Posted by: Elmer Brabante | June 20, 2008

Special Penal Laws, Part 3


RAPE AS CRIME AGAINST PERSONS

(R.A.  8353)

 

Rape, When And How Committed

 

“1)           By a man who shall have carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following circumstances:

 

“a)           Through force, threat, or intimidation;

“b)           When the offended party is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious;

“c)           By means of fraudulent machination or grave abuse of authority; and

“d)           When the offended party is under twelve (12) years of age or is demented, even though none of the circumstances mentioned above be present.

 

“2)           By any person who, under any of the circumstances mentioned in paragraph 1 hereof, shall commit an act of sexual assault by inserting his penis into another person’s mouth or anal orifice, or any instrument or object, into the genital or anal orifice of another person.

 

 

WHEN INEXCUSABLE IMPRUDENCE ON

PART OF VICTIM AS TO IDENTITY OF

OFFENDER IS NOT RAPE

 

The evidence shows that this mistake was purely a subjective configuration of Zareen’s mind — an assumption entirely contrived by her. Our impression is that Silvino had nothing to do with the formulation of this belief; he did nothing to mislead or deceive Zareen into thinking that he was Enrico. In fact, Silvino precisely, and confidently, told her, “Zareen, it’s not Ricky, it’s Jun. I love you.” It is thus obvious that whatever mistake there was could only be attributable to Zareen — and her inexcusable imprudence — and to nobody else. Clearly, the fault was hers. She had the opportunity to ascertain the identity of the man but she preferred to remain passive and allow things to happen as they did. Silvino never used force on her and was even most possibly encouraged by the fact that when he pulled down her panties she never objected; when her legs were being parted she never objected; and, when he finally mounted her she never objected. Where then was force?

 

Third, Zareen was not deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious when the accused had intercourse with her. Her lame excuse was that she was half-asleep. However she admitted that in the early morning of 1 May 1994 she woke up to find someone removing her underwear. Thuswise it cannot be said that she was deprived of reason or unconscious. She knew, hence was conscious, when her panties were being pulled down; she knew, hence was conscious, when her legs were being parted to prepare for the sexual act; she knew, hence was conscious, when the man was pulling down his briefs to prepare himself likewise for the copulation; she knew, hence was conscious, when the man mounted her and lusted after her virtue. Her justification was that she never objected to the sexual act from the start because she thought that the man was her boyfriend with whom she was having sex almost every night for the past three (3) weeks as they were getting married and wanted already to have a baby. In other words, her urge could not wait for the more appropriate time.   (People v. Salarza, Jr.)

 

 

NATURE OF INTIMIDATION IN RAPE CASES

                               

                                Intimidation is addressed  to the mind of the victim.  It is subjective and its presence cannot be tested by any hard-and-fast rule, but must be viewed in the light of the victim’s perception and judgement at the time of the crime.

                                In the case at bar, at the time the crime was committed, the victim was 40 yrs. old, 5 months pregnant, unarmed and married to a person older than her by almost 20 yrs..  In contrast, appellant was in his 20’s, armed with a gun and purportedly in the company of several NPA members.  The crime happened in the evening and in a place where help was impossible.  The nearest neighbor of the victim is some 3 kms. from their hut.  Considering all these circumstances, we hold that the victim was intimidated to submit to the lustful desire of the appellant.  (Pp. V. Mostrales; GR 125937, Aug.28, 1998)

 

 

WHEN INTIMIDATION IS  SUSTAINED

BY MORAL ASCENDANCY IN RAPE

 

Intimidation in rape cases is not calibrated nor governed by hard and fast rules. Since it is addressed to the victim’s and is therefore subjective, it must be viewed in light of the victim’s perception and judgment at the time of the commission of the crime. It is enough that the intimidation produced fear — fear that if the victim did not yield to the bestial demands of the accused, something far worse would happen to her at that moment. Where such intimidation existed and the victim was cowed into submission as a result thereof, thereby rendering resistance futile, it would be the height of unreasonableness to expect the victim to resist with all her might and strength. If resistance would nevertheless be futile because of intimidation, then offering none at all does not mean consent to the assault so as to make the victim’s submission to the sexual act voluntary.

 

In any event, in a rape committed by a father against his own daughter, as in this case, the former’s moral ascendancy or influence over the latter substitutes for violence or intimidation.  Likewise, it must not be forgotten that at her tender age of 14 years, EDEN could not be expected to act with the equanimity of disposition and with nerves of steel, or to act like a mature and experienced woman who would know what to do under the circumstances, or to have courage and intelligence to disregard the threat.  Even in cases of rape of mature women, this Court recognized their different and unpredictable reactions. Some may shout; some may faint; and some may be shocked into insensibility; while others may openly welcome the intrusion.  (People v. Agbayani;  GR 122770, Jan. 16, ’98)

 

 

TEST TO DETERMINE WHETHER A WOMAN VOLUNTARILY SUBMITTED TO SEXUAL INTERCOURSE

 

Physical resistance is not the sole test to determine whether or not a woman involuntarily succumbed to the lust of an accused.  Jurisprudence holds that even though a man lays no hand on a woman, yet if by array of physical forces he so overpowers her mind that she does not resist or she ceases resistance through fear of greater harm, the consummation of unlawful intercourse by the man is rape.                                                                                          (Pp. V. Mostrales; GR 125937, Aug.28, 1998)

 

 

DATE OF COMMISSION OF RAPE NOT ESSENTIAL ELEMENT OF SAID CRIME

 

                                It is settled that even a variance of a few months between the time set out in the indictment and that established by the evidence during the trial has been held not to constitute an error so serious as to warrant reversal of a conviction solely on that score.  The failure of the complainant to state the exact date and time of the commission of the rape is a minor matter

 (Pp. V. Bernaldez;  GR 109780,Aug. 17, 1998)

 

 

EXAMPLE OF VIRTUAL CONFESSION OF FACT AND NOT IN LAW IN CASES OF RAPE

 

                                It is conceded that after the rape, Accused sent complainant two letters in which he implored her forgiveness and offered to leave his wife so that he could be with her.  In fine, appellant sealed his own fate by admitting his crime under a seal of virtual confession in fact, if not in law.   (Pp. V. Prades;  GR 127569, July 30, 1998)

 

CHILD BORN BY REASON OF RAPE

MUST BE ACKNOWLEDGED BY OFFENDER

UPON ORDERS OF THE COURT

 

Furthermore, since ANALIZA begot a child by reason of the rape, DANTE must acknowledge and support the offspring pursuant to Article 345 of the Revised Penal Code in relation to Article 201 of the Family Code.  (People v. Alfeche)

 

DWELLING AS AGGRAVATING

CIRCUMSTANCE IN RAPE CASES

 

                                It is clear, however, that the aggravating circumstance of dwelling is attendant in the commission of the crime.  Article 14(5) of the Revised Penal Code provides that this circumstance aggravates a felony where the crime is committed in the dwelling of the offended party, if the latter has not given provocation.  In the instant case, the aforesaid circumstance of dwelling was definitely present in the commission of the crime of rape with the use of a deadly weapon.  (Pp. V. Prades;  GR 127569, July 30, 1998)

 

INDEMNITY IN CERTAIN CASES OF RAPE

 

                                The recent judicial prescription is that the indemnification for the victim shall be in the increased amount of  P75,000.00 if the crime of rape is committed or effectively qualified by any of the circumstances under which the death penalty is authorized by the applicable amendatory laws.  (Pp. V. Prades;  GR127569, July 30, 1998)

 

MORAL DAMAGES NEED NOT BE ALLEGED

AND PROVED IN CASES OF RAPE

 

                                Indeed, the conventional requirement of allegata et probata in civil procedure and for essentially civil cases should be dispensed with in criminal prosecutions for rape with the civil aspect included therein, since no appropriate pleadings are file wherein such allegations can be made.  (Pp. V. Prades;  GR 127569, July 30, 1998)

MEANING OF DEADLY WEAPON

IN CASES OF RAPE

 

                                A “deadly weapon” is any weapon or instrument made and designed for offensive or defensive purposes, or for the destruction of life or thee infliction of injury; or one which, from the manner used, is calculated or likely to produce death or serious bodily harm.  In our jurisdiction, it has been held that a knife is a deadly weapon.  (Pp. V. Alfeche;  GR 124213, Aug. 17, 1998)

 

 

FORCE AND INTIMIDATION NOT

NEEDED IN RAPE OF RETARDATE

 

                Although the information alleged “force, threats, and intimidation”, it nevertheless also explicitly stated that Tessie is a “mentally retarded person.”  We have held in a long line of cases that if the mental age of a woman above 12 years is that of a child below 12 years, even if she voluntarily submitted to the bestial desires of the accused, or even if the circumstances of force or intimidation or of the victim being deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious are absent, the accused would still be liable for rape under the 3rd circumstance of Art. 335.  The rationale therefor is that if sexual intercourse with a victim under 12 years of age is rape, then it should follow that carnal knowledge of a woman whose mental age is that of a child below 12 years would constitute rape.                (People v. Hector Estares;  12/5/97)

 

USE OF FORCE OR INTIMIDATION NOT

AN ELEMENT OF STATUTORY RAPE

 

                In any event, the use of force or intimidation is not an element of statutory rape.  The offense is established upon proof that the accused sexually violated the offended party, who was below 12 years of age at the time of the sexual assault.  In other words, it is not relevant to this case whether appellant slapped or boxed the victim, or whether he used a single-bladed or a double-edged knife.                (People v. Oliva;  12/5/97)

RAPE CAN BE COMMITTED IN

MANY DIFFERENT PLACES

 

                It has been emphasized that rape can be committed in many different places, including places which to many would appear to be unlikely and high-risk venues for sexual advances.  Thus, rape has been committed even in places where people congregate, in parks, along the roadside, within school premises, inside  a house where there are other occupants, and even in the same room where other members of the family are also sleeping.           (People v. Gementiza;  1/29/98)

 

 

WHEN SWEETHEART DEFENSE

IS TENABLE IN RAPE

 

                The “sweetheart” defense put up by the accused merits serious consideration.  While the theory does not often gain favor with the court, such is not always the case if the hard fact is that the accused and the supposed victim are in fact intimately related except that, as is true in most cases, the relationship is either illicit, or the parents are against it.  In such instances, it is not improbable that when the relationship is uncovered, the victim’s parents would take the risk of instituting a criminal action rather than admit to the indiscretion of their daughter.  And this, as the records reveal, is what happened in this case.  (People vs Rico Jamlan Salem, October 16/97)

 

 

A MEDICAL EXAMINATION OF VICTIM

IS NOT ELEMENT OF RAPE

 

                A medical examination is not an indispensable element in a prosecution for rape.  The accused may be convicted on the sole basis of complainant’s testimony, if credible, and the findings of the medico-legal officer do not disprove the commission of rape.  People v Jenelito Escober Y Resuento, Nov 6/97)

 

HEINOUSNESS OF RAPE OF

ONE’S DESCENDANT

 

                In the case before us, the accused raped his own flesh and blood at such a tender age of eleven.  He thus violated not only he purity and her trust but also the mores of his society which he has scornfully defined.  By inflicting his animal greed on her in a disgusting coercion of incestuous lust, he forfeits all respect as human being and is justly spurned by all, not least of all, by the fruit of his own loins whose progeny he has forever stained with his shameful and shameless lechery.  People v jenelito Escober Y Resuento, Nov 6/97)

 

 

MERE DISCIPLINARY CHASTISEMENT

IS NOT ENOUGH TO DOUBT CREDIBILITY

OF RAPE VICTIM WHO IS A DESCENDANT

 

                Mere disciplinary chastisement is not strong enough to make daughters in a Filipino family invent a charge that would only bring shame and humiliation upon them and their own family and make them the object of gossip among their classmates and friends.  It is unbelievable that Jacqueline would fabricate a serious criminal charge just to get even with her father and to emphasize with her sister.  The sisters would not contrive stories of defloration and charge their own father with rape unless these stories are true.  For that matter, no young Filipina of decent repute would falsely and publicly admit that she had been ravished and abused considering the social stigma thereof.  People v Tabugoca, GR No. 125334)

 

SODOMY IS NOT THE SAME AS IGNOMINY NOR CAN IT BE CONSIDERED AS IGNOMINY.

 

“Ignominy is a circumstance pertaining to the moral order, which adds disgrace and obliloquy to the material injury caused by the crime.”  Thus, for ignominy to be appreciated as an aggravating circumstance in the instant case, it must be shown that the sexual assault on Francis Bart was done by accused-appellant to put the former to shame before killing him.  This is clearly not the case here for accused-appellant’s intention was shown to be the commission of sexual abuse on the victim as an act of revenge for his similar experience as a child.

 

WHEN THE INFORMATIONS ON RAPE CASES FAILED TO ALLEGE ACTUAL RELATIONSHIP ETC.  HENCE DEATH PENALTY CANNOT BE IMPOSED

In this case, the information’s in Criminal Case Nos.  8899-8900 alleged that accused-appellant, “who is the stepfather of the private offended party” by “force, violence and intimidation” succeeded in having carnal knowledge of the latter when she was then 14 and 13 years old, respectively.  On the otherhand, the information in Criminal Case Nos.  8945-8946 alleged that accused-appellant, “who…. is the  stepfather of victim Jenny Macaro” succeeded in having carnal knowledge of the latter, who was a girl below 12 years old.  As already noted, contrary to these allegations, accused-appellant is not really the stepfather of complainants Lenny and Jenny because accused-appellant and complainants’ mother were not legally married but were merely living in common-law relation.  In fact, Lenny and Jenny interchangeably referred to accused-appellant as their stepfather, “kabit,”  “live-in partner ng Mama ko,”  “tiyo,”  and     “tiyuhin.”  Complainants’ sister-in-law, Rosalie Macaro, also testified that her “mother-in-law is not legally married to accused-appellant.”  Accused-appellant likewise said on direct and cross-examination that he was not legally married to the mother of the complainants, and he referred to her as his live-in partner.  This was confirmed by Emma Macaro, mother of the complainants.  Although the rape of a person under eighteen (18) years of age by the common-law spouse of the victim’s mother is punishable by death, this penalty cannot be imposed on accused-appellant in these cases because this relationship was not what was alleged in the information’s.  What was alleged was that he is the stepfather of the complainants.

 

INFORMATION IN RAPE CASES WITH USE OF DEADLY WEAPON MUST BE ALLEGED OTHERWISE DEATH PENALTY, CANNOT BE IMPOSED

Neither can accused-appellant be meted the death penalty in Criminal Case No.  8900 where he committed the rape after threatening the victim, Lenny Macaro, with a knife.  Under Art.  335 of the Revised Penal Code, simple rape is punishable by “reclusion perpetua.”  When the rape is committed “with the use of a deadly weapon,”  i.e., when a deadly weapon is used to make the victim submit to the will of the offender, the penalty is ”reclusion perpetua to death.”  This circumstance must however be alleged in the information because it is also in the nature of a qualifying circumstance which increases the range of the penalty to include death.  In Criminal Case No.  8900, while complainant Lenny testified that accused-appellant raped her after threatening her with a knife, the “use of a deadly weapon” in the commission of the crime was not alleged in the information.  Therefore, even if the same was prove, it cannot be appreciated as a qualifying circumstance.  The same can only be treated as generic aggravating circumstance which, in this case, cannot affect the penalty to be impose, i.e., reclusion perpetua.  Accordingly, the accused-appellant should be sentenced to the penalty of reclusion perpetua.  Accordingly, the accused-appellant should be sentenced to the penalty of reclusion perpetua  for each of the four counts of rape.   (PP  -vs-  FELIXBERTO FRAGA Y BAYLON,  G.R. Nos.  134130-33,  April 12, 2000)

 

EXAMINATIONS OF ALL SPECIMENS IN DRUG CASES NOT NECESSARY

We are not persuaded by the claim of accused-appellants that in order for them to be convicted of selling 2,800 grams of marijuana, the whole specimen must be tested considering that Republic Act 7659 imposes a penalty dependent on the amount or the quantity of drugs seized or taken.  This Court has ruled that a sample from one of the packages is logically presumed to be representative of the entire contents of the package unless proven otherwise by accused-appellant.  (PP  -vs-  DIOLO BARITA Y SACPA, ET AL., G.R. No.  123541, Feb. 8, 2000)

 

MEDICAL EXAMINATION NOT REQUIRED IN RAPE CASES

This Court has also ruled that a medical examination is not indispensable to the prosecution of rape as long as the evidence on hand convinces the court that a conviction of rape is proper.

 

WHEN CARNAL  KNOWLEDGE IS CONSUMATED

It is worth mentioning that in rape cases, the prosecution is not required to establish penile penetration because even the slightest touching of the female genitalia, or mere introduction of the male organ into the labia of the pudendum constitutes carnal knowledge.   (PP  -vs-  FERNANDO CALANG MACOSTA, alias “DODONG”  G.R. No.  126954,  Dec. 14, 1999)

 

THE CHARGE OF RAPE DO NOT INCLUDE SIMPLE SEDUCTION.  HENCE, IF ONE IS CHARGE WITH RAPE AND IS NT PROVEN, ACCUSED CANNOT BE HELD GUILTY OF SIMPLE SEDUCTION.

Even as the prosecution failed to proved the use of force, violence and intimidation by the accused-appellant, we cannot convict the accused-appellant of the crime of simple seduction without offense to the constitutional rights of the accused-appellant to due process and to be informed the accusation against him.  The charge of rape does not include simple seduction.   (PP  -vs  LOLITO MORENO Y LANCION alias  “LOLOY”   G.R.  No.  115191,  Dec. 21, 1999)

 

WHAT ARE THE ELEMENTS OF RAPE?

The elements of rape are:  (1)  that the offender had carnal knowledge of a woman; (2)  that such act is accomplished by using force or intimidation; or when the woman is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious; or when the woman is under twelve years of age or is demented.

 

MEANING OF TAKING ADVANTAGE OF SUPERIOR STRENGTH IN RAPE CASES

Taking advantage of superior strength means to purposely use excessive force out of proportion to the means available to the person attacked.  It is abuse of superior numbers or employment of means to weaken the defense.  This circumstance is always considered whenever there is notorious inequality of forces between the victim and the aggressor, assuming a situation of superiority notoriously advantageous for the aggressor deliberately chosen by him in the commission of the crime.  To properly appreciate it, it is necessary to evaluate not only the physical condition of the parties and the arms or objects employed but the incidents in the total development of the case as well.

Moreover, like the crime of parricide by a husband on his wife, abuse of superior strength Is inherent in rape.  It is generally accepted that under normal circumstances a man who commits rape on a woman is physically stronger than the latter.   (PP  -vs-  EDGARDO DE LEON Y SANTOS,  G.R.  No.  128436, Dec. 10, 1999)

 

WHEN TESTIMONY OF VICTIM IS OVERLY GENERALIZED IN CRIME OF RAPE

Each and every charge of rape is a separate and distinct crime so that each of the sixteen other rapes charged should be proven beyond reasonable doubt.  The victim’s testimony was overly generalized and lacked specific details on how each of the alleged sixteen rapes  was committed.  Her bare statement that she was raped so many times on certain weeks is clearly inadequate and grossly insufficient to establish the guilt of accused-appellant insofar as the other sixteen rapes charged are concerned.  In People vs. Garcia, this Court succinctly observed that:

xxx          the indefinite testimonial evidence that complainant was raped every week is decidedly inadequate and grossly insufficient to establish the guilt of appellant therefor with the required  quantum of evidence.  So much of such indefinite imputations of rape, which are uncorroborated by any other evidence fall within this category.   (PP  -vs-  EDMUNDO DE LEON Y JESUS,    G.R.  No  130985,   Dec. 3, 1999

 

CONCURRENCE OF MINORITY OF VICTIM AND RELATIONSHIPS IN RAPE MUST BE ALLEGED SO THAT DEATH PENALTY MAYBE IMPOSED

The concurrence of the minority of the victim and her relationship to the offender should be specifically alleged in the information conformably with the accused’s right to be informed of the accusation against him.  In this case, although the minority of Poblica and her relationship with appellant were established by the prosecution  beyond doubt, the death penalty cannot be imposed because these qualifying circumstances were not specified in the information.  It would be  a denial of the right of the appellant to be informed of the charges against him and consequently, a denial of due process if he is charged with simple rape and convicted of its qualified form punishable by death although the attendant circumstances qualifying the offense and resulting in capital punishment were not set forth in the indictment on which he was arraigned.   (PP  -vs-  CHARITO ISUG MAGBANUA,  G.R. No.  128888,  Dec. 3, 1999)

 

 

QUALIFYING CIRCUMSTANCE IN RAPE CASES MUST BE ALLEGED IN ORDER THAT DEATH PENALTY MAYBE IMPOSED

This Court has ruled in a long line of cases that the circumstance under the amendatory provisions of Section 11 of Republic Act 7659, the attendance of any of which mandates the single indivisible penalty of death are in the nature of qualifying circumstances which cannot be proved as such unless alleged with particularity in the information unlike ordinary aggravating circumstances which affect only the period of the penalty and which may be proven even if not alleged in the information.  It would be a denial of the right of the accused to be informed of the charge against him and consequently, a denial of due process, if he is  charged with simple rape and will be convicted of its qualified form punishable by death although the attendant circumstance qualifying the offense and resulting in capital punishment was not alleged in the indictment under which he was arraigned.  Procedurally, then, while the minority of Renelyn and her relationship to the accused-appellant were established during the trial, the accused-appellant can only be convicted of simple rape because he cannot be punished for a graver offense that that with which he was charged.  Accordingly, the imposable penalty is reclusion perpetua.   (PP  -vs-  EDWIN R. DECENA,  G.R. No.  131843,  May 31, 2000)

 

IMPORTANT CONSIDERATION IN RAPE

Neither is the absence of spermatozoa in Delia’s genitalia fatal to the prosecution’s case.  The presence or absence of spermatozoa is immaterial in a prosecution for rape.  The important consideration in rape cases is not the emission of semen but the unlawful penetration of the female genitalia by the male organ.   (PP  -vs-  RODOLFO BATO alias ‘RUDY BATO,”  G.R. No.  134939,  Feb. 16, 2000)

 

WHEN RAPE IS NOT COMMITTED AND SWEETHEART  THEORY GIVEN CREDENCE

First.  Private complainant never objected or showed any resistance when accused-appellant allegedly dragged her forcibly across the pedestrian overpass and brought her to an undisclosed place at  Quiapo.  Although he was holding her wrist tightly, she could have easily extricated herself form him on several occasions:  (a)  while they were inside the bus bound for Quiapo;  (b)  when they alighted form  the bus and roamed the sidestreets of Quiapo; and especially so, (c) when they entered the hotel and finally the room where the alleged rape took place.  Accused-appellant was unarmed and his tight grip could not have prevented private complainant from  at least shouting for help.  Her demeanor was simply inconsistent with that of the ordinary Filipina whose instinct dictates that the summon every ounce of her strength and courage to thwart any attempt to besmirch her honor and blemish her purity.  True, women react differently in similar situations, but it is too unnatural for an intended rape victim, as in this case, not to make even feeble attempt to free herself despite a myriad of opportunities to do so.     

Second.  The deportment of the private complainant after the alleged rape accentuates the dubiety of her testimony.  After the alleged rape, she did not leave immediately but even refused to be separated from her supposed defiler despite the prodding of the latter.  Worse, she went with him to the house of his sister and there they slept together.  Indeed this attitude runs counter to logic and common sense.  Surely private complainant would not risk a second molestation and undergo a reprise of the harrowing experience.  To compound matters, it took her four (4) days to inform her parents about this agonizing episode in her life.  Truly, her insouciance is very disturbing, to say the least.

Finally.  The prosecution failed to substantiated any of its allegations.  Instead, it opted to stand or fall on the uncorroborated and implausible testimony of the private complainant.  It is elementary in our rules of evidence that a party must prove the affirmative of his allegations.   (PP  -vs-  TOMAS CLAUDIO Y MENIJIE,  G.R. No.  133694,  Feb. 29, 2000)

 

WHEN TWO AFFIDAVITS ARE EXECUTED BY THE COMPLAINANT IN A RAPE CASE, ONE FOR ATTEMPTED RAPE AND ANOTHER FOR CONSUMMATED RAPE AND ARE INCONSISTENT WITH EACH OTHER, CONVICTION CANNOT BE HAD

It is true that affidavits are generally subordinated in importance to open court declarations.  The general rule is that variance between an extrajudicial sworn statement of the complainant and here testimony in court does not impair the complainant’s credibility when the said variance does not alter the essential fact that the complainant was raped.  Variance as to the time and date of the rape, the number of times it was committed or the garments which the accused or the complainant wore at the time of the incident do not generally diminish the complainant’s credibility.  However, the serious discrepancy between the two sworn statements executed a day apart by the complainant in this case, bearing on a material fact, is very substantial because it pertains to the essential nature of the offense, i.e., whether the offense was consummated or merely attempted.  In People vs. Ablaneda, wherein a housewife executed a sworn statement for attempted rape and later changed the accusation to consummated rape without a rational explanation, this Court held that the general rule does not apply when the complainant completely changed the nature of her accusation.  The contradiction does not concern a trivial or inconsequential detail but involves the essential fact of the consummation of the rape.   (PP  -vs-  ALBERT ERNEST WILSON,  G.R. No.  135915,  Dec. 21, 1999)

 

NATURE OF INCESTUOUS RAPE

Incestuous rape of a daughter by a father has heretofore been bitterly and vehemently denounced by this Court as more than just a shameful and shameless crime.  Rape in itself is a nauseating crime that deserves the condemnation of all decent persons who recognize that a woman’s cherished chastity is hers alone to surrender at her own free will, and whoever violates this norm descends to the level of the odious beast.  But the act becomes doubly repulsive where the outrage is perpetrated on one’s own flesh and blood for the culprit is further reduced to a level lower than the lowly animal and forfeits all respect otherwise due him as a human.    (PP  -vs-  MELANDRO NICOLAS Y FAVELLA,   G.R. Nos. 125125-27,  Feb. 4, 2000)

 

LOVE RELATIONSHIP DO NOT RULE OUT RAPE

Even assuming ex gratia argumenti that accused-appellant and private complainant were indeed sweethearts as he claims, this fact alone will not extricate him from his predicament.  The mere assertion of a “love relationship” would not necessarily rule out the use of force to consummate the crime.  It must be stressed that in rape case, the gravamen of the offense is sexual intercourse with a woman against her will or without her consent.  Thus, granting arguendo that the accused and the victim were really lovers this Court has reiterated time and again that “A sweetheart cannot be forced to have sex against her will.  Definitely, a man cannot demand sexual gratification from a fiancée, worse, employ violence upon her on the pretext of love.  Love is not a license for lust.”   (PP  -vs-  DANTE CEPEDA Y SAPOTALO,  G.R. No.  124832,  Feb. 1, 2000)

 

PLACES NOTORIOUS FOR HOLD-UPS DONE AT NIGHT – IS CONSIDERED AGGRAVATING AS NIGHT TIME

Considering that the place where the crime took place was “notorious for hold-ups done at night, precisely to maximize the advantage of darkness,”  we cannot but agree with the trial court that nighttime was purposely sought by accused-appellants “for the more successful consummation may be perpetrated unmolested or so that they could escape more thoroughly.”   (PP  -vs-  FELIMON ALIPAYO Y TEJADA, ET AL.,  G.R. No.  122979,  Feb. 2, 2000)

 

RAPE MAY BE COMMITTED IN ALMOST ALL PLACES

Appellant considers it quite improbable for rape to be committed at a place within a well-lighted and fairly well-populated neighborhood.  This argument does not hold water.  Rape can be commi9tted even in places where people congregate, in parks, along the roadside, within school premises, inside a house where there are other occupants, and even in the same room in the presence of other members of the family.  |An overpowering wicked urge has been shown not to be deterred by circumstances of time or place.

 

DEATH PENALTY CANNOT BE IMPOSED WHEN INFORMATION FAILED TO INDICATE THE AGE OF THE VICTIM AND HER CORRECT RELATIONSHIP WITH THE ACCUSED

The penalty of death cannot be properly imposed since the indictment has failed to indicate the age of the victim and her correct relationship with appellant, concurrent qualifying circumstances, essential in the imposition of that penalty.  Furthermore, appellant is not a “parent, ascendant, step-parent, guardian, relative by consanguinity or affinity within the third civil degree, or the common-law spouse of the parent of the victim.”  The latter’s grandmother, Remedios Lustre, herself acknowledges that appellant has just for a time been her common-law husband.   (PP -vs- FEDERICO LUSTRE Y ENCINAS,  G.R. No.  134562,  April 6, 2000)

 

 

COMPENSATORY DAMAGES IN CASES OF QUALIFIED RAPE

With regard to the award of compensatory damages, we have rule in People vs. Victor, which was later reaffirmed in People vs. Prades, that “if the crime of rape is committed or effectively qualified by any of the circumstances under which the death penalty is authorized by the present amended law, the indemnity of the victim shall be in the increased amount of not less than P75,000.00.”  (PP  -vs-  ANTONIO MAGAT Y LONDONIO,  G.R. No.  130026,  May 31, 2000)

 

NATURE OF INTIMIDATION IN CASE OF RAPE

In People vs. Luzorata, the Court held that intimidation was addressed to the mind of the victim and therefore subjective, and its presence could not be tested by any hard-and-fast rule but must be viewed in light of the  victim’s perception and judgment at the time of the crime.  Thus, when a rape victim becomes paralyzed with fear, she cannot be expected to think and act coherently, her failure to immediately take advantage of the early opportunity to escape does not automatically vitiate the credibility of her account.  “Complainant cannot be faulted for not taking any action inasmuch as different people react differently to a given type of situation, there being no standard form of human behavioral response when one is confronted with a strange, startling or frightful experience.”   (PP  -vs-  VICENTE BALORA Y DELANTAR,  G.R. No.  124976,  May 31, 2000)

 

 

EACH AND EVERY RAPE ALLEGED MUST BE PROVEN

Each and every charge of rape is a separate and distinct crime so that each of the sixteen other rapes charged should be proven beyond reasonable doubt.  The victim’s testimony was overly generalized and lacked specific details on how each of the alleged sixteen rapes was committed.  Her bare statement that she was raped so many times on certain weeks is clearly inadequate and  grossly insufficient to establish the guilt of accused-appellant insofar as the other sixteen rapes charged are concerned. In People vs. Garcia this Court succinctly observed that:

xxx          the indefinite testimonial evidence that complainant was raped every week is decidedly inadequate and grossly insufficient to establish the guilt of appellant therefor with the required quantum of evidence.  So much of such indefinite imputations of rape, which are uncorroborated by any other evidence fall within this category.   (PP  -vs-  EDMUNDO DE LEON Y JESUS,  G.R. No.  130985,  Dec. 3, 1999)

 

 

AT THE START THERE MUST BE RAPE, BUT SUBSEQUENT EVENTS MAY BECOME A FACTOR THAT THE REALTIONSHIP, ALTHOUGH INCESTOUS, CONVICTION FOR RAPE CANNOT BE HAD

 

                “Complainant could have been raped the first time accused-appelant had carnal knowledge of her, when she was 13 years old. This however, is not a prosecution for such rape. When she complained of having been raped in this case, she was already 30 or 31 years old, 17 or 18 years after she had been allegedly ravished for the first time by her father, the herein accused-appelant. During the said period of 17 or 18 years, neither complainant nor her parents denounced accused-appellant despite the fact that he continued to have sexual relation allegedly without the consent of complainant. During this period, four children were born to complainant and accused-appellant. Complainant and accused-appellant practically cohabited, choosing the baptismal sponsors for their children, and even inviting friends and relatives to the feasts. The relationship was known to neighbors. Thus, their relationship might be incestuous, but it was not by reason of force or intimidation. For their part, while in the beginning complainant’s mother and sisters may have disapproved of the relationship, in the end, it would appear that subsequently they just turned a blind eye on the whole affair. Given these facts, we cannot say that on September 19, 1995 when accused-appellant had sexual intercourse with complainant, he committed rape. (People v. Villalobos, G.R. 134294, 05/21/2001)

 

THE DELAY AND INITIAL RELUCTANCE OF A RAPE VICTIM TO MAKE PUBLIC THE ASSAULT ON HER VIRTUE IS NEITHER UNKNOWN OR UNCOMMON.  AS HELD IN LTHE CASE OF PEOPLE VS. MALAGAR

“Vacillation in the filing of complaint by rape victim is not an uncommon phenomenon.  This crime is normally accompanied by the rapist’s threat on the victim’s life, and the fear can last for quit a while.  There is also the natural reluctance of a woman to admit her sullied chastity, accepting thereby all the stigma it leaves, and to then expose herself to the morbid curiosity of the public whom she may likely perceived rightly or wrongly, to be more interested in the prurient details of the  ravishment than in her vindication and the punishment of the rapist.  In People vs. Coloma (222 SCRA 255) we have even considered an 8-year delay in reporting the long history of rape by the victim’s father as understandable and so not enough to render incredible the complaint of a 13-year old daughter.     (PP -vs-  CONRADO CABANA @ RANDY,  G.R.  No.  127124,  May 9, 2000)

 

WHEN THERE IS A SEPARATE CRIME OF RAPE AND ROBBERY IS COMMITTED

As related by Private Complainant Amy de Guzman, accused-appellant suddenly jumped over the counter, strangled her, poked a knife at the left side of her neck, pulled her towards the kitchen where he forced her to undress, and gained carnal knowledge of  her against her will and consent.  Thereafter, he ordered her to proceed upstairs to get some clothes, so he could bring her out, saying he was not leaving her alive.  At this point, appellant conceived the idea of robbery because, before they could reach the upper floor, he suddenly pulled Amy down and started mauling her until she lost consciousness; then he freely ransacked the place.  Leaving Amy for dead after repeatedly banging her head, first on the wall, then on the toilet bowl, he took her bracelet, ring and wristwatch.  He then proceeded upstairs where he took as well the jewelry box containing other valuables belonging to his victim’s employer.

Under these circumstance, appellant cannot be convicted of the special complex crime of robbery with rape.  However, since it was clearly proven beyond reasonable doubt that he raped Amy de Guzman and  thereafter robbed her and Ana Marinay of valuables totaling P16,000.00, he committed two separate offenses -rape with the use of deadly weapon and simple robbery with force and intimidation against persons.

 

 

CASES WHEREIN THE SCANDAL RESULTING FROM RELATIONS OF COMPLAINANT AND ACCUSED IMPELS THE COMPLAINANT OR HER RELATIVES TO FILE COMPLAINT OF RAPE AGAINST THE ACCUSED BUT DID NOT PROSPER

Thus in People vs. Lamarroza, a case involving an eighteen-year old woman “intellectually weak and gullible,”  the Court found that the alleged victim’s family was “obviously scandalized and embarrassed by (the victim) Elena’s  ‘unexplained’ pregnancy,”  prompting them to cry “rape.”  The Court acquitted the accused.

In People vs. Domogoy, private complainant was seen having sexual intercourse in the school premises with appellant therein by the latter’s co-accused.  “It is thus not farfetched,” the Court held, “for complainant to have instituted the complainant for rape against the three to avoid being bruited around as a woman of loose morals.”

Similarly, in People vs. Castillon, the Court considered the complainant’s agreement to engage in pre-marital  sexual intercourse “already a disgrace to her family, what more of her acquiescence to have sexual intercourse on a stage near the vicinity where the JS program was being held and prying eyes and ears abound.”

In People vs. Bawar,  the complainant was caught in flagrante by her sister-in-law engaging in sexual intercourse with the accused, a neighbor.  The Court gathered from the complainant’s testimony that “she filed the case because she thought it would be better to cry ‘rape’ and bring suit to salvage and redeem her honor, rather than have reputation sullied in the community by being bruited around and stigmatized as an adulterous woman.”

People vs. Godoy  also involved an adulterous relationship between the accused, who was married, and his seventeen-year old student.  In acquitting the accused, the Court held:

The Court takes judicial cognizance of the fact that in rural areas in the Philippines, young ladies are strictly required to act with circumspection and prudence.  Great caution is observed so that their reputations shall remain untainted.  Any breath of scandal which brings dishonor to their character humiliates their entire  families.  It could precisely be that complainant’s mother wanted to save face in the community where everybody knows everyone else, and in an effort to conceal her daughter’s indiscretion and escape the wagging tongues of their small rural community, she had to weave the scenario of this rape drama.

Here, the elopement of a thirteen-year old with her nineteen-year old second cousin  no doubt caused quite a tempest in the otherwise serene  community of Vintar, Ilocos Norte.  That complainant’s parents were against their relationship, as evidenced in  one of her letters, makes it more likely that the charges of rape were instigated to salvage the complainant’s and her family’s honor.

While the “sweetheart theory” does not often gain favor with this Court, such is not always the case if the hard fact is that the accused and the supposed victim are, in truth, intimately related except that, as is usual in most cases, either the relationship is illicit or the victim’s parents are against it.  It is not improbable  that in some instances, when the relationship is uncovered, the alleged victim or her parents for that matter would take the risk of instituting a criminal action in the hope that the court would take the cudgels for them than for the woman to admit her own acts of indiscretion.  (PP  -vs-  ERWIN AGRESOR,  G.R. Nos.  119837-39,  Dec. 9, 1999)

 

 

JUDGES SHOULD NOT BE OVERLY PROTECTIVE OF EVERY WOMAN IN RAPE CASES.  THEY MUST LOOK AT THE CHARGE WITH EXTREME CAUTION AND CIRCUSMPECTION

Rape is a very emotional word, and the natural  human reactions to it are categorical:  sympathy for the victim and admiration for her in publicly seeking retribution for her outrageous misfortune, and condemnation of the rapist.  However, being interpreters of the law and dispensers of justice, judges must look at a rape charge without those proclivities and deal and with it with extreme caution and circumspection.  Judges must free themselves of the natural tendency to be overprotective of every woman decrying her having been sexually abused and demanding punishment for the abuser.  While they ought to be cognizant of the anguish and humiliation the rape victim goes through as she demands justice, judges should equally bear in mind that their responsibility is to render justice based on the law.   (PP  -vs-  EDWIN LADRILLO, G.R. No.  124342,  Dec.  8, 1999)

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