People v. Estoya : 153538 : May 19, 2004 : J. Panganiban : First
Division : Decision
[G.R. NO. 153538 : May 19, 2004]
PEOPLE OF THE
PHILIPPINES, Appellee, v. LOLITO
D E C I S I O N
To qualify a killing to murder, treachery must be proved as fully
as the crime itself.
presumptions cannot substitute for proof beyond reasonable doubt.
Since the prosecution failed to prove this
qualifying circumstance, appellant may be held guilty only of homicide, not
Lolito Estoya appeals the March 8, 2002 Decision1 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Dumaguete City (Branch 34) in Criminal
Case No. 13734, finding him guilty of murder as follows:chanroblesvirtua1awlibrary
WHEREFORE, accused LOLITO ESTOYA is hereby found guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of the crime of MURDER, and the Court hereby imposes upon him
the penalty of RECLUSION PERPETUA.
Accused Lolito Estoya is likewise adjudged to indemnify the heirs
of deceased victim Bemboy Cerna the sum of Fifty Thousand Pesos (
due to his untimely death.
In line with Section 5, Rule 114 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal
Procedure, as amended, the Provincial Jail Warden of the Negros Oriental
Detention and Rehabilitation Center, is hereby directed to immediately transmit
the living body of accused Lolito Estoya to the New Bilibid Prison at
Muntinlupa City, Metro Manila, where he may remain to be detained.
Said accused shall be given full credit for
the period of his preventive detention, provided he has filed a written
undertaking that he would follow all the legitimate rules and regulations
imposed by the detention center.2 cralawred
The Information3 dated June 3, 1997, charged appellant in these words:chanroblesvirtua1awlibrary
That on 29 March 1997 at about 9:00 o'clock in the evening at
Barangay Eli, La Libertad, Negros Oriental, Philippines and within the jurisdiction
of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused with intent to kill, attended
with treachery and evident premeditation, did then and there willfully,
unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault and shot Bemboy Cerna with the use
of a handgun with which the said accused was then armed and provided[,] thereby
inflicting upon said Bemboy Cerna fatal injuries which caused his death soon
That the commission of the said offense was attended with the
aggravating circumstance of nighttime.4 cralawred
Upon his arraignment on September 15, 1997,5 appellant, assisted by his counsel de
parte,6 pleaded not guilty.
After trial in due
course, the court a quo rendered the
Version of the Prosecution
In its Brief, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) presents
the prosecutions version of the facts in the following manner:chanroblesvirtua1awlibrary
On March 29, 1997 at 9:00 oclock in the evening more or less in
Barangay Eli, La Libertad, Negros Occidental, Brgy. Councilman Solano Pactor
was eating in the kitchen of the house of his brother-in-law, Lolito Garsula,
together with Lolitos wife, Virgin, and their two (2) children.
Also with them were Lando, Harry, Merly and
Lucrit Garsula and Bemboy Cerna, also a Brgy. Councilman.
While they were eating, two (2) shots rang out.
All of them dropped to the floor, with the
exception of Lolito Garsula who immediately opened the window.
He saw appellant Lolito Estoya running and holding
a long gun.
After that, he saw
appellant aiming his gun at him.
was another shot.
Appellant was still
holding his gun when he exclaimed [W]ithdraw Bay.Thereafter, Garsula dropped to the ground.
He saw Bemboy Cerna was already lying in a
pool of blood and was no longer breathing.
Solano Pactor reported the incident to Brgy. Councilman Editho
Faburada and Emeterio Benlot.
killing of Cerna reached his wife, Nonita.
Nonita and Brgy. Captain Fidelo Faculanang reported the killing to the
Taleon Police Department, Dumaguete City.
Prosecution witness Dr. Maria Lilian Tagle Arenas, the Municipal
Health Officer of La Libertad, Negros Occidental, autopsied the body of Bemboy
Cerna and prepared and signed the Autopsy Report.
The Autopsy Report revealed that the victim suffered a gunshot
wound, about 1 cm. in size located at the right sub mandibular region about 8
cm. from the submental region (middle of the chin) .There was a second wound, about 1 cm. long [at the] left anterior
portion of the neck, which was also a gunshot wound.Both wounds were considered fatal, because they were at the
spinal cord, where the cervical spine is located.Dr. Arenas issued the Death Certificate of Cerna.
Prosecution witness Police Sr. Inspector Alet I. Virtucio, Chief
of the PNP Crime Laboratory in Dumaguete City, prepared Ballistic Report No.
FIB-131-2000 dated February 26, 2000.
The caliber of the firearm used in the killing is 5.56 mm.
Both slugs recovered from the body of the
victim came from a high-powered firearm such as M-16 Rifle ER-15, ER-16, a
Ghalil or a Bolt Action Rifle.7 (Citations omitted) chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
Version of the
In his defense, appellant interposes denial and alibi as follows:chanroblesvirtua1awlibrary
The unrebutted evidence of the appellant indicates that at the
time of the incident, the appellant was at Emporium, Brgy. Owakan, Jimalalud,
Negros Oriental, about 20 kms. from Brgy. Eli, La Libertad, Negros
This is testified to by
Lolito Estoya, Expedito Estoconing and Restituto de la Zerna, Brgy. Captain of
Ampanangon, Jimalalud, Negros Oriental and CAFGU member, respectively.
The whole night of March 29, 1997 up to the early morning, he was
in Emporium, Owakan, Jimalalud, Negros Oriental doing some small selling
Restituto de la Zerna, a
CAFGU member, and Brgy. Captain Expedito Estoconing positively testified that
Lolito Estoya throughout the night was with them in Emporium, Owakan,
Jimalalud, Negros Oriental and never left said place.Besides, the distance between Emporium, Brgy. Owakan, Jimalalud
and Brgy. Eli, La Libertad, Negros Oriental is about two hours walk on rugged
and mountainous terrain.8 (Citations omitted) chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
Ruling of the Trial Court
The trial court ruled that the evidence on record led to the
conclusion that appellant had killed Cerna.
It found that the testimony of Solano Pactor was straightforward,
positive and consistent as to the following facts: 1) he saw Estoya pointing a
gun at the victim just after the burst of gunfire; 2) Estoya was the only
person with a gun at the time; and 3) appellant uttered Withdraw Bay after
The court a quo further held that Estoya -- who
eluded arrest -- had previously told Pactor that Cernas days were numbered
and, thus, had a motive to kill the victim.
As regards the alibi of appellant, the court noted material
discrepancies in the testimonies he and his witnesses had given.
It brushed aside suggestions that Pactor had
falsely testified against him, noting that the two had no previous
Moreover, the lower court ruled that the killing was attended by
treachery, because Cerna had been eating at the time and was therefore totally
unaware that he would be shot from behind by Estoya.Appellant was thus convicted of murder and sentenced to reclusion perpetua.
He was also directed to indemnify the heirs
of the victim in the sum of
In the absence of proof, no actual damages were awarded.
Hence, this appeal.9
In his Brief, appellant raises the following issues for our
[The lower court
erred] in not declaring that the evidence adduced by the prosecution does not
show a positive identification of the assailant.
[The lower court
erred] in giving credence to the testimony of Solano Pactor despite his absurd
and doubtful behavior before, during and after the death of Bemboy Cerna and
the fact that it is not impossible that Solano Pactor was the killer of Bemboy
[The lower court
erred] in declaring that there was flight on the part of appellant and that he
eluded arrest.10 cralawred
The matters of treachery and damages will also be addressed.
The Courts Ruling
The appeal is partly meritorious.
Identification of Appellant as the Assailant
Appellant argues that the prosecution could not have established
the identity of Cernas assailant with moral certainty, because 1) there was no
evidence of sufficient illumination in the crime scene that could have enabled
Pactor to see the assailant; and 2) it was highly unbelievable that after
hearing the gunshots, the witness looked out of the window instead of taking
In addition, appellant points out
that the identity of the assailant was reported to the police as unknown by
Barangay Captain Paculanang as well as by Pactor and appellants wife, Nonita.
Estoya also contends that he could not have been at the crime
scene on the night of March 29, 1997, because he was in Owakan, which was at
least a two-hour walk or an hour-and-a-half ride by horseback from the mountain
barangay of Eli.
He presented two
witnesses to corroborate this claim.
Appellants assertions pertain to factual matters that have already
been passed upon by the trial court.
a rule, its findings of fact are given great weight and respect by appellate
courts.11 The same deference is accorded its evaluation of the credibility of witnesses,
because it passes firsthand judgment on whether or not they are telling the
truth.12 Hence, unless it is shown to have overlooked or misapprehended some facts or
circumstances of weight and influence,13 its findings will not be disturbed or overturned by this Court.
In the present case, a review of the records
turned up nothing to suggest that the trial court had erred in its appreciation
of the facts.
First, appellant was
positively identified as Cernas armed assailant.Pactor testified to this fact consistently during the rigorous
and prolonged cross-examination on five14 separate hearing dates.
of how he had opened the window after hearing two shots was clear and
questions this supposedly unusual reaction, we find that it was not altogether
far-fetched for the former to look outside to find out what had caused the
This, too, was a natural
human reaction under the circumstances, especially since Pactor was seated
right next to the window.
It is axiomatic that positive identification -- when categorical,
consistent and showing no ill motive on the part of the witness testifying on
the matter -- prevails over the alibi and the denial proffered by the accused.15 cralawred
Sufficiency of Illumination
Second, the transcript
of the stenographic notes of the testimony of Pactor as well as the Affidavit16 he executed on April 3, 1997, adequately show that sufficient illumination was
provided by three kerosene lamps in the kitchen and by another one hanging
outside Garsulas house.
testified as follows:chanroblesvirtua1awlibrary
COURT: (TO THE WITNESS)
x x x
QHow many were you who
were outside of the house conversing?chanroblesvirtualawlibrary
AWe were seven (7)
conversing with each other excluding the children.
QWas there light in
the place where you were conversing outside the house?
AYes, the fire which
[was] used for cooking and the lamps outside.
QHow many lamps were
AOnly one (1).
QWhat kind of lamp?
AA gas lamp
QYou describe[e] to us
that gas lamp, how big [was it]?
AEmpty kulafu bottle
placed with x x x kerosene and cork with a paper wick.
QHow long did your
AMore than one (1) hour.
QAfter that time of one
hour, what happened?chanroblesvirtualawlibrary
AWe went upstairs.
brother-in-law called us to go upstairs because the supper [had] already [been]
QWhat time did the supper
AWe started our supper at
about 9:00 oclock, more or less.
QWhere did you take your
AWe ate our supper in the
kitchen and on the table.
ASmall table placed
inside the kitchen.
QWhere did Bemboy Cerna
sit at that time that he took his supper?chanroblesvirtualawlibrary
AHe sat with his back
against the wall.
QWas there a window [on]
that wall situated at the back of Bemboy Cerna?chanroblesvirtualawlibrary
AYes, there was a window
x x x at the back of Bemboy Cerna.
QWho were sitting on the
left side of Bemboy Cerna?chanroblesvirtualawlibrary
AI was at his left side.
QWho [were] the persons
sitting at the right side of Bemboy Cerna?chanroblesvirtualawlibrary
QHow many persons were
sitting in front of the table?chanroblesvirtualawlibrary
AWe were five (5) eating
on the table.
QHow many lamps were
in that kitchen?
AThree (3) lamps.
QYou describe to us
AA homemade gas lamp
with a wick and the kulafu bottle gas lamp also x x x with kerosene [and a]
cork with a paper wick [were] on the table.
x x x [T]he other one was a homemade gas lamp with [a] wick that was
h[u]ng [in] the kitchen.
QWhat time did the supper
AAbout 9:00 oclock in
QDid you start to eat the
AYes, Your Honor.
QWhile Bemboy Cerna was
taking [his] supper, what happened?chanroblesvirtualawlibrary
AWhile we were eating
together, I heard a gunshot.
QHow many gunshots?chanroblesvirtualawlibrary
AI heard two (2)
QComing from what
A[From] the back of the
wall where Bemboy Cerna was sitting.
QWere [the] gunshots
AYes, successive burst[s]
of the gun.
QAnd what happened to
AWhen I heard the two (2)
gunshots I immediately looked back because the window is near x x x my back and
also at the back of Bemboy Cerna.
QAnd what did you see?chanroblesvirtualawlibrary
AI saw one fellow in the
person of Lolito Estoya.
QDid you see other
persons aside from Lolito Estoya?chanroblesvirtualawlibrary
ANo, your Honor.
Q Do you mean to say that
you were able to see only one (1) person?chanroblesvirtualawlibrary
A Yes, [I saw] only one
person x x x at the back of the wall.
Q Why did you see
Lolito Estoya when that was evening time?
ABecause he was
illuminated by the gas lamp when I look[ed] back at the window, because he
[was] x x x very near to me.
QWhat was the position of
Lolito Estoya [at the] time you [saw] him?chanroblesvirtualawlibrary
AI saw him holding a
handgun.17 (Italics supplied)cralawlibrary
in the Police Report
Third, it was only in
the Report18 of Paculanang that Cernas assailant was described as an unidentified person.
It is worth mentioning that the former was
not present when the incident happened.
In a separate Report19 filed by Nonita, the wife of the victim, the police blotter entry did not at
all refer to the assailant.
It was not Pactor who reported the incident to the police on
March 30, 1997.
The transcript of
stenographic notes adequately reveals that while he was with both Nonita and
Barangay Captain Paculanang when the two went to the police station to report
the incident,20 he remained outside while awaiting the arrival of the victims body for the
postmortem examination.21 We stress that entries in the police blotter should not be given undue
significance or probative value, for these are normally incomplete and
inaccurate,22 especially when made by persons with no personal knowledge of the circumstances
surrounding the incident.
fact that Cernas assailant was unnamed in the police blotter does not affect
the credibility of the other pieces of evidence on record, positively pointing
to appellant as the killer.
Weakness of Alibi and Denial
We now look into the defense resorted to by appellant.
His witnesses23 testified that on the night of March 29, 1997, until dawn of the next day, he
was in another barangay -- Owakan or Emporium -- some three kilometers away
from the scene of the crime.
is his contention that he was nowhere near Garsulas house, where Cerna was
shot to death.
Jurisprudential rules and precepts guide this Court in assessing
the proffered defense.
One, alibis and denials are generally
disfavored by the courts for being weak.24 Two, they cannot prevail over the
positive identification of the accused as the perpetrators of the crime.25 Three, for alibi to prosper, the
accused must prove not only that they were somewhere else when the crime was
committed, but also that it was physically impossible for them to be at the
scene of the crime at the time of its commission.26 Fourth, alibi assumes significance or
strength only when it is amply corroborated by credible and disinterested
witnesses.27 Fifth, alibi is an issue of fact that
hinges on the credibility of witnesses, and the assessment made by the trial
court -- unless patently and clearly inconsistent -- must be accepted.28 cralawred
In the present case, Pactor positively identified appellant as
latters whereabouts around seven oclock of March 29, 1997, was categorically
placed by Nonita Cerna to be in Barangay Eli.
According to her, appellant and a certain Jerry Estoconing came looking
for her husband at their house.29 In particular, her testimony throws overboard the alibi of appellant that he
was already at Barangay Owakan around seven oclock of the night in
Besides, granting that he was
there at the time, it was not altogether impossible for him to have been at
Barangay Eli later that night at nine oclock, since he was only three
kilometers away -- a distance of about an hour by foot or a half-hour by
As to the defense witnesses, we note that the trial court found
Zosimo de la Zerna to be lying31 because of the discrepancy in his answers as to the time Estoya and companions
had started32 and finished33 drinking.
On the other hand, the
testimony of Estoconing that
drinking with appellant around seven oclock
in Barangay Owakan was shattered by the positive and categorical
testimony of Nonita that she had seen and talked with Estoya during that same
time at Barangay Eli.
We find no reason
to overturn the trial courts judgment upholding her testimony over that of Estoconing.
The latter witness was unable to explain
satisfactorily why he had not immediately informed police authorities that he
was with Estoya on March 29, 1997 -- if indeed he was -- upon knowing in June
1997 of appellants indictment.34
Credibility of the Witness Testimony
Assailing the testimony of the prosecution eyewitness, Estoya
maintains that it was the former who had both the motive and the opportunity to
Appellant avers that it was
highly suspicious that 1) without any special occasion, Pactor went to the
house of his brother-in-law together with Cerna, whom he had fetched before
proceeding there; 2) Pactor took a circuitous route to the houses of Benlot and
Faburada, instead of going to the barangay captains house or directly to the
victims house to inform Nonita; and 3) Pactor, Faburada and Benlot did not
name the assailant when they broke the news to the victims wife.
The testimony of Pactor, added Estoya, was
riddled with serious material inconsistencies as to the gun used and the way
the former had opened the window to look at the gunman.
We reject appellants arguments.
Again, it must be stressed that the findings of the RTC on these
evidentiary matters are best left undisturbed, since there is no adequate showing
that it erred in its evaluation of the material facts.
A thorough review of the records shows that
there was nothing suspicious about the behavior of Pactor.
Neither was there any serious inconsistency
in his testimony.
straightforward was his averment therein that he had fetched Cerna to partake
of dog meat at the house of the formers brother-in-law Garsula.
Much as appellant would want this Court to
believe otherwise, there is no showing that Pactor harbored any ill motive
against the victim.
The records also reveal that Pactor did not report the incident
first to Barangay Captain Paculanang, because Garsula had already done so.35 On the other hand, the fact that it took the witness some time to inform Nonita
of the incident is understandable, as it is usually a difficult and delicate
task to notify a wife of the sudden and violent death of her husband.
As to the alleged inconsistency in the description by Pactor of
the gun used in killing Cerna, it is enough to say that the former is not a
firearms expert and is therefore not well-versed in the classification of
Moreover, it appears from the
testimony of Police Inspector Alet I. Virtucio that a long arm could be held by
both hands, consistent with Pactors testimony describing how Estoya held the
Futile is the attempt of appellant to cast doubt on the testimony
of Pactor by alluding to alleged inconsistencies in the latters description of
the window -- from one that could be opened by sliding the frame, to one that
could be pushed open.
is not material and does not deviate from the fact that shortly after hearing
two shots, Pactor opened the window and heard Estoya shout Withdraw Bay.
It is a well-settled rule that
inconsistencies in minor details in the testimonies of witnesses strengthen
rather than weaken their credibility, because any suspicion that the testimony
was rehearsed is thereby erased.37
Appellants Subsequent Flight
Finally, appellant refutes the trial courts finding that he took
flight and eluded arrest after Cerna had been shot to death.
Estoya points out that, on the contrary, he
was in Barangay Eli the very next morning after the incident and did not leave
the place until April 3, 1997.
same day that he left, he went down to the poblacion
of La Libertad to file his certificate of candidacy at the office of the
Commission on Elections, which was about 15 meters from the police
When he was arrested on April
7, 1997, he said that he had gone to the police station to verify the bandilyo that a warrant of arrest had
been issued against him.38 cralawred
There is merit in this argument.
A review of the records shows that the Warrant of Arrest39 was issued by acting Municipal Circuit Trial Court (MCTC) Judge Hector B.
Barillo on April 3, 1997, after the preliminary examination of the criminal
Complaint against the former.40 The Warrant was served on Estoya on April 7, 1997, at 4:00 p.m.41 It was later clearly shown that from that day onwards, he had been in
He continued to be confined
there, even when his case was transferred to the RTC of Negros Oriental,42 and a new Warrant of Arrest43 issued on July 23, 1997, by acting Presiding Judge Felix C. Gaudiel Jr. of the
RTC of Bais City, Negros Oriental (Branch 45).
Moreover, the prosecution did not present evidence that Estoya
had evaded arrest.
Questioning by the
prosecutor established that, quite the contrary, he had gone to La Libertad to
file his certificate of candidacy on April 3, 1997, but that he had to go back
on April 7, 1997, to finish filing it.44 Indeed, if he had been in hiding since April 3, 1997 -- when the warrant for
his arrest was issued -- he would not have returned to the Comelec office on
April 7 and gone to the police station thereafter to inquire about the warrant.
The trial court ruled that treachery had attended the killing of
Cerna; hence, it convicted appellant of murder.Though the assigned errors did not include this and the issue of
appropriate penalty and damages, we deem it proper to review them, in line with
the principle that an appeal in a criminal case opens the whole proceedings to
There is treachery when the offender commits any of the crimes
against persons by employing -- in the execution thereof such means, method
or form that directly and specially ensures its execution without risk to the
offender arising from the defense that the offended party might make.46 Two elements must therefore concur to prove treachery: 1) the means of
execution employed gives the person attacked no opportunity for self-defense or
retaliation; and 2) the means of execution is deliberately or consciously
In this case, it is clear that Cerna had no opportunity to defend
himself or to retaliate when he was shot from behind while eating inside
The suddenness of the
attack, however, does not by itself qualify the killing to murder.48 The prosecution should also establish beyond reasonable doubt that such mode of
attack was consciously adopted by appellant.
There are, however, no other particulars showing that he did, except for
Pactors testimony that two shots were fired successively from outside.
No circumstance was cited to show that he
had particularly ascertained and aimed at the exact position of Cerna.
The victim was then seated -- his back
against the window -- with Pactor and the latters nephew at either side.49 cralawred
It has been held that treachery cannot be considered where no
witness has testified on how the assault began and developed.50 Considering that the existence of any qualifying circumstance such as treachery
cannot be inferred, but must be proven as fully as the crime itself,51 any doubt as to its existence must be resolved in favor of appellant.
Hence, we rule out treachery as a qualifying
circumstance in the killing of Cerna.
Penalty and Damages
As there is no other circumstance under Article 248 of the
Revised Penal Code that would qualify the killing to murder, appellant may be
held liable only for homicide.
Article 249 of the Code, homicide is punishable by reclusion temporal, which in this case is to be imposed in its
medium period, as there are no aggravating or mitigating circumstances.52 Appellant is also entitled to the benefits of the Indeterminate Sentence Law
and should thus be sentenced to an indeterminate penalty, the maximum of which
is reclusion temporalmedium, and the
minimum in the range of prision mayor -- the
penalty next lower than that prescribed by the Revised Penal Code.
The award of civil indemnity in the amount of
Because of the absence of
sufficient evidence, the trial court was also correct in not granting actual
damages, loss of earning capacity and moral damages.In lieu of actual damages, however, temperate damages of P25,000
are awarded, since the heirs undeniably suffered pecuniary loss.53 Finally, no exemplary damages are granted, because these are proper only when
the crime is committed with one or more aggravating circumstances.54 cralawred
WHEREFORE, the appeal
is PARTLY GRANTED.
The Decision of the Regional Trial Court
(RTC) of Dumaguete City (Branch 34) in Criminal Case No. 13734 is hereby MODIFIED as follows:chanroblesvirtua1awlibrary
1. Appellant is found GUILTY
and is sentenced to suffer an indeterminate prison term ranging from ten (10)
years of prision mayor to fourteen
(14) years and eight (8) months and one (1) day of reclusion temporal.
2. Appellant is likewise ordered to pay to the heirs of the
deceased the amount of
P50,000 as civil indemnity ex delicto and P25,000 for temperate damages.
Costs against appellant.
Ynares-Santiago, Carpio andAzcuna, JJ., concur.
Davide, Jr., C.J., (Chairman), on
1 Rollo, pp. 31-39.
Judge Rosendo B. Bandal Jr.
2 RTC Decision, pp. 8-9; rollo, pp. 38-39.
3 Signed by 4th Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Elson P. Bustamante
and approved by Provincial Prosecutor Felipe R. Pareja.
4 Rollo, p. 11; records, p. 2.
5 See Order dated September 15, 1997;
records, p. 78.
See also Certificate of Arraignment; records, p. 77.
7 Appellees Brief, pp. 3-5; rollo, pp. 96-98.
8 Appellants Brief, p. 3; id., p. 60.
9 This case was deemed submitted for decision on October 28, 2003, upon receipt
by this Court of appellants two-page Reply Brief, which was signed by Atty.
Edwin B. Abil.
Appellees Brief, signed
by Assistant Solicitors General Carlos N. Ortega and Renan E. Ramos and
Solicitor Ismael G. Miaral, was received by this Court on July 9, 2003; and
appellants Brief, also signed by Atty. Abil, on March 12, 2003.
10 Appellants Brief, p. 1; rollo, p. 58.
Original in upper case.
11 People v. Flores, 322 SCRA 779, 785, January 20, 2000; People v. Rendoque, 322 SCRA 622, 633, January 20, 2000; People v. Agsunod Jr., 366 Phil. 294, 310, May 3, 1999.
12 People v. Guzman, 372 SCRA 344, 350, December 14, 2001; People v. Temanel, 341 SCRA 219, 226, September 28, 2000; People v. Garces Jr., 322 SCRA
834, 846, January 20, 2000.
13 People v. Nogar, 341 SCRA 206, 214, September 27, 2000; Concepcion v. Court of Appeals, 324 SCRA 85, 91, January 31, 2000; People v. Valla, 323 SCRA 74, 82,
January 24, 2000.
14 Pactor was cross-examined by appellants counsel on October 8, 1998, September
16, 1999, September 20, 1999, October 4, 1999, and November 8, 1999.
15 People v. Lovedorial, 349 SCRA 402, 412, January 17, 2001; People v. Blanco, 324 SCRA 280, 288, February 1, 2000; People v. Jose, 324
SCRA 196, 203, January 31, 2000.
16 Paragraph 6 of Pactors Affidavit (see records,
p. 9) reads:chanroblesvirtua1awlibrary
That because of
the light of the kerosene lamp that lighted at the dining that passes though
the window, I clearly saw Lolito Estoya[.]
17 TSN, April 3, 1997, pp. 5-8.
18 Exhibit 3; records, p. 373.
19 Exhibit B; id., pp. 285-286.
20 TSN, March 18, 1998, pp. 36-37; TSN, October 4, 1998, pp. 25-29.
21 TSN, October 4, 1999, pp. 25-29.
22 People v. Ulgasan, 390 Phil. 763,
774, July 11, 2000; People v. Mejia,
341 Phil. 118, 147, July 7, 1997, citing People v. Casinillo, 213 SCRA 777, 780, September 11, 1992.
23 Restituto de la Zerna and Expedito Estoconing.
24 People v. Entila, 325 SCRA 226, 244, February 9, 2000; People v. Cortes, 323
SCRA 131, 141, January 24, 2000; People v. Alib, 322 SCRA 93, 100,
January 18, 2000.
25 People v. Cabuntog, 368 SCRA 112, 122, October 23, 2001; People v. Mercado, 419 Phil. 534, 543, October 12, 2001; People v. Banela, 361 Phil. 61, 70-71,
January 18, 1999.
26 People v. Dando, 382 Phil. 290, 309,
February 11, 2000; People v. Mercado,
supra; People v. Tanail, 323 SCRA 667,
677, January 28, 2000.
27 People v. Amestuzo, 413 Phil. 500,
513, July 12, 2001; People v. Martinez, 350 SCRA 537,
548, January 30, 2001.
28 People v. Sanchez, 361 Phil. 692,
718, January 25, 1999.
29 TSN, March 18, 1998, pp. 5-8.
Exhibit B; records, p. 285.
30 Exhibit F, Certification of the Barangay Captain of Barangay Eli as to the
distance; id., p. 390.
31 TSN, July 31, 2000, p. 16.
32 De la Zerna placed the time at 7 p.m., but also said it was at 10 p.m.
July 31, 2000, pp. 8-16.
33 According to De la Zerna, the time was 3:30 a.m. or 5:00 a.m. of March 30,
1997. See TSN, July 31, 2000, pp.
34 TSN, August 21, 2000, pp. 14-18.
35 TSN, September 20, 1999, p. 13.
36 TSN, March 7, 2000, p. 33.
37 People v. Navarro, 351 SCRA 462, 477, February 12, 2001; People v. Dando, supra,
p. 309; People v. Villar, 322 SCRA 393,
401, January 19, 2000.
38 TSN, October 23, 2000, pp. 22-28.
40 See Order dated April 3, 1997;
records, p. 59-a.
41 See Return of Warrant of Arrest; id.,
42 See Resolution dated May 22, 1997, and signed by Judge Barillo; id., pp. 65-66.
43 Records, p. 71. See also Return of Warrant of Arrest dated
August 12, 1997; records, p. 74.
44 TSN, November 10, 2000, pp. 4-6.
45 People v. Tolentino, 380 SCRA 171, 174, April 3, 2002; People v. Nuevo, 420 Phil. 421, 431, October 26, 2001.
46 People v. Almendras, 372 SCRA 737, 745, December 20, 2001; People v. Guzman, 372 SCRA 344, 354, December 14, 2001; People v. De la Cruz, 390 Phil. 961, 986, July 14, 2000.
47 People v. Ancheta, 372 SCRA 753, 762, December 21, 2001; People v. Solayao, 372
SCRA 162, 169, December 12, 2001; People v. Antonio, 390 Phil. 989, 1018-1019, July 14, 2000.
48 People v. Antonio, supra, p.
49 TSN, September 20, 1999, p. 4.
50 People v. Ancheta, supra.
51 People v. Abrazaldo, 397 SCRA 137, 147, February 7, 2003; People v. De la Cruz, supra; People v. Almendras, supra, p. 746.
52 Article 64(1) of the Revised Penal Code.
53 People v. Abrazaldo, supra, p.
149; People v. Mahilum, 390 SCRA 91,
99, September 27, 2002;
People v. Caares, 421 Phil. 917, 928,
November 22, 2001.
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