ChanRobles™ Virtual Law Library | chanrobles.com™  
Main Index Law Library Philippine Laws, Statutes & Codes Latest Legal Updates Philippine Legal Resources Significant Philippine Legal Resources Worldwide Legal Resources Philippine Supreme Court Decisions United States Jurisprudence
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)
 

 
Chan Robles Virtual Law Library
 









 

 
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.

  •  





     
     

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

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    SECOND DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 126396. June 29, 2001.]

    PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. FELIXBERTO LAO-AS, Accused-Appellant.

    D E C I S I O N


    QUISUMBING, J.:


    On appeal is the decision 1 dated May 29, 1996 of the Regional Trial Court of Bulacan, Branch 22, in Criminal Case No. 2303-M-91, convicting Felixberto Lao-as for murder, imposing upon him the penalty of reclusion perpetua, and ordering him to pay the victim’s heirs indemnity in the amount of P50,000.00 with 6% interest from the time of filing the information with the trial court. 2

    The information against appellant dated November 19, 1991 alleged:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    That on or about the 25th day of December, 1988, in the municipality of Marilao, province of Bulacan, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the abovenamed accused, with intent to kill one Leonardo Bastuten, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously, with evident premeditation, abuse of superior strength and treachery, attack, assault, stab with a bladed instrument and use personal violence on the said Leonardo Bastuten, hitting the latter on his body, thereby causing him stab wounds which directly caused his death.

    Contrary to law. 3

    The facts of the case, as summarized by the Office of the Solicitor General and which we find supported by the records, are as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    On December 24, 1998, the victim Leonardo Bastuten invited appellant, Armando Ramirez, Demetrio Candelisas 4 and a certain Lanchiola to his house in Tabing Ilog, Marilao, Bulacan to celebrate Christmas. Bastuten and the four persons he invited are from Bacolod City (tsn, Nov. 16, 1994, pp. 4, 5, 9, 10, 12, 13).

    The drinking inside the compound of the Bastuten started at about 4:00 in the afternoon of December 24, 1988 and ended at 5:00 in the morning of Christmas day. The group consumed about 4 to 5 big bottles of Tanduay ESQ.

    Bastuten himself did not join the drinking. (tsn, Nov. 16, 1994, pp. 12-14). At about 10:00 in the evening of December 24, 1988, he went to sleep, while his guests continued drinking. At about 5:00 o’clock in the morning, Bastuten woke up and went outside his house. Bastuten talked with Armando Ramirez and told him that he still wanted to sleep (tsn, Nov. 16, 1994, pp. 14, 15).

    At about 5:30 in the morning, Bastuten went again downstairs but this time he did not talk with Ramirez. Bastuten did not do anything. Appellant who was then drunk and without saying a word, got a knife from his left sock and stabbed Bastuten. Appellant was about to stab Bastuten for the second time but Ramirez, who was only two feet away was able to parry the thrust. The left thumb of Ramirez was wounded. Ramirez was not aware of any reason why appellant stabbed the victim. After stabbing the victim, appellant ran away (tsn, Nov. 16, 1994, pp. 5-11, 15-18).

    Demetrio Candalisas, a friend of the victim, was in the victim’s house taking a rest. He heard the victim shout and say "pare, nasaksak ako." He asked the victim who stabbed him and the victim told him that it was appellant. He brought the victim to the hospital. At the hospital, the victim told him to inform his (the victim’s) parents (tsn, March 21, 1995, pp. 5-10). 5

    Bastuten’s wife, Concepcion, failed to talk with her husband, who soon could no longer speak. He succumbed to septicemia and reversible shocks due to the stab wounds on December 27, 1988.

    Upon arraignment of the charge against him, appellant pleaded not guilty. 6 In the course of trial, the following witnesses were presented by the prosecution: (1) Concepcion Bastuten, 7 the wife of the victim; (2) Armando Ramirez, an alleged eyewitness to the stabbing incident; and (3) Demetrio Candilosas, who brought the victim to the hospital and allegedly heard him declare that he had been stabbed by appellant. 8

    For its part, the defense presented the following witnesses: (1) Appellant, who testified on his behalf, and (2) Bienvenido Porlaje, who testified that he saw the victim and appellant having a fight, with the former holding a knife. 9

    On May 29, 1996, the trial court convicted appellant of the crime of murder, disposing as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, judgment is hereby rendered as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    1) finding the accused GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder as penalized under Art. 247, Revised Penal Code and is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua;

    2) accused is ordered to pay the following amount to the heirs of Leonardo Bastuten:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    a) P50,000.00 for the life of the victim Leonardo Bastuten with 6% interest on all amount due from the filing of the information on November 29, 1991 until said amounts have been fully paid.

    SO ORDERED. 10

    In his appeal, appellant now claims that the trial court erred —

    1. IN CONVICTING THE ACCUSED OF THE CRIME OF MURDER.

    2. IN NOT GIVING CREDIT TO THE ESTABLISHED FACT THAT THERE IS NO EYEWITNESS TO THE KILLING AND THAT THERE WAS NO CRIMINAL INTENT ESTABLISHED AGAINST THE APPELLANT. 11

    In his brief, appellant contends that no one witnessed the stabbing of the victim. Hence, he argues that his culpability was not proved beyond reasonable doubt. At the same time, appellant also asserts that there was a fight between him and the victim, wherein he defended himself did not stab the victim. 12

    For the State, the Office of the Solicitor General avers that: (1) appellant was identified by a prosecution witness as the assailant; (2) the victim’s utterance to Demetrio Candilosas that he was stabbed by appellant is admissible as part of the res gestae, if not a dying declaration; (3) the flight of appellant after the incident is indicative of his guilt; (4) there was no improper motive on the part of the prosecution witnesses when they testified against appellant; and (5) appellant in effect admitted stabbing and wounding the victim.

    At issue is whether or not the witnesses’ testimonies were credible and sufficient to establish the guilt of appellant beyond reasonable doubt.

    To begin with, we had to peruse closely the records of the case. Appellant’s claim that no one witnessed the stabbing incident is belied by the records. Prosecution witness Armando Ramirez testified under oath that it was appellant who inflicted the fatal wound with a balisong which had been concealed in appellant’s left sock. 13 This witness categorically stated that he was about two feet from the victim and appellant. 14 After the stabbing, the witness saw appellant run away. 15 Worthy of note, no one directly contradicted the testimony of Ramirez.

    Ramirez was an unbiased witness, without any improper motive to falsely testify for or against anyone. Both appellant and Ramirez testified that they were friends. 16 Given the circumstances, Ramirez’ testimony is entitled to full faith and credit. 17

    Furthermore, prosecution witness Demetrio Candilosas testified on trial that as the victim staggered into his house, he declared that he had been stabbed. When asked who had stabbed him, the victim identified appellant as the culprit. 18 While the direct examination of Candilosas was not subjected to cross-examination, it is nonetheless admissible in evidence as counsel for appellant waived cross-examination of this witness. 19

    While Candilosas himself did not see the actual stabbing, the victim’s revelation to him of the name of appellant as the assailant could be considered as a dying declaration. Such ante mortem statement is evidence of the highest order because at the threshold of death, all thoughts of fabricating lies are stilled. 20 The utterance of a victim made immediately after sustaining serious injuries may be considered the incident speaking through the victim. 21 It is entitled to the highest credence.

    Even if arguendo said declaration is not admitted as a dying declaration, it is still admissible as part of the res gestae, since it was made shortly after a startling occurrence and under the influence thereof. Under the circumstances, the victim evidently had no opportunity to contrive 22 his statement beforehand.

    Appellant claims self-defense but at the same time denies involvement in the fatal stabbing. His illogical stance that he did not stab the victim does not faze his vigorous assertion that he was merely defending his own life and limb. He adds that the prosecution has failed to establish any ill motive nor intent to commit a crime. However, he also insists that he only tried to grab from the victim the knife that eventually killed him. 23

    As pointed out by the Solicitor General, the posture of the accused is a melange of defenses: accident, self-defense and unawareness that a mortal wound had been inflicted upon the victim, each of which are mutually exclusive. Accident presupposes lack of intention to stab the victim, while self-defense presumes voluntariness, induced only by necessity. 24 As to his defense of "accident," according to the prosecution, a person who accidentally injures another does not perceive any aggression that must be repelled by force. A person who says he stabbed another person accidentally or in self-defense cannot at the same time pretend he did not know he had stabbed the other.25cralaw:red

    Appellant’s claim of lack of motive, however, does not preclude his conviction. It is judicial knowledge that persons have been killed or assaulted for no reason at all. 26 Besides, proof of motive in a criminal case becomes relevant and essential only when the identity of an assailant is in question. 27 This, in our view, is not so in the present case, since Armando Ramirez positively identified appellant as the malefactor.

    The testimony of defense witness, Bienvenido Porlaje, does not fortify appellant’s allegation of innocence. Porlaje testified that on the night of December 25, 1988, he joined a drinking session with one Badong, Armando (Ramirez), "Bulldog", Danny, Leonardo (Bastuten) and the appellant. He heard a commotion inside the victim’s house and went inside to investigate, only to find appellant and the victim fighting. Appellant was holding a knife. Thereafter, he saw him run away from the house. According to Porlaje, appellant went inside the house of the victim to awaken the latter so as to continue their drinking spree. 28

    On cross-examination, however, Porlaje retracted his earlier statement that he was part of the drinking group, claiming instead that he was just a neighbor of the victim. When asked who among the group present went inside the house of the victim, he first answered that he did not know any of them. When pressed for an answer, he finally said that Ramirez went inside the house. 29 These contradictions, inconsistencies and incongruities in Porlaje’s testimony merely undermine appellant’s defense.

    The trial court found that the stabbing of the victim was attended by treachery. Appellant stabbed the victim just as the latter descended from his house. According to witness Ramirez, there was no previous altercation between the victim and appellant. Appellant had concealed the balisong in one of his socks prior to the stabbing. 30 The victim could not have anticipated that appellant would attack him. He had just awakened after sleeping late on Christmas eve. Clearly, the attack on the victim was carried out with alevosia. There is treachery or alevosia when the attack on an unarmed victim who has not given the slightest provocation is sudden, unexpected, and without warning. 31 Even in a case where the victim was stabbed in the front part of his body, we have ruled that such frontal attack is treacherous when it is sudden and unexpected, and the victim is unarmed. 32

    In the present case, however, we find that dwelling is not a generic aggravating circumstance. Ramirez witnessed the stabbing incident outside the victim’s house, while Demetrio Candilosas testified that the victim staggered into his own house after he had been stabbed. 33 Hence, the crime did not occur inside the victim’s dwelling. In addition, the presence of the aggravating circumstance of dwelling was not alleged in the information. 34

    As to the appropriate penalty, the attendance of treachery has qualified appellant’s offense to murder, and without aggravating or mitigating circumstances, the penalty of reclusion perpetua has been properly imposed.

    WHEREFORE, the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Malolos, Bulacan, Branch 22, dated May 29, 1996, in Criminal Case No. 2303-M-91 is AFFIRMED. Appellant Felixberto Lao-as is declared GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt for the MURDER of Leonardo Bastuten. Appellant is sentenced to RECLUSION PERPETUA and ordered to pay the heirs of Leonardo Bastuten the amount of P50,000.00 as death indemnity with 6% interest from the filing of the information on November 29, 1991 until fully paid. Costs against Appellant.

    SO ORDERED.

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

    Endnotes:



    1. Rollo, pp. 13-30.

    2. Id. at 30.

    3. Id. at 4.

    4. Variously spelled in the records as Candalisas, Candilosas, and Candelesa.

    5. Rollo, pp. 97-99.

    6. Records, p. 24.

    7. Also spelled as Bastutin in her signature in the Sworn Statement, Records, p. 5.

    8. Rollo, pp. 13-16.

    9. Id. at 16-19.

    10. Id. at 30.

    11. Id. at 58.

    12. Id. at 57.

    13. TSN, November 16, 1994, pp. 6 and 9.

    14. Id. at 8.

    15. Id. at 11.

    16. TSN, September 13, 1995, p. 15; TSN, November 16, 1994, p. 19.

    17. People v. Payot, 308 SCRA 43, 62-63 (1999).

    18. TSN, March 21, 1995. p 9.

    19. Records, p. 158.

    20. People v. Rada, 308 SCRA 191, 204 (1999).

    21. People v. Montilla, 211 SCRA 119, 128 (1992).

    22. People v. Ebrada, 296 SCRA 353, 366 (1998).

    23. Rollo, p. 57.

    24. People v. Carlos, 115 Phil. 704, 706 (1962).

    25. Rollo, p. 116.

    26. People v. Benito, 303 SCRA 468, 477 (1999).

    27. People v. Bautista, 308 SCRA 620, 641 (1999).

    28. TSN, December 6, 1995, pp 5-9.

    29. Id. at 9-11.

    30. TSN, November 16, 1994, pp. 6-9.

    31. People v. Adoviso, 309 SCRA 1, 16 (1999).

    32. People v. Belaro, 307 SCRA 591, 607 (1999).

    33. TSN, November 16, 1994, p. 8; TSN, March 21, 1995, p. 7.

    34. Records, p. 2.

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


    Back to Home | Back to Main

     

    QUICK SEARCH

    cralaw

       

    cralaw



     
      Copyright © ChanRobles Publishing Company Disclaimer | E-mail Restrictions
    ChanRobles™ Virtual Law Library | chanrobles.com™
     
    RED