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JOJIT GARINGARAO

,
Petitioner,

G.R. No. 192760
Present:

- versus -

CARPIO, J., Chairperson,
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO,*
BRION,
PERALTA,** and
PEREZ, JJ.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,
Promulgated:
Respondent.
July 20, 2011
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DECISION
CARPIO, J.:
The Case
Before the Court is a petition for review1 assailing the 26 November 2009 Decision2 and 22 June 2010
Resolution3 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR No. 31354. The Court of Appeals affirmed with
modifications the decision of the Regional Trial Court of San Carlos City, Pangasinan, Branch 56 (trial court),
finding Jojit Garingarao (Garingarao) guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of acts of lasciviousness in
relation to Republic Act No. 7610 (RA 7610).4
The Antecedent Facts
The facts of the case, as can be gleaned from the decision of the Court of Appeals, are as follows:
On 28 October 2003, AAA5 was brought to the Virgen Milagrosa Medical Center by her father BBB and mother
CCC due to fever and abdominal pain. Dr. George Morante (Dr.Morante), the attending physician,
recommended that AAA be confined at the hospital for further observation. AAA was admitted at the hospital
and confined at a private room where she and her parents stayed for the night.
On 29 October 2003, BBB left the hospital to go to Lingayen, Pangasinan to process his daughter’s Medicare
papers. He arrived at Lingayen at around 8:00 a.m. and left the place an hour later. CCC also left the hospital
that same morning to attend to their store at Urbiztondo, Pangasinan, leaving AAA alone in her room.
When BBB returned to the hospital, AAA told him that she wanted to go home. Dr. Morante advised against it
but due to AAA’s insistence, he allowed AAA to be discharged from the hospital with instructions that she
should continue her medications. When AAA and her parents arrived at their house around 11:30 a.m., AAA
cried and told her parents that Garingaraosexually abused her. They all went back to the hospital and
reported the incident to Dr. Morante. They inquired from the nurses’ station and learned that Garingarao was
the nurse on duty on that day.
On 20 January 2004, the City Prosecutor filed an Information against Garingarao for acts of lasciviousness in
relation to RA 7610, as follows:
That on or about the 29th day of October 2003, at Virgen Milagrosa University Hospital, San Carlos
City, Pangasinan, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, with
lewd designs, did then and there, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously touched the breast of AAA, 16
years of age, touched her genitalia, and inserted his finger into her vagina, to the damage and
prejudice of said AAA who suffered psychological and emotional disturbance, anxiety, sleeplessness
and humiliation.

applied alcohol and left. who was wearing a white uniform. A heated argument ensued between BBB and Garingarao.m. (f) the incident report filed by AAA’s parents with the police.m. Embarrassed. AAA testified that on 29 October 2003. Garingarao lifted AAA’s shirt. AAA asked Garingarao what he was doing. Garingarao replied that he was just examining her. Garingarao then left the room and returned 15 to 30 minutes later with a stethoscope. Morante. (c) the schedule of duties of the nurses at the hospital showing that Garingarao was on duty from 12:00 a. of 29 October 2003. between 7:00 a. he could report the matter to the hospital. (d) a certificate from the Department of Education Division Office showing that BBB was present at the office from 8:00 a. Dr. on 29 October 2003. Tamayo testified that he was with Garingarao when they went to AAA’s room between 7:00 a. 6 During the trial. he and his nursing aide Edmundo Tamayo (Tamayo) went inside AAA’s room to administer her medicines and check her vital signs.m. entered her room and asked if she already took her medicines and if she was still experiencing pains.Garingarao denied that he inserted his finger into AAA’s private part and that he fondled her breasts. pressed the stethoscope to her stomach and touched her two nipples. BBB told Garingarao he was an arrogant nurse. Garingarao then slid his finger inside AAA’s private part. Garingarao ignored AAA and continued to insert his finger inside her private part. Tamayo alleged that Garingarao and BBB had an argument. When BBB arrived at the hospital. on 29 October 2003.m. Tamayo stated that he would always accompany Garingaraowhenever the latter would visit the rooms of the patients. and (g) a letter from the hospital administrator requiring Garingarao to explain why no administrative action should be filed against him in view of the incident. She asked him to stop and informed him she had her monthly period. Garingarao. Morante testified on AAA’s confinement to and discharge from the hospital. She only narrated the incident to her parents when they got home and they went back to the hospital to report the incident to Dr. Garingarao told BBB that they should not be told how to administer the medicines because they knew what they were doing and that they would be accountable should anything happen to AAA. He went inside the bathroom of the private room. to 8:00 a.Contrary to Article 336 of the Revised Penal Code in relation to RA 7610. AAA insisted on going home. and 8:00 a.m.m. BBB then accused them of not administering the medicines properly and on time. to 9:00 a. AAA replied that her stomach was no longer painful. Garingarao told AAA that he would examine her again. The prosecution presented the following documents before the trial court: (a) AAA’s birth certificate to establish that she was 16 years old at the time of the incident. The Decision of the Trial Court . For the defense. AAA instinctively crossed her legs and again asked Garingarao what he was doing. Garingarao replied that if BBB had any complaint. washed his hands.m. Garingarao only stopped when he saw that AAA really had her monthly period.m. Garingarao alleged that the filing of the case was motivated by the argument he had with BBB. and 8:00 a. (e) AAA’s Medical Payment Notice. Garingarao then lifted AAA’s pajama and underwear and pressed the lower part of her abdomen. Garingarao then lifted AAA’s bra and touched her left breast. Garingarao alleged that on 29 October 2003. (b) AAA’s medical records establishing her confinement to and discharge from Virgen Milagrosa Medical Center.. He alleged that BBB was present and he accusedGaringarao of not administering the medications properly. Garingarao gave a different version of the incident.

000. The Court of Appeals ruled that the duration of reclusion temporal in its maximum period should be 17 years. The Court of Appeals ruled that under Section 5(b) of RA 7610.00 as moral damages and P10. The Court of Appeals modified the penalty imposed by the trial court. The trial court found as baseless Garingarao’s defense that the case was only motivated by the argument he had with BBB. judgment is hereby rendered finding the accused Jojit Garingarao GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of acts of lasciviousness in relation to Republic Act 7610.000. otherwise. The trial court also found that the prosecution was able to establish that BBB and CCC were not in the room when Garingarao went inside. SO ORDERED. The Court of Appeals ruled that Garingarao’s claim that the case was filed so that BBB could get even with him because of the argument they had was too shallow to be given consideration. The trial court ruled that it was illogical for BBB to convince his daughter to fabricate a story of sexual abuse just to get even at Garingarao over a heated argument.8 Garingarao appealed from the trial court’s Decision. the introduction of any object into the genitalia of the offended party as well as the intentional touching of her breasts when done with the intent to sexually gratify the offender qualify as a lascivious act. he should be convicted under RA 7610 because AAA was 16 years old when the crime was committed. The trial court gave credence to the testimony of AAA over Garingarao’s denial. The Court of Appeals ruled that while Garingarao was charged for acts of lasciviousness in relation to RA 7610. 4 months and 1 day to 20 years and not 14 years and 8 months as imposed by the trial court. The Decision of the Court of Appeals In its 26 November 2009 Decision. The dispositive portion of the Court of Appeals’ Decision reads: . AAA’s testimony established that Garingarao committed the lascivious acts.In its Decision7 dated 5 November 2007. touched her breasts and inserted his finger into her private part. The Court of Appeals ruled that under Section 2(h) of the Rules and Regulations on the Reporting and Investigation of Child Abuse Cases. which was deemed as civil indemnity. and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of imprisonment ranging from 12 years to 1 day of Reclusion Temporal as minimum to 14 years and 8 months of Reclusion Temporal as maximum. The trial court ruled that Garingarao was positively identified by AAA as the person who entered her room. premises considered. The Court of Appeals also raised the award of moral damages and fine. The accused is ordered to pay to the minor victim [AAA] P20.00 as fine. the trial court found Garingarao guilty as charged. the provisions of RA 7610 shall prevail. The Court of Appeals likewise rejected Garingarao’s defense of denial which could not prevail over the positive testimony of AAA. The dispositive portion of the trial court’s Decision reads: WHEREFORE. the decision of the trial court has to be affirmed. the offender shall be charged with rape or lascivious conduct under the Revised Penal Code (RPC) only if the victim is below 12 years old. the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s decision with modifications. The Court of Appeals ruled that based on the evidence on record and the testimony of AAA. to conform with recent jurisprudence. The Court of Appeals found no reason for AAA or her family to fabricate the charges against Garingarao.

we find incredible Garingarao’s defense that the case was an offshoot of a heated argument he had with AAA’s father over the manner Garingarao was giving AAA’s medications. contrary to Garingarao’s allegation. Garingarao further alleges that. the prosecution was able to establish that. and The award of indemnity is raised from P10. Pangasinan in Criminal Case No.11 Both denial and alibi are inherently weak defenses and constitute self-serving negative evidence which cannot be accorded greater evidentiary weight than the positive declaration by a credible witness. The penalty imposed on the accused-appellant is 14 years and 8 months of reclusion temporal as minimum to 20 years of reclusion temporal as maximum[. the Decision dated November 5.000. is sufficient to establish the guilt of the accused.000.00 to P50. The Issue The only issue in this case is whether the Court of Appeals committed a reversible error in affirming with modifications the trial court’s decision.00. It is hard to believe that AAA’s parents would expose her to a public trial if the charges were not true.000. assuming the charges were correct. In its 22 June 2010 Resolution. 3. in view of the foregoing.] The award of moral damages is raised from P20. he should have been convicted only of acts of lasciviousness and not of violation of RA 7610. Hence.WHEREFORE. . The Ruling of this Court The petition has no merit.000. the lone testimony of the offended party. We do not agree. if credible. the Court of Appeals denied the motion.00. the petition before this Court.10 In this case. both BBB and CCC were not in AAA’s room at the time of the incident. 2007 of the Regional Trial Court of San Carlos City. 13 In addition. 2. It is a settled rule that denial is a weak defense as against the positive identification by the victim. Garingarao alleges that the Court of Appeals erred in affirming the trial court’s decision finding him guilty of acts of lasciviousness in relation to RA 7610. Further.9 Garingarao filed a motion for reconsideration. SCC-4167 is hereby AFFIRMED with the following MODIFICATIONS: 1.00 to P50. Credibility of Witnesses The Court has ruled that in case of acts of lasciviousness. Garingarao insists that it was physically impossible for him to commit the acts charged against him because there were many patients and hospital employees around. there was only one incident when he allegedly touched AAA and as such. He alleges that AAA’s room was well lighted and that he had an assistant when the incident allegedly occurred. SO ORDERED. like the trial court and the Court of Appeals.12 Garingarao’s defense of denial and alibi must fail over the positive and straightforward testimony of AAA on the incident. both the trial court and the Court of Appeals found the testimony of AAA credible over Garingarao’s defense of denial and alibi.

Child Prostitution and Other Sexual Abuse. groin. AAA twice askedGaringarao what he was doing and he answered that he was just examining her. lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of a person. whether of the same or opposite sex. paragraph 3 for rape and Article 336 of Act No. the prosecution established that Garingarao touched AAA’s breasts and inserted his finger into her private part for his sexual gratification. who for money. whether male or female. The penalty of reclusion temporal in its medium period to reclusion perpetua shall be imposed upon the following: (a) x x x (b) Those who commit the act of sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct with a child exploited in prostitution or subject to other sexual abuse. bestiality. The accused commits the act of sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct. or the introduction of any object into the genitalia. humiliate. the Revised Penal Code. 3. anus or mouth. for rape or lascivious conduct. Provided. Article XIII of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 7610. That when the victim is under twelve (12) years of age. That the penalty for lascivious conduct when the victim is under twelve (12) yeas of age shall be reclusion temporal in its medium period. x x x (c) x x x The elements of sexual abuse under Section 5. degrade. whether male or female. as amended. 2. of the genitalia. and The child. profit. Garingarao coerced AAA into submitting to his lascivious acts by pretending that he was examining her. The Court has ruled that a child is deemed subject to other sexual abuse when the child is the victim of lascivious conduct under the coercion or influence of any adult. or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person. of any person. is below 18 years of age. either directly or through clothing. inner thigh.14 Under Section 32.Violation of RA 7610 Section 5. the perpetrators shall be prosecuted under Article 335.16 In lascivious conduct under the coercion or influence of any adult.Children.15 In this case. Garingarao used his influence as a nurse by pretending that his actions were part of the physical examination he was doing. . Article III of RA 7610 are the following: 1. Provided. anus. harass. or any other consideration or due to the coercion or influence of any adult. 3815. . with the intent to abuse. masturbation. syndicate or group. Article III of RA 7610 provides: Section 5.17 In this case. as the case may be. are deemed to be children exploited in prostitution and other sexual abuse. Garingarao persisted on what he was doing despite AAA’s objections. there must be some form of compulsion equivalent to intimidation which subdues the free exercise of the offended party’s free will. indulge in sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct. The said act is performed with a child exploited in prostitution or subjected to other sexual abuse. breast. lascivious conduct is defined as follows: [T]he intentional touching. or buttocks.

Petitioner. Exploitation and Discrimination Act. 31354 withMODIFICATIONS. 1999. having been born on November 3. the above-named accused. 1999. we DENY the petition. in utter disregard of the prohibition of the provisions of Republic Act No. 2011 Decision2 and September 26.000. vs. Philippines. Article VI of RA 7610 which was later amended on May 28. finding petitioner Christian Caballo (Caballo) guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating Section 10(a).19Hence.000. the fact that the offense occurred only once is enough to hold Garingarao liable for acts of lasciviousness under RA 7610. 7610. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. 1980.Garingarao insists that. a condition prejudicial to her development. 76104(RA 7610).00020 and moral damages awarded by the Court of Appeals to P15. The Amended Information7 reads: That undersigned Second Assistant City Prosecutor hereby accuses Christian Caballo of the crime of Violation of Section 10 (a) of Republic Act No. No. and on different dates subsequent thereto. Garingarao’s argument has no legal basis. otherwise known as the "Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse. We AFFIRM the 26 November 2009 Decision and 22 June 2010 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. .18 Section 3(b) of RA 7610 provides that the abuse may be habitual or not. CR No. 7610 and taking advantage of the innocence and lack of worldly experience of AAA who was only 17 years old at that time. assuming that the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses were true. he should not be convicted of violation of RA 7610 because the incident happened only once. Branch 30 (RTC).21 We also impose on Garingarao a fine of P15.22 WHEREFORE. G. 2013 CHRISTIAN CABALLO. by persuading and inducing the latter to have sexual intercourse with him.000 as civil indemnity. He is sentenced to suffer the penalty of 14 years and 8 months of reclusion temporal as minimum to 20 years of reclusion temporal as maximum and ordered to pay AAA P20.000. 198732 June 10.R. Article VI of Republic Act No. unlawfully and feloniously commit sexual abuse upon said AAA. which ultimately resulted to her untimely pregnancy and delivery of a baby on March 8. until June 1998. 2003 Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Surigao City. did then and there willfully. to the damage and prejudice of AAA in such amount as may be allowed by law. committed as follows: That in or about the last week of March 1998. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. an Information5 was filed charging Caballo of violation of Section 10(a)." in relation to Section 2 of the Rules and Regulations on the Reporting and Investigation of Child Abuse Cases (Rules on Child Abuse Cases). a 23 year old man.: Before the Court is a petition for review on certiorari1 assailing the January 28. 27399-MIN which affirmed with modification the April 1. 7610. The Court has already ruled that it is inconsequential that sexual abuse under RA 7610 occurred only once. 2011 Resolution3 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G. in the City of Surigao.R.000 as moral damages and a fine of P15. The Court finds Jojit Garingarao GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of acts of lasciviousness in relation to Republic Act No.R. 1999. Garingarao alleges that the single incident would not suffice to hold him liable under RA 7610. DECISION PERLAS-BERNABE. CR No. J. to include statements pertaining to the delivery of private complainant AAA’s6 baby. we deem it proper to reduce the amount of indemnity to P20. SO ORDERED. P15. Respondent. The Facts On March 16. Indemnity and Moral Damages In view of recent jurisprudence.

it found that the evidence adduced by the prosecution clearly showed that Caballo persuaded. AAA’s mother even told Caballo that he was not deserving of AAA because he was poor. he alleged that he repeatedly proposed marriage to AAA but was always rejected because she was still studying. then 23 years old. they broke up due to the intervention of AAA’s parents. Her uncle was a choreographer and Caballo was one of his dancers. the RTC found Caballo guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violation of Section 10(a). Caballo elevated the case to the CA. 1999. Article VI of RA 7610. During that time. as minimum. Eventually. Consequently. Caballo repeatedly assured AAA of his love and even went on to promise marriage to her. then 17 years old. as maximum. her efforts were unsuccessful. it observed that consent is immaterial in child abuse cases involving sexual intercourse and lascivious conduct and therefore. Accordingly. met Caballo. in its maximum period of four (4) years. then a minor. It ruled that while the Amended Information denominated the crime charged as violation of Section 10(a). the statements in its body actually support a charge of violation of Section 5(b). eight (8) months and one (1) day. except the one in August which occurred in Cebu. AAA was a sophomore college student at the University of San Carlos and resided at a boarding house in Cebu City. visited AAA.19 Hence. it claimed that Caballo was shocked upon hearing the news of AAA’s pregnancy and consequently. the prosecution asserted that Caballo was only able to induce AAA to lose her virginity due to promises of marriage and his assurance that he would not get her pregnant due to the use of the "withdrawal method.000. it sentenced Caballo to suffer imprisonment for an indeterminate period ranging from prision correccional." Thus. the instant petition. the undisputed facts are as follows: AAA.CONTRARY TO LAW. on August 31. Article III of RA 7610. At a certain time. 2011. 17 It also found basis to sustain the award of moral damages.11 During the trial. 8 Based on the records. Surigao City. May 28. Caballo persuaded AAA to have sexual intercourse with him. Caballo pleaded not guilty to the aforesaid charges. he posited that he and AAA were sweethearts who lived-in together. in relation to Section 2 of the Rules on Child Abuse Cases. 1998 and in November 1998. two (2) months and one (1) day. for one (1) week in a certain Litang Hotel and another week in the residence of AAA’s uncle. 2003. to prision mayor in its minimum period of six (6) years. all of which happened in Surigao City.12 Opposed to the foregoing. however.10 In June 1998. in the first and second weeks of May 1998. Further. 18 Caballo filed a motion for reconsideration which was. It also ordered Caballo to pay AAA moral damages in the amount of P50. it was upon these repeated coaxing and assuring words that AAA succumbed to Caballo’s evil desires which deflowered and got her pregnant. they eventually became sweethearts. AAA was no longer a virgin as he found it easy to penetrate her and that there was no bleeding. advised her to have an abortion. the prosecution averred that when AAA’s mother confronted Caballo to find out what his plans were for AAA. He also assured AAA that she would not get pregnant because he would be using the "withdrawal method. 2011.13 The RTC’s Ruling In a Decision dated April 1. to have carnal knowledge with him. AAA went home to Surigao City and stayed with her uncle. Further. She heeded Caballo’s advice. On this score.9 Sometime during the third week of March 1998. After spending time together.15 the CA dismissed the appeal and affirmed with modification the RTC’s ruling. he assured her that he would marry her daughter.00. Article III of RA 7610. 1998." Moreover. Philippines. induced and enticed AAA. the sweetheart defense remains unacceptable. Caballo went to Cebu City to attend the Sinulog Festival and there. in her uncle’s place in Surigao City. 1999. The CA’s Ruling In a Decision dated January 28. Article VI of RA 7610. Lastly. The Issue The core of the present controversy revolves around the interpretation of the phrase "due to the coercion or influence of any adult" which would thereby classify the victim as a "child exploited in prostitution and other sexual abuse" as found in Section 5.16 On the merits of the case. AAA becamepregnant and later gave birth on March 8. Upon arraignment. denied on September 26. however. finding Caballo guilty of violating Section 5(b). Article III of RA 7610. In the last week of March of the same year. Caballo claimed that during their first sexual intercourse. the interpretation which the Court .14 Aggrieved. He also maintained that AAA had (3) three boyfriends prior to him. This was followed by several more of the same in April 1998. On January 17. Towards this end.

As succinctly explained in People v. whether male or female. Larin26 and Amployo v. Larin: A child is deemed exploited in prostitution or subjected to other sexual abuse. Caballo essentially argues that his promise to marry or his use of the "withdrawal method" should not be considered as "persuasion" or "inducement" sufficient to convict him for the aforementioned offense. is below 18 years of age.Children. People. syndicate or group. was still a minor. Provided. In its Comment. 5. as the case may be. People (Malto). viz: The second element. 25 citing People v. neglect. made the sexual intercourse consensual. paragraph 3 for rape and Article 336 of Act No. profit.accords herein would determine whether or not the CA erred in finding Caballo guilty of violating paragraph (b) of the same proviso. Congress crafted Article III of the same law in order to penalize child prostitution and other forms of sexual abuse. On this note. exploitation and discrimination and other conditions prejudicial to their development" and in such regard. CA (Olivarez). 3815. That the penalty for lascivious conduct when the victim is under twelve (12) years of age shall be reclusion temporal in its medium period x x x x (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) As determined in the case of Olivarez v. "provide sanctions for their commission. the perpetrators shall be prosecuted under Article 335. it points out that the sweetheart theory. In this case. indulge in sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct. and (c) The child. i.24 Driven by the foregoing considerations.. Thus. whether male or female. who for money. the defense submits that AAA could not be considered as a "child exploited in prostitution and other sexual abuse" since the incidents to do not point to any form of "coercion" or "influence" on Caballo’s part. Article III of RA 7610 pertinently reads: SEC. Provided."23 It also furthers the "best interests of children" and as such. The penalty of reclusion temporal in its medium period to reclusion perpetua shall be imposed upon the following: x x x x (b) Those who commit the act of sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct with a child exploited in prostitution or subject to other sexual abuse. That when the victim is under twelve (12) years of age. as amended. asserting that these should be coupled with some form of coercion or intimidation to constitute child abuse. or (b) under the coercion or influence of any adult.21 The Court’s Ruling The petition has no merit. syndicate or group. To put things in proper perspective.20 respondent advances the argument that there was "sexual abuse" within the purview of RA 7610 as well as the Rules on Child Abuse Cases since it was only upon Caballo’s repeated assurances and persuasion that AAA gave in to his worldly desires. its provisions are guided by this standard. the Revised Penal Code. cruelty. the existence of the first and third elements remains undisputed. or any other consideration or due to the coercion or influence of any adult. during all those instances. for rape or lascivious conduct.. not necessarily for money or profit. it must be pointed out that RA 7610 was meant to advance the state policy of affording "special protection to children from all forms of abuse. In his petition. as relied on by Caballo. Child Prostitution and Other Sexual Abuse." As illumined in Olivarez. is likewise present. (b) The said act is performed with a child exploited in prostitution or subjected to other sexual abuse. . profit. Records disclose that Caballo had succeeded in repeatedly having sexual intercourse with AAA who.27 the final version of the aforesaid provision was a product of various deliberations to expand its original coverage to cases where the minor may have been coerced or intimidated into sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct. when the child indulges in sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct (a) for money. that the act is performed with a child exploited in prostitution or subjected to other sexual abuse.e.. Section 5 thereof provides a definition of who is considered a "child exploited in prostitution and other sexual abuse. the only bone of contention lies in the presence of the second element. Likewise. deserves scant consideration in view of the Court’s ruling in Malto v. The argument is untenable.22 the elements of the foregoing offense are the following: (a) The accused commits the act of sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct. are deemed to be children exploited in prostitution and other sexual abuse. Section 5(b). or any other consideration. He further alleges that he and AAA were sweethearts which thus. .

But. Article III of RA 7610 provides that when a child indulges in sexual intercourse or any lascivious conduct due to the coercion or influence of any adult. neglect. How about the title. Section 2(g) of the Rules on Child Abuse Cases conveys that sexual abuse involves the element of influence which manifests in a variety of forms. the abuse may be habitual or not. Maybe the heading ought to be expanded. Because the essence of prostitution is profit.. Not necessarily.A. SYNDICATE OR GROUP INDULGE. People: . Senator Angara. I see. a child is deemed subjected to other sexual abuse when the child indulges in lascivious conduct under the coercion or influence of any adult. Larin. to cover the expanded scope. Cristina was sexually abused because she was coerced or intimidated by petitioner to indulge in a lascivious conduct." In this manner. We reiterated this ruling in Amployo v. President. It is accepted. Thus. Section 5 of Rep. The President Pro Tempore. This is clear from the deliberations of the Senate: Senator Angara. to cover a situation where the minor may have been coerced or intimidated into this lascivious conduct. No. The President Pro Tempore. the Gentleman is right. OR ANY OTHER CONSIDERATION OR DUE TO THE COERCION OR INFLUENCE OF ANY ADULT. The proposal I have is something like this: WHO FOR MONEY. Is that not what we would call probable ‘child abuse’? Senator Angara. Senator Lina. et cetera. President. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) As it is presently worded. ‘who for money or profit. case law further clarifies that sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct under the coercion or influence of any adult exists when there is some form of compulsion equivalent to intimidation which subdues the free exercise of the offended party’s free will. As expressly provided in Section 3(b) of R. prejudicial as they are to their development.It must be noted that the law covers not only a situation in which a child is abused for profit. Section 5. I am contending. President. Mr. here. Mr. Yes.. Subject to rewording. Mr. exploitation and discrimination against children. What I am trying to cover is the other consideration. Because.. Act No. only for money or profit. WHETHER MALE OR FEMALE. President.. not necessarily for money or profit. So. The President Pro Tempore. The President Pro Tempore. engages in lascivious conduct.A.28 Corollary thereto. through coercion or intimidation..’ I would like to amend this. It is defined as: . 7610. that there may be situations where the child may not have been used for profit or . SYNDICATE OR GROUP INDULGE IN SEXUAL INTERCOURSE. Is there any objection? [Silence] Hearing none. the amendment is approved. PROFIT. Well. Is there any objection? [Silence] Hearing none. The President Pro Tempore. cruelty. PROFIT. it is no longer prostitution. OR ANY OTHER CONSIDERATION OR INFLUENCE OF ANY ADULT. It must be observed that Article III of R. the child is deemed to be a "child exploited in prostitution and other sexual abuse. the law is able to act as an effective deterrent to quell all forms of abuse. but also one in which a child. not necessarily for money or profit. President: MINORS. still. That would mean also changing the subtitle of Section 4. President.’ shall we change that too? Senator Angara. 7610 is captioned as "Child Prostitution and Other Sexual Abuse" because Congress really intended to cover a situation where the minor may have been coerced or intimidated into lascivious conduct. Mr. In this case. Yes. I refer to line 9. et cetera. What does the Sponsor say? Will the Gentleman kindly restate the amendment? ANGARA AMENDMENT Senator Angara. it is limited only to the child being abused or misused for sexual purposes. Mr. but also one in which a child engages in any lascivious conduct through coercion or intimidation. ‘Child Prostitution. Will it no longer be child prostitution? Senator Angara. Mr. The law covers not only child prostitution but also other forms of sexual abuse. Mr. 7610 does not merely cover a situation of a child being abused for profit. because we are still talking of the child who is being misused for sexual purposes either for money or for consideration. President. WHO FOR MONEY.. The new section will read something like this. no. so that we can cover those situations and not leave loophole in this section. The President Pro Tempore. As we observed in People v. it is inconsequential that the sexual abuse occurred only once. the amendment is approved. Furthermore. In this relation. the President will agree that that is a form or manner of child abuse.

Article III of RA 7610. promised to marry her. Article III of RA 7610. to view her as fair game and vulnerable prey. Irrefragably. because of their minority. A child exploited in prostitution or subjected to other sexual abuse cannot validly give consent to sexual intercourse with another person. the argument that AAA and Caballo were sweethearts remains irrelevant. the most crucial element is AAA’s minority. exploitation and discrimination. inducement. For this reason.31 In this respect.. Article III of RA 7610: First. and even. x x x x32 (Emphasis and underscoring supplied. is under the obligation to minimize the risk of harm to those who. it stands to reason that she was put in a situation deprived of the benefit of clear thought and choice. In any case. and that AAA indulged in sexual intercourse and/or lascivious conduct with Caballo due to the same. The language of the law is clear: it seeks to punish "those who commit the act of sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct with a child exploited in prostitution or subjected to other sexual abuse. the Court observes that Caballo’s actuations may be classified as "coercion" and "influence" within the purview of Section 5. she is . AAA was not capable of fully understanding or knowing the import of her actions and in consequence. Hence. It is undisputed that AAA was only 17 years old at the time of the commission of the crime and is hence. sexual predators like petitioner will be justified. remained vulnerable to the cajolery and deception of adults. The harm which results from a child’s bad decision in a sexual encounter may be infinitely more damaging to her than a bad business deal. Thus. persuasion.) In other words. The State. a child should not be deemed to have validly consented to adult sexual activity and to surrender herself in the act of ultimate physical intimacy under a law which seeks to afford her special protection against abuse. therefore. or incest with children. the Court observes that any other choice would. a child is presumed by law to be incapable of giving rational consent to any lascivious act or sexual intercourse. jurisprudence settles that consent is immaterial in cases involving a violation of Section 5. use. consent is immaterial in cases involving violation of Section 5. A child cannot give consent to a contract under our civil laws. asked him to leave. Third. However. Thus. Fourth. the law should protect her from the harmful consequences of her attempts at adult sexual behavior. are as yet unable to take care of themselves fully. more or less. the term "influence" means the "improper use of power or trust in any way that deprives a person of free will and substitutes another’s objective. To note. "coercion" is the "improper use of x x x power to compel another to submit to the wishes of one who wields it. the sweetheart defense is unacceptable. to a certain extent. Records indicate that Caballo was 23 years old at the time of the commission of the offense and therefore.The employment. An important factor is that AAA refused Caballo's incipient advances and in fact." Unlike rape. The Malto ruling is largely instructive on this point: For purposes of sexual intercourse and lascivious conduct in child abuse cases under RA 7610. considering that Caballo's acts constitute "coercion" and "influence" within the context of the law. coupled with AAA’s minority is Caballo’s seniority. Based on this premise. these were meant to influence AAA to set aside her reservations and eventually give into having sex with him. as such. 6 years older than AAA. The age disparity between an adult and a minor placed Caballo in a stronger position over AAA so as to enable him to force his will upon the latter."29 Meanwhile. citations omitted) Second. a position of duress . nonetheless. (Otherwise. with which he succeeded. In addition. as in this case. enticement or coercion of a child to engage in or assist another person to engage in. The mere act of having sexual intercourse or committing lascivious conduct with a child who is exploited in prostitution or subjected to sexual abuse constitutes the offense. AAA eventually yielded. remain tarnished due to AAA's minority as abovediscussed. or even unwittingly tempted by the law. This is on the rationale that she can easily be the victim of fraud as she is not capable of fully understanding or knowing the nature or import of her actions. an evil that is proscribed. Caballo's actions effectively constitute overt acts of coercion and influence. with respect to the parties' first sexual encounter."30 In view of the foregoing. prostitution. it is observed that the brash and unexpected manner in which Caballo pursued AAA to her room and pressed on her to have sex with him. at least. as parens patriae. sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct or the molestation. effectively placed her in. considered a child under the law. Those of tender years deserve its protection. It is a malum prohibitum.1âwphi1 Records reveal that Caballo repeatedly assured AAA of his love for her. he also guaranteed that she would not get pregnant since he would be using the "withdrawal method" for safety.

The January 28. 27399-MIN are hereby AFFIRMED. finding all elements to be present. WHEREFORE. the second element of the subject offense exists. SO ORDERED .deemed as a "child exploited in prostitution and other sexual abuse". as such. the Court hereby sustains Caballo's conviction for violation of Section 5(b). the petition is DENIED. . CR No. 2011 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CAG. Article III of RA 7610. 2011 Decision and September 26. In fine.R.