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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
 

   
September-2001 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 137538 September 3, 2001 - OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN v. HON. FRANCISCO B. IBAY

  • A.M. No. MTJ-00-1249 September 4, 2001 - PHIL. GERIATRICS FOUNDATION, ET AL. v. LYDIA QUERUBIN LAYOSA

  • A.M. No. P-00-1373 September 4, 2001 - ELIZABETH A. TIONGCO v. ROGELIO S. MOLINA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-01-1501 September 4, 2001 - JOSEPHINE D. SARMIENTO v. ALBERT S. SALAMAT

  • A.M. No. P-01-1502 September 4, 2001 - CRESENCIO N. BONGALOS v. JOSE R. MONUNGOLH and VICTORIA D. JAMITO

  • A.M. No. P-99-1357 September 4, 2001 - SHERWIN M. BALOLOY v. JOSE B. FLORES

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1651 September 4, 2001 - PROSECUTOR LEO C. TABAO v. JUDGE FRISCO T. LILAGAN

  • G.R. No. 125359 September 4, 2001 - ROBERTO S. BENEDICTO and HECTOR T. RIVERA v. THE COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 126859 September 4, 2001 - YOUSEF AL-GHOUL, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127181 September 4, 2001 - LAND BANK OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132709 September 4, 2001 - CAMILO L. SABIO, ET AL. v. INTERNATIONAL CORPORATE BANK, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134490 September 4, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. JOEL BRAGAT

  • G.R. Nos. 135356-58 September 4, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MELECIO SAGARINO

  • G.R. No. 138923 September 4, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANITA AYOLA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1344 September 5, 2001 - LYDIO ARCILLA, ET AL. v. LUCIO PALAYPAYON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128145 September 5, 2001 - J.C. LOPEZ & ASSOCIATES v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133886 September 5, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. OSCAR PARBA

  • G.R. No. 134101 September 5, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELINO O. LLANITA

  • G.R. No. 136054 September 5, 2001 - SEVERINA SAN MIGUEL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132714 September 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RENATO LALINGJAMAN

  • G.R. Nos. 139064-66 September 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALBERTO ARCE

  • G.R. No. 140529 September 6, 2001 - JOSE P. LOPEZ v. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141400 September 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EVANGELINE GANENAS

  • Admin. Case. No. 4863 September 7, 2001 - URBAN BANK v. ATTY. MAGDALENO M. PEÑA

  • G.R. No. 114858-59 September 7, 2001 - COLUMBUS PHILIPPINES BUS CORPORATION v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION

  • G.R. No. 126352 September 7, 2001 - GSIS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127261 September 7, 2001 - VISAYAN SURETY & INSURANCE CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129644 September 7, 2001 - CHINA BANKING CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131805 September 7, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GREGORIO HERMOSA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132064 September 7, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ISAGANI BAYENG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132320 September 7, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CONRADO OJERIO

  • G.R. Nos. 135402-03 September 7, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. IAN GONZAGA

  • G.R. No. 136779 September 7, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARNEL ASUNCION

  • G.R. No. 142065 September 7, 2001 - LENIDO LUMANOG v. HON. JAIME N. SALAZAR

  • G.R. No. 142875 September 7, 2001 - EDGAR AGUSTILO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144877 September 7, 2001 - DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHIL. v. VERONICA AGUIRRE, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-01-1506 September 10, 2001 - GEORGE S. BICBIC v. DHALIA E. BORROMEO

  • G.R. Nos. 104769 & 135016 September 10, 2001 - AFP MUTUAL BENEFIT ASSO. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118943 September 10, 2001 - MARIO HORNALES v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130362 September 10, 2001 - INT’L FLAVORS & FRAGRANCES (PHIL.) v. MERLIN J. ARGOS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138485 September 10, 2001 - DR. v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE

  • G.R. No. 141970 September 10, 2001 - METROPOLITAN BANK v. FLORO T. ALEJO

  • G.R. No. 145588 September 10, 2001 - ESPERIDION LOPEZ, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140398 September 11, 2001 - FRANCISCO DELA MERCED, ET AL. v. GSIS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121877 September 12, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. ERLINDA GONZALES

  • G.R. Nos. 138431-36 September 12, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DIOSCORA M. ARABIA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140903 September 12, 2001 - HENRY SY v. COMMISSION ON SETTLEMENT OF LAND PROBLEMS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. 00-1-4-03-SC September 13, 2001 - RE: REQUEST FOR LIVE RADIO-TV COVERAGE OF THE TRIAL IN THE SANDIGANBAYAN OF THE PLUNDER CASES AGAINST FORMER PRESIDENT JOSEPH E. ESTRADA v. JOSEPH E. ESTRADA and INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • A.M. No. 00-4-188-RTC September 13, 2001 - REQUEST OF MR. OSCAR T. LLAMAS FOR RE-ASSIGNMENT OSCAR T. LLAMAS v. EMMANUEL LACANDOLA AND ET. AL.

  • G.R. No. 120009 September 13, 2001 - DOLE PHILIPPINES v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION

  • G.R. No. 122095 September 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. DOMINGO DAWISAN

  • G.R. No. 127913 September 13, 2001 - RCBC v. METRO CONTAINER CORP.

  • G.R. No. 132354 September 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DEOMEDES IGLESIA

  • G.R. Nos. 136840-42 September 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO NAVARETTE

  • G.R. No. 137250-51 September 13, 2001 - PABLO MARGAREJO v. HON. ADELARDO ESCOSES

  • G.R. No. 138972-73 September 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EUGENIO B. MARQUEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140512 September 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PETER PELERAS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142043 September 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NELSON BITUON

  • G.R. No. 142430 September 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RONNIE QUINICIO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142444 September 13, 2001 - OFELIA D. ARTUZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142649 September 13, 2001 - ANTONIO C. SAN LUIS v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 143702 September 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ZALDY MENDOZA

  • G.R. No. 129212 September 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. MARIO LACUESTA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1575 September 17, 2001 - ISAGANI RIZON v. JUDGE OSCAR E. ZERNA

  • A.M. No. RTJ 99-1498 September 17, 2001 - VICENTE P. LIM v. JUDGE JACINTA B. TAMBAGO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111584 September 17, 2001 - PRODUCERS BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES v. COURT OF APPEALS and SPOUSES SALVADOR Y. CHUA and EMILIA U. CHUA

  • G.R. No. 135644 September 17, 2001 - GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM v. SPOUSES GONZALO and MATILDE LABUNG-DEANG

  • G.R. No. 135912 September 17, 2001 - ODIN SECURITY AGENCY v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138219 September 17, 2001 - GERARDO V. TAMBAOAN, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 138943-44 September 17, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. HENRY ALMAZAN

  • G.R. No. 141209 September 17, 2001 - ANTONIA HUFANA, ET AL. v. WILLIAM ONG GENATO

  • A. C. No. 5043 September 19, 2001 - ABEDIN L. OSOP v. ATTY. V. EMMANUEL C. FONTANILLA

  • G.R. No. 135936 September 19, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. GUALBERTO MIRADOR alias "GOLING"

  • G.R. No. 144400 September 19, 2001 - DOMINGO O. IGNACIO v. COCA-COLA BOTTLERS PHILS.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1369 September 20, 2001 - GUILLERMA D. CABAÑERO v. JUDGE ANTONIO K. CAÑON

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1371 September 20, 2001 - ATTY. NESCITO C. HILARIO v. JUDGE ROMEO A. QUILANTANG

  • A.M. No. RTJ-99-1472 September 20, 2001 - SPOUSES HERMINIO, ET Al. v. HON. DEMETRIO D. CALIMAG

  • A.M. No. P-01-1483 September 20, 2001 - EDNA FE F. AQUINO v. ISABELO LAVADIA

  • G.R. No. 116938 September 20, 2001 - LEONILA GARCIA-RUEDA v. REMEDIOS A. AMOR, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127405 September 20, 2001 - MARJORIE TOCAO and WILLIAM T. BELO v. COURT OF APPEALS and NENITA A. ANAY

  • G.R. No. 130399 September 20, 2001 - PUBLIC UTILITIES DEPARTMENT v. HON. TEOFISTO T. GUINGONA

  • G.R. Nos. 135068-72 September 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MAXIMO RAMOS

  • G.R. No. 137674 September 20, 2001 - WILLIAM GO KIM HUY v. SANTIAGO GO KIM HUY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139410 September 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. SILVERIO AGUERO

  • G.R. No. 140898 September 20, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. JOSE ISHIKAWA AMBA

  • A.M. No. P-99-1289 September 21, 2001 - JUDGE NAPOLEON S. DIAMANTE v. ANTHONY A. ALAMBRA

  • G.R. Nos. 119609-10 September 21, 2001 - PCGG v. HONORABLE SANDIGANBAYAN (Third Division), ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128876 September 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. MANOLITO FELIZAR y CAPULI

  • G.R. No. 132384 September 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. MARLON GADIA

  • G.R. No. 134596 September 21, 2001 - RAYMUND ARDONIO v. THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 142889 September 21, 2001 - EXECUTIVE LABOR ARBITER RICARDO N. OLAIREZ v. OMBUDSMAN ANIANO A. DESIERTO

  • G.R. No. 145416 September 21, 2001 - GOLDEN HORIZON REALTY CORPORATION v. SY CHUAN

  • A.M. No. 99-6-79-MTC September 24, 2001 - REPORT ON THE JUDICIAL AUDIT CONDUCTED IN THE MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT

  • A.M. No. P-01-1512 September 24, 2001 - TERESITA H. ZIPAGAN v. JOVENCIO N. TATTAO

  • G.R. Nos. 132442-44 September 24, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. BERNARDINO ARANZADO

  • G.R. Nos. 135524-25 September 24, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. MANOLITO AGUSTIN

  • G.R. No. 141897 September 24, 2001 - METRO CONSTRUCTION v. CHATHAM PROPERTIES

  • G.R. No. 144404 September 24, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. LEODEGARIO BASCUGUIN Y AGQUIZ

  • G.R. Nos. 127759-60 September 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PO3 NOEL FELICIANO

  • G.R. Nos. 134527-28 September 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. SERAPIO REY alias APIONG

  • G.R. Nos. 136867-68 September 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. RODRIGO GALVEZ y JEREZ

  • G.R. No. 137612 September 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. FRANCISCO ANTINERO BERIARMENTE

  • A.C. No. 4497 September 26, 2001 - MR. and MRS. VENUSTIANO G. SABURNIDO v. ATTY. FLORANTE E. MADROÑO

  • A.C. No. 4990 September 26, 2001 - ELENA ZARATE-BUSTAMANTE and LEONORA SAVET CATABIAN v. ATTY. FLORENTINO G. LIBATIQUE

  • G.R. No. 122824 September 26, 2001 - AURORA F. IGNACIO v. VALERIANO BASILIO,

  • G.R. No. 123058 September 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALFREDO NAPUD, JR.

  • G.R. No. 129107 September 26, 2001 - ALFONSO L. IRINGAN v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS , ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 129530-31 September 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. WILFREDO OLARTE

  • G.R. Nos. 138308-10 September 26, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. PABLO SANTOS

  • G.R. No. 142564 September 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. HILGEM NERIO y GIGANTO

  • G.R. Nos. 143108-09 September 26, 2001 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES. v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • Adm. Case. No. 5505 September 27, 2001 - SEVERINO RAMOS v. ATTY. ELLIS JACOBA and ATTY. OLIVIA VELASCO JACOBA

  • G.R. No. 131864-65 September 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. SHERJOHN ARONDAIN and JOSE PRECIOSO

  • G.R. Nos. 134963-64 September 27, 2001 - ALFREDO LONG and FELIX ALMERIA v. LYDIA BASA

  • G.R. No. 137676 September 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ATTY. ROBERTO DIONISIO

  • G.R. No. 144035 September 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VICENTE M. BASQUEZ

  • A.M. No. P-00-1391 September 28, 2001 - LIBRADA D. TORRES v. NELSON C. CABESUELA

  • G.R. No. 122425 September 28, 2001 - FLORDELIZA H. CABUHAT v. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 124535 September 28, 2001 - THE RURAL BANK OF LIPA CITY, ET AL. v. HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125154 September 28, 2001 - DIGNA VERGEL v. COURT OF APPEALS and DOROTEA-TAMISIN GONZALES

  • G.R. No. 125442 September 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. FERNANDO ARELLANO y ROBLES

  • G.R. No. 127232 September 28, 2001 - GOLDENROD v. HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and PATHFINDER HOLDINGS (PHILIPPINES)

  • G.R. No. 127241 September 28, 2001 - LA CONSOLACION COLLEGE, ET AL. v. NLRC , ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134128 September 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. GERARDO DE LAS ERAS y ZAFRA

  • G.R. No. 134928 September 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. FILOMENO BARNUEVO. ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 140789-92 September 28, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ALIPIO CARBONELL and DIONISIO CARBONELL

  • G.R. No. 145371 September 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. BEN AQUINO and ROMEO AQUINO

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    G.R. No. 134928   September 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. FILOMENO BARNUEVO. ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    FIRST DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 134928. September 28, 2001.]

    PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. FILOMENO BARNUEVO, DEMETRIO PALACAT, and TERESITO SABALZA, Accused-Appellants.

    D E C I S I O N


    DAVIDE, JR., C.J.:


    Pursuant to Section 13, Rule 124 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure, the Court of Appeals certified and elevated this case to us and refrained from entering its decision 1 of 12 August 1998, which affirmed the conviction of accused-appellants Filomeno Barnuevo (hereafter FILOMENO), Demetrio Palacat (hereafter DEMETRIO), and Teresito Sabalza (hereafter TERESITO) of the crime of Murder, and increased the penalty to reclusion perpetua and the indemnity to P50,000. We accepted the appeal in our resolution of 14 September 1998.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Accused-appellants were tried under an Information, 2 dated 20 December 1983, whose accusatory portion reads as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    That on or about the 2nd day of December 1983, in the Municipality of Abuyog, Province of Leyte, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, with deliberate intent to kill, with treachery and evident premeditation, without provocation and taking advantage of superior strength, conspiring, confederating and mutually helping one another, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously with accused Demetrio Palacat attack, assault, stab and wound one LEOPOLDO NACMAN, with the use of short bladed weapon with which the said accused provided himself for the purpose, while the other two accused, namely, Filomeno Barnuevo and Bobong Sabalsa boxed the deceased Leopoldo Nacman, with wounds which caused his death a few days thereafter.

    Upon their arraignment on 31 March 1984 each of them entered a plea of not guilty. Trial on the merits followed.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw library

    From the testimonies of the witnesses for the prosecution, the following facts were established:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    At 7:00 p.m. of 2 December 1983, eyewitness Mauro Valdez was sitting at the fence of his house in Barangay Sta. Fe, Abuyog, Leyte. At that time, Eduardo Zarzua, another eyewitness who was also a resident of the said barangay, was in the store of Juanito Costin buying kerosene. 3

    Mauro and Eduardo heard Erlinda Corbes shout "That’s enough!" as she was standing in the middle of the road, six meters away from the house of Mauro. Mauro went near and saw Leopoldo Nacman (hereafter LEOPOLDO) being attacked by the three appellants. Mauro and Eduardo saw LEOPOLDO being boxed and kicked on different parts of the body by FILOMENO and TERESITO, and being stabbed several times by DEMETRIO with a Batangas knife. LEOPOLDO fell down, then got up, knelt down, raised his hands and pleaded for the three to stop. However, DEMETRIO kicked him causing LEOPOLDO to fall again, face down. Mauro chased the three but was unable to overtake them; so he returned to the scene of the crime. LEOPOLDO was brought to the hospital in a tricycle by several people. 4

    Mauro and Eduardo saw the events that transpired that fateful night because the place was illuminated by the light from the stores of Erlinda Corbes and Rosario Costin. 5 It was not difficult for them to recognize the culprits because they knew the latter. Mauro had known DEMETRIO since childhood; and so had Eduardo, who is DEMETRIO’s distant cousin. Both Mauro and Eduardo knew TERESITO, as well as FILOMENO, who is the brother-in-law of DEMETRIO.

    Emma Cantilang Nacman, the widow of the victim LEOPOLDO, testified that on 2 December 1983, LEOPOLDO was stabbed in Barangay Sta. Fe, Abuyog, Leyte, and was later brought to the Abuyog Hospital. She asked her husband the following day about his condition. He answered that he did not know whether he would survive. When asked who had inflicted the wounds on him, he categorically answered that DEMETRIO, FILOMENO and TERESITO were the ones who attacked him. On 11 December 1983, LEOPOLDO died. 6

    Emma further stated that before his untimely death LEOPOLDO was the captain of a fishing boat owned by one Ocaña, and his share of the catch amounted to P1,000 a month or not less than P40 a day. They had three children, one in high school and the other two in the elementary grades. 7

    Dr. Josenilo E. Bunado, resident physician of Abuyog Hospital, testified 8 that he treated LEOPOLDO and issued a Medical Certificate which contains his findings, to wit:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Stab wound, 1 inch (L), sub-cut, deep, inferior aspect of (R) areola, directed superficially upward.

    Stab wound, 1 inch (L) x 4 inches deep, (R) axilla directed antero-medially.

    Stab wound, 1 inch (L) 8th ICS, (L) anterior axillary line, directed medially & downward, penetrating thoracic and abdominal cavity, with prolapsed omentum, perforating transecting directing colon through & through.

    Stab wound, 1&1/4 inch (L). (R) Lumbar area, directed antiriously, penetrating abdominal cavity, penetrating kidney.

    Lacerated wound, 1 cm L, upper leg, (L) lateral aspect.

    POST-OPERATIVE FINDINGS:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Stab wound on the chest abdominal cavity, penetrating thoracic & perforating descending colon T & T at the level of the 8th ICS, anterior axillary line.

    Stab wound on the rt. Lumbar area penetrating abdominal cavity penetrating rt. Kidney.

    OPERATIONS PERFORMED:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    explor lap., repair of diaphram, colorraphy, nephrectomy, drainage.

    The cause of his death was septicemia peritonitis secondary to multiple stab wounds in the chest and abdomen 9

    The defense presented as its witnesses the three appellants, as well as Sofronia Padero, Susano Taringue, Ricardo Taride and Romeo Tan.

    Sofronia Padero testified that on 2 December 1983, at 7, 00 p.m., she went to the store of Leon Cua at Barangay Sta. Fe, Abuyog, Leyte, to buy kerosene. On her way back home, she saw LEOPOLDO near the stores of Erlinda Corbes and Juanito Costin, shouting that he wanted to fight. The stores were lighted with electric lights. At a distance of six meters, she saw LEOPOLDO chase a tricycle, but he was unable to overtake it as it was running at high speed. LEOPOLDO was able to reach the house of a certain Cuyong" where he challenged everyone to a fight. At this time, the appellants passed by. LEOPOLDO grabbed FILOMENO and boxed him, causing the latter to fall face down. He then pulled out a short-bladed weapon locally known as "pisao" and attempted to stab FILOMENO. Upon seeing this, DEMETRIO grabbed the hand of LEOPOLDO. At this point, Sofronia and TERESITO ran away. 10

    Susano Tarinque and TERESITO testified that on 2 December 1983 they were with DEMETRIO and FILOMENO on their way to attend the birthday party of Romeo Tan at Bgy. Tab-oc, Abuyog, Leyte. To get there they had to pass by Bgy. Sta. Fe, Abuyog, Leyte. While they were in Bgy. Sta. Fe, they stopped at the store of Costin to buy cigarettes. While the cigarettes were being handed to Susano, they heard a thudding sound and saw FILOMENO fall down face up and being kicked by LEOPOLDO. Then they saw LEOPOLDO draw a pisao and about to stab FILOMENO. DEMETRIO grappled with LEOPOLDO for the possession of the pisao. At this juncture, he and TERESITO ran away. 11

    FILOMENO testified that he is the brother-in-law of DEMETRIO, being married to the latter’s sister. In the evening of 2 December 1983, he and his co-appellants, as well as Susano Tarinque, were on their way to celebrate the birthday of Romeo Tan. While they were passing by Bgy. Sta. Fe, they heard someone shouting for a fight and saw a person standing by the road. This person, whom they did not recognize as it was dark, suddenly boxed him, hitting him in his right temple and causing him to fall down and become unconscious. When he regained consciousness, he ran away towards Romeo’s house. He no longer saw his other companions. FILOMENO further testified that as a result of the fist blow his temple became swollen. He also sustained an injury on his right leg because the assailant, LEOPOLDO, kicked it. 12

    Romeo Tan, another brother-in-law of DEMETRIO, testified that on 2 December 1983, the appellants and Susano Tarinque were supposed to come to his house as it was his birthday. Only FILOMENO arrived; he was breathless while telling Romeo that he was boxed on the right cheek and kicked on his knee by LEOPOLDO. Thereafter, policemen arrived and brought FILOMENO to the police department. 13

    DEMETRIO testified that in the early evening of 2 December 1983 he, together with his co-appellants and Susano Tarinque, went to Bgy. Nalibunan to attend the birthday celebration of Romeo Tan. While passing by Bgy. Sta. Fe, LEOPOLDO waylaid them and forthwith boxed FILOMENO, who then fell down, face up. Upon seeing LEOPOLDO draw a pisao and about to thrust it on FILOMENO, DEMETRIO applied judo blows on LEOPOLDO and held the latter’s hand, causing the pisao to fall to the ground. He seized the pisao and just as LEOPOLDO delivered a fist blow at him, he swung the pisao at LEOPOLDO, hitting the latter on the right chest. LEOPOLDO again rushed towards him and boxed him, prompting him to stab LEOPOLDO with the pisao on the lower right chest. When LEOPOLDO once more lunged at him, he stabbed the former on the abdomen. Despite the stab wounds, LEOPOLDO again lunged at DEMETRIO, who forthwith stabbed the former for the fourth time. This time, LEOPOLDO fell down. DEMETRIO then ran towards the house of Romeo Tan. DEMETRIO further testified that during the scuffle, LEOPOLDO was somewhat "tipsy and weak" 14

    Ricardo Taride corroborated the testimonies of the defense witnesses that LEOPOLDO was the unlawful aggressor. 15

    The prosecution presented Mauro Valdez as a rebuttal witness. Mauro described as a lie the claim of the defense witnesses that LEOPOLDO kept shouting at everyone to fight him. Mauro maintained that he clearly saw the three appellants box, kick and stab LEOPOLDO. DEMETRIO’s claim that he grabbed the pisao from LEOPOLDO is a big lie, as it was DEMETRIO who carried a Batangas knife. The victim was never able to wrest the knife from DEMETRIO because FILOMENO and TERESITO were boxing and holding him down while DEMETRIO was stabbing him. After LEOPOLDO fell down, the three stepped all over him and kicked him forcefully on the face, stomach and head. The victim’s teeth were even thrown out because of the forceful kicks. 16

    After trial, the trial court rendered a decision 17 on 24 July 1989 convicting the appellants of the crime of murder and sentencing them to an indeterminate sentence of ten years and one day of prision mayor, as minimum, to eighteen years, eight months and one day of reclusion temporal, as maximum, and to indemnify the victim’s heirs, solidarily, in the amount of P30,000.

    Unsatisfied with the unfavorable verdict, the appellants appealed therefrom to the Court of Appeals. Since, as stated earlier, the conviction was affirmed and the penalty was increased to reclusion perpetua, the Court of Appeals did not enter its judgment; instead it certified and elevated the case to us.

    In their supplemental brief, the appellants contend that the Court of Appeals should have appreciated in favor of DEMETRIO the justifying circumstance of defense of relative, as he was defending his brother-in-law FILOMENO; and that the offered version of the prosecution witnesses implicating FILOMENO and TERESITO should not have been given any evidentiary weight and value in view of the admission of DEMETRIO that he was the one who stabbed LEOPOLDO.

    The main issue in this case here is one of credibility. In a plethora of cases, we have accorded great weight to, and respect for, the conclusions reached by the trial court on the issue of credibility of witnesses, as it has had the opportunity to observe closely in the first instance the demeanor of the witnesses. 18 The trial judge is best situated to assess and evaluate the probity and trustworthiness of witnesses, for he is able to observe directly their behavior and manner of testifying, and is thus in a much better situation to determine whether they are telling the truth or prevaricating. 19. Among the exceptions to this rule are when the trial court has acted arbitrarily, 20 or has overlooked or misunderstood certain facts or circumstances of weight and substance which, if considered, would materially affect the result of the case. 21

    In the present case, we see no cogent reason to reverse the trial court’s and the Court of Appeals’ assessment of the evidence. The prosecution witnesses were clear, straightforward and unequivocal in their narration of the facts leading to the death of the victim. Moreover, no evidence was presented by the defense to show that they had any reason to prevaricate on the stand. Absent any evidence showing any reason or motive for the prosecution witnesses to perjure, the logical conclusion is that no such improper motive exists, and their testimonies are thus worthy of full faith and credit. 22 Accordingly, we find that no error was committed by the trial court and the Court of Appeals in giving credence to their testimony.

    We also find unbelievable DEMETRIO’s claim of defense of relative to justify the stabbing to death of LEOPOLDO. As the Court of Appeals held:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Equally known and well understood by now are the requirements in order for defense of relative to be appreciated. The accused must prove that there was unlawful aggression by the victim, that the means employed to prevent or repel the unlawful aggression was reasonable, and that in case the provocation was given by the person attacked; the one making the defense must have no part therein. .

    Having invoked the defense of relative, the burden of evidence that their act was justified and that they incurred no criminal liability therefor was shifted to the appellants. But they failed to prove unlawful aggression on the part of the victim . . .

    Furthermore, the presence of several stab wounds on the body of the victim, four of them fatal, negated appellants’ claim that the killing was justified. Instead it indicates a determined effort to kill the victim. Even assuming for argument’s sake that it was the victim who initiated the attack, however, when the appellants wrested the knife from him who then fell on the ground in a helpless and vulnerable position, the aggression which the latter had supposedly started already ceased. But at that point, the appellants still continued delivering blows on the victim. They thus became the unlawful aggressors. 23

    As to the appellants’ second proposition, we find that even if DEMETRIO has admitted to stabbing LEOPOLDO, his co-appellants FILOMENO and TERESITO are equally liable because a conspiracy existed among them.

    In a conspiracy, it is not necessary to show that all the conspirators actually hit and killed the victim. What is important is that all the participants performed specific acts with such closeness and coordination as to unmistakably indicate a common purpose or design to bring about the death of the victim. 24 Conspiracy may even be shown through circumstantial evidence, or deduced from the mode and manner in which the offense was perpetrated, or inferred from the acts of the accused themselves when such acts point to a joint purpose and design, a concerted action, and a community of interest.25cralaw:red

    Thus, when FILOMENO and TERESITO boxed and kicked LEOPOLDO while DEMETRIO was stabbing the latter, they were also liable for his death, as their actions showed a unity of purpose, which was to kill LEOPOLDO.

    Obviously, the killing was attended by abuse of superior strength. LEOPOLDO was alone and unarmed when attacked the three appellants, one of whom (DEMETRIO) was armed with a knife. Besides, as DEMETRIO himself testified, LEOPOLDO was "tipsy and weak" at the time. Moreover, LEOPOLDO was occupied with fending off the fistic blows and kicks of FILOMENO and TERESITO when DEMETRIO stabbed him. The number of wounds inflicted also shows that appellants used excessive force out of proportion to the means available to LEOPOLDO. 26

    Hence, the crime committed by the three accused-appellants was murder, which is punishable by reclusion temporal its maximum period to death. There being no modifying circumstances proven in this case, the imposable penalty is the medium period of the prescribed penalty, which is reclusion perpetua. 27 The Court of Appeals was, therefore, correct in modifying the sentence imposed by the trial court.

    We also sustain the Court of Appeals in increasing the indemnity from P30,000 to P50,000 in line with current case law. 28 Under Article 2206 of the Civil Code, in addition to the death indemnity, the accused shall be liable for the loss of the earning capacity of the deceased. In fixing the indemnity, the Court shall consider the victim’s actual income at the time of his death and his probable life expectancy. The formula repeatedly adopted by the Court is as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Net earning capacity = 2/3 x (80 - age of the a reasonable portion

    victim at the time of x of the annual net

    his death) income which would

    been received by the heirs

    for support. 29

    LEOPOLDO was 36 years old at the time of his death. His widow testified that he was earning P1,000 a month during his lifetime. His annual income was therefore P12,000. In the absence of proof of his living expenses, his net income is deemed to be 50% of his gross income. 30 Using the above formula, we fix the indemnity for loss of earning capacity of LEOPOLDO at P176,000; thus:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Net earning capacity = 2 (80 - 36) x (50% of P12,000)

    ————

    3

    = 2 (44) x P6,000

    ———————

    3

    = 29.33 x P6,000

    = P176,000

    WHEREFORE, the decision of the Court of Appeals convicting appellants FILOMENO BARNUEVO, DEMETRIO PALACAT and TERESITO SABALZA of the crime of Murder and sentencing them to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to pay P50,000 death indemnity to the victim’s heirs is AFFIRMED. The appellants are further ordered to pay the victim’s heirs P176,000 as indemnity for the deceased’s loss of earning capacity.

    Costs de oficio.

    SO ORDERED.

    Puno, Kapunan, Pardo, and Ynares-Santiago, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Rollo, 149-160. Per Sandoval-Gutierrez, A., J., (now Associate Justice of the Supreme Court) with De la Cruz, A., and Velasco, Jr., P. (now Court Administrator), JJ., concurring.

    2. Original Record (OR), 82.

    3. TSN, 28 May 1985, 3; TSN, 27 June 1990, 4.

    4. Id, 4-8, 13-14; Id, 4-6.

    5. TSN, 28 May 1985, 12-13; TSN, 27 June 1990, 5-6, 11-13.

    6. TSN, 13 November 1984, 12-17.

    7. Id, 16-18.

    8. Id, 3-10.

    9. Exhibit "C," OR, 3.

    10. TSN, 11 March 1986, 2-6.

    11. TSN, 20 May 1986, 2-6; TSN, 23 July 1986, 2-4.

    12. TSN, 1 April 1987, 3-7.

    13. TSN, 6 April 1988, 3-7.

    14. TSN, 3 January 1989, 4-13.

    15. TSN, 24 February 1987, 4-9.

    16. TSN, 16 May 1989, 2-9, 13.

    17. Rollo, 132-148. Per Judge Josephine K. Bayona.

    18. People v. Vidal, 308 SCRA 1, 10 [1999]; People v. Malunes, 247 SCRA 317, 324 [1995]; People v. Gomez, 251 SCRA 455, 465 [19951].

    19. People v. Peralta 283 SCRA 81, 93 [1997]; People v. Sualog, 15 November 2000.

    20. People v. Quejada, 223 SCRA 77, 86 [19931].

    21. People v. Arellano, 282 SCRA 500, 509 [1997]; People v. Teodoro, 280 SCRA 384, 392 [1997].

    22. People v. Rendoque, 322 SCRA 622,634 [2000].

    23. Rollo, 155-156.

    24. People v. Alib, 322 SCRA 93,101 [2000].

    25. People v. Orbita, 322 SCRA 321, 325-326 [2000].

    26. People v. De la Cruz, 242 SCRA 129, 143 [1995]; People v. Gaviola, 327 SCRA 580 [2000].

    27. Article 63, Revised Penal Code; People v. Muñoz, 170 SCRA 107, 125 [1989].

    28. People v. Espanola, 271 SCRA 689 [1997]; People v. Verde, 302 SCRA 690 [1999].

    29. People v. Espanola, supra note 28, at 717 [1997]; People v. Aspiras, 330 SCRA 479, 495 [2001].

    30. People v. Aspiras, supra at 495-496.

    G.R. No. 134928   September 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. FILOMENO BARNUEVO. ET AL.


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