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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
 

   
September-2000 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 117690 September 1, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALBERTO DANO

  • G.R. No. 128567 September 1, 2000 - HUERTA ALBA RESORT INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1582 September 4, 2000 - COB C. DE LA CRUZ v. RODOLFO M. SERRANO

  • G.R. No. 134763 September 4, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILFREDO RIGLOS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137785 September 4, 2000 - NAPOCOR v. VINE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139282 September 4, 2000 - ROMEO DIEGO v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 90828 September 5, 2000 - MELVIN COLINARES, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 124077 September 5, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ADORACION SEVILLA ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129239 September 5, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PAUL LAPIZ

  • G.R. Nos. 131848-50 September 5, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO VILLARAZA

  • G.R. No. 139853 September 5, 2000 - FERDINAND THOMAS M. SOLLER v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-00-1307 September 6, 2000 - MANUEL BUNYI, ET AL. v. FELIX A. CARAOS

  • A.M. No. MTJ-00-1309 September 6, 2000 - FREDESMINDA DAYAWON v. MAXIMINO A. BADILLA

  • A.M. No. O.C.A.-00-01 September 6, 2000 - JULIETA B. NAVARRO v. RONALDO O. NAVARRO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129220 September 6, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BERNIE JAMON FAUSTINO

  • G.R. No. 131506 September 6, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODEL DIZON

  • G.R. No. 133625 September 6, 2000 - REMEDIOS F. EDRIAL ET AL. v. PEDRO QUILAT-QUILAT, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-00-1314 September 7, 2000 - CLODUALDO C. DE JESUS v. RODOLFO D. OBNAMIA JR.

  • G.R. No. 121802 September 7, 2000 - GIL MACALINO, JR. v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126036 September 7, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PASCUAL BALINAD, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128158 September 7, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARMANDO JUAREZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137431 September 7, 2000 - EDGARDO SANTOS v. LAND BANK OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 143385 September 7, 2000 - LEARNING CHILD, ET AL. v. ANNIE LAZARO, ET AL.

  • A.M. Nos. P-93-990 & A.M. No. P-94-1042 September 8, 2000 - TERESITO D. FRANCISCO v. FERNANDO CRUZ

  • G.R. No. 125167 September 8, 2000 - PRODUCERS BANK OF THE PHIL, ET AL. v. BANK OF THE PHIL. ISLANDS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137714 September 8, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILS.. v. ROBERTO BANIGUID

  • A. M. No. P-99-1309 September 11, 2000 - FRANCISCO B. IBAY v. VIRGINIA G. LIM

  • G.R. No. 137857 September 11, 2000 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. SANCHO MAGDATO

  • G.R. No. 115054-66 September 12, 2000 - PEOPLE-OF THE PHILIPPINES v. VICENTE MENIL

  • G.R. No. 138201 September 12, 2000 - FRANCISCO BAYOCA, ET AL. v. GAUDIOSO NOGALES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123111 September 13, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JIMMY DAGAMI

  • G.R. No. 127444 September 13, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TIRSO D. C. VELASCO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126402 September 13, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LITO ROSALES

  • G.R. No. 126781 September 13, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CALIXTO ZINAMPAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133918 September 13, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TIBOY ALBACIN

  • G.R. No. 133981 September 13, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. HILARION BERGONIO, JR.

  • A.M. No. 00-1281-MTJ. September 14, 2000 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. SALVADOR B. MENDOZA

  • G.R. Nos. 104637-38 & 109797 September 14, 2000 - SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION, ET AL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126368 September 14, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOHNNY CALABROSO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129208 September 14, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDGARDO ALORO

  • G.R. No. 131680 September 14, 2000 - SUBIC BAY METROPOLITAN AUTHORITY, ET AL. v. UNIVERSAL INTERNATIONAL GROUP OF TAIWAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140269-70 September 14, 2000 - PHIL. CARPET EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION ET AL. v. PHIL. CARPET MANUFACTURING CORP.

  • G.R. Nos. 143351 & 144129 September 14, 2000 - MA. AMELITA C. VILLAROSA v. HRET, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109269 September 15, 2000 - BAYER PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134266 September 15, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MELENCIO BALI-BALITA

  • G.R. Nos. 135288-93 September 15, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESUS GIANAN

  • G.R. No. 130038 September 18, 2000 - ROSA LIM v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 132603 September 18, 2000 - ELPIDIO M. SALVA, ET AL. v. ROBERTO L. MAKALINTAL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134651 September 18, 2000 - VIRGILIO JIMENEZ, ET AL. v. PATRICIA, INC.

  • G.R. No. 134730 September 18, 2000 - FELIPE GARCIA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 133373-77 September 18, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FAUSTINO CAMPOS

  • G.R. NO. 140268 September 18, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSE LLANES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141471 September 18, 2000 - COLEGIO DE SAN JUAN DE LETRAN v. ASSOC. OF EMPLOYEES AND FACULTY OF LETRAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141787 September 18, 2000 - MANUEL H. AFIADO, ET AL. v. COMELEC

  • G.R. No. 142038 September 18, 2000 - ROLANDO E. COLUMBRES v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 136149-51 September 19, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WALPAN LADJAALAM

  • G.R. No. 137659 September 19, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. AMADEO TRELLES

  • G.R. No. 114348 September 20, 2000 - NATIONAL IRRIGATION ADMINISTRATION v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131927 September 20, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DAVID BANAWOR, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 135516 September 20, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILS. v. NEIL DUMAGUING

  • G.R. No. 132547 September 20, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ERNESTO ULEP

  • G.R. No. 117417 September 21, 2000 - MILAGROS A. CORTES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120747 September 21, 2000 - VICENTE GOMEZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128990 September 21, 2000 - INVESTORS FINANCE CORP. v. AUTOWORLD SALES CORP.

  • G.R. No. 136396 September 21, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROLANDO ZASPA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136453 September 21, 2000 - PETRITA Y. BONILLA v. COURT OF APPEALS, , ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137571 September 21, 2000 - TUNG CHIN HUI v. RUFUS B. RODRIGUEZ, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-00-1424 & MTJ-00-1316 September 25, 2000 - REYNALDO B. BELLOSILLO v. DANTE DE LA CRUZ RIVERA

  • G.R. No. 129055 September 25, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDGAR BACALSO

  • G.R. No. 129296 September 25, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHlL. v. ABE VALDEZ

  • G.R. No. 132078 September 25, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARTEMIO BERZUELA

  • G.R. No. 133465 September 25, 2000 - AMELITA DOLFO v. REGISTER OF DEEDS FOR THE PROVINCE OF CAVITE, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-93-986 September 26, 2000 - EDUARDO C. DE VERA v. WILLIAM LAYAGUE

  • G.R. No. 122110 September 26, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FERIGEL OLIVA

  • G.R. No. 135630 September 26, 2000 - INTRAMUROS TENNIS CLUB v. PHIL. TOURISM AUTHORITY (PTA)

  • G.R. Nos. 136012-16 September 26, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ULDARICO HONRA, JR.

  • G.R. No. 138887 September 26, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JURRIE DUBRIA

  • G.R. No. 142392 September 26, 2000 - DOMINGA A. SALMONE v. EMPLOYEES’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-00-1319 September 27, 2000 - ROLANDO A. SULLA v. RODOLFO C. RAMOS

  • A.M. No. RTJ-99-1447 September 27, 2000 - LEONARDO DARACAN, ET AL. v. ELI G.C. NATIVIDAD

  • G.R. No. 109760 September 27, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILS. v. PABLO F. EMOY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122498 September 27, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILS. v. ELMEDIO CAJARA

  • G.R. No. 133946 September 27, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. OSCAR NOGAR

  • G.R. Nos. 97138-39 September 28, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EFREN TEMANEL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132311 September 28, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MINA LIBRERO

  • G.R. No. 132725 September 28, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARMANDO QUILATAN

  • G.R. No. 136843 September 28, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PEDRO ABUNGAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138054 September 28, 2000 - ROSENDO C. CARTICIANO, ET AL. v. MARIO NUVAL

  • G.R. No. 138503 September 28, 2000 - ROBERTO FERNANDEZ v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL., ET AL.

  • A.M. No. 00-3-01-CTA September 29, 2000 - RE: JUDGE ERNESTO D. ACOSTA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1589 September 29, 2000 - JEANET N. MANIO v. JOSE ENER S. FERNANDO

  • G.R. No. 106401 September 29, 2000 - FLORENTINO ZARAGOZA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123299 September 29, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SANTIAGO CARUGAL, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 124671-75 September 29, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LINDA SAGAYDO

  • G.R. No. 126048 September 29, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. RODEL SAMONTE

  • G.R. No. 126254 September 29, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RONALDO PONCE

  • G.R. No. 129507 September 29, 2000 - CHAN SUI BI, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130785 September 29, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILS. v. RONALD VITAL

  • G.R. No. 131492 September 29, 2000 - ROGER POSADAS, ET AL. v. OMBUDSMAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131813 September 29, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO ABENDAN

  • G.R. No. 133443 September 29, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DOMINADOR DE LA ROSA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134100 September 29, 2000 - PURITA ALIPIO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 135382 September 29, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LOURDES GAMBOA

  • G.R. No. 135457 September 29, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSE PATRIARCA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 135548 September 29, 2000 - FAR EAST BANK AND TRUST COMPANY v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 135981 September 29, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIVIC GENOSA

  • G.R. Nos. 137379-81 September 29, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILS. v. ARTURO GARCIA

  • G.R. No. 139910 September 29, 2000 - PHILIPPINE COCONUT AUTHORITY v. CORONA INTERNATIONAL

  • G.R. No. 141060 September 29, 2000 - PILIPINAS BANK v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141959 September 29, 2000 - JUANITA NARZOLES, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. 126036   September 7, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PASCUAL BALINAD, ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    FIRST DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 126036. September 7, 2000.]

    PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. PASCUAL BALINAD alias "Daculo" and CENON BALINAD, Accused-Appellants.

    D E C I S I O N


    KAPUNAN, J.:


    It is an evidentiary rule that the testimony of a single witness, if found credible, is sufficient to convict an accused. In the case at bar, the trial court, as well as the Court of Appeals, imposed upon the appellants the penalty of reclusion perpetua for the crime of murder on the basis solely of the testimony of an alleged eyewitness to the crime. However, a scrutiny of the records reveals that such testimony is gravely flawed and contains discrepancies with his previous Sworn Statement on material points. It is a mere concoction unworthy of belief; and hence, cannot be the basis of herein appellants’ incarceration.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Appellants seek a review of the Decision of the Court of Appeals 1 promulgated on September 4, 1996 2 affirming in toto the judgment of the Regional Trial Court of Iriga City, Branch 35, the dispositive portion of which reads:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    WHEREFORE, this court finds the accused GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Murder for having killed Marcelino Dura, qualified by the aggravating circumstance of treachery. The penalty for Murder is reclusion temporal in its maximum period to death. In view of the mitigating circumstance of voluntary plea of guilt and in the absence of any aggravating circumstance, Accused Pascual Balinad alias "Saday" is hereby sentenced to an indeterminate penalty of from ten (10) years and six (6) months of prision mayor, as minimum, to seventeen (17) years and four (4) months of reclusion temporal as maximum.

    Accused Cenon Balinad and Pascual Balinad alias "Daculo" are hereby sentenced to suffer imprisonment of Reclusion Perpetua.

    All the above-accused shall jointly and severally, pay unto the heirs of the deceased Marcelino Dura, the following sums:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    1. P1,000.00 as actual damages;

    2. P30,000 as moral damages; and

    3. P50,000 as death indemnity and to pay the costs

    The accused shall be entitled to the period of preventive imprisonment under Art. 29 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended.

    SO ORDERED.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    However, the Court of Appeals certified the case to this Court for review pursuant to Section 13, Rule 124 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure, as amended, because the penalty imposed on the accused-appellants Cenon Balinad and Pascual Balinad alias "Daculo" is reclusion perpetua.

    Appellants Pascual alias "Daculo" and Cenon Balinad and two others namely Pascual Balinad alias "Saday" and Antonio Balinad, were charged in an information for Murder 3 that reads:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    That on or about the 3rd day of September 1992 at about 9:00 o’clock in the evening in Sitio Inorogan, Sto. Domingo, Iriga City, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused conspiring, confederating and mutually aiding one another, with treachery, with intent to kill, did, then and there, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously strike one MARCELINO DURA on his nape with a piece of wood and then slash his neck with a bolo and as a result thereof, the said Marcelino Dura died instantly, to the damage and prejudice of the heirs of said victim in such amount as may be proven in court.

    CONTRARY TO LAW. 4

    On October 1, 1993, appellants were arrested by virtue of an Alias Warrant of Arrest. Upon arraignment, they pleaded not guilty to the charge. They waived the pre-trial conference, thus paying the way to trial proper.

    On December 13, 1993, Accused Pascual Balinad alias Saday was arrested and when arraigned pleaded guilty to the murder charge.

    Accused Antonio Balinad has remained at-large.

    The prosecution offered in evidence the testimonies of Basilio 5 Alanis, alleged eyewitness to the incident; Margarita Dura, widow of the victim; and, Dr. Loreto Leonido, City Health Officer, who conducted the post mortem examination of the victim. The documentary evidence consisted of the death certificate of Marcelino Dura as Exhibit "A" and the post mortem examination of said deceased (with sub-markings) as Exhibit "B."cralaw virtua1aw library

    The prosecution’s version of the incident is, as follows:chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Alleged eyewitness, BASILIO ALANIS testified that on September 3, 1992, he was at the copra kiln of one Romeo Oliva located at Inorogan, Sto. Domingo, Iriga City. He was there at the invitation of Marcelino Dura to assist the latter in gathering coconuts from the coconut trees with the use of a pole with scythe and to process the coconuts into copra. 6

    At around 9:00 o’clock in the evening of the same day, while he and Dura were sleeping at the mezzanine of the copra kiln, he (Alanis) heard a voice which he recognized as that of his nephew, Pascual Balinad alias Saday, saying, "Bayaw, bayaw, wake up." 7 Upon hearing the same, Dura took his flashlight as it was totally dark and while going down focused the light on the arrivals comprised of Pascual Balinad alias Saday and three other persons, namely Pascual Balinad alias Daculo, Cenon Balinad and Antonio Balinad. Looking down from the mezzanine of the kiln, Alanis saw from a distance of two and-a-half meters that Dura sat with crossed legs on a coconut trunk while the visitors were seated around him. Suddenly, he saw Cenon Balinad stand up and take a piece of wood with his two hands and hit Dura on the nape with it. While Dura fell in a stooping position on the floor, Pascual Balinad alias Saday slashed Dura’s throat with a bolo. Then Cenon Balinad stamped his foot on Dura’s side. At that time, Pascual Balinad alias Daculo was standing in front of Dura while Antonio was standing near the door of the kiln. 8 Daculo and Antonio Balinad did not do anything to Dura. 9 They threatened to kill Alanis should he report the matter to the police authorities and they were about to climb the mezzanine when he jumped from the window and ran away. 10 He witnessed all these actions because there was illumination from the flashlight on the floor of the copra kiln. 11

    Alanis proceeded directly to the house of his brother-in-law, Agustin Balinad, who is the father of Pascual Balinad alias Saday, and then to the house of his sister Apolonia and took his parents and hid them in a shack where they stayed overnight. The following morning, they went to San Ramon, Buhi, Camarines Sur. 12

    Alanis did not report the incident because he learned from his brother-in-law, Domingo Tadeo, that Pascual "Saday" and Pascual "Daculo" threatened to kill him and his parents should he report the matter to the police. 13

    He was picked up by the military in San Ramon, Buhi, Camarines Sur and was later investigated by the police whereby he gave his statement voluntarily. 14chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    LORETO G. LEONIDO, the Health Officer of Iriga City, testified that on September 4, 1992, she conducted the postmortem examination on the victim’s corpse which was already in a state of rigor mortis and that per her findings, as contained in a written post mortem examination report, Marcelino Dura died of massive hemorrhage due to a hack wound in the neck. She opined that the wound was caused by a sharp instrument. Such wound, she said, was the "only injury" on the body of the deceased. 15

    MARGARITA DURA testified that she is the widow of the late Marcelino Dura who was killed on September 3, 1992 at Sitio Inorogan, Sto. Domingo, Iriga City. She has five (5) children with Marcelino, aged 23, 20, 18, 15 and 12. Out of the five children, three were dependent upon the deceased for support at the time of his death. For the death of her husband, she spent P500.00 for food during the wake, P300.00 for the rental of a vehicle, P90.00 for the burial lot and P50.00 for burial expenses. Her husband was earning a monthly income of P3,000.00 as copra maker and abaca stripper. 16

    On the other hand, the defense presented as witnesses Pascual Balinad alias Saday, Roger Lucena and Salvador Tabayag. Appellants’ defense consisted of alibi.

    According to PASCUAL BALINAD alias SADAY, on August 3, 1992 he was at the house of his cousin Pascual Balinad alias "Daculo." From there, he was fetched by Basilio Alanis to cut open husked coconut at the kiln in Sitio Inorogan, Sto. Domingo, Iriga City which they reached at about 7:00 o’clock in the evening. While in said place, the two of them, together with Marcelino Dura, engaged in a drinking spree. After they had consumed a bottle of gin, Basilio Alanis, without any warning and for no apparent reason suddenly struck Marcelino Dura with a piece of wood which landed on the latter’s nape. Dura fell on the floor in a "diving position." Thereafter, Alanis directed him to slash the neck of Dura. Feeling threatened by reason of Alanis’ membership in a gang of bandits known as "Doce Pares" (Twelve Pairs) who are cattle rustlers, he obeyed and slashed Dura’s neck. Saday also harbored a grudge against Dura as his (Saday’s) wife had earlier confided to him that Dura had raped her on September 1, 1992. He said there was a kerosene light which they used that night. Asked if Pascual Balinad alias Daculo and Cenon Balinad were present at the kiln at the time of the incident, Saday said, ‘they were not there." 17

    ROGER LUCENA testified that he was a laborer in the Reforestation Area situated at Sitio Katabog, Sto. Domingo, Iriga City. On September 3, 1992 at about 9:00 o’clock in the evening, he was with Cenon Balinad, Salvador Tabayag and Pascual Balinad alias Daculo at the latter’s house in Sitio Sto. Domingo, Iriga City. They had a drinking session from 7:00 until 11:00 o’clock in the evening of said date after which all of them slept side by side in one of the two rooms of the house of Pascual Balinad alias Daculo until the morning of the following day. 18

    SALVADOR TABAYAG, a farmer, corroborated the testimony of Roger Lucena. He testified he was a member of the Civilian Intelligence Unit of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. He stated that on September 3, 1992, he left his house at about 3:00 o’clock in the afternoon and climbed the mountain and went to the house of Pascual Balinad alias Daculo at Sitio Catabog, Sto. Domingo, Iriga City to gather information from Daculo and Cenon Balinad, who are members of the Barangay Intelligence Net, concerning men being hunted by the military, namely: Francisco Gulpe, Jr., Basilio Alanis and Marcelino Dura. He hiked more than three (3) kilometers because there was no road nor other means of transportation. He reached Daculo’s house at about 5:30 in the afternoon. He saw at the house Pascual Balinad alias Daculo, Cenon Balinad and Roger Lucena. They had a drinking spree up to about 10:00 o’clock in the evening, had supper and then retired at about past 1:00 o’clock a.m. Daculo and Cenon told him that they had not gathered any information as to the wanted persons because they were still busy with their reforestation work. He and all his companions slept in one room at the house of Daculo until 7:00 o’clock in the morning of the following day. The wife of Cenon and their children also slept in the other room of the house together with the family of Daculo. The following morning, he heard that Agustin Balinad, father of Pascual Balinad alias "Saday" had arrived in the house and informed Daculo and Cenon of the death of Marcelino Dura and thereafter he (Agustin) left in a hurry. 19

    A meticulous review of the evidence on record convinces the Court that appellants are entitled to acquittal on the ground of reasonable doubt.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Noteworthy are several material inconsistencies between the Sworn Statement and court testimony of the alleged eyewitness, Basilio (or Rogelio) Alanis.

    In his Sworn Statement, 20 Alanis declared that it was Pascual Balinad alias Saday who struck Marcelino Dura on the nape with a piece of wood. However, in his testimony in court, Alanis stated that it was Cenon Balinad who hit Dura at the back of his head. 21

    Alanis also stated in his Affidavit that Pascual Balinad alias Daculo, Cenon Balinad and Antonio Balinad held Dura while Pascual Balinad alias Saday slashed the throat of the victim. But, in his court testimony, Alanis stated that all the time Saday slashed the throat of Dura, Pascual Balinad alias Daculo and Antonio Balinad "did nothing" as Daculo was just standing infront of Dura while Antonio was standing by the door. 22

    Alanis testified that after Saday slashed the victim’s neck he saw Cenon stamp his foot on the side of the victim’s body. 23 This act, however, does not appear in the affidavit.

    Moreover in his affidavit, Alanis stated that Cenon Balinad tried to grab him and shouted to him as he escaped through the window of the mezzanine that he and his parents would be killed if he reported the matter to the police. Testifying in court, Alanis merely stated that the assailants threatened to kill him should he report the incident to the police authorities and tried to climb the mezzanine to get him but he escaped by jumping through the window 24 and that he later learned from his brother-in-law, Domingo Tadeo, that Daculo and Cenon Balinad had threatened that he and his parents would be killed if he reported the matter to the police authorities.25cralaw:red

    Further, in his Sworn Statement, Alanis stated that he heard Antonio Balinad say, "Iba ngaya kami kin ma-ungot (We are different when we got mad.) after Saday slashed the throat of Dura. But, in his testimony, he declared that Antonio Balinad and Pascual Balinad alias Daculo did not do anything to the victim. Alanis did not mention such remark allegedly made by Antonio Balinad.

    Alanis mentioned a motive for the killing of Dura in his affidavit, i.e., that maybe the assailants (Balinads) resented Dura when they learned that he wanted to marry their adopted sister Elena, when in fact Dura was already a married man. 26 Again in his testimony, Alanis denied knowledge of any motive on the part of the alleged assailants. However, when reminded of his statement of such motive in his affidavit, he said that he merely "forgot it." 27

    Finally, in his Sworn Statement, Alanis said that after he escaped from the copra kiln, he went directly to the house of his brother-in-law, Agustin Balinad, husband of his sister Lourdes, to fetch his parents whom he later brought to San Ramon Buhi, Camarines Sur. However, in his testimony in court, he stated that he went directly to the house of his sister Apolonia, wife of Felicisimo Vargas, and denied having gone to the house of his brother-in-law, Agustin Balinad, father of Pascual Balinad alias Saday or having met Agustin. He even claimed that his statement was made voluntarily only to claim later that he was "tortured" in giving such statement and eventually taking back his word and volunteering to tell the truth. His testimony reveals his propensity to lie, as shown by the following pertinent part of the records, to wit:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q Did you report this matter to the police authorities, this incident?

    A I was picked up by the military men, Your Honor.

    Q Where?

    A At Buhi, Camarines Sur.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Q What place in Buhi?

    A San Ramon.

    Q And you were investigated?

    A Yes, Your Honor.

    Q And that lead (sic) to the execution of that affidavit which you identified?

    A After I was picked-up by the military men, Your Honor, I was taken to their office. (Witness pointing to the direction of the police headquarters here in Iriga City.) And I was made to sign after which I was investigated.

    Q You were investigated by the police?

    A Yes, Your Honor.

    Q And you gave your answer voluntarily?

    A Yes, Your Honor.

    COURT:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    No further questions?

    ATTY. CABANES:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Follow-up questions by the court.

    Q Now, in answer to the question of the court, you said that you went to the house of Apolonia your sister, who is the husband (sic) of Feliciano Vargas. Am I correct?

    A Yes, sir.

    Q You did not go to the house of your brother-in-law Agustin Balinad?

    A No, sir.

    Q And you were not able to talk to Agustin Balinad at that time?

    A No, sir.

    Q But in your sworn statement and in your affidavit that you signed before the police you were asked this question: "Where did you go from that kiln after the incident?", and your answer is: "I went to the house of my brother-in-law Agustin Balinad, took my parents and brought them to San Ramon, Buhi, Camarines Sur." Now, my question is, do you recall having given that answer to the police that investigated you?

    PROS. TAGUM:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    We will object to that Your Honor.

    COURT:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    The court will allow that to clarify that matter.

    WITNESS:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    A I gave that answer because I was tortured by the military.

    Q But did you not tell the court a while ago that you gave that answer voluntarily?

    A Yes, sir.

    COURT:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    You clarify. You make him relate from the place of the incident.

    ATTY. CABANES:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q So, from the place of the incident which was the copra kiln, where exactly did you go first, for the first time?

    A Now, I think I have to tell the truth. From the copra kiln I proceeded to the house of my brother-in-law Agustin.

    Q And from the house of Agustin, you did not go to the house of Apolonia anymore?

    A I went to the house of Apolonia in the evening to take my parents as I said (sic) ailing.

    Q So, you mean to tell this court that from the house of Agustin Balinad, you and your parents proceeded to the house of Apolonia, is that correct?

    A Yes, sir. Then from the house of my sister Apolonia, I took my parents to the shack where we spent the night.

    Q And from the shack you proceed (sic) to San Ramon, Buhi?

    A Yes, sir. 28

    The discrepancies between the Affidavit and court testimony of Alanis as to the identities of, and acts performed by, the assailants are so serious as to escape notice by both the trial and appellate courts. These material discrepancies, coupled with Alanis’ admission of lack of candor in his testimony before the trial court, totally destroys his credibility. Neither his Sworn Statement nor his testimony can be relied upon to convict herein appellants.chanrobles virtual lawlibrary

    We, likewise, observe that Alanis’ allegation that Dura was struck on the nape with a piece of wood does not jibe with the post mortem finding that the only injury sustained by the victim was the hack wound in the neck. The alleged blow on the head with the use of a piece of wood driven by the force of two hands, if true, would have left some form of mark or injury which could not have escaped notice by the examining physician.

    There was also no explanation in the record why the victim, Marcelino Dura, would answer to the call of "bayaw" or brother-in-law by Pascual Balinad alias Saday who was not related to him in any way. Neither was Dura related to any of the two appellants. The only pertinent portion of the record that lends significance to the word "bayaw" or brother-in-law is the reference to Agustin Balinad 29 in the Sworn Statement dated September 10, 1992, 30 of the victim’s stepdaughter, Belen Dura-Austria, who stated therein that on September 3, 1992 at about 10:00 o’clock in the morning she met Agustin Balinad on her way to the copra kiln and he made a threatening remark against her father that "Di ngaya maka pira, matigbas ko ngaya iya," (It doesn’t matter how many times I might hack him.) as regards a problem between her father and the wife of Pascual Balinad alias Saday.

    Even as to the matter of identifying himself, Alanis demonstrated his propensity to distort the truth. In his Sworn Statement, he used the name Rogelio Alanis, 31 his real name based on his birth certificate, but in his appearance in court he changed his name to Basilio Alanis ostensibly "to give importance to (his) grandfather’s name" as his relatives have been calling him by that name. 32

    Aside from Alanis’ lack of candor, Pascual Balinad alias Saday, the confessed killer himself pointed to Alanis as the mastermind who struck Dura’s nape with a piece of wood and ordered him (Saday) to slash Dura’s throat under duress. Saday implicated Alanis but denied the presence of the two appellants at the place of the commission of the crime. Saday alleged that he acted out of fear of Alanis whom he tagged as a member of a gang of bandits known as the "Doce Pares" (Twelve Pairs) who are cattle rustlers in their place. This further demolishes Alanis’ credibility and strengthens reasonable doubt on the guilt of the appellants as to their participation in the crime charged.

    The lack of credibility of Alanis, the alleged eyewitness to the conspirational murder, lends significance to the otherwise weak alibi put up by the appellants. While alibi is inherently weak as a defense, this does not relieve the prosecution of its duty to prove its case against the accused with the required degree of moral certainty as to their guilt. 33 We hold that the prosecution failed in its bounden duty to present evidence against the appellants that would prove their guilt beyond reasonable doubt. The prosecution gravely erred in relying principally on the alleged eyewitness’ testimony of Alanis whose credibility did not stand closer to judicial scrutiny. This Court cannot and will not condemn an accused to death or prison on the basis of incredible declarations or outright lies of a witness, as demonstrated by the recorded evidence in the present case.

    We cannot affirm the finding of conspiracy as the presence or participation of the alleged co-conspirators, herein appellants and Antonio Balinad, in the commission of the crime charged had been put in serious doubt on account of the concocted verbal and written declarations of the alleged eyewitness, Basilio Alanis, and the claim made by the confessed killer, Pascual Balinad alias Saday, that aside from the victim, only he and Alanis were present in the place of the fatal incident and that the two appellants "were not there." Besides, even if the two appellants were present at the time and place of the commission of the offense, the alleged eyewitness himself testified that they "did nothing" against the victim. The absence of conspiracy makes the killing the sole liability of the confessed assailant, Pascual Balinad alias Saday.

    The trial court anchored its finding of treachery on the alleged sudden striking of the victim’s nape by Cenon Balinad using a piece of wood while the victim was sitting with crossed legs. We rule that treachery was not present in the killing as the alleged sudden blow on the nape of the victim by means of a piece of wood which caused him to fall found no corroboration from the post mortem examination report which showed that the "only injury" sustained by the victim was a hack wound in the neck. There was no telltale sign of any injury on the victim’s head. There being no qualifying circumstance, the crime committed is homicide, not murder. 34 Such a finding would benefit Pascual Balinad alias Saday who pleaded guilty to the crime charged, which is Murder. Since the crime committed is homicide, not murder, the penalty imposed on Saday should be modified accordingly.

    These findings on the commission of homicide, instead of murder, and the absence of treachery benefit the confessed killer, Pascual Balinad alias Saday, whose penalty should be adjusted accordingly, despite the finality of the judgment concerning him as he had entered a voluntary plea of guilty.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The penalty for homicide under the Revised Penal Code is reclusion temporal which has three periods (minimum, medium, and maximum). There being one mitigating circumstance of voluntary plea of guilt without any aggravating circumstance, the penalty is reclusion temporal minimum (12 years and one day to 14 years and 8 months), and the minimum of which shall be within the range of the penalty next lower to that prescribed by the Code for the offense, i.e., prision mayor or from 6 years and one day to 12 years. Hence, the accused Pascual Balinad alias Saday should be sentenced to an indeterminate penalty ranging from 6 years and one day to 12 years of prision mayor, as minimum, to 12 years and one day to 14 years and 8 months, of reclusion temporal minimum, as maximum.

    WHEREFORE, IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Iriga City, Branch 35, is hereby REVERSED with modification as to accused-appellants Pascual Balinad alias Daculo and Cenon Balinad who are hereby ACQUITTED of the crime of murder. The conviction of Pascual Balinad alias Saday is hereby AFFIRMED with modification lowering the crime to Homicide and sentencing him accordingly to an indeterminate penalty of seven (7) years of prision mayor as minimum to 12 years and one (1) day of reclusion temporal as maximum.

    SO ORDERED.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Davide, Jr., C.J., Puno and Pardo, JJ., concur.

    Ynares-Santiago, J., is on leave.

    Endnotes:



    1. Ninth Division.

    2. Penned by Lipana-Reyes, J., and concurred in by Imperial, J., Chairman, and Ibay-Somera, JJ.,

    3. Criminal Case No. 3252.

    4. Record, p. 1.

    5. He used the name Rogelio in his Sworn Statement dated September 9, 1992.

    6. TSN, November 29, 1993, pp. 5-6.

    7. Id., at 7.

    8. Id., at 17-22.

    9. Id., at 31-32, 36.

    10. Id, at 11-12, 25.

    11. Id., at 20.

    12. Id, at 32-33, 39-40.

    13. TSN, January 17, 1974, pp. 10-11.

    14. Id., at 37-38.

    15. TSN, January 5, 1993, pp. 1-7.

    16. TSN, December 22, 1993, pp. 1-4.

    17. TSN, February 3, 1994, pp. 1-9.

    18. TSN, February 7, 1994, pp. 1-8, 18-19, 24-27.

    19. TSN, February 17, 1994, pp. 1-7, 10-14, & 24.

    20. Exhibit "I" .

    21. TSN, November 29, 1983, pp. 20-23.

    22. Id, at 22, 31-32, 36.

    23. Id, at 11.

    24. Id., at 11-12, 25.

    25. Id., at 11-12.

    26. Exhibit "1-D."cralaw virtua1aw library

    27. TSN, November 29, 1983, pp. 40-41.

    28. Emphasis supplied; TSN, November 29, 1993, pp. 36 40.

    29. He was previously included as one of the five (5) accused but he was dropped as a respondent per Resolution dated November 6, 1992 approved by the City Prosecutor "for lack of sufficient evidence."cralaw virtua1aw library

    30. Record, p. 9, Answer No. 10.

    31. Exhibit "1-C."cralaw virtua1aw library

    32. TSN, November 29, 1983, pp. 28-29.

    33. People v. Mendoza, 174 SCRA. 432 (1989).

    34. People v. Kalalo, Et Al., 59 Phil. 715 (1934).

    G.R. No. 126036   September 7, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PASCUAL BALINAD, ET AL.


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