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
 

   
March-1997 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 51765 March 3, 1997 - REPUBLIC PLANTERS BANK v. ENRIQUE A. AGANA, SR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 93397 March 3, 1997 - TRADERS ROYAL BANK v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 99425 March 3, 1997 - ANTONIO RAMOS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 100487 & 100607 March 3, 1997 - ARTURO JULIANO v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106581 March 3, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RENATO FLORES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110419 March 3, 1997 - UERM-MEMORIAL MEDICAL CENTER, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114383 March 3, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOEL COREA

  • G.R. No. 116437 March 3, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PABLITO ANDAN

  • G.R. No. 117161 March 3, 1997 - RAMON INGLES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120704 March 3, 1997 - BARTOLOME C. CARALE, ET AL. v. PAMPIO A. ABARINTOS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123321 March 3, 1997 - ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF MANILA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123361 March 3, 1997 - TEOFILO CACHO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125198 March 3, 1997 - MSCI-NACUSIP v. NWPC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 84449 March 4, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENEDICTO JAVIER, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 102876 March 4, 1997 - BATAAN SHIPYARD AND ENG’G CORP. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118607 March 4, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JULITO FRANCO

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-96-1335 March 5, 1997 - INOCENCIO BASCO v. LEO H. RAPATALO

  • G.R. No. 126576 March 5, 1997 - RICARDO M. ANGOBUNG v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 83598 March 7, 1997 - LEONCIA BALOGBOG, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 94994-95 March 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LILIBETH CACO

  • G.R. No. 106212 March 7, 1997 - PROGRESS HOMES, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108395 March 7, 1997 - HEIRS OF TEODORO GUARING, JR. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 108604-10 March 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FEDERICO A. BURCE

  • G.R. No. 113420 March 7, 1997 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113905 March 7, 1997 - LEOPOLDO ALICBUSAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116211 March 7, 1997 - MEYNARDO POLICARPIO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116512 March 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILLIAM O. CASIDO, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-96-1353 March 11, 1997 - DANILO B. PARADA v. LORENZO B. VENERACION

  • G.R. No. 127066 March 11, 1997 - REYNALDO O. MALONZO v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117169 March 12, 1997 - PHILTREAD WORKERS UNION, ET AL. v. NIEVES R. CONFESOR, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121917 March 12, 1997 - ROBIN CARIÑO PADILLA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 99301 & 99343 March 13, 1997 - VICTOR KIERULF, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 100333 March 13, 1997 - HILARIO MAGCALAS, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 103611 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CESAR HERBIETO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107131 March 13, 1997 - NFD INT’L. MANNING AGENTS, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108454 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TEDDY QUINAO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109779 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NESTOR MAÑOZCA

  • G.R. No. 110067 March 13, 1997 - LINDA T. ALMENDRAS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111478 March 13, 1997 - GEORGE F. SALONGA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111567 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TEODORICO AVILLANO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116123 March 13, 1997 - SERGIO NAGUIAT, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116228 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EPIFANIO GAYON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116352 March 13, 1997 - J. & D.O. AGUILAR CORP. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 116596-98 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LORENZO TOPAGUEN

  • G.R. No. 117266 March 13, 1997 - CONTEMPT PROCEEDINGS AGAINST VENTURA O. DUCAT, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 117955-58 March 13, 1997 - HERMINIGILDO TOMARONG, ET AL. v. ANTONIO C. LUBGUBAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119058 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ERLINDA VILLARAN

  • G.R. No. 120853 March 13, 1997 - RUDY ALMEDA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122427 March 13, 1997 - BENJAMIN LAZA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123881 March 13, 1997 - VIVA PRODUCTIONS, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 91694 March 14, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SABAS CALVO, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 97626 March 14, 1997 - PHIL. BANK OF COMMERCE, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114387 March 14, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALEJANDRO DEVILLERES

  • G.R. No. 120592 March 14, 1997 - TRADERS ROYAL BANK EMPLOYEES UNION v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121765 March 14, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RANDOLF B. MONTEALTO

  • G.R. No. 122646 March 14, 1997 - ADELIA C. MENDOZA v. ANGELITO C. TEH, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112229 March 18, 1997 - RAYMOND PE LIM v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 114924-27 March 18, 1997 - DANTE NACURAY, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119321 March 18, 1997 - CATALINO F. BAÑEZ, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Bar Matter No. 712 March 19, 1997 - PETITION OF AL ARGOSINO TO TAKE THE LAWYER’S OATH

  • G.R. Nos. 100382-100385 March 19, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO TABACO

  • G.R. No. 111157 March 19, 1997 - ITOGON-SUYOC MINES, INC. v. OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117029 March 19, 1997 - PELTAN DEVELOPMENT, INC., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121112 March 19, 1997 - FELICIDAD MIRANO, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127325 March 19, 1997 - MIRIAM DEFENSOR SANTIAGO, ET AL. v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-95-1159 March 20, 1997 - COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. WILLIAM C. SEVILLO

  • G.R. No. 88684 March 20, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CESAR LACBANES

  • G.R. No. 95551 March 20, 1997 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. CONCEPCION S. ALARCON VERGARA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107019 March 20, 1997 - FRANKLIN M. DRILON, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116404 March 20, 1997 - FRANCISCO LUNA, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117218 March 20, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GERRY NALANGAN

  • G.R. No. 119599 March 20, 1997 - MALAYAN INSURANCE CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127456 March 20, 1997 - JESUS A. JARIOL, ET AL. v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-96-1091 March 21, 1997 - WILFREDO NAVARRO v. DEOGRACIAS K. DEL ROSARIO

  • G.R. No. 107699 March 21, 1997 - ALEX JACOBO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116692 March 21, 1997 - SAMAR II ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117097 March 21, 1997 - SAMAHAN NG OPTOMETRISTS SA PILIPINAS, ET AL. v. ACEBEDO INTL. CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118436 March 21, 1997 - HEIRS OF MANUEL A. ROXAS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118836 March 21, 1997 - FEDERICO DORDAS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122728 March 21, 1997 - CASIANO A. ANGCHANGCO, JR. v. OMBUDSMAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123037 March 21, 1997 - TEODORO Q. PEÑA v. HRET, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-96-1184 March 24, 1997 - NBI, ET AL. v. RODOLFO TULIAO

  • G.R. No. 106588 March 24, 1997 - RAUL H. SESBREÑO v. CENTRAL BOARD OF ASSESSMENT APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-89-318 March 25, 1997 - LUCIANA Vda. DE ARAGO v. PATERNO T. ALVAREZ

  • G.R. No. 96229 March 25, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GLORIOSA S. NAVARRO

  • G.R. No. 124137 March 25, 1997 - ROY M. LOYOLA v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126298 March 25, 1997 - PATRIA C. GUTIERREZ v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 99032 March 26, 1997 - RICARDO A. LLAMADO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 101817 March 26, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIPE IMMACULATA

  • G.R. No. 107801 March 26, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROSARIA V. IGNACIO

  • G.R. No. 110613 March 26, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDGAR VILLANUEVA

  • G.R. No. 113470 March 26, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO CORBES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115951 March 26, 1997 - ZEBRA SECURITY AGENCY, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117378 March 26, 1997 - GIL CAPILI, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117408 March 26, 1997 - NATIONAL INVESTMENT AND DEV. CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117604 March 26, 1997 - CHINA BANKING CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118332 March 26, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. IRENEO PEREZ

  • G.R. No. 119528 March 26, 1997 - PAL, INC. v. CIVIL AERONAUTICS BOARD, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121031 March 26, 1997 - ROSAURO I. TORRES v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122013 March 26, 1997 - JOSE C. RAMIREZ v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 124333 March 26, 1997 - NATIVIDAD P. ARAGON v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119877 March 31, 1997 - BIENVENIDO ONGKINGCO, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  •  




     
     

    G.R. No. 110613   March 26, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDGAR VILLANUEVA

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    SECOND DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 110613. March 26, 1997.]

    PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. EDGAR VILLANUEVA, Accused-Appellant.

    The Solicitor General for Plaintiff-Appellee.

    Public Attorney’s Office for Accused-Appellant.


    SYLLABUS


    1. CRIMINAL LAW; PERSONS CRIMINALLY LIABLE FOR FELONIES; ACCOMPLICES; REQUISITES. — In order that a person may be considered an accomplice, the following requisites must concur: (1) community of design; that is, knowing the criminal design of the principal by direct participation, he concurs with the latter in his purpose; (2) that he cooperates in the execution of the offense by previous or simultaneous acts, with the intention of supplying material and moral aid in the execution of the crime in an efficacious way; and (3) that there be a relation between the acts done by the principal and those attributed to the person charged as an accomplice.

    2. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; PRESENT IN CASE AT BAR. — An accomplice must therefore have knowledge of the criminal intention of the principal, and his complicity is evidenced by a simultaneous or previous act which contributes to the commission of the felony, as an aid thereto, whether physical or moral. In other words, the participation of an accomplice presupposes that the principal and the accomplice acted in conjunction and directed their efforts to the same end. Accused-appellant Edgar Villanueva’s participation in the crime as an accomplice was clearly established. His act of flicking his lighter was clearly a pre-arranged signal for his brother-accused Wilson Villanueva to attack them. Why should he be carrying a lighter when, by his own admission, he is a non-smoker? If it is to provide illumination, this is a weak excuse indeed for the way was clearly lit by the moon. Moreover, he actually participated in the killing as he followed his brother Wilson in hacking Ronald Aviso on the right side of his waist in a determined move to finish what his brother started. Obviously, he cooperated in the execution of the offense both by a previous and simultaneous act. We quote with approval the finding of the trial court on this point: "Of course, one does not have to be very intuitive to sense that Edgar’s gesture of lighting his lighter was a pre-arranged signal and cue to the assailant hovering in the unlighted place nearby that the persons with whom he was with were their target or quarry. (See People v. Barbosa, L-39779, November 7, 1978)."


    D E C I S I O N


    ROMERO, J.:


    For the killing of a certain Amando Mandane, brothers Wilson Villanueva and Edgar Villanueva, together with three others who are at large, namely John Doe, Peter Doe and Edwin Doe were charged with murder, as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "That on or about the 1st day of March 1985 in the Municipality of Donsol, Province of Sorsogon, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, conspiring, confederating and mutually helping one another, with treachery and evident premeditation, armed with boloes, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault and hack one Amando Mandane while the latter was not in a position to defend himself, inflicting upon the latter the following injuries, to wit:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    — Hack wound 5 1/2 inches long at the lower portion of the neck gaping 2 inches wide, cutting the clavicle throat and esophagus;

    — Five hack wound on the nape of the neck 5 inches long and gaping 2 inches wide cutting the cerebelum including the brain tissues and bones of the neck (cervical vertebrates);

    — Hack wound cutting the gastrocnenious muscle, 3 inches long and gaping 2 1/2 inches wide of the middle portion of the right lower leg;

    — Hack wound cutting back the gastrocnenious of the middle portion of the leg gaping 2 inches wide, 3 inches long

    which injuries caused the instant death of said Amando Mandane, to the damage and prejudice of his legal heirs.

    Contrary to law."cralaw virtua1aw library

    Upon arraignment on July 18, 1985, Accused-appellants through counsel pleaded not guilty to the offense charged. After trial, the Regional Trial Court of Sorsogon, Branch 52 rendered judgment on April 1, 1993 finding accused Wilson Villanueva guilty beyond reasonable doubt as principal of the crime of murder and meted on him the penalty of reclusion perpetua with accessories and accused-appellant Edgar Villanueva guilty beyond reasonable doubt as accomplice and sentenced him to suffer the indeterminate penalty of 4 years, 2 months and 1 day of prision correccional as minimum to 10 years of prision mayor as maximum. Both were ordered to indemnify and pay jointly and severally the heirs of the victim Amando Mandane in the amount of P50,000.00, actual and compensatory damages of P7,000.00 and moral damages of P30,000.00.

    On appeal before this Court, under date of July 9, 1993, Accused-appellant Wilson Villanueva filed an urgent petition to use the same bailbond in the amount of P25,000.00. We resolved to deny and cancel the same for lack of merit in our resolution of July 26, 1993. Subsequently in our resolution of September 29, 1993, we resolved to order the bondsman to surrender accused-appellant Wilson Villanueva within ten days from notice to the court of origin and to inform this Court of the fact of surrender within the same period. Judge Eudarlio B. Valencia of the RTC-Sorsogon, Branch 52 was required to order the transmittal of accused-appellants to the Bureau of Corrections, within five days from the time of surrender and if accused-appellants are not surrendered within the said period of five days, for Judge Valencia to issue an order of arrest against them.

    On February 7, 1994, Asst. Director Jesus Villanueva informed this Court in its First Indorsement that Wilson has no record of confinement in the New Bilibid Prisons.

    On June 8, 1994, this Court issued a resolution dismissing the appeal of accused-appellant Wilson Villanueva for abandonment. Entry of judgment was made on July 25, 1994. However, the dismissal of the appeal did not include Edgar Villanueva whose degree of culpability in the commission of the crime has still to be determined by this Court.

    The facts, as found by the trial court, are as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    ". . . at about 6:30 o’clock in the evening of March 1, 1985, Amando Mandane, Ronald Aviso and accused Edgar Villanueva were heading towards the house of accused Wilson Villanueva, Edgar’s brother, located uphill of Tres Marias, Donsol, Sorsogon upon Edgar’s invitation to drink on the occasion of the latter’s birthday. Wilson and Edgar have separate houses. Wilson was not in his house when they arrived thereat — They nevertheless proceeded to drink — Edgar brought out two bottles of gin and two bottles of beer. The three of them partook of the gin even as Ronald and Amando were the only ones who drank the beer. Edgar went out to the kitchen while Ronald and Amando were drinking the beer and returned after the two had consumed the beer. Edgar then invited the two to attend the dance at the plaza of Donsol on the occasion of the canvassing being undertaken preparatory to the celebration of the town fiesta. Ronald and Amando agreed and they (Edgar, Ronald and Amando) went downhill of Wilson’s house heading towards the plaza. It was already around 9:00 o’clock in the evening. Upon reaching Tres Marias Drive, a road leading to and about 200 meters from Donsol Emergency Hospital, or 150 meters to the Municipal Building of Donsol and about 60 meters distant to the nearest house — owned by the family of Analyn Abuyan, the three walked side by side at one arms length apart, Edgar Villanueva at the left, Amando Mandane at the middle and Ronald Aviso at the right.

    At about the same time, trailing them at a distance of about five arms length were Pacifico Herrera, Jr. (alias ‘Oyo’, ‘Liot’ or ‘Eliot’) and Romeo Balane alias ‘Bontiago’ who had just come from Temostocles Alim’s farm at Burabod, a sitio of Barangay Topas, Donsol, Sorsogon adjoining Bororan, to ask for coconuts and chicken. Alim is a resident of Topas, while Balano of Barayong — Baras which is about ten kilometers from the poblacion of Donsol. They are each other’s friends. Balano requested Herrera or ‘Oyo’ to accompany him to Alim’s farm because Balano did not know the place and he had to see Alim.

    While they (Edgar, Ronald, Amando, Herrera and Balano [sic]) in the position and order above indicated were in the progress of their walk, Accused Edgar Villanueva suddenly lighted his lighter and not long thereafter his co-accused brother Wilson Villanueva appeared from nowhere and hacked Amando Mandane who instinctively cried ‘aray’ upon being hit and then slumped on the ground as a result of the injury he sustained. Accused Edgar Villanueva then rushed to the side of his co-accused brother and joined the latter. Ronald Aviso who was steps ahead of the fallen Amando heard the latter’s ‘aray’ cry about (sic). He then saw Wilson hacking the helpless Amando. Ronald went back for Amando and tried to lift him up from the ground but Wilson hacked him (Ronald) on his right shoulder, followed by Edgar who struck him on the right side of his waist determined to finish him too, so, he ran for his life.

    Pacifico Herrera, Jr., who was walking out quite far behind of Edgar, Ronald and Amando, also noticed the lighting of the lighter and heard the hacking immediately thereafter which he thought to be just a thud or sound of one boxing another. He likewise observed persons running away after the thud. However, as he and his companion Balano approached the place where the thud came from, he saw a person lying on the ground and when he stooped to investigate who it was, the accused brothers Wilson and Edgar Villanueva, at a distance of about a meter from them, aimed their bolos and motioned to hack him and Balano. This sent them (Herrera and Balano) scampering to safety. They ran towards the ricefield and then went separate ways. Herrera, still afraid, went home and changed clothes so that he could not be recognized and proceeded to the plaza to attend the dance where he heard people talking about a dead person at the Municipal Building. He went there to verify and recognized the dead man to be Amando Mandane, son of Pat. Mandane.

    Shortly after the incident, spouses Osias Gabarda and Elena Gabarda were taking Tres Marias Drive on their way to the Donsol Emergency Hospital to bring their son Anecito for treatment of fever. From their residence at Barangay Boang, Donsol, Sorsogon, two and half kilometers from the town proper. Osias had with him a two-battery flashlight. Upon reaching a certain portion of the road leading to the hospital, Osias noticed three persons along the way one of whom he recognized to be Wilson Villanueva. Osias then focused his flashlight towards and he saw Wilson holding a bolo and a dead man lying on the road. Wilson told him to lower his flashlight which he did. Shortly, thereafter, Osias and his wife decided to go home because of fear. The place where they saw the dead man and Wilson holding a bolo was more or less 150 meters from the Municipal Building."cralaw virtua1aw library

    The accused-appellant filed his brief and the Office of the Solicitor General filed a manifestation and motion in lieu of its brief recommending the acquittal of Edgar Villanueva on the ground that his guilt as an accomplice was not proven beyond reasonable doubt.

    Accused-appellant Edgar Villanueva raised as the sole assigned error that the trial court erred in declaring that he was an accomplice of his brother Wilson Villanueva in the crime of murder.

    In its decision, the trial court ruled out the existence of conspiracy and declared the absence of evidence to show a planned assault, but nonetheless held appellant guilty as an accomplice. The Court’s ratio decidendi is as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Edgar’s contemporaneous acts, however, of activating his lighter which gave Wilson and his companions to launch the attack and Edgar’s taking sides with his brother, somehow incurred for him criminal responsibility. Although, as already pointed out, there is no evidence that the assault was planned, the acts themselves, in relation to the hacking of Amando Mandane and Ronald Aviso, show complicity on the part of accused Edgar Villanueva. First, the latter had no reason to have and bring a lighter not only that he was then a non-smoker (per his own assertion) but also he had no use of it because he or they (Edgar, Amando and Ronald) could clearly see their way while walking at the Tres Marias Drive going to the plaza because of the moon. Second, the attack netted only Amando Mandane and Ronald Aviso. Amando got killed and Ronald seriously injured, while Edgar was unscathed. Lastly, Edgar knew all along who the assailants were because just as soon as Amando was hacked by Wilson, he took his brother’s side and joined his group. He would not have switched company had he not known the identity of that with whom he sided with. That’s suicide considering that the attackers were armed. Personal safety and survival, above all, comes first. That’s instinct.

    In other words, it might be true that prior to the attack Edgar did not know of Wilson’s plan. But after the initial hacking made by Wilson upon Amando, who was hit on his neck cutting the throat and esophagus, it appeared clear to him his brother’s evil motive — to kill the victims. Such that his flaring his lighter and joining his brother’s group demonstrated the previous and simultaneous acts which contributed to the commission of the offense as aid thereto physically and morally and manifested his cooperation with the intention of supplying material and moral support in the execution of the crime on an efficacious way." (People v. Custodio, 47 SCRA 289, 303; People v. Tamayo, 44 Phil. 38, 49).

    In his appeal, Accused-appellant asserted that the act of flicking the lighter did not make him an accomplice in the crime of murder committed by his brother Wilson Villanueva and his companions but that it was merely used in illuminating the road for it was dark and they could hardly see their way to the dance hall.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    In order that a person may be considered an accomplice, the following requisites must concur:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    (1) community of design; that is, knowing the criminal design of the principal by direct participation, he concurs with the latter in his purpose;

    (2) that he cooperates in the execution of the offense by previous or simultaneous acts, with the intention of supplying material and moral aid in the execution of the crime in an efficacious way; and

    (3) that there be a relation between the acts done by the principal and those attributed to the person charged as an accomplice. 1

    An accomplice must therefore have knowledge of the criminal intention of the principal, and his complicity is evidenced by a simultaneous or previous act which contributes to the commission of the felony, as an aid thereto, whether physical or moral. 2 In other words, the participation of an accomplice presupposes that the principal and the accomplice acted in conjunction and directed their efforts to the same end. 3

    Accused-appellant Edgar Villanueva’s participation in the crime as an accomplice was clearly established. His act of flicking his lighter was clearly a pre-arranged signal for his brother-accused Wilson Villanueva to attack them. Why should he be carrying a lighter when, by his own admission, he is a non-smoker? If it is to provide illumination, this is a weak excuse indeed for the way was clearly lit by the moon. Moreover, he actually participated in the killing as he followed his brother Wilson in hacking Ronald Aviso on the right side of his waist in a determined move to finish what his brother started. Obviously, he cooperated in the execution of the offense both by a previous and simultaneous act. We quote with approval the finding of the trial court on this point:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Of course, one does not have to be very intuitive to sense that Edgar’s gesture of lighting his lighter was a pre-arranged signal and cue to the assailant hovering in the unlighted place nearby that the persons with whom he was with were their target or quarry. (See People v. Barbosa, L-39779, November 7, 1978)."cralaw virtua1aw library

    Accused-appellant averred that there was no evidence to show that he sided with his brother Wilson after the hacking incident. The Solicitor General then tried to discredit the credibility of Ronald Aviso as an eyewitness.

    The trial court, however, held that:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "It is to be recalled that the investigation of this case by the police authorities, and by the Municipal Judge for purpose of the preliminary investigation, took for quite some time or almost one and half month for the reason that the witnesses made themselves scarce to the police for fear of recrimination. Ronald Aviso, who was himself a victim on that fateful night, was recuperating from the injuries suffered. The resultant shock and nervousness could have led to his inability to recount everything he had seen to the police authorities and the Municipal Judge. Such memory lapse due to a traumatic experience of not only a witness to the killing but also of being a victim is understandable and does not impair the intrinsic credibility of the witness. (People v. Santos, 121 SCRA 833; People v. Jutie, G.R. No. 72975, March 31, 1989)."cralaw virtua1aw library

    WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is hereby AFFIRMED. Costs against Accused-Appellant.

    SO ORDERED.

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

    Endnotes:



    1. Reyes, The Revised Penal Code, Book I, p. 515; People v. Jorge, 231 SCRA 693.

    2. Padilla, Criminal Law, Revised Penal Code Annotated, Book I, 1987 ed, p. 700. See People v. Fronda, 222 SCRA 71 (1993).

    3. Aquino, The Revised Penal Code, Vol. I, 1987 ed.

    G.R. No. 110613   March 26, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDGAR VILLANUEVA




    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