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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)
 

 
Chan Robles Virtual Law Library
 
 

 
UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
March-2001 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.M. No. MTJ-00-1279 March 1, 2001 - ALICIA GONZALES-DECANO v. ORLANDO ANA F. SIAPNO

  • A.M. No. MTJ-00-1282 March 1, 2001 - SOFRONIO DAYOT v. RODOLFO B. GARCIA

  • G.R. No. 112092 March 1, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERT NUÑEZ

  • G.R. No. 123069 March 1, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PEDRO SASPA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126019 March 1, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO CALDONA

  • G.R. No. 131637 March 1, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODELIO PERALTA

  • G.R. No. 133888 March 1, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALFREDO NARDO

  • G.R. No. 134330 March 1, 2001 - ENRIQUE M. BELO, ET AL. v. PHIL. NATIONAL BANK, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 135667-70 March 1, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESSIE VENTURA COLLADO

  • G.R. No. 138666 March 1, 2001 - ISABELO LORENZANA v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 140511 March 1, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BALTAZAR AMION

  • G.R. No. 142313 March 1, 2001 - MANUEL CHU, SR., ET AL. v. BENELDA ESTATE DEV’T. CORP.

  • G.R. No. 142527 March 1, 2001 - ARSENIO ALVAREZ v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144678 March 1, 2001 - JAVIER E. ZACATE v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 146710-15 & 146738 March 2, 2001 - JOSEPH E. ESTRADA v. ANIANO DESIERTO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113236 March 5, 2001 - FIRESTONE TIRE & RUBBER COMPANY OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113265 March 5, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MANUEL PEREZ

  • G.R. No. 118680 March 5, 2001 - MARIA ELENA RODRIGUEZ PEDROSA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123788 March 5, 2001 - DOMINADOR DE GUZMAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 124686 March 5, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROQUE ELLADO

  • G.R. No. 127158 March 5, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JULIO HERIDA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132353 March 5, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALFREDO IBO

  • G.R. No. 126557 March 6, 2001 - RAMON ALBERT v. CELSO D. GANGAN

  • G.R. No. 138646 March 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOMER CABANSAY

  • G.R. No. 139518 March 6, 2001 - EVANGELINE L. PUZON v. STA. LUCIA REALTY AND DEVELOPMENT

  • G.R. Nos. 140249 & 140363 March 6, 2001 - DANILO S. YAP v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140884 March 6, 2001 - GELACIO P. GEMENTIZA v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143823 March 6, 2001 - JENNIFER ABRAHAM v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126168 March 7, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANTONIO SAMUDIO

  • G.R. No. 129594 March 7, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JUNNIFER LAURENTE

  • G.R. No. 135945 March 7, 2001 - UNITED RESIDENTS OF DOMINICAN HILL v. COMM. ON THE SETTLEMENT OF LAND PROBLEMS

  • G.R. No. 136173 March 7, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ERNESTO ICALLA

  • G.R. Nos. 137481-83 & 138455 March 7, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CONRADO SALADINO

  • G.R. Nos. 139962-66 March 7, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EUGENIO MANGOMPIT

  • A.M. No. MTJ-00-1297 March 7, 2001 - JOSEFINA BANGCO v. RODOLFO S. GATDULA

  • A.M. No. MTJ-00-1329 March 8, 2001 - HERMINIA BORJA-MANZANO v. ROQUE R SANCHEZ

  • G.R. No. 122611 March 8, 2001 - NAPOLEON H. GONZALES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125901 March 8, 2001 - EDGARDO A. TIJING, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130378 March 8, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARNEL MATARO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134279 March 8, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RICKY ROGER AUSTRIA

  • G.R. Nos. 135234-38 March 8, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALEJANDRO GUNTANG

  • G.R. No. 137649 March 8, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO VILLADARES

  • G.R. No. 138137 March 8, 2001 - PERLA S. ZULUETA v. ASIA BREWERY

  • G.R. No. 138774 March 8, 2001 - REGINA FRANCISCO, ET AL v. AIDA FRANCISCO-ALFONSO

  • G.R. No. 140479 March 8, 2001 - ROSENCOR DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, ET AL. v. PATERNO INQUING, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140713 March 8, 2001 - ROSA YAP PARAS, ET AL. v. ISMAEL O. BALDADO

  • G.R. No. 112115 March 9, 2001 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 140619-24 March 9, 2001 - BENEDICTO E. KUIZON, ET AL. v. ANIANO A. DESIERTO

  • G.R. No. 126099 March 12, 2001 - ROBERTO MITO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128372 March 12, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REMEGIO DELA PEÑA

  • G.R. Nos. 130634-35 March 12, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MANOLITO OYANIB

  • G.R. No. 131889 March 12, 2001 - VIRGINIA O. GOCHAN, ET AL. v. RICHARD G. YOUNG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136738 March 12, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EFREN VALEZ

  • G.R. No. 137306 March 12, 2001 - VIRGINIA AVISADO, ET AL. v. AMOR RUMBAUA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 140011-16 March 12, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EUSTAQUIO MORATA

  • A.M. No. P-01-1464 March 13, 2001 - SALVADOR O. BOOC v. MALAYO B. BANTUAS

  • G.R. No. 103073 March 13, 2001 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131530 March 13, 2001 - Y REALTY CORP. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136594 March 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOEL CANIEZO

  • G.R. No. 139405 March 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARTURO F. PACIFICADOR

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1530 March 14, 2001 - EDGARDO ALDAY, ET AL. v. ESCOLASTICO U. CRUZ

  • G.R. Nos. 116001 & 123943 March 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LUISITO GO

  • G.R. No. 130209 March 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LARRY LAVAPIE, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 130515 & 147090 March 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANSELMO BARING

  • G.R. Nos. 134451-52 March 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REYNALDO FRETA

  • G.R. No. 137036 March 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. HERNANDO DE MESA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138045 March 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIETTA PATUNGAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139300 March 14, 2001 - AMIGO MANUFACTURING v. CLUETT PEABODY CO.

  • G.R. No. 102985 March 15, 2001 - RUBEN BRAGA CURAZA v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133480 March 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FLORANTE AGUILUZ

  • G.R. Nos. 135201-02 March 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FLORENCIO FRANCISCO

  • G.R. No. 141616 March 15, 2001 - CITY OF QUEZON v. LEXBER INCORPORATED

  • G.R. No. 116847 March 16, 2001 - MANUFACTURERS BUILDING v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128083 March 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO M. HILARIO

  • G.R. No. 128922 March 16, 2001 - ELEUTERIA B. ALIABO, ET AL. v. ROGELIO L. CARAMPATAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129070 March 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NELLIE CABAIS

  • G.R. No. 131544 March 16, 2001 - EPG CONSTRUCTION CO., ET AL. v. GREGORIO R. VIGILAR

  • G.R. No. 135047 March 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RICARDO CACHOLA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137282 March 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALFREDO ALIPAR

  • G.R. Nos. 137753-56 March 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. NILO ARDON

  • A.M. No. 01-1463 March 20, 2001 - EVELYN ACUÑA v. RODOLFO A. ALCANTARA

  • A.M. No. MTJ-00-1306 March 20, 2001 - ROBERT M. VISBAL v. RODOLFO C. RAMOS

  • A.M. No. P-97-1241 March 20, 2001 - DINNA CASTILLO v. ZENAIDA C. BUENCILLO

  • G.R. Nos. 105965-70 March 20, 2001 - GEORGE UY v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL

  • G.R. No. 108991 March 20, 2001 - WILLIAM ALAIN MIAILHE v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130663 March 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. ANGELES STA. TERESA

  • G.R. Nos. 136862-63 March 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROLANDO SANTOS

  • G.R. Nos. 139413-15 March 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ENDRICO GALAS

  • G.R. No. 140356 March 20, 2001 - DOLORES FAJARDO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140919 March 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BUTCH BUCAO LEE

  • G.R. No. 142476 March 20, 2001 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN

  • G.R. No. 144074 March 20, 2001 - MEDINA INVESTIGATION & SECURITY CORP., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127772 March 22, 2001 - ROBERTO P. ALMARIO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 133815-17 March 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDGARDO LIAD, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134972 March 22, 2001 - ERNESTO CATUNGAL, ET AL. v. DORIS HAO

  • A.M. No. P-01-1469 March 26, 2001 - ROEL O. PARAS v. MYRNA F. LOFRANCO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1624 March 26, 2001 - REQUEST FOR ASSISTANCE RELATIVE TO SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS NO. 28

  • A.M. No. 99-731-RTJ March 26, 2001 - HILARIO DE GUZMAN v. DEODORO J. SISON

  • G.R. Nos. 102407-08 March 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDMUNDO LUCERO

  • G.R. No. 121608 March 26, 2001 - FLEISCHER COMPANY v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121902 March 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WALTER MELENCION

  • G.R. No. 125865 March 26, 2001 - JEFFREY LIANG v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 129916 March 26, 2001 - MAGELLAN CAPITAL MNGT. CORP., ET AL. v. ROLANDO M. ZOSA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 131638-39 March 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LORETO MEDENILLA

  • G.R. No. 131653 March 26, 2001 - ROBERTO GONZALES v. NLRC, ET AL

  • G.R. No. 133475 March 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ERNESTO MONTEJO

  • G.R. No. 134903 March 26, 2001 - UNICRAFT INDUSTRIES INTERNATIONAL CORP., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136790 March 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MANUEL GALVEZ

  • G.R. No. 137268 March 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EUTIQUIA CARMEN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137590 March 26, 2001 - FLORENCE MALCAMPO-SIN v. PHILIPP T. SIN

  • G.R. No. 137739 March 26, 2001 - ROBERTO B. TAN v. PHIL. BANKING CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137889 March 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO DELOS SANTOS

  • G.R. No. 142950 March 26, 2001 - EQUITABLE PCI BANK v. ROSITA KU

  • G.R. Nos. 147066 & 147179 March 26, 2001 - AKBAYAN - Youth, ET AL. v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. 00-7-09-CA March 27, 2001 - IN RE: DEMETRIO G. DEMETRIA

  • A.M. No. P-01-1473 March 27, 2001 - GLORIA O. BENITEZ v. MEDEL P. ACOSTA

  • G.R. No. 123149 March 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CORNELIO CABUG

  • G.R. No. 131588 March 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GLENN DE LOS SANTOS

  • G.R. Nos. 137762-65 March 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REYNALDO BARES

  • G.R. No. 137989 March 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SONNY MATIONG, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1357 March 28, 2001 - MONFORT HERMANOS AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT CORP. v. ROLANDO V. RAMIREZ

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1574 March 28, 2001 - GORGONIO S. NOVA v. SANCHO DAMES II

  • G.R. No. 100701 March 28, 2001 - PRODUCERS BANK OF THE PHIL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 101442 March 28, 2001 - JOSE ANGELES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL

  • G.R. No. 110012 March 28, 2001 - ANASTACIO VICTORIO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112314 March 28, 2001 - VICENTE R. MADARANG v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117964 March 28, 2001 - PLACIDO O. URBANES, JR. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122216 March 28, 2001 - ALJEM’S CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126751 March 28, 2001 - SAFIC ALCAN & CIE v. IMPERIAL VEGETABLE OIL CO.

  • G.R. No. 126959 March 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SERVANDO SATURNO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136965 March 28, 2001 - UNIVERSITY OF THE PHIL. v. SEGUNDINA ROSARIO

  • G.R. No. 137660 March 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CARLOS L. ALCANTARA

  • G.R. No. 137932 March 28, 2001 - CHIANG YIA MIN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138474 March 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FORTUNATO BALANO

  • G.R. Nos. 139571-72 March 28, 2001 - ROGER N. ABARDO v. SANDIGANBAYAN

  • G.R. No. 140153 March 28, 2001 - ANTONIO DOCENA, ET AL. v. RICARDO P. LAPESURA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141307 March 28, 2001 - PURTO J. NAVARRO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142007 March 28, 2001 - MANUEL C. FELIX v. ENERTECH SYSTEMS INDUSTRIES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143173 March 28, 2001 - PEDRO ONG, ET AL. v. SOCORRO PAREL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144169 March 28, 2001 - KHE HONG CHENG v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131836 March 30, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MELITA SINCO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137564 March 30, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DOMINADOR DOMENDED

  • G.R. No. 137648 March 30, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. IRENEO PADILLA

  • G.R. No. 140311 March 30, 2001 - DENNIS T. GABIONZA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL

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    G.R. No. 138666   March 1, 2001 - ISABELO LORENZANA v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    THIRD DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 138666. March 1, 2001.]

    ISABELO * LORENZANA, Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

    D E C I S I O N


    PANGANIBAN, J.:


    The factual findings of a trial court, especially when affirmed by the appellate court, are binding upon this Court. Without convincing evidence of cause and effect, herein petitioner’s claim that the victim’s death might have been caused by an existing heart ailment cannot overturn the two courts’ conclusion that the death was caused by traumatic head injuries inflicted by the accused.cralaw : red

    The Case


    Before us is a Petition for Review under Rule 45, assailing the April 7, 1998 Decision 1 of the Court of Appeals 2 (CA) in CA-GR CR No. 19672, which affirmed the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila, Branch 48, in Crim. Case No. 93-119989. 3

    In an Information 4 filed on May 3, 1993, Petitioner Isabelo Lorenzana y Sison was charged with homicide allegedly committed as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "That on or about the 24th day of November 1992, in the City of Manila, Philippines, the accused, with intent to kill, did then and there wilfully, feloniously and criminally attack, assault, and gun[-]whip on the right side of his head NAPOLEON NAZARETH, SR., causing him traumatic head injuries resulting [in] his death." 5

    With the assistance of Atty. Edita Lacsamana, 6 petitioner entered a plea of not guilty during his arraignment on June 1, 1993. Thereafter, trial on the merits ensued. In its 17-page Decision, the trial court convicted petitioner, as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, and [the] finding [that] the accused [is] guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of [h]omicide, judgment is hereby rendered convicting accused Isabelo Lorenzana y Sison [of] the crime of [h]omicide.

    "The Court hereby imposes upon him an indeterminate penalty of imprisonment of 6 years and 1 day of prision mayor, in its minimum period, to 14 years and 8 months of reclusion temporal in its maximum period. Accused is further directed to indemnify the heirs of the victim in the amount of P50,000.00 for damages."cralaw virtua1aw library

    On appeal, 7 the CA affirmed the trial court in this wise:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "THE FOREGOING CONSIDERED, the appealed Decision is hereby affirmed."cralaw virtua1aw library

    In its May 21, 1998 Resolution, 8 the appellate court denied reconsideration.

    Hence, this Petition for Review. 9

    The Facts


    Petitioner Isabelo Lorenzana was a member of the towing and impounding unit of the Western Police District Traffic Bureau. Shortly after midnight on November 24, 1992, he and his colleagues were about to tow several passenger jeepneys parked along Vito Cruz, Manila. At that point, Napoleon Nazareth Jr. arrived and told them that he had overnight parking permits kept by his father, Napoleon Sr. Subsequently, the father himself arrived at the scene and showed the permits to petitioner. The circumstances after this incident, which culminated in the death of the former, were narrated by the trial court in this wise:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Two witnesses for the prosecution, namely Reynaldo Santos and Allan Transmonte, both pedicab drivers, who were at the place of the incident waiting for passengers, testified that they saw accused [show] off the documents from the victim. And while victim was picking the documents, the accused pulled his gun from his holster and pistol whipped the victim who was hit at the right side [of the] back portion of the head, above the right ear. The victim, then, turned to face the accused, trying to embrace him and asking for his help. Instead of helping the victim, Accused even pushed the victim away [and the latter] fell on the pavement trembling. When the young Nazareth [was] informed that his father was ‘pinalo’, he rushed outside and his father [was] already lying down while accused was already seated in the tow truck. They took his father and brought him to the Medical Center Manila Hospital but was already dead upon arrival at said hospital. Upon request of the family of the victim, the body of the victim was examined by Dr. Alberto Reyes, a medical specialist of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). And as per his Report (Exhibit ‘D’) the cause of death [was] traumatic head injuries." 10

    Petitioner, on the other hand, vigorously contests the foregoing narration, insisting that the victim’s fatal fall was due to a heart attack. In his Memorandum, 11 he presents his version of what happened on that fateful day, as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "On October 20, 1992, the Superintendent in charge of the Traffic Management Division of the Western Police District Command, Metro Manila, issued a Memorandum (Exh. "15", "15-A" and "15-B") directing the WPD Towing and Impounding Unit to enforce strictly MMA Ordinance 82-03 (Exh. "13") against the overnight parking of motorized vehicles within certain areas. The police officers were specifically ordered to conduct an active campaign against illegal parking between the hours of 10:00 p.m. [and] 5:00 am.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    "It was these orders and their implementation which directed Petitioner Isabelo Lorenzana to proceed with his helpers [i]n their tow truck sometime after midnight of November 24, 1992 to Vito Cruz St., Singalong, Manila (TSN, Aug. 10, 1994, p. 10)

    "The group encountered, among others, three passenger jeepneys along Vito Cruz., near the [corner] of A. Aquino and Taal Streets (Exh. "6", "6-A" up to "6-F"). The jeepneys were parked chained to one another (TSN, Aug. 10, 1994, p. 17.)

    "While the petitioner was inspecting the parked vehicle[s], a fat man later identified as Napoleon Nazareth, Jr., arrived on board an owner-type jeep. Nazareth, Jr. shouted at the petitioner and his four companions, "May mga parking permit iyan." He then added, "Kapwa ninyo Pilipino, pinahihirapan ninyo." (TSN, Aug. 10, 1994, p. 20)

    "Lorenzana told Nazareth Jr. that there was a complaint about the parked vehicles. After a while, an old man, Napoleon Nazareth, Sr., arrived, "nanginginig sa galit" at the sidewalk on the other side of the street. Vito Cruz is around fourteen (14) to fifteen (15) meters wide. Lorenzana walked over to the old man who was trembling [in] anger. Nazareth, Sr. shouted, "May mga permit iyan." He then pointed to the four helpers of Lorenzana and asked, "Ano kayo, mga squatters." (TSN, Aug. 10, 1994, pp. 18-23).

    "Nazareth, Sr. showed parking permits and a sticker to Lorenzana (TSN, Nov. 29, 1994, p. 13). The old man was about 5 feet, 9 inches tall, and bigger than his son, the fat man (id. p. 20). He was about 62 years old. At this juncture, the son Nazareth, Jr. brought the jeep from the middle of the street to the side of the street, near his father.

    "The petitioner and Nazareth Sr. faced each other for only a few minutes (TSN, Aug. 10, 1994, p. 25). After looking at the permits, Lorenzana asked permission to leave from the old man. He asked, ‘Tatang, aalis na kami.’ Lorenzana and his companions turned around and went straight to the tow truck on the other side. Suddenly, Lorenzana heard somebody shout, ‘Ang matanda, bumagsak.’ According to Enrico Baking, driver of the tow truck, it was their companion, Rommel, who did the shouting. At this time, Lorenzana was already seated at the front of the tow truck with the driver while the helpers were in the rear part of the tow truck. Lorenzana turned, ‘Napalingon po ako sa sumigaw.’ He saw the old man slumped down on the pavement, Lying with his face upward (TSN, November 29, 1994, pp. 20 to 27).

    "Lorenzana alighted from the tow truck and called his companion to help the old man stand up. They proceeded to carry the old man (id. p. 23). The petitioner and his companion were not able to [load] Nazareth, Sr. [into] the tow truck to carry him to a hospital because Nazareth, Jr. suddenly pulled out a revolver and shouted at them, ‘Dito na lang sa owner ko’ (TSN, November 29,1994, pp. 35-37).

    "Officer Lorenzana told Nazareth, Jr., ‘Itabi mo iyan, Tulungan mo kami sa Tatay mo.’ The fat man insisted on the father being loaded [into] the son’s jeep. So, they [loaded] the old man [into] the owner type jeep. The jeep sped away, ‘Pasabit na umalis.’ Only later did the defense witnesses learn that the old man died (TSN, Sept. 21, 1994, pp. 19-20).

    "According to Allan Transmonte, he (Allan), Nazareth, Jr. and [another man] brought Nazareth, Sr. to the Manila Doctors Hospital along United nations Avenue. There is no dispute over the fact that the old man was declared ‘dead-on-arrival’ at the hospital (TSN, Aug. 3, 1994, pp. 59-60).

    "There is also no dispute over the fact that Napoleon Nazareth, Sr. was a very sick man. The old man was confined at the Philippine Heart Center from December 31, 1991 up to January 6, 1992 (TSN, Aug. 3, 1994, pp. 14-20).

    "The heart patient, Nazareth, Sr. had to be examined by his cardiologist regularly every month, from March, April, May up to the time of the incident because of his ailment. He had to be confined at the Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital from October 29, 1992 up to November 5, 1992. He was discharged only nineteen (19) days before his death (id. pp. 24-25).

    "The exact nature of the heart condition appearing in his medical records is described by his cardiologist, Dr. Teresita Savaga, who is with the Philippine Heart Center, St. Luke’s Medical Center, and Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    ‘ATTY. MAGLALANG

    Q. May I approach the witness and show her the documents. In these various documents, the documents captioned, patients data sheet inside the enclosed patient, with [the] heading final diagnosis, there appear terms. Can you tell this Court in layman’s language the meaning of CAD unstable angina dysfunction [--] HASHD urosimia?chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    A. CAD means Coronary Artery Disease, and in layman[’s] term, . . . there is an obstruction in the blood vessel of the heart. Unstable angina is pain in the heart which is more or less unstable. Pain is progressing in character or frequent in occurrence and severity. The[re is a] probable severe [condition] in this unstable angina, left ventricular m[al]function, if is there is a sign of failure of the heart. HASHD is Hypertensive Arteriosclerosis Heart Disease, hyper urosimia, [in which] hyper uric acid is elevated.’

    — TSN, August 3,1994, p. 15."cralaw virtua1aw library

    The CA Ruling

    In upholding the RTC, the CA gave more credence to the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses, pointing out that witnesses, to whom no improper motive could be imputed, had positively identified petitioner as the perpetrator of the crime. The CA held that their testimonies were in accord with the Autopsy Report indicating that the victim’s death was caused by traumatic head injuries. It further held that there was no conclusive proof to substantiate petitioner’s claim that the victim had suffered a heart attack when he fell down on the pavement.

    Issues


    In his Memorandum, 12 petitioner presents the following issues for the consideration of the Court:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "i) Whether the court a quo erred in not resolving the doubt in favor of the accused; and

    "ii) Whether the court a quo erred in giving full weight to the prosecution witnesses’ testimon[ies]"

    In the main, petitioner challenges the sufficiency of the prosecution’s evidence.

    The Court’s Ruling


    The Petition is devoid of merit.

    Main Issue:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Sufficiency of Prosecution Evidence

    Petitioner claims that the prosecution was not able to establish his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. He relies on two principal arguments. First, the cause of death was heart attack, for which he could not be held responsible; and second, the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses were not enough to sustain his conviction.

    At the outset, we must emphasize that petitioner merely raises questions of facts which, as a rule, have no place in a Petition for Review under Rule 45. 13 After all, the factual findings of the appellate court affirming those of the trial court are generally binding on this Court. In challenging the sufficiency of the prosecution evidence, petitioner is effectively claiming an exception to this rule on the ground that the CA Decision was based on a misapprehension of facts. 14 We do not agree.

    Cause of Death

    Petitioner implores the Court to consider the possibility that Napoleon Nazareth Sr. died, not because he had been pistol-whipped, but because he had suffered a heart attack. The deceased allegedly had a history of heart disease, which could have been aggravated by the altercation. Petitioner insists that this claim is not inconsistent with the Autopsy Report showing the cause of death as traumatic head injury. Considering that there is doubt as to the cause of death, petitioner resolutely argues for his acquittal.

    We are not persuaded. Both the trial and the appellate courts have determined that Napoleon Sr. died of traumatic head injuries This factual finding is amply supported by the evidence on record Indeed, the Autopsy Report, 15 which we quote below, declares in no unmistakable terms that the cause of death was traumatic head injury:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "POSTMORTEM FINDINGS

    Cyanosis, lips and nailbeds.

    Hematoma, scalp, temporo-parieto-occipital region, right side, 12.0 x 10.0 cm.

    Fractures: linear, temporal bone, right side; complete, 6th rib, left, along midclavicular line.

    Hemorrhages, subdural and subarachnoidal, right cerebral hemisphere.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Heart, moderately enlarged; chambers filled with dark blood fluid.

    Other visceral organs, congested.

    Stomach, filled with partially digested rice and other food materials.

    CAUSE OF DEATH: Traumatic head injuries." (Emphasis supplied)

    Petitioner has not shown any convincing reason to disregard the categorical finding in the Autopsy Report. He merely argues that the deceased had a history of heart disease, and that the latter’s heart was enlarged at the time of the autopsy. He has not proven, however, that the heart condition was the direct and proximate cause of death. Indeed, the mere possibility that a person might have died because of a heart ailment is not a proof that that ailment was the cause of death. Thus, we agree with the CA’s disquisition, which we quote:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "There is evidence to the effect that the deceased died because of traumatic head injuries. As a matter of fact, this was mentioned in the Autopsy Report, Exhibit D. Also apparent were the following injuries: hematoma on the temporo parieto occipital region, right side; fracture of the temporal bone, right side; and hemorrhage, right cerebral hemisphere. The Report of the Medico-Legal Expert, NBI, was even ratified by the Chief, Technical Services. Because he went through an autopsy examination, supposedly exhaustive, signs of heart failure should have been apparent if the pretension by the defense is accepted that he died because of heart failure after which his head hit the pavement. That he suffered a heart attack does not appear supported by factual evidence; the fact that the postmortem findings mentioned a moderate enlargement of the heart is not a proof conclusive in character, that before he fell, he had a heart attack." 16

    Credibility of Witnesses

    Petitioner also assails the testimonies of Prosecution Eyewitnesses Reynaldo Santos and Allan Transmonte He argues that these witnesses were lying and bewails the contradictions supposedly evident in their testimonies. Transmonte allegedly told the trial court that the deceased had been hit on the left portion of the head, but the Autopsy Report stated that the latter’s injury was on the right side. Petitioner likewise asserts that the witnesses’ actions were not in accord with human experience.

    Countless times have we ruled that the findings of the trial court on the credibility of witnesses and their testimonies are entitled to the highest respect. Such findings will not be disturbed on appeal in the absence of any clear showing that it overlooked, misunderstood or misapplied some facts or circumstances of weight and substance that would otherwise affect the result of the case. 17 This is especially true when, as in this case, such findings are affirmed by the CA. In the present proceedings, the Court finds no reason to disturb the two lower courts’ factual findings and conclusion.

    Disregarding Transmonte’s testimony because of alleged inconsistencies would not negate Santos’ straightforward and guileless recollection as to the crux of the November 24, 1992 incident — that petitioner pistol-whipped the deceased, as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "WITNESS

    A I said that their jeeps are being pulled, then suddenly, the old Nazareth came out, sir.

    Q Came out from where?

    WITNESS

    A From their house, sir.

    PROS. VELASCO

    Q Where is the house of this Nazareth, the old Nazareth located?

    A At the corner of Taal and Aquino and Vito Cruz, sir.

    Q How far is the house from the jeepneys of the Nazareth[s]?

    A Around two arms length away, sir.

    Q Do we understand from you that the jeepneys were stationed just [in front] of the house of Nazareth?

    A Yes, sir.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Q After the old Nazareth came out of his residence, what happened?

    A The old Nazareth immediately went inside the house.

    Q And after the old Nazareth went inside the house, what happened?

    WITNESS

    A Suddenly he again came out and brought documents.

    PROS. VELASCO

    Q Were you able to know what documents were brought out by the old Nazareth?

    A Yes, sir.

    Q What were those documents?

    A Midnight parking tickets, sir.

    Q And after he came out of the house, what did he do, if any?

    A He gave the documents to Mr. Lorenzana, sir.

    Q And did Mr. Lorenzana [accept] the documents?

    A No, sir.

    Q What did he do?

    A He shoved away the documents, sir.

    PROS. VELASCO

    Q When Lorenzana drove or shoved the said documents, what happened next?

    WITNESS

    A The documents were scattered [o]n the pavement, sir.

    Q What did the old Nazareth do upon seeing the documents being scattered? What happened?

    A . . . Mr. Nazareth uttered something that Mr. Lorenzana disliked.

    ATTY. MAGLALANG

    [O]bjection. We move to strike out the testimony of the witness for being speculative, Your Honor.

    COURT

    Make it clear.

    PROS. VELASCO

    Q What did Mr. Nazareth tell Mr. Lorenzana?

    WITNESS

    A ‘Hindi mo ba ako nakikilala? Nakikilala mo ba kung sino ang kaharap mo?’.

    PROS. VELASCO

    Q And what was the reaction of Mr. Lorenzana after Mr. Nazareth [said] those words to him?

    WITNESS

    A Mr. Lorenzana looked as if he got mad. That was why he shoved away the receipts.

    Q You said that the documents shown by Mr. Lorenzana were scattered. What did Mr. Nazareth do upon seeing the documents being scattered?

    A He was about to pick them up.

    Q Was he able to pick them up?

    A No, sir.

    Q Why?

    A Mr. Lorenzana suddenly pulled a gun and hit the head of Mr. Nazareth, the old man, with the butt of the gun.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Q And what was the position of the old Nazareth in conjunction with Mr. Lorenzana when Mr. Lorenzana hit the head of Mr. Nazareth?

    INTERPRETER

    Witness Your Honor, is demonstrating by turning his body. He was in a stooping position.

    PROS. VELASCO

    Q And in relation to the position of Mr. Nazareth who was in a stooping position, where was Mr. Lorenzana when he hit the head of Mr. Nazareth?

    WITNESS

    A Just at the back sir.

    Q And were you able to see [which] hand of Mr. Lorenzana was used in hitting Mr. Nazareth?

    A Right hand, sir.

    COURT

    Q When you said old Nazareth, how old [was] Mr. Nazareth?

    WITNESS

    A Around 62, Your Honor.

    PROS. VELASCO

    Q And will you please tell the Honorable Court . . . what part of the head of Mr. Nazareth was . . . Nazareth hit?

    WITNESS

    A Right side portion at the back of the right ear.

    Q And what happened to the old Nazareth when he was hit by Lorenzana with a gun?

    A Because he was hurt, he faced Mr. Lorenzana and embraced him.

    Q And while the old Nazareth was embracing Mr. Lorenzana, what happened?

    A He pushed him.

    Q Who pushed whom?

    A Mr. Lorenzana pushed the old Nazareth, sir.

    Q And what happened to the old Nazareth when he was pushed by Mr. Lorenzana?

    A He fell and was trembling, sir.

    x       x       x


    Q After the old Nazareth fell down, what did Mr. Lorenzana do?

    WITNESS

    A They rode the wrecker.

    Q What wrecker was that?

    A Wrecker, the one used in towing vehicle[s].

    COURT

    Q What time of the day did this incident happen?

    A 12:30 in the morning, midnight of November 24, sir." 18

    The Court notes that during the cross-examination, Santos remained steadfast in his testimony in regard to the pistol-whipping incident.

    For lack of basis, we reject petitioner’s protestations that Santos was a "planted" witness. In the absence of proof that he had bias or ill motive, his testimony must be given credence. 19 More important his detailed testimony acquires greater weight and credibility, as it is consistent with the Autopsy Report. 20

    In all, petitioner has not presented sufficient reason to overturn the factual findings of the trial and the appellate courts.

    WHEREFORE, the Petition is hereby DENIED and the assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioner.

    SO ORDERED.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Melo, Vitug, Gonzaga-Reyes and Sandoval-Gutierrez, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    * Sometimes referred to as "Sabilo" in the RTC Records.

    1. Rollo, pp. 56-79.

    2. Twelfth Division composed of Justices Bernardo LL. Salas (ponente); and Consuelo Ynares-Santiago (Division chairman) and Demetrio G. Demetria, both of whom concurred.

    3. December 11, 1995 Decision penned by Judge Demetrio M. Batario Jr.; rollo, pp. 38-54.

    4. RTC Records, p. 1.

    5. Signed by Asst. City Prosecutor Marciano S. Bascos.

    6. Records, p. 73.

    7. Through Atty. Dominador L. Maglalang Sr., he filed his Notice of Appeal on January 96, 1996.

    8. Rollo, p. 81.

    9. The case was deemed submitted for resolution on July 14, 2000, when the Court received the People’s Memorandum signed by Solicitor General Ricardo P. Galvez, Assistant Solicitor General Carlos N. Ortega and Solicitor Maria Belen P. Montes. Petitioner’s Memorandum, signed by Atty. Melvyn S. Florencio of Gutierrez, Sundiam & Villanueva Law Offices, was received by the Court on May 5, 2000.

    10. RTC Decision, p. 15; rollo, p. 59.

    11. Petitioner’s Memorandum, pp. 5-8; rollo, pp. 143-146.

    12. Rollo p. 147. Upper case used in the original.

    13. Section 1 of Rule 45 reads: "SECTION 1. Filing of petition with Supreme Court. — A party desiring to appeal by certiorari from a judgment or final order or resolution of the Court of Appeals, the Sandiganbayan, the Regional Trial Court or other courts whenever authorized by law, may file with the Supreme Court a verified petition for review on certiorari. The petition shall raise only questions of law which must be distinctly set forth." See also Salcedo v. People, GR No. 137143 December 8, 2000.

    14. See Fuentes v. Court of Appeals, 268 SCRA 703, February 26, 1997; Castillo v. Court of Appeals, 260 SCRA 374, August 7, 1996.

    15. Records, p. 55.

    16. CA Decision, pp. 20-21; rollo, pp. 75-76.

    17. People, Maldo, 307 SCRA 424, May 19, 1999; People v. Tabones, 304 SCRA 781, March 17, 1999; People v. Batidor, 303 SCRA 335, February 18, 1999; People v. Salazar, 277 SCRA 67, August 11, 1997.

    18. TSN, August 3, 1993, pp. 98-105.

    19. People v. Carungal, GR No. 123299, September 29, 2000; People v. Aloro, GR No. 129208, September 14, 2000; People v. Geral, GR No. 122283, June 15, 2000.

    20. See People v. Costelo, 316 SCRA 895, October 13, 1999.

    G.R. No. 138666   March 1, 2001 - ISABELO LORENZANA v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.




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