356 Phil. 450
That on or about June 28, 1993, in the Municipality of Sara, Province of Iloilo, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, without any justifiable motive and with a decided purpose to kill, armed with a firearm, with treachery, and evident premeditation, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault and shoot Rosendo Espura with the firearm he was then provided, hitting the victim on the chest and other parts of his body which resulted on his death thereafter.Upon arraignment, accused-appellant entered a plea of not guilty. Thereafter, trial ensued.
CONTRARY TO LAW.
(p. 12, Rollo.)
Jocelyn Navarro and the deceased Rosendo Espura were living together as husband and wife without the benefit of marriage. Their house is situated at Brgy. Posadas, Municipality of Sara, Province of Iloilo. The accused Honorato Navarro is the uncle of Jocelyn. He is the younger brother of Jocelyn’s father. Honorato also resides at Brgy. Posadas, Sara, being the barangay captain of said barangay.Accused-appellant, on the other hand, admitted killing the victim but invoked the justifying circumstances of self-defense and defense of strangers. Thus, in fractured English, he now asserts:
At about 11 o’clock in the evening of June 28, 1993, Jocelyn and the deceased were sleeping at their house at Brgy. Posadas, Sara, Iloilo.
While they were sleeping, someone "called up". Jocelyn recognized the voice as that of her second cousin, Leosadi Azusano. She opened the door of their house and Azusano came in. She noticed some blood in Azusano’s shirt. The latter asked for a glass of water and after drinking, he changed his clothes. At this time, Rosendo Espura woke up. Azusano requested them to bring him to the hospital. Jocelyn asked Azusano why he "was bloody" and he answered that he was struck on his head.
When Azusano was going to the house of the deceased, Renato Navarro, the son of the accused and the accused were following Azusano. Rosendo Espura went out of his house and when he saw Renato Navarro, he asked him what to do, as Azusano was asking for their help.
At this juncture, Jocelyn was already in the yard of their house, while Azusano was sitting on the sofa inside their house. Renato, in answer to the question of the deceased told the latter, "Help him if you want to help him".
After Renato answered him, Rosendo was about to go back inside their house, as he was about 10 meters from the house when he talked to Renato. Jocelyn was 2 meters away from the door of their house. However, Rosendo was not able to go back to their house because he was shot by Honorato Navarro with a "high powered" long firearm. The actual shooting was seen and witnessed by his common law wife, Jocelyn. The accused was around 5 meters away from their (Jocelyn’s) store when he shot the deceased and was two arm’s length away from the deceased.
Rosendo was hit when the deceased shot him. When he was hit, he was "lifted from the ground" (tumbo). Honorato was at the right side of the deceased when he shot him. He was already facing his house when he was shot. When the deceased fell down and was already lying on the ground, the accused again shot him.
Renato was at the nearby road when Honorato fired the second shot while Jocelyn was crawling towards the house of her uncle when the second shot was fired. The house of her uncle was near their house, about 70 meters. At the house of her uncle, she told her brother to look for a tricycle and to inform the police what happened.
When the "moon was no longer so bright", Jocelyn went back to their house. The incident happened two nights after the full moon. When she reached their house, she closed the door and windows and waited for the police. The cadaver of her deceased live-in partner was not touched.
Later, three policemen arrived, at about 1:00 a.m. Jocelyn told them to call a photographer. A photographer arrived and took pictures of the cadaver and the place of the incident. The policemen looked for empty shells. Jocelyn told the policemen that it was barangay captain Honorato Navarro who shot the deceased.
(pp. 26-28, Rollo.)
At about 11 o’clock in the evening of June 28, 1993, Jocelyn Navarro and the deceased were sleeping at their house at said Barangay when someone called up. Jocelyn recognized the voice as that of her second cousin Leosadi Asusano who came from a drinking spree with Roger Aspera, Freddie Aseral and Leonardo Ballesta for about two (2) hours. She opened the door of their house and Leosadi Asusano came inside whose head was bloody when Renato Navarro hit him on the head while he was destroying the fence and forcibly made a hole at the wall of the house of the accused and entered therein armed with a bolo with the intent to kill the accused. But the accused is not around so, he went to Rosendo Espura’s house to seek help. Thereafter, Rosendo Espura (victim) came out of his house running and carrying a hand grenade at the same time shouting "why are you afraid of them", going to the store of Irene Navarro, while approaching the accused at about two (2) meters distance he uttered, "You are used to do foolishness, I will kill you". Accused upon sensing such a dangerous situation in the presence of many people shouted to Rosendo Espura, "Don’t throw the hand grenade many people will die", but his warning was not reciprocated and accused run and grab the gun of CVO Rodel Navarro, while in control of the gun he fired hitting twice Rosendo Espura who fell to the ground. The hand grenade roll down from his hand but did not explode and Jocelyn Navarro (his wife) picked it up and run away. (TSN-Yolanda S. Pudadera, trial on January 3, 1995)In a 24-page decision dated August 21, 1995, the trial court rendered a judgment of conviction and accordingly disposed :
(p. 75, Rollo.)
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the accused Honorato Navarro is hereby found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Murder, defined and penalized under Art. 248 of the Revised Penal Code and there being no mitigating or aggravating circumstance is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua.We affirm.
The accused is further ordered to pay the legal heirs of the deceased the amount of P50,000.00 for his wrongful death; P176,000.00 for loss of earning capacity and to his common-law wife the amount of P15,000.00 for funeral and burial expenses.
The accused who is detained is credited with the number of days he spent under detention, if he is qualified, otherwise, he shall be credited only with four-fifths (4/5) of his preventive imprisonment.
The accused is further ordered to be sent to the National Penitentiary at Muntinlupa, Metro Manila, even if he appeals.
(RTC Decision, pp. 23-24.)
. . . a person who is armed with a hand grenade and intends to use it, does not have to approach or go near his enemies or intended victims at a distance of two meters or less than two meters, to injure them. All he has to do is to throw the hand grenade at his intended victims or enemies even if he is 10 or 20 meters away upon them.The facts and the evidence on record clearly show that there was no unlawful aggression on the part of Rosendo. Absent the same, accused-appellant’s claim of self-defense and defense of strangers must fall. Moreover, to properly invoke the justifying circumstance of defense of strangers, the person defending must not be induced by revenge, resentment or other evil motive (Art. II, par. 3, Revised Penal Code). This cannot be said of accused-appellant who resented the fact that Rosendo was willing to help Leosadi, the man who had allegedly earlier picked up a fight with accused-appellant and destroyed the fence and the wall of his house.
(p. 42, Rollo.)