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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. 140898   September 20, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. JOSE ISHIKAWA AMBA

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    THIRD DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 140898. September 20, 2001.]

    THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. JOSE ISHIKAWA AMBA, Accused-Appellant.

    D E C I S I O N


    GONZAGA-REYES, J.:


    Accused-appellant Jose Amba (hereafter accused-appellant) seeks the reversal of the Decision 1 dated August 19, 1999 of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 272 of Marikina City in Criminal Case No. 98-2363-MK entitled "People of the Philippines v. Jose Amba, Et. Al." that found him guilty of the complex crime of attempted robbery with homicide.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Originally, Accused-appellant and his co-accused Pastor Zamora (hereafter Zamora), who was acquitted by the trial court, were charged with the complex crime of robbery with homicide in an Information that reads:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "The undersigned 3rd Asst. Prov’l Prosecutor accuses JOSE AMBA @ AHMED and PASTOR ZAMORA @ JERRY OBALDO of the crime of Robbery with Homicide, committed as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    That on or about the 10th day of February, 1998 in the City of Marikina, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, while armed with a fan knife, conspiring and confederating together and they mutually helping and aiding one another, with intent to gain and by means of force, violence and intimidation, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously rob and divest one (1) gold necklace belonging to one Stephanie Sy, to the damage and prejudice of (sic) heirs of Stephanie Sy, that on the occasion and by reason of said robbery one of the accused, with intent to kill, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault and stab one Stephanie Sy, thereby inflicting upon the latter stab wounds which directly caused her death.

    CONTRARY TO LAW." 2

    The undisputed facts show that:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    On February 10, 1998, around 8 p.m., the victim, Stephanie Sy (hereafter Stephanie), then a 21-year old student of the University of the Philippines, together with her friend and schoolmate, Jennifer Llamas (hereafter Llamas), were on their way home to Marikina City. Tired and hungry, Stephanie and Jennifer decided to have a snack at the Seven-Eleven, a convenience store in Concepcion, Marikina City. After alighting from a jeepney, Stephanie and Llamas proceeded to walk along J.P. Rizal Street towards Seven-Eleven. As they were about to enter the Seven-Eleven store, a man came out of nowhere and grabbed Stephanie’s neck and hand. Stephanie struggled against her attacker and was able to kick him down, but he immediately got up and drew a knife, stabbing Stephanie on the right breast. The man then scampered away and disappeared from the crowd. Bloodied and gasping for breath, Stephanie managed to walk but after several steps, she fell to the ground. Recovering from shock, Llamas rushed to Stephanie’s side to help her. Llamas then pleaded to the people around her to bring Stephanie to the hospital. It was at the nearby Amang Rodriguez Hospital that Stephanie was declared dead on arrival.

    On March 5, 1998, the police arrested accused-appellant based on the claim of several witnesses that he was the assailant of Stephanie.

    Upon arraignment, Accused-appellant and Zamora pleaded not guilty. During trial, the prosecution presented documentary evidence and the following witnesses: SPO2 Jaime Gamueda (hereafter SPO2 Gamueda),. the police investigator; eyewitnesses Llamas, Carlos Sian III (hereafter Sian), and Nelson Almuete (hereafter Almuete); Dr. Cristina Freyra the Medico Legal Officer; and Amelita T. Sy, the mother of Stephanie. For the defense, the witnesses were: Brenda Buenaventura, a Marikina City employee detailed with the Public Attorney’s Office; SPO2 Gamueda; Police Inspector Virgilio de Jesus, Chief of the Mobile Patrol Division, Marikina City; accused Zamora; Police Superintendent William Martinez Coronado; Jean Ishikawa Amba, sister of accused-appellant and wife of Almuete; accused-appellant, and Sian.

    On August 19, 1999, the trial court rendered the assailed judgment, the dispositive portion of which states:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    WHEREFORE, foregoing premises considered, JOSE ISHIKAWA AMBA having been found GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of having committed the crime of Attempted Robbery with Homicide is hereby sentenced to suffer a penalty of reclusion perpetua, the commission of the crime having been attended with the qualifying aggravating circumstances of treachery and abuse of superior strength and to pay the parents of the victim the amount of P75,000.00 as funeral expenses, the amount of P50,000.0,0 as indemnity for the death of the victim and P150,000.00 as moral and exemplary damages with cost. However, Accused PASTOR ORO ZAMORA is ordered ACQUITTED for failure of the prosecution to present any evidence involving said Pastor Oro Zamora in the commission of the same criminal offense. The Bureau of Corrections, therefore is ordered to effect the immediate release of accused PASTOR ORO ZAMORA unless otherwise held for any other purpose.

    SO ORDERED." 3

    In this appeal, Accused-appellant maintains his innocence and raises the following errors that the trial court allegedly committed:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    "I


    THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN CONVICTING THE ACCUSED OF THE CRIME CHARGED AGAINST HIM BASED ON THE CONFLICTING AND INCREDIBLE TESTIMONIES OF THE ALLEGED EYEWITNESSES TO THE CRIME.

    11

    THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN CONVICTING THE ACCUSED OF THE CRIME OF ATTEMPTED ROBBERY WITH HOMICIDE AND APPRECIATING THE QUALIFYING CIRCUMSTANCES OF TREACHERY AND ABUSE OF SUPERIOR STRENGTH AGAINST HIM DESPITE THE FACT THAT HIS GUILT WAS NOT PROVEN BY THE PROSECUTION BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT." 4

    The appeal is without merit.

    Accused-appellant mainly contends that the testimonies of Llamas, Sian and Almuete, the three prosecution witnesses who positively identified him as the perpetrator of the crime, should not have been given credence by the trial court. Their testimonies on direct examination and cross-examination are allegedly not credible and convincing.

    Accused-appellant claims that Llamas was not sure of her positive identification of accused-appellant until she was shown pictures of the accused-appellant and only after she saw him through a one-way mirror but with no other suspect in the police line-up. Accused-appellant interposes a similar objection to the accuracy of Sian’s identification of accused-appellant because Sian was allegedly only able to identify him after a police officer showed Sian several pictures of Accused-Appellant. As to Almuete, the brother-in-law of accused- appellant, Accused-appellant calls our attention to the fact that when Almuete testified, he disowned a sworn statement which accused-appellant claims Almuete executed during the course of the investigation. Accused-appellant believes that Almuete’s disavowal of that sworn statement indicates that he is hiding something or has an ulterior motive in testifying against him. The motive, Accused appellant theorizes, is for Almuete to exact revenge on his wife, the sister of Accused-Appellant. Accused-appellant bases this conclusion on the fact that Almuete testified that his wife separated from him because of this case, but his wife contradicted this claim when she testified that she had long been separated from Almuete even before this case came into existence. Almuete’s ulterior motive, according to accused-appellant, must necessarily affect his credibility. Accused-appellant thus insists that since these witnesses are not credible, his defense of alibi should have been accorded greater weight.

    The arguments do not persuade.

    Accused-appellant anchors this appeal on the issue of credibility. Jurisprudence is clear on this matter, that the issue of credibility is best addressed to the trial court judge who observed first hand the demeanor and deportment of the witnesses. Appellate courts will not disturb the findings on the credibility, or lack of it, accorded by the trial court to the testimony of witnesses, unless it be clearly shown that the trial court had overlooked or disregarded arbitrarily certain facts and circumstances of significance in the case. 5

    We have carefully reviewed the records of this case, including the transcript of the testimonial evidence, and we agree with the trial court that the testimony of the prosecution witnesses deserve credence. The prosecution witnesses categorically placed accused-appellant at the scene of the crime and positively identified him as the assailant. As a rule, greater weight is accorded to the positive narration of prosecution witnesses than to the negative testimonies the defense. More so when the positive and categorical testimony has a ring of truth to it, 6 as in the case at bar.

    The most formidable evidence against accused-appellant who attacked her friend, Stephanie, while they were on their way to Seven-Eleven. During re-direct examination, Llamas reiterated that she was sure it was accused-appellant whom she saw, she testified in this manner:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Q: Miss witness, during the direct examination, you mentioned and you were asked by this counsel what was the lightning condition and you mentioned that it was not so dark because of the Meralco post. However, you answered in the cross examination that it was dark, will you please explain what you mean by your answer?

    A: It was dimmed (sic) but not totally dark. I saw his left profile (sic) there was a lighted Meralco post several meters from us, sir.

    ATTY. CARREON

    Q: What made you very sure that the person whom you saw was Amba when you responded to the question of the defense counsel during cross-examination that you were not very sure, will you please explain Miss Witness?

    A: During the night itself (sic) I had seen his left side and semi-balding hair, that is enough for me to really pinpoint him sir. 7

    As Llamas said, the scene of the crime was sufficiently lighted, enabling her to identify Accused-Appellant. Taking into account Llamas’ entire testimony, we cannot sustain accused-appellant’s insinuation that she was conditioned to incriminate him simply because he was the lone suspect in the police line-up. Llamas was consistent and unwavering in saying that accused-appellant was the author of the crime. At most, the photographs of accused-appellant shown to Llamas during investigation and the alleged questionable police line-up merely served to refresh Llamas’ memory.

    Likewise, we cannot sustain accused-appellant’s contention that Sian was only able to identify him because the police officer showed Sian several pictures of Accused-Appellant. In very clear terms, Sian stated that he recognized the assailant’s face 8 and that it was Accused-Appellant. Sian testified that he was waiting for a jeepney across J.P. Rizal Street when he saw accused-appellant stab a woman. Accused-appellant then passed by in front of him after the stabbing incident. 9 Sian’s recognition of accused-appellant is credible considering: the place was well lighted 10 he was more or less 10 to 15 meters away from crime scene; 11 and after accused-appellant stabbed the; victim, he passed by in front of Sian at a distance of only three arms-length. 12

    The Court notes that Sian was also presented by the defense as its witness on June 21, 1999 for the purpose of recanting the testimony that he gave earlier as a witness for the prosecution. However, the record shows that the defense failed to achieve this objective. When the defense counsel asked Sian if he wanted to tell the court that it was not accused-appellant who stabbed Stephanie, Sian answered "No sir", 13 whereupon, the defense counsel asked Sian a series of leading questions, to which the prosecution properly objected and which objections the judge duly sustained. 14 What is established in this particular testimony of Sian as a defense witness is that he only wanted to get out of the case because he was having difficulty. 15 Sian explained the predicament that he was in — that after giving his testimony for the prosecution, he was jailed for another crime; that accused-appellant was detained in the same jail ahead of him; that his inmates believed that accused-appellant was not the one who stabbed Stephanie; and that the inmates "made sapak (punched) on him." 16 What is thus doubtful is Sian’s motive for testifying for the defense.

    Assuming arguendo that Sian’s credibility is impaired because of his attempt to recant his testimony for the prosecution, the credible and straightforward eyewitness account of Llamas convincingly establishes accused appellant’s guilt. Furthermore, another eyewitness, Almuete, provided equally convincing testimony that he also witnessed how his brother-in-law, Accused-appellant, stabbed Stephanie.

    Almuete recounted on the witness stand that on February 10, 1998, around 8:00 p.m., he was riding a jeepney together with his child and accused-appellant on their way home to Concepcion, Marikina City. 17 Accused-appellant alighted ahead of Almuete at the Seven-Eleven at J. P. Rizal Street, Marikina City. 18 Almuete then also alighted and when he was about to cross the street, he saw accused-appellant following two women and that accused-appellant pulled something from the woman’s nape. 19 The woman then kicked accused-appellant and that accused-appellant thereafter stabbed the woman. 20

    Accused-appellant finds questionable Almuete’s denial of a sworn statement that Almuete allegedly gave to the police. In that purported sworn statement, Almuete pointed to accused-appellant as the one that stabbed Stephanie after accused-appellant grabbed her necklace; that he came to know of this crime because accused-appellant confided to him; and that his conscience compelled him to identify accused-appellant as the one who committed the crime. 21 Accused-appellant makes much of Almuete’s disavowal of that sworn statement, suggesting that Almuete had something to hide in denying the sworn statement.

    We do not agree.

    It was on the witness stand that Almuete’s credibility was put to a test. Under oath and subjected to a punishing examination, Almuete corroborated Llamas’ version of what transpired that fateful night. It bears stressing that testimonial evidence is more exact and elaborate, it therefore carries more weight than sworn statements/affidavits. 22 More so in this case when the person who supposedly executed the sworn statement disowns it.

    Accused-appellant’s alibi that he was in his place of work in San Juan at the time that the crime occurred, a claim that is uncorroborated, cannot prevail over the credible and positive testimonies of the prosecution witnesses placing accused-appellant at the scene of the crime. For the defense of alibi to prosper, the accused must prove his presence in another place at the time of the perpetration of the offense and to demonstrate that it would thus be physically impossible for him to be at the scene of the crime. 23

    Accused-appellant claims that the trial court erred in convicting him when the testimonies of the eyewitnesses are conflicting. He however fails to specify or elaborate as to how the testimonies are in any in way in conflict so as to preclude a conviction. If at all, the witnesses were merely uncertain as to what personal item of Stephanie accused-appellant was interested in and whether accused-appellant was able to successfully abscond with it. Llamas initially believed that accused-appellant grabbed the watch of Stephanie while Almuete and Sian claimed that accused-appellant pulled a necklace from Stephanie’s nape. It cannot be discerned with certainty if accused-appellant was able to consummate the crime of robbery since a police investigation report declared that all of the valuables of Stephanie were intact and the father of Stephanie, who claimed that the necklace of Stephanie was missing did not testify at all. 24 However, the prosecution witnesses were essentially one in saying that accused-appellant was grabbing and pulling something from Stephanie before she felled him with kick and that accused-appellant retaliated by stabbing her.

    To be liable for the special complex crime of robbery with homicide, the prosecution must establish that:" (a) the taking of the personal property with the use of violence or intimidation against a person; (b) the property thus taken belongs to another; (c) the taking is characterized by intent to gain or animus lucrandi; and (d) on the occasion of the robbery or by reason thereof, the crime of homicide, which therein used in a generic sense, was committed." 25 While it cannot be ascertained what particular item accused-appellant intended to pull or grab from Stephanie, and whether he was able to completely take it, what is evident in this case is that accused-appellant had every intention of robbing Stephanie. Accused-appellant through the overt acts of pulling and grabbing something from Stephanie had demonstrated his intention of carrying out the robbery and the robbery would have been completed were it not for the resistance put up by Stephanie. The trial court thus correctly ruled that accused-appellant is guilty of attempted robbery with homicide.

    We however do not agree with the trial court that the qualifying circumstance of treachery attended the commission of the crime when no qualifying circumstance was alleged in the information and when the evidence at bar betrays this finding of the trial court. Treachery is present when the means, method or form of execution gives the person attacked no opportunity for self-defense or retaliation. 26 True, the stabbing was sudden, but the swiftness of the attack by itself does not mean that the attack was treacherous. To be considered treacherous, a sudden attack by the assailant, whether frontally or from behind, must be proven to have been a mode of attack deliberately adopted by him with the purpose of depriving the victim of a chance to either fight or retreat. 27 In this case, Stephanie who was five feet and eleven inches tall struggled against her assailant who only stands five feet and five inches; she even managed to fight him off with a kick. It was at that point that accused-appellant instantly got up and suddenly stabbed Stephanie. The stabbing cannot be characterized as one that is preconceived and deliberately adopted by accused-appellant since it immediately arose from a struggle. 28 Also, no aggravating circumstance of abuse of superior strength, a circumstance absorbed by treachery, can be appreciated against accused-appellant considering that the victim was even able to fend off her attacker.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The special complex crime of attempted and frustrated robbery with homicide is penalized under Article 297 of the Revised Penal Code. This provision specifically provides that "the person guilty of this offense, shall be punished by reclusion temporal in its maximum period to reclusion perpetua, unless the homicide committed shall deserve a higher penalty under the provision of this Code." Considering that there are no mitigating or aggravating circumstances in this case, the penalty should be applied in its medium period. Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, we impose on accused-appellant the indeterminate penalty of 14 years and eight (8) months of prision mayor as minimum to 20 years of reclusion temporal as maximum.

    We have to also correct the damages awarded by the trial court. The P50,000.00 indemnity for the death of the victim is proper and the award of P75,000.00 for funeral expenses is justified since the claim was duly supported by testimonial and documentary evidence, but the award of P50,000.00 as moral and exemplary damages must be deleted. In line with prevailing jurisprudence 29 , the heirs of the victim are entitled to moral damages in the amount of P50,000.00. As to the award of exemplary damages, Article 2231 of the Civil Code provides that exemplary damages may be awarded if the crime was committed with one or more aggravating circumstances. We are therefore constrained not to award exemplary damages in this case since no aggravating circumstances attended the commission of the crime.

    WHEREFORE, in light of the foregoing, Accused-appellant JOSE ISHIKAWA AMBA is found GUILTY of attempted robbery with homicide in Criminal Case No. 98-2363-MK and is correspondingly sentenced to suffer the indeterminate penalty of fourteen (14) years and eight (8) months of prision mayor as minimum to twenty (20) years of reclusion temporal as maximum. In addition, Accused-appellant JOSE ISHIKAWA AMBA is ordered to pay the heirs of Stephanie Sy P50,000.00 as death indemnity, P50,000.00 as moral damages and P75,000.00 for funeral expenses. Costs against Accused-Appellant.

    SO ORDERED

    Melo, Vitug, Panganiban, and Sandoval-Gutierrez, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Per Judge Reuben P. de la Cruz.

    2. Rollo, p. 5.

    3. Rollo, p. 45; Decision, p. 26.

    4. Rollo, p. 67; Brief for the Accused-Appellant, p. 1.

    5. People v. Sagun, 303 SCRA 382 (1999), p. 391.

    6. People v. Kulais, 292 SCRA 551 (1998), pp. 577-578

    7. TSN, September 21, 1998, pp. 70-72

    8. Ibid.,p. 55.

    9. TSN, November 25, 1998, pp. 50-54.

    10. Ibid., p. 53.

    11. Ibid., p. 52.

    12. Ibid., p. 54.

    13. TSN, June 21, 1999. p. 15

    14. Ibid., pp. 13-16.

    15. Ibid., p. 14.

    16. Ibid., pp. 15-16.

    17. TSN, January 27, 1999, pp. 4-7.

    18. Ibid., p. 7.

    19. Ibid., pp. 10-11.

    20. Ibid., pp. 15-17.

    21. Main Folder, pp. 12-13; Sworn Statement of Nelson Almuete, February 13, 1998, pp. 1-2.

    22. People v. Mangat, 310 SCRA 101 (1999), p. 111.

    23. People v. Ravanes, 284 SCRA 634 (1998), p. 638.

    24. Rollo, pp. 44-45; Decision, pp. 24-25.

    25. People v. Faco, 314 SCRA 505 (1999), p. 522.

    26. People v. Cabareno, G.R. No. 138645, January 16, 2001.

    27. People v. Academia, Jr., 307 SCRA 229 (1999), p. 234.

    28. See People v. Cabareno, supra.

    29. People v. Dizon, 320 SCRA 513 (1999), p. 527.

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


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