Treachery cannot be proved by sole testimony of eyewitness-victim

Treachery must be proven as clearly as the crime itself, and "absent any particulars as to the manner in which the aggression commenced or how the act which resulted in the death of the victim unfolded, as in this case, treachery cannot be appreciated." The prosecution's sole eyewitness Lydia Zilmar saw what transpired only from the time the victim was already being chased by the accused-appellants. Hence, not having seen how the assailants commenced the execution of the felony, she gave no testimony as to, and there is no sufficient evidence available to prove conclusively, the use of treachery in the commission thereof. Futhermore, the fact that the victim had opportunity to flee from his attackers (although he was subsequently caught) tends to negate the presence of the qualifying aggravating circumstance of treachery. [G.R. No. 92153. December 16, 1996]