Jing Jing Espinosa, cousin face frustrated murder raps


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The Department of Justice (DOJ) has found probable cause to file charges of two counts of frustrated murder and one for attempted murder against Jesus “Jing-Jing” Espinosa Jr. and Benjamin “Benjie” Espinosa for allegedly trying to kill their own uncles during the barangay fiesta of Barangay Monica nearly three years ago.

In a seven-page Resolution signed by Assistant State Prosecutor Rohairah A. Lao, the DOJ said there is solid evidence to indict the two Espinosa cousins for firing their handguns at Pascual “Toto E” Espinosa III, Leo Espinosa and Sergio Espinosa at around 2 a.m. on June 1, 2010.

Pascual and Leo Espinosa suffered gunshot wounds while Sergio survived the attached unharmed.

In their complaints, the three victims said their fiesta party at the family’s ancestral house had just ended at around 2 a.m. when there was a sudden burst of gunfire directed at them. All three, including eyewitnesses, pointed to Jing Jing and Benjie Espinosa as their assailants.

Pascual sustained three bullet wounds in the side of his body that could have caused his death had there been a delay in bringing him to a hospital.

Leo was hit in the right thigh. Miraculously, Sergio was not hit.

The preliminary investigation of the case had to be handled by the DOJ after Jing Jing Espinosa asked that assistant provincial prosecutor Antonio Chin, who was assigned to hear the case, inhibit himself from the case because of his perceived closeness of Assistant City Prosecutor Resty Ann Espinosa-Borja, daughter of Pascual III.

Lao noted that the defense of Jing Jing Espinosa was nothing more than an alibi that he had no involvement in the shooting.

Jing Jing said that he had arrived from Manila in the evening of May 31, 2010 as the fiesta celebration was already underway.

Jing Jing said he was about to transfer his Ford Everest to the front of his house near the basketball court after the fiesta dance party ended at about 2 o’ clock a.m. when he saw the three victims start firing their guns at his car.

Jing Jing claimed he had no firearm and had to run home, leaving his car behind, to seek protection in their home.

His co-respondent Benjie said he was not in the area when the incident took place.

But Lao said she was not convinced by the defense put up by the two respondents in the case.  

“After perusal of the record and the evidence submitted by the parties, the undersigned (Lao) is convinced that a probable cause for the crimes of frustrated and attempted murder exist against respondents Jesus Epinosa and Benjamin Espinosa in the instant case,” she said.

Lao said “the narration of facts and their witnesses are straightforward, believable and appear to be in consonance with logic and reason.”

Lao stressed that positive identification of the assailants by the victims is always given more weight and credence than mere denial and alibi of the defense.

“In the instant case, respondent Jesus admitted that he was at the crime scene at the time of the incident,” she said.

Lao also found it strange that if indeed Jing Jing was unarmed, he did not suffer even a single gunshot wound when a hail of bullets supposedly cascaded on his car.

“This is because respondent Jesus was not tellling the truth and wanted this office to believe his incredible story,” she said.

The resolution was dated October 12, 2012 but was received by complainants only a few days ago.

Jing Jing became controversial recently after he posted photographs showing him in the company of City Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog, Rep. Jerry P. Trenas, Vice Mayor Joe Espinosa III and other local officials in parties at his Barangay Monica residence on his Facebook page.

Jing Jing had been convicted for the murder of a deaf mute in Barangay Monica 20 years ago. He was also accused for the ambush of Pascual III near the San Jose Church in 2003 but was acquitted for lack of evidence.

Pascual III said Jing Jing has developed a deep hatred against him after he exposed his nephew’s alleged involvement in the illegal drug business.

When confronted by the media on his friendship with Jing Jing, Mabilog said he was not ashamed about such friendship. He was even proud of it, he said.

 

About Manuel "Boy" Mejorada
Manuel "Boy" Mejorada is a journalist and social media activist. A former Iloilo provincial administrator, he is now waging a crusade against corruption and narco-politics.

29 Responses to Jing Jing Espinosa, cousin face frustrated murder raps

  1. JACOB says:

    hahaha gna welcome ko gid ina nga kaso.Sino nahoy an ako?!!! pa gusto kamo file kaso sa akon impt.ako ang gna pasibangdan nyo nga ga npaniro, sang sa ako gna tiro?!! ti sakit man agi sang bala sa inyo?!!!! ti awayon ta sa korte lantawon ta sin o patihan sa aton.this is round three, round 1 and 2 acquitted ko.hahaha sumakay ka pa boy wala mejora!!! ang kaso mo atindiron moh kay kng ma convict ka hinolsolan mo gd gin tawo ka pa sa ini nga kalibutan.hahaha.amo ni nga kaso indi ni ma ka Tay og kay JING JING ESPINOSA.KITAKITS HIDLAW NAMAN KO SA INYO!!!!hahahaha

  2. JACOB says:

    ANG PAMILYA ESPINOSA WALA GA FILE KASO HALIN PA SANG UNA!!!! KNG AGRABYADO BALOS , DI BALA TITO VULCAN TITO BULLDOG?!!!! PERO LANTAWA BALA ILA NAHIMO SUBONG PAKAHUYA SA APELYIDO ESPINOSA, FILE KASO IYA NA YA ULUBRAHON KA MGA AGAK KAG TALAWIT NGA TAWO!!!!! ALL OUT WAR FILE KASO!!! GUSTO FACE TO FACE LA TRAIDORANAY FILE KASO!!!! HASLO KA TOTO E KAG BOY PUNGA ISOG NIYO SA INDI LANG MAG BATO SA INYO.PAHUYA HUYA KAMO SA PAMILYA ESPINOSA!!!! ROYAL BLOOD TALAWIT!!!! PAKITA MAN KAMO GAMAY NGA ISOG KAG DELIKADESA SA MABATO SA INYO!!!! ESPINOSA MGA WARRIOR TAPOS GA PANINGKOY!!! BOY WALA MEJORA DUGANG KA PA DA SA ILA!!!! HAMBAL KAMO DIIN ANU ORAS GUSTO NYO HAMBAL KAMO KAY ATUBANGON TA KAMO!!!HAHAHAHA PAHUYA HUYA KAMO!!! NA PA LANOG NYO PA SA BILOG ILOILO NGA GNA PANIRO LANG KAMO KAHULUYA!!!!!

    • Paltik says:

      Todohe wakal paltik nami ka lang sa baba kag dire sa computer.Tatay mo to nga paltik ga sala sala.Ang tuod nga isog wala ga wakal wakal.Na isgan mo lang tirohaon ang apa nga wala ga bato kay kung my armas man to ang gn tiro mo thank you ka man tani.

      • JACOB says:

        Ano isala namon?hahaha kamo gani ga bayad na lang sa iban tawo kay mga PUTI ITLOG kamo.isog kamo sa indi mag bato sa inyo hala kamo dayon paSikat.Pero kng mag bato sa inyo daw ilaga kamo sang panago sa mga buho nyo!!!! hahaha KONG ISOG KA GID PAKILALA kong sin o ka.hahahaha MGA PUTI ITLOG.

  3. Paltik says:

    Ikaw paltik mayo ka Lang sa Baba kasami mo patalikod kag mag dalagan ga sandad ka man dalagan sa footwalk. Kay Kung mag bato ka tubangay Dugay ka na namuyong upod sang mga talawit mo nga pamilya.sagad ka hambal tubangay Kung din gusto Indi ka man ka ubos sinamo mo.hapdi man ang bagras sa guya mo sang dalagan.tabida mga pakaisa mo nga mga agak kag sunoy mo nga pakaisa.

    • JACOB says:

      Pakilala ka bala kay atubangon ta ka dayon para kunin ka na ni lord dayon.sige bi pakilalal ka .hahahaPUTI ITLOG anu ka pa sapak sapak sa akon.hahaha

  4. Renato says:

    Ang mga yudiputa nga mga Espinosa amo man guihapon, puro lang baligya droga. Wa-ay guid pulos ang mga linintian ya. Vilatibay nyo mayo guid na kamo kamo man lang nagapinatyanay. Toto Jing Jing paloy naman gali sikat sa Iloilo? Sikat sa kagago mo eh waay puturo ang ungas. Testingi d bala baho mo di sa 1st District tan-awon ta kung d magwas-ag ramag mo nga tampuhaw ka. One time pag-nakita ta ka sa siudad pintukan ku sang tinga ulo mo. Dumduman ko migo ko PJ Espinosa sang una sa San Agustin grabe man to pero migo ko to ya mong. Ikaw ya Jing Jing vilat sang nanay mo matimingan ta lang ka nga abnormal ka panitan ta guid ka sa dapa dapa kag panalaganon sa dalan. Damn bitch ass mothafucka!

    • JACOB says:

      hala may ga pamahog nga morto.sino ka please? indi na pag hulata nga makita mu ko sa syudad.pakilala ka lang mang renato sang kumpleto kng sin o ka kay kadto an ta ka sa 1st district nga gina wakal mo. Ano no sila man ga pamahog kamo la kamo ga pakilala panu kamo na karon kahadlokan.hahaha

    • JACOB says:

      HIPOS KA HAW? PAKILALA KA KAY PANGITAON TKA DA DAYUN SA 1ST DISTRICT MANG RENATO.CGE NA PARA MATAKOS TA ISOG MO.

  5. we’ll see if City Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog will direct the city police to serve warrant of arrest on Jing Jing Espinosa once the Regional Trial Court hands it down.

  6. JACOB says:

    sin o ka paltik? usara tuod mo nga ngalan kng isog ka gid nd mag gamit alyas basi LIGIDON KAMO kag mangihi sa dlargo nyo!!!! hahaha Pila ka adlaw kunin gid kamo ni LORD.hahaha PAKILALA ka anay a.PUTI ITLOG GAMIT PA ALYAS.hahaha

    BOY WALA MEJORA nd nko kilanlan pag arrestaron kay ma pa priso nko gni.Anu ko parehos sa imo nanago pa.hahaha HALUNGI MGA KASO MO YA.hahaha

  7. JACOB says:

    hahaha tarantado abe ko isog ka hahaha.wala na halong halong iya lang ka mga puti itlog parehas sa imo.hahaha

    • JACOB says:

      AYTEH LA GANA MAG PAKILALA? AMO NA NI TSANSA NYO MAG PAKITA KA MGA ISOG NYO.CGE NA PAKILALA PARA MAG KILIT ANAY TA DAYON.

      • Paltik says:

        Pag hipos Kay kagahod sang baba mo mayo ka Lang sa baba.indi sagad pasikat Kay mga bata mo gagmay pa basi ma ngita sila Tatay nga bago.

      • JACOB says:

        pano na matabo abe kong indi ka mag pakilala puti itlog? NERBYOS KA GID MAKILALA TA KA.ABE KO KAY NAG COMMENT KA DI ISOG KA TARANTADO KA MAN GALI.PUTI ITLOG.hahaha GAHUDAN XA KUNO ANU NI MAY SOUND!! indi ka lang puti itlog mango ka pa gali.hahaha.KAW MAG HIPOS KAY NERBIYOSO KA!!!!haha

      • Paltik says:

        Ndi ko pareho sa IMO nga gapadayaw d sa Damo tawo nga Kono isog.makilala mo gd ko mag sugataay ta paltik.ndi ko pareho sa IMO ga Tikal d padayaw.isog ka Lang sa social media.nagamit mo lng ang social media para Kono isog.bongkoy!

      • JACOB says:

        hahaha sin o ga padayaw sa aton?!!! gusto mo mag pasikat pakilala ka puti itlog!!! sugata a nko kadugay man . . sa dugo nyo gid na ang mga nerbyoso!!! sagad ka saligbat di tapos mag inagak ka… hay san o pa kamo mag ilisog man.hehehe mga kulang kamo sa pansin puti itlog pa!!!bleeee

  8. Benjamin Espinosa was also pinpointed as the suspect in the brutal killing of a trisikad driver in Brgy. Monica, City Proper last September 2012. He remains at large. Police are afraid to arrest him because of the protection the drug group enjoys from City Hall.

  9. This is the kind of savagery that the cousins Jing Jing and Benjie routinely commit against hapless victims in Barangay Monica, City Proper.
    http://www.abante-tonite.com/issue/sep0712/crime_story03.htm

  10. The police is helpless against the criminal instincts of the cousins because of the protection given to them by a powerful politician.
    http://www.remate.ph/2012/09/ama-tepok-sa-kaaway-ng-anak/

  11. JACOB says:

    PAMATOD E NYO SA KORTE BOY WALA MEJORA.PAREHAS LANG TA MAY MGA KASO NGA GINA ATUBANG.KONG ANU PANULOK MO SA AMON MAG PAKAISA MAS SOBRA KA PA SA AMON TANDAAN MO GID NA!!!SAPAT KA PAREHAS SA MGA BATA BATA MO NGA GINA SALIGAN MO!!!

  12. JACOB says:

    ano gusto mo maging desenti pa ko cmu gali.mga parehas cmu nga tawo nd dapat pakitaan ka mayo.kng anu man ko ka arroganti o kalain cmu tungod batasan mo indi matupungan.gabunan ka na sa tanan nga kalainan boy wala mejora.Indi ka mag expectar may mabatian ka nga maayo sa akon!!!!

  13. Mirsey David says:

    MASKI ANO PA KAHAMBOG SA PAG KA MAISOGON,INDI MA PATIHAN! ANG PINAKA TALAWAN NGA TAWO AMO ANG NAGA PATAY KAG NAGA HALIT SA MGA TAWO NGA WALA IBATO’ SA ILA. MAY MAS TALAWIT PA AYHAN SA TAWO NGA NAGA TIRO SA APA’ KAG BULAG, NGA INDI GID KA APIN SA IYA KAUGALINGON? AMO INA ANG PINA KA TALAWAN NGA BULOHATON. MAY DIYOS ANG KALIBUTAN. DRUGS,MURDER..WALA NA SANG MAS MALAIN PA DIRA!! ” THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH.”..

    • JACOB says:

      AY MIRSEY DAVID AMO NA ALYAS MO? NGA PURO ALYAS KAMO HAW? PAKITA MAN KAMO ISOG BI NGA GAMAY.hahaha AMU NA GURO WALA KA GA PAKILALA KAY ANG SALA MO KAG BAHO MO GA TAG LUMAPAW!!!! PAKILALA KA KAY MA BEDATE TA BISKAN ANU GUSTO MO.GA DAMO NA KAMO NGA MGA PUTI ITLOG.hahaha

  14. ver matias says:

    Republic of the Philippines
    SUPREME COURT
    Manila

    THIRD DIVISION

    G.R. No. 113795 March 28, 1995

    PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,
    vs.
    JESUS ESPINOSA, JR. and RODNEY ESPINOSA, accused. JESUS ESPINOSA, JR., accused-appellant.

    MELO, J.:

    Accused were charged with murder in an Information reading as follows:

    That on or about the 13th day of February 1993, in the City of Iloilo, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Court, said accused Jesus Espinosa alias Jingjing Espinosa, armed with a handgun of unknown caliber, conspiring and confederating with Rodney Espinosa, working together and helping one another, with evident premeditation, by means of treachery and with a decided purpose to kill, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and criminally shot, hit and wound Agusto Elon with the said handgun, with which the herein accused was provided at the time, thereby causing upon said Agusto Elon bulled wounds on his head, which cause his death few moments thereafter.

    (p. 8, Rollo.)

    After the, the court a quo rendered a decision dated November 19, 1993 disposing:

    WHEREFORE, premises considered, the accused Jesus Espinosa, is hereby found guilty beyond reasonable doubt as principal, in the crime of murder, defined and penalized under Art. 248 of the Revised Penal Code and there being no mitigating or aggravating circumstance, is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua.

    The accused Rodney Espinosa, alias Rodney Secuilan is acquitted on the ground that the prosecution failed to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

    The accused Jesus Espinosa, Jr. is further ordered to pay as civil liability to the heirs of the deceased, the amount of P4,450.00, as actual damages; P50,000.00 for his wrongful death and P20,000.00 as moral damages; and the costs of this suit.

    Said accused Jesus Espinosa, Jr., who is detained, is accredited with the number of days he spent under detention, if he is qualified, otherwise he shall be credited with only four-fifth (4/5) of his preventive imprisonment.

    The other accused, Rodney Espinosa, alias Rodney Secuilan, who is also detained, is hereby ordered released immediately.

    (pp. 87-88, Rollo.)

    From said decision accused Jesus Espinosa, Jr. appealed, insisting on his alibi.

    The facts of the case as, summarized by the trial court and as borne out by the evidence, are as follows:

    At about 11:40 in the evening on February 13, 1993, while the deceased Agusto Elon, a deaf mute, was urinating near the gate of the fence of the house of his sister, Cynthia Villanueva, at Zamora Extension Street, Iloilo City, the accused Jesus Espinosa, Jr. alias Jingjing Espinosa, shot said Agusto Elon at the back of his head three times, which caused his death. Rodney Espinosa, alias Rodney Secuilan, was standing about four feet away from Jesus Espinosa, Jr., when the latter shot Agusto Elon.

    The shooting of Agusto Elon was witnesses by his father Juan Elon because at that time he was sleeping in the house of his daughter Cynthia, which house is situated along the road, or along Zamora Extension Street. He was requested by his daughter to sleep at her house, which is only fifteen (15) meters away from his own house, as Cynthia’s husband was at Lemery, Iloilo, at that time, and she and her children had no companion in their house.

    As earlier stated, the house of Cynthia Elon Villanueva is located along or about one (1) foot from Zamora Extension Street. The fence of her house which is made of hollow blocks is at the same time the wall of the front of her house.

    The place where his son was shot at well lighted and there was an electric light at the post near the place of the incident. When Jesus Espinosa, Jr. shot Agusto Elon he was about three feet away, more or less, from the deceased. The deceased was facing the wall when he was shot and his back turned towards the accused, Jesus Espinosa, Jr.

    Juan Elon cried aloud when he saw his son being shot and ran downstairs, towards him, but he stumbled at the mosquito net of his grandchildren. His wife who was sleeping at their house, which is very near the house of his daughter, arrived first at the scene of the incident. When he reached his son, Juan Elon embraced him. He saw that the bullets were “bulging” on his forehead and blood was oozing from his neck. He was already dead. He recognized the accused because he worked as a “stevedore” at the pier, and had also worked with the grandfather of the accused and had known the accused since they were small.

    At the time of his death, Agusto Elon was only 21 years old. Although a deaf mute, his son was employed at “Basic Fruit Corporation” situated at Pavia, Iloilo. His job was “peeling banana”, to be made into “banana chips” but the does not know how much his son was earning.

    His son usually went home at about 10 to 11 o’clock in the evening, because before going home he used to pass at the back of the church at Jaro, Iloilo, to visit his friends, who were also deaf muted.

    After his son died, the cadaver was emblamed and autopsy was conducted. He paid funenaria Porras the amount of Three Thousand Six Hundred (P3,600.00) Pesos, for funeral services. He also hired 6 jeepneys during the funeral at Fifty (P50,00) Pesos. He bought (“Zest-O” Juice” during the funeral, for the merienda of the deceased’s friends he spent amount of One Thousand Four Hundred (P1,400.00) Pesos. He also bought bread and sandwich spread and spent One Thousand (P1,000.00) Pesos. For the “pantheon” of his son he spent Six Hundred (P600.00) Pesos. For church services, Two hundred (200.00) Pesos, or a total amount of Four Thousand Four Hundred Fifty (P4,450.00) Pesos. He also bought bread and sandwich spread and spent One Thousand (P1,000.00) Pesos. For the “pantheon” of his son he spent Six Hundred (P600.00) Pesos. For church services, Two hundred (200.00) Pesos, or a total amount of Four Thousand Four Hundred Fifty (P4,450.00) Pesos.

    The testimony of Juan, the father of the deceased was corroborated by another eyewitness Romualdo Robles.

    He testified that while he was on his way home to Zamora Extension Street, at around 11:40 in the evening of February 13, 1993, coming from Rotary park and while he was across the street in front of the house of Juan Elon, he saw Jesus Espinosa, Jr., shoot of Agusto Elon of “Apa Elon”, in front of their house at Zamora Extension, Iloilo City, He was about fifteen to twenty meters away from the place of the incident and the place was well lighted.

    At the time of the shooting, Agusto Elon was urinating and the deceased was bout three to four feet away from the assailant. He saw Jesus Espinosa, Jr. shoot “Apa” Elon three times and the deceased feel on his face on the fence (nagdamhag sa kudal) and he fell on the ground on his back.

    (pp. 70-73, Rollo)

    Accused-appellant maintains that the prosecution failed in its task to identify him positively as the perpetrator of the crime. The evidence does not support accused-appellant as the person who shot the victim. Prosecution witness Romualdo Robles positively and unequivocably identified accused-appellant as the perpetrator of the crime. Robles testified thusly:

    ATTY. CASTRO:

    While you were on your way home that evening of February 13, 1993, at around 11:40 in the evening, can you recall whether there was any untoward incident that happened?

    WITNESS:

    Yes, I witnessed the shooting incident done by Jingjing Espinosa to Apa Elon.

    ATTY. CASTRO:

    Who is this Apa Elon

    WITNESS:

    The son of Tyo Juan Elon?

    ATTY. CASTRO:

    What is his name if you know?

    WITNESS:

    Agusto Elon.

    ATTY. CASTRO:

    You said you witnessed the shooting of Apa Elon, in what particular place was Apa Elon shot?

    WITNESS:

    In front of their house?

    ATTY. CASTRO:

    In what street?

    WITNESS:

    Zamora Extension.

    ATTY. CASTRO:

    Iloilo city?

    WITNESS:

    Yes, sir.

    ATTY. CASTRO:

    You said you saw the shooting of Apa Elon, how far were you from the place where the shooting took place?

    WITNESS:

    My distance from the victim is about from 15 to 20 meters.

    ATTY. CASTRO:

    From where you were situated, where is the shooting incident, can you tell whether the place of the incident is lighted or not?

    WITNESS:

    In the house of Tyo Juan there was a light and the place of the incident is so well lighted.

    ATTY. CASTRO:

    Who is the Tyo Juan you are referring to?

    WITNESS:

    The father of Apa Elon.

    ATTY. CASTRO:

    You said you saw the actual shooting of Apa Elon, what was the victim doing when he was the shot?

    WITNESS:

    He was urinating and his back turned down the assailant.

    ATTY. CASTRO:

    How far was the assailant from the victim when the victim was shot?

    WITNESS:

    Three to four feet from the back.

    ATTY. CASTRO:

    You said Apa Elon was shot by Jingjing Espinosa, do you know the complete name of Jingjing Espinosa?

    WITNESS:

    Jesus Espinosa.

    ATTY. CASTRO:

    If this person whom you and who shot Apa Elon is inside the courtroom, can you point to him?

    WITNESS:

    Yes, sir.

    ATTY. CASTRO:

    Please point to him?

    WITNESS:

    There (witness is pointing to one in the audience whom when asked answered by the name of Jesus Espinosa.

    (pp. 7-13, tsn, July 23, 1993)

    The testimony of Romualdo Robles was fully corroborated by Juan Elon, the father of the victim, who testified as follows:

    PROSECUTOR:

    At about that time 11:40 you said you witnessed the shooting of your son, where was your son situated insofar as you are concerned in relation to you?

    WITNESS:

    Beside the gate because he was urinating.

    PROSECUTOR:

    While your son was urinating were you also witnessing the same?

    WITNESS:

    Yes, sir.

    PROSECUTOR:

    What happened then when your son was urinating?

    WITNESS:

    Jesus alias Jingjing and Rodney Espinosa passed by and without any provocation they shot my son three times.

    PROSECUTOR:

    Why did you say that without the provocation they shot your son three times.

    WITNESS:

    I do not know, because my son was urinating and my son is a deafmute.

    PROSECUTOR:

    Did you see where your son was shot?

    WITNESS:

    At the “tangkugo”.

    PROSECUTOR:

    How many times he was shot?

    WITNESS:

    Three times.

    PROSECUTOR:

    Who shot him?

    WITNESS:

    Jesus Espinosa, Jr. alias Jingjing.

    PROSECUTOR:

    Did you see him holding a gun?

    WITNESS:

    Yes, sir.

    PROSECUTOR:

    Did you see his face clearly when he shoot your son?

    WITNESS:

    Yes, sir.

    PROSECUTOR:

    Why do you say you saw his face clearly?

    WITNESS:

    Because the street was well-lighted and there is a post-lamp and the light at the houses were lighting.

    (pp. 12-15, Ibid).

    Accused-appellant questions veracity of the testimony of Juan Elon, maintaining that Juan Elon was asleep at the time that the victim was shot. Again the evidence does not substantiate accused-appellant’s contention. Juan Elon unequivocably testified that he was fully awake when the shooting place.

    ATTY. MACAHILIG:

    What time did you wake up after having gone to sleep?

    WITNESS:

    I am already old and my sleep is not so heavy and its so light that I can hear the noise and I hear the tryskad that stopped and I saw my son alighted from that tryskad.

    (p. 29, tsn., July 7, 1993)

    In the absence of any ill motive on the part of Juan Elon to point to accused-appellant as the perpetrator of the crime charged, Juan Elon’s testimony must be given full faith and credit (People vs. Tolentino, 218 SCRA 337 [1993]. A thorough search of the record fails to uncover any such ill motive. neither does not his relationship to the victim impair his credibility (People vs. Dominguez, 217 SCRA 170 [1993].

    Further, accused-appellant impugns the testimony of prosecution witness Romualdo Robles. Accused-appellant asserts that the testimony of Robles Accused-appellant asserts that the testimony of Robles to the effect that Juan Elon and his wife went out of the house together is inconsistent with the testimony of Juan Elon that his wife went out of their house first then followed by him. The question of who got out of their respective houses first is obviously a minor, trivial, and inconsequential matter that cannot adversely effect the testimony of Robles that he saw accused-appellant shoot the victim.

    Accused-appellant also assails Robles for his failure to immediately report what he saw to the policeman who arrived at the scene of the crime. Such failure does not subvert the credibility of Robles for as explained by him he immediately went home after the shooting because he was afraid that he might get involved
    (p. 7, tsn., July 23, 1993).

    The reticence of Cabatas to immediately reveal the said statement to the police officers was satisfactorily explained; he was then afraid. The natural reluctance of witnesses to volunteer information to the police authorities in criminal cases is a matter of judicial notice. He might have deemed it the better part of valor not to give the name of the accused who was still at large and who probably recognize him. Such reluctance should not affect his testimony. The decisive factor is that he in fact identified the accused.

    (People vs. Vicente, 225 SCRA 361, 370.)

    In an attempt to destroy the credibility of Robles, accused-appellant presented a certification of Kilayko Express Services, Inc. to the effect that Robles had never been an employee thereat, this to rebut the statement of Robles that he was an errand boy of Kilayko Express, Inc. In this regard, we fully agree with the following observation of the trial court:

    The defense would like to assail the credibility of Romualdo Robles, the second witness of the prosecution by presenting a certification issued by the president or General of Kilayko Express, Inc., Victor Kilayko, that Mr. Romualdo Robles has not been an employee of Kilayko Express, Inc. in whatever capacity since 1990 up to 1993. but Romualdo never asserted that he was an employee of Kilayko Express, Inc. He merely testified that he was a “errand boy” or “messenger” but not a regular employee. he received no regular salary accepted whatever amount that might be given to him as an errand boy. As a matter of fact, in his personal circumstance, he stated that he was jobless.

    (pp. 25-26, Rollo.)

    We reject the defense of alibi put up by accused-appellant not only because alibi cannot prevail over the positive identification by the prosecution witnesses (People vs. Dominguez, 217 SCRA 170 [1993]), but also because accused-appellant has failed to establish that it was physically impossible for him to have been present at the place where the crime was committed at the time it happened, (People vs. Flores, 217 SCRA 613 [1993]). In the case at bench, accused-appellant professes that he was in a fishpond situated at Brgy. Taguangin, Ajuy, Iloilo at the time of the commission of the crime. However, said place is only 80 kilometers away from Iloilo City, and can be negotiated by bus in about 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Therefore, the element of physical impossibility of presence of accused-appellant at the scene and the time of the crime does not obtain.

    We, however, agree with accused-appellant that the mitigating circumstance of a voluntary surrender should be taken into consideration in fixing the penalty The trial court itself stated that the record shows the act of voluntary surrender but refrained from taking it into consideration because according to the trial court, the report on the warrant of arrest was not offered in evidence. There was no need for said report to be submitted in evidence because the court can take cognizance of it, the same being part of the record.

    It is a settled rule that a tribunal may at any time take judicial notice of the records of a case pending before it.

    (Universal Textile Mills, Inc. vs. Court of Industrial Relations; 36 SCRA 619, 623 [1970])

    We nonetheless concur with the following findings of the trial court that the killing of the victim was characterized by treachery:

    In this case, it was clearly shown beyond reasonable doubt that the back of the deceased was turned to the accused when he was shot three times. He was urinating when shot and was defenseless. He was unaware what happened to him. He could not have put up any defense at all. In short, the accused in executing the crime, employed means , methods or forms which tend directly and specially to ensure its execution, without risks to himself arising from the defense which the offended party might make . There was no way the deceased should not defend himself under the circumstances.

    (p. 84, Rollo.)

    In view of the presence of the qualifying circumstance of treachery, the crime committed by accused-appellant is murder under article 248 of the Revised Penal Code. There being a mitigating circumstance, the penalty for murder prescribed by said Article 248, which is reclusion temporal. In its maximum period to death, should be imposed in its minimum period, or 17 years, 4 months, and 1 day, to 20 years. Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, the proper penalty is that next lower in degree, which is prision mayor in its maximum period to reclusion temporal in its medium period, or 10 years and 1 day of prision mayor, to 17 years and 4 months of reclusion temporal. (People vs. Roel Ponayo y Villanueva, G.R No. 111523, August 10, 1994),

    WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is HEREBY AFFIRMED, with the modification that accused-appellant IS HEREBY SENTENCED to an indeterminate sentence of ten (10) years and one (1) day of prision mayor, as minimum, to seventeen. (17) years and four (4) months of reclusion temporal, as maximum.

    In all other respects, the decision appealed from is hereby affirmed.

    No special pronouncement is made as to costs.

    SO ORDERED.

    Feliciano, Romero, Vitug and Francisco, JJ., concur.

    The Lawphil Project – Arellano Law Foundation

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