Case of Tano V. Socrates

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[GRN 110249 August 21, 1997]
ALFREDO TANO, BALDOMERO TANO, DANILO TANO, ROMUALDO TANO, TEOCENES MIDELLO, ANGEL DE MESA, EULOGIO TREMOCHA, FELIPE ONGONION, JR., ANDRES LINIJAN, ROBERT LIM, VIRGINIA LIM, FELIMON DE MESA, GENEROSO ARAGON, TEODORICO ANDRE, ROMULO DEL ROSARIO, CHOLITO ANDRE, ERICK MONTANO, ANDRES OLIVA, VITTORIO SALVADOR, LEOPOLDO ARAGON, RAFAEL RIBA, ALEJANDRO LEONILA, JOSE DAMACINTO, RAMIRO MANAEG, RUBEN MARGATE, ROBERTO REYES, DANILO PANGARUTAN, NOE GOLPAN, ESTANISLAO ROMERO, NICANOR DOMINGO, ROLDAN TABANG, ADRIANO TABANG, FREDDIE SACAMAY, MIGUEL TRIMOCHA, PACENCIO LABABIT, PABLO H. OMPAD, CELESTINO A. ABANO, ALLAN ALMODAL, BILLY D. BARTOLAY, ALBINO D. LIQUE, MELCHOR J. LAYSON, MELANIE AMANTE, CLARO E. YATOC, MERGELDO B. BALDEO, EDGAR M. ALMASETA, JOSELITO MANAEG, LIBERATO ANDRADA, JR., ROBERTO BERRY, RONALD VILLANUEVA, EDUARDO VALMORIA, WILFREDO MENDOZA, NAPOLEON BABANGGA, ROBERTO TADEPA, RUBEN ASINGUA, SILVERIO GABO, JERRY ROMERO, DAVID PANGGARUTAN, DANIEL PANGGARUTAN, ROMEO AGAWIN, FERNANDO EQUIZ, DITO LEQUIZ, RONILO MODERABLE, BENEDICTO TORRES, ROSITO A. VALDEZ, CRESENCIO A. SAYANG, NICOMEDES S. ACOSTA, ERENEO A. SEGARINO, JR., WILFREDO A. RAUTO, DIOSDADO A. ACOSTA, BONIFACIO G. SISMO, TACIO ALUBA, DANIEL B. BATERZAL, ELISEO YBAÑEZ, DIOSDADO E. HANCHIC, EDDIE ESCALICAS, ELEAZAR B. BATERZAL, DOMINADOR HALICHIC, ROOSEVELT RISMO-AN, ROBERT C. MERCADER, TIRSO ARESGADO, DANIEL CHAVEZ, DANILO CHAVEZ, VICTOR VILLAROEL, ERNESTO C. YBAÑEZ, ARMANDO T. SANTILLAN, RUDY S. SANTILLAN, JODJEN ILUSTRISIMO, NESTOR SALANGRON, ALBERTO SALANGRON, ROGER L. ROXAS, FRANCISCO T. ANTICANO, PASTOR SALANGRON, BIENVENIDO SANTILLAN, GILBUENA LADDY, FIDEL BENJAMIN, JOVELITO BELGANO, HONEY PARIOL, ANTONIO SALANGRON, NICASIO SALANGRON, & AIRLINE SHIPPERS ASSOCIATION OF PALAWAN, petitioners, vs. HON. GOV. SALVADOR P. SOCRATES, MEMBERS OF SANGGUNIANG PANLALAWIGAN OF PALAWAN, namely, VICE-GOVERNOR JOEL T. REYES, JOSE D. ZABALA, ROSALINO R. ACOSTA, JOSELITO A. CADLAON, ANDRES R. BAACO, NELSON P. PENEYRA, CIPRI-ANO C. BARROMA, CLARO E. ORDINARIO, ERNESTO A. LLACUNA, RODOLFO C. FLOR-DELIZA, GILBERT S. BAACO, WINSTON G. ARZAGA, NAPOLEON F. ORDOÑEZ and GIL P. ACOSTA, CITY MAYOR EDWARD HAGEDORN, MEMBERS OF SANGGUNIANG PANLUNGSOD NG PUERTO PRINCESA, ALL MEMBERS OF BANTAY DAGAT, MEMBERS OF PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE OF PALAWAN, PROVINCIAL AND CITY PROSECUTORS OF PALAWAN and PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, and ALL JUDGES OF PALAWAN, REGIONAL, MUNICIPAL AND METROPOLITAN, respondents. D E C I S I O N

THIRD DIVISION
APPEARANCES OF COUNSEL
The Solicitor General for plaintiff-appellee.
Saleto J. Erames for accused-appellant Dione Palomar.
PANGANIBAN, J.:
Consistent with our oft-repeated pronouncement in criminal cases, minor inconsistencies in the testimonies of prosecution witnesses serve to strengthen, rather than weaken, their narration. We also reiterate the time-settled doctrine that the credibility of witnesses and of their testimonies is best assessed by trial courts, absent any clear showing of bias, mistake or misappreciation of any matter of substance, the correction of which may change the disposition of the case. We take this occasion to remind (a) prosecutors to carefully formulate informations in order to comply with the Rules of Court and (b) judges to precisely state the legal terminology of the penalties they impose. Statement of the Case

Brought for resolution before this Court are the separate appeals of Benjamin Cabanog,2 Dione Palomar,3 Nabor Ceriales, Patricio Ceriales, Hermie Ceriales and Jose Ceriales4 from the trial court's Decision5 dated May 22, 1992 but promulgated on July 29, 1992, finding all of them guilty of multiple murder, attempted homicide and frustrated murder. In Criminal Case No. 6753, appellants, together with Romeo Cadeliña and Dominador Balasabas alias "Bulay-og," were charged by 2nd Assistant Provincial Fiscal Augusto R. Colina with multiple murder in an Information dated June 21, 1985 which reads as follows:6...
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