Substantial evidence required to killing done in treacherous manner

For the qualifying circumstance of treachery to be considered, it must be clear that the accused had deliberately and consciously adopted means of execution that render the person attacked with no opportunity to defend himself or to retaliate. Treachery is not presumed; it has to be proved as convincingly as the killing itself. There would appear to be no substantial evidence showing that the killing was done in a treacherous manner. In fact, the prosecution's evidence itself would indicate that appellant and the victim had some kind of argument immediately prior to the stabbing. Arceli Dangase stated that when she first gazed at appellant and the victim, the two were standing "side by side," adn when "the victim went out to urinate, appellant followed him and stabbed him." She next found herself staring at the victim holding his bloodied breast and appellant starting to run away from the scene. Absent any evidence of a treacherous attack, the accused should be given the benefit of the doubt. [G.R. No. 116610. December 2, 1996]