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633 Phil. 468


[ G.R. No. 188105, April 23, 2010 ]




The Case

This is an appeal[1] by accused-appellants Juanito Miñon y Rodriguez and Asuncion Mercado y Marciano seeking their acquittal by a reversal of the November 27, 2008 Decision[2] of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. CR-H.C. No. 002212 which affirmed with modification their earlier conviction by the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 34 in Calamba, Laguna, of the crime of Kidnapping as defined and penalized under Art. 267 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, in Criminal Case No. 6073-98-C.

The Facts

Criminal Case No. 6073-98-C of the court of origin traces its formal beginning in an Information[3] charging accused-appellants Juanito Miñon y Rodriguez (Juanito) and Asuncion Mercado y Marciano (Asuncion) together with Monico De Chavez y Perlas (Monico) and Joselito Lanip y Genebraldo (Joselito) with the crime of Kidnapping for Ransom as defined and penalized under Art. 267 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC), as amended, which reads as follows:

That on or about August 14, 1998 at the Christian School International at U.P. Los Banos, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named Accused, conspiring, confederating and mutually helping one another and grouping themselves together, did then and there, by force and intimidation, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously take, carry away and deprive PAOLO EARVIN ALONZO y CLAUD of his liberty against his will for the purpose of extorting ransom and in fact a demand for ransom was made as a condition for his release in the amount of FOUR MILLION PESOS [P4,000,000] to the damage and prejudice of PAOLO EARVIN ALONZO y CLAUD in such amount and such other amounts as may be awarded to him under the provisions of the New Civil Code.


Upon arraignment on October 5, 1998, Juanito, Asuncion, Monico and Joselito, assisted by their respective counsels, uniformly entered a plea of "Not Guilty." After the termination of the pre-trial conference on October 19, 1998, trial ensued.

Version of the Prosecution

To bolster its case against the four accused, the prosecution presented the testimonies of: (1) Paolo Earvin C. Alonzo (Paolo), the victim of the kidnapping; (2) Corazon Marquez Alonzo (Corazon), the grandmother of Paolo; (3) Dominador Alonzo (Dominador), the grandfather of Paolo; (4) Chief Inspector Asprinio Cabula (Chf. Insp. Cabula) of the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF); and (4) Daisy Janope, an employee of Smart Telephone Co.

Paolo testified that on August 14, 1998 at around 3 p.m., he was at his school (Christian School International) in Los Baños when he was called to the door of his classroom where Asuncion, claiming to be someone from Zamboanga, told him that his grandfather had met an accident and wanted to talk to him. Paolo voluntarily went with the woman who brought him to a Ford Fiera where he saw three men, two of whom were Monico and Juanito. From Los Baños, they proceeded to the Jamboree site towards Calamba, then passed through the South Expressway and took the Calamba exit. Afterwards they stopped at a vacant lot where Monico bound him hand and foot and threatened him not to move; he was likewise blindfolded. He was placed at the front between the driver and another man. After several hours of travel, he was brought inside a house. He was able to talk to his grandmother, Corazon, three times telling her what his captors told him to say. He was held captive for 11 days until he was rescued at dawn on August 25, 1998.

Corazon testified that one of Paolo's captors called her in the evening of August 14, 1998 informing her that they have Paolo in custody. The next day, the man demanded a ransom of PhP 4M for Paolo. From August 15, 1998 until Paolo's rescue, the man called her house about a dozen times. At around 4 a.m. on August 25, 1998, they were informed by one Col. Gamban that Paolo has been rescued and that they should proceed to Camp Crame. At Camp Crame at around 6:30 a.m., in the office of then PAOCTF Chief Gen. Lacson, they saw Paolo and the kidnappers. She recognized Monico, who is the husband of her niece, Julie Marquez de Chavez. She talked to Monico who answered that they [Alonzo's] are the only ones who could help him as he was heavily indebted in the amount of PhP 800,000.

Dominador corroborated the testimony of Corazon, adding that Paolo was rescued in Nasugbu, Batangas; that previously, when asked by the police, he denied knowing a person named Myrna Mendoza of the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) since the cellphone used in calling their house was in her name. But when asked if he knows Monico, he told the police that Monico is the husband of his wife's niece who used to work for LLDA. He was also shown a cartographic sketch of a person he failed to identify. Finally, on November 11, 1998, while he was in his office at the Forest Products Research and Development Institute, Rex de Chavez, the eldest son of Monico, and Julie Marquez de Chavez came to see him and handed him a letter, and Rex asked for forgiveness on behalf of his father.

Chf. Insp. Cabula testified as to what happened from August 14, 1998 onwards on how the PAOCTF coordinated with the Los Baños police; meeting the grandparents of Paolo and how the team conducted surveillance activities; on how they tailed Joselito to a small house at 114 Brias St., Brgy. 2, Nasugbu, Batangas where they rescued Paolo at dawn on August 25, 1998; and the arrest of Monico and Joselito.

Upon cross-examination, however, Chf. Insp. Cabula was caught with glaring inconsistencies in his testimony and was shown not have been in the places where he claimed to be during the alleged surveillance of Joselito and Monico and the eventual rescue of Paolo.

Finally, Daisy Janope, employee of Smart Telephone Co., testified that cellphone No. 0918-863-4179 is registered in the name of Myrna T. Mendoza and that in the billing statement for the period covering August 4 to September 3, 1998, it was used several times in calling telephone No. (049)-536-3351 with the calls originating from Batangas. The telephone No. (049)-536-3351 is that of the house of Dominador and Corazon Alonzo, grandparents of Paolo.

Version of the Defense

For its part, the defense presented the testimonies of 13 individuals, i.e., the four accused and that of Priscilla B. Cuevas, Danilo de Mesa Valencia, Sonny Atole, Marcelo Villegas, Gloria Penales, Benedicto Alborida, Apolinario Mamiit, Elmer Villanueva and Atty. Conrado Manicad, the counsel of Monico and Joselito.

Both Asuncion and Juanito, corroborating each other, attested that they have been misled and intimidated into committing the crime by Monico, who they similarly pointed to as the mastermind of the kidnapping; and that they were merely prevailed upon and compelled to follow Monico under pain of death.

To rebut and discredit the alleged surveillance conducted by the PAOCTF operatives on August 22, 1998, when Monico and Joselito allegedly went to the house at 114 Brias St., Brgy. 2, Nasugbu, Batangas from Brgy. Putho, Tuntungin, Los Baños, Laguna, the defense presented the testimonies of Priscilla B. Cuevas, Danilo de Mesa Valencia, Sonny Atole and Gloria Penales.

Priscilla B. Cuevas, Records Officer of the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) testified on the certification that, as per their records, there are no franchises granted on the route Calamba-Nasugbu as of March 7, 2000.

Danilo de Mesa Valencia attested that he was together with Joselito and Monico in the afternoon of August 22, 1998 when they attended a meeting of the Samahang Pantubig in Purok 3 of Brgy. Putho, Tuntungin, Los Baños, Laguna. Sonny Atole testified playing cards with Monico at the store of Gloria Penales the whole day of August 22, 1998 except the period when Monico went with Joselito and Danilo de Mesa for the meeting. Gloria Penales, storekeeper, corroborated Sonny Atole, that Monico was playing with Sonny Atole in her store practically the whole day of August 22, 1998.

The defense also presented Marcelo Villegas, the Barangay Chairman of Barangay III, Nasugbu, Batangas, who testified being awakened at around 2 a.m. on August 25, 1998 by operatives of the PAOCTF to witness the rescue operation. The officers who talked to him were one Capt. Dandan and one Col. Aquino. He attested that Chf. Insp. Cabula was not one of the officers who conducted the rescue operation and that during the ocular inspection conducted by the trial court on May 17, 1999, he was about two meters from Chf. Insp. Cabula but the latter could not identify him as the barangay chairman.

Joselito testified on how he was arrested at around 9 p.m. of August 24, 1998. Benedicto Alborida averred that in the evening of August 24, 1998, he was with Joselito in a birthday celebration. Apolinario Mamiit corroborated Joselito and Benedicto Alborida as it was his child's birthday celebration in the evening of August 24, 1998 that the latter attended.

Monico for his part merely testified that after his arrest, he met Paolo about eight times.

Defense counsel Atty. Conrado Manicad testified that it was impossible for Chf. Insp. Cabula to tail Joselito from the latter's residence to the residence of Monico using 16 men, eight cars and four motorcycles for the width of the alley they have to traverse can only accommodate one person at a time. This was corroborated by Elmer Villanueva, a pre-school teacher of Brgy. Tuntungin, Los Baños, Laguna.

The RTC Conviction

On May 7, 2001, RTC rendered a Decision[5] convicting Monico, Asuncion and Juanito while acquitting Joselito, the fallo reads:

ACCORDINGLY, this Court finds accused MONICO DECHAVEZ y PERLAS, JUANITO MIÑON y RODRIGUEZ and ASUNCION MERCADO y MARCIANO GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Kidnapping as defined and penalized under Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, and hereby sentences each one of them to suffer the penalty of DEATH.

For failure of the prosecution to prove the guilt of the accused JOSELITO LANIP y GENEBRALDO beyond reasonable doubt, said accused is hereby ordered ACQUITTED.

The Provincial Jail Warden of the Province of Laguna is hereby directed to release from detention accused Joselito Lanip y Genebraldo unless detained for some other valid cause.

With costs against the convicted accused.


The RTC noted that Monico merely used alibi for August 22, 1998 but could not and did not account for his whereabouts on August 14, 1998 when the kidnapping was committed. Besides, he did not explain his virtual confession, in the morning of August 25, 1998, to his auntie-in-law, Corazon.

On the theory of exempting or justifying circumstance raised by Juanito and Asuncion, i.e., they acted under the impulse of an uncontrollable fear of an equal or greater injury or they caused damage to another in order to avoid an evil or injury, the RTC viewed it with incredulity considering the many inconsistencies in their respective testimonies. However, the fiasco of the testimony of Chf. Insp. Cabula, destroyed the case against Joselito, which the RTC acquitted.

Pursuant to the above RTC decision of conviction, Monico, Asuncion and Juanito, who were in custody in Laguna, were committed for confinement to the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City and to the Correctional Institute for Women in Mandaluyong.[7]

The case was elevated to this court for automatic review, docketed as G.R. No. 150387. The three accused filed their respective briefs.[8] However, in conformity with People v. Mateo,[9] we transferred this case to the CA on March 7, 2006,[10] for appropriate action and disposition.

Affirmance of Conviction by the CA

As stated at the threshold hereof, the CA, in the herein assailed September 15, 2005 Decision,[11] affirmed the judgment of conviction of the trial court but lowered the penalty to reclusion perpetua pursuant to RA 9346, thus:

WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing premises, the instant appeal is hereby DENIED and, consequently, DISMISSED. The assailed decision dated May 7, 2001, is hereby AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION. Monico De Chavez y Perlas, Juanito Miñon y Rodriguez and Asuncion Mercado y Marciano shall suffer the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua, taking into consideration the enactment of Republic Act 9346, instead of death.


The CA found that all the elements of kidnapping under Art. 267 of RPC were duly proven beyond reasonable doubt. The categorical testimony of Paolo was the lynchpin in the prosecution's case, and his positive identification of Monico, Asuncion and Juanito damning to the defense. Likewise, it ruled that the demand for ransom was duly proven. Besides, as to Asuncion and Juanito, it ratiocinated that aside from their bare testimonies no other evidence was presented to prove or corroborate them, more so when their bare assertions ran counter to the categorical and credible testimony of Paolo.

Aggrieved, Juanito and Asuncion filed their respective Notices of Appeal[13] while Monico filed a Motion for Extension of Time[14] of 30 days to file a motion for reconsideration. The CA, per a February 6, 2009 Resolution[15] gave due course to the appeals filed by Juanito and Asuncion while it denied Monico's motion.

The Issues

Aggrieved, Juanito and Asuncion are now with this Court via the present appeal, substantially raising the same assignment of errors raised in G.R. No. 150387, which were duly considered and passed upon by the appellate court.

In his appellant's brief,[16] filed in G.R. No. 150387, Juanito raises the following assignment of errors:

The trial court erred in finding insofar as accused-appellant Juanito Miñon that the alleged Kidnapping was made for the purpose of extorting ransom

The trial court erred in finding that accused-appellant Juanito Miñon conspired with accused Monico de Chavez in kidnapping Paolo Earvin Alonzo

The trial court erred in not finding that accused-appellant Juanito Miñon is entitled to the exempting circumstances of compulsion of an uncontrollable fear of an equal or greater injury (Article 12, paragraph 6 of the Revised Penal Code)

The trial court erred in not finding that accused-appellant Juanito Miñon was entitled to the justifying circumstance of state of necessity (Article 11, paragraph 4, Revised Penal Code).

While in her appellant's brief,[17] likewise filed in G.R. No. 150387, Asuncion raises the following assignment of errors:

The Court a quo erred when it did not consider that appellant Mercado did not conspire with the other appellants in this case.

The Court a quo erred when it did not consider that accused Mercado could not escape from the other appellants during the incident in question because she would be definitely killed if she did so until she was arrested by the military officers concerned while she was with appellant Miñon and the victim on August 25, 1998 and, therefore, her acts thereon were justified.

The Court a quo erred when it did not acquit appellant Asuncion Mercado in this case.

In Juanito and Asuncion's supplemental brief,[18] they raise the additional assignment of error that: the CA gravely erred in finding that accused-appellants Miñon and Mercado conspired with de Chavez in the commission of the crime charged.[19]

The undisputed facts show that Paolo was indeed kidnapped and held for ransom. The trial court and the appellate court a quo unanimously found beyond reasonable doubt that Monico, Asuncion and Juanito committed the crime of kidnapping for ransom. In fact, in the instant appeal, Asuncion and Juanito do not dispute the commission of the crime. What they are however raising is the application of an exempting or justifying circumstance in their favor.

Thus, the assignment of errors raised by appellants Juanito and Asuncion can be summarized into two issues: first, whether they conspired with Monico in the perpetration of the crime; and, second, whether an exempting or justifying circumstance is present and applicable in their favor.

The People of the Philippines represented by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) chose not to file any supplemental brief confining its position and arguments in the earlier filed Brief for the Appellee.[20]

The Court's Ruling

The appeal is unmeritorious.

A close scrutiny of the records of the case and the clear and unanimous findings of the courts' a quo compel this Court to affirm accused-appellants conviction.

First Core Issue: Conspiracy Proven

Accused-appellants strongly argue that they never conspired with Monico in the kidnapping of Paolo. They maintain that even if present during the kidnapping incident, they were simply compelled by Monico, under threat of physical harm to follow the latter's orders. They argue that fact that their testimonies were uncorroborated should not be taken against them for the case of the prosecution must stand on the weight of its own evidence and not in the weakness of their defense. Besides, they contend that the testimony of Paolo does not run counter to the exempting or justifying circumstance in their favor as Paolo's testimony merely affirmed their presence in the commission of the crime.

We are not persuaded.

Prefatorily, we reiterate the rule that the findings of the trial court on the credibility of witnesses are entitled to great respect, because trial courts have the advantage of observing the demeanor of the witnesses as they testify. This is more true if such findings were affirmed by the appellate

court. When the trial court's findings have been affirmed by the appellate court, said findings are generally binding upon this Court.[21] Both the trial court and the appellate court found the testimonies of the victim, Paolo, his grandparents, Dominador and Corazon, to be categorical and credible. The defense did not sufficiently rebut their testimonies.

There is conspiracy when two or more persons come to an agreement concerning the commission of a crime and decide to commit it.[22] Conspiracy requires the same degree of proof required to establish the crime--proof beyond reasonable doubt;[23] as mere presence at the scene of the crime at the time of its commission without proof of cooperation or agreement to cooperate is not enough to constitute one a party to a conspiracy.[24]

In the case at bar, the ascertained facts of the kidnapping and the proven demand for ransom of PhP 4M established beyond reasonable doubt the commission of the crime of kidnapping for ransom. Monico's guilt has been proven beyond reasonable doubt. As co-accused and co-conspirators of Monico, Asuncion and Juanito are equally guilty, for in a conspiracy, every act of one of the conspirators in furtherance of a common design or purpose of such a conspiracy is the act of all.[25]

In the instant appeal, Juanito and Asuncion do not question the fact of the commission of the crime of kidnapping for ransom as they merely raise the issue of lack of conspiracy and an exempting or justifying circumstance in their favor to exonerate them from criminal liability.

It must be recalled that Paolo testified on the circumstances of his kidnapping. He was lured into going with Asuncion by the ruse that his grandfather, Dominador, met an accident and wanted to talk to him. In fact, Paolo's science teacher, Ms. Tess Izon, allowed him to talk to Asuncion. When he boarded the waiting vehicle, he saw three other men, two of whom he identified as Monico and Juanito.[26]

Thus, it is established that upon his kidnapping, Monico, Juanito and Asuncion were there. When Paolo's hands and feet were tied by Monico, Juanito was the one who blindfolded him.[27]

Evidently, Juanito and Asuncion acted in concert with Monico on a common plan to kidnap Paolo and hold him for ransom. Asuncion lured Paolo to accompany her. Juanito blindfolded Paolo when they were transporting him to Nasugbu, Batangas. Moreover, for 11 days, Juanito and Asuncion guarded Paolo inside the small house at 114 Brias St., Brgy. 2, Nasugbu, Batangas. Foregoing facts taken together, without a doubt, shows conspiracy between Monico, Juanito and Asuncion in committing kidnapping for ransom.

Proof of the agreement need not rest on direct evidence, as the same may be inferred from the conduct of the parties indicating a common understanding among them with respect to the commission of the offense.[28] Where the acts of the accused collectively and individually demonstrate the existence of a common design towards the accomplishment of the same unlawful purpose, conspiracy is evident, and all the perpetrators will be liable as principals.[29]

Second Core Issue: Neither an Exempting or
Justifying Circumstance Proven

Granting for the sake of argument that there was no conspiracy, still appellants are guilty of the crime charged. For the presence of an exempting or justifying circumstance applicable in their favor was not adequately proven. When they actively participated in the kidnapping and in holding Paolo inside the house in Nasugbu, Batangas for 11 days, Juanito and Asuncion are liable as principals for the crime of kidnapping for ransom.

In full agreement with the courts a quo, we likewise fail to appreciate any exempting or justifying circumstance in appellants' favor anchored as it were on their mere testimonies. This Court will not disturb the judgment of the trial court in assessing the credibility of witnesses, unless there appears in the records some facts or circumstances of weight and influence which have been overlooked or the significance of which has been misinterpreted by the trial court.[30] In the instant case, we find nothing which have been overlooked by the courts a quo which, if considered, would alter the outcome in so far as appellants are concerned.

Their testimonies and protestations, without more, that they were only compelled by threat of bodily harm by Monico is not proof of an exempting or justifying circumstance. Firstly, no other corroborative evidence was shown to prove the existence of either circumstance. While it is true that the prosecution evidence must stand on its weight and not in the weakness of appellants' defense, yet, as discussed above, the prosecution has proven beyond reasonable doubt on the active participation of Asuncion and Juanito in the kidnapping of Paolo. The testimony of Paolo indubitably points to the fact that Asuncion and Juanito, aside from actively participating in his kidnapping, willfully and voluntarily guarded him for 11 straight days. They may not have been the ones who threatened Paolo or dictated to him what to say to his grandparents. Yet they were the ones who were keeping him in custody.

Secondly, appellants have not shown that the house where they kept Paolo was well guarded or that an armed person was posted therein aside from their mere testimony that the people outside the house with Monico. This belies their theory of compulsion by an exempting circumstance either of "irresistible force" or "uncontrollable fear" under Art. 12, par. 5 and 6 of the RPC sufficient to exculpate them. If they indeed labored under such compulsion, there was nothing keeping them from running to the authorities or escaping with Paolo; but they did not. A review of the records would indicate that neither Monico nor Joselito was constantly guarding the house. As attested to by defense witnesses, Monico and Joselito were in Brgy. Tuntungin, Los Baños, Laguna on August 22, 1998 during the period of Paolo's custody. In fact, when arrested separately, Monico and Joselito were in Los Baños, Laguna and not in the house in Nasugbu, Batangas. Moreover, during the PAOCTF rescue operation at dawn of August 25, 1998, only Juanito and Asuncion were guarding Paolo in the house in Nasugbu, Batangas. The lack of the alleged compulsion is thus clear, and that Asuncion and Juanito indeed actively participated in the commission of the crime charged.

WHEREFORE, the appeal of Juanito Miñon y Rodriguez and Asuncion Mercado y Marciano is hereby DENIED, and the assailed November 27, 2008 of the CA in CA-G.R. CR-H.C. No. 02212 is AFFIRMED IN TOTO. Costs against appellants.


Corona, (Chairperson), Nachura, Peralta, and Mendoza, JJ., concur.

[1] CA Rollo, pp. 497-498, Notice of Appeal [of Juanito Miñon], dated December 15, 2008; id. at 503-504, Notice of Appeal [of Asuncion Mercado], dated December 15, 2008.

[2] Rollo, pp. 4-21. Penned by Associate Justice Isaias Dicdican and concurred in by Associate Justices Juan Q. Enriquez, Jr. (Chairperson) and Marlene Gonzales-Sison.

[3] CA Rollo, pp. 24-26.

[4] Id.

[5] Id. at 290-313. Penned by Judge Antonio M. Eugenio, Jr.

[6] Id. at 313.

[7] Rollo, p. 30, commitment of Juanito Miñon to Muntinlupa correctional facility on May 25, 2001; id. at 32, commitment of Asuncion Mercado to Mandaluyong Correctional Institute for Women on May 18, 2001; CA rollo, p. 98, confirmation of commitment from the Bureau of Corrections, dated July 11, 2003, stating that Monico de Chavez was committed to the Muntinlupa correctional facility on May 18, 2001.

[8] CA rollo, pp. 166-219, Brief for Accused-Appellant [Monico de Chavez], dated October 7, 2003; id. at 266-289, Brief for the Appellant Juanito Miñon, dated December 30, 2003; id. at 103-130, Brief for Appellant Asuncion M. Mercado, dated August 4, 2003.

[9] G.R. Nos. 147678-87, July 7, 2004, 433 SCRA 640.

[10] CA rollo, pp. 390-391, SC Resolution dated March 7, 2006.

[11] Supra note 2.

[12] Id. at 21.

[13] Supra note 1.

[14] CA rollo, pp. 500-501, dated December 22, 2008.

[15] Id. at 506-507.

[16] Supra note 8.

[17] Id.

[18] Rollo, pp. 42-46, Supplemental Brief for Accused-Appellants Juanito Miñon and Asuncion Mercado, dated October 29, 2009.

[19] Id. at 42.

[20] CA Rollo, pp. 83-103, dated January 5, 2005.

[21] People v. Hernandez, G.R. No. 184804, June 18, 2009, 589 SCRA 628, 642, citing People v. Naquita, G.R. No. 180511, July 28, 2008, 560 SCRA 430, 444; People v. Concepcion, G.R. No. 178876, June 27, 2008, 556 SCRA 421, 440; People v. Santiago, G.R. No. 175326, November 28, 2007, 539 SCRA 198, 217.

[22] Mangangey v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. Nos. 147773-74, February 18, 2008, 546 SCRA 51, 66, citing Talay v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 119477, February 27, 2003, 398 SCRA 185, 201.

[23] People v. Malolot, G.R. No. 174063, March 14, 2008, 548 SCRA 676, 689, citing People v. Lacao, Sr., G.R. No. 95320, September 14, 1991, 201 SCRA 317, 329.

[24] Id., citing People v. Gonzales, G.R. No. 128282, April 30, 2001, 357 SCRA 460, 474.

[25] People v. Liquiran, G.R. No. 105693, November 19, 1993, 228 SCRA 62, 74; People v. Rostata, G.R. No. 91482, February 9, 1993, 218 SCRA 657, 678; People v. Pama, G.R. Nos. 90297-98, December 11, 1992, 216 SCRA 385, 401.

[26] TSN, November 9, 1998, pp. 5-8.

[27] Id. at 11-16.

[28] Buebos v. People, G.R. No. 163938, March 28, 2008, 550 SCRA 210, 224, citing People v. Quinao, G.R. No. 108454, March 13, 1997, 269 SCRA 495, People v. Saul, G.R. No. 124809, December 19, 2001, 372 SCRA 636, and People v. Mozar, No. L-33544, July 25, 1984, 130 SCRA 568.

[29] David, Jr. v. People, G.R. No. 136037, August 13, 2008, 562 SCRA 22, 35-36, citing People v. Reyes, G.R. No. 135682, March 26, 2003, 399 SCRA 528.

[30] Dacles v. People, G.R. No. 171487, March 14, 2008, 548 SCRA 643, 653-654.

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