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
 

   
January-2009 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.C. No. 7027 - TANU REDDI v. ATTY. DIOSDADO C. SERBIO, JR.

  • A.C. No. 7024 - OFELIA R. SOMOSOT v. ATTY. GERARDO F. LARA

  • A.C. No. 7860 - AVELINO O. ANGELES, ET AL. v. ATTY. AMADO O. IBANEZ

  • A.C. No. 7861 CBD Case No. 06-1829 - WILHELMINA C. VIRGO v. ATTY. OLIVER V. AMORIN

  • A.M. No. 2007-15-SC - RE: EMPLOYEES INCURRING HABITUAL IN THE 1ST SEM OF 2007: MS. MARIVIC C. AZURIN, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-07-1676 - AUREO G. BAYAGA v. JUDGE TRANQUILINO V. RAMOS

  • A.M. No. MTJ-06-1620 - INITIAL REPORT ON THE FINANCIAL AUDIT CONDUCTED AT THE OFFICE OF THE CLERK OF COURT

  • A.M. No. MTJ-09-1729 - Noryn S. Tan v. Judge Maria Clarita casuga-Tabin etc.

  • A.M. No. P-06-2251 - Cecilia T. Faelnar v. Felicidad Dadivas Palabrica etc.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-08-2126 Formerly OCA I.P.I. No. 08-2896-RTJ - Atty. Ernesto A. Tabujara III v. Judge Fatima Gonzales-Asdala

  • G.R. No. 122846 - WHITE LIGHT CORPORATION, ET AL. v. CITY OF MANILA ETC.

  • G.R. No. 127965 - Francisco Salazar v. Reynaldo De Leon etc.

  • G.R. No. 142309 - JUAN DELA RAMA, ET AL. v. OSCAR PAPA AND AMEURFINA PAPA

  • G.R. No. 143573 - ADORACION ROSALES RUFLOE, ET AL. v. LEONARDA BURGOS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146428 - HEIRS OF THE DECEASED CARMEN CRUZ-ZAMORA v. MULTIWOOD INTERNATIONAL, INC.

  • G.R. No. 149660 - MARANAW HOTELS AND RESORT CORP. v. CA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 150592 - Philippine Airlines, Inc. v. CA, et al.

  • G.R. No. 152923 - NORTHEASTERN COLLEGE TEACHERS AND EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION, represented by LESLIE GUMARANG v. NORTHEASTERN COLLEGE, INC.

  • G.R. No. 153192 - DEALCO FARMS, INC. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 155076 - LUIS MARCOS P. LAUREL v. HON. ZEUS C. ABROGAR ETC. ET AL.

  • G.R. NO. 158539 - INDUSTRIAL & TRANSPORT EQUIPMENT,INC.and/or RAYMOND JARINA, Petitioners, v. TOMAS TUGADE and CRESENCIO TUGADE, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 159284 - HEIRS OF BERNARDO ULEP AND DOLORES ULEP ETC. v. SPOUSES CRSITOBAL DUCAT AND FLORA KIONG

  • G.R. No. 159740 - METROPOLITAN WATERWORKS AND SEWERAGE SYSTEM v. ESM TRADING CORPORATION

  • G.R. No. 161237 - PERFECTO MACABABBAD, JR. v. FERNANDO G. MASIRAG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 161615 - ARNULFO O. ENDICO v. QUANTUM FOODS DISTRIBUTION CENTER

  • G.R. No. 163178 - HILARIO P. SORIANO v. OMBUDSMAN SIMEON V. MARCELO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 163586 - SHARON CASTRO v. HON. MERLIN DELORIA ETC., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 164024 - LUIS B. MANESE, ET AL. v. SPOUSES DIOSCORO VELASCO AND GLICERIA SULIT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 164032 CONTENT="Philippine Jurisprudence - LOLITA A. LOPEZ, JOSECITO M. DE LA VEGA, MANUEL ANTIOQUIA ELMER G. HILAUS, LUCIA B. MONTEMAYOR, CAROLINA ESPIRITU, LEONARDO FORTE, HELEN NATIVIDAD, ROGER C. OBINSA, CARLOS C. ASILO, JR., RICARDO FROND

  • G.R. No. 164804 and G.R. NO. 164784 - VIRGINIA A. SUGUE, ET AL. v. TRIUMPH E. REVILLA, JR.

  • G.R. No. 164856 - JUANITO A. GARCIA, ET AL. v. PHILIPPINE AIRLINES, INC.

  • G.R. No. 165547

  • G.R. No. 165571 - PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK, ET AL. v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. NO. 165924 : January 19, 2009 - RESTY JUMAQUIO, v. HON. JOSELITO C. VILLAROSA, in his capacity as Presiding Judge of San Jose City Regional Trial Court, Branch 39.

  • G.R. No. 166386 - DOMINGA RUIZ, ET AL. v. CRIRILA DELOS SANTOS

  • G.R. No. 166387 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE v. ENRON SUBIC POWERCORPORATION

  • G.R. NO. 167426 : January 12, 2009 - CHRIS GARMENTS CORPORATION, v. HON. PATRICIA A. STO. TOMAS and CHRIS GARMENTS WORKERS UNION-PTGWO LOCAL CHAPTER No. 832.

  • G.R. No. 167884 - ENRICO S. EULOGIO v. SPOUSES CLEMENTE AND LUZ APELES

  • G.R. No. 168139 - Ferdinand S. Agustin v. Sps. Mariano and Presentacion Delos Santos

  • G.R. No. 168437 - LAURINIO GOMA and NATALIO UMALE v. THE COURT OF APPEALS, PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, and SANGGUNIAN MEMBER MANUEL G. TORRALBA.

  • G.R. No. 169338 - NEW BIAN COMMERCIAL, INC. ETC. v. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 169472 - Francisco Landicho, et al. v. Felix Sia

  • G.R. No. 169565 - THE COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE v. UNITED INTERNATIONAL PICTURES, AB

  • G.R. No. 169712 - MA. WENELITA S. TIRAZONA v. PHIL. EDS TECHNO-SERVICE, INC., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 169956 - SPOUSES JONEL PADILLA and SARAH PADILLA v. ISAURO A. VELASCO, TEODORA A. VELASCO, DELIA A. VELASCO, VALERIANO A. VELASCO, JR., IDA A. VELASCO, AMELITA C. VELASCO, ERIBERTO C. VELASCO, JR., and CELIA C. VELASCO

  • G.R. No. 169970 - PROTACIO VICENTE, ET AL. v. DELIA SOLEDED AVERA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 170008 - DUTCH BOY PHILIPPINES, INC. v. RONALD SENIEL substituted by Ligaya Quimpo and CESARIO SENIEL substituted by Edelmira P. Seniel

  • G.R. No. 170147 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES REPRESENTED BY THE PHILIPPINES ECONOMIC ZONE AUTHORITY v. SPOUSES AGUSTIN AND IMELDA CANCIO

  • G.R. No. 170318 - JOSEPH REMENTIZO v. HEIRS OF PELAGIA VDA. DE MADARIETA

  • G.R. No. 170427 - ROBERTO R. DAVID v. JUDGE CARMELITA S. GUTIERREZ-FRUELDA, ETC. ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 170574 - PHILIPPINES BANKING CORPORATION v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE

  • G.R. No. 170609-13 - BERNIE G. MIAQUE v. HON. VIRGILIO M. PATAG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 170745 - GERARDA A. DIZON-ABILLA, ET AL. v. SPS. CARLOS AND THERESITA GOBONSENG

  • G.R. No. 170901 - DAVAO ORIENTAL ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC. v. THE PROVINCE OF DAVAO ORIENTAL

  • G.R. No. 170923 - Sulo sa Nayon, Inc. and/or Philippine Village Hotel, Inc. et al. v. Nayong Filipino Foundation

  • G.R. No. 170984 - SECURITY BANK AND TRUST COMPANY v. RIZAL COMMERCIAL

  • G.R. No. 171470 - NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION v. CENTRAL BOARD OF ASSESSMENT APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 171531 - GUARANTEED HOMES, INC. v. HEIRS OF MARIA P. VALDEZ, ET AL.

  • G. R. No. 172326 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ALFREDO PASCUAL Y ILDEFONSO

  • G.R. No. 172670 - RBC Cable Master System and/or Evelyn Cinense v. Marcial Baluyot

  • G.R. No. 173226 - LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES v. MANUEL O. GALLEGO, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 173227 - SEBASTIAN SIGA-AN v. ALICIA VILLLANUEVA

  • G.R. No. 174290/G.R. No. 176116 - ST. MARY OF THE WOODS SCHOOL, INC., ET AL. v. OFFICE OF THE REGISTRY OF DEEDS OF MAKATI CITY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 174372 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ELPIDIO ANTONIO

  • G.R. No. 174621 - LA UNION CEMENT WORKERS UNION, ET AL. v. NLRC & BACNOTAN CEMENT CORPORATION (NOW HOLCIM PHILIPPINES INC.)

  • G.R. No. 174975 - LUISA KHO MONTANER, ET AL. v. SHARI'A DISTRICT COURT, ETC. ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 175229 - People of the Philippines v. Grace Calimon, et al.

  • G.R. No. 175769-70 - ABS-CBN BROADCASTING CORPORATION v. PHILIPPINE MULTI-MEDIA SYSTEM, INC., CESAR G. REYES, FRANCIS CHUA (ANG BIAO), MANUEL F. ABELLADA, RAUL B. DE MESA, AND ALOYSIUS M. COLAYCO

  • G.R. No. 175836 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. RUBEN CORPUZ Y SIMON

  • G.R. No. 176127 - RODOMEIL J. DOMINGO v. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN, KATHRYN JOY B. PAGUIO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 176151 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. LOURDES ORTIZ DARISAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 176768 - GOLDEN (ILOILO) DELTA SALES CORPORATION v. PRE-STRESS INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION, ZE ON SETIAS and JERRY JARDIOLIN

  • G.R. No. 177026 - LUNESA O. LANSANGAN, ET AL. v. AMKOR TECHNOLOGY PHILIS., INC.

  • G.R. No. 177607 - Land Bank fo the Philippines v. Pacita Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Inc. etc.

  • G.R. No. 177960 - JEFFREY RESO DAYAP v. PRETZY-LOU P. SENDIONG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 178104 - AUTO PROMINENCE CORPORATION, ET AL. v. PROF. DR. MARTIN WINTERKORN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 178242 - HEIRS OF NORBERTO J. QUISUMBING v. PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 178309 - AKLAN COLLEGE, INC. v. PERPETUO ENERO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 178524 - Panfilo Macasero v. Southern Industrial Gases Philippines and/or Neil LIndsay

  • G.R. No. 178645 - LINA PENALBER v. QUIRINO RAMOS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 178799 - FIRST UNITED CONSTRUCTORS CORPORATION v. PORO POINT MANAGEMENT CORPORATION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 179190 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ALBERTO L. MAHINAY

  • G.R. No. 179880 - ROBERTO TOTANES v. CHINA BANKING CORPORATION

  • G.R. No. 179892-93 - ATTY. VICTORIANO V. OROCIO v. EDMUND P. ANGULUAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 180088 - MANUEL B. JAPZON v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 180853 - MANICAM M. BACSASAR v. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION

  • G.R. No. 181037 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. SAIDAMEN MACATINGAG Y NAMRI ALIAS "SAI"

  • G.R. No. 181480 - JOSEFINA CADA v. TIME SAVER LAUNDRY/LESLIE PEREZ

  • G.R. No. 181642 - RUFINO S. CAMUTIN, ET AL. v. SPS. NORBERTO POTENTE AND PASCUALA POTENTE

  • G.R. No. 181790 - DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES v. GREGORIO CAPULONG

  • G.R. No. 182088 - ROBERTO L. DIZON v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 182518 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. MUHAMMAD ABDULAH ETC.

  • G.R. No. 182549 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. SERGIO LAGARDE

  • G.R. No. 182570 - ROMEO N. VENTURA v. CA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 182750 - RODEL URBANO v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 183373 - GILDA C. ULEP v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 183567 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. AVELINO DELA PENA, JR.

  • G.R. No. 183703 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. FERNANDO SAMENIANO

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. 183567 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. AVELINO DELA PENA, JR.

      G.R. No. 183567 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. AVELINO DELA PENA, JR.

    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    THIRD DIVISION

    [G.R. NO. 183567 : January 19, 2009]

    PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Appellee, v. AVELINO DELA PEÑA, JR., Appellant.

    D E C I S I O N

    NACHURA, J.:

    For the final review of the Court is the trial court's conviction of appellant Avelino dela Peña, Jr. for murder. In the September 21, 2007 Decision1 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. CR-H.C. No. 00133, the appellate court, on intermediate review, affirmed with modification in the award of damages, the August 1, 2001 Decision2 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Bugasong, Antique, Branch 64, in Criminal Case No. B-0234.

    The antecedent facts and proceedings follow:

    On March 8, 1997, at around 7:00 in the evening, the victim, the late Danilo M. Sareño, and his wife, Maria, illuminated by a torch and kerosene lamp,3 were having dinner at their residence in Centro Binangbang, Barbaza, Antique.4 In the course of the meal, Danilo stood up to get rice from the pot on the stove, one and a half meters away from the dining table.5 Maria then momentarily saw Danilo's uncle and their neighbor, appellant Avelino, standing outside the house and behind the window (with bamboo grills) near the stove. In an instant, the appellant aimed and fired a gun at Danilo's back while he was scooping rice from the pot. Hysterical and shocked, Maria rushed to her husband, and shouted for help.6 Haplessly, however, Danilo was already dead on arrival at the hospital.7

    In the morning of the following day, March 9, the victim's body was autopsied by Dr. Divina M. Ruiz, Municipal Health Officer of Barbaza, Antique.8 The cause of death was medically reported as "[c]ardiorespiratory arrest secondary to gunshot wound at the level of the 9th rib, back, right 1.5 inches from the midspinal column hitting the right ventricle of the heart and secondary to massive hemorrhage of the thoracic cavity due to rupture of the right ventricle of the heart."9 Dr. Ruiz recovered the slug of the bullet at the said portion of the heart, and turned the same over to the authorities.10 The gunshot wound had gunpowder indicating that the muzzle of the gun was near the body of the victim. There was no exit wound.11

    The wife of the deceased formally lodged a complaint against the appellant on April 22, 1997.12 In the October 27, 1997 Information13 filed with the RTC of Bugasong, Antique, Branch 64, the appellant was charged as follows:

    x x x

    The undersigned Assistant Provincial Prosecutor accuses Avelino dela Peña, Jr. of the crime of Murder, committed as follows:

    That on or about the 8th day of March, 1997, in the Municipality of Barbaza, Province of Antique, Republic of the Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused being then armed with an illegally possessed firearm (caliber 38 revolver), with intent to kill and with treachery, did then and there, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault and shoot with said caliber 38 revolver one Danilo Sareño thereby inflicting gunshot wound on his body which caused his instantaneous death.

    Contrary to the provisions of Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by R.A. 7659.

    San Jose, Antique; October 27, 1997.14

    When the warrant for his arrest was served, the appellant could not be found within the jurisdiction of the municipality. The police learned that he was in Manila at an unknown address.15 On August 27, 1998, the appellant was finally apprehended16 within the vicinity of St. Anthony's College in the municipality while he was driving a tricycle.17

    During the arraignment on September 17, 1998, the appellant entered a plea of not guilty.18 In his defense, he denied that he was the one who shot Danilo. He further claimed that on the date and time the shooting happened, he was at his best friend's (Eddie Limod's) house in another barangay four kilometers away from the scene of the crime, to ask for boat passes from his friend because he was leaving for Manila the following day. He left his friend's house at 11:00 in the evening. He later learned from his mother and siblings that it was his brother, Eldred, who shot Danilo. On the morning of March 9, 1997, he boarded the M/V Romblon bound for Manila.19

    Eddie Limod corroborated appellant's alibi.20 Gonzalo Sareño, the father of the victim, likewise testified in appellant's favor, and claimed that, after he heard the gunshot, he peeped through his window (his house was about 8 arm's length away from Danilo's house21 ) and saw Eldred running away from the crime scene.22 ςηαñrοblεš νιr υαl lαω lιbrαrÿ

    On August 1, 2001, the trial court rendered its Decision23 finding the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of murder. The dispositive portion of the court's decision reads:

    In view thereof, this Court finds the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Murder punished under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code and in the absence of any aggravating or mitigating circumstance he is hereby sentenced to Reclusion Perpetua and the accessories thereof.

    Accused is ordered to pay the heirs of deceased Danilo Sareño the amount of P50,000.00 as indemnity for his death.

    SO ORDERED.24

    The appellant timely filed his Notice of Appeal25 on December 19, 2001. On June 3, 2002, he was received at the New Bilibid Prison for commitment.26 In the September 20, 2004 Resolution27 of the Court in G.R. No. 152448, we transferred the case to the appellate court for appropriate action and disposition following our ruling in People v. Mateo.28

    On September 21, 2007, the CA, as aforesaid, affirmed, with modification in the award of damages, the decision of the trial court.29 The dispositive portion of the appellate court's decision reads:

    WHEREFORE, premises considered, the assailed Decision of the RTC, 6th Judicial Region, Branch 64, Bugasong, Antique, in Criminal Case No. B-0234, convicting appellant, Avelino dela Peña, Jr., guilty beyond reasonable doubt of Murder, is hereby AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION, in that appellant is directed to pay the heirs of Danilo Sareño the amounts of P50,000.00 as moral damages and P25,000.00 as exemplary damages in addition to civil indemnity.

    No costs.

    SO ORDERED.30

    The Court now finally reviews the trial and the appellate courts' uniform conviction of the appellant for murder.

    We affirm. The appellant is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the murder of Danilo M. Sareño.

    In a criminal case, the prosecution must prove two things: (1) the fact of the crime; and (2) the fact that the accused is the perpetrator of the crime.31 Here, there is no question on the existence of the first element, as in fact, the killing of Danilo is admitted by the parties. The appellant only puts in issue the second. The Court finds, however, that, in this case, the prosecution fulfilled its bounden duty to establish the identity of the assailant as the perpetrator of the crime.

    It should be emphasized that the testimony of a single eyewitness, if positive and credible, is sufficient to support a conviction even in a charge of murder.32 Relationship does not necessarily give rise to any presumption of bias or ulterior motive, nor does it impair the credibility of witnesses or tarnish their testimonies.33

    In this case, the eyewitness account of Maria, the wife of the victim, was clear, sincere and truthful; and her identification of appellant Avelino as the assailant was positive and categorical, thus:

    COURT:

    Before you saw the accused you were eating already your supper?cralawred

    A: I was eating and he stood up to scoop rice when the incident happened, Your Honor.

    Q: How did you happen to see the accused?cralawred

    A: He was just standing there, Your Honor and the distance is very near, Your Honor.

    Q You have seen the accused standing before your husband got rice from the rice pot?cralawred

    A: Yes, he stood up and right after he stood up he shot him, Your Honor.

    Q: In other words the accused is already outside of your grills while your husband was going to scoop rice?cralawred

    A: Yes, he was waiting for my husband to stand up, Your Honor.

    Q: What did you do or what did you say when you saw the accused standing beside the grills of your kitchen?cralawred

    A: When my husband stood up to scoop rice he was just at the back standing and he immediately shot my husband, Your Honor.

    Q: Now, that was the first time you saw the accused, or when was the first time you saw the accused? You said the accused was standing then your husband went to get rice and the accused shot your husband, was it the first time you saw the accused when he shot your husband?cralawred

    A : Yes, Your Honor.

    COURT:

    And what was he doing when you first saw him? You stand up and demonstrate.

    A: When my husband stood up to scoop rice he immediately put his hand in the window grill and shot my husband between the bamboo grills, Your Honor.

    Q: What hand was holding the gun?cralawred

    A: I did not notice what hand was holding the firearm but I noticed that the gun fired, Your Honor.

    Q: Did his hand enter the bamboo grills that you are mentioning before?cralawred

    A: No, only the gun, Your Honor.

    Q: Now, how did you know that it was the accused who shot your husband when you said there was a bamboo grill?cralawred

    A: Because there was a bright light coming from our neighbor's house, Your Honor.

    Q: Inside your house there is also a light?cralawred

    A: Yes, Your Honor.

    Q: What kind of light?cralawred

    A: Kerosene lamp and torch lamp, Your Honor.

    Q: And when the accused shot your husband did you see the face of the accused?cralawred

    A: Yes, Your Honor.

    Q: How long have you known the accused?cralawred

    A: Seven (7) years, Your Honor.

    Q: And he is your neighbor?cralawred

    A: Yes, Your Honor.

    COURT:

    Immediate neighbor?cralawred

    A: Yes, Your Honor.

    Q: Now, when you saw the accused shot your husband what did the accused do after that?cralawred

    A: He ran away, Your Honor.34

    The Court notes that the eyewitness and the assailant were no strangers to each other, and that the scene of the crime was sufficiently illuminated. Surely, it is not fanciful to stress that even under less favorable circumstances a familiar face would considerably reduce any error in identifying the assailant.35 It has also been consistently ruled in prior cases that the illumination produced by a kerosene lamp is sufficient to allow identification of persons.36

    Positive identification, where categorical and consistent, without any showing of ill-motive on the part of the eyewitness testifying on the matter, prevails over alibi and denial which, if not substantiated by clear and convincing proof, are negative and self-serving evidence undeserving of weight in law.37 The appellant had not shown that it was physically impossible for him to be present at the time and place of the crime.38

    Thus, we find no reason to disturb the trial court's reliance on the testimony of eyewitness Maria. Findings and conclusions of trial courts on the credibility of witnesses enjoy, as a rule, a badge of respect, for trial courts have the advantage of observing the demeanor of witnesses as they testify.39 Only the trial judge can observe the furtive glance, blush of conscious shame, hesitation, flippant or sneering tone, calmness, sigh, or the scant or full realization of an oath all of which are useful aids for an accurate determination of a witness' honesty and sincerity. The trial court's findings are even accorded finality, unless there appears in the record some fact or circumstance of weight which the lower court may have overlooked, misunderstood or misappreciated, and which, if properly considered, would alter the result of the case.40 It must also be emphasized that, here, the CA affirmed the findings of the RTC. In this regard, it is settled that when the trial court's findings have been affirmed by the appellate court, said findings are generally conclusive and binding upon this Court.41

    As to the testimony of the victim's father, we likewise agree with the trial court that -

    His testimony seem[s] to this court disincredible (sic). In the first place he did not see the shooting because he only peeped out of the window when he heard a gun explosion and saw Eldred leaving the place running.42

    The RTC also correctly ruled that treachery attended the killing, thus:

    It is undisputed that the gunshot wound sustained by the victim was located at the left back portion of the chest and he has no other injuries apart from this wound.ςηαñrοblεš νιr υαl lαω lιbrαrÿ

    Thus, it is evident that the victim was shot from behind, with his back towards the assailant. It has many times been held that treachery exists when the defenseless victim was shot from behind and that this shows that accused had employed means of attack which offered no risk to himself from any defensive or retaliatory act which the victim might have taken. It is clear, therefore, that the victim has not even thought that he will be shot by the accused while scooping with a laddle (sic) rice inside the pot. Accused employed deliberately the kind of attack which offered no risk to himself what the victim might do.

    Treachery was employed by the accused because he sought the cover of darkness to shot (sic) the victim to avoid his recognition. Accused likewise shot the victim while he was behind the railings of the kitchen and it would be hard for the victim to retaliate even if he had the knowledge that he could be shot by the accused. With all these circumstances attendant to the instant case no doubt could be entertained by this court that the accused shot the victim treacherously.

    Nighttime, however, as aggravating circumstance is absorbed by treachery.43

    The essence of treachery is the sudden and unexpected attack by the aggressor on an unsuspecting victim, depriving the latter of any real chance to defend himself, thereby ensuring its commission without risk to the aggressor, and without the slightest provocation on the part of the victim.44 In this case, the victim was unarmed; and was attacked from behind and at close range. The assailant further hid behind the window to mask his presence and identity.

    Finally, we find no reason to disturb the penalty imposed and the amount of damages awarded by the CA, as they are all in accord with law and current jurisprudence.

    WHEREFORE, premises considered, the September 21, 2007 Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR-H.C. No. 00133 is AFFIRMED.

    SO ORDERED.

    Endnotes:


    * Additional member per Special Order No. 546 dated January 5, 2009.

    1 Penned by Associate Justice Antonio L. Villamor, with Associate Justices Isaias P. Dican and Stephen C. Cruz, concurring; rollo, pp. 5-18.

    2 Records, pp. 170-180.

    3 TSN, March 3, 1999, p. 3.

    4 TSN, January 20, 1999, pp. 7-8.

    5 TSN, March 3, 1999, p. 14.

    6 Id. at 2-8.

    7 TSN, January 20, 1999, p. 12.

    8 TSN, November 5, 1998, pp. 2-3.

    9 Records, p. 4.

    10 TSN, November 5, 1998, p. 10.

    11 Id. at 6-7.

    12 Records, p. 7.

    13 Id. at 21.

    14 Id.

    15 Id. at 26-A.

    16 Id. at 27.

    17 TSN, August 31, 2000, p. 8.

    18 Records, p. 31.

    19 TSN, August 31, 2000, pp. 3-16.

    20 TSN, May 6, 1999, pp. 2-15.

    21 TSN, April 4, 2001, p. 4.

    22 Id. at 14.

    23 Supra note 2.

    24 Records, p. 180.

    25 Id. at 181.

    26 CA rollo, pp. 64, 74.

    27 Id. at 141.

    28 G.R. NOS. 147678-87, July 7, 2004, 433 SCRA 640.

    29 Supra note 1.

    30 CA rollo, pp. 158-159.

    31 People v. Delmo, 439 Phil. 212, 255 (2002).

    32 People v. Zeta, G.R. No. 178541, March 27, 2008, 549 SCRA 541, 559.

    33 People v. Cariño, G.R. No. 131117, June 15, 2004, 432 SCRA 547, 581.

    34 TSN, March 3, 1999, pp. 16-18.

    35 People v. Bagsit, 456 Phil. 623, 631 (2003).

    36 People v. Dagpin, G.R. No. 149560, June 10, 2004, 431 SCRA 643, 658.

    37 People v. Baltazar, 455 Phil. 320, 331 (2003); People v. Berdin, 462 Phil. 290, 304 (2003).

    38 People v. Delmo, supra note 31, at 259.

    39 People v. Malolot, G.R. No. 174063, March 14, 2008, 548 SCRA 676, 688.

    40 People v. Cariño, supra note 33, at 571.

    41 Ingal v. People, G.R. No. 173282, March 4, 2008, 547 SCRA 632, 652.

    42 Records, p. 178.

    43 Id. at 179.

    44 People v. Villa, G.R. No. 179278, March 28, 2008, 550 SCRA 480, 498; People v. Malolot, supra note 39, at 690; Ingal v. People, supra note 41, at 654-655.


    G.R. No. 183567 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. AVELINO DELA PENA, JR.


    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