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G.R. No. 193833 November 16, 2011 That on or about the 7th day of November involved in the filing of the charges against Withdrawal of Information for Kidnapping
2002, in the City of Makati, Metro Manila, Trestiza, Manrique and Pineda. Charge with Entry of Appearance as Private
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff- Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Prosecutor." They alleged in said Motion that
Appellee, Honorable Court, the above-named accused, Criminal Case No. 02-3393 for Kidnapping they were not furnished clear and certified true
vs. PO1 Froilan Trestiza y Lacson and P/S Insp. against accused PO1 Froilan Trestiza y Lacson copies of the Resolution dated 03 January 2003
PO1 FROILAN L. TRESTIZA, P/S INSP. Loriemar L. Manrique, both active members of (PO1 Trestiza), PS/Insp. Loriemar L. Manrique to enable them to file their
LORIEMAN* L. MANRIQUE, and RODIE J. the Philippine National Police, and Rodie (PS/Insp. Manrique) and Rodie Pineda y Opposition/Comment to the Motion to
PINEDA @ "Buboy,"Accused. Pineda y Jimenez, a private individual[,] all of Jimenez (Pineda) and Criminal Case No. 02- Withdraw.
PO1 FROILAN L. TRESTIZA, Accused-Appellant. them armed with firearms, conspiring, 3394 for Illegal Possession of Firearms and
confederating and mutually helping one Ammunitions against accused PO1 Trestiza On 05 March 2003, the Branch Clerk of Court of
DECISION alone were filed before this Court on 20 RTC Makati Branch 135 sent a letter dated 26
another with one PO2 [Reynel] Jose, a member
of the Philippine National Police, did then and November 2002. Surprisingly, however, SPO2 February 2003 addressed to the Branch Clerk of
CARPIO, J.:
there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously [Reynel] Jose was not included as an accused in this Court ostensibly transmitting the Release
The Case kidnap Lawrence Yu y Lim and Maria Irma the Kidnapping case although in the original Order of PO1 Trestiza dated 22 February 2003
Navarro, or otherwise deprive them of their Information, Prosecutor Andres N. Marcos together with other pertinent documents in
G.R. No. 193833 is an appeal1 from the liberty by then and there kidnap without legal mentions him as someone who mutually connection with Criminal Case No. 02-3394,
Decision2 promulgated on 30 June 2009 as well grounds for the purpose of extorting money for helped all the other accused in the willful, which was duly approved by the Hon. Francisco
as the Resolution3promulgated on 11 June 2010 their safety and immediate release as in fact unlawful, felonious kidnapping of private B. Ibay, Presiding Judge of said Court.1âwphi1
by the Court of Appeals (appellate court) in CA- said accused demanded the amount of complainants Lawrence Yu y Lim (Yu) and Ma.
G.R. CR.-HC. No. 03119. The appellate court Irma Navarro (Navarro). A Motion for The Order of Release dated 22 February 2003
₱1,000,000.00 as ransom money from them.
affirmed the 24 July 2007 Joint Decision4 of Reinvestigation dated 21 November 2002 was signed by Judge Ibay directed the Jail Warden
Branch 143 of the Regional Trial Court of Makati CONTRARY TO LAW.5 then filed by "all" three accused while a of Makati Police Station, Makati City to
City (trial court) in Criminal Case Nos. 02-3393 separate Motion for Reinvestigation and/or discharge from his custody the person of said
for Kidnapping (for Ransom), 03-766 for Criminal Case No. 02-3394 for Illegal Possession Preliminary Investigation dated 22 November accused as the latter was able to file the
Robbery, and 04-1311 also for Robbery. of Firearm and Ammunitions was filed by accused PS/Insp. Manrique. corresponding bail bond in the amount of two
hundred thousand pesos (PHP200,000.00) thru
The trial court found appellant PO1 Froilan L. That on or about the 16th day of November Then Acting Presiding Judge Salvador S. Abad the Plaridel Surety and Insurance
Trestiza (Trestiza) guilty beyond reasonable 2002, in the City of Makati, Metro Manila, Santos issued the Order dated 26 November Company provided "there exists no order in
doubt as principal by direct participation of the Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this 2002 granting the Motions filed by all accused. any other case to the effect that he shall
crime of Kidnapping for Ransom under Article Honorable Court, the above-named accused, In the said Order, he directed the Public remain confined under your custody." He set
267 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by did then and there willfully, unlawfully and Prosecutor to conduct a Preliminary the arraignment of the accused on 14 March
Section 8 of Republic Act No. 7659 (RA 7659), feloniously have in his possession, custody and Investigation of the cases filed and to furnish 2003 at 8:30 o’clock in the morning.
and sentenced him to suffer the penalty control one (1) Pistol Glock 21 bearing SN the Court with his Report within sixty (60) days
of reclusion perpetua and to pay damages to 035481 with thirteen (13) rounds of live from said date. Before the scheduled hearing of the Motion to
Irma Navarro (Navarro) and Lawrence Yu (Yu). ammunitions and without the corresponding Withdraw at 2:00 o’clock in the afternoon of 06
P/Insp. Lorieman L. Manrique (Manrique) and license or permit thereof, which he carried On 21 February 2003, Public Prosecutor Andres March 2003, the Private Prosecutor filed her
Rodie Pineda y Jimenez (Pineda) were likewise outside of his residence. N. Marcos filed a Motion to Withdraw Opposition thereto at 1:30 o’clock in the
found guilty of the same crime by the trial Information of Kidnapping with Ransom and to afternoon of said date. She alleged therein that
CONTRARY TO LAW.6 Admit Information for Robbery with attached while the Motion to Withdraw filed by Public
court, and adjudged the same sentence as
Trestiza. The trial court acquitted Trestiza, Resolution dated 03 January 2008. He pointed Prosecutor Marcos prays for the withdrawal of
On 15 April 2004, Trestiza was acquitted of the
Manrique and Pineda in Criminal Case Nos. 03- out therein that after he conducted a the Information for Kidnapping with Ransom
crime charged in Criminal Case No. 02-
766 and 04-1311. preliminary investigation, he found no and the substitution thereof with an
3394.7 The Affidavit of Arrest stated that the
probable cause exists to warrant the Information for Robbery, the latter Information
serial number of the firearm seized was
The Facts indictment of the accused for the crime of was filed immediately with the Criminal Cases
035481, while the firearm itself had a serial
Kidnapping with Ransom. He added that they Unit of the Office of the Clerk of Court on the
The following charges were brought against number of BRG-768. The trial court rejected the
should be charged instead for the crimes of same date that the Motion to Withdraw was
Trestiza, Manrique and Pineda on 20 November explanation that the difference between the
Robbery and Grave Threats. The Court set the filed with this Court on 21 February 2003.
2002: serial numbers was a mere typographical error.
hearing of this Motion to 06 March 2003. Subsequently, said "Information for Robbery"
An order8 of the trial court dated 16 April 2004 was raffled to RTC Branch 57 on 03 March 2003
Criminal Case No. 02-3393 for Kidnapping On 03 March 2003, private complainants
in Criminal Case Nos. 02-3393, 02-3394, 03-766 yet there was a scheduled hearing of the
appearing through Private Prosecutor Teresita Motion to Withdraw on 06 March 2003. She
and 04-1311 recounted the circumstances
G. Oledan filed an "Urgent Motion to Hold added that the complainants were in a
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quandary why the alleged "substituted" Resolve Motion for Withdrawal of Original Referring back to the Urgent Motion to Resolve In the meantime, without any word yet as to
Information for Robbery was raffled to another Information claiming that said Original by accused PO1 Trestiza and PS/Insp. the outcome of the Petition for Review filed
Court and docketed as Criminal Case No. 03- Informations have subsequently been Manrique, considering that the latter prayed with the DOJ relative to Criminal Case No. 02-
766, when this Court has already acquired amended by the Public Prosecutor’s Office and for it to be heard on 28 May 2003, but filed said 3393, Judge Bernabe issued the Order dated 28
jurisdiction over the original cases filed. The just "needs the court/judge[‘s] approval of the Motion the following day only, the same was August 2003, directing the City Prosecution
same case was thereafter consolidated with Motion to Withdraw Complaint and for then set for hearing on 10 June 2003. On the Office to conduct a re-assessment and re-
this Court on 26 March 2003 as per Order dated Admission of the Amended Information." same date, the Private Prosecutor furnished evaluation of the evidence presented and to
24 March 2003 rendered by the Honorable Moreover, they averred that the City the Court a copy of their Petition for Review submit its report and recommendation within a
Reinato G. Quilala, Presiding Judge thereat. Prosecutor’s Office has approved the findings which they filed with the Department of period of thirty (30) days from receipt of said
Accused PS/Insp. Manrique, PO1 Trestiza, and of the reinvestigating Assistant City Prosecutor Justice. In the meantime, the Branch Clerk of Order. The Resolution of the subject Motion
Pineda posted bail in this case, which was duly on the downgrading of the original complaint. this Court issued a Certification to the effect was again held in abeyance.
approved by Judge Ibay, while accused SPO2 Both accused prayed that said motion be heard that Acting Presiding Judge Abad Santos was on
Jose’s bail was approved by Judge Napoleon E. on 28 May 2003. official leave until 15 July 2003 and that there is On 02 March 2004, the Prosecution filed a
Inoturan, Presiding Judge of RTC Branch 133. an Urgent Motion to be resolved. Pairing Judge "Motion to Resolve (Motion to Withdraw
On 9 June 2003, the Private Prosecutor filed an Manuel D. Victorio, acting on the Urgent Information of Kidnapping) with attached
At the hearing to the Motion to Withdraw, then Ex-Parte Opposition to Accused’s Motion for Motion, issued the Order of even date directing Order dated 19 February 2004. It alleged
Acting Presiding Judge Abad Santos gave Withdrawal of Original Information with the City Prosecution Office to submit to the therein that it conducted a thorough re-
counsel for the accused time within which to Motion for Issuance of the Warrant of Arrest Court the complete records of its Preliminary assessment and re-evaluation of the evidence
file his comment/objection to the Urgent against accused SPO2 Jose. She alleged therein Investigation within five (5) days from notice, obtaining in this case in compliance with the
Motion to Hold Withdrawal of Information for that "it is true that one of the accused’s right is thereafter the same shall be considered for Order of this Court dated 28 August 2003 and
Kidnapping filed by the private complainants, the right to speedy trial. However, where, as in resolution. maintains that the correct and appropriate
furnishing the Private Prosecutor a copy this case, the stench of "something fishy" charges to be filed against accused should be
thereof, who was given the same number of already was evident when suddenly the On 23 June 2003, accused PO1 Trestiza filed an for ROBBERY and GRAVE THREATS but for two
days to file her Reply, if necessary. The Court robbery case as amended by Prosecutor Ex-Parte Motion for Early Resolution of the (2) counts each, and NOT for KIDNAPPING as
likewise ordered the "re-commitment" of all Marcos and more recently "affirmed" by Pending Motion to Resolve, reiterating the initially filed. Thus, it prayed for this Court to be
three (3) accused, who were then present at Prosecutor Sibucao, there should be further in- grounds stated in his previous Motion. allowed to withdraw the present Information
that hearing, to the custody of the Makati City depth investigation as the circumstances on for Kidnapping "considering that the
Jail despite the fact that they have already how the three accused were able to post bail Before the issue could be resolved by the appropriate charges of two (2) counts of
posted bail, considering that the Motion to without the knowledge and approval of this Pairing Judge, however, the Honorable Estela Robbery and two (2) counts of Grave Threats in
Withdraw was still pending resolution. Honorable Court, which had already acquired Perlas Bernabe, took over this Court as lieu of the charge of KIDNAPPING have already
jurisdiction over the case. In fact, a Petition for Assisting Presiding Judge, after the Honorable been filed with the proper Courts."
Counsel for the accused filed his Comment to Review from the Resolution of Prosecutor Salvador S. Abad Santos requested the
the Opposition dated 10 March 2003 alleging Sibucao denying the Private Complainants’ Supreme Court to be relieved of his assignment To justify the Prosecution’s withdrawal of the
that the same did not bear the conformity of Motion for Reconsideration of the 03 January herein. Judge Bernabe issued the Order dated Information for KIDNAPPING, Public Prosecutor
the Public Prosecutor who has direct control 2003 Resolution of Prosecutor Marcos duly 27 June 2003 holding in abeyance the Edgardo G. Hirang states, in the Order attached
and supervision over the Private Prosecutor as approved by the City Prosecutor has been Resolution of the Prosecution’s Motion to to the said Motion, that, to wit:
provided for under the Rules of Criminal seasonably filed." She further alleged that, the Withdraw Information for a period of sixty (60)
Procedure. Said Comment, to his mind, is thus days from the filing of the Petition for Review "A careful re-evaluation of the pieces of
Urgent Motion allegedly filed by accused PO1
a mere scrap of paper which did not deserve by private complainants with the Reviewing evidence adduced by both parties shows that
Trestiza and PS/Insp. Manrique does not
any consideration by the Court. Office. On 08 July 2003, she denied the Motion the offense of Kidnapping shall not prosper
include accused SPO2 Jose, also a member of
to Dismiss Criminal Case No. 02-3394 for Illegal against all the accused. As correctly stated in
the Police Force. However, the records show
On 13 March 2003, the Court was furnished by Possession of Firearms filed against accused the Resolution issued on February 20, 2003,
that the latter also "post bail" for the Robbery
the private complainants a copy of their PO1 Trestiza on the grounds that the one of the essential elements for the crime of
case and was in fact "outside" the Chamber of
"Motion for Reconsideration of the Resolution allegations raised by said accused are defenses Kidnapping for Ransom defined and penalized
this Honorable Court when the hearing was
dated January 03, 2003 but Released on proper for determination in a full-blown trial under [Article] 267 of the Revised Penal Code,
being conducted. "However, when she went
February 20, 2003" which they filed with the and set the pre-trial of the same to 24 July as amended, is that [the] offender must be a
out to look for him, SPO2 Jose was able to do a
Office of the City Prosecutor of Makati City. 2003. Trial on the merits for this particular private individual which does not obtain in the
‘Houdini’ and disappeared from view." Private
Criminal Case ensued until the Prosecution case at bar as respondents Trestiza, Manrique,
xxx Prosecutor Oledan prayed for the deferment of
rested its case and said accused filed his and Jose are public officers being police officers
the proceedings herein until the final resolution
Demurrer to Evidence on 05 March 2004. who at the time the complainants were
On 29 May 2003, accused PO1 Trestiza and of the Petition for Review.
allegedly divested of their cash money and
PS/Insp. Manrique filed an Urgent Motion to
personal belongings by herein respondents,
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were conducting a police operation to enforce Case No. 02-3393 until after the Information purely private capacity that they have acted in these claims whether documentary or
the provision of the Dangerous Drug Law (R.A. relative thereto shall have been duly amended concert with their co-appellant Santiano and testimonial? The need for further evidence
9165). by the Prosecution. Chanco." supportive of this claim gains significance in the
light of the emphatic assertions to the contrary
All accused were in the place of the incident to In its Motion to Withdraw Information for Even an eminent jurist, Justice Florenz B. by the private complainants and their
conduct such operation is shown not only by Kidnapping, the Public Prosecutor argues in Regalado elucidates on this point clearly: witnesses.
the existence of coordination between them essence that the crime of Kidnapping could not
and the police authorities but also by the be possibly committed by the accused as they, "This article provides that the crimes of As there appears to be probable cause for the
declaration of the complainants that they were except for one, are police officers, who at the kidnapping and serious illegal detention are inclusion of accused SPO2 Jose in Criminal Case
able to verify the plate number of the vehicle of time the complainants were divested of cash committed by private individuals obviously No. 02-3393 for Kidnapping considering that
the accused from the Makati Police Station. and other personal belongings were conducting because if the offender is a public officer the the latter was specifically mentioned in the
a police operation to enforce the provisions of crime is arbitrary detention under Art. 124, but body of the Information as someone who
Hence, they should be charged with the offense the Dangerous Drugs Law. This to the mind of passing sub silentio on the matter of conspired, confederated and mutually helped
of Robbery under Article 294, paragraph 5 of the movant runs counter to the provisions of kidnapping. It should be understood however, the other accused in this case, the Court
the Revised Penal Code and Grave Threats as Art. 267 of the Revised Penal Code which that the public officer who unlawfully detains resolves to await for the Prosecution to amend
recommended by this Office in its Resolution provides that any private individual who shall another and is punishable by Art. 124 is one the same before issuing a Warrant of Arrest
issued on February 20, 2003. Considering that kidnap or detain another, or in any other who has the duty to apprehend a person with a against said accused.
there are two (2) complainants, the manner deprive him of his liberty, shall suffer correlative power to detain him. If he is only an
respondents should be charged with two (2) the penalty of reclusion perpetua to death: employee with clerical or postal functions, Lastly, the Court finds the sought amendment
counts of Robbery and Grave Threats." although the Code considers him as a public of the Information for Robbery to be well-
1. If the kidnapping or detention shall have officer, his detention of the victim is illegal taken.
The Prosecution filed on the same date a lasted more than three days; detention under this article since he is acting in
Motion to Amend Information and to Admit a private, and not an official, capacity. If a WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Court
Attached Amended Information in Criminal 2. If it shall have committed simulating public policeman kidnaps the victim, except when resolves to:
Case No. 02-766 alleging that the Criminal authority; legally authorized as part of police operations,
Information therein for Robbery should only be 1. DENY the Motion to Withdraw Information
he cannot also be said to be acting in an official
limited to private complainant Yu’s complaint 3. If any serious physical injuries shall have for Kidnapping [under Criminal Case No. 02-
capacity, hence he is to be treated as a private
and not to Navarro’s. Counsel for the accused, been inflicted upon the person kidnapped or 3393];
individual liable under this article.
Atty. Jose Ma. Q. Austria, filed an Urgent detained, or if threats to kill him shall have
(underscoring ours) 2. GRANT the Motion to Amend Information for
Motion to calendar the hearing of the Motion been made;
Robbery;
to Amend Information and to Admit Amended From the purpose and the formulation of R.A.
4. If the person kidnapped or detained shall be
Information which the Court granted in its 18 and R.A. 1084, it can be deduced that the 3. Hold in abeyance the Issuance of the Warrant
a minor, except when the accused is any of the
Order dated 25 March 2004. legislative intendment was to put all forms of of Arrest against accused SPO2 Jose in Criminal
parents, female or a public officer.
kidnapping under Art. 267 when Congress Case No. 02-3393 until after the Information
In the meantime, Criminal Case No. 04-1311 for amended it together with Art. 270. There
The Court finds this unmeritorious. Even a relative thereto shall have been duly amended
Robbery which was filed on the strength of the appears to have been some oversight,
public officer can commit the said crime within by the Prosecution.
Complaint of Navarro was consolidated with however, in the related articles and these will
the context of the aforesaid legal provision.
similar cases pending before this Court, upon be discussed at the proper juncture." (Florenz Set these cases for arraignment on 27 April
This is settled in our jurisprudence in the case
the Order dated 12 March 2004 by the B. Regalado, Pages 488 and 489, Criminal Law 2004 at 8:30 o’clock in the
of People vs. ALIPIO SANTIANO, JOSE
Honorable Ma. Cristina J. Cornejo, Presiding Conspectus, First Edition, March 2000) morning.1âwphi1 The Amended Information
SANDIGAN, et al. (GR No. 123979[,] December
Judge of RTC Branch 147. for Robbery duly attached in the Motion is
3, 1998) which provides in part:
As to whether or not the accused were indeed hereby ADMITTED.
After study, the Court resolves to: engaged in the performance of a legitimate
"The fact alone that appellant Pillneta is an
organic member of the NARCOM and appellant police operation at the time the private SO ORDERED.
1. DENY the Motion to Withdraw Information
Sandigan a member of the PNP would not complainants were allegedly deprived of their
for Kidnapping under Criminal Case No. 02- Atty. Jose Ma. Q. Austria (Atty. Austria)
exempt them from the criminal liability of liberty and personal belongings is a matter
3393; withdrew as counsel for Manrique and Pineda.
kidnapping. It is quite clear that in abducting which at this stage can only be considered as
a defense that calls for further factual support Atty. Austria also manifested that he would file
2. To [sic] GRANT the Motion to Amend and taking away the victim, appellants did so
in the course of judicial proceedings. Was there an Omnibus Motion relative to the 16 April
Information for Robbery; [and] neither in furtherance of official functions nor
a Mission Order? Are there documents to show 2004 Order of the trial court. The arraignment
in the pursuit of authority vested in them. It is
3. To [sic] Hold in Abeyance the Issuance of the that police-to-police coordinations were was reset to 25 May 2004,9 which was further
not, in fine, in relation to their office, but in
Warrant of Arrest against SPO2 Jose in Criminal indeed made? Are there corroborations to
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reset to 28 June 2004,10 19 July 2004,11 23 That on or about the 7th day of November That on or about the 7th day of November 6. That after the operation was conducted,
August 2004,12 and finally on 31 August 2004.13 2002, in the City of Makati, Metro Manila, 2002, in the City of Makati, Metro Manila, there was never any occasion that the accused
Philippines, a place within the jurisdiction of Philippines a place within the jurisdiction of this Froilan Trestiza communicated with any of the
Atty. Austria filed his Omnibus Motion for this Honorable Court, the above-named Honorable Court, the above-named accused, complainants;
Trestiza: motion for reconsideration of the 16 accused, PO1 Froilan Trestiza y Lacson and P/S conspiring, confederating together and
April 2004 Order, motion to quash the Insp. Loriemar L. Manrique, PO2 Reynel Jose, all mutually helping and aiding one another, with 7. None of the items allegedly lost by the
informations, and motion to allow Trestiza to active members of the Philippine National intent of gain and by means of force and complainants were recovered from accused
post bail.14 Complainants opposed the Police, and Rodie Pineda y Jimenez, a private violence or intimidation, did then and there Froilan Trestiza.22
Omnibus Motion.15The corresponding individual[,] all of them armed with firearms, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously rob and
reply16 and rejoinder17 were also filed. In its 19 The trial court summarized the testimonies
conspiring, confederating and mutually helping divest Irma Maria A. Navarro of the following
August 2004 Order,18 the trial court denied the during trial as follows:
one another with intent to gain by means of items to wit:
Omnibus Motion. It ruled that the trial court force and violence or intimidation, did then and The prosecution sought to establish its case by
has the authority to deny a Motion to Withdraw there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously rob a. One (1) Chariol (sic) watch
presenting the following witnesses: Ma. Irma A.
Information relative to a criminal case filed and divest Lawrence Yu y Lim and Maria Irma
b. One (1) Gold ring Navarro, Lawrence Yu y Lim, PO2 Rodolfo
before it. Moreover, the quashal of the Navarro of the following items to wit: Santiago, PO3 Rosauro P. Almonte, John Paul
informations against the accused goes into the
c. One (1) Chariol (sic) bracelet Joseph P. Suguitan, Angelo Gonzales, PO3
determination of the nature of the arrest, a. One (1) piece of necklace (gold) with pendant
Edward C. Ramos, Schneider R. Vivas, PSInsp.
which, in turn, goes into the merits of the case. amounting to ₱50,000.00; d. One (1) pair diamond earring (sic) Salvador V. Caro, and Chief Insp. Roseller
Finally, the charge of kidnapping is a non-
b. Two (2) pieces bracelet (gold) worth more or Fabian.
bailable offense. e. One (1) gold necklace
less ₱70,000.00;
The Prosecution’s main evidence relies heavily
When the case was called for arraignment, f. One (1) cellphone 7650 Nokia
c. One (1) Rolex watch worth ₱270,000.00; upon the accounts of Irma and Lawrence who
Trestiza, Manrique and Pineda all pleaded not
g. One (1) cellphone 8855 Nokia testified respectively as follows:
guilty to the following charges:
d. One (1) men’s ring worth ₱15,000.00;
h. Cash money amounting to ₱120,000.00 On November 7, 2002 at about one o’clock in
Criminal Case No. 02-3393:
e. Two (2) cellphone[s] described as Nokia 9210 to the damage and prejudice of the the morning, Irma and her boyfriend Lawrence,
That on or about the 7th day of November & 3310; complainant. both twenty-two (22) years old at the time of
2002, in the City of Makati, Metro Manila, the incident, were at the "Where Else Disco" in
f. One (1) Philip Chariole [sic] watch worth CONTRARY TO LAW.19 Makati attending a party. They stayed thereat
Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this
₱150,000.00; for around thirty (30) minutes only. Irma
Honorable Court, the above-named accused,
The trial court set the case for pre-trial however, went out ahead of Lawrence. When
PO1 Froilan Trestiza y Lacson and P/S Insp. g. One (1) Philip Chariole [sic] bracelet worth conference on 14 September 2004,20 which was she was about to proceed to where Lawrence’s
Loriemar L. Manrique, both active members of ₱75,000.00; reset to 20 September 2004.21 The parties Honda ESI car was parked, she noticed that the
the Philippine National Police, and Rodie
stipulated on the following: said car was blocked by another vehicle which
Pineda y Jimenez, a private individual[,] all of h. One (1) solo diamond studded [sic] (3K)
them armed with firearms, conspiring, worth ₱500,000.00; was a Mitsubishi Adventure van. Three (3)
1. That on November 7, 2002, the three (3)
confederating and mutually helping one armed men later on emerged from the said van.
accused, Trestiza, Manrique and Pineda were
another with one PO2 Reynel Jose, a member i. One (1) women’s ring gold worth ₱12,000.00; As she was about to open the door of the
using an Adventure van with plate no. XAU-298;
of the Philippine National Police, did then and Honda ESI, somebody hit her in [sic] the nape.
j. One (1) necklace gold [sic] worth ₱20,000.00; When she turned her back, she saw the three
there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously 2. That Loriemar Manrique was the team leader
kidnap Lawrence Yu y Lim and Maria Irma of the group comprising [sic] of Rodie Pineda (3) men in the company of Rodie Pineda alias
k. One (1) [sic] cellphone[s] described as Nokia
Navarro, or otherwise deprive them of their and Reynel Jose on November 7, 2002; "Buboy" ("Pineda"). She knew Pineda because
7650 & 8855; and,
liberty by then and there kidnap without legal the latter was her sister Cynthia’s "kumpare,"
grounds for the purpose of extorting money for l. Cash money amounting to more or less 3. That the incident started at the Hotel Pineda being the godfather of Cynthia’s child.
their safety and immediate release as in fact ₱300,000.00 Intercon located in Makati City; Furthermore, she saw Pineda in their residence
said accused demanded the amount of to the damage and prejudice of the said the night of November 6, 2002 as he visited his
4. That Loriemar Manrique is a member of the [sic] sister. She asked Pineda what was
₱1,000,000.00 as ransom money from them. complainants.
PNP Drug Enforcement Agency; happening but the latter replied "pasensya na,
CONTRARY TO LAW. CONTRARY TO LAW." mare, trabaho lang" ("Bear with me, mare, this
5. That accused Froilan Trestiza was the driver
is just a job").
Criminal Case No. 03-766: Criminal Case No. 04-1311: of the Adventure van bearing plate no. XAU-
298 on November 17, 2002;
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She was told that the three (3) whose identities the money that the accused were asking will be Lawrence had to plead for their gasoline from beside Trestiza. He asked the accused who they
she later on learned as Capt. Lorieman produced. The accused later on asked the accused and he was given Php 100.00. were and he was told that they were
Manrique, PO2 Reynel Jose and PO1 Froilan Lawrence to make a call using his cellphone policemen. At the time, Trestiza was wearing an
Trestiza, were policemen. She asked why she with speaker phone. Lawrence was able to get Irma decided not to tell her mother about the outfit which was "hip hop" while Manrique was
was being accosted but she was handcuffed by in touch with his friends John Paul Suguitan and incident as she was very afraid. Lawrence wearing a polo which was "button down." He
Manrique. She was ushered inside the Honda Angelo Gonzales. The latter was told that however made a report to the Makati police was cursed and told to shut up. He was asked
ESI. Pineda asked her where Lawrence was but Lawrence figured in an accident and that he station in the evening of 7 November 2002 to bow down his head as they drove along. He
she was left inside the car with Jose while needs money badly. Lawrence and his friends where he was shown a "coordination sheet" remembers that the accused dug into his
Pineda, Trestiza and Manrique on the other agreed that the money the two will produce will pertaining to the plate number of the pockets and his valuables consisting of
hand went away apparently to look for be brought to the Caltex gas station along Mitsubishi Adventure. Buboy Pineda in the cellphones, a 9210 and a 3310 models [sic]
Lawrence. Pineda and Manrique later on went Ortigas corner Wilson Street in Greenhills. They meanwhile kept on calling them (Irma and respectively, including his wallet, cigarettes,
back inside the Honda ESI. They drove later proceeded to the said place later where they Lawrence) demanding for their "balance" of watch bracelet, ring, necklace and a pair of
with Jose behind the wheels [sic] while Pineda waited for the friends of Lawrence. She was one million pesos (Php 1,000,000.00). Irma’s earrings, were taken from him. He later on saw
occupied the passenger seat. They followed the told later by Manrique that she better pray that mother however soon learned of the incident his Honda ESI car. He noticed that the
Mitsubishi Adventure van which was then the transaction pushes through. Manrique because of a newspaper item. Her father Mitsubishi Adventure they riding was following
driven by Trestiza. Unknown to Irma, Lawrence further warned her against reporting the likewise learned of the incident and lost no time the said Honda ESI. Manrique later asked him
was already inside the van at the time. They just incident to anyone lest her whole family will be in contacting authorities from the CIDG. They how much money did he have. When replied
drove and drove around ("umiikot"), passing held liable. She was even shown by the accused (Irma and Lawrence) were later investigated by that his money was inside his car, Manrique
through small alleys as they avoided major the picture of her child. She was cursed by Jose. the CIDG people to whom they gave their allegedly retorted "imposible." They later on
routes. She was asked later by Pineda to Trestiza on the other hand told her that sworn statements on November 14, 2002. As stopped in Mandaluyong near an open canal.
remove her jewelry. She was able to remove Lawrence’s transaction should better push Buboy Pineda continued to call them for the He was asked again by Manrique about his
only her earrings as she was in handcuffs. through. alleged balance, an entrapment operation was money. At that point, another man whose
Pineda himself removed her Philip Chariolle planned on that date. Boodles of money were name he later on learned was SPO2 Reynel
[sic] watch and bracelet. Her necklace and ring The two, John Paul Suguitan and Angelo dusted with ultra-violet powder. On the same Jose, boarded also the Mitsubishi Adventure.
followed. All these were later on turned over by Gonzales, later on arrived at the gas station. date, Buboy Pineda called Lawrence for Jose asked him about his money. When he
Pineda to Manrique. Her bag where her wallet Lawrence took from them what appears to be a purposes of meeting him that night in order to replied that his money was inside his car, Jose
containing the amount of ₱120,000.00 was package and handed the same to Pineda. get the remaining money. The entrapment got mad and boxed him on his face. They later
likewise taken. Manrique thereafter called Pineda asking operation which was conducted along the New on resumed driving around. When they
"positive na ba?" to which Pineda replied "yes." World Hotel, and participated in by PO2 stopped again, Jose asked him whether he has
Her two (2) cellphones, a 7650 and an 8855, The amount raised by the friends of Lawrence Almonte, was successful as Buboy Pineda was thought of the money. When he again replied
were likewise taken by Pineda. They stopped was one hundred eighty thousand pesos (Php arrested. Recovered from the possession of that the money was inside his car, he was boxed
several times at the side streets and the 180,000.00). They (Irma and Lawrence) were Pineda were a gold necklace without a repeatedly by Jose. Manrique and Trestiza were
accused would talk to each other. Pineda would later brought to the Star Mall along Edsa. Their pendant; a Nokia cellphone model 7650; a seated in the front seats but did not do
stay with her inside the vehicle while Jose captors warned them not to report the matter Toyota corolla car with plate number PNG 214 anything.
would go out and talk to the occupants of the to the authorities otherwise they will face dire color red and one (1) ignition key. The
Mitsubishi Adventure. Later on, she and consequences. The items taken from Irma like necessary acknowledgment receipt was duly They resumed driving again. Jose asked him
Lawrence were brought together inside the the cash money, jewelry and cellphone were signed by the said accused. A pawnshop ticket again about the money. When he gave the
Mitsubishi Adventure van. It was there that placed by the men inside the console box of the was likewise recovered from his possession. same response, Jose put a plastic material over
they were told that they will not be released if Mitsubishi Adventure. When they reached Star his head which made him unable to breath [sic].
they will not be able to produce one million Mall, the men talked to them for thirty minutes. Lawrence on the other hand narrated that Jose strangled him, prompting him to shout
pesos. These were all uttered by Jose and Again, they were warned about the during that fateful day of 7 November 2002 at later "okay na, okay na. Sige na, sige na
Manrique. It was somewhere in Blumentritt, consequences of their reporting the incident to around 1:30 o’clock in the morning, as he was magbibigay na ako" ("Okay, okay. I will give.").
San Juan where all the accused stopped for the the police. Irma was told that the men knew her stepping out from the Where Else Disco, he was Jose stopped strangling him and immediately
last time. She was crying all the while. address, the members of her family and that suddenly "sandwhiched" [sic] by two (2) removed the plastic material over his head.
they have the picture of her child. She was persons, Manrique and Trestiza. Pineda whom Jose remarked that had he cooperated earlier,
She later on felt the call of nature, prompting likewise warned not to report the matter to her he likewise knew, held a gun and pointed the he would not have been hurt. Trestiza and
her to ask permission if she could possibly father, Rod Navarro, who was an actor and a same to him. He was later on "lifted" through Manrique told him that he should not have kept
relieve herself. She was accompanied by Pineda policeman, otherwise her daughter with his belt and loaded to a yellow Mitsubishi the matter long. Later on, the four (4) men had
to a nearby Shell gas station in San Juan. When Lawrence will be the one [to] bear the Adventure. He was made to occupy the a brief huddle. He was later on approached by
they returned to where they stopped, she was consequences ("anak ko ang mananagot"). passenger seat at the back while Trestiza drove them saying "okay na ha, isang milyon na"
asked as to whom she could possibly call so that They were released after thirty (30) minutes. the said vehicle. Manrique occupied the seat ("Okey ha, it’s one million). He could not recall
6

however who in particular made the remark. Lawrence’s car while smoking. The door of the the CIDG people to who they gave their sworn frequented bars and disco pubs. Pineda has
He was later on instructed by Manrique to call said car was open at the time. Lawrence statements on November 14, 2002. As Buboy been transacting with the two, particularly
certain persons with the information that he thereafter walked back to where Pineda was Pineda continued to call them for the alleged Lawrence, for a profit. Realizing later that his
figured in [an] accident. He was made to use his and handed to him a package. It was already balance, an entrapment operation was planned involvement with the group of Lawrence has
9210 model phone as the same had a "speaker" around 4: or 4:30 in the morning. Lawrence’s on that date. Boodles of money were dusted become deeper and deeper, Pineda thought of
thus enabling the accused to listen to the friends thereafter went away, prompting with ultra-violet powder. On the same date, causing the arrest of the latter. He (Pineda)
conversation. He tried to get in touch with his Pineda to call Manrique. Manrique allegedly Buboy Pineda called Lawrence for purposes of soon decided to report the matter to the police
siblings but failed. He was able to contact later asked "positive na ba?" to which Pineda replied meeting him that night in order to get the authorities and contacted forthwith his long-
on his friends John Paul Suguitan and Angelo "yes." remaining money. The entrapment operation time acquaintance, now his co-accused Froilan
Gonzales who were then in Libis. He told his which was conducted along the New World Trestiza on November 6, 2002 at 10:30 in the
friends that he needed money very badly as he The amount raised by the friends of Lawrence Hotel, and participated in by PO2 Almonte, was evening. At that time, Trestiza was a policeman
had an accident. He instructed his friends to was one hundred eighty thousand pesos (Php successful as Buboy Pineda was arrested. under the Special Action Unit, Group Director’s
proceed to the area given by Manrique which 180,000.00). They (Irma and Lawrence) were Recovered from the possession of Pineda were Office of the National Capital Region. Pineda
was at the Caltex gas station along Ortigas later brought to the Star Mall along Edsa. Their a gold necklace without pendant; a Nokia and Trestiza, who have known each other for
corner Wilson Street in Greenhills. captors warned them not to report the matter cellphone model 7650; a Toyota corolla car the past ten years, used to be dancers at the
to the authorities otherwise they will face dire with plate number PNG 214 color red and one Equinox Disco along Pasay Road. Upon learning
Later on, Irma and Lawrence were allowed to consequences. The items taken from Irma like (1) ignition key. The necessary the information from Pineda, Trestiza
be together inside the Mitsubishi Adventure. It the cash money, jewelry and cellphone were acknowledgment receipt was duly signed by contacted his classmate PO2 Rolando de
was at that point where they were told to placed by the men inside the console box of the the said accused. A pawnshop ticket was Guzman of the Philippine Drugs Enforcement
produce the amount of One Million pesos (Php Mitsubishi Adventure. When they reached Star likewise recovered from his possession. Agency (PDEA) who in turn referred Trestiza to
1,000,000.00) that night so they will be Mall, the men talked to them for thirty minutes. Captain Lorieman Manrique who was then the
released. These very words were uttered by Again, they were warned about the Early in the morning of the following day at the Deputy Chief of the Special Enforcement Unit of
Jose and Manrique. Irma later on asked consequences of their reporting the incident to CIDG, Lorieman Manrique went to the said the PDEA, Metro Manila Regional Office.
permission to answer the call of nature and she the police. Irma was told that the men knew her office looking for his co-accused Froilan Manrique was called later by Trestiza through
was accompanied by Pineda to the Shell gas address, the members of her family and that Trestiza. He (Manrique) was arrested thereat cellphone and they agreed to meet the same
station in San Juan where she relieved herself. they have the picture of her child. She was when the private complainants who happened night, at around midnight, at the parking lot of
Upon arriving at the said gas station, Lawrence likewise warned not to report the matter to her to be there as they were giving additional the Intercontinental Hotel in Makati. Manrique
was directed to drive his Honda ESI car. He was father, Rod Navarro, who was an actor and a statements identified him (Manrique) through prepared a Pre-Operation sheet for a possible
in the company of Pineda while Irma on the policeman, otherwise her daughter with a one-way mirror. Trestiza was likewise narcotics operation. He likewise gave [the]
other hand was with Manrique, Trestiza and Lawrence will be the one [to] bear the arrested later as he was identified by his co- plate number of the vehicle he was then driving
Jose inside the Mitsubishi Adventure. While consequences ("anak ko ang mananagot"). accused Rodie Pineda. During the arrest, which was a Mitsubishi Adventure van with
Irma was inside the Mitsubishi Adventure, she They were released along Edsa after thirty (30) Trestiza was found to be in possession of an plate number HAU-298.
was told that if the person contacted by minutes. Lawrence had to plead for their unlicensed firearm for which the corresponding
Lawrence will not show up, they will not be gasoline from the accused and he was given charge was filed. He (Trestiza) was likewise the During their ensuing meeting, Manrique was
released and if Lawrence will escape, she will be Php 100.00. subject of the complaint sheet filed by Irma and with PO2 Reynel Jose. Pineda and Manrique
finished off. Manrique thereafter told Irma to Lawrence and was likewise identified by his co- talked to each other. Manrique later on briefed
better pray that the transaction will push Irma decided not to tell her mother about the accused Pineda as one of the cohorts in the Pineda and Jose. Trestiza was about three to
through. She was warned that if she reports the incident as she was very afraid. Lawrence kidnapping of the former. five meters away from the three (3). After the
incident, her family will be harmed. The said however made a report to the Makati police briefing, Manrique asked Trestiza to drive the
accused had her child’s picture at the time. Jose station in the evening of 7 November 2002 The Defense on the other hand presented the Mitsubishi Adventure. Manrique told Trestiza
was cursing her. Trestiza on the other hand was where he was shown a "coordination sheet" following version: that the buy-bust operation has been pre-
seated at the driver side of the Mitsubishi pertaining to the plate number of the coordinated with the Makati police. Manrique
Mitsubishi Adventure. Buboy Pineda in the Private complainants Irma Navarro and
Adventure van and remarked that Lawrence’s later joined Trestiza inside the Mitsubishi
meanwhile kept on calling them (Irma and Lawrence Yu were known to accused Rodie
transaction should push through so that they Adventure while Jose and Pineda were outside
Lawrence) demanding for their "balance" of ‘Buboy’ Pineda, a freelance dance instructor
will be released. as though waiting for someone. Irma and
one million pesos (Php 1,000,000.00). Irma’s prior to his incarceration, and a godfather to
Lawrence later on arrived and they talked to
Not long after, Lawrence alighted from his car mother however soon learned of the incident the child of Irma’s sister, since 1997. The two
Pineda and Jose. Pineda introduced Jose to
and stood beside the vehicle. His friends’ because of a newspaper item. Her father (Irma and Lawrence) are known to Pineda as
Irma and Lawrence as ‘the buyer.’ Jose was only
vehicle later on arrived. Lawrence approached likewise learned of the incident and lost no time suppliers of prohibited drugs, particularly
wearing a t-shirt at the time and it seemed
the vehicle that has just arrived and took in contacting authorities from the CIDG. They ‘Ecstasy,’ ‘blue anchors,’ and ‘yeng-yen.’ The
Lawrence and Irma doubted him. Jose told the
something. Pineda remained seated in (Irma and Lawrence) were later investigated by two, Irma and Lawrence have been distributing
two that he has the money with him and he
these drugs to various customers who [sic]
7

would like to buy drugs. Irma however where Lawrence was. Manrique later told his principals by direct participation of the crime of view of this court, only invites the suspicion
whispered something to Lawrence prompting men that Lawrence might have alerted his Kidnapping for Ransom. that the Pre-Operation/Coordination Sheet was
the latter to vascillate [sic]. From where they supplier. He (Manrique) then decided to bring dubious if not actually non-existent.
are seated inside the Mitsubishi Adventure, the two (Irma and Lawrence) to Camp Crame. The trial court concentrated its ruling on the
Trestiza and Manrique could see what were Trestiza, however, pointed out to Manrique credibility of the witnesses. It found the The accused likewise claimed that they
[sic] going on among Irma, Lawrence, Jose and that nothing was taken from the possession of testimonies of the prosecution credible, with released the two later along Edsa as nothing
Pineda. Later on, Jose approached Trestiza and the two. Manrique conferred anew with Jose. their versions of the incident dovetailing with was found on them. The manner of the release,
Manrique and told them that the ‘pre-arranged Jose remarked that the items could have been each other even on minor details. On the other however, raises several questions: why were
signal’ is when he (Jose) scratched his head. thrown away. It was later on decided that Irma hand, the defense’s testimonies taxed the the complainants who were earlier suspected
According further to Jose, his scratching of his and Lawrence will just be released. The two credulity of the trial court. The trial court raised of being drug-pushers not brought to the police
head will mean a signal to Trestiza to drive were indeed released near the [Manuela] numerous questions about the defense’s story precinct? Did not Lawrence volunteer the name
towards them the vehicle. As Jose later on Complex along Edsa. line: of his alleged supplier earlier during the tactical
scratched his head, Trestiza drove the vehicle interrogation? Why were they unloaded just
Trestiza was later on arrested by the CIDG x x x But this leads the court to wonder: if like that along Edsa at that ungodly hour? Was
towards the group as instructed. Manrique
operatives in the early morning of November indeed Pineda was so bothered by his there an incident report on the matter
thereafter alighted and effected the arrest of
16, 2002 at the parking lot of the Club 5 Disco. involvement with the group of Lawrence, why considering that Manrique was mindful enough
Irma and Lawrence. Irma went hysterical and
A gun was poked at him and he was shoved did he spill the beans against Irma and earlier to first secure a Pre-
was loaded into the Honda ESI while Lawrence
inside a vehicle. He was boxed and placed on Lawrence only? Did he not state that it was a Operation/Coordination sheet?25
was made to board the Mitsubishi Adventure.
handcuffs. He was not shown any warrant of "group" that he was transacting with? Who
It was at that point when two (2) mobile cars
arrest. He told the arresting officers that he is were the other members of this group? What The dispositive portion of the trial court’s
arrived with policemen on board. A commotion
also a policeman. He was brought later to Camp were their activities that were so dark and Decision states:
immediately ensued between the police men
Crame. While at Camp Crame, he was shown to clandestine so as to make him suddenly
aboard the mobile cars and Manrique’s men. WHEREFORE, premises considered, judgment is
his co-accused Pineda and the latter was asked shudder and opt for a change of life? These
Firearms were drawn and poked against each of hereby rendered in Criminal Case No. 02-3393
"di ba sya yung nag-drive noong may operation were not answered by Pineda’s testimony.
the men (‘nagkatutukan ng baril’). Jose, finding the accused PO1 FROILAN TRESTIZA Y
however, later on showed what appeared to be laban kina Irma Navarro?" ("Is he not the one
Also, while Manrique presented what appears LACSON, P/INSP LORIEMAN L. MANRIQUE and
a document to the men aboard the mobile car. who drove during the operation against Irma
to be a Pre-Operation Coordination Report, RODIE PINEDA Y JIMENEZ GUILTY beyond
One of the men later on made a call through his Navarro?"). He (Trestiza) asked the authorities
thus creating at first glance the impression that reasonable doubt as principals by direct
radio and then left afterwards. what were the grounds for detaining him but
theirs was a legitimate police operation, this participation of the crime of KIDNAPPING for
his queries were not answered. His watch,
still does not detract from nor diminish the RANSOM, and they are hereby sentenced to
Manrique later on instructed Trestiza to drive wallet and cellphone were taken. Later on the
credibility of the complainants’ claim that they suffer the penalty of RECLUSION PERPETUA. In
towards Edsa on their way to Camp Crame. same day, Irma arrived in Camp Crame. The
were subsequently abducted and money was addition thereto, they are ordered to pay,
Along the way, Manrique conducted a tactical authorities thereat talked to Irma, afterwhich,
demanded in exchange for their release. For jointly and severally, the private complainants
interrogation against Lawrence and Irma about a policeman told her "eto yung itinuturo ni
even if the court is to indulge the claim of the the sums of PHP 300,000.00 as actual damages,
their drug-related activities. Upon reaching SM Buboy na nag-drive." ("This is the one pointed
defense that the complainants were indeed and PHP 300,000.00 as exemplary damages. All
Megamall, however, Manrique told Trestiza to to by Buboy as the one who drove"). Several
drug-pushers and undeserving of this court’s the accused are ACQUITTED in Criminal Cases
pull over. Manrique talked to Lawrence, Irma, days later, all the accused were presented to
sympathy, the nagging doubt about the Nos. 03-766 and 04-1311 both for Robbery
Jose and Pineda. Trestiza remained inside the the press by the office of General Matillano.
existence of a prepared police operation as respectively.
van. Trestiza, however, overheard that The Philippine Daily Inquirer covered the story
what Manrique and his co-accused refer to,
Lawrence was at that point was talking about and later on came out with an article entitled Send the records of this case to the archives in
persists. For one, the said Pre-
his supplier of ‘ecstasy.’ Thereafter, Manrique "We Were Framed." so far as accused PO2 Reynel Jose, who
Operation/Coordination Sheet appears to be
briefed anew Pineda and Jose in the presence continues to be at large, is concerned. Let,
The defense likewise presented PO2 Rolando unreliable. Aside from the fact that the same
of Irma and Lawrence. It was understood however, a Warrant of Arrest be issued against
de Guzman who corroborated the claim of was not duly authenticated, the failure of the
among them that Lawrence will wait for his him.
Trestiza that he was called by the latter defense, particularly accused Manrique, to
alleged supplier whose name was allegedly
concerning the information given by Pineda. No summon the signatories therein who may
‘Jojo’ at the Caltex gas station along Wilson SO ORDERED.26
further evidence was presented.23 attest to the existence and authenticity of such
Street in Greenhills. Lawrence told Manrique
document was not at all explained. Second, all On the same date as the promulgation of its
that this Jojo was really a big-time supplier
The Trial Court’s Ruling the accused narrated about their almost-fatal decision, the trial court issued an Order of
of ecstasy and cocaine. Upon arriving at the gas
encounter with another group of policemen Commitment27 of Trestiza, Manrique, and
station, the group waited for Lawrence’s In its Joint Decision24 dated 24 July 2007, the while they were allegedly in the act of Pineda to the Director of the Bureau of
supplier for an hour but nobody appeared. trial court found Trestiza, Manrique, and conducting the supposed buy-bust operation Corrections.
Manrique became impatient and went to Pineda guilty beyond reasonable doubt as against the complainants. This event, to the
8

On 27 July 2007, Trestiza, Manrique, and The trial court held hearings on the twin On 30 June 2008, the appellate court dismissed SO ORDERED.33
Pineda filed a Motion for New Trial and for motions. On 3 October 2007, the trial court the appeal and affirmed the trial court’s
Inhibition. Two witnesses, Camille Anne Ortiz y issued an Order29 denying the Motion for New decision. Trestiza alone filed a Motion for
Alfonso (Ortiz) and Paulo Antonio De Leon y Trial and for Inhibition. The evidence presented Reconsideration34 of the appellate court’s
Espiritu (De Leon), allegedly intimate friends of was merely corroborative, and the prosecution In its recitation of facts, the appellate court decision. In his Motion, Trestiza claimed that he
Navarro and Yu, will testify as to the was able to prove its case despite the judge’s quoted from the People’s Brief for the alone, through counsel, filed an appeal brief.
circumstances which took place in the early alleged off-the-record equivocal remark. prosecution and from the trial court for the Trestiza further claimed that the stipulations
morning of 7 November 2002. Their defense. The appellate court ruled that made during pre-trial established Trestiza’s
testimonies, if admitted, will allegedly result in On 19 October 2007, Trestiza, Manrique, and Trestiza’s contention that he was just the driver limited involvement, that is, he was merely a
the acquittal of Trestiza, Manrique, and Pineda. Pineda filed a notice of appeal.30 The Order of the van and never communicated with the driver of the vehicle when the alleged crime
These witnesses are not known to the accused, denying the Motion for New Trial and for witnesses deserves scant consideration. Yu took place, he never communicated with the
and they could not have been produced during Inhibition was received on 18 October 2007, identified Trestiza as one of the two men who complainants, and none of the items allegedly
trial. Moreover, the accused are of the belief while the Motion for New Trial and for sandwiched him as he left Where Else Disco, taken from the complainants were recovered
that trial court judge Zenaida T. Galapate- Inhibition was filed on 27 July 2007 or three and insisted that Yu cooperate with Jose when from Trestiza’s possession. The trial court did
Laguilles acted with bias against them. She days after the promulgation of the Decision on Jose asked Yu for cash. Trestiza’s acts thus show not mention nor discuss these stipulations in its
allegedly made an off-the-record remark and 24 July 2004. The trial court gave due course to that he acted in concert with his co-accused in decision. Even the trial court’s finding of facts
stated that the prosecution failed to establish the notice of appeal.31 In their brief filed with the commission of the crime. The appellate shows Trestiza’s participation was merely that
what they sought to prove, but then later on the appellate court, Trestiza, Manrique, and court relied on the trial court’s assessment of of an invited driver in a legitimate Philippine
questioned the existence of the defense’s Pre- Pineda assigned the following errors: the reliability of the prosecution’s witnesses, Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) drug bust
Operation/Coordination Sheet in her decision. and gave credence to their testimonies. The operation. Moreover, the testimonies of
The trial court erred in convicting accused appellate court declared that all the elements witnesses of both prosecution and defense
Judge Galapate-Laguilles also failed to resolve
Trestiza despite the fact that he was not part of of kidnapping for ransom are present and thus establish that Trestiza was a member of the
the Petition for Bail, and failed to point out
the alleged conspiracy in that it was not affirmed the trial court’s decision: Philippine National Police (PNP) when he
discrepancies in the testimonies of the
stipulated during the pre-trial that he was just allegedly committed the crime. Under the
defense’s witnesses, particularly those
the driver and was not part of the team. In any event, it was established that all the circumstances, Trestiza claimed he should be
regarding the arrests of Trestiza, Manrique, and
Besides, he did not perform any act in elements constituting the crime of kidnapping held liable only for Arbitrary Detention. Finally,
Pineda.
furtherance of the alleged conspiracy. for ransom in the case at bar are present. The Trestiza’s identification was not only improper
The prosecution opposed the Motion for New elements of kidnapping for ransom under for being suggested, but his warrantless arrest
The trial court erred in giving credence to the Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC), as
Trial and Inhibition.28 De Leon shared a cell with should also be held invalid.
testimonies of private complainants Lawrence amended by Republic Act (R.A.) 7659 are as
Manrique since July 2003, while the trial was
Yu and Irma Navarro as their demeanor in the follows: (a) intent on the part of the accused to The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) filed a
ongoing, and hence De Leon’s supposed
witness stand show hesitation indicative of deprive the victim of his liberty; (b) actual comment opposing Trestiza’s Motion for
testimony should not be considered "newly
guilt of fabrication and their testimonies lack deprivation of the victim of his liberty; and (c) Reconsideration. The stipulations do not
discovered" evidence. On the other hand,
spontaneity and were not straightforward. motive of the accused, which is extorting discount that Trestiza conspired with his co-
Ortiz’s narration of events in her affidavit is full
of inconsistencies. The prosecution likewise ransom for the release of the victim (People vs. appellants Manrique and Pineda in committing
The trial court erred in giving credence to the
questioned the credibility of the witnesses who Raul Cenahonon, 527 SCRA 542). Here, Navarro the crime charged. The apprehension and
testimonies of prosecution witnesses John Paul
allegedly heard Judge Galapate-Laguilles’ off- and Yu testified how they were abducted at gun detention of Navarro and Yu were clearly
Suguitan and Angelo Gonzales as they alleged
the-record remark. One was Trestiza’s relative, point from the parking lot in Makati and effected for the purpose of ransom; hence, the
facts and circumstance that are contrary to
while the other was a security escort who was confined inside the car and van respectively; proper crime really is Kidnapping with Ransom.
human nature and experience.
supposed to stay outside the courtroom. that they were both handcuffed, hence, Trestiza filed a Reply to the Comment35 on 20
Finally, the motion itself was filed late. The The trial court erred in convicting the accused deprived of their liberty and that appellants October 2009.
supplement to the motion, to which the despite the fact that the complainants were made a demand for them to deliver a certain
amount in exchange for their release. The appellate court denied Trestiza’s Motion
affidavits of the additional witnesses were arrested in a legitimate operation as evidenced
for Reconsideration in a Resolution dated 11
attached, was filed two days after the finality of by the Pre-Operation/Coordination Sheet
In fine, the Court rules and so holds that November 2009.36 An examination of the
the trial court’s decision. Copies of the decision which was authenticated by accused-appellant
appellants’ guilt for the offense of kidnapping appellants’ brief showed that the brief was filed
were furnished to both prosecution and Manrique.32
for ransom has been proven beyond moral for Trestiza, Manrique and Pineda. The
defense on 24 July 2007, which was also the
The Appellate Court’s Ruling certainty of doubt. appellate court found no compelling reason to
date of promulgation. The Motion for New Trial
warrant consideration of its decision.
and Inhibition was dated 27 July 2007, while the WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is
Supplement to the Motion which included the hereby AFFIRMED and this appeal is hereby Trestiza still filed a Notice of Appeal37 of the
witnesses’ affidavits was dated 10 August 2007. DISMISSED. appellate court’s decision on 10 January 2010.
9

The appellate court initially denied38 Trestiza’s committing the crime of Kidnapping for Sec. 5. Arrest without warrant; when lawful. ‒ of the present case make us rule otherwise.
Notice of Appeal due to late filing, but Ransom and the same was not proven by proof A peace officer or a private person may, Trestiza was charged with two crimes at the
eventually granted39 Trestiza’s Motion for beyond reasonable doubt. without a warrant, arrest a person: time of his arrest: kidnapping with ransom
Reconsideration40 of the 16 February 2010 under Criminal Case No. 02-3393 and illegal
resolution denying his Notice of Appeal. VII. [Trestiza] has no malicious or evil intent in (a) When, in his presence, the person to be possession of firearms under Criminal Case No.
acquiescing to drive the vehicle used in the buy- arrested has committed, is actually committing, 02-3394. Trestiza did not question the legality
Trestiza filed the present supplemental bust operation. or is attempting to commit an offense; of his warrantless arrest nor the acquisition of
brief41 before this Court on 15 August 2011. In jurisdiction of the trial court over his person,
his brief, Trestiza emphasized that Yu was VIII. [Trestiza] is innocent of the crime of (b) When an offense has just been committed
and fully participated in the hearing of the
apprehended by agents of the PNP and PDEA Kidnapping for Ransom.42 and he has probable cause to believe based on
illegal possession of firearms case. Thus,
on 30 June 2011 during a raid of an illegal drugs personal knowledge of facts or circumstances
The Court’s Ruling Trestiza is deemed to have waived any
laboratory. Yu was charged with the crime of that the person to be arrested has committed
objection to his warrantless arrest. Under the
manufacturing, possessing, and selling illegal it; and
At the outset, we declare that the 30 June 2011 circumstances, Trestiza’s Omnibus Motion in
drugs under Sections 8, 11, and 12, Article II of arrest of Yu has no bearing on the present case. the kidnapping for ransom case is a mere
(c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner
Republic Act No. 9165. The two cases are independent of each other afterthought and cannot be considered as a
who has escaped from a penal establishment or
and should be treated as such. Yu’s innocence place where he is serving final judgment or is timely objection.
The Issues
or guilt regarding his 30 June 2011 arrest does temporarily confined while his case is pending,
not affirm or negate the commission of the Assuming arguendo that Trestiza indeed made
Trestiza raised the following arguments against or has escaped while being transferred from
crime of Kidnapping for Ransom against him. a timely objection to his warrantless arrest, our
the appellate court’s decision: one confinement to another.
jurisprudence is replete with rulings that
I. The supervening event involving the Warrantless Arrest In cases falling under paragraphs (a) and (b) support the view that Trestiza’s conviction is
apprehension of Lawrence L. Yu as the head of above, the person arrested without a warrant proper despite being illegally arrested without
These are the circumstances surrounding warrant. In People v. Manlulu, the Court ruled:
a big-time drug syndicate throws his credibility shall be forthwith delivered to the nearest
Trestiza’s arrest: Pineda had been contacting Yu
as a witness beneath the abyss of morass and police station or jail and shall be proceeded
to follow up on the balance on the ransom. [T]he illegality of the warrantless arrest cannot
decay that must be now totally discarded. against in accordance with section 7 of Rule
Pineda was then arrested pursuant to an deprive the State of its right to prosecute the
112.
II. The facts and circumstances surrounding the entrapment operation conducted in the early guilty when all other facts on record point to
above-entitled case is consistent with the morning of 16 November 2002 at New World It is clear that Trestiza’s warrantless arrest does their culpability.46
innocence of [Trestiza] rendering the evidence Hotel. During the investigation at Camp Crame, not fall under any of the circumstances
Pineda revealed that Trestiza could be found at Indeed, the illegal arrest of an accused is not
presented insufficient and without moral mentioned in Section 5, Rule 113. However,
Club 5 in Makati. Pineda and Yu accompanied sufficient cause for setting aside a valid
certainty to support a conviction. Trestiza failed to make a valid objection to his
the arresting team to Club 5. Yu pointed out judgment rendered upon a sufficient complaint
warrantless arrest.
III. At the very least, the "equipoise rule" finds Trestiza to the arresting team while Trestiza after a trial free from error.47 The fatal flaw of
application in the case at bar, taking into was on his way to his black Hummer.43 Any objection to the procedure followed in the an invalid warrantless arrest becomes moot in
consideration the supervening event that matter of the acquisition by a court of view of a credible eyewitness account.48
demolished the credibility of the witnesses Trestiza questioned the legality of his jurisdiction over the person of the accused
warrantless arrest in an Omnibus Motion44 filed Kidnapping with Ransom
presented by the prosecution. must be opportunely raised before he enters
before his arraignment. In its Order dated 19 his plea; otherwise, the objection is deemed The trial court’s findings of facts, its calibration
IV. The Constitutional presumption of August 2004, the trial court stated that the waived.45Trestiza, being a policeman himself, of the collective testimonies of witnesses, its
innocence of [Trestiza] has not been quashal of the informations on account of could have immediately objected to his assessment of the probative weight of the
overwhelmed by the tainted testimony and Trestiza’s illegal arrest is not warranted. The warrantless arrest. However, he merely asked evidence of the parties, as well as its
total lack of credibility of Lawrence L. Yu and, in determination of the nature of the arrest goes for the grounds for his arrest. He did not even conclusions anchored on the said findings, are
light of the supervening event, could not now directly into the merits of the case, and needs a file charges against the arresting officers. There accorded great weight, and even conclusive
be overcome by questionable testimonies deeper judicial determination. Matters of was also a lengthy amount of time between effect, unless the trial court ignored,
presented by the prosecution. defense are not grounds for a Motion to Quash. Trestiza’s arrest on 16 November 2002 and the misunderstood or misinterpreted cogent facts
The trial court, however, did not make any filing of the Omnibus Motion objecting to
V. The conviction of an innocent man is a great and circumstances of substance which, if
ruling related to Trestiza’s warrantless arrest in Trestiza’s warrantless arrest on 11 May 2004.
injustice that affects the very foundations of considered, would alter the outcome of the
its 24 July 2007 Decision. Although it may be argued that the objection
humanity. case. This is because of the unique advantage
was raised prior to the entry of Trestiza’s plea of the trial court to observe, at close range, the
Section 5, Rule 113 of the 2000 Rules of
VI. It was not sufficiently shown that all the of not guilty in the kidnapping for ransom conduct, demeanor and the deportment of the
Criminal Procedure enumerates the instances
accused in the above-entitled case conspired in charge, it must be noted that the circumstances witnesses as they testify.49 We see no reason to
when warrantless arrests are lawful.
10

overrule the trial court’s finding that Trestiza is exempt them from the criminal liability of A: Yes, ma’am. Q: After [Reynel Jose] said [that had Yu
guilty of kidnapping with ransom. kidnapping. It is quite clear that in abducting cooperated earlier, he would not have been
and taking away the victim, appellants did so Q: Are they inside this Courtroom? hurt] and the plastic removed from your head,
Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code provides: neither in furtherance of official functions nor what did [sic] the two, Trestiza and Manrique,
A: Yes, ma’am.
in the pursuit of authority vested in them. It is doing?
Art. 267. Kidnapping and serious illegal
not, in fine, in relation to their office, but in Q: Will you please identify them?
detention. ‒ Any private individual who shall A: They told me the same thing. They told me
purely private capacity that they have acted in
kidnap or detain another, or in any other that I should not have kept the matter long.
concert with their co-appellant Santiano and A: The three of them, ma’am.
manner deprive him of his liberty, shall suffer
Chanco.
the penalty of reclusion perpetuato death: At this juncture, the witness is to pointing to the Q: What happened after that?
In the same order, the trial court asked for three (3) men, who are the accused in this case,
1. If the kidnapping or detention shall have A: After that, Reynel Jose alighted again and we
further evidence which support the defense’s inside the Courtroom.
lasted more than three days. drove towards an area, which I know now to be
claim of holding a legitimate police operation.
COURT: (To the Accused) Again, for the record, within San Juan. Right in front of the
2. If it shall have been committed simulating However, the trial court found as unreliable the
please stand up, gentlemen. Tambunting Pawnshop.
public authority. Pre-Operation/Coordination Sheet presented
by the defense. The sheet was not Q: What happened at the Tambunting
At this juncture, the three (3) accused stood up.
3. If any serious physical injuries shall have authenticated, and the signatories were not Pawnshop? Did the vehicle stop there?
been inflicted upon the person kidnapped or presented to attest to its existence and COURT: (To Witness) Are you sure these were
detained; or if threats to kill him shall have authenticity. the three (3) men whom you are referring to? A: The two (2) vehicles parked there beside
been made. each other.
The second to the last paragraph of Article 267 WITNESS:
4. If the person kidnapped or detained shall be prescribes the penalty of death when the Q: What happened when you were there at
a minor, except when the accused is any of the extortion of ransom was the purpose of the A: Yes, ma’am. Tambunting Pawnshop?
parents, female or a public officer. kidnapping. Yu and Navarro were released only
after they were able to give various personal COURT: Make it of record that the witness A: After parking in front of the Tambunting
The penalty shall be death where the effects as well as cash amounting to ₱300,000, pointed to accused PO1 Froilan Trestiza, PSINP Pawnshop, they boarded Irma and have her sat
kidnapping or detention was committed for the with the promise to give the balance of Loriemar Manrique and Rodie Pineda. [sic] beside me. Then after which, the door at
purpose of extorting ransom from the victim or ₱1,000,000 at a later date. my left side was opened.
any other person, even if none of the ATTY. OLEDAN:
circumstances abovementioned were present Trestiza insists that his participation is limited Q: What else happened?
Q: (To Witness) Specifically, who among these
in the commission of the offense. to being a driver of the Mitsubishi Adventure
three (3) "sandwiched" you? A: They told me not to make any move, that I
van. Yu testified otherwise.
When the victim is killed or dies as a just keep on sitting there. Afterwards, the men
WITNESS: huddled with each other ("nagkumpul-kumpol
consequence of the detention or is raped, or is Direct Examination of Lawrence Lim Yu
subjected to torture or dehumanizing acts, the po sila").
A: It was PO1 Trestiza and Capt. Manrique.
maximum penalty shall be imposed. Atty. Oledan:
Q: Where did they huddle?
xxx
Before the present case was tried by the trial Q: What happened [after you left Wherelse
Disco]? A: They huddled in an area close to me, almost
court, there was a significant amount of time Q: What happened after you were brought
in front of me.
spent in determining whether kidnapping for inside the Mitsubishi vehicle?
Witness:
ransom was the proper crime charged against Q: Who among the accused huddled together?
the accused, especially since Trestiza and A: Later on, Officer Trestiza and Capt. Manrique
A: As soon as I stepped out of the Wherelse
Manrique were both police officers. Article 267 likewise boarded the Mitsubishi Adventure. A: The four (4) of them, ma’am.
Disco, somebody bumped me at my right side.
of the Revised Penal Code specifically stated And then later on, I was "sandwiched" by two xxx Q: How long did they huddle?
that the crime should be committed by a (2) persons and when I looked up, I noted the
private individual.50 The trial court settled the presence of one (1) man immediately in front Q: Who was driving the vehicle? A: For a while only, ma’am, around (10) ten
matter by citing our ruling in People v. of me holding a gun. minutes.
Santiano,51thus: A: It was Froilan Trestiza, ma’am.
Q: And these men who "sandwiched" you and Q: After ten (10) minutes, what happened?
The fact alone that appellant Pillueta is an the third men [sic] who held the gun in front of xxx
organic member of the NARCOM and appellant you, would you be able to identify them? A: After ten (10) minutes, Buboy approached
Sandigan a member of the PNP would not me.
11

Q: What did he say? A: It was almost daybreak ("mag-uumaga na"). Costs against Froilan L. Trestiza.
I have no watch already at that time, ma’am.
A: He told me that they thought my money SO ORDERED.
would be One Million Pesos (₱1,000,000.00). Q: So, what did you do after that?

xxx A: After that, Froilan Trestiza handed to me my


sim card telling me that they will be calling me
Q: So, after that huddle, after you were told by in my house concerning my alleged balance.52
Buboy that "okay na ‘yong one million" and that
was confirmed by one of the three (3) men who We agree with the appellate court’s
said "isang million na," what happened? assessment that Trestiza’s acts were far from
just being a mere driver. The series of events
A: I was talking to Buboy at that time and I was that transpired before, during, and after the
telling him, "Why do you have to do this to me? kidnapping incident more than shows that
You are the ‘kumpare’ of the elder sister of Trestiza acted in concert with his co-accused in
Irma." committing the crime. Conspiracy may be
implied if it is proved that two or more persons
Q: What did Buboy say to that?
aimed their acts towards the accomplishment
A: Buboy retorted, "Pare, pasensya na, pera of the same unlawful object, each doing a part
pera lang ‘yan." so that their combined acts, though apparently
independent of each other, were, in fact,
Q: After Buboy said that, what happened? connected and cooperative, indicating a
closeness of personal association and a
A: I told him that he need not do that, because concurrence of sentiment.53
if he needs money, I can always lend him.
Trestiza’s civil liability is joint and several with
Q: What did Buboy say? Manrique and Pineda. They are liable for the
₱120,000 taken from Navarro and the
A: After saying this to Buboy, he told me to just
₱180,000 raised by Yu. In line with prevailing
shut up and then he later on handed over to me
jurisprudence,54 Trestiza is also liable for
a cell phone and told me to contact a person,
₱75,000 as civil indemnity which is awarded if
who can give me money.
the crime warrants the imposition of death
Q: Who handed you your cell phone? penalty; ₱75,000 as moral damages because
the victim is assumed to have suffered moral
A: It was Froilan Trestiza, ma’am. injuries, without need of proof; and ₱30,000 as
exemplary damages.
xxx
WHEREFORE, we DENY the petition. The
Q: After that, were you told to go home Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. H.C.
already? No. 03119 promulgated on 30 June 2009, as
well as the Resolution promulgated on 11 June
A: Not yet, ma’am. Before letting us go, they
2010, is AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION.
threatened us. They reminded us that they
Froilan L. Trestiza is guilty beyond reasonable
have our IDs, the pictures of our children and
doubt of Kidnapping in Criminal Case No. 02-
the members of our family.
3393 and is sentenced to suffer the penalty
Q: What did you do after that? of reclusion perpetua, as well as the accessory
penalties provided by law. In addition to the
A: We just kept on saying yes because we restitution of ₱300,000 for the ransom, Trestiza
wanted to go home already. is ordered to pay Lawrence Yu and Irma
Navarro ₱75,000 as civil indemnity, ₱75,000 as
Q: What time was that? moral damages, and ₱30,000 as exemplary
damages.
12

BENITO ASTORGA, G.R. No. 154130 guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of The rules of procedure are merely tools
Petitioner, Arbitrary Detention and sentencing him to designed to facilitate the attainment of
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Promulgated: suffer the indeterminate penalty of four (4) justice. They were conceived and promulgated q And you arrived at 5:00 oclock?
Respondent. months of arresto mayor, as minimum, to one to effectively aid the court in the dispensation
a Yes sir.
(1) year and eight (8) months of prision of justice. Courts are not slaves to or robots of
YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.: correccional, as maximum, is AFFIRMED in technical rules, shorn of judicial discretion. In q And you left at 2:00 oclock in the morning of
toto. rendering justice, courts have always been, as September 2?
On October 1, 2003, we rendered a Decision in
they ought to be, conscientiously guided by the
this case affirming petitioners conviction by the Costs de oficio. norm that on the balance, technicalities take a a Yes sir.
Sandiganbayan of the crime of Arbitrary
backseat against substantive rights, and not the
Detention. Petitioner now seeks a SO ORDERED.
other way around. Thus, if the application of q And you ate dinner between 5:00 oclock to
reconsideration of our Decision.
the Rules would tend to frustrate rather than 2:00 oclock in the morning of September 2, is
Petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration,
The facts are briefly restated as follows: promote justice, it is always within our power that correct?
which was denied with finality on January 12,
2004.[1] Petitioner then filed an Urgent Motion to suspend the rules, or except a particular case
Private offended parties Elpidio Simon, Moises a Yes sir. Mayor Astorga told us let us have
for Leave to File Second Motion for from its operation.[7]
de la Cruz, Wenefredo Maniscan, Renato dinner.
Reconsideration[2] with attached Motion for
Militante and Crisanto Pelias are members of The elements of the crime of Arbitrary
Reconsideration,[3] wherein he makes the q And Mayor Astorga brought you to a house
the Regional Special Operations Group (RSOG) Detention are:
following submissions: where you had dinner?
of the Department of Environment and Natural
1. That the offender is a public officer or
Resources, Tacloban City. On September 1, 1. THE ARMED MEN WERE NOT SUMMONED a Yes sir.
employee.
1997, they, together with SPO3 Andres B. BY PETITIONER FOR THE PURPOSE OF
Cinco, Jr. and SPO1 Rufo Capoquian of the DETAINING THE PRIVATE OFFENDED PARTIES; q And of course you also partook of wine?
2. That he detains a person.
Philippine National Police Regional Intelligence
Group, were sent to the Island of Daram, 2. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE THAT THE SUPPOSED a I know they had wine but with respect to us
3. That the detention is without legal
Western Samar to conduct intelligence VICTIMS INSISTED ON LEAVING THE PLACE we had no wine sir.
grounds.[8]
operations on possible illegal logging WHERE THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO BE
xxx xxx xxx
activities. At around 4:30-5:00 p.m., the team DETAINED; The determinative factor in Arbitrary
found two boats measuring 18 meters in length Detention, in the absence of actual physical AJ NARIO:
and 5 meters in breadth being constructed at 3. THE SUPPOSED VICTIMS THEMSELVES HAVE restraint, is fear. After a careful review of the
Barangay Locob-Locob. There they met DECLARED THE INNOCENCE OF THE evidence on record, we find no proof that q While you were taking your dinner from 7 to
petitioner Benito Astorga, the Mayor of Daram, PETITIONER; petitioner instilled fear in the minds of the 8:00 oclock Mayor Astorga was with you having
who turned out to be the owner of the boats. A private offended parties. dinner
4. CRIMINAL INTENT ON THE PART OF THE
heated altercation ensued between petitioner
ACCUSED IS CLEARLY WANTING IN THE Indeed, we fail to discern any element of fear a Yes Your Honor.
and the DENR team. Petitioner called for
INSTANT CASE.[4] from the narration of SPO1 Rufo Capoquian,
reinforcements and, moments later, a boat
the police officer who escorted the DENR Team q You did not hear the conversation between
bearing ten armed men, some wearing Subsequently, petitioner filed a Supplement to
during their mission. On the contrary, what the Mayor and the foresters, the complainants
fatigues, arrived at the scene. The DENR team the Second Motion for Reconsideration.[5]
appears is that petitioner, being then a here?
was then brought to petitioners house in
Daram, where they had dinner and drinks. The The prosecution was required to comment on municipal mayor, merely extended his
a I could not hear anything important because
team left at 2:00 a.m. petitioners second Motion for Reconsideration hospitality and entertained the DENR Team in
they were just laughing.
and the Supplement thereto. his house. SPO1 Capoquian testified thus:
On the basis of the foregoing facts, petitioner xxx xx xxx
was charged with and convicted of Arbitrary We find the grounds raised by the second ATTY. JUMAMIL:
Detention by the Sandiganbayan in Criminal Motion for Reconsideration well-taken.[6] AJ PALATTAO:
q After Bagacay you arrived in what barangay in
Case No. 24986. On petition for review, we
While a second motion for reconsideration is, Daram? q And then according to you there was laughter
rendered judgment as follows:
as a general rule, a prohibited pleading, it is what was the cause of this laughter?
a We were on our way to Barangay Sta. Rita in
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the within the sound discretion of the Court to
Daram but on our way we saw a boat being
petition is hereby DENIED. The Decision of the admit the same, provided it is filed with prior
constructed there so we proceeded to
Sandiganbayan in Criminal Case No., dated July leave whenever substantive justice may be
Barangay Lucodlucod (sic). a Probably they were talking of something
5, 2001 finding petitioner BENITO ASTORGA better served thereby.
humorous.[9]
13

The testimonial evidence likewise shows that q Up to what point did you reach when you Wenefredo Maniscan, executed a Joint subjective.[13] Addressed to the mind of the
there was no actual restraint imposed on the were allegedly prevented to go somewhere? Affidavit of Desistance stating, in pertinent victim, its presence cannot be tested by any
private offended parties. SPO1 Capoquian in part: hard-and-fast rule but must instead be viewed
fact testified that they were free to leave the a They did not say anything sir. in the light of the perception and judgment of
house and roam around the xxx xxx xxx; the victim at the time of the crime.[14] As such,
q Where did you go after that?
barangay. Furthermore, he admitted that it was SPO1 Capoquian and SPO3 Cinco, not being
6. That what transpired may have been caused
raining at that time. Hence, it is possible that a Just down until it rained. victims, were not competent to testify on
by human limitation aggravated by the
petitioner prevented the team from leaving the whether or not fear existed in the minds of the
exhaustion of the team in scouring the shores
island because it was unsafe for them to travel q If you want to go, let us say, you want to leave private offended parties herein. It was thus
of the small islands of Samar for several
by boat. that place, on your part, was there somebody error for the Sandiganbayan to have relied on
days. Mayor Benito Astorga may have also
prevented you to go to another place? their testimonies in convicting petitioner.
ATTY. JUMAMIL: been confronted with the same predicament,
a I dont know Your Honor. hence our confrontation resulted to a heated Verily, the circumstances brought out by SPO1
q It was raining at that time, is that correct? argument and the eventual misunderstanding; Capoquian created a reasonable doubt as to
q But on your part can you just leave that place whether petitioner detained the DENR Team
a Yes sir it was raining. or somebody will prevent you to go somewhere 7. Considering that he is the local Chief
against their consent. The events that
else? Executive of the Municipality of Daram, Samar
q And the weather was not good for motorized transpired are, to be sure, capable to two
our respect for him prevailed when he ordered
travel at that particular time that you were in interpretations. While it may support the
a What I felt I will not be able to leave because us to take dinner with him and other local
Lucoblucob, Daram? proposition that the private offended parties
we were already told not to leave the barangay. residents thereat, so we capitulated whose
were taken to petitioners house and prevented
invitation was misinterpreted by us;
a I know it is raining but I could not say that you q In other words, you can go places in that from leaving until 2:00 a.m. the next morning,
could not travel. barangay but you are not supposed to leave 8. That thereafter, a natural and spontaneous it is equally plausible, if not more so, that
that barangay, is this Barangay Daram? conversation between the team and the group petitioner extended his hospitality and served
q What was the condition of the sea at that dinner and drinks to the team at his house. He
of Mayor Astorga during the dinner and we
time when you were in Lucoblucob? a Barangay Lucoblucob, Your Honor. could have advised them to stay on the island
were eventually allowed to leave Daram,
Samar; inasmuch as sea travel was rendered unsafe by
a The sea was good in fact we did not get wet q On your part according to you you can go the heavy rains. He ate together with the
and there were no waves at that time. places if you want although in your impression 9. That upon our return to our respective private offended parties and even laughed with
you cannot leave the barangay. How about the official stations we reported the incident to our them while conversing over dinner. This
q But it was raining the whole day?
other companions like Mr. Simon, Cruz and supervisors who required us to submit our scenario is inconsistent with a hostile
a It was not raining at the day but after we ate Maniscan, can they leave the place? affidavit; confrontation between the parties. Moreover,
in the evening it rained. considering that the Mayor also served
a No Your Honor. 10. That at present our differences had already alcoholic drinks, it is not at all unusual that his
q It was raining hard in fact after 8:00 p.m. up been reconciled and both parties had already guests left the house at 2:00 a.m. the following
q Why are you very positive that in your case
to 1:00 oclock in the morning is that correct? express apologies and are personally no longer morning.
you can leave but in the case of those I have
interested to pursue the case against the
a A little bit hard I dont know when the rain enumerated they cannot, why?
Mayor, hence, this affidavit of desistance; In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall
stopped, sir. be presumed innocent until the contrary is
a If only in that barangay we can leave, Your
xxx xxx xxx.[12] proved.[15] He is entitled to an acquittal unless
q It is possible that it rain.. the rain stopped at Honor.[10]
his guilt is shown beyond reasonable
1:00 oclock in the morning of September 2? Thereafter, the private offended parties did not
Mr. Elpidio Simon, one of the private offended doubt. Proof beyond reasonable doubt does
appear anymore in court to testify. This
a I dont remember sir. parties, took the witness stand on August 16, not mean such a degree of proof as, excluding
notwithstanding, the Sandiganbayan convicted
2000 but did not complete his testimony-in- possibility of error, produces absolute
petitioner of the crime of Arbitrary Detention
xxx xxx xxx chief due to lack of material time. His testimony certainty. Moral certainty only is required, or
on the basis of the testimonies of SPO1
only covered preliminary matters and did not that degree of proof which produces conviction
AJ PALATTAO: Capoquian and SPO3 Cinco, the police escorts
touch on the circumstances of the alleged in an unprejudiced mind.[16]
of the DENR Team.
detention.[11]
q Were you told not to go away from the place? As held in several cases, when the guilt of the
The quoted portions of SPO1 Capoquians
On August 23, 2000, all the private offended accused has not been proven with moral
a No Your Honor. testimony negate the element of
parties, namely, Elpidio E. Simon, Moises de la certainty, the presumption of innocence of the
detention. More importantly, fear is a state of
Cruz, Renato Militante, Crisanto Pelias and accused must be sustained and his exoneration
mind and is necessarily
be granted as a matter of right. For the
14

prosecutions evidence must stand or fall on its [G.R. No. 154130. October 1, 2003] operations in line with the governments promptly surrounded the team, guns pointed at
own merit and cannot be allowed to draw campaign against illegal logging. The team was the team members.[7] At this, Simon tried to
strength from the weakness of the evidence for BENITO ASTORGA, petitioner, vs. PEOPLE OF composed of Forester II Moises dela Cruz, explain to Astorga the purpose of his teams
the defense.[17] Furthermore, where the THE PHILIPPINES, respondent. Scaler Wenifredo Maniscan, Forest Ranger mission.[8] He then took out his handheld ICOM
evidence for the prosecution is concededly Renato Militante, and Tree Marker Crisanto radio, saying that he was going to contact his
DECISION
weak, even if the evidence for defense is also Pelias, with Elpidio E. Simon, Chief of the Forest people at the DENR in Catbalogan to inform
weak, the accused must be duly accorded the YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.: Protection and Law Enforcement Section, as them of the teams whereabouts. Suddenly,
benefit of the doubt in view of the team leader. The team was escorted by SPO3 Mayor Astorga forcibly grabbed Simons radio,
constitutional presumption of innocence that This is a petition for review under Rule 45 of the Andres B. Cinco, Jr. and SPO1 Rufo saying, Maupay nga waray kamo radio bis diri
an accused enjoys. When the circumstances Rules of Court, seeking the reversal of a Capoquian.[3] somabut an iyo opisina kon hain kamo, bis diri
are capable of two or more inferences, as in this Decision of the Sandiganbayan in Criminal Case kamo maka aro hin bulig. (Its better if you have
case, one of which is consistent with the No. 24986, dated July 5, 2001,[1] as well as its The team stopped at Brgy. Bagacay, Daram, no radio so that your office would not know
presumption of innocence while the other is Resolutions dated September 28, 2001 and July Western Samar at 2:00 p.m., where they saw your whereabouts and so that you cannot ask
compatible with guilt, the presumption of 10, 2002. two yacht-like boats being constructed. After for help).[9] Mayor Astorga again slapped the
innocence must prevail and the court must consulting with the local barangay officials, the right shoulder of Simon, adding, Kong siga
acquit. It is better to acquit a guilty man than to On October 28, 1998, the Office of the team learned that the boats belonged to a kamo ha Leyte ayaw pagdad-a dinhi ha Samar
convict an innocent man.[18] Ombudsman filed the following Information certain Michael Figueroa. However, since kay diri kamo puwede ha akon. (If you are tough
against Benito Astorga, Mayor of Daram, Figueroa was not around at the time, the team guys in Leyte, do not bring it to Samar because
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the Samar, as well as a number of his men for left Brgy. Bagacay.[4] I will not tolerate it here.)[10] Simon then asked
Decision dated October 1, 2003 Arbitrary Detention: Mayor Astorga to allow the team to go home,
is RECONSIDERED and SET ASIDE. The En route to Brgy. Manungca, Sta. Rita, Samar,
at which Mayor Astorga retorted that they
appealed judgment of the Sandiganbayan in That on or about the 1st day of September, the team spotted two more boats being
would not be allowed to go home and that they
Criminal Case No. 24986 1997, and for sometime subsequent thereto, at constructed in the vicinity of Brgy. Lucob-
would instead be brought to Daram.[11] Mayor
is REVERSED. Petitioner Benito Astorga the Municipality of Daram, Province of Samar, Lucob, Daram, Samar, between 4:30-5:00 p.m.,
Astorga then addressed the team, saying, Kon
is ACQUITTED of the crime of Arbitrary Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this prompting them to stop and investigate.Thus,
magdakop man la kamo, unahon an mga
Detention on the ground of reasonable doubt. Honorable Court, the above-named accused, a Maniscan and Militante disembarked from the
dagko. Kon madakop niyo an mga dagko, an
public officer, being the Municipal Mayor of DENRs service pump boat and proceeded to the
kan Figueroa dida ha Bagacay puwede ko liwat
No pronouncement as to costs. Daram, Samar, in such capacity and committing site of the boat construction. There, they met
ipadakop an akon. (If you really want to
the offense in relation to office, conniving, Mayor Astorga. After conversing with the
SO ORDERED. confiscate anything, you start with the big-
confederating and mutually helping with mayor, Militante returned to their boat for the
time. If you confiscate the boats of Figueroa at
unidentified persons, who are herein referred purpose of fetching Simon, at the request of
Brgy. Bagacay, I will surrender mine.)[12] Simon
to under fictitious names JOHN DOES, who Mayor Astorga.[5]
then tried to reiterate his request for
were armed with firearms of different calibers,
When Simon, accompanied by dela Cruz, SPO3 permission to leave, which just succeeded in
with deliberate intent, did then and there
Cinco, and SPO1 Capoquian, approached irking Mayor Astorga, who angrily said, Diri
willfully, unlawfully and feloniously detain
Mayor Astorga to try and explain the purpose kamo maka uli yana kay dad on ko kamo ha
Elpidio Simon, Moises dela Cruz, Wenifredo
of their mission, Simon was suddenly slapped Daram, para didto kita mag uro istorya. (You
Maniscan, Renato Militante and Crisanto Pelias,
hard twice on the shoulder by Mayor Astorga, cannot go home now because I will bring you to
DENR Employees, at the Municipality of Daram,
who exclaimed, Puwede ko kamo Daram. We will have many things to discuss
by not allowing them to leave the place,
papaglanguyon pag-uli ha Tacloban. Ano, di ka there.)[13]
without any legal and valid grounds thereby
restraining and depriving them of their maaram nga natupa ako? Natupa baya
The team was brought to a house where they
personal liberty for nine (9) hours, but without ako. Diri kamo makauli yana kay puwede kame
were told that they would be served
exceeding three (3) days. e charge ha misencounter. (I can make you
dinner. The team had dinner with Mayor
swim back to Tacloban. Dont you know that I
Astorga and several others at a long table, and
CONTRARY TO LAW.[2] can box? I can box. Dont you know that I can
the meal lasted between 7:00-8:00 p.m.[14]After
declare this a misencounter?)[6] Mayor Astorga
On September 1, 1997, Regional Special dinner, Militante, Maniscan and SPO1
then ordered someone to fetch
Operations Group (RSOG) of the Department of Capoquian were allowed to go down from the
reinforcements, and forty-five (45) minutes
Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) house, but not to leave the barangay.[15] On the
later, or between 5:00-6:00 p.m.,
Office No. 8, Tacloban City sent a team to the other hand, SPO3 Cinco and the rest just sat in
a banca arrived bearing ten (10) men, some of
island of Daram, Western Samar to conduct the house until 2:00 a.m. when the team was
them dressed in fatigue uniforms. The men
intelligence gathering and forest protection finally allowed to leave.[16]
were armed with M-16 and M14 rifles, and they
15

Complainants filed a criminal complaint for witnesses wherein the latter categorically In the case of People v. Acosta,[33] which arrival of almost a dozen reinforcements, all
arbitrary detention against Mayor Astorga and declared petitioners innocence of the crime involved the illegal detention of a child, we armed with military-issue rifles, who
his men, which led to the filing of the above- charged.[25] found the accused-appellant therein guilty of proceeded to encircle the team, weapons
quoted Information. kidnapping despite the lack of evidence to show pointed at the complainants and the
Petitioner contends that the prosecution failed that any physical restraint was employed upon witnesses.[38] Given such circumstances, we
Mayor Astorga was subsequently arraigned on to establish the required quantum of evidence the victim. However, because the victim was a give credence to SPO1 Capoquians statement
July 3, 2000, wherein he pleaded not guilty to to prove the guilt of the accused,[26] especially boy of tender age and he was warned not to that it was not safe to refuse Mayor Astorgas
the offenses charged.[17] At the trial, the in light of the fact that the private complainants leave until his godmother, the accused- orders.[39] It was not just the presence of the
prosecution presented the testimonies of SPO1 executed a Joint Affidavit of appellant, had returned, he was practically a armed men, but also the evident effect these
Capoquian and SPO3 Cinco, as well as their Desistance.[27] Petitioner asserts that nowhere captive in the sense that he could not leave gunmen had on the actions of the team which
Joint Affidavit.[18] However, the presentation of in the records of the case is there any because of his fear to violate such proves that fear was indeed instilled in the
Simons testimony was not completed, and competent evidence that could sufficiently instruction.[34] minds of the team members, to the extent that
none of his fellow team members came establish the fact that restraint was employed they felt compelled to stay in Brgy. Lucob-
forward to testify. Instead, the members of the upon the persons of the team In the case of People v. Cortez,[35] we held that, Lucob. The intent to prevent the departure of
team sent by the DENR RSOG executed a Joint members.[28]Furthermore, he claims that the in establishing the intent to deprive the victim the complainants and witnesses against their
Affidavit of Desistance.[19] mere presence of armed men at the scene does of his liberty, it is not necessary that the will is thus clear.
not qualify as competent evidence to prove offended party be kept within an enclosure to
On July 5, 2001, the Sandiganbayan that fear was in fact instilled in the minds of the restrict her freedom of locomotion. At the time Regarding the Joint Affidavit of Desistance
promulgated its Decision, disposing of the case team members, to the extent that they would of her rescue, the offended party in said case executed by the private complainants, suffice it
as follows: feel compelled to stay in Brgy. Lucob-Lucob.[29] was found outside talking to the owner of the to say that the principles governing the use of
house where she had been taken. She such instruments in the adjudication of other
WHEREFORE, premises considered, judgment is Arbitrary Detention is committed by any public explained that she did not attempt to leave the crimes can be applied here. Thus, in People v.
hereby rendered finding accused BENITO officer or employee who, without legal premises for fear that the kidnappers would Ballabare, it was held that an affidavit of
ASTORGA Y BOCATCAT guilty of Arbitrary grounds, detains a person.[30] The elements of make good their threats to kill her should she desistance is merely an additional ground to
Detention, and in the absence of any mitigating the crime are: do so. We ruled therein that her fear was not buttress the defenses of the accused, not the
or aggravating circumstances, applying the
baseless as the kidnappers knew where she sole consideration that can result in
Indeterminate Sentence Law, he is hereby 1. That the offender is a
resided and they had earlier announced that acquittal. There must be other circumstances
sentenced to suffer imprisonment of four (4) public officer or employee.
their intention in looking for her cousin was to which, when coupled with the retraction or
months of arresto mayor as minimum to one
2. That he detains a person. kill him on sight. Thus, we concluded that fear desistance, create doubts as to the truth of the
(1) year and eight (8) months of prision
has been known to render people immobile testimony given by the witnesses at the trial
correctional as maximum.
3. That the detention is without legal and that appeals to the fears of an individual, and accepted by the judge. Here, there are no
SO ORDERED.[20] grounds.[31] such as by threats to kill or similar threats, are such circumstances.[40]Indeed, the belated
equivalent to the use of actual force or claims made in the Joint Affidavit of Desistance,
The accused filed a Motion for Reconsideration That petitioner, at the time he committed the violence.[36] such as the allegations that the incident was the
dated July 11, 2001[21] which was denied by the acts assailed herein, was then Mayor of Daram, result of a misunderstanding and that the team
Sandiganabayan in a Resolution dated Samar is not disputed. Hence, the first element The prevailing jurisprudence on kidnapping and acceded to Mayor Astorgas orders out of
September 28, 2001.[22] A Second Motion for of Arbitrary Detention, that the offender is a illegal detention is that the curtailment of the respect, are belied by petitioners own
Reconsideration dated October 24, 2001[23] was public officer or employee, is undeniably victims liberty need not involve any physical admissions to the contrary.[41] The Joint
also filed, and this was similarly denied in a present. restraint upon the victims person. If the acts Affidavit of Desistance of the private
Resolution dated July 10, 2002.[24] and actuations of the accused can produce such complainants is evidently not a clear
Also, the records are bereft of any allegation on fear in the mind of the victim sufficient to repudiation of the material points alleged in the
Hence, the present petition, wherein the the part of petitioner that his acts were spurred paralyze the latter, to the extent that the victim information and proven at the trial, but a mere
petitioner assigns a sole error for review: by some legal purpose. On the contrary, he is compelled to limit his own actions and expression of the lack of interest of private
admitted that his acts were motivated by his movements in accordance with the wishes of complainants to pursue the case. This
5.1. The trial court grievously erred in finding instinct for self-preservation and the feeling the accused, then the victim is, for all intents conclusion is supported by one of its latter
the accused guilty of Arbitrary Detention as that he was being singled out.[32] The detention and purposes, detained against his will. paragraphs, which reads:
defined and penalized under Article 124 of the was thus without legal grounds, thereby
Revised Penal Code, based on mere satisfying the third element enumerated above. In the case at bar, the restraint resulting from 11. That this affidavit was executed by us if only
speculations, surmises and conjectures and, fear is evident. Inspite of their pleas, the to prove our sincerity and improving DENR
worse, notwithstanding the Affidavit of What remains is the determination of whether witnesses and the complainants were not relations with the local Chiefs Executive and
Desistance executed by the five (5) complaining or not the team was actually detained. allowed by petitioner to go home.[37] This other official of Daram, Islands so that DENR
refusal was quickly followed by the call for and
16

programs and project can be effectively decided to while away the time and take the impunity enjoyed by public officials in Costs de oficio.
implemented through the support of the local advantage of the purported hospitality of the committing arbitrary or illegal detention, and
officials for the betterment of the residence accused.[49] On the contrary, SPO3 Cinco clearly called for the intensification of efforts towards SO ORDERED.
living conditions who are facing difficulties and and categorically denied that they were simply bringing them to justice:
are much dependent on government whiling away the time between their dinner
support.[42] with Mayor Astorga and their departure early The provisions of law punishing arbitrary or
the following morning.[50] SPO1 Capoquian gave illegal detention committed by government
Petitioner also assails the weight given by the similar testimony, saying that they did not use officers form part of our statute books even
trial court to the evidence, pointing out that the the time between their dinner with Mayor before the advent of American sovereignty in
Sandiganbayans reliance on the testimony of Astorga and their departure early the following our country. Those provisions were already in
SPO1 Capoquian is misplaced, for the reason morning to enjoy the place and that, given a effect during the Spanish regime; they
that SPO1 Capoquian is not one of the private choice, they would have gone home.[51] remained in effect under American rule;
complainants in the case.[43] He also makes continued in effect under the Commonwealth.
much of the fact that prosecution witness SPO1 Petitioner argues that he was denied the cold Even under the Japanese regime they were not
Capoquian was allegedly not exactly privy to, neutrality of an impartial judge, because repealed. The same provisions continue in the
and knowledgeable of, what exactly transpired the ponente of the assailed decision acted both statute books of the free and sovereign
between herein accused and the DENR team as magistrate and advocate when he Republic of the Philippines. This
leader Mr. Elpidio E. Simon, from their alleged propounded very extensive clarificatory notwithstanding, and the complaints often
confrontation, until they left Barangay Lucob- questions on the witnesses. Surely, the heard of violations of said provisions, it is very
Lucob in the early morning of 2 September Sandiganbayan, as a trial court, is not an idle seldom that prosecutions under them have
1997.[44] arbiter during a trial. It can propound been instituted due to the fact that the erring
clarificatory questions to witnesses in order to individuals happened to belong to the same
It is a time-honored doctrine that the trial ferret out the truth. The impartiality of the government to which the prosecuting officers
courts factual findings are conclusive and court cannot be assailed on the ground that belong. It is high time that every one must do
binding upon appellate courts unless some clarificatory questions were asked during the his duty, without fear or favor, and that
facts or circumstances of weight and substance trial.[52] prosecuting officers should not answer with
have been overlooked, misapprehended or cold shrugging of the shoulders the complaints
misinterpreted.[45] Nothing in the case at bar Thus, we affirm the judgment of the of the victims of arbitrary or illegal detention.
prompts us to deviate from this Sandiganbayan finding petitioner guilty beyond
doctrine. Indeed, the fact that SPO1 Capoquian reasonable doubt of Arbitrary Only by an earnest enforcement of the
is not one of the private complainants is Detention. Article 124 (1) of the Revised Penal provisions of articles 124 and 125 of the
completely irrelevant. Neither penal law nor Code provides that, where the detention has Revised Penal Code will it be possible to reduce
the rules of evidence requires damning not exceeded three days, the penalty shall to its minimum such wanton trampling of
testimony to be exclusively supplied by the be arresto mayor in its maximum period personal freedom as depicted in this case. The
private complainants in cases of Arbitrary to prision correccional in its minimum period, responsible officials should be prosecuted,
Detention. Furthermore, Mayor Astorgas claim which has a range of four (4) months and one without prejudice to the detainees right to the
that SPO1 Capoquian was not exactly privy to (1) day to two (2) years and four (4) indemnity to which they may be entitled for the
what transpired between Simon and himself is months.Applying the Indeterminate Sentence unjustified violation of their fundamental
belied by the evidence. SPO1 Capoquian Law, petitioner is entitled to a minimum term rights.[53]
testified that he accompanied Simon when the to be taken from the penalty next lower in
latter went to talk to petitioner.[46] He heard all degree, or arresto mayor in its minimum and WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the
of Mayor Astorgas threatening remarks.[47]He medium periods, which has a range of one (1) petition is hereby DENIED. The Decision of the
was with Simon when they were encircled by month and one (1) day to four (4) Sandiganbayan in Criminal Case No. 24986,
the men dressed in fatigues and wielding M-16 months. Hence, the Sandiganbayan was correct dated July 5, 2001 finding petitioner BENITO
and M-14 rifles.[48] In sum, SPO1 Capoquian in imposing the indeterminate penalty of four ASTORGA guilty beyond reasonable doubt of
witnessed all the circumstances which led to (4) months of arresto mayor, as minimum, to the crime of Arbitrary Detention and
the Arbitrary Detention of the team at the one (1) year and eight (8) months of prision sentencing him to suffer the indeterminate
hands of Mayor Astorga. correccional, as maximum. penalty of four (4) months of arresto mayor, as
minimum, to one (1) year and eight (8) months
Petitioner submits that it is unclear whether the Before closing, it may not be amiss to quote the of prision correccional, as maximum, is
team was in fact prevented from leaving Brgy. words of Justice Perfecto in his concurring AFFIRMED in toto.
Lucob-Lucob or whether they had simply opinion in Lino v. Fugoso, wherein he decried
17

G.R. No. 123979 December 3, 1998 39, ibid.). Since their arrest, they were detained April 25, 1994). Thereafter, he proceeded the other hand, Accused Alipio Santiano and
at the Naga City Jail (ibid.). inside the NARCOM Office (pp. 15, 17, ibid.). Jose Vicente "Jovi" Chanco are amongst the
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff- active Civilian Volunteer/Assists of the
appellee, Sometime in July 1993, appellant Alipio After a few minutes, appellant Chanco went out NARCOM.
vs. Santiano was detained at the Naga City Jail (pp. of the NARCOM Office and started the
ALIPIO SANTIANO, JOSE SANDIGAN, ARMENIA 4-5, ibid.). He was detained in the same cell trimobile (p. 21,ibid.). His co-appellant Santiano That at or about 5:00 o'clock P.M. of December
PILLUETA and JOSE VICENTE (JOVY) occupied by the victim (p. 6, ibid.). When and Pillueta followed him. Inside the trimobile, 27, 1993, accused-appellant Sandigan was in
CHANCO, accused-appellants. appellant Santiano was mauled by the inmates appellant Pillueta occupied the back seat (p. front of the Advent theater; that while thereat,
of Cell 3, the victim was one of those who 21, ibid.). Santiano occupied the reserved seat he saw accused-appellant Santiano and he
participated in mauling him (p. 16, ibid.). in front of the passenger seat which was invited the latter for a snack at the Mang
occupied by the victim (ibid.). Donald's, a burger house, situated just beside
VITUG, J.: After the release of Santiano, he returned to the Advent theater; that after taking their
the City Jail in November 1993 accompanied by As appellant Chanco was about to start his snacks, they decided to go to the NARCOM
Accuse-appellants Alipio Santiano, Jose
one Lt. Dimaano (pp. 7-8, ibid.). Thereat, the trimobile, appellant Sandigan, who was at Plaza office; that while on their way to the NARCOM
Sandigan, Armenia Pillueta and Jose Vicente
victim was pointed to by appellant Santiano as Barlin, transferred to and stationed himself at office, they saw accused-appellant Chanco
(Jovy) Chance were indicted for the kidnapping
the one who mastermind his mauling (ibid.). the Century Fox in front of the GSIS building emerging from the Nehrus Department Store
with murder of Ramon John Dy Kow, Jr., a
situated at the corner of General Luna and where the latter bought something; that this
detention prisoner at the Naga City Jail, in an On December 27, 1993, at about 6:00 o'clock in Arana Streets (p. 23, ibid.). Nehrus Department Store is located in front of
amended Information, docketed Criminal Case the evening, the victim asked permission from
No. P-2319, filed with the Regional Trial Court the Naga City Police Head Quarters which is
a jail trustee to allow him to buy viand outside The trimobile proceeded towards the direction
("RTC") of Pili, Branch 32, Camarines Sur. also near the NARCOM office, that the three of
the jail (pp. 7-9, ibid.). When he left, the victim of San Francisco Church (p. 40, TSN, April 23,
them (Sandigan, Santiano and Chanco)
was wearing a fatigue jacket and short pants (p. 1994). When it passed the Panganiban Drive,
When arraigned, the four accused pleaded not proceeded to the NARCOM office; that when
9, ibid.). Naga City, on its way towards the direction of
guilty to the charge. The trial thereupon they arrived, accused-appellant Pillueta, SPO3
Palestina, Pili, Camarines Sur, the victim was
ensued. As the victim emerged from the PNP store, he Lorna "Onang" Fernandez, Tet Deniega and the
still aboard the trimobile seated at the
was accosted by appellants Sandigan and NARCOM, District Commander P/Insp. Del
The evidence submitted by the prosecution, passenger seat nearest the driver (p. 4, TSN,
Santiano (p. 7, TSN, April 25, 1994). The two (2) Socorro were at the NARCOM office while
disclosing its version of the case, is narrated by May 24, 1994).
appellants held the victim between them and accused-appellant. Chanco's trimobile was
the Solicitor General in the People's brief. parked in front of the NARCOM office; that
thereafter hurriedly, proceeded towards the When prosecution witness Rañola heard over
NARCOM Office situated at a distance of about the radio that a person was found dead at the while in the NARCOM office, accused-appellant
On May 13, 1993, the kidnap victim, Ramon
twenty-five (25) meters away (pp. 7, 38- canal in Palestina, Pili, Camarines Sur, he lost no Santiano and Chanco were joking with each
John Dy Kow, Jr. and his live-in partner, Loida
41, ibid.). Upon reaching the door of the time in informing a policeman Prila of the Pili other, like kids, such that accused-appellants
Navidad were arrested by appellants Jose
NARCOM office, the victim was pushed inside Police Department that the descriptions of the Santiano would sling accused-appellant Chanco
Sandigan and Armenia Pillueta and several
(pp. 7-8, ibid.). Once the victim was already dead person he heard over the radio fit not only with his handkerchief; that, as it was
other NARCOM agents for alleged illegal
inside the NARCOM Office, appellant Sandigan the person he saw being hauled to and intermittently raining, accused-appellants
possession of marijuana (p. 32, TSN, April 20,
proceeded to and took his place at Plaza Barlin thereafter mauled at the NARCOM Office but Sandigan, Santiano and Chanco left the
1994).
facing the PNP Police Station (pp. 8-12, ibid.). likewise the same person who was on board the NARCOM office past 6:00 P.M. aboard the
After the arrest, they were brought to the The victim was made to sit and thereafter trimobile driven by appellant Chanco (p. 13, trimobile of accused-appellant Chanco, while
NARCOM Office situated at the compound of mauled by appellant Santiano (pp. 8-11, ibid.). TSN, May 6, 1994). accused-appellant Pillueta together with SPO3
the Philippine National Police (PNP) Santiano got hold of a handkerchief, rolled it Lorna Fernandez and Tet Deniega left the
Headquarters, Naga City (p. 32, ibid.). Thereat, around his fists and continued to punch the Robert Dy Kow identified the man found dead NARCOM office at or about 8:00 P.M. and
they were at first warned by appellant Pillueta victim for almost fifteen (15) minutes (p. in Palestina, Pili, Camarines Sur, as his brother proceeded to the Sampaguita Music Lounge to
not to contact a lawyer (p. 35, ibid.). Appellant 16, ibid.). As the victim was being mauled, Ramon John Dy Kow, Jr.1 watch a lady band performing at the
Pillueta likewise reminded them that "it is only appellant Pillueta stood by the door of the Sampaguita Music Lounge, leaving behind
The defense presented its own account of the P/Insp. Nelson Del Socorro at the NARCOM
a matter of P10,000.00" (p. 35, ibid.). NARCOM office, her both hands inside her
facts hereunder expounded by it; viz: office.
pockets while looking to her right and left,
When Navidad's brother nonetheless arrived acting as a lookout (ibid.). Accused-appellant Armenia Pillueta is an That upon leaving the NARCOM office and
accompanied by a lawyer, appellant Pillueta got
organic member of the NARCOM, Naga City, while on board the trimobile accused-
angry (p. 38, ibid.). At once, the victim and At this time, appellant Chanco who owned and
Command. Accused-Appellant Jose Sandigan is appellants Sandigan, Santiano and Chanco
Navidad were dragged to the Naga City Jail drove his trimobile, parked it in front of the
a regular member of the PNP but, he was a were deciding whether to see a movie or have
situated at a distance of six (6) to seven (7) door of the NARCOM Office (pp. 15, 17, TSN,
former organic member of the NARCOM. On a round of drink and, after failing to decide
meters from the NARCOM Office (pp. 10, 38-
18

whether to see a movie or a round of drink, he in the NARCOM office more specifically and Sandigan, who was already arrested, Pillueta Eye: Contusion, upper lid extending to the
accused-appellants Sandigan and Chanco particularly between 6:00 to 7:00 P.M. of the and Santiano has been issued on January 21, outer canthus, right;
conducted accused-appellant Santiano to the same date; that the late Ramon John Dy Kow, 1994; that on January 25, 1994, Major Acpal,
jeepney terminal for Milaor, Camarines Sur and Jr. was known to SPO3 Fernandez and his (Dy being a lawyer and the Legal officer of the Ear: lacerated wound ripping off the lowest
thereupon, accused-appellant Chanco also Kow, Jr.) height and body built is almost the NARCOM filed before the Municipal Trial Court, pole of the lobule, right; serrated border
conducted accused-appellant Sandigan to the same or similarly the same as that of accused- Pili, Camarines Sur, a motion to quash the
Sub-occipital region: lacerated wound, 0.9 cms.
Philtranco terminal where the latter boarded a appellant Chanco; that she (SPO3 Fernandez) warrant of arrest; that on January 23, 1994
in length, centrally located;
bus to Bato, Camarines Sur where he resides. also known William Rañola whom she usually accused-appellant Pillueta informed Col.
see drunk/under the influence of liquor; Manaog that she was hospitalized due to a car Neck: punctured wound, 3-4 mm deep, semi-
That between 6:30 and 7:00 o'clock P.M. of the accident and that she may be placed under his circular with serrated border, base of neck at
same date, accused-appellant Santiano was in That in the first week of January, 1994, during custody should a warrant for her arrest be the sternomastoid border, right;
Milaor, Camarines Sur, a Municipality less than the investigation of the case conducted by the issued; on January 26, 1994, she was placed
four kilometers away from Naga City, and PNP Pili, Camarines Sur, SPO3 Fernandez was under the custody of her superior, Col. Manaog Chest: Gunshot wound
fetched Ms. Arcadia Paz, a traditional mid-wife asked by major Ernesto Idian, chief of PNP Pili, of the NARCOM. On the other hand, accused-
(komadrana), from the latter's residence to Camarines Sur, of accused-appellant Pillueta's appellants, Santiano and Chanco were, from point of entrance: 2nd ICS, sternal border, right,
conduct/perform a pre-natal therapy (hilot) whereabouts in the night of December 27, time to time, contacting Col. Manaog to 12 mm in diameter
upon his (Santiano) pregnant wife; that Ms. Paz 1993, where she (SPO3 Fernandez) told Major determine whether a warrant of arrest was
and accused-appellant Santiano proceeded to Idian that accused-appellant Pillueta was with Bullet route: from the point of entrance
already issued but, since Col. Manaog was
and arrived at the latter's house in Naga City her (SPO3 Fernandez) at the Sampaguita Music extending backwards to the left, piercing the
always out of his office, they were able to
about past 7:00 o'clock in the evening where Lounge; that Major Idian did not ask her (SPO3 heart and left lung and lodging on the anterior
contact, via telephone facility, Col. Manaog
Ms. Paz conducted a pre-natal therapy upon Fernandez) to execute an affidavit of what she aspect or surface of the sub scapular area, left
only on April 16, 1994; and accused-appellants
appellant Santiano's wife; that Ms. Paz finished told him instead, Major Idian requested her not Chanco and Santiano went to the office of Point of exist: None
the pre-natal therapy at or about 9:00 o'clock to tell accused-appellant Pillueta about what he NARCOM, Camp Crame, Quezon City,
P.M.; that she (Paz) left the house of accused- asked her. voluntarily surrendered, and Maj. Acpal placed Bullet slug: Recovered
appellant Santiano and was accompanied for them under the custody of the NARCOM and
home by latter at or about 10:00 o'clock of the That on January 20, 1994, accuse-appellants CAUSE OF DEATH: INTERNAL HEMORRHAGE
were detained at PNP NARCOM Cell, Camp
same evening; that from past 7:00 o'clock when Pillueta, Santiano and Chanco, reported and
Crame, Quezon City. The records of this case
Paz and Santiano arrived at the latter's house submitted themselves to their superior officer, SECONDARY TO GUNSHOT WOUND.4
show that no warrant of arrest was issued
until past 10:00 o'clock when they left Col. Norberto Manaog, Deputy Director of the
against accused-appellant Chanco (Order dated Evaluating the evidence before it, the trial court
Santiano's house, accused-appellant Santiano NARCOM at Camp Crame, Quezon City,
Sept. 5, 1994), however, he voluntarily found all four accused guilty beyond
was all the time present at and never left his wherein they reported that they were
surrendered and submitted to the custody of reasonable doubt of kidnapping, defined and
house; suspected of having killed Ramon John Dy Kow,
the NARCOM and to the trial court.2 penalized under Article 267 of the Revised
Jr. and requested that they be placed under his
That on the other hand, SPO3 Fernandez, custody; that Col. Manaog referred them to the Penal Code; the court adjudged:
Appellant Jovy Chanco had this further
Deniega and accused-appellant Pillueta, upon legal officer of the NARCOM, Major Acpal; that statement in his supplemental appeal brief; UPON THE FOREGOING CONSIDERATIONS, this
leaving the NARCOM office, went directly to the after being informed by accused-appellants thus: Court FINDS FOR THE PEOPLE OF THE
Sampaguita Music Lounge and watched the Pillueta, Santiano and Chanco that they did not
PHILIPPINES, and finds all of the accused, Jose
lady band perform thereat; that Roy Cabral, a have any idea of whether a warrant of arrest On December 28, 1993, a cadaver of an
Sandigan, Armenia, aka Armie Pillueta, Alipio
common acquaintance of SPO3 Fernandez, was already issued against them, Col. Manaog, unknown person was discovered somewhere in
Santiano, and Jose Vicente Chanco, aka Jovy,
Deniega and accused-appellant Pillueta, even in consultation with Major Acpal, told them the vicinity of Barangay Palestina, Municipality
guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of
saw and approached them (SPO3 Fernandez, that there is no yet basis for them to be placed of Pili, Province of Camarines, by Danilo Camba,
KIDNAPPING as defined and penalized under
Deniega and Pillueta) at their table inside the under custody, so that, Col. Manaog instructed the Barangay Captain of said locality. The
Art. 267 of the Revised Penal Code, and there
Sampaguita Music Lounge; that the three of them just get in touch with him so that if a corpse was later on identified by Robert Dy Kow
being no mitigating or aggravating
them (SPO3 Fernandez, Deniega and Pillueta) warrant of arrest comes out, the same could be as that one of his brother, Ramon John Dy Kow,
circumstances, hereby sentences each and all
left the Sampaguita Music Lounge at or about served upon them; that Col. Manaog directed Jr. 3
of them to suffer imprisonment, RECLUSION
2:00 A.M. of December 28, 1993, and Major Acpal to proceed to Pili, Camarines Sur to
Dr. Thomas S. Gonzales performed an autopsy PERPETUA, with all the accessories of the
thereupon, they went to their respective determine the status of the investigation and to
on the cadaver of the victim. His findings penalty, and to indemnify the heirs of Ramon
homes. know whether a warrant of arrest was already
revealed that Dy Kow, Jr., had fatally sustained John Dy Kow, Jr. the sum of Fifty Thousand
issued; that on January 24, 1994, Major Acpal
That on December 27, 1993, at any time of the the following injuries: Pesos, and to pay the costs; they are credited in
went to Pili, Camarines Sur and found out that
day, the late Ramon John Dy Kow, Jr. was full for the preventive imprisonment.5
a warrant of arrest against accused-appellants,
neither seen by the accused-appellants nor was
19

Accused-appellants filed the instant appeal. That as a consequence of the death of the still be separately convicted of the other kidnapped or detained or threats to kill him are
victim Ramon John Dy Kow, Jr. his heirs offense? The question has long been answered made, or (iv) that the person kidnapped or
Assailing the decision of the court a quo, suffered damages. 6 in the affirmative. In United States vs. detained is a minor, female, or a public
appellants would insist that the amended Lahoylahoy and Madanlog, 10 the Court has officer. 12
information under which they were arraigned, The information is not so wanting as to render ruled to be legally feasible the conviction of an
tried and convicted, although so captioned as it legally inadequate for the purpose it has been accused on one of the offenses included in a Prosecution witness William Rañola testified
an indictment for the complex crime of intended by the prosecution. It should be complex crime charged, when properly that he had seen the victim being accosted,
kidnapping with murder, was, in reality a mere sufficient for an information to distinctly state established, despite the failure of evidence to held and thereafter dragged to the NARCOM
indictment for murder. According to the statutory designation of the offense and hold the accused guilty of the other charge. office by appellants Santiago and Sandigan.
appellants, the use of the words "abducted" the acts or omissions complained of as being Inside the NARCOM office the victim was
and "kidnapping" in the amended information constitutive of that offense.7 A reading of the Art. 267 of the Revised Penal Code, prior to its mauled by Santiano. For several minutes,
was not in itself indicative of the crime of amended information readily reveals that the amendment by Section 8 of Republic Act Santiano continued to batter him with punches
kidnapping being charged but that, from the charge is for "kidnapping with murder, defined 7659, 11 reads: while Pillueta stood by the door and so acted as
averments of the information, it could be and penalized under Article 267 (Kidnapping the "lockout." The appellants then took the
apparent that Ramon John Dy Kow, Jr., was and Serious Illegal Detention) and Article 248 Art. 267. Kidnapping and serious illegal victim away on a trimobile owned and driven by
"abducted or kidnapped" not for the purpose of (Murder) of the Revised Penal Code" Evidently, detention. — Any private individual who shall Chanco. Rañola positively identified the fatigue
detaining but of liquidating him. Hence, the appellants have been properly apprised of the kidnap or detain another; or in any other jacket worn by the victim on the evening of his
defense theorized, the conviction for charges, the information did go on to state thus manner deprive him of his liberty, shall suffer abduction on 27 December 1993 and when his
kidnapping had no legal ground to stand on. — the penalty ofreclusion perpetua to death; lifeless body was found in the morning of 28
December 1993. Don Gumba corroborated
Let it not be said that the contention lacks That on or about the 27th day of December 1. If the kidnapping or detention shall have
Rañola's testimony. Gumba was positive that
remarkableness nevertheless, it is a legal 1993 between 6:00 o'clock to 7:00 o'clock in lasted more than five days.
he had seen the victim at around eight o'clock
proposition that can here hardly be accepted. the evening at Barangay Palestina, Municipality in the evening of 27 December 1993 with
2. If it shall have been committed simulating
The amended information reads: of Pili, Province of Camarines Sur, Philippines appellants Santiano and Pillueta on board the
public authority.
and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable trimobile driven by appellant Chanco on its way
The undersigned 1st Assistant Provincial Court, the above-named accused conspiring, 3. If any serious physical injuries shall have towards the direction of Palestina, Pili,
Prosecutor of Camarines Sur accuses JOSE confederating and mutually helping one been inflicted upon the person kidnapped or Camarines Sur, where, the following morning
SANDIGAN, ALIPIO SANTIANO, ARMIE PILLUETA another with intent to kill, with treachery, detained; or if threats to kill him shall have the victim was found dead evidently after
and JOVY CHANCO of the crime of KIDNAPPING superior strength and evident premeditation, been made. succumbing to several gunshot wounds.
WITH MURDER, defined and penalized under did then and there, willfully, unlawfully and
Article 267 and Article 248 of the Revised Penal feloniously abduct kidnap and bring into a 4. If the person kidnapped or detained shall be Appellants have not shown any nefarious
Code, committed as follows: secluded place at Palestina, Pili, Camarines Sur a minor, female, or a public officer. motive on the part of the witnesses that might
one RAMON JOHN DY KOW, JR. and while have influenced them to declare falsely against
That on or about the 27th day of December The penalty shall be death where the
thereat attack and shoot with firearm the said appellants; the Court sees no justification to
1993 between 6:00 o'clock to 7:00 o'clock in kidnapping or detention was committed for the
Ramon John Dy Kow, Jr. for several times hitting thereby deny faith and credit to their
the evening at Barangay Palestina, Municipality purpose of extorting ransom from the victim or
him on the different parts of his body causing testimony. 13 The Court likewise shares the
of Pili, Province of Camarines Sur, Philippines any other person, even if none of the
his instantaneous death. 8 view of the Solicitor General in pointing out
and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable circumstances above mentioned were present that —
Court, the above-named accused, conspiring, The accused have gone through trial without in the commission of the offense.
confederating and mutually helping one any objection thereover. Exceptions relative to 1. There is no question that the victim, who was
another with intent to kill, with treachery, the statement or recital of fact constituting the The elements of the offense, here adequately on the date in question detained at the Naga
superior strength and evident premeditation, offense charged ought be presented before the shown, are (a) that the offender is a private City Jail, asked permission from the jail trustee
did then and there, willfully, unlawfully and trial court; if none is taken and the defective or individual; (b) that he kidnaps or detains in order to buy viand outside. It was while he
feloniously abduct, kidnap, and bring into a even omitted averments are supplied by another, or in any other manner deprives the was emerging from the PNP store that he was
secluded place at Palestina, Pili, Camarines Sur, competent proof, it would not be error for an latter of his liberty; (c) that the act of detention accosted by appellants Santiano and Sandigan.
one RAMON JOHN DY KOW, JR. and while appellate court to reject those exceptions on or kidnapping is illegal; and (d) that, in the
thereat attack and shoot with firearm the said appeal.9 commission of the offense, any of the following 2. From the moment that the victim was
Ramon John Dy Kow, Jr. for several times hitting circumstances is present, i.e., (i) that the accosted in Naga City, he was at first dragged to
him on the different parts of his body causing The issue is next posed: When a complex crime kidnapping or detention lasts for more than 5 the NARCOM Office where he was mauled. This
his instantaneous death. has been charged in an information and the days, or (ii) that it is committed simulating circumstance indicated the intention to deprive
evidence fails to support the charge on one of public authority, or (iii) that any serious physical him of his liberty for sometime, an essential
the component offenses, can the defendant injuries are inflicted upon the person element of the crime of kidnapping.
20

3. The victim did not only sustain serious A.M. No. MTJ-93-813 September 15, 1993 Without giving complainant any opportunity to allowed by law to gratify his vindictive
physical injuries but likewise died as indicated explain, respondent judge insisted that purposes.
in the autopsy report, thus, belying appellants' FERNANDO CAYAO, complainant, complainant be punished for the incident.
claim that none of the circumstances in Article vs. Whereupon, complainant was compelled by If respondent honestly believes that
267 of the Revised Penal Code was present. JUDGE JUSTINIANO A. DEL respondent judge to choose from three (3) complainant committed violations of traffic
MUNDO, respondent. alternative punishments none of which is rules and regulations which nearly caused the
4. Witness Don Gumba was positive when he pleasant, to wit: (a) to face a charge of multiple accident involving their respective vehicles,
declared that he saw the victim at about 8:00 attempted homicide; (b) revocation of his respondent judge should have caused the filing
o'clock in the evening of December 27, 1993 driver's license; or (c) to be put in jail for three of the appropriate criminal charges against
PER CURIAM:
with appellant Chanco on its way towards the (3) days. Of the three choices, complainant complainant and left it at that. On the contrary,
direction of Palestina, Pili, Camarines Sur where This is an administrative complaint filed by chose the third, i.e., confinement for three (3) respondent is not one to let the law run its own
the victim was found dead. 14 Fernando R. Cayao with the Office of the Court days, as a consequence of which he was forced course. This is a classic case where respondent
Administrator charging respondent Judge to sign a "waiver of detention" by respondent took it upon himself to be the accuser,
The fact alone that appellant Pillueta is "an prosecutor, judge and executioner at the same
Justiniano A. Del Mundo, MTC, Indang Cavite judge. Thereafter, complainant was
organic member of the NARCOM" and time to condemn complainant for his alleged
with abuse of authority. immediately escorted by policemen to the
appellant Sandigan a regular member of the wrongdoing without the benefit of due process.
municipal jail. Though not actually incarcerated
PNP would not exempt them from the criminal Acting on said complaint, the Office of the Without even an opportunity to air his side,
complainant remained in the premises of the
liability for kidnapping. 15 It is quite clear that in Court Administrator directed Judge Enrique M. complainant was unceremoniously made to
municipal jail for three (3) days, from October
abducting and taking away the victim, Almario, Regional trial Court Branch XV, Naic, choose his own penalty. Left with no other
22 up to October 25, 1992, by way of serving his
appellants did so neither in furtherance of Cavite, to conduct an investigation and to choice but to face his predicament and
"sentence". On the third day, complainant was
official function nor in the pursuit of authority submit his report and recommendation overpowered by the imposing authority of
released by SPO1 Manolo Dilig to the custody
vested in them. It is not, in fine, in relation to thereon. respondent, complainant picked the lesser evil
of Geronimo Cayao, complainant's co-driver
their office, but in purely private capacity that of the three alternatives given to him.
and cousin.
they have acted in concert with their co- Based on the records as well as the report Complainant can hardly be blamed for so doing.
appellants Santiano and Chanco. submitted by the investigating Judge, it appears The fact of detention of complainant in the A perusal of the two (2) other choices
that on or about October 22, 1992 at 9:25 a.m., premises of the municipal jail for three (3) days presented to him will illustrate why.
The crime of kidnapping cannot be here while traversing the stretch of Mataas na Lupa, was confirmed and corroborated by the
absorbed by the charge of murder since the Alulod, Indang, Cavite, complainant, as driver of The first choice given to complainant was to
testimony of the jail warden of Indang, Cavite,
detention of the victim is not shown to have Donny's Transit Bus with Plate No. DWB 315, face a charge of multiple attempted homicide.
SP04 Adelaida Nova. The fact of complainant's
been for the purpose of liquidating him. overtook a Sto. Niño Liner with Body No. 5282 To threaten complainant with a criminal case
release therefrom after three (3) days
Appellants themselves, in fact, all deny having driven by one Arnel Ranes Muloy. As a for multiple attempted homicide is indicative of
detention was testified to by SPO1 Manolo Dilig
killed the victim. And while the evidence may consequence thereof, the bus driven by respondent's gross ignorance of the law. As a
who prepared the corresponding document of
have thus been found to be wanting by the trial complainant almost collided head-on with an judge, he should know very well that such at
release. For his defense, respondent judge
court so as to equally hold appellants oncoming owner-type jeepney with Plate No. charge will not hold water in any court of law
merely made general denials.
responsible for the death of the victim, the PJT 752. It turned out later that the jeepney was considering that no accident per se ever
Court is conviced that the court a quo did not registered in the name of respondent Judge Del The actuations of respondent judge herein occurred and hence, no life threatening injury
err in making them account for kidnapping. The Mundo who, at the time of the incident, was complained of, constitute abuse of authority. was even sustained. To a mere bus driver who
circumstances heretofore recited indicate the one of the passengers therein along with his To begin with, respondent's verbal order for is not at all familiar with the intricacies of the
attendance of conspiracy among the appellants sons Rommel and June and one Edward the arrest of complainant at the Indang Public law, such a threat spelled not only the
thereby making them each liable for the Rommen. Respondent's son Rommel was Plaza without the requisite complaint having possibility of long-term imprisonment and all
offense. behind the wheel. been filed and the corresponding warrant of the hardship it entails but also the onus and
arrest having been issued in order that shame that will forever attach to his name.
The claim of appellants that they cannot be At 3:30 p.m. of the same day, even before complainant may be brought to his sala is Surely, to his mind, a threat of prosecution
held liable for indemnity in the amount of complainant could properly park his bus, he characteristic of personal vengeance and the coming from a municipal trial court judge is
P50,000.00 because the prosecution did not was picked up by policemen of the Philippine abusive attitude of respondent. Being a judge, alarming enough.
present evidence to prove damages is without National Police Station of Indang, Cavite at the respondent above all, should be the first to
merit. The indemnity awarded by the trial court Indang Public Plaza and was immediately The second alternative punishment offered to
abide by the law and weave an example for
clearly refers to the civil indemnity for the brought before the sala of respondent judge. complainant to choose from involves his very
others to follow (Ompoc vs. Torres, 178 SCRA
offense 16 and not for actual damages There, complainant was confronted by means of livelihood — revocation of his driver's
14 [1989]). Instead, respondent judge opted to
sustained. respondent judge and accused by the latter of license. This is tantamount to economic death
avail of his judicial authority in excess of what is
nearly causing an accident that morning. penalty and just as repulsive as the first
SO ORDERED.
alternative.
21

Faced with these grim prospects complainant based on the premises that you said under oath A Yes, your Honor, because I was not able to get Undoubtedly, the actuations of respondent
voluntarily submitted himself to the jail warden before this Court? out from the police station from the time that I judge represent the kind of gross and flaunting
of the Indang Municipal Jail for detention after was detained. misconduct on the part of those who are
executing his "waiver of detention," A Yes, your Honor, inside the police station. charged with the responsibility of
complainant felt that he had no other choice (TSN, November 19, 1992, p. 16) administering the law and rendering justice
Q Does it mean that he could not have gone
but to serve out the "penalty" forcibly and that so quickly and severely corrodes the
freely of his own volition outside the police It would be well to emphasize at this point that
arbitrarily imposed upon him by respondent. respect for law and the courts without which
station without your authority or permission? the gravity of the misconduct of respondent is
the government cannot continue and that tears
While it is true that complainant was not put not alone centered on his order for the
A He can move freely. apart the very bonds of our polity (Ompoc vs.
behind bare as respondent had intended, detention of complainant. Rather, it is
Judge Torres, 178 SCRA 14 [1989]).
however, complainant was not allowed to leave ingrained in the fact that complainant was so
COURT:
the premises of the jail house. The idea of detained without affording him his Furthermore, the reprehensible conduct
confinement is not synonymous only with Q When you said that, you meant he could have constitutional rights. exhibited by respondent judge in the case at
incarceration inside a jail cell. It is enough to gone home, he could have gone eating in bar exposed his total disregard of, or
As previously mentioned, complainant was
qualify as confinement that a man be restaurant, he could have gone to a theatre or indifference to, or even ignorance of the
condemned by his own accuser without the
restrained, either morally or physically, of his in any public place. Is that what you mean? procedure prescribed by law. His act of
benefit of due process. Complainant was not
personal liberty (Black's Law Dictionary, 270 intentionally violating the law and disregarding
WITNESS: even accorded any of the basic rights to which
[1979]). Under the circumstances, respondent well-known legal procedures can be
an accused is entitled. When respondent
judge was in fact guilty of arbitrary detention characterized as gross misconduct, nay a
A No, your Honor. Only inside the police insisted on punishing hire without a chance to
when he, as a public officer, ordered the arrest criminal misconduct on his part (Babatio vs.
station. air his side, complainant was deprived of the
and detention of complainant without legal Tan, 157 SCRA 277 [1988]). He used and abused
presumption of innocence, the right to be
grounds (Article 124, Revised Penal Code; U.S. Q Why only in the police station? Inside? What his position of authority in intimidating the
heard by himself and counsel, the right to be
vs. Battallones 23 Phil. 46 [1912]). In overtaking is your order? What did you tell him? complainant as well as the members of the
informed of the nature and cause of the
another vehicle, complainant-driver was not Indang police force into submitting to his
accusation against him as well as the right to an
committing or had not actually committed a A Because he voluntarily went to the police excesses. Likewise, he closed his eyes to the
impartial and public trial. Moreover,
crime in the presence of respondent judge station to be detained. mandates of the Code of Judicial Conduct to
complainant was made to execute a waiver of
(Section 6, Rule 113, Rules of Court). Such being always conduct himself as to be beyond
Q Alright, so, had he told you that he would detention without the assistance of counsel.
the case, the warrantless arrest and reproach and suspicion not only in the
have gone to other places, you will have no Worse, the aforesaid waiver was even
subsequent detention of complainant were performance of his duties but also outside his
objection? You will have no interpolation or subscribed by complainant before the very
illegal. In the case at bar, no less than the sala and as a private individual. (Castillo vs.
you would not feel that you have a right to have same judge who was his accuser. Certainly,
testimony of the jail warden herself confirmed Calanog, Jr. 199 SCRA 75 [1991]).
him under your custody. Is that correct? such intentional and blatant violations of one's
that complainant was indeed deprived of his
constitutional rights committed by respondent Clearly, there is not, an iota of doubt that
liberty for three (3) days:
xxx xxx xxx cannot be tolerated by this Court. respondent, through his oppressive and
xxx xxx xxx vindictive actuations, has committed a
WITNESS: As public servants, judges are appointed to the
disservice to the cause of justice. He has
COURT: judiciary to serve as the visible representation
A I will still prevent him. unequivocably demonstrated his unfitness to
of the law, and more importantly, of justice.
continue as a member of the judiciary and
Q Alright, did you or did you not in fact detain From them, the people draw their will and
(TSN, November 19, 1992, pp. 9-10) should accordingly be removed from the
Fernando Cayao on that premises? On the awareness to obey the law (De la Paz vs. Inutan,
service.
ground of that premises? Of equal importance is the perception of 64 SCRA 540 (1975)). If judges, who swore to
complainant himself as to whether his liberty, obey and uphold the constitution, would WHEREFORE, respondent judge Justiniano A.
WITNESS (jail warden): conduct themselves in the way that respondent
was actually restricted or not: Del Mundo of the Municipal Trial Court of
did in wanton disregard and violation of the Indang, Cavite is hereby DISMISSED from the
A I did not put him inside the jail, your Honor,
xxx xxx xxx rights of complainant, then the people, service with forfeiture of all benefits except
but he was inside the police station.
especially those with whom they come in direct accrued leave credits with prejudice to
Q So, summarily speaking, you feel that you contact, would lose all their respect and high reinstatement or reappointment to any public
xxx xxx xxx
were detained in the municipal jail of the regard for the institution of the judiciary itself, office including government-owned or
COURT: station of Indang, Cavite? not to mention, cause the breakdown of the controlled corporations.
moral fiber on which the judiciary is founded.
Q Alright, as a police officer, I ask you again, did SO ORDERED.
you or did you not detain Fernando Cayao
22

G.R. No. 172604 August 17, 2010 amounts as may be awarded to them under the and in the course of execution thereof, shoot the traffic aide he had told Agnes about. The
(Formerly G.R. Nos. 155345-47) provisions of the Civil Code of the Philippines. and fatally wounded Agnes Guirindola with a traffic aide was not there. Agnes asked Roxas
handgun, which is clearly unnecessary in the where she could drop him. Roxas told Agnes to
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Appellee, CONTRARY TO LAW.[3 commission of the crime, to the damage and make a left turn from the corner of the street
vs. prejudice of said Agnes Guirindola, in such and that he will alight somewhere in Mother
VENANCIO ROXAS y ARGUELLES, Appellant. In Criminal Case No. Q-94-54286 for
amount as may be awarded to her under the Ignacia. Agnes obliged and made a left turn and
Carnapping –
provisions of the Civil Code of the Philippines. stopped the car. Thinking that Roxas was
DECISION
That on or about January 12, 1994, in Quezon waiting for a bribe, Agnes took out her wallet,
CONTRARY TO LAW.5 pulled a ₱50.00 bill and gave it to Roxas. After
PERALTA, J.: City, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of
this Honorable Court, the above-named receiving the money, Roxas returned to Agnes
The antecedent facts as culled from the records
On appeal by way of automatic review is the accused, conspiring together, confederating her driver’s license.9
are as follows:
Decision1 dated January 13, 2006 of the Court and mutually helping one another, with intent
of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR-H.C. No. 00666, Upon returning the driver’s license to Agnes,
to gain and by means of force, violence against On January 12, 1994, around 3:00 p.m., Agnes
affirming the Judgment2 of the Regional Trial Roxas immediately switched off the engine of
and intimidation of person and at gunpoint, did Guirindola (Agnes), while cruising along Panay
Court (RTC) convicting appellant Venancio the car and poked a gun at her saying "Miss,
then and there, willfully, unlawfully and Avenue, Quezon City, on board a red 1993
Roxas y Arguelles (appellant) for the crimes of kailangan ko ang kotse mo." Agnes, terrified
feloniously, take and carry away one Nissan model Nissan Sentra sedan with plate number
Kidnapping and Serious Illegal Detention with and shocked by Roxas’ actions, cried and
Sentra Model 1993 with Plate No. TKR-837, TKR-837, was suddenly flagged down by a man
Frustrated Murder, Violation of Republic Act pleaded with him to let her go and just take the
then driven by Agnes Guirindola but owned by wearing a PNP reflectorized vest. The man
(R.A.) 6539, or the Anti-Carnapping Act of 1972, car. Roxas continued to poke a gun at her,
her mother Elvira G. Guirindola, to the damage signaled her to make a U-turn. Agnes complied
and Theft. The Informations alleged – unmindful of what Agnes was telling him.10
and prejudice of said Agnes Guirindola and and made the U-turn. The man walked in front
Elvira G. Guirindola in such amount as may be of her car and proceeded to the right side of the After a while, Agnes heard a knock from outside
In Criminal Case No. Q-94-54285 for Kidnapping
awarded to them under the Civil Code of the car.6 Agnes, later on, identified the man in open the car. Roxas opened the rear door and then
and Serious Illegal Detention with Frustrated
Philippines. court as appellant, Venancio Roxas (Roxas). someone boarded the car, occupying the back
Murder –
seat. The second passenger immediately
CONTRARY TO LAW.4 Agnes opened the right front window of the car
That on or about January 12, 1994 in Quezon reclined the driver’s seat and pulled Agnes
and asked Roxas, who had positioned himself at
City, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of and - towards the back seat. Agnes identified this
the front passenger side, "Ano ang problema?"
this Honorable Court, the above-named man as Roberto Gungon (Gungon).
Roxas replied, "Miss, one way street po ito."
accused, conspiring together, confederating In Criminal Case No. 94-54287 (amended) for Subsequently, Roxas took the driver’s seat and
Agnes explained to the man that she usually
and mutually helping one another, did then and Robbery – drove the car while Gungon held Agnes on the
passed by the same street and it was only that
there by means of force, violence against and shoulder with one hand, and her leg with the
That on or about January 12, 1994 in Quezon day that she had been caught. Roxas told her
intimidation of person and at gunpoint, other.11
City, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of that the street had been made a one-way street
willfully, unlawfully, and feloniously kidnap,
this Honorable Court, the above-named because a girl figured in an accident in the same Agnes then heard Gungon say: "Boss, dalhin
carry away and detain AGNES GUIRINDOLA, a
accused, conspiring together, confederating street two days ago.7 natin sya sa Philcoa." After crossing Mother
female, thereby depriving her of her liberty,
and thereafter bring her to an uninhabited and mutually helping one another, with intent Ignacia Street, Gungon got his beeper and told
Roxas then asked for Agnes' driver’s license.
place in Barangay Bagong Pook, San Jose, to gain and by means of force, violence against Roxas: "Boss, dalhin na natin siya sa dati, doon
After taking the driver’s license, Roxas handed
Batangas and then and there, with intent to kill and intimidation of person and at gunpoint, did na natin siya i-s." Agnes became more
her a piece of paper which she was asked to
and with treachery, evident premeditation, and then and there, willfully, unlawfully and frightened as she understood "s" to mean
sign. Agnes noticed that it was not the usual
abuse of superior strength, willfully, unlawfully feloniously, while on board the motor vehicle "salvage," a lingo for summary execution.12
traffic citation ticket but, nevertheless, she
and feloniously shoot her in the face with a of AGNES GUIRINDOLA, a 1993 Nissan Sentra
pretended to sign the same by making a check Along the way, Roxas stopped the car and went
hand gun, thus performing all the acts of with Plate No. TKR-837, and in the course of its
thereon.8 to a sari-sari store. Gungon was left behind,
execution which would produce the crime of trip, divested and robbed said Agnes Guirindola
of the following cash, check and personal holding Agnes, and would tighten his grip every
MURDER as consequence, but which, When Agnes handed back the paper to Roxas,
belongings, to wit: time she made a slight move and sometimes
nevertheless, do not produce it by reason of the latter asked her to open the door of the car
would poke a gun at her. Upon returning to the
causes independent of the will of the accused, so that he could show her the one-way sign and
Cash ₱1,000.00 car, Roxas offered Agnes a bottle of soft drink
that is, the able and timely medical assistance the other traffic aide at the corner of the street.
and Skyflakes biscuit. Agnes refused so Roxas
given to said Agnes Guirindola which prevented Check 3,000.00 Agnes let Roxas enter the car. Roxas then
handed the softdrink to Gungon and told him:
her death, resulting to her utmost grief, sorrow, instructed Agnes to drive to the corner of the
"Mamaya painom mo sa kanya at pakainin mo
sufferings and sleepless night, compensable in Pieces of jewelry valued at 34,000.00 street, and upon reaching the corner, Roxas
siya." Gungon took the bottle of softdrink and
actual, moral and exemplary damages in such pointed to her the one-way sign and looked for
tried to force Agnes to drink the contents
23

thereof. Agnes refused because she saw tablets Afterwards, Agnes told Roxas and Gungon that When Agnes regained consciousness, she was Upon transfer of Agnes to the V. Luna General
floating inside the bottle. Roxas resumed she was hungry and wanted to eat a all alone. Roxas, Gungon and the third man, as Hospital, her parents immediately reported the
driving, while Gungon held Agnes.13 McDonald’s sandwich. Gungon replied that well as the car, were no longer there. It was incident to the National Bureau of Investigation
they were in the province and that there was very dark. She followed a "sparkling light" that (NBI) in Manila, which promptly conducted an
Agnes testified that she planned to escape, but no McDonald’s there. Roxas told Agnes that led her to a small house. Upon reaching the investigation. On January 17, 1994, some NBI
could not make a single move because every they will just drop by a restaurant to buy house, she opened the door and saw two (2) agents visited her for the taking of the
time she made a slight move, Gungon would something to eat. Roxas then stopped by a children and a teenager singing. She asked for cartographic sketches of Roxas and Gungon. On
poke the gun at her. The windows of the car bakery and alighted from the car, while Gungon their help but upon seeing her, they ran away. January 19, 1994, another group of NBI agents
were tinted and remained closed.14 held Agnes. It was at this point that Agnes She then saw a lady standing at the stairs of the went to the hospital and showed her 3 to 4
noticed the signboard of the bakery which read house carrying a baby. Agnes asked for her help pictures of Gungon who was subsequently
Around 5:00 p.m., Agnes noticed that they
something like Sto. Tomas or San Jose, but the lady went upstairs and locked herself arrested in Davao City. On February 1, 1994,
were already at the South Superhighway. 15
Batangas. After a while, Roxas came back with inside the room. Agnes followed her and Agnes positively identified Gungon at the NBI in
Along the superhighway, Roxas stopped the car a "taisan" cake and offered it to Agnes which knocked at the door of the room asking for a police lineup consisting of 5 to 6 men.
in order to urinate. Gungon guarded Agnes by she refused. At that instance, Agnes felt dizzy help, but still the lady did not come out of the Likewise, Agnes was able to identify certain
holding her. When Roxas returned, Gungon and fell asleep.19 room. She then went downstairs and lied down personal effects recovered from Gungon such
alighted to relieve himself too. While Gungon on the sofa. Only then did she notice that blood as her rosary beads,26 jewelry purse,27 key
When Agnes woke up, she found herself lying was profusely oozing from her face and there chain with a key to the lock of her Nissan Sentra
was out of the car, Roxas sat at the driver’s seat
at the back seat with her legs on the lap of were "holes" in the left side of her neck and her car,28and the check taken from her, which were
facing Agnes and poked his gun at her. Shortly
Gungon. The car was at a standstill. She noticed right cheek.22 all presented in evidence in the trial of Gungon
thereafter, Gungon came back to the car and
from the car’s clock on the dashboard that it as well as in the trial of the instant case against
Roxas resumed driving. When Agnes took the
was about 9:30 or 10:00 p.m. She also found After a while, Agnes heard a vehicle arrive and Roxas.29
prayer leaflet from her wallet, Gungon looked
out that her jewelries consisting of bracelets, also heard voices saying: "May taong duguan sa
at her wallet and saw the picture of her sister.
pair of earrings, necklace and a watch worth loob ng bahay, tulungan natin siya!" Agnes was In the meantime, the NBI conducted a manhunt
When asked if she was the one in the picture,
around ₱30,000.00 to ₱40,000.00, as well as then carried to a Fiera motor vehicle and for Roxas. On September 11, 1995, Roxas was
Agnes told Gungon that it was her sister. Out of
her pair of shoes, were already gone. When she brought to the Batangas Regional Hospital, arrested by elements of the NBI inside the
the blue, Gungon also took his wallet and
asked Gungon about them, the latter told her where she was treated for her wounds and municipal hall of Taysan, Batangas, where he
showed Agnes three (3) pictures which,
that they were just keeping the same for her. given first aid.23 Agnes sustained the following was working under the Office of the Mayor
according to him, were the pictures of his niece,
Agnes also lost her wallet containing a check in injuries: using the aliases "Joe Villamor" and "Marianito
her girlfriend and that of Roxas and a lady with
the amount of ₱3,000.00 and cash in the Villamor."
a little child. After showing the same to Agnes, Gunshot wound, POE, Zygomatic area (R), POX
amount of ₱1,000.00.20
Gungon returned the said pictures to his Sudmandibular area (L); Fx, zygomatic arch & Agnes further testified that the name of
wallet.16 Agnes planned to escape at that time Agnes also noticed that there was already a condylar area, (R) Sec to GSW; Submandibular appellant Venancio Roxas was supplied by the
but the car was running at a speed of 80 to 100 third man sitting in front of the car beside Roxas Gland involvement with sinus tract. (Exhibit NBI, but she was very sure that he was the
kilometers per hour. Agnes just continued to who was still driving. She then asked them if "A," Medical Certificate dated February 1, 1994 person who fatally shot her. She positively
pray.17 she could relieve herself. Gungon asked Roxas signed by attending physician Dr. Lauro R. San identified Roxas on January 12, 1994 during a
if Agnes would be allowed to relieve herself to Jose, Captain MC, Neurosurgery 4-A, p. 177, police line-up at the NBI as the perpetrator
At this point, Gungon again offered the
which Roxas answered in the affirmative. Agnes Volume III, Record) other than Gungon, of the crimes charged. She
softdrink to Agnes. When she refused, Gungon
fixed her hair and then asked Gungon for her told the NBI agents that the person in the
became mad and tightened his hold on Agnes, The following day, about 3:00 a.m. of January
shoes. Gungon put the shoes on her feet. Roxas picture was the one who had flagged her down
forcing her to drink it. Sensing that Gungon was 13, 1994, the parents of Agnes and the rest of
alighted from the car and opened the rear door. and shot her on January 12, 1994.
already furious, Agnes took the softdrink. After the family arrived at the hospital. Her parents
Gungon alighted first from the car followed by
Agnes drank it, Roxas told Gungon, "Ipainom immediately arranged for her transfer to the V. For the defense, appellant denied committing
Agnes. Gungon then led Agnes to a nearby
mo pa itong dalawang tablets dahil malaki sya, Luna General Hospital (now AFP Medical the crimes charged against him. He claimed
grassy area and told her, "O, dyan ka na lang
mahina iyong dalawa para sa kanya." Gungon Center) in Quezon City, where she was treated that it was impossible for him to be at the place
umihi." After Agnes relieved herself, and as she
took the tablets from Roxas and forced Agnes further, operated on and confined for forty- of incident on January 12, 1994. He narrated
was about to get up and return to the car, she
to swallow the same. Out of fear, Agnes took three (43) days.24 Agnes incurred actual that on that same day, at around 6:00 to 7:00
saw white sparks at her right side and then she
the tablets, but did not swallow them. She damages amounting to ₱36,161.83 for her p.m., he and a certain Tranquilino Mangiliman
fell down. When she opened her eyes, she saw
placed the tablets under her tongue. When hospitalization, surgical operation and medical and two others were installing an antenna on
Roxas walking back towards the car with a gun
Roxas and Gungon were not looking, she took treatment, and suffered moral damages the the roof of his house. He added that he never
in his hand. She did not see Gungon at that
her handkerchief and spat out the tablets into amount of which she cannot readily quantify, as left his house that evening. Both Mangiliman
particular time. Then she lost consciousness.21
the handkerchief.18 a result of the ordeal she underwent on that and his wife, Hermogena Roxas, testified that
fateful day of January 12, 1994.25 on January 12, 1004, Roxas was in his house at
24

Feria Compound, Commonwealth Town Roxas moved for a reconsideration of the WHETHER OR NOT THE COURT A QUO ERRED in a better position to decide the question of
Homes, Quezon City. September 5, 2002 decision of the court a quo. IN FINDING THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT GUILTY credibility, having seen and heard the witnesses
Likewise, noting the well-attended OF THE OFFENSES OF (1) KIDNAPPING AND themselves and observed their behavior and
Subsequently, in a Decision30 dated September promulgation of the court a quo’s decision, SERIOUS ILLEGAL DETENTION WITH manner of testifying.38
5, 2002, the court a quo, found Roxas guilty of Roxas also moved for the inhibition of the FRUSTRATED MURDER, (2) CARNAPPING, AND
Kidnapping and Serious Illegal Detention with Honorable Judge Demetrio Macapagal, Sr. He (3) THEFT. We have painstakingly examined the records of
frustrated murder, carnapping and theft, the argued that the presence of then Justice the case, particularly the testimonies for the
dispositive portion of which reads: Secretary Hernando Perez showed the court's Roxas challenged the RTC judge’s neutrality as prosecution and the defense. However, after
predisposition to convict him of the offenses he invoked that he was deprived of his right to much examination, we find no persuasive much
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered in due process because of the "unexplained less compelling reason to depart from the
charged. Roxas contended that he was robbed
these cases finding accused Venancio Roxas y presence" of the former Secretary of the findings of the trial court.
of his right to due process because the Judge
Arguelles guilty beyond reasonable doubt: Department of Justice, Hernando Perez, in
Demetrio Macapagal, Sr. had lost the cold
court. He contended that the RTC was already Agnes not only positively identified her
In Criminal Case No. Q-94-54285 for Kidnapping neutrality of an impartial judge required of him
predisposed to convict him even before trial. abductors, she also graphically narrated what
and serious illegal detention with frustrated in trying and resolving cases.
happened on January 12, 1994. Actual restraint
murder, and sentences him to suffer the We are unconvinced. of the victim's liberty was evident in the instant
In an Order32 dated October 8, 2002, the RTC
maximum penalty of DEATH. case from the moment Agnes was taken from
denied appellant’s motions for inhibition and
The Court finds no basis for appellant's Panay Avenue to a remote place in Batangas.
In Criminal Case No. Q-94-54286, for reconsideration.
allegation that he was deprived of due process Agnes testified, thus:
Carnapping, and sentences him to suffer the of law and that the trial conducted was far from
Meanwhile, appellant's co-accused Roberto
indeterminate penalty of imprisonment from impartial and fair. The imputation of bias and Q - After Roberto Gungon pulled you towards
Gungon y Santiago was found guilty of the same
18 years, as minimum, to 25 years, as partiality is not supported by the record. The the back seat, what happened?
charges in a Decision33 dated March 19, 1998.
maximum; fact that the trial judge opted to believe the
Roxas was at-large during the trial and was
prosecution's evidence rather than that of the A - Venancio Roxas took the driver seat and
In Criminal Case No. Q-94-54287, for the crime arrested only after the RTC rendered the
defense is not a sign of bias.36 started the car, sir. I mean, he took the driver
of Theft, and sentences him to suffer the judgment of conviction against Gungon. Thus,
seat and started the car.
indeterminate penalty of imprisonment from 2 the cases, as far as they concerned Roxas, was
Even if the RTC had allowed the presence of
years, 4 months and 1 day of prision archived until he was eventually arrested on Q – What was Roberto Gungon doing after
then Secretary Hernando Perez and the media,
correccional, as minimum, to 8 years, 8 months September 11, 1995. Venancio Roxas started the car?
there is no sufficient basis to show that their
and 1 day of prision mayor, as maximum, plus 1 presence or pervasive publicity unduly
The records of this case were originally A – He was holding me sir.
year for the additional ₱10,000.00 in excess of influenced the court's judgment. Before we
elevated to this Court for automatic review.
₱20,000.00 value of the property taken or a could conclude that appellant was prejudiced
Conformably with our ruling in People v. Q – How was he holding you?
total of 9 years, 8 months and 1 day, as by the presence of the media and Secretary
Mateo,34 however, the case was referred to the
maximum. Perez, he must first show substantial proof, not A – One hand on my shoulder and the other one
Court of Appeals for intermediate review.
merely cast suspicions. There must be a is (sic) on my leg, sir.
The accused shall be credited in full of his
In its Decision35 dated January 13, 2006, the showing that adverse publicity indeed
preventive imprisonment. xxxx
appellate court affirmed in toto the decision of influenced the court's decision.37 We found
Accused Roxas is also liable to pay the offended the court a quo. none, in this case.
Q – What did Gungon do with the bottle?
party Agnes Guirindola, moral and exemplary
Thus, this appeal, raising the following Appellant further argued that the RTC erred in
damages in the amount of ₱1,000,000.00 and A – He still forced me but when I refused he just
arguments: finding him guilty of the crimes charged against
₱500,000.00, respectively, actual damages in placed it down in the car, sir.
him.
the amount of ₱36,161.83, representing her I
hospitalization and related expenses, and Q – After that what happened?
Time and again, we have ruled that the findings
₱38,000.00 representing the value of the WHETHER OR NOT THE COURT A QUO ERRED of the trial court on the credibility of witnesses A – Roxas still drove and Gungon was still
articles taken from her. Accused Roxas is IN RENDERING IN THE ABOVE-TITLED CASE and their testimonies are entitled to the highest holding me, then after that we went to this
likewise ordered to pay Mrs. Elvira Guirindola DESPITE THE FACT THAT THE PRESIDING JUDGE respect and will not be disturbed on appeal in gasoline station to gas up, sir.
the amount of ₱250,257.90.00, representing OF THE COURT A QUO HAS LOST THE COLD the absence of any clear showing that the trial
the cost of repair of the subject vehicle. NEUTRALITY OF AN IMPARTIAL JUDGE, court overlooked, misunderstood or xxxx
THEREBY VIOLATING THE RIGHT OF THE misapplied some facts or circumstances of
SO ORDERED. ACCUSED-APPELLANT TO DUE PROCESS. Q – Why were you not able to escape while you
weight and substance which would have
affected the result of the case. The trial court is were seated and crying?
August 29, 2002, Quezon City.31 II
25

A – Because Gungon was holding me and poke a gun at you. My question is – for how subjected to torture or dehumanizing acts, the Q- You said that Roxas returned with a biscuit
everytime I just made a slight move, he poked long had Gungon been doing this? maximum penalty shall be imposed. (As and a bottle of softdrink, what was done with
the gun at me, sir.39 amended by Sec. 8, Republic Act No. 7659).42 the biscuit and bottle of softdrink, if you know?
A - Ever since he pulled me from the driver seat
xxxx to the back seat up to the time when we were The evidence likewise reveal, undoubtedly, the A – I refused to accept it, he insisted but still I
cruising along South Superhighway, sir. commission of frustrated murder as qualified refused so he just handed it to Gungon. He just
Q – While you were praying, do you know what by the circumstances of treachery and evident told Gungon "mamaya painom mo sa kanya at
Gungon and Roxas were doing at that time? Q - Up to that while you were driving? premeditation. The medical findings show that pakainin mo siya," sir.
had it not been due to the timely and proper
xxxx A – Yes, sir. Q – Why did you refuse the softdrink?
medical attention given to the victim, the
A – Yes, Roxas was driving and Gungon was still Q – When you reached Batangas, in the bakery, gunshot wound sustained by the victim would
A- Simply because when he handed it to me I
holding me and he asked Roxas if he could what was Gungon's (sic) doing to you, if any? have been fatal.
saw tablets floating inside the bottle, sir.45
relieve himself, sir.
A- He kept on holding me although from time Treachery exists when an offender commits any
xxxx
xxxx to time and only when I made a slight move, of the crimes against persons, employing
sir.41 means, methods or forms in the execution Q – At about 5:00 and 6:00 in the evening of
Q – After your car stopped, what happened? thereof which tend directly and specially to January 12, 1994 where were you at that time?
Thus, based on the foregoing testimony of ensure its execution, without risk to himself,
A – He told Gungon that he'll take a leak (sic) Agnes, the trial court did not err in convicting arising from the defense which the offended xxxx
first before Gungon so Roxas alighted from the appellant of the crime of kidnapping and party might make. As narrated by Agnes, she
car and took a leak (sic), sir. serious illegal detention. Article 267 of the could not have been aware that she would be A- Actually we were not really there, its (sic) we
Revised Penal Code defines the crime, thus: attacked by appellant. In the darkness of the were headed towards South Superhighway. I
Q – How about Gungon, where was he? mean I don’t know the exact place but I am
night while she just finished relieving herself
Art. 267. Kidnapping and serious illegal and still trying to get up, she was shot by familiar that we were heading towards South
A - He was seated beside me, he was still
detention. — Any private individual who shall appellant in the head with a gun. There was no super highway, sir.
holding me, sir.
kidnap or detain another, or in any other opportunity for her to defend herself, since
manner deprive him of his liberty, shall suffer xxxx
Q - After Roxas finished leaking (sic), do you appellant, suddenly and without provocation,
know what did he do (sic), if any? the penalty of reclusion perpetua to death; shot her as she was about to get up. The Q – When you reached the South Superhighway
essence of treachery is the unexpected and at that time what happened?
A- Yes, he went back to the car, he sat at the 1. If the kidnapping or detention shall have
sudden attack on the victim which renders the
driver's seat, he faced in front of me (sic), took lasted more than three days.
latter unable and unprepared to defend himself A – While we were in the car Gungon got his
the gun and poked it at me and then Gungon by reason of the suddenness and severity of the beeper and then he told Roxas "Boss, negative
2. If it shall have been committed simulating
alighted from the car and he was the next one attack. This criterion applies whether the attack Philcoa," sir.
public authority;
who took a leak (sic), sir. is frontal or from behind.43
3. If any serious physical injuries shall have xxxx
xxxx Moreover, the requisites of evident
been inflicted upon the person kidnapped or
premeditation was likewise duly established in Q – While you were driving along South super
Q - After Roxas alighted from the car, where detained, or if threats to kill him shall have
this case, to wit: (a) the time when the accused highway at that time, do you know what
were you at that time? been made;
determined to commit the crime; (b) an act happened inside the car between the three of
4. If the person kidnapped or detained shall be manifestly indicating that the accused has clung you?
A - I was still sitting at the car, with Gungon, sir.
a minor, except when the accused is any of the to his determination; and (c) a sufficient lapse
A – Yes, sir. That time Gungon was still holding
Q- What was Gungon doing at that time? parents, female or a public officer. of time between such determination and
me and then he told Roxas "boss, dalhin na
execution to allow him to reflect upon the
A- Yes, we were waiting for Roxas and he was The penalty shall be death where the natin siya sa dati, doon na natin siya i-s."
consequences of his act.44
holding my leg, sir.40 kidnapping or detention was committed for the
Q – After you heard that remark of Gungon,
purpose of extorting ransom from the victim or The prosecution's evidence particularly the
xxxx what did you do?
any other person, even if none of the testimony of Agnes demonstrated that Gungon
circumstances above-mentioned were present and Roxas had indeed planned to kill her from A – Well, of course I was shocked and I asked
Q – Previously, you testified that Gungon was the time they took the car. As testified to by
in the commission of the offense. them if they were going to rape me or kill me or
holding you and everytime you made a slight Agnes:
movement he would grips (sic) you firmly and just leave me somewhere, I do not know, sir.
When the victim is killed or dies as a
consequence of the detention or is raped, or is
26

Q – After you uttered those words, do you for the appreciation of evident premeditation her necklace, pair of earrings, watch and cash, It should be noted that while the new law
know if Gungon answered? as there was sufficient time for meditation and to be missing.49 While it was proven beyond prohibits the imposition of the death penalty,
reflection before the commission of the crime reasonable doubt that appellant took Agnes' the penalty provided for by law for a heinous
A – Yes, sir, he told me that don’t give us ideas yet appellant proceeded with the same. personal things, there was no evidence, offense is still death and the offense is still
(sic).46 however, that the taking was employed with heinous. Consequently, the civil indemnity for
Likewise, we agree that Roxas is also guilty of the use of force, violation and intimidation. the victim is still Php75,000.00.
xxxx violation of the Anti-Carnapping Law. R.A.
6539, otherwise known as An Act Preventing PENALTIES People v. Quiachon also rationcinates as
Q – What did you do when the bottle of
and Penalizing Carnapping, follows:
softdrink was being offered to you? As to the imposable penalty, we sustain the
defines carnapping as the taking, with intent to
gain, of a motor vehicle belonging to another findings of the RTC, as affirmed by the appellate With respect to the award of damages, the
A - I refused to get it, sir.
without the latter’s consent, or by means of court, with modification as to the penalty for appellate court, following prevailing
Q – When you refused to drink it, do you know violence against or intimidation of persons, or the crime of kidnapping and serious illegal jurisprudence, correctly awarded the following
what did Gungon do? by using force upon things." More specifically, detention with frustrated murder and the amounts: ₱75,000.00 as civil indemnity which is
the elements of the crime are as follows: awarding of damages. awarded if the crime is qualified by
A – Yes, he got mad and furious, he held me so circumstances warranting the imposition of the
tight and forced me to drink it, sir. 1. That there is an actual taking of the vehicle; The crime of kidnapping and serious illegal death penalty; ₱75,000.00 as moral damages
detention has been correctly complexed by the because the victim is assumed to have suffered
Q - Now, because he was furious and he was 2. That the offender intends to gain from the RTC with frustrated murder. A complex crime is moral injuries, hence, entitling her to an award
angry at you, what did you do? taking of the vehicle; committed when a single act constitutes two or of moral damages even without proof thereof,
more, grave or less grave, felonies, or when an x x x.
A - I took the softdrink, sir. 3. That the vehicle belongs to a person other offense is a necessary means for committing
than the offender himself; the other. Even if the penalty of death is not to be
Q- After you drank that softdrink, what
imposed on the appellant because of the
happened? 4. That the taking is without the consent of the In a complex crime, the penalty for the most prohibition in R.A. No. 9346, the civil indemnity
owner thereof; or that the taking was serious crime shall be imposed, the same to be
xxxx of ₱75,000.00 is still proper because, following
committed by means of violence against or applied in its maximum period. Since the the rationcination in People v. Victor, the said
intimidation of persons, or by using force upon kidnapping and serious illegal detention is the
A – Yes, sir, after drinking it Roxas offered two award is not dependent on the actual
things. more serious crime, the proper penalty under
(2) more tablets to Gungon, he told to Gungon imposition of the death penalty but on the fact
"ipainom mo pa sa kanya itong dalawang Article 26750 of the Revised Penal Code, as that qualifying circumstances warranting the
A careful examination of the evidence
tabletas dahil malaki siya, mahina iyong dalawa amended by R.A. 7659, should be applied in its imposition of the death penalty attended the
presented would show that all the elements of
para sa kanya".47 maximum period; thus, the penalty should be commission of the offense. The Court declared
carnapping were proven in this case. It cannot
death. However, in light of R.A. 9346, or that the award of ₱75,000.00 shows "not only
be denied that the 1993 Nissan Sentra with
xxxx the Anti-Death Penalty Law, which prohibits a reaction to the apathetic societal perception
plate number TKR-837 was unlawfully taken
the imposition of the death penalty, the of the penal law and the financial fluctuations
Q – Do you know what time was it when you from Agnes without her consent and by means
imposition of the penalty of reclusion over time but also the expression of the
woke up? of force or intimidation, considering that he
perpetua instead of death is, thus, proper and displeasure of the court of the incidence of
and his co-accused alternately poked a gun at
ineligible for parole. heinous crimes against chastity."1avvphi1
A - I guess it was about 9:30 or 10:00 in the Agnes. After shooting her, appellant also flee
evening, sir. with the subject vehicle which shows his intent Likewise, in accordance with current The litmus test therefore, in the determination
to gain. Agnes also positively identified jurisprudence, we modify the award of
Q – How were you able to place the time? of the civil indemnity is the heinous character
appellant and Gungon as the ones who took the damages, and apply People of the Philippines v. of the crime committed, which would have
subject vehicle from her. Richard O. Sarcia51 where we said:
A - There is a watch on the dashboard of the car, warranted the imposition of the death penalty,
sir.48 Finally, we likewise agree that Roxas is only regardless of whether the penalty actually
The principal consideration for the award of
guilty of theft and not robbery as initially imposed is reduced to reclusion perpetua.52
Thus, from the foregoing, it is evident that the damages, under the ruling in People v.
charged. Salome and People v. Quiachonis the penalty
commission of the killing, albeit frustrated, was WHEREFORE, the instant appeal is DENIED. The
formed from the moment the accused took the provided by law or imposable for the offense Decision of the Court of Appeals, dated January
From the records, it appears that the jewelries
victim in Quezon City until she was ultimately because of its heineousness, not the public 13, 2006, in CA-G.R. CR-HC No. 00666, is
and cash were taken from Agnes without the
"executed" in Batangas. The lapse of more than penalty actually imposed on the offender. AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION, insofar as to
attendance of violence or intimidation upon
eight hours, that is, approximately from 1:00 her person. Agnes herself testified that when sentence appellant Venancio Roxas y Arguelles
xxxx
p.m. to 10:00 p.m., satisfies the last requisite she regained consciousness, she already found to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua for
27

the crime of Kidnapping and Serious Illegal feloniously, forcibly kidnapped Alexander that at about 6:30 to 7:00 p.m. of January 24, After trial, appellants were found guilty as
Detention with Frustrated Murder, and to Pureza y Mendoza by the point of [a] gun 1985, he was waiting for a ride when he saw charged and meted indeterminate prison
declare him ineligible for parole. Appellant is, (revolver) and forcibly loaded said Alexander Alexander Pureza being pushed by appellant terms, to wit:
likewise, ordered to pay Agnes Guirindola M. Pureza to (sic) a yellow colored tricycle Elpidio Enriquez, Jr. into a waiting tricycle
₱75,000.00 as civil indemnity, ₱75,000.00 as (Hazel) with Plate No. MTC H8242 and brought driven by appellant Emiliano WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Court
moral damages, and ₱30,000.00 as exemplary somewhere else and detained in an Enriquez.7 Alexander was struggling to free finds the accused Elpidio Enriquez, Jr. alias
damages. Costs against the appellant. undisclosed place for more than five (5) days himself. Feliciano did not do anything to help or Bonggo and Emiliano Enriquez alias Tate
since the kidnapping took place and up to the tell anyone what he witnessed. He feared for GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime
SO ORDERED. present time could not be located, with the his life because Bonggo was the grandson of of kidnapping as defined and penalized under
aggravating circumstances of the use of a then Mayor Calixto Enriquez of Rosario, Cavite. Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code and
firearm, force, motor vehicle and simulation of At that time, many people just disappear or get hereby sentences them to suffer the
public authority. killed in Rosario. It was only in July 1987 when indeterminate penalty of imprisonment
G.R. No. 158797 July 29, 2005
Mayor Calixto Enriquez was no longer mayor consisting of seventeen (17) years, four (4)
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Appellee, CONTRARY TO LAW.4 that he revealed the above information to P/Lt. months and one (1) day of reclusion temporal,
vs. Col. Rogelio Pureza, the victim’s father. as minimum, to reclusion perpetua, as
Both pleaded "not guilty" to the charge during maximum, and to indemnify the heirs of the
ELPIDIO ENRIQUEZ, JR. and EMILIANO
arraignment. Trial ensued. The two appellants had a different story to tell. victim ₱50,000.00. (underlining supplied)8
ENRIQUEZ, Appellants.
They denied any involvement in the kidnapping
The prosecution evidence shows that at about Appellants elevated the case to the Court of
DECISION and interposed the defense of alibi. Appellant
6:50 p.m. of January 24, 1985, Rogelio Andico, Appeals which affirmed with modification the
Elpidio Enriquez, Jr. testified that he was in
PUNO, J.: Edwin Pugay, Esmi Saquilayan, and twenty-one- decision of the trial court. As aforestated, the
Bulan, Sorsogon from January 21 to 24, 1985
year old Alexander Pureza were conversing in appellate court did not apply
with his live-in partner visiting her sick father.
Elpidio Enriquez, Jr. and Emiliano Enriquez were front of the Barangay Hall of Silangan, Rosario, the Indeterminate Sentence Law but imposed
He left Sorsogon in the morning of January 24
convicted of kidnapping by the Regional Trial Cavite. Appellant Elpidio Enriquez, Jr., alias upon the appellants the penalty of reclusion
and arrived at Rosario, Cavite at about 11:00
Court (RTC) of Cavite City, Branch 16, and each "Bonggo," who was dressed in military fatigue perpetua. The dispositive portion of the
p.m. to midnight of the same day. He went to
was sentenced to suffer an indeterminate pants, camouflage jacket, brown hat, and Decision of the appellate court reads:
sleep immediately upon arrival, and was
prison term of seventeen (17) years, four (4) wearing dark glasses, arrived on board a tricycle
awakened at 1:00 a.m. when the police picked
months and one (1) day of reclusion driven by appellant Emiliano Enriquez, alias WHEREFORE, the instant Appeal is DENIED. The
him up for investigation.
temporal as minimum to reclusion perpetua as "Emil Tate." After Bonggo alighted, Emil parked assailed decision dated May 28, 1999 of the
maximum.1 They appealed to the Court of the tricycle about ten (10) meters away from Appellant Emiliano Enriquez claimed that he Regional Trial Court of Cavite City, Branch 16
Appeals which not only affirmed their the group. Bonggo then pulled out a .38 caliber did not leave his house during the night in finding herein accused-appellants Elpidio
convictions but imposed upon each of the revolver from his jacket and warned the group, question as he was taking care of his child. He Enriquez, Jr. and Emiliano Enriquez guilty
appellants the penalty of reclusion "Huwag kayong tatakbo, awtoridad ako." He also alleged that his tricycle had a broken shock beyond reasonable doubt of the crime
perpetua.2 The Court of Appeals refrained from singled out Alexander Pureza, poked his gun at absorber. of kidnapping is hereby AFFIRMED with
entering judgment and certified the case to us him and ordered him, "Sama ka sa ‘kin." He modification in that We hereby sentence them
pursuant to the second paragraph of Sec. 13 of dragged Alexander to the tricycle, and forced In addition, appellant Elpidio Enriquez, Jr. to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua.
the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure.3 him to board the same. The tricycle sped off. ascribed improper motive on the part of
Alexander Pureza was never seen again or prosecution witnesses Andico and Castro. He Accordingly, let this case be certified and the
On July 8, 1985, Elpidio Enriquez, Jr. and heard from since then. alleged that Rogelio Andico testified against entire records hereof elevated to the Supreme
Emiliano Enriquez were charged with him because he caused the arrest of Rogelio’s Court for review pursuant to Sec. 13 (2), Rule
kidnapping in the Regional Trial Court of Cavite Rogelio Andico, who was left behind after his uncle, Antonio Andico, known as the "king 124 of the Revised Rules on Criminal
City, Branch 16. The Information reads: companions scampered away, hurried to pusher" of Rosario, Cavite. He also charged that Procedure.9 (emphasis supplied)
Alexander’s house and informed his parents Feliciano Castro testified against him because
That on or about the 24th day of January 1985, about the incident. At about midnight of the Appellants state a lone assignment of error in
Castro is a trusted employee and bodyguard of
in the Municipality of Rosario, Province of same day, Rogelio gave his statement5 to the their Appellant’s Brief, viz: that the lower court
Jose Abutan, the uncle of Col. Pureza. He
Cavite, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction police upon the advice of his uncle, Atty. gravely erred in finding them guilty beyond
further alleged that Col. Pureza filed the case at
of this Honorable Court, the abovenamed Ernesto Andico, the Vice-Mayor of Rosario, reasonable doubt of the crime of kidnapping
bar against him in retaliation for having been
accused, conspiring, confederating and Cavite. Rogelio executed two other statements despite the insufficiency of the evidence. More
implicated in the case involving the killing of his
mutually helping one another, with the use of on January 25 and 29, 1985. 6 specifically, appellants assail the credibility of
(Elpidio’s) father.
firearm (nickel plated revolver), motor vehicle prosecution witness Rogelio Andico because he
(tricycle) and by simulating public authority, did Feliciano Castro, a resident of Rosario, Cavite, did not give his eyewitness account of the
then and there, willfully, unlawfully and corroborated Rogelio’s testimony. He testified alleged kidnapping in one sworn statement
28

only but executed two supplemental appellant. It is undisputed that at the time the of the guilty would deter him from implicating bar, appellant Emiliano failed to show that it
statements as well. They allege that the Information was filed on July 8, 1985,12 the a person other than the true culprit.20 Col. was physically impossible for him to have been
execution of three statements to the police victim had been missing for more than five (5) Pureza’s alleged motive for filing this case at the scene of the crime at the time of its
shows that Andico was a coached witness. They months, more than the five (5) days’ against appellant Elpidio Enriquez, Jr., i.e., Col. commission considering that his house was a
argue that Andico’s excuse for the piecemeal deprivation of liberty required under the Pureza filed this case in retaliation for having mere ten (10) minutes’ drive away from
testimony, i.e., he was nervous and confused at former Art. 26713of the Revised Penal Code. been implicated in the case involving the killing the barangay hall where the victim was
the time he gave his first statement to the Alexander Pureza has not been seen again or of Elpidio’s father, is equally tenuous. The facts abducted.
police, is not worthy of belief considering that heard from since his abduction on January 24, show that Col. Pureza had been cleared of any
he gave his statement to Col. Pureza’s men. 1985. The former Art. 267 mentioned four involvement in the killing of Elpidio’s father by In sum, we find that the guilt of appellants has
Appellants likewise contend that prosecution circumstances for the crime of kidnapping to be the Investigating Panel of the Judge Advocate been proven beyond reasonable doubt by the
witness Feliciano Castro does not deserve committed,14but they need not be present General’s Office.21 A contrario, it is Elpidio who prosecution. All the elements of the crime of
credence because it took him two (2) years to simultaneously as the presence of just one may have the reason to retaliate at Col. Pureza kidnapping, to wit: (1) the accused is a private
report the incident which is counter to the circumstance is enough to establish the who walked away from the charge. individual; (2) the accused kidnaps or detains
natural tendency of a person who witnessed a crime.15 Hence, the added circumstance of another, or in any manner deprives the latter of
crime to report the same at the earliest possible simulation of public authority alleged in We join the lower courts in rejecting appellants’ his liberty; (3) the act of detention or
opportunity. Andico’s second sworn statement was alibi. In the case of Elpidio, we find it incredible kidnapping is illegal; and (4) in the commission
unnecessary. Examining the third supplemental that he did not inform the police about his alibi of the offense, any of the four circumstances
We affirm the decision of the Court of Appeals. sworn statement,16 Andico merely supplied the when he was brought in for questioning just mentioned in Art. 267 of the Revised Penal
name of the tricycle driver whom he saw but hours after he came back from Bulan, Code are present,29 have been proven through
We hold that the execution of not one but three Sorsogon. Neither did his mother, who the eyewitness account of Rogelio Andico,
did not immediately recognize. This is not fatal
statements to the police does not necessarily followed him to the police station, nor his live- corroborated by Feliciano Castro, who have not
as there is the testimony of Feliciano Castro
render prosecution witness Andico incredible. in partner, who was allegedly his companion in been shown to have any improver motive in
who identified appellant Emiliano Enriquez as
Andico testified in court and was cross- Sorsogon, say anything to the police to defend testifying in this case.
the tricycle driver to corroborate Andico’s
examined by counsel for appellants. Andico him. Their silence was deafening. It was almost
account. Although Castro reported the incident
testified in a clear and straightforward manner a month later or only on February 20, 1985 that Finally, we come to the correctness of the
only two (2) years after the incident, his reason
detailing how Alexander Pureza was taken at Elpidio foisted the defense of alibi in his penalty. The 1987 Constitution prohibits the
for not reporting the same immediately, i.e.,
gunpoint and spirited away by appellants on counter-affidavit22 submitted during the imposition of the death penalty unless for
fear for his life, is reasonable considering that
the night of January 24, 1985, never to be seen preliminary investigation of the case. We have compelling reasons involving heinous crimes,
one of the appellants is the grandson of the
or heard from again. His testimony was given repeatedly ruled that alibi is an inherently weak Congress provides for it.30 Republic Act No.
incumbent mayor. His initial reluctance is not
credence both by the trial court and the Court defense because it is easy to fabricate and is 765931 which classified kidnapping as a heinous
unusual and is a matter of judicial notice.17
of Appeals. We find no reason to disturb their highly unreliable,23 more so when corroborated crime punishable by death took effect on
calibration of the credibility of Andico’s Appellants’ attempt to discredit Andico by only by relatives and friends.24It cannot stand December 31, 1993. The crime at bar was
testimony. imputing improper motive upon him for against the positive identification of appellant committed in 1985. We have ruled that R.A. No.
testifying in the case, i.e., that Andico testified by a credible witness to the crime.25 On the 7659 cannot be applied to a crime that
To be sure, the first statement, by itself, transpired prior to its effectivity under the
to avenge his "Uncle" Antonio Andico who was other hand, appellant Emiliano alleged that he
executed by Andico at midnight of January 24, principle of non-retroactivity of penal laws
apprehended by Narcom agents at the was in his house taking care of his child when
1985 sufficiently proved the elements of the which are unfavorable to the
instigation of appellant Elpidio Enriquez, Jr., the kidnapping took place, and that his tricycle,
crime of kidnapping charged against the accused.32Consequently, reclusion perpetua is
cannot succeed. For one, the exact relationship which was allegedly used in the crime, had a
appellants. In this statement,10 Andico the only penalty that can be imposed against
between Rogelio and Antonio Andico was not broken shock absorber. However, he admitted
categorically narrated how his friend Alexander the appellants. As correctly argued by the
proved. The uncle-nephew relationship was that his house was a mere ten (10) minutes
Pureza, a private citizen, was taken at gunpoint Solicitor General, Act No. 4103, otherwise
merely speculated from the fact that Rogelio away from the place of the incident.26 He also
by appellant Elpidio Enriquez, Jr., who did not known as the Indeterminate Sentence Law,
called Erning Andico, the brother of Antonio, as conceded that a vehicle can run even without a
have authority to do so, with the connivance cannot be applied in the case of appellants
"mama" or uncle.18 Appellant Elpidio Enriquez, broken shock absorber, although he qualified
and participation of a tricycle driver. The victim considering the proscription in Sec. 2
Jr., admitted that he does not know the exact that his tricycle’s shock absorber was seriously
was never seen or heard from again. In his thereof, viz:
relationship between Rogelio and Antonio broken.27 We reiterate the age old rule that for
second statement executed on January 25,
Andico.19 But even if Antonio was Rogelio’s alibi to prosper, it is not enough to prove that
1985,11 Andico merely added that appellant This Act shall not apply to persons convicted of
uncle, their relationship is not enough reason the accused was somewhere else when the
Elpidio Enriquez, Jr., aside from being dressed offenses punished with death penalty or life-
for Rogelio to avenge Antonio’s apprehension. crime was committed; he must also
in military-like clothes, likewise introduced imprisonment x x x x
On the other hand, there is reason to believe demonstrate that it was physically impossible
himself to them as someone in authority. This
that the natural interest of Rogelio, who is a for him to have been at the scene of the crime Indeed, in People v. Asturias,33 Serrano v.
addition is a superfluity for the purpose of
friend of the victim, in securing the conviction at the time of its commission.28 In the case at Court of Appeals,34 People v.
proving the crime of kidnapping against the
29

Lampaza35 and People v. Tan,36 to name a few of subject minor to another person without the PURSUANT TO PRECEDENT IN "PEOPLE vs. the complainant were unsuccessful as she left
cases, we in effect equated the penalty knowledge and consent of her parents. GUTIERREZ," 197 SCRA 569; and no address or telephone number where she can
of reclusion perpetua as synonymous to life- be reached. This development prompted Dr. Ty
imprisonment for purposes of the Contrary to Law.1 IV to notify the barangay captain of the child's
Indeterminate Sentence Law, and ruled that abandonment.6 Eventually, the hospital staff
Both accused were arrested, and then THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN AWARDING
the latter law does not apply to persons took turns in taking care of Arabella.7
arraigned on October 27, 1992 when they "COMPLAINANT THE SUM OF P100,000.00 BY
convicted of offenses punishable with the said
pleaded not guilty to the crime charged. WAY OF MORAL, DAMAGES."3 Sometime in 1989, two (2) years after Arabella
penalty. Consequently, we affirm the Court of
Appeals in not applying the Indeterminate was abandoned by complainant, Dr. Fe
After trial, on May 31, 1995, a decision was The relevant antecedents surrounding the case
Sentence Law, and in imposing upon appellants Mallonga, a dentist at the clinic, suggested
rendered by the Regional Trial Court of are as follows:
the penalty of reclusion perpetua instead. during a hospital staff conference that Arabella
Kalookan City, Branch 123, the decretal portion
On November 18, 1987, complainant Johanna be entrusted to a guardian who could give the
of which disposes as follows:
IN VIEW WHEREOF, we AFFIRM the decision of Sombong brought her sick daughter Arabella, child the love and affection, personal attention
the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR No. 23589 WHEREFORE, this Court finds both accused then only seven (7) months old, for treatment and caring she badly needed as she was thin
convicting Elpidio Enriquez, Jr. and Emiliano Spouses Vicente Ty and Carmen Ty guilty to the Sir John Medical and Maternity Clinic and sickly. The suggestion was favorably
Enriquez of the crime of kidnapping. beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of located at No. 121 First Avenue, Grace Park, considered, hence, Dr. Mallonga gave the child
kidnapping a minor and failure to return the Kalookan City which was owned and operated to her aunt, Lilibeth Neri.8
SO ORDERED.
same as defined and penalized by Article 270 of by the accused-appellants. Arabella was
In 1992, complainant came back to claim the
the Revised Penal Code and hereby sentences diagnosed to be suffering bronchitis and
daughter she abandoned some five (5) years
them to suffer imprisonment of reclusion diarrhea, thus complainant was advised to
back.
G.R. No. 121519 October 30, 1996 perpetua. The accused are hereby ordered to confine the child at the clinic for speedy
pay the private complainant the sum of recovery. About three (3) days later, Arabella When her pleas allegedly went unanswered,
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff- P100,000.00 by way of moral damages caused was well and was ready to be discharged but she filed a petition for habeas corpus against
appellee, by anxiety, by her being emotionally drained complainant was not around to take her home. accused-appellants with the Regional Trial
vs. coupled by the fact that up to this date she A week later, complainant came back but did Court of Quezon City. Said petition was
VICENTE TY and CARMEN TY, accused- could not determine the whereabouts of her not have enough money to pay the hospital bill however denied due course and was summarily
appellants. child Arabella Sombong. in the amount of P300.00. Complainant dismissed without prejudice on the ground of
likewise confided to accused-appellant Dr. lack of jurisdiction, the alleged detention
SO ORDERED.2 Carmen Ty that no one would take care of the having been perpetrated in Kalookan City.
child at home as she was working. She then
The accused now interpose this appeal alleging
KAPUNAN, J.:p inquired about the rate of the nursery and upon Thereafter, the instant criminal case was filed
the ensuing assignment of errors, viz:
being told that the same was P50.00 per day, against accused-appellants.
Vicente Ty and Carmen Ty were charged with I she decided to leave her child to the care of the
the crime of kidnapping and failure to return a clinic nursery. Consequently, Arabella was Complainant likewise filed an administrative
minor in an information filed by 2nd Assistant THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN FINDING THAT transferred from the ward to the nursery. 4 case for dishonorable conduct against accused-
City Prosecutor of Kalookan City Rosauro J. APPELLANTS "DELIBERATELY FAILED TO appellant Dr. Carmen Ty before the Board of
Silverio, the accusatory portion of which reads: RESTORE THE CHILD TO HER MOTHER," AND Thereafter, hospital bills started to mount and Medicine of the Professional Regulation
CONVICTING THEM UNDER ART. 270 OF THE accumulate. It was at this time that accused- Commission. This case was subsequently
That on or about the month of April 1989, in REVISED PENAL CODE, AND SENTENCING THEM appellant Dr. Ty suggested to the complainant dismissed for failure to prosecute.
Kalookan. City, Metro Manila, and within the TO "RECLUSION PERPETUA"; that she hire a "yaya" for P400.00 instead of the
jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above- daily nursery fee of P50.00. Complainant On October 13, 1992, complainant filed a
named accused, being then the owners, II agreed, hence, a "yaya" was hired. Arabella was petition for habeas corpus with the Regional
proprietors, managers and administrators of Sir then again transferred from the nursery to the Trial Court of Quezon City, this time against the
John Clinic and as such said accused had the THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN NOT HOLDING extension of the clinic which served as alleged guardians of her daughter, namely,
custody of Arabella Sombong, a minor, THAT THE CRIME COMMITTED, IF ANY, IS THAT residence for the hospital staff.5 Marietta Neri Alviar and Lilibeth Neri. On
conspiring together and mutually helping one DEFINED AND PENALIZED UNDER ART. 277 OF January 15, 1993, the trial court rendered a
another and with deliberate intent to deprive THE REVISED PENAL CODE; From then on, nothing was heard of the decision granting the petition and ordering the
the parents of the child of her custody, did then complainant. She neither visited her child nor guardians to immediately deliver the person of
III called to inquire about her whereabouts. Her Cristina Grace Neri to the complainant, the
and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously
fail to restore the custody of said Arabella estranged husband came to the clinic once but court having found Cristina to be the
THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN NOT
Sombong to her parents by giving said custody did not get the child. Efforts to get in touch with complainant's child. On appeal to the Court of
RECOMMENDING EXECUTIVE CLEMENCY
30

Appeals, however, said decision was reversed certain whether it was Arabella or some other Since we hold that petitioner has not been slow in determining. Willful rather than merely
on the ground that the guardians were not baby that was given to private respondents. established by evidence to be entitled to the intentional. Formed, arrived at, or determined
unlawfully withholding from the complainant Petitioner's own evidence shows that, after the custody of the minor Cristina on account of upon as a result of careful thought and
the rightful custody of Cristina after finding that confinement of Arabella in the clinic in 1987, mistaken identity, it cannot be said that private weighing of considerations, as a deliberate
Cristina and complainant's daughter are not she saw her daughter again only in 1989 when respondents are unlawfully withholding from judgment or plan. Carried on coolly and
one and the same person. On January 31, 1996, she visited the clinic. This corroborates the petitioner the rightful custody over Cristina. At steadily, especially according to a preconceived
this Court in Sombong v. Court of testimony of petitioner's own witness, Dra. Ty, this juncture, we need not inquire into the design; given to weighing facts and arguments
Appeals9 affirmed the Court of Appeals' that Arabella was physically confined in the validity of the mode by which private with a view to a choice or decision; careful in
decision. clinic from November, 1987 to April, 1989. This respondents acquired custodial rights over the considering the consequences of a step; slow in
testimony tallies with her assertion in her minor, Cristina. action; unhurried; characterized by reflection;
In this appeal, accused-appellants would want counter-affidavit to the effect that Arabella was dispassionate; not rash. People v. Thomas, 25
us to take a second look and resolve the issue in the custody of the hospital until April, 1989. xxx xxx xxx Cal. 2d 880, 156 P.2d 7, 17, 18.
of whether or not they are guilty of kidnapping All this, when juxtaposed with the unwavering
and failure to return a minor. Accused- Under the facts and ruling in Sombong, as well By the use of this word, in describing a crime,
declaration of private respondents that they
appellants of course contend that they are not as the evidence adduced in this case accused- the idea is conveyed that the perpetrator
obtained custody of Cristina in April, 1988 and
guilty and the Solicitor General agrees. In its appellants must perforce be acquitted of the weighs the motives for the act and its
had her baptized at the Good Samaritan Church
Manifestation and Motion in lieu of Appellee's crime charged, there being no reason to hold consequences, the nature of the crime, or other
on April 30, 1988, leads to the conclusion that
Brief, the Office of the Solicitor General them liable for failing to return one Cristina things connected with his intentions, with a
Cristina is not Arabella.
recommends their acquittal. Grace Neri, a child not conclusively shown and view to a decision thereon; that he carefully
Significantly, Justice Lourdes K. Tayao-Jaguros, established to be complainant's daughter, considers all these, and that the act is not
We agree. herself a mother and the ponente of the herein Arabella. suddenly committed. It implies that the
assailed decision, set the case for hearing on perpetrator must be capable of the exercise of
As we have mentioned above, this Court The foregoing notwithstanding, even if we
August 30, 1993 primarily for the purpose of such mental powers as are called into use by
in Sombong v. Court of were to consider Cristina Grace Neri and
observing petitioner's demeanor towards the deliberation and the consideration and
Appeals10 affirmed the decision of the Court of Arabella Sombong as one and the same person,
minor Cristina. She made the following weighing of motives and consequences.13
Appeals reversing the trial court's ruling that still, the instant criminal case against the
personal but relevant manifestation:
complainant has rightful custody over the child, accused-appellants must fall. Similarly, the word deliberate is defined in
Cristina Grace Neri, the latter not being The undersigned ponente as a mother herself Corpus Juris Secundum as:
identical with complainant's daughter, Before a conviction for kidnapping and failure
of four children, wanted to see how petitioner
Arabella. The Court discoursed, thusly: to return a minor under Article 270 of the DELIBERATE.
as an alleged mother of a missing child
Revised Penal Code can be had, two elements
supposedly in the person of Cristina Neri would
Petitioner does not have the right of custody must concur, namely: (a) the offender has been As a Verb
react on seeing again her long lost child. The
over the minor Cristina because, by the entrusted with the custody of the minor, and
petitioner appeared in the scheduled hearing of The word is derived from two Latin words
evidence disclosed before, the court a quo, (b) the offender deliberately fails to restore said
this case late, and she walked inside the which mean literally "concerning" and "to
Cristina has not been shown to be petitioner's minor to his parents or guardians. The essential
courtroom looking for a seat without even weigh;" it implies the possession of a mind
daughter, Arabella. The evidence adduced element herein is that the offender is entrusted
stopping at her alleged daughter's seat; capable of conceiving a purpose to act, and the
before the trial court does not warrant the with the custody of the minor but what is
without even casting a glance on said child, and exercise of such mental powers as are called
conclusion that Arabella is the same person as actually punishable is not the kidnapping of the
without even that tearful embrace which into use by the consideration and weighing of
Cristina. minor, as the title of the article seems to
characterizes the reunion of a loving mother the motives and the consequences of the act;
indicate, but rather the deliberate failure or
xxx xxx xxx with her missing dear child. Throughout the and has been defined as meaning to consider,
refusal of the custodian of the minor to restore
proceedings, the undersigned ponente noticed reflect, take counsel, or to weigh the arguments
the latter to his parents or guardians.11 Said
In the instant case, the testimonial and no signs of endearment and affection expected for and against a proposed course of action; to
failure or refusal, however, must not only be
circumstantial proof establishes the individual of a mother who had been deprived of the consider and examine the reasons for and
deliberate but must also be persistent as to
and separate existence of petitioner's child, embrace of her little child for many years. The against, consider maturely, ponder, reflect
oblige the parents or the guardians of the child
Arabella, from that of private respondents' conclusion or finding of upon, or weigh in the mind; to reflect, with a
to seek the aid of the courts in order to obtain
foster child, Cristina. undersigned ponente as a mother, herself, that view to make a choice; to weigh the motives for
custody.12 The key word therefore of this
petitioner-appellee is not the mother of an act and its consequences, with a view to a
We note, among others, that Dr. Trono, who is element is deliberate and Black's Law
Cristina Neri has been given support by decision thereon.
petitioner's own witness, testified in court that, Dictionary defines deliberate as:
aforestated observation. . .
together with Arabella, there were several As an Adjective
Deliberate, adj. Well advised; carefully
babies left in the clinic and so she could not be xxx xxx xxx
considered; not sudden or rash; circumspect;
31

The word, used adjectively, implies action after Q: Now, since you said a while ago that when Q: And what did you tell the guardian? ATTY. WARD:
thought and reflection, and relates to the end you placed the child under the (sic)
proposed; indicates a purpose formed in a mind guardianship, you are (sic) aware that the A: I told the guardian that the rightful mother Q: And what happened when you get (sic) the
capable of conceiving a purpose; and is based natural mother will get back the child, why did was claiming for the child and that we should assistance of the NBI?
upon an intention accompanied by such you not return the minor to the natural talked (sic) with each other at the PAO for the
decision, mam. A: They were the ones who asked the guardian
circumstances as evidence a mind fully mother?
to surrender the child, mam.
conscious of its own purpose and design. It has
A: During that time mam, the resident physician Q: Did the guardian bring the child to the PAO's
been defined as meaning carefully considered; Q: You stated a while ago that there was no
who will (sic) discharged the baby was not Office (sic)?
circumspect; entered upon after deliberation written agreement between you or your
and with fixed purpose, formed after careful present because she was abroad.
A: No mam, she did not appear. hospital and the guardian of the minor, is that
consideration, and fully or carefully considering correct?
Q: But then madam witness, are you aware
the nature or consequences of an act or Q: Why?
where the child was and to whom it was given?
measure; maturely reflected; not sudden or A: Yes, mam.
rash, carefully considering the probable A: They told me first that they are (sic) going to
A: The exact address was not given to me, mam,
consequences of a step; premeditated; slow in contact a lawyer but for (sic) several days, she Q: For what reason if you know, why (did) the
before the resident physician left for abroad so,
determining; weighing facts and arguments did not respond anymore, mam. 15 guardian did (sic) not follow you or obey you
I asked the PAO to give me one month to have
with a view to a choice of decision; well- when you want (sic) to get back the child?
(sic) a long distance call to this doctor and asked When the guardians refused to return the child,
advised. her for the whereabout(s) of the child. accused-appellant Dr. Ty sought the assistance A: I don't know of any reason, mam. 17
Under some circumstances, it has been held of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)
Q: And where you granted the thirty-day period The efforts taken by the accused-appellants to
synonymous with, or equivalent to, which conducted a conference among the
by the Officer of the PAO? help the complainant in finding the child clearly
"intentional," "premeditated," and "willful." parties but since a case was yet to be filed, the
custody of the minor remained with the negate the finding that there was a deliberate
A: Yes, mam.
Under other circumstances, however, it has guardians. This fact is evident from the refusal or failure on their part to restore the
been compared with, or distinguished from, Q: What happened if any during that thirty-day following testimony, thus: child to her mother. Evidence is simply wanting
"premeditated," "sudden," and "willful."14 period? in this regard.
Q: You testified on cross-examination that you
Essentially, the word deliberate as used in the A: I was able to talk to Fe Mallonga in Bahrain located the whereabouts of the child sometime It is worthy to note that accused-appellants'
article must imply something more than mere and she told me the exact address of the later, what steps did you take up (sic) after you conduct from the moment the child was left in
negligence; it must be premeditated, obstinate, guardian, mam. found the child? the clinic's care up to the time the child was
headstrong, foolishly daring or intentionally given up for guardianship was motivated by
and maliciously wrong. Q: Were (sic) you informed (of) the exact A: I explained to the guardian that the verbal nothing more than an earnest desire to help the
address of the guardian, did you informed (sic) agreement between the supposed to be child and a high regard for her welfare and well-
In the case at bar, it is evident that there was the PAO? guardianship was only a plain guardianship and being.
no deliberate refusal or failure on the part of not as an adoption, sir.
the accused-appellants to restore the custody A: Yes, mam. WHEREFORE, premises considered, the
of the complainant's child to her. When the Q: You said you went to the NBI after you found decision appealed from is hereby REVERSED
ATTY. WARD: the child, why did you go to the NBI? and SET ASIDE. Accordingly, accused-appellants
accused-appellants learned that complainant
wanted her daughter back after five (5) long VICENTE TY and CARMEN TY are hereby
Q: Then, what happened next, madam witness? A: Because the guardian are (sic) not willing to
years of apparent wanton neglect, they tried ACQUITTED of the crime charged and are
surrender the child to the PAO's Office (sic), ordered to be released immediately unless they
their best to help herein complainant find the A: I was the one who went to the address to be
that is why I asked their help, sir. 16 are being detained for other lawful causes.
child as the latter was no longer under the sure that the child was really there, mam.
clinic's care. Accused-appellant Dr. Ty did not Costs de oficio.
...
have the address of Arabella's guardians but as Q: And did you see the child?
SO ORDERED.
soon as she obtained it from Dr. Fe Mallonga Q: Now, when you informed the present
A: Yes, mam.
who was already working abroad, she custodian that the natural mother is now
personally went to the guardians' residence Q: What did you do with the child? claiming the child, why were you not able to get
and informed them that herein complainant the minor?
wanted her daughter back. Dr. Ty testified as A: I just tell (sic) the child, "Ay ang laki mo na
follows: pala," I just told the child like that and I've (sic) A: I was not able to get the minor so I asked the
talked also to the guardian during that time, help of the NBI to have the child surrender (sic),
mam. mam.