Anda di halaman 1dari 78

VOL. 240, JANUARY 25, 1995 541 *FIRST DIVISION.

542
People vs. Agustin
5 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
G.R. No. 110290. January 25, 1995. *
42
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-
People vs. Agustin
appellee, vs.JAIME “JIMMY” AGUSTIN, WILFREDO
the Constitution, the distinction between confession and
“SONNY” QUIAÑO, MANUEL “JUN” ABENOJA, JR., and admission is irrelevant because Par. 3 thereof expressly refers to
FREDDIE “BOY” CARTEL, accused. JAIME “JIMMY” both.—Wehave examined the assailed extrajudicial statement of
AGUSTIN, accused-appellant. the appellant, and we are satisfied that nothing therein indicates
Constitutional Law; Bill of Rights; Custodial that he expressly acknowledged his guilt; he merely admitted
Investigation;Extrajudicial Confessions; Evidence; Words and some facts or circumstances which in themselves are insufficient
Phrases; “Confession” and “Admission,” Distinguished.— to authorize a conviction and which can only tend to establish the
Before we go any further, it should be pointed out that, contrary ultimate fact of guilt. Nevertheless, when what is involved is the
to the pronouncement of the trial court and the characterization issue of admissibility in evidence under Section 12, Article III of
given by the appellant himself, the assailed extrajudicial the Constitution, the distinction is irrelevant because Paragraph
statement is not an extrajudicial confession. It is only an 3 thereof expressly refers to both confession and admission. Thus:
extrajudicial admission. We take this opportunity to once more “(3) Any confession or admission obtained in violation of this or
distinguish one from the other. Sections 26 and 33, Rule 30 of the Section 17 hereof shall be inadmissible in evidence against him.”
Rules of Court clearly show such a distinction. In a confession, Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Sec. 20, Art. IV of the 1973
there is an acknowledgment of guilt. Admission is usually applied Constitution compared with Sec. 12, Art. III of the 1987
in criminal cases to statements of fact by the accused which do Constitution.—The first two paragraphs of Section 12, Article III
not directly involve an acknowledgment of guilt of the accused or of the present Constitution have broadened the aforesaid Section
of the criminal intent to commit the offense with which he is 20 in these respects: (1) the right to counsel means not just any
charged, counsel, but a “competent and independent counsel, preferably of
Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Same.—Wharton his own choice”; (2) the right to remain silent and to counsel can
defines a confession as follows: “A confession is an only be waived in writing and in the presence of counsel; and (3)
acknowledgment in express terms, by a party in a criminal case, the rule on inadmissibility expressly includes admissions, not just
of his guilt of the crime charged, while an admission is a confessions.
statement by the accused, direct or implied, of facts pertinent to Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Right to be Informed; The
the issue, and tending, in connection with proof of other facts, to right to be informed carries with it the correlative obligation on
prove his guilt. In other words, an admission is something less the part of the investigator to explain, and contemplates effective
than a confession, and is but an acknowledgment of some fact or communication which results in the subject understanding what is
circumstance which in itself is insufficient to authorize a conveyed.—The right to be informed of the right to remain silent
conviction, and which tends only to establish the ultimate fact of and to counsel contemplates “the transmission of meaningful
guilt.” information rather than just the ceremonial and perfunctory
Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; When what is recitation of an abstract constitutional principle.” It is not enough
involved is the issue of admissibility in evidence under Sec. 12, for the investigator to merely repeat to the person under
Art. III of investigation the provisions of Section 20, Article IV of the 1973
_______________ Constitution or Section 12, Article III of the present Constitution;
the former must also explain the effects of such provision in admission of the appellant, contained in twenty-two pages of
practical terms, e.g., what the person under investigation may or yellow pad, does, indeed, appear to be signed by him and Atty.
may not do? and in a language the subject fairly understands. The Reynaldo Cajucom. What we find in these yellow pads are
right to be informed carries with it a correlative obligation on the stenographic notes. These were transcribed by the stenographer
part of the investigator to explain, and contemplates effective who took down the stenographic notes, but for reasons not
communication which results in the subject understanding what explained in the records, the transcript of the notes (Exhibit “C”),
is conveyed. Since it is comprehension that is sought to be which consists of twelve pages, was not signed by the appellant
attained, the degree of explanation required will necessarily vary and Atty. Cajucom. Assuming that the transcript of the notes is a
and depend on the education, intelligence, and other relevant faithful and accurate account, it is obvious that this was not
personal circumstances of the person undergoing the subscribed and sworn to by the appellant since it does not
investigation. indicate any jurat. Since we cannot even read or decipher the
543 stenographic notes in the yellow pads, we cannot expect the
VOL. 240, JANUARY 25, 1995 54 appellant, who is a farmer and who reached only the fourth
3 grade, to read or decipher its contents. We have to rely solely on
People vs. Agustin the transcript and presume its accuracy. A perusal of the
Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Right to Counsel; The transcript convinces us that the appellant was not given a fair
counsel must be a lawyer.—In further ensuring the right to deal and was deprived of his rights under Section 12(1), Article
counsel, it is not enough that the subject is informed of such right; III of the Constitution. Firstly, he was not fully and properly
he should also be asked if he wants to avail of the same and informed of his rights.
should be told that he can ask for counsel if he so desires or that Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Right to Counsel; Where
one will be provided him at his request. If he decides not to retain the fiscal immediately suggested the availability of a particular
counsel of his choice or avail of one to be provided for him and, counsel without first distinctly asking the suspect if he had a
therefore, chooses to waive his right to counsel, such waiver, to be counsel of his own
valid and effective, must be made with the assistance of counsel. 544
That counsel must be a lawyer. 5 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Even if the 44
confession of an accused speaks the truth, if it was made without People vs. Agustin
the assistance of counsel, it is inadmissible in evidence regardless choice, and if he had one, whether he could hire such counsel,
of the absence of coercion or even if it had been voluntarily or whether he would agree to have one provided for him, then such
given.—The waiver of the right to counsel must be voluntary, counsel provided was foisted upon the suspect and not one who
knowing, and intelligent. Consequently, even if the confession of was voluntarily and intelligently “accepted” by the suspect.—
an accused speaks the truth, if it was made without the Secondly, Atty. Cajucom can hardly be said to have been
assistance of counsel, it is inadmissible in evidence regardless of voluntarily and intelligently “accepted” by the appellant as his
the absence of coercion or even if it had been voluntarily given. counsel to assist him in the investigation. Atty. Cajucom’s
Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Stenographic Notes; It presence in the Office of the City Fiscal at the time the appellant
should be the transcript of stenographic notes containing the was brought there for investigation is unclear to us. At least two
alleged admissions of a suspect that should be subscribed and possibilities may explain it: it was a mere coincidence in the sense
sworn to, not the stenographic notes since the suspect cannot be that he happened to be attending to some professional matter, or
expected to read or decipher their contents.—The extrajudicial he was earlier called by the City Fiscal for the purpose of giving
free legal aid to the appellant, These possibilities are not remote Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Criminal Procedure; It is
but whether it was one or the other, it is clear to us that Atty. not for a City Fiscal to conduct custodial investigations.—Why it
Cajucom was in fact foisted upon the appellant, for as shown in was the City Fiscal who had to conduct the custodial investigation
the above-quoted portion of Exhibit “C,” the City Fiscal is beyond us. Nothing in the records shows that at that time the
immediately suggested the availability of Atty. Cajucom without criminal cases against the culprits had already been filed with the
first distinctly asking the appellant if he had a counsel of his own City Fiscal’s Office for preliminary investigation and had,
choice and if he had one, whether he could hire such counsel; and therefore, ceased to be a police matter. If they had been so filed,
if he could not, whether he would agree to have one provided for then the City Fiscal should have followed the usual course of
him; or whether he would simply exercise his right to remain procedure in preliminary investigations. It appears, however,
silent and to counsel. In short, after the appellant said that he from the informations in Criminal Cases Nos. 4647R and 4648-R
wanted to be assisted by counsel, the City Fiscal, through that it was Assistant City Fiscal Octavio M. Banta who conducted
suggestive language, immediately informed him that Atty. the preliminary investigation and who prepared, signed, and
Cajucom was ready to assist him. While it is true that in custodial certified the informations. City Fiscal Balajadia merely approved
investigations the party to be investigated has the final choice of them and administered the jurat in the certification. The
counsel and may reject the counsel chosen for him by the conclusion then is inevitable that he did not conduct the
investigator and ask for another one, the circumstances obtaining preliminary investigation.
in the custodial interrogation of the appellant left him no freedom Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Right to Counsel; A counsel
to intelligently and freely do so. For as earlier stated, he was not appointed to assist a suspect must be an independent counsel, and
even asked if he had a lawyer of his own choice and whether he he could not be one where he is an associate of the private
could afford to hire such lawyer; on the other hand, the City prosecutor in the same case.—Even assuming for the sake of
Fiscal clearly suggested the availability of Atty. Cajucom. argument that the appellant voluntarily agreed to be assisted by
Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; The presence during the Atty. Cajucom, we doubt it very much if he was
custodial investigation before the fiscal of military officers who an independentcounsel. While we wish to give him the benefit of
had earlier threatened the suspect with death vitiated the latter’s the doubt because he is an officer of the court upon whose
free will.—Then too, present at that time were Capt. Antonio Ayat shoulders lies the responsibility to see to it that protection be
and Sgt. Roberto Rambac, military officers of RUCI, who brought accorded the appellant and that no injustice be committed to him,
him to the City Fiscal’s Office for investigation in the afternoon of and. moreover, he generally has in his favor the presumption of
the day when he was unlawfully arrested in Sto. Tomas, regularity in the performance of his duties, there are special
Pangasinan. Along Kennon Road, on the way to Baguio City, he circumstances in these cases which convince us that he was
was coerced and threatened with death if he would not admit unable to assist the appellant in a satisfactory manner. For one,
knowing “Jun” and “Sonny” and his participation in the crime. he admitted on cross-examination that at that time, and even
This testimony was unrebutted by the prosecution. The presence until the time he took the witness stand, he was an associate of
of the military officers and the continuing fear that if he did not the private prosecutor, Atty. Arthur Galace, in these and the
cooperate, something would happen to him, was like a Damocles companion cases.
sword which vitiated his free will. Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Right to be
545 Informed; It is doubtful for a suspect to have understood his
VOL. 240, JANUARY 25, 1995 54 constitutional rights if he was informed of the same in English
5 and Tagalog when he could only understand Ilocano.—Then we
People vs. Agustin have misgivings on whether Atty. Cajucom was in fact understood
by the appellant when the former informed the appellant of his The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.
constitutional rights in English and Tagalog considering that the The Solicitor General for plaintiff-appellee.
appellant, a fourth grader and a farmer, could only understand Public Attorney’s Office for accused-appellant.
Ilocano.
Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; It is error for DAVIDE, JR., J.:
the counsel to impress upon the suspect that he was only a witness,
not an accused.—lt appears to us that Atty. Cajucom did not In five separate informations filed on 22 May 1987 with the
actually impress Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 3, Baguio City, the
546
accused were charged with murder in Criminal Cases Nos.
5 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
4647-R and 4648-R, with frustrated murder in Criminal
46
Case No. 4649-R, and with attempted murder in Criminal
People vs. Agustin
Cases Nos. 4650-R and 4651-R. The crimes were allegedly
upon the appellant that he was one of the accused; rather,
Atty. Cajucom made the appellant believe that he was only a committed on 6 September 1986 in Baguio City and resulted
witness. in the deaths of Dr. Napoleon Bayquen and Anna Theresa
Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Arrests Francisco and the wounding of Anthony Bayquen, Dominic
and Seizures; No arrest without a warrant could have been legally Bayquen, and Danny Ancheta.
and validly effected five months after the commission of the crime, 547
and the counsel should have forthwith taken the appropriate VOL. 240, JANUARY 25, 1995 547
measures for the immediate release of the suspect instead of People vs. Agustin
allowing the City Fiscal to investigate him.—Finally, Atty. The informations in the murder cases charged that the
Cajucom knew, as admitted by him on cross-examination, that accused acted in conspiracy and alleged the presence of the
the appellant was picked up on 10 February 1987 by military men qualifying circumstance of treachery and the ordinary
in Pangasinan without a warrant for his arrest. Since the crimes aggravating circumstances of evident premeditation and
with which the appellant was charged were allegedly committed
price.
1

on 6 September 1986 or more than five months earlier, no arrest


without a warrant could have been legally and validly effected. A
Only the appellant and Wilfredo Quiaño were arrested.
warrantless arrest should comply with the conditions prescribed However, before Quiaño could be arraigned, he escaped on
in Section 5, Rule 113 of the Rules of Court. Atty. Cajucom knew 12 July 1987 while under the custody of the Philippine
or ought to have known that the arrest was unlawful. If he were Constabulary/ PNP Regional Command I at Camp Dangwa,
then truly moved by his duty to fully assist the appellant, he La Trinidad, Benguet. The cases, which were consolidated
2

should have forthwith taken the appropriate measures for the and jointly tried, proceeded only against the appellant.
immediate release of the appellant instead of allowing the City After the appellant pleaded not guilty at his arraignment
Fiscal to investigate him. Needless to say, the conduct of Atty. on 4 September 1987, trial on the merits was held on
Cajucom under the circumstances only strengthen our belief that various dates from 11 May 1988 until 10 January 1990.
the appellant had all the cards stacked against him. On 30 May 1990, the trial court promulgated its
decision in the consolidated cases acquitting the appellant
3

APPEAL from a decision of the Regional Trial Court of


in Criminal Case No. 4649-R (frustrated murder) and
Baguio City, Br. 3.
Criminal Cases Nos. 4650-R and 4651-R (attempted and who identified her stenographic notes containing the
murder) for insufficiency of evidence but convicting him in statement of the appellant (Exhibit “B”) and the transcript
the two murder cases, Criminal Cases Nos. 4647-R and of said stenographic notes (Exhibit “C”); (3) Dominic
4648-R, with treachery as the qualifying circumstance. It 4 Bayquen, the victim in Criminal Case No. 4650-R, who
also ruled that the aggravating circumstances of evident testified on the shooting incident; (4) Danny Ancheta, the
premeditation and price had been duly established. It then victim in Criminal Case No. 4651-R, who testified on how
sentenced the appellant as follows: they were shot; (5) Eulogio Francisco, the father of Anna
“Upon these premises, the accused Jaime Agustin is found Theresa Francisco, who identified her death certificate
GUILTY of two (2) counts of murder, the prosecution having (Exhibit “I”) and testified on the list of expenses (Exhibit
proven his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. In each of the criminal “G”); (6) Rogelio Mumar, a supervising ballistics expert, who
cases aforesaid, he should be sentenced to the maximum penalty declared that the fourteen shells recovered from the scene of
of Death, there being two aggravating circumstances. However,
the crime were not fired from any of the three armalite rifles
since the death penalty is not imposable at this time, the accused
submitted to him; (7) Atty. Reynaldo Cajucom, who testified
is sentenced to Reclusion Perpetua. He is further ordered to
indemnify the heirs of the victims; Anna Theresa Francisco the that he was the lawyer who assisted the appellant and
sum of Sixty Three Thousand Pesos (P63,000.00) as actual accused Wilfredo Quiaño while they were being investigated
damages (Exhibits “F,” “I” and “G”); and Dr. Napoleon Bayquen, by City Fiscal Balajadia; and (8) Lilian San Luis Bayquen,
the sum of Thirty Thousand Pesos (P30,000.00). wife of Dr. Napoleon Bayquen and mother of Dominic
_______________ Bayquen, who testified on what she did after Dominic
1 Original Records (OR), Criminal Case No. 4647-R, 1–2; Id., Criminal Case
informed her by telephone about the shooting incident
No. 4648-R, 1–2. The records of the three other cases were not anymore The evidence for the prosecution established the
forwarded to this Court in view of the acquittal therein of the appellant. following facts. At past 7:30 p.m. of 6 September 1986 in
2 Id., Criminal Case No. 4647-R, 33.

3 ld., 406–416; Rollo, 25–35. Per Judge Marcelino F. Bautista, Jr.


Baguio City, Dr. Napoleon Bayquen, a dentist, together with
4 Id., 415; Id., 34. his son, Anthony; Anthony’s girlfriend, Anna Theresa
548 Francisco; his daughter, Dominic; and Danny Ancheta, a
548 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED family friend, were on their way aboard their Brasilia to the
People vs. Agustin doctor’s residence at Trancoville at 21-D Malvar Street,
With costs against the accused, Jaime Agustin. Baguio City, from his clinic at Hamada Building along
SO ORDERED.” 5
Mabini Street. Anthony was driving the car. While they
The version of the prosecution is based on the testimonies of were cruising along Malvar Street and nearing the Baptist
(1) Isidoro Magpantay, a member of the Baguio City Police Church, a man came out from the right side of a car
Force, who identified the initial report (Exhibit “A”); (2) _______________
Christie Napeñas, a stenographic reporter in the Office of
5OR, Criminal Case No. 4647-R, 415–416; Rollo, 34–35.
the City Fiscal of Baguio City, who took down the 549
stenographic notes of City Fiscal Erdolfo Balajadia’s VOL. 240, JANUARY 25, 1995 549
investigations of accused Wilfredo Quiaño (Exhibit “D”) on People vs. Agustin
30 January 1987 and of the appellant on 10 February 1987,
parked about two meters to the church. The man 6 TSN, 11 May 1988, 23–24.
TSN, 12 May 1988, 7–10.
approached the Brasilia, aimed his armalite rifle through its
7

8 TSN, 20 May 1988, 3–4.

window, and fired at the passengers. The Brasilia swerved 9 Police Report, Exhibit “A,” OR, 96–97; TSN, 11 May 1988, 3–11.

and hit a fence. The gunman immediately returned to the 10 TSN, 11 May 1988,14–18.

11 Exhibit “D,” OR, 131–142.


parked car which then sped away.
550
All those in the car were hit and Dr. Bayquen and Anna
550 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
Theresa died on the spot. Dr. Bayquen’s head was blown off.
People vs. Agustin
Dominic was able to get out of the Brasilia to run to the
Alabanza store where she telephoned her mother and told In the morning of 10 February 1987, “Jimmy,” who turned
her what had happened. Later, she and her mother brought out to be appellant Jaime Agustin, was picked up in Sto.
her father and Anthony to the hospital. Danny Ancheta
6
Tomas, Pangasinan, by military personnel and brought to
went home and was then brought to the Notre Dame Baguio City. At 4:00 p.m. of that date, he was taken to the
Hospital for treatment. Anna Theresa Francisco was
7
office of City Fiscal Erdolfo Balajadia where he was
brought to the funeral parlor. The police later arrived at the
8
investigated in connection with the crime. Atty. Reynaldo
crime scene and conducted an investigation. They recovered Cajucom assisted the appellant during the investigation.
some empty shells of an armalite rifle.9
Ms. Christie Napeñas took down stenographic notes of the
On 30 January 1987, accused Wilfredo “Sonny” Quiaño, proceedings during the investigation. The stenographic
an alleged former military agent or “asset” who had been notes consisted of 22 pages (Exhibit “B”), each of which was
picked up in La Union by the police authorities, confessed signed afterwards by the appellant and Atty. Cajucom. Ms.
during the investigation conducted by Baguio City Fiscal Napeñas subsequently transcribed these notes which the
Erdolfo Balajadia in his office that he was the triggerman in prosecution marked as Exhibit “C.” The appellant narrated
the fatal shooting of Dr. Bayquen and Anna Theresa therein his knowledge of the shooting of Dr. Bayquen and
Francisco. He implicated Manuel “Jun” Abenoja, Jr., revealed the identities of his cohorts in the crime. In a
allegedly a fellow military agent and the “bagman” who confrontation two days later, he identified Quiaño as
engaged him to kill Dr. Bayquen for a fee, Freddie “Boy” “Sonny,” the triggerman.
Cartel, who provided the armalite, and a certain “Jimmy.” The defense presented the appellant and his wife,
During the investigation, Wilfredo Quiaño was assisted by Elizabeth Agustin. The appellant, who is a farmer and
Atty. Reynaldo Cajucom, a representative of the Integrated whose highest educational attainment was grade four,
Bar of the Philippines (IBP). Ms. Christie Napeñas, a impugned the validity of his extrajudicial statement. He
stenographic reporter in the Office of Fiscal Balajadia, took alleged that in the morning of 10 February 1987, he went to
down stenographic notes of the proceedings during the Carmen, Pangasinan, to buy some fertilizer and upon his
investigation. Thereafter, she transcribed the notes and the
10
return he was met by two armed men who took him to their
transcription became the sworn statement of Wilfredo car where two other companions, armed with armalites,
Quiaño which he signed, with the assistance of Atty. were waiting. They then brought him out of Pangasinan. He
Cajucom, and swore to before City Fiscal Balajadia. 11
later learned that they were on their way to Baguio City.
_______________
Inside the car, he was asked if he knew Boy and Jun,and taken at gunpoint from his hometown in Pangasinan; (b) it
he answered that he did not. Along Kennon Road, he was was improbable that he was made to kneel thrice at
made to stoop down at the back seat whenever they would gunpoint along Kennon Road considering the vehicles which
reach a toll booth, and then brought out three times near were passing along that road; (c) it was unbelievable that
the ravines and made to kneel at gunpoint in order to force when he was in the Fiscal’s Office he asked for his uncle,
him to admit his involvement in the shooting, which he Atty. Tabin, considering that when he met his wife in Camp
finally did out of fear. Then he was brought to the Office of Dangwa, he told her to talk to Atty. Tabin if he could not go
the City Fiscal of Baguio City. home for a period of one month; (d) no less than the City
While he was giving his statement at the fiscal’s office, Fiscal of Baguio City interrogated him and yet he did not
the armed men stayed with him and their presence deterred tell the fiscal that he was being forced to give a statement;
him from telling the investigating fiscal that he was being (e) the fiscal even provided him with a lawyer who conferred
threatened. He further declared that although he was given with him and apprised him of his rights; (f) he signed each
a lawyer, Atty. Reynaldo Cajucom, to assist him, he, and every page of the stenographic notes of his statement
nevertheless, asked for his uncle who is a lawyer, Atty. and this was witnessed by no less than the City Fiscal of
Oliver Tabin, and that Atty. Cajucom interviewed him for Baguio and the lawyer who assisted him; and (g) he
only two minutes in English and disclosed in his statement that he voluntarily gave it
551 because of his ill feeling against his co-accused who did not
VOL. 240, JANUARY 25, 1995 551 give him any money.
People vs. Agustin The trial court then concluded that “[t]here was
Tagalog but not in Ilocano, the dialect he understands. Then conspiracy and the accused was a direct participant in the
later, at Camp Dangwa to where he was taken, he told his crime,” and that while he tried to minimize his culpability,
wife to get in touch and talk with Atty. Tabin. Finally, he his “extrajudicial
asserted that he was promised by his captors that he would _______________
be discharged as a state witness if he cooperates, but the
TSN, 11 May 1989, 3–16; 10 January 1990, 2–23; 10 April 1989, 2–12
plan did not push through because his co-accused, Quiaño,
12

TSN, 10 April 1989, 3–4, 9.


13

escaped.12
552
Elizabeth Agustin corroborated her husband’s story that 552 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
he went to Carmen in the morning of 10 February 1987 to People vs. Agustin
buy some fertilizer and that he failed to return. Her efforts confession” shows that “he was in on the plan,” and even
to locate him proved futile until days later when she finally “expected to be paid, to be rewarded monetarily”; and that
learned that he was detained at Camp Dangwa. 13
he “decided to give a statement only when he was not given
The trial court admitted the appellant’s extrajudicial the money.” Since the proof of corpus delicti required in
statement and gave scant consideration to his claim of force, Section 3, Rule 133 of the Rules of Court was established by
intimidation, and other irregularities because of the the prosecution’s evidence, it found his conviction for
following reasons: (a) the presence of material murder inevitable.
improbabilities in his tale of when and how he was allegedly
The appellant filed a notice of appeal. In his brief, he VOL. 240, JANUARY 25, 1995 553
imputes upon the trial court the commission of this lone People vs. Agustin
error: After a careful study of the records of Criminal Cases Nos.
“THE COURT A QUO COMMITTED A REVERSIBLE ERROR 4647-R and 4648-R and a painstaking evaluation of the
IN CONSIDERING ACCUSED-APPELLANT’S evidence, we find this appeal to be impressed with merit.
EXTRAJUDICIAL CONFESSION AS ADMISSIBLE EVIDENCE Indeed, the extrajudicial admission—not extrajudicial
AGAINST HIM.”
confession—of the appellant, which is the only evidence of
14

The appellant insists that his extrajudicial confession was


the prosecution linking him to the commission of the crime
taken in violation of his rights under Section 11, Article III
charged, is wholly inadmissible because it was taken in
of the Constitution. He argues that the lawyer who assisted
violation of Section 12, Article III of the Constitution. We
him, Atty. Reynaldo Cajucom, was not of his own choice but
also see in these cases a blatant disregard of the appellant’s
was foisted upon him by the City Fiscal. Worse, the said
right under Section 2 of Article III when he was unlawfully
lawyer is a law partner of the private prosecutor, Atty.
arrested.
Arthur Galace, and conferred with him in English and
Before we go any further, it should be pointed out that,
Tagalog although he understood only Ilocano. Moreover,
contrary to the pronouncement of the trial court and the
when Atty. Cajucom briefly conferred with him and when
characterization given by the appellant himself, the assailed
the City Fiscal interrogated him, his military escorts were
extrajudicial statement is not an extrajudicial confession. It
present.
is only an extrajudicial admission. We take this opportunity
He stresses that the lawyer “who assists the suspect
to once more distinguish one from the other. Sections 26 and
under custodial interrogation should be of the latter’s
33, Rule 30 of the Rules of Court clearly show such a
18

choice, not one foisted on him by the police investigator or


distinction.
other parties,” and that where there are serious doubts on
In a confession, there is an acknowledgment of guilt.
15

the voluntariness of the extrajudicial confession, the doubts


Admission is usually applied in criminal cases to statements
must be resolved in favor of the accused. He then concludes
of fact by the accused which do not directly involve an
16

that his extrajudicial confession is inadmissible and his


acknowledgment of guilt of the accused or of the criminal
conviction cannot stand, there being no other evidence
intent to commit the offense with which he is
linking him to the crimes charged.
charged. Wharton defines a confession as follows:
19 20

In its brief, the appellee, reiterating the reasons of the


17
“A confession is an acknowledgment in express terms, by a party
trial court in upholding the validity of the confession, prays in a criminal case, of his guilt of the crime charged, while an
for the affirmance of the appealed decision. admission
_______________ _______________

14 Rollo, 51. 18 These sections provide:


15 Citing People vs. Jimenez, 204 SCRA 719 [1991]. “SEC. 26. Admission of a party.—The act, declaration or omission of a party as to a
16 Citing People vs. Solis, 182 SCRA 182 [1990]. relevant fact may be given in evidence against him.
17 Rollo, 92.
xxx
553
SEC. 33. Confession.—The declaration of an accused acknowledging his guilt of the Secret detention places, solitary, incommunicado, or other similar
offense charged, or of any offense necessarily included therein, may be given in evidence
against him.” forms of detention are prohibited.”
U.S. vs. Corrales, 28 Phil. 362 [1914].
19
These first and second paragraphs are taken from Section
2 Wharton’s Criminal Evidence § 337 (12th ed. 1955). See also 2
20
20, Article IV (Bill of Rights) of the 1973 Constitution which
Underhill’s Criminal Evidence § 385 (5th ed. 1956); 3 Wigmore on Evidence §
821 (3rd ed. 1940). read:
554 “SEC. 20. No person shall be compelled to be a witness against
554 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED himself. Any person under investigation for the commission of an
People vs. Agustin offense shall have the right to remain silent and to counsel, and
is a statement by the accused, direct or implied, of facts pertinent to be informed of such right. No force, violence, threat,
to the issue, and tending, in connection with proof of other facts, intimidation, or any other means which vitiates the free will shall
to prove his guilt. In other words, an admission is something less be used against him. Any confession obtained in violation of this
than a confession, and is but an acknowledgment of some fact or section shall be inadmissible in
555
circumstance which in itself is insufficient to authorize a
conviction, and which tends only to establish the ultimate fact of VOL. 240, JANUARY 25, 1995 555
guilt.” People vs. Agustin
We have examined the assailed extrajudicial statement of evidence.”
the appellant, and we are satisfied that nothing therein The first two paragraphs of Section 12, Article III of the
indicates that he expressly acknowledged his guilt; he present Constitution have broadened the aforesaid Section
merely admitted some facts or circumstances which in 20 in these respects: (1) the right to counsel means not just
themselves are insufficient to authorize a conviction and any counsel, but a”competent and independent counsel,
which can only tend to establish the ultimate fact of guilt. preferably of his own choice”; (2) the right to remain silent
Nevertheless, when what is involved is the issue of and to counsel can only be waived in writing and in the
admissibility in evidence under Section 12, Article III of the presence of counsel; and (3) the rule on inadmissibility
Constitution, the distinction is irrelevant because expressly includes admissions, not just confessions.
Paragraph 3 thereof expressly refers to both confession and In Morales vs. Enrile, this Court, applying Section 20,
21

admission. Thus: Article IV of the 1973 Constitution, laid down the duties of
“(3) Any confession or admission obtained in violation of this or an investigator during custodial investigation and ruled
Section 17 hereof shall be inadmissible in evidence against him.” that the waiver of the right to .counsel would not be valid
The first two paragraphs of Section 12 read: unless made with the assistance of counsel:
“SEC. 12. (1) Any person under investigation for the commission “At the time a person is arrested, it shall be the duty of the
of an offense shall have the right to be informed of his right to arresting officer to inform him of the reason for the arrest and he
remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel must be shown the warrant of arrest, if any. He shall be informed
preferably of his own choice. If the person cannot afford the of his constitutional rights to remain silent and to counsel, and
services of counsel, he must be provided with one. These rights that any statement he might make could be used against him.
cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence of counsel. The person arrested shall have the right to communicate with his
(2) No torture, force, violence, threat, intimidation, or any lawyer, a relative, or anyone he chooses by the most expedient
other means which vitiate the free will shall be used against him. means—by telephone if possible—or by letter or messenger. It
shall be the responsibility of the arresting officer to see to it that what is conveyed. Since it is comprehension that is sought to
this is accomplished. No custodial investigation shall be be attained, the degree of explanation required will
conducted unless it be in the presence of counsel engaged by the necessarily vary and depend on the education, intelligence,
person arrested, by any person on his behalf, or appointed by the and other relevant personal circumstances of the person
court upon petition either of the detainee himself or by anyone on
undergoing the investigation.
his behalf. The right to counsel may be waived but the waiver
In further ensuring the right to counsel, it is not enough
shall not be valid unless made with the assistance of counsel. Any
statement obtained in violation of the procedure herein laid down, that the subject is informed of such right; he should also be
whether exculpatory or inculpatory, in whole or in part, shall be asked if he wants to avail of the same and should be told
inadmissible in evidence.” that he can ask for counsel if he so desires or that one will
We reiterated the above ruling in People vs. Galit, People 22 be provided him at his request. If he decides not to retain
vs. Lumayok, People 23 vs. Albofera, People 24 vs. counsel of his choice or avail of one to be provided for him
Marquez, People vs.
25 and, therefore, chooses to waive his right to counsel, such
_______________ waiver, to be valid and effective, must be made with the
assistance of counsel. That counsel must be a lawyer. 29

121 SCRA 538 [1983].


The waiver of the right to counsel must be voluntary,
21

22 135 SCRA 465 [1985].

23 139 SCRA 1 [1985]. knowing, and intelligent. Consequently, even if the


30

24 152 SCRA 123 [1987]. confession of an


25 153 SCRA 700 [1987].
_______________
556
556 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED 26 205 SCRA 546 [1992].
27 219 SCRA 404 [1993].
People vs. Agustin 28 People vs. Nicandro, 141 SCRA 289 [1986]. See People vs. Duhan, 142

Penillos, and People vs. Basay, among other cases.


26 27
SCRA 100 [1986]; People vs. Albofera, supra at note 24, People vs.
The right to be informed of the right to remain silent and Canela, 208 SCRA 842 [1992]; People vs. Basay, supra at note 27.
29 People vs. Basay, supra at note 27, citing People vs. Pecardal, 145
to counsel contemplates “the transmission of meaningful
SCRA 647 [1986]; People vs. Lasac, 148 SCRA 624 [1987]; People vs.
information rather than just the ceremonial and perfunctory Decierdo, 149 SCRA 496 [1987].
recitation of an abstract constitutional principle.” It is not
28
30 People vs. Nolasco, 163 SCRA 623 [1988].

enough for the investigator to merely repeat to the person 557


under investigation the provisions of Section 20, Article IV VOL. 240, JANUARY 25, 1995 557
of the 1973 Constitution or Section 12, Article III of the People vs. Agustin
present Constitution; the former must also explain the accused speaks the truth, if it was made without the
effects of such provision in practical terms, e.g., what the assistance of counsel, it is inadmissible in evidence
person under investigation may or may not do, and in a regardless of the absence of coercion or even if it had been
language the subject fairly understands. The right to be voluntarily given. 31

informed carries with it a correlative obligation on the part The extrajudicial admission of the appellant, contained 32

of the investigator to explain, and contemplates effective in twenty-two pages of yellow pad, does, indeed, appear to
communication which results in the subject understanding be signed by him and Atty. Reynaldo Cajucom. What we
find in these yellow pads are stenographic notes. These were People vs. Agustin
transcribed by the stenographer who took down the suspects. I am informing you of your constitutional rights before
stenographic notes, but for reasons not explained in the you give any statement. First, you have the right to remain silent
records, the transcript of the notes (Exhibit “C”), which meaning, you may give a statement or you may not give any
consists of twelve pages, was not signed by the appellant
33
statement. If you will not give a statement, you will not be forced
and Atty. Cajucom. Assuming that the transcript of the to do so, do you understand this right?
ANSWER—I understand, sir.
notes is a faithful and accurate account, it is obvious that
02. Q—If you will give a statement, you have the right to be
this was not subscribed and sworn to by the appellant since assisted by a lawyer of your own choice, if you cannot afford to
it does not indicate any jurat. On the other hand, the same secure the services of a lawyer the government will provide a
stenographic reporter, who took down the stenographic lawyer for you, do you understand this right?
notes when accused Wilfredo Quiaño was being investigated A—I understand, sir. . 03. Q—Now, do you want to be assisted by
by City Fiscal Balajadia, transcribed the notes, and the a lawyer?
transcription was subscribed and sworn to by the accused
34 A—Yes, sir.
before City Fiscal Balajadia and also signed by Atty. 04. Q—I am now informing you that a lawyer in the person of
Cajucom, who represented the accused in the investigation. Atty. Reynaldo Cajucom is now present in this investigation
Since we cannot even read or decipher the stenographic room, do you wish to avail of his assistance in connection with
notes in the yellow pads, we cannot expect the appellant, this investigation?
A—I want, sir.
who is a farmer and who reached only the fourth grade, to
05. Q—I am also informing you that whatever you say in this
read or decipher its contents. We have to rely solely on the investigation can be used as evidence in your favor and it can
transcript and presume its accuracy. A perusal of the also be used as evidence against you in any criminal or civil
transcript convinces us that the appellant was not given a case, do you understand that?
fair deal and was deprived of his rights under Section 12(1), A—Yes, sir, I understand.
Article III of the Constitution. Firstly, he was not fully and 06. Q—After informing you of your constitutional rights, are you
properly informed of his rights. The transcript (Exhibit “C”) now willing to give a statement?
shows the following preliminary questions of the City Fiscal A—Yes, sir, I agree.
and the answers of the appellant: Investigator—Atty. Reynaldo Cajucom, the witness or respondent
“01. QUESTION—Mr. Jaime Agustin, I am informing you that Jaime Agustin has chosen you to give him assistance in this
you are under investigation in connection with the death of Dr. investigation, are you willing to assist him? Answer—I am
Nap Bayquen of which you are one of the principal willing, Fiscal, to assist the witness.
_______________ Investigator—Have you conferred with him before he will give his
statement?
31 People vs. Repe, 175 SCRA 422 [1989]; People vs. Estevan, 186 SCRA Answer—Yes, fiscal.
34[1990]; People vs. Javar, 226 SCRA 103 [1993].
32 Exhibit “B” and sub-markings; OR, 98–118a.
Investigator—Have you appraised [sic] him of his constitutional
33 OR, 119–130. rights?
34 Exhibit “D”; Id., 131–132. Answer—Yes, fiscal.
558
558 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
Investigator—Do you know after examining him whether or not counsel of his own choice and if he had one, whether he
he is giving a free and voluntary statement of his own volition could hire such counsel; and if he could not, whether he
without any intimidation or force exerted on him? would agree to have one provided for him; or whether he
A—As stated by him, fiscal, he is willing to give a free and would simply exercise his right to remain silent and to
voluntary statement in relation to what really happened.”
counsel. In short, after the appellant said that he wanted to
559
VOL. 240, JANUARY 25, 1995 559 be assisted by counsel, the City Fiscal, through suggestive
language, immediately informed him that Atty. Cajucom
People vs. Agustin
was ready to assist him.
lt is at once observed that the appellant was not explicitly
While it is true that in custodial investigations the party
told of his right to have a competent and independentcounsel
to be investigated has the final choice of counsel and may
of his choice, specifically asked if he had in mind any such
reject the counsel chosen for him by the investigator and ask
counsel and, if so, whether he could afford to hire his
for another one, the circumstances obtaining in the
35

services, and, if he could not, whether he would agree to be


custodial interrogation
assisted by one to be provided for him. He was not _______________
categorically informed that he could waive his rights to
remain silent and to counsel and that this waiver must be in 35 People vs. Parojinog, 203 SCRA 673 [1991]; People vs. Baello, 224
writing and in the presence of his counsel. He had, in fact, SCRA 218 [1993].
560
waived his right to remain silent by agreeing to be
560 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
investigated. Yet, no written waiver of such right appears in
People vs. Agustin
the transcript and no other independent evidence was
offered to prove its existence. of the appellant left him no freedom to intelligently and
Secondly, Atty. Cajucom can hardly be said to have been freely do so. For as earlier stated, he was not even asked if
voluntarily and intelligently “accepted” by the appellant as he had a lawyer of his own choice and whether he could
his counsel to assist him in the investigation. Atty. afford to hire such lawyer; on the other hand, the City Fiscal
Cajucom’s presence in the Office of the City Fiscal at the clearly suggested the availability of Atty. Cajucom. Then
time the appellant was brought there for investigation is too, present at that time were Capt. Antonio Ayat and Sgt.
unclear to us. At least two possibilities may explain it: it Roberto Rambac, military officers of RUC I, who brought
was a mere coincidence in the sense that he happened to be him to the City Fiscal’s Office for investigation in the
attending to some professional matter, or he was earlier afternoon of the day when he was unlawfully arrested in
called by the City Fiscal for the purpose of giving free legal Sto. Tomas, Pangasinan. Along Kennon Road, on the way to
aid to the appellant. These possibilities are not remote but Baguio City, he was coerced and threatened with death if he
whether it was one or the other, it is clear to us that Atty. would not admit knowing “Jun” and “Sonny and his
Cajucom was in fact foisted upon the appellant, for as shown participation in the crime. This testimony was unrebutted
in the above-quoted portion of Exhibit “C,” the City Fiscal by the prosecution. The presence of the military officers and
immediately suggested the availability of Atty. Cajucom the continuing fear that if he did not cooperate, something
without first distinctly asking the appellant if he had a
would happen to him, was like a Damocles sword which satisfactory manner. For one, he admitted on cross-
vitiated his free will. examination that at that time, and even until the time he
Why it was the City Fiscal who had to conduct the took the witness stand, he was an associate of the private
custodial investigation is beyond us. Nothing in the records prosecutor, Atty. Arthur Galace, in these and the companion
shows that at that time the criminal cases against the cases. Thus:
culprits had already been filed with the City Fiscal’s Office “q Mr. Witness, at the time you assisted the accused you belonged to the
for preliminary investigation and had, therefore, ceased to office of Atty. Galace, you were an associate at the time when you
be a police matter. If they had been so filed, then the City assisted the accused?
Fiscal should have followed the usual course of procedure in a I was represented [sic] then as IBP Legal Aid.
preliminary investigations. It appears, however, from the q The question is not answered, we are only requesting him if he was
informations in Criminal Cases Nos. 4647-R and 4648-R an associate of Atty. Galace up to the present?
that it was Assistant City Fiscal Octavio M. Banta who a Yes.”38

conducted the preliminary investigation and who prepared, Then we have misgivings on whether Atty. Cajucom was in
signed, and certified the informations. City Fiscal Balajadia fact understood by the appellant when the former informed
merely approved them and administered the jurat in the the appellant of his constitutional rights in English and
certification. The conclusion then is inevitable that he did Tagalog considering that the appellant, a fourth grader and
not conduct the preliminary investigation. a farmer, could only understand Ilocano. Thus: .
Even assuming for the sake of argument that the “ATTY. TABIN:
appellant voluntarily agreed to be assisted by Atty. So in other words when you appraised [sic] him of his constitutional
Cajucom, we doubt it very much if he was rights using English Language and Tagalog Dialect you did not have
an independentcounsel. While we wish to give him the any llocano dialect lnterpreter. . . .
benefit of the doubt because he is an officer of the court xxx
upon whose shoulders lies the responsibility to see to it that WITNESS:
protection be accorded the appellant and that no injustice be As far as I can remember, I explained it in Tagalog and English.” 39

committed to him, and, moreover, he generally has in his


36 And when asked whether he was sure if the appellant
favor understood him, Atty. Cajucom merely answered: “a At least
_______________ I put out everything as far as I could give to him to appraise
[sic] him of his constitutional rights.” 40
36People vs. Alvarez, 201 SCRA 364 [1991]; People vs. Pinzon, 206 SCRA
_______________
93 [1992]; People vs. Remollo, 227 SCRA 375 [1993].
561 37 People vs. Barlis, 231 SCRA 428 [1994].
VOL. 240, JANUARY 25, 1995 561 38 TSN, 19 July 1988, 17.
39 TSN, 19 July 1988, 12.
People vs. Agustin
40 Id.
the presumption of regularity in the performance of his
562
duties, there are special circumstances in these cases which
37

562 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


convince us that he was unable to assist the appellant in a
People vs. Agustin
Then too, even if he were fully understood by the appellant, 563
we are not satisfied that his explanations were adequate. VOL. 240, 563
On direct examination, he gave the following answers: JANUARY
“q—Did you explain the constitutional rights of the accused to 25, 1995
caution him. of the consequences of his statement? People vs. Agustin
a—I explained to him that he has the right to remain silent, to bring him for some years in jail and I told him that I
confront in person the witnesses against him and that he has the could help him if he will be presenting the truth and if he
right to choose a counsel to assist him in the hearing of the case is innocent,.and the only thing he would narrate is the
which was being investigated then. truth. This is in combination, English and Tagalog, and
q—And what was his reply regarding the consequences of this
most of the time, I made it in Tagalog.”43

statement?
a—He told me that he is willing to give a truthful statement
Moreover, considering that the appellant is familiar
and in order to shed light.” 41
only.with.: Ilocano, the Court has serious doubts about his
It appears to us that Atty. Cajucom did not actually impress ability to understand Atty. Cajucom’s explanation of his
upon the appellant that he was one of the accused; rather, constitutional rights since Atty. Cajucom did so in English
Atty. Cajucom made the appellant believe that he was only and Tagalog. Finally, Atty. Cajucom knew, as admitted by
a witness. Thus: him on crossexamination, that the appellant was picked up
“q [by the prosecutor] on 10 February 1987 by military men in Pangasinan
—But, nevertheless, you gave the precautionary measure without a warrant for his arrest. Since the crimes with
44

entitled to any witness? which the appellant was charged were allegedly committed
a—Yes, sir. on 6 September 1986 or more than five months earlier, no
q—Why do you say that it was given voluntarily? arrest without a warrant could have been legally and validly
a—Before presenting him to the investigation we were given effected. A warrantless arrest should comply with the
time to talk personally without any other people and that was the conditions prescribed in Section 5, Rule 113 of the Rules of
time that I explained to him all his rights and Court. Said section provides:
consequences pertaining to him as witness to this case.”
“SEC. 5. Arrest without warrant when lawful.—A peace officer or
42

On cross-examination, Atty. Cajucom also declared: a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person:
“ATTY. TABIN:
That is why I am requesting him how he explained in that language, 1. (a)When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has
Your Honor. committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to
WITNESS: commit an offense;
I told him that this is a grave case which he would be giving some 2. (b)When an offense has in fact just been committed, and
narrations as a witness and his involvement would mean the most he ‘has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the
grievous offense and if found guilty will person to be arrested has committed it; and
_______________ 3. (c)When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has
escaped from a penal establishment or place where he is
41 TSN, 19 July 1988, 9. serving final judgment or temporarily confined while his
42 Id. (Emphasis supplied).
case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred guilty parties to the bar of justice, Until now, the accused,
from one confinement to another.” who were implicated by the triggerman as having ordered
for a price the murder of Dr. Bayquen, remain at large and
None of these exceptional circumstances were present at the the records do not show any diligent effort to effect their
time the appellant was arrested on 10 February 1987. The arrest. The triggerman escaped while in the custody of the
prosecution did not even insinuate that the crimes were PC/INP at Camp Dangwa. Why he was able to do so has not
committed in the presence of the arresting officers .(for been adequately explained. The City Prosecutor’s Office of
otherwise they Baguio City should then use all the resources at its
_______________
command, in coordination with the law-enforcement
Id., 14.
43
agencies of the Government, such as the National Bureau of
TSN, 19 July 1988, 15–16.
44 Investigation and the Philippine National Police, to
564 immediately arrest the other accused.
564 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered
People vs. Agustin REVERSING the challenged judgment of the Regional Trial
could have arrested the appellant on 6 September 1986 yet) Court, Branch 3, Baguio City, in Criminal Case No. 4647-R
or that the appellant was a prisoner who had escaped from and Criminal Case No. 4648-R, and ACQUITTING
his place of detention; or that the crimes had just been appellant JAIME “JIMMY” AGUSTIN. His immediate
committed for they were in fact committed more than five release from confinement is hereby ORDERED unless for
months earlier. Atty. Cajucom knew or ought to have known some other lawful cause his continued detention is
that the arrest was unlawful. If he were then truly moved warranted.
by his duty to fully assist the appellant, he should have Costs de oficio.
forthwith taken the appropriate measures for the immediate 565
release of the appellant instead of allowing the City Fiscal VOL. 240, JANUARY 25, 1995 565
to investigate him. Needless to say, the conduct of Atty. Adelfa Properties, Inc. vs. Court of Appeals
Cajucom under the circumstances only strengthen our belief SO ORDERED.
that the appellant had all the cards stacked against him. . Padilla (Chairman), Bellosillo, Quiason and Kapuna
Thus, we do not hesitate to declare the appellant’s n, JJ., concur,
extrajudicial statement inadmissible in evidence because it Judgment reversed, accused-appellant acquitted.
was obtained in violation of Section 12(1), Article III of the Notes.—An inadmissible written confession can be
Constitution. Since it is the only evidence which links him treated as an oral one which may be established through the
to the crimes of which he was convicted, he must then be testimony of the person who heard it. (People vs. Carido, 167
acquitted. SCRA 462 [1988])
His acquittal must not write finis to these murder cases. A search to be valid must generally be authorized by a
These crimes must be solved and the triggerman and the search warrant duly issued by the proper authority. (People
mastermind apprehended. We see in these cases the failure vs. Rodrigueza, 205 SCRA 791 [1992])
of the Government to exert the necessary efforts to bring the
——o0o——

© Copyright 2018 Central Book Supply, Inc. All rights reserved.


VOL. 198, JUNE 19, 367 Same; Same; Circumstantial Evidence; Requisites in order
1991 that circumstantial evidence may be the basis for conviction.––For
People vs. Salguero circumstantial evidence to be sufficient to convict an accused, it is
necessary that the following requisites must be satisfied: (a) there
368 SUPREME COURT REPORTS
must be more than one circumstance, (b) the facts from which the
ANNOTATED
inferences are derived are proven, and (c) the combination of all
People vs. Tiozon the circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond a
G.R. No. 89823. June 19, 1991. *
reasonable doubt.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-
appellee, vs.EUTROPIO TIOZON y ACID, accused- _______________
appellant. *THIRD DIVISION.
Criminal Law; Evidence; Double Jeopardy; The killing of a 369
person with the use of an unlicensed firearm may give rise to VOL. 198, JUNE 19, 1991 369
separate prosecution for violation of Section 1 of P.D. No. 1866 People vs. Tiozon
and violation of either Article 248 (murder) or Article 249
Same; Same; Same; Res Gestae; Court does not agree with the
(Homicide) of the Revised Penal Code; Rule against double
observation that the statement made by the accused-appellant to
jeopardy cannot be invoked.––In fine then, the killing of a person
the wife of the victim immediately after the shooting that he
with the use of an unlicensed firearm may give rise to separate
accidentally shot the victim is covered by the rule on res gestae.––
prosecutions for (a) violation of Section 1 of P.D. No. 1866 and (b)
We do not, however, agree with the additional observation of the
violation of either Article 248 (Murder) or Article 249 (Homicide)
trial court, in respect to the sixth circumstance, that the
of the Revised Penal Code. The accused cannot plead one as a bar
statement made by the accused-appellant to the wife of the victim
to the other; or, stated otherwise, the rule against double jeopardy
immediately after the shooting incident that he accidentally shot
cannot be invoked because the first is punished by a special law
the victim is covered by the rule on res gestae. This is a
while the second, homicide or murder, is punished by the Revised
misapplication of the rule in the instant case.
Penal Code.
Same; Same; Same; Same; A testimony of a witness as to
Same; Same; Same; It is a cardinal rule that the protection
what he heard other persons say about the facts in dispute cannot
against double jeopardy may be invoked only for the same offense
be admitted because it is hearsay evidence; Statements as part of
or identical offenses.––“It is a cardinal rule that the protection
the res gestae is one of the exceptions.––Accordingly, a testimony
against double jeopardy may be invoked only for the same offense
of a witness as to what he heard other persons say about the facts
or identical offenses. A simple act may offend against two (or
in dispute cannot be admitted because it is hearsay evidence.
more) entirely distinct and unrelated provisions of law, and if one
There are, however, exceptions to this rule. One of them is
provision requires proof of an additional fact or element which the
statements as part of the res gestae under Section 36 of Rule 130
other does not, an acquittal or conviction or a dismissal of the
of the Revised Rules of Court. The exceptions assume that the
information under one does not bar prosecution under the other.
testimony offered is in fact hearsay; but it is to be admitted in
Phrased elsewise, where two different laws (or articles of the
evidence. Under the aforesaid Section 36, statements may be
same code) defines two crimes, prior jeopardy as to one of them is
deemed as part of the res gestae if they are made by a person
no obstacle to a prosecution of the other, although both offenses
while a startling occurrence is taking place or immediately prior
arise from the same facts, if each crime involves some important
or subsequent thereto with respect to the circumstances thereof.
act which is not an essential element of the other.”
Statements accompanying an equivocal act material to the issue of the aggression, that an accused perpetrated the killing with
and giving it a legal significance may also be received as part of treachery. Accordingly, treachery cannot be considered where the
the res gestae. lone witness did not see the commencement of the assault.
Same; Same; Illegal Possession of Firearm; Prosecution failed
to present any evidence to prove that the accused-appellant was APPEAL from a decision of the Regional Trial Court of
not authorized to possess the firearm alleged in the information.–– Caloocan City, Branch 131.
Our pains-taking review of the records and the evidence fails to
disclose that the prosecution presented any evidence to prove that The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.
the accused-appellant was not authorized to possess the firearm The Solicitor General for plaintiff-appellee.
alleged in the information. Lorenzo G. Parungao for accused-appellant.
Same; Same; Same; Same; The lack or absence of a license is
an essential ingredient of the offense which the prosecution must DAVIDE, JR., J.:
allege and prove.––Undoubtedly, there is unlawful possession
under the foregoing section if one does not have the license to In an information filed by the Asst. City Prosecutor of
possess the firearm. Even if he has the license, he cannot carry Caloocan City on 27 February 1989 with Branch 131 of the
the firearm outside his residence without legal authority therefor.
Regional Trial Court (Caloocan City) of the National Capital
It follows then that the lack or absence of a license is an essential
Judicial Region, accused-appellant was charged for violation
ingredient of the offense which the prosecution must allege and
prove. Every element of the crime must be alleged and proved. of Presidential Decree 1866, as amended, committed as
370 follows:
3 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED “That on or about the 24th day of February 1989 in Kalookan
70 City, Metro Manila and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable
People vs. Tiozon Court, the above-named accused, without any lawful motive or
purpose, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously
Same; Same; Qualifying Circumstance; Treachery; When is
have in his possession, custody and control one .38 cal. revolver,
treachery present.––There is treachery when the offender commits
marked Squires Bingham with SN 180169 with three live
any of the crimes against persons employing means, methods or
ammunitions without authority of law, which firearm was used
forms in the execution thereof which tend directly and specially to
with treachery and evident premeditation in shooting one
insure its execution without risk to himself arising from the
Leonardo Bolima y Mesia,
defense which the offended party might make, which means that
371
no opportunity was given to the latter to do so. It cannot be
VOL. 198, JUNE 19, 1991 371
presumed; it must be proved by clear and convincing evidence or
as conclusively as the killing itself. People vs. Tiozon
Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Treachery cannot be which caused his death.” 1

considered where the lone witness did not see the commencement Accused-appellant pleaded not guilty when arraigned on 15
of the assault.––For, as held in U.S. vs. Perdon where no March 1989. Pre-trial was conducted and thereafter the
2

particulars are known as to the manner in which the aggression trial court received the evidence for the parties. In a
was made or how the act which resulted in the death of the victim decision promulgated on 30 June 1989, the court a 3

began and developed, it can in no way be established from mere


suppositions, drawn from circumstances prior to the very moment
quofound accused-appellant guilty and sentenced him as 372
follows: 372 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
“WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing, the court finds the People vs. Tiozon
accused EUTROPIO TIOZON y ACID guilty beyond reasonable husband’s playing with the gun, so she took a few steps away
doubt of the crime of P.D. 1866 and Murder qualified by treachery from the two, however, when she looked back to the place where
and hereby sentences him to suffer life imprisonment; to her husband and the accused was, she found out that the two had
indemnify the heirs of the deceased Leonardo Bolima the sum of already left; five minutes later and/or after she had heard two
P30,000.00; to reimburse the heirs of the victim the sum of successive gunshots, she heard accused knocking at their door
P50,000.00 as reasonable expenses for the wake and burial and at the same time informing her that he accidentally shoot
expenses and to pay the costs.” (sic) her husband, “Mare, mare, nabaril ko si Pare, hindi ko
According to the trial court, were it not for its abolition, “the sinasadya” she got scared by the appearance of the accused who
death penalty, the sentence imposable under 2nd pa., was full of bloodstains so she pushed him away from her; she
Section 1 of P.D. 1866, as amended”, should have been immediately went to her sister-in-law Marilyn Bolima and both of
imposed. them proceeded to the house of the accused; thereat, they saw the
victim lying with his face up; she took her husband’s pulse and
On 5 July 1989 Accused-appellant filed a motion to
when she still felt some warmth on his body, she sought help that
reconsider the decision which, however, was denied by the
4
her husband be brought to the hospital; accused extended his help
court in its order of 16 August 1989. On 17 August accused-
5
by helping them in carrying the victim towards the main road,
appellant filed a Notice of Appeal. Hence, the case is now
6
however, after a few steps, he changed his mind and put down the
before Us. victim; accused reasoned out that the victim was already dead;
The facts as found by the court a quo are as follows: she pushed the accused and even without the latter’s help, they
“That at around 11:00 o’clock in the evening of February 24, 1989, were able to reach the main road; afterwhich, some of her
while she and her husband were sleeping inside their house, they neighbors arrived bringing with them lights; thereafter, Kalookan
were awakened by the loud knocks on their door; Her husband policemen arrived and so she caused the arrest of the accused; she
opened the door and they saw that the person who was knocking spent about P100,000.00 in connection with burial and wake of
was their “Pareng Troping”, accused herein; her husband invited her husband.
the accused, who appeared to be very drunk, to come inside their Pat. Orlando Valencia of the Kalookan Police Force on the
house; once inside their house, accused sat down and the two witness stand testified that on February 24, 1989 in line with his
(accused and victim) exchanged pleasantries; she even saw the duty as policemen, a shooting incident was reported to him; he
accused showing a gun to her husband and the latter even toyed responded to the said report by proceeding to the crime scene,
with it; she got irritated by her thereat, he saw the lifeless body of the victim as well as the
accused whose clothing was full of bloodstains; the cadaver of the
_______________ victim was referred to the Philippine Constabulary Crime
1 Original records, 1.
Laboratory (PCCL) while the person of the accused was turned
2 Original records, 2. over to the Homicide Section of the Kalookan City Police Station;
3 Id., 71-78. the day after, at around 10:00 o’clock in the evening and upon
4 Id., 82-86.
instruction of Pfc. Alilam, he together with some Kalookan
5 Id., 87-88.

6 Id., 89.
policemen accompanied the accused in retrieving the firearm
(Exh. “F”) whom the accused threw at the grassy area
particularly at the back of the latter’s house; aside from the Pareng Nardo as to what had happened to him, “Pareng Nardo,
firearm they also recovered two (2) spent bullets (Exh. G-6 and G- ano ang nangyari sa iyo? and the victim’s replied (sic) was “Pare,
7) and three live ammunitions (Exh. G-12, G-13 and G-14). binaril ako”, he further inquired as to who shot him but the
NBI Ballistician Ernie Magtibay testified that he has been a victim who was gasping for breath could no longer talk;
ballistician of the NBI since 1984; that pertinent to this case, he thereafter, he saw a gun near the body of his Pareng Nardo;
happened to examine a caliber .38 Squires Bingham with serial moved by his desire to bring the said gun to the wife of the victim,
number 180169 (Exh. “F”); that as per his findings the evidence he picked the same, but after he got hold of the gun, he suddenly
shells (Exhs. G-6 and G-7) were fired from the gun, subject matter realized that the policemen might see him holding it, so he threw
of this case. the very same gun to the grassy area; he then ran towards the
Forensic chemist from the NBI Edwin Purificando testified house of the victim and he informed the wife of the latter that his
that the paraffin test he conducted on the dorsal aspect of the left Pareng Nardo was shot to death; he returned to the place where
and right he left the body of the victim but the body of the latter was no
373 longer there; he later found out that townspeople carried the body
VOL. 198, JUNE 19, 1991 373 of the victim towards the main road; when the policemen arrived
People vs. Tiozon he was ordered to go with them at the Kalookan Police
hands, that is, from the wristbones to the fingertips, of the Headquarters; when he was asked by the policemen as to who
deceased, gave negative result on the presence of nitrates (Exh. shoot (sic) the victim, his answer was, he did not see the actual
“I). Likewise, the paraffin test he conducted on the dorsal aspects shooting incident; never did he declare nor utter before her
of the left hand and right hand of the accused yielded negative Mareng Lina or before any police authorities that he accidentally
results on the presence of nitrates (Exh. “J”). shoot (sic) the victim. However, he admitted that it was him who
On the other hand, the version of the defense as testified to accompanied the policemen in retrieving the fatal gun at the
by the accused is as follows: grassy area at the back of his house.”
374
That at about 11:30 in the evening of February 24, 1989 accused
on his way home, after coming from his work, passed by the house 374 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
of his Pareng Nardo, the victim herein; while passing infront of People vs. Tiozon
the said house, his Pareng Nardo called him up; when he was In holding the accused-appellant guilty as above-stated, the
about to enter the door of the house of the victim, the latter, from court a quo relied on circumstantial evidence because the
the back of the door, poked a gun at him; he grabbed the gun from prosecution failed to present an eyewitness who could give
his Pareng Nardo and at that instance, Rosalina Bolima emerging an account as to the actual shooting incident. It considered
from her room, saw him holding the gun; he returned the gun to the following circumstances which it deemed sufficient to
his Pareng Nardo and the latter tucked it in his waistline; he was convict the accused-appellant pursuant to Rule 133, Section
served with a beer and after he and the victim consumed about
5, of the Revised Rules of Court:
two bottles of beer, they went out to buy some more; after they
“The following are among the circumstances which points to the
were able to buy some more bottles of beer, victim carried the
culpability of the accused.
same and left ahead of the accused; accused was left behind to
answer the call of nature; while in the act of urinating, he heard
1. 1)That the widow of the victim saw the accused holding a
two successive gunshots; he followed the victim and he saw the
gun immediately before shooting incident happened;
latter already sprawled on the ground; he inquired from his
2. 2)That accused was the last person seen in the company of 1. witness, with more reason that from the evidence
the victim immediately before the latter was shot to presented, it appears that the widow of the victim
death; harbours no ill-feeling towards the accused otherwise, she
3. 3)That it was the accused who purposely went to the house would have prevented accused’s entry in her house on
of the victim on that fatal evening; The testimony of the that fatal evening.
accused that he was merely passing in front of the house 2. 6)The testimony of the wife that accused, immediately
of the victim when the latter who was standing at the after the shooting incident took place admitted to her
window of his house called him up is less credible than having accidentally shoot (sic) the victim is admissible
the testimony of the widow of the victim, that they were evidence against the accused declarant since this is
already aslept (sic) inside their house when or the covered by the rule on res gestae or one of an exception to
aforesaid time accused knocked at their door. the hearsay rule.
4. 4)That it was the accused who guided the policemen as to
the place where the fatal gun was recovered. Here the Part of the res gestae––Statement made by a person while a startling
Court believes that the gun was purposely hid at the occurrence is taking place or immediately prior tor (sic) subsequent
grassy area at the back portion of accused’s house. The thereto with respect to the circumstance thereof, may be given in
story of the accused that he picked the gun for the evidence as a part of res gestae. x x x. (Sec. 36, Rule 130, Revised Rules
of Court, as amended).
purpose of bringing it to the widow of the victim but for
fear that the policemen might see him holding the gun,
he then decided to throw it to the place where it was 1. 7)The testimony of the accused that he does not own the
recovered, was too flimsy to merit belief. Firstly, what is gun and that it is but (sic) the accused (sic) who owns the
his reason for bringing it to the widow of the victim when same and in fact the latter even tucked it in his waistline
he surely knew fully well that it will be the policemen immediately before the shooting incident happened is
who will investigate the case. Secondly, he knew for a improbable, for, how come then that the assailant was
fact, that the said gun could lead as to the identity of the able to drew (sic) the gun from the waistline of the victim
assailant of the victim, why then he threw it at the and fired (sic) the same towards the back portion of the
grassy area when he could easily leave the same to the victim’s body. Is it not that the natural reaction of a
place where he picked it up. person was to face the person who suddenly and without
5. 5)The testimony of the wife that after hearing two permission drew something from one’s waistline. (sic)
successive gunshots, accused went back to her house and
informed ther (sic) that he accidentally shot her husband While there is no eyewitness who testified to having seen
deserves merit. Besides, the Court sees no reason for the accused shoot (sic) the victim, yet all the foregoing circumstances
wife to concoct such story that would point to the accused meet the criteria set by Sec. 5, Rule 133 of the Revised Rules of
as the culprit specially so that had not the accused Court, as amended, and therefore points (sic) to the accused as
became (sic) the prime suspect in this case, he would be the person who unlawfully owns the fatal gun as well as the same
the best person to be used as a prosecution person who shoot (sic) to death the victim. “Circumstantial (sic)
evidence is admissible in the absence of an eyewitness to the
375 commission of the crime” (People vs. Albofera, 152 SCRA
VOL. 198, JUNE 19, 1991 375 125[1983]).
People vs. Tiozon
The Court does not give credence to the denial of the accused Accused-appellant assigns only one error in this appeal:
that he was not the one who shoot (sic) the victim as he was some “THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN CONVICTING THE
distance away from the victim answering the call of nature when ACCUSED-APPELLANT OF THE CRIME OF ILLEGAL
the victim was killed. Instead, the Court gives credence to the POSSESSION WITH MURDER AS DEFINED UNDER
testimony of the widow that it was the accused whom he saw in SECTION 1 OF P.D. 1866. THE CIRCUMSTANTIAL
possession of the gun, that it was the accused who was the last EVIDENCES RELIED UPON BY THE TRIAL COURT IN ITS
person seen in the company of the victim shortly before the latter JUDGMENT OF CONVICTION ARE INSUFFICIENT TO
died and it was the same accused who lead (sic) the policemen in PROVE BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT THE GUILT OF
retrieving the fatal gun. ACCUSED-APPELLANT.” 8

Admittedly, as per findings of the NBI Forensic Chemist, the and prays that the decision appealed from be reversed and
accused’s right and left hand yielded negative result to the test of another be entered acquitting him.
376
In support of the assigned error accused-appellant
376 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
submits that:
People vs. Tiozon
nitrates. However, the same witness testified that even when a 1. (a)Contrary to the conclusion of the trial court, he was
person fired a gun, it does not necessarily follows (sic) that his
hand would be positive to the test of nitrates, as there are still _________________
several factors which affects the presence or absence of nitrates in
the hands of a person. 7Original records, p. 75-78.
xxx 8Brief for Appellant, 4; Rollo, 43.
Although the fact of death of the victim (Exh. “E”) is 377
undisputed, still the presence of the qualifying circumstance of VOL. 198, JUNE 19, 1991 377
treachery and evident premeditation being alleged in the People vs. Tiozon
Information, must be proven like the crime itself.
To properly appreciate evident premeditation it is necessary to 1. not the one holding the gun immediately before the
establish with proof, as clear as the evidence of the crime itself (1) shooting incident, for as admitted by the victim’s
the time when the offender determined to commit the crime; (2)
wife, her husband also “toyed or played with the
an act manifestly indicating that the culprit had clung to his
determination; and (3) a sufficient lapse of time to reflect upon
gun”;9

the consequence of his act (People vs. Lorenzo, 132 SCRA 2. (b)The testimony of the victim’s wife that he was the
17(1984); People vs. Obengue, 147 SCRA 1987). Although alleged last person seen in the company of the victim is
in the Information, the record of this case is bereft of any unrealiable because she was left in the house when
indication that evident premeditation attended the killing of the the victim and accused-appellant went out to the
victim. store which is about 145 to 150 meters away;
However, the qualifying circumstance of treachery is 3. (c)That the accused-appellant pointed the place where
appreciated in this case since its presence could be established by the gun allegedly used in the killing was recovered,
the position/ location of the wound of the victim, that is at the should not create the unfavorable inference that he
back portion of his torso which necessarily imply that he was purposely hid the gun and should not be taken
treacherously shot by his assailant.” 7
against him, for knowing the reputation of police People vs. Tiozon
authorities, what he did was dictated by the instinct The People, in its Brief filed by the Solicitor General on 18
of self-preservation rather than guilt; April 1990, disagrees with the accused-appellant, maintains
4. (d)The testimony of the wife of the victim that after that the prosecution was able to establish his guilt beyond
hearing two successive gunshots accused-appellant reasonable doubt, and prays that subject decision be
went back to her house and informed her that he affirmed in toto. It stresses that accused-appellant himself
accidentally shot her husband, should not have been admitted and confirmed that he and the victim went out
considered by the trial court as part of the res together to buy some more bottles of beer; he was with the
gestae; and victim after they bought the beer, and they separated only
5. (e)The “raciocination” of the trial court regarding the when he had the urge to urinate seconds before the incident.
improbability of the testimony of accused-appellant The widow did not testify that she saw what happened in
that he does not own the gun but that it was the the street; what she testified was that the accused and the
deceased who owned it which the latter tucked in his victim went out together and five minutes later she heard
waistline before the shooting incident is baseless as two shots. There was, therefore, nothing improbable about
the records show that the deceased was walking her testimony.
ahead of the accused-appellant who was left behind Appellee likewise contends that the conclusion of the trial
to answer a call of nature; therefore, it is not highly court on the hiding of the gun was based on the evidence on
improbable that some other person whom the record; the accused himself testified that he threw the gun
deceased might have met in the street could have on a grassy area. It further argues that the conclusion of the
taken the gun from the waistline and shot him with court on the improbability of appellant’s testimony
it. It would not also be highly improbable that a concerning the ownership of the gun is not baseless; on the
person from whose waistline a gun was grabbed contrary, it is the theory of the appellant that it is probable
could not face his assailant especially when he is that another person may have grabbed the gun from the
carrying something with his both hands, like the victim that is highly improbable. Since appellant was
deceased who was carrying one case of Gold Eagle behind the victim he could have seen a third person
beer when he was shot at. Moreover, accused- grabbing the gun. He did not testify that he saw one. The
appellant was found negative for nitrates when a negative result of the paraffin test cannot be singled out to
paraffin test was conducted on him by a forensic absolve the accused-appellant from liability.11

chemist of the NBI. 10


No Reply-Brief was filed.
We are now called upon to determine whether, on the
______________ basis of the evidence adduced, the judgment appealed from
9TSN, April 18, 1989, 13.
should be affirmed or the accused-appellant be acquitted.
Brief for Appellant, 5-11; Rollo, 44-50.
10 We shall first focus our attention on the law under which
378 accused-appellant is indicted.
378 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
Section 1 of P.D. No. 1866 imposes the penalty invoked because the first is punished by a special law while
of reclusion temporal in its maximum period to reclusion the second, homicide or murder, is punished by the Revised
perpetua “upon any person who shall unlawfully Penal Code.
manufacture, deal in, acquire, dispose or possess any In People vs. Doriguez, We held:
12

firearm, part of firearm, ammunition or machinery, tool or “It is a cardinal rule that the protection against double jeopardy
instrument used or intended to be used in the manufacture may be invoked only for the same offense or identical offenses. A
of any firearm or ammunition.” It goes further simple act may offend against two (or more) entirely distinct and
unrelated provisions of law, and if one provision requires proof of
_______________ an additional fact or element which the other does not, an
acquittal or conviction or a dismissal of the information under one
Brief for Appellee, 6-13.
11
does not bar prosecution under the other. Phrased elsewise,
379 where two different laws (or articles of the same code) defines two
VOL. 198, JUNE 19, 1991 379 crimes, prior jeopardy as to one of them is no obstacle to a
People vs. Tiozon prosecution of the other, although both offenses arise from the
by providing that “if homicide or murder is committed with same facts, if each crime involves some important act which is not
the use of an unlicensed firearm, the penalty of death shall an essential element of the other.” 13

be imposed.”
_______________
It may be loosely said that homicide or murder qualifies
the offense penalized in said Section 1 because it is a 1224 SCRA 163, 171.
circumstance which increases the penalty. It does not, 13Citing People vs. Bacolod, 89 Phil. 621; People vs. Capurro, 7 Phil.
however, follow that the homicide or murder is absorbed in 24; People vs. Alvarez, 45 Phil. 472.
380
the offense; otherwise, an anomalous absurdity results
380 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
whereby a more serious crime defined and penalized in the
People vs. Tiozon
Revised Penal Code is absorbed by a statutory offense,
In People vs. Bacolod, supra., from the act of firing a shot
which is just a malum prohibitum. The rationale for the
from a sub-machine gun which caused public panic among
qualification, as implied from the exordium of the decree, is
the people present and physical injuries to one, informations
to effectively deter violations of the laws on firearms and to
for physical injuries through reckless imprudence and for
stop the “upsurge of crimes vitally affecting public order and
serious public disturbance were filed. Accused pleaded
safety due to the proliferation of illegally possessed and
guilty and was convicted in the first and he sought to
manufactured firearms, x x x.” In fine then, the killing of a
dismiss the second on the ground of double jeopardy. We
person with the use of an unlicensed firearm may give rise
ruled:
to separate prosecutions for (a) violation of Section 1 of P.D.
“The protection against double jeopardy is only for the same
No. 1866 and (b) violation of either Article 248 (Murder) or
offense. A simple act may be an offense against two different
Article 249 (Homicide) of the Revised Penal Code. The provisions of law and if one provision requires proof of an
accused cannot plead one as a bar to the other; or, stated additional fact which the other does not, an acquittal or
otherwise, the rule against double jeopardy cannot be conviction under one does not bar prosecution under the other.”
Since the informations were for separate offense––the first proved must be consistent with each other, consistent with
against a person and the second against public peace and the hypothesis that the accused is guilty, and at the same
order––one cannot be pleaded as a bar to the other under time inconsistent with any other hypothesis except that of
the rule on double jeopardy. guilty.16

However, to justify the imposition of the increased The first to the sixth circumstances mentioned by the
penalty under Section 1 of P.D. No. 1866 because of the trial court were duly established and constitute an
resulting crime of homicide or murder, the prosecution must unbroken chain which leads to one fair and reasonable
allege in the information and prove by the quantum of conclusion that the accused-appellant, and no other else,
evidence required for conviction violation of said section shot and killed the victim. We do not, however, agree with
and, more specifically, the use of an unlicensed firearm and the additional observation of the trial court, in respect to the
the commission of homicide or murder. In this regard, the sixth circumstance, that the statement made by the
information in this case is sufficient in form and substance. accused-appellant to the wife of the victim immediately
It alleges illegal possession of a firearm and of murder. The after the shooting incident that he accidentally shot the
latter is covered by the clause “which firearm was used with victim is covered by the rule on res gestae. This is a
treachery and evident premeditation in shooting one misapplication of the rule in the instant case. Statements as
Leonardo Bolima y Mesia, which caused his death.” part of the res gestae are among the exceptions to the
We agree with the findings and conclusion of the court a hearsay rule. The rule is that a witness “can testify only to
quo that more than one circumstantial evidence were duly those facts which he knows of or his own knowledge; that is,
proved and that these circumstances point, beyond which are derived from his own perceptions.” Accordingly, a
17

reasonable doubt, to the accused-appellant as the one who testimony of a witness as to what he heard other persons
shot and killed the deceased Leonardo Bolima y Mesia. For say about the facts in dispute cannot be admitted because it
circumstantial evidence to be sufficient to convict an is hearsay evidence. There are, however, exceptions to this
accused, it is necessary that the following requisites must be rule. One of them is statements as part of the res gestae
satisfied: (a) there must be more than one circumstance, (b) under Section 36 of Rule 130 of the Revised Rules of Court.
the facts from which the inferences are derived are proven, The exceptions assume that the testimony offered is in fact
and (c) the combination of all the circumstances is such as to hearsay; but it is to be admitted in evidence. Under the
produce a conviction beyond a aforesaid Section 36, statements may be deemed as part of
381 the res gestae if they are made by a person
VOL. 198, JUNE 19, 1991 381
People vs. Tiozon _______________
reasonable doubt. Or, as jurisprudentially formulated, a
14
14 Sec. 5, Rule 133, Revised Rules of Court; People vs. Alcantara, 163

judgment of conviction based on circumstantial evidence can SCRA 783, 786.


be upheld only if the circumstances proven constitute “an 15 U.S. vs. Villos, 6 Phil. 510, 512; People vs. Subano, 73 Phil. 692,
unbroken chain which leads to one fair and reasonable 693; People vs. Colinares, 163 SCRA 313, 320.
16 People vs. Trinidad, 162 SCRA 714, 723, citing People vs. Ludday, 61

conclusion which points to the defendant, to the exclusion of Phil. 216; People vs. Cotante, 12 SCRA 653. See also People vs.
all others, as the guilty person, i.e., the circumstances
15
Tolentino, 166 SCRA 469, 482.
Sec. 30, Rule 130, Revised Rules of Court.
17
telling me while he was knocking: “Mare, mare nabaril ko si pare,
382
hindi ko sinasadya.”
382 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
Q By the way Mrs. Witness, who is that “pare” you are telling us?
People vs. Tiozon A Troping, sir (as the witness pointed to).
while a startling occurrence is taking place or immediately Q The same Troping here, is your “kumpare”?
prior or subsequent thereto with respect to the A Yes, sir.”
circumstances thereof. Statements accompanying an (TSN, April 18, 1989, p. 13).
equivocal act material to the issue and giving it a legal 383
significance may also be received as part of the res gestae. VOL. 198, JUNE 19, 1991 383
In the instant case, however, the questioned testimony of People vs. Tiozon
the wife of the victim is not hearsay. She testified on what The seventh circumstance mentioned by the court below is
the accused-appellant told her, not what any other party, haphazardly formulated. Something is wrong with the
who cannot be cross-examined, told her. The accused- opening clause reading:
appellant’s statement was an “oral confession”, not a part of “The testimony of the accused that he does not own the gun and
res gestae, which he can easily deny if it were not true, that it is but the accused who owns the same and in fact the latter
which he did in this case. even tucked it.”
In People vs. Tulagan, 143 SCRA 107, 116-117, We The words but the accused should have been the deceased.
declared that a statement allegedly made by one of the Two more basic issues are left for determination, to wit:
accused to Natalia Macaraeg that “we killed him” (referring whether the prosecution has established beyond reasonable
to himself and his co-accused) and which Natalia repeated doubt that the accused is liable for illegal possession of
in her testimony in open court was merely an “oral firearms and whether the killing was attended by the
confession” and not part of the res gestae. qualifying circumstances of treachery and evident
Moreover, even assuming that the testimony of the wife premeditation as alleged in the information.
of the victim on the alleged statement of the accused- Our painstaking review of the records and the evidence
appellant is hearsay, the latter is barred from questioning fails to disclose that the prosecution presented any evidence
its admission due to his failure to object thereto at the time to prove that the accused-appellant was not authorized to
the testimony was given. The transcript of the stenographic possess the firearm alleged in the information. And,
notes of the testimony of Rosalina Magat vda. de Bolima, contrary to the finding of the trial court, there was no
wife of the victim, clearly shows the absence of an objection, sufficient evidence to prove the presence of treachery.
thus: It must be stated, however, that had illegal possession of
“Atty. Villano: firearms been duly proven as alleged, it would not have
You said when you turned your back after taking a few steps and mattered whether the killing was simple homicide or
when you turned your back, they were no longer there, will you please murder since Section 1 of P.D. No. 1866 expressly provides
tell what happened after that? that:
A And that was when they left it was 11:30 and when he came back xxx
11:35 he was already knocking (referring to the person of the accused)
“If homicide or murder is committed with the use of an In cases of illegal possession of firearms, the burden of proof as
unlicensed firearm, the penalty of death shall be imposed.” to the negative averments in the information to the effect that the
which penalty, however, had been automatically reduced accused possesses the firearms without the corresponding license
to reclusion perpetua in view of the abolition of the death is on the defense. It is the accused who is called upon to prove
penalty. 18 that he possesses the license. In other words, the fact relied upon
The issue concerning the failure of the prosecution to by the accused as a justification or excuse being one that is
related to him personally or otherwise within his peculiar
prove that he had no authority to possess the firearm has
knowledge, ‘the general rule is that the burden of proof as to such
not been raised in this appeal. Interestingly, accused-
averment or fact is on the accused’ (Francisco, Handbook on
appellant raised it in his motion to reconsider the decision of Evidence, pp. 379-380, 1984 Ed., citing cases).” 20

the trial court. In its


19
Section 1 of P.D. No. 1866 reads:
“SECTION 1. Unlawful Manufacture, Sale Acquisition,
_______________
Disposition or Possession of Firearms or Ammunition or
Section 19(1), Article III, 1987 Constitution.
18 Instruments Used or Intended to be Used in the Manufacture of
Original records, 82-86.
19 Firearms or Ammunition.––The penalty of reclusion temporal in
384 its maximum period to reclusion perpetua shall be imposed upon
384 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED any person who shall unlawfully manufacture, deal in, acquire,
People vs. Tiozon dispose, or possess any
resolution denying the motion, the trial court admitted, in
_____________
effect, that the prosecution did not offer any evidence to
prove that the accused-appellant had no license to possess 20 Original Records, 87.
or carry the firearm in question; it however, threw the 385
burden on the accused-appellant to prove that he has that VOL. 198, JUNE 19, 1991 385
authority. Thus, it ruled: People vs. Tiozon
“Where accused relies as a matter of defense on an exception in a firearm, part of firearm, ammunition or machinery, tool or
statute which is not in the enacting clause by which the offense is instrument used or intended to be used in the manufacture of any
described and forbidden, he has the burden of proving that he is firearm or ammunition.
within the exception. If homicide or murder is committed with the use of an
‘Where the subject matter of a negative averment in the unlicensed firearm, the penalty of death shall be imposed.
information, or a fact relied upon by defendant as a justification xxx
or excuse, relates to him personally or otherwise lie peculiarly The penalty of prision mayor shall be imposed upon any
within his knowledge, the general rule is that the burden of proof person who shall carry any licensed firearm outside his residence
of such averment or fact is on him’ (16 C.J. sec. 998, p. 530). An without legal authority therefor.”
illustrative case of this rule may be found in prosecution for Undoubtedly, there is unlawful possession under the
exercising a trade or profession, or doing other acts, without a foregoing section if one does not have the license to possess
license. In such cases, it would greatly inconvenience the the firearm. Even if he has the license, he cannot carry the
prosecution to prove that the defendant had no license, whereas firearm outside his residence without legal authority
the defendant could easily prove that he did have one. therefor. It follows then that the lack or absence of a license
is an essential ingredient of the offense which the another case (People vs. Quebral, 68 Phil. 564) where the accused
prosecution must allege and prove. Every element of the was charged with illegal practice of medicine because he had
crime must be alleged and proved. 21 diagnosed, treated and prescribed for certain diseases suffered by
In People vs. Pajenado, L-27680-81, 27 February certain patients from whom he received monetary compensation,
without having previously obtained the proper certificate of
1970, We said:
22

registration from the Board of Medical Examiners, as provided in


“It is true that People vs. Lubo, 101 Phil. 179 and People vs.
Section 770 of the Administrative Code, this Court held that if the
Ramos, 8 SCRA 758 could be invoked to support the view that it
subject of the negative averment like, for instance, the act of
is incumbent upon a person charged with illegal possession of a
voting without the qualifications provided by law is an essential
firearm to prove the issuance to him of a license to possess the
ingredient of the offense charged, the prosecution has the burden
firearm, but we are of the considered opinion that under the
of proving the same, although in view of the difficulty of proving a
provisions of Section 2, Rule 131 of the Rules of Court which
negative allegation, the prosecution, under such circumstance,
provide that in criminal cases the burden of proof as to the offense
need only establish a prima facie case from the best evidence
charged lies on the prosecution and that a negative fact alleged by
obtainable. In the case before Us, both appellant and the Solicitor
the prosecution must be proven if ‘it is an essential ingredient of
General agree that there was not even a prima facie case upon
the offense charged’, the burden of proof was with the prosecution
which to hold appellant guilty of the illegal possession of a
in this case to prove that the firearm used by appellant in
firearm. Former Chief Justice Moran upholds this view as follows:
committing the offense charged was not properly licensed.
‘The mere fact that the adverse party has the control of the better means
It cannot be denied that the lack or absence of a license is an of proof of the fact alleged, should not relieve the party making the
essential ingredient of the offense of illegal possession of a averment of the burden of proving it. This is so, because a party who
firearm. The information filed against appellant in Criminal Case alleges a fact must be assumed to have acquired some knowledge
No. 3558 of the lower court (now G.R. No. 27681) specifically thereof, otherwise he could not have alleged it. Familiar instance of this
alleged that he had no ‘license or permit to possess’ the .45 caliber is the case of a person prosecuted for doing an act or carrying on a
pistol mentioned therein. Thus it seems clear that it was the business, such as, the sale of liquor without a license. How could the
prosecution’s duty not merely to allege that negative fact but to prosecution aver the want of a license if it had acquired no knowledge of
prove it. This view is that fact? Accordingly, although proof of the existence or non-existence
of such license can, with more facility, be adduced by the defendant, it is
_______________ nevertheless, incumbent upon the party alleging the want of the license
to prove the allegation. Naturally, as the subject matter of the averment
21 People vs. Sy Gesiong, 60 Phil. 614. is one which lies peculiarly within the control or knowledge of the
22 31 SCRA 812, 816-817. accused prima facie evidence thereof on the part of the prosecution shall
386 suffice to cast the onus upon him.’ (6 Moran, Comments on the Rules of
386 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED Court, 1963 edition, p. 8).”
People vs. Tiozon There being no proof that accused-appellant had no license
supported by similar adjudicated cases. In U.S. vs. Tria, 17 Phil. to possess the firearm in question, he could not be convicted
303, the accused was charged with ‘having criminally inscribed for
himself as a voter knowing that he had none of the qualifications 387
required to be a voter. It was there held that the negative fact of VOL. 198, JUNE 19, 1991 387
lack of qualification to be a voter was an essential element of the People vs. Tiozon
crime charged and should be proved by the prosecution. In
illegal possession of a firearm. The trial court then 24 Section 4, Rule 120, Revised Rules of Court.
U.S. vs. Macalintal, et al., 2 Phil. 448; U.S. vs. Idica, 3 Phil. 313; U.S.
committed an error in holding the accused-appellant guilty
25

vs. Sadlucap, 3 Phil. 437; U.S. vs. Asilo, 4 Phil. 175; U.S. vs. Andrada, 5
thereof. However, as above-stated, the accused-appellant did Phil. 464.
not touch this issue in his Brief. Be that as it may, the rule 26 Article 14, par. 16, Revised Penal Code; People vs. Gimongala,

is well-settled that an appeal in a criminal case opens the 388


whole case for review and this includes the review of the 388 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
penalty, indemnity and the damages involved. 23 People vs. Tiozon
In People vs. Borbano, 76 Phil. 702, 708, We ruled: be presumed; it must be proved by clear and convincing
“x x x In a criminal case, an appeal to the Supreme Court throws evidence or as conclusively as the killing itself. For, as held27

the whole case open for review, and it becomes the duty of the in U.S. vs. Perdon where no particulars are known as to
28

Court to correct such errors as may be found in the judgment the manner in which the aggression was made or how the
appealed from, whether they are made the subjects of assignments act which resulted in the death of the victim began and
of error or not. (People vs. Ofindo, 47 Phil. 1).” developed, it can in no way be established from mere
Accordingly, it is proper for this Court to consider in favor of suppositions, drawn from circumstances prior to the very
the accused-appellant the absence of proof of illegal moment of the aggression, that an accused perpetrated the
possession of a firearm. But, may accused-appellant be killing with treachery. Accordingly, treachery cannot be
29

convicted for murder under the information for which he considered where the lone witness did not see the
was tried? The answer is in the affirmative since, as We commencement of the assault. 30

stated earlier, the information sufficiently alleges the In People vs. Manalo, supra, We ruled:
commission of murder; hence, a conviction for murder, if “The fact that the fatal wounds were found at the back of the
warranted by the facts, can be had under the information. If 24
deceased does not, by itself, compel a finding of treachery. Such a
murder is not proved by reason of the absence of any finding must be based on some positive proof and not merely an
qualifying circumstance, conviction for the lesser crime of inference drawn more or less logically from hypothetical facts.
homicide is also proper. 25 This Court has ruled that the suddenness of an attack is not, of
We are also unable to agree with the trial court that the itself, enough to constitute treachery when the method of the
qualifying circumstance of treachery was duly established. killing does not positively show that the assailant thereby
There is treachery when the offender commits any of the knowingly intended to ensure the accomplishment of his purpose
without risk to himself from any defense which the victim might
crimes against persons employing means, methods or forms
put up. In other words, to sustain a finding of treachery, the
in the execution thereof which tend directly and specially to means, method or form of attack must be shown to have been
insure its execution without risk to himself arising from the deliberately adopted by the appellant.” (citing People vs.
defense which the offended party might make, which means Carsano, 95 SCRA 146; People vs. Cabiling, 74 SCRA 185; People
that no opportunity was given to the latter to do so. It 26
vs. Satone, 74 SCRA 106; People vs. Bongo, 55 SCRA 547).
cannot In People vs. Ablao, 183 SCRA 65, 669, We said:
“There being no direct evidence on how the shooting was
_______________ committed, treachery cannot be appreciated.”
23 IV Moran, Comments on the Rules of Court, 1980 Ed., 348.
_______________ 249 of the Revised Penal Code, for the killing of Leonardo
Bolima, and applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, he
170 SCRA 632; People vs. Bustos, 171 SCRA 243; People vs.
Samson, 176 SCRA 710; People vs. Manzanares, 177 SCRA 427. is hereby SENTENCED to suffer an indeterminate penalty
27 People vs. Manalo, 148 SCRA 98; People vs. Gaddi, 170 SCRA 549. of imprisonment ranging from EIGHT YEARS AND ONE
28 4 Phil. 141.
DAY of prision mayor, as Minimum, to FOURTEEN
29 See also People vs. Ablao, 183 SCRA 658.

30 People
YEARS, EIGHT MONTHS AND ONE DAY of reclusion
vs. Durante, 53 Phil. 363; People vs. Cananowa, 92 SCRA
427; People vs. Repe, et al., 175 SCRA 422; People vs. Villapando, 178 SCRA temporal as Maximum, with the accessory penalties
341. therefor, to INDEMNIFY the heirs of Leonardo Bolima in
389 the sum of FIFTY THOUSAND PESOS (P50,000.00),
VOL. 198, JUNE 19, 1991 389 without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency, and
People vs. Tiozon to REIMBURSE said heirs in the sum of FIFTY
In the instant case, no witness who could have seen how the THOUSAND PESOS (P50,000.00) as reasonable expenses
deceased was shot was presented. Absent the quantum of for the wake and burial of Leonardo Bolima.
evidence required to prove it, treachery cannot be Accused-appellant shall be given full credit for the period
considered against the accused-appellant. of
Accordingly, accused-appellant could only be liable for
HOMICIDE, which is punished by RECLUSION _______________
TEMPORAL. It shall be imposed in its medium period,
Paragraph 1, Article 64, Revised Penal Code.
31

whose duration is from 14 years, 8 months and 1 day to 17 390


years and 4 months, since neither aggravating nor 390 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
mitigating circumstances had been proved. 31
State Investment House, Inc. vs. Court of Appeals
The Indeterminate Sentence Law benefits the accused- his preventive imprisonment.
appellant. Applying it in this case, he may be sentenced to Costs against accused-appellant.
suffer an indeterminate penalty of eight years and one day SO ORDERED.
of prision mayor, as minimum, to fourteen years, eight Fernan (C.J.), Gutierrez, Jr., Feliciano and Bidin,
months and one day of reclusion temporal as maximum. JJ., concur.
The civil indemnity imposed by the trial court should be Judgment affirmed with modification.
increased from P30,000.00 to P50,000.00 conformably with Note.––It does not always follow that because the attack
our ruling in People vs. Sison, G.R. No. 86455, 14 September is sudden and unexpected it is tainted with treachery.
1990 and in People vs. Sazon, G.R. No. 89684, 18 September (People vs. Sabanal, 172 SCRA 430.)
1990.
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered ––––o0o––––
MODIFYING the subject decision of the trial court, and as
Modified, FINDING the accused-appellant EUTROPIO © Copyright 2018 Central Book Supply, Inc. All rights reserved.
TIOZON Y ACID guilty beyond all reasonable doubt of the
crime of HOMICIDE, as defined and penalized under Article
VOL.215,NOVEMBER13,1992 559 to the person under investigation the provision of Section 20,
People vs. Tujon Article IV of the Constitution.
G.R. No. 66034.November 13, 1992. *
Same; Same; On the investigator is reposed the duty to
explain the effects of the constitutional rights in practical terms.—
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-
In the case at bar, and in the testimony of the police officer, it is
appellee, vs.JOVITO TUJON y TAPEL, ERNESTO undeniable that no serious effort was shown to have been exerted
PAROLA y CORTINA, AND CESAR PAREDES @ Cesar (At by the investigators to explain the consequences of the
Large), accused. JOVITO TUJON y TAPEL, accused- investigation. On the investigator is reposed the duty to explain
appellant. the effects of the constitutional rights in practical terms (People v.
Constitutional Law; Extrajudicial confession; The right of a Duhan, 142 SCRA 100 [1986]).
person under custodial interrogation to be informed of his right to Same; Same; Right to counsel; The court has consistently
remain silent and to counsel implies a correlative obligation on the ruled that waiver of right to counsel to be valid must be in writing
part of the police investigator to explain and contemplate an and in the presence of counsel.—This Court has consistently ruled
effective communication that results in an understanding of what that waiver of right to counsel to be valid, must be in writing and
is conveyed.—This Court has ruled that the right of a person in the presence of counsel. Extra-judicial confessions taken
under custodial interrogation to be informed of his right to without the assistance of counsel is inadmissible in evidence
remain silent and to counsel, implies a correlative obligation on (People v. Albofera, 152 SCRA 123 [1987]).
the part of the police investigator to explain and contemplate an Same;Same; Same; Any waiver made without observance of
effective communication that results in an understanding of what the requirements is null and void.—Hence, while the right to
is conveyed. Short of this, there is a denial of the right, as it counsel may be waived, such waiver must be done voluntarily,
cannot truly be said that the accused has been “informed” of his knowingly and intelligently, and made in the presence of the
right (People v. Newman, 163 SCRA 496, [1988]). When the accused’s lawyer. If the records do not show that the accused was
Constitution requires a person under investigation to be informed assisted by counsel in making his waiver, this defect nullifies and
to remain silent and to counsel, it must be presumed to renders inadmissible in evidence his confession (People v.
contemplate the transmission of meaningful information rather Nolasco, 163 SCRA 623, [1988]. In the case of People v. Hizon,
than just the ceremonial and perfunctory recitation of an abstract 163 SCRA 760 (1988), this Court, citing the procedure laid down
constitutional principle (People v. Flores, 165 SCRA 71 [1988]). It in the case of People v. Galit, 135 SCRA 465 [1985]), ruled that
is the duty of the police officer to explain their practical effects the suspect must be informed that he has a right to the assistance
(People v. Nicandro, 141 SCRA 289 [1986]). Thus, it would not of counsel and assured that he will be provided with one for free.
suffice for a police officer just to report While he may choose to waive the right, such waiver must be a
knowing and intelligent one and in any case must be made only
_______________
with the assistance of counsel. Any waiver made without
*THIRD DIVISION. observance of these requirements is null and void.
560
5 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED APPEAL from the decision of the Regional Trial Court of
60 Rizal, Br. 17.
People vs. Tujon
The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.
The Solicitor General for plaintiff-appellee.
Public Attorney’s Office for Jovito Tujon. On November 3, 1977, the dead body of Rolando
561 Abellana, a taxi driver, was found at Doña Faustina Village,
VOL.215,NOVEMBER13,1992 561 Quezon City, with stab wounds. Dr. Rolando Madrid,
People vs. Tujon Medico-Legal Officer of the NBI, conducted an autopsy on
the corpse and found that the cause of death is hemorrhage,
BIDIN,J.: acute, profuse, secondary to multiple stab wounds on the
chest and neck.
This is an appeal interposed by the accused-appellant Jovito
On November 23, 1977, accused Jovito Tujon and Ernesto
Tujon from the decision of the Court of First Instance of
Parola were arrested by the police and turned over to the
Rizal, Seventh Judicial District, Quezon City, Branch XVII,
Criminal Investigation Division, Quezon City Police Depart-
in Criminal Case No. Q-8808 finding him and Ernesto 562
Parola guilty of the crime of Robbery with Homicide, defined 562 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
and penalized under Article 294, paragraph 1 of the Revised People vs. Tujon
Penal Code as amended and sentencing them to suffer the ment, where they allegedly confessed to the commission of
penalty of reclusion perpetua,with the accessory penalties the crime.
prescribed by law. On December 1, 1977, an information was filed by
The dispositive portion of the said decision reads: Assistant Fiscal Jesus T. Baldonado before the Court of
“WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered, finding Jovito
First Instance of Rizal, Seventh Judicial District, Quezon
Tujon and Ernesto Parola guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the
City, charging the accused of robbery with homicide having
crime of Robbery with Homicide, described and penalized under
Article 294, par. 1 of the Revised Penal Code as amended. There been committed as follows:
being no modifying circumstance attending the commission of the “That on or about the 3rd day of November, 1977, in Quezon City,
crime, the said accused are sentenced to the penalty of reclusion Philippines, the above-named accused, with intent of gain, by the
perpetua, with the accessory penalties prescribed by law, to pay use of violence and intimidation, conspiring with, confederating
jointly and severally, the heirs of the deceased Rolando Abellana together and mutually helping one another, with co-accused,
the amounts of P18,000.00 representing indemnification for death ANTONIO MENA Y BALDESIMO, a minor who is also charged
and P180.00 representing the money stolen, without subsidiary with the same offense in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations
imprisonment in case of insolvency, and to pay the proportionate Court, Quezon City, did, then and there wilfully, unlawfully and
cost. feloniously rob one ROLANDO ABELLANA Y FABROA, a taxi
“IT IS SO ORDERED.” (Rollo, p. 9) driver of EH taxi in the following manner, to wit: on the date and
in the place aforementioned, said accused pursuant to their
The aforesaid judgment as to accused Ernesto Parola has
conspiracy boarded the taxicab and thereafter, the above-named
not yet been promulgated by the court a quo since the said
accused, armed with a (sic) knives and pointed their knives to the
accused escaped after arraignment and has not been re- said victim, who struggled and in the course of struggle was
arrested to date. Accused Cesar Paredes, on the other hand, stabbed at the chest and neck, thereby inflicting upon him serious
remains at large and does not appear to have been and mortal wounds which were the direct and immediate cause of
arraigned before the trial court. his untimely death; that after the said attack upon said Rolando
The antecedent facts of the case are as follows: Abellana y Fabroa, said accused, did then and there take, rob and
carry away his day’s earning in the amount of P180.00, Philippine 3. Na ikaw ay may karapatang pagkalooban ng abogado kung
Currency, to the damage and prejudice of the heirs of the said ikaw ay walang ikakayang kumuha ng iyong sariling
Rolando Abellana y Fabroa and in such amount as may be abogado.
awarded to them under the provisions of the Civil Code. 4. Na ang lahat ng sasabihin mo rito ay maaring gamitin laban o
“CONTRARY TO LAW.” (Rollo, p. 2) panig sa yo sa alin mang hukuman sa Pilipinas. Naunawaan
Upon arraignment, accused-appellant and Ernesto Parola mo ba ang iyong mga karapatan at handa ka pa rin bang
entered a plea of not guilty. Thereafter trial on the merits magbigay ng isang malaya at kusang loob na salaysay na
ensued. hindi ka tinakot, sinaktan o pinangakuan ng ano mang
There is no eyewitness for the prosecution. To establish pabuya?
the case against the accused, the prosecution relied mainly SAGOT: Opo. (SGD) ERNESTO PAROLA Y CORTINA
on the extra-judicial confessions of the former taken down 02 T: Ikaw ba ay marunong bumasa at umintindi ng wikang
by Det. Armando Estrada. tagalog?
The extra-judicial confession of Ernesto Parola y Cortina S: Opo.
(Exhibit “A”, Original Records) reads: 03 T: Ano ang pinakamataas na inabot mo sa iyong pagaaral?
“MALAYA AT KUSANG LOOB NA SALAYSAY NI ERNESTO
S: Grade six lang po.
PAROLA Y CORTINA NA KINUHA NI DET. ARMANDO B.
ESTRADA 04 T: Ano ang iyong pangalan at iba pang bagay na may kinalaman
563 sa iyong pagkatao?
VOL.215,NOVEMBER13,1992 563 S: ERNESTO PAROLA Y CORTINA, 18 na taong gulang,
People vs. Tujon binata, pahinante sa PIER 8, tubo sa Macrohon, Southern
DITO SA CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION DIVISION, STATION 1, Leyte at naninirahan sa No. 3377 Mithi St., Tondo, Manila.
NPD, MPF NGAYONG ALAS 10:15 NG UMAGA, 23 NG 05 T: Ano ang dahilan kung bakit ka naririto sa aming tanggapan at
NOVEM-BER, 1977 SA HARAP NG MGA SAKSI . . . . . . . . . . . . . nagbibigay ng isang malaya at kusang loob na salaysay?
............ S: Dahil sa hinuli po kami ng mga pulis na hindi ko kilala na
sila raw taga YOUTH AID BUREAU at kami po ay ibinigay
x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x- dito sa Criminal Investigation Division, Station 1, NPD, MPF
x-x dahil sa salang pagpatay at pagholdup.
06 T: Kailan ba kayo nahuli ng mga pulis?
01Tanong: Bago kita siyasatin ay gusto kong malaman mo ang iyong
564
mga karapatan at gusto kong malaman mo na ikaw ay 564 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
sinisiyasat sa salang pagpatay ng tao na may kasamang
People vs. Tujon
pagnanakaw. Gusto kong maunawaan mo na ang iyong mga
S: Noon pong mga alas 3:00 ng hapon, Linggo, 20 ng November,
karapatan ay ang mga sumusunod:
1977 doon po sa Mithi St., Tondo, Manila.
1. Na ikaw ay may karapatang manatiling tahimik sa
07 T: Ipinapakita ko sa iyo ang isang litrato, ano ang masasabi mo sa
pagsisiyasat na ito.
taong ito at natandaan mo ba ang taong ito? (Affiant being
2. Na ikaw ay may karapatang kumuha ng iyong sariling
shown the picture of one ROLANDO ABEL- LANA Y
abogado para tulungan ka sa pagsisiyasat na ito.
FABROA, 27 years old, married, EH TAXI driver,native of
Davao Del Sur and residing at No. 188 Sauyo Road, Novaliches, People vs. Tujon
Quezon City who was killed after having been held up and the ang nagmaneho ng taxi ay si CESAR
body of which (sic) was dumped at Tandang Sora, Quezon City. PAREDES na nakatira sa Mithi St.,
S: Opo.Nakilala ko po yan. Yan po ang taong hinoldup namin at Tondo, Manila. Pagkatapos po ay
aming pinatay at pagkatapos po ay itinapon namin doon sa ipinagbili po nila ang metro ng taxi.
Tandang Sora, Quezon City subalit hindi ko po matiyak ang Hindi ko po alam kung magkano nila
exactong lugar. ibinenta at kung saan nila ibinenta
08 T: Kailan at saan ninyo hinoldup itong taong ito? sapagkat hindi na po kasama noon, pero
S: Hindi ko po matandaan kung kailan subalit natatandaan ko po na binigyan po ako ng P20.00. Ako po
sa unang linggo ng November, 1977 doon po sa Moriones, noon ay nagpaiwan na dito sa may
Tondo, Manila subalit dinala namin siya sa Balintawak, Quezon Blumentrit, (palengke) at sila ay dala pa
City doon po sa may highway na hindi ko masyadong matiyak rin nila ang taxi.
ang lugar at doon namin siya sinaksak at kinunan ng pera at nang 11 T: Hindi mo ba alam kung saan nila dinala
siya ay patay na ay isinakay namin uli sa taxi at dinala namin sa yong taxi?
Tandang Sora, Quezon City at doon namin itinapon. S: Hindi ko po alam sir.
09 T: Natatandaan mo ba kung ano ang pagkatao ng taong yan sa 12 T: Magkano naman ang nakuha niyong
sinasabi mong pinatay ninyo at itinapon sa Tandang Sora, pera doon sa driver na pinatay niyo?
Quezon City? S: Ang sabi po ni CESAR PAREDES at
S: Siya po ay driver ng TAXI na hindi ko natatandaan ang pangalan saka si JUNIOR ay P180.00.
na ang kulay po ng taxi ay kulay pula na may guhit na dilaw sa 13 T: Magkano naman and ibinigay sa yo
katawan. bilang parte mo doon sa perang
10 T: Maari bang isalaysay mo sa akin kung papano ninyo hinoldup naholdup niyo?
ang taong yan? S: Binigyan po kami ng P20.00. Ang sabi
S: Noon pong mga alas 10:00 ng gabi, linggo, 20 November, 1977 po ni CESAR at saka ni JUNIOR ay
pinara po namin ang taxing minamaneho nitong taong ito tama na raw and parte naming P20.00.
(affiant referring to the picture of ROLANDO ABELLANA) at 14 T: Sino-sino ba ang mga kasama mo sa
kami ay sumakay at pagkatapos ay dinala namin sa Balintawak, pagholdup dito sa taxi driver na ito?
Quezon City. Pagdating po namin doon ay pinahinto po namin S: Sina CESAR PAREDES na nakatira sa
ang taxi at pagkatapos ay kinuha namin ang kanyang pera at Mithi St., Tondo, Manila, si JUNIOR
pagkatapos ay nakatakbo. Nang tumakbo siya ay hinabul namin na taga Mithi din, si JOVITO TUJON
at nang inabutan namin ay sinaksak namin. Nang siya ay patay na taga Mithi St., Moriones, Tondo,
na ay isinakay namin uli sa taxi at pagkatapos ay tinapon namin Manila at saka si ANTONIO MENA na
doon sa Tandang Sora, Quezon City. Pagkatapos naming itapon taga Mithi St. din at saka ako.
ay dinala namin ang taxi at 15 T: Ano ang partisipasyon mo sa pagpatay
565 doon sa taxi driver (ROLANDO
VOL.215,NOVEMBER13,1992 565 ABELLANA)?
S: Ako po ang humawak sa kamay niya at 22 T: Alin yong napatay niyo na kasama ka?
pagkatapos po ay sinaksak ko rin siya. S: Yong pong itinapon namin sa Tandang Sora, Quezon City.
16 T: Ano naman ang partisipasyon noong 23 T: Bakit niyo pinatay ang taong ito?
mga kasama mo? S: Sapagkat sinabi po ni CESAR at saka ni JUNIOR na patayin
S: Si CESAR PAREDES ang humawak sa daw namin kaya po namin pinatay.
ulo at pagkatapos ay sinaksak niya, si 24 T: Ilang beses ka nakasama sa pangho-holdup?
JUNIOR ay sumaksak din, si JOVITO S: Apat na beses na po ako nakasama sa kanila. Dalawang jeep at
TUJON ay sumaksak din, at si saka dalawang taxi. Nakalimutan ko na po ang pangalan nang
ANTONIO MENA ay sumaksak din. mga taxi.
17 T: Ano ang ginamit mo sa pagsaksak doon 25 T: Sabihin mo kung saan at kung kailan niyo hinoldup ang
sa taxi driver? binanggit mo?
S: Isang kutsilyong stainless at ang aking S: Yon pong dalawang jeep ay doon sa Novaliches, Quezon City at
mga kasama ay balisong at ice pick ang yong isang taxi ay sa Balintawak, Quezon City at yong isa ay sa
kanilang ginamit. Novaliches, Quezon City.
18 T: Nasaan ngayon ang kutsilyong 26 T: Ilan bang grupo ang sinasamahan mo?
pinangsaksak mo? S: Ang sinasamahan ko lang ay ang grupo ni CESAR at saka si
S: Naki JUNIOR po at ang lahat ng JUNIOR.
kutsilyong ginamit namin ay sa kanya. 27 T: Maliban sa pagholdup ng taxi ay umaakyat din ba kayo ng bahay
19 T: Nasaan naman ang mga kasama mong para magnakaw?
binanggit mo? S: Opo. Umaakyat din po kami ng bahay para magnakaw.
S: Ang dalawa na sina JOVITO TUJON at 28 T: Ilang beses na kayo umakyat sa bahay?
si ANTONIO MENA ay kasama kong S: Dalawang beses po yong nasamahan ko sa kanila na umakyat
nahuli subalit sila CESAR at si kami ng bahay.
566 29 T: Natatandaan mo ba kung saang bahay yong inakyat ninyo?
566 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED S: Hindi ko po alam sabihin ang lugar subalit alam ko po kung
People vs. Tujon pupuntahan ko.
JUNIOR ay nakatakas at sila ngayon ay nagtatago. 30 T: Ano-ano ang mga bagay na nakuha niyo nang kayo’y umakyat
20 T: Maari bang ilarawan mo yong taxi driver na pinatay niyo sa bahay?
matapos niyong kunin ang kanyang kita at itinapon niyo sa S: Ang nakuha po namin ay PHONO, RADIO, SAPATOS,
Tandang Sora, Quezon City? DAMIT, CALDERO, KALAN NA BUMBA.
S: Siya po ay mahabang buhok, katamtaman lang ang katawan, 31 T: Saan ninyo ibinebenta ang mga ninakaw niyo?
mga 27 na taong gulang, may kaunting biguti, kayumanggi ang S: Ibinebenta namin doon din sa Mithi St., Moriones, Tondo,
kulay. 567
21 T: Natatandaan mo ba kung ilan nang tao ang pinapatay niyo dahil VOL.215,NOVEMBER13,1992 567
sa holdup? People vs. Tujon
S: Isa lang ang napatay na kasama po ako. Manila.
32 T: Magkano niyo ibinenta yong PHONO Armando B.Estrada on November 23, 1977 (Exhibit “B”,
at saka yong RADIO? Original Records),reads:
S: Yong pong PHONO ay P150.00 at “MALAYA AT KUSANG LOOB NA SALAYSAY NI JOVITO
yong radio ay P125.00. TUJON Y TAPEL NA KINUHA NI DET. ARMANDO B.
33 T: Yong bang grupo niyo nina CESAR, ESTRADA DITO SA CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION DIVISION,
JUNIOR, JOVITO, at si ANTONIO ay STATION 1, NPD, MPF NGAYONG ALAS 1:45 NG HAPON, 23
mayroon bang baril? NG NOVEMBER, 1977 SA HARAP NG MGA SAKSI . . . . . . . . . . .
..........................
S: Si CESAR po ay may baril na .22 568
caliber. Si JUNIOR ay Parolee. 568 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
34 T. Yong mga metro ng taxi na kinuha People vs. Tujon
ninyo, saan ninyo ibinibenta?
01 Tanong:Bago kita tanongin ay gusto kong malaman mo ang
S: Hindi ko po alam kung saan nila
iyong mga karapatan sa ilalim ng ating bagong saligang batas na
ibinibenta. Ang nakakaalam ay si
ikaw ay:
CESAR, si JUNIOR at si JOVITO.
1. May karapatang manatiling tahimik sa pagsisiyasat na ito.
35 T: Wala na akong itatanong sa yo,
2. May karapatang kumuha ng iyong sariling abogado para
mayroon ka bang nais bawasin o
tulungan ka sa pagsisiyasat na ito.
idagdag sa salaysay mong ito?
3. May karapatang pagkalooban ng abogado kung ikaw ay walang
S: Wala na po.
ikakayang kumuha ng iyong sariling abogado.
36 T: Lalagdaan mo ba ang salaysay mong ito
4. Ang lahat ng sasabihin mo rito ay maaring gamitin laban o
bilang patunay na ang mga sinabi mo
panig sa yo sa alin mang hukuman sa Pilipinas.
rito ay pawang katotohanan?
Gusto ko ring malaman mong ikaw ay sinisiyasat sa kasong pagpatay ng
S: Opo.
tao na may kasamang pagnanakaw. Ikaw ba ay handa pa ring magbigay
37 T: Ang paglagda mong ito ay hindi kita
ng isang malaya at kusang loob na salaysay na hindi ka tinakot, sinaktan
tinakot, sinaktan at pinangakuan ng ano
o pinangakuan ng ano mang pabuya o kaluwagan sa katawan?
mang pabuya or kaluwagan sa buhay?
Sagot: Opo. (SGD) JOVITO TUJON Y TAPEL
S: Opo.
02 T: Ikaw ba ay marunong bumasa at umintindi ng wikang tagalog?
(SGD) ERNESTO PAROLA Y CORTINA
S: Opo.
Nagsalaysay
03 T: Ano ang pinakamataas na inabot mo sa iyong pagaaral?
“Statement taken by:
S: Grade six lang po.
Det. ARMANDO B. ESTRADA
04 T: Ano ang iyong pangalan at iba pang bagay na may kinalaman sa
Investigator, H & A Sec.
iyong pagkatao?
MGA SAKSI SA PAGLAGDA:
S: JOVITO TUJON Y TAPEL, 22 na taong gulang, binata,
1. (SGD) 2. (SGD)
trabahador, tubo sa Ogbong Biga, Catanduanes at naninirahan sa
Det. Enrico Larga Augusto Perlada”
No. ___ Mithi St., Moriones, Tondo, Manila.
On the other hand, the extra-judicial confession of 05 T: Ano ang dahilan kung bakit ka naririto sa aming tanggapan at
appellantJovito Tujon y Tapel, likewise taken by Det.
nagbibigay ng isang malaya at kusang loob na salaysay? 13 T: Maari bang isalaysay mo sa akin kung
S: Dahil po sa pagpatay doon po sa taxi driver na hindi ko po papano ninyo hinoldup at pinatay yong
nakikilala. tao na taxi driver?
06 T: Nalalaman mo ba kung anong taxi ang minamaneho noong taong S: Noon pong mga alas 9:00 ng gabi hindi
pinatay niyo? ko na po matandaan ang petsa subalit
S: Hindi ko na natandaan yong pangalan ng taxi subalit ang natatandaan ko po na unang linggo ng
natatandaan ko po ay kulay blue at mayroon pang ibang kulay na November, 1977 kami po ay sumakay
hindi ko po natandaan. sa taxi na hindi ko po matandaan ang
07 T: Kailan at saan niyo pinatay ang driver ng taxi na yan? pangalan at pagkatapos po ay dinala po
S: Hindi ko po natandaan ang petsa pero unang linggo ng November, namin siya sa Sta. Maria, Bulacan.
1977 doon po sa papuntang Sta. Maria, Bulacan at nang patay na Pagdating po namin doon ay tinutukan
ay dinala po namin doon po sa may Tandang Sora, Novaliches, po namin ng kutsilyo at tinutukan
Quezon City. naman ni CESAR ng baril at
08 T: Papano niyo pinatay ang taxi driver na ito? pagkatapos ay ibinalik namin doon sa
S: Sinaksak po namin. may tulay doon din sa Sta.
569 Maria,Bulacan at pagkatapos po ay
VOL.215,NOVEMBER13,1992 569 pinahinto po namin doon sa may tulay
People vs. Tujon at pagkatapos po ay kinuha namin ang
09 T: Anong uri ng patalim ang ginamit niyo kanyang pera. Pagkatapos po niyang
sa pagsaksak sa kanya? iyabot yong pera ay parang natakot
S: Kutsilyo po na pangkusina na stainless yong driver at biglang tumakbo at
na may ganito kahaba po. (Affiant pagkatapos po ay hinabul namin.
demonstrating a length of about 8-1/2 Ngayon po ay inabutan ng aking mga
inch) Yong mga kasama ko po ay kasama at pagkatapos po ay ibinalik po
talagang dagger at yong iba naman po namin doon sa may taxi at pagkatapos
ay ice pick. po ay nagtaas ng kamay yong driver at
10 T: Ilang beses mo sinaksak ang taong ito? pagkatapos po ay sinaksak na ni
S: Dalawa po. CESAR. Pagkatapos po ay sinaksak ni
11 T: Mayroon ka bang nalalamang dahilan NESTOR (Real name is ERNESTO
kung bakit niyo sinaksak ang taong ito? PAROLA). Pagkatapos po ay itinulak
S: Hinoldup po namin pagkatapos po ay po ni CESAR sa akin at sinabing
pinatay po namin. saksakin mo rin kaya ko po sinaksak
12 T: Magkano namang pera ang nakuha din. Pagkatapos po ay naghihingalo na
ninyo sa kanya? po yong driver ay isinakay po namin
S: P180.00 na perang cash ang nakuha siya sa taxi niya at pagkatapos po ay
namin sa kanya. dinala namin doon sa may Tandang
Sora, Novaliches, Quezon City at doon S: Hindi ko na po natandaan ang kulay ng kanyang pantalon subalit
namin itinapon. Ang lugar na natandaan ko po na ang kanyang polo shirt ay kulay abo (gray).
pinagtaponan po namin ay canal. 18 T: Isa-isahin mo nga kung sino-sino yong mga kasama mo doon sa
Pagkatapos po noon ay sumakay na holdup at nagpatay doon sa taxi driver na yon?
naman po kami doon sa kanyang taxi at S: Si CESAR PAREDES, si JUNIOR, ERNESTO PAROLA
kami po ay nagtuloy sa may (NESTOR-alias), at si ANTONIO MENA na lahat ay taga Mithi
MORIONES, Tondo, Manila. Kami po St., Moriones, Tondo, Manila (Squatter’s Area).
ni ANTONIO MENA at si ERNESTO 19 T: Ano-ano ang mga armas na dala ninyo doon nang hinoldup
PAROLA ay nagpaiwan na po doon sa ninyo itong taxi driver na ito?
Moriones, Tondo, Manila. Kami pong S: Ang may baril po ay si CESAR (.45 caliber), si JUNIOR ay may
tatlo ay umuwi na .22 caliber revolver, at lahat na kami ay puro kutsilyo na. Pero
570 maliban doon sa baril ni CESAR at ni JUNIOR ay mayroon pa
570 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED po silang panaksak.
People vs. Tujon 20 T: Nasaan ngayon yong mga panaksak na ginamit niyo sa pagpatay
subalit sina CESAR at si JUNIOR ay dinala nila yong taxi at doon sa taxi driver?
hindi ko po alam kung saan nila dinala yong taxi. S: Dala po ni JUNIOR at saka ni CESAR pati yong baril po ay nasa
14 T: Magkano naman ang parte mo doon sa perang hinoldup ninyo kanila.
doon sa taxi driver? 21 T: Ilang beses ka na pumatay ng tao?
S: P30.00 po ang ibinigay sa akin ni CESAR. 571
15 T: Maari bang ilarawan mo sa akin ang itsura noon taong taxi VOL.215,NOVEMBER13,1992 571
driver na hinoldup ninyo? People vs. Tujon
S: Ang edad po noong driver ay mga 27 0 28 na taong gulang, mga S: Dalawa na po na kasama po ako.
5’1" ang taas, payat po, kayumanggi po na may biguti, hindi po 22 T: Liwanagin mo nga kung saang lugar at
masyadong mahaba ang buhok, medyo maliit ang mukha na kung kailan?
mabuto at kung makikita ko ang litrato po niya ay makikilala ko S: Ang una po ay October, 1977, hindi ko
po. na po matandaan ang petsa pero pinatay
16 T: Ipinapakita ko sa yo ngayon ang isang litrato, natatandaan mo ba po namin doon sa Novaliches, Quezon
kung naririto yong taxi driver na hinoldup ninyo? City at iniwan lang po namin doon.
S: Ito po yong taong hinoldup po namin at aming pinatay doon po Yong pangalawa po ay yong taxi driver
sa Sta. Maria, Bulacan. (Affiant pointing to the picture of one po na hinoldup po namin ay pinatay
ROLANDO ABELLANA Y FABROA, an EH TAXI driver who namin sa Sta. Maria, Bulacan.
was discovered lifeless along Charles Conrad St. near Alan 23 T: Sigurado ka bang patay din yong unang
Beam St., Doña Faustina Subd ivision, Bo. Culiat, Tandang sinaksak niyong iniwan ninyo sa
Sora, Quezon City as he was shown by this investigator). Novaliches, Quezon City?
17 T: Natatandaan mo ba kung ano ang suot noong driver na pinatay S: Hindi po namin alam kung namatay yon
niyo doon sa Sta. Maria, Bulacan? o hindi.
24 T: Maari bang ilarawan mo sa akin kung damit, television (dalawa) kaserola,
ano ang itsura ni CESAR at saka si alak, Shellane na kalan, caldero, wala
JUNIOR? na po.
S: Siya po ay mga 19 na taong gulang, 28 T: Ilang lahat ang bahay na inakyat ninyo?
mga 5’3" ang taas, malaki ang katawan, S: Lima pong bahay. Hindi ko po alam
maputi, hindi masyadong mahaba ang ang address subalit alam po naming
buhok, medyo bilog ang mukha at puntahan.
matangos ang ilong, medyo guapo, ang 29 T: Saan ninyo ibinibenta ang mga
buhok ay may hati sa kanan, medyo ninanakaw ninyo?
kuba kung lumakad, mayroong S: Doon po sa Mithi St., Moriones St.,
kaunting biguti at ang hinlalaki ng Tondo, Manila. Yong television ay
kaliwang paa ay parang pataas. Si ibenenta namin sa Pasay City sa Tia ni
CESAR ay may tatlong SPUTNIK sa 572
kanang likod. Si JUNIOR naman ay 572 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
mga 25 taong, gulang, mga 5’1" ang People vs. Tujon
taas, medyo maliit ang katawan, CESAR. Naibenta po namin ng P400.00.
maputi, maiksi po ang buhok dahil sa 30 T: Magkano ang parte mo rito sa lahat ng nanakaw ninyong ito?
siya ay nagpakalbo, may pagkaguapo S: P400.00 ang parte ko po.
na medyo matangos ang kanyang ilong, 31 T: Ang mga metro ng taxi na ninanakaw niyo, saan niyo ibinibenta?
may manipis na biguti, may tattoo sa S: Sa Moriones po namin ibinibenta yong iba at yong iba naman ay
tiyan. sa Marikina. Ang kasama po naming nagbenta nito ay si
25 T: Maliban sa pangholdup, kayo ba ay JUNIOR.
umaakyat din ng bahay? 32 T: Ilang metro na ang naibenta niyo?
S: Opo. Umaakyat din po kami ng bahay S: Mga walong (8) metro na po. Tatlo (3) ang naibenta sa Marikina
doon po sa Novaliches, Quezon City. at lima naman sa Moriones.
26 T: Ilang beses na kayo umakyat ng bahay? 33 T: Ilang taxi at ilang jeep ang inyong naholdup?
S: Sa Novaliches ay dalawang beses na po S: Dalawang jeep at tatlong taxi ang tinutukan namin.
umakyat ng bahay at diyan lang po 34 T: Saang lugar ninyo ninakaw ang mga taxi meter na ito?
kami umakyat ng bahay. S: Sa PIER 12 ay dalawa, sa Pier 10, tatlo, sa Moriones tatlo po.
27 T: Ano-anong mga bagay ang mga nakuha 35 T: Saan natin makukuha itong si CESAR at saka si JUNIOR?
ninyo nang kayo umakyat ng bahay? S: Si JUNIOR ay maaring sa PIER 8 si CESAR ay hindi ko po
S: Isang RADIO PHONO, pantalon, alam.
damit, kalan na di bumba, guitara. Ito 36 T: Pansamantala ay wala na akong itatanong sa yo, mayroon ka
ay isang bahay lang sa Novaliches, bang nais bawasin o idagdag sa salaysay mong ito?
Quezon City. Doon sa isang bahay ay S: Wala na po.
mayroon po kaming kinuhang pantalon, 37 T: Lalagdaan mo ba ang salaysay mong ito bilang patunay na ang
mga sinabi mo rito ay pawang katotohanan na hindi ka tinakot, were still willing to give their statements freely and
sinaktan o pinangakuan ng ano mang pabuya o kaluwagan sa voluntarily. Both accused-appellants answered in the
katawan? affirmative (TSN, June 21, 1978, pp. 3-4). Appellants
S: Opo. allegedly further declared that they will give their
(SGD) JOVITO TUJON Y TAPEL statements even without the assistance of counsel,
considering that what they will state therein would only be
STATEMENT TAKEN BY: the truth. Accordingly, he took the statements of the
DET. ARMANDO B. ESTRADA accused without a lawyer, and both signed their confessions
in his presence (TSN, June 21, 1978, pp. 4-7).
NILAGDAAN SA HARAP NG MGA SAKSI: Dr. Romulo Madrid, resident physician of the Polymedic,
Mandaluyong, testified that on November 3, 1977, he was
1. (SGD) 2. (SGD) the one who conducted an autopsy on the corpse of one
Det. Enrico Larga Cpl. Augusto Peralta Rolando Abellana at Funeraria Popular, one of the official
SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN TO BEFORE ME THIS 30 DAY morgues of the National Bureau of Investigation and issued
OF NOV. 1977 HERE IN QUEZON CITY, PHILIPPINES. Necropsy Report No. N-77-1779 (Exhibit “D”, Rollo). His
573
findings revealed that the victim died of hemorrhage
VOL.215,NOVEMBER13,1992 573
secondary to multiple stab wounds on the chest and neck
People vs. Tujon and that the probable weapon used in inflicting said stab
(SGD) ADMINISTERING OFFICER” wounds on the victim was a sharppointed bladed instrument
In addition, the prosecution presented the following (TSN, November 7, 1979, pp. 2-4).
witnesses, whose testimonies are as follows: Fiscal Jesus T. Baldonado, of the Quezon City Fiscal’s
Det. Armando B. Estrada, a police detective of the Office, was presented as a rebuttal witness of the
Northern Police District, Criminal Investigation Division, prosecution. He testified that on November 23, 1977, the
Station I, Quezon City, identified the extra-judicial accused Jovito Tujon and Ernesto Parola accompanied by
confessions and testified that he was the officer who policemen were brought to
received custody of the accused from the members of the 574
Youth Aid Bureau for investigation on November 23, 1977 574 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
(TSN, June, 21, 1978, pp. 1-2), and declared that before he People vs. Tujon
took the extra-judicial confessions of the accused-appellants, his office for investigation; that before he proceeded with the
he advised them of their constitutional rights to remain said investigation, he apprised first the accused of their
silent, to secure the services of a counsel to assist them and constitutional rights, which was his standard operating
if they cannot afford to secure the services of counsel, they procedure; that he asked both accused if the statements
will be provided with one, and that everything they will say they executed before the police were freely given, which was
may be used for or against them in any court of the answered in the affirmative by the accused; that he let them
Philippines (TSN, June 21, 1978, pp. 2-3). Immediately affix anew their respective signatures on the said
thereafter, he asked them if after knowing their rights, they statements in his presence. He further stated that during
the said investigation, both accused did not in any way VOL.215,NOVEMBER13,1992 575
complain that they had been maltreated by the policemen People vs. Tujon
nor did he notice any sign of injury on their persons. He if not, they would box him again. The policemen asked him
declared that it was likewise his standard operating to sign a paper the contents of which he did not know. He
procedure that should he notice any sign of injury on the did not have a chance to read the said piece of paper
persons of the accused, he would readily refer them to the considering that all parts of his body were painful as a
City Health Office for medical treatment (TSN, February result of the said mauling. Neither did he have a chance to
26, 1982, pp. 1-5). receive medical attention (TSN, February 24, 1982, pp. 1-2).
After the presentation of the foregoing testimonial and He further declared that he did not know that accused
documentary evidence, the prosecution rested its case. Ernesto Parola implicated him in the alleged robbery holdup
During the pendency of this case, accused Ernesto Parola of a certain Rolando Abellana. He had nothing to do with
escaped from the Quezon City Jail; consequently the defense the offense charged against him and that he could not
presented only accused Jovito Tujon as its lone witness, who remember having been investigated by Det. Armando
vehemently denied the accusation against him. Estrada regarding this case (TSN, February 24, 1982, pp. 2-
Jovito Tujon testified that he arrived in Manila only on 3).
November 2, 1977 and that he came from the province of The trial court gave more weight to the evidence of the
Catanduanes. He came to Manila to look for a job and while prosecution consisting mainly of the extra-judicial
in Manila, he stayed with his uncle named Alberto Ubal in confessions of the accused, and, as earlier stated, found both
Tondo, Manila. He was in his uncle’s house on November 3, accused Ernesto Parola and Jovito Tujon, guilty as charged.
1977, helping him do some odd jobs. Two weeks after his Hence, this appeal.
arrival, he was arrested for unknown reasons. He also On March 18, 1987, accused-appellant Jovito Tujon filed
testified that he did not know his other co-accused, namely: an urgent motion to withdraw appeal (Rollo, p. 110) but
Ernesto Parola, Cesar Paredes and Antonio Mena. He came counsel for appellant in his comment on the motion, prayed
to know the other accused Ernesto Parola only at the police that the said urgent motion to withdraw appeal filed by
precinct when they were arrested. Tujon be disregarded, as it was merely a by-product of
Accused-appellant Tujon further testified that while he misjudgment. The motion to withdraw appeal was then
was at the police precinct, he was made to face the wall and denied by this Court.
was kicked from behind for which reason he fell on the floor Among others, counsel for appellant contends that the
in a sitting position. He was then brought to a room where court a quo gravely erred in convicting the two accused of
he was given fist blows. Then he was asked to lie on a bench the crime charged by relying heavily on their respective
with his hands tied behind him. A rag was placed inside his extra-judicial confessions, which are clearly not admissible
mouth and water was poured in his nose while his stomach in evidence in the instant case.
was being boxed, causing him to vomit. He further testified The Solicitor General agrees with counsel for appellant
that the policemen asked him to admit his participation in that the evidence presented is not sufficient to sustain
the crime and conviction. He correctly observed that it was not even shown
575
by the evidence how appellant came to be suspected of the This Court has ruled that the right of a person under
robbery and killing and subsequently arrested. The evidence custodial interrogation to be informed of his right to remain
against the accused consists solely of their extrajudicial silent and to counsel, implies a correlative obligation on the
confessions. There is no eyewitness and not even a single part of the police investigator to explain and contemplate an
circumstantial evidence pointing to the accused as the effective communication that results in an understanding of
perpetrators of the crime (Rollo, pp. 89-90). Compared with what is conveyed. Short of this, there is a denial of the right,
the evidence of the prosecution, the claim of Tujon that he as it cannot truly be said that the accused has been
has just arrived in Manila to look for a job when he was “informed” of his right (People v. Newman, 163 SCRA 496,
arrested by the police for unknown reason, is more [1988]). When the Constitution requires a person under
persuasive. investigation to be informed to remain silent and to counsel,
576 it must be presumed to contemplate the transmission of
576 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED meaningful information rather than just the ceremonial and
People vs. Tujon perfunctory recitation of an abstract constitutional principle
Furthermore, it was observed that the extra-judicial (People v. Flores, 165 SCRA 71 [1988]). It is the duty of the
confessions are not even consistent with each other nor police officer to explain their practical effects (People v.
credible. In the extra-judicial confession of Ernesto Parola y Nicandro, 141 SCRA 289 [1986]). Thus, it would not suffice
Cortina, the victim was killed in Quezon City and his body for a police officer just to report to the person under
was dumped at Tandang Sora, Quezon City while in the investigation the provision of Section 20, Article IV of the
extra-judicial confession of Jovito Tujon y Tapel, the victim Constitution (now Art. III, Section 12, 1987 Constitution;
was killed in Sta. Maria, Bulacan. Similarly, in the former, People
it was stated that the killing occurred on November 20, 577
1977, while in the latter, the killing was supposed to have VOL.215,NOVEMBER13,1992 577
taken place in the first week of November, 1977. Notably, People vs. Tujon
the body was found on November 3, 1977. Still further, v. Flores, supra.
Parola stated that the color of the taxi is red while according As pointed out by this Court in People v.
to Tujon, the color is blue (Rollo, pp. 90-96). It is therefore, Nicandro, supra):
evident that the veracity of aforesaid confessions is not “When the Constitution requires a person under investigation ‘to
acceptable. be informed’ of his right to remain silent and to counsel, it must
But more importantly, while it is clear from the records be presumed to contemplate the transmission of meaningful
that the accused were informed of two (2) constitutional information rather than just the ceremonial and perfunctory
recitation of an abstract constitutional principle. As a rule,
rights, namely: (1) the right to remain silent and (2) the
therefore, it would not be sufficient for a police officer just to
right to be assisted by counsel of their own choice, it is not
repeat to the person under investigation the provisions of Section
clear that they were actually offered the services of a lawyer 20, Article IV of the Constitution. He is not only duty-bound to
and they refused. In any event, it is undisputed that the tell the person the rights to which the latter is entitled; he must
waiver of the accused of their right to counsel was made also explain their effects in practical terms x x x. In other words,
without the assistance of counsel. the right of a person under interrogation ‘to be informed’ implies
a correlative obligation on the part of the police investigator to provided with one for free. While he may choose to waive the
explain, and contemplates an effective communication that right, such waiver must be a knowing and intelligent one
results in understanding what is conveyed. Short of this, there is and in any case must be made only with the assistance of
a denial of the right, as it cannot truly be said that the person has counsel. Any waiver made without observance of these
been ‘informed’ of his rights. Now, since the right ‘to be informed’
requirements is null and void. Thus:
implies comprehension, the degree of explanation required will
“At the time the person is arrested, it shall be the duty of the
necessarily vary, depending upon the education, intelligence and
arresting officer to inform him of the reason for the arrest and he
other relevant personal circumstances of a person under
must be shown the warrant of arrest, if any. He shall be informed
investigation. Suffice it to say that a simpler and more lucid
of his constitutional rights to remain silent and to counsel, and
explanation is needed where the subject is unlettered.”
that any statement he might make could be used against him.
In the case at bar, and in the testimony of the police officer, The person arrested shall have the right to communicate with his
it is undeniable that no serious effort was shown to have lawyer, a relative, or anyone he chooses by the most expedient
been exerted by the investigators to explain the means—by telephone if possible—or by letter or messenger. It
consequences of the investigation. On the investigator is shall be the responsibility of the arresting officer to see to it that
reposed the duty to explain the effects of the constitutional this is accomplished. No custodial investigation shall be
rights in practical terms (People v. Duhan, 142 SCRA conducted unless it be in the presence of counsel engaged by the
100[1986]). person arrested, by any person on his behalf, or appointed by the
Furthermore, this Court has consistently ruled that court upon petition either of the detainee himself or by anyone on
waiver of right to counsel to be valid, must be in writing and his behalf. The right to counsel may be waived but the waiver
shall not be valid unless made with the assistance of counsel. Any
in the presence of counsel. Extra-judicial confessions taken
statement obtained in violation of the procedure herein laid down,
without the assistance of counsel is inadmissible in evidence
whether exculpatory or inculpatory, in whole or in part, shall be
(People v. Albofera, 152 SCRA 123 [1987]). Hence, while the inadmissible in evidence.” (Morales, Jr. v. Ponce Enrile, 121
right to counsel may be waived, such waiver must be done SCRA 538 [1983]).
voluntarily, knowingly and intelligently and made in the Indeed, the ban against uncounseled confessions is even
presence of the accused’s lawyer. If the records do not show more pronounced under Sec. 12, Art. III of the 1987
that the accused was assisted by counsel in making his Constitution which states that:
waiver, this defect nullifies and renders inadmissible in “SEC.12.(1)Any person under investigation for the commission of
evidence his confession (People v. Nolasco, 163 SCRA 623, an offense shall have the right to be informed of his right to
[1988]. In the case of People v. Hizon, 163 SCRA 760 (1988), remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel
this Court, citing the procedure laid preferably of his own choice. If the person cannot afford the
578 services of counsel, he must be provided with one. These rights
578 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence of counsel.
People vs. Tujon xxx xxx xxx
down in the case of People v. Galit, 135 SCRA 465 [1985]), 3)Any confession or admission obtained in violation of this xxx
ruled that the suspect must be informed that he has a right shall be inadmissible in evidence against him.” (See also People v.
Nicolas, 204 SCRA 191 [1991]).
to the assistance of counsel and assured that he will be 579
VOL.215,NOVEMBER13,1992 579 remaining at large up to now, we have to concede, however, that
People vs. Tujon our disquisition in this case is applicable and favorable to him,
It is a matter of record that the interrogation was made in hence he is affected by and shall benefit from the acquittal that
we hand down in this appeal.”
the absence of counsel de parte or de oficio and the waiver of
WHEREFORE, the appealed decision is REVERSED and
counsel, if made at all, was not made with the assistance of
SET ASIDE and both accused are hereby ACQUITTED.
counsel as required. Under the circumstances, there is no 580
question that proof of guilt beyond reasonable doubt has not 580 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
been established. As ruled by this Court, when the evidence Caltex (Philippines), Inc. vs. Intermediate Appellate Court
for the prosecution and the evidence for the accused are
SO ORDERED.
weighed, the scales must be tipped in favor of the latter.
Gutierrez, Jr. (Chairman), Davide,
This is because of the constitutional presumption of
Jr., Romero and Melo, JJ., concur.
innocence the accused enjoys as a counterfoil to the
Decision reversed.
awesome authority of the State that is prosecuting him.
Note.—Waiver of right to counsel must be voluntary,
Undoubtedly, if a life is taken, justice demands that the
knowingly, intelligently and must be with the assistance of
wrong be redressed, but the same justice that calls for
counsel (People vs. Ampo-an, 187 SCRA 173).
retribution cannot convict the prisoner at bar whose guilt
has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt. The element ——o0o—–
of doubt, if reasonable as in this case, must operate against
the inference of guilt the prosecution would draw from its © Copyright 2018 Central Book Supply, Inc. All rights reserved.
evidence (People v. Pecardal, 145 SCRA 647-648 [1986]).
As aforesaid, no promulgation of judgment was rendered
with respect to Ernesto Parola who managed to escape from
jail shortly after arraignment.
Considering, however, that the crime charged had not
been proven beyond reasonable doubt and the disposition
herein arrived at is favorable to accused Ernesto Parola, he
shall benefit from the judgment of this Court which is
acquittal despite the fact that he jumped bail. In this
regard, apropos is the pronouncement of this Court in
People vs. Fernandez (186 SCRA 834 [1990]), viz.:
“While, in effect, he committed an act of defiance of the law by
escaping, we are not without other prior incidents where such
undesirable conduct, which should not be condoned, has
sometimes been ascribed to a sense of desperation of those who
believe they are guiltless but fear that they cannot prove their
innocence. While we castigate and reprove his jumping bail and
VOL. 370, NOVEMBER 27, 2001 531 _______________
People vs. Ladao *FIRST DIVISION.
G.R. Nos. 100940-41. November 27, 2001. *
532
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff- 532 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
appellee, vs.AGUSTIN LADAO y LORETO, ALEX DE People vs. Ladao
GUZMAN y MAGAT, HENRY PONSECA y SORIANO,
ANTONIO PANGANIBAN y AQUINO, VICTORIO YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.:
EUGENIO y ROQUE, John Doe, Peter Doe and Charlie Doe,
accused. HENRY PONSECA y SORIANO, accused- Accused-appellant Henry Ponseca y Soriano appeals from
appellant. the Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Caloocan City,
1

Constitutional Law; Confessions; A confession is admissible Branch 131, convicting him and his four co-accused of the 2

until the accused successfully proves that it was given as a result crime of robbery with homicide, sentencing them to suffer
of violence, intimidation, threat, or promise of reward or the penalty of reclusion perpetua, and ordering them to pay
leniency.—Settled is the rule that once the prosecution has shown the heirs of the victim the amounts of P30,000.00, as civil
that there was compliance with the constitutional requirement on indemnity and P10,500.00, as burial and wake expenses.
pre-interrogation advisories, a confession is presumed to be The information against accused-appellant reads:
voluntary and the declarant bears the burden of proving that his That on or about the 29th day of January, 1990 in Caloocan City,
confession was involuntary and untrue. The burden is on the Metro Manila and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court,
accused to destroy this presumption. A confession is admissible the above-named accused, conspiring together and mutually
until the accused successfully proves that it was given as a result helping one another, with intent to gain and by means of force
of violence, intimidation, threat, or promise of reward or leniency. and violence employed upon the person of ALFONSO DELA
Same; Same; Having been obtained without infringing the CRUZ Y QUIAMBAO, that is, by tying the latter’s both hands
Constitutional safeguards, accused-appellant’s confession and feet and subsequently dumping his body at the estero in
constitutes evidence of the highest order.—Having been obtained Tanigue St., Dagat-Dagatan, this city, did then and there wilfully,
without infringing the Constitutional safeguards, accused- unlawfully and feloniously take, rob and carry away
appellant’s confession constitutes evidence of the highest order undetermined amount, belonging to the said complainant, to the
since it is backed up by the strong presumption that no person of damage and prejudice of the latter in undetermined amount; and
normal mind would deliberately and knowingly confess to a crime as a result of aforesaid force and violence employed to said victim,
unless he is prompted by truth and his conscience. the latter drowned at the estero which incident directly caused
his death.
APPEAL from a decision of the Regional Trial Court of Contrary to law. 3

Kalookan City, Br. 131. Upon arraignment on February 19, 1990, accused-appellant
pleaded not guilty.
The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.
The records show that accused-appellant was among
The Solicitor General for plaintiff-appellee.
those apprehended by the Caloocan Police on the night of
Angara, Abello, Concepcion, Regala & Cruz Law
February 9, 1990, in connection with the rampant robbery
Offices for accused-appellant.
and hold-up incidents in Caloocan. In the ensuing
investigation conducted by Police Inspector Antonio Paras SAGOT: OPO.
and Ricardo Concepcion, accused-appellant and his co- 2- Karapatan mong malaman ang reklamo laban sa iyo, nauunawan mo
accused executed, with the assistance of Atty. Juanito R. ba ito?
Crisostomo of the Public Attorney’s Office, Caloocan City, SAGOT: OPO.
their 3- Karapatan mong kumuha ng ayuda ng abogadong sariling pili mo at
kung hindi mo kaya ito ay bibigyan ka ng ating pamahalaan para
_______________ umayuda sa iyo, nauunawaan mo ito?
1 Penned by Judge Antonio J. Fineza. SAGOT: OPO.
2 Accused Agustin Ladao y Loreto was further convicted for Illegal 4- At anumang sasabihin mo’y maaring gamiting laban sa iyo sa alin
Possession of Firearms. mang hukuman ng pag-uusig, nauunawan mo ba ito?
3 Rollo, p. 6.
SAGOT: OPO.
533
TANONG: Matapos mong malaman at maunawaan ang iyong mga
VOL. 370, NOVEMBER 27, 2001 533
karapatan bilang isang taong nasa ilalim ng pagsisiyasat, ikaw ba’y
People vs. Ladao
nakahandang magbigay ng malaya at kusang loob na salaysay na
extra-judicial confession admitting authorship of the crime
ang sasabihin mo’y pawang katutuhanan lamang?
of robbery with homicide.
SAGOT: Opo, magbibigay po ako ng salaysay at aayudahan ako ni
In his extra-judicial confession, accused-appellant
Atty. Juanito Crisostomo ng Caloocan Public Assistance Office.
declared that he and his four co-accused, together with three .
others who were able to escape, held up the passenger 534
jeepney driven by the victim. He further stated that they 534 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
tied the hands and feet of the victim and threw him into People vs. Ladao
the estero not knowing that the place was filled with water. 02. T: Kung gayon, sabihin mong muli ang pangalan mo’t mga bagay-
Using the jeepney of the victim, they plied the Recto- bagay na lubos na pagkikilanlan sa iyong pagkatao?
Caloocan route and picked up passengers whom they S: HENRY PONSECA y SORIANO, 30 taong gulang, may asawa,
likewise robbed. Thereafter, they abandoned the jeepney walang trabaho at kasalukuyang naninirahan sa 2741-G Santos
somewhere in the corner of P. Sevilla Street and 10th St., Gagalangin, Tondo, Manila.
Avenue. 03. T: Marunong ka bang sumulat, bumasa at umintindi ng salitang
The full text of accused-appellant’s extra-judicial Tagalog?
confession states: S: Marunong po.
PAUNAWA: Ikaw, Henry Ponseca ay nasa ilalim ng pagsisiyasat 04. T: Inaakusahan ka Henry Ponseca ng Pangho-HOLD-UP na may
ng tanggapang ito hinggil sa kasong panghohold-up na may
kasamang pagpatay, na naganap nuong petsa-29 ng Enero 1990,
kasamang pagpatay, dahil dito, nais kong malaman mo na sa
mga bandang alas-10 ng gabi duon sa Tanigue St., Dagat-
ilalim ng ating umiiral na Bagong Saligang-Batas, Ikaw ay may
mga karapatang katulad ng mga sumusunod: Dagatan, Caloocan City, ano ang masasabi mo rito?
1- Karapatang manatiling tahimik o tumangging magbigay ng S: Tutuo po iyun, kasama po ako.
salaysay; nauunawan mo ba ito? 05. T: Nakikilala mo ba kung sino ang namatay sa insidenteng
nabanggit?
S: Ang namatay po duon dahil nalunod ay ang driver ng jeep. Bale anim (6) po ang pasahero ng jeep at
pampasaherong jeep na aming na-HOLD-UP at dito po sa pagdating duon sa may Del Monte ay nag-anounce na
opisina ninyo ay nakilala ko sa pangalang: Alfredo dela Cruz y kami ng hold-up at inilabas na rin ni Agustin itong baril
Quiambao. na dala niya. Pinakanan po namin ang jeep sa Del
06. T: Ano ba mismong naging partisipasyon mo dito sa nasabing Monte, diretso ng Acacia at tuloy ng Caloocan. Nuon
kaso? po namin nilimas ang mga gamit at pera ng mga
S: Ako po ang umupo sa dulo ng jeep, lumimas sa mga gamit at pasahero at saka ibinaba sila sa ilang na lugar sa
pera ng mga pasahero at gumapos at naghulog doon sa driver ng Caloocan. Ang orihinal na driver naman po ay iginapos
jeep sa may estero duon sa Dagat-Dagatan na hindi ko alam ay namin at itong si Bayani ang nagmaneho. Pinadapa po
may tubig pala kaya’t nalunod itong driver. namin ang driver na sa kalaunan nga ay nakilala kong
07. T: May mga kasama ka ba dito sa pangyayaring ito? si Alfredo dela Cruz sa loob mismo ng jeep at
S: Mayruon po, sila po ang ilan (Affiant at this juncture is pointing pagdating duon sa Tanigue St. Dagat-Dagatan,
and referring to the persons who are presently inside the Caloocan, ay ibinaba namin siya, pinalakad ng inut-inot
investigation room and who when asked gave their names as: patungong estero at lima (5) kami nina Bayani, Alex,
VICTORIO EUGENIO y ROQUE @ Itoy, AGUSTIN LADAO Rowel, at Rey na bumuhat sa kanya at naglaglag sa
y LORETO @ Agustin, ALEX DE GUZMAN y MAGAT @ estero, na hindi namin alam na may tubig kaya’t
Alex and ANTONIO PANGANIBAN y AQUINO @ Tony) namatay itong driver sa pagkalunod. Sumakay kaming
kasama pa rin po namin [sina] BAYANI @ Onse, REY at muli sa jeep at bumiyahe pa kami na si Bayani pa rin
ROWELL na taga-Caloocan din pero nakatakas. ang driver at mula sa Recto patungong Monumento ay
08. T: Isalaysay mo nga ang mga pangyayaring may kinalaman sa hinold-up namin itong mga pasahero namin sa bandang
holdup na may kasamang pagpatay na ito? Manuguit at nang matapos namin silang pababain ay
535 inabandona namin ang jeep sa may P. Sevilla, 10th
VOL. 370, 535 Ave., Calookan City.
NOVEMBER 09. T: Anu-ano ba ang mga na-hold-up ninyo sa unang banat
27, 2001 ng gabing iyun?
People vs. Ladao S: Halu-halo na po, relo, alahas, pera, at iba pa at pumarte
S: Nagkita-kita po kaming magkakasama sa Letre at duon po ako ng halos P170.00 lamang.
ay nagplano kaming mangho-HOLD-UP nga. Sumakay 10. T: Sino’ng nagparte ng mga nahold-up ninyo?
po kami ng jeep at nagpunta kami ng Malinta, S: Kami-kami na rin po.
Valenzuela. Pagdating duon, bale walo (8) kaming 11. T: Saan kayo nagparte-parte?
magkakasama ay muli kaming sumakay ng jeep S: Duon na po sa Letre.
patungong Monumento naman at itong jeep nga ay 12. T: Saan mismo sa Letre?
minamaneho ng napatay namin. Ako po ay pumuesto sa S: Duon po sa Caltex Gasoline Station.
dulo ng jeep, itong sina Bayani at Alex ay lumagay 536
naman sa harapan ng jeep, katabi ng driver si Alex. 536 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
Ang ibang mga kasama namin ay pawang nasa loob ng People vs. Ladao
13. T: Duon ba ang tagpuan ninyo? the hold-uppers, there were four passengers, including her.
S: Opo. Hilda
14 T: Paanong nasakote ng mga alagad ng batas ang grupo ninyo?
S: Kasi po ay nagtipon-tipon kami sa Letre uli para manghold-up sa _______________

Malolos pero may naghudas pala na kasama namin kaya’t 4Exh. “D”, Records, pp. 63-64.
nasakote kami. 537
15. T: Sinong naghudas sa inyo? VOL. 370, NOVEMBER 27, 2001 537
S: Hindi po namin alam. People vs. Ladao
16. T: Ano ang mga armas na ginamit ninyo sa nasabing hold-up na pointed to accused Eugenio as the one who announced the
may kasamang pagpatay? hold-up; accused-appellant Ponseca as the one who divested
S: Puro matalas po maliban kay Alex at Agustin na kapwa may her of her bag, and accused Ladao and de Guzman as the
baril. persons who took their jewelries. The following day, she
17. T: Ano ba ang masasabi mo sa mga baril na nasa ibabaw ng aking reported the incident to the police.5

mesa ngayon? On January 30, 1990, Dominga dela Cruz, widow of the
S: Iyan po mismo ang kargada nina Alex at Agustin. Iyun pong .38 victim, informed the authorities that her husband was
ay kay Alex at .22 naman ang kay Agustin. (Affiant at this missing. On the same day, the police were able to locate the
juncture is pointing and referring to the handguns on top of this abandoned jeepney of the victim. Recovered therefrom was
investigator’s table particularly described as one (1) .38 cal rev Hilda Castro’s bag containing her address and telephone
marked Squires Bingham with SN-1102937 loaded w/ four live number.
ammos in its cylinder and one (1) .22 cal rev. marked On January 31, 1990, the cadaver of the victim was found
Commanche Chief with SN-105818 with four live ammos in its in Dagat-Dagatan, Caloocan City. The Certificate of Post
cylinder.) Mortem Examination issued by Dr. Valentin Bernales of the
18. T: Pansamantala ay wala muna akong itatanong sa iyo, may nais ka National Bureau of Investigation revealed that the cause of
bang sabihin pa? death of the victim was “Asphyxia by Drowning.” 6

S: Wala na po. For his defense, accused-appellant testified that on


19. T: Lalagdaan mo ba ang salaysay mong ito bilang patunay sa lahat February 9, 1990, while he was in an eatery in Caloocan, he
ng nasasaad dito? was arrested by armed Caloocan policemen. Prior to his
S: Opo. (End of Statement, 6:00 p. m./10 February 1990) 4
arrest, accused-appellant declared that he did not know his
Prosecution witness Hilda Castro, a public school teacher four co-accused. He denied participation in the commission
and a victim in one of the hold-up incidents staged by of the crime and claimed that he was tortured and forced to
accused-appellant and his cohorts on the night of January sign an extra-judicial confession. Accused-appellant insisted
29, 1990, testified that at about 10:00 in the evening of that he does not know Atty. Juanito Crisostomo and that he
January 29, 1990, she boarded a passenger jeepney in was never assisted by him during the custodial
Blumentritt bound for Sta. Cruz, Manila. As they investigation.
approached Tayuman Street, the culprits declared a hold-up
and divested them of their personal belongings. Aside from
Relying on accused-appellant and his co-accused’s extra- II
judicial confession, as well as on circumstantial evidence,
the trial court rendered the instant judgment of conviction. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN ALLOWING IN EVIDENCE
THE CONFESSION ALLEGEDLY SIGNED BY MR. PONSECA,
The dispositive portion thereof reads:
AS THE SAME WAS EXTRACTED WITHOUT THE PRESENCE
WHEREFORE, the guilt of accused ALEX DE GUZMAN y
OF COUNSEL AND WITHOUT THE ACCUSED BEING
MAGAT, AGUSTIN LADAO y LORETO, HENRY PONSECA y
INFORMED OF HIS CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS. 8

SORIANO, ANTONIO PANGANIBAN y AQUINO and


VICTORIO EUGENIO y ROQUE having been proven beyond The contentions are without merit. Settled is the rule that
reasonable doubt, this Court hereby adjudged them GUILTY for once the prosecution has shown that there was compliance
the crime of Robbery with Homicide sentences them to with the constitutional requirement on pre-interrogation
suffer RECLUSION PERPETUA; to indemnify the heirs of the advisories, a confession is presumed to be voluntary and the
deceased declarant bears the burden of proving that his confession
was involuntary and untrue. The burden is on the accused
_______________
to destroy this presumption. A confession is admissible until
5 TSN, July 26, 1990, pp. 16-18. the accused successfully proves that it was given as a result
6 Exh. “F”, Records, p. 67. of violence, intimidation, threat, or promise of reward or
538 leniency. 9

538 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


People vs. Ladao _______________
Alfonso dela Cruz the sum of Thirty Thousand (P30,000.00)
7 Rollo, p. 42.
Pesos; and to pay the sum of Ten Thousand Five Hundred 8 Rollo, p. 209.
(P10,500.00) Pesos representing expenses for the wake and burial 9 People v. Suarez, 267 SCRA 119, 134-135 [1997]; citing People v. Solis,

of herein victim. et al., 182 SCRA 182 [1990]; People v. Estevan, 186 SCRA 34 [1990];
In addition, accused AGUSTIN LADAO y LORETO is likewise 539
adjudged GUILTY for having violated Presidential Decree No. VOL. 370, NOVEMBER 27, 2001 539
1866, as amended and hereby sentences him to suffer People vs. Ladao
imprisonment of SEVENTEEN (17) YEARS, FOUR (4) MONTHS In the case at bar, aside from his bare allegations, accused-
and ONE (1) DAY as minimum to TWENTY (20) YEARS as
appellant failed to present any proof that force and violence
maximum.
SO ORDERED. 7
were employed to coerce him to sign the extra-judicial
Only Henry Ponseca appealed the trial court’s decision, confession. He did not submit himself to an examination by
raising the following errors: a physician to bolster his claim. Neither did he complain of
the alleged torture to his relatives or to Prosecutor Neptali
I Aliposa when he swore to the truth of his statement.
Likewise, he filed no criminal complaint or administrative
THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN ALLOWING IN EVIDENCE charge against the police officers concerned. As similarly
THE SIGNED CONFESSION OF MR. PONSECA AS THE SAME held in People v. Fabro, citing People v. Pia, all the
10 11

WAS OBTAINED BY FORCE, TORTURE AND DURESS. foregoing circumstances sufficiently show that no force or
violence was employed on accused-appellant and that his Accused-appellant’s allegation that he and his co-accused
confession was in fact given on his own volition. were not assisted by counsel during the custodial
Moreover, this Court agrees with the Solicitor General, investigation is belied by the affidavit executed by Atty.
that the language of the confession and the details thereof, Crisostomo attesting to the voluntariness of accused-
could only come from a participant in the commission of the appellant’s confession and the legal assistance he rendered
crime. Every aspect thereof jibes with the sworn statements during the investigation. Moreover, Atty. Crisostomo
given by his co-accused. His confession reflects the manner testified that he informed accused-appellant and his co-
in which the crime was committed; the kind of weapon used; accused of their constitutional rights and assisted them
the place where they boarded the victim’s jeepney; the role during the custodial investigation.
of each accused; and their relative positions inside the jeep. Having been obtained without infringing the
Furthermore, accused-appellant’s admission that they threw Constitutional safeguards, accused-appellant’s confession
the victim in an estero filled with water confirms the result constitutes evidence of the highest order since it is backed
of the post mortem examination indicating that the victim up by the strong presumption that no person of normal
drowned to death. mind would deliberately and knowingly confess to a crime
Accused-appellant contends that the extra-judicial unless he is prompted by truth and his conscience.13

confession is unworthy of belief because it allegedly accepts It bears stressing that apart from the extra-judicial
full responsibility for the crime charged. A guilty person, confession, the instant judgment of conviction is supported
accused-appellant argued, seldom admits his guilt fully and by other competent evidence. Hilda Castro’s testimony,
completely and has the tendency to explain or minimize his positively identifying accused-appellant and his co-accused
fault. A reading of accused-appellant’s confession, however, as the persons who robbed them between Tayuman and
discloses that, indeed, he tried to limit his liability by Blumentritt, is on all fours with the confession of accused-
implying that he had no intention to kill the victim as he appellant and that of his co-accused that after dumping the
was not aware that the estero where they threw the victim victim in the estero, they used the latter’s jeepney and
was filled with water. The exculpatory tone of accused- robbed the passengers they picked up in the Recto-Caloocan
appellant’s con- route and vice-versa. In fact, Hilda Castro’s bag was
recovered from the abandoned jeepney of the victim, which
_______________
shows that accused-appellant and his companions were the
People v. Prudente, et al., 133 SCRA 651 [1984]; People v. Parojinog, et same persons who took away the jeepney of the victim and
al., 203 SCRA 673 [1991]; and People v. Dasig, et al., 221 SCRA 549[1993]. killed him, and thereafter staged another hold-up where
10 277 SCRA 19, 37-38 [1997].
Hilda Castro happened to be one of the victims.
11 145 SCRA 581 [1986].
Prescinding from all the foregoing, we find no reason to
540
540 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
alter the trial court’s judgment of conviction. We agree with
the court a quo
People vs. Ladao
fession is demonstrative of its voluntariness rather than _______________
compulsion. 12
12 People v. Mada-I Santalani, 93 SCRA 315, 325 [1979]; citing People v.
awarded by the trial court for wake and burial expenses is
Palencia, 71 SCRA 679 [1976].
13 People v. Aquino, et al., 310 SCRA 437, 438 [1999]; citing People v.
DELETED for lack of basis.
Calvo, Jr., 269 SCRA 676 [1997]. SO ORDERED.
541 Davide, Jr. (C.J.,
VOL. 370, NOVEMBER 27, 2001 541 Chairman), Puno, Kapunan and Pardo, JJ., concur.
People vs. Ladao
_______________
that accused-appellant’s denial of his participation in the
crime is unconvincing. The assessment of a witness’ 14 People v. Clemente, 316 SCRA 667, 672-673 [1999]; citing People v.

credibility is the sole province of the trial court. Being in 14 Dela Cruz, 190 SCRA 335 [1990].
15 People v. Panaga, 306 SCRA 695, 708-709 [1999]; citing Del Rosario v.
the best position to observe the deportment and demeanor of
Court of Appeals, 267 SCRA 158 [1997].
accused-appellant on the witness stand, the Court accords 16 People v. Dubria, G.R. No. 138887, September 26, 2000, 341 SCRA 134.

full faith and credence to its findings and conclusions. 542


Under Art. 294(1) of the Revised Penal Code, the penalty 542 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
for robbery with homicide is reclusion perpetua to death. People vs. Plana
There being neither mitigating nor aggravating Judgment affirmed with modification.
circumstance, the lesser penalty of reclusion perpetuashould Note.—Confessions extracted without the assistance of
be imposed on accused-appellant. counsel are taboo and useless in a court of law. (People vs.
With respect to accused-appellant’s civil liability, the Muleta, 309 SCRA 148 [1999])
Court has consistently ruled that actual or compensatory
damages must be duly proved and established with ——o0o——
reasonable degree of certainty, and courts cannot rely on
conjecture or guesswork on the fact and extent of © Copyright 2018 Central Book Supply, Inc. All rights reserved.
damages. Upon examination of the records, we find that the
15

award of P10,500.00 as burial and wake expenses is without


basis, and should therefore be deleted. As to the indemnity
for the death of the victim, the award should be increased to
P50,000.00 consistent with prevailing jurisprudence. 16

WHEREFORE, the Decision of the Regional Trial Court


of Caloocan City, Branch 131, finding accused-appellant
Henry Ponseca y Soriano guilty beyond reasonable doubt of
the crime of robbery with homicide, and sentencing him to
suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua, is AFFIRMED with
the MODIFICATION that the indemnity to the heirs of the
victim should be increased to P50,000.00. The P10,500.00
478 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED merely his estimates and can be moderately exact or
People vs. Encipido moderately inexact specially with provincial folk. The important
No. L-70091. December 29, 1986. *
fact is that even from where he was, he witnessed the incident
and his description of it was corroborated by the admission of
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-
APPELLANTS themselves and supported by the autopsy findings
appellee, vs. BRIGIDO ENCIPIDO, CHARLITO on the cadaver. As this Court ruled in People vs. Hamtig, et al.,
MANATAD, JESUS RUBIO, RUDY LUMARDA, JOSE "the credibility of the testimony of a witness is not affected by
CABAGERAN, EDDIE DE LA PEÑA, CRIS RAMIREZ, and some flaws and inconsistencies in minor details, if as regards the
JESUS or JOHN DOE, accused, BRIGIDO ENCIPIDO, main incident, the identities of the malefactors, the testimonies
CHARLITO MANATAD, and EDDIE DE LA PEÑA, appear to be consistent with each other."
accused-appellants. Same; A person observing a startling occurrence would strive
Evidence; Eyewitness account that jibes with the autopsy to know their faces.—And although it was admittedly the first
findings becomes credible.—Eyewitness Felicisimo Alciso time that Alciso saw the malefactors, it does not necessarily f
positively identified APPELLANTS as among the group who led ollow that he could not have recognized their faces. Persons
the DECEASED out of his hut, with his hands tied behind his observing a startling occurrence would strive to know the ones
back, and thereafter mauled him and hacked his neck in the involved specially where as in this case the DECE ASED was not
afternoon of March 30, 1982. The autopsy findings, particularly, unknown to Alciso.
the "incised wound of the neck," "contusions left lumbar region" Same; Fact that witness went to the jail to verify the identity
and "both hands tied at the back with rattan" confirm his of the malefactors does not make his testimony suspect the reason
description of what he had wit therefor being given.—Next, it is argued that Alciso's testimony
Same; Specific statements of distances would be inexact, that he went to the jail to verify the identity of the malefactors is
particularly with provincial folk. The important fact is that where not worthy of credence. Concededly, that actuation was unusual.
he was the witness observed the incident and was corroborated by However, as the witness explained, he did so because he feared
admissions of the accused.—The defense further claims that that he may be the next one to be killed. And the fact that he
Alciso could not have recognized the assailants because he was at asked DE LA PEÑA why the latter was in jail does not
a distance of 80 to 90 meters away from the scene of the crime. In necessarily lead to the conclusion, as alleged, that he had not
another instance, however, he said that the place of the killing witnessed the occurrence. a friendly question was more likely to
was about "20 arms length" from the hut of the DECEASED, evoke a candid answer.
while he was also about the same distance from the hut at that Same; Failure to mention the names of the culprits in the
time. The distances stated were sworn statement does not affect credibility. Such affidavits are not
infrequently incomplete.—There is nothing strange either in
________________ Alciso's not having mentioned the culprits by name in his sworn
statement taken more than three months after the incident,
*EN BANC.
479
having referred to them merely as "five persons." As is well
VOL. 146, DECEMBER 29, 1986 47 known "an affidavit is not prepared by the affiant himself.
Omissions and misunderstandings are not infrequent,
9
particularly under circumstances of hurry and impatience."
People vs. Encipido Same; Admissions made before the Mayor and Station
Commander during a conference that defendants were responsible
for killing the victims is an admission.—ENCIPIDO and DE LA Same; Same; Non-presentation by fiscal of a confession by one
PEÑA verbally acknowledged their guilt before Station accused gives rise to no adverse presumption.—And while it may
Commander Ortega and Municipal Mayor Espina when they be that ENCIPIDO's written statement before the PC on May 6,
individually boasted that they had killed the DECEASED so that 1982 confessing to the killing of the DECE ASED was not
the latter could no longer presented at the trial, no presumption of wilfull suppression of
480 evidence may be levelled against the prosecution on account of its
4 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED non-production. Apparently, for the prosecution, it was not
80 important or necessary to bolster up its case.
People vs. Encipido Same; Same; Witnesses may testify on what accused confessed
harm other people with his witchcraft. They admitted that to them orally.—The argument that the testimonies of Station
they had beheaded the DECEASED. DE LA PEÑA even showed Commander Ortega, Mayor Espina, and Alciso as to the
the Mayor the DECEASED's dried ear which he had severed. extrajudicial admissions made to them respectively by
Further, while in jail, DE LA PEÑA also admitted to Alciso, when ENCIPIDO and/or DE LA PEÑA constitute hearsay, and thus
the latter asked him the reason for their confinement, that it was inadmissible, is not well taken.
because they were the ones who had beheaded the DECEASED. 481
These oral confessions indicating complicity in the commission of VOL. 146, DECEMBER 29, 1986 48
the crime with which they are charged are admissible in evidence 1
against the declarants ENCIPIDO and DE LA PEÑA pursuant to People vs. Encipido
Sections 22 and 29 of the Rules of Court. It is the fact that Oral confessions may be proved by any competent witness by
admissions were made by APPELLANTS and against their own whom they were heard, the same as any other fact.
interest which gives them their evidentiary value. Same; Same; A statement involving guilt does not lose its
Same; Confessions; Extrajudicial confessions that are character as a confession although accompanied by exculpatory
identical in their material respects are admissible, respectively, expressions.—True, DE LA PEÑA exculpated himself by stating
against all declarants.—It is also to be noted that APPELLANTS' that he was only forced to join the group and was merely standing
extrajudicial confessions were independently made without by when the killing occurred. A statement involving guilt does
collusion, are identical with each other in their material respects not, however, lose its character as a confession from the fact that
and confirmatory of the other. They are, therefore, also it was accompanied by statements of an exculpatory nature, it
admissible as circumstantial evidence against their co-accused being "the natural tendency of every transgressor, with perhaps
implicated therein to show the probability of the latter's actual very rare exceptions, to acquit himself while he can do so from all
participation in the commission of the crime. They are also liability that might arise from his act, or at least mitigate it in the
admissible as corroborative evidence against the others, it being eyes of the law and those of his fellowmen." Like other evidence,
clear from other facts and circumstances presented that persons it must be weighed, believed, or disbelieved in whole or in part, as
other than the declarants themselves participated in the com- reason may decide. Herein, the exculpatory statement has been
\ mission of the crime charged and proved. They are what is proven false by Alciso's credible account that upon ENCIPIDO's
commonly known as interlocking confessions and constitute an orders, DE LA PEÑA hacked the DECEASED's neck with a bolo
exception to the general rule that extrajudicial which almost severed the latter's head, which testimony is
confessions/admissions are admissible in evidence only against confirmed by the autopsy finding of "incised wound on the neck."
the declarants thereof. It was likewise proven false by DE LA PEÑA's own extrajudicial
admission to the Municipal Mayor that he had hacked the
DECEASED's neck and severed his ear, which is buttressed by and extrajudicial admission/confession, which are interlocking
the post mortem finding of "removed right external ear." and admissible as against themselves and as against the others
Same; Same; A judicial admission by one accused is whom they also implicated. Neither were ENCIPIDO and
admissible against his co-accused as distinguished from an MANATAD able to prove that they were at some place for such a
extrajudicial confession which, as a rule, is admissible only period of time that it was impossible for them to have been at the
against the one making it—DE LA PEÑA's judicial admission is scene of the crime at the time of its commission. Barangay Boa
admissible not only against him but against his co-accused where ENCIPIDO was allegedly sawing lumber was
ENCIPIDO and MANATAD as well. The general rule that the approximately 60 kilometers away, and Barangay Malinao where
confession of an accused may be given in evidence against him MANATAD was supposedly plowing the field, about 12
but that it is not competent evidence against his co-accused, kilometers, from Barangay Mabini, Tubajon, Surigao where the
admits of exceptions. Thus, this Court has held that where incident occurred.
several accused are tried together for the same complaint, the
testimony lawfully given by one during the trial implicating the YAP, J., dissenting:
others is competent evidence against the latter. "The extrajudicial
admission or confession of a co-conspirator out of court is different Criminal Procedure; It was prejudicial error in a joint trial to
from the testimony given by a co-accused during trial. The first is use testimony of one accused against the accused in the other case
admissible against the declarant alone, but the second is perfectly where all are represented by one counsel.—Firstly, it was
admissible against his co-accused," who had the right and prejudicial error for the trial court, in a joint trial of the accused,
opportunity to cross-examine the declarant. to use the testimony of one of the accused against the other
Same; Same; Attorneys; Criminal Procedure; Defense counsel accused, where the latter had no opportunity to cross-examine the
should cross-examine an accused, who is one of his clients, when former because all of the accused were represented by one and the
said same counsel de oficio.
482 Same; Evidence; A purely exculpatory testimony by one
4 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED accused who puts the blame on the other accused is not admissible
82 against the latter.—The trial court, in the first place, erred in
People vs. Encipido applying the above doctrine since the accused Eddie de la Peña, in
accused turns hostile, as against his co-accused, or else his testimony, did not admit his guilt. In other words, his
present rebuttal testimony.—ln other words, the reason counsel declaration was not an admission against interest, but is merely
refrained from cross examination was not because he was not an exculpatory statement. It was purely a self-serving statement,
given the opportunity to do so but because DE LA PEÑA did not throwing the blame for the offense on the other co-accused; hence,
follow counsel's bidding as to the nature of his testimony. The it should not have been admitted as evidence against them.
483
coached testimony failed but the truth prevailed. Besides, defense
counsel could have presented rebuttal evidence to overcome DE VOL. 146, DECEMBER 29, 1986 48
LA PEÑA's testimony if he had chosen to do so but did not. 3
Same; Same; Alibi cannot prevail over positive identification People vs. Encipido
and interlocking confessions.—The defense of alibi separately Same; Same; Where an accused becomes hostile towards his
interposed by ENCIPIDO and MANATAD cannot prevail over coaccused and they are represented by the same counsel, trial
their positive identification by eyewitness Alciso, by ENCIPIDO's judge must suspend trial and appoint another counsel for the
verbal acknowledgments of guilt, and by DE LA PEÑA's judicial others or the hostile defendant—They were all represented by the
same lawyer de oficio. Counsel de oficio could not and did not The Solicitor General for plaintiff-appellee.
cross-examine his own client, Eddie de la Peña, who was not a Ignacio P. Moleta for accused-appellants.
mere witness but also an accused testifying in his own behalf. 484
Thus, when it became apparent that the interest of one accused 484 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
was in conflict with the interest of the other two co-accused, it People vs. Encipido
should have been immediately obvious to the trial court that the
three accused could not be represented by one and the same MELENCIO-HERRERA, J.:
counsel. The trial court should have suspended the trial and
appointed another counsel de oficio to represent the accused de la On March 30, 1982, Jose Lacumbes (hereinafter referred to
Peña or the other co-accused in order to provide the latter the as the DECEASED), a resident of Barangay Mabini in the
opportunity to cross-examine the former. Unfortunately, this was
Municipality of Tubajon, Surigao del Norte, was found killed
not done. Hence, for the trial court to have considered the
testimony of De la Peña against his co-accused was a serious by his wife and children near the hut in their farm in Sitio
prejudicial error. Capacohan in the same barangay. Post Mortem findings
Same; Same; Oral confessions which are conflicting in perf ormed the following morning were:
material respects should not be admitted.—It was grave error for
the trial court to consider as evidence against the accused the 1. "1)Incised wound of the neck.
supposed extrajudicial oral confession or admission of guilt by the 2. 2)Eight [8] multiple stab wounds at the back; one [1]
accused, where there were vital discrepancies in the testimonies inch in length and two and a half [2½] inches in
of the witnesses who were presented by the prosecution to depth.
establish the same. Police Commander Jorge Ortega testified that 3. 3)Removed right external ear.
Brigido Encepido told him that he was the one who beheaded Jose 4. 4)Contusions left lumbar region.
Lacumbes. Mayor Mariano Espina, on the other hand, testified
5. 5)Both hands tied at the back with rattan.
that Eddie de la Peña told him that he was the one who beheaded
the deceased Jose Lacumbes.
Evidence; Testimony of Felicisimo Alciso suffers from several CAUSE OF DEATH: Hemorrhage, severe, secondary to
inconsistencies.—Without the testimonies of Mayor Espina and incised wounds of the neck and multiple stab wounds at the
Police Commander Jorge Ortega and that of the accused Eddie de back."
la Peña, the only testimony that remains to support the judgment On February 2, 1983, in Criminal Case No. 14 of the
of the trial court is that of Felicisimo Alciso who claimed to have Regional Trial Court, 10th Judicial Region, Branch 32 (the
witnessed the killing. However, the testimony of this witness CASE BELOW), the following eight (8) persons: (1) Brigido
suffers from some serious flaws which raise grave doubts as to its ENCIPIDO, (2) Charlito MANATAD, (3) Eddie DE LA
value. Hence, his testimony alone cannot be used as the sole basis PEÑA (hereinafter referred to as APPELLANTS), (4) Jesus
for convicting the accused. Rubio, (5) Rudy Lumarda, (6) Jose Cabageran, (7) Cris
Ramirez, and (8) Jesus or John Doe were charged with
APPEAL from the judgment of Regional Trial Court of
Murder for the death of the DECEASED. Only
Surigao City, Br. XXXII.
APPELLANTS were tried, the other five accused having
The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court. remained at large.
A review of the prosecution evidence presented in the C while he was massaging one of the accused, Rudy Lamarda,
ASE BELOW can begin with the testimony of Felicisimo on March 10, 1982, the latter told him that his ailment was
Alciso. This witness narrated that he went to the hut of the caused by witchcraft of the victim, Jose Lacumbes, and that
DECEASED in the afternoon of March 30, 1982, in order to he would seek the aid of the rebels to cut Lacumbes' head.
get some chickens which the latter had promised him but Four days later, Bagacay met one of those originally
that, before reaching the hut, he heard a gunshot. He indicted, Jesus Rubio, who confided to him that they would
stopped and saw that the DECEASED was being tied and cut Lacumbes' neck f or making Lumarda sick and for being
subjected to fist blows. There were three persons who responsible f or all the witchcraft in the community.
mauled the DECEASED, while others stayed at a distance. Subsequently, witness Bagacay heard of the death of
Then, somebody struck the DECE ASED with the butt of a Lacumbes at the hands of the rebels.
gun causing the latter to fall to the ground. He described Two other prosecution witnesses supported the testimony
that the hands of the DECEASED were tied at the back, of Alciso. Jorge Ortega, INP Station Commander of Loreto,
ENCIPIDO was behind the DE- Agusan del Norte, testified that when he had just arrived
485 from Surigao City at about 2:30 o'clock P.M. of May 1, 1982,
VOL. 146, DECEMBER 29, 1986 485 and while still at the wharf, he was met by ENCIPIDO, who
People vs. Encipido introduced himself as "Commander Tanga," invited him
CEASED, while MANATAD and DE LA PEÑA were on the (Ortega) for a drink so he could talk to the latter personally.
sides. On orders of ENCIPIDO, also known as "Commander
1
Having ac-
Tanga," DE LA PEÑA, also called "Agosto de la Peña,"
struck the DECEASED's neck with a bolo which almost ________________
severed the latter's head. Frightened, witness Alciso fled 1T.s.n., June 20, 1983, p. 51.
from the scene. 486
After learning from friends and neighbors that those who 486 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
had killed the DECE ASED were detained, Alciso went to People vs. Encipido
the jail to find out for himself if they were among the group cepted the invitation, the two proceeded to a store where
responsible for the death of the DECEASED, and because "I ENCIPIDO's fourteen companions were already waiting.
was afraid that I will be the next one to be killed by them." They introduced themselves as rebels and offered to help
He recognized APPELLANTS as among the suspects. When the municipal government. In the course of the
he asked DE LA PEÑA why he was in jail, the latter conversation, ENCIPIDO and DE LA PEÑA disclosed to the
answered that it was because they were the ones who had Station Commander that they were the ones who had
beheaded the DECEASED. Alciso was unable to talk to beheaded the DECEASED, killed a certain Benny and one
ENCIPIDO and MANATAD. Balaba, and who were responsible for all the killings in
Before Alciso, there was another prosecution witness Dinagat Island.
presented, Armando Bagacay, whose testimony turned out The other prosecution witness, Mariano Espina, the
to be hearsay but which nevertheless is reproduced here to Municipal Mayor of Loreto, testified that in the evening of
complete the evidence for the prosecution. He testified that
that same day of May 1, 1982, Station Commander Jorge lumber from morning till 3:00 P.M. at Barangay Boa for a
Ortega informed him that Commander Tanga" and his men certain Norberto Bukid. After working he rested in Bukid's
wanted to pay him a courtesy call. They arrived at about house and did not leave the place. He further testified that
8:00 in the evening at his house. They introduced he did not know the DECEASED nor the Station
themselves and placed their sidearms on a table as a sign of Commander, nor the Municipal Mayor except when he
goodwill. At the time, there were about 2 policemen and 3 surrendered his .45 caliber pistol to the latter on May
CHDF men outside the house but no arrests were made, nor 2,1982 after which he was arrested. He decided to surrender
were firearms confiscated, as a sign of reciprocal goodwill. his pistol because he was afraid he might be apprehended
"Commander Tanga" then confided to the Mayor his mission for having an unlicensed firearm. MANATAD and DE LA
to cooperate with his administration as they had heard that PEÑA were also placed in jail with him. Thereafter, with
he was a good Mayor. He also informed the Mayor that he seven others, he was taken to PC headquarters at Surigao
had been a member of the NPA since he was 13 years old; City where they were severely maltreated and he was forced
that he had already killed many people, including the to sign an affidavit admitting that he is "Commander
DECEASED, so that the latter could no longer harm other Tanga" responsible for the killing of the DECEASED and
people with his witchcraft. For his part, DE LA PEÑA other persons. He denied having admitted to the Station
brought out a sharp-pointed knife and tried to test its Commander and to the Municipal Mayor his identity as
sharpness, admitted having cut the neck of the DECEASED, "Commander Tanga" or that he had killed the DECE ASED
and even showed the latter's ear, dried by that time. and other persons besides.
The foregoing testimonies were buttressed from a most MANATAD, for his part, also denied all imputations
unexpected source. DE LA PEÑA, to the surpise of against him, stating that he only came to know ENCIPIDO
APPELLANTS' common counsel, testified in open Court in jail; that he did not know the DECEASED nor who killed
that, although he belonged to the group of "Commander him; that during the whole day of March 30, 1982, he was
Tanga," the latter, MANATAD and a third individual plowing the field tenanted by his mother-in-law at Barangay
merely forced him to join, threatening to kill him if he Malinao; that he started plowing early in the morning and
refused; that he was with the group from March 28, 1982; stopped at about 5:00 o'clock P.M. after which he stayed
that he was present on March 30, 1982 when "Commander home. Barangay Captain Sergio Peniones partially
Tanga" and MANATAD killed the DECEASED but that he corroborated MANATAD's testimony by stating that he saw
was merely standing by; that the duo were the first ones MANATAD plowing the field in the morning of March 30,
apprehended, and after them he was also arrested by the 1982. MANATAD's wife, Bienvenida Edusma, also testified
CHDF. that her husband stayed home after 5:00 o'clock P.M. of that
487 day as he was tired after the day's work; that, in fact, she
VOL. 146, DECEMBER 29, 1986 487 quarreled with her husband because he refused to
People vs. Encipido accompany her in bringing their sick child to Tubajon so
In their defense, ENCIPIDO and MANATAD denied having that she went alone carrying the child even though she was
killed the victim and interposed the defense of alibi. then seven months pregnant.
ENCIPIDO claimed that on March 30, 1982, he was sawing
In a Decision promulgated by the Trial Court on "D
December 5, 1984, APPELLANTS were found guilty of
Murder and sentenced to reclusion perpetua, to pay "The lower Court erred in convicting appellants Brigido
Encipido and Charlito Manatad;
damages to the heirs of the
488
"E
488 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
People vs. Encipido "The lower Court erred in refusing to give due course to
DECEASED in the amount of P12,000.00 and to pay 3/8 of appellants' motion for reconsideration holding that it was filed
the costs. out of time when its judgment accordingly has become final;
On behalf of APPELLANTS, counsel de officio filed a 489
Motion for Reconsideration before the Trial Court on VOL. 146, DECEMBER 29, 1986 489
December 26, 1984, which the latter denied for having been People vs. Encipido
filed more than fifteen (15) days after the promulgation date
of December 5, 1984. A Notice of Appeal filed before the "F
then Intermediate Appellate Court was allowed as an
"The lower Court erred in convicting appellant Eddie de la Peña."
appeal, not from the judgment but from the Order denying The evidence against APPELLANTS, taken "en conjunto"
the Motion for Reconsideration. The penalty imposed by the justifies the finding of guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
Trial Court being reclusion perpetua, the appeal was 1. Eyewitness Felicisimo Alciso positively identified
indorsed to this instance, which we accepted in the interest APPELLANTS as among the group who led the DECEASED
of substantial justice. out of his hut, with his hands tied behind his back, and
APPELLANTS raise the f ollowing Assignments of Error: thereafter mauled him and hacked his neck in the afternoon
"A of March 30, 1982. The autopsy findings, particularly, the
"incised wound of the neck," "contusions left lumbar region"
"The lower Court erred in giving credence to the hearsay and "both hands tied at the back with rattan" confirm his
testimonies of prosecution witnesses Mariano Espina and George description of what he had witnessed.
Ortega basing therefrom its findings of conviction; The defense contents, however, that said witness could
not have recognized APPELLANTS.
"B It is true that at the start of his testimony, he had stated
that he did not recognize the assailants. Thus:
"The lower Court erred in giving credence to the incredible and
hearsay testimony of Felicisimo Alciso, the alleged eyewitness; "Q. Who were the persons who mauled Jose Lacumbes during that time?
"A. I saw that there were three of them but I could not recognize them;
"C and there were some other persons who were staying from a
distance.
2

"The lower Court erred in appreciating the so-called judicial


admission of accused Eddie de la Peña as against his co-accused
Brigido Encipido and Charlito Manatad;
That testimony, however, referred to the early stage of the instance, however, he said that the place of the killing was
incident when the victim was being mauled. Subsequently, about "20 arms length" from the hut of the DECEASED,
in respect of the killing itself, the witness declared: while he was also about the same distance from the hut at
that time. The distances stated were merely his estimates
"Fiscal Sandangal: and can be moderately exact or moderately inexact specially
with provincial folk. The important fact is that even from
"Could you not recognize the three persons who killed Jose
where he was, he witnessed the incident and his description
Lacumbes?
of it was corroborated by the admission of APPELLANTS
"Witness: themselves and supported by the autopsy findings on the
cadaver. As this Court ruled in People vs. Hamtig, et
"I could recognize the three persons who killed Jose al., "the credibility of the testimony of a witness is not
6

Lacumbes." 3
affected by some flaws and inconsistencies in minor details,
if as regards the main incident, the identities of the
________________
malefactors, the testimonies appear to be consistent with
2ibid., p. 30. each other."
3ibid., pp. 30-31. And although it was admittedly the first time that Alciso
490 saw the malefactors, it does not necessarily follow that he
490 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
People vs. Encipido ________________
Then he described specifically: 4 ibid., p. 35.
"'Q. What else did you see, if any? 5 ibid., p. 33.
A. I saw that somebody was beating Jose Lacumbes with the use of a 6 29 SCRA 14 (1969).

gun, and when Jose Lacumbes fell down, Commander Tanga 491
commanded Eddie de la Peña to cut the head of the victim, but the VOL. 146, DECEMBER 29, 1986 491
head was not severed from the body." 4 People vs. Encipido
After pointing to the APPELLANTS in the Courtroom, and could not have recognized their faces. Persons observing a
replying to a question by the Court, Alciso further startling occurrence would strive to know the ones involved
explained: specially where as in this case the DECEASED was not
"Court: (addressing to the witness) When did you know the accused unknown to Alciso.
by their names? Next, it is argued that Alciso's testimony that he went to
"WITNESS: In the jail, your Honor. Before I met them in the jail, I the jail to verify the identity of the malefactors is not worthy
already recognize' their faces but I just do not know their of credence. Concededly, that actuation was unusual.
names. Later on, I already know their names."5
However, as the witness explained he did so because he
The defense further claims that Alciso could not have feared that he may be the next one to be killed. And the fact
recognized the assailants because he was at a distance of 80 that he asked DE LA PEÑA why the latter was in jail does
to 90 meters away from the scene of the crime. In another not necessarily lead to the conclusion, as alleged, that he
had not witnessed the occurrence. A friendly question was It is also to be noted that APPELLANTS' extrajudicial
more likely to evoke candid answer. confessions were independently made without collusion, are
There is nothing strange either in Alciso's not having identical with each other in their material respects and
mentioned the culprits by name in his sworn statement confirmatory of the other. They are, therefore, also
taken more than three months after the incident, having admissible as circumstantial evidence against their co-
referred to them merely as "five persons." As is well known accused implicated therein to show the probability of the
"an affidavit is not prepared by the affiant himself. latter's actual participation in the commission of the
Omissions and misunderstandings are not infrequent, crime. They are also admissible as corroborative evidence
11

particularly under circumstances of hurry and impatience." 7 against the others, it being clear from other facts and
ENCIPIDO and DE LA PEÑA verbally acknowledged circumstances presented that persons other than the
their guilt before Station Commander Ortega and Municipal declarants themselves participated in the commission of the
Mayor Espina when they individually boasted that they had crime charged and proved. They are what is commonly
12

killed the DECE ASED so that the latter could no longer known as interlocking confession and constitute an
harm other people with his witchcraft. They admitted that exception to the general rule that extrajudicial
they had beheaded the DECEASED. DE LA PEÑA even confessions/admissions are admissible in evidence only
showed the Mayor the DECEASED's dried ear which he had against the declarants thereof.
severed. Further, while in jail, DE LA PEÑA also admitted And while it may be that ENCIPIDO's written statement
to Alciso, when the latter asked him the reason for their before the PC on May 6, 1982 confessing to the killing of the
confinement, that it was because they were the ones who DECEASED was not presented at the trial, no presumption
had beheaded the DECEASED. These oral confessions of wilful suppression of evidence may be levelled against the
indicating complicity in the commission of the crime with prosecution on account of its non-production. Apparently, for
which they are charged are admissible in evidence against the prosecution, it was not important or necessary to bolster
the declarants ENCIPIDO and DE LA PEÑA pursuant to up its case.
Sections 22 and 29 of the Rules of
8 9 The argument that the testimonies of Station
Commander Ortega, Mayor Espina, and Alciso as to the
________________
extrajudicial admissions made to them respectively by
7 People vs. Mori, 55 SCRA 382 (1974). ENCIPIDO and/or DE LA PEÑA constitute hearsay, and
8 SEC. 22. Admissions of a party.—The act, declaration or omission of a thus inadmissible, is not well taken. Oral confessions may
party as to a relevant fact may be given in evidence against him. be proved by any competent witness by whom they were
9 SEC. 29. Confession.—The declaration of an accused ex
heard, the same as any other fact:
492
"The rule is that 'any person, otherwise competent as a witness,
492 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
who heard the confession, is competent to testify as to the
People vs. Encipido substance pressly acknowledging his guilt of the offense charged,
Court. It is the fact that admissions were made by may be given in evidence against him.
APPELLANTS and against their own interest which gives
them their evidentiary value. 10 ________________
10 U.S. vs. Corrales, 28 Phil. 362, 366 (1914). them since two days before the incident, and that he was
11 People vs. Domondon, 43 SCRA 486 (1972).
12 People vs. Aquino, 57 SCRA 43 (1974).
with ENCIPIDO and MANATAD when they killed the
493 DECEASED. DE LA PEÑA's declaration confirms the
VOL. 146, DECEMBER 29, 1986 493 existence of the group, their responsibility for the killing
People vs. Encipido and, at the very least, his presence during the commission of
of what he heard if he heard and understood all of it. An oral the crime.
confession need not be repeated verbatim, but in such case it True, DE LA PEÑA exculpated himself by stating that he
must be given in its substance.' (23 C.J.S. 196). was only forced to join the group and was merely standing
"Proof of the contents of an oral extrajudicial confession may by
be made by the testimony of a person who testifies that he was
present, heard, understood, and remembers the substance of the ________________
conversation or statement made by the accused.' (Underhill's
Criminal Evidence, 4th Ed., Niblack, sec. 278, p. 551)."
13 cited in People vs. Tawat, 129 SCRA 431 (1984).
13

494
ENCIPIDO's and DE LA PEÑA's extrajudicial
494 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
acknowledgments of guilt to the Municipal Mayor and the
People vs. Encipido
INP Station Commander are not necessarily incredible for,
in their minds, they were not "confessing" but bragging of when the killing occurred. A statement involving guilt does
their exploits in the belief that they were saving the not, -however, lose its character as a confession from the
community from the witchcraft of the DECEASED and the fact that it was accompanied by statements of an
evil doings of some people. There is no proof whatsoever exculpatory nature, it being "the natural tendency of every
14

that the extrajudicial admissions in question were coerced transgressor, with perhaps very rare exceptions, to acquit
or concocted by those officials, who are responsible public himself while he can do so from all liability that might arise
officers and presumed to have regularly performed their from his act, or at least mitigate it in the eyes of the law and
functions and against whose impartiality nothing has been those of his fellowmen". Like other evidence, it must be
15

proven. The fact that no arrest were made by them weighed, believed, or disbelieved in whole or in part, as
immediately after the disclosures do not necessarily belie reason may decide. Herein, the exculpatory statement has
their testimonies since the spirit of "reciprocal goodwill" been proven false by Alciso's credible account that upon
pervaded the encounters. Arrests were made, however, the ENCIPIDO's orders, DE LA PEÑA hacked the
day after, or on May 2,1982. DECEASED's neck with a bolo which almost severed the
APPELLANTS had the opportunity during the trial to latter's head, which testimony is confirmed by the autopsy
refute their verbal admissions as in fact, they denied having finding of "incised wound on the neck." It was likewise
made them, but their denials do not ring with truth in the proven false by DE LA PEÑA's own extrajudicial admission
face of other inculpating evidence. to the Municipal Mayor that he had hacked the
3. The additional incriminating evidence was furnished DECEASED's neck and severed his ear, which is buttressed
by DE LA PEÑA who, in open Court, under oath, testified by the post mortem finding of "removed right external ear."
that he belonged to "Commander Tanga's" group, was with
DE LA PEÑA's judicial admission is admissible not only opportunity to do so but because DE LA PEÑA did not
against him but against his co-accused ENCIPIDO and follow counsel's bidding as to the nature of his testimony.
MANATAD as well. The general rule that the confession of The coached testimony failed but the truth prevailed.
an accused may be given in evidence against him but that it Besides, defense counsel could have presented rebuttal
is not competent evidence against his co-accused, admits of evidence to overcome DE LA PEÑA's testimony if he had
exceptions. Thus, this Court has held that where several chosen to do so but did not.
accused are tried together for the same complaint, the Thus, MANATAD's direct participation in the
testimony lawfully given by one during the trial implicating commission of the crime with which he is charged has been
the others is competent evidence against the latter. "The 16 established by DE LA PEÑA's declaration in open Court
extrajudicial admission or confession of a co-conspirator out that "Commander Tanga and Charlito Manatad killed a
of court is different from the testimony given by a co-accused certain person," and the corroborative testimony of Alciso,
during trial. The first is admissible against the declarant who categorically testified that MANATAD was on one side
alone, but the second is perfectly admissible against his co- of the DECEASED, DE LA PEÑA on the other and
accused," who had the right and opportunity to cross-
17 ENCIPIDO at the back when they perpetrated the offense
examine the declarant. In this case, counsel de officio had with which they are changed. In MANATAD's respect,
such opportunity to cross-examine DE LA PEÑA but did not therefore, it is not necessary to invoke "conspiracy" to
avail of it because in his own words: support his conviction.
The defense of alibi separately interposed by ENCIPIDO
________________
and MANATAD cannot prevail over their positive
14 Bortimore vs. State, 25 Wyo., 452; 162 Pac. 766. identification by eyewitness Alciso, by ENCIPIDO's verbal
15 People vs. Layos, 60 Phil. 760 (1934). acknowledgments of guilt, and by DE LA PEÑA's judicial
16 People vs. Gumaling, 61 Phil. 165 (1935); U.S. vs. Macamay, 36 Phil.
and extrajudicial admission/confession, which are
893 (1917); People vs. Borromeo, 60 Phil. 691 (1934).
17 People vs. Mabassa, 65 Phil 538 (1938).
interlocking and admissible as against themselves and as
495 against the others whom they also implicated. Neither were
VOL. 146, 495 ENCIPIDO and MANATAD able to prove that they were at
DECEMBER 29, some place for such a period of time that it was impossible
1986 for them to have been at the scene of the crime at the time
People vs. Encipido of its commission. Barangay Boa where ENCIPIDO was
"Atty. Moleta: I would like to inform the Honorable Court that I am allegedly sawing lumber was approximately 60 kilometers
in quandary. It is my duty as counsel-de-oficio to be away, and Barangay
19

candid to this Honorable Court. The witness has not ________________


actually followed what I intimated to him to be the
nature of his testimony.
18
T.s.n., December 1, 1983, p. 136.
18

In other words, the reason counsel refrained from cross T.s.n.. September 27, 1983, p. 98.
19

496
examination was not because he was not given the
496 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
People vs. Encipido 497
Malinao where MANATAD was supposedly plowing the VOL. 146, DECEMBER 29, 1986 497
field, about 12 kilometers, from Barangay Mabini, Tubajon,
20 People vs. Encipido
Surigao where the incident occurred.
In the last analysis, the core issue addresses itself to the YAP, J., dissenting:
credibility of witnesses, a matter that the Trial Court had
I disagree with the majority opinion. This dissent will not
unequalled competence to consider and decide since it was
alter the results, but there are two points I wish to stress.
in a vantage position to observe the conduct and demeanor
Firstly, it was prejudicial error for the trial court, in a
of the witnesses of both sides while testifying, an
joint trial of the accused, to use the testimony of one of the
opportunity not afforded to Appellate Courts. Its findings as
accused against the other accused, where the latter had no
to credibility should not be disturbed and are entitled to
opportunity to cross-examine the former because all of the
great weight unless there is some fact of record that has
accused were represented by one and the same counsel de
been overlooked or the significance of which has been
oficio.
misconstrued, which exceptions we find absent herein.
21

In the instant case, Eddie de la Peña, one of the co-


The last assigned error delving on the refusal of the Trial
accused, testified in court that, under threat of being killed,
Court to give due course to appellants' Motion for
he was forced to join the group of the accused Brigido
Reconsideration on the ground that the judgment had
Encepido, alias Commander Tanga, on March 28,1982; that
become final is no longer of any consequence since all the
the group forcibly took him along with them; and that he
grounds therefor have been elevated to and considered by
was present when they killed Jose Lacumbes on March 30,
this Court on appeal.
1982. The trial court held that the testimony of De la Peña
In fine, the threads of evidence woven together establish
was admissible not only against him, but also against the
APPELLANTS' guilt to a moral certainty.
other co-accused. The court cited the doctrine that "if a
WHEREFORE, the judgment appealed from is hereby
defendant testifies as a witness in a joint trial against him
affirmed except as to the civil indemnity, which is hereby
and his co-accused and admits his guilt and at the same
increased to P30,000.00 in accordance with recent
time implicating the co-accused, the testimony is admissible
jurisprudence. With proportionate costs.
against the latter who may crossexamine him (U.S. v.
SO ORDERED.
Macamay, 36 Phil. 893; People v. Nakpil, 52 Phil.
Feria, Fernan, Narvasa, Alampay, Gutierrez,
985; People v. Tundia, L-2576, May 25, 1951)."
Jr., Cruz,Paras and Feliciano, JJ., concur.
The trial court, in the first place, erred in applying the
Teehankee, C.J., reserves his vote.
above doctrine since the accused Eddie de la Peña, in his
Yap, J., I dissent.
testimony, did not admit his guilt. In other words, his
________________ declaration was not an admission against interest, but is
merely an exculpatory statement. It was purely a self-
20T.s.n., December 1, 1983, p. 149. serving statement, throwing the blame for the offense on the
21People vs. Ancheta, 60 SCRA 333 (1974); People vs. Caoile, 61 SCRA
73 (1974).
other co-accused; hence, it should not have been admitted as Secondly, it was grave error for the trial court to consider
evidence against them. as evidence against the accused the supposed
Moreover, under the doctrine cited by the trial court, the extrajudicial oral confession or admission of guilt by the
testimony of an accused is admissible against his co- accused, where there were vital discrepancies in the
accused who may cross-examine him. In the case at bar, the testimonies of the witnesses who were presented by the
other coaccused, Brigido Encepido and Charlito Manatad prosecution to establish the same. Police Commander Jorge
did not have the opportunity to cross-examine Eddie de la Ortega testified that Brigido Encepido told him that he was
Peña. They were all represented by the same lawyer de the one who beheaded Jose Lacumbes. Mayor Mariano
3

oficio. Counsel de oficio could not and did not cross-examine Espina, on the other hand, testified that Eddie de la Peña
his own client, Eddie de la Peña, who was not a mere told him that; he was the one who beheaded the deceased
witness but also an accused testifying in his own behalf. Jose Lacumbes. There was, therefore, a conflict between the
4

Thus, when it became apparent that the version of Espina and that of Ortega on the oral confession
498 of the accused. Apparently, the trial court did not notice this
498 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED vital discrepancy. In fact, the
People vs. Encipido
interest of one accused was in conflict with the interest of ________________
the other two co-accused, it should have been immediately 1 T.s.n., December 1, 1983, p. 143.
obvious to the trial court that the three accused could not be 2 Rollo, p. 16.
represented by one and the same counsel. The trial court 3 T.s.n., August 1, 1983, p. 77.

4 T.s.n., July 20, 1983, p. 58.


should have suspended the trial and appointed another
499
counsel de oficio to represent the accused de la Peña or the
VOL. 146, DECEMBER 29, 1986 499
other co-accused in order to provide the latter the
People vs. Encipido
opportunity to crossexamine the former. Unfortunately, this
was not done. Hence, for the trial court to have considered court also overlooked another obviously untrue statement of
the testimony of De la Peña against his co-accused was a Mayor Espina when he testified categorically that the
serious prejudicial error. accused Eddie de la Peña not only admitted to him that he
Furthermore, the version of the killing given by De la cut off the two ears of the deceased and, in fact, showed him
Peña did not jibe with the version given by the principal the two ears, already dried up, ,which he carried in his
prosecution witness, Felicisimo Alciso, who claimed that he pocket. This testimony is obviously false because the
5

saw the killing, nor with the autopsy report. Testifying on autopsy showed that only one ear of the deceased was cut
cross-examination, Dela Peña stated: 1
off. The autopsy also showed that the neck of the deceased
"Q: How did they kill him? was hacked with a bolo, and yet, Mayor Espina, in his
A: They beat him; Commander Tanga kicked him; then, they shot him." testimony, recounted vividly how, in his presence, Eddie de
But the autopsy report showed that the deceased had no
2
la Peña brought out a sharp pointed knife which according
bullet wounds but only stab wounds and incised wounds. to him, he used in cutting "little by little" the neck of the
deceased. These material discrepancies in the testimonies of
6
Mayor Espina, as well as the conflicting versions between 1. credulity. According to him, he asked Eddie de la
his testimony and that of Police Commander Ortega, were Peña why he was inside the jail; and the latter
simply overlooked by the trial court. These discrepancies answered that he was inside the jail because they
cast a serious doubt on their testimonies that the accused were the ones who beheaded Jose Lacumbes. Why
orally confessed or admitted their guilt to them. Such doubt De la Peña should volunteer to confess his crime to a
should be resolved in favor of the accused. perfect stranger is incredible. It is also rather hard
Without the testimonies of Mayor Espina and Police to believe that Felicisimo Alciso, after being
Commander Jorge Ortega and that of the accused Eddie de supposedly told by a friend that he would be the next
la Peña, the only testimony that remains to support the one to be killed by the accused, would have the
judgment of the trial court is that of Felicisimo Alciso who temerity to visit them in jail.
claimed to have witnessed the killing. However, the 2. (3)Felicisimo Alciso executed an affidavit on July 13,
testimony of this witness suffers from some serious flaws 1982 in which he declared that he witnessed the
which raise grave doubts as to its value. Hence, his killing of Jose Lacumbes on March 30, 1982, but did
testimony alone cannot be used as the sole basis for not identify who the killers were, although at the
convicting the accused. time when he executed the affidavit, he was already
supposed to know who the killers were, having
1. (1)In this testimony, Felicisimo Alciso at first said visited them in jail shortly after their apprehension
that he could not recognize the person who killed the on May 2,1982.
deceased Jose Lacumbes, but later, upon prodding
by the prosecutor, he changed his testimony and said In the light of all the above, it cannot be said that the
he could recognize three of them and pointed to the evidence presented by the prosecution is convincing enough
three accused who were present in court and who and sufficient to establish the guilt of the accused with
were the only ones in custody, the other accused moral certainty.
being at large and were never tried. It is true that the accused Encepido and Manatad,
2. (2)He testified that he came to know the names of the relying on alibi as their defense, may have a weak case. But
killers when he visited them in jail after they were their conviction should rest on the strength of the evidence
caught on May 2, 1982. His testimony regarding this of the prosecution, and not on the weakness of the defense.
visit strains one's The accused should, therefore, be acquitted since their
guilt has not been established beyond reasonable doubt.
________________ Judgment affirmed.
Notes.—Testimony of a single witness even if
5Ibid., p. 69.
6Ibid., p. 58. uncorroborated is sufficient to conviction provided it is clear
500 and convincing. (People vs. Martinez, 127 SCRA 260.)
500 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED Star witness of the prosecution has no motive to testify
People vs. Encipido falsely against the appellants. His testimony was clear,
coherent and consistent. (People vs. Villeza, 127 SCRA 349.)
——o0o——

501
© Copyright 2018 Central Book Supply, Inc. All rights reserved.
Case law teaches that the issue as to the identity of the 158
drugs allegedly sold is commonly resolved by a scrutiny of 1 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
the chain of custody of the recovered drugs. (People vs. 58
Bernardino, 602 SCRA 270 [2009]) People vs. Baharan
Plea of guilty to capital offense; reception of evidence.—When
——o0o—— the accused pleads guilty to a capital offense, the court shall
conduct a searching inquiry into the voluntariness and
G.R. No. 188314. January 10, 2011.* full comprehension of the consequences of his plea and
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff- shall require the prosecution to prove his guilt and the precise
appellee, vs.KHADDAFY JANJALANI, GAMAL B. degree of culpability. The accused may also present evidence in
BAHARAN a.k.a. Tapay, ANGELO TRINIDAD a.k.a. Abu his behalf. The requirement to conduct a searching inquiry
applies more so in cases of re-arraignment. In People v. Galvez,
Khalil, GAPPAL BANNAH ASALI a.k.a. Maidan or Negro,
378 SCRA 389 (2002), the Court noted that since accused-
JAINAL SALI a.k.a. Abu Solaiman, ROHMAT appellant’s original plea was “not guilty,” the trial court should
ABDURROHIM a.k.a. Jackie or Zaky, and other JOHN and have exerted careful effort in inquiring into why he changed his
JANE DOES, accused, plea to “guilty.”
GAMAL B. BAHARAN a.k.a. Tapay, ANGELO TRINIDAD Same; Same; The requirement to conduct a searching inquiry
a.k.a. Abu Khalil, and ROHMAT ABDURROHIM a.k.a. Abu should not be deemed satisfied in cases in which it was the defense
Jackie or Zaky, accused-appellants. counsel who explained the consequences of a “guilty” plea to the
Criminal Procedure; Plea of Guilty; All trial judges must accused—the conduct of a searching inquiry remains the duty of
refrain from accepting with alacrity an accused’s plea of guilty, for judges, as they are mandated by the rules to satisfy themselves
while justice demands a speedy administration, judges are duty that the accused had not been under coercion or duress; mistaken
bound to be extra solicitous in seeing to it that when an accused impressions; or a misunderstanding of the significance, effects,
pleads guilty, he understands fully the meaning of his plea and and consequences of their guilty plea.—The requirement to
the import of an inevitable conviction; The requirement for a judge conduct a searching inquiry should not be deemed satisfied in
to conduct a searching inquiry applies more so in cases of re- cases in which it was the defense counsel who explained the
arraignment.—As early as in People v. Apduhan, 24 SCRA 798 consequences of a “guilty” plea to the accused, as it appears in
the Supreme Court has ruled that “all trial judges … must refrain this case. In People v. Alborida, 359 SCRA 495 (2001), this Court
from accepting with alacrity an accused’s plea of guilty, for while found that there was still an improvident plea of guilty, even if
justice demands a speedy administration, judges are duty bound the accused had already signified in open court that his counsel
to be extra solicitous in seeing to it that when an accused pleads had explained the consequences of the guilty plea; that he
guilty, he understands fully the meaning of his plea and the understood the explanation of his counsel; that the accused
import of an inevitable conviction.” Thus, trial court judges are understood that the penalty of death would still be meted out to
required to observe the following procedure under Section 3, Rule him; and that he had not been intimidated, bribed, or threatened.
116 of the Rules of Court: SEC. 3. We have reiterated in a long line of cases that the conduct of a
searching inquiry remains the duty of judges, as they are
_______________ mandated by the rules to satisfy themselves that the accused had
not been under coercion or duress; mistaken impressions; or a
* THIRD DIVISION.
misunderstanding of the significance, effects, and consequences of bombs—coupled with their careful planning and persistent
their guilty plea. This requirement is stringent and mandatory. attempts to bomb different areas in Metro Manila and Rohmat’s
Same; Same; Convictions based on an improvident plea of confirmation that Trinidad would be getting TNT from Asali as
guilt are set aside only if such plea is the sole basis of the part of their mission—prove the finding that Rohmat’s co-
judgment.—In People v. Oden, 427 SCRA 634 (2004), the Court inducement was the determining cause of the commission of the
declared that even if the requirement of conducting a searching crime. Such “command or advice [was] of such nature that,
inquiry was not complied with, “[t]he manner by which the plea of without it, the crime would not have materialized.”
guilt is made … loses much of great significance where the Same; Same; Evidence; While it is true that statements made
conviction can be based on independ- by a conspirator against a co-conspirator are admissible only
159 when made during the existence of the conspiracy, if the declarant
VOL. 639, JANUARY 10, 2011 15 repeats the statement in court, his extrajudicial confession becomes
9 a judicial admission, making the testimony admissible as to both
People vs. Baharan conspirators.—Accused contend that the testimony of Asali is
ent evidence proving the commission by the person accused inadmissible pursuant to Sec. 30, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court.
of the offense charged.” Thus, in People v. Nadera, 324 SCRA 490 It is true that
(2000), the Court stated: Convictions based on an 160
improvident plea of guilt are set aside only if such plea is 1 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
the sole basis of the judgment. If the trial court relied on 60
sufficient and credible evidence to convict the accused, People vs. Baharan
the conviction must be sustained, because then it is under the rule, statements made by a conspirator against a
predicated not merely on the guilty plea of the accused but on co-conspirator are admissible only when made during the
evidence proving his commission of the offense charged. existence of the conspiracy. However, as the Court ruled in People
Criminal Law; Conspiracy; Principals; One who gave v. Buntag, 427 SCRA 180 (2004), if the declarant repeats the
instructions and training to another on how to make bombs— statement in court, his extrajudicial confession becomes a judicial
coupled with their careful planning and persistent attempts to admission, making the testimony admissible as to both
bomb different areas in Metro Manila and his confirmation that conspirators. Thus, in People v. Palijon, 343 SCRA 486 (2000), the
another would be getting TNT from one of the accused as part of Court held the following: … [W]e must make a distinction
their mission—make him a principal by inducement since it is his between extrajudicial and judicial confessions. An extrajudicial
co-inducement which was the determining cause of the commission confession may be given in evidence against the confessant but
of the crime.—In the light of the foregoing evidence, the Court not against his co-accused as they are deprived of the opportunity
upholds the finding of guilt against Rohmat. Article 17 of the to cross-examine him. A judicial confession is admissible against
Revised Penal Code reads: Art. 17. Principals.—The following are the declarant’s co-accused since the latter are afforded
considered principals: 1. Those who take a direct part in the opportunity to cross-examine the former. Section 30, Rule 130
execution of the act 2. Those who directly force or induce others to of the Rules of Court applies only to extrajudicial acts or
commit it 3. Those who cooperate in the commission of the offense admissions and not to testimony at trial where the party
by another act without which it would not have been adversely affected has the opportunity to cross-examine
accomplished Accused Rohmat is criminally responsible under the the declarant. Mercene’s admission implicating his co-accused
second paragraph, or the provision on “principal by inducement.” was given on the witness stand. It is admissible in evidence
The instructions and training he had given Asali on how to make against appellant Palijon. Moreover, where several accused are
tried together for the same offense, the testimony of a co-accused bus. The two insisted on getting on the bus, so the conductor
implicating his co-accused is competent evidence against the obliged and let them in.
latter. According to Elmer Andales, the bus conductor, he
APPEAL from a decision of the Court of Appeals. immediately became wary of the two men, because, even if
The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court. they got on the bus together, the two sat away from each
Office of the Solicitor General for plaintiff-appellee. other—one sat two seats behind the driver, while the other
Public Attorney’s Office for accused-appellant. sat at the back of the bus. At the time, there were only 15
SERENO, J.: passengers inside the bus. He also noticed that the eyes of
Before the Court is an appeal from the Decision of the one of the men were reddish. When he approached the
Court of Appeals (CA) dated 30 June 2008, which affirmed person near the driver and asked him whether he was
the Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Makati City in paying for two passengers, the latter looked dumb struck by
Criminal Case Nos. 05-476 and 05-4777 dated 18 October the question. He then stuttered and said he was paying for
2005. The latter Decision convicted the three accused- two and gave PhP20. Andales grew more concerned when
appellants—namely, Gamal B. Baharan a.k.a. Tapay, the other man seated at the back also paid for both
Angelo Trinidad a.k.a. Abu Khalil, and Rohmat Abdurrohim passengers. At this point, Andales said he became more
a.k.a. Abu Jackie or Zaky—of the complex crime of multiple certain that the two were up to no good, and that there
murder and multiple frustrated murder, and sentenced might be a holdup.
them to suffer the pen- Afterwards, Andales said he became more suspicious
161
because both men kept on asking him if the bus was going to
VOL. 639, JANUARY 10, 2011 161
stop at Ayala Avenue. The witness also noticed that the
People vs. Baharan
man at the back appeared to be slouching, with his legs
alty of death by lethal injection. The CA modified the stretched out in front of him and his arms hanging out and
sentence to reclusion perpetua as required by Republic Act hidden from view as if he was tinkering with something.
No. 9346 (Act Abolishing the Imposition of Death Penalty). When Andales
162
Statement of Facts 162 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
People vs. Baharan
The pertinent facts, as determined by the trial court, are
would get near the man, the latter would glare at him.
as follows:
Andales admitted, however, that he did not report the
On 14 February 2005, an RRCG bus was plying its usual
suspicious characters to the police.
southbound route, from its Navotas bus terminal towards its
As soon as the bus reached the stoplight at the corner of
Alabang bus terminal via Epifanio de los Santos Avenue
(EDSA). Around 6:30 to 7:30 in the evening, while they were Ayala Avenue and EDSA, the two men insisted on getting
off the bus. According to Andales, the bus driver initially did
about to move out of the Guadalupe-EDSA southbound bus
not want to let them off the bus, because a Makati ordinance
stop, the bus conductor noticed two men running after the
prohibited unloading anywhere except at designated bus
stops. Eventually, the bus driver gave in and allowed the
two passengers to alight. The two immediately got off the murder. Only Baharan, Trinidad, Asali, and Rohmat were
bus and ran towards Ayala Avenue. Moments after, Andales arrested, while the other accused remain at-large.
felt an explosion. He then saw fire quickly engulfing the On their arraignment for the multiple murder charge
bus. He ran out of the bus towards a nearby mall. After a (Crim. Case No. 05-476), Baharan, Trinidad, and Asali all
while, he went back to where the bus was. He saw their bus entered a plea of guilty. On the other hand, upon
passengers either lying on the ground or looking arraignment for the multiple frustrated murder charge
traumatized. A few hours after, he made a statement before (Crim. Case No. 05-477), accused Asali pled guilty. Accused
the Makati Police Station narrating the whole incident. Trinidad and Baharan pled not guilty. Rohmat pled not
The prosecution presented documents furnished by the guilty to both charges. During the pretrial hearing, the
Department of Justice, confirming that shortly before the parties stipulated the following:
explosion, the spokesperson of the Abu Sayyaf Group—Abu 1.) The jurisdiction of this court over the offenses
Solaiman—announced over radio station DZBB that the charged.
group had a Valentine’s Day “gift” for former President 2.) That all three accused namely alias Baharan,
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. After the bombing, he again went Trinidad, and Asali admitted knowing one another
on radio and warned of more bomb attacks. before February 14, 2005.
As stipulated during pretrial, accused Trinidad gave 3.) All the same three accused likewise admitted that a
ABS-CBN News Network an exclusive interview some time bomb exploded in the RRCG bus while the bus was
after the incident, confessing his participation in the plying the EDSA route fronting the MRT terminal
Valentine’s Day bombing incident. In another exclusive which is in front of the Makati Commercial Center.
interview on the network, accused Baharan likewise 4.) Accused Asali admitted knowing the other accused
admitted his role in the bombing incident. Finally, accused alias Rohmat whom he claims taught him how to make
Asali gave a television interview, confessing that he had explosive devices.
supplied the explosive devices for the 14 February 2005 5.) The accused Trinidad also admitted knowing
bombing. The bus conductor identified the accused Baharan Rohmat before the February 14 bombing incident.
and Trinidad, and confirmed that they were the two men 6.) The accused Baharan, Trinidad, and Asali all
who had entered the RRCG bus on the evening of 14 admitted to causing the bomb explosion inside the
February.163 RRCG bus which left four people dead and more or less
VOL. 639, JANUARY 10, 2011 163 forty persons injured.
People vs. Baharan 7.) Both Baharan and Trinidad agreed to stipulate that
Members of the Abu Sayyaf Group—namely Khaddafy within the period March 20-24 each gave separate
Janjalani, Gamal B. Baharan, Angelo Trinidad, Gappal interviews to the ABS-CBN news network admitting
Bannah Asali, Jainal Asali, Rohmat Abdurrohim a.k.a. Abu their participation in the commission of the said
Jackie or Zaky, and other “John” and “Jane Does”—were crimes, subject of these cases.164
then charged with multiple murder and multiple frustrated 164 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
People vs. Baharan
8.) Accused Trinidad and Baharan also admitted to 1 Omnibus Decision of the Trial Court at 6, CA Rollo at p. 97.
2 TSN, 18 April 2005, at 3-17.
pleading guilty to these crimes, because they were
165
guilt-stricken after seeing a man carrying a child in VOL. 639, JANUARY 10, 2011 165
the first bus that they had entered.
People vs. Baharan
9.) Accused Asali likewise admitted that in the middle
laiman and Rohmat, to secure eight kilos of TNT, a
of March 2005 he gave a television news interview in
soldering gun, aluminum powder, a tester, and Christmas
which he admitted that he supplied the explosive
lights, all of which he knew would be used to make a bomb.
devices which resulted in this explosion inside the
He then recalled that sometime in November to December
RRCG bus and which resulted in the filing of these
2004, Trinidad asked him for a total of 4 kilos of TNT—that
charges.
is, 2 kilos on two separate occasions. Rohmat allegedly
10.) Finally, accused Baharan, Trinidad, and Asali
called Asali to confirm that Trinidad would get TNT from
admitted that they are members of the Abu Sayyaf.1
Asali and use it for their first mission. The TNT was
In the light of the pretrial stipulations, the trial court
allegedly placed in two buses sometime in December 2004,
asked whether accused Baharan and Trinidad were
but neither one of them exploded.
amenable to changing their “not guilty” pleas to the charge
Asali then testified that the night before the Valentine’s
of multiple frustrated murder, considering that they pled
Day bombing, Trinidad and Baharan got another two kilos
“guilty” to the heavier charge of multiple murder, creating
of TNT from him. Late in the evening of 14 February, he
an apparent inconsistency in their pleas. Defense counsel
received a call from Abu Solaiman. The latter told Asali not
conferred with accused Baharan and Trinidad and
to leave home or go to crowded areas, since the TNT taken
explained to them the consequences of the pleas. The two
by Baharan and Trinidad had already been exploded in
accused acknowledged the inconsistencies and manifested
Makati. Thirty minutes later, Trinidad called Asali,
their readiness for re-arraignment. After the Information
repeating the warning of Abu Solaiman. The next day, Asali
was read to them, Baharan and Trinidad pled guilty to the
allegedly received a call from accused Rohmat,
charge of multiple frustrated murder.2
congratulating the former on the success of the
After being discharged as state witness, accused Asali
mission.3According to Asali, Abu Zaky specifically said, “Sa
testified that while under training with the Abu Sayyaf in
wakas nag success din yung tinuro ko sayo.”
2004, Rohmat, a.k.a Abu Jackie or Zaky, and two other
persons taught him how to make bombs and explosives. The Assignment of Errors
trainees were told that they were to wage battles against
the government in the city, and that their first mission was Accused-appellants raise the following assignment of
to plant bombs in malls, the Light Railway Transit (LRT), errors:
and other parts of Metro Manila. I. The trial court gravely erred in accepting accused-
As found by the trial court, Asali, after his training, was appellants’ plea of guilt despite insufficiency of
required by the Abu Sayyaf leadership, specifically Abu So- searching inquiry into the voluntariness and full
comprehension of the consequences of the said plea.
_______________
_______________ _______________

3 CA Rollo at p. 29. 4 Brief for the Accused-Appellants at 1-2, CA Rollo at 73-74.


166 167
166 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED VOL. 639, JANUARY 10, 2011 167
People vs. Baharan People vs. Baharan
II. The trial court gravely erred in finding that the guilt them about this with regard to the multiple murder case.
of accused-appellants for the crimes charged had been ………
proven beyond reasonable doubt.4 Court :Okay. So let us proceed now. Atty. Peña, can you
First Assignment of Error assist the two accused because if they are interested in
Accused-appellants Baharan and Trinidad argue that the withdrawing their [pleas], I want to hear it from your
trial court did not conduct a searching inquiry after they lips.
had changed their plea from “not guilty” to “guilty.” The Atty. Peña : Yes, your Honor.
transcript of stenographic notes during the 18 April 2005 re- (At this juncture, Atty. Peña confers with the two
arraignment before the Makati Regional Trial Court is accused, namely Trinidad and Baharan)
reproduced below: I have talked to them, your Honor, and I have
Court :Anyway, I think what we should have to do, explained to them the consequence of their pleas, your
considering the stipulations that were agreed upon Honor, and that the plea of guilt to the murder case
during the last hearing, is to address this matter of and plea of not guilty to the frustrated multiple
pleas of not guilty entered for the frustrated murder murder actually are inconsistent with their pleas.
charges by the two accused, Mr. Trinidad and Mr. Court :With matters that they stipulated upon?
Baharan, because if you will recall they entered pleas Atty. Peña:Yes, your Honor. So, they are now, since they
of guilty to the multiple murder charges, but then already plead guilt to the murder case, then they are
earlier pleas of not guilty for the frustrated multiple now changing their pleas, your Honor, from not guilty
murder charges to the one of guilt. They are now ready, your Honor, for
remain… [I]s that not inconsistent considering the re-arraignment.
stipulations that were entered into during the initial ………
pretrial of this case? [If] you will recall, they admitted INTERPRETER:(Read again that portion [of the
to have caused the bomb explosion that led to the information] and translated it in Filipino in a clearer
death of at least four people and injury of about forty way and asked both accused what their pleas are).
other persons and so under the circumstances, Atty Your Honor, both accused are entering separate pleas
Peña, have you discussed this matter with your of guilt to the crime charged.
clients? COURT:All right. So after the information was re-read to
……… the accused, they have withdrawn their pleas of not
Atty. Peña :Then we should be given enough time to talk guilty and changed it to the pleas of guilty to the
with them. I haven’t conferred with
charge of frustrated murder. Thank you. Are there any 7 People v. Galvez, G.R. No. 135053, 6 March 2002, 378 SCRA 389; see
alsoPeople v. Chua, G.R. No. 137841, 1 October 2001, 366 SCRA 283.
matters you need to address at pretrial 169
168
VOL. 639, JANUARY 10, 2011 169
168 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
People vs. Baharan
People vs. Baharan
the accused might have misunderstood the nature of the charge
now? If there are none, then I will terminate pretrial and and the consequences of the plea.”8
accommodate…5 Likewise, the requirement to conduct a searching inquiry
As early as in People v. Apduhan, the Supreme Court has should not be deemed satisfied in cases in which it was the
ruled that “all trial judges … must refrain from accepting defense counsel who explained the consequences of a
with alacrity an accused’s plea of guilty, for while justice “guilty” plea to the accused, as it appears in this case.
demands a speedy administration, judges are duty bound to In People v. Alborida, this Court found that there was still
be extra solicitous in seeing to it that when an accused an improvident plea of guilty, even if the accused had
pleads guilty, he understands fully the meaning of his plea already signified in open court that his counsel had
and the import of an inevitable conviction.”6 Thus, trial explained the consequences of the guilty plea; that he
court judges are required to observe the following procedure understood the explanation of his counsel; that the accused
under Section 3, Rule 116 of the Rules of Court: understood that the penalty of death would still be meted
SEC. 3. Plea of guilty to capital offense; reception of evidence.— out to him; and that he had not been intimidated, bribed, or
When the accused pleads guilty to a capital offense, the court
threatened.9
shall conduct a searching inquiry into the voluntariness
and full comprehension of the consequences of his
We have reiterated in a long line of cases that the
plea and shall require the prosecution to prove his guilt and the conduct of a searching inquiry remains the duty of judges,
precise degree of culpability. The accused may also present as they are mandated by the rules to satisfy themselves that
evidence in his behalf. (Emphasis supplied) the accused had not been under coercion or duress;
The requirement to conduct a searching inquiry applies mistaken impressions; or a misunderstanding of the
more so in cases of re-arraignment. In People v. Galvez, the significance, effects, and consequences of their guilty
Court noted that since accused-appellant’s original plea was plea.10 This requirement is stringent and mandatory.11
“not guilty,” the trial court should have exerted careful Nevertheless, we are not unmindful of the context under
effort in inquiring into why he changed his plea to which the re-arraignment was conducted or of the factual
“guilty.”7According to the Court: milieu surrounding the finding of guilt against the accused.
“The stringent procedure governing the reception of a plea of The Court observes that accused Baharan and Trinidad
guilt, especially in a case involving the death penalty, is imposed previously pled guilty to another charge—multiple murder—
upon the trial judge in order to leave no room for doubt on the based on the same act relied upon in the multiple frustrated
possibility that
_______________
_______________
8 People v. Galvez, G.R. No. 135053, 6 March 2002, 378 SCRA 389,
5 TSN, 18 April 2005, at 3-4, 14-15. citing People v. Magat, 332 SCRA 517, 526 (2000).
6 People v. Apduhan, G.R. No. L-19491, 30 August 1968, 24 SCRA 798. 9 People v. Alborida, G.R. No. 136382, 25 June 2001, 359 SCRA 495.
10 People v. Dayot, G.R. No. 88281, 20 July 1990, 187 SCRA 637; People _______________
v. Alborida, G.R. No. 136382, 25 June 2001, 359 SCRA 495, citing People v.
Sevilleno, 305 SCRA 519 (1999) 12 People v. Alborida, G.R. No. 136382, 25 June 2001, 359 SCRA 495.
11 People v. Galvez, G.R. No. 135053, 6 March 2002, 378 SCRA 389. 13 People v. Oden, G.R. Nos. 155511-22, 14 April 2004, 427 SCRA 634,
170 citing People v. Galas, 354 SCRA 722 (2001).
170 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED 14 People v. Nadera, G.R. Nos. 131384-87, 2 February 2000, 324 SCRA
490.
People vs. Baharan
171
murder charge. The Court further notes that prior to the VOL. 639, JANUARY 10, 2011 171
change of plea to one of guilt, accused Baharan and Trinidad People vs. Baharan
made two other confessions of guilt—one through an pointed out that the testimony of the conductor was merely
extrajudicial confession (exclusive television interviews, as circumstantial, while that of Asali as to the conspiracy was
stipulated by both accused during pretrial), and the insufficient.
other via judicial admission (pretrial stipulation). Insofar as accused-appellants Baharan and Trinidad are
Considering the foregoing circumstances, we deem it concerned, the evidence for the prosecution, in addition to
unnecessary to rule on the sufficiency of the “searching that which can be drawn from the stipulation of facts,
inquiry” in this instance. Remanding the case for re- primarily consisted of the testimonies of the bus conductor,
arraignment is not warranted, as the accused’s plea of guilt Elmer Andales, and of the accused-turned-state-witness,
was not the sole basis of the condemnatory judgment under Asali. Andales positively identified accused Baharan and
consideration.12 Trinidad as the two men who had acted suspiciously while
Second Assignment of Error
inside the bus; who had insisted on getting off the bus in
In People v. Oden, the Court declared that even if the violation of a Makati ordinance; and who had scampered
requirement of conducting a searching inquiry was not away from the bus moments before the bomb exploded. On
complied with, “[t]he manner by which the plea of guilt is the other hand, Asali testified that he had given accused
made … loses much of great significance where the Baharan and Trinidad the TNT used in the bombing
conviction can be based on independent evidence proving incident in Makati City. The guilt of the accused Baharan
the commission by the person accused of the offense and Trinidad was sufficiently established by these
charged.”13 Thus, in People v. Nadera, the Court stated: corroborating testimonies, coupled with their respective
“Convictions based on an improvident plea of guilt are set
judicial admissions (pretrial stipulations) and extrajudicial
aside only if such plea is the sole basis of the judgment. If
the trial court relied on sufficient and credible evidence to confessions (exclusive television interviews, as they both
convict the accused, the conviction must be sustained, stipulated during pretrial) that they were indeed the
because then it is predicated not merely on the guilty plea of the perpetrators of the Valentine’s Day bombing.15 Accordingly,
accused but on evidence proving his commission of the offense the Court upholds the findings of guilt made by the trial
charged.”14 (Emphasis supplied.) court as affirmed by the Court of Appeals.
In their second assignment of error, accused-appellants Anent accused Rohmat, the evidence for the prosecution
assert that guilt was not proven beyond reasonable doubt. consisted of the testimony of accused-turned-state-witness
They Asali. Below is a reproduction of the transcript of
stenographic notes on the state prosecutor’s direct 16 TSN, 26 May 2005, at 24-36.
173
examination of state-witness Asali during the 26 May 2005 VOL. 639, JANUARY 10, 2011 173
trial: People vs. Baharan
Q: You stated that Zaky trained you and Trinidad. Under what circumstances A: He told me that Abu Solaiman instructed me to get the TNT so that he
did he train you, Mr. Witness, to assemble those explosives, you and could detonate a bomb
Trinidad? ………
Q: Were there any other person, besides Abu Solaiman, who called you up,
_______________
with respect to the taking of the explosives from you?
A: There is, sir… Abu Zaky, sir, called up also.
15 Alano v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 111244, 15 December 1997, 283 SCRA 269, citing People v.
Hernandez, 260 SCRA 25 (1996). Q: What did Abu Zaky tell you when he called you up?
172 A: He told me that “this is your first mission.”
172 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED Q: Please enlighten the Honorable Court. What is that mission you are
referring to?
People vs. Baharan A: That is the first mission where we can show our anger towards the
A: Abu Zaky, Abu Solaiman, Khadaffy Janjalani, the three of them, that Christians.
Angelo Trinidad and myself be the one to be trained to make an ………
explosive, sir. Q: The second time that he got a bomb from you, Mr. witness, do you know if
Q: Mr. witness, how long that training, or how long did it take that training? the bomb explode?
A: If I am not mistaken, we were thought to make bomb about one month and A: I did not know what happened to the next 2 kilos taken by Angelo
two weeks. Trinidad from me until after I was caught, because I was told by the
……… policeman that interviewed me after I was arrested that the 2 kilos were
Q: Now, speaking of that mission, Mr. witness, while you were still in planted in a bus, which also did not explode.
training at Mr. Cararao, is there any mission that you undertook, if any, Q: So besides these two incidents, were there any other incidents that Angelo
with respect to that mission? Trinidad and Tapay get an explosive for you, Mr. witness?
……… ………
A: Our first mission was to plant a bomb in the malls, LRT, and other parts of A: If I am not mistaken, sir, on February 13, 2005 at 6:30 p.m.
Metro Manila, sir.16 Q: Who got from you the explosive Mr. witness?
The witness then testified that he kept eight kilos of TNT A: It’s Angelo Trinidad and Tapay, sir.
for accused Baharan and Trinidad. ………
Q: How many explosives did they get from you, Mr. witness, at that time?
Q: Now, going back to the bomb. Mr. witness, did you know what happened to
A: They got 2 kilos TNT bomb, sir.
the 2 kilos of bomb that Trinidad and Tapay took from you sometime in
Q: Did they tell you, Mr. witness, where are they going to use that explosive?
November 2004?
A: No, sir.174
A: That was the explosive that he planted in the G-liner, which did not
explode. 174 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
Q: How did you know, Mr. witness? People vs. Baharan
A: He was the one who told me, Mr. Angelo Trinidad, sir. Q: Do you know, Mr. witness, what happened to the third batch of explosives,
……… which were taken from you by Trinidad and Tapay?
Q: What happened next, Mr. witness, when the bomb did not explode, as told ………
to you by Trinidad? A: That is the bomb that exploded in Makati, sir.
A: On December 29, Angelo Trinidad got 2 more kilos of TNT bombs. Q: Why did you know, Mr. witness?
……… A: Because I was called in the evening of February 14 by Abu Solaiman. He
Q: Did Trinidad tell you why he needed another amount of explosive on that told me not to leave the house because the explosive that were taken by
date, December 29, 2004? Will you kindly tell us the reason why? Tapay and Angelo Trinidad exploded.
……… ………
Q: Was there any other call during that time, Mr. Witness?
_______________
……… the LRT, and other parts of Metro Manila. According to
A: I was told by Angelo Trinidad not to leave the house because the explosive
that he took exploded already, sir. Asali, Rohmat called him on 29 December 2004 to confirm
Q: How sure were you, Mr. witness, at that time, that indeed, the bomb that Trinidad would get two kilos of TNT from Asali, as they
exploded at Makati, beside the call of Abu Solaiman and Trinidad? were “about to commence” their “first mission.”19 They made
A: It was told by Abu Solaiman that the bombing in Makati should coincide
with the bombing in General Santos. two separate attempts to bomb a bus in Metro Manila, but
……… to no avail. The day before the Valentine’s Day bombing,
A: He told it to me, sir… I cannot remember the date anymore, but I know it Trinidad got another two kilos of TNT from Asali. On
was sometime in February 2005.
Q: Any other call, Mr. witness, from Abu Solaiman and Trinidad after the Valentine’s Day, the Abu Sayyaf Group announced that they
bombing exploded in Makati, any other call? had a gift for the former President, Gloria Macapagal-
……… Arroyo. On their third try, their plan finally
A: There is, sir… The call came from Abu Zaky.
Q: What did Abu Zaky tell you, Mr. witness?
_______________
A: He just greeted us congratulations, because we have a successful mission.
………
A: He told me that “sa wakas, nag success din yung tinuro ko sayo.” 17 Id., at pp. 24-51.
… … …175 18 Id., at p. 36.
19 Id., at pp. 24-51.
VOL. 639, JANUARY 10, 2011 175
176
People vs. Baharan 176 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
Q: By the way, Mr. witness, I would just like to clarify this. You stated that
Abu Zaky called you up the following day, that was February 15, and People vs. Baharan
congratulating you for the success of the mission. My question to you, Mr. succeeded. Right after the bomb exploded, the Abu Sayyaf
witness, if you know what is the relation of that mission, wherein you
Group declared that there would be more bombings in the
were congratulated by Abu Zaky, to the mission, which have been
indoctrinated to you, while you were in Mt. Cararao, Mr. witness? future. Asali then received a call from Rohmat, praising the
A: They are connected, sir. former: “Sa wakas nag success din yung tinuro ko sayo.”20
Q: Connected in what sense, Mr. witness?
In the light of the foregoing evidence, the Court upholds
A: Because when we were undergoing training, we were told that the Abu
Sayyaf should not wage war to the forest, but also wage our battles in the the finding of guilt against Rohmat. Article 17 of the
city. Revised Penal Code reads:
Q: Wage the battle against who, Mr. witness?
“Art. 17. Principals.—The following are considered
A: The government, sir.17
What can be culled from the testimony of Asali is that the principals:
Abu Sayyaf Group was determined to sow terror in Metro 1. Those who take a direct part in the execution of the
Manila, so that they could show their “anger towards the act
Christians.”18 It can also be seen that Rohmat, together with 2. Those who directly force or induce others to commit it
Janjalani and Abu Solaiman, had carefully planned the 3. Those who cooperate in the commission of the offense
Valentine’s Day bombing incident, months before it by another act without which it would not have been
happened. Rohmat had trained Asali and Trinidad to make accomplished.”
bombs and explosives. While in training, Asali and others Accused Rohmat is criminally responsible under the
were told that their mission was to plant bombs in malls, second paragraph, or the provision on “principal by
inducement.” The instructions and training he had given
Asali on how to make bombs—coupled with their careful after the commission of the crime.” As correctly declared by
planning and persistent attempts to bomb different areas in the trial court in its Omnibus Decision:
Metro Manila and Rohmat’s confirmation that Trinidad “Asali’s clear and categorical testimony, which remains
would be getting TNT from Asali as part of their mission— unrebutted on its major points, coupled with the judicial
prove the finding that Rohmat’s co-inducement was the admissions freely and voluntarily given by the two other accused,
determining cause of the commission of the crime.21 Such are sufficient to prove the existence of a conspiracy hatched
between and among the four accused, all members of the terrorist
“command or advice [was] of such nature that, without it,
group Abu Sayyaf, to wreak chaos and mayhem in the metropolis
the crime would not have materialized.”22
by indiscriminately killing and injuring civilian victims by
Further, the inducement was “so influential in producing utilizing bombs and other similar destructive explosive devices.
the criminal act that without it, the act would not have been While said conspiracy involving the four malefactors has not
performed.”23 In People v. Sanchez, et al., the Court ruled been expressly admitted by accused Baharan, Angelo Trinidad,
that, and Rohmat, more specifically with respect to the latter’s
participation in the commission of the crimes, nonetheless it has
_______________ been established by virtue of the aforementioned evidence, which
established the existence of the conspiracy itself and the
20 Id., at p. 49.
21 See generally U.S. v. Indanan, 24 Phil. 203 (1913); People v. Kiichi indispensable participation of accused Rohmat in seeing to it that
Omine, 61 Phil. 609 (1935). the conspirators’ criminal design would be realized.
22 People v. Cruz, G.R. No. 74048, 14 November 1990, 191 SCRA 377, It is well-established that conspiracy may be inferred from the
385. acts of the accused, which clearly manifests a concurrence of
23 LUIS B. REYES, THE REVISED PENAL CODE: CRIMINAL LAW–BOOK ONE, wills, a common intent or design to commit a crime (People v.
529 (2008). Lenantud, 352 SCRA 544). Hence, where acts of the accused
177
collectively and individually demonstrate the existence of a
VOL. 639, JANUARY 10, 2011 177
common design towards the
People vs. Baharan
notwithstanding the fact that Mayor Sanchez was not at _______________
the crime scene, evidence proved that he was the
24 People v. Sanchez, et al., G.R. No. 131116, 27 August 1999, 313 SCRA
mastermind of the criminal act or the principal by 254.
inducement. Thus, because Mayor Sanchez was a co- 178
principal and co-conspirator, and because the act of one 178 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
conspirator is the act of all, the mayor was rendered liable People vs. Baharan
for all the resulting crimes.24 The same finding must be accomplishment of the same unlawful purpose, conspiracy is
applied to the case at bar. evident and all the perpetrators will be held liable as principals
The Court also affirms the finding of the existence of (People v. Ellado, 353 SCRA 643).”25
conspiracy involving accused Baharan, Trinidad, and In People v. Geronimo, the Court pronounced that it
Rohmat. Conspiracy was clearly established from the would be justified in concluding that the defendants therein
“collective acts of the accused-appellants before, during and were engaged in a conspiracy “when the defendants by their
acts aimed at the same object, one performing one part and
the other performing another part so as to complete it, with evidence against appellant Palijon. Moreover, where several
a view to the attainment of the same object; and their acts, accused are tried together for the same offense, the testimony of a
though apparently independent, were in fact concerted and co-accused implicating his co-accused is competent evidence
cooperative, indicating closeness of personal association, against the latter.”28
concerted action and concurrence of sentiments.”26 WHEREFORE, the Petition is DENIED. The Decision of
Accused contend that the testimony of Asali is the Regional Trial Court of Makati, as affirmed with
inadmissible pursuant to Sec. 30, Rule 130 of the Rules of modification by the Court of Appeals, is hereby AFFIRMED.
Court. It is true that under the rule, statements made by a SO ORDERED.
conspirator against a co-conspirator are admissible only Carpio-Morales (Chairperson), Brion,
when made during the existence of the conspiracy. However, Bersamin and Villarama, Jr., JJ., concur.
as the Court ruled in People v. Buntag, if the declarant Appeal denied.
repeats the statement in court, his extrajudicial confession Notes.—It bears to note that a searching inquiry must
becomes a judicial admission, making the testimony focus on the voluntariness of the plea and the full
admissible as to both conspirators.27Thus, in People v. comprehension of the consequences of the plea. (People vs.
Palijon, the Court held the following: Aranzado, 365 SCRA 649 [2001])
“… [W]e must make a distinction between extrajudicial and The procedure is mandatory and a judge who fails to
judicial confessions. An extrajudicial confession may be given in observe it commits grave abuse of discretion. (People vs.
evidence against the confessant but not against his co-accused as Chua, 366 SCRA 283 [2001])
they are deprived of the opportunity to cross-examine him. A ——o0o——
judicial confession is admissible against the declarant’s co-
accused since the latter are afforded opportunity to cross-examine _______________
the former. Section 30, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court
28 People v. Palijon, G.R. No. 123545, 18 October 2000, 343 SCRA 486,
applies only to extrajudicial
citing People v. Flores, 195 SCRA 295, 308 (1991); People v. Ponce, 197
SCRA 746, 755 (1991).
_______________
© Copyright 2018 Central Book Supply, Inc. All rights reserved.
25 Omnibus Decision of the Trial Court at 6, CA Rollo at p. 123.
26 People v. Geronimo, G.R. No. L-35700, 15 October 1973, 53 SCRA 246,
254, citing People v. Cabrera, 43 Phil. 64, 66 (1922); People v. Carbonell, 48 Phil.
868 (1926).
27 People v. Buntag, G.R. No. 123070, 14 April 2004, 427 SCRA 180; see
also People v. Palijon, 343 SCRA 486 (2000).
179
VOL. 639, JANUARY 10, 2011 179
People vs. Baharan
acts or admissions and not to testimony at trial where the
party adversely affected has the opportunity to cross-
examine the declarant. Mercene’s admission implicating his co-
accused was given on the witness stand. It is admissible in