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People v. Arman Apacible (2010) Carpio Morales, J. (What happened) An information was filed against Arman. It states that at about 8:30pm in Batangas, he stabbed a certain Arnold Vizconde, inflicting multiple stab wounds. Vizconde died. Vizconde was 26 yrs old who was working for the NaPoCor earning P10k/month [The account of the witness, Vizcondes widow (Mylene) states] At about 2pm, her husband, her uncle, and Arman, her first cousin, were at a drinking spree at a neighbors house It lasted until 8:30pm. Afterwhich, her husband went home and slept in their room. She then placed their 8-mo old child beside him and went to the kitchen to prepare milk for the child. Then, from about 3-4 meters, she heard Arman utter "Putang ina mo, papatayin kita!" and then saw him, through the open door to the room, stab her husband several times She then shouted for help and called Armans mother with whom he lives about 5 steps away Both of them saw the victim drenched in blood The widow then brought their child to the police and the police responded and conducted an investigation The widow thinks that Arman killed her husband because her husband refused to amicably settle the malicious mischief case he filed against Armans brother for breaking the glass windshield of her husbands car. (Armans side of the story) He uses the defense of alibi. He says that after the victim, Vizconde, whom he treated as a brother left, he too left with a friend for Cavite. He thinks that he is being charged because the alleged breaking by his (Armans) brother of the windshield was the subject of their conversation during the drinking spree -------

RTC convicted Arman of Murder (RPC 248) o Sentenced to reclusion perpetua o To indemnify the heirs of victim (Vizconde) P50k as death indemnity and P50k as moral damages. In the CA, Arman questions: o The widows motive in identifying him as the assailant o And he challenged the widows story that she saw him stab her husband, when it was not mentioned that the room where the stabbing occurred was well-lit CA modified the RTC decision: o Guilty of murder o Civil indemnity increased from P50k to P75k o Further ordered to indemnify the victims heirs by P25k o Awarded exemplary damages of P25k in view of the attending qualifying circumstance of treachery. The CA increase of the civil was in light of recent jurisprudence

Issue: Is the award of the damages proper? Held: No. Civil indemnity should only be P50k. Ratio: Re: Award of damages SC affirms the CAs decision BUT modifies it SC REDUCES the amount of civil indemnity from P75k back to P50k, as determined by the RTC SC cites People v. Anod saying it explains why the award of P75k as civil indemnity lies only in cases where the proper imposable penalty is death. In that case, the RTC sentenced the accused to reclusion perpetua and then the CA relied on People v. dela Cruz to increase civil indemnity to P75k. o However in the dela Cruz case, the SC People v. Tubongbanua wherein the SC said that the civil indemnity should be P75k. However, the present case does not share the same facts as dela Cruz & Tubongbanua because in both those cases, the accused were sentenced to death. o And then because of RA 9346 (the Act Prohibiting the Imposition of the Death Penalty) the penalty meted to the accused was reduced to reclusion perpetua. This jurisprudential trend was followed in People v. Generoso where the SC also increased the civil indemnity from P50k to P75k. o Then based on the current applicable jurisprudence, SC reduced the civil indemnity awarded from P75k back to toP50k In the present case, Arman was sentenced by the TC to reclusion perpetua. o Civil indemnity is reduced to P50k Re: Widows testimony and Armans argument questioning it

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SC finds no compelling reason to deviate from the CA ruling. The narration of the widow is too graphic to be denied credence Mylenes credibility becomes more pronounced when we take note that Arman is her first cousin who frequently visited their house. Armans claim that he was misidentified because the room was not shown to have been well-lit is not agreeable to the SC Recall that the widow, immediately before witnessing the stabbing, heard Arman curse her husband. She even shouted and sought the help of Armans mother. The proximity of Arman to where the widow was, in addition to the widows familiarity with her first cousin dissipates any doubts that she erred in identifying him

Decision affirmed, modified civil indemnity (reduced to P50k).