Criminal Law Digests – May 2000
People V Tanoy
G.R. No 115692 May 12,2000
After a prior incident, the victim went to the police station. The victim therein found the appellant who is a policeman. After, a few exchanges appellant shot the victim with an armalite hitting him in the chest. He alleges that they were grappling for the gun before the “accident” occured thus he is entitled to an exempting circumstance under par 4 Art 12.
The shooting was intentional as shown by the location and nature of the wounds. Also a brown envelope remained tucked under his arm and was bloodied after he was shot.If they were grappling for possession of the gun then the envelope containing his complaint should have fallen.It would be highly inconceivable for a retired PC colonel to hold the barrel of the gun pointing towards him while grappling for its possession.
It is settled jurisprudence that the assessment of the credibility of the witnesses lies within the province and expertise of the trial courts.Absent any showing of abuse of discretion or that trial courts overlooked material and relevant facts which could affect the outcome of the case, their findings are accorded great weight and respect.
There is also treachery in the commission of the crime. The deceased did not expect any attack coming from the accused when he went to the police station. Treachery may still be appreciated even when the victim was forewarned of the danger to his person.What is decisive is that the execution of the attack mde it impossible for the victim to defend himself or retaliate.The victim was totally defenseless when he went out of his hiding place(went behind a cemented wall when the accused pointed the gun).he was 71 years old and his left hand was extended as if in supplication and surrender but the accused shot him nonetheless.
People v Avillana
GRNo119621 May 12,2000
Accused was convicted for murder by the lower court.He allegedly approached the victim and two others while they were waiting for a jeepney.He stabbed the victim in the chest and attacked the two others who were able to escape.
Conviction affirmed. The testimony of the sole witness is upheld.Witnesses are weighed, not numbered, such that the testimony of a single, trustworthy and credible witness could be sufficient to convict./there is no showing that the implication by the witness was ill-motivated.Where the locus criminis afforded good visibility and where no improper motive can be attributed to the prosecution eyewitnesses for testifying against the accused, then his version of the offense deserves much weight.Alibi,though supported by the testimonies of friends, weakens in the face of positive identification by one credible, unbiased witness.His place was only 1 kilometer from the scene.There was treachery as the victim was caught by surprise and defenseless when accused made his stealthful approach from behind and lunged a knife into the victim’s chest.
People v de Leon
GRNo-124338-41 May 12,2000
The victim, a ten year old girl, was raped by the appellant in the tobacco field in four occasions. Appellant avers he was on the field with his wife.
While denial is a legitimate defense in rape cases, bare denials cannot overcome the categorical testimony of the victim.Also, when there is an inconsistency between affidavits and the testimony of a witness in court, the testimony commands greater weight.Delay in reporting rape incidents in the face of threats of pysical violence, cannot be taken against the victim.It is fear, springing from the initial rape, that the perpetrator hopes to build up a climate of extreme sychologiccal terror,w/c would, he hopes, numb his victim to silence and submissiveness.
People v PO1 Maing
GRNo122112 May 12, 2000
The victim was shot four times with a witness standing three meters away.The witness reported the incident that the victim was gunned down by an unidentified assailant. Two weeks later he executed an affidavit pinpointing the appellant. In the witness stand he denied having identified the assailant and clarified that he only heard rumors on who was the killer from his townmates.The appellant was in a mosque only 5oo meters away and there was motive, the appellant was boxed and kicked by the victim before.
Despite his familiarity with appellant’s figure, the witness still failed to identify the assailant of the victim.He only based his testimony from rumors, thus he did not have first-hand knowledge of the identity of the assailant.His testimony was pure hearsay and has no evidentiary weight.Without any testimony positively identifying accused as the gunman nor any evidence directly linking him as the author of the crime, the appellant cannot be convicted of the murder.he enjoys the presumption of innocence, which can only be overcome by reasonable doubt.Mere suspicions or conjectures, however strong, can never become substitutes for this required quantum of proof.There must be moral certainty that the accused is guilty.Appellant’s alibi may be the weakest of all defenses.Nonetheless, this weakness ought not be used as proof of his guilt.The prosecution must rest on the strength of its evidence and not rely on the weakness of the defense.
People v Madarang
Gr. No. 132319 May 12,2000
Appellant was convicted of parricide for stabbing his wife, causing her death. Appellant alleges he was in a state of insanity and claims he had no recollection of the stabbing incident.He insists that he was deprived of intelligence , making his act involuntary.His psychiatric evaluation revealed he was suffering from schizophrenia but after two years in the National Center for Mental Health his condition improved thus, he was released.
In the Philippines, the courts have established a more stringent criterion for insanity to be exempting as it is required that there must be a complete deprivation of intelligence in committing the act,i.e., the accused is deprived of reason; he acted without the least discernment because there is a complete absence of the power to discern, or that there is total deprivation of the will.Mere abnormality of the mental faculties will not exclude imputability.The issue of insanity is a question of fact.The state or condition of a man’s mind can only be measured and judged by his behavior.Establishing one’s insanity requires testimony of an expert witness, such as a psychiatrist.The proof must relate to the time preceding or coetaneous with the commisssion of the offense with which he is charged.None of the witnesses declared that he exhibited any of the symptoms associated with schizophrenia immediately before or simultaneous with the stabbing incident.Also schizophrenics have lucid intervals during which they are capable of distinguishing right from wrong.
People v Dequito
G.R. No.-132544 May 12,2000
A fifteen year old girl was raped by the common-law husband of her sister in the field.
A torn underwear is not indispensable to prove the crime of rape.Rape can be committed without damaging the apparel of the victim.The victim testified that appellant already started to remove her clothes but she ran away. He caught up with her and forced himself on her.The delay in reporting the incident can not diminish her credibility.Our consistent doctrine is that delay in reporting a rape, if sufficiently explained, does not affect the credibility of the witness.In this case, she was dependent on him, her parents were absent.Appellant threatened that he would leave the victim’s sister if the victim reported the incident. Also the information is sufficient alleging therein that rape was committed on or about the month of July 1996.Thus, the prosecutor’s error in stating that what was being tried was the last rape committed in July in his offer of proof did not prejudice the rights of the appellant.Also, counsel for the defendant did not object to the offer of victim’s testimony. Sec 34-36 of Rule 132 govern.
People v Rimorin
GRNo-124309 May 16,2000
Two persons were kidnapped and brought to a forest area where they were killed.The bodies were set afire while in a pit then buried in the same spot.A helper of the suspects and the families of the victims were threatened with retaliation if they reported the incident.Ten years later, the helper, after learning that one of the suspects have died, reported the incident and the bodies were then exhumed. Appellants were convicted of kidnapping with murder.
W/N guilt was established beyond reasonable doubt.
The trial courts are in the best position to view the witness’ demeanor and deportment during the trial. Since the offense were committed prior to RA7659 on Deceber 31, 1993 thus said law amending Art267 of the RPC providing: “when the victim is killed or dies as a consequence of the detention or is raped or is subjected to torture or dehumanizing acts, the maximum penalty shall be imposed.”Since in this instance the purpose of the appellant and his companions when they kidnapped the victims was to kill them the two counts of complex crime of kidnapping with murder is valid. However, as ruled in P v Ramos 297SCRA618, the rule now is: where the person kidnapped is killed in the course of the detention, regardless of whether the killing was purposely sought or was merely an afterthought, the kidnapping and murder or homicide can no longer be complexed under the last paragraph of Art267as amended by RA7659.
There was also treachery as the victims’ hands were tied behind their backs when they were killed.However, there is no evident premeditation.there was no showing by the prosecution of the 1)time when the offender determined to commit the crime 2)act manifestly indicating that the offender had clung to his determination3)sufficient lapse of time between the determination to commit the crime and the execution thereof, to allow the offender to reflect on the consequence of his act.
People v Obrero
G.R. No.-122142 May 17, 2000
Appellant was convicted of robberry with homicide.He executed a written confession as a result of a custodial ivestigation.The issue is whether such is valid.
The extrajudicial confession was invalid. The perfunctory reading of the Miranda rights is inadequate to transmit information to the suspect. Also, Art IIISec12(1) requires an independent and competent counsel of the suspect’s choice. Atty de los Reyes was not an independent counsel being the PC Captain and Station Commander. As held in P v Bandula, the independent counsel cannot be a special prosecutor, private or public prosecutor, municipal attorney or counsel of the police whose interest is adverse to the accused.
While there is evidence to the homicide consisting of the corpus delicti, there is no evidence of the robbery except the confession. The lack of objection of appellant to the introduction of the constitutionally proscribed evidence did not satisfy the burden of proof which rested on the prosecution. Acquitted of robbery with homicide.
People v Toledano
G.R. No.-110220 May 18,2000
Bunao, while a member of Sangguniang Bayan, entered into a lease contract covering 2 public market stalls.Two administrative cases were filed against against him violating RA3019 and R6713 with the Ombudsman.However, said cases were dismissed. An information for violation of Sec41(1) in relation to Sec221 of BP337 was filed against respondent before the RTc of Iba, Zambales which prohibits gov’t officials from engaing in any business transaction with the local gernment unit.The RTC, upon motion of the accused, dismissed the criminal case on the ground of the dismissal of the administrative cases.
There is nothing in the law(Art 89RPC) which states that exoneration from an administrative charge extinguishes criminal liability.It is a fundamental principle of administrative law that administrative law that administrative cases a independent from criminal actions for the same act or omission. RA 7160,LGC of 1991, which replaced BP337 reenacted in its Sec89 the legal provision of Sec 41 of BP337.Thus, the act committed before the reenactment continuous to be a crime.
People v Saragina
G.R. No.-128281 May 30,2000
Accused stabbed and klled a Vulpangco, who uttered malicious remarks and showed his private part to the appellant’s sister a week earlier. He admits the incident but claims it was self-defense.
Because of this claim, the burden of proof was shifted to the appellant to establish the elements thereofa)unlawful aggression on the part of the victim;b)reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel it; c)lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person defending himself. The first element is lacking.Evidence must positively show that there was a previous unlawful and unprovoked attack on the person of the accused which placed him in danger and justified him in inflicting harm upon his assailant hrough the employment of reasonable means to repel the aggression. In this, case the appellant attacked the victim while the latter was fanning charcoal.
The second element is also absent.The nature, location and number of the wounds belie appellant’s defense.Even considering he was able to wrest the knife away from Vulpanco and stab him on the chest, he still ran after the victim and stabbed him againin the face. However, there was no treachery because before he attacked, the appellant uttered “Ano pare, umpisahan na natin?”.Also, victim’s niece shouted “Tiyong Takbo”.The victim was able to run away bu the accused caught up with him.Treachery cannot be appreciated when the victim was aware of the attack against him and was even able to flee even though briefly from his attacker.
Also, there is o evident premeditation.The prosecution failed to adduce evidence showing when and how the accused planned and prepared to kill Vulpangco.The mere fact that the accused learned that Vulpangco was pestering his sister a week before the killing is insufficient to prove evident premeditation beyond reasonable doubt.
People v Babera
G.R. No.-130609, May 30,2000
Appellant was convicted of two counts of rape. He raped a 17 yr old having moderate retardation with the use of a balisong.
Since the participants are usually the only witnesses in crimes of this nature, the conviction or acquittal of the accused would virtually depend on the credibility of the complainant’s testmony. The trial court observed that the victim remained consistent and answered in a frank, sincere and straighforward manner. Also, factual findings of the trial court are generally sustained on appeal unless arbitrary or baseless.
People v Francisco
The appellant was convicted of frustrated murder.Together with two more persons, he assaulted and stabbed Ariel while seated in the driver’s seat of a jeepney.
The mere fact that the principal witness was the victim of the crime does not make him a biased witness and does not make his testimony incredible.It would be unnatural and illogical for him to impute the crime to an innocent person and let the culprit escape prosecution.
A conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an agreement concerning the commission of a crime and decide to do it.Proof of the agreement need not rest on direct evidence as the same may be inferred from the conduct of the parties indicating a common understanding among them with respect to the commission of the offense.It is not necessary to show that two or more persons met together and entered into an explicit agreement setting out the details of an unlawful scheme or the details by which an illegal objective is to be carried out.It may be deduced from the mode and manner in which the offense was perpetrated or inferred from the acts of the accused evincing a joint or common purpose and design, concerted action and community of interest.In this case, the two John Does pulled the victim out of the jeepney.As the victim was getting down, he was stabbed by the appellant. As to Antonio his participation was limited to shouting “heto na sila”.In a case, we ruled that the phrase “andiyan na”, which has similar import with the phrase herein, does not have conclusive conspiratorial meaning for the supposedly damning utterances are susceptible of varied inerpretations.One’s overt act, to be shown in pursuance of the conspiracy, may consist of active participation in the actual commission of the crime itself, or it may consist of moral assistance to his conspirators by being present at the time of the commission of the crime, by exerting moral ascendancy over the other co-conspirators by moving them to execute or implement the conspiracy.
As to Ricardo’s physical disability, the limp suffered by him due to polio has not been shown to restrict his means of action, defense or communication with his fellow beings as required by Art 13(8). The location of the stab wounds (stomach) manifest his intention to kill thus contradicting his claim of not intending to commit so grave a wrong.
The mitigating circumstance of sufficient provocation must immediately preceded the act and that it was adequate to excite a person to commit a wrng, which must accordingly be proportionate in gravity.
The lack of aversion in the information of “intent to kill” does not not make it insufficient.An information is sufficient if it states the designation of the offense by statute.The information more than substantially satisfies the requirement of designating the offense of frustrated murder considering that it contains the acts constituting the felony, the name of the crime by statue and the stage (frustrated) of the commission of the crime by definition.Besides the absence of the averment of intent to kill may be inferred from the allegation that the stab wound would have caused the death of the victim.
People v Balora
G.R. No.-124976 May 31, 2000
The victim was raped inside the cubicle of the women’s restroom of the cinema theater of Manuela Complex.The appellant went over the divider and banged the head of the victim on the wall.After the incident, he was captured by the guards and mobbed by the other watchers.
Appellant avers that the victim could not be made to lie on the floor there being a toilt bowl in the middle an the cubicle was too small.The evil in man has no conscience.The beast in him bears no respect for time and place, driving him to commit rae anywhere–even in places where people congregate.Rape does not necessarily have to be committed in an isolated place and can in fact be committed in places which to many would appear to be unlikely and high-risk venues for sexual advances.
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, somehing far worse would befall her at the time she was being molested. In P v Luzorate we held that intimidation was addressed to the mind of the victim and therefore subjective, its presence could not be tested by any hard-and-fast rule but must be viewed in light of the victim’s perception and judgment at the time of the crime.When a victim become paralyzed with fear, she cannot be expected to think and act coherently, her failure to take advantage of the early opportuniy to escape does not automatically vitiate the credibilityoher account.Complainant cannot be faulted for not taking any action inasmuch as different people react differently to a given type of situation, there being no standard form of human behavioral response when one is confronted with a strange, startling or frightful experience.
Lack of lacerated wounds does not negate sexual intercourse.A freshly broken hymen is not a essential element of rape. e part of the victim;b)reaonable nec
People v Alicante
G.R. No.-127026-27 May 31,2000
The appellant, a father, raped his 13 yr old daughter fifteen times impregnating her.
The purpose of a formal offer is to enable the trial judge to know the purpose or purposes fro which the proponent is representing the evidence.As it is the victim herself who testified, to state the reason for the presentaiton of said witness is to state the obvious.The Court has consistently upheld that the presumptio hominis that a young filipina will not charge a person with rape if it is not true, does not go against theconstitutional presumption of innocence.It has been decided, in case of statutory crimes, that no constitutional provision is violated by a statute providing that proof by the Sate fo some material fact or facts shall constitute prima facie evidence of guilt, and that then the burdeen is shifted to the defendant for the purpose of showing that such act or acts are innocent and are committed without unlawful intention. The actor in the affidavit of desistance, as worded, was the mother.Thus, it cannot be given weight.Also, an affidavit of desistance by itself, even when construed as pardon in so-called private crimes is not a ground for the dismissal of the criminal case once the action has been instituted. Sec 11 RA7659 applies the offender being a parent.Thus the penalty of death is to be imposed
People v Mendoza
GRNo-128890 May 31, 2000
While playing mahjong the victim was suddenly attacked from behind with a bolo by Sanches and stabbed by the appellant.
We uphold the testimony of the witness.In the absence of proof to the contrary and by the defense’s failure to impugn the credibility of prosecution witness Ignacio.
In criminal jurisprudence, when the issue is one of credibility of witnesses, appellate courts will not disturb the findings of the trial court for it is in a better position to decide the question, having heard the witnesses and obsereved their deortment and manner of testifying.There are are exceptions:a)when patent inconsistencies in the statement of witnesses are ignored by the trial court, or b) when the conclusions arrived at are clearly unsupported by the evidence.
As the victim was totally unprepared for the unexpected attack from behind with no weapon to resist it, the stabbing could only be describes as trechearous.As the attack waas synchronl, sudden and unexpected, treachery was evident.But the trial court erred in appreciating the aggravating circumstance of abuse of superior strength since this is deemed absorbed in treachery.
People v Traya
G.R. No. 129052 May 31, 2000
This is a case of incestuous rape.
The fact of minority of the victim was not stated in the Information.Only the relationship of the victim as daughter of the offender was alleged therein.The rule is that the elements of minority of the victim and her realtionship to the offender must concur.The failure toa llege on of these elements precludes the imposition of the death penalty. There being no allegation of the minority of the victim in the Information, he cannot be convicted of qualified rape as he was not informed that he is being accused of qualified rape.
People v Magat
G.R. No.-130026 May 31, 2000
This is a case of incestuous rapeTwo informations were filed against appellant.Upon arraignment, he pleaded guilty but bargained for a lesser penalty for each case.The mother of the complainant and the public prosecutor agreed and an order was issued the same day imposing tenyears imprisonment for each case.After three months, the cases were revived at the instance of the complainant on the ground that the penalty was too light.Appellant was re-arraigned and he entered a plea of not guilty.Two months later, he entered anew a plea of guilty.The court then imposed the enalty of death.He now appeals on the ground that there was double jeopardy upon the re-arraignment and trial on the same information.
The first order issued by the trial is void ab initio on the ground that the accused’s plea is not the plea bargaining contemplated by law and the rules of procedure.The only instance where a plea bargaining is allowed under the Rules is when the accused pleads guilty to a lesser offense.Sec 2 Rule 116 (note that there is a new set of Rules of Criminal Procedure).Here the reduction of the penalty is only a consequence of the plea of guilt to a lesser penalty.The appellant did not plead to a lesser offense but pleaded guilty to the rape charges and only baargained for a lesser penalty.He did not plea bargain but made conditions on the penalty to be imposed.This is erroneous because by pleading guilty to the offense charged, accused should be sentenced to the penalty to which he pleaded.It is the essence of a plea of guilty that that the accused admits absolutely and unconditionally hid guilt and responsibilty for the offense imputed to him.Hence, an accused may not foist a conditional plea of guilty on the court by admitting his guilt provided that a certain penalty will be meted unto him. Since the judgment of conviction is void, double jeopardy will not lie. Whatever procedural infirmity in the arraignment of the accused was rectified when he was re-arraigned and entered a new plea.he did not question the procedural errors in the first arrraignment and having failed to do so, waived the errors in procedure.
Under the present rule, if the present rule, if accused enters a plea of guilty the trial courts are now enjoined to conduct searching inquiry into the voluntariness and full comprehension of the consequences of his plea, to require the prosecution to present evidence to prove the guilt and precise degree of culpability, and to ask if he so desires to present evidence in his behalf and allow him to do so.
People v Mamac
G.R. No.-130332 May 31,2000
Appellant woke up the victim by poking her with along stick while lying alongside her brother and sister.When she opened the window, she saw appellant brandishing a bolo and ordered her to go dwon.Appellant brought her to the bank of the river and raped her there while sticking the bolo at her.
We have long recognized that different people react differently to a given type of situation and there is no standard behavioral response when one is confronted with a strange,startling or frightful experience.Appellant cannot claim that the victim had no reason to be cowed outside by his mere act of stabbing her with a stick or mere brandishing of the bolo. The information does not charge appellant with qualified rape and he cannot be sentenced to death.Unlike a generic aggravating circumsance which may be proved even if not alleged, aqualifying aggravating cannnot be proved unless alleged in the information.It must be alleged to properly inform the acused of the nature and cause of accusation against him in order not to violate due process.
The appellant is not a step-grandfather.he co-habited and lived with the materialgrandmother of Bernadette without the benefit of marriage.The word “step”, when used as a prefix in conjunction with a degree of kinship, is repugnant to blood relationship and is indicative of relationship by affinity.There is no relationship by affinity between Bernadetted and appellant, thus he cannot be considered as a step-grandfather.At most he is a common law husband of Bernadette’s grandmother thus not a parent, ascendant, step-parent, guardian, relative by consanguinity or affinity within the 3rd civil degree or the common law spouse of the parent of the victim.Thus only recusion perpetua may be imposed.
People v Decena
G.R. No.-131843 May 31,2000
Appellant raped the daughter of his common-law wife.
The minority and the relationship of the complainant to the accused must be alleged in the information in order to convict the appellant of qualified rape.Qualifying circumstances under Sec11 of RA7659 must be alleged with particularity in the information to be proved and used in the imposition of the penalty.It would be a denial of due process, if he is charged with simple rape but convicted of its qualified form punishable by death although the attendant circumstance qualifying the offense and resulting in capital punishment was not aleged in the indictment under which he was arraigned.
People v Cotas
G.R. No.132043 May 31,2000
Appellant stabbed the victim whiles sleeping. He alleges that it was self-defense.
Even Assuming that the victim was the aggressor, it is clear that at the time was killed, the danger to accused has already ceased.It is a settled rule that when unlawful aggression ceases, the defende has no longer any right to kill or wound the former aggressor, otherwise, retaliation and not self-defense is committed. There was treachery.It is settled that if the victim, whenkilled, was sleeping or had just awakened, the killing is with treachery because in such cases, the victim was not in a position to put up any form of defense.
People v Obosa
G.R. No.-132069 May 31, 2000
The appellant, with two other persons, waylaid former Secretary of Local Government Jaime Ferrer and his driver. The appellant’s defense is that as aprison inmate who based on prison records was inside the compound of the Nat’l Bilibid Prisons Prisons on the date and time of the incident, he could not have participated in the ambush; and if indeed he was able to leave the prison premises it is unbelievable that an escaped convict would return to prison.
The cited circumstances do not present a physical impossibility for the appellant to have participated in the commission of the crime.First, the log book presented in court referred only to the south gate.The Director of the Bureau of Prisons testified that Obosa was given preferential treatment in prison and was allowed to park his vehicle inside the prison compound despite prohibition.
Appellant’s objection to the admissibility of the testimony of an inmate that the accused confided his participation in the crime is without merit.A convicted felon is not disqualified by the Rules of Evidence from testifying in Court.The judgment of conviction did not rest on the alleged confession made by Obosa.Treachery is present for the car was shot at while it was slowing down as it approached a corner ensuring the accomplishment of the attack and eliminating any risk from possible defenses that the victim may put up.
People v Gomez
G.R. No.-132171May 31,2000
Appellant stabbed the victim while in a drinking session.
Physical ipossibility in relation to alibi takes into consideration not only the geographical distance between the scene of the crime and the place where accused maintains he was at, but more importantly, the accessibility between these two points—in the instant case, how this distance translate to hours of travel.Thus, although geographical distances may be taken judicial notice of, this alone will not suffice for purposses of proving an alibi, because it remains for the defense to prove the relative accessibility of accused from the scene of the crime at the time the crime was committed.The defense should have introduced evidence of a verage travel time as of that day from between the two points—and it should have done so during the trial, not on appeal.
The burden is upon the accused to present credible and tangible proof of physical impossibility to be at the scene of the crime; otherwise, an alibi may not prevail over the positive testimony and clear identification of the accused by prosecution witnesses.
Also, the presence of treachery is not discounted by the fact that the killing was effected by a single stab wound or that the attack was frontal—for as long as the method employedtended directly and especially to ensure the execution of the crime without risk of defense or retaliation of the offender.
P v Leonardo
G.R. No.-133109 May 31,2000
The appellant was convicted of homicide.The lower court relyed solely on the testimony of victim’s father.
The rule as to motive and how it affects the witness’ credibility is: absent evidence to show any reason or motive why witnesses for the prosecution should have testified falsely, the logical conclusion is that no improper motive existed and that their testimony is worthy of full faith and credit.On the other hand, if for any motive there is a possibility that a witness might have been prompted to testify falsely, courts should be on guard in assessing the witness’ credibility. it is basic in criminal law that the prosecution has the obligation of proving beyond reasonable doubt the identity of the malefactor and his participation in the crime or offense charged.Such degree of proof does not mean excluding the possibility of error, as producing absolute certainty.Only moral certainy is required or that degree of proof which produces conviction in an unprejudiced mind.Only when the conscience is satisfied that the crime has been committed by the person on trial should the sentence be for conviction.
People v Contega
G.R. No.-133579 May 31,2000
The victim was found bleeding while lying face down on the floor. When asked who his assailant was he answered; “Rogelio,former pakyaw worker.”
It is axiomatic that the prosecution bears not only the onus to show that a crime has been committed but also to establish beyond reasonable doubt the identity of the person or persons who should be responsible therefor.The utterance of the victim did not sufficiently identify the appellant.The prosecution has not eliminated the possibility that another piecemeal worker with the name “Rogelio” was employed by the Barbas. The conclusion that accused was the same person referred to by the prosecution has not been established beyond reasonable doubt. Alibi is a weak defense because it is easy to fabricate and concoct between relative, friends and even those not related to the offender. In order to sustain a conviction for robbery with homicide, it is necessary that the robbery itself be established as conclusively as any other essential element of the crime.
Criminal Law Digests
Ateneo Central Bar Operations 2001