Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 13

G.R. No.


June 28, 2001


The case is an appeal from the decision1 of the Regional Trial Court, Isabela, Roxas, Branch 23 convicting
accused Ernesto Pardua, Rogelio Pardua, George Pardua and Warlito Pardua of murder and sentencing each of
them to reclusion perpetua and to indemnify jointly and severally the heirs of the victim Toribio Simpliciano in
the amount of P62,000.00 as actual and compensatory damages, and an additional sum of P150,000.00 as moral
and exemplary damages and to pay the costs.
On April 27, 1993, the trial court rendered a decision,14 the dispositive portion of which reads:
"WHEREFORE, in the light of the foregoing findings and conclusions the Court believes and so holds
that the prosecution has ably and satisfactorily proved the guilt of the accused beyond any iota of doubt
as principals of the offense charged qualified by evident premeditation. Having acted in conspiracy, the
commission thereof attended by the following aggravating circumstances: abuse of superior strength
and in utter disregard of the due respect to their elder, the deceased Toribio Simpliciano, and without
any mitigating circumstance to offset the same, the Court hereby sentences each and every one of them
to suffer the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua with all the accessory penalties provided for by law; to
indemnify jointly and severally the deceased victim Toribio Simpliciano the sum of P62,000.00 as
actual and compensatory damages, and an additional sum of P150,000.00 by way of moral and
exemplary damages, and to pay the costs.
Hence, this appeal.15
In their appeal, accused-appellants question the credibility of the prosecution witnesses. According to them, only
Ernesto committed the hacking that led to Toribios death and he did so to defend his landholding from the
unlawful entry of his brother-in-law, Toribio.
It is well settled that the findings of a trial court on the credibility of witnesses deserve great weight, given the
clear advantage of a trial judge over an appellate magistrate in the appreciation of testimonial evidence. It is
well-entrenched that the trial court is in the best position to assess the credibility of witnesses and their
testimonies because of its unique opportunity to observe the witnesses firsthand and note their demeanor,
conduct and attitude under grueling examination. These are the most significant factors in evaluating the
sincerity of witnesses and in unearthing the truth. In the absence of any showing that the trial courts calibration
of credibility was flawed, we are bound by its assessment.16
We have carefully reviewed the testimonies of the witnesses both for the prosecution and the defense as well as
other evidence. We are convinced that the trial court correctly held that the accused-appellants guilt was
established beyond reasonable doubt. We have no reason to doubt the testimony of Orlando and Juanito. They
recounted details of the horrifying experience of seeing their uncle, Toribio, killed, in a manner reflective of
honest and unrehearsed testimony. Their candid, plain, straightforward account of the untoward incident that
happened in broad daylight and in an open field, was free of significant inconsistencies, unshaken by rigid
Accused-appellants fault the trial court for considering the testimony of Juanito, who was not among those
present at the scene of the crime by Orlando and Alfredo, and whose name was not listed in the information as
among the prosecution witnesses. According to accused-appellants, Juanitos testimony is a fabrication, for he
saw nothing of the incident which befell his uncle, Toribio.
The Court is not persuaded. As long as a person is qualified to become a witness, he may be presented as one
regardless of whether his name was included in the information or not.17
Accused-appellants claimed that Orlando and Juanito were biased witnesses for they were nephews of the
victim. The prosecution could have presented other companions of the victim at the time of the hacking incident,
like Esperidion Pillos, Alfredo Villanueva, Bobot Pillos, Ely la Fuente and Mariano la Fuente, who were not
relatives of Toribio.
Accused-appellants contention deserves scant consideration. Mere relationship of Orlando and Juanito to the
victim does not automatically impair their credibility as to render their testimonies less worthy of credence
where no improper motive may be ascribed to them for testifying. In fact, a witness relationship to a victim, far
from rendering his testimony biased, would even render it more credible as it would be unnatural for a relative
who is interested in vindicating the crime to accuse somebody other than the real culprit.18
In like manner, Leonoras testimony that she heard her brothers plan the killing of her husband, deserves great

weight and credence. In her desire to bring to justice her husbands assailants, she would not falsely impute to
her own brothers the killing of her husband. This goes against the grain of human nature and is therefore
The failure of the other companions of the victim to testify is of no moment. The defense could have presented
them as their witnesses in order to ferret out the truth. The defense failed to do so.19

A.M. No. MTJ-91-619 January 29, 1993

For our consideration is a letter-complaint of Atty. Hugolino V. Balayon, Jr., dated October 9, 1991, charging
Judge Gaydifredo O. Ocampo of the Metropolitan, Trial Court, Tupi, South Cotabato with gross ignorance of the
law and grave misconduct.
The complaint states that respondent Judge, with gross ignorance of the law, allowed a witness to testify during
the trial without previously submitting his affidavit as required under Section 14 of the Rules on Summary
Procedure. 6
In People vs. Esther Ante, Criminal Case No. 5226 for Slight Physical Injuries, a prosecution witness who had
not previously submitted his affidavit was allowed by respondent Judge to testify during the trial, over and
above the objection of complainant. Complainant alleged that Section 14 of the Rules on Summary Procedure
expressly prohibits any witness, without exception, from testifying during the trial without previously
submitting his affidavit, citing the case of Gonzales v. Presiding Judge of Branch 1, RTC of Bohol. 7
In Orino vs. Judge Gervasio, 8 the Supreme Court ruled in a Minute Resolution that even if a witness has not
properly submitted his/her affidavit, he may be called to testify in connection with a specific factual matter
relevant to the issue. Thus, a medical doctor whose medical certificate is among the evidence on record may be
called to testify. This also applies to a Register of Deeds or Provincial Assessor in connection with official
documents issued by his office. Respondent Judge may not therefore be held guilty of ignorance of the law.
IN SUMMARY, We resolved the eight complaints filed against respondent Judge as follows:
FIRST COMPLAINT: Under Cannon 2 of the 1989 Code of Judicial Conduct, respondent Judge should avoid
impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all his activities. While respondent Judge was found to have
written the police station Commander of Tupi, South Cotabato, in good faith, he should refrain from engaging in
such activity, and other similar ones, so as not to tarnish the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.
SECOND COMPLAINT: There is no basis for the charge against respondent Judge of improperly issuing a
search warrant and a warrant of arrest in relation to Criminal Case No. 5016. The issuance was not attended with
malice or bad faith. The complaint is therefore hereby dismissed.
THIRD COMPLAINT: This being the second complaint against respondent Judge for alleged issuance of a
search warrant and/or a warrant of arrest in Criminal Case No. 5123 in violation of the requirement of personal
knowledge, respondent Judge is hereby admonished to exercise more circumspection and prudence in the
issuance of the said warrants so as not to unwittingly trample on the constitutionally guaranteed rights of the
FOURTH COMPLAINT: This complaint is dismissed. We hold respondent Judge not guilty of ignorance of the
law when he allowed a witness to testify despite his non-submission of an affidavit. This is well within the Rules
on Summary Procedure.
FIFTH COMPLAINT: For the unauthorized notarization of nine private documents, respondent Judge is fined
TEN THOUSAND PESOS (P10,000.00) with warning that the commission of similar acts in the future will
warrant a more severe sanction.
SIXTH COMPLAINT: This complaint is dismissed. That respondent Judge's decision of convicting accused in a
criminal complaint for light threats was reversed on appeal on reasonable doubt is not an indication of
respondent Judge's lack of correct appreciation of facts. A mere error in judgment is immaterial in an
administrative complaint against a judge absent any showing of bad faith.

SEVENTH COMPLAINT: There is enough evidence to hold respondent Judge remiss in the performance of his
duties as municipal judge when he dismissed a criminal case for theft filed with his sala for preliminary
investigation despite his own finding that there was intent to gain on the part of the accused when they
appropriated the galvanized iron sheets. Thus, respondent Judge is again admonished to exercise more prudence
and circumspection in the performance of his duties as municipal judge.
EIGHTH COMPLAINT: The denial of a demurrer to the evidence is left to the sound discretion of the Court,
rather than an indication of ignorance of the law. It was well within the respondent Judge's discretion, absent any
showing of bad faith or excess of jurisdiction, for him to have denied complainant's Demurrer to the Evidence in
Criminal Case No. 5180. The complaint is therefore dismissed.
G.R. No. 100199 January 18, 1993
Prudencio Dominguez and Rodolfo Macalisang, along with Roger C. Dominguez, were charged with the
murders of Regional Trial Court Judge Purita A. Boligor and of her brother Luther Avancea. Prudencio and
Rodolfo were found guilty and sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to indemnify the heirs
of Judge Purita A. Boligor in the amount of P30,000.00 and the heirs of Luther Avancea of another P30,000.00,
jointly and severally. At the same time, the trial court dismissed the charges against Roger C. Dominguez for
lack of sufficient evidence.
In their brief, accused-appellants assigned the following as errors allegedly committed by the trial court:
First error the trial court gravely erred in giving credence to the prosecution's evidence,
particularly the testimony of Oscar Cagod, and basing its judgment of conviction thereon.
Second error the trial court gravely erred in refusing to give credence to the evidence of the
Third error the trial court gravely erred in not acquitting the accused-appellants and
declaring them innocent of the charge against
them. 1
The prosecution's case rested mainly on the testimony of Oscar Cagod who witnessed the above sequence of
events from a store across the street. The defense, for its part, attacked the credibility and the testimony of Oscar
Cagod on the following grounds:
First, Cagod was not a disinterested witness, having lived in the house of Judge Boligor for
eighteen (18) to nineteen (19) years and having treated the Judge like his own mother;
Second, Cagod waited for four (4) months after the slaying of Judge Boligor and Luther
Avancea before he executed his sworn statement;
Third, Cagod, according to the defense, executed his sworn statement only after the police
authorities had arrested him and promised him immunity from prosecution. His testimony
therefore came from a polluted source and should be received only with utmost caution.
Fourth, Cagod had been convicted, when he was twelve (12) years old, of murder, a crime
involving moral turpitude and accordingly his testimony deserved no credence.
Last, the defense assailed the testimony of Cagod as being incredible in itself.
In its fourth contention, the defense stresses that Oscar Cagod had been convicted of murder when he was
twelve (12) years old and insists that, therefore, Cagod's testimony "deserves no credence and must be
considered with extreme caution. 15 Initially, we note that Rule 130 of the Revised Rules of Court provides as
Sec. 20. Witnesses; their qualifications. Except as provided in the next succeeding section,
all persons who can perceive, and perceiving, can make known their perception to others, may
be witnesses.
. . . [C]onviction of a crime unless otherwise provided by law, shall not be a ground for
disqualification. (Emphasis supplied).
In Cordial v. People, 16 this Court echoed the above cited provision of law stating that

even convicted criminals are not excluded from testifying in court so long as, having organs of
sense, they "can perceive and perceiving can make known their perceptions to others. 17
The fact of prior criminal conviction alone does not suffice to discredit a witness; the testimony of such a
witness must be assayed and scrutinized in exactly the same way the testimony of other witnesses must be
examined for its relevance and credibility. None of the cases cited by the appellants militates against this
proposition. 18
G.R. No. 145225

April 2, 2004


On appeal is the Decision1 of June 9, 2000 of the Regional Trial Court of Sorsogon, Sorsogon, Branch 65 in
Criminal Case No. 241, finding appellant Salvador Golimlim alias "Badong" guilty beyond reasonable doubt of
rape, imposing on him the penalty of reclusion perpetua, and holding him civilly liable in the amount
of P50,000.00 as indemnity, and P50,000.00 as moral damages.
Finding for the prosecution, the trial court, by the present appealed Decision, convicted appellant as charged.
The dispositive portion of the decision reads:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, accused Salvador Golimlim having been found guilty of the
crime of RAPE (Art. 335 R.P.C. as amended by RA 7659) beyond reasonable doubt is hereby sentenced
to suffer the penalty of RECLUSION PERPETUA, and to indemnify the offended party Evelyn
Canchela in the amount of P50,000.00 as indemnity and another P50,000.00 as moral damage[s], and to
pay the costs.
Hence, the present appeal, appellant assigning to the trial court the following errors:
Appellant argues that Evelyns testimony is not categorical and is replete with contradictions, thus engendering
grave doubts as to his criminal culpability.
In giving credence to Evelyns testimony and finding against appellant, the trial court made the following
observations, quoted verbatim:
1) Despite her weak and dull mental state the victim was consistent in her claim that her Papay Badong
(accused Salvador Golimlim) had carnal knowledge of her and was the author of her pregnancy, and
nobody else (See: For comparison her Sworn Statement on p. 3/Record; her narration in the Psychiatric
Report on pp. 47 & 48/Record; the TSNs of her testimony in open court);
2) She remains consistent that her Papay Badong raped her only once;
3) That the contradictory statements she made in open court relative to the details of how she was
raped, although would seem derogatory to her credibility and reliability as a witness under normal
conditions, were amply explained by the psychiatrist who examined her and supported by her findings
(See: Exhibits F to F-2);
4) Despite her claim that several persons laid on top of her (which is still subject to question
considering that the victim could not elaborate on its meaning), the lucid fact remains that she never
pointed to anybody else as the author of her pregnancy, but her Papay Badong. Which only shows that
the trauma that was created in her mind by the incident has remained printed in her memory despite her
weak mental state. Furthermore, granting for the sake of argument that other men also laid on top of
her, this does not deviate from the fact that her Papay Badong (the accused) had sexual intercourse with
The trial judges assessment of the credibility of witnesses testimonies is, as has repeatedly been held by this
Court, accorded great respect on appeal in the absence of grave abuse of discretion on its part, it having had the
advantage of actually examining both real and testimonial evidence including the demeanor of the witnesses.23

In the present case, no cogent reason can be appreciated to warrant a departure from the findings of the trial
court with respect to the assessment of Evelyns testimony.
That Evelyn is a mental retardate does not disqualify her as a witness nor render her testimony bereft of truth.
Sections 20 and 21 of Rule 130 of the Revised Rules of Court provide:
SEC. 20. Witnesses; their qualifications. Except as provided in the next succeeding section, all
persons who can perceive, and perceiving, can make known their perception to others, may be
SEC. 21. Disqualification by reason of mental incapacity or immaturity. The following persons
cannot be witnesses:
(a) Those whose mental condition, at the time of their production for examination, is such that they are
incapable of intelligently making known their perception to others;
(b) Children whose mental maturity is such as to render them incapable of perceiving the facts
respecting which they are examined and of relating them truthfully.
In People v. Trelles,24 where the trial court relied heavily on the therein mentally retarded private complainants
testimony irregardless of her "monosyllabic responses and vacillations between lucidity and ambiguity," this
Court held:
A mental retardate or a feebleminded person is not, per se, disqualified from being a witness, her
mental condition not being a vitiation of her credibility. It is now universally accepted that intellectual
weakness, no matter what form it assumes, is not a valid objection to the competency of a witness so
long as the latter can still give a fairly intelligent and reasonable narrative of the matter testified to.25
It can not then be gainsaid that a mental retardate can be a witness, depending on his or her ability to relate what
he or she knows.26 If his or her testimony is coherent, the same is admissible in court.27
To be sure, modern rules on evidence have downgraded mental incapacity as a ground to disqualify a witness.
As observed by McCormick, the remedy of excluding such a witness who may be the only person available who
knows the facts, seems inept and primitive. Our rules follow the modern trend of evidence.28
Thus, in a long line of cases,29 this Court has upheld the conviction of the accused based mainly on statements
given in court by the victim who was a mental retardate.
From a meticulous scrutiny of the records of this case, there is no reason to doubt Evelyns credibility. To be
sure, her testimony is not without discrepancies, given of course her feeblemindedness.
By the account of Dr. Chona Cuyos-Belmonte, Medical Specialist II at the Psychiatric Department of the Bicol
Medical Center, who examined Evelyn, although Evelyn was suffering from moderate mental retardation with
an IQ of 46,30 she is capable of perceiving and relating events which happened to her.

G.R. No. 130331

November 22, 2000


In the morning of January 4, 1995, the naked cadaver of Aurea Eugenio, a bookkeeper employed by the Centro
Escolar University Credit Cooperative in Manila was found lying beside a creek about 50 meters away from the
national highway in Apalit. Her body bore multiple stab wounds and her private parts were bloodied and showed
signs of sexual abuse.
The principal evidence against the accused consisted of the testimony of an eyewitness, Silvestre Sanggalan, a
deaf-mute. He gave his testimony through sign language, which was interpreted by a sign language expert. The
court's summation of the evidence is as follows:
The trial court ruled that the guilt of the accused as charged was established with the required quantum of
evidence and concluded that the three accused conspired to commit the crimes charged. The accused were
sentenced as follows:
"WHEREFORE, the Court finds the accused Adel Tuangco y Dizon and Sonny Tuangco y Dizon guilty beyond
reasonable doubt as principals of the crime of theft defined in Article 309 in relation to Article 308 of the

Revised Penal Code and of the crime of Rape with Homicide defined in Article 335, as amended, of the same
Code and hereby renders judgment as follows:
1. In Criminal Case No. 95-1609(M), the said accused are convicted of Theft and hereby sentenced to
suffer the indeterminate penalty ranging from six (6) months of arresto mayor as minimum to two (2)
years, eleven (11) months and ten (10) days of prision correccional as maximum; the said accused are
likewise ordered to indemnify the heirs of the victim Aurea Eugenio, jointly and severally, the amount
of P3,000.00.
2. In Criminal Case No. 95-1610(M), the aforesaid accused are convicted of two (2) special complex
crimes of Rape with Homicide and each of them is hereby sentenced to two (2) death penalties; both of
them are ordered, jointly and severally, to indemnify the heirs of the victim Aurea Eugenio the sum of
P105,150.00 as actual damages, and the further sums of a) P50,000.00 for the victim's death, b)
P100,000.00 as moral damages and c) P50,000.00 as exemplary damages, or a total of P200,000, in
each of the two (2) crimes which they have separately committed and each shall pay one-half () of the
The case is before this Court on automatic review.
The Public Attorney's Office submits the following assignment of errors in the appellants' brief:
In discrediting the testimony of the deaf-mute eyewitness, accused- appellant points out that because Silvestre
Sanggalan has had no formal schooling in a special school for deaf-mutes, the possibility that resort to
conjectures and surmises, brought about by overzealousness to understand what his witness really wanted to say
could not be discounted. Thus, accused-appellant cites certain portions of Sanggalan's testimony which appeared
unclear, e.g., the witness admitted that the place where the incident happened was "very dark", and he was
inconsistent as to who, between Adel Tuangco or Jun Tatoo, was the first to rape the victim. Thus, his handicap
prevented a truthful narration of what really transpired.
The Solicitor General prays for an affirmance of the decision in all respects. He asserts that a deaf-mute is
qualified to testify, and the interpreter explained that through sign language, Sanggalan demonstrated how
Eugenio was raped and thereafter killed by appellants and Pineda, Jr. It is claimed that the inconsistencies
pointed out are minor and do not detract from the positive identification made by witness Sanggalan of the
accused-appellants as the persons who raped and killed Eugenio and took her personal effects.
After a very careful examination of the evidence of record, we resolve to affirm the judgment of conviction. We
find no cogent justification to disturb or set aside the finding of the trial court upholding the credibility of the
deaf-mute witness, on the following rationalization:
"This Court, cognizant of the physical handicap of the eyewitness Silvestre Sanggalan, carefully scrutinized his
testimony and noted that the same were made, on several occasions from July 10, 1995 when he was called for
the first time to testify until July 5, 1996 when he was recalled for the purpose of cross-examination on behalf of
accused Sonny Tuangco, in a candid and straightforward manner. While the Court observes minor
inconsistencies in his declarations, these are not reasons to render his testimony incredible. On the contrary, it is
well-established that minor inconsistencies in the testimony of a witness are indications that the same is not
rehearsed and all the more should be considered credible. Thus, discrepancies in minor details indicate veracity
rather than prevarication and only tend to bolster the probative value of such testimony. (People vs. Mocasa, 229
SCRA 422).
This Court likewise evaluated very carefully, the qualifications and competence of Eva Sangco, the sign
language expert utilized by the prosecution and found the same to be sufficient to put on record with accuracy,
the declarations being made by witness Sanggalan on the witness stand. According to Eva Sangco, sign
language experts have different mode of communications. These are a) oral method b) simultaneous method c)
pantomine d) reverse interpretation e) speech reading f) natural signs and gestures and g) interactive writings

which are more on dramatization and drawing illustrations. In the interpretation of the declarations of witness
Sanggalan, Eva Sangco employed the natural homemade sign method. Eva Sangco has undergone several
trainings on this particular method. (TSN, July 21, 1995, pp. 7-8).
In its futile attempt to destroy the credibility of witness Sanggalan, the defense attacked his character and
present a witness in the person of Merlita Baliber to show that he is a drunkard and a drug addict. Likewise the
defense presented documentary evidence (Exh. "3") to show that Sanggalan had been accused of rape in a
criminal case before the Regional Trial Court of Pasig, Rizal. These evidence presented by the defense are
unavailing. In People vs. Dominguez, 217 SCRA 170, it was held that even a fact of prior criminal conviction
alone does not suffice to discredit a witness. And in People vs. Tanco, 218 SCRA 494, it was held that the mere
pendency of a criminal case against a person does not disqualify him from becoming a witness. For the test to
measure the value of the testimony of a witness is whether or not such is in conformity to knowledge and
consistent with experience of mankind. (People vs. Morre, 217 SCRA 219). This Court finds it unnecessary to
reiterate the earlier discussion as to why it gives credence to the testimony of witness Sanggalan.
The theory of the accused-appellant that Sanggalan "could not truthfully and convincingly convey what really
transpired on that fateful night" because he had no formal schooling in a school for special persons like him and
the interpreter was not the one who had taught him is not tenable.
A deaf-mute is not incompetent as a witness. All persons who can perceive, and perceiving, can make known
their perception to others, may be witnesses.12 Deaf-mutes are competent witnesses where they (1) can
understand and appreciate the sanctity of an oath; (2) can comprehend facts they are going to testify on; and (3)
can communicate their ideas through a qualified interpreter.13 Thus, in People vs. De Leon14 and People vs.
Sasota,15 the accused was convicted on the basis of the testimony of a deaf-mute. Although in People vs.
Bustos16 the testimony of a deaf-mute was rejected, this was because there were times during his testimony that
the interpreter could not make out what the witness meant by the signs she used. In the instant case, the
interpreter was a certified sign language interpreter with twenty-two (22) years teaching experience at the
Philippine School for the Deaf, had exposure in television programs and had testified in five other previous
court proceedings.

G.R. No. L-26867

August 10, 1927


It appears from the record that on or about the 16th day of August, 1926, a complaint was presented against the
defendant in the court of the justice of the peace of the municipality of Malabon, Province of Rizal, by the
mother of the offended person, accusing the defendant of the crime of rape. Upon that complaint the defendant
was arrested and given a preliminary examination, at the close of which the justice of the peace found that there
was probable cause for believing the defendant was guilty of the crime charged, and held him for trial in the
Court of First Instance of the Province of Rizal.
Upon said complaint the defendant was duly arraigned, tried, found guilty of the crime charged in the complaint,
with aggravating circumstance therein mentioned, and sentenced by the Honorable Emilio Mapa, judge, to be
imprisoned for a period of seventeen years, four months and one day of reclusion temporal, with the accessory
penalties of the law, to maintain the child, if any should be born, by virtue of said illicit relation, and to pay the
costs of the trial. The lower court further ordered that the time which he has already suffered in prison. From
that sentence the defendant appealed. The appellant contends that the lower court committed an error in not
absolving him from all liability under the complaint and in finding him guilty of the crime of rape. A question of
fact only is presented by the appellant.
The appellant contends that the lower court committed an error in not absolving him from all liability under the
complaint and in finding him guilty of the crime of rape. A question of fact only is presented by the appellant.
After a careful examination of the evidence adduced during the trial of the cause, we are fully persuaded that the
evidence sustains the findings of the lower court beyond a reasonable doubt.
The defendant attempted to exculpate himself by attempting to show that the complaint was presented against
him as a matter of vengeance and that the complaint and the evidence adduced against him were pure
fabrication. We find nothing in the record that justifies his contention. The evidence clearly supports the
allegations of the complaint and shows, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant committed the acts
described in the complaint at the time and place and in the manner and form therein described. The evidence
shows that the offended person is young girl, 15 years old; that she is a deaf and dumb person and is the step-

daughter of the appellant. The evidence further shows that the appellant is guilty of fraud and deceit in inducing
his step-daughter to accompany him to the place where the crime was committed. (U. S. vs. Iglesia and Valdez,
21 Phil., 55). There should also be considered against the appellant the aggravating circumstance of kinship, the
appellant being the step-father of the offended person. (Decision of the Supreme Court of Spain, July 26, 1877,
1 Viada p. 249.)

G.R. No. L-40462 July 31, 1984

The accused Gil Munar, appeals his conviction for the crime of Rape by the Court of First Instance of
Pangasinan, Branch IX, on August 20, 1971, which sentenced him to an indeterminate penalty of ten (10) years
and one (1) day of prision mayor as minimum to seventeen (17) years, four (4) months and one (1) day
of reclusion temporal as maximum, to indemnify the offended party, a mentally retarded girl of 19 years of age,
in the sum of P5,000.00, and to pay the costs of suit. 1
In a Resolution, dated December 23, 1974, the Court of Appeals (now Intermediate Appellate Court) where the
appeal was initially brought, certified the case to this Tribunal on the ground that since the lowest penalty
prescribed for rape isreclusion perpetua, the same is within our exclusive appellate jurisdiction. 2 However, on
January 30, 1984, in conformity with our ruling in People vs. Daniel, 3 we returned the records of the case to
the Intermediate Appellate Court for the determination of the proper penalty as the circumstances warrant, with
a comprehensive written analysis of the evidence and discussion of the law involved, but the Intermediate
Appellate Court shall refrain from entering judgment, and shall thereafter certify the case and elevate the entire
records thereof to this Court for review.
Conformably to that directive, on March 21, 1984, the Appellate Court, in a Decision penned by Justice Lorna
S. Lombos-de la Fuente and concurred in by Justices Emilio A. Gancayco and Isidro C. Borromeo, found that
the appealed judgment should be modified such that the imposable penalty shall be reclusion perpetua inasmuch
as the rape was committed with the use of a deadly weapon, and its commission was not attended by any
modifying circumstances. 4 The case is with us now for review, without any judgment having been entered in
the Appellate Court.
Upon a careful review of the evidence, we sustain the factual findings and conclusions of law embodied in the
Appellate Court's judgment, and, therefore, adopt the same and append it as an integral part of this Decision
(Annex "A").
The fact that complainant was feeble-minded, whose actual age at the time of the incident was 19 years but
whose mental age was that of a 5-year-old child, does not affect her credibility. As stated by the Trial Court, her
answers were intelligible enough to be understood. 5 She could convey her thoughts by words and signs. And,
as the examining physician of the National Mental Hospital testified, the mental deficiency does not prevent her
from recalling painful experiences. 6 She is a competent witness. 7 There may have been inconsistencies in her
testimony, but the same are minor and do not detract from the vital fact that she had, in fact, been abused by the
accused in the manner that she had narrated. Neither the Trial Court nor the Appellate Court, therefore, erred in
giving weight and credence to her testimony, there being no improper motive shown. 8
Considering that the rape was committed with the use of a knife, a deadly weapon, and in the absence of any
modifying circumstances attending its commission, the penalty of reclusion perpetua conforms to Article 335 in
relation to Article 63(2) of the Revised Penal Code.

G.R. No. L-39012 January 31, 1975

Avelino Ordoo was charged in the municipal court of San Gabriel, La Union with having raped his daughter,
Leonora, on October 11, 1970. The verified complaint dated November 7, 1973 was signed by the twenty four
year old victim (Criminal Case No. 104).
In support of that complaint, Catalina Balanon Ordoo, the mother of Leonora, executed a sworn statement
wherein she disclosed that on that same date, October 11th, Leonora had apprised her of the outrage but no
denunciation was filed because Avelino Ordoo threatened to kill Leonora and Catalina (his daughter and wife,

respectively) if they reported the crime to the police.

Catalina Ordoo in her sworn statement further revealed that her husband had also raped their other daughter,
Rosa, on March 25 and April 7, 1973. He was charged in court with that offense.
The case against Avelino Ordoo, where Leonora Ordoo was the complainant, was elevated to the Court of
First Instance of La Union, San Fernando, Branch (Criminal Case No. 356). On May 29, 1974 the Fiscal
presented Catalina Ordoo as the second prosecution witness. After she had stated her personal circumstances,
the defense counsel objected to her competency. He invoked the marital disqualification rule found in Rule 130
of the Rules of Court which provides:
Sec. 20. Disqualification by reason of interest or relationship. The following persons
cannot testify as to matters in which they are interested, directly or indirectly, as herein
xxx xxx xxx
(b) A husband cannot be examined for or against his wife without her consent; nor a wife for
or against her husband without his consent, except in a civil case by one against the other or in
a criminal case for a crime committed by one against the other;
xxx xxx xxx
Counsel claimed that Avelino Ordoo had not consented expressly or impliedly to his wife's testifying against
The trial court overruled the objection. After the denial of Avelino Ordoo's motion for the reconsideration of
the adverse ruling, he filed the instant action for certiorari and prohibition. He was allowed to sue in forma
The issue is whether the rape committed by the husband against his daughter is a crime committed by him
against his wife within the meaning of the exception found in the marital disqualification rule.
Should the phrase "in a criminal case for a crime committed by one against the other" be restricted to crimes
committed by one spouse against the other, such as physical injuries, bigamy, adultery or concubinage, or should
it be given a latitudinarian interpretation as referring to any offense causing marital discord?
There is a dictum that "where the marital and domestic relations are so strained that there is no more harmony to
be preserved nor peace and tranquility which may be disturbed, the reason based upon such harmony and
tranquility fails. In such a case identity of interests disappears and the consequent danger of perjury based on
that identity is non-existent. Likewise, in such a situation, the security and confidences of private life which the
law aims at protecting will be nothing but ideals which, through their absence, merely leave a void in the
unhappy home" (People vs. Francisco, 78 Phil. 694, 704).
In the Francisco case, the wife, as a rebuttal witness, was allowed to testify against the husband who was
charged with having killed his son and who testified that it was the wife who killed their son.
We think that the correct rule, which may be adopted in this jurisdiction, is that laid down in Cargill vs. State, 35
ALR 133, 220 Pac. 64, 25 Okl. 314, wherein the court said:
The rule that the injury must amount to a physical wrong upon the person is too narrow; and
the rule that any offense remotely or indirectly affecting domestic harmony comes within the
exception is too broad. The better rule is that, when an offense directly attack or directly and
vitally impairs, the conjugal relation, it comes within the exception to the statute that one shall
not be a witness against the other except in a criminal prosecution for a crime committed (by)
one against the other.
Using the criterion thus judiciously enunciated in the Cargill case, it can be concluded that in the law of
evidence the rape perpetrated by the father against his daughter is a crime committed by him against his wife
(the victim's mother). *
The trial court did not err in holding that Catalina Ordoo could testify against her husband, Avelino Ordoo, in
the case where he is being tried for having raped their daughter, Leonora.

G.R. No. L-12724

August 10, 1917


Felix Atacador filed a complaint against his wife Margarita Feliciano and one Pedro Velasquez, charging them
with the crime of adultery. After a few witnesses had been called in the separate trial of Velasquez, on motion of
the prosecution the case was dismissed. On the trial of Margarita Feliciano, she was found guilty and sentenced
to three years six months and twenty-one days of prision correccional, with the costs. From this sentence she
has appealed, making four assignments of error.
One assignment of error is that the trial court should have dismissed the case against the accused in view of
having dismissed the case against her coaccused Velasquez. The argument that the charge of adultery,
necessarily under on complaint, is indivisible impresses one strongly. However, there is now no occasion to
discuss this point for in the late case of U. S. vs. Topio and Guzman ([1916]) 35 Phil., 901) citing the decision
of the supreme court of Spain of January 17, 1889, it was expressly held that where a man and a woman are
charged in the same complaint with the crime of adultery the acquittal of the woman does not necessarily carry
with it the acquittal of the man, although the offense is one which can only be committed by two persons.
Paraphrasing the language somewhat, it can now be held that under a complaint for adultery the acquittal of the
man does not necessarily carry with it the acquittal of the woman because, among other reasons, the man may
not have known that the woman was married.
Another assignment of error is that the husband was not competent to give testimony as to the pregnancy of the
wife. As a general rule, the husband can testify against the wife in an adultery case because while adultery is in
one sense a public crime, it can only be prosecuted with a few exceptions on the complaint of the aggrieve party.
Adultery would therefore come within the provisions of section 383, paragraph 3, of the Code of Civil
Procedure, as amended, as an action for a crime committed by the wife against the husband. Whether we can
stretch the proviso to cover the testimony of the husband who expresses an opinion as to the pregnancy of the
wife is doubtful, which, however, in this instance can be waived without decision.


G.R. No. 112443

January 25, 2002


This is a petition for review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court seeking to set aside the October 20, 1992
Decision of the Court of Appeals1 in CA-G.R. CV No. 27419, which affirmed with modification the
Decision2 of the Regional Trial Court of Mandaue, Branch 28, in Civil Case No. MAN-386.
The instant controversy stemmed from Lot No. 1242 (Lot No. 799-C) with an area of 1,853 square meters and
located at Barrio Looc, Mandaue City. The subject lot is part of a parcel of land situated on the corner of Mabini
and Plaridel Streets in Mandaue City, and originally owned by the late spouses Carmeno Jayme and Margarita
Espina de Jayme. In 1947, an extra-judicial partition,3 written in the Spanish language was executed, and
disposing, inter alia, the same parcel of land as follows:
1) 1/3 in favor of - (a) their grandchild Nicanor Jayme, the deceased spouse of private respondent
Candida Flores and the father of private respondents Emmanuel, Dina, Evelia and Gesila, all surnamed
Jayme; and (b) their grandchild Asuncion Jayme-Baclay, whose heirs are private respondents Agelio
Baclay, Elnora Baclay and Carmen Jayme-Daclan;
2) 1/3 to their daughter Elena Jayme Vda. de Perez, mother of petitioner Teresita P. Bordalba; and
3) 1/3 to an unidentified party.
Built on the land adjudicated to the heirs of the spouses is Nicanor Jaymes house, which his family occupied
since 1945.
Sometime in July 1964, Elena Jayme Vda. de Perez, petitioners mother, filed with the Regional Trial Court of
Cebu, Branch IV, an amended application for the registration5 of the lot described with the following
N - Fruelana Jayme & Road
S - Felicitas de Latonio
E - Agustin de Jayme
W - Porfirio Jayme, Lot No. 1 and Vivencio Abellana
Elena Jayme Vda. de Perez alleged that the lot sought to be registered was originally a part of a land owned by
her late parents, the spouses Carmeno Jayme and Margarita Espina de Jayme; and that 1/3 of said land was
adjudicated to her in an extra-judicial partition. She further stated that a portion of the lot for which title is
applied for is occupied by Nicanor Jayme with her permission.
Consequently, Nicanor Jayme and Asuncion Jayme-Baclay filed their opposition6 contending that said
application included the 1/3 portion inherited by them in the 1947 extra-judicial partition. The case was,
however, dismissed for lack of interest of the parties.
Subsequently, petitioner filed with the Bureau of Lands of Cebu City an application7 dated January 10, 1979,
seeking the issuance of a Free Patent over the same lot subject of the aborted application of her mother, Elena
Jayme, now known as Lot No. 1242 (799-C), described as follows:
North: Froilan Jayme and Road
East: Agustin Jayme
South: Alfredo Alivio and Spouses Hilario Gandecila
West: Hilario Gandecila Porferio Jayme and Heirs of Vevencio Abellanosa8
On April 16, 1980, petitioner was successfully granted Free Patent No. (VII-I) 11421 and Original Certificate of
Title No. 0-571 (FP) over said lot.9 Thereafter, petitioner caused the subdivision and titling of Lot No. 1242
(799-C), into 6 lots,10 as well as the disposition of two parcels thereof, thus:
1) Lot No. 1242-A with an area of 581 square meters covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. 22771
(FP) in the name of spouses Genaro U. Cabahug and Rita Capala, to whom petitioner sold said lot;


2) Lot No. 1242-B with an area of 420 square meters covered by TCT No. 22772 in the name of
Teresita P. Bordalba, and which the latter mortgaged with the Rural Bank of Mandaue;
3) Lot No. 1242-C with an area of 210 square meters covered by TCT 22773 in the name of Teresita P.
4) Lot No. 1242-D with an area of 210 square meters covered by TCT 22774 in the name of Teresita
5) Lot No. 1242-E with an area of 216 square meters covered by TCT 22775 in the name of Teresita P.
6) Lot No. 1242-F with an area of 216 square meters and covered by TCT No. 22776 in the name of
Teresita P. Bordalba.
Upon learning of the issuance in favor of petitioner of the aforesaid Free Patent and Original Certificate of Title
over Lot No. 1242, as well as the conveyances made by petitioner involving the lot subject of the controversy,
private respondents filed with the Regional Trial Court of Mandaue City, Branch 28, the instant complaint
against petitioner Teresita Bordalba, spouses Genaro U. Cabahug, and Rita Capala, Rural Bank of Mandaue and
the Director of the Bureau of Lands.
In the said complaint, private respondents prayed that Free Patent No. (VII-I) 11421 and OCT No. 0-571 (FP),
as well as TCT Nos. 22771-22776 be declared void and ordered cancelled. Private respondents also prayed that
they be adjudged owners of Lot No. 1242 (799-C), and that spouses Genaro V. Cabahug and Rita Capala as well
as the Rural Bank of Mandaue be declared buyers and mortgagee in bad faith, respectively. In addition, they
asked the court to award them actual, compensatory, and moral damages plus attorneys fees in the amount of
Petitioner, on the other hand, averred that Lot No. 1242 (799-C) was acquired by her through purchase from her
mother,11who was in possession of the lot in the concept of an owner since 1947. In her answer, petitioner
traced her mothers ownership of the lot partly from the 1947 deed of extra-judicial partition presented by
private respondents,12 and claimed that Nicanor Jayme, and Candida Flores occupied a portion of Lot No. 1242
(799-C) by mere tolerance of her mother. On cross-examination, petitioner admitted that the properties of the
late Carmeno Jayme and Margarita Espina de Jayme were partitioned by their heirs in 1947, but claimed that she
was not aware of the existence of said Deed of Extra-judicial Partition. She, however, identified one of the
signatures in the said Deed to be the signature of her mother.13
On May 28, 1990, the trial court, finding that fraud was employed by petitioner in obtaining Free Patent No.
(VII-I) 11421 and OCT No. 0-571 (FP), declared said patent and title void and ordered its cancellation.
However, it declared that spouses Genaro U. Cabahug and Rita Capala as well as the Rural Bank of Mandaue
are purchasers and mortgagee in good faith, respectively; and consequently upheld as valid the sale of Lot No.
1242-A covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. 22771 (FP) to spouses Genaro U. Cabahug and Rita Capala,
and the mortgage of Lot No. 1242-B covered by TCT No. 22772 in favor of the Rural Bank of Mandaue.
Both petitioner Teresita Bordalba and private respondents appealed to the Court of Appeals, which affirmed with
modification the decision of the trial court. It ruled that since private respondents are entitled only to 1/3 portion
of Lot No. 1242 (799-C), petitioner should be ordered to reconvey 1/3 of Lot No. 1242 (799-C) to private
respondents. The decretal portion of the respondent court's decision states:
WHEREFORE, the challenged decision is MODIFIED to order the reconveyance of one-third of the
subject land in favor of the plaintiff-appellees in lieu of the cancellation of the Certificates of Title
issued and their declaration as the owners of Lot No. 1242 in its entirety. The rest is
AFFIRMED in toto.
Thus, petitioner filed the instant petition, assailing the decision of the Court of Appeals. Petitioner contends that
the testimonies given by the witnesses for private respondents which touched on matters occurring prior to the
death of her mother should not have been admitted by the trial court, as the same violated the dead mans
statute. Likewise, petitioner questions the right of private respondents to inherit from the late Nicanor Jayme and
Asuncion Jayme-Baclay, as well as the identity between the disputed lot and the parcel of land adjudicated in the
Deed of Extra-judicial Partition.
The contentions are without merit. It is doctrinal that findings of facts of the Court of Appeals upholding those
of the trial court are binding upon this Court. While there are exceptions to this rule, petitioner has not
convinced us that this case falls under one of them.16


The Court sees no reason to deviate from the findings of the trial court that petitioner resorted to fraud and
misrepresentation in obtaining a free patent and title over the lot under scrutiny. The Court of Appeals correctly
pointed out that misrepresentation tainted petitioners application, insofar as her declaration that the land applied
for was not occupied or claimed by any other person. Her declaration is belied by the extra-judicial partition
which she acknowledged, her mothers aborted attempt to have the lot registered, private respondents
predecessors-in-interests opposition thereto, and by the occupancy of a portion of the said lot by Nicanor Jayme
and his family since 1945.
It is a settled rule that the Land Registration Act protects only holders of title in good faith, and does not permit
its provision to be used as a shield for the commission of fraud, or as a means to enrich oneself at the expense of
As to the alleged violation of the dead mans statute,18 suffice it to state that said rule finds no application in the
present case. The dead mans statute does not operate to close the mouth of a witness as to any matter of fact
coming to his knowledge in any other way than through personal dealings with the deceased person, or
communication made by the deceased to the witness.19
Since the claim of private respondents and the testimony of their witnesses in the present case is based, inter
alia, on the 1947 Deed of Extra-judicial Partition and other documents, and not on dealings and communications
with the deceased, the questioned testimonies were properly admitted by the trial court.


Похожие интересы