People v. Palema


People v. Palema

G.R. No. 228000

July 10, 2019


                The evidence for the prosecution revealed that at around 11:00 p.m. on November 10, 2007, Enicasio Depante (Enicasio), his common-law spouse, his son Erickson Depante (Erickson), and his stepdaughter Jamie Rose Baya (Jamie) were sitting on the benches at the Calamba Town Plaza. That was when three (3) men, who were later identified as Palema, Palmea, and Manzanero, approached Enicasio. Suddenly, Palmea threw a punch at Enicasio in an attempt to grab his phone. Palema simultaneously pulled out a knife and tried to stab him in the abdomen, but was warded off by Jamie, making him drop his knife. Once he retrieved his knife, Palema stabbed Enicasio on the right thigh, causing him to fall on the ground. Then, Grengia and Saldua arrived at the scene and joined in beating Enicasio. Seated on the bench near Enicasio, Erickson stood and tried to help his father, but Ladra stopped him. When he resisted, Ladra attempted to stab him, but he was able to evade the attack and immediately look for a weapon. Upon reaching his father, however, he saw that Enicasio had already collapsed from the stab wounds. Erickson brought his father to the Calamba Medical Center, but he later died from blood loss.


                Whether or not accused is guilty of robbery with homicide.


                Yes. Robbery with homicide is a special complex crime punished under Article 294 of the Revised Penal Code. It is perpetrated when, by reason or on the occasion of robbery, homicide is committed.45 Article 294(1) states: Article 294. Robbery with Violence Against or Intimidation of Persons — Penalties. — Any person guilty of robbery with the use of violence against or intimidation of any person shall suffer: 1. The penalty of reclusión perpetua to death, when by reason or on occasion of the robbery, the crime of homicide shall have been committed. To hold a person liable for this crime, the prosecution must establish the following elements with proof beyond reasonable doubt:(1) the taking of personal property with violence or intimidation against persons; (2) the property taken belongs to another; (3) the taking was done with animo lucrandi; and (4) on the occasion of the robbery or by reason thereof, homicide was committed. In convicting accused-appellants, the Regional Trial Court gave credence to the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses, who recounted that the accused men were the ones who had simultaneously assaulted Enicasio. Based on their testimonies, Manzanero and accused-appellants Palema and Palmea all approached Enicasio and took his cellphone. When Enicasio tried to fight back, Palema stabbed him, causing him to fall. Immediately after, the other accused joined the fray and beat Enicasio. It is clear that accused-appellants' primary objective was to rob Enicasio.1avvphi1 But, by reason or on the occasion of the robbery, Enicasio was stabbed and died as a result. Finally, while accused-appellants argued that the Regional Trial Court erred in giving weight to the prosecution witnesses' testimonies, they failed to present evidence to the contrary.

Settled is the rule that "the matter of assigning values to declarations on the witness stand is best and most competently performed by the trial court judge," who has "the unmatched opportunity to observe the witnesses and to assess their credibility by the various indicia available but not reflected on the record."As such, this Court gives great weight and respect to the judge's assessment of the witnesses' credibility.

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