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Rights of the Accused 1. Criminal Due Process [Sec 14 (1), Article III] CASES: Sales v. Sandiganbayan

threw everything to the Sandiganbayan for evaluation. Thirdly, a person under preliminary investigation by the OMB is entitled to a motion for reconsideration, as maintained by the Rules of Procedure by the OMB. The filing of the motion for reconsideration is an integral part of the preliminary investigation proper. The denial thereof is tantamount to the denial of the right itself to a preliminary investigation. This fact alone renders preliminary investigation conducted in this case incomplete. And lastly, it was patent error for the Sandiganbayan to have relied purely on the OMBs certification of probable cause given the prevailing facts of the case much more so in the face of the latters flawed report and one side factual findings. The court cannot accept the Sandiganbayans assertion of having found probable cause on its own, considering the OMBs defective report and findings, which merely rekied on the testimonies of the witnesses for the prosecution and disregarded the evidence for the defense. Judgment is rendered setting aside the resolution of the Sandiganbayan, ordering the Sandiganbayan to quash the warrant of arrest and remanding the OMB for completion of the preliminary investigation. Salonga v. Pano, supra FACTS: Jovito Salonga was charged with the violation of the Revised AntiSubversion Act after he was implicated, along with other 39 accused, by Victor Lovely in the series of bombings in Metro Manila. He was tagged by Lovely in his testimony as the leader of subversive organizations for two reasons (1) because his house was used as a contact point; and (2) because of his remarks during the party of Raul Daza in Los Angeles. He allegedly opined about the likelihood of a violent struggle in the Philippines if reforms are not instituted immediately by then President Marcos. ISSUE: Whether or not Salongas alleged remarks are protected by the freedom of speech. HELD Yes. The petition is dismissed. RATIO The petitioners opinion is nothing but a legitimate exercise of freedom of thought and expression. Protection is especially mandated for political discussions. Political discussion is essential to the ascertainment of political truth. It cannot be the basis of criminal indictments. The constitutional guaranty may only be proscribed when such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action. In the case at bar, there is no threat against the government. In PD 885, political discussion will only constitute prima facie evidence of membership in a subversive organization if such discussion amounts to conferring with officers or other members of such association or organization in furtherance of any plan or enterprise thereof. In the case, there is no proof that such discussion was in furtherance of any plan to overthrow the government through illegal means. Lovely also declared that his bombing mission was not against the government, but directed against a particular family. Such a statement negates any politically motivated or subversive assignment.

Facts: The petitioner, the incumbent mayor of Pagudpud Ilocos Norte, shot the former mayor and his political rival Atty. Benemerito. After the shooting, he surrendered himself and hence the police inspector and wife of the victim filed a criminal complaint for murder against him. The judge after conducting the preliminary examination (p.e. for brevity) found probable cause and issued a warrant of arrest. Also after conducting the preliminary investigation (p.i. for brevity), he issued a resolution forwarding the case to the prosecutor for appropriate action. Petitioner received a subpoena directing him to file his counter affidavit, affidavit of witnesses and other supporting documents. He did it the following day. While proceedings are ongoing, he filed a petition for habeas corpus with the C.A alleging that: the warrant was null and void because the judge who issued it was a relative by affinity of the private respondent and the p.e. and the p.i. were illegal and irregular as the judge doesnt have jurisdiction on the case. The C.A. granted the petition holding that the judge was a relative by affinity by 3rd degree to the private respondent and the p.i. he conducted has 2 stages, the p.e. and the p.i. proper. The proceeding now consists only of one stage. He conducted the requisite investigation prior to the issuance of warrant of arrest. Moreover he did not complete it. He only examined the witness of the complainant. But the prosecution instead of conducting p.i. of his own forwarded the records to the Ombudsman (OMB for brevity) for the latter to conduct the same. The OMB directed the petitioner to submit his counter affidavit, but he did not comply with it finding the same superfluous. The graft investigator recommended the filing of information for murder which the OMB approved. Petitioner received a copy of the resolution but prevented seeking reconsideration thereof he filed a motion to defer issuance of warrant of arrest pending the determination of probable cause. The Sandiganbayan denied the motion. This is now a petition for review on the decision of the Sandiganbayan, Issue: Whether or Not the OMB followed the procedure in conducting preliminary investigation. Whether or Not petitioner was afforded an opportunity to be heard and to submit controverting evidence. Held: The proper procedure in the conduct of preliminary investigation was not followed because of the following reasons. Firstly, the preliminary investigation was conducted by 3 different investigators, none of whom completed the preliminary investigation There was not one continuous proceeding but rather, cases of passing the buck, the last one being the OMB throwing the buck to the Sandiganbayan. Secondly, the charge of murder is a non bailable offense. The gravity of the offense alone should have merited a deeper and more thorough preliminary investigation. The OMB did nothing of the sort but wallowed the resolution of the graft investigator. He did a worse job than the judge, by actually adopting the resolution of the graft investigator without doing anything and

OBITER DICTUM: To withhold the right to preliminary investigation, it would be to transgress constitutional due process. However, it is not enough that the preliminary investigation is conducted to satisfy the due process clause. There must be sufficient evidence to sustain a prima facie case or that probable cause exists to form a sufficient belief as to the guilt of the accused. Galman v. Sandiganbayan nd (resolution on the 2 MR), 144 SCRA 43 Facts: 1 Aug. 21, 1983 Ninoy Aquino was assassinated while inside the premises of the Mla Intl Airport. 2 3 hours after the incident, the military investigators reported that the man who shot Aquino was a communist-hired gunman the latter was gunned down in turn by the military (a few days later, said gunman would be identified as Rolando Galman) 3 Marcos established a Fact Finding Board (the Agrava Board) to investigate the case 4 Oct 23 & 24, 1984 after 125 days of hearing the testimonies of 194 witnesses recorded in 20377 pages of transcript, the Agrava Board came up with a minority and majority report, both contending that the killing was not a communist plot but a military conspiracy. Minority report 6 persons who were at the service stairs as plotters, and Gen. Luther Custodio was essential to the implementation of the plan Majority report 26 persons headed by gen Fabian Ver, all acting in conspiracy with one another in the premeditated killing of Ninoy Nov 11, 1985 Saturnina Galman and Reynaldo Galman together with 29 other petitioners, charged the Tanodbayan and the Sandiganbayan of serioud irregularities constituting mistrial and resulting in the miscarriage of justice for want of due process of law; they prayed for a TRO, a nullification of the proceedings and a retrial before an impartial tribunal by an unbiased prosecutor Nov 18, 1985 a 9-to-2 vote of the SB granted the TRO Nov 28, 1985 the same 9-to-2 ratio dismissed the petition and lifted the TRO Nov. 29, 1985 the petitioners filed a motion for recon based on the lack of legal ground for the dismissal Dec 5 all of the accused were acquitted even though Galman was not on trial, he was, in effect, convicted as the assassin of Ninoy Mar 6, 1986 the Mla Times published an article entitled Aquino Trial A Sham, which had for its context the revelations of Deputy Tanodbayan Manuel Herrera that the graft court were convinced by Marcos to whitewash the criminal cases June 5 SC appointed a 3-member commission (Vasquez Commission) to hear and receive evidence of the charges of collusion and pressure July 31 the Vasquez Commission submitted its report with an affirmation of the secret meeting held in Malacaang, wherein Marcos ordered Justice Pamaran to handle the case (without raffling the case first) and for the entire tribunal to have all of the accused acquitted Issue(among others): WON a call for a re-trial of the case would be tantamount to double jeopardy Ratio Decidendi: Where the court lacked jurisdiction to conduct a fair trial, double jeopardy does not attach. Reasons: 1 No court whose presiding justice received orders or suggestions from a President whose decree made it possible to refer a case to his court can be an impartial tribunal 2 Jurisdiction over cases shld be determined by law and not by the pre-selection of the Executive, which could be too easily transformed into a means of predetermining the outcome of individual cases 3 A dictated, coerced, and scripted verdict of acquittal is a void judgment; in legal contemplation, it neither binds nor bars anyone; such judgment is a lawless thing which can be treated as an outlaw. Rochin v. California (compare with Breithanpat v. Abram, 352 US 432), 34 US 165 Brief Fact Summary. The Appellant, Rochin (Appellant), alleged that the Due Process Clause had been violated when police forced him to vomit two capsules that he had swallowed. Synopsis of Rule of Law. The police cannot extract evidence from







Facts. Three officers entered the Appellants home and saw two capsules on a nightstand. When they inquired as to who owned the capsules, the Appellant swallowed them. After an unsuccessful attempt to dislodge the capsules from Appellants mouth, the officers took the Appellant to a hospital. At the hospital, the Appellants stomach was pumped against his will to induce vomiting. Two capsules containing morphine were found within the vomited material. Issue. Can the police forcibly extract evidence from a persons stomach? Held. No. The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution (Constitution) prohibits the use of coerced confessions. There is no distinction between a coerced verbal confession and a coerced physical confession. To hold otherwise would be to sanction police brutality in obtaining physical evidence, while prohibiting police brutality in obtaining a verbal confession. Concurrence. Justice Black: The Supreme Court of the United States (Supreme Court) used the nebulous standard of the Fourteenth Amendment instead of the specific standards of the Bill of Rights to invalidate Californias (Appellee) use of the evidence. By using a nebulous standard, the Supreme Court substitutes its own judgment for the Constitution. A nebulous standard changes, and a changing standard endangers civil liberties. Justice Douglas: The Fifth Amendment should have been used to invalidate the Appelees use of this evidence. Freeing the states from the Bill of Rights, while nullifying state laws which offend the Supreme Court through the use of the Fourteenth Amendment, has led to an erosion of civil rights by allowing states to do what the Federal government cannot. Discussion. Obtaining confessions by beating or torture was one practice that the right against self incrimination was intended to prevent. Because the value of the confession was its evidentiary value, the police cannot beat or torture a person to obtain evidence contained in a persons body. Martelinno v. Alejandrino, 32 SCRA 106 MARTELINO v ALEJANDRO 32 SCRA 106 CASTRO; March 25, 1970 NATURE Petition for certiorari and prohibition, to nullify the orders of the court-martial denying their challenges, both peremptory and for cause FACTS - There are ongoing court-martial proceedings against the petitioner, Major Eduardo Martelino, alias Abdul Latif Martelino, of the AFP, and the officers and men under him, for violation of the 94th and 97th Articles of War, as a result of the alleged shooting of some Muslim recruits then undergoing commando training on the island of Corregidor. - Initially there was a question of jurisdiction: WON the general court-martial, convened to try the case, acquired jurisdiction over the case despite the fact that about a month earlier, a complaint for frustrated murder had been filed in the fiscal's office of Cavite City. Proceedings had to be suspended until SC finally ruled in favor of the jurisdiction of the military court. - After that, Martelino sought the disqualification of the President of the general court-martial, following the latter's admission that he read newspaper stories of the Corregidor incident. He contended that the case had received such an amount of publicity in the press and was being exploited for political purposes in connection with the upcoming 1969 presidential elections as to imperil his right to a fair trial. - They then raised peremptory challenges against Col. Alejandro, as president of the court-martial, and Col. Olfindo, Lt. Col. Camagay, Lt. Col. Valones, Lt. Col. Blanco and Col. Malig, as members. There was

also an issue as to the number of peremptory challenges that can be raised by each accused. - SC then restrained court-martial from proceeding with the case. Respondents asserted that despite the publicity which the case had received, no proof has been presented showing that the courtmartial's president's fairness and impartiality have been impaired. As a preliminary consideration, the respondents urge this Court to throw out the petition on the ground that it has no power to review the proceedings of the court-martial, "except for the purpose of ascertaining whether the military court had jurisdiction of the person and subject matter, and whether, though having such jurisdiction, it had exceeded its powers in the sentence pronounced." ISSUES 1. WON the publicity given to the case against the petitioners was such as to prejudice their right to a fair trial 2. WON each accused was entitled to one peremptory challenge HELD 1. NO Reasoning - The trial courts must take strong measures to ensure that the balance is never weighed against the accused. And appellate tribunals have the duty to make an independent evaluation of the circumstances. Where there is a reasonable likelihood that prejudicial news prior to trial will prevent a fair trial, the judge should continue the case until the threat abates, or transfer it to another county not so permeated with publicity. If publicity during the proceeding threatens the fairness of the trial, a new trial should be ordered. - The spate of publicity in this case before us did not focus on the guilt of the petitioners but rather on the responsibility of the Government for what was claimed to be a "massacre" of Muslim trainees. If there was a "trial by newspaper" at all, it was not of the petitioners but of the Government. Absent here is a showing of failure of the court-martial to protect the accused from massive publicity encouraged by those connected with the conduct of the trial either by a failure to control the release of information or to remove the trial to another venue or to postpone it until the deluge of prejudicial publicity shall have subsided. Indeed we cannot say that the trial of the petitioners was being held under circumstances which did not permit the observance of those imperative decencies of procedure which have come to be identified with due process. - Even granting the existence of "massive" and "prejudicial" publicity, since the petitioners here do not contend that the respondents have been unduly influenced but simply that they might be by the "barrage" of publicity. 2. YES Ratio Each of the 23 petitioners (accused before the general courtmartial) is entitled to one peremptory challenge, irrespective of the number of specifications and/or charges and regardless of whether they are tried jointly or in common. The right to challenge is in quintessence the right to reject, not to select. If from the officers who remain an impartial military court is obtained, the constitutional right of the accused to a fair trial is maintained. Reasoning - It is the submission of the petitioners that "for every charge, each side may exercise one peremptory challenge," and therefore because there are eleven charges they are entitled to eleven separate peremptory challenges. The respondents argue that although there are actually a total of eleven specifications against the petitioners, three of these should be considered as merged with two other specifications, "since in fact they allege the same offenses committed in conspiracy, thus leaving a balance of eight specifications." The general court-martial thereof takes the position that all the 23 petitioners are entitled to a total of only eight peremptory challenges. (a) A peremptory challenge is afforded to an accused who, whether rightly or wrongly, honestly feels that the member of the court peremptorily challenged by him cannot sit in judgment over him, impartially. Every accused person is entitled to a fair trial. It is not enough that objectively the members of the court may be fair and impartial. It is likewise necessary that subjectively the accused must feel that he is being tried by a fair and impartial body of officers. Because the petitioners may entertain grave doubts as to the fairness or impartiality of distinct, separate and different individual members of the court-martial, it follows necessarily that each of the accused is entitled to one peremptory challenge. (b)

Article of War 18 does not distinguish between common trials and joint trials, nor does it make the nature or number of specifications and/or charges a determinant. (c) A perceptive analysis of the companion articles convinces us that the word, "each side," as used in the said article in reference to the defense, should be construed to mean each accused person. Dispositive Subject to our pronouncement that each of the 23 petitioners is entitled to one separate peremptory challenge, the present petition is DENIED. The temporary restraining order issued by this Court is hereby lifted. Patanao v. Enage, 121 SCRA 228 Bunye v. Sandiganbayan, 205 SCRA 92 Facts: Petitioners were charged for the taking possession of the New Public Market in Alabang, Muntinlupa through the enactment of Kapasiyahan Bilang 45 to the prejudice of the Kilusang Bayan sa Paglilingkod ng mga Magtitinda na Bagong Pamilihang Bayan ng Muntinlupa (KBPMBMPM) since a lease contract between the Municipality and the Kilusan was subsisting.

Petitioners posted a Motion to Dismiss on July 24, 1992, relying on the Court of Appeals Decision on September 23, 1991 that unless and until declared to be unconstitutional and expressly annulled, Resolution No. 45 deserves the presumption of constitutionality and therefore is entitled to obedience and respect. However, the motion was denied by the respondent court on September 23, 1992. The Sandiganbayan then found petitioners guilty of a violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act on its July 26, 1995 Decision.

Issues: WON the unilateral revocation of subject lease contract was effected with evident bad faith.

Held: Sec.149, paragraph (3) of BP 337 explicitly requires a public bidding before a government contract may be awarded, and the term of the contract is not to exceed 5 years. Thus, the 25-year term of the lease contract violates the BP 337 provision.

As stated in Spouses Terrado vs Court of Appeals, since Ordinance No. 8 granted fishery privileges without the benefit of public bidding and for a period exceeding 5 years, the said ordinance and the contract of managementwere null and void ab initio xxx. There is tenability in petitioners submission that subject lease contract was grossly disadvantageous to the Government. The Court, mindful of economic realities, perceives that the projected monthly rental of P51, 243 in 1990 would have greatly reduced by 2015 when the lease contract would have ended if not earlier rescinded. Also, KBMBPMs failure to comply with the contractual stipulations under the Health and Sanitation clause of the contract cannot be overlooked.

In finding and concluding that petitioners acted in bad faith in the implementation of said directives, the respondent court equated legal steps to legal actions, so much so that petitioners failure to sue the Cooperative for rescission of the contract was adjudged by the Sandiganbayan as non-compliance with the MMC and CoAs directives.

Prior to the takeover of the new public market, posters announced the municipalitys intended takeover in the vicinity of the market place where the KBMMPMs offices were located. The cooperative also participated in the public hearing of Resolution No. 45. Thus,

respondents were duly notified of the intent to takeover by the municipality.

because such examination would give the prosecution evidence against him, which the latter should have gotten in the first place. He also argued that such an act will make him furnish evidence against himself.

Sec. 3(e) of RA 3019 provides that causing any undue injury to any partythe discharge of his official administrative pr judicial function constitute a violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

There is no clear evidence as to the exact nature of the amount since the witness failed to produce any document as evidence.

Issue: Whether or not the writing from the fiscal's dictation by the petitioner for the purpose of comparing the latter's handwriting and determining whether he wrote certain documents supposed to be falsified, constitutes evidence against himself within the scope andmeaning of the constitutional provision under examination.

Records also reveal that the stallholders business interest has never been adversely affected, and no market vendor was displaced or prevented from operating in the new Muntinlupa public market, as a result of the implementation of Resolution o. 45. Thus, no undue injury was caused by petitioners to subject market vendors or to the KBMBPM. There is no sustainable basis for requiring the Municipality to reimburse.

Absent any damage/injury, the fourth element of the charge is wanting. The evidence cannot hurdle the test of moral certainty required for conviction Against Self-Incrimination (Section 17, Article III) scope CASES: U.S. v. Tan Teng, 23 Phil 145 Facts: The defendant herein raped Oliva Pacomio, a seven-year-old girl. Tan Teng was gambling near the house of the victim and it was alleged that he entered her home and threw the victim on the floor and place his private parts over hers. Several days later, Pacomio was suffering from a disease called gonorrhea. Pacomio told her sister about what had happened and reported it to the police. Tan Teng was called to appear in a police line-up and the victim identified him. He was then stripped of his clothing and was examined by a policeman. He was found to have the same symptoms of gonorrhea. The policeman took a portion of the substance emitting from the body of the defendant and turned it over to the Bureau of Science. The results showed that the defendant was suffering from gonorrhea. The lower court held that the results show that the disease that the victim had acquired came from the defendant herein. Such disease was transferred by the unlawful act of carnal knowledge by the latter. The defendant alleged that the said evidence should be inadmissible because it was taken in violation of his right against self-incrimination.

Held: The court ordered the respondents and those under their orders desist and abstain absolutely and forever from compelling the petitioner to take down dictation in his handwriting for the purpose of submitting the latter for comparison. Writing is something more than moving the body, or the hands, or the fingers; writing is not a purely mechanical act, because it requires the application of intelligence and attention; and in the case at bar writing means that the petitioner herein is to furnish a means to determine whether or not he is the falsifier, as the petition of the respondent fiscal clearly states. Except that it is more serious, we believe the present case is similar to that of producing documents or chattels in one's possession. We say that, for the purposes of the constitutional privilege, there is a similarity between one who is compelled to produce a document, and one who is compelled to furnish a specimen of his handwriting, for in both cases, the witness is required to furnish evidence against himself. It cannot be contended in the present case that if permission to obtain a specimen of the petitioner's handwriting is not granted, the crime would go unpunished. Considering the circumstance that the petitioner is a municipal treasurer, it should not be a difficult matter for the fiscal to obtained genuine specimens of his handwriting. But even supposing it is impossible to obtain specimen or specimens without resorting to the means complained herein, that is no reason for trampling upon a personal right guaranteed by the constitution. It might be true that in some cases criminals may succeed in evading the hand of justice, but such cases are accidental and do not constitute the raison d' etre of the privilege. This constitutional privilege exists for the protection of innocent persons. When Available CASES: Chavez v. CA, 24 SCRA 663 August 19, 1968

G.R. No. L-29169


Issue: Whether or Not the physical examination conducted was a violation of the defendants rights against self-incrimination.

Held: The court held that the taking of a substance from his body was not a violation of the said right. He was neither compelled to make any admissions or to answer any questions. The substance was taken from his body without his objection and was examined by competent medical authority. The prohibition of self-incrimination in the Bill of Rights is a prohibition of the use of physical or moral compulsion to extort communications from him, and not an exclusion of his body as evidence, when it may be material. It would be the same as if the offender apprehended was a thief and the object stolen by him may be used as evidence against him. Beltran v. Samson, 53 Phil 570 Facts: Beltran, as a defendant for the crime of Falsification, refused to write a sample of his handwriting as ordered by the respondent Judge. The petitioner in this case contended that such order would be a violation of his constitutional right against self-incrimination

>this is a petition for habeas corpus. Petitioner invoking jurisdiction of the Supreme Court that he is entitled to be freed from imprisonment upon ground that trial which resulted his conviction, HE WAS DENIED OF HIS CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT NOT TO BE COMPELLED TO TESTIFY AGAINST HIMSELF. >judgment of conviction was for qualified theft of a motor vehicle (thunderbird car together with accessories)

>an information was filed against the accused together with other accused, that they conspired, with intent to gain and abuse of confidence without the consent of owner Dy Lim, took the vehicle.

>all the accused plead not guilty.

>during the trial, the fiscal grecia (prosecution) asked roger Chavez to be the first witness. Counsel of the accused opposed. Fiscal Grecia contends that the accused (Chavez) will only be an ordinary witness not an state witness. Counsel of accused answer that it will only incriminate his client. But the jugde ruled in favor of the fiscal on the grounds that (1) the right of the prosecution to ask anybody to act as witness on the witness stand including the accused (2) If there should be any question that is incriminating then that is the time for counsel to interpose his objection and the court will sustain him if and when the court feels that the answer of this witness to the question would incriminate him. (3) Counsel has all the assurance that the court will not require the witness to answer questions which would incriminate him. > prosecution version of what happened: Chavez saw Lee driving the thunderbird(car) and asked if it is for sale. Lee answered yes. Chavez met Sumilang and informed about the car. The two went to Asistio and made a plan to capitalize on Romeo Vasquez' reputation as a wealthy movie star, introduce him as a buyer to someone who was selling a car and, after the deed of sale is signed, by trickery to run away with the car. Asistio would then register it, sell it to a third person for a profit. Chavez known to be a car agent was included in the plan. He furnished the name of Johnson Lee who was selling his Thunderbird. Chavez arranged the meeting with Lee. They agreed on the price and went to Dy Sunk which is the registered owner of the car. Deed of sale was drawn and signed by Sumilang. At Eugene's, a man approached Sumilang with a note which stated that the money was ready at the Dalisay Theater. Sumilang then wrote on the same note that the money should be brought to the restaurant. At the same time he requested Lee to exhibit the deed of sale of the car to the note bearer. The two Chinese were left alone in the restaurant. The two Chinese could not locate Sumilang and Chavez. They went out to the place where the Thunderbird was parked, found that it was gone. They then immediately reported its loss to the police. Much later, the NBI recovered the already repainted car and impounded it. Chavez, Sumilang and Asistio converged that same day at Barrio Fiesta, a restaurant at Highway 54 near the Balintawak monument in Caloocan. There, Asistio handed to Sumilang P1,000.00 cash and a golf set worth P800.00 as the latter's share in the transaction. On the 14th of November, the registration of the car was transferred in the name of Sumilang in Cavite City, and three days later, in the name of Asistio in Caloocan. >sumilangs verson (one of the accused): Sumilang saw Chavez at gas station and told about the Thunderbird. They raised the money. Chavez went to Sumilang house and asked if he was ready for the rest of money. He affirmed. At Eugenes Sumilang saw Pascual and warned Chavez was a smart agent and advised that Sumilang should be careful. Then the deed of sale was executed. Two or three days after, Asistio offered to buy the car of Sumilang and tendered the down payment.

>Petitioner claims that there was a violation of right against self incrimation. >Compulsion as it is understood here does not necessarily connote the use of violence; it may be the product of unintentional statements. Pressure which operates to overbear his will, disable him from making a free and rational choice, or impair his capacity for rational judgment would in our opinion be sufficient

>During the trial, the petitioner declined to be a witness but the judge had impliedly forced him by saying that the prosecution has the right and that his testimony will not be used against him.

>Petitioner was enveloped by a coercive force; they deprived him of his will to resist; they foreclosed choice. With all these, we have no hesitancy in saying that petitioner was forced to testify to incriminate himself, in full breach of his constitutional right to remain silent. It cannot be said now that he has waived his right. He did not volunteer to take the stand and in his own defense; he did not offer himself as a witness; on the contrary, he claimed the right upon being called to testify. >There is no waiver of the privilege. "To be effective, a waiver must be certain and unequivocal, and intelligently, understandably, and willingly made; such waiver following only where liberty of choice has been fully accorded. After a claim a witness cannot properly be held to have waived his privilege on vague and uncertain evidence >The course which petitioner takes is correct. Habeas corpus is a 31 high prerogative writ. It is traditionally considered as an exceptional remedy to release a person whose liberty is illegally restrained such as when the accused's constitutional rights are disregarded. A void judgment is in legal effect no judgment. By it no rights are divested. From it no rights can be obtained. Being worthless in itself, all proceedings founded upon it are equally worthless.

>Supreme Court decision: Petition granted. Accused must be discharge.

>trial court gave credence to the testimony of Sumilang. As to Chavez, his testimony established his guilt beyond reasonable doubt and branded him Self confessed culprit.

>trial court decision: freed all other accused except Chavez who was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt. >chavez appealed to the Court of appeals but it was dismissed. ISSUE: Whether or not constitutional right of Chavez against self incrimination had been violated? HELD:

Pp v. Rondero, GR. No. 125687, Dec 9, 1999 The accused was seen by the victims father with an ice pick and washing his bloodied hands at the well. The 9 year old victim was later found dead and half naked with lacerations in her vagina but no sperm. He was convicted of homicide only. Held: Guilty of the special complex crime of rape with homicide. The absence of sperm does not negate the commission of rape since the mere touching of the pudenda by the male organ is already considered as consummated rape. The presence of physical injuries on the victim strongly indicates the employment of force on her person. Contusions were found on Mylenes face, arms and thighs. Hence, death is the appropriate penalty. case digests, case digests of supreme court decisions, case digests Philippines, mobile phone deals, laptop computers, gadgets, free legal opinion, online jobs, best law firms in Mindanao Pp v. Gallarde, G.R. No. 133025, Feb 17, 2000 FACTS: Accused was charged with the crime of rape with homicide. The trial court convicted him of murder only. The trial court rejected the photographs taken of the accused immediately after

the incident on the ground that the same were taken when the accused was already under the mercy of the police. HELD: The taking of pictures of an accused, even without the assistance of counsel, being purely a mechanical act, is not a violation of his constitutional rights against self-incrimination. Galman v. Pamaran, 138 SCRA 274 (1985) Facts: In order to determine the facts and circumstances surrounding the killing and to allow a free, unlimited and exhaustive investigation of all aspects of the killing of Sen Aquino at MIA, PD 1886 was promulgated creating an ad hoc Fact Finding Board aka the Agrava Board. The board conducted public hearings wherein various witnesses appeared and testified and/or produced documentary and other evidence either in obedience to a subpoena or in response to an invitation issued by the board. Among those who testified and produced evidence before the board are the respondents in this petition. Respondents contend that their individual testimonies before said board should not be admitted in evidence and prayed that the same be rejected as evidence for the prosecution. However, said prayer was denied by the Sandiganbayan contending that their testimonies could not be excluded because the immunity was not available to them because of their failure to invoke their right against selfincrimination before the ad hoc Fact Finding Board. Issue: 1. WON the testimonies given by the 8 respondents who did not invoke their rights against self-incrimination before the Agrava Board is admissible in evidence. Held: 1. NO. The Board is in truth and in fact, and to all legal intents and purposes, an entity charged, not only with the function of determining the facts and circumstances surrounding the killing, but more importantly, the determination of the person or persons criminally responsible therefore so that they may be brought before the bar of justice. The investigation therefor is also geared, as any other similar investigation of its sort, to the ascertainment and/or determination of the culprit or culprits, their consequent prosecution and ultimately, their conviction. In the course of receiving evidence, persons summoned to testify will include not merely plain witnesses but also those suspected as authors and co-participants in the tragic killing. And when suspects are summoned and called to testify and/or produce evidence, the situation is one where the person testifying or producing evidence is undergoing investigation for the commission of an offense and not merely in order to shed light on the facts and surrounding circumstances of the assassination, but more importantly, to determine the character and extent of his participation therein. This notwithstanding, Presidential Decree No. 1886 denied them the right to remain silent. They were compelled to testify or be witnesses against themselves. Section 5 of P.D. 1886 leave them no choice. They have to take the witness stand, testify or produce evidence, under pain of contempt if they failed or refused to do so. The jeopardy of being placed behind prison bars even before conviction dangled before their very eyes. Similarly, they cannot invoke the right not to be a witness against themselves, both of which are sacrosantly enshrined and protected by our fundamental law. Both these constitutional rights to remain silent and not to be compelled to be a witness against himself) were right away totally foreclosed by P.D. 1886. And yet when they so testified and produced evidence as ordered, they were not immune from prosecution by reason of the testimony given by them. Issue: 2. WON the right against self incrimination extends to testimonies given before the Agrava board and not to an investigating officer Held: YES. The privilege has consistently been held to extend to all proceedings sanctioned by law and to all cases in which punishment is sought to be visited upon a witness, whether a party or not. If in a mere forfeiture case where only property rights were involved, "the right not to be compelled to be a witness against himself" is secured in favor of the defendant, then with more reason it cannot be

denied to a person facing investigation before a Fact Finding Board where his life and liberty, by reason of the statements to be given by him, hang on the balance. The deletion of the phrase "in a criminal case" connotes no other import except to make said provision also applicable to cases other than criminal. Decidedly then, the right "not to be compelled to testify against himself" applies to the herein private respondents notwithstanding that the proceedings before the Agrava Board is not, in its strictest sense, a criminal case. Immunity Statutes:

1. One which grants Use Immunity - prohibits use of witness' compelled testimony and its fruits in any manner in connection with the criminal prosecution of the witness. 2. One which grants Transactional Immunity - grants immunity to the witness from prosecution for an offense to which his compelled testimony relates. It is beyond dispute that said law belongs to the first type of immunity statutes (Use Immunity). It grants merely immunity from use of any statement given before the Board, but not immunity from prosecution by reason or on the basis thereof. Merely testifying and/or producing evidence do not render the witness immuned from prosecution notwithstanding his invocation of the right against self-incrimination. He is merely saved from the use against him of such statement and nothing more. Stated otherwise, he still runs the risk of being prosecuted even if he sets up his right against selfincrimination. The dictates of fair play, which is the hallmark of due process, demands that private respondents should have been informed of their rights to remain silent and warned that any and all statements to be given by them may be used against them. This, they were denied, under the pretense that they are not entitled to it and that the Board has no obligation to so inform them. The provision on self incrimination renders inadmissible any confession obtained in violation thereof. As herein earlier discussed, this exclusionary rule applies not only to confessions but also to admissions, whether made by a witness in any proceeding or by an accused in a criminal proceeding or any person under investigation for the commission of an offense. Summary: As a rule, such infringement of the constitutional right renders inoperative the testimonial compulsion, meaning, the witness cannot be compelled to answer UNLESS a co-extensive protection in the form of IMMUNITY is offered. Hence, under the oppressive compulsion of P.D. 1886, immunity must in fact be offered to the witness before he can be required to answer, so as to safeguard his sacred constitutional right. But in this case, the compulsion has already produced its desired results the private respondents had all testified without offer of immunity. Their constitutional rights are therefore, in jeopardy. The only way to cure the law of its unconstitutional effects is to construe it in the manner as if IMMUNITY had in fact been offered. We hold, therefore, that in view of the potent sanctions imposed on the refusal to testify or to answer questions under Sec. 4 of P.D. 1886, the testimonies compelled thereby are deemed immunized under Section 5 of the same law. The applicability of the immunity granted by P.D. 1886 cannot be made to depend on a claim of the privilege against selfincrimination which the same law practically strips away from the witness. Waiver 2. Custodial Rights (Section 12, Article III) Read also: RA 7438 (An CT Defining Certain Rights of Persons Arrested, Detained or Under Custodial Investigation) RA 7309 (An Act Creating the Board of Claims) CASES: Miranda v. Arizona, 384 US 436

Brief Fact Summary. The defendants offered incriminating evidence during police interrogations without prior notification of their rights

under the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution (the Constitution). Synopsis of Rule of Law. Government authorities need to inform individuals of their Fifth Amendment constitutional rights prior to an interrogation following an arrest. Facts. The Supreme Court of the United States (Supreme Court) consolidated four separate cases with issues regarding the admissibility of evidence obtained during police interrogations. The first Defendant, Ernesto Miranda (Mr. Miranda), was arrested for kidnapping and rape. Mr. Miranda was an immigrant, and although the officers did not notify Mr. Miranda of his rights, he signed a confession after two hours of investigation. The signed statement included a statement that Mr. Miranda was aware of his rights. The second Defendant, Michael Vignera (Mr. Vignera), was arrested for robbery. Mr. Vignera orally admitted to the robbery to the first officer after the arrest, and he was held in detention for eight hours before he made an admission to an assistant district attorney. There was no evidence that he was notified of his Fifth Amendment constitutional rights. The third Defendant, Carl Calvin Westover (Mr. Westover), was arrested for two robberies. Mr. Westover was questioned over fourteen hours by local police, and then was handed to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents, who were able to get signed confessions from Mr. Westover. The authorities did not notify Mr. Westover of his Fifth Amendment constitutional rights. The fourth Defendant, Roy Allen Stewart (Mr. Stewart), was arrested, along with members of his family (although there was no evidence of any wrongdoing by his family) for a series of purse snatches. There was no evidence that Mr. Stewart was notified of his rights. After nine interrogations, Mr. Stewart admitted to the crimes. Issue. Whether the government is required to notify the arrested defendants of their Fifth Amendment constitutional rights against self-incrimination before they interrogate the defendants? Held. The government needs to notify arrested individuals of their Fifth Amendment constitutional rights, specifically: their right to remain silent; an explanation that anything they say could be used against them in court; their right to counsel; and their right to have counsel appointed to represent them if necessary. Without this notification, anything admitted by an arrestee in an interrogation will not be admissible in court. Dissent. Justice Tom Clark (J. Clark) argued that the Due Process Clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution would apply to interrogations. There is not enough evidence to demonstrate a need to apply a new rule as the majority finds here. The second dissent written by Justice John Harlan (J. Harlan) also argues that the Due Process Clauses should apply. J. Harlan further argues that the Fifth Amendment rule against self-incrimination was never intended to forbid any and all pressures against selfincrimination. Justice Byron White (J. White) argued that there is no historical support for broadening the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution to include the rights that the majority extends in their decision. The majority is making new law with their holding. The prosecution also presented eyewitness Orlindo Legaspi who positively identified Ramos as the man who barged into the mahjong den near the Lagro jeepney terminal in Novaliches, Quezon City, between 8:00 oclock and 9:00 oclock in the evening of June 8, 1988, looking for the victim, Juanito Boyet Jube. He testified, viz.:(omitted) In their defense, both Ramos and Hipolito proferred alibis. Ramos claimed he was in the Philippine Constabulary Headquarters in Malolos, Bulacan from 8:00 oclock in the morning of June 8, 1988 until the same time of the following day. Hipolito alleged she was in her office in Sta. Cruz, Manila, from 11:00 o'clock in the morning of June 8, 1988 until 10:30 in the evening of the same day. CONTRARY TO LAW. Ramos and Hipolito pled not guilty upon arraignment. The prosecution presented Herminia Reyes who testified that on June 8, 1988, at about 6:35 in the evening, Hipolito gathered Ramos and several other men in Sta. Cruz, Manila, where the terminal of her bus line, the E.H. Trinidad Liner, was located. Hipolito told them that they were going to Lagro, Quezon City to get a certain Boyet who hit Ernesto Padrinao, one of her bus conductors, in the face during an altercation over the latters non-payment of the formers barking fees. The group boarded two of Hipolito's vehicles, a blue Lancer with license plate number NGL333 and a red Land Cruiser with no license plate number. That on or about the 8th day of June, 1988, in Quezon City, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused, conspiring together, confederating with and mutually helping one another, did then and there, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously kidnap one JUANITO JUBE, in the manner as follows: on the date and in the place aforementioned accused C1C ERNESTO RAMOS with several Does went to a store where a mahjong game was being held located at Lagro, Quezon City, and looked for Juanito Jube and afterwards held and pulled said victim outside of the store and thereafter attacked, assaulted and employed personal violence upon the said victim, by then and there, hitting the latter with a steel tube on his head as well as his back by an armalite thereby causing him physical injuries, rendering him unconscious and thereafter lifted the unconscious Juanito Jube to a Land Cruiser car without license plate number followed by a Lancer car with license plate number NGL-333, driven by C1C ERNESTO RAMOS owned by the accused ESTELITA I. HIPOLITO and thereafter brought said victim to a certain place and detained him up to the present time, all against his will, to the damage and prejudice of the said victim in such amount as may be awarded under the provisions of the Civil Code. Discussion. The majority notes that once an individual chooses to remain silent or asks to first see an attorney, any interrogation should cease. Further, the individual has the right to stop the interrogation at any time, and the government will not be allowed to argue for an exception to the notification rule. Pp v. Buscato, 74 SCRA 30 Pp v. Ramos, 122 SCRA 312 This is an appeal by accused-appellant C1C Ernesto Ramos from his conviction of the crime of kidnapping and serious illegal detention in a Decision promulgated on August 14, 1995 by the [1] Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 88. The facts show that on April 1, 1991, the Office of the City Prosecutor of Quezon City filed an Information against Ernesto Ramos, formerly with the 145th Company of the Philippine Constabulary, and Estelita Hipolito, a bus line operator, and six (6) John Does, charging them with the kidnapping and serious illegal detention of Juanito Boyet Jube, a barker from Lagro, Quezon City, [2] viz:

On August 14, 1995, the trial court promulgated its judgment convicting Ramos and acquitting Hipolito. It held: It is the prosecutions theory that the kidnapping was precipitated by an altercation between the victim, a barker from Lagro terminal, and Ernesto Padrinao, a bus conductor of E.H. Trinidad Liner, which is owned and operated by accused Hipolito. x x x The prosecutions stand is that the kidnapping of Jube was motivated by vengeance. Padrinao desired to get even with Jube and this vengeful spirit was even sanctioned by accused Hipolito herself x x x. The prosecution raised Hipolitos admission in her testimony that any form of harassment against her sub-alterns is tantamount to an assault against her very person. x x x "x x x "A careful review of the records and testimonies presented disclose Ernesto Ramos direct participation in the kidnapping of Juanito Jube. Positive identification of Ramos by eyewitnesses (Amniel Timbang and Orlindo Legaspi), given in a clear and spontaneous manner, debilitates Ramos defense of alibi. "Ramos testified that between 8:00 in the morning of June 8, 1988 and 8:00 in the morning of June 9, he was on a 24-hour duty at the Malolos PC Provincial Headquarters, and that he never left his post during that period. This point was even corroborated by witnesses Oresca, SPO3 Rodolfo Racho and Maj. Salvador Santos x x x. But to the mind of this Court, these negative testimonies, corroborative to the defense of alibi, cannot overcome positive assertions by credible eyewitnesses, whose testimonies precisely fit together into a coordinated and unified whole. First, there was the testimony of Herminia Reyes who witnessed Ramos and Hipolitos behavior and dispositions several hours prior to the perpetration of the crime. x x x Then Orlindo Legaspi pictured what transpired inside the mahjong room, while Amniel Timbang described what he saw during the actual mauling and kidnapping of Jube. Their interlocking testimonies, particularly the statements of Legaspi and Timbang, consistently point to accused ERNESTO RAMOS, as one of the particeps criminis. xxx Going now to the arguments advanced by Hipolito, this Court finds reasonable doubt as to her guilt. The prosecutions predominantly hearsay evidence and its dispersed fragments of circumstantial [5] evidence cannot sustain a conviction for Hipolito. Accordingly, the trial court sentenced Ramos to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua, with the corresponding accessory penalties of perpetual absolute disqualification and civil interdiction, and to indemnify the heirs of the victim, Juanito Jube, in the amount of two hundred thousand pesos (P200,000.00) by way of moral damages and one hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00) as [6] exemplary damages, plus costs. Ramos appealed and before us contends: Apparently, appellant has taken Timbangs words out of context. Timbang testified that Jube just watched the mahjong game, not because he really saw him watching the game, but because Jube himself told him that he was going to the mahjong place to rest and not to play. In other words, Timbang merely interpreted Jube's statement that he intended to merely watch, and not play, mahjong. Hence, Timbang was not lying even if he testified that the mahjong place was enclosed by a wooden wall and it was impossible to see what was going on inside the mahjong den. Contentions numbers three (3) and seven (7) are also without merit. The failure of the Fairview police to blotter the complaint lodged by Jerry, the brother of Juanito Jube, and the failure of Orlindo Legaspi to report the kidnapping incident to his brother policeman, will not exonerate appellant. They do not diminish the credibility of the testimonies of Timbang and Legaspi. In the first place, police action on any complaint is not within the control of the complainant. Secondly, the failure of the police to act upon the complaint is not convincing proof that the act complained of was never committed.

Similarly unworthy of merit is contention number five (5) that Timbang should not be believed because he is a brother-in-law of the victim. Relationship per se is not destructive of a witness' credibility. On the contrary, relatives have more interest in telling the truth for they want the real culprits to be meted their punishment. Appellant's over-all stance collides with the rule that appellate courts will not disturb the trial courts assessment of the credibility of witnesses in the absence of proof that some fact or circumstance of substance has been overlooked, or its significance misinterpreted which, if properly appreciated, would affect the disposition of the [16] case. For having heard the witnesses and observed their deportment on the stand, the trial judge is in a better position to [17] resolve such question. We find no reason to alter the findings of the trial court. Second. Appellant insists that the trial court should have exonerated him on the basis of his alibi since it was corroborated by the testimony of Patrolman Reynaldo Dimaguiba. We do not agree. For the defense of alibi to prosper, appellant must prove not only that he was somewhere else when the offense was committed, but also that it was physically impossible for him to have been at the [18] crime scene or its immediate vicinity. Well-settled is the rule that alibi is a weak defense not only because it is inherently unreliable [19] but also because it is easy to fabricate. In the absence of strong and convincing evidence, alibi cannot prevail over the positive identification of the appellant by an eyewitness who has no [20] improper motive to testify falsely. The fact that Patrolman Dimaguiba corroborated the alibi of Ramos is of no moment because he failed to proffer proof that it was physically impossible for him to negotiate the distance between the crime scene in Lagro, Quezon City, and his station at the Philippine Constabulary Headquarters in Malolos, Bulacan. No witness testified that he actually saw Ramos in the Philippine Constabulary Headquarters between 8:00 and 9:00 in the evening of June 8, 1988, which would make it impossible for Ramos to be at Lagro at the same time. In contrast, Legaspi and Timbang, who are credible witnesses, positively identified Ramos as one of the malefactors in the kidnapping of Jube. Over this positive [21] identification by two credible witnesses, alibi cannot prevail. Finally, the defense relies on the familiar phrase, reasonable doubt, as basis for alleging that the evidence of the prosecution has not sufficiently proven the guilt of Ramos. But reasonable doubt should not be confused with possible doubt because everything relating to human affairs is open to some imaginary doubt. It is not such a doubt as any man may start by questioning for the sake of a doubt; nor a doubt suggested or surmised without foundation in facts or testimony, for it is possible always to question any [22] conclusion derived from testimony. Reasonable doubt must arise from the evidence adduced or from the lack of evidence, and it [23] should pertain to the facts constitutive of the crime charged. It should be founded on evidential discrepancies that touch on the elements of the crime or other significant facts allied thereto and not just minor or peripheral issues. While no test definitively determines what is reasonable doubt under the law, the view is that it must involve genuine and irreconcilable contradictions based, not on suppositional thinking, but on the hard facts constituting the elements of the crime. Kidnapping and serious illegal detention is punished under Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended. Said provision reads: "ART. 267. Kidnapping and serious illegal detention.-- Any private individual who shall kidnap or detain another, or in any other manner deprive him of his liberty, shall suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua to death; 1. If the kidnapping or detention shall have lasted more than three days. 2. If it shall have been committed simulating public authority.

3. If any serious physical injuries shall have been inflicted upon the person kidnapped or detained; or if threats to kill him shall have been made. 4. If the person kidnapped or detained shall be a minor, except when the accused is any of the parents, female or a public officer. The penalty shall be death where the kidnapping or detention was committed for the purpose of extorting ransom from the victim or any other person, even if none of the circumstances abovementioned were present in the commission of the offense. When the victim is killed or dies as a consequence of the detention or is raped, or is subjected to torture or dehumanizing acts, the maximum penalty shall be imposed." The primary element of kidnapping and serious illegal detention is the actual restraint of the victim or the deprivation of [24] his liberty. In the instant case, there is no mistaking the clear, overwhelming evidence that accused-appellant barged into the mahjong den, accosted Juanito Jube, forcibly dragged him out, beat him up so he will be unable to resist, loaded him in a Land Cruiser, and sped away. Juanito Jube was undoubtedly held captive against his will and deprived his freedom by accused-appellant. As to his present whereabouts, they are unknown; Juanito Jube has [25] disappeared ever since. WHEREFORE, the decision in Criminal Case No. Q-91-19596 convicting appellant Ernesto Ramos of kidnapping and serious illegal detention is affirmed. Costs against appellant. SO ORDERED.

If the purpose of the maltreatment is to extort a confession, or to obtain some information from the prisoner, the offender shall be punished by prision correccional in its minimum period, temporary special disqualification and a fine not exceeding 500 pesos, in addition to his liability for the physical injuries or damage caused. 4. This Court in a long line of decisions over the years, the latest being the case of People vs. Cabrera, 1 has consistently and strongly condemned the practice of maltreating prisoners to extort confessions from them as a grave and unforgivable violation of human rights. But the practice persists. Fortunately, such instances constitute the exception rather than the general rule. 5. Before Us for mandatory review is the death sentence imposed upon the accused Francisco Galit by the Circuit Criminal Court of Pasig, Rizal, in Crim. Case No. CCC-VII-2589 of said court. 6. The record shows that in the morning of August 23, 1977, Mrs. Natividad Fernando, a widow, was found dead in the bedroom of her house located at Barrio Geronimo, Montalban, Rizal, as a result of seven (7) wounds inflicted upon different parts of her body by a blunt instrument. 2 More than two weeks thereafter, police authorities of Montalban picked up the herein accused, Francisco Galit, an ordinary construction worker (pion) living in Marikina, Rizal, on suspicion of the murder. On the following day, however, September 8, 1977, the case was referred to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for further investigation in view of the alleged limited facilities of the Montalban police station. Accordingly, the herein accused was brought to the NBI where he was investigated by a team headed by NBI Agent Carlos Flores. 3 NBI Agent Flores conducted a preliminary interview of the suspect who allegedly gave evasive answers to his questions. 4 But the following day, September 9, 1977, Francisco Galit voluntarily executed a Salaysay admitting participation in the commission of the crime. He implicated Juling Dulay and Pabling Dulay as his companions in the crime. 5 As a result, he was charged with the crime of Robbery with Homicide, in an information filed before the Circuit Criminal Court of Pasig, Rizal, committed as follows: That on or about the 23rd day of August 1977 in the municipality of Montalban, province of Rizal, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, conspiring and confederating together with Juling Doe and Pabling Doe, whose true Identities and present whereabouts are still unknown and three of them mutually helping and aiding one another, with intent of gain and by means of force, intimidation and violence upon the person of one Natividad Fernando while in her dwelling, did, then and there wilfully, unlawfully, and feloniously take, steal and carry away from the person of said Natividad Fernando, cash money of an undetermined amount, belonging to said Natividad Fernando, thereby causing damage and prejudice to the latter in an undetermined amount; that by reason or on the occasion of said robbery, and for purpose of enabling them (accused) to take, steal and carry away the said cash money in pursuance of their conspiracy and for the purpose of insuring the success of their criminal act, with intent to kill, did, then and there wilfully, unlawfully, and feloniously attack, assault and stab with a dagger said Natividad Fernando on the different parts of her body, thereby inflicting multiple injuries on

Pp v. Galit, 135 SCRA 465 1. The prisoner was arrested for killing the victim oil the occasion of a robbery. He had been detained and interrogated almost continuously for five days, to no avail. He consistently maintained his innocence. There was no evidence to link him to the crime. Obviously, something drastic had to be done. A confession was absolutely necessary. So the investigating officers began to maul him and to torture him physically. Still the prisoner insisted on his innocence. His will had to be broken. A confession must be obtained. So they continued to maltreat and beat him. They covered his face with a rag and pushed his face into a toilet bowl full of human waste. The prisoner could not take any more. His body could no longer endure the pain inflicted on him and the indignities he had to suffer. His will had been broken. He admitted what the investigating officers wanted him to admit and he signed the confession they prepared. Later, against his will, he posed for pictures as directed by his investigators, purporting it to be a reenactment. 2. This incident could have happened in a Russian gulag or in Hitlers Germany. But no it did not. It happened in the Philippines. In this case before Us. 3. The Revised Penal Code punishes the maltreatment of prisoners as follows: ART. 235. Maltreatment of prisoners. The penalty of arresto mayor in its medium period to prision correccional in its minimum period, in addition to his liability for the physical injuries or damage caused, shall be imposed upon any public officer or employee who shall over do himself in the correction or handling of a prisoner or detention prisoner under his charge, by the imposition of punishments in a cruel and humiliating manner.

the head and extremities, which directly caused her death, and the total amount of the loss is P10,000.00 including valuables and cash. Trial was held, and on August 11, 1978, immediately after the accused had terminated the presentation of his evidence, the trial judge dictated his decision on the case in open court, finding the accused guilty as charged and sentencing him to suffer the death penalty; to indemnify the heirs of the victim in the sum of P110,000.00, and to pay the costs. Hence, the present recourse. 7. The incriminatory facts of the case, as found by the trial court, are as follows: From the evidence adduced in this case, it was gathered that in the early morning of August 23, 1977, a 70-year old woman named Natividad Fernando, widow, in the twilight of her life, was robbed and then hacked to death by the accused and two others in her (victims) own residence at Montalban, Rizal. Prosecution witness Florentino Valentino testified that he heard accused Francisco Galit and his wife having an argument in connection with the robbery and killing of the victim, Natividad Fernando. It appears that on August 18, 1977, accused Galit and two others, namely, Juling Dulay and a certain Pabling accidentally met each other at Marikina, Rizal, and in their conversation, the three agreed to rob Natividad Fernando; that it was further agreed among them to enter the premises of the victims house at the back yard by climbing over the fence; that once inside the premises, they will search every room, especially the aparador and filing cabinets, with the sole aim of looking for cash money and other valuables. Witness Valentino further testified that on August 22, 1977, at around 6:00 oclock in the afternoon, accused Francisco Galit and his two companions, Juling Dulay and Pabling, as per their previous agreement, met at the place where they formerly saw each other in Mariquina, Rizal; that the three conspirators took a jeepney for Montalban and upon passing the Montalban Municipal Building, they stopped and they waited at the side of the road until the hour of midnight; that at about 12:00 oclock that night, the three repaired to the premises of the victim, Natividad Fernando; that they entered the said premises through the back wall of the house; that while entering the premises of said house, Juling Dulay saw a bolo, lying near the piggery compound, which he picked up and used it to destroy the back portion of the wall of the house; that it was Juling Dulay who first entered the house through the hole that they made, followed by the accused Galit and next to him was Pabling, that it was already early dawn of August 23, 1977 when the three were able to gain entrance into the house of the victim; as the three could not find anything valuable inside the first room that they entered, Juling Dulay destroyed the screen of the door of the victim, Natividad Fernando; that upon entering the room of the victim, the three accused decided to kill first the victim, Natividad Fernando, before searching the room for valuables; that Juling Dulay, who was then holding the bolo, began hacking the victim, who was then sleeping, and accused Galit heard a moaning sound from the victim; that after the victim was killed, the three accused began searching the room for valuables; that they helped each other

in opening the iron cabinet inside the room of the victim, where they found some money; that when the three accused left the room of the victim, they brought with them some papers and pictures which they threw outside; that after killing and robbing the victim, the three accused went out of the premises of the house, using the same way by which they gained entrance, which was through the back portion of the wall; that the three accused walked towards the river bank where they divided the loot that they got from the room of the victim; that their respective shares amount to P70.00 for each of them; and that after receiving their shares of the loot, the three accused left and went home. When witness Florentino Valentino was in his room, which was adjoining that of accused Francisco Galit, he overheard accused Galit and his wife quarreling about the intention of accused Galit to leave their residence immediately; that he further stated that he overheard accused Galit saying that he and his other two companions robbed and killed Natividad Fernando. As a result of the killing, the victim, Natividad Fernando, suffered no less than seven stab wounds. There was massive cerebral hemorrhage and the cause of death was due to shock and hemorrhage, as evidenced by the Medico-Legal Necropsy Report (Exhs. C and C-2), and the pictures taken of the deceased victim (Exhs. E, E-1 and E-2). 8. The accused, upon the other hand, denied participation in the commission of the crime. He claimed that he was in his house in Marikina, Rizal, when the crime was committed in Montalban, Rizal. He also assailed the admissibility of the extra-judicial confession extracted from him through torture, force and intimidation as described earlier, and without the benefit of counsel. 9. After a review of the records, We find that the evidence presented by the prosecution does not support a conviction. In fact, the findings of the trial court relative to the acts attributed to the accused are not supported by competent evidence. The principal prosecution witness, Florentino Valentino merely testified that he and the accused were living together in one house in Marikina, Rizal, on August 23, 1977, because the mother of his wife is the wife of the accused; that when he returned home at about 4:00 oclock in the morning from the police station of Marikina, Rizal, the accused and his wife were quarreling (nagtatalo); that he heard that the accused was leaving the house because he and his companions had robbed Aling Nene, the owner of a poultry farm and piggery in Montalban, Rizal; that the wife of the accused was imploring him not to leave, but the latter was insistent; that he saw the accused carrying a bag containing about two handfuls (dakot) of coins which he had taken from Aling Nene; that upon learning of what the accused had done, he went to the Montalban police the next day and reported to the police chief about what he had heard; and that a week later, Montalban policemen went to their house and arrested the accused. 6 10. This Court, in the case of Morales vs. Ponce Enrile, 7 laid down the correct procedure for peace officers to follow when making an

arrest and in conducting a custodial investigation, and which We reiterate: 7. At the time a person is arrested, it shall be the duty of the arresting officer to inform him of the reason for the arrest and he must be shown the warrant of arrest, if any. He shall be informed of his constitutional rights to remain silent and to counsel, and that any statement he might make could be used against him. The person arrested shall have the right to communicate with his lawyer, a relative, or anyone he chooses by the most expedient means by telephone if possible or by letter or messenger. It shall be the responsibility of the arresting officer to see to it that this is accomplished. No custodial investigation shall be conducted unless it be in the presence of counsel engaged by the person arrested, by any person on his behalf, or appointed by the court upon petition either of the detainee himself or by anyone on his behalf. The right to counsel may be waived but the waiver shall not be valid unless made with the assistance of counsel. Any statement obtained in violation of the procedure herein laid down, whether exculpatory or inculpatory, in whole or in part, shall be inadmissible in evidence. 11. There were no eyewitnesses, no property recovered from the accused, no state witnesses, and not even fingerprints of the accused at the scene of the crime. The only evidence against the accused is his alleged confession. It behooves Us therefore to give it a close scrutiny. The statement begins as follows: I. TANONG: Ipinagbibigay-alam ko sa inyo ang inyong mga karapatan sa ilalim ng Saligang-Batas ng Pilipinas na kung inyong nanaisin ay maaaring hindi kayo magbigay ng isang salaysay, na hindi rin kayo maaaring pilitin o saktan at pangakuan upang magbigay ng naturang salaysay, na anuman ang inyong sasabihin sa pagsisiyasat na ito ay maaaring laban sa inyo sa anumang usapin na maaaring ilahad sa anumang hukuman o tribunal dito sa Pilipinas, na sa pagsisiyasat na ito ay maaaring katulungin mo ang isang manananggol at kung sakaling hindi mo kayang bayaran ang isang manananggol ay maaaring bigyan ka ng isa ng NBI. Ngayon at alam mo na ang mga ito nakahanda ka bang magbigay ng isang kusang-loob na salaysay sa pagtatanong na ito? </TD> </TR> SAGOT: Opo. 12. Such a long question followed by a monosyllabic answer does not satisfy the requirements of the law that the accused be informed of his rights under the Constitution and our laws. Instead there should be several short and clear questions and every right explained in simple words in a dialect or language known to the person under investigation. Accused is from Samar and there is no showing that he understands Tagalog. Moreover, at the time of his arrest, accused was not permitted to communicate with his lawyer, a relative, or a friend. In fact, his sisters and other relatives did not know that he had been brought to the NBI for investigation and it was only about two weeks after he had executed the salaysay that his relatives were allowed to visit him. His statement does not even

contain any waiver of right to counsel and yet during the investigation he was not assisted by one. At the supposed reenactment, again accused was not assisted by counsel of his choice. These constitute gross violations of his rights. 13. The alleged confession and the pictures of the supposed reenactment are inadmissible as evidence because they were obtained in a manner contrary to law. 14. Trial courts are cautioned to look carefully into the circumstances surrounding the taking of any confession, especially where the prisoner claims having been maltreated into giving one. Where there is any doubt as to its voluntariness, the same must be rejected in toto. 15. Let a copy of this decision be furnished the Minister of Justice for whatever action he may deem proper to take against the investigating officers. 16. WHEREFORE, the judgment appealed from should be, as it is hereby, SET ASIDE, and another one entered ACQUITTING the accused Francisco Galit of the crime charged. Let him be released from custody immediately unless held on other charges. With costs de oficio. 17. SO ORDERED.

Pp v. Barros, 122 SCRA 34 (requirement of examination by independent doctor) FACTS: - Bonifacio Barros was charged and convicted of violating Section 4 of R.A. No. 6425. Barros was coming from Chackchakan, Bontoc, Mountain Province, to Nacagang, Sabangan, Mountain Province to Baguio City where he carried four (4) kilos of dried marijuana which the accused intended for distribution and sale. - M/Sgt. Francis Yag-as and S/Sgt. James Ayan, both members of the P.C. Mountain Province Command, rode the Dangwa Bus. - Barros carrying a carton, board the bus and seated himself and put the carton under his seat. - After alighting at their station, Sgt. Ayan ordered C2C Bongyao to inspect the carton and found out it contained marijuana. - As both P.C. officers Yag-as and Ayan Bonifacio Barros carrying that same carton when he boarded the bus at Chackchakan, Bonifacio was arrested and subsequently convicted. - Barros now appeals from the judgment of conviction and claims that his right to due process was violated when he was searched without the mandatory warrant. ISSUE: WON Bonifacios non-objection to the search made in the moving vehicle, resulting to his warrantless arrest, constitutes a waiver. WON Bonifacio was denied due process when he was searched and arrested without warrant. HELD: Judgment reversed RATIO: The general rule is that a search and seizure must be carried out through or with a judicial warrant; otherwise such search and seizure becomes unreasonable within the meaning of Section 2, Article III of the 1987 Constitution. The fruits of the search and

seizure will be inadmissible in evidence for any purpose in any proceeding. Exception: 1) Peace officers may conduct searches of moving vehicles, it not being practicable to secure a judicial warrant before searching a vehicle, since such vehicle can be quickly moved out of the locality or jurisdiction in which the warrant may be sought, however only visual inspection. The accused is not to be presumed to have waived the unlawful search conducted on the occasion of his warrantless arrest simply because he failed to object. To constitute a waiver, it must appear first that the right exists; secondly, that the person involved had knowledge, actual or constructive, of the existence of such a right; and lastly, that said person had an actual intention to relinquish the right. Pp v. Cabrera, 134 SCRA 362 As one outcome of the tumultous uprising of certain members of the Philippine Constabulary to inflict revenge upon the police of the city of Manila, charges of sedition were filed in the Court of First Instance of the city of Manila against the participants in the public disturbance. Convicted in the trial court of a violation of Act No. 292 of the Philippine Commission, and sentenced either to the maximum penalty or a near approach to the maximum penalty provided by the punitive provisions of that law, all of the defendants have perfected an appeal to this court. A statement of the case and of the facts, an opinion on the pertinent issues, and a judgement, if no reversible error be found, regarding the appropriate penalty, will be taken up in the order named. STATEMENT OF THE CASE AND OF THE FACTS On December 13, 1920, policemen of the city of Manila arrested a woman who was a member of the household of a Constabulary soldier stationed at the Santa Lucia Barracks in this city. The arrest of the woman was considered by some of the Constabulary soldiers as an outrage committed by the policemen, and it instantly gave rise to friction between members of Manila police department and member of the Philippine Constabulary. The next day, December 14, at about sunset, a policemen named Artemio Mojica, posted on Calle Real, in the District of Intramuros, city of Manila, had an encounter with various Constabulary soldiers which resulted in the shooting of private Macasinag of the Constabulary. Private Macasinag was seriously, and as afterwards appeared, mortally wounded. The encounter between policemen Mojica and other companions of the Manila force and private Macasinag and other companions of the Constabulary, with its grave consequences for a Constabulary soldier endangered a deep feeling of resentment on the part of the soldiers at Santa Lucia Barracks. This resentment was soon converted into a desire for revenge against the police force of the city of Manila. The officers of the Constabulary appear to have been aware of the state of excitement among the soldiers the shooting of private Macasinag, Captain Page, the commanding officer of the Barracks, increased the number of guards, and confined all the soldiers in the Barracks.

During the afternoon of the next day, December 15, 1920, a rumor spread among the soldiers in Santa Lucia Barracks to the effect that policeman Mojica was allowed to continue on duty on the streets of Intramuros and that private Macasinag had died as a consequence of the shot he received the night before. This rumor contributed in no small degree in precipitating a movement for reprisal by the Constabulary soldiers against the policemen. At about 7 oclock in the evening of the same day, December 15, 1920, corporal Ingles of the Fourth Company approached private Nicolas Torio who was then the man in charge of quarters, and asked him to let the soldiers out through the window of the quarters of the Fourth Company. Private Torio was easily persuaded to permit private Francisco Garcia of the Second Company to saw out the window bars of the quarters, in his charge, and to allow soldiers to escape through the window with rifles and ammunition under the command of their sergeants and corporals. When outside of the quarters, these soldiers divided into groups for attack upon the city police force. One platoon of Constabulary soldiers apparently numbering about ten or twelve, on Calle Real, Intramuros, fired in the direction of the intersection of Calles Real and Cabildo where an American policeman named Driskill was stationed, and was taking with a friend named Jacumin, a field clerk in the United States Army. These two men were shot and died soon afterwards. To the credit of policeman Driskill be it said, that although in a dying condition and in the face of overwhelming odds, her valiantly returned the fire with his revolver. Jacumin was killed notwithstanding that in response to the command of Constabulary, Hands up!, he elevated both arms. A street car happened to stop at this time at the corner of Calles Real and Cabildo. Without considering that the passengers in the car were innocent passersby, the Constabulary squad fired a volley into the car, killing instantly the passenger named Victor de Torres and gravely wounding three other civilian passengers, Gregorio Cailes, Vicente Antonio, and Mariano Cortes. Father Jose Tahon, a priest of the Cathedral of Manila, proved himself a hero on this occasion for, against the command of the Constabulary, he persisted in persuading them to cease firing and advanced in order that he might administer spiritual aid to those who had been wounded. The firing on Calle Real did not end at that time. Some minutes later, Captain William E. Wichman, assistant chief of police of the city of Manila, riding in a motorcycle driven by policeman Saplala, arrived at the corner of Calles Real and Magallanes in Intramuros, and a volley of shorts by Constabulary soldiers resulted in the instantaneous death of Captain Wichman and the death shortly afterwards of patrolman Saplala. About the same time, a police patrol came from the Meisic police station. When it was on Calle Real near Cabildo, in Intramuros, it was fired upon by Constabulary soldiers who had stationed themselves in the courtyard of the San Agustin Church. This attack resulted in the death of patrolmen Trogue and Sison.

Another platoon of the Constabulary, between thirty and forty in number, had in the meantime, arranged themselves in a firing line on the Sunken Gradens on the east side of Calle General Luna opposite the Aquarium. From this advantageous position the Constabulary fired upon the motorcycle occupied by Sergeant Armada and driven by policeman Policarpio who with companions were passing along Calle General Luna in front of the Aquarium going in the direction, of Calle Real, Intramuros. As a result of the shooting, the driver of the motorcycle, policeman Policarpio, was mortally wounded. This same platoon of Constabulary soldiers fired several volleys indiscriminately into the Luneta police station, and the office of the secret service of the city of Manila across Calles General Luna and Padre Burgos, but fortunately no one was injured. General Rafael Crame, Chief of the Constabulary, and Captain Page, commanding officer of the Santa Lucia Barracks, and other soldiers in the streets of Manila, and other soldiers one after another returned to the Barracks where they were disarmed. No list of the names of these soldiers was, however, made. In the morning of the next day, December 16, 1920, Colonel, Lucien R. Sweet of the Constabulary officers, and later by the fiscals of the city of Manila, commenced an investigation of the events of the night before. He first ordered that all the soldiers in Santa Lucia Barracks at that time, numbering some one hundred and eighty, be assembled on the parade ground and when this was done, the soldiers were separated into their respective companies. Then Colonel Sweet, speaking in English with the assistance of Captain Silvino Gallardo, who interpreted his remarks into Tagalog, made to all of the soldiers two statements. What occurred on the occasion above described can best be told in the exact language of Colonel Sweet: I assembled all four companies in Santa Lucia Barracks and asked them to tell me which ones had been out the night before and which ones had participated in the shooting, which they did, and to tell me the names of those who were with them and who were not then present, which they did. I think there were seventy-two (seventy-three) present and they named five (four) others. Again the witness said: At first I asked all those who went out on the previous night for any purpose whatever to signify the fact by stepping forward and gave them five minutes to think it over before doing so. To those who stepped forward that had gone out for any purpose whatever I asked those who took part in the shooting the night before that in justice to themselves and to the other men who had not taken part in it, and for the good of all concerned, that they step forward and they did. The names of the four who took part (not five as stated by Colonel Sweet), but ho were taken to present, were noted by Captain Gallardo.

Although the answers to the questions contained these statements vary in phraseology, in substance they are the same. One of them, the first in numerical order, that of Sergeant Graciano L. Cabrera, taken in Spanish and interpreted into Tagalog, may be selected into Tagalog, may be selected as typical of the rest, and is here literally transcribed: 1. Give your name, age, status, occupation, and residence. Graciano I. Cabrera, 254 years of age, single, sergeant of the first company of the General Service of the Constabulary, residing in Santa Lucia Barracks. 2. To what company of the Philippine Constabulary do you belong? First Company, General Service of the Constabulary.] 3. Where were you garrisoned yesterday afternoon December 15, 1920? In the Santa Lucia Barracks. 4. Did you leave the barracks at about 7 oclock yesterday evening? Yes, sir. 5. For what reason, and where did you go? We went in search of the policemen and secret service men of Manila. It has been sometime now since we have been having standing grudge against now since we have been having a standing grudge against the police of Manila. The wife of one of our comrades was first arrested by the policemen and then abused by the same; and not content with having abused her, they gave this woman to an American; after this incident, they arrested two soldiers of the Constabulary, falsely accusing them of keeping women of bad reputation; after this incident, came the shooting of Macasinag, a shooting not justified, because we have come to know that Macasinag did nothing and the policemen could have arrested him if they desired. Moreover, the rumor spread among us that the police department of Manila had given orders to the policemen to fire upon any Constabulary soldier they found in the streets, and we believe that the rumor was not without foundation since we noticed that after the Macasinag affair, the policemen of Manila, Contrary to the usual practice, were armed with carbines or shotguns. For this reason we believe that if we did not put an end to these abuses of the policemen and secret service men, they would continue abusing the constabulary. And as an act of vengeance we did what we had done last night. 6. How did you come to join your companions who rioted last night? I saw that almost all the soldiers were jumping through the window and I was to be left alone in the barracks and so I followed. 7. Who asked you to join it? Nobody. 8. Do you know private Crispin Macasinag, the one who was shot by

The statements of the seventy-seven soldiers were taken in writing during the afternoon of the same day, December 16. The questionnaire prepared by the fiscal of the city of Manila was in English or Spanish. The questions and answers were, however, when requested by the soldiers, translated not their dialects. Each statement was signed by the soldier making it in the presence of either two or three witnesses.

the Manila police the night before last on Calle Real? Yes, Sir, I know him because he was our comrade. 9. Were you offended at the aggression made on the person of said soldier? Indeed, yes, not only was I offended, but my companions also were.

10. State how many shots you fired, if nay, during the riot last night. I cannot tell precisely the number of shots I fired because I was somewhat obfuscated; all I can assure you is that I fired more than once. 11. Do you know if you hit any policeman or any other person?-If so state whether the victim was a policeman or a civilian. I cannot tell whether I hit any policeman or any civilian. 12. State the streets of the city where you fired shots. I cannot given an exact account of the streets where I fired my gun. I had full possession of my faculties until I reached Calle Victoria; afterwards, I became aware that I was bathed with perspiration only upon reaching the barracks. 13. What arms were you carrying and how much ammunition or how many cartidge did you use? I Carried a carbine; I cannot tell precisely the number of cartridges I used; however, I placed in my pocket the twenty cartridges belonging to me and I must have lost. 14. How did you manage to leave the barracks? By the window of the quarter of the Fourth Company, through the grating which I found cut off.

freely and voluntarily made by them. The second defense was in favor of the defendants Vicente Casimiro, Salvador Gregorio, Roberto Palabay, Cipriano Lizardo, Ildefonso de la Cruz, Roque Ebol, Francisco Garcia, Benigno Tagavilla, Paciano Caa, Juan Abarques, Genaro Elayda, Hilario Hibabar, P. E. Vallado, Patricio Bello, Felix Liron, Bonifacio Eugenio, Nemesio Decea, Venancio Mira, Baldomero Rodriguez, Juan Noromor, Maximo Perlas, and Victor Atuel, and was to the effect these men did not take part in the riot. The court overruled the special defenses and found that the guilt of the accused had been proved beyond a reasonable doubt. All of the defendants were sentenced to serve the maximum imprisonment of ten years provided by section 6 of Act No. 292. The court, however, distinguished fines from that of a defendants Francisco Garcia, a private and the eight corporals E. E. Agbulos, Francisco Ingles, Clemente Manigdeg, Juan Abarques, Pedro V. Matero, Juan Regalado, Hilario Hibalar and Genaro Elayda, upon each of whom a fine of P5,000 was imposed, and of the three sergeants Graciano L. Cabrera, Pascual Magno, and Bonifacio Eugenio, upon each of whom a fine of P10,000 was imposed. The costs were divided proportionately among the defendants. For the statement of the cases and the facts which has just been

15. Are the above statements made by you, voluntarily, freely, and spontaneously given? Yes, sir. 16. Do you swear to said statements although no promise of immunity is made to you? Yes, sir; I confirm them, being true. (Sgd.) G. L. CABRERA. Witnesses: S. GALLARDO.LAURO C. MARQUEZ. The defendants were charged in one information filed in the Court of First Instance of the City of Manila with the crime of sedition, and in another information filed in the same, court, with the crimes of murder and serious physical injuries. The two cases were tried separately before different judges of first instance. All of the accused, with the exception of eight, namely, Francisco Ingles, Juan Noromor, P. E. Vallado., Dionisio Verdadero, and Paciano Caa, first pleased guilty to the charge of sedition, but later, after the first witness for the prosecution had testified, the accused who had pleaded guilty were permitted, with the consent of the court, to substitute therefor the plea of not guilty. the prosecution, in making out it case, presented the seventy-seven confession of the defendants, introduced in evidence as Exhibits C to C-76, conclusive, and with the exception of those made by Daniel Coralde, Nemesio Gamus, and Venancio Mira, all were identified by the respective Constabulary officers, interpreters, and typists who intervened in taking them. The prosecution further relied on oral testimony, including eyewitness to the uprising. The attorneys for the accused presented two defenses. The first defense was in favor of all the defendants and was based on the contention that the written statements Exhibits C to C-76 were not

made, we are indebted in large measure to the conspicuously fair and thoughtful decisions of the Honorable George R. Harvey who presided in the sedition case and of the Honorable Carlos Imperial who presided in the murder case. As stipulated by the AttorneyGeneral and counsel for the defendants, the proof is substantially the same in both cases. In all material respects we agree with the findings of fact as made by the trial court in this case. The rule is again applied that the Supreme Court will not interfere with the judgement of the trial court in passing upon the credibility of the opposing witnesses, unless there appears in the record some fact or circumstances of weight and influence which has been overlooked or the significance of which has been misinterpreted. (U. S. vs. Ambrosio and Falsario [1910], 17 Phil., 295; U. S. vs. Remegio [1918], 37 Phil., 599.) In the record of the case at bar, no such fact or circumstance appears. OPINION An assignment of five errors is made by counsel for the defendants and appellants. Two the assignment of error merit little or no consideration. Assignment of error No. 2 (finding its counterpart in assignments of error 5 and 6 in the murder case), in which it is attempted to establish that Vicente Casimiro, Salvador Gregorio, Paciano Caa, Juan Abarquez, Mariano Garcia, Felix Liron, Bonifacio Eugenio, Patricio Bello, Baldomero Rodriguez, Roberto Palabay, Juan Noromor, Roque Ebol, Ildefonso de la Cruz, Cipriano Lizardo, Francisco Garcia, Genaro Elayda, Hilario Hibalar, P. M. Vallado, Maximo Perlas, and Benigno Tagavilla, did not leave the Santa Lucia Barracks in the night of the tragedy, is predicated on the special defense raised in the lower court for these defendants and three other and which was found untenable by the trial court. Any further discussion of this question falls more appropriately under

consideration of assignment of error No. 4, relating to the conspiracy between the accused. Assignment of error No. 3, relating to the finding of the trial court that it had not been shown that the policemen were not aware of the armed attack of the Constabulary, However, we find that the evidence supports this conclusion of the trial court.

the substantial part of Colonel Sweet's remarks. What is more important, there could be no misunderstanding as to the contents of the confessions as written down. In open court, sixty-nine of the defendants reiterated their guilt. The officers who assisted in the investigation were of the same service as the defendants in their own men. It must also be remembered that each and everyone of the

The three pertinent issues in this case relate to: (1) the Admission of Exhibits C to C-76 of the prosecution (assignment of error No. 2, murder case); (2) the conspiracy between the accused (assignment of error No. 4, sedition case; assignment of error No. 3, murder case); and (3) the conviction of the accused of a violation of the Treason and Sedition Law (assignment of error No. 5, sedition case). 1. The admission of exhibits C to C-76 Appellants claim that fraud and deceit marked the preparation of the seventy seven confessions. It is alleged that some of the defendants signed the confessions under the impression that those who had taken part in the affray would be transferred to Mindanao, and that although they did not in fact so participate, affirmed that they because of a desire to leave Manila; that other stepped forward for the good of the service in response to appeals from Colonel Sweet and other officers; while still others simply didnt understand what they were doing, for the remarks of Colonel Sweet were made in English and only translated into Tagalog, and their declarations were sometime taken in al language which was unintelligible to them. Counsel for the accused entered timely objection to the admission in evidence of Exhibits C to C-76, and the AttorneyGeneral is worn in stating otherwise.

defendants was a member of the Insular Police force. Because of the very nature of their duties and because of their practical experience, these Constabulary soldiers must have been aware of the penalties meted out for criminal offenses. Every man on such a momentous occasion would be more careful of his actions than ordinarily and whatever of credulity there is in him, would for the moment be laid aside. Over and above all desire for a more exciting life, over and above the so called esprit de corps, is the instinct of self preservation which could not but be fully aroused by such stirring incidents too recent to be forgotten as had occurred in this case, and which would counsel prudence rather than rashness; secretiveness rather than garrulity. These confessions contain the statements that they were made freely and voluntarily without any promise of immunity. That such was the case was corroborated by the attesting witnesses whose credibility has not been successfully impeached. We rule that the trial court did not err in admitting Exhibits C to C-76 of the prosecution. 2. The conspiracy between the accused The contention of the appellants is that evidence is lacking of any

Section 4 of Act No. 619, entitle An Act to promote good order and discipline in the Philippines Constabulary, and reading: No confession of any person charged with crime shall be received as evidence against him by any court of justice unless be first shown to the satisfaction of the court that it was freely and voluntarily made and not the result of violence, intimidation, threat, menace or of promises or offers of reward or leniency, was repealed by the first Administrative Code. But the same rule of jurisprudence continues without the law. As he been repeatedly announced by this and other courts, the true test of admissibility is that the confession is made freely, voluntarily, and without compulsion or inducement of any sort. If the confession is freely and voluntarily made, it constitutes one of the most effectual proofs in the law against the party making it. (Wilson vs. U. S.[1896], 162 U. S. 613.)The burden of proof that he confession was not voluntarily made or was obtained by undue pressure is on the accused. (U. S. vs Zara [1912, 42 Phil., 308.) What actually occurred when the confessions were prepared is clearly explained in the records. The source of the rumor that the defendant would be transferred to Mindanao if they signed the confession is not established. One the contrary it is established that before the declaration were taken, Lieutenant Gatuslao in response to a query had shown the improbability of such a transfer. With military orders given in English and living in the city of Manila where the dialect is tagalog, all of the defendants must have understood

supposed connivance between the accused. Counsel emphasizes that in answer to the question in the confession, "who asked you to join the riot," each of the accused answered, "Nobody." The argument is then advanced that the appellants cannot be held criminally responsible because of the so called psychology of crowds theory. In other words, it is claimed that at the time of the commission of the crime the accused were mere automatons obeying the insistent call of their companions and of their uniform. From both the negative failure of evidence and the positive evidence, counsel could deduce the absence of conspiracy between the accused. The attorney-General answers the argument of counsel by saying that conspiracy under section 5 of Act No. 292 is not an essential element of the crime of sedition. In this law officer for the people may be on solid ground. However, this may be, there is a broader conception of the case which reaches the same result. It is a primary rule that if two or more persons combine to perform a criminal act, each is responsible for all the acts of the other done in furtherance of the common design; and " the result is the same if the act is divided into parts and each person proceed with his part unaided." (U. S. vs Maza [1905], 5 Phils., 346; U. S. vs. Remegio [1918] 37 Phil., 599; decision of supreme court of Spain of September 29, 1883; People vs. Mather [1830], 4 Wendell, 229.)

Conspiracies are generally proved by a number of indefinite acts, conditions, and circumstances which vary according to the purposes to be accomplished. It be proved that the defendants pursued by their acts the same object, one performing one part and another part of the same, so as to complete it, with a view to the attainment of that same object, one will be justified in the conclusion that they were engaged in a conspiracy to effect that object. (5 R. C. L., 1088.) Applied to the facts before us, it is incontestable that all of the defendants were imbued with the same purpose, which was to avenge themselves on the police force of the city of Manila. A common feeling of resentment animated all. A common plan evolved from their military training was followed. The effort to lead the court into the realm of psychology and metaphysics is unavailing in the face of actualities. The existence of a joint assent may be reasonably inferred from the facts proved. Not along are the men who fired the fatal shots responsible, not along are the men who admit firing their carbines responsible, but all, having united to further a common design of hate and vengeance, are responsible for the legal consequences therefor. We rule that the trail court did not err in declaring that there a c conspiracy between the accused. 3. The conviction of the accused of a violation of the Treason and Sediton Law Sedition, in its more general sense, is the raising of commotions or disturbances in the State. The Philippine law on the subject (Act No. 292) makes all persons guilty of sedition who rise publicly and tumultuously in order to obtain by force or outside of legal methods any one of vie objects, including that of inflicting any act of hate or revenge upon the person or property of any official or agent of the Insular Government or of Provincial or Municipal Government. The trial court found that the crime of sedition, as defined and punished by the law, had been committed, and we believe that such finding is correct. Counsels contention that in order for there to be a violation of subdivision 3 of section 5 of Act No. 292 it is and necessary that the offender should be a private citizen and the offended party a public functionary, and that what really happened in this instance was a fight between two armed bodies of the Philippine Government, is absolutely without foundation. Subdivison 3 of section 5 of the Treason and Sedition Law makes no distinction between the persons to which it applies. In one scene there was a fights between two armed bodies of the Philippine Government, but it was an unequal fight brought on by the actions of the accused. We rule that the trial court did not err in convicting the accused of the violation of section 5, paragraph 3, of Act No. 292 of the Philippine Commission. JUDGEMENT The Treason and Sedition Law provides as a penalty for any person guilty of sedition as defined in section 5 of the law, punishment by fine of not exceeding P10,000 or by imprisonment not exceeding ten

years, or both. In this connection, it will be recalled that the court sentenced each of the private soldiers Salvador Gregorio, Juan Noromor, Patricio Bello, Nemesio Decea, Baldomero Rodriguez, P. E. Vallado, Pedro Layola, Felix Liron (Cenon), Dionisio Verdadero, Lorenzo Tumboc, Casiano Guinto, Victor Atuel, Venancio Mira, Benigno Tagavilla, Masaway, Quintin Desierto, Teofilo Llana, Timoteo Opermaria, Maximo Perlas, Cornelio Elizaga, Roberto Palabay, Roque Ebol, Benito Garcia, Honorio Bautista, Crisanto Salgo, Francisco Lusano, Marcelino Silos, Nicanor Perlas, Patricio Rubio, Mariano Aragon, Silvino Ayngco, Guillermo Inis, Julian Andaya, Crispin Mesalucha, Prudencio Tasis, Silvino Bacani, Petronilo Antonio, Domingo Peroche, Florentino Jacob, Paciano Caa, Domingo Canapi, Arcadio San Pedro, Daniel Coralde, Nemesio Camas, Luis Borja, Severino Elefane, Vicente Tabien, Marcos Marquez, Victorino Merto, Bernabe Sison, Eusebio Cerrudo, Julian Acantilado, Ignacio Lechoncito, Pascual Dionio, Marcial Pelicia, Rafael Nafrada, Zacarias Bayle, Cipriano Lizardo, Ildefonso de la Cruz, Juan Miranda, Graciano Zapata, Felisardo Favinal, Gaspar Andrade, Felix Lamsing, and Vicente Casimiro, to suffer imprisonment for ten years, and to pay one seventy-seventh part of the costs; the private Francisco Garcia, who sawed the bars of the window through which the defendants passed from Santa Lucia Barracks and each of the corporals E. E. Agbulos, Francisco Ingles, Clemente Manigdeg, Juan Abarquez, Pedro V. Mateo, Juan Regalado, Hilario Hibalar and Genaro Elayda, to suffer imprisonment for ten years and to pay a fine of P5,000 and one seventy-seventy of the costs; and each of the sergeants Graciano L. Cabrera, Pascual Magno, and Bonifacio Eugenio, to suffer imprisonment for ten years and to pay a fine of P10,000 and one seventy-seventy of the costs. The trial judge appears to have made a reasonable exercise of the discretion which the law reposes in him. We cannot bring to a close this disagreeable duty without making our own the pertinent observations found in the decision of the trial court in this case. Therein, along toward the closed of his learned opinion, Judge Harvey said: Rarely in the history of criminality in this country has there been registered a crime so villainous as that committed by these defendants. The court is only concerned in this case with crime of sedition. The maximum penalty prescribed by Act No. 292, imprisonment for ten year and a fine P10,000, is not really commensurate with the enormity of the offense. Impelled by hatred, employing their knowledge of military sciences which is worthy of a better cause, and in disregard of the consequences to themselves and their innocent loved ones, and using the means furnished to them by the Government for the protection of life and property, they sought by force and violence and outside of legal methods to avenge a fancied wrong by an armed and tumultuous attack upon officials and agents of the government of the city of Manila. Although in view of the sentence which is being handed down in the murder case, affecting these same defendants and appellants, it would seem to be a useless formality to impose penalties in this case, yet it is obviously our duty to render judgement appealed

from, with one seventy-seventh of the costs of this instance against each appellant. So ordered. Araullo, C.J. Johnson, Street, Avancea, Villamor, Ostrand, Johns and Romualdez, JJ., concur.

Issue: Whether or Not their right to counsel has been violated. WON the arrest was valid. WON the evidence from the line-up is admissible. Held: It is appropriate to extend the counsel guarantee to critical stages of prosecution even before trial. A police line-up is

Pp v. Macam, 238 306 Facts: Prosecutions version: On Aug 18,1987, Eduardo Macam, Antonio Cedro, Eugenio Cawilan Jr., Danilo Roque and Ernesto Roque went to the house of Benito Macam (uncle of Eduardo Macam) located at 43 Ferma Road QC. Upon the arrival of the accused, Benito invited the former to have lunch. Benito asked his maid Salvacion Enrera to call the companions of Eduardo who were waiting in a tricycle outside the house. A. Cedro, E. Cawilan and D. Roque entered the house while E. Roque remained in the tricycle. After all the accused had taken their lunch, Eduardo Macam grabbed the clutch bag of Benito Macam and pulled out his uncles gun then declared a hold-up. They tied up the wife (Leticia Macam), children, maid (Salvacion) and Nilo Alcantara and brought them to the room upstairs. After a while Leticia was brought to the bathroom and after she screamed she was stabbed and killed by A. Cedro. Benito, Nilo and Salvacion was also stabbed but survived. The total value of the items taken was P536, 700.00. Defenses version: Danilo Roque stated that he being a tricycle driver drove the 4 accused to Benitos house for a fee of P50.00. Instead of paying him, he was given a calling card by Eduardo Macam so that he can be paid the following day. Upon arriving, he went with the accused inside the house to have lunch. Thereafter he washed the dishes and swept the floor. When Eugenio Cawilan pulled a gun and announced the hold-up, he was asked to gather some things and which he abided out of fear. While putting the said thins inside the car of Benito (victim) he heard the accused saying kailangan patayin ang mga taong yan dahil kilala ako ng mga yan. Upon hearing such phrase he escaped and went home using his tricycle. He also testified that his brother Ernesto Roque has just arrived from the province and in no way can be involved in the case at bar. On the following day, together with his brother, they went to the factory of the Zesto Juice (owned by the father of Eduardo Macam) for him to get his payment (50.00) . He and his brother was suddenly apprehended by the security guards and brought to the police headquarters in Q.C. They were also forced to admit certain things. After which, he together with all the accused, in handcuffs and bore contusions on their faces caused by blows inflicted in their faces during investigation, was brought to the QC General Hospital before each surviving victims and made to line-up for identification. Eugenio Cawilan was also charged with Anti-fencing Law but was acquitted in the said case.

considered a critical stage of the proceedings. Any identification of an uncounseled accused made in a police line-up is inadmissible. HOWEVER, the prosecution did not present evidence regarding appellants identification at the line-up. The witnesses identified the accused again in open court. Also, accused did not object to the incourt identification as being tainted by illegal line-up. The arrest of the appellants was without a warrant. HOWEVER, they are estopped from questioning the legality of such arrest because they have not moved to quash the said information and therefore voluntarily submitted themselves to the jurisdiction of the trial court by entering a plea of not guilty and participating in trial. The court believed the version of the prosecution. Ernesto Roque, while remaining outside the house served as a looked out. Wherefore, decision of lower court is Affirmed. Danilo Roque and Ernesto Roque is guilty of the crime of robbery with homicide as coconspirators of the other accused to suffer reclusion perpetua. Things taken: 2 toygun, airgun riffle, CO2 refiller, TV, betamax tapes, betamax rewinder, Samsonite attache case, typewriter, chessboard, TOYOTA Crown Car Plate No. CAS-997, assorted jewelry. .22 gun and money. Dela Torre v. CA, 294 SCRA 196 Pp v. Compil, 244 SCRA 135 (re the operative act in custodial investigations) Pp v. Lucero, 244 SCRA 425 Facts: Accused-appellant was convicted for robbery with homicide. While he was in custodial investigation the accused cannot afford a lawyer thus one was provided for him in the person of Atty. Peralta as his counsel. Counsel explained to the accused his constitutional rights but Atty. Peralta observed no reaction from the accused. He left to attend the wake of a friend and the police authorities started to take statements from the accused. Apparently during the custodial investigation no counsel was around while accused gave his extrajudicial confession which was used against him as evidence in court and merit his conviction. Issue: Whether or not the extrajudicial confession of the accused may be admissible during the trial. Held: Appellant's conviction cannot be based on his extrajudicial confession. The constitution requires that a person under investigation for the commission of a crime should be provided with a counsel. This is a constitutional guarantee to protect the accused against the hostility and duress from the authorities during custodial investigation. Any confession or statement made without the presence of a counsel during the investigation is deemed to be inadmissible as evidence in court. It appears that when the accused was taken with his statements his counsel was not around. Therefore his extrajudicial confession cannot be used as evidence against the accused during his trial. The court erred in admitting it as evidence and as a basis of conviction therefore the accused is acquitted. Pp v. Suarez, 267 SCRA 119 (re-enactment in absence of counsel, inadmissible)

Facts: Accused-appellant was convicted for robbery with homicide. While he was in custodial investigation the accused cannot afford a lawyer thus one was provided for him in the person of Atty. Peralta as his counsel. Counsel explained to the accused his constitutional rights but Atty. Peralta observed no reaction from the accused. He left to attend the wake of a friend and the police authorities started to take statements from the accused. Apparently during the custodial investigation no counsel was around while accused gave his extrajudicial confession which was used against him as evidence in court and merit his conviction. Issue: Whether or not the extrajudicial confession of the accused may be admissible during the trial. Held: Appellant's conviction cannot be based on his extrajudicial confession. The constitution requires that a person under investigation for the commission of a crime should be provided with a counsel. This is a constitutional guarantee to protect the accused against the hostility and duress from the authorities during custodial investigation. Any confession or statement made without the presence of a counsel during the investigation is deemed to be inadmissible as evidence in court. It appears that when the accused was taken with his statements his counsel was not around. Therefore his extrajudicial confession cannot be used as evidence against the accused during his trial. The court erred in admitting it as evidence and as a basis of conviction therefore the accused is acquitted. UPDATES: Pp v. Lugod, G.R. 136253, Feb 21, 2001 Pp v. Uy, G.R. No. 157399, Nov 17, 2005 Pp v. Escordial, G.R. 138934, Jan 16, 2002 DECISION MENDOZA, J.: These cases are before this Court for review from the [1] decision, dated February 26, 1999, of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 53, Bacolod City, finding accused-appellant Anthony Escordial guilty of robbery with rape and sentencing him to death and to pay private complainant Michelle Darunday the amounts of P3,650.00 representing the amount taken by him, P50,000.00 as moral damages, P30,000.00 as exemplary damages, and the costs. In Criminal Case No. 97-18117, the information against accused-appellant charged him with the crime of rape committed as follows: That on or about the 27 day of December, 1996, in the City of Bacolod, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the herein accused armed with a deadly weapon, a knife, by means of force, violence and intimidation, did, then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge of the complainant Michelle Darunday y Jintula, against the latters will. All contrary to law and with the aggravating circumstance that the said offense was committed in the dwelling of the said party during nighttime while [she] was asleep inside her room. Act contrary to law.
[2] th

All contrary to law and with aggravating circumstance that the said offense was committed inside the dwelling of the offended party and during nighttime the latter not having given provocation for the offense. Act contrary to law.

When arraigned on February 25, 1997, accused-appellant pleaded not guilty to the charges, whereupon the two cases were jointly tried. The prosecution presented eight witnesses, namely, [4] Jason Joniega, Mark Esmeralda, Erma Blanca, Dr. Joy Ann Jocson, PO3 Nicolas Tancinco, Leo Asan, Ma. TeresaGellaver, and Michelle Darunday. Their testimonies are as follows: Jason Joniega and Mark Esmeralda testified that at around 8 oclock in the evening of December 27, 1996, they and Mark Lucena were playing inside a jeepney parked in front of a [5] boarding house owned by Pacita Aguillon at No. 17 Margarita Extension, Libertad St., Purok Amelia 2, Barangay 40, Bacolod City. As one of them hit his head on the rails of the jeepney, the boys were told by a man sitting inside the jeepney to go home lest they would meet an accident. The man was later identified by Jason Joniega and Mark Esmeralda as [6] accused-appellant. Living in a boarding house in front of which the jeepney was parked were Michelle Darunday, Erma Blanca, and Ma. Teresa Gellaver. They stayed in a bedroom on the ground floor. That same night, December 27, 1996, Teresa went to sleep at around 9:30 p.m., while Michelle and Erma watched television for a while before going to bed. They slept beside each other on two beds placed side by side, with Teresa nearest the wall, Michelle in the middle, and Erma on the other side. While the three were asleep, Erma was awakened by the presence of a man. The man had his head covered with a t-shirt to prevent identification and carried a knife about four inches long. He warned Erma not to shout or he would kill her. He then asked Erma where her money was, and the latter pointed to the wall where she had hung the bag which contained her money. Michelle, who by then was already awake, told Erma to give the man her money so he would leave. Erma gave the man P300.00, but the latter said to give him all her money. He told Erma that he would look for more money and, if he found more, he would kill her. For this reason, Erma gave the rest of her money. Afterwards, she was told to lie on her side facing the wall. The man then turned to Michelle and Teresa. Michelle gave him her money, but Teresa said her money was in the other room. However, she was not allowed to leave the bedroom. The man was able to get P500.00 from Erma and P3,100.00 from Michelle. After getting their money, the man gave a t-shirt to Erma to blindfold Teresa and another to Michelle to blindfold Erma. He blindfolded Michelle himself and then began touching her in different parts of her body. He ordered her to take off her t-shirt, threatening to kill her if she did not do as he commanded. He then went on top of Michelle and tried to insert his penis into her vagina. As he had difficulty doing so, he instead inserted his two fingers. He tried once more to insert his penis, but again failed. The man then rose from the bed and took some soapy water, which he proceeded to insert into Michelles vagina. He finally succeeded in inserting his penis into Michelles vagina. Michelle felt great pain and pleaded with the man to stop, but the man paid no heed, and only stopped after satisfying his lust. Michelle said that although she was blindfolded and could not see, she could feel that the man had no cover on his face when he was raping her. She felt that his chest was rough and had some scars. When he placed her hands on his nape, she felt that it was also rough. On the other hand, Erma claimed she was able to see through her blindfold and that she saw the mans face because of the light coming from the lamp post outside the boarding house. Their bedroom window had panes through which the light filtered in. After he had finished raping Michelle, the man sat on the bed and talked to the three women. He told Michelle that he used to

In Criminal Case No. 97-18118, the information charged accused-appellant with robbery with rape as follows: That on or about the 27 day of December, 1996, in the City of Bacolod, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused, armed with a deadly weapon, a knife, with intent of gain and by means of violence and intimidation on the person, did, then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously take from Michelle Darunday y Jintula the sums of P3,650.00, belonging to said offended party and [on] the occasion thereof have carnal knowledge with the complainant Michelle Darunday y Jintula, against her will, and inside her room wherein she was temporarily residing as a boarder.

make catcalls at her and called her a beautiful girl whenever she passed by his place but Michelle had ignored him. He told them that he was from Hinigaran, but later took back his statement when Teresa told him that she was fromBinalbagan, which was near Hinigaran. Michelle then told him that she worked at the City Engineers Office and graduated from the Central Mindanao University. The man cussed when he learned that Michelle was from Mindanao. As he spoke to Michelle, he leaned over the bed and mashed the breasts of Erma and Teresa. After a while, the man told Michelle he wanted to have sex with her again. Michelle pleaded with him, but the man threatened to call his companions and said it would be worse for her if his companions would be the ones to rape her. He ordered Michelle to lie on her stomach and then inserted his penis into her anus. When he was through, he gave Michelle a blanket to cover herself and returned to her a pair of earrings which he had taken from her. He then left, but not before warning the women not to report the [7] matter to anyone or he would kill them. Mark Esmeralda testified that he was in his bedroom on the second floor of their house, toying with a flashlight, when he saw from his bedroom window a man wearing denim shorts coming out of the boarding house. It was around 12:30 in the morning then. The man was nibbling something. Mark saw the man jump over the fence. After 30 minutes, Mark went down from his room and told his parents what he had seen. His parents then went out to check what had happened. Mark identified accused-appellant as the [8] man he saw that night. Michelle, Erma, and Teresa were so frightened that they were not able to ask for help until 30 minutes after the man had left. They told their neighbor, Tiyo Anong, that a man had come to the house and robbed them. They also called up Allan Aguillon, the son of the owner of the boarding house, who in turn reported the incident to the police. When the policemen arrived, they asked Michelle to describe the assailant, but she told them that she could only identify his voice and his eyes. Accompanied by the police, the three women looked for the man around the Libertad area, but they did not find him. Michelle, Erma, and Teresa were taken to the police station at Bac-Up 6 for investigation. But, at Michelles request, Erma and Teresa did not tell the others that Michelle had been raped by their attacker. Upon returning home, Michelle found her aunt and uncle. She embraced her aunt and told her about her ordeal. Michelle was again taken to the police headquarters, where she was referred to the Womens Desk to report the rape. They were able to go home to the house of Michelles aunt at around 5 to 6 oclock in the [9] evening. PO3 Nicolas Tancinco, one of the policemen who responded to the report shortly after the commission of the crime, also testified for the prosecution. He said that the assailant was described to him as wearing long hair and having a rough projection on the back of his neck, small eyes, a slim body, and a brown complexion. Later on, Michelle Darunday, accompanied by Allan Aguillon, returned to the police station to report the rape committed against her. Tancinco entered her complaint in the police blotter and referred Michelle to the Womens Desk. In the morning of December 28, 1996, Tancinco returned to the boarding house. He found that the intruder was able to gain entry to the house through the window of the bathroom. He noticed that the room beside those of the three women had been ransacked, with the cabinets opened and the clothes in disarray. The following day, on December 29, 1996, Tancinco went around Margarita Extension and learned about the children playing on the street around the time the intruder entered the boarding house. He was told by Mark Esmeralda and Jason Joniega that they saw a man inside the jeepney where they were playing at the time of the incident. Tancinco was likewise informed by Esmeralda that the person he saw inside the jeepney was the same person he saw coming out of the boarding house later that night. According to Tancinco, the children said that they could identify the man if he was shown to them. At around 8 oclock that evening, Tancinco questioned a certain Tiyo Anong and Ramie about the identity of the suspect. Ramie said that the description of the suspect fitted that of a worker at a caf called Coffee Break Corner, about two houses away from the boarding house.

Thus, on January 2, 1997, Tancinco and some companions proceeded to the Coffee Break Corner and interviewed the security guard, who told them that a certain Fidel Hinolanowned the caf. When interviewed by Tancinco and his companions, Fidel Hinolan told them that accused-appellant was his helper and that the latter had gone home on December 27, 1996 to Barangay Miranda, Pontevedra, Negros Occidental. Based on the information furnished by Hinolan, Tancinco and his fellow police officers, Michelle Darunday, Allan Aguillon, and Pacita Aguillon went to Barangay Miranda,Pontevedra, Negros Occidental at around 10 oclock in the morning of January 3, 1997 and asked the assistance of the police there to locate accused-appellant. PO2 RodolfoGemarino asked one of his colleagues at the Pontevedra police to accompany Tancinco and his companions. They found accused-appellant at the basketball court [10] and invited him to go to the police station for questioning. Michelle Darunday remained at the Pontevedra police station. When accused-appellant was brought there, he saw Michelle and blushed. Michelle looked at him and recognized him as the man who had robbed and raped her on December 27, 1996. Accused-appellant was asked to take off his t-shirt. Michelle said that she just kept quiet while accused-appellant tried to talk to her. However, according to Tancinco, Michelle confirmed to him that accused-appellant was the man who had attacked her, identifying him through a rough projection, or a keloid, on the back of his neck and his voice. At the time of his arrest, accusedappellant had a short haircut. He was transferred to the Bacolod police station for further [11] investigation. Allan Aguillon took a picture of accused-appellant [12] (Exh. F) at the Pontevedra police station. At the Bacolod police station, Erma Blanca, Ma. Teresa Gellaver, Jason Joniega, and Mark Esmeralda were asked whether accused-appellant was the same person they saw on the night of the incident. They were taken one by one to the jail cell and asked to point to the person that they had seen that night. They picked accused-appellant out of four people who were inside the jail [13] cell. Michelle Darunday executed an affidavit, dated January 4, 1997, identifying accused-appellant as the person who had robbed [14] and raped her. She testified that she and her friends had gone to the Coffee Break Corner sometime in September or October 1996. On the way home, she was approached by accused-appellant. He asked Michelle what her name was, and she gave it to him, albeit reluctantly. She usually passed by the said caf when going home and accused-appellant would often whistle at her and call her a beautiful girl. Michelle had simply ignored him and gone on her [15] way. Dr. Joy Ann C. Jocson, Medical Officer IV of the Bacolod City Health Department, examined Michelle Darunday and made the following findings and remarks: 1. Abrasions noted on the right and Labia Minora and on the posterior fourchette. left

2. New Lacerations noted on the hymenal ring on the following location 1 oclock position, 3 oclock position, and 9 oclock position. 3. Vaginal introitus admits 2 fingers but with pain. 4. Presently, patient with menstruation. In my opinion, the patient would need a urinalysis (since she complains of pain upon urination) and possible Medical treatment if necessary, for about 7 to 10 days. And if necessary, psychiatric evaluation & management is also [16] recommended. Testifying in court, Dr. Jocson said there was penetration of the victims vagina as shown by the fact that the hymenal rim had lacerations at the 1, 3, and 9 oclock positions. Since the edges of the lacerations were sharp, she concluded that these lacerations were less than a week old at the time of the examination. According to Dr. Jocson, these were caused by abrasions due to force or pressure applied on the vaginal area. When asked during cross-examination

whether the victim had abrasions or contusions on her body at the time of her examination, Dr. Jocson said that she could not remember. She could not remember either whether there was sperm in the victims vagina when she examined the latter. She said that no sperm specimen had been taken from the victim. She testified that it could not be determined how many times the victim had previously engaged in sexual intercourse because this would depend on the elasticity of the victims hymen. She opined, however, that it would be less than 10 times in the case of the victim. Dr. Jocson stated it was possible the victim agreed to have sexual intercourse voluntarily based on the lack of marks of violence on the latter, although it was also possible that she was merely forced to have sex because she was threatened. On re-direct examination, she stated it was possible that seminal fluid was not found on the victims private parts because the victim was having her monthly period. She said the lacerations on the victims vagina would result whether the sexual intercourse was voluntary or [17] involuntary on the part of the victim. Leo Asan, an employee at the City Health Office in Bacolod, testified that the medical certificate presented by the prosecution, which was undated, was a faithful reproduction of what was written [18] by Dr. Joy Ann Jocson on January 3, 1997 in the logbook. The defense presented as its witnesses Elias Sombito, Aaron Lavilla, PO2 Rodolfo Gemarino, Ricardo Villaspen, Nestor Dojillo, accused-appellant Anthony Escordial, JeromeJayme, and Lucila Jocame. These witnesses gave a different account of the events that led to the arrest of accused-appellant. Their version is as follows: Accused-appellant testified that he was employed by Fidel Hinolan on January 21, 1996. He said he started on August 6, 1996 as a dishwasher and was later made cashier. Accused-appellant said that he went home to Pontevedra, Negros Occidental on December 24, 1996, arriving there at 2 oclock in the afternoon. Hinolan paid him P500.00, which he gave to his mother as his Christmas gift. He dropped by the house of Aaron Lavilla. At 5:30 p.m., he returned to Coffee Break Corner in Bacolod City. In the evening of December 26, 1996, accused-appellant asked permission from Hinolan to go home to Pontevedra to stay there until January 1997 as the restaurant would be closed anyway during this period. Hinolan gave accused-appellant his permission and paid the latter his salary of P600.00 as well as a P200.00 bonus. Hence, at 2 oclock in the afternoon of December 27, 1996, accusedappellant took the bus home, arriving in Barangay Miranda, Pontevedra, Negros Occidental an hour later. He went straight home to his mother and gave her P600.00, [19] telling her to use P400.00 for New Years Day. Accused-appellant also saw Elias Sombito, who told him to look for Aaron Lavilla because a cockfight derby was being held that day in their barangay. Accused-appellant, therefore, looked for Aaron Lavilla and found him at the basketball court. Aarons mother asked accused-appellant to help her bring to the cockpit some cases of beer which she planned to sell there. Accused-appellant obliged. At the cockpit, Elias Sombito asked him to take care of his cocks. Accused-appellant asked Aaron Lavilla to go with him to the cockpit, but the latter continued playing basketball and only proceeded to the cockpit after the game was finished. The derby ended at around 9 oclock in the evening. At about 10 oclock that night, accused-appellant and Aaron Lavilla went to the latters house and slept there. The following day, December 28, 1996, accused-appellant helped Aaron Lavillas mother with the household chores, cutting the grass and feeding the cocks. He stayed in Barangay Miranda until January [21] 3, 1997. Accused-appellants testimony as to his whereabouts from December 27, 1996 to January 3, 1997 was corroborated [22] [23] by Elias Sombito and Aaron Lavilla. As to the circumstances of accused-appellants arrest, PO2 Rodolfo Gemarino and Ricardo Villaspen testified that at around 11 oclock in the morning of January 3, 1997, three members of the Bacolod police, led by PO3 Nicolas Tancinco, went to the headquarters of the Pontevedra police to ask for help in locating a person named Anthony Escordial, said to be a resident of Barangay Miranda, Pontevedra, Negros Occidental, who was

wanted in connection with a case for robbery with rape. Although Tancinco and his companions showed their mission order to Gemarino, they did not show a warrant for accusedappellants arrest. Nonetheless, Gemarino told PO2 Gella of the Pontevedra police and RicardoVillaspen, the tanod commander of Barangay Miranda, to help the Bacolod policemen look for accused-appellant. The group left the police station, although Tancincos other companions, Michelle Darunday and Pacita Aguillon, stayed in the [24] headquarters. The arresting party, composed of Tancinco, PO2 Gella, and Villaspen, proceeded to the house of accused-appellant in Barangay Miranda, but the latter was not there. They found accused-appellant at the basketball court watching a game. After informing him that he was a suspect in a robbery case, the group invited accused-appellant to go with them to the police headquarters. Nestor Dojillo, the barangay captain of Barangay Miranda, was at the police station. He testified that when accused-appellant, together with Tancinco and his companions, arrived at the police station, he (Nestor Dojillo) followed them to the investigating room. Inside the room were Michelle Darunday, three members of the Bacolod police, Villaspen, andGemarino. Gemarino asked Michelle if she could identify accused-appellant as her attacker, but the latter said that she could do so only if she could see a lump on his back. Gemarino told accused-appellant to take off his t-shirt. When accused-appellant did as Gemarino ordered, Michelle looked at his back for identifying marks, while Allan Aguillon took his photograph. Gemarino then asked Michelle whether accusedappellant was her attacker, but she replied that she was not sure because the attacker was wearing a mask when she was raped. The Bacolod policemen requested Gemarino to allow them to bring accused-appellant to Bacolod City as they still had some witnesses who could identify the suspect there. Accused-appellant was allowed to go with them after Dojillo and Gemarino asked [25] the Bacolod policemen not to harm him. Dojillos testimony was corroborated by the testimonies of PO2 [26] [27] Rodolfo Gemarino, Ricardo Villaspen, and accused[28] appellant. Accused-appellant further testified that on the way to Bacolod City, PO3 Tancinco began beating him and hitting him with the butt of a shotgun to force him to admit liability for the crime. Because accused-appellant refused to do so, he was taken by Tancinco and his companions to a lodging house where he was subjected to torture. Accused-appellant was told to take off his clothes and to lie down. PO3 Tancinco and his companions then proceeded to hit him with a belt. Afterwards, they covered his mouth and took him to the bathroom. Tancinco put a knife to his neck, telling him that he would be killed if he refused to admit that he was the culprit. As he continued to deny liability for the crime, accused-appellant was subjected to further torture. Later on, the driver entered the room and brought with him a child, whose head was covered, who was instructed to identify accused-appellant. The child, however, did not react upon seeing accused-appellant, who was thus brought back to the headquarters where he was again maltreated. Accused-appellant said that he was left alone in his cell and tied to a chair. He also said that at around 8 oclock that evening, two of the complainants arrived and the police told them to identify accused-appellant as their attacker. But these two complainants just kept looking at accused-appellant and even asked the policemen if he was the suspect. After the two women had left, PO3 Tancinco took accusedappellant to a house so that he could be identified by another complainant. But this complainant likewise said that he was not the assailant, as the latter had a heavier build and longer hair. Accusedappellant was returned to the police headquarters. At the headquarters, PO3 Tancinco talked to accusedappellant and told him that he would help him if accused-appellant confessed to the crime. But accused-appellant again refused because he said he had not done anything wrong. The police then began beating him up again. PO3 Tancinco burnt accused[29] appellants lips and tongue with a lighted cigarette. At around 12:00 noon of January 6, 1997, Gemarino, Dojillo, and Villaspen, together with accused-appellants grandfather, a

certain Inspector Tamayo, and reporters fromBombo Radyo, went to the Bacolod police station to visit accused-appellant. They found him tied to a chair. When they entered the cell, accused-appellant, thinking that they were members of the Bacolod police, held up his hands and asked for pity. The visitors assured accused-appellant that they would not hurt him. Accused-appellant had a limp because his feet were injured. For this reason, Dojillo and his companions asked the Bacolod police to let them take accusedappellant to the hospital for treatment. Accused-appellant was thus brought to the provincial hospital in Bacolod for x-ray and medical [30] treatment. He was taken back to the police station thereafter. Lucila Jocame, Records Officer of the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital (CLMMH), [31] identified in court the medical certificate (Exh. 12) issued by the said hospital, showing the injuries sustained by accused-appellant, to wit: # 5 CM LINEAR ABRASION WITH CONTUSION HEMATOMA LEFT SCAPULAR AREA. # 1 CM LINEAR ABRASION RIGHT SCAPULAR AREA. # 4 x 2 CM CONTUSION HEMATOMA LEFT LATERAL CHEST LEVEL OF T12. # 2 x 2 CM CONTUSION HEMATOMA M/3 RIGHT LEG ANTERIOR ASPECT. # 2 x 4 CM CONTUSION HEMATOMA RIGHT KNEE LATERAL ASPECT. # 3 x 3 CM SWELLING AND TENDER LEFT ANKLE. # 1 x 1 CM CONTUSION HEMATOMA D/3 RIGHT LEG POSTERIOR ASPECT. # 1 x 1 CM CONTUSION HEMATOMA M/3 RIGHT THIGH POSTERIOR ASPECT. # 2 x 2 CM CONTUSION HEMATOMA RIGHT PERI AURICULAR AREA. X-RAY # 280 dated January 6, 1997: SKULL APL: CHEST BUCKY RIGHT THIGH: APL: RIGHT AND LEFT FOOT APO. No Radiographic evidence of fracture in this examination.

circumstance. Applying Article 63, paragraph 1, the accused is hereby sentenced to the maximum penalty of DEATH. He is also condemned to pay private complainant the sum of P3,650.00, representing the money taken by the accused; P50,000.00 as moral damages, P30,000.00 as exemplary damages, and the costs. SO ORDERED.


The last witness presented by the defense was [33] Jerome Jayme, General Manager of Royal Express Transport, Inc., who testified that the last bus trip from Kabankalan toBacolod on December 27, 1996 left at 6 oclock in the evening. The trip from Kabankalan to Barangay Miranda, Pontevedra, Negros Occiden tal would take one hour. On cross-examination, Jayme stated that the said bus would reach Bacolod City by 7:40 to 8:00 p.m. if it left Kabankalan at 6:00 p.m. His companys buses were not allowed to pick up passengers along the way to Bacolod City because of the incidence of highway robbery. Jayme identified in court a certification (Exh. 12-a) he issued which stated that the last bus trip [34] of their company on December 27, 1996 was at 6:00 p.m. On February 26, 1999, the trial court rendered a decision, the dispositive portion of which stated: WHEREFORE, it is the well-considered view of this court, after a thorough, painstaking and exhaustive review and examination of the evidence adduced in this case, that the accused ANTHONY ESCORDIAL y GALES, is GUILTY, beyond a reasonable doubt of the crime of Robbery with Rape, punished under Art. 294, paragraph 1 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended. The commission of the crime was attended by three aggravating circumstances of nighttime, that the crime was committed in the dwelling of the offended party, and that craft, fraud and disguise were employed by the accused in the commission of the crime under paragraphs 3, 6, and 14 of Art. 14 of the Revised Penal Code. There is no mitigating

8. THE COURT A QUO ERRED IN CONCLUDING THAT ACCUSED ANTHONY ESCORDIAL HAD MOTIVE TO COMMIT THE CRIME CHARGED BASED ON A WRONG PREMISE THAT THE DEFENSE ALLEGEDLY DID NOT REFUTE THE ALLEGATIONS OF THE COMPLAINANT THAT ACCUSED ATTEMPTED TO BE ACQUAINTED WITH THE COMPLAINANT AND WHISTLED AT THE [36] LATTER SEVERAL TIMES. The issues raised by accused-appellant concern (1) the alleged violations of his constitutional rights and the consequent admissibility of the evidence against him and (2) the credibility of the prosecution witnesses.

In these cases, the crime took place on December 27, 1996. But, accused-appellant was arrested only on January 3, 1997, a week after the occurrence of the crime. As the arresting officers were not present when the crime was committed, they could not have personal knowledge of the facts and circumstances of the commission of the crime so as to be justified in the belief that accused-appellant was guilty of the crime. The arresting officers had no reason for not securing a warrant. However, the records show that accused-appellant pleaded not guilty to the crimes charged against him during his arraignment on February 25, 1997 without questioning [39] hiswarrantless arrest. He thus waived objection to the legality of [40] his arrest. As this Court has held in another case: [The accused] waived objections based on the alleged irregularity of their arrest, considering that they pleaded not guilty to the charges against them and participated in the trial. Any defect in their arrest must be deemed cured when they voluntarily submitted to the jurisdiction of the court. For the legality of an arrest affects only the jurisdiction of the court over the person of the accused. Consequently, if objections based on this ground are waived, the fact that the arrest was illegal is not a sufficient cause for setting aside an otherwise valid judgment rendered after a trial, free from error. The technicality cannot render subsequent proceedings void and deprive the State of its right to convict the guilty when all the facts on record point to the culpability of the [41] accused. B. Accused-appellant invokes Art. III, 12(1) of the Constitution which provides that *a+ny person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to be informed of his right to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel preferably of his own choice. If the person cannot afford the services of counsel, he must be provided with one. These rights cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence of counsel. He contends that he was subjected to custodial interrogation without being informed of his right to remain silent and to have independent counsel preferably of his choice. Hence, he contends, the trial court erred in not excluding evidence obtained from him during such interrogation for violation of accused-appellants rights under this provision. While it cannot be denied that accused-appellant was deprived of his right to be informed of his rights to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel, he has not shown that, as a result of his custodial interrogation, the police obtained any statement from him whether inculpatory or exculpatory which was used in evidence against him. The records do not show that he had given one or that, in finding him guilty, the trial court relied on such statement. In fact, accused-appellant testified that at no point, even when subjected to physical torture, did he ever admit committing the crime with which he was charged. In other words, no uncounseled statement was obtained from accused-appellant which should have been excluded as evidence against him. C. Of greater significance is the fact that accused-appellant was never assisted by counsel, whether of his own choice or provided by the police officers, from the time of his arrest in Pontevedra, Negros Occidental to the time of his continued detention at the Bacolod police station. Although accused-appellant made no statement during this time, this fact remains important insofar as it affects the admissibility of the out-of-court identification of accused-appellant by the prosecution witnesses, namely, Michelle Darunday, Erma Blanca, Ma. Teresa Gellaver, Mark Esmeralda, and Jason Joniega. As a rule, an accused is not entitled to the assistance of counsel in a police line-up considering that such is usually not a part [42] of the custodial inquest. However, the cases at bar are different inasmuch as accused-appellant, having been the focus of attention by the police after he had been pointed to by a certain Ramie as the possible perpetrator of the crime, was already under custodial investigation when these out-of-court identifications were conducted by the police. An out-of-court identification of an accused can be made in various ways. In a show-up, the accused alone is brought face to face with the witness for identification, while in a police line-up, the

I. Alleged Violations of Accused-appellants Constitutional Rights

A. Accused-appellant questions the legality of his arrest without a warrant. Indeed, PO3 Nicolas Tancinco admitted that he and his companions had arrested accused-appellant without any [37] warrant issued by a judge. Art. III, 2 of the Constitution states: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. To implement this provision, Rule 113, 5 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure provides that a peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person only under the following circumstances: (a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense; When an offense has just been committed and he has probable cause to believe based on personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed it; and When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or is temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another.



The cases at bar do not fall under paragraphs (a) or (c) of the aforequoted rule. At the time of his arrest, accused-appellant was watching a game in a basketball court inBarangay Miranda, Pontevedra, Negros Occidental. He was not committing or attempting to commit a crime when he was arrested by the police on that day. Nor was he an escaped prisoner whose arrest could be effected even without a warrant. The question is whether these cases fall under paragraph (b) because the police officers had personal knowledge of facts and circumstances that would lead them to believe that accusedappellant had just committed a crime. The phrase personal knowledge in paragraph (b) has been defined in this wise: Personal knowledge of facts in arrests without a warrant under Section 5(b) of Rule 113 must be based upon probable cause which means an actual belief or reasonable grounds of suspicion. The grounds of suspicion are reasonable when, in the absence of actual belief of the arresting officers, the suspicion that the person to be arrested is probably guilty of committing the offense is based on actual facts, i.e.,supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to create the probable cause of guilt of the person to be arrested. A reasonable suspicion therefore must be founded on probable cause, coupled with good faith on the part of the peace [38] officer making the arrest.

suspect is identified by a witness from a group of persons gathered [43] for that purpose. During custodial investigation, these types of identification have been recognized as critical confrontations of the accused by the prosecution which necessitate the presence of counsel for the accused. This is because the results of these pre-trial proceedings might well settle the accuseds fate and reduce the [44] trial itself to a mere formality. We have thus ruled that any identification of an uncounseled accused made in a police line-up, or in a show-up for that matter, after the start of the custodial [45] investigation is inadmissible as evidence against him. Here, accused-appellant was identified by Michelle Darunda in a show-up on January 3, 1997 and by Erma Blanca, Ma. Teresa Gellaver, Jason Joniega, and Mark Esmeralda in a police lineup on various dates after his arrest. Having been made when accused-appellant did not have the assistance of counsel, these outof-court identifications are inadmissible in evidence against him. Consequently, the testimonies of these witnesses regarding these identifications should have been held inadmissible for being the direct result of the illegal lineup come at by exploitation of *the [46] primary+ illegality. Be that as it may, as the defense failed to object immediately when these witnesses were presented by the prosecution or when specific questions regarding this matter were asked of them, as required by Rule 132, 36 of the Rules on Evidence, accusedappellant must be deemed to have waived his right to object to the [47] admissibility of these testimonies. Furthermore, the inadmissibility of these out-of-court identifications does not render the in-court identification of accused-appellant inadmissible for being the fruits of the poisonous [48] tree. This in-court identification was what formed the basis of the trial courts conviction of accused-appellant. As it was not derived or drawn from the illegal arrest of accused-appellant or as a [49] consequence thereof, it is admissible as evidence against him. However, whether or not such prosecution evidence satisfies the requirement of proof beyond reasonable doubt is another matter altogether.

identifications were based upon observations of the suspect other [55] than the line-up identification. As held in United States v. [56] Wade: We think it follows that the proper test to be applied in these situations is that quoted in Wong Sun v. United States, 371 US 471, 488, 9 L ed 2d 441, 455, 83 S Ct 407, [W]hether, granting establishment of the primary illegality, the evidence to which instant objection is made has been come at by exploitation of that illegality or instead by means sufficiently distinguishable to be purged of the primary taint. Maguire, Evidence of Guilt 221 (1959). See also Hoffa v United States, 385 US 293, 309, 17 L ed 2d 374, 386, 87 S Ct 408. Application of this test in the present context requires consideration of various factors; for example, the prior opportunity to observe the alleged criminal act, the existence of any pre-line-up description and the defendants actual description, any identification prior to lineup of another person, the identification by picture of the defendant prior to the lineup, failure to identify the defendant on a prior occasion, and the lapse of time between the alleged act and the lineup identification. It is also relevant to consider those facts which, despite the absence of counsel, are disclosed concerning the conduct of the lineup. We now consider whether the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses meet the test as laid down in that case. 1. Michelle Darunday testified that her assailants face was covered with cloth when he entered the room and that she was [57] blindfolded when she was raped. She could thus only see the assailants eyes, which Michelle described [58] as chinito (chinky), although she testified that she could also [59] identify his voice. Otherwise, Michelle did not see her attacker. Yet, she testified that she immediately recognized accused-appellant as the assailant when she saw him at the Pontevedra police station. Michelle stated: PROS. CARDINAL: Madam Witness, a few days thereafter, can you recall any development of your case? WITNESS: That was in January 3, when somebody told us to identify a suspect in the City Hall of Pontevedra. PROS. CARDINAL: Who was with you when you went to Pontevedra? WITNESS: My aunt and my uncle and the police investigators. .... PROS. CARDINAL: Upon arrival at Pontevedra, what happened? WITNESS: We waited for a while because they will find the suspect and I was there in the room of the police sitting. .... PROS. CARDINAL: So, you stayed behind and the policemen pick up the suspect? WITNESS: I and my aunt waited in the police of the policemen, and then later the suspect arrived. PROS. CARDINAL: When that suspect arrived inside the room where you were, can you tell us what was the reaction of the suspect? WITNESS: When the suspect arrived, at first, he was not able to see me because I was behind the desk after the door, and then he was so fresh saying that he was a good man, but when he saw me he blushed and

II. Credibility of the Prosecution Witnesses

Accused-appellant contends that: (1) he does not possess the character, qualities, and expertise of the assailant who robbed and raped Michelle Darunday, Erma Blanca, and Ma. Teresa Gellaver; (2) the records are bereft of any description of the assailant made by these prosecution witnesses prior to his arrest as the affidavits of Darunday, Blanca,Joniega, and Esmeralda were executed only after his arrest; (3) the testimonies of the defense witnesses, namely, PO2 Rodolfo Gemarino, Barangay Captain Nestor Dojillo, and Ricardo Villaspen, show that Michelle Darunday failed to identify accused-appellant when the latter was presented to her at the Pontevedra police station; (4) Tancincos testimony that Michelle Darunday properly identified accused-appellant at the Pontevedra police station could not be believed as the said witness had motive to testify falsely against accused-appellant; (4) the identification of accused-appellant at the Bacolod police station was tainted because only accused-appellant was handcuffed among the persons presented to the prosecution witnesses; and (5) it was highly improbable for the prosecution witnesses to identify the assailant by face considering the distance, the intensity of light, and the circumstances at the time of the commission of the crime. A. Jason Joniega and Mark Esmeralda pointed to accused-appellant as the man they saw on the night of December 27, 1996 and the person they identified inside a jail cell at the Bacolod police station. Erma Blanca, on the other hand, testified that she saw through her blindfold accused-appellant raping Michelle Darunday. She identified accused-appellant in court as their assailant and as the man whom she saw inside the jail cell at [52] [53] the Bacolod police station. Ma. Teresa Gellaver and [54] Michelle Darunday identified accused-appellant as the suspect brought before them at the Bacolod police station and the Pontevedra police station, respectively. The test is whether or not the prosecution was able to establish by clear and convincing evidence that the in-court
[50] [51]

moving his head asking, Ano ang sala ko sa imo? (What did I do to you?), I did not do anything. But when I looked at his eyes and heard his voice, I was sure that he was the man. PROS. CARDINAL: When that person said, what did I do to you, I did not do anything, what was [your] reaction? WITNESS: I just looked at him and he was so fresh that he has not done anything, but the policeman said that his case is rape. Then, he was asked to take off his tshirt and I just looked at him and then later, the policeman asked to borrow the man for investigation and while the policeman was recording, that suspect approached me and told me that, You do not know me., and asked, Do you know me? PROS. CARDINAL: What was your reaction? WITNESS: I just [kept] quiet but my aunt reacted by saying, You think you cannot be identified because you covered yourself? PROS. CARDINAL: And then what did he answer? WITNESS: He just stand outside while we went ahead to go [60] back to our home. A show-up, such as what was undertaken by the police in the identification of accused-appellant by Michelle Darunday, has been held to be an underhanded mode of identification for being pointedly suggestive, generat[ing] confidence where there was none, activat[ing] visual imagination, and, all told, subvert[ing] their [61] reliability as *an eyewitness+. In these cases, Michelle knew that she was going to identify a suspect when she went to Pontevedra. Upon seeing accused-appellant escorted by Tancinco and his colleagues in the Bacolod police, she knew that he was the suspect she was supposed to identify. When accusedappellant was thus shown to her, there could be no doubt as to what was expected of her. Further aggravating the situation were the reply of the policeman to accused-appellants protestations of innocence that he was being held for rape and Michelles aunts obvious assumption of his guilt. Michelles immediate conclusion, therefore, that accused-appellant was her attacker was understandable. As has been explained: Social psychological influences. Various social psychological factors also increase the danger of suggestibility in a lineup confrontation. Witnesses, like other people, are motivated by a desire to be correct and to avoid looking foolish. By arranging a lineup, the police have evidenced their belief that they have caught the criminal; witnesses, realizing this, probably will feel foolish if they cannot identify anyone and therefore may choose someone despite residual uncertainty. Moreover, the need to reduce psychological discomfort often motivates the victim of a crime to find a likely target for feelings of hostility. Finally, witnesses are highly motivated to behave like those around them. This desire to conform produces an increased need to identify someone in order to show the police that they, too, feel that the criminal is in the lineup, and makes the witnesses particularly vulnerable to any clues conveyed by the police or other witnesses as [62] to whom they suspect of the crime. . . Coupled with the failure of Michelle to see the face of her assailant, the apparent suggestiveness of the show-up places in doubt her credibility concerning the identity of accused-appellant. The possibility that her identification of accused-appellant was merely planted in her mind both by the circumstances surrounding the show-up and her concomitant determination to seek justice cannot be disregarded by this Court.

Michelles identification of accused-appellant is further rendered dubious by the disparity between her description of her attacker and the appearance of accused-appellant. In her affidavit, dated January 4, 1997, Michelle described her attacker as follows: P Sadtong tinion nga ginahimoslan ikaw sining susp etsado nakita mo bala ang iya hitsura? (At the time that you were abused by the suspect, did you see what he looked like?) Wala, kay tungod nga may tabon ang akon mata, apang matandaan ko guid ang iya tingog, mata, an g iya malaka nga biguti, ang structure sang iya lawas, ang supat sang iyakamot, ang iya bi big, ang madamo nga kelloid sa iya lawas kag an g iya baho. (No, because I was blindfolded but I can remember his voice, his eyes, his thin mustache, his body structure, the smoothness of his hands, his mouth, and the numerous keloids on [63] his body, and his smell.) Michelles affidavit clearly indicated that she felt the keloids on the back of her assailant when the latter was raping her. But, when she testified in court, Michelle admitted that she did not see keloids on accused-appellant although she said that his skin [64] was rough. This is corroborated by the testimony of PO2 Rodolfo Gemarino who said that he did not see any lump on the [65] back of accused-appellant when he tried to look for it. In fact, it would appear that accused-appellant had no such markings on his back but had only small patches which could not even be readily [66] seen. In dismissing the disparity between accused-appellants appearance and Michelles description of her attacker, the trial court dwelt on the apparent roughness of accused-appellants skin and the probability that Michelle might have felt only the arch of the [67] spinal cord of her assailant. However, mere speculations and probabilities cannot take the place of proof beyond reasonable doubt required by law to be established by the [68] prosecution. Michelle Darunday was a civil engineer in the City Engineers Office in Bacolod City. Considering her educational attainment and professional status, it is improbable that she was mistaken as to what she felt on her attackers back at the time she was raped. A mere protrusion on the back of the neck of the assailant could not possibly have been mistaken for keloids. Another circumstance casting doubt on the credibility of Michelles identification is her lack of reaction upon seeing accusedappellant at the Pontevedra police headquarters. Defense witnesses [69] [70] PO2 Rodolfo Gemarino, Ricardo Villaspen, and [71] Nestor Dojillo testified that Michelle failed to see any identifying marks on accused-appellant and that she showed hesitation in pinpointing the latter as the culprit. With Gemarino being a policeman, Villaspen a barangay tanod, and Dojillo a barangay captain, these witnesses were all, in one form or another, connected with law enforcement. The prosecution having failed to ascribe any ill motive on the part of these defense witnesses, who are without doubt respectable members of the community, their testimonies that Michelle showed no reaction in seeing accused-appellant at the show-up in Pontevedra police station deserve greater credence than the testimony of Tancinco that Michelle confirmed to him that accused-appellant was her attacker. The defense evidence established that Tancinco was an abusive policeman who had made up his mind as to accused-appellants guilt and who had no compunction in doing whatever means necessary, legal or illegal, to ensure his conviction. We note further that the testimonies of these defense witnesses coincide with Michelles testimony that she kept quiet when she saw accused-appellant at the Pontevedra police station on January 3, 1997. This being so, her reaction to the show-up at the Pontevedra police station upon seeing accused-appellant, the man who supposedly raped her twice in an ignominious manner, is [72] contrary to human nature. It may be that she was filled with rage so that upon seeing accused-appellant she was unable to show any emotion. But it is equally possible that, as defense witnesses Gemarino, Villaspen, and Dojillo testified, Michelle did not immediately recognize accused-appellant as her attacker and only pointed to him as her assailant upon promptings by the police and


her companions. *W+here the circumstances shown to exist yield two (2) or more inferences, one of which is consistent with the presumption of innocence, while the other or others may be compatible with the finding of guilt, the court must acquit the accused: for the evidence does not fulfill the test of moral certainty [73] and is insufficient to support a judgment of conviction. For the foregoing reasons, we find both the out-of-court and in-court identification of Michelle Darunday to be insufficient to establish accused-appellant as the person who robbed and raped her and her companions on the night of December 27, 1996. 2. Erma Blanca testified that she saw through her blindfold the assailant when he was raping Michelle Darunday. She identified accused-appellant in open court as the person whom she saw that [74] night. Certain circumstances in these cases lead us to believe, however, that Erma Blanca did not really see the assailant and that her testimony otherwise was a mere afterthought. These are: First, the police blotter, dated December 28, 1996, prepared by PO3 Nicolas Tancinco, referred to an unknown suspect who allegedly entered the boarding house of PacitaAguillon and robbed Ma. Teresa Gellaver and Michelle Darunday. This casts doubt on Ermas credibility because she testified that she had known accusedappellant for a long time prior to December 27, 1996. During her testimony, Erma claimed that accused-appellant approached her and Michelle sometime in September or October 1996 to ask for the name of the latter. In addition, Erma said she had seen accusedappellant whenever he passed by their boarding house or stayed in [76] her Tiyo Anongs store nearby. It would thus seem that Erma was familiar with accused-appellant. But, if she had actually seen him on that night of the robbery, why did she not report this to the police immediately? Being a victim herself, Erma had every motive to reveal the identity of the robber that same night the crime was committed. But she did not do so. We are therefore left with the conclusion that the police blotter referred to an unknown suspect because the identity of the assailant had not been determined at the time the crime was reported to the police. Second, Erma was not the one who accompanied the Bacolod police when the latter sought accused-appellant in Pontevedra, Negros Occidental. PO3 Tancinco testified that he took Michelle Darunday along with his other companions when they went to Pontevedra, Negros Occidental so that she could identify if the suspect was the person who had raped her. But Michelle admitted that she did not see the face of the assailant. Erma Blanca, who claimed she recognized accused-appellant, was not taken along by the police toPontevedra, Negros Occidental. Why not? Why did they bring instead Michelle Darunday? Third, the affidavit of Erma Blanca was prepared on January 4, 1997, a day after the arrest of accused-appellant. This delay belies Ermas claim that she saw the assailant through her blindfold on the night of the incident. For the normal reaction of one who actually witnessed a crime and recognized the offender is to reveal it to the [78] authorities at the earliest opportunity. In these cases, the crime took place on December 27, 1996, but Erma Blanca executed her affidavit only on January 4, 1997, more than a week after the occurrence of the crime. Delay in reporting the crime or identifying the perpetrator thereof will not affect the credibility of the witness if [79] it is sufficiently explained. But here, no explanation was given by the prosecution why Erma Blanca executed her affidavit one week after the crime took place and one day after accused-appellants arrest. The most likely explanation for such lapse is that Erma Blanca was used merely to corroborate what would otherwise have been a weak claim on the part of Michelle Darunday. The same may be said of the testimonies of Jason Joniega and Mark Esmeralda. B. Accused-appellants testimony that he was at the cockpit in Barangay Miranda, Pontevedra, Negros Occidental on December [80] [81] 27, 1996 is corroborated by Aaron Lavilla, Elias Sombito, and [82] Nestor Dojillo. Considering the improbabilities and uncertainties surrounding the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses, the [83] defense of alibi by accused-appellant deserves credence. To summarize, we find that the prosecution failed to meet the degree of proof beyond reasonable doubt required in criminal cases. The acquittal of accused-appellant is thus in order. WHEREFORE, the decision of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 53, Bacolod City, finding accused-appellant guilty of robbery with
[77] [75]

rape and sentencing him to death, is hereby REVERSED and accusedappellant is ACQUITTED on the ground of reasonable doubt. Accused-appellant is ordered immediately released unless there are other legal grounds for his continued detention. The Director of Prisons is directed to implement this Decision and to report to the Court immediately the action taken hereon within five (5) days from receipt hereof. SO ORDERED. Pp v. Piedad, G.R. No. 131923, Dec 5, 2002 YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.: Accused Niel Piedad y Consolacion, Lito Garcia y Francisco and Richard Palma y Ider were charged with Murder in an information, which reads as follows: That on or about the 10th day of April, 1996, in Quezon City, Philippines, the said accused, conspiring and confederating with and mutually helping with another person whose true identity and other personal circumstances of which has not as yet been ascertained and mutually helping one another, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously with intent to kill, qualified with treachery and evident premeditation and with grave abuse of superior strength, assault, attack and employ personal violence upon the person of MATEO LACTAWAN Y DAGUINOD by then and there hitting him with an empty bottle on the head, ganging him up and mauling him, hitting him with a big stone on the head and stabbing him with a bladed weapon hitting him on the right back portion of his body, thereby inflicting upon him serious and grave wounds which were the direct and immediate cause of his death, to the damage and prejudice of the heirs of said MATEO LACTAWAN Y DAGUINOD. CONTRARY TO LAW.

Upon arraignment, all the accused pleaded not guilty to the charge. Trial ensued thereafter. Luz Lactawan, widow of the victim Mateo Lactawan, testified that on April 10, 1996, at around 11 oclock in the evening, she left her house at No. 2 Scout Bayoran, Barangay South Triangle, Quezon City, to follow Mateo, who had earlier gone. As she was walking by the gate of the company compound where they reside, she heard Fidel Piquero shouting for help because Mateo was being mauled by a group of men. She rushed out of the compound and saw her husband being beaten up by Niel Piedad, Richard Palma, Lito Garcia and five others. She tried to pacify the aggressors, but was beaten herself. Luz embraced Mateo in an effort to protect him. It was then that Niel picked up a large stone, measuring about a foot and a half, and struck Mateos head with it. Then, Lito approached Mateos side and stabbed him at the back, while Richard hit Mateo in the face. Fidel Piquero, who resides in the same company compound as the Laktawans, corroborated Luzs testimony. While eatin g at Aling Dignas eatery, he saw Mateo and Andrew Gaerlan come out of the compound and buy two bottles of beer at a nearby store. They consumed their beer and were about to leave when Niel, for no apparent reason, struck Mateo with a Tanduay Rhum bottle on the head. Andrew hurled a plastic chair towards Niel, which caused the latter to scamper away. Shortly thereafter, Fidel saw Niel returning to the store with several companions. Upon seeing the approaching group, Mateo and Andrew ran towards the compound. Fidel also ran towards the company compound to ask for help. Later, Fidel emerged from the compound followed by Luz. They saw Mateo leaning by the compound gates and being beaten up by Niels group. Luz quickly came to the succor of her husband and embraced him. Niel hit Mateo on the head with a large stone. Fidel also saw Richard, Lito and Rodel Albuena at the scene of the crime. Lito stabbed Mateo with a balisong. Richard, on the other hand, chased and mauled Andrew.

Mateo was rushed to the East Avenue Medical Center where he later died because of the injuries he sustained. Dr. Ma. Cristina B. Freyra, chief of the Biological Science Branch of the Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory Service in Station 10, EDSA, Kamuning, who conducted the post-mortem examination of the body of Mateo, testified that the stab wound inflicted on the deceased was 15 centimeters deep and that the pressure applied on his head by means of a blunt object was enough [2] to bring about hemorrhage inside the skull. The doctor further [3] revealed that both wounds were fatal. Abrasions on the right ear [4] and right shoulder were also found. No defense wounds were [5] present. Dr. Freyra concluded that the cause of death was [6] traumatic injury in the head and a stab wound at the back. SPO4 Lovino Acharon, SPO2 Diosdado Lagajino and two other members of the mobile patrol division responded to the phone call from the East Avenue Medical Center regarding the stabbing and mauling incident. They repaired to the crime scene and apprehended Lito and a certain Luis Rodel. Richard and Niel, meanwhile, were surrendered to the police station by their parents and the barangay chairman of South Triangle. During the trial, P03 Antonio Torrente identified a bloodstained concrete slab which he had found at the scene of the crime, allegedly the one used to hit Mateos head. On cross examination, however, Torrente admitted that the alleged blood stains were not submitted for forensic examination to confirm whether the stains were indeed human blood or not. Accused-appellants denied the charges against them and gave a different version of the incident. Niel Piedad averred that in the evening of April 10, 1996, he and Richard Palma went to Mang Agas store to buy a bottle of Tanduay Rhum. They saw Mateo and Andrew drinking at another store nearby. Niel and Richard were about to buy their liquor from the store counter when Mateo cut their path and got ahead to the counter to buy beer for himself. When Niel finally got the bottle of Tanduay Rhum that he bought, Mateo grabbed it from him. Niel took the bottle back and pushed Mateo. Apparently provoked, Mateo got hold of his bottle of beer and was about to hit Niel with it, but the latter hit Mateo on the head first with the bottle of Tanduay Rhum. Andrew saw what happened and retaliated by picking up a plastic chair and hitting Niel at the back. Niel and Richard dispersed and ran towards their houses. Mateo and Andrew followed and threw bottles of beer at Niel and Richard. A throwing exchange of bottles ensued. During this sequence of events, a group of people suddenly appeared and joined in the fray. Niel was about to approach the group of people, when Fidel suddenly blocked his way. A fistfight between the two followed. Richard essentially corroborated Niels testimony. Richard left Niel to ask for help from the barangay hall. When Richard returned to the scene, he saw Niel engaged in a fistfight with Fidel. Richards friends were also present. Lito broke up the fight between Niel and Fidel. At the same time, a melee occurred on another street. After the fistfight, Richard and his friends left for home. Like the other accused in this case, Richard denied any involvement in Mateos death. Lito Garcia, on the other hand, averred that he went out to buy cigarettes and on his way home, he noticed several people running. A brawl was taking place along Mother Ignacia Street. Lito saw Niel and Fidel exchange blows. Lito insisted that he does not know Mateo, nor the latters wife, Luz. He also denied any involvement in Mateos death. Wilson Palma and Bernard Rasol, by and large, corroborated Niels and Richards version of the incident. Rasol added that Luz was not present during the brawl. The trial court rendered a decision the dispositive portion of which reads: WHEREFORE, the Court finds accused Niel Piedad and Lito Garcia guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder with no modifying circumstances present, and hereby sentences each of them to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua pursuant to Art. 248


Accused-appellant Niel Piedad argues that the way that he was identified by prosecution witnesses was suggestive and fatally flawed. Niel claims that he should have been put in a police lineup instead of being shoveled into a confrontation with the alleged witnesses and immediately singled out by the police as suspects. He further claims that he was denied his right of counsel during the most crucial stage of the police investigation - that is, his identification as one of the assailants by eyewitnesses. We do not agree. The claim by the defense that Niels pre-trial identification was suggestive due to the absence of a police lineup is more theoretical than real. It must be pointed out that even before the incident, Luz [8] Lactawan knew the accused. Fidel, on the other hand, knew Niel [9] because they played basketball together. Hence, the witnesses were not identifying persons whom they were unfamiliar with, where arguably, improper suggestion may set in. On the contrary, when the accused were presented before the witnesses, they were simply asked to confirm whether they were the ones responsible for the crime perpetrated. The witnesses did not incriminate the accused simply because they were the only ones presented by the police, rather, the witnesses were certain they recognized the [10] perpetrators of the crime. Besides, there is no law which requires a police lineup before a [11] suspect can be identified as the culprit of a crime. What is important is that the prosecution witnesses positively identify the [12] persons charged as the malefactors. In this regard, this Court finds no reason to doubt the veracity of Luzs and Fidels testimony. The records show that Luz and Fidel positively, categorically and unhesitatingly identified Niel as the one who struck Mateo on the head with a stone, and Lito as the one who stabbed Mateo on the back, thereby inflicting traumatic head injuries and a stab wound which eventually led to Mateos death. Indeed, if family memb ers who have witnessed the killing of a loved one usually strive to [13] remember the faces of the assailants, this Court sees no reason how a wife, who witnessed the violence inflicted upon her husband and who eventually died by reason thereof, could have done any less. It must be stressed that Luz was right beside her husband when the concrete stone was struck on his head, hence, Luz could not have mistaken the identity of the person responsible for the attack. She was only a foot away from Niel before the latter hit Mateo on [14] the head. Lito on the other hand was identified by both Luz and [16] Fidel as the one who was shirtless at the time of the incident. There was light from a bulb five (5) meters away from the scene of [17] the crime. Experience dictates that precisely because of the unusual acts of violence committed right before their eyes, eyewitnesses can remember with a high degree of reliability the [18] identity of the criminals at any given time. Hence, the proximity and attention afforded the witnesses, coupled with the relative illumination of the surrounding area, bolsters the credibility of identification of the accused-appellants. Neither is the lack of counsel during the pre-trial identification process of the accused-appellants fatal. The right to counsel accrues only after an investigation ceases to be a general inquiry into an unsolved crime and commences an interrogation aimed at a particular suspect who has been taken into custody and to whom the police would then propound questions [19] which tend to elicit incriminating statements. The presence of counsel during such investigation is intended to prevent the slightest coercion as would lead the accused to admit something [20] false. What is thus sought to be avoided is the evil of extorting from the very mouth of the person undergoing interrogation for the commission of an offense, the very evidence with which to prosecute [21] and thereafter convict him. In the case at bar, however, accusedappellants did not make any extrajudicial confession or admission [22] with regard to the crime charged. While Niel and Lito may have been suspects, they were certainly not interrogated by the police authorities, much less forced to confess to the crime imputed against them. Accused-appellants were not under custodial investigation. In fact, Niel averred during cross-examination that the police never allowed them to say anything at the police station on [23] the day they voluntarily presented themselves to the authorities. Likewise, Lito testified that he did not talk to any of the police officers nor sign any written statement at the police station when he

was invited. Moreover, the rights accorded an accused under Section 12, Article III of the Constitution applies only against testimonial compulsion and not when the body of the accused is proposed to be examined, as was done in this case - presented to the witnesses to be identified. Accused-appellants were not thus denied their right to counsel. On the issue of relationship, it has been held time and again that the close relationship of a witness to the victim will not affect the formers testimony. It is basic precept that relationship per se of a witness with the victim does not necessarily mean that the former [25] is biased. On the contrary, it is more in accord with human nature for a friend, not to mention the wife of a victim, to have more interest in telling the truth, for they would naturally want the real culprits brought to justice and meted their punishment, rather than prevaricate and send an innocent man to rot in jail. Their relationship to the victim would even lend credence to their testimonies as their natural interest in securing the conviction of the guilty would deter them from implicating persons other than the culprits; otherwise, the conviction of the innocent would thereby [26] grant immunity to the guilty. The alleged inconsistencies by the prosecution witnesses do not impair the credence given to their testimonies and do not change the fact that accused-appellants were positively identified as the attackers of the deceased. It is perfectly natural for different witnesses testifying on the occurrence of a crime to give varying details as there may be some details which one witness may notice while the other may not observe or remember. In fact, jurisprudence even warns against a perfect dovetailing of narration by different witnesses as it could mean that their testimonies were [27] prefabricated and rehearsed. As the Solicitor General correctly [28] observed: To be sure, the testimonies may not be described as flawless, but the triviality of such inconsistencies hardly affect either the substance or veracity and weight of testimony which, just to the contrary, can serve to reinforce, rather than weaken credibility. In any case, there is no valid reason shown to deny the trial court the respect due it in the determination of credibility of witnesses. The fact remains that the injuries that caused the death of Mateo were inflicted by appellant and Lito Garcia. (Emphasis provided). Niel Piedad likewise assails the admissibility of the alleged murder weapon for lack of proper authentication. Lito Garcia for his part impugns the non-presentation of the knife used in stabbing the [29] deceased. It must be conceded that the handling by the police of the concrete stone used by Niel in hitting Mateo on the head leaves much to be desired. As aptly pointed out by the defense counsel, no tags, no signature, or any kind of identification containing the date and place where such evidence was found, was ever made on the specimen [30] retrieved as the murder weapon. And while P04 Antonio Torrente [31] did claim to have made a marking on the stone, there is no evidence on record which suggests that the stone presented in court bore the same markings made by Torrente. Furthermore, while it is the prosecutions contention that the concrete stone was stained [32] with blood, the blood stain was never brought for forensic examination to confirm whether or not the stain was of human blood. In fine, an important piece of evidence like the concrete stone herein should have been handled more properly by the authorities so as to obviate any doubt as to its authenticity when it is finally presented as object evidence in court. Be that as it may, even on the assumption that the concrete slab proffered by the prosecution was inadmissible and the knife allegedly used to stab the deceased was never presented, it would not alter the finding of guilt of the accused-appellants for the simple reason that the presentation of the instruments used in the killing of the deceased is not indispensable in the prosecution of the [33] accused. The weapon used in the killing, after all, is not an element of either the crimes of homicide or murder. Verily, the nonpresentation by the prosecution of the items which the accusedappellants used in stoning and stabbing the victim is not fatal [34] considering that the accused has been positively identified. The [35] case of People v. Bagcal is in point:


x x x For conviction of an accused in criminal cases, it is enough that the prosecution proves beyond reasonable doubt that a crime was committed and that the accused committed it. Production of the weapon used in committing the crime is not a condition sine qua non for the discharge of that burden. It is not vital to the cause of the prosecution, especially where other evidence is available to support sufficiently the charges. x x x. Finally on the issue of treachery, accused-appellant Niel Piedad claims that the attack on the victim was made upon an impulse of the moment and was not the product of deliberate intent; while Lito Garcia contends that treachery cannot be appreciated inasmuch as the attack was preceded by a quarrel and heated discussion. We are not persuaded. There is treachery when the offender commits any of the crimes against persons, employing means, methods or forms in the execution thereof which tend directly and especially to ensure its execution, without risk to himself arising from any defense which [36] the offended party might make. For treachery to be appreciated, the prosecution must prove: a) that at the time of the attack, the victim was not in a position to defend himself, and b) that the offender consciously adopted the particular means, method or form [37] of attack employed by him. The essence of treachery is thus a deliberate and sudden attack, affording the hapless, unarmed and unsuspecting victim no [38] chance to resist or to escape. While it is true that the victim herein may have been warned of a possible danger to his person, since the victim and his companion headed towards their residence when they saw the group of accused-appellants coming back for them after an earlier quarrel just minutes before, in treachery, what is decisive is that the attack was executed in such a manner as to [39] make it impossible for the victim to retaliate. In the case at bar, Mateo did not have any chance of defending himself from the accused-appellants concerted assault, even if he was forewarned of the attack. Mateo was obviously overpowered and helpless when accused-appellants group numbering around eight, ganged up and mauled him. Luz came to Mateos succor by embracing him and pacifying his aggressors, but accused-appellants were unrelenting. More importantly, Mateo could not have actually anticipated the sudden landing of a large concrete stone on his head. The stone was thus treacherously struck. Neither could the victim have been aware that Lito came up beside him to stab his back as persons were beating him from every direction. Litos act of stabbing the victim with a knife, inflicting a 15centimeter-deep wound shows deliberate intent of using a particular means of attack. Considering the location of the injuries sustained by the victim and the absence of defense wounds, Mateo clearly had no chance to defend himself. In view of the foregoing, treachery was correctly appreciated by the trial court. In summation, the allegation of the defense that there were two mauling incidents which happened on the night in question deserve little probative value inasmuch as the same was unconvincing and self-serving. The denials of the accused-appellants cannot overcome their positive identification by the principal witnesses. It is well settled that between the positive assertions of the prosecution witnesses and the negative averments of the accused-appellants, the former undisputedly deserve more credence [40] and is, therefore, entitled to greater evidentiary weight. In any case, this Court sees no reason to depart from the wellentrenched doctrine that findings of facts of the lower court are accorded due respect and weight unless it has overlooked material and relevant points that would have led it to rule otherwise. The time-honored rule is that the matter of assigning values to declarations on the witness stand is best and most competently performed by the trial judge who, unlike appellate magistrates, can weigh such testimony in light of the declarants demeanor, conduct and attitude at the trial and is thereby placed in a more competent position to discriminate between truth and falsehood. Thus, appellate courts will not disturb the credence, or lack of it, accorded by the trial court to the testimonies of witnesses, unless it be clearly shown that the latter court had overlooked or disregarded arbitrarily

the facts and circumstances of significance in the case. Accusedappellants failed to show that the trial court overlooked or disregarded facts and circumstances deemed significant by them in their assignment of errors. The trial court, therefore, did not err in convicting accusedappellants of the crime of murder. The penalty for murder is punishable by reclusion perpetua to [42] death. The lesser of the two indivisible penalties shall be imposed, there being neither mitigating nor aggravating circumstances attending the crime. In line with current jurisprudence however, we further grant P50,000.00 as moral damages to the heirs of the victim aside from the amount of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity granted by the trial court. As borne out by human nature and experience, a violent death invariably and necessarily brings about emotional pain and anguish on the part of the victims family. For this reason, moral damages must be awarded even in the absence of any allegation [44] and proof of the heirs emotional suffering. WHEREFORE, the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 102, finding accused-appellants Niel Piedad y Consolacion and Lito Garcia y Francisco, guilty of the crime of murder and sentencing them to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua, is hereby AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that the accused-appellants are solidarily ordered to pay the heirs of Mateo Lactawan y Daguinod the amounts of Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00) as civil indemnity and Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00) as moral damages. SO ORDERED. Davide, Jr., C.J., (Chairman), Vitug, and Carpio, JJ., concur. Azcuna, J., on official leave. Pp v. Samus, G.R. 13595758, Sep 17, 2002 PANGANIBAN, J.: While it is true that the confessions of appellant were made without benefit of counsel, they are still admissible in evidence because of appellants failure to make timely objections before the trial court. If only the defense had proffered them on time, the prosecution could have been warned of the need to present additional evidence to support its case. To disregard a major portion of the prosecutions case at a late stage during an appeal goes against the norms of fundamental fairness. Indeed, justice is dispensed not only for the accused, but also for the prosecution. Be that as it may, and even if we now affirm appellants conviction for murder, we do not, however agree with the trial courts imposition of the death sentence, because the proven aggravating circumstance of dwelling was not alleged in the Information.


The Case

For automatic review by this Court is the Decision dated October 8, 1998, issued by the Regional Trial Court of Calamba, Laguna, Branch 36, in Criminal Case Nos. 5015-96-C and 5016-96C. The trial court found Guillermo Samus guilty beyond reasonable of two counts of murder. The decretal portion of its Decision reads as follows: WHEREFORE: A. With respect to Criminal Case No. 5015-96-C for the killing of Dedicacion Balisi, the Court finds the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Homicide and is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of, after appreciating the aggravating circumstance of dwelling and after applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, imprisonment of 10 years and 1 day of Prision Mayor as minimum up to 20 years of Reclusion Temporal as maximum. The accused is hereby ordered to indemnify the heirs of Dedicacion Balisi the amount of FIFTY THOUSAND PESOS (P50,000.00) for her

death and another FIFTY THOUSAND PESOS (P50,000.00) as and for moral and actual damages and cost of suit. B. With respect to Criminal Case No. 5016-96-C for the killing of John Ardee Balisi, this Court finds the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt, of the crime of Murder and is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of, after appreciating the aggravating circumstance of dwelling, death. The accused is likewise ordered to indemnify the heirs of John Ardee Balisi the amount of FIFTY THOUSAND PESOS (P50,000.00) for his death and another FIFTY THOUSAND PESOS (P50,000.00) as and [2] for moral and actual damages and cost of suit. Two separate Informations, both filed on November 27, 1996, charged appellant as follows:
[4] [3]

At 4:20 P.M. on September 2, 1996, Senior Police (SP) Inspector th Rizaldy H. Garcia was at his office at the 4 PNP Criminal Investigation Group Regional Office at Camp Vicente Lim in Calamba, Laguna when he received an order from his superior to investigate the murder of the two victims. Their office had received a telephone call from a local barangay official informing them of the victims deaths. Arriving at the victims residence at Block 8, Lot 6 at San Ramon, Brgy. Canlubang, Calamba, Garcia and his team conducted an investigation, making a sketch of the relative positions of the victims, lifting fingerprints from the crime scene and taking pictures. Thereafter, an investigation report was prepared by Garcia and signed by his superior, Colonel Pedro Tango. The investigators likewise found a pair of maong pants, a white T-shirt, a handkerchief and dirty slippers in the bathroom and roof of the house. A pair of earrings worn by Dedicacion Balisi was likewise reported missing from her body by her daughter, Nora B. Llore[r]a. The victims bodies were brought to the Funeraria Seerez de Mesa in Calamba where Senior Inspector Joselito A. Rodrigo, a medicolegal officer of the PNP Crime Laboratory, performed an autopsy. His findings showed that John sustained three (3) contusions, one of which lacerated his liver, caused by a blunt instrument, while Dedicacion suffered four (4) contusions, also caused by a blunt instrument. On that same day, September 2, 1996, Ponciano Pontanos, Jr., then a resident of Barangay Niugan, Cabuyao and an acquaintance of appellant, happened to meet appellant at Sammy Pachecas house in the same barangay where appellant asked Ponciano to accompany him to Poncianos wife to pawn a pair of earrings. Poncianos wife was mad at first but upon Poncianos prodding, gave appellant P300.00 with no interest. The earrings were placed in a jewelry box; thereafter, appellant received another P250.00. At 6:00 P.M. on September 10, 1996, Major Jose Pante of the Criminal Investigation Group received information that appellant was the principal suspect in the killing of the two (2) victims and that he was sighted inside the residence of spouses Rolly and Josie Vallejo at Barangay Macabling, Sta. Rosa, Laguna. He then formed and led a team composed of SPO3 Galivo, Intelligence Commission Officer Casis and SPO3 Mario Bitos. Arriving at the site at past 7:00 P.M., the team, accompanied by local barangay authorities, asked permission from the Vallejo spouses to enter the house, which was granted. Shortly thereafter, they heard loud footsteps on the roof. Rushing outside, they saw appellant crawling on the roof. They ordered him to stop, but he suddenly jumped from the roof and landed hard on the ground, sustaining an injury on his ankle and bruises on his left and right forearm. At that point, the police team closed in on appellant who, while trembling and shaking, admitted the killings upon a query from Rolly Vallejo. Appellant was brought to the Camp Vicente Lim PNP Investigation Office where he was informed of his constitutional rights by SPO3 Alex Malabanan. In the morning of September 11, 1996, appellant, assisted by Atty. Arturo Juliano, gave his statement admitting the killings. SPO3 Malabanan also took the statements of tricycle driver Rafael Baliso, the victims relatives Salvacion and Mona Balisi and witness Mary Arguelles, who saw appellant enter the house of Dedicacion Balisi. On the same day, September 11, 1996, PNP Fingerprint Examiner Reigel Allan Sorra took fingerprint samples from appellant. His prints exactly matched with a set of prints found at the crime scene on September 2, 1998. Later that day, SPO3 Mario Bitos was able to recover the pawned earrings from Ponciano who turned them over to SPO3 Malabanan. (Citations omitted)

Criminal Case No. 5015-96-C That on or about 2:30 oclock in the afternoon of September 2, 1996 at San Ramon de Canlubang, Brgy. Canlubang, Municipality of Calamba, Province of Laguna, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the accused above-named, with intent to kill, treachery, evident premeditation and taking advantage of superior strength, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously hold the neck, strangle and thereafter bange[d] the head on the concrete pavement floor of one DEDICACION BALISI Y SORIANO, a 61 years of age, woman, thereby inflicting upon her fractured bones, serious and mortal wounds which directly caused her death, to the damage and prejudice of the surviving heirs of the said Dedicacion Balisi y Soriano. That in the commission of the crime the aggravating circumstances of treachery, evident premeditation and taking advantage of superior strength were in attendant and ordinary aggravating circumstance committing a crime with disregard of respect due the offended party by reason of her age and sex. Criminal Case No. 5016-96-C That on or about 4:30 oclock in the afternoon of September 2, 1996 at San Ramon de Canlubang, Brgy. Canlubang, Municipality of Calamba, Province of Laguna and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the accused above-named, with intent to kill, treachery, evident premeditation and taking advantage of superior strength, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously hold the neck, strangle and thereafter bang[ed] the head on the concrete pavement floor of one JOHN ARDEE BALISI Y SORIANO, a six year old boy, thereby inflicting upon him fractured bones, serious and mortal wounds which directly caused his death, to the damage and prejudice of the surviving heirs of the said John Ardee Balisi y Soriano. That in the commission of the crime the aggravating circumstances of treachery, evident premeditation and taking advantage of superior strength were in attendan*ce+. When arraigned on May 28, 1997, appellant, assisted by his [5] [6] counsel de oficio, pleaded not guilty. In due course, he was tried and found guilty.

The Facts Version of the Prosecution

The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) summarized the [7] evidence for the prosecution in this wise: Appellant was a farmer, tilling and living in the land of Miguel Completo at Barangay Niugan, Cabuyao, Laguna. The victims, sixty two (62) year old Dedicacion Balisi and her grandson, six (6) year old John Ardee Balisi, were the neighbors of appellants father at San Ramon de Canlubang, Brgy. Canlubang, Calamba, Laguna.

Version of the Defense

Alleging denial and alibi as defenses, appellant presents his [8] version of the incident as follows:

Mrs. Fe Vallejo testified that she knew Guillermo Samus. At about 6:00 p.m. of September 10, 1996, Guillermo Samus was in their house. It was then that CIS operatives together with their Brgy. Captain entered their house, arrested and handcuffed Guillermo Samus. It was not true that accused Guillermo Samus hid himself on the roof of her house. When the accused was arrested by the CIS men, together with the barangay officials, the other persons present were the witness and her 3 children. The police were not armed with a warrant of arrest or search warrant. Accused Guillermo Samus denied the accusations against him. He testified that he was a farmer, working on the land of one Miguel Completo at Brgy. Niugan, Cabuyao. From 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. of September 2, 1996, he was harvesting palay with Eligio Completo; that he never left the farm. He took his lunch at the hut of Miguel Completo; that he arrived home at 6:00 in the afternoon, took his dinner then went to sleep. He further testified that on September 10, 1996, he was at the house of his friend, Rolly Vallejo at Brgy. Macabling, Sta. Rosa, Laguna, when a group of CIS operatives arrived and arrested him inside the same house. It was not true that he jumped from the roof of the house. The CIS people did not have any warrant for his arrest. His kumpadre Rolly Vallejo was not present at that time. He was brought to Camp Vicente Lim where he was tortured until he lost his consciousness. On the same night, he was brought to a hospital, was given medicine, then brought back to the cell where he was handcuffed at the door of the cell. The CIS got hold of the medical certificate. He was forced by the CIS to admit the killing of the victims and the sale of jewelry by means of torture and threat. He also testified that he was forced to execute a document admitting the killing. He was forced to sign said document. He did not know Atty. Juliano and did not talk to him. The victims were the neighbors of his father in the province. He had been in the house of Dedicacion Balisi. He was known to Dedicacion Balisi and her household; and, that the last time he visited the house of Dedicacion Balisi was on August 30, 1996. He was given food by Dedicacion and he later washed dishes, swept the floor, and put dirt in the trash can. He left at 12:00 p.m. that same date and returned to his house in Brgy. Niugan. On cross-examination, he testified that from Brgy. Niugan to San Ramon de Canlubang it took less than 15 minutes to travel, and he also mentioned that the media interviewed him 2 days after his arrest. He and his relatives in Laguna did not have the capacity to hire/secure the services of a lawyer. The defense also presented Exhibit B (and submarkings), the transcript of stenographic notes of the testimony of Atty. Juliano, given before the Municipal Trial Court of Calamba, Laguna on December 1, 1997 in connection with [C]riminal [C]ase [N]o. 26099, also against Guillermo Samus for theft (of the earrings). The prosecution admitted the existence of said exhibit and the presentation of the witness who was supposed the identify the same was dispensed with. (Citations omitted)

I The lower court gravely erred in giving credence to the testimonies of police officers to the effect that the accused tried to escape when he was arrested and that he readily admitted responsibility for the crimes. II The lower court gravely erred in admitting and considering evidence that were obtained in violation of the accuseds constitutional rights. III The lower court gravely erred in holding that there was sufficient circumstantial evidence to warrant the conviction of the accused. IV The lower court gravely erred when it ruled that the qualifying circumstance of abuse of superior strength attended the killing of John Ardee Balisi.

The Courts Ruling

The appeal is partly meritorious.

First Issue: Arrest of Appellant

As a general rule, the evaluation by the trial court of the testimony of the witnesses is accorded great respect, if not finality. In the present case, however, there are cogent reasons to disregard its findings with respect to the arrest of appellant on September 10, 1996. The police officers version of the arrest is incredible. Not only are their allegations uncertain and inconsistent, they are also contrary to human experience. We find it hard to believe that anyone would jump from the roof of a two-story house to escape and, after landing on the ground without any broken bones, make a complete turnaround and just meekly surrender without further ado. Even if this story were true, jumping from a roof is not a crime that would justify the warrantless arrest of appellant. It is undisputed that when the CIS team went to the Vallejo residence on the evening of September 10, 1996, it had no warrant of arrest against appellant. Yet, they arrested him. Under the [11] Rules, peace officers may, without a warrant, arrest a person under any of these circumstances: (a) when, in their presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit, an offense; (b) when an offense has just been committed, and they have probable cause to believe, based on personal knowledge of facts or circumstances, that the person to be arrested has committed it; and (c) when the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another, or from a penal establishment where he or she is serving final judgment or is temporarily confined while the case is pending. None of these circumstances was present when members of the Criminal Investigation Group (CIG) arrested appellant. He was not a prisoner. The killing of Dedicacion and John Ardee Balisi was not done in the presence of the arresting officers. Since it took place on September 2, 1996, it could not have been considered as having just been committed. Evidently, they unlawfully arrested appellant on September 10, 1996. When they did so, we cannot ascribe to them the presumption of regularity in the performance of official functions, contrary to the court a quos finding.

Ruling of the Trial Court

The trial court found enough pieces of circumstantial evidence to prove the guilt of appellant beyond reasonable doubt. Rejecting his alibi for being unreliable and uncorroborated, it convicted him of homicide for the death of Dedicacion Balisi; and of murder, with dwelling as aggravating circumstance, for the death of John Ardee Balisi. Hence, this automatic review.

Assignment of Errors

In his Brief, appellant faults the court a quo with the following [10] alleged errors:

Considering that the arrest of appellant was unlawful, the apprehending officers uncertainty and reluctance in admitting it becomes understandable. In their Joint Affidavit executed on September 11, 1996, they alleged that he had voluntarily surrendered to them. On the other hand, he had allegedly been merely invited by Chief Inspector Jose Pante, according to SPO3 Alex Malabanan. It was only upon being pressed that the police officers [12] admitted that they had indeed made the arrest. We now proceed to the alleged confession. In their JointAffidavit, the arresting officers said that after appellant had initially jumped from a two-story house to escape, they closed in on him and he voluntarily surrendered. At the same place where he did so, they conducted a preliminary interview, during which he readily admitted killing Dedicacion and John Ardee Balisi. But during their testimonies, the police officers denied questioning appellant after arresting him. Instead, they claimed that it was Rolly Vallejo who had conducted the preliminary interview in their presence as follows: Pare totoo ba ang sinasabi nila tungkol sa iyo na ikaw ay pinaghihinalaan nilang pumatay sa mag-lola sa Canlubang[?]; to this question appellant allegedly answered, [T]otoo nga pare, ako nga. No further questions were allegedly asked by the law enforcement officers. Instead, they immediately brought appellant to Camp Vicente Lim for further investigation. SPO3 Mario Bitos, on the other hand, stated in his Affidavit, also dated September 11, 1996, that during the conduct of the preliminary interview, appellant admitted that the victims pair of earrings made of gold was taken by him after the incident and x x x sold to Mr. Jhun Pontanos y Matriano, a resident of Bgy. Niugan, Cabuyao, Laguna, for the amount of five hundred (P500) pesos. During his testimony, however, Bitos denied that they had [13] conducted any investigation. Instead, he claimed that upon their arrival at Camp San Vicente Lim, an interview was conducted by the media in the presence of Major Pante, SPO3 Bitos and SPO3 [14] Malabanan (the investigator). From this interview, the team was able to cull from appellant that he was responsible for the killings, and that he had stolen the earrings of Dedicacion Balisi and sold them to Pontanos for P500. This information was allegedly verified by Bitos upon the order of Major Pante. Thus, the apprehending officers contend that the constitutional rights of appellant were not violated, since they were not the ones who had investigated and elicited evidentiary matters from him. We are not persuaded. The events narrated by the law enforcers in court are too good to be true. Their Sworn Statements given a day after the arrest contradict their testimonies and raise doubts on their credibility. We find the claims of appellant more believable, supported as they are by Fe Vallejo who testified that he had been arrested inside her house, and that Rolly Vallejo was not around then. Evidence to be believed, must not only proceed from the mouth of a credible witness, but must be credible in itself -- such as [that which] the common experience of mankind can approve as probable under the circumstances. We have no test of the truth of human testimony, except its conformity to our knowledge, observation, and experience. Whatever is repugnant to these [15] belongs to the miraculous and is outside of judicial cognizance.

In their affidavits, the police officers readily admitted that appellant was subjected to a preliminary interview. Yet, during their examination in open court, they tried to skirt this issue by stating that it was only the media that had questioned appellant, and that they were merely present during the interview. However, an examination of the testimonies of the three law enforcers show the folly of their crude attempts to camouflage inadmissible evidence. SPO4 Arturo Casis testified as follows: FISCAL: Q: And after that what did you do with the accused Guillermo Samus? WITNESS: A: He went with us voluntarily in Camp. Q: Camp what? A: Camp Vicente Lim, Canlubang, Laguna. Q: After arriving at Camp Vicente Lim what happened there? A: We turned over him to our investigator CIS. Q: To whom in particular? A: SPO3 Alex Malabanan, sir. Q: What was the purpose for your turning over the accused to Alex Malabanan? A: To ask him question and to investigate him. Q: Before that when you arrived at the camp, did you see many people at the camp? A: I noticed some reporters were there. Q: Where were the reporters at that time? A: In our office. Q: Do you know the reason why these reporters were there at that time? A They used to hang out at our office because they have a press office holding in our office.

Q: Did you notice these press people when you brought Guillermo Samus to the camp? A: Yes, sir. Q: What did they do when you arrived? A: They keep on asking who is this fellow we have arrested. Q: Did anyone answer them? A: Its up for the investigator and Maj. Pante. xxx xxx


Q: And the apprehending team did not ask question regarding the alleged involvement of Guillermo Samus to the kiling? A: At the office, sir.

On the other hand, SPO3 Bitos declared: Q And you said that in your earlier testimony that Guillermo Samus was immediately brought to Camp Vicente Lim which is your headquarters after his arrest on September 10, 1996, is that correct? A Yes, sir.

Second Issue: Fruit of the Poisonous Tree

Appellant claims that his alleged confession to the media while in police custody cannot be admitted in evidence. He further contends that the pair of earrings, the turnover receipt, as well as the testimonies of Pontaos and Bitos, relative thereto should be excluded for being fruits of the poisonous tree. We clarify. After being illegally arrested, appellant was not informed of his constitutional rights to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel. Hence, any admission elicited from him by the law enforcers during custodial investigation are normally inadmissible in evidence.

Q And you said that the purpose of bringing Guillermo Samus to your headquarters on that day after his arrest was for further investigation, is that correct? A Yes, sir.

Q The member of the CID once Guillermo Samus was there in your custody at Camp Vicente Lim he was immediately investigated right then and there in the headquarters, is that correct?

He was interviewed by the media people upon the arrival of said suspect. We were not able to conduct the investigation because of the media people who was also asking question from him, sir.

Q Who authorized the media people to propound questions to Guillermo Samus when he was at your headquarters in the night of September 10, 1996? A I think nobody has given the authority to conduct a preliminary investigation with Guillermo Samus that is why we were bother our investigation because these media people were conducting immediate interview with that [18] suspect, sir. xxx xxx xxx

objections. Indeed, the admission is inadmissible in evidence under Article III, Section 12(1) and (3) of the Constitution, because it was given under custodial investigation and was made without the assistance of counsel. However, the defense failed to object to its presentation during the trial, with the result that the defense is [20] deemed to have waived objection to its admissibility. Can the testimony of Pontaos and the picture of a pair of earrings together with the turnover receipt, which appellant identified during his testimony, be considered inadmissible as the fruit of the poisonous tree and hence be disregarded at this stage of appeal? Upon examination of the records, we find that during the entire examination in court of Prosecution Witness Pontaos, appellant did not question or object to the admissibility of the formers testimony. Worse, the latters counsel even freely crossexamined the witness without any reservations. Having made no objection before the trial court, appellant cannot raise this question [21] for the first time on appeal. The evidence having been admitted without objection, we are not inclined to reject it. If only appellant had made a timely objection to the admissibility of the said testimony, the prosecution could have been warned of the need to present additional evidence to support its case. To disregard unceremoniously a major portion of its case at this late stage when it can no longer present additional evidence as substitute for that which is now claimed to be inadmissible goes against fundamental fairness.

For his part, SPO3 Malabanan gave the following testimony during his cross-examination: Q By the way, what time did Guillermo Samus finish giving the statement to the media people on the night of September 10, 1996? A I cannot recall the exact time as to when he finished but I think it is past 8:00 oclock, sir.

Q If you know the reason, can you tell us why Guillermo Samus had to be presented to the media first before you as an investigator assigned to the case actually take his statement? May I request, your Honor that the statement of the witness transpired in the vernacular be quoted (sila na po and nag-interview). A Because when we arrived at that time the press people were already there and we can no longer prevent from asking or conducting an investigation or interview because the case is already on public knowledge.

Third Issue: Circumstantial Evidence

No one saw who killed Dedicacion and John Ardee Balisi. However, to prove appellants culpability for their deaths, the prosecution presented the following circumstantial evidence: 1. Finger and palm prints matching appellants own were found near bloodstains at the scene of the crime. 2. Dedicacion Balisi owned a pair of earrings that she wore every day. Those earrings were missing from her dead body. Appellant pawned those same earrings to Ponciano Pontaos wife on the afternoon of September 2, 1996. 3. Appellant admitted killing Dedicacion and John Ardee Balisi, whose dead bodies were found inside their residence on the afternoon of September 2, 1996. Circumstantial evidence would be sufficient for conviction, if (a) there is more than one circumstance, (b) the facts from which the inferences have been derived are proven, and (c) the combination of all the circumstances is such that it produces a conviction beyond reasonable doubt. These circumstances must be consistent with one other, and the only rational hypothesis that can be drawn therefrom must be that the accused is guilty. They must create a solid chain of events, coherent and intrinsically believable, that pinpoints the accused -- to the exclusion of others -- as the perpetrator of the crime and thereby sufficiently overcomes the [22] presumption of innocence in his or her favor. In the present case, it is indisputable that someone entered the house of Dedicacion and John Ardee Balisi, and that someone killed them and left the house with Dedicacions earrings. The left palm and right thumb prints of appellant near the bloodstains found on the kitchen tiles, together with other bloodsmudged fingerprints, lead to no other reasonable conclusion except that he was in the house in the afternoon when the victim died. Considering that the former had bloodstained hands, it can reasonably be deduced that his hands were responsible for producing the flow of blood (shown in the pictures marked as Exhibits E to 7) from the heads of Dedicacion and John Ardee Balisi. The act of appellant -- pawning the earrings of Dedicacion Balisi on the same afternoon of her death -- is consistent with, and

ATTY. MANALO: Q So, after 8:00 p.m. when Guillermo Samus had already finished giving his statement to the media, do you know where Guillermo Samus was brought? WITNESS: A Yes, sir.

Q Can you tell us where? A Yes, sir. After that Guillermo Samus was brought to our office and Maj. Pante talked to him, sir.

Q And do you know where Guillermo Samus spent the night? A Yes, sir.

Q Can you tell us where? A In our stockade, sir.


The above testimonies do not tie up. Casis categorically stated that appellant had been turned over to SPO3 Malabanan. Appellant noticed reporters in their office, but he did not answer their questions. SPO3 Bitos alleged that the interview by the media could not have been prevented, because it was an ambush interview. Meanwhile, SPO3 Malabanan claimed that when he arrived at the camp, there were already reporters questioning appellant. Malabanan further narrated that after 8:00 p.m., appellant was brought to the office where Major Pante talked to him. In the absence of testimony from any of the media persons who allegedly interviewed appellant, the uncertainties and vagueness about how they questioned and led him to his confession lead us to believe that they themselves investigated appellant and elicited from him uncounselled admissions. This fact is clearly shown by the Affidavits they executed on September 11, 1997, as well as by their testimonies on cross-examination. Nonetheless, even if the uncounselled admission per se may be inadmissible, under the present circumstances we cannot rule it out because of appellants failure to make timely

further supports the conclusion that he was at the crime scene around the time of her killing. The absence of any indication of the presence of any person other than appellant at the locus criminis around the time of the victims deaths further bolsters the hypothesis that he, to the exclusion of all others, was the one who killed them. The pieces of circumstantial evidence presented by the prosecution are consistent with one other, and the only rational hypothesis that can be drawn therefrom is that appellant is guilty of killing Dedicacion and John Ardee Balisi. The prosecution evidence, taken together with the extrajudicial admissions of appellant, passes the test of moral certainty and establishes beyond reasonable doubt that he was the person who killed the victims. Alibi Appellants uncorroborated alibi -- that he was at the farm in Cabuyao, Laguna -- was correctly debunked by the court a quo. We have nothing to add to the trial courts short and straightforward discussion of the matter, which we reproduce hereunder: For alibi to prosper, the accused must establish not only that he was somewhere else when the crime was committed but that it was also physically impossible for him to have been at the scene of the crime at the time of its commission (People v. Torrifiel, 326, Phil. 388). By the accuseds own admission, the distance between his alleged whereabouts at the time of the commission of the offense and the scene of the crime was a fifteen minute drive. To the mind of this court, the accuseds presence at the scene of the crime is not [23] impossible.

Facts: The accused-appelant was charged with murder. On arraignment, accused-appellant pleaded not guilty to the charge, and trial thereafter ensued. After trial, accused was found guilty There were no eyewitnesses to the incident, and the prosecutions evidence, aside from appellants extrajudicial confession, was mainly circumstantial. Said extrajudicial confession was given in the presence of a barangay captain who is also a lawyer. Appellant questions the admissibility of the extrajudicial confession because it was an uncounselled confession. Accused-appellant contends that the barangay captain, although a lawyer, may not be considered an independent counsel within the purview of Section 12, Article III of the 1987 Constitution. Issue: Whether or not the extrajudicial confession executed by appellant, with the assistance of a barangay captain, is admissible in evidence against him. Held: No. Section 12, Article III of the 1987 Constitution provides: (1) Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to be informed of his right to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel preferably of his own choice. If the person cannot afford the services of counsel, he must be provided with one. These rights cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence of counsel. The words competent and independent counsel in the constitutional provision is not an empty rhetoric. It stresses the need to accord the accused, under the uniquely stressful conditions of a custodial investigation, an informed judgment on the choices explained to him by a diligent and capable lawyer. A barangay captain is called upon to enforce the law and ordinances in his barangay and ensure peace and order at all times. In fact, a barangay captain is deemed a person in authority under Article 152 of the Revised Penal Code, to wit: ART. 152. Persons in authority and agents of persons in authority. Who shall be deemed as such. In applying the provisions of the preceding and other articles of this Code, any person directly vested with jurisdiction, whether as an individual or as a member of some court or government corporation, board, or commission, shall be deemed a person in authority. A barrio captain and a barangay chairman shall also be deemed a person in authority. On these bases, it is not legally possible to consider the barangay captain as an independent counsel of appellant. In this case the role of the barangay captain, was a peacekeeping

Fourth Issue: Crime and Punishment

The testimony of Salvacion Balisi, as well as the Birth [24] Certificate of John Ardee Balisi (Exhibit II), prove that John was only six (6) years old at the time of his death. As correctly ruled by the court a quo, the killing of *the+ child *was+ characterized by treachery because the weakness of the victim due to his tender age [25] resulted in the absence of any danger to the accused. Indeed *i+t has time and time again been held that the killing of minor children who, by reason of their tender years, could not be expected to put up a defense is considered attended with treachery even if [26] the manner of attack was not shown. Indubitably, treachery qualified the killing of six-year-old John Ardee Balisi as murder. As for the death of Dedicacion Balisi, however, none of the qualifying circumstances alleged in the Information was proven by the prosecution. Hence, appellant can be convicted of homicide only. In either of the two cases, the aggravating circumstance of dwelling cannot be appreciated against appellant, simply because it [27] was not alleged in the Information. There being no aggravating circumstances, the imposable [28] penalty for the homicide of Dedicacion Balisi is reclusion temporal in its medium period. In this case, appellant is entitled to the benefits of the Indeterminate Sentence Law. For the same reason, reclusion perpetua -- not death -- is the correct penalty that [29] should be imposed on appellant for the murder of John Ardee Balisi. WHEREFORE, the Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Calamba, Laguna (Branch 36) is hereby AFFIRMED with the following MODIFICATIONS : in Criminal Case No. 5015-96-C, the maximum of the penalty is reduced to 17 years and four months of reclusion temporal medium; in Criminal Case No. 5016-96-C, the penalty is reduced to reclusion perpetua. Costs de oficio. SO ORDERED. Pp v. Tomaquin, G.R. No. 133138, July 23, 2004

officer of his barangay and therefore in direct conflict with the role of providing competent legal assistance to appellant who was

accused of committing a crime in his jurisdiction, the barangay captain could not be considered as an independent counsel of appellant, when the latter executed his extrajudicial confession. What the Constitution requires is the presence of an independent and competent counsel, one who will effectively undertake his clients defense without any intervening conflict of interest. Pp v. Bagnate, G.R. No. 133685-86 May 20, 2004 FACTS: Amado Bagnate was found guilty of murder in Criminal Case No. T-2874 for killing his grandmother, Aurea Brona and rape with homicide in Criminal Case No. T-2875 for killing and raping his niece, Rosalie Rayala. Accused was convicted on the strength of his extrajudicial confession. The RTC, aside from the punishment of death penalty awarded P50,000.00 each to the victim. ISSUE: W/N the grant of damages is correct.

Pp v. Morial, G.R. 129295, Aug 15, 2001 Pp v. Endino, G.R. 133026, Feb 20, 2001 The crime of murder was charged against accused Endino and accused-appellant Galgarin. Galgarin was arrested and convicted for the crime of murder qualified by treachery, while on the other hand Endino remained at large. HELD: Admission of videotaped confessions is proper. The interview was recorded on video and it showed accused-appellant unburdening his guilt willingly, openly and publicly in the presence of newsmen. Such confession does not form part of custodial investigation, as it was not given to police officers but to media men in an attempt to elicit sympathy and forgiveness from the public. case digests, case digests of supreme court decisions, case digests Philippines, mobile phone deals, laptop computers, gadgets, free legal opinion, online jobs, best law firms in Mindanao Pp v. Ordono, G.R. No. 132154, June 29, 2000 The 2 accused were convicted of the special complex crime of rape with homicide attended with conspiracy on the bases of their extra judicial confession. An interview with a radio announcer was also done where the 2 accused accepted responsibility for the crime. They now assail their conviction as their confession was attended by infirmities i.e. mainly the lack of counsel to assist them during custodial investigation. HELD: The absence of counsel renders the extra judicial confession inadmissible. The presence of the mayor, municipal judge and the family of the accused during the confession did not cure the defect. However, statements spontaneously made by a suspect to a news reporter on televised interview are deemed voluntary and are admissible in evidence. By analogy, statements made by herein accused to a radio announcer should likewise be held admissible. The interview was not in the nature of an investigation, and thus, the uncounselled confession did not violate accuseds constitutional rights. case digests, case digests of supreme court decisions, case digests Philippines, mobile phone deals, laptop computers, gadgets, free legal opinion, online jobs, best law firms in Mindanao Pp v. Guillermo, GR. No. 147786, Jan 20, 2004 Pp v. Malngan, G.R. No. 170470, Sep 26, 2006 3. Bail (Section 13, Article III) Read also Rule 114, The Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure CASES: Garcia-Padilla v. Enrile, 121 SCRA 472 Reversal of the Lansang Doctrine & Reinstatement of the Montenegro Doctrine In July 1982, Sabino Padilla, together w/ 8 others who were having a conference in a house in Bayombong, NV, were arrested by members of the PC. The raid of the house was authorized by a search warrant issued by Judge Sayo. Josefina, mother of Sabino, opposed the arrest averring that no warrant of arrest was issued but rather it was just a warrant of arrest hence the arrest of her son and the others was w/o just cause. Sabino and companions together with 4 others were later transferred to a facility only thePCs know. Josefina petitioned the court for the issuance of the writ of habeas corpus. ISSUE: Whether or not the arrests done against Sabino et al is valid. HELD: In a complete about face, the SC decision in the Lansang Case was reversed and the ruling in the Barcelon Case &

RULING: The award of civil indemnity is separate and distinct from the award of moral damages, which is based on a different jural foundation and assessed by the court in the exercise of sound discretion. Considering that the prosecution failed to show any proof that the heirs of Aurea Broa are entitled to moral damages, the same may not be awarded. In accordance with Article 2230 of the Civil Code, exemplary damages may be awarded in criminal cases as part of the civil liability if the crime was committed with one or more aggravating circumstances. Considering the generic aggravating circumstances of disregard of age of the victim and dwelling, the award of P25,000.00 as exemplary damages is in order. The Court, however, has to modify the award of civil indemnity in favor of the heirs of Rosalie Rayala. Recent rulings increased the amount of civil indemnity in cases of rape with homicide to P100,000.00. The heirs of Rosalie must be awarded the amount of P75,000.00 as moral damages without need of proof, in view of the rape suffered by victim Rosalie. Considering that the crime of rape was committed inside the dwelling of the victim, exemplary damages in the amount of P25,000.00 should likewise be awarded to the heirs of Rosalie. The Court finds that the heirs of both Aurea and Rosalie should be awarded the amount of P54,259.00 as actual damages in view of the admission made by the defense that the family of Aurea and Rosalie incurred expenses in said amount. Pp v. Gallardo, G.R. No. 113684, Jan 25, 2000 On July 28, 1991, Edmundo Orizal was found dead in the rest house of Ronnie Balao. The victim was found to have sustained seven (7) gunshot wounds in the chest, abdomen, back, left and right thighs, and two (2) grazing wounds on the left arm and back. The two suspects Armando Gallardo and Alfredo Columna were brought to the Tuguegarao Police Department. They were investigated by Police Investigator SPO4 Isidro Marcos, and they gave statements admitting that they, together with Jessie Micate, killed Edmundo Orizal. The trial court rendered decision finding accused Armando Gallardo y Gander and Alfredo Columna y Correa guilty beyond reasonable doubt of murder qualified by evident premeditation and aggravated by treachery and sentencing each of them to reclusion perpetua. Hence, this appeal. Held: Under rules laid by the Constitution, existing laws and jurisprudence, a confession to be admissible must satisfy all four fundamental requirements, namely: (1) the confession must be voluntary; (2) the confession must be made with the assistance of competent and independent counsel; (3) the confession must be express; and (4) the confession must be in writing. All these requirements were complied with. It would have been different if the accused were merely asked if they were waiving their Constitutional rights without any explanation from the assisting counsel. case digests, case digests of supreme court decisions, case digests Philippines, mobile phone deals, laptop computers, gadgets, free legal opinion, online jobs, best law firms in Mindanao

theMontenegro Case was again reinstated. The questioned power of the president to suspend the privilege of the WoHC was once again held as discretionary in the president. The SC again reiterated that the suspension of the writ was a political question to be resolved solely by the president. It was also noted that the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus must, indeed, carry with it the suspension of the right to bail, if the governments campaign to suppress the rebellion is to be enhanced and rendered effective. If the right to bail may be demanded during the continuance of the rebellion, and those arrested, captured and detained in

deemed absorbed. The SC noted, however, that there may be a need to modify the rebellion law. Considering that the essence of rebellion has been lost and that it is being used by a lo t of opportunists to attempt to grab power. Pp v. Cortez, GR 92560, 10/21/91 Before the Court for automatic review is the Decision of the Masbate RTC convicting the accused-appellant, Rudy Cortes y Caballero, of the crime of rape committed against Analiza Germina y Banculo, sentencing him to suffer the supreme penalty of death. Held: Time-honored is the rule that alibi is inherently weak and easily contrived. Accused-appellant must therefore prove with clear and convincing evidence that it was physically impossible for him to be at the place and approximate time of commission of the felony, which quantum of proof he failed to come forward with. In a long line of rape cases, the Court has consistently held that lust is no respecter of time and place, and rape can be and has been committed in even the unlikeliest of places. Venues of rape have been inside a house where there were other occupants, in a room adjacent to where the victims family members were sleeping or even in a room which the victim shares with the sister of the offender. There is no rule that rape can be committed only in seclusion. Neither does the Court find convincing the claim of delay on the part of the victim in reporting the sexual assault against her. This Court has consistently held that delay in reporting rape incidents in the face of threats of physical violence, cannot be taken against the victim. case digests, case digests of supreme court decisions, case digests Philippines, mobile phone deals, laptop computers, gadgets, free legal opinion, online jobs, best law firms in Mindanao Yap v. CA, 358 SCRA 564 Facts: The right against excessive bail, and the liberty of abode and travel, are being invoked to set aside two resolutions of the Court of Appeals which fixed bail at P5,500,000.00 and imposed conditions on change of residence and travel abroad. For misappropriating amounts equivalent to P5,500,000.00, petitioner was convicted of estafa and was sentenced to four years and two months of prision correccional, as minimum, to eight years of prision mayor as maximum, in addition to one (1) year for each additional P10,000.00 in excess of P22,000.00 but in no case shall it exceed twenty (20) years. He filed a notice of appeal, and moved to be allowed provisional liberty under the cash bond he had filed earlier in the proceedings.

the course thereof will be released, they would, without the least doubt, rejoin their comrades in the field thereby jeopardizing the success of government efforts to bring to an end the invasion, rebellion or insurrection.

NOTE: This ruling was abrogated by Sec 18, Art 7 of the 1987 Constitution which expressly constitutionalized the Lansang

Doctrine. Note as well that under Art 3 (Sec 13) of the Constitution it is stated that the right to bail shall not be impaired even if the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended. Enrile v. Salazar, supra Habeas Corpus Right to Bail Rebellion SC Cannot Change Law

In February 1990, Sen Enrile was arrested. He was charged together with Mr. & Mrs. Panlilio, and Honasan for the crime of rebellion with murder and multiple frustrated murder which allegedly occurred during their failed coup attempt. Enrile was then brought to Camp Karingal. Enrile later filed for the habeas corpus alleging that the crime being charged against him is nonexistent. That he was charged with a criminal offense in an information for which no complaint was initially filed or preliminary investigation was conducted, hence was denied due process; denied his right to bail; and arrested and detained on the strength of a warrant issued without the judge who issued it first having personally determined the existence of probable cause. ISSUE: Whether or not the court should affirm the Hernandez ruling. HELD: Enrile filed for habeas corpus because he was denied bail although ordinarily a charge of rebellion would entitle one for bail. The crime of rebellion charged against him however is complexed with murder and multiple frustrated murders the intention of the prosecution was to make rebellion in its most serious form so as to make the penalty thereof in the maximum. The SC ruled that there is no such crime as Rebellion with murder and multiple frustrated murder. What Enrile et al can be charged of would be Simple Rebellion because other crimes such as murder or all those that may be necessary to the commission of rebellion is absorbed hence he should be entitiled for bail. The SC however noted that a petition for habeas corpus was not the proper remedy so as to avail of bail. The proper step that should have been taken was for Enrile to file a petition to be admitted for bail. He should have exhausted all other efforts before petitioning for habeas corpus. The Hernandez ruling is still valid. All other crimes committed in carrying out rebellion are

Issue: Was the condition imposed by the CA on accuseds bail bond violative the liberty of abode and right to travel?

Held: Imposing bail in an excessive amount could render meaningless the right to bail. Under the circumstances of this case, we find that appropriate conditions have been imposed in the bail bond to ensure against the risk of flight, particularly, the combination of the hold-departure order and the requirement that petitioner inform the court of any change of residence and of his whereabouts. Although an increase in the amount of bail while the case is on appeal may be meritorious, we find that the setting of the amount at P5,500,000.00 is unreasonable, excessive, and constitutes an effective denial of petitioners right to bail. UPDATES: Lavides v. CA, G.R. No. 129670. February 1, 2000 Pp v. Gako, G.R. 135045, December 15, 2000 Magudadatu v. CA, G.R. No. 139599. February 23, 2000 Cabaero v. Caon, A.M. No. MTJ-01-369, September 20, 2001 Victory Liner v. Belosillo, G.R. 425 SCRA 79 (2004) Lavides v. CA, G.R. No. 129670, Feb 1, 2000

Government v. Judge Puruganan, G.R. 148571, December 17, 2002 Government of Hongkong v. Olalia, G.R. No. 153675, April 19, 2007 (modifying Purganan) 4. People vs. Sunga Petitioner: Republic of the Philippines Respondent/s: Rey Sunga, Ramil Lansang and Inocencio Pascua G.R. 1260629 Match 27, 2003 Ponente: Carpio-Morales Facts: On June 29, 1994 at Barangay Irawan, Puerto Princesa City - the accused conspiring and confederating together and mutually helping one another, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously, by means of force, violence and intimidation, to wit: by pinning down one JOCELYN TAN, a minor, fifteen (15) years of age, succeeded in having carnal knowledge of her against her will and without her consent; o to enable them to conceal the commission of the crime, the accused conspired with LOCIL CUI, a minor, acting with discernment and who cooperated in the execution of the offense as ACCOMPLICE, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously, taking advantage of their superior number and strength, with intent to kill, treacherously attack, assault, and use personal violence upon JOCELYN TAN by repeatedly stabbing and smashing a stone on her head, thereby inflicting upon her mortal wounds and multiple fractures on her skull which were the direct cause of her death. On July 12, 1994 - , the mutilated body of Jocelyn Tan (Jocelyn), a minor and a high school student of Palawan Integrated National School, (PINS), was found at a coffee plantation in Jacana, Barangay Bancao-Bancao in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. The hunt for the possible killers was swift, several arrests were in a span of days, followed by the conduct of the requisite preliminary investigation by the Municipal Trial Court in Cities which culminated in the filing before the RTC of Puerto Princesa City of the information for rape with homicide against the suspects. Accused were: Rey Sunga, Ramil Lansang, Inocencio Pascua, Jr., and Lito Octac as principals Locil Cui alias Ginalyn Cuyos as accomplice. All the accused pleaded not guilty. On September 26, 1994 - the accused filed a petition for bail underscoring the weakness of the Peoples evidence. On October 18, 1994 - A motion to discharge accused Locil Cui to be a state witness, was filed averring that the legal requisites for her discharge had been complied with, and submitting her sworn statement which detailed how her co-accused carried out the crime. October 20, 1994, the trial court deferred the resolution of the bail petition until after the prosecution had rested its case, but it granted the motion to discharge Locil. The accused assailed the discharge of Locil via a petition for certiorari and prohibition before the Court of Appeals which issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) enjoining the trial court from proceeding with the trial of the case. The TRO lapsed, without a preliminary injunction being issued, the trial of the case resumed. State witness's version of the story: Profile: Locil - 14 years old and an elementary school dropout who had been living away from her parents and using the alias Ginalyn Cuyos to evade, by her own Presumption of Innocence (Sec. 14 (a), Art. III) CASES: Pp v. Sunga, 123 SCRA 327

account, her mother and aunt who were looking for her after she got pregnant (the pregnancy was later aborted), o At 2:00 p. m. of June 29, 1994, Locil boarded a tricycle bearing the marking Ryan-Ryan from the Social Security System (SSS) Office in Puerto Princesa City. Already on board the tricycle was a lesbian who had a birthmark on the right side of the face and who invited Locil for a joy ride. Upon instruction of the lesbian, the tricycle driver, whom she did not know but whom she later identified and who answered to the name Rey Sunga, repaired to the Mendoza Park. o At the Mendoza Park, the lesbian alighted and spoke to Jocelyn Tan, who was dressed in a PINS uniform. The lesbian, together with Jocelyn, then joined Locil aboard the tricycle which was already driven by Inocencio Pascua vice Sunga who had in the meantime left. The four of them proceeded to and reached Barangay Irawan and on reaching a forested area, Jocelyn was met by Sunga who held her and by Ramil Lansang who wrapped his arm around her waist as they dragged her to a nearby buho clumps. o There, Jocelyn was made to lie down. Her skirt was raised and her panty was taken off by Lansang. As she lay face up with both her hands held by Sunga and Pascua, Lansang stripped naked, placed himself on top of Jocelyn, inserted his penis into her vagina and seemed to be pumping. o After Lansang, Sunga took turn to have sexual intercourse with Jocelyn as Lansang and Pascua too subsequently had carnal knowledge of Jocelyn. o Sunga, with a sharp bladed weapon, stabbed the abdomen of the motionless Jocelyn, drawing her to rise to a sitting position and clutch her abdomen. o Sunga then passed on the bladed weapon to Lansang who smashed Jocelyns head with an irregularly shaped stone, causing her to fall to the ground lifeless. o Locil, who witnessed everything, was then pulled by the lesbian and led back into the tricycle where they awaited Lansang, Sunga and Pascua to ride with them. o All five thereafter headed back to Puerto Princesa City proper, leaving Jocelyns body behind. o Upon reaching the Mendoza Park where Locil alighted, she heard the voice of someone from inside the tricycle warning her to keep mum about the incident; otherwise something would also happen to her. o Locil then repaired to her boarding house. Until she was arrested following the discovery on July 12, 1994 of Jocelyns corpse, she did not report the incident to anyone. The other prosecution witnesses: 1. Oscar Devilleres - a garbage truck driver, when he was on his way home in Jacana, Barangay BancaoBancao at 12:30 a. m. of June 30, 1994, a day after the incident, when from a distance of about 30 meters, he saw Lansang walking back and forth and appearing restless near the coffee plantation in Jacana where Jocelyns body was later found. Although it was then nighttime, Devilleres had a good look at Lansang. 2. Igleceria Gabinete - a resident of Jacana, declared that she was among those who saw the mutilated body of Jocelyn at a coffee plantation near her place; that in the afternoon of that date (when the body was found) that one of those two men inside the tricycle inquired from her whether the discovered corpse, that of Jocelyn, was from Barangay Caroray; that the following day, she reported to the police about the three suspicious looking men who went to

her store; and that two days later, she was made to, as she did, identify Lansang at the police station as one of the men who went to her store. 3. Galahad Tan - Jocelyns father said that as Lasang arrived during Jocelyns wake, the latter told him the following: Total tayo ay magkaisang barangay lang ay ayosin natin itong kaso at magtulungan na lang, mayroon na akong alam na makakapagturo kung sino and may kagagawan sa krimen. Huwag na lang nating sabihin sa mga polis. Note: Lansang was courting Jocelyn at the time and with whose family Jocelyns own family was in good terms. Dr. Ma. Carla Gallego conducted the autopsy found the following 1. The cadaver was seen in advanced stage of decomposition. 2. Depressed fracture noted at the frontal bone of the skull - A blunt object like a hard wood or a rock caused the injury which was fatal, it being a deep wound in the skull affecting its inner organ and lacerating the tissues of the brain, thus causing hemorrhage 3. Multiple linear fracture in the skull. - ,the attacker was at the back of Jocelyn and that there were more than one perpetrator. PROBABLE CAUSE OF DEATH: Intracranial Hemorrhage secondary to multiple fractures of the skull. Dr. Vigonte was unable to determine whether Jocelyn was also raped. Sunga made the following disclosures: o At about 10:00 a. m. of the day of the incident, as he was then at work as a tricycle dispatcher, Lansang arrived in a tricycle bearing the marking Ryan-Ryan and invited him to accompany him in fetching Jocelyn at the PINS. He obliged and just before reaching their destination, Locil boarded the tricycle. o At the gate of the school, Lansang talked to Jocelyn who was then wearing the school uniform after which the two boarded the tricycle which he drove to a spot at the corner of Rizal Avenue and Lacao St. where the four of them (Sunga, Lansang, Locil and Jocelyn) transferred to an owners jeep brought by Octac alias Toto. o The group then proceeded to and reached Barangay Irawan at around 10:30 a. m. and at a forested area in Sitio Tagaud, everyone alighted except for Octac. o Lansang then forcibly undressed Jocelyn and raped her while he (Sunga) and Locil watched. o After consummating his carnal desire, Lansang hit Jocelyn with a piece of wood on her head and successively on different parts of her body. o When Jocelyn was already dead, Locil also whacked Jocelyns body many times. o The group then headed back to the city proper, leaving Jocelyns remains at the scene of the crime. Sunga, Lansang and Locil returned to Barangay Irawan aboard a jeep driven by Octac four days after June 29, 1994 and took Jocelyns body for the purpose of bringing it to Jacana in Barangay Bancao-Bancao in accordance with Lansangs wish. o On their way to Bancao-Bancao, Locil inserted a cigarette into the corpses mouth o At Barangay Bancao-Bancao, Sunga, Lansang and Locil carried the victims body and left the same at a coffee plantation fifty meters away from Jacana Road while Octac served as a lookout by the roadside. o Upon returning to the city, the four parted ways. Sunga then drove the tricycle with Locil aboard while Lansang and Octac remained together at the jeep.

SPO2 Janoras initially asked Sunga whether he knew anything about Jocelyns death and Sunga replied affirmatively, prompting him to inform him of his rights under custodial interrogation. o After Sunga signified his desire to avail of the services of a lawyer, Sunga chose Atty. Rocamora to be his counsel. o Rocamora briefly conferred with Sunga, asking him if he wanted to give a confession and informing him of the consequences thereof. o Thereafter, the investigation proceeded with Sunga voluntarily giving his answers to questions SPO2 Janoras propounded at the end of which investigation Sunga and Atty. Rocamora affixed their respective signatures on the recorded statement. Sunga having knowledge of the contents answered the investigating judges other queries as he implicated Lansang, Locil and Octac in the killing of Jocelyn. This time, however, he alleged that not only Lansang but also Octac raped Jocelyn, adding that he merely held Jocelyns hand. On August 3, 1994 - Sunga executed another sworn statement declaring that in the morning of June 28, 1994 he already had an agreement with Lansang to fetch Jocelyn from her school on the following day o that at 8:00 a. m. of the following day, June 29, 1994, he, together with Lansang, Octac and a certain Jun left Mendoza Park and proceeded to Irawan after asking Locil, one Bing Manila, and a certain Josie to fetch Jocelyn at her school o that Jun drove the tricycle back to the city proper and he transported their female companions including Jocelyn to Irawan o that at Irawan, Lansang raped the struggling Jocelyn whose hands were then held by Josie o that after Lansang and Jun raped Jocelyn, Lansang smashed her head twice in accordance with his plan to kill her which plan was known to Sunga, Locil, Octac and Jun o that at 1:30 a. m. of June 30, 1994, Lansang, Sunga, Octa and Jun returned to Irawan, took Jocelyns corpse and dumped it at a coffee plantation in Jacana Road o that he did not take part in the rape or killing of Jocelyn but merely joined the group due to Lansangs promise to give him P500.00. Note: Sunga in this exhibit waived his right to counsel. All the accused proffered alibi. Sunga - who had previously been convicted for robbery with homicide, denied having anything to do with the rape and killing of Jocelyn. He branded as false the testimony of Locil whom he claimed is a prostitute and a pimp and was always seen loitering at Mendoza Park. While he acknowledged knowing Octac and Pascua, he denied being in their company on June 29, 1994 or in Lansangs. o Exhibit A- Sunga explained the circumstances behind his execution of the sworn statement: After having been arrested without a warrant by the police in the evening of July 15, 1994 at the corner of Rizal and Valencia streets while picking up passengers, he was brought to the police station where he was subjected to violence and intimidation by SPO2 Pantollano and a certain Ka Ronnie to coerce him to pinpoint to anybody, and he involuntarily did. After being mauled and kicked, he was made to appear before police investigator Janoras on that same night of July 15, 1994 during which he signed the second and third pages of a three paged affidavit embodying his questioned extrajudicial confession without the assistance of counsel and under threats and intimidation from SPO2 Pantollano. He was later brought on July 18, 1994 to the Capitol building where he signed the first

page of his confession after which Atty. Agustin Rocamora also signed the same. o Exhibit I - Sunga initially affirmed having given the answers to questions propounded by the NBI Investigator and having executed the confession for the purpose of applying to become a state witness. He subsequently retracted his acknowledgement of Exhibit I as his own confession. The defense presented other witnesses. 1. Joel Esquela Mayoan - employee of Puerto Princesa Citys crime watchdog Bantay Puerto, declared that in the morning of July 14, 1994 he and a co-employee Miguel Abrina were at Jacana in Barangay Bancao-Bancao upon orders from their superior to be on the lookout for the possible return of the perpetrators behind Jocelyns killing; o seeing Locil uneasy as she alighted from a tricycle, they approached and asked her how she was related to Jocelyn to which she replied that she was a friend o then Locil brought the two to the very spot where Jocelyns remains were found and while there she acted as if she was looking for something o Locil later commented that it was there that Jocelyn and she had a fight o Locil was subsequently apprehended by the police. o Abrina substantially corroborated Mayos story. 2. Orlando Lacsamana - a detainee at the Puerto Princesa City jail, testified that while he was conversing with Locil, also a detainee, they saw Lansang being brought inside. Lacsamana asked Locil if she knew Lansang but she denied having known Lansang or having been her companion. 3. John Pulga and Jerry Galgarin detention prisoners 4. Joel Rabanal and SPO2 Conrado Guzman personnel of Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP). #3 & #4 testified as to Locils failure to correctly identify Lansang on separate occasions. o Pulga narrated that on July 21, 1994, he was made to form part of a police line-up together with three other detainees; and that when Locil was asked by the police to identify who among them was Lansang, she pointed to him (Pulga) whom she called Ramil Lansang. o Rabanal (who brought out Pulga and the three others for the police line-up) alsow saw that Locil indeed pointed to Pulga as Lansang. o Galgarin - declared that he saw Locil arrive in a police car after which Lansang and three other detainees were made to stand in a police lineup; and that when Locil was asked to identify Lansang, she said he was not there. o Rafael - while he was on duty in the PNP Mobile Post, Locil hesitated to identify Lansang even after the police assured her not to be afraid. 5. Pascua - disclaimed knowledge of anyone of his co-accused prior to the June 29, 1994 incident. He denied having anything to do with the killing or rape of Jocelyn and branded Locils account as a lie. He claimed that he was staying with his uncle Victor de Felipe at 27 E. Burgos St., Puerto Princesa City from April to July 14, 1994. He declared that on July 14, 1994, he left for his stepfathers home at Barangay Burirao of the town of Narra where he was, on July 23, 1994, arrested without a warrant by the police on suspicion that he might have been involved in the subject crime, he having driven for sometime the tricycle bearing the marking Ryan-Ryan; that the apprehending policemen sought his cooperation so he could be utilized as a witness against Lansang, even offering him a P100,000.00

reward and his exclusion from the criminal information, but he refused for he knew nothing about the crime; that inside a small room at the police station in the city, he again refused to obey SPO4 Pantollanos order for him to say certain things about the crime, thereby infuriating Pantollano who threatened to implicate him; that while still under detention on July 24, 1994, he was brought before Locil for identification purposes but Locil denied knowing him; and that he did not go into hiding after June 29, 1994 for he took up a farming course at the Palawan National Agricultural College (PNAC). 6. Victor De Felipe - corroborated his accused nephews testimony as to his whereabouts on June 29, 1994 and his returning the tricycle two days before the incident. He also confirmed Pascuas being with him and De Felipe the whole day to retrieve building materials from De Felipes demolished house in the said place. 7. Filomena Pascua-Tesorio - corroborated her nephew Pascuas claim that Locil did not identify him as one of those who wronged Jocelyn. 8. Cesar Batin - an instructor at PNAC, attested that Pascua was enrolled at PNAC Abo-Abo Center but that he attended classes for only about a week and resumed his studies. 9. Teodora Espaola - Pascuas mother testified that she accompanied her arrested son when he was brought by the police and confirmed that the policemen offered Pascua a reward in exchange for his admitting responsibility for the crime but that she rebuffed them. 10. Lito Octac - alleged that on the day of the incident he was working at Pambato Forwarder loading cargoes and pieces of baggage. 11. Lansang - operated a pump boat that ferried passengers from Barangay Caruray, San Vicente, Palawan where his parents reside, to Barangay Bahile, Puerto Princesa City and vice-versa, declared as follows: o At about 8:30 a. m. of June 29, 1994, he met his sister Gloria Negosa in her office at the Philippine Ports Authority for the purpose of borrowing from her which he would use to buy pieces of plywood and paint for his boat. o While his mother left to make her other purchases, he remained at the Unico Merchandising until 12:00 noon when he went to the house of his brothers-inlaw to pick up her mothers goods. o As his mother no longer showed up, he was constrained to accompany his cargo aboard the jeep. o He had never been to Barangay Irawan or to Jacana in Barangay Bancao-Bancao. 12. Jerry Rufano, Arnel Tulonghari and Ariel Bactad corroborated pertinent parts of Lansangs testimony as to his whereabouts and activities. 13. Joel Egaa - affirmed having accompanied Lansang to Sampaton Funeral parlor on the night of July 13, 1994. 14. Melisa P. Mateo - testified that as a bank teller of PCI Bank, she received and processed for encashment the two checks from Lansang which checks as well as Lansangs signatures and hers and other inscriptions thereon she identified. 15. Edgardo Caisip - declared that he was the driver of the jeepney which Lansang rode on together with his cargo for a trip from the city proper to Barangay Bahile from 1:00 to 3:00 p. m. of June 29, 1994. Caisip added that he already knew Lansang before that time, the Lansangs having been his usual passengers. 16. Freddie Gallego - a barangay councilor of Barangay Caruray, claimed that Lansang was with him in the afternoon of July 12, 1994 on the occasion of a birthday party in the said barangay. On March 7, 1996, the trial court convicted Sunga and Lansang as principals of the crime of Rape with Homicide

and sentenced each to suffer the penalty of DEATH, and Pascua as principal in the crime of Rape. LITO OCTAC is herebery ACQUITTED of the crime charged. Hence, the automatic review of the case by this Court pursuant to Article 47 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended. (since the penalty is death)

account of what transpired before and at the time of Jocelyns death. Her testimony is the only direct evidence identifying appellants and relating in detail their specific overt acts. But the same must be received with great caution and must be carefully scrutinized. SELF CONFESSED TESTIMONY ( I think this is the most impt part) The rule in this jurisdiction is that the testimony of a self-confessed accomplice or co-conspirator imputing the blame to or implicating his co-accused cannot, by itself and without corroboration, be regarded as proof to a moral certainty that the latter committed or participated in the commission of the crime. The testimony must be substantially corroborated in its material points by unimpeachable testimony and strong circumstances and must be to such an extent that its trustworthiness becomes manifest.1 Sungas two extrajudicial confessions, which strictly speaking were admissions for they referred to statements of fact which did not directly involve an acknowledgement of guilt or of the criminal intent to commit the offense with which he was charged. I. This Court finds Sungas admissions to be inadmissible in evidence not only against him but also against his co-accused appellants. A person under investigation for the commission of an offense is guaranteed the following rights by the Constitution: (1) the right to remain silent; (2) the right to have competent and independent counsel of his own choice, and to be provided with one if he cannot afford the services of counsel; and (3) the right to be informed of these rights. In People v. Bandula, this Court made it sufficiently clear that the independent counsel for the accused in custodial investigations cannot be a special counsel, public or private prosecutor, counsel of the police, or a municipal attorney whose interest is admittedly adverse to the accused. o A legal officer of the city, like Atty. Rocamora, provides legal aid and support to the mayor and the city in carrying out the delivery of basic services to the people, which includes maintenance of peace and order and, as such, his office is akin to that of a prosecutor who unquestionably cannot represent the accused during custodial investigation due to conflict of interest. o That Sunga chose him to be his counsel, even if true, did not render his admission admissible. Being of a very low educational attainment, Sunga could not have possibly known the ramifications of his choice of a city legal officer to be his counsel. The duty of law enforcers to inform him of his Constitutional rights during custodial interrogations to their full, proper and precise extent does not appear to have been discharged. Notatu dignum is the fact that nothing in the records shows that Atty. Rocamora exerted efforts to safeguard Sungas rights and interests, especially that of his right not to be a witness against himself. In fact, glaringly, Atty. Rocamora was not even made to testify so he could have related the extent of legal assistance he extended to Sunga at the police station. Atty. Rocamora did not, if at all, fully apprise Sunga of his rights and options prior to giving Sungas admission. Atty. Rocamora merely acted to facilitate the taking of the admission from Sunga.

Issues: (1) Whether the discharge by the lower court of Locil Cui as a state witness is in accordance with law; and - YES (2) Whether the guilt of appellants has been proven beyond reasonable doubt. NO Held: WHEREFORE, for failure of the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of appellants Rey Sunga, Ramil Lansang and Inocencio Pascua in Criminal Case No. 11984 the decision therein is hereby SET ASIDE and REVERSED and said appellants are hereby ACQUITTED of the crime charged. The Director of the Bureau of Corrections is ORDERED to cause the IMMEDIATE RELEASE of the appellants from custody, unless they are being held for some other lawful cause, and to INFORM this Court within five (5) days from receipt of this Decision of the date appellants were actually released from confinement. Ratio: (1) MOTION to DISCHARGE There was nothing irregular in Locil Cuis discharge as a state witness. Her discharge was ordered in the course of what originally were hearings on the petition of the accused for bail and after the prosecution had presented several of its witnesses and submitted Locils sworn statement. Contrary to accuseds counsels argument that a motion for discharge could only be filed during trial on the merits, it could be done at any stage of the proceedings, and discharge can be effected from the filing of the information to the time the defense starts to offer any evidence. From the records, it appears that the following conditions for Locils discharge under Section 9, Rule 119 of the Revised Rules of Court were satisfied: 1. the discharge must be with the consent of the accused sought to be a state witness 2. his testimony is absolutely necessary; 3. no other direct evidence is available for the proper prosecution of the offense committed except his testimony; 4. his testimony can be substantially corroborated in its material points; 5. he does not appear to be the most guilty; and 6. he has not at any time been convicted of any offense involving moral turpitude. o It is undisputed that at the start of the trial, the prosecution did not have direct evidence, testimonial or otherwise, to establish the culpability of the accused. Based on Locils sworn statement, she was the only person who saw what happened to Jocelyn. Her testimony was thus indispensable. That she did not appear to be the most guilty among the accused and that she had not been convicted of an offense involving moral turpitude were shown. Alos, even if Locils discharge failed to comply with all the requirements embodied in Section 9, Rule 119 of the Rules of Court, her testimony would not, for that sole reason, be discarded or disregarded for, in the discharge of a codefendant, the trial court may reasonably be expected to commit error which is not reversible, the underlying principle being that it does not affect the competency and quality of testimony of the discharged defendant. From the prosecution evidence, the testimony of the state witness Locil is the most pivotal, for it is an eyewitness

Although Sunga failed to present evidence as to the maltreatment he claimed to have suffered in the hands of SPO4 Pantollano and Patrolman Bolos, he did not have any lawyer by his side at the time these two policemen started asking him questions about Jocelyns death. At that point, Sunga was already under custodial investigation without the assistance of counsel. What is Cusotdial Investigation? It is the stage where the police investigation is no longer a general inquiry into an unsolved crime but has begun to focus on a particular suspect taken into custody by the police who carry out a process of interrogation that lends itself to elicit incriminating statements (Italics in the original; Emphasis supplied.) II. Sungas second extrajudicial admission-Exhibit I is inadmissible, due to the absence of counsel to assist him when he executed it. Although Sunga declared in open court that he made such admission in connection with his desire to apply as state witness which admission he later repudiated, this does not make Exhibit I admissible. Sunga was at the time still under detention at the NBI office and had been languishing in jail since his arrest in mid-July 1994. His admission which was done without the benefit of counsel consisted of answers to questions propounded by the investigating agent of the NBI and not of a unilateral declaration of his participation in the crime. To this Court, these conditions are constitutive of an atmosphere pervading that of a custodial investigation and necessitating the assistance of a competent and independent counsel of Sungas choice as a matter of right but which he had none. Any information or admission given by a person while in custody which may appear harmless or innocuous at the time without the competent assistance of an independent counsel must be struck down as inadmissible. Even if the confession contains a grain of truth or even if it had been voluntarily given, if it was made without the assistance of counsel, it is inadmissible. The waiver by Sunga of his right to counsel as contained in his sworn statement-Exhibit I was not a valid waiver for, on its face, it was executed not in the presence of counsel, contrary to the express requirement of the Constitution. THUS, Sunga having had no counsel when he made his admission before the NBI and his waiver of the right to have one being invalid, his statement- Exhibit I is inadmissible. For in that preliminary investigation, Sunga again was effectively denied of his essential right to counsel. Atty. Rocamora was appointed Sungas counsel de officio but just like the assistance he extended during the execution of Exhibit A, Atty. Rocamora utterly did nothing in defense of Sungas cause. While Sunga was being asked by the judge a barrage of questions calling for answers which could and did incriminate him, Atty. Rocamora did not offer the slightest objection to shield his client from the damning nature thereof.

makes it unnecessary to discuss and emphasize the conflict on material points of Sungas and Locils accounts of the incident. As for the rest of the prosecution evidence, it fails to corroborate Locils testimony. o The declarations of witnesses Tan, Devilleres and Gabinete can in no way enhance the veracity of the essential, material aspects of Locils account for they relate not to the crime itself but to events thereafter. Dr. Vigontes affirmation of her finding of a fatal injury on Jocelyns head is supportive only of the fact that the victim was hit with something on her head which caused her death, but this by no means is evidence that appellants inflicted said fatal injury.

As for the circumstances testified to by the other witnesses, they do not, by and in themselves, rise to the level of circumstantial evidence which warrant appellants conviction. In the appreciation of circumstantial evidence, there must be at least two proven circumstances which in complete sequence lead to no other logical conclusion than that of the guilt of the accused LOCILs Testimony Standing alone and uncorroborated, can Locils testimony serve as a basis for appellants conviction? As an exception to the general rule on the requirement of corroboration of the testimony of an accomplice or co-conspiratorturned state witness, her testimony may, even if uncorroborated, be sufficient as when it is shown to be sincere in itself because it is given unhesitatingly and in a straightforward manner and full of details which, by their nature, could not have been the result of deliberate afterthought. An exhaustive review of the transcript of stenographic notes of Locils testimony reveals, however, that the manner by which she related it was punctuated with marks of tentativeness, uncertainty and indecisiveness which the trial court unfortunately failed to take note of in its decision on review. (2) PROOF BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT This Court thus finds her uncorroborated account to have failed the jurisprudentially established touchstone for its credibility and sufficiency, that of straightforwardness and deliberateness, as evidence to warrant appellants conviction. In light of the weak evidence for the prosecution, the defense of alibi as well as of denial by appellants is accorded credence, for it is precisely when the prosecutions case is weak that the defense of alibi assumes importance and becomes crucial in negating criminal liability.2[97] It bears noting that the alibi proffered by appellants, especially that by Lansang, had been corroborated. In fine, regardless of the probative weight of appellant s alibi, the prosecution still has the onus of proving the guilt beyond reasonable doubt of the accused and cannot rely on the weakness of the defense evidence. The prosecution having failed to discharge its burden, appellants presumed innocence remains and must thus be acquitted. Pp v. Tempongko, 144 SCRA 583 Dizon-Pamintuan v. Pp, GR No. 111426, 7/11/94, citing Cruz on presumptions, Pp v. Labara, April 20, 1954

RIGHT TO COUNSEL The right to counsel applies in certain pretrial proceedings that can be deemed critical stages in the criminal process. In the case at bar, Sunga was thrust into the preliminary investigation and while he did have a counsel, for the latters lack of vigilance and commitment to Sungas rights, he was virtually denied his right to counsel. The right to counsel involves more than just the presence of a lawyer in the courtroom or the mere propounding of standard questions and objections; rather it means an efficient and decisive legal assistance and not a simple perfunctory representation. As in People v. Abano where the confession by the therein accused in the preliminary investigation was excluded as inadmissible due to the absence of her counsel, this Court will not admit Sungas. This

Pp v. Mirantes, 209 SCRA 170 Pp v. Regulacion, 121 SCRA 40 Pp v. Arciaga, 99 SCRA 1 Pp v. Solis, 128 SCRA 217 Pp v. Resano, 132 SCRA 711 UPDATES: People v. Besonia, G.R. No. 15128485, February 5, 2004 People v. Murillo, G.R. No. 134583, July 14, 2004