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    Criminal Cases Digested Essay

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    Case: Francisco vs. People Facts: Macario Linghon without knowledge went and sold to the shop of the petitioner Ernesto “Erning” Francisco the jewelries which was stolen by his sister Pacita Linghon to a certain Jovita Rodriguez. Sometime after the jewelries have been stolen, Jovita just discovered that the jewelries have been missing. She filed a complaint for theft against Pacita in the Counter Intelligence Group of the Philippine National Police in Camp Crame. Pacita was then invited for questioning and she then gave a sworn statement pointing to the petitioner as the person to whom she sold the stolen jewelries.

    Pacita was then charged with qualified theft in the Regional Trial Court and was then convicted guilty. With the joint affidavit of investigation by the police, a sworn statement executed by Jovita charging the petitioner of buying stolen jewelry and Macario, prosecution witness; testifying against the petitioner, the court found a probable cause and issued a warrant of arrest for the petitioner. Information was then filed by the Provincial Prosecutor with the RTC charging petitioner with violating against P. D. No. 1612 or the Anti-Fencing Law.

    The court held the petitioner guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating P. D. No. 1612. Petitioner then appealed to the Court of Appeals, where the CA affirmed the RTC’s judgment. Petitioner then brought the case for appeal to the Supreme Court, contending that: 1. The Court of Appeals erred in sustaining the trial court’s decision. 2. The Court of Appeals erred in relying on the conflicting testimonies of prosecution witnesses, all of which consisted of hearsay evidence. Issue: Whether or not the petitioner is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating P. D No. 1612 or the Anti-Fencing Law?

    Held: The petition is granted. The decision of the Court of Appeals affirming the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Malolos, Bulacan is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The petitioner is ACQUITTED of the crime of violating P. D. No. 1612 for the prosecution’s failure to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. The stolen property subject of the charge is not indispensible to prove fencing. It is merely corroborative of the testimonies and other evidence adduced by the prosecution to prove the crime of fencing and the testimony of a single witness must be credible and reliable.

    In this case, we find the testimony of Macario Linghon to be dubious; hence, barren of probative weight. Case: Recebido vs. People Facts: Caridad Dolor mortgaged a certain property to her cousin, Aniceto Recibido, but did not execute a document on the mortgage but instead gave petitioner a copy of the Deed of Sale of the said property. Caridad Dolor went to redeem the said property but the petitioner refused to allow her to redeem her property and claim that she had sold it to him the said property.

    Caridad Dolor verified from the Office of the Assessor in Sorsogon that there exists on its file a Deed of Sale which was allegedly executed by her and that the property was registered in the petitioner’s name. A comparison of the signature of Dolor’s was made in other documents with that of in the said Deed of Sale and found that the signature was falsified. Dolor filed a complaint against the petitioner Anecito Recebido with the National Bureau of Investigation. Then, the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Sorsogon filed the information indicting petitioner for Falsification of Public Document with the Trial Court.

    The trial court convicted the petitioner of the crime charged and sentenced him to an intermediate penalty and to pay a fine of Three Thousand Pesos, with subsidiary imprisonment. And to pay P5,000. 00 for damages and to vacate the land in question. On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial court with the modification that the award for damages is deleted. The petitioner then raised his case before the Supreme Court. Issue: Whether or not the petitioner is guilty for the falsification of a public document. Held:

    The Court is unable to discern any grave abuse of discretion on the part of the Court of Appeal when it affirmed the judgment of the trial court and that the trial court did not commit any error in ordering the petitioner to vacate the subject property. The instant petition is DENIED for lack of merit. Case: People vs. Sanchez Facts: Vivencio Malabanan, prosecution’s witness, went to the house of Mayor Antonio Sanchez. Ding Peradillas also arrived and then informed Sanchez of a birthday party that will take place near the residence of Peradilla’s where Nelson Penalosa will be attending. Mayor Sanchez then replied, “Bahala na kayo mga anak.

    Ayusin lang ninyo and trabaho” and left. Peradillas then immediately informed Luis Corcolon and Artemio Averion and relayed the message “Ayos na ang pag-uusap at humanap na lang ng sasakyan. ” They then understood it as an order to kill Nelson Penalosa. Afterwards, Corcolon, Averion, and Peradillas made the arrangements and acquired two-way radios and a vehicle for the operation. After verifying that Nelson Penalosa was at the party, the three accused including Malabanan hopped into the car and pursued Penalosa’s jeep firing at it using M-16 and Baby Armalite Rifles, executed in automatic firing mode.

    As a result of the attack, Nelson Penalosa died alond side with his son, Rickson Penalosa. The accused interposed the defense of alibi and denial. The trial court ruled that the accused conspired in committing the crime. Treachery was present, thereby qualifying the crime to murder. It appreciated the aggravating circumstances of evident premeditation, nighttime and use of motor vehicle. The trial court considered the crime as a complex crime of double murder punishable under Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code and each of the accused was sentence to reclusion perpetua with fine to pay damages.

    Accused Mayos Antonio Sanchez and Artemio Averion jointly appealed from the decision to the Supreme Court. Issue: Whether or not the act of shooting the victim using armalites in automatic firing mode constitutes a single act and, thus, the felonies resulting therefrom are considered as complex crimes. Held: We ruled in negative and the court MODIFIES the decision of the RTC and finds accused-appellants Antonio Sanchez and Artemio Averion guilty beyond reasonable doubt of two counts of murder, and sentences each of them to suffer two penalties or reclusion perpetua, and each to pay jointly and severally the respective heirs of the victims.

    At the time of the commission of the crime, the penalty for murder under Article 248 of the RPC was reclusion temporal in its maximum period to death. Considering the presence of aggravating circumstances, the accused should be sentenced to death penalty to each murder. However, in view of the constitutional proscription of death penalty at that time, each of the accused is sentenced to two penalties of reclusion perpetua. Case: People vs. Enriquez Jr. Facts:

    Alexander Pureza and three other of his friends were having a conversation in front of the Barangay Hall where appellant Elpidio Enriquez Jr. arrived on board a tricycle driven by appellant Emilio Enriquez and told them not to run for he is an authority figure. He singled out Alexander Pureza and dragged him to the tricycle and forced him to board the same. Then they sped off. Pureza was never seen or heard again since then. Rogelio Andico, who was one of the three friends present during the abduction of Pureza, informed Pureza’s parents about the incident.

    Feliciano Castro, also corroborated with Andico,s testimony about the abduction of Pureza that night. The appellants used alibi and denied involvement in the kidnapping but they were found guilty as charged by the trial court and sentenced to indeterminate penalty of imprisonment of 17 years, four months, and one day of reclusion temporal to reclusion perpetua and to indemnify the heirs of the victim for P50,000. 00. Appellants appealed the case to the Court of Appeals which affirmed with modification the decision of the trial court.

    The appellate court did not apply the Indeterminate Sentence Law but imposed upon the penalty of reclusion perpetua. Then upon this decision, the case was elevated to the Supreme Court for review. Issue: Whether or not the accused-appellant is guilty for the kidnapping of Alexander Pureza. Held: We affirm the decision of the Court of Appeals convicting the appellants of the crime of kidnapping. We join the lower courts in rejecting appellants’ alibi and we find that the guilt of the appellants has been proven beyond reasonable doubt by the prosecution.

    All the elements of the crime of kidnapping, to wit : (1) the accused is a private individual; (2) the accused kidnaps or detains another, or in any manner deprives the latter of his liberty; (3) the act of detention or kidnapping is illegal; (4) in the commission of the offense, any of the four circumstances mentioned in Art. 267 of the RPC are present have been proven through the eyewitness account of Rogelio Andico and Feliciano Castro, who have not been shown to have any improver motive in testifying the case. In the correctness of the penalty, kidnapping is classified as a heinous crime in the 1987 Constitution, under R. A. 659 which is punishable by death. We have ruled that R. A. 7659 cannot be applied to a crime that transpired prior to its effectivity under the principle of non-retroactivity of penal laws which are unfavorable to the accused. Consequently, reclusion perpetua is the only penalty that can be imposed on the appellants and the Indeterminate Senetence Law cannot be applied in the case of appellants. Case: People vs. Ilo Facts: Amadeo Bocaya, prosecution’s witness, declared that on the night of the crime, he had a drinking spree with the appellant in the latter’s house where the latter had a heated argument with his live-in partner Virginia.

    Appellant kicked her several times and struck an old frying pan to her head. Virginia then fell to the floor. Amadeo tried to calm his friend, the appellant. The appellant got hold ofa stone and smashed Virginia’s head with it. Amadeo and the appellant continued their drinking spree until 4:00 am when Amadeo left and went home. Appellant brought the hapless body to the hospital but by then, Virginia was already dead. The doctor who attended to Virginia also stood as a witness for the prosecution and the police officer who went to investigate in the scene of the crime.

    The trial court held that the appellant is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the offense of Murder and is ordered to suffer the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua and to pay the heirs of Virginia Ilo the amount of P50,000. 00 for her death. The appellant then appealed to the court, assigned in his brief a solitary error of the court a quo, thus: the trial court gravely erred in finding that treachery attended the killing of the victim notwithstanding the absence of competent and sufficient evidence to support the same. Issue: Whether or not there is an attending circumstance of treachery. Held:

    We do not agree with the trial court. Treachery is not presumed. The circumstances surrounding the murder must be proved as indubitably as the crime itself. In sum then, appellant is guilty only of homicide which offense is punishable by reclusion temporal. Considering that no modifying circumstances attended the commission of the felony, the Court hereby metes on said appellant an indeterminate penalty of eight years, four months and one day of prision mayor in its medium period, as minimum, to fourteen years, ten months, and twenty days of reclusion temporal in its medium period, as maximum.

    Appellant is also hereby ordered to pay the damages. Case: People vs. Piedad Facts: Mateo Lactawan was being mauled and beaten up by Niel Piedad, Richard Palma, Lito Garcia and five others. Niel picked up a large stone and struck Mateo’s head with it. Then, Lito approached Mateo’s side and stabbed him at the back, while Richard hit Mateo in the face as testified by Luz Lactawan, the wife of Mateo Lactawan. The testimony of Luz was corroborated by Fidel Piquero’s testimony. Stating that Mateo with his drinking partner Andrew was about to leave the nearby store when for no reason Niel struck Mateo with a bottle on the head.

    When Andrew, hurled a chair towards Niel, which causes him to scamper away. Then shortly after, Fidel saw Niel returning with several companions. Mateo ran and called for help, where he and Luz emerged upon hearing the call of help from Mateo. They both saw Mateo being beaten up by the accused and was stabbed in the back by Lito. Mateo was then rushed to the East Avenue Medical Center where he later died because of the injuries sustained. Dr. Freyra of the Philippine National Polica Crime Laboratory Service conducted the post-mortem examination and testified that the wounds attain by the victim were fatal.

    Accused-appellant denied the charges against them and gave a differrent version of the incident. The trial courtfinds Niel Piedad and Lito Garcia guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder with no modifying circumstances present, and sentenced each to suffer penalty of reclusion perpetua and to pay for damages done to the heirs of the victim. Accused-appellant instantly appealed. Issue: Whether or not treachery is attendant in the crime which will qualify it to murder. Held: The essence of treachery is thus a deliberate and sudden attack, affording the hapless, unarmed and unsuspecting victim no chance to resist or to escape.

    In this case, Mateo was obviously overpowered and helpless when the accused-appellants’ group ganged and mauled him. Mateo could not have actually anticipated the sudden landing of a large concrete stone on his head. The stone was treacherously struck. The trial court, therefore, did not err in convicting accused-appellants of the crime of murder. The court hereby, AFFIRM the decision of the trial court and sentencing them to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua with the MODIFICATION that accussed-appellants are solidarily to pay the heirs of Mateo Lactawan. Case: Quinto vs. Andres Facts:

    Edison Garcia and Wilson Quinto saw Dante Andres and Randyver Pacheco by the mouth of the drainage culvert. Andres and Randyver invited to go fishing inside the drainage. Edison opted to stay outside and decided to wait for his friend Wilson. The three then entered to the drainage system. After a while, Pacheco emerged from the drainage and left. Andres also came out but went back inside, coming out now carrying the lifeless body of Wilson and laid it down in the grassy area. Garcia ran away with the shock of events. Andres then inform Wilson’s mother, Melba Quinto, that her son is dead.

    Wilson was buried without autopsy and no criminal complaint was filed. Two weeks after, the NBI took the sworn statements of Garcia, Pacheco, and Meba Quinto’s statement and the cadaver of Wilson was exhumed. Upon the autopsy, Dr. Aguda of the NBI found that the cause of death is Asphyxia by drowning; traumatic head injury. The NBI then filed a criminal complaint for homicide against Andres and Pacheco in the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor, which found probable cause for homicide by dolo against the two. Information was filed with the Regional Trial Court, it dismissed the ase and held that it could not hold the respondents liable for damages because of the absence of preponderant evidence for the death of Wilson Quinto. The petitioner appealed to the Court of Appeals which affirmed the rendered judgment by the trial court. The petitioner filed the instant petition for review. Issue: Whether or not the extinction of criminal liability, likewise, extinct the civil liability. Or whether or not there is a prejudicial question in this case. Held: In sum, the petitioner failed to adduce preponderance of evidence to prove a cause of action for damages based on the deliberate acts alleged in the Information.

    The petition is DENIED for lack of merit. Case: People vs. Bayotas Facts: Rogelio Bayotas was charged with Rape and eventually convicted thereof in a decision by Judge Autajay. Pending appeal on his conviction, Bayotas died at the National Bilibid Prison. Consequently, the Supreme Court in its resolution dismissed the criminal aspect of the appeal. However, it required the Solicitor General to file its comment with regard to Bayotas’ civil liability arising from his commission of the offense charged.

    In his comment, the Solicitor General expressed his view that the death of Bayotas did not extinguish his civil liability as a result of his commission of the offense charged. The Solicitor General insists that the appeal should still be resolved for the purpose of reviewing his conviction by the lower court on which the civil liability is based. Counsel of Bayotas, opposed the view of the Solicitor General arguing that the death of the accused while judgment of conviction is pending appeal extinguishes both his criminal and civil penalties. Issue:

    Whether or not does death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction extinguish his criminal liability. Held: Death of the accused pending appeal on his conviction extinguishes his criminal liability as well as civil loiability base solely thereon. The claim for civil liability survives notwithstanding the death of the accused, if the same may also be predicated on a source of obligation other than delict. When the civil liability survives, an action for recovery therefor may be pursued but only by way of filing a separate civil action and subject to section 1, Rule 111 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure as amended.

    Finally, the private offended party need not fear a forfeiture of his right to file this separate civil action by prescription, in cases where during the prosecution of the criminal action and prior to its extinction, the private-offended party instituted together therewith the civil action. Applying this set of rule to the case at bench, we hold that the death of the appellant Bayotas extinguished his criminal liability and the civil liability based solely on the act of complained i. e. rape. Consequently, the appeal is hereby dismissed without qualification. Case: Pangan vs. Gatbalite Facts:

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