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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. 125193   October 23, 2001 - MANUEL BARTOCILLO v. COURT OF APPEALS and the PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    SECOND DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 125193. October 23, 2001.]

    MANUEL BARTOCILLO, Petitioner, v. COURT OF APPEALS and the PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondents.

    D E C I S I O N


    QUISUMBING, J.:


    This petition for review seeks to reverse and set aside the decision 1 dated January 18, 1996, of the Court of Appeals, in CA G.R. CR No. 15842, affirming with modification the decision of the Regional Trial Court of General Santos City, Branch 22, finding herein petitioner guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of frustrated homicide.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The case against petitioner stemmed from an Information filed against him and his father which reads:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    x       x       x


    That on or about the 28th day of December, 1982 in the evening thereof, more or less at Sitio Atlae, Barangay Malandag, Municipality of Malungon, Province of South Cotabato, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of the Honorable Court, said two accused in company with one HOSPICIO "Boy" CURACHO who stands charged for the same incident before the 4th Municipal Circuit Trial Court of Malungon-Alabel at Malungon, South Cotabato, as Criminal Case No. 512, where the case is pending preliminary investigation pending arrest of the said HOSPICIO CURACHO, he being at-large, conspiring and confederating together and mutually helping one another with intent to kill and armed with a bladed weapon, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault and hack one DIONISIO SANTILLAN with the use of the said weapon, hitting and wounding him on the back portion of his head, with brain injury, thus performing all the acts of execution which should have produced the crime of homicide as a consequence but nevertheless did not produce it by reason of causes independent of the will of the perpetrator, that is by the timely and able medical attendance rendered to the said DIONISIO SANTILLAN which prevented his death.

    CONTRARY TO LAW. 2

    On arraignment, duly assisted by counsel de parte, both accused pleaded not guilty. Thereafter trial ensued. The prosecution presented the following version of the facts:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    In the early evening of December 28, 1982, at around 8:00 o’clock, Vicente Santillan was waylaid by the group of Hospicio "Boy" Curacho, Cesar Bartocillo, Sr., Manuel Bartocillo, 3 Henry Curacho and Salvador Arieta. 4 They threw stones at him, which made him run and hide behind a "doldol" 5 tree. Vicente then saw Cesar fire his gun. 6 He ran but Boy Curacho saw him, hacked him from behind and hit him in his right thigh. 7 Vicente continued to run towards their house but saw no one there. 8 He then heard shouts from the place where he came from so he went back and saw his wounded father being assisted by his sister Susan and her husband, Orlando Justan. 9chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    That same night, Susan and Orlando Justan heard a "gun report’’ 10 followed by a shout for help, which they identified as coming from Vicente Santillan. This prompted the spouses to rush to the place where the gun explosion and shout emanated from and there they saw Vicente holding a slingshot and Boy Curacho holding a stone. 11 According to Susan, Vicente was apparently being chased by Cesar and Manuel Bartocillo, Boy and Henry Curacho. 12

    According to Orlando, Vicente and Boy were trying to hit each other with stones. Vicente was using his slingshot and Boy was throwing stones. 13 According to Susan, she requested Orlando to bring Vicente to their parents’ house while she tried to restrain her father, Dionisio Santillan. Dionisio wanted to confront Cesar Bartocillo. However, according to Orlando, Susan was the one who took Vicente to their parents’ house while he went with his father-in-law Dionisio, 14 who was intent in confronting Cesar.

    Upon meeting with Cesar’s group, Dionisio was immediately ganged up by Cesar, Manuel, Henry and Boy. 15 Eventually, Dionisio wrestled Boy to the ground and overcame him. Dionisio started to pound Boy’s head with a stone. 16 Manuel then hacked Dionisio on the head with a bolo. 17 Cesar tried to hit Dionisio with the butt of his gun but missed. Orlando then grappled with Cesar for the gun and took it from him. 18 Susan did not see her husband during the hacking incident. When she saw her father already wounded, she ran to embrace him and called out to her other brothers and sisters to bring him to the hospital. 19

    The defense had presented a slightly different version of the incident. Petitioner Manuel Bartocillo, his father Cesar Bartocillo and Henry Curacho were in the house of Cesar when they heard the wall of their store being stoned. 20 Cesar went out and saw Vicente Santillan running away with a slingshot. He shouted at Vicente that they settle the matter between them the following morning since it was already nighttime. 21 As Cesar was about to head back home, he saw Vicente already at Cesar’s back carrying a long firearm. 22 They started to grapple for the gun. During their struggle, Letecia Peruelo suddenly appeared and hacked Cesar on his right arm. 23 A certain Dodong also arrived at the scene and stabbed Cesar hitting him at the upper portion of his left arm. 24 Cesar grabbed the gun. Meanwhile, Manuel approached him and took him home. 25 Upon arriving home, they heard someone shout: "Nong Carding, help Badong because they mauled him." 26 After an hour, they were informed by Patrolman Lando Octavio, who was with patrolmen Ricardo Moderacion and Quirino Gagula, who came looking for Boy Curacho that there had been a stabbing incident 27 and they were supposed to apprehend Boy regarding the incident. 28 Cesar surrendered the gun to them. 29chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The trial court, in its decision, exonerated Cesar Bartocillo of any criminal liability while petitioner Manuel Bartocillo was found guilty as charged. Aggrieved, petitioner appealed before respondent Court of Appeals which affirmed with modification the decision of the trial court. Hence, this petition.

    Petitioner assigns the following errors:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    I


    BY SIMPLY AND CONVENIENTLY ADOPTING IN TOTO THE FINDINGS OF FACTS OF THE TRIAL COURT, THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS TOTALLY DISREGARDED AND IGNORED THE VERY CLEAR EVIDENCE THAT PETITIONER MANUEL BARTOCILLO WAS NOT AT ALL A PARTICIPANT IN THE HACKING INCIDENT.

    II


    THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY ERRED IN TOTALLY IGNORING THE SERIOUS, MATERIAL, UNEXPLAINED AND IRRECONCILABLE INCONSISTENCIES, IMPROBABILITIES, AND CONTRADICTIONS REEKING FROM THE TESTIMONIES OF THE PROSECUTION WITNESSES. VERILY, THESE SERIOUS AND MATERIAL FLAWS AND INFIRMITIES ALTOGETHER PROVE CONVINCINGLY, THE INNOCENCE OF THE PETITIONER, OR AT THE VERY LEAST, CAST DOUBT ON HIS ALLEGED CULPABILITY.

    III


    THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY ERRED IN GIVING FAITH AND CREDENCE TO THE TESTIMONIES OF THE PROSECUTION WITNESSES AND IN APPLYING NON-SEQUITUR CASES. 30

    Petitioner denies that he was a participant in the hacking incident. He contends that the totality of evidence adduced by the prosecution does not prove his guilt at all. He likewise assails the fact that the trial and appellate courts disregarded vital evidence which if properly considered, should absolve him from culpability. These are: (1) the affidavit of Herminito Reveche; 31 (2) the Entry in the Police Blotter on December 28, 1982 at 10:35 P.M.; 32 and (3) the affidavit of Hospicio "Boy" Curacho. 33

    The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), for the State, alleges that the findings of fact made by the trial court and upheld by the appellate court should be sustained on the ground that it is the trial court which was in the best situation to assess and evaluate the credibility of the witnesses presented before it. The OSG recommends, however, that the penalty be modified. 34

    Basically, the issue raised in this petition is whether the guilt of the petitioner has been established beyond reasonable doubt. At the same time, we must also determine whether this Court should review the findings of the trial and appellate courts on the credibility of the witnesses and their testimonies in this case.

    Well-entrenched is the doctrine that findings of fact by the trial court are accorded great weight, sometimes even with finality, more so when they are adopted and affirmed by the appellate court, unless the trial court has failed to appreciate certain facts and circumstances which, if taken into account, would materially affect the result of the case. 35 The reason for this rule is that the trial court judge is the best person to discern and evaluate the credibility of witnesses whose demeanor and manner of testifying he has closely observed. 36

    However, in this case, the records show that the judge who heard the testimony of Susan and Orlando, as well as the other prosecution witnesses, except Vicente, was different from the judge who heard the defense witnesses and who penned the decision. Thus, in one case we held:cralawlibrary : red

    Ordinarily, this Court will not interfere with the trial court’s findings and conclusions on the credibility of the witnesses, in deference to the rule that the trial court having had the opportunity to observe the demeanor and conduct of the witnesses while testifying, is in a better position to properly gauge their credibility. This rule of appreciation of evidence, however, does not apply where — as in the present case — one judge heard the testimony of the witnesses and another judge penned the decision, for, in such case, the reason for the rule does not exist. Besides, the said rule of appreciation of evidence must yield to the superior and immutable rule that the guilt of the accused must be proved beyond reasonable doubt, because the law presumes that an accused is innocent and this presumption must prevail unless overturned by competent and credible proof. 37

    A meticulous scrutiny of the records would show that both the trial and appellate courts failed to consider the inconsistencies and incompatibilities inherent in the testimonies of the two eyewitnesses. If properly appraised, in our view, they would yield a totally different result from that arrived at by the lower courts.

    The trial and appellate courts viewed these inconsistencies and contradictions pointed out by petitioner as referring to irrelevant and immaterial matters of no consequence. A perusal of the records, however, show that these inconsistencies pertain to a pivotal issue: that is, who between Orlando and Susan was really present during the hacking incident? Being the witnesses who pointed at petitioner Manuel Bartocillo as the one who hacked Dionisio Santillan in the head, their whereabouts during the incident must be clearly established.

    On one hand, if we are to believe Susan, Orlando could not have possibly seen the hacking incident since he had accompanied Vicente home. 38 On the other hand, if we are to accept the testimony of Orlando, then Susan could not have possibly witnessed the hacking incident since she was with Vicente at that time. 39 Their testimony simply cannot stand together. This court is left with no option but to disregard both their testimony since we have no means to ascertain who is telling the truth and who is lying. This is consistent with our ruling in People v. Castillon, 40 where we held that "where the testimonies of two key witnesses cannot stand together, the inevitable conclusion is that one or both must be telling a lie, and their story a mere concoction’’. 41chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    This brings us to the principal issue regarding the sufficiency of the prosecution’s evidence. Since the testimonies of Susan and Orlando are irreconcilable and unreliable, the prosecution’s case is weak. Lacking credible support, it is like a shack that cannot withstand the monsoon wind. For no eyewitness remains who could convincingly point to petitioner as the one who attacked Dionisio Santillan. The victim himself was unable to identify his assailant since his testimony was aborted due to illness. 42 All the other prosecution witnesses arrived at the scene after the hacking and therefore none of them could positively and categorically identify petitioner as the perpetrator. The alleged weapon was not recovered, nor was it traced to petitioner. Because of these considerations, we are constrained to hold that the prosecution failed to establish the guilt of petitioner beyond reasonable doubt.

    True, the defense of appellant is simple denial which had been considered, along with alibi, to be inherently weak and viewed with disfavor by the courts. 43 However, this does not mean that when an accused avails of this defense, the court should automatically adjudge him guilty. We are not unmindful of the reality that in most cases, denial is the only plausible defense available to an innocent person. 44 But, when the credibility of the prosecution witnesses is wanting and the veracity of their narratives questionable, the defense of denial assumes significance, 45 as in this case.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. Both the assailed decision of the Court of Appeals and that of the Regional Trial Court are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Appellant Manuel Bartocillo is ACQUITTED on the ground of reasonable doubt. His immediate release from detention is hereby ordered, unless there are other existing legal causes for his continued confinement.

    Costs de oficio.

    SO ORDERED.

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

    Endnotes:



    1. Rollo, pp. 43-51.

    2. Records, pp. 2-3.

    3. Also known as Emmanuel Bartocillo, TSN, January 28, 1991, p. 243.

    4. Also referred to as "Badong" and "Salvador Arita", Rollo, p. 24.

    5. Also referred to as "kapok" ; TSN, March 19, 1986, p. 147.

    6. TSN, March 19, 1986, p. 132.

    7. Id., at 133, 135.

    8. Id., at 136.

    9. Id., at 137.

    10. TSN, March 26, 1985, p. 6.

    11. TSN, February 10, 1986, p. 87.

    12. TSN, August 26, 1985, p. 65.

    13. TSN, February 10, 1986, pp. 87-88, 91.

    14. TSN, August 26, 1985, pp. 51-52.

    15. TSN, August 26, 1985, p. 56.

    16. Id., at 58.

    17. Ibid.

    18. TSN, February 10, 1986, pp. 99-100.

    19. TSN, March 26, 1985, pp. 17-18.

    20. TSN, October 24, 1989, pp. 203-204.

    21. Id., at 205.

    22. Id., at 206.

    23. Id., at 208.

    24. Id., at 209.

    25. Id., at 210.

    26. Id., at 211.

    27. Id., at 212-213.

    28. TSN, January 28, 1991, p. 248.

    29. TSN, October 24, 1989, p. 213.

    30. Rollo, p. 21.

    31. Id., at 22-23.

    32. Id., at 23-24.

    33. Id., at 25-26.

    34. Id., at 216-222.

    35. People v. Batidor, 303 SCRA 335, 345 (1999).

    36. See People v. Tuvilla, 259 SCRA 1, 7, citing People v. Davatos, G. R. No. 93322, 229 SCRA 647, 652 (1994).

    37. People v. Escalante, 238 SCRA 554, 563 (1994).

    38. TSN, August 26, 1985, p. 52.

    39. TSN, February 10, 1986, pp. 88-89.

    40. GR No. 122113, November 27, 2000, p. 9,

    41. Citing People v. Jubilag, G. R. No. 112148, 263 SCRA 604, 613-614 (1996).

    42. TSN, March 19, 1986, p. 127.

    43. People v. Dacoba, 289 SCRA 265, 273 (1998) citing People v. Danao, G. R No. 116058, 253 SCRA 146, 153 (1996).

    44. People v. Masalihit, 300 SCRA 147, 159 (1998).

    45. People v. Perucho, 305 SCRA 770, 784-785 (1999).

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


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