July 2009 Philippine Supreme Court Decisions on Criminal Law and Legal/Judicial Ethics

Here are selected July 2009 Philippine Supreme Court decisions on criminal law and legal/judicial ethics.

Criminal Law

Accomplice. To hold a person liable as an accomplice, two elements must concur: (1) community of design, which means that the accomplice knows of, and concurs with, the criminal design of the principal by direct participation; and (2) the performance by the accomplice of previous or simultaneous acts that are not indispensable to the commission of the crime. In this case, Maliao facilitated the commission of the crime by providing his own house as the venue thereof. His presence throughout the commission of the heinous offense, without him doing anything to prevent the malefactors or help the victim, indubitably show community of design and cooperation, although he had no direct participation in the execution thereof. People of the Philippines vs. Jessie Maliao y Masakit, Norberto Chiong y Discotido and Luciano Bohol y Gamana, Jessie Maliao y Masakit(Accused-Appellant), G.R. No. 178058,  July 31, 2009.

Alibi.   The defense of alibi must fail, especially in light of the fact that two of the prosecution witnesses, BBB and DDD, positively identified accused-appellant as one of the malefactors of the crime. Positive identification, where categorical and consistent and without any showing of ill motive on the part of the eyewitnesses testifying on the matter, prevails over alibi and denial. These defenses, if not substantiated by clear and convincing evidence, are negative and self-serving evidence undeserving of weight in law.  People of the Philippines vs. Teodulo Villanueva, Jr., G.R. No. 187152.  July 22, 2009

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