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Republic of the Philippines During trial, the prosecution presented the testimonies of one Joan Cruz

SUPREME COURT (Joan) and a certain Dr. Jose Arnel Marquez (Dr. Marquez).
Manila
Joan is an eyewitness tothe gunning of Emilio. She is also the live-in partner
SECOND DIVISION of the victim. The substance of her testimony is as follows:5

G.R. No. 201572 July 9, 2014 1. At about 10:45 p.m. of 27 September 2000, Joan was standing
outside Emilio’s house at R. Domingo St., Tangos, Navotas City.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Appellee, From there, Joan was able to see Emilio talking over the telephone
vs. at a store just across his house. Also at the store during that time
RAEL DELFIN, Appellant. was the appellant who was seated on a bench to the left of Emilio.

DECISION 2. Joan then went inside Emilio’s house. Almost immediately after
going inside the house, Joan heard the sound of a gunshot. Joan
PEREZ, J.: rushed outside of the house and saw Emilio shot in the head and
sprawled on the ground. Joan then saw the appellant, now holding a
gun, firing another shot at Emilio.
This is an appeal1 assailing the Decision2 dated 29 April 2011 of the Court of
Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. CR-H.C. No. 04160. In the said Decision, the CA
3. Joan said that she was not aware of any previous
affirmed, with modification, the conviction of herein appellant Rael Delfin for
misunderstanding between Emilio and the appellant; neither did she
murder under Article 248(1) of Act No. 3815 or the Revised Penal Code
observe any altercation brewing nor hear any word spoken between
(RPC).
Emilio and appellant prior to the shooting.
The antecedents:
Dr. Marquez, on the other hand, is a Philippine National Police physician who
examined post mortemthe corpse of Emilio. He issued Medico-Legal Report
On the night of 27 September 2000, one Emilio Enriquez (Emilio)—a 51- No. M-608-00,6 which revealed that Emilio died as a consequence of two (2)
year-old fisherman from Navotas City—was killed after being gunned down gunshotwounds: one that penetrated the left side of his head and another
at a store just across his home. that penetrated his chest. Dr. Marquez testified to affirm the contents of his
report.
Suspected of killing Emilio was the appellant. On 13 March 2001, the
appellant was formally charged with the murder of Emilio before the Regional The defense, for its part, relied onthe testimonies of the appellant 7 and a
Trial Court (RTC) of Malabon.3 The information reads: certain Rene Villanueva (Rene).8

That on or about the 27th day of November 2000, in Navotas, Metro Manila, Appellant offered the alibithat he was fishing on the seas of Bataan on the
and within the jurisdiction ofthis Honorable Court, the abovenamed accused, date and time of the supposed shooting. According to the appellant, he left
armed with a gun, with intent to kill, treachery and evident premeditation, did for the seas at about 3:00 p.m. of 27 September 2000 and only returned at
then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault and shoot around 4:00 a.m. of the next day. Appellant also testified that he was
with the said weapon one EMILIO ENRIQUEZ, hitting the victim on his chest, accompanied on this fishing trip by three (3) other individuals—one of which
thereby inflicting upon the victim gunshot wound, which caused his was Rene.
immediate death. CONTRARY TO LAW.4
Rene initially corroborated on all points the testimony of appellant. However,
When arraigned, appellant entered a plea of not guilty. Trial thereafter Rene later admitted thathe, the appellant and their other companions actually
ensued. left for their fishing trip at 3:00 p.m. of 26 September 2000—not the 27th ;
and returned to shore at 4:00 p.m. of 27 September 2000—not the 28th .
Thus, at the date and time of the supposed shooting, Rene and the appellant We sustain the validity of the information under which the appellant was tried,
were already in Navotas City. and convicted, notwithstanding the variance in the date of the commission of
the crime as alleged inthe information and as established during the trial.
On 20 July 2009, the RTC rendered a Decision9 finding appellant guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of the offense of murder under Article 248(1) of the In crimes where the date of commission is not a material element, like
RPC.10 Based on its assessment and evaluation of the evidence on record, murder, it is not necessary to allege such date with absolute specificity or
the RTC was convinced that it was the appellant who killed Emilio and who certainty in the information. The Rules of Court merelyrequires, for the sake
did so with the use of treachery. Accordingly, the RTC sentenced the of properly informing an accused, that the date of commission be
appellant tosuffer the penalty of reclusion perpetuaand to pay civil indemnity approximated:12
of ₱50,000.00 and another ₱50,000.00 as consequential damages.
Sec. 6. Sufficiency of complaint or information.– A complaint or information is
Aggrieved, appellant appealedthe RTC decision with the CA. sufficient if it states the name of the accused; the designation of the offense
given by the statute; the acts or omissions complained of as constituting the
On 29 April 2012, the CA rendered a Decision affirming the conviction of the offense; the name of the offended party; the approximate date of the
appellant. The CA, however, deleted the award of ₱50,000.00 consequential commission of the offense; and the place where the offense was committed.
damages and replaced it with an award of ₱50,000.00 moral
damages.11Hence, this appeal. When an offense is committed by more than one person, all of them shall be
included in the complaint or information.
In this appeal, appellant assails the validity of the information under which he
was tried and convicted. He specifically points out to the discrepancy Sec. 11. Date of commission of the offense. - It is not necessary to state in
between the date of the commission of the murder as alleged in the the complaint or information the precise date the offense was committed
information i.e., "on or about the 27th day of November 2000" and the one except when it is a material ingredient of the offense. The offense may be
actually established during the trial i.e., 27 September 2000. Appellant alleged to have beencommitted on a date as near as possible to the actual
protests that the failure of the information to accurately allege the date of the date of its commission. (Emphasis supplied).
commission of the murder violated his right to be properly informed of the
charge against him and consequently impaired his ability to prepare an Since the date of commission of the offense is not required with exactitude,
intelligent defense thereon. the allegation in an information of a date of commission different from the
one eventually established during the trial would not, as a rule, be considered
Appellant also insists on the credibility of his alibiover and above the version as an error fatal to prosecution.13 In such cases, the erroneous allegation in
of the prosecution. the information is just deemed supplanted by the evidence presented during
the trial14 or may even be corrected by a formal amendment of the
Lastly, appellant questions the appreciation of the qualifying circumstance of information.15
treachery against him.
The foregoing rule, however, is concededly not absolute. Variance in the
OUR RULING date of commission of the offense as alleged in the information and as
established in evidence becomes fatal when such discrepancy is so greatthat
We deny the appeal. it induces the perception that the information and the evidence are no longer
pertaining to one and the same offense. In this event, the defective allegation
in the information is not deemed supplanted by the evidence nor can it be
Variance In the Date of the amended but must be struck down for being violative of the right of the
Commission of the Murder as Alleged accused to be informed of the specific charge against him. Such was this
in the Information and as Established Court’s ruling in the case of People v. Opemia.16
During the Trial Does Not Invalidate
the Information
In Opemia, an information for theft of large cattle committed on 18 June 1952
was filed against four (4) accused. After all of the accused entered a plea of
not guilty and during trial, the prosecution adduced evidence to the effect that supposing it to be the contrary, its allowance, after the Defendantshad
the purported theft was committed in July of 1947. The prosecution thereafter pleaded, was discretionary with the court and would be proper only if it would
moved for the amendment of the information to make it conform to the not prejudice their rights. We are not prepare to say that the court did not
evidence with respect to the date of theft. The trial court rejected the motion make good use of that discretion in disallowing the amendment, considering
and instead dismissed the information altogether. The dispute reaching us in that the variance sought to be introduced thereby would appear to be really
due course, we sustained the trial court’s dismissal of the information: unfair to the Defendants, for as clearly explained by the court "it violates their
constitutional right to be informed before the trial of the specific charge
The amendment proposed in the present case consists in changing the date against them and deprives them of the opportunity to defend
of the commission of the crime charged from June 18, 1952 to July, 1947. In themselves."17 (Emphasis supplied).
not permitting the amendment the learned trial Judge said:
In this case, however, we find applicable, not the exception in Opemia, but
"It is a cardinal rule in criminalprocedure that the precise time at which an the general rule.
offense was committed need not be alleged in the complaint or information,
but it is required that the act be alleged to have been committed at any time Despite their disparity as to the date of the alleged murder, we believe that
as near to the actual date at which the offense was committed as the there is no mistaking that both the information and the evidence of the
information or complaint would permit (Rule 106, section 10). The reason for prosecution but pertain to one and the same offense i.e., the murder of
this rule is obvious. It is to apprise the accused of the approximate date when Emilio. We find implausible the likelihood that the accused may have been
the offense charged was committed in order to enable him to prepare his caught off-guard or surprised by the introduction of evidence pointing to
defense and thus avoid a surprise. In the case at bar, the proof shows that commission of the murder on 27 September 2000, considering that all
the carabao was lost on July 25, 1947 and not on June 18, 1952 as alleged documentary attachments to the information (such as the Resolution18 of the
in the information. The period of almost five years between 1947 and 1952 Office of the City Prosecutor of Malabon-Navotas sub-station and the Sworn
covers such a long stretch of time that one cannot help but beled to believe Statement19 of Joan) all referred to the murder as having been committed on
that another theft different from that committed by the Defendantsin 1952 that date. Indeed, appellant never objected to such evidence during the trial
was also perpetrated by them in 1947. Under this impression the accused, and was even able to concoct an intelligent alibiin direct refutation thereof.
who came to court prepared to face a charge of theft of large cattle allegedly
committed by them in 1952, were certainly caught by sudden surprise upon What clearly appears to this Court, on the other hand, is that the inaccurate
being confronted by evidence tending to prove a similar offense committed in allegation in the information is simply the product of a mere clerical error.
1947. The variance is certainly unfair tothem, for it violates their constitutional This is obvious from the fact that, while all its supporting documents point to
right to be informed before the trial of the specific charge against them and the murder ashaving been committed on the 27th of September2000, the
deprives them of the opportunity to defend themselves. Moreover, they information’s mistake is limited only to the month when the crime was
cannot be convicted of an offense with which they are not charged. committed.20 Such an error is evidently not fatal; it is deemed supplanted by
the evidence presented by the prosecution.
"It is also a cardinal rule in criminal procedure that after the Defendanthas
entered his plea, the information or complaint may be amended only as to all Hence, we sustain the information for murder, under which the appellant was
matters of form when the same can be done without prejudice tothe rights of tried and convicted, as valid.
the Defendant(Rule 196, section 13). An amendment that would change the
date of the commission of the offense from 1947 to 1952 is certainly not a
Appellant’s Defense of Alibi
matter of form. The difference in date could not be attributed to a clerical
Unavailing; Appellant Properly
error, because the possibility of such an error is ruled out by the fact that the
Convicted of Murder
difference is not only in the year, but also in the month and in the last two
digits of the year.It is apparent that the proposed amendment concerns with
material facts constituting the offense, and consequently it would be We also find unavailing the appellant’s insistence on the credibility of his
prejudicial to the substantial rights of the Defendants." alibi.1avvphi1 On this point, we quote with approval the following discourse
of the CA, which we find to be consistent with time-honored jurisprudence:21
His Honor has we think adduced good reasons for considering the
amendment as referring to substance and not merely to form. But even
Time and again, it has been stressed that the factual findings of the trial defend himself, or to retaliate. For this reason, the [RTC] correctly
court, its calibration of the testimonies of the witnesses, and its assessment appreciated treachery as a circumstance to qualify the offense as Murder. 25
of their probative weightis given high respect, if not conclusive effect, unless
it is ignored, misconstrued, misunderstood, or misinterpreted cogent facts All in all, we find no error inthe conviction of the appellant.
and circumstances of substance which, if considered, will alter the outcome
of the case.22
Recoverable Damages

As correctly found by the trial court, the testimony of prosecution witness, In line with prevailing jurisprudence,26 we increase the amount of civil
Joan, was clear, candid, straightforward, positive and credible, as against the
indemnity and moral damages payable by the appellant from ₱50,000.00 to
denial and alibi of the [appellant]. She positively identified the [appellant] as
₱75,000.00.
the perpetrator of the crime. x x x.
In addition to the foregoing, we require the appellant to also pay exemplary
It should be emphasized that the testimony of a single eye-witness, if positive damages in the amount ₱30,000.00.27
and credible, is sufficient to support a conviction even in a charge of
murder.23 Considering that Joan’s account of how the [appellant] killed
[Emilio] was clear, credible, and positive, there is, thus, no compelling reason The civil indemnity, moral damages and exemplary damages payable by the
to disturb the trial court’s reliance on her testimony. appellant are subject to interest at the rate of six percent (6%) per annum
from the finality of this decision until fully paid.
As to the [appellant’s] defense ofdenial and alibi, the same are unavailing
and worthless in the face of the positive identification by the prosecution’s WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Decision dated 29 August 2012 of
witness x x x. the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR-H.C. No. 04160 is hereby AFFIRMED
with the following MODIFICATIONS: (1) that the amount of civil indemnity is
increased from ₱50,000.00 to ₱75,000.00; (2) that the amount of moral
x x x. Moreover, for the defense of alibi to prosper, it must be proven that the damages is increased from ₱50,000.00 to ₱75,000.00; and (3) that the
[accused] was at some other place at the time the crime was committed and
appellant must pay, in addition to civil indemnity and moral damages,
that it was physicallyimpossible for him to be at the locus criminisat the time
exemplary damages in the amount of ₱30,000.00. The civil indemnity, moral
[the offense was committed].24 x x x.
damages and exemplary damages payable by the appellant are subject to
interest at the rate of six percent ( 6%) per annum from the finality of this
At bench, the [appellant] has not shown the impossibility of his committing decision until fully paid.
the crime as even, Rene, the witness who was supposed to corroborate his
alibi, admitted that theywent back home at 4:00 o’clock in the morning of
SO ORDERED.
September 27, 2000 and were already at Navotas City at the time the
incident occurred. Thus, it was certainly possible for him to be present at the
crime scene despite his allegations to the contrary. Hence, based on all the JOSE PORTUGAL PEREZ
foregoing evidence, he is, without a doubt, the perpetrator of the crime. Associate Justice

Anent the appreciation of the qualifying circumstance of treachery against the WE CONCUR:
appellant, we find it to befully justified by the evidence on record. Again, we
approve of the CA’s observations on this matter:

Concededly, the [appellant’s] attack on the unarmed [Emilio] was sudden,


unprovoked, unexpected and deliberate. Before the attack was made,
[Emilio] was merely conversing with another on the phone. He was
undoubtedly in no position and without any means to defend himself. By all
indications, [Emilio] was left with no opportunity to evade the gunshots, to
THIRD DIVISION
CONTRARY TO LAW.4
G.R. No. 183652, February 25, 2015
Upon arraignment, accused, assisted by their respective counsels,
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES AND AAA, Petitioners, v. COURT entered a plea of not guilty to the offense
OF APPEALS, 21ST DIVISION, MINDANAO STATION, charged.5cralawlawlibrary
RAYMUND CARAMPATANA, JOEFHEL OPORTO, AND MOISES
ALQUIZOLA, Respondents. Following pre-trial,6 trial on the merits ensued.� Accused Christian
John Lim, however, remains at-large.
DECISION
The factual antecedents follow:
PERALTA, J.: On March 25, 2004, around 8:00 a.m., AAA attended her high
school graduation ceremony.� Afterwards, they had a luncheon
Before the Court is a Petition for Certiorari questioning the party at their house in Maranding, Lala, Lanao del Norte.� AAA
Decision1 of the Court of Appeals (CA) dated June 6, 2008 in CA- then asked permission from her mother to go to the Maranding
G.R. CR HC No. 00422-MIN.� The CA reversed and set aside the Stage Plaza because she and her bandmates had to perform for an
Decision2 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Kapatagan, Lanao del election campaign.� She went home at around 4:00 p.m. from the
Norte, Branch 21, dated February 28, 2006 in Criminal Case No. plaza.� At about 7:00 p.m., AAA told her father that she would be
21-1211, and acquitted private respondents Raymund attending a graduation dinner party with her friends.� AAA,
Carampatana, Joefhel Oporto, and Moises Alquizola of the crime of together with Lim, Oporto, and Carampatana, ate dinner at the
rape for the prosecution�s failure to prove their guilt beyond house of one Mark Gemeno at Purok, Bulahan, Maranding.� After
reasonable doubt. eating, Lim invited them to go to Alson�s Palace, which was
merely a walking distance away from Gemeno�s house.� Outside
In a Second Amended Information dated June 23, 2004, private the Alson�s Palace, they were greeted by Aldrin Montesco, Junver
respondents Carampatana, Oporto and Alquizola were charged, Alquizola, and Cherry Mae Fiel.� After a while, they went inside
together with Christian John Lim, Emmanuel dela Cruz, Samuel and proceeded to a bedroom on the second floor where they again
Rudinas, Jansen Roda, Harold Batoctoy, and Joseph Villame, for saw Montesco with Harold Batoctoy, Jansen Roda, Emmanuel dela
allegedly raping AAA,3 to wit:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary Cruz, Samuel Rudinas, a certain Diego, and one Angelo.� Rudinas
suggested that they have a drinking session to celebrate their
That on or about 10:30 o�clock in the evening of March 25, 2004 graduation, to which the rest agreed.
at Alson�s Palace, Maranding, Lala, Lanao del Norte, Philippines,
and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above- They all contributed and it was Joseph Villame who bought the
named accused conspiring, confederating and mutually helping one drinks � two (2) bottles of Emperador Brandy.� Then they
another, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, arranged themselves in a circle for the drinking spree.� Two (2)
with lewd designs forcefully drunk AAA, a 16-year-old minor, with glasses were being passed around: one glass containing the
an intoxicating liquor and once intoxicated, brought said AAA at sweetener (Pepsi) and the other glass containing the liquor.� At
about dawn of March 26, 2004 at Alquizola Lodging house, first, AAA refused to drink because she had never tried hard liquor
Maranding, Lala, Lanao del Norte and also within the jurisdiction of before.� During the session, they shared their problems with each
this Honorable Court, and once inside said lodging house, accused other.� When it was AAA�s turn, she became emotional and
RAYMUND CARAMPATANA and JOEPHEL OPORTO took turns in started crying.� It was then that she took her first shot.� The
having carnal knowledge against the will of AAA while accused glasses were passed around and she consumed more or less five
MOISES ALQUIZOLA, with lewd designs, kissed her against her will (5) glasses of Emperador Brandy.
and consent.
Thereafter, she felt dizzy so she laid her head down on Oporto�s in the morning of March 26, 2004, and found an old hymenal
lap.� Oporto then started kissing her head and they would remove laceration at 5 o�clock position and hyperemia or redness at the
her baseball cap.� This angered her so she told them to stop, and posterior fornices.� The vaginal smear likewise revealed the
simply tried to hide her face with the cap.� But they just laughed presence of sperm.
at her.� Then, Roda also kissed her.� At that time, AAA was
already sleepy, but they still forced her to take another shot.�
On the other hand, accused denied that they raped AAA.�
They helped her stand up and make her drink.� She even heard
According to the defense witnesses, in the evening of March 25,
Lim say, �Hubuga na, hubuga na,� (You make her drunk, you
2004, Oporto, Carampatana, Lim, and AAA had dinner at
make her drunk).� She likewise heard someone say, �You drink
Gemeno�s house.� Gemeno then invited Oporto to attend the
it, you drink it.�� She leaned on Oporto�s lap again, then she fell
graduation party hosted by Montesco at Alson�s Palace, owned by
asleep.� They woke her up and Lim gave her the Emperador
the latter�s family.� When they reached the place, Oporto told
Brandy bottle to drink the remaining liquor inside.� She tried to
Montesco that they had to leave for Barangay Tenazas to fetch one
refuse but they insisted, so she drank directly from the bottle.�
Arcie Ariola.� At about 11:30 p.m., Oporto and Carampatana
Again, she fell asleep.
returned to Alson�s Palace but could not find AAA and Lim.� The
party subsequently ended, but the group agreed to celebrate
The next thing she knew, Roda and Batoctoy were carrying her further.� AAA, Rudinas, Dela Cruz, Lim, and Oporto contributed for
down the stairs, and then she was asleep again.� When she two (2) bottles of Emperador Brandy and one (1) liter of Pepsi.
regained consciousness, she saw that she was already at the
Alquizola Lodging House.� She recognized that place because she
Several persons were in the room at that time: AAA, Carampatana,
had been there before.� She would thereafter fall back asleep and
Oporto, Dela Cruz, Rudinas, Roda, Batoctoy, Villame, and Lim.�
wake up again.� And during one of the times that she was
Also present but did not join the drinking were Gemeno, Montesco,
conscious, she saw Oporto on top of her, kissing her on different
Angelo Ugnabia, Al Jalil Diego, Mohamad Janisah Manalao, one
parts of her body, and having intercourse with her.� She started
Caga, and a certain Bantulan.� Gemeno told AAA not to drink but
crying.� She tried to resist when she felt pain in her genitals.�
the latter did not listen and instead told him not to tell her aunt.�
She also saw Carampatana and Moises Alquizola inside the room,
During the drinking session, AAA rested on Oporto�s lap.� She
watching as Oporto abused her.� At one point, AAA woke up while
even showed her scorpion tattoo on her buttocks.� And when her
Carampatana was inserting his penis into her private organ.� She
legs grazed Batoctoy�s crotch, she remarked, �What was that,
cried and told him to stop.� Alquizola then joined and started to
penis?�� Roda then approached AAA to kiss her, and the latter
kiss her.� For the last time, she fell unconscious.
kissed him back.� Oporto did the same and AAA also kissed him.�
After Oporto, Roda and AAA kissed each other again.
When she woke up, it was already 7:00 a.m. of the next day.� She
was all alone.� Her body felt heavy and exhausted.� She found
herself with her shirt on but without her lower garments.� The Meanwhile, earlier that evening, at around 9:00 p.m., Moises
upper half of her body was on top of the bed but her feet were on Alquizola was at the Alquizola Lodging House drinking beer with his
the floor.� There were also red stains on her shirt.� After dressing cousin, Junver, and Fiel.� They stopped drinking at around
up, she hailed a trisikad and went home.� When AAA reached their midnight.� Fiel then requested Alquizola to accompany her to
house, her father was waiting for her and was already furious.� Alson�s Palace to see her friends there.� They proceeded to the
When she told them that she was raped, her mother started hitting second floor and there they saw AAA lying on Oporto�s lap.� Fiel
her.� They brought her to the Lala Police Station to make a told AAA to go home because her mother might get angry.� AAA
report.� Thereafter, they proceeded to the district hospital for her could not look her in the eye, just shook her head, and said, �I
medical examination. just stay here.�� Alquizola and Fiel then went back to the lodging
house.� After thirty minutes, they went to Alson�s Palace again,
and saw AAA and Oporto kissing each other.� AAA was lying on his
Dr. Cyrus Acusta of the Kapatagan District Hospital examined AAA
lap while holding his neck.� Subsequently, they went back to the
lodging house to resume drinking. WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing considerations, judgment is
hereby rendered:
After drinking, Batoctoy offered to bring AAA home.� But she
a) Finding accused Raymund Carampatana GUILTY beyond
refused and instead instructed them to take her to the Alquizola
reasonable doubt of the crime charged, and the Court hereby
Lodging House because she has a big problem.� AAA, Lim, and
sentences him to suffer the indivisible prison term of reclusion
Carampatana rode a motorcycle to the lodging house.� When they
perpetua; to pay AAA the amount of P50,000.00 for and by way of
arrived, AAA approached Alquizola and told him, �Kuya, I want to
civil indemnity;
sleep here for the meantime.�� Alquizola then opened Room No.
4 where AAA, Oporto, and Carampatana stayed.� There were two
b) Finding accused Joefhel Oporto GUILTY beyond reasonable
beds inside, a single bed and a double-sized bed.� AAA lay down
doubt of the crime charged, and the court hereby sentences him to
on the single bed and looked at Carampatana.� The latter
suffer a prison term of six (6) years and one (1) day of prision
approached her and they kissed.� He then removed her shirt and
mayor as minimum to twelve (12) years also of prision mayor as
AAA voluntarily raised her hands to give way.� Carampatana
maximum; to pay AAA the sum of P50,000.00 as moral damages
likewise removed her brassiere.� All the while, Oporto was at the
and another amount of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity;
foot of the bed.� Thereafter, Oporto also removed her pants.�
AAA even lifted her buttocks to make it easier for him to pull her
c) Finding accused Moises Alquizola GUILTY beyond reasonable
underwear down.� Oporto then went to AAA and kissed her on the
doubt as ACCOMPLICE in the commission of the crime charged, and
lips.� Carampatana, on the other hand, placed himself in between
the court hereby sentences him to suffer an indeterminate prison
AAA�s legs and had intercourse with her.� When he finished, he
term of six (6) years and one (1) day of prision mayor as minimum
put on his shorts and went back to Alson�s Palace to get some
to twelve (12) years and one (1) day of reclusion temporal as
sleep.� When he left, Oporto and AAA were still kissing.� Alquizola
maximum; to pay AAA the amount of P30,000.00 as moral
then entered the room.� When AAA saw him, she said, �Come
damages and another sum of P30,000.00 for and by way of civil
Kuya, embrace me because I have a problem.�� Alquizola thus
indemnity;
started kissing AAA�s breasts.� Oporto stood up and opened his
pants.� AAA held his penis and performed fellatio on him.� Then
d) Finding accused Emmanuel dela Cruz, Samuel Rudinas, Jansen
Oporto and Alquizola changed positions.� Oporto proceeded to
Roda, Harold Batoctoy and Joseph Villame NOT GUILTY of the
have sexual intercourse with AAA.� During that time, AAA was
crime charged for failure of the prosecution to prove their guilt
moaning and calling his name.� Afterwards, Oporto went outside
therefor beyond reasonable doubt.� Accordingly, the Court acquits
and slept with Alquizola on the carpet.� Oporto then had
them of said charge; and
intercourse with AAA two more times.� At 3:00 a.m., he went
back to Alson�s Palace to sleep.� At around 6:00 a.m., Oporto
and Carampatana went back to the lodging house.� They tried to e) Ordering accused Carampatana, Oporto and Alquizola to pay,
wake AAA up, but she did not move so they just left and went jointly and severally, the amount of P50,000.00 as attorney�s fees
home.� Alquizola had gone outside but he came back before 7:00 and expenses of litigations; and the costs of suit.
a.m. However, AAA was no longer there when he arrived.
The full period of the preventive imprisonment of accused
On February 28, 2006, the RTC found private respondents Carampatana, Oporto and Alquizola shall be credited to them and
Carampatana, Oporto and Alquizola guilty beyond reasonable doubt deducted from their prison terms provided they comply with the
of the crime of rape.� It, however, acquitted Dela Cruz, Rudinas, requirements of Article 29 of the Revised Penal Code.
Roda, Batoctoy, and Villame for failure of the prosecution to prove
their guilt beyond reasonable doubt.� The dispositive portion of Accused Raymund Carampatana surrendered voluntarily on 26
the Decision reads:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary March 2004 and detained since then up to the present.� Accused
Alquizola also surrendered voluntarily on 26 March 2004 and
detained since then up to this time, while accused Joefhel Oporto On July 29, 2008, AAA, through her private counsel, filed a Petition
who likewise surrendered voluntarily on 26 March 2004 was for Certiorari9 under Rule 65, questioning the CA Decision which
ordered released to the custody of the DSWD, Lala, Lanao del reversed private respondents� conviction and ardently contending
Norte on 31 March 2004, and subsequently posted cash bond for that the same was made with grave abuse of discretion amounting
his provisional liberty on 17 September 2004 duly approved by this to lack or excess of jurisdiction.
court, thus resulted to an order of even date for his release from
the custody of the DSWD. Thus, AAA raises this lone issue in her
petition:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
Let the records of this case be sent to the archive files without
prejudice on the prosecution to prosecute the case against accused THE RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS ACTED WITH GRAVE ABUSE
Christian John Lim as soon as he is apprehended. OF DISCRETION IN ACQUITTING THE PRIVATE RESPONDENTS.10
ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary
SO ORDERED.7 The private respondents present the following arguments in their
Comment dated November 7, 2008 to assail the
Aggrieved by the RTC Decision, private respondents brought the petition:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
case to the CA.� On June 6, 2008, the appellate court rendered
the assailed Decision reversing the trial court�s ruling and, I.
consequently, acquitted private respondents.� The decretal portion
of said decision reads:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary A JUDGMENT OF ACQUITTAL IS IMMEDIATELY FINAL AND
EXECUTORY AND THE PROSECUTION CANNOT APPEAL THE
WHEREFORE, finding reversible errors therefrom, the Decision on ACQUITTAL BECAUSE OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL PROHIBITION
appeal is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE.� For lack of proof AGAINST DOUBLE JEOPARDY.
beyond reasonable doubt, accused-appellants RAYMUND
CARAMPATANA, JOEFHEL OPORTO and MOISES ALQUIZOLA are II.
instead ACQUITTED of the crime charged.
THE PETITIONER FAILED TO PROVE THAT THERE IS GRAVE ABUSE
SO ORDERED.8 OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OR EXCESS OF
JURISDICTION ON THE PART OF PUBLIC RESPONDENT.
In sum, the CA found that the prosecution failed to prove private
respondents� guilt beyond reasonable doubt.� It gave more III.
credence to the version of the defense and ruled that AAA
consented to the sexual congress.� She was wide awake and CERTIORARI WILL NOT LIE UNLESS A MOTION FOR
aware of what private respondents were doing before the RECONSIDERATION IS FIRST FILED.
intercourse.� She never showed any physical resistance, never
shouted for help, and never fought against her alleged ravishers.� IV.
The appellate court further relied on the medical report which
showed the presence of an old hymenal laceration on AAA�s THE OFFICE OF THE SOLICITOR GENERAL IS THE APPELLATE
genitalia, giving the impression that she has had some carnal COUNSEL OF THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES IN ALL CRIMINAL
knowledge with a man before.� The CA also stressed that AAA�s CASES.11
mother�s unusual reaction of hitting her when she discovered
what happened to her daughter was more consistent with that of a The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) filed its own Comment on
parent who found out that her child just had premarital sex rather April 1, 2009.� It assigns the following
than one who was sexually assaulted. errors:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
I. that the lower court, in acquitting the accused, committed not
merely reversible errors of judgment, but also exercised grave
THE PRIVATE COMPLAINANT MAY VALIDLY APPEAL AN ORDER OF abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, or a
ACQUITTAL AS TO THE CIVIL ASPECT OF THE CRIME. denial of due process, thereby rendering the assailed judgment null
and void.16� If there is grave abuse of discretion, granting
II. petitioner�s prayer is not tantamount to putting private
respondents in double jeopardy.17cralawlawlibrary
THE APPELLATE DECISION OF ACQUITTAL IS NULL AND VOID FOR
HAVING BEEN RENDERED WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION As to the party with the proper legal standing to bring the action,
AMOUNTING TO LACK OR EXCESS OF JURISDICTION, AN the Court said in People v. Santiago:18cralawlawlibrary
EXCEPTION TO THE PRINCIPLE OF DOUBLE JEOPARDY.12
ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary It is well-settled that in criminal cases where the offended party is
The Court will first resolve the procedural issues. the State, the interest of the private complainant or the private
offended party is limited to the civil liability. Thus, in the
At the onset, the Court stresses that rules of procedure are meant prosecution of the offense, the complainant's role is limited to that
to be tools to facilitate a fair and orderly conduct of proceedings.� of a witness for the prosecution. If a criminal case is dismissed by
Strict adherence thereto must not get in the way of achieving the trial court or if there is an acquittal, an appeal therefrom on the
substantial justice.� As long as their purpose is sufficiently met criminal aspect may be undertaken only by the State through the
and no violation of due process and fair play takes place, the rules Solicitor General. Only the Solicitor General may represent the
should be liberally construed.13� Liberal construction of the rules is People of the Philippines on appeal. The private offended party or
the controlling principle to effect substantial justice.� The complainant may not take such appeal. However, the said offended
relaxation or suspension of procedural rules, or the exemption of a party or complainant may appeal the civil aspect despite the
case from their operation, is warranted when compelling reasons acquittal of the accused.
exist or when the purpose of justice requires it.� Thus, litigations
should, as much as possible, be decided on their merits and not on In a special civil action for certiorari filed under Section 1, Rule
sheer technicalities.14cralawlawlibrary 65 of the Rules of Court wherein it is alleged that the trial court
committed a grave abuse of discretionamounting to lack of
As a general rule, the prosecution cannot appeal or bring error jurisdiction or on other jurisdictional grounds, the rules state
proceedings from a judgment rendered in favor of the defendant in that the petition may be filed by the person aggrieved. In
a criminal case.� The reason is that a judgment of acquittal is such case, the aggrieved parties are the State and the
immediately final and executory, and the prosecution is barred private offended party or complainant. The complainant has an
from appealing lest the constitutional prohibition against double interest in the civil aspect of the case so he may file such special
jeopardy be violated.15� Section 21, Article III of the Constitution civil action questioning the decision or action of the
provides:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary respondent court on jurisdictional grounds. In so doing,
complainant should not bring the action in the name of the
Section 21. No person shall be twice put in jeopardy of punishment People of the Philippines. The action may be prosecuted in
for the same offense.� If an act is punished by a law and an [the] name of said complainant.19
ordinance, conviction or acquittal under either shall constitute a bar ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary
to another prosecution for the same act. Private respondents argue that the action should have been filed by
the State through the OSG.� True, in criminal cases, the acquittal
Despite acquittal, however, either the offended party or the of the accused or the dismissal of the case against him can only be
accused may appeal, but only with respect to the civil aspect of the appealed by the Solicitor General, acting on behalf of the State.�
decision.� Or, said judgment of acquittal may be assailed through This is because the authority to represent the State in appeals of
a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court showing criminal cases before the Supreme Court and the CA is solely
vested in the OSG.20cralawlawlibrary proceedings in the lower court are a nullity for lack of due process;
(h) where the proceedings were ex parte or in which the petitioner
Here, AAA filed a petition for certiorari under Rule 65, albeit at the had no opportunity to object; and (i) where the issue raised is one
instance of her private counsel, primarily imputing grave abuse of purely of law or where public interest is involved.24cralawlawlibrary
discretion on the part of the CA when it acquitted private
respondents.� As the aggrieved party, AAA clearly has the right to Here, petitioner�s case amply falls within the exception.� AAA
bring the action in her name and maintain the criminal raises the same questions as those raised and passed upon in the
prosecution.� She has an immense interest in obtaining justice in lower court, essentially revolving on the guilt of the private
the case precisely because she is the subject of the violation.� respondents.� There is also an urgent necessity to resolve the
Further, as held in Dela Rosa v. CA,21 where the Court sustained issues, for any further delay would prejudice the interests, not only
the private offended party�s right in a criminal case to file a of the petitioner, but likewise that of the Government.� And, as
special civil action for certiorari to question the validity of the will soon be discussed, the CA decision is a patent nullity for lack of
judgment of dismissal and ruled that the Solicitor General�s due process and for having been rendered with grave abuse of
intervention was not necessary, the recourse of the complainant to discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction.
the Court is proper since it was brought in her own name and not
in that of the People of the Philippines.� In any event, the OSG For the writ of certiorari to issue, the respondent court must be
joins petitioner�s cause in its Comment,22 thereby fulfilling the shown to have acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to
requirement that all criminal actions shall be prosecuted under the lack or excess of jurisdiction.� An acquittal is considered tainted
direction and control of the public prosecutor.23cralawlawlibrary with grave abuse of discretion when it is shown that the
prosecution�s right to due process was violated or that the trial
Private respondents further claim that even assuming, merely for conducted was a sham.� The burden is on the petitioner to clearly
the sake of argument, that AAA can file the special civil action demonstrate and establish that the respondent court blatantly
for certiorari without violating their right against double jeopardy, abused its authority such as to deprive itself of its very power to
still, it must be dismissed for petitioner�s failure to previously file dispense justice.25cralawlawlibrary
a motion for reconsideration.
AAA claims in her petition that the CA, in evident display of grave
abuse of judicial discretion, totally disregarded her testimony as
True, a motion for reconsideration is a condicio sine qua non for
well as the trial court�s findings of fact, thereby adopting hook,
the filing of a petition for certiorari.� Its purpose is for the court to
line, and sinker, the private respondents� narration of facts.
have an opportunity to correct any actual or perceived error
attributed to it by re-examination of the legal and factual
circumstances of the case.� This rule, however, is not absolute The term "grave abuse of discretion" has a specific meaning.� An
and admits well-defined exceptions, such as: (a) where the order is act of a court or tribunal can only be considered as with grave
a patent nullity, as where the court a quo has no jurisdiction; (b) abuse of discretion when such act is done in a capricious or
where the questions raised in the certiorari proceedings have been whimsical exercise of judgment as is equivalent to lack of
duly raised and passed upon by the lower court, or are the same as jurisdiction.� It must be so patent and gross as to amount to an
those raised and passed upon in the lower court; (c) where there is evasion of a positive duty or to a virtual refusal to perform a duty
an urgent necessity for the resolution of the question and any enjoined by law, or to act at all in contemplation of law, as where
further delay would prejudice the interests of the Government or of the power is exercised in an arbitrary and despotic manner by
the petitioner or the subject matter of the action is perishable; (d) reason of passion and hostility.26� There is grave abuse of
where, under the circumstances, a motion for reconsideration discretion when the disputed act of the lower court goes beyond
would be useless; (e) where petitioner was deprived of due process the limits of discretion thus effecting an injustice.27cralawlawlibrary
and there is extreme urgency for relief; (f) where, in a criminal
case, relief from an order of arrest is urgent and the granting of The Court finds that the petitioner has sufficiently discharged the
such relief by the trial court is improbable; (g) where the burden of proving that the respondent appellate court committed
grave abuse of discretion in acquitting private respondents. Art. 266-A. Rape, When and How Committed. � Rape is
committed�
It appears that in reaching its judgment, the CA merely relied on
the evidence presented by the defense and utterly disregarded that
1. By a man who shall have carnal knowledge of a woman under
of the prosecution.� At first, it may seem that its narration of the
any of the following circumstances:
facts28 of the case was meticulously culled from the evidence of
cralawred
both parties.� But a more careful perusal will reveal that it was
a. Through force, threat or intimidation;
simply lifted, if not altogether parroted, from the testimonies of the
b. When the offended party is deprived of reason or is otherwise
accused, especially that of Oporto,29 Carampatana,30 and
unconscious;
Alquizola,31 the accused-appellants in the case before it.� The
c. By means of fraudulent machination or grave abuse of authority;
appellate court merely echoed the private respondents�
d. When the offended party is under twelve (12) years of age or is
testimonies, particularly those as to the specific events that
demented, even though none of the circumstances mentioned
transpired during the crucial period - from the dinner at Gemeno�s
above be present;
house to the following morning at the Alquizola Lodging House.�
2. By any person who, under any of the circumstances mentioned
As a result, it presented the private respondents� account and
in paragraph 1 hereof, shall commit an act of sexual assault by
allegations as though these were the established facts of the case,
inserting his penis into another person�s mouth or anal orifice, or
which it later conveniently utilized to support its ruling of acquittal.
any instrument or object, into the genital or anal orifice of another
person.
Due process requires that, in reaching a decision, a tribunal must
consider the entire evidence presented, regardless of the party who Under the aforecited provision, the elements of rape are: (1) the
offered the same.32� It simply cannot acknowledge that of one offender had carnal knowledge of the victim; and (2) such act was
party and turn a blind eye to that of the other.� It cannot accomplished through force or intimidation; or when the victim is
appreciate one party�s cause and brush the other aside.� This deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious; or when the victim is
rule becomes particularly significant in this case because the under twelve years of age.34� Here, the accused intentionally
parties tendered contradicting versions of the incident.� The victim made AAA consume hard liquor more than she could handle.�
is crying rape but the accused are saying it was a consensual They still forced her to drink even when she was already obviously
sexual rendezvous.� Thus, the CA�s blatant disregard of material inebriated.� They never denied having sexual intercourse with
prosecution evidence and outward bias in favor of that of the AAA, but the latter was clearly deprived of reason or unconscious
defense constitutes grave abuse of discretion resulting in violation at the time the private respondents ravished her.� The CA,
of petitioner�s right to due process.33cralawlawlibrary however, readily concluded that she agreed to the sexual act
simply because she did not shout or offer any physical resistance,
Moreover, the CA likewise easily swept under the rug the disregarding her testimony that she was rendered weak and dizzy
observations of the RTC and made its own flimsy findings to justify by intoxication, thereby facilitating the commission of the
its decision of acquittal. crime.35� The appellate court never provided any reason why
AAA�s testimony should deserve scant or no weight at all, or why
First, the appellate court held that AAA was, in fact, conscious it cannot be accorded any credence.� In reviewing rape cases, the
during the whole ordeal.� The fact that she never showed any lone testimony of the victim is and should be, by itself, sufficient to
physical resistance, never cried out for help, and never fought warrant a judgment of conviction if found to be credible.� Also, it
against the private respondents, bolsters the claim of the latter has been established that when a woman declares that she has
that the sexual acts were indeed consensual. been raped, she says in effect all that is necessary to mean that
she has been raped, and where her testimony passes the test of
But the CA seemed to forget that AAA was heavily intoxicated at credibility, the accused can be convicted on that basis alone.� This
the time of the assault.� Article 266-A of the Revised Penal Code is because from the nature of the offense, the sole evidence that
(RPC) provides:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary can usually be offered to establish the guilt of the accused is the
complainant�s testimony itself.36� The trial court correctly ruled carrying you?
that if AAA was not truthful to her accusation, she would not have A: Yes, sir.
opened herself to the rough and tumble of a public trial.� AAA was
certainly not enjoying the prying eyes of those who were listening Q: Who?
as she narrated her harrowing experience.37cralawlawlibrary A: They were Jansen Roda and Harold Batoctoy.

AAA positively identified the private respondents as the ones who Q: If you can still remember, how did Jansen Roda and Harold
violated her.� She tried to resist, but because of the presence of Batoctoy carry you?
alcohol, her assaulters still prevailed. The RTC found AAA�s A: I placed my hands to their shoulder (sic), sir:
testimony simple and candid, indicating that she was telling the
truth.� The trial court likewise observed that her answers to the xxxx
lengthy and humiliating questions were simple and straightforward,
negating the possibility of a rehearsed testimony.38� Q: After that, what happened, if any?
Thus:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary A: I was already asleep, sir, when we went downstairs.

Atty. Jesus M. Generalao (on direct): Q: You mean to say that you cannot remember anymore?
A: Yes, sir.
xxxx
Q: Now, when again did you regain your consciousness?
Q: Now, you said also when the Court asked you that you went A: When we entered the room and the light was switch (sic) on, I
asleep, when did you regain your consciousness? was awakened by the flash of light.
A: They woke me up and wanted me to drink the remaining wine
inside the bottle of Emperador Brandy.cralawred Q: Do you have any idea, where were you when you were
awakened that (sic) flash of light.
xxxx A: Yes, sir.

Q: What do you mean that they hide you (sic) to drink the Q: Where?
remaining contained (sic) of the bottle of Emperador Brandy? A: Alquizola Lodging House, sir.cralawred
A: They gave me the bottle, sir, and I was trying to refuse but they
insisted. xxxx

Q: Who handed over to you that bottle, if you can remember? Q: When you regained your consciousness from the flash of light,
A: It was Christian John Lim, sir. what happened?
A: I loss (sic) my consciousness again, sir.
Q: Did you drink that Emperador directly from the bottle?
A: Yes, sir. Q: So, you fell asleep again?
A: Yes, sir.cralawred
Q: What happened after that?
A: I fell asleep again, sir. xxxx

Q: When did you regain your consciousness? Q: When did you wake-up (sic) again?
A: When somebody was carrying me down to the spiral stairs. A: When I feel (sic) heavy on top of me, sir.

Q: Can you remember the person or persons who was or who were Q: So you wake-up (sic) again, whom did you see?
A: It was Joefhel Oporto, sir. A: I went asleep again, sir.

Q: He was on top of you? Q: Then, when again did you or when again did you wake up?
A: Yes, sir. (Witness is crying while answering) A: When I feel (sic) pain something inside my private part (sic), I
saw Raymund Carampatana, sir.
Q: What was you (sic) reaction when you found that Joefhel Oporto
was on top of you? Q: On top of you?
A: I was starting to cry, sir. A: No, sir, because he was in between my legs, sir.

Q: Aside from starting to cry, what else is (sic) your reaction? Q: What was your reaction?
A: I was saying don�t because I feel pain my private organ (sic). A: I was starting to cry again, sir, and told him don�t.

Q: What did Joefhel Oporto do, when you (sic) those words?
Q: At that point, who else was inside that room when you found
A: He was kissing on the different part (sic) of my body then he
Raymund Carampatana?
sexually abused me.
A: Only the three of them, sir.
ATTY. GENERALAO: We want to make it on record, Your Honor,
Q: Including Moises Alquizola?
that the witness is crying.cralawred
A: Yes, sir.
xxxx
Q: What was he doing?
A: He was started (sic) to kiss me.
ATTY. GENERALAO: May I continue, Your Honor.
Q: Where in particular?
COURT: Continue.
A: In my face, sir.
ATTY. GENERALAO: Aside from Joefhel Oporto was found (sic) on
Q: Then after that, what happened?
top of you, who else was there inside that room?
A: I fell asleep again, sir.
A: Moises Alquizola and Raymund Carampatana, sir.
Q: Now, before you went asleep again (sic), what did you feel
Q: With respect to Raymund Carampatana, what was he doing?
when you said that you feel (sic) something in your private part
A: He was at my feet while looking at us.
when you saw Raymund Carampatana?
A: He inserted his penis in my private organ, sir.
Q: Was it dress (sic) up or undressed?
A: Dressed up, sir.
Q: Then after that you fell asleep again?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: What about Moises Alquizola, what was he doing?
A: He was beside us standing and looking at me, sir.
Q: When did you wake-up (sic)?
A: I woke up at about 7:00 o�clock a.m in the next (sic) day, sir.39
Q: Was he dressed up or undressed?
ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary
A: I could not remember, sir.cralawred
On the other hand, the RTC was not convinced with the explanation
of the defense.� It noted that their account of the events was
xxxx
seemingly unusual and incredible.40� Besides, the defense of
consensual copulation was belatedly invoked and seemed to have
Q: After that, what happened?
been a last ditch effort to avoid culpability.� The accused never
mentioned about the same at the pre-trial stage.� The trial court intercourse with AAA.� Afterwards, Oporto went outside and slept
only came to know about it when it was their turn to take the with Alquizola on the carpet.� After a few minutes, he woke up
witness stand, catching the court by surprise.41� More importantly, and went back to the room and again had intercourse with AAA.�
it must be emphasized that when the accused in a rape case claims He went back to sleep and after some time, he woke up to the
that the sexual intercourse between him and the complainant was sound of AAA vomitting.� Shortly thereafter, he made love with
consensual, as in this case, the burden of evidence shifts to him, AAA for the third and last time.47� Despite said shameless
such that he is now enjoined to adduce sufficient evidence to prove admission, however, the accused failed to sufficiently prove that
the relationship.� Being an affirmative defense that needs the lack of any physical resistance on AAA�s part amounts to
convincing proof, it must be established with sufficient evidence approval or permission.� They failed to show that AAA had sexual
that the intercourse was indeed consensual.42� Generally, the intercourse with them out of her own volition, and not simply
burden of proof is upon the prosecution to establish each and every because she was seriously intoxicated at that time, and therefore
element of the crime and that it is the accused who is responsible could not have given a valid and intelligent consent to the sexual
for its commission.� This is because in criminal cases, conviction act.
must rest on a moral certainty of guilt.43� Burden of evidence is
that logical necessity which rests on a party at any particular time The RTC also noticed that Fiel, one of the defense witnesses, was
during the trial to create a prima facie case in his favor or to showy and exaggerated when testifying, even flashing a thumbs-up
overthrow one when created against him.� A prima facie case to some of the accused after her testimony, an indication of a
arises when the party having the burden of proof has produced rehearsed witness.48� To be believed, the testimony must not only
evidence sufficient to support a finding and adjudication for him of proceed from the mouth of a credible witness; it must be credible
the issue in litigation.44� However, when the accused alleges in itself such as the common experience and observation of
consensual sexual congress, he needs convincing proof such as mankind can approve as probable under the attending
love notes, mementos, and credible witnesses attesting to the circumstances.49cralawlawlibrary
romantic or sexual relationship between the offender and his
supposed victim.� Having admitted to carnal knowledge of the When it comes to credibility, the trial court's assessment deserves
complainant, the burden now shifts to the accused to prove his great weight, and is even conclusive and binding, if not tainted
defense by substantial evidence.45cralawlawlibrary with arbitrariness or oversight of some fact or circumstance of
weight and influence.� The reason is obvious.� Having the full
Here, the accused themselves admitted to having carnal knowledge opportunity to observe directly the witnesses� deportment and
of AAA but unfortunately failed to discharge the burden required of manner of testifying, the trial court is in a better position than the
them.� Carampatana narrated that upon reaching the room at the appellate court to properly evaluate testimonial evidence.50�
lodging house, AAA lay down on the bed and looked at him.� He Matters of credibility are addressed basically to the trial judge who
then approached her and they kissed.� He removed her shirt and is in a better position than the appellate court to appreciate the
brassiere.� Thereafter, Oporto also removed AAA�s lower weight and evidentiary value of the testimonies of witnesses who
garments and then went to kiss AAA.� Carampatana then placed have personally appeared before him.51� The appellate courts are
himself in between AAA�s legs and had intercourse with her.46� far detached from the details and drama during trial and have to
On the other hand, Oporto himself testified that he had sexual rely solely on the records of the case in its review.� On the matter
intercourse with AAA three times.� While Carampatana was of credence and credibility of witnesses, therefore, the Court
removing AAA�s shirt and brassiere, Oporto was watching at the acknowledges said limitations and recognizes the advantage of the
foot of the bed.� Then he removed her pants and underwear, and trial court whose findings must be given due deference.52� Since
AAA even lifted her buttocks to make it easier for him to pull the the CA and the private respondents failed to show any palpable
clothes down.� When Carampatana left after having sexual error, arbitrariness, or capriciousness on the findings of fact of the
intercourse with AAA, according to Oporto, he then stood up, trial court, these findings deserve great weight and are deemed
opened his pants, and took out his penis so that AAA could conclusive and binding.53cralawlawlibrary
perform fellatio on him.� Then he proceeded to have sexual
The CA continued, belaboring on the fact that the examining or laceration of the hymen, is enough to justify a conviction for
physician found old hymenal laceration on AAA�s private organ.� rape.� To repeat, rupture of the hymen or laceration of any part of
The lack of a fresh hymenal laceration, which is expected to be the woman�s genitalia is not indispensable to a conviction for
present when the alleged sexual encounter is involuntary, could rape.58cralawlawlibrary
mean that AAA actually consented to the fornication.� According to
Dr. Acusta, when sex is consensual, the vagina becomes lubricated Neither does AAA�s mother�s act of hitting her after learning
and the insertion of the penis will not cause any laceration.� It about the rape prove anything.� It is a truism that �the workings
presumed that complainant, therefore, was no longer innocent of the human mind when placed under emotional stress are
considering the presence of old hymenal laceration that could have unpredictable, and the people react differently.�59� Different
resulted from her previous sexual encounters.� The defense, people react differently to a given type of situation, and there is no
however, failed to show that AAA was sexually promiscuous and standard form of behavioral response when one is confronted with
known for organizing or even joining sex orgies.� It must be noted a strange, startling or frightful experience.60� At most, it merely
that AAA was a minor, barely 17 years old at the time of the indicates the frustration and dismay of a mother upon learning that
incident, having just graduated from high school on that same her daughter had been defiled after partying late the night
day.� In a similar case,54the Court before.� It is a settled rule that when there is no showing that
held:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary private complainant was impelled by improper motive in making
the accusation against the accused, her complaint is entitled to full
x x x Indeed, no woman would have consented to have faith and credence.61� So if AAA in fact consented to the sexual
sexual intercourse with two men � or three, according to act, why did she still need to immediately tell her parents about it
Antonio Gallardo � in the presence of each other, unless she when she could have just kept it to herself?� Why did she ever
were a prostitute or as morally debased as one. Certainly, the have to shout rape?� She was not caught in the act of making love
record before Us contains no indication that Farmacita, a 14-year with any of the private respondents,62 nor was she shown to have
old, first-year high school student, can be so characterized. On the been in a relationship with any of them of which her family
contrary, her testimony in court evinced the simplicity and candor disapproved.63� She never became pregnant as a result of the
peculiar to her youth. In fact, appellants could not even suggest deed.� And if AAA cried rape to save her reputation, why would
any reason why Farmacita would falsely impute to them the she have to drag the private respondents into the case and identify
commission of the crime charged.55 them as her rapists?� Absent any circumstance indicating the
ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary contrary, she brought the charge against the private respondents
No woman, especially one of tender age, would concoct a story of simply because she was, in fact, violated and she wants to obtain
defloration, allow an examination of her private parts, and be justice.� Her zeal in prosecuting the case, even after the CA had
subjected to public trial and humiliation if her claim were not already acquitted the private respondents, evinces the truth that
true.56� And even if she were indeed highly promiscuous at such a she merely seeks justice for her honor that has been debased. 64�
young age, the same could still not prove that no rape was actually Unfortunately, the CA chose to ignore these telling pieces of
committed.� Even a complainant who was a woman of loose evidence.� Its findings are against the logic and effect of the facts
morals could still be the victim of rape.� Even a prostitute may be as presented by AAA in support of her complaint,65contrary to
a victim of rape.� The victim�s moral character in rape is common human experience, and in utter disregard of the relevant
immaterial where, as in this case, it is shown that the victim was laws and jurisprudence on the crime of rape.
deprived of reason or was rendered unconscious through
intoxication to enable the private respondents to have sex with Lastly, the trial court pronounced that Alquizola was not part of the
her.� Moreover, the essence of rape is the carnal knowledge of a conspiracy because his participation in the crime was
woman against her consent.57� A freshly broken hymen is not one uncertain,66 citing People v. Lobrigo.67� It found that his
of its essential elements.� Even if the hymen of the victim was still participation was not in furtherance of the plan, if any, to commit
intact, the possibility of rape cannot be ruled out.� Penetration of the crime of rape.68� The Court, however, finds that the RTC erred
the penis by entry into the lips of the vagina, even without rupture in ruling that Alquizola�s liability is not of a conspirator, but that of
a mere accomplice.� To establish conspiracy, it is not essential The Court of Appeals held that:
that there be proof as to previous agreement to commit a crime, it
being sufficient that the malefactors shall have acted in concert [W]hile [Dela Torre] did not have carnal knowledge with [AAA], his
pursuant to the same objective.� Conspiracy is proved if there is tacit and spontaneous participation and cooperation of pulling her
convincing evidence to sustain a finding that the malefactors towards the parked jeep, molesting her and doing nothing to
committed an offense in furtherance of a common objective prevent the commission of the rape, made him a co-
pursued in concert.69� Proof of conspiracy need not even rest on conspirator. As such, he was properly adjudged as a principal in
direct evidence, as the same may be inferred from the collective the commission of the crime.73
conduct of the parties before, during or after the commission of the ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary
crime indicating a common understanding among them with Here, unlike in the foregoing case of Lobrigo, Alquizola�s
respect to the commission of the offense.70cralawlawlibrary participation in the crime is not at all uncertain.� As the caretaker
of the Alquizola Lodging House, he provided a room so the rape
In Lobrigo, the Court declared:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary could be accomplished with ease and furtiveness.� He was likewise
inside the room, intently watching, while Oporto and Carampatana
We note that the testimonies of witnesses with respect to sexually abused AAA.� He did not do anything to stop the bestial
Gregorio's and Dominador's participation in the crime conflict on acts of his companions.� He even admitted to kissing AAA�s lips,
material points. breasts, and other parts of her body.� Indubitably, there was
conspiracy among Carampatana, Oporto, and Alquizola to sexually
Doubt exists as to whether Gregorio and Dominador were abuse AAA.� Hence, the act of any one was the act of all, and each
carrying weaponsduring the mauling and whether they of them, Alquizola including, is equally guilty of the crime of rape.�
participated in the mauling by more than just boxing the While it is true that the RTC found Alquizola guilty as mere
victim. Noel stated that they did not, Domingo stated that accomplice, when he appealed from the decision of the trial
they did. court,74 he waived the constitutional safeguard against double
jeopardy and threw the whole case open to the review of the
In conspiracy, evidence as to who administered the fatal blow is appellate court, which is then called upon to render such judgment
not necessary.� In this case, the rule is not applicable because as law and justice dictate, whether favorable or unfavorable to the
conspiracy with respect to Gregorio and Dominador is not proven. accused-appellant.75cralawlawlibrary
Their exact participation in the crime is uncertain.71� (Emphasis
Supplied) Finally, the Court notes that although the prosecution filed only a
single Information, it, however, actually charged the accused of
In People v. Dela Torre,72 the Court upheld the findings of the several rapes.� As a general rule, a complaint or information must
lower courts that there was conspiracy:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary charge only one offense, otherwise, the same is defective. 76� The
rationale behind this rule prohibiting duplicitous complaints or
The RTC held that: informations is to give the accused the necessary knowledge of the
charge against him and enable him to sufficiently prepare for his
While [it] is true that it was only Leo Amoroso who actually defense.� The State should not heap upon the accused two or
ravished the victim based on the testimony of the private more charges which might confuse him in his defense.77� Non-
complainant that Amoroso succeeded in inserting his penis to her compliance with this rule is a ground78for quashing the duplicitous
private parts and that Reynaldo dela Torre and Ritchie complaint or information under Rule 117 of the Rules on Criminal
Bisaya merely kissed her and fondled her private parts, Procedure and the accused may raise the same in a motion to
accused [D]ela Torre can likewise be held liable for the bestial acts quash before he enters his plea,79 otherwise, the defect is deemed
of Amoroso as it is quite apparent that the three of them conspired waived.80� The accused herein, however, cannot avail of this
and mutually helped one another in raping the young victim. defense simply because they did not file a motion to quash
questioning the validity of the Information during their
arraignment.� Thus, they are deemed to have waived their right to degree to reclusion temporal) and the maximum of which shall be
question the same.� Also, where the allegations of the acts within the range of reclusion temporal in its minimum period, there
imputed to the accused are merely different counts specifying the being the ordinary mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender,
acts of perpetration of the same crime, as in the instant case, there and there being no aggravating circumstance.85� With that, the
is no duplicity to speak of.81� There is likewise no violation of the Court shall impose the indeterminate penalty of imprisonment from
right of the accused to be informed of the charges against them six (6) years and one (1) day of prision mayor as minimum to
because the Information, in fact, stated that they �took turns in twelve (12) years and one (1) day of reclusion temporal as
having carnal knowledge against the will of AAA� on March 25, maximum, for each count of rape committed.86� However, Oporto
2004.82� Further, allegations made and the evidence presented to shall be entitled to appropriate disposition under Section 51, R.A.
support the same reveal that AAA was indeed raped and defiled No. 9344,87 which extends even to one who has exceeded the age
several times.� Here, according to the accused themselves, after limit of twenty-one (21) years, so long as he committed the crime
undressing AAA, Carampatana positioned himself in between her when he was still a child,88and provides for the confinement of
legs and had intercourse with her.� On the other hand, Oporto convicted children as follows:89cralawlawlibrary
admitted that he had sexual intercourse with AAA three times.�
When two or more offenses are charged in a single complaint or Sec. 51. Confinement of Convicted Children in Agricultural
information but the accused fails to object to it before trial, the Camps and Other Training Facilities. � A child in conflict with
court may convict him of as many offenses as are charged and the law may, after conviction and upon order of the court, be made
proved, and impose upon him the proper penalty for each to serve his/her sentence, in lieu of confinement in a regular penal
offense.83� Carampatana, Oporto, and Alquizola can then be held institution, in an agricultural camp and other training facilities that
liable for more than one crime of rape, or a total of four (4) counts may be established, maintained, supervised and controlled by the
in all, with conspiracy extant among the three of them during the BUCOR, in coordination with the DSWD.
commission of each of the four violations.� Each of the accused
shall thus be held liable for every act of rape committed by the Hence, in the proper execution of judgment by the lower court, the
other.� But while Oporto himself testified that he inserted his foregoing provision should be taken into consideration by the judge
sexual organ into AAA�s mouth, the Court cannot convict him of in order to accord children in conflict with the law, who have
rape through sexual assault therefor because the same was not already gone beyond twenty-one (21) years of age, the proper
included in the Information.� This is, however, without prejudice treatment envisioned by law.
to the filing of a case of rape through sexual assault as long as
prescription has not yet set in. As to their civil liability, all of them shall pay AAA the amount of
P50,000.00 as civil indemnity and another P50,000.00 as moral
damages, in each case.� Exemplary damages of P30,000.00 shall
Anent the appropriate penalty to be imposed, rape committed by
likewise be imposed by way of� an example and to deter others
two or more persons is punishable by reclusion perpetua to death
from committing the same bestial acts.
under Article 266-B of the RPC.� But in view of the presence of the
mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender and the absence of
an aggravating circumstance to offset the same, the lighter penalty WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, the petition
of reclusion perpetua shall be imposed upon them,84 for each is GRANTED. The assailed Decision dated June 6, 2008 of the
count.� With regard to Oporto, appreciating in his favor the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR HC No. 00422-MIN is REVERSED
privileged mitigating circumstance of minority, the proper AND SET ASIDE.� The Court hereby renders judgment:
imposable penalty upon him is reclusion temporal, being the
penalty next lower to reclusion perpetua to death.� Being a a) Finding accused-respondent Raymund
divisible penalty, the Indeterminate Sentence Law is applicable.� Carampatana GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of four (4)
Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, Oporto can be counts of rape, and the Court hereby sentences him to
sentenced to an indeterminate penalty the minimum of which shall suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua in each case;
be within the range of prision mayor (the penalty next lower in
b) Finding accused-respondent Joefhel Oporto GUILTY beyond
reasonable doubt of four (4) counts of rape, and the Court
hereby sentences him to suffer the indeterminate penalty of
imprisonment from six (6) years and one (1) day of prision
mayor as minimum to twelve (12) years and one (1) day
of reclusion temporal as maximum, in each case; and
c) Finding accused-respondent Moises Alquizola GUILTY beyond
reasonable doubt of four (4) counts of rape, and the Court
hereby sentences him to suffer the penalty of reclusion
perpetua in each case.

The Court hereby ORDERS the accused-respondents to pay AAA,


jointly and severally, the amounts of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity,
P50,000.00 as moral damages, and P30,000.00 as exemplary
damages, for each of the four (4) counts of rape.� The case
is REMANDED to the court of origin for its appropriate action in
accordance with Section 51 of Republic Act No. 9344.

Let the records of this case be forwarded to the court of origin for
the execution of judgment.

SO ORDERED.

Chanroblesvirtuallawlib
Republic of the Philippines nevertheless did not produce it by reason of cause or causes
SUPREME COURT independent of her will, that is, due to the timely and able
Manila medical assistance rendered to said Maureen Navarro
Hultman which prevented her death.
EN BANC
After the prosecution had rested its case, petitioner was allowed to file a
motion for leave to file a demurrer to evidence. However, before the said
motion could be filed, Maureen Navarro Hultman died.
G.R. No. 103102 March 6, 1992
Consequently, private prosecutor Rogelio A. Vinluan filed an omnibus
CLAUDIO J. TEEHANKEE, JR., petitioner, motion 3 for leave of court to file an amended information and to admit said
vs. amended information. The amended information, 4 filed on October 31, 1991,
HON. JOB B. MADAYAG and PEOPLE OF THE reads:
PHILIPPINES, respondents.
That on or about the 13th day of July, 1991, in the
Municipality of Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines and within
the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said Claudio
Teehankee, Jr. y. Javier, armed with a handgun, with intent
REGALADO, J.: to kill and evident premeditation and by means of treachery,
did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack,
In this special civil action for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus, petitioner assault and shoot with the said handgun Maureen Navarro
principally seeks: (1) to nullify the order 1 of respondent judge admitting the Hultman who was hit in the head, thereby inflicting mortal
amended information for murder filed in Criminal Case No. wounds which directly caused the death of said Maureen
91-4606; (2) to nullify the arraignment and the plea of not guilty entered by Hultman.
order of respondent judge when petitioner refused to be arraigned on the
amended information for lack of preliminary investigation therefor; (3) to Petitioner filed an opposition 5 thereto, as well as a rejoinder 6 to the reply 7 of
nullify the appointment of a counsel de oficio/PAO lawyer to represent the prosecution. On November 13, 1991, the trial court issued the questioned
petitioner; (4) to prohibit respondent judge from "over-speedy and preferential order admitting the amended information.
scheduling of the trial of the aforementioned criminal case;" and (5) to
compel respondent judge to order preliminary investigation of the crime
At the scheduled arraignment on November 26, 1991, petitioner refused to
charged in the amended information.
be arraigned on the amended information for lack of a preliminary
investigation thereon. By reason of such refusal, respondent judge ordered
Petitioner was originally charged on July 19, 1991 in an information 2 for the that a plea of "not guilty" be entered for petitioner.
crime of frustrated murder allegedly committed as follows:
Thereafter, respondent judge ordered the prosecution to present its
That on or about the 13th day of July 1991, in the evidence. When petitioner's counsel manifested that he would not take part
Municipality of Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines, and within in the proceedings because of the legal issue raised, the trial court appointed
the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named a counsel de oficio to represent herein petitioner.
accused, while armed with a handgun, with intent to kill,
treachery and evident premeditation, did then and there
Petitioner now raises the following issues before us:
willfully, unlawfully, and feloniously attack, assault and shoot
one Maureen Navarro Hultman on the head, thereby
inflicting gunshot wounds, which ordinarily would have (a) Whether or not an amended information involving a
caused the death of said Maureen Navarro Hultman, thereby substantial amendment, without preliminary investigation,
performing all the acts of execution which would have after the prosecution has rested on the original information,
produced the crime of Murder as a consequence, but may legally and validly be admitted;
(b) Whether or not a counsel de oficio may legally and validly Sec. 14. Amendment. — The information or complaint may
be appointed to represent an accused who is represented by be amended, in substance or form, without leave of court, at
counsel of choice who refuses to participate in the any time before the accused pleads; and thereafter and
proceedings because of a perceived denial of due process during the trial as to all matters of form, by leave and at the
and after a plea for appellate remedies within a short period discretion of the court, when the same can be done without
is denied by the trial court; and prejudice to the rights of the accused.

(c) Whether or not a particular criminal case may legally and If it appears at any time before judgment that a mistake has
validly be rushed and preferentially scheduled for trial over been made in charging the proper offense, the court shall
and at the expense and sacrifice of other, specially older, dismiss the original complaint or information upon the filing
criminal cases. 8 of a new one charging the proper offense in accordance with
Rule 119, Section 11, provided the accused would not be
In our resolution of January 14, 1992, we required the Solicitor General to file placed thereby in double jeopardy and may also require the
a comment to the basic petition. It appearing from a further review of the witnesses to give bail for their appearance at the trial.
record that the operative facts and determinant issues involved in this case
are sufficiently presented in the petition and the annexes thereto, both in The first paragraph provides the rules for amendment of the information or
regard to the respective positions of petitioner and respondents, the Court complaint, while the second paragraph refers to the substitution of the
has decided to dispense with the aforesaid comment to obviate needless information or complaint.
delay in fairness to petitioner.
It may accordingly be posited that both amendment and substitution of the
I. Petitioner avers that the additional allegation in the amended information, information may be made before or after the defendant pleaded, but they
as herein underscored, that the accused ". . . did then and there willfully, differ in the following respects:
unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault and shoot with the said
handgun Maureen Navarro Hultman who was hit in the head, thereby 1. Amendment may involve either formal or substantial changes, while
inflicting mortal wounds which directly caused the death of said Maureen substitution necessarily involves a substantial change from the original
Hultman . . ." constitutes a substantial amendment since it involves a change charge;
in the nature of the offense charged, that is, from frustrated to consummated
murder. Petitioner further submits that "(t)here is a need then to establish that 2. Amendment before plea has been entered can be effected without leave of
the same mortal wounds, which were initially frustrated (sic) by timely and
court, but substitution of information must be with leave of court as the
able medical assistance, ultimately caused the death of the victim, because it
original information has to be dismissed;
could have been caused by a supervening act or fact which is not imputable
to the offender." 9 From this, he argues that there being a substantial
amendment, the same may no longer be allowed after arraignment and 3. Where the amendment is only as to form, there is no need for another
during the trial. preliminary investigation and the retaking of the plea of the accused; in
substitution of information, another preliminary investigation is entailed and
the accused has to plead anew to the new information; and
Corollary thereto, petitioner then postulates that since the amended
information for murder charges an entirely different offense, involving as it
does a new fact, that is, the fact of death whose cause has to be established, 4. An amended information refers to the same offense charged in the original
it is essential that another preliminary investigation on the new charge be information or to an offense which necessarily includes or is necessarily
conducted before the new information can be admitted. included in the original charge, hence substantial amendments to the
information after the plea has been taken cannot be made over the objection
of the accused, for if the original information would be withdrawn, the
We find no merit in the petition. There are sufficient legal and jurisprudential
accused could invoke double jeopardy. On the other hand, substitution
moorings for the orders of the trial court.
requires or presupposes that the new information involves a different offense
which does not include or is not necessarily included in the original charge,
Section 14, Rule 110 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure provides: hence the accused cannot claim double jeopardy.
In determining, therefore, whether there should be an amendment under the As earlier indicated, Section 14 of Rule 110 provides that an amendment,
first paragraph of Section 14, Rule 110, or a substitution of information under either of form or substance, may be made at any time before the accused
the second paragraph thereof, the rule is that where the second information enters a plea to the charge and, thereafter, as to all matters of form with
involves the same offense, or an offense which necessarily includes or is leave of court.
necessarily included in the first information, and amendment of the
information is sufficient; otherwise, where the new information charges an A substantial amendment consists of the recital of facts constituting the
offense which is distinct and different from that initially charged, a substitution offense charged and determinative of the jurisdiction of the court. All other
is in order. matters are merely of form. 11 Thus, the following have been held to be
merely formal amendments, viz: (1) new allegations which relate only to the
There is identity between the two offenses when the evidence to support a range of the penalty that the court might impose in the event of
conviction for one offense would be sufficient to warrant a conviction for the conviction; 12 (2) an amendment which does not charge another offense
other, or when the second offense is exactly the same as the first, or when different or distinct from that charged in the original one; 13 (3) additional
the second offense is an attempt to commit or a frustration of, or when it allegations which do not alter the prosecution's theory of the case so as to
necessarily includes or is necessarily included in, the offense charged in the cause surprise to the accused and affect the form of defense he has or will
first information. In this connection, an offense may be said to necessarily assume; and (4) an amendment which does not adversely affect any
include another when some of the essential elements or ingredients of the substantial right of the accused, such as his right to invoke prescription. 14
former, as this is alleged in the information, constitute the latter. And, vice-
versa, an offense may be said to be necessarily included in another when the We repeat that after arraignment and during the trial, amendments are
essential ingredients of the former constitute or form a part of those allowed, but only as to matters of form andprovided that no prejudice is
constituting the latter. 10 caused to the rights of the accused. 15 The test of whether an amendment is
only of form and an accused is not prejudiced by such amendment has been
Going now to the case at bar, it is evident that frustrated murder is but a said to be whether or not a defense under the information as it originally
stage in the execution of the crime of murder, hence the former is necessarily stood would be equally available after the amendment is made, and whether
included in the latter. It is indispensable that the essential element of intent to or not any evidence the accused might have would be equally applicable to
kill, as well as qualifying circumstances such as treachery or evident the information in the one form as in the other; if the answer is in the
premeditation, be alleged in both an information for frustrated murder and for affirmative, the amendment is one of form and not of substance. 16
murder, thereby meaning and proving that the same material allegations are
essential to the sufficiency of the informations filed for both. This is because, Now, an objective appraisal of the amended information for murder filed
except for the death of the victim, the essential elements of consummated against herein petitioner will readily show that the nature of the offense
murder likewise constitute the essential ingredients to convict herein originally charged was not actually changed. Instead, an additional
petitioner for the offense of frustrated murder. allegation, that is, the supervening fact of the death of the victim was merely
supplied to aid the trial court in determining the proper penalty for the crime.
In the present case, therefore, there is an identity of offenses charged in both That the accused committed a felonious act with intent to kill the victim
the original and the amended information. What is involved here is not a continues to be the prosecution's theory. There is no question that whatever
variance in the nature of different offenses charged, but only a change in the defense herein petitioner may adduce under the original information for
stage of execution of the same offense from frustrated to consummated frustrated murder equally applies to the amended information for murder.
murder. This is being the case, we hold that an amendment of the original Under the circumstances thus obtaining, it is irremissible that the amended
information will suffice and, consequent thereto, the filing of the amended information for murder is, at most, an amendment as to form which is allowed
information for murder is proper. even during the trial of the case.

Petitioner would insist, however, that the additional allegation on the fact of It consequently follows that since only a formal amendment was involved and
death of the victim Maureen Navarro Hultman constitutes a substantial introduced in the second information, a preliminary investigation is
amendment which may no longer be allowed after a plea has been entered. unnecessary and cannot be demanded by the accused. The filing of the
The proposition is erroneous and untenable. amended information without the requisite preliminary investigation does not
violate petitioner's right to be secured against hasty, malicious and
oppressive prosecutions, and to be protected from an open and public
accusation of a crime, as well as from the trouble, expenses and anxiety of a
public trial. The amended information could not conceivably have come as a
surprise to petitioner for the simple and obvious reason that it charges
essentially the same offense as that charged under the original information.
Furthermore, as we have heretofore held, if the crime originally charged is
related to the amended charge such that an inquiry into one would elicit
substantially the same facts that an inquiry into the other would reveal, a new
preliminary investigation is not necessary. 17

We find nothing irregular in the appointment by the trial court of a counsel de


oficio for herein petitioner whose counsel of record refused to participate in
the proceedings because of an alleged legal issue. Such issue having been
demonstrated herein as baseless, we apprehend his refusal to participate in
the trial as causative of or contributive to the delay in the disposition of the
case. And, finally, for as long as the substantial rights of herein petitioner and
other persons charged in court are not prejudiced, the scheduling of cases
should be left to the sound discretion of the trial court.

WHEREFORE, it being clearly apparent that respondent judge did not


commit the errors speciously attributed to him, the extraordinary writs prayed
for are hereby DENIED and the instant petition is DISMISSED for lack of
merit.

SO ORDERED.

Narvasa, C.J., Melencio-Herrera, Gutierrez, Jr., Cruz, Paras, Feliciano,


Padilla, Bidin, Griño-Aquino, Medialdea, Davide, Jr., Romero and Nocon, JJ.,
concur.

Bellosillo, J., took no part.


Republic of the Philippines and his heirs in such sum as may be allowed under the Civil
SUPREME COURT Code of the Philippines.
Manila
Contrary to Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code, with the
THIRD DIVISION qualifying circumstance of treachery and cruelty. (Rollo, p. 7)

Upon arraignment, appellants Jalandoni Corregidor and Antonio Jaralba


entered a plea of not guilty. Thereafter, trial ensued. On November 24, 1989,
G.R. No. 96766 September 20, 1993 the trial court rendered its decision, the dispositive portion of which reads:

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, Wherefore, from all the foregoing, the Court finds the
vs. accused, ANTONIO JARALBA and JALANDONI
ANTONIO JARALBA and JALANDONI CORREGIDOR, accused- CORREGIDOR, both guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the
appellants. crime charged, defined and penalized under Article 248 of
the Revised Penal Code, lacking in aggravating nor
The Solicitor General for plaintiff-appellee. mitigating circumstance, imposes the medium penalty
of RECLUSION PERPETUA (People v. Jutie, Jr., G. R.
72975, 31 March 1989, First Division, Medialdea).
Ildefonso G. Mantilla for accused-appellant Antonio Jaralba.
To indemnify the heirs of Joselito Baltar, jointly and
Deodiro Ravelo for accused-appellant Jalandoni Corregidor. severally, the amount of P30,000.00; moral damages of
P10,000.00; funeral expenses of P5,000.00 without any
subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency; to suffer the
accessory penalties provided for by law and to pay the costs.
BIDIN, J.:
In view of the foregoing findings of guilt, the bonds filed is
This is an appeal from the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Surigao (sic) ordered CANCELLED, and accused to be (sic) confined
City, Branch 30, finding herein appellants Antonio Jarabla and Jalandoni at the Provincial Jail.
Corregidor guilty of the crime of Murder, alleged to have been committed in
the amended information as follows: The case with respect to John Doe is placed in ARCHIVE
until such time that the police authorities shall be able to
That on or about the 30th day of October, 1986, in the City of identify and apprehend said person.
Surigao, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this
Honorable Court, the above-named accused conspiring and SO ORDERED. (Rollo, p. 73)
confederating together and mutually helping one another,
armed with deadly weapons, that is, sharp-pointed As summarized by the Solicitor General, the facts of the case are as follows:
instruments, without any justifiable cause and with intent to
kill Joselito Baltar and with treachery and cruelty did then
On October 30, 1986, at around 7:00 o' clock in the evening,
and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously assault, attack
witness Diomedes Guibao, then seventeen (17) years old,
and stab the said Joselito Z. Baltar several times, thereby
inflicting upon the latter twenty-three (23) wounds in the was inside the campus of the Surigao del Norte National
different parts of his body as indicated in the post High School waiting for his friend Fernando Digol (TSN, July
7, 1988, pp. 2-3). He decided to go to the toilet (Id.). On his
mortem findings hereto attached, causing the instantaneous
way to the toilet, he saw, ahead of him, his classmate
death of said Joselito Z. Baltar, to the damage and prejudice
Joselito Baltar followed by appellants Antonio Jaralba and
Jalandoni Corregidor and another person whom he did not
recognize also on their way to the toilet (TSN, July 7, 1988, The policemen woke up appellant Jaralba's father, Jorge
pp. 3, 13). Diomedes Guibao had already known appellants Jaralba, and asked the latter about the bloodstains and
for about a year having seen them hang around the school's appellant's whereabouts (TSN, January 24, 1989, pp. 81-
premises (TSN, July 7, 1988, pp. 4, 12). 85). But Jorge Jaralba did not know where his son was but
asked the policemen to wait while he looked for him (TSN,
As Diomedes was about to enter the toilet, he saw January 24, 1989, pp. 85-86). When he returned, Jorge
appellants and the unidentified companion inside the toilet Jaralba told the policemen that he could not locate appellant
taking turns stabbing Joselito Baltar with a "sundangay" Antonio Jaralba (Id., p. 85).
(small bolo) while holding the victim's arms (TSN, July 7,
1988, pp. 3, 8-10). The following day, an autopsy performed by Dr. Alice
Ensomo-Gonzaga at the Saviour Funeral Parlor where
The toilet was located at the first floor of a two-storey Joselito Z. Baltar's body was taken (TSN, July 26, 1988, p.
building. Although the light inside the toilet itself was not 17). She found that Joselito sustained no less than twenty
working, the twenty (20) watt fluorescent light hanging on the three (23) wounds: seven (7) in the anterior or front part of
ceiling outside illuminated the toilet through the iron grills the body (above the left eyebrow, on the mandible, on the
(TSN, July 25, 1988, pp. 35-38; TSN, July 7, 1988, pp. 4, neck and on the chest) and fourteen (14) on the posterior
11). side or the back (TSN, July 26, 1988, pp. 17-25; Exhibit "G").
She determined the cause of death to be shock and internal
At around 10:30 in the evening, Romeo Bulabog, security hemorrhage due to multiple stab wounds (TSN, July 26,
guard on duty at the Surigao National High School, was 1988, p. 22).
making his rounds, checking the premises using his
flashlight and closing doors, when he noticed drops of blood On November 3, 1986, appellant Antonio Jaralba,
on the cement floor which he traced back to the school toilet accompanied by his father, Jorge Jaralba, went to the police
and found inside the toilet the dead body of Joselito Baltar station and was investigated (TSN, February 13, 1989, pp.
(TSN, July 25, 1988, pp. 31-32). Romeo reported the matter 99-100).
to the police (Id.).
On March 6, 1987 or four (4) months and six (6) days after
Responding to Romeo Bulabog's report, police investigator the incident, Diomedes Guibao decided to tell his teacher
Cpl. Cipriano Iligan, together with Pat. Jamil, Cpl. Gonzaga, Mrs. Beltran that he witnessed the killing of Joselito Beltran
Cpl. Lisondra and commercial photographer Roger Martinez, (sic) (TSN, July 7, 1988, p. 6).
proceeded to the scene of the crime (TSN, June 1, 1988, pp.
3-6). At the Surigao del Norte National High School campus, Accused Antonio Jaralba denies having conspired with Jalandoni Corregidor
Cpl. Iligan and his men followed the trail of blood from the and the unidentified person in the murder of Joselito Baltar. He testified that
school toilet and found that it led to appellant Jaralba's store on October 30, 1986, he went to the comfort room of the Surigao del Norte
which was right beside the latter's residence along the High School. While there, he heard moanings coming from the adjoining
national highway (TSN, June 1, 1988, pp. 5-9). Drops of cubicle. Curious, he took a closer look and saw a person slumped on the
blood and other bloodstains were found on the cemented side thereof. Before he could clearly see the victim, a man rushed out of the
steps leading to the national road and on the door of cubicle and stabbed him twice. Jaralba claims that he was hit in the palm of
appellant Jaralba's store (TSN, June 1, 1988, pp. 8-12). his right hand, below the little finger. Thereafter, he ran home and attended
Commercial photographer Roger Martinez took pictures of to his wound. Later, he went to the store of Paramede where he met his
the toilet, the trail of blood and of the bloodstains on the door friends, namely, Virgel Tomate, Jalandoni Corregidor, Lolong Abadilla and
of appellant Jaralba's store (TSN, June 1, 1988, Titing Castillo. They were drinking liquor. The store-owner, Policeman
p. 8; TSN, August 17, 1988, pp. 44-47). Paramede, asked him about his wound to which he replied that he was
stabbed in school. On November 3, 1986, Jaralba also told his father that he
was stabbed in school. His father brought him to the police station where he
was investigated. He identified a written statement as the one prepared by 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure). Here, appellants were yet to be
the police investigator and signed by him (Exhibit 2, pp. 485-487). convicted or acquitted of the crime charged. Hence, no double jeopardy has
attached. Besides no information was filed.
Accused Jalandoni Corregidor likewise denies the charge against him. He
claims that he was in Placer Cemetery the whole day of October 30, 1986, What is clear on the record is that the trial court merely ordered a change in
working on the mausoleum of former Mayor Canda, together with Dionisio the description of some of the victim's wounds from "lacerated" to "stab" in
and Lolong Abadilla. He testified that he left for Placer in the morning and the information in order to conform with the description of the victim's wounds
returned to Surigao City at 7:30 in the evening. He took supper in the house in the autopsy report. Furthermore, a re-arraignment is necessary only where
of Dionisio Abadilla and went home at around 8:00 in the evening. the change or amendment of the information involves a mistake in the
Thereafter, he went with Andrew Abadilla to the Surigao del Norte High charging of the proper offense (Rule 110, Section 14, par. [2], 1985 Rules on
School at around 8:40 in the evening to attend classes. On the way home, Criminal Procedure). In the case at bar, the change in the information, i. e.,
Corregidor and Abadilla stopped and joined Antonio Jaralba and Tomate in the change in the description of some of the victim's wounds from "lacerated"
their drinking session at the Paramede store at the capitol road, from 9:00 to to "stab" was not effected to correct a mistake in charging the proper offense.
9:30 in the evening. The following day, October 31, 1986, he was picked up It did not have the effect of changing the offense charged in the information,
by the police for investigation. which was, and correctly remained as, murder.

As aforesaid, both the accused were convicted of the crime charged. They In their third assignment of error, appellants argue that the trial court should
now assign the following as errors: not have given credence to the testimony of eyewitness Diomedes Guibao
because he allegedly harbored a grudge against appellant Corregidor. In
1 The trial court erred in ordering orally the amendment of addition, Guibao failed to reveal his knowledge of the incident until after the
the information after arraignment; lapse of a considerable period of time.

2 The trial court erred in proceeding with the trial without the Insofar as credibility is concerned, it is well settled that the findings of the trial
accused being re-arraigned in (sic) the amended information; court on credibility of witness merit the highest degree of respect. The trial
court is the best judge of whether or not a witness is credible. Its findings on
the credibility of a witness are entitled to great weight and respect and will
3 The trial court erred in giving weight and credence without
not be disturbed on appeal unless some facts or circumstances were
the testimony of Diomedes Guibao, the truth that his
behavior after the alleged incident is indicative of guilt; overlooked that will effect the outcome of the case, none of which obtain in
the incident under view (People vs. Moreno, Jr., 208 SCRA 87 [1992];
People vs. Villanueva, 211 SCRA 602 [1992]; People v. Uy, 206 SCRA 270
4 The trial court erred in not acquitting the accused on [1992]).
reasonable doubt;
Still, the alleged ill-motive of Guibao against appellant Corregidor cannot be
5 The trial court erred in not giving weight and credence to sanctioned considering that this could not logically explain why Guibao would
the testimonies of the accused and its witness. (Rollo, p. 42) likewise implicate appellant Antonio Jaralba and the other unidentified
person. No reason has been imputed as to why said witness would implicate
Appellants seek to capitalize on the supposed grave error committed by the other persons against whom he had no grudges. In any event, the delay on
court a quo in orally amending the description of the victim's wounds from the part of Diomedes Guibao in divulging the names of perpetrators of the
"lacerated" to "stab" in the autopsy report attached to the information to crime neither impairs his credibility nor his testimony. The initial reluctance of
conform with the testimony of the examining physician. Accordingly, Diomedes Guibao to volunteer information on a crime he witnessed and his
appellants contend that they were placed in double jeopardy for not having unwillingness to be involved in criminal investigation for fear of reprisal is
been re-arraigned. common and has been judicially declared not to affect the credibility of a
witness (People vs. Pascua, 206 SCRA 629 [1992]).
It is elementary that for double jeopardy to attach, an accused must, among
others, first be acquitted or convicted and is being charged anew for the very As this Court emphasized in People v. Mandapat (196 SCRA 157 [1991]):
same offense for which he was previously prosecuted (Rule 117, Section 7,
As a general rule, the failure of a witness to report at once to Furthermore, it is firmly entrenched in our jurisprudence that the defense of
the police authorities the crime he had witnessed cannot be alibi cannot prevail over the positive testimonies of prosecution witnesses
taken against him (People v. Demate, 113 SCRA 353 [1982]) and their clear identification of the accused as the perpetrator of the crime.
for "it is not uncommon for a witness to a crime to show This is so because, as we have invariably but patiently reiterated, alibi is a
some reluctance about getting involved in a criminal case. defense that is inherently weak since it can easily be fabricated or contrived
The natural reticence of most people to get involved in a (People vs. Pascua, 206 SCRA 628 [1992]). As against the positive and clear
criminal case is of judicial notice" (People v. Pacabes, 137 identification by eyewitness Diomedes Guibao, appellants' defense of alibi
SCRA 158 [1985]; People v. Coronado, 145 SCRA 250 cannot stand. It has been ruled time and against that for the defense of alibi
[1986]) and the fear of eyewitnesses when townmates are to proper, it must be established by clear evidence that not only must the
involved in the commission of the crime is understandable accused be somewhere other than the place of the commission of the crime
for they may provide reprisals from the accused (People v. but that it was also physically impossible for him to be at the situs of the
Rosario, 134 SCRA 496 [1985]). The delay, when crime at the time of its commission (People vs. Magallanes, G.R. No. 89036,
adequately explained, does not impair the credibility of the Jan. 29, 1993, citing People vs. Urquia, Jr., 203 SCRA 735 [1991]).
witness, as in the case at bar (People v. Cabinit, 139 SCRA
94 [1985]; People v. Millora, 119 SCRA 417 [1984]); neither WHEREFORE, the appealed judgment is hereby AFFIRMED, with the
will it render his testimony biased (People v. Itura, 129 SCRA modification as to the indemnity which is hereby increased from P30,000.00
127 [1984]; nor will it destroy its probative value (People v. to P50,000.00. Costs against appellants.
Millora, supra); . . .
SO ORDERED.
Neither can we lend credence to the claims of appellants that Diomedes
Guibao was the real killer and that the police investigators merely framed Romero, Melo and Vitug, JJ., concur.
them up. In the first place, there was not a scintilla of evidence to support the
same. Allegations sans proof deserve no merit. Appellants never specified
what the police investigators did or had against them. Secondly, the police Feliciano, J., is on leave.
officers are presumed to have regularly performed their duties in the absence
of evidence to the contrary (Rule 131, Section 3 [m], Rules of Court). From
the attendant circumstances, the Court sees no reason why the police
officers would falsely concoct a serious charge against accused herein if they
really did not commit the offense charged. Absent a showing that the police
officers were actuated by improper motive, their testimonies are entitled to
full faith and credit (People vs. Fernandez, 209 SCRA 1 [1992]).

With regard to the unsubstantiated claim of appellant Corregidor that he


could not have participated in the stabbing of Joselito Baltar since he was in
Placer working on the mausoleum of the Canda family, We find the same to
be untenable.

In People v. Arbolante (203 SCRA 85 [1991]), We held that "denial, like alibi,
is inherently a weak defense and can easily be defeated by the affirmative
and credible testimonies of prosecution witnesses pointing to the accused as
the perpetrators of the crime for which they are charged." Denial of guilt,
uncorroborated by any reliable evidence, cannot overthrow the clear and
convincing testimonies of prosecution witnesses as to the culpability of the
accused (People vs. Arceo, 202 SCRA 170 [1991]).