ChanRobles™ Virtual Law Library | chanrobles.com™  
Main Index Law Library Philippine Laws, Statutes & Codes Latest Legal Updates Philippine Legal Resources Significant Philippine Legal Resources Worldwide Legal Resources Philippine Supreme Court Decisions United States Jurisprudence
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-1997 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 92462 June 2, 1997 - SANTIAGO GOKING v. ROLANDO R. VILLARAZA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 97896 June 2, 1997 - TEKNIKA SKILLS & TRADE SERVICES, INC. v. SECRETARY OF LABOR, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116748 June 2, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARJORIE CASTILLO

  • G.R. No. 121434 June 2, 1997 - ELENA F. UICHICO, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120880 June 5, 1997 - FERDINAND R. MARCOS II v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 76969 June 9, 1997 - INLAND REALTY INVESTMENT SERVICE, INC., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 89369 June 9, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROLANDO BERGONIA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107259 June 9, 1997 - RAYMUNDO M. DAPITON, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108475 June 9, 1997 - GAMALIEL DINIO, ET AL. v. BIENVENIDO E. LAGUESMA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115944 June 9, 1997 - ELVIRA C. GONZALES v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118536 June 9, 1997 - LAWIN SECURITY SERVICES, INC., ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 119362 & 120269 June 9, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RICARDO O. RABOSA

  • G.R. No. 123905 June 9, 1997 - MARIA CRISTINA FERTILIZER CORP., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 124280 June 9, 1997 - FLORA S. REYES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Bar Matter No. 730 June 10, 1997 - NEED THAT LAW STUDENT PRACTICING UNDER RULE 138-A BE SUPERVISED

  • G.R. No. 96999 June 10, 1997 - CARLOS O. YSMAEL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106812 June 10, 1997 - TAGAYTAY-TAAL TOURIST DEV. CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 107302, 107306 & 108559-60 June 10, 1997 - INDUSTRIAL TIMBER CORP. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120074 June 10, 1997 - LEAH P. ADORIO v. LUCAS P. BERSAMIN

  • G.R. No. 120594 June 10, 1997 - ALFONSO TAN, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123639 June 10, 1997 - ANTONIO M. GARCIA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113713 June 11, 1997 - ORIENT EXPRESS PLACEMENT PHIL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116940 June 11, 1997 - PHIL-AM GENERAL INSURANCE CO., INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117561 June 11, 1997 - JULIO MARCO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118041 June 11, 1997 - PHIMCO INDUSTRIES, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 118921-22 June 11, 1997 - ERNESTO AUSTRIA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120956 June 11, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DOMINGO MORENO, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-97-1248 June 13, 1997 - MARIEL ECUBE-BADEL v. DAVID DE LA PEÑA BADEL

  • G.R. Nos. 100513 & 111559 June 13, 1997 - SEVERINO ANTONIO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 102467 June 13, 1997 - EQUITABLE BANKING CORP., ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 110817-22 June 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARCELINO A. BUGARIN

  • G.R. No. 111088 June 13, 1997 - C & M TIMBER CORP. v. ANGEL C. ALCALA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 113103 & 116000 June 13, 1997 - NAPOCOR, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114764 June 13, 1997 - WILFREDO T. PADILLA v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • Adm. Case No. 4244 June 17, 1997 - BUHANGIN RESIDENTS & EMPLOYEES ASSN., ETC. v. CORAZON NUÑEZ-MALANYAON

  • G.R. No. 100920 June 17, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NOLI SALCEDO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109311 June 17, 1997 - ZENAIDA ASUNCION v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 110974-81 June 17, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANTE MANANSALA

  • G.R. No. 111357 June 17, 1997 - TRADERS ROYAL BANK v. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113799 June 17, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BIENVENIDO BAYDO

  • G.R. No. 119337 June 17, 1997 - BAYVIEW HOTEL, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120030 June 17, 1997 - ATLAS FERTILIZER CORP., ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120553 June 17, 1997 - PHILTRANCO SERVICE ENTERPRISES, INC., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120802 June 17, 1997 - JOSE T. CAPILI v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121787 June 17, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDGARDO GREFALDIA

  • G.R. No. 121964 June 17, 1997 - ABDULIA RODRIGUEZ, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122932 June 17, 1997 - JOY BROTHERS, INC. v. NWPC

  • Adm. Case No. 4431 June 19, 1997 - PRISCILLA CASTILLO VDA. DE MIJARES v. ONOFRE A. VILLALUZ

  • Adm. Matter No. P-96-1221 June 19, 1997 - ADORACION G. ANGELES v. PABLO C. GERNALE, JR.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-97-1240 June 19, 1997 - WILFREDO C. BANOGON v. FELIPE T. ARIAS

  • Adm. Matter No. P-97-1242 June 19, 1997 - ESTHER P. MAGLEO v. ARISTON G. TAYAG

  • G.R. Nos. 93100 & 97855 June 19, 1997 - ATLAS FERTILIZER CORP. v. SECRETARY OF DAR

  • G.R. No. 102612 June 19, 1997 - MANUEL L. QUEZON UNIVERSITY, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 102723-24 June 19, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDUARDO CABALLES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 103493 June 19, 1997 - PHILSEC INVESTMENT CORP., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106583 June 19, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VICTORIANO CASTRO

  • G.R. No. 108107 June 19, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SUSAN PANTALEON

  • G.R. No. 108616 June 19, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO PATAWARAN

  • G.R. No. 109224 June 19, 1997 - MEGASCOPE GENERAL SERVICES v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110226 June 19, 1997 - ALBERTO S. SILVA, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112687 June 19, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ABNER B. EUBRA

  • G.R. No. 113685 June 19, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. THEODORE BERNAL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114812 June 19, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODEL Z. SAHAGUN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115968 June 19, 1997 - RUBIN FERRER, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116394 June 19, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TEODORO BONOLA

  • G.R. No. 116918 June 19, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BONFILO MARTINEZ

  • G.R. No. 117005 June 19, 1997 - CARLITO D. CORPUZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117228 June 19, 1997 - RODOLFO MORALES, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 118335-36 June 19, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROSELLER ALAS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119071 June 19, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGELIO ANTIPONA

  • G.R. No. 121429 June 19, 1997 - MARCIA TUMBIGA v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122368 June 19, 1997 - BERNARDO NAZAL, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122389 June 19, 1997 - MIGUEL SINGSON v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122806 June 19, 1997 - TIMES BROADCASTING NETWORK v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122866 June 19, 1997 - MELVA NATH v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123073 June 19, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENJAMIN CAYABYAB

  • G.R. No. 123673 June 19, 1997 - PEDRO C. CALUCAG v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123708 June 19, 1997 - CSC, ET AL. v. RAFAEL M. SALAS

  • G.R. No. 124050 June 19, 1997 ccc zz

    MAYER STEEL PIPE CORP., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125008 June 19, 1997 - COMMODITIES STORAGE & ICE PLANT CORP., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125221 June 19, 1997 - REYNALDO M. LOZANO v. ELIEZER R. DE LOS SANTOS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125347 June 19, 1997 - EMILIANO RILLO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125798 June 19, 1997 - HADJI HAMID LUMNA PATORAY v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125955 June 19, 1997 - WILMER GREGO v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126361 June 19, 1997 - VICTOR R. MIRANDA, ET AL. v. JESSIE B. CASTILLO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127311 June 19, 1997 - CONRADO LINDO v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127623 June 19, 1997 - DOMINADOR VERGEL DE DIOS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116216 June 20, 1997 - NATALIA S. MENDOZA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116695 June 20, 1997 - VICTORIA G. GACHON, ET AL. v. NORBERTO C. DEVERA, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118435 June 20, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO SERZO, JR.

  • G.R. No. 119178 June 20, 1997 - LINA LIM LAO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119745 June 20, 1997 - POWER COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122079 June 27, 1997 - ANTONIO CONCEPCION, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 100935 June 30, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VICENTE ZABALLERO

  • G.R. No. 102316 June 30, 1997 - VALENZUELA HARDWOOD AND INDUSTRIAL SUPPLY v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112260 June 30, 1997 - JOVITA YAP ANCOG, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115689 June 30, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LINO ARTIAGA

  • G.R. No. 121793 June 30, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ADONIS BALAD

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. 116748   June 2, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARJORIE CASTILLO

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    SECOND DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 116748. June 2, 1997.]

    PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. MARJORIE CASTILLO, Accused-Appellant.

    Solicitor General for Plaintiff-Appellee.

    PAO for Accused-Appellant.


    SYLLABUS


    1. REMEDIAL LAW; EVIDENCE; CREDIBILITY; THERE IS NO STANDARD FORM OF HUMAN BEHAVIORAL RESPONSE; WHEN ONE IS CONFRONTED WITH A STRANGE, STARTLING OR FRIGHTFUL EXPERIENCE. — We have consistently held that different people react differently to a given situation or type of situation, and there is no standard form of human behavioral response when one is confronted with a strange, startling or frightful experience. As a matter of common observation and knowledge, the reaction or behavior of persons when confronted with a shocking incident varies. Persons do not necessarily react uniformly to a given situation, for what is natural to one may be strange to another. Hence, placed under emotional stress, some people may shout, some may faint, and some may be shocked into insensibility, while others may openly welcome an intrusion.

    2. ID.; ID.; ID.; TESTIMONY OF WITNESS WITHOUT IMPROPER MOTIVE TO FALSELY IMPLICATE ACCUSED, ENTITLED TO FULL FAITH AND CREDIT. — There is nothing on record showing any improper motive on the part of Elma Baulite to testify mendaciously against appellant or to falsely implicate him in the crime committed. In the absence of evidence showing such motive, the logical conclusion is that the principal witness for the prosecution was not so actuated and that her testimony is entitled to full faith and credit.

    3. ID.; ID.; ID.; FINDINGS OF FACT OF TRIAL COURT, GENERALLY NOT DISTURBED ON APPEAL. — It is axiomatic, and we find no reason to hold otherwise in this case, that where the issue is on the credibility of witnesses, the findings of the trial court will not be disturbed on appeal since it was in a better position to decide the question, having heard and observed the demeanor of each witness, unless it has plainly overlooked certain facts of substance and value which, if considered, might affect the result of the case. The matter of assigning value to declarations at the witness stand is best and most competently performed or carried on by a trial judge who, unlike appellate magistrates, can weigh such testimony in light of the accused’s behavior, demeanor, conduct and attitude at the trial, and the conclusions of trial courts command great weight and respect.

    4. CRIMINAL LAW; MOTIVE; IMMATERIAL WHERE ACCUSED WAS POSITIVELY IDENTIFIED. — We have laid down the rule that where a reliable eyewitness has fully and satisfactorily identified the accused as the perpetrator of the felony, motive becomes immaterial in the successful prosecution of a criminal case. Hence, whether or not appellant had a ground or reason to shoot the victims, his conviction may still follow from the untraversed identification made by Elma Baulite.

    5. REMEDIAL LAW; EVIDENCE; CREDIBILITY; POSITIVE TESTIMONY GIVEN GREATER WEIGHT THAN DENIAL OF ACCUSED. — In evaluating contradictory statements, greater weight must generally be given to the positive testimony of the prosecution witness than to the denial of the accused. Thus, denial, if unsubstantiated by clear and convincing evidence, is a negative and self-serving evidence which deserve no weight in law and cannot be given greater evidentiary value over the testimony of credible witnesses who testify on affirmative matters.

    6. ID.; ID.; ID.; ALIBI; WORTHLESS IN THE LIGHT OF POSITIVE IDENTIFICATION. — The defense of bare denial by the accused and his witnesses must yield to the positive identification of the accused as the culprit by the victim, for well-entrenched is the rule that the defense of alibi is worthless in the light of positive testimony placing the accused at the scene of the crime; and it is considered with suspicion and always received with caution, not only because it is inherently weak and unreliable but also because it is easily fabricated and concocted.

    7. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; REQUISITE TO PROSPER AS A DEFENSE. — We stress once again that for this defense to prosper, it must be established clearly and convincingly, not only that the accused was elsewhere at the time of the commission of the crime but, likewise, that it would have been physically impossible for him to be at the vicinity thereof because he was so far away at the time of its perpetration.

    8. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; DOES NOT DESERVE CONSIDERATION WHEN SUPPORTED BY FRIENDS AND RELATIVES. — Where an accused’s alibi is established only by himself and his relatives, his denial of culpability does not deserve any consideration, especially in the face of affirmative testimonies of credible prosecution witnesses. This bare consideration applies to supporting testimonies made by the friends of the accused.

    9. ID.: ID.; ID.; ID.; NOT APPRECIATED WHERE POSSIBILITY OF ACCUSED TO HAVE BEEN PHYSICALLY PRESENT AT THE CRIME SCENE WERE NOT PRECLUDED. — We take judicial notice that General Santos City is only about sixty kilometers away from Surallah. Such a distance can be negotiated in less than two hours even by public transportation. Where the distance did not render it impossible for the accused to be at the scene of the crime, the defense of alibi must preclude the possibility that the accused could have been physically present at that particular vicinity at or about the time of its commission. Appellant has utterly failed to prove that fact or impossibility.


    D E C I S I O N


    REGALADO, J.:


    Accused-appellant Marjorie Castillo was charged with the complex crime of murder with frustrated murder before Branch 26 of the Regional Trial Court of Surallah, South Cotabato on December 27, 1991 in Criminal Case No. 1143-S. The information narrated the events surrounding the commission of the crime and is best reproduced hereunder:chanroblesvirtual|awlibrary

    That on or about the 27th day of November, 1990, at Crossing Sebastian, Barangay Lambontong, Municipality of Surallah, Province of South Cotabato, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of the Honorable Court, the abovenamed accused, armed with a long barrel twelve gauge shotgun, in company with persons whose identities and whereabouts are unknown, with intent to kill, and abuse of superior strength, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault and with the use of said firearms, shoot once ELMA BAULITE who was then holding her daughter GEMMA BAULITE, hitting and wounding GEMMA BAULITE at the abdomen, and as a consequence thereof GEMMA BAULITE died thereafter and also hitting ELMA BAULITE at the upper anterior right arm, thus, performing all the acts of execution which would have produced the crime of murder as a consequence, but which, nevertheless, did not produce it due to the timely and able medical attendance given to ELMA BAULITE, which prevented her death.

    CONTRARY TO LAW, with the aggravating circumstance that the crime was committed at the dwelling of the offended party who did not give provocation. 1

    Appellant, duly assisted by counsel from the Public Attorney’s Office, pleaded not guilty during his arraignment on May 4, 1992. 2 Trial ensued afterwards, with the People offering the testimonies of two witnesses and four items of documentary evidence, and the appellant thereafter presenting three witnesses, including himself.

    According to prosecution witness Elma Baulite, 3 she, her husband Jessie Pedroso, and her daughter Gemma Baulite were in their house located at Crossing Sebastian, Barangay Lambantong, Surallah, South Cotabato on the night of November 27, 1990 when they heard someone calling Pedroso.

    In front of the house was appellant Marjorie Castillo carrying a 12-gauge shotgun and accompanied by several unidentified persons. Appellant then crossed over the fence of the house and bragged that he was a member of the New People’s Army. He pointed the gun towards the window of the house and called upon the occupants to come out, threatening to cut their heads off.

    Unaware of the real designs of appellant, Elma went down the house carrying her one year old daughter in her arms. Without any intimation, appellant fired one shotgun blast at Elma and Gemma from a distance of about one meter. Gemma was hit on the abdomen while Elma was hit on her right hand and arm. 4 Gemma died due to severe hemorrhage, 5 while Elma was confined at the hospital and treated for her wounds. 6

    After the shooting, appellant and his companions ran away while Elma shouted for help. Her cries were answered by their neighbor, Eliodoro Pueblo, who then brought the mother and child to his house around fifty meters away for first aid treatment.

    As it subsequently turned out, appellant apparently went to the house of the victims to berate and challenge Pedroso for accusing his brother, Mamerto Castillo, of having stolen the victims’ corn. The Castillos lived about four hundred meters from the house of said victims.

    Eliodoro Pueblo 7 testified that in the evening of November 27, 1990, he heard gunfire coming from the house of Elma while he was at his own house. Thereafter, he heard Elma asking for help and shouting that her child was dead. At the scene of the crime, Pueblo saw Gemma wounded, with her mother’s clothes soaked in blood. After applying a tourniquet around Elma’s arm at his house, Pueblo brought her to the police station and then to the hospital. They left Gemma behind at his house because she was already dead. He revealed that Pedroso had once complained to him about Mamerto Castillo’s theft of their corn but he advised the former to forget it as it only involved a petty matter.chanrobles.com : virtual lawlibrary

    Appellant’s defense consisted of plain denial cum alibi. He denied having shot Elma and her daughter and claimed that he was somewhere else at the time of the incident.

    According to appellant, on November 27, 1990 at around eight o’clock in the evening he was at the boarding house of his friend, Rene Cuenca Feria, at General Santos City (formerly Dadiangas), South Cotabato. He had been in said place since August, 1990 to look for a job, at his friend’s invitation. Unfortunately, he was not able to find any job. He stayed in his friend’s room, washing clothes for the latter and helping in the chores inside the room, until September, 1991 when he decided to return to his residence in Barangay Lamian, Surallah, South Cotabato.

    Rene Cuenca Feria declared on the witness stand that while he was on duty as a security guard of the Amadeo Fishing Corporation at Calumpang, General Santos City sometime in August, 1990, appellant arrived and asked him if he could help him look for a job. Appellant had been his classmate at Lamian National High School. Because appellant had not finished his secondary schooling, he was not able to get a job as a security guard of the corporation, so appellant just helped Feria for one year by cooking and washing clothes for him. In exchange, Feria let appellant live with him at the bunkhouse of the security guards. On August 9, 1991, the two friends left for Banga to attend the funeral of Feria’ s father. After the funeral, appellant went home on August 26, 1991, while Feria went back to General Santos City. Feria claimed that appellant was with him at General Santos City in November, 1990. 8

    Mamerto del Castillo, 9 an elder brother of appellant, testified that appellant was not at their house at Lamian on November 27, 1990 because he was with Rene Feria in Dadiangas at that time to look for work. Appellant had been in Dadiangas from August, 1990 and never returned to Lamian in November, 1990.cralawnadris

    In its verdict of conviction and after considering the evidence of the parties, the trial court concluded that abuse of superior strength attended the commission of the crime because a powerful gun was used in its execution against a helpless and unarmed mother and her infant daughter. This qualified the killing of Gemma and the simultaneous wounding of Elma to the complex crime of murder with frustrated murder. However, while the court a quo appreciated the circumstance of dwelling and acknowledged that the maximum of the penalty for the more serious felony should be imposed under Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code, appellant was sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua in obedience to the then existing prohibition against capital punishment in the Constitution. The lower court likewise ordered appellant to indemnify the heirs of Gemma for her death in the amount of P50,000.00, and Elma for her hospitalization expenses in the sum of P10,000.00, with costs. 10

    In this instant appeal, appellant imputes error on the part of the lower court in believing Elma Baulite’s supposedly improbable testimony and in rejecting his defense of alibi. 11

    In appellant’ s theory, the following circumstances create doubt on the truth and credibility of Elma’s testimony, viz.: .(1) the descent of Elma with Gemma from the house to confront appellant, instead of staying inside for safety; (2) the disinterestedness of Pedroso in helping Elma and Gemma after they were shot; (3) the bringing of the victims by Pueblo to his house situated fifty meters away from Elma’s house; (4) the failure of Pedroso to attend Gemma’s burial; (5) the fact that appellant took it upon himself to avenge his brother’ s humiliation when it should have been Mamerto who should have done so; and (6) the fact that the imputation of theft is too negligible a matter to be a motive for a horrible act of vengeance by the Castillo family.

    Having thoroughly examined and objectively evaluated the evidence and records before us, we hold that appellant indeed committed the crime alleged in the information beyond any iota of doubt. We find nothing apocryphal in the testimony of Elma Baulite as would warrant a reversal or modification of the lower court’ s judgment.

    The supposedly outlandish circumstances pointed out by appellant in his brief can be easily rationalized and explained away by the very nature and psychological features of variant behavioral reactions.

    We have consistently held that different people react differently to a given situation or type of situation, and there is no standard form of human behavioral response when one is confronted with a strange, startling or frightful experience. 12 As a matter of common observation and knowledge, the reaction or behavior of persons when confronted with a shocking incident varies. 13 Persons do not necessarily react uniformly to a given situation, for what is natural to one may be strange to another. 14 Hence, placed under emotional stress, some people may shout, some may faint, and some may be shocked into insensibility, while others may openly welcome an intrusion. 15

    The act of Elma in going out of the house can be explained by her curiosity and inquisitiveness as to what was happening outside the safety of her house. We have recognized this behavioral oddity in People v. Acob, Et Al., 16 and held that the Filipino "usisero" (nosy or prying) trait may overcome the natural timidity of a woman.

    The indifference of Pedroso to the plight of his wife and daughter after the shooting can be explained by his fear of the Castillos 17 whom he may have thought were still around the house. His failure to attend Gemma’s burial may have been due to his feeling of shame or remorse for having failed to help his daughter at a time he was badly needed. Pueblo, on his part, may have decided to bring the victims to his own house in order to easily avail himself of his first aid medical kit.cralawnadris

    While the testimony of Elma contains facts outwardly contradictory to common human experience at first glance, what is important is that she conveyed to the trial court what she actually perceived, including those seeming improbabilities, on that fateful night. She positively identified appellant as the perpetrator of the crime against her and her daughter. She categorically supplied all the facts necessary for appellant’s conviction and she did it in a sincere, direct and convincing manner.

    There is nothing on record showing any improper motive on the part of Elma Baulite to testify mendaciously against appellant or to falsely implicate him in the crime committed. In the absence of evidence showing such motive, the logical conclusion is that the principal witness for the prosecution was not so actuated and that her testimony is entitled to full faith and credit. 18

    It is axiomatic, and we find no reason to hold otherwise in this case, that where the issue is on the credibility of witnesses, the findings of the trial court will not be disturbed on appeal since it was in a better position to decide the question, having heard and observed the demeanor of each witness, 19 unless it has plainly overlooked certain facts of substance and value which, if considered, might affect the result of the case. 20

    The matter of assigning values to declarations at the witness stand is best and most competently performed or carried out by a trial judge who, unlike appellate magistrates, can weigh such testimony in light of the accused’s behavior, demeanor, conduct and attitude at the trial, and the conclusions of trial courts command great weight and respect. 21

    The fifth and sixth attributions of improbabilities by appellant constitute a mudded assertion of lack of motive on his part to commit the crime charged. Both assignments merely seek to lead to a self-serving conclusion that appellant had no reason to shoot the victims.

    We have laid down the rule that where a reliable eyewitness has fully and satisfactorily identified the accused as the perpetrator of the felony, motive becomes immaterial in the successful prosecution of a criminal case. 22 Hence, whether or not appellant had a ground or reason to shoot the victims, his conviction may still follow from the untraversed identification made by Elma Baulite.

    In evaluating contradictory statements, greater weight must generally be given to the positive testimony of the prosecution witness than to the denial of the accused. Thus, denial, if unsubstantiated by clear and convincing evidence, is a negative and self-serving evidence which deserves no weight in law and cannot be given greater evidentiary value over the testimony of credible witnesses who testify on affirmative matters. 23

    The defense of bare denial by the accused and his witnesses must yield to the positive identification of the accused as the culprit by the victim, 24 for well-entrenched is the rule that the defense of alibi is worthless in the light of positive testimony placing the accused at the scene of the crime, 25 and it is considered with suspicion and always received with caution, not only because it is inherently weak and unreliable but also because it is easily fabricated and concocted. 26

    We stress once again that for this defense to prosper, it must be established clearly and convincingly, not only that the accused was elsewhere at the time of the commission of the crime but, likewise, that it would have been physically impossible for him to be at the vicinity thereof 27 because he was so far away at the time of its perpetration. 28

    We are not convinced that appellant was at another place at the time of the commission of the crime so as to render it impossible for him to be at the locus criminis. Although Mamerto stated that appellant was in Dadiangas on November 27, 1990, he was not really sure that his brother was at such place on said date. On cross-examination, he admitted that he only believed his brother was at Dadiangas for he had never been to the place where his brother resided for one year. 29 Hence, his testimony on this matter was not even based on perception but on a mere belief or opinion which can never be satisfactory proof of a fact.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    Appellant’s alleged companion in Dadiangas was not even able to show that appellant was with him at the time of the shooting. Without mentioning the specific day and time, Feria merely declared on the witness stand that his schoolmate was with him in Dadiangas in November, 1990. 30 No details were given on what appellant was doing and where he definitely was at around eight o’clock in the evening of November 27, 1990.

    Where an accused’s alibi is established only by himself and his relatives, his denial of culpability does not deserve any consideration, especially in the face of affirmative testimonies of credible prosecution witnesses. 31 This bare consideration applies to supporting testimonies made by the friends of the accused. 32

    We take judicial notice that General Santos City is only about sixty kilometers away from Surallah. Such a distance can be negotiated in less than two hours even by public transportation. Where the distance did not render it impossible for the accused to be at the scene of the crime, the defense of alibi must preclude the possibility that the accused could have been physically present at that place or its vicinity at or about the time of its commission. 33 Appellant has utterly failed to prove that fact or impossibility.

    WHEREFORE, the appeal is DISMISSED and the judgment of the court a quo is hereby AFFIRMED in toto.

    SO ORDERED.

    Romero, Puno, Mendoza and Torres, Jr., JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Original Record, 1-2.

    2. Ibid., 20.

    3. TSN, October 8, 1992, 2-18; Exhibit D, Exhibits for the Prosecution, 4-5.

    4. Exhibit B, Exhibits for the Prosecution, 2.

    5. Exhibit A, ibid., 1.

    6. Exhibit C, ibid., 3.

    7. TSN, October 8, 1992, 19-24.

    8. TSN, February 12, 1993, 2-13.

    9. TSN, May 5, 1993, 2-11. This witness is so identified in the transcripts of stenographic notes but is referred to as "Castillo" in the decision of the lower court.

    10. Rollo, 24; Judge Cristeto D. Dinopol, presiding.

    11. Appellant’s Brief, 1; Rollo, 54.

    12. People v. Arnan, G.R. No. 72608 June 30, 1993, 224 SCRA 37; People v. Paguntalan, Et Al., G.R. No. 116272, March 27, 1995, 242 SCRA 753; People v. Quinones, G.R. No. 102719, June 16, 1995, 245 SCRA 87.

    13. People v. Arroyo, Et Al., G.R. No. 99258, September 13, 1991, 201 SCRA 616.

    14. People v. Cabrera, Et Al., G.R. No. 105992, February 1, 1995, 241 SCRA 28.

    15. People v. Malunes, G.R. No. 114692, August 14, 1995, 247 SCRA 317.

    16. G.R. No. 114382, July 20, 1995, 246 SCRA 715.

    17. TSN, October 8, 1992, 12.

    18. People v. Taneo, Et Al., G.R. No. 87236, February 8, 1993, 218 SCRA 494; People v. Alimon, G.R. No. 87758, June 28, 1996, 257 SCRA 658.

    19. People v. Baao, G.R. No. 68574, July 7, 1986, 142 SCRA 476.

    20. People v. Laganzon, Et Al., G.R. No. L-47118, May 21, 1984, 129 SCRA 333.

    21. People v. Magallanes, Et Al., G.R. No. L-21559-21560, June 29, 1968, 23 SCRA 1274.

    22. People v. Lovedioro, G.R. No. 112235, November 29, 1995, 250 SCRA 389.

    23. People v. Paragua, Et Al., G.R. No. 96923, May 24, 1996, 257 SCRA 118.

    24. People v. Balsacao, G.R. No. 112027, February 13, 1995, 241 SCRA 309; People v. Escoto, Et Al., G.R. No. 91756, May 11, 1995, 244 SCRA 87.

    25. People v. Rivera, Et Al., G.R. Nos. 88298-99, March 1, 1995, 242 SCRA 26; People v. Silvestre and Silvestre, G.R. No. 109142, May 29, 1995, 244 SCRA 479; People v. Pano, Et Al., G. R. Nos. 100460-61, June 5, 1996, 257 SCRA 274, and cases cited therein.

    26. People v. Mendoza, Et Al., G.R. No. 97931, June 3, 1993, 223 SCRA 108.

    27. People v. Daquipil, Et Al., G.R. Nos. 86305-06, January 20, 1995, 240 SCRA 314; People v. Pija, Et Al., G.R. No. 97285, June 16, 1995, 245 SCRA 80; People v. Lapus, Et Al., G.R. No. 113515, November 23, 1995, 250 SCRA 250; People v. Bracamonte, Et Al., G.R. No. 95939, June 17, 1996, 257 SCRA 380.

    28. People v. Pija, supra.

    29. TSN, May 5, 1995, 10.

    30. TSN, February 12, 1993, 6.

    31. People v. Corpus, Et Al., G.R. No. 105007, January 18, 1995, 240 SCRA 203.

    32 People v. Gamiao, Et Al., G.R. No. 91492, January 19, 1995, 240 SCRA 254.

    33. People v. Parica, Et Al., G.R. No. 80611, April 21, 1995, 243 SCRA 557.

    G.R. No. 116748   June 2, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARJORIE CASTILLO


    Back to Home | Back to Main

     

    QUICK SEARCH

    cralaw

       

    cralaw



     
      Copyright © ChanRobles Publishing Company Disclaimer | E-mail Restrictions
    ChanRobles™ Virtual Law Library | chanrobles.com™
     
    RED