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[ GR No. L-1137, Nov 04, 1948 ]



82 Phil. 78

[ G.R. No. L-1137, November 04, 1948 ]




As testified by Raymondo Lobaton, during an amateur contest which took place in the plaza of Sagay, Negroa Occidental, on October 16, 1945, appellant Benjamin Abibuag and Patriotico Lobaton were engaged in a fight. Napoleon Rodriguez approached them for the purpose of separating them. Because they would not separate, Napoleon whipped appellant twice with a whip, and appellant ran away.

On November 13, 1945, at about seven o'clock in the evsning while talcing suppar in the house of Sabina Tan with three companions, Napoleon Rodriguez was shot in the head and died.

No one in the house saw who fired, but Florencio Tribetante testified that at about seven thirty of the same evening, Abibuag went to his house, related to him that he get some trouble while in the beach, and confessed having shot Napolaen itodriguez, saying that ha was a spy of the Japanese. He was carrying with him a carbine and stated as reason for his act the fact that he was whipped by Napoleon. Abibuag dismantled the carbine, wrapped it in a sack, and placed it in a corner under the house, and requested Tribotante to notify his parents regarding tke incident.

When Chief of Police Oeferino Barredo arrested appellant, appellant made the admission appearing in Exhibit "B", fee the effect that when he saw Napoleen Rodriguez eating in a house he shot him with his carbine, because of the personal grudge due to the fact that about two weeks ago before the shooting, appellant was whipped and kicked by the deceased in the town plaza of Sagay. Because appellant had been laughed at, he decided to kill llapalesn to alleviate his humiliation.

On November 15, 1945. when.appellant was brought before Eliseo Benatua, acting Justice of the Peace of Sagay, far preliminary investigation, because appellant was reluctant to answer, the complaint was read to him several times, and he admitted having committed the offense on reasons for which he would not plead guilty.

Exhibit "B" was read at the preliminary investigation by the Chief of Police, but as accused seamed to be reluctant whether he would sign it or not, the Justice of the Peace advised him that it was his right to sign the document or not, and accused stated that ha preferred not to sign it, but, as oefctifiad by the Justice of the Peace in Exhibit "C" shewn by appellant, the accused admitted have shot the deceased Napoleon Rodriguez, but pleaded not guilty of the offense charged.

The carbine, Exhibit "D" used by the accused for shooting Napoleon Rodriguez was retired by the Chief of Police in the house of Florencio Tribotante, dismantled inside a sack, after the accused had admitted that he was the one who shot Napoleon Rodriguez with a carbine, and told the Chief of Police that he buried it somewhere in the cemetery of Sagay. The accused went with the Chief of Police and three policemen to the place where he allegedly had buried tha carbine, but they found it finally in the house of Tribotante; the sack containing the dismantled carbine was buried under the ground. With the carbine the peace officers found magazines and bullets which are marked Exhibit "D". Below the kitchen of the house where the shooting took place, the Chief of Police found an empty shell which is Exhibit "F." He found it at exactly 7:12 p.m.

Appellant's testimeny in the hearing and his witnesses' testimonies as to his good conduct are without merit in the face of the overwhelming evidence presented by the prosecution which conclusively show his guilt. In a way, Simaona Palma, one of the witnesses for the defense, residing in the vicinity of the shooting, corroborated the prosecution when she testified that before the shooting, at four o'clock in the afternoon, she saw the accused, going towards his house alone.

The lower court found appellant guilty of murder, with the aggravating circumstance of nocturnity and a mitigating circumstance of and sentenced to reclusion perpetua and to pay the hairs of the deceased the amouiit of P2,000.00 and the costs.

There being no error in tha lower court's decision, the judgment of the same is affirmed with costs against appellant.

Paras, Feria, Pablo, Bengzon, Briones, and Tuason, JJ., concur.