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
 

   
August-2003 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.M. No. P-02-1651 August 4, 2003 - ALEJANDRO ESTRADA v. SOLEDAD S. ESCRITOR

  • G.R. No. 138924 August 5, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CRISANTO D. MANAHAN

  • G.R. No. 139767 August 5, 2003 - FELIPE SY DUNGOG v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 140868-69 August 5, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NAZARIO B. BUATES

  • G.R. No. 142691 August 5, 2003 - HEIRS OF AMADO CELESTIAL v. HEIRS OF EDITHA G. CELESTIAL

  • G.R. No. 144317 August 5, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MICHAEL A. MONTE

  • G.R. No. 148848 August 5, 2003 - JACINTO RETUYA, ET. AL. v. SALIC B. DUMARPA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152611 August 5, 2003 - LAND BANK OF THE PHIL. v. SEVERINO LISTANA, SR.

  • G.R. No. 152845 August 5, 2003 - DRIANITA BAGAOISAN, ET AL. v. NATIONAL TOBACCO ADMINISTRATION

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1502 August 6, 2003 - ANASTACIO E. GAUDENCIO v. EDWARD D. PACIS

  • A.M. No. P-03-1675 August 6, 2003 - ELENA F. PACE v. RENO M. LEONARDO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1545 August 6, 2003 - ANTONIO J. FINEZA v. BAYANI S. RIVERA

  • G.R. No. 133926 August 6, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUBEN H. DALISAY

  • G.R. Nos. 137256-58 August 6, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUFINO V. ERNAS

  • G.R. No. 142740 August 6, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERTO A. TAMPOS

  • G.R. No. 142843 August 6, 2003 - OCTAVIO ALVAREZ, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144428 August 6, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JUAN M. ROSARIO

  • G.R. No. 144595 August 6, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANTE ILAGAN

  • G.R. Nos. 145383-84 August 6, 2003 - RUDY M. VILLAREÑA v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT

  • A.M. No. P-02-1627 August 7, 2003 - CARIDAD RACCA, ET AL. v. MARIO C. BACULI, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127210 August 7, 2003 - ALVIN TAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138956 August 7, 2003 - LOADSTAR SHIPPING CO., ET AL. v. ROMEO MESANO

  • G.R. No. 146341 August 7, 2003 - AQUILA LARENA v. FRUCTUOSA MAPILI, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146382 August 7, 2003 - SYSTEMS PLUS COMPUTER COLLEGE OF CALOOCAN CITY v. LOCAL GOVERNMENT OF CALOOCAN CITY

  • G.R. No. 148557 August 7, 2003 - FELICITO ABARQUEZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149075 August 7, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODRIGO P. BALLENO

  • G.R. No. 151833 August 7, 2003 - ANTONIO M. SERRANO v. GALANT MARITIME SERVICES

  • G.R. No. 153087 August 7, 2003 - BERNARD R. NALA v. JESUS M. BARROSO

  • G.R. No. 154183 August 7, 2003 - SPS. VICKY TAN TOH and LUIS TOH v. SOLID BANK CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134241 August 11, 2003 - DAVID REYES v. JOSE LIM, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139177 August 11, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALVIN VILLANUEVA

  • A.M. No. 00-3-48-MeTC August 12, 2003 - REPORT ON THE JUDICIAL AUDIT AND PHYSICAL INVENTORY OF CASES IN THE MTC OF MANILA, BR. 2

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1388 August 12, 2003 - FELISA TABORITE, ET AL. v. MANUEL S. SOLLESTA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-02-1588 August 12, 2003 - RUBY M. GONZALES v. ALMA G. MARTILLANA

  • G.R. No. 120474 August 12, 2003 - ANICETO W. NAGUIT, JR. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 133796-97 August 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BERNANDINO M. ALAJAY

  • G.R. No. 133858 August 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. HERMINIANO SATORRE

  • G.R. No. 133892 August 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOVITO B. LLAVORE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137792 August 12, 2003 - SPS RICARDO ROSALES, ET AL. v. SPS ALFONSO and LOURDES SUBA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 145951 August 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 151908 & 152063 August 12, 2003 - SMART COMMUNICATIONS, INC. v. NATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

  • G.R. No. 152807 August 12, 2003 - HEIRS OF LOURDES SAEZ SABANPAN, ET AL. v. ALBERTO C. COMORPOSA, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 4650 August 14, 2003 - ROSALINA BIASCAN v. MARCIAL F. LOPEZ

  • A.M. No. 00-6-09-SC August 14, 2003 - RE: IMPOSITION OF CORRESPONDING PENALTIES FOR HABITUAL TARDINESS, ETC.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1631 August 14, 2003 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. JAIME F. BAUTISTA

  • G.R. No. 126627 August 14, 2003 - SMITH KLINE BECKMAN CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140023 August 14, 2003 - RUDY LAO v. STANDARD INSURANCE CO.

  • G.R. Nos. 140034-35 August 14, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO B. ZABALA

  • G.R. No. 144402 August 14, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO ECLERA, SR.

  • G.R. No. 156039 August 14, 2003 - KARINA CONSTANTINO-DAVID, ET AL. v. ZENAIDA D. PANGANDAMAN-GANIA

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1401 August 15, 2003 - ARSENIA LARIOSA v. CONRADO B. BANDALA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115925 August 15, 2003 - SPS. RICARDO PASCUAL, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127128 August 15, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROEL C. MENDIGURIN

  • G.R. No. 133841 August 15, 2003 - CAROLINA P. RAMIREZ, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 135697-98 August 15, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PEDRITO C. ANDRES, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 137520-22 August 15, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALFREDO BAROY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138074 August 15, 2003 - CELY YANG v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138862 August 15, 2003 - MANUEL CAMACHO v. RICARDO GLORIA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139895 August 15, 2003 - CIPRIANO M. LAZARO v. RURAL BANK OF FRANCISCO BALAGTAS (BULACAN), INC., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143258 August 15, 2003 - PHILIPPINE AIRLINES v. JOSELITO PASCUA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144618 August 15, 2003 - JORGE CHIN, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 147662-63 August 15, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FREDDIE FONTANILLA

  • G.R. No. 148222 August 15, 2003 - PEARL & DEAN (PHIL.) v. SHOEMART, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 151941 August 15, 2003 - CHAILEASE FINANCE CORP. v. SPS. ROMEO and MARIAFE MA

  • G.R. Nos. 153714-20 August 15, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO K. ESPINOSA

  • G.R. No. 154448 August 15, 2003 - PEDRITO F. REYES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 154920 August 15, 2003 - RODNEY HEGERTY v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1744 August 18, 2003 - ROBERT M. VISBAL v. ROGELIO C. SESCON

  • A.C. No. 5299 August 19, 2003 - ISMAEL G. KHAN v. RIZALINO T. SIMBILLO

  • G.R. No. 138945 August 19, 2003 - FELIX GOCHAN AND SONS REALTY CORP., ET AL. v. HEIRS OF RAYMUNDO BABA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144331 August 19, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CRISTITO LATASA

  • G.R. No. 145930 August 19, 2003 - C-E CONSTRUCTION CORP. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 147246 August 19, 2003 - ASIA LIGHTERAGE AND SHIPPING, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148877 August 19, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANGELITO B. BAGSIT

  • G.R. No. 149724 August 19, 2003 - DENR v. DENR REGION 12 EMPLOYEES

  • G.R. No. 150060 August 19, 2003 - PRIMARY STRUCTURES CORP. v. SPS. ANTHONY and SUSAN T. VALENCIA

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1437 August 20, 2003 - JAIME E. CONTRERAS v. EDDIE P. MONSERATE

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1473 August 20, 2003 - MYRA M. ALINTANA DE PACETE v. JOSEFINO A. GARILLO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1745 August 20, 2003 - UNITRUST DEVELOPMENT BANK v. JOSE F. CAOIBES, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125799 August 21, 2003 - DANILO CANSINO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148864 August 21, 2003 - SPS EDUARDO and EPIFANIA EVANGELISTA v. MERCATOR FINANCE CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149495 August 21, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 150590 August 21, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILLIE A. ALMEDILLA

  • A.M. No. P-03-1673 August 25, 2003 - LOUIE TRINIDAD v. SOTERO S. PACLIBAR

  • G.R. No. 114172 August 25, 2003 - JUANITA P. PINEDA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129368 August 25, 2003 - LAND BANK OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 129961-62 August 25, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VIRGILIO CAABAY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137326 August 25, 2003 - ROSARIO TEXTILE MILLS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138334 August 25, 2003 - ESTELA L. CRISOSTOMO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 142856-57 August 25, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERTO NEGOSA

  • G.R. No. 151026 August 25, 2003 - SOLIDBANK CORP. v. CA, ET. AL.

  • G.R. No. 152221 August 25, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. JACINTO B. ALVAREZ, JR.

  • A.M. No. 01-4-133-MTC August 26, 2003 - RE: ELSIE C. REMOROZA

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1492 August 26, 2003 - DOMINGO B. MANAOIS v. LAVEZARES C. LEOMO

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1504 August 26, 2003 - FELICITAS M. HIMALIN v. ISAURO M. BALDERIAN

  • G.R. Nos. 146097-98 August 26, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JUAN CARIÑAGA

  • A.C. No. 5474 August 28, 2003 - REDENTOR S. JARDIN v. DEOGRACIAS VILLAR

  • A.C. No. 5535 August 28, 2003 - SPS. STEVEN and NORA WHITSON v. JUANITO C. ATIENZA

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1506 August 28, 2003 - PABLO B. MABINI v. LORINDA B. TOLEDO-MUPAS

  • A.M. No. P-01-1507 August 28, 2003 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. ROLANDO SAA

  • A.M. No. P-02-1579 August 28, 2003 - LETICIA L. NICOLAS v. PRISCO L. RICAFORT

  • A.M. No. P-02-1631 August 28, 2003 - RENATO C. BALIBAG v. HERMITO C. MONICA

  • A.M. No. P-02-1659 August 28, 2003 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. LIZA MARIA E. SIRIOS

  • A.M. No. P-03-1710 August 28, 2003 - EDGARDO ANGELES v. BALTAZAR P. EDUARTE

  • A.M. No. RTJ-02-1676 August 28, 2003 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. GUILLERMO R. ANDAYA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1786 August 28, 2003 - ALFREDO Y. CHU v. CAMILO E. TAMIN

  • G.R. No. 134604 August 28, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ERNESTO HUGO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138295 August 28, 2003 - PILIPINO TELEPHONE CORP. v. NTC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143826 August 28, 2003 - IGNACIA AGUILAR-REYES v. SPS. CIPRIANO and FLORENTINA MIJARES

  • G.R. No. 146501 August 28, 2003 - FLORDELIZA RIVERA v. GREGORIA SANTIAGO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149810 August 28, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CRISPIN T. RUALES

  • G.R. No. 154049 August 28, 2003 - RAMON P. JACINTO, ET AL. v. FIRST WOMEN’S CREDIT CORP.

  • G.R. No. 133733 August 29, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MAXIMO AQUINDE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136299 August 29, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ZOILO MAGALLANES

  • G.R. No. 137010 August 29, 2003 - ARK TRAVEL EXPRESS v. Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Makati, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142383 August 29, 2003 - ASIAN TRANSMISSION CORP. v. CANLUBANG SUGAR ESTATES

  •  





     
     

    G.R. Nos. 137256-58   August 6, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUFINO V. ERNAS

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    EN BANC

    [G.R. Nos. 137256-58. August 6, 2003.]

    THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Appellee, v. RUFINO ERNAS Y VILLANUEVA,** Appellant.

    D E C I S I O N


    AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ, J.:


    For automatic review is the joint judgment 1 dated January 14, 1999 of the Regional Trial Court of Calamba, Laguna (Branch 34) rendered in Criminal Cases Nos. 6178-98-C, 6179-98 and 6180-98-C convicting appellant Rufino Ernas y Villanueva of three counts of rape committed against his daughters Elsa and Celeste Ernas and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of death for each case. The dispositive portion of the decision reads:chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    ACCORDINGLY, by virtue of his voluntary plea of guilty, judgment is hereby rendered as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    In Criminal Case No. 6178-98-C, this Court finds accused Rufino Ernas y Florentino (sic) GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape as defined and penalized under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, and hereby sentences him to suffer the penalty of death.

    Accused is further directed to indemnify the victim Elsa Ernas y Florentino the sum of FIFTY THOUSAND (P50,000.00) PESOS as moral damages.

    In Crim. Case No. 6179-98-C, this Court finds accused Rufino Ernas y Florentino(sic) GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape as defined and penalized under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, and hereby sentences him to suffer the penalty of death.

    Accused is further directed to indemnify the victim Celeste Ernas y Florentino the sum of FIFTY THOUSAND (P50,000.00) PESOS as moral damages.

    In Crim. Case No. 6180-98-C, this Court finds accused Rufino Ernas y Florentino(sic) GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape as defined and penalized under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, and hereby sentences him to suffer the penalty of death.

    Accused is further directed to indemnify the victim Celeste Ernas y Florentino the sum of FIFTY THOUSAND (P50,000.00) PESOS as moral damages.

    With costs against the accused in all cases.

    SO ORDERED. 2

    Three separate Informations 3 were filed with the trial court on October 27, 1998 charging appellant with the crime of rape, thus:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Crim. Case No. 6178-98-C

    That on or about May 11, 1998, at Tramo, Brgy. Masile, Municipality of Calamba, Province of Laguna and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, with lewd design and thru force and intimidation and with intent to satisfy his lust, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge of his daughter ELSA ERNAS y FLORENTINO, 14 years old, against her will and consent.

    CONTRARY TO LAW. 4

    Crim. Case No. 6179-98-C

    That on or about September 21, 1998, at Tramo, Brgy. Masile, Municipality of Calamba, Province of Laguna and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, with lewd design and thru force and intimidation and with intent to satisy (sic) his lust, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge of his daughter CELESTE ERNAS y FLORENTINO, 15 years old, against her will and consent.

    CONTRARY TO LAW. 5

    Crim. Case No. 6180-98-C

    That on or about September 18, 1998, at Tramo, Brgy. Masile, Municipality of Calamba, Province of Laguna and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, with lewd design and thru force and intimidation and with intent to satisfy his lust, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge of his daughter CELESTE ERNAS y FLORENTINO, 15 years old, against her will and consent.

    CONTRARY TO LAW. 6

    Upon his arraignment on November 13, 1998, appellant, duly assisted by his counsel, Atty. Rodel Paderayon, entered a separate plea of not guilty 7 to each of the three charges.

    A joint pre-trial conference was conducted on December 9, 1998 where appellant maintained his innocence of the crimes charged against him. 8 The trial court then issued its joint pre-trial order 9 with the following stipulations of facts:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    (1) the accused is the father of the complaining witness (sic);

    (2) that the private complainants Elsa Emas and Celeste Ernas were both medically examined and the findings are reflected in the Medico-Legal Certificate;

    (3) the existence of the Medico-Legal Certificate;

    (4) the identity of the accused; and

    (5) the existence of the Sworn Statements.

    No admissions were made by the prosecution.

    At the initial hearing held on January 13, 1999, Atty. Eloida Capuno, counsel for the appellant, manifested the intention of her client to withdraw his former plea of not guilty. The Court then inquired from appellant whether he confirms the manifestation of his counsel, as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    COURT:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Do You confirm the statement of your counsel that you are withdrawing your former plea of not guilty and enter a voluntary plea of guilty to the three counts of rape filed against you.

    A: Yes, your honor. 10

    Thereafter, the Court granted the motion to withdraw his former plea and ordered the re-arraignment of appellant. The three Informations were again read to him in Tagalog, a language spoken, read and understood by him, who, with the assistance of Atty. Capuno, voluntarily pleaded guilty to the three counts of rape. The Court then propounded additional questions to appellant, as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    COURT:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q: Rufino Ernas y Florentino (sic) are you fully aware of the consequences of your voluntary plea of guilty to these three (3) counts of rape’

    A: Yes, your honor.

    Q: You have not been threatened, intimidated or coerced into withdrawing your former plea of not guilty and in lieu thereof enter a plea of guilty to these three (3) counts of rape?

    A: No, your honor.

    Q: You are fully aware and advised by your counsel that despite your plea of guilty you will still be meted the maximum penalty of death?

    A: Yes, your honor.

    Q: You fully admit that on or about May 11, 1998 at Tramo, Brgy. Masili, 11 Municipality of Calamba, Province of Laguna, you had carnal knowledge of your daughter Elsa Ernas y Florentino, 14 years old, against her will and consent?

    A Yes, your honor,

    Q: You fully admit that on September 21, 1998 at Tramo, Brgy. Masili, Municipality of Calamba, Province of Laguna, you had carnal knowledge of your daughter Celeste Ernas y Florentino, 15 years old, against her will and consent?

    A: Yes, sir.

    Q: You also fully admit that on or about September 18, 1998 at Tramo, Brgy. Masili, Municipality of Calamba, Province of Laguna, you had carnal knowledge of your daughter Celeste Ernas y Florentino, 15 years old, against her will and consent?

    A: Yes, your honor. 12

    With the plea of guilty entered by the appellant on the three counts of rape, the prosecution opted to dispense with the direct testimony of the complaining witnesses and formally offered the following exhibits:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Crim. Case No. 6178-98-C

    Exhibit "A" - Complaint filed with the Municipal Trial Court of Calamba, Laguna by complainant Elsa Ernas;

    Exhibit "B" - Sworn Statement of complainant Elsa Ernas;

    Exhibit "B-1" - Sworn Statement of Ester Ernas;

    Exhibit "B-2" - Sworn Statement of Rosemarie Usi; and

    Exhibit "C" - Medico-Legal Certificate.

    Crim. Case No. 6179-98-C and 6180-98-C

    Exhibit "A" - Complaint filed with the Municipal Trial Court of Calamba, Laguna by complainant Celeste Ernas;

    Exhibit "A-1" - Sworn Statement of complainant Celeste Ernas; and

    Exhibit "B" - Medico-Legal Certificate. 13

    On January 14, 1999, the trial court rendered its joint judgment finding appellant guilty of three counts of rape and sentenced him to the supreme penalty of death for each case.

    Appellant raises a single assignment of error:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN NOT REQUIRING THE PROSECUTION TO PROVE THE GUILT OF ACCUSED DESPITE THE PLEA OF GUILTY TO A CAPITAL OFFENSE. 14

    Appellant claims that aside from conducting a searching inquiry into the voluntariness and full comprehension of the consequences of his pleas, the trial court should have also required the prosecution to prove his guilt to determine the precise degree of his culpability as mandated under Section 3 of Rule 116 of the Revised Rules of Court.

    The Solicitor General filed his Manifestation and Motion, in lieu of appellee’s brief fully concurring with appellant’s arguments and prays for the remand of the case to the trial court for the presentation of evidence.

    We agree.

    When an accused enters a plea of guilty to a capital offense, the requirements under Section 3 of Rule 116 of the 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure must be strictly followed, to wit:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Sec. 3. Plea of guilty to capital offense; reception of evidence. — When the accused pleads guilty to a capital offense, the court shall conduct a searching inquiry into the voluntariness and full comprehension of the consequences of his plea and shall require the prosecution to prove his guilt and the precise degree of his culpability. The accused may present evidence in his behalf."cralaw virtua1aw library

    Under the rule, three things are enjoined of the trial court after a plea of guilty to a capital offense has been entered by the accused: (1) To conduct a searching inquiry into the voluntariness and full comprehension of the consequences of his plea; (2) To require the prosecution to present evidence to prove the guilt of the accused and the precise degree of his culpability; and (3) To inquire from the accused if he desires to present evidence on his behalf and allow him to do so if he desires. 15 This procedure is mandatory, and a judge who fails to observe it commits a grave abuse of discretion. 16 The rationale behind the rule is that the courts must proceed with more care where the possible punishment is in its severest form, namely death, for the reason that the execution of such a sentence is irrevocable and experience has shown that innocent persons have at times pleaded guilty. 17 The primordial purpose is to avoid improvident pleas of guilt on the part of an accused where grave crimes are involved since he might be admitting his guilt before the court and thus forfeit his life and liberty without having fully understood the meaning, significance and consequence of his plea. 18 Moreover, the requirement of taking further evidence would aid this Court on appellate review in determining the propriety or impropriety of the plea. 19

    To assist the trial judges in the proper conduct of "searching inquiry," the Court, in People v. Pastor, 20 collated the following guidelines which should be observed:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    1. Ascertain from the accused himself (a) how he was brought into the custody of the law; (b) whether he had the assistance of a competent counsel during the custodial and preliminary investigations; and (c) under what conditions he was detained and interrogated during the investigations. This is intended to rule out the possibility that the accused has been coerced or placed under a state of duress either by actual threats of physical harm coming from malevolent quarters 21 or simply because of the judge’s intimidating robes. 22

    2. Ask the defense counsel a series of questions as to whether he had conferred with, and completely explained to, the accused the meaning and consequences of a plea of guilty. 23

    3. Elicit information about the personality profile of the accused, such as his age, socio-economic status, and educational background, which may serve as a trustworthy index of his capacity to give a free and informed plea of guilty. 24

    4. Inform the accused the exact length of imprisonment or nature of the penalty under the law and the certainty that he will serve such sentence. For not infrequently, an accused pleads guilty in the hope of a lenient treatment or upon bad advice or because of promises of the authorities or parties of a lighter penalty should he admit guilt or express remorse. It is the duty of the judge to ensure that the accused does not labor under these mistaken impressions because a plea of guilty carries with it not only the admission of authorship of the crime proper but also of the aggravating circumstances attending it, that increase punishment.25cralaw:red

    5. Inquire if the accused knows the crime with which he is charged and fully explain to him the elements of the crime which is the basis of his indictment. 26 Failure of the court to do so would constitute a violation of his fundamental right to be informed of the precise nature of the accusation against him and a denial of his right to due process. 27

    6. All questions posed the accused should be in a language known and understood by the latter. 28

    7. The trial judge must satisfy himself that the accused, in pleading guilty, is truly guilty. The accused must be required to narrate the tragedy or reenact the crime or furnish its missing details. 29

    Tested with the above guidelines which were enunciated in earlier cases prior to the date of rendition of new assailed decision of the trial court, the questions propounded and the proceedings taken by the trial court were not sufficient to apprise appellant of the consequences of his plea of guilty.

    Appellant has made an improvident plea of guilty.

    First, there was no effort on the part of the presiding judge to comply with the guidelines enumerated above. While Atty. Capuno manifested to the trial court that appellant intimated to her the latter’s intention to withdraw his former plea of not guilty, the trial court did not inquire from Atty. Capuno whether she had conferred and explained to appellant the meaning and consequences of the latter’s plea of guilt. Further, the records do not show the age, socio-economic status as well as the educational attainment of the appellant to assist the court a quo as well as this Court in determining if appellant has full understanding and capacity to give a free and informed plea of guilty.

    Second, the records show that during the pre-trial conference, appellant disputed the ages of the victims. The trial judge should have pointed this out to appellant when he was re-arraigned. The trial judge should have required the prosecution to present its evidence on this matter considering that the true age of the victims would determine the nature of the crimes of rape and the proper imposition of the corresponding penalty. Although both qualifying circumstances of relationship and minority were alleged in the Informations, they must be proved during the trial just as the crime of rape.

    Third, appellant was not even asked why he had a change of heart and decided to plead guilty to the charges. The judge did not explain to him that in case of incestuous rape of a minor child, the penalty is death under the law and his plea of guilt would not under any circumstance affect or reduce his sentence.

    Fourth, the Judge should have asked appellant to recount what he exactly did to show that he fully understood the nature of the crimes filed against him. Moreover, as already stated, the trial judge failed to require the prosecution to present its evidence. We have consistently held that the taking of the testimony is the prudent and proper course to follow for the purpose of establishing not only the guilt but also the precise degree of culpability of the accused taking into account the presence of other possible aggravating or mitigating circumstances — and thereafter, to make the accused present his own evidence, if he is so minded, for the same purpose. 30 A trial is meant to be a safeguard against putting an innocent man in prison, and at the same time a guaranty that the guilty obtains his just due, thus:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    . . . the presentation of evidence should be required in order to preclude any room for reasonable doubt in the mind of the trial court, or the Supreme Court on review, as to the possibility that there might have been some misunderstanding on the part of the accused as to the nature of the charge to which he pleaded guilty, and to ascertain the circumstances attendant to the commission of the crime which justify or require the exercise of a greater or lesser degree of severity in the imposition of the prescribed penalties. 31

    It must be stressed that under the 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure, a conviction in capital offenses cannot rest alone on a plea of guilt. The prosecution evidence must be sufficient to sustain a judgment of conviction independently of the plea of guilt. 32

    We, therefore, cannot accept as valid the plea of guilty entered by the appellant to the three charges of rape. His re-arraignments as to the three charges are fatally flawed. The trial court erred in believing that the questions propounded to the appellant and the latter’s answers as well as the documentary exhibits offered by the People would aid it in determining whether the accused really and truly understood and comprehended the meaning, full significance and consequences of his plea.

    It likewise erred in allowing the prosecution to dispense with the testimonies of the complaining witnesses. As we have ruled, even if the trial court is satisfied that the plea of guilty was entered with full knowledge of its meaning and consequences, the introduction of evidence to establish the guilt and the degree of culpability of the accused is still required. Judges therefore must be cautioned, toward this end, against the demands of sheer speed in disposing of cases, for their mission after all, and as has been time and again put, is to see that justice is done. 33

    Finally, we note that the decision of the trial court failed to express the facts of the case as mandated under Section 14, Art VIII of the Constitution which provides:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Sec. 14. No decision shall be rendered by any court without expressing therein clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is based.

    WHEREFORE, the judgment appealed from is hereby SET ASIDE. The case is REMANDED for re-arraignment and thereafter, should the accused enter a plea of "guilty," the Regional Trial Court (Branch 34), Calamba, Laguna, is directed, with reasonable dispatch, to receive the evidence for the prosecution as well as that of the defense, if appellant opts to do so.

    Presiding Judge Antonio M. Eugenio, Jr. is admonished not only to comply with the guidelines of this Court in the conduct of "searching inquiry," but also with the entire provision of Section 3, Rule 116 of the Rules of Court and with the provisions of Section 14, Article VIII of the Constitution.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    SO ORDERED.

    Davide, Jr., C.J., Bellosillo, Puno, Vitug, Panganiban, Quisumbing, Ynares-Santiago, Sandoval-Gutierrez, Carpio, Corona, Carpio-Morales, Azcuna and Tinga, JJ., concur.

    Callejo, Sr., J., is on leave.

    Endnotes:



    **. Accused-appellant manifested that his correct name is Rufino Ernas y Villanueva and not Rufino Ernas y Florentino as it appears in the appealed decision; that Florentino is the middle name of his wife. This Court noted said Manifestation in a Resolution dated March 28, 2000, Rollo, p. 41. The corrected middle name is now reflected in this decision.

    1. Penned by Judge Antonio M. Eugenio, Jr.

    2. Records, Volume I, pp. 72–73; Rollo, pp. 61–62.

    3. Filed by Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Miguel Noel T. Ocampo.

    4. Records, Volume I, p. 7.

    5. Records, Volume II, p. 5.

    6. Records, Volume III, p. 3.

    7. Records, Volume I, p. 11; Records, Volume II, p. 7; Records, Volume III, p. 5.

    8. Records, Volume I, p. 19.

    9. Id. at pp. 41–43.

    10. TSN dated January 13, 1999, p. 2.

    11. Spelled Masile in the Informations.

    12. TSN dated January 13, 1999, pp. 3–4.

    13. Records, Volume I, pp. 61–62.

    14. Rollo, p. 47.

    15. People v. Nadera, Jr., 324 SCRA 490 (2000); People v. Camay, 152 SCRA 401 (1987); People v. de Luna, 174 SCRA 204 (1989).

    16. People v. Dayot, 187 SCRA 637 (1990), citing People v. Camay, supra, People v. de Luna, supra.

    17. People v. Pastor, 379 SCRA 181, 189–190 (2002).

    18. People v. Olarte, 365 SCRA 635 (2001) citing People v. Samontañez, supra; People v. Albert, 251 SCRA 136 (1995).

    19. People v. Albert, supra.

    20. People v. Pastor, supra note 17.

    21. People v. Aranzado, 365 SCRA 649, 661 (2001); People v. Estomaca, 256 SCRA 421, 437 (1996).

    22. People v. Pastor, supra note 17 at p. 189.

    23. Estomaca case, supra.

    24. People v. Bello, 316 SCRA 804, 814 (1999); People v. Alicando, 251 SCRA 293, 307 (1995).

    25. People v. Dayot, 187 SCRA 637, 642 (1990).

    26. People v. Alberto Chua, 366 SCRA 283, 294 (2001).

    27. People v. Pastor, supra note 17.

    28. People v. Alicando, 251 SCRA 293 (1995).

    29. People v. Albert, 251 SCRA 136 (1995).

    30. People v. Dayot, supra.

    31. Ibid.

    32. People v. Pastor, supra, note 17, at p. 196.

    33. People v. Dayot, supra.

    G.R. Nos. 137256-58   August 6, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUFINO V. ERNAS


    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