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THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee vs.

LAUREANO
SANGALANG, accused-appellant.
Case Digest
FACTS:
Accdg to FLORA SARNO (wife of victim)
6 AM, 09-June-1968: Ricardo Cortez left his nipa hut to gather tuba from a nearby coconut tree.
His wife Flora Sarno-Cortez was left inside the nipa hut
While on top of the tree he was struck by a volley of shots and fell to the ground
Flora the wife heard the shots and ran outside, and saw five armed men firing at her wounded
husband who was lying at the foot of the tree. (Men were around 5 meters away from husband.
Flora was around 25 meters away from the scene)
She recognized Laureano Sangalang as one of the five men. (She and her brother had known
Sangalang since their childhood). She also recognized the other four: Conrado Gonzales, Irineo
Canuel, Perino Canuel and Eleuterio Cuyom
Flora ran towards her husband but the five men fired shots at her, so she had to retreat back to the
hut for cover. She heard more shots. The men left after five minutes. When Flora went outside
again she found her husband lying prostrate, already dead.
Accdg to RICARDO SARNO (Floras brother)
He was inside his nipa hut (10 meters away from Flora and Ricardos hut) drinking coffee when
he heard the shots. He ran outside and saw his brother-in-law being shot by the five men.
Sangalang was using a Garand carbine.
He saw his sister run towards her husband. He tried to join her but both he and his sister were
fired at by the men so they had to run back to their own huts.

Cortez sustained 23 gunshot wounds on different parts of his body. He died from his injuries.
Flora and Ricardo executed sworn statements. Complaint was filed against the 5 men. Only
Sangalang was arrested.
CFI: convicted Sangalang of murder; sentence: reclusion perpetua
Sangalang appealed
o Alibi: He was at Sampaloc, Manila with Crispulo Mendoza the day before the murder to
borrow money from Julian Gatdula. They spent the night at Gatdulas house and ate
breakfast there the next morning (June 9, the day of murder).
o Impugned the credibility of Flora Cortez and Ricardo Sarno

ISSUES
1. WON eyewitness testimonies of Flora and Ricardo (that Sangalang, one of the 5 men, riddled
Cortez with 14 gunshot wounds) are sufficient to overcome alibi of Sangalang (positive
identification v. alibi). YES
2. WON qualifying AC of treachery (alevosia) should be appreciated. YES
RATIO:

1. POSITIVE IDENTIFICATION ENOUGH. ALIBI INADMISSIBLE


o Sangalang failed to immediately interpose defense of alibi during investigation
o Discrepancies in the testimonies of Flora Cortez and Ricardo Sarno NOT glaring, and
instead strengthen their credibility testimonies not coached nor rehearsed
Both clearly and consistenly identified Sangalang as one of the 5 men.
Unwavering identification negates alibi.
Although motive for killing not proven, it was not shown either that the two were
impelled by a malicious desire to incriminate Sangalang
2. QUAL. AC of TREACHERY appreciated.
o Victim:
Was on top of a coconut tree
Was unarmed and defenseless
Did not expect to be assaulted
Did not give any immediate provocation
o The deliberate, surprise attack shows that Sangalang and his companions employed a
mode of execution which insured the killing without any risk to them arising from any
defense which the victim could have made.
Treachery (alevosia) duly established. [Art. 14(16) RPC].
o Offense is murder
o Treachery absorbs AC of band
o Evident premeditation, although alleged, not proven
CONCLUSION
TC judgment of imposing RP as penalty correct. Judgment AFFIRMED.