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TOPIC: RAPE

CASE TITLE: People of the Philippines vs Bryan Ganaba y Nam-ay

DATE: April 4, 2018

GR NO: 219240

DOCTRINE: Guidelines in evaluating the testimony of a rape victim, viz: first, while an
accusation for rape can be made with facility, it is difficult to prove but more difficult for the
person accused, though innocent, to disprove; second, in view of the intrinsic nature of the crime
of rape where only two persons are usually involved, the testimony of the complainant must be
scrutinized with extreme caution; and lastly, the evidence for the prosecution must stand or fall
on its own merits and cannot be allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the evidence of
the defense.

FACTS:

AAA had been working at the house of the accused-appellant since 1 June 2009, as nanny to his
four-month-old child. On 1 July 2009, at about 2:30 p.m., while AAA was inside the room
feeding the child, the accused- appellant sneaked in and closed the door and window. The
accused-appellant poked the knife at AAA, threatened he would kill her, dragged her to the bed,
mounted her, parted her legs, and inserted his penis into her vagina. The accused-appellant
claimed that the accusation against him was not true and that he was implicated by AAA to ask
for money. The RTC held that the accused-appellant had carnal knowledge of AAA by using
force and intimidation. The RTC found the accused-appellant's denial without merit. It ruled that
his denial was negative and self-serving which pales in comparison with AAA's clear and
convincing narration and positive identification of the accused-appellant. Not satisfied with the
RTC's ruling, the accused-appellant appealed to the CA. The CA affirmed the penalty imposed
by the RTC upon the accused-appellant but modified the award of damages. Unsatisfied, the
accused appealed to SC.

ISSUES:

1. Whether the trial court erred in not finding ill motive on the part of the private
complainant as the reason for the filing of the crime of rape against the accused-
appellant.
2. The trial court gravely erred in finding the accused-appellant guilty beyond reasonable
doubt of the crime charged.

RULING:

The appeal has no merit.


The SC has maintained that the testimony of AAA deserves weight and credence. By the
distinctive nature of rape cases, conviction usually rests solely on the basis of the testimony of
the victim; provided that such testimony is credible, natural, convincing, and consistent with
human nature and the normal course of things. Thus, the victim's credibility becomes the
primordial consideration in the resolution of rape cases. In conjunction thereto, jurisprudence has
firmly upheld the guidelines in evaluating the testimony of a rape victim, viz: first, while an
accusation for rape can be made with facility, it is difficult to prove but more difficult for the
person accused, though innocent, to disprove; second, in view of the intrinsic nature of the crime
of rape where only two persons are usually involved, the testimony of the complainant must be
scrutinized with extreme caution; and lastly, the evidence for the prosecution must stand or fall
on its own merits and cannot be allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the evidence of
the defense. A young girl's revelation that she had been raped, coupled with her voluntary
submission to medical examination and willingness to undergo public trial where she could be
compelled to give out the details of an assault on her dignity, cannot be so easily dismissed as
mere concoction.

Nothing is more settled in criminal law jurisprudence than that alibi and· denial cannot prevail
over the positive and categorical testimony and identification of the complainant. Denial is an
intrinsically weak defense which must be buttressed with strong evidence of non-culpability to
merit credibility. Alibi, on the one hand, is viewed with suspicion because it can easily be
fabricated. For the defense of alibi to prosper, the accused must prove that he was somewhere
else when the offense was committed and that he was so far away that it was not possible for him
to have been physically present at the place of the crime or at its immediate vicinity at the time
of its commission. Unless supported by clear and convincing evidence, alibi cannot prevail over
the positive declaration of a victim who, in a natural and straightforward manner, convincingly
identifies the accused-appellant.
TOPIC: Qualified Rape

CASE TITLE: People of the Philippines vs Jerry Bugna y Britanico

DATE: April 11, 2018

GR NO: 218255

DOCTRINE:

In incest rape of a minor, the moral ascendancy of the ascendant substitutes force or intimidation.

FACTS:

Sometime in April 2007, AAA and her four siblings were about to go to sleep when Bugna
arrived drunk from a drinking session. At around 8:00 pm., while they were sleeping,, her father
raped her. AAA was able to report the incident to her mother only after some time because
Bugna warned her that her mother might send him to jail if she found out. In its 15 May 2012
decision, the RTC found Bugna guilty of two counts of rape. The trial court noted that AAA
positively identified her father as her assailant; as such, Bugna's defense of denial and alibi
deserved scant consideration. Aggrieved, Bugna appealed before the CA. The CA affirmed the
penalty imposed by the RTC upon the accused-appellant but modified the award of damages.
Unsatisfied, the accused appealed to SC.

ISSUES:

Whether the accused is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of rape.

RULING:

The appeal has no merit.

There is qualified rape when a parent, ascendant, step-parent, guardian, relative by consanguinity
or affinity within the third civil degree or the common-law spouse of the victim has carnal
knowledge with a minor through force, threat or intimidation. In other words, the element of
qualified rape is as follows: (a) there is sexual congress; (b) with a woman; ( c) done by force
and without consent; ( d) the victim is a minor at the time of the rape; and (e) offender is a parent
(whether legitimate, illegitimate or adopted) of the victim.

The identification of the accused in a criminal case is vital to the prosecution because it can
make or break its case. This is so because the prosecution has the burden to prove the
commission of the crime and the positive identification with moral certainty of the accused as the
perpetrator thereof. Positive identification trumps denial and alibi.

In the present case, actual force and intimidation need not be present to convict Bugna with rape.
He was AAA' s father and such relationship or influence rendered her unable to resist her father's
advances. Similarly, Bugna's insistence that AAA's lack of resistance belies her allegation of
rape deserves scant consideration. Thus, where there is force and intimidation or in cases where
the moral ascendancy or influe?ce of the accused validly substitutes actual force and violence,
the lack of resistance should never be used as indicia of consent. For after all, such violence or
moral ascendancy may have reduced the victim to nothing more but an object, devoid of free
will, to satisfy the abuser's ungodly desires.
TOPIC: Murder

CASE TITLE: People of the Philippines vs Mardy Aquino and Mario Aquino

DATE: April 11, 2018

GR NO: 203435

DOCTRINE: Application of ISLAW. Under the Indeterminate Sentence Law, the maximum
term of the indeterminate sentence shall be taken in view of the attending circumstances that
could be properly imposed under the rules of the Revised Penal Code, and the minimum term
shall. be within the range of the penalty next lower to that prescribed by the Revised Penal Code.

FACTS:

At around 10:30 in the morning of 15 May 2001, Inyong Narvante (Jnyong) approached Ernesto
Caguioa (Ernesto) and asked the latter for some fish as he was in a drinking spree with his
friends. Ernesto, however, refused and teased Inyong for voting for a certain Domalante. An
infuriated Inyong shouted, "vulva of your mother," and threatened that something would happen
to Ernesto. Afterwards, Inyong returned to his friends. Later in the morning, Ernesto was having
a conversation with his son Jackie, Rick De Guzman, and Orlando Ferrer while they were
waiting for a boat to transport their catch to Dagupan. A hundred meters away from them were
Ernesto's twin sons, Edwin and Edward, together with Dicto de Guzman and Bonifacio Doria,
who were washing their fishing nets. Suddenly, Mardy, Mario, Juanito, Inyong, Recto Aquino
(Recto), Romy Fernandez (Romy), Felix Saplan (Felix), and Bonifacio Caguioa (Bonifacio)
arrived and threw stones at Edwin's group. Aggrieved, Edwin reported the incident to his elder
brother Jackie and to his father Ernesto. Thereafter, Jackie went to where the accused were
having a drinking session to ask them why they attacked his brothers. Ernesto followed him.
Instead of answering, the accused laughed at him. All of a sudden, Raul Bautista, Aquilino
Melendez, and Juanito grabbed and restrained Jackie who was then stabbed by Mardy and Recto.
Ernesto attempted to help his son, but Mario held him by the neck while Felix, Inyong, Romy,
and Bonifacio grabbed his left leg. In that position, Ernesto was stabbed bef Mardy and Recto,
hitting him in the left arm, left stomach, and left thigh. After the incident, the accused ran away
leaving behind injured Ernesto and Jackie. The victims were brought to the hospital, but Jackie
died on the way.

In its decision, the RTC found Mardy, Mario, and Juanito guilty of murder and frustrated
murder. It reasoned that the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses clearly showed that they
took advantage of their superior strength and they conspired with one another when they
assaulted Jackie and Ernesto. Aggrieved, Mario and Mardy (accused-appellants) appealed before
the CA.
In its decision, the CA affirmed the conviction of accused-appellants but modified the penalty for
frustrated murder and the amount of damages awarded.

ISSUES:

Whether the guilt of accused-appellants for murder and frustrated murder has been proven
beyond reasonable doubt.

RULING:

Accused-appellants may be held liable only for homicide.

Generally, the elements of murder are:

1. That a person was killed;


2. That the accused killed him;
3. That the killing was attended by any of the qualifying circumstances mentioned in Art.
248; and
4. That the killing is not parricide or infanticide.

The prosecution in this case failed to adduce evidence of a relative disparity in age, size, and
strength, or force, except for the showing that two assailants stabbed the victim while three
others restrained him. However, the presence of several assailants does not ipso facto indicate an
abuse of superior strength. Mere superiority in numbers is not indicative of the presence of this
circumstance.

Further, the totality of the evidence shows that the encounter between the victim and his
assailants was unplanned and unpremeditated. Thus, there was no conscious effort on the part of
the accused to use or take advantage of any superior strength that they then enjoyed. In view of
the foregoing, the Court is compelled to rule out the presence of abuse of superior strength as a
qualifying circumstance. Hence, accused-appellants' guilt must be limited to the crime of
homicide. Abuse of superior strength was not alleged in the information for frustrated murder.

Considering that Ernesto's wounds were not fatal and absent a showing that such wounds would
have certainly caused his death were it not for timely medical assistance, the Court declares that
accused-appellants' guilt is limited to the crime of attempted homicide.
TOPIC: Murder

CASE TITLE: People of the Philippines vs Rodolfo Advincula y Mondano

DATE: April 11, 2018

GR NO: 218108

DOCTRINE:

In order for treachery to be properly appreciated, two elements must be present:

1. At the time of the attack, the victim was not in a position to defend himself; and
2. The accused consciously and deliberately adopted the particular means, methods, or
forms of attack employed by him.

FACTS:

On 4 August 2005, at about 6:00 p.m., while Rollane, Reggie, and Joseph delos Santos (Joseph)
were at a store talking, the accusedappellant suddenly sneaked from Reggie's back, grabbed
Reggie's neck with his left arm, and drove a knife at Reggie's side. Reggie was able to push away
the accused-appellant causing both of them to fall down. Reggie got to his feet and ran away but
when he stumbled the accusedappellant caught up with him and stabbed him twice in his chest
while he was in a supine position. Reggie was brought to the hospital where he was pronounced
dead on arrival.

The RTC held that Rollane categorically and positively identified the accused-appellant as the
one who stabbed Reggie with a knife, which the arresting officers confiscated. The RTC further
ruled that treachery and evident premeditation attended the killing of Reggie; thus, it concluded
that the accused-appellant should be held liable for murder. Not contented with the RTC
resolution of the case, the accused appellant appealed before the CA.

The CA sustained the position of the accused-appellant that the qualifying circumstance of
evident premeditation was absent in this case since the prosecution failed to show that the
accused-appellant planned to kill Reggie. Notwithstanding the absence of evident premeditation,
the CA maintained the finding of the RTC that treachery attended the assault upon Reggie; thus,
it held the accused-appellant liable for murder.

ISSUES:

1. The trial court gravely erred in not appreciating the justifying circumstance of defense of
a relative.
2. The trial court gravely erred in appreciating treachery and evident premeditation.
RULING:

The appeal is without merit.

The justifying circumstance of defense of relative was not proven in this case. It must be
remembered that circumstance under Article (Art.) 11 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) admits
to the commission of acts, which would otherwise engender criminal liability. Suffice it to say
that a plea of self-defense is belied by the nature, number, and location of the wounds inflicted
on the victim since the gravity of said wounds is indicative of a determined effort to kill and not
just to defend. The stab blows delivered by the accused-appellant to Reggie resulted in three fatal
wounds that pierced his heart, lung, and liver. These wounds unmistakably support the
conclusion as to accused-appellant's intent to kill Reggie. There can be no self-defense, whether
complete or incomplete, unless the victim had committed unlawful aggression against the person
who resorted to self-defense. The absence of any unlawful aggression on the part of Reggie
renders ineffectual the accused-appellant's alibi of defense of a relative. Consequently, the two
other essential elements of self-defense would have no factual and legal bases without any
unlawful aggression to prevent or repel.
TOPIC: Murder

CASE TITLE: People of the Philippines vs Glen Abina y Latorre and Jesus Latorre y Deraya

DATE: April 18, 2018

GR NO: 220146

DOCTRINE:

Treachery could not be presumed and must be proved by clear and convincing evidence or as
conclusively as the killing itself.

FACTS:

Glen and Jesus were charged with murder for the killing of Anthony Asadon and Rodolfo
Mabag. At about 1:00 pm on February 1, 2008, Anthony Asadon and his wife, jonalyn, were at
Glen’s house for his birthday celebration. During that time, Glen, Jesus, Pio Jongaya, and
victims Anthony and Rodolfo Mabag (Rodolfo) were having a drinking spree. At about 5:00
pm., Jonalyn and Anthony asked permission to leave the party; however, Glen disapproved of it
because they would still buy liquor. When Jonalyn and Anthony proceeded to elave, Glen
suddenly took his gun and shot Anthony, hitting his right eye. When Anthony fell on the ground,
Jesus stabbed him with a bolo. Seeing his cousin Anthony being assaulted, Rodolfo drew his
bolo and hit Glen at his chin. In turn, Glen and Jesus hacked and stabbed Rodolfo on his arms,
forehead and face. The RTC convicted Glen and Jesus of murder, for the death of Anthony, and
homicide, for the death of Rodolfo. The RTC did not consider the defense’s claim of self-
defense. The CA concurred with the finding of the RTC.

ISSUE:

Whether the CA correctly affirmed the conviction of Glen for the crimes of murder and
homicide.

RULING:

We find that Glen should only be held liable for homicide for the killing of Anthony instead of
murder, there being no proof that treachery attended the commission of the crime, contrary to the
findings of both the RTC and the CA.

In this case, while Glen suddenly and unexpectedly attacked Anthony, there was no showing that
he deliberately and consciously adopted such mode of attack in order to facilitate the killing
without any risk to himself arising from any defense that Anthony might have adopted.
TOPIC: Falsification of a Public Document

CASE TITLE: Shirley T. Lim, Mary T. Lim-Leon and Jimmy T. Lim vs People of the
Philippines

DATE: April 23, 2018

GR NO: 226590

DOCTRINE:

The prescription of the offense may be raised even for the first time on appeal.

FACTS:

The petitioners are siblings, all of whom are officers of Pentel Merchandising Co., Inc. (Pentel).
Their father, Quintin C. Lim (Quintin), established Pentel. Quintin died on September 16, 1996.
One of Pentel's stockholders, Lucy Lim (Lucy), alleged that the petitioners falsified the
Secretary's Certificate dated February 29, 2000, which in turn contained Pentel Board Resolution
2000-001 dated February 25, 2000. This Board Resolution authorized Jimmy to dispose the
parcel of land covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. 129824 registered in Pentel 's
name, located in P. Samonte Street, Pasay City (subject propeiiy). Through this Secretary's
Certificate, Jimmy was able to enter into a Deed of Absolute Sale on March 21, 2000, conveying
the subject property to the Spouses Emerson and Doris Lee (Spouses Lee). According to Lucy,
the Secretary's Certificate dated February 29, 2000 bearing Board Resolution 2000-001 was
falsified, because it was made to appear that Quintin signed it, despite having already died on
September 16, 1996-or, more than three (3) years from the time of its execution. According to
the petitioners, there was no direct evidence that they falsified the signature of Quintin on Board
Resolution 2000-001, which was embodied in the Secretary's Certificate dated February 29,
2000.

The MeTC convicted the petitioners but acquitted the Spouses Lee, as the prosecution failed to
prove their participation in the falsification of the Secretary's Certificate dated February 29, 2000
and Board Resolution 2000-001. The RTC denied the appeal and affirmed the assailed MeTC
decision. The petitioners, thus, filed their motion for reconsideration on January 5, 2015, and
argued that the evidence of their guilt rests only on circumstantial evidence. The RTC denied the
petitioners' Motion for Reconsideration. Aggrieved, the petitioners appealed to the CA via a
petition for review under Rule 42 of the Rules of Court. The CA dismissed the appeal outright
due to several formal defects in the petition.

ISSUE:

1. Whether the MeTC, RTC and CA correctly charged the petitioners with falsification of
public document.
2. Whether the offense has already prescribed.

RULING:

The petition is partially meritorious.

The petitioners were correctly charged with the crime of falsification of a public document.
Upon review of the Information, it is apparent that the subject matter of the falsification is the
Secretary's Certificate dated February 29, 2000-a notarized document certifying that Pentel's
Board of Directors passed Board Resolution 2000-001 in the meeting held on February 25, 2000.
While a board resolution is indeed not a public document within the contemplation of Section l
9(b ), Rule 132 of the Revised Rules on Evidence, the Secretary's Certificate dated February 29,
2000 squarely falls under this category. And, since the said Secretary's Certificate specifically
contained not only the supposed resolution passed by Pentel's Board of Directors, but also the
signatures of all the board members who approved such resolution, then it can be concluded that
all of the petitioners participated in the execution of the falsified Secretary's Certificate. Verily,
the petitioners were correctly charged and convicted with the falsification of a public document,
punishable under Article 172(1) of the RPC.

The crime of falsification of a public document charged against the petitioners already
prescribed. The crime was fully consummated through the execution of the Secretary's
Certificate dated February 29, 2000, which certified under oath that such meeting happened with
the participation of Quintin, and that Board Resolution 2000-001 was passed with his approval.

Article 90 of the RPC provides that the period for the prescription of offenses commences from
the day on which the crime is discovered by the offended party, the authorities, or their agents.
But if the offense is falsification of a public document punishable under Article 172 of the RPC,
as in this case, the period for prescription commences on the date of registration of the forged or
falsified document.
TOPIC: Parricide

CASE TITLE: People of the Philippines vs Ronillo Lopex, Jr. Y Mantalaba @ “Dodong”

DATE: April 23, 2018

GR NO: 232247

DOCTRINE:

In pleading self-defense, petitioner in effect admitted that he stabbed ·.1;he victim. It was then
incumbent upon him to prove that justifying circumstance to the satisfaction of the court, relying
on the strength of his evidence and not on the weakness of the prosecution.

FACTS:

At 2:00 A.M. of May 16, 2014, Martita Lopez was at her house in Sambayanihan, Las Pifias
City, when she heard her grandson, appellant herein, shout "Lola! Lola! Tulungan mo po aka."
When she asked what happened, appellant told her that "nasaksak ko si papa." They immediately
went to the house located at 2461 Panay Street, Timog CAA, Las Pifias City, where she found
her son, Ronillo Lopez, Sr. lying on the ground. Saturnina Madrofio, who also heard appellant's
admission and cry for help, went with Martita and appellant to the house at Panay Street,
checked the victim's pulse and determined that he was already dead. Thereafter, they reported the
incident to the police. Appellant fled from the scene after the incident, but was later arrested at
his brother-in-law's house in Dela Rama St., BF Homes, Parafiaque City, based on a tip by a
certain Samuel Lopez. Ronillo admitted that he stabbed his father, but maintained that he merely
acted in self-defense. The RTC rendered its Decision finding accusedappellant guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of the crime charged. The RTC debunked Ronillo's claim for entitlement to the
mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender stating that he never surrendered but was in fact
arrested by the police the following morning after the stabbing incident. Not in conformity,
Ronillo appealed his conviction for Parricide before the CA. The CA rendered its assailed
Decision affirming Ronillo's conviction for Parricide.

ISSUE:

Whether the trial court gravely erred in not appreciating the accused-appellant's claim of self-
defense despite the fact that all the elements thereof are present in this case.

RULING:

The appeal is devoid of merit. Accordingly, Ronillo's conviction must stand.

In criminal cases, the burden lies upon the prosecution to prove the guilt of the accused beyond
reasonable doubt rather than upon the accused that he was in fact innocent. If the accused,
however, admits killing the victim, but pleads self-defense, it now becomes incumbent upon him
to prove by clear, satisfactory and convincing evidence all the elements of said justifying
circumstance in order to escape liability. In the case at bench, Ronillo failed to discharge his
burden. Ronillo argues that the justifying circumstance of self-defense should have been
appreciated in his favor because all its elements had been present in the commission of the crime.
Accused-appellant is mistaken.
TOPIC: Simple Robbery with Extortion

CASE TITLE: PO2 Jessie Flores y De Leon vs People of the Philippines

DATE: April 23, 2018

GR NO: 222861

DOCTRINE:

Non-presentation of the original pieces of the marked money is not fatal to the cause of the
prosecution. Moreover, there is no rule requiring that the police officers must apply fluorescent
powder to the buy-bust money to prove the commission of the offense.

FACTS:

On 26 June 2000, at around 6:00 o'clock in the evening, private complainant France figured in a
vehicular collision with a passenger jeepney at the corner of E. Rodriguez and Aurora Blvd.,
Quezon City. Soon thereafter, a traffic enforcer arrived at the vicinity and prepared a sketch of
the incident. Then, France and the jeepney driver proceeded to Station 10, Kamuning Police
Station. At the station, appellant P02 Flores investigated the incident. The jeepney driver was
told to go home while France was asked to remain at the station. He was told to return to the
station after two days and prepare the amount of P2,000.00 so he can get back his driver's
license. Because France could not raise the said amount in two days, he was told by P02 Flores
to just return on the third day in the evening because he was on a night shift duty then.
Subsequently, a Traffic Violation Receipt (TVR) No. 1022911 was issued and signed by P02
Flores who told France that the same would serve as the latter's temporary driver's license.
France became suspicious as he recalled that on a previous occasion when his driver's license
was confiscated due to a traffic violation the same was claimed from the office of the Metro
Manila Development Authority (MMDA) or City Hall and not from the officer who confiscated
his license.

On June 29, 2000, petitioner was arrested via an entrapment operation conducted by the
Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF) pursuant to a complaint lodged by
private complainant Roderick France (France).

Headed by P02 llao, the P AOCTF team proceeded to Station 10, Kamuning Police Station
together with France. When France entered the station, P02 Flores asked him if he brought with
him the money. After an hour, P02 Flores called France to his table. He opened a drawer and told
France to drop the money inside. P02 Flores then counted the money inside the drawer using his
left hand. As soon as France asked for his driver's license, the PAOCTF team suddenly
materialized (sic) at the scene through P02 Ilao' s pre-arranged signal. They arrested P02 Flores
and confiscated the things inside his drawer including the marked money.
To exculpate himself from criminal liability, Flores interposed the defense of denial and "frame-
up". The RTC found petitioner guilty of simple robbery (extortion). Petitioner filed a motion for
reconsideration but it was denied in the RTC's Order. Aggrieved, petitioner appealed before the
CA.

ISSUES:

1. The Court of Appeals grievously erred and abused its prerogatives when it affirmed the
petitioner's conviction, despite that it is glaring from the evidence on record that the
respondent miserably failed to establish his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
2. The court of appeals committed a palpable mistake when it unceremoniously overlooked
that under the principle of conclusiveness of judgment, the issue on the alleged taking of
the property subject of this accusation can no longer be re-litigated in this criminal action.

RULING:

The petition has no merit. In petitions for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of
Court, only questions of law may be raised, not issues of fact.

The prosecution sufficiently established all the elements of the crime charged. Petitioner
succeeded in forcing France to choose between parting with his money or have his driver's
license confiscated or cancelled.

Non-presentation of the original pieces of the marked money is not fatal to the cause of the
prosecution. The best evidence rule applies only when the contents of the document are the
subject of inquiry. Where the issue is only as to whether or not such document was actually
executed, or exists, or in the circumstances relevant to or surrounding its execution, the best
evidence rule does not apply and testimonial evidence is admissible.