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Prof. Joselito Guianan Chan's The Labor Code of the Philippines, Annotated Labor Standards & Social Legislation Volume I of a 3-Volume Series 2019 Edition (3rd Revised Edition)
 

 
Chan Robles Virtual Law Library
 









 

 
UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
June-1995 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 87775 June 1, 1995 : PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. vs. FEDERICO DADO

  • G.R. Nos. 97162-64 June 1, 1995 : ALFREDO L. OANIA, ET AL. vs. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 101309 June 1, 1995 : PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. vs. FELICIANO STA. AGATA

  • G.R. No. 106283 June 1, 1995 : PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. vs. RICHARD VALLENA

  • G.R. No. 107751 June 1, 1995 : LETICIA LIGON vs. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-94-894 MTJ June 2, 1995 : FELIXBERTO N. BOQUIREN vs. EMPERATRIZ DEL ROSARIO-CRUZ, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-94-1057 June 2, 1995 : CRISPO B. BORJA, SR. vs. ROQUE ANGELES

  • G.R. No. 74240 June 2, 1995 : PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. vs. DAVID B. SUNGA

  • G.R. No. 75723 June 2, 1995 : SIMEON FLORO vs. ORLANDO A. LLENADO

  • G.R. No. 100921 June 2, 1995 : PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. vs. ALBERTO B. SOMOOC

  • G.R. No. 102253 June 2, 1995 : SOUTH SEA SURETY AND INSURANCE COMPANY, INC. vs. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107225 June 2, 1995 : ARCHILLES MANUFACTURING CORPORATION, ET AL. vs. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111484 June 2, 1995 : MARIANO R. DE LUNA vs. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112844 June 2, 1995 : PHILIPPINE MERCHANT MARINE SCHOOL, INC., ET AL. vs. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113843 June 2, 1995 : LIWAYWAY VINZONS-CHATO vs. ELI G.C. NATIVIDAD

  • G.R. No. 114787 June 2, 1995 : MAM REALTY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, ET AL. vs. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-94-1150 June 5, 1995 : JULIO V. CUI, ET AL. vs. JOB B. MADAYAG

  • G.R. No. 102522 June 5, 1995 : PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. vs. JUDRITO B. ADAYA

  • G.R. No. 115829 June 5, 1995 : MARIANO T. NASSER vs. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117438 June 8, 1995 : RAUL SESBREÑO vs. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 91890 June 9, 1995 : PHILIPPINE AIRLINES, INC. vs. COMMISSION ON AUDIT, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-95-1142 June 16, 1995 : OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR vs. MANUEL B. GADON, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-94-1217 June 16, 1995 : RODRIGO SANTOS vs. CARLOS C. OFILADA

  • G.R. Nos. 73257-58 June 16, 1995 : PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. vs. RICARDO CAYANAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 97285 June 16, 1995 : PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. vs. CRESENTE PIJA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 102719 June 16, 1995 : PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. vs. RONNIE QUINONES

  • G.R. No. 104662 June 16, 1995 : PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. vs. LEONARDO M. LOPEZ

  • G.R. No. 107362 June 16, 1995 : PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. vs. BERNARD SIA

  • G.R. No. 112313 June 16, 1995 : BIENVENIDO S. EVANGELISTA vs. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114138 June 16, 1995 : PONCIANO LAYUG vs. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 111810-11 June 16, 1995 : JAMES YU, ET AL. vs. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 85723 June 19, 1995 : BIENVENIDO RODRIGUEZ vs. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 96107 June 19, 1995 : CORAZON JALBUENA DE LEON vs. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 98395 June 19, 1995 : GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM vs. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 99858 June 19, 1995 : PHILIPPINE TELEGRAPH AND TELEPHONE CORP. vs. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 104687-88 June 19, 1995 : PONCIANO CORTEZ, ET AL. vs. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107979 June 19, 1995 : DANILO F. GATCHALIAN vs. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111342 June 19, 1995 : PORFIRIO BALLADARES, JR., ET AL. vs. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-95-1035 June 21, 1995 : EMETERIO GALLO vs. JOSE CORDERO

  • Adm. Matter No. P-93-799 June 21, 1995 : NELIA B. ESMERALDA-BAROY vs. JUVY N. COSCA

  • Adm. Matter No. P-95-1119 June 21, 1995 : ROSALIND M. APAGA vs. PHOEBE P. PONCE

  • G.R. No. 57023 June 22, 1995 : RAYMUNDO DE LA PAZ, ET AL. vs. DOMINGO D. PANIS

  • G.R. No. 96754 June 22, 1995 : JAMES L. CHIONGBIAN, ET AL. vs. OSCAR M. ORBOS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 105135 June 22, 1995 : SUNLIFE ASSURANCE COMPANY OF CANADA vs. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108490 June 22, 1995 : PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. vs. RENATO CANTURIA, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-93-884 June 23, 1995 : JULIUS N. RABOCA vs. GREGORIO D. PANTANOSAS, JR.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-89-384 June 23, 1995 : PEDRO SAN JOSE vs. BENJAMIN CENTENO

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-95-1317 June 27, 1995 : DALMACIO CELINO vs. ZEUS C. ABROGAR

  • G.R. Nos. 101107-08 June 27, 1995 : PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. vs. ROMEO B. BARROS

  • G.R. No. 106082 June 27, 1995 : LORETO VDA. DE BALTAZAR, ET AL. vs. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108662 June 27, 1995 : PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. vs. FERNANDO N. HALILI

  • G.R. No. 111105 June 27, 1995 : ROLANDO REVIDAD, ET AL. vs. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111190 June 27, 1995 : LORETO D. DE LA VICTORIA vs. JOSE BURGOS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112850 June 27, 1995 : GREENHILLS AIRCON SERVICES, INC., ET AL. vs. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113690 June 27, 1995 : PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. vs. VICENTE VITOR

  • G.R. No. 115656 June 27, 1995 : PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. vs. NILO B. RAMOS

  • Adm. Matter No. P-94-1056 June 29, 1995 : ALFONSO L. VELASCO vs. MA. LOURDES C. PASCUAL

  • G.R. No. 87187 June 29, 1995 : PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. vs. PAULINO O. RIVERA

  • G.R. Nos. 112070-71 June 29, 1995 : PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. vs. SIXTO VIÑAS, SR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114091 June 29, 1995 : BACALTOS COAL MINES, ET AL. vs. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117186 June 29, 1995 : ALLAN M. LOYOLA vs. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 104234 June 30, 1995 : AIR FRANCE vs. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107623 June 30, 1995 : PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. vs. ANGELITO P. MANALO

  • G.R. No. 110889 June 30, 1995 : JOY L. BOMBASE vs. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 87775 June 1, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FEDERICO DADO

  • G.R. Nos. 97162-64 June 1, 1995 - ALFREDO L. OANIA, ET AL. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 101309 June 1, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELICIANO STA. AGATA

  • G.R. No. 106283 June 1, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RICHARD VALLENA

  • G.R. No. 107751 June 1, 1995 - LETICIA LIGON v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-94-894 MTJ June 2, 1995 - FELIXBERTO N. BOQUIREN v. EMPERATRIZ DEL ROSARIO-CRUZ, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-94-1057 June 2, 1995 - CRISPO B. BORJA, SR. v. ROQUE ANGELES

  • G.R. No. 74240 June 2, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DAVID B. SUNGA

  • G.R. No. 75723 June 2, 1995 - SIMEON FLORO v. ORLANDO A. LLENADO

  • G.R. No. 100921 June 2, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALBERTO B. SOMOOC

  • G.R. No. 102253 June 2, 1995 - SOUTH SEA SURETY AND INSURANCE COMPANY, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107225 June 2, 1995 - ARCHILLES MANUFACTURING CORPORATION, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111484 June 2, 1995 - MARIANO R. DE LUNA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112844 June 2, 1995 - PHILIPPINE MERCHANT MARINE SCHOOL, INC., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113843 June 2, 1995 - LIWAYWAY VINZONS-CHATO v. ELI G.C. NATIVIDAD

  • G.R. No. 114787 June 2, 1995 - MAM REALTY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, ET AL. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-94-1150 June 5, 1995 - JULIO V. CUI, ET AL. v. JOB B. MADAYAG

  • G.R. No. 102522 June 5, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JUDRITO B. ADAYA

  • G.R. No. 115829 June 5, 1995 - MARIANO T. NASSER v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117438 June 8, 1995 - RAUL SESBREÑO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 91890 June 9, 1995 - PHILIPPINE AIRLINES, INC. v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-95-1142 June 16, 1995 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. MANUEL B. GADON, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-94-1217 June 16, 1995 - RODRIGO SANTOS v. CARLOS C. OFILADA

  • G.R. Nos. 73257-58 June 16, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RICARDO CAYANAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 97285 June 16, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CRESENTE PIJA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 102719 June 16, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RONNIE QUINONES

  • G.R. No. 104662 June 16, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LEONARDO M. LOPEZ

  • G.R. No. 107362 June 16, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BERNARD SIA

  • G.R. No. 112313 June 16, 1995 - BIENVENIDO S. EVANGELISTA v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114138 June 16, 1995 - PONCIANO LAYUG v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 111810-11 June 16, 1995 - JAMES YU, ET AL. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 85723 June 19, 1995 - BIENVENIDO RODRIGUEZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 96107 June 19, 1995 - CORAZON JALBUENA DE LEON v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 98395 June 19, 1995 - GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM v. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 99858 June 19, 1995 - PHILIPPINE TELEGRAPH AND TELEPHONE CORP. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 104687-88 June 19, 1995 - PONCIANO CORTEZ, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107979 June 19, 1995 - DANILO F. GATCHALIAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111342 June 19, 1995 - PORFIRIO BALLADARES, JR., ET AL. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-95-1035 June 21, 1995 - EMETERIO GALLO v. JOSE CORDERO

  • Adm. Matter No. P-93-799 June 21, 1995 - NELIA B. ESMERALDA-BAROY v. JUVY N. COSCA

  • Adm. Matter No. P-95-1119 June 21, 1995 - ROSALIND M. APAGA v. PHOEBE P. PONCE

  • G.R. No. 57023 June 22, 1995 - RAYMUNDO DE LA PAZ, ET AL. v. DOMINGO D. PANIS

  • G.R. No. 96754 June 22, 1995 - JAMES L. CHIONGBIAN, ET AL. v. OSCAR M. ORBOS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 105135 June 22, 1995 - SUNLIFE ASSURANCE COMPANY OF CANADA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108490 June 22, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RENATO CANTURIA, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-93-884 June 23, 1995 - JULIUS N. RABOCA v. GREGORIO D. PANTANOSAS, JR.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-89-384 June 23, 1995 - PEDRO SAN JOSE v. BENJAMIN CENTENO

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-95-1317 June 27, 1995 - DALMACIO CELINO v. ZEUS C. ABROGAR

  • G.R. Nos. 101107-08 June 27, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO B. BARROS

  • G.R. No. 106082 June 27, 1995 - LORETO VDA. DE BALTAZAR, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108662 June 27, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FERNANDO N. HALILI

  • G.R. No. 111105 June 27, 1995 - ROLANDO REVIDAD, ET AL. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111190 June 27, 1995 - LORETO D. DE LA VICTORIA v. JOSE BURGOS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112850 June 27, 1995 - GREENHILLS AIRCON SERVICES, INC., ET AL. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113690 June 27, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VICENTE VITOR

  • G.R. No. 115656 June 27, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NILO B. RAMOS

  • Adm. Matter No. P-94-1056 June 29, 1995 - ALFONSO L. VELASCO v. MA. LOURDES C. PASCUAL

  • G.R. No. 87187 June 29, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PAULINO O. RIVERA

  • G.R. Nos. 112070-71 June 29, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SIXTO VIÑAS, SR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114091 June 29, 1995 - BACALTOS COAL MINES, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117186 June 29, 1995 - ALLAN M. LOYOLA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 104234 June 30, 1995 - AIR FRANCE v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107623 June 30, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANGELITO P. MANALO

  • G.R. No. 110889 June 30, 1995 - JOY L. BOMBASE v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. 97285   June 16, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CRESENTE PIJA, ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    FIRST DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 97285. June 16, 1995.]

    PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. CRESENTE PIJA (at large), NESTOR ALAPAN and FRANCISCO CLAVIDO, Accused. NESTOR ALAPAN and FRANCISCO CLAVIDO, Accused-Appellants.


    SYLLABUS


    1. REMEDIAL LAW; EVIDENCE; CREDIBILITY OF WITNESSES; FACTUAL FINDINGS OF THE TRIAL COURT; RULE AND EXCEPTIONS; CASE AT BAR. — In criminal cases the factual circumstances surrounding an incident are generally drawn from the testimonies of witnesses whose credibilities are carefully assessed. It is common occurrence for the witnesses for the prosecution and the defense to clash in their testimonies. And when faced with factual contradicting allegations, we as a rule submit the findings of the trial court unless there are valid reasons to disregard its observation. The assessment of the credibility of witnesses is left largely to the trial court because of its opportunity unavailable to the appellate court to see the witness on the stand and determine by their conduct and demeanor whether they are testifying truthfully or simply lying. The determination of credibility is the domain of the trial court, and the matter of assigning values to the testimonies of witnesses is best performed by it. Thus, the evaluation by the trial judge on the credibility of witnesses is well nigh conclusive on this Court, absent arbitrariness in arriving at his conclusions.

    2. ID.; ID.; ID.; STAND IN THE ABSENCE OF ILL-MOTIVE TO FALSELY TESTIFY AGAINST THE ACCUSED. — The narration of the prosecution witnesses is even strengthened absent any showing of false motive on their part. Where there is no evidence to show improper motive on the part of the prosecution witnesses to testify falsely against the appellants or falsely implicate them in the commission of a crime, as in the instant case, the logical conclusion is that no such improper motive existed and that their testimonies are worthy of full faith and credit.

    3. ID.; ID.; ALIBI; CANNOT PREVAIL UNLESS ACCUSED PROVED THAT IT IS PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE FOR HIM TO BE AT THE SCENE AT THE TIME OF ITS COMMISSION. — The appellants invoke alibi as their defense. They were supposedly not there when the killing took place. But they were not far enough . As they themselves admitted, they were only a kilometer or two (2) away from the scene of the crime at the time it was perpetrated. Well entrenched is the doctrine that for alibi to prosper it is not enough to prove that appellants were somewhere else when the offense was committed but it must likewise be demonstrated that they were so far away that they could not have been physically present at the place of the crime or its immediate vicinity at the time of its commission.

    4. ID.; ID.; ID.; CANNOT PREVAIL OVER THE POSITIVE IDENTIFICATION OF THE ACCUSED BY WITNESSES. — Alibi cannot prevail over the positive identification made by credible witnesses. The assertion that the prosecution witnesses were not credible since they supposedly witnessed the killing "from the beginning to end," which is allegedly contrary to human nature, is seriously flawed. Suffice it to say that there is no standard form of human behavioral response when one is confronted with a strange, startling or frightful experience. The defense believes that it has dented the evidence for the prosecution. We hold otherwise. The prosecution, in fact, was liable to present sufficient evidence to prove beyond reasonable doubt that appellants unyieldingly participated in the killing of Adecer and deliberately employed means which tended directly and specially to insure the commission of the crime without risk to themselves arising from the defense which the offended party might make. Thus Alapan repeatedly stabbed the victim while Clavido held and prevented the latter from defending himself and retaliating. The prosecution presented not only one (1) but three (3) eyewitnesses who positively identified appellants and who have no false motive to implicate them. Thus the witnesses’ testimonies were assessed by the trial court to be "firm with force of truth."


    D E C I S I O N


    BELLOSILLO, J.:


    NESTOR ALAPAN and FRANCISCO CLAVIDO were found guilty of murder and sentenced to reclusion perpetua by the Regional Trial Court of Oroquieta City. They were also ordered to indemnify the heirs of their victim in the amount of P30,000.00. 1

    Clemente Pija was also charged as co-accused in the same Information but was never apprehended to be arraigned and tried.

    Nestor Alapan and Francisco Clavido are now before us assailing the credibility of the witnesses against them and asserting that the prosecution has failed to prove their guilt beyond reasonable doubt . Appellants Alapan and Clavido, along with accused Pija who remains at large, are being held responsible for the death of 20-year old Renato Adecer who was courting a certain Annelyn Poledo. The version of the prosecution is that Renato together with four (4) friends was on his way home one afternoon after escorting Annelyn to her house. They were walking towards the market of San Isidro, Sinacaban, Misamis Occidental, when they were suddenly attacked. Renato was singled out and repeatedly hacked and stabbed to death.

    At the trial that ensued, the state presented three (3) of the companions of Renato as eyewitnesses to the incident. They were Nilo Madronero, Rodrigo Macas and Vicente Idol. They all pointed to the two (2) appellants and Cresente Pija who to this date has not been brought to the jurisdiction of the court.

    Nilo Madronero, a 13-year old Grade V pupil, testified that at around six o’clock in the afternoon of 4 February 1990 after a basketball game in San Isidro Alto, he together with Adecer, Macas, Idol and Leo Pinas brought Annelyn Poledo home where they hung around for about thirty (30) minutes. They were already on their way home when all of a sudden accused Cresente Pija who was also wooing Annelyn hacked Adecer on the forehead with a bolo. Accused Alapan followed with a foot-long hunting knife and repeatedly stabbed the victim who was then held by accused Clavido.

    Macas, 16, a 3rd-year high school student, corroborated the testimony of Madronero and clarified that Adacer was first hacked by Pija with a 2-1/2 feet-long bolo on the forehead and then on the neck. Afterwards the victim who was held by appellant Clavido by the shoulder was stabbed twice by appellant Alapan.

    Idol, 21, likewise a 3rd-year high school student, supplied more details. They were walking towards the market of San Isidro Alto when he saw appellants Alapan and Clavido seated at the left side of the road while accused Pija was at the right. As they were nearing Pija, Clavido and Alapan, Adecer greeted them "good evening." As they returned the greeting , Pija suddenly hacked Adecer on the forehead causing the latter to stagger. Pija followed the assault with another blow on the nape of Adecer. Clavido then held the victim while Alapan repeatedly stabbed him with a 10-inch knife. Meanwhile Pija cast his ire on the victim’s companions as he brandished his bolo thus sending them scampering away.

    Dr. Gloria Bongabong, the Municipal Health Officer who examined the cadaver of Renato Adecer, concluded that he died of "shock and internal hemorrhage due to multiple stab and hacking wounds." 2

    To acquit themselves, appellants Alapan and Clavido raised alibi for their defense, presented witnesses and pointed to Pija as the lone assailant of Adecer. They endeavored to make their tales identical. They alleged that at around three-thirty in the afternoon of 4 February 1990 they were with the accused Pija in the market of San Isidro Alto drinking Tanduay Rhum. At about four o’clock they separated. Clavido proceeded to his house which was about a kilometer away from the crime scene, while Alapan had supper in the convent some two (2) kilometers away. The two (2) witnesses of appellants, Romeo Gamotin and Elizaldy Legados, both testified that they saw Cresente Pija alone when he hacked Renato. Barangay Captain Mamerto Aganos also stepped forward and told the court that before Pija went into hiding the latter surrendered the bolo and confessed that he alone killed the victim because of a woman.

    In their appeal brief appellants argue that the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses that they saw the hacking and stabbing incident "from beginning to end" incredible because according to them a person’s natural and instinctive reaction in the same situation would be run away immediately and not to wait for the deathblow. Appellants likewise assert that due to the serious doubts they have generated the prosecution was not able to prove their participation in the killing. At any rate, they point to Pija as the lone perpetrator and rightly so, they say, for only he had a motive to kill Renato.

    We are not convinced. In criminal cases the factual circumstances surrounding an incident are generally drawn from the testimonies of witnesses whose credibilities are carefully assessed. It is common occurrence for the witnesses for the prosecution and the defense to clash in their testimonies. And when faced with factual contradicting allegations, we as a rule submit the findings of the trial court unless there are valid reasons to disregard its observation. The assessment of the credibility of witnesses is left largely to the trial court because of its opportunity unavailable to the appellate court to see the witness on the stand and determine by their conduct and demeanor whether they are testifying truthfully or simply lying. The determination of credibility is the domain of the trial court, and the matter of assigning values to the testimonies of witnesses is best performed by it. Thus, the evaluation by the trial judge on the credibility of witnesses is well nigh conclusive on this Court, absent arbitrariness in arriving at his conclusions. 3 Accordingly, and relying on the cold records of the case at bench, we have to submit to the findings of the trial court and give credence to the testimonies of the witness for the prosecution over those for the defense.

    For, the trial court could no have been more lucid in its observation that —

    The three eyewitnesses (for the prosecution) spoke vividly of the brutal slaying of their friend Renato Adecer before their very eyes, rendering them immobile spectators paralyzed with shock, moving only after the deed was done to run away from the scene of the crime in fear. On the witness stand the three eyewitnesses replayed the memory tapes they kept of the grim and harrowing experience. Speaking fearlessly and with conviction, their answers firm with force of truth, they positively identified as the perpetrators . . . 4

    The narration of the prosecution witnesses is even strengthened absent any showing of false motive on their part. Where there is no evidence to show improper motive on the part of the prosecution witnesses to testify falsely against the appellants or falsely implicate them in the commission of a crime, as in the instant case, the logical conclusion is that no such improper motive existed and that their testimonies are worthy of full faith and credit. 5

    The appellants invoke alibi as their defense. They were supposedly not there when the killing took place. But they were not far enough . As they themselves admitted, they were only a kilometer or two (2) away from the scene of the crime at the time it was perpetrated. Well entrenched is the doctrine that for alibi to prosper it is not enough to prove that appellants were somewhere else when the offense was committed but it must likewise be demonstrated that they were so far away that they could not have been physically present at the place of the crime or its immediate vicinity at the time of its commission. 6 Likewise fatal to their alibi is their positive identification as the perpetrators of the foul deed by the three (3) prosecution witnesses. For, alibi cannot prevail over the positive identification made by credible witnesses. 7

    The assertion that the prosecution witnesses were not credible since they supposedly witnessed the killing "from the beginning to end," which is allegedly contrary to human nature, is seriously flawed. Suffice it to say that there is no standard form of human behavioral response when one is confronted with a strange, startling or frightful experience. 8

    The defense believes that it has dented the evidence for the prosecution. We hold otherwise. The prosecution, in fact, was liable to present sufficient evidence to prove beyond reasonable doubt that appellants unyieldingly participated in the killing of Adecer and deliberately employed means which tended directly and specially to insure the commission of the crime without risk to themselves arising from the defense which the offended party might make. Thus Alapan repeatedly stabbed the victim while Clavido held and prevented the latter from defending himself and retaliating. The prosecution presented not only one (1) but three (3) eyewitnesses who positively identified appellants and who have no false motive to implicate them. Thus the witnesses’ testimonies were assessed by the trial court to be "firm with force of truth."cralaw virtua1aw library

    Consequently, appellants’ imputation of the killing to accused Pija, who supposedly acted alone, should be received with suspicion since he is not on trial and has become a convenient scapegoat after he has successfully eluded arrest.

    WHEREFORE, the Decision of the trial court finding appellants Nestor Alapan and Francisco Clavido guilty of murder and sentencing them to reclusion perpetua is AFFIRMED with the modification that, consistent with prevailing jurisprudence, their civil indemnity to be paid the heirs of the victim Renato Adecer is increased to P50,000.00. Costs against Accused-Appellants.

    SO ORDERED.

    Padilla, Davide, Jr. and Kapunan, JJ., concur.

    Quiason, J., is on leave.

    Endnotes:



    1. Decision penned by Judge Ma. Nimfa Penaco-Sitaca, RTC, Oroquieta City, Br. 13.

    2. Post-mortem Examination Report; TSN, 27 August 1990, pp. 2-4.

    3. People v. Rivera, G.R. Nos. 88298-99, 1 March 1995, citing People v. Yumang, G.R. No. 94977, 17 May 1993, 222 SCRA 119; People v. Kyamko, G.R. No. 103805, 17 May 1993, 222 SCRA 183; People v. Aruta, G.R. No. 73907, 1 May 1993, 222 SCRA 201; People v. Clapano, G.R. No. 106525, 8 November 1993, 227 SCRA 598; and People v. Juma, G.R. No. 95029, 24 March 1993, 220 SCRA 440.

    4. Decision of the trial court, p. 4; Rollo, p. 14.

    5. People v. Rostata, Jr., G.R. No. 91482, 9 February 1993, 218 SCRA 657.

    6. People v. Bernardo, G.R. No. 97393, 17 March 1993, 220 SCRA 31.

    7. People v. Dural, G.R. No. 84921, 8 June 1993, 223 SCRA 201.

    8. People v. Flores, G.R. No. 98069, 27 January 1993, 217 SCRA 613.

    G.R. No. 97285   June 16, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CRESENTE PIJA, ET AL.


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