Monday, March 12, 2012

People vs. Mandolado [June 28, 1983]

Facts: Martin Mandolado and Julian Ortillano, draftees assigned with the Alpha Company, 3rd Infantry Battalion, Second Infantry Division of the Philippine Army stationed at Pikit, North Cotabato, were accused for the murder of Herminigildo Tenorio and his driver Nolasco Mendoza in the afternoon of October 3, 1977 at Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao qualified with the aggravating circumstances of treachery, evident premeditation and abuse of superior strength. 

In the morning of that date, Ortillano, Mandolado, Conrado Erinada and Anacleto Simon, AFP trainees/draftees, were passengers of a bus bound for Midsayap, North Cotabato. After reaching Midsayap, while still in uniform, they decided to drink ESQ rum at the bus terminal. 

Erinada and Simon decided to join the accused in going to Pikit, North Cotabato, the home base of the accused. After an hour of drinking, Mandolado got drunk and went inside the public market. When he returned, he grabbed his .30 caliber machine gun and started firing. Companions tried to dissuade him but Mandolado just won’t stop. 

Troubled enough, Erinada and Simon ran away, hailed and boarded a passing Ford Fiera with some passengers on board. The accused followed and also boarded the same vehicle. The soldiers forced the driver to bring them to the Midsayap crossing. 

On the way, Mandolado got his knife and tried to attack the driver. After appellants alighted at said crossing, the Ford Fiera sped away. Mandolado fired his machine gun at the speeding vehicle, hitting the back of the driver’s sister who was also on board. 

At the said crossing, waiting for a ride, a privately owned jeep driven by Tenorio passed by. The appellants shouted at the driver, to stop vehicle and allow them to board it. While Mandolado and Ortillano were inside the jeep, they kept on firing their guns. Tenorio remarked: “If you will not stop firing your guns I will ram this jeep into something.” 

When Mandolado learned that the jeep was bound for Cotabato City and not Pikit, North Cotabato, he got so angry, cocked his gun and ordered the driver to stop. While the jeep was coming to a full stop, Erinida and Simon got off the jeep and ran towards their detachment camp which was just nearby. Then the killing transpired. Mendoza and Tenorio were dead. 

Issue: Whether or not the specific circumstance of abuse of confidence may be appreciated as an aggravating circumstance 

Held: NO. In order that abuse of confidence be deemed as aggravating, it is necessary that “there exists a relation of trust and confidence between the accused and one against whom the crime was committed and the accused made use of such a relationship to commit the crime.” (People v. Comendador). It is also essential that the confidence between the parties must be immediate and personal such as would give the accused undue advantage or make it easier for him to commit the said crime. In the instant case, there is absolutely no showing of any personal or immediate relationship upon which confidence might rest between the victims and the assailants who had just met each other then. Thus, no confidence and abuse thereof could have facilitated the commission of the crimes.

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