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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. 126254   September 29, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RONALDO PONCE

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    SECOND DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 126254. September 29, 2000.]

    PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. RONALDO PONCE, LUISITO LIBRILLO (At Large), Accused.

    RONALDO PONCE, Accused-Appellant.

    D E C I S I O N


    QUISUMBING, J.:


    On appeal is the decision 1 of the Regional Trial Court of Iloilo City, Branch 23, dated April 29, 1996, in Criminal Case No. 31423, finding appellant Ronaldo Ponce guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua, as well as to indemnify the heirs of the victim, Jaime Javellana, the sum of P71,250.00 as actual damages, P50,000.00 as indemnity ex delicto, and P30,000.00 as moral damages.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Appellant Ponce and his co-accused Luisito Librillo, 2 who is still at large, were initially charged with murder in an information dated February 8, 1988. The indictment reads:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    That on or about the 12th day of December 1987, in the City of Iloilo, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Court, said accused, armed with bladed instruments, conspiring and confederating between themselves, working together and helping (one) another, with deliberate intent to kill and without any justifiable motive, with treachery and taking advantage of superior strength, did then and there wilfillly (sic), unlawfully and criminally stab, hit and wound Jaime Javellana with bladed instruments with which the said accused were provided at the time, thereby causing upon the latter stabbed (sic) wounds on vital parts of his body; which resulted in his death (a) few moments thereafter.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    CONTRARY TO LAW. 3

    When arraigned appellant, with assistance of counsel, pleaded not guilty to the offense charged. The case was then tried on the merits.

    The facts of this case, as gleaned from the records, are as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Jaime Javellana and Ronaldo Ponce were neighbors at Magdalo St., La Paz, Iloilo City. Javellana was employed as a quartermaster aboard the M/S Don Julio, an inter-island steamer owned by the Negros Navigation Company, Inc., 4 while Ponce worked as a member of a group providing guards for a gold mine in San Francisco, Agusan del Sur. 5chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    At around 10:30 p.m. of December 12, 1987, Jaime and his wife, Neonica, 6 left their house to buy beer and cigarettes at a nearby store. They were about to return home when they were suddenly blocked and accosted by Ponce and Librillo, who were drinking rum at the said store. Ponce glared at the victim and asked for his name. The latter readily acquiesced. Sensing trouble, Jaime then told his wife to go ahead. 7 She did as requested, but kept on looking back at her husband. Suddenly, she saw appellant pull out a knife and thrust it towards her husband. 8 Appellant missed, however, and the victim attempted to flee. The two accused gave chase, both now armed with bladed weapons. Before Jaime could reach his house, Neonica saw Ponce thrusting his knife at her husband again. This time, Ponce succeeded in stabbing Jaime in the back. 9 Neonica saw her husband fall in front of their fence. 10 Before she could do anything, Librillo knelt beside the victim and stabbed him three times, hitting him in the neck, head, and left side of his body. 11 She screamed for help and the accused fled. Jaime was rushed to the Iloilo Mission Hospital, where he died on arrival.

    With her husband’s death, Neonica, who was left with four (4) small children to support, 12 was forced to seek employment as a domestic helper in Qatar. 13

    The fatal stabbing of Jaime, was likewise witnessed by Nelly Delgado, an aunt of the victim, with whom he was residing. Nelly testified that she was standing in front of her house, when she saw Ponce and Librillo, who were both carrying knives, chasing the victim. 14 She knew both appellant and Librillo because they were her neighbors. 15 Recognition was no problem as the place where the stabbing took place was well lighted by a street lamp and the light in the balcony of her house. 16 She saw Ponce try to stab Jaime three times but hit him at the back only on the third try. 17 Jaime then fell, almost at her feet. Librillo then knelt beside Jaime and stabbed him several times, 18 while Ponce stood beside Librillo. Nelly shouted at the two accused. They likewise tried to stab her, but upon recognizing her, they ran away instead. 19

    On December 13, 1987, Dr. Jose A. Rafio, Medico-Legal Officer of the Philippine National Police (PNP), RECOM 6, Camp Delgado, Iloilo City, conducted an autopsy on the remains of the victim. His findings, which he reduced to writing, 20 showed that Jaime suffered four (4) stab wounds, and died from the resulting hemorrhage.

    He testified that the third stab wound located at the left front armpit was the fatal wound as it cut the left lung, aorta, and pulmonary artery. 21

    Ponce, herein appellant, raised the defense of denial during his trial. He tried to put the blame solely on his co-accused, who was at large. According to appellant, he was having a drinking session with some friends, among them his co-accused Librillo, at the store of a certain Denden Lanciola, 22 when Jaime Javellana and his wife arrived. Librillo asked Jaime where he came from, but the latter angrily retorted "What are you, a CIS?" 23 Librillo lost his cool and exclaimed, "You are arrogant!" 24 Jaime then boxed Librillo, so the latter pulled out a knife and tried to stab Jaime, who, ran off towards his home, with Librillo in pursuit. Librillo caught up with Jaime in front of the latter’s house and stabbed him there. 25 Appellant claimed that he was so shocked by the incident that he could do nothing, but watch the tragedy unfold before his eyes. He never bothered to report what he saw to the police. Shortly afterwards, he returned to his job in Mindanao.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Rolly Peñasales, one of his drinking buddies that night, corroborated appellant’s story. According to Peñasales it was Librillo alone who chased and stabbed the victim. 26 He claimed that he clearly saw the incident, since the place was well illuminated. 27

    Appellant likewise presented Ana Mae Guillergan, the proprietor of "Bingbing Store", who testified that only Librillo followed the Javellana couple, after the altercation between Librillo and Jaime. 28 Guillergan averred that appellant and Peñasales remained behind in her store. On cross examination, however, she admitted that she did not see what happened after Librillo ran after the Javellanas. She did not see who actually stabbed the victim. 29 She had closed her store out of fear.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The trial court found appellant’s version of the incident unworthy of belief, and his defense both insipid and untenable. Opting to believe the prosecution’s version, the trial court convicted appellant, thus:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "WHEREFORE, premises considered and in the light of the foregoing, judgment is hereby rendered finding the accused Ronald Ponce guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Murder, and there being no mitigating nor aggravating circumstance attendant in the commission thereof, hereby sentences the aforenamed accused to suffer a penalty of imprisonment of RECLUSION PERPETUA.

    The said accused is further condemned to indemnify the heirs of Jaime Javellana the sum of P71,250.00 by way of actual damages, the amount of P50,000.00 as death compensation, and P30,000.00 moral damages.

    The accused who is presently detained is entitled to be credited in full with the entire period of his detention.

    Let there be issued an alias order of arrest for the other accused Luisito Librillo who remained at large up to the present time.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    SO ORDERED." 30

    Hence, this appeal, imputing the following errors to the trial court, and insisting:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    I


    THAT THE ACCUSED DID NOT DELIVER A FATAL INJURY TO THE VICTIM.

    II


    THAT CONSPIRACY HAS NOT BEEN PROVENchanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    III


    THAT NO QUALIFYING CIRCUMSTANCE HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED. 31

    In sum, the issues are: (1) Whether appellant is liable only to the extent of the non-fatal injury he inflicted upon the victim; (2) Whether there is sufficient proof of conspiracy between appellant and his co-accused; and (3) Whether any qualifying circumstance was sufficiently proved to sustain the appellant’s conviction for murder.

    Firstly, appellant asks us to consider Dr. Rafio’s testimony that the stab wound inflicted by him was not the fatal wound. 32 Appellant argues that since the wound he inflicted was non-fatal and since the prosecution failed to prove the existence of a conspiracy between him and Librillo, he can only be held accountable to the extent of the physical injury he inflicted upon the victim. Absent a showing of conspiracy, Librillo alone should be held liable for the victim’s death.

    Secondly, appellant denies having conspired with his co-accused. Thus, crucial to the resolution of his appeal is the determination of whether or not appellant and Librillo conspired, explicitly or implicitly, to kill Jaime Javellana.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    There is conspiracy when two (2) or more persons come to an agreement concerning the commission of a felony and decide to commit it. 33 The same degree of proof necessary to prove the crime is required to support a finding of criminal conspiracy. 34 Direct proof, however, is not essential to show conspiracy. 35 It need not be shown that the parties actually came together and agreed in express terms to enter into and pursue a common design. 36 Proof of concerted action before, during and after the crime, which demonstrates their unity of design and objective is sufficient. 37 Thus, to hold an accused liable as co-principal by reason of conspiracy, he must be shown to have performed an overt act in pursuance of or furtherance of the conspiracy, although the acts performed might have been distinct and separate. 38 This overt act may consist of active participation in the actual commission of the crime itself or it may consist of moral assistance to his co-conspirators by being present at the time of the commission of the crime, or by exerting a moral ascendance over the other co-conspirators by moving them to execute or implement the criminal plan. 39 Once conspiracy is established, all the conspirators are answerable as co-principals regardless of their degree of participation, for in the contemplation of the law, the act of one becomes the act of all. 40

    Close scrutiny of the records in this case persuades us that, contrary to the appellant’s assertion, conspiracy has been amply shown by the prosecution’s evidence. The manner by which the killing was carried out, as described by the prosecution witnesses, clearly demonstrates that the assailants were propelled by one common purpose: to punish Javellana for the perceived effrontery and arrogance he displayed to them. With the bladed weapons they had in hand, and having drunk rum, appellant and his co-accused mutually helped each other accost, block, chase, stab, and kill the victim.

    The evidence clearly shows that appellant and Librillo were together drinking liquor at the neighborhood store, when Librillo and the victim had a verbal exchange. Armed with bladed weapons, appellant and Librillo then chased the unarmed victim from the store to his house. Upon catching up with the latter, appellant inflicted a stab wound on his back. The victim collapsed and while he lay prostrate, Librillo stabbed him repeatedly. While Librillo was stabbing the helpless victim, appellant stood by with his knife at the ready. Both of them then tried to stab the victim’s aunt who shouted at them, but on recognizing her as a neighbor, desisted from the act and instead fled together. Under the circumstances, it is evident that Ponce and Librillo acted in unison and cooperated with each other toward the accomplishment of a common felonious objective. Clearly, Ponce and Librillo were of one mind, not only in attacking Javellana, but also in the manner in which the attack was to be made. Their actions implicitly showed unity of purpose between them — a concerted effort to bring about the death of the victim.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    When by their acts, two or more persons proceed toward the accomplishment of the same felonious object, with each doing his act, so that their acts though seemingly independent were in fact connected, showing a closeness of formal association and concurrence of sentiment, conspiracy may be inferred. 41 As shown by the prosecution’s evidence, there was a method, a common design, and a common purpose in their attack, however instantaneous. Appellant’s actions-standing on guard with his knife, while his co-accused stabbed the deceased several times, and then fleeing together with his co-accused are consistent with the circumstance of conspiracy. In our view, conspiracy having been established, appellant and his co-accused are equally liable for the offense. As conspirators, they are equally responsible for the victim’s death, regardless of which of them actually dealt the fatal blow. 42

    But was the killing of Jaime Javellana homicide or murder?chanroblesvirtuallaw library

    Appellant argues that the fatal stabbing should only be homicide, and not murder, given the failure of the prosecution to prove any qualifying circumstance, 43 which attended the commission of the crime. He asks us to note that the decision of the trial court is bereft of any mention of any qualifying circumstance, which would justify his being found guilty of murder.

    Note that the information in the present case alleges "treachery and taking advantage of superior strength" as the circumstances, which qualified the killing as murder. Treachery, while alleged, was not proven by the prosecution. It is an entirely different matter, however, with respect to the circumstance of "abuse of superior strength." This qualifying circumstance is present where there is proof of gross physical disparity between the protagonists or when the force used by the assailant is out of proportion to the means available to the victim. 44 The narration of the incident by the prosecution witnesses clearly shows that the attack on the hapless victim, as purposely made with the use of excessive force, out of proportion to the defenses available to the deceased. Note that the latter was unarmed, while his two attackers carried knives. Superiority in numbers is not always superiority in strength, taking into consideration the age, size, and strength of the parties. But in this case, two assailants armed with deadly weapons were obviously superior to a lone, unarmed and unprepared opponent. Here superiority in strength speaks loud and clear. 45 And that superiority was demonstrably abused in the chase and fatal attack. Murder is committed where the killing is attended by abuse of superior strength, the victim being unarmed, while all the attackers were armed with bladed weapons. 46

    WHEREFORE, the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Iloilo City, Branch 23, dated April 29, 1996, in Criminal Case No. 31423, finding appellant Ronaldo Ponce guilty of murder and imposing upon him the penalty of reclusion perpetua, and ordering him to pay the victim’s heirs the amount of P50,000.00 as indemnity, P71,250.00 as actual damages and P30,000.00 as moral damages is hereby AFFIRMED. Costs against Appellant.

    SO ORDERED.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Bellosillo, Mendoza, Buena and De Leon, Jr., JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Records, pp. 190-202.

    2. Also spelled as "Lebrillo" in the records.

    3. Records, p. 1.

    4. TSN, May 4, 1993, p. 18; TSN, February 16, 1993, p.5; Exhibit "E", Folder of Exhibits, p. 5.

    5. TSN, June 11, 1993, p. 23.

    6. Sometimes referred to as "Monica" in the records.

    7. TSN, May 4, 1993, p. 15.

    8. Ibid.

    9. Supra Note 7, at 16.

    10. Id. at 17.

    11. Ibid.

    12. Supra Note 7, at 20.

    13. Id. at 21.

    14. TSN, February 16, 1993, p. 4.

    15. Id., at 5.

    16. Ibid.

    17. Supra Note 14, at 7. See also TSN, March 12, 1993, p. 10.

    18. Ibid.

    19. Supra Note 14, at 8.

    20. Exhibit "B", Index of Exhibits, p. 2.

    21. TSN, January 28, 1993, p. 15.

    22. More accurately "Bingbing Lanchola" See TSN, August 24, 1993.

    23. "CIS" is used in common parlance to refer to members of the PNP Criminal Investigation Service.

    24. TSN, June 11, 1993, p. 26.

    25. Id. at 27.

    26. TSN, July 30, 1993, pp. 36-37.

    27. Id. at 37-38.

    28. TSN, August 24, 1993, pp. 52-53.

    29. Id., at 60.

    30. Supra Note 1, at 202.

    31. Rollo, p. 38.

    32. TSN, January 28, 1993, p. 14.

    33. People v. Sumalpong, 284 SCRA 464, 487-488 (1998) citing People v. Lopez, 249 SCRA 610 (1995), People v. Abam, 242 SCRA 39 (1995); People v. Baniel, 275 SCRA 472, 485 (1997); People v. Luayon, 260 SCRA 739, 752 (1996) citing People v. Timple, 237 SCRA 52 (1994).

    34. People v. Villagonzalo, 238 SCRA 215, 230-231 (1994).

    35. People v. Gabatin, 203 SCRA 225, 231 (1991).

    36. People v. Hubilla, Jr., 252 SCRA 471, 480 (1996).

    37. People v. Timple, 237 SCRA 52, 68 (1994) citing People v. Orehuela, 232 SCRA 82 (1994), People v. Valeriano, 226 SCRA 694 (1993).

    38. People v. Manambit, 271 SCRA 344, 387 (1997) citing US v. Dasal, 3 Phil. 6 (1903).

    39. Pecho v. People, 262 SCRA 518, 531 (1996) citing People v. De Roxas, 241 SCRA 369 (1995); People v. Tami, 244 SCRA 1, 22 (1995) citing People v. De Roxas, 241 SCRA 369 (1995), People v. Peralta, 25 SCRA 759 (1968).

    40. People v. Narca, 275 SCRA 696, 714 (1997) citing People v. Torrefiel, 256 SCRA 369 (1996), People v. Solon, 244 SCRA 554 (1995), People v. Miranday, 242 SCRA 620 (1995).

    41. People v. Fabro, 277 SCRA 19, 43 (1997) citing People v. Azugue, 268 SCRA 711 (1997), People v. Layno, 264 SCRA 5S8 (1996), People v. Isleta, 264 SCRA 374 (1996).

    42. People v. Amondina, 220 SCRA 6, 11 (1993).

    43. REV. PEN. CODE., Art. 248. Murder. — Any person who, not falling within the provisions of Article 246 shall kill another, shall be guilty of murder and shall be punished by reclusion perpetua to death if committed with any of the following attendant circumstances:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    1. With treachery, taking advantage of superior strength, with the aid of armed men, or employing means to weaken the defense or of means or persons to insure and afford impunity.

    2. In consideration of a price, reward, or promise.

    3. By means of inundation, fire, poison, explosion, shipwreck, stranding of a vessel, derailment or assault upon a railroad, fall of an airship, or by means of motor vehicles, or with the use of any other means involving great waste and ruin.

    4. On occasion of any of the calamities enumerated in the preceding paragraph, or of an earthquake, eruption of a volcano, destructive cyclone, epidemic, or other public calamity.

    5. With evident premeditation.

    6. With cruelty, by deliberately and inhumanely augmenting the suffering of the victim, or outraging or scoffing at his person or corpse.

    44. People v. Bernal, 254 SCRA 659, 671 (1996).

    45. People v. Layaguin, 262 SCRA 207, 218 (1996).

    46. People v. Ramos, 260 SCRA 402, 410 (1996).

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


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