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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
 

   
October-2003 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.M. No. P-02-1548 October 1, 2003 - ROBERT E. VILLAROS v. RODOLFO ORPIANO

  • A.M. Nos. P-03-1697 & P-03-1699 October 1, 2003 - JOCELYN S. PAISTE v. APRONIANO V. MAMENTA

  • G.R. Nos. 133066-67 October 1, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO H. LAMBID

  • G.R. No. 137554 October 1, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOHN MAMARION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148198 October 1, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ELIZABETH CORPUZ

  • G.R. Nos. 150630-31 October 1, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JAIME OLAYBAR

  • G.R. No. 152176 October 1, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGER D. DELA CRUZ

  • G.R. No. 154130 October 1, 2003 - BENITO ASTORGA v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 156034 October 1, 2003 - DELSAN TRANSPORT LINES, INC. v. C & A CONSTRUCTION, INC.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1803 October 2, 2003 - VICTOR A. ASLARONA v. ANTONIO T. ECHAVEZ

  • G.R. No. 128882 October 2, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOEL AYUDA

  • G.R. No. 145337 October 2, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LEE HOI MING

  • G.R. No. 150382 October 2, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDDIE BASITE

  • A.C. No. 6061 October 3, 2003 - RAUL C. SANCHEZ v. SALUSTINO SOMOSO

  • A.M. MTJ-00-1311 October 3, 2003 - SILVESTRE H. BELLO III v. AUGUSTUS C. DIAZ, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-02-1547 October 3, 2003 - LEOPOLDO V. CAÑETE v. NELSON MANLOSA

  • A.M. No. P-02-1550 October 3, 2003 - AMELIA L. AVELLANOSA v. JOSE Z. CAMASO

  • G.R. No. 118375 October 3, 2003 - CELESTINA T. NAGUIAT v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122134 October 3, 2003 - ROMANA LOCQUIAO VALENCIA, ET AL. v. BENITO A. LOCQUIAO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143388 October 6, 2003 - SPS. ROLANDO and ROSITA CRUZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146569 October 6, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOHN NEQUIA

  • A.M. Nos. P-03-1744–45 October 7, 2003 - FE ALBANO MADRID v. ANTONIO T. QUEBRAL

  • G.R. No. 135377 October 7, 2003 - DSR-SENATOR LINES, ET AL. v. FEDERAL PHOENIX ASSURANCE CO., INC.

  • G.R. No. 149453 October 7, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL., ET AL. v. PANFILO M. LACSON

  • G.R. No. 149717 October 7, 2003 - EASTERN ASSURANCE & SURETY CORP. v. LTFRB

  • G.R. No. 155258 October 7, 2003 - CONRADO S. CANO v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • A.C. No. 4881 October 8, 2003 - RAU SHENG MAO v. ANGELES A. VELASCO

  • G.R. No. 120864 October 8, 2003 - MANUEL T. DE GUIA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136845 October 8, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GUILLERMO FLORENDO

  • G.R. No. 145166 October 8, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALBERTO ROMERO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146118 October 8, 2003 - SAMUEL SAMARCA v. ARC-MEN INDUSTRIES, INC.

  • G.R. Nos. 148056-61 October 8, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSE DE CASTRO

  • G.R. No. 149420 October 8, 2003 - SONNY LO v. KJS ECO-FORMWORK SYSTEM PHIL., INC.

  • G.R. No. 152776 October 8, 2003 - HENRY S. OAMINAL v. PABLITO M. CASTILLO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 153751 October 8, 2003 - MID PASIG LAND DEVELOPMENT CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 154579 October 8, 2003 - MA. LOURDES R. DE GUZMAN v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • A.M. No. P-96-1179 October 10, 2003 - WINSTON C. CASTELO v. CRISTOBAL C. FLORENDO

  • G.R. No. 110604 October 10, 2003 - BUENAVENTURA S. TENORIO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140917 October 10, 2003 - MENELIETO A. OLANDA v. LEONARDO G. BUGAYONG, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-02-1640 October 13, 2003 - SAAD ANJUM v. CESAR L. ABACAHIN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122765 October 13, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDGARDO L. VARGAS

  • G.R. No. 141942 October 13, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JIMMY PONCE JAMON

  • G.R. No. 143842 October 13, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MANGI L. ADAM

  • G.R. No. 144662 October 13, 2003 - SPS. EFREN AND DIGNA MASON, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1459 October 14, 2003 - IMELDA Y. MADERADA v. ERNESTO H. MEDIODEA

  • A.M. No. P-03-1674 October 14, 2003 - PABLO B. FRANCISCO v. OLIVIA M. LAUREL

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1805 October 14, 2003 - TEODORA A. RUIZ v. ROLANDO G. HOW

  • G.R. No. 153157 October 14, 2003 - PHILIPPINE AIRLINES v. ARTHUR B. TONGSON

  • A.M. No. RTJ-02-1697 October 15, 2003 - EUGENIO K. CHAN v. JOSE S. MAJADUCON

  • A.M. No. RTJ-02-1699 October 15, 2003 - VERNETTE UMALI-PACO, ET AL. v. REINATO G. QUILALA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1808 October 15, 2003 - RADELIA SY, ET AL. v. ANTONIO FINEZA

  • G.R. Nos. 123144, 123207 & 123536 October 15, 2003 - PABLO P. BURGOS, ET AL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126119 October 15, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. GILDO B. PELOPERO PNP

  • G.R. No. 130662 October 15, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SERGIO ABON

  • G.R. No. 138364 October 15, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGELIO VILLANUEVA

  • G.R. No. 142381 October 15, 2003 - PHILIPPINE BLOOMING MILLS, INC., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142595 October 15, 2003 - RACHEL C. CELESTIAL v. JESSE CACHOPERO

  • G.R. Nos. 148139-43 October 15, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. HERMENIO CANOY

  • G.R. No. 156273 October 15, 2003 - HEIRS OF TIMOTEO MORENO, ET AL. v. MACTAN-CEBU INT’L. AIRPORT AUTHORITY

  • A.M. No. SCC-00-6-P October 16, 2003 - RE: Ma. Corazon M. Molo

  • A.M. No. P-02-1592 October 16, 2003 - LUZITA ALPECHE v. EXPEDITO B. BATO

  • G.R. No. 141074 October 16, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NORLY LIBRADO

  • G.R. No. 144881 October 16, 2003 - BETTY T. CHUA v. ABSOLUTE MNGT. CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 147650-52 October 16, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO S. PEPITO

  • G.R. No. 152492 October 16, 2003 - PALMA DEVELOPMENT CORP. v. MUN. OF MALANGAS

  • G.R. Nos. 153991-92 October 16, 2003 - ANWAR BERUA BALINDONG v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-01-1475 October 17, 2003 - MANUEL R. AQUINO v. JOCELYN C. FERNANDEZ

  • G.R. No. 131399 October 17, 2003 - ANGELITA AMPARO GO v. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 133759-60 October 17, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LEONITO LORENZO

  • G.R. Nos. 148673-75 October 17, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FLORENCIO R. ABANILLA

  • G.R. No. 150286 October 17, 2003 - ELCEE FARMS, INC., ET AL. v. PAMPILO SEMILLANO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142885 October 22, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILLIAM TIU, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1368 October 23, 2003 - JOSE GODOFREDO M. NAUI v. MARCIANO C. MAURICIO, SR.

  • G.R. No. 120409 October 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILLIAMSON PICKRELL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120670 October 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. HEDISHI SUZUKI

  • G.R. No. 125689 October 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANTONIO SATIOQUIA

  • G.R. No. 127153 October 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SATUR G. APOSAGA

  • G.R. No. 132788 October 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ISAIAS FERNANDEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134485 October 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. OSCAR PEREZ

  • G.R. Nos. 134573-75 October 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VICENTE BINARAO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136849 October 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NESTOR A. CODERES

  • G.R. No. 138456 October 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROLANDO P. DEDUYO

  • G.R. No. 140247 October 23, 2003 - ALEX ASUNCION, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143252 October 23, 2003 - CEBU MARINE BEACH RESORT, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 146368-69 October 23, 2003 - MADELEINE MENDOZA-ONG v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146608 October 23, 2003 - SPS. CONSTANTE & AZUCENA FIRME v. BUKAL ENTERPRISES AND DEV’T. CORP.

  • G.R. No. 147369 October 23, 2003 - SPS. PATRICK and RAFAELA JOSE v. SPS. HELEN and ROMEO BOYON

  • G.R. No. 147549 October 23, 2003 - JESUS DELA ROSA, ET AL. v. SANTIAGO CARLOS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149149 October 23, 2003 - ERNESTO SYKI v. SALVADOR BEGASA

  • G.R. No. 149725 October 23, 2003 - OSCAR MAGNO v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. Nos. 150493-95 October 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CIRILO MACABATA

  • G.R. No. 150946 October 23, 2003 - MUNICIPAL BOARD OF CANVASSERS OF GLAN, ET AL. v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152135 October 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARCOS GIALOLO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152716 October 23, 2003 - ELNA MERCADO-FEHR v. BRUNO FEHR

  • G.R. Nos. 154796-97 October 23, 2003 - RAYMUNDO A. BAUTISTA v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 155692 October 23, 2003 - PHIVIDEC INDUSTRIAL AUTHORITY, ET AL. v. CAPITOL STEEL CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 155717 October 23, 2003 - ALBERTO JARAMILLA v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1586 October 24, 2003 - THELMA C. BALDADO v. ARNULFO O. BUGTAS

  • G.R. No. 119775 October 24, 2003 - JOHN HAY PEOPLES ALTERNATIVE COALITION, ET AL. v. VICTOR LIM, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119847 October 24, 2003 - JENNY ZACARIAS v. NATIONAL POLICE COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137597 October 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JASON S. NAVARRO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141615 October 24, 2003 - MAC ADAMS METAL ENGINEERING WORKERS UNION-INDEPENDENT, ET AL. v. MAC ADAMS METAL ENGINEERING, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144439 October 24, 2003 - SOUTHEAST ASIA SHIPPING CORP. v. SEAGULL MARITIME CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148120 October 24, 2003 - RODRIGO QUIRAO, ET AL. v. LYDIA QUIRAO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148597 October 24, 2003 - GRACE F. MUNSAYAC-DE VILLA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152285 October 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSE OBESO

  • G.R. Nos. 152589 and 152758 October 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANTONIO MENDOZA

  • G.R. No. 153828 October 24, 2003 - LINCOLN L. YAO v. NORMA C. PERELLO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139181 October 27, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JIMMY AQUINO

  • G.R. No. 143817 October 27, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALEJANDRO BAJAR

  • A.C. No. 5829 October 28, 2003 - DANIEL LEMOINE v. AMADEO E. BALON, JR.

  • A.M. No. P-02-1581 October 28, 2003 - MA. CORAZON M. ANDAL v. NICOLAS A. TONGA

  • G.R. No. 134563 October 28, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FRANCISCO DALA

  • G.R. No. 138933 October 28, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JERRYVIE D. GUMAYAO

  • G.R. No. 150540 October 28, 2003 - DIMALUB P. NAMIL, ET AL. v. COMELEC, ET AL

  • G.R. No. 155206 October 28, 2003 - GSIS v. EDUARDO M. SANTIAGO

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    G.R. No. 134485   October 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. OSCAR PEREZ

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    SECOND DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 134485. October 23, 2003.]

    PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Appellee, v. OSCAR PEREZ, Appellant.

    D E C I S I O N


    CALLEJO, SR., J.:


    This is an appeal from the Decision 1 dated May 15, 1998 of the Regional Trial Court of Malolos, Bulacan, Branch 85, in Criminal Case No. 747-M-95, finding appellant Oscar Perez guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder for the killing of Ildefonso Balite, imposing on him the penalty of reclusion perpetua and ordering him to indemnify the heirs of the victim the sum of P50,000.

    The Antecedents


    The Spouses Ildefonso Balite and his wife Rowena lived in a tenement housing unit located at Maria Ramona Subdivision, Barangay Tabang, Plaridel, Bulacan. 2 The Spouses Artemio and Emerencia Santos and their son-in-law Oscar Perez occupied the unit next door. Rowena Balite was the niece of the Spouses Santos.

    The unit of the Santos Spouses had no electrical services. They shared their electrical power supply with the Balite Spouses through an improvised electrical extension wire plugged into an electrical socket inside the latter’s unit. The two families shared the payment of the electric bills.

    At about 9:00 p.m., on April 28, 1995, Ildefonso came home with two companions, Gardo and Dolphy. 3 He noticed an electrical spark from the overloaded electrical socket that supplied electrical power to the Santoses. 4 He immediately proceeded to their unit and asked permission from Emerencia if he could temporarily disconnect their electric power supply to forestall any untoward incident. 5 Emerencia, however, flatly refused. 6 She thereupon proceeded to Oscar’s room to wake him up. 7 In the meantime, Gardo and Dolphy left the place. 8 Momentarily, Oscar, with his wife in tow, went outside and confronted Ildefonso. 9 The latter pleaded and explained that it would only be temporary but Oscar was not convinced. 10 Shortly, the two exchanged heated words and grappled with each other. 11 Artemio arrived and intervened. He advised the protagonists to forget their differences. Ildefonso backed off and proceeded to his mother-in-law’s house. 12 Oscar, however, refused to be pacified.

    Ildefonso, followed by his wife Rowena, went out of the gate of the tenement’s compound, while Oscar surreptitiously followed. 13 Ildefonso passed by Maricel Santos, Rowena’s younger sister, 14 who was in a store nearby chatting with friends. 15 Maricel saw Ildefonso being trailed closely by Oscar. 16

    Oscar called out and told Ildefonso to wait up. Ildefonso did and faced Oscar. Suddenly, Oscar drew out the gun which was tucked in his waist and aimed it at Ildefonso. Petrified, Ildefonso raised his hands. 17 Oscar shot Ildefonso on the chest. 18 The latter fell to the ground. 19 Oscar came closer and shot the victim anew on the head. 20 Rowena was so shocked at the turn of events and could only cry out, "Huwag, huwag," all to no avail. 21 Thereafter, Oscar fled from the scene. 22 With the help of Jeffrey de Vera and some other neighbors, Ildefonso was boarded on a jeep and brought to the County Hospital, Plaridel, Bulacan, where he was declared dead on arrival. 23

    Dr. Alberto Bondoc of the Provincial Health Office of Malolos, Bulacan, conducted an autopsy on the cadaver. 24 He found that Ildefonso sustained two fatal gunshot wounds. 25 The first was on the right side of the temple, with a point of entry, around 8 x 10 mm., surrounded by gunpowder tattooing with a diameter of 31 mm., directed medially, superiorly and slightly anteriorly, lacerating the anterior pole of the right frontal lobe of the cerebrum, lacerating the anterior lips of the sella turcica and lacerating the left parietal lobe of the cerebrum and finally fracturing the left parietal bone. This wound had no exit point as the slug was found and extracted at the left portion of the victim’s skull. The second gunshot wound was in the left side of the chest, directed posteriorly and slightly superiorly and medially, puncturing the left ventricle of the heart. 26

    Elucidating on his report, Dr. Bondoc explained that gunpowder tattooing occurs when a person is shot at close range. He said that the gunpowder tattooing found on the victim’s cadaver was small — only 31 mm., a finding compatible with the theory that the victim was shot at close range. He opined that the muzzle of the gun could have been fired at a distance of about four to six inches. Dr. Bondoc, however, could not say with certainty which of the two wounds was first inflicted on the victim. The immediate cause of death was brain injuries and hemorrhagic shock due to gunshot wounds in the head and chest. 27

    The following afternoon or on April 29, 1995, Rowena went to the Plaridel Police Station and executed before PO3 Reynaldo S. Rivas a statement regarding the shooting incident. 28 Five days thereafter, Maricel Santos likewise executed her statement about the killing incident. 29

    On June 28, 1995, an Information for murder was filed against Oscar. The accusatory portion of the Information reads:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    That on or about the 28th day of April, 1995, in the Municipality of Plaridel, Province of Bulacan, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, with intent to kill one Ildefonso Balite y Bautista, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, with treachery and evident premeditation, with the use of a firearm, attack, assault and shoot the said Ildefonso Balite y Bautista, hitting the latter on his head and chest, thereby causing him gunshot wounds which directly caused his death.

    Contrary to law. 30

    At his arraignment on October 30, 1995, 31 Oscar, assisted by his counsel, entered a plea of not guilty to the charge.

    The Evidence of the Accused

    Oscar denied the charge. Oscar testified that Ildefonso was a good neighbor, and a person with whom they had no misunderstanding. 32 He testified that at about 9:00 p.m. on April 29, 1995, he was at home sleeping when Emerencia, his mother-in-law, woke him up to check out their sudden lack of electrical power. 33 The house was in total darkness. 34 As he stepped out of their unit, he saw Ildefonso with his two burly 35 companions reeking of alcohol. 36 He asked Ildefonso what had happened and the latter wryly explained that he disconnected the electric power because they were not paying their share. 37 Oscar pleaded to Ildefonso to reconnect the power and offered to pay their share of the electric bills the next day. Ildefonso refused. Thereupon, Ildefonso, with his two companions, approached Oscar and uttered, "Pare lumigpit ka na at baka maligpit ka pa." 38 (You better lay aside, or else you will be laid to rest.) Suddenly, Ildefonso’s two companions ganged tip on Oscar, kicking and boxing him. 39 Oscar managed to evade the fist blows. Oscar saw Ildefonso pull out a gun. 40 Fearing for his life, Oscar lunged at Ildefonso and grappled with him for the gun’s possession. The two rolled on the ground and wrestled. 41 A gunshot rang out and hit the victim. At that moment, Oscar was left too stunned to recall who had actually squeezed the trigger. 42 Oscar’s parents-in-law, the Santos spouses, however, added that they did not see who fired the shot. 43

    On May 15, 1998, the trial court rendered a decision convicting the accused of murder qualified by treachery, the decretal portion of which reads:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    In view of the foregoing, this Court finds accused Oscar Perez GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder qualified by treachery for the killing of Ildefonso Balite. There being no mitigating or aggravating circumstance attendant in this case, he is hereby sentenced to suffer an imprisonment of reclusion perpetua and ordered to indemnify the heirs of the deceased Ildefonso Balite the amount of P50,000.00, and to pay the costs.

    SO ORDERED. 44

    The appellant asserts that based on the evidence presented by the prosecution, he could be convicted only of homicide, and not of murder. He avers that the victim was amply forewarned of any impending attack since there was a previous heated altercation between them before the killing. This, according to the appellant, would discount the finding of treachery:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    10 — That considering the versions of the two (2) parties, the prosecution and the defense, in analyzing the incident, it is humbly submitted that the accused-appellant did not provoke the quarrel, that the accused-appellant was not holding any gun as no one had testified where the gun came from since the killing of the deceased resulted from the altercation, it is submitted that the accused-appellant is not guilty of Murder and should only be charged of the crime of Homicide because of the quarrel, there is no alevosia committed by the accused-appellant as they confronted each other face to face. It was just lucky for the accused-appellant not to be killed considering the number of the victim and his companions was able to survive from the quarrel as there were three (3) attackers against the Accused-Appellant. 45

    We do not agree. Given the factual milieu of the case, this Court is in accord with the trial court’s finding that the killing of Ildefonso was attended by alevosia.

    There is treachery (alevosia) when the offender commits any of the crimes against the person, employing means, methods or forms in the execution thereof which tend directly and specially to insure its execution, without risk to himself arising from the defense which the offended party might make. 46

    The two elements that must be proved to establish treachery are: (1) the employment of means of execution which would ensure the safety of the offender from defensive and retaliatory acts of the victim, giving the victim no opportunity to defend himself, and (2) the means, method and manner of execution were deliberately and consciously adopted by the offender. 47 The essence of treachery is the sudden and unexpected attack by an aggressor on an unsuspecting victim, depriving the latter of any real chance to defend himself, thereby ensuring its commission without risk to the aggressor without the slightest provocation on the part of the victim. 48

    In the case at bar, there is no question that the elements of alevosia were proved by the prosecution. As vividly narrated by the two prosecution witnesses, the victim, Ildefonso, had absolutely no opportunity to defend himself from the appellant’s aggression. The attack was sudden. The victim was clueless of the impending attack. He was on his way home, with the appellant surreptitiously following from behind. At a distance of two meters, the appellant called his name. When the victim faced the appellant, the victim raised his hands. The appellant suddenly shot him. Ildefonso had no opportunity to anticipate the imminence of the appellant’s attack; nor was he in a position to defend himself or repel the aggression because he was unarmed. The appellant shot the victim again on the head after the latter had already fallen to the ground, mortally wounded by the first shot.

    That the appellant deliberately and consciously adopted the means to ensure his criminal purpose without risk to himself was undoubtedly also proven by the prosecution. The appellant obviously left the tenement armed with a gun. The victim was fatally shot on the chest at an assured range, and by way of a coup de grace, the appellant shot the victim on the head. The appellant’s overt acts in conjunto are irrefragable evidence of the appellant’s intention to kill the victim. Only a killer without compunction would shoot such a defenseless and innocent victim.

    As a rule, there can be no treachery when an altercation ensued between the appellant and the victim. However, the evidence on record shows that after the altercation, Ildefonso left the scene to go back home. He was unaware that the appellant had followed him and was armed with a deadly weapon.

    That the victim was shot facing the appellant, as contended by the latter, does not negate treachery. The settled rule is that treachery can exist even if the attack is frontal, as long as the attack is sudden and unexpected, giving the victim no opportunity to repel it or to defend himself. What is decisive is that the execution of the attack, without the slightest provocation from an unarmed victim, made it impossible for the latter to defend himself or to retaliate. 49

    The Information alleged two other modifying circumstances, namely, evident, premeditation and the use of a firearm, but the trial court found that the prosecution failed to prove evident premeditation. Neither did it consider the appellant’s use of an unlicensed firearm in the commission of the crime.

    We agree with the trial court.

    For evident premeditation to be appreciated, it is necessary that the prosecution must prove the following elements: (1) the time when the accused decided to commit the crime; (2) an overt act showing that the accused clung to their determination to commit the crime; and (3) the lapse of a sufficient period of time between the decision and the execution of the crime, to allow the accused to reflect upon the consequences of the act. 50 And like other qualifying circumstances, the elements of evident premeditation must be established with equal certainty and clarity as the criminal act itself before it can be appreciated as a qualifying circumstances. 51 None of these elements could be gathered from the evidence on record. The appellant shot the victim shortly after their altercation. There was no evidence that the appellant had sufficient time to reflect on the consequence of killing the victim.

    The appellant’s use of a firearm to consummate the crime cannot likewise be considered as a special aggravating circumstance because there was no allegation in the Information that the appellant had no license to possess the same, as mandated by Section 9, 52 Rule 110 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure. The lack of a license to possess firearms is an essential element of the crime of violation of P.D. No. 1866, as amended by Republic Act No. 8294, whether as an independent crime or as an aggravating circumstance in murder or homicide. 53 Hence, such circumstance cannot aggravate the crime of murder and the penalty therefor; otherwise, the appellant would be deprived of his right to be informed of the nature of the charge against him. Although the crime was committed before the effectivity of the said Rule, the same should be applied retroactively as it would be favorable to the appellant. 54

    The penalty for murder under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Rep. Act No. 7659, is reclusion perpetua to death. Since aside from the qualified circumstance of treachery, no other modifying circumstance was attendant in the commission of the crime, the proper penalty therefor is reclusion perpetua, conformably to Article 63(2) of the Revised Penal Code, as amended.

    The trial court correctly ordered the appellant to pay to the heirs of the victim Ildefonso Balite the amount of P50,000 as civil indemnity ex delicto, in accord with current jurisprudence. 55 We cannot, however, award moral damages in the absence of proof of mental or physical suffering on the part of the heirs of the victim. 56 Lastly, given the attendance of the qualifying circumstance of treachery, an award of exemplary damages to the heirs of the victim in the amount of P25,000, 57 in accordance with Article 2230 of the Civil Code, 58 is in order.

    WHEREFORE, the Decision dated May 15, 1998 of Branch 85 of the Regional Trial Court of Malolos, Bulacan, in Criminal Case No. 747-M-95, finding appellant Oscar Perez GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder is AFFIRMED WITH MODIFICATION. The appellant is ordered to pay to the heirs of the victim Ildefonso Balite P50,000 as civil indemnity and P25,000 as exemplary damages.

    SO ORDERED.

    Bellosillo, Quisumbing, Austria-Martinez and Tinga, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Penned by Judge Ma. Belen Ringpis Liban.

    2. TSN, 17 November 1995, p. 6.

    3. Records, p. 7.

    4. TSN, 17 November 1995, p. 8.

    5. Ibid.

    6. Id. at 9.

    7. Id.

    8. TSN, 19 January 1996, p. 8.

    9. TSN, 17 November 1995, p. 9.

    10. Id. at 10.

    11. Id.

    12. TSN, 12 August 1997, p. 8.

    13. TSN, 17 November 1995, p. 11.

    14. Id. at 12.

    15. TSN, 30 October 1995, p. 13.

    16. Records, p. 9.

    17. Ibid.

    18. Id. at 14.

    19. Id.

    20. Id.

    21. Id. at 15.

    22. TSN, 30 October 1995, p. 11.

    23. Records, p. 8.

    24. TSN, 11 December 1995, p. 10.

    25. Ibid.

    26. Id. at 10–14.

    27. Id. at 12–14.

    28. Records, pp. 7–8.

    29. Id. at 9–10.

    30. Id. at 4.

    31. Id. at 38.

    32. TSN, 15 July 1997, p. 8.

    33. Id. at 3.

    34. Id. at 6.

    35. Id. at 10.

    36. Id. at 4.

    37. Id.

    38. Id. at 6.

    39. Id.

    40. Id.

    41. Id.

    42. Id.

    43. TSN, 22 July 1997, p. 25; TSN, 12 August 1997, p. 9.

    44. Records, p. 174.

    45. Rollo, pp. 40–41.

    46. Article 14, paragraph 16, Revised Penal Code.

    47. People v. Malabago, 265 SCRA 198 (1996).

    48. People v. Ortiz, 361 SCRA 274 (2001).

    49. People v. Patoc, G.R. No. 140271, 21 February 2003.

    50. People v. Cabansay, 353 SCRA 686 (2001).

    51. People v. Bello, G.R. No. 139054, 9 December 2002.

    52. Sec. 9. Cause of the Accusation. — The acts or omissions complained of as constituting the offense and the qualifying and aggravating circumstances must be stated in ordinary and concise language and not necessarily in the language used in the statute but in terms sufficient to enable a person of common understanding to know what offense is being charged as well as its qualifying and aggravating circumstances and for the Court to pronounce judgment.

    53. People v. Adame, 346 SCRA 373 (2000).

    54. People v. Gallego, 338 SCRA 21 (2000).

    55. People v. Aguilos, G.R. No. 121828, June 27, 2003.

    56. People v. Abut, G.R. No. 137601, April 24, 2003.

    57. People v. Catubig, 363 SCRA 621 (2001).

    58. Article 2230. In criminal offenses, exemplary damages as a part of the civil liability may be imposed when the crime was committed with one or more aggravating circumstances. Such damages are separate and distinct from fines and shall be paid to the offended party.

    G.R. No. 134485   October 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. OSCAR PEREZ


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