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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)
 

 
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UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
January-2000 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 123951 January 10, 2000 - ROMEO RANOLA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-00-1360 January 18, 2000 - ELISEO SOREÑO v. RHODERICK MAXINO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114683 January 18, 2000 - JESUS C. OCAMPO v. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 118441-42 January 18, 2000 - ARMANDO JOSE, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119594 January 18, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENZON ONG

  • G.R. No. 125994 January 18, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENJAMIN ANDALES

  • G.R. No. 127135 January 18, 2000 - EASTERN ASSURANCE AND SURETY CORP. (EASCO) v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129846 January 18, 2000 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130944 January 18, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VICENTE ALIB, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131675 January 18, 2000 - PEDRO C. LAMEYRA v. GEORGE S. PANGILINAN

  • G.R. No. 132378 January 18, 2000 - ROGELIO JUAN v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 132767 January 18, 2000 - PHIL. VETERANS BANK v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134854 January 18, 2000 - FELIZARDO S. OBANDO, ET AL. v. EDUARDO F. FIGUERAS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139465 January 18, 2000 - SECRETARY OF JUSTICE v. RALPH C. LANTION, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-00-1245 January 19, 2000 - ANTONIO YU-ASENSI v. FRANCISCO D. VILLANUEVA

  • A.M. No. MTJ-97-1129 January 19, 2000 - FLAVIANO B. CORTES v. FELINO BANGALAN

  • A.M. No. RTJ-99-1513 January 19, 2000 - ALFREDO B. ENOJAS v. EUSTAQUIO Z. GACOTT

  • G.R. No. 107320 January 19, 2000 - A’ PRIME SECURITY SERVICES v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 113666-68 January 19, 2000 - GOLDEN DONUTS, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114761 January 19, 2000 - ALEMAR’S SIBAL & SONS v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119217 January 19, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MIGUEL S. LUCBAN

  • G.R. No. 122104 January 19, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PEPITO ORBITA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 122297-98 January 19, 2000 - CRESCENTE Y. LLORENTE v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122739 January 19, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSE M. PANTORILLA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123655 January 19, 2000 - ANGEL BAUTISTA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123183 January 19, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUBEN SISON

  • G.R. No. 126516 January 19, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SHIRLEY ALAO

  • G.R. No. 127572 January 19, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SALVADOR VILLAR

  • G.R. No. 129072 January 19, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANTONIO ABUBU

  • G.R. No. 130957 January 19, 2000 - VH MANUFACTURING v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132152 January 19, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EUGENIO ADRALES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132248 January 19, 2000 - ERLINDA C. PEFIANCO v. MARIA LUISA C. MORAL

  • G.R. No. 132657 January 19, 2000 - WILLIAM DIU, ET AL. v. DOMINADOR IBAJAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 132779-82 January 19, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DONATO BERNALDEZ

  • G.R. No. 134003 January 19, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALBERT NAGUM

  • G.R. No. 134329 January 19, 2000 - VERONA PADA-KILARIO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134535 January 19, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALEJANDRO MAGNO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137560 January 19, 2000 - MARIA G. CRUZ, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 4749 January 20, 2000 - SOLIMAN M. SANTOS, JR. v. FRANCISCO R. LLAMAS

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-00-1241 January 20, 2000 - NAPOLEON S. VALENZUELA v. REYNALDO B. BELLOSILLO

  • A.M. No. MTJ-00-1242 January 20, 2000 - DANIEL DUMO, ET AL. v. ROMEO V. PEREZ

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1522 January 20, 2000 - ROMULO SJ TOLENTINO v. POLICARPIO S. CAMANO

  • G.R. No. 76371 January 20, 2000 - MARIANO TURQUESA, ET AL. v. ROSARIO VALERA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 87134 January 20, 2000 - PHIL. REGISTERED ELECTRICAL PRACTITIONERS, ET AL. v. JULIO FRANCA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 100718-19 January 20, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FREDDIE JUAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106282 January 20, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. QUINCIANO RENDOQUE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108067 January 20, 2000 - CYANAMID PHIL., INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109376 January 20, 2000 - PANFILO O. DOMINGO v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110807 January 20, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REYNALD T. NARVASA

  • G.R. No. 110929 January 20, 2000 - ABELARDO LOPEZ, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119652 & A.M. No. P-00-1358 January 20, 2000 - VENTURA O. DUCAT v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123860 January 20, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDWIN NAAG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125451 January 20, 2000 - MARCIANA MUÑOZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126151 January 20, 2000 - MANILA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY, ET AL. v. SERGIO D. MABUNAY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128887 January 20, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILS. v. EDGARDO AQUINO

  • G.R. No. 130713 January 20, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GABRIEL FLORES

  • G.R. No. 130986 January 20, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VICTOR PAILANCO

  • G.R. No. 131512 January 20, 2000 - LAND TRANSPORTATION OFFICE [LTO] v. CITY OF BUTUAN

  • G.R. No. 132368 January 20, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PACITO GARCES, JR.

  • G.R. No. 133775 January 20, 2000 - FIDEL DABUCO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 131894-98 January 20, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILS. v. JESUS DOCENA

  • G.R. No. 134167 January 20, 2000 - NASSER IMMAM v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125965 January 21, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PATRICIO GOZANO

  • G.R. No. 133477 January 21, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENJAMIN RAFALES

  • G.R. No. 135904 January 21, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALVIN TAN

  • G.R. Nos. 89591-96 January 24, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BONIFACIO SANZ MACEDA

  • G.R. No. 100518 January 24, 2000 - ASSOCIATION OF TRADE UNIONS (ATU), ET AL. v. OSCAR N. ABELLA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 101932 January 24, 2000 - FRANCISCO H. ESCAÑO, JR., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111285 January 24, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VICENTE VALLA

  • G.R. No. 116066 January 24, 2000 - NUEVA ECIJA I ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 124715 January 24, 2000 - RUFINA LUY LIM v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125031 January 24, 2000 - PERMEX INC., ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129693 January 24, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUDY CORTES

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1525 January 25, 2000 - MARTIN D. PANTALEON v. TEOFILO L. GUADIZ, JR.

  • G.R. No. 80129 January 25, 2000 - GERARDO RUPA, SR. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL

  • G.R. No. 102706 January 25, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LEON LUMILAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107427 January 25, 2000 - JAMES R. BRACEWELL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113518 January 25, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ESTEBAN ARLEE

  • G.R. No. 113684 January 25, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARMANDO GALLARDO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116332 January 25, 2000 - BAYNE ADJUSTERS AND SURVEYORS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119595 January 25, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOVITO BARONA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120267 January 25, 2000 - CLARA ESPIRITU BORLONGAN, ET AL. v. CONSUELO MADRIDEO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121439 January 25, 2000 - AKLAN ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE INCORPORATED (AKELCO) v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129246 January 25, 2000 - GREENFIELD REALTY CORP., ET AL. v. LORETO CARDAMA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 131633-34 January 25, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CRESENCIANO ENOLVA

  • G.R. No. 133132 January 25, 2000 - ALEXIS C. CANONIZADO, ET AL. v. ALEXANDER P. AGUIRRE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 135874 January 25, 2000 - SECURITY BANK CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. 99-12-192-MTC January 26, 2000 - HOLD DEPARTURE ORDER ISSUED BY ACTING JUDGE ANICETO L. MADRONIO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1524 January 26, 2000 - LUCIA F. LAYOLA v. BASILIO R. GABO, JR.

  • G.R. No. 107395 January 26, 2000 - TOURIST DUTY FREE SHOPS v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126115 January 26, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALFONSO BALGOS

  • G.R. No. 131374 January 26, 2000 - ABBOTT LABORATORIES PHIL. v. ABBOTT LABORATORIES EMPLOYEES UNION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133842 January 26, 2000 - FEDERICO S. SANDOVAL v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133969 January 26, 2000 - NEMESIO GARCIA v. NICOLAS JOMOUAD, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 102961-62, 107625 & 108759 January 27, 2000 - JESUS P. LIAO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117040 January 27, 2000 - RUBEN SERRANO v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130843 January 27, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ZOILO BORROMEO

  • Adm. Case No. 1474 January 28, 2000 - CRISTINO G. CALUB v. ABRAHAM SULLER

  • A.M. No. MTJ-00-1246 January 28, 2000 - HEIRS OF JUAN and NATIVIDAD GERMINANDA v. RICARDO SALVANERA

  • A.M. No. MTJ-99-1211 January 28, 2000 - ZENAIDA S. BESO v. JUAN DAGUMAN

  • A.M. No. P-93-985 January 28, 2000 - MARTA BUCATCAT v. EDGAR BUCATCAT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112177 January 28, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TITO ZUELA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112329 January 28, 2000 - VIRGINIA A. PEREZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115824 January 28, 2000 - RAFAEL M. ALUNAN III, ET AL. v. MAXIMIANO C. ASUNCION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125279 January 28, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESUS TANAIL

  • G.R. No. 124129 January 28, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DOMINGO BRIGILDO

  • G.R. Nos. 124384-86 January 28, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMENCIANO "OMENG" RICAFRANCA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125671 January 28, 2000 - CONDO SUITE CLUB TRAVEL v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125865 January 28, 2000 - JEFFREY LIANG (HUEFENG) v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 126802 January 28, 2000 - ROBERTO G. ALARCON v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127568 January 28, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROLANDO BACULE

  • G.R. Nos. 129756-58 January 28, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JULIAN DEEN ESCAÑO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131520 January 28, 2000 - ESTELITA AGUIRRE v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131778 January 28, 2000 - HERMAN TIU LAUREL v. PRESIDING JUDGE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132138 January 28, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILS. v. ROMEO LLAMO

  • G.R. No. 133486 January 28, 2000 - ABS-CBN BROADCASTING CORP. v. COMELEC

  • G.R. No. 133987 January 28, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOHNNY BARTOLOME

  • G.R. No. 136805 January 28, 2000 - DIESEL CONSTRUCTION COMPANY INC. v. JOLLIBEE FOODS CORP.

  • G.R. No. 137537 January 28, 2000 - SMI DEVT. CORP. v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 137718 January 28, 2000 - REYNALDO O. MALONZO, ET AL. v. RONALDO B. ZAMORA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139545 January 28, 2000 - MAIMONA H. N. M. S. DIANGKA v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-99-1226 January 31, 2000 - GLORIA LUCAS v. AMELIA A. FABROS

  • G.R. Nos. 88521-22 & 89366-67 January 31, 2000 - HEIRS OF EULALIO RAGUA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 105827 January 31, 2000 - J.L. BERNARDO CONSTRUCTION v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112139 January 31, 2000 - LAPANDAY AGRICULTURAL DEVT. CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115045 January 31, 2000 - UNIVERSITY PHYSICIANS SERVICES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116729 January 31, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARLON LERIO

  • G.R. No. 120706 January 31, 2000 - RODRIGO CONCEPCION v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123094 January 31, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LUISITO PAGLINAWAN

  • G.R. No. 125440 January 31, 2000 - GENERAL BANK AND TRUST CO., ET AL. v. OMBUDSMAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127797 January 31, 2000 - ALEJANDRO MILLENA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128536 January 31, 2000 - ROQUE G. GALANG v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128607 January 31, 2000 - ALFREDO MALLARI SR., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129071 January 31, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERTO MILLIAM, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 129505 & 133359 January 31, 2000 - OCTAVIO S. MALOLES II v. PACITA DE LOS REYES PHILLIPS

  • G.R. No. 130104 January 31, 2000 - ELIZABETH SUBLAY v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130666 January 31, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CASIMIRO JOSE

  • G.R. No. 134437 January 31, 2000 - NATIONAL STEEL CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139758 January 31, 2000 - LUCIEN TRAN VAN NGHIA v. RUFUS B. RODRIGUEZ, ET AL.

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    G.R. Nos. 124384-86   January  28, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMENCIANO "OMENG" RICAFRANCA, ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    FIRST DIVISION

    [G.R. Nos. 124384-86. January 28, 2000.]

    PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. ROMENCIANO "OMENG" RICAFRANCA, EDSON RICAFRANCA and GEORGIE RICAFRANCA, Accused-Appellants.

    D E C I S I O N


    PARDO, J.:


    The case is an appeal from a decision 1 of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 41, Pinamalayan, Oriental Mindoro finding accused Romenciano "Omeng" Ricafranca, Edson Ricafranca and Georgie Ricafranca guilty of murder and sentencing each of them to "life imprisonment", and accused Edson and Georgie Ricafranca guilty of illegal possession of firearms and sentencing each of them to an indeterminate penalty of imprisonment of sixteen (16) years and one (1) day to twenty (20) years.chanroblesvirtual|awlibrary

    On separate dates, 2 State Prosecutor Rodrigo B. Lorenzo filed three (3) informations against the accused-appellants in connection with the death of Alfredo dela Cruz — one (1) information charged all three (3) accused-appellants with murder, and the two (2) other informations were filed against accused-appellants Edson Ricafranca and Georgie Ricafranca for illegal possession of firearms.

    The information for murder 3 alleges:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "That on or about the 6th day of January, 1993 in Mangat, Barangay Panikihan, Municipality of Pola, Province of Mindoro Oriental and within the jurisdiction of the Honorable Court, the above-named accused, conspiring together, confederating with and mutually helping one another, with intent to kill, with evident premeditation, treachery, taking advantage of superior strength, cruelty, and with the use of firearms and wooden club, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault and employ personal violence upon the person of ALFREDO DELA CRUZ Y MAGPAYO, by shooting and clubbing him in different parts of his body, thereby inflicting upon him serious and mortal gunshot and other forms of wounds which were the direct and immediate cause of his death, to the damage and prejudice of his heirs in such amount as may be awarded under the provisions of the Civil Code.chanrobles virtuallawlibrary:red

    "CONTRARY TO LAW."cralaw virtua1aw library

    The information for illegal possession of firearms 4 against accused-appellant Edson Ricafranca reads:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "That on or about the 6th day of January, 1993 in the Municipality of Calapan, Mindoro Oriental and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused did then and there, wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously take, carry and have in his possession, custody and control, the hereinbelow described firearm:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    One revolver, ‘paltik’, caliber .38 with Serial No. 650817

    without any license or authority to possess and carry the said firearm.

    "CONTRARY TO LAW."cralaw virtua1aw library

    The other information for illegal possession of firearms, 5 charging accused-appellant Georgie Ricafranca reads:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "That on or about the 6th day of January, 1993 in the Municipality of Pola, Mindoro Oriental and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused did then and there, wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously take, carry and have in his possession, custody and control the hereinbelow described firearms:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "(1.) Magnum Revolver, Caliber .22 with Serial No. 121236; and

    "(2.) Llama pistol, Caliber .22 with Serial No. 370365 without any license or authority to possess and carry the said firearm.

    "CONTRARY TO LAW."cralaw virtua1aw library

    At their arraignment, the accused-appellants pleaded not guilty to the informations. 6

    On March 26, 1993, the three (3) cases were consolidated 7 before the Regional Trial Court, Branch 41, Pinamalayan, Oriental Mindoro where the murder case against the three (3) accused-appellants was pending. Trial ensued accordingly.

    The prosecution’s version 8 of the killing may be related as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Sometime prior to the incident in question, Alfredo dela Cruz, an ex-policeman, hired the jeep of accused-appellant Edson Ricafranca for a fee. Days later, or on January 4, 1993, Joel Tagulalap, Accused-appellant Edson Ricafranca’s conductor, went to the house of Nelia Nambio to collect the P500.00 that Alfredo dela Cruz owed for the rental of the jeep. Nelia Nambio gave him said amount.

    The next day (January 5), Alfredo dela Cruz, accompanied by the Barangay and Kabataang Barangay Chairmen, arrived at Nelia Nambio’s residence and loudly complained about the high rental rates charged by accused-appellant Edson Ricafranca: "Sobra nang maningil si Edson. Sobrang suwapang si Edson, lumusot na ang ulo at pati na ang katawan ay gusto pa rin palusutin. Anak siya ng kaputaputahan!" After saying these fiery words, Alfredo dela Cruz left. About fifteen (15) minutes later, a fuming accused-appellant Edson Ricafranca arrived. He handed over to Nelia Nambio the P500.00 he collected previously and instructed her to return the money to Alfredo dela Cruz. Later in the evening, at around 7:00 p.m., Accused-appellant Edson Ricafranca, with a handgun tucked in his right waist and a hand grenade on the left hand, arrived at the house of Rodolfo Madrigal to drink water. Rodolfo Madrigal even quipped that accused-appellant Edson Ricafranca seemed headed for war. Accused-appellant Edson Ricafranca said that he was waiting for Alfredo dela Cruz. Moments later, Accused-appellant hailed a tricycle and asked the driver if he had seen Alfredo dela Cruz. Accused-appellant Edson Ricafranca returned to Rodolfo’s house, asked for another glass of water and then left.

    At around 8:30 a.m. of January 6, 1993, Accused-appellant Edson Ricafranca flagged down a jeep which was plying the Pola-Socorro road. Alfredo dela Cruz was inside the vehicle. Accused-appellant Edson Ricafranca dragged Alfredo dela Cruz out of the jeep and punched the latter on the mouth. Alfredo dela Cruz ran for safety but accused-appellant Georgie Ricafranca appeared and blocked his path. Accused-appellant Georgie Ricafranca then drew his firearm and fired at Alfredo dela Cruz, but it was accused-appellant Edson Ricafranca who was hit on the right arm. Alfredo dela Cruz darted away while accused-appellants Edson and Georgie Ricafranca gave chase and kept firing at Alfredo dela Cruz. When the fleeing Alfredo was in front of the house of Filipina Luha, Accused-appellant Romenciano Ricafranca, the father of accused-appellants Edson and Georgie Ricafranca, emerged from said house. Accused-appellant Romenciano Ricafranca positioned himself at the left side of Alfredo dela Cruz, held the latter’s wrist over his neck while accused-appellant Romenciano Ricafranca’s right arm embraced Alfredo dela Cruz’s waist. Accused-appellant Edson Ricafranca then aimed his gun at the helpless Alfredo dela Cruz, but accused-appellant Romenciano Ricafranca cautioned accused-appellant Edson Ricafranca as Romenciano Ricafranca might be the one hit. Alfredo dela Cruz struggled from accused-appellant Romenciano Ricafrancas’s grip and was able to go behind the latter. Accused-appellant Edson Ricafranca fired his gun, hitting accused-appellant Romenciano Ricafranca instead on the right arm. Alfredo dela Cruz scurried towards an uninhabited house. Accused-appellant Romenciano Ricafranca took his gun and fired three (3) shots at Alfredo dela Cruz. Alfredo dela Cruz dropped into a canal and, in a kneeling position, begged for his life. Heedless, Accused-appellant Edson Ricafranca took the holster of the gun from accused-appellant Georgie Ricafranca and tucked it in Alfredo dela Cruz’ waist. Accused-appellant Edson Ricafranca then struck Alfredo dela Cruz’ face with the butt of the gun, fired at Alfredo dela Cruz, kicked him and fired at him again. Insatiated still, Accused-appellant Edson Ricafranca whacked Alfredo dela Cruz’ face with a piece of wood. Accused-appellant Georgie Ricafranca approached and fired at the already fallen Alfredo dela Cruz. Accused-appellants Edson and Romenciano Ricafranca rode a jeep and left, while accused-appellant Georgie Ricafranca remained at the scene for a while gazing at the lifeless body of Alfredo dela Cruz. Alfredo dela Cruz’ cadaver was later brought to the house of Filipina Luha.chanrobles virtuallawlibrary:red

    For its part, the defense claimed that it was Alfredo dela Cruz who went on a shooting rampage. 9 While accused-appellant Edson Ricafranca was busy loading ice blocks in his banca near Filipina Luha’s house at around 8:00 a.m. of January 6, 1993, Alfredo dela Cruz alighted from a jeep and called him. Alfredo dela Cruz berated accused-appellant Edson Ricafranca: "Ikaw na putang ina mo, nariyan ka pala. Mahal ang pagkakasingil mo bakit sobra ang pasahe sa pag-aarkila ng jeep mo!" Affronted, Accused-appellant Edson Ricafranca punched Alfredo dela Cruz on the mouth. Alfredo dela Cruz then drew his gun and shot accused-appellant Edson Ricafranca on the right wrist. Accused-appellant Edson Ricafranca fell in a kneeling position. Accused-appellant Romenciano Ricafranca arrived and upon seeing his son Edson Ricafranca bleeding, asked Alfredo dela Cruz what happened. "Ikaw pa!", Alfredo dela Cruz replied, and then he fired at accused-appellant Romenciano Ricafranca who was hit on the upper portion of his left arm. SPO2 Teresito Bautista arrived and tried to pacify Alfredo dela Cruz. Instead, Alfredo dela Cruz aimed his gun at SPO2 Bautista which prompted the latter to repeatedly fire at Alfredo dela Cruz. It so happened that a jeep driven by accused-appellant Georgie Ricafranca passed by the crime scene and, upon seeing his wounded father Romenciano Ricafranca and brother Edson Ricafranca, Accused-appellant Georgie Ricafranca loaded the two in the jeep and headed for the hospital in Pinamalayan.

    The trial court rejected the defense’s version and convicted the accused-appellants on the basis of the prosecution evidence. On October 19, 1995, the trial court rendered decision ruling that treachery and cruelty qualified the killing to murder, and that the prosecution has sufficiently established that the accused-appellants Edson and Georgie Ricafranca did not have the license or authority to possess and carry the firearms they used in the killing of Alfredo dela Cruz. The dispositive portion of the trial court’s decision thus reads:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "WHEREFORE, the Court finds all three (3) accused Romenciano, Edson and Georgie, all surnamed Ricafranca GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of MURDER defined and penalized in Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code and sentences each of said accused to life imprisonment. All accused are likewise ordered to pay, jointly and/or severally, the heirs of the deceased Alfredo dela Cruz, the amount of TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND (P200,000.00) Pesos by way of indemnity and as actual and moral damages.

    "The Court likewise finds accused Edson Ricafranca guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of illegal possession of one (1) paltik, Cal. .38 with Serial No. 650817 in violation of Section 1 of P.D. No. 1866 and sentences him to suffer imprisonment of sixteen (16) years and one (1) day to twenty (20) years.

    "And finally, the Court likewise finds accused Georgie Ricafranca guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Illegal Possession of one (1) Magnum revolver Cal. .22 with Serial No. 370365 in violation of Sec. 1 of P.D. No. 1866 and hereby sentences him to suffer imprisonment of sixteen (16) years and one (1) day to twenty (20) years.

    "SO ORDERED." 10

    Hence, this appeal.

    Accused-appellants impute to the trial court the following errors:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    "I.


    "The Honorable Court a quo erred in disregarding the fact that the evidence of the prosecution did not overcome the time-honored presumption of innocence of the accused in criminal cases.

    "II.


    "The court a quo erred in holding that the three accused-appellants are guilty of the crime of Murder.

    "III.


    "The court a quo erred in holding accused-appellants Edson Ricafranca and Georgie Ricafranca guilty of illegal possession of firearm, respectively.chanrobles virtua| |aw |ibrary

    We find the guilt of accused-appellants of the murder duly proved.

    The first two (2) assignments of errors raised by the accused-appellants assailed the trial court’s appreciation of the evidence which validated the prosecution’s detailed account of Alfredo dela Cruz’ death in the morning of January 6, 1993.

    Being in the best and unmatched position to discern the behavior of the witnesses and to sift the truth from the incredible tales, this Court respects the observation of the trial court that none of the prosecution eye witnesses, SPO2 Bautista, Flynn Rivera, Filipina Luha and Nelia Nambio appeared to be ill-motivated so as to implicate the accused-appellants to the crime. 11 On the other hand, the trial court described the defense version as having "all the earmarks of falsehood," "incredible" and "weak and implausible." 12 We thus advert to that all-too familiar rule that findings of fact of the trial court, especially its assessment on the credibility of witnesses, are not to be disturbed on appeal. The trial court is in a better position than the appellant court to properly evaluate testimonial evidence because of their unique opportunity to directly observe the witness’ demeanor, conduct, deportment and manner of testifying. 13

    Consequently, Accused-appellants’ denials and attempt to pin down SPO2 Teresito Bautista as the person who repeatedly fired at Alfredo dela Cruz, crumble in light of the clear, consistent and unequivocal eyewitness accounts identifying them as Alfredo dela Cruz’ killers. Mere denials by the accused-appellants, who admitted their presence at the crime scene, can not prevail against the categorical declarations of the prosecution witnesses that it was they who shot Alfredo dela Cruz. 14 Like the defense of alibi, a denial is inherently weak and crumbles in the light of positive declarations of truthful witnesses who testified on affirmative matters that the accused-appellants were at the scene of the incident and were the victim’s assailants and perpetrators of the crime. 15

    Conspiracy among the accused-appellants to kill Alfredo dela Cruz was present. Conspiracy need not be proved by direct evidence, it may be inferred from the conduct of all the accused before, during and after the commission of the crime. 16 It may be deduced from the mode and manner in which the offense was perpetrated or inferred from the acts of the accused evincing a joint or common purpose and design, concerted action and community of interest. 17 The community of design and action among the accused-appellants is apparent when accused-appellants Georgie and Romenciano Ricafranca made their respective appearances during the assault initiated by accused-appellant Edson Ricafranca and aided the latter in rendering Alfredo dela Cruz defenseless and vulnerable to their deadly attack.

    Treachery also attended the killing. Alfredo dela Cruz was unarmed and was begging for his life when he was shot by accused-appellant Edson. The stand taken by Alfredo dela Cruz obviously posed no risk to the Accused-Appellants. We have previously held that treachery is present where the victim was shot while his hands were raised pleading for his life. 18

    We disagree, however, with the trial court’s finding of cruelty. The test for determining the presence of cruelty is whether the accused deliberately and sadistically augmented the victim’s suffering. Consequently, there must be proof that the victim was made to agonize before he was killed. 19 The fact that accused-appellant Edson clobbered and kicked Alfredo before firing at him does not, to our mind, convincingly show sadism intended to prolong Alfredo dela Cruz’ agony before he was finally killed.

    With respect to the charge of illegal possession of firearms, we acquit accused-appellants Edson and Georgie Ricafranca, following the Court’s ruling in "People v. Bergante" 20 as applied once again in the more recent case of "People v. Guillermo Nepomuceno, Jr." 21 In "Bergante" and "Nepomuceno," the Court gave retroactive effect to the amendment introduced by R.A. No. 8294 (which took effect on June 6, 1997) 22 on P.D. No. 1866 to the effect that if homicide or murder is committed with the use of an unlicensed firearm, such use of an unlicensed firearm shall be considered as an aggravating circumstance and shall no longer be separately punished. The "Nepomuceno" case reiterated the explanation in "Bergante," to wit:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "The violation of P.D. No. 1866 should have been punished separately conformably with our ruling in People v. Quijada. Nevertheless, fortunately for appellant Rex Bergante, P.D. No. 1866 was recently amended by Republic Act No. 8294, otherwise known as ‘An Act Amending the Provisions of Presidential Decree No. 1866, as Amended.’ The third paragraph of Section 1 of said Act provides that ‘if homicide or murder is committed with the use of an unlicensed firearm, such use of an unlicensed firearm shall be considered as an aggravating circumstance. In short, only one offense should be punished, viz., either homicide or murder, and the use of the unlicensed firearm should only be considered as an aggravating circumstance. Being favorable to Rex Bergante, this provision may be given retroactive effect pursuant to Article 22 of the Revised Penal Code, he not being a habitual criminal." chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    As both accused-appellants Edson and Georgie Ricafranca do not appear to be habitual criminals, they also stand to benefit from the retroactive application of the amendment introduced by R.A. No. 8294 on P.D. No. 1866.

    However, the trial court erred in imposing on accused-appellants the penalty of "life imprisonment" for the crime of murder. As to accused-appellant Romenciano, the imposable penalty is reclusion perpetua under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code, in the absence of any aggravating or mitigating circumstance that can be appreciated against or favoring him. As to accused-appellants Edson and Georgie Ricafranca, the imposable penalty is also reclusion perpetua notwithstanding the fact that their use of unlicensed firearms is an aggravating circumstance that would elevate the penalty to death, inasmuch as the death penalty stood abolished at the time of the commission of the murder.

    At this juncture, we reiterate that reclusion perpetua and life imprisonment are not synonymous penalties. They are distinct in nature, in duration and in accessory penalties. 23 In "People v. Nang," 24 the Court distinguished the two penalties in this wise:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "The Code (Revised Penal Code) does not prescribe the penalty of ‘life imprisonment’ for any of the felonies therein defined, that penalty being invariably imposed for serious offenses penalized not by the Code but by the special law. Reclusion perpetua entails imprisonment for at least (30) years, after which the convict becomes eligible for pardon. It also carries with it accessory penalties, namely: perpetual special disqualification, etc. It is not the same as ‘life imprisonment’ which, for one thing, does not carry with it any accessory penalty, and for another, does not appear to have any definite extent or duration."cralaw virtua1aw library

    We also have to modify the amount of P200,000.00 which the trial court awarded "by way of indemnity and as actual and moral damages." Actual damages cannot be awarded in the absence of receipts to support the same, in line with the rule that actual damages cannot be allowed unless supported by evidence in the record. 25 The Court can only give credence to actual expenses supported by receipts and which appear to have been genuinely expended in connection with the victim’s death. 26 Moral damages cannot be given, too, since there is no legal basis therefor, 27 either testimonial or documentary. Only P50,000.00 by way of death indemnity can be awarded without need of evidence proving the same under the circumstances.

    WHEREFORE, the judgment appealed from is hereby MODIFIED. In Criminal Case No. P-5046, the conviction of accused-appellants Edson, Georgie and Romenciano, all surnamed Ricafranca, for murder is AFFIRMED. Each of them shall suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua, with all its accessory penalties, and they shall be solidarily liable to pay the heirs of Alfredo dela Cruz the amount of P50,000.00 as death indemnity.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    In Criminal Case Nos. C-3803 and P-5075 for illegal possession of firearms, Accused-appellants Edson and Georgie Ricafranca are ACQUITTED of said charges.

    With costs.

    SO ORDERED.

    Davide, Jr., C.J., Puno, Kapunan and Ynares-Santiago, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. In Crim. Cases Nos. P-5046, P-5975, and C-3803, decision, penned by Judge Antonio R. Quizon, Rollo, pp. 156-184.

    2. The information for murder was filed on February 8, 1993. The information for illegal possession of firearms against accused-appellant Edson Ricafranca was filed on February 8, 1993. The information for illegal possession of firearms against accused-appellant Georgie Ricafranca was filed on March 15, 1993.

    3. Criminal Case No. P-5046.

    4. Criminal Case No. C-3803.

    5. Criminal Case No. P-5075.

    6. In Criminal Case No. P-5046 for murder, the (3) accused-appellants were arraigned on March 4, 1993; in Criminal Case No. C-3803 for illegal possession of firearms, Accused-appellant Edson Ricafranca was arraigned on May 11, 1993; and in Criminal Case No. P-5075 for illegal possession of firearms, Accused-appellant Georgie Ricafranca was arraigned also on May 11, 1993.

    7. Records of Criminal Case No. C-3803, p. 33.

    8. TSN, May 11, 1993, pp. 5-32; TSN, May 13, 1993, pp. 3-51; TSN, June 10, 1993, pp. 3-32; TSN, June 10, 1993, pp. 32-53; TSN, June 11, 1993, pp. 3-52; TSN, July 8, 1993, pp. 2-37.

    9. TSN, February 28, 1995, pp. 11-24; TSN, March 16, 1995, pp. 2-9; TSN, March 17, 1995, pp. 4-11; TSN, pp. 11-22; TSN, March 17, 1995, pp. 23-32.

    10. Rollo, p. 76.

    11. RTC Decision, p. 20.

    12. RTC Decision, pp. 23-24.

    13. People v. Maramara, G.R. No. 110994, October 22, 1999; People v. Mangahas, G.R. No. 118777, July 28, 1999; People v. Tomolin, G.R. No. 126650, July 28, 1999; People v. Degamo, G.R. No. 129535, July 20, 1999; People v. Benito, G.R. No. 128072, February 19, 1999; People v. Gargar, 300 SCRA 542 [1998]; People v. Abria, 300 SCRA 556 [1998]; People v. Victor, 292 SCRA 186 [1998].

    14. People v. Bustos, 171 SCRA 243, 249 [1989].

    15. People v. Heredia, G.R. No. 110001, July 28, 1999; People v. Baniel, 275 SCRA 472 [1997].

    16. People v. Degamo, G.R. No. 129535, July 20, 1999; People v. Antonio, G.R. No. 118311, February 19, 1999.

    17. People v. Andales, G.R. No. 130637, August 19, 1999; People v. Botona, G.R. No. 115693, March 17, 1999.

    18. People v. Jutie, 171 SCRA 586, 595 [1989]; People v. Lebumfacil, 96 SCRA 573 [1980].

    19. People v. Panida, G.R. Nos. 127125 & 138952, July 6, 1999; People v. Domantay, G.R. No. 130612, May 11, 1999.

    20. 286 SCRA 629 [1998].

    21. G.R. No. 130800, June 29, 1999. En Banc Decision penned by Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr.

    22. Amending the Provisions of Presidential Decree No. 1866, as amended.

    23. People v. Nang, 289 SCRA 16, 34 [1998], citing People v. Kulais, 313 Phil. 863 [1995]; People v. Magalong, 313 Phil. 823 [1995]; People v. Nialda, 289 SCRA 521, 535 [1998], citing People v. Miranda, 262 SCRA 351 [1996] and People v. Compendio, Jr., 258 SCRA 254 [1996]; People v. Timon, 281 SCRA 577, 598 [1997]; People v. Layno, 264 SCRA 558, 577 [1996].

    24. 289 SCRA 16, 34-35 [1998], citing People v. Magana, 259 SCRA 380 [1996] and People v. Mobe, 81 Phil. 58 [1948].

    25. People v. Nialda, supra, Note 23.

    26. Fuentes, Jr. v. Court of Appeals, 253 SCRA 430 [1996].

    27. People v. Maramara, G.R. No. 110994, October 22, 1999; People v. Sequiño, 264 SCRA 79 [1996].

    G.R. Nos. 124384-86   January  28, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMENCIANO "OMENG" RICAFRANCA, ET AL.


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