesos shall be imposed upon any public officer, employee, or notary who, taking advantage of his official position, shall falsify a document one of the acts is causing it to appear that persons have participated in any act or proceeding when they did not in fact so participate; Under the three above-quoted informations, the mode of falsification attributed to Serrano and her co-conspirators is that of making it appear that the dollar checks were drawn and issued by Centerre Bank, St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A. and Citizens National Bank, San Francisco, California, U.S.A., when Serrano knew very well that they were fraudulent in that they were not issued by the aforementioned banks and the signatures appearing thereon were not the signatures of officers of the bank. The dollar checks were undeniably spurious. While there is no direct proof that Serrano and her co-conspirators were the authors of the falsification, since Serrano was the possessor and utterer of the dollar checks and benefited from the proceeds of the cashier‘s checks which were exchanged therefor, the inevitable conclusion is that she falsified them. It is an established rule that when it is proved that a

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Criminal Law person has in his possession a falsified document and makes use of the same,

person has in his possession a falsified document and makes use of the same, the presumption or inference is justified that such person is the forger. The rule is that if a person had in his possession a falsified document and he made use of it (uttered it), taking advantage of it and profiting thereby, the presumption is that he is the material author of the falsification. This is especially true if the use or uttering of the forged documents was so closely connected in time with the forgery that the user or possessor may be proven to have the capacity of committing the forgery, or to have close connection with the forgers, and, therefore, had complicity in the forgery. In the absence of a satisfactory explanation, one who is found in possession of a forged document and who used or uttered it is presumed to be the forger. The falsification of the dollar checks was the necessary means for the commission of estafa. The information allege, and the evidence established by the prosecution shows, the essential elements of estafa or swindling under paragraph 2(a) of Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code: 1.) That there must be a false pretense, fraudulent act or fraudulent means. 2.) That such false pretense, fraudulent act or fraudulent means must be made or executed prior to or simultaneously with the commission of the fraud. 3.) That the offended party must have relied on the false pretense, fraudulent act, or fraudulent means, that is, he was induced to part with his money or property because of the false pretense, fraudulent act, or fraudulent means. 4.) That as a result thereof, the offended party suffered damage. The acts of Serrano in falsifying the dollar checks and misrepresenting to Mojica that they were genuine and sufficiently funded on account of which he parted with, in exchange therefor, the Metrobank cashier‘s checks constitute the fraud contemplated under the provision of Article 315, paragraph 2(a) of the Penal Code. That Serrano encashed the Metrobank checks and appropriated the proceeds thereof to the damage and prejudice of Mojica seals her liability. Accordingly, Serrano is liable for 3 counts of estafa through falsification of commercial documents under paragraph 2(a) of Article 315 and Article 172 in relation to Article 171(2) of the Revised Penal Code. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and GASPAR OLAYON 562 SCRA 619 (2008), SECOND DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.)

562 SCRA 619 (2008), SECOND DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J .) Consensual sexual intercourse or even acts

Consensual sexual intercourse or even acts of lasciviousness with a minor who is 12 years old or older could constitute a violation of Section 5(b) of R.A. No. 7610. For Section 5(b) punishes sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct not only with a child exploited in prostitution but also with a child subjected to other sexual abuse. Gaspar Olayon was charged with acts of lasciviousness committed against AAA who was then 14 years of age. Olayon denies the allegations against him and claims that he and AAA are sweethearts. The trial court found Olayon guilty beyond reasonable doubt of child abuse, as provided for by Republic Act No. 7610, Section 10 (a). The Court of Appeals reversed the trial court‘s decision and held that consensual sexual intercourse with a minor is not classified as child abuse under Section 10 of RA No.

7610.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the CA erred in acquitting Olayon of Child Abuse despite the fact that the sexual acts committed by Olayon on AAA are clearly within the term ―other acts of neglect, abuse, cruelty, or exploitation and other conditions prejudicial to the child‘s development‖ under Sec. 10 R.A. 7610

Held:

As Section 10 refers to acts of child abuse prejudicial to the child’s development other than child prostitution and other sexual abuse under Section 5, attempt to commit child prostitution, child trafficking,

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Criminal Law attempt to commit child trafficking, and obscene publications and indecent shows, the Court of

attempt to commit child trafficking, and obscene publications and indecent shows, the Court of Appeals did not commit grave abuse of discretion in holding that ―x x x ‗sexual abuse‘ [as defined under Section 5] x x x is a completely distinct and separate offense from ‗child abuse‘ [as defined under Section 10].‖

Consensual sexual intercourse or even acts of lasciviousness with a minor who is 12 years old or older could constitute a violation of Section 5(b) of R.A. No. 7610. For Section 5(b) punishes sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct not only with a child exploited in prostitution but also with a child subjected to other sexual abuse.

Section 2(g) of the Rules and Regulations on the Reporting and Investigation of Child Abuse Cases, promulgated to implement R.A. No. 7610, defines ―sexual abuse‖ as including ―the employment, use, persuasion, inducement, enticement or coercion of a child to engage in, or assist another person to engage in, sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct or the molestation, prostitution, or incest with children.‖

the molestation, prostitution, or incest with children.‖ For consensual sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct

For consensual sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct with a minor, who is not exploited in prostitution, to thus fall within the purview of Section 5(b) of R.A. No. 7610, ―persuasion, inducement, enticement or coercion‖ of the child must be present.

In People v. Larin, the Court held that [Republic Act No. 7610] covers not only a situation in which a child is abused for profit, but also one in which a child, through coercion or intimidation, engages in any lascivious conduct

And even in Malto v. People wherein the accused was convicted for violation of Section 5(b) of R.A. No. 7610, the information alleged, and the prosecution proved, that the therein accused who was the minor‘s professor obtained the minor‘s consent by taking advantage of his relationship and moral ascendancy to exert influence on her.

In the case at bar, even if Olayon were charged under Section 5(b), instead of Section 10(a), respondent would just the same have been acquitted as there was no allegation that an element of the offense coercion or influence or intimidation attended its commission.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. NIDO GARTE 571 SCRA 570 (2008), SECOND DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.)

To successfully invoke alibi, the accused must prove that it was physically impossible for him to be at the locus criminis at the time of the commission of the crime.

Appellant Nido Garte, a barangay tanod and a tricycle driver, on four different occasions succeeded in having carnal knowledge with his daughter AAA. Despite the threats of Nido, AAA went to the house of her sister CCC to report to her what happened. AAA then finally related her plight to her mother BBB, Nido‘s live in partner. BBB, together with CCC accompanied her to Camp Karingal to file a complaint against Nido and execute a Salaysay. Nido was charged with four counts of rape.

Nido denied the charges and invoked alibi. The Regional Trial Court (RTC) convicted Nido of four counts of rape. Nido then appealed to the Court of Appeals (CA). The CA then affirmed the decision of the RTC with modification.

ISSUE:

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Whether or not Nido is guilty of four counts of rape

HELD:

Whether or not Nido is guilty of four counts of rape HELD: Nido‘s conviction for each

Nido‘s conviction for each of the four counts must be upheld. A review of the records of the cases shows that AAA‘s testimony has satisfactorily met the test of credibility. Why AAA would impute serious charges against him, Nido could not advance any reason.

Nido‘s harping on the alleged inconsistencies in AAA's claim respecting the kind of weapon used by Nido and the number of times she informed her mother about the incidents does not persuade. Especially given the number of times AAA was abused, she is not expected to have "the memory of an elephant and the cold precision of a mathematician." Indeed, minor lapses are to be expected when a person is recounting details of a traumatic experience which are commonly too painful and agonizing to recall, especially in a courtroom atmosphere.

agonizing to recall, especially in a courtroom atmosphere. Nido‘s de nial and alibi are of course

Nido‘s denial and alibi are of course legitimate defenses in rape cases. To successfully invoke alibi, however, the accused must not only prove his presence at another place at the time of the commission of the offense. He must also demonstrate that it would be physically impossible for him to be at the locus criminis at the time of the commission of the crime. Nido, on whom the onus probandi lies, failed to discharge the same, however, as he in fact testified that he would go home for lunch and dinner in between plying his tricycle in the vicinity.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. MARIBEL LAGMAN and ZENG WA SHUI 573 SCRA 224 (2008), SECOND DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.)

The finding of illicit drugs and paraphernalia in a house or building owned or occupied by a particular person is a presumption of knowledge and possession, sufficient for conviction.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), by virtue of search warrants simultaneously raided the Porac farm and Balibago residence after conducting surveillance operations. The search at the farm yielded no person therein. The raiding team however, was able to search Li Wien Shien‘s (Li) vehicle upon his arrival at the farm and found a digital weighing scale and crystalline substance. Appellant Zeng Wa Shui (Zeng) also arrived at the farm bearing a blue drum containing liquid. NBI Chemist Januario Bautista field tested on the spot the crystalline substance found in possession of Li and the liquid contained in the drum of Zeng as positive for shabu. With respect to the search of the Balibago residence of the other NBI team, rented by appellant Maribel Lagman and his common law husband, the said team found two padlocked rooms inside the house, but with Maribel claiming that she did not have any keys thereto, the team forcibly opened the rooms which yielded 18 big plastic containers containing liquid substance, 30 sacks containing a white powdery substance, 10 plastic containers also containing a white powdery substance, plastic gallons, a refrigerator, a big blower, pails, plastic bags, a big glass flask, and a .25 caliber handgun.

Separate criminal cases against Lagman, Zeng and Li were filed before the Regional Trial Court (RTC). The RTC acquitted Li but convicted Zeng and Maribel. Zeng and Maribel appealed to the Court of Appeals (CA) contending that the alleged shabu found inside the blue plastic container was inadmissible in evidence and that the evidence seized by virtue of the warrant of arrest was not admissible against her as the warrant did not specifically state her name. The CA affirmed the RTC decision and denied Maribel‘s motion for reconsideration.

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ISSUE:

Criminal Law

ISSUE: Criminal Law Whether or not Zeng and Maribel is guilty of the charges filed against

Whether or not Zeng and Maribel is guilty of the charges filed against them

HELD:

The essential elements of the crime of illegal possession of regulated drugs are the following: 1) the actual possession of an item or object which is identified to be a prohibited drug; (2) such possession is not authorized by law; and (3) the accused freely or consciously possessed the said drug. The finding of illicit drugs and paraphernalia in a house or building owned or occupied by a particular person raises the presumption of knowledge and possession thereof which, standing alone, is sufficient to convict. Maribel failed to present any convincing evidence to rebut the presumption of knowledge and possession of the regulated substances and paraphernalia found in her residence. As tenant of the house, she had full access to, full control of and dominion over the rooms. As for Zeng‘s arguments, they are a mere rehash of those already raised before the appellate court. As correctly held by the appellate court, the testimonies of five members of the NBI raiding team that a blue drum containing liquid was found in the van driven by Zeng -- which liquid, when field- tested, was found to be methamphetamine hydrochloride -- deserves full faith and credence, absent any showing that these officers were not properly performing their duty or that they were inspired by any improper motive. As to the contention that the blue drum was not included as subject of Search Warrant No. 96- 102, hence, illegally obtained, the same fails. No doubt, the Constitution prohibits search and seizure without a judicial warrant, and any evidence obtained without such warrant is inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding. The prohibition is not absolute, however. Search and seizure may be made without a warrant and the evidence obtained therefrom may be admissible in the following instances: (1) search incident to a lawful arrest; (2) search of a moving motor vehicle; (3) search in violation of customs laws; (4) seizure of evidence in plain view; and (5) when the accused himself waives his right against unreasonable searches and seizures. The search made on the van driven by Zeng falls within the purview of the "plain view" doctrine. In the case at bar, the negative averment that Zeng had no license or authority to possess shabu could have easily been disproved by presenting a copy of the license or authority or any other document evidencing authority to possess it. This he failed to do. The NBI forensic chemist already testified that the liquid contained therein, when subjected to laboratory examination, tested positive for methamphetamine hydrochloride. Such finding is presumed to be representative of the entire contents of the container unless proven otherwise. No contrary proof was presented by Zeng, however. More importantly, what the Dangerous Drugs Act punishes is the possession of the dangerous or regulated drugs or substances without authority. Whether the substance is pure or unadulterated is not material; hence, quantitative examination of the substance to determine its purity is not indispensable for conviction.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. NICANOR ROA 405 SCRA 548 (2003), THIRD DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.)

405 SCRA 548 (2003), THIRD DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J. ) Opting to remain silent when a

Opting to remain silent when a situation naturally calls for an answer, being proper and possible to do so, may be deemed admission of the charges.

Appellant Nicanor Roa was charged of two counts of rape for raping X, the adopted daughter of Maxima and Melencio Dela Cruz on two occasions. Maxima discovered that X was pregnant and learned of the crime committed by Roa against her stepdaughter. She then confronted Roa regarding the crime he committed but he only kept silent. Subsequently, during

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trial X the victim admitted that she was already pregnant before the first incident of rape took place.

pregnant before the first incident of rape took place. The Regional Trial Court (RTC) found Roa

The Regional Trial Court (RTC) found Roa guilty for two counts of rape. Upon appeal, Roa assails the decisions of the trial court alleging that there are inconsistencies in the testimonies given by X.

Issue:

Whether or not the Trial court erred in finding Roa guilty beyond reasonable doubt

court erred in finding Roa guilty beyond reasonable doubt Held: Roa argues that ―the fact that

Held:

Roa argues that ―the fact that she was already sleeping would make it impossible for him to lay her down again because these circumstances do not appear to be in consonance with the normal course of human nature;‖ and that while X attributed her pregnancy to him, she nevertheless admitted that she was already pregnant before May 25, 1997 when the alleged rape subject of the first case occurred. The Court fails to see anything unusual or not being ―in consonance with the normal course of human nature‖ to ―lay down‖ one who has been awakened. As for X‘s attribution of her pregnancy to Roa, albeit she admitted that she was already pregnant before the first rape incident, the same does not infirm her credibility. While, given her youth, she may erred in attributing her pregnancy to appellant on account of the May 25, 1997 incident, what matters is that she was positive in her claim about the occurrence of the sexual assault on her, as shown in her following verbatim testimony which the trial court did find, as does the Court, to be candid and bereft of any indication that it was fabricated The prosecution having by its evidence prima facie established Roa’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt, the burden of evidence shifted on him. Roa’s evidence, however, is weak and fails to controvert the positive declaration of X’s who was not shown to have any reason to falsely charge him.

The prosecution having by its evidence prima facie established appellant's guilt beyond reasonable doubt, the burden of evidence shifted on him. Roa's evidence, however, is weak and fails to controvert the positive declaration of Nina who was not shown to have any reason to falsely charge him. His admitted silence when Nina's mother confronted and even cursed him by his claim, betrays his guilt just as his passivity does when he was allegedly maltreated and haled into jail by Nina's father on account of the incidents. For an innocent man would certainly strongly protest and deny a false accusation and do something positive to spare himself of punishment. But he did not.

Section 32 of Rule 130 of the Revised Rules on Evidence provides that an act or declaration made in the presence and within the hearing observation of a party who does or says nothing when the act or declaration is such as naturally to call for action or comment if not true, and when proper and possible for him to do so, may be given in evidence against him. He is, by his silence, deemed to have admitted the charges. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. FLORANTE PADRONES 471 SCRA 447 (2005), THIRD DIVISION (Carpio Morales, J.)

Testimonial evidence should come from the mouth of a credible witness and must also be credible, reasonable and in accord with human experience.

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Criminal Law One evening, a grenade exploded near the Northern Operators and Drivers Association (NODA) Terminal,

One evening, a grenade exploded near the Northern Operators and Drivers Association (NODA) Terminal, killing Elias Laurente who was at the second floor of his house and slightly injuring two children and an elderly lady in the vicinity. Elpidio Presto gave a sworn statement that Florante Padrones had an altercation with Ome Pareja in the NODA terminal and that while Presto attempted to pacify them, Padrones threw a grenade at his adversaries. Also, Anastacio and Domingo Lastrella gave a joint sworn statement that while they were standing by the NODA terminal they saw Padrones threw the grenade and immediately fled away. But more than two months later, Presto and the Lastrellas withdrew their respective statements.

Nathan Hermosura, a tricycle driver, for the first time after more than a year since the incident occurred, testified that he saw Padrones threw the grenade at his enemies who were two to three meters away. On the other hand, Romeo Pareja, the father of the two injured children and as a witness for the defense, stated that on their way home he heard an explosion but did not see who was responsible for it and since the injuries of his children were only slight he did not bother to lodge any complaint.

were only slight he did not bother to lodge any complaint. The trial court and the

The trial court and the Court of Appeals held Padrones to be criminally liable based solely on the testimony given by Hermosura.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Padrones, based on the credibility regarded to the sole testimony of Hermosura, was proven beyond reasonable doubt to be criminally liable for the grenade blast incident

HELD:

Hermosura claimed that he brought the 2 children in the hospital; however, he could not furnish their names which, is incredible given the usual procedure in hospitals to note down the names of patients. Also such testimony was belied by Pareja‘s claim that he brought his children to the hospital and that they were more or less 12 meters away from the explosion and not 2 meters as testified by Hermosura. For by the natural course of things, if the children were merely two meters away from the place where the blast occurred, they would have been killed or maimed or seriously wounded. But they merely suffered slight injuries.

Also, Hermosura could have not known that the victim Laurente was in the second floor of his house if he was at the front of the NODA terminal when the incident happened. And why Hermosura remained in the scene despite his claim that he saw Padrones was dangling the grenade for 2 minutes before he threw it, defies credulity for the normal reaction of a person is to go to a safe place to avoid being hit. Hermosura‘s lack of credibility becomes more pronounced on considering his belated posturing as a witness for the prosecution.

To be credible, testimonial evidence should come not only from the mouth of a credible witness. The testimony must also be credible, reasonable and in accord with human experience. No better test has yet been found to determine the weight of the testimony of a witness than its conformity to the knowledge and common experience of mankind. The Supreme Court finds that Hermosura's testimony failed to pass this test.

Since the prosecution must rely on the strength of their own evidence but it has failed to discharge its own burden of prima facie proving the guilt beyond reasonable doubt of Padrones, it is unnecessary to discuss the merits of the defense.

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