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People v. Tabobo
G.R. No. 137274-75 October 18, 2002

The appellant, DAN AVE, was charged with the crimes of Frustrated Murder and Murder
before the Regional Trial Court of Urdaneta, Pangasinan. The prosecution established that in the
evening of August 24, 1996, Pedro Valenzuela, Jr., Atty. Napoleon Valenzuela, Isidro (Benito)
Ave, Calixto Valenzuela, Leopoldo Valenzuela, and Rogelio Gacad had a drinking spree in the
vicinity of the house of Pedro Valenzuela, Jr. At about 9:00 p.m., Rogelio Gacad found the need
to answer the call of nature. With his back facing his companions, he relieved himself on a spot
about five (5) or six (6) meters away from them.

Out of nowhere, the appellant appeared. Unnoticed by the group, the appellant stood behind
Pedro and fired at him with a long firearm from a distance of about three (3) meters. Pedro was hit
at the back of his head and he slumped on the makeshift table. Atty. Valenzuela stood up and
checked on Pedro. However, the appellant shot Atty. Valenzuela, the bullet hitting his stomach.
The group scampered to safety. Atty. Valenzuela survived the attack due to the immediate medical
treatment he received from Dr. Candido San Juan of the Urdaneta Sacred Heart Hospital (USHH).

Diagnosis on the injuries sustained by Atty. Valenzuela: Dr. San Juan explained that the
bullets point of entry was in the abdomen. The slug entered the abdominal cavity and hit the right
lobe of the liver and the ascending portion of the large intestine or colon. The slug lodged near the
pelvic area, at the back, of Atty. Valenzuela.

He opined that Atty. Valenzuela would have died if not for the immediate medical
assistance he got at the hospital. Considering the location of the gunshot wound, Dr. San Juan said
that the assailant could have been facing Atty. Valenzuela, or could have been standing beside him
during the attack.

Autopsy Report to the body of Pedro Valenzuela: Gunshot wound head, left parietal region
5mm. x 5mm. x 6 cm. deep directed upwards. Fracture, circular left parietal bone; Slug recovered
at right frontal area between brain and right frontal bone.; Cerebral hemorrhage and injury, left
parietal lobe to right frontal lobe brain.
Cause of Death is Cerebral Hemorrhage and Injury, left parietal lobe to right frontal lobe,
brain due to Gunshot Wound Head.

Defense’s version: On his way home, the appellant again passed by the place where Pedros
group had been drinking. Leopoldo Valenzuela confronted him and said, We were calling for you
when you passed by, but you did not even mind us. The appellant apologized and explained that
he did not notice them. Leopoldo asked him to join them. At first, the appellant refused but later
relented in order not to slight Leopoldo.

Calixto still badmouthed him and charged him of being arrogant. Thereafter, Calixto
reached out for a long firearm and aimed it at him. They grappled for the firearm. During the
struggle, the trigger accidentally went off. Calixto uttered, vulva of your mother, get loose of the
gun. The appellant was able to push Calixto away and ran to his house. He related the incident to
his mother.

Essentially, these evidence, according to the appellant are: (1) The prosecution’s evidence
on the sitting arrangements of the deceased victim and his companions during the shooting incident
are allegedly full of inconsistencies. (2) Rogelio lied when he demonstrated at the trial how the
appellant shot the victims since, at that time, Rogelio was urinating and he turned around only after
he had heard the two (2) successive gunshots. (3) The trajectory of the bullets that hit Pedro and
Atty. Valenzuela, per the medical findings of Dr. San Juan, are inconsistent with the testimonies
of Leopoldo and Rogelio on the position of the appellant vis-a-vis his victims, Pedro and Atty.
Valenzuela. For instance, Rogelio claimed that he (the appellant) was on the east side of the two
(2) victims when he shot Pedro. However, the medical report of Dr. Gonzales, Jr. showed that the
fatal bullet entered the left portion of Pedros head. The appellant argues that if he were in the east
when he shot Pedro, the head injury would have been on the right side, not on the left side.

Is he guilty beyond reasonable doubt?

YES, his guilt was established beyond reasonable doubt. Although there may be
inconsistencies on the testimonies of witnesses on minor details, the same do not impair the
credibility of the witnesses where there is consistency in relating the principal occurrence and
positive identification of the assailants.
In the cases at bar, it was fully established that prosecution witnesses Leopoldo, Atty.
Valenzuela and Rogelio Gacad were at the crime scene during the shooting incident. They
unanimously identified the appellant as the assailant. They declared that the appellant appeared at
the scene unnoticed and suddenly fired two (2) successive shots at them. One shot was for Pedro
who was hit in the head, the other, for Atty. Valenzuela who was seriously wounded in the
stomach. They identified the weapon used as a long firearm.

It is clear that Rogelio did not see the exact positions of the appellant and Pedro when the
first shot was fired. What he saw then was that Pedro was hit in the head and slumped on the
bamboo bed while Atty. Valenzuela was hit in the stomach while about to help Pedro. It was only
then that Rogelio saw the appellant who was armed with a long firearm, standing behind Pedro.
Clearly, the sketch drawn by Rogelio pertains to the positions of the protagonists after, and not
during the shots were fired. The alleged inconsistency is, therefore, more imaginary than real.

As for the injury of Atty. Valenzuela, the records show that he was moving when the
appellant shot himhe was turning to his right to check on Pedro after the first gunshot. Thus, the
appellant was almost in front, or, at the very least, at the side of Atty. Valenzuela, although he was
still standing behind Pedro, when the second shot was fired.

The foregoing position of the parties is consistent with the medical opinion of Dr. San Juan.
He explained that the trajectory of the bullet as it entered the right side of the stomach of Atty.
Valenzuela showed that the appellant was in front or at the side of the said victim. 46 He opined
that Atty. Valenzuela could have been in a stooping position when he was shot in such a stooping
position, it was not far-fetched that the bullets entry was at the right side of his stomach and for
the slug to lodge on the right side of his pelvic area, at the back.

It is elementary that not all inconsistencies in the witnesses testimony affect their
credibility. Inconsistencies on minor details and collateral matters do not affect the substance of
their declaration, their veracity, or the weight of their testimonies.

The Case: Matilde v. Jabson

Three informations were filed against Crisanto Matilde, Jr. and others [laborers at Markes
Agro-Chemical Enterprises]. They were charged with qualified theft, in relation to PD 133. The
items involved were boxes of insecticides belonging to the company.

The informations were amended twice — the first, on the value of the article involved in
one case, and the second, on the nature and character of the offense, changing it from "qualified
theft" to "simple theft" by deleting the phrase "with grave abuse of confidence". In view of said
amendments, Matilde withdrew his previous plea of not guilty. Upon re-arraignment, Matilde
pleaded guilty to the crime of simple theft alleged in the three informations. He was convicted in
the three cases. Penalty under each case – 6 months & 1 day of prision correccional to 6 years &
1 day of prision mayor.

Matilde filed a motion for reconsideration, contending that in the absence of any allegation
in the information alleging specifically all the elements of the offense defined and penalized under
PD 133, he cannot be convicted and penalized under said decree. CFI denied the MfR.

The Issue:
WON CFI can validly impose upon Matilde the penalty prescribed by PD 133. NO

Constitution – In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall be informed of the nature and
cause of the accusation against him.

An accused person cannot be convicted of a higher offense than that with which he is
charged in the complaint or information on which he is tried. He has a right to be informed as to
the nature of the offense with which he is charged before he is put on trial, and to convict him of
a higher offense than that charged in the complaint or information on which he is tried would be
an authorized denial of that right.
The clear import of PD 133 is to eradicate graft and corruption in society and promote the
economic and social welfare of the people, by placing a strong deterrent on workers and laborers
from sabotaging the productive efforts of the industry where they are employed, through the
imposition of heavier penalties for the theft of any material, spare part, product, or article that he
is working on, using or producing. The real nature of the criminal charge is determined by the
actual recital of facts in the information. It is not to be determined from the caption or preamble of
the information, or from the specification of the provision of law allegedly violated, they being
conclusions of law.
The informations charge Matilde simply with theft. Nowhere is it alleged that the articles
stolen were materials or products which Matilde was "working on or using or producing" as
employee or laborer of the complainant. The fact that Matilde is charged with simple theft "in
relation to PD 133" is insufficient.

Appropriate penalty: RPC 309 (3). The penalty is prision correccional in its minimum and
medium periods, if the value of the property stolen is more than P200 but does not exceed P6,000.
Considering the plea of guilty, CFI should have imposed said penalty in its minimum period.

Doctrines Learned:
In this case, I learned that under Rule 110 Section 8 Rules of Criminal Procedure; the acts
or omissions complained of as constituting the offense must be stated in an ordinary and concise
language so as to enable a person of common understanding to know what offense is intended to
be charged; and to enable the court to pronounce proper judgment. The main purpose of this
requirement is to enable the accused to prepare his defense. He is presumed to be innocent and has
no independent knowledge of the facts that constitute the offense with which he is charged.

The Case:

Quintin Saludaga and SPO2 Fiel Genio VS Sandiganbayan and PeopleGR No. 184537, April 23,

The Facts:
This is a petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules on
Civil Procedure with a prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction and temporary
restraining order assailing the July 14, 2008 Resolution of the Sandiganbayan in Criminal, denying
the Motion for Preliminary Investigation filed by the petitioners who were charged with a violation
of Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019. At first, the Information was quashed for lack of amount
of actual damaged cause in the alleged crime which is essential. The information was re-filed thus,
petitioners filed a Motion for Preliminary Investigation which was strongly opposed by the
prosecution in its Opposition. Petitioners contend that there was a substitution of the first
Information which should have preceded by a preliminary investigation. Further, they claim that
newly discovered evidence mandates re-examination of the finding of a prima facie cause to file
the case. The prosecutors on the other hand argues that the re-filed information did not change the
nature of the offense charged, but merely modified the mode by which accused committed the
offense. The substance of such modification is not such as to necessitate the conduct of another
preliminary investigation. Moreover, no new allegations were made, nor was the criminal liability
of the accused upgraded in the re-filed information. Thus, new preliminary investigation is not in
order. The motions filed by the petitioners were denied by the court hence, this petition to
the highest court.

The Issue:
WON the Honorable Sandiganbayan acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction when it refused to order the preliminary.

The Ruling:
The court found no merit on the petition. Petitioners insist that the offenses charged in the first and
second Information are not the same, and what transpired was a substitution of Information that
required prior conduct of preliminary investigation. Even assuming there was no substitution,
substantial amendments were made in the second Information, and that its submission should have
been preceded by a new preliminary investigation. The court ruled that t
he use of the disjunctive term “or” connotes t
hat either act qualifies as a violation of Section 3 paragraph (e), as 2 different modes of committing
the offense.
This does not however indicate that each mode constitutes a distinct offense, but rather, that
an accused may be charged under either mode or under both which implies that there’s no substituted

Doctrine Learned:
Preliminary investigation is applicable only when there was substantial amendment in the
Information such as the facts which was altered however; no such circumstance is obtaining in this
case, because there was no modification in the nature of the charged offense. Consequently, a new
preliminary investigation is unnecessary and cannot be demanded by the petitioners. Finally, the
newly discovered evidence mandates due re-examination of the finding of
prima facie cause to file the case, deserves scant consideration. But the court ruled that it cannot
be considered as newly found evidence because it was already in existence prior to the re-filing of
the case