TO:Atty. Dante B. Gatmaytan
FROM:Carlo Iñigo D. Soriano
RE:The murder case against Roldan Mendoza
DATE:September 23, 2011
A. STATEMENT OF FACTS
Roldan Mendoza has been accused of murder after killing his aunt Merlita Austria, her son Emmanuel, and daughter Emerlita in the city of Lian, Batangas on August 27 2011.The accused was allegedly trying to borrow five hundred pesos (P 500) from his aunt, Merlita, but the latter would not let him. Mendoza then reportedly proceeded to a nearby store to drink liquor. After drinking he went back to the house of the Austrias and asked Emmanuel, “Nasaan ang tiya kong madamot?” This statement angered Emmanuel and he thus decided to engage Mendoza in a fistfight. Mendoza then allegedly went to get a kitchen knife and stabbed Emmanuel to death. His aunt Merlita and her daughter Emerlita reportedly went to Emmanuel’s aid but were also stabbed to death. Lian police then, through an anonymous source, traced Mendoza’s whereabouts to Baclaran Church in Parañaque City where he was subsequently arrested on August 29 2011. Lian chief of police Joel Laraya said that Mendoza has admitted to the commission of the crime.
B. QUESTIONS PRESENTED
1.Whether or not Mendoza’s admission with Joel Laraya, Lian chief of police, may be used as evidence against him;
2.Whether or not Mendoza is guilty of the crime of murder;
3.Whether or not Mendoza’s culpability may be mitigated by the fact that he was intoxicated during the commission of the crime;
4.Whether or not Mendoza’s culpability may be aggravated by the fact that the victims were the relatives of the suspect;
C. BRIEF ANSWERS
1.No. Roldan Mendoza’s extrajudicial confession to Joel Laraya, Lian police chief, during custodial investigation may not be used as evidence against him. The extrajudicial confession was made without the presence of counsel or the waiver of counsel by the accused in writing and in the presence of his counsel. There is likewise mystery as to whether or not the accused was actually read his custodial rights and informed of their significance and whether or not he fully understood them.
2. No. Roldan Mendoza is not guilty of the crime of murder since none of the circumstances enumerated in Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code qualifying a killing to murder were attendant during the commission of the crime.
3.Yes. Roldan Mendoza’s culpability may benefit from the mitigating circumstance of intoxication because he was not a habitual drunk nor was he drunk subsequent to a plan to commit a felony.
4.No. Roldan Mendoza’s culpability may not be aggravated by the fact that the victims were the relatives of the suspect because the relationships enumerated in Article 15 of the Revised Penal Code does not cover the relationship between uncle and niece (or aunt and nephew, in this case).
1.Whether or not Mendoza’s admission of guilt with Joel Laraya, Lian chief of police may be used as evidence against him
No, the confession of Roldan Mendoza with Lian police chief Joel Laraya may not be used as evidence against the former. Article III Section 12 of the 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines states that:
“Section 12. (1) Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to be informed of his right to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel preferably of his own choice. If the person cannot afford the services of counsel, he must be provided with one. These rights cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence of counsel. XXXXXXXXX
(3) Any confession or admission obtained in violation of this or Section 17 hereof shall be inadmissible as evidence against him. XXXXXXXXX”
The abovementioned article enumerates the rights of an accused under custodial investigation. Custodial investigation meaning any...