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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
 

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

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    FIRST DIVISION

    [G.R. Nos. 102407-08. March 26, 2001.]

    PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. EDMUNDO LUCERO y GACETA, Accused-Appellant.

    D E C I S I O N


    YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.:


    Four criminal informations were filed against accused-appellant Edmundo Lucero before the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 88. In Criminal Case No. Q-89-5349, Accused-appellant was charged with murder for the death of Fernando Jabol, while in Criminal Cases Nos. Q-89-5350, Q-89-5351 and Q-89-5352, respectively, he was charged with Frustrated Murder.

    The facts, as found by the trial court, are summarized as follows:chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    At around 4:00 o’clock in the afternoon of July 11, 1989, brothers Fernando and Joel Jabol, Alex Tano and Ferdinand Alvero, together with others, were in the house of Domingo Lipas located in Kalayaan, Gao, Quezon City. They were seated at a table drinking rhum. It was the birthday of Domingo’s daughter, Eva Lipas. Suddenly, Accused-appellant barged into the house and, from two and a half to three meters away, fired six shots using his .38 caliber revolver.

    The first shot was aimed at Fernando Jabol and hit him on the waist and right thigh. The second shot hit Alex Tano in the abdomen. Joel Jabol raised both his arms in surrender, and the third shot hit his right ribcage. The fourth shot was again aimed at Fernando. while the fifth hit Ferdinand Alvero below his right eye. The sixth shot was fired in the air. All the victims jumped out of the window and proceeded to the East Avenue Medical Center for treatment.

    It appeared that accused-appellant was the victims’ barrio mate in Malagicay, Abuyog, Leyte, and that he shot them because he suspected them of stealing the engine of his banca in Leyte. 1

    At the East Avenue Medical Center, Fernando Jabol was pronounced dead on arrival, due to gunshot wounds. 2

    Patrolman Rolando Maniquiz of the Quezon City Police Force, who was assigned to conduct the investigation, went to the East Avenue Medical Center to interview the victims, but they were hesitant to talk. He then proceeded to the scene of the crime where he learned from a witness that accused-appellant was the gunman. He went back to the hospital, where Ferdinand Alvero finally narrated to him everything that happened. Further investigation disclosed that accused-appellant was in Balibago, Angeles City. On July 13, 1989, the Quezon City police, in coordination with the Angeles City Police, arrested accused-appellant on Oak Street, Balibago, Angeles City.

    Accused-appellant was brought to the Quezon City police station, where he was positively identified by all three victims as their assailant. Pat. Maniquiz also discovered that accused-appellant was an escapee from the Davao Penal Colony. 3

    After the inquest proceedings, four criminal informations were filed against accused-appellant, who pleaded not guilty to all the charges. 4 The cases were consolidated and tried jointly.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    In his defense, Accused-appellant alleged that on July 6, 1989, he moved in with his girlfriend, Ana Olvida, at 24 Bulacan Street, Mountain Dew, Balibago, Angeles City. He was arrested in the evening of July 13, 1989, while he was sleeping in the said house. He denied that his boat engine was stolen. He knew the victims because they were his friends and barrio mates in Malagicay, Abuyog, Leyte. He admitted having escaped from the Davao Penal Colony, where he was serving sentence for robbery-holdup, but alleged that he was innocent of the crime for which he was convicted. 5

    Ana Olvida corroborated accused-appellant’s testimony. She testified that they have been live-in partners since 1987. Every day at 4:00 o’clock in the afternoon, Accused-appellant would take her to the Flying Machine Bar, where she worked as cashier, and would fetch her at 4:00 o’clock in the morning. She averred that accused-appellant did not leave the house on July 11, 1989. 6

    On November 13, 1990, the trial court promulgated its judgment as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Court finds and so holds accused EDMUNDO LUCERO y GACETA Guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of MURDER committed against Fernando Jabol y Tolentino in Criminal Case No. 89-5349 penalized under Art. 248 of the Revised Penal Code and hereby sentences him to suffer a penalty of Reclusion Perpetua; to pay compensation to the heirs of Fernando Jabol in the amount of P30,000.00 and to pay the cost.

    This Court also finds accused EDMUNDO LUCERO y GACETA Guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of FRUSTRATED MURDER committed against Joel Jabol y. Tolentino in Criminal Case No. Q-89-5350 and therefore hereby sentences him to suffer a penalty of imprisonment from Ten (10) Years and One (1) Day of Prision Mayor as minimum to Seventeen (17) Years and Four (4) Months of Reclusion Temporal as maximum and to pay the cost.

    Complainant Alex Tano y Lucero and Ferdinand Alvero y Visda in Criminal Case No. Q-89-5351 and Crim. Case No. Q-89-5352 respectively failed to appear during the hearing of these cases. No evidence was presented showing the culpability of the accused. Therefore, in Criminal Case No. Q-89-5351 and Q-89-5352, Accused EDMUNDO LUCERO y GACETA is ACQUITTED for lack of evidence.

    SO ORDERED. 7

    Accused-appellant filed a Notice of Appeal, 8 to which the trial court gave due course. 9

    Subsequently, counsel de parte entered his appearance for accused-appellant and filed a Motion for New Trial, 10 arguing that contrary to the constitutional requirement, Accused-appellant was not assisted by competent and independent counsel during his investigation. On January 8, 1991, the trial court denied the Motion for New Trial on the ground that it has lost jurisdiction over the case after accused-appellant filed his notice of appeal. 11 The Motion for Reconsideration was likewise denied on February 7, 1991. 12

    The appeal was filed directly with this Court, considering the imposition of the penalty of reclusion perpetua. Accused-appellant, through counsel de parte, filed the Brief for Accused-Appellant, 13 while the Solicitor General, on behalf of the prosecution, filed the Brief for Appellee. 14

    Subsequently, Accused-appellant, through the Public Attorney, informed the Court that he could not file his Reply Brief because the records of the case do not contain the transcript of the testimony of Joel Jabol, the only eyewitness who testified for the prosecution. Thus, this Court directed that the trial court retake the testimony of said witness. 15 However, Joel Jabol failed to appear at the hearings set by the trial court. On May 31, 1999, counsel for accused-appellant filed a Manifestation that he was dispensing with the filing of the Reply Brief. 16 He also prayed that the testimony of Joel Jabol be disregarded since the same is probably fictitious and non-existent.

    It appears from the records of the trial court that the testimony of Joel Jabol was completed on September 28, 1989, 17 which means that either he was cross-examined by the defense or the latter was given an opportunity to cross-examine him. In fact, the factual findings of the trial court were based largely on the testimony of Joel Jabol. 18 In the absence of any showing that the same were reached arbitrarily or without sufficient basis, this Court accords the highest respect to the findings of fact by the trial court. 19

    In his Brief, Accused-appellant raises the following assignments of error:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    FIRST ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR

    THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN NOT FINDING THAT THE EVIDENCE OF PROSECUTION TRANSGRESSED THE CONSTITUTIONAL DUE PROCESS CLAUSE.

    SECOND ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR

    THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN NOT ACQUITTING THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT. 20

    Accused-appellant argues that during his custodial investigation, he was not assisted by competent and responsible counsel, invoking Article III, Section 12 (1) of the Constitution, which provides:chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    (1) Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to be informed of his right to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel preferably of his own choice. If the person cannot afford the services of counsel, he must be provided with one. These rights cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence of counsel.

    Reading further, the consequence of a violation of the foregoing constitutional guarantee can be found in the ensuing subparagraph (3) of the same Article III, Section 12, to wit:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    (3) Any confession or admission obtained in violation of this or Section 17 hereof shall be inadmissible in evidence against him.

    The argument is specious. Assuming arguendo that the above constitutional proscription was not observed, no confession or admission was taken from Accused-Appellant. To be sure, his conviction was not based on his own statements which, as he claims, were allegedly without the benefit of counsel. In fact, it does. not appear that he even gave a statement. His conviction was anchored on the separate and independent testimonies of Joel Jabol and Pat. Rolando Maniquiz.

    Accused-appellant takes exception to the trial court’s admission of the prosecution’s documentary exhibits which, he contends, are inadmissible under the rules on evidence. Specifically, he enumerates the Certification of the Inmates Prison Record Office that he escaped from the Davao Penal Colony, marked as Exhibit "B" ; the Arrest and Booking Report pertaining to accused-appellant’s arrest for the murder of Police Corporal Romulo Abad, marked as Exhibit "C" ; and the Autopsy Request, marked as Exhibit "D." He argues that these exhibits are irrelevant and hearsay, considering that the persons who executed the documents were not presented in court. Further, he alleges that some questions propounded to him on cross-examination referred to matters not covered during his direct examination.

    Accused-appellant’s contentions may be correct. It is true that evidence is admissible when it is relevant to the issue and is not excluded by the law or these rules. 21 On the other hand, hearsay testimony or evidence is inadmissible and, whether objected to or not, has no probative value and cannot be given credence. 22 Likewise, a witness may only be cross-examined as to any matters stated in the direct examination, or connected therewith. 23 However, these principles do not come into play in this case, because the documents now being objected to, or the testimony elicited from him during the cross-examination, were not considered by the trial court in rendering the judgment of conviction. Hence, Accused-appellant’s protestations on this score have no bearing whatsoever to his appeal.

    Similarly, Accused-appellant’s contention on the credibility of Joel Jabol must fail. According to him, since Joel Jabol was drinking rhum when the incident occurred, his version of the events must not be given credence. First of all, there was no positive showing that he was in such a state of inebriation at that time as to distort his memory of the events. More importantly, his ability to accurately recall the incident was tested by the trial court. In this connection, it bears stressing that this Court will not disturb the findings of the trial court on matters relating to the credibility of witnesses. The evaluation of testimonial evidence by trial courts is accorded great respect precisely because of its chance to observe first-hand the demeanor of the witnesses, a matter which is important in determining whether what has been testified to may be taken to be the truth or falsehood. Absent any showing that certain facts of substance and significance have been plainly overlooked or that the trial court’s findings are clearly arbitrary, the conclusions reached by the trial court must be respected and the judgment rendered affirmed. 24

    An appeal in a criminal case throws the whole case wide open for review and the reviewing tribunal can correct errors, though unassigned in the appealed judgment, or even reverse the trial court’s decision on the basis of grounds other than those that the parties raised as errors. 25 Thus, although the following issues are not assailed by accused-appellant, we deem it prudent to pass upon the same if only to validate the findings of the trial court.

    The trial court held that the crimes committed by accused-appellant against brothers Fernando Jabol and Joel Jabol were, respectively, murder and frustrated murder, the same being qualified by treachery. We agree. The victims were sitting around a table inside the house of Domingo Lipas when, suddenly and without warning, Accused-appellant barged into the house and instantly fired his gun at them. As a result, the Jabol brothers suffered mortal wounds. The suddenness of the attack afforded the victims no opportunity to put up a defense. Joel survived, but Fernando was not as fortunate. As consistently held by this Court, an unexpected and sudden attack which renders the victim unable and unprepared to defend himself by reason of the suddenness and severity of the attack constitutes alevosia or treachery. Its essence lies in the adoption of ways that minimize or neutralize any resistance which may be put up by the unsuspecting victim. 26

    Anent the crime committed against Joel Jabol, the trial court was likewise correct when it found that it was frustrated murder. The gunshot hit Joel on the right subcostal area, 27 i.e., below the right rib. This was a mortal wound which could have caused Joel Jabol’s death, considering the vital organs in that part of the body. But due to timely medical attention, he survived. The intervention of medical treatment was independent of accused-appellant’s will. A felony is frustrated where the offender performs all the acts of execution which would produce the felony as a consequence but which, nevertheless, do not produce it by reason of causes independent of the will of the perpetrator, 28 such as prompt medical aid. 29

    We also agree with the trial court that accused-appellant’s defense of alibi cannot prosper. As it correctly found, and as testified to by defense witness Ana Olvida, the distance between Angeles City and Quezon City can be traversed by bus in one and a half hours. 30 For the defense of alibi to prosper, an accused should prove, not only that he was at some other place at the time of the commission of the crime, but that also it would have been physically impossible for him to be at the locus delicti or within its immediate vicinity. 31

    At the time of its commission, the penalty for murder was reclusion temporal maximum to death. 32 There being three distinct penalties, each one shall form a period. 33 Since no aggravating or mitigating circumstance was alleged or proved in this case, 34 the penalty shall be imposed in its medium term. Thus we are not in period. Thus, the trial court was correct in sentencing accused-appellant to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua for the murder of Fernando Jabol.

    On the other hand, frustrated murder is punishable by the penalty next lower in degree, 35 which is prision mayor maximum to reclusion temporal medium. Again, there being neither aggravating nor mitigating circumstance, the penalty shall be imposed in its medium period, 36 i.e., reclusion temporal minimum, consisting of twelve (12) years and one (1) day to fourteen (14) years and eight (8) months. Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, Accused-appellant is entitled to a minimum term to be taken within the range of the penalty next lower to that prescribed by the Revised Penal Code for the offense, 37 which is prision correccional maximum to prision mayor medium, or four (4) years, two (2) months and one (1) day to ten (10) years: The trial court, therefore, erred in fixing the penalty for frustrated murder. Instead, Accused-appellant should be sentenced to suffer the indeterminate penalty of six (6) years and one (1) day of prision mayor, as minimum, to twelve (12) years and one (1) day of reclusion temporal, as maximum.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Finally, the civil indemnity in the amount of P30,000.00 awarded by the trial court should be increased to P50,000.00, in line with prevailing jurisprudence. 38

    WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the judgment of the trial court in Criminal Case No. Q-89-5349, finding accused-appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua, is AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that he is ordered to pay the heirs of Fernando Jabol the amount of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity.

    The judgment in Criminal Case No. Q-89-5350, finding accused-appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of frustrated murder, is AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that accused-appellant is sentenced to suffer an indeterminate penalty of six (6) years and one (1) day of prision mayor, as minimum, to twelve (12) years and one (1) day of reclusion temporal, as maximum. Costs de officio.

    SO ORDERED.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

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

    Endnotes:



    1. Record, p. 64.

    2. Exhibits "E" & "G."cralaw virtua1aw library

    3. TSN, September 29, 1989, pp. 2-3.

    4. Record, pp. 5-8.

    5. TSN, October 16, 1989, pp. 2-4.

    6. TSN, January 18, 1990, pp. 3-4.

    7. Record, p. 67; penned by Judge Tirso D’C. Velasco.

    8. Ibid., p. 71.

    9. Id., p. 72.

    10. Id., pp. 76-80.

    11. Id., p. 85.

    12. Id., p. 100.

    13. Rollo, pp. 45-55.

    14. Ibid., p. 106.

    15. Id., p. 179.

    16. Id., pp. 215-218.

    17. Record, p. 38.

    18. Ibid., p. 64.

    19. People v. Dano, G.R. No. 117690, September 1, 2000.

    20. Rollo, p. 48.

    21. RULES OF COURT, Rule 128, Section 3.

    22. Judge Caña v. Gebusion, A.M. No. P-98-1284, March 30, 2000; Cristobal v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 124372, March 16, 2000.

    23. RULES OF COURT, Rule 132, Section 6.

    24. People v. Ramos, G.R. No. 120280, April 12, 2000.

    25. People v. Listerio, G.R. No. 122099, July 5, 2000.

    26. People v. Molina, G.R. Nos. 134777-78, July 24, 2000.

    27. Exhibit ‘A.’

    28. REVISED PENAL CODE, Article 6, 2nd par.

    29. People v. Jarandilla, G.R. Nos. 115985-86, August 31, 2000.

    30. TSN, January 18, 1990, p. 4.

    31. People v. Catuiran, Jr., Et Al., G.R. No. 134768, October 17, 2000.

    32. REVISED PENAL CODE, Article 248.

    33. REVISED PENAL CODE, Article 77.

    34. REVISED PENAL CODE, Article 64 (1).

    35. REVISED PENAL CODE, Article 50.

    36. REVISED PENAL CODE, Article 64 (1).

    37. Act No. 4103, as amended, Section 1.

    38. People v. Piamonte, 303 SCRA 577, 590 (1999); People v. Gatchalian, 300 SCRA 1, 19 (1998).

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




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