Here are select October 2013 rulings of the Supreme Court of the Philippines on criminal law and jurisprudence:
1. REVISED PENAL CODE
Conspiracy; concept; proof of conspiracy need not rest on direct evidence. Accused-appellants Dukilman, Ronas and Evad argue in their respective briefs that conspiracy, insofar as they were concerned, was not convincingly established. Dukilman hinges his argument on the fact that he was not one of those arrested during the rescue operation based on the testimony of Inspector Ouano. On the other hand, Ronas and Evad base their argument on the fact that they had no participation whatsoever in the negotiation for the ransom money. The Supreme Court held otherwise. Although Dukilman was not one of those apprehended at the cottage during the rescue operation, the testimony of Police Inspector Arnado sufficiently established that he was one of the four people apprehended when the police intercepted the Tamaraw FX at the Nichols Tollgate. Likewise, the testimony of Police Inspector Ouano sufficiently established that Ronas and Evad were two of those who were arrested during the rescue operation. It has been held that to be a conspirator, one need not participate in every detail of the execution; he need not even take part in every act or need not even know the exact part to be performed by the others in the execution of the conspiracy. Once conspiracy is shown, the act of one is the act of all the conspirators. Further, proof of the conspiracy need not rest on direct evidence, as the same may be inferred from the collective conduct of the parties before, during or after the commission of the crime indicating a common understanding among them with respect to the commission of the offense. The testimonies, when taken together, reveal the common purpose of the accused-appellants and how they were all united in its execution from beginning to end. There were testimonies proving that (1) before the incident, two of the accused-appellants kept coming back to the victim’s house; (2) during the kidnapping, accused-appellants changed shifts in guarding the victim; and (3) the accused appellants were those present when the ransom money was recovered and when the rescue operation was conducted. Seeing that conspiracy among Gambao, Karim, Dukilman, Abao, Udal, Mandao, Dilangalen, Macalinbol, Ronas and Evad was established beyond reasonable doubt based on the proffered evidence of the prosecution, the act of one is the act of all the conspirators. People of the Philippines v. Halil Gambao, et al, G.R. No. 172707, October 1, 2013.