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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
 

   
August-2001 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 126899 August 2, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELICITO T. BARBOSA

  • G.R. No. 128137 August 2, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO HAMTO

  • G.R. No. 131203 August 2, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GUILLERMO CARIÑO

  • G.R. No. 137473 August 2, 2001 - ESTELITO V. REMOLONA v. CSC

  • G.R. Nos. 141702-03 August 2, 2001 - CATHAY PACIFIC AIRWAYS v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 128816 & 139979-80 August 8, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALFREDO P. CABILTO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131817 August 8, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANTE L. DOMINGO

  • G.R. Nos. 133791-94 August 8, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CORNELIO SUPNAD

  • G.R. No. 135065 August 8, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENNY CABANGCALA, ET AL.

  • Adm. Case No. 4982 August 9, 2001 - KATRINA JOAQUIN CARIÑO v. ARTURO DE LOS REYES

  • A.M. No. 01-2-47-RTC August 9, 2001 - RE: JUDGE GUILLERMO L. LOJA,

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1365 August 9, 2001 - CESINA EBALLA v. ESTRELLITA M. PAAS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-01-1495 August 9, 2001 - ESMERALDO D. VISITACION v. GREDAM P. EDIZA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-99-1506 August 9, 2001 - JOSEFINA MERONTOS Vda. de SAYSON v. OSCAR E. ZERNA

  • A.M. No. P-01-1489 August 9, 2001 - CATALINO BAUTISTA, ET AL. v. AMELITA O. MENDOZA

  • G.R. No. 110740 August 9, 2001 - NDC-GUTHRIE PLANTATIONS, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112485 August 9, 2001 - EMILIA MANZANO v. MIGUEL PEREZ SR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129209 August 9, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESEMIEL MOSQUERRA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134565 August 9, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. LUDIVINO MIANA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 138472-73 August 9, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NOEL PADILLA

  • G.R. No. 138964 August 9, 2001 - VICENTE RELLOSA, ET AL. v. GONZALO PELLOSIS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139411 August 9, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. AGAPITO TORALBA

  • G.R. No. 139532 August 9, 2001 - REGAL FILMS v. GABRIEL CONCEPCION

  • G.R. No. 139665 August 9, 2001 - MA. VILMA S. LABAD v. UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHEASTERN PHIL., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140347 August 9, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROLANDO OLITA

  • G.R. No. 142546 August 9, 2001 - ANASTACIO FABELA, ET AL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142838 August 9, 2001 - ABELARDO B. LICAROS v. ANTONIO P. GATMAITAN

  • G.R. No. 143881 August 9, 2001 - DANILO EVANGELISTA v. PEDRO SISTOZA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143949 August 9, 2001 - ATCI OVERSEAS CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144089 August 9, 2001 - CONCORDE HOTEL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126480 August 10, 2001 - MARIA TIN v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 129162 August 10, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILLY FIGURACION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130998 August 10, 2001 - MARUBENI CORP. ET AL. v. FELIX LIRAG

  • G.R. Nos. 137934 & 137936 August 10, 2001 - BATANGAS LAGUNA TAYABAS BUS COMPANY, ET AL. v. BENJAMIN M. BITANGA. ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143673 August 10, 2001 - CONRADO TUAZON, ET AL. v. ERNESTO GARILAO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144708 August 10, 2001 - RAFAEL ALBANO, ET AL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146724 August 10, 2001 - GIL TAROJA VILLOTA v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136266 August 13, 2001 - EUTIQUIO A. PELIGRINO v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1612 August 14, 2001 - MARCO FRANCISCO SEVILLEJA v. ANTONIO N. LAGGUI

  • A.M. No. P-00-1438 August 14, 2001 - JUNN F. FLORES v. ROGER S. CONANAN

  • G.R. No. 135482 August 14, 2001 - ORLANDO SALVADOR v. ANIANO A. DESIERTO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136192 August 14, 2001 - PRESIDENTIAL AD HOC FACT-FINDING COMMITTEE ON BEHEST LOANS v. ANIANO DESIERTO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141617 August 14, 2001 - ADALIA B. FRANCISCO and MERRYLAND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION v. RITA C. MEJIA

  • G.R. No. 142276 August 14, 2001 - FLORENTINO GO, JR., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142662 August 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JERRY FERRER

  • A.C. No. 5486 August 15, 2001 - IN RE: ATTY. DAVID BRIONES.

  • A.M. RTJ No. 89-403 August 15, 2001 - MOLINTO D. PAGAYAO v. FAUSTO H. IMBING

  • A.M. No. 96-9-332-RTC August 15, 2001 - DIRECTOR, PNP NARCOTICS COMMAND v. JAIME N. SALAZAR

  • A.M. No. P-99-1311 August 15, 2001 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. ALBERTO V. GARONG

  • G.R. Nos. 113822-23 August 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAUL L. PABLO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118492 August 15, 2001 - GREGORIO H. REYES, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120468 August 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LOPE B. LIWANAG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128177 August 15, 2001 - ROMAN SORIANO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129295 August 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDWIN MORIAL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129598 August 15, 2001 - PNB MADECOR v. GERARDO C. UY

  • G.R. No. 130360 August 15, 2001 - WILSON ONG CHING KIAN CHUAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136834 August 15, 2001 - FELIX SENDON, ET AL. v. FRATERNIDAD O. RUIZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137271 August 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. REYNALDO CORRE JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137509 August 15, 2001 - PEVET ADALID FELIZARDO, ET AL v. SIEGFREDO FERNANDEZ

  • G.R. Nos. 137969-71 August 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. RAFAEL SALALIMA

  • G.R. No. 139337 August 15, 2001 - MA. CARMINIA C. ROXAS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139420 August 15, 2001 - ROBERTO R. SERRANO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 140900 & 140911 August 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODERICK LICAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143340 August 15, 2001 - LILIBETH SUNGA-CHAN, ET AL v. LAMBERTO T. CHUA

  • G.R. No. 144813 August 15, 2001 - GOLD LINE TRANSIT v. LUISA RAMOS

  • G.R. No. 147270 August 15, 2001 - IN RE: PETE C. LAGRAN

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1565 August 16, 2001 - FEDERICO S. BERNARDO v. PATERNO G. TIAMSON

  • G.R. No. 119900 August 16, 2001 - SUNNY MOTORS SALES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121897 August 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GIL TEMPLA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126200 August 16, 2001 - DEV’T. BANK OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126926 August 16, 2001 - RAMON P. ARON v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127543 August 16, 2001 - INTERNATIONAL PIPES, ET AL. v. F. F. CRUZ & CO.

  • G.R. No. 132155 August 16, 2001 - ARAS-ASAN TIMBER CO. v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134292 August 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FRANCO MORALES

  • G.R. No. 136365 August 16, 2001 - ENRIQUE R. CAMACHO, ET AL. v. PHIL. NAT’L. BANK, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136780 August 16, 2001 - JEANETTE D. MOLINO v. SECURITY DINERS INTERNATIONAL CORP.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1597 August 20, 2001 - WILSON ANDRES v. ORLANDO D. BELTRAN

  • A.M. No. RTJ-94-1131 August 20, 2001 - MIGUEL ARGEL v. HERMINIA M. PASCUA

  • G.R. No. 110055 August 20, 2001 - ASUNCION SAN JUAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111685 August 20, 2001 - DAVAO LIGHT & POWER CO. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131866 August 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CARLOS DOCTOLERO

  • G.R. No. 132174 August 20, 2001 - GUALBERTO CASTRO v. RICARDO GLORIA

  • G.R. No. 132684 August 20, 2001 - HERNANI N. FABIA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134718 August 20, 2001 - ROMANA INGJUGTIRO v. LEON V. CASALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142401 August 20, 2001 - ANDREW TAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137299 August 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FRANCISCO NANAS

  • G.R. No. 138869 August 21, 2001 - DAVID SO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140519 August 21, 2001 - PHIL. RETIREMENT AUTHORITY v. THELMA RUPA

  • G.R. No. 130817 August 22, 2001 - PRESIDENTIAL AD HOC FACT-FINDING COMMITTEE ON BEHEST LOANS v. ANIANO A. DESIERTO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138403 August 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROLLY C. ABULENCIA

  • G.R. Nos. 141712-13 August 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDMUNDO M. BOHOL

  • G.R. No. 143867 August 22, 2001 - PLDT v. CITY OF DAVAO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128628 August 23, 2001 - ILDEFONSO SAMALA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133749 August 23, 2001 - HERNANDO R. PEÑALOSA v. SEVERINO C. SANTOS

  • G.R. No. 133789 August 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDUARDO P. CHUA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136506 August 23, 2001 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. ANIANO A. DESIERTO, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 137199-230 August 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GEORGE J. ALAY-AY

  • G.R. No. 137842 August 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO H. CATUBIG

  • G.R. No. 138588 August 23, 2001 - FAR EAST BANK & TRUST COMPANY v. DIAZ REALTY INC.

  • G.R. No. 138022 August 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PEDRO A. FRANCISCO

  • G.R. No. 144142 August 23, 2001 - YOLANDA AGUIRRE v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. Nos. 138298 & 138982 August 24, 2001 - RAOUL B. DEL MAR v. PAGCOR, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131609 August 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BONIFACIO PUERTA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1571 August 28, 2001 - JESUS GUILLAS v. RENATO D. MUÑEZ

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1645 August 28, 2001 - VICTORINO S. SIANGHIO, JR. v. BIENVENIDO L. REYES

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1626 August 28, 2001 - JOSELITO D. FRANI v. ERNESTO P. PAGAYATAN

  • G.R. Nos. 100633 & 101550 August 28, 2001 - SOCORRO ABELLA SORIANO, ET AL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114118 August 28, 2001 - SIMEON BORLADO, ET AL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125728 August 28, 2001 - MARIA ALVAREZ VDA. DE DELGADO, ET AL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129960 August 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PEDRO CARIÑO

  • G.R. No. 131175 August 28, 2001 - JOVITO VALENZUELA, ET AL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133056 August 28, 2001 - FACUNDO T. BAUTISTA v. PUYAT VINYL PRODUCTS

  • G.R. No. 140812 August 28, 2001 - CANDIDO ALFARO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143256 August 28, 2001 - RODOLFO FERNANDEZ, ET AL. v. ROMEO FERNANDEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144653 August 28, 2001 - BANK OF THE PHIL. ISLANDS v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE

  • A.M. No. P-00-1415-MeTC August 30, 2001 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. TERESITA Q. ORBIGO-MARCELO

  • G.R. No. 111709 August 30, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGER P. TULIN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119811 August 30, 2001 - SOCORRO S. TORRES, ET AL. v. DEODORO J. SISON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123980 August 30, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MANUEL CALIMLIM

  • G.R. No. 127905 August 30, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO REMUDO

  • G.R. No. 129093 August 30, 2001 - JOSE D. LINA, ET AL. v. FRANCISCO DIZON PAÑO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133113 August 30, 2001 - EDGAR H. ARREZA v. MONTANO M. DIAZ

  • G.R. No. 136280 August 30, 2001 - ORCHARD REALTY and DEV’T CORP. v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139083 August 30, 2001 - FLORENCIA PARIS v. DIONISIO A. ALFECHE

  • G.R. No. 140229 August 30, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. HENRY BALMOJA

  • G.R. No. 140995 August 30, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO M. REGALA

  • G.R. No. 141128 August 30, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ORPIANO DELOS SANTOS

  • G.R. No. 141283 August 30, 2001 - SEGOVIA DEVELOPMENT CORP. v. J.L. DUMATOL REALTY

  • G.R. No. 144442 August 30, 2001 - JESUS SALVATIERRA v. THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • A. M. No. 00-7-299-RTC August 31, 2001 - REQUEST FOR CONSOLIDATION OF CIVIL CASE NO. R-1692 RTC BR. 45

  • A.M. No. 00-8-03-SB August 31, 2001 - RE: UNNUMBERED RESOLUTION OF THE SANDIGANBAYAN RE ACQUISITION OF THREE [3] MOTOR VEHICLES FOR OFFICIAL USE OF JUSTICES

  • A.M. No. P-99-1316 August 31, 2001 - KENNETH S. NEELAND v. ILDEFONSO M. VILLANUEVA

  • G.R. Nos. 132548-49 August 31, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ALEJO MIASCO

  • G.R. No. 141211 August 31, 2001 - CITY WARDEN OF THE MANILA CITY JAIL v. RAYMOND S. ESTRELLA, ET AL.

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    G.R. No. 135065   August 8, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENNY CABANGCALA, ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    EN BANC

    [G.R. No. 135065. August 8, 2001.]

    PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. BENNY CABANGCALA y ABRASIA, RENATO CABANGCALA y ABRASIA alias "RENE", and DANILO CABANGCALA y ABRASIA alias "DANNY", Accused-Appellants.

    D E C I S I O N


    MELO, J.:


    Before this Court on automatic review is the judgment rendered by Branch 51 of the Regional Trial Court of the First Judicial Region stationed in Tayug, Pangasinan, sentencing to death two of herein accused-appellants, as well as the appeal of the third accused-appellant who was still a minor at the time of the commission of the crime of murder.

    The Information charged as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    That on or about the 7th day of February, 1997, in the evening, at Brgy. Pangangaan, municipality of Umingan, province of Pangasinan, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, with intent to kill, armed with a bamboo, and with the use of superior strength and evident premeditation, and taking advantage of nighttime, conspiring, confederating and helping one another, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously, strike, maul, box and hit one DIONISIO PASCUAL, inflicting upon the latter mortal wound on his head and different parts of his body which caused his instantaneous death, to the damage and prejudice of the heirs of DIONISIO PASCUAL.

    CONTRARY to Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code.

    (Record, p. 1.)

    The antecedent facts are summarized as Counterstatement of the Facts in the People’s Brief in this wise:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    On February 7, 1997, at around 2:00 o’clock in the afternoon, Rovellano Abrasia, fifteen years old, testified that he and his first degree cousins, the Cabangcala brothers, Benny, Rene and Danny (appellants herein), had just finished cutting cogon in the mountains of Barangay Ricos, Umingan, Pangasinan. He [Rovellano] accompanied Danny to the barber shop of Merced Abrasia in Barangay Pangangaan of the same municipality (pp. 2-6 & 8, tsn., Aug. 14, 1997; pp. 2-3, tsn., Sept. 5, 1997)chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    While having his haircut, Danny saw the victim Dionisio "Isio" Pascual drinking gin with Anciong Abrasia and Quisot Camacho in front of the house of Corazon Morante (pp. 4-6, tsn., Aug. 14, 1997). Thereupon, Danny pointed to the victim and told Rovellano "that man is Isio Pascual" (pp. 7-8, Ibid.).

    Later, Rovellano and Danny went to the latter’s house, some 100 meters from Morante’s place, where they drank gin together with Benny and Rene (pp. 13-14, tsn., Sept. 1, 1997; pp. 5 to 5-A, tsn., Sept. 3, 1997). There, Rovellano overheard the Cabangcala brothers talking about the victim (p. 14, tsn., Sept. 1, 1997). Rovellano recalled that a week before, Mario Cabangcala, appellant’s younger brother, told him that he had a quarrel with the victim’s son (p. 13, tsn., Sept. 2, 1997). At around 5:00 o’clock in the afternoon, that same day, Benny announced a plan to kill the victim (p. 20, ibid.) The four continued drinking until 10:00 o’clock in the evening during which period Danny would occasionally go out to verify if the victim was still at Morante’s place (pp. 2, 6 to 8, tsn., Sept. 3, 1997). Danny reported to the group that the victim was still there lying down while his drinking buddies Anciong and Quisot had already gone home (pp. 5 to 7, ibid.).

    The Cabangcala brothers then proceeded to execute their plan and, together with Rovellano, waited for the victim at a place halfway within the 100 meter distance between the house of Morante and the Cabangcalas, along a footpath where the expected victim would use in going home (p. 8, id.). When the group spotted the victim, the latter was bidding goodbye to Morante saying, "Mare, I will go home now" (p. 7, id..) Immediately, Benny and Danny went downhill to cut a piece of bamboo about one (1) meter long (p. 9, id.).chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    As the victim was approaching, Rovellano ran and hid behind a "buri palm" (p. 14, tsn. Sept. 5, 1997). The Cabangcala brothers positioned themselves under a bamboo groove around five (5) meters away from Rovellano (p. 10, tsn. Sept. 3, 1997; p. 14, tsn. Sept. 5, 1997.)

    The victim stopped on the rice paddy about four [4] meters from Rovellano (pp. 13 to 14, tsn. Sept. 5, 1997). Rovellano. noticed that the victim had a companion whom he did not recognize but who immediately fled perhaps sensing danger from the encounter (pp. 9 to 10, & 14, tsn. Sept. 3, 1997). Benny approached the victim and struck him twice with the bamboo hitting the latter on the left cheek and the neck (p. 15, tsn. Aug. 14, 1997). The victim fell, after which Danny and Rene joined Benny in mauling the victim (pp. 15 to 16, ibid.).

    The victim pleaded for his life saying "Please have mercy on me. Don’t kill me" (p. 17, tsn. Aug. 14, 1997). But the mauling continued. At one point Danny uttered "Nagado nga ammomon. No saan nga diay anak mo nga pinangpakpak na kaniak saanak nga agibales" ; meaning "Nonsense, had not your son clubbed me I would not avenge" (ibid.).

    When the victim was rendered unconscious, Rene carried him towards the field east of Danny’s house (pp. 17 & 19, tsn. id.). There, the victim was mauled further with the piece of bamboo carried by Benny (p. 5, tsn. Sept. 5, 1997). Thereafter, Rovellano accompanied Danny in getting a sled where they loaded the victim and brought him to the mountain of Barangay Ricos (p. 19, tsn. Aug. 14, 1997). Using shovels, the Cabangcala brothers dug a pit where they dumped the victim and covered it with soil (pp. 20 to 21, ibid.). Thereafter, they all went home (p. 21, id.).

    On March 14, 1997, the victim’s brother, Fulgencio, and daughter Jennifer, went to the Umingan Police Station and reported to the police that the victim had been missing since February 7, 1997 (p. 3-4, tsn. Oct. 6, 1997). SPO1 Jeremias Fernandez conducted an investigation in Luna Este but failed to obtain favorable results (p. 5, id.).

    However, ten (10) days thereafter, on March 24, 1997 Fulgencio returned to the station with a certain Danilo Abrasia who disclosed that he saw the victim sometime in February 1997 in Barangay Pangangaan being mauled by the Cabangcala brothers (id.). Hence, SPO1 Fernandez went to Barangay Pangangaan where a secret informant told him that a certain Rovellano Abrasia had knowledge about the missing person (p. 6, id.). SPO1 Fernandez found Rovellano that night at a certain bakery in the poblacion of Tayug, Pangasinan (id.). When confronted by the police, Rovellano admitted that he was with the Cabangcala brothers when the latter killed the victim in Barangay Pangangaan (pp. 6-7, id.). The police, thereafter, invited Rovellano to the police station where he executed his statement at around 4:00 o’clock in the morning the following day, March 25, 1997 (pp. 7 to 8, id.; Exh. A., pp. 11-12, Record).chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    On March 25, 1997, upon being told by Rovellano of the exact place where the victim was buried, SPO1 Fernandez proceeded there together with Rovellano, Fulgencio Pascual, some members of the Umingan Police, and Barangay officials of the mountainous area of Barangay Ricos and reached the place at around 11:00 o’clock in the morning (pp. 8-9, tsn. Oct. 6, 1997). A cadaver was exhumed with the face still complete which Fulgencio identified as that of his brother Dionisio (p. 9, id., see also pictures in pp. 41, 42 & 43, Record). The cadaver was thereafter brought to the municipal hall and thereafter to the cemetery for autopsy (p. 10, id.).

    Immediately, SPO1 Fernandez went to the house of Benny Cabangcala with the Barangay Captain of Barangay Pangangaan (pp. 20 & 21, id.) SPO1 Fernandez saw the three (3) appellants in the house of Benny about to leave because there were (3) traveling bags and said appellants were selling a carabao to a buyer from Barangay Prado (p. 22, id.). With the coordination of the said barangay captain, SPO1 Fernandez was able to invite the Cabangcala brothers to the police station to shed light on the killing of Dionisio Pascual (p. 20, id.).

    The next day, on March 26, 1997, SPO1 Fernandez prepared a Special Report on his investigation (Exh. E, p. 14, Record). At around 5:00 o’clock in the afternoon of that same day, Dr. Thelma Busto, Rural Health Physician of Umingan, Pangasinan, examined the cadaver and prepared the following post-mortem findings:chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Post-Mortem Findings:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    1. Head — multiple fracture of the skull

    2. Other parts of the body was in state of decomposition.

    CAUSE OF DEATH:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Cerebral Hemorrhage sec. to fracture of the skull.

    (Exhibit C, p. 16, Record)

    Dr. Busto noted that when the cadaver was bought to her the skin was still intact although it was soft, tearing and moist. However, the face was still recognizable (p. 5, tsn. Oct 1, 1997). She prepared a schematic diagram showing multiple fractures with skull, 10 at the back, 4 to 5 at the frontal crown, and 2 on each parietal area (pp. 5-7, id.; Exh. D, p. 15, Record).

    The victim’s family thereafter took care of his funeral and burial (pp. 3 to 6, tsn. Sept. 26, 1997; p. 26, tsn. Sept. 16, 1997).

    Jennifer Pascual Espiritu, one of the victim’s daughters, recalled that the last time she saw her father alive was on February 7, 1997. The day before it, on February 6, 1997, the victim came to her house in Barangay Luna Este and went fishing with her neighbor. At night, the victim slept in her house (p. 25, tsn. Sept. 16, 1997). In the morning of February 7, she saw the victim going home to Barangay L Paz taking the route of Barangay Pangangaan (pp. 25 to 26, id.). When she saw her father again was on March 26, 1997, his remains were already in a coffin (p. 26, id)

    Dionisio Pascual, Jr. never saw his father again after he left their place on January 8, 1997 (p. 12 to 13, tsn. Oct. 10, 1997). He had to leave for Manila and stay there for about four (4) months because he knew that the Cabangcala brothers planned to kill him (p. 12, id.) on account of his violent encounters with them on December 25, 1996 during the wedding party of a certain Josephine Cabanting in Barangay Luna Este where Dionisio, Jr. had boxed Mario Cabangcala, appellants’ younger brother because the latter tried to hit him with a bottle of "beer grande" when he refused to buy beer for them (pp. 4 to 6, id.). Dionisio, Jr. felt very strongly that the he was the reason why the Cabangcala brothers killed his father.

    (Rollo, pp. 149-157.)

    On the basis of the foregoing facts, the trial court rendered the judgment of conviction, disposing thusly:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    WHEREFORE, guilt having been proved beyond reasonable doubt, the Court hereby convicts the herein accused of the crime of evidently premeditated MURDER defined and penalized under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code as amended by Republic Act No. 7659, with the circumstances of abuse of superior strength and nighttime aggravating the offense.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Accordingly, and pursuant to Article 63 of the same code, the Court hereby sentences the accused BENNY CABANGCALA and RENATO CABANGCALA to suffer the penalty of DEATH.

    In regard to the accused DANILO CABANGCALA alias "Danny," the Court applies section 22 of Republic Act 7659 and Article 68, paragraph 2 of the Revised Penal Code, in relation to the Indeterminate Sentence Law, and hereby sentences him to suffer the penalty of from 12 years of prision mayor maximum as MINIMUM to 17 years and one day of reclusion temporal maximum as MAXIMUM.

    The subject accused are further hereby ordered to SOLIDARILY indemnify the heirs of deceased DIONISIO PASCUAL for damages in the amount of P50,000.00 for his death, and to pay the costs.

    SO ORDERED.

    (Record, pp. 225.)

    In the automatic review of this case, appellants assign the following errors:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    THE HONORABLE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN CONCLUDING THAT THE PERSON EXHUMED ON MARCH 26, 1997 (sic), IS THAT OF DIONISIO PASCUAL.

    THE HONORABLE COURT ERRED IN GIVING CREDIT TO THE BELATED TESTIMONY OF DANILO ABRASIA THAT WITNESS SAW THE INCIDENT.

    THE HONORABLE COURT ERRED IN GIVING CREDIT TO THE TESTIMONY OF ROVELLANO ABRASIA.

    THE HONORABLE COURT ERRED IN NOT ACCEPTING THE DEFENSE OF ALIBI ADVANCED BY THE ACCUSED.

    The Court affirms the conviction of all three Accused-Appellants.

    Firstly, Accused-appellants heavily bank on the possibility that the body exhumed by the police authorities upon information disclosed by Rovellano Abrasia on March 25, 1997, is not that of Dionisio Pascual, whereby in the absence of the corpus delicti they cannot be convicted of the crime charged. To cast reasonable doubt, Accused-appellants quote prosecution witness Dr. Busto’s statement that "when a person was buried on February 7 and exhumed on March 25, the body would be so decomposed that it would be hard to identify the person" (Appellants’ Brief, p. 1; Rollo, p. 91).

    We are not persuaded for the foregoing statement was obviously taken out of context. Dr. Busto was stating a general proposition that if a cadaver had been buried for 45 days, it would normally be in such a state of decomposition making identification difficult. More so, according to Dr. Busto, if the ground on which the cadaver is buried is wet. The specific finding for this particular cadaver, however, is that although the cadaver when brought to her was in an advanced state of decomposition, its face was still "recognizable" because the "skin was still intact" (p. 5, tsn. Oct. 1, 1997). One day before Dr. Busto saw the cadaver, right at the site where the remains of Dionisio Pascual were exhumed, Fulgencio Pascual (brother of Dionisio), and Victoria Abrasia (a cousin of Dionisio) positively identified it to be that of Dionisio Pascual.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    TESTIMONY OF FULGENCIO PASCUAL:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q. And then after digging what was discovered, if there was any?

    A. I saw the cadaver of my brother first the face, sir.

    Q. How do you know that was the cadaver of your brother?

    A: I know him sir because the face was not yet to decomposed. I could still recognize his face.

    Q What were the physical features you observed wherein you are now concluding that he was your brother?

    A. We have a resemblance with my brother the only difference is he was taller and thinner than me, sir.

    x       x       x


    Q Aside from you who else, if any, identified the body right at the place of the exhumation?

    A. My cousin, sir

    Q. Who?

    A.. Victoria Abrasia, sir.

    Q. He (sic) was with you?

    A. Yes, sir, were only two at that time.

    (pp. 11 & 12, tsn. Sept. 23, 1997)

    Moreover, the body exhumed on March 25, 1997 was given due funeral services. As Dionisio’s daughter, Jennifer, averred, she saw her father already in a coffin on March 26, 1997. We agree with the trial court’s observation that "nobody mourns the death of a stranger." It is hard for this Court to conceive of the possibility that the family of Dionisio would grieve before the remains of a stranger, much less spend money for funeral services and burial of somebody other than their own deceased. This, coupled with the fact that the location of the exhumation site was pointed to by no less than an eyewitness to the crime and the burial, the Court is convinced that the body recovered on March 25, 1997 is truly that of Dionisio Pascual.

    Secondly, Accused-appellants find fault in witness Danilo Abrasia’s delay in reporting the incident to the authorities. This, according to them, should have been enough basis for the court to disregard his testimony. Besides, they claim, Danilo did not actually witness the commission of the crime but only learned about it through Rovellano Abrasia.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    We find this contention lacking in merit, as well.

    Delay of a witness in revealing to the authorities what he knows about a crime does not render his testimony false, for the delay may be explained by the natural reticence of most people and their abhorrence to get involved in a criminal case. But more than this, there is always the inherent fear of reprisal (People v. Basilan, 174 SCRA 115 [1989]). We have ruled on several occasions that "the delay of several months in reporting the incident to the police does not affect the witness’ credibility, the reluctance of witnesses to volunteer information in a criminal case being of common knowledge (People v. Sampaga, 202 SCRA 157 [1991]).

    Accused-appellants also imply there is no basis for Danilo to be fearful of reprisal because accused-appellants allegedly did not see him during the commission of the crime. In People v. Dulay (217 SCRA 103 [1993]) we ruled:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    We cannot sustain this contention because whether or not the witnesses feared him only the witnesses can tell. Fear arises in the subject not in the object of the fear. It is defined as an unpleasant emotional state characterized by anticipation of pain or great distress. It is a reaction to an external danger, which is perceived to cause him harm.

    (p. 117)

    We cannot discount the possibility that fear develops in the mind of the witness despite the absence of threat from the accused. Besides, reprisal from the accused may come about not only before the witness reports the crime, but it may also develop after the crime is reported. This is the reason for enactment of the law on witness protection. In this light therefore, the fact that accused-appellants did not see Danilo Abrasia witness the crime has no real significance insofar as the said eyewitness’ fear is concerned.

    Thirdly, Accused-appellants contend that the testimony of Rovellano Abrasia is contrary to natural experience because even as he appeared to be a participant in the crime, having been present from the planning stage up to the consummation of the crime, although his cooperation and assistance were not required by the three accused-appellants who were all brothers. They also cite the fact that Rovellano left Barangay Pangangaan immediately after the alleged commission of the crime, an indication, according to them, that he was himself guilty.

    We find these circumstances insufficient to discredit Rovellano’s testimony. These were all aptly explained by the fact that Rovellano was himself related to the Cabangcala brothers, Accused-appellants in this case. We do not find it odd that he could have actually tagged along with them during all that time that accused-appellants were plotting the crime up to the time of the actual commission of the murder. It is also in accord with natural experience for Rovellano to distance himself from his cousins right after the commission of the crime for fear of being implicated. This will not be taken as flight similar to that of an accused avoiding appropriate charges and possibly, a conviction.

    It must likewise be noted that his testimony is not the sole basis for the conviction of the three Accused-Appellants. The major points in his narration were corroborated by other evidence tending to bolster his credibility.

    Besides —

    As to the credibility of witnesses it is well established that the findings of fact of the trial court thereon should not be disturbed on appeal said court being in a better position to decide the question, from having itself heard and observed the demeanor of the witnesses on the stand, unless it has plainly overlooked certain facts of substance and value which, if considered, could affect the result of the case.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    (People v. Perez, 265 SCRA 506, 516 [1996])

    In the present case, we find no cogent reason to depart from this settled rule.

    Finally, we find unpersuasive accused-appellants’ insistence that the trial court erred in not giving credence to their defense of alibi.

    Two eyewitnesses have positively identified the three accused appellants as the perpetrators of the crime. Alibi cannot prevail over the positive identification of the appellant by the prosecution witnesses. (People v. Gabatin, 203 SCRA 225 [1991]; People v. Tinampay, 207 SCRA 425 [1992]). No jurisprudence in criminal cases is more settled than that alibi is the weakest of all defenses, for which reason it should be rejected when the accused is sufficiently and positively identified by credible eyewitnesses to the crime (People v. Sumalpong, 284 SCRA 464 [1998]). As we have already ruled, no circumstances are present in the case at hand, which would render Danilo’s and Rovellano Abrasia’s eyewitness accounts incredible.

    Additionally, the distance between accused-appellants’ houses where they claim to have stayed when the crime was being perpetrated, does not preclude the possibility that they could also have been at the scene of the crime. They were actually only within fifty meters from the scene of the crime. It is equally settled that:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    The requisite elements for alibi to be appreciated are: (a) to prove his presence in another place at the time of the perpetration of the offense; and (b) to demonstrate that it would thus be physically impossible for him to be at the scene of the crime (People v. Magpantay, 284 SCRA 96 [1998]).

    We, however, cannot affirm the trial court’s appreciation of the aggravating circumstances of abuse of superior strength and nighttime.

    Regarding abuse of superior strength as aggravating circumstance, what should be considered is not that there were three, four or more assailants as against one victim, but whether the aggressors took advantage of their combined strength in order to consummate the offense (People v. Platilla, 304 SCRA 339 [1999]). In the present case, Accused-appellants were priorly unarmed, and it was only when they were about to commit the crime, while waiting for the victim to pass by the bamboo groove that they thought of getting some implement, a crude bamboo pole which they cut right there and then. We further note that only Benny approached the victim, striking him with the said piece of bamboo. Only after the victim fell, having been struck twice by Benny, did the two brothers joined in mauling the victim to death. Obviously, the three accused-appellants did not purposely take advantage of their superior strength.

    Now, as regards the aggravating circumstance of nighttime, it may also be noted that indeed, the plan to kill the victim was hatched as early as 5 o’clock in the afternoon, but accused-appellants did not execute the plan until 10 o’clock that evening. It may be stressed, however, that for nighttime to be appreciated as an aggravating circumstance, the court must be convinced that the cover of darkness was purposely sought for the purpose of ensuring the consummation of the crime. In People v. Bitoon (309 SCRA 209 [1999]), we ruled:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Nighttime could not be appreciated where, as in this case, no evidence was presented showing that nocturnity was specially sought by accused or taken advantage of by him to facilitate the commission of the crime or to ensure his immunity from capture.

    (p. 221.)

    There is no evidence in the present case that accused-appellants intentionally sought the advantage of nocturnity to facilitate the commission of the crime or to ensure immunity from capture. They simply waited for the victim to finish his drinking spree with his companions, which happened to be at around 10 o’clock in the evening, and it was when the victim was on his way home, that the accused-appellants attacked him.

    There being no aggravating circumstances to be appreciated against accused-appellants, the death penalty imposed by the trial court upon accused-appellants Benny and Renato Cabangcala for the crime of murder cannot be affirmed. Accused-appellants Benny and Renato Cabangcala are, therefore, sentenced to the prison term of reclusion perpetua.

    As for Danilo Cabangcala, who was a minor when the crime was committed, the correct penalty should be one degree lower which is prision mayor in its maximum period to reclusion temporal in its medium period (10 years and 1 day to 17 years and 4 months). Applying the indeterminate sentence law, the imposable penalty for the crime of murder in his case where there is neither aggravating nor mitigating circumstance, should be 6 years and 1 day of prision mayor in its minimum period, as minimum up to 14 years and 3 months of reclusion temporal in its minimum period, as maximum.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    With regard to civil damages, Dionisio Pascual’s heirs should be awarded P50,000.00 as civil indemnity (People v. Basco, 318 SCRA 615 [1999]). Moral damages, which include physical suffering and mental anguish may be recovered in criminal cases resulting in physical injuries or victim’s death, as in this case (People v. Bromo, 318 SCRA 760 [1999]), which, under prevailing jurisprudence is fixed at P50,000.00 (People v. Panida, 310 SCRA 66 [1999]).

    WHEREFORE, premises considered, Accused-appellants’ conviction of the crime of murder is AFFIRMED but with MODIFICATION as to the imposable penalty, as above indicated. Accused-appellants are further ordered to solidarily pay the heirs of Dionisio Pascual the amount of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity and P50,000.00 as moral damages, with costs in all instances.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    SO ORDERED.

    Davide Jr., C.J., Bellosillo, Puno, Vitug, Kapunan, Mendoza, Panganiban, Quisumbing, Pardo, Buena, Gonzaga-Reyes, Ynares-Santiago, De Leon Jr. and Sandoval-Gutierrez, JJ., concur.

    G.R. No. 135065   August 8, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENNY CABANGCALA, ET AL.


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