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People vs. Asis, 629 SCRA 250
On or about February 10, 1998, in the City of Manila, Philippines, Asis and Formento, conspiring and confederating together and mutually helping each other, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, with intent to gain and by means of force and violence upon person, to wit: by then and there stabbing one Roy Ching with a bladed instrument on the different parts of the body and thereafter robbed the victim against his will. As a result thereof, he sustained mortal stab wounds which were the direct and immediate cause of his death. When arraigned on July 9, 1998, both appellants pleaded not guilty. Found to be deaf-mutes, they were assisted, not only by a counsel de oficio, but also by an interpreter from the Calvary Baptist Church. After due trial, appellants were found guilty and sentenced to death. On appeal, two things stand out: first, there were no eyewitnesses to the robbery or to the homicide; and second, none of the items allegedly stolen were recovered or presented in evidence. Appellants argued that the pieces of circumstantial evidence submitted by the prosecution are insufficient to prove their guilt beyond reasonable doubt. The prosecution counters that these pieces of evidence, taken together, necessarily lead to their conviction.
Whether or not the evidences of the Prosecution is sufficient to warrant conviction.
The appeal is meritorious. The prosecutions evidence does not prove the guilt of appellants beyond reasonable doubt; hence, their constitutional right to be presumed innocent remains and must be upheld. Circumstantial evidence that merely arouses suspicions or gives room for conjecture is not sufficient to convict. It must do more than just raise the possibility, or even the probability, of guilt. It must engender moral certainty. Otherwise, the constitutional presumption of innocence prevails, and the accused deserves acquittal.