This is an appeal from the decision, 1 dated September 26, 1996, of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 57, Cebu City, finding accused-appellant Cesar Bacus guilty of murder and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to pay the heirs of the victim, Roel Sabejon, the amount of P50,000.00 as indemnity and P6,000.00 as actual damages.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary
The information against accused-appellant alleged —
That on or about the 19th day of March 1995, at about 6:45 o’clock in the evening, in the City of Cebu, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused, armed with a deadly weapon, with deliberate intent, with intent to kill, with treachery and evident premeditation, did then and there attack, assault and shoot one Roel Sabejon with said deadly weapon on the different vital parts of his body and inflicting upon him physical injuries which caused the death of said Roel Sabejon. 2
Accused-appellant pleaded not guilty to the crime charged and trial ensued thereafter.
The prosecution presented five witnesses, three of whom claimed to be eyewitnesses to the shooting by accused-appellant of the victim Roel Sabejon.
Fe Claros, the elder sister of the victim, testified that at about 6:45 in the evening of March 19, 1995, while she was inside her house, in Villa Bulsita, Bulacao, Pardo, Cebu City, she heard two shots coming from the billiard hall located just outside her house. When she went outside to verify the source of the shots, she heard a third shot and saw her brother being shot from behind by Accused-Appellant
. She saw accused-appellant pointing his gun at the victim and kept on pulling the trigger although the gun had stopped firing. Claros said she picked up a stone and wanted to throw it at accused-appellant, but she was overcome with fear that accused-appellant might shoot her. When accused-appellant fled, Claros shouted for help. When the policemen arrived, she told them that her brother had been shot by Accused-Appellant
. She went with the policemen to look for accused-appellant whom they found in the house of his mother-in-law near the Pardo cemetery. Accused-appellant, whose face and upper body were wet, came out of the toilet carrying two plastic bags. When asked about the contents of the bags, Accused
-appellant told the policemen that he had gone to the toilet to relieve himself and that he was then about to throw the waste matter in the plastic bags inside the cemetery. 3
Giovanni Mantalaba, a 12-year-old nephew of the victim, testified that in the afternoon of March 19, 1995, he was at the store of Baby Dolly to have his sister’s P100.00 bill changed. He saw Ronnie Lambo calling accused-appellant and the two thereafter walked towards Peace Valley. Accused-appellant returned alone, immediately went to the billiard hall, and shot the victim three times. Mantalaba said he ran away after witnessing the shooting incident. Accused-appellant also ran away and was chased by Lito, the elder brother of the victim. Upon cross-examination, Mantalaba stated that he stayed in the store for a while even after the P100.00 bill had been changed because he suspected that Lambo and accused-appellant were going to kill the victim. However, he did not tell the victim or anyone about what he thought accused-appellant was about to do. 4
Francisca Sabejon, the mother of the victim, was also presented as witness. She recounted that in the evening of March 19, 1995, she was tending her sari-sari store when accused-appellant bought some ice water which he took with him to the billiard hall. Sabejon said she heard d shot and saw accused-appellant shoot the victim twice. She shouted for help but nobody came to help. She was able take the victim to the Cebu City Medical Center where the latter died 15 minutes after arrival. 5
Francisca Sabejon submitted a receipt for P5,000.00 issued by the St. Francis Funeral Homes for funeral services of the victim (Exh. D), a photocopy of the receipt for P1,000.00 issued by the Parokya sa Santo Tomas de Villanueva as rental fee for the coffin of the victim (Exh. E), and a list of the expenses allegedly incurred for the victim’s wake and funeral expenses. 6
SPO2 Godofredo Cimafranca, a policeman detailed at Pardo Precinct No. 7, was presented by the prosecution as a rebuttal witness. He testified that he and two other policemen went to Villa Bulsita to investigate a shooting incident. They were told by Fe Claros that accused-appellant was the suspect in the crime. Claros accompanied them to the house of accused-appellant’s mother-in-law located near the cemetery where accused-appellant was allegedly hiding. They found accused-appellant coming out of the restroom carrying a bag which he claimed contained waste matter. Upon examination, however, Cimafranca found that the bag actually contained clothes. Accused-appellant looked tense, leading Cimafranca to think that he was about to flee. The police took accused-appellant to their headquarters for investigation. 7
Dr. Nestor Sator, the Medico Legal Officer of the PNP Crime Laboratory in Cebu City, submitted a medico-legal report (Exh. A) or the results of the autopsy conducted on Roel Sabejon.
Dr. Sator testified that he was able to recover a slug from a .38 caliber firearm inside the thoracic cavity of the victim. He also found two gunshot wounds on the head and trunk of the victim, both of which were fatal. On the head wound, the point of entry was at the left ear (inferior portion) post auricular region and the exit was at the right zygomatic region or the right cheek. Dr. Sator said he noted an area of tattooing adjacent to the head, indicating that the distance of the gunman- from the victim was two feet or less. As regards the trunk wound, the point of entry was at the back. No powder burns were found near such entrance. Dr. Sator opined that the powder burns must have been on the victim’s clothes worn by him at the time he was shot. The victim also had a laceration on his chin which he must have sustained when he fell to the ground after being shot. 8
The defense presented five witnesses, including accused-appellant, who interposed the defense of alibi. Accused-appellant claimed that on March 19, 1995, he went to the house of his mother in Villa Bulsita to await the arrival of his brother from Manila. He stayed there until 6:00 in the evening and then went home to cook dinner and clean the toilet. While he was about to throw the garbage outside, he saw Fe Claros with some policemen. Cimafranca inspected the two plastic bags he was carrying and found it to contain garbage. Accused-appellant alleged that when the policemen arrived, he was half-naked. When Cimafranca asked about his shirt, he replied that he hanged it outside. According to accused-appellant, he heard Fe Claros tell the policeman that his (accused-appellant’s) T-shirt was similar to the T-shirt worn by the man who shot her brother. Accused-appellant was thereafter taken to the police station for investigation. 9
The testimony of the accused-appellant was corroborated by Belinda Bacus, his common-law wife. Belinda testified that at around 6:00 in the evening on March 19, 1995, Accused
-appellant came from his parents’ house in Villa Bulsita. Accused-appellant offered to cook dinner as Belinda was not feeling well. Later, Accused
-appellant went to the toilet to dispose of the garbage. Policemen then arrived and invited accused-appellant to the police station for questioning. Belinda was told by the policemen that accused-appellant was identified by Fe Claros as the one who shot her brother. The police asked accused-appellant to get the T-shirt he wore at Villa Bulsita. When accused-appellant showed the T-shirt, Fe Claros said it was the same one which the former was wearing at Villa Bulsita. At the police station, Francisca Sabejon, the victim’s mother, allegedly asked the policeman to force accused-appellant to reveal the name of the person who killed her son, otherwise accused-appellant would be implicated in the crime. Francisca then allegedly told Belinda to persuade accused-appellant to reveal the killer’s identity. Belinda said she confronted accused-appellant, but the latter denied any involvement in the killing of the victim who was his friend. 10
Andrea Gabayan, the mother of Belinda Bacus, was presented by the defense as a sur-rebuttal witness to corroborate the testimonies of the accused-appellant and Belinda as to the whereabouts of accused-appellant at the time of the shooting incident and the alleged contents of the plastic bags. 11
Emelita Lequigan was presented as an eyewitness for the defense. According to her, on March 19, 1995, at around 6:00 in the evening, while she was frying bananas at her store in Villa Bulsita, she saw Ronnie Lambo calling Accused-Appellant
. She allegedly heard accused-appellant telling Lambo that he was not going with the latter as he was already going home. She later saw Lambo with a companion whom she did not recognize. Still later, while she was buying brown sugar at Francisca Sabeja’s store, she heard a shot. She saw the victim fall to the ground and she ran towards her store. According to her, she did not recognize the assailant. Although the assailant’s appearance was similar to that of accused-appellant, she stated that it could not have been him because accused-appellant had already gone home. 12
Cesar C. Cagalawan, a regional chemist of the NBI, Central Visayas Regional Office, testified on the results of the paraffin test which he conducted on accused-appellant on March 20, 1995 at 10:00 in the morning. His findings, as stated in his Chemistry Report (Exh. 2), yielded a negative result as to the test for the presence of nitrates on Accused-Appellant
. According to him, the result indicates that accused-appellant could not have fired a gun within 72 hours before said examination. However, upon cross-examination, Cagalawan stated that even in the absence of powder burns, it is still possible that a person fired a gun, as when he wore gloves or covered his hand with a handkerchief while firing a gun. 13
On September 26, 1996, the trial court rendered its decision, the dispositive portion of which reads:chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary
WHEREFORE, foregoing considered, Accused
is hereby found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder and is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. He is further ordered to indemnify the heirs of Roel Sabejon of the amount of Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00) plus actual expenses of Six Thousand Pesos (P6,000.00). 14
Hence this appeal. Accused-appellant makes the lone assignment of error that —
THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN FINDING HEREIN ACCUSED-APPELLANT GUILTY BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT OF THE CRIME OF MURDER BY RELYING ON THE INCREDIBLE ACCOUNT OF THE ALLEGED EYEWITNESS. 15
Accused-appellant questions the credibility of Fe Claros as a eyewitness, noting that all the eyewitnesses presented by the prosecution are close relatives by blood of the victim. He contends that, just as the trial court doubted the declarations of the two other eyewitness, namely, Francisca Sabejon and Giovanni Mantalaba, credence should not be given to the testimony of Fe Claros identifying accused-appellant as the one who shot and killed her brother.
Accused-appellant also disparages the testimony of SPO2 Godofredo Cimafranca that he was about to escape and was carrying plastic bags which contained clothes. Accused-appellant says these statements are mere conjectures or innuendos which the prosecution failed to substantiate.
The appeal has no merit.
First. Accused-appellant questions the credibility of the prosecution’s eyewitnesses by reason of their being close relatives by blood of the victim. But this fact alone does not necessarily make them biased witnesses. In People v. Villanueva, 16 the Court held that a witness’ relationship to the victim of a crime would even make his or her testimony more credible as it would be unnatural for a relative who is interested in vindicating a crime to accuse thereof somebody other than the real culprit.
Although the trial court did not give much weight to the testimonies of the two other eyewitnesses, it was unequivocal in giving credence to the testimony of eyewitness Fe Claros. It held that the positive identification of Cesar Bacus by Fe Claros as the one whom she saw shot and killed her brother is unquestionable. 17 Indeed, the eyewitness account of Claros is clear, detailed, and consistent in all material points. Claros categorically stated that she went outside because she heard two shots and, on the third shot, she saw her brother being shot by Cesar Bacus. 18 She noted that at that time her brother’s back was to accused-appellant and the latter was pointing a gun at her brother as he kept pulling the trigger although the gun had stopped firing. 19 This account of Claros is consistent with the findings of Dr. Nestor Sator, who testified that the fatal gunshot wound in the head was inflicted at close range and that the point of entry of the trunk wound was at the back. 20 Claros positively identified the accused-appellant as her brother’s assailant considering that he was easily recognizable as he usually frequented their place because he was their friend and neighbor. 21
In her testimony during cross-examination, Claros said that when accused-appellant saw her and the policemen, Accused
-appellant called out to her and told her that he was not the one who killed Roel. This is very revealing considering that at that time Claros had not even pointed to accused-appellant as the assailant of her brother. As Claros testified:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library
Q As a matter of fact, you ask Cesar Bacus and asked who was the one who shot your brother, I will withdraw that, Your Honor, did you not at the police station of Bulacao, Pardo requested Cesar Bacus to tell who shot your brother?
A Before he was (not) arrested when he noticed us he shouted "Oy day kamo diay na Day, Oy unsa man intawon sala nako Day, Oy di man ako and nagpatay ni Roel, pero wa pa ako mosulti niya sir, nga gipusil niya ang akong manghud." 22
Accused-appellant, however, cites the following portions of Claros’ testimony 23 which he says "defies logic and ordinary human experience:"
Q Did you not tell the court a while ago that when you verified, you saw your brother facing his back of (sic) the accused and the accused was (sic) kept on pulling the trigger but the gun did not fire?
A Yes, sir.
Q You were at a distance of 1½ or more or less 2 meters when you verified the two gun shots, is that correct?
A Yes, sir.
Q And you saw your brother his back facing the accused?
A Yes, sir, my younger brother was playing a billiard game, this Cesar Bacus came to him pointing his gun on his head. (She said she was inside the house.) 24
According to accused-appellant, it would have been more realistic if she testified that she saw her brother already slumped on the billiard table or sprawled on the floor instead of still playing billiards after being shot twice. Accused-appellant’s quotation is out of context.
Fe Claros’ testimony is as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library
ATTY. SAORNIDO:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library
Q You mean, you felt that it was only an ordinary shot, what was your purpose in verified when you Say it was only an ordinary shot?
A I was thinking they were just children playing outside and I wanted to admonish them because I had a child who was sleeping, ako unta silang badlongon kay naa man koy bata nga gamay nga natulog.
Q And that was already night time, is that correct?
A Yes, sir.
Q And the situation was already dark?
A It was about 6:45, sir.
Q Do you want to tell the Honorable Court, that the shooting incident happened outside the Billiard place?
A Yes, sir, at the Billiard.
Q Now when you said a while ago that outside the Billiard place was lighted?
A There was a light because my brother was playing billiard pool.
Q Were those two (2) shots successive?
A Yes, sir.
Q Can you tell the court, the interval of fire from two shots to the third shots?
A I went outside because I heard two (2) shots, on the third shot l saw my brother was shot by Cesar Bacus.
Q From two (2) shots, can you tell the court, how many minutes or hour did the third shot fire?
A About two (2) minutes, sir.
Q And when you went out from your house to verify the two gun shots because according to you, you were not certain at first it was a gun shot, what was the position of Roel and the accused in this case, Cesar Bacus were they facing each other standing?
A No sir, my younger brother is back was facing Cesar Bacus.
Q Were they talking to each other or was there any words from them?
A No, sir.
Q And while your brother was, I will withdraw that; Your Honor, how did you notice from that time when you went out from your house when your brother was facing at the back of Cesar Bacus, will you describe to the court [your relative positions with] each other?
A When I went outside from our house I asked why are you firing shots and Cesar Bacus turned towards me and we look each other and he kept on pulling the trigger but the gun did not fire anymore.
Q From this declaration of yours Mrs. Claros, do you want to impress us that when you went out of your house there was no more shot being heard?
WITNESS:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library
A Only the third shot, when I went outside I heard only third shot and then my brother was shot by Cesar Bacus.
Q Let us clarify this Mrs. Claros, when you went out from your house to verify, you saw your brother [with] his back towards the accused and the accused was pointing a gun to your brother, [kept] on pulling the trigger but the gun did not fire, is that correct?
A Yes, sir.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary
Q And that instance Cesar Bacus turned to you and look at you, is that correct?
A Yes, sir.
Q And after that when Cesar Bacus noticed your presence Cesar Bacus left and went away?
A Yes, sir.
Q Because as a matter of fact you picked up a stone [with] your intention to throw at Cesar Bacus?
A Yes, sir.
Q But because you were prevented by fear as he was holding a gun?
A Yes, sir.
Q When Cesar Bacus left, did he come back?
A No, sir.25cralaw:red
When further questioned, Claros stated:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library
Q Are you sure that after those 2 gunshots your brother was still playing or continued playing the billiard?
A He was not playing anymore because he was far away from the table. (Nasaray) 26
The Court has repeatedly held that the entirety of a witness’ testimony must be considered, and not truncated portions thereof. 27 Facts imperfectly stated in answer to one question may be supplied by his answer to another and, when from one statement considered by itself an inference may be deduced, that inference may be strengthened or repelled by facts disclosed in another. 28 Had this been done by accused-appellant, he would not have claimed that the trial court gave credence to testimony that is contrary to logic if not to human experience.
Indeed, Fe Claros in no way meant that her brother was still standing and playing billiards after the two gunshots had been fired. The questioned portion of her testimony refers to what she concluded had happened based on what she saw after the two shots had been fired, her brother was playing billiards when accused-appellant approached him and aimed his gun at his head. In other words, judging from the relative positions of her brother and his assailant, she concluded that the latter shot his victim from behind. However, when asked to clarify her previous statement, she replied without hesitation that her brother was no longer playing billiards after he had been shot.
Despite rigorous cross-examination, Fe Claros remained consistent and steadfast as to the material elements of the crime, that she heard two shots coming from the billiard area, that she went outside to find out what was going on, and that she saw accused-appellant behind her brother, pointing a gun at the latter’s head and pulling the trigger although the gun no longer fired after the third shot. The matters raised by accused-appellant did not touch upon these established facts. We have repeatedly held that minor and inconsequential flaws in the testimony of witnesses strengthen rather than weaken their credibility. The test is whether their testimonies agree on the essential facts and substantially corroborate a consistent and coherent whole. 29 In this case, Fe Claros’ testimony meets the standard of credibility.
Second. The contention that the prosecution failed to substantiate its claim that he was about to escape when the policemen found him does not affect his conviction of the crime charged. In the case of murder or homicide, it is enough that the death of the victim and the responsibility of the person who caused such death are proven beyond reasonable doubt. 30 The records show that the police had cause to believe that the accused-appellant was about to flee. According to the testimony of SPO2 Cimafranca, 31 accused-appellant appeared tense and was carrying a bag which contained clothing when he was found shortly after the shooting incident. Such disposition of accused-appellant plus the positive identification by Claros that he was her brother’s assailant understandably led the police to think that he might flee to evade arrest. Credence should be given to the narration of an incident by prosecution witnesses who are police officers and presumed to have performed their duties in a regular manner, in the absence of evidence to the contrary. 32
Accused-appellant makes much of the failure of the prosecution to present in evidence the bag accused-appellant was allegedly carrying prior to his arrest. He invokes the presumption that when a party has in his possession or power to produce the best evidence of which the case in its nature is susceptible and withholds the same, it must be presumed that the evidence was withheld for some unlawful motive and that its production would thwart an evil and fraudulent purpose. 33 But the bag is immaterial to prove the guilt of Accused-Appellant
. It has not even been shown that it was seized by the police when they arrested Accused-Appellant
. Thus, the principle invoked by accused-appellant is inapplicable to this case.
Third. The trial court correctly held that the alibi given by accused-appellant as well as that of his two other witnesses, Belinda Bacus and Andrea Gabayan, that he was at home doing some household chores cannot prevail over the positive identification made by Fe Claros. 34 For alibi to prosper as a defense, the accused must not only prove that he was somewhere else when the crime was committed but he must also show that it was physically impossible for him to have been at the scene of the crime. 35 In the case of accused-appellant, this physical impossibility has not been established.
Nor could credence be given to the supposed eyewitness testimony of defense witness Emerita Lequigan. Lequigan admitted that she did not tell the police or even the barangay captain that she saw the killing of Roel Sabejon and that she only agreed to testify when Belinda Bacus approached her and asked her to do so. 36 While this could understands the natural reticence of witnesses to get involved in a criminal case, 37 the delay in reporting the crime must be sufficiently explained. 38 In this case, no explanation was given why Emerita Lequigan failed to come forward if she did in fact see the incident which led to the death of Roel Sabejon. Considering that she had known accused-appellant since childhood and it was known in the neighborhood that accused-appellant was arrested for the killing of Roel Sabejon, the Court is at a loss why she failed to inform anyone of her knowledge on the incident in question. The only reasonable explanation is that she did not in fact witness the killing of Roel Sabejon and was only prevailed upon by accused-appellant’s common-law spouse and mother to testify in order to help Accused-Appellant
On the other hand, the account of Emelita Lequigan tends to show that accused-appellant was the perpetrator of the crime. According to Lequigan, the assailant’s appearance is similar to that of accused appellant. However, she said it could not have been him because he had already gone home at that time. But she arrived at such conclusion merely because she allegedly overheard a conversation between accused-appellant and Lambo wherein the former told the latter that he was going home. However, a careful perusal of the testimony shows that Lequigan initially stated that she did not hear the conversation between accused-appellant and Lambo. It was only when the defense misled her into thinking that she had made a previous statement that she heard the conversation that she made a complete turnabout on her testimony. The pertinent portion of her testimony bears this out:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library
Q: How far were they when this Ronnie Lambo called Cesar Bacus for you?
A: About five meters, sir.
Q: Did you hear what they were talking?
A: I did not hear what they were talking.
Q I overheard that you said you failed to clearly hear what they were talking, did you say that a while ago?
A Yes, sir.
Q What is that word that you heard clearly?
A I heard from Cesar Bacus that I will not go with you because I will go home.
Q And that was at 6:00 o’clock in the evening of March 19, 1995?
A Yes, sir. 39
Fourth. The trial court correctly found treachery in the manner by which the accused-appellant killed the victim. 40 The elements of treachery are: (1) the means of execution employed gives the person no opportunity to defend himself or retaliate; and (2) the means of execution were deliberately or consciously adopted. 41 Accused-appellant shot the victim from behind while he was playing billiards. The victim was totally unaware and was thus rendered defenseless. The eyewitness account of Fe Claros and the medical report of Dr. Sator fully showed the employment of treachery in the killing of the victim.
Based on the foregoing considerations, Accused
-appellant is guilty of murder and should suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. The trial court’s award of P50,000.00 for civil indemnity is in line with the prevailing doctrine. Civil indemnity is intended as indemnity for the death of the victim and need not be proven. 42 The award of P6,000.00 as actual damages is likewise proper considering that such amount covers funeral expenses which were duly supported by receipts. However, in accordance with our rulings, 43 accused-appellant should be ordered to pay the additional amount of P50,000.00 as moral damages.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary
WHEREFORE, the decision of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 57, Cebu City, is AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that accused-appellant is ordered to pay the heirs of Roel Sabejon the additional amount of P50,000.00 as moral damages.
Bellosillo, Quisumbing, Buena and De Leon Jr., JJ.
1. Per Judge Victorino U. Montecillo.
2. Records, p. 1.
3. TSN, pp. 2-18, June 14, 1995.
4. TSN, pp. 2-6, 13-16, July 14, 1995.
5. TSN, pp. 3-6, Aug. 10, 1995.
6. Id., pp. 7-8.
7. TSN, pp. 3-7, March 20, 1996.
8. TSN, pp. 2-6, June 13, 1995.
9. TSN, pp. 3-11, Nov. 23, 1995.
10. TSN, pp. 2-8, Oct. 17, 1995.
11. TSN, pp. 3-7, May 10, 1996.
12. TSN, pp. 2-9, Oct. 16, 1995.
13. TSN, pp. 3-10, Jan. 24, 1996.
14. Decisions p. 5; Records, p. 84.
15. Brief for the Accused-Appellant, p. 1; Rollo, p. 69.
16. 302 SCRA 380 (1999).
17. Decision, p. 5; Rollo, p. 85.
18. TSN, p. 12, June 14, 1995.
19. Id., pp. 12-13.
20. TSN, pp. 4-6, June 13, 1995.
21. TSN, p. 4, June 14, 1995.
22. Id., p. 18.
23. Brief for the Accused-Appellant, pp. 7-8; Rollo, pp. 75-76.
24. TSN, pp. 13-14, June 14, 1995.
25. Id., pp. 11-13.
26. Id., p. 15.
27. People v. Galam, G.R. No. 114740, February 15, 2000 citing People v. Gaorama, 289 SCRA 652 (1998); People v. Garcia, 281 SCRA 463 (1997); People v. Butron, 272 SCRA 352 (1997); People v. Sagaral, 267 SCRA 671 (1997); People v. Natan, 193 SCRA 355 (1991).
28. People v. Maribao, 279 SCRA 70 (1997).
29. People v. Barro, Jr., G.R. No. 129892, Oct. 16. 2000.
30. People v. Serzo Jr., 274 SCRA 553 (1997) citing People v. Roluna, 231 SCRA 446 (1994); People v. Sasota, 91 Phil. 111 (1952).
31. TSN, pp. 5-7, March 29, 1996.
32. People v. Bansil 304 SCRA 384 (1999).
33. Brief for the Accused-Appellant, pp. 8-9; Rollo, pp. 76-77.
34. Decision, p. 5; Rollo p. 85.
35. People v. Baltazar, G.R. No. 130610, October 16, 2000; People v. Barreta, G.R. No. 120367, October 16, 2000; People v. Dee, G.R. No. 115251-52, October 5, 2000; People v. Vital, G.R. No. 130785, September 29, 2000.
36. TSN, pp. 11-12, Oct. 16. 1995.
37. People v. Suza, G.R. No. 130611, April 5, 2000.
38. People v. Arlalejo, G.R. No. 127841, June 16, 2000.
39. TSN, pp. 5-6, Oct. 16, 1995.
40. Decision, p. 5; Rollo, p. 85.
41. People v. Aquino, G.R. No. 130613, October 5, 2000; People v. Hilot, G.R No 129532, October 5, 2000; People v. Dubria, G.R. No. 138887, September 26, 2000.
42. People v. Bato, G.R. No. 127843, December 15, 2000; People v. De Guzman, G R. No. 137806, December 14, 2000; People v. Balmoria, G.R. No. 134539, November 15, 2000.
43. People v. Galo, G.R. No. 132025, January 16, 2001; People v. Casturia, G.R No 128819, November 20, 2000; People v. Barrameda, G.R. No. 130177, October 11, 2000; People v. Mira, G.R. No. 123130, October 2, 2000.