RAPE; Failure to shout or offer tenacious resistance does not make voluntary complainants submission to the criminal acts of the accused. Moreover, the fact that there was no weapon used by the accused does not rule out force in the rape committed.
FACTS: On January 12, 1992, at around 6:00 in the evening, accused-appellant Caneda dragged Lourdes, a fourteen-year-old girl, into a nearby river. Threatening that he will kill her and the fact that he was stronger, Caneda succeeded in forcing himself to Lourdes. The day after the incident, Lourdes reported the rape to the authorities and submitted herself to physical examination. Caneda, for his defense, admitted that he had sexual intercourse with complainant. He asserts, however, that the complainant was his sweetheart and that it was even the complainant who initiated the act. He claimed that the complainant did not put up any resistance when she was being led to the river. The accused argued that he did not have any weapon with him at the time and the complainant had several opportunities to escape if indeed she had been forcibly taken.
ISSUE: Whether or not the accused is guilty of rape beyond reasonable doubt.
HELD: The Supreme Court ruled in the affirmative. First, other than the accused's assertion, there was no evidence to show that they were sweethearts. Complainant denied any relationship between them and no corroborating evidence supported the self-serving assertions of the accused. Second, it is an established rule that failure to shout or offer a tenacious resistance does not make voluntary complainants submission to the criminal acts of the accused. Caneda was strong enough to force himself to Lourdes that any resistance or struggle from Lourdes will still fail. Using his physical strength as weapon to intimidate and threatening to kill Lourdes if she shout is enough for Caneda to succeed in raping her. Finally, the fact that there was no weapon used by the accused does not rule out force in the rape committed. The force necessary in rape is relative, depending on the age, the size and the strength of the parties. When applied, such force need not be overpowering or irresistible. What is essential is that the force used is sufficient to consummate the purpose, which the offender had in mind, or to bring about the result. Intimidation must be viewed in light of the victim's perception and judgement at the time of the commission of the crime and not by any hard and fast rule. [People vs. Caneda, G.R. No. 127494, February 18, 1999; FIRST DIVISION--- Pardo, J.]
RAPE; Mere touching, no matter how slight, of the labia or lips of the female organ by the male genital, even without rupture or laceration of the hymen, is sufficient to consummate rape.
FACTS: Delfin Ayo was charged for the rape of his own daughter, Sarah Mae, then eight (8) years old in Davao City under Art. 335, as amended by RA 7659. Ayo was found guilty on the strength of Sarah Mae's direct testimony that her father raped her on several occasions, and on the eyewitness account of Orfa, Sarah Mae's mother and the common law wife of Ayo. On appeal, Accused-appellant denied the charge against him, citing the testimony of the physician Dr. Danilo Ledesma that no physical injury was noted at the time he examined the victim. The testimony of the medico-legal officer was at variance with the factual findings in that the offended party did not suffer any injuries on her external genitalia and surrounding areas.
ISSUE: Whether or not there was consummated rape notwithstanding a finding that the victim is still physically a virgin.
HELD: The Supreme Court ruled in the affirmative. While it may be granted that penetration may not have been accomplished as the girl's hymen was shown to have remained intact and the orifice too small to preclude full penetration, jurisprudence recognizes that slight penetration of the labia by the male organ still constitute rape. In the case at bar, the court accordingly found that the most reasonable explanation why the hymen of the victim was not broken was simply because the accused merely rubbed his penis between the labias, in what can probably be described as an inter-labial intercourse. Mere touching, no matter how slight, of the labia or lips of the female organ by the male genital, even without rupture or laceration of the hymen, is sufficient to consummate rape. Mere introduction of the male organ into the labia of the pudendum constitutes carnal knowledge. [People vs. Ayo, G.R. No. 123540, March 30, 1999; En Banc--- Per Curiam]
RAPE; Aggravating circumstances were neither mentioned in the complaint nor in the information. Consequently, to convict the accused of an offense higher than that charged in the complaint or information on which he is tried would constitute an unauthorized denial of his constitutional right.
FACTS: Accused appellant Wilfredo Onabia was charged with the crime of rape against Raquel B. Eballe with the aggravating circumstances of abuse of superior strength, abuse of confidence and lack of respect on the account of age and relationship. The antecedents are: At about 6:30 in the evening of February 15, 1994, accused-appellant asked private complainant to go with him to the copra drier located at about 200 meters from their house. When they arrived at the copra drier, they went upstairs, then accused-appellant removed his pants and brief and thereafter, he inserted his penis into the vagina of private complainant. Accused-appellant told private complainant that he would kill her and her family if she would reveal the incident to her mother. In the afternoon of August 10, 1994, only private complainant and accused appellant were in their house. Private complainant was in her room when the accused entered and told her not to shout lest he will kill her and the other members of family. Thereupon, he embraced private complainant, forced her to lie down, removed her panty and inserted his penis into her vagina. At about 9:00 P.M. of October 7, 1995, accused-appellant called private complainant to come from her room to the sala to give him a massage. Private complainant was hesitant but was constrained to do so by her mother. While at the sala, accused removed his shortpants and brief and the private complainant's underwear. Then, he inserted his penis into the vagina of the private complainant. The incident of October 7,1995 was repeated in the night of November 6,1995. On November 7, 1995, private complainant reported to her brother Jessie the sexual assault perpetrated upon her by the accused. Jessie reported the same to their elder brother Bernabe who accompanied the child in her report of the incident to the barangay councilman and the police. On the following day, private complainant was subjected to medical examination. The medical report issued by the doctor showed that private complainant sustaned lacerations on her hymen. Wilfredo Onabia was charged 4 counts of rape and was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crimes charged and was sentenced to death. On appeal to the Supreme Court, the presence of aggravating circumstances was put in question.
ISSUE: Whether or not the lower court erred in appreciating the aggravating circumstances of (1) abuse of superior strength (2) abuse of confidence; and (3) lack of respect on account of age and relationship as present in the instant case.
HELD: The Supreme Court found the court a quo to have erred in appreciating the aggravating circumstances above-questioned. In the case before us, the subject aggravating circumstances were neither mentioned in the complaint nor in the information. Consequently, to appreciate the aforementioned aggravating circumstances and to convict the accused of an offense higher than that charged in the complaint or information on which he is tried would constitute an unauthorized denial of his constitutional right. Considering further that the crime is simple rape, which is punishable by a single indivisible penalty of reclusion perpetua, no ordinary mitigating or aggravating circumstances may affect it. Moreover, in order to appreciate the aggravating circumstance of "abuse of superior strength," it must be sufficiently established that the same was deliberately taken advantaged of. No such proof was offered in the present case. As regards the aggravating circumstance of "abuse of confidence", it is necessary that the confidence facilitated the commission of the offense and the same will not hold true if the victim had already lost confidence in the accused. In this case before us, private complainant's hesitance and apparent reluctance to accompany accused showed her lack of confidence in him. Finally, the aggravating circumstance of "lack of respect on account of age" requires that the accused should have deliberately intended to offend or insult the age of the offended party. Nowhere in the case at bar was shown that the rape was perpetrated by the accused with the thought or intention "of heaping contumely or insult upon the child because of her sex or her tender age." [People of the Philippines vs. Wilfredo Onabia, G.R. 128288, April 20, 1999, EN BANC-Buena,J.]
RAPE; Jurisprudence has established that sexual intercourse with one who is intellectually weak to the extent that she is incapable of giving consent to the carnal act constitutes rape.
FACTS: Lorenzo Andaya was charged with the crime of rape committed against Nelly Solano who is a seventeen year old mental retardate, and whose mental age is estimated to be 5 to 9 years old of age. On July 25, 1994, while Nerry's parents were in the market and her brother was at work , Lorenzo pulled Nelly inside the house, threatened to kill her if she will not give in and succeeded in having carnal knowledge with her. The accused, in denying the charge against him, interposed alibi. The Regional Trial Court of Camarines Sur found the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of death. On appeal, the defense assailed the findings of the lower court. They alleged that the court a quo erred in not considering the fact that the alleged victim voluntarily submitted to the sexual acts.
ISSUE: Whether or not accused-appellant is guilty of rape.
HELD: The Supreme Court ruled in the affirmative. The contention that the victim consented to the act of sexual intercourse must fail. A mental retardate is incapable of giving rational consent. The term "deprived of reason" in Art. 335 of the Revised Penal Code has been construed to include those suffering from mental abnormality or deficiency, or some form of mental retardation. A mental condition of retardation deprives the complainant of that natural instinct to resist a bestial assault on her chastity and womanhood. Jurisprudence has established that sexual intercourse with one who is intellectually weak to the extent that she is incapable of giving consent to the carnal act constitutes rape. And it is well settled that sexual intercourse with a woman who is a mental retardate constitutes statutory rape, which does not require proof that the accused used force or intimidation in having carnal knowledge of the victim for conviction. At any rate, there is evidence to show that the accused-appellant used force and intimidation in committing the crime of rape in this case, as complainant testified, upon questioning by the court, that the accused-appellant threatened her with a one-foot-long bolo. [People vs. Lorenzo Andaya; G.R. No. 126545; April21, 1999; EN BANC--- Gonzaga-Reyes, J.]
RAPE; The presence of spermatozoa in the sex organ of the victim is not necessary to prove rape.
FACTS: At about 8:00 PM of January 8, 1995, Erlinda Olivarion answered the call of nature at the back of their house. After answering the call of nature, with her jogging pants and panty still rolled down to her knees, she headed to the kitchen to wash. On her way to the kitchen, Erlinda recognized Crisanto Oliver, who suddenly came from behind, embraced and dragged her to a grassy portion where the accused mounted her and had sexual intercourse with her. Consequently, Erlinda filed a complaint charging the accused with rape. During the trial, Erlinda testified that while there was penile penetration of her sex organ, there was no seminal discharge. The accused, on the other hand, interposed the defense of alibi. Subsequently, the trial court found Crisanto Oliver guilty thereof. On appeal, accused-appellant contends that the court erred in believing the testimony of the victim on the ground, inter alia, that there was no spermatozoa found in the genitalia of the victim. The medical report conducted on the victim indicated the absence of sperms.
ISSUE: Whether or not the absence of spermatozoa in the genitalia of the victim belies the commission of rape.
HELD: The Supreme Court ruled in the negative. The appellant's argument capitalizing on the absence of spermatozoa in the victim's organ is untenable. Indeed, the presence of sperms is not a requisite for rape. Such crime is consummated when the penis touches the pudendum, however slightly. [People of the Philippines vs. Crisanto Oliver; G.R. No. 123099; February 11, 1999; THIRD DIVISION --- Panganiban, J.]
CONSPIRACY; In the instant case, the existence of conspiracy is beyond dispute. The series of acts, fist blows by appellant and the clubbing by the Quiliza brothers, resulting in the death of the deceased suggest unity of purpose.
FACTS: Accused-appellant Marcelino Nava, along with Gerald and Angelito, both surnamed Quiliza, were charged with the crime of murder for the death of Emilio Ico. The prosecution presented two witnesses, Rodrigo Ico and Josefina Francisco. Rodrigo lco, nephew of the deceased Emilio lco, testified that at about 8:00 P.M. of November 9, 1992, rushed out of his house to investigate an on going scuffle and thereupon saw appellant Nava on top of the deceased who lay prostate on the ground, while being repeatedly clubbed by the Quiliza brothers with a piece of wood. Josefina Francisco, likewise in her capacity as eyewitness, narrated that on the night of the incident, she was at a nearby house where she chanced upon the deceased who told her that someone was throwing stones at his house. She trailed Emilio until he reached his house. Suddenly Angelito Quiliza thrashed the deceased with a piece of wood until the latter fell down. Nava, on the other hand, clambered on top of him and hacked him with a bob. Gerald Quiliza was seen standing beside the other two brandishing a longer piece of wood. The trial court convicted the appellants as charged. On appeal, appellants contended that the prosecution evidence failed to establish the existence of conspiracy. In his brief, appellant declared that he was seen on top of the deceased, striking the latter with fists, while Quiliza brothers repeatedly assaulted the victim with a piece of wood, is inadequate to support a finding of conspiracy.
ISSUE: Whether or not conspiracy exists in the instant case.
HELD: The Supreme Court ruled in the affirmative. Article 8, paragraph 2 of the Revised Penal Code provides that "conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an agreement concerning the commission of a felony, and decide to commit it." This Court has consistently held in several cases that "to establish conspiracy, two or more persons must be shown to come to an agreement concerning the commission of a felony. It is not however necessary that direct proof be adduced to establish such agreement. It can be inferred from the acts of the accused which clearly manifest a concurrence of wills, a common intent or design to commit a crime." Thus, it is unnecessary for the prosecution to show the existence of previous agreement on the part of the accused to take advantage of their numerical superiority to kill the victim. In the instant case, the existence of conspiracy is beyond dispute. The series of acts, fist blows by appellant and the clubbing by the Quiliza brothers, resulting in the death of the deceased suggest unity of purpose. Thus, "each of their contributing acts without any semblance of desistance reflected their resolution to commit the said crime." [People of the Philippines vs. Marcelino Nava, et al., G.R. No. 123148, April20, 1999; THIRD DI VISION-Romero, J.]
PROBATION; Probation is not an absolute right. It is a mere privilege whose grant rests upon the discretion of the trial court.
FACTS: Petitioner Ronald Soriano was convicted of the crime of reckless imprudence resulting to homicide, serious physical injuries and damage to property. He applied for probation and it was granted. Subsequently however, Assistant Prosecutor Fadera filed a motion to cancel said probation due to petitioner's failure to satisfy his civil liability to the heirs of the victim. The Parole and Probation Office, on the other hand, filed a comment recommending that petitioner be allowed to continue with his probation and that he be required instead to submit a program of payment of his civil liability. The trial court denied the prosecutors motion and on two separate orders, directed petitioner to submit said program of payment. Having failed to comply with said orders, the lower court declared petitioner in contempt and revoked the grant of probation to him. A special civil action was filed with the Court of Appeals but the same was dismissed. In a petition for review with the Supreme Court, petitioner asserts that he had no intention to ignore the lower court's orders and that his counsel's irresponsible delay in informing him of the order should not prejudice him. He further avers that to require him to satisfy his civil liability in order to continue to avail of the benefits of probation is to violate the constitutional proscription against unequal protection of the law. He says only moneyed probationers will be able to benefit from probation if satisfaction of civil liability is made a condition. Petitioner also explains that his non-compliance with the order to submit a program of payment of his civil liability is due to his poor financial condition.
ISSUE: Whether on not the revocation of petitioner's probation is proper.
HELD: The Supreme Court ruled in the affirmative. First, petitioner's counsel has not been shown to be grossly irresponsible as to cause prejudice to petitioner's rights. Hence, the rule that notice to counsel is notice to client applies. Second, the requirements imposed on petitioner's probation is not violative of the equal protection clause of the constitution. Payment of the civil liability is not made a condition precedent to probation. Finally, the conditions set forth in the probation are not whims of the trial court but are requisites laid down by statute. The trial court could not be faulted for cutting him in contempt for his failure to comply with its order. Probation is not an absolute right. It is a mere privilege whose grant rests upon the discretion of the trial court. Having the power to grant probation, it follows that the trial court also has the power to order its revocation in a proper case and under appropriate circumstances. [Ronald Soriano vs. CA, G.R. No. 123936, March 4, 1999, SECOND DIVISION --- Quisumbing, J.]
ELEMENTS OF THE OFFENSE; Failure or inability of the prosecution to substantiate any of the elements of the offense charged is fatal to the cause of the people; it renders inevitable the acquittal of the accused.
FACTS: Petitioner Conrado Avila was, at the time alleged in the information, the municipal mayor of the municipality of San Isidro, Northern Samar. The latter was charged by the Sandiganbayan with the violation of R.A. 3019 for depositing the confiscated 160 pieces of illegally cut lumber under the care of the Barangay Chairman, as per his request. Thereafter, he filed with the Sandiganbayan, a motion for reinvestigation on the ground of lack of evidence to support the finding of probable cause to hold him for trial. Subsequently, the respondent Sandiganbayan denied petitioner's motion for lack of merit. Hence, this petition.
ISSUE: Whether or not the respondent Sandiganbayan acted with grave abuse of discretion in denying petitioner's motion for reconsideration.
HELD: The Supreme Court ruled in the affirmative. The Court is not convinced that there was sufficient reason or that a prima facie evidence existed for the prosecution of petitioner for violation of Sec. 3 (e) of R.A. 3019. It has been held in Pecho vs. Sandiganbayan that "causing undue injury to any party, including the government, could only mean actual injury or damage which must be established by evidence." In the case at bar, there was absolutely no evidence of actual injury or damage to any party shown during the preliminary investigation. The deposit of the confiscated lumber to the care of the Barangay Chairman is precisely the proper thing to do. Hence, such act is not tantamount to giving undue advantage to the petitioner, much less causing damage and prejudice to the government. As there was no prima facie evidence or probable cause of actual injury or damage to the government as an element of the commission of the offense charged, the Sandiganbayan gravely bused its discretion in denying petitioner's motion for reconsideration in the filing of the information. The Court has held that failure or inability of the prosecution to substantiate any of the elements of the offense charged is fatal to the cause of the people; it renders inevitable the acquittal of the accused. [Avila vs. Sandiganbayan; G.R. No. 130576; May 18, 1999; First Division--- Pardo, J.]
ALIBI; Alibi cannot overcome the categorical and credible testimony of the victim identifying the appellant as the rapist. Basic is the rule that positive identification prevails over alibi.
FACTS: Erlinda Olivario was raped at the back of their house after answering the call of nature. She positively identified Crisanto Oliver as the perpetrator. Oliver interposed the defense of alibi, saying that in the evening of the commission of the crime, he was at home entertaining guests, as it was the eve of Barangay fiesta. The lower court disbelieved the defense of alibi, thereby finding Oliver guilty of the crime of rape. On appeal, Appellant contends that the court a quo erred in belittling the defense of alibi. Though weak and easily fabricated, his claim that he was at home when the crime was committed was allegedly corroborated by the unbiased and independent witnesses he presented in court.
ISSUE: Whether or not the lower court erred in belittling the defense of alibi.
HELD: The Supreme Court ruled in the negative. Alibi is inherently weak and easily contrived. This is why the accused must prove with clear and convincing evidence that it was physically impossible for him to have been present at the place and the time the felony was committed. This the appellant failed to do. In the case at bar, the distance between the appellant's house and the locus criminis is approximately 300 meters only. Thus, it was not impossible for the appellant to leave and after raping Erlinda, to return to his house without his guests noticing his absence. Even the defense witnesses failed to establish the whereabouts of the appellant at the exact time of the commission of the crime. In any event, alibi cannot overcome the categorical and credible testimony of the victim identifying the appellant as the rapist. Basic is the rule that positive identification prevails over alibi. [People of the Philippines vs. Crisanto Oliver, G.R. No. 123099, February 11, 1999, THIRD DIVISION --- Panganiban, J.]
ALIBI; It is not enough to prove that the accused was somewhere else when the offense was committed. He must show that is was not possible for him to have been physically present at the place of the crime or its immediate vicinity at the time of its commission.
FACTS: As Cirilo and his family were having supper at their house at Barangay Binay, Magpet, Cotabato around 7:00 and 8:00 in the evening of April 29, 1988, accused Godofredo Marfil, together with his sons, approached the house and called for Cirilo. Accused told Cirilo to open the door because he want to drink. The family of Cirilo did not open the door because of fear, since the accused and his sons were armed. Thereafter, the accused and his sons fired at the house, causing the death of four of Cirilo's children and injuries to the rest of the family. Accused for his part interposed the defense of alibi. He testified that between 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. of April 29, 1988, the barangay chairman was massaging him in his house because he was sick with flu and fever. Acting barangay chairman even corroborated the testimony of Godofredo. After due trial, the trial court rendered judgement, convicting the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt.
ISSUE: Whether or not the trial court erred in ruling against the accused.
HELD: The Supreme Court ruled in the negative. The alibi offered is incredible. It is not enough to prove that the accused was somewhere else when the offense was committed. He must show that is was not possible for him to have been physically present at the place of the crime or its immediate vicinity at the time of its commission. Accused Godofredo failed to prove this point. In a matter of minutes by walking or horseback, accused Godofredo could easily reach Cirilo's house, which is only one kilometer away from his house. No jurisprudence in criminal law is more settled than that alibi is the weakest of all defenses for it is easy to contrive and difficult to disprove, and for which reason it is generally rejected. In the case at bar, complainant Cirilo and his children Joel and Marivic positively identified the accused. Consequently, accused's defense of alibi cannot prevail. [People vs. Marfil; G.R. No. 122101; April 30, 1999; First Division--- Pardo, J.]