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G.R no. 129439
MAGPALE, accused-appellant.
People vs. Ramos, 39 SCRA 236
II. Facts of the case
During the month of April, 1995 at Barangay San Nicolas, Municipality of Villasis,
Province of Pangasinan, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court,
Feliciano Ramos y Magpale, by means of force, violence and intimidation, did then and there
wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously have sexual intercourse with one Elizabeth T. Ramos, a
minor of 14-years old against the latter's will and consent, to the damage and prejudice of
said Elizabeth T. Ramos.
On February 1, 1996, an information was filed against the appellant in the trial court
where it was docketed as Criminal Case No. V-0646.
The trial court issued a warrant for the arrest of appellant on February 27, 1996. Since
appellant had changed his residence Tuao, Cagayan, an alias warrant of arrest was issued against
appellant, the same to be valid and enforceable as long as he remained at large.
On March 31, 1996, the Chief of police of the Villasis Municipal Police Station sent an
indorsement to the trial court on the alias warrant, reporting that appellant was arrested on March
29, 1996 at Barangay Naruangan, Tuao, Cagayan. When later brought before the lower court on
April 19, 1996 for arraignment, appellant pleaded not guilty to the accusation against him.
Collated form the testimony of complainant Elizabeth, 3-12; November 6, 1996, 15-24;
November 18, 1996, 2-5.16 given on different days of the hearing, the prosecution established
the following facts to wit:
Complainant's family was sleeping in their house at Barangay San Nicolas, Villasis, Pangasinan one night in
April, 1995 when the rape complained of was committed by appellant.
On this particular night, complainant's mother and youngest sister slept inside the lone bedroom of their house
while she, her brother and two other sisters slept outside of this room in an adjoining area. Sleeping together with
them at that time was complainant's father, appellant in this mandatory review.
Complainant woke up when appellant carried her brother and two sisters and transferred them for where they
were sleeping to another area of the house. After appellant had lain down beside complainant, he held both of her
hands and proceeded to undress her. Appellant also removed his own clothes and then inserted his penis into
complainant's vagina. Complainant could only wail as her father forcibly committed sexual congress with her. She
was warned by appellant not to report the matter to anyone or he would kill her. All these took place while
complainant's sibling continued sleeping nearby.

From this night on, appellant would repeat his dastardly acts against his daughter a number of times. In fact,
appellant's sexual abuse of his daughter would not have discovered had complainant not suffered an abortion of the
fetus she was carrying in her womb.
Experiencing profuse vaginal bleeding, complainant went to the clinic of Dr. Feliciano U. Nario on the night of
September 4, 1995 for treatment. Dr. Nario, an obstetrician and gynecologist, found after examination that
complainant was pregnant. Due to the heavy bleeding, complainant was transferred to the Urdaneta
Sacred Heart Hospital where, after a caesarian section, complainant delivered a dead male fetus.

Appellant's counsel de officio earnestly tried to impeach complainant during her crossexamination by presenting her previous sworn declaration and answers inconsistent with her
testimony in court. Said statements were given by complainant during the preliminary
investigation of the case on October 16, 1995.
The intense cross-examination of complainant that followed had to be suspended by the trial
court when complainant could not be pacified and prevented from bitterly and uncontrollably
crying in court.To enable her to regain her composure, the court ordered the resumption of the
hearing on November 20, 1996.
On the scheduled continuation of complainant's cross-examination, counsel for appellant
manifested to the lower court that appellant wanted to change his earlier plea of not guilty to
guilty. He accordingly moved for re-arraignment of appellant. After the court a quo explained to
appellant the consequences of such a plea to a capital offense and after the information was read
and translated to him in Ilocano, a regional language which he fully understood, appellant
entered a plea of guilty. On the same day, a date set by the lower court giving appellant the
chance to prove mitigating circumstances in his favor.
Aban testified that at the time of appellant's arrest on March 29, 1995, appellant was feeding
some ducks in front of his house in Tuao, Cagayan. Aban then approached appellant and showed
him the warrant of arrest. Thereafter, he asked appellant if he is Feliciano Ramos. After appellant
answered in the affirmative, Aban introduced himself as a police officer. Appellant, according to
Aban, then "went with him."
Complainant gave a candid and direct account in court of the events that unfolded one night
in April, 1995. For such creditable manner of narration, complainant's testimony deserves full
faith and credence from the courts. In believing the story of complainant, we are also guided by
the principle that the crying of the victim during her testimony is evidence of the credibility of
the rape charge, a matter of judicial cognizance.
Still on the plausibility of the story presented by complainant, appellant contends that it was
impossible for the rape to have happened in April, 1995 because the expert witness of the
prosecution figure in the open court that complainant was seven to eight months pregnant at the

time of her examination. Following this finding of the physician, appellant calculated that the
rape complained of should have happened in January to February of 1995.
Appellant also claims that the lower court should have considered the mitigating
circumstance of voluntary surrender in his favor because he voluntarily gave himself up when
the police officer showed him the warrant of arrest.
Surrender is said to be voluntary when it is done by an accused spontaneously and made in
such a manner that it shows the intent of the accused to surrender unconditionally to the
authorities, either because he acknowledges his guilt or he wishes to save them the trouble and
expense necessarily incurred in his search and capture. There is no indication in the record that
appellant had, on his own volition, come forward and presented himself before the authorities,
signifying his desire to spare the Government the time, effort and expense of seeking him out.
A re-reading of the accusatory portion of the information reveals that appellant was charged
with rape in its simple form, which is; having carnal knowledge of a woman by using force or
intimidation, with the additional allegation that the victim was only 14 years of age at the time of
the incident. Such criminal act and its mode of commission are now punished under Article 335
of the Revised Penal Code with the penalty of reclusion perpetua.
The same article, as amended by Republic Act No. 7659, further provides that the death
penalty shall be imposed if the rape victim is under eighteen years of age and the offender is a
parent of the victim. Obviously, believing that the case of the People against appellant falls
squarely under the last mentioned provision of Article 335, the lower court sentenced appellant
to the supreme penalty of death.
However, in the case before us, the aggravating circumstance of relationship becomes
inconsequential in view of the nature of reclusion perpetua prescribe for the felony of simple
rape. Our general criminal code states that in all cases in which the law prescribes a single
indivisible penalty, it shall be applied by the courts regardless of any mitigating or
aggravating circumstances that may have attended the commission of the deed.
Again, we are constrained by the law to impose the lighter penalty of reclusion perpetua on
a man who, in fact and after due proof, actually deserves the capital punishment. The information
sufficiently charged appellant with the crime of simple rape, but a conclusion of qualified rape
cannot be legally justified from the allegations of such information.
We, therefore, call the attention of the members of the prosecution service and peace officers
charged with the preparation of information and complaints, that the attendant circumstances
provided by Republic Act No. 7659 must be specifically alleged in information for rape in order
that they may properly qualify the crime to the penalty specially prescribed by the law.

Finally, we note that there was no proof presented during the trial showing the basis for the
award of moral damages to complainant. However, in view of the recent ruling of this Court
in People vs. Prades, we maintain the award made therefor by the lower court. Also, the
presentation by the prosecution of proof of relationship between complainant and appellant has
not been in vain since the presence of aggravating circumstances is vital in the matter of civil

III. Issues
The case was brought before us to decide whether the complainants testimony is
consistent or not.
And it is to determine whether the relationship of the complainant and the appellant is a
generic aggravating circumstance or qualifying circumstance.
IV. Decision
The judgment of conviction of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 50, of Villasis,
Pangasinan in Criminal Case No. V-0646 is hereby AFFIRMED; with the modification that
appellant is sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua.
V. Reasoning
. As this qualifying circumstance was not pleaded in the information or in the complaint
against appellant, he cannot be convicted of qualified rape because he was not properly informed
that he is being accused of qualified rape. The Constitution guarantees the right of every person
accused in a criminal prosecution to be informed of the nature and cause of accusation against
him. This right finds amplification and implementation in the different provisions of the Rules of
It is fundamental that every element of which the offense is composed must be alleged in
the complaint or information. The main purpose of requiring the various elements of a crime to
be set out in information is to enable the accused to suitably prepare his defense. He is presumed
to have no independent knowledge of the facts that constitute the offense.
An accused person cannot be convicted of an offense higher than that with which he is
charged in the complaint or information on which he is tried. It matters not how conclusive and
convincing the evidence of guilt may be, but an accused cannot be convicted of any offense,
unless it is charged in the complaint or information on which he is tried or is necessarily included
therein. He has a right to be informed of the nature of the offense with which he is charged
before he is put on trial. To convict an accused of a higher offense than that charged in the
complaint or information on which he is tried would be an unauthorized denial of that right.
The non-allegation of the relationship between appellant and offended party in an
information for a rape is a bar to the imposition of the death penalty since relationship in this
particular form of rape is a qualifying and not merely aggravating. Having been informed only of
the elements of simple rape, appellant can only be convicted of such crime and accordingly be
punished with reclusion perpetua.