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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. 143702   September 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ZALDY MENDOZA

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    SECOND DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 143702. September 13, 2001.]

    THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. ZALDY MENDOZA y SEVILLA, Accused-Appellant.

    D E C I S I O N


    MENDOZA, J.:


    This is an appeal from the decision, 1 dated March 12, 1998, of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 33, Iloilo City, finding accused-appellant Zaldy Mendoza guilty of the crime of robbery with homicide and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to indemnify the heirs of the victim, Hernandez Abatay, in the amounts of P75,000.00 as actual damages and P50,000.00 as civil indemnity.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The information against accused-appellant charged —

    That on or about the 7th day of July, 1994 in the City of Iloilo, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Court, said accused, armed with a knife, conspiring and confederating with Marco Aguirre who is still at large, working together and helping one another, with deliberate intent and with violence employed upon the person of Hernandez Abatay, that is by stabbing him with the said knife, with which the accused was armed at the time, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and criminally take and carry away with intent to gain one (1) Seiko Divers wristwatch valued at P300.00 and cash of P15.00 owned by Hernandez Abatay and as a consequence of the stab wounds suffered by Hernandez Abatay at the hands of the accused, the said Hernandez Abatay died a few days thereafter.

    CONTRARY TO LAW. 2

    The information was subsequently amended to include Marco Aguirre, Accused-appellant Mendoza’s co-accused.

    The prosecution presented evidence showing the following:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    On July 7, 1994, at around 1:30 a.m., the victim Hernandez Abatay and his companion Jose Neri Tajanlangit were at the corner of Quezon and Ledesma Streets in Iloilo City waiting for a jeepney to take them home. They had just come from work at a supermarket. Tajanlangit left Abatay to urinate nearby. He was about 15 feet away from Abatay when he saw accused-appellant Zaldy Mendoza and a companion approach Abatay. The two men robbed Abatay. Accused-appellant’s companion held Abatay’s hands behind his back while accused-appellant took Abatay’s wrist watch and money. Accused appellant then stabbed Abatay in the abdomen. Abatay ran away but accused-appellant pursued him. 3

    At that time, PO3 Danilo Tan of the PNP was going home on board a tricycle. He saw a man running on the street, going in his direction. Tan asked the tricycle driver to stop. He alighted and asked the person why he was running. He turned out to be Abatay. He said that he had been held up by two persons. Tan asked him why he was clutching his stomach. Abatay replied that he had been stabbed by the robbers. Tan found that the victim had a wound in the lower right portion of his stomach, about one inch above his belt. Abatay told Tan that one of the robbers was wearing a white t-shirt while the other was wearing a sleeveless basketball shirt and undershirt uniform. 4

    PO3 Tan asked the tricycle driver to take Abatay to St. Paul’s Hospital, while he went after the suspects. He spotted one of the suspects, who was wearing a sleeveless basketball shirt, along Quezon St. on the way to Rizal St. The suspect, who was later identified as accused-appellant Zaldy Mendoza, was panting for breath because he had been running. Tan identified himself and searched the suspect. Tan was able to recover a table knife from Accused-Appellant. 5

    PO3 Tan then took accused-appellant to the St. Paul’s Hospital where Abatay was confined. In the presence of Tan and some nurses and the attending physician in the emergency room, Abatay pointed to accused-appellant as one of those who had held him up and then stabbed him. At that time, Abatay was in good condition and even spoke with Tan. Tan then placed accused-appellant under arrest and took him to the police station for investigation. Accused-appellant allegedly pointed to Marco Aguirre as his companion when they held up Abatay. Tan tried to look for Aguirre but was unsuccessful. 6

    Melly De Rojo testified that on July 7, 1994, from around 11:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., she was washing clothes outside her house at the Roxas Village in Mabini St., Iloilo. She was a neighbor of accused-appellant Zaldy Mendoza and Marco Aguirre in the said village. 7 According to this witness, Marco Aguirre asked her to hide him inside her house because he had just stabbed someone. De Rojo said Aguirre was wearing a white t-shirt with bloodstains on it and was holding a knife. Aguirre told her that he could not get inside his own house because it was closed. She said she refused Aguirre’s request because her husband and children were sleeping inside the house. Then Aguirre allegedly took off his clothes and hung them on her clothes line. She told Aguirre not to hang his clothes on her clothes line as it might place her in trouble. Aguirre left and De Rojo did not see him again. Neither did she see Accused-Appellant. De Rojo did not report the incident to the police because she was afraid and, anyway, she found out later that the crime had already been reported to the police. 8

    Accused-appellant went to see De Rojo twice after the event that took place on the night of July 7, 1994. Accused-appellant’s wife asked her if it was true that Aguirre showed up at her house on the night in question. De Rojo replied in the affirmative and told her that she would testify in favor of accused-appellant because it was Aguirre and not accused-appellant whom she saw that night outside her house. 9

    The kitchen knife which had been recovered from accused-appellant was turned over on July 8, 1994 at 8:00 a.m. to PO3 Manuel Artuz, the exhibit custodian of Police Precinct I. The blade of the knife was discolored but he could not say if it was blood that caused the stain. 10

    Violeta Abatay, the victim’s mother, testified that she saw her son at the St. Paul’s Hospital in the early morning of July 7, 1994. Her son died on July 10, 1994, after three days’ confinement. 11

    Dr. Tito Doromal, a medico-legal officer of the Iloilo City Police Station, performed an autopsy on the body of Hernandez Abatay on July 11, 1994. 12 As reflected in a medico-legal autopsy report (Exh. A) prepared by him, Dr. Doromal found that the cause of death of the victim was a single stab wound located under the subleeding and thoraco-abdominal region or near the right lower abdomen. The direction and entrance of the wound was horizontal inside the abdominal cavity and ended at the outer portion of the right kidney. The wound, which was 18 cms. deep and 3.5 x 1.2 cms. wide, was inflicted using a single-bladed sharp instrument, such as a knife. The bladed instrument penetrated the back and hit the posterior portion of the lungs, causing the same to harden and acquire a liver-like consistency. The victim developed hypostatic pneumonia causing his death. Hemorrhaging secondary to the stab wound also contributed to the victim’s death. 13

    Dr. Doromal also found that based on the location of the wound in the victim’s body, it was possible that the victim and his assailant were facing each other when the former was stabbed. The assailant’s thrust originated from below the victim’s abdomen and moved upwards to the inner portion of the body.

    The defense of the accused-appellant Zaldy Mendoza was alibi. He claimed that on July 7, 1994, at around 11:30 p.m., he was at the Rochelle Carinderia resting after a day’s work, driving a "trisicad." Afterwards, he walked along Mabini St. towards the corner of Ledesma St. On the way, he saw his neighbor Marco Aguirre with a certain person he did not know. Accused-appellant, who was about five meters away, saw Aguirre pointing a knife at the person. Accused-appellant said he approached the two and asked Aguirre what the matter was, but he was told to leave. Then, he said, he saw Aguirre stab the person. Accused-appellant claimed he fled towards the direction of the Rochelle Carinderia. Accused-appellant said he wanted to report the incident to the police, but before he could do so a police patrol car arrived. PO3 Danilo Tan alighted from the car and, while pointing a gun at him, asked accused-appellant who his companions were. Accused-appellant said he had no companions. He was then made to get inside the patrol car and taken to the Gen. Luna Police Station for investigation. 14

    Accused-appellant said he was handcuffed and taken to St. Paul’s Hospital. At the emergency room of the hospital, he said PO3 Tan asked Abatay if accused-appellant was the one who stabbed him, but Abatay answered that it was accused-appellant’s companion who stabbed him.

    On March 12, 1998, the lower court rendered a decision finding accused-appellant guilty of the crime charged. The dispositive portion of its decision states:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    WHEREFORE, the accused Zaldy Mendoza y Sevilla is hereby found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Robbery with Homicide and is hereby punished with imprisonment of Reclusion Perpetua to Death, to pay the heirs of the victim P75,000.00 as actual damages and to pay civil indemnity of P50,000.00.

    SO ORDERED. 15

    Accused-appellant filed a motion for reconsideration dated November 25, 1994. In its order dated October 26, 1998, the trial court denied the motion after finding no compelling reason to reconsider its decision. 16 But the trial court amended the dispositive portion by specifying the provision of the Revised Penal Code violated and the penalty as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    WHEREFORE, the accused Zaldy Mendoza y Sevilla is hereby found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Robbery with Homicide under Article 294 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act 7659, is punished with imprisonment of Reclusion Perpetua, to pay the heirs of the victim Seventy-Five Thousand (P75,000.00) Pesos as actual damages and to pay civil indemnity of Fifty Thousand (P50,000.00) Pesos. 17

    On November 25, 1998, Accused-appellant filed a motion for reconsideration and new adjudication on the ground that the trial court’s order, dated October 26, 1998, was rendered after Judge Florentino P. Pedronio had vacated his position as RTC Judge of Iloilo. 18 But the trial court denied accused-appellant’s motion in an order on March 16, 2000. 19

    Hence, this appeal. In his lone assignment of error, Accused-appellant contends:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN CONVICTING ACCUSED ZALDY MENDOZA Y SEVILLA FOR A CAPITAL OFFENSE ON INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE. 20

    We find the appeal to be without merit.

    First. The issue in this case turns on the credibility of the prosecution witnesses. We have repeatedly ruled that in the absence of any fact or circumstance of weight which has been overlooked or the significance of which has been misconstrued, appellate courts will not interfere with the trial court’s findings on the credibility of witnesses or set aside its judgment considering that it is in a better position to decide these questions as it heard the witnesses during trial. 21 The matter of assigning values to declarations on the witness stand is best and most completely performed and carried out by a trial judge who, unlike appellate magistrates, can weigh such testimonies in the light of the defendant’s behavior, demeanor, conduct, and attitude during the trial. 22

    In this case, Accused-appellant questions the testimony of the lone eyewitness, Jose Tajanlangit, claiming that the latter’s testimony is not worthy of credence because it is incredible and is based largely on hearsay. To bolster his claim, Accused-appellant cites three examples from the latter’s testimony. First, Tajanlangit did not testify that he heard any sound come from the deceased Abatay when the latter was stabbed by his holduppers. Accused-appellant says it is highly improbable that the deceased did not make any outcry when he was stabbed and equally improbable that Tajanlangit did not hear the same. Second, Tajanlangit testified that he ran away in the direction opposite that to which Abatay ran after being stabbed. Yet Tajanlangit also testified that Abatay met PO3 Tan; that Tan sent Abatay to his employer; and that Tan pursued and caught up with Accused-Appellant. Accused-appellant asserts that Tajanlangit could not have possibly testified as to facts which took place after he ran away and that he only gathered such facts from the victim himself when the latter was still alive in the hospital. Third, Tajanlangit testified that he and the victim were waiting for a jeep instead of a taxi on the night in question because the victim only had P15.00 in his pocket. Accused-appellant claims that this is unbelievable since Tajanlangit had P50.00 in his own pocket. Why, Accused-appellant asks, did Tajanlangit not disclose this fact to the victim so that they could have taken a taxi? 23

    The questions raised by accused-appellant concerning Tajanlangit’s testimony as to what he saw, heard, and did on that fateful night are too incidental to merit any serious consideration. They concern only minor details that do not touch upon the basic elements of the crime itself and therefore cannot detract from the credibility of the witness. 24 No glaring inconsistencies in the testimony of Tajanlangit were shown by the defense. What is crucial is that Tajanlangit testified clearly that he saw accused-appellant and a companion being held up Abatay on that night; that the two managed to take Abatay’s money and wrist watch; and that accused-appellant stabbed the victim. There is no reason to doubt the accuracy of Tajanlangit’s observation since the place where the crime occurred was well-lighted, there being a street lamp on a nearby corner.25cralaw:red

    Witness Tajanlangit testified that he saw the actual stabbing of Abatay and was even able to demonstrate that the direction of the stabbing motion made by accused-appellant was downward going upward. 26 This coincides with the finding of the medico-legal expert, Dr. Tito Doromal, that the entry of the weapon into the victim’s abdomen was "backward upward," that is, that the entrance of the weapon was horizontal inside the abdominal cavity and ended at the outer portion of the right kidney. 27 Thus, the evidence confirms that the wound sustained by the victim was inflicted in the manner seen and testified to by Tajanlangit. 28 Accused-appellant failed to show that Tajanlangit had any motive to testify falsely against him and his companion concerning so serious a crime as robbery with homicide.

    Further bolstering the credibility of Tajanlangit are the testimonies of the other witnesses presented by the prosecution which sufficiently establish accused-appellant’s guilt of the crime charged.

    PO3 Danilo Tan testified that he encountered the victim on Ledesma Street who told him that he had been robbed and then stabbed by two persons; that the victim suffered a wound in the abdominal area; that the victim described the appearance of his attackers; that he sent the victim to his employer in the supermarket; that he caught accused-appellant, who matched the description of one of the victim’s robbers, while the latter was running along Quezon St.; that he recovered a table knife from accused-appellant; that he took accused-appellant to the hospital where the victim was; and that the victim pointed to accused-appellant as the person who had stabbed him.

    PO3 Manuel Artuz, exhibit custodian of Police Precinct I in Iloilo City, testified that a discolored table knife was turned over to him in the early morning of July 8, 1994. The knife was identified by PO3 Tan in open court as the same one he recovered from accused-appellant on July 7, 1994. 29

    Violeta Abatay testified that she saw her son lying wounded in the emergency room of the St. Paul’s Hospital in the early morning of July 7, 1994 and that her son died on July 10, 1994.

    Finally, Dr. Tito Doromal, who performed the autopsy on the body of victim Abatay, testified that the latter died as a result of a stab wound inflicted on the lower right portion of the abdomen and that the weapon used to inflict the wound was a sharp-bladed instrument, such as a knife. 30

    While it is true that none of the other witnesses, aside from Tajanlangit, actually saw the accused-appellant rob and stab the victim, their testimonies nonetheless provide sufficient corroborative evidence pointing to the guilt of the Accused-Appellant. The testimonies of Tan, Artuz, Violeta Abatay, and Dr. Doromal together render a complete account of the events surrounding the death of Abatay which lead to but one fair and reasonable conclusion — that accused-appellant is guilty of the crime charged.

    Accused-appellant admitted that he was on Ledesma Street and saw the crime committed, but claimed that he immediately left because Marco Aguirre told him to leave. According to him, the next thing he knew was that he was accosted by PO3 Tan, who searched his person, and later took him to the St. Paul’s Hospital, where he was pointed to by the same man whom he had seen being robbed by Aguirre.

    Accused-appellant’s denial that it was not he, but Marco Aguirre, who committed the deed is, to say the least, self-serving. Accused-appellant’s denial does not credibly support his claim of innocence. 31 For in weighing contradictory declarations and statements, greater weight must be given to the positive testimonies of the prosecution witnesses than to the denial of the defendant. 32

    Nor can accused-appellant’s defense of alibi prosper. Accused-appellant was positively identified as the person who committed the crime. It is basic and well-entrenched that the defense of alibi cannot stand against the positive identification of a credible eyewitness. 33 Nor did accused-appellant show that it was physically impossible for him to be at the scene of the crime. It has been repeatedly held that to establish alibi, Accused-appellant must not only show that he was at some other place at or about the time of the commission of the crime but also that it was physically impossible for him to have been at the place where the crime was committed. 34 But, as earlier stated, Accused-appellant in fact admitted that he was actually on Ledesma Street at the time the crime was being committed.

    Second. Accused-appellant claims that the decision of the trial court, dated March 12, 1998, is a nullity since it was promulgated twelve months, or more than ninety (90) days, after the case was submitted for decision on March 23, 1997. He cites the ruling of this Court in Lazaret v. Bantuas, 35 in support of his contention. 36 He further contends that the amended decision dated October 26, 1998 is likewise a nullity since it was issued motu proprio, contrary to Rule 120, 7 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, which allows the modification of a judgment of conviction only upon motion of the accused. Finally, Accused-appellant maintains that the amended decision, consisting of a new dispositive portion contained in a two-paragraph order, was never promulgated and is, therefore, a nullity. 37

    Accused-appellant’s contention is without merit. The failure to decide cases within the ninety-day period required by law constitutes a ground for administrative liability against the defaulting judge, 38 which may take the form of dismissal, forfeiture of benefits and privileges, 39 or a fine. 40 But it does not make the judgment a nullity. The judgment is valid. 41

    Accused-appellant also complains that the decision in this case was amended without any of the parties asking for it. This is not so. The original decision in this case was issued on March 12, 1998 and was promulgated on July 15, 1998. 42 The decision was written by Acting Presiding Judge Florentino P. Pedronio of the Bacolod City RTC, Branch 43. On July 24, 1998, Accused-appellant, through counsel, filed a motion for reconsideration, praying that the decision be set aside and accused-appellant acquitted on the ground that the decision did not state the law violated nor refer to the specific provision of the Revised Penal Code. 43

    Acting on the motion, the trial court denied accused-appellant’s motion for reconsideration, but amended the dispositive portion of its decision for indeed the same failed to fix the specific penalty within the range provided for in the Revised Penal Code for the crime committed. 44 Hence, the Court amended the dispositive portion of its decision by citing the provision of the Revised Penal Code violated and imposing on accused-appellant the appropriate penalty of reclusion perpetua.

    As the Solicitor General well observed, it is misleading for accused-appellant to claim that the trial court motu proprio modified its ruling as the trial court in fact resolved the motion for reconsideration filed by accused-appellant resulting in the modification of the imposed penalty. The trial court has the residual jurisdiction to correct the error in imposing the penalty.

    Accused-appellant further claims that the amended decision is a nullity since the same consisted of only one paragraph and does not contain the requisites of a decision.

    The order, dated October 26, 1998, of the trial court is an integral part of the original decision rendered on March 12, 1998 for the purpose of determining compliance with the constitutional requirement of Art. VIII, 14 that "No decision shall be rendered by any Court without expressing therein clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is based."cralaw virtua1aw library

    Rule 120, 2 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure provides:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    SEC. 2. Form and contents of judgment. — The judgment must be written in the official language, personally and directly prepared by the judge and signed by him and shall contain clearly and distinctly a statement of the facts proved and admitted by the accused and the law upon which the judgment is based.

    If it is of conviction, the judgment shall state (a) the legal qualification of the offense constituted by the acts committed by the accused, and the aggravating or mitigating circumstances attending the commission thereof, if there be any; (b) the participation of the accused in the commission of the offense, whether as principal, accomplice, or accessory after the facts; (c) the penalty imposed upon the accused; and (d) the civil liability or damages caused by the wrongful act to be recovered from the accused by the offended party, if there be any, unless the enforcement of the civil liability by a separate action has been reserved or waived.

    In case of acquittal, unless there is a clear showing that the act from which the civil liability might arise did not exist, the judgment shall make a finding on the civil liability of the accused in favor of the offended party. (Emphasis added)

    A perusal of the March 12, 1998 decision of the trial court shows that it conforms substantially with these requirements. The dispositive portion, however, is defective as it did not mention the law pursuant to which accused-appellant was convicted and the two indivisible penalties of reclusion perpetua and death was imposed upon him. Hence, there was a need to amend the same, which the trial court did upon motion for reconsideration of accused-appellant based on the same ground.

    Third. Accused-appellant argues that the confession he made to PO3 Daniel Tan at the St. Paul’s Hospital that he and Marco Aguirre had robbed Abatay is inadmissible in evidence because it was given without the assistance of counsel while he (accused-appellant) was in custody.

    Indeed, the confession is inadmissible in evidence under Article III, Section 12(1) and (3) of the Constitution, because it was given under custodial investigation and was made without the assistance of counsel. 45 However, the defense failed to object to its presentation during the trial with the result that the defense is deemed to have waived objection to its admissibility. No error was, therefore, incurred by the trial court in admitting evidence of the confession.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Nor did the trial court err in sentencing accused-appellant to reclusion perpetua. 46

    The penalty for robbery with homicide under Art. 294, par. 1 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by R.A. No. 7659, is reclusion perpetua to death. In the absence of any aggravating circumstance, the lesser penalty should be imposed, i.e., reclusion perpetua. 47

    With respect to the amount of damages, the following expenses were duly supported by receipts presented in evidence: P1,695.00 as medical expenses; P51,302.00 as hospital expenses; and P6,500.00 as funeral expenses, or the total amount of P59,497.00. The trial court’s award of P50,000.00 by way of indemnity as a result of the death of the victim is in accordance with the current case law 48 and therefore is sustained. In addition, the amount of P50,000.00 as moral damages must likewise be awarded in favor of the heirs of the victim pursuant to recent rulings. 49

    WHEREFORE, the amended decision of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 33, Iloilo City, finding accused-appellant Zaldy Mendoza guilty of robbery with homicide and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua is AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that accused-appellant is ordered to pay the heirs of the victim P59,497.00 as actual damages and P50,00.00 as moral damages in addition to the amount of P50,000.00 awarded as indemnity by the trial court. Costs against Accused-Appellant.

    SO ORDERED.

    Quisumbing, Buena and De Leon, Jr., JJ., concur.

    Bellosillo, J., took no part, friend of counsel of one of parties.

    Endnotes:



    1. Per Acting Presiding Judge Florentino P. Pedronio.

    2. Rollo, p. 8.

    3. TSN, pp. 3-6, Nov. 10, 1995.

    4. TSN, pp. 4-6, July 10, 1995.

    5. Id, pp. 7-8.

    6. TSN, pp. 2-7, Oct. 13, 1995.

    7. TSN, pp. 7-8, Feb. 3, 1997.

    8. Id., p. 14.

    9. Id., p. 13.

    10. TSN, pp. 4-7, July 24, 1995.

    11. Id, pp. 4-6.

    12. TSN, p. 4, April 28, 1995.

    13. TSN, pp. 6-7, 9-11, 12, April 28, 1995.

    14. TSN, pp. 4-8, Aug. 12, 1996.

    15. Decision, p. 7; Records, p. 197.

    16. Records, p. 239.

    17. Order, dated October 26, 1998; Records, p. 240.

    18. Records, pp. 241-244.

    19. Id, pp. 266-273.

    20. Brief for the Accused-Appellant, p. 5, Rollo, p. 45.

    21. People v. Guiamil, 277 SCRA 658 (1997); People v. Espera, 175 SCRA 728 (1989).

    22. People v. Guiamil, 277 SCRA 658 (1997).

    23. Brief for the Accused-Appellant, pp. 1-2, 6-8, 18-19; Rollo, pp. 41-42, 46-48, 59 60.

    24. People v. Guiamil, 277 SCRA 658 (1997).

    25. TSN, p. 4, Nov. 10, 1995.

    26. Id, p. 5.

    27. TSN, p. 7, April 28, 1995.

    28. See People v. Espera, 175 SCRA 728 (1989).

    29. TSN, p. 5, Oct. 13, 1995.

    30. TSN, p. 12, April 28, 1995.

    31. See People v. Raganas, 316 SCRA 457 (1999).

    32. People v. Guiamil, 277 SCRA 658 (1997).

    33. People v. Pedroso, 115 SCRA 599 (1982); People v. Peñaranda, 107 SCRA 686 (1981).

    34. People v. Pedroso, 115 SCRA 599 (1982).

    35. 114 SCRA 603 (1982).

    36. Brief for the Accused-Appellant, p. 21; Rollo, p. 62. See also Order of the Trial Court, March 16, 2000, p. 1; Records, p. 266.

    37. Brief for the Accused-Appellant; Rollo, p. 62.

    38. Celino v. Abrogar, 245 SCRA 304 (1995); Lopez v. Alon, 254 SCRA 166 (1996).

    39. In Re: Juliano, 227 SCRA 189 (1993).

    40. See Lazaret v. Bantuas, 114 SCRA 603 (1982).

    41. See Celino v. Abrogar, 245 SCRA 304 (1995); Lopez v. Alon, 254 SCRA 166 (1996).

    42. See Order, March 16, 2000, p. 2; Records p. 267.

    43. Motion for Reconsideration, pp. 1-2; id., pp. 204-205.

    44. Resolution, p. 4; id., p. 239.

    45. People v. Duero, 104 SCRA 379 (1981).

    46. People v. Ranillo Ponce Hermoso, G.R. No. 130590, October 18, 2000. See also People v. Pedroso, 115 SCRA 599 (1982) citing Rule 133, 3. RULES ON EVIDENCE; People v. Revotoc, 106 SCRA 22 (1981); People v. Jimenez, 105 SCRA 721 (1981); People v. Narciso, 23 SCRA 844 (1966); People v. Reyes, 17 SCRA 279 (1968).

    47. People v. Raganas, 316 SCRA 457 (1999); People v. Guiamil, 277 SCRA 658 (1997).

    48. People v. Trilles, 254 SCRA 633, 643 (1996); Sulpicio Lines Inc. v. CA, 246 SCRA 376 (1995).

    49. People v. Francisco, G.R. No. 138022, Aug. 22, 2001.

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


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