ChanRobles™ Virtual Law Library | chanrobles.com™  
Main Index Law Library Philippine Laws, Statutes & Codes Latest Legal Updates Philippine Legal Resources Significant Philippine Legal Resources Worldwide Legal Resources Philippine Supreme Court Decisions United States Jurisprudence
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)
 

 
Chan Robles Virtual Law Library
 









 

 
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

  •  





     
     

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

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    EN BANC

    [G.R. No. 131805. September 7, 2001.]

    PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. GREGORIO HERMOSA and GABRIEL ABELINDE, Accused-Appellants.

    D E C I S I O N


    PUNO, J.:


    Accused GREGORIO HERMOSA and GABRIEL ABELINDE were meted the death penalty for the crime of murder. The crime was allegedly committed as follows: 1

    "That sometime on January 11, 1995, at about 1:00 o’clock in (the) morning more or less, at Barangay Gahit, Municipality of Caitingan, Province of Masbate, Philippines, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, with intent to kill, conspiring and confederating and mutually helping one another, with evident premeditation, use of superior strength and nocturnity (sic) as cover, treachery, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, with the use of sharp and pointed bolo, assault, attack, hack and stab a woman named ELEONOR (sic) CONDE MALIPOT thereby hitting the latter at the different parts of her body which was the direct and logical (cause) of her instantaneous death.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    CONTRARY TO LAW."cralaw virtua1aw library

    Upon arraignment, both accused pled "not guilty" to the offense charged. 2 Trial ensued.

    The prosecution presented the testimonies of Macuibelle Malipot, her siblings Marither and Elizalde, and Municipal Health Officer Allen Ching. For its part, the defense presented Bienvenido Habanez, policeman Raymundo Meliton and the accused, Gregorio Hermosa and Gabriel Abelinde.

    The records show that in the early morning of January 11, 1995, the residents of Sitio Mayabas found the lifeless body of Eleanor Conde Malipot 3 near a creek, a few meters behind her house in Sitio Mayabas, Cataingan, Masbate. She was 43 years old. A widow, the deceased was survived by four (4) children, namely: Elizalde, 15 years old, Marither, 12 years old, Macuibelle, 8 years old, and Dexter (Nonoy), 4 years old.

    The Medico-Legal Report 4 of Municipal Health Officer Allen Ching revealed that the victim sustained the following wounds:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "1. Hacking wound, neck up to the cervical vertebra multiple.

    2. Hacking wound, mouth.

    3. Hacking wound, forehead, left superficial.

    4. Hacking wound, maxilla left.

    5. 5 cm. Lacerated wound, anterior arm right.

    6. 6 cm. Lacerated wound, anterior hand around the base of the first finger left."cralaw virtua1aw library

    The victim died due to cardio-respiratory arrest, hypovolemia and multiple hack wounds on the neck. The doctor explained that the multiple hack wounds on the neck had cut the bone and one of the major arteries of the victim. With the said injuries, the victim had no chance of survival and had probably lived for about five (5) minutes. 5

    The victim’s 8-year old daughter, Macuibelle, partially witnessed the tragic incident. She testified that at about 1 o’clock in the morning of January 11, 1995, she was roused by the victim’s scream. She peeped through a hole in the wall of their room and saw the victim at the main door of their house, near the stairs. 6 The victim had a lamp in one hand, and a bolo in the other. The victim was shouting, "Zaldy help!," referring to her eldest son, Elizalde. At that time, however, Elizalde and Marither had slept in the house of their respective friends. 7

    Macuibelle also saw the two accused: Gregorio Hermosa was standing in front of the victim while Gabriel Abelinde was at the front yard, clubbing the victim’s carabao that was tied some four (4) meters away from the house. 8 Suddenly, Hermosa stabbed the victim. Thereafter, Hermosa and Abelinde forcibly took the victim from the house and dragged her towards the nearby creek. Macuibelle shouted for help. No one responded. Her only companion then was her 4-year old brother, Dexter. Afraid, she went back to sleep. 9

    The night before, there was a celebration in the house of the victim’s neighbor, Bienvenido Habanez. 10 It was his son’s birthday and a dance was being held in his place. The victim and her 12-year old daughter, Marither, set up a makeshift store in front of Habanez’s house selling assorted merchandise such as cigarettes and liquor. 11

    Hermosa and Abelinde attended the party. They drank tuba near the makeshift store of the victim. Abelinde approached the victim and asked, on behalf of Hermosa, if the latter could buy liquor on credit. The victim refused as Hermosa still owed her money. Abelinde went back to Hermosa and they continued drinking the tuba. Slighted, Hermosa gave a dagger look at the victim. 12chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    At around midnight, the victim and Marither packed up their things. The victim kept the unsold goods and the proceeds of the sale and headed for home. Marither was left behind to fetch Dexter as he had fallen asleep in the house of Habanez. Marither carried her brother on her way home. Her friend, Glenda, walked with her. As they approached the place where the two accused were located, Hermosa tapped Abelinde and commented that the victim was on her way home. Hermosa stared at the victim until she disappeared behind the mango tree. 13

    When Marither reached their house, she put her brother in their room. At that time, Macuibelle was still awake. With the victim’s permission, Marither walked her friend home and spent the night in her uncle’s house. The victim and Macuibelle were praying when Marither left. 14

    Marither woke up at 5:00 a.m. on June 11, 1995. Moments later, she saw her aunt Elsie and uncle Payo running towards their house. A certain Rowena Lonido told her that the victim was killed and that their carabao had been stolen. Marither rushed to the crime scene and found the lifeless body of the victim beside the creek, about seven (7) meters from their house. She embraced the victim and cried. 15

    Elizalde corroborated the testimony of Marither that the accused tried to get liquor from the victim on credit, but the victim refused.

    The two accused were arrested on the day the body of the victim was discovered. Policeman Raymundo Meliton investigated the incident. He proceeded to the house of the victim and talked to Macuibelle and Dexter. They did not immediately reveal the names of the accused as suspects. He then interviewed the people in the neighborhood and those in the house of Habanez. When policeman Meliton returned to the house of the victim a few hours later, Macuibelle revealed to him that the accused were the assailants. He learned that the accused got mad at the victim when she refused to sell liquor to them on credit. Policeman Meliton picked up the accused for investigation. They denied any participation in the killing, 16 Nonetheless, he prepared the affidavits of the prosecution witnesses and charged the accused. 17

    The defense proffered was denial and alibi.

    Gabriel Abelinde testified that he attended the birthday party of Habanez’s son. His companions were his son, his father, and spouses Eulalio and Clementina Pagunsan. At 9:30 p.m., Hermosa joined his group. They engaged in a drinking spree. They consumed four (4) jars of tuba until 10:30 p.m.

    Abelinde claimed that the victim participated in the dancing and in the drinking spree. Allegedly, the victim approached him and told him to look out for one Ludy Gonzales because the latter owed her money. Strangely, however, Abelinde insisted that the dance took place on the 11th, not on the 10th, day of January. The next day, January 12, he learned through his wife that the victim had been killed.

    Abelinde averred that he went home at about 1:00 a.m. after the party. He slept in his house which is approximately 300 meters away from the victim’s house. He was with his son, his wife and his father. Hermosa spent the night with him because Hermosa’s house was more distant.

    Abelinde denied any participation in the killing of the victim. He said he had no quarrel with her prior to the tragic incident. She was also a relative of his father.

    Gregorio Hermosa also denied any participation in the crime. He claimed that after they left the house of Habanez, he passed the night in Abelinde’s house. He woke up the next day at 7:00 a.m. and learned of the death of the victim. He went home to inform his mother of the incident. At 9:00 a.m., the policemen arrested him.

    After the trial, the court a quo found the accused guilty of murder. The dispositive portion of the trial court’s decision provides: 18

    "ACCORDINGLY, the court finds the accused Gregorio Hermosa and Gabriel Abelinde guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of MURDER and hereby imposes upon them the supreme penalty of DEATH, and shall indemnify the legal heirs (of the victim) the amount of P50,000.00 in solidum for the death of Eleanor Malipot and P20,000.00 as moral damages.

    With costs de oficio."cralaw virtua1aw library

    The records of the case were forwarded to this Court for automatic review.

    It appears that the appellants were not imprisoned in the New Bilibid Prisons. 19 Appellants escaped from Matipuron Provincial Jail, Milagros, Masbate, on June 14, 1998. 20 They remain at large.

    Pursuant to this Court’s directive, the Public Attorney’s Office and the Office of the Solicitor General filed their Briefs for the appellants and the appellee, respectively.

    Appellants’ counsel de officio contends that:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "I. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN GIVING FULL FAITH AND CREDIT TO THE TESTIMONY OF PROSECUTION WITNESS MACUIBELLE MALIPOT.

    II. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN HOLDING THAT ACCUSED-APPELLANTS HAD MOTIVE TO KILL THE VICTIM, ELEONOR C. (sic) MALIPOT, AFTER SHE REFUSED TO ALLOW THEM TO PURCHASE LIQUOR ON CREDIT.

    III. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN CONVICTING ACCUSED-APPELLANTS OF MURDER AND IN IMPOSING UPON THEM THE DEATH PENALTY."cralaw virtua1aw library

    We restate the rule that this Court is not precluded from reviewing the death sentence of an accused who is at large. 21 In line with the rule, we now determine the criminal and civil liabilities of the appellants.

    We modify the judgment and hold that the appellants are liable for homicide, not murder.

    The oft repeated rule is that the trial court’s evaluation of the testimony of a witness is accorded the highest respect because of its direct opportunity to observe the witnesses on the stand and to determine if they are telling the truth or not. 22 This opportunity enables the trial judge to detect better that thin line between fact and prevarication that will determine the guilt or innocence of the accused. That line may not be discernible from a mere reading of the impersonal record by the reviewing court. 23 Thus, the trial judge’s evaluation of the competence and credibility of a witness will not be disturbed on review, unless it is clear from the records that his judgment is erroneous. 24

    We have scrutinized the testimony of the lone eyewitness, Macuibelle Malipot. She candidly recounted the events surrounding the killing of the victim as follows:25cralaw:red

    "ATTY. NICOMEDES ROMAGOS ON CROSS-EXAMINATION:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q: Macuibelle Malipot, you have testified that you were only awaken(ed) by the shout of your mother, Eleanor Malipot, asking assistance from your brother Zaldy, am I correct?

    A: Yes, sir.

    Q: At what precise moment that you were awaken(ed)

    A: Nearing 1:00 o’clock.

    Q: Why were you awaken(ed)?

    A: Because my mother was shouting.

    Q: And because of that you stated that you also stood up and peeped at the hole of your house, am I correct, Macuibelle Malipot?

    A: Yes, sir.

    Q: And you have also testified at the time you saw your mother, she was already in (sic) the main door. Why is it Macuibelle Malipot that you peeped when your mother is on (sic) the main door?

    PROSECUTOR:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    The witness testified that she was at (sic) the room.

    x       x       x


    WITNESS:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    A: The door is located at (sic) a stair.

    ATTY. ROMAGOS:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q: You mean to tell this Honorable Court Macuibelle, your door could not be seen when you are in the room?

    WITNESS:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    A: It could be seen.

    x       x       x


    (ATTY. ROMAGOS):chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q: You said that your mother was carrying a lamp, may we know from you how big is its wick?

    INTERPRETER:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Witness demonstrating a small lamp with a height of 6 inches.

    COURT:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q: How did your mother handle the lamp?

    A: She was carrying it with her left hand and she was holding a bolo.

    Q: Do you know why your mother was holding a bolo?

    A: I do not know.

    x       x       x


    ATTY. ROMAGOS:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q: You did not know why your mother was carrying a bolo on that particular night. But how long was that bolo she was carrying on (sic) that moment?

    INTERPRETER:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Witness demonstrates the length of the bolo which is about twenty (20) inches.

    x       x       x


    ATTY. ROMAGOS:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q: When your mother got that bolo Macuibelle, you said you were not still (sic) awaken(ed) but only when your mother shouted for help, do I get you right?

    A: Yes, sir.

    COURT:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q: How far is the creek from your house?

    INTERPRETER:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Witness pointing from her seat to the door with a distance of about twenty (20) meters.

    COURT:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q: Now from the creek you mentioned, where did you see accused Gregorio Hermosa stab your mother?

    A: Gregorio Hermosa stabbed my mother near the door of our house.

    Q: Do you know why the body of your mother was there at the creek near your house?

    A: Because she was dragged by Gregorio Hermosa and Gabriel Abelinde.

    COURT:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Proceed.

    ATTY. ROMAGOS:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q: You stated she was dragged but it was a very dark night, Macuibelle?

    A: But my mother has a lamp.

    Q: You mean to tell this Honorable Court that at the time she was dragged she was still holding the lamp?

    A: Yes, sir

    Q: And you remained on that place where you were peeping inspite (sic) the fact that your mother was dragged?

    A Yes, sir

    Q: Did you not scream for help Macuibelle when your mother was dragged?

    A: I shouted but no one came up.

    Q: But on that particular moment, were you not frightened, Macuibelle?

    A: I was afraid.

    Q: Do you have a very close neighbor?

    A: We have neighbors but far." (emphases ours)

    We give full faith and credit to her testimony. She was young and unschooled, but her narration of the incident was honest and sincere. It cannot be suspected as a concocted story, impressed upon her by other people.

    We should not take Macuibelle’s testimony lightly simply because she was a mere child when she witnessed the incident and when she gave her testimony in court. There is no showing that her mental maturity rendered her incapable of testifying and of relating the incident truthfully. Indeed, the time when we degrade a child witness testimony is now passé. In the new Child Witness Rule, 26 every child is presumed qualified to be a witness. To rebut this presumption, the burden of proof lies on the party challenging the child’s competence. Only when substantial doubt exists regarding the ability of the child to perceive, remember, communicate, distinguish truth from falsehood, or appreciate the duty to tell the truth in court will the court, motu proprio or on motion of a party, conduct a competency examination of a child. 27

    Nonetheless, the appellants impugn the testimony of Macuibelle on the ground that she did not immediately tag them as the culprits when the investigating officer arrived at the scene. They also contend that it was improbable for the eyewitness to see the assailants of the victim because they would have put off the lamp she was carrying to avoid recognition.

    We are not convinced. The alleged delay in identifying the appellants is more apparent than real. It is clear from the records that the appellants were identified by Macuibelle as the persons responsible for the death of the victim. She failed to mention their names when the police first arrived at the scene, but a few hours later, she told the police that the appellants were the assailants. In fact, the appellants were immediately arrested shortly after the discovery of the crime. 28

    Failure to immediately reveal the identity of the perpetrator of a felony will not necessarily impair the credibility of a witness. 29 Even adult witnesses sometimes would not reveal at once the killers of their loved ones for one reason or another. 30 Fear of the criminal is one such reason. 31

    We stress that the identity of the appellants was well established. Macuibelle positively identified them. The victim was then at the main door of their house when the appellants forcibly dragged her. She saw them from a distance of about six (6) meters. The lamp held by the victim provided the light that gave Macuibelle the chance to recognize the appellants. 32 She was also familiar with them because they were neighbors. The possibility that she was mistaken as to their identity is nil.

    We note, too, that appellant Abelinde claimed that his father and the victim were relatives. If that were true, then it is more unlikely for Macuibelle and her siblings to impute a grievous offense against him unless they are certain as to his involvement in the crime. Even appellant Hermosa could not think of any reason why Macuibelle pointed to him as one of the perpetrators of the crime. 33 Her lack of ill motive bolsters her credibility.

    The appellants also discredit Macuibelle because she went back to sleep after witnessing the stabbing of her mother. For the appellants, such behavior meant she did not witness the incident.

    Again, we disagree. Macuibelle was only eight (8) years old when she witnessed the shocking incident. Despite her plea, no one came to help them when the appellants attacked the victim and dragged her from their house. She was helpless and afraid. She knew her brother Zaldy and sister Marither were not around to protect her. After the traumatic incident, it is difficult to fault her when he chose to go back to sleep and wait for her siblings to arrive the next day. Her behavior is not irrational. 34

    The appellants further insist that Macuibelle is not a credible witness because, contrary to her claim that the victim was stabbed on the chest, the medical report of Dr. Ching showed that the wounds of the victim were mostly located on the neck. Moreover, appellants suggest that the stabbing incident must have transpired first before the victim shouted for help, thus, when Macuibelle woke up later, she did not really see what happened to the victim.

    The argument does not impress. The exact location of the victim’s wounds does not destroy Macuibelle’s testimony that appellant Hermosa was the one who stabbed the victim and, with Abelinde’s help, dragged her to the nearby creek where they finally finished her off. The misdescription of where appellant Hermosa stabbed the victim does not mean the witness perjured herself. The violent incident happened fast. Macuibelle just woke up and witnessed the bloody assault. It was a traumatic experience for the eight-year old girl. She cannot be expected to have a perfect memory of an event she may even want to forget.

    The appellants’ defense of denial and alibi cannot prevail over their positive identification. Alibi is the weakest defense as it is easy to concoct. For alibi to prosper an accused must not only prove that he was absent at the crime scene at the time of its commission, but also, that it was physically impossible for him to be so situated at said distance. 35

    In the case at bar, it was established that, at the time of the incident, appellant Abelinde was residing in San Pedro, a barangay adjacent to barangay Gahit (the locus criminis). The distance of his house from the victim’s house was about three hundred (300) meters. 36 Appellant Hermosa himself admitted that, from the said distance, it would only take him five (5) minutes to reach the victim’s place on foot. 37 Thus, even assuming that the appellants went to Abelinde’s house after the dance, it was not impossible for them to go to the house of the victim and commit the crime.

    Appellants’ reliance on the alleged absence of bloodstains on the clothes they allegedly wore the night before the killing will not exculpate them. There is a proof that the clothes they wore at the dance were the same clothes they wore when they went to the victim’s house to kill her.

    Appellants cannot also capitalize on the testimony of policeman Meliton that he had another suspect. Meliton himself admitted that he had insufficient evidence against the third suspect.

    Moreover, the conduct of appellant Abelinde on the day the slaying of the victim was discovered is inconsistent with his alleged innocence. Appellant Abelinde claimed that the victim was a relative, yet he was nonchalant when he learned her violent death. He went to plow the field and plant his crops as if nothing unusual had happened.

    We sustain the trial court’s finding of conspiracy. Conspiracy does not acquire an agreement for an appreciable period prior to the commission of the crime. It exists when, at the time of the commission of the offense, the malefactors had the same purpose and were united in its execution. 38 Macuibelle testified that appellant Abelinde clubbed the victim’s carabao. Thereafter, he joined appellant Hermosa who was then at the main door of the victim’s house. They acted in unison in dragging the victim from her house to the creek where they finally finished her off. Their conduct clearly showed their mutual intent to kill the victim.

    We now determine whether or not the qualifying and aggravating circumstances alleged in the information, to wit: evident premeditation, treachery, taking advantage of superior strength and nighttime, were established.

    The trial court ruled as follows: 39

    "The killing was qualified and characterized:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    1) with evident premeditation because the killing was pre-planned (upon the victim’s refusal to give liquor on credit at about ten o’clock in the evening, the accused roused with anger or showed signs of wrath followed by cool utterance or intention to follow the victim home, and finally after the lapse of about three hours or at one o’clock early dawn, they killed her — the accused had sufficient time to reflect dispassionately upon the consequences of their contemplated act); 2) with treachery because the malefactors took the defenseless victim at the main door of the house while on her way down and one of them thrust her with a knife and dragged (her) to the dark (sic) creek to finish her (off); 3) with abuse of superior strength because the victim (a woman) was attacked with a deadly weapon; and 4) by nocturnity because the accused took advantage of the darkness."cralaw virtua1aw library

    We hold that the trial court erred in appreciating the qualifying circumstance of evident premeditation. There is evident premeditation when the following requirements are proved: (a) the time when the appellant decided to commit the crime; (b) an overt act showing that the appellant clung to his determination to commit the crime; and (c) the lapse of sufficient period of time between the decision and the execution of the crime, to allow the appellant to reflect upon the consequences of the act. Evident premeditation must, like the crime itself, be proved beyond reasonable doubt. 40

    In the case at bar, the evidence shows that appellant Hermosa was slighted by the refusal of the victim to extend credit in his favor. He gave her a dagger look. However, such behavior by itself is insufficient to prove that the appellants had determined, at that time, to kill the victim. 41 At most, it only proved the motive for the killing.

    We also rule that treachery was not established. The essence of treachery is that the attack is deliberate and without warning — done in a swift and unexpected manner, affording the hapless and unsuspecting victim no chance to resist or escape. 42 The prosecution did not prove the deliberateness of the attack. The evidence shows that Macuibelle peeped through the hole on the wall only after she heard the victim made an outcry. Appellant Hermosa was already at the main door and was then in the act of assaulting the victim. Macuibelle could not give the particulars on how the killing of the victim began and developed. Absent any particulars on how the aggression commenced or how the act which resulted in the victim’s death unfolded, treachery cannot be appreciated. 43 We note, further, that the victim was aware of the danger on her life. She was holding a bolo when she was attacked. She was also able to shout for help. In light of these circumstances, treachery cannot be appreciated.

    We also hold that the circumstance of nighttime did not aggravate the crime. There is no proof that the appellants purposely sought nighttime to facilitate the commission of the crime. The mere fact that the crime was committed at nighttime does not automatically make nocturnity an aggravating circumstance. 44

    Nor can we agree that the crime was committed with abuse of superior strength. This circumstance should be appreciated whenever there is a notorious inequality of forces between the victim and the aggressor, assuming a situation of superiority of strength notoriously advantageous for the aggressor, selected or taken advantage of by him in the commission of the crime. 45 Mere superiority in number is not enough to constitute superior strength. There must be clear proof of deliberate intent to take advantage of the same. The prosecution did not adduce evidence on these actual issues. 46 It is unclear whether the appellants deliberately took advantage of their combined strength to facilitate the commission of the crime. What Macuibelle saw was just the onset of the attack.

    In the absence of any circumstance that would qualify the killing to murder, the appellants should only be held liable for homicide. Article 249 of the Revised Penal Code provides:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Article 249. Homicide. — Any person who, not falling within the provisions of Article 246 shall kill another without the attendance of any of the circumstances enumerated in the next preceding article, shall be deemed guilty of homicide and punished by reclusion temporal."cralaw virtua1aw library

    Reclusion temporal has a range of 12 years and 1 day to 20 years of imprisonment. Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, there being no mitigating or aggravating circumstance, the maximum term of the penalty shall be imposed in the medium period 47 of reclusion temporal, ranging from 14 years, 8 months and 1 day to 17 years and 4 months. The minimum term of the penalty shall be taken from the penalty next lower in degree or prision mayor, in any of its periods, ranging from six (6) years and one (1) day to twelve (12) years.

    As regards the civil indemnity, each of the appellants should be held liable to indemnify the heirs of the victim in the amount of P50,000.00.

    IN VIEW WHEREOF, the decision appealed from is MODIFIED. Appellants GREGORIO HERMOSA and GABRIEL ABELINDE are declared guilty beyond reasonable doubt of Homicide for the death of ELEANOR CONDE MALIPOT and sentenced to suffer an indeterminate sentence of twelve (12) years prision mayor as minimum, and seventeen (17) years and four (4) months of reclusion temporal medium as maximum, and to pay P50,000 each for civil indemnity. No special pronouncement as to costs.

    SO ORDERED.

    Davide, Jr., C.J., Bellosillo, Melo, Vitug, Kapunan, Mendoza, Panganiban, Quisumbing, Pardo, Buena, Gonzaga-Reyes, Ynares-Santiago, De Leon, Jr., and Sandoval-Gutierrez, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Information, Original Records, p. 1.

    2. Original Records, p. 32.

    3. Referred to as Eleanor Malipot in the Medico-Legal Report (Exhibit "A") and Certificate of Death (Exhibit "B").

    4. Exhibit "A", Original Records, p. 8.

    5. TSN, Dr. Allen Ching, January 17, 1996, pp. 3-5.

    6. The hut was elevated from the ground by about 2 feet.

    7. TSN, Macuibelle Malipot, March 20, 1997, p. 5.

    8. TSN, Macuibelle Malipot, March 11, 1997, p. 11.

    9. Id., March 20, 1996, pp. 13-14, 16, 17.

    10. His house is about 150 meters away from the victim’s house.

    11. TSN, Marither Malipot, March 12, 1997, p. 5-6; TSN, Elizalde Malipot, May 7, 1997, pp. 5-6.

    12. Id., pp. 6-8.

    13. Id., p. 10.

    14. Id., pp. 10-11, 21-22.

    15. Id., pp. 11-13.

    16. TSN, Raymundo Meliton, September 9, 1997, pp. 3-5.

    17. Id., pp. 6-7, 10, 12.

    18. Original Records, pp. 176-193.

    19. Rollo, pp. 34-36.

    20. Id., pp. 112-118.

    21. People v. Esparas, 260 SCRA 539 (1996); People v. Prades, 293 SCRA 411 (1998); People v. Cornelio, 39 SCRA 435 (1971); People v. Daban, Et Al., 43 SCRA 185 (1972); People v. Saliling, 69 SCRA 427 (1976); People v. Buynay, Et Al., 128 SCRA 31 (1984).

    22. People v. Virtucio, Jr., 326 SCRA 198 (2000).

    23. People v. Cruz, G.R. Nos. 128346-48, August 14, 2000.

    24. Dulla v. Court of Appeals, 326 SCRA 32 (2000).

    25. TSN, Macuibelle Malipot, March 20, 1996, pp. 11-14.

    26. The rule took effect on December 15, 2000.

    27. Section 6 and 6 (a), Rule on Examination of a Child Witness.

    28. TSN Raymundo Meliton, September 9, 1997, pp. 11-12.

    29. People v. Manegdeg, 316 SCRA 689 (1999).

    30. People v. Zuniega, G.R. No. 126117, February 21, 2001; People v. Hilot, Et Al., G.R. No. 129532, October 5, 2000.

    31. Id.

    32. TSN, Macuibelle Malipot, March 20, 1996, pp. 5-6.

    33. TSN, Gregorio Hermosa, July 9, 1997. p. 10.

    34. People v. Mumar, 333 SCRA 221, 232 (2000).

    35. People v. Toyco, Sr., G.R. No. 138609, January 17, 2001.

    36. TSN, Gabriel Abelinde, July 8, 1997, pp. 4-5.

    37. TSN, Gregorio Hermosa, July 9, 1997, p. 9.

    38. People v. Martinez, Et Al., G.R. No. 128083, March 16, 2001; People v. Mumar, supra at 34, p. 221; People v. Pirame, 327 SCRA 552 (2000).

    39. Decision, October 21, 1997, pp. 15-16.

    40. People v. Virtucio, Jr., supra at 32.

    41. People v. Timblor, 285 SCRA 64, 78 (1998); People v. Penones, 200 SCRA 624 (1991).

    42. People v. Costelo, 316 SCRA 895, 915 (1999).

    43. People v. Albacin, G.R. No. 133918, September 13, 2000.

    44. People v. Lomerio, 326 SCRA 530 (2000).

    45. People v. Tambis, 311 SCRA 430 (1999).

    46. People v. Galapin, 293 SCRA 474 (1998).

    47. Article 64, par. 1, Revised Penal Code.

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


    Back to Home | Back to Main

     

    QUICK SEARCH

    cralaw

       

    cralaw



     
      Copyright © ChanRobles Publishing Company Disclaimer | E-mail Restrictions
    ChanRobles™ Virtual Law Library | chanrobles.com™
     
    RED