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Republic of the Philippines

G.R. No. 137842 August 23, 2001
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,
ANILO CATU!IG " HORIO, accused-appellant.
#ITUG, J.$
In an information, dated ! "anuar# $!!%, the accused, &anilo Catubi' # (orio, )as
char'ed )ith the crime of rape before the Re'ional *rial Court, Branch +%, of
Malolos, Bulacan, viz-
.*he undersi'ned Asst. Provincial Prosecutor on complaint of the offended
part# &annil#n Catubi' # /a0aro accuses &anilo Catubi' # (orio of the
crime of rape, penali0ed under the provisions of Art. 112 of the Revised
Penal Code, committed as follo)s-
.*hat on or about the +th da# of November, $!!+, in the municipalit# of
3an "ose del Monte, province of Bulacan, Philippines, and )ithin the
4urisdiction of this (onorable Court, the above-named accused, did then and
there )ilfull#, unla)full# and feloniousl#, b# means of force, threats and
intimidation and )ith le)d desi'n have carnal 5no)led'e of the said
offended part# a'ainst her )ill..
6hen arrai'ned on $7 "ul# $!!%, accused Catubi', represented b# counsel de oficio,
pleaded .not 'uilt#. to the offense char'ed, forth)ith, trial ensued.
*he case for the prosecution )as laid bare in Appellee8s Brief submitted b# the 9ffice
of the 3olicitor :eneral.
.9n November +, $!!+, at around ;-<< o8cloc5 in the afternoon, private
complainant &annil#n Catubi', )ho )as born on Au'ust !, $!%2, and her
four =;> #oun'er siblin's )ere )atchin' television in the sala of their house
located at 3unlife 3ubdivision, 3an "ose del Monte, Bulacan.
.After an hour, &annil#n8s father, herein appellant &anilo Catubi', arrived
and told &annil#n8s siblin's to proceed, as in fact the# did proceed, to her
aunt8s house )hich is 4ust located nearb#. *hereafter, appellant told
&annil#n to 'o inside a room and to lie do)n on the bed. After &annil#n had
complied, appellant removed &annil#n8s shorts and pant#, )hile appellant,
after removin' his brief and t-shirt, ?laid@ on top of &annil#n. Afraid of
appellant )ho beat and raped her in the past, &annil#n )as not able to
resist appellant )ho succeeded in insertin' his penis into &annil#n8s va'ina.
.(o)ever, &annil#n8s aunt, )ho 'ot suspicious of )hat appellant )as doin'
to &annil#n, informed the latter8s mother, "ocel#n Catubi', about the said
suspicion. *hus, )hen confronted b# her mother, &annil#n )as forced to
reveal that she )as indeed raped b# appellant. *he seAual assault )as
reported to the 3an "ose del Monte Police 3tation )here &annil#n8s s)orn
statement )as subseBuentl# ta5en on &ecember 1, $!!+.
.Cpon the reBuest of the police authorities, &annil#n )as eAamined on
&ecember $, $!!+ b# &r. 6ilfredo E. *iera, Medico-/e'al 9fficer of the
National Bureau of Investi'ation, )ho found out that &annil#n8s healed
laceration in the h#men )as caused b# seAual intercourse..

*he accused denied the accusation a'ainst him. (e claimed that the rape char'e
)as brou'ht about onl# because of the ill-)ill bet)een him, on the one hand, and his
)ife and dau'hter &annil#n, on the other hand, follo)in' a Buarrel. 9n + November
$!!+, he asseverated, he had fou'ht )ith his )ife, hittin' her and his dau'hter. (is
)ife then threatened him that it )as the last time that she )ould allo) him to harm
her and that he )ould re'ret )hat he did. *rue to her forebodin', the neAt da#, he
)as arrested and a complaint for rape )as filed a'ainst him.
9n $$ &ecember $!!%, the Re'ional *rial Court rendered a decision holdin' the
accused 'uilt# of the crime of rape, it ad4ud'ed-
.6(ERED9RE, in vie) of the fore'oin', the Court hereb# finds accused
&ANI/9 CA*CBI: E (9RI9 :CI/*E be#ond reasonable doubt of the crime
of Rape defined and penali0ed under Article 112 of the Revised Penal
Code, as amended b# Republic Act No. +72!, and hereb# sentences him to
suffer the penalt# of &EA*(, and to pa# private complainant &annil#n
Catubi' the amount of Dift# *housand Pesos =P2<,<<<.<<> as moral
6ith the imposition of the death penalt# b# the trial court, the records )ere elevated
to this Court for automatic revie).
In his brief, appellant submitted thusl#-
.$. *he lo)er court erred in findin' the accused 'uilt# of the crime of rape in
violation of Article 112 of the Revised Penal Code as amended b# Republic
Act +72!.
.. *he lo)er court erred in not ta5in' into consideration the fact that the
information )as defective for failure to state that the accused is the father of
the victim and that the victim )as under $% #ears ?of@ a'e at the time of the
commission of the alle'ed rape..
Private complainant &annil#n Catubi' narrated ho) she )as repeatedl# abused b#
her o)n father, she testified-
.F No), after #our sisters and brother ?)ent@ to the house of #our aunt,
)hat did #our father doG
.A (e instructed me to 'o inside the room.
.F (o) man# rooms )ere there in #our houseG
.A 9nl# one.
.F &id #ou 'o to the room per instructionG
.A Ees, sir.
.F And )hat happened inside the roomG
.A M# father entered the room.
.F And )hen #our father entered the room, )hat did he do neAtG
.A (e removed m# short ?pants@ and m# pant#.
.F 6hat )as #our position at that time )hen #our father removed #our
short pants and pant#G
.A I )as l#in'.
.F 6hen #ou entered the room, did #ou lie immediatel#G
.A No, I 4ust sat.
.F (o) come as #ou claimed a )hile a'o, #ou )ere l#in' )hen #our
father removed #our short pants and pant#G
.A 9nce I entered the room, I )as sittin' then he removed m# short
?pants@ and pant#.
.F Eou said upon enterin' the room, #ou sat and )hile sittin', all of a
sudden #our father removed #our short pants and pant# )hile alread# l#in'
at that time, ho) come #ou )ere l#in' )hen accordin' to #ou, #ou )ere
sittin' inside the roomG
.A I )as sittin' first and he instructed me to lie do)n.
.F 6hile #ou )ere sittin' inside the room and #ou )ere instructed b#
#our father to lie, )hat comes to #our mindG
.A *hat he )ill rape me.
.F (o) did #ou come to 5no) thatG
.A (e )as rapin' me before, doin' that before.
.F In other )ords, that )as not the first time #our father raped #ou on
that particular dateG
.A No, sir.
.F 6hen )as the first time, if #ou rememberG
.A 6hen I )as still in 'rade $.
.F (o) man# times )ere #ou raped b# #our fatherG
.A I can no lon'er remember ho) man# it )as H several.
.F 6hen )as the last time #our father raped #ouG
.A November +.
.F No), )hen #our father removed #our short pants and pant#, )hat
did he do neAtG
.A (e removed his brief and shirt.
.F After removin' his brief and shirt, )hat did he doG
.A (e ?laid@ on top me.
.F 6hen #our father ?laid@ on top of #ou, )hat did he doG
.A (e )as insertin' his penis to m# va'ina.
.F At this 4uncture, ma# )e ma5e of record that )itness starts to cr#.
.F (o) did #ou 5no) #our father inserted his penis to #our va'inaG
.A I can feel it and it is painful.
.F *hat )as the time )hen #our father )as alread# l#in' on top of
.A Ees, sir.
.F And )hat )as the movement of the bod# of #our father )hile he
)as l#in' on top of #ouG
.A Push and pull movement.
.F Dor ho) lon' did #our father sta# on top of #ou doin' that push and
pull movementG
.A *hat must be about $ hour, but m# aunt arrived.
.F Aside from the pain, )hat else did #ou feelG
.A Mahapdi at paran' ma# pumipiti5 sa loob n' ari 5o.
.F &id #ou not tr# to resistG
.A No, because I am afraid of him.
.F Eou are afraid of #our fatherG
.A Ees, sir.
.F Afraid of )hatG
.A Because he )as beatin' us, hittin' us.
.F 6h#, )hat )as the reason )h# #our father )as hittin' #ouG
.A *o threaten us.
.F Dor )hat purposeG
.A 6henever m# mother sided )ith us, m# father and mother en'a'ed
in a fi'ht.
.F In this case, #ou )ere raped and seAuall# abused b# #our father,
)hat made #ou afraid of himG
.A Because )e )ere afraid of m# father since childhood..
&annil#n has 'iven her testimon# in a plain, cate'orical, spontaneous and fran5
manner, remainin' consistent throu'hout, and there is hardl# an#thin' on record that
can cast doubt on her sincerit#. *he revelations of an innocent child )hose chastit#
has been abused, coupled )ith her )illin'ness to face police investi'ation and to
under'o the trouble and humiliation of a public trial, should merit credence unless
stron' 4ustifications dictate other)ise. Indeed, it )ould ta5e a most senseless 5ind of
depravit# for a #oun' dau'hter to 4ust ma5e up a stor# )hich could put her o)n
father to an undeserved indictment and to even possibl# face death in the hands of
the la).
6hen rape is committed a'ainst one8s o)n dau'hter, the moral ascendanc# and
influence of the father, that necessaril# flo)s from his parental authorit#, can
sufficientl# co) the child to submission and can ri'htl# be held to substitute for the
reBuisite .violence or intimidation. that, normall#, )ould be characteri0ed b# ph#sical
acts and uttered threats made on the victim.
*he trite defenses of alibi and denial proferred b# appellant cannot prevail over the
positive and cate'orical statements of private complainant. Alibi is often vie)ed )ith
suspicion and received )ith caution not onl# because it is inherentl# )ea5 and
unreliable but also because it is eas# to fabricate. In order that this defense can
prosper, it must be convincin' to preclude an# doubt on the ph#sical impossibilit# of
the presence of the accused at the locus criminis at the time of the incident. *hese
conditions have not been met in the case at bar.
*he contention of appellant that his )ife and dau'hter &annil#n have accused him
merel# because of his violent )a#s is much too flims# to be believed. *he mere
resentment of a )ife and dau'hter is not so compellin' as to have motivated them to
)ron'l# lod'e a complaint for a crime much more serious than mi'ht, if at all, be
It is li5e)ise a settled doctrine that the assessment made b# the trial court on the
credibilit# of )itnesses deserves 'reat re'ard and )ei'ht on appeal. *he rule is not
)ithout reason, the trial 4ud'e has a uniBue position of hearin' first hand the
)itnesses and observin' their deportment, conduct and attitude durin' the course of
the testimon# in open court. *here is no valid reason to no) i'nore this lon'
accepted 4urisprudence in this instance.
*his Court, ho)ever, finds the second assi'nment of error impressed )ith merit.
Article 112 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended b# 3ection $$ of Republic Act
No. +72!, at times also referred to as the &eath Penalt# /a), states in part-
.AR*IC/E 112. When and how rape is committed. A A A .
.*he death penalt# shall also be imposed if the crime of rape is committed
)ith an# of the follo)in' attendant circumstances-
.$. 6hen the victim is under ei'hteen =$%> #ears of a'e and the offender is
a parent, ascendant, step-parent, 'uardian, relative b# consan'uinit# or
affinit# )ithin the third civil de'ree, or the common-la) spouse of the parent
of the victim..
*he concurrence of the minorit# of the victim and her relationship to the offender are
special Bualif#in' circumstances that are needed to be alle'ed in the complaint or
information for the penalt# of death to be decreed.
*he Constitution 'uarantees to be
inviolable the ri'ht of an accused to be informed of the nature and cause of the
accusation a'ainst him.
It is a reBuirement that renders it essential for ever# element
of the offense )ith )hich he is char'ed to be properl# alle'ed in the complaint or
(ere, the information failed to state the minorit# of the victim and her relationship
)ith the offender, both special Bualif#in' circumstances under Republic Act No. +72!,
and for )ant of such alle'ations, the trial court erred in imposin' the death penalt# on
the accused.
Appellant could onl# thus be convicted under Article 112 of the Revised
Penal Code, as amended, of simple rape punishable b# reclusion perpetua.
Anent the a)ard of dama'es, the trial court has correctl# a)arded P2<,<<<.<< moral
dama'es, an a)ard that rests on the 4ural foundation that the crime of rape
necessaril# brin's )ith it shame, mental an'uish, besmirched reputation, moral
shoc5 and social humiliation to the offended part#.
In addition, the offended part#
deserves to receive the amount of P2<,<<<.<< civil indemnit#,
the eBuivalent of
compensator# dama'es, and eAemplar# dama'es in the amount of P2,<<<.<<.
An apparent discord in the a)ard of eAemplar# dama'es in simple and Bualified rape
cases perhaps deserves more than 4ust a passin' remar5.
*he Civil Code of the Philippines provides, in respect to eAemplar# or corrective
dama'es, thusl#-
.AR*IC/E !. EAemplar# or corrective dama'es are imposed, b# )a# of
eAample or correction for the public 'ood, in addition to the moral,
temperate, liBuidated or compensator# dama'es.
.AR*IC/E 1<. In criminal offenses, eAemplar# dama'es as a part of the
civil liabilit# ma# be imposed )hen the crime )as committed )ith one or
more a''ravatin' circumstances. 3uch dama'es are separate and distinct
from fines and shall be paid to the offended part#.
.AR*IC/E 1$. In Buasi-delicts, eAemplar# dama'es ma# be 'ranted if the
defendant acted )ith 'ross ne'li'ence.
.AR*IC/E 1. In contracts and Buasi-contracts, the court ma# a)ard
eAemplar# dama'es if the defendant acted in a )anton, fraudulent,
rec5less, oppressive, or malevolent manner.
.AR*IC/E 11. EAemplar# dama'es cannot be recovered as a matter of
ri'ht, the court )ill decide )hether or not the# should be ad4udicated.
.AR*IC/E 1;. 6hile the amount of the eAemplar# dama'es need not be
proved, the plaintiff must sho) that he is entitled to moral, temperate or
compensator# dama'es before the court ma# consider the Buestion of
)hether or not eAemplar# dama'es should be a)arded. In case liBuidated
dama'es have been a'reed upon, althou'h no proof of loss is necessar# in
order that such liBuidated dama'es ma# be recovered, nevertheless, before
the court ma# consider the Buestion of 'rantin' eAemplar# in addition to the
liBuidated dama'es, the plaintiff must sho) that he )ould be entitled to
moral, temperate or compensator# dama'es )ere it not for the stipulation
for liBuidated dama'es.
.AR*IC/E 12. A stipulation )hereb# eAemplar# dama'es are renounced
in advance shall be null and void..
*he attendance of a''ravatin' circumstances in the perpetration of the crime serves
to increase the penalt# =the criminal liabilit# aspect>,
as )ell as to 4ustif# an a)ard of
eAemplar# or corrective dama'es =the civil liabilit# aspect>,
moored on the 'reater
perversit# of the offender manifested in the commission of the felon# such as ma# be
sho)n b# =$> the motivatin' po)er itself, => the place of commission, =1> the means
and )a#s emplo#ed, =;> the time, or =2> the personal circumstances of the offender or
the offended part# or both. *here are various t#pes of a''ravatin' circumstances,
amon' them, the ordinar# and the Bualif#in'. Relationship is an alternative
circumstance under Article $2 of the Revised Penal Code.
.AR*IC/E $2. Their concept. H Alternative circumstances are those )hich
must be ta5en into consideration as a''ravatin' or miti'atin' accordin' to
the nature and effects of the crime and other conditions attendin' its
commission. *he# are relationship, intoAication, and de'ree of instruction
and education of the offender.
.*he alternative circumstance of relationship shall be ta5en into
consideration )hen the offended part# is the spouse, ascendant,
descendant, le'itimate, natural, or adopted brother or sister, or relative b#
affinit# in the same de'ree of the offender..
As a rule, relationship is held to be a''ravatin' in crimes a'ainst chastit#, such as
rape and acts of lasciviousness, )hether the offender is a hi'her or a lo)er de'ree
relative of the offended part#.
Cnder 3ection $$ of Republic Act No. +72!, amendin' Article 112 of the Revised
Penal Code, the death penalt# is to be imposed in rape cases .)hen the victim is
under ei'hteen =$%> #ears of a'e and the offender is a parent, ascendant, step-
parent, 'uardian, relative b# consan'uinit# or affinit# )ithin the third civil de'ree, or
the common-la) spouse of the parent of the victim.. *he Court has since held that
the circumstances enumerated b# the amendator# la) are to be re'arded as special
Bualif#in' =a''ravatin'> circumstances. 3omeho) doubts lin'er on )hether
relationship ma# then be considered to )arrant an a)ard for eAemplar# dama'es
)here it is used to Bualif# rape as a heinous crime, thereb# becomin' an element
thereof, as )ould sub4ect the offender to the penalt# of death. (eretofore, the Court
has not cate'oricall# laid do)n a specific rule, preferrin' instead to treat the issue on
a case to case basis.
In People vs. Fundano,
People vs. Ramos,
People vs. Medina,
People vs.
People vs. Calaca,
People vs. Tabion,
People vs. !aona,
vs. !aa,

and People vs. "u#ez,

alon' )ith still other cases, the Court has
almost invariabl# appreciated relationship as an ordinar# a''ravatin' circumstance in
simple rape and thereb# imposed eAemplar# dama'es upon the offender )hether or
not the offense has been committed prior to or after the effectivit# of Republic Act No.
+72!. EAceptionall#, as in People vs. Decena,
People vs. Perez,
People vs.
and People vs. Ambra,
the Court has denied the a)ard of eAemplar#
dama'es follo)in' the effectivit# of that la). In Bualified rape cases, such as in
People vs. Ma'dato,
People vs. Ari0apa,
and People vs. Alicante,
the Court
decreed the pa#ment of eAemplar# dama'es to the offended part# but it did not do so
as in People vs. Alba,
People vs. Men$ote,
and People vs. Ma$lente.
It ma# be time for the Court to abandon its pro hac vice stance and provide, for the
'uidance of the bar and the bench, a 5ind of standard on the matter.
Also 5no)n as .punitive. or .vindictive. dama'es, eAemplar# or corrective dama'es
are intended to serve as a deterrent to serious )ron'doin's and as a vindication of
undue sufferin's and )anton invasion of the ri'hts of an in4ured or a punishment for
those 'uilt# of outra'eous conduct. *hese terms are 'enerall#, but not al)a#s, used
interchan'eabl#. In common la), there is preference in the use of eAemplar#
dama'es )hen the a)ard is to account for in4ur# to feelin's and for the sense of
indi'nit# and humiliation suffered b# a person as a result of an in4ur# that has been
maliciousl# and )antonl# inflicted,
the theor# bein' that there should be
compensation for the hurt caused b# the hi'hl# reprehensible conduct of the
defendant H associated )ith such circumstances as )illfulness, )antonness, malice,
'ross ne'li'ence or rec5lessness, oppression, insult or fraud or 'ross fraud
H that
intensifies the in4ur#. *he terms punitive or vindictive dama'es are often used to refer
to those species of dama'es that ma# be a)arded a'ainst a person to punish him for
his outra'eous conduct. In either case, these dama'es are intended in 'ood
measure to deter the )ron'doer and others li5e him from similar conduct in the
*he term .a''ravatin' circumstances. used b# the Civil Code, the la) not havin'
specified other)ise, is to be understood in its broad or 'eneric sense. *he
commission of an offense has a t)o-pron'ed effect, one on the public as it breaches
the social order and the other upon the private victim as it causes personal
sufferin's, each of )hich is addressed b#, respectivel#, the prescription of heavier
punishment for the accused and b# an a)ard of additional dama'es to the victim.
*he increase of the penalt# or a shift to a 'raver felon# underscores the eAacerbation
of the offense b# the attendance of a''ravatin' circumstances, )hether ordinar# or
Bualif#in', in its commission. Cnli5e the criminal )hich is basicall# a 3tate concern,
the a)ard of dama'es, ho)ever, is li5e)ise, if not primaril#, intended for the offended
part# )ho suffers thereb#. It )ould ma5e little sense for an a)ard of eAemplar#
dama'es to be due the private offended part# )hen the a''ravatin' circumstance is
ordinar# but to be )ithheld )hen it is Bualif#in'. 6ithal, the ordinar# or Bualif#in'
nature of an a''ravatin' circumstance is a distinction that should onl# be of
conseBuence to the criminal, rather than to the civil, liabilit# of the offender. In fine,
relative to the civil aspect of the case, an a''ravatin' circumstance, )hether ordinar#
or Bualif#in', should entitle the offended part# to an a)ard of eAemplar# dama'es
)ithin the unbridled meanin' of Article 1< of the Civil Code.
Relevantl#, the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure, made effective on <$
&ecember <<<, reBuires a''ravatin' circumstances, )hether ordinar# or Bualif#in',
to be stated in the complaint or information. 3ections % and ! of Rule $$< of the
Rules of Court no) provide-
.3EC*I9N %. Desi$nation of the offense. H *he complaint or information
shall state the desi'nation of the offense 'iven b# the statute, aver the acts
or omissions constitutin' the offense, and specif its %ualifin$ and
a$$ravatin$ circumstances. If there is no desi'nation of the offense,
reference shall be made to the section or subsection of the statute
punishin' it.
.3EC*I9N !. Cause of the accusation. H *he acts or omissions
complained of as constitutin' the offense and the %ualifin$ and
a$$ravatin$ circumstances must be stated in ordinar and concise
lan$ua$e and not necessaril# in the lan'ua'e used in the statute but in
terms sufficient to enable a person of common understandin$ to &now what
offense is bein$ char$ed as well as its %ualifin$ and a$$ravatin$
circumstances and for the court to pronounce 'ud$ment..
A court )ould thus be precluded from considerin' in its 4ud'ment the attendance of
.Bualif#in' or a''ravatin' circumstances. if the complaint or information is bereft of
an# alle'ation on the presence of such circumstances.
*he retroactive application of procedural rules, nevertheless, cannot adversel# affect
the ri'hts of the private offended part# that have become vested prior to the
effectivit# of said rules. *hus, in the case at bar, althou'h relationship has not been
alle'ed in the information, the offense havin' been committed, ho)ever, prior to the
effectivit# of the ne) rules, the civil liabilit# alread# incurred b# appellant remains
unaffected thereb#.
6(ERED9RE, the decision of the court a Buo is ADDIRME& )ith M9&IDICA*I9N in
that appellant &anilo Catubi' # (orio is found 'uilt# onl# of simple rape and not in its
Bualified form, and he is hereb# sentenced to suffer the penalt# of reclusion perpetua
and to pa# complainant &annil#n Catubi' P2<,<<<.<< civil indemnit#, P2<,<<<.<<
moral dama'es and P2,<<<.<< eAemplar# dama'es. Costs de oficio.
39 9R&ERE&.