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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
 

   
November-2001 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 137968 November 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALEJANDRE DELOS SANTOS

  • G.R. Nos. 123138-39 November 8, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILS. v. HONESTO LLANDELAR

  • A.M. MTJ-01-1375 November 13, 2001 - REPORT ON THE JUDICIAL AUDIT IN THE MTCs of CALASIAO. BINMALEY

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1601 November 13, 2001 - ELIEZER A. SIBAYAN-JOAQUIN v. ROBERTO S. JAVELLANA

  • G.R. No. 104629 November 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JULIUS KINOK

  • G.R. No. 134498 November 13, 2001 - CELIA M. MERIZ v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL

  • G.R. Nos. 135454-56 November 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. RODERICK SANTOS

  • A.M. No. CA-01-10-P November 14, 2001 - ALDA C. FLORIA v. CURIE F. SUNGA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-01-1518 November 14, 2001 - ANTONIO A. ARROYO v. SANCHO L. ALCANTARA

  • G.R. No. 122736 November 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FROILAN PADILLA

  • G.R. No. 123819 November 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. STEPHEN MARK WHISENHUNT

  • G.R. No. 133877 November 14, 2001 - RIZAL COMMERCIAL BANKING CORPORATION v. ALFA RTW MANUFACTURING CORPORATION

  • G.R. No. 133910 November 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. JOSE VIRREY y DEHITO

  • G.R. No. 135511-13 November 14, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ENTICO MARIANO y EXCONDE

  • G.R. No. 137613 November 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROSALITO CABOQUIN

  • G.R. No. 138914 November 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EFREN MANTES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142870 November 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DINDO F. PAJOTAL, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 143513 & 143590 November 14, 2001 - POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES v. COURT OF APPEALS and FIRESTONE CERAMICS

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1599 November 15, 2001 - TRANQUILINO F. MERIS v. JUDGE FLORENTINO M. ALUMBRES

  • G.R. No. 123213 November 15, 2001 - NEPOMUCENA BRUTAS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126584 November 15, 2001 - VALLEY LAND RESOURCES, INC., ET AL. v. VALLEY GOLF CLUB INC.

  • G.R. No. 127897 November 15, 2001 - DELSAN TRANSPORT LINES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129018 November 15, 2001 - CARMELITA LEAÑO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136017 November 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JERRY BANTILING

  • G.R. No. 136143 November 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. AGAPITO CABOTE a.k.a. "PITO"

  • G.R. No. 137255 November 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NOEL MAMALAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137369 November 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ALIAS KOBEN VISTA

  • G.R. No. 141811 November 15, 2001 - FIRST METRO INVESTMENT CORPORATION v. ESTE DEL SOL MOUNTAIN RESERVE

  • G.R. No. 145275 November 15, 2001 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE v. LA CAMPANA FABRICA DE TABACOS

  • G.R. No. 148326 November 15, 2001 - PABLO C. VILLABER Petitioner v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and REP. DOUGLAS R. CAGAS

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1382 November 16, 2001 - MARIO W. CHILAGAN v. EMELINA L. CATTILING

  • A.M. No. P-00-1411 November 16, 2001 - FELICIDAD JACOB v. JUDITH T. TAMBO

  • G.R. No. 120274 November 16, 2001 - SPOUSES FRANCISCO A. PADILLA and GERALDINE S. PADILLA v. COURT OF APPEALS and SPOUSES CLAUDIO AÑONUEVO and CARMELITA AÑONUEVO

  • G.R. No. 127003 November 16, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. FAUSTINO GABON

  • G.R. Nos. 132875-76 November 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO G. JALOSJOS

  • G.R. No. 132916 November 16, 2001 - RUFINA TANCINCO v. GSIS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133437 November 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. RONALD SAMSON

  • G.R. No. 134486 November 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CLEMENTE DAYNA

  • G.R. No. 135038 November 16, 2001 - ROLANDO Y. TAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142654 November 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. ROLANDO MENDOZA

  • G.R. No. 143802 November 16, 2001 - REYNOLAN T. SALES v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129175 November 19, 2001 - RUBEN N. BARRAMEDA, ET AL. v. ROMEO ATIENZA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130945 November 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALBERTO CONDINO

  • G.R. No. 132724 November 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. RENIEL SANAHON

  • G.R. Nos. 138358-59 November 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CLAUDIO B. DELA PEÑA

  • G.R. No. 138661 November 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JERSON E. ACOJEDO

  • G.R. No. 140920 November 19, 2001 - JUAN LORENZO B. BORDALLO, ET AL. v. THE PROFESSIONAL REGULATIONS COMMISSION AND THE BOARD OF MARINE DECK OFFICERS

  • G.R. No. 148560 November 19, 2001 - JOSEPH EJERCITO ESTRADA v. SANDIGANBAYAN (Third Division) and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 91486 November 20, 2001 - ALBERTO G. PINLAC v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122276 November 20, 2001 - RODRIGO ALMUETE ET AL., v. MARCELO ANDRES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126204 November 20, 2001 - NAPOCOR v. PHILIPP BROTHERS OCEANIC

  • G.R. Nos. 126538-39 November 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. RODELIO MARCELO

  • G.R. No. 129234 November 20, 2001 - THERMPHIL v. COURT OF APPEALS ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140032 November 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ANGEL C. BALDOZ and MARY GRACE NEBRE

  • G.R. No. 140692 November 20, 2001 - ROGELIO C. DAYAN v. BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144401 November 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOEL GALISIM

  • A.M. No. MTJ-99-1207 November 21, 2001 - NBI v. FRANCISCO D. VILLANUEVA

  • A.M. No. P- 01-1520 November 21, 2001 - MARILOU A. CABANATAN v. CRISOSTOMO T. MOLINA

  • A.M. Nos. RTJ-00-1561 & RTJ-01-1659 November 21, 2001 - CARINA AGARAO v. Judge JOSE J. PARENTELA

  • G.R. No. 125356 November 21, 2001 - SUPREME TRANSLINER INC. v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132839 November 21, 2001 - ERIC C. ONG v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS and THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 133879 November 21, 2001 - EQUATORIAL REALTY DEVELOPMENT v. MAYFAIR THEATER

  • G.R. No. 136748 November 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JUANITO ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137457 November 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROSAURO SIA

  • G.R. No. 141881 November 21, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. VIRGILIO BERNABE y RAFOL

  • A.M. No RTJ-01-1664 November 22, 2001 - ALFREDO CAÑADA v. VICTORINO MONTECILLO

  • G.R. No. 109648 November 22, 2001 - PH CREDIT CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS and CARLOS M. FARRALES

  • G.R. Nos. 111502-04 November 22, 2001 - REYNALDO H. JAYLO, ET AL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN

  • G.R. No. 113218 November 22, 2001 - ALEJANDRO TECSON v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113541 November 22, 2001 - HONGKONG AND SHANGHAI BANKING CORP. EMPLOYEES UNION v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118462 November 22, 2001 - LEOPOLDO GARRIDO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123893 November 22, 2001 - LUISITO PADILLA , ET AL. v. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129660 November 22, 2001 - BIENVENIDO P. JABAN and LYDIA B. JABAN v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130628 November 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PAULINO LEONAR

  • G.R. No. 132743 November 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARCIAL CAÑARES Y ORBES

  • G.R. No. 133861 November 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERTO SO

  • G.R. Nos. 135853-54 November 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. OPENIANO LACISTE

  • G.R. No. 135863 November 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VlRGILIO LORICA

  • G.R. Nos. 136317-18 November 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDUARDO YAOTO

  • G.R. No. 136586 November 22, 2001 - JON AND MARISSA DE YSASI v. ARTURO AND ESTELA ARCEO

  • G.R. No. 139563 November 22, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.. v. AMADOR BISMONTE y BERINGUELA

  • G.R. Nos. 139959-60 November 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DEOGRACIAS BURGOS

  • G.R. No. 141602 November 22, 2001 - PACSPORTS PHILS. v. NICCOLO SPORTS, INC.

  • G.R. No. 142316 November 22, 2001 - FRANCISCO A.G. DE LIANO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143939 November 22, 2001 - HEIRS OF ROSARIO POSADAS REALTY v. ROSENDO.BANTUG

  • G.R. No. 145475 November 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. EUSEBIO PUNSALAN

  • G.R. No. 145851 November 22, 2001 - ABELARDO B. LICAROS v. THE SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146683 November 22, 2001 - CIRILA ARCABA v. ERLINDA TABANCURA VDA. DE BATOCAEL, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1562 November 23, 2001 - CAVITE CRUSADE FOR GOOD GOVERNMENT v. JUDGE NOVATO CAJIGAL

  • G.R. No. 126334 November 23, 2001 - EMILIO EMNACE v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128886 November 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESUS JULIANDA, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142044 November 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TOBECHUKWU NICHOLAS

  • G.R. No. 144309 November 23, 2001 - SOLID TRIANGLE SALES CORPORATION and ROBERT SITCHON v. THE SHERIFF OF RTC QC, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1662 November 26, 2001 - VICTOR TUZON v. LORETO CLORIBEL-PURUGGANAN

  • G.R. No. 138303 November 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ELROSWELL MANZANO

  • G.R. Nos. 100940-41 November 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. AGUSTIN LADAO y LORETO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128285 November 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILS. v. ANTONIO PLANA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 130409-10 November 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSUE B. DUMLAO

  • G.R. No. 130907 November 27, 2001 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. HON. CESAR A MANGROBANG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130963 November 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIANO PASCUA

  • G.R. No. 133381 November 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMULO VILLAVER, ET. AL.

  • G.R. No. 140858 November 27, 2001 - SPOUSES PAPA and LOLITA MANALILI v. SPOUSES ARSENIO and GLICERIA DE LEON

  • G.R. No. 142523 November 27, 2001 - MARIANO L. GUMABON, ET AL. v. AQUILINO T. LARIN

  • G.R. No. 144464 November 27, 2001 - GILDA G. CRUZ and ZENAIDA C. PAITIM v. THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION

  • A.M. No. 00-8-05-SC November 28, 2001 - RE: PROBLEM OF DELAYS IN CASES BEFORE THE SANDIGANBAYAN

  • G.R. No. 128516 November 28, 2001 - DULOS REALTY and DEVELOPMENT CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET. AL.

  • A.M. No. P-01-1485 November 29, 2001 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. MARIE YVETTE GO, ET AL

  • A.M. No. P-01-1522 November 29, 2001 - JUDGE ANTONIO J. FINEZA v. ROMEO P. ARUELO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1665 November 29, 2001 - ROSAURO M. MIRANDA v. JUDGE CESAR A MANGROBANG

  • G.R. No. 119707 November 29, 2001 - VERONICA PADILLO v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 121703 November 29, 2001 - NATIVIDAD T. TANGALIN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126524 November 29, 2001 - BPI INVESTMENT CORP. v. D.G. CARREON COMMERCIAL CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129282 November 29, 2001 - DMPI EMPLOYEES CREDIT COOPERATIVE v. ALEJANDRO M. VELEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 129609 & 135537 November 29, 2001 - RODIL ENTERPRISES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 130326 & 137868 November 29, 2001 - COMPANIA GENERAL DE TABACOS DE FILIPINAS AND MANILA TOBACCO TRADING v. THE COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. Nos. 132066-67 November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BALAS MEDIOS

  • G.R. No. 132133 November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. WILLIAM ALPE y CUATRO

  • G.R. No. 136848 November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RENATO T. RAMIREZ

  • G.R. No. 137815 November 29, 2001 - JUANITA T. SERING v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138489 November 29, 2001 - ELEANOR DELA CRUZ, ET AL. v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT

  • G.R. No. 139470 November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SPO2 ANTONIO B. BENOZA

  • G.R. No. 140386 November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENNY ACOSTA

  • G.R. No. 141386 November 29, 2001 - COMMISSION ON AUDIT OF THE PROVINCE OF CEBU v. PROVINCE OF CEBU

  • G.R. Nos. 141702-03 November 29, 2001 - CATHAY PACIFIC AIRWAYS v. NLRC and MARTHA Z. SINGSON

  • G.R. No. 142606 November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. NESTOR MUNTA

  • G.R. No. 143127 November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAUL RUBARES Y CAROLINO

  • G.R. No. 143703 November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. JOSE V. MUSA

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    G.R. No. 140386   November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENNY ACOSTA

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    SECOND DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 140386. November 29, 2001.]

    PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff appellee, v. BENNY ACOSTA AND RENNY BOY ACOSTA, Accused,

    BENNY ACOSTA, Accused-Appellant.

    D E C I S I O N


    MENDOZA, J.:


    This is an appeal from the decision, 1 dated August 19, 1999, of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 44, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, insofar as it finds one of the accused, Benny Acosta, guilty of murder and sentences him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to pay the amount of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity for the death of Norton Baguio.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The facts are as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    On April 14, 1993, Accused-appellant Benny Acosta was charged, together with his son Renny Boy Acosta, with murder in an information which alleged —

    That on or about past midnight of March 14, 1993, at sitio Tuway, barangay P. Zamora, Guihulngan, Negros Oriental, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, conspiring together, confederating with and mutually helping one another, with intent to kill, with treachery and with abuse of superior strength, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault and stab one Norton Baguio, thereby causing stab wounds on the back of said victim who instantaneously died as a result thereof, to the damage and prejudice of the heirs of said Norton Baguio. 2

    When arraigned on November 3, 1993, both accused pleaded not guilty, whereupon they were tried. 3

    The prosecution presented six witnesses, to wit, Dr. Fe L. Mercado, SPO2 Cecilio Nilles, Hansel Cañete, Joy Boganutan, 4 Leonilo Baguio, and Adelia Patricio. The gist of their testimonies is as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    At about 9 o’clock in the evening of March 13, 1993, the victim Norton Baguio, together with Hansel Cañete, Leonardo Cabunalis, 5 and Joy Boganutan, attended a dance in celebration of the town fiesta at Sitio Tuway, Guihulngan, Negros Oriental. The dance was held in an open space, lighted by two petromax lamps installed opposite each other. 6

    At about past 12 o’clock midnight of March 14, 1993, the four decided to go home. Somewhere on the way, Norton Baguio stopped to urinate at the back of a store, while his companions waited for him. As Baguio was thus urinating, Accused-appellant Benny Acosta suddenly attacked and stabbed him from behind. When Baguio fell down and rolled facing downward, Accused Renny Boy Acosta rushed towards the victim and took his turn in stabbing him.

    Baguio was helped by his companions. Although he died shortly thereafter, Baguio was able to tell his companions who his assailant was. He pointed to accused-appellant Benny Acosta. 7

    The postmortem examination on the body of the victim shows that he sustained the following wounds:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    1. Wound, stabbed, left back, at the level of the posterior axillary line, and at the level of the tip of the scapula, 1 inch long, by inch width by 5 inch deep, directed to midline wound, is lying over the scapular bone;

    2. Wound, stabbed, back left lumber area, 1 inch long by inch width by 6 inches deep, directed anteriorly. Wound is L shaped. White T-shirt is shown bloodied, with the holes, which are much bigger than the wounds.

    CAUSE OF DEATH: Internal Hemorrhage 8

    Dr. Fe L. Mercado, who conducted the postmortem examination, testified that a sharp pointed instrument, such as a hunting knife, could have been used in inflicting the two wounds suffered by the victim, both of which caused internal hemorrhage which proved to be fatal. She testified that the direction of the first wound on the left upper back was downward to the midline and that it was possible that the victim was standing when he was stabbed. He further testified that the second wound on the left lumbar area was from the back anteriorly to the front and it was probable that the victim may either be standing or sitting down when the wound was inflicted. 9

    SPO2 Cecilio Nilles, custodian of the police force, testified that on March 15, 1993, a long bladed knife with a scabbard was turned over to him for safekeeping. He said that on the night of March 14, 1993, Accused Renny Boy Acosta surrendered a hunting knife. 10

    Adelia Patricio, aunt of the deceased victim, testified on the expenses incurred by the family of the victim as a result of his death. She said that she spent P6,000.00 for the embalming and coffin, P2,500.00 for the snacks and food during the wake, and other miscellaneous expenses, totaling P13,300.00. In addition, she testified, she spent P300.00 for the filing of the case, attorney’s fees, fares, and food, all totaling P13,850.00. All in all, she spent about P30,000.00. However, she admitted on cross-examination that she had no receipts for the amount she spent for the vigil, burial, and other related expenses, save for the attorney’s fees which she did not present. 11

    On the other hand, the defense presented six witnesses, namely, SPO4 Arnold Perez, 12 Joel Sayon, Dr. Rogelio Regalado, Chief Inspector Constantino Baguio, Accused Renny Boy Acosta, and accused-appellant Benny Acosta.

    Accused-appellant’s defense was alibi. He claimed that from 5 o’clock in the afternoon of March 13, 1993 until around 1 o’clock in the morning of the next day, March 14, 1993, he was out on the sea fishing. After fishing, he went to the house of a certain Romulo Perez, sold his catch, and saw a betamax film. He afterward went home and rested. Accused-appellant testified that he did not know that he had been implicated in the killing of Norton Baguio until he was awakened by the call of several policemen while he was asleep at home in the morning of March 14, 1993.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    On cross-examination, Accused-appellant admitted that his house was near the seashore and that the dance hall, where the stabbing of the victim took place, was only a 10 minute walk from the seashore. In fact, he said the music from the dance hall could be heard from the seashore. However, Accused-appellant reiterated that he was not in the dance hall at the time of the stabbing and denied that the knife and scabbard belonged to him. 13

    SPO4 Arnold Perez, operations officer of the Guihulngan Police Station, testified that at about 5 o’clock in the afternoon of March 13, 1993, he met accused-appellant while the latter was on his way to the sea. Accused-appellant came back from the sea at past 12 o’clock midnight to sell his catch. Perez said he bought fish from accused-appellant and that the latter stayed in his house for a while in order to watch a betamax show. He claimed that later in the morning of March 14, 1993, he learned that accused-appellant had been arrested and detained, although he found out that it was accused Renny Boy Acosta who had stabbed the victim. Perez said he examined the knife and scabbard used in the killing and saw blood inside the scabbard. He testified that while his station conducted an investigation on accused Renny Boy Acosta, it was the 333rd PC Company which investigated accused-appellant Benny Acosta. 14

    Accused Renny Boy Acosta testified that in the evening of March 13, 1993, he met Joel Sayon in the dance hall. They both agreed to go home together at around 12 o’clock midnight. On the way home, Sayon asked Renny Boy for a cigarette. As Renny Boy did not have any, he went to buy some cigarettes. Just then, Sayon saw Norton armed with an ice pick about to strike Renny Boy. Sayon shouted, "Watch [out] Boy, Norton will stab you." Renny Boy jumped, but Sayon was hit. Norton Baguio then turned to Renny Boy Acosta and was about to hit him with an ice pick. Renny Boy, however, was able to parry the blow and draw his hunting knife which he used to stab the victim. Renny Boy admitted that he stabbed the victim twice, on the right side of the stomach and on another spot which he could not remember. After the incident, Renny Boy ran to his house and slept. He surrendered to SPO4 Perez on March 15, 1993 and was incarcerated in the municipal hall jail. 15

    The testimony of accused Renny Boy Acosta was corroborated by the testimony of Joel Sayon. 16

    The trial court gave credence to the testimonies of the prosecution eyewitnesses, Hansel Cañete and Joy Boganutan, even as it rejected the defense of alibi of accused-appellant Benny Acosta and the claim of self-defense of the other accused, Renny Boy Acosta. 17 The mitigating circumstance of minority was appreciated in favor of accused Renny Boy Acosta, considering that he was under 18 years of age at the time of the commission of the crime on March 14, 1993, it appearing that he was born on September 5, 1975. 18

    On August 19, 1999, the trial court rendered its decision, the dispositive portion of which reads:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    WHEREFORE, foregoing premises considered, Accused BENNY ACOSTA and RENNY BOY ACOSTA are hereby found GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder. Accordingly, the Court hereby imposes upon the accused BENNY ACOSTA the penalty of reclusion perpetua. Accused RENNY BOY ACOSTA shall suffer an indeterminate prison term of SIX (6) YEARS of prision correccional, as minimum, to TWELVE (12) YEARS, FIVE (5) MONTHS AND TEN (10) DAYS of reclusion temporal, as maximum. Both accused shall indemnify the heirs of the victim in the sum of FIFTY THOUSAND PESOS (PHP 50,000.00), and to pay the costs.

    In the service of their sentence, both accused shall be credited in full of their preventive imprisonment.

    Let the persons of both accused be immediately transmitted to the National Penetentiary (sic), Muntinlupa City, Metro Manila.

    SO ORDERED. 19

    Only Benny Acosta has appealed. 20 He contends that:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    I. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN NOT APPRECIATING THE ALIBI ASSERTED BY ACCUSED BENNY ACOSTA IN THE FACE OF HIS UNRELIABLE IDENTIFICATION AND THE WEAK, IMPROBABLE, INCONSISTENT AND UNCERTAIN TESTIMONIES OF THE EYEWITNESSES OF THE PROSECUTION.

    II. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN NOT GIVING WEIGHT AND CREDENCE TO THE SELF-DEFENSE AND DEFENSE OF STRANGER PROFESSED BY ACCUSED-APPELLANT (sic) RENNY BOY ACOSTA. 21

    We find accused-appellant’s contentions to be without merit.

    First. Accused-appellant contends that the trial court erred in giving credence to the testimonies of the two prosecution witnesses, Boganutan and Cañete. Accused-appellant argues that the testimonies of Boganutan and Cañete are inconsistent for whereas Boganutan testified that accused-appellant passed by the group of Cañete, Cabunalis, and Boganutan on his way to attacking the victim, Cañete declared otherwise.

    This contention has no merit. Cañete and Boganutan both testified that accused-appellant was indeed in the dance hall and that he was one of those who killed the victim by stabbing the latter from behind. Whether or not accused-appellant passed by their group prior to the attack refers to a mere collateral matter which in fact strengthens, rather than negates, their credibility as witnesses. Variations in the declarations of witnesses in respect of collateral or incidental matters do not impair the weight of their testimonies, taken in their entirety, to the prominent facts, nor per se preclude the establishment of the crime and the positive identification of the malefactor. 22 Further, the claim of accused-appellant that the two eyewitnesses were far from the place where the incident took place and that they were seated at a lighted place in the dance hall while the victim was urinating at a dark place are nothing but pure conjectures. Boganutan and Cañete categorically stated that they were only five strides, more or less, or about six meters, away from the victim and that the place was well lighted at the time of the incident. 23 They testified that they saw accused-appellant at the scene of the crime and that he and his son stabbed the victim from behind.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Accused-appellant likewise insists that there was only one assailant based on the testimony of Dr. Fe L. Mercado that the two wounds inflicted upon the victim were caused by only one instrument. He misconstrues, however, the testimony of Dr. Mercado. Dr. Mercado testified:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q But anyway Doctora, in the first and second wounds, is it possible that the assailant would use the same kind of weapon?

    A I could not determine.

    Q But the appearance of the wound, could you not determine whether the same kind of weapon was used or you have difficulty in determining it?

    A It is difficult for me to determine, but it is possible. 24

    Thus, what Dr. Mercado said was that it was difficult to determine whether one and the same kind of weapon was used to inflict the two fatal wounds. Such statement does not refer to the number of assailants of the victim nor to the number of weapons used against him.

    Second. Prosecution eyewitnesses Boganutan and Cañete pointed to accused-appellant and his son and co-accused Renny Boy Acosta as the perpetrators of the crime. The defense, however, claims that Renny Boy Acosta alone stabbed the victim and only in self-defense. Accused-appellant insists on his alibi that he was out on the sea fishing at the time of the incident. For alibi to prosper, however, it is not enough for the accused to prove that he was elsewhere when the crime was committed, but he must also show that it was physically impossible for him to have been at the scene of the crime at the time of its commission. 25 As an element of a credible alibi, physical impossibility refers to the distance between the place where the accused was when the crime transpired and the place where it was committed, as well as the facility of access between the two places. 26

    In the case at bar, although accused-appellant claims that he was out in the sea fishing at the time of the commission of the crime, he has not shown that it was physically impossible for him to have been at the dance hall at the time Norton Baguio was stabbed. Accused-appellant could have very well been in the dance hall at around 12 o’clock midnight when the incident happened as he himself admitted that it was merely a 10 minute walk from the seashore, which was near his house, to the dance hall. 27 Thus, Accused-appellant could have easily left his house at 12 o’clock, proceeded to the dance hall, and then gone fishing without much difficulty and within a short span of time. Such possibility is further bolstered by the testimony of SPO4 Perez, a defense witness, when he testified that accused-appellant came back at past 12 o’clock midnight or at around 1 o’clock in the morning of March 14, 1993. 28 Accused-appellant could thus have come from the dance hall before he went to Perez’s house. We have time and again held that alibi will not be given credence when there was even the least chance for the accused to be present at the crime scene. 29

    Third. As already stated, only accused-appellant Benny Acosta appealed. The other accused, his son Renny Boy Acosta, did not. 30 Hence, Accused-appellant erred in including accused Renny Boy Acosta as an appellant in this case. Unfortunately, the Office of the Solicitor General, possibly through oversight, perpetuated this error.

    Rule 122, 11(a) of the Rules of Criminal Procedure states that an appeal taken by one or more of several accused shall not affect those who did not appeal, except insofar as the judgment is favorable and applicable to the latter. We have likewise held that an accused who not appeal from the judgment against him has no right to seek relief since the judgment is final with respect to him. 31 Therefore, the finding of the trial court that accused Renny Boy Acosta is guilty of murder and the penalty of an indeterminate prison term of six (6) years of prision correccional, as minimum, to twelve (12) years, five (5) months and ten (10) days of reclusion temporal, as maximum, imposed on him is now final and can no longer be reviewed.

    In any event, even if a decision beneficial to accused Renny Boy Acosta is rendered, this will not benefit Accused-Appellant. What is more, the trial court correctly rejected the plea of self-defense of accused Renny Boy Acosta. In a plea of self-defense, the burden shifts to the accused to prove by clear and convincing evidence the elements of the plea before he can avail himself of this justifying circumstance. 32 He must thus prove that the following requisites are present: (1) unlawful aggression, (2) reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel the unlawful aggression, and (3) lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person defending himself. 33

    In this case, Accused Renny Boy Acosta was the aggressor. On cross-examination, he admitted that he stabbed the victim despite the fact the latter was already lying on the ground. Thus,

    Q The thrust of the knife of Norton Baguio was the first thrust and you parried it, is that correct?

    A Yes, that was the first.

    Q It was only the first thrust because you stabbed him right away, is that correct?

    A Yes.

    Q Now, at the time when you said you stabbed Norton Baguio, Norton Baguio already fell down?

    A Yes.

    Q And you stabbed him again?

    A Yes. 34

    Granting that the victim gave the initial unlawful aggression, it had certainly ceased from the moment he fell to the ground. At that point, Accused Renny Boy became the aggressor. 35 When the unlawful aggression has ceased to exist, the one making the defense has no right to kill or injure the former aggressor. 36

    The claim of self-defense is further belied by the fact that the victim no longer intended to stab Renny Boy Acosta after the first attempt. As Renny Boy admitted:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q When Norton Baguio fell to the ground, was he still holding the ice pick?

    A Yes . . .

    Q When Norton Baguio fell down holding that twelve inches ice-pick, did he still try to thrust you?

    A No more. 37

    More importantly, the physical evidence contradicts accused Renny Boy Acosta’s claim of self-defense. He alleged that he stabbed the victim twice, one in the stomach and in another part of the body which he could no longer remember. The result of the postmortem examination, however, reveals that the victim had no wound in the stomach. Both wounds were located at the victim’s back.

    The contention that Renny Boy Acosta acted in defense of a stranger must likewise be rejected. For this defense to be availed of, the following requisites must be present: (1) unlawful aggression, (2) reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel the unlawful aggression, and (3) the person defending the stranger be not induced by revenge, resentment, or other evil motive. 38 Renny Boy admitted that everytime he went to the dance, he always brought with him his hunting knife, for the purpose of defending himself because the victim was a known trouble-maker in their place. He thus betrayed his animosity toward the victim. He said:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q And this Norton Baguio who is your classmate, you have known him very well?

    A Yes.

    Q You know him to be the toughest in your place?

    A Yes, he is a tough guy.

    Q And he used to be a troublesome in your place?

    A Yes.

    Q That’s why everytime you go to the dance you bring hunting knife?

    A Yes. 39

    Fourth. We affirm the trial court’s appreciation of the qualifying circumstance of treachery. Treachery exists when the offender employs means, methods, or forms in the execution of the crime which tend directly and specially to insure its execution, without risk to himself arising from the defense which the offended party might take. 40 Norton Baguio was urinating with his back towards his assailants when suddenly and unexpectedly he was twice stabbed. There is no doubt that the victim in this case could not have repelled the attack or offered any defense of his person.

    The trial court correctly awarded P50,000.00 as civil indemnity to the heirs of Norton Baguio in accordance with our recent rulings. 41 We also agree with the trial court that the heirs are not entitled to actual damages for expenses incurred during the victim’s wake and burial. To be entitled to such damages, it is necessary to prove the actual amount of loss with a reasonable degree of certainty, premised upon competent proof. 42 In the case at bar, Adelia Patricio, the aunt of the victim, who shouldered the expenses for wake and the burial of the victim, failed to submit receipts to show the amount of such expenses. 43 Hence, there being no receipts presented as required by Art. 2199 of the Civil Code, 44 this Court cannot grant the heirs actual damages.

    In accordance with our rulings, however, an award in the amount of P50,000.00 as moral damages should be granted in this case to compensate them for injuries to their feelings. 45

    WHEREFORE, the decision of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 44, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, finding accused-appellant Benny Acosta guilty of murder and imposing upon him the penalty of reclusion perpetua, is AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that accused- appellant is ordered to pay to the heirs of Norton Baguio the amount of P50,000.00 as moral damages, in addition to the amount of P50,000.00 awarded by the trial court as civil indemnity for the death of Norton Baguio.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    SO ORDERED.

    Bellosillo, Quisumbing and De Leon, Jr., JJ., concur.

    Buena, J., on official leave.

    Endnotes:



    1. Per Judge Alvin L. Tan.

    2. Records, p. 1.

    3. Id., p. 56.

    4. Also referred to in the records as Joy Boganotan.

    5. Also spelled Leonardo Gabunalis and Leonardo Cabunales in the records.

    6. TSN (Hansel Cañete), pp. 17, 22, 24, Sept. 2, 1994.

    7. Id., pp. 8-9, 13, 15; TSN (Joy Boganutan), pp. 5-6, 12, Oct. 13, 1994.

    8. Exh. A; Records, p. 10.

    9. TSN (Dr. Fe L. Mercado), pp. 11-12, May 4, 1995.

    10. TSN (SPO2 Cecilio Nilles), pp. 7-11, 13, July 14, 1994.

    11. TSN (Adelia Patricio), pp. 10-11, July 14, 1994.

    12. Also referred to as Romulo Perez in the Records.

    13. TSN (Benny Acosta), pp. 3, 6-8, 15, 21-26, Oct. 23, 1995.

    14. TSN (SPO4 Arnold Perez), pp. 98, 18, Dec. 22, 1995.

    15. TSN (Renny Boy Acosta), pp. 9-10, 15-29, Sept. 12, 1996.

    16. TSN (Joel Sayon), pp. 6-10, Feb. 22, 1996.

    17. Rollo, pp. 38-40; Records, pp. 304-306.

    18. Id., p. 41; id. p. 308.

    19. Decision, p. 14; Records, p. 308.

    20. Rollo, p. 43; Id., p. 309.

    21. Appellant’s Brief, pp. 6 & 12; Rollo, pp. 65 & 71.

    22. People v. Mahinay, 304 SCRA 767 (1999).

    23. TSN (Hansel Cañete), pp. 10, 16, Sept. 2, 1994; TSN (Joy Boganutan), pp. 8-9, Oct. 13, 1994.

    24. TSN (Dr. Fe L. Mercado), p. 14, Jan. 13, 1994.

    25. People v. Lachica, 316 SCRA 443 (1999).

    26. People v. De Labajan, 317 SCRA 566 (1999).

    27. TSN (Benny Acosta), p. 21, Oct. 23, 1995.

    28. TSN (SPO4 Arnold Perez), pp. 5-7, Dec. 22, 1995.

    29. People v. Santiago, 319 SCRA 644 (1999); People v. Bitoon, Sr., 309 SCRA 209 (1999).

    30. Rollo, p. 43; Records, p. 309.

    31. US v. Candelaria, 2 Phil. 104, 106 (1903).

    32. People v. Cañete, 287 SCRA 490 (1998); People v. Bitoon, Sr., 309 SCRA 217 (1999); People v. Amazan, G.R. Nos. 136251, 138606, 138607, Jan. 16, 2001.

    33. People v. More, 312 SCRA 538 (1999); People v. Vermudez, 302 SCRA 276 (1999).

    34. TSN (Renny Boy Acosta), p. 13, Dec. 9, 1998.

    35. People v. Ganzagan, Jr., 247 SCRA 764 (1995).

    36. People v. Alconga, 78 Phil. 366 (1947); People v. Cawaling, 293 SCRA 267 (1998); People v. Tumanon, G.R. No. 135066, Feb. 15, 2001.

    37. TSN (Renny Boy Acosta), p. 20, Dec. 9, 1998.

    38. People v. Tobias, 267 SCRA 229 (1997).

    39. TSN (Renny Boy Acosta), p. 7, Dec. 9, 1998.

    40. People v. Gungon, 287 SCRA 618 (1998).

    41. People v. Borreros, 306 SCRA 680 (1999), People v. Samolde, 336 SCRA 632 (2000); People v. dela Cruz, G.R. No. 128362, Jan. 16, 2001.

    42. People v. Suelto, 325 SCRA 41 (2000); People v. Samolde, 336 SCRA 632 (2000).

    43. TSN (Adelia Patricio), p. 11, Dec. 12, 1994.

    44. People v. Vital, G.R. No. 130785, Sept. 29, 2000; People v. Ronas, G.R. Nos. 28088 & 146639, Jan. 31, 2001.

    45. People v. Cantos, Sr., 305 SCRA 786 (1999); People v. Sullano, 331 SCRA 649 (2000); People v. Garcia, G.R. No. 117406, Jan. 16, 2001.

    G.R. No. 140386   November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENNY ACOSTA


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