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People vs Puno & Amurao
G.R. No. 97471
February 17, 1993
The primal issue for resolution in this case is whether accused-appellants committed the felony of kidnapping for ransom under Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code, as charged in the information; or a violation of Presidential Decree No. 532 (Anti-Piracy and Anti-Highway Robbery Law of 1974), as contended by the Solicitor General and found by the trial court; or the offense of simple robbery punished by Paragraph 5, Article 294 of the Revised Penal Code, as claimed by the defense.
On January 13, 1988 in Quezon City, the said accused Isabelo Puno and Enrique Amurao, being then private individuals, feloniously kidnapped Maria del Socorro Sarmiento for the purpose of extorting ransom, to the damage and prejudice of the said offended party in such amount as may be awarded to her under the provisions of the Civil Code.
On a plea of not guilty when arraigned, appellants went to trial which ultimately resulted in a judgment promulgated on September 26, 1990 finding them guilty of robbery with extortion committed on a highway, punishable under Presidential Decree No. 532.
On their appeal, appellants contended that the court a quo erred (1) in convicting them under Presidential Decree No. 532 since they were not expressly charged with a crime therein; (2) in applying Sections 4 and 5, Rule 120 of the Rules of Court since the charge under said presidential decree is not the offense proved and cannot rightly be used as the offense proved which is necessarily included in the offense charged.
W/N accused-appellants can be charged of indeterminate sentence for violating the crime of robbery as punished in Paragraph 5 of Article 294, in relation to Article 295, of the Revised Penal Code?
Accordingly, it was held that the offense committed by appellants is simple robbery defined in Article 293 and punished under Paragraph 5 of Article 294 of the Revised Penal Code with prision correccional in its maximum period to prision mayor in its medium period. Appellants have indisputably acted in conspiracy as shown by their concerted acts evidentiary of a unity of thought and community of purpose. In the determination of their respective liabilities, the aggravating circumstances of craft shall be appreciated against both appellants and that of abuse of confidence shall be further applied against appellant Puno, with no mitigating circumstance in favor of either of them. At any rate, the intimidation having been made with the use of a firearm, the penalty shall be imposed in the maximum period as decreed by Article 295 of the Code
However, the assailed judgment of the trial court was hereby SET ASIDE and another one was rendered CONVICTING accused-appellants Isabelo Puno y Guevarra and Enrique Amurao y Puno of robbery as Punished in Paragraph 5 of Article 294, in relation to Article 295, of the Revised Penal Code and IMPOSING on each of them an indeterminate sentence of four (4) years and two (2) months of prision correccional, as minimum, to ten (10) years of prision mayor, as maximum, and jointly and severally pay the offended party, Maria del Socorro M. Sarmiento, the amounts of P7,000.00 as actual damages and P20,000.00 as moral damages, with costs.