[G.R. No. 160491. January 21, 2004]

vs. CA



Quoted hereunder, for your information, is a resolution of this Court dated JAN 21 2004.

G.R. No. 160491(Jaime Roxas, Jr. vs. Court of Appeals.)

Before the Court is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court seeking the reversal of the Decision, [1] cralaw dated September 25, 2003, of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR No. 22040 that affirmed the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Roxas City (Branch 15) convicting petitioner Jaime Roxas, Jr. of the crime of Homicide in Criminal Case No. C-5229.

The prevailing rule is that findings of fact of the trial court particularly when affirmed by the Court of Appeals are binding upon the Court. [2] cralaw However, although this rule admits of exceptions:

The findings of fact of the Court of Appeals may admit of review by this Court when the inference made by the Court of Appeals from its findings of fact is manifestly mistaken, absurd or impossible and/or when the judgment of the Court of Appeals is premised on a misapprehension of facts. The review of the findings of fact of the Court of Appeals is undertaken by this Court to determine whether or not an error of law has been committed by the appellate court in its conclusion which warrants a review thereof under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. [3] cralaw

the petition must be dismissed outright, there being no reversible error in the decision of the Court of Appeals affirming the judgment of the trial court. The petition failed to show that both the trial court and the appellate court overlooked certain facts and circumstances which could justify a departure from the aforementioned general rule.

Petitioner's arguments that the appellate court overlooked the glaring contradictions and inconsistencies in the testimonies of prosecution witnesses Jason Datiles and Ediben Hapinat; that the testimony of Jason suffered inconsistencies relating to: (a) the date and time when he was inside the Hideout Disco; (b) the time when he left the disco; and, (c) whether there was a commotion outside the disco before the stabbing incident; that the testimony of Ediben is not credible due to his admission that he did not see the petitioner as one of those involved in the commotion outside the disco prior to the stabbing incident, are bereft of merit.

After a thorough reading of the transcripts of stenographic notes of the testimonies of Jason and Ediben, attached to the petition, we note that the seeming contradictions are more apparent than real. The alleged inconsistencies easily dissipate to naught when the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses are considered and calibrated in their entirety and not by truncated portions or isolated passages. Due consideration must be accorded to all the questions propounded to the witness and his answers thereto. [4] cralaw The whole impression or effect of what had been said or done must be considered and not individual words or phrases alone. [5] cralaw We find that the inconsistencies mentioned by petitioner did not directly come from the mouth of the prosecution witnesses but were due to the manner the counsel propounded his questions. Furthermore, the alleged inconsistencies and contradictions are only with respect to minor details and are so inconsequential that they do not in any way affect the credibility of the witnesses nor detract from the central fact of the crime. What is essential in this case is that the prosecution witnesses, Jason and Ebiden, were one in declaring that they saw petitioner deliver the fatal stabbing blow on Reynel.

Although it is incumbent on the prosecution to establish the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt, to justify acquittal based on reasonable doubt, the doubt should pertain to the facts constitutive of the crime charged. [6] cralaw Discrepancies should touch on significant matters crucial to the guilt or innocence of the accused. Conversely, inconsistencies in details irrelevant to the elements of the crime are not grounds for acquittal. [7] cralaw Besides, the absence of evidence of improper motive on the part of the principal witnesses for the prosecution strongly tends to sustain the conclusion that no improper motive exists and that their testimonies are worthy of full faith and credit. [8] cralaw Certainly, Jason and Ediben, in identifying petitioner as the assailant, had no other motive than to seek justice for the death of Reynel.

WHEREFORE, the instant petition for review on certiorari is DENIED outright, there being no reversible error committed by the Court of Appeals in its Decision dated September 25, 2003.


Very truly yours,


Asst. Div. Clerk of Court


[1] cralaw Penned by Justice Salvador J. Valdez, Jr. and concurred in by Justices Josefina Guevara-Salonga and Arturo D. Brion, Eleventh Division.

[2] cralaw Lagman vs. People, 371 SCRA 686, 693 (2001).

[3] cralaw Romago Electric Co., Inc. vs. Court of Appeals, 333 SCRA 291, 301 (2000).

[4] cralaw Francisco, The Revised Rules of Court of the Philippines, 1991 ed., Volume VII, Part II, p. 542.

[5] cralaw People vs. Rosario, 246 SCRA 658, 668 (1995); People vs. Gabas, 233 SCRA 77, 84 (1994).

[6] cralaw People vs. Calma, 295 SCRA 629, 656 (1998); People vs. Aguilar, 222 SCRA 394, 408 (1993).

[7] cralaw People vs. Maglente, 306 SCRA 546, 566-567 (1999); People vs. Salanga, 234 SCRA 407, 417 (1994); People vs. Lagmay, 215 SCRA 218, 226 (1992).

[8] cralaw People vs. Garcia, 361 SCRA 598, 608 (2001); People vs. Ravanes, 284 SCRA 634, 641 (1998).

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