Raymundo Zamora went home for breakfast after driving his tricycle. He found Francisca Talaro, Lolito Aquino, Renato Ramos, and Norberto Adviento talking under a santol tree in front of his house.
He went near the group and he learned that his aunt, Francisca, was transacting with the other three accused-appellants for the killing of Atty. Melvin Alipio. He learned that Francisca would give the three accused-appellants an advance payment of ₱30,000.00 and then another ₱30,000.00 after Atty. Melvin Alipio is killed.
The three accused-appellants then nodded their heads in agreement. After learning of the group’s plan, Zamora got scared and stayed away from the group.
Witness Rene Balanga, who was the helper of the spouses Atty. Melvin and Dr. Lina Alipio, was cleaning the windows at the clinic of Dr. Alipio around 8 o’clock in the morning of April 26, 1994 when he heard three gunshots coming from the garage of the clinic. Immediately after the gunshots, he saw a man quickly walking out from the garage, going towards the main gate.
He ran towards the garage and there, he saw Atty. Melvin Alipio lying dead. He then chased after the man but the gunman boarded a motorcycle and sped off.
Accused-appellants were charged with the crime of murder.
After trial, the RTC rendered judgment thereby finding Francisca Talaro, Norberto Adviento, Renato Ramos and Lolito Aquino, guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Murder and sentencing them to death.
The CA affirmed the RTC Decision.
The case is now before this Court on automatic review.
Whether or not there was conspiracy to kill Atty. Melvin Alipio.
The Court agrees with the CA’s conclusion that the evidence on record proves beyond reasonable doubt that accused-appellants, together with Francisca Talaro, conspired to kill Atty. Melvin Alipio.
In People v. Bautista, the Court reiterated the hornbook principle of conspiracy, to wit:
Conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an agreement concerning the commission of a felony and decide to commit it. Where all the accused acted in concert at the time of the commission of the offense, and it is shown by such acts that they had the same purpose or common design and were united in its execution, conspiracy is sufficiently established. It must be shown that all participants performed specific acts which such closeness and coordination as to indicate a common purpose or design to commit the felony.
x x x x
Each conspirator is responsible for everything done by his confederates which follows incidentally in the execution of a common design as one of its probable and natural consequences even though it was not intended as part of the original design.
In this case, the existence of a conspiracy has been established by the testimony of Raymundo Zamora, positively identifying all three accused-appellants as the ones he saw and heard transacting with Francisca Talaro on April 24, 1994 to kill Atty. Alipio.