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UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
November-1997 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 117108 November 5, 1997 - DANIEL C. VILLANUEVA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120579 November 5, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALLAN ERESE

  • G.R. Nos. 124360 & 127867 November 5, 1997 - FRANCISCO S. TATAD v. SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-97-1142 November 6, 1997 - JOEL ALMERON, ET AL. v. AGUSTIN T. SARDIDO

  • G.R. Nos. 108444 & 108769 November 6, 1997 - JESUS B. FERNANDEZ v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116234 November 6, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOEL SOBERANO

  • G.R. No. 119963 November 6, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUSSELL FUENSALIDA

  • G.R. No. 120093 November 6, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DAVID GARCIA

  • G.R. No. 120122 November 6, 1997 - GLORIA R. CRUZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 122980-81 November 6, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JENELITO ESCOBER

  • G.R. No. 125038 November 6, 1997 - HONGKONG AND SHANGHAI BANKING CORP., ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. 93-9-741-0 November 7, 1997 - LETTER DATED AUGUST 25, 1993 OF SEC. FRANKLIN DRILON

  • G.R. No. 110398 November 7, 1997 - NEGROS NAVIGATION CO., INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 97841-42 November 12, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VICTOR TIMON, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 80399-404 November 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PERMONETTE JOY FORTICH, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115284 November 13, 1997 - PABLO STA. ANA, JR. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121215 November 13, 1997 - OSCAR DE LOS REYES v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 100709 November 14, 1997 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 124540 November 14, 1997 - MERLINDA JACINTO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 104145 November 17, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. OSCAR DORO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110031 November 17, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALBERTO D. CARPIO

  • G.R. No. 121627 November 17, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGER EVANGELISTA

  • G.R. No. 123231 November 17, 1997 - HEIRS OF MARCIANO NAGAÑO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129040 November 17, 1997 - NESTOR C. LIM v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. 96-10-380-RTC November 18, 1997 - REPORT OF JUSTICE FELIPE B. KALALO

  • Adm. Case No. SB-95-7-P November 18, 1997 - PNP CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION COMMAND v. MELECIA LANDICHO-LINTAO

  • G.R. No. 91483 November 18, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SAMUEL MAHUSAY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 100593 November 18, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WARLITO RAGON

  • G.R. Nos. 104739-44 November 18, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO CAURES

  • G.R. No. 117565 November 18, 1997 - ARSENIO P. LUMIQUED, ET AL. v. APOLONIO G. EXEVEA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119995 November 18, 1997 - CARLOS SINGSON v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120330 November 18, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WENCESLAO JAYSON

  • G.R. Nos. 121095-97 November 18, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOEL BUENA

  • G.R. No. 122445 November 18, 1997 - NINEVETCH CRUZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122671 November 18, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDGARDO CASTRO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 124128 November 18, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODRIGO GARDOCE

  • G.R. No. 125950 November 18, 1997 - CIPRIANO B. PEÑAFLORIDA, ET AL. v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • Adm. Case No. 4369 November 28, 1997 - PIKE P. ARRIETA v. JOEL A. LLOSA

  • G.R. No. 110379 November 28, 1997 - ARMAND FABELLA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 118104-06 November 28, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SIXTO RECIO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119543 November 28, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARISTON PARDILLO, JR.

  • G.R. Nos. 122757-61 November 28, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDUARDO TATON

  • G.R. No. 126383 November 28, 1997 - SAN JUAN DE DIOS HOSPITAL EMPLOYEES ASSN.-AFW, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127553 November 28, 1997 - EDDIE MANUEL, ET AL. v. N.C. CONSTRUCTION SUPPLY, ET AL.

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. 110031   November 17, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALBERTO D. CARPIO

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    SECOND DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 110031. November 17, 1997.]

    THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. ALBERTO D. CARPIO, Accused-Appellant.

    The Solicitor-General for Plaintiff-Appellee.

    PAO for Accused-Appellant.


    SYLLABUS


    1. REMEDIAL LAW; EVIDENCE; CREDIBILITY; NOT IMPAIRED OR AFFECTED BY RELATIONSHIP TO THE VICTIM. — The weight of testimony of witnesses is not impaired or in any way affected by their relationship to the victim when there is no showing of improper motive on the part of witnesses. In this case, even the wife of the accused-appellant admitted that she knew of no grudge which the three witnesses might have had against her husband. For the fact is that the three are no less related to the Accused-Appellant.

    2. ID.; ID.; ID.; FINDINGS OF THE TRIAL COURT, GENERALLY NOT DISTURBED ON APPEAL. — This Court will not disturb the findings of trial courts with respect to the credibility of the witnesses unless there are facts or circumstances of weight and influence appearing in the record which have been overlooked or the significance of which have been misapprehended or misinterpreted by the trial courts. The reason for this is that, in general, trial courts are in a better position to decide questions of credibility since they have heard the witnesses and observed their deportment and manner of testifying during the trial. Here, the trial court gave credence to the prosecution witnesses because their testimonies coincided in material points and the witnesses appeared to have no motive to testify falsely against accused-appellant if the latter was not really guilty.

    3. ID.; ID.; BURDEN OF PROVING SELF-DEFENSE IS ON THE ACCUSED. — Indeed, having admitted the killing of Federico A. Cunanan, Accused-appellant had the heavy burden of justifying, by clear and convincing evidence, the existence of the essential requisites for self-defense. For this purpose, he must rely on the strength of his own evidence and not on the weakness of that of the prosecution. Accused-appellant failed in this respect. His claim that it was the deceased who attacked him is not borne out by the evidence. His own testimony to this effect is self-serving. It is in fact filled with contradictions. He said that while he and the victim were struggling for possession of the gun he heard it go off once and then he saw the victim collapsing. He was scared, and so he ran away. But the fact is that the victim died from several gunshot wounds (not just from one) and most of these wounds were fatal. Self-defense cannot be justifiably entertained where it is not only uncorroborated by competent evidence but is extremely doubtful.

    4. CRIMINAL LAW; QUALIFYING CIRCUMSTANCES; TREACHERY; REQUISITES. — Two requisites must concur for treachery to be considered a qualifying circumstance: (1) That the accused employed means, methods, or forms of execution which tended directly and specially to insure the offender’s safety from any defensive or retaliatory act on the part of the offended party; and (2) That such means, method or manner of execution was deliberately chosen by the offender.

    5. ID.; ID.; ID.; VICTIM WAS SHOT AT THE BACK WITHOUT WARNING; CASE AT BAR. — There is treachery when a victim is set upon by the accused without warning, as when the accused attacks the victim from behind, or when the attack is sudden and unexpected and without the slightest provocation on the part of the victim, or is, in any event, so sudden and unexpected that the victim is unable to defend himself, thus insuring the execution of the criminal act without risk to the assailant. In the case at bar, Accused appellant’s attack was so sudden and launched from behind that the victim and his companions were caught off guard, without giving them any opportunity to defend themselves. The attack was swift, deliberate and unexpected. This is of the very essence of treachery.


    D E C I S I O N


    MENDOZA, J.:


    This is an appeal from the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Pampanga, Branch 52, at Guagua, Pampanga, finding accused-appellant Alberto Carpio guilty of murder, qualified by treachery, and sentencing him to suffer reclusion perpetua. In addition, Accused-appellant was ordered to pay the heirs of the deceased Federico A. Cunanan the sum of P50,000.00, as indemnity for death, P10,000.00, as funeral expenses, P25,000.00, as attorney’s fees, and P100,000.00, as moral damages, and to pay the costs.chanrobles virtual lawlibrary

    The information against accused-appellant alleged —

    That on or about the 24th day of September 1989, in Barangay De la Paz, municipality of Lubao, province of Pampanga, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, Alberto D. Carpio, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously, with intent to kill and with treachery and evident premeditation attack, assault and shoot from behind Federico A. Cunanan with a homemade automatic .22 caliber pistol, hitting him on the different parts of his body, thereby inflicting upon said victim mortal wound which were the direct and immediate cause of his death thereafter.

    Contrary to law.

    The prosecution presented evidence showing the following:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    On September 24, 1989, between 11:00 and 11:30 in the morning, the deceased Federico A. Cunanan and several others, namely, Carlito Mangalindan, Eduardo Cunanan, Renato Reyes, Rodrigo Mangalindan, Fortunato Castro and Claro Mangalindan were talking in front of the basketball court in De la Paz, Lubao, Pampanga. Nearby was accused-appellant Alberto Carpio who was also talking with other persons.

    After a while, Federico Cunanan and his group broke up and left. Federico Cunanan left with Eduardo Cunanan and Carlito Mangalindan. Accused-appellant Alberto D. Carpio, accompanied by Rodrigo Mangalindan and another person, followed. They walked behind Cunanan’s group. Upon reaching his house, Carpio went inside and took his gun. Then he overtook Cunanan’s group, and once near them, shot Cunanan three times. Cunanan staggered and fell to the ground, face down. Cunanan’s companions were stunned but, after recovering their composure, they took him to the Escolastica Romero District Hospital where he told Sgt. Dominador L. Lacanlale that he had been shot by "Berto." Cunanan was later transferred to the Central Luzon Regional Hospital in San Fernando, Pampanga where he died.

    Accused-appellant, who had fled, was caught in Floridablanca, another town, and was turned over to the custody of the Lubao police. He admitted to P/Cpl. Carlos Guintu that he had shot the deceased. He led the police to the backyard of a certain Erning Dabu in San Pablo I, Lubao, where the fatal gun, a .22 caliber homemade pistol, was recovered. Carpio was taken to Police Sgt. Lacanlale for investigation. He admitted he had shot the victim, but he refused to give any statement. Sgt. Lacanlale took the statements of Eduardo Cunanan and Carlito Mangalindan and later submitted a report.

    Accused-appellant admitted the killing but invoked self-defense. He claimed that a week before the incident, he and the victim had a dispute over some ducks belonging to Cunanan which had been lost in a flood and later found in the possession of Accused-Appellant. Carpio claimed that he had saved the ducks from the water; that upon demand of Cunanan he readily gave back the latter’s ducks; and in fact the victim took some ducks belonging to him (Carpio). However, each time Cunanan saw Carpio, the former allegedly accused him of stealing his ducks ("mapanako itik").

    Carpio claimed that he killed Cunanan on September 29, 1989 because the latter demanded some more ducks to replace those which Cunanan claimed Carpio had stolen. Cunanan allegedly threatened to kill him by pulling a gun and pointing it at Carpio. Carpio said he tried to wrest the gun from Cunanan but, in the process, the gun went off. Carpio said he heard a shot and then saw the victim fall to the ground. He was scared so he ran away.

    The trial court found the prosecution version to be more credible than that of the defense. It noted many houses and stores in the place where the shooting occurred and yet no one testified for Accused-Appellant. More importantly, the trial court noted that the affidavit executed by the accused-appellant on October 10, 1989 before Notary Public Emiliano Mahit contained statements which were "diametrically opposed" to his testimony in court. Accused-appellant, who had the burden of proving that he had acted in self-defense, thus failed to do so by clear, sufficient and convincing evidence.

    The trial court found the killing to have been attended by treachery as the deceased was shot when his back was turned to Accused-Appellant. The mode of attack was chosen to insure the execution of the crime without risk to Accused-Appellant.

    Accused-appellant contends that the trial court erred first, in not appreciating his claim of self-defense and, second, in finding him guilty of murder qualified by treachery.

    First. Carpio argues that the testimony of Dr. Corazon Dabu, municipal health officer of Sta. Cruz, Lubao, Pampanga, and the post-mortem examination of the dead victim support his claim of self-defense because they show that the victim was shot while he and accused-appellant were facing each other.

    This contention has no merit. Dr. Corazon Dabu categorically stated that the points of entry of the wounds were on the back of the deceased. Thus, testifying on the post-mortem examination conducted by her, Dr. Dabu said: 1

    Atty. Bermas [Private prosecutor]

    Q There is another wound no. 2 finding wound measuring 1 cm. x 0.5 at the right upper quadrant, mid-clavicular level, tell us in layman’s language the location of this wound?

    A Right breast about 2 or 3 inches above the right nipple, sir.

    Q Tell us the point of entry of this wound?

    A In the middle of the right scapula at the back, sir.

    Q So, the point of entry at the back and the point of exit is at the right chest, 3 in. above the nipple?

    A Yes, sir.

    x       x       x


    Q There is a finding back wound measuring 1 cm. x 0.5 cm. at level right mid-scapula, please tell us in layman language the specific part of the body where that wound is located?

    A The scapula is located here. The wound is at the right mid-scapula, the bone wing in our back, sir.

    Q Is this the point of entry?

    A Yes, sir.

    Q Is this wound fatal?

    A Yes, sir.

    Q Another finding, wound measuring 1 cm. x 0.5 cm. please tell us in layman’s language the location of that wound?

    A This is located at the middle of the back, sir.

    Q Is this wound fatal?

    A Yes, sir.

    The defense counsel tried to show that because the cause of death was "multiple gunshot wounds [on the] chest and neck" the points of entry were in front. But, as Dr. Dabu explained: 2

    Atty. Bermas

    Q When you said herein your findings cause of death, below the entry internal hemorrhage reading and which I quote: "multiple gunshot wounds chest and neck", we get it right from you that these wounds are at the front portion of the body of the victim?

    Court

    Are you referring to the point of entry?

    Atty. Maninang [Defense counsel]

    It is written here, multiple gunshot wounds chest and neck which indicates that the point of entry are at front, your Honor.

    Witness

    A I am not very specific on that I did not pinpoint all my diagnosis that these are the points of entry or exit, sir.

    x       x       x


    Q In the same manner, in the death certificate, you also made your entry here opposite the term under the phrase cause of death multiple gunshot wounds chest, which is an indication that the point of entry is in front?

    A I made this diagnosis, I did not base my diagnosis on the entrance of the wound because when we made this report, sometimes we are pressured to write it after the autopsy . . . because we made it in the cemetery and in the municipal hall sometimes, sir.

    Atty. Maninang

    Q That notwithstanding as reflected in your autopsy report and in the death certificate that the cause of the death of the victim are the multiple gunshot wounds appearing on the chest and neck and nothing was mentioned of the wounds sustained at the back that caused the death?

    A When I write the diagnosis in the death certificate, we do not go very specific, sir.

    Court

    Q You do not go into details?

    A Yes, your Honor.

    Indeed, there is nothing in the post-mortem examination to show that the points of entry of the wounds were all in front. This fact, plus the positive and clear testimony of the prosecution witnesses that accused-appellant three times shot the victim from behind and only once in front, make the contention of accused-appellant untenable. The testimonies of the prosecution witnesses, particularly Eduardo Cunanan, Carlito Mangalindan and Rodrigo Mangalindan, as to how accused-appellant shot the victim, dovetail with each other in material points.chanrobles virtual lawlibrary

    Thus, Eduardo Cunanan testified: 3

    Atty. Bermas:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    x       x       x


    Q You said you heard three successive shots, now, what did you do, if any, when you heard those three successive gunshots?

    A I saw Federico Cunanan falling down to the ground facing our backs, sir.

    x       x       x


    Atty. Bermas

    Q You said that you were stunned because of those three successive shots and you saw Federico Cunanan was falling down, after that, what happened?

    Atty. Maninang

    That is it, he was stunned, the question is vague, your Honor.

    Court

    Answer.

    Witness

    A As he fell to the ground, in a weak soft voice, he said "y Berto", sir.

    Atty. Bermas

    Q When you heard this utterance of Federico Cunanan while falling down saying "y Berto", what did you do?

    A I turned my head and looked back, sir.

    Q When you turned your head and looked back, did you see anything?

    A I saw Berto at our back, sir.

    Q Now, when you saw Berto at your back, what was he doing then?

    A He was holding a gun, sir.

    Q When you saw him holding a gun and this Federico Cunanan was falling down, what happened?

    A He fired another shot, sir.

    Q To whom did this Berto fire another shot?

    A To Barangay Captain Federico Cunanan, sir.

    Q Was Federico Cunanan hit by that other shot?

    A Yes, sir.

    Q In what part of the body of this Federico Cunanan was he hit?

    A In the stomach and that was when he finally slumped to the ground, sir.

    Rodrigo Mangalindan testified: 4

    Atty. Bermas

    x       x       x


    Q Now, tell us Mr. witness, how this Alberto Carpio killed Federico Cunanan?

    A He shot him, sir.

    Q How this Alberto Carpio shot Federico Cunanan?

    A When Alberto Carpio shot Federico Cunanan, Federico Cunanan had his back from him, sir. (nakatalikod).

    Q How many times this Federico Cunanan was shot at the back by Alberto Carpio?

    A Three (3) times, sir.

    Q Now, Mr. witness, you said that Federico Cunanan was shot by Alberto Cunanan while he had his back from him, how far were you from this place of incident?

    A More or less, 60 meters, sir.

    Carlito Mangalindan, on the other hand, said: 5

    A While we were walking towards our respective homes side by side along with Federico Cunanan and Eduardo Cunanan, I suddenly heard a shot, sir.

    Q How many shots did you hear?

    A The successive shots which I heard were three (3), sir

    x       x       x


    Q Do you know if Federico Cunanan was hit by the three shots?

    A Yes, sir.

    Q In what part of the body was he hit by those three shots?

    A He was hit at the back, sir.

    Q While he was falling down to the ground because he has been hit by the three shots, what happened next?

    A While he was falling down, I turned around and we again heard another shot, sir.

    Q When you heard this another shot, do you know if somebody was hit by this other shot?

    A Yes, sir, I know.

    Q Who was hit by this another shot?

    A Also barangay captain Federico Cunanan, sir.

    Q In what particular part of his body was he hit by this other shot?

    A Front portion of the body but I cannot say what particular part of his front portion of the body, sir.

    Q When this barangay captain Federico Cunanan was shot, do you know who shot him?

    A Yes, sir.

    Q Tell us who is this person who shot Federico Cunanan?

    A Alberto Carpio, sir.

    Q If this Alberto Carpio is around in this courtroom, will you please point to him? Or tap his shoulder?

    A Here, sir.

    Q The fellow pointed to, when asked, answered by the name of Alberto Carpio, your Honor.

    The defense evidence consisted wholly of the testimonies of accused-appellant Alberto D. Carpio and his wife. The trial court observed:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    . . . The defense version, already inherently incredible and weak, was not helped any for lack of any corroboration. There were many houses and even stores in the vicinity where the shooting took place and some people were still milling about in the basketball court or were on the street. Surely some of them must have witnessed the incident. And yet not even one with a modicum of moral courage or civic spirit had come forward to corroborate the tale given by the accused.

    The defense makes much of the fact that the witnesses for the prosecution, Eduardo Cunanan, Carlito Mangalindan, are relatives of the deceased, while Rodrigo Mangalindan is his friend. It is now settled, however, that the weight of testimony of witnesses is not impaired or in any way affected by their relationship to the victim when there is no showing of improper motive on the part of witnesses. 6 In this case, even the wife of the accused-appellant admitted that she knew of no grudge which the three witnesses might have had against her husband. For the fact is that the three are no less related to the accused-appellant: 7

    Atty. Bermas

    Q Madam witness, you are related to Rodrigo Mangalindan, one of the witnesses in this case?

    A It is my husband who is related to Rodrigo Mangalindan, sir.

    Q And, Eduardo Cunanan is also related to your husband?

    A Yes, sir.

    Q And, this Carlito Mangalindan is also related to your husband?

    A Yes, sir.

    Q These persons madam witness, tell us if being wife of the accused Alberto Carpio if the three witnesses have ill feeling to your husband?

    Atty. Maninang

    She maybe incompetent, your Honor.

    Court

    If she knows.

    Witness

    A None that I know, sir.

    As we have time and again said, this Court will not disturb the findings of trial courts with respect to the credibility of the witnesses unless there are facts or circumstances of weight and influence appearing in the record which have been overlooked or the significance of which have been misapprehended or misinterpreted by the trial courts. The reason for this is that, in general, trial courts are in a better position to decide questions of credibility since they have heard the witnesses and observed their deportment and manner of testifying during the trial. 8 Here, the trial court gave credence to the prosecution witnesses because their testimonies coincided in material points and the witnesses appeared to have no motive to testify falsely against accused-appellant if the latter was not really guilty.

    Indeed, having admitted the killing of Federico A. Cunanan, Accused-appellant had the heavy burden of justifying, by clear and convincing evidence, the existence of the essential requisites for self-defense. For this purpose, he must rely on the strength of his own evidence and not on the weakness of that of the prosecution. 9 Accused-appellant failed in this respect. His claim that it was the deceased who attacked him is not borne out by the evidence. His own testimony to this effect is self-serving. It is in fact filled with contradictions. He said that while he and the victim were struggling for possession of the gun he heard it go off once and then he saw the victim collapsing. He was scared, and so he ran away. 10 But the fact is that the victim died from several gunshot wounds (not just from one) and most of these wounds were fatal. Self-defense cannot be justifiably entertained where it is not only uncorroborated by competent evidence but is extremely doubtful. 11

    Second. The accused-appellant disputes the trial court’s finding that he is guilty of treachery. He maintains that two requisites must concur for treachery to be considered a qualifying circumstance: (1) That the accused employed means, methods, or forms of execution which tended directly and specially to insure the offender’s safety from any defensive or retaliatory act on the part of the offended party; and (2) That such means, method or manner of execution was deliberately chosen by the offender.

    These requisites, it is averred, were not shown in this case. Accused-appellant asserts that had he not taken long (about two minutes) in getting his gun, he might have appeared in front of the victim and his companions who were then on the street, so that the fact that he came from behind the victim was a mere happenstance which negates the probability that he shot the victim on the back to give the latter no chance to defend himself.

    This contention is likewise untenable. Accused-appellant is certainly right with respect to the requisites for self-defense. In fact, we reiterated them recently in People v. Ballabare. 12 But precisely because we believe the evidence in this case proves the existence of these two requisites, we agree with the trial court that the killing was done with treachery. It was no coincidence that accused-appellant came from behind the victim. Accused-appellant did not just happen to walk behind Cunanan’s group. Accused-appellant followed the group as he saw them leaving the basketball court. Then, after reaching his house, he went inside the yard, got his gun, tried to overtake Cunanan’s group and, at a certain distance, shot Cunanan. Cunanan apparently did not know accused-appellant was behind.cralawnad

    There is treachery when a victim is set upon by the accused without warning, as when the accused attacks the victim from behind, or when the attack is sudden and unexpected and without the slightest provocation on the part of the victim, or is, in any event, so sudden and unexpected that the victim is unable to defend himself, thus insuring the execution of the criminal act without risk to the assailant. 13

    In the case at bar, Accused-appellant’s attack was so sudden and launched from behind that the victim and his companions were caught off guard, without giving them any opportunity to defend themselves. The attack was swift, deliberate and unexpected. This is of the very essence of treachery.

    WHEREFORE, the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Guagua, Pampanga is AFFIRMED.

    SO ORDERED.

    Regalado and Puno, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. TSN, pp. 4-5, April 2, 1990 (emphasis added).

    2. Id., pp. 11-12.

    3. TSN, pp. 6-8, March 14, 1990.

    4. TSN, p. 3, March 26, 1990.

    5. TSN, pp. 3-4, June 6, 1990.

    6. People v. Layno, 264 SCRA 558 (1996).

    7. TSN, p. 6, Dec. 17, 1990.

    8. Supra note 6, p. 572.

    9. People v. Rapanut, 263 SCRA 515 (1996).

    10. TSN, pp. 4-5, Sept. 17, 1990.

    11. People v. Lebumfacil, 96 SCRA 573 (1980).

    12. 264 SCRA 369 (1996).

    13. People v. Villanueva, 225 SCRA 353 (1993).

    G.R. No. 110031   November 17, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALBERTO D. CARPIO


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