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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
 

   
June-2001 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.M. No. P-00-1446 June 6, 2001 - PATERNO R. PLANTILLA v. RODRIGO G. BALIWAG

  • A.M. No. P-91-642 June 6, 2001 - SOLEDAD LAURO v. EFREN LAURO

  • G.R. No. 92328 June 6, 2001 - DAP MINING ASSO. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 100579 June 6, 2001 - LEANDRO P. GARCIA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113918 June 6, 2001 - MARCELINA G. TRINIDAD, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121272 June 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REYDERICK LAGO

  • G.R. No. 122353 June 6, 2001 - EVANGELINE DANAO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129534 & 141169 June 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NESTOR MACANDOG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138949 June 6, 2001 - UNION BANK OF THE PHIL. v. SEC

  • G.R. No. 138971 June 6, 2001 - PEZA v. RUMOLDO R FERNANDEZ

  • G.R. No. 139034 June 6, 2001 - DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139323 June 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CARLO ELLASOS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140128 June 6, 2001 - ARNOLD P. MOLLANEDA v. LEONIDA C. UMACOB

  • G.R. No. 140277 June 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. GUILLERMO BALDAGO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141529 June 6, 2001 - FRANCISCO YAP, JR. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142888 June 6, 2001 - EVELIO P. BARATA v. BENJAMIN ABALOS JR.

  • G.R. No. 143561 June 6, 2001 - JONATHAN D. CARIAGA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110335 June 18, 2001 - IGNACIO GONZALES, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1615 June 19, 2001 - WINNIE BAJET v. PEDRO M. AREOLA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1633 June 19, 2001 - ANTONIO and ELSA FORTUNA v. MA. NIMFA PENACO-SITACA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 99433 June 19, 2001 - PROJECT BUILDERS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114944 June 19, 2001 - MANUEL C. ROXAS, ET AL. v. CONRADO M. VASQUEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120701 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JONATHAN CRISANTO

  • G.R. No. 123916 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LYNTON ASUNCION

  • G.R. No. 130605 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIX UGANAP, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132160 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO DE LEON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132223 June 19, 2001 - BONIFACIA P. VANCIL v. HELEN G. BELMES

  • G.R. No. 134895 June 19, 2001 - STA. LUCIA REALTY and DEV’T., ET AL. v. LETICIA CABRIGAS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137164 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALBERT NUBLA

  • G.R. No. 137752 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERT AYUNGON

  • G.R. Nos. 138298 & 138982 June 19, 2001 - RAOUL B. DEL MAR v. PAGCOR, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139313 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FLORANTE LEAL

  • G.R. No. 140690 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NAZAR U. CHAVEZ

  • G.R. No. 141441 June 19, 2001 - JOSE SUAN v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. 00-10-230-MTCC June 20, 2001 - RE: JULIAN C. OCAMPO III AND RENATO C. SAN JUAN

  • A.M. No. 00-11-521-RTC June 20, 2001 - RE: AWOL OF MS. LILIAN B. BANTOG

  • A.M. No. P-99-1346 June 20, 2001 - RESTITUTO L. CASTRO v. CARLOS BAGUE

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1606 June 20, 2001 - PATRIA MAQUIRAN v. LILIA G. LOPEZ

  • G.R. No. 84831 June 20, 2001 - PACENCIO ABEJARON v. FELIX NABASA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109666 June 20, 2001 - ROGERIO R. OLAGUER, ET AL. v. EUFEMIO DOMINGO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113564 June 20, 2001 - INOCENCIA YU DINO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115851 June 20, 2001 - LA JOLLA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127129 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROLANDO CABAYA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128617 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CESAR BACUS

  • G.R. Nos. 129292-93 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARLENGEN DEGALA

  • G.R. No. 130524 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUDY MADIA

  • G.R. No. 131036 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DONATO DEL ROSARIO

  • G.R. Nos. 135976-80 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CLAUDIO GALENO

  • G.R. No. 138629 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAMON CAMACHO

  • G.R. No. 139430 June 20, 2001 - EDI STAFF BUILDERS INTERNATIONAL v. FERMINA D. MAGSINO

  • G.R. Nos. 139445-46 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODRIGO GONZALES

  • G.R. No. 142304 June 20, 2001 - CITY OF MANILA v. OSCAR SERRANO, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1342 June 21, 2001 - BISHOP CRISOSTOMO A. YALUNG, ET AL. v. ENRIQUE M. PASCUA

  • G.R. No. 108558 June 21, 2001 - ANDREA TABUSO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109197 June 21, 2001 - JAYME C. UY, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 111580 & 114802 June 21, 2001 - SHANGRI-LA INTERNATIONAL HOTEL MNGT. LTD. ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 116200-02 June 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ELEUTERIO TAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131131 June 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ABELARDO SALONGA

  • G.R. No. 134138 June 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDMUNDO BRIONES AYTALIN

  • G.R. Nos. 135552-53 June 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ABEL ABACIA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139542 June 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. INOCENCIO GONZALEZ

  • G.R. No. 140206 June 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO MATYAONG

  • G.R. No. 142023 June 21, 2001 - SANNY B. GINETE v. SUNRISE MANNING AGENCY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 103068 June 22, 2001 - MEAT PACKING CORP. OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-96-1110 June 25, 2001 - MANUEL N. MAMBA, ET AL. v. DOMINADOR L. GARCIA

  • G.R. No. 116710 June 25, 2001 - DANILO D. MENDOZA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117857 June 25, 2001 - LUIS S. WONG v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128126 June 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAFAEL M. CATAPANG

  • G.R. No. 132051 June 25, 2001 - TALA REALTY SERVICES CORP. v. BANCO FILIPINO SAVINGS AND MORTGAGE BANK

  • G.R. No. 134068 June 25, 2001 - UNION BANK OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136221 June 25, 2001 - EQUATORIAL REALTY DEVELOPMENT v. MAYFAIR THEATER

  • G.R. No. 136382 June 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FIDEL ALBORIDA

  • G.R. Nos. 138439-41 June 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO PANGANIBAN

  • G.R. No. 141141 June 25, 2001 - PAGCOR v. CARLOS P. RILLORAZA

  • G.R. No. 141801 June 25, 2001 - SOLOMON ALVAREZ v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 143428 June 25, 2001 - SANDOVAL SHIPYARDS, ET AL. v. PRISCO PEPITO, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. 99-11-423-RTC June 26, 2001 - RE: Report on the Judicial Audit Conducted in the Regional Trial Court

  • A.M. No. RTJ-99-1461 June 26, 2001 - RICARDO DELA CRUZ v. HERMINIA M. PASCUA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-99-1486 June 26, 2001 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. ISMAEL SANCHEZ

  • G.R. Nos. 110547-50 & 114526-667 June 26, 2001 - JOSE SAYSON v. SANDIGANBAYAN ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120859 June 26, 2001 - METROPOLITAN BANK AND TRUST COMPANY v. FRANCISCO Y. WONG

  • G.R. No. 123542 June 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGELIO BULOS

  • G.R. Nos. 132848-49 June 26, 2001 - PHILROCK v. CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY ARBITRATION COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133990 June 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. HECTOR MARIANO

  • G.R. No. 134764 June 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. BENJAMIN FABIA

  • G.R. Nos. 139626-27 June 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DOMINGO DELA CRUZ

  • G.R. No. 143204 June 26, 2001 - HYATT TAXI SERVICES INC. v. RUSTOM M. CATINOY

  • G.R. Nos. 147589 & 147613 June 26, 2001 - ANG BAGONG BAYANI-OFW LABOR PARTY, ET AL. v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130661 June 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO I. TORRES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 135882 June 27, 2001 - LOURDES T. MARQUEZ v. ANIANO A. DESIERTO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140001 June 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDUARDO BUENAFLOR

  • A.C. No. 3910 June 28, 2001 - JOSE S. DUCAT v. ARSENIO C. VILLALON, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 4073 June 28, 2001 - ARACELI SIPIN-NABOR v. BENJAMIN BATERINA

  • A.M. No. P-01-1480 June 28, 2001.

    AMADO S. CAGUIOA v. CRISANTO FLORA

  • A.M. No. P-99-1343 June 28, 2001 - ORLANDO T. MENDOZA v. ROSBERT M. TUQUERO, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1576 June 28, 2001 - SIMPLICIO ALIB v. EMMA C. LABAYEN

  • G.R. No. 105364 June 28, 2001 - PHIL. VETERANS BANK EMPLOYEES UNION-N.U.B.E., ET AL. v. BENJAMIN VEGA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110813 June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ERNESTO PARDUA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110914 June 28, 2001 - ALFREDO CANUTO; JR., ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 112453-56 June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GERARDO LATUPAN

  • G.R. Nos. 112563 & 110647 June 28, 2001 - HEIRS OF KISHINCHAND HIRANAND DIALDAS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120630 June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARCELO PALERMO

  • G.R. No. 131954 June 28, 2001 - ASELA B. MONTECILLO, ET AL v. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION

  • G.R. Nos. 132026-27 June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO ABENDAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132362 June 28, 2001 - PIO BARRETTO REALTY DEV’T. CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132837 June 28, 2001 - JO CINEMA CORP., ET AL. v. LOLITA C. ABELLANA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133605 June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENJAMIN BARRIAS

  • G.R. No. 135846 June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. NOEL ORTEGA

  • G.R. No. 138270 June 28, 2001 - SEA POWER SHIPPING ENTERPRISES INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142314 June 28, 2001 - MC ENGINEERING, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143723 June 28, 2001 - LITONJUA GROUP OF CO.’s., ET AL. v. TERESITA VIGAN

  • G.R. No. 144113 June 28, 2001 - EDWEL MAANDAL v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL

  • G.R. No. 144942 June 28, 2001 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE v. LA SUERTE CIGAR.

  • G.R. No. 146062 June 28, 2001 - SANTIAGO ESLABAN v. CLARITA VDA. DE ONORIO

  • A.M. No. 00 4-166-RTC June 29, 2001 - Re: Report on the Judicial Audit

  • A.M. No. 01-4-03-SC June 29, 2001 - HERNANDO PEREZ, ET AL. v. JOSEPH E. ESTRADA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-00-1380 June 29, 2001 - GLORIA O. DINO v. FRANCISCO DUMUKMAT

  • G.R. No. 110480 June 29, 2001 - BANGKO SILANGAN DEVELOPMENT BANK v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111860 June 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESUS CLEDORO

  • G.R. No. 116092 June 29, 2001 - SUSANA VDA. DE COCHINGYAN, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118251 June 29, 2001 - METROPOLITAN BANK AND TRUST COMPANY v. REGINO T. VERIDIANO II, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121597 June 29, 2001 - PHIL. NATIONAL BANK v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125944 June 29, 2001 - DANILO SOLANGON, ET AL. v. JOSE AVELINO SALAZAR

  • G.R. No. 126396 June 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. FELIXBERTO LAO-AS

  • G.R. No. 128705 June 29, 2001 - CONRADO AGUILAR v. COMMERCIAL SAVINGS BANK, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129782 June 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BALWINDER SINGH, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131968 June 29, 2001 - ERNESTO PENGSON, ET AL v. MIGUEL OCAMPO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132059 June 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WENEFREDO DIMSON ASOY

  • G.R. No. 138598 June 29, 2001 - ASSET PRIVATIZATION TRUST v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144542 June 29, 2001 - FRANCISCO DELA PEÑA, ET AL v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

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    G.R. No. 110813   June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ERNESTO PARDUA, ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    FIRST DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 110813. June 28, 2001.]

    PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. ERNESTO PARDUA, ROGELIO PARDUA, GEORGE PARDUA, and WARLITO PARDUA, Accused-Appellants.

    D E C I S I O N


    PARDO, J.:


    The case is an appeal from the decision 1 of the Regional Trial Court, Isabela, Roxas, Branch 23 convicting accused Ernesto Pardua, Rogelio Pardua, George Pardua and Warlito Pardua of murder and sentencing each of them to reclusion perpetua and to indemnify jointly and severally the heirs of the victim Toribio Simpliciano in the amount of P62,000.00 as actual and compensatory damages, and an additional sum of P150,000.00 as moral and exemplary damages and to pay the costs.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Only accused Ernesto Pardua was charged in the original information. 2 On May 13, 1991, at the arraignment, Accused Ernesto Pardua pleaded not guilty to the crime charged. 3

    After the prosecution presented two witnesses, namely, Orlando Simpliciano and Alfredo Villanueva, on May 21, 1991, the prosecution filed a motion to admit amended information to include accused Rogelio, Warlito and George, all surnamed Pardua and one Robert dela Cruz, who remained at large. 4

    The two prosecution witnesses were recalled for the retaking of their testimony against the three other accused. Of the two, only Orlando Simpliciano was presented for cross-examination because Alfredo Villanueva could no longer be located.

    On July 3, 1991, the trial court admitted the amended information filed by 4th Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Efren M. Cacatian of Isabela, 5 charging accused Ernesto Pardua, Rogelio Pardua @ Angkuan, Warlito Pardua @ Pollit, George Pardua and Robert Dela Cruz with murder, committed as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "That on or about the 9th day of November, 1989, in the municipality of Roxas, province of Isabela, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the herein accused, conspiring, confederating together and helping one another, with evident premeditation and treachery, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, with intent to kill suddenly and unexpectedly and without giving him chance to defend himself, assault, attack, club and hack with long bolos (panabas) one Toribio Simpliciano inflicting upon him multiple stab and hack wounds on the different parts of his body which directly caused his instantaneous death due to massive hemorrhage and skull fracture.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    "CONTRARY TO LAW."cralaw virtua1aw library

    Upon arraignment on November 4, 1991, Accused Rogelio Pardua and George Pardua entered a plea of "not guilty" to the offense charged. 6 Warlito Pardua, however, was arrested later on and was arraigned on December 9, 1991. He, likewise, entered a plea of "not guilty." 7 Robert de la Cruz remained at large.

    The facts are as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    About 8:00 in the morning of November 9, 1989, Toribio Simpliciano and his hired farm hands, including his nephews, Alfredo Villanueva and Orlando Simpliciano, were plowing Toribio’s rice field in Rang-ayan, Roxas, Isabela. All five accused, riding on a trailer drawn by a "kuliglig" arrived at said place. Forthwith, they jumped off the trailer and attacked Toribio. Rogelio Pardua hacked Toribio with a long bolo locally known as "Tabas" hitting him on the neck and the hips while Warlito Pardua, then holding a piece of wood known as "dos por dos", hit the hapless victim as the latter fell to the ground. Then too, George Pardua and his brother-in-law Robert de la Cruz hit the fallen Toribio with their own long bolos while Ernesto Pardua, armed with a shotgun called "quebrang" in the locality, mauled the victim and pointed the same to Toribio’s farm companions to prevent them from coming to the rescue of Toribio. Thereafter, the five assailants hurried back to their ride and left the scene. Seeing the assailants gone, Toribio’s companions rushed him to the hospital, where he later expired. 8

    Leonora Simpliciano, widow of the victim, testified that while she was sweeping their yard in front of their house that fateful morning, she overheard Atty. Bugarin talking with the accused Ernesto, Rogelio, Warlito, George and Robert in the house of one Danny Jose. Atty. Bugaring, who resented his ejectment from the house of Adora, daughter of Toribio and Leonora, told assailants that if they would kill Toribio, he (Atty. Bugarin) would be responsible for them. Leonora then saw Danny Jose hand a firearm to Rogelio. Sensing imminent danger to her husband’s life, she hastened to seek assistance from the police but soon after she reached the police station, somebody arrived and frantically said her husband was slain in the ricefield. She also suffered mental anguish and pain, she had sleepless nights and could hardly eat. 9

    On November 10, 1989, Dr. Conrado L. Gabriel, Municipal Health Officer of Ilagan, Isabela, examined Toribio Simpliciano and issued a post-mortem examination report. 10 He testified there was a fracture on the victim’s skull, possibly caused by a blunt instrument; head stab wounds, about two (2) centimeters in length and one-half () inch depth, possibly caused by a sharp, triangular instrument; echymotic swollen eyes, possibly caused by a hard blow in the eyes; wound cutting the nape of the neck around 6 and 7 inches long, 3 inches deep, almost separating the head from the body; wounds on the buttocks, around 4 inches long and 3 inches deep. Cause of death: massive hemorrhage with skull fracture. 11

    Accused Ernesto Pardua invoked self-defense. He was an agricultural lessee of the riceland owned by Toribio and the latter tried to wrest physical possession of the riceland. He narrated that on that morning while he was fixing the dikes in the ricefield to let the water flow in, Toribio arrived with seven others, some of whom were Esperidio Pillos, Orlando Simpliciano, and Pablo Obra. When they got down from their tractors or "kuliglig", Toribio, armed with an air rifle and holding a fork with two blades, pointed the gun at Ernesto, and told him to go home. Ernesto refused to leave the riceland where he derived his income. Toribio fired the gun at Ernesto, hitting the latter on his right arm. Acting in self-defense, Ernesto grabbed the gun and thereafter swung and hacked Toribio with the bolo or "panabas" he (Ernesto) was holding at the time. Ernesto could not remember how many times he attacked Toribio because he saw darkness. Finally seeing his victim fall, he wanted to surrender but because he was afraid of a reprisal from Toribio’s companions, he took a passenger bus to Manila to escape. 12

    Rogelio Pardua and his son, George, denied participation in the killing, as they claimed that they discerned trouble when they heard people shouting from Ernesto’s ricefield but they did nothing because they were busy working in their own ricefields. Rogelio, however, was the one who hailed the tricycle that brought Toribio to the hospital. 13

    Warlito Pardua did not take the witness stand to deny his participation.

    On April 27, 1993, the trial court rendered a decision, 14 the dispositive portion of which reads:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "WHEREFORE, in the light of the foregoing findings and conclusions the Court believes and so holds that the prosecution has ably and satisfactorily proved the guilt of the accused beyond any iota of doubt as principals of the offense charged qualified by evident premeditation. Having acted in conspiracy, the commission thereof attended by the following aggravating circumstances: abuse of superior strength and in utter disregard of the due respect to their elder, the deceased Toribio Simpliciano, and without any mitigating circumstance to offset the same, the Court hereby sentences each and every one of them to suffer the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua with all the accessory penalties provided for by law; to indemnify jointly and severally the deceased victim Toribio Simpliciano the sum of P62,000.00 as actual and compensatory damages, and an additional sum of P150,000.00 by way of moral and exemplary damages, and to pay the costs.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    "SO ORDERED."cralaw virtua1aw library

    Hence, this appeal. 15

    In their appeal, Accused-appellants question the credibility of the prosecution witnesses. According to them, only Ernesto committed the hacking that led to Toribio’s death and he did so to defend his landholding from the unlawful entry of his brother-in-law, Toribio.

    It is well settled that the findings of a trial court on the credibility of witnesses deserve great weight, given the clear advantage of a trial judge over an appellate magistrate in the appreciation of testimonial evidence. It is well-entrenched that the trial court is in the best position to assess the credibility of witnesses and their testimonies because of its unique opportunity to observe the witnesses firsthand and note their demeanor, conduct and attitude under grueling examination. These are the most significant factors in evaluating the sincerity of witnesses and in unearthing the truth. In the absence of any showing that the trial court’s calibration of credibility was flawed, we are bound by its assessment. 16

    We have carefully reviewed the testimonies of the witnesses both for the prosecution and the defense as well as other evidence. We are convinced that the trial court correctly held that the accused-appellants’ guilt was established beyond reasonable doubt. We have no reason to doubt the testimony of Orlando and Juanito. They recounted details of the horrifying experience of seeing their uncle, Toribio, killed, in a manner reflective of honest and unrehearsed testimony. Their candid, plain, straightforward account, of the untoward incident that happened in broad daylight and in an open field, was free of significant inconsistencies, unshaken by rigid cross-examination.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Accused-appellants fault the trial court for considering the testimony of Juanito, who was not among those present at the scene of the crime by Orlando and Alfredo, and whose name was not listed in the information as among the prosecution witnesses. According to accused-appellants, Juanito’s testimony is a fabrication, for he saw nothing of the incident which befell his uncle, Toribio.

    The Court is not persuaded. As long as a person is qualified to become a witness, he may be presented as one regardless of whether his name was included in the information or not. 17

    The reason why Juanito was not mentioned by Orlando and Alfredo as one of their companions at the scene of the crime is explained by the fact that Juanito arrived in the farm later for the purpose of asking his uncle, Toribio, to help him cultivate his farm. Juanito, however, failed to talk to his uncle because as he was about to do so, the accused-appellants came and suddenly attacked Toribio; Juanito’s presence could possibly not have been noticed by Orlando and Alfredo because their attention at that time was focused on the startling occurrence that was unfolding before them.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Accused-appellants claimed that Orlando and Juanito were biased witnesses for they were nephews of the victim. The prosecution could have presented other companions of the victim at the time of the hacking incident, like Esperidion Pillos, Alfredo Villanueva, Bobot Pillos, Ely la Fuente and Mariano la Fuente, who were not relatives of Toribio.

    Accused-appellants’ contention deserves scant consideration. Mere relationship of Orlando and Juanito to the victim does not automatically impair their credibility as to render their testimonies less worthy of credence where no improper motive may be ascribed to them for testifying. In fact, a witness’ relationship to a victim, far from rendering his testimony biased, would even render it more credible as it would be unnatural for a relative who is interested in vindicating the crime to accuse somebody other than the real culprit. 18

    In like manner, Leonora’s testimony that she heard her brothers plan the killing of her husband, deserves great weight and credence. In her desire to bring to justice her husband’s assailants, she would not falsely impute to her own brothers the killing of her husband. This goes against the grain of human nature and is therefore unlikely.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The failure of the other companions of the victim to testify is of no moment. The defense could have presented them as their witnesses in order to ferret out the truth. The defense failed to do so. 19

    The defense belabored to point out an inconsistency in Orlando’s testimony, particularly with regard to the participation of George. In his affidavit, Orlando stated that George was unarmed at the time Toribio was hacked and that his participation, if any, was the boxing of Toribio. At the trial, however, he testified that George also hacked Toribio.

    The discrepancy is not substantial enough to impair the credibility of Orlando or impair the evidence for the prosecution. Rather, such minor lapse manifests truthfulness and candor and erases suspicion of a rehearsed testimony. 20

    The attempt to project the victim as the aggressor with appellant Ernesto acting in self-defense is self-serving and a last minute afterthought. The evidence is bereft of any support for appellant’s claim that the victim fired at him with an air rifle. No injury on the body of the appellant was shown. Furthermore, if it were true that Toribio shot Ernesto with an air rifle and Ernesto, reacting to what Toribio had done, hacked the latter in self-defense, Ernesto had no reason whatsoever not to divulge the same to his lawyer who went to see him at the municipal jail after his arrest and during his detention there. Ernesto related the information that he hacked his brother-in-law in legitimate self-defense only two years thereafter, during the trial of this case. 21 Such omissions lead to the conclusion that Ernesto’s story is a pure fabrication.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw library

    Regarding the civil liability of the accused, the trial court ordered the accused to pay the heirs of Toribio Simpliciano, the sum of P62,000.00 as actual and compensatory damages, and an additional sum of P150,000.00 as moral damages and exemplary damages, and to pay the costs.

    The trial court’s award of actual damages for funeral expenses in the amount of P62,000.00 is reduced to P30,000.00. We find the expenses for the interment, amounting to P30,000.00, to be duly supported by receipts. We have held that to justify an award of actual damages, there must be competent proof of the amount of the loss. Credence can be given only to claims which are duly supported by receipts or other credible evidence. 22

    As regards moral damages, Under current case law, P50,000.00 is a reasonable amount to award as moral damages to the heirs of a victim in a murder case. 23

    However, civil indemnity is automatically awarded to the heirs of the victim without need of further proof other than the death of the victim. 24 Thus, we award the amount of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity for the death of Toribio Simpliciano, in line with current jurisprudence.25cralaw:red

    WHEREFORE, the decision of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 23, Roxas, Isabela, is AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION. Accused-appellants Ernesto Pardua, Rogelio Pardua, George Pardua and Warlito Pardua are found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of murder, and are each sentenced to reclusion perpetua and all its accessory penalties. They are ordered to pay jointly and severally the heirs of the victim Toribio Simpliciano in the amounts of P30,000.00 as actual damages, P50,000.00 as moral damages and civil indemnity of P50,000.00 and costs.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    SO ORDERED.

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

    Ynares-Santiago, J., on official business abroad.

    Endnotes:



    1. In Criminal Case No. 301; Decision, dated April 27, 1993, Judge Teodulo E. Mirasol, presiding, Rollo, pp. 21-27.

    2. RTC Record, p. 77.

    3. RTC Record, p. 111.

    4. RTC Record, p. 116 with the attached amended information signed by Prosecutor Efren M. Cacatian, RTC Record, p. 117.

    5. RTC Record, p. 149.

    6. Certificates of Arraignment, RTC Record, pp. 169-170.

    7. Certificate of Arraignment, RTC Record, p. 184.

    8. TSN, May 20, 1991, pp. 15-22, pp. 70-94.

    9. TSN, April 7, 1992, pp. 2-8.

    10. Exhibit "A", RTC Record, p. 12.

    11. TSN, May 27, 1991, pp. 10-17.

    12. TSN, June 24, 1992, pp. 3-20.

    13. TSN, August 13, 1992, pp. 11-17; TSN, September 16, 1992, pp. 10-12.

    14. Rollo, pp. 21-27.

    15. Filed on April 30, 1993; RTC Record, p. 289.

    16. People v. Mosqueda, 313 SCRA 694 [1999].

    17. People v. Tan, 314 SCRA 413 [1999].

    18. People v. Batidor, 303 SCRA 335 [1999].

    19. People v. Kyamko, 222 SCRA 183 [1993].

    20. People v. Reyes, 349 Phil. 39 [1998]; People v. Obello, 348 Phil. 89 [1998].

    21. TSN, July 9, 1992, pp. 11-17.

    22. People v. Dulay, G.R. No. 127842, December 15, 2000.

    23. People v. Jabonero, G.R. No. 132247, May 21, 2001.

    24. People v. Gonzales, G.R. No. 138402, August 18, 2000.

    25. People v. Catampongan, 318 SCRA 674 [1999].

    G.R. No. 110813   June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ERNESTO PARDUA, ET AL.


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