G.R. No. 233635. January 31, 2018

SECOND DIVISION: [G.R. No. 233635, January 31, 2018] RANDY S. BARLAAN VERSUS PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES.


After reviewing the Petition and its annexes, including the Court of Appeals (CA) Decision[1] dated April 7, 2017 and the Resolution[2] dated August 22, 2017 in CA-G.R. CR No. 37793, the Court RESOLVES to DENY the instant Petition and AFFIRM the April 7, 2017 Decision and August 22, 2017 Resolution of the CA.

The Court affirms the findings of the CA that Francis Pancho (Pancho) positively identified petitioner Randy S. Barlaan (Barlaan) as the person who shot Marcelo Collado, firstly, when the pictures of the police personnel were presented to him and secondly, in open court. Pancho was also familiar with Barlaan, having seen him when the latter passed by Capulong Street prior to the shooting incident.

A categorical and consistent positive identification of the accused, without any showing of ill motive on the part of the eyewitnesses, prevails over denial.[3] These testimonies of the prosecution witnesses always prevail over alibi evidence. To be accepted, the denial and alibi must be substantiated by clear and convincing evidence establishing not only that the accused did not take part in the commission of the imputed criminal act but also that it was physically impossible for the accused to be at or near the place of the commission of the act at or about the time of its commission.[4] Barlaan's alibi should not be given credit because only Barlaan himself and his relatives substantiated them.

Witness Pancho was bereft of ill motive when he testified that Barlaan was the man he saw who shot Collado.

Based on the foregoing, the Court finds that the CA did not commit any reversible error in affirming Barlaan's conviction of the crime of Homicide.

SO ORDERED.

[1] Rollo, pp. 22-28. Penned by Associate Justice Danton Q. Bueser, with Associate Justices Apolinario D. Bruselas, Jr. and Marie Christine Azcarraga-Jacob concurring.
[2] Id. at 37-38.
[3] Escamilla v. People, 705 Phil. 188, 195 (2013).
[4] People v. Villarico, Sr., 662 Phil. 399, 421-422 (2011).

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