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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
 

   
June-2003 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 125297 June 6, 2003 - ELVIRA YU OH v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143675 June 9, 2003 - SPS. ROMEO and EMILY GUDA v. ALAN A. LEYNES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 145338 June 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ZALDY P. LABIANO

  • A.C. No. 4738 June 10, 2003 - VIOLETA FLORES ALITAGTAG v. VIRGILIO R. GARCIA

  • Bar Matter No. 1036 June 10, 2003 - DONNA MARIE S. AGUIRRE v. EDWIN L. RANA

  • A.M. No. 99-6-81-MTCC June 10, 2003 - REPORT ON THE JUDICIAL AUDIT CONDUCTED IN THE MTCC OF PALAYAN CITY

  • A.M. No. MTJ-99-1203 June 10, 2003 - NELIA A. ZIGA v. RAMON A. AREJOLA

  • A.M. No. P-96-1214 June 10, 2003 - BERNARDINO M. FABIAN, ET AL. v. LEILA (LAILA) M. GALO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1751 June 10, 2003 - ANDREA D. DOMINGO v. ERNESTO P. PAGAYATAN

  • G.R. No. 111159 June 10, 2003 - NORDIC ASIA LIMITED, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116463 June 10, 2003 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. thru the DPWH v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119293 June 10, 2003 - SAN MIGUEL CORP. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123054 June 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FAUSTO B. OBEDO

  • G.R. No. 125778 June 10, 2003 - INTER-ASIA INVESTMENTS INDUSTRIES, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125838 June 10, 2003 - DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126281 June 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SERGIO A. CARATAO

  • G.R. No. 131842 June 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DIONISIO JACKSON

  • G.R. No. 139561 June 10, 2003 - SPS. FEDERICO & SARAH ATUEL, ET AL. v. SPS. BERNABE & CONCHITA VALDEZ

  • G.R. No. 141115 June 10, 2003 - POSADAS-MOYA and ASSOC. CONST. CO. v. GREENFIELD DEV’T. CORP.

  • G.R. No. 142467 June 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ABELARDO DE CASTRO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143076 June 10, 2003 - PHILIPPINE RURAL ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES ASSOCIATION, ET AL. v. SECRETARY, DILG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143125 June 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL .vs. DIOSDADO R. CORIAL

  • G.R. No. 144157 June 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LOWELL SALUDES

  • G.R. Nos. 144523-26 June 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FLORENTINO QUIJANO SR.

  • G.R. Nos. 145452-53 June 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LARRY CARITATIVO

  • G.R. Nos. 146749 & 147938 June 10, 2003 - CHINA BANKING CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 149154 June 10, 2003 - RODOLFO S. DE JESUS, ET AL. v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT

  • G.R. No. 150611 June 10, 2003 - JACINTO SAGUID v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 153660 June 10, 2003 - PRUDENCIO BANTOLINO, ET AL. v. COCA-COLA BOTTLERS PHILS.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-02-1724 June 12, 2003 - RODOLFO O. MACACHOR v. ROLINDO D. BELDIA JR.

  • G.R. No. 138541 June 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSE LARRY COLONIA

  • G.R. No. 148327 June 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO P. DESALISA

  • A.M. No. P-03-1679 June 16, 2003 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. BEL EDUARDO F. NITAFAN, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. SCC-03-08 June 16, 2003 - ERMELYN A. LIMBONA v. CASAN ALI LIMBONA

  • G.R. No. 95901 June 16, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANTONIO B. SIBONGA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138692 June 16, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. OSCAR AREO

  • G.R. Nos. 141280-81 June 16, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RICKY L. SODSOD, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144589 June 16, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JUANITO PACUANCUAN

  • G.R. No. 149683 June 16, 2003 - ILOILO TRADERS FINANCE INC. v. HEIRS OF OSCAR SORIANO JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149750 June 16, 2003 - AURORA ALCANTARA-DAUS v. SPS. HERMOSO & SOCORRO DE LEON

  • A.M. No. MTJ-96-1106 June 17, 2003 - CELESTINA B. CORPUZ v. ORLANDO ANA F. SIAPNO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-02-1710 June 17, 2003 - EVANGELINA C. SAMSON v. JULES A. MEDIA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1784 June 17, 2003 - MANUEL M. ROSALES v. ROMULO S.G. VILLANUEVA

  • G.R. No. 123146 June 17, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALONA BULI-E, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128225 June 17, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANTE A. NARRA

  • G.R. No. 137042 June 17, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIPE MUSA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144225 June 17, 2003 - SPS. GODOFREDO and CARMEN ALFREDO v. SPS. ARMANDO and ADELIA BORRAS

  • G.R. No. 145993 June 17, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUFINO I. MALLARI

  • G.R. No. 148668 June 17, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TONY L. PEDRONAN

  • G.R. No. 151440 June 17, 2003 - HEIRS OF SIMPLICIO SANTIAGO v. HEIRS OF MARIANO E. SANTIAGO

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1493 June 18, 2003 - RENE BOY GOMEZ v. MANUEL D. PATALINGHUG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123161 June 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LIBERATO SOLAMILLO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125305 June 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BERNABE MONTEMAYOR

  • G.R. Nos. 127756-58 June 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENJAMIN P. MEDINA SR.

  • G.R. Nos. 131926 & 138991 June 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MICHAEL U. PAGALASAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134981 June 18, 2003 - FREDELITO P. VITTO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 135857 June 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ADRIANO ARCA

  • G.R. Nos. 140439-40 June 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIX HERMOSA

  • G.R. No. 144975 June 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. AMADOR SAPIGAO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149147 June 18, 2003 - FELIX BAROT v. COMELEC CITY BOARD OF CANVASSERS OF TANJAY CITY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 150327 June 18, 2003 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. MARILYN A. PERALTA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. 01-6-314-RTC June 19, 2003 - RE: REQUEST OF JUDGE ROBERTO S. JAVELLANA, RTC-BR. 59, SAN CARLOS CITY

  • A.M. No. MTJ-92-710 June 19, 2003 - PEDRITA M. HARAYO v. JUDGE MAMERTO Y. COLIFLORES

  • G.R. No. 154411 June 19, 2003 - NATIONAL HOUSING AUTHORITY v. HEIRS OF ISIDRO GUIVELONDO, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-03-1701 June 20, 2003 - BALTAZAR LL. FIRMALO v. MELINDA C. QUIERREZ

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1594 June 20, 2003 - PASTOR SALUD v. FLORENTINO M. ALUMBRES

  • G.R. No. 122766 June 20, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIPE ESPONILLA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127275 June 20, 2003 - PHILIPPINE COMMERCIAL INTERNATIONAL BANK v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130759 June 20, 2003 - ASIATRUST DEVELOPMENT BANK v. CONCEPTS TRADING CORP.

  • G.R. No. 139332 June 20, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. NOLI A. NOVIO

  • G.R. No. 140698 June 20, 2003 - ROGELIO ENGADA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142503 June 20, 2003 - ROMUALDO C. PEREZ v. APOLONIO CRUZ

  • G.R. No. 142820 June 20, 2003 - WOLFGANG O. ROEHR v. MARIA CARMEN D. RODRIGUEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143604 June 20, 2003 - PRISCO LANZADERAS, ET AL. v. AMETHYST SECURITY AND GENERAL SERVICES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146595 June 20, 2003 - CARLO A. TAN v. KAAKBAY FINANCE CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152436 June 20, 2003 - NPC v. SPS. IGMEDIO CHIONG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152766 June 20, 2003 - LILIA SANCHEZ v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 140872 June 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PABLITO T. INGGO

  • G.R. Nos. 142683-84 June 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SERGIO JOROLAN

  • G.R. Nos. 143760-63 June 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO B. MANLUCTAO

  • G.R. No. 144018 June 23, 2003 - FAR EAST BANK AND TRUST CO. v. TOMAS TOH, SR., ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 3849 June 25, 2003 - FELICIDAD VDA. DE BERNARDO v. JOSE R. RESTAURO

  • G.R. Nos. 105416-17, 111863 & 143715 June 25, 2003 - PHILIPP BROTHERS OCEANIC, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122109 June 25, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESUS TORIO

  • G.R. No. 123896 June 25, 2003 - ROSALINDA SERRANO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126113 June 25, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANTONIO B. GUIHAMA

  • G.R. No. 135323 June 25, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDELMA LAGATA

  • G.R. No. 136773 June 25, 2003 - MILAGROS MANONGSONG v. FELOMENA JUMAQUIO ESTIMO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146018 June 25, 2003 - EDGAR COKALIONG SHIPPING LINES v. UCPB GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY

  • G.R. Nos. 147589 & 147613 June 25, 2003 - ANG BAGONG BAYANI-OFW LABOR PARTY v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-01-1472 June 26, 2003 - ADRIANO V. ALBIOR v. DONATO A. AUGUIS

  • A.M. No. P-02-1544 June 26, 2003 - ERNESTO LUMANTA v. WILFREDO M. TUPAS

  • A.M. No. RTJ-02-1670 June 26, 2003 - SPS. CAROLINA AND VILLAMOR GRAGERA v. PABLO B. FRANCISCO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-02-1736 June 26, 2003 - SPS. ARTURO and JOSEFINA DE GUZMAN v. FERNANDO VIL PAMINTUAN

  • A.M. No. RTJ-99-1519 June 26, 2003 - GREGORIO LIMPOT LUMAPAS v. CAMILO E. TAMIN

  • G.R. No. 137296 June 26, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DIONISIO Q. VICENTE

  • G.R. No. 140967 June 26, 2003 - EMERITA ACOSTA v. EMILIO ENRIQUEZ

  • G.R. No. 141863 June 26, 2003 - BASILIO RIVERA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144090 June 26, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MICHAEL S. MAGUING

  • G.R. No. 145305 June 26, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REDANTE C. SANTOS

  • G.R. No. 145731 June 26, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GREGORIO GERAL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148730 June 26, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSE D. DELA CRUZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 154705 June 26, 2003 - REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA, ET AL. v. JAMES VINZON

  • G.R. No. 121828 June 27, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RENE GAYOT PILOLA

  • G.R. Nos. 124830-31 June 27, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GERARDO P. EVINA

  • G.R. No. 138993 June 27, 2003 - PHILIPPINE VETERANS BANK v. SANTIAGO G. ESTRELLA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 139217–24 June 27, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NELSON ESPERANZA

  • G.R. No. 143643 June 27, 2003 - NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION v. SPS. JOSE & MA. CLARA CAMPOS

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. 148327   June 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO P. DESALISA

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    THIRD DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 148327. June 12, 2003.]

    PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. RENATO DESALISA Y PAYOS (At Large) and ROMEO DESALISA Y PAYOS, Accused, ROMEO DESALISA Y PAYOS, Accused-Appellant.

    D E C I S I O N


    PUNO, J.:


    One usual drinking spree on the night of July 7, 1996 in Carmona, Cavite turned into a bloody mess for Richard Oracion, a 40-year-old construction worker who bled to his untimely death due to multiple stab wounds.

    On review is the Decision 1 of the Regional Trial Court of Bacoor, Cavite in Crim. Case No. B-97-33, dated April 30, 1999, finding appellant Romeo Desalisa y Payos guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder, and imposing upon him the penalty of imprisonment of reclusion perpetua.

    In an Information 2 dated January 13, 1997, Accused Renato Desalisa y Payos and Romeo Desalisa y Payos were charged with the crime of Murder, committed as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    That on or about July 7, 1996 in the Municipality of Carmona, Province of Cavite, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, then armed with a bolo, conspiring, confederating and mutually helping one another, with intent to kill, with treachery and evident premeditation and taking advantage of superior strength, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, attack, assault and stab one RICHARD ORACION y LOPEZ with the use of said bolo, thereby inflicting upon the latter multiple stab wounds on the different parts of his body which caused his instantaneous death, to the damage and prejudice of the heirs of said Richard Oracion.

    CONTRARY TO LAW.

    Appellant Romeo Desalisa y Payos pleaded not guilty to the offense charged and was tried for the crime of murder, while co-accused Renato Desalisa y Payos remained at-large throughout the duration of the trial.

    Accused Renato Desalisa and Romeo Desalisa are brothers. The victim Richard Oracion is their neighbor at Silverio, Cabilang Baybay, Carmona, Cavite.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The evidence for the prosecution shows that at around 5:50 p.m. of July 7, 1996, the victim and some of his co-workers, including accused Renato and one named Teddy had a drinking spree in front of the victim’s house at the Silverio Compound, Cabilang Baybay, Carmona, Cavite. Later, the victim escorted Teddy to the latter’s home nearby. Renato followed suit. Ladella, the victim’s wife, also joined them at Teddy’s house where the drinking continued. While drinking, the victim and Renato had a heated exchange of words regarding each other’s capability to do each other’s job, they being co-workers at the Fil-Estate. 3 Before the argument could turn for the worse, Renato went home. In his mother’s house, he called Madge Oracion, the victim’s son, on the pretext that he would place his bet in a numbers game called "ending." Once Madge was inside the house, Renato did not place any bet. Instead, he twisted Madge’s arm who managed to free himself from Renato’s grip. Immediately, Madge reported to the victim the incident. Enraged, the victim with his wife rushed to Renato’s mother’s house and confronted Renato. Armed with a bladed weapon, Renato suddenly came out of the house and stabbed the victim in the stomach. A few moments later, Accused Romeo joined the fray and stabbed the victim at his back. 4

    Severely injured, the victim ran away but was followed by Renato and Romeo who continued hitting him with their weapons. Ladella who rushed to the help of her husband was likewise hacked by Romeo, hitting her between her eyes and on her right hand. 5 As Romeo was poised to hit Ladella again, she ran for safety and found refuge in the house of a certain Shirley, 6 thus leaving the helpless victim to the mercy of Renato and Romeo. They were later joined by another brother Ramon who continued ganging up on him. 7

    Ladella shouted for help but nobody came to her aid. She looked for her husband as she lost sight of him when she ran away. She found him later sprawled on the ground behind their house. 8 Someone helped her bring her husband to the Pagamutang Bayan in Carmona where he was pronounced dead on arrival. 9

    Dr. Erwin Escal who conducted the post-mortem examination on the body of Richard testified that the victim died due to hypovolemic shock secondary to multiple stab wounds. The victim suffered from blood loss caused by the stab wounds which produced the shock that led to his death. The multiple stab wounds and hacking wounds caused the fatal injuries sustained by the victim, especially those that penetrated his abdominal cavity, liver, intestines and their blood vessels. He deduced that two different instruments, a bolo and a knife, were used in inflicting the blows, judging from the size, shape and depth of the wounds sustained. He also called as "defense wounds" those found in the upper extremities of the victim, i.e., palm and forearms, and opined that these came from a frontal attack and the victim’s parrying of the blows of the assailant. The autopsy report 10 by Dr. Escal, dated July 8, 1996, reveals that the victim sustained one abrasion and 21 stab wounds inflicted through the use of bladed weapons. 11

    The defense presents a different version, which is as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Guadalupe Payos Desalisa, mother of the accused, was inside her house with her son Renato. Richard and his wife Ladella, together with their son Madge, suddenly appeared and were shouting. Guadalupe, followed by Renato, met Richard at the door. In an instant, Richard drew a bolo from his back and thrusted the same towards Renato. To prevent his mother from being hit, Renato pushed her but her head hit a chair and she lost consciousness. 12

    At that same time, appellant Romeo was in his own house attending to their children when he heard shouts coming from the outside. He went outside and saw Renato and Richard arguing in front of his mother’s house. With his wife Myrna, they immediately proceeded to his mother’s house. On their way, they met Pedro Diaz alias "Payat," brother of Ladella, together with a certain Egay. As Diaz and Romeo drew near, Diaz swung his bolo towards Romeo who was able to wrest the same from Diaz. Romeo threw the bolo in his yard, and proceeded to his mother’s house. Upon reaching and finding no one in his mother’s house, Romeo and his wife went back home. Romeo was later arrested at around 7:00 p.m., that same evening of July 7, 1996. 13

    The defense assails the trial court’s judgment of conviction. It argues that there were two (2) incidents that simultaneously occurred on July 7, 1996 at Silvestre Compound, Cabilang Baybay, Carmona, Cavite, at about 6:30 p.m. The first is the killing of Richard Oracion allegedly committed by accused Renato Desalisa who remains at-large as of the conclusion of the trial, and second is the altercation between accused-appellant Romeo Desalisa and Pedro Diaz. The defense submits that accused-appellant did not participate in the killing of Richard Oracion because at nearly that same time, he was defending himself from Pedro Diaz. 14

    The Solicitor General, on the other hand, counters that accused-appellant Romeo Desalisa’s guilt has been sufficiently established by the positive testimony of two (2) eyewitnesses. These two (2) eyewitnesses are the victim’s wife Ladella Oracion and their son, Madge Oracion. 15

    Appellant Romeo Desalisa’s defense is that of denial. In support of his defense, he alleged that he was inside his house when the incident happened. He said he was then preparing milk for his children when he heard noises coming from outside his house. He immediately went out of the house and proceeded to his mother’s house where he saw Renato and Richard engaged in an argument at the front door. While on his way to his mother’s house, Pedro Diaz blocked his path and attempted to hack him with a bolo. He wrestled the bolo away from Diaz and threw it in his yard and proceeded to his mother’s house. Nobody was there when he reached it.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    This Court has consistently held that positive identification cannot be overcome by alibi and denial. 16 In the case at bar, two (2) relatives of the victim, namely his wife Ladella and his son Madge, have positively identified appellant Romeo and accused Renato as the ones who attacked, hacked and stabbed the hapless victim to death. No evidence was presented showing ill-motive on the part of Ladella and her son to point to Romeo as one of the perpetrators of the crime charged. In the absence of a proof of improper motive, their testimonies are not affected by their relationship to the victim. 17 Relationship of the prosecution witnesses to the victim does not necessarily categorize the former as biased and interested and thus tarnish their testimonies. 18 In fact, the witnesses’ relationship to the victim makes their testimonies even more reliable. It is highly doubtful that the wife and son of the victim would aid in the prosecution of the appellant simply because they wanted someone, i.e., anyone, to answer for the murder of their loved one. Indeed, it can not be lightly supposed that relatives of the victim would callously violate their conscience to avenge the death of a dear one by blaming it on persons whom they believe to be innocent thereof. 19

    The continuing case law is that for the defense of alibi to prosper, the accused must prove not only that he was at some other place when the crime was committed, but also that it was physically impossible for him to be at the scene of the crime or its immediate vicinity through clear and convincing evidence. 20 In the instant case, appellant was admittedly within the immediate vicinity of the place of the crime. He was in his house when the incident happened, and that he immediately went out when he heard the noises coming from his mother’s house. It was at this time when the hapless victim was stabbed and hacked to death. On cross-examination, he stated that when he went out of his house, he saw Ladella Oracion, wife of the victim, coming out from his mother’s yard and shouting for help. He was then "more or less eleven (11) meters away" from where he saw Ladella. 21 Thus, it was not physically impossible for him to be at the place of the crime and commit it. His alibi must fail.

    The defense also makes much fuss of the alleged inconsistent and contradictory statements of prosecution witness Ladella Oracion. It impugns the credibility of witness Ladella, and argues that she is "capable of telling a lie" as shown in the discrepancy between her affidavit and testimony on the identities of the persons engaged in the argument during their drinking spree, whether they were the victim and Renato, or Teddy and Renato; and her alleged inconsistent statements during her cross-examination on which hand, right or left, made a thrust when accused-appellant hacked her. 22 These alleged discrepancies dwell on minor and trivial matters which do not impair the integrity of the evidence for the prosecution as a whole nor reflect on the honesty of the witness. They can even enhance the truthfulness of her testimony as they erase any suspicion of it being rehearsed. 23

    We likewise uphold the ruling of the trial court that the killing was attended by treachery as the victim was caught unaware of the unexpected attack by the two accused. The attack was sudden and the victim was unable to defend himself. The victim sustained twenty-one (21) stab wounds. Of these wounds, wound no. 9 penetrated the right lobe of the liver; wound no. 10 penetrated and severed the liver and stomach; and wound no. 11 penetrated and severed the intestines and their blood vessels. In addition, as shown in the chart 24 prepared by Dr. Erwin M. Escal who conducted the autopsy, the victim sustained injuries not only in the frontal area but at the back of the body as well, particularly wounds nos. 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. The victim also sustained injuries at the back of his left arm (wounds nos. 18 and 19) and at the back of both legs (wounds nos. 21 and 22). Ladella Oracion testified that while Renato was frontally assaulting the victim with a bladed weapon, Romeo was stabbing the victim at the back. 25 Hence, it was clearly impossible on the part of the victim to defend himself. The circumstance of taking advantage of superior strength is absorbed in treachery. 26

    Likewise, the trial court is correct in ruling that the qualifying circumstance of evident premeditation, as alleged in the Information cannot be appreciated because of the absence of direct evidence of planning and preparation to kill the victim. 27

    We come to the award of damages. We reduce the award of the trial court from P42,500.00 to P19,050.00 because it is only the latter amount which is supported by receipts. 28 The total amount of P19,050.00 consisted of P16,300.00 for funeral services (Loyola de Mesa Funeral Parlor), P2,400.00 for interment services (South Felipe Parish Cemetery), and P350.00 for church services (South Felipe Parish Church). 29 Lastly, we reduce the award of moral damages and civil indemnity from P100,000.00 to P50,000.00 each. 30

    IN VIEW THEREOF, the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Bacoor, Cavite in Crim. Case No. B-97-33, dated April 30, 1999, finding accused-appellant Romeo Desalisa y Payos guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder, and imposing upon him the penalty of imprisonment of reclusion perpetua, there being no aggravating nor mitigating circumstances, is hereby AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that the accused-appellant is ordered to pay the heirs of the victim the amounts of P19,050.00 as actual damages, P50,000.00 as moral damages, and P50,000.00 as civil indemnity ex delicto.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    SO ORDERED.

    Panganiban, Sandoval-Gutierrez, Corona and Carpio Morales, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Records, pp. 140-147.

    2. Id. at 28.

    3. Rollo, pp. 28-29; TSN, 04 April 1997, pp. 10-11.

    4. Id. at 29; Id. at 12-13.

    5. TSN, 04 April 1997, p. 15.

    6. Rollo, p. 29; TSN, 04 April 1997, p. 17.

    7. Id. at 30; Id. at 18.

    8. TSN, 04 April 1997, p. 19.

    9. Rollo, p. 30; TSN, 04 April 1997, p. 20.

    10. Exhibit "A," Records, p. 41.

    11. Rollo, p. 28; TSN, 19 March 1997, pp. 9-19.

    12. Id. at 30; TSN, 28 January 1998, pp. 4-5.

    13. Id. at 31; TSN, 20 March 1998, pp. 3-6.

    14. Rollo, pp. 52, 53, 59.

    15. Id. at 101.

    16. People v. Panado, 348 SCRA 679, 688 (2000).

    17. Tecson v. Sandiganbayan, 318 SCRA 80; People v. Capillo, 319 SCRA 223; People v. Biñas, 320 SCRA 22; People v. Enoja, 321 SCRA 7; Naval v. Panday, 321 SCRA 290; People v. Durado, 321 SCRA 498.

    18. People v. Villanueva, G.R. No. 95851, 01 March 1995.

    19. People v. Boniao, 217 SCRA 653 (1993).

    20. People v. Abundo, 349 SCRA 577 (2001).

    21. TSN, 20 March 1998, p. 7.

    22. TSN, 18 April 1997, pp. 6-8.

    23. People v. Villanueva, G.R. No. 114266, 04 December 1996.

    24. Exh. "B," Records, p. 42.

    25. TSN, 04 April 1997, pp. 13-14.

    26. People v. de Leon, 248 SCRA 609 (1995).

    27. People v. Salvador, 224 SCRA 819 (1993).

    28. People v. Riglos, G.R. No. 134763, 04 September 2000.

    29. TSN, 04 April 1997, p. 28.

    30. People v. Ragundiaz, G.R. No. 124977, 22 June 2000; People v. Diolata, G.R. No. 144933, 03 July 2002.

    G.R. No. 148327   June 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO P. DESALISA


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