408 Phil. 465
Crim. Case No. 19478
"That on or about the 1st day of December 1998, in the City of Bacolod, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the herein accused, conspiring, confederating and mutually helping each other, without any justifiable cause or motive, being then armed with a fan knife (batangueño), with intent to kill and by means of treachery with evident premeditation, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously assault, attack and stab one Jose Sammy Daza y Mangubat, thereby inflicting upon the person of the latter (sic) stab wound which directly caused the death of said victim, to the damage and prejudice of the heirs of said Jose Sammy Daza y Mangubat.
That the crime was committed with the attendance of the aggravating circumstance of dwelling of the said victim Jose Sammy Daza y Mangubat.
Act contrary to law."
Crim. Case No. 19477:
"That on or about the 1st day of December 1998, in the City of Bacolod, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the herein accused, without any justifiable cause or motive, being then armed with a fan knife (batangueño), with intent to kill, by means of treachery and evident premeditation, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously assault, attack and stab with said bladed weapon one Solomon Daza, Jr. y Mangubat, thereby inflicting upon the person of the latter a stabbed (sic) wound, thus performing all the acts of execution which would have produced the crime of murder as a consequence but which nevertheless did not produce it by reason of some cause or accident independent of the will of said accused, that is, by the timely and able medical assistance rendered to said Solomon Daza, Jr. y Mangubat which prevented his death.
That the crime was committed with the attendance of the aggravating circumstance of dwelling of the said victim.
Act contrary to law."
"At around 11:00 o'clock in the evening of December 1, 1998, Joel Daza, his sister Sally Daza and her suitor Ruel Lipalam were sitting and conversing at the upper steps of the stairway leading to the second floor of the two-storey house of the Daza family situated in Molave Extension, Barangay Villamonte, Bacolod City (p. 5, TSN, March 2, 1999). They were at the same time watching just three arms length away victim Jose Sammy Daza, Joel and Sally's brother and his friend Okie seated together drinking Tanduay, a local rhum and playing "tong-its", a car game at the ground floor which serves as the dining room and store of the house (p. 14, TSN, February 22, 1999).
The peace of the night was shattered when at the precise moment, Jimmy Magaro suddenly appeared and entered the door, which is beside the stairway. Magaro who is tall and with a big physique, quickly approached and held the hands of the diminutive and unsuspecting hunchbacked Jose Sammy from behind. Jose Sammy stood up and struggled to free himself from Magaro's hold, shouting "let me go; let go of me, Jimmy" but to no avail. Maintaining his hold, Magaro was able to force Jose Sammy face the door (p. 13, TSN, March 2, 1999; p. 7, TSN, March 8, 1999).
Right then and there, Jabian who entered the door trailing behind Magaro, immediately stabbed Jose Daza once with a knife at the lower left breast just below the nipple (p. 14, TSN, March 2, 1999). During the incident, Okie stepped aside in a corner and did not do anything (p. 5, TSN, March 8, 1999) while Lipalam was prevented by Sally Daza from going downstairs (Ibid, p. 8).
Immediately thereafter, Magaro ran out of the house followed by Jabian passing through the same door of the house they entered (ibid, p. 15). Jabian bumped his head on one for the posts of the house on his way out (p. 17, TSN, February 22, 1999).
Outside the house Jabian met Solomon Daza, Jr. who was walking and about to enter the door of the house (ibid, p. 19; p. 16, TSN, March 2, 1999). At that instant, Jabian stabbed Solomon Daza with a single blow of the same fan knife he used in hitting Jose Daza, at the left side of the abdomen (pp. 16-17, TSN, ibid). Both accused continued with the escape.
Jabian was arrested minutes later by the police (p. 36, TSN, March 8, 1999), while Magaro was arrested in the morning of the following day after visiting Jabian at the police station.
The brothers Jose and Solomon Daza were brought to the Doctor's Hospital of Bacolod City (p. 3, TSN, February 24, 2000). Jose Daza died. The cause of his death was cardio-respiratory arrest, shock, hemorrhage, severe internal ruptured heart and lung due to stab wound (p. 6, TSN, March 2, 1999). Solomon Daza, on the other hand, suffered a fatal stab wound in the left upper portion of the umbilicus. However, due to timely medical attendance, his impending death was prevented (pp. 20-22, TSN, February 24, 1999)."
"As testified to by Jonahs Jabian, when he and Raymundo Baldava entered the carinderia of the Dazas, Jose Sammy Daza, Okie and Solomon Daza were already drinking long neck gin. He was invited by Okie to drink gin but he refused to do so because he had just eaten his supper. When he refused the invitation of Okie, the latter insulted him by saying, DAW SA TONTO KA (YOU ARE NAUGHTY). Okie then stood up and strangled him (Jabian) so he stepped backwards. Jose Sammy Daza held him. As he was being held by Jose Sammy Daza, Okie struck him with a bottle of gin (cuatro cantos) on the head. (ANNEX "B" EXCERPT FROM THE PS4 BLOTTER REPORT ENTRY NOS. 98-10011 PP. 0490 & ANNEX "C" MEDICAL CERTIFICATE OF JONAHS JABIAN DATED DECEMBER 3, 1998). Because of the pain, for a while, he lost his vision and he was able to embrace Jose Sammy Daza. As he was embracing Jose Sammy Daza, he was able to touch the fan knife on the back pocket of Jose Sammy Daza. He got hold of the fan knife and pushed Jose Sammy Daza forward with his left hand and then stabbed him in front. Then he faced Okie stabbed him on the right arm and ran towards the door. And as he was about to escape, Solomon blocked his way so he also stabbed Solomon (TSN of March 8, 1999, pp. 29-38)."
"WHEREFORE, finding both accused Jonahs Jabian y Tarrosa and Jimmy Magaro y Gillang GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of Murder, as co-conspirators, in Criminal Case No. 19478, JUDGMENT is hereby rendered imposing upon each of them the penalty of RECLUSION PERPETUA, as well as the accessory penalty prescribed by law. They are also ordered to jointly pay the heirs of deceased Jose Sammy Daza; P50,000.00 as civil indemnity for his death; and P25,000.00 as moral damages. Costs against both of them.
Also, finding accused Jonahs Jabian y Tarrosa GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of Frustrated Murder in Criminal Case No. 19477, he is hereby condemned to suffer imprisonment of EIGHT (8) YEARS and FIFTEEN (15) DAYS of prision mayor, as minimum of his sentence, to FOURTEEN (14) YEARS and FOUR (4) MONTHS, of reclusion temporal, as maximum, and the accessory penalty provided by law. Costs against him.
Both accused Jonahs Jabian and Jimmy Magaro being detained by reason of the present cases, the period of their preventive imprisonment shall be credited in their favor and shall be conducted from the service of their sentence, provided they have agreed in writing to abide by the same disciplinary rules imposed upon convicted prisoners pursuant to Article 29 of the Revised Penal Code."
THE TESTIMONY OF PROSECUTION WITNESS JOEL DAZA WERE ALL FABRICATED FROM THE FERTILE MINDS OF JOEL DAZA AS EVIDENCED BY THE NUMEROUS INCONSISTENCIES.II
TREACHERY HAS NOT ATTENDED THE COMMISSION OF THE CRIME OF MURDER AS FOUND BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE.III
CONSPIRACY COULD NOT HAVE EXISTED BETWEEN JONAHS JABIAN AND JIMMY MAGARO IN THE CRIME OF MURDER.IV
NO AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCE OF TREACHERY EXISTS WHICH WOULD QUALIFY THE CRIME COMMITTED AGAINST SOLOMON DAZA, JR. AS FRUSTRATED MURDER.V
SELF-DEFENSE AS MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCE SHOULD HAVE BEEN APPRECIATED IN FAVOR OF JONAHS JABIAN."
There are two major, unrebutted crucial facts in this case which, with all due respect, have not been properly appraised by the Honorable RTC: the fact, first, that Accused Jimmy Magaro went to the police station immediately the following morning after the incident subject matter of this case. The second, the Accused was drunk at the time that the alleged crime was committed, having been received by a security guard of a very nearby school to sleep there at the night that the incident happened just a few meters away.B
MOREOVER, the Honorable RTC erred in not giving due credence to co-Accused Jonahs Jabian's testimony that Accused Jimmy Magaro was not his companion in stabbing the victim to death.
TAKEN ALTOGETHER, these facts were more than sufficient to establish reasonable doubt, if not outright non-guilt.C
Or, in the alternative, granting arguendo that Accused indeed participated in the commission of the crime, the fact that he went to the police station the following day where he was easily apprehended should have been and should be considered as a mitigating circumstance analogous to voluntary surrender, and the fact that he was drunk, absent the showing of habituality or intentionality, should have been and should be considered as another mitigating circumstance, resulting in the lowering of the penalty imposed."
"(1) Joel Daza could not have seen his brother Jose Sammy Daza and Okie at the lower level of the house because he was at the upper level when the incident accused; (2) Joel Daza testified that Magaro was already inside the house together with Lipalam at around 11:00 o'clock in the evening of the incident contrary to Joel Daza's statement that Magaro and Jabian entered the house together; (3) Joel Daza missed to mention that Sally Daza was sitting beside Lipalam and Joel Daza at the second level of the house at the time of the incident and at the same time Raymundo Baldava entered also the store; (4) Joel Daza was caught lying as to the date of the incident as happening on a Sunday when in fact it was on a Tuesday; and (5) Joel Daza testified that no exchange of words transpired between Jabian, Magaro, Jose Daza and Okie contrary to Lipalam's testimony that there were arguments heard downstairs coming from three persons during the incident."
"Here in the case at bar, it was clearly and persuasively demonstrated by prosecution witnesses that when accused Magaro entered the ground floor of the Daza residence, doubling as a store, he instantly approached Jose Sammy who was unarmed and focused in a card game with Oke and, and accused Magaro firmly held both Jose Sammy's hands at the victim's back. The victim's futile effort to extricate himself was no match to Magaro's height, strength and build, which were excessive for the diminutive hunchback. Thus held still to face accused Jabian, who was treading on the heels of Magaro in entering the house, Jabian delivered the death blow with a fanknife in the chest of Jose Sammy. After their victim was hit with a deadly thrust of Jabian, Magaro released his grip on Jose Sammy and the duo fled together towards the door. Meeting on the way to their escape Solomon Daza, Jr., Jabian lost no time in also stabbing him in the belly, perhaps mistaking said other victim to succor his brother Jose Sammy. They then proceeded to pursue their joint flight.
A person found in conspiracy with the actual perpetrator of the crime by performing specific acts with such closeness and coordination as the one who executed the criminal act is equally guilty as the other. (People vs. Matubis, et al., G.R. No. 109774, March 27, 1998).
Quite obviously, the conspiracy between Jabian and Magaro was manifested by the manner with which the attack was carried out, giving Jose Sammy no chance to defend himself or to escape from the aggressors since he was steadfastly held immobile by Magaro in order to be stabbed by Jabian. The killing was thus qualified by treachery. Then attacked and stabbed without provocation, the victim was deliberately deprived of any opportunity to extricate himself from the hold of Magaro or defend himself from the imminent death blow of Jabian, since his physical condition and the suddenness of the aggression could not allow him to. In the similar case of People vs. Apongan, G.R. No. 112360, April 4, 1997, the Supreme Court treanchantly said: `In the case at bench, the victim was innocently walking and totally unaware of the impending attack upon her by the persons she was about to meet ahead. To ensure the success of their criminal design, one of the assailants held the victim's arms while the other viciously stabbed her. x x x The suddenness of such savage attack, without the slightest provocation from the victim who was unarmed had nary an opportunity to repel the aggression or defend himself, ineluctably qualifies the crime with alevosia.'"
"On this score, for self-defense to prosper, it must be positively shown that there was a previous unlawful and unprovoked attack that placed the life of the accused in danger and forced him to inflict more or less severe wounds upon his assailant, employing therefor reasonable means to resist said attack (People vs. Sambulan, supra; People vs. Obzanar, 265 SCRA 547; People vs. Balamban, 264 SCRA 619). Jabian's sole testimony tried to demonstrate that he accompanied his friend Raymundo Baldava inside the Daza store to use the pay phone. Inside, he was invited by Oke to drink gin but since he refused Oke was slighted and stood up to strangle Jabian who stepped back. Then Jose Sammy held accused while Oke struck Jabian with a gin bottle; causing Jabian to lose his vision and embrace Jose Sammy. While hugging Jose Sammy, Jabian incidentally touched the fanknife placed placed in the former's back pocket, pulled the same and pushed Jose Sammy away with his left and stabbed the victim once. Then he faced Oke and stabbed him too at the right arm and ran towards the door. As Solomon Daza, Jr. blocked the door, Jabian stabbed him also at the abdomen and dashed away.
For one, Baldava was not presented, or refused, to substantiate the claim of accused Jabian of having acted in self-defense. While Baldava's presence at the Daza store was admitted by prosecution witness Sally Daza Lipalam, the phone call he made was earlier or prior to the joint entry of accused Magaro and Jabian. During the actual incident, Baldava had already left the place. Second, even if he assume a gratia argumenti that Oke attempted to strangle Jabian, it was impossible or foolhardy for Jose Sammy who was physically handicapped to hold, contain and control Jabian who was taller, heavier and sturdier because a light push, elbow, kick or fist blow would have easily freed Jabian from Jose Sammy. Jabian even alleged that he just pushed Jose Sammy away when he touched and pulled the fanknife from the back pocket of the petite hunchback. Third, considering the mark advantage of Jabian over Jose Sammy in height and build, accused, if he was indeed attacked by Oke, could have easily used Jose Sammy as shield, for it was not the latter, if we have to accept the version purveyed by said accused, who was the aggressor but Oke. Fourth, the fanknife, if it was really owned by the victim, was not used by him against Jabian such that there was no necessity for him to repel or prevent an imagined aggression from the victim who was incapable of staging one on account of his physical condition. Fifth, the knife was also admittedly used by Jabian in stabbing his second victim Solomon Daza, Jr., and the weapon was kept by him to indicate his ownership thereof since the same was not presented in evidence. Sixth, after pulling the fanknife, Jabian quite comfortably opened or unfolded it, for it is publicly known that a balisong (fan knife) is encased with a safety clip, in its own handle or scabbard, demonstrating that he was familiar with the features of the fatal weapon since he owned the same. Seventh, Jabian's Exhibit "1" (excerpt of Police Blotter entry) showed that after he was arrested that very night, he confessed and admitted the killing but never claimed having been injured or acted in self-defense. Eight, the same police blotter entry (also Exh. "1"-Magaro) states that as of time of the recording of the events, prosecution witnesses Ruel Lipalam and Joel Daza identified both accused Jonahs Jabian and Jimmy Magaro as together and companions during the stabbing incident. Ninth, the police blotter entry (Exh. "1"-Jabian) to the effect that Jabian was struck with a gin bottle by Oke, was recorded only on "03 1410_ Dec. 98," meaning on December 3, 1998 at 2:10 o'clock in the afternoon, or about two days after the tragic incident, when the accused had enough time to fashion, conceive and concoct the claim of self-defense out of the injury Jabian sustained in banging his head against the door jamb. And tenth, Jabian's Medical Certificate (Exh. "2"-Jabian) is also dated December 3, 1998, showing that he submitted himself for medical examination only two days after the incident."
"In all cases in which the law prescribes a penalty composed of two indivisible penalties the following rules shall be observed in the application thereof:
x x x
3. When the commission of the act is attended by some mitigating circumstance and there is no aggravating circumstance, the lesser penalty shall be applied."