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People vs Jastiva

Feb. 12, 2014
Ponente: Leonardo De Castro J
G.R. No. 199268
FACTS:


The accused Aurelio Jastiva armed
with a knife, by means of force and
intimidation, did then and there
willfully, unlawfully and feloniously
succeed
in
having
sexual
intercourse with a 67 years old
married woman.
The accused pleaded NOT GUILTY
to the crime charged when he was
arraigned.
On the night of the crime, AAA
(victim) was sleeping alone in her
house because her husband that
night went to her daughter’s house.
When AAA was fast asleep, accused
covered her mouth, threatened her
with a knife and told her not to
scream. After the accused succeed
in raping the AAA, he went out of the
front door which was opened by
AAA. The victim was able to see the
face of the accused when it went out
of the door because of the moonlight
illuminating in the face of the
accused.
The accused presented three
witnesses which are his daughter,
common-law wife and Ordas(A
visitor in his house when the crime
happened). The witnesses have said
that Jastiva was in his own house on
the night of the incident and it was
impossible for the accused to have
left the house without being noticed.
The accused also questioned the
ability of the victim to identify her
rapist just by seeing its face
illuminated by moonlight since it was
dark and there is lack of lightning in
the “kamalig” where the crime took
place.
RTC’s Decision: The accused was
GUILTY BEYOND REASONABLE


DOUBT f the crime of rape after trial
and evaluation of evidence.
CA’s Decision: AFFIRMED in all
respect rtc’s decision except that
Jastiva is further ordered to pay
INTEREST on all damages awarded
at the legal rate of 6% per annum.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the prosecution
was able to prove the guilt of the
appellant
beyond
reasonable
doubt on the basis of the
testimonies of the prosecution
witnesses and the documentary
evidence presented?
RULING:
Appeal is denied and conviction
of Jastiva is affirmed
Rape; elements. The elements of
rape
(under
paragraph
1,
subparagraph a of Article 266-A) are
as follows: (1) that the offender is a
man; (2) that the offender had carnal
knowledge of a woman; and (3) that
such act is accomplished by using
force, (threat) or intimidation.
Firstly, Jastiva was not able to show
that the RTC and CA overlooked any
fact or material of consequence that
could have altered the outcome had
they taken it into consideration, this
court will not disturb on appeal the
RTC’s findings of facts, but must
fully accept these. The three guiding
principles in rape prosecutions: 1.)
an accusation of rape is easy to
make and difficult to prove, but is
even more difficult to disprove. 2.)
the testimony of the complainant
must be scrutinized with utmost care
and caution 3.) the evidence of the
prosecution must stand or fall on its
own merits; and cannot draw
strength from the weakness of the
defense.
Secondly, as explained by the RTC,

“  RTC correctly held that “the Court is not disposed to doubt the evidenced  ability of the complainant to identify her rapist especially because her familiarity of the latter could easily be strengthened by the factthat the accused is her neighbor living 100 meters away from the crime scene. .“ The high court held that an accused need not always be identified under a perfect or near perfect visibility.