People v. Jaurigue


People v. Jaurigue

G.R. No. 232380

September 4, 2019


                The RTC and CA convicted Ronaldo Vicente y Jaurigue for the crime of Murder unde Art. 248 of the RPC. At around 10:30 in the evening of Oct 16, 2006, Ronad and 3 others went to the residential compound where the victim was residing. From outside, Aquiles shouted and threatened to kill Charles. When the door partly opened, Aquiles went to Ronald, who was waiting at the gate with the others and asked for a sumpak, which the latter handed to him. Aquiles aimed inside and pulled the trigger; however the sumpak failed to fire. He then returned the weapon to Ronald, who, in turn, peeked into the opening of the door and fired a single shot. Thereafter, Ronald and his group fled. Several people who witnessed the incident later found Charles sprawled on the floor, with a wound on his chest. They then brought him to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. Ronald and BJ were eventually arrested, while others remain at-large.


                Whether or not the CA erred in affirming the RTC


                No. Anicle 248 of the RPC reads: Article 248. Murder. -Any person who, not falling within the provisions of Article 246, shall kill another, shall be guilty of murder and shall be punished by reclusion perpetua, to death if committed with any of the following attendant circumstances: 1. With treachery, taking advantage of superior strength, with the aid of armed men, or employing means to weaken the defense, or of means or persons to insure or afford impunity; 2. In consideration of a price, reward, or promise; 3. By means of inundation, fire, poison, explosion, shipwreck, stranding of a vessel, derailment or assault upon railroad, fall of an airship, by means of motor vehicles, or with the use of any other means involving great waste and ruin; 4. On occasion of any of the calamities enumerated in the preceding paragraph, or of an earthquake, eruption of a volcano, destructive cyclone, epidemic, or any other public calamity; 5. With evident premeditation; 6. With cruelty, by deliberately and inhumanly augmenting the suffering of the victim, or outraging or scoffing at his person or corpse.

                The courts a quo correctly found that through the positive and categorical testimonies of no less than three (3) eyewitnesses, the prosecution had established beyond reasonable doubt that it was Ronald who shot and killed Charles. Since there is no indication that the trial court and the CA overlooked, misunderstood, or misapplied the surrounding facts and circumstances of the case, the Court finds no reason to deviate from their factual findings. In this regard, it  should be noted that the trial court was in the best position to assess and determine the credibility of the witnesses presented by both parties.23 However, after a judicious perusal of the records, there is doubt as to the existence of the qualifying circumstance of treachery, as found by the courts a  quo, or even the qualifying circumstance of evident premeditation which was alleged in the Information.

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