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389 Phil. 66


[ G.R. No. 115998, June 16, 2000 ]




Before us is a petition for review of the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR. No. 08553 dated June 16, 1994 affirming with modification the decision of the trial court dated July 18, 1989.

On August 7, 1978 an Information for homicide was filed before the then Circuit Criminal Court of Pasig which states as follows:

The undersigned Assistant City Fiscal of Quezon City accuses Luis Alina, Rodrigo Asuncion, Manuel Ramirez, Jun D. Ignacio and Ricardo Salvatierra of the crime of homicide, committed as follows:

That on or about the 2nd day of December 1977 in Quezon City, Philippines, the above named accused, conspiring together, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, with intent to kill and without justifiable cause, attack and assault Rolando Samonte y Magno, by then and there stabbing him with a knife on the chest right side and at the lumbar region, right anterior aspect, thereby inflicting upon him serious and mortal wounds, which were the direct and immediate cause of his death to the damage and prejudice of the heirs of the victim in such amount as may be awarded under the provision of existing laws.
Contrary to law.

Upon arraignment all the accused pleaded "not guilty".

The fact of death of the victim due to severe hemorrhage from stab wounds in his chest and abdomen is undisputed. The Necropsy Report[1] filed by the NBI states:
"Pallor, marked generalized wound, stab:

1)Spindle shaped, 3.5 cms. Oriented supero-medially, edges clean cut with contused supero-medial and sharp infero-lateral extremities, located at the chest, right side, anterior aspect level of the 5th rib, 10.0 cms. from the anterior median line, directed backward, upward and medially, involving the skin and underlying soft tissues, cutting the 5th coastal cartilage unto the thoracic cavity, perforating the lower lobe of the right lung, pericardium and right ventricle of the heart with an approximate depth of about 11.0 cms.
2)Spindle shaped, 3.0 cms. oriented infero-medially, edges clean cut with sharp infero-lateral extremities, located at the lumbar region, right, anterior aspect, 11.0 cms. from the anterior median line directed backward, upward and medially, involving the skin and underlying soft tissues, into the abdominal cavity, perforating the small intestine and partially cutting the abdominal aorta with an approximate depth of about 13.0 cms.
3)Hemathorax, right side, about 800 cc.
4)Hemopericardium about 250 cc.
5)Hemoperitonium about 1,000 cc.
6)Brain and other viceral organs pale
7)Stomach ½ filed with partly digested rice and other food materials.

The identities of all the accused are likewise not disputed. Two eye witnesses were presented by the prosecution pointing to Luis Alina as the one who actually stabbed the victim while the other accused did not do anything. Only Luis Alina presented evidence to support his denial of culpability and to show that it was the group of the victim who dragged him out of the jeep and hit him with a wooden club on the head. Alina declared that he went to the hospital for treatment and went home thereafter; he denied the accusation that he kicked and stabbed Rolando Samonte. Accused Asuncion, Ramirez and Salvatierra filed separate motions to dismiss/ demurrer to evidence for the alleged failure of the prosecution to show that they were in conspiracy with Alina in killing the victim. Alina also filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that the evidence for the prosecution pointing to him as the assailant is unworthy of credence. The trial court did not resolve the said motions and instead rendered judgment on May 22, 1989 finding all the accused guilty of the crime charged; the dispositive portion of the judgment states:
"Wherefore, and in the light of all the foregoing considerations, the Court hereby finds the accused Luis Alina, Manuel Ramirez, Jun Ignacio, Rodrigo Asuncion and Ricardo Salvatierra guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of homicide, as charged in this case. There being no mitigating or aggravating circumstance, and applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, hereby sentences each of them to suffer the penalty of 12 years and 1 day of reclusion temporal, as minimum, to 14 years, 8 months and 1 day of reclusion temporal as maximum, with the accessories of the law; to indemnify the heirs of the victim in the amount of P12,000.00, without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency; and to their proportionate share in the costs of this proceeding."[2]
Accused-appellants Alina, Asuncion and Salvatierra appealed from the decision of the trial court. The Court of Appeals noted that under Section 1 Rule 122 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure the accused Manuel Ramirez and Jun D. Ignacio who did not appeal from the decision of the trial court will not be affected by the judgment of the appellate court except insofar as it is favorable to them.[3] On June 16, 1994 the Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment of conviction of all the accused with modification as regards the penalty imposed as follows:
THE FOREGOING CONSIDERED, the appealed decision of the court a quo is hereby affirmed, but the penalty should be modified to 8 years and 1 day as the minimum of the indeterminate penalty, to not more than 14 years 8 months and 1 day , as the maximum, to indemnify the heirs of the deceased the amount of fifty thousand pesos, and finally with costs against the appellant.
Petitioners Ricardo Salvatierra, Rodrigo Asuncion and Manuel Ramirez, represented by the same counsel, filed this petition for review on the principal contention that conspiracy with Luis Alina to kill Rolando Samonte was not proven by the evidence for the prosecution. The two eyewitnesses who testified for the prosecution stated in court that it was Luis Alina who actually stabbed the victim while petitioner Salvatierra and co-defendant Jun D. Ignacio were inside the jeep and did not do anything, whereas petitioners Asuncion and Ramirez had previously fled to their respective homes which were a short distance away from the scene of the crime. Petitioners maintain that no evidence was presented by the prosecution to show unity of purpose among the accused to kill the victim and they should accordingly be acquitted of the crime charged. It is pointed out that as early as 1982 herein petitioners filed their separate motions to dismiss or demurrer to evidence on this ground but the trial court did not resolve them. Instead when they failed to attend the hearing on October 29, 1985 for the presentation of evidence for the defense, the trial court ordered them arrested for jumping bail and considered this as an indication of guilt. Thus, in the trial court's decision rendered in 1989 herein petitioners were held to have conspired to kill Rolando Samonte. Petitioners claim that flight may be taken as an indication of guilt if the disappearance of the accused is to evade prosecution which is not the case here. The bail bonds they posted contain a proviso that failure to attend trial or hearing will only be deemed to be a waiver of their right to be present thereat; thus their failure to attend hearing in 1985 should not have been construed by the trial court as evidence of guilt. Moreover, the petitioners' motions to dismiss/ demurrer to evidence were still pending at the time of their non-appearance for trial and the petitioners were of the honest belief that they need not attend trial nor present evidence in their behalf until after the said motions were resolved. On these two grounds the petitioners contend that both the trial court and the appellate court erred in their conclusions.

The Solicitor-General filed memorandum for the appellee praying for the affirmance of the decision of the appellate court. The appellee cites the findings of the trial court that the presence of the five accused at the different stages of the incident is sufficient to establish conspiracy to kill Rolando Samonte. The appellee quotes the findings of the trial court to wit:
"3. Evidence on record has shown, that the accused have conspired in the killing of the victim. Again, as shown by the record, when the victim and his companion Ramonito Guda alighted from a passenger jeepney coming from their work, they saw the accused Jun Ignacio, Ricardo Salvatierra and Rodrigo Asuncion together. When the victim and his companions, Ramonito Guda and the victim's brother, Miguel Samonte were inside the store of Aling Ester, accused Jun Ignacio and Ricardo Salvatierra arrived and after a brief telephone conversation these two left. Soon thereafter, Rodrigo Asuncion and Manuel Ramirez arrived and later challenged the victim to a fight, to which the victim acceded. A little later, the accused Jun Ignacio and Ricardo Salvatierra returned, this time accompanied by their co-accused Luis Alina and one Bong Morales. After the stabbing incident, accused Jun Ignacio, Ricardo Salvatierra and Rodrigo Asuncion were seen escaping on board the jeep owned and driven by their co-accused Luis Alina. The participation of all the accused at the different stages of the incident, when taken altogether, clearly indicates that they have a common object or purpose."[4]
The appellee argues that the presence and concerted acts of all the accused at the scene show their common purpose to kill the victim. Also the appellee asserts that the trial court properly declared the accused to have jumped bail and considered this circumstance as flight, and accordingly, evidence of guilt, for the reason that notwithstanding the posting of bail bonds the accused are still subject to the order of the court to appear for trial and failure to comply therewith was properly considered as a violation of the conditions of the bail bond.

The petition is impressed with merit.

Conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an agreement concerning the commission of a felony and decide to commit it.[5] There is conspiracy if at the time of the commission of the felony the defendants had the same criminal purpose and acted in unison towards the execution of their common criminal design. Once the conspiracy is proven the act of one becomes the act of all regardless of who actually rendered the fatal blow on the victim. A conspirator must however, perform an overt act in furtherance of the plan to commit a felony; mere presence at the scene of the incident, knowledge of the plan or acquiescence thereto are not sufficient grounds to hold a person liable as a conspirator.[6] As such conspiracy must be established as any element of the crime and evidence of the conspiracy must be beyond reasonable doubt.[7] In the case of People vs. Elijorde[8] this Court had occasion to explain the requisites for a defendant to be held liable as a conspirator:
"Conspiracy must be proved as indubitably as the crime itself through clear and convincing evidence, not merely by conjecture. To hold an accused guilty as a co-principal by reason of conspiracy, he must be shown to have performed an overt act in pursuance or furtherance of the complicity. Hence, conspiracy exists in a situation where at the time the malefactors were committing the crime their actions impliedly showed unity of purpose among them, a concerted effort to bring about the death of the victim. In a great majority of cases, complicity was established by proof of acts done in concert, i.e., acts which yield the reasonable inference that the doers thereof were acting with a common intent or design. Therefore, the task in every case is determining whether the particular acts established by the requisite quantum of proof do reasonably yield that inference."
The two eyewitnesses who testified for the prosecution, Romanito Guda and the Miguel Samonte, both stated in court that it was Luis Alina who actually stabbed and kicked the victim. Miguel Samonte tesified in court that the other accused-appellants Asuncion and Ramirez had fled to their houses prior to the stabbing incident while appellant Salvatierra and his companion June Ignacio did not do anything while Alina stabbed the victim. Witness Samonte's narration of the incident is as follows:
"Q:While you were in the store of Aling Ester on December 2, 1977, between 10:00 and 11:00 o'clock in the evening, do you recall of any unusual incident that happened?
A:Yes, there was.
Q:Can you tell the Court what was that unusual incident that happened?
A:When I was eating fish ball in front of the store of Aling Ester, I saw my brother who was with Ramonito Buda.
Q:And who is this Ramonito Buda?
A:He is a co-employee of my brother at the Affiliated . . .
Q:How long have you known Ramonito Buda?
A:Almost five years now.
Q:What happened at the time you saw your brother?
A:My brother invited me to have a refreshment and to drink beer.
Q:Did you drink beer?
A:Yes, inside the store of Aling Ester.
Q:While you were drinking, do you know what else happened?
A:Yes, the son of Aling Ester arrived by the name Jun Ignacio.
Q:Who was his companion at that time?
A:He was with Ricky Salvatierra, Sir.
x x x          x x x          x x x
Q:What did Jun Ignacio and Ricky Salvatierra do?
A:They ate in the store of Aling Ester.
Q:And while they were eating, what happened?
A:A telephone rang and Jun Ignacio answered the telephone.
Q:Did you hear what Jun Ignacio was saying over the telephone?
A:I heard that he was always answering "Yes".
Q:How far were you from Jun Ignacio when he was answering the telephone?
A:One step away.
Q:After talking over the telephone, what did Jun Ignacio and Ricky Salvatierra do?
A:After five minutes, after they have eaten, they left the store of Aling Ester.
Q:Do you know where they went?
A:I do not know, Sir.
Q:After they left, what did you and your brother and Ramonito Buda do?
A:We had a conversation regarding problems in the office.
Q:And what happened after that?
A:When we were conversing, two persons arrived.
Q:Who were those two persons?
A:Manuel Ramirez and Jun Ignacio arrived in the store of Aling Ester, no, excuse me, it was Rodrigo Asuncion.
x x x          x x x          x x x
Q:What did Rodrigo Asuncion and Manuel Ramirez do after arriving in the store of Aling Ester?
A:He talked to me and my brother.
Q:Who talked to you?
A:Manuel Ramirez and Rodrigo Asuncion.
Q:What did they say?
A:They asked me why is it that they are running after Rodrigo Asuncion.
Q:To whom did they say that?
A:To my brother and Ramonito Buda, Sir.
Q:And what was the reply of your brother and Ramonito Buda?
A:Ramonito Buda answered that they were not running after his brother-in-law.
Q:And what did Manuel Ramirez say, if any?
A:He was insisting that they were running after his brother-in-law.
Q:And what happened after that?
A:My brother answered him, "I am not running after him. He is guilty that is why he is running."
Q:Then what happened?
A:After that Manuel Ramirez suddenly challenged him to fight.
x x x          x x x          x x x
Q:And what happened?
A:My brother was forced to fight him outside the store of Aling Ester.
Q:Who fought with Manuel Ramirez?
A:My brother, Rolando Samonte, Sir.
Q:What happened to their fight?
A:When Manuel Ramirez was already losing the fight, he ran away together with Rodrigo Asuncion going towards their house.
Q:And where was the residence of these two persons?
A:At T. Pinpin Street, Sir, about three houses away from the store of Aling Ester.
Q:When Manuel Ramirez and Rodrigo Asuncion ran away, what did your brother do?
A:My brother did not chase him any more.
Q:Who was not chased?
A:Manuel Ramirez and Rodrigo Asuncion, Your Honor.
Q:And where did you go after Rodrigo Asuncion and Manuel Ramirez ran away?
A:They both returned bringing with them wooden clubs.
Q:Will you please describe those wooden clubs that the two Manuel Ramirez and Rodrigo Asuncion were carrying?
A:About three feet long and two inches in diameter.
Q:What did they do after they returned holding wooden clubs?
A:Manuel Ramirez approached my brother and Rodrigo Asuncion also attacked me with his piece of wood.
Q:When Manuel Ramirez approached Rolando Samonte, where was Ramonito Guda?
A:Ramonito Buda was trying to stop the advance of Manuel Ramirez
Q:What happened while Ramonito Guda was pacifying Manuel Ramirez and your brother, Rolando Samonte?
A:When Ramonito Guda was pacifying Manuel Ramirez, my brother was able to wrest the wooden club that Manuel Ramirez was holding.
Q:What did your brother do after he was able to wrest the wooden club from Manuel Ramirez?
A:He tried to take away from Rodrigo Asuncion his wooden club so that he will not hit me.
Q:After that, what did Manuel Ramirez do?
A:He went towards their house and also Rodrigo Asuncion my brother was chasing him so that he could drive him away from me.
Q:To what direction did they ran?
A:Towards their houses.
Q:What did your brother do when Rodrigo Asuncion and Manuel Ramirez ran away?
A:A jeep arrived.
Q:What kind of jeep was that?
A:It was a stainless jeep.
Q:What happened when that jeep arrived?
A:The driver wanted to run over my brother.
Q:Who was the driver of that jeep?
A:Luis Alina, Sir.
Q:If Luis Alina is inside this court room, can you please identify him?
A:Yes, Sir. (Witness pointing to a person who, when asked by the Court Interpreter about his name, answered that he is Luis Alina).
Q:Did he have any companion in the jeep?
Q:Who were his companions?
A:Jun Ignacio.
Q:Who else?
A:Ricky Salvatierra.
Q:And who else?
A:Bongbong Morales, Sir.
Q:Are these Jun Ignacio and Ricky Salvatierra the same persons you pointed to a while ago?
A:Yes, they are the same.
Q:How about Bongbong Morales, is he here now?
A:No, Sir.
Q:What happened when the driver of the jeep tried to run over your brother?
A:My brother raised both his hands and then put it on the roof of the jeep and then asked Luis Alina, "Why do you run over me?"
Q:To whom did he say that?
A:To the driver of the jeep, Luis Alina.
Q:Where was your brother in relation to the jeep?
A:My brother was immediately in front of the driver's seat.
Q:And what did Luis Alina say?
A:He answered, "What do you care?"
Q:And what did he do afterwards?
A:He took a knife from under his seat (panaksak).
Q:With what hand did he pull that knife out?
A:With his left hand, Sir.
Q:And what did he do?
A:Luis Alina stabbed my brother on the right side of his stomach.
Q:By whom?
A:By Alina, Your Honor.
Q:Where were you then?
A:I was in front of the jeep.
Q:How far were you from your brother then?
A:About two or three steps away from my brother.
Q:What was the position of the jeep at the time when Luis Alina stabbed your brother?
A:The jeep was stopped only.
Q:And Luis Alina was in the driver's seat?
A:Yes, Your Honor.
Q:And after your brother was stabbed by Luis Alina, what happened?
A:Alina also kicked my brother on the chest.
Q:And Alina did that kicking of your brother while he was still at the steering wheel of the jeep?
A:Yes, Your Honor.
Q:Are you sure that the jeep was an owner type and that it was made of stainless steel?
A:Yes, Your Honor.
Q:Was that jeep with a door at the driver's seat?
Q:With what leg did he kick your brother?
A:Left foot, Sir.
Q:And after kicking your brother, what did Alina do?
A:Alina alighted from the jeep after he kicked my brother.
Q:Was your brother hit?
A:Yes, Sir, on the chest.
Q:After Luis Alina got down the jeep, what did he do?
A:He continued stabbing my brother but my brother was able to parry the thrusts of Luis Alina.
Q:How many times did Luis Alina stab your brother?
A:Many times.
Q:What happened after that?
A:My brother was hit on the right chest.
Q:And what did Alina do after hitting your brother on the right chest?
A:I told my brother to go away but Luis Alina also tried to stab me.
Q:And what happened after that?
A:Luis Alina ran away towards T. Pinpin Street.
Q:What happened to your brother when he was hit on the chest?
A:My brother collapsed because he could not bear the pain of his wound.
Q:Where did he collapse?
A:He collapsed in front of me in the right side of the jeep.
Q:So it was only Luis Alina who stabbed the victim?
A:Yes, Your Honor.
Q:And at the time he was being stabbed, the others did not do anything?
A:None, Your Honor."[9]

Prosecution witness Ramonito Guda corroborated Miguel Samonte's testimony on material points. He stated that defendant Ramirez ran to his house, which was near the scene of the incident, after the deceased was able to grab the wooden club from him; witness Guda said he did not notice where Asuncion went after this. After Ramirez and Asuncion had fled defendant Alina arrived driving a jeep with defendants Salvatierra and Ignacio inside. Guda categorically stated in court that it was Alina who stabbed and kicked the victim. It will be seen from the testimony on cross-examination of witness Guda that the other four co-accused had no participation in the stabbing. He testified:
Q:What was the participation of Luis Alina?
A:He was the one who stabbed Rolando Samonte, Your Honor.
Q:How about Rodrigo Asuncion what was his participation?
A:He was together with Manuel Ramirez when there was a fight with Rolando Samonte.
Q:What about Rodrigo Asuncion, was he only an onlooker.
A:I did not notice, your Honor. I was looking at Rolando Samonte and Manuel Ramirez.
Q:But the fact remains that he did not give fist blows or stab blows to the victim?
A:He did not stab but they exchanged fist blows.
Q:How about Manuel Ramirez?
A:That is what I am telling, your honor.
Q:Who gave the fist blows, Manuel Ramirez or Rodrigo Asuncion?
A:Ramirez, your honor.
Q:So Asuncion was only an observer?
A:I cannot say because I did not notice that, your honor.
Q:As questioned by the court, he did not give any fist blows or stabbed the victim?
A:No, your honor.
x x x          x x x          x x x
Q:What is the participation of Jun Ignacio?
A:He was with the people inside the jeep, your honor.
Q:did he utter any word?
A:No, your honor.
x x x          x x x          x x x
Q:How about Ricardo Salvatierra?
A:He was not together with them, your honor.
Q:He did not utter any word?
A:None, your honor.
Q:He did not give any fist blows to the victim ?
A:None, your honor.
Q:He did not participate in the stabbing of the victim?
A:No, your honor.
x x x          x x x          x x x
Q:Do you mean to say that Ricardo Salvatierra and Jun Ignacio are not the companions of Luis Alina?
A:They were inside the jeep, your honor.[10]

To our mind, the strict requirement that conspiracy must be proved by evidence beyond reasonable doubt was not satisfied by the prosecution. Nowhere in the prosecution's evidence was it shown that the defendants acted in concert towards a common criminal purpose to kill Rolando Samonte. There is no evidence on record to show that the other four accused knew of Alina's intent to kill the victim nor that they were present at the scene intentionally to render physical or moral support to insure Alina's success in killing Rolando Samonte. The evidence shows that after Rolando Samonte prevailed upon Ramirez and Asuncion to surrender the wooden clubs the latter fled. They were no longer at the scene of the crime when Alina arrived nor when Alina stabbed Rolando. Ramirez' and Asuncion's complicity in the stabbing has no evidentiary basis. Assuming on the other hand that defendants Salvatierra and Ignacio, who arrived at the scene with Alina in his jeep, knew of Alina's plan to stab Rolando, there is no proof that they performed any overt act in furtherance of Alina's evil design. They simply stayed in the jeep, without uttering a word much less, assist Alina in stabbing the victim. Mere knowledge or acquiescence to a criminal scheme is not sufficient to make them liable as conspirators.[11] In the same vein the mere presence of Ramirez and Asuncion prior to the stabbing and that of Salvatierra and Ignacio during and after the incident at the scene of the crime by themselves cannot be taken as evidence of conspiracy absent any concrete evidence that they were intentionally present to insure the success of a common criminal design. It would appear that Alina needed no assistance from any of the other defendants as he was armed with a ten-inch hunting knife. Miguel Samonte's testimony that he saw defendants Salvatierra and Ignacio leave the scene of the crime together with Alina in the latter's jeep does not supply the missing link to show conspiracy as leaving the crime scene together with the accused who rendered the fatal blow on the victim is not evidence of conspiracy.[12] It only supports the prosecution's contention that Salvatierra and Ignacio knew of Alina's plan but it does not supply the requisite link of actual participation in furtherance of a common criminal design. Accordingly, We find that the trial and the appellate courts seriously erred in finding conspiracy among the defendants. Alina acted on his own and he alone should be held liable for the death of Rolando Samonte. The other four defendants must perforce be acquitted of the crime charged.

The above finding renders it unnecessary to resolve the issue of whether or not the four defendants, Ramirez, Asuncion, Ignacio and Salvatierra, may be considered to have jumped bail for their failure to attend trial and whether such failure to attend trial should be considered as flight and as evidence of guilt. We note however, that from the records of this case the said four defendants consistently attended the hearings of this case which began in 1978.[13] Seven years later or in 1985 when it was their turn to present evidence, they failed to attend trial in the honest belief that they need not present evidence on their behalf in view of the motion to dismiss/ demurrer to evidence which they filed before the trial court and at that time remained unresolved by the said court. We also note that the trial court in an order dated February 13, 1986 set aside the warrant of arrest of the accused Salvatierra for his failure to attend trial after due Manifestation by counsel that he should be deemed to have rested his case upon filing of the motion to dismiss and need not attend trial for presentation of evidence as he adopts the evidence for the prosecution.[14] The bail bonds of defendants Ramirez, Asuncion and Ignacio were ordered forfeited.[15]

Rule 122, section 11 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure states that an appeal taken by one or more of several accused shall not affect those who did not appeal except insofar as the judgment of the appellate court is favorable and applicable to the latter. In the case before us, accused Jun Ignacio and Manuel Ramirez, although they did not appeal from the decision of the trial court, are likewise acquitted of the crime charged for the reason that the findings of this Court with regard to the absence of conspiracy among the accused and that Alina acted on his own are similarly applicable to them. This Court affirms the finding of the appellate court that Alina is guilty of the crime charged. Alina, who did not appeal from the decision of the appellate court, is accordingly bound thereby.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the decision of the Court of Appeals finding accused Luis Alina GUILTY of the crime charged is AFFIRMED. The decision of the appellate court finding Rodrigo Asuncion, Ricardo Salvatierra, Jun D. Ignacio and Manuel Ramirez guilty of homicide is hereby REVERSED AND SET ASIDE, and said accused-appellants are hereby acquitted of the crime charged.


Melo, (Chairman), Panganiban, and Purisima, JJ., concur.

Vitug, J., abroad, on official business.

[1] Exh D, p. 275, OR.

[2] RTC Decision, p. 450 OR.

[3] Court of Appeals, Decision, p. 27, Rollo.

[4] RTC Decision, p. 5; OSG Memorandum, p. 10.

[5] Art. 8, Revised Penal Code.

[6] Aquino, The Revised Penal Code, vol. 1, 1997 ed., pp. 504-535.

[7] People vs. Cupino, G.R. No. 125688, April 3, 2000, and the cases cited therein.

[8] 306 SCRA 188, at pp. 193-194.

[9] Miguel Samonte, tsn., October 22, 1979, pp. 17-55.

[10] Guda, tsn., April 23, 1979, pp. 113-116; 120-123.

[11] Aquino, Revised Penal Code, supra.

[12] People vs. De Jesus, 118 SCRA 616

[13] Notice of appearance, April 23, 1979, p. 98, OR, et seq.

[14] p. 373 OR.

[15] RTC Order, April 8, 1986, p. 381 OR. However, the trial court later allowed defendant Alina, whose bail bond was confiscated for failure to attend promulgation of judgment, and Ignacio to post another bail bond. It appears that defendant Asuncion's bail bond was reinstated as he was not included in the order of arrest issued by the trial court after promulgation of judgment, p. 451, OR. Defendant Ramirez later voluntarily submitted himself to the jurisdiction of the appellate court.

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