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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. 133002   October 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. INTOY GALLO @ PALALAM

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    SECOND DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 133002. October 19, 2001.]

    PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. INTOY GALLO @ PALALAM, A.K.A. ANICETO GALLO, ANTONIO PESEDAS, and JOHN DOE, Accused, INTOY GALLO @ PALALAM, A.K.A. ANICETO GALLO, Accused-Appellant.

    D E C I S I O N


    QUISUMBING, J.:


    On appeal is the decision 1 dated October 1, 1997, of the Regional Trial Court of Tacloban City, Branch 7, finding appellant, Intoy Gallo, guilty of murder. It sentenced him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to indemnify the heirs of the victim in the amounts of P31,000 as moral damages and P50,000 as death indemnity, and to pay the costs.

    Appellant was originally charged with Antonio Pesedas and one John Doe for murder. The Information reads:chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    That on or about the 28th day of May, 1990, in the City of Tacloban, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, conspiring, confederating and mutually helping each other and with deliberate intent to kill, with treachery and evident premeditation, taking advantage of superior strength and nighttime, armed with armalite (M16) rifle, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault and shot one RONALD QUILLOPE, thereby inflicting upon said Ronald Quillope gunshot wounds, which caused his instantaneous death.

    CONTRARY TO LAW. 2

    Antonio Pesedas was arrested earlier. He pleaded guilty to the lesser offense of homicide and was duly sentenced. Intoy Gallo was arrested after six years in hiding. One John Doe, their co-accused, has remained at large.

    After the arrest of appellant, he was arraigned and he pleaded not guilty. The basic facts of the case are as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    On May 28, 1990, at about 4:00 A.M., while prosecution witness BENITO TEJANO was tending his coffee shop located at Burgos St., Tacloban City, he saw Intoy 3 Gallo and Antonio Pesedas 4 approaching. They had arrived with a certain Marcial in a motorcycle parked at the other side of the street where Marcial waited. After a while, Intoy and Antonio crossed the street to conduct a search aboard a passenger bus bound for Borongan, Samar. Then the two went down and proceeded to a Toyota vehicle parked nearby. Asleep inside the Toyota was Ronald Quillope, a security guard of the Caltex gasoline station. Upon reaching the Toyota, Intoy and Antonio identified themselves as "PC Soscia", a group of PC soldiers who inspected security guards at nighttime. Ronald Quillope immediately got up and out of the Toyota vehicle. Intoy hit him with the butt of an M16 rifle and took Ronald’s service pistol. Intoy then pushed Ronald towards the waiting motorcycle and told him to board it. They drove towards Rizal Avenue. After a few hours, Benito Tejano said he learned that a security guard was found dead and the body was brought to the Gomez Funeral Parlor. Benito immediately went to the parlor and discovered the dead was Ronald Quillope. 5

    SPO1 JAMES QUILLOPE, the brother of the victim, testified that they spent about P8,000, covering the expenses in Gomez Funeral Parlor and the amount spent in transporting the body of Ronald from Tacloban City to Tomas Opus, Southern Leyte. The family also spent P16,000 for the embalming and wake. 6

    The defense waived the presentation of any evidence.

    On October 1, 1997, the trial court rendered a decision finding Intoy Gallo guilty of murder. The dispositive portion of said decision reads:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    WHEREFORE, and in view of the foregoing, the Court finds the accused, INTOY GALLO @ Palalam; a.k.a. Aniceto Gallo, GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Murder, as charged, and he is hereby sentenced to reclusion perpetua, with the accessory penalties provided by law; to indemnify the heirs of the victim the amounts of P31,000.00 as moral damages and P50,000.00 for the death of Ronald Quillope; and to pay the costs.

    SO ORDERED. 7

    Intoy Gallo interposed this appeal, alleging that the trial court erred:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    I. IN GIVING WEIGHT TO THE TESTIMONY OF BENITO TEJANO ALTHOUGH THE VERACITY ON MATERIAL POINTS (AS TO THE PARTICIPATION AND PRESENCE OF ACCUSED ENTOY GALLO DURING THE MAULING INCIDENT IS CONCERNED) IS CONFLICTING AND SERIOUSLY DOUBTFUL

    II. THAT NOT MORE THAN ONE CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE WAS PRESENT IN THE CASE;

    III. IN FAILING TO APPRECIATE THE EXISTENCE OF SERIOUS DOUBTS ATTENDANT IN THE CASE IN FAVOR OF THE ACCUSED

    The issues raised in this case are: (1) whether the trial court erred in giving credence to the testimony of Benito Tejano; and (2) whether the evidence for the prosecution established the guilt of the appellant beyond reasonable doubt.

    Appellant contends that the testimony of Benito Tejano should not have been given credence by the trial court because it was inconsistent with his sworn statement before the provincial prosecutor. Appellant points out that Benito, in his testimony, declared that Ronald was sleeping in the Toyota. In contrast, Benito’s sworn statement stated that it was Ronald who approached Intoy and Antonio. Appellant also claims that Benito’s testimony was inconsistent with his sworn statement as to who was wearing the fatigue shirt, whether it was Intoy Gallo a.k.a. Palalam or someone else, namely Antonio Pesedas. Lastly, appellant argues that his guilt had not been established beyond reasonable doubt because no one actually saw him kill the victim and that the prosecution was able to prove only one circumstance 8 and not a chain of circumstances that could link appellant to the killing.

    For the State, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) argues that the alleged inconsistencies in the testimony of Benito are more apparent than real. The witness was consistent in explaining that Ronald was the one sleeping in the Toyota, said the OSG, while appellant was the one in fatigue shirt. Further, OSG argues these are insignificant details which do not form part of the essential elements of the crime.

    The OSG also avers that more than one circumstance were established by the prosecution. These are: (1) Appellant with Antonio Pesedas came to the area near the corner of Burgos and Rizal Avenues armed with an armalite rifle apparently in search for somebody; 9 (2) Finding Quillope inside the parked Toyota, appellant disarmed him of his service pistol and struck his right face with the butt of his armalite; 10 (3) Appellant forcibly took Quillope by pushing him into a waiting tricycle and sped away towards Rizal Avenue; 11 (4) Quillope died of gunshot wounds; 12 (5) Appellant was in hiding for six long years; (6) Appellant’s companion Antonio Pesedas, already pleaded guilty; 13 (7) Appellant chose not to present any evidence to controvert that of the prosecution. These, according to the OSG, are more than enough circumstances to sustain the conviction of the appellant. 14

    On the issue of credibility of witnesses, settled is the rule that in the absence of any fact or circumstance of weight and influence which has been overlooked or the significance of which has been misconstrued to impeach the findings of the trial court, the appellate courts will not interfere with the trial court’s findings on the credibility of the witnesses or set aside its judgment considering that the trial court is in a better position to decide the question for it had heard the witnesses themselves during the trial. 15 The evaluation of the credibility of witnesses is a matter that particularly falls within the authority of the trial court. 16

    The trial court appreciated favorably the testimony of Benito Tejano as witness for the prosecution. His testimony was straightforward and spontaneous. He had no reason to perjure himself. He placed his own life and his family in danger when he decided to testify in court. The trial court was not unaware of this, as it even ordered that said witness be placed under the government’s witness protection program. 17

    On the alleged inconsistencies in the testimony and sworn statement of Benito, we agree with the OSG that these refer to immaterial and insignificant details. They do not change the fact that Benito was present at the time Ronald was accosted and taken away by Intoy and Antonio. Further, we have ruled in the past that discrepancies between a sworn statement and testimony in court do not outrightly justify the acquittal of an accused. Such discrepancies do not necessarily discredit the witness since ex parte affidavits are often incomplete. They do not purport to contain a complete compendium of the details of the event narrated by the affiant, and have been taken as inferior to court testimony. 18 In this case, Benito categorically stated on the witness stand that Ronald was sleeping in the Toyota vehicle, apparently making his sworn statement inaccurate. In fact, however, he testified that he did not say that Ronald approached Intoy and Antonio, to wit:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q: Now, you must understand now that what you told the investigator Luna and what you told the court this morning at least on the fact of from where you came from are diametrically opposed to each other, do you understand that?

    A: I recall he was asleep at that time.

    Q: So when you told the investigator Luna ‘s "Then came the security guard Ronald Quillope from nowhere", that fact is false?

    A: I did not state that, it was only that he was asleep that I told. 19

    There also was no inconsistency on who wore the fatigue shirt. Benito categorically stated:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Upon the arrival of security guard Quillope he was also accosted by the companion of Intoy Palalam, the one who was wearing a fatigue shirt. 20

    It was not Benito but apparently appellant’s counsel who misappreciated the statement to mean that it was Intoy’s companion who was wearing the fatigue shirt.

    Likewise, appellant failed to show any improper motive for Benito to testify falsely on a grave felony. Human experience tells us that a person, in the absence of a showing of any ill-motive, would not impute a grave crime upon another unless the same is true. 21 Absent such showing, we are constrained to uphold the trial court’s favorable ruling on the credibility of Benito’s testimony.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    But was Benito Tejano’s testimony sufficient to prove the guilt of appellant beyond reasonable doubt? The testimony of a single witness, if found to be convincing and trustworthy is enough to sustain a conviction. 22 Testimonies of witnesses are to be weighed, not numbered.

    Benito’s testimony established a logical chain of circumstances which point to Intoy as one of Ronald’s killers. First, Intoy was one of those who accosted Ronald and was the one who hit him with the butt of an M16 Rifle. Second, Intoy was among those who forced Ronald into the motorcycle and even rode with him towards Rizal Avenue. Third, Intoy had a gun and Ronald was found dead with gunshot wounds. Fourth, Intoy and his companions were the last persons seen with Ronald while the latter was still alive. Fifth, Intoy chose to flee and hide for six years, rather than voluntarily surrender. As repeatedly held, flight is a strong indication of guilt. 23 Appellant’s act of not confronting his accuser right away goes against the principle that the first impulse of an innocent man when accused with wrongdoing is to express his innocence at the first opportune time. 24

    While it is true that no witness who saw the actual killing was presented, the above enumerated circumstances are enough to prove Intoy’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Direct evidence of the commission of the crime is not the only matrix wherefrom a trial court may draw its conclusion and finding of guilt. Resort to circumstantial evidence is essential when to insist on direct testimony would result in setting felons free. As above discussed the following are present in the instant case such that conviction is justified on circumstantial evidence: (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. 25chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    However, we are not in agreement with the trial court that the killing should be considered as murder. The records reveal no proven circumstance to qualify the crime as murder. The trial court’s decision is unclear on why it considered the killing as murder. While nighttime, superior strength, evident premeditation, and treachery were all alleged in the information, the prosecution did not prove each of them specifically and convincingly. This being so, the crime proved can only be homicide. 26

    On the civil aspect, no evidence was presented to support an award of moral damages. The amount of P31,000 might refer to the actual expenses incurred by the family of the victim, 27 but no receipts and other documentary evidence therefor were presented. However, in lieu of actual damages, temperate damages under Art. 2224 of the Civil Code 28 may be recovered since it has been shown by testimonial evidence that the victim’s family suffered some pecuniary loss, the amount of which cannot be proved with certainty. 29 For this purpose an award of P24,000 is justified.

    WHEREFORE, the assailed decision of the Regional Trial Court of Tacloban City, Branch 7, is MODIFIED. Appellant Intoy Gallo @ Palalam a.k.a. Aniceto Gallo is declared GUILTY of homicide for the death of Ronald Quillope. In the absence of any aggravating and/or mitigating circumstance, he is sentenced to suffer the indeterminate sentence of 6 years and 1 day of prision mayor as minimum to 14 years, 4 months and 1 day of reclusion temporal as maximum, and to pay the heirs of the victim P24,000 as temperate damages and P50,000 as death indemnity, and the costs. The award of moral damages is deleted.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    SO ORDERED.

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

    Endnotes:



    1. Rollo, pp. 16-18.

    2. Id., at 9.

    3. Referred to as "Entoy" in appellant’s brief.

    4. Referred to as "Posedas" in appellant’s brief.

    5. TSN, Benito Tejano, August 20, 1996, pp. 3-13.

    6. TSN, SPO1 James Quillope, June 25, 1996, pp. 14-15.

    7. Rollo, p. 18.

    8. Id. at 33-36.

    9. TSN, Benito Tejano, August 20, 1996, pp. 4-6.

    10. Id., at 6-7 and 10.

    11. Id., at 7-8.

    12. Exhs. "A" and "B", Records, pp. 25 and 27; TSN, Benito Tejano, August 20, 1996, pp. 10-11.

    13. Exh. "C", Records, p. 40; TSN, May 27, 1996, p. 5.

    14. Rollo, pp. 58-66

    15. People v. Hernandez, G.R. No. 130809, 328 SCRA 201, 210 (2000).

    16. People v. Baygar, G.R. No. 132238, 318 SCRA 358, 365 (1999); People v. Venerable, G.R. No. 110110, 290 SCRA 15, 25 (1998).

    17. TSN, Benito Tejano, July 26, 1996, p. 3.

    18. People v. Minangga, G.R. No. 130670, 332 SCRA 558, 565-566 (2000).

    19. TSN, Benito Tejano, August 20, 1996, p. 27.

    20. Id., at 27-28.

    21. People v. Ceguira, G.R. No. 130769, 328 SCRA 11, 31 (2000).

    22. People v. Bundang, G.R. No. 101830, 272 SCRA 641, 651 (1997) citing People v. Camat, G.R. No. 112262, 256 SCRA 52, 63 (1996); People v. Galano, G.R. No. 111806, 327 SCRA 462, 472-473 (2000).

    23. People v. Fabon, G.R. No. 133226, 328 SCRA 302, 317 (2000).

    24. People v. Antonio, et. al., G.R. No. 128149, July 24, 2000, p. 9.

    25. People v. Santos, G.R. No. 122935, 332 SCRA 394,398-399 (2000).

    26. People v. Araneta, G.R. No. 137604, 335 SCRA 1, 11 (2000).

    27. People v. Cual, G.R. No. 131925,327 SCRA 623, 648 (2000).

    28. Art. 2224. Temperate or moderate damages which are more than nominal but less than compensatory damages, may be recovered when the court finds that some pecuniary loss has been suffered but its amount can not, from the nature of the case, be proved with certainty.

    29. People v. Suplito, G.R. No. 104944, 314 SCRA 493, 504 (1999).

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


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