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G.R. No. 157984 – 434 SCRA 38 – Criminal Law – Aggravating Circumstances – Cruelty – Number of Stab Wounds
On February 10, 1980 at about 8pm, Moises Simangan and four other men wearing fatigues knocked on the door of the store owned by Ernesto Flores and Sofronia Saquing. The couple was having dinner with their daughter Lorna. Simangan asked Ernesto to guide them on the road as they were not familiar. Ernesto agreed, he then ordered his houseboy Romeo to accompany him in guiding the group of Simangan. The next morning, Romeo reported to Sofronia that Ernesto is dead. Ernesto was found near a creek, he sustained 10 stab wounds.
ISSUE: Whether or not Simangan is guilty beyond reasonable doubt.
HELD: Yes. The testimonies of Romeo and Sofronia are credible. Thus, Simangan’s conviction is affirmed. It is found that Simangan stabbed Ernesto 10 times, three of which were fatal. But the number of stab wounds does not qualify as an aggravating circumstance against Simangan for it must be proven that Simangan intended to exacerbate the suffering of Ernesto. Nighttime is also not appreciated as it was not alleged in the information.