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Neil Bryan N.

Moninio

Oct.20, 2016

Legal Medicine M6

1.

[G.R. No. 148220. June 15, 2005]


ROSENDO HERRERA, petitioner, vs. ROSENDO ALBA, minor, represented by his
mother ARMI A. ALBA, and HON. NIMFA CUESTA-VILCHES, Presiding Judge,
Branch 48, Regional Trial Court, Manila, respondents.

Remedial Law Evidence Object Evidence Daubert Test DNA Evidence Vallejo
Guidelines
In May 1998, Armi Alba, mother of minor Rosendo Alba filed a suit against Rosendo
Herrera in order for the latter to recognize and support Rosendo as his biological son.
Herrera denied Armis allegations. In the year 2000, the trial court ordered the parties to
undergo a (deoxyribonucleic acid )DNA testing to establish whether or not Herrera is
indeed the biological father of Rosendo Alba. However, Herrera questioned the validity
of the order as he claimed that DNA testing has not yet garnered widespread
acceptance hence any result therefrom will not be admissible in court; and that the said
test is unconstitutional for it violates his right against self-incrimination.
ISSUE: Whether or not Herrera is correct.
HELD: No. It is true that in 1997, the Supreme Court ruled in Pe Lim vs CA that DNA
testing is not yet recognized in the Philippines and at the time when he questioned the
order of the trial court, the prevailing doctrine was the Pe Lim case; however, in 2002
there is already no question as to the acceptability of DNA test results as admissible
object evidence in Philippine courts. This was the decisive ruling in the case of People
vs Vallejo (2002).
In the Vallejo Case, the Supreme Court recognized DNA analysis as admissible
evidence. On the other hand, as to determining the weight and probative value of DNA
test results, the Supreme Court provides, which is now known as the Vallejo Guidelines:
In assessing the probative value of DNA evidence, therefore, courts should consider,
among other things, the following data:
1.

how the samples were collected,

2.

how they were handled,

3.

the possibility of contamination of the samples,

4.

the procedure followed in analyzing the samples,

5.

whether the proper standards and procedures were followed in conducting


the tests,

6.

and the qualification of the analyst who conducted the tests.


The above test is derived from the Daubert Test which is a doctrine adopted from US
jurisprudence (Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc.) The Daubert Test is a test
to be employed by courts before admitting scientific test results in evidence. More
specifically, the Daubert Test inquires:

1.

Whether the theory or technique can be tested,

2.

Whether the proffered work has been subjected to peer review,

3.

Whether the rate of error is acceptable,

4.

Whether the method at issue enjoys widespread acceptance


In this case, the Supreme Court declared that in filiation cases, before paternity
inclusion can be had, the DNA test result must state that the there is at least a 99.9%
probability that the person is the biological father. However, a 99.9% probability of
paternity (or higher but never possibly a 100% ) does not immediately result in the DNA
test result being admitted as an overwhelming evidence. It does not automatically
become a conclusive proof that the alleged father, in this case Herrera, is the biological
father of the child (Alba). Such result is still a disputable or a refutable evidence which
can be brought down if the Vallejo Guidelines are not complied with.
What if the result provides that there is less than 99.9% probability that the alleged
father is the biological father?
Then the evidence is merely corroborative.
Anent the issue of self-incrimination, submitting to DNA testing is not violative of the
right against self-incrimination. The right against self-incrimination is just a prohibition on
the use of physical or moral compulsion to extort communication (testimonial evidence)
from a defendant, not an exclusion of evidence taken from his body when it may be
material. There is no testimonial compulsion in the getting of DNA sample from
Herrera, hence, he cannot properly invoke self-incrimination.

2. ESTATE OF ROGELIO G. ONG, - versus - Minor JOANNE RODJIN DIAZ,


Represented by Her Mother and Guardian, JINKY C. DIAZ,
GR No. 171713, December 17, 2007
Chico-Nazario, J.
Petition for Review on Certiorari
Facts:
Minor Joanne Diaz, represented by her mother Jinky Diaz filed a complaint for
compulsory recognition with prayer for support against Rogelio Ong before RTC
o February 1993: Jinky married Japanese Hasegawa Katsuo
o November 1993: Jinky and Rogelio got acquainted and fell in love
o January 1994-September 1998: Jinky and Rogelio cohabited
o February 1998: Joanne was born, Rogelio paid all expenses, recognized
child as his
o September 1998: Rogelio abandoned them and stopped giving support,
alleging that he is not the father of the child
RTC ordered defendant to recognize plaintiff as natural child and provide monthly
support
RTC granted Rogelios Motion for New Trial (because he was declared in default
before)
RTC declared Joanne to be the illegitimate child of Rogelio Ong with Jinky Diaz.
Support to continue until she reaches majority age.
Rogelio appealed to CA but he died in February 2005 during its pendency
December 2000: CA granted appeal and remanded case to RTC for the issuance
of an order directing the parties to make arrangements for DNA analysis for the
purpose of determining the paternity of Joanne
Issue: WoN CA erred in remanding the case for DNA analysis despite the fact that it is
no longer feasible due to Rogelios death
Held: No, the death of the petitioner does not ipso facto negate the application of
DNA testing for as long as there exist appropriate biological samples of his DNA
Even if Rogelio already died, any of his biological samples may be used for DNA
testing

Biological sample means any organic material originating from a persons body,
even if found in inanimate objects, that is susceptible to DNA testing. This
includes blood, saliva, and other body fluids, tissues, hairs, and bones.
Death of Rogelio cannot bar the conduct of DNA testing. According to
jurisprudence, DNA testing, which examines genetic codes obtained from body
cells of the illegitimate child and any physical residue of the long dead parent
could be resorted to. (People v. Umanito, citing Tecson v. COMELEC)

Petition denied for lack of merit. CA decision is affirmed.


3. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. RUFINO UMANITO
172607 April 16, 2009

G.R.

No.

FACTS: The instant case involved a charge of rape. The accused Rufino Umanito was
found by the RTC guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape.
The alleged 1989 rape of the private complainant, AAA, had resulted in her pregnancy
and the birth of a child hereinafter identified as "BBB." In view of that fact, as well as the
defense of alibi raised by Umanito, the Court deemed uncovering whether or not
Umanito is the father of BBB.
With the advance in genetics and the availability of new technology, it can now be
determined with reasonable certainty whether appellant is the father of AAA's child. The
DNA test result shall be simultaneously disclosed to the parties in Court. The [NBI] is,
therefore, enjoined not to disclose to the parties in advance the DNA test results.
The [NBI] is further enjoined to observe the confidentiality of the DNA profiles and all
results or other information obtained from DNA testing and is hereby ordered to
preserve the evidence until such time as the accused has been acquitted or served his
sentence.
The DNA analysis on the Buccal Swabs and Blood stained on FTA paper taken from
[AAA], [BBB], and Umanito, to determine whether or not Umanito is the biological father
of [BBB], showed that there is a Complete Match in all of the 15 loci tested between the
alleles of Umanito and [BBB]; That based on the above findings, there is a 99.9999%
probability of paternity that Umanito is the biological father of BBB. The defense
admitted that if the value of the Probability of Paternity is 99.9% or higher, there shall be
a disputable presumption of paternity.
ISSUE: Whether Umanito is the biological father of [BBB].
RULING: Court resolved, for the very first time, to apply the then recently promulgated
New Rules on DNA Evidence (DNA Rules). The DNA testing has evinced a contrary

conclusion, and that as testified to by AAA, Umanito had fathered the child she gave
birth to on 5 April 1990, nine months after the day she said she was raped by Umanito.
Disputable presumptions are satisfactory if uncontradicted but may be contradicted and
overcome by other evidence (Rule 131, Section 3).The disputable presumption that was
established as a result of the DNA testing was not contradicted and overcome by other
evidence considering that the accused did not object to the admission of the results of
the DNA testing (Exhibits "A" and "B" inclusive of sub-markings) nor presented evidence
to rebut the same.
By filing Motion to Withdraw Appeal, Umanito is deemed to have acceded to the rulings
of the RTC and the Court of Appeals finding him guilty of the crime of rape, and
sentencing him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and the indemnification of the
private complainant in the sum of P50,000.00.
Given that the results of the Court-ordered DNA testing conforms with the conclusions
of the lower courts, and that no cause is presented for us to deviate from the penalties
imposed below, the Court sees no reason to deny Umanitos Motion to Withdraw
Appeal.
The instant case is now CLOSED and TERMINATED

4. THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. GERRICO VALLEJO


Y SAMARTINO alias PUKE, accused-appellant. G.R. No. 144656, 382 SCRA
192, May 9, 2002
PER CURIAM:
CRIME INVOLVED: Rape-slay of a nine-year old
FACTS: On a Saturday afternoon, at around 1:00 pm, Daisy Diolola, a nine-year old,
went to Vallejos house asking the latter to assist her in her assignment. After four
hours, Daisys mother noticed that her child wasnt home; so she went to Vallejos house
but Daisy wasnt there. When night fell, Daisy was still nowhere to be found. Daisy was
eventually found the next morning tied to a tree near the riverbank. Apparently, she was
raped and died from strangulation. Subsequently, Vallejo was questioned by the police
since he was one of the last persons accompanying Daisy. The police requested for the
clothes that Vallejo wore during Daisys disappearance, to which Vallejo complied. The
clothes were submitted for processing. Dr. Buan, a Forensic Biologist of the NBI,
processed the clothing, and at the instance of the local fiscal - took buccal swabs
(mouth/cheek swabs) from Vallejo and a vaginal swab from Daisys body for DNA
testing. Buan found bloodstains in Vallejos clothes Blood Type A, similar to that of the
victim, while Vallejos Blood Type is O. Buan also found that the vaginal swab from
Daisy contained Vallejos DNA profile. Vallejo already executed a sworn statement
admitting the crime. But when trial came, Vallejo insisted that the sworn statement was
coerced; that he was threatened by the cops; that the DNA samples should be
inadmissible because the body and the clothing of Daisy were already soaked in
smirchy waters, hence contaminated. Vallejo was convicted by the trial court and was
sentenced to death.
ISSUE: Whether or not the DNA samples gathered are admissible as evidence.
HELD: YES. The findings of Dr. Buan are conclusive. Even though DNA evidence is
merely circumstantial, it can still convict the accused considering that it corroborates all
other circumstantial evidence gathered in this rape-slay case. The Supreme Court also
elucidated on the admissibility of DNA evidence in this case and for the first time
recognized its evidentiary value in the Philippines, thus: DNA is an organic substance
found in a persons cells which contains his or her genetic code. Except for identical
twins, each persons DNA profile is distinct and unique.

When a crime is committed, material is collected from the scene of the crime or from the
victims body for the suspects DNA. This is the evidence sample. The evidence sample
is then matched with the reference sample taken from the suspect and the victim.
The purpose of DNA testing is to ascertain whether an association exists between the
evidence sample and the reference sample. The samples collected are subjected to
various chemical processes to establish their profile. The test may yield three possible
results:
1.

The samples are different and therefore must have originated from different
sources (exclusion). This conclusion is absolute and requires no further analysis
or discussion;
2. It is not possible to be sure, based on the results of the test, whether the samples
have similar DNA types (inconclusive). This might occur for a variety of reasons
including degradation, contamination, or failure of some aspect of the protocol.
Various parts of the analysis might then be repeated with the same or a different
sample, to obtain a more conclusive result; or
3. The samples are similar, and could have originated from the same source
(inclusion). In such a case, the samples are found to be similar, the analyst
proceeds to determine the statistical significance of the Similarity.
In assessing the probative value of DNA evidence, therefore, courts should consider,
among others things, the following data: how the samples were collected, how they
were handled, the possibility of contamination of the samples, the procedure followed in
analyzing the samples, whether the proper standards and procedures were followed in
conducting the tests, and the qualification of the analyst who conducted the tests.

5. [G.R. No. 188705, March 02 : 2011]


PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. FEDERICO LUCERO,
ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

People vs. Lucero, G.R. No. 188705, March 2, 2011


Facts: Before this Court on appeal is the Decision1 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CAG.R. CR-H.C. No. 00469-MIN dated December 17, 2008, which upheld the conviction of
accused Federico Lucero in Criminal Case No. 10849, decided by the Regional Trial
Court (RTC), Branch 30 in Tagum City on April 20, 2005. Before the RTC, the accused
was charged with the crime of Rape with Homicide in an Information dated July 31,
1997. In his appeal, Lucero questions the positive identification made by witnesses Jao
and Langgoy. He insists that the witnesses were unable to see the face of the
perpetrator, and identification was made solely on the basis of the green short pants
worn by the suspect. He also claims that Jao did not immediately report the identity of
the perpetrator to the police, and that this casts doubt on the witness credibility. In his
defense, he also claims that a DNA test should have been done to match the
spermatozoa found in the victims body to a sample taken from him, and that since no
DNA test was done, he cannot be linked to the crime.
Issues: (a) Was the accused denied of his rights under custodial investigation? (b) Is he
entitled to an acquittal?
Ruling: (a) Yes. The accused was denied of his rights under custodial investigation.
Accused-appellant was not informed of his rights, nor was there a waiver of said rights.
The investigating officer directly questioned the accused which he also answered. The
questioning was made in violation of Sec. 12(1), Article III. Thus, the information elicited
is inadmissible, and the evidence garnered as the result of that interrogation is also
inadmissible.
(b) No. The Court held that even if the confession and evidence gathered are
disregarded/held inadmissible, the evidence that remains still supports the result of the
conviction of accused-appellant. Even if there are no direct evidence, in this case, it is
the circumstantial evidence that comes into play to reach a conclusion. As held in
People vs. Pascual, in crimes of rape with homicide, resort to circumstantial evidence is

usually unavoidable since the crime of rape is difficult to prove because it is generally
unwitnessed and very often only the victim is left to testify for herself. Under Sec. 4,
Rule 133 of the Rules of Court, circumstantial evidence shall be sufficient for conviction
when the ff. requisites are complied with: (1) there is more than one circumstance; (2)
the facts from which the inferences are derived are proved; (3) the combination of all the
circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt.
6. [G.R. No. 125901. March 8, 2001]
EDGARDO A. TIJING and BIENVENIDA R. TIJING, petitioners, vs. COURT OF
APPEALS (Seventh Division) and ANGELITA DIAMANTE, respondents.
FACTS: Edgardo Tijing and Bienvenida Tijing, husband and wife, have six children.
The youngest is Edgardo Tijing, Jr.
Petitioner Bienvenida served as the laundrywoman of Angelita Diamante.
According to Bienvenida, Angelita went to her house to fetch her for an urgent laundry
job. Since Bienvenida was on her way to do some marketing, she asked Angelita to wait
until she returned. She also left her four-month old son, Edgardo, Jr., under her care, as
she usually let Angelita take care of the child while Bienvenida was doing laundry.
When Bienvenida returned from the market, Angelita and Edgardo, Jr., were
gone. She was told that her employer went out for a stroll and was told to come back
later. She returned to Angelita's house after three days, only to discover that Angelita
had moved to another place.
Bienvenida and her husband looked for their missing son in other places.
However, despite their serious efforts, they saw no traces of his whereabouts.
Four years later, Bienvenida read in a tabloid about the death of Tomas Lopez,
allegedly the common-law husband of Angelita. Thus, she wen to to Hagonoy, Bulacan,
where she allegedly saw her son Edgardo, Jr., for the first time after four years. She
claims that the boy was already named John Thomas Lopez. She avers that Angelita
refused to return to her the boy despite her demand to do so.
The spouses filed their petition for habeas corpus with the trial court in order to
recover their son. To substantiate their petition, petitioners presented two witnesses.
One of whom is Benjamin Lopez, the brother of Tomas Lopez. He, declared that his
brother, could not have possibly fathered John Thomas Lopez as the latter was sterile.
The trial court concluded that since Angelita and her common-law husband could
not have children, the alleged birth of John Thomas Lopez is an impossibility. The Court
of Appeals however reversed the decision of the trial court.
ISSUE: Whether or not Edgardo Tijing, Jr., and John Thomas Lopez are one and the
same person and is the son of petitioners?

HELD: YES. A close scrutiny of the records of this case reveals that the evidence
presented by Bienvenida is sufficient to establish that John Thomas Lopez is actually
her missing son, Edgardo Tijing, Jr.
First, there is evidence that Angelita could no longer bear children. From her very
lips, she admitted that after the birth of her second child, she underwent ligation in 1970,
before she lived with Tomas Lopez without the benefit of marriage in 1974.
Second, there is strong evidence which directly proves that Tomas Lopez is no
longer capable of siring a son. Benjamin Lopez declared in court that his brother,
Tomas, was sterile because of the accident and that Tomas admitted to him that John
Thomas Lopez was only an adopted son. Moreover, Tomas Lopez and his legal wife,
Maria Lopez, had no children after almost fifteen years together. Though Tomas Lopez
had lived with private respondent for fourteen years, they also bore no offspring.
Third, the court found it unusual the fact that the birth certificate of John Thomas
Lopez was filed by Tomas Lopez instead of the midwife, four months after the alleged
birth of the child. Under the law, the attending physician or midwife in attendance at birth
should cause the registration of such birth. Only in default of the physician or midwife,
can the parent register the birth of his child.
Fourth, the trial court observed several times that when the child and Bienvenida
were both in court, the two had strong similarities in their faces, eyes, eyebrows and
head shapes. Resemblance between a minor and his alleged parent is competent and
material evidence to establish parentage.
Fifth, Lourdes Vasquez testified that she assisted in Bienvenida's giving birth to
Edgardo Tijing, Jr., at her clinic. Unlike private respondent, she presented clinical
records consisting of a log book, discharge order and the signatures of petitioners.
All these considered, the SC was constrained to rule that subject minor is indeed the
son of petitioners.

7. Antonio Lejano vs. People of the Philippines


G.R. No. 176389
14 December 2010
FACTS:
On 30 June 1991, Estellita Vizconde and her daughters Carmela and Jennifer were
brutally slain at their home in Paranaque City. Four years later in 1995, the NBI
announced that it had solved the crime. It presented star-witness Jessica Alfaro, one of
its informers, who claimed that she had witnessed the crime. She pointed to Hubert
Webb, Antonio Lejano, Artemio Ventura, Michael Gatchalian, Hospicio Fernandez, Peter
Estrada, Miguel Rodriguez and Joy Filart as the culprits. She also tagged police officer,
Gerardo Biong, as an accessory after the fact. Alfaro had been working as an asset to
the NBI by leading the agency to criminals. Some of the said criminals had been so
high-profile, that Alfaro had become the darling of the NBI because of her contribution
to its success. The trial court and the Court of Appeals found that Alfaros direct and
spontaneous narration of events unshaken by gruesome cross-examination should be
given a great weight in the decision of the case.
In Alfaros story, she stated that after she and the accused got high of shabu, she was
asked to see Carmela at their residence. After Webb was informed that Carmela had a
male companion with her, Webb became piqued and thereafter consumed more drugs
and plotted the gang rape on Carmela. Webb, on the other hand, denied all the
accusations against him with the alibi that during the whole time that the crime had
taken place, he was staying in the United States. He had apparently left for the US on
09 March 1991 and only returned on 27 October 1992. As documentary evidence, he
presented photocopies of his passport with four stamps recording his entry and exit
from both the Philippines and the US, Flights Passenger Manifest employment
documents in the US during his stay there and US-INS computer generated certification
authenticated by the Philippine DFA. Aside from these documentary alibis, he also gave
a thorough recount of his activities in the US
ISSUE:
Whether or not Webbs documented alibi of his U.S. travel should be given more
credence by the Court than the positive identification by Alfaro.
RULING:
For a positive identification to be acceptable, it must meet at least two criteria:
The positive identification of the offender must come from a credible witness; and

The witness story of what she personally saw must be believable, not inherently
contrived.
The Supreme Court found that Alfaro and her testimony failed to meet the above
criteria. She did not show up at the NBI as a spontaneous witness bothered by her
conscience. She had been hanging around the agency for sometime as a stool pigeon,
one paid for mixing up with criminals and squealing on them. And although her
testimony included details, Alfaro had prior access to the details that the investigators
knew of the case. She took advantage of her familiarity with these details to include in
her testimony the clearly incompatible acts of Webb hurling a stone at the front door
glass frames, for example, just so she can accommodate the crime scene feature.
To establish alibi, the accused must prove by positive, clear and satisfactory evidence
that:
He was present at another place at the time of the perpetration of the crime, and
That it was physically impossible for him to be at the scene of the crime.
The Supreme Court gave very high credence to the compounded documentary alibi
presented by Webb. This alibi altogether impeaches Alfaros testimony not only with
respect to him, but also with respect to the other accused. For, if the Court accepts the
proposition that Webb was in the US when the crime took place, Alfaros testimony will
not hold altogether. Webbs participation is the anchor of Alfaros story.

8. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, versus ALFREDO PASCUAL Y


ILDEFONSO, G.R. No. 172326 | 2009-01-19
FACTS: The conviction of accused-appellant stemmed from an Amended Information
dated February 23, 2001, filed with the RTC for the crime designated as Rape with
Homicide and Robbery. During trial, the defense presentedas witness, Aida ViloriaMagsipoc, forensic chemist of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
Said witness testified on the result of the DNA analysis which she conducted on the
specimens submitted by the trial court consisting of the victim's vaginal smear and
panty. According to her, no DNA sample from the suspect was present on the aforesaid
specimens.[8] On cross-examination, she declared that based on DNA testing, she
could not determine if a woman was raped or not. She further declared that in this case,
it was possible that the stained vaginal smear prevented a complete and good result for
the DNA profiling. Upon being questioned by the court, the forensic chemist confirmed
that DNA testing on the subject specimens was inconclusive and that the result was not
good, as the specimens submitted, i.e., the stained vaginal smear and the dirty white
panty, had already undergone serological analysis.[9]
The Court of Appeals affirmed with modification the trial court's decision. Hence,
accused-appellant seeks for a final review of his case and makes much of the result of
the DNA analysis conducted by the NBI that his profile was not in the victim's vaginal
smear. As such, he argues he is innocent of the crime charged.
ISSUE: Does the result of the DNA examination entitle the accused-appellant to an
acquittal?
RULING: In People v Yatar, the Supreme Court held that in assessing the probative
value of DNA evidence, courts should consider, inter alia, the following factors: how the
samples were collected, how they were handled, the possibility of contamination of the
samples, the procedure followed in analyzing the samples, whether the proper
standards and procedures were followed in conducting the tests, and the qualification of
the analyst who conducted the tests.[39]
In the case at bar, while the DNA analysis of the victim's vaginal smear showed no
complete profile of the accused-appellant, the same is not conclusive considering that
said specimen was already stained or contaminated which, according to the forensic
chemist, Aida Villoria-Magsipoc, deters a complete and good result for DNA profiling.

She explained in her testimony that generally, with the vaginal smear, they could see if
there is a male profile in the smear. However in this case, when they received the
vaginal smear on the stained slide, the same had already undergone serological
analysis. Hence, according to the chemist, the DNA testing conducted on the specimen
subject of this case was inconclusive.[40] In light of this flawed procedure, we hold that
the result of the DNA examination does not entitle accused-appellant to an acquittal.

9. G.R. No. 137344

January 30, 2001

FEDIL URIARTE, MANOLITO ACOSTA and JOSE ACOSTA, petitioners,


vs.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondent.
FACTS:
On 15 August 1992, at around 7:00 oclock in the evening, in Purok Napo,
Bag-ong Lungsod, Tandag, Surigao del Sur, Ma. Remli Cabrera saw her father
Reynaldo Lamera outside the house of a neighbor talking with a certain Dodong
Fernandez, another neighbor. Remli asked her father to keep her company since she
was alone in the house at the time, but her father told her just to stay home as he was
still waiting for her mother. Later, Remli noticed her father talking with a certain Munding
Poria in the yard of another neighbor, Ernani Apacible. That was the last time she saw
her father alive.
On that same day, Eric Pacheco witnessed from an electric post some ten
(10) meters away, he saw petitioners Fedil Uriarte, Manolito Acosta and Jose Acosta
taking turns mauling Reynaldo Lamera,then got a piece of wood one (1) meter in length
and three (3) to four (4) inches thick and struck Reynaldo on the thigh.Reynaldo fell
helplessly to the ground, but petitioners raised him up again, boxed and hit him again
with the same piece of wood. When Reynaldo fell for the third and last time, petitioners
and their drinking buddies chorused in laughter and resumed their drinking and singing
as if nothing happened.
Munding Poria, a neighbor, lifted the already lifeless body of Reynaldo and
placed it on a coconut bench, then brought the body to the Lamera residence.Nicholas
Pacheco confirmed the story of Eric and gave an identical narration of the events.
The following day, 16 August 1992, at Funeral Parlor, Dr. Jocelyn Laurente
examined the body of Reynaldo Lamera and concluded that he died
of"Cardiopulmonary arrest secondary to CVA hemorrhage," but did not conduct an
actual autopsy and her examination was limited to a visual inspection of the body. When
the widow, Marina Lamera, pointed to the bruises at the back of her husband's body, the
doctor explained that they were mere libidity or blood clots caused by the rupture of the
veins, commonly seen in cardiac arrest cases.
Persons who witnessed the fatal mauling informed Marina Lamera of the
incident but they were afraid of petitioners. Sensing that foul play attended her
husband's death, Marina requested the Chief of the Provincial Hospital to conduct an

autopsy. However, despite her pleas, the hospital chief and physicians refused, claiming
that the findings of Dr. Laurente were already enough. Marina then wrote a letter to the
NBI Regional Office No. XI requesting for an autopsy.
Three (3) months later, NBI Regional Director Sancho K. Tan ordered the
exhumation and autopsy of the body of Reynaldo Lamera. Dr. Tammy Uy, medico-legal
officer of the NBI, was assigned to conduct the autopsy, which was done on 3
December 1992 in the presence of other NBI staff members and the victim's family.
On 1 April 1993 an Information for murder was filed against Fedil Uriarte,
Manolito Acosta and Jose Acosta alias Otik alleging among others that the accused,
conspiring with one another and with intent to kill, treachery and evident premeditation
feloniously attacked, boxed and beat Reynaldo Lamera with a piece of wood, thereby
inflicting upon the latter injuries on his body, particularly a "traumatic neck injury," which
caused his instantaneous death, to the damage and prejudice of his heirs.
At the trial, the prosecution also presented Dr. Tammy Uy, the medico-legal
officer who conducted an autopsy on the body of Reynaldo Lamera.Dr. Uy peeled off
portions of the overlying skin from the cadaver and found "subcutaneous hematoma" on
the back of the neck and on the right thigh and he explained that these are blood clots
on the tissues under the skin. He opined thathematoma could have been caused by
violent contact with a hard blunt object," and that the cause of death was "traumatic
neck injury."
Petitioners denied the charge against them and set up their own version of
the incident. According to defense witness Corazon Planas, on 15 August 1992 at about
8:00 o'clock in the evening she was in the veranda of her house. From there she saw
petitioners with several other people drinking and singing in front of the house of Fedil
Uriarte. At about 9:30 oclock in the evening, Reynaldo Lamera arrived. He was drunk,
as usual. He sat on the bench, but, apparently, Reynaldo was too drunk to remain
seated so he fell to the ground. This fall of Reynaldo momentarily interrupted the
celebration as everybody's attention was diverted to the drunken Lamera. One of the
guests asked what happened, and Dodong Fernandez replied that Lamera had fallen
from the bench. Lamera's companions picked him up and laid him down on the
bench. Lamera's legs from the knees down dangled as he lay down on the
bench. Lamera fell from the bench again. This time, his fall broke up the party as his
companions had to take him home.
Eleuterio Casera, a guest at Uriarte's party tried to corroborate the
testimony of Corazon Planas. Casera testified that he was playing the guitar when the
incident occurred. While he did not actually see Reynaldo fall from the bench, he saw
him face up when he fell the first time, and lying on his side when he fell for the second

time. On both occasions, he looked up and asked Dodong what happened, to which
Fernandez replied that Reynaldo had slipped from the bench.
The trial court found petitioners guilty of homicide. They appealed to the
Court of Appeals but the appellate court affirmed their conviction, hence, this petition for
review under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of Court.

ISSUE:
Whether or not petitioners are guilty of homicide.

RULING:
YES. Prosecution witnesses Eric Pacheco and Nicholas Pacheco both
positively declared that petitioners beat Lamera senselessly with a piece of wood one
(1) meter long and three (3) to four (4) inches thick.According to them, the deadly
weapon found its mark in Reynaldo's back and the right side of his neck.
The defense attempted to discredit the testimony of the two (2) prosecution
witnesses claiming that (a) their presence at the locus criminis was highly improbable;
(b) Nicholas Pacheco was an ex-convict, thus making his testimony highly unreliable;
and, (c) their story was not corroborated by the many residents of Sitio Napo who were
present during the incident.
But, the presence of Nicholas and Eric in Sitio Napo during the startling
occurrence was adequately explained. Eric was there looking for his friend Diego, while
his father, Nicholas Pacheco, was in search of Eric whom his father thought had gone to
Eric's sister-in-law's house. Considering that their house in Sitio Cabugan was only two
hundred (200) meters away and that they were former residents of Sitio Napo, their
presence thereat was not unlikely.
The mere fact that Nicholas Pacheco had been previously convicted of a
crime did not ipso facto render his testimony dubious. When he testified Nicholas was
already out of prison having served his sentence. Having experienced a difficult life in
confinement, he would not readily fabricate a story that would cause the imprisonment
of an innocent man unless as a witness he was ill-motivated. The defense has not
shown that Nicholas was so motivated.
The evidence for the defense, on the other hand, is based mainly on the
testimony of Corazon Planas who claimed that she saw Reynaldo slip twice from the
bench he was sitting on.The trial court did not give much weight to the testimonies of

defense witnesses Corazon Planas and Eleuterio Casera. If indeed Reynaldo did fall
from his prone position, as Planas testified, and considering that his legs dangled, then
it would be logical to surmise that the first part of his body to hit the ground would have
been his right leg because that was the part of his body that was closest to the
ground. The leg would then act as a buffer, breaking the full force of the impact. That,
and the fact that the bench was merely two (2) feet high, the force of the impact would
not be sufficient to kill an adult male. Also, the trial court ruled out Planas' testimony
because it was improbable for the "back of his neck, right and lower portion of the right
mastoid region (back of the lower portion of the right ear) to be injured unless, in the
language of the private prosecution, he was able to turn a full 360 degrees before hitting
the ground."
The testimonies of the prosecution witnesses find ample support in the
medico-legal examination conducted by Dr. Tammy Uy, Senior Medical Officer of the
NBI. Dr. Uy testified that the victim died because of a violent blow from a hard blunt
object to the right side of the neck. Dr. Uy had conducted more than 100 exhumations
and performed more than 300 autopsies. He personally conducted the exhumation of
Reynaldo Lamera and even related every painstaking detail of the process in his
testimony. He had established his qualifications as an expert witness to the satisfaction
of the courts below.
To counter the expert testimony of Dr. Uy, the defense presented a Post
Mortem Reportsigned by Dr. Jocelyn Laurente, the Medical Officer of the Regional
Health Office. The report stated that the cause of death of Reynaldo was
"cardiopulmonary arrest secondary to CVA hemorrhage." The defense asserted that
since Dr. Laurente examined the victim only a day after he died, her findings should
have been given more weight than those of Dr. Uy.
It is apropos to note in this respect that unlike Dr. Jocelyn Laurente, Dr. Uy
performed an autopsy of the cadaver of the deceased-victim. Between, therefore, the
contrasting findings of the two doctors, that of Dr. Uy is decidedly more reliable. This is
not to mention the fact that there was no attempt whatsoever on the part of the defense
to qualify Dr. Laurente as a Medico-Legal expert.
Petitioners now contend that if indeed the deceased had died a violent
death, there would have been bruises apparent on the surface of the skin and not
merely subcutaneous. Thus, they assert, that Dr. Uy's findings are flawed.

Petitioners seem to have overlooked that Marina Lamera, Reynaldo's wife,


had pointed out to Dr. Laurente the bruises on her husband's neck and right thigh but
Dr. Laurente brushed aside such tell-tale signs as libidity.Thus, there were external

injuries present except that the examining physician refused to recognize them. The fact
that Dr. Uy had to peel off areas of the skin did not negate the presence of surface
bruises. Dr. Uy testified that when he exhumed the body, it had already discolored such
that surface bruises would not necessarily be apparent. Therefore, the reason why he
had to conduct subcutaneous examination was not because of the absence of bruises
on the skin surface but because the discoloration of the skin had obscured such
bruises. It is also important to note that Dr. Laurente was never presented as a
witness. Therefore, it would be incredulous to accept petitioners assertion that Dr.
Lamera's findings should be given more weight than those of Dr. Uy.

10. [G.R. No. 106210-11. January 30, 1998]


PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. ROBERTO RAMBO LISING,
RODOLFO MANALILI, FELIMON GARCIA, ENRICO DIZON and ROBIN
MANGA, accused-appellants.
FACTS:
In March 1990, Rodolfo Manalili who is a businessman asked Felimon Garcia,
his town mate, if he knew somebody who could allegedly affect the arrest of Roberto
Herrera, the suspect, in the killing of his brother, Delfin Manalili. On April 21, 1990,
Garcia called up Manalili and informed him that he already contracted a policeman to
help him. On April 22, 1990, Garcia introduced Roberto Lising, Enrico Dizon and
another man to Manlili. During the meeting, Manalili offered them to pay P50, 000 for
the job. On April 23 24, Lisings group met with Vic Lisbod and conducted a
surveillance on the Castanos residence In the hope of seeing Herrera. Failing to do
so, the group was asked to return on the next day. On April 25, the group saw a man
and a woman who happened to be Conchise Bernabe, 26 years old and a new graduate
of UP College of law and Beebom Castanos, 22 years old and a graduating student of
the UP College of Mass Communication, leave the Castanos residence in a green box
type lancer car. The group followed the lancer car with Lising, Dizon and Mango riding
in a clack car and Lisbog and Garcia in a motorcycle. The lancer car stopped at Dayrits
ham and Burger House on Timog Circle. Alighting from the car, they were accosted by
Dizon and Manga. On Hune 21, two security guards told the CAPCOM that their
friends Raul Morales and Jun Medrano, both employees of Roberto Lising, informed
them that Lising killed a man and a woman in the warehouseOn June 25, the body of
Cochise was exhumed and the cause of death was multiple stab wounds.
Crime committed: Double murder and kidnapping
Contention of the State:
To be exempt from criminal liability, a person invoking irresistible force or
uncontrollable fear must show that the force exerted was such that it reduced him to a
mere instrument who acted not only without will but against his will. The compulsion
must be of same character as to leave the accused no opportunity for self-defense in
equal combat or for escape.
Contention of the Accused:
Felimon Garcia prays that his liability be mitigated on grounds of lack of intent or
motive, acts made under the compulsion of an irresistible force and voluntary surrender,
which is considered would make him merely accomplice to the crime.
HELD:

The decision of the lower court finding the accused Rodolfo Manalili, Roberto
Lising, Felimon Garcia, Robin Manga and Enrico Dizon, guilty of beyond reasonable
doubt of the crime of double murder, including their civil liability is hereby affirmed in toto
and the decision of the lower court finding the accused Roberto Lising, Enrico Dizon
and Robin Manga guilty of the crime of slight illegal detention aggravated by teh use of
motor vehicle is hereby modified, and that the said accused are hereby declared guilty
of the crime of kidnapping and hereby sentence to suffer the penalty of reclusion
perpetua