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136. People v.

Villapando

G.R. No. 73656/05 October 1989/First Division/Appeal to the SC

People of the Philippines – plaintiff


Rogelio Villapando – defendant
Decision by J. Medialdea, Digest by Angelo Zantua

Short Version: Villapando stabbed 3 people, killing 1 and injuring 2.

Facts:
Jan 14, 1979, at around 6:10pm – Ramon, Nelia, and Alicia went to the Batangas City bus terminal. Romulo
accompanied girlfriend Alicia to see her off. Nelia, Alicia, and Romulo boarded a parked bus while Ramon
went to the counter to get student discounts for them. Apparently, Romulo got into an argument with
Villapando who was seated in front of the 2 girls. A fistfight between Romulo and Villapando ensued.
Villapando stabbed Romulo on the chest with a fan knife. Romulo later died. Alicia and Ramon tried to
break up the fight but were both stabbed in the arm. Ramon, who also tried to intervene, was also hit in
the arm. Villapando fled the scene.

Issue: WON the killing can be qualified by reiteracion or habituality. No.


Ruling: Crim Case VIII-823 (Romulo) RTC decision modified from murder to homicide as there is no
treachery involved. Crim Case 770 (Alicia) – RTC decision of slight physical injuries affirmed. Intent to kill
not proven. Crim Case 771 (Ramon) – RTC decision modified into less serious physical injuries.

Ratio:
Reiteracion or habituality cannot be appreciated in this case. Here is the list of offenses which Villapando
was found by the RTC to have committed before and after the January 14, 1979 incident:

(1) before January, 1979, arrested and accused of theft before the Municipal Court of Mendez, Cavite;
(2) May 15, 1973, charged with physical injuries in Lipa City but the case was amicably settled;
(3) January 15, 1973, charged with theft in Lemery, Batangas and was convicted;
(4) likewise charged and convicted before Batangas City City Court;
(5) charged with theft before the CFI in Binan Laguna but the case was settled amicably;
(6) charged with theft before CFI Manila and was convicted on October 30, 1982

In reiteracion or habituality, it is essential that the offender be previously punished, that is, he has served
the sentence, for an offense in which the law attaches, or provides for an equal or greater penalty than
that attached by law to the second offense, or for two or more offenses, in which the law attaches a lighter
penalty (People v. Layson, et al).
The records do not show that Villapando has been previously punished by an offense to which the law
attaches an equal or greater penalty or for two or more crimes to which it attaches a lighter penalty. Due
to the absence of either aggravating or mitigating circumstances, the penalty for homicide, which is
reclusion temporal, should be imposed in its medium period (A249, in relation to A64 (1) RPC).

Other issues:
Villapando’s alibi of purchasing the watch was not upheld as he failed to prove that it was impossible for
him to have been at the scene of the crime. Villapando also was positively identified by the witnesses.
Treachery was not sufficiently proven as the witnesses only saw the actual stabbing, not how it began or
developed.
The crime against Romulo is only simple homicide as there is no circumstance which would qualify the
killing to murder.

Voting: Narvasa, Cruz, Gancayco and Griño-Aquino, JJ., concur.