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WEEK 8 CRIMINAL LAW daughter, or that he or she has not consented to the infidelity of the other spouse.

A. What is Art. 246?


Art. 246. Parricide. — Any person who shall kill his father, mother, or child, whether legitimate D.1. Discuss People v. Abarca
or illegitimate, or any of his ascendants, or descendants, or his spouse, shall be guilty of parricide D.2. Discuss People v. Oyanib
and shall be punished by the penalty of reclusion perpetua to death.

B. What are the elements of parricide? E. What is Article 248?


1. That a person is killed. Art. 248. Murder. — Any person who, not falling within the provisions of Article 246 shall kill
2. That the deceased is killed by the accused. another, shall be guilty of murder and shall be punished by reclusion temporal in its maximum
3. That the deceased is the father, mother, or child, whether legitimate or period to death, if committed with any of the following attendant circumstances:
illegitimate, or a legitimate other ascendant or other descendant, or the legitimate spouse or the 1. With treachery, taking advantage of superior strength, with the aid of armed men, or
accused. employing means to weaken the defense or of means or persons to insure or afford impunity.
2. In consideration of a price, reward, or promise.
Essential element of parricide - Relationship of the offender with the victim. 3. By means of inundation, fire, poison, explosion, shipwreck, stranding of a vessel, derailment
or assault upon a street car or locomotive, fall of an airship, by means of motor vehicles, or with
B.1. Discuss People v. Ignacio the use of any other means involving great waste and ruin.
B.2. Discuss People v. Sales
4. On occasion of any of the calamities enumerated in the preceding paragraph, or of an
C. What is Art. 247? earthquake, eruption of a volcano, destructive cyclone, epidemic or other public calamity.
Art. 247. Death or physical injuries inflicted under exceptional circumstances. — Any legally
married person who having surprised his spouse in the act of committing sexual intercourse with 5. With evident premeditation.
another person, shall kill any of them or both of them in the act or immediately thereafter, or 6. With cruelty, by deliberately and inhumanly augmenting the suffering of the victim, or
shall inflict upon them any serious physical injury, shall suffer the penalty of destierro. outraging or scoffing at his person or corpse.

If he shall inflict upon them physical injuries of any other kind, he shall be exempt from F. What are the elements of murder?
punishment. 1. That a person was killed.
2. That the accused killed him.
These rules shall be applicable, under the same circumstances, to parents with respect to their 3. That the killing was attended by any of the qualifying circumstances
daughters under eighteen years of age, and their seducer, while the daughters are living with mentioned in Article 248.
their parents. 4. The killing is not parricide or homicide.

Any person who shall promote or facilitate the prostitution of his wife or daughter, or shall
otherwise have consented to the infidelity of the other spouse shall not be entitled to the F.1. Discuss People v. Mapalo
benefits of this article.

D. What are the elements of death or physical injuries inflicted under exceptional G. What is Art. 249?
circumstances? Art. 249. Homicide. — Any person who, not falling within the provisions of Article 246, shall kill
1. That a legally married person or a parent surprises his spouse or his another without the attendance of any of the circumstances enumerated in the next preceding
daughter, the latter under 18 years of age and living with him, in the act of committing a sexual article, shall be deemed guilty of homicide and be punished by reclusion temporal.
intercourse with another person.
2. That he or she kills any or both, of them or inflicts upon any or both of them H. What are the elements of homicide?
any serious physical injury in the act or immediately after. 1. That a person is killed.
3. That he has not promoted or facilitated the prostitution of his wife or 2. That the accused killed him without any justifying circumstances.
3. That the accused had the intention to kill, which is presumed.

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4. That the killing was not attended by any of the qualifying circumstances of Elements:
murder, or by that of parricide or infanticide. 1. That there is a tumultuous affray
2. That a participant or some participants thereof suffer serious physical injuries or physical
injuries of a less serious nature only.
H.1. Discuss Abella v. People 3. That the person responsible thereof cannot be identified
I. What is a tumultuous affray? Art. 251. Death caused in a tumultuous affray. — When, while 4. That all those who appear to have used violence upon the person of the offended party are
several persons, not composing groups organized for the common purpose of assaulting and known.
attacking each other reciprocally, quarrel and assault each other in a confused and tumultuous
manner, and in the course of the affray someone is killed, and it cannot be ascertained who l. How is the crime of giving assistance to suicide committed?
actually killed the deceased, but the person or persons who inflicted serious physical injuries can Art. 253. Giving assistance to suicide. — Any person who shall assist another to commit suicide
be identified, such person or persons shall be punished by prision mayor. shall suffer the penalty of prision mayor; if such person leads his assistance to another to the
extent of doing the killing himself, he shall suffer the penalty of reclusion temporal. However, if
the suicide is not consummated, the penalty of arresto mayor in its medium and maximum
If it cannot be determined who inflicted the serious physical injuries on the deceased, the periods, shall be imposed.
penalty of prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods shall be imposed upon all
those who shall have used violence upon the person of the victim. Acts punishable:
1. By assisting another to commit suicide, whether the suicide is consummated or not.
 A tumultuous affray is a commotion, wherein people fight in a tumultuous or 2. By lending his assistance to another to commit suicide to the extent of doing the killing
confused manner such that it cannot be ascertained or determined who has killed the himself.
victim or who has inflicted physical injuries on the victim.
Note:
J. What are the elements of death caused in a tumultuous affray? 1. That there be several #1 - Giving assistance to suicide means furnishing the person to commit suicide the means
persons (poison, arms, etc.) with which to kill himself.
2. That they did not compose groups organized for the 
common purpose of assaulting and
#2 - The initiative must come from the sick person as in requesting from the accused his
attacking each other reciprocally
3. That these several persons quarreled and assaulted one another in a confused and assistance in the suicide. If an affirmative act is done, e.g., shutting off oxygen at the request of
tumultuous manner. patient, Article 253 applies. If the initiative comes from the offender, the crime is homicide or
4.That someone was killed in the course of the affray. murder.
5. That it cannot be ascertained who actually killed the deceased
Art. 253 does not distinguish and does not any make any reference to the relation of the
6. That the person or persons who inflicted serious physical injuries or who used violence can be
identified. offender and the person committing suicide. Hence, the penalty is the same as that provided in
Art. 253.
j.1. Discuss People v. Wacoy, G.R. No. 213792, 22 June 2015.
m. What is Article 254?
Art. 254. Discharge of firearms. — Any person who shall shoot at another with any firearm shall
k. What are elements of physical injuries inflicted in a tumultous affray?
Art. 252. Physical injuries inflicted in a tumultuous affray. — When in a tumultuous affray as suffer the penalty of prision correccional in its minimum and medium periods, unless the facts of
referred to in the preceding article, only serious physical injuries are inflicted upon the the case are such that the act can be held to constitute frustrated or attempted parricide,
participants thereof and the person responsible thereof cannot be identified, all those who murder, homicide or any other crime for which a higher penalty is prescribed by any of the
articles of this Code.
appear to have used violence upon the person of the offended party shall suffer the penalty next
lower in degree than that provided for the physical injuries so inflicted.
When the physical injuries inflicted are of a less serious nature and the person responsible n. What are the elements of discharge of firearm?
therefor cannot be identified, all those who appear to have used any violence upon the person ELEMENTS:
of the offended party shall be punished by arresto mayor from five to fifteen days 1. That the offender discharges a firearm against or at another person
2. That the offender has no intention to kill that person

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Q: What if X went to a public place full of people. X saw his enemy, Y, and so to threaten Y, X 1.By using any violence upon the person of the pregnant woman
pulled out his firearm, aimed the firearm at Y in order to threaten him. X discharges the firearm, 2.By acting, but without using violence, without the consent of the woman (By administering
however, with no intention to kill Y. His only intention is to threaten Y and Y was not killed. What drugs or beverages upon such pregnant woman without her consent)
crime is committed? 3. By acting (by administering drugs or beverages) with the consent of the pregnant woman
A: The crime committed is Article 254, Illegal Discharge of Firearms. Illegal discharge of firearms
is committed by any person who aims and discharges the firearm to any other person absent the Elements of Intentional Abortion:
intent to kill the said person. The purpose is merely to threaten the said person. 1.There is a pregnant woman;
2. Violence is exerted, or drugs or beverages administered, or that the accused otherwise acts
o. What is Article 255? upon such pregnant woman;
Art. 255. Infanticide. — The penalty provided for parricide in Article 246 and for murder in 3. As a result of the use of violence, drugs or beverages upon her, or any other act of the
Article 248 shall be imposed upon any person who shall kill any child less than three days of age. accused, the fetus dies, either in the womb or after having been expelled therefrom;
If the crime penalized in this article be committed by the mother of the child for the purpose of 4. The abortion is intended.
concealing her dishonor, she shall suffer the penalty of prision correccional in its medium and
maximum periods, and if said crime be committed for the same purpose by the maternal s. What is Article 257?
grandparents or either of them, the penalty shall be prision mayor. Art. 257. Unintentional abortion. — The penalty of prision correccional in its minimum and
medium period shall be imposed upon any person who shall cause an abortion by violence, but
p. What are the elements of infanticide? unintentionally.
Infanticide is the killing of a child less than 3 days old (72 hours).
Elements of Infanticide: t. What are the elements of unintentional abortion?
1. A child was killed; Elements:
2. The deceased child was less than 3 days old; 1.There is a pregnant woman;
3.Accused killed said child. 2.Violence is used upon such pregnant woman without intending an abortion;
3.Violence is intentionally exerted;
Offender 4.As a result of the violence the fetus dies, either in the womb or having expelled therefrom.
1. If the offender is the father, mother or legitimate ascendant, the crime is still infanticide not
parricide, because the basis of the crime is not the relationship but the age of the child. But the Unintentional abortion is committed only by violence
penalty if that for parricide. Where a man pointed a gun to a pregnant woman threatening to kill her and because of the
2. If the offender is a person other than the foregoing, the crime is still infanticide, not murder. fright she suffers an abortion, the offender is guilty of threats only.
But the penalty is for murder. (Luis B. Reyes, The Revised Penal Code, Book II, 2001 ed.)
Violence must be intentionally exerted
q. What is Article 256? 1. A truck driver who accidentally hit a calesa that caused the pregnant woman riding the calesa
Art. 256. Intentional abortion. — Any person who shall intentionally cause an abortion shall to have an abortion three days after was liable for unintentional abortion through reckless
suffer: imprudence.
1. The penalty of reclusion temporal, if he shall use any violence upon the person of the 2. If the offender does not know that the woman is pregnant, and abortion results from a
pregnant woman. felonious violent act, it is unintentional abortion.
2. The penalty of prision mayor if, without using violence, he shall act without the consent of the
woman. u. What is Article 258?
3. The penalty of prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods, if the woman shall Art. 258. Abortion practiced by the woman herself of by her parents. — The penalty of prision
have consented. correccional in its medium and maximum periods shall be imposed upon a woman who shall
practice abortion upon herself or shall consent that any other person should do so.
r. What are the elements of intentional abortion?
Abortion - is the willful killing of the fetus in the uterus or the violent expulsion of the fetus from Any woman who shall commit this offense to conceal her dishonor, shall suffer the penalty of
the material womb which results in the death of the fetus. prision correccional in its minimum and medium periods.

Ways of committing intentional abortion:


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If this crime be committed by the parents of the pregnant woman or either of them, and they - Any person who shall challenge another, or incite another to give or accept a challenge to a
act with the consent of said woman for the purpose of concealing her dishonor, the offenders duel, or shall scoff at or decry another publicly for having refused to accept a challenge to fight a
shall suffer the penalty of prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods. duel.
-A challenge to fight, without contemplating a duel, is not challenging to a duel. The person
v. What are the elements of abortion practiced by the woman herself or by making the challenge must have in mind a formal combat to be concerted between him and the
her parents? one challenged in the presence of two or more seconds.
1. That there is a pregnant woman who has suffered an abortion. Art. 261. Challenging to a duel. — The penalty of prision correccional in its minimum period shall
2. That the abortion is intended be imposed upon any person who shall challenge another, or incite another to give or accept a
3. That the abortion is caused by- challenge to a duel, or shall scoff at or decry another publicly for having refused to accept a
a. the pregnant woman herself; challenge to fight a duel.
b. any other person, with her consent; or
c. any of her parents, with her consent for the purpose of concealing her dishonor cc. What is Article 262?
- Art. 262. Mutilation. — The penalty of reclusion temporal to reclusion perpetua shall be
w. What is Article 259? imposed upon any person who shall intentionally mutilate another by depriving him, either
- Art. 259. Abortion practiced by a physician or midwife and dispensing of abortives.- The totally or partially, or some essential organ of reproduction.
penalties provided in Article 256 shall be imposed in its maximum period, respectively, upon any Any other intentional mutilation shall be punished by prision mayor in its medium and
physician or midwife who, taking advantage of their scientific knowledge or skill, shall cause an maximum periods.
abortion or assist in causing the same.
Any pharmacist who, without the proper prescription from a physician, shall dispense any dd. What are the elements of mutilation?
abortive shall suffer arresto mayor and a fine not exceeding 1,000 pesos. 1. That there be a castration, that is, mutilation of organs necessary for generation, such
as the penis or ovarium.
x. What are the elements of abortion practiced by a physician or midwife? 2. That the mutilation is caused purposely and deliberately, that is, to deprive the
offended party of some essential organ for reproduction.
1. That there is a pregnant woman who has suffered an abortion.
2. That the abortion is intended
dd.1. Discuss Aguirre v. Secretary of Justice, G.R. No. 170723, 03 March 2008.
3. That the offender, who must be a physician or midwife, causes, or assists in causing,
the abortion.
ee. When is physical injuries considered serious physical injuries?
4. That said physician or midwife takes advantage of his or her scientific knowledge or
skill. 1. When the injured person becomes insane, imbecile, impotent, or blind in
consequence of the physical injuries inflicted.
2. When the injured person:
y. What is a duel?
a. Loses the use of speech or the power to hear or to smell, or loses an eye, a
-It is a formal or regular combat previously concerted between two parties in the presence of
hand, a foot, an arm or a leg; or
two or more seconds of lawful age on each side, who make the selection of arms and fix all the
other conditions of the fight. b. Loses the use of any such member, or
c. Becomes incapacitated for the work in which he was therefore habitually
engaged in consequence of the physical injuries inflicted.
z. Who are liable in a duel?
3. When the injured:
1. The person who killed or inflicted physical injuries upon his adversary or both
combatants in any other case, as principals. a. Becomes deformed
2. The seconds, as accomplices. b. Loses any other member of his body or
c. Loses the use thereof; or
aa. Who is a second? *** d. Becomes ill or incapacitated for the performance of the work in which he
-The seconds shall in all events be punished as accomplices (Art. 260) was habitually engaged for more than 90 days, in consequence of the
physical injuries inflicted
4. When the injured person becomes ill or incapacitated for labor for more than 30
days (but must not be more than 90 days), as a result of the physical injuries inflicted.

bb. What is challenging to a duel?


ff. What is considered as a deformity?

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-Once physical injuries resulted to deformity, it is considered serious physical injuries.
Requisites of deformity: In the absence of evidence to show actual injury, as when the deceased died of other
1. Physical ugliness causes and there is no evidence as to how many days did you say you live after the injury, the
2. Permanent and definite abnormality
crime is only a slight physical injuries, it appearing that the wounds inflicted by the accused
3. Conspicuous and visible
could not have caused the death.
gg. What is Article 264?
- Art. 264. Administering injurious substances or beverages. — The penalties established by the jj. What is maltreatment? ***
next preceding article shall be applicable in the respective case to any person who, without Maltreatment refers not only in physical maltreatment but also moral, psychological
intent to kill, shall inflict upon another any serious, physical injury, by knowingly administering to and other kinds of maltreatment because of the phrase “physical injuries or damage caused”
him any injurious substance or beverages or by taking advantage of his weakness of mind or
and “cruel or humiliating manner”
credulity.

hh. When is physical injuries considered less serious physical injuries? kk. What is Article 266-A?
1. Offended party is incapacitated for labor for 10 days or more (but not more than 30 days), or "Article 266-A. Rape: When And How Committed. - Rape is committed:
shall require medical attendance for the same period of time.
2. Physical injuries must not be those described in the preceding articles "1) By a man who shall have carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following
circumstances:
- Art. 265. Less serious physical injuries. — Any person who shall inflict upon another physical
injuries not described in the preceding articles, but which shall incapacitate the offended party
for labor for ten days or more, or shall require medical assistance for the same period, shall be "a) Through force, threat, or intimidation;
guilty of less serious physical injuries and shall suffer the penalty of arresto mayor.
Whenever less serious physical injuries shall have been inflicted with the manifest intent to kill "b) When the offended party is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious;
or offend the injured person, or under circumstances adding ignominy to the offense in addition
to the penalty of arresto mayor, a fine not exceeding 500 pesos shall be imposed. "c) By means of fraudulent machination or grave abuse of authority; and
Any less serious physical injuries inflicted upon the offender's parents, ascendants, guardians,
curators, teachers, or persons of rank, or persons in authority, shall be punished by prision
"d) When the offended party is under twelve (12) years of age or is demented, even though
correccional in its minimum and medium periods, provided that, in the case of persons in
none of the circumstances mentioned above be present.
authority, the deed does not constitute the crime of assault upon such person.

ii. When is physical injuries considered slight physical injuries? "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.
Three kinds of slight physical injuries
1. Physical injuries which incapacitated the offended party for labor from 1 to 9 days or ll. What are the elements of rape?
required medical assistance during the same period Elements of rape under paragraph one
2. Physical injuries which do not prevent the offended party from engaging in his habit will 1. That the offender is a man
work or which did not require medical attendance 2. That the offender had carnal knowledge of a woman
3. Ill treatment of another by deed without causing any injury 3. That such act is accomplished under any of the following circumstances
• By using force or intimidation
When there is no evidence of actual injury it is only slight physical injury
In the absence of proof as to the period of the offended party’s incapacity for labor or • when the woman is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious
of the required medical attendance the crime committed is slight physical injuries. • By means of fraudulent machination or grave abuse of authority or
When conspiracy to murder is not proved, and the gravity or duration of the physical • When the woman is under 12 years of age or demented
injury resulting from the fist blows by the accused on the victim was not established by the
evidence, the accused is presumed, and is held liable for slight physical injuries Elements of rape under paragraph two

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1. That the offender commits an act of sexual assault nn. What is Article 266-C?
2. That the act of sexual assault is committed by any of the following means by inserting his
penis into another person's mouth or anal orifice or "Article 266-C. Effect of Pardon. - The subsequent valid marriage between the offended party
3. By inserting any instrument or object into the genital or anal orifice of another person shall extinguish the criminal action or the penalty imposed.
4. That the act of sexual assault is accomplished under any of the following circumstances
• By using Force or intimidation "In case it is the legal husband who is the offender, the subsequent forgiveness by the wife as
the offended party shall extinguish the criminal action or the penalty: Provided, That the crime
• When the woman is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious
shall not be extinguished or the penalty shall not be abated if the marriage is voidab initio.
• By means of fraudulent machination or grave abuse of authority
• When the woman is under 12 years of age or demented
• Discuss People v. Ignacio  PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. ROSARIA V. IGNACIO, accused-
B.2. Discuss People v. Sales appellant.

Rosaria V. Ignacio was accused of parricide before the Regional Trial Court of Rizal, Branch 76
• Discuss People v. Abarca
(Criminal Case No. 1700),i[1] for fatally hitting her husband, Juan Ignacio, with a wooden club
D.2. Discuss People v. Oyanib
(palo-palo). The deceased was Rosaria's fourth husband. Juan died after having lived with
Rosaria for two (2) years and seven (7) months.
• Discuss People v. Mapalo
• Discuss Abella v. People On 19 February 1992, the following information was filed against accused Rosaria Ignacio:

• Discuss People v. Wacoy, G.R. No. 213792, 22 June 2015.


"That on or about the 10th day of February 1992 in the Municipality of Rodriguez, Province of
• Discuss Aguirre v. Secretary of Justice, G.R. No. 170723, 03 March 2008. Rizal, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused
with intent to kill and while armed with the wooden club (palo-palo) did then and there willfully,
unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault and hit her lawfully wedded husband Juan Ignacio,
whereby inflicting upon the latter serious injuries which directly caused his death.
l.1. Discuss People v. Orita, G.R. No. 88724, 03 April 1990.
ll.2. Discuss People v. Campuhan, G.R. No. 129433, 30 March 2000. "Contrary to law."ii[2]
ll.3. Rape by sexual assault. People v. Bagsic, G.R. No. 218404, 13 December 2017.
ll.4. Statutory rape. People v. Lupac, G.R. No. 182230, 19 September 2012. Rosaria pleaded not guilty to the charge.iii[3]
ll.5. Maria Clara (women’s honor) doctrine. People v. Amarela and Racho, G.R. No. 225642- 43,
17 January 2018. The prosecution gave the following narration of its version of the incident.

Rosaria Ignacio, then 44 years of age, lived with her husband, Juan Ignacio, 67 years old, in a
small two-storey house of sawali and cogon grass in Sampaguita Street, San Jose, Montalban
(Rodriguez), Rizal. Residing with them was Rosaria's daughter, Milagros V. Cabanilla, by a
mm. When is there qualified rape? previous marriage.
For the consideration of the crime of rape, it is not essential that there be a complete
penetration of the female organ; neither it is essential that there be a rupture of hymen On the night of 09 February 1992, Rosaria and Juan had a heated argument. Milagros, entreated
It is enough that the labia of the female organ was penetrated. The slightest them to stop but the couple were in no mood to heed her. The following night (10 February
penetration of the labia consummates the crime of rape. 1992), at dinner, Juan and Rosaria had another quarrel. Milagros grudgingly went upstairs and
tried instead to put her child to sleep. She could hear, after a brief moment, that the fight had
become somewhat violent (nagrarambulan). Milagros peeped. She saw by the gas lamp
The absence of spermatoza does not disprove the consummation of rapem the important (batutoy), that both were pulling a piece of lawanit and each tried to take possession of it. Juan
consideration being, not the omission of semen but penetration

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ultimately released the lawanit and turned to go for his bolo when Rosaria picked up a palo- Unlawful aggression is a condition sine qua non for the justifying circumstance of self-defense.
palo and hit Juan on the nape.iv[4] Without it, there can be no self-defense, whether complete or incomplete, that can validly be
invoked.xiii[13] The importance of this requisite must remain underscored. In De Luna vs. Court
Rosaria left the straggling (kikisay-kisay) Juan and surrendered to the police at the municipal of Appeals,xiv[14] the Court has explained:
building. Rolando Ignacio, Juan's son by his former wife, was fishing in the San Jose river when
he learned of the unfortunate incident. At the municipal hall in Montalban, Rizal, Rosaria "x x x. We did repeatedly say before that, whether complete or incomplete, self-defense, by its
voluntarily disclosed before Rolando and Pat. San Diego that she hit Juan with a wooden very nature and essence, always would require the attendance of unlawful aggression initiated
club.v[5] She repeated this statement at the Office of the Prosecutor in Marikina in the presence by the victim which must clearly be shown. When unlawful aggression on the victim's part is
of Rolando. alone established, incomplete self-defense is so appreciated merely as an ordinary mitigating
circumstance under Article 13, paragraph 1, of the Code. When such unlawful aggression is
Juan died the following day.vi[6] His body underwent postmortem examination at the Francisco coupled with still another element of self-defense, incomplete self-defense becomes a privileged
Memorial Homes in Montalban, Rizal, by Dr. Emmanuel Aranas of the PNP Crime Laboratory mitigating circumstance, referred to in Article 69 of the Revised Penal Code, that entitles the
Service.vii[7] Dr. Aranas found a contusion on the left occipital region, a lacerated wound on the accused to a reduction of the penalty imposed by law for the felony by one or two degrees
right occipital area and an abrasion on the right elbow. The cause of death, per the autopsy depending on the conditions and circumstances therein obtaining."xv[15]
report, was attributed to hemorrhage resulting from the traumatic injuries on the head.viii[8] Dr.
Aranas opined that the contusion and laceration on Juan's head, which fractured the bones of The presence of the requisite of unlawful aggression is pivotal. In the case at bench, appellant
the skull,ix[9] had badly affected the cranial cavity of the brain. has sought to prove unlawful aggression by her testimony; thus -

Testifying in her defense, Rosaria did not deny having inflicted the fatal wounds on her husband. "Q. Please tell the court what was that unusual incident?
According to her, between seven and eight o'clock in the evening of 10 February 1992, while she
was resting on the wooden bed near the kitchen, after having returned home from her laundry "A. That night, as I was taking a rest, my husband arrived and he was drunk. When I was
work, her husband arrived. He was drunk. Armed with a bolo, he went around the wooden bed on top of our wooden bed, I saw him armed with a bolo going around me, I lost my patience
and then faced her. Exasperated, she finally stood up, pulled his hair, got hold of a palo-palo and (nagdilim ang aking paningin), I got hold of a palo-palo and hit him on his head, sir.
hit him once on the head. The assault sent Juan hovering down the floor seriously wounded.
Rosaria went to the municipal hall and surrendered to police officer San Diego.
"Q. And what was your relative position as compared to the position of the victim when
you hit him with a palo-palo?
No other witness was presented by the defense.
"A. He was facing me and I was on top of the wooden bed and as I was on top of it, I hit
On 08 September 1992, the trial court rendered judgment convicting the accused and him, sir.
concluded:
"x x x xxx x x x.
"WHEREFORE, premises considered, judgment is hereby rendered finding herein accused Rosaria
V. Ignacio guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Parricide as defined and penalized
"Q. You also testified that prior to that incident, before you hit your husband with a palo-
under Art. 246 of the Revised Penal Code, and sentencing her to suffer the penalty of reclusion
palo, he was armed with a bolo, is that correct?
perpetua, and to indemnify the heirs of Juan Ignacio in the amount of P30,000.00."x[10]

"A. Yes, sir.


Rosaria has interposed this appeal praying that she be acquitted on the basis of self-defense or,
in the alternative, that she be held guilty only of homicide rather than of parricide.
"Q. Where did he get that bolo, if you know?
An accused who interposes self-defense admits the commission of the act complained of. The
burden of proving self-defense would now be on the accused who must show by strong, clear "A. At the post, near the wooden bed, sir.
and convincing evidence that the killing is justified and that, therefore, no criminal liability has
attached.xi[11] The first paragraph of Article 11 of the Revised Penal Code requires, in a plea of "Q. Are you aware as to the whereabouts of that bolo now?
self-defense, (1) an unlawful aggression on the part of the victim, (2) a reasonable necessity of
the means employed by the accused to prevent or repel it, and (3) the lack of sufficient "A. I do not know, sir."xvi[16]
provocation on the part of the person defending himself.xii[12]

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In People vs. Pletadoxvii[17] the Court, quoting from People vs. Bausing,xviii[18] has reiterated "Q. Mrs. Witness, you said during the cross-examination that the deceased tried to get a
the acceptable test in determining the presence of unlawful aggression; viz: bolo, is that correct?

"x x x. (F)or unlawful aggression to be appreciated, there must be an actual, sudden, unexpected "A. Yes, sir.
attack or imminent danger thereof, and not merely a threatening or intimidating attitude
(People vs. Pasco, Jr., supra; People vs. Rey, 172 SCRA 149 [1989]) and the accused must present "Q. And do you know where the deceased was keeping his bolo?
proof of positively strong act of real aggression (Pacificar vs. Court of Appeals, 125 SCRA 716
[1983]; People vs. Aquiatan, 123 SCRA 501 [1983]; People vs. Aquino, 124 SCRA 835 [1983]).
"A. Just opposite the place where they were sleeping, sir.
Unlawful aggression must be such as to put in real peril the life or personal safety of the person
defending himself or of a relative sought to be defended and not an imagined threat."xix[19]
"Q. What was the position of Juan Ignacio when you saw him, as you said, he was getting
a bolo?
By her own admission, appellant only thought that her husband would strike her. Answering
questions from the trial court, she testified:
"A. He stood up to get his bolo but he felt so weak because he was drunk, sir." (Italics
supplied.)xxi[21]
"COURT:

Self-defense, being essentially a factual matter furthermore, is best addressed by the trial
"Q. Was he really about to strike you?
court.xxii[22] Here, the trial court has also observed:

"A. Yes, sir.


"Accused's claim of self-defense cannot be sustained. The bolo which was allegedly in victim's
possession and with which the victim allegedly attempted to hit the accused, was never found,
"Q. What made you say that? as in fact, admittedly, its whereabouts [was] unknown to the accused (TSN, p. 4, July 29, 1992
hearing) who naturally would have preserved the same and utilized it in evidence to corroborate
"A. Because even before, he was doing that to me, sir. her claim. Under the circumstances, the existence of the bolo particularly on the occasion
alleged, is even doubtful."xxiii[23]
"Q. But at that very precise moment, were you really certain that he was going to hit you?
Appellant contends that, if at all, she should be convicted only of homicide, not parricide,
"A. I am sure that he will hit me, sir. because "there was no clear evidence of marriage" between her and the victim.xxiv[24] Article
246 of the Revised Penal Code defining and penalizing the crime of parricide provides:
"Q. Was it necessary to hit him with this palo-palo?
"Any person who shall kill his father, mother, or child, whether legitimate or illegitimate, or any
of his ascendants, or descendants, or his spouse, shall be guilty of parricide and shall be
"A. I hit him because I defended myself, sir." (Italics supplied.)xx[20]
punished by the penalty of reclusion perpetua to death."

In fact, appellant's claim of self-defense was belied by her own daughter, Milagros, who declared
Indeed, the phrase "whether legitimate or illegitimate" characterizes the relationship between
that even before the victim could get his bolo, appellant already picked up her palo-palo and hit
the accused and his victim who might be his father, mother, or child, but not the "spouse" who
him.
obviously refers to either the legitimate husband or the lawful wife.xxv[25]

"Q. You also made mention in your statement, particularly in question No. 6 to which you
Here, appellant not only declared in court that the victim was her fourth husbandxxvi[26] but
answered `nakarinig po ako ng kalabugan' what is that noise all about?
she also swore that they were married before a judge in Montalban, Rizal.xxvii[27] The victim's
son testified that his father and appellant were husband and wife,xxviii[28] in much the same
"A. Both of them were pulling the lawanit and as they were pulling the lawanit, Juan way that appellant's daughter, Milagros, held the victim to be her mother's husband.xxix[29]
Ignacio then freed the lawanit and was about to get his bolo but my mother was able to get at Appellant's own admission that she was married to the victim was a confirmation of the semper
once the palo-palo and hit Juan Ignacio, sir. praesumitur matrimonio and the presumption that a man and a woman so deporting
themselves as husband and wife had verily entered into a lawful contract of marriage.xxx[30]
"x x x xxx x x x.

8|P a g e
In People vs. Borromeo,xxxi[31] the Court has said:
That on or about the 20th day of September, 2002, at around or past 8:00 o’clock in the evening
"Persons living together in apparent matrimony are presumed, in the absence of any counter at Brgy. San Vicente, Tinambac, Camarines Sur, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this
presumption or evidence special to the case, to be in fact married. The reason is that such is the Honorable Court, the above-named accused with evident premeditation and [in] a fit of anger,
common order of society, and if the parties were not what they thus hold themselves out as did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously hit [several] times, the different parts of
being, they would be living in constant violation of decency and law (Son Cui vs. Guepangco, 22 the body of his legitimate eldest son, Noemar Sales, a 9-year old minor, with a [piece of] wood,
Phil. 216). The presumption in favor of matrimony is one of the strongest known in law. The law measuring more or less one meter in length and one [and] a half inches in diameter, [thereby]
presumes morality, and not immorality; marriage, and not concubinage; legitimacy, and not inflicting upon the latter mortal wounds, which cause[d] the death of the said victim, to the
bastardy. There is the presumption that persons living together as husband and wife are married damage and prejudice of the latter’s heirs in such amount as may be proven in court.
to each other."xxxii[32]
ACTS CONTRARY TO LAW.4
In view of the presence of the mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender, the trial court
correctly imposed upon appellant the penalty of reclusion perpetua.xxxiii[33] On the other hand, the Information5 in Criminal Case No. RTC’03-789 alleges that appellant
inflicted slight physical injuries in the following manner:
WHEREFORE, the decision of the trial court finding appellant Rosaria V. Ignacio guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of the crime of parricide and imposing upon her the penalty of reclusion That on or about the 20th day of September, 2002, at around or past 8:00 o’clock in the evening,
perpetua is AFFIRMED subject to the modification that the indemnity awarded to the heirs of at Brgy. San Vicente, Tinambac, Camarines Sur, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this
the victim, Juan Ignacio, is increased to Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00). Costs against Honorable Court, the above-named [accused] assault[ed] and hit with a piece of wood, one Noel
accused-appellant. Sales, Jr., an 8-year old minor, his second legitimate son, thereby inflicting upon him physical
injuries which have required medical attendance for a period of five (5) days to the damage and
SO ORDERED prejudice of the victim’s heirs in such amount as may be proven in court.

ACTS CONTRARY TO LAW.6

When arraigned on April 11, 2003 and July 1, 2003, appellant pleaded not guilty for the charges
of parricide7 and slight physical injuries8 respectively. The cases were then consolidated upon
manifestation of the prosecution which was not objected to by the defense.9 During the pre-trial
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Appellee, conference, the parties agreed to stipulate that appellant is the father of the victims, Noemar
vs. Sales (Noemar) and Noel Sales, Jr. (Junior); that at the time of the incident, appellant’s family
NOEL T. SALES, Appellant. was living in the conjugal home located in Barangay San Vicente, Tinambac, Camarines Sur; and,
that appellant voluntarily surrendered to the police.10

DECISION
Thereafter, trial ensued.

DEL CASTILLO, J.:


The Version of the Prosecution

A father ought to discipline his children for committing a misdeed. However, he may not employ
sadistic beatings and inflict fatal injuries under the guise of disciplining them. On September 19, 2002, brothers Noemar and Junior, then nine and eight years old,
respectively, left their home to attend the fluvial procession of Our Lady of Peñafrancia without
the permission of their parents. They did not return home that night. When their mother, Maria
This appeal seeks the reversal of the December 4, 2006 Decision1 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in Litan Sales (Maria), looked for them the next day, she found them in the nearby Barangay of
CA-G.R. CR-H.C. No. 01627 that affirmed the August 3, 2005 Joint Decision2 of the Regional Trial Magsaysay. Afraid of their father’s rage, Noemar and Junior initially refused to return home but
Court (RTC), Branch 63 of Calabanga, Camarines Sur in Criminal Case Nos. RTC’03-782 and their mother prevailed upon them. When the two kids reached home at around 8 o’clock in the
RTC’03-789, convicting appellant Noel T. Sales (appellant) of the crimes of parricide and slight evening of September 20, 2002, a furious appellant confronted them. Appellant then whipped
physical injuries, respectively. The Information3 for parricide contained the following allegations: them with a stick which was later broken so that he brought his kids outside their house. With
Noemar’s and Junior’s hands and feet tied to a coconut tree, appellant continued beating them

9|P a g e
with a thick piece of wood. During the beating Maria stayed inside the house and did not do On the other hand, Maria testified that Noemar suffered from epilepsy. Whenever he suffers
anything as she feared for her life. from epileptic seizures, Noemar froths and passes out. But he would regain consciousness after
15 minutes. His seizures normally occur whenever he gets hungry or when scolded.
When the beating finally stopped, the three walked back to the house with appellant assisting
Noemar as the latter was staggering, while Junior fearfully followed. Maria noticed a crack in The death of Noemar was reported to the police by the barangay captain.11 Thereafter,
Noemar’s head and injuries in his legs. She also saw injuries in the right portion of the head, the appellant surrendered voluntarily.12
left cheek, and legs of Junior. Shortly thereafter, Noemar collapsed and lost consciousness.
Maria tried to revive him and when Noemar remained motionless despite her efforts, she told Ruling of the Regional Trial Court
appellant that their son was already dead. However, appellant refused to believe her. Maria
then told appellant to call a quack doctor. He left and returned with one, who told them that
In a Joint Decision,13 the trial court held that the evidence presented by the prosecution was
they have to bring Noemar to a hospital. Appellant thus proceeded to take the unconscious
sufficient to prove that appellant was guilty of committing the crimes of parricide and slight
Noemar to the junction and waited for a vehicle to take them to a hospital. As there was no
physical injuries in the manner described in the Informations. In the crime of parricide, the trial
vehicle and because another quack doctor they met at the junction told them that Noemar is
court did not consider the aggravating circumstance of evident premeditation against appellant
already dead, appellant brought his son back to their house.
since there is no proof that he planned to kill Noemar. But the trial court appreciated in his favor
the mitigating circumstances of voluntary surrender and lack of intent to commit so grave a
Noemar’s wake lasted only for a night and he was immediately buried the following day. His wrong. The dispositive portion of said Joint Decision reads:
body was never examined by a doctor.
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the prosecution having proven the guilt of Noel Sales,
The Version of the Defense beyond reasonable doubt, he is found guilty of parricide in Crim. Case No. RTC’03-782 and
sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. He is likewise ordered to pay the heirs of
Prior to the incident, Noemar and Junior had already left their residence on three separate Noemar Sales, the amount of ₱50,000.00 as civil indemnity; ₱50,000.00 as moral damages;
occasions without the permission of their parents. Each time, appellant merely scolded them ₱25,000,00 as exemplary damages and to pay the costs.
and told them not to repeat the misdeed since something untoward might happen to them.
During those times, Noemar and Junior were never physically harmed by their father. Furthermore, accused Noel Sales is also found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of
slight physical injuries in Crim. Case No. RTC’03-789 and sentenced to suffer the penalty of
However, Noemar and Junior again left their home without their parents’ permission on twenty (20) days of Arresto Menor in its medium period.
September 16, 2002 and failed to return for several days. Worse, appellant received information
that his sons stole a pedicab. As they are broke, appellant had to borrow money so that his wife Accused Noel Sales is likewise meted the accessory penalties as provided under the Revised
could search for Noemar and Junior. When his sons finally arrived home at 8 o’clock in the Penal Code. Considering that herein accused has undergone preventive imprisonment, he shall
evening of September 20, 2002, appellant scolded and hit them with a piece of wood as thick as be credited in the service of his sentence with the time he has undergone preventive
his index finger. He hit Noemar and Junior simultaneously since they were side by side. After imprisonment in accordance with and subject to the conditions provided for in Article 29 of the
whipping his sons in their buttocks three times, he noticed that Noemar was chilling and Revised Penal Code.
frothing. When Noemar lost consciousness, appellant decided to bring him to a hospital in Naga
City by waiting for a vehicle at the crossroad which was seven kilometers away from their house.
SO ORDERED.14

Appellant held Noemar while on their way to the crossroad and observed his difficulty in
Appellant filed a Notice of Appeal15 which was given due course in an Order16 dated September
breathing. The pupils of Noemar’s eyes were also moving up and down. Appellant heard him say
21, 2005.
that he wanted to sleep and saw him pointing to his chest in pain. However, they waited in vain
since a vehicle never came. It was then that Noemar died. Appellant thus decided to just bring
Noemar back to their house. Ruling of the Court of Appeals

Appellant denied that his son died from his beating since no parent could kill his or her child. He However, the appellate court denied the appeal and affirmed the ruling of the trial court. The
claimed that Noemar died as a result of difficulty in breathing. In fact, he never complained of dispositive portion of its Decision17 reads as follows:
the whipping done to him. Besides, appellant recalled that Noemar was brought to a hospital
more than a year before September 2002 and diagnosed with having a weak heart.

10 | P a g e
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the appeal is DENIED. The assailed decision dated August 3, incumbent upon them to remain rational and refrain from being motivated by anger in enforcing
2005 in Criminal Case Nos. RTC’03-782 and RTC’03-789 for Parricide and Slight Physical Injuries, the intended punishment. A deviation will undoubtedly result in sadism.
respectively, is AFFIRMED.
Prior to whipping his sons, appellant was already furious with them because they left the family
Pursuant to Section 13(c), Rule 124 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, appellant may dwelling without permission and that was already preceded by three other similar incidents. This
appeal this case to the Supreme Court via a Notice of Appeal filed before this Court. was further aggravated by a report that his sons stole a pedicab thereby putting him in disgrace.
Moreover, they have no money so much so that he still had to borrow so that his wife could look
SO ORDERED.18 for the children and bring them home. From these, it is therefore clear that appellant was
motivated not by an honest desire to discipline the children for their misdeeds but by an evil
intent of venting his anger. This can reasonably be concluded from the injuries of Noemar in his
Issues
head, face and legs. It was only when Noemar’s body slipped from the coconut tree to which he
was tied and lost consciousness that appellant stopped the beating. Had not Noemar lost
Hence, appellant is now before this Court with the following two-fold issues: consciousness, appellant would most likely not have ceased from his sadistic act. His subsequent
attempt to seek medical attention for Noemar as an act of repentance was nevertheless too late
I to save the child’s life. It bears stressing that a decent and responsible parent would never
subject a minor child to sadistic punishment in the guise of discipline.
THE COURT A QUO GRAVELY ERRED IN FINDING THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT GUILTY BEYOND
REASONABLE DOUBT OF THE CRIMES CHARGED. Appellant attempts to evade criminal culpability by arguing that he merely intended to discipline
Noemar and not to kill him. However, the relevant portion of Article 4 of the Revised Penal Code
II states:

THE COURT A QUO GRAVELY ERRED IN NOT GIVING WEIGHT TO THE TESTIMONIES OF THE Art. 4. Criminal liability. – Criminal liability shall be incurred:
DEFENSE WITNESSES.19
1. By any person committing a felony (delito) although the wrongful act done be different from
Our Ruling that which he intended.

The appeal is without merit. xxxx

The Charge of Parricide In order that a person may be criminally liable for a felony different from that which he intended
to commit, it is indispensible (a) that a felony was committed and (b) that the wrong done to the
aggrieved person be the direct consequence of the crime committed by the perpetrator.20 Here,
Appellant admits beating his sons on September 20, 2002 as a disciplinary measure, but denies there is no doubt appellant in beating his son Noemar and inflicting upon him physical injuries,
battering Noemar to death. He believes that no father could kill his own son. According to him, committed a felony. As a direct consequence of the beating suffered by the child, he expired.
Noemar had a weak heart that resulted in attacks consisting of loss of consciousness and froth in Appellant’s criminal liability for the death of his son, Noemar, is thus clear.
his mouth. He claims that Noemar was conscious as they traveled to the junction where they
would take a vehicle in going to a hospital. However, Noemar had difficulty in breathing and
complained of chest pain. He contends that it was at this moment that Noemar died, not during Appellant’s claim that it was Noemar’s heart ailment that caused his death deserves no merit.
his whipping. To substantiate his claim, appellant presented his wife, Maria, who testified that This declaration is self-serving and uncorroborated since it is not substantiated by evidence.
Noemar indeed suffered seizures, but this was due to epilepsy. While Dr. Salvador Betito, a Municipal Health Officer of Tinambac, Camarines Sur issued a death
certificate indicating that Noemar died due to cardio-pulmonary arrest, the same is not sufficient
to prove that his death was due mainly to his poor health. It is worth emphasizing that Noemar’s
The contentions of appellant fail to persuade. The imposition of parental discipline on children cadaver was never examined. Also, even if appellant presented his wife, Maria, to lend credence
of tender years must always be with the view of correcting their erroneous behavior. A parent or to his contention, the latter’s testimony did not help as same was even in conflict with his
guardian must exercise restraint and caution in administering the proper punishment. They must testimony. Appellant testified that Noemar suffered from a weak heart which resulted in his
not exceed the parameters of their parental duty to discipline their minor children. It is death while Maria declared that Noemar was suffering from epilepsy. Interestingly, Maria’s
testimony was also unsubstantiated by evidence.

11 | P a g e
Moreover, as will be discussed below, all the elements of the crime of parricide are present in There is Mitigating Circumstance of Voluntary Surrender but not Lack of Intention to Commit so
this case. Grave a Wrong

All the Elements of Parricide are present in the case at bench. The trial court correctly appreciated the mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender in favor
of appellant since the evidence shows that he went to the police station a day after the barangay
We find no error in the ruling of the trial court, as affirmed by the appellate court, that appellant captain reported the death of Noemar. The presentation by appellant of himself to the police
committed the crime of parricide. officer on duty in a spontaneous manner is a manifestation of his intent "to save the authorities
the trouble and expense that may be incurred for his search and capture" 25 which is the essence
of voluntary surrender.
Article 246 of the Revised Penal Code defines parricide as follows:

However, there was error in appreciating the mitigating circumstance of lack of intention to
Art. 246. Parricide. – Any person who shall kill his father, mother, or child, whether legitimate or
commit so grave a wrong. Appellant adopted means to ensure the success of the savage
illegitimate, or any of his ascendants, or descendants, or his spouse, shall be guilty of parricide
battering of his sons. He tied their wrists to a coconut tree to prevent their escape while they
and shall be punished by the penalty of reclusion perpetua to death.
were battered with a stick to inflict as much pain as possible. Noemar suffered injuries in his
face, head and legs that immediately caused his death. "The mitigating circumstance of lack of
"Parricide is committed when: (1) a person is killed; (2) the deceased is killed by the accused; (3) intent to commit so grave a wrong as that actually perpetrated cannot be appreciated where the
the deceased is the father, mother, or child, whether legitimate or illegitimate, or a legitimate acts employed by the accused were reasonably sufficient to produce and did actually produce
other ascendant or other descendant, or the legitimate spouse of accused."21 the death of the victim."26

In the case at bench, there is overwhelming evidence to prove the first element, that is, a person The Award of Damages and Penalty for Parricide
was killed. Maria testified that her son Noemar did not regain consciousness after the severe
beating he suffered from the hands of his father. Thereafter, a quack doctor declared Noemar
We find proper the trial court’s award to the heirs of Noemar of the sums of ₱50,000.00 as civil
dead. Afterwards, as testified to by Maria, they held a wake for Noemar the next day and then
indemnity, and ₱50,000.00 as moral damages. However, the award of exemplary damages of
buried him the day after. Noemar’s Death Certificate22 was also presented in evidence.
₱25,000.00 should be increased to ₱30,000.00 in accordance with prevailing jurisprudence.27 "In
addition, and in conformity with current policy, we also impose on all the monetary awards for
There is likewise no doubt as to the existence of the second element that the appellant killed the damages an interest at the legal rate of 6% from the date of finality of this Decision until fully
deceased. Same is sufficiently established by the positive testimonies of Maria and Junior. Maria paid."28
testified that on September 20, 2002, Noemar and his younger brother, Junior, were whipped by
appellant, their father, inside their house. The whipping continued even outside the house but
As regards the penalty, parricide is punishable by reclusion perpetua to death. The trial court
this time, the brothers were tied side by side to a coconut tree while appellant delivered the
imposed the penalty of reclusion perpetua when it considered the presence of the mitigating
lashes indiscriminately. For his part, Junior testified that Noemar, while tied to a tree, was
circumstances of voluntary surrender and lack of intent to commit so grave a wrong. However,
beaten by their father in the head. Because the savagery of the attack was too much for
even if we earlier ruled that the trial court erred in considering the mitigating circumstance of
Noemar’s frail body to endure, he lost consciousness and died from his injuries immediately
lack of intent to commit so grave a wrong, we maintain the penalty imposed. This is because the
after the incident.
exclusion of said mitigating circumstance does not result to a different penalty since the
presence of only one mitigating circumstance, which is, voluntary surrender, with no aggravating
As to the third element, appellant himself admitted that the deceased is his child. While circumstance, is sufficient for the imposition of reclusion perpetua as the proper prison term.
Noemar’s birth certificate was not presented, oral evidence of filial relationship may be Article 63 of the Revised Penal Code provides in part as follows:
considered.23 As earlier stated, appellant stipulated to the fact that he is the father of Noemar
during the pre-trial conference and likewise made the same declaration while under oath.24
Art. 63. Rules for the application of indivisible penalties. - x x x
Maria also testified that Noemar and Junior are her sons with appellant, her husband. These
testimonies are sufficient to establish the relationship between appellant and Noemar.
In all cases in which the law prescribes a penalty composed of two indivisible penalties, the
following rules shall be observed in the application thereof:
Clearly, all the elements of the crime of parricide are obtaining in this case.

xxxx

12 | P a g e
3. When the commission of the act is attended by some mitigating circumstance and there is no 1. By arresto menor when the offender has inflicted physical injuries which shall incapacitate the
aggravating circumstance, the lesser penalty shall be applied. offended party for labor from one to nine days or shall require medical attendance during the
same period.
xxxx
xxxx
The crime of parricide is punishable by the indivisible penalties of reclusion perpetua to death.
With one mitigating circumstance, which is voluntary surrender, and no aggravating There being no mitigating or aggravating circumstance present in the commission of the crime,
circumstance, the imposition of the lesser penalty of reclusion perpetua and not the penalty of the penalty shall be in its medium period. The RTC was thus correct in imposing upon appellant
death on appellant was thus proper.29 the penalty of twenty (20) days of arresto menor in its medium period.

The Charge of Slight Physical Injuries WHEREFORE, the appeal is DENIED. The Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR-H.C. No.
01627 that affirmed the Joint Decision of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 63 of Calabanga,
The victim himself, Junior testified that he, together with his brother Noemar, were beaten by Camarines Sur in Criminal Case Nos. RTC’03-782 and RTC’03-789, convicting Noel T. Sales of the
their father, herein appellant, while they were tied to a coconut tree. He recalled to have been crimes of parricide and slight physical injuries is AFFIRMED with MODIFICATIONS that the award
hit on his right eye and right leg and to have been examined by a physician thereafter.30 Maria of exemplary damages is increased to ₱30,000.00. In addition, an interest of 6% is imposed on all
corroborated her son’s testimony.31 monetary awards from date of finality of this Decision until fully paid.

Junior’s testimony was likewise supported by Dr. Ursolino Primavera, Jr. (Dr. Primavera) of SO ORDERED.
Tinambac Community Hospital who examined him for physical injuries. He issued a Medical
Certificate for his findings and testified on the same. His findings were (1) muscular contusions PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,
with hematoma on the right side of Junior’s face just below the eye and on both legs, which vs.
could have been caused by hitting said area with a hard object such as a wooden stick and, (2) FRANCISCO ABARCA, accused-appellant.
abrasions of brownish color circling both wrist with crust formation which could have been
sustained by the patient due to struggling while his hands were tied. When asked how long does SARMIENTO, J.:
he think the injuries would heal, Dr. Primavera answered one to two weeks.32 But if applied with
medication, the injuries would heal in a week.33
This is an appeal from the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Palo, Leyte, sentencing the
accused-appellant Francisco Abarca to death for the complex crime of murder with double
We give full faith and credence to the categorical and positive testimony of Junior that he was frustrated murder.
beaten by his father and that by reason thereof he sustained injuries. His testimony deserves
credence especially since the same is corroborated by the testimony of his mother, Maria, and
The case was elevated to this Court in view of the death sentence imposed. With the approval of
supported by medical examination. We thus find that the RTC correctly held appellant guilty of
the new Constitution, abolishing the penalty of death and commuting all existing death
the crime of slight physical injuries.1awphil
sentences to life imprisonment, we required the accused-appellant to inform us whether or not
he wished to pursue the case as an appealed case. In compliance therewith, he filed a statement
Penalty for Slight Physical Injuries informing us that he wished to continue with the case by way of an appeal.

We likewise affirm the penalty imposed by the RTC. Dr. Primavera testified that the injuries The information (amended) in this case reads as follows:
sustained by Junior should heal in one week upon medication. Hence, the trial court correctly
meted upon appellant the penalty under paragraph 1, Article 266 of the Revised Penal Code
xxx xxx xxx
which provides:

The undersigned City Fiscal of the City of Tacloban accuses Francisco Abarca
ART. 266. Slight Physical Injuries and maltreatment. – The crime of slight physical injuries shall
of the crime of Murder with Double Frustrated Murder, committed as
be punished:
follows:

13 | P a g e
That on or about the 15th day of July, 1984, in the City of Tacloban, The accused went to look for a firearm at Tacloban City. He went to the
Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above- house of a PC soldier, C2C Arturo Talbo, arriving there at around 6:30 p.m.
named accused, with deliberate intent to kill and with evident He got Talbo's firearm, an M-16 rifle, and went back to his house at V & G
premeditation, and with treachery, armed with an unlicensed firearm Subdivision. He was not able to find his wife and Koh there. He proceeded to
(armalite), M-16 rifle, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously the "mahjong session" as it was the "hangout" of Kingsley Koh. The accused
attack and shot several times KHINGSLEY PAUL KOH on the different parts of found Koh playing mahjong. He fired at Kingsley Koh three times with his
his body, thereby inflicting upon said KHINGSLEY PAUL KOH gunshot wounds rifle (pp. 13-19, tsn, Id.). Koh was hit. Arnold and Lina Amparado who were
which caused his instantaneous death and as a consequence of which also occupying a room adjacent to the room where Koh was playing mahjong
caused gunshot wounds to LINA AMPARADO and ARNOLD AMPARADO on were also hit by the shots fired by the accused (pp. 34-49, tsn, Sept. 24,
the different parts of their bodies thereby inflicting gunshot wounds which 1984). Kingsley Koh died instantaneously of cardiorespiratory arrest due to
otherwise would have caused the death of said Lina Amparado and Arnold shock and hemorrhage as a result of multiple gunshot wounds on the head,
Amparado, thus performing all the acts of execution which should have trunk and abdomen (pp. 28-29, tsn, Sept. 24, 1984; see also exh. A): Arnold
produced the crimes of murders as a consequence, but nevertheless did not Amparado was hospitalized and operated on in the kidney to remove a bullet
produce it by reason of causes independent of his will, that is by the timely (pp. 17-23, tsn, Oct. 17, 1984; see also exh. C). His wife, Lina Amparado, was
and able medical assistance rendered to Lina Amparado and Arnold also treated in the hospital as she was hit by bullet fragments (p. 23, tsn, Id.).
Amparado which prevented their death. 1 Arnold Amparado who received a salary of nearly P1,000.00 a month was
not able to work for 1-1/2 months because of his wounds. He spent
xxx xxx xxx P15,000.00 for medical expenses while his wife spent Pl,000.00 for the same
purpose (pp. 24-25, tsn, Id. ). 2
On arraignment, the accused-appellant pleaded not guilty. The Solicitor General states
accurately the facts as follows: On March 17, 1986, the trial court rendered the appealed judgment, the dispositive portion
whereof reads as follows:
Khingsley Paul Koh and the wife of accused Francisco Abarca, Jenny, had
illicit relationship. The illicit relationship apparently began while the accused xxx xxx xxx
was in Manila reviewing for the 1983 Bar examinations. His wife was left
behind in their residence in Tacloban, Leyte (pp. 45-47, 65, tsn, Sept. 24, WHEREFORE, finding the accused, Francisco Abarca guilty beyond reasonable
1984). doubt of the complex crime of murder with double frustrated murder as
charged in the amended information, and pursuant to Art. 63 of the Revised
On July 15, 1984, the accused was in his residence in Tacloban, Leyte. On the Penal Code which does not consider the effect of mitigating or aggravating
morning of that date he went to the bus station to go to Dolores, Eastern circumstances when the law prescribes a single indivisible penalty in relation
Samar, to fetch his daughter. However, he was not able to catch the first trip to Art. 48, he is hereby sentenced to death, to indemnify the heirs of
(in the morning). He went back to the station in the afternoon to take the Khingsley Paul Koh in the sum of P30,000, complainant spouses Arnold and
2:00 o'clock trip but the bus had engine trouble and could not leave (pp. 5-8, Lina Amparado in the sum of Twenty Thousand Pesos (P20,000.00), without
tsn, Nov. 28, 1985). The accused, then proceeded to the residence of his subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency, and to pay the costs.
father after which he went home. He arrived at his residence at the V & G
Subdivision in Tacloban City at around 6:00 o'clock in the afternoon (pp. 8-9, It appears from the evidence that the deceased Khingsley Paul Koh and
tsn, Id.). defendant's wife had illicit relationship while he was away in Manila; that the
accused had been deceived, betrayed, disgraced and ruined by his wife's
Upon reaching home, the accused found his wife, Jenny, and Khingsley Koh infidelity which disturbed his reasoning faculties and deprived him of the
in the act of sexual intercourse. When the wife and Koh noticed the accused, capacity to reflect upon his acts. Considering all these circumstances this
the wife pushed her paramour who got his revolver. The accused who was court believes the accused Francisco Abarca is deserving of executive
then peeping above the built-in cabinet in their room jumped and ran away clemency, not of full pardon but of a substantial if not a radical reduction or
(pp. 9-13, tsn, Id.). commutation of his death sentence.

Let a copy of this decision be furnished her Excellency, the President of the
Philippines, thru the Ministry of Justice, Manila.
14 | P a g e
SO ORDERED. 3 elements are present in this case. The trial court, in convicting the accused-appellant of murder,
therefore erred.
xxx xxx xxx
Though quite a length of time, about one hour, had passed between the time the accused-
The accused-appellant assigns the following errors committed by the court a quo: appellant discovered his wife having sexual intercourse with the victim and the time the latter
was actually shot, the shooting must be understood to be the continuation of the pursuit of the
victim by the accused-appellant. The Revised Penal Code, in requiring that the accused "shall kill
I.
any of them or both of them . . . immediately" after surprising his spouse in the act of
intercourse, does not say that he should commit the killing instantly thereafter. It only requires
IN CONVICTING THE ACCUSED FOR THE CRIME AS CHARGED INSTEAD OF ENTERING A that the death caused be the proximate result of the outrage overwhelming the accused after
JUDGMENT OF CONVICTION UNDER ARTICLE 247 OF THE REVISED PENAL CODE; chancing upon his spouse in the basest act of infidelity. But the killing should have been actually
motivated by the same blind impulse, and must not have been influenced by external factors.
II. The killing must be the direct by-product of the accused's rage.

IN FINDING THAT THE KILLING WAS AMENDED BY THE QUALIFYING CIRCUMSTANCE OF It must be stressed furthermore that Article 247, supra, does not define an offense. 5 In People
TREACHERY. 4 v. Araque, 6 we said:

The Solicitor General recommends that we apply Article 247 of the Revised Penal Code defining xxx xxx xxx
death inflicted under exceptional circumstances, complexed with double frustrated murder.
Article 247 reads in full: As may readily be seen from its provisions and its place in the Code, the
above-quoted article, far from defining a felony, merely provides or grants a
ART. 247. Death or physical injuries inflicted under exceptional privilege or benefit — amounting practically to an exemption from an
circumstances. — Any legally married person who, having surprised his adequate punishment — to a legally married person or parent who shall
spouse in the act of committing sexual intercourse with another person, shall surprise his spouse or daughter in the act of committing sexual intercourse
kill any of them or both of them in the act or immediately thereafter, or shall with another, and shall kill any or both of them in the act or immediately
inflict upon them any serious physical injury, shall suffer the penalty of thereafter, or shall inflict upon them any serious physical injury. Thus, in case
destierro. of death or serious physical injuries, considering the enormous provocation
and his righteous indignation, the accused — who would otherwise be
If he shall inflict upon them physical injuries of any other kind, he shall be criminally liable for the crime of homicide, parricide, murder, or serious
exempt from punishment. physical injury, as the case may be — is punished only with destierro. This
penalty is mere banishment and, as held in a case, is intended more for the
protection of the accused than a punishment. (People vs. Coricor, 79 Phil.,
These rules shall be applicable, under the same circumstances, to parents 672.) And where physical injuries other than serious are inflicted, the
with respect to their daughters under eighteen years of age, and their offender is exempted from punishment. In effect, therefore, Article 247, or
seducers, while the daughters are living with their parents. the exceptional circumstances mentioned therein, amount to an exempting
circumstance, for even where death or serious physical injuries is inflicted,
Any person who shall promote or facilitate prostitution of his wife or the penalty is so greatly lowered as to result to no punishment at all. A
daughter, or shall otherwise have consented to the infidelity of the other different interpretation, i.e., that it defines and penalizes a distinct crime,
spouse shall not be entitled to the benefits of this article. would make the exceptional circumstances which practically exempt the
accused from criminal liability integral elements of the offense, and thereby
We agree with the Solicitor General that the aforequoted provision applies in the instant case. compel the prosecuting officer to plead, and, incidentally, admit them, in the
There is no question that the accused surprised his wife and her paramour, the victim in this information. Such an interpretation would be illogical if not absurd, since a
case, in the act of illicit copulation, as a result of which, he went out to kill the deceased in a fit mitigating and much less an exempting circumstance cannot be an integral
of passionate outburst. Article 247 prescribes the following elements: (1) that a legally married element of the crime charged. Only "acts or omissons . . . constituting the
person surprises his spouse in the act of committing sexual intercourse with another person; and offense" should be pleaded in a complaint or information, and a
(2) that he kills any of them or both of them in the act or immediately thereafter. These circumstance which mitigates criminal liability or exempts the accused
15 | P a g e
therefrom, not being an essential element of the offense charged-but a he uttered warning words ("an waray labot kagawas,") 10 that is not enough a precaution to
matter of defense that must be proved to the satisfaction of the court-need absolve him for the injuries sustained by the Amparados. We nonetheless find negligence on his
not be pleaded. (Sec. 5, Rule 106, Rules of Court; U.S. vs. Campo, 23 Phil., part. Accordingly, we hold him liable under the first part, second paragraph, of Article 365, that
368.) is, less serious physical injuries through simple imprudence or negligence. (The records show
that Arnold Amparado was incapacitated for one and one-half months; 11 there is no showing,
That the article in question defines no crime is made more manifest when with respect to Lina Amparado, as to the extent of her injuries. We presume that she was placed
we consider that its counterpart in the old Penal Code (Article 423) was in confinement for only ten to fourteen days based on the medical certificate estimating her
found under the General Provisions (Chapter VIII) of Title VIII covering crimes recovery period.) 12
against persons. There can, we think, hardly be any dispute that as part of
the general provisions, it could not have possibly provided for a distinct and For the separate injuries suffered by the Amparado spouses, we therefore impose upon the
separate crime. accused-appellant arresto mayor (in its medium and maximum periods) in its maximum period,
arresto to being the graver penalty (than destierro). 13
xxx xxx xxx
WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is hereby MODIFIED. The accused-appellant is
We, therefore, conclude that Article 247 of the Revised Penal Code does not sentenced to four months and 21 days to six months of arresto mayor. The period within which
define and provide for a specific crime, but grants a privilege or benefit to he has been in confinement shall be credited in the service of these penalties. He is furthermore
the accused for the killing of another or the infliction of serious physical ordered to indemnify Arnold and Lina Amparado in the sum of P16,000.00 as and for
injuries under the circumstances therein mentioned. ... 7 hospitalization expense and the sum of P1,500.00 as and for Arnold Amparado's loss of earning
capacity. No special pronouncement as to costs.
xxx xxx xxx
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Punishment, consequently, is not inflicted upon the accused. He is banished, but that is intended
for his protection. 8 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. MANOLITO OYANIB y MENDOZA, accused-
appellant.
It shall likewise be noted that inflicting death under exceptional circumstances, not being a
punishable act, cannot be qualified by either aggravating or mitigating or other qualifying DECISION
circumstances, We cannot accordingly appreciate treachery in this case.
PARDO, J.:
The next question refers to the liability of the accused-appellant for the physical injuries suffered
by Lina Amparado and Arnold Amparado who were caught in the crossfire as the accused- Accused Manolito Oyanib y Mendoza appeals from the joint decisioniii[1] of the Regional Trial
appellant shot the victim. The Solicitor General recommends a finding of double frustrated Court, Branch 02, Iligan City finding him guilty beyond reasonable doubt of homicide and
murder against the accused-appellant, and being the more severe offense, proposes the parricide and sentencing him to an indeterminate penaltyiii[2] of six (6) months one day (1) to
imposition of reclusion temporal in its maximum period pursuant to Article 48 of the Revised six (6) years of prision correccional as minimum to six (6) years one (1) day to eight (8) years of
Penal Code. This is where we disagree. The accused-appellant did not have the intent to kill the prision mayor as maximum,iii[3] and to pay P50,000.00 civil indemnity and the costs for the
Amparado couple. Although as a rule, one committing an offense is liable for all the death of Jesus Esquierdo, and to reclusion perpetua, to pay P50,000.00 and the costs for the
consequences of his act, that rule presupposes that the act done amounts to a felony. 9 death of his wife, Tita T. Oyanib.iii[4]

But the case at bar requires distinctions. Here, the accused-appellant was not committing On September 11, 1995, Iligan City Prosecutor Ulysses V. Lagcao filed with the Regional Trial
murder when he discharged his rifle upon the deceased. Inflicting death under exceptional Court, Iligan City two (2) separate informations charging accused Manolito Oyanib y Mendoza
circumstances is not murder. We cannot therefore hold the appellant liable for frustrated with murder and parricide, as follows:
murder for the injuries suffered by the Amparados.
Criminal Case No. 6012
This does not mean, however, that the accused-appellant is totally free from any responsibility.
Granting the fact that he was not performing an illegal act when he fired shots at the victim, he
cannot be said to be entirely without fault. While it appears that before firing at the deceased,
16 | P a g e
That on or about September 4, 1995, in the City of Iligan, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction Accused Manolito Oyanib y Mendoza (hereafter Manolito) and Tita T. Oyanib (hereafter Tita)
of this Honorable Court, the said accused, armed with a deadly weapon to wit: a hunting knife were married on February 3, 1979iii[10] and had two (2) children, Desilor and Julius. They lived
about six inches long and with intent to kill and evident premeditation and by means of in Purok 1, Tambacan, Iligan City.
treachery, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault, stab and
wound one Jesus Esquierdo, thereby inflicting upon him the following physical injuries, to wit: In 1994, due to marital differences, Manolito and Tita separated, with Manolito keeping custody
of their two (2) children. Tita rented a room at the second floor of the house of Edgardo Lladas
Cardiorespiratory arrest (hereafter Edgardo), not far from the place where her family lived.

Hypovolemic shock irreversible At about 9:30 in the evening of September 4, 1995, while Edgardo and his family were watching
TV at the sala located at the ground floor of their house at Purok 3-A, Tambacan, Iligan City, they
Multiple organ injury heard a commotion coming from the second floor rented by Tita. The commotion and the noise
lasted for quite some time. When it died down, Edgardo went upstairs to check.iii[11]
Multiple stab wound chest & abdomen
Upstairs, Edgardo saw Tita wearing a duster, bloodied and sprawled on the floor. He saw
Manolito stabbing Jesus Esquierdo (hereafter Jesus) while sitting on the latters stomach. Jesus
and as a result thereof the said Jesus Esquierdo died.
was wearing a pair of long black pants. When Edgardo asked Manolito what he was doing,
accused told Edgardo not to interfere.
Contrary to and in violation of Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code with the aggravating
circumstances (sic) of evident premeditation.iii[5]
Thereafter, Edgardo left the house and called the police. Meanwhile, the neighbors brought Tita
to the hospital. She died on the way to the hospital.iii[12]
Criminal Case No. 6018
SPO3 Eduard Tubil, police investigator, General Investigation Office, Iligan City Police Command,
That on or about September 4, 1995, in the City of Iligan, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction Precinct I, Poblacion, Iligan City said that at about 9:00 in the evening of September 4, 1995,
of this Honorable Court, the said accused, having conceived and (sic) deliberate intent to kill his while he was on duty, he received an information regarding a stabbing incident at the Llagas
wife Tita Oyanib, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously and with evident residence at Purok 3-A, Tambacan, Iligan City.iii[13]
premeditation, attack, assault, stab and wound his wife, as a result of said attack, the said Tita
Oyanib died.
At the crime scene, SPO3 Tubil saw the lifeless body of Jesus lying face up with several stab
wounds in different parts of the body. Jesus was clad in t-shirt and long pants. From the crime
Contrary to and in violation of Article 246 of the Revised Penal Code.iii[6] scene, he recovered a knife. Afterwards, he went to Dr. Uy Hospital to check on Tita; he was
informed that she was dead. Manolito was the suspect in the killing of Jesus and Tita.iii[14] The
The prosecutor recommended no bail for the temporary liberty of accused Manolito Oyanib y incident was recorded in the police blotter as Entry No. 137138.iii[15]
Mendoza in both cases.
On September 5, 1995, Dr. Leonardo A. Labanon, Medico-Legal Officer, Iligan City examined the
On September 11, 1995, accused voluntarily surrendered to the police authoritiesiii[7] and was bodies of Jesus and Tita.iii[16] Jesus sustained multiple stab wounds, and those inflicted in the
immediately detained at the Iligan City Jail.iii[8] right and left chests and stomach were fatal.iii[17] The cause of death was cardiorespiratory
arrest, hypovolemic shock irreversible, multiple organ injury and multiple stab wound chest and
On January 17, 1996, the trial court arraigned accused Manolito Oyanib y Mendoza by reading abdomen.iii[18]
the informations against him and translating them into the Visayan dialect.iii[9] He pleaded not
guilty to both charges. Likewise, Tita sustained several stab wounds, with the fatal wounds inflicted in the left chest and
right side of the abdomen. The cause of death was cardiorespiratory arrest, hypovolemic shock
As the two (2) cases arose from the same set of facts, the trial court conducted a joint trial. and multiple stab wound.iii[19]

As heretofore stated, in 1994, following a series of arguments, Manolito and Tita decided to live
separately. Manolito retained custody of their two (2) children. Immediately after the
separation, Tita stayed at her friend Merlyns house for two (2) months. Afterwards, she
17 | P a g e
transferred to the Lladas residence, located at Purok 3, G. Tambacan, Iligan City, and rented the When asked why he was carrying a knife when he went to his wifes place, Manolito said that he
second floor.iii[20] The rented space consisted mainly of a sala with one adjoining room. It was brought it for self-defense. Prior to the incident, he received threats from his wife and her
arranged in a manner that if one enters the main entrance door, one is immediately led to the paramour, Jesus, that they would kill him so they could live together.iii[27]
sala and from the sala, directly to the door of the adjoining room.
After trial, on May 26, 1997, the trial court promulgated a joint decision finding accused guilty
Despite their separation, Manolito tried to win Tita back and exerted all efforts towards beyond reasonable doubt of the crimes charged. The dispositive portion reads:
reconciliation for the sake of the children. However, Tita was very reluctant to reconcile with
Manolito.iii[21] In fact, she was very open about her relationship with other men and would WHEREFORE, in the light of the foregoing findings and pronouncements and having carefully
flaunt it in front of Manolito. One time, he chanced upon his wife and her paramour, Jesus, in a observed the demeanor of witnesses, this Court hereby declares accused MANOLITO OYANIB y
very intimate situation by the hanging bridge at Brgy. Tambacan, Iligan City.iii[22] Manolito Mendoza GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Homicide (Crim. Case No. II-6012)
confronted Tita and Jesus about this. He censured his wife and reminded her that she was still and Parricide (Crim. Case No. II-6018) and appreciating the two (2) mitigating circumstances of
his wife. They just ignored him; they even threatened to kill him.iii[23] passion or obfuscation and voluntary surrender without any aggravating circumstances to
consider, this Court sentences accused Manolito Oyanib y Mendoza to suffer an imprisonment
In the evening of September 4, 1995, after supper, his daughter Desilor handed Manolito a letter as follows:
from the Iligan City National High School. The letter mentioned that his son Julius failed in two
(2) subjects and invited his parents to a meeting at the school. Because he had work from 8:00 in 1) In Criminal Case No. II-6012:
the morning until 5:00 in the afternoon the next day, Manolito went to Titas house to ask her to
attend the school meeting in his behalf.iii[24]
To an Indeterminate Penalty ranging from SIX (6) MONTHS ONE (1) DAY to SIX (6) YEARS as
Minimum to Six (6) YEARS ONE (1) DAY to EIGHT (8) YEARS as Maximum; to indemnify heirs of
Upon reaching Titas rented place, he heard sounds of romance (kissing) coming from the inside. Jesus Esquierdo the sum of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity, and to pay the costs.
He pried open the door lock using a hunting knife. He caught his wife Tita and Jesus having
sexual intercourse. Jesus was on top of Tita and his pants were down to his knees.
2) In Criminal Case No. II-6018:

Upon seeing him, Jesus kicked Manolito in the cheek. Manolito immediately stabbed Jesus.
To RECLUSION PERPETUA pursuant to Republic Act No. 7659; to indemnify heirs of his wife
Though Jesus was 59 in height and weighed about 70 kg., the suddenness of the assault caused
P50,000.00 as civil indemnity and to pay the costs.
him to lose his balance and fall down. Manolito took advantage of this opportunity and stabbed
Jesus in the stomach. Tita left the room upon seeing Manolito, only to come back armed with a
Tanduay bottle. She hit Manolito in the head, while at the same time shouting kill him Jake, kill It is likewise ordered that the aforesaid imprisonment is subject to the forty (40) years limitation
him Jake.iii[25] prescribed in Article 70 of the Revised Penal Code.

In the commotion, Manolito stabbed Jesus, hitting him in the abdomen. Jesus fell down and Accused is likewise entitled to full credit of his preventive imprisonment.
Manolito stabbed him again. Meanwhile, Tita stabbed Manolito in the arm with the broken
Tanduay bottle. This angered Manolito and he stabbed Tita in the left breast. He stabbed her SO ORDERED.
three (3) more times in different parts of her body. Tita fell near the lifeless body of her
paramour. It was at this point that Edgardo, the owner of the house Tita was renting, appeared Iligan City, Philippines, May 26, 1997.
from the ground floor and inquired about what had happened. Manolito told Edgardo not to
interfere because he had nothing to do with it.

MAXIMO B. RATUNIL
Thereafter, Manolito left the house of Edgardo and went to Kilumco, Camague, Iligan City and
stayed at the wake of his friends neighbor. He threw away the knife he used in stabbing his wife Presiding Judgeiii[28]
and her paramour. At around 4:00 in the morning of the following day, he went to Camague
Highway to catch a bus for Lentogan, Aurora, Zamboanga. While in Lentogan, he heard over
radio DXIC that there was a call for him to surrender. He heeded the call and gave himself up to On June 17, 1997, accused Manolito Oyanib y Mendoza interposed an appeal from the joint
the police authorities in Precinct 2, Nonocan, Iligan City.iii[26] decision of the trial court to the Supreme Court.iii[29]

18 | P a g e
Accused admitted the killings. He argued that he killed them both under the exceptional jealousy and outrage, accused stabbed Jesus who fought off and kicked the accused. He vented
circumstances provided in Article 247 of the Revised Penal Code. He raised several errors his anger on his wife when she reacted, not in defense of him, but in support of Jesus. Hence, he
allegedly committed by the trial court, which boiled down to the basic issue of whether accused stabbed his wife as well several times. Accused Manolito Oyanib y Mendoza surrendered to the
is entitled to the exceptional privilege under Article 247 of the Revised Penal Code.iii[30] He police when a call for him to surrender was made.
questioned the trial courts appreciation of the facts and the evidence, contending that it ignored
and overlooked vital pieces of physical evidence material to the defense of the accused, like the The law imposes very stringent requirements before affording the offended spouse the
photograph of the lifeless body of Jesus. Accused contends that the photograph graphically opportunity to avail himself of Article 247, Revised Penal Code. As the Court put it in People v.
showed that Jesus pants were wide open, unzipped and unbuttoned, revealing that he was not Wagas:iii[35]
wearing any underwear, lending credence to his defense that he caught his wife and her
paramour in the act of sexual intercourse. On the other hand, the Solicitor General submitted
The vindication of a Mans honor is justified because of the scandal an unfaithful wife creates;
that accused-appellant failed to discharge the burden of proving, by clear and convincing
the law is strict on this, authorizing as it does, a man to chastise her, even with death. But killing
evidence, that he killed the victims under the exceptional circumstances contemplated in Article
the errant spouse as a purification is so severe as that it can only be justified when the unfaithful
247 of the Revised Penal Code. Hence, the trial court did not err in denying him the exempting
spouse is caught in flagrante delicto; and it must be resorted to only with great caution so much
privilege under the Article.iii[31]
so that the law requires that it be inflicted only during the sexual intercourse or immediately
thereafter.
We find the appeal meritorious.
WHEREFORE, the Court REVERSES the appealed decision of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 02,
At the outset, accused admitted killing his wife and her paramour. He invoked Article 247 of the Iligan City in Criminal Cases Nos. II-6012 and II-6018. The Court sentences accused Manolito
Revised Penal Code as an absolutory and an exempting cause. An absolutory cause is present Oyanib y Mendoza to two (2) years and four (4) months of destierro.iii[36] He shall not be
where the act committed is a crime but for reasons of public policy and sentiment there is no permitted to enter Iligan City, nor within a radius of one hundred (100) kilometers from Iligan
penalty imposed.iii[32] City.iii[37]

Having admitted the killing, it is incumbent upon accused to prove the exempting circumstances Costs de oficio.
to the satisfaction of the court in order to be relieved of any criminal liability. Article 247 of the
Revised Penal Code prescribes the following essential elements for such a defense: (1) that a
SO ORDERED.
legally married person surprises his spouse in the act of committing sexual intercourse with
another person; (2) that he kills any of them or both of them in the act or immediately
thereafter; and (3) that he has not promoted or facilitated the prostitution of his wife (or G.R. No. 172608 February 6, 2007
daughter) or that he or she has not consented to the infidelity of the other spouse.iii[33]
Accused must prove these elements by clear and convincing evidence, otherwise his defense PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee,
would be untenable. The death caused must be the proximate result of the outrage vs.
overwhelming the accused after chancing upon his spouse in the act of infidelity. Simply put, the BERNARD MAPALO, Accused-Appellant.
killing by the husband of his wife must concur with her flagrant adultery.iii[34]
DECISION
There is no question that the first element is present in the case at bar. The crucial fact that
accused must convincingly prove to the court is that he killed his wife and her paramour in the CHICO-NAZARIO, J.:
act of sexual intercourse or immediately thereafter.

In its Decision1 dated 27 October 2004, the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 32 of Agoo, La
After an assiduous analysis of the evidence presented and the testimonies of the witnesses, we Union, in Criminal Case No. A-2871, found appellant Bernard Mapalo guilty beyond reasonable
find accused to have acted within the circumstances contemplated in Article 247 of the Revised doubt of the crime of Murder, and imposed upon him the penalty of reclusion perpetua. On
Penal Code. Admittedly, accused-appellant surprised his wife and her lover in the act of sexual appeal, the Court of Appeals rendered a Decision2 dated 21 November 2005, modifying the
intercourse. Decision of the RTC, and finding Bernard Mapalo guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of
Frustrated Murder.
To the mind of the court, what actually happened was that accused chanced upon Jesus at the
place of his wife. He saw his wife and Jesus in the act of having sexual intercourse. Blinded by The Indictments

19 | P a g e
Appellant, together with Peter Doe, John Doe and Peter Doe, Jr., was charged before the RTC of On arraignment, appellant pleaded not guilty.8 Thereafter, trial on the merits commenced.
Agoo, La Union with the crime of Murder, said to have been committed as follows:
After the prosecution had rested its case, Alejandro Fajardo, Jr. filed a Demurrer to Evidence
That on or about the 13th day of February, 1994, in the Municipality of Aringay, Province of La which was granted by the RTC, in its Order9 dated 5 November 1998, on the ground that the
Union, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named prosecution did not present any evidence against him. Thus, only accused Bernard Mapalo
accused, with intent to kill and being then armed with lead pipes and bladed weapons and proceeded to present his evidence. He was eventually found guilty.
conspiring, confederating and mutually helping each other, did then and there by means of
treachery and with evident premeditation and taking advantage of their superior strength, The Case for the Prosecution
wil[l]fully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault and use personal violence on one Manuel
Piamonte y Ugay by clubbing him with the said pipes and stabbing him several times with the
The prosecution presented Calixto Garcia (Garcia) as its lone eyewitness.
said bladed weapons, and thereby inflicting on the aforenamed victim fatal injuries which were
the direct and immediate cause of his death, to the damage and prejudice of his heirs.
Garcia testified that on 12 February 1994, a pre-Valentine dance was held in Sitio Baracbac,
Brgy. Sta. Cecilia in Aringay, La Union. He watched the dance, along with the appellant and
Contrary to law.3
Jimmy Frigillana.10 In the early morning of 13 February 1994, at around 3:00 a.m., a fight erupted
between Manuel Piamonte (Piamonte) and the group of Lando Mapalo,11 Jimmy Frigillana, and
The RTC ordered the issuance of a warrant of arrest for the apprehension of the appellant. No the appellant.12
bail was recommended.4 When the case was called, appellant filed a Motion for Reinvestigation
and Bail, which was granted.
Garcia further testified that he witnessed the fight from a distance of more or less five (5)
meters. He claimed that he could see the incident very clearly because of the light at the dancing
On 27 March 1995, 3rd Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Manuel S. Oliva filed a Motion to Admit hall.13 He saw the appellant club Piamonte with a lead pipe from behind, hitting him on the right
Amended Information and for the Issuance of Warrant of Arrest for the Apprehension of the side of the head.14 The pipe was one and a half (1 and ½) feet in length, and one and a half (1
Other Accused,5 alleging that a reinvestigation was conducted and a prima facie case was found and ½) inches in diameter.15 At that time when the appellant struck Piamonte with a lead pipe,
against the other accused. It was prayed that an amended information be admitted and a he saw Jimmy Frigillana and Lando Mapalo standing in front of Piamonte. Later, he saw the dead
warrant of arrest be issued for the apprehension of Alejandro Fajardo, Jr., Jimmy Frigillana, and body of Piamonte, which had suffered multiple stab wounds. 16 He saw stab wounds on the left
Rolando Mapalo alias "Lando." Finding the Motion to be well-taken, the RTC issued an Order,6 and right parts of the abdomen, and below the left breast, as well as small wounds on the front
dated 27 April 1995, admitting the Amended Information, viz: part of his left hip.17 Garcia disclosed that he neither witnessed how Piamonte was stabbed, nor
did he see the act of stabbing Piamonte.18 He does not know who stabbed the latter.19 It was
The undersigned Assistant Provincial Prosecutor accuses BERNARD MAPALO, ALEJANDRO only when Piamonte’s shirt was removed when he saw stab wounds on the former’s dead
FAJARDO, JR., JIMMY FRIGILLANA and ROLANDO MAPALO alias Lando of the crime of MURDER, body.20
committed as follows:
The Case for the Defense
That on or about the 13th day of February, 1994, in the Municipality of Aringay, Province of La
Union, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the abovenamed accused, Appellant testified that in the evening of 13 February 1994,21 at around 9:00 p.m., he, along with
with intent to kill and being then armed with lead pipe and bladed weapons and conspiring, his wife, Caridad Mapalo, entertained several guests at their residence, namely, Crispin
confederating and mutually helping each other, did then and there by means of treachery and Calderon, Noel Cordero, Ruel Mercado, and Rolando Mapalo.22 They drank wine.23 Appellant
with evident premeditation and taking advantage of their superior strength, wil[l]fully, knew that there was a Valentine’s Day dance celebration at the dance hall, located northeast of
unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault and use personal violence on one Manuel Piamonte y his house at a distance of about 20-30 meters.24 At 12:30 a.m., after his guests had left the
Ugay by clubbing him with the said pipe and stabbing him several times with the said bladed house, he went to sleep.25 At 3:00 a.m., his wife woke him up and was informed that somebody
weapons, and thereby inflicting on the aforenamed victim fatal injuries which were the direct had been stabbed. He said he came to know that Piamonte was the person who was stabbed.26
and immediate cause of his death, to the damage and prejudice of his heirs.7 He added that he planned to go out of the house, but his wife prevented him from doing so.27
He, thereafter, returned to his room, and went back to sleep.28
Consequently, a warrant of arrest was issued for the apprehension of Alejandro Fajardo, Jr.,
Jimmy Frigillana, and Rolando Mapalo alias "Lando." Only Alejandro Fajardo, Jr. was Corroborating the appellant’s defense of denial and alibi, his wife, Caridad Mapalo, narrated that
apprehended; the other two remain at large. on 13 February 199429 at 8:00 p.m., she served brandy to her husband and their guests at their
residence. The celebration finished at around 12:00 midnight.30 Thereafter, she and her husband
20 | P a g e
went to sleep, while their guests proceeded to the dance hall. At 3:00 a.m., she awoke because The Ruling of the Court of Appeals
of a commotion from the dance hall.31 She described that the dance hall is around 60 to 70
meters, southwest of their residence.32 She went outside of their house, and along with her Before the appellate court, appellant challenged the credibility of the prosecution’s lone
sister-in-law, Marissa Dapit, proceeded to the edge of the dancing hall.33 She claimed that her eyewitness. Appellant similarly assailed the ruling of the RTC on the ground that it erred in
husband did not go out and just stayed at their house.34 She explained that she and Marissa convicting him despite the failure of the prosecution to prove his guilt beyond reasonable
Dapit went out to see or to know the name of the person who died at the commotion.35 At the doubt.39
dancing hall, she saw the body of Piamonte, lying face down.36
The Court of Appeals found no adequate reason to disturb the findings of the RTC in weighing
The Ruling of the RTC the testimony of Garcia. It did not find significant the alleged inconsistencies in Garcia’s
affidavits as executed before the investigating police and the prosecutor.40 The appellate court
After trial, the RTC rendered a Decision, dated 27 October 2004, finding appellant guilty beyond did not accept the appellant’s defense of alibi. The positive identification of the prosecution
reasonable doubt of the crime of Murder. witness which was consistent and categorical, and shown to be without ill-motive, has
discredited appellant’s defense.
It ruled that appellant’s defense of alibi cannot prevail over the positive identification of the lone
eyewitness. As emphasized by the RTC, per admission of appellant, the distance between his The Court of Appeals, however, found reason to modify the findings of the RTC. It convicted the
house and the dancing hall is only 20 to 30 meters, more or less. There was no physical appellant of frustrated murder only. It was not convinced that the evidence on record
impossibility for the appellant to be present at the scene of the crime. Moreover, it found established conspiracy among the appellant and his co-accused. The appellate court rationalized
Garcia’s testimony to be consistent and uncontradicted. On the other hand, the RTC considered that while the evidence shows that Piamonte sustained stab wounds which caused his death, 41
the testimony of Caridad Mapalo as defying the natural course of human reaction and the appellant was never identified as the one who inflicted the stab wounds on the deceased.
experience. The RTC found it strange that it was only Caridad Mapalo who was awakened by the According to the appellate court, the prosecution’s evidence only established that the appellant
commotion, while the appellant remained asleep. Learning of the same, Caridad Mapalo clubbed Piamonte with a lead pipe. However, the prosecution’s witness did not see the stabbing.
exposed herself to danger by proceeding to the dance hall to see what the commotion was all He was not able to describe the particular acts which caused Piamonte’s death. Hence, it cannot
about without even informing her husband. The RTC conjectured that Caridad Mapalo be inferred from the account of the witness that the appellant and his co-accused came to an
proceeded to the dance hall not to see what the commotion was all about, but because she was agreement to commit a felony, or that they decided to commit the same, by concerted acts.42
informed that her husband was involved in a fight.37 The Court of Appeals made the following observations:

Further, the RTC ruled that conspiracy was established by the prosecution. According to the RTC, In the first place, the killing was the result of a fight that erupted suddenly during the Valentine
the appellant was clearly identified by Garcia as the one who struck Piamonte on the head with dance, which discourages the conclusion that the killing was planned. Also, the witness did not
a lead pipe, which alone is "sufficient manifestation of a concerted, common and united design see any stabbing. He did not see anyone else perform any act of stabbing or hitting, other than
with the other accused to commit an unlawful and felonious act." The fact that the medical the appellant delivering blows with a lead pipe on the victim. There is no proof, therefore, of any
certificate shows the cause of death as stab wounds was deemed by the RTC as immaterial, in concerted action or common design to kill the victim that could be the basis for a finding of
view of the presence of conspiracy. The RTC also appreciated the attendance of abuse of conspiracy among several malefactors. Because of this, it could not be said that conspiracy was
superior strength as a qualifying circumstance, on the rationalization that the perpetrators were proven attendant beyond reasonable doubt.43
armed with bladed weapons and a lead pipe that were out of proportion to the unarmed
Piamonte. In the absence of a conspiracy, the Court of Appeals said that the appellant could only be held
liable for the consequences of his own criminal act. It ruled that when the appellant hit
The decretal portion of the RTC Decision states: Piamonte in the head with the lead pipe, he performed all the acts that would have brought
about the death of the victim.44 Piamonte’s death however was due to some other supervening
WHEREFORE, the accused BERNARD MAPALO is hereby found Guilty beyond reasonable doubt cause, independent of the appellant’s will.45
of the crime of MURDER and is sentenced to suffer the penalty of RECLUSION PERPETUA.
The fallo of the Court of Appeals’ Decision reads, viz:
Further, the accused is ordered to pay the heirs of Manuel Piamonte the amount of Twelve
Thousand Seven Hundred Pesos (₱12,700.00) as actual damages. Fifty Thousand Pesos WHEREFORE, premises considered, the lower court’s Decision is hereby MODIFIED, in that the
(₱50,000.00) as civil indemnity for the death of Piamonte and Fifty Thousand Pesos (₱50,000.00) accused-appellant Bernard Mapalo is hereby found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime
as moral damages.38

21 | P a g e
of Frustrated Murder. Accused-appellant is hereby sentenced to 8 years and 1 day of prision More importantly, the accused-appellant was not positively identified in court. True, his name
mayor, as minimum to 14 years, 8 months and 1 day of reclusion temporal, as maximum. was referred to by both Basierto and Ongue in their respective direct testimonies. However, he
was not identified in Court. The failure of the prosecution witness to positively identify the
Further, the accused is ordered to pay the heirs of Manuel Piamonte[,] the amount of Twenty assailant in court is fatal to the prosecution’s cause. Pre-trial identification is not sufficient.51
Five Thousand Pesos (₱25,000.00) as temperate damages, Thirty Thousand Pesos (₱30,000.00)
as civil indemnity and Thirty Thousand Pesos (₱30,000.00) as moral damages pursuant to Verily, the records are bereft of proof that there was in-court identification by the witness Garcia
prevailing jurisprudence. (People v. Pacana, 345 SCRA 72 [2000]; People v. Givera, 349 SCRA 513 of the appellant. Indeed, Garcia did not point to the appellant in the courtroom. Such fact can be
[2001]).46 gleaned from the pertinent portion of the transcript of stenographic notes of the trial,
reproduced hereunder, as follows:
The Issues
Direct-examination by Prosecutor Rudio of the witness Calixto Garcia
Appellant contends that:
Q Do you know the accused Bernard Mapalo?
I
A I know, sir.
THE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN CONVICTING THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT
DESPITE FAILURE OF THE PROSECUTION TO IDENTIFY THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT IN Q If that accused is inside the courtroom now will you please stand up and point to him if he is
OPEN COURT; and inside the courtroom?

II A No, he is not around.

ASSUMING THAT THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT IS GUILTY, THE COURT OF APPEALS COURT:


GRAVELY ERRED IN CONVICTING HIM OF FRUSTRATED MURDER INSTEAD OF
FRUSTRATED HOMICIDE.47 Q Was he notified for (sic) today’s hearing?

The Ruling of the Court INTERPRETER:

In support of the first assignment of error, appellant raises, for the first time, the defense that Yes, he signed, sir.
the witness for the prosecution failed to positively identify him during the trial proceedings.
Citing People v. Galera48 and People v. Hatton,49 appellant submits that the prosecution failed to
COURT: O R D E R:
discharge its first duty, which is the identification of the accused as the author of the crime
charged.50 Witness Garcia did not identify the appellant in open court.
It appears that the accused Bernard Mapalo was being notified for (sic) today’s hearing and his
wife came to Court and informed the Honorable Court that her husband could not come to
Appellant further posits that Garcia did not deny drinking gin at around 9:00 p.m. on 13 February
Court because he is sick.52
1994 until 3:00 a.m. of the following day. Garcia was then intoxicated if he had been drinking
hard liquor continuously for six hours. At such point, he can no longer positively determine a
person’s identity. It is argued that the foregoing circumstances create doubts as to the identity The same testimony, however, conspicuously reveals that there was no identification in open
of the appellant as one of the perpetrators of the crime. court of the appellant because said appellant was not present at the time, despite notice, as
according to his wife, he was sick.
We first tackle the issue on the lack of in-court identification.
In a later case, this Court clarified that a physical courtroom identification is essential only when
there is a question or doubt on whether the one alleged to have committed the crime is the
True that on the matter of identification, the Court in Hatton said:
same person who is charged in the information and subject of the trial. In People v. Quezada,53
this Court expounded, thus:

22 | P a g e
We do not see the absolute need for complainant to point to appellant in open court as her Q He is considered a friend?
attacker. While positive identification by a witness is required by the law to convict an accused,
it need not always be by means of a physical courtroom identification. As the court held in A Yes, sir I consider him as such.
People v. Paglinawan:
Q Prior to the incident which happened sometime on February 13, 1994, you have never
"x x x. Although it is routine procedure for witnesses to point out the accused in open court by quarreled with this Calixto Garcia?
way of identification, the fact that the witness x x x did not do so in this case was because the
public prosecutor failed to ask her to point out appellant, hence such omission does not in any
A No, sir.
way affect or diminish the truth or weight of her testimony."

Q Even after that incident that happened on February 13, 1994 you never quarreled with Calixto
In-court identification of the offender is essential only when there is a question or doubt on
Garcia?
whether the one alleged to have committed the crime is the same person who is charged in the
information and subject of the trial. This is especially true in cases wherein the identity of the
accused, who is a stranger to the prosecution witnesses, is dubitable. In the present case, A No, sir.
however, there is no doubt at all that the rapist is the same individual mentioned in the
Informations and described by the victim during the trial. (Emphasis supplied.)54 Q You know that this Calixto Garcia is not a relative of Piamonte the victim in this case?

We do not find herein a case where there is a question or doubt as to whether the one alleged A I do not know whether he is a relative of the victim or not.
to have committed the crime is the same person charged in the information and subject of the
trial. In fact, appellant never denied that he is the person indicted in the Information, and Q You know for a fact that Calixto Garcia executed a statement before the police pointing to you
subject of the proceedings. His denial is that he did not participate in the commission of the or pointing to you as the assailant of Paimonte did you come to know that?
crime. Hence, in-court identification is not indispensable in the case at bar.

A No, sir.
We are convinced that the identity of the appellant was sufficiently established by the evidence
on record.
Q You said that you know Calixto Garcia your friend according to you, did you confront him
when he testified against you in court?
The appellant is not a stranger to the witness Garcia. The identity of the appellant to Garcia does
not appear to be controvertible. In fact, appellant himself admits that he and Garcia are friends.
Thus: A No, sir.

Cross-examination by Prosecutor Lachica of [appellant] Bernard Mapalo Q You did not tell your friend that he was mistaken in identifying you as the assailant of
Piamonte, correct?
Q Mr. Witness you said that you were informed by your counsel a while ago that a certain
Calixto Garcia testified against you in this case did I get you right? A No, sir. 55

A Yes, sir. The proper identification of the appellant is further bolstered by the fact that appellant’s wife,
Caridad Mapalo corroborated the testimony that the witness Garcia is a family friend of the
spouses. Thus:
Q And this Calixto Garica is a resident of the same Barangay as you are?

Cross examination of Caridad Mapalo by Prosecutor Lachica


A Yes, sir.

Q Do you know a certain Calixto Garcia?


Q In fact this Calixto Garcia is an acquaintance of yours?

A Yes, sir.
A Yes, sir.
23 | P a g e
Q He is your Barangay mate? RE-DIRECT EXAMINATION BY ATTY. RIMANDO:

A Yes, sir. Q This Calixto Garcia was your guest in that evening in your residence?

Q His house is closed to your house, correct? A No, sir.

A Far, sir. Q Is your family close with (sic) this Calixto Garcia?

Q But he is staying within your barangay which is Sta. Cecilia? A Yes, sir.56

A Yes, sir. Moreover, we do not find herein the presence of factors57 that could cause the witness Garcia to
misidentify the appellant. In People v. Limpangog,58 this Court enumerated several other known
Q This Calixto Garcia whom you know is a friend of your family, correct? causes of misidentification, viz:

A Yes, sir. x x x Known causes of misidentification have been identified as follows:

Q In fact, your family have (sic) never quarreled with Calixto Garcia? "Identification testimony has at least three components. First, witnessing a crime, whether as a
victim or a bystander, involves perception of an event actually occurring. Second, the witness
must memorize details of the event. Third, the witness must be able to recall and communicate
A None, sir.
accurately. Dangers of unreliability in eyewitness testimony arise at each of these three stages,
for whenever people attempt to acquire, retain, and retrieve information accurately, they are
Q Prior to the filing of this case, you know that Calixto Garcia being a friend will not falsify his limited by normal human fallibilities and suggestive influences."59
testimony regarding your husband?
There is no question that the witness Garcia was at a close range of merely five meters more or
A Yes, sir. less from the scene of the incident.60 Neither can it be said that the illumination was poor. The
dancing hall was lighted.61 No improper motive was attributed to the witness Garcia for
ATTY. RIMANDO: testifying against the appellant. Moreover, witness Garcia is familiar not only to appellant.
Garcia was also familiar with the deceased, Piamonte. Witness Garcia, in his testimony, referred
Objection, your honor. to Piamonte as his third cousin.62

COURT: On appellant’s submission that it is doubtful if witness Garcia can still have positively identified
him as one of the perpetrators of the crime considering that the former admitted to drinking
hard liquor from 9:00 p.m. on 13 February 1994 until 3:00 a.m. of the following day, we are not
Objection overruled. convinced that the same can overthrow the trial court’s evaluation of Garcia’s testimony.
Beyond appellant’s bare allegations, no evidence whatsoever was produced to show that Garcia
PROSECUTOR LACHICA: suffered from such a level of intoxication as to impair his facility and disable him to identify
appellant. In the case of People v. Dee,63 the credibility of the surviving victim therein as witness
Q Until now, this Calixto Garcia is your friend? was disputed because he was under the influence of liquor at the time of the incident. In Dee,
the witness was even found positive for alcoholic breath, but the Court ruled that such fact does
not necessarily prevent him from making a positive identification of his attackers, especially
A Yes, sir.
since his level of intoxication was not shown to impair his faculties. The credibility of the witness
therein was not made to suffer on that score alone. 64
PROSECUTOR LACHICA:

That would be all for the witness.


24 | P a g e
The foregoing material considerations, taken together with the fact that witness Garcia and the No proof was shown as to the concerted action of the malefactors of their common design to
appellant are not strangers to each other, satisfy us that the danger of Garcia misidentifying the kill. It, thus, modified the RTC’s conviction, and, instead, found appellant guilty of frustrated
appellant does not exist. Where the prosecution eyewitness was familiar with both victim and murder.
accused, and where the locus criminis afforded good visibility, and where no improper motive
can be attributed to the witness for testifying against the accused, his version of the story The Amended Information charged the appellant and his co-accused with conspiracy in killing
deserves much weight.65 Piamonte.

Hence, we do not find any reason to depart from the general rule that the conclusions of the Conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an agreement concerning the commission
trial court on the credibility of witnesses deserve great respect, viz: of a felony and decide to commit it.72 Conspiracy as a basis for conviction must rest on nothing
less than a moral certainty.73 Considering the far-reaching consequences of criminal conspiracy,
The assessment of the credibility of witness and their testimony is a matter best undertaken by the same degree of proof necessary in establishing the crime is required to support the
the trial court because of its unique opportunity to observe the witnesses firsthand; and to note attendance thereof, i.e., it must be shown to exist as clearly and convincingly as the commission
their demeanor, conduct and attitude under examination. Its findings on such matters are of the offense itself.74 Thus, it has been held that neither joint nor simultaneous actions is per se
binding and conclusive on appellate courts unless some facts or circumstances of weight and sufficient proof of conspiracy.75
substance have been overlooked, misapprehended or misinterpreted.66
We are, further, guided by the following pronouncement of the Court:
Appellant’s defense of alibi and denial cannot stand in the face of the positive identification of
the accused. We have unfailingly held that alibi and denial being inherently weak cannot prevail For conspiracy to exist, the participants must agree to the commission of the felony and decide
over the positive identification of the accused as the perpetrator of the crime.67 It is facile to to commit it, which agreement may be deduced from the mode and manner of the commission
fabricate and difficult to disprove, and is generally rejected.68 of the offense or inferred from the acts that point to joint purpose and design, concerted action
and community of intent. x x x.76
For the defense of alibi to prosper, it must be shown with clear and convincing evidence that at
the time of the commission of the crime charged, the accused is in a place other than the situs of While conspiracy need not be established by direct evidence, it is, nonetheless, required that it
the crime such that it was physically impossible for him to have been at the situs criminis when be proved by clear and convincing evidence by showing a series of acts done by each of the
the crime was committed.69 accused in concert and in pursuance of the common unlawful purpose.77

In the case at bar, appellant was not successful in invoking the defense of alibi. Appellant insists There is a want of evidence to show the concerted acts of the appellant and his co-accused in
that he was sleeping at his residence at the time when the incident occurred. The RTC and the pursuing a common design - to kill the deceased, Piamonte. The sole eyewitness for the
Court of Appeals consistently found that the distance between appellant’s residence and the prosecution, Garcia, was categorical and precise in declaring that he did not see the act of
dance hall, or the situs criminis, is 20 to 30 meters, more or less.70 Such a distance is negligible. stabbing Piamonte, nor the manner in which Piamonte was stabbed. He later learned that
In fact, appellant’s wife testified that from their residence, she could see the people dancing at Piamonte died from stab wounds when he saw the latter’s dead body covered with stab
the hall.71 It was not highly impossible for the appellant to be physically present at the dancing wounds. The cause of death of Piamonte, as found by the RTC and the Court of Appeals, 78 and as
hall at the time of the occurrence of the incident. We, therefore, reject appellant’s defense of borne by the records, is multiple stab wounds.79 It was, thus, incumbent on the part of the
alibi. prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the appellant and his co-accused acted in
concert with a unity of purpose to kill Piamonte. They must show to the satisfaction of this Court
We shall now determine the criminal liability of the appellant. the appellant’s overt act in pursuance or furtherance of the complicity.80 They must show that
appellant’s act of striking Piamonte with a pipe was an intentional participation in the
To reiterate, the RTC, in convicting the appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of transaction with a view to the furtherance of the common design and purpose. 81
murder, proceeded from a rationalization that there was conspiracy among appellant and his co-
accused. It also appreciated the attendance of abuse of superior strength to qualify the crime to The prosecution was unable to show, either by direct or indirect evidence, proof of the
Murder. agreement among the appellant and his co-accused to warrant conspiracy as a basis for
appellant’s conviction. No evidence was even adduced to show implied conspiracy. Nothing has
The Court of Appeals was unable to agree with the RTC. It found that the conspiracy was not been shown that the appellant and his co-accused were "aimed by their acts towards the
proven beyond reasonable doubt. It ruled that the witness Garcia admitted to not being able to accomplishment of the same unlawful object, each doing a part so that their combined acts,
see the stabbing. He could only attest to the clubbing of the victim by appellant with a lead pipe.
25 | P a g e
though apparently independent of each other were, in fact, connected and cooperative, than the imposable penalty, Li is entitled to immediate release unless, of course, he is being
indicating a closeness of personal association and a concurrence of sentiment."82 lawfully detained for another cause.88

This complete absence of evidence on the part of the prosecution to show the conduct of the In the case at bar, no injury was shown to be attributable to the appellant. The only medical
appellant and his co-accused, disclosing a common understanding among them relative to the evidence that appears on records is the deceased Piamonte’s death certificate,89 which indicates
commission of the offense,83 is fatal to the prosecution. The prosecution’s witness could not that the cause of death is massive hypovolemia90 secondary to multiple stab wounds. The factual
testify on the manner by which the deceased Piamonte was stabbed, precisely because by his findings of the RTC and the Court of Appeals coincide to show that the cause of death of
own admission, he did not see the stabbing. No account of the stabbing which caused the death Piamonte is multiple stab wounds. Nothing has been shown otherwise. Other than the presence
of the deceased Piamonte was ever given nor shown. Unfortunately, no account of how of multiple stab wounds, no other type of injury on the deceased was established. No contusions
Piamonte died was ever given, except for the established fact that he died due to stabbing. The or injury on the head of the victim or anywhere else in his body caused by a lead pipe was
appellant’s act of holding a lead pipe and hitting the deceased in the head was not shown to be shown. The witness Garcia, in his testimony, merely pointed to stab wounds on the different
in furtherance of the common design of killing the deceased. What transpired during the parts of the body of the deceased.91 No proof on the injury that was sustained by the deceased
stabbing of the victim, which is material to proving the fact of conspiracy, is, regrettably, left that can be attributable to appellant’s act was demonstrated. No other physical evidence was
merely to speculation. This Court must neither conjecture nor surmise that a conspiracy existed. proffered.92
The rule is clear that the guilt of the accused must be proved with moral certainty.84 All doubts
should be resolved in favor of the accused. Thus, the time honored principle in criminal law that We cannot convict appellant of Attempted or Frustrated Murder or Homicide. The principal and
if the inculpatory facts are capable of two or more explanations, one consistent with the essential element of attempted or frustrated homicide or murder is the assailant’s intent to take
innocence of the accused and the other with his guilt, the Court should adopt that which is more the life of the person attacked.93 Such intent must be proved clearly and convincingly, so as to
favorable to the accused for then the evidence does not fulfill the test of moral certainty.85 exclude reasonable doubt thereof.94 Intent to kill may be proved by evidence of: (a) motive; (b)
the nature or number of weapons used in the commission of the crime; (c) the nature and
Liability of the Accused Bernard Mapalo number of wounds inflicted on the victim; (d) the manner the crime was committed; and (e)
words uttered by the offender at the time the injuries are inflicted by him on the victim.95
There being no conspiracy, the liability of the appellant will revolve around his individual
participation in the event.86 In the case at bar, no motive on the part of appellant to kill Piamonte was shown either prior or
subsequent to the incident. Nor can such intent to kill be inferred from his acts. It bears
In the case of Li v. People,87 a street fight ensued resulting in the death of the victim therein. No reiterating that no injury on the body of the deceased was attributed to the appellant’s act of
conspiracy was proven beyond reasonable doubt. The liability of the accused Li who was shown hitting the victim with a lead pipe. On the nature of the weapon used, the lead pipe was
to have struck the victim’s right arm with a baseball bat, resulting in a contusion was, thus, described by Garcia as one and a half feet in length, and one and a half inches in diameter. The
determined by the Court in the following manner: relevant testimony of Garcia on the incident follows:

The only injury attributable to Li is the contusion on the victim’s right arm that resulted from Li Q Now you said that Bernard Mapalo clubbed this Manuel Piamonte. He clubbed him from
striking [the victim] Arugay with a baseball bat. In view of the victim’s supervening death from behind?
injuries which cannot be attributed to Li beyond reasonable doubt, the effects of the contusion
caused by Li are not mortal or at least lie entirely in the realm of speculation. When there is no A Yes, sir.
evidence of actual incapacity of the offended party for labor or of the required medical
attendance, the offense is only slight physical injuries, penalized as follows: Q And what did he use in clubbing the victim, is it lead pipe?

xxxx A Yes, sir.

The duration of the penalty of arresto menor is from one day to thirty days. The felony of slight Q How long is that lead pipe?
physical injuries is necessarily included in the homicide charges. Since the Information against Li
states that among the means employed to commit the felonious act was the use of the baseball
A Around this length. (Witness demonstrated 1 1/2 feet).
bat, conviction on the lesser offense or slight physical injuries is proper. There being no
aggravating or mitigating circumstances established, the imposition of the penalty in its medium
period is warranted. Li was convicted by the RTC on January 5, 1994. Having long served more Q And how wide is the diameter?

26 | P a g e
A 1 ½ inches. WE CONCUR:

Q What part of his body was hit? CONSUELO YNARES – SANTIAGO


Associate Justice
A Right side of the head, sir. (Witness showing the right side of his head.)96 Chairperson

Homicidal intent must be evidenced by the acts that, at the time of their execution, are MA. ALICIA AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ ROMEO J. CALLEJO, SR.
unmistakably calculated to produce the death of the victim by adequate means.97 We cannot Associate Justice Asscociate Justice
infer intent to kill from the appellant’s act of hitting Piamonte in the head with a lead pipe. In
the first place, wounds were not shown to have been inflicted because of the act. Secondly,
absent proof of circumstances to show the intent to kill beyond reasonable doubt, this Court ATTESTATION
cannot declare that the same was attendant.
I attest that the conclusions in the above Decision were reached in consultation before the case
When the offender shall ill-treat another by deed without causing any injury, and without was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division.
causing dishonor, the offense is Maltreatment under Article 266,98 par. 3 of the Revised Penal
Code. It was beyond reasonable doubt that by hitting Piamonte, appellant ill-treated the latter,
CONSUELO YNARES-SANTIAGO
without causing any injury. As we have earlier stated, no proof of injury was offered.
Associate Justice
Maltreatment is necessarily included in Murder, which is the offense charged in the Information.
Chairperson, Third Division
Thus:

CERTIFICATION
ART. 266. Slight physical injuries and maltreatment. – The crime of slight physical injuries shall
be punished:
Pursuant to Section 13, Article VIII of the Constitution, and the Division Chairperson’s
Attestation, it is hereby certified that the conclusions in the above Decision were reached in
xxxx
consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division.

3. By arresto menor in its minimum period or a fine not exceeding 50 pesos when the offender
REYNATO S. PUNO
shall ill-treat another by deed without causing any injury.
Chief Justice

The duration of the penalty of arresto menor in its minimum period is 1 day to 10 days.
G.R. No. 195166

WHEREFORE, the Decision of the Court of Appeals, dated 21 November 2005, in CA-G.R. CR HC
SPOUSES SALVADOR ABELLA AND ALMA ABELLA, Petitioners,
No. 00408 is MODIFIED. Appellant Bernard Mapalo is ACQUITTED of the charge of MURDER for
vs.
lack of evidence beyond reasonable doubt. He is found GUILTY of the crime of MALTREATMENT,
SPOUSES ROMEO ABELLA AND ANNIE ABELLA, Respondents.
as defined and punished by Article 266, par. 3 of the Revised Penal Code. He is accordingly
sentenced to suffer the penalty of imprisonment of arresto menor of 10 days. Considering that
appellant has been incarcerated since 2004, which is well-beyond the period of the penalty DECISION
herein imposed, the Director of the Bureau of Prisons is ordered to cause appellant’s
IMMEDIATE RELEASE, unless appellant is being lawfully held for another cause, and to inform LEONEN, J.:
this Court, within five (5) days from receipt of this Decision, of the compliance therewith.
This resolves a Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court praying that
SO ORDERED. judgment be rendered reversing and setting aside the September 30, 2010 Decision1 and the
January 4, 2011 Resolution2 of the Court of Appeals Nineteenth Division in CA-G.R. CV No.
MINITA V. CHICO-NAZARIO 01388. The Petition also prays that respondents Spouses Romeo and Annie Abella be ordered to
Associate Justice

27 | P a g e
pay petitioners Spouses Salvador and Alma Abella 2.5% monthly interest plus the remaining interest. Thus, the trial court concluded that respondents obtained a simple loan, although they
balance of the amount loaned. later invested its proceeds in a lending enterprise.13 The Regional Trial Court adjudged
respondents solidarily liable to petitioners. The dispositive portion of its Decision reads:
The assailed September 30, 2010 Decision of the Court of Appeals reversed and set aside the
December 28, 2005 Decision3 of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 8, Kalibo, Aklan in Civil Case WHEREFORE, premises considered, judgment is hereby rendered:
No. 6627. It directed petitioners to pay respondents P148,500.00 (plus interest), which was the
amount respondents supposedly overpaid. The assailed January 4, 2011 Resolution of the Court 1. Ordering the defendants jointly and severally to pay the plaintiffs the sum of
of Appeals denied petitioners’ Motion for Reconsideration. P300,000.00 with interest at the rate of 30% per annum from the time the complaint
was filed on July 31, 2002 until fully paid;
The Regional Trial Court’s December 28, 2005 Decision ordered respondents to pay petitioners
the supposedly unpaid loan balance of P300,000.00 plus the allegedly stipulated interest rate of 2. Ordering the defendants to pay the plaintiffs the sum of P2,227.50 as
30% per annum, as well as litigation expenses and attorney’s fees.4 reimbursement for litigation expenses, and another sum of P5,000.00 as attorney’s
fees.
On July 31, 2002, petitioners Spouses Salvador and Alma Abella filed a Complaint5 for sum of
money and damages with prayer for preliminary attachment against respondents Spouses For lack of legal basis, plaintiffs’ claim for moral and exemplary damages has to be denied, and
Romeo and Annie Abella before the Regional Trial Court, Branch 8, Kalibo, Aklan. The case was for lack of merit the counter-claim is ordered dismissed.14
docketed as Civil Case No. 6627.6
In the Order dated March 13, 2006,15 the Regional Trial Court denied respondents’ Motion for
In their Complaint, petitioners alleged that respondents obtained a loan from them in the Reconsideration.
amount of P500,000.00. The loan was evidenced by an acknowledgment receipt dated March
22, 1999 and was payable within one (1) year. Petitioners added that respondents were able to
On respondents’ appeal, the Court of Appeals ruled that while respondents had indeed entered
pay a total of P200,000.00— P100,000.00 paid on two separate occasions—leaving an unpaid
into a simple loan with petitioners, respondents were no longer liable to pay the outstanding
balance of P300,000.00.7
amount of P300,000.00.16

In their Answer8 (with counterclaim and motion to dismiss), respondents alleged that the
The Court of Appeals reasoned that the loan could not have earned interest, whether as
amount involved did not pertain to a loan they obtained from petitioners but was part of the
contractually stipulated interest or as interest in the concept of actual or compensatory
capital for a joint venture involving the lending of money.9
damages. As to the loan’s not having earned stipulated interest, the Court of Appeals anchored
its ruling on Article 1956 of the Civil Code, which requires interest to be stipulated in writing for
Specifically, respondents claimed that they were approached by petitioners, who proposed that it to be due.17 The Court of Appeals noted that while the acknowledgement receipt showed that
if respondents were to "undertake the management of whatever money [petitioners] would give interest was to be charged, no particular interest rate was specified.18 Thus, at the time
them, [petitioners] would get 2.5% a month with a 2.5% service fee to [respondents]."10 The respondents were making interest payments of 2.5% per month, these interest payments were
2.5% that each party would be receiving represented their sharing of the 5% interest that the invalid for not being properly stipulated by the parties. As to the loan’s not having earned
joint venture was supposedly going to charge against its debtors. Respondents further alleged interest in the concept of actual or compensatory damages, the Court of Appeals, citing Eusebio-
that the one year averred by petitioners was not a deadline for payment but the term within Calderon v. People,19 noted that interest in the concept of actual or compensatory damages
which they were to return the money placed by petitioners should the joint venture prove to be accrues only from the time that demand (whether judicial or extrajudicial) is made. It reasoned
not lucrative. Moreover, they claimed that the entire amount of P500,000.00 was disposed of in that since respondents received petitioners’ demand letter only on July 12, 2002, any interest in
accordance with their agreed terms and conditions and that petitioners terminated the joint the concept of actual or compensatory damages due should be reckoned only from then. Thus,
venture, prompting them to collect from the joint venture’s borrowers. They were, however, the payments for the 2.5% monthly interest made after the perfection of the loan in 1999 but
able to collect only to the extent of P200,000.00; hence, the P300,000.00 balance remained before the demand was made in 2002 were invalid.20
unpaid.11
Since petitioners’ charging of interest was invalid, the Court of Appeals reasoned that all
In the Decision12 dated December 28, 2005, the Regional Trial Court ruled in favor of payments respondents made by way of interest should be deemed payments for the principal
petitioners. It noted that the terms of the acknowledgment receipt executed by respondents amount of P500,000.00.21
clearly showed that: (a) respondents were indebted to the extent of P500,000.00; (b) this
indebtedness was to be paid within one (1) year; and (c) the indebtedness was subject to

28 | P a g e
The Court of Appeals further noted that respondents made a total payment of P648,500.00, I
which, as against the principal amount of P500,000.00, entailed an overpayment of P148,500.00.
Applying the principle of solutio indebiti, the Court of Appeals concluded that petitioners were As noted by the Court of Appeals and the Regional Trial Court, respondents entered into a
liable to reimburse respondents for the overpaid amount of P148,500.00.22 The dispositive simple loan or mutuum, rather than a joint venture, with petitioners.
portion of the assailed Court of Appeals Decision reads:
Respondents’ claims, as articulated in their testimonies before the trial court, cannot prevail
WHEREFORE, the Decision of the Regional Trial Court is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE, and a over the clear terms of the document attesting to the relation of the parties. "If the terms of a
new one issued, finding that the Spouses Salvador and Alma Abella are DIRECTED to jointly and contract are clear and leave no doubt upon the intention of the contracting parties, the literal
severally pay Spouses Romeo and Annie Abella the amount of P148,500.00, with interest of 6% meaning of its stipulations shall control."32
interest (sic) per annum to be computed upon receipt of this decision, until full satisfaction
thereof. Upon finality of this judgment, an interest as the rate of 12% per annum, instead of 6%,
Articles 1933 and 1953 of the Civil Code provide the guideposts that determine if a contractual
shall be imposed on the amount due, until full payment thereof.23
relation is one of simple loan or mutuum:

In the Resolution24 dated January 4, 2011, the Court of Appeals denied petitioners’ Motion for
Art. 1933. By the contract of loan, one of the parties delivers to another, either something not
Reconsideration.
consumable so that the latter may use the same for a certain time and return it, in which case
the contract is called a commodatum; or money or other consumable thing, upon the condition
Aggrieved, petitioners filed the present appeal25 where they claim that the Court of Appeals that the same amount of the same kind and quality shall be paid, in which case the contract is
erred in completely striking off interest despite the parties’ written agreement stipulating it, as simply called a loan or mutuum.
well as in ordering them to reimburse and pay interest to respondents.
Commodatum is essentially gratuitous.
In support of their contentions, petitioners cite Article 1371 of the Civil Code,26 which calls for
the consideration of the contracting parties’ contemporaneous and subsequent acts in
Simple loan may be gratuitous or with a stipulation to pay interest.
determining their true intention. Petitioners insist that respondents’ consistent payment of
interest in the year following the perfection of the loan showed that interest at 2.5% per month
was properly agreed upon despite its not having been expressly stated in the acknowledgment In commodatum the bailor retains the ownership of the thing loaned, while in simple loan,
receipt. They add that during the proceedings before the Regional Trial Court, respondents ownership passes to the borrower.
admitted that interest was due on the loan.27
....
In their Comment,28 respondents reiterate the Court of Appeals’ findings that no interest rate
was ever stipulated by the parties and that interest was not due and demandable at the time Art. 1953. A person who receives a loan of money or any other fungible thing acquires the
they were making interest payments.29 ownership thereof, and is bound to pay to the creditor an equal amount of the same kind and
quality. (Emphasis supplied)
In their Reply,30 petitioners argue that even though no interest rate was stipulated in the
acknowledgment receipt, the case fell under the exception to the Parol Evidence Rule. They also On March 22, 1999, respondents executed an acknowledgment receipt to petitioners, which
argue that there exists convincing and sufficiently credible evidence to supplement the states:
imperfection of the acknowledgment receipt.31
Batan, Aklan
For resolution are the following issues:
March 22, 1999
First, whether interest accrued on respondents’ loan from petitioners. If so, at what rate?
This is to acknowledge receipt of the Amount of Five Hundred Thousand (P500,000.00) Pesos
Second, whether petitioners are liable to reimburse respondents for the latter’s supposed excess from Mrs. Alma R. Abella, payable within one (1) year from date hereof with interest.
payments and for interest.
Annie C. Abella (sgd.) Romeo M. Abella (sgd.)33 (Emphasis supplied)

29 | P a g e
The text of the acknowledgment receipt is uncomplicated and straightforward. It attests to: first, leaves no room for alternatives or otherwise does not allow for discretion. It requires the
respondents’ receipt of the sum of P500,000.00 from petitioner Alma Abella; second, application of the legal rate of interest.
respondents’ duty to pay back this amount within one (1) year from March 22, 1999; and third,
respondents’ duty to pay interest. Consistent with what typifies a simple loan, petitioners Our intervening Decision in Nacar v. Gallery Frames41 recognized that the legal rate of interest
delivered to respondents with the corresponding condition that respondents shall pay the same has been reduced to 6% per annum:
amount to petitioners within one (1) year.
Recently, however, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Monetary Board (BSP-MB), in its Resolution
II No. 796 dated May 16, 2013, approved the amendment of Section 2 of Circular No. 905, Series
of 1982 and, accordingly, issued Circular No. 799, Series of 2013, effective July 1, 2013, the
Although we have settled the nature of the contractual relation between petitioners and pertinent portion of which reads:
respondents, controversy persists over respondents’ duty to pay conventional interest, i.e.,
interest as the cost of borrowing money.34 The Monetary Board, in its Resolution No. 796 dated 16 May 2013, approved the following
revisions governing the rate of interest in the absence of stipulation in loan contracts, thereby
Article 1956 of the Civil Code spells out the basic rule that "[n]o interest shall be due unless it amending Section 2 of Circular No. 905, Series of 1982:
has been expressly stipulated in writing."
Section 1. The rate of interest for the loan or forbearance of any money, goods or credits and
On the matter of interest, the text of the acknowledgment receipt is simple, plain, and the rate allowed in judgments, in the absence of an express contract as to such rate of interest,
unequivocal. It attests to the contracting parties’ intent to subject to interest the loan extended shall be six percent (6%) per annum.
by petitioners to respondents. The controversy, however, stems from the acknowledgment
receipt’s failure to state the exact rate of interest. Section 2. In view of the above, Subsection X305.1 of the Manual of Regulations for Banks and
Sections 4305Q.1, 4305S.3 and 4303P.1 of the Manual of Regulations for
Jurisprudence is clear about the applicable interest rate if a written instrument fails to specify a
rate. In Spouses Toring v. Spouses Olan,35 this court clarified the effect of Article 1956 of the Non-Bank Financial Institutions are hereby amended accordingly.
Civil Code and noted that the legal rate of interest (then at 12%) is to apply: "In a loan or
forbearance of money, according to the Civil Code, the interest due should be that stipulated in
This Circular shall take effect on 1 July 2013.
writing, and in the absence thereof, the rate shall be 12% per annum."36

Thus, from the foregoing, in the absence of an express stipulation as to the rate of interest that
Spouses Toring cites and restates (practically verbatim) what this court settled in Security Bank
would govern the parties, the rate of legal interest for loans or forbearance of any money, goods
and Trust Company v. Regional Trial Court of Makati, Branch 61: "In a loan or forbearance of
or credits and the rate allowed in judgments shall no longer be twelve percent (12%) per annum
money, the interest due should be that stipulated in writing, and in the absence thereof, the rate
— as reflected in the case of Eastern Shipping Lines and Subsection X305.1 of the Manual of
shall be 12% per annum."37
Regulations for Banks and Sections 4305Q.1,= 4305S.3 and 4303P.1 of the Manual of Regulations
for Non- Bank Financial Institutions, before its amendment by BSP-MB Circular No. 799 — but
Security Bank also refers to Eastern Shipping Lines, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, which, in turn, will now be six percent (6%) per annum effective July 1, 2013. It should be noted, nonetheless,
stated:38 that the new rate could only be applied prospectively and not retroactively. Consequently, the
twelve percent (12%) per annum legal interest shall apply only until June 30, 2013. Come July 1,
1. When the obligation is breached, and it consists in the payment of a sum of money, i.e., a loan 2013 the new rate of six percent (6%) per annum shall be the prevailing rate of interest when
or forbearance of money, the interest due should be that which may have been stipulated in applicable.42 (Emphasis supplied, citations omitted)
writing. Furthermore, the interest due shall itself earn legal interest from the time it is judicially
demanded. In the absence of stipulation, the rate of interest shall be 12% per annum to be Nevertheless, both Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Circular No. 799, Series of 2013 and Nacar retain
computed from default, i.e., from judicial or extrajudicial demand under and subject to the the definite and mandatory framing of the rule articulated in Eastern Shipping, Security Bank,
provisions of Article 1169 of the Civil Code.39 (Emphasis supplied) and Spouses Toring. Nacar even restates Eastern Shipping:

The rule is not only definite; it is cast in mandatory language. From Eastern Shipping to Security To recapitulate and for future guidance, the guidelines laid down in the case of Eastern Shipping
Bank to Spouses Toring, jurisprudence has repeatedly used the word "shall," a term that has long Lines are accordingly modified to embody BSP-MB Circular No. 799, as follows:
been settled to denote something imperative or operating to impose a duty.40 Thus, the rule
30 | P a g e
.... specific rule spelled out in Security Bank and Spouses Toring finds preferential application as
against Article 1371.
1. When the obligation is breached, and it consists in the payment of a sum of money, i.e., a loan
or forbearance of money, the interest due should be that which may have been stipulated in Contrary to petitioners’ assertions, there is no room for entertaining extraneous (or parol)
writing. Furthermore, the interest due shall itself earn legal interest from the time it is judicially evidence. In Spouses Bonifacio and Lucia Paras v. Kimwa Construction and Development
demanded. In the absence of stipulation, the rate of interest shall be 6% per annum to be Corporation,47 we spelled out the requisites for the admission of parol evidence:
computed from default, i.e., from judicial or extrajudicial demand under and subject to the
provisions of Article 1169 of the Civil Code.43 (Emphasis supplied, citations omitted) In sum, two (2) things must be established for parol evidence to be admitted: first, that the
existence of any of the four (4) exceptions has been put in issue in a party’s pleading or has not
Thus, it remains that where interest was stipulated in writing by the debtor and creditor in a been objected to by the adverse party; and second, that the parol evidence sought to be
simple loan or mutuum, but no exact interest rate was mentioned, the legal rate of interest shall presented serves to form the basis of the conclusion proposed by the presenting party.48
apply. At present, this is 6% per annum, subject to Nacar’s qualification on prospective
application. The issue of admitting parol evidence is a matter that is proper to the trial, not the appellate,
stage of a case. Petitioners raised the issue of applying the exceptions to the Parol Evidence Rule
Applying this, the loan obtained by respondents from petitioners is deemed subjected to only in the Reply they filed before this court. This is the last pleading that either of the parties
conventional interest at the rate of 12% per annum, the legal rate of interest at the time the has filed in the entire string of proceedings culminating in this Decision. It is, therefore, too late
parties executed their agreement. Moreover, should conventional interest still be due as of July for petitioners to harp on this rule. In any case, what is at issue is not admission of evidence per
1, 2013, the rate of 12% per annum shall persist as the rate of conventional interest. se, but the appreciation given to the evidence adduced by the parties. In the Petition they filed
before this court, petitioners themselves acknowledged that checks supposedly attesting to
This is so because interest in this respect is used as a surrogate for the parties’ intent, as payment of monthly interest at the rate of 2.5% were admitted by the trial court (and marked as
expressed as of the time of the execution of their contract. In this sense, the legal rate of Exhibits "2," "3," "4," "5," "6," "7," and "8").49 What petitioners have an issue with is not the
interest is an affirmation of the contracting parties’ intent; that is, by their contract’s silence on a admission of these pieces of evidence but how these have not been appreciated in a manner
specific rate, the then prevailing legal rate of interest shall be the cost of borrowing money. This consistent with the conclusions they advance.
rate, which by their contract the parties have settled on, is deemed to persist regardless of shifts
in the legal rate of interest. Stated otherwise, the legal rate of interest, when applied as Even if it can be shown that the parties have agreed to monthly interest at the rate of 2.5%, this
conventional interest, shall always be the legal rate at the time the agreement was executed and is unconscionable. As emphasized in Castro v. Tan,50 the willingness of the parties to enter into
shall not be susceptible to shifts in rate. a relation involving an unconscionable interest rate is inconsequential to the validity of the
stipulated rate:
Petitioners, however, insist on conventional interest at the rate of 2.5% per month or 30% per
annum. They argue that the acknowledgment receipt fails to show the complete and accurate The imposition of an unconscionable rate of interest on a money debt, even if knowingly and
intention of the contracting parties. They rely on Article 1371 of the Civil Code, which provides voluntarily assumed, is immoral and unjust. It is tantamount to a repugnant spoliation and an
that the contemporaneous and subsequent acts of the contracting parties shall be considered iniquitous deprivation of property, repulsive to the common sense of man. It has no support in
should there be a need to ascertain their intent.44 In addition, they claim that this case falls law, in principles of justice, or in the human conscience nor is there any reason whatsoever
under the exceptions to the Parol Evidence Rule, as spelled out in Rule 130, Section 9 of the which may justify such imposition as righteous and as one that may be sustained within the
Revised Rules on Evidence.45 sphere of public or private morals.51

It is a basic precept in legal interpretation and construction that a rule or provision that treats a The imposition of an unconscionable interest rate is void ab initio for being "contrary to morals,
subject with specificity prevails over a rule or provision that treats a subject in general terms.46 and the law."52

The rule spelled out in Security Bank and Spouses Toring is anchored on Article 1956 of the Civil In determining whether the rate of interest is unconscionable, the mechanical application of pre-
Code and specifically governs simple loans or mutuum. Mutuum is a type of nominate contract established floors would be wanting. The lowest rates that have previously been considered
that is specifically recognized by the Civil Code and for which the Civil Code provides a specific unconscionable need not be an impenetrable minimum. What is more crucial is a consideration
set of governing rules: Articles 1953 to 1961. In contrast, Article 1371 is among the Civil Code of the parties’ contexts. Moreover, interest rates must be appreciated in light of the
provisions generally dealing with contracts. As this case particularly involves a simple loan, the fundamental nature of interest as compensation to the creditor for money lent to another,
which he or she could otherwise have used for his or her own purposes at the time it was lent. It

31 | P a g e
is not the default vehicle for predatory gain. As such, interest need only be reasonable. It ought Proceeding from these premises, we find that respondents made an overpayment in the amount
not be a supine mechanism for the creditor’s unjust enrichment at the expense of another. of P3,379.17.

Petitioners here insist upon the imposition of 2.5% monthly or 30% annual interest. As acknowledged by petitioner Salvador Abella, respondents paid a total of P200,000.00, which
Compounded at this rate, respondents’ obligation would have more than doubled—increased to was charged against the principal amount of P500,000.00. The first payment of P100,000.00 was
219.7% of the principal—by the end of the third year after which the loan was contracted if the made on June 30, 2001,55 while the second payment of P100,000.00 was made on December
entire principal remained unpaid. By the end of the ninth year, it would have multiplied more 30, 2001.56
than tenfold (or increased to 1,060.45%). In 2015, this would have multiplied by more than 66
times (or increased to 6,654.17%). Thus, from an initial loan of only P500,000.00, respondents The Court of Appeals’ September 30, 2010 Decision stated that respondents paid P6,000.00 in
would be obliged to pay more than P33 million. This is grossly unfair, especially since up to the March 1999.57
fourth year from when the loan was obtained, respondents had been assiduously delivering
payment. This reduces their best efforts to satisfy their obligation into a protracted servicing of a
The Pre-Trial Order dated December 2, 2002,58 stated that the parties admitted that "from the
rapacious loan.
time the principal sum of P500,000.00 was borrowed from [petitioners], [respondents] ha[d]
been religiously paying"59 what was supposedly interest "at the rate of 2.5% per month."60
The legal rate of interest is the presumptive reasonable compensation for borrowed money.
While parties are free to deviate from this, any deviation must be reasonable and fair. Any
From March 22, 1999 (after the loan was perfected) to June 22, 2001 (before respondents’
deviation that is far-removed is suspect. Thus, in cases where stipulated interest is more than
payment of P100,000.00 on June 30, 2001, which was deducted from the principal amount of
twice the prevailing legal rate of interest, it is for the creditor to prove that this rate is required
P500,000.00), the 2.5% monthly "interest" was pegged to the principal amount of P500,000.00.
by prevailing market conditions. Here, petitioners have articulated no such justification.
These monthly interests, thus, amounted to P12,500.00 per month. Considering that the period
from March 1999 to June 2001 spanned twenty seven (27) months, respondents paid a total of
In sum, Article 1956 of the Civil Code, read in light of established jurisprudence, prevents the P337,500.00.61
application of any interest rate other than that specifically provided for by the parties in their
loan document or, in lieu of it, the legal rate. Here, as the contracting parties failed to make a
From June 22, 2001 up to December 22, 2001 (before respondents’ payment of another
specific stipulation, the legal rate must apply. Moreover, the rate that petitioners adverted to is
P100,000.00 on December 30, 2001, which was deducted from the remaining principal amount
unconscionable. The conventional interest due on the principal amount loaned by respondents
of P400,000.00), the 2.5% monthly "interest" was pegged to the remaining principal amount of
from petitioners is held to be 12% per annum.
P400,000.00. These monthly interests, thus, amounted to P10,000.00 per month. Considering
that this period spanned six (6) months, respondents paid a total of P60,000.00.62
III
From after December 22, 2001 up to June 2002 (when petitioners filed their Complaint), the
Apart from respondents’ liability for conventional interest at the rate of 12% per annum, 2.5% monthly "interest" was pegged to the remaining principal amount of P300,000.00. These
outstanding conventional interest—if any is due from respondents—shall itself earn legal monthly interests, thus, amounted to P7,500.00 per month. Considering that this period
interest from the time judicial demand was made by petitioners, i.e., on July 31, 2002, when spanned six (6) months, respondents paid a total of P45,000.00.63
they filed their Complaint. This is consistent with Article 2212 of the Civil Code, which provides:
Applying these facts and the properly applicable interest rate (for conventional interest, 12% per
Art. 2212. Interest due shall earn legal interest from the time it is judicially demanded, although annum; for interest on conventional interest, 12% per annum from July 31, 2002 up to June 30,
the obligation may be silent upon this point. 2013 and 6% per annum henceforth), the following conclusions may be drawn:

So, too, Nacar states that "the interest due shall itself earn legal interest from the time it is By the end of the first year following the perfection of the loan, or as of March 21, 2000,
judicially demanded."53 P560,000.00 was due from respondents. This consisted of the principal of P500,000.00 and
conventional interest of P60,000.00.
Consistent with Nacar, as well as with our ruling in Rivera v. Spouses Chua,54 the interest due on
conventional interest shall be at the rate of 12% per annum from July 31, 2002 to June 30, 2013. Within this first year, respondents made twelve (12) monthly payments totalling P150,000.00
Thereafter, or starting July 1, 2013, this shall be at the rate of 6% per annum. (P12,500.00 each from April 1999 to March 2000). This was in addition to their initial payment of
P6,000.00 in March 1999.
IV
32 | P a g e
Application of payments must be in accordance with Article 1253 of the Civil Code, which reads: interest payments were now pegged to the supposedly remaining principal of
P300,000.00. Thus, during this period, they delivered three (3) monthly payments
Art. 1253. If the debt produces interest, payment of the principal shall not be deemed to have totaling P22,500.00.
been made until the interests have been covered.
Consistent with Article 1253 of the Civil Code, as respondents paid a total of P320,000.00 within
Thus, the payments respondents made must first be reckoned as interest payments. Thereafter, the third year, the conventional interest of P36,927.50 must be deemed fully paid and the
any excess payments shall be charged against the principal. As respondents paid a total of remaining amount that respondents paid (i.e., P283,702.40) is to be charged against the
P156,000.00 within the first year, the conventional interest of P60,000.00 must be deemed fully principal. This yields a balance of P18,777.60.
paid and the remaining amount that respondents paid (i.e., P96,000.00) is to be charged against
the principal. This yields a balance of P404,000.00. By the end of the second year following the By the end of the fourth year following the perfection of the loan, or as of March 21, 2003,
perfection of the loan, or as of March 21, 2001, P452,480.00 was due from respondents. This P21,203.51 would have been due from respondents. This consists of: (a) the outstanding
consisted of the outstanding principal of P404,000.00 and conventional interest of P48,480.00. principal of P18,777.60, (b) conventional interest of P2,253.31, and (c) interest due on
conventional interest starting from July 31, 2002, the date of judicial demand, in the amount of
Within this second year, respondents completed another round of twelve (12) monthly P172.60. The last (i.e., interest on interest) must be pro-rated. There were only 233 days from
payments totaling P150,000.00. July 31, 2002 (the date of judicial demand) to March 21, 2003 (the end of the fourth year); this
left 63.83% of the fourth year, within which interest on interest might have accrued. Thus, the
full annual interest on interest of 12% per annum could not have been completed, and only the
Consistent with Article 1253 of the Civil Code, as respondents paid a total of P156,000.00 within
proportional amount of 7.66% per annum may be properly imposed for the remainder of the
the second year, the conventional interest of P48,480.00 must be deemed fully paid and the
fourth year.
remaining amount that respondents paid (i.e., P101,520.00) is to be charged against the
principal. This yields a balance of P302,480.00.
From the end of March 2002 to June 2002, respondents delivered three (3) more monthly
payments of P7,500.00 each. Thus, during this period, they delivered three (3) monthly
By the end of the third year following the perfection of the loan, or as of March 21, 2002,
payments totalling P22,500.00.
P338,777.60 was due from respondents. This consists of the outstanding principal of
P302,480.00 and conventional interest of P36,297.60.
At this rate, however, payment would have been completed by respondents even before the end
of the fourth year. Thus, for precision, it is more appropriate to reckon the amounts due as
Within this third year, respondents paid a total of P320,000.00, as follows:
against payments made on a monthly, rather than an annual, basis.

(a) Between March 22, 2001 and June 30, 2001, respondents completed three (3)
By April 21, 2002, _18,965.38 (i.e., remaining principal of P18,777.60 plus pro-rated monthly
monthly payments of P12,500.00 each, totaling P37,500.00.
conventional interest at 1%, amounting to P187.78) would have been due from respondents.
Deducting the monthly payment of P7,500.00 for the preceding month in a manner consistent
(b) On June 30, 2001, respondents paid P100,000.00, which was charged as principal with Article 1253 of the Civil Code would yield a balance of P11,465.38.
payment.
By May 21, 2002, _11,580.03 (i.e., remaining principal of P11,465.38 plus pro-rated monthly
(c) Between June 30, 2001 and December 30, 2001, respondents delivered monthly conventional interest at 1%, amounting to P114.65) would have been due from respondents.
payments of P10,000.00 each. At this point, the monthly payments no longer Deducting the monthly payment of P7,500.00 for the preceding month in a manner consistent
amounted to P12,500.00 each because the supposed monthly interest payments were with Article 1253 of the Civil Code would yield a balance of P4,080.03.
pegged to the supposedly remaining principal of P400,000.00. Thus, during this period,
they paid a total of six (6) monthly payments totaling P60,000.00.
By June 21, 2002, P4,120.83 (i.e., remaining principal of P4,080.03 plus pro-rated monthly
conventional interest at 1%, amounting to P40.80) would have been due from respondents.
(d) On December 30, 2001, respondents paid P100,000.00, which, like the June 30, Deducting the monthly payment of P7,500.00 for the preceding month in a manner consistent
2001 payment, was charged against the principal. with Article 1253 of the Civil Code would yield a negative balance of P3,379.17.

(e) From the end of December 2002 to the end of February 2002, respondents Thus, by June 21, 2002, respondents had not only fully paid the principal and all the
delivered monthly payments of P7,500.00 each. At this point, the supposed monthly conventional interest that had accrued on their loan. By this date, they also overpaid P3,379.17.
33 | P a g e
Moreover, while hypothetically, interest on conventional interest would not have run from July Nevertheless, Nacar also provides:
31, 2002, no such interest accrued since there was no longer any conventional interest due from
respondents by then. 3. When the judgment of the court awarding a sum of money becomes final and executory, the
rate of legal interest, whether the case falls under paragraph 1 or paragraph 2, above, shall be
V 6% per annum from such finality until its satisfaction, this interim period being deemed to be by
then an equivalent to a forbearance of credit.68
As respondents made an overpayment, the principle of solutio indebiti as provided by Article
2154 of the Civil Code64 applies. Article 2154 reads: Thus, interest at the rate of 6% per annum may be properly imposed on the total judgment
award. This shall be reckoned from the finality of this Decision until its full satisfaction.
Article 2154. If something is received when there is no right to demand it, and it was unduly
delivered through mistake, the obligation to return it arises. WHEREFORE, the assailed September 30, 2010 Decision and the January 4, 2011 Resolution of
the Court of Appeals Nineteenth Division in CA-G.R. CV No. 01388 are SET ASIDE. Petitioners
In Moreno-Lentfer v. Wolff,65 this court explained the application of solutio indebiti: Spouses Salvador and Alma Abella are DIRECTED to jointly and severally reimburse respondents
Spouses Romeo and Annie Abella the amount of P3,379.17, which respondents have overpaid.
The quasi-contract of solutio indebiti harks back to the ancient principle that no one shall enrich
himself unjustly at the expense of another. It applies where (1) a payment is made when there A legal interest of 6% per annum shall likewise be imposed on the total judgment award from
exists no binding relation between the payor, who has no duty to pay, and the person who the finality of this Decision until its full satisfaction.
received the payment, and (2) the payment is made through mistake, and not through liberality
or some other cause.66 SO ORDERED.

As respondents had already fully paid the principal and all conventional interest that had G.R. No. 213792 June 22, 2015
accrued, they were no longer obliged to make further payments.1awp++i1 Any further payment
they made was only because of a mistaken impression that they were still due. Accordingly, GUILLERMO WACOY y BITOL, Petitioner,
petitioners are now bound by a quasi-contractual obligation to return any and all excess vs.
payments delivered by respondents. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent,

Nacar provides that "[w]hen an obligation, not constituting a loan or forbearance of money, is x-----------------------x
breached, an interest on the amount of damages awarded may be imposed at the discretion of
the court at the rate of 6% per annum."67 This applies to obligations arising from quasi-contracts
G.R. No. 213886
such as solutio indebiti.

JAMES QUIBAC y RAFAEL, Petitioner,


Further, Article 2159 of the Civil Code provides:
vs.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.
Art. 2159. Whoever in bad faith accepts an undue payment, shall pay legal interest if a sum of
money is involved, or shall be liable for fruits received or which should have been received if the
DECISION
thing produces fruits.

PERLAS-BERNABE, J.:
He shall furthermore be answerable for any loss or impairment of the thing from any cause, and
for damages to the person who delivered the thing, until it is recovered.
Assailed in these consolidated petitions for review on certiorari1 are the Decision2 dated
December 6, 2013 and the Resolution3 dated July 21, 2014 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-
Consistent however, with our finding that the excess payment made by respondents were borne
G.R. CR No. 34078, which, inter alia, found petitioners Guillermo Wacoy y Bitol (Wacoy) and
out of a mere mistake that it was due, we find it in the better interest of equity to no longer hold
James Quibac Rafael (Quibac) guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Homicide.
petitioners liable for interest arising from their quasi-contractual obligation.

34 | P a g e
The Facts nearby, cornered and kicked the latter, and the two engaged in a fist fight. Quibac came over to
pacify the two and told Wacoy to go home.8
In an Information dated June 10, 2004, Wacoy and Quibac were charged with the crime of
Homicide, defined and penalized under Article 249 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC), before the The RTC Ruling In a Judgment9 dated February 28, 2011, the RTC found Wacoy and Quibac guilty
Regional Trial Court of Benguet, Branch 10 (RTC), as follows: beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Death Caused in a Tumultuous Affray under Article 251
of the RPC and, accordingly, sentenced them to suffer the penalty of imprisonment for an
That on or about the 11th day of April 2004, at Ambongdolan, Municipality of Tublay, Province indeterminate period of six (6) months and one (1) day of prision correccional, as minimum, to
of Benguet, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named eight (8) years and one (1) day of prision mayor , as maximum, and ordered them to pay Aro's
accused, conspiring, confederating and mutually aiding each other, with intent to kill, did then heirs the amounts of ₱25,000.00 as temperate damages, ₱50,000.00 as civil indemnity ex
and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault, maul and kick the stomach of one delicto, and ₱50,000.00 as moral damages.10
ELNER ARO y LARUAN, thereby inflicting upon him blunt traumatic injuries which directly caused
his death thereafter. The RTC found that Benito's testimony on the mauling incident does not firmly establish that
Wacoy and Quibac conspired in the killing of Aro, and that the medical reports were neither
That the offense committed was attended by the aggravating circumstance of superior strength. categorical in stating that the injuries Aro sustained from the mauling directly contributed to his
CONTRARY TO LAW.4 death. 11

According to prosecution witness Edward Benito (Benito), at around 3 o'clock in the afternoon of In this relation, it opined that "[a]s conspiracy was not proven and the prosecution has failed to
April 11, 2004, he was eating corn at a sari-sari store located at Bungis Ambongdolan, Tublay, show the extent and effect of injury [that Wacoy and Quibac] personally inflicted on [Aro] that
Benguet, when he heard a commotion at a nearby establishment. Upon checking what the led to his death xx x," Wacoy and Quibac should be held criminally liable for the crime of Death
ruckus was all about, he saw his cousin, Elner Aro (Aro), already sprawled on the ground. While Caused in a Tumultuous Affray and not for Homicide.12
in that position, he saw Wacoy kick Aro's stomach twice, after which, Wacoy picked up a rock to
throw at Aro but was restrained from doing so. As Aro stood up, Quibac punched him on the Aggrieved, Wacoy and Quibac appealed to the CA.13
stomach, causing him to collapse and cry in pain. Thereafter, Aro was taken to the hospital.5
The CA Ruling
At the hospital, Aro was diagnosed to be suffering from "blunt abdominal trauma with injury to
the jejunum" and was set for operation. It was then discovered that he sustained a perforation In a Decision14 dated December 6, 2013, the CA modified Wacoy and Quibac's conviction to that
on his ileum, i.e., the point where the small and large intestines meet, that caused intestinal of Homicide under A1iicle 249 of the RPC with the mitigating circumstance of lack of intent to
bleeding, and that his entire abdominal peritoneum was filled with air and fluid contents from commit so grave a wrong, and accordingly adjusted their prison term to an indeterminate period
the bile. However, Aro suffered cardiac arrest during the operation, and while he was revived of six (6) years and one (1) day of prision mayor, as minimum, to twelve (12) years and one ( 1)
through cardiopulmonary resuscitation, he lapsed into a coma after the operation.6 day of reclusion temporal, as maximum. Further, the CA also imposed a legal interest of six
percent ( 6%) per annum on the damages awarded by the RTC pursuant to prevailing
Due to financial constraints, Aro was taken out of the hospital against the doctor's orders and jurisprudence.15
eventually, died the next day. While Aro's death certificate indicated that the cause of his
In so ruling, the CA gave credence to Benito's simple, direct, and straightforward testimony. In
death was "cardiopulmonary arrest antecedent to a perforated ileum and generalized peritonitis this relation, it observed that the mere fact that Benito is Aro's cousin should not militate against
secondary to mauling," an autopsy performed on his remains revealed that the cause of his his credibility since there was no proof that his testimony was driven by any ill motive.16
death was "rupture of the aorta secondary to blunt traumatic injuries."7 However, contrary to the RTC's findings, the CA ruled that Wacoy and Quibac should not be
convicted of the crime of Death Caused in a Tumultuous Affray since there were only (2) persons
In their defense, herein petitioners, Wacoy and Quibac, denied the charge against them. They who inflicted harm on the victim, and that there was no tumultuous affray involving several
averred that while playing pool, they saw Aro drunk and lying down. Suddenly, Aro became persons. Instead, they were convicted of the crime of Homicide, with the mitigating
unruly and kicked the leg of the pool table, causing Wacoy to shout and pick up a stone to throw circumstance of lack of intent to commit so grave a wrong appreciated as it was shown that the
at Aro but Quibac pacified him. They also claimed that Aro almost hit Wacoy with a 2x3 piece of purpose of their assault on Aro was only to maltreat or inflict physical harm on him.17
wood if not for Quibac' s intervention. Wacoy ran but Aro chased him and then tripped and fell
to the ground. Quiniquin Carias (Kinikin), Aro's companion, followed Wacoy to the waiting shed

35 | P a g e
Aggrieved, Wacoy and Quibac separately moved for reconsideration. 18 In a Resolution19 dated identified.22 Based on case law, a tumultuous affray takes place when a quarrel occurs between
July 21, 2014, the CA denied Quibac's motions for reconsideration;20 hence, the instant several persons and they engage in a confused and tumultuous affray, in the course of which
petitions. some person is killed or wounded and the author thereof cannot be ascertained.23

The Issue Before the Court On the other hand, the crime of Homicide is defined and penalized under Article 249 of the RPC,
which reads:
The core issue for the Court's resolution is whether or not the CA correctly found Wacoy and
Quibac guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Homicide. Art. 249. Homicide. - Any person who, not falling within the provisions of Article 246, shall kill
another, without the attendance of any of the circumstances enumerated in the next preceding
The Court's Ruling article, shall be deemed guilty of homicide and be punished by reclusion temporal. The elements
of Homicide are the following: (a) a person was killed; (b) the accused killed him without any
justifying circumstance; (c) the accused had the intention to kill, which is presumed; and (d) the
The petition is without merit.
killing was not attended by any of the qualifying circumstances of Murder, or by that of Parricide
or Infanticide.24
At the outset, it must be stressed that in criminal cases, an appeal throws the entire case wide
open for review and the reviewing tribunal can correct errors, though unassigned in the
In the instant case, there was no tumultuous affray between groups of persons in the course of
appealed judgment, or even reverse the trial court's decision based on grounds other than those
which Aro died.1âwphi1 On the contrary, the evidence clearly established that there were only
that the parties raised as errors. The appeal confers upon the appellate court full jurisdiction
two (2) persons, Wacoy and Quibac, who picked on one defenseless individual, Aro, and
over the case and renders such court competent to examine records, revise the judgment
attacked him repeatedly, taking turns in inflicting punches and kicks on the poor victim. There
appealed from, increase the penalty, and cite the proper provision of the penal law.21
was no confusion and tumultuous quarrel or affray, nor was there a reciprocal aggression in that
fateful incident.25 Since Wacoy and Quibac were even identified as the ones who assaulted Aro,
Proceeding from the foregoing, the Court agrees with the CA's ruling modifying Wacoy and the latter's death cannot be said to have been caused in a tumultuous affray.26 Therefore, the
Quibac' s conviction from Death Caused in a Tumultuous Affray to that of Homicide, as will be CA correctly held that Wacoy and Quibac' s act of mauling Aro was the proximate cause27 of the
explained hereunder. latter's death; and as such, they must be held criminally liable therefore, specifically for the
crime of Homicide.
Article 251 of the RPC defines and penalizes the crime of Death Caused in a Tumultuous Affray
as follows: On this note, the Court does not find merit in Wacoy's contention that in view of their intent
only to inflict slight physical injuries on Aro, they should only be meted the corresponding
Art. 251. Death caused in a tumultuous affray. - When, while several persons, not composing penalty therefore in its maximum period,28 pursuant to Article 49 of the RPC. The said provision
groups organized for the common purpose of assaulting and attacking each other reciprocally, reads:
quarrel and assault each other in a confused and tumultuous manner, and in the course of the
affray someone is killed, and it cannot be ascertained who actually killed the deceased, but the Art. 49. Penalty to be imposed upon the principals when the crime committed is different from
person or persons who inflicted serious physical injuries can be identified, such person or that intended. - In cases in which the felony committed is different from that which the offender
persons shall be punished by prision mayor. intended to commit, the following rules shall be observed.

If it cannot be determined who inflicted the serious physical injuries on the deceased, the 1. If the penalty prescribed for the felony committed be higher than that
penalty of prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods shall be imposed upon all corresponding to the offense which the accused intended to commit, the penalty
those who shall have used violence upon the person of the victim. corresponding to the latter shall be imposed in its maximum period.

The elements of Death Caused in a Tumultuous Affray are as follows: (a) that there be several 2. If the penalty prescribed for the felony committed be lower than that corresponding
persons; (b) that they did not compose groups organized for the common purpose of assaulting to the one which the accused intended to commit, the penalty for the former shall be
and attacking each other reciprocally; (c) that these several persons quarrelled and assaulted imposed in its maximum period.
one another in a confused and tumultuous manner; (d) that someone was killed in the course of
the affray; (e) that it cannot be ascertained who actually killed the deceased; and (j) that the
3. The rule established by the next preceding paragraph shall not be applicable if the
person or persons who inflicted serious physical injuries or who used violence can be
acts committed by the guilty person shall also constitute an attempt or frustration of
36 | P a g e
another crime, if the law prescribes a higher penalty for either of the latter offenses, in maximum, and ordered to pay the heirs of Elner Aro the amounts of ₱25,000.00 as temperate
which case the penalty provided for the attempt or the frustrated crime shall be damages, ₱75,000.00 as civil indemnity ex delicto, and ₱75,000.00 as moral damages, all with
imposed in the maximum period. interest at the rate of six percent (6%) per annum from the finality of this Decision until fully
paid.
Jurisprudence instructs that such provision should only apply where the crime committed is
different from that intended and where the felony committed befalls a different person (error in SO ORDERED.
personae); and not to cases where more serious consequences not intended by the offender
result from his felonious act (praeter intentionem),29 [G.R. NO. 177756 : March 3, 2008]

as in this case. It is well-settled that if the victim dies because of a deliberate act of the PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. SALVADOR NIETO y CABALSE @ "ADOR",
malefactors, intent to kill is conclusively presumed.30 In such case, even if there is no intent to Accused-Appellant.
kill, the crime is Homicide because with respect to crimes of personal violence, the penal law
looks particularly to the material results following the unlawful act and holds the aggressor
DECISION
responsible for all the consequences thereof.31

CHICO-NAZARIO, J.:
Be that as it may, the penalty for the crime of Homicide must be imposed in its minimum period
due to the presence of the mitigating circumstance of lack of intention to commit so grave a
wrong under Article 13 (3) of the RPC in favor of Wacoy and Quibac, as correctly appreciated by For review is the Decision1 dated 31 October 2006 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR-HC No.
the CA. In determining the presence of this circumstance, it must be considered that since 02006, which affirmed the Decision2 dated 15 September 2000 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC)
intention is a mental process and is an internal state of mind, the accused's intention must be of Urdaneta City, Branch 46, in Criminal Cases No. U-10586 and No. U-10587, finding herein
judged by his conduct and external overt acts.32 In this case, the aforesaid mitigating appellant Salvador Nieto y Cabalse @ "Ador" guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of
circumstance is available to Wacoy and Quibac, given the absence of evidence showing that, simple rape in both cases committed against AAA,3 a mental retardate with a mental age of five
apart from kicking and punching Aro on the stomach, something else had been done; thus, years and three months, and sentencing him in each case to suffer the penalty of reclusion
evincing the purpose of merely maltreating or inflicting physical harm, and not to end the life of perpetua, and to indemnify AAA in the amount of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity and P20,000.00
Aro. as exemplary damages with the modification for an additional award of moral damages
amounting to P50,000.00.
Anent the proper penalty to be imposed on Wacoy and Quibac, the CA correctly imposed the
penalty of imprisonment for an indeterminate period of six ( 6) years and one ( 1) day of prision On 13 March 2000, appellant was charged in two separate Informations with the crime of rape,
mayor, as minimum, to twelve (12) years and one (1) day of reclusion temporal, as maximum, as defined and penalized under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Republic
taking into consideration the provisions of the Indeterminate Sentence Law. Act No. 8353,4 committed against AAA on 30 December 1999 and 3 January 2000, respectively.
The two Informations read as follows:
Finally, the awards of civil indemnity and moral damages in the original amount of ₱50,000.00
each are increased to ₱75,000.00 each in order to conform with prevailing jurisprudence.33 All Criminal Case No. U-10586
other awards, as well as the imposition of interest at the rate of six percent ( 6%) per annum on
all the monetary awards from the date of finality of judgment until the same are fully paid, are The undersigned accuses SALVADO NIETO alias "Ador," of the crime of RAPE, committed as
retained. follows:

WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The Decision dated December 6, 2013 and the Resolution That on or about [3 January 2000] at Brgy. xxx, [Municipality of] xxx, [Province of] XXX, and
dated July 21, 2014 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR No. 34078 are hereby AFFIRMED with within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused by means of force, did
MODIFICATION. Accordingly, petitioners Guillermo Wacoy y Bitol and James Quibac y Rafael are then and there wilfully (sic), unlawfully and feloniously have sexual intercourse with AAA, a
found GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Homicide defined and penalized under mentally retardate with mental age of five (5) years and three (3) months, without her consent
Article 249 of the Revised Penal Code with the mitigating circumstance of lack of intent to and against her will, to her damage and prejudice.
commit so grave a wrong under Article 13 (3) of the same Code. They are sentenced to suffer
the penalty of imprisonment for an indeterminate period of six ( 6) years and one (1) day of CONTRARY to Art. 335, Revised Penal Code, as amended by R.A. 8353.5
prision mayor, as minimum, to twelve (12) years and one (1) day of reclusion temporal, as

37 | P a g e
Criminal Case No. U-10587 AAA revealed her harrowing experience in the hands of the appellant to her sister, DDD, and
brother, EEE. Her brother cried when she told him about her ordeal; but, her sister was brave
The undersigned accuses SALVADOR NIETO Y CABALSE, alias "Ador," of the crime of RAPE, enough to tell their mother what had happened to AAA.11
committed as follows:
AAA, accompanied by her sister and aunt, went to the police station to report the rape incidents
That on or about [30 December 1999] at Brgy. XXX, [Municipality of] XXX, [Province of] XXX and that happened to her on 30 December 1999 and 3 January 2000. They also went to the hospital
within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused by means of force, in Urdaneta, Pangasinan, where AAA was physically examined by Dr. Francisco Llamas.12
brought and carried at the ricefield AAA, a mentally retardate with a mental age of five (5) years
and three (3) months, did then and there wilfully (sic), unlawfully and feloniously have sexual During her cross-examination, AAA disclosed that she had been previously raped, five times, by
intercourse with said AAA, without her consent and against her will, to her damage and one Arsenio Corpuz when she was still living in Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija.13
prejudice.
SPO3 Maximiano Balelo corroborated the testimony of AAA. He admitted that AAA was brought
CONTRARY to Art. 335, Revised Penal Code, as amended by R.A. 8353.6 to him for investigation on 6 January 2000. He took the statements of AAA and those of AAA's
sister and aunt. AAA told him that she was sexually abused by the appellant on two occasions.
When arraigned on 17 April 2000, appellant, assisted by counsel de oficio, pleaded NOT GUILTY The first rape incident happened on 30 December 1999 and the second was on 3 January 2000.14
to the charges against him. Thereafter, trial on the merits ensued. The statements15 of AAA, her sister and aunt were reduced into writing. He recorded the rape
incidents report in the Police Blotter under Entry No. 02858.16
The pieces of evidence presented by the prosecution to prove its allegations are the testimonies
of the following witnesses: AAA, the victim; SPO3 Maximiano Balelo, Chief Investigator of the Dr. Francisco Llamas, the Medico-Legal Officer of Pozorrubio Community Hospital affirmed that
Pozorrubio Philippine National Police (PNP); Dr. Francisco Llamas, Medico-Legal Officer of the he physically examined AAA on 6 January 2000. On the basis of such examination, he said that
Pozorrubio Community Hospital; and Ruby Martinez Bell, the psychologist at the Philippine he did not find any physical injury on AAA's head and neck. He noticed, however, that there
Mental Health Association, Inc., Baguio-Benguet Chapter. were some hyperemic or red areas on AAA's breasts. AAA also had a healed laceration on her
hymen at the 6:00 o'clock position. He concluded that the said laceration could have been
caused by a blunt object, possibly an erect penis, which was inserted into AAA's vagina. He
AAA was already 24 years old when the alleged first rape incident happened. Her parents BBB
further stated that AAA's healed laceration was already a day old. 17 He also reduced his findings
and CCC were already separated.7 Since the separation, she started to live with her grandmother
into writing as evidenced by the Medico-Legal Report.18
in Barangay XXX, Municipality of XXX, Province of XXX, up to the present. AAA only reached
Grade II because of her illnesses.8
Ruby Martinez Bell, the psychologist who examined19 AAA to determine her mental condition,
was also presented by the prosecution to prove the allegation that AAA is indeed a mental
In her testimony, AAA stated that on the night of 30 December 1999, while she was alone at the
retardate. The said psychologist declared that she gave AAA a Stanford-Binet Test, Draw-a-
house of her grandmother, who was in Malokiat, Pangasinan at that time, somebody entered
Person Test, Bender-Gestalt Test and Vineyard Social Maturity Scale and she even attempted to
their house. She then recognized that somebody to be the herein appellant, who was also their
give AAA a Sentence Completion Test, but AAA could not do it as she could not understand the
neighbor. According to AAA, the appellant approached her, fooled her and pulled her out of
same. Based on the result of the psychological tests, she concluded that AAA belonged to the
their house and brought her to the nearby farmland. In the farmland, the appellant removed all
severely mentally retarded category with an Intelligence Quotient (I.Q.) of 30 and an I.Q. level
his clothes. He likewise undressed her. When they were both naked, the appellant started to
equivalent to that of a five-year-and-three-month-old child. She further stated that on the basis
fondle her breasts. Thereafter, the appellant inserted his penis into her vagina. As a result, she
of the different tests she gave to AAA, she noticed that AAA was unable to comprehend those
felt so much pain in her private part.9
tests. Although she can recognize some common objects, she cannot, however, do much in
terms of reasoning and definition of abstract terms.20
Again, on the night of 3 January 2000, while AAA's grandmother was in Manila, the appellant
went to their house. Initially, appellant struck up a conversation with her. When the appellant
On the part of the defense, it presented the testimony of the following witnesses to prove that it
learned that AAA's grandmother went to Manila and that only the two of them were in the said
was impossible for the appellant to have raped AAA on 30 December 1999 and 3 January 2000,
house, the appellant began to force her to have sexual intercourse with him. She resisted, but
namely: Calixto Parocha; Ernesto Salvatierra; CCC, the father of the victim; Dominador Nieto, the
the appellant was much stronger than her; hence, despite her resistance, appellant succeeded in
brother of the appellant; Leticia Nieto, the sister-in-law of the appellant; and herein appellant.
inserting his penis into her vagina.10

38 | P a g e
The testimonies of Calixto Parocha, Ernesto Salvatierra and CCC focused on the rape incident After trial, the RTC rendered the assailed Decision on 15 September 2000, finding the appellant
that happened to AAA while she was still in Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija, which was allegedly committed guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of simple rape in both cases. The decretal portion
by Arsenio Corpuz. The aforesaid witnesses admitted that their statements before the trial court of the aforesaid Decision reads, thus:
were given in connection with the rape incident that happened in Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija, and not
on the matters that transpired in Barangay XXX, Municipality of XXX, Province of XXX.21 WHEREFORE, JUDGMENT is hereby rendered CONVICTING beyond reasonable doubt SALVADOR
Obviously, the testimonies of these witnesses are irrelevant insofar as this case is concerned. NIETO of the crime of Simple Rape and the Court sentences him:

According to Dominador Nieto, on the night of 30 December 1999, he was at the barangay 1. CRIM. CASE NO. U-10586, to suffer the penalty of Reclusion perpetua; to indemnify AAA the
dance party acting as a guard because he was a member of the barangay Civilian Volunteers sum of P50,000.00 and to pay another sum of P20,000.00 as exemplary damages;
Organization. He claimed that the appellant was also at the said party because he was the
barangay electrician and he was there to fix the lightings. Both of them went there at about 7:00
2. CRIM. CASE NO. U-10587, to suffer the penalty of Reclusion perpetua; to indemnify AAA the
p.m. and they stayed there until 3:00 a.m. of 31 December 1999. And from that period, there
sum of P50,000.00 and to pay another sum of P20,000.00 as exemplary damages.26
was never an instance that the appellant left the dance party. However, in his cross-
examination, he admitted that the place where the dance party was held was only one kilometer
away from the place where the rape incident happened.22 The records of this case were originally transmitted before this Court on appeal. Pursuant to
People v. Mateo,27 the records were transferred to the Court of Appeals for appropriate action
and disposition.
Leticia Nieto testified that she is the wife of Melecio Nieto, the brother of the appellant. She
stated that on 3 January 2000, the appellant went to their house at around 6:00 p.m. in order to
compute the cost of the materials for the construction of the terrace and main door of their In his brief, the appellant's lone assignment of error was, the court a quo gravely erred in finding
house. The appellant also had dinner with them at around 8:00 p.m. and stayed there until 11:00 appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape.28
p.m. After that, the appellant went home. She likewise stated that their house was only 20
meters away from the house of the appellant and 100 meters away from the house of the Accordingly, the Court of Appeals, taking into consideration the assignment of error stated by
complainant.23 the appellant in his Appellant's Brief and after a thorough study of the records of the case,
rendered a Decision on 31 October 2006, affirming the conviction of the appellant for two
Appellant was the final witness presented by the defense. The justification offered by him by counts of simple rape with the modification for an additional award of moral damages in the
way of exculpation was both denial and alibi. He denied having seen AAA on 30 December 1999 amount of P50,000.00 in each case. The dispositive portion of the Decision reads:
and 3 January 2000; thus, it was impossible for him to have committed the offenses he was
charged with. He maintained that on 30 December 1999, he was at the barangay dance hall. WHEREFORE, the Decision of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 46, of Urdaneta City dated 15
Being the barangay electrician, he was designated to install the sound system and the lights to September 2000 is hereby AFFIRMED with a modification that an additional award of moral
be used at the dance party. He went there at around 7:00 p.m. and stayed there until 3:00 a.m. damages amounting to P50,000.00 each in both instances is hereby awarded to the
of 31 December 1999. Further, on 3 January 2000, he testified that he was at his brother's house complainant.29
located about 20 meters away from his house. His brother is Melecio Nieto, the husband of
Leticia Nieto. He stated that he went to his brother's house at around 6:00 p.m. to talk about the The appellant filed a Notice of Appeal.30 In view thereof, the appellate court forwarded to this
cost of the materials to be used in constructing the terrace and main door of his brother's house. Court the records of this case.
He even ate dinner there at around 8:00 p.m. He stayed there until 11:00 p.m. and then he went
home.24
On 11 July 2007,31 this Court resolved to accept the present case and notify the parties that they
may file their respective supplemental briefs, if they so desired. Both the Office of the Solicitor
During his cross-examination, he affirmed that the dance hall where he was on 30 December General and the appellant manifested that they were adopting their respective briefs dated 30
1999 was only a kilometer away from the house of the complainant. A tricycle could reach the May 2002 and 24 January 2002, filed before the appellate court, respectively, as their
said house as it was near the road. By walking, he could reach the said house in about an hour. supplemental briefs.
Likewise, he admitted that the house of his brother was more than 100 meters away from the
house of the complainant and the house of the latter was about 80 meters away from his
house.25 After a meticulous review of the records of the present case, this Court finds no reason to
reverse the judgment of the trial court and the appellate court.

39 | P a g e
There appears to be no controversy that the victim in this case is a mental retardate. Such fact Q: How many times did Jolin-jolin or Arsenio Corpuz fuck you?cralawred
was proven by the testimony of Ruby Martinez Bell, the psychologist who examined AAA to
determine her mental condition, and by the psychological report she prepared. The series of A: Five times, your Honor.
psychological tests she gave to AAA revealed that the latter is a mental retardate. AAA belonged
to the severely mentally retarded category with an I.Q. of 30 and an I.Q. level equivalent to that
Q: That five times that Jolin-jolin or Arsenio Corpuz fucked you, was it on the same day or on
of a five-year-and-three-month-old child.32 Thus, the only issue left for this Court's resolution is
different days?cralawred
the credibility of the victim's testimony as regards the fact of sexual congress between her and
the appellant.
A: Different dates but successive nights, your Honor.
The appellant averred that the testimony of AAA should be disregarded, as there are serious and
inexplicable discrepancies in material details in the said testimony; hence, there is doubt as to its Q: Did you mother come to know what Jolin-jolin did to you in Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija?cralawred
credibility. The discrepancies referred to by the appellant were embodied in the following
testimony of the victim during her cross-examination regarding an alleged prior rape incident A: When I was already in [Brgy. xxx], sir.
with another person, thus:
xxx
Q: Madam Witness, will you tell us of your experience while you were in Cuyapo, Nueva
Ecija?cralawred Q: [The appellant] is a relative of your father, am I correct?cralawred

A: I lived in Cuyapo. What happened there is another thing. A: My grandparents are the relatives of [the appellant] and they are neighbors, sir.

Q: You said that what happened there is another thing, will you tell us what is that another Q: And because of what Jolin-jolin did to you in Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija, you cannot forget that
thing?cralawred anymore?cralawred

A: The brother of the wife of my father fooled me also, sir. A: I always remember it, sir.

COURT: Who raped you?cralawred Q: That is why whenever you see [the appellant] you remember what happened to you in
Cuyapo?
A: Jolin-jolin raped me, sir.
A: I can also remember what he did to me, sir.
Q: Who is Jolin-jolin?cralawred
Q: Eventhough [the appellant] did not really fuck you you said he fucked you because of what
A: The husband of the sister of my father, sir. happened to you in Cuyapo, is that correct?

ATTY. FLORENDO: You are referring to Arsenio Corpuz, am I correct?cralawred A: Yes, sir.33 (Emphases supplied.)

A: Yes, sir. The aforesaid argument raised by the appellant is untenable.

Q: In other words, Arsenio Corpuz raped you also while you were in Cuyapo, Nueva Sexual crimes where the culprit denies culpability is actually a test of credibility. The issue of
Ecija?cralawred credibility has, time and again, been settled by this Court as a question best addressed to the
province of the trial court because of its unique position of having observed that elusive and
A: Yes, sir, he raped me. incommunicable evidence of the witnesses' deportment on the stand while testifying, which
opportunity is denied to the appellate courts. Absent any substantial reason which would justify
the reversal of the trial court's assessments and conclusions, the reviewing court is generally
xxx
bound by the former's findings, particularly when no significant facts and circumstances are
40 | P a g e
shown to have been overlooked or disregarded which when considered would have affected the It bears emphasis that in the victim's testimony during her cross-examination, she admitted that
outcome of the case.34 The rule finds an even more stringent application where the said findings Arsenio Corpuz, also known as "Jolin-jolin," raped her five times at the time when she was still
are sustained by the Court of Appeals.35 in Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija. She also affirmed that "Jolin-jolin" was a relative of her father. She
emphasized, though, that what happened in Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija, was "another thing." On the
In the present case, no cogent reason can be appreciated to warrant a departure from the other hand, when she testified as regards the rape incident that had happened to her in Brgy.
findings of the trial court with respect to the assessment of AAA's testimony. XXX, Municipality of XXX, province of XXX, she revealed that it was the appellant who had
raped her twice. The first rape incident was on 30 December 1999 and the second rape incident
happened on 3 January 2000. She also said that the appellant was a relative of her
As can be gleaned from the records of this case, this Court notes that the testimony given by
grandparents. With the said testimony of the victim, it cannot be said that she only filed a case
AAA before the trial court can be characterized as categorical and straightforward. She was able
against the appellant because of what had happened to her in Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija, and that she
to describe before the court a quo how she was ravished by the appellant on 30 December 1999
was just confused as to the identity of her assailant.
and 3 January 2000. She even demonstrated the sexual act by spreading her two legs and placing
her finger to her vagina.36 And during her testimony, she positively identified the appellant as
the person who had raped her on the aforesaid dates.37 The straightforward narration of AAA of As this Court previously stated, AAA positively identified the appellant as the person who had
what transpired, accompanied by her categorical identification of appellant as the malefactor, raped her on 30 December 1999 and 3 January 2000. Her narration of the rape incidents was
sealed the case for the prosecution.38 Further, it was not shown that she had been motivated by categorical and straightforward. Therefore, despite the imagined discrepancies in her testimony
any ill desire that would make her testify falsely against the accused. Moreover, having the during her cross-examination, it is beyond cavil of doubt that the appellant was the real
mental age of a five-year-and-three-month-old child would even bolster her credibility as a perpetrator of the crime of rape against AAA.
witness considering that a victim at such tender age would not publicly admit that she had been
criminally abused and ravished unless that was the truth. For no woman, especially one of Hence, this Court agrees in the findings of both the trial court and the appellate court that the
tender age, practically only a girl, would concoct a story of defloration, allow an examination of testimony of AAA was credible and deserves full faith and credit.
her private parts and thereafter expose herself to a public trial, if she were not motivated solely
by the desire to have the culprit apprehended and punished to avenge her honor and to In stark contrast to the simple but clear declarations of AAA, all that the appellant stresses in his
condemn a grave injustice to her.39 defense are denial and alibi.

More so, hymenal lacerations, whether healed or fresh, are the best physical evidence of It is an established jurisprudential rule that a mere denial, without any strong evidence to
forcible defloration. And when the unwavering and forthright testimony of a rape victim is support it, can scarcely overcome the positive declaration by the victim of the identity and
consistent with the medical findings, there is sufficient basis to warrant a conclusion that the involvement of appellant in the crimes attributed to him.42 The defense of alibi is likewise
essential requisites of carnal knowledge have been established.40 In this case, Dr. Llamas's unavailing. Firstly, alibi is the weakest of all defenses, because it is easy to concoct and difficult
medical findings showed that AAA's hymen had a day-old healed laceration at the 6 o'clock to disprove. Unless substantiated by clear and convincing proof, such defense is negative, self-
position, which, according to Dr. Llamas, could have resulted from sexual intercourse. Thus, the serving, and undeserving of any weight in law.43 Secondly, alibi is unacceptable when there is a
said medical findings, together with the straightforward testimony of AAA, even strengthen her positive identification of the accused by a credible witness. 44 Lastly, in order that alibi might
claim of sexual violation by appellant. prosper, it is not enough to prove that the accused has been somewhere else during the
commission of the crime; it must also be shown that it would have been impossible for him to be
The appellant cannot find protection in the discrepancies in the victim's testimony during her anywhere within the vicinity of the crime scene.45
cross-examination to relieve him from culpability. As the Court of Appeals opined in its Decision,
thus: In the case at bar, the appellant denied that he had raped AAA. He avowed that on the 30
December 1999, the date of the first rape incident, he was at the barangay dance party because,
The Court notes that the prior alleged rape is not relevant in the present case. The previous being the barangay electrician, he was tasked to set up the sound system and the lightings. On 3
rape, if it indeed occur (sic), cannot in anyway prove that [appellant] did not rape AAA. January 2000, the date of the second rape incident, he claimed to have been in the house of her
Moreover, considering the mental age of the victim and the tenor of questions asked during brother to compute the cost of materials to be used in the construction of the terrace and main
the cross-examination, it is understandable why AAA gave the apparently conflicting answers. door in his brother's house. Such claims of the appellant were corroborated by other defense
What is important is that during her direct examination, she testified that [appellant] had witnesses.
sexual intercourse with her.41 (Emphasis supplied.)
This Court notes that the witnesses who corroborated the testimony of the appellant that he
was somewhere else during the commission of the rapes were his brother, Dominador Nieto,

41 | P a g e
and sister-in-law, Leticia Nieto. Because they were his close relatives, we cannot give credence crime by the offender.51 Thus, this Court finds the award of moral damages by the appellate
to their testimonies. The testimonies of close relatives and friends are necessarily suspect and court in the amount of P50,000.00 for each count of rape proper.
cannot prevail over the unequivocal declaration of the complaining witness.46
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR-HC No.
The appellant also failed to present convincing proof that it was physically impossible for him to 02006 dated 31 October 2006 finding herein appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of two
be at the locus criminis during the aforementioned dates when the separate acts of rape were counts of simple rape committed against AAA, a mental retardate with a mental age equivalent
committed. to a five-year-and-three-month-old child, and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of reclusion
perpetua for each count, is hereby AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that the amount of
Surprisingly, the appellant himself, as well as Dominador Nieto, admitted before the trial court exemplary damages awarded by the lower courts is deleted for want of legal basis. Costs against
that the place where the dance party was held on 30 December 1999 was only one kilometer appellant.
away from the place where the rape incident happened. The appellant even affirmed that a
tricycle could reach the said house as it was near the road. And by walking, he could reach the SO ORDERED.
house in about an hour. He likewise admitted that the house of his brother where he stayed
until 11:00 p.m. on 3 January 2000 was only more than 100 meters away from the house of the
complainant and the house of the latter was only about 80 meters away from his house.47
Therefore, the appellant failed to establish by clear and convincing evidence that it was
physically impossible for him to be at the scene of the crime at the time of its commission.

In sum, the straightforward testimony of AAA, as well as her unwavering and positive
identification of her defiler and tormentor, corroborated by the medical findings of Dr. Francisco G.R. No. 88724 April 3, 1990
Llamas, was sufficient to convict the appellant. Besides, the appellant's flimsy and self-serving
defenses of denial and alibi were not able to destroy the truthfulness and the credibility of AAA's
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,
testimony. Thus, this Court is convinced that the trial court and the appellate court correctly
vs.
convicted the appellant of the crime of simple rape48 in both cases, which is punishable by
CEILITO ORITA alias "Lito," defendant-appellant.
reclusion perpetua.49

The Office of the Solicitor General for plaintiff-appellee.


As to the damages. The award of civil indemnity to the rape victim is mandatory upon the
C. Manalo for defendant-appellant.
finding of the fact of rape.50 Thus, this Court affirms the award of P50,000.00 in each case as civil
indemnity given by the trial court to the victim.

As regards the award of exemplary damages, Article 2230 of the New Civil Code provides:
MEDIALDEA, J.:
Art. 2230. In criminal offenses, exemplary damages as a part of the civil liability may be imposed
when the crime was committed with one or more aggravating circumstances. Such damages are The accused, Ceilito Orita alias Lito, was charged with the crime of rape in Criminal Case No. 83-
separate and distinct from fines and shall be paid to the offended party. 031-B before the Regional Trial Court, Branch II, Borongan, Eastern Samar. The information filed
in the said case reads as follows (p. 47, Rollo):
In this case, there being no aggravating circumstance that can be considered, as it is not even
alleged in the information, the award of exemplary damages by the lower courts would have to The undersigned Second Assistant Provincial Fiscal upon prior complaint under oath by
be deleted. the offended party, accuses CEILITO ORITA alias LITO of the crime of Rape committed
as follows:
With respect to moral damages, case law requires automatic award of moral damages to a rape
victim without need of proof because from the nature of the crime it can be assumed that she That on March 20, 1983, at about 1:30 o'clock in the morning inside a boarding house
has suffered moral injuries entitling her to such award. This award is separate and distinct from at Victoria St., Poblacion, Borongan, Eastern Samar, Philippines, and within the
civil indemnity, which case law also automatically awards upon proof of the commission of the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, above named accused with lewd designs and by
the use of a Batangas knife he conveniently provided himself for the purpose and with

42 | P a g e
threats and intimidation, did, then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously lay In the early morning of March 20, 1983, complainant arrived at her boarding house.
with and succeeded in having sexual intercourse with Cristina S. Abayan against her Her classmates had just brought her home from a party (p. 44, tsn, May 23, 1984).
will and without her consent. Shortly after her classmates had left, she knocked at the door of her boarding house
(p. 5, ibid). All of a sudden, somebody held her and poked a knife to her neck. She then
CONTRARY TO LAW. recognized appellant who was a frequent visitor of another boarder (pp. 8-9, ibid).

Upon being arraigned, the accused entered the plea of not guilty to the offense charged. After She pleaded with him to release her, but he ordered her to go upstairs with him. Since
the witnesses for the People testified and the exhibits were formally offered and admitted, the the door which led to the first floor was locked from the inside, appellant forced
prosecution rested its case. Thereafter, the defense opted not to present any exculpatory complainant to use the back door leading to the second floor (p. 77, ibid). With his left
evidence and instead filed a Motion to Dismiss. On August 5, 1985, the trial court rendered its arm wrapped around her neck and his right hand poking a "balisong" to her neck,
decision, the dispositive portion of which reads (pp. 59-60, Rollo): appellant dragged complainant up the stairs (p. 14, ibid). When they reached the
second floor, he commanded her to look for a room. With the Batangas knife still
poked to her neck, they entered complainant's room.
WHEREFORE. the Court being morally certain of the guilt of accused CEILITO ORITA @
LITO, of the crime of Frustrated Rape (Art. 335, RPC), beyond reasonable doubt, with
the aggravating circumstances of dwelling and nightime (sic) with no mitigating Upon entering the room, appellant pushed complainant who hit her head on the wall.
circumstance to offset the same, and considering the provisions of the Indeterminate With one hand holding the knife, appellant undressed himself. He then ordered
Sentence Law, imposes on accused an imprisonment of TEN (10) YEARS and ONE (1) complainant to take off her clothes. Scared, she took off her T-shirt. Then he pulled off
DAY, PRISION MAYOR, as minimum to TWELVE (12) YEARS PRISION MAYOR, maximum; her bra, pants and panty (p. 20, ibid).
to indemnify CRISTINA S. ABAYAN, the amount of Four Thousand (P4,000.00) Pesos,
without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency, and to pay costs. He ordered her to lie down on the floor and then mounted her. He made her hold his
penis and insert it in her vagina. She followed his order as he continued to poke the
SO ORDERED. knife to her. At said position, however, appellant could not fully penetrate her. Only a
portion of his penis entered her as she kept on moving (p. 23, ibid).
Not satisfied with the decision, the accused appealed to the Court of Appeals. On December 29,
1988, the Court of Appeals rendered its decision, the dispositive portion of which reads (p. 102, Appellant then lay down on his back and commanded her to mount him. In this
Rollo): position, only a small part again of his penis was inserted into her vagina. At this stage,
appellant had both his hands flat on the floor. Complainant thought of escaping (p. 20,
ibid).
WHEREFORE, the trial court's judgment is hereby MODIFIED, and the appellant found
guilty of the crime of rape, and consequently, sentenced to suffer imprisonment of
reclusion perpetua and to indemnify the victim in the amount of P30,000.00. She dashed out to the next room and locked herself in. Appellant pursued her and
climbed the partition. When she saw him inside the room, she ran to another room.
Appellant again chased her. She fled to another room and jumped out through a
SO ORDERED.
window (p. 27, ibid).

On January 11, 1989, the Court of Appeals issued a resolution setting aside its December 29,
Still naked, she darted to the municipal building, which was about eighteen meters in
1988 decision and forwarded the case to this Court, considering the provision of Section 9,
front of the boarding house, and knocked on the door. When there was no answer,
paragraph 3 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 in conjunction with Section 17, paragraph 3,
she ran around the building and knocked on the back door. When the policemen who
subparagraph 1 of the Judiciary Act of 1948.
were inside the building opened the door, they found complainant naked sitting on the
stairs crying. Pat. Donceras, the first policeman to see her, took off his jacket and
The antecedent facts as summarized in the People's brief are as follows (pp. 71-75, Rollo): wrapped it around her. When they discovered what happened, Pat. Donceras and two
other policemen rushed to the boarding house. They heard a sound at the second floor
Complainant Cristina S. Abayan was a 19-year old freshman student at the St. Joseph's and saw somebody running away. Due to darkness, they failed to apprehend
College at Borongan, Eastern Samar. Appellant was a Philippine Constabulary (PC) appellant.
soldier.

43 | P a g e
Meanwhile, the policemen brought complainant to the Eastern Samar Provincial also confirm that the witnesses had not been rehearsed. The most candid witnesses may make
Hospital where she was physically examined. mistakes sometimes but such honest lapses do not necessarily impair their intrinsic credibility
(People v. Cabato, G.R. No. L-37400, April 15, 1988, 160 SCRA 98). Rather than discredit the
Dr. Ma. Luisa Abude, the resident physician who examined complainant, issued a testimonies of the prosecution witnesses, discrepancies on minor details must be viewed as
Medical Certificate (Exhibit "A") which states: adding credence and veracity to such spontaneous testimonies (Aportadera et al. v. Court of
Appeals, et al., G.R. No. L-41358, March 16, 1988, 158 SCRA 695). As a matter of fact, complete
uniformity in details would be a strong indication of untruthfulness and lack of spontaneity
Physical Examination — Patient is fairly built, came in with loose clothing
(People v. Bazar, G.R. No. L-41829, June 27, 1988, 162 SCRA 609). However, one of the alleged
with no under-clothes; appears in state of shock, per unambulatory.
inconsistencies deserves a little discussion which is, the testimony of the victim that the accused
asked her to hold and guide his penis in order to have carnal knowledge of her. According to the
PE Findings — Pertinent Findings only. accused, this is strange because "this is the only case where an aggressor's advances is being
helped-out by the victim in order that there will be a consumation of the act." (p. 34, Rollo). The
Neck- — Circumscribed hematoma at Ant. neck. allegation would have been meritorious had the testimony of the victim ended there. The victim
testified further that the accused was holding a Batangas knife during the aggression. This is a
Breast — Well developed, conical in shape with prominent nipples; linear material part of the victim's testimony which the accused conveniently deleted.
abrasions below (L) breast.
We find no cogent reason to depart from the well-settled rule that the findings of fact of the trial
Back — Multiple pinpoint marks. court on the credibility of witnesses should be accorded the highest respect because it has the
advantage of observing the demeanor of witnesses and can discern if a witness is telling the
truth (People v. Samson, G.R. No. 55520, August 25, 1989). We quote with favor the trial court's
Extremities — Abrasions at (R) and (L) knees. finding regarding the testimony of the victim (p 56, Rollo):

Vulva — No visible abrasions or marks at the perineal area or over the vulva, As correctly pointed out in the memorandum for the People, there is not much to be
errythematous (sic) areas noted surrounding vaginal orifice, tender, hymen desired as to the sincerity of the offended party in her testimony before the court. Her
intact; no laceration fresh and old noted; examining finger can barely enter answer to every question profounded (sic), under all circumstances, are plain and
and with difficulty; vaginal canal tight; no discharges noted. straightforward. To the Court she was a picture of supplication hungry and thirsty for
the immediate vindication of the affront to her honor. It is inculcated into the mind of
As aforementioned, the trial court convicted the accused of frustrated rape. the Court that the accused had wronged her; had traversed illegally her honor.

In this appeal, the accused assigns the following errors: When a woman testifies that she has been raped, she says in effect all that is necessary to show
that rape was committed provided her testimony is clear and free from contradiction and her
1) The trial court erred in disregarding the substantial inconsistencies in the testimonies of the sincerity and candor, free from suspicion (People v Alfonso, G.R. No. 72573, August 31, 1987,
witnesses; and 153 SCRA 487; People v. Alcid, G.R. Nos. 66387-88, February 28, 1985, 135 SCRA 280; People v.
Soterol G.R. No. 53498, December 16, 1985, 140 SCRA 400). The victim in this case did not only
state that she was raped but she testified convincingly on how the rape was committed. The
2) The trial court erred in declaring that the crime of frustrated rape was committed by the
victim's testimony from the time she knocked on the door of the municipal building up to the
accused.
time she was brought to the hospital was corroborated by Pat. Donceras. Interpreting the
findings as indicated in the medical certificate, Dr. Reinerio Zamora (who was presented in view
The accused assails the testimonies of the victim and Pat. Donceras because they "show of the unavailability of Dr. Abude) declared that the abrasions in the left and right knees, linear
remarkable and vital inconsistencies and its incredibility amounting to fabrication and therefore abrasions below the left breast, multiple pinpoint marks, circumscribed hematoma at the
casted doubt to its candor, truth and validity." (p. 33, Rollo) anterior neck, erythematous area surrounding the vaginal orifice and tender vulva, are
conclusive proof of struggle against force and violence exerted on the victim (pp. 52-53, Rollo).
A close scrutiny of the alleged inconsistencies revealed that they refer to trivial inconsistencies The trial court even inspected the boarding house and was fully satisfied that the narration of
which are not sufficient to blur or cast doubt on the witnesses' straightforward attestations. Far the scene of the incident and the conditions therein is true (p. 54, Rollo):
from being badges of fabrication, the inconsistencies in their testimonies may in fact be
justifiably considered as manifestations of truthfulness on material points. These little deviations

44 | P a g e
. . . The staircase leading to the first floor is in such a condition safe enough to carry The accused contends that there is no crime of frustrated rape. The Solicitor General shares the
the weight of both accused and offended party without the slightest difficulty, even in same view.
the manner as narrated. The partitions of every room were of strong materials,
securedly nailed, and would not give way even by hastily scaling the same. Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code defines and enumerates the elements of the crime of
rape:
A little insight into human nature is of utmost value in judging rape complaints (People v. Torio,
et al., G.R. No. L-48731, December 21, 1983, 126 SCRA 265). Thus, the trial court added (p. 55, Art. 335. When and how rape is committed. — Rape is committed by having carnal
Rollo): knowledge of a woman under any of the following circumstances:

. . . And the jump executed by the offended party from that balcony (opening) to the 1. By using force or intimidation;
ground which was correctly estimated to be less than eight (8) meters, will perhaps
occasion no injury to a frightened individual being pursued. Common experience will
2. When the woman is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious and
tell us that in occasion of conflagration especially occuring (sic) in high buildings, many
have been saved by jumping from some considerable heights without being injured.
How much more for a frightened barrio girl, like the offended party to whom honor 3. When the woman is under twelve years of age, even though neither of the
appears to be more valuable than her life or limbs? Besides, the exposure of her circumstances mentioned in the two next preceding paragraphs shall be present.
private parts when she sought assistance from authorities, as corroborated, is enough
indication that something not ordinary happened to her unless she is mentally xxx xxx xxx
deranged. Sadly, nothing was adduced to show that she was out of her mind.
Carnal knowledge is defined as the act of a man in having sexual bodily connections with a
In a similar case (People v. Sambili G.R. No. L-44408, September 30, 1982, 117 SCRA 312), We woman (Black's Law Dictionary. Fifth Edition, p. 193).
ruled that:
On the other hand, Article 6 of the same Code provides:
What particularly imprints the badge of truth on her story is her having been rendered
entirely naked by appellant and that even in her nudity, she had to run away from the Art. 6. Consummated, frustrated, and attempted felonies. — Consummated felonies as
latter and managed to gain sanctuary in a house owned by spouses hardly known to well as those which are frustrated and attempted, are punishable.
her. All these acts she would not have done nor would these facts have occurred
unless she was sexually assaulted in the manner she narrated.
A felony is consummated when all the elements necessary for its execution and
accomplishment are present; and it is frustrated when the offender performs all the
The accused questions also the failure of the prosecution to present other witnesses to acts of execution which would produce the felony as a consequence but which,
corroborate the allegations in the complaint and the non-presentation of the medico-legal nevertheless, do not produce it by reason of causes independent of the will of the
officer who actually examined the victim. Suffice it to say that it is up to the prosecution to perpetrator.
determine who should be presented as witnesses on the basis of its own assessment of their
necessity (Tugbang v. Court of Appeals, et al., G.R. No. 56679, June 29, 1989; People v. Somera,
G.R. No. 65589, May 31, 1989). As for the non-presentation of the medico-legal officer who There is an attempt when the offender commences the commission of a felony directly
actually examined the victim, the trial court stated that it was by agreement of the parties that by overt acts, and does not perform all the acts of execution which should produce the
another physician testified inasmuch as the medico-legal officer was no longer available. The felony by reason of some cause or accident other than his own spontaneous
accused did not bother to contradict this statement. desistance.

Summing up, the arguments raised by the accused as regards the first assignment of error fall Correlating these two provisions, there is no debate that the attempted and consummated
flat on its face. Some were not even substantiated and do not, therefore, merit consideration. stages apply to the crime of rape.1âwphi1 Our concern now is whether or not the frustrated
We are convinced that the accused is guilty of rape. However, We believe the subject matter stage applies to the crime of rape.
that really calls for discussion, is whether or not the accused's conviction for frustrated rape is
proper. The trial court was of the belief that there is no conclusive evidence of penetration of The requisites of a frustrated felony are: (1) that the offender has performed all the acts of
the genital organ of the victim and thus convicted the accused of frustrated rape only. execution which would produce the felony and (2) that the felony is not produced due to causes

45 | P a g e
independent of the perpetrator's will. In the leading case of United States v. Eduave, 36 Phil. supra, might have prompted the law-making body to include the crime of frustrated rape in the
209, 212, Justice Moreland set a distinction between attempted and frustrated felonies which is amendments introduced by said laws.
readily understood even by law students:
In concluding that there is no conclusive evidence of penetration of the genital organ of the
. . . A crime cannot be held to be attempted unless the offender, after beginning the victim, the trial court relied on the testimony of Dr. Zamora when he "categorically declared that
commission of the crime by overt acts, is prevented, against his will, by some outside the findings in the vulva does not give a concrete disclosure of penetration. As a matter of fact,
cause from performing all of the acts which should produce the crime. In other words, he tossed back to the offended party the answer as to whether or not there actually was
to be an attempted crime the purpose of the offender must be thwarted by a foreign penetration." (p. 53, Rollo) Furthermore, the trial court stated (p. 57, Rollo):
force or agency which intervenes and compels him to stop prior to the moment when
he has performed all of the acts which should produce the crime as a consequence, . . . It cannot be insensible to the findings in the medical certificate (Exhibit "A") as
which acts it is his intention to perform. If he has performed all of the acts which interpreted by Dr. Reinerio Zamora and the equivocal declaration of the latter of
should result in the consummation of the crime and voluntarily desists from uncertainty whether there was penetration or not. It is true, and the Court is not
proceeding further, it can not be an attempt. The essential element which oblivious, that conviction for rape could proceed from the uncorroborated testimony
distinguishes attempted from frustrated felony is that, in the latter, there is no of the offended party and that a medical certificate is not necessary (People v. Royeras
intervention of a foreign or extraneous cause or agency between the beginning of the People v. Orteza, 6 SCRA 109, 113). But the citations the people relied upon cannot be
commission of the crime and the moment when all of the acts have been performed applicable to the instant case. The testimony of the offended party is at variance with
which should result in the consummated crime; while in the former there is such the medical certificate. As such, a very disturbing doubt has surfaced in the mind of
intervention and the offender does not arrive at the point of performing all of the acts the court. It should be stressed that in cases of rape where there is a positive
which should produce the crime. He is stopped short of that point by some cause apart testimony and a medical certificate, both should in all respect, compliment each other,
from his voluntary desistance. for otherwise to rely on the testimony alone in utter disregard of the manifest variance
in the medical certificate, would be productive of mischievous results.
Clearly, in the crime of rape, from the moment the offender has carnal knowledge of his victim he
actually attains his purpose and, from that moment also all the essential elements of the offense The alleged variance between the testimony of the victim and the medical certificate does not
have been accomplished. Nothing more is left to be done by the offender, because he has exist. On the contrary, it is stated in the medical certificate that the vulva was erythematous
performed the last act necessary to produce the crime. Thus, the felony is consummated. In a (which means marked by abnormal redness of the skin due to capillary congestion, as in
long line of cases (People v. Oscar, 48 Phil. 527; People v. Hernandez, 49 Phil. 980; People v. inflammation) and tender. It bears emphasis that Dr. Zamora did not rule out penetration of the
Royeras, G.R. No. L-31886, April 29, 1974, 56 SCRA 666; People v. Amores, G.R. No. L-32996, genital organ of the victim. He merely testified that there was uncertainty whether or not there
August 21, 1974, 58 SCRA 505), We have set the uniform rule that for the consummation of was penetration. Anent this testimony, the victim positively testified that there was penetration,
rape, perfect penetration is not essential. Any penetration of the female organ by the male even if only partially (pp. 302, 304, t.s.n., May 23, 1984):
organ is sufficient. Entry of the labia or lips of the female organ, without rupture of the hymen or
laceration of the vagina is sufficient to warrant conviction. Necessarily, rape is attempted if there
Q Was the penis inserted on your vagina?
is no penetration of the female organ (People v. Tayaba, 62 Phil. 559 People v. Rabadan et al., 53
Phil. 694; United States v. Garcia: 9 Phil. 434) because not all acts of execution was performed.
The offender merely commenced the commission of a felony directly by overt acts. Taking into A It entered but only a portion of it.
account the nature, elements and manner of execution of the crime of rape and jurisprudence
on the matter, it is hardly conceivable how the frustrated stage in rape can ever be committed. xxx xxx xxx

Of course, We are aware of our earlier pronouncement in the case of People v. Eriña 50 Phil. 998 Q What do you mean when you said comply, or what act do you referred (sic) to, when
[1927] where We found the offender guilty of frustrated rape there being no conclusive you said comply?
evidence of penetration of the genital organ of the offended party. However, it appears that this
is a "stray" decision inasmuch as it has not been reiterated in Our subsequent decisions. A I inserted his penis into my vagina.
Likewise, We are aware of Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act
No. 2632 (dated September 12, 1960) and Republic Act No. 4111 (dated March 29, 1965) which
provides, in its penultimate paragraph, for the penalty of death when the rape is attempted or Q And was it inserted?
frustrated and a homicide is committed by reason or on the occasion thereof. We are of the
opinion that this particular provision on frustrated rape is a dead provision. The Eriña case, A Yes only a little.

46 | P a g e
The fact is that in a prosecution for rape, the accused may be convicted even on the sole basis of Issue:
the victim's testimony if credible (People v. Tabago, G.R. No. 69778, November 8, 1988, 167
SCRA 65; People v. Aragona, G.R. No. L-43752, September 19, 1985, 138 SCRA 569; People v. WON the accused committed a consummated statutory rape
Taduyo, G.R. Nos. L-37928-29, September 29, 1987, 154 SCRA 349). Moreover, Dr. Zamora's
testimony is merely corroborative and is not an indispensable element in the prosecution of this
Ruling:
case (People v. Alfonso, supra).

The records reviewed failed to show the proof whether Primo’s penis was able to
Although the second assignment of error is meritorious, it will not tilt the scale in favor of the
penetrate Chrystel’s vagina. Failure to prove such penetration, even the slightest one, cannot be
accused because after a thorough review of the records, We find the evidence sufficient to
considered consummated rape, however, only attempted rape, if not acts of lasciviousness.
prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of consummated rape.
Also, there were no physical signs of injuries on the witness’ body to conclude a medical
perspective that a penetration has taken place. In rape cases, it is important that a valid
Article 335, paragraph 3, of the Revised Penal Code provides that whenever the crime of rape is testimony and medical certificate complements each other, for relying alone on testimonial
committed with the use of a deadly weapon, the penalty shall be reclusion perpetua to death. evidence may create unwarranted or mischievous results. It is necessary to carefully establish a
The trial court appreciated the aggravating circumstances of dwelling and nighttime. Thus, the proof that the penis, in reality, entered the labial threshold of the demale organ to accurately
proper imposable penalty is death. In view, however, of Article 111, Section 19(1) of the 1987 conclude that the rape was consummated. WHEREFORE, the decision of the court on convicting
Constitution and Our ruling in People v. Millora, et al., G.R. Nos. L-38968-70, February 9, 1989, Campuhan guilty of statutory rape is MODIFIED. Hence, convicted of ATTEMPTED RAPE instead.
that the cited Constitutional provision did not declare the abolition of the death penalty but
merely prohibits the imposition of the death penalty, the Court has since February 2, 1987 not
G.R. No. 218404, December 13, 2017
imposed the death penalty whenever it was called for under the Revised Penal Code but instead
reduced the same to reclusion perpetua (People v. Solis, et al., G.R. Nos. 78732-33, February 14,
1990). Reclusion perpetua, being a single indivisible penalty under Article 335, paragraph 3, is PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. ROLANDO BAGSIC Y VALENZUELA, Accused-
imposed regardless of any mitigating or aggravating circumstances (in relation to Article 63, Appellant.
paragraph 1, Revised Penal Code; see People v. Arizala, G.R. No. 59713, March 15, 1982, 112
SCRA 615; People v. Manzano, G.R. No. L38449, November 25, 1982, 118 SCRA 705; People v. DECISION
Ramirez, G.R. No. 70744, May 31, 1985, 136 SCRA 702).
MARTIRES, J.:
ACCORDINGLY, the decision of the Regional Trial Court is hereby MODIFIED. The accused Ceilito
Orita is hereby found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape and sentenced to This is an appeal from the Decision,1 dated 30 June 2014, of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R.
reclusion perpetua as well as to indemnify the victim in the amount of P30,000.00. CR.-H.C. No. 06043 which affirmed with modification the Joint Decision,2 dated 30 January 2013,
of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 38, San Jose City (RTC), in Criminal Case Nos. 1515-09-SJC and
SO ORDERED. 1516-09-SJC finding Rolando Bagsic y Valenzuela (accused-appellant) guilty of rape by sexual
assault and of statutory rape.
People vs Campuhan
The Facts
Facts:
On 21 July 2009, three Informations were filed before the RTC charging accused-appellant with
As provided for under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code as amended by RA 7659, an one (1) count of statutory rape, one (1) count of rape by sexual assault, and one (1) count of
automatic review of the case is brought before the Supreme Court. That on May 27, 1997, Primo violation of Section 5 (b) of Republic Act No. 7610 (R.A. No. 7610).
Campuhan was convicted guilty of statutory rape and sentenced by the court a quo to the
extreme penalty of death. The conviction was based on the statements of Ma. Corazon In Criminal Case No. 1514-09-SJC, the information states:
Pamintuan, the mother of the victim Chrystel, saying that on April 25, 1996, she found the
accused kneeling down on his 4-year old daughter with his pants down and “forcing his penis That on or about March 15, 2009, in the City of San Jose, Republic of the Philippines, and within
into Chrystel’s vagina”. However, the accused kept his innocence and contested that the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully,
Pamintuan’s statements were not credible for the latter has ill will against him. feloniously and with lewd design, commit lascivious conduct on the person of (AAA), a 12 year-
old minor by mashing the latter's breast, against her will, which acts debase, degrade and
47 | P a g e
demean the dignity of the latter and impair her normal growth and development and to her For several times, thereafter, whenever accused-appellant urinated, he made BBB watch him
damage and prejudice. and hold his penis.9

CONTRARY TO LAW.3 The assault upon BBB was repeated on 18 April 2009 at about five o'clock in the morning. At that
time, BBB and her two female siblings had to sleep in accused-appellant's house because their
In Criminal Case No. 1515-09-SJC, the information states: mother was at the hospital attending to AAA. While in bed, BBB was awakened by a finger being
inserted into her vagina. When she opened her eyes, BBB saw accused-appellant. Sensing that
BBB was already awake, accused-appellant left.10
That on or about April 18, 2009, in the City of San Jose, Republic of the Philippines, and within
the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully
and feloniously has inserted his finger into the vagina (sexual assault) of the offended party, About a month earlier or on 15 March 2009, AAA and her siblings stayed with accused-appellant
(BBB), a minor, who is eight (8) years of age, to her damage and prejudice. and their maternal grandmother because their parents had to attend the wake of a deceased
relative. At around four o'clock in the morning, AAA was awakened by somebody, whom she
identified to be accused-appellant because of his rough hand and odor, fiddling her nipple. The
CONTRARY TO LAW.4
incident lasted for about two minutes. Accused-appellant stopped when he realized that AAA's
siblings were already awake.11
In Criminal Case No. 1516-09-SJC, the information states:
Thereafter, AAA and her siblings rose from bed and prepared breakfast. AAA did not tell anyone
That sometime in 2007, in the City of San Jose, Republic of the Philippines, and within the about the incident out of fear. It was only when BBB revealed the sexual acts committed against
jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and her by accused-appellant that AAA also mustered the courage to speak out.12
feloniously has sexual intercourse or carnal knowledge with the offended party, (BBB), a minor,
who is eight (8) years of age, to her damage and prejudice.
During the presentation of the prosecution's evidence, however, an Affidavit of Desistance, 13
dated 15 May 2012, was executed by AAA, BBB, and CCC.
CONTRARY TO LAW.5
Version of the Defense
Accused-appellant pleaded not guilty to the crimes charged.
The defense presented the maternal grandmother of AAA and BBB as its sole witness. She
Version of the Prosecution testified that accused-appellant became her common-law partner in February 2010, about a
year after the death of her husband. Her family resented her relationship with accused-appellant
The prosecution presented AAA, BBB, and their mother CCC as witnesses. Their combined because she was no longer able to support them and their disagreement resulted in the filing of
testimony tended to establish the following: the rape cases against accused-appellant.14

AAA and BBB were born on 2 August 1996 and 18 June 2000, respectively. They called accused- The RTC Ruling
appellant "Lolo" as he was the common-law husband of their maternal grandmother.6
In its decision, dated 30 January 2013, the RTC acquitted accused appellant for violation of
Sometime in 2007, while BBB was playing with her sisters, accused-appellant called her and Section 5 (b) of R.A. No. 7610 for failure of the prosecution to sufficiently establish the identity
brought her to a hut in a field located at Zone 7, Sto. Nino 3rd, San Jose City, Nueva Ecija. Inside of the perpetrator. It observed that AAA admitted that she was not able to see the face of the
the hut, accused-appellant told BBB to lie down, lifted her shirt, and removed her shorts and person who assaulted her but that she concluded that said person was accused-appellant on the
underwear. Accused-appellant then removed his lower garments and had carnal knowledge of basis of the assailant's rough hand and odor. The RTC reasoned that AAA's mere general
BBB, but he was unable to make a full penetration.7 statement that the person who touched her breasts had the same rough hand and odor as the
accused appellant was not conclusive proof of the latter's identity as the culprit absent any
BBB cried and pushed accused-appellant away. She did not shout for help for fear that accused- showing why and how such could distinctly be attributable to accused-appellant.
appellant would hurt her. Whenever someone came by the field, accused-appellant desisted
from assaulting her.8 The trial court, however, found accused-appellant guilty of statutory rape and of rape by sexual
assault. It noted that BBB, even at such a young age, was able to withstand the lengthy cross-
examination. The RTC held that the affidavit of desistance was not sufficient to reverse BBB's
48 | P a g e
earlier testimony clearly narrating how accused-appellant had sexually molested her on two The CA Ruling
occasions. It added that the allegation that the cases were concocted by CCC to force a
separation between accused-appellant and her mother should not be given weight because no In a decision, dated 30 June 2014, the CA affirmed the conviction of accused-appellant but
parent would be so depraved to use her own daughter for such trivial purpose. modified the amount of damages awarded. It opined that the court a quo correctly accorded
credence to the testimony of BBB after finding her answers to the questions on direct and cross-
Finally, the RTC ruled that it was conclusively established that in 2007 and on 18 April 2009, BBB examination to be intelligible, candid, and unwavering. The CA found no merit in accused-
was under 12 years of age as evidenced by her birth certificate and by the defense's admission appellant's attempt to discredit BBB's testimony by imputing ill motive against her; that is, that
during the pre-trial conference that she was barely eight years old on 18 April 2009. It concluded she had charged accused-appellant with rape at the instance of CCC who harbored resentment
that BBB's straightforward testimony duly proved that accused appellant had carnal knowledge against him for being the common-law husband of her mother.
of her in 2007 and had assaulted her by inserting his finger into her vagina on 18 April2009. The
fallo reads: The appellate court pointed out that during the hearing on 7 June 2011, BBB affirmed that she
was executing an affidavit of desistance, but she remained silent when asked if accused-
WHEREFORE, his guilt for the offense charged in Criminal Case No. 1514-2009-SJC not having appellant did not actually rape her. It added that BBB's testimony was corroborated by the
been established beyond reasonable doubt, the accused Rolando Bagsic is ACQUITTED. Medico-Legal Report, dated 5 May 2009, finding that BBB's hymen suffered from incomplete
laceration which suggested blunt or penetrating trauma. The CA disposed the case in this wise:
Said accused, however, is hereby found guilty of rape defined and penalized under Art. 266-A in
relation to Art. 266-B of the Revised Penal Code in Criminal Cases No. 1515-2009-SJC and No. WHEREFORE, premises considered, the instant appeal is hereby DENIED. The Joint Decision,
1516-2009-SJC and is accordingly sentenced as follows: dated January 30, 2013 of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 38, San Jose City is AFFIRMED with
MODIFICATION in that appellant Rolando Bagsic is further ordered to pay private complainant
a. In Criminal Case No. 1515-2009-SJC, to suffer an indeterminate penalty of BBB the amount of Thirty Thousand Pesos (P30,000.00) as exemplary damages in Criminal Case
imprisonment ranging from four (4) years and two (2) months of prision No. 1516-2009-SJC for statutory rape; and Thirty Thousand Pesos (P30,000.00) in Criminal Case
correccional, as minimum, to eight (8) years and one (1) day of prision No. 1515-2009-SJC for rape by sexual assault, in addition to the other award of damages, all of
mayor, as maximum, for rape through sexual assault; which are subject to interest of six percent (6%) per annum from the date of finality of this
judgement until they are fully paid.16
b. In Criminal Case No. 1516-2009-SJC, to suffer the penalty of reclusion
perpetua, for statutory rape, and such accessory penalties provided for by Hence, this appeal. Accused-appellant adopts the same assignment of error he raised before the
law. appellate court, viz:

The accused is likewise found liable to pay BBB the following: LONE ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR

THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN CONVICTING THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT OF THE CRIMES
In Crim. Case No. 1515-2009-SJC In Crim. Case No. 1516-2009-SJC CHARGED DESPITE THE PROSECUTION'S FAILURE TO PROVE HIS GUILT BEYOND REASONABLE
DOUBT.17
a. Indemnity P30,000.00 P50,000.00
Accused-appellant asserts that he should be acquitted of the crimes charged because the
b. Moral damages P30,000.00 P50,000.00
testimonies of the prosecution witnesses raised reasonable doubt on whether he sexually
abused BBB considering that the latter subsequently executed an affidavit of desistance. He
TOTAL P60,000.00 P100,000.00
avers that the filing of the cases was only due to the resentment of CCC towards him.18

All of which must earn interest at the rate of 6% per annum from finality of this judgment until THE COURT'S RULING
fully paid.15
The appeal is bereft of merit.
Aggrieved, accused-appellant appealed before the CA.

49 | P a g e
concoct a story of defloration, allow an examination of her private parts, and thereafter pervert
BBB's affidavit of desistance cannot be given any weight. herself by being the subject of a public trial, if she was not motivated solely by the desire to
obtain justice for the wrong committed against her. Youth and immaturity are generally badges
of truth. It is highly improbable that a girl of tender years, one not yet exposed to the ways of
BBB's affidavit of desistance is not a ground for the dismissal of the case. Rape is no longer the world, would impute to any man a crime so serious as rape if what she claims is not true.
considered a private crime as R.A. No. 8353 or the Anti-Rape Law of 1997 has reclassified rape as [citations omitted]26
a crime against persons.19 Rape may now be prosecuted de officio; a complaint for rape
commenced by the offended party is no longer necessary for its prosecution.20 Hence, an
affidavit of desistance, which may be considered as pardon by the complaining witness, is not by In this case, BBB was able to withstand the rigors of direct examination and cross-examination.
itself a ground for the dismissal of a rape action over which the court has already assumed Not once did she falter in narrating the dastardly act committed against her and identifying
jurisdiction.21 accused-appellant as the perpetrator. Moreover, no decent mother would use her daughter as
an instrument of revenge, especially if it will subject her child to embarrassment and lifelong
stigma.27 A disagreement among family members, even if true, does not justify dragging a young
Moreover, it has been consistently held that courts look with disfavor on affidavits of desistance. girl's honor to merciless public scrutiny that a rape trial brings in its wake.28
The rationale for this was extensively discussed in People v. Zafra:22

Finally, the testimony of BBB was also corroborated by the Medico-Legal Report29 which stated
We have said in so many cases that retractions are generally unreliable and are looked upon that the physical findings suggested blunt or penetrating trauma. "When a rape victim's
with considerable disfavor by the courts. The unreliable character of this document is shown by testimony on the manner she was defiled is straightforward and candid, and is corroborated by
the fact that it is quite incredible that after going through the process of having the [appellant] the medical findings of the examining physician as in this case, the same is sufficient to support a
arrested by the police, positively identifying him as the person who raped her, enduring the conviction for rape."30
humiliation of a physical examination of her private parts, and then repeating her accusations in
open court by recounting her anguish, [the rape victim] would suddenly turn around and declare
that [a]fter a careful deliberation over the case, (she) find(s) that the same does not merit or Accused-appellant is guilty of statutory rape.
warrant criminal prosecution.
For the accused to be found guilty of the crime of statutory rape, two (2) elements must concur:
Thus, we have declared that at most the retraction is an afterthought which should not be given (1) that the offender had carnal knowledge of the victim; and (2) that the victim is below twelve
probative value. It would be a dangerous rule to reject the testimony taken before the court of (12) years old.31 If the woman is under 12 years of age, proof of force and consent becomes
justice simply because the witness who gave it later on changed his mind for one reason or immaterial not only because force is not an element of statutory rape, but the absence of a free
another. Such a rule [would] make a solemn trial a mockery and place the investigation at the consent is presumed. Conviction will therefore lie, provided sexual intercourse is proven.32
mercy of unscrupulous witnesses. Because affidavits of retraction can easily be secured from
poor and ignorant witnesses, usually for monetary consideration, the Court has invariably BBB positively identified accused-appellant as the person who molested her. She clearly and
regarded such affidavits as exceedingly unreliable.23 [emphasis omitted.] straightforwardly narrated the incident of rape as follows:

In addition, when asked by the court a quo whether her affidavit of desistance meant that she [Fiscal Escudero]
was not raped by accused-appellant, BBB simply did not answer.24 Neither did she give any
exculpatory fact that would raise doubts about the rape. Could you recall when was the first time you were raped by Rolando Bagsic?

[BBB]
BBB's testimony should be given full weight and credence.

No, sir.
It must be noted that accused-appellant's only defense is the alleged resentment of CCC towards
her mother's relationship with him. Such argument is flimsy and superficial. In People v. Q: Could you recall what year?
Basmayor,25 the Court ruled: A: Yes sir.

This Court has held time and again that testimonies of rape victims who are young and immature Q: What year?
deserve full credence, considering that no young woman, especially of tender age, would A: In 2007 sir.

50 | P a g e
Q: In 2007, were you studying then? Court: Put that on record.
A: Yes sir.
Fiscal Escudero: Was he successful in inserting his private part to your vagina Madam Witness?
Q: What grade are you then? A: Only partial sir. (The vernacular term used by the witness is "konti lang po")
A: Grade I, sir.
Q: How would you explain that "konti lang po" or only partial Madam Witness?
Q: Kindly tell us how were you raped on 2007, while you were still Grade 1, by Rolando Bagsic? A: Only the head of his penis sir.33
A: He called me up and brought me in the field sir.
To reiterate, the Medico-Legal Report lends credence to BBB's testimony. When the testimony
Q: What were you doing when he called you and brought you to the field? of a rape victim is consistent with the medical findings, there is sufficient basis to conclude that
A: I was playing with my elder sisters sir. there has been carnal knowledge.34 Further, at the time of the incident, it was sufficiently
proven that BBB was under 12 years of age as indicated in her Certificate of Live Birth.35
Q: What happened when Rolando Bagsic called you?
A: He brought me in a field where there was a hut and in that hut where Rolando Bagsic laid me
down and took off my short and panty sir. Accused-appellant is guilty of rape by sexual assault.

Q: Where is the hut located Madam Witness? The following are the elements of rape by sexual assault:
A: At the farm sir.
(1) That the offender commits an act of sexual assault;
Q: Where is the farm located, what barangay?
A: In Zone 7, Sto. Nino 3rd sir.
(2) That the act of sexual assault is committed by any of the following means:

Q: Are you referring to Sto. Nino 3rd San Jose City?


A: Yes sir. (a) By inserting his penis into another person's mouth or anal orifice; or

Q: Madam Witness what are you wearing in your upper body? (b) By inserting any instrument or object into the genital or anal orifice of another person;
A: I was wearing my upper clothes with sleeves sir.
(3) That the act of sexual assault is accomplished under any of the following circumstances:
Q: What happened to your clothes with sleeves after Rolando Bagsic take your shorts and panty
off from you? (a) By using force and intimidation;
A: He lifted it up sir.
(b) When the woman is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious; or
Q: So what happened Madam Witness when Rolando Bagsic removed your shorts and panty and
lifted your upper garments? (c) By means of fraudulent machination or grave abuse of authority; or
A: He also took off his short and underwear sir.
(d) When the woman is under 12 years of age or demented.36 (emphasis supplied)
Q: So what happened when Rolando Bagsic take his short pants and brief off?
A: He was forcibly inserting his penis in my private part sir. (Pinipilit po niyang ilusot yung ari niya
All the foregoing elements were met beyond reasonable doubt. Accused-appellant inserted his
sa ari ko)
finger into the vagina of BBB, a child under 12 years of age at the time of the incident, viz:

Fiscal Escudero: May I please request your honor that the vernacular term as answered by the
[Fiscal Escudero]
witness be put on record?

51 | P a g e
You mentioned a while ago Madam Witness that there were two separate occasions that you Q: Was he able to insert his finger to your vagina?
were raped by your Lolo Rolando Bagsic, when was the second time? A: Yes sir.37

[BBB] In sum, the Court finds no convincing reason to disturb the findings of the trial court as affirmed
by the appellate court.
April 18, 2009 sir.
Proper penalty for rape by sexual assault
Q: What time was that?
A: 5:00 in the morning sir. Accused-appellant's conviction for rape by sexual assault is affirmed, but the penalty imposed by
the lower court is modified to the penalty under Article III, Section 5(b) of R.A. No. 7610:
Q: On April 18, 2009 at around 5:00 in the morning, what were you doing then Madam Witness?
A: I was sleeping sir. SEC. 5. Child Prostitution and Other Sexual Abuse.— Children, whether male or female, who for
money, profit, or any other consideration or due to the coercion or influence of any adult,
xxxx syndicate or group, indulge in sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct, are deemed to be
children exploited in prostitution and other sexual abuse.
Q: So while you were sleeping, how were you awaken?
A: Because something hard was thrusting my private part sir. The penalty of reclusion temporal in its medium period to reclusion perpetua shall be imposed
upon the following:
Q: Are you able to identify what is that hard object that is thrusting your private part?
A: Yes sir. xxx

Q: Can you tell the Honorable Court what was that object that caused you to be awaken because (b) Those who commit the act of sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct with a child exploited
it being thrusted to your private part? in prostitution or subjected to other sexual abuse; Provided, That when the victim is under
A: His hand sir. twelve (12) years of age, the perpetrators shall be prosecuted under Article 335, paragraph 3, for
rape and Article 336 of Act No. 3815, as amended, the Revised Penal Code, for rape or lascivious
conduct, as the case maybe: Provided, That the penalty for lascivious conduct when the victim is
Q: Hand of whom?
under twelve (12) years of age shall be reclusion temporal in its medium period; x x x
A: Hand of Lolo Bagsic sir.

The Implementing Rules and Regulations of R.A. No. 7610 defines "lascivious conduct" as [T]he
Q: How were you able to know that it is the hand of your Lolo Bagsic?
intentional touching, either directly or through clothing, of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast,
A: Because I was already awaken in that time and I saw his face sir.
inner thigh, or buttocks, or the introduction of any object into the genitalia, anus or mouth, of
any person, whether of the same or opposite sex, with an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass,
xxxx degrade, or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person, bestiality, masturbation, lascivious
exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of a person.
Q: So kindly tell us how is he able to thrust his hand to your private part?
A: Because my panty was moved sideward. (Yung panty ko ay nakatagilid) In People v. Chingh,38 the accused' conviction for rape by sexual assault was affirmed. However,
in modifying the penalty imposed to that provided in Article III, Section 5(b) of R.A. No. 7610, the
Q: If this is the hand of your Lolo Bagsic what part of the hand he used to thrust your private Court ruled:
part?
A: This sir. (The witness is pointing to the right index finger) In this case, the offended party was ten years old at the time of the commission of the offense.
Pursuant to the above-quoted provision of law, Armando was aptly prosecuted under paragraph
Q: So you are referring to a finger not a hand Madam Witness? 2, Article 266-A of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by R.A. No. 8353, for Rape Through
A: Yes sir. Sexual Assault. However, instead of applying the penalty prescribed therein, which is prision
mayor, considering that VVV was below 12 years of age, and considering further that Armando's

52 | P a g e
act of inserting his finger in VVV's private part undeniably amounted to lascivious conduct, the offense proved because it is included in rape, the offense charged. Consequently, the accused
appropriate imposable penalty should be that provided in Section 5 (b), Article III of R.A. No. was sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua.
7610, which is reclusion temporal in its medium period.
In this case, for the crime of sexual assault, the lower courts sentenced accused-appellant to
The Court is not unmindful to the fact that the accused who commits acts of lasciviousness suffer an indeterminate penalty of four (4) years and two (2) months of prision correccional, as
under Article 366, in relation to Section 5 (b), Article III of R.A. No. 7610, suffers the more severe minimum, to eight (8) years and one (1) day of prision mayor, as maximum. This Court, however,
penalty of reclusion temporal in its medium period than the one who commits Rape Through modified such penalty, and deemed it proper to impose the higher penalty of reclusion temporal
Sexual Assault, which is merely punishable by prision mayor. This is undeniably unfair to the in its medium period, to reclusion perpetua as provided in R.A. No. 7610.
child victim. To be sure, it was not the intention of the framers of R.A. No. 8353 to have
disallowed the applicability of R.A. No. 7610 to sexual abuses committed to children. Despite the From the foregoing, it can be easily discerned that if the courts would not opt to impose the
passage of R.A. No. 8353, R.A. No. 7610 is still good law, which must be applied when the victims higher penalty provided in R.A. No. 7610 in cases of rape by sexual assault, wherein the victims
are children or those "persons below eighteen (18) years of age or those over but are unable to are children, an accused who commits acts of lasciviousness under Article 336 of the RPC, in
fully take care of themselves or protect themselves from abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation or relation to Section 5 (b), Article III of R.A. 7610, suffers the more severe penalty of reclusion
discrimination because of a physical or mental disability or condition." temporal in its medium period, than the one who commits rape by sexual assault which is
punishable by prision mayor.
Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, the maximum term of the indeterminate penalty
shall be that which could be properly imposed under the law, which is fifteen (15) years, six (6) Finally, I maintain my position in People v. Caoili that the insertion of the finger into the vagina
months and twenty (20) days of reclusion temporal. On the other hand, the minimum term shall constitutes rape through sexual intercourse and not rape by sexual assault. Rape by sexual
be within the range of the penalty next lower in degree, which is reclusion temporal in its assault is the act of "inserting the penis into another person's mouth or anal orifice, or any
minimum period, or twelve (12) years and one (1) day to fourteen (14) years and eight (8) instrument or object, into the genital or anal orifice of another person."42 Instrument is defined
months. as "utensil or implement."43 On the other hand, object is defined as "a discrete visible or tangible
thing."44 The finger, however, is neither an instrument nor an object. Stripped to its most basic
Hence, Armando should be meted the indeterminate sentence of twelve (12) years, ten (10) definition, a finger is a body part. Consequently, applying the principle of expressio unius est
months and twenty-one (21) days of reclusion temporal, as minimum, to fifteen (15) years, six exclusio alterius which means that the express mention of one thing excludes all others,45 the
(6) months and twenty (20) days of reclusion temporal, as maximum.39 [citations omitted] insertion of the finger or any other body part into the genital or anal orifice of another person
could not be properly categorized as rape by sexual assault. The basic difference between an
In People v. Ricalde,40 wherein accused was charged and convicted of rape by sexual assault, the instrument or object on the one hand and the finger or any body part on the other is that on
same penalty was imposed. account of its independent existence, the former, by itself, can be used in the dastardly act of
assaulting another person; whereas the latter owes its function to the fact that it is attached to
the body. For sure, a person would not go to the extent of cutting his finger and then use the
In this case, BBB, as established by her birth certificate, was only 8 years old when the incident
severed finger to sexually assault another person.
happened. Her age was also alleged in the information. Hence, the higher penalty of twelve (12)
years, ten (10) months and twenty-one (21) days of reclusion temporal, as minimum, to fifteen
(15) years, six (6) months and twenty (20) days of reclusion temporal, as maximum, as applied in It is high time to revisit the archaic definition given to carnal knowledge, i.e., penile penetration,
the foregoing cases of People v. Chingh and People v. Ricalde, should be similarly imposed. and acknowledge that the same may be accomplished in various ways: vaginal, oral, anal, and
fingering. Intercourse means "physical sexual contact between individuals that involves the
genitalia of at least one person."46 Further, jurisprudence has consistently held that "the crux of
In the recent case of People v. Caoili,41 there had been divergent opinions as to whether the act
carnal knowledge is sexual bodily connection."47 From the foregoing definitions, the act of
of inserting the fingers into the vagina constitutes rape by sexual intercourse. In said case, the
inserting the finger into the vagina already constitutes rape through sexual intercourse. Justice
accused was charged with the crime of rape through sexual intercourse. However, after trial, the
Marvic Leonen, in his dissent in People v. Caoili, has eloquently stated, "the finger is as much
crime proved was rape by sexual assault through the insertion of the finger into the vagina.
part of the human body as the penis. It is not a separate instrument or object. It is an organ that
Thus, the majority held that the accused could not be convicted of rape through sexual
can act as a conduit to give both pleasure as well as raw control upon the body of another. At a
intercourse. In so ruling, it declared that the variance doctrine cannot be applied to convict an
certain age, when men have difficulty with erections, his finger or any other similar organ
accused of rape by sexual assault if the crime charged is rape through sexual intercourse, since
becomes a handy tool of oppression. This Court cannot maintain an artificially prudish
the former offense cannot be considered subsumed in the latter. However, applying the same
construction of sexual intercourse. When it does, it becomes blind to the many ways that
variance doctrine, it convicted the accused of the lesser crime of acts of lasciviousness
women's bodies are defiled by the patriarchy. To legally constitute the finger as a separate
performed on a child, i.e., lascivious conduct under Section 5 (b) of R.A. No. 7610, which was the

53 | P a g e
object not used in "sexual intercourse" or "carnal knowledge" not only defies reality, it Under appeal is the decision promulgated on November 23, 2007,1 whereby the Court of
undermines the purpose of the punishment under Article 266-A, paragraph 2."48 Appeals (CA) affirmed the rape conviction of Edgardo Lupac y Flores but modified the trial
court's characterization of the offense as statutory rape because of the failure of the People to
Thus, in view of the foregoing considerations and in order to provide an unequivocal higher properly establish the victim's minority under 12 years at the time of the commission of the
penalty in cases of rape by sexual assault committed against children, let copies of this decision rape.
be furnished the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Senate President for possible
legislation. The information filed on August 16, 1999 under which Lupac was arraigned and tried for
statutory rape alleged as follows:
Pecuniary liability
That on or about the 21st day of May, 1999 in the Municipality of Taytay, Province of Rizal,
The Court finds that pursuant to People v. Jugueta,49 the award of damages in the present case Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this
must be modified. As regards statutory rape, the award should be P75,000.00 as civil indemnity;
P75,000.00 as moral damages; and P75,000.00 as exemplary damages. The same amounts Honorable Court, the above-named accused with lewd designs and by means of force and
should be paid by accused-appellant with respect to the crime of rape by sexual assault. In intimidation, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously have sexual intercourse with
addition, all the damages awarded shall earn legal interest at the rate of six percent (6%) per one, AAA,2 his niece, 10 years old against her will and consent.
annum from the date of finality of the judgment until fully paid.
CONTRARY TO LAW.3
WHEREFORE, the appeal is denied. The 30 June 2014 Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R.
CR-HC No. 06043 is AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION. The version of the Prosecution follows.

In Criminal Case No. 1515-2009-SJC, accused-appellant Rolando Bagsic is sentenced to suffer the AAA, her mother (BBB), and Lupac (allegedly BBB’s brother) had originally been living together in
penalty of twelve (12) years, ten (10) months and twenty-one (21) days of reclusion temporal, as the same house, but he eventually transferred to another place in the neighborhood. His
minimum, to fifteen (15) years, six (6) months and twenty (20) days of reclusion temporal, as transfer notwithstanding, he continued going to BBB’s house, where he occasionally took
maximum. He is further ordered to pay BBB the amounts of P75,000.00 as civil indemnity, afternoon naps in the bedroom of the house. On May 21, 1999, BBB left AAA in the house alone
75,000.00 as moral damages, and P75,000.00 as exemplary damages. with Lupac to sell peanuts in Mandaluyong City. At around 1:30 p.m., AAA told him that she was
going to take a nap in the bedroom. She did not lock the bedroom door as was her usual
In Criminal Case No. 1516-2009-SJC, accused-appellant Rolando Bagsic is sentenced to suffer practice.
reclusion perpetua. He is further ordered to pay BBB the amounts of 75,000.00 as civil
indemnity, 75,000.00 as moral damages, and P75,000.00 as exemplary damages. Waking up around 2:30 p.m., AAA was aghast to find herself naked from the waist down. She felt
soreness in her body and pain in her genitalia. Momentarily, she noticed Lupac standing inside
The amounts of damages awarded shall have an interest of six percent (6%) per annum from the the bedroom near her, clad only in his underwear. He was apologetic towards her, saying that
date of finality of judgment until fully paid. "he really did not intend to do ‘that’ to her."4 He quietly handed her a towel. As soon as she
absorbed what had happened, she started to cry. He opened the windows and unlocked the
SO ORDERED. door of the house.5 Seeing the chance, she rushed out of the house, and ran to the place of Tita
Terry, a neighbor, who was a friend of her mother’s. AAA revealed to Tita Terry what he had
done to her, saying: Inano ako ni Kuya Ega.6 She uttered the word hindot7 – vernacular for
G.R. No. 182230 September 19, 2012
sexual intercourse. She and Tita Terry left together to find BBB and inform her about what had
happened to AAA.8
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee,
vs.
The three of them reported the rape to the barangay. A barangay kagawad accompanied them
EDGARDO LUPAC y FLORES, Accused-Appellant.
to the Taytay Police Station to lodge a complaint for rape against Lupac. AAA submitted to a
medico-legal examination, which found her to have suffered injuries inflicted deep inside her
DECISION genitalia (described as congested vestibule within the labia minora, deep fresh bleeding
laceration at 9 o’clock position of the hymen, and abraded and u-shape posterior fourchette).
BERSAMIN, J.:
54 | P a g e
During the trial, Dr. Emmanuel N. Reyes, the medico-legal officer who had examined AAA, In his appeal, Lupac insists on his innocence, still impugning the credibility of AAA.
attested that he had found AAA at the time of the examination to have recently lost her virginity
based on her hymen revealing "a deep fresh bleeding at 9:00 o’clock position."9 We affirm the CA.

Lupac’s defense consisted of denial and alibi. Firstly, both the RTC and the CA considered AAA as a credible witness. We accord great weight
to their assessment of the credibility of AAA as a witness as well as of her version. Verily, the
Lupac denied being related to AAA, either by consanguinity or otherwise, but admitted being her personal observation of AAA’s conduct and demeanor enabled the trial judge to discern if she
neighbor for a long time. He also denied the accusation, insisting that he had been asleep in his was telling the truth or inventing it.12 The trial judge’s evaluation, which the CA affirmed, now
own house during the time of the rape. Nonetheless, he conceded not being aware of any binds the Court, leaving to the accused the burden to bring to our attention facts or
motive for AAA to falsely charge him with rape. circumstances of weight that were overlooked, misapprehended, or misinterpreted but would
materially affect the disposition of the case differently if duly considered.13 Alas, the accused
After trial, on August 11, 2006, the Regional Trial Court, Branch 73, in Antipolo City (RTC) made no showing that the RTC, in the first instance, and the CA, on review, had ignored,
convicted Lupac of statutory rape,10 disposing: misapprehended, or misinterpreted facts or circumstances supportive of or crucial to his
defense.14
WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, Edgardo Lupac is hereby found guilty of the crime of
statutory rape and is sentenced to suffer the penalty of RECLUSION PERPETUA. He is also Secondly, the CA rectified the mistaken characterization by the RTC of the crime as statutory
ordered to pay private complainant ₱ 50,000.00 as civil indemnity and ₱ 50,000.00 in moral rape. We concur with the CA. Although the information alleged that AAA had been only 10 years
damages plus the cost of the suit. of age at the time of the commission of the rape, the State did not reliably establish such age of
the victim in accordance with the guidelines for competently proving such age laid down by the
Court in People v. Pruna,15 to wit:
SO ORDERED.

In order to remove any confusion that may be engendered by the foregoing cases, we hereby set
In convicting Lupac of statutory rape as defined and penalized under paragraph 1(d), Article 266-
the following guidelines in appreciating age, either as an element of the crime or as a qualifying
A of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 8353, the RTC concluded that
circumstance.
although the qualifying circumstance of relationship had not been proven, AAA’s testimony
showing her age of only 11 years at the time of the rape, being born on December 23, 1988,
sufficed to prove her age as an essential element in statutory rape. 1. The best evidence to prove the age of the offended party is an original or certified
true copy of the certificate of live birth of such party.
On intermediate appeal, Lupac assailed the credibility of AAA and argued that the RTC erred in
accepting AAA’s testimony as proof of her date of birth and her minority under 12 years. 2. In the absence of a certificate of live birth, similar authentic documents such as
baptismal certificate and school records which show the date of birth of the victim
would suffice to prove age.
On November 23, 2007, the CA affirmed the conviction,11 but modified it by holding that Lupac
was guilty of simple rape under Article 266-A, paragraph 1(b) of the Revised Penal Code. It noted
that the Prosecution was not able to effectively establish the victim’s minority under 12 years 3. If the certificate of live birth or authentic document is shown to have been lost or
because of the non-submission of AAA’s birth certificate, such fact being essential in qualifying destroyed or otherwise unavailable, the testimony, if clear and credible, of the victim’s
the offense to statutory rape. It observed, however, that the lack of consent as an element of mother or a member of the family either by affinity or consanguinity who is qualified
rape was properly alleged in the information and duly established by the evidence showing that to testify on matters respecting pedigree such as the exact age or date of birth of the
AAA had been asleep and unconscious at the time of the commission of the rape. It held that the offended party pursuant to Section 40, Rule 130 of the Rules on Evidence shall be
variance in the mode of the commission of the rape was really a non-issue because he did not sufficient under the following circumstances
challenge the information at the arraignment, during the trial and even on appeal. It disposed:
a. If the victim is alleged to be below 3 years of age and what is sought to be
IN VIEW THEREOF, the assailed Decision convicting the accused is hereby AFFIRMED. The penalty proved is that she is less than 7 years old;
and the damages are likewise AFFIRMED.
b. If the victim is alleged to be below 7 years of age and what is sought to be
SO ORDERED. proved is that she is less than 12 years old;

55 | P a g e
c. If the victim is alleged to be below 12 years of age and what is sought to be Lastly, Lupac assails the absence of credible direct evidence about his having carnal knowledge
proved is that she is less than 18 years old. of AAA because she herself, being then asleep and unconscious, could not reliably attest to his
supposed deed. Consequently, he argues that the evidence against him did not amount to proof
4. In the absence of a certificate of live birth, authentic document, or the testimony of beyond reasonable doubt.
the victim’s mother or relatives concerning the victim’s age, the complainant’s
testimony will suffice provided that it is expressly and clearly admitted by the accused. Lupac’s argument hews closely to what the Court has stated in People v. Campuhan20 to the
effect that there must be proof beyond reasonable doubt of at least the introduction of the male
5. It is the prosecution that has the burden of proving the age of the offended party. organ into the labia of the pudendum of the female genital organ, which required some degree
The failure of the accused to object to the testimonial evidence regarding age shall not of penetration beyond the vulva in order to touch the labia majora or the labia minora.
be taken against him.
The position of Lupac is bereft of merit, however, because his conviction should still stand even
6. The trial court should always make a categorical finding as to the age of the if direct evidence to prove penile penetration of AAA was not adduced. Direct evidence was not
victim.16 the only means of proving rape beyond reasonable doubt. Circumstantial evidence would also
be the reliable means to do so, provided that (a) there was more than one circumstance; (b) the
facts from which the inferences were derived were proved; and (c) the combination of all the
The foregoing guidelines (Pruna guidelines, for short) apply herein despite their being
circumstances was such as to produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt.21 What was
promulgated subsequent to the filing of the information, for they were only an amalgamation of
essential was that the unbroken chain of the established circumstances led to no other logical
the norms on proving the age of the victim in rape variously defined in jurisprudence. With the
conclusion except the appellant’s guilt.22
minority under 12 years of AAA being an element in statutory rape, the proof of such minority
age should conform to the Pruna guidelines in order that such essential element would be
established beyond reasonable doubt. That was not done because the evidence adduced by the The following circumstances combined to establish that Lupac consummated the rape of AAA,
Prosecution did not satisfy Pruna guidelines 4 and 5, supra, to wit: namely: (a) when AAA went to take her afternoon nap, the only person inside the house with
her was Lupac; (b) about an hour into her sleep, she woke up to find herself already stripped
naked as to expose her private parts; (c) she immediately felt her body aching and her vaginal
4. In the absence of a certificate of live birth, authentic document, or the testimony of the
region hurting upon her regaining consciousness; (d) all doors and windows were locked from
victim’s mother or relatives concerning the victim’s age, the complainant’s testimony will suffice
within the house, with only her and the brief-clad Lupac inside the house; (e) he exhibited a
provided that it is expressly and clearly admitted by the accused.
remorseful demeanor in unilaterally seeking her forgiveness (Pasensiya ka na AAA), even
spontaneously explaining that he did not really intend to do "that" to her, showing his
5. It is the prosecution that has the burden of proving the age of the offended party. The failure realization of the gravity of the crime he had just committed against her; (f) her spontaneous,
of the accused to object to the testimonial evidence regarding age shall not be taken against unhesitating and immediate denunciation of the rape to Tita Terry and her mother (hindot being
him. the term she used); and (g) the medico-legal findings about her congested vestibule within the
labia minora, deep fresh bleeding laceration at 9 o’clock position in the hymen, and abraded and
As such, the RTC erred in giving credence to AAA’s declaration about her being under 12 years at U-shaped posterior fourchette proved the recency of infliction of her vaginal injuries.
the time of the rape.
The fact that all her injuries – congested vestibule within the labia minora, deep fresh bleeding
Thirdly, the conviction of Lupac for rape is upheld despite AAA’s minority under 12 years not laceration at 9 o’clock position of the hymen and abraded and U-shaped posterior fourchette –
being competently proved. This is because the information also properly charged him with were confined to the posterior region area of her genitals signified the forceful penetration of
raping AAA by its express averment that the carnal knowledge of her by him had been "against her with a blunt instrument, like an erect penis.
her will and consent." The essence of rape is carnal knowledge of a female either against her will
(through force or intimidation) or without her consent (where the female is deprived of reason The Court holds that AAA’s denunciation of Lupac as her rapist to Tita Terry and her own mother
or otherwise unconscious, or is under 12 years of age, or is demented).17 The Prosecution with the use of the words hindot and inano ako ni Kuya Ega without any appreciable length of
showed during the trial that AAA had been asleep when he forced himself on her. Such showing time having intervened following her discovery of the rape was part of the res gestae (that is,
competently established the rape thus charged, as defined by paragraph 1 of Article 266-A, rape). Section 42, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court states:
Revised Penal Code,18 for AAA, being unconscious in her sleep, was incapable of consenting to
his carnal knowledge of her. Indeed, the Court has uniformly held in several rulings that carnal
Section 42. Part of the res gestae. – Statements made by a person while a startling occurrence is
knowledge of a female while she was asleep constituted rape.19
taking place or immediately prior or subsequent thereto with respect to the circumstances

56 | P a g e
thereof, may be given in evidence as part of the res gestae. So, also, statements accompanying attendance of an aggravating circumstance of any kind to warrant the award of exemplary
an equivocal act material to the issue, and giving it a legal significance, may be received as part damages to the victim. This was the point stressed in People v. Catubig,28 to wit:
of the res gestae.
The term "aggravating circumstances" used by the Civil Code, the law not having specified
For the application of this rule, three requisites must be shown to concur, namely: (a) that the otherwise, is to be understood in its broad or generic sense. The commission of an offense has a
principal act, the res gestae, must be a startling occurrence; (b) the statements were made two-pronged effect, one on the public as it breaches the social order and the other upon the
before the declarant had the time to contrive or devise a falsehood; and (c) the statements must private victim as it causes personal sufferings, each of which is addressed by, respectively, the
concern the occurrence in question and its immediate attending circumstances. The requisites prescription of heavier punishment for the accused and by an award of additional damages to
were met herein. AAA went to Tita Terry’s house immediately after fleeing from Lupac and the victim. The increase of the penalty or a shift to a graver felony underscores the exacerbation
spontaneously, unhesitatingly and immediately declared to Tita Terry that Lupac had sexually of the offense by the attendance of aggravating circumstances, whether ordinary or qualifying,
abused her.23 Such manner of denunciation of him as her rapist was confirmed by Tita Terry’s in its commission. Unlike the criminal liability which is basically a State concern, the award of
testimony about AAA’s panic-stricken demeanor that rendered it difficult to quickly comprehend damages, however, is likewise, if not primarily, intended for the offended party who suffers
what the victim was then saying.24 Of course, AAA’s use of the words hindot and inano ako ni thereby. It would make little sense for an award of exemplary damages to be due the private
Kuya Ega said enough about her being raped. offended party when the aggravating circumstance is ordinary but to be withheld when it is
qualifying. Withal, the ordinary or qualifying nature of an aggravating circumstance is a
The nature of res gestae has been fittingly explained by the Court in People v. Salafranca,25 viz: distinction that should only be of consequence to the criminal, rather than to the civil, liability
of the offender. In fine, relative to the civil aspect of the case, an aggravating circumstance,
whether ordinary or qualifying, should entitle the offended party to an award of exemplary
The term res gestae has been defined as "those circumstances which are the undesigned
damages within the unbridled meaning of Article 2230 of the Civil Code.
incidents of a particular litigated act and which are admissible when illustrative of such act." In a
general way, res gestae refers to the circumstances, facts, and declarations that grow out of the
main fact and serve to illustrate its character and are so spontaneous and contemporaneous For exemplary damages, therefore, the Court holds that the sum of ₱ 30,000.00 is reasonable
with the main fact as to exclude the idea of deliberation and fabrication. The rule on res gestae and proper.
encompasses the exclamations and statements made by either the participants, victims, or
spectators to a crime immediately before, during, or immediately after the commission of the The Court declares Lupac to be further liable to pay interest of 6% per annum on all the items of
crime when the circumstances are such that the statements were made as a spontaneous civil damages, to be reckoned from the finality of this decision until full payment.
reaction or utterance inspired by the excitement of the occasion and there was no opportunity
for the declarant to deliberate and to fabricate a false statement. The test of admissibility of WHEREFORE, we AFFIRM the decision promulgated on November 23, 2007 in all respects,
evidence as a part of the res gestae is, therefore, whether the act, declaration, or exclamation is subject to the modification that EDGARDO LUPAC y FLORES shall pay the further amount of ₱
so intimately interwoven or connected with the principal fact or event that it characterizes as to 30,000.00 as exemplary damages, plus interest of 6% per annum on the civil indemnity, moral
be regarded as a part of the transaction itself, and also whether it clearly negatives any damages, and exemplary damages, reckoned from the finality of this decision until full payment.
premeditation or purpose to manufacture testimony.
Costs of suit to be paid by the accused.
Lastly, the Court needs to add exemplary damages to the civil damages awarded to
AAA.1âwphi1 Under the Civil Code, exemplary damages are imposed in a criminal case as part of
SO ORDERED.
the civil liability "when the crime was committed with one or more aggravating
circumstances."26 Such damages are awarded "by way of example or correction for the public
good, in addition to the moral, temperate, liquidated or compensatory damages."27 G.R. No. 225642-43

Conformably with the Civil Code, the CA and the RTC should have recognized the entitlement of PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee
AAA to exemplary damages on account of the attendance of the aggravating circumstance of her vs.
minority under 12 years. It should not matter that the CA disregarded her testimony on her age JUVY D. AMARELA AND JUNARD G. RACHO, Accused-Appellant
due to such testimony not measuring up to the Pruna guidelines. At least, the RTC found her
testimony on her minority under 12 years at the time of the rape credible enough to convict the DECISION
accused of statutory rape. Nor was it of any consequence that such minority would have defined
the rape as statutory had it been sufficiently established. What mattered was to consider the MARTIRES, J.:

57 | P a g e
This is an appeal from the 17 February 2016 Decision1 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. CR vagina and made a push and pull movement. She shouted for help and then three (3) men came
HC Nos. 01226-MIN and 01227-MIN affirming in toto the 26 June 2012 Joint Judgment2 of the to her rescue [so] Amarela fled.
Regional Trial Court, Branch 11 of Davao City (RTC). The RTC found Juvy D. Amarela (Amarela)
and Junard G. Racho (Racho) guilty beyond reasonable doubt of two (2) different charges of The three (3) persons brought her to a hut. But they closed the hut and had bad intentions with
rape. her. So she fled and hid in a neighboring house. When she saw that the persons were no longer
around, she proceeded on her way home. She went to the house of Godo Dumandan who
THE FACTS brought her first to the Racho residence because Dumandan thought her aunt was not at home.
Dumandan stayed behind So Neneng Racho asked her son [Racho] to bring her to her aunt's
The two (2) Informations in this case read: house instead.

Criminal Case No. 64,964-09 xxxx

That on or about February 10, 2009, in the City of Davao, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction [AAA] then said that [Racho] brought her to a shanty along the way against her will. She was told
of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, through force, did then and there willfully, to lie down. When she refused, [Racho] boxed her abdomen and she felt sick. She resisted by
unlawfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge of [AAA], against her will, immediately after kicking him but he succeeded in undressing her. He, then, undressed himself and placed himself
boxing her legs.3 on top of [AAA]. [Racho] then inserted his penis into [AAA]'s vagina. After consummating the act,
[Racho] left her. So [AAA] went home alone.
Criminal Case No. 64,965-09
When she reached home, her parents were already asleep. She went inside her room and cried.
The following morning, she decided to leave home. Her mother was surprised at her decision
That on or about February 11, 2009, in the City of Davao, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction
until eventually, [AAA] told her mother about what happened to her. She told her [eldest]
of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, through force, did then and there willfully,
brother first who got very angry.
unlawfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge of [AAA], against her will, immediately after
grappling her.4
They reported the matter to the police and eventually [ Amarela] and [Racho] were arrested.6
These two (2) cases were jointly tried before the RTC, and Amarela and Racho's appeals,
although separate, were consolidated in the CA on 13 November 2015.5 For the defense, Amarela testified for himself denying that he had anything to do with what
happened with AAA:
The RTC summarized the factual milieu of this case:
Defense presented [Amarela] who confirmed the fact that on February 10, 2009, he attended
the fiesta celebrations in Maligatong, Baguio District, Calinan, Davao City. He said he met private
Prosecution presented [AAA], single, housekeeper and a resident of [XXX], Calinan, Davao City.
complainant, [AAA], at the cooperative building at around 4:00 o'clock in the afternoon. [AAA]
On February 10, 2009, at around 6:00 o'clock in the evening, she was watching a beauty contest
asked him if he knew a person by the name of Eric Dumandan who was allegedly her boyfriend.
with her aunt at Maligatong, Baguio District, Calinan, Davao City. The contest was being held at a
After a while, Eric Dumandan passed by and so he told him that [AAA] was looking for him. Then
basketball court where a make-shift stage was put up. The only lights available were those
he left.
coming from the vehicles around.

Amarela said he had a drinking spree with his friend Asther Sanchez. While drinking, he felt dizzy
She had the urge to urinate so she went to the comfort room beside the building of the
and fell down from the bench. So Sanchez brought him to the house of his elder brother Joey in
Maligatong Cooperative near the basketball court. Between the cooperative building and the
Tawan-tawan. He did not know what happened next because he slept and woke up at six o'clock
basketball court were several trees. She was not able to reach the comfort room because [
in the morning.7
Amarela] was already waiting for her along the way. Amarela suddenly pulled her towards the
day care center. She was shocked and was no match to the strength of Amarela who pulled her
under the stage of the day care center. He punched her in the abdomen which rendered her On his part, Racho confirmed that he went with AAA to bring her home but also denied raping
weak. Then Amarela undressed her. She tried to resist him but he was stronger. He boxed her her:
upper thigh and she felt numb. He placed himself on top of her and inserted his penis inside her

58 | P a g e
Defense also presented [Racho], a resident of Sitio Maligatong, Barangay Tawan-tawan, Baguio In view of all the foregoing, judgment is hereby rendered in Criminal Case No. 64964-09 finding
District, Calinan, Davao City. He testified that he was at the house of his mother on February 10, [Amarela] GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of RAPE and hereby imposes upon him
2009. At around 10:00 o'clock in the evening, [AAA] arrived with Godo Dumandan. [AAA] was the penalty of reclusion perpetua.
asking for help while crying because she was allegedly raped by three persons in the pineapple
plantation. He is further sentenced to pay [AAA] the sum of FIFTY THOUSAND PESOS (₱50,000.00) as civil
indemnity and the further sum of FIFTY THOUSAND PESOS (₱50,000.00) as moral damages.
His mother advised her to just take a bath and change clothes and sleep at his brother's house.
But [AAA] wanted to go home. Since he was the only one who was not drunk, Racho was In Criminal Case No. 64965-09, judgment is hereby rendered finding [Racho] GUILTY beyond
instructed by [his] mother to accompany [AAA] in going to her aunt's house. reasonable doubt of the crime of RAPE and hereby imposes upon him the penalty of reclusion
perpetua.
When they reached Caniamo, [AAA] did not want to be brought to her aunt's house because she
knows the latter would just scold her. Instead, she wanted to be conveyed to their house at He is further sentenced to pay [AAA] the sum of FIFTY THOUSAND PESOS (₱50,000.00) as civil
Ventura. Since Ventura was far, Racho did not go with her and instead went back home. indemnity and the further sum of FIFTY THOUSAND PESOS (₱50,000.00) as moral damages.9

When asked about the charge of rape against him, Racho said he could not have done that The Assailed CA Decision
because his hand is impaired while showing a long scar on his left arm. This was a result
allegedly of a hacking incident on September 21, 2008. He offered a Medical Certificate (Exh. 1)
Before the CA, Amarela and Racho pointed out that although there were other witnesses, the
issued by Dr. Lugi Andrew Sabal of the Davao Medical Center which indicates that Racho was
only material testimony on record was that of AAA. They argued that there were several
confined in the said hospital from September 21, 2008 up to October 1, 2008 after an operation
circumstances casting doubt on AAA' s claim that she was raped because her testimony does not
on his left forearm. He said that his left arm was placed in a plaster cast but that he removed the
conform to common knowledge and to ordinary human experience.
cast after three (3) months. He said that even after he removed the cast, his arm was still painful
and he could not move it around.
In the assailed decision, the CA affirmed the RTC's judgment in toto finding no reason to reverse
the trial court's factual findings. It held:
Racho said he was surprised when policemen came to his house on February 11, 2009 and
invited him to the police station because there was a complaint for rape against him.
[AAA] has testified in a straightforward manner during her direct examination and remained
steadfast in her cross-examination that Amarela sexually abused her on February 10, 2009, and
Anita Racho testified that she was at home in the evening of February 10, 2009 together with
[Racho] abused her five hours later. The first rape incident took place in the daycare center. She
her husband and sons Bobby and [Racho]. Godo Dumandan arrived together with [AAA] who
was pulled by Amarela while she was on her way to the comfort room located at the back of the
was allegedly raped by three (3) men. [AAA] appeared madly and wet so she advised her to take
x x x cooperative building. Private complainant, full of mud and wet, with dress tom, took refuge
a bath and not to go home anymore since it was late. [AAA] insisted on going home, so she
at the house of her boyfriend and sought for help. Her boyfriend's father took her to the house
asked her son [Racho] to accompany her. [Racho] at first refused pointing to his elder brother
of the in-laws of her cousin. [AAA], who was still wet and muddy, begged the mother-in-law of
Bobby to accompany her. He eventually brought [AAA] home. He came back at around 10:00
her cousin that she be taken to the house of her aunt. While the in-laws of her cousin helped her
o'clock in the evening and then he went to sleep.
by having escorted her to her aunt's house, it turned out however, that [Racho] her escort had
another plan in mind. [Racho] sexually abused [AAA], who had no more strength to fight him.
The following day, she was surprised when [Racho] was arrested allegedly for raping [AAA].
[Racho] denied raping [AAA].8
The records render no reason to reverse the factual findings of the court a quo. Both of the
appellants' denials miserably fail in contrast to [AAA's] positive identification of the accused-
Ruling of the Trial Court appellants as the person who sexually abused her. There is no doubt in our mind that both
appellants had carnal knowledge of [AAA]. Her credibility is cemented by her lack of motive to
In its joint judgment, the RTC found AAA's testimony, positively identifying both Amarela and testify against the two appellants, Amarela and [Ra.cho]. There is no evidence to suggest that
Racho, to be clear, positive, and straightforward. Hence, the trial court did not give much weight she could have been actuated by such motive. The People has ably demonstrated the existence
to their denial as these could not have overcome the categorical testimony of AAA. As a result, of the elements of Rape under the Revised Penal Code, as amended by R.A. No. 8353, or the
Amarela and Racho were convicted as follows: Anti-Rape Law of 1997, which states:

xxxx
59 | P a g e
The Court sees no reason to deviate from the well-entrenched rule that in matters of credibility FOR THESE REASONS, the assailed judgment is AFFIRMED in toto. 10
of witnesses, the assessment made by the trial court should be respected and given
preponderant weight. [AAA's] ordeal is so traumatic that she would rather forget the whole OUR RULING
incident. But once a rape victim has decided to seek justice, that means she is willing to recall
the dastardly detail of the animalistic act committed on her person.
More often than not, where the alleged victim survives to tell her story of sexual· depredation,
rape cases are solely decided based on the credibility of the testimony of the private
[Racho] would have us believe that the charge against him was merely fabricated because, complainant. In doing so, we have hinged on the impression that no young Filipina of decent
according to him, being raped by two different assailants, on two different occasions and only repute would publicly admit that she has been sexually abused, unless that is the truth, for it is
hours apart, is contrary to the normal course of things. her natural instinct to protect her honor. 11 However, this misconception, particularly in this day
and age, not only puts the accused at an unfair disadvantage, but creates a travesty of justice.
We are not convinced.
The "women's honor" doctrine surfaced in our jurisprudence sometime in 1960. In the case of
The Supreme Court has once said that rape in itself is prompted by the abnormal need of a man People v. Tana, 12 the Court affirmed the conviction of three (3) armed robbers who took turns
to overpower and control a woman by way of sexual abuse. There is no typical mode, norm, or raping a person named Herminigilda Domingo. The Court, speaking through Justice Alejo
circumstance in committing rape or sexual abuse for the evil in man has no conscience. In fact, in Labrador, said:
a catena of cases, the Supreme Court had ruled that rape is no respecter of time or place. Thus,
we cannot agree with [Racho]'s argument that just because [AAA] had been raped five hours It is a well-known fact that women, especially Filipinos, would not admit that they have been
earlier, the possibility that she might get raped again is nil. abused unless that abuse had actually happened. This is due to their natural instinct to protect
their honor. We cannot believe that the offended party would have positively stated that
Undeterred, appellants posit that [AAA's] testimony is not substantially corroborated by medical intercourse took place unless it did actually take place.13
findings as the medical certificate does not show any physical injuries resulting from the alleged
use of force by the appellants. This opinion borders on the fallacy of non sequitor. And while the factual setting back then
would have been appropriate to say it is natural for a woman to be reluctant in disclosing a
We do not agree. sexual assault; today, we simply cannot be stuck to the Maria Clara stereotype of a demure and
reserved Filipino woman. We, should stay away from such mindset and accept the realities of a
The absence of any superficial abrasion or contusion on the person of the offended party does woman's dynamic role in society today; she who has over the years transformed into a strong
not militate against the claim of the latter whose clear and candid testimony bears the badges of and confidently intelligent and beautiful person, willing to fight for her rights.
truth, honesty, and candor. It must be stressed that the absence or presence of visible signs of
injury on the victim depends on the degree of force employed by the accused to consummate the In this way, we can evaluate the testimony of a private complainant of rape without gender bias
purpose which he had in mind to have carnal knowledge with the offended woman. Thus, the or cultural misconception. It is important to weed out these unnecessary notions because an
force employed in rape need not be so great nor of such a character as could not be resisted. It accused may be convicted solely on the testimony of the victim, provided of course, that the
is only that the force used by the accused is sufficient to enable him to consummate his purpose. testimony is credible, natural, convincing, and consistent with human nature and the normal
course of things.14 Thus, in order for us to affirm a conviction for rape, we must believe beyond
Appellant Amarela also argues that [AAA] could not have identified her assailant because it was reasonable doubt the version of events narrated by the victim.
very dark at the place where [AAA] was allegedly pulled by her assailant and the place where she
was allegedly raped. In an appeal from a judgment of conviction in rape cases, the issue boils down, almost invariably,
to the credibility and story of the victim and eyewitnesses. The Court is oftentimes constrained
[AAA], in her re-direct examination, testified that she knew it was Amarela who raped her to rely on the observations of the trial court who had the unique opportunity to observe the
because she saw Amarela's fact while Amarela brought her from the cooperative building to the witnesses firsthand and note their demeanor, conduct and attitude under grilling and at times
daycare center. unfriendly, examination.15 It has since become imperative that the evaluation of testimonial
evidence by the trial court be accorded great respect by this Court; for it can be expected that
said determination is based on reasonable discretion as to which testimony is acceptable and
Time and time again, the High Court has repeatedly ruled that positive identification prevails
which witness is worthy of belief.16 Although we put a premium on the factual findings of the
over denial, a negative defense that is inherently unreliable. We have no reason to doubt [AAA's]
trial court, especially when they are affirmed by the appellate court,17 this rule is not absolute
unwavering assertions positively establishing the identities of the two accused-appellants. We
find the guilt of each of the accused-appellants to have been proven beyond reasonable doubt.
60 | P a g e
and admits exceptions, such as when some facts or circumstances of weight and substance have Q: Can you recall the exact name?
been overlooked, misapprehended, and misinterpreted.
A: Maligatong Cooperative.
We follow certain guidelines when the issue of credibility of witnesses is presented before us, to
wit: Q: And, where is this Maligatong Cooperative, Ms. Witness, in relation to the basketball court
where the beauty contest was held?
First, the Court gives the highest respect to the R TC' s evaluation of the testimony of the
witnesses, considering its unique position in directly observing the demeanor of a witness on the A: It's near.
stand. From its vantage point, the trial court is in the best position to determine the truthfulness
of witnesses.
xxxx

Second, absent any substantial reason which would justify the reversal of the RTC's assessments
Q: Now, between the basketball court and the cooperative you referred to, what separates
and conclusions, the reviewing court is generally bound by the lower court's findings, particularly
these two buildings?
when no significant facts and circumstances, affecting the outcome of the case, are shown to
have been overlooked or disregarded.
A: Durian trees and cacao.
And third, the rule is even more stringently applied if the CA concurred with the RTC.18
Q: You said that you were going to the CR located at the back of the Maligatong Cooperative to
relieve yourself. And, were you able to go to the CR at the back of the Maligatong Cooperative?
After a careful review of the records and a closer scrutiny of AAA's testimony, reasonable doubt
lingers as we are not fully convinced that AAA was telling the truth. The following circumstances,
particularly, would cast doubt as to the credibility of her testimony: (1) the version of AAA's A: Nomore.
story appearing in her affidavit-complaint differs materially from her testimony in court; (2) AAA
could not have easily identified Amarela because the crime scene was dark and she only saw him Q: Why not?
for the first time; (3) her testimony lacks material details on how she was brought under the
stage against her will; and (4) the medical findings do not corroborate physical injuries and are A: [Amarela] was waiting for me.
inconclusive of any signs of forced entry.

Q: Exactly, can you please tell us the location where he was waiting for you?
First, AAA narrates that she was on her way to the comfort room, isolated from the crowd at the
beauty contest and made it easy for Amarela to grab her without anyone noticing:
A: At the back of the cooperative.
Q: Now, you said that you watched the beauty contest at around 7:00 in the evening on Feb. 10,
2009. After that, Ms. Witness, while watching, what did you do? Q: And, upon seeing [Amarela] at the back of the cooperative, Ms. Witness, tell us what
happened?
A: I was on my way to the CR.
A: He pulled me.
Q: And where is the CR located?
Q: Going to what place?
A: Near the coop.
A: Going towards the day care center.19
Q: Can you please tell us the name of that cooperative?
Meanwhile, her affidavit-complaint would indicate that Amarela pulled AAA away from the
beauty contest stage to the day care center:
A: Cooperative.

61 | P a g e
6. At around 6:00 in the afternoon, I, my aunt [BBB] together with her siblings and grand Second, we also find it dubious how AAA was able to identify Amarela considering that the
children went back to Maligatong Cooperative Building to watch a beauty contest. My whole incident allegedly happened in a dark place. In fact, she had testified that the place was
companions stayed at the multicab at the parking area of said building, while my cousin [CCC] not illuminated and that she did not see Amarela's face:
and I went closer to the stage. While at there, the person of [Amarela], drunk, suddenly
appeared and introduced himself to me. I resisted to get his hand on my hands because he is Direct Examination
holding it tightly and forcibly brought me to the back portion of the building. I asked for help but
nobody heard me maybe because of the high volume of the sound system.
Q: Now, what separates this beauty contest from what you were testifying a while ago as the
daycare center?
7. While at the back of said building I saw my boyfriend Eric Dumandan coming and [Amarela]
told him, "Ran (Eric's palayaw) naa si gemma diri!" and Eric responded, "ahh! tinga-a."
A: Coconut trees, durian trees, and cacao.

8. When Eric left us, [Amarela] grabbed me going to the purok beside the daycare center of Sitio
Q: ·what else?
Maligatong, Brgy. Tawan-Tawan, Baguio District [more or less] 20 meters away from the
[cooperative] building. I shouted for help but still nobody heard me.20
A: Several trees.
It has often been noted that if there is an inconsistency between the affidavit and the testimony
of a witness, the latter should be given more weight since affidavits being taken ex parte are Q: How about grass?
usually incomplete and inadequate.21 We usually brush aside these inconsistencies since they
are trivial and do not impair the credibility of the rape victim.22 In this case, however, the A: Yes, sir.
version in AAA's affidavit-complaint is remotely different from her court testimony. At the first
instance, AAA claims that she was pulled away from the vicinity of the stage; later, in court, she Q: Now, can you please tell us the illumination in that place?
says that she was on her way to the rest room when she was grabbed. By this alone, we are
hesitant to believe AAA's retraction because it goes into whether it was even possible for
Amarela to abduct AAA against her will. A: It was dark.

If we were to take into account AAA's initial claim that Amarela pulled her away from the vicinity Q: Why is it that it was dark?
of the stage, people facing the stage would easily notice that a man was holding a woman
against her will. Thus, AAA's version that she was on her way to the rest room, instead of being A: Because there was no lighting.23
pulled away from the crowd watching the beauty contest, would make it seem that nobody
would notice if AAA was being taken away against her will. If indeed AAA was on her way to the Cross-Examination
rest room when she was grabbed by Amarela, why does her sworn statement reflect another
story that differs from her court testimony? To our mind, AAA's testimony could have been
Q: Since it was already night time, it was very dark at that time, correct?
concocted to just make her story believable rather than sticking to her original story that
Amarela introduced himself and pulled her away from the stage. We cannot say that this
inconsistency is simply a minor detail because it casts some doubt as to whether AAA was telling A: Yes, ma'am.
the truth - that she was abducted against her will before she was raped.
Q: And when you went to the CR to relieve yourself which CR was located at Maligatong
Although we cannot acquit Amarela solely based on an inconsistency, this instance already puts Cooperative building, it was also dark on your way?
AAA's credibility in question. Again, we must remember that if we were to convict based solely
on the lone testimony of the victim, her testimony must be clear, straightforward, convincing, A: Yes, ma'am.
and consistent with human experience. We must set a high standard in evaluating the credibility
of the testimony of a victim who is not a minor and is mentally capable. xxxx

Q: Now, while under the makeshift stage of that day care center, it was dark, very dark?

62 | P a g e
A: Yes, ma'am. prove the identity of the criminal, for even if the commission of the crime can be established,
there can be no conviction without proof of identity of the criminal beyond reasonable doubt.26
Q: And you cannot see the face of [Amarela], was not clear to you because it was very dark,
correct? Third, her claim that she was forcibly brought under a makeshift stage, stripped naked, and then
raped seems unrealistic and beyond human experience. She said:
A: Yes, ma' am.24
Q: At the day care center, where exactly did he bring you?
Re-Direct Examination
A: Under.
Q: At the time that you said that while [Amarela] was undressing you could not see his face,
would you confirm that? Q: Under what?

A: Yes, sir. A: Under the makeshift stage.

Q: What about his body? Q: You said there was also a makeshift stage at the day care center?

A: No, sir. A: Yes.

Q: Why, Ms. Witness? Q: Was it finished makeshift stage or not?

A: It was dark. A: Not yet finished.

xxxx Q: You said that he brought you under that makeshift stage?

Q: Now, at the time that you were raped you said that it was too dark, how did you then identify A: Yes.
that [Amarela] was the one who raped you?
Q: Please tell us how did you fit in that makeshift stage?
A: I know him when he brought me from the Coop.
A: Because the flooring is about 2 feet high.
Q: From the Coop. to the day care center that was the time that you identified him?
Q: Since you said he pulled you towards that makeshift stage, what was your reaction, Ms.
A: Yes, sir.25 Witness?

From AAA's testimony, we are unsure whether she was able to see Amarela given the lighting A: I was scared.
conditions in the crime scene. In her re-direct examination, AAA clarified that she identified
Amarela while she was being pulled to the day care center. Even so, the prosecution failed to Q: And what did you do?
clarify as to how she was able to do so when, according to AAA herself, the way to the day care
center was dark and covered by trees. Thus, leaving this material detail unexplained, we again
A: I did not know what to do then.
draw reservations from AAA's testimony.

xxxx
Proving the identity of the accused as the malefactor is the prosecution's primary responsibility.
The identity of the offender, like the crime itself, must be established by proof beyond
reasonable doubt. Indeed, the first duty of the prosecution is not to prove the crime but to Q: Now, after that, what happened, Ms. Witness?
63 | P a g e
A: He pushed me under. to resist sexual advances. Moreover, AAA failed to mention how exactly Amarela pulled her to
the makeshift stage without any sign of struggle or resistance. If indeed she was being held
Q: What happened after that? against her will, AAA could have easily called for help or simply run away.

A: He [punched] me in my abdomen. Fourth, the challenge to AAA's credibility is further supported by the medical findings of the
medico-legal officer. The medico-legal certificate dated 12 February 2009 would reflect that AAA
had no pertinent physical findings/or physical injuries:28
Q: What else did he do to you?

A: I felt weak. FINDINGS

Q: After that what happened? GENERAL PHYSICAL FINDINGS

A: He undressed me. Height 5 feet & 4 inches Weight 44 Kg

Q: While he was undressing you, what did you do, Ms. Witness?
General Survey Awake, afebrile, not in respiratory distress

A: I was just lying down.


Conscious, coherent, respond well to questions
Mental Status
when asked and maintained eye to eye contact
xxxx

Q: What else did he do to you while you were resisting his advances? Pertinent Physical Findings/Physical Injuries Normal Findings

A: He boxed my upper left thigh. ANO-GENITAL EXAMINATION

Q: .What did you feel when he boxed your left thigh? External Genitalia Normal findings

A: I felt numbness. Urethra and Periurethral Area Normal findings

xxxx
Perihymenal Area and Fossa Narvicularis (+) Hyperemic/Erythematous perihymenal area.

Q: Now, you said that he undressed you, Ms. Witness, and you said he also undressed himself.
What, then, [did he] do to you? (+) Complete laceration at 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock
Hymen positions with minimal bloody secretion on the
A: He placed himself on top of me. lacerated area.

Q: What did he do after that? Perineum Normal findings

A: He inserted his penis in my sex organ.27 Discharge None

From this, AAA would like us to believe that Amarela was able to undress himself and AAA, and Internal and Speculum exam Not done
place himself on top of her while under a 2- feet high makeshift stage. It is physically impossible
for two human beings to move freely under a stage, much more when the other person is trying
64 | P a g e
Anal Examination Good Sphincteric tone From all this, we observe that a specific location of a vaginal laceration cannot distinguish
consensual from non-consensual sex. Rather, other factors should be considered (such as, the
frequency of lacerations and whether they are located in different positions) to determine
DIAGNOSTIC AND EVIDENCE GATHERING whether the sexual act was consensual or not. If the frequency of lacerations is located in
different areas of the vaginal orifice, then it would be a good indicator that there was sexual
Pending laboratory results (Spermatocyte abuse. On the other hand, if the lacerations are found in a specific area, it could indicate forced
Forensic Evidence and Laboratory Results rape, but could also suggest consensual intercourse.
determination gram staining).

In the instant case, the lacerations were found only at the 9 o'clock and 3 o'clock positions of the
IMPRESSONS hymen. Considering the locality of these lacerations, we cannot completely rule out the
probability that AAA voluntarily had sex that night. Moreover, the absence of bruises on AAA's
Anogenital findings are diagnostic of blunt force or penetrating trauma.29 thighs-when she said she was punched there twice-reinforces the theory that AAA may have had
consensual intercourse.

Insofar as the evidentiary value of a medical examination is concerned, we have held that a Rape is essentially a crime committed through force or intimidation, that is, against the will of
medico-legal report is not indispensable to the prosecution of a rape case, it being merely the female.37 It is also committed without force or intimidation when carnal knowledge of a
corroborative in nature.30 In convicting rapists based entirely on the testimony of their victim, female is alleged and shown to be without her consent.38 Carnal knowledge of the female with
we have said that a medico-legal report is by no means controlling.31 Thus, since it is merely her consent is not rape, provided she is above the age of consent or is capable in the eyes of the
corroborative in character, a medico-legal report could even be dispensed with.32 law of giving consent.39 The female must not at any time consent; her consent, given at any
time prior to penetration, however reluctantly given, or if accompanied with mere verbal
protests and refusals, prevents the act from being rape, provided the consent is willing and free
A medico-legal's findings are at most corroborative because they are mere opinions that can
of initial coercion.40
only infer possibilities and not absolute necessities. A medico-legal, who did not witness the
actual incident, cannot testify on what exactly happened as his testimony would not be based on
personal knowledge or derived from his own perception. Consequently, a medico-legal's Although Amarela or Racho did not raise consensual intercourse as a defense, We must bear in
testimony cannot establish a certain fact as it can only suggest what most likely happened. mind that the burden of proof is never shifted and the evidence for the prosecution must stand
or fall on its own merits. Whether the accused's defense has merit is entirely irrelevant in a
criminal case. It is fundamental that the prosecution's case cannot be allowed to draw strength
In the same way, a medico-legal's findings can raise serious doubt as to the credibility of the
from the weakness of the evidence for the defense.41
alleged rape victim. Based on the testimony of the medico-legal officer who conducted the
medical examination on AAA, she diagnosed that the ano-genital findings were caused by a blunt
force or penetrating trauma. As to Racho's case, we note that AAA testified only once for both criminal cases.1âwphi1 This
means that both Amarela and Racho were convicted based on her lone testimony. When we rely
on the testimony of the private complainant in rape cases, we require that her testimony be
In a study conducted by Radostina D. Miterva,33 the most common sites for lacerations were
entirely credible, trustworthy, and realistic. For when certain parts would seem unbelievable,
determined, "in rape victims with ring-shaped hymens, lacerations were most commonly located
especially when it concerns one of the elements of the crime, the victim's testimony as a whole
as followed at dorsal recumbence of the patient: (1) one laceration at 6 o'clock position in
does not pass the test of credibility. Since we doubt AAA's account on how she was raped by
42.02% of cases; (2) two lacerations at 5 and 7 o'clock positions in 24.55% cases; (3) three
Amarela, we have to consider her testimony against Racho under the same light.
lacerations at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock positions in 45.36% of cases; and (4) four lacerations at 3, 5, 6
and 9 o'clock positions in 25% of cases."
In her testimony, AAA claimed that Racho was instructed to bring her to her aunt's house, but
instead forced her to go inside a house along the way. While inside the house, Racho supposedly
These findings were supported by an earlier study that described patterns of genital injury
boxed AAA's abdomen, undressed himself, placed himself on top of AAA, and inserted his penis
resulting from sexual abuse.34
into AAA's vagina. Afterwards, Racho got dressed and left AAA to go home by herself.42

However, in a similar study comparing injuries from consensual and non-consensual intercourse,
We find it odd that AAA was not brought to the police right after she arrived at Godo
the authors discovered that the statistical results of the locations of vaginal laceration are
Dumandan's house to seek help. Instead, she was brought to the Racho residence where she
almost the same.35 Their findings suggest that the injuries are similar after consensual and non-
told Neneng Racho what happened. Again, instead of reporting the incident to the police, AAA
consensual intercourse.36
65 | P a g e
insisted that she be brought to her aunt's house nearby. This is way beyond human experience. to an acquittal, as a matter of right, because the prosecution has failed to prove their guilt
If AAA had already told other people what happened, there was no reason for her not to report beyond reasonable doubt.
the incident to the proper authorities.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the 26 June 2012 Joint Judgment of the Regional Trial Court,
Faced with AAA's doubtful narration before she went home alone, we are inclined to believe Branch 11 of Davao City, in Criminal Case Nos. 64964-09 and 64965-09, as well as the 17
Racho's version that they parted ways when AAA insisted that she wanted to go home. To begin February 2016 Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR HC Nos. 01226 and 01227-MIN are
with, Racho did not even want to bring AAA to her aunt's house nearby.43 If he had the hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE.
intention to have sex with AAA, Racho would not have declined her mother's instruction. To add,
Racho said he left AAA by herself because he did not want to bring AAA to her house since this Accused-appellants Juvy D. Amarela and Junard G. Racho are ACQUITTED of the charge of rape
was in another town from her aunt's house.44 His reason for leaving AAA to go home alone is on the ground of reasonable doubt. Their IMMEDIATE RELEASE from custody is hereby ordered
supported by the fact that he was able to immediately come home right after he left with AAA. unless they are being held for other lawful cause.
Unlike AAA's testimony, the version offered by Racho is corroborated by the testimony of his
mother.
SO ORDERED.

Undeniably, the defenses of denial and alibi are commonly raised in rape cases. Nevertheless,
we have dismissed such defenses for being inherently weak, self-serving, and, more often than
not, uncorroborated. To recall, Racho did not deny that he accompanied AAA to her aunt's
house, but he said he left her when AAA insisted that she wanted to go home. Racho's mother
corroborated this part of the story. To our mind, if the denial and alibi are readily available,
Racho could have easily raised these defenses and denied that AAA ever came to the house. His
mother could have likewise covered up this story, but she did not and confirmed that Racho was
with AAA that night. If indeed Racho raped AAA that night, the best defense available for him
was alibi which he thought he did not have to raise, given that he was telling the truth when he
left AAA by herself to go home. To our mind, these are badges of truth which persuade us that
Racho might be telling the truth.

In the end, what needs to be stressed here is that a conviction in a criminal case must be
supported by proof beyond reasonable doubt or moral certainty that the accused is guilty.45
Absolute guarantee of guilt is not demanded by the law to convict a person of a criminal charge
but there must, at least, be moral certainty on each element essential to constitute the offense
and on the responsibility of the offender.46 Thus, the prosecution has the primordial duty to
present its case with clarity and persuasion, to the end that conviction becomes the only logical
and inevitable conclusion.47

The prosecution in this case miserably failed to present a clear story of what transpired.
Whether AAA's ill-fated story is true or not, by seeking relief for an alleged crime, the
prosecution must do its part to convince the court that the accused is guilty. Prosecutors are
given ample resources of the government to present a logical and realistic account of every
alleged crime, and they should, to the best of their ability, present a detailed story to get a
conviction. But here we cannot ascertain what happened based on the lone testimony of AAA. It
should have been the prosecution's duty to properly evaluate the evidence if it had enough to
convict Amarela or Racho.

Henceforth, we are constrained to reverse the R TC and the CA rulings due to the presence of
lingering doubts which are inconsistent with the requirement of guilt beyond reasonable doubt
as quantum of evidence to convict an accused in a criminal case. Amarela and Racho are entitled
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