Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1984 > June 1984 Decisions > G.R. No. 63154 June 19, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SUKARNO K. MAWALLIL:




PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

SECOND DIVISION

[G.R. No. 63154. June 19, 1984.]

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. SUKARNO MAWALLIL Y KARS, Defendant-Appellant.

The Solicitor General for Plaintiff-Appellee.

Cirilo Asperilla, Jr.,, for Defendant-Appellant.


SYLLABUS


1. REMEDIAL LAW; EVIDENCE; PRESUMPTIONS; DISPUTABLE PRESUMPTION OF MARRIAGE. — It should be noted that Sukarno never questioned his marriage and Sophia’s divorce in the lower court, which took for granted that the divorce and marriage were valid. His lawyer admitted the marriage. Hence, the rule of semper praesumitur pro matrimonio applies in this case (Sec. 5[bb], Rule 131, Rules of Court). Every intendment of law or fact leans toward the validity of marriage (Art. 220, Civil Code). Sukarno’s killing of Sophia must be regarded as parricide within the meaning of Article 246 of the Revised Penal Code.

2. CRIMINAL LAW; AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCES; EVIDENT PREMEDITATION, NOT PRESENT IN CASE AT BAR. — Counsel de oficio’s contention that evident premeditation was not proven is meritorious. It was not proven be cause there was no showing of a sufficient interval of time between the determination and execution of the crime to allow the accused to reflect upon the consequences of his act and overcome the resolution of his will (vencer las determinaciones de la voluntad) had he desired to hearken to its warnings.

3. ID.; MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES; PASSION AND OBFUSCATION; CASE AT BAR. — The trial court erred in considering passion and obfuscation as mitigating. Sukarno acted more in a spirit of lawlessness rather than due to a sudden and legitimate impulse of natural and uncontrollable fury.

4. ID.; ID.; VOLUNTARY SURRENDER. — Voluntary surrender to the authorities is extenuating.


D E C I S I O N


AQUINO, J.:


Sukarno Mawallil appealed from the decision of the Court of First Instance of Zamboanga City, convicting him of parricide, sentencing him to reclusion perpetua and ordering him to pay an indemnity of P20,000 to the heirs of his wife, Sophia Sera (Criminal Case No. 4702).chanrobles virtualawlibrary chanrobles.com:chanrobles.com.ph

Circumstantial evidence against the accused. — The prosecution’s evidence shows that the spouses Sukarno Mawallil and Sophia Sera, who were married in 1978 and had a four-month-old son, lived with Sophia’s parents in Baliwasan Grande, Zamboanga City. Sukarno was jobless. He was studying criminology while Sophia was taking the secretarial course a the Ateneo de Zamboanga.

Sukarno had a propensity to jealousy. He suspected that Sophia was studying in order to engage in flirtations. Their frequent quarrels were provoked by the husband’s jealousy. When they quarrelled, Sukarno always threatened Sophia with a Batangas knife (Exh. A). On November 21, 1980 they had a serious spat. Sukarno left the house with his son and went to his aunt’s place. He returned to the house when his wife and his sister-in-law fetched him.chanrobles law library : red

Two days later, Sunday, November 23, 1980, Sukarno left the house, telling his wife that he was going to Isabela, Basilan. In the afternoon of that day, Sophia and her sister entered the Rizal Theater. Inside the theater, Sophia was surprised to see Sukarno seated in front of her. He left fifteen minutes later.

When Sophia and her sister returned home at six o’clock, Sukarno was already at home seated in the sala. He laughed when his wife commented that he did not go to Isabela at all but was in the movie house. Then, he told her that he was taking her out to have dinner at the barbecue stand on Cawa-Cawa Boulevard, now R. T. Lim Boulevard. They went out supposedly to eat.

At around past nine o’clock on that Sunday night, the Sera family heard over the radio that the dead body of Sophia was at the funeral parlor (Exh. L). She was allegedly the victim of a holdup.

Before that radio announcement, at about nine o’clock, Leovigildo Aquino, a security guard of the Western Mindanao State University, while on his way to his quarters on R. T. Lim Boulevard, passing the fenced campus of the university, heard a woman’s voice shrieking "Ay." Some minutes later, he saw a half-naked man (shirtless) stopping a jeep. Aquino and another security guard, Said Lim, went to Pitul road near the Arts and Sciences Building. They saw a slain woman and the same shirtless man (who had stopped a jeep) standing by. The man was Sukarno. (See sketches, Exh. H and O).chanrobles law library : red

Aquino focused his flashlight on him and asked him what happened. Sukarno told him that he had been held up. He begged Aquino not to use his flashlight. The mayor and policemen arrived at the scene of the crime after being alerted by Aquino. They found the dead body of Sophia, 22, with 17 incised, punctured and lacerated wounds.

Among the fatal wounds were (a) an incised wound below the left nipple, (b) four punctured wounds in the abdomen, (c) three incised wounds in the sternomastoid muscle, (d) two lacerated wounds in the head (occipital and parietal bones) and (e) an incised wound four by two inches in the neck, cutting a big blood vessel and nerve (Exh. K).

At the scene of the crime, the police found a bloodstained Batangas knife (Exh. A and P), about six feet from the victim’s body. It was the same knife with which Sukarno used to threaten Sophia. The police also found his "Citron" wrist watch (Exh. B) of which Sukarno denied ownership although at first he had told the police that he was robbed of a watch and money. On Sukarno’s person was found his wife’s purse with eight pesos in coins (Exh. N).

Sukarno was shirtless and wearing denim pants. He had covered with his shirt Sophia’s dead body. He volunteered the information that he and his wife had been held up. The police took the body to the funeral parlor. Sukarno went with them. He requested that he be allowed to stay in the office of the funeral parlor and that he be permitted to get in touch with his parents.

He was afraid of reprisals from the victim’s parents. The police took him to the police station. He desired to stay in the city jail for security reasons. He never talked with his in-laws when he saw them at the funeral parlor except to tell his sister-in-law that Sophia was dead. He did not join them when they cried and mourned for Sophia. He never returned to Sophia’s house after the killing.chanrobles virtualawlibrary chanrobles.com:chanrobles.com.ph

Sukarno did not attend the funeral of Sophia nor the prayers for her on the seventh, twentieth, fortieth and one hundredth day which were held in accordance with Muslim customs. In fact, during the trial, when his mother-in-law and her companions passed near him in court, he told them: "Go ahead. You proceed with the case. I will kill all of you."cralaw virtua1aw library

Sukarno’s version. — Sukarno narrated an elaborate and overly embellished story as to how he was held up and his wife was killed. His counsel de oficio did not mention this story in his brief.

He testified that on Sunday, November 23, 1980, he boarded the M/V Don Julio at Zamboanga City at noontime and arrived at Isabela, Basilan at around one-thirty. He was engaged in the buy-and-sell of gold. He had with him P10,000. He borrowed P3,000 from a friend named Abdulgafar.

With the P13,000, he bought two gold coins at P6,500 each. He returned to the city on the M/V Don Julio at six o’clock in the evening. He sold the two gold coins for P13,500 to Abdul Putal in Sta. Maria.

At seven-thirty in the evening, he and his wife went to the discotheque at the Sunset Barbecue Stand on R. T. Lim Boulevard. At eight forty-five, they left the disco and boarded a tricycle with a "back rider" which stopped near another tricycle with another "back rider" at the Pitul road separating the Trade School and the university.

There, he was held up by four persons. He was boxed and stabbed. He gave to his wife the money which was tied to a piece of cloth around his waist. He told her to run. His assailants continued assaulting him until he became unconscious. When he regained consciousness, he heard his wife shouting for help. He went to the back of the university where his wife was. He found her dead.chanrobles virtualawlibrary chanrobles.com:chanrobles.com.ph

He ran to Lim Boulevard, stopped two jeeps and requested for assistance. The drivers refused to help. He went back to his wife and saw a security guard (Aquino) who informed him that he had already called the mayor and the police. When they arrived, Sukarno apprised them of the holdup and the killing of his wife by the robbers.

He disclaimed ownership of the knife and watch. He was not a jealous husband. He loved his wife and hated his mother-in-law. Before he was actually held up, he allegedly gave to his wife the money in the piece of cloth containing P13,500.

Trial Judge Abdulwahid A. Bidin branded Sukarno’s story as inherently incredible. It was uncorroborated. The wife of Abdul Putal, the goldsmith, denied that her husband bought two gold coins from Sukarno.

The trial court found that the trips made by Sukarno on the M/V Don Julio during the hours mentioned by him were not true. The truth was that the Don Julio went to Basilan in the morning and returned to the city at two o’clock on November 23, 1980 as shown in its logbook (Exh. U and V). Moreover, Sophia and her sister saw Sukarno in the Rizal Theater at three o’clock in the afternoon when he was supposedly in Basilan.

The trial court also found that there was no robbery because there was nothing to be taken from Sukarno. His claim that he was assaulted, when in fact he was not hurt at all, save for a scratch, was described by the trial court as unbelievable, miraculous and fantastic. The scratch was the only resistance which his helpless wife could give against his vicious attack. The court concluded that "it was the accused who attacked and killed his wife" (p. 125, Record).

Ruling. — As already stated, the trial court convicted Sukarno of parricide. In this appeal, counsel de oficio argues that the crime is not parricide because Sukarno and Sophia were not married in accordance with article 17 of Presidential Decree No. 1083, the Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippines, and neither was Sophia divorced in accordance with the said Code. It should be noted that Sukarno never questioned his marriage and Sophia’s divorce in the lower court, which took for granted that the divorce and marriage were valid. His lawyer admitted the marriage (2 tsn August 12, 1981).chanrobles law library

Sophia was first married to Nusi Munib whom she divorced on March 7, 1977 before Hadji Yasin Sakaluran, a Muslim leader, as shown in Exhibit J. Sakaluran had officiated at similar divorces more than a thousand times. The divorce was in accordance with Muslim customs, as authorized under Presidential Decree No. 793, effective as of June 19, 1969. That decree allows divorce on the ground of incompatibility (7-8, 16-18, tsn August 12, 1981), a ground recognized in section 52(g) of the Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippines.

More than a year after the divorce, Sophia, then 19, eloped with Sukarno to Siasi, Sulu, where his parents resided. They were married there on April 4, 1978 by Imam Karimuddin Jamiudin after Sophia’s parents had given their consent and a dowry of P5,000 was paid by his parents.

Later, they returned to Zamboanga City and lived with her parents. The marriage was in conformity with Muslim customs. Sukarno admitted the marriage and spoke of Sophia in his testimony as his wife (20-21 tsn January 21, 1982). As to the enforceability of the Code of Muslim Personal Laws in the absence of Shari’a Courts which have not been organized up to this time, see Vda. de Maraug v. Silapan, G.R. No. 64519, March 29, 1984.

Hence, the rule of semper praesumitur pro matrimonio applies in this case (Sec. 5[bb], Rule 131, Rules of Court). Every intendment of law or fact leans toward the validity of the marriage (Art. 220, Civil Code). Sukarno’s killing of Sophia must be regarded as parricide within the meaning of article 246 of the Revised Penal Code.

Counsel de oficio’s contention that evident premeditation was not proven is meritorious. It was not proven because there was no showing of a sufficient interval of time between the determination and execution of the crime to allow the accused to reflect upon the consequences of his act and overcome the resolution of his will (vencer las determinaciones de la voluntad) had he desired to hearken to its warnings.

The trial court erred in considering passion and obfuscation as mitigating. Sukarno acted more in a spirit of lawlessness rather than due to a sudden and legitimate impulse of natural and uncontrollable fury. Voluntary surrender to the authorities is extenuating.chanrobles.com.ph : virtual law library

There being one mitigating circumstance and no aggravating circumstances, the lesser penalty for parricide, which is reclusion perpetua, must be imposed (Art. 63[3], Revised Penal Code).

WHEREFORE, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed with the modification that the indemnity is increased to P30,000. Costs de oficio.

SO ORDERED.

Makasiar, Concepcion, Jr., Guerrero, Abad Santos and Escolin, JJ., concur.




Back to Home | Back to Main


chanrobles.com



ChanRobles Professional Review, Inc.

ChanRobles Professional Review, Inc. : www.chanroblesprofessionalreview.com
ChanRobles On-Line Bar Review

ChanRobles Internet Bar Review : www.chanroblesbar.com
ChanRobles CPA Review Online

ChanRobles CPALE Review Online : www.chanroblescpareviewonline.com
ChanRobles Special Lecture Series

ChanRobles Special Lecture Series - Memory Man : www.chanroblesbar.com/memoryman





June-1984 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. L-32701 June 19, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUFINEO L. DEJARESCO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-45363 June 19, 1984 - EMILIANO DULAOGON v. JUAN PONCE ENRILE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-49959 June 19, 1984 - UNITED RCPI COMMUNICATIONS LABOR ASSOCIATION — FUR v. AMADO GAT INCIONG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 63154 June 19, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SUKARNO K. MAWALLIL

  • A.C. No. 2093 June 22, 1984 - CALIXTO YAP v. BENJAMIN SOMERA

  • G.R. No. L-33397 June 22, 1984 - ROMEO F. EDU, ET AL. v. AMADOR E. GOMEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-33436 June 22, 1984 - JOSE E. ONG v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-39384 June 22, 1984 - PABLO GARBO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-42007 June 22, 1984 - MARIA B. DIAZ, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 52760 June 22, 1984 - PIER TWO ARRASTRE SERVICES CORPORATION v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 55739 June 22, 1984 - CARLO LEZAMA BUNDALIAN, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 56232 June 22, 1984 - ABELARDO CRUZ, ET AL. v. LEODEGARIA CABANA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 56378 June 22, 1984 - NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 57499 June 22, 1984 - MERCEDES CALIMLIM-CANULLAS v. WILLELMO FORTUN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 58818 June 22, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROSARIO JAMES P. TUMALIUAN

  • G.R. No. 58867 June 22, 1984 - DIRECTOR OF LANDS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 61652 June 22, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALEJANDRO IBASAN, SR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 62275 June 22, 1984 - CLARITA V. TANKIANG SANCHEZ, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 64164 June 22, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALEJANDRO BANAYO

  • G.R. No. 64515 June 22, 1984 - R & B SURETY & INSURANCE CO., INC. v. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-65762 June 23, 1984 - JOSE FRIAS, JR., ET AL. v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • Adm. Case No. 1468 June 25, 1984 - JUAN RAMIREZ v. ROMULO A. SALAZAR

  • G.R. No. L-32049 June 25, 1984 - MATAAS NA LUPA TENANTS ASS’N., INC., ET AL. v. CARLOS DIMAYUGA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-38401 June 25, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LEONARDO ALAMO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-61744 June 25, 1984 - MUNICIPALITY OF SAN MIGUEL, BULACAN v. OSCAR C. FERNANDEZ

  • G.R. No. L-63452 June 25, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GIL BIHASA

  • G.R. No. L-64165 June 25, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERTO VILLANUEVA

  • G.R. Nos. L-23109 & L-23110 June 29, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REALINO ZEA

  • G.R. No. L-25723 June 29, 1984 - DIRECTOR OF LANDS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-26827 June 29, 1984 - AGAPITO GUTIERREZ v. CAPITAL INSURANCE & SURETY CO., INC.

  • G.R. No. L-30266 June 29, 1984 - UNIVERSAL RUBBER PRODUCTS, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-30892 June 29, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LUIS FORMENTERA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-35775 June 29, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DIOSDADO EGOT

  • G.R. No. L-35833 June 29, 1984 - SUSANA DE LA CERNA LAINGO, ET AL. v. DAMIAN CAMILO, ET AL

  • G.R. No. L-36461 June 29, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. HERNANDO DIO

  • G.R. No. L-36941 June 29, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAFAEL SAYLAN

  • G.R. Nos. L-38468-69 June 29, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LORENZO B. TUVERA

  • G.R. No. L-46175 June 29, 1984 - AGUEDO F. AGBAYANI, ET AL. v. ROMEO D. MAGAT, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. L-48019-22 June 29, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LEONARDO BASAS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-48625 June 29, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CHARLIE AGRIPA

  • G.R. No. L-48744 June 29, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FRANCISCO CENTENO

  • G.R. No. L-49320 June 29, 1984 - FJR GARMENTS INDUSTRIES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-53337 June 29, 1984 - AMERICAN WIRE & CABLE WORKERS UNION (TUPAS) v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-53924 June 29, 1984 - M & M MANAGEMENT AIDS, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-60219 June 29, 1984 - BIENVENIDO AMISTOSO v. SENECIO ONG, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. L-61323-24 June 29, 1984 - RICHARD C. HOEY v. PROVINCIAL FISCAL OF RIZAL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-61337 June 29, 1984 - AURORA P. CAPULONG, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-62979 June 29, 1984 - ISIDRO REPEQUE v. GREGORIO U. AQUILIZAN

  • G.R. No. L-64849 June 29, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ISAGANI ROYERAS

  • G.R. No. L-64951 June 29, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EMILIO AGAG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-65165 June 29, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FIDEL MATEO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-65622 June 29, 1984 - LEONIDES C. PENGSON v. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, ET AL.