369 Phil. 506
"That on or about the 19th day of August, 1988, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, viz., at Langil Island, Municipality of Tuburan, Province of Basilan, Philippines, the above-named accused, armed with assorted high powered firearms, conspiring and confederating together, aiding and assisting one with the other, with treachery and evident premeditation and with intent to kill, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously assault, attack and shoot at the group of persons composed of Abraham Annudin, Annih Tanjing, Abdulbaser Tanjiri, Idil Sahirul and Suri Jannuh with their firearms, thereby inflicting gunshot wounds upon their bodies which caused the death of Abraham Annudin and Annih Tanjing while the three other companions were mortally wounded. That, taking advantage that the two were mortally wounded, the said accused, took, stole and carried away two (2) M-14 rifles valued at P60,000.00; One (1) M-203 grenade launcher valued at P40,000.00; and One (1) wrist watch and jewelries valued at P5,000.00, or the total amount of P105,000.00, Philippine currency, all belonging to the victims.On January 9, 1995, accused-appellant Minya Abdul was arraigned, and he entered a plea of not guilty to the crime charged. His co-accused Isa Abdul, Minya Abdul, Maldis Abdul, Inggat Doe and Jowen Appang are still at large.
Contrary to law."
"1. That about 5:00 o'clock in the afternoon of August 19, 1988, Minya Abdul, Isa Abdul, Maldis Abdul, Inggat Doe and Jowen Appang, went to Sibago Island, Tuburan, and invited Sahdiya Tanjing, Jubaira Tanjing, Ani Tanjing, Abraham Annudin, Suri Jannuh, Abdulbaser Tanjiri and Idil Sahirul to go with them to Langil also at Tuburan Municipality, Province of Basilan for a luncheon (salo-salo); that these aforenamed persons went with these group of persons because they were friends. And they do not have any inkling in their minds that these five (5) persons have sinister plan against their lives and properties.On July 1, 1996, the lower court rendered its decision finding the accused, Minya Abdul, guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Robbery with double homicide and triple frustrated homicide, the dispositive portion of which reads:
2. That while they were at Langil at the store of Hadji Salidon, Minya Abdul and Isa Abdul offered to Ani Tanjing and Abraham Anuddin soft drinks (coke) and biscuits.
3. That while these Ani Tanjing and Abraham Anuddin were drinking the soft drinks, Minya Abdul got the M16 armalite of Ani Tanjing which the latter was carrying, at that time and with the said rifle fired at Ani Tanjing resulting in the latter's instant death; and at the same time Isa Abdul also grabbed the M16 rifle of Abraham Anuddin which the latter was also carrying at that time and with that same armalite, isa Abdul fired at Abraham Anuddin which also resulted in the latter instant death. And Jowen Appang also grabbed the M79 rifle of Idil Sahirul which he also used in firing toward Idil Sahirul and Abdulbaser Tanjiri.
4. That these accused having already armed themselves fired their guns which they took from Ani Tanjing, Abraham Anuddin and from Idil Sahirul, toward Abdulbaser Tanjiri, Suri Jannuh and Idil Sahirul who were already running away when they saw Minya Abdul and Isa Abdul shoot and killed Ani Tanjing and Abraham Anuddin.
5. That after killing Ani Tanjing and Abraham Anuddin, Minya Abdul and Isa Abdul took the necklace of Abraham Anuddin and the wrist watch of Ani Tanjing. And with the three (3) firearms, that of Ani Tanjing, Abraham Anuddin and Idil Sahirul, which these accused got from these victims, the accused left the scene of the shooting."
"WHEREFORE, premises considered, this Court finds the accused, MINYA ABDUL, GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt as principal for the commission of the crime of Robbery with Double Homicide and Triple Frustrated Homicide as defined and penalized under paragraph 1 of Art. 294 of the Revised Penal Code.Hence, this appeal where the accused-appellant assigns the following errors:
And since the crime was committed with the attendance of the aggravating circumstances of evident premeditation, treachery and by a band without any mitigating to offset any of them, hereby sentences said accused to suffer the penalty of RECLUSION PERPETUA.
And to pay the heirs of Ani Tanjing and Abraham Anuddin the sum of P150,000.00 which was the total value of the three (3) firearms, One (1) gold necklace and One (1) wrist watch taken by the accused from their victims. And another sum of P500,000.00 as moral and exemplary damages.
With respect to the case against his co-accused namely: Isa Abdul, Maldis Abdul, Inggat Doe and Jowen Appang, who are still at large, the case against them is hereby held pending due to non-arrest.
But considering the uncertainty as to when they could be arrested, then the record of this case is hereby ordered to the archive unless of course when the accused shall interposed an appeal in which case the same shall be subject to the appellate court where the appeal is directed. However, the alias warrant for the arrest of the aforenamed four (4) accused is hereby issued.
The Provincial warden of the Province of Basilan were the accused is presently detained is hereby directed to bring the person of MINYA ABDUL to San Ramon Penal Colony at San Ramon, Zamboanga City, for further detention and disposition.
IT IS SO ORDERED."
Accused-appellant raised the defense of denial and alibi.
- THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT ERRED IN CONVICTING THE ACCUSED BASED SOLELY ON THE TESTIMONIES OF THE PROSECUTION WITNESSES WHICH ARE UTTERLY UNRELIABLE AND REPLETE WITH INCONSISTENCIES.
- THE PROSECUTION FAILED TO ESTABLISH THE FACT OF DEATH OF THE DECEASED VICTIMS AND THE CERTAINTY OF THE INJURIES SUSTAINED BY THE OTHER VICTIMS.
On redirect examination:
"FISCAL LEGASPI TO SAHDIYA TANJING: Q. What were your companions doing in a store at Langil Island? A. We were invited by them for a picnic and to buy crabs. Q. Who invited your group to go to Langil Island? A. Isa, sir. Q. What is the family name? A. Isa Abdul. Q. Does he has any other companions? A. Minya Abdul, sir. Q. Who else? A.
Maldis Abdul, Inggat Doe and Jowen Appang.
Q. Now, they invited you at Langil, Tuburan. What did they bring with them? A. They sent a word in the morning saying that we were going to buy crabs and ordering us to come at 3:00 o'clock in the afternoon. Q.
Did you arrive there at 3:00 o'clock?
A. Yes, sir, while we were already there, they borrowed the firearm for testing and thereafter, Minya shot Abraham. Q. Who borrowed the firearm? A. Minya and Isa, sir. Q. And from whom did they borrow the firearm? A. From the late Abraham. Q. And after borrowing the firearm from Abraham, what did this Isa or Minya Abdul do with the firearm? A. After borrowing the firearms, saying that they will test it and then he shot Abraham, hitting on the side and fired at his head and smashed with a stone. Q. What about the rest of the group of Isa Abdul, what did they do? A. I do not anymore know, sir, because we ran towards the other side of the island and then we requested to ferry us in going home. Q. Did you see this Isa Abdul shot Abraham Anuddin? A. I saw, sir. As a matter of fact, five (5) of them shot at him and there was also a person who fired upon from a house but I do not know who is that person. Q. What about this Ani Tanjing, who shot him? A. Isa and Maldis, sir. Q. Did you see this Isa and Maldis shot Ani Tanjing? A. Yes, sir, I was there standing, sir. Q. After shooting this Abraham Anuddin and Ani Tanjing by Isa Abdul, Minya Abdul, and Maldis Abdul, what else did they do? ATTY. PRINCIPE: We object, your Honor, because the witness did not testify as to the shooting of the three other respondents, your Honor.
What weapon did Isa Abdul and Maldis Abdul use in shooting Ani Tanjing?
A. The same firearms used in firing Abraham. Q. What kind of firearm? A.
xxxxxxxxxx Q. Why do you know? A. They were the ones who borrowed the firearms, sir. Q. So the ones who borrowed the firearms from Abraham was only Isa Abdul? A. Minya Abdul, sir. Q. You made mention in the direct examination that you only saw Minya Abdul taking the necklace from the neck of Abraham Anuddin? A. Yes, sir, but the ones who fired personally was he. Q. Who he? A. It was Minya, sir, who fired upon him and after his death, he got his necklace. Q. Who was him? A. It was Minya who fired at Abraham. Q. So it was not Isa Abdul and Maldis Abdul who fired at Abraham? A. They were aiding one with the other, your Honor. Q. You made mention that you have an affidavit signed before the Clerk of Court. In your Affidavit, you made mention that, `Isa Abdul told Abraham Anuddin if he could see and touched and test his M-14 rifle'? A. Yes, sir. Q. And without hesitation, Abraham Anuddin with complete trust and confidence handled over his M-14 rifle? A. Yes, sir. Q. And Isa Abdul, later sprayed Abraham Anuddin and Ani Tanjing with said rifle? A. Yes, sir. Q. And you only saw the other respondents getting the firearms as well as the necklace and the wristwatch? A. Yes, sir. Q. And you only knew this because after Isa Abdul and Maldis Abdul shot Abraham Anuddin and Ani Tanjing, you ran away? A. Yes, sir. Q. You made mentioned here again that the jewelries, the watch, M203 rifle, M79 and M14 rifles, the value of which is P105,000.00. Why do you know that? A. Because that is the amount that was used in purchasing it, sir. Q. Were you present when they purchased these firearms? A. It was me, your Honor, who bought the necklace. Q. But not the firearms? A. Yes, sir. xxxxxxxxxx Q. How long will it take you from Sibago to Langil Island? A. About twenty (20) minutes, your Honor. Q. What time did the incident occured? A. 5:30. Q. So it was yet clear? A. Yes, sir. Q. And because it is clear, you are very positive that Isa Abdul and Maldis Abdul was the one who shot Abraham Anuddin and Ani Tanjing? A. It was Minya Abdul who fired at Abraham and Isa Abdul who fired at Ani Tanjing. Q. So you are inconsistent with your affidavit that it was Isa Abdul who fired at Abraham Anuddin? A. They were aided and assisting one with the other, the three (3) brothers, sir.
Sahdiya's testimony was corroborated by Asuri Jannuh, also an eyewitness, to wit:
FISCAL LEGASPI TO SAHDIYA TANJING:
Q. You testified in the direct examination that it was Isa Abdul and Maldis Abdul who shot this Abraham Anuddin, and in the cross-examination, you said that it was Minya Abdul who shot Abraham Anuddin, is that correct? A. The three (3) of them brothers were the ones who shot, sir. Isa, Minya and Maldis, all surnamed Abdul. xxxxxxxxxx COURT: Q. Who borrowed the firearms? A. Isa. Q. From whom did he borrow the firearms? A. From Ani. Q. What kind of firearms did Isa borrow from Ani? A. M14. Q. And what did Isa do with the firearms? A. After borrowing the firearms, he shot Ani? Q. Ani was hit? What part of his body was hit? A. From the left side of his body and then on head. Q. Ani fell down? A. Yes, sir. Q. When Ani fell down, what did Isa do to him? A. They fired simultaneously at Isa. Q. When Ani fell down, what did Isa do in the body of Ani? A. I do not know anymore, your Honor, because I already hide. Q. Where was Abraham when Isa borrowed the gun of Ani and upon taking hold of the gun, Isa shot Ani? A. Abraham was just there. And after shooting Ani, he ran and they also shot him and he was hit in the left side of his body. Q. Who shot Abraham? A. They, the three (3) brothers but I could not identify as to who among them. Q. You mean to say that all the three (3) accused were armed at that time? A. No, sir, only Ani and Abraham who were with firearms. And then they grabbed the firearms of Abraham before shooting them. Q. What kind of firearms of Abraham? A. M14 Q. And according to you, somebody grabbed the firearms of Abraham. Who was the person who grabbed the firearms of Abraham? A. Maldis, Minya and Isa. Q. You mean to say, three (3) of them who got the firearms of Abraham? A. Yes, sir. Q. You actually saw them? A. Yes, your Honor. Q. When was the grabbing of the firearms took place, after Isa had shot Ani or before Isa shot Ani? A. When Ani already fell down, your Honor. Q. When Isa shot Ani, how far was Abraham to Isa and Ani? A. A little bit farther, your Honor, approximately from here to that corner. COURT: Around ten (10) meters. Q. Which corner, here or there? A. The corner near the door, your Honor. COURT: Ten meters. Q. When Isa shot Ani, do you know what did Abraham do? A. Abraham ran and then they fired at him (Abraham). Q. And when Abraham ran from the scene of the crime, was he carrying any firearms? A. He took it, sir, and then they grabbed his firearms. Q. How far was Abraham able to run after the accused overtake him and took over his firearms? A. It was just very near, your Honor. He was able to run. Q. Abraham was not able to fire his firearms? A. None, sir."
Asuri Jannuh further stated that after Annih and Abraham were killed, accused-appellant and his co-accused shot at the remaining members of their group:
"FISCAL LEGASPI TO ASURI JANNUH: Q. When you arrived at the store and the group of Isa Abdul was there, was there any conversation by your group and the group of Isa Abdul? A. Yes, sir. Q. Now, what was that conversation? A. The borrowing of the firearms. Q. Who borrowed the firearms? A. Minya. Q. From whom did he borrow the firearms? A. From Ani. Q. You are referring to Ani Tanjing? A. Yes, sir. COURT Q. What kind of firearms? A. M14. FISCAL LEGASPI Q. Now, did this Ani Tanjing acceded to the request that his firearms M14 be borrowed by Minya Abdul? A. Yes, sir. Q. And what was the purpose of Minya Abdul in borrowing the firearms of Ani Tanjing? ATTY. PRINCIPE: Objection, incompetent, your honor. COURT:
If he knows, let the witness answer.
A. He borrowed the firearms and shot immediately Ani. Q. What happens to Ani Tanjing after he was shot by Minya Abdul? A. He died. Q. Now, after Minya Abdul shot this Ani Tanjing and he died, what else this Minya Abdul and his group do to your group? A. He got the watch.
Q. Whose watch? A. That of Ani, your honor. FISCAL LEGASPI: Q. Who got the watch? A. Minya. Q. Did you see this Minya Abdul got the watch of Ani Tanjing? A. Yes, sir. Q. Now, after the shooting of Ani Tanjing, what else did this Minya Abdul and his group do to the rest of your group, if any? A. None, sir, after firing at him, he got the watch. Q. What about the firearms of Ani Tanjing, M14, what happened to that? A. He got it. Q. Now, what happened to this Abraham Anuddin after the shooting incident? A. He was fired upon by Isa. Q. What happens after Isa Abdul fired at Abraham Anuddin, what happened to Abraham Anuddin? A. He died."
The identity of accused-appellant as a participant in the shooting was indubitably established. He was positively identified in court by the two eyewitnesses:
"FISCAL LEGASPI: Q. Now, where did this Inggat get the firearm, which he shot at Abdulbaser Tanjiri? A. From behind of Abdulbaser. Q. You have your companion Sahirul, what did he do on the shooting of Ani Tanjing and Abraham Anuddin and the wounding of Abdulbaser Tanjiri, what did this Iddil Sahirul do? A. He was fired upon by Jowen. Q. You are referring to this Jowen Appang? A. Yes, sir. Q. Whose gun did he use in shooting this Iddil Sahirul? A. The firearm of Iddil Sahirul, which he took. FISCAL LEGASPI: Q. You said that there are only three (3) firearms in your group and the owners were Abraham Anuddin, Ani Tanjing and Abdulbaser Tanjiri. These are two (2) M14 and one (1) M-79. Now, where did this Jowen Appang got the firearm that he used to shoot Iddil Sahirul? A. From behind of Abraham. Q. Now, you said that this Abdulbaser Tanjiri was shot by Inggat and this Iddil Sahirul was shot by Jowen Appang. Now, did they die in the shooting? A. They were only wounded. Q. In the case of Abdulbaser Tanjiri that was shot by Inggat, what part of his body was hit? A. On his right hand. Q. Where else aside from his hand? A. On his arm. Q. What about this Iddil Sahirul, where was he hit? A. On his nose bridge. Q. Did he suffer other wounds aside from his nostril? A. None. FISCAL LEGASPI: Q. What about you, what did you do when there was firing or shooting? A. They fired upon us. Q. Who shoot you? A. Minya. Q. But what kind of weapon did he use? A. M14. Q. And where were you hit? A. On the right forearm and at the back. Q. At your back. Will you please show that to this Court? A. (Witness showing his scar at the back on the left side, which is about 3 inches in length. The bigger scar is about 1 ½ inch and the small scar is ½ inch and in the arm it is an even scar, the length is approximately about 5 or 6 inches and the width is about 2 ½ inches and it is sutured.) Q. What other injuries did you suffer? A. And also on the right thigh, which measures about.., or it is elongated scar, the length is about 2 inches and the width is about an inch. FISCAL LEGASPI: Q. And are there other injuries? A. No more. Q. After you suffered all those injuries, did you consult a physician? A. Yes, sir. Q. Do you know the name of the doctor? A. No. COURT: Q. Where were you treated? A. At Pagadian. Q. Why do you have to go to Pagadian since the incident happened at Langil, Tuburan? A. We were afraid of them. Q. To whom are you afraid of? A. Minya Abdul, your Honor. Q. Why were you afraid of them? A. They were trying to kill us."
While Asuri Jannuh testified that:
"FISCAL LEGASPI TO SAHDIYA TANJING: Q. If he is in Court, you will be able to identify him? A. Yes, sir. Q. Please point. A. He is not here, only Minya is present. Q. What about Minya Abdul? A. (Witness pointed at the person who is seated in the prisoner's bench and who answered by the name of Minya, but his real name is not Minya.)"
The denial of accused-appellant cannot prevail over the positive declarations of the prosecution witnesses that he participated in the commission of the crime. Like the defense of alibi, a denial is inherently weak and crumbles in the light of positive declarations of truthful witnesses who testified on affirmative matters that the accused-appellant was at the scene of the incident and was one of the victim's assailants and perpetrators of the crime.
"FISCAL LEGASPI TO ASURI JANNUH: Q. Do you know all these persons you mentioned? Do you know them personally? A. Yes, sir. Q. Now, if they are in court, you will be able to identify them? A. Yes, sir. Q. Now, please identify who is that person sitting at the left side, what is his name? A. Minya Abdul, sir. (Witness pointed to the person seated at the prisoner's bench, who answered by the name of Minya Abdul.) Q. Are you sure of that? A. Yes, sir."
The alleged inconsistencies pointed out by the accused-appellant in his brief, e.g. 1.) that the testimony of Jubaira Tanjing to the effect that Isa Abdul borrowed the M14 of Annih Tanjing and shot the latter while Minya Abdul grabbed the firearm of Abraham Anuddin and also shot the latter is contrary to the testimony of Sahdiya Tanjing who claimed that it was Isa Abdul and Maldis Abdul who shot Abraham Anuddin and Annih Tanjing respectively; 2.) that Sahdiya Tanjing and Jubaira Tanjing failed to mention the name of Minya Abdul in their respective affidavits but stated that Minya participated in the commission of the crime in their respective testimonies; and 3.) that Sahdiya Tanjing testified on direct examination that Halima Tanjing was with them at Langil Island but stated during her cross-examination that said Halima was not with them are not sufficient to overturn the finding of guilt of the accused-appellant.
"COURT TO SAHDIYA TANJING: Q. After the three (3) accused shot Abraham, what did the three (3) accused do with the body of Abraham? A. Minya got the necklace then thereafter, smashed his head with a stone. Q. Who smashed the head of Abraham with a stone? A. The group of Isa and Minya. They are assisting one with the other. Q. And at that time, these three (3) accused were shooting Abraham and Ani and smashing their heads with stones, you were at the kitchen of the store of Saridul? A. I was already on the ground, your Honor. COURT: Q. How did you reach the ground? A. Passing through the other side, sir. Q. What happened to the boy of Abraham and Ani, after they were killed by the three (3) accused? A. Their faces could no longer be identified because of the result of the smashing of the wound, sir."
1.) the time when the accused determined to commit the crime;Absent any of these requisites, evident premeditation cannot be appreciated.
2.) an act manifestly indicating that the accused has clung to his determination; and
3.) sufficient time between such determination and execution to allow him to reflect upon the consequences of his act.
"It is true that before the inception of the shooting and the robbing only Inggat Doe and Jowen Appang were armed with garand rifle. And it was only when Minya Abdul was able to get the armalite of Ani Tanjing and Isa Abdul was able to get the armalite rifle of Abraham Anuddin and Maldis Abdul was able to grab the M79 of Idil Sahirul, that the shooting took place and after the shooting, they took the personal belongings of the victims; that the crime was consummated. But however, this does not deviate from the facts that the five (5) accused have armed themselves before they shot and killed their intended victims. Without doubt, therefore, this crime was committed by a band."We do not agree with the court's reasoning. An offense is deemed committed by a band when more than three armed malefactors shall have acted together in the commission thereof. This presupposes that from the onset four of the malefactors were already armed in order to facilitate the commission of the crime. In the present case, only two of the five malefactors were armed at the start of the commission of the offense. At any rate, even assuming that the aggravating circumstance of band was attendant in the commission of the crime, it is absorbed by treachery.