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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
 

   
October-2001 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 137841 October 1, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALBERTO CHUA

  • G.R. No. 117512 October 2, 2001 - REBECCA ALA-MARTIN v. HON. JUSTO M. SULTAN

  • G.R. No. 120098 October 2, 2001 - RUBY L. TSAI v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS EVER TEXTILE MILLS

  • G.R. No. 124037 October 2, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. REYNALDO DE GUZMAN

  • G.R. No. 126592 October 2, 2001 - ROMEO G. DAVID v. JUDGE TIRSO D.C. VELASCO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129900 October 2, 2001 - JANE CARAS y SOLITARIO v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 133000 October 2, 2001 - PATRICIA NATCHER petitioner v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS AND THE HEIRS OF GRACIANO DEL ROSARIO-LETICIA DEL ROSARIO

  • G.R. No. 133895 October 2, 2001 - ZENAIDA M. SANTOS v. CALIXTO SANTOS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 135522-23 October 2, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. AMORSOLO G. TORRES

  • G.R. No. 137777 October 2, 2001 - THE PRESIDENTIAL AD-HOC FACT FINDING COMMITTEE, ET AL. v. THE HON. OMBUDSMAN ANIANO DESIERTO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138322 October 2, 2001 - GRACE J. GARCIA v. REDERICK A. RECIO

  • G.R. No. 138929 October 2, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FLORENTINO DEL MUNDO

  • G.R. No. 139050 October 2, 2001 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES v. THE COURT OF TAX APPEALS and AGFHA

  • G.R. No. 142877 October 2, 2001 - JINKIE CHRISTIE A. DE JESUS and JACQUELINE A. DE JESUS v. THE ESTATE OF DECEDENT JUAN GAMBOA DIZON

  • G.R. No. 125081 October 3, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. REMEDIOS PASCUA

  • G.R. No. 128195 October 3, 2001 - ELIZABETH LEE and PACITA YULEE v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. Nos. 128514 & 143856-61 October 3, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. NILO LEONES

  • G.R. Nos. 142602-05 October 3, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. BONIFACIO ARIOLA

  • A.M. No. 01-6-192-MCTC October 5, 2001 - Request To Designate Another Judge To Try And Decide Criminal Case No. 3713

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1610 October 5, 2001 - ATTY. EDGAR H. TALINGDAN v. JUDGE HENEDINO P. EDUARTE

  • G.R. No. 124498 October 5, 2001 - EDDIE B. SABANDAL v. HON. FELIPE S. TONGCO Presiding Judge

  • G.R. No. 127441 October 5, 2001 - DOROTEO TOBES @ DOTING v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 130499 October 5, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. PAMFILO QUIMSON @ "NOEL QUIMSON

  • G.R. No. 130962 October 5, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. JOSE REAPOR y SAN JUAN

  • G.R. No. 131040 October 5, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MICHAEL FRAMIO SABAGALA

  • G.R. No. 132044 October 5, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ANTONIO @ Tony EVANGELISTA Y BINAY

  • G.R. No. 132718 October 5, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. JOSE CASTILLON III and JOHN DOE

  • G.R. Nos. 135452-53 October 5, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. IRENEO M. ALCOREZA

  • G.R. No. 139760 October 5, 2001 - FELIZARDO S. OBANDO v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 144189 October 5, 2001 - R & M GENERAL MERCHANDISE v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121948 October 8, 2001 - PERPETUAL HELP CREDIT COOPERATIVE v. BENEDICTO FABURADA

  • G.R. No. 123075 October 8, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PEDRO L. NUELAN

  • G.R. No. 129926 October 8, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NOLE M. ZATE

  • G.R. No. 137599 October 8, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. GILBERT BAULITE and LIBERATO BAULITE

  • G.R. No. 138941 October 8, 2001 - AMERICAN HOME ASSURANCE COMPANY v. TANTUCO ENTERPRISES

  • G.R. No. 141297 October 8, 2001 - DOMINGO R. MANALO v. COURT OF APPEALS (Special Twelfth Division) and PAIC SAVINGS AND MORTGAGE BANK

  • A.M. No. 01-9-246-MCTC October 9, 2001 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. JUDGE ALIPIO M. ARAGON

  • G.R. No. 138886 October 9, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. SP01 WILFREDO LEAÑO SP01 FERDINAND MARZAN SPO1 RUBEN B. AGUSTIN SP02 RODEL T. MADERAL * SP02 ALEXANDER S. MICU and SP04 EMILIO M. RAMIREZ

  • G.R. No. 141182 October 9, 2001 - HEIRS OF PEDRO CUETO Represented by ASUNCION CUETO v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS (SPECIAL FORMER FIRST DIVISION) and CONSOLACION COMPUESTO

  • A.M. No. 99-12-03-SC October 10, 2001 - RE: INITIAL REPORTS ON THE GRENADE INCIDENT THAT OCCURRED AT ABOUT 6:40 A.M. ON DECEMBER 6, 1999

  • G.R. No. 129313 October 10, 2001 - SPOUSES MA. CRISTINA D. TIRONA and OSCAR TIRONA v. HON. FLORO P. ALEJO as Presiding Judge

  • G.R. Nos. 135679 & 137375 October 10, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. GODOFREDO RUIZ

  • G.R. No. 136258 October 10, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CARLOS FELICIANO

  • A.M. No. 2001-9-SC October 11, 2001 - DOROTEO IGOY v. GILBERT SORIANO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-99-1485 October 11, 2001 - TEOFILO C. SANTOS v. JUDGE FELICIANO V. BUENAVENTURA

  • G.R. No. 80796 & 132885 October 11, 2001 - PROVINCE OF CAMARINES NORTE v. PROVINCE OF QUEZON

  • G.R. No. 118387 October 11, 2001 - MARCELO LEE v. COURT OF APPEALS and HON. LORENZO B. VENERACION and HON. JAIME T. HAMOY

  • G.R. Nos. 123913-14 October 11,2001

    PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PABLO CALLOS

  • G.R. No. 130415 October 11, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ALVIN YRAT y BUGAHOD and RAUL JIMENA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130562 October 11, 2001 - Brigida Conculada v. Hon. Court Of Appeals

  • G.R. No. 112526 October 12, 2001 - STA. ROSA REALTY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 122710 October 12, 2001 - PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK v. COURT OF APPEALS and REMINGTON INDUSTRIAL SALES CORPORATION

  • G.R. Nos. 134769-71 October 12, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERTO BATION

  • G.R. No. 137843 October 12, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDUARDO S. AÑONUEVO

  • G.R. No. 139904 October 12, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CONRADO MERCADO

  • G.R. No. 136470 October 16, 2001 - VENANCIO R. NAVA v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT

  • G.R. No. 140794 October 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RICARDO T. AGLIDAY

  • A.M. No. P-00-7-323-RTJ October 17, 2001 - RE: RELEASE BY JUDGE MANUEL T. MURO, RTC, BRANCH 54 MANILA, OF AN ACCUSED IN A NON-BAILABLE OFFENSE

  • A.M. No. P-00-1419 October 17, 2001 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. MAGDALENA G. MAGNO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-97-1390 & AM RTJ-98-1411 October 17, 2001 - ATTY. CESAR B. MERIS v. JUDGE CARLOS C. OFILADA

  • G.R. No. 123137 October 17, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. PO2 ALBERT ABRIOL

  • G.R. No. 124513 October 17, 2001 - ROBERTO ERQUIAGA v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 127540 October 17, 2001 - EUGENIO DOMINGO v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 127830 October 17, 2001 - MANOLET LAVIDES v. ERNESTO B. PRE

  • G.R. No. 129069 October 17, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JULIO R. RECTO

  • G.R. No. 129236 October 17, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAYMUNDO G. DIZON

  • G.R. No. 129389 October 17, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. TEODORICO UBALDO

  • G.R. Nos. 132673-75 October 17, 200

    PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DOMINADOR C. GOMEZ

  • G.R. No. 136291 October 17, 2001 - LETICIA M. MAGSINO v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 136869 October 17, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. DENNIS MAZO

  • G.R. No. 141673 October 17, 2001 - MANUEL L. QUEZON UNIVERSITY/AUGUSTO B. SUNICO v. NLRC (Third Division), ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142726 October 17, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. APOLONIO ACOSTA

  • G.R. No. 143190 October 17, 2001 - ANTONIO P. BELICENA v. SECRETARY OF FINANCE

  • G.R. No. 143990 October 17, 2001 - MARIA L. ANIDO v. FILOMENO NEGADO and THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. Nos. 121039-45 October 18, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. MAYOR ANTONIO L. SANCHEZ

  • G.R. No. 132869 October 18, 2001 - GREGORIO DE VERA v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 143486 October 18, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. MARIO DUMAGAY TUADA

  • G.R. No. 144735 October 18, 2001 - YU BUN GUAN v. ELVIRA ONG

  • G.R. No. 116285 October 19, 2001 - ANTONIO TAN v. COURT OF APPEALS and the .C.C.P

  • G.R. Nos. 121201-02 October 19, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES plaintiff-appellee v. GIO CONCORCIO @ JUN

  • G.R. No. 129995 October 19, 2001 - THE PROVINCE OF BATAAN v. HON. PEDRO VILLAFUERTE

  • G.R. No. 130730 October 19, 2001 - HERNANDO GENER v. GREGORIO DE LEON and ZENAIDA FAUSTINO

  • G.R. No. 133002 October 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. INTOY GALLO @ PALALAM

  • G.R. No. 137904 October 19, 2001 - PURIFICACION M. VDA. DE URBANO v. GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM (GSIS)

  • A.M. No. 99-12-497-RTC October 23, 2001 - REQUEST OF JUDGE FRANCISCO L. CALINGIN

  • G.R. No. 121267 October 23, 2001 - SMITH KLINE & FRENCH LABORATORIES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 124036 October 23, 2001 - FIDELINO GARCIA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 124295 October 23, 2001 - JUDGE RENATO A. FUENTES v. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN-MINDANAO

  • G.R. No. 125193 October 23, 2001 - MANUEL BARTOCILLO v. COURT OF APPEALS and the PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 130846 October 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ROGELIO PAMILAR y REVOLIO

  • G.R. No. 131841 October 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. RUBEN VILLARMOSA

  • G.R. No. 132373 October 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. TIRSO ARCAY @ "TISOY" and TEODORO CLEMEN @ "BOY

  • G.R. No. 134740 October 23, 2001 - IRENE V. CRUZ v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT

  • G.R. No. 135481 October 23, 2001 - LIGAYA S. SANTOS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136105 October 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ANTONIO PAREDES y SAUQUILLO

  • G.R. No. 136337 October 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. NELSON CABUNTOG

  • G.R. No. 139114 October 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ROMAN LACAP Y CAILLES

  • G.R. No. 139274 October 23, 2001 - QUEZON PROVINCE v. HON. ABELIO M. MARTE

  • G.R. No. 139329 October 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ERLINDO MAKILANG

  • G.R. Nos. 140934-35 October 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. CONDE RAPISORA y ESTRADA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1634 October 25, 2001 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. SILVERIO Q. CASTILLO

  • G.R. No. 102367 October 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ABUNDIO ALBARIDO and BENEDICTO IGDOY

  • G.R. No. 126359 October 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. CARLITO OLIVA

  • G.R. No. 127465 October 25, 2001 - SPOUSES NICETAS DELOS SANTOS v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 133102 October 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. DINDO AMOGIS y CRINCIA

  • G.R. Nos. 134449-50 October 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. PEDRO HERNANDEZ y PALMA

  • G.R. No. 135813 October 25, 2001 - FERNANDO SANTOS v. Spouses ARSENIO and NIEVES REYES

  • G.R. No. 135822 October 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. PIO DACARA y NACIONAL

  • G.R. Nos. 137494-95 October 25, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. SOTERO REYES alias "TURING"

  • G.R. Nos. 142741-43 October 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ROMEO MANAYAN

  • A.M. No. P-01-1474 October 26, 2001 - ANTONIO C. REYES v. JOSEFINA F. DELIM

  • G.R. No. 120548 October 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. JOSELITO ESCARDA

  • G.R. Nos. 121492 & 124325 October 26, 2001 - BAN HUA UY FLORES v. JOHNNY K.H. UY

  • G.R. No. 132169 October 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. SANICO NUEVO @ "SANY

  • G.R. No. 133741-42 October 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. LINO VILLARUEL

  • G.R. No. 134802 October 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. RENATO Z. DIZON

  • G.R. No. 135920 October 26, 2001 - ENCARNACION ET AL. v. SEVERINA REALTY CORPORATION

  • G.R. No. 140719 October 26, 2001 - NICOLAS UY DE BARON v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 140912 October 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. RODRIGO DIAZ Y SEVILLETA

  • G.R. No. 141540 October 26, 2001 - EDUARDO TAN v. FLORITA MUECO and ROLANDO MUECO

  • G.R. No. 143231 October 26, 2001 - ALBERTO LIM v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 144237 October 26, 2001 - WINSTON C. RACOMA v. MA. ANTONIA B. F. BOMA

  • G.R. Nos. 146319 & 146342 October 26, 2001 - BENJAMIN E. CAWALING v. THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS

  • G.R. No. 146593 October 26, 2001 - UNITED COCONUT PLANTERS BANK v. ROBERTO V. ONGPIN

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    G.R. No. 137599   October 8, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. GILBERT BAULITE and LIBERATO BAULITE

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    FIRST DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 137599. October 8, 2001.]

    PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. GILBERT BAULITE and LIBERATO BAULITE, Accused-Appellants.

    D E C I S I O N


    PARDO, J.:


    Appeal seeking to reverse the decision 1 of the Regional Trial Court, Cotabato, at Kidapawan City, Branch 17 finding accused Gilbert Baulite and Liberato Baulite guilty beyond reasonable doubt of rape with homicide and sentencing each of them to reclusion perpetua and to indemnify the heirs of Delia Jacobo Lano in the sum of P50,000.00, with costs.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    On December 1, 1993, Eddie Arguelles, a farmer, passed by a river on his way to Old Bunawan, Tulunan, Cotabato. In the river, he saw two men — Gilbert and Liberato Baulite washing their bloodied hands. Eddie continued on his way after seeing them. Upon reaching the road, he heard a boy shouting that somebody was found dead.

    Jonathan Cando, a civilian volunteer, was on horseback crossing a river on his way to Bunawan. He heard a woman crying "indi" "indi." He checked his left, and approximately six (6) meters away, he saw a person mounting somebody, as if choking the one mounted. He went to the barangay captain and related what he heard and saw. The barangay captain, however, dismissed the incident, speculating that the two were "only sweethearts."cralaw virtua1aw library

    Around 3 to 4 in the afternoon of the same day, a boy found the body of Delia Jacobo Lano. Delia was a public school teacher at Old Bunawan, Datu Paglas and a resident of Maybula, Tulunan, Cotabato. An examination of her body revealed that Delia suffered a three-inch-deep punctured wound between her eyes, a smashed face (left side) and a bruised neck (upper portion). Vaginal smear test also found her positive for (dead) spermatozoa. However, there were no indications that Delia’s genitalia sustained any laceration. The medical examiner opined that Delia had probably delivered several children. The examination was conducted approximately five (5) to six (6) hours after Delia died.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    On December 7, 1993, 2nd assistant provincial prosecutor of Cotabato Alfonso B. Dizon, Jr., filed with the Regional Trial Court, Cotabato, at Kidapawan an information for rape with homicide against Gilbert Baulite and Liberato Baulite, the two men caught washing their bloodied hands by the river. The information reads:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "That Non or about December 1, 1993, at Barangay New Bunawan, Municipality of Tulunan, Province of Cotabato, Philippines, the above-named accused, with lewd design, conspiring, confederating and mutually helping one another, did then and there, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously with the use of force and intimidation succeeded in having sexual intercourse with one DELIA JAGOBO LANO against her will, and thereafter said accused, with intent to kill, with personal violence, strangulated the victim with the use of a hand as shown by finger nails marking which caused hematoma of the upper portion of the neck and likewise with the use of a sharp object, inflicted punctured wound (sic) located just above and between the eyes, three (3) inches deep, directed and posteriorly and superiorly and multiple fracture of the bone of the left face with hematoma of both eyes, which injuries is (sic) the direct and proximate cause of death of said DELIA JACOBO LANO. "2

    On June 23, 1994, the trial court arraigned the accused. They each pleaded not guilty. 3

    After due trial, on November 25, 1998, the trial court rendered a decision finding the two accused guilty of rape with homicide, the decretal portion of which reads as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Prescinding from the foregoing facts and considerations, the Court finds accused Gilbert Baulite and Liberato Baulite guilty beyond reasonable doubt, of the crime charged, Accused Liberato Baulite and Gilbert Baulite are hereby sentenced each to suffer the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua. Consonant with the recent jurisprudence, both accused are hereby ordered to indemnify the heirs of Delia Jacobo Lano the sum of P50,000.00.

    "With costs de oficio.

    IT IS SO ORDERED. 4

    On December 29, 1998, the accused filed a notice of appeal. 5

    The issues in the appeal are: (1) Was the guilt of the accused-appellants proved beyond reasonable doubt? (2) Is circumstantial evidence sufficient to convict the accused appellants?

    The trial court convicted the accused on the basis of the following circumstantial evidence, namely:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    a) A witness saw accused-appellants Gilbert and Liberato Baulite washing their bloodied hands;

    b) A boy was heard shouting that somebody was found dead;

    c) A witness heard a woman shouting "indi, indi" who was being choked and later the dead body of Delia Lano was found. 6

    An autopsy revealed that the body of Delia Lano sustained a three-inch-deep punctured wound between the eyes and a smashed face. 7

    Accused-appellants explained that the blood in their hands was that of a chicken that they had dressed recently. 8

    Witness Jonathan Cando heard a woman shouting "indi, indi," then saw a person mounting somebody as if choking the person mounted. However, in the absence of an eye-witness identifying the person choking, Accused-appellants would not necessarily be incriminated in the crime. Subsequent examination of the body of Delia Lano revealed that she was choked, as evidenced by the finger markings or hematoma on the upper portion of her neck. The fact that the upper portion of the neck was the one severely injured is physical evidence consistent with the scenario that one in a mounting position applied pressure or choking in the upper portion of the neck of the person "mounted." The prosecution, unfortunately, failed to positively identify the person "mounting and choking" the victim. 9

    In light of the prosecution’s evidence, we are not convinced that the guilt of the accused has been proved beyond reasonable doubt. "The rule is clear. The guilt of the accused must be proved beyond reasonable doubt. The prosecution, on its part, must rely on the strength of its own evidence and must not simply depend on the weakness of the defense. The slightest possibility of an innocent man being convicted for an offense he has never committed, let alone when no less than the capital punishment is imposed, would be far more dreadful than letting a guilty person go unpunished for a crime he may have perpetrated." 10" On the whole then, the scanty evidence for the prosecution casts serious doubts as to the guilt of the accused. It does not pass the test of moral certainty and is insufficient to rebut the presumption of innocence which the Bill of Rights guarantees the accused. It is apropos to repeat the doctrine that an accusation is not, according to the fundamental law, synonymous with guilt; the prosecution must overthrow the presumption of innocence with proof of guilt beyond reasonable doubt." 11

    Where the evidence is purely circumstantial, there must be an even greater need to apply the rule that the prosecution depends not on the weakness of the defense but on the strength of its own evidence. Conviction must rest on nothing less than a moral certainty of the guilt of the accused. "For circumstantial evidence to convict, the Rules of Court require that: (1) there is more than one circumstance; (2) the facts from which the inferences are derived are proven; and (3) the combination of all the circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt. On the latter, decided cases expound that the circumstantial evidence presented and proved must constitute an unbroken chain which leads to one fair and reasonable conclusion pointing to accused, to the exclusion of all others, as the guilty person." 12

    The Solicitor General recommends the acquittal of the accused. 13 We agree.

    We find the circumstantial evidence adduced not sufficient to support a finding that both accused-appellants were guilty beyond reasonable doubt of rape with homicide. To begin with, witness Jonathan Cando was not able to identify either the woman victim or the person choking the victim. 14

    We cannot conclude with certainty that the blood in the hands of the accused-appellant was the blood of the victim, and that the person choking her was one of the Accused-Appellants. Speculations and probabilities cannot substitute for proof required to establish the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. 15 In a criminal case, every circumstance favoring the innocence of the accused must be duly taken into account. 16

    In our criminal justice system, the overriding consideration is not whether the court doubts the innocence of the accused but whether it entertains a reasonable doubt as to his guilt. 17 Where there is reasonable doubt as to the guilt of the accused, he must be acquitted even though his innocence may be doubted since the constitutional right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty can only be overthrown by proof beyond reasonable doubt. 18

    In conclusion, because of reasonable doubt as to the guilt of the accused-appellant, they must be acquitted. "Every accused is presumed innocent until the contrary is proved; that presumption is solemnly guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. The contrary requires proof beyond reasonable doubt, or that degree of proof that produces conviction in an unprejudiced mind. Short of this, it is not only the right of the accused to be freed; it is even the constitutional duty of the court to acquit them. 19

    WHEREFORE, the appealed decision is REVERSED. Accused-appellants Gilbert Baulite and Liberato Baulite are hereby ACQUITTED of the crime charged in Criminal Case 2834 of the Regional Trial Court, Cotabato, Kidapawan, on reasonable doubt.

    Costs de oficio.

    The Director, Bureau of Corrections is ordered to release the accused-appellants immediately unless held for another cause. He shall inform the Court of such release or the reason for non-release within ten (10) days from notice.

    SO ORDERED.

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

    Kapunan, J., on official leave

    Endnotes:



    1. In Criminal Case No. 2834, dated November 25, 1998, Original Record, pp. 381-387.

    2. Rollo, pp. 6-7.

    3. Original Record, p. 20.

    4. Rollo, pp. 16-23, at p. 23.

    5. Rollo, p. 24. On July 05, 1999, we accepted the appeal (Rollo, p. 26).

    6. Decision, Regional Trial Court, Rollo, pp. 16-23, at p. 23.

    7. Original Record, p. 7.

    8. TSN, January 7, 1998, pp. 7-11.

    9. TSN, July 11, 1995, pp. 5-7.

    10. People v. Manzano, 227 SCRA 780, 787 [1993].

    11. People v. Dismuke, 234 SCRA 51, 61 [1994], citing People v. Dramayo, 149 Phil. 107 [1971]; People v. Garcia, 215 SCRA 349 [1992].

    12. People v. Santos, 333 SCRA 319, 336[2000].

    13. Manifestation and Motion in Lieu of Brief, Rollo, pp. 84-96.

    14. TSN, July 11, 1995, pp. 5-7.

    15. People v. Isla, 343 Phil. 562, 570 [1997], citing People v. Jumao-as, 230 SCRA 70 [1994].

    16. People v. Sintano, 319 Phil. 665, 687 [1995].

    17. People v. Parel, 330 Phil. 453, 471 [1999]; People v. Salangga, 234 SCRA 407 [1994].

    18. Pecho v. People, 331 Phil. 1, 19 [1999].

    19. People v. Valeriano, 226 SCRA 694 [1993], citing People v. Pido, 200 SCRA 45 [1991].

    G.R. No. 137599   October 8, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. GILBERT BAULITE and LIBERATO BAULITE


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