EDMUND SYDECO y SIONZON vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, G.R. No. 202692, November 12, 2014
“x x x.
Conviction must come only after it survives the test of reason.36 It is thus required that every circumstance favoring one’s innocence be duly taken into account.37 Given the deviation of the police officers from the standard and usual procedure in dealing with traffic violation by perceived drivers under the influence of alcohol and executing an arrest, the blind reliance and simplistic invocation by the trial court and the CA on the presumption of regularity in the conduct of police duty is clearly misplaced.
As stressed in People v. Ambrosio,38 the presumption of regularity is merely just that, a presumption disputable by contrary proof and which when challenged by the evidence cannot be regarded as binding truth. And to be sure, this presumption alone cannot preponderate over the presumption of innocence that prevails if not overcome by proof that obliterates all doubts as to the offender’s culpability.
In the present case, the absence of conclusive proof being under the influence of liquor while driving coupled with the forceful manner the police yanked petitioner out of his vehicle argues against or at least cast doubt on the finding of guilt for drunken driving and resisting arrest.
In case of doubt as to the moral certainty of culpability, the balance tips in favor of innocence or at least infavor of the milderform of criminal liability. This is as it should be. For, it is basic, almost elementary, that the burden of proving the guiltof an accused lies on the prosecution which must rely on the strength of its evidence and noton the weakness of the defense.
X x x.”