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PEOPLE VS.

DELA CERNA Serapio Maquiling followed him and shot the


latter at the back, killing him a few meters
21 SCRA 569 (1967)
away from Demetrio's house. Appellant
Nature: An appeal from a decision of the Sulpicio de la Cerna then got back the
Court of First Instance of Cotabato finding the carbine, climbed up the house and fired once
accused guilty for double murder. more at Rafael, who was now lying down on
the floor, killing him finally. Thereafter, the
FACTS: Early in the morning of February 3,
cadaver of Casiano Cabizares was tied to a
1958, Rafael Cabizares, accompanied by his
bamboo pole, carried by accused Ramon
wife, Hospicia, his brothers Margarito and
Alquizar and one Wilfredo Malias (at large)
Romualdo, and his sons Gumercindo, Marcelo,
and placed near the burned house of Sulpicio
Casiano, Juan and Lamberto, left Barrio
de la Cerna, as some of the accused followed
Cebuano headed for the poblacion of Tupi,
while the rest proceeded to Rafael's house.
Cotabato, bringing five sacks of corn loaded
on a bull cart to be milled in Tupi, Juan, ISSUE: Whether the five appellants are all
Marcelo and Lamberto, who were all minors, guilty as principals?
were then going to school. Upon approaching
Held: The five appellants guilty as co-
a hilly part, they had to stop since the
principals in the murder of Rafael Cabizares.
carabao could not pull the bull cart uphill.
Rafael then requested his two brothers and The positive identification of the
his son Gumercindo to accompany him up the several prosecution witnesses must prevail
hill and carry on their backs the sacks of corn. over the alibis proffered by these appellants.
With Rafael leading, the four proceeded uphill. Their presence and active participation in the
meeting in Abapo's house make them actual
As the four approached Sulpicio de la
conspirators in the killing of Rafael. They were
Cerna's house oiltop of the hill and were about
also present and zealously participating in the
to put down the sacks of corn, appellant
execution of their criminal design, giving a
Sulpicio, who was in the house, fired at and
carbine magazine and instructionns to
hit Rafael, who fell down. Sulpicio then
appellant Rotor, threatening Rafael and giving
ordered his companions to burn his house so
encouragement to Sulpicio to shoot at the
that they would have an excuse. Meanwhile,
latter. They were among those who laid siege
Casiano, Gumercindo, Marcelo and Romualdo
to Demetrio's house and left together with the
brought the wounded Rafael Cabizares to the
others after finally accomplishing their
house of the latter's father, Demetrio, 100
criminal deeds as agreed upon. Appellants
meters away. Felisa Bastismo, Rafael's
Bautista and Matchoca, are therefore also
mother, Ursula Cabizares and Segundino
liable as co-principals in Rafael's murder.
Cabizares were there at the time.
Regarding motive, it was proved that both
After the group reached the house, were among those involved in the land
Rafael's wounds were washed with hot water conflict with Rafael Cabizares and were
and then he was brought inside the third room among the respondents in the case before the
of the house. Subsequently, appellant Sulpicio Agrarian Court
and the other accused arrived at the
The aggravating circumstance of
premises, armed with firearms, bolos and
treachery, applicable against appellant
canes. They stoned the house and thrust their
Sulpicio de la Cerna only, is offset by his
bolos thru the bamboo walls and flooring.
voluntary surrender after the incident. This
Finding that there were women inside the
mitigating circumstance however cannot
house, the accused ordered them to get out
benefit the remaining appellant who did not
or else they would be killed also. As Felisa
voluntary surrender. For all the appellants,
Bastismo and Ursula Cabizares alighted from
therefore, the penalty for Rafael Cabizares'
the besieged house, Marcelo Cabizares
murder must be imposed in the medium
followed them, and although held by accused
period. For the killing of Casiano Cabizares
Conrado Pardillo and boxed by Serapio
appellant Sulpicio de la Cerna must be
Maquiling, he was able to escape to the
acquitted.
nearby forest.
Serapio Maquiling then climbed up the
window of the kitchen, and with the carbine Abejuela v. People
which he got from appellant Sulpicio de la
August 19, 1991
Cerna, shot at Rafael Cabizares who was
sitting in the third room. At this moment, Who incurs criminal liability Accomplice
Casiano Cabizares jumped down from the
Fernan, J:
house thru the kitchen door and ran away.
Facts: some checks purporting to be
his father's insurance proceeds,
This is a case of estafa. Abejuela was hoodwinked into
Abejuela became close friends with believing that Balo indeed had
Balo, a Banco Filipino employee. money. Balo's request to borrow
Abejuela has an account with Banco Abejuela's passbook in order to
Filipino. facilitate the encashment of the
checks seemed reasonable
Balo borrowed Abejuelas passbook enough, considering that they
with Banco Filipino and used it to were close friends and
deposit and withdraw money, even "compadres".
amounting to almost 200k. He told
Abejuela that what he was depositing On being an accomplice:
were from the insurance proceeds of o Knowledge of the criminal
his grandfather but that as a Banco intent of the principal in
Filipino employee he could not open this case, (Glicerio Balo, Jr.)
his own account and so had to use is essential in order that
Abejuelas. petitioner Abejuela can be
It was found that Balo used his being convicted as an accomplice
an employee of the bank to post false in the crime of estafa thru
deposits. Abejuela did not know of this falsification of commercial
and when he started getting document. To be convicted as
suspicious, he actually even closed his an accomplice, there must be
account with Banco Filipino to prevent cooperation in the execution of
Balo from continuing. Both Balo and the offense by previous or
Abejuela were charged with Estafa. simultaneous acts. However,
the cooperation which the
During pendency of the case, Balo was law punishes is the
purportedly killed by the NPA. The assistance rendered
trials continued for Abejuela. knowingly or intentionally,
which assistance cannot be said
RTC ruled that Abejuela is an
to exist without the prior
accomplice to the crime. CA affirmed cognizance of the offense
the rtc decision. intended to be committed.
Issue:
In a number of cases decided by the
Whether or not Abejuela is an court, it has been held that knowledge
accomplice to the crime of estafa. of the criminal intention of the
principal is indispensable in order to
Ratio: hold a person liable as an accomplice.
NO HE IS NOT. It has been satisfactorily

o After carefully weighing the established that Banco Filipino suffered


arguments of both parties as damage. Although abejuela was
well as taking into unaware of the criminal workings of
consideration the evidence on Balo, he nevertheless contributed to
record, we are inclined to their eventual consummation by
believe that petitioner Abejuela recklessly entrusting his passbook
was completely unaware of the to Balo and by signing the withdrawal
malevolent scheme of Balo. slips. He failed to exercise prudence
From Balo's own admissions, it and care. Therefore he must be held
was he who deceived Abejuela civilly accountable.
through sweet talk, assurances,
drinking sprees and parties and Ruling: Abejuela is acquitted.
cajoled him into giving in to his
requests. Furthermore, during
that time, nobody would have PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-
questioned Balo's source of appellee, vs. Pat. RICARTE MADALI and
money and since he had a ANNIE MORTEL MADALI, defendants-
perfect alibi, i.e. the insurance appellants.
proceeds of his later father.
When Balo showed Abejuela
Criminal Law; Evidence; Credibility of circumstance. Having known that an
witnesses; Matters of credibility are ordinarily interloper was inside his yard, Madali, being a
addressed to the discretion and discernment policeman, should have first fired a warning
of the trial court which is presumed to have shot to deter said intruder from executing
observed the demeanor of the witnesses at whatever vicious plans he had, As it were, he
the stand.Matters of credibility are ordinarily fired directly at his victims and all four shots
addressed to the discretion and discernment hit their targets.
of the trial court which is presumed to have
Same; Same; Same; Lower court correct in
observed the demeanor of the witnesses at
characterizing the felonious assault on
the stand. While the ponente of the decision
Agustin Reloj as frustrated murder.The
below was able to hear only the testimony of
lower court is correct in characterizing the
accused Ricarte Madali, the Court sees no
felonious assault on Agustin Reloj as
reason for not giving sufficient weight to his
frustrated murder. While Agustin Reloj was hit
factual findings considering that he took pains
only below his right hip, Madali's act of
in thoroughly studying the case even to the
shooting was plainly attended by an intent to
extent of conducting an ocular inspection of
kill. This is evidenced by the revealing
the scene of the crimes and hearing part of
statements of Madali while accosting Agustin
the cross-examination of Madali thereat.
Reloj some fifteen (15) meters from Madali's
Same; Same; Murder; Self-defense; For self- house, thus: "So you are here, you devil, now
defense to prosper, it must be positively you are finished. he have been waiting for
shown that there was a previous unlawful and you. he have been waiting for you for three
unprovoked attack that placed the night already." The statements "now you are
defendant's life in danger and forced him to finished" and "I have been waiting for you for
inflict more or less severe wounds upon his three nights already" sufficiently show that
assailant employing therefore reasonable Madali not only intended to do away with
means to resist the said attack.The defense Agustin Reloj but also that the crime had been
is anchored on the justifying circumstance of premeditated.
self-defense. In order that such plea can
Same; Same; Same; No doubt that Madali
prosper, it must be positively shown that
committed murder when he shot Felix Gasang
there was a previous unlawful and
twice in the body.There is likewise no doubt
unprovoked attack that placed the
that Madali committed murder when he shot
defendant's life in danger and forced him to
Felix Gasang twice in the body. Treachery
inflict more or less severe wounds upon his
qualified the killing to murder punishable
assailant, employing therefor reasonable
under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code.
means to resist the said attack.
There was treachery because of the
Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Defense suddenness of the attack. Felix was raising his
miserably failed to pass said test.The hands, and saying that he would not fight
defense miserably failed to pass said test. Its back when Madali feloniously fired at him
allegation that the Madali residence was twice. Annie Madali's uttering "Here comes
hurled with stones before Madali confronted another" before Madali shot Felix may not be
the Gasang group, was not credibly considered sufficient warning so as to rule out
established. No one was able to positively suddenness of the attack. However, no
identify the stone-throwers. Not even Madali generic aggravating circumstance has been
and his wife, Annie. There is no proof that the sufficiency proven.
stones found in the Madali yard were indeed
Same; Same; Same; Court agrees with the
the stones thrown at their house. It is
trial court that with respect to the killing of
interesting to note that even defense witness
Apriano Gasang and the wounding of Merlinda
Antonio Morales, a fellow policeman of Madali,
Gasang, the crime committed was the
testified that he did not have personal
complex crime of murder with frustrated
knowledge on where the stones were
murder inasmuch as a single shot hit them
discovered because he was only informed by
both.We agree with the trial court that with
Galang (another policeman) "who in turn was
respect to the killing of Cipriano Gasang and
only told by Ricarte that the latter was
the wounding of Merlinda Gasang, the crime
stoned."
committed was the complex crime of murder
Same; Same; Same; Same; Madali's means of with frustrated murder inasmuch as a single
resisting them was unreasonable under the shot hit them both. It is immaterial that
circumstances.Granting that Agustin Reloj Merlinda Gasang was wounded on the leg and
and Felix and Cipriano Gasang were armed not on a vital part of her body. What is of
with clubs and a knife, Madali's means of primordial consideration is the fact that the
resisting them was unreasonable under the criminal act which killed Cipriano also caused
Merlinda's injury. As in the killing of Felix, and VICTOR ROMINA, JR. y VELANCIO,
treachery qualified the killing of Cipriano to defendants-appellants.
murder because of the suddenness of the
Criminal Law; Self-Defense; Elements of
attack.
Unlawful Agression; Case at bar.A review of
Same; Same; Conspiracy; Court finds that the evidence, however, fails to lend credence
proof beyond reasonable doubt has not been to the appellants' claim that there was
established as to the existence of conspiracy unlawful aggression on the part of the
between the Madali Spouses.Nevertheless, deceased. Lory Bunabon categorically stated
the Court finds that proof beyond reasonable that the deceased Joemar Desor and the
doubt has not been established as to the appellant Jovito Cagalingan were laughing and
existence of conspiracy between the Madali joking as they were grappling for the
spouses. While direct proof is not essential to possession of the basket of crabs which
prove conspiracy as it may be shown by acts Joemar Desor wanted to get from Jovito
and circumstances from which may logically Cagalingan. For unlawful aggression to be
be inferred the existence of a common design present, there must be a real danger to life or
among the accused to commit the offense(s) personal safety. Here, there was no danger to
charged, the evidence to prove the same the life of Jovito Cagalingan as they (Jovito
must be positive and convincing considering and Joemar) were in a frolicsome mood.
that conspiracy is a facile devise by which an
Same; Same; Evidence; Defense of alibi
accused may be ensnared and kept within the
cannot prevail over his positive identification.
penal fold.
As for the alibi of Victor Romina, Jr. that he
Same; Same; Same; Same; Ricarte Madali was inside the Ryan Cinema at the time of the
could have nevertheless accomplished his commission of the crime, suffice it to state
criminal acts without Annie's cooperation and that the said moviehouse is only about 100 to
assistance.Annie's participation in the 150 meters away from the scene of the crime
shooting of the victims consisted of beaming and the said appellant has not shown that it
her flashlight at them and warning her was physically impossible for him to be at the
husband of the presence of other persons in scene of the crime at the time it was
the vicinity. By beaming her flashlight at a committed. Besides, his alibi cannot prevail
victim, Annie assisted her husband in taking a over his positive identification by Lory
good aim. However, such assistance merely Bunabon,
facilitated the commission of the felonious
Same; Same; Conspiracy; A person who
acts of shooting. Considering that, according
assaults a victim already fatally wounded by
to both of the Madali spouses, "it was not so
another is an accomplice; Case at bar.We
dark nor too bright" that night or that
find, however, that Jovito Cagalingan and
"brightness and darkness were equally of the
Victor Romina, Jr. are only accomplices in the
same intensity." Ricarte Madali could have
crime since their participations therein were
nevertheless accomplished his criminal acts
not absolutely indispensable in the
without Annie's cooperation and assistance.
commission of the crime. Lory Bunabon
Same; Same; Motive; Proof of motive declared that Jovito Cagalingan stabbed the
unnecessary where there is clear deceased Joemar Desor after Alfredo
identification of the accuses.Proof of motive Cagalingan had stabbed the deceased at the
is unnecessary where there is a clear back, while Victor Romina, Jr. stabbed the said
identification of the accused. More so in this deceased while the latter was already lying
case where the principal accused does not prostrate on the ground. While the acts of
deny having fired the fatal shots, Jovito Cagalingan and Victor Romina, Jr. show
a community of design with the principal,
Alfredo Cagalingan, who inflicted the fatal
wound, and they (Jovito and Victor)
cooperated in hastening the victim's death,
the said appellants' acts were not absolutely
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff- indispensable in the commission of the crime.
appellee, vs. ALFREDO CAGALINGAN y A person who assaults a victim already fatally
ROMINA, JOVITO CAGALINGAN y ROMINA wounded by another is only regarded as an
accomplice. People vs. Cagalingan, 188 SCRA
313, G.R. No. 79168 August 3, 1990