ROMMEL C. BRIONES, petitioner,
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondent.
[G.R. No. 156009. June 05, 2009]
A criminal information was filed against Briones for crime of robbery. Briones allegedly took the service firearm of S/G Gual while the latter approached the group where the former is involved in a mauling. S/G Gual positively identified Briones. RTC found Briones guilty of the crime of simple theft (Art. 309 Par. 3 of RPC) after giving weight to prosecutions positive testimony as against the defenses of denial and alibi. On his appeal, he raised the issue of self-defense. The Court of Appeals found Briones guilty of robbery under Article 293 in relation to par.5 of Art. 294 of RPC, and not of theft.
(1) Whether or not the robbery is the proper felony.
(1) Whether or not a new trial may be granted on the ground of newly discovered evidence.
(1) No. Briones is found guilty of theft. The SC agrees with the RTC that only the crime of theft was committed in the case as S/G Gual’s testimony does not show that violence or intimidation attended the taking of the firearm; S/G Gual only testified that Briones merely grabbed the firearm and ran away with it. Thus, the Court can only convict Briones for the crime of theft for taking S/G Molina’s firearm without his consent. Theft is produced the moment there is deprivation of personal property due to its taking with intent to gain. However, since there was no evidence presented as to the value of stolen firearm, he can only be sentenced to the lightest penalty prescribed by law applicable to the facts of the case. The lightest penalty that applies to theft, where the value of the thing stolen does not exceed five pesos, is found in paragraph 6 of Article 309.
(1) No. The for new trial to be granted on the ground of newly discovered evidence, the concurrence of the following conditions must obtain: (a) the evidence must have been discovered after trial; (b) the evidence could not have been discovered at the trial even with the exercise of reasonable diligence; (c) the evidence is material, not merely cumulative, corroborative, or impeaching; and (d) the evidence must affect the merits of the case and produce a different result if admitted. In this case, although the firearm surfaced after the trial, the other conditions were not established.