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387 Phil. 937


[ G.R. No. 122142, May 17, 2000 ]




This is an appeal from the decision[1] of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 12, Manila, finding accused-appellant Jimmy Obrero y Corla guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of robbery with homicide and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua with all the accessory penalties, and to indemnify the heirs of the victims Nena Berjuega and Remedios Hitta in the amount of P50,000.00 each and to pay the sum of P4,000.00 representing the amount of money stolen.

The information alleged --
That on or about August 11, 1989, in the City of Manila, Philippines, the said accused conspiring and confederating with one, whose true name, identity and present whereabouts are still unknown and mutually helping one another, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously with intent of gain and by means of force, violence and intimidation, to wit: the said accused take, rob and carry away the amount of P4,000.00 cash belonging to Antonio Cabrera against his will, to the damage and prejudice of said owner in the aforesaid amount of P4,000.00 Philippine Currency; that on the occasion thereof and by reason of the aforesaid robbery, the said accused willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, with intent to kill, attacked, assaulted and used personal violence upon the person of NENA BERJUEGA and REMEDIOS HITTA, by stabbing them to death, thereby inflicting upon the said victims mortal stab wounds which were the direct and immediate cause of their death thereafter.

Contrary to law.
Only accused-appellant had been apprehended. His co-accused Ronnie Liwanag has been at large. When arraigned, accused-appellant pleaded not guilty, whereupon, trial ensued.

The prosecution presented three witnesses, namely, Pat. Benjamin Ines, Dr. Marcial G. Cenido, and Atty. Bienvenido De los Reyes. Pat. Ines of the Western Police District investigated the robbery with homicide. The gist of his testimony is to the following effect:

Accused-appellant was a delivery boy employed by Angie Cabosas whose business was selling chickens to customers. Cabosas’s business was located in Blumentritt Street, Sta. Cruz, Manila. CODES

In the morning of August 11, 1989, accused-appellant was asked to deliver dressed chickens to Emma Cabrera, a regular customer at Room 4-D Gatlin Building, 1344 C.M. Recto Avenue in Sta. Cruz, Manila. At about 10:20 a.m., accused-appellant came back and turned over to his employer the amount of P2,000.00. Pat. Ines testified that after receiving report of the killing, he and Pfc. Ricardo Sibal went to see Angie Cabosas from which they learned that the latter has received a call from Emma Cabrera informing Angie that her house had been robbed and her two maids killed. They were told that accused-appellant had gone to Pangasinan allegedly to attend the burial of his grandfather. Pat. Ines said he and P/Lt. Villamor Valdez, Pfc. Sibal, Pfc. Edmundo Cabal and Pat. Renato Gutierrez went to Rosales, Pangasinan but failed to find accused-appellant. They were told by the sister of accused-appellant, Merly Asuncion, that accused-appellant had gone to La Union. According to Pat. Ines, accused-appellant confided to his sister that he had allegedly done something wrong in Manila.

Pat. Ines identified two sworn statements, both executed on August 11, 1989, one of which, he said, had been executed by Helen N. Moral, a househelp of Emma Cabrera, and the other by Angie C. De los Reyes. In her statement marked Exhibit I, Moral said that upon arriving in the house at about 12:20 p.m. that day, she and her employer’s nephew, Carlos Emerson, found the bodies of the victims sprawled on the floor. She told Pat. Ines that accused-appellant used to deliver pork and dressed chicken to their place.

On the other hand, in her sworn statement given on August 14, 1989 and marked as Exhibit L, Anita C. De los Reyes stated that on August 11, 1989, she had seen accused-appellant and Ronnie Liwanag, their hands covered with blood, coming out of the Gatlin Building on C.M. Recto Avenue, Sta. Cruz, Manila.[2]

Pat. Ines testified that on March 3, 1990, he and his group received information from Pat. Alfredo Que of the Urdaneta Police Station that accused-appellant was in Cataban, Urdaneta, Pangasinan. Accordingly, they went to the place indicated and the next day, March 4, 1990, they were able to apprehend accused-appellant whom they brought to Manila. Pat. Ines said accused-appellant was positively identified by Anita De los Reyes as one of those whom she saw running down the stairs of the Gatlin Building on C.M. Recto Avenue, Sta. Cruz, Manila with blood in his hands.[3]

Pat. Ines testified that on that same day, March 4, 1990, accused-appellant gave a confession (Exh. O) in writing with the assistance of counsel, Atty. Bienvenido De los Reyes, in which he admitted participation in the killing of Nena Berjuega and Remedios Hitta. Pat. Ines himself executed an affidavit (Exh. P) stating the circumstances of accused-appellant’s arrest. He said accused-appellant refused to sign the booking and information sheet.[4]

Accused-appellant’s extrajudicial confession was presented in evidence as Exhibit O.[5] In it, accused-appellant said he started working for Angie Cabosas in the latter’s business on Blumentritt Street, Manila three or four months before the incident. Cabosas and accused-appellant’s sister Merly Asuncion, had been neighbors in Rosales, Pangasinan. Accused-appellant’s work was to deliver dressed chicken. Emma Cabrera was a regular customer to whom he made deliveries in the morning. On August 10, 1989, his fellow employee, Ronnie Liwanag, proposed that they rob Emma in order to be able to go to La Union to visit his family. On August 11, 1989, after learning that only two helpers were then at the residence of Emma Cabrera, accused-appellant and Ronnie decided to pull the heist. Ronnie covered the mouth of one Nena Berjuega to prevent her from shouting but, as she tried to run away, Ronnie stabbed and killed her. Ronnie then gave the knife to accused-appellant who stabbed the younger maid Remedios Hitta from which she died. Thereafter, the two proceeded to Blumentritt Street and divided the money Ronnie had taken from the house of Emma Cabrera. From Blumentritt Street, Ronnie went to La Union, while accused-appellant proceeded to Pangasinan. The extrajudicial confession is in Tagalog and signed by accused-appellant in the presence of Atty. De los Reyes.

The prosecution next presented Atty. Bienvenido De los Reyes, a PC Captain of the WPD Headquarters, U.N. Avenue, Manila. He said that on March 4, 1990, he happened to be at Station 7 of the WPD, representing a client accused of illegal recruitment. He was asked by Lt. Generoso Javier of the WPD Homicide Section to assist accused-executing an extrajudicial confession. According to Atty. De los Reyes, he apprised accused-appellant of his constitutional rights, explaining to him that any statement made by him could be used against him in court, but accused-appellant said he was willing to give a statement as in fact he did, confessing to the commission of the crime of robbery with homicide.[6]

The other prosecution witness was Dr. Marcial G. Cenido, medico-legal officer who conducted autopsies on August 11, 1989 on the victims, Nena Berjuega and Remedios Hitta. After proper identification (Exh. D) by the victim’s employer, Antonio Cabrera, Dr. Cenido prepared a postmortem report (Exh. A) that Nena Berjuega suffered 16 stab wounds from which she died. olanski

Dr. Cenido testified that the victim sustained 16 stab wounds which affected her vital organs, specifically the right and left lungs and the heart, causing her death. Six of these wounds were fatal so that she could not survive despite immediate medical attention. He concluded that the assailant and the victim could be facing each other when wounds nos. 1, 3 and 5 (Exhs. B-1, B-2, and B-4, respectively) were inflicted and that the assailant may have been on the left lateral side of the victim when he inflicted wound no. 8 (Exh. B-5) and at the victim’s back when assailant inflicted wound no. 16 (Exh. B-6). He said that there could be one or more assailant who inflicted these wounds by using a single bladed weapon.[7]

Dr. Cenido likewise prepared a postmortem report (Exh. F) that Remedios Hitta suffered 12 stab wounds from which she died.

Dr. Cenido testified that the victim sustained 12 stab wounds with seven fatal ones that caused her death. The fatal wounds damaged her left and right lungs and the heart that she would not survive despite immediate medical attention. He observed that in wounds nos. 1, 2 and 3 (Exhs. G-1, G-2, and G-3, respectively), the assailant and the victim could be facing each other, while in wounds nos. 4, 9 and 11 (Exhs. G-4, G-6, and G-7, respectively), the assailant could have been at the back of the victim. He said that there could be one or more assailant who inflicted these wounds using a single bladed weapon.[8]

Dr. Cenido prepared the certificates of death of the victims, Nena Berjuega and Remedios Hitta (Exhs. C and H). He stated that the weapon used on both victims could have been the same and that both victims sustained multiple stab wounds.[9]

With the testimonies of Pat. Ines, Atty. De los Reyes, and Dr. Cenido and the extrajudicial confession (Exh. O), as well as the sworn statements of Helen Moral (Exh. I) and Anita De los Reyes (Exh. L), the prosecution rested its case.

The defense presented, as its sole witness, accused-appellant Jimmy Obrero y Corla. Accused-appellant testified that he had worked for Angie Cabosas in Blumentritt Street for four (4) months before the incident in this case. Angie was a neighbor of his sister, Merly Asuncion, in Pangasinan. Angie’s business was selling dressed chickens. Accused-appellant said that at about 9:00 a.m. on August 11, 1989, he delivered dressed chickens to Emma Cabrera’s residence on C.M. Recto Avenue. He came back from his errand at around 10:20 a.m. and remitted the amount of P2,000.00 which had been paid to him. He denied participation in the commission of the crime and claimed that he was arrested without a warrant in Pangasinan. He claimed that, after being informed of the charges against him, he was beaten up and detained for a week and made to execute an extrajudicial confession. He denied having known or seen Atty. De los Reyes before and stated that he did not understand the contents of the extrajudicial confession which he signed because he does not know how to read.[10]

On August 31, 1995, the trial court rendered its decision, the dispositive portion of which reads:
WHEREFORE, this Court finds accused JIMMY OBRERO Y CORLA, guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Robbery with Homicide, defined and punishable under Article 294(a) of the Revised Penal Code, and he is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua, with all the accessory penalties provided by law. He is further condemned to pay the heirs of the victims, Remedios Hitta and Nena Berjuega the sum of FIFTY THOUSAND (P50,000.00) PESOS each as civil indemnity for their death and the additional sum of P4,000.00 as the amount of money taken, without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency.

His immediate transfer to the National Bilibid Prisons, Muntinlupa is hereby ordered.

Hence, this instant appeal. Accused-appellant assails the validity of this extrajudicial confession which forms the basis of his conviction for the crime of robbery with homicide. He claims that Atty. De los Reyes, who assisted him in executing his confession, was not the counsel of his own choice. That was the reason, he said, he refused to sign the booking and information sheet. He said he signed the extrajudicial confession five times as a sign that it was involuntarily executed by him.
Art. III, §12 of the Constitution provides in pertinent parts:

(1) Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to be informed of his right to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel, preferably of his own choice. If the person cannot afford the services of counsel, he must be provided with one. These rights cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence of counsel.

(2) No torture, force, violence, threat, intimidation or any other means which vitiate the free will shall be used against him. Secret detention places, solitary, incommunicado, or other similar forms of detention are prohibited.

(3) Any confession or admission obtained in violation of this or Section 17 shall be inadmissible in evidence against him.
There are two kinds of involuntary or coerced confessions treated in this constitutional provision: (1) those which are the product of third degree methods such as torture, force, violence, threat, intimidation, which are dealt with in paragraph 2 of §12, and (2) those which are given without the benefit of Miranda warnings, which are the subject of paragraph 1 of the same §12.

Accused-appellant claims that his confession was obtained by force and threat. Aside from this bare assertion, he has shown no proof of the use of force and violence on him. He did not seek medical treatment nor even a physical examination. His allegation that the fact that he was made to sign the confession five times is proof that he refused to sign it.

To begin with, what accused-appellant claims he was made to sign five times is not the same confession (Exh. O) but different parts thereof. He signed his name on page 1 to acknowledge that he had been given the Miranda warnings. (Exh. O-3) Then, he signed again as proof that after being given the Miranda warnings he agreed to give a statement. (Exh. O-6) Next, he signed again his name at the end of page 2 to authenticate that page as part of his confession. (Exh. O-7) Fourth, he signed the third page at the end of his confession. (Exh. O-10) Fifth, he signed his name again on the third page in which the jurat appears. (unmarked, [p. 3] of Exh. O)

We discern no sign that the confession was involuntarily executed from the fact that it was signed by accused-appellant five times.

Nor can it be inferred that the confession was involuntarily executed from the fact that accused-appellant refused to sign the booking and information sheet. For if he were simply forced to execute the extrajudicial confession and sign it for five times, there is no reason the police was not able to make him sign the said sheet as well. The inference rather was that no force was used to make accused-appellant execute the confession, otherwise, he could also have been forced to sign the booking and information sheet.

Extrajudicial confessions are presumed voluntary, and, in the absence of conclusive evidence showing the declarant’s consent in executing the same has been vitiated, such confession will be sustained.

Moreover, the confession contains details that only the perpetrator of the crime could have given. No one except accused-appellant could have stated that it was he who killed the younger maid of Emma Cabrera (Remedios Hitta), that he committed the crime together with his townmate, Ronnie Liwanag, and that he used the same weapon given to him by Ronnie after the latter had stabbed and killed the other helper (Nena Berjuega), details which are consistent with the medico-legal findings that the wounds sustained by the two victims were possibly caused by one and the same bladed weapon. It has been held that voluntariness of a confession may be inferred from its being replete with details which could possibly be supplied only by the accused, reflecting spontaneity and coherence which cannot be said of a mind on which violence and torture have been applied.[11] When the details narrated in an extrajudicial confession are such that they could not have been concocted by one who did not take part in the acts narrated, where the claim of maltreatment in the extraction of the confession is unsubstantiated and where abundant evidence exists showing that the statement was voluntarily executed, the confession is admissible against the declarant. There is greater reason for finding a confession to be voluntary where it is corroborated by evidence aliunde which dovetails with the essential facts contained in such confession.[12]

But what renders the confession of accused-appellant inadmissible is the fact that accused-appellant was not given the Miranda warnings effectively. Under the Constitution, an uncounseled statement, such as it is called in the United States from which Art. III, §12(1) was derived, is presumed to be psychologically coerced. Swept into an unfamiliar environment and surrounded by intimidating figures typical of the atmosphere of police interrogation, the suspect really needs the guiding hand of counsel.

Now, under the first paragraph of this provision, it is required that the suspect in custodial interrogation must be given the following warnings: (1) He must be informed of his right to remain silent; (2) he must be warned that anything he says can and will be used against him; and (3) he must be told that he has a right to counsel, and that if he is indigent, a lawyer will be appointed to represent him.[13]

In the case at bar, the prosecution presented Pat. Ines and Atty. De los Reyes to establish that the above-enumerated requisites were fully satisfied when accused-appellant executed his extrajudicial confession. Pat. Benjamin Ines testified:[14]
QWhat happened during the investigation of the accused?
AHe consented to give a written statement to me, sir.
QNow, when accused Jimmy Obrero consented to give statement, Patrolman, was he assisted by counsel?
AYes, sir, we provided him with a lawyer.
QAnd who was that lawyer that was provided by you?
AAtty. Bienvenido De los Reyes, sir.
QAnd who personally took down the statement of the accused?
AI was the one who personally took the statement of accused Obrero.
QDo you know what was the gist of that statement that was given to you, what was it all about?
AIt’s all about the admission of Jimmy Obrero, the gruesome slaying of two househelps.
QBefore having taken down the admission of Jimmy Obrero, what investigative steps did you undertake relative to his constitutional right, patrolman?
AI informed Jimmy Obrero of his constitutional right to remain silent, to have an attorney; that everything that he will say will be used for or against him. He, however, consented to proceed with the written statement.
QNow, Patrolman, did you indicate his constitutional rights that you stated in this written statement of Jimmy Obrero?
AYes, sir, I put it on the statement which he voluntarily gave.
QAnd will you please tell us which part of the statement of Jimmy Obrero is it indicated, the consent which he gave after having pointed out to him his constitutional right?
AThis portion sir, this "sagot-opo" and then it was further affirmed by his signature over his typewritten name, sir.
For his part, Atty. De los Reyes testified:[15]
Q:Were you able to confront the suspect at that time, herein accused?
A:Yes, sir, I told him for the purpose of investigation -- custodial investigation I can render my services to him and afterwards avail the services of another lawyer and I told him his rights under the law, sir.
Q:What was the reply of Jimmy Obrero, the accused, in this case at that time you confronted Jimmy Obrero?
A:He is willing at that time and [voluntarily] gave his affirmation that he wanted to secure my services, sir.
QAfter having manifested that he will retain your services as counsel for the investigation, Atty. De los Reyes, what happened next?
A.I told him the rights under the Constitution, the right to remain silent, the right to secure lawyer, the right not to give statement, the right not to be placed in any identification procedure in a police line up, and I told him that all the evidences he might give will be utilized against him in the court with respect to the case -- and despite of that, he said he wanted to give his statement to the police in my presence.
QWas he able to give statement to the police?
AYes, sir. I was there inside the room with the client and observing fairly [when he] gave statement voluntarily.
QWas that statement taken down into writing?
AIn a question and answer form, sir.

Indeed, the waiver signed by accused-appellant reads:

Ikaw, JIMMY OBRERO y CORLA, ay aking isasailalim sa pagsisiyasat sa salang Pagnanakaw na may kasamang Pagpatay, nais kong ipaalam sa iyo ang iyong mga karapatan ayon sa ating Binagong Saligang Batas:

1. Karapatan mo ang manahimik at huwag sagutin ang mga itatanong ko sa iyo;

2. Karapatan mo ang kumuha ng isang abogado na iyong sariling pili na maaaring makatulong sa iyo sa imbistigasyon na ito at kung hindi ka makakakuha ng iyong abogado ay bibigyan ka namin ng isa na walang bayad para makatulong sa iyo; Esm

3. Karapatan mo rin na malaman na ang lahat ng iyong sasabihin dito sa iyong salaysay ay maaaring gamiting katibayan o ebidensya laban o pabor sa iyo o sa kanino mang tao sa alinmang hukuman dito sa Pilipinas.

Ngayon na naipaalam ko na sa iyo ang iyong mga karapatan, nais mo pa bang magbigay ng iyong malaya at kusang loob na salaysay?

SAGOT : (ni Jimmy Obrero y Corla)Opo.

TANONG: Kung ganoon ay sabihin mo ulit ang iyong pangalan at lagdaan mo ito sa ibabaw ng iyong pangalan na ipipirma o imamakinilya ko?

There was thus only a perfunctory reading of the Miranda rights to accused-appellant without any effort to find out from him whether he wanted to have counsel and, if so, whether he had his own counsel or he wanted the police to appoint one for him. This kind of giving of warnings, in several decisions[16] of this Court, has been found to be merely ceremonial and inadequate to transmit meaningful information to the suspect. Especially in this case, care should have been scrupulously observed by the police investigator that accused-appellant was specifically asked these questions considering that he only finished the fourth grade of the elementary school. Indeed, as stated in People v. Januario:[17]
Ideally, therefore, a lawyer engaged for an individual facing custodial investigation (if the latter could not afford one) should be engaged by the accused (himself), or by the latter’s relative or person authorized by him to engage an attorney or by the court, upon proper petition of the accused or person authorized by the accused to file such petition. Lawyers engaged by the police, whatever testimonials are given as proof of their probity and supposed independence, are generally suspect, as in many areas, the relationship between lawyers and law enforcement authorities can be symbiotic.[18]
Moreover, Art. III, §12(1) requires that counsel assisting suspects in custodial interrogations be competent and independent. Here, accused-appellant was assisted by Atty. De los Reyes, who, though presumably competent, cannot be considered an "independent counsel" as contemplated by the law for the reason that he was station commander of the WPD at the time he assisted accused-appellant. On this point, he testified as follows:
QNow, whenever there is a crime committed wherein the member of police to which you belong or working but could not solve the crime and then you were designated as counsel to extend legal assistance to a suspect who is under a custodial investigation and in that conference with the suspect you may have inquired confidential information, what would you do, will you keep it to yourself or you must have to divulge that to your co-policeman because you know that?
AIf I am the lawyer, then all the testimonies and declaration is my preferential right, I can divulge it even to my fellow officer.
QNow, by the way, do you have authority to practice the law profession, did you get approval or permit from the civil --
APreviously, when I was at the JAGO, we are authorized verbally [as long as] it will not hamper our time, we will not work our time during the police duty, ma’am.
QAccording to you, you were extending legal assistance to your client who was charged of illegal recruitment, do you not consider that conflict of duty because no less than your organization was the one investigating that?
AI am extending my legal assistance to the client I am handling the case because if it is true that he committed the crime then I will back out, if I found suspicion and there is no proof at all, I go to the litigation.
That is all, Your Honor.[19]

The trial court, agreeing with him, ruled:
As shown in Exhibit "O", accused consented to giving his extrajudicial confession after he was informed of rights under custodial investigation, by affixing his signature thereto (Exhibit "O-3"). And absent any showing that the assisting lawyer, though a station commander but of another police station, was remiss in his duty as a lawyer, this Court holds that the proceedings were regularly conducted. In fact, he testified that he first asked the accused if he is accepting his legal services (TSN, March 5, 1991, p. 4); that he informed the accused of his Miranda rights and despite the warning, he decided to give his confession just the same; that he was at all time present when the accused was being interrogated with the accused giving his answers voluntarily (Ibid, p. 4); that he read to the accused the questions and answers before he signed his extrajudicial confession (Ibid, p. 8). Clearly shown was the fact that Atty. De los Reyes was equal to his duties as a lawyer than a member of the police force, when he lend his assistance to the accused during his in-custody interrogation.[20]
This is error. As observed in People v. Bandula,[21] the independent counsel required by Art. III, §12(1) cannot be a special counsel, public or private prosecutor, municipal attorney, or counsel of the police whose interest is admittedly adverse to the accused. In this case, Atty. De los Reyes, as PC Captain and Station Commander of the WPD, was part of the police force who could not be expected to have effectively and scrupulously assisted accused-appellant in the investigation, his claim to the contrary notwithstanding. To allow such a happenstance would render illusory the protection given to the suspect during custodial investigation.[22]

For these reasons, we hold that accused-appellant’s extrajudicial confession is inadmissible in evidence.

Without the extrajudicial confession, the conviction of accused-appellant cannot stand. The prosecution tried to introduce circumstantial evidence of accused-appellant’s guilt consisting of the sworn statements (Exhs. I and L) of Helen Moral, the househelp who said accused-appellant used to deliver dressed chickens to the Cabrera residence, and Anita de los Reyes who said that on March 11, 1989 she was passing in front of the Gatlin Building where the killing took place when she saw accused-appellant running down the stairs with blood in his hands. These statements are likewise inadmissible for being hearsay. Consequently, there is no identification of accused-appellant.

And while there is evidence of homicide consisting of the corpus delicti, there is no evidence of the robbery except the confession (Exh. O) of accused-appellant which, as already stated, is inadmissible. It does not matter that accused-appellant failed to object to the introduction of these constitutionally proscribed evidence. The lack of objection did not satisfy the heavy burden of proof which rested on the prosecution. We cannot thus affirm the conviction of accused-appellant because of the procedural irregularities committed during custodial investigation and the trial of the case. It may be that by this decision a guilty person is set free because the prosecution stumbled, but we are committed to the principle that it is far better to acquit several guilty persons than to convict one single innocent person.

WHEREFORE, the decision in Criminal Case No. 90-82187 of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 12, Manila, convicting accused-appellant Jimmy Obrero y Corla of the crime of robbery with homicide is REVERSED and accused-appellant is hereby ACQUITTED on the ground of reasonable doubt.

The Director of Prisons is hereby directed to forthwith cause the release of accused-appellant unless the latter is being lawfully held for another cause and to inform the Court accordingly within ten (10) days from notice.


Bellosillo, (Chairman), Quisumbing, and Buena, JJ., concur.

De Leon, Jr., J., on leave.

[1] Per Judge Rosmari D. Carandang.
[2] TSN (Pat. Benjamin Ines), pp. 2-4, Feb. 6, 1991; pp. 1-4, Feb. 26, 1991.
[3] Id., pp. 5-6, Feb. 26, 1991.
[4] Id., pp. 7-10.
[5] RTC Records, pp. 179-181.
[6] TSN (Atty. Bienvenido De los Reyes), pp. 2-10, March 5, 1991.
[7] TSN, pp. 2-6, Aug. 29, 1990.
[8] Id., pp. 7-9.
[9] Id., pp. 10-12.
[10] TSN, pp. 2-5, Dec. 8, 1993; pp. 3-22, March 2, 1994.
[11] People v. Villanueva, 266 SCRA 356 (1997)
[12] People v. Elizaga, 23 SCRA 449 (1968)
[13] People v. Duero, 104 SCRA 379 (1981); Cf. People v. Caguioa, 95 SCRA 2 (1980); People v. Nicandro, 141 SCRA 289 (1986)
[14] TSN, pp. 6-7, Feb. 26, 1991.
[15] TSN, pp. 3-4, March 5, 1991.
[16] People v. Santos, 283 SCRA 443 (1997); People v. Binamira, 277 SCRA 232 (1997); People v. Basay, 219 SCRA 404 (1993)
[17] 267 SCRA 608, 632 (1997)
[18] Citing People v. Deniega, 251 SCRA 626, 638 (1995)
[19] TSN (Atty. Bienvenido delos Reyes), p. 9, March 5, 1991 (emphasis added)
[20] Rollo, p. 21.
[21] 232 SCRA 566 (1994)
[22] People v. Matos-Viduya, 189 SCRA 403 (1990)

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