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People vs.

G.R. No. L-30538, 31 January 1981
Plaintiff-Appellee: People of the Philippines
Defendants-Appellants: Bonifacio Tirol and Ciriaco Baldesco

This is a review of the decision of the Court of First Instance of Cotabato, Branch III,
imposing on Bonifacio Tirol and Ciriaco Baldesco the death penalty for each of the seven murders
and indeterminate sentence for each of the two frustrated murders.
On the evening of 4 December 1965, when Kosain Manibpol and his family were sleeping
and were woken up by the barking f the dogs. Two persons had come to ask if they could borrow
his land. Manibpol, after giving his consent, was flashed with light on his face and punched. After
which, the assailants companions arrived, numbering more than ten, all of whom were armed
with bladed weapons and firearms. They came and hacked or boloed Manibpol, his wife and
seven children, resulting to the death of his wife and six of his children. He and one of his
daughters, Undang, were both wounded but survived as they had run to the houses of the
neighbors and were given medical attention. For the death of his wife and six children, and for
his and Undangs wounds, fourteen persons were charged with multiple murder and double
frustrated murder. Of the 14 charged, only Baldesco and B. Tirol were apprehended; the rest
remained at large.
The trial court found the accused, Tirol and Baldesco, guilty beyond reasonable doubt of
the crime of murder of seven persons and of the crime of frustrated murder of Manibpol and
Undang. The accused were sentenced to death for each of the seven murders and to an
imprisonment of 10-17 years and 4 months for each of the frustrated murders. They were to
indemnify the heirs of the deceased with the sum of P6,000 for each of the deceased, fifty-fifty.

Baldesco and Tirol appealed their case on grounds that:

1. The lower court erred in admitting in the death certificates issued by the doctor who did
not personally view and examine the victims, but whose findings therein were based upon
the sketch prepared by the police.
HELD: Theres no error in the admission of said exhibits as part of the testimony
of the witnesses for it had been ascertained that said victims had died because of
stab wounds inflicted by armed men by foul means. Their death certificates were
only corroborative of the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses.
2. The lower court erred in disregarding the testimony of both accused despite the
convincingly strong evidence showing that they were not at the scene of the crime on 4
December 1965, and therefore their non-participation in the crime charged.
HELD: The alibi of both appellants cannot prevail over the positive identification
of the prosecution witnesses identifying and pointing to the accused as among the
group of armed men which massacred the victims. (Plus, their alibis were weak.)
3. The lower court erred in not granting new trial as the complaining witness himself made
a voluntary extra-judicial admission by means of a sworn statement (affidavit) that he
merely involved the accused Baldesco for a consideration.
FACTS: The trial court rejected the motion for new trial on the ground that it was
filed out of time. Section 9, Rule 122 of the Rules of Court requires that in all cases
in which death penalty is imposed, the records should be forwarded to the Court
within 20 days but not less than 15 days from rendition of judgment. It can be
extended but only for the purpose of enabling the lower court to comply with the
mandatory requirement of elevating the records for review and not to lengthen
the minimum period with in which trial courts may modify or alter their decision.
The trial court may modify its judgment by reducing penalty or fine, or even set it
aside altogether and acquit the accused.
HELD: Motion for new trial was filed 28 days after rendition of judgment. Although
there was a 15-day extension granted, it was for the lower court to forward the
record of the case and thus did not affect the 15-day period for filing a motion for
new trial.
Moreover, the Court ruled that the so-called extra-judicial admission of Diosma
cannot be considered as newly-discovered evidence as the affidavit itself
indicated that the extra-judicial admission of Kosain was already available during
the trial (i.e., he would not have demanded from Codoy, son-in-law of Baldesco, a
carabao in exchange for not testifying against Baldesco). Under Section 2, Rule
121 of the Rules of Court, that before a new trial maybe granted on the ground of
newly-discovered evidence. It must be shown that:
a. The evidence was discovered after trial
b. Such evidence could not have been discovered and produced at the trial even
with the exercise of reasonable diligence
c. The evidence is material, not merely cumulative, corroborative or impeaching
d. It must be to the merits as ought to produce a different result if admitted
4. The evidence failed to establish conspiracy among the accused.
HELD: Conspiracy implies concert of design and not participation in every detail of the
execution. In going to the house of Kosain together, the appellants and their cohorts
acted in unison and they attacked their victims in a manner showing singleness of
purpose-the massacre of the entire family.
5. The decision is contrary to law.

During the pendency of this appeal, Baldesco died in the New Bilbiid Prison Hospital. The Court
resolved to dismiss the case insofar as the criminal liability of Baldesco is concerned.
Nevertheless, the appeal will be resolved insofar as Baldesco is concerned only for the purpose
of determining his criminal liability, which is the basis of the civil liability for which his estate may
be liable.

RULED: The court did not err in imposing the maximum penalty provided for in Article 248. For
Baldesco, his penal liability had been extinguished by his death; only his civil liability remains,
which can be recovered from his estate. For both appellants, the civil liability for each of the
seven victims was raised from P6,000 to 12,000 and for the victims of the frustrated murders,
increased to P8,000.