" x x x.
The defense points out that the prosecution failed to present direct evidence that the accused Enojas, Gomez, Santos, or Jalandoni took part in shooting PO2 Pangilinan dead.11 This may be true but the prosecution could prove their liability by circumstantial evidence that meets the evidentiary standard of proof beyond reasonable doubt. It has been held that circumstantial evidence is sufficient for conviction if: 1) there is more than one circumstance; 2) the facts from which the inferences are derived are proven; and 3) the combination of all the circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt. 12crallawlibrary
Here the totality of the circumstantial evidence the prosecution presented sufficiently provides basis for the conviction of all the accused. Thus:chanRoblesVirtualawlibrary
1. PO2 Gregorio positively identified accused Enojas as the driver of the taxicab suspiciously parked in front of the Aguila Auto Glass shop. The officers were bringing him with them to the police station because of the questionable documents he showed upon query. Subsequent inspection of the taxicab yielded Enojas’ mobile phone that contained messages which led to the entrapment and capture of the other accused who were also taxicab drivers.x x x."
2. Enojas fled during the commotion rather than remain in the cab to go to the police station where he was about to be taken for questioning, tending to show that he had something to hide. He certainly did not go to the police afterwards to clear up the matter and claim his taxi.
3. PO2 Gregorio positively identified accused Gomez as one of the men he saw running away from the scene of the shooting.
4. The text messages identified “Kua Justin” as one of those who engaged PO2 Pangilinan in the shootout; the messages also referred to “Kua Justin” as the one who was hit in such shootout and later died in a hospital in Bacoor, Cavite. These messages linked the other accused.
5. During the follow-up operations, the police investigators succeeded in entrapping accused Santos, Jalandoni, Enojas, and Gomez, who were all named in the text messages.
6. The text messages sent to the phone recovered from the taxi driven by Enojas clearly made references to the 7-11 shootout and to the wounding of “Kua Justin,” one of the gunmen, and his subsequent death.
7. The context of the messages showed that the accused were members of an organized group of taxicab drivers engaged in illegal activities.
8. Upon the arrest of the accused, they were found in possession of mobile phones with call numbers that corresponded to the senders of the messages received on the mobile phone that accused Enojas left in his taxicab.13