138814-1978-People_v._Damaso

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  EN BANC [G.R. No. L-30116. November 20, 1978.]THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINESTHE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,  plaintiff-appellee  , vs.vs.  FAUSTOFAUSTODAMASO, VICTORIANO EUGENIO, alias TURING, ESTANISLAODAMASO, VICTORIANO EUGENIO, alias TURING, ESTANISLAOGREGORIO alias ISLAO, LORENZO ALVIAR alias ORING ANDGREGORIO alias ISLAO, LORENZO ALVIAR alias ORING ANDBONIFACIO ESPEJO alias MARCIA, BONIFACIO ESPEJO alias MARCIA, defendants, FAUSTO DAMASO,FAUSTO DAMASO,LORENZO ALVIAR, BONIFACIO ESPEJO AND VICTORIANO EUGENIOLORENZO ALVIAR, BONIFACIO ESPEJO AND VICTORIANO EUGENIO, defendants-appellants  .[G.R. No. L-30117. November 20, 1978.]THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINESTHE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,  plaintiff-appellee  , vs vs  . LORENZO. LORENZOALVIAR alias ORINGALVIAR alias ORING, defendant-appellant  . Carlos, Valdez, Ibarra & Caunan Law Offices   for appellants. Solicitor General Felix Q  .  Antonio, Acting Assistant Solicitor General Dominador L .  Quiroz  and Solicitor Concepcion T .  Agapinan   for appellees.D E C I S I O ND E C I S I O NPER CURIAMPER CURIAM p :The penalty of death imposed on Fausto Damaso, Victoriano Eugenio, Lorenzo Alviar andBonifacio Espejo by the Court of First Instance of Tarlac in its Criminal Case No. 2253 for robbery with double homicide is now before this Court on automatic review together witha related case No. 2293 for illegal possession of firearm and ammunition involving onlythe accused, Lorenzo Alviar. cdtech The Information in Criminal Case No. 2253 charged the accused therein of robbery withdouble homicide alleged to have been committed as follows: That on or about the 21st day of November, 1959, at nighttime, in theMunicipality of Victoria, Province of Tarlac, Philippines, and within the jurisdictionof this Honorable Court, the above named accused, four of whom are armed witha scythe and firearms, namely: Fausto Damaso with a rifle, springfield Cal. 30,Victoriano Eugenio with a paltik Cal. 12 ga., Estanislao Gregorio with a scythe,and Lorenzo Alviar with a paltik Cal. 22, confederating, conspiring, helping andaiding one another, by means of force, violence, threats and intimidation upon thepersons of Donata Rebolledo, Victoriano de la Cruz and Susana Sabado, did thenand there, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, with intent to gain, take, steal andcarry away with them the following:PROPERTY OF DONATA REBOLLEDO:  One jacket valued at P25.00   One necklace valued at 50.00 CD Technologies Asia, Inc. 2016cdasiaonline.com    One earring valued at 25.00   One ring valued at 15.00   One hat valued at 5.00   Three scythes valued at 3.60   A document valued at 2.30   ————   Total P125.90 PROPERTY OF VICTORIANO DE LA CRUZ  Cash money in the amount of P15.00 PROPERTY OF SUSANA SABADO:  Cash money in the amount of 15.00   Ten bottles of liquor Bicolana;   Six bottles of Caña Rum;   One dozen Ligo Sardines;   One dozen Eatwell Sardines;   Six packages of Golden Star cigarettes;   three packages of cigarettes (Inyog);   and four packages of cigarettes   (La Ventaja) with a total value of P21.02Total P36.00   ————Grand Total P176.92 to the damage and prejudice of the said owners in the respective amounts ofP125.90, P15.00 and P36.02, Philippine currency; that the said accused, on theoccasion of the commission of the crime abovementioned, held and broughtCatalina Sabado and Susana Sabado, daughters of the said Donata Rebolledo, toa sugarcane field which is a secluded and uninhabited place, at Barrio Bangar,Victoria, Tarlac, and once there and after tying together the respective forearms ofthe said Catalina Sabado and Susana Sabado, in pursuance of their concertedconspiracy, by means of force and grave abuse of superior strength, the saidaccused did then and there, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, stab the saidCatalina Sabado and Susana Sabado on different parts of their body and cuttheir necks with a sharp pointed instrument (scythe), as a result of which the latterdied instantly. That in the commission of the crime abovementioned, there concurred theaggravating circumstances of (1) abuse of superior strength, (2) nighttime, (3)uninhabited place, (4) by a band, (5) treachery, and (6) disregard of sex. (pp. 116- CD Technologies Asia, Inc. 2016cdasiaonline.com  117, rollo  ). In Criminal Case No. 2293 Lorenzo Alviar was also charged of illegal possession of firearmand ammunition, viz  : That on or about November 24, 1959, in the Municipality of Victoria, Province ofTarlac, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the abovenamed accused, without authority of law, did then and there, willfully, unlawfullyand feloniously have in his possession and under his control a firearm, to wit; apaltik revolver caliber 22 with eight (8) rounds of ammunition, without firstobtaining the corresponding license or permit to keep and possess the same. (pp.117-118, ibid  .) The two cases were jointly heard by the trial court. In a joint decision rendered onDecember 10, 1968, by then Presiding Judge, Hon. Arturo B. Santos, all the accused werefound guilty as charged. In Criminal Case No. 2253 (robbery with double homicide) theaccused Fausto Damaso, Lorenzo Alviar, Bonifacio Espejo and Victoriano Eugenio wereeach sentenced to suffer the penalty of death, to indemnify the legal heirs of the victims,Catalina Sabado and Susana Sabado, jointly and severally in the amount of P12,000.00 foreach of the victims, plus the sum of P15.00 which was the money taken by the accused,and to pay the costs, share and share alike. One of the accused, Estanislao Gregorio, wasno longer included in the sentence because he died on April 6, 1967 while the cases werestill undergoing trial.In Criminal Case No. 2293, accused Lorenzo Alviar was sentenced to three yearsimprisonment and to pay the costs. 11 The evidence of the prosecution as found by the trial court establish the followingincidents: 22 Donata Rebolledo and her son-in-law, Victoriano de la Cruz were residents of BarrioBangar, municipality of Victoria, province of Tarlac. At about 9 o'clock in the evening ofNovember 21, 1959, Donata and Victoriano heard the barkings of dogs outside theirhouse. Shortly, two men armed with guns, entered, pointed their weapons at them, tied upthe hands of Victoriano, covered him with a blanket and asked Donata for the whereaboutsof her daughter Catalina Sabado. Stricken by fear, Donata kept silent and blocked the doorleading to her daughter's room but was promptly pushed aside. Donata was then orderedto open an aparador from which the two men took valuables like jewelry, clothing,documents, and cutting instruments. All the while, Donata and Victoriano could hear themovements and voices of some three to four other persons beneath the house. The twomen brought Catalina Sabado down from the house and then asked where they could findSusana Sabado, Donata's other daughter who was then in her store located about fivemeters away in the same house. Thereafter, Donata heard the men opening the door toSusana's store. After several minutes, feeling that the intruders had left, Donata untied thehands of Victoriano and asked him to go to the store to see if her daughters were there.When the two women could not be found, Donata sent Victoriano to the barrio lieutenant toreport the incident. Accordingly, Victoriano went to the barrio lieutenant and the two laterwent to town to inform the police of the occurrence. LibLex On the same night, Chief of Police Pedro Valdez with the aid of several policemen and ahandful of civilians went out in search for the Sabado sisters. It was only the followingmorning when the two women were found already dead with wounds in several parts oftheir bodies. They were found in a sugar plantation belonging to one Ignacio Fabros, CD Technologies Asia, Inc. 2016cdasiaonline.com  located about one hundred meters from Donata Rebolledo's house.Dr. Carlos Briones, Municipal Health Officer of Victoria performed the autopsy on the twobodies and reported that the deaths were caused by profuse hemorrhage due to a fatal,big, wide, gaping and deep lacerated wound just above the Adam's apple. He also testifiedin court that the death weapon must have been a sharp instrument with a pointed tip, like ascythe.A few days after the incident, Donata Rebolledo singled out the accused Fausto Damasofrom a police line-up as one of the men who went up to her house on that evening. She andVictoriano had recognized Damaso because of the light coming from a kerosene lampplaced on a small table near the aparador. Damaso, however, initially denied ever havingbeen to Donata's house that night. Later, the PC rounded up four other suspects in thepersons of co-accused Gregorio, Eugenio, Alviar and Espejo.As further evidence, the prosecution presented separate extrajudicial statements, sworn tobefore Municipal Judge Conrado de Gracia of Paniqui, Tarlac, wherein all the five accusedadmitted having participated in the crime.In his sworn statement marked as Exhibit J , Fausto Damaso stated that he was with hisco-accused Gregorio, Eugenio, Alviar and Espejo on the night the Sabado sisters werekilled; that he never went into the house of Donata Rebolledo as Eugenio and Gregoriowere the ones who did; that it was Gregorio and Eugenio who actually did the killing whilehe, Alviar and Espejo merely stood by; that the victims were stabbed and their throats cutwith a reaping knife (pangapas or lait); that the killing was motivated by the failure of theolder woman (Catalina) to pay for a carabao bought from Gregorio; and that on thatevening, Gregorio, Eugenio, Alviar and Espejo were carrying caliber .45 pistols while he wasunarmed.In a subsequent statement marked as Exhibit P , Damaso reiterated his claim that it wasGregorio who actually stabbed and cut the throats of the victims in the presence of all theaccused; that Catalina was killed ahead of Susana; that Gregorio killed Susana as she wasbeing held by Eugenio; and that while still in the house, they were able to get P15 fromSusana's store. Contrary to what he confessed in his previous sworn statements, headmitted that it was he and Eugenio who went up to Donata Rebolledo's house and notEugenio and Gregorio. He also changed his theory as to the motive for the killings,declaring this time that the two women were killed because the latter had alreadyrecognized them. He further stated that on that night, he was armed with a caliber .22(paltik) revolver, Eugenio with a 12-gauge paltik, Gregorio with two reaping knives (lait),Lorenzo with a long firearm and Espejo with two stones. In this sworn statement, Exhibit O , Victoriano Eugenio likewise admitted that he was aparty to the commission of the offense; that it was Gregorio who conceived of the plot tocommit the crime; that it was also Gregorio who killed the two women with a reaping knife;that after Catalina was killed he held Susana by the arms as Gregorio stabbed her and cuther throat; that Alviar, Damaso and Lorenzo were also with them that night; that he did notknow what motivated Gregorio to kill the victims; that he had no previous agreement withhis co-accused to kill the two women; that he and Damaso were the ones who enteredDonata's house, took P15 from the aparador, brought down Catalina and also got Susanafrom another portion of the house; that he was then armed with a 12 gauge paltik, Damasowith a caliber .22 paltik revolver, Alviar with a Springfield caliber .30 rifle, Gregorio with a CD Technologies Asia, Inc. 2016cdasiaonline.com
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