Criminal Law Digests – March 2000
PEOPLE v. PAMBID
G.R. No. 124453. March 15, 2000
Defense of Insanity
A man diagnosed of schizophrenia and mild mental retardation raped a six-year old girl. Accused pleaded not guilty on the ground of insanity.
Accused-appellant’s plea of insanity is unacceptable. While Art. 12(1) of the Revised Penal Code provides that an imbecile or insane person is exempt from criminal liability, unless he has acted during a lucid interval, the presumption under Art. 800 of the Civil Code is that every man is sane. Anyone who pleads the exempting circumstance of insanity bears the burden of proving it. He must show that he was completely deprived of reason when he committed the crime charged, for mere abnormality of his mental faculties does not exclude imputability.
PEOPLE v. FRONDA
G.R. No. 130602. March 15, 2000.
Direct Evidence v. Circumstantial Evidence
Three students were convicted of violating the Dangerous Drugs Act after they allegedly delivered a brick of marijuana to policemen who posed as buyers.
To be caught flagrante delicto necessarily implies positive identification by the eyewitness or eyewitnesses. Such is a “direct evidence” of culpability, which is “that which proves the fact in dispute without the aid of any inference or presumption”, in contrast to circumstantial evidence, which is “the proof of facts from which taken collectively the existence of the particular fact in dispute may be inferred as a necessary or probable consequence.” Circumstantial evidence, however, is not a weaker form of evidence vis-a-vis direct evidence, for our rules make no distinction between direct evidence of fact and evidence of circumstances from which the existence of a fact may be inferred. No greater degree of certainty is required when the evidence is circumstantial than when it is direct; for in either case, the trier of fact must be convinced beyond reasonable doubt of the guilt of the accused.
Under the Rules of Court, circumstantial evidence would be sufficient for conviction if the following concur: (a) there is more than one circumstance; (b) the facts from which the inferences are derived are proved; and (c) the combination of all the circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt. Or, as jurisprudentially formulated, a judgment of conviction based on circumstantial evidence can be upheld only if the circumstances proven constitute an unbroken chain which leads to one fair and reasonable conclusion pointing to the accused, to the exclusion of all others, as the guilty person, i.e., the circumstances proven must be consistent with each other and consistent with the hypothesis that the accused is guilty.
PEOPLE v. ARIZAPA
G.R. No. 131814. March 15, 2000.
Improvident plea of guilt
Accused was sentenced to death after being convicted of incestuously raping his stepdaughter.
The record discloses the failure of the lower court to make a searching inquiry on whether the accused’s admission of guilt was voluntarily made and whether he understood the legal implications of such admission. However, since the trial court extensively received evidence in determining the guilt of the accused, the manner in which the plea of guilt was made, whether improvidently or not, loses its significance for the simple reason that the conviction of the accused was based on the evidence proving his commission of the offense charged and not on his admission in open court; his conviction may only be set aside when the improvident plea of guilt was the sole basis for the condemnatory judgment.
PEOPLE v. FABON
G.R. No. 133226. March 16, 2000
Aggravating circumstance – Robbery with homicide
The proper designation of the crime committed is robbery with homicide aggravated by rape. When rape and homicide co-exist in the commission of robbery, it is the first paragraph of Article 294 of the Revised Penal Code that applies, the rape to be considered as an aggravating circumstance. Moreover, dwelling is also considered aggravating in cases such as this primarily because of the sanctity of privacy that the law accords to the human abode. Dwelling is aggravating in robbery with violence or intimidation because this class of robbery can be committed without the necessity of trespassing the sanctity of the offended party’s house.
Circumstantial evidence is defined as that which indirectly proves a fact in issue. Under Section 4 of Rule 133 of the Revised Rules on Evidence, circumstantial evidence is sufficient to convict an accused if the following requisites concur: (a) there is more than one circumstance, (b) the facts from which the inferences are derived are proven, and (c) the combination of all the circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt.
PEOPLE V. MACARSE
G.R. No. 121780. March 17, 2000
Defense of Alibi
Accused-appellant was charged and convicted of Highway Robbery with Homicide. His main defense was alibi.
For alibi to be believed, the following must be shown: (a) presence of accused-appellant in another place at the time of the commission of the offense, and (b) physical impossibility for him to be at the scene of the crime.
PEOPLE v. MANRIQUEZ
G.R. Nos. 122510-11. March 17, 2000.
Waiver of Counsel; Extrajudicial Confession
Accused-appellant was charged and convicted of Murder. He impugned the validity of his waiver of counsel and extrajudicial confession and denied conspiracy and the attendance of treachery.
One’s right to be informed of the right to remain silent and to counsel contemplates the transmission of meaningful information rather than just the ceremonial and perfunctory recitation of an abstract constitutional principle. It is not enough for the interrogator to merely repeat to the person under investigation the provisions of Section 12, Article III of the 1987 Constitution; the former must also explain the effects of such provision in practical terms — e.g., what the person under interrogation may or may not do — and in a language the subject fairly understands. The right to be informed carries with it a correlative obligation on the part of the police investigator to explain, and contemplates effective communication, which results in the subject’s understanding of what is conveyed. Since it is comprehension that is sought to be attained, the degree of explanation required will necessarily vary and depend on the education, intelligence, and other relevant personal circumstances of the person undergoing investigation. In further ensuring the right to counsel, it is not enough that the subject is informed of such right; he should also be asked if he wants to avail of the same and should be told that he could ask for counsel if he so desired or that one could be provided him at his request. If he decides not to retain a counsel of his choice or avail of one to be provided for him and, therefore, chooses to waive his right to counsel, such waiver, to be valid and effective, must still be made with the assistance of counsel, who, under prevailing jurisprudence, must be a lawyer.
A conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an agreement concerning the commission of a felony and decide to commit it. To establish the existence of a conspiracy, direct proof is not essential since it may be shown by facts and circumstances from which may be logically inferred the existence of a common design among the accused to commit the offense charged, or it may be deduced from the mode and manner in which the offense was perpetrated.
There is treachery when the offender commits any of the crimes against persons, employing means, methods or forms in the execution thereof which tend directly and specially to insure its execution without risk to himself arising from the defense which the offended party might make, which means that no opportunity was given to the latter to do so.
PEOPLE V. SAPAL
G.R. No. 124526. March 17, 2000.
Irregularities in arrest
Conviction based on proof beyond reasonable doubt
Accused-appellant was arrested based on a warrant issued against him after he failed to attend his arraignment. He contends that certain irregularities attended his arrest, and that the prosecution failed to show his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
Admittedly, accused is deemed to have waived his right to question the irregularities attending his arrest for his failure to raise the same at the opportune time, i.e., before he entered his plea. Nonetheless, the peculiar factual circumstances surrounding the case, e.g., the police authorities’ failure to comply with the clear directive of the warrant of arrest issued by Judge Barrios, the undue delay in preparing the documents relating to the arrest of accused and his wife and in delivering them to the proper authorities for inquest, and the failure of the law enforcers to provide accused with a counsel during the custodial investigation, effectively destroy the presumption of regularity in the performance by Gomez and his colleagues of their duties. Such being the case, the presumption of regularity cannot be made the sole basis of the conviction of accused.
It is well-settled that “where the circumstances shown to exist yield two or more inferences, one of which is consistent with the presumption of innocence while the other or others may be compatible with the finding of guilt, the court must acquit the accused: for the evidence does not fulfill the test of moral certainty and is insufficient to support a judgment of conviction.”
PEOPLE v. SAN DIEGO
G.R. No. 129297. March 17, 2000
Rape – Jurisprudential guidelines
In rape cases, courts are guided by the following considerations:
1) An accusation for rape can be made with facility; it is difficult to prove but more difficult for the person, though innocent, to disprove the same;
2) In view of the intrinsic nature of the crime of rape where only two persons are usually involved, the testimony of the complainant must be scrutinized with extreme caution; and
3) The evidence for the prosecution must stand or fall on its own merits and cannot be allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the evidence for the defense.
The test of sufficiency of force or intimidation in rape is whether it produces a reasonable fear in the victim that if she resists or does not give in to the sexual demands of the accused, the threat would be carried out.
PEOPLE V. CHE CHUN TING
G.R. Nos. 130568-69. March 21, 2000
Warrantles searches and seizures
Fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine
Accused-appellant was charged and convicted for dispatching in transit and having in his possession large amounts of shabu. He contends that the shabu is inadmissible in evidence as it was seized without a valid search warrant.
The lawful arrest being the sole justification for the validity of the warrantless search under the exception, the same must be limited to and circumscribed by the subject, time and place of the arrest. As to subject, the warrantless search is sanctioned only with respect to the person of the suspect, and things that may be seized from him are limited to “dangerous weapons” or “anything which may be used as proof of the commission of the offense.” With respect to the time and place of the warrantless search, it must be contemporaneous with the lawful arrest. Stated otherwise, to be valid, the search must have been conducted at about the time of the arrest or immediately thereafter and only at the place where the suspect was arrested, or the premises or surroundings under his immediate control.
It must be stressed that the purposes of the exception are only to protect the arresting officer against physical harm from the person being arrested who might be armed with a concealed weapon, and also to prevent the person arrested from destroying the evidence within his reach. The exception therefore should not be strained beyond what is needed in order to serve its purposes.
As a consequence of the illegal search, the things seized on the occasion thereof are inadmissible in evidence under the exclusionary rule. They are regarded as having been obtained from a polluted source, the “fruit of a poisonous tree.” However, objects and properties the possession of which is prohibited by law cannot be returned to their owners notwithstanding the illegality of their seizure. Thus, the shabu seized by the NARCOM operatives, which cannot legally be possessed by the accused under the law, can and must be retained by the government to be disposed of in accordance with law.
PEOPLE V. ADILA, JR.
G.R. No. 133434. March 21, 2000.
Defense of alibi
Accused-appellant was charged and convicted for incestuously raping his 11-year old stepdaughter. He interposed the defense of denial and alibi.
The defense of alibi interposed by the accused-appellant hardly deserves any serious consideration. For this defense to prosper, the accused must prove, among other things, that not only has he been at some other place at the time of the commission of the crime but that it would have also been physically impossible for him to be at the locus criminis at the time thereof.
PEOPLE v. SAPINOSO
G.R. No. 122540. March 22, 2000.
In rape cases, three well-known principles guide the Court, namely: (1) an accusation for rape can be made with facility; it is difficult to prove but more difficult for the person accused, though innocent, to disprove, (2) in view of the intrinsic nature of the crime of rape where two persons are usually involved, the testimony of the complainant must be scrutinized with extreme caution, and (3) the evidence of the prosecution must stand or fall on its own merits and cannot be allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the evidence for the defense. Likewise, when the complainant in a rape case, more so if she is a minor, testifies that she has been raped, she says in effect all that is necessary to show rape has been committed, the offended party most often being the only one available to prove directly the commission of rape. The credibility of the complainant is, thus, of utmost importance, for the accused may be convicted solely on the basis of the complainant’s testimony if the same meets the test of credibility. Furthermore, we have held that the conduct of the victim immediately following the alleged sexual assault is of utmost importance in establishing the truth or falsity of the charge of rape.
Well-settled is the rule that alibi is an inherently weak defense which cannot prevail over the positive identification of the accused by the victim. For alibi to prosper, the defendant must prove not only (1) that he was somewhere else when the crime was committed but (2) it must be likewise demonstrated that he was so far away that he could not have been physically present at the place of the crime or its immediate vicinity at the time of its commission.
PEOPLE V. DEDACE
G.R. No. 132551. March 22, 2000
The gravamen of statutory rape is carnal knowledge of a woman below twelve (12) years of age. It is well-settled that complete or full penetration of the complainant’s private part is not necessary to consummate rape. What is essential is that there be penetration of the sexual organ, no matter how slight. Neither is the rupture of the hymen essential for the offense of consummated rape. It is enough that there is proof of entrance of the male organ within the labia of the pudendum. Therefore, it is unnecessary to show to what extent penetration of the woman’s body has been made.
PEOPLE v. MAMALIAS
G.R. No. 128073. March 27, 2000
Appeal of an accused-escapee
The general rule is that a party appealing who flees the jurisdiction, pending the appeal, is in contempt of the authority of the court and of the law and places himself in a position to speculate on the chances for a reversal, meanwhile keeping out of the reach of justice and preparing to render the judgment nugatory or not, at his option. Moreover, the escapee loses his standing in court and unless he surrenders or submits to the jurisdiction of the court, he is deemed to have waived any right to seek relief from the court. Be that as it may, the escape of an accused-appellant during the pendency of his appeal will not necessarily prevent the Court from exercising its jurisdiction in exceptional cases.
PEOPLE v. MITRA
G.R. No. 130669. March 27, 2000.
Rape – physical resistance
It is well-settled that “physical resistance need not be established in rape when intimidation is exercised upon the victim and the latter submits herself, against her will, to the rapist’s advances because of fear for her life and personal safety.” It is sufficient that the intimidation produces fear in the mind of the victim that if she did not submit to the bestial demands of the accused, something far worse would befall her at the time she was being molested. As pronounced by the Court, “if resistance would nevertheless be futile because of intimidation, then offering none at all does not mean consent to the assault so as to make the victim’s submission to the sexual act voluntary.”
PEOPLE V. MERIS
PEOPLE v. MERIS
G.R Nos. 117145-50 & 117447. March 28, 2000
Jurisdiction over person of the accused
Accused-appellant was charged and convicted of illegal recruitment in large scale and estafa. She contends that her conviction was erroneous because the court never acquired jurisdiction over her person, as her arrest was illegal, and that the prosecution failed to establish estafa.
Jurisdiction over the person of the accused is acquired either by arrest or voluntary appearance in court. Hence, granting arguendo that accused-appellant’s arrest was defective, such is deemed cured upon her voluntary submission to the jurisdiction of the court. It should be stressed that the question of legality of an arrest affects only the jurisdiction of the court over the person of the accused. Consequently, if objections based on this ground are waived, the fact that the arrest was illegal is not sufficient cause for setting aside an otherwise valid judgment. The technicality cannot render the subsequent proceedings void and deprive the State of its right to convict the guilty when all the facts on record point to the culpability of the accused.
Estafa is committed by any person who defrauds another by using a fictitious name, or falsely pretends to possess power, influence, qualifications, property, credit, agency, business or imaginary transactions, or by means of similar deceits executed prior to or simultaneously with the commission of the fraud. The offended party must have relied on the false pretense, fraudulent act or fraudulent means of the accused-appellant and as a result thereof, the offended party suffered damages.
PEOPLE V. TIPAY
G.R. No. 131472. March 28, 2000
Rape – Jurisprudential guidelines
The Court has laid down certain guiding principles in reviewing rape cases, to wit: (a) an accusation of rape can be made with facility and while the accusation is difficult to prove, it is even more difficult for the person accused, although innocent, to disprove the charge; (b) considering the intrinsic nature of the crime, only two persons are usually involved in the crime of rape, the testimony of the complainant should be scrutinized with great caution, and (c) the evidence for the prosecution must stand or fall on its own merit, and cannot be allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the evidence for the defense.
PEOPLE v. CULA
G.R. No. 133146. March 28, 2000
Rape – physical resistance; burden of proving victim’s minority
The law does not impose upon a rape victim the burden of proving resistance. Physical resistance need not be established in rape when intimidation is exercised upon the victim and she submits herself against her will to the rapist’s lust because of fear for life and personal safety.
At all events, it is the burden of the prosecution to prove with certainty the fact that the victim was below 18 when the rape was committed in order to justify the imposition of the death penalty. The record of the case is bereft of any independent evidence, such as the victim’s duly certified Certificate of Live Birth, accurately showing private complainant’s age.
PEOPLE v. BARREDO
G.R. No. 133832. March 28, 2000
In rape cases, the courts are guided by the long-standing rule that penetration is not essential for conviction of the culprit. Mere knocking at the doors of the pudenda, so to speak, by the accused’s penis suffices to constitute the crime of rape, and the fact that her hymen is still intact does not negate its commission.
PEOPLE v. CABINGAS
G.R. No. 79679. March 28, 2000.
Rape with a feeble-minded person
Sexual intercourse with a feeble-minded woman is rape. The offense charged is within the contemplation of paragraph 2 of Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, like when the offender had carnal knowledge of a woman deprived of reason.
PEOPLE v. CAVERTE
G.R. No. 123112. March 30, 2000
Accused appellant was charged and convicted of murder and frustrated murder.
There is self-defense when the following elements concur: (1) unlawful aggression on the part of the person injured or killed by the offender; (2) reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel it; and (3) lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person defending himself. It is a doctrinal rule that when an unlawful aggression that has begun no longer exists, the one making a defense has no right to kill or even to wound the former aggressor.
There is treachery when two conditions concur, to wit: (1) the employment of means of execution that gives the person attacked no opportunity to defend himself or to retaliate; and (2) deliberate or conscious adoption of the means of execution. Treachery exists where the attack was perpetrated suddenly and without warning.
PEOPLE V. AQUINO
G.R. No. 129288. March 30, 2000.
Robbery with homicide
Accused-appellants were charged and convicted of the complex crime of robbery with homicide. They contend that they should have been convicted of homicide only.
The elements of the crime were proved beyond reasonable doubt. In any event, in robbery with homicide, the important consideration is that there be a nexus between the robbery and the killing whether prior, subsequent to or committed at the same time.
PEOPLE V. BALTAZAR
G.R. No. 115990. March 30, 2000.
The more pressing issue is whether all the elements of rape as alleged in the Information were duly proved by the prosecution. Here we find the following duly established beyond reasonable doubt. First, appellant had carnal knowledge with the victim.
PEOPLE V. BASE
PEOPLE v. BASE
G.R. No. 109773. March 30, 2000
For an extrajudicial confession to be admissible, it must be: 1.] voluntary; 2.] made with the assistance of competent and independent counsel; 3.] express; and 4.] in writing. While the initial choice in cases where a person under custodial investigation cannot afford the services of a lawyer is naturally lodged in the police investigators, the accused really has the final choice as he may reject the counsel chosen for him and ask for another one. A lawyer provided by the investigators is deemed engaged by the accused where he never raised any objection against the former’s appointment during the course of the investigation and the accused thereafter subscribes to the veracity of his statement before the swearing officer. Verily, to be an effective counsel “[a] lawyer need not challenge all the questions being propounded to his client. The presence of a lawyer is not intended to stop an accused from saying anything that might incriminate him but, rather, it was adopted in our Constitution to preclude the slightest coercion as would lead the accused to admit something false. The counsel, however, should never prevent an accused from freely and voluntarily telling the truth.”
When, as in this case, “[a]n extrajudicial statement satisfies the requirements of the Constitution, it constitutes evidence of a high order because of the strong presumption that no person of normal mind would deliberately and knowingly confess to a crime unless prompted by truth and conscience. The defense has the burden of proving that it was extracted by means of force, duress, promise or reward.”
Section 3, Rule 133 of the Rules of Court provides that “[a]n extrajudicial confession made by an accused shall not be sufficient ground for conviction, unless corroborated by evidence of corpus delicti.” In this case the prosecution presented other evidence to prove the two elements of corpus delicti, to wit: a.] a certain result has been proven, i.e. a man has died; and 2.] some person is criminally responsible.
Conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an agreement concerning the commission of a felony and decide to commit it. Direct proof is not essential, for conspiracy may be inferred from the acts of the accused prior to, during or subsequent to the incident. Such acts must point to a joint purpose, concert of action or community of interest.
There is treachery “[w]hen the offender commits any of the crimes against persons, employing means, methods or forms in the execution thereof which tend directly and specially to insure its execution without risk to himself arising from the defense which the offended party might make.” The essence of alevosia is the swift and unexpected attack on the unarmed victim without the slightest provocation on the victim’s part. The fact that treachery may be shown if the victim is attacked from behind does not mean it can not also be appreciated if the attack is frontal. Even a frontal attack can be treacherous when it is sudden and the victim is unarmed.
PEOPLE v. CAMPUHAN
G.R. No. 129433. March 30, 2000.
Stages of rape
In the case of People v. Orita, the SC held that rape was consummated from the moment the offender had carnal knowledge of the victim since by it he attained his objective. All the elements of the offense were already present and nothing more was left for the offender to do, having performed all the acts necessary to produce the crime and accomplish it. We ruled then that perfect penetration was not essential; any penetration of the female organ by the male organ, however slight, was sufficient. The Court further held that entry of the labia or lips of the female organ, even without rupture of the hymen or laceration of the vagina, was sufficient to warrant conviction for consummated rape. We distinguished consummated rape from attempted rape where there was no penetration of the female organ because not all acts of execution were performed as the offender merely commenced the commission of a felony directly by overt acts. The inference that may be derived therefrom is that complete or full penetration of the vagina is not required for rape to be consummated. Any penetration, in whatever degree, is enough to raise the crime to its consummated stage.
But the Court in Orita clarified the concept of penetration in rape by requiring entry into the labia or lips of the female organ, even if there be no rupture of the hymen or laceration of the vagina, to warrant a conviction for consummated rape. While the entry of the penis into the lips of the female organ was considered synonymous with mere touching of the external genitalia, e.g., labia majora, labia minora, etc., the crucial doctrinal bottom line is that touching must be inextricably viewed in light of, in relation to, or as an essential part of, the process of penile penetration, and not just mere touching in the ordinary sense. In other words, the touching must be tacked to the penetration itself. The importance of the requirement of penetration, however slight, cannot be gainsaid because where entry into the labia or the lips of the female genitalia has not been established, the crime committed amounts merely to attempted rape.
Where the accused failed to achieve an erection, had a limp or flaccid penis, or an oversized penis which could not fit into the victim’s vagina, the Court nonetheless held that rape was consummated on the basis of the victim’s testimony that the accused repeatedly tried, but in vain, to insert his penis into her vagina and in all likelihood reached the labia of her pudendum as the victim felt his organ on the lips of her vulva, or that the penis of the accused touched the middle part of her vagina. Thus, touching when applied to rape cases does not simply mean mere epidermal contact, stroking or grazing of organs, a slight brush or a scrape of the penis on the external layer of the victim’s vagina, or the mons pubis, as in this case. There must be sufficient and convincing proof that the penis indeed touched the labias or slid into the female organ, and not merely stroked the external surface thereof, for an accused to be convicted of consummated rape. As the labias, which are required to be “touched” by the penis, are by their natural situs or location beneath the mons pubis or the vaginal surface, to touch them with the penis is to attain some degree of penetration beneath the surface, hence, the conclusion that touching the labia majora or the labia minora of the pudendum constitutes consummated rape.
Thus, a grazing of the surface of the female organ or touching the mons pubis of the pudendum is not sufficient to constitute consummated rape. Absent any showing of the slightest penetration of the female organ, i.e., touching of either labia of the pudendum by the penis, there can be no consummated rape; at most, it can only be attempted rape, if not acts of lasciviousness.
PEOPLE v. BALTAZAR
G.R. No. 115990. March 31, 2000
Elements of Rape
Evidentiary value of medical examinations
The more pressing issue is whether all the elements of rape as alleged in the Information were duly proved by the prosecution. Here we find the following duly established beyond reasonable doubt. First, appellant had carnal knowledge with the victim. Second, carnal knowledge took place by using force or intimidation. Appellant insists that “the complainant did not offer any tenacious resistance to the alleged sexual assault.” Nowhere is it required in our law or jurisprudence, however, that a woman must offer “tenacious” resistance to a sexual assault. The law does not impose upon the rape victim the burden of proving resistance. We have held countless of times that “the force or violence required in rape cases is relative. When applied, it need not be overpowering or irresistible; it is enough that it has enabled the offender to consummate his purpose or to bring about the desired result.” For rape to exist, it is not necessary that the force or intimidation employed in accomplishing the crime be so great or of such character as could not be resisted. What is necessary is that the force or intimidation be sufficient to consummate the purpose which the accused had in mind. Thus we have held that physical resistance need not be established in rape cases when intimidation is exercised upon her and she submits herself against her will to the rapist’s lust because of fear for her life and personal safety. The victim’s failure to resist the accused’s assault successfully and to escape when the opportunity presented itself should not be construed as a manifestation of consent. Thirdly, the coitus was against her will and without her consent.
Insofar as the evidentiary value of a medical examination is concerned, we have held that “a medical examination of the victim, as well as the medical certificate, is merely corroborative in character and is not an indispensable element in rape. What is important is that the testimony of private complainant about the incident is clear, unequivocal and credible.” A medical examination is not indispensable to the prosecution of rape as long as the evidence on hand convinces the court that a conviction for rape is proper.
PEOPLE v. SUITOS
G.R. No. 125280. March 31, 2000
Defense of Alibi
Accused-appellant was charged and convicted of murder. His defense was one of alibi.
For alibi to prosper, the accused should prove not only that he was at some other place when the crime was committed but also that it was physically impossible for him to be at the locus criminis at the time of the commission.
PEOPLE vs. CUPINO
G.R. No. 125688. March 31, 2000.
Cupino and Dejoras were charged and convicted for conspiring to commit murder.
Conspiracy must be proved as indubitably as the crime itself through clear and convincing evidence, not merely by conjecture. To hold an accused guilty as a co-principal by reason of conspiracy, he must be shown to have performed an overt act in pursuance or furtherance of the complicity. Hence, conspiracy exists in a situation where at the time the malefactors were committing the crime, their actions impliedly showed unity of purpose among them, a concerted effort to bring about the death of the victim. In a great majority of cases, complicity was established by proof of acts done in concert, i.e., acts that yielded the reasonable inference that the doers thereof were acting with a common intent or design. Therefore, the task in every case is determining whether the particular acts established by the requisite quantum of proof do reasonably yield that inference.”
PEOPLE vs. ABALDE
G.R. No. 123113. March 31, 2000.
Rape – guidelines
In the disposition of rape cases, the Court is guided by the following principles: (1) an accusation for rape can be made with facility; it is difficult to prove but more difficult for the person accused, though innocent, to disprove; (2) in view of the intrinsic nature of the crime of rape where only two persons are usually involved, the testimony of the complainant must be scrutinized with extreme caution, and (3) the evidence for the prosecution must stand or fall on its own merits and cannot draw strength from the weakness of the evidence of the defense.
PEOPLE VS. AMIGABLE
G.R. No. 133857. March 31, 2000
Medical examination / findings – evidentiary value in rape cases
Lack of lacerated wounds does not negate sexual intercourse. A freshly broken hymen is not an essential element of rape. For that matter, in crimes against chastity, the medical examination of the victim is not an indispensable element for the prosecution of the crime as her testimony alone, if credible, is sufficient to convict the accused as in this case.
Criminal Law Digests
Ateneo Central Bar Operations 2001