Criminal Law Digests – December 1999

DECEMBER 1999

People v.  Perez

December 2, 1999

Perez was a boarder who raped the 5-year-old niece of the boarding house’s owner. It was done in the bodega of the house. A medical exam showed no lacerations but showed a reddening of the victim’s labia majora, which corroborated the victim’s testimony that she was raped.  Accused denied the whole thing citing inconsistencies in the victim’s testimonies in court and that the victim’s mother put her child up to lying because of a grudge against the accused.

Held:

Guilty.  For rape to be consummated, full penetration is not necessary. Even the slightest penetration of the lips of the sex organ constitutes carnal knowledge.

Minor discrepancies or inconsistencies between a witness’ affidavit and testimony do not impair his credibility but even enhance the truthfulness of his declarations as they erase any suspicion of a rehearsed testimony. Plus, it is a settled rule that testimonies of child-victims are given full weight and credit.  It is inconceivable that the naïve and innocent 5-yr. old victim could make up a story of sexual molestation.

It is also unnatural for a parent to use her offspring as an engine of malice, especially if it will subject a daughter to embarrassment and even stigma.

 

People v. Santiago

December 2, 1999

The victim was asleep with her child when she woke up after hearing a noise in the house.  She went downstairs thinking it was her husband but it was actually the accused that entered the victim’s house with a scythe.  The accused ordered the victim to remove her clothing & underwear.  The victim refused so she was threatened with her and her child’s death.  The accused raped the victim and threatened her again with death if she told anyone about the incident.  Charged with rape, the accused gave the defense of alibi and the fact that there was no presence of sperm in the victim.

Held:

Where there is even the least chance for the accused to be present at the crime scene, alibi will not hold water.  The victim also positively identified the accused and it is settled that the negative presence of sperm is immaterial in the crime of rape. Penetration and not emission is the important consideration.

 

People v. Tumaru

December 2,  1999

The accused shot and killed a municipal councilor and OIC in Kalinga Apayao. The prosecution was based on 12-yr. old Miguel’s testimony as he saw the crime occur. Found guilty of murder, they appealed saying that the judge erred in not holding witness Miguel’s testimony as biased and imputing motive to the accused without any evidence.

Held:   

Proof of motive is not crucial where the identity of the accused has been amply established.

Witness Miguel’s testimony was sufficient to convict the accused.  The testimony of minors of tender age will suffice to convict a person of a crime as long as it is credible.  The fact that Miguel eventually stayed with one of the victim’s widows does not prove bias.  It is but natural for the bereaved family to be concerned about the safety of the lone witness.  The concern for the victim does not make him biased or unreliable.

 

People v. Magbanua

December 2, 1999

The victim was sexually abused continuously from the time she was13 years old until she got pregnant after 4 years of sexual abuse by appellant, her own father. The sexual assaults usually took place at noontime when she was left alone with appellant while her mother went to town to buy their basic needs and while her brother and sisters were at the house of their grandmother which was far from their house.

She did not report the rape incidents to her mother because appellant threatened to kill her. When her mother noticed her pregnancy and asked her about the supposed father, she did not tell her that it was appellant who authored her pregnancy. Instead, as suggested by appellant, she named one Ricky Pacaul as the one who impregnated her. However, later on, she claimed that she does not know any person by that name.  And only later on when she moved to live with her aunt did she tell the truth about the crime.

Held:

Denial, just like alibi, is insufficient to overcome the positive identification made by the witness for the prosecution. Denial is an inherently weak defense which cannot prevail over the credible testimony of the witness that the accused committed the crime charged.  It must be supported by strong evidence of non-culpability in order to merit acceptability. Appellant, in the present case, failed to discharge this burden. His lame attempt to shift the blame to a certain Ricky Pacaul, who may not even exist, in order to exculpate himself, cannot save him. Moreover, where there is no evidence to show any dubious reason or improper motive why a prosecution witness would testify falsely against an accused or falsely implicate him in a heinous crime, the testimony is worthy of full faith and credit.

 

People v. de Leon

December 3, 1999

Accused was charged with raping his 9 year old daughter 17 times.  He denied the charge and his defense was that the charge was filed because his daughter was jealous of her father’s affection for another sibling.  He was convicted for all 17 charges of rape.

Held:

He was found guilty of only one count of rape. Each and every charge of rape is a separate and distinct crime so that each of the 16 other rapes charged should be proven beyond reasonable doubt. The victim’s testimony was overly generalized and lacked specific details on how each of the alleged 16 rapes was committed. Her bare statement that she was raped so many times on certain weeks is clearly inadequate and grossly insufficient to establish the guilt of accused-appellant insofar as the other sixteen rapes charged are concerned.

 

People v. Juachon

December 6, 1999

Juachon was a tricycle driver who was charged with Rape with Murder.  The accused was a suitor of the victim.  Witnesses saw the victim ride the accused’s tricycle and also saw a tricycle similar to that owned by the accused at the place where the victim was found.  Juachon’s slippers were also found there and he was heard to have told the victim the night before, “ang sarap mong halikan”.  He raised the defense of denial and alibi.

Held:

Settled is the rule that the real nature of the crime charged is determined not from the caption or preamble of the Information nor from the specification of the provision of law alleged to have been violated, such being conclusions of law, but by the actual recitation of facts alleged in the Complaint or Information.

The facts recited in the Information constitute the crime of Rape with Homicide. The elements of said crime are clearly spelled out in the Information, particularly the sexual intercourse against the will of the victim, perpetrated with violence and force and the killing of said victim on occasion of the rape by immersing her in muddy water.

Denial and alibi cannot overcome the amount of circumstantial evidence against the accused showing his carnal desire for the victim and his presence at the scene of the crime.

People v. Nablo

December 6, 1999

The victim had just come from the barrio fiesta mass when the 5 accused, armed with bladed weapons, attacked and killed the victim.  The accused were convicted solely on the testimony of the prosecution witnesses

Held:

Well-settled is the rule that on the issue of credibility of witnesses, appellate courts will not disturb the findings by the trial court, which was decisively in a better position to rate the credibility of witnesses after hearing them and observing their deportment and manner of testifying during the trial. This doctrine stands absent any showing that certain facts and circumstances of weight and value have been overlooked, misinterpreted or misapplied by the lower court which, if considered, would affect the result or outcome of the case.

The absence of a dying declaration is also unnecessary to convict the accused. The evidence on record suffices to support the judgment of conviction under scrutiny. Neither is proof of motive crucial since the identity of appellants has been established by eyewitnesses.

 

People v. Ladrillo

December 8, 1999

Facts:

The accused asked the 8 year old victim to come to his house to pick lice from his head.  But then after,  he stripped naked and stripped the victim of his clothes and raped her 4 times during that one day.  He raised the defenses of denial and alibi and questioned the sufficiency of the information since it states that the crime was committed “on or about 1992”.

Held:

ACQUITTED of rape based on insufficiency of evidence and reasonable doubt. Denial and alibi may be weak but courts should not at once look at them with disfavor. There are situations where an accused may really have no other defenses but denial and alibi which, if established to be the truth, may tilt the scales of justice in his favor, especially when the prosecution evidence itself is weak. The crime was supposedly narrated by the victim 2 yrs. after.  The crime was alleged to have been perpetrated at the accused’s residence when the accused was not even living in Abanico at that time.  The victim’s narration of the incident was also not credible

 

People v. Sevilla

December 8, 1999

The accused raped his 14 yr. old daughter.  He started making sexual advances when she was 6 and finally had sexual intercourse with her 8 yrs. later.  Appellant questions the credibility of the victim’s testimony since it took 8 yrs. before she complained of his acts.

Held:

Guilty.   The Court is not persuaded by accused-appellant’s submission. As held by this Court in People v. Miranda, there is no standard form of human behavioral response when one has just been confronted with a strange, startling or frightful experience as heinous as the crime of rape and not every victim to a crime can be expected to act reasonably and conformably with the expectation of mankind.

The fact that Myra did not complain to her mother or her aunts about the sexual abuses committed by her father against her for eight long years, is of no moment. Myra, who was of a very tender age when the horrible events in her life began to unfold, could have, in all probability, been confused and bewildered by her experience that for more than half of her young life, she was shocked into utter insensibility.

Furthermore, a rape victim’s testimony is entitled to greater weight when she accuses a

close relative of having raped her, as in the case of a daughter against her father.

People v. Feliciano

December 8, 1999

Feliciano was charged with highway robbery and robbery with homicide.  He was beaten at the police station and was forced to sign a statement that he was responsible for several hold-ups in the area including the one where the victim was killed.  He was examined without counsel by police and even when counsel was given to him, the lawyer did not advise him of the implications of his testimony.

Held:

Acquitted for lack of evidence.  His testimonies were inadmissible.  The right to counsel is a fundamental right and contemplates not a mere presence of the lawyer beside the accused. He was questioned before his counsel de officio arrived and even when his counsel was present, his lawyer did not explain to accused-appellant the consequences of his action — that the sworn statement can be used against him and that it is possible that he could be found guilty and sent to jail.

We also find that Atty. Chavez’s independence as counsel is suspect — he is regularly engaged by the Cagayan de Oro City Police as counsel de officio for suspects who cannot avail the services of counsel. He even received money from the police as payment for his services.

 

People v. Ralph Velez Diaz

December 8, 1999

Diaz was convicted of killing and sexually abusing a 12 year old boy.  The trial court convicted him notwithstanding the exclusion of the extrajudicial confession of accused-appellant and the absence of any eyewitness to the crime because of:

(a)  the testimony of 10-year old Felbart that he saw his brother last alive in the company of accused-appellant;

(b)  the physical evidence of sexual abuse through sodomy committed against the victim;

(c)  the plea of insanity which only tended to negate liability but was an admission of guilt;

(d)  the reenactment of the crime by accused-appellant the details of which could not have been known to anybody but himself; and,

(e)  the fact that accused-appellant voluntarily confessed to the crime without any evidence of coercion, duress or intimidation exerted upon him.

Accused pleads he is not guilty of murder since there was no evident premeditation.  He pleads insanity and  pleads that he cannot be sentenced to death since the information filed didn’t mention the sodomy.

Held:   

The crime committed by accused-appellant was murder even in the absence of the qualifying circumstance of evident premeditation because treachery and abuse of superior strength were present – either of which qualified the crime to murder.  Since the victim was an 11 yr old boy,  both were present although treachery absorbs superior strength.

Insanity must be proved.  All that was proved by the psychiatrists was that accused was sexually perverted or that he was sick of pedophilia but such is different.

But, he may not be sentenced to death.  A careful scrutiny of the records shows that the Information charged him only with murder qualified by treachery, abuse of superior strength and evident premeditation. It failed to mention the commission of sexual abuse or “sodomy” on the victim. The Information designated the crime as “murder in relation to RA 7610,” but as a rule, what controls is not the designation of the offense but its description in the complaint or information.

 

People v. Alberto Flores and Rodolfo Flores

December 8, 1999

The Flores brothers were convicted of murder on the testimony of the victim’s wife.  The wife says she saw the accused enter the victim’s home and one brother stabbed the victim while the other strangled him.  But right after the crime was committed, she said she saw nothing.

Held:

Jurisprudence forewarns that when serious and inexplicable discrepancies are present between a previously executed sworn statement of a witness and her testimonial declarations with respect to one’s participation in a serious imputation such as murder, there is raised a grave doubt on the veracity of the witness’ account.  In the case at bar, it is difficult to reconcile the inconsistencies made by Marissa in her sworn statement and testimony in court. It is even more difficult to accept her explanation in committing these inconsistencies.

 

People v. Loreto Ringor, Jr.

December 9, 1999

Appellant Ringor and his two companions entered a restaurant where the accused worked. After seating themselves, the group ordered a bottle of gin. Appellant approached one of the tables where Florida, the restaurant’s cook was drinking beer. Without any warning, appellant pulled Florida’s hair and poked a knife on the latter’s throat. Florida stood up and pleaded with appellant not to harm him Appellant relented and released his grip on Florida. Thereafter, he left the restaurant together with his companions. However, a few minutes later he was back Appellant brandished a gun and menacingly entered the restaurant. Not encountering any resistance, he thus proceeded to the kitchen where Florida worked. Stealthily approaching Florida from behind, appellant fired six successive shots at Florida who fell down. Ringor left thereafter.  He was convicted of murder and sentenced to death.

Held:     

On the matter of the aggravating circumstance of “use of unlicensed firearm” in the commission of murder or homicide, the trial court erred in appreciating the same to qualify to death the penalty for the murder committed by accused-appellant. It should be noted that at the time accused-appellant perpetrated the offense, the unlicensed character of a firearm used in taking the life of another was not yet an aggravating circumstance in homicide or murder.  Sentenced to reclusion perpetua instead.

People v. Rolando Alfanta

December 9, 1999

Accused entered the place where the victim was sleeping with a bolo.  He brought her to an abandoned place where he raped her, inserting his fingers and penis into her vagina and anus.  He was sentenced to death because of the aggravating circumstances of use of a deadly weapon, night time and ignominy.

Held:

The use of a deadly weapon was not alleged in the information, hence the offense cannot be considered as qualified rape.  Night time and ignominy were present (sa pwet ba naman).

Simple rape is punishable by a single indivisible penalty of reclusion perpetua. Thus, even if there were aggravating circumstances of nighttime and ignominy in attendance the appropriate penalty would still be reclusion perpetua under the law. Article 63 of the Revised Penal Code provides that in “all cases in which the law prescribes a single indivisible penalty, it shall be applied by the courts regardless of any mitigating or aggravating circumstances that may have attended the commission of the deed.”

 

People v. Rondero

December 9, 1999

The accused was seen by the victim’s father with an ice pick and washing his bloodied hands at the well.  The 9 year old victim was later found dead and half naked with lacerations in her vagina but no sperm.  He was convicted of homicide only.

Held:

Guilty of the special complex crime of rape with homicide.  The absence of sperm does not negate the commission of rape since the mere touching of the pudenda by the male organ is already considered as consummated rape. The presence of physical injuries on the victim strongly indicates the employment of force on her person. Contusions were found on Mylene’s face, arms and thighs.  Hence, death is the appropriate penalty.

 

People v. Jaime Quisay

December 10, 1999

A 3-year-old girl was found dead in a canal.  Accused was the last person seen with the little girl.  He was charged with rape with homicide.  He put forth the defense that he was with the girl but she ran away and fell into the canal as an exempting circumstance (“Any person who, while performing a lawful act with due care, causes an injury by mere accident without fault or intention of causing it.”Par. 4 of Article 12 of the Revised Penal Code).

Held:

Guilty.  The physical evidence failed to support the version of accused-appellant that the victim Ainness Montenegro fell accidentally into the canal. The victim had bruises only on the sex organ,  sides of the neck, etc.

The fact that no perineal laceration was found on the genital of the victim does not dispel a finding of rape. The slightest degree of penetration of the pudenda by a male sex organ suffices to consummate the crime of rape. Jurisprudence is well-settled to the effect that for rape to be consummated, rupture of the hymen is not necessary, nor is it necessary that the vagina sustain a laceration, especially when the victim is a young girl.

The crime subject matter of the instant appeal was committed before the death penalty law, Republic Act No. 7659 became effective so the penalty for the complex crime of rape with homicide should only be reclusion perpetua.

 

People v. Edgardo de Leon

December 10, 1999

Accused supposedly raped his daughter in front of the latter’s own 2 year old daughter.  Accused flatly denied the charge. He alleged that the prosecution evidence had not proven his guilt beyond reasonable doubt because: (1) the evidence for the prosecution which consisted of the victim’s sole testimony is insufficient; (2) this testimony is inconsistent; and (3) the other pieces of vital evidence, i.e., the knife and the victim’s torn clothes, were not presented to substantiate the victim’s testimony.

Held:

The sole testimony of the victim sufficiently establishes the guilt of accused-appellant. Amelia de Leon testified naturally, spontaneously and positively.

Accused-appellant’s claim that the charge against him was merely trumped up by Amelia cannot be believed. No woman, especially a daughter, would subject herself and her family to the humiliation of a public trial and send her father to jail for the rest of his life if her accusation were not true. Since the rape was committed with the use of a knife, a deadly weapon, the crime is therefore punishable by reclusion perpetua to death.

 

People v. Arnold Dizon

December 10, 1999

Accused supposedly entered the victims’ house,  robbed them, raped one of the occupants and stabbed all of them. Only 12 yr. Old Ruel survived the massacre of his family and positively identified the accused as the perpetrator. Death was imposed upon accused after the RTC found him guilty beyond reasonable doubt of special complex crime of Robbery with Homicide aggravated by Rape, Dwelling and Nocturnity.  Accused pleaded not guilty.

Held:

Guilty of 1 count of rape with homicide, 2 counts of homicide and 1 count of frustrated homicide.

The trial court erred in finding accused guilty of robbery. For a person to be guilty of robbery, it must be proved that there was intent to gain & the taking of personal property belonging to another by means of violence against or intimidation of any person, or by using force upon anything.

In his testimony, Ruel only testified that he saw accused opening their closets and throwing things on the floor. Not that accused took something from the house.

On the other hand, this Court agrees with the trial court that rape was satisfactorily established by the prosecution. Ruel’s testimony positively identifying the accused was enough to convict.

 

People v. Agapito Flores

December 13, 1999

Accused, at knife point, forced his 13 year old daughter to undress and then raped her. All the time and while the accused-appellant was on top of her the knife was poked at her.   Victim also testified her father had raped her 4 times when she was in grade 4.  Accused denied the charges as fabricated. Appellant cites the inconsistencies in the victim’s testimony and further contends that the medical findings reveal that the healed lacerations in the victim’s hymen were already existing prior to the alleged date of rape, in which case there is no evidence to prove that appellant raped Ma. Cristina on November 8, 1994.  Sentenced to death.

Held:

Guilty but reclusion perpetua only. It is unthinkable for a daughter to falsely impute the crime of rape against her own father if it was not real.  The supposed inconsistencies in the victim’s testimonies refer only to minor details and collateral matters which do not really affect either the substance of her declaration, and its veracity.

But, the information only alleged the minority of Ma. Cristina that she was thirteen years old but did not allege the relationship of the accused to the victim. The seven (7) modes of committing rape introduced under RA 7659 which warrant automatic imposition of death penalty partake of the nature of a qualifying circumstance under the Revised Penal Code since it increases the penalty of rape to one (1) degree. It would be a denial of the right of the accused to be informed of the charges against him, and consequently, a denial of due process, if he is charged with simple rape only on which he was arraigned, and be convicted of qualified rape punishable by death. Thus, accused-appellant should only suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua.

 

People v. Fernando Calang Macosta

December 14, 1999

Accused invited herein complainant to catch shrimps at the side of the Magpayang River.The victim acceded but when they were at an uninhabited place,  the accused kissed and touched the victim. He tried to insert his penis but once the penis was in the mouth of her vagina she felt pain so she pleaded for his mercy not to deflower her and she continued crying and pushed him hard until she was able to be free.  Charged with rape,  accused denied the incident and said that he and the victim were even sweet hearts.

Held:

Guilty.  Being sweethearts does not prove consent by complainant to the sexual act. And,  it is perplexing how accused could vigorously deny that the alleged incident ever took place and in the same breath argue that if anything untoward happened it was because they were sweethearts.

It is also well-settled that for a conviction of rape, medical findings of injuries in the victim’s genitalia are not essential. Even the slightest touching of the female genitalia, or mere introduction of the male organ into the labia of the pudendum constitutes carnal knowledge. The Court has also ruled that a medical examination is not indispensable to the prosecution of rape as long as the evidence on hand convinces the court that a conviction of rape is proper.

 

People v. Renato RamonAMON

December 15, 1999

Accused first raped his stepdaughter at knife point when she was 5 yrs. old. Because of  Analyn’s tender age, the rape resulted in the dislocation of her legs and pelvic bones which caused her to become temporarily lame. That same night, Analyn reported the incident to her mother in the presence of appellant. Analyn’s mother refused to believe her. Neither was she brought to the hospital for treatment.

She was raped 2 more times and only told her grandmother of the crime after accused tried to rape her a 4th time.  She didn’t tell her mother about the incidents since the latter refused to believe her anyway.  Accused denied the charges.

Held:

Guilty but sentenced to reclusion perpetua only. The averment that Analyn could have run away when accused-appellant started removing her panties hardly deserves consideration. Different people, previous cases can tell us, react differently to given situations. Most women might, when given the chance, immediately flee from their aggressors but others may become virtually catatonic because of mental shock

But while the law holds that the death penalty shall be imposed if, among other instances, the crime of rape is committed against a victim under eighteen (18) years of age and the offender is her step-parent, the information, however, has failed to allege any relationship between accused-appellant and his victim.

 

People v. Cabalida

December 15, 1999

Accused raped his then 15 yr. old grandniece at gunpoint and threatened her with death if she told on him.  The victim became pregnant and only then did she tell her mother about the crime.

Held:

Acquitted for failure to prove beyond reasonable doubt.  The victim supposedly told nobody of the crime since she feared for her life.  But accused had left for Manila already for several months and the victim supposedly only told her mother when it was obvious she was pregnant.  Second,  victim’s motive for accusing appellant is only so that her stepfather will not be suspected of being the father of the child. Finally. accused returned to Zamboanga City to clear his name. This is a strong indication of innocence.

 

People v. Lyndon Sanez

December 15, 1999

Victim was found in a canal with hack wounds in his nape and near death.  He gave a dying declaration naming his own son, the accused, as the assailant.  An eyewitness also saw the accused dragging a body across the road and dumping it into the canal where the victim was found.  He was found guilty of parricide.

Held:

Guilty. Direct evidence of the actual killing is not indispensable for convicting an accused when circumstantial evidence can sufficiently establish his guilt. The consistent rule has been that circumstantial evidence is adequate for conviction if: a) there is more than one circumstance; b) the facts from which the inferences are derived have been proven; and c) the combination of all circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt. All these requisites, not to mention the dying declaration of the deceased victim himself, are extant in the instant case.

 

People v. Augusto Tanzon

December 15, 1999

Victim was walking with his common law wife when he was invited for drinks by the accused.  Victim refused.  When the wife turned around, she saw the accused shoot her husband with a sumpak twice.  On the ground, he was kicked by accused and 4 of his friends and then shot again by the accused with a short gun.  Accused also shot at thee wife who was able to flee.  An eyewitness corroborated the wife’s version of the events. He was found guilty of murder.

Held:

Gulilty. The rule is settled that in the absence of any fact or circumstance of weight and influence which has been overlooked or the significance of which has been misconstrued as to impeach the findings of the trial court, the appellate courts will not interfere with the trial court’s findings on the credibility of the witnesses or set aside its judgment considering that it is in a better position to decide the question having heard the witnesses themselves during trial.

Also, the non-presentation by the prosecution of the items which the accused is charged of having armed himself with in attacking, assaulting, stoning and stabbing the victim is not fatal where the accused has been positively identified

 

People v. Nicasio Enoja

December 17, 1999

The victim, Siegfred G. Insular, was a suspected commander of the “New People’s Army” (NPA). A day before the incident, the house of Romulo Enoja, brother of the Enojas, was allegedly sprayed with bullets by the NPA, killing Romulo’s daughter and son. Before that, the house of Catelina Enoja, mother of the Enojas, at Barangay Caraudan, was allegedly burned by the NPA.

The victim was walking home with his wife when the accused blocked the couple and took terms shooting the victim.

Held:

Appellants assail the trial court’s finding of conspiracy by pointing out alleged inconsistencies in the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses Salamanca and Paterna. The two testimonies constitute cumulative evidence on who participated in the shooting of Siegfred. Both witnesses pointed to all five accused-appellants.  Accused were positively identified by the witnesses and their testimony is sufficient to convict the accused.

 

People v. Abordo, et. al.

December 17, 1999

The 4 accused took the victim to an uninhabited area near a creek and hit the victim with stones and pieces of wood.  The victim died before arriving at the hospital.  A witness saw the incident and positively identified the accused as the perpetrators of the crime.  Accused put up the defense of alibi and that the witness is not reliable.

Held:

All guilty.  Although  appellant merely held the victim while the other hit the latter,  he is still guilty as a co-principal because of conspiracy where the act of one is the act of all.

Appellants contend that the trial court convicted them on the basis of the testimony of the lone eyewitness, Hermogenes Pan, which is allegedly not worthy of belief. Appellants allege that it was highly impossible for Pan to have witnessed the alleged commission of the crime as he was drinking all the time that afternoon until the time that he was informed of the victim’s death.

Where there is no concrete evidence to indicate that the witness against the accused has been actuated by any improper motive, and absent any compelling reason to conclude otherwise, the testimony given is ordinarily accorded full faith and credit. Hence, eyewitness Pan’s straightforward testimony against the appellants was rightly accorded credence. The absence of sufficiently convincing evidence as to ill motives actuating the principal witness of the prosecution strongly tents to sustain the finding that no improper motive existed and, thus, his testimony is worthy of full faith and credit.

 

People v. Gilbert Dorimon

December 17, 1999

At the time of the incident. appellant was an eighteen (18) year-old senior high school student at the Salug National High School of Salug, Zamboanga del Norte. Found in his possession was a 22 cal. paltik, that he allegedly used to threaten a classmate who had defeated him in a basketball game at school.  One of his classmates went to the police who frisked Dorimon and found the gun.  Dorimon said he merely found the gun at the back of the school.  The RTC found him guilty of illegal possession of firearms and sentenced him to reclusion perpetua.

Held:

Acquitted due to insufficient evidence.  In cases involving illegal possession of firearm, the requisite elements are: (a) the existence of the subject firearm and (b) the fact that the accused who owned or possessed the firearm does not have he corresponding license or permit to possess.  While the information alleged that the appellant did not possess any license or permit to carry, such fact was not established during trial. The only reference to the non-possession of a license or permit of the appellant was when the trial judge propounded clarificatory questions to the officers who accosted appellant and nothing else.

 

People v. Merino

December 17, 1999

The 2 accused, with 4 John Does,   entered the home of Ernesto Pagadian,  robbed him and raped his 2 minor daughters, aged 15 and 16.  One year later,  one of the victims saw one of the accused at a market and reported such to the NBI who subsequently arrested him and his co-accused.

Held:

Guilty. The trial court’s assessment of the credibility of witness is generally accorded great respect.  Both accused were positively identified by the private complainants. There was no hesitation on their part to point to the accused as the culprits.

Both are guilty of rape since although it was only Siervo who raped the 2 girls,  Merino did nothing to stop it. There was conspiracy because both of them acted as one in their greed and lust. In a conspiracy, the act of one is the act of all. Nocturnity, to be appreciated as an aggravating circumstance, must have purposely been sought to facilitate the commission of the crime or to prevent recognition of the perpetrator.

 

People v. Santocildes, Jr.

December 21, 1999

Appellant was charged with and found guilty of the crime of rape  of a girl less than nine (9) years old. Appellant entered a plea of not guilty under the advice of a certain Ompong.  Appellant later changed lawyers after he found out that Ompong was not a member of the bar.

Held:

Judgement set aside and case remanded for new trial.  Being represented by a non-lawyer is a denial of due process.

 

People v. Moreno

December 21, 1999

According to the prosecution, accused entered the secluded house of his 14 year old cousin who was alone in the house.  He held a bolo to her body and succeeded in raping her.  She said nothing until her mother noticed her swelling belly and it was determined that she was pregnant.   Accused put up the defense of denial and alibi.

Held:

Acquitted on the ground of reasonable doubt. While the version of the defense is not entirely satisfactory, as in any criminal prosecution, conviction must rest on proof beyond reasonable doubt. The State must rely on the strength of its own evidence and not on the weakness of the evidence of the defense.  Force and intimidation not proven. Supposed victim’s actuations before and during the alleged sexual assault did not show the kind of resistance expected of a young woman defending her virtue and honor. A much more vigorous opposition to the assault on her virtue is only to be expected of an inexperienced victim on the threshold of womanhood.

 

Reference:

Criminal Law Digests

Ateneo Central Bar Operations 2001

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About Magz

First of all, I am not a lawyer. I'm a graduate of AB Political Science and went to the College of Law but stopped going to law school for some reasons. I'm a passionate teacher who has been teaching English to speakers of other languages and a person who likes writing and blogging. I lost some important files and software when my computer broke down so the reason I created this website is to preserve the notes, reviewers and digests I collected when I was at the law school and at the same time, I want to help out law students who do not have enough time to go and read books in the library.

Posted on January 24, 2012, in Criminal Law and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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