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Republic of the Philippines

8th Judicial Region


MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT IN CITIES
xx
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,
Plaintiff;
Criminal Case No. xx
For: RECKLESS IMPRUDENCE
RESULTING IN SERIOUS PHYSICAL
INJURY & DAMAGE TO PROPERTY
-versusxx
Accused.
x-------------------------------------------x

DECISION
On October 28, 2011, xx was driving his motorcycle along xx
City, when suddenly a fast moving vehicle sideswiped his
motorcycle, knocked him down on the ground and rendered him
unconscious with physical injuries including facial deformity and
damage to property.
According to the prosecution, the fast-moving vehicle was
driven by the accused, xx, in a careless, imprudent and reckless
manner. Consequently, Encordia is charged with the crime of
Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Serious Physical Injury and
Damage to Property on February 13, 2012. The information reads
as follows:
That on or about the 28 th day of October 2011, in the City of
Tacloban, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable
Court, the above-named accused, being the driver of a Suzuki Jeepney
with Plate No. JCW-707, registered in the name of Angel A. Cordero,
without due regard to traffic laws and regulations and without taking
the necessary precautions to prevent accident and damage to
property, did, then and there, unlawfully and feloniously manage,
operate and drive said motor vehicle along Marasbaras National Road
thereby causing it to side swept Emmanuel Obenza who was then
driving a motorcycle (MC RUSI DL 100) with Plate No. 7840, registered
in the name of Lydia L. Trichera and as a result thereof victim became
unconscious and sustained physical injuries that casued physical
deforminty to his face and which injuries require confinement and
medical attendance for a period of eight (8) days and caused damage
to the said MC RUSI DL motorcycle in the estimated amount of
P2,700.00.
That accused failed to lend on the spot to his victim such help as
was in his hands to give like bringing him to the nearest hospital,
instead accused immediately fled from the scene of the incident.
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When arraigned on March 22, 2012, Alfredo Encorida,


assisted by counsel, entered a negative plea to the charge.
Accused failed to submit his counter affidavit or any
countervailing evidence to prove his defense despite being given
time to do so. An order was made declaring him to have waived
presentation of his evidence.
The Courts Ruling
Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code states that reckless
imprudence consists in voluntarily, but without malice, doing or
failing to do an act from which material damage results by reason
of inexcusable lack of precaution on the part of the person
performing or failing to perform such act, taking into
consideration (1) his employment or occupation; (2) his degree of
intelligence; (3) his physical condition; and (4) other
circumstances regarding persons, time and place.
Settled is the rule that to secure a conviction, the
prosecution must prove the guilt of the accused beyond
reasonable doubt. Proof beyond reasonable doubt does not mean
such a degree of proof as, excluding possibility of error, produces
absolute certainty. Moral certainty only is required, or that degree
of proof which produces conviction in an unprejudiced mind. 1
Nevertheless the burden of proof still rests on the state. The
accused, if he so chooses, need not present evidence. He merely
has to raise a reasonable doubt and whittle away from the case of
the prosecution. The constitutional presumption of innocence
demands no less.2
In the case at bench, the prosecution failed to identify the
accused as the one driving the vehicle that sideswiped the vehicle
driven by the victim. In his testimony, the victim, Emmanuel
Obenza, said that after he was sideswiped by a multi-cab, he was
unconscious until he was brought by the Delta Ambulance to
EVRMC for medical treatment. He was already at the hospital
when he knew that the utility vehicle which bumped him was
registered in the name of Angel A. Cordero and was driven by
Alfredo Morillo Encordia.3 There is no showing that he saw Alfredo
M. Encordia at the time of the incident and was the one driving
the vehicle that bumped his vehicle.
1 Sec. 2, Rule 133, Rules of Court.
2 People vs. Tadepa, G.R. No. 100354 May 26, 1995
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The other supposed eye-witness in the person of Reynaldo


Penaranda, when asked if he could point the accused in the
courtroom answered that he cannot remember his face. 4 The
other witnesses showed that police officers were able to flag
down the vehicle of the accused and arrested him at Real St.,
Tacloban City, a few kilometers away from the place of the
incident. However, said officers did not likewise offer indubitable
proof that the driver of the vehicle they flagged down at Real
Street, was the same driver of the vehicle that figured in the
subject incident at Marasbaras National Road.
This Court thus harks back to the constitutional doctrine that
the state carries the burden of proof in establishing the guilt of
the accused beyond reasonable doubt, and it is not incumbent
upon him to disprove his guilt. If the state fails in its burden the
accused must be discharged.
WHEREFORE, accused ALFREDO ENCORDIA y MORILLO is
ACQUITTED on reasonable doubt and for insufficiency of
evidence.
On the civil liability, the parties submitted a Compromise
Agreement dated November 9, 2016, which the Court approved
and settled the civil aspect herein.
SO ORDERED.
IN CHAMBERS, December 13, 2016, Tacloban City.

xx
Presiding Judge

3 See Exhibit A; records, pp. 5-6.


4 See TSN, May 29, 2013, p. 8
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