[Answer / discuss the question below. Or see 2014 bar exam Remedial Law Instructions; 2014 Remedial Law essay and multiple choice Questions: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29; See also 2014 Bar Exam: Information, Discussions, Tips, Questions and Results]
While passing by a dark uninhabited part of their barangay, PO2 Asintado observed shadows and heard screams from a distance. PO2 Asintado hid himself behind the bushes and saw a man beating a woman whom he recognized as his neighbor, Kulasa. When Kulasa was already in agony, the man stabbed her and she fell on the ground. The man hurriedly left thereafter.
PO2 Asintado immediately went to Kulasa’s rescue. Kulasa, who was then in a state of hysteria, kept mentioning to PO2 Asintado “Si Rene, gusto akong patayin! Sinaksak niya ako!” When PO2 Asintado was about to carry her, Kulasa refused and said “Kaya ko. Mababaw lang to. Habulin mo si Rene.”
The following day, Rene learned of Kulasa’s death and, bothered by his conscience, surrendered to the authorities with his counsel. As his surrender was broadcasted all over media, Rene opted to release his statement to the press which goes:
“I believe that I am entitled to the presumption of innocence until my guilt is proven beyond reasonable doubt. Although I admit that I performed acts that may take one’s life away, I hope and pray that justice will be served the right way. God bless us all.
The trial court convicted Rene of homicide on the basis of PO2 Asintado’s testimony, Kulasa’s statements, and Rene’s statement to the press. On appeal, Rene raises the following errors:
1. The trial court erred in giving weight to PO2 Asintado’s testimony, as the latter did not have any personal knowledge of the facts in issue, and violated Rene’s right to due process when it considered Kulasa’s statements despite lack of opportunity for her cross-examination.
2. The trial court erred in holding that Rene’s statement to the press was a confession which, standing alone, would be sufficient to warrant conviction.