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PEOPLE vs. OLIVO 594 SCRA 77
PEOPLE vs. OLIVO 594 SCRA 77
In November 2000, in Quezon City, the accused Charmen Olivo, Nelson Danda and Joey Zafra where charged and convicted both by Regional Trial Court and Court of Appeals for the crime of robbery with homicide. Based from the Information, the three accused conspired to engaged in robbery done in a hardware store. They were able to take P35,000.00, but on the process, they assaulted and killed the store owner. But when the case was appealed before the Supreme Court, it was found out that the accused-appellants was arrested without a warrant during a buy-bust operation for selling illegal drugs and not for robbery with homicide. Further, during the investigation at Camp Karingal, the accused was made to stand in a police line- up and identified by the eyewitness who failed to identify them three times. On appeal, two accused Charmen Olivo and Nelson Danda only appealed. Hence, this petition.
Whether or not, the favorable appeal of Charmen Olivo and Nelson will extend to co-accused Joey Zafra who did not appeal.
Yes, the present rule is that an appeal taken by one or more several accused shall not affect those who did not appeal, except insofar as the judgment of the appellate court is favorable and applicable to the latter. Our pronouncements here with respect to the insufficiency of the prosecution evidence to convict appellants beyond reasonable doubt are definitely favorable and applicable to accused Joey Zafra. He should not therefore be treated as the odd man out and should benefit from the acquittal of his co-accused. In fact, under similar conditions and on the same ratiocination, Section 11(a), Rule 122 of the Rules of Court has justified the extension of our judgment of acquittal to the co-accused who failed to appeal from the judgment of the trial court which we subsequently reversed. After review, the Supreme Court find that the accused-appellants should be acquitted. They were arrested without a warrant during a buy-bust operation on November 24, 2000, transferred to Camp Karingal under dubious circumstances, and made to stand in a police line-up and identified by an eyewitness who failed to identify them three times. These circumstances were ignored by the trial court who gave too much credence on the positive identification of the accusedappellants by the same eyewitness during direct examination. Trial courts are mandated not only to look at the direct examination of witnesses but to the totality of evidence before them. In every case, the court should review, assess and weigh the totality of the evidence presented by the parties. It should not confine itself to oral testimony during the trial. We cannot convict appellants for the special complex crime of robbery with homicide when the evidence relied upon by the trial court is plainly erroneous and inadequate to prove appellants’ guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Conviction must rest on nothing less than moral certainty, whether it proceeds from direct or circumstantial evidence
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