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<p>February 2013 Philippine Supreme Court Decisions on Criminal Law andProcedure1.REVISED PENAL CODEConspiracy; joint purpose and design. Conspiracy may be deduced from the mode, method, and manner in which the offense was perpetrated; orinferred from the acts of the accused when those acts point to a joint purpose and design, concerted action, and community of interests.Proof of a previous agreement and decision to commit the crime is not essential, but the fact that the malefactors acted in unison pursuant to the same objective suffices. In this case, the prosecution decisively established a community of criminal design among Alvarico, Reyes, and appellant Pondivida. While there is no evidence of any previous agreement among the assailants to commit the crime, their concerted acts before, during and after the incident establish a joint purpose and intent to kill. As attested to by accused-appellant, they all went to the intended victims house bearing firearms. Accused-appellant himself knocked on the door. After failing to locate Udoy and Bagsik, and discovering that Gener was the latters brother, they then engaged in a lengthy conversation, as they circled around a nearby well outside the house.Accused even admitted to shouting the name Bagsik over and over.They all asked Gener to step outside and speak withthem. Upon his refusal, appellant Pondivida, together with Alvarico, entered the house through an upstairs window. Alvarico fired at George who was at the stairs. Reyes, from his vantage point at the front door, also shot at George.After fleeing the scene, appellant Pondivida admitted that he met with Alvarico in Novaliches. Alvarico gave him money, and the latter thereafter boarded a bus headed to Olongapo City. Their acts together were indicative of a common purpose, which was murder.People of the Philippines v. John Alvin Pondivida,G.R. No. 188969, February 27, 2013.Conspiracy; elements. Conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an agreement concerning the commission of a felony and decide to commit the felony. Proof of the actual agreement to commit the crime need not be direct because conspiracy may be implied or inferred from their acts. Here, accused PO2 Valdez cannot avoid criminal responsibility for the fatal shooting by co-accused Edwin of Ferdinand and Joselito. Both accused were convincingly shown to have acted in concert to achieve a common purpose of assaulting their unarmed victims with their guns. Their acting in concert was manifest not only from their going together to the betting station on board a single motorcycle, but also from their joint attack that PO2 Valdez commenced by firing successive shots at Moises and immediately followed by Edwins shooting of Ferdinand and Joselito one after the other. It was also significant that they fled together on board the same motorcycle as soon as they had achieved their common purpose. To be a conspirator, one did not have to participate in every detail of the execution; neither did he have to know the exact part performed by his co-conspirator in the execution of the criminal acts. Accordingly, the existence of the conspiracy between PO2 Valdez and Edwin was properly inferred and proved through their acts that were indicative of their common purpose and community of interest.People of the Philippines v. PO2 Eduardo ValdezandEdwin Valdez,G.R. No. 175602,February 13, 2013.Murder; elements. To hold the accused liable for murder, the prosecution must prove that: (1) a person was killed; (2) the accused killed him; (3) the killing was attended by any of the qualifying circumstances mentioned in Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code; and (4) the killing is neither parricide nor infanticide. All elements were established beyond reasonable doubt by the prosecution in the present case. First, it is undisputed that Emmanuel died from a gunshot wound sustained on October 10, 2005. Second, Jaymart was positively identified by eyewitness Edwin as the one who shot and killed Emmanuel. Although Jaymart attempts to attack Edwins credibility, it was not lost upon the Supreme Court that the lower courts gave full faith and credence to Edwins testimony. Third, the killing of Emmanuel was attended by treachery. There is treachery when the attack against an unarmed victim is so sudden that he had clearly no inkling of what the assailant was about to do. In this case, Emmanuel was sitting down before a table, busily writing, when Jaymart came up behind him and, without warning, shot him at the back of the head. Evidently, Emmanuel, who was unarmed and unaware, had no opportunity at all to defend himself. And finally, the killing of Emmanuel constitutes neither parricide nor infanticide. All told, the prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt that Jaymart was responsible for the murder of Emmanuel.People of the Philippines v. Mark Joseph R. Zapuiz,G.R. No. 199713,February 20, 2013.Estafa; syndicated estafa; elements. The elements of syndicated estafa are: (a) estafa or other forms of swindling as defined in Article 315 and 316 of the Revised Penal Code is committed; (b) the estafa or swindling is committed by a syndicate of five or more persons; and (c) defraudation results in the misappropriation of moneys contributed by stockholders, or members of rural banks, cooperatives, samahang nayon(s), or farmers associations or of funds solicited by corporations/associations from the general public. In other words, only those who formed and manage associations that receive contributions from the general public who misappropriated the contributions can commit syndicated estafa. Gilbert Guy, et al, however, are not in any way related either by employment or ownership to Asia United Bank (AUB). They are outsiders who, by their cunning moves were able to defraud an association, which is the AUB. They had not been managers or owners of AUB who used the bank to defraud the public depositors. The present petition involves an estafa case filed by a commercialbank as the offended party against the accused who, as clients, defrauded the bank. Therefore, the Supreme Court ruled that the accused should only be charged for simple estafa.Rafael H. Galvez and Katherine L. Guy v. Asia United Bank/Asia United Bank v. Gilbert, et al./Gilbert Guy, et al v. Asia Untied Bank,G.R. Nos. 187919/G.R. No. 187979/G.R. No. 188030, February 20, 2013.Homicide; intent to kill. The intent to kill, as an essential element of homicide at whatever stage, may be before or simultaneous with the infliction of injuries. The evidence to prove intent to kill may consist of,inter alia,the means used; the nature, location and number of wounds sustained by the victim; and the conduct of the malefactors before, at the time of, or immediately after the killing of the victim. Accuseds intent to kill was simultaneous with the infliction of injuries. Using a gun, he shot the victim in the chest. Despite a bloodied right upper torso, the latter still managed to run towards his house to ask for help. Nonetheless, accused continued to shoot at the victim three more times, albeit unsuccessfully. These belie the absence of petitioners intent to kill the victim.Edmundo Escamilla y Jugo v. People of the Philippines,G.R. No. 188551, February 27, 2013.Rape; elements of statutory rape; carnal knowledge of a female without her consent is the essence of statutory rape. The elements of statutory rape are that: (a) the victim is a female under 12 years or is demented; and (b) the offender has carnal knowledge of the victim. Considering that the essence of statutory rape is carnal knowledge of a female without her consent, neither the use of force, threat or intimidation on the female, nor the females deprivation of reason or being otherwise unconscious, nor the employment on the female of fraudulent machinations or grave abuse of authority is necessary to commit statutory rape.People of the Philippinesv.Tomas Teodoro y Angeles,G.R. No. 175876,February 20, 2013Rape; elements of statutory rape; full penile penetration of the females genitalia is not required. Full penile penetration of the females genitalia is not likewise required, because carnal knowledge is simply the act of a man having sexual bodily connections with a woman. The Supreme Court here declared that the findings of the lower courts on the commission of the two counts of statutory rape by Teodoro were well founded. AAAs recollections given in court when she was only eight years old disclosed an unbroken and consistent narration of her ordeals at his hands. She revealed details that no child of her very tender age could have invented or concocted. The only rational and natural conclusion to be made by any objective arbiter is to accord the fullest credence to her.People of the Philippinesv.Tomas Teodoro y Angeles,G.R. No. 175876,February 20, 2013Self-defense; elements. To successfully claim self-defense, the accused must satisfactorily prove the concurrence of the elements of self-defense. Under Article 11 of the Revised Penal Code, any person who acts in defense of his person or rights does not incur any criminal liability provided that the following circumstances concur: (1) unlawful aggression; (2) reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel it; and (3) lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person defending himself.The most important among all the elements is unlawful aggression. There can be no self-defense, whether complete or incomplete, unless the victim had committed unlawful aggression against the person who resorted to self-defense.Simon A. Flores v. People of the Philippines,G.R. No. 181354, February 27, 2013.Self-defense; elements; burden of evidence is shifted to the accused. Generally, the burden lies upon the prosecution to prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt rather than upon the accused that he was in fact innocent. If the accused, however, admits killing the victim, but pleads self-defense,the burden of evidence is shifted to him to prove such defense by clear, satisfactory and convincing evidence that excludes any vestige of criminal aggression on his part. In this case, Flores does not dispute that he perpetrated the killing of Jesus by shooting him with an M16 armalite rifle. To justify his shooting of Jesus, he invoked self-defense. By interposing self-defense, Flores, in effect, admits the authorship of the crime. Thus, it was incumbent upon him to prove that the killing was legally justified under the circumstances.Simon A. Flores v. People of the Philippines,G.R. No. 181354, February 27, 2013.Self-Defense; elements; number of gunshot wounds on victim negative unlawful aggression. In this case, Flores failed to discharge his burden. The Supreme Court agreed with the Sandiganbayans assessment of the credibility of witnesses and the probative value of evidence on record. As noted by the Sandiganbayan, the defense evidence, both testimonial and documentary, were crowded with flaws which raised serious doubt as to its credibility. Furthermore, granting for the sake of argument that unlawful aggression was initially staged by Jesus, the same ceased to exist when Jesus was first shot on the shoulder and fell to the ground. At that point, the perceived threat to Flores life was no longer attendant. The latter had no reason to pump more bullets on Jesus abdomen and buttocks. Indeed, the nature and number of the gunshot wounds inflicted upon Jesus further negate the claim of self-defense by the accused. Records show that Jesus suffered four (4) gunshot wounds in the different parts of his body. According to Dr. Ruben Escueta, who performed the autopsy on the victim, the latter died of massive intra-abdominal hemorrhage due to laceration of the liver. If there was any truth to Flores claim that he merely acted in self-defense, his first shot on Jesus shoulder, which already caused the latter to fall on the ground, would have been sufficient to repel the attack allegedly initiated by the latter. But Flores continued shooting Jesus. Considering the number of gunshot wounds sustained by the victim, the Supreme Court found it difficult to believe that Flores acted to defend himself to preserve his own life.Simon A. Flores v. People of the Philippines,G.R. No. 181354, February 27, 2013.2. SPECIAL PENAL LAWSAlibi; physical impossibility must be proved. For Jaymarts alibi to prosper, he must prove that not only was he somewhere else when Emmanuel was killed, but also that it was physically impossible for him to have been at the scene of the crime. Physical impossibility refers to the distance between the place where the appellant was when the rime transpired and the place where it was committed, as well as the facility of access between the two places. Where there is the least chance for the accused to be present at the crime scene, the defense of alibi must fail. Although Jaymart claimed that he was in Divisoria from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on October 10, 2005, Jaymart himself admitted that it would only take a five-minute tricycle ride to get from Divisoria to Parola, where Emmanuel was shot.People of the Philippines v. Mark Joseph R. Zapuiz,G.R. No. 199713,February 20, 2013.Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act; offenses under section 3(e) of R.A. 3019. Braza challenges the sufficiency of the allegations in the second information because there is no indication of any actual and quantifiable injury suffered by the government. He then argues that the facts under the second information are inadequate to support a valid indictment for violation of section 3(e) of R.A. 3019. In a catena of cases, the Supreme Court (SC) has held that there are two (2) ways by which a public official violates section 3(e) of R.A. 3019 in the performance of his functions, namely: (1) by causing undue injury to any party, including the Government; or (2) by giving any private party any unwarranted benefit, advantage or preference.The accused may be charged under either mode or under both. The disjunctive term or connotes that either act qualifies as a violation of section 3(e) of R.A. 3019.In other words, the presence of one would suffice for conviction. It must be emphasized that Braza was indicted for violation of section 3(e) of R.A. 3019 under the second mode. To be found guilty under the second mode,it suffices that the accused has given unjustified favor or benefit to another, in the exercise of his official,administrative and judicial functions. The element of damage is not required for violation of section 3(e) under the second mode.In the case at bench, the second information alleged, in substance, that accused public officers and employees, discharging official or administrative function, together with Braza, confederated and conspired to give FABMIK Construction and Equipment Supply Company, Inc. unwarranted benefit or preference by awarding to it Contract J.D. No. 06H00050 through manifest partiality or evident bad faith, wi...</p>