Accused entitled to acquittal unless guilt proved beyond reasonable doubt

The Constitutional provides that "in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved." It is thus axiomatic that "an accused under our law is entitled to an acquittal unless his guilt is proved beyond reasonable doubt." In fact, unless the prosecution discharges the burden of proving the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt the latter "need not even offer evidence in his behalf." Clearly, the prosecution has utterly failed to discharge its burden of proof. A review of the decision and the evidence on record merely engenders more doubts in our minds as to the guilt of the accused-appellants. We perforce rule that Enemesio Abellanosa and Crisanto Abellanosa, Jr. are entitled to a mandatory acquittal. [G.R. No. 121195. November 27, 1996]

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