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People v.

Encinada
G.R. No. 116720, October 2, 1997, 280 SCRA 72
FACTS: Appeal from a decision of the RTC convicting appellant
Roel Encinada of Illegal Transpotation of prohibited drugs from
Surigao City to Cebu, under Sec. 4 of R.A. 6425 as amended
by BP 179.
SPO4 Bolonia received a tip from an informant
(4:00pm) that the appellant Encinada would be arriving in the
morning of May 21, 1992 on board the M/V Sweet Pearl
bringing with him marijuana. They were not able to secure
warrant of arrest because the office was already closed.
However, they still decided to pursue the apprehension of the
appellant.
Morning of May 21,1992, when M/V Sweet Pearl
docked SPO4 Bolonia with his team followed the appellant
carrying two small colored plastic chairs and boarded a
tricycle. The appellant was chased and ordered the driver to
stop, they inspect the plastic chairs and discovered that a
package was place between; tearing the package they were
convinced that it is marijuana because of the smell. They
apprehended the appellant brought him to the police station
and in the presence of a member of the local media, they
opened the package and saw that indeed it contains dried
leaves of marijuana.
ISSUE: a) WON the evidence sufficiently shows the possession
of marijuana by appellant.
b) WON the search on the person and belongings of
the appellant valid.
HOLDING: SC ruled that proof of ownership of the marijuana is
not necessary in the prosecution of Illegal drug case; it is
sufficient that such drug is found in appellants possession.
The court ruled acquitting the appellant; it reiterates the
constitutional proscription that evidence seized without a valid
search warrant is inadmissible in any proceeding. A guild of
incriminating evidence will not legitimize an illegal search.
Indeed, the end never justifies the means.
In this case, appellant was not committing a crime in the

presence of the policemen. Moreover, the Lawmen did not


have personal knowledge of the facts indicating that the
person to be arrested had committed an offense. The search
cannot be said to be merely incidental to a lawful arrest. Raw
intelligence information is not sufficient ground for a
warrantless arrest.
Any evidence obtained in violation of this provision is legally
inadmissible in evidence as a "fruit of the poisonous tree." This
principle is covered by this exclusionary
rule:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph"SEC. 3. . . .(2) Any evidence
obtained in violation of . . . the preceding section shall be
inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding."cralaw
virtua1aw libraryThe plain import of the foregoing provision is
that a search and seizure is normally unlawful unless
authorized by a validly issued search warrant or warrant of
arrest. This protection is based on the principle that, between
a citizen and the police, the magistrate stands as a mediator,
nay, an authority clothed with power to issue or refuses to
issue search warrants or warrants of arrest.
NB:
1. the SOLGENs contention that the appellant
consented to the search warrant cannot stand. The records
show that the appellant did not consent to the search and
objected by asking for a search warrant.
2. Ends does not justify the means.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. RENE JANUARIO
Facts: An Information was filed against Rene Januario and
Efren Canape, and their co-accused Santiago Cid, Eliseo Sarita
and Eduardo Sarinos charging them with violation of Republic
Act No. 6539 (Anti-Carnapping Law) conspiring and
confederating together and mutually helping one another, with
intent to gain, by means of force, violence and intimidation,
did, then and there, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, after
stabbing to death the driver and conductor, take, steal and
carry away and carnap, one Isuzu passenger type jeepney.
They pleaded not guilty.
Prosecution presented witnesses, documentary and other
evidence tending to prove that sometime in March
1988, Santiago Cid went to the house of prosecution witness

Vicente Dilanco Pons. Cid, Pons' cousin, asked Pons if he


wanted to buy a jeepney but Pons had no money and offered
to help him find a buyer which Cid agreed to. At that time,
Pons did not know who owned the jeepney, but he eventually
offered it for sale to Myrna Temporas who agreed to the
purchase price of P65,000.00. According to Myrna Temporas,
Pons said that the jeepney was owned by his niece, Doris
Wolf. Pons, purportedly acting upon the instructions of Doris
Wolf, borrowed from Myrna Temporas the amount
of P48,500.00 and used the jeepney as a collateral. The
amount was given to Pons in P10,000.00 cash and the balance
in a check payable to Doris Wolf. The check was encashed as
it was cleared from Myrna Temporas' account. September 11,
Temporas asked Pons to secure a special power of attorney
from Doris Wolf. Pons promised to comply in one or two
weeks, but failed to pay the indebtedness. So, Myrna
Temporas repeatedly went to his house to collect the amount
borrowed but Pons always promised that he himself would go
to her house to pay. Pons also failed to produce a deed of sale
covering the jeepney, Temporas lodged a complaint against
him for estafa before the NBI. Acting on the complaint, the NBI
contacted the relatives of the owner of the jeepney who went
to Camarines Sur, identified the jeepney and informed the NBI
that its driver and conductor had been killed by carnappers.
September 12, 1989, the prosecution formally offered its
evidence, which the court duly admitted. Defense manifested
its intention to file a demurrer to evidence. However, because
the defense had not yet presented accused Cid, the court on
November 21, 1989, ordered the cancellation of his bailbond
and gave his surety thirty days within which to show cause
why judgment against the bond should not be rendered. The
defense counsel, Atty. Jose Claro, was likewise required to
explain why he should not be held in contempt of court for his
failure to file a demurrer to evidence.
For failure of the defense counsel to appear at the
scheduled hearing dates and to file the promised demurrer to
evidence, the court on December 22, 1989, issued an order
stating that the "accused may no longer at this time be
allowed to present their Demurrer to Evidence." It scheduled
dates for the presentation of defense evidence and appointed
Atty. Oscar Zaldivar as counsel de oficio for the defendants.
December 26, 1989, counsel for the defense Claro mailed a

"demurrer to evidence or motion to dismiss on insufficiency of


evidence. January 10, 1990, the trial court denied the motion
finding that the demurrer did not "contain any reason
compelling enough to recall the previous order," disallowing
the filing of said pleading.
Issues: (1) The trial procedure, particularly the presentation
and admission of the testimony of Atty. Carlos Saunar, was
irregular and prejudicial to the appellants; and
(2) The extra-judicial confessions of the appellants are
inadmissible in evidence for having been extracted in violation
of their constitutional right to counsel.
Ruling: Decision of the RTC is REVERSED and SET
ASIDE. Appellants Rene Januario and Efren Canape
are ACQUITTED.
Ration: The pertinent provisions of Rule 119 of the Rules of
Court state: "Sec. 3. Order of trial.- The trial shall proceed in
the following order: (c) The parties may then respectively
present rebutting evidence only, unless the court, in the
furtherance of justice, permits them to present additional
evidence bearing upon the main issue.
The trial procedure as outlined in this rule is ordinarily
followed to insure the orderly conduct of litigations to attain
the magisterial objective of the Rules of Court to protect the
parties' substantive rights. However, strict observance of the
Rules depend upon the circumstances obtaining in each case
at the discretion of the trial judge. Thus, as early as 1917, this
Court explained: The orderly course of proceedings requires,
however, that the prosecution shall go forward and should
present all of its proof in the first instance; but it is competent
for the judge, according to the nature of the case, to allow a
party who has closed his case to introduce further evidence in
rebuttal. This rule, however, depends upon the particular
circumstances of each particular case, and falls within the
sound discretion of the judge, to be exercised or not as he
may think proper.
Hence, the court may allow the prosecutor, even after
he has rested his case or even after the defense has moved
for dismissal, to present involuntarily omitted evidence. The
primary consideration is whether the trial court still has
jurisdiction over the case. Thus "The claim that the lower
court erred in allowing the prosecuting attorney to introduce
new evidence is devoid of any merit, for while the prosecution

had rested, the trial was not yet terminated and the cause was
still under the control and jurisdiction of the court and the
latter, in the exercise of its discretion, may receive additional
evidence. Sec. 3(c), Rule 119 of the Rules of Court clearly
provides that, in the furtherance of justice, the court may
grant either of the parties the right and opportunity to adduce
new additional evidence bearing upon the main issue in
question.
Saunars testimony was admitted in evidence before the
trial court rendered its Decision. Undoubtedly then, the
court a quo retained its jurisdiction even though the
prosecution had rested its case. As to appellants, Saunar was
an additional prosecution witness, not a rebuttal witness,
because the defense waived presentation of evidence after
the prosecution had rested its case. Saunar was, therefore, a
rebuttal witness with respect to accused Cid.
2) Proof of Saunar's presence during the custodial
investigation of appellants is, however, not a guarantee that
appellants' respective confessions had been taken in
accordance with Article III, Section 12 (1) of the
Constitution. This constitutional provision requires that a
person under investigation for the commission of an offense
shall have no less than "competent and independent counsel
preferably of his own choice."
A lawyer engaged for an individual facing custodial
investigation if the latter could not afford one should be
engaged by the accused himself, or by the latter's relative or
person authorized by him to engage an attorney or by the
court, upon proper petition of the accused or person
authorized by the accused to file such petition. Lawyers
engaged by the police, whatever testimonials are given as
proof of their probity and supposed independence, are
generally suspect, as in many areas, the relationship between
lawyers and law enforcement authorities can be symbiotic."
Saunar was not the choice of appellant Januario as his
custodial investigation counsel. Under the circumstances
described by the prosecution however, he could not have been
the independent counsel solemnly spoken of by our
Constitution. He was an applicant for a position in the NBI and
therefore it can never be said that his loyalty was to the
confessants. In fact, he was actually employed by the NBI a
few months after. As regards appellant Januario, Saunar might

have really been around to properly apprise appellant of his


constitutional right as reflected in the written sworn statement
itself.
The same cannot be said about appellant Canape. He
was not properly informed of his constitutional
rights. Perfunctorily informing a confessant of his
constitutional rights, asking him if he wants to avail of the
services of counsel and telling him that he could ask for
counsel if he so desires or that one could be provided him at
his request, are simply not in compliance with the
constitutional mandate. Canape was merely told of his
constitutional rights and posthaste, asked whether he was
willing to confess. His affirmative answer may not, by any
means, be interpreted as a waiver of his right to counsel of his
own choice.
The law enforcement agents' cavalier disregard of appellants'
constitutional rights is shown not only by their failure to
observe Section 12 (1) of Article III of the Constitution. They
have likewise forgotten the third paragraph of Section 12 of
the same article which mandates that an admission of facts
related to a crime must be obtained with the assistance of
counsel otherwise it would be inadmissible in evidence against
the person so admitting.
An admission, under Section 26 of Rule 130 of the Rules of
Court, is an "act, declaration or omission of a party as to a
relevant fact" is different from a confession which, in turn, is
defined in Section 33 of the same Rule as the "declaration of
an accused acknowledging his guilt of the offense charged, or
of any offense necessarily included therein." Both may be
given in evidence against the person admitting or confessing.
In People vs. Lorenzo, the Court explained that in a confession
there is an acknowledgment of guilt while in an admission the
statements of fact by the accused do not directly involve an
acknowledgment of guilt or of the criminal intent to commit
the offense with which the accused is charged.
It is therefore clear that prior to the execution of the
sworn statements at the NBI head office, appellants had
already made verbal admissions of complicity in the
crime. Verbal admissions, however, should also be made with
the assistance of counsel. Thus: "The verbal admissions
allegedly made by both appellants of their participation in the
crime, at the time of their arrest and even before their formal

investigation, are inadmissible, both as violative of their


constitutional rights and as hearsay evidence. These oral
admissions, assuming they were in fact made, constitute
uncounselled extrajudicial confessions within the meaning of
Article III, Section 12 of the Constitution."
That appellants indeed admitted participation in the
commission of the crime in Naga City is shown by the fact that
the NBI agents brought them to Manila to facilitate
apprehension of the other culprits who could be either in
Cavite or Manila. Because their uncounselled oral admissions
in Naga City resulted in the execution of their written
confessions in Manila, the latter had become as
constitutionally infirm as the former.
GR No. 101817; March 26, 1997
People of the Philippines vs Eduardo Gomez and Felipe
Immaculata.
Felipe Immaculata, accused-appellant.

Facts:
Gomez and Immaculata were implicated in the crime
of transporting heroin estimated to be worth $40,000,000.
On Feb 27, 1990, David, Immaculatas employer,
sent the latter to Thailand to canvass ready to wear clothes. A
week later, David and Gomez followed Immaculata to
Thailand.
Om March 14, 1990, the three of them boarded a
flight bound for Manila. In Manila, Gomez deposited two golf
bags with the interline baggage room for his connecting flight
to San Francisco. Well before flight time, Dumag, a customs
policeman at NAIA, was requested to help facilitate the
checking in of Gomez. Dumag proceeded to the baggage room
and retrieved the baggages, to acknowledge the release, he
signed to the unclaimed baggage/transit list.
Dumag then proceeded to Patio, Manila, a restaurant
in NAIA, where he turned over to Customs Collector, De Leon
the travel papers of Gomez. However, Gomez failed to board
the flight to San Francisco. The two golf bags were off loaded
from the aircraft. At 4pm that same day, PAL staff, Mendoza,
brough the bags to the check in counter for check up. Aviation
Security Squadron of the Philippine Air Force Security
Command (PAFSECOM) opened the bags and found 31 single

packs of heroin with a total weight of 20.1159kg. The


examination of PAFSECOM was witnessed by the NAIA
manager, a representative of the UAL and other customs
personnel.
Initial reports of the PAFSECOM traced Gomez as the
owner of the golf bags. Immaculata and Gomez denied having
to do with the confiscated bags. Immaculata said that he was
hired by David to be a stay in driver and was sometimes
asked to do special errands for him. While Gomez said that he
only met David for the first in 1986 in a plane from the
Philippines to Los, Angeles, USA. He further stated that he was
asked if he was interested in bringing in some dollars to the
Philippines which he later agreed to do. A certain Cunanan told
Gomez that he could use in the Philippines his golf set and a
few weeks later, one Andy Bombao requested him to also take
another golf set for Cunanan.
Gomez left the US for the Philippines and he checked
in two golf bags. At the NAIA, he was met by David and
Immaculata. The three then went to Bicutan where David
handed to Gomez, two roundtrip plane tickets to Bangkok and
a UAL ticket for San Francisco. Davis sent Immaculata to
Bangkok to canvass clothes, then Gomez and David followed,
bringing with them two golf bags.
David returned to Manila earlier than Gomez and he
was instructed by David that a certain Aya Yupangco should
not be allowed to look into the golf bags because they
contained precious jewels.
At the NAIA, Gomez was met by David but the
former was informed that the could not take the flight for San
Francisco. Then Gomez called up his stepfather, who advised
him to surrender himself to the American Authorities. Gomez
surrendered to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) of the US
in Manila. The DEA in turn, surrendered him to the NBI.
Meanwhile, Immaculata was imprisoned in
Hongkong because of an expired visa while he travels with
David. He was visited by NBI agents for his implication in the
"heroin" case, of which he denied the accusation. Later, he
agreed, without the assistance of counsel, to execute a sworn
statement at the Stanley Prison. After his prison term,
Immaculata was deported to Manila. Eventually, Gomez and
Immaculata were then convicted by the RTC which made them
file for notices of appeal. In his appeal, Immaculata insists that

the trial courthas erred in including him in the drug conspiracy


and in admitting in evidence his sworn statement taken,
without the assistance of counsel, by an NBI agent at the
Stanley Prison i nHongkong. He contended that this is in
violation of his constitutional rights as contemplated in
Section 12(1), Article III, of the Constitution.

Issue: Is an uncounselled confession executed in Hongkong


admissible?

Ruling:
No. The court ruled that Section 12(1), Article III, of
the Constitution requires that any person under investigation
for the commission of an offense shall have the right to be
informed of his right to remain silent and to have competent
and independent counsel preferably of his own choice. If the
person cannot afford the services of counsel, he must be
provided with one.
These rights cannot be waived except in writing and
in the presence of counsel. In the case at bar, even if the
appellant allowed himself to be investigated without a
counsel, this does not signify that he has waived his right of
having one. Such right is for any Filipino citizen to exercise
even when abroad. Therefore, his sworn statement remains an
inadmissible evidence in court.Moreover, conspiracy to be the
basis for a conviction, should be proved in the same manner
as the criminal act itself. It is also essential that a conscious
design to commit an offense must be established . Conspiracy
is not the product of negligence but of intentionality on the
part of the cohorts. Under our laws, the onus probandi in
establishing the guilt of an accused for a criminal offense lies
with the prosecution. There is no clear proof that appellant
Immaculata was together with the other accused in designing
the commission of the crime charge.
People vs Mahinay
[G.R. No. 122485. February 1, 1999.]
FACTS:
Larry, the responded herein is an employee of Elvira Chan, the
mother of the Ma. Victoria Chan, 12 years old, who is the

owner of the unfinished big house being built. That on Sunday


morning of 8AM, he was with Gregorio Rivera in a drinking
spree but went home when he already was drunk at around
10AM. At about 9PM, the respondent herein showed up in the
store of Norgina Rivera, sister in law of the mother of the
accused, to buy lugaw. Norgina asked Larry Mahinay why he
appeared to be so uneasy and his hair was disarranged, he
was also still drunk and walking in a zigzagging manner.
Meanwhile, Elvira noticed that her daughter, Ma. Victoria, was
missing.
On the following day, the respondent at about 2AM boarded a
jeepney in Talipapa, and alighted at the top of the bridge of
the North Expressway and had thereafter disappeared.
The same morning, a certain Boy found the body of Ma.
Victoria Chan, in a septic tank and reported the matter to her
parents.
The parents, with the policemen tried to look for Larry where
he worked before, in Caloocan, but to no avail, was not able to
find him.
It was in Batangas where Larry was apprehended. From then,
Larry, with the assistance of the counsel, made an
extrajudicial confession. However, during the arraignment, he
retracted his statement and testified that he made it
involuntary due to fear, which according to him that he would
be salvage by the policemen who arrested him if he would not
admit the crime. Hence this petition.
ISSUE:
The issue here boils down to the credibility of the witnesses.
HELD:
Settled is the rule that the assessment of the credibility of
witnesses is a matter best left to the trial court because of its
unique position of having observed that elusive and
incommunicable evidence of the witnesses department on the
stand while testifying.
The absence of any improper motive or ill-motive on the part

on the part of the principal witnesses for the prosecution all


the more strengthens the conclusion that no such motive
exists.
Though it is not enough to only have testimonies from credible
witnesses to produce conviction beyond reasonable doubt, the
Court gave credence to several circumstantial evidence, which
upon thorough review, were more than enough to prove the
guilt of the appellant beyond reasonable doubt.
"Evidence to be believed must not only proceed from the
mouth of a credible witness, but must be credible in itself
such as the common experience and observation of mankind
can approve as probable under the circumstances. We have no
test of the truth of human testimony, except its conformity to
our knowledge, observation and experience. Whatever is
repugnant to these belongs to the miraculous, and is outside
of judicial cognizance."cralaw virtua1aw library
NB: With regard to circumstantial evidence, the court held
that, the proven circumstances of this case when juxtaposed
with appellants proffered excuse are sufficient to sustain his
conviction beyond reasonable doubt, notwithstanding the
absence of any direct evidence relative to the commission of
the crime for which he was prosecuted. Absence of direct
proof does not necessarily absolve him from any liability
because under the Rules on evidence and pursuant to settled
jurisprudence, conviction may be had on circumstantial
evidence provided that the following requisites
concur:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library1. there is more than one
circumstance;2. the facts from which the inferences are
derived are proven; and3. the combination of all the
circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond
reasonable doubt.Simply put, for circumstantial evidence to be
sufficient to support a conviction, all circumstances must be
consistent with each other, consistent with the hypothesis that
the accused is guilty, and at the same time inconsistent with
the hypothesis that he is innocent and with every other
rational hypothesis except that of guilt. Facts and
circumstances consistent with guilt and inconsistent with
innocence, constitute evidence which, in weight and probative
force, may surpass even direct evidence in its effect upon the

court.
[G.R. No. 118904. April 20, 1998] ARTURIO
TRINIDAD, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, FELIX
TRINIDAD (deceased) and LOURDES TRINIDAD,
respondents.
Prior Proceedings: The CFI considered that since the plaintiff is
the legitimate son of Inocentes and entitled to inherit the
property left by his deceased father which is 1/3 of the 4
parcels of land subject matter of this case. The CA reversed
the trial court on the ground that petitioner failed to adduce
sufficient evidence to prove that his parents were legally
married to each other and that acquisitive prescription against
him had set in. SC- petition for review on certiorari; Reversed
CA and reinstated CFIs decision.
Facts of the Case: Petitioner filed a complaint for partition and
damages against Private Respondents Felix and Lourdes
Trinidad, before the CFI of Aklan. Petitioner claimed that he
was the son of the late Inocentes Trinidad, one of the children
of Patricio Trinidad, who died in 1940, leaving the four (4)
parcels of land to his three (3) children, Inocentes, Lourdes
and Felix. Defendants denied that plaintiff was the son of
Inocentes. Defendants contended that Inocentes was single
when he died in 1941, before plaintiffs birth.
Issue (In relation to Evidence): Did petitioner present sufficient
evidence of his parents marriage and of his filiation?
Held and Ratio: YES. The plaintiff was able to prove the
existence of a valid and subsisting marriage between his
mother (Felicidad) and his putative father (Inocentes).
In Pugeda vs. Trias, the SC ruled that when the question of
whether a marriage has been contracted arises in
litigation, said marriage may be proven by relevant
evidence. To prove the fact of marriage, the following would
constitute competent evidence: the testimony of a witness to
the matrimony, the couples public and open cohabitation as
husband and wife after the alleged wedlock, the birth and the
baptismal certificates of children born during such union, and
the mention of such nuptial in subsequent documents.
Although the marriage contract is considered the primary
evidence of the marital union, petitioners failure to present it
is not proof that no marriage took place, as other forms of
relevant evidence may take its place.

In place of a marriage contract, two witnesses were presented


by petitioner: Isabel Meren, who testified that she was present
during the nuptial of Felicidad and Inocentes on May 5, 1942 in
New Washington, Aklan; and Jovita Gerardo, who testified that
the couple deported themselves as husband and wife after the
marriage. Gerardo, the 77-year old barangay captain of
Tigayon and former board member of the local parentteachers association, used to visit Inocentes and Felicidads
house twice or thrice a week, as she lived only thirty meters
away. On July 21, 1943, Gerardo dropped by Inocentes house
when Felicidad gave birth to petitioner. She also attended
petitioners baptismal party held at the same house.[ Her
testimony constitutes evidence of common reputation
respecting marriage. It further gives rise to the disputable
presumption that a man and a woman deporting themselves
as husband and wife have entered into a lawful contract of
marriage. Petitioner also presented his baptismal certificate in
which Inocentes and Felicidad were named as the childs father
and mother.
On the other hand, filiation may be proven by the following:
ART. 265. The filiation of legitimate children is proved by the
record of birth appearing in the Civil Register, or by an
authentic document or a final judgment.
ART. 266. In the absence of the titles indicated in the
preceding article, the filiation shall be proved by the
continuous possession of status of a legitimate child.
ART. 267. In the absence of a record of birth, authentic
document, final judgment or possession of status, legitimate
filiation may be proved by any other means allowed by the
Rules of Court and special laws.[
Petitioner submitted in evidence a certification that records
relative to his birth were either destroyed during the last world
war or burned when the old town hall was razed to the ground
on June 17, 1956. To prove his filiation, he presented in
evidence two family pictures, his baptismal certificate and
Gerardos testimony.
The first family picture shows petitioner carrying his second
daughter and his wife together with the late Felix Trinidad
carrying petitioners first daughter, and Lourdes Trinidad.
Exhibit B is another picture showing Lourdes Trinidad carrying
petitioners first child. These pictures were taken before the
case was instituted. Although they do not directly prove

petitioners filiation to Inocentes, they show that petitioner was


accepted by the private respondents as Inocentes legitimate
son ante litem motam.
The totality of petitioners positive evidence clearly
preponderates over private respondents self-serving
negations.
Furthermore, petitioner consistently used Inocentes
surname (Trinidad) without objection from private respondents
-- a presumptive proof of his status as Inocentes legitimate
child.