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PEOPLE VS.

JUMAWAN
Same; Criminal Procedure; Wife of victim cannot be convicted of parricide if charged only with murder. However, relationship must be
considered aggravating even if not alleged in the information.Presentacion should have been accused of parricide but as it is, since
her relationship to the deceased is not alleged in the information, she, like the others, can be convicted of murder only qualified by
abuse of superior strength. Although not alleged in the information, relationship as an aggravating circumstance should be assigned
against the appellants. True, relationship is inherent in parricide, but Presentacion stands convicted of murder. And as to the others, the
relationships of father-in-law and brother-in-law aggravate the crime. People vs. Jumawan, 116 SCRA 739, No. L-50905 September 23,
1982
PEOPLE VS. OYANIB
Criminal Law; Husband and Wife; Adultery; Death Under Exceptional Circumstances; Exempting Circumstances; Words and Phrases;
An absolutory cause is present where the act committed is a crime but for reasons of public policy and sentiment there is no penalty
imposed.At the outset, accused admitted killing his wife and her paramour. He invoked Article 247 of the Revised Penal Code as an
absolutory and an exempting cause. An absolutory cause is present Svhere the act committed is a crime but for reasons of public
policy and sentiment there is no penalty imposed.
Same; Same; Same; Same; Elements; The death caused must be the proximate result of the outrage overwhelming the nccused after
chancing upon his spouse in the act of infidelitythe killing by the husband of his wife must concur with her flagrant adultery.Having
admitted the killing, it is incumbent upon accused to prove the exempting circumstances to the satisfaction of the court in order to be
relieved of any criminal liability Article 247 of the Revised Penal Code prescribes the following essential elements for such a defense:
(1) that a legally married person surprises his spouse in the act of committing sexual intercourse with another person; (2) that he kills
any of them or both of them in the act or immediately thereafter; and (3) that he has not promoted or facilitated the prostitution of his
wife (or daughter) or that he or she has not consented to the infidelity of the other spouse. Accused must prove these elements by clear
and convincing evidence, otherwise his defense would be untenable. The death caused must be the proximate result of the outrage
overwhelming the accused after chancing upon his spouse in the act of infidelity. Simply put, the killing by the husband of his wife must
concur with her flagrant adultery. People vs. Oyanib, 354 SCRA 196, G.R. Nos. 130634-35 March 12, 2001
Same; Same; Same; Same; The law imposes very stringent requirements before affording the offended spouse the opportunity to avail
himself of Article 247, Revised Penal Codeit must be resorted to only with great caution so much so that the law requires that it be
inflicted only during the sexual intercourse or immediately thereafter.The law imposes very stringent requirements before affording
the offended spouse the opportunity to avail himself of Article 247, Revised Penal Code. As the Court put it in People v. Wagas: The
vindication of a Mans honor is justified because of the scandal an unfaithful wife creates; the law is strict on this, authorizing as it does,
a man to chastise her, even with death. But killing the errant spouse as a purification is so severe as that it can only be justified when
the unfaithful spouse is caught in flagrante delicto, and it must be resorted to only with great caution so much so that the law requires
that it be inflicted only during the sexual intercourse or immediately thereafter. People vs. Oyanib, 354 SCRA 196, G.R. Nos. 13063435 March 12, 2001
PEOPLE VS. NUEVA y samaro
Same; Same; Qualifying Circumstances; Aggravating Circumstances; Treachery; Treachery is not presumed; The circumstances
surrounding the murder must be proved as indubitably as the crime itself; Two conditions to constitute treachery.Treachery is not
presumed. The circumstances surrounding the murder must be proved as indubitably as the crime itself. There is treachery when the
offender commits any of the crimes against persons, employing means, method or forms which tend directly and especially to insure its
execution, without risk to the offender, arising from the defense that the offended party might make. To constitute treachery, two
conditions must concur: (1) the employment of means, methods or manner of execution that would ensure the offenders safety from
any defense or retaliatory act on the part of the offended party; and (2) the offenders deliberate or conscious choice of the means,
method or manner of execution.
Same; Same; Same; Same; Treachery cannot be considered when there is no evidence that the accused had resolved to commit the
crime prior to the moment of the killing, or that the death of the victim was the result of premeditation, calculation or reflection.In
People v. Catbagan, 423 SCRA 535 (2004), we ruled that treachery cannot be considered when there is no evidence that the accused
had resolved to commit the crime prior to the moment of the killing, or that the death of the victim was the result of premeditation,
calculation or reflection. People vs. Nueva, 570 SCRA 449, G.R. No. 173248 November 3, 2008
Same; Same; Same; Abuse of Superior Strength; It is present whenever there is inequality of forces between the victim and the
aggressor so that the superiority of strength is notoriously advantageous for the latter who took advantage of this superiority in committing the crime.We agree, however, that abuse of superior strength attended the killing of the victim. To take advantage of superior
strength means to use purposely excessive force, or force out of proportion to the means of defense available to the person attacked.
The aggravating circumstance of abuse of superior strength depends on the age, size and strength of the parties. It is present

whenever there is inequality of forces between the victim and the aggressor so that the superiority of strength is notoriously
advantageous for the latter who took advantage of this superiority in committing the crime.
Same; Same; Same; Evident Premeditation; Elements for evident premeditation to be appreciated.For evident premeditation to
be appreciated, the following elements must be established: (1) the time when the accused determined to commit the crime; (2) an
overt act manifestly indicating that the accused has clung to his determination; and (3) sufficient lapse of time between decision and
execution to allow the accused to reflect on the consequences of his act. Significantly, the prosecution did not even attempt to prove the
presence of these elements; Alfonso, the principal eyewitness, was not even aware of any prior incident or any possible reason that
could have led the appellant and his co-accused to attack the victim.
PEOPLE VS. ALBAN
Same; Same; Same; Same; Mere relationship of the victim to a witness does not automatically impair his credibility and render his
testimony less worthy of credence where no improper motive can be ascribed to him for testifying.Appellants also seek to impugn the
credibility of Joseph as a witness by suggesting that he may be biased because of his relationship to the victim. This effort is in vain.
Mere relationship of the victim to a witness does not automatically impair his credibility and render his testimony less worthy of
credence where no improper motive can be ascribed to him for testifying. The record of the case will show that appellants did not even
try to ascribe any motive on the part of Joseph to lie and falsely accuse them of killing his father.
Same; Same; Same; Same; Court has consistently ruled that there is no standard form of human behavioral response when one is
confronted with a strange, startling and frightful experience.Appellants try to make an issue of the fact that Joseph did not do anything
upon seeing his father being stabbed and shot. The appellants found his reaction very strange and against the natural experience of
mankind. The Court, however, finds Josephs reaction normal under the circumstances. The sight of his father being subjected to
deadly assault was understandably too much of a shock for the 13-year old boy. The shock rendered him incapable of doing anything.
He remained rooted at the spot where he was standing as he watched helplessly the four (4) malefactors, full grown men, stab and
shoot his father. Josephs reaction is far from contrary to human experience. Besides, the Court has consistently ruled that there is no
standard form of human behavioral response when one is confronted with a strange, startling and frightful experience.
Same; Same; Same; Same; Court has taken judicial notice of the natural reticence of most people to get involved in a criminal case.
The fact that no other witnesses came forward to corroborate Josephs testimony does not make it less credible. The Court has taken
judicial notice of the natural reticence of most people to get involved in a criminal case. They are usually fearful of possible reprisals
from the accused or his family and relatives. It is not, therefore, unusual that only Joseph testified about the killing of his father even
though it was committed near a sari-sari store where people in the rural areas usually congregate.
Same; Same; Same; Alibi; Defense of alibi cannot prevail over positive identification of the accused by the prosecution witness.The
Court accordingly has no basis at all for overturning the trial courts ascription of full faith and credence to the testimony of Joseph, as
well as to his positive identification of the appellants as among the perpetrators of the crime charged. It also follows that appellants
defense of alibi must fail. It is firmly established in our jurisprudence that the defense of alibi cannot prevail over positive identification of
the accused by the prosecution witnesses.
Same; Same; Same; Aggravating Circumstance; Cruelty; Cruelty cannot be appreciated in the absence of any showing that appellants
for their pleasure and satisfaction, caused the victim to suffer slowly and painfully and inflicted on him unnecessary physical and moral
pain.Dr. Manalo testified that stab wounds number 2, 3 and 4 caused the death of Roberto and that the other wounds, even the gun
shot wound, were in fact unnecessary to produce death of the victim. The Court is not convinced that cruelty had been sufficiently
shown on the basis of this finding alone. Cruelty cannot be appreciated in the absence of any showing that appellants, for their pleasure
and satisfaction, caused the victim to suffer slowly and painfully and inflicted on him unnecessary physical and moral pain. The mere
fact that wounds in excess of what was indispensably necessary to cause death were found in the body of the victim does not
necessarily imply that such wounds were inflicted with cruelty and with the intention of deliberately and inhumanly intensifying or
aggravating the sufferings of the victim. People vs. Alban, 245 SCRA 549, G.R. No. 112279 July 3, 1995
G.R. No. L-50905 September 23, 1982
THE
PEOPLE
OF
THE
PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,
vs.
FRANCISCO JUMAWAN alias "KIKO", CESARIO JUMAWAN alias "SARIO", MANUEL JUMAWAN alias "OWEL" and
PRESENTACION JUMAWAN-MAGNAYE alias "ESEN" accused-appellants.

ABAD SANTOS, J.:

On the basis of a written statement made by Vicente Recepeda on July 18, 1976, and an affidavit executed by Trinidad Alcantara on
July 19, 1976, a complaint for murder was filed in the Municipal Court of Sariaya, Quezon, on July 19, 1976, by Station Commander
Sisenando P. Alcantara, Jr. against Francisco Jumawan, Cesario Jumawan, Manuel Jumawan and Presentacion Jumawan for the
death of Rodolfo Magnaye.
The affidavit of Trinidad Alcantara clearly states that her son Rodolfo Magnaye was married to Presentacion Jumawan albeit they had
been living separately from each other. (During the trial Presentacion admitted her marriage to Rodolfo. See t.s.n., pp. 811-812.) The
Station Commander can perhaps be excused for not accusing Presentacion of parricide but when the case was elevated to the Court of
First Instance of Quezon where it was docketed as Criminal Case No. 1408, the Provincial Fiscal perpetuated the mistake by filing an
information for murder against all the accused. The information reads:
The undersigned Provincial Fiscal accuses CESARIO JUMAWAN alias 'Sario,' MANUEL JUMAWAN alias 'Owel',
FRANCISCO JUMAWAN alias 'Kiko' and PRESENTACION JUMAWAN alias 'ESEN', of the crime of murder, defined
and punished under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code, committed as follows:
That on or about the 19th day of June 1976, in the Municipality of Sariaya, Province of Quezon, Philippines, and
within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, armed with a bolo (gulukan), conspiring
and confederating together and mutually helping one another, with intent to kill and with evident premeditation and
treachery, taking advantage of their superior strength, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack,
assault and stab with the said bolo one Rodolfo Magnaye alias 'Digo', thereby inflicting upon the latter a stab wound
on the chest, which directly caused his death.
After a long trial and 1,211 pages of stenographic transcript, the trial court rendered the following judgment:
Wherefore, the Court finds Cesario Jumawan, Presentacion Jumawan-Magnaye, Manuel Jumawan, and Francisco
Jumawan guilty as principals beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Murder as defined and punished under Art.
248 of the Revised Penal Code and hereby sentences each of them to suffer a penalty of life imprisonment and to
indemnify jointly and severally the parents of the victim in the amount of Twenty-four Thousand (P24,000.00) Pesos.
The case is now before this Court on appeal.
The brief of the appellants gives the following:
STATEMENT OF FACTS
The Accused:
Francisco Jumawan is the father of his co-accused, namely, Cesario Jumawan, Manuel Jumawan and Presentacion
Jumawan.
Presentacion Jumawan was married to Rodolfo Magnaye.
Death of Rodolfo Magnaye:
As described by the lower court, '... when Rodolfo Magnaye did not return home in (that) evening of 19 June 1976,
his mother (Trinidad Alcantara) went to the public market to look for him on the following day. She met four (4)
children who told her that they saw a man near the water. They accompanied her to the place and she recognized the
dead man as her son Rodolfo Magnaye. She then proceeded to the police headquarters to report the matter. ...'
(page 5, Judgment).
For the death of Rodolfo Magnaye, the accused stand charged of the crime of MURDER.
The People's brief, on the other hand, merely reproduces the trial court's findings of facts as follows:
It appears from the evidence adduced during the trial that Rodolfo Magnaye was married on 26 January 1974 to
Presentacion Jumawan, one of the accused in the above entitled criminal case. Presentacion Jumawan-Magnaye left

the conjugal home and stayed with her sister Sebastiana Jumawan. Rodolfo Magnaye, on the other hand, went and
stayed with his mother Trinidad Alcantara.
The mother of Mrs. Presentacion Jumawan-Magnaye made several attempts to secure the signature of Rodolfo
Magnaye on a document agreeing to a separation from his wife so that both he and his wife will be free to marry
again but Rodolfo Magnaye persisted in refusing to sign said document.
On one occasion the mother of Mrs. Presentacion Jumawan-Magnaye even brought Rodolfo Magnaye and his
mother to the Provincial Constabulary Command to ask for the assistance of Sgt. Mortilla to assist her daughter in
securing a separation from Rodolfo Magnaye but they were told by Sgt. Mortilla that it cannot be legally done.
Between 5:00 and 6:00 o'clock in the afternoon of 19 June 1976 while Trinidad Alcantara was in her house, her son
Rodolfo Magnaye was dressing up and told her that he was going to the public market because his wife asked him to
fetch her. He asked his mother to prepare food because they are going to talk about their lives. He left home at about
6:00 o'clock in the evening.
At about 9:30 o'clock in the evening of 19 June 1976 one Mr. Vicente Recepeda came from the Aglipayan fiesta in
Sariaya, Quezon and after eating at the Sariling Atin eating place he went to the former BLTB station at Sariaya,
Quezon. While he was infront of the public market on the way to the former BLTB station he heard the noise of pigs
being butchered and being in the business of buying pigs and chicken he went to the direction of [the] slaughter
house to inquire about the prices of pigs and chicken.
Before reaching the slaughter house he heard the noise (sic) of a person being attacked by three (3) persons and a
woman inside a store which was lighted. He saw accused Francisco Jumawan holding the hands of Rodolfo
Magnaye while accused Manuel Jumawan was behind Rodolfo Magnaye with his arm around the neck of Rodolfo
Magnaye while Cesario Jumawan was infront of Rodolfo Magnaye with his left hand holding the collar of Rodolfo
Magnaye and in his right hand he was holding a small pointed bolo with which he stabbed Rodolfo Magnaye below
the right nipple.
At about 11:00 o'clock in that evening a certain Mr. Policarpio Trinidad who also came from the Aglipayan fiesta in
Sariaya, Quezon was waiting infront of a gasoline station across the old station of the BLTB waiting for a ride home
when he saw Cesario Jumawan and Manuel Jumawan with Rodolfo Magnaye between them while they were
crossing the national highway towards the south to a road opposite the Emil Welding Shop. They went on walking
after crossing the highway. At that time the head of Rodolfo Magnaye was bowed infront while his two (2) arms were
on the shoulder of Cesario and Manuel Jumawan. Rodolfo Magnaye was not walking.
At about 11:45 o'clock in the evening of 19 June 1976 Presentacion Jumawan-Magnaye reported to Patrolman
Marcial Baera and Patrolman Albufera that the store of Bastiana (Sebastiana) Jumawan where she works is
threatened to be robbed by Rodolfo Magnaye. When asked by Patrolman Baera Presentacion Jumawan-Magnaye
denied being related to Rodolfo Magnaye. He went to investigate the reported attempt to rob the store of Sebastiana
Jumawan and he saw one of the panels used to close the store was destroyed but nothing appears to have been
taken from the store.
Presentacion Jumawan-Magnaye and her companions Tita Daez and Anabelle Jumawan told Patrolman Baera that
they will file charges against Rodolfo Magnaye. Patrolman Baera entered the report of Presentacion JumawanMagnaye in the police record book.
When Rodolfo Magnaye did not return home in that evening of 19 June 1976, his mother (Trinidad Alcantara) went to
the public market to look for him on the following day. She met four (4) children who told her that they saw a man
near the water. They accompanied her to the place and she recognized the dead man as her son Rodolfo Magnaye.
She then proceeded to the police headquarters to report the matter.
The two Patrolmen Baera and Albufera went to the place and they saw the dead man without a shirt and wearing
black pants with white shoes. They noticed a stab wound on the lower portion of the right breast. The dead man was
lying face up.
In the afternoon of the same day Patrolman Loreto Galeon went to the store of Sebastiana Jumawan located at the
public market of Sariaya to follow up the investigation of the reported attempted robbery case against Magnaye. He

asked the storekeeper for permission to look at the wood panels which are used to close the store. He found traces of
blood in one of the wooden panels. He reported what he saw to Sgt. Labitigan when he returned to the police
headquarters.
The following day he was ordered by the chief of police to look again at the wooden panel with traces of blood but he
saw that the wooden panels were already planed ('kinatam') and the traces of blood could no longer be seen.
On 23 June 1976, Patrolman Rodrigo Cedonio was ordered to look for Tita Daez in Barrio Mamala Sariaya, Quezon
because Tita Daez was allegedly in the store at the time of the alleged attempted robbery and at the time Rodolfo
Magnaye was allegedly killed.
Patrolman Cedonio was informed by the mother of Tita Daez that she had not gone to her home at barrio Mamala.
She accompanied Patrolman Cedonio in trying to locate Tita Danez. They first went to the store of Sebastiana
Jumawan which turned out to be closed on that day. They then went at Muntingbayan, Tayabas, Quezon where they
were able to find Tita Danez together with Francisco Jumawan, Bienvenido Jumawan and Rosita Abratiga.
Mr. Cesario Jumawan, one of the accused in the above entitled criminal case and a brother-in-law of the victim, set
up the defense of alibi when he testified that between 3:00 and 4:00 o'clock in the afternoon of 19 June 1976 he was
at Barrio Sampaloc, Sariaya, Quezon which is more or less three (3) kilometers away from the poblacion of Sariaya,
Quezon. He went home to Barrio Pili of the same town early in the afternoon of the following day. He did not go
anywhere else since 3:00 to 4:00 o'clock in the afternoon of 19 June 1976 up to and until he returned to Barrio Pili.
Mr. Manuel Jumawan, another accused in the above entitled criminal case who is also a brother-in-law of the victim,
likewise set up the defense of alibi when he testified that on 19 June 1976 he was in his house at Barrio Pili, Sariaya,
Quezon which is about five (5) kilometers from the poblacion of Sariaya, Quezon. He went to bed at about 7:00
o'clock in the evening of 19 June 1976. He woke up at about 6:30 o'clock in the morning.
He further claims that he suffers from an abnormality of the left arm which he cannot raise in a normal way and that
he was suffering from said disability since childhood when he fell from a cow continuously up to the present.
Said accused presented a medical certificate, Exhibit 7, issued by Dr. Concepcion dela Merced, a radiologist of the
National Orthopedic Hospital certifying to the fact that Manuel Jumawan is negative for fracture dislocation and that
he suffers from a deformity of the proximal and left humerous probably from a previous fracture. There is no showing
that Manuel Jumawan is incapable of raising his left arm around the neck of Rodolfo Magnaye whose actual height
was not established by the evidence nor was Dr. Concepcion dela Merced presented to testify on her findings.
Presentacion Jumawan-Magnaye claims that in the evening of 19 June 1976 she was in the store of Sebastiana
Jumawan together with Anabelle Jumawan and Tita Daez when she heard a person who wanted to enter the store.
She shouted 'thieves' ('magnanakaw'). In response to her shouts several people arrived and chased the person who
wanted to enter the store. She then went to the house of Sebastiana Jumawan where hats are being made and
where her father Francisco Jumawan was staying that night.
While she was in the house where her father was staying, their adjoining neighbor, a certain Mateo Diamante
informed her that the person being chased by several men was Rodolfo Magnaye. She, however, did not talk with any
of the person who chased her husband nor does she know any of them. She then went with her father, Francisco
Jumawan, to report the matter to the police whom they met at the Filipina Restaurant.
While Presentacion Jumawan-Magnaye gave the name of Rodolfo Magnaye as the suspect in the attempted robbery,
she did not reveal to the investigating policemen that he was her husband even if she was asked why they knew his
name, neither did she inform the police that her husband was chased by several persons nor did she give the
direction where her husband supposedly ran.
The two policemen, Patrolmen Baera and Albufera, actually went to the store of Sebastiana Jumawan and after
looking at the store, these two patrolmen told Presentacion Jumawan-Magnaye that because nothing happened they
will continue the investigation on the next day.
None of those who allegedly chased her husband that evening was even presented as a witness.

Mr. Francisco Jumawan, who is the father of his three (3) other co-accused, likewise set up the defense of alibi when
he testified that in the evening of 19 June 1976 at about 8:00 o'clock more or less he was alone in the house of
Sebastiana Jumawan situated near the former garage of the BLTB in Sariaya, Quezon and that he was awakened
only when his daughter Presentacion woke him up to ten him that someone was trying to enter the store of
Sebastiana Jumawan.
In a brief which is more noteworthy for legal rhetoric rather than a critical analysis of the evidence, the appellants claim that the trial
court committed the following errors:
THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN NOT FOCUSING OBJECTIVELY AND IMPARTIALLY THE EVIDENCE FOR THE
PROSECUTION EVEN AS IT FOCUSED SUBJECTIVELY AND UNFAIRLY ON SUPPOSED WEAKNESS OF THE
EVIDENCE FOR THE DEFENSE.
THE CONSTITUTIONAL GUARANTEE THAT THE ACCUSED ARE PRESUMED INNOCENT OF THE CRIME
CHARGED AND ARE ENTITLED TO A RIGHT TO A DAY IN COURT CANNOT BE OVERTURNED BY THE
DOCTRINE THAT APPELLATE COURTS ARE NOT PRONE TO DISTURB THE FINDINGS OF THE TRIAL COURT
WITH RESPECT TO THE CREDIBILITY OF WITNESSES.
THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN NOT FINDING AND TAKING INTO SERIOUS ACCOUNT THE FATAL
WEAKNESSES OF THE EVIDENCE FOR THE PROSECUTION IN TERMS OF IMPROBABILITIES, GROSS
INCONSISTENCIES AND IRRECONCILABLE CONTRADICTIONS.
THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN GIVING CREDIT AND CREDENCE TO THE TESTIMONIES OF THE STAR
PROSECUTION WITNESS CONSIDERING THE GLARING WEAKNESS THEREOF, EVEN AS THE LOWER
COURT CONVENIENTLY DENIED THE DEFENSE REASONABLE OPPORTUNITY OF THE PROSECUTION
WITNESSES.
THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN ITS ERRONEOUS APPROACH TO AND APPLICATION OF THE PRINCIPLES
CONCERNING THE DEFENSE OF ALIBI IN THE CASE AT BAR. SPECIALLY IN THE LIGHT OF THE FACT THAT
THERE WAS NO POSITIVE IdENTIFICATION OF ACCUSED AND ALSO THAT THE PROSECUTION FAILED TO
EFFECTIVELY REBUT THE DEFENSES OF ALIBI WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN EASY TO DO IF SUCH
DEFENSES WERE REALLY CONCOCTIONS.
The foregoing assignment of errors can be reduced to the simple proposition whether the evidence against the accused, independent
of their alibis, has overcome the presumption of innocence in their favor and created a moral certainty as to their guilt.
Except for Vicente Recepeda and Policarpio Trinidad, the appellants do not question the credibility of the witnesses for the prosecution.
Hence, the testimony of these witnesses deserves scrutiny.
Vicente Recepeda was 67 years old, jobless and a resident of Lucena City when he first testified on April 29, 1977. He testified that on
June 19, 1976, he went to Sariaya, Quezon, to attend the Aglipayan fiesta; he arrived there at about 5:00 o'clock and thereafter did the
following: listened to the music and singing, went to the Aglipayan church and the "perya," ate at a restaurant, and walked to the public
market where there was a former BLTB station. While he was waiting for a trip to Lucena, he heard the shriek of pigs being killed so he
walked toward the butchers for the purpose of asking the price of pigs since he was then engaged in the business of buying and selling
pigs. In fact, at one time Rodolfo Magnaye, the deceased, tied the feet of a pig which he had bought. He was not able to talk to the
butchers because an unusual event intervened which in his own words was:
Q. At about 9:30 o'clock in the evening of June 19, 1976, do you remember where were you?
A. Yes sir.
Q. Where were you on that particular date and hour?
A. I was in the public market of Sariaya, Quezon, sir.
Q. While you were in the market of Sariaya, Quezon, on that particular date and hour, do you
remember if there was any unusual incident that you witnessed?

A. There was, sir.


Q. What was that unusual incident that happened on that particular place and hour?
A. I saw a person being attacked by three persons, sir.
Q. What else did you see there on that particular occasion, aside from a person being attacked by
three persons?
A. There was a woman who ordered the three persons to stab and kill the person being attacked by
these three persons, sir.
Q. Where in particular in the public market of Sariaya, Quezon did you see this incident happen?
A. Inside the store within the public market of Sariaya, Quezon, sir.
Q. Did you recognize, or did you come to know these three persons whom you said were inside the
store within the public market of Sariaya, Quezon at about 9:30 o'clock in the evening of June 19,
1976?
A. I recognize their faces, sir.
Q. Did you come to know their names later on?
A. Yes sir.
Q. What is the name of the woman whom you said was there on that particular occasion?
A. Presentacion Jumawan, sir.
Q. If you will see that Presentacion Jumawan again, will you be able to Identify her?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Will you please look around the courtroom and point to Presentacion Jumawan if she is here.
A. She is here sir.
Q. Please point her out to this Honorable Court.
A. That one sir.
ATTY. ALCALA:
May we respectfully ask if your honor please that the person pointed to by the witness Identify herself.
COURT:
Ask the person to Identify herself.
INTERPRETER:
What is your name?
A. Presentacion Jumawan.

INTERPRETER:
The person pointed to by the witness your honor, Identified herself as Presentacion Jumawan.
ATTY. ALCALA:
And what is the name of the person whom you said was being attacked by the three men on that
particular occasion inside the store?
A. Rodolfo Magnaye, sir.
Q. And what are the names of the three persons attacking Rodolfo Magnaye, will you please state it
before this Honorable Court?
A. Yes, sir, one is Francisco Jumawan, Manuel Jumawan and the other one is Cesario Jumawan.
Q. That Francisco Jumawan whom you said was one of the persons attacking Rodolfo Magnaye,
on that particular occasion, will you be able to recognize him if you will see him again?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. If this Francisco Jumawan is inside the courtroom, will you please point him out before this
Honorable Court?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Please do so.
A. That one sir.
ATTY. ALCALA:
Your honor please may we ask that the person pointed to by the witness Identify himself.
COURT:
Ask the Identity of the person pointed to by the witness.
INTERPRETER:
What is your name?
A. Francisco Jumawan.
INTERPRETER:
The person pointed to by the witness your honor Identify himself as Francisco Jumawan.
Q. And that person whom you said the name as Manuel Jumawan will you be able to recognize him
if you will see him again?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Please look around the courtroom and point out to this Honorable Court if Manuel Jumawan is
here inside the courtroom.

A. Yes, sir, that one.


ATTY. ALCALA:
May we ask Your Honor that the person pointed to by the witness be made to Identify himself.
COURT:
Ask the person pointed to by the witness to Identify himself.
INTERPRETER:
What is your name?
A. Manuel Jumawan.
INTERPRETER:
The person pointed to by the witness Your Honor Identified himself as Manuel Jumawan.
Q. And that person whom you mentioned is named Cesario Jumawan, will you be able to Identify
him if you will him again?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Please look around the courtroom and point to this Honorable Court the person whom you said
is Cesario Jumawan.
That one sir.
ATTY. ALCALA:
May we request your honor that the person pointed to by the witness Identify himself.
COURT:
Ask the person pointed to by the witness to Identify himself.
INTERPRETER:
What is your name?
A. Cesario Jumawan.
INTERPRETER:
The person pointed to by the witness Identify himself as Cesario Jumawan Your Honor.
Q. On that occasion what was Francisco Jumawan doing at that time you saw him?
A. He was standing besides Rodolfo Magnaye and holding his hands.
Q. Who was holding his hands?
A. Francisco Jumawan was holding the hands of Rodolfo Magnaye, sir.

Q. How about Manuel Jumawan, what was he doing?


A. Manuel Jumawan was at the back of Rodolfo Magnaye with his arm around the neck of Rodolfo
Magnaye, sir.
Q. How about Cesario Jumawan what was he doing on that particular occasion?
A. He was in front of Rodolfo Magnaye, his left hand is holding the collar of Rodolfo Magnaye and
his right hand holding a bolo, sir.
Q. How about Presentacion Jumawan, what was she doing on that particular occasion?
A. She was standing inside the store ordering the three persons to stab and kill Rodolfo Magnaye,
sir.
Q. What happened when Presentacion Jumawan give that order?
A. Rodolfo Magnaye was stabbed, sir.
Q. Who stabbed Rodolfo Magnaye on that occasion?
A. Cesario Jumawan, sir.
Q. At that time that Cesario Jumawan stabbed Rodolfo Magnaye on that particular occasion, what
were Francisco Jumawan and Manuel Jumawan doing.?
A. Francisco Jumawan was holding the hands of Rodolfo Magnaye with his arms around the neck
of Rodolfo Magnaye, sir.
Q. What happened to Rodolfo Magnaye when he was stabbed by Cesario Jumawan on that
occasion?
A. He was hit by the stab, sir.
Q. Where was Rodolfo Magnaye hit by the stab of Cesario Jumawan on that occasion?
A. Under the right nipple, sir. Below the right nipple.
Q. What did Rodolfo Magnaye do on that particular occasion after he was hit?
A. He said, why did you stab me.
Q. What did you do after that?
A. I left, sir.
Q. While you were walking away did you hear anything?
.A. Yes, sir.
Q. What did you hear?
A. A voice of a woman shouting, thief, thief.
Q. What did you do when you heard the shout of a woman?

A. I hurriedly walked away, sir.


Q. Did you finally came to know what happened to Rodolfo Magnaye as a result of that incident?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. What happened to him?
A. He died, sir. (t.s.n., pp. 494-509.)
Policarpio Trinidad was 28 years old and a laborer at the time he first testified on June 27, 1977. He testified that he knew Manuel
Jumawan, Cesario Jumawan and Rodolfo Magnaye; that on June 19, 1976, at about 11:00 p.m., he was in Sariaya, Quezon, near the
old station of the BLTB; and on that occasion he saw the aforesaid persons thus:
Q. Will you please describe before this Honorable Court their position when you saw them?
A. Their hands were on the shoulders of each other.
Q. And who was in the middle?
A. Rodolfo Magnaye, sir.
Q. Will you please tell this Honorable Court the appearance of Rodolfo Magnaye when you saw
him being in the middle of Cesario Jumawan and Manuel Jumawan on that occasion?
A. His head falls and his two hands were on the shoulder of Cesario Jumawan and Manuel
Jumawan.
Q. Did you see where these persons were going on that particular occasion when you said you saw
them?
ATTY. CUARTOY
Objection Your Honor, that has already been answered, that they are going out of the old BLTB
station.
COURT:
Witness may answer.
A. They cross the highway, sir.
Q. In what particular place did they go when they cross the highway?
A.. They went to the road opposite the Emil Welding Shop, sir.
Q. Did you see on that particular occasion whether Rodolfo Magnaye was walking?
A. He was not walking and he cannot step his feet, sir.
Q. When they went to that place, near the Emil Welding Shop, did they go any further?
A. They proceeded walking, sir.
Q. Where did you go upon seeing them?

A. I went directly to my house, sir.


(t.s.n., pp. 628-631.)
The testimony of Vicente Recepeda linked to that of Trinidad Alcantara and Policarpio Trinidad shows that the four appellants conspired
and cooperated in the assassination of Rodolfo Magnaye.
The victim and his wife had a rendezvous in the evening of June 19, 1976, in order to discuss the fate of their marriage. While it is not
known if they actually conversed, the purpose of the rendezvous was in fact accomplished; the marriage was terminated by the murder
of the husband.
The report to the police by Presentacion that Rodolfo Magnaye had attempted to rob the store of Sebastiana Jumawan was a crude
diversionary tactic to enable Cesario and Manuel to transfer the cadaver to another place.
The alibis of Francisco, Cesario and Manuela are for naught.
Francisco claimed that in the evening of June 19, 1976, he was in the house of Sebastiana Jumawan, not in her store. Cesario said that
while his residence was Barrio Pili, Sariaya, on the night of June 19, 1976, he and his wife were in Barrio Sampaloc, Sariaya, visiting
his brother Benigno Jumawan and they did not return to Pili until the next day. Manuel said that on the night of June 19, 1976, he was in
his house at Barrio Pili.
These alibi cannot prevail for the following reasons: (a) Francisco, Cesario and Manuel were positively Identified to be at the scene of
the crime by Vicente Recepeda and Cesario and Manuel were similarly Identified by Policarpio Trinidad; and (b) the places where they
claimed to be were not far from the scene of the crimeso that it was not impossible fro them to be there. Sebastiana Jumawan's house
where Francisco was supposed to be is within walking distance from the former's store. Barrio Sampaloc, where Cesario claimed he
was, is only about three kilometers from the poblacion of Sariaya. Barrio Pili, where Manuel said he slept that night, is about five
kilometers from the same poblacion.
Presentacion should have been accused of parricide but as it is, since her relationship to the deceased is not alleged in the information,
she, like the others, can be convicted of murder only qualified by abuse of superior strength.
Although not alleged in the information, relationship as an aggravating circumstance should be assigned against the appellants. True,
relationship is inherent in parricide, but Presentacion stands convicted of murder. And as to the others, the relationships of father-in-law
and brother-in-law aggravate the crime. (Aquino, Penal Code, Vol. I. p. 406 [1976].)
The penalty for murder with an aggravating circumstances is death. However, for lack of necessary votes, the penalty is reduced
to reclusion perpetua.
WHEREFORE, the jugment of the court a quo is hereby affirmed in toto. No costs.
SO ORDERED.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. MANOLITO OYANIB y MENDOZA, accused-appellant.


DECISION
PARDO, J.:
Accused Manolito Oyanib y Mendoza appeals from the joint decision [1] of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 02, Iligan City finding
him guilty beyond reasonable doubt of homicide and parricide and sentencing him to an indeterminate penalty [2] of six (6) months one
day (1) to six (6) years of prision correccional as minimum to six (6) years one (1) day to eight (8) years of prision mayor as maximum,
[3]
and to pay P50,000.00 civil indemnity and the costs for the death of Jesus Esquierdo, and to reclusion perpetua, to pay P50,000.00
and the costs for the death of his wife, Tita T. Oyanib.[4]

On September 11, 1995, Iligan City Prosecutor Ulysses V. Lagcao filed with the Regional Trial Court, Iligan City two (2) separate
informations charging accused Manolito Oyanib y Mendoza with murder and parricide, as follows:
Criminal Case No. 6012
That on or about September 4, 1995, in the City of Iligan, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said
accused, armed with a deadly weapon to wit: a hunting knife about six inches long and with intent to kill and evident premeditation and
by means of treachery, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault, stab and wound one Jesus Esquierdo,
thereby inflicting upon him the following physical injuries, to wit:
Cardiorespiratory arrest
Hypovolemic shock irreversible
Multiple organ injury
Multiple stab wound chest & abdomen
and as a result thereof the said Jesus Esquierdo died.
Contrary to and in violation of Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code with the aggravating circumstances (sic) of evident premeditation.
[5]

Criminal Case No. 6018


That on or about September 4, 1995, in the City of Iligan, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said
accused, having conceived and (sic) deliberate intent to kill his wife Tita Oyanib, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously
and with evident premeditation, attack, assault, stab and wound his wife, as a result of said attack, the said Tita Oyanib died.
Contrary to and in violation of Article 246 of the Revised Penal Code.[6]
The prosecutor recommended no bail for the temporary liberty of accused Manolito Oyanib y Mendoza in both cases.
On September 11, 1995, accused voluntarily surrendered to the police authorities [7] and was immediately detained at the Iligan
City Jail.[8]
On January 17, 1996, the trial court arraigned accused Manolito Oyanib y Mendoza by reading the informations against him and
translating them into the Visayan dialect.[9] He pleaded not guilty to both charges.
As the two (2) cases arose from the same set of facts, the trial court conducted a joint trial.
Accused Manolito Oyanib y Mendoza (hereafter Manolito) and Tita T. Oyanib (hereafter Tita) were married on February 3,
1979[10] and had two (2) children, Desilor and Julius. They lived in Purok 1, Tambacan, Iligan City.
In 1994, due to marital differences, Manolito and Tita separated, with Manolito keeping custody of their two (2) children. Tita
rented a room at the second floor of the house of Edgardo Lladas (hereafter Edgardo), not far from the place where her family lived.
At about 9:30 in the evening of September 4, 1995, while Edgardo and his family were watching TV at the sala located at the
ground floor of their house at Purok 3-A, Tambacan, Iligan City, they heard a commotion coming from the second floor rented by
Tita. The commotion and the noise lasted for quite some time.When it died down, Edgardo went upstairs to check.[11]
Upstairs, Edgardo saw Tita wearing a duster, bloodied and sprawled on the floor. He saw Manolito stabbing Jesus Esquierdo
(hereafter Jesus) while sitting on the latters stomach. Jesus was wearing a pair of long black pants. When Edgardo asked Manolito
what he was doing, accused told Edgardo not to interfere.
Thereafter, Edgardo left the house and called the police. Meanwhile, the neighbors brought Tita to the hospital. She died on the
way to the hospital.[12]

SPO3 Eduard Tubil, police investigator, General Investigation Office, Iligan City Police Command, Precinct I, Poblacion, Iligan City
said that at about 9:00 in the evening of September 4, 1995, while he was on duty, he received an information regarding a stabbing
incident at the Llagas residence at Purok 3-A, Tambacan, Iligan City.[13]
At the crime scene, SPO3 Tubil saw the lifeless body of Jesus lying face up with several stab wounds in different parts of the
body. Jesus was clad in t-shirt and long pants. From the crime scene, he recovered a knife. Afterwards, he went to Dr. Uy Hospital to
check on Tita; he was informed that she was dead. Manolito was the suspect in the killing of Jesus and Tita.[14] The incident was
recorded in the police blotter as Entry No. 137138.[15]
On September 5, 1995, Dr. Leonardo A. Labanon, Medico-Legal Officer, Iligan City examined the bodies of Jesus and Tita.
Jesus sustained multiple stab wounds, and those inflicted in the right and left chests and stomach were fatal. [17] The cause of death
was cardiorespiratory arrest, hypovolemic shock irreversible, multiple organ injury and multiple stab wound chest and abdomen.[18]
[16]

Likewise, Tita sustained several stab wounds, with the fatal wounds inflicted in the left chest and right side of the abdomen. The
cause of death was cardiorespiratory arrest, hypovolemic shock and multiple stab wound.[19]
As heretofore stated, in 1994, following a series of arguments, Manolito and Tita decided to live separately. Manolito retained
custody of their two (2) children.Immediately after the separation, Tita stayed at her friend Merlyns house for two (2)
months. Afterwards, she transferred to the Lladas residence, located at Purok 3, G. Tambacan, Iligan City, and rented the second floor.
[20]
The rented space consisted mainly of a sala with one adjoining room. It was arranged in a manner that if one enters the main
entrance door, one is immediately led to the sala and from the sala, directly to the door of the adjoining room.
Despite their separation, Manolito tried to win Tita back and exerted all efforts towards reconciliation for the sake of the children.
However, Tita was very reluctant to reconcile with Manolito. [21] In fact, she was very open about her relationship with other men and
would flaunt it in front of Manolito. One time, he chanced upon his wife and her paramour, Jesus, in a very intimate situation by the
hanging bridge at Brgy. Tambacan, Iligan City.[22] Manolito confronted Tita and Jesus about this. He censured his wife and reminded her
that she was still his wife. They just ignored him; they even threatened to kill him.[23]
In the evening of September 4, 1995, after supper, his daughter Desilor handed Manolito a letter from the Iligan City National High
School. The letter mentioned that his son Julius failed in two (2) subjects and invited his parents to a meeting at the school. Because he
had work from 8:00 in the morning until 5:00 in the afternoon the next day, Manolito went to Titas house to ask her to attend the school
meeting in his behalf.[24]
Upon reaching Titas rented place, he heard sounds of romance (kissing) coming from the inside. He pried open the door lock
using a hunting knife. He caught his wife Tita and Jesus having sexual intercourse. Jesus was on top of Tita and his pants were down to
his knees.
Upon seeing him, Jesus kicked Manolito in the cheek. Manolito immediately stabbed Jesus. Though Jesus was 59 in height and
weighed about 70 kg., the suddenness of the assault caused him to lose his balance and fall down. Manolito took advantage of this
opportunity and stabbed Jesus in the stomach. Tita left the room upon seeing Manolito, only to come back armed with a Tanduay
bottle. She hit Manolito in the head, while at the same time shouting kill him Jake, kill him Jake.[25]
In the commotion, Manolito stabbed Jesus, hitting him in the abdomen. Jesus fell down and Manolito stabbed him
again. Meanwhile, Tita stabbed Manolito in the arm with the broken Tanduay bottle. This angered Manolito and he stabbed Tita in the
left breast. He stabbed her three (3) more times in different parts of her body. Tita fell near the lifeless body of her paramour. It was at
this point that Edgardo, the owner of the house Tita was renting, appeared from the ground floor and inquired about what had
happened. Manolito told Edgardo not to interfere because he had nothing to do with it.
Thereafter, Manolito left the house of Edgardo and went to Kilumco, Camague, Iligan City and stayed at the wake of his friends
neighbor. He threw away the knife he used in stabbing his wife and her paramour. At around 4:00 in the morning of the following day, he
went to Camague Highway to catch a bus for Lentogan, Aurora, Zamboanga. While in Lentogan, he heard over radio DXIC that there
was a call for him to surrender. He heeded the call and gave himself up to the police authorities in Precinct 2, Nonocan, Iligan City.[26]
When asked why he was carrying a knife when he went to his wifes place, Manolito said that he brought it for self-defense. Prior
to the incident, he received threats from his wife and her paramour, Jesus, that they would kill him so they could live together.[27]
After trial, on May 26, 1997, the trial court promulgated a joint decision finding accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the
crimes charged. The dispositive portion reads:

WHEREFORE, in the light of the foregoing findings and pronouncements and having carefully observed the demeanor of witnesses,
this Court hereby declares accused MANOLITO OYANIB y Mendoza GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Homicide (Crim.
Case No. II-6012) and Parricide (Crim. Case No. II-6018) and appreciating the two (2) mitigating circumstances of passion or
obfuscation and voluntary surrender without any aggravating circumstances to consider, this Court sentences accused Manolito Oyanib
y Mendoza to suffer an imprisonment as follows:
1) In Criminal Case No. II-6012:
To an Indeterminate Penalty ranging from SIX (6) MONTHS ONE (1) DAY to SIX (6) YEARS as Minimum to Six (6) YEARS ONE (1)
DAY to EIGHT (8) YEARS as Maximum; to indemnify heirs of Jesus Esquierdo the sum of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity, and to pay the
costs.
2) In Criminal Case No. II-6018:
To RECLUSION PERPETUA pursuant to Republic Act No. 7659; to indemnify heirs of his wife P50,000.00 as civil indemnity and to pay
the costs.
It is likewise ordered that the aforesaid imprisonment is subject to the forty (40) years limitation prescribed in Article 70 of the Revised
Penal Code.
Accused is likewise entitled to full credit of his preventive imprisonment.
SO ORDERED.
Iligan City, Philippines, May 26, 1997.
MAXIMO B. RATUNIL
Presiding Judge[28]
On June 17, 1997, accused Manolito Oyanib y Mendoza interposed an appeal from the joint decision of the trial court to the
Supreme Court.[29]
Accused admitted the killings. He argued that he killed them both under the exceptional circumstances provided in Article 247 of
the Revised Penal Code. He raised several errors allegedly committed by the trial court, which boiled down to the basic issue of
whether accused is entitled to the exceptional privilege under Article 247 of the Revised Penal Code. [30] He questioned the trial courts
appreciation of the facts and the evidence, contending that it ignored and overlooked vital pieces of physical evidence material to the
defense of the accused, like the photograph of the lifeless body of Jesus. Accused contends that the photograph graphically showed
that Jesus pants were wide open, unzipped and unbuttoned, revealing that he was not wearing any underwear, lending credence to his
defense that he caught his wife and her paramour in the act of sexual intercourse. On the other hand, the Solicitor General submitted
that accused-appellant failed to discharge the burden of proving, by clear and convincing evidence, that he killed the victims under the
exceptional circumstances contemplated in Article 247 of the Revised Penal Code. Hence, the trial court did not err in denying him the
exempting privilege under the Article.[31]
We find the appeal meritorious.
At the outset, accused admitted killing his wife and her paramour. He invoked Article 247 of the Revised Penal Code as an
absolutory and an exempting cause. An absolutory cause is present where the act committed is a crime but for reasons of public policy
and sentiment there is no penalty imposed.[32]
Having admitted the killing, it is incumbent upon accused to prove the exempting circumstances to the satisfaction of the court in
order to be relieved of any criminal liability. Article 247 of the Revised Penal Code prescribes the following essential elements for such a
defense: (1) that a legally married person surprises his spouse in the act of committing sexual intercourse with another person; (2) that
he kills any of them or both of them in the act or immediately thereafter; and (3) that he has not promoted or facilitated the prostitution
of his wife (or daughter) or that he or she has not consented to the infidelity of the other spouse. [33] Accused must prove these elements
by clear and convincing evidence, otherwise his defense would be untenable. The death caused must be the proximate result of the

outrage overwhelming the accused after chancing upon his spouse in the act of infidelity. Simply put, the killing by the husband of his
wife must concur with her flagrant adultery.[34]
There is no question that the first element is present in the case at bar. The crucial fact that accused must convincingly prove to
the court is that he killed his wife and her paramour in the act of sexual intercourse or immediately thereafter.
After an assiduous analysis of the evidence presented and the testimonies of the witnesses, we find accused to have acted within
the circumstances contemplated in Article 247 of the Revised Penal Code. Admittedly, accused-appellant surprised his wife and her
lover in the act of sexual intercourse.
To the mind of the court, what actually happened was that accused chanced upon Jesus at the place of his wife. He saw his wife
and Jesus in the act of having sexual intercourse. Blinded by jealousy and outrage, accused stabbed Jesus who fought off and kicked
the accused. He vented his anger on his wife when she reacted, not in defense of him, but in support of Jesus. Hence, he stabbed his
wife as well several times. Accused Manolito Oyanib y Mendoza surrendered to the police when a call for him to surrender was made.
The law imposes very stringent requirements before affording the offended spouse the opportunity to avail himself of Article 247,
Revised Penal Code. As the Court put it in People v. Wagas:[35]
The vindication of a Mans honor is justified because of the scandal an unfaithful wife creates; the law is strict on this, authorizing as it
does, a man to chastise her, even with death. But killing the errant spouse as a purification is so severe as that it can only be justified
when the unfaithful spouse is caught in flagrante delicto; and it must be resorted to only with great caution so much so that the law
requires that it be inflicted only during the sexual intercourse or immediately thereafter.
WHEREFORE, the Court REVERSES the appealed decision of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 02, Iligan City in Criminal Cases
Nos. II-6012 and II-6018. The Court sentences accused Manolito Oyanib y Mendoza to two (2) years and four (4) months of destierro.
[36]
He shall not be permitted to enter Iligan City, nor within a radius of one hundred (100) kilometers from Iligan City.[37]
Costs de oficio.
SO ORDERED.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,
Plaintiff-Appellee,

G.R. No. 173248


Present:

versus -

QUISUMBING, J., Chairperson,


CARPIO MORALES,
TINGA,
VELASCO, JR., and
BRION, JJ.
Promulgated:

DANTE NUEVA y SAMARO,


Accused-Appellant.

November 3, 2008

x ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------x
DECISION
BRION, J.:
We review the appeal by accused-appellant Dante Nueva y Samaro (appellant) from the April 27, 2006 Decision[1] of the Court
of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. CR-HC No. 00727. The CA affirmed the November 12, 2004 Decision [2] of the Regional Trial Court (RTC),
Branch 129, Caloocan City, finding the appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder and sentencing him to suffer
the penalty of reclusion perpetua.

ANTECEDENT FACTS

The prosecution charged the appellant, Porpirio Maribuhok (Porpirio) and John Doe, one of the as yet unidentified assailants, before
the RTC with the crime of murder under an Information that states:
xxx
That on or about the 29th day of December, 2000 in Caloocan City, Metro Manila and within the jurisdiction of
this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, conspiring together and mutually helping with one another, without
any justifiable cause, and with deliberate intent to kill with treachery, evident premeditation and abuse of superior
strength, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault, hit with a piece of wood on the head
and stab at the back and chest one VIRGILIO REVOLLIDO, JR. Y ANTOLIN, with a bladed weapon, thereby inflicting
upon the latter serious physical injuries, which eventually caused his death.
Contrary to law.[3]
Of the three accused, only the appellant was apprehended; the others remained at large. On arraignment, the appellant
pleaded not guilty to the charge. The prosecution presented the following witnesses in the trial on the merits that followed: Virgilio
Revollido, Sr. (Virgilio); Alfonso Bacar, Jr. (Alfonso); PO3 Jaime Basa (PO3 Basa); Dr. Ludivino G. Lagat (Dr. Lagat); PO2 Edilberto
Safuentes (PO2 Safuentes); SPO1 Renato Aguilar (SPO1 Aguilar); and Mariadita Revollido-Baytan (Mariadita). The appellant took the
witness stand for the defense.

Virgilio, the father of the victim, testified that her daughter, Annabelle Revollido, informed him in the morning of December 30,
2000 of his sons death.[4] At the time he died, his son was 31 years old[5] and was single; he received a monthly pay of about P5,000.00
as a machine operator in Vitan Industries.[6] He affirmed that he incurred more than P60,000.00 for the wake and burial of his son.[7]

Alfonso narrated that at around 10:00 in the evening of December 29, 2000, while he was standing outside the Great Taste
Bakery located on 4th Avenue East, Caloocan City, he saw a person coming from M.H. Del Pilar Street being chased by another (John
Doe). Upon reaching 4th Avenue, the person being chased passed in front of the appellant and Porpirio who were then standing near
the corner of 4thAvenue. At that point, the appellant held the victims left hand and led him to the other side of the road. There, Porpirio
took a piece of wood and hit the victim on the head, causing the latter to fall to his knees. The appellant continued to box the victim until
John Doe came.[8] John Doe immediately stabbed the victim at the back. The appellant, who was then at the victims front, then pulled
out a knife and likewise stabbed the victim. Afterwards, the three accused ran towards M.H. Del Pilar Street. The victim stood up, but,
after taking two (2) steps, fell to the ground. Thereafter, an unidentified person came and brought the victim to a hospital on board a
van. [9]

Alfonso testified further that he was informed of the full name of the victim on January 19, 2001 by the latters relatives after he
gave his statement to the police authorities.[10]

On cross examination, he narrated that he was more or less 7 to 8 arms length away from the place of the incident, and that
the place at that time was well-lighted.[11]

PO3 Basa, a police officer assigned at the Caloocan Police Headquarters, testified that on December 29, 2000, he received a
verbal communication from the PNP Tactical Operation Center of a stabbing incident at M.H. Del Pilar Street. He went to the scene of

the crime and was informed there by bystanders that the victim had been brought to the Chinese General Hospital. He proceeded to
the emergency room of the hospital and saw the lifeless body of the victim who bore several stab wounds.[12]

Dr. Lagat, the Medico-Legal Officer of the National Bureau of Investigation, declared on the witness stand that he conducted
an autopsy on the remains of the victim on December 30, 2000 and made the following findings:
xxx
Abrasions: 1.0 x 1.3 cm., shoulder, left 4.0 x 2.0 cm., back, left side, 4.0 x 1.0 cm., back, right side; 5.0 x 1.0
cm., antecubital area, left; 2 x 1.0 cm. right knee.
Incised wounds, 3.0 cm., forehead, right side; 3.0 cm., chest, right side, 5.0 cm., left supra scapular area;
6.0 cm., left hand, back; 3.0 cm., right ring finger.
Stab wounds, all elliptical; clean cut edges, with sharp and a blunt extremities.
1.

1.0 cm., obliquely oriented, located at the lateral aspect of the neck; left side; 10.0 cm., from the
anterior median line directed backward and medially involving the skin and soft tissue arteriorly.

2.

3.5 cm., obliquely oriented; located at the anterior chest wall, left side 4.0 cm., from the anterior
median line, level of the 4th intercostal; directed backward, downward and medially involving the skin
underlying soft tissue; perforating the pericardial sac; penetrating the left ventrical of the heart, with a
depth of 13.0 cms.

3.

4.5 cms., obliquely oriented; located at the anterior chest wall, right side; 3.0 cms., from the anterior
median line, level of the 5thintercostals; directed backward; downward and medially, involving the skin
and underlying soft tissue; then penetrating the middle lobe of the right lobe with depth of 12.0 cms.

xxx
CAUSE OF DEATH: STAB WOUNDS, BODY.
x x x[13]
According to Dr. Lagat, the victim suffered three (3) stab wounds, eight (8) incise wounds, and several abrasions in different parts of his
body. Of the three stab wounds, two (2) were fatal, both of them at the chest.[14]

PO2 Safuentes of the Mobile Patrol Division, Caloocan City Police, stated that he was one of the police officers who apprehended the
appellant. According to him, he and his five (5) companions went to Letre, Tonsuya, Malabon to serve the arrest warrant on the
appellant who was not in his house at the time. [15] On their way out of Letre, they chanced upon the accused who, on seeing them,
turned his back and ran. PO1 Chu[16] fired two (2) warning shots, causing the appellant to stop. PO2 Safuentes showed him (appellant)
then the corresponding warrant of arrest and then brought him to the hospital for mandatory physical examination.[17]
SPO1 Aguilar was with the arresting team and essentially confirmed what PO2 Safuentes testified on. [18]

Mariadita, the victims sister, confirmed that she identified and requested an autopsy of her brothers remains.[19]

The appellant had a different version of the events. His testimony was succinctly summarized by the RTC as follows:
x x x Dante Nueva y Samaro testified that on December 29, 2000, at around 10:00 oclock in the evening, he
was at work as bouncer at Yellow Submarine with one Wilmor that was from 10:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. He does not
know of any untoward or stabbing incident in his working place.
He said he does not know of any reason why he is being charged with murder.[20]

He likewise narrated that he knows a person by the name of Porpirio Maribuhok, one of the accused in this
case who is a customer at Yellow Submarine. He did not see Porpirio Maribuhok at the night of the incident.[21]
On cross by Pros. Susano, said accused testified that he knows for 3 months already [sic] Porpirio
Maribuhok who is a customer of the Yellow Submarine near M.H. del Pilar St., which place is around 30/40 meters
away from Great Taste Bakery.[22]
He said that yellow Submarine is owned by one Maring Rinos whom he knows for three (3) years already.
He also knows one Edgar, Entoy, Val and Leo.[23] [Footnotes referring to the pertinent parts of the record supplied]

The RTC convicted the appellant in its decision of November 12, 2004. The dispositive portion of this decision reads:
WHEREFORE, accused Dante Nueva y Samaro, is hereby found Guilty, beyond reasonable doubt of
Murder, qualified by treachery, and is sentenced to Reclusion Perpetua. Accused is ordered to pay the heirs of the
victim, Virgilio Revollido, Jr., P50,000.00 as civil indemnity ex delicto; to pay the heirs of the victim, Fifty Six Thousand
One Hundred Twelve (P56,112.00) Pesos as actual damages.
In the absence of proof to prove loss of earning capacity, the same is disallowed.
xxx
Let alias warrant of arrest be issued against the accused Porpirio Maribuhok.
In the interim, the case against him is Archived, until his arrest.
SO ORDERED.[24] [Emphasis in the original]

The appellant appealed his conviction to the CA[25] whose decision of April 27, 2006 affirmed the RTC decision with modification. The
CA ordered the appellant to additionally pay the victims heirs the amounts of P50,000.00 and P25,000.00 as moral and exemplary
damages, respectively.

In his brief,[26] the appellant argues that the lower court erred in finding him guilty of the crime charged despite the failure of the
prosecution to establish his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. He posits that the prosecution merely established that a person was killed,
but failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that it was he who killed the victim.

THE COURTS RULING

After due consideration, we resolve to deny the appeal but modify the amount of the awarded indemnities.

Sufficiency of Prosecution Evidence

A distinguishing feature of this case is the presence of an eyewitness Alfonso who provided positive identification of the appellant in
his July 31, 2001 testimony. To directly quote from the records:
FISCAL NEPTHALI ALIPOSA:
Q: Mr. Bacar, can you recall where were you on the evening of December 29, 2000, particularly at
around 10:00 in the evening, more or less?
ALFONSO BACAR, JR.:
A: Yes, sir.

Q: Where were you?


A: I was at Great Taste Bakery, sir.
Q: This bakery, where is this located?
A: At 4th Avenue East, Caloocan City.
Q: Outside or inside Great Taste Bakery?
A: Outside, sir.
Q: While outside Great Taste Bakery, do you remember of any unusual incident that happened?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: What was that unusual incident?
A: Somebody was chasing someone coming from M.H. Del Pilar St.
Q: How many persons who [sic] were running after someone?
A: One is chasing somebody, sir.
Q: What happened to that pursuit of one man with another man?
A: When the person being chased reached 4th Avenue coming from M.H. Del Pilar and facing in front of two
persons standing near the corner, then Dante Nueva held the left arm of the one running.
Q: What happened after Dante held the left arm of the man being pursued?
A: Then they proceeded to the other corner or turned around to the other corner.
Q: They turned around because Dante held the left arm of the person being pursued?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: When they reached the other side of the road, what happened?
A: Porpirio took a piece of wood (dos por dos) and he hit the person being chased on the head.
Q: When Porpirio hit the head of the person being pursued, what was Dante Nueva doing in relation to the
victim, if any?
A: Dante Nueva boxed first the person being chased until the person who was chasing arrived.
Q: You said that the person being pursued was being hit by a piece of wood on the head, what happened to
the person being hit on the head?
A: The person being chased was hit on the head with a piece of wood fell on his knees.
Q: While the victim who was hit on the head was on a kneeling position, what happened?
A: While the person who was hit on the head fell on his knees, the person who was chasing him arrived.
Q: What happened when the person chasing the victim arrived?
A: Then that person stabbed the person being chased at the back who was then kneeling.
Q: Where was Dante at that time when the victim was hit by that person pursuing at the back?
A: Dante was there in front of the victim.
Q: What happened after the victim was stabbed at the back, what did Dante do, if any?
A: Dante pulled out a knife and stabbed the victim on the front portion of the body and at the same
time the other person was stabbing the victim.
Q: With what weapon did Dante use in stabbing the victim on the front part of the body?

A: A fan knife, sir.


Q: How about the other person who was pursuing the victim and who stabbed first the victim at the back, do
you know what weapon was being used by this person?
A: I dont know what weapon was that, because upon arrival of this person, he immediately stabbed the
victim.
Q: What happened to the victim who was conspired upon by the 3 persons Dante Nueva, Porpirio and the
person who stabbed the victim at the back?
ATTY. JIMMY EDMUND BATARA:
We object, Your Honor, conspire is already a conclusion.
COURT:
What is again the question?
STENOGRAPHER:
What happened to the victim who was conspired upon by the 3 persons, Dante Nueva, Porpirio and the
person who stabbed the victim at the back?
COURT:
Successively attacked.

FISCAL NEPTHALI ALIPOSA:


Yes, Your Honor, successively attacked.
ALFONSO BACAR, JR.:
He was kneeling while he was being stabbed or while they were stabbing that victim all at
the same time and that person being stabbed by the 3 persons also tried to parry the
stabbing.
Q: What happened to him?
A: Then after that or after the stabbing of the victim, they ran away and went towards the direction of MH Del
Pilar.
xxxx
Q: These 3 persons who attacked the victim one on the head, one of them stabbed the victim at the back
and the other in front, are they inside the Courtroom now?
A: Only one is inside, sir.
Q: Will you kindly point to the one who was or who is now inside this room?
A: That person sir.
INTERPRETER:
Witness is pointing to a person who identified himself as Dante Nueva.[27] [Emphasis supplied]

Time and again, we have ruled that the credibility of witnesses is a matter best left to the determination of the trial court
because it had the unique advantage of having personally observed the witnesses, their demeanor, conduct, and attitude. As a
consequence, we have considered the the trial courts assessment of the credibility of witnesses to be binding except when the lower
court had patently overlooked facts and circumstances of weight and influence that could alter the results of the case.[28]

We carefully scrutinized the records of this case and found no reason to disbelieve Alfonsos straightforward narration of the
events surrounding the death of the victim. Nor did we see anything on record showing any improper motive that would lead Alfonso to
testify as he did. In fact, in his testimony of July 31, 2001, he categorically stated that he had no misunderstanding with the appellant
and his two (2) co-accused prior to the stabbing incident. Thus, we adhere to the established rule that in the absence of evidence
showing any reason or motive for the prosecution witness to perjure himself or herself, we can conclude that no improper motive exists
and his or her testimony is worthy of full faith and credit. [29] Moreover, Alfonso testified that he knew the appellant prior to the stabbing
incident for more or less four (4) years already; hence there could not have been any doubt regarding his positive identification of the
appellant as one of the assailants.

In his defense, the appellant claimed the defenses of denial and alibi. He denied knowing the victim and insisted that he was
at the Yellow Submarine bar on 4th Avenue/Del Pilar St. on December 29, 2000; he was there working as a bouncer from 10:00 p.m. to
3:00 a.m. He explained that he failed to get a certification from Yellow Submarine to prove that he was working at that time because no
one visited him.

To be believed, denial must be supported by strong evidence of non-culpability; otherwise, it is purely self-serving. [30] Alibi, on
the other hand, is one of the weakest defenses in a criminal case and should be rejected when the identity of the accused is sufficiently
and positively established by the prosecution.[31] For the appellants defense of alibi to prosper, he should have proven that it was
physically impossible for him to have been at the scene of the crime when it was committed. By physical impossibility we refer to the
distance and the facility of access between the situs criminis and the place where he says he was when the crime was committed.[32]

The appellant fails this test as he insisted that he was at the Yellow Submarine working as a bouncer at the time of the
stabbing incident. By his own admission, the Yellow Submarine is only 30 to 40 meters from the Great Taste Bakery. This short distance
does not render it physically impossible for the appellant to have been at the place where the victim was attacked.
Aside from being inherently weak, the appellants alibi cannot prevail over the positive identification made by Alfonso that the
appellant was one of the victims assailants. We particularly note that Alfonso categorically stated that he stabbed the victim from the
front,[33] and note as well that the victims two fatal wounds were his chest wounds. [34] Thus, of the three assailants, it was the appellant
himself who delivered the fatal blows on the victim.

In a long line of cases, this Court has held that positive identification, made categorically and consistently, almost always
prevails over alibi and denial. These defenses, if not substantiated by clear and convincing evidence, are negative and self-serving and
are undeserving of weight in law.[35] We see no reason in this case to deviate from these established rules.
The crime committed
Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code defines the crime of murder as follows:
Article 248. Murder. - Any person who, not falling within the provision of Article 246, shall kill another, shall be guilty
of murder and shall be punished by reclusion perpetua to death if committed with any of the following attendant
circumstances:

1. With treachery, taking advantage of superior strength, with the aid of armed men, or employing means to weaken the
defense, or of means or persons to insure or afford impunity;
xxxx

a. No treachery
In convicting the appellant of the crime of murder, the courts a quo appreciated the qualifying circumstance of treachery.
According to the RTC, the attack was sudden and not provoked, and was not preceded by any exchange of words, no altercation
between the assailants and the victim, who was not aware that he would be killed by the accused. x x x [A]ccused stabbed the victim in
succession even when he was already on the ground, wounded. [36] The CA concurred with this RTC finding of treachery without
however offering any explanation for its concurrence.

We disagree with the lower courts in this conclusion as our review of the evidence points us to the conclusion that no treachery existed.

Treachery is not presumed. The circumstances surrounding the murder must be proved as indubitably as the crime itself.
[37]

There is treachery when the offender commits any of the crimes against persons, employing means, method or forms which tend

directly and especially to insure its execution, without risk to the offender, arising from the defense that the offended party might make.
[38]

To constitute treachery, two conditions must concur: (1) the employment of means, methods or manner of execution that would
ensure the offenders safety from any defense or retaliatory act on the part of the offended party; and (2) the offenders deliberate or
conscious choice of the means, method or manner of execution.[39]
We find it undisputed that prior to the killing, the victim was being chased by John Doe. Upon reaching 4th Avenue, he passed
in front of the appellant and Porpirio who, at that time, were both standing near the corner of 4th Avenue. As the victim passed, the
appellant held his left hand and led him towards the other side of the road. There, Porpirio struck the victim on the head with a dos por
dos causing him to fall to his knees. The appellant thereafter boxed the victim until John Doe came. They then stabbed him, John Doe
delivering the first blow from the back and the appellant doing it from the front.

Under these facts, we see no evidence indicating that the appellant and his co-accused made some preparation to kill the
victim in such a manner as to ensure the execution of the crime or to make it impossible or hard for the victim to defend himself.
[40]

There was nothing in the record that shows that the three (3) assailants carefully considered the mode or method of attack to ensure

the killing of the victim. While the intent to kill was patent, the manner of attack did not appear to have been deliberately adopted.

In People v. Antonio,[41] we held that it is not only the sudden attack that qualifies a killing into murder. There must be
a conscious and deliberate adoption of the mode of attack for a specific purpose.

Likewise, in People v. Catbagan,[42] we ruled that treachery cannot be considered when there is no evidence that the accused
had resolved to commit the crime prior to the moment of the killing, or that the death of the victim was the result of premeditation,
calculation or reflection.

b. Abuse of superior strength

We agree, however, that abuse of superior strength attended the killing of the victim. To take advantage of superior strength means to
use purposely excessive force, or force out of proportion to the means of defense available to the person attacked. The aggravating
circumstance of abuse of superior strength depends on the age, size and strength of the parties. [43] It is present whenever there is
inequality of forces between the victim and the aggressor so that the superiority of strength is notoriously advantageous for the latter
who took advantage of this superiority in committing the crime.[44]

The records reveal that the lone and unarmed victim was held by the appellant by hand and led to the other side of the road;
struck on the head by Porpirio; boxed by the appellant; and then successively stabbed by John Doe and by the appellant. Clearly, the
victim was in no position to defend himself; he was overwhelmed by the combined efforts of all three (3) assailants who did not
only enjoy superiority in number, but also of weapons. This numerical and physical disparity was manifest in the victims various
abrasions on the shoulders and knees; incised wounds on the forehead, chest, hand and back; and stab wounds on the neck and
chest. That the assailants took advantage of their superior number and combined strength as against the relatively defenseless victim
can be clearly discerned from these circumstances.

c. Evident premeditation

While evident premeditation was alleged in the Information, the court a quo correctly concluded that this circumstance was not proven.
For evident premeditation to be appreciated, the following elements must be established: (1) the time when the accused determined to
commit the crime; (2) an overt act manifestly indicating that the accused has clung to his determination; and (3) sufficient lapse of time
between decision and execution to allow the accused to reflect on the consequences of his act. [45] Significantly, the prosecution did not
even attempt to prove the presence of these elements; Alfonso, the principal eyewitness, was not even aware of any prior incident or
any possible reason that could have led the appellant and his co-accused to attack the victim.
Conspiracy

A conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an agreement concerning the commission of a crime and decide to
commit it. Proof of the agreement need not rest on direct evidence as the same may be inferred from the conduct of the parties
indicating a common understanding among them with respect to the commission of the offense. It is not necessary to show that two or
more persons met together and entered into an explicit agreement setting out the details of an unlawful scheme or the details by which
an illegal objective is to be carried out. It may be deduced from the mode and manner by which the offense was perpetrated or inferred
from the acts of the accused showing a joint or common purpose and design, concerted action and community of interest.[46]

In the present case, no evidence exists showing that the three (3) assailants previously met and came to an agreement to
attack the victim. However, from the evidence presented, it was clear that they aimed their acts towards the accomplishment of the

same unlawful object. Each did an act that, though apparently independent, was in fact connected and cooperative, indicating
closeness of personal association and a concurrence of sentiment.

To the point of being repetitive, we restate what Alfonso, the principal witness, positively narrated in court: the appellant held
the hand of the victim and led him towards the other side of the road; Porpirio hit the victim on the head with a piece of wood causing
the latter to fall to his knees; the appellant boxed the victim until John Doe came and stabbed him at the back; then the appellant, who
was at the victims front, stabbed him in the chest.

In our view, these joint actions sufficiently point to a common design to end the life of the victim. Thus, the act of one acting
pursuant to this design is deemed the act of all.[47]
The proper penalty

The crime of murder qualified by abuse of superior strength is penalized under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code (as amended by
Republic Act No. 7659) with reclusion perpetua to death.

While treachery and evident premeditation were alleged in the Information, these circumstances were not adequately proven. In the
absence of mitigating and aggravating circumstances in the commission of the felony, the courts a quo correctly sentenced the
appellant to reclusion perpetua, conformably with Article 63(2)[48] of the Revised Penal Code.

Civil Liability

The RTC awarded the amount of P56,112.00 to the victims heirs as actual damages. It appears that out of the said amount,
only P55,438.00 was duly supported by receipts. To be entitled to actual damages, it is necessary to prove the actual amount of loss
with a reasonable degree of certainty, premised upon competent proof and on the best evidence obtainable to the injured party.[49]

We also award indemnity for loss of earning capacity to the victims heirs, as documentary evidence (Exh. D) [50] was presented to
substantiate this claim. Indemnity for loss of earning capacity is determinable under established jurisprudence based on the net earning
capacity of the murder victim computed under the formula:
Net Earning Capacity = 2/3 x (80 less the age of the victim at the time of death) x (Gross Annual Income less
the Reasonable and Necessary Living Expenses)[51]

The records show that the victims annual gross income was P61,245.60 computed from his weekly rate of P1,275.95 (or P5,103.80 per
month). His reasonable and necessary living expenses are estimated at 50% of this gross income, leaving a balance of P30,622.80.
His life expectancy, on the other hand, is assumed to be 2/3 of age 80 less 31, his age at the time of death. Applied to the above
formula, these data yield the net earning capacity loss of P1,010,552.40.

We affirm the awards of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity[52] and P50,000 as moral damages[53] pursuant to current jurisprudence.

The heirs of the victim are likewise entitled to exemplary damages since the qualifying circumstance of abuse of superior strength was
firmly established. When a crime is committed with an aggravating circumstance, either qualifying or generic, an award
of P25,000.00[54] as exemplary damages is justified under Article 2230 of the New Civil Code.

WHEREFORE, in light of all the foregoing, we hereby AFFIRM the April 27, 2006 Decision of the CA in CA-G.R. CR-HC No. 00727 with
the following MODIFICATIONS:

(1) actual damages is REDUCED to P55,438.00; and


(2) the appellant is ORDERED to pay the heirs of the victim P1,010,552.40 as indemnity for loss of earning capacity.

Costs against appellant Dante Nueva.

SO ORDERED.

G.R. No. 112279 July 3, 1995


PEOPLE
OF
THE
PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,
vs.
ROBERT ALBAN, DEMETRIO ALBAN y PANINGBATAN @ "TING ALBAN," BING ALBAN and ARTHUR DOE, accused.
ROBERT ALBAN and DEMETRIO ALBAN y. PANINGBATAN @ "TING ALBAN," appellants.

FELICIANO, J.:
The brothers Robert Alban and Demetrio Alban y Paningbatan alias "Ting" appeal from a decision of the Regional Trial Court, Branch
44 of Dagupan City finding them guilty beyond reasonable doubt of murder.
Robert and Demetrio Alban were charged, together with Bing Alban and one Arthur Doe, with murder in an information which read as
follows:
That on or about July 31, 1991 at Brgy. Nibaliw East, municipality of San Fabian province of Pangasinan, Philippines
and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, armed with bladed weapons and a
gun, conspiring, confederating and mutually helping one another with intent to kill with treachery and evident
premeditation did, then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously chase, attack, stab and shoot ROBERTO
SALINAS alias SIAKOL inflicting upon him the following injuries:
gunshot wound c Point of Entry over the left lateral side of the neck; slug recovered at the right side of the neck
middle portion just beneath the skin.
stab wound 2 inches over the (R) chest inframammary area, 7 inches in depth slanting to the right hitting the (R)
middle lobe of the lung.
stab wound (R) bet. T10-T12 lateral side one inch, 7-8 inches in depth going upwards hitting the lower libe or (R)
lung

stab wound 7 inches (R) diaphragmatic area going upwards hitting the lower liver
stab wound distal third (R) forearm
stab wound middle half of left arm
which caused his instant death, to the damage and prejudice of his heirs.
Contrary to Art. 248, Revised Penal Code. 1
Only Robert and Demetrio were arraigned and pleaded not guilty and thereafter stood trial because Ding Alban and the Arthur Doe,
who remained unidentified, were never apprehended.
After trial, the court a quo rendered judgment the dispositive portion of which read as follows:
WHEREFORE, the Court finds accused Robert Alban and Demetrio Alban y Paningbatan @ Ting Alban guilty beyond
reasonable doubt as principals of the crime of Murder, qualified by treachery, defined and penalized under Article 248
of the Revised Penal Code with the attendance of the specific aggravating circumstance of cruelty and hereby
sentences accused Robert Alban and Demetrio Alban y Paningbatan alias Ting Alban to suffer the penalty
of Reclusion Perpetua with all its accessory penalties, to indemnify the heirs of the victim Roberto Salinas, in the
amount of FIFTY THOUSAND PESOS (P50,000.00), to pay the sum of THIRTY THOUSAND PESOS (P30,000.00)
as actual damages and to pay the costs.
SO ORDERED. 2
The relevant facts as found by the trial court are based mainly on the testimony of the prosecution's sole eyewitness, Joseph Salinas,
thirteen-year old son of the victim Roberto Salinas. Joseph testified that from October 1990 to 31 July 1991 he was living with his father
Roberto and the latter's common law wife, Fe Gutierrez, at No. 36 Nibaliw East, San Fabian, Pangasinan. On 31 July 1991, after they
had gone fishing, Roberto decided to have a bottle of beer at a nearby sari-sari store. Joseph Proceeded to go home. At about 6:00 in
the afternoon, Fe Gutierrez instructed Joseph to fetch his father. When Joseph was about seven meters away from the sari-sari store,
he saw his father being attacked by four men. Joseph saw Robert and Demetrio stabbing his father while the other two men restrained
his hands. During his direct examination, Joseph demonstrated how the left hand of his father was squeezed as the two accused
stabbed him. An unidentified person, Arthur Doe, stabbed the middleback part of the victim. Thereafter, when Roberto was slumped
prostrate against the wall, he was shot at the left temple by a person who has not, as yet, been apprehended. 3
Based on the findings of Dr. Leopoldo Manalo, a medico-legal officer of San Fabian, Pangasinan, it was established that the death of
Roberto Salinas was caused by cardio-respiratory arrest, secondary to hemorrhagic shock, multiple gunshot wounds and stab
wounds. 4
For their part, accused Robert and Demetrio interposed the defense of alibi. Robert testified that he had gone fishing in the afternoon of
31 July 1991 and came home only the following morning. 5 Demetrio, on the other hand, testified that at 8:00 in the morning of 31 July
1991, he had left San Fabian with his wife to go to Barrio Malimpec, San Carlos City to get provisions from his Nana Sion Paningbatan.
He claimed that he stayed overnight in Barrio Malimpec. 6
The defense also presented Nenita David, Melba Caguya and Marife Raca as witnesses to show that contrary to Joseph's claim, he
had never lived with his father in No. 36 Nibaliw East, San Fabian, Pangasinan. The three (3) women further testified that they did not
see Joseph in the vicinity of Nibaliw East, San Fabian on the day his father was killed. 7
Appellants Robert and Demetrio now come to this Court assailing their conviction in the trial court and making the following assignment
of errors:
1. The lower court erred in giving undue credence to the testimony of Joseph
Salinas, despite its inherent incredibility;
2. The lower court erred in finding the presence of treachery despite evidence
showing opportunity for the deceased Roberto Salinas to defend or totally avoid
injuries to himself;

3. The lower court likewise erred in convicting the accused-appellants of murder


despite the weakness and insufficiency of the prosecution's evidence.8
In impugning Joseph's identification of them as the malefactors, appellants point to certain circumstances which according to them
seriously affect the credibility of Joseph as a witness. Specifically they aver that (a) Joseph, because of his tender age, could not
"properly perceive the true circumstance of the case" and "accurately relate what he had really observed"; (b) Joseph may be biased as
the victim was his father; (c) Joseph's reaction at seeing his father being stabbed and shot was "very strange"; and (d) Joseph's
testimony was not corroborated. 9 Appellants contend that all these circumstances taken together make the testimony of Joseph "highly
unbelievable." The Court finds no merit in this contention.
It is a well-settled rule in this jurisdiction that questions regarding the competency of a child to testify rest primarily with the trial judge
who sees the proposed witness, observes his manner, his apparent possession or lack of intelligence, as well as his understanding of
the obligation of an oath. 10 In the case of Joseph, a 13-year old boy, the trial court found him to be a competent witness and his
testimony worthy of full faith and credence. The following is part of Joseph's testimony relied upon by the trial court to support the
conviction of Robert and Demetrio:
Q: Who were those persons who stabbed your father?
A: That one, sir.
Q: Will you please go down from your seat and touch those persons who stabbed your father?
A: Witness pointed to a person seated inside the courtroom, who when asked his name, said "I am
Demetrio Alban." He pointed again to another person who later identified himself as Robert Alban.
Q: How many persons killed your father?
A: Four, sir.
Q: How did these persons who according to you stabbed your father. How did they stab your
father?
A: They held the hand of my father and then he was stabbed.
Q: How many persons held the hand of your father and then stabbed him?
A: Two of them sir.
Q: Will you go down from your seat and point those two persons whom you said stabbed your
father?
A: They are the ones sir. (Witness is pointing to Robert Alban and Demetrio Alban)
xxx xxx xxx
Q: Now will you stand up and then demonstrate how your father in order to clarify everything
how your father was stabbed?
A: Like this sir. (Witness is demonstrating how his father was stabbed. He showed that the left hand
of his father was squeezed and witness is showing a forward thrust at the back of the victim, at his
left side.)
Q: What about the other person who stabbed your father?
A: The other accused also stabbed the victim at the middle back part of the victim.

Q: When these persons, the two persons accused after they stabbed your father, what did your
father do or did he go anywhere?
A He slumped against a wall, sir.
Q: Where did your father slump against the wall? What happened next after if there is any?
A: He was shot at the temple, sir. 11
The testimony of Joseph was straightforward, coherent and convincing. He was able clearly to describe the manner in which his father
was killed and he positively identified Robert and Demetrio as among the four malefactors responsible for his father's death. The Court
finds no basis for appellants' assertion that Joseph could not "properly perceive the true circumstance[s] of the case" and "accurately
relate what he had really observed." The Court also notes that this assertion runs counter to its avowed doctrine that a court may "give
full faith and credence to the testimony of children of sound mind once it is established that they understood the nature and character of
an oath as their testimony is likely to be more correct and truthful than that of older persons." 12
Appellants also seek to impugn the credibility of Joseph as a witness by suggesting that he may be biased because of his relationship
to the victim. This effort is in vain. Mere relationship of the victim to a witness does not automatically impair his credibility and render his
testimony less worthy of credence where no improper motive can be ascribed to him for testifying. 13 The record of the case will show
that appellants did not even try to ascribe any motive on the part of Joseph to lie and falsely accuse them of killing his father.
Appellants try to make an issue of the fact that Joseph did not do anything upon seeing his father being stabbed and shot. The
appellants found his reaction "very strange and against the natural experience of mankind." The Court, however, finds Joseph's reaction
normal under the circumstances. The sight of his father being subjected to deadly assault was understandably too much of a shock for
the 13-year old boy. The shock rendered him incapable of doing anything. He remained rooted at the spot where he was standing as he
watched helplessly the four (4) malefactors, full grown men, stab and shoot his father. Joseph's reaction is far from contrary to human
experience. Besides, the Court has consistently ruled that "there is no standard form of human behavioral response when one is
confronted with a strange, startling and frightful experience." 14
The fact that no other witnesses came forward to corroborate Joseph's testimony does not make it less credible. The Court has taken
judicial notice of the natural reticence of most people to get involved in a criminal case. They are usually fearful of possible reprisals
from
the
accused
or
his
family
and
relatives. 15 It is not, therefore, unusual that only Joseph testified about the killing of his father even though it was committed near
a sari-sari store where people in the rural areas usually congregate.
The Court cannot give much credence to the testimony of defense witnesses Marife Raca, Nenita David and Melba Caguya. The gist of
their testimonies was that Joseph never lived in No. 36 Nibaliw East, San Fabian. Unlike Joseph, the three defense witnesses were not
at the scene of the crime at the time it was committed. They failed to directly rebut Joseph's positive testimony regarding the killing of
his father. Moreover, Lourdes Salinas, grandmother of Joseph and mother of the victim, testified that Joseph indeed lived with his father
in San Fabian as he claimed. The victim Roberto had brought him along to take care of the family's pigs and chickens. 16
The Court accordingly has no basis at all for overturning the trial court's ascription of full faith and credence to the testimony of Joseph,
as well as to his positive identification of the appellants as among the perpetrators of the crime charged. It also follows that appellants
defense of alibi must fail. It is firmly established in our jurisprudence that the defense of alibi cannot prevail over positive identification of
the accused by the prosecution witnesses. 17
The Court also finds that the trial court correctly appreciated the attendance of the qualifying circumstance of treachery. As testified to
by Joseph, the four malefactors ganged up on his father in the following manner:
Q: How many persons killed your father?
A: Four, sir.
Q: How did these persons who according to you stabbed your father. How did they stab your
father?
A: They held the hand of my father and then he was stabbed.

Q: How many persons held the hand of your father and then stabbed him?
A: Two of them, sir.
xxx xxx xxx
Q: Now will you stand up and then demonstrate how your father in order to clarify everything how
your father was stabbed?.
A: Like this, sir. (Witness is demonstrating how his father was stabbed. He showed that the left
hand of his father was squeezed and witness is showing a forward thrust at the back of the victim,
at his left side).
xxx xxx xxx
Q: Where did your father slump against the wall? What happened next after if there is any?
A: He was shot at the temple, sir. 18
Contrary to appellants' claim, 19 the fact that Roberto was able to momentarily run away from his assailants does not negate the
element of treachery. Treachery exists when the offender commits any of the crimes against persons, employing means, methods or
forms in the execution thereof which tend directly and specially to insure its execution without risk to himself arising from the defense
which the offended party might make. 20 In this case, at the time that Robert and Demetrio stabbed Roberto, who was not armed, his left
hand was held and twisted behind him by the two (2) other assailants, effectively rendering Roberto helpless and unable to either flee
or ward off his attackers. This was clearly intended by them to ensure the success of their assault without risk to themselves.
Additionally, Roberto was shot at the temple when he was already slumped against the wall, grievously wounded and totally
defenseless. From all indications, the mode of attack adopted by appellants and their co-assailants qualifies the killing to murder.
The trial court erred, however, in finding that the generic aggravating circumstance of cruelty attended the commission of the crime. It
based its appreciation thereof on the autopsy report submitted by Dr. Leopoldo Manalo detailing the six (6) wounds sustained by the
victim: 21
1) Gun shot wound c Point of Entry over the left lateral side of the neck; slug
recovered at the (R) side of the neck middle portion just beneath the skin;
2) stab wound 2 inches over the (R) chest inframammary area, 7 inches in depth
slanting to the right hitting the (R) middle lobe of the lung;
3) stab wound (R) between T10-T12 lateral side one inch, 7-8 inches in depth
going upwards hitting the lower lobe of (R) lung;
4) stab wound 7 inches (R) diaphragmatic area going upwards hitting the lower
liver;
5) stab wound distal third (R) forearm;
6) stab wound middle half of left arm.
Dr. Manalo testified that stab wounds number 2, 3 and 4 caused the death of Roberto and that the other wounds, even the gun shot
wound, were in fact unnecessary to produce death of the victim. The Court is not convinced that cruelty had been sufficiently shown on
the basis of this finding alone. Cruelty cannot be appreciated in the absence of any showing that appellants, for their pleasure and
satisfaction, caused the victim to suffer slowly and painfully and inflicted on him unnecessary physical and moral pain. 22 The mere fact
that wounds in excess of what was indispensably necessary to cause death were found in the body of the victim does not necessarily
imply that such wounds were inflicted with cruelty and with the intention of deliberately and inhumanly intensifying or aggravating the
sufferings of the victim. 23

The penalty for murder under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code is reclusion temporal in its maximum period to death. There being
no mitigating or aggravating circumstance which attended the commission of the crime, the imposable penalty is reclusion perpetua. 24
WHEREFORE, the appealed decision of the trial court is AFFIRMED except with respect to the finding of the presence of cruelty as an
aggravating circumstance which is hereby DELETED.
SO ORDERED.

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