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Salvador Atizado and Salvador Monreal v.

People of the
Philippines
GR No. 173822
Facts:

Petitioners Atizado and Monreal are accused of killing and


amurdering one Rogelio Llona April 1994.
It was said that both petitioners barged in on the house of
one Desder, where the victim was a guest and suddenly shot
at Llonas back with their guns.
After the shooting, they fled.
For their defense, the petitioners interposed that they were
at their family residence and drinking.
RTC: convicted Atizado and Monreal for the crime of murder
and sentenced them with reclusion perpetua
CA: AFFIRMED.
Note: Salvador Monreal was a minor at the time of the
commission of the crime.

Issue:
Whether or not the lower court erred in finding the petitioners guilty
beyond reasonable doubt for murder.
What is the penalty to be imposed on Monreal, a minor during the
time of the commission?
Ruling: Conviction affirmed. However, the penalty imposed on Monreal
is suspended.
First Issue

The conviction of the petitioners is affirmed, subject to


modifications in the penalty imposed on Monreal and in the
amounts and kinds of damages as civil liability.

The RTC and CAs conclusions were based on Mirandillas


(victims common law wife) positive identification of the
petitioners as the malefactors and on her description of the
acts of each of them made during her court testimony
on March 6, 1995

Mirandillas positive identification of the petitioners as the


killers, and her declarations on what each of the petitioners
did when they mounted their sudden deadly assault against
Llona left no doubt whatsoever that they had conspired to
kill and had done so with treachery.

It is a basic rule of appellate adjudication in this jurisdiction


that the trial judges evaluation of the credibility of a witness
and of the witness testimony is accorded the highest respect
because the trial judges unique opportunity to observe
directly the demeanor of the witness enables him to
determine whether the witness is telling the truth or not.

Mirandillas positive declarations on the identities of the


assailants prevailed over the petitioners denials and alibi.

The CA held that Mirandillas testimonial narrative sufficiently


established that treachery attended the attack on the victim
because Atizados shooting the victim at the latters back had
been intended to ensure tahe execution of the crime.

Atizado and Monreals conspiracy to kill the victim was


proved by their presence at the scene of the crime each
armed with a handgun that they had fired except that
Monreals handgun did not fire.
Second Issue

It cannot be doubted that Monreal was a minor below 18


years of age when the crime was committed on April 18,
1994. His counter- affidavit, the police record, trial records
and Mirandilla described Monreal as a teenager and young
looking at the time of the incident.

It shows that Monreal was a minor at the time of the


commission.

Monreals minority was legally sufficient, for it conformed


with the norms subsequently set under Section 7 of RA
9344 also known as the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act
of 2006.
Section 7. Determination of Age. - The child in conflict with the law
shall enjoy the presumption of minority. He/She shall enjoy all the
rights of a child in conflict with the law until he/she is proven to be
eighteen (18) years old or older. The age of a child may be
determined from the childs birth certificate, baptismal certificate or
any other pertinent documents. In the absence of these documents,
age may be based on information from the child himself/herself,
testimonies of other persons, the physical appearance of the child and
other relevant evidence. In case of doubt as to the age of the child, it
shall be resolved in his/her favor.

Any person contesting the age of the child in conflict with the law
prior to the filing of the information in any appropriate court may file a
case in a summary proceeding for the determination of age before the
Family Court which shall decide the case within twenty-four (24) hours
from receipt of the appropriate pleadings of all interested parties.
If a case has been filed against the child in conflict with the law and is
pending in the appropriate court, the person shall file a motion to
determine the age of the child in the same court where the case is
pending. Pending hearing on the said motion, proceedings on the
main case shall be suspended.
Monreal has been detained for over 16 years, that is, from the time of
his arrest on May 18, 1994 until the present.

Given that the entire period of Monreals detention should be


credited in the service of his sentence, pursuant to Section
41 of Republic Act No. 9344.

The revision of the penalty now warrants his immediate


release from the penitentiary.

Salvador Monreal is sentenced to suffer the indeterminate


penalty from six years and one day of prision mayor, as the
minimum period, to 14 years, eight months, and one day
of reclusion temporal, as the maximum period;

The Court orders the Bureau of Corrections in Muntinlupa


City to immediately release Salvador Monreal due to his
having fully served the penalty imposed on him, unless he is
being held for other lawful causes; and

The Court directs the petitioners to pay jointly and solidarily


to the heirs of Roger L. Llona P75,000.00 as death
indemnity, P75,000.00 as moral damages, P30,000.00 as
exemplary damages, and P30,000.00 as actual damages.
Yes, conviction affirmed.However, the penalty imposed on Monreal
issuspended.
The witness positive identification of thepetitioners as the killers,
and her declarations onwhat each of
the petitioners did when theymounted their sudden deadly assault
against Llonaleft no doubt
whatsoever that they had conspiredto kill and had done so with
treachery.
Under Article 248 of the RPC, the penalty formurder is reclusion
perpetua to death. There being no modifying circumstances, the CA
correctlyimposed the lesser penalty of reclusion perpetua on Atizado.
But reclusion per petua was not the correct penalty for Monreal due to
his being a minor over15 but under 18 years of age.The RTC and the
CA did not
appreciate Monrealsminority at the time of the commission of
themurder probably because his birth certificate wasnot presented at
the trial. Yet, it cannot be doubtedthat Monreal was a minor below 18
years of agewhen the crime was committed on April 18, 1994.His
counter-affidavit, the police blotter and trialrecords show that Monreal
was a minor at the timeof the commission. Monreals minority was
legally sufficient, for it conformed with the norms subsequently set
under Section 7 of Republic Act No. 9344:Section 7.
Determinat ion of Age.
- The child in conflict with the law shall enjoy the presumption of
minority. He/She shall enjoy all the
rights of a child in conflict with the law until he/she is proven to be
eighteen (18) years old or older. In all
proceedings, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, judges and other
government officials concerned
shall exert all efforts at determining the age of the child in conflict
with the law. Monreal has been
detained for over 16 years, that is, from the time of his arrest on May
18, 1994 until the present. Given
that the entire period of Monreals detention should be credited in
the service of his sentence,
pursuant to Section 41 of Republic Act No. 9344, the revision of the
penalty warranted his immediate
release from the penitentiary.
Under Article 248 of the RPC, the penalty for murder is reclusion
perpetua to death. There being no
modifying circumstances, the CA correctly imposed the lesser penalty
of reclusion perpetua on Atizado.
But reclusion perpetua was not the correct penalty for Monreal due to
his being a minor over 15 but under 18
years of age. The RTC and the CA did not appreciate Monreals
minority at the time of the commission of the murder
probably because his birth certificate was not presented at the trial.
Yet, it cannot be doubted that

Monreal was a minor below 18 years of age when the crime was
committed on April 18, 1994. His counter-affidavit, the police blotter
and trial records show that Monreal was a minor at the time of the
commission. Monreals minority was legally sufficient, for it conformed
with the norms subsequently set under Section 7 of Republic Act No.
9344:
Section 7. Determination of Age. - The child in conflict with the law
shall enjoy the presumption of minority. He/She shall enjoy all the
rights of a child in conflict with the law until he/she is proven to be
eighteen (18) years old or older. In all proceedings, law enforcement
officers, prosecutors, judges and other government officials concerned
shall exert all efforts at determining the age of the child in conflict
with the law. Monreal has been detained for over 16 years, that is,
from the time of his arrest on May 18, 1994 until the present. Given
that the entire period of Monreals detention should be credited in the
service of his sentence, pursuant to Section 41 of Republic Act No.
9344, the revision of the penalty warranted his
immediate release from the penitentiary
Joemar Ortega v. People of the Philippines
GR No. 151085
Facts:

At the time of the commission of rape, the accused was 13


years old while the victim was 6.
On February 27, 1990, AAA (the victim) was born to spouses
FFF and MMM.
Among her siblings CCC, BBB, DDD, EEE and GGG, AAA is
the only girl in the family.
Before these disturbing events, AAA's family members were
close friends of petitioner's family, aside from the fact that
they were good neighbors.
However, BBB caught petitioner raping his younger sister
AAA inside their own home.
BBB then informed their mother MMM who in turn asked
AAA.[11] There, AAA confessed that petitioner raped her
three (3) times on three (3) different occasions.
The first occasion happened sometime in August
1996. MMM left her daughter AAA, then 6 years old and son
BBB, then 10 years old, in the care of Luzviminda Ortega
(mother of the accused), for two (2) nights because MMM
had to stay in a hospital to attend to her other son who was
sick.
During the first night at petitioner's residence, petitioner
entered the room where AAA slept together with Luzviminda
and her daughter. Petitioner woke AAA up and led her to the
sala. There petitioner raped AAA.
The second occasion occurred the following day, again at
the petitioner's residence. Observing that nobody was
around, petitioner brought AAA to their comfort room and
raped her there.
AAA testified that petitioner inserted his penis into her
vagina and she felt pain. In all of these instances, petitioner
warned AAA not to tell her parents, otherwise, he would
spank her. AAA did not tell her parents about her ordeal.
The third and last occasion happened in the evening
of December 1, 1996. Petitioner went to the house of AAA
and joined her and her siblings in watching a batterypowered television. At that time, Luzviminda was
conversing with MMM. While AAA's siblings were busy watchi
ng,
petitioner called AAA to come to the room of CCC and BBB.
AAA obeyed.
While inside the said room which was lighted by a kerosene
lamp, petitioner pulled AAA behind the door, removed his
pants and brief, removed AAA's shorts and panty, and in a
standing position inserted his penis into the vagina of AAA.
AAA described petitioner's penis as about five (5) inches
long and the size of two (2) ballpens. She, likewise, narrated
that she saw pubic hair on the base of his penis.
This last incident was corroborated by BBB in his testimony.
When BBB was about to drink water in their kitchen, as he
was passing by his room, BBB was shocked to see petitioner
and AAA both naked from their waist down in the act of
sexual intercourse.
BBB saw petitioner holding AAA and making a pumping
motion. Immediately, BBB told petitioner to stop; the latter,
in turn, hurriedly left. Thereafter, BBB reported the incident
to his mother, MMM.
For the defense: the Mother of the petitioner/ accused
testified that it did not happen and denied all the allegations
set by the victim.

The mother interposed that MMM's motive in filing the


instant case,
as she wanted to extort money from the parents of the
petitioner.
RTC: petitioner's defenses of denial cannot prevail over the
positive identification of petitioner as the perpetrator of the
crime by AAA and BBB, who testified with honesty and
credibility.
RTC opined that it could not perceive any motive for AAA's
family to impute a serious crime of Rape to petitioner,
considering the close relations of both families.
CA: affirmed in toto the ruling of the RTC.
CA also held that the respective medical examinations
conducted by the two doctors were irrelevant, as it is
established that the slightest penetration of the lips of the
female organ consummates rape; thus, hymenal laceration
is not an element of rape

Issue:
Whether or not the lower court erred in holding petitioner
guilty beyond reasonable doubt in committing the crime of rape.
Whether or not the Juvenile Justice and Welfare ACT of 2006
(RA 9344) should be applied in the resolution of the case.
Ruling: Conviction is affirmed. However, imposed penalty on Joemar
Ortega is suspended by virtue of RA 9344.
First Issue

The Court is convinced that petitioner committed the crime


of rape against AAA.

In a prosecution for rape, the complainant's candor is the


single most important factor.

If the complainant's testimony meets the test of credibility,


the accused can be convicted solely on that basis.

The RTC, as affirmed by the CA, did not doubt AAA's


credibility, and found no ill motive for her to charge
petitioner of the heinous crime of rape and to positively
identify him as the malefactor.

Both courts also accorded respect to BBB's testimony that


he saw petitioner having sexual intercourse with his younger
sister.

While petitioner asserts that AAA's poverty is enough


motive for the imputation of the crime, we discard such
assertion for no mother or father like MMM and FFF would
stoop so low as to subject their daughter to the tribulations
and the embarrassment of a public trial knowing that such a
traumatic experience would damage their daughter's psyche
and mar her life if the charge is not true.

We find petitioner's claim that MMM inflicted the abrasions


found by Dr. Jocson in the genitalia of AAA, in order to extort
money from petitioners parents, highly incredible.

Lastly, it must be noted that in most cases of rape


committed against young girls like AAA who was
only 6 years old then, total penetration of the victim's organ
is improbable due to the small vaginal opening.

Thus, it has been held that actual penetration of the victim's


organ or rupture of the hymen is not required.[46] Therefore,
it is not necessary for conviction that the petitioner
succeeded in having full penetration, because the slightest
touching of the lips of the female organ or of the labia of the
pudendum constitutes rape.
Second Issue

The Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006 should be


applied.

By virtue of RA 9344, the age of criminal irresponsibility has


been raised from 9 years old to 15 years old, this law is
evidently favourable to the accused.

Petitioner was only 13 years old at the time of the


commission of the alleged rape.

This was duly proven by the certificate of live birth, by


petitioners own testimony, and by the testimony of his
mother.

Furthermore, the petitioners age was never assailed in any


of the proceedings before the RTC and CA.

Indubitably, petitioner, at the time of the commission of the


crime, was below 15 year of age.

Under RA 9344, he is exempted from criminal liability.

However, petitioner is ordered to pay private complainant


AAA, civil indemnity in the amount of One Hundred

Thousand Pesos (P100,000.00) and moral damages in the


amount of One Hundred Thousand Pesos (P100,000.00).
People of the Philippines v. Diolagra et al
GR No. 186523

Facts:

On June 1, 2001, Shiela Tabuag, Reina Malonzo,


and Ediborah Yap, were serving their duty shift as
nurses at Jose Maria Torres Memorial Hospital in
Lamitan, Basilan. Joel Guillo, the hospital
accountant, on the other hand, had just finished
his duty and decided to rest in the doctors quarter.
At around 12:30 past midnight of June 2, 2001, the
Abu Sayaff Group (ASG for brevity) led by Khadaffy
Janjalani and Abu Sabaya, with 30 armed followers
entered and took control over said hospital.
Previously, however, another group of ASG with 60
followers led by Abu Umran hiked towards Lamitan
for the sole purpose of reinforcing the group of
Khadaffy Janjalani and Abu Sabaya.
However, upon reaching the vicinity of the
hospital, a firefight had already ensued between
the military forces and the group of Janjalani and
Sabaya.
Simultaneously, the band also became entangled
in a firefight with a civilian group led by one retired
Col. Baet, who was killed during the encounter.
Moments later, the band fled to different
directions, with its members losing track of one
another.
The firefight lasted until the afternoon of June 2,
2001.
Finally, at around 6:00 in the evening, the ASG
and the hostages, including those from the Dos
Palmas Resort, were able to slip out of the hospital
through the backdoor, despite the intense gunfire
that was ongoing.
Hence, the long and arduous hiking towards the
mountains began.
On June 3, 2001, at about noontime, the group of
Janjalani and Sabaya met with the group of Abu
Ben in Sinagkapan, Tuburan.
The next day, Himsiraji Sali with approximately 60
followers also joined the group.
It was only on the third week on July that year that
the whole group of Abu Sayaff was completed,
when it was joined by the group of Sattar Yacup,
a.k.a. Abu Umran.
Subsequently, new hostages from the Golden
Harvest plantation in Tairan, Lantawan were
abducted by the Hamsiraji Sali and Isnilun Hapilon.
On October 1, 2001, Reina Malonzo was separated
from the other hostages and taken to Zamboanga
City by Abu Arabi with two other ASG members on
board a passenger watercraft to stay at a house in
Sta. Maria.
Later on October 13, 2001, a firefight broke out
between the ASG and the military, giving Joel
Guillo and 3 other hostages the opportunity to
escape from their captors.
On even date, Sheila Tabuag was released together
with 2 other hostages from Dos Palmas, allegedly
after paying ransom.
Reina Malonzo was soon after also released by
order of Khaddafy Janjalani on November 1, 2001.
Finally, after a shootout between the ASG and the
military on June 7, 2002, at Siraway, Zamboanga
del Norte, Ediborah Yap, died at the hands of her
captors.
Thereafter, a manhunt by the military was
conducted, where the accused-appellants were
subsequently captured and held for trial.
Hence, criminal informations for kidnapping and
serious illegal detention under Art. 267 of the
Revised Penal Code as amended by Sec. 8 of R.A.
No. 7659 were filed against 17 ASG members on
August 14, 2001, October 29, 2001, March 6, 2002,
and March 12, 2002.
As defense for the accused-appellants, 11 of the 17
of them raise the defense of alibi.

Among them were Jaid Awalal, Imran Hakimin


Sulaiman, Toting Hano, Jr., Abdurahman Ismael
Diolagla, Mubin Ibbah, Absmar Aluk, Bashier Abdul,
Annik/Rene Abbas, Haber Asari, Margani Hapilon
Iblong, and Nadzmer Mandangan.
On the other hand, Bashier Ordonez, Sonny Asali,
Lidjalon Sakandal/Sabandal, and Abdulajid Ngaya
claimed that they were merely forced by the Abu
Sayyaf to join the group.
The defense of being deep penetration agents of
the military was conversely raised by 2 accusedappellants, Urban Salcedo and Kamar Jaafar.
While four (4) of them, namely, Wahid Salcedo,
Magarni Hapilon Iblong, Nadzmer Mandangan and
Kamar Jaafar, were supposedly minors at the time
the alleged kidnapping took place; hence, Republic
Act (R.A.) No. 9344 (otherwise known as
the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006),
should apply to said accused-appellants.
CA: rendered the appealed decisions which
convicted all the accused-appellants of the crime
of kidnapping with serious illegal detention.
In Criminal Case No. 3537-1129, for the kidnapping
of Joel Guillo, accused-appellants were sentenced
to reclusion perpetua;
In Criminal Case No. 3608-1164, for the kidnapping
of Reina Malonzo, they were sentenced to Death;
In Criminal Case No. 3611-1165, for the kidnapping
of Sheila Tabuag, they were sentenced to Death;
And in Criminal Case No. 3674-1187, for the
kidnapping of Ediborah Yap, they were also
sentenced to Death.
The last three cases during intermediate review
was reduced to a penalty of reclusion perpetua.

Issue:
Whether or not the accused appellants are guilty beyond
reasonable doubt.
Whether or not RA 9344 should be applied to accusedappellants Iblong, Mandangan, Salcedo and Jaafar, in their alleged
minority

Ruling: The Court finds no reason to reverse or modify the


ruling and penalty imposed by the CA. RA 9344 is not
applied since defense absolutely failed to present any
document showing accused-appellants' date of birth, neither
did they present testimonies of other persons such as
parents or teachers to corroborate their claim of minority
First Issue

The defense itself admitted that the kidnapped victims who


testified for the prosecution had been able to point out or
positively identify in open court all the accusedappellants as members of the ASG who held them in
captivity.

Records reveal that the prosecution witnesses were


unwavering in their account of how accused-appellants
worked together to abduct and guard their kidnapped
victims, fight-off military forces who were searching and
trying to rescue said victims, and how ransom was
demanded and paid.

The prosecution likewise presented two former members of


the ASG who testified that they were part of the group that
reinforced the kidnappers and helped guard the hostages.

They both identified accused-appellants as their former


comrades.

In the face of all that evidence, the only defense accusedappellants could muster are denial and alibi, and for
accused-appellants Iblong, Mandangan, Salcedo and Jaafar,
their alleged minority.

Accused-appellants' proffered defense are sorely wanting


when pitted against the prosecutions evidence.

It is established jurisprudence that denial and alibi cannot


prevail over the witnesses' positive identification of the
accused-appellants.

More so where, as in the present case, the accusedappellants failed to present convincing evidence that it was
physically impossible for them to have been present at the
crime scene at the time of the commission thereof.

Furthermore, the detention of the hostages lasted for


several months and they were transferred from one place to
another, being always on the move for several days.

Thus, in this case, for accused-appellants' alibi to prosper,


they are required to prove their whereabouts for all those
months. This they were not able to do, making the defense
of alibi absolutely unavailing.

Some of the accused-appellants maintained that they were


merely forced to join the ASG. However, the trial court did
not find their stories persuasive. The trial court's evaluation
of the credibility of witnesses and their testimonies is
conclusive on this Court as it is the trial court which had the
opportunity to closely observe the demeanor of witnesses.
Second Issue

The Court sustains the trial court's and the appellate court's
ruling regarding the minority of accused-appellants Iblong,
Mandangan, Salcedo and Jaafar. Iblong claimed he was born
on August 5, 1987; Mandangan stated his birth date as July
6, 1987; Salcedo said he was born on January 10, 1985; and
Jaafar claimed he was born on July 13, 1981.

If Jaafar's birth date was indeed July 13, 1981, then he was
over 18 years of age when the crime was committed in June
of 2001 and, thus, he cannot claim minority.

It should be noted that the defense absolutely failed to


present any document showing accused-appellants' date of
birth, neither did they present testimonies of other persons
such as parents or teachers to corroborate their claim of
minority. As provided by RA 9344 Sec. 7.

It should be emphasized that at the time the trial court was


hearing the case and even at the time it handed down the
judgment of conviction against accused-appellants on
August 13, 2004, R.A. No. 9344 had not yet been enacted
into law.

The procedures laid down by the law to prove the minority of


accused-appellants were not yet in place.

Hence, the rule was still that the burden of proving the
minority of the accused rested solely on the defense.

The trial court, in the absence of any document stating the


age of the aforementioned four accused-appellants, or any
corroborating testimony, had to rely on its own observation
of the physical appearance of accused-appellants to
estimate said accused-appellants' age.

A reading of the afore-quoted Section 7 of R.A. No. 9344


shows that this manner of determining accused-appellants'
age is also sanctioned by the law.

The accused-appellants appeared to the trial court as no


younger than twenty-four years of age, or in their midtwenties, meaning they could not have been under eighteen
(18) years old when the crime was committed.

As discussed above, such factual finding of the trial court on


the age of the four accused-appellants, affirmed by the CA,
must be accorded great respect, even finality by this Court.

Moreover, even assuming arguendo that the four accusedappellants were indeed less than eighteen years old at the
time the crime was committed, at this point in time, the
applicability of R.A. No. 9344 is seriously in doubt

If accused-appellants' claim are true, that they were born in


1985 and 1987, then they have already reached 21 years of
age, or over by this time and thus, the application of
Sections 38 and 40 of R.A. No. 9344 is now moot and
academic.
Robert Sierra vs People of the Philippines
GR 182941 (July 3, 2009)
Facts:
Petioner-accused, Sierra, was 15 years old when he raped his sister
(AAA) who was 13years old at the time. The first incident of rape in
August 2000. Sierra was convicted of the crime of rape in April 5,
2006 and was imposed a penalty of imprisonment of reclusion
perpetua and a fine.
He elevated the case to CA attacking the credibility of AAA and
invoking exemption under RA 9344 (Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act
of 2006).
CA Decision:
CA affirmed the conviction of the RTC and denied his defense of
minority since the age was not clearly established and proved by the
petitioner (no birth certificate was presented, but only alleged in the
testimonial of the petitioner and his mother).
Moreover, CA ruled that:

The law merely amended Article 192 of P.D. No. 603, as amended by
A.M. No. 02-1-18-SC, in that the suspension of sentence shall be
enjoyed by the juvenile even if he is already 18 years of age or more
at the time of the pronouncement of his/her guilt. The other
disqualifications in Article 192 of P.D. No. 603, as amended, and
Section 32 of A.M. No. 02-1-18-SC have not been deleted from Section
38 of Republic Act No. 9344. Evidently, the intention of Congress was
to maintain the other disqualifications as provided in Article 192 of
P.D. No. 603, as amended, and Section 32 of A.M. No. 02-1-18-SC.
Hence, juveniles who have been convicted of a crime the
imposable penalty for which is reclusion perpetua, life
imprisonment or reclusion perpetua to death or death, are
disqualified from having their sentences suspended
Issues:
(1 Whether or not the CA erred in not applying the provisions of R.A.
No. 9344 on the petitioner's exemption from criminal liability;
(2) Whether or not the CA erred in ruling that it was incumbent for the
defense to present the petitioner's birth certificate to invoke Section
64 of R.A. No. 9344 when the burden of proving his age lies with the
prosecution by express provisions of R.A. No. 9344;
Ruling:
SC granted petition. The case is dismissed and the petitioner is
referred to the appropriate local social welfare.
The duty to establish the age of the accused is not on the
prosecution but on the accused. Age can be established by birth
certificate or other documents provided for in RA 9344. In fact, Sec. 7
provides that in the absence of such document, age may be based
from the information of the child, testimonies of other persons,
physical appearance and other relevant evidence. Moreover, in case
of doubt, the child shall be presumed to be a minor unless the
contrary is proven.
In the case at bar, minority was established by the
testimonies of the petitioner and his mother. This was not
objected by the prosecution and contrary evidence was not
even presented. Thus, minority is established.
Furthermore, the law should be given retroactive application since this
favors the accused as provided for in the Revised Penal Code - penal
laws favoring the accused should be given retroactive effect. Hence
the accused is considered a minor with an age of not above 15 years
old.
(SC answer to the issues presented)
(1) Minority as an Exempting Circumstance
R.A. No. 9344 was enacted into law on April 28, 2006 and took effect
on May 20, 2006. Its intent is to promote and protect the rights of a
child in conflict with the law or a child at risk by providing a system
that would ensure that children are dealt with in a manner
appropriate to their well-being through a variety of disposition
measures such as care, guidance and supervision orders, counseling,
probation, foster care, education and vocational training programs
and other alternatives to institutional care. 26 More importantly in the
context of this case, this law modifies as well the minimum age limit
of criminal irresponsibility for minor offenders; it changed what
paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 12 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC), as
amended, previously provided i.e., from "under nine years of age"
and "above nine years of age and under fifteen" (who acted without
discernment) to "fifteen years old or under" and "above fifteen but
below 18" (who acted without discernment) in determining exemption
from criminal liability. In providing exemption, the new law as the
old paragraphs 2 and 3, Article 12 of the RPC did presumes that the
minor offenders completely lack the intelligence to distinguish right
from wrong, so that their acts are deemed involuntary ones for which
they cannot be held accountable. 27 The current law also drew its
changes from the principle of restorative justice that it espouses; it
considers the ages 9 to 15 years as formative years and gives minors
of these ages a chance to right their wrong through diversion and
intervention measures. 28 DHITcS
In the present case, the petitioner claims total exemption
from criminal liability because he was not more than 15 years
old at the time the rape took place. The CA disbelieved this
claim for the petitioner's failure to present his birth certificate
as required by Section 64 of R.A. No. 9344. 29 The CA also
found him disqualified to avail of a suspension of sentence
because the imposable penalty for the crime of rape is
reclusion perpetua to death.

(2) Burden of Proof


Burden of proof, under Section 1, Rule 131 of the Rules on Evidence,
refers to the duty of a party to present evidence on the facts in issue
in order to establish his or her claim or defense. In a criminal case, the
burden of proof to establish the guilt of the accused falls upon the
prosecution which has the duty to prove all the essential ingredients
of the crime. The prosecution completes its case as soon as it has
presented the evidence it believes is sufficient to prove the required
elements. At this point, the burden of evidence shifts to the defense
to disprove what the prosecution has shown by evidence, or to prove
by evidence the circumstances showing that the accused did not
commit the crime charged or cannot otherwise be held liable therefor.
In the present case, the prosecution completed its evidence
and had done everything that the law requires it to do. The
burden of evidence has now shifted to the defense which now
claims, by an affirmative defense, that the accused, even if
guilty, should be exempt from criminal liability because of his
age when he committed the crime. The defense, therefore,
not the prosecution, has the burden of showing by evidence
that the petitioner was 15 years old or less when he
committed the rape charged. 30
Testimonial Evidence is Competent Evidence
to Prove the Accused's Minority and Age
The CA seriously erred when it rejected testimonial evidence showing
that the petitioner was only 15 years old at the time he committed the
crime. Section 7 of R.A. No. 9344 expressly states how the age of a
child in conflict with the law may be determined:
SEC. 7. Determination of Age. . . . The age of a child may be
determined from the child's birth certificate, baptismal certificate or
any other pertinent documents. In the absence of these documents,
age may be based on information from the child himself/herself,
testimonies of other persons, the physical appearance of the child
and other relevant evidence. In case of doubt as to the age of the
child, it shall be resolved in his/her favor. [Emphasis supplied]
Rule 30-A of the Rules and Regulations Implementing R.A. No. 9344
provides the implementing details of this provision by enumerating
the measures that may be undertaken by a law enforcement officer to
ascertain the child's age:
(1) Obtain documents that show proof of the child's age, such as
(a) Child's birth certificate;
(b) Child's baptismal certificate ;or
(c) Any other pertinent documents such as but not limited to the
child's school records, dental records, or travel papers. cCEAHT
(2) . . .
(3) When the above documents cannot be obtained or pending receipt
of such documents, the law enforcement officer shall exhaust other
measures to determine age by:
(a) Interviewing the child and obtaining information that indicate age
(e.g., date of birthday, grade level in school);
(b) Interviewing persons who may have knowledge that indicate[s]
age of the child (e.g., relatives, neighbors, teachers, classmates);
(c) Evaluating the physical appearance (e.g., height, built) of the child;
and
(d) Obtaining other relevant evidence of age
The duty to establish the age of the accused is not on the prosecution
but on the accused. Age can be established by birth certificate. Sec. 7
provides that in the absence of such document, age may be based
from the information of the child, testimonies of other persons,
physical appearance and other relevant evidence. Also in case of
doubt, the child shall be presumed to be a minor unless the contrary
is proven. In the case at bar, minority was established by the
testimonies of the petitioner and his mother. This was not
objected by the prosecution and did not even presented
contrary evidence. Thus, minority is established. The law
should &e given retroactive application since this favors the
accused as provided for in the Revised Penal Code - penal
laws favouring the accused should &e given retroactive effect.
Hence the accused is considered a minor with an age of not
above 15 years old. The case is dismissed and the petitioner
is referred to the appropriate local social welfare
People of the Philippines v. Henry Arpon y Juntilla
G.R. No. 183563, December 14, 2011
FACTS:
AAA was raped by his Uncle, Henry Arpon, once in 1995 when she was
8 years old (he 13) and 7 times in 1999 when she was 12 years old
(he 17)
In defense, Arpon testified that the alleged first rape incident
happened when he was still 13 years old. He stated an alibi that in
1995 and 1999 he was living and working in Tacloban City while the

incident happened in a different Municipality. Furthermore, he did not


go to AAAs house because the latters parents were his enemies
because he did not work with them in the rice field. However, in the
cross-examination, he admitted that he visits his parents who are
living 2 kilometers away from AAAs house, once every month.
RTC
The court convicted Arpon of one count of statutory rape and seven
counts of rape which was qualified by AAAs minority and relationship.
It found more credible the testimony of AAA as she was in tears,
inconsistencies were understandable, and medical findings confirmed
that she was indeed raped. Alibi of Arpon was disregarded.
Appealed to CA asserting that TC failed to consider his minority (13
and 17 years old) as privileged mitigating circumstance.
CA
CA still affirmed RTCs decision.
ISSUE:
(1) Is the accused-appellant guilty of all counts of rape charged
against him?
(2) Is Arpon entitled to the mitigating circumstance of minority?
HELD:
No, the RTC and the Court of Appeals failed to consider in favor of the
accused-appellant the privileged mitigating circumstance of minority.
He is only liable for 1 count of statutory rape and 2 counts of qualified
rape
Section 7 of Republic Act No. 9344, otherwise known as the
"Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006," provides:
SEC. 7. Determination of Age. -- The child in conflict with the law shall
enjoy the presumption of minority. He/She shall enjoy all the rights of
a child in conflict with the law until he/she is proven to be eighteen
(18) years of age or older. The age of a child may be determined from
the child's birth certificate, baptismal certificate or any other pertinent
documents. In the absence of these documents, age may be based on
information from the child himself/herself, testimonies of other
persons, the physical appearance of the child and other relevant
evidence. In case of doubt as to the age of the child, it shall be
resolved in his/her favor.
In Sierra v. People, the Court deemed sufficient the testimonial
evidence regarding the minority and age of the accused provided the
following conditions concur, namely: "(1) the absence of any other
satisfactory evidence such as the birth certificate, baptismal
certificate, or similar documents that would prove the date of birth of
the accused; (2) the presence of testimony from accused and/or a
relative on the age and minority of the accused at the time of the
complained incident without any objection on the part of the
prosecution; and (3) lack of any contrary evidence showing that the
accused's and/or his relatives' testimonies are untrue."
In the case at bar, it was only the testimony of Arpon which
showed that he was a minor at the time the crime was
committed. No other evidence was presented to prove his
claim. However, there was no objection from the prosecution
and no contrary evidence was presented.
Application of RA 9344
The incidents of rape and Arpons conviction happened before the
effectivity of RA 9344, it is still applicable to those children who
have been convicted and serving sentences, and in the case of
Sarcia, it further stressed that with more reason that the act
should be applicable to cases which are still in review, as in
this instant case.
Thus pursuant to RA 9344 Section 6 (1), the Court, thus, exempts
Arpon from criminal liability for the first count of rape but remains to
be civilly liable thereof. For the second and third counts of rape, the
court held that Arpon was 17 years old and acted with
discernment because he threatened AAA that he will kill her
mother if she told her what he had done.
Pursuant to Article 68 of the Revised Penal Code, in Sarcia case, when
the offender is a minor under eighteen (18) years of age, "the penalty
next lower than that prescribed by law shall be imposed, but always in
the proper period. However, for purposes of determining the proper
penalty because of the privileged mitigating circumstance of minority,
the penalty of death is still the penalty to be reckoned with." Thus, for

the second and third counts of rape, the proper penalty imposable
upon the accused-appellant is reclusion perpetua for each count.
Petition is DENIED. Decision AFFIRMED with MODIFICATIONS:
1.)
2.)

For the first count of rape Arpon is EXEMPTED from criminal


liability.
Second and Third counts, GUILTY of 2 counts of QUALIFIED
RAPE sentenced to suffer penalty of reclusion perpetua for
each count.

RAYMUND MADALI & RODEL MADALI vs PP


GR 180380 (August 4, 2009)
FACTS:
In this Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of
Court, petitioners Raymund Madali (Raymund) and Rodel Madali
(Rodel) seek the reversal of the 29 August 2007 Decision of the Court
of Appeals , finding petitioners guilty of homicide.
The evidence offered by the prosecution shows that at around 5:30 in
the afternoon of 13 April 1999, BBB, who made a living by selling
goods aboard ships docked at the Romblon Pier, and who was
constantly assisted by her 15-year-old son AAA, was on a ship plying
her wares. AAA, together with Jovencio and Raymund, was there
helping his mother.Sometime later, Raymund and AAA left the ship.
Jovencio stayed a little longer
At about 9:00 p.m. of the same day, Jovencio and another friend
named Michael Manasan sat beside the Rizal monument in the
Poblacion of Romblon, Michael had just left Jovencio when Raymund,
Rodel, Bernardino and the victim AAA arrived. After meandering
around, the group proceeded to climb the stairs, atop of which was
the reservoir just beside the Romblon National High School. The
victim, AAA, ascended first; behind him were Rodel, Raymund,
Bernardino and witness Jovencio. As soon as they reached the
reservoir, Bernardino blindfolded AAA with the handkerchief of
Raymund. Bernardino at once blurted out, Join the rugby boys. AAA
replied, Thats enough. Bernardino then struck AAA thrice with a fresh
and hard coconut frond. AAA lost his balance and was made to stand
up by Raymund, Rodel and Bernardino. Raymund took his turn
clobbering AAA at the back of his thighs with the same coconut
frond. AAA wobbled. Before he could recover, he received punches to
his head and body from Rodel, who was wearing brass knuckles. The
punishments proved too much, as AAA lost consciousness.
As a result thereof , the Petitioners inflicted physical injuries to the
victim which caused the latters death. At the time of the crime,
Raymund and Rodel were minors 14 years old and 16
years old respectively. The accused advanced the defense of denial
and alibi. They claimed they had nothing to do with the death of AAA,
and that they were nowhere near the locus criminis when the killing
occurred.
RTC RULING
The lower court found them guilty of homicide. The RTC
observed that the incident was a sort of initiation, in which the victim
voluntarily went along with the perpetrators, not totally unaware that
he would be beaten.
Petitioners elevated the case to the CA and during the pendency of
the appeal, RA 9344 took effect.
CA RULING
The Court of Appeals affirmed the findings of the RTC that Rodel and
Raymund killed the victim. However, pursuant to Section 64 of
Republic Act No. 9344, otherwise known as the Juvenile Justice and
Welfare Act of 2006, which exempts from criminal liability a minor
fifteen (15) years or below at the time of the commission of the
offense, Raymunds case was dismissed. Rodels conviction was
sustained, and he was sentenced to six months and one day of prision
correccional to eight years and one day of prision mayor, but the
imposition of said penalty was suspended pursuant to Republic Act
No. 9344.
ISSUE
Whether petitioners should be exempted from criminal liability.
RULING
Only Raymund Madali is exempt from criminal liability. With respect
to Rodel Madali, being a child in conflict with the law, this Court
suspends the pronouncement of his sentence and REMANDS his case
to the court a quo for further proceedings in accordance with Section
38 of Republic Act No. 9344.
At the time of the commission of the crime, petitioners were
minors. By provisions of RA 9344, they are exempted from liability but
not from criminal liability. Their exemption however differs. In the case
of Raymund, the case is dismissed as to him since he was below 15
years old. He is to be released and custody is given to the parents by
virtue of RA 9344 Sec. 6 and 20 setting the minimum age of criminal
responsibility and who will have custody respectively.

In the case of Rodel, who was 16 years old at that time, It is


necessary to determine whether he acted with discernment or not.
SEC. 6. Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility. x x x.
A child above fifteen (15) years but below eighteen (18) years of age
shall likewise be exempt from criminal liability and be subjected to an
intervention program, unless he/she has acted with discernment, in
which case, such child shall be subjected to the appropriate
proceedings in accordance with this Act.
Sec 6 provides that children above 15 but below 18 will be exempt
from criminal liability unless he acted with discernment.
Discernment is that mental capacity of a minor to fully appreciate the
consequences of his unlawful act.[24] Such capacity may be known
and should be determined by taking into consideration all the facts
and circumstances afforded by the records in each case. Rodel knew,
therefore, that killing AAA was a condemnable act and should be kept
in secrecy. He fully appreciated the consequences of his unlawful act.
Rodel , however, should be subjected to an intervention
program. Sec 38 provides for the automatic suspension of
sentence.
SEC. 38. Automatic Suspension of Sentence. Once the child who is
under eighteen (18) years of age at the time of the commission of the
offense is found guilty of the offense charged, the court shall
determine and ascertain any civil liability which may have resulted
from the offense committed. However, instead of pronouncing the
judgment of conviction, the court shall place the child in conflict with
the law under suspended sentence, without need of
application. Provided, however, That suspension of sentence shall still
be applied even if the juvenile is already eighteen (18) years of age or
more at the time of the pronouncement of his/her guilt.
Upon suspension of sentence and after considering the various
circumstances of the child, the court shall impose the appropriate
disposition measures as provided in the Supreme Court Rule on
Juveniles in Conflict with the Law.
PP VS ALLEN UDTOJAN MANTALABA
gr no. 186227
facts
The Task Force Regional Anti-Crime Emergency Response (RACER) in
Butuan City received a report from an informer that a certain Allen
Mantalaba, who was seventeen (17) years old at the time, was
selling . Thus, a buy-bust team was organized, composed of PO1
Randy Pajo, PO1 Eric Simon and two (2) poseur-buyers who were
provided with two (2) pieces of P100 marked bills to be used in the
purchase. The two poseur-buyers approached Allen who was sitting at
a corner and said to be in the act of selling shabu. Afterwards, the
appellant handed a sachet of shabu to one of the poseur-buyers and
the latter gave the marked money to the appellant. The poseur-buyers
went back to the police officers and told them that the transaction has
been completed. Police officers Pajo and Simon rushed to the place
and handcuffed the appellant as he was leaving the place.
After the operation, the police officers made an inventory of the items
recovered from the appellant which are: (1) one big sachet of shabu
(2) one small sachet of shabu; and (3) two (2) pieces of one hundred
pesos marked money and a fifty peso (P50) bill.
Thereafter, two separate informations were filed before the RTC of
Butuan City against appellant for violation of Sec. 5 and 11 RA 9165 (
Comprehensive Dangerous Act of 2002)
RTC RULING
The Court hereby finds accused Allen Mantalaba y Udtojan GUILTY
beyond reasonable doubt in Criminal for selling shabu penalized
under Section 5, Article II of Republic Act No. 9165. As provided for in
Sec. 98 of R.A. 9165, where the offender is a minor, the penalty for
acts punishable by life imprisonment to death shall be reclusion
perpetua to death. As such, Allen Mantalaba y Udtojan is hereby
sentenced to RECLUSION PERPETUA and to pay a fine of Five Hundred
Thousand Pesos (P500,000.00).
CA RULING
AFFIRMED the decision of RTC.
ISSUE

Whether or not there should be suspension of sentence by reason of


minority.

Upon suspension of sentence and after considering the various


circumstances of the child, the court shall impose the appropriate
disposition measures as provided in the Supreme Court [Rule] on
Juveniles in Conflict with the Law.

RULING
YES
The appellant was seventeen (17) years old when the buybust operation took place or when the said offense was committed,
but was no longer a minor at the time of the promulgation of the RTC's
Decision. It must be noted that RA 9344 took effect on May 20, 2006,
while the RTC promulgated its decision on this case on September 14,
2005, when said appellant was no longer a minor.
The RTC did not suspend the sentence in accordance The Child and
Youth Welfare Code and the Rule on Juveniles in Conflict with the Law,
the laws that were applicable at the time of the promulgation of
judgment, because the imposable penalty for violation of Section 5 of
RA 9165 is life imprisonment to death.
The appellant should have been entitled to a suspension of his
sentence under Sec. 38 and 68 of RA 9344 which provide for its
retroactive application , thus:
SEC. 38. Automatic Suspension of Sentence. - Once the child who is
under eighteen (18) years of age at the time of the commission of the
offense is found guilty of the offense charged, the court shall
determine and ascertain any civil liability which may have resulted
from the offense committed. However, instead of pronouncing the
judgment of conviction, the court shall place the child in conflict with
the law under suspended sentence, without need of
application: Provided, however, That suspension of sentence shall still
be applied even if the juvenile is already eighteen years (18) of age or
more at the time of the pronouncement of his/her guilt.

Sec. 68. Children Who Have Been Convicted and are Serving
Sentence. - Persons who have been convicted and are serving
sentence at the time of the effectivity of this Act, and who were below
the age of eighteen (18) years at the time of the commission of the
offense for which they were convicted and are serving sentence, shall
likewise benefit from the retroactive application of this Act.
However, this Court has already ruled in People v. Sarcia that
while Section 38 of RA 9344 provides that suspension of
sentence can still be applied even if the child in conflict with
the law is already eighteen (18) years of age or more at the
time of the pronouncement of his/her guilt, Section 40 of the
same law limits the said suspension of sentence until the child
reaches the maximum age of 21.
Hence, the appellant, who is now beyond the age of twenty-one (21)
years can no longer avail of the provisions of Sections 38 and 40 of RA
9344 as to his suspension of sentence, because such is already moot
and academic
The privileged mitigating circumstance of minority can now be
appreciated in fixing the penalty that should be imposed. Therefore,
A penalty of six (6) years and one (1) day of prision mayor, as
minimum, and fourteen (14) years, eight (8) months and one (1) day
of reclusion temporal, as maximum, would be the proper imposable
penalty.