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Republic of the Philippines

SUPREME COURT
Manila
THIRD DIVISION
G.R. No. 179080

November 26, 2014

EDIGARDO GEROCHE, ROBERTO GARDE and GENEROSO MARFIL alias "TAPOL", Petitioners,
vs.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.
DECISION
PERALTA, J.:
This is an appeal from the Decision 1 dated November 18, 2005 and Resolution 2 dated June 19, 2007
of the Court of Appeals (CA) in G.R. CR No. 26418, which set aside the November 15, 2001
Decision3 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 17, Kidapawan City, Cotabato.
Petitioners Edigardo Geroche, Roberto Garde and Generoso Marfil alias "Tapol" were charged with the
crime of Violation of Domicile under Article 128 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC). 4 The Information
dated May 3, 1990 reads:
The undersigned accuses EDIGARDO GEROCHE, ROBERTO GARDE AND GENEROSO MARFIL
Alias "TAPOL" of the crime of Violation of Domicile, committed as follows:
That at about 10:00 oclock in the evening of May 14, 1989, at Sitio New Lantawan, Barangay
Greenhills, Municipality of President Roxas, Province of Cotabato, Philippines, the above-named
accused EDIGARDO GEROCHE, being a Barangay Captain and the rest being CAFGUs, hence,
persons in authority, conspiring, confederating and mutually helping one another, armed with garand
rifles, did then and there, wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously, without proper judicial order, entered the
house of ROBERTO MALLO by forcibly breaking the door of said house against the will of the
occupants thereof, search the effects of the house without the previous consent of the owner and then
mauled one of the occupant BARILIANO LIMBAG inflicting injuries to the latter.
CONTRARY TO LAW.5
During the arraignment on November5, 1990, all the petitioners pleaded not guilty. 6 Thereafter, trial
ensued.
Baleriano Limbag (Baleriano) testified that the crime happened around 10:00 oclock in the evening of
May 14, 1989 inside the house which he already bought from Roberto Mallo. He roused from sleep
when petitioners, who were not armed with search warrant, suddenly entered the house by destroying
the main door. The petitioners mauled him, striking with a garand rifle, which caused his injuries. They
looked for firearms but instead found and took away his airgun. Roberto Limbag, Balerianos nephew
who was living with him, witnessed the whole incident and corroborated his testimony.
Aside from presenting SPO4 Felomino Calfoforo, the Subpoena and Warrant Officer of President
Roxas Police Station who testified on the police blotter, Dr. Antonio Cabrera also took the witness
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stand for the prosecution. Essentially, he affirmed the medical certificate that he issued. His findings
indicated that Baleriano suffered hematoma on the left side of the nose, back portion of the body at the
level of the hip region, and back portion at the right side of the scapular region as well as abrasion on
the right side of the breast and left side of the body at the axilliary region. 7 Dr. Cabrera opined that the
injuries inflicted would heal from seven to ten days. 8 For the defense, petitioners denied the crime
charged, declaring in unison that they were in their respective houses the entire evening of May 14,
1989. They alleged, however, that the night before, on May 13, 1989, they conducted a roving
footpatrol, together with other barangay officials, due to the rampant cattle rustling in the area. At the
time, they recovered a stolen carabao owned by a certain Francisco Pongasi 9 from three unidentified
persons who managed to escape.
On November 15, 2001, the trial court found petitioners guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of
Less Serious Physical Injuries under the Article 265 of the RPC. They were sentenced to suffer the
penalty of imprisonment of arresto mayor maximum, that is, four (4) months and one (1) day to six (6)
months. According to the RTC, the prosecution failed to prove that petitioners are public officers, which
is an essential element of Article 128 of the RPC. It held:
The prosecution who has that onus prob andi failed to prove one of the essential elements of the
crime; on the issue of whether or not all the accused were public officers; while it is true that accused
were named CVOs and the other as a barangay captain and that even if the same were admitted by
them during their testimony in open court, such an admission is not enough to prove that they were
public officers; it is for the prosecution to prove by clear and convincing evidence other than that of the
testimony of witnesses that they were in fact public officers; there exist a doubt of whether or not all the
accused were in fact and in truth public officers; doubts should be ruled in favor of the accused; that on
this lone and essential element the crime charged as violation of domicile is ruled out; that degree of
moral certainty of the crime charged was not established and proved by convincing evidence of guilt
beyond reasonable doubt; x x x. 10 Petitioners elevated the case to the CA, which, on November 18,
2005, set aside the trial courts judgment. While it agreed with both parties that petitioners should not
be convicted for Less Serious Physical Injuries, the CA still ruled that they are guilty of Violation of
Domicile considering their judicial admissions that they were barangay captain (in the case of
Geroche) and part of the Citizen Armed Forces Geographical Unit (in the case of Garde and Marfil).
The dispositive portion of the assailed Decision states:
WHEREFORE, pursuant to applicable law and jurisprudence on the matter and the evidence on hand,
the appealed decision is hereby SET ASIDE and a new one entered finding the accused-petitioners
GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Violation of Domicile under Article 128 of the Revised
Penal Code and sentencing them to an indeterminate penalty of Four (4) Months, One (1) Day of
arresto mayor maximum to Six (6) Months and One (1) Day of prision [correccional] minimum with the
accessory penalty of suspension from public office and from the right to follow a profession or calling
pursuant to Article 43 of the Revised Penal Code.
SO ORDERED.11
Petitioners motion for reconsideration was denied; hence, this petition. They argue that there is double
jeopardy since the trial court already acquitted them of Violation of Domicile and such judgment, being
now final and executory, is res judicata. Petitioners insist that their appeal before the CA is limited to
their conviction for the crime of Less Serious Physical Injuries, focusing their arguments and defense
for acquittal from said crime, and that the CA violated their constitutional right to due process when it
convicted them for Violation of Domicile.
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We deny.
An appeal in a criminal case opens the entire case for review on any question including one not raised
by the parties.12 When an accused appeals from the sentence of the trial court, he or she waives the
constitutional safeguard against double jeopardy and throws the whole case open to the review of the
appellate court, which is then called upon to render such judgment as law and justice dictate. 13 An
appeal confers upon the appellate court jurisdiction to examine the records, revise the judgment
appealed from, increase (or reduce) the penalty, and cite the proper provision of the penal law. 14 The
appellate court may, and generally does, look into the entire records to ensure that no fact of weight or
substance has been overlooked, misapprehended, or misapplied by the trial court. 15
Thus, when petitioners appealed the trial courts judgment of conviction for Less Serious Physical
Injuries, they are deemed to have abandoned their right to invoke the prohibition on double jeopardy
since it becomes the duty of the appellate court to correct errors as may be found in the assailed
judgment. Petitioners could not have been placed twice in jeopardy when the CA set aside the ruling of
the RTC by finding them guilty of Violation of Domicile as charged in the Information instead of Less
Serious Physical Injuries.
The Court adopts the findings of fact and conclusions of law of the CA. In their testimony before the
open court as well as in the pleadings they filed, neither Geroche denied that he was a barangay
captain nor Garde and Marfil refuted that they were CAFGU members. In holding such positions, they
are considered as public officers/employees. 16
As to the penalty imposed by the CA, however, We modify the same. Under Article 128 of the RPC, the
penalty shall be prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods (two [2] years, four [4]
months and one [1] day to six [6] years) if Violation of Domicile be committed at nighttime or if any
papers or effects not constituting evidence of a crime be not returned immediately after the search
made by the offender. In this case, petitioners barged in the house of Baleriano while they were
sleeping at night and, in addition, they took away with them his airgun.
In imposing a prison sentence for an offense punished by the RPC, the Indeterminate Sentence
Law17 requires courts to impose upon the accused an indeterminate sentence. The maximum term of
the prison sentence shall be that which, in view of the attending circumstances, could be properly
imposed under the rules of the said Code.1wphi1 Yet the penalty prescribed by Article 128 of the
RPC is composed of only two, not three, periods. In which case, Article 65 of the same Code requires
the division into three equal portions the time included in the penalty, forming one period of each of the
three portions. Applying the provision, the minimum, medium and maximum periods of the penalty
prescribed by Article 128 are:
Minimum 2 years, 4 months and 1 day to 3 years, 6 months and 20 days
Medium 3 years, 6 months and 21 days to 4 years, 9 months and 10 days
Maximum 4 years, 9 months and 11 days to 6 years
Thus, applying in this case, the maximum term should be within the medium period or from 3 years, 6
months and 21 days to 4 years, 9 months and 10 days, in light of the provisions of Article 64 of the
Revised Penal Code that if there are no other mitigating or aggravating circumstances attending the
commission of the crime, the penalty shall be imposed in its medium period.
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On the other hand, the minimum term shall be within the range of the penalty next lower to that
prescribed by the RPC for the crime. The penalty next lower to that prescribed by Article 128 is arresto
mayor in its maximum period to prision correccional in its minimum period (or 4 months and 1 day to 2
years and 4 months).
The foregoing considered, in view of the attending circumstances in this case, the Court hereby
sentences the petitioners to suffer the indeterminate penalty from two (2) years and four (4) months of
prision correccional, as minimum, to four ( 4) years, nine (9) months and ten (10) days of prision
correccional, as maximum.
WHEREFORE, the Court AFFIRMS the Decision dated November 18, 2005 and Resolution dated
June 19, 2007 of the Court of Appeals in CAG.R. CR No. 26418 finding petitioners Edigardo Geroche,
Roberto Garde and Generoso Marfil alias "Tapol" guilty beyond reasonable doubt of Violation of
Domicile, penalized under Article 128 of the Revised Penal Code, with the MODIFICATION that the
penalty that should be imposed is an indeterminate sentence from two (2) years and four (4) months of
prision correccional, as minimum, to four (4) years, nine (9) months and ten (10) days of prision
correccional, as maximum.
SO ORDERED.
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
THIRD DIVISION
G.R. No. 202692

November 12, 2014

EDMUND SYDECO y SIONZON, Petitioner,


vs.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.
DECISION
VELASCO, JR., J.:
Assailed and sought to be set aside in this petition for review under Rule 45 are the December 28,
2011 Decision1and July 18, 2012 Resolution2 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. CR No. 33567.
The assailed issuances affirmed the decision 3 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila, Branch 12,
in Criminal Case Nos. 09-270107-08 which, in turn, affirmed that of the Metropolitan Trial Court
(MeTC) in Manila adjudging petitioner Edmund Sydeco (Sydeco) guilty of drunk driving and resisting
arrest.4
The factual backdrop:
On July 20, 2006, separate Informations, one for Violation of Section 56(f) of Republic Act No. (RA)
41365 and another, for Violation of Article 151 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) 6 were filed against
petitioner Sydeco with the MeTC in Manila and eventually raffled to Branch 14 of that court. The
accusatory portions of the interrelated informations, docketed as Crim. Case No. 052527-CN for the
first offense and Crim. Case No. 052528-CN for the second, respectively read:
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1. Crim. Case No. 052527-CN


That on or about June 11, 2006, in the City of Manila, Philippines, the said accused, being then the
driver and owner of a car, did then and there willfully and unlawfully, drive, manage and operate the
same along Roxas Blvd. cor. Quirino Avenue, Malate, in said city, while under the influence of liquor, in
violation of Section 56(f) of Republic Act 4136.
Contrary to law.
2. Crim. Case No. 052528-CN
That on or about June 11, 2006, in the City of Manila, Philippines, the said accused, did then and there
willfully and unlawfully resist and disobey P/INSP Manuel Aguilar, SPO2 Virgilio Paulino, SPO4 Efren
Bodino and PO3 Benedict Cruz III, bonafide member of the Philippine National Police, Malate Police
Station-9, duly qualified and appointed, and while in the actual performance of their official duties as
such police officers, by then and there resisting, shoving and pushing, the hands of said officers while
the latter was placing him under arrest for violation of Article 151 of the Revised Penal Code.
Contrary to law.
By Order of September 19, 2006, the MeTC classified the cases as falling under, thus to be governed
by, the Rule on Summary Procedure.
When arraigned, petitioner, as accused, pleaded "Not Guilty" to both charges.
During the trial of the two consolidated cases, the prosecution presented in evidence the oral
testimonies of SPO4 Efren Bodino (Bodino), 7 PO2 Emanuelle Parungao8 and Ms. Laura Delos
Santos,9 plus the documents each identified while in the witness box, among which was Exh. "A", with
sub-markings, the Joint Affidavit of Arrest10executed by SPO2 Bodino and two other police officers. The
defenses witnesses, on the other hand, consisted of Sydeco himself, his wife, Mildred, and Joenilo
Pano.
The prosecutions version of the incident, as summarized in and/or as may be deduced from, the CA
decision now on appeal is as follows:
On or about June 11, 2006, P/Insp. Manuel Aguilar (Aguilar), SPO4 Bodino, PO3 Benedict Cruz III and
another officer were manning a checkpoint established along Roxas Boulevard corner Quirino Ave.,
Malate, Manila when, from about twenty (20) meters away, they spotted a swerving red Ford Ranger
pick up with plate number XAE-988. Petitioner was behind the wheel. The team members, all in
uniform, flagged the vehicle down and asked the petitioner to alight from the vehicle so he could take a
rest at the police station situated nearby, before he resumes driving. 11 Petitioner, who the policemen
claimed was smelling of liquor, denied being drunk and insisted he could manage to drive. Then in a
raised voice, petitioner started talking rudely to the policemen and in fact yelled at P/Insp. Aguilar
blurting: "Pg ina mo, bakit mo ako hinuhuli." At that remark, P/Insp. Aguilar, who earlier pointed out to
petitioner that his team had seen him swerving and driving under the influence of liquor, proceeded to
arrest petitioner who put up resistance. Despite petitioners efforts to parry the hold on him, the police
eventually succeeded in subduing him who was then brought to the Ospital ng Maynila where he was
examined and found to be positive of alcoholic breath per the Medical Certificate issued by that
hospital, marked as Exh. "F". Petitioner was then turned over to the Malate Police Station for
disposition.12 Petitioner, on the other hand, claimed to be a victim in the incident in question, adding in
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this regard that he has in fact filed criminal charges for physical injuries, robbery and arbitrary
detention against P/Insp. Aguilar et al. In his Counter-Affidavit 13 and his Complaint-Affidavit14appended
thereto, petitioner averred that, in the early morning of June 12, 2006, he together with Joenilo Pano
and Josie Villanueva, cook and waitress, respectively, in his restaurant located along Macapagal Ave.,
Pasay City, were on the way home from on board his pick-up when signaled to stop by police officers
at the area immediately referred to above. Their flashlights trained on the inside of the vehicle and its
occupants, the policemen then asked the petitioner to open the vehicles door and alight for a body and
vehicle search, a directive he refused to heed owing to a previous extortion experience. Instead, he
opened the vehicle window, uttering, "plain view lang boss, plain view lang." Obviously irked by this
remark, one of the policemen, P/Insp. Aguilar, as it turned out, then told the petitioner that he was
drunk, pointing to three cases of empty beer bottles in the trunk of the vehicle. Petitioners explanation
about being sober and that the empty bottles adverted to came from his restaurant was ignored as
P/Insp. Aguilar suddenly boxed him (petitioner) on the mouth and poked a gun at his head, at the same
time blurting, "Pg ina mo gusto mo tapusin na kita dito marami ka pang sinasabi." The officers then
pulled the petitioner out of the drivers seat and pushed him into the police mobile car, whereupon he,
petitioner, asked his companions to call up his wife. The policemen then brought petitioner to the
Ospital ng Maynila where they succeeded in securing a medical certificate under the signature of one
Dr. Harvey Balucating depicting petitioner as positive of alcoholic breath, although he refused to be
examined and no alcohol breath examination was conducted. He was thereafter detained from 3:00
a.m. of June 12, 2006 and released in the afternoon of June 13, 2006. Before his release, however, he
was allowed to undergo actual medical examination where the resulting medical certificate indicated
that he has sustained physical injuries but negative for alcohol breath. Ten days later, petitioner filed
his Complaint-Affidavit against Dr. Balucating, P/Insp. Aguilar and the other police officers.
Petitioner also stated in his counter-affidavit that, under Sec. 29 of R.A. 4136, or the Land
Transportation and Traffic Code, the procedure for dealing with a traffic violation is not to place the
erring driver under arrest, but to confiscate his drivers license.
On June 26, 2009, the MeTC rendered judgment finding petitioner guilty as charged, disposing as
follows:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the prosecution having established the guilt of the accused
beyond reasonable doubt, his conviction of the offenses charges is hereby pronounced. Accordingly,
he is sentenced to:
1. Pay a fine of two hundred fifty pesos (P250.00) for Criminal Case No. 052527-CN; and
2. Suffer imprisonment of straight penalty of three (3) months and pay a fine of two hundred fifty
pesos (P250.00) for Criminal Case No. 052528-CN.
For lack of basis, no civil liability is adjudged.
The Branch Clerk of Court is directed to certify to the Land Transportation Office the result of this case,
stating further the data required under Section 58 15 of Republic Act 4136.
Therefrom, petitioner appealed to the RTC on the main submissions that the MeTC erred in: 1)
according credit to the medical certificate issued by Dr. Balucating, although the records custodian of
Ospital ng Maynila was presented to testify thereon instead of the issuing physician, and 2) upholding
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the veracity of the joint affidavit of arrest of P/INSP Manuel Aguilar, SPO4 Efren Bodino, and PO3
Benedict Cruz III, considering that only SPO4 Bodino appeared in court to testify.
By Decision16 dated February 22, 2010, the RTC affirmed the conviction of the petitioner, addressing
the first issue thus raised in the appeal in the following wise: Dr. Balucatings failure to testify relative to
petitioners alcoholic breath, as indicated in the medical certificate, is not fatal as such testimony would
only serve to corroborate the testimony on the matter of SPO4 Bodino, noting thatunder the Rules of
Court,17 observations of the police officers regarding the petitioners behavior would suffice to support
the conclusion of the latters drunken state on the day he was apprehended. 18
Apropos the second issue, the RTC pointed out that the prosecution has the discretion as to how many
witnesses it needs to present before the trial court, the positive testimony of a single credible witness
as to the guilt of the accused being reasonable enough to warrant a conviction. The RTC cited
established jurisprudence19 enunciating the rule that preponderance is not necessarily with the greatest
number as "[W]itnesses are to be weighed, not numbered." Following the denial by the RTC of his
motion for reconsideration, petitioner went to the CA on a petition for review, the recourse docketed as
CA-G.R. CR No. 33567. By a Decision dated December 28, 2011, as would be reiterated in a
Resolution of July 18, 2012, the appellate court affirmed that of the RTC, thus:
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The assailed Decision dated February 22, 2010 of the RTC,
Manila, Branch 12, is AFFIRMED.
SO ORDERED.
Hence, this petition on the following stated issues:
I. The CA erred in upholding the presumption of regularity in the performance of duties by the
police officers; and
II. The CA erred in giving weight to the Medical Certificate issued by Dr. Harvey Balucating, in
the absence of his testimony before the Court.
The petition is meritorious.
Prefatory, the rule according great weight, even finality at times, to the trial courts findings of fact does
hold sway when, as here, it appears in the record that facts and circumstances of weight and
substance have been overlooked, misapprehended or misapplied in a case under appeal. 20 Corollary, it
is basic that an appeal in criminal prosecutions throws the whole case wide open for review, inclusive
of the matter of credibility and appreciation of evidence. 21` Peace officers and traffic enforcers, like
other public officials and employees are bound to discharge their duties with prudence, caution and
attention, which careful men usually exercise in the management of their own affairs. 22
In the case at bar, the men manning the checkpoint in the subject area and during the period material
appeared not to have performed their duties as required by law, or at least fell short of the norm
expected of peace officers. They spotted the petitioners purported swerving vehicle. They then
signaled him to stop which he obeyed. But they did not demand the presentation of the drivers license
or issue any ticket or similar citation paper for traffic violation as required under the particular premises
by Sec. 29 of RA 4136, which specifically provides:

SECTION 29. Confiscation of Drivers License. Law enforcement and peace officers of other
agencies duly deputized by the Director shall, in apprehending a driver for any violation of this Act or
any regulations issued pursuant thereto, or of local traffic rules and regulations x x x confiscate the
license of the driver concerned and issue a receipt prescribed and issued by the Bureau therefor which
shall authorize the driver to operate a motor vehicle for a period not exceeding seventy-two hours from
the time and date of issue of said receipt. The period so fixed in the receipt shall not be extended, and
shall become invalid thereafter. x x x (Emphasis added.) Instead of requiring the vehicles occupants to
answer one or two routinary questions out of respect to what the Court has, in Abenes v. Court of
Appeals,23 adverted to as the motorists right of "free passage without [intrusive] interruption," P/Insp.
Aguilar, et al. engaged petitioner in what appears to be an unnecessary conversation and when
utterances were made doubtless not to their liking, they ordered the latter to step out of the vehicle,
concluding after seeing three (3) empty cases of beer at the trunk of the vehicle that petitioner was
driving under the influence of alcohol. Then petitioner went on with his "plain view search" line. The
remark apparently pissed the police officers off no end as one of them immediately lashed at petitioner
and his companions as "mga lasing" (drunk) and to get out of the vehicle, an incongruous response to
an otherwise reasonable plea. Defense witness, Joenilo Pano, graphically described this particular
event in his sinumpaang salaysay, as follows:
x x x matapos kami huminto ay naglapitan sa amin ang mga pulis, nag flash light sa loob ng sasakyan
at sa aming mga mukha.
x x x isang pulis ang nag-utos sa aminna kami ay magsi-baba at buksan ang pintuan ng nasabing
sasakyan.
x x x dahil doon sinabi ni Kuya sa mga pulis, na hindi pwede iyon at pinigilan niya ako at ang aking
kasama kong waitress na bumaba.
x x x iginiit ni Kuya sa mga pulisang salitang "PLAIN VIEW LANG BOSS, PLAIN VIEW LANG" pero
iyon ayhindi nila pinansin. Sa halip as isang pulis ang nagsabi na "MGA LASING KAYO HETO MAY
CASE PA KAYO NG BEER".
x x x habang nagpapaliwanag si Kuya, isang pulis ang biglang kumuha ng susi ng sasakyan habang
ang isang pulis ang biglang sumuntok sa bibig ni Kuya, nagbunot ng baril at tinutukan sa ulo si Kuya.
x x x dahil doon ay nagmakaawa ako na wag barilin si Kuya subalit ako rin ay tinutukan ng baril. x x x
na matapos suntukin si Kuya aypinagtulungan siya ng mga pulis na ilabas sa sasakyan at nang
mailabas siyaay pinagtulakan siya ng mga pulis sa gilid ng kalsada habang hawak ang kanilang baril. 24
Panos above account ironicallyfinds in a way collaboration from the arresting officers themselves who
admitted that they originally had no intention to search the vehicle in question nor subject its occupants
to a body search. The officers wrote in their aforementioned joint affidavit:
xxxx
That we arrested the suspect, Edmund Sydeco y Siozon x x x for violation of RA 4136 (Driving under
the influence of liquor), and violation of Article 151 of the RPC (Resisting Arrest) x x x committed on or
about 3:30A.M., June 11, 2006 along x x x Malate, Manila. x x x He began to raise his voice and
converse with us rudely without considering that we are in uniform, on duty and performing our job.
P/INSP Manuel Aguilar pointed out that we saw him swerving and driving under the influence of liquor
8

that was why we are inviting him to our police station in which our intention was to make him rest for a
moment before he continue to drive. x x x (Emphasis added.)
In fine, at the time of his apprehension, or when he was signaled to stop, to be precise, petitioner has
not committed any crime or suspected of having committed one. "Swerving," as ordinarily understood,
refers to a movement wherein a vehicle shifts from a lane to another or to turn aside from a direct
course of action or movement. 25 The act may become punishable when there is a sign indicating that
swerving is prohibited or where swerving partakes the nature of reckless driving, a concept defined
under RA 4136, as:
SECTION 48. Reckless Driving. No person shall operate a motor vehicle on any highway recklessly
or without reasonable caution considering the width, traffic, grades, crossing, curvatures, visibility and
other conditions of the highway and the conditions of the atmosphere and weather, or so as to
endanger the property or the safety or rights of any person or so as to cause excessive or
unreasonable damage to the highway.
Swerving is not necessarily indicative of imprudent behavior let alone constitutive of reckless driving.
To constitute the offense of reckless driving, the act must be something more than a mere negligence
in the operation of a motor vehicle, and a willful and wanton disregard of the consequences is
required.26 Nothing in the records indicate that the area was a "no swerving or overtaking zone."
Moreover, the swerving incident, if this be the case, occurred at around 3:00 a.m. when the streets are
usually clear of moving vehicles and human traffic, and the danger to life, limb and property to third
persons is minimal. When the police officers stopped the petitioners car, they did not issue any ticket
for swerving as required under Section 29 of RA 4136. Instead, they inspected the vehicle, ordered the
petitioner and his companions to step down of their pick up and concluded that the petitioner was then
drunk mainly because of the cases of beer found at the trunk of the vehicle. On re-direct examination,
SPO4 Bodino testified:
Q: On that particular date, time and place what exactly prompted you to arrest the accused (sic) the
charged in for Viol. of Section 56(f) of R.A. 4136?
A: Noong mag check-up kami, naamoy namin na amoy alak siya at yung sasakyan ay hindi maganda
ang takbo.
Q: Now you stated in your affidavit of arrest Mr. Witness that you spotted the vehicle of the accused
swerving, is that correct?
A: Yes, sir.
Q. Is that also the reason why you apprehended him?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: And what happened after Mr. Witness, when you approached the vehicle of the accused?
A: The accused was in a loud voice. He was asking, "Bakit daw siya pinahihinto?"
xxxx
Q: How do you describe the resistance Mr. Witness?
9

A: He refused to ride with us going to the hospital, Your Honor.


x x x x27
Going over the records, it is fairly clear that what triggered the confrontational stand-off between the
police team, on one hand, and petitioner on the other, was the latters refusal to get off of the vehicle
for a body and vehicle search juxtaposed by his insistence on a plain view search only. Petitioners
twin gestures cannot plausibly be considered as resisting a lawful order. 28 He may have sounded
boorish or spoken crudely at that time, but none of this would make him a criminal. It remains to stress
that the petitioner has not, when flagged down, committed a crime or performed an overt act
warranting a reasonable inference of criminal activity. He did not try to avoid the road block
established. He came to a full stop when so required to stop. The two key elements of resistance and
serious disobedience punished under Art. 151 of the RPC are: (1) That a person in authority or his
agent is engaged in the performance of official duty or gives a lawful order to the offender; and (2) That
the offender resists or seriously disobeys such person or his agent. 29
There can be no quibble that P/Insp. Aguilar and his apprehending team are persons in authority or
agents of a person in authority manning a legal checkpoint. But surely petitioners act of exercising
ones right against unreasonable searches30 to be conducted in the middle of the night cannot, in
context, be equated to disobedience let alone resisting a lawful order in contemplation of Art. 151 of
the RPC. As has often been said, albeit expressed differently and under dissimilar circumstances, the
vitality of democracy lies not in the rights it guarantees, but in the courage of the people to assert and
use them whenever they are ignored or worse infringed. 31 Moreover, there is, to stress, nothing in RA
4136 that authorized the checkpoint-manning policemen to order petitioner and his companions to get
out of the vehicle for a vehicle and body search. And it bears to emphasize that there was no
reasonable suspicion of the occurrence of a crime that would allow what jurisprudence refers to as a
"stop and frisk" action. As SPO4 Bodino no less testified, the only reason why they asked petitioner to
get out of the vehicle was not because he has committed a crime, but because of their intention to
invite him to Station 9 so he could rest before he resumes driving. But instead of a tactful invitation, the
apprehending officers, in an act indicative of overstepping of their duties, dragged the petitioner out of
the vehicle and, in the process of subduing him, pointed a gun and punched him on the face. None of
the police officers, to note, categorically denied the petitioners allegation about being physically hurt
before being brought to the Ospital ng Maynila to be tested for intoxication. What the policemen
claimed was that it took the three (3) of them to subdue the fifty-five year old petitioner. Both actions
were done in excess of their authority granted under RA 4136. They relied on the medical certificate
issued by Dr. Balucating attesting that petitioner showed no physical injuries. The medical certificate
was in fact challenged not only because the petitioner insisted at every turn that he was not examined,
but also because Dr. Balucating failed to testify as to its content. Ms. Delos Santos, the medical record
custodian of the Ospital ng Maynila, testified, but only to attest that the hospital has a record of the
certificate. The trial court, in its decision, merely stated:
At the outset, the records of the case show that the same were not testified upon by the doctor who
issued it.1wphi1Instead, the Records Custodian of the Ospital ng Maynila was presented by the
Prosecution to testify on the said documents.
However, although the doctor who examined the accused was unable to testify to affirm the contents of
the Medical Certificate he issued (re: that he was found to have an alcoholic breath), this court finds
that the observation of herein private complainants as to the accuseds behavior and condition after the
incident was sufficient.
10

Under Section 50 of Rule 130 of the Revised Rules of evidence:


The opinion of a witness for which proper basis is given, may be received in evidence regarding x x x x
The witness may also testify on his impressions of the emotion, behavior, condition or appearance of a
person Under Section 15 of the Revised Rules on Summary Procedure, "at the trial, the affidavits
submitted by the parties shall constitute the direct testimonies of the witnesses who executed the
same."32
In sum, the MeTC, as echoed by RTC and CA later, did not rely on the medical certificate Dr.
Balucating issued on June 12, 2006 as to petitioners intoxicated state, as the former was not able to
testify as to its contents, but on the testimony of SPO4Bodino, on the assumption that he and his fellow
police officers were acting in the regular performance of their duties. It cannot be emphasized enough
that smelling of liquor/alcohol and be under the influence of liquor are differing concepts. Corollarily, it
is difficult to determine with legally acceptable certainty whether a person is drunk in contemplation of
Sec. 56(f) of RA 4136 penalizing the act of driving under the influence of alcohol. The legal situation
has of course changed with the approval in May 2013 of the Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of
2013 (RA 10586) which also penalizes driving under the influence of alcohol (DUIA), 33a term defined
under its Sec. 3(e) as the "act of operating a motor vehicle while the drivers blood alcohol
concentration level has, after being subjected to a breath analyzer test reached the level of intoxication
as established jointly by the [DOH], the NAPOLCOM] and the [DOTC]. And under Sec. 3(g) of the IRR
of RA 10586, a driver of a private motor vehicle with gross vehicle weight not exceeding 4,500
kilograms who has BAC [blood alcohol concentration] of 0.05% or higher shall be conclusive proof that
said driver is driving under the influence of alcohol. Viewed from the prism of RA 10586, petitioner
cannot plausibly be convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol for this obvious reason: he had
not been tested beyond reasonable doubt, let alone conclusively, for reaching during the period
material the threshold level of intoxication set under the law for DUIA, i.e., a BAC of 0.05% or over.
Under Art. 22 of the RPC,34 penal laws shall be given retroactive insofar as they are favorable to the
accused. Section 19 of RA 10586 expressly modified Sec. 56(f) of RA 4136. Verily, even by force of
Art. 22 of the RPC in relation to Sec. 3(e) of RA 10586 alone, petitioner could very well be acquitted for
the charge of driving under the influence of alcohol, even if the supposed inculpatory act occurred in
2006.
Parenthetically, the Office of the City Prosecutor of Manila, per its Resolution 35 of November 21, 2006
found, on the strength of another physical examination from the same Ospital ng Maynila conducted by
Dr. Devega on the petitioner on the same day, June 12, but later hour, probable cause for slight
physical injuries against P/Insp. Aguilar et al. That finding to be sure tends to indicate that the police
indeed man handled the petitioner and belied, or at least cancelled out, the purported Dr. Balucatings
finding as to petitioners true state.
The Court must underscore at this juncture that the petitioner, after the unfortunate incident, lost no
time in commencing the appropriate criminal charges against the police officers and Dr. Balucating,
whom he accused of issuing Exh. "F" even without examining him. The element of immediacy in the
filing lends credence to petitioners profession of innocence, particularly of the charge of disobeying
lawful order or resisting arrest. Certainly not to be overlooked is the fact that petitioner, in so filing his
complaint, could not have possibly been inspired by improper motive, the police officers being
complete strangers to him and vice versa. Withal, unless he had a legitimate grievance, it is difficult to
accept the notion that petitioner would expose himself to harms way by filing a harassment criminal
suit against policemen.
11

Conviction must come only after it survives the test of reason. 36 It is thus required that every
circumstance favoring ones innocence be duly taken into account. 37 Given the deviation of the police
officers from the standard and usual procedure in dealing with traffic violation by perceived drivers
under the influence of alcohol and executing an arrest, the blind reliance and simplistic invocation by
the trial court and the CA on the presumption of regularity in the conduct of police duty is clearly
misplaced. As stressed in People v. Ambrosio, 38 the presumption of regularity is merely just that, a
presumption disputable by contrary proof and which when challenged by the evidence cannot be
regarded as binding truth. And to be sure, this presumption alone cannot preponderate over the
presumption of innocence that prevails if not overcome by proof that obliterates all doubts as to the
offenders culpability. In the present case, the absence of conclusive proof being under the influence of
liquor while driving coupled with the forceful manner the police yanked petitioner out of his vehicle
argues against or at least cast doubt on the finding of guilt for drunken driving and resisting arrest.
In case of doubt as to the moral certainty of culpability, the balance tips in favor of innocence or at least
in favor of the milder form of criminal liability. This is as it should be. For, it is basic, almost elementary,
that the burden of proving the guilt of an accused lies on the prosecution which must rely on the
strength of its evidence and not on the weakness of the defense.
WHEREFORE, in light of all the foregoing, the appealed Decision and Resolution of the Court of
Appeals in CA-G.R. CR No. 33567 are hereby REVERSED and SET ASI:OE. Petitioner is hereby
acquitted of the crimes charged in Criminal Case No. 052527-CN and Criminal Case No. 052528-CN.
No pronouncement as to costs.
PRESBITERO J. VELASCO, JR.
THIRD DIVISION
March 23, 2015
G.R. No. 184355
ARNULFO a.k.a. ARNOLD JACABAN, Petitioner,
vs.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.
DECISION
PERALTA, J.:
Assailed in this Petition for Review on Certiorari is the Decision1 dated July 30, 2008 of the Court of
Appeals (CA), Cebu City, which affirmed in toto the decision of the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch
13, Cebu City, finding petitioner guilty of illegal possession of firearms and ammunitions under
Presidential Decree (PD) No. 1866, as amended by Republic Act (RA) 8294.
An Information was filed with the RTC, Branch 13, Cebu City 2 charging petitioner with violation of PD
1866 as amended by RA 8294, to wit:

12

That on or about the 16111 day of July 1999, at about 12:45 A.M., in the City of Cebu, Philippines, and
within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused, with deliberate intent, did then and
there have in his possession and control the following articles, to wit:
1.One (1) cal. 45 pistol "Llama Gabilondo" with SN515090
2.One (1) stainless magazine for caliber 45 pistol loaded with seven (7) rounds of Live
ammunitions for caliber .45
3.Three (3) short magazines for caliber 5.56 mm containing fifty-nine rounds of live ammos
4.Two (2) long magazines for caliber 5.56 mm containing fifty-five (55) rounds of live ammos
5.One (1) Bandoler for caliber 5.56 mm
6.One (1) bullet [links] for caliber 7.62 mm with twenty-eight (28) rounds of live ammos for
caliber 7.62 mm
7.One (1) bullet clips for caliber 30 M1 Garrand Rifle containing eight (8) rounds of live ammos
8.One (1) plastic sachet containing five (5) rounds of live ammos for caliber 5.56 mm
9.Six (6) rounds live ammos for caliber 7.62 mm
10.One (1) pair Upper Handguard for caliber 5.56 mm M16 rifle
11.One (1) damage carrying handle for caliber 5.56 rifle.
without first securing the necessary license/permit issued therefor from any competent authority.
Contrary to law.3
On July 19, 1999, petitioner was arraigned and pleaded not guilty to the charge. 4
Trial on the merits ensued.
The facts, as found by the Court of Appeals, are as follows:
Evidence for the prosecution established that on July 15, 1999, Police Senior Inspector Ipil H. Dueas
(P/SInsp. Dueas) of the now defunct Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF) filed
an Application for Search Warrant before Branch 22 of the RTC, Cebu City, to search the premises of
[appellant's] residence at J. Labra St., Guadalupe, Cebu City and seize the following items.
One (1) 7.62 cal M-14 Rifle;
Two (2) 5.56 mm M16 Armalite Rifle;
One (1) 12 gauge Shotgun;
One (1) .45 cal. Pistol;
13

One (1) .9 mm cal. Pistol


A Search Warrant was then immediately issued to the applicant by Judge Pampio A. Abarintos.
At about 12:45 in the morning of July 16, 1999, the search warrant was implemented by P/S Insp.
Dueas as the team leader, SPO2 Eric Mendoza, SPO2 Eric Abellana. PO1 Allan Jalagpas, PO3
Epifania Manila Sarte and other members of the PAOCTF. Before reaching appellant's house, the
policemen invited three (3) barangay tanods from Guadalupe's Barangay outpost to accompany them
to the house of the appellant.
Upon arrival to appellant's house, SPO2 Abellana served the search warrant to appellant who was just
inside the house together with his wife and other ladies.1awp++i1 Upon informing appellant of the
search warrant, he became angry and denied having committed any illegal activity. P/SInsp. Dueas
assured appellant that he had nothing to worry about if the PAOCTF would not find anything.
The team proceeded to search the living room in the presence of three tanods and the appellant
himself. The team continued to search the room where SPO2 Abellana found a calibre .45 placed in
the ceiling. Appellant, who was at the living room that time, rushed to the room and grappled with
SPO2 Abellana but failed to get hold of the gun.
After an exhaustive search was done, other firearms and ammunitions were recovered from the
searched premises. An inventory was made at the living room of appellant in the presence of appellant
himself, the barangay tanods and other persons present during the search. After appellant and the
witnesses signed the inventory receipt, the team proceeded back to their office with appellant and the
confiscated items.
Police Officer IV Dionisio V. Sultan, Chief Clerk of the Firearms and Explosives Division of the
Philippine National Police-Visayas (FED PNP-Visayas), testified that he prepared a certification dated
April 29, 2002. Based on their office's master, appellant is not licensed to possess any kind of firearm
or ammunition.
For the defense, they presented witness Felipenerie Jacaban, older sister of the appellant, who
testified as to her presence during the conduct of the search. According to Felipenerie, at about 12:45
in the morning of July 16, 1999, policemen conducted a raid in the house of Gabriel Arda (uncle of
appellant). The policemen who implemented the warrant were looking for his brother, herein appellant,
so she went to appellant's house and informed him that a raid was conducted at their uncle's house
and policemen were looking for him. When appellant arrived at his uncle's house, policemen searched
around the house and a pistol was subsequently recovered. Felipenerie claims that the recovered
pistol was allegedly pledged by a policeman to her father. She also testified that appellant never made
any protest and merely observed the proceeding. 5
On July 12, 2005, the RTC rendered its Decision 6 convicting petitioner of the crime charged, the
dispositive portion of which reads:
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered finding ACCUSED ARNULFO a.k.a. ARNOLD JACABAN
GUILTY of the crime of violation of PD 1866, as amended by RA 8294 and sentences him to a penalty
of imprisonment of from SIX (6) YEARS AND ONE (1) DAY of prision mayor, as minimum to SIX (6)
YEARS AND EIGHT (8) MONTHS, as maximum, plus fine in the amount of P30,000.
With cost against the accused.
14

SO ORDERED.7
In so ruling, the RTC found that the prosecution had established all the elements of the crime charged.
Petitioner was in possession of the firearm, ammunitions and other items with intent to possess the
same as they were found inside his house; and he had no license or permit to possess the same from
any competent authority. The RTC did not give credence to petitioners claim that he is not the owner
of the house but his uncle, Gabriel Arda, as the latter did not testify at all and was not in the house at
the time of the raid. It was petitioner and his wife who were at the house at 12:45 a.m. of July 16, 1999;
and that petitioner did not protest his arrest.
Petitioner appealed his conviction to the CA. After the respective briefs had been filed, the case was
submitted for decision.
On July 30, 2008, the CA issued its assailed Decision which affirmed in toto the RTC decision.
The CA agreed with the RTCs conclusion that the elements of the crime charged were duly proved by
the prosecution. Anent petitioners claim of the alleged discrepancy in the testimony of PO3 Sarte on
the time the raid was conducted, the CA found the same to be minor and did not damage the essential
integrity of the prosecutions evidence in its material whole; and that such discrepancy was explained
by PO3 Sarte in her testimony.
Hence, this petition for review filed by petitioner.
Petitioner argues that the RTC decision finding him guilty of the crime charged is premised on its
erroneous conclusion that he is the owner the house where the unlicensed firearms and ammunitions
were found. He reiterated his claim that there was discrepancy in the testimony of PO3 Sarte as to the
time the raid was conducted.
As a rule, only questions of law may be raised in a petition for review under Rule 45 of the Rules of
Court.8 As such, we are not duty-bound to analyze and weigh all over again the evidence already
considered in the proceedings below. The findings of facts by a trial court, when affirmed by the Court
of Appeals, are binding on the Supreme Court. 9 This rule, however, is not without
exceptions.10 However, petitioner failed to show that his case falls under any of the exceptions.
Section 1 of PD 1866, as amended by RA 8294, provides:
Section 1. Unlawful Manufacture, Sale, Acquisition, Disposition or Possession of Firearms or
Ammunition or Instruments Used or Intended to be Used in the Manufacture of Firearms or
Ammunition. - .....
The penalty of prision mayor in its minimum period and a fine of Thirty thousand pesos (P30,000.00)
shall be imposed if the firearm is classified as high powered firearm which includes those with bores
bigger in diameter than .38 caliber and 9 millimeter such as caliber .40, .41, .44, 45 and also lesser
calibered firearms but considered powerful such as caliber .357 and caliber .22 center-fire magnum
and other firearms with firing capability of full automatic and by burst of two or three: Provided,
however,
That no other crime was committed by the person arrested.

15

The essential elements in the prosecution for the crime of illegal possession of firearms and
ammunitions are: (1) the existence of subject firearm; and, (2) the fact that the accused who
possessed or owned the same does not have the corresponding license for it. 11 The unvarying rule is
that ownership is not an essential element of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition. 12 What the
law requires is merely possession, which includes not only actual physical possession, but also
constructive possession or the subjection of the thing to ones control and management. 13
Once the prosecution evidence indubitably points to possession without the requisite authority or
license, coupled with animus possidendi or intent to possess on the part of the accused, conviction for
violation of the said law must follow. Animus possidendi is a state of mind, the presence or
determination of which is largely dependent on attendant events in each case. It may be inferred from
the prior or contemporaneous acts of the accused, as well as the surrounding circumstances. 14
Here, the prosecution had proved the essential elements of the crime charged under PD 1866 as
amended by RA 8294. The existence of the seized firearm and the ammunitions was established
through the testimony of PO3 Sarte. There was an inventory of the items seized which was made in
the presence of the petitioner and the three barangay tanods who all voluntarily signed the inventory
receipt. PO3 Sarte identified all the seized items in open court.
It was convincingly proved that petitioner had constructive possession of the gun and the ammunitions,
coupled with the intent to possess the same. Petitioner's act of immediately rushing from the living
room to the room where SPO2 Abellana found a calibre .45 and grappled with the latter for the
possession of the gun proved that the gun was under his control and management. He also had
the animus possidendi or intent to possess the gun when he tried to wrest it from SPO2 Abellana.
Petitioner's lack of authority to possess the firearm was established by the testimony of Police Officer
IV Dionisio V. Sultan, Chief Clerk of the Firearms and Explosive Division of the Philippine National
Police-Visayas (FED-PNP- Visayas) that petitioner is not licensed to possess any kind of firearm or
ammunition based on the FED-PNP master list.
Anent petitioner's argument that the house where the firearm was found was not owned by him is not
persuasive. We quote with approval what the RTC said in debunking such issue which was affirmed by
the CA, thus:
If the accused is not really the owner of the house where the firearm, ammunitions and other items
were found, he should have protested his arrest. But in the instant case Felipenieri (sic) Jacaban said
that there was no protest at all.
If the accused is not really the owner of the house raided by the police officers, what was he and his
wife doing there at 12:45 in the morning?
The defense asserted that the house of the accused was already demolished when the road fronting it
was widened. But the defense failed to present the tax declaration covering the said house before it
was demolished.
xxx

xxx

xxx

Gabriel Arda, the alleged owner of the house did not testify. He was allegedly suffering from
hypertension. The defense, however, did not file a motion to take his deposition.
16

Felipenieri likewise testified that at the time of the raid, the owner of the house was not present. Her
testimony bolsters the fact that Gabriel Arda is not really the owner of the house where the raid was
conducted.15
Even assuming that petitioner is not the owner of the house where the items were recovered, the
ownership of the house is not an essential element of the crime under PD 1866 as amended. While
petitioner may not be the owner, he indeed had control of the house as shown by the following
circumstances: (1) When the PAOCTF went to the house to serve the search warrant, petitioner was
very angry and restless and even denied having committed any illegal act, but he was assured by
P/SInsp. Dueas that he has nothing to answer if they would not find anything, thus, he consented to
the search being conducted; (2) while the search was ongoing, petitioner merely observed the conduct
of the search and did not make any protest at all; and
(3) petitioner did not call for the alleged owner of the house.
As to the alleged discrepancy in PO3 Sarte's testimony as to the time the search was conducted, we
agree with the CA when it found:
Appellant likewise questions the discrepancies in the testimony of prosecution witness PO3 Epifania
Sarte. Appellant contends that PO3 Sarte could not even testify correctly as to the time the raid was
conducted. According to appellant, the established fact on records shows that it was conducted past
midnight of July 16, 1999 while witness PO3 Sarte asserted that it was conducted at 12:45 high noon
of said date.
It bears stressing that minor discrepancies might be found in her testimony, but this does not damage
the essential integrity of the evidence in its material whole, nor should it reflect adversely on the
witness' credibility as it erases suspicion that the same was perjured. Here, prior testimony of PO3
Sarte as to the time of the raid is considered only a trivial matter which is not even enough to destroy
or discredit her credibility. Besides, she was able to explain her mistake when she previously stated
that the search was conducted at 12:45 noon of July 16, 1999 instead of 12:45 in the morning as she
was hungry when she first testified. The record likewise does not reveal that PO3 Sarte was actuated
by ill-motive in so testifying against appellant. Thus, when there is nothing to indicate that a witness
was actuated by improper motives, her positive declarations on the witness stand, made under solemn
oath, deserve full faith and credence.16
The RTC sentenced petitioner to an imprisonment of six (6) years and one (1) day of prision mayor, as
minimum, to six (6) years and eight (8) months, as maximum, plus fine in the amount of P30,000.00.
The CA upheld the RTC. Under PD 1866, as amended by RA 8294, the penalty for illegal possession
of firearms classified as high powered, like cal. 45, is prision mayor minimum and a fine of P30,000.00.
Applying Article 64 of the Revised Penal Code, the maximum period of the imposable penalty cannot
exceed prision mayor minimum in its medium period, there being no mitigating or aggravating
circumstance, i.e., six (6) years, eight (8) months and one (1) day to seven (7) years and four (4)
months. The minimum period, as provided in the Indeterminate Sentence Law, shall be within the
range of prision correccional in its maximum period, i.e., four (4) years, two (2) months and one (1) day
to six (6) years, the penalty next lower in degree to prision mayor minimum.17 Thus, the minimum
penalty imposable must be modified. Albeit, PD 1866, as amended by RA 8294, is a malum
prohibitum and that the Revised Penal Code is generally not applicable, it has been held that when a
special law, which is a malum prohibitum, adopts the nomenclature of the penalties in the Revised
Penal Code, the latter law shall apply.18
17

While in 2013, RA 10951 entitled "An Act Providing for a Comprehensive Law on Firearms and
Ammunitions and Providing Penalties for Violation Thereof" took effect, the same finds no application
in this case as the law provides for stiffer penalties which is not at all favorable to the accused.
WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing, the Decision of the Court of Appeals, dated July 30, 2008,
is AFFIRMED WITH MODIFICATION. Petitioner is sentenced to suffer the indeterminate penalty of
imprisonment ranging from SIX (6) YEARS of prision correccional in its maximum period, as minimum,
to SIX (6) YEARS, EIGHT (8) MONTHS and ONE (1) DAY of prision mayor minimum in its medium
period, as maximum, and to pay a fine of P30,000.00.
SO ORDERED.
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
FIRST DIVISION
G.R. No. 194390

August 13, 2014

VENANCIO M. SEVILLA, Petitioner,


vs.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.
DECISION
REYES, J.:
Before this Court is a Petition for Review on Certiorari 1 under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court seeking to
annul and set aside the Decision 2 dated February 26, 2009 and the Resolution 3 dated October 22,
2010 of the Sandiganbayan in Criminal Case No. 27925, finding Venancio M. Sevilla (Sevilla) guilty of
falsification of public documents through reckless imprudence punished under Article 365 of the
Revised Penal Code (RPC).
Antecedent Facts
Sevilla, a former councilor of Malabon City, was charged with the felony of falsification of public
document, penalized under Article 171(4) of the RPC, in an Information, 4 which reads:
That on or about 02 July 2001, or for sometime prior or subsequent thereto, in the City of Malabon,
Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, Venancio
M. Sevilla, a public officer, being then a member of the [S]angguniang [P]anlunsod of Malabon City,
having been elected a [c]ouncilor thereof, taking advantage of his official position and committing the
offense in relation to duty, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully, and feloniously make a false
statement in a narration of facts, the truth of which he is legally bound to disclose, by stating in his C.S.
Form 212, dated 02 July 2001 or Personal Data Sheet, an official document, which he submitted to the
Office of the Secretariat, Malabon City Council and, in answer to Question No. 25 therein, he stated
that no criminal case is pending against him, when in fact, as the accused fully well knew, he is an
accused in Criminal Case No. 6718-97, entitled "People of the Philippines versus Venancio Sevilla and
18

Artemio Sevilla", for Assault Upon AnAgent Of A Person In Authority, pending before the Metropolitan
Trial Court of Malabon City, Branch 55, thereby perverting the truth.
CONTRARY TO LAW.5
Upon arraignment, Sevilla entered a plea of not guilty. Trial on the merits ensued thereafter.
The prosecution alleged that on July 2, 2001, the first day of his term as councilor of the City of
Malabon, Sevilla made a false narration in his Personal Data Sheet (PDS). 6 That in answer to the
question of whether there is a pending criminal case against him, Sevilla marked the box
corresponding to the "no" answer despite the pendency of a criminal case against him for assault upon
an agent ofa person in authority before the Metropolitan Trial Court of Malabon City, Branch 55.
Based on the same set of facts, an administrative complaint, docketed as OMB-ADM-0-01-1520, was
likewise filed against Sevilla. In its Decision dated March 26, 2002, the Office of the Ombudsman found
Sevilla administratively liable for dishonesty and falsification of official document and dismissed him
from the service. In Sevilla v. Gervacio, 7 the Court, in the Resolution dated June 23, 2003, affirmed the
findings of the Office of the Ombudsman as regards Sevillas administrative liability.
On the other hand, Sevilla admitted that he indeed marked the box corresponding to the "no" answer
vis--vis the question on whether he has any pending criminal case. However, he averred that he did
not intend to falsify his PDS. He claimed that it was Editha Mendoza (Mendoza), a member of his staff,
who actually prepared his PDS.
According to Sevilla, on July 2, 2001,since he did not have an office yet, he just stayed in his house. At
around two oclock in the afternoon, he was informed by Mendoza that he needs to accomplish his
PDS and submit the same to the personnel office of the City of Malabon before five oclock that
afternoon. He then instructed Mendoza to copy the entries in the previous copy of his PDS which he
filed with the personnel office. After the PDS was filled up and delivered to him by Mendoza, Sevilla
claims that he just signed the same without checking the veracity of the entries therein. That he failed
to notice that, in answer to the question of whether he has any pending criminal case, Mendoza
checked the box corresponding to the "no" answer.
The defense likewise presented the testimony of Edilberto G. Torres (Torres), a former City Councilor.
Torres testified that Sevilla was not yet given an office space in the Malabon City Hall on July 2, 2001;
that when the members of Sevillas staff would then need to use the typewriter, they would just use the
typewriter inside Torres office. Torres further claimed that he saw Mendoza preparing the PDS of
Sevilla, the latter having used the typewriter in his office.
Ruling of the Sandiganbayan
On February 26, 2009, the Sandiganbayan rendered a Decision, 8 the decretal portion of which reads:
WHEREFORE, accused VENANCIO M. SEVILLA is found GUILTY of Falsification of Public
Documents Through Reckless Imprudence and pursuant to Art. 365 of the Revised Penal Code hereby
imposes upon him in the absence ofany modifying circumstances the penalty of four (4) months of
arresto mayoras minimum to two (2) years ten (10) months and twenty one (21) days of prision
correccional as maximum, and to pay the costs.

19

There is no pronouncement as to civil liability as the facts from which it could arise do[es] not appear to
be indubitable.
SO ORDERED.9
The Sandiganbayan found that Sevilla made an untruthful statement in his PDS, which is a public
document, and that, in so doing, he took advantage of his official position since he would not have
accomplished the PDS if not for his position as a City Councilor. That being the signatory of the PDS,
Sevilla had the responsibility to prepare, accomplish and submit the same. Further, the Sandiganbayan
pointed out that there was a legal obligation on the part of Sevilla to disclose in his PDS that there was
a pending case against him. Accordingly, the Sandiganbayan ruled that the prosecution was able to
establish all the elements of the felony of falsification of public documents.
Nevertheless, the Sandiganbayan opined that Sevilla cannot be convicted of falsification of public
document under Article 171(4)10 of the RPC since he did not act with malicious intent to falsify the
aforementioned entry in his PDS. However, considering that Sevillas PDS was haphazardly and
recklessly done, which resulted in the false entry therein, the Sandiganbayan convicted Sevilla of
falsification of public document through reckless imprudence under Article 365 11 of the RPC. Thus:
Moreover, the marking of the "no" box to the question on whether there was a pending criminal case
against him was not the only defect in his PDS. As found by the Office of the Honorable Ombudsman
in its Resolution, in answer to question 29 in the PDS, accused answered that he had not been a
candidate in any local election (except barangay election), when in fact he ran and served as councilor
of Malabon from 1992 to 1998. Notwithstanding the negative answer in question 29, in the same PDS,
in answer to question 21, he revealed that he was a councilor from 1992 to 1998. Not to give premium
to a negligent act, this nonetheless shows that the preparation of the PDS was haphazardly and
recklessly done.
Taking together these circumstances, this Court is persuaded that accused did not act with malicious
intent to falsify the document in question but merely failed to ascertain for himself the veracity of
narrations in his PDS before affixing his signature thereon. The reckless signing of the PDS without
verifying the data therein makes him criminally liable for his act. Accused is a government officer, who
prior to his election as councilor in 2001, had already served as a councilor of the same city. Thus, he
should have been more mindful of the importance of the PDS and should have treated the said public
document with due respect.
Consequently, accused is convicted of Falsification of Public Document through Reckless Imprudence,
as defined and penalized in Article 171, paragraph 4, in relation to Article 365, paragraph 1, of the
Revised Penal Code. x x x.12
Sevillas motion for reconsideration was denied by the Sandiganbayan in its Resolution 13 dated
October 22, 2010.
Hence, this appeal.
In the instant petition, Sevilla asserts that the Sandiganbayan erred in finding him guilty of the felony of
falsification of public documents through reckless imprudence. He claims that the Information that was
filed against him specifically charged him with the commission of an intentional felony, i.e. falsification
of public documents under Article 171(4) of the RPC. Thus, he could not be convicted of falsification of
20

public document through reckless imprudence under Article 365 of the RPC, which is a culpable felony,
lest his constitutional right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him be
violated.
Issue
Essentially, the issue for the Courts resolution is whether Sevilla can be convicted of the felony of
falsification of public document through reckless imprudence notwithstanding that the charge against
him in the Information was for the intentional felony of falsification of public document under Article
171(4) of the RPC.
Ruling of the Court
The appeal is dismissed for lack of merit.
At the outset, it bears stressing that the Sandiganbayans designation of the felony supposedly
committed by Sevilla is inaccurate. The Sandiganbayan convicted Sevilla of reckless imprudence,
punished under Article 365 of the RPC, which resulted into the falsification of a public document.
However, the Sandiganbayan designated the felony committed as "falsification of public document
through reckless imprudence." The foregoing designation implies that reckless imprudence is not a
crime in itself but simply a modality of committing it. Quasi-offenses under Article 365 of the RPC are
distinct and separate crimes and not a mere modality in the commission of a crime.
In Ivler v. Modesto-San Pedro,14 the Court explained that:
Indeed, the notion that quasi-offenses, whether reckless or simple, are distinct species of crime,
separately defined and penalized under the framework of our penal laws, is nothing new. As early as
the middle of the last century, we already sought to bring clarity to this field by rejecting in Quizon v.
Justice of the Peace of Pampanga the proposition that "reckless imprudence is not a crime in itself but
simply a way of committing it x x x" on three points of analysis: (1) the object of punishment in quasicrimes (as opposed to intentional crimes); (2) the legislative intent to treat quasi crimes as distinct
offenses (as opposed to subsuming them under the mitigating circumstance of minimal intent) and; (3)
the different penalty structures for quasi-crimes and intentional crimes:
The proposition (inferred from Art. 3 of the Revised Penal Code) that "reckless imprudence" is not a
crime in itself but simply a way of committing it and merely determines a lower degree of criminal
liability is too broad to deserve unqualified assent. There are crimes that by their structure cannot be
committed through imprudence: murder, treason, robbery, malicious mischief, etc. In truth, criminal
negligence in our Revised Penal Code is treated as a mere quasi offense, and dealt with separately
from willful offenses. It is not a mere question of classification or terminology. In intentional crimes, the
act itself is punished; in negligence or imprudence, what is principally penalized is the mental attitude
or condition behind the act, the dangerous recklessness, lack of care or foresight, the imprudencia
punible.x x x
Were criminal negligence but a modality in the commission of felonies, operating only to reduce the
penalty therefor, then it would be absorbed in the mitigating circumstances of Art. 13, specially the lack
of intent to commit so grave a wrong as the one actually committed. Furthermore, the theory would
require that the corresponding penalty should be fixed in proportion to the penalty prescribed for each
crime when committed willfully. For each penalty for the willful offense, there would then be a
21

corresponding penalty for the negligent variety. But instead, our Revised Penal Code (Art. 365) fixes
the penalty for reckless imprudence at arresto mayor maximum, to prision correccional [medium], if the
willful act would constitute a grave felony, notwithstanding that the penalty for the latter could range all
the way from prision mayor to death, according to the case. It can be seen that the actual penalty for
criminal negligence bears no relation to the individual willful crime, but is set in relation to a whole
class, or series, of crimes.(Emphasis supplied)
This explains why the technically correct way to allege quasi crimes is to state that their commission
results in damage, either to person or property.15 (Citations omitted and emphasis ours)
Further, in Rafael Reyes Trucking Corporation v. People, 16 the Court clarified that:
Under Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code, criminal negligence "is treated as a mere quasi offense,
and dealt with separately from willful offenses. It is not a question of classification or terminology. In
intentional crimes, the act itself is punished; in negligence or imprudence, what is principally penalized
is the mental attitude or condition behind the act, the dangerous recklessness, lack of care or foresight,
the imprudencia punible. Much of the confusion has arisen from the common use of such descriptive
phrase as homicide through reckless imprudence, and the like; when the strict technical sense is,
more accurately, reckless imprudence resulting in homicide; or simple imprudence causing damages
to property."
There is need, therefore, to rectify the designation of the offense without disturbing the imposed
penalty for the guidance of bench and bar in strict adherence to precedent. 17 (Emphasis ours) Thus,
the proper designation of the felony should be reckless imprudence resulting to falsification of public
documents and not falsification of public documents through reckless imprudence.
Having threshed out the proper designation of the felony committed by Sevilla, the Court now weighs
the merit of the instant appeal. Sevillas appeal is anchored mainly on the variance between the
offense charged in the Information that was filed against him and that proved by the prosecution. The
rules on variance between allegation and proof are laid down under Sections 4 and 5, Rule 120 of the
Rules of Court, viz:
Sec. 4. Judgment in case of variance between allegation and proof. When there is variance between
the offense charged in the complaint or information and that proved, and the offense as charged is
included in or necessarily includes the offense proved, the accused shall be convicted of the offense
proved which is included in the offense charged, or of the offense charged which is included in the
offense proved.
Sec. 5. When an offense includes or is included in another. An offense charged necessarily includes
the offense proved when some of the essential elements or ingredients of the former, as alleged in the
complaint or information, constitute the latter. And an offense charged is necessarily included in the
offense proved, when the essential ingredients of the former constitute or form part of those
constituting the latter.
Accordingly, in case of variance between the allegation and proof, a defendant may be convicted of the
offense proved when the offense charged is included in or necessarily includes the offense proved.
There is no dispute that a variance exists between the offense alleged against Sevilla and that proved
by the prosecution the Information charged him with the intentional felony of falsification of public
22

document under Article 171(4) of the RPC while the prosecution was able to prove reckless
imprudence resulting to falsification of public documents. Parenthetically, the question that has to be
resolved then is whether reckless imprudence resulting to falsification of public document is
necessarily included in the intentional felony of falsification of public document under Article 171(4) of
the RPC.
The Court, in Samson v. Court of Appeals,18 has answered the foregoing question in the affirmative.
Thus:
It is however contended that appellant Samson cannot be convicted of the crime of estafa through
falsification by imprudence for the reason that the information filed against him charges only a willful
act of falsification and contains no reference to any act of imprudence on his part. Nor can it be said,
counsel argues, that the alleged imprudent act includes or is necessarily included in the offense
charged in the information because a deliberate intent to do an unlawful act is inconsistent with the
idea of negligence.
xxxx
While a criminal negligent act is not a simple modality of a wilful crime, as we held in Quizon v. Justice
of the Peace of Bacolor, x x x, but a distinct crime in itself, designated as a quasi offense, in our Penal
Code, it may however be said that a conviction for the former can be had under an information
exclusively charging the commission of a wilful offense, upon the theory that the greater includes the
lesser offense. This is the situation that obtains in the present case. Appellant was charged with willful
falsification but from the evidence submitted by the parties, the Court of Appeals found that in effecting
the falsification which made possible the cashing of checks in question, appellant did not act with
criminal intent but merely failed to take proper and adequate means to assure himself of the identity of
the real claimants as an ordinary prudent man would do. In other words, the information alleges acts
which charge willful falsification but which turned out to be not willful but negligent. This is a case
covered by the rule when there is a variance between the allegation and proof, and is similar to some
of the cases decided by this Tribunal.19 (Emphasis ours)
Thus, Sevillas claim that his constitutional right to be informed of the nature and cause of the
accusation against him was violated when the Sandiganbayan convicted him of reckless imprudence
resulting to falsification of public documents, when the Information only charged the intentional felony
of falsification of public documents, is untenable. To stress, reckless imprudence resulting to
falsification of public documents is an offense that is necessarily included in the willful act of
falsification of public documents, the latter being the greater offense. As such, he can be convicted of
reckless imprudence resulting to falsification of public documents notwithstanding that the Information
only charged the willful act of falsification of public documents.
In this regard, the Courts disposition in Sarep v. Sandiganbayan 20 is instructive.1wphi1 In Sarep, the
petitioner therein falsified his appointment paper which he filed with the CSC. An Information was then
filed against him for falsification of public document. Nevertheless, the Court convicted the accused of
reckless imprudence resulting to falsification of public document upon a finding that the accused
therein did not maliciously pervert the truth with the wrongful intent of injuring some person. The Court,
quoting the Sandiganbayans disposition, held that:
We are inclined, however, to credit the accused herein with the benefit of the circumstance that he did
not maliciously pervert the truth with the wrongful intent of injuring some person (People vs. Reyes, 1
23

Phil. 341). Since he sincerely believed that his CSC eligibility based on his having passed the Regional
Cultural Community Officer (Unassembled) Examination and educational attainment were sufficient to
qualify him for a permanent position, then he should only be held liable for falsification through
reckless imprudence (People vs. Leopando, 36 O.G. 2937; People vs. Maleza, 14 Phil. 468; People
vs. Pacheco, 18 Phil. 399).
Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code, which punishes criminal negligence or quasi-offenses,
furnishes the middle way between a wrongful act committed with wrongful intent, which gives rise to a
felony, and a wrongful act committed without any intent which may entirely exempt the doer from
criminal liability. It is the duty of everyone to execute his own acts with due care and diligence in order
that no prejudicial or injurious results may be suffered by others from acts that are otherwise offensive
(Aquino, R.P.C. Vol. III, 1976, Ed., p. 1884). What is penalized is the mental attitude or condition
behind the acts of dangerous recklessness and lack of care or foresight although such mental attitude
might have produced several effects or consequences (People vs. Cano, L 19660, May 24, 1966). 21
Anent the imposable penalty, under Article 365 of the RPC, reckless imprudence resulting in
falsification of public document is punishable by arresto mayor in its maximum period to prision
correccional in its medium period. In this case, taking into account the pertinent provisions of
Indeterminate Sentence Law, the Sandiganbayan correctly imposed upon Sevilla the penalty of four
( 4) months of arresto mayor as minimum to two (2) years ten ( 10) months and twenty one (21) days
of prision correccional as maximum.
WHEREFORE, in consideration of the foregoing disquisitions, the appeal is DISMISSED. The Decision
dated February 26, 2009 and the Resolution dated October 22, 2010 of the Sandiganbayan in Criminal
Case No. 27925 are hereby AFFIRMED.
SO ORDERED.
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
SECOND DIVISION
G.R. No. 206379

November 19, 2014

CECILIA PAGADUAN, Petitioner,


vs.
CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION* and REMA MARTIN SALVADOR, Respondents.
DECISION
MENDOZA, J.:
Subject of this disposition is the petition for review on certiorori filed under Rule 45 of the Rules of
Court which seeks to review, reverse and set aside the August 31, 2012 Amended Decision 1 and the
February 20, 2013 Resolution2 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. SP No. 120208, involving a
complaint for falsification and misrepresentation.

24

Initially, the Court denied the petition in its July 10, 2013 Resolution 3 for failure of the petitioner to show
any reversible error in the challenged amended decision as to warrant the exercise of the Court's
discretionary appellate jurisdiction. (Rollo, p. 101.)
The petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration, and on October 23, 2013, the Court granted the said
motion and set aside the July 10, 2013 Resolution. In the same October 23, 2013 resolution, the Court
reinstated the petition and required the respondents to file their comments thereon. On January 23,
2014, the private respondent filed her Comment. On February 7, 2014, the petitioner filed her Reply to
Comment. (Rollo, p. 110)
The Facts:
On May 14, 1992, petitioner Cecilia Pagaduan (Pagaduan) filed a notarized complaint with the Civil
Service Commission-Regional Office No. 2 (CSC-RO II)in Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, against
respondent Rema Martin Salvador (Salvador), newly appointed Municipal Budget Officer at that time,
charging her with the administrative offenses of falsification and misrepresentation. Pagaduan alleged
that Salvador did not actually possess the necessary budgeting experience required by her position;
and that although she indicated in her Personal Data Sheet (PDS)that she performed book keeping
and accounting functions for Veteran's Woodworks, Inc. (VWI) from August 1, 1990 to February 15,
1992,she was never in fact employed by the said entity. 4 Salvador on the other hand, claimed that she
had been employed by Alfonso Tuzon (Tuzon), whom the Board of Directors of VWI had granted full
management, direct supervision and control of VWI's logging operations. She explained that her
namedid not appear in the employees' payroll because Tuzon's office was independent from VWI's
original staff.5
Subsequently, on October 19, 1994, Pagaduan filed with the Municipal Trial Court in Cities, Branch 4,
Tuguegarao City(MTCC), a criminal charge against Salvador for falsification of public documents under
Article 172 in relation to Article 171(4) of the Revised Penal Code in making false statements in her
PDS, which was docketed as Criminal Case No. 15482.
On May 22, 2000, a decision6 on the administrative complaint was rendered by the CSC-RO II, holding
Salvador liable only for Simple Misconduct and imposing the penalty of one (1) month suspension,
after ruling that her act was a mere error of judgment.
Unsatisfied, Pagaduan filed a motion for reconsideration which was, however, denied. She then
appealed to the Civil Service Commission (CSC), which found the appeal to be without merit, ruling
that she had no standing to file the appeal as she was not the party aggrieved by the CSC-RO II
decision. The CSC also approved Salvador's qualification as Municipal Budget Officer because her
experience in VWI was a "related field."7
Pagaduan ceased her pursuit and did not move for a reconsideration or appeal. Thus, on January 21,
2002, the CSC-RO II issued the order, stating that its May 22, 2000 decision had attained finality.
Salvador then served the penalty of one (1) month suspension. 8
Later, on October 22, 2008, the MTCC rendered a decision 9 in Criminal Case No. 15842, finding
Salvador guilty of falsification of public documents. Salvador did not appeal and then applied for
probation. Her application was granted and she was placed under probation for a period of one (1)
year.
25

Thereafter, Pagaduan filed a second administrative complaint against Salvador, this time for the
offense of conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude. Salvador submitted the required counter
affidavit, raising the defenses of res judicata, forum shopping, and double jeopardy on account of the
finality of the decision in the first administrative complaint for falsification. After finding a prima facie
case in the second administrative complaint, Salvador was formally charged. To answer the charges
against her, she adopted her defenses in her counter-affidavit and submitted documents to support her
cause.
On January 12, 2010, the CSC-RO II rendered a decision, 10 finding Salvador guilty of the
administrative offense of conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude because of her conviction for
falsification before the MTCC, and imposing the penalty of dismissal from the service with all its
accessory penalties. Thus:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, REMA MARTIN SALVADOR is hereby declared guilty of
CONVICTION OF A CRIME INVOLVING MORAL TURPITUDE and is meted the penalty of
DISMISSAL FROM THE SERVICE WITH ALL ITS ACCESSORY PENALTIES.11
Aggrieved, Salvador moved for reconsideration, but the motion was denied. Salvador appealed to the
CSC, which rendered a decision12 on March 1, 2011 reversing and setting aside the decision of the
CSC-RO II and exonerating her of the charge. She was sternly warned to be more cautious and
prudent in accomplishing public documents. The CSC ruled that the criminal offense of falsification of
public document did not per se involve moral turpitude, following the Court's pronouncement in Dela
Torre vs. COMELEC,13 citing Zari vs. Flores.14 The CSC stated that since the liability of Salvador in the
first administrative complaint was lowered to Simple Misconduct, the crime ascribed to her could not
be said to have been attended with inherent baseness or vileness or depravity. 15 The dispositive
portion of the March 1, 2011 CSC Decision reads:
WHEREFORE, the Petition for Review (appeal) filed by Rema Martin Salvador is hereby GRANTED.
Accordingly, the Decision dated January 12, 2010 issued by Civil Service Commission Regional Office
(CSCRO) No. II finding her guilty of Conviction of a Crime Involving Moral Turpitude and meting upon
her the penalty of dismissal from the government service with all its accessory penalties is hereby
REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Thus, appellant Rema Martin Salvador is EXONERATED of the charge
of Conviction of Crime Involving Moral Turpitude levelled against her. She is STERNLY WARNED to be
more cautious and prudent in accomplishing public documents. 16
Pagaduan moved for reconsideration but the motion was denied on June 1, 2011. Hence, an appeal
was made to the CA which ruled that following precedents, a conviction for falsification of public
document constituted the offense of conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude. 17 The gravity of
Salvador's falsification was highlighted by her commission of the same in her PDS, which was no
ordinary contract.18 Thus, on February 28, 2012 the CA disposed in this wise: WHEREFORE, premises
considered, the Decision of the Commission dated 1 March 2011 and its Resolution promulgated 3
June 2011 affirming the same are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Consequently, the Decision of
the Civil Service Commission Regional Office No. 2 of Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, dated 12 January
2010, is hereby AFFIRMED.
SO ORDERED.19
Salvador then filed a motion for reconsideration of the February 28, 2012 CA Decision. 20 On August 31,
2012, in a turn-around, the CA granted her motion and issued the assailed Amended
26

Decision,21 reversing and setting aside its previous decision and reinstated the March 1, 2011 CSC
decision. It agreed with the findings of the CSC that the act of falsification committed by Salvador did
not involve moral turpitude as it was a mere error of judgment on her part. The dispositive portion of
the Amended Decision reads:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the instant Motion for Reconsideration is GRANTED, such that
Our Decision dated 28 February 2012 is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDEand in view thereof, the
Decision and Resolution of public respondent Civil Service Commission dated 01 March 2011 and 01
June 2011 respectively, are REINSTATED.
SO ORDERED.22
Hence, this petition.
ASSIGNMENT OF ERRORS
I. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY ERRED AND COMMITTED GRAVE
ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OR IN EXCESS OF JURISDICTION WHEN
IT FINALLY EXONERATED RESPONDENT OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE CHARGE OF
CONVICTION OF A CRIME INVOLVING MORAL TURPITUDE BY FINDING THE
FALSIFICATION COMMITTED BY RESPONDENT IN HER PERSONAL DATA SHEET AS
ONLY A SIMPLE MISCONDUCT WHICH DOES NOT AMOUNT TO MORAL TURPITUDE.
II. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED AND ACTED WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF
DISCRETION AND AUTHORITY AMOUNTING TO LACK OR IN EXCESS OF JURISDICTION
IN NOT APPLYING IN THE INSTANT CASE THE DOCTRINE LAID DOWN IN THE CASE OF
TEVES VS. SANDIGANBAYAN WHICH SPECIFICALLY CATEGORIZED THE CRIME OF
FALSIFICATION OF PUBLIC DOCUMENT FOR WHICH RESPONDENT WAS CONVICTED
AS A CRIME WHICH INVOLVES MORAL TURPITUDE.
III. THAT THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED AND ACTED IN GRAVE ABUSE
OF ITS AUTHORITY AND DISCRETION IN NOT AFFIRMING THE DECISION OF THE CSCROII WHICH DISMISSED FROM THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE PRIVATE RESPONDENT OF
THE OFFENSE OF CONVICTION OF A CRIME INVOLVING MORAL TURPITUDE.23
In this case, the substantive issue for resolution is whether or not Salvador was convicted of a crime
involving moral turpitude. On the other hand, the procedural issues of res judicata and forum shopping
were raised by the respondent.
The Ruling of the Court
As previously recited, this petition arose from the second administrative complaint filed by Pagaduan
against Salvador. The first administrative complaint was for the offenses of falsification and
misrepresentation, where the CSC-RO II found her to be liable for simple misconduct only. The CSC
decision affirming the said CSC-RO II decision became final and executory, and Salvador served the
penalty of one (1) month suspension.
Meanwhile, the October 22, 2008, MTCC decision 24 in the criminal case filed by Pagaduan against
Salvador, finding the latter guilty of the crime of falsification of public document, attained finality as
27

Salvador did not appeal. By reason of the said conviction, Pagaduan filed the second administrative
complaint for the offense of conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude.
Before discussing the substantial aspect of the case, the issues on the procedural aspect shall first be
addressed.
In her Comment,25 Salvador invoked res judicata and forum shopping in arguing that the second
administrative case was already barred by the prior administrative case against her. It was her
contention that both cases involved the same parties, the same facts and issues, although with
different causes of action.26
The principle of res judicata is applicable either by way of "bar by prior judgment" or by
"conclusiveness of judgment." Here, Salvador's defense was res judicata by conclusiveness of
judgment. In Borra v. Court of Appeals,27 the Court stated that:
Stated differently, conclusiveness of judgment finds application when a fact or question has been
squarely put in issue, judicially passed upon, and adjudged in a former suit by a court of competent
jurisdiction. The fact or question settled by final judgment or order binds the parties to that action (and
persons in privity with them or their successors-in-interest), and continues to bind them while the
judgment or order remains standing and unreversed by proper authority on a timely motion or petition;
the conclusively-settled fact or question cannot again be litigated in any future or other action between
the same parties or their privies and successors-in-interest, in the same or in any other court of
concurrent jurisdiction, either for the same or for a different cause of action. Thus, only the identities of
parties and issues are required for the operation of the principle of conclusiveness of judgment.
[Emphasis supplied]
Contrary to Salvador's contention, however, there appears to be no identity of issues and facts in the
two administrative cases.1wphi1 The first case involved facts necessary to resolve the issue of
whether or not Salvador falsified her PDS. The second one involved facts necessary to resolve the
issue of whether or not Salvador was convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude. Falsification was
the main issue in the first case, while it was no longer an issue in the second case. The only fact to
consider in the second administrative complaint is the fact of conviction of a crime involving moral
turpitude. It must be borne in mind that both administrative complaints were based on different
grounds. The grounds were separate and distinct from each other and entailed different sets of facts.
Corollarily, Pagaduan cannot be liable for forum shopping. The established rule is that for forum
shopping to exist, both actions must involve the same transactions, same essential facts and
circumstances, and must raise identical causes of actions, subject matter, and issues. 28 It exists where
the elements of litis pendentia are present, namely: (a) there is identity of parties, or at least such
parties representing the same interests in both actions; (b) there is identity of rights asserted and relief
prayed for, the relief being founded on the same set of facts; and (c) the identity of the two preceding
particulars is such that any judgment rendered in the pending case, regardless of which party is
successful, would amount to res judicata in the other. 29 Since no res judicata exists, no forum shopping
either exists in this case.
Now on the substantial issue, Pagaduan avers that Salvador was convicted of a crime involving moral
turpitude - a sufficient ground for dismissal from government service. On the other hand, Salvador
argues that the falsification she committed did not involve moral turpitude. In resolving the issue of
whether Salvador was convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude, the existence of only two
28

elements is necessary: (1) the conviction of a crime, which conviction has attained finality; and (2) the
crime for which the accused was convicted involves moral turpitude. There is no dispute as to the first
element, leaving Us to determine the presence of the other.
Moral turpitude has been defined as everything which is done contrary to justice, modesty, or good
morals; an act of baseness, vileness or depravity in the private and social duties which a man owes his
fellowmen, or to society in general, 30 contrary to the accepted and customary rule of right and duty
between man and woman, or conduct contrary to justice, honesty, modesty, or good morals. 31 Not
every criminal act, however, involves moral turpitude. It is for this reason that the Court has to
determine as to what crime involves moral turpitude. 32 Salvador was convicted of falsification of public
document. The MTCC found that she made an untruthful statement in a narration of facts and
perverted the truth with a wrongful intent. 33 While Salvador invoked good faith as a defense, the MTCC
was not convinced, stating that good faith could not be made to depend solely on the self-serving
statement of the accused. It must be supported by other independent evidence. 34 To the MTCC,
Salvador miserably failed to clearly show the presence of good faith. More specifically, the trial court
stated:
She alleged that she honestly believed she was employed with VWI because Alfonso Tuzon is the
operations manager of VWI. Second, she was responsible in the preparation of the payroll sheets of
VWI.
However, the following circumstances negate the existence of good faith:
1. Accused was not included in the list of employees of VWI as shown in Exhibits "G", "G-1",
"G-2", "G-3", and "G-4," "J" and its sub-markings and "K" and its sub-markings;
2. Accused was not in the payroll of VWI as shown in Exhibit "L";
3. Accused received her salary from Rodolfo Quiambao and not from VWI;
4. Rodolfo Quiambao, who is not a VWI employee, issued directives to the accused;
5. Accused never went to the VWI office at Magapit, Lallo, Cagayan;
6. Accused never had any VWI identification card;
7. Accused had no contract of employment with VWI; and finally,
8. Rodolfo Quiambao worked personally with Alfonso Tuzon and not with VWI.
These circumstances were known to the accused. Despite knowledge of these facts, accused stated in
her PDS that she was employed with VWI, thus, she perverted the truth. Said act constitutes malice on
her part negating her claim of good faith. 35 [Emphasis supplied] Granting arguendo that Salvador had
no criminal intent to injure a third person, the same is immaterial as such intent is not an essential
element of the crime of falsification of public document. It is jurisprudentially settled that in the
falsification of public or official documents, whether by public officers or private persons, it is not
necessary that there be present the idea of gain or the intent to injure a third person for the reason
that, in contradistinction to private documents, the principal thing punished is the violation of the public
faith and the destruction of truth as therein solemnly proclaimed. In falsification of public documents,
29

therefore, the controlling consideration is the public character of a document; and the existence of any
prejudice caused to third persons or, at least, the intent to cause such damage becomes immaterial. 36
Salvador did not appeal from the said judgment and, instead, filed an application for probation which
was granted.1wphi1It has been held that an application for probation is an admission of
guilt.37 Logically then, when Salvador applied for probation, she admitted the making of an untruthful
statement in her PDS. In Lumancas v. Intas, 38 the Court held that "the accomplishment of the Personal
Data Sheet being a requirement under the Civil Service Rules and Regulations in connection with
employment in the government, the making of an untruthful statement therein was, therefore, intimately
connected with such employment."39 The filing of a PDS is required in connection with the promotion to
a higher position and contenders for promotion have the legal obligation to disclose the truth.
Otherwise, enhancing their qualifications by means of false statements will prejudice other qualified
aspirants to the same position.40
As early as 1961, in the case of De Jesus-Paras vs. Vailoces, 41 the Court disbarred a lawyer on the
ground of conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude, after having found that the said lawyer was
convicted of the crime of falsification of public documents. Similarly, in In Re - Attorney Jose
Avancea,42 the said lawyer was disbarred from the practice of law due to a conviction by final
judgment of a crime involving moral turpitude after being convicted of the crime of falsification of public
documents. Lastly, in RE: SC Decision dated May 20, 2008 in G.R. No. 161455 under Rule 139-B of
the Rules of Court v. Atty. Rodolfo D. Pactolin, 43 the Court reiterated that the crime of falsification of
public document is contrary to justice, honesty and good morals and, therefore, involves moral
turpitude.44
Following the Court's disposition in the aforecited cases, the CSC and the CA therefore erred in
reaching a conclusion to the contrary, especially that Salvador's conviction for such crime already
attained finality. Both tribunals were of the view that Salvador merely committed a mere error of
judgment and, thus, no moral turpitude was involved. Their position was based on the finding
previously made by the CSC-RO II in the first administrative complaint. That could not a valid basis
because, as earlier pointed out, the second case was separate and distinct from the first one.
Although the CSC itself recognized that it was for the Court to determine what crime involved moral
turpitude, it ruled that Salvador's commission of the crime of falsification of public document did not
involve moral turpitude. Both the CSC and the CA strayed away from the settled jurisprudence on the
matter. It will be absurd to insist that Salvador committed a mere error of judgment when the very basis
of the second administrative charge against her was a final judgment of conviction where the trial court
found otherwise.
Considering that the principal act punished in the crime of falsification of public document is the
violation of the public faith and the destruction of truth as therein solemnly proclaimed, the elements of
the administrative offense of conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude clearly exist in this case.
The Court does not have to look beyond what is simply apparent from the surrounding circumstances.
Finally, Salvador argues that her conviction and eventual discharge from probation presents another
administrative case to be filed against her because to do so would defeat the purpose of the Probation
Law45which was to erase the effect of conviction and to restore civil rights that were lost or suspended.
Suffice it to state that probation does not erase the effects and fact of conviction, but merely suspends
the penalty imposed. While indeed the purpose of the Probation Law is to save valuable human
material, it must not be forgotten that unlike pardon, probation does not obliterate the crime for which
30

the person under probation has been convicted. The reform and rehabilitation of the probationer
cannot justify his retention in the government service. 46 Furthermore, probation only affects the criminal
liability of the accused, and not his administrative liabilities, if any. The Court once ruled in the case of
Samalio vs. Court of Appeals47 that:
Finally, even if dismissal had been one of the accessory penalties of the principal penalty imposed
upon petitioner in the criminal case, and even if the administrative case had been decided earlier than
the criminal case, still the imposition of the penalty of dismissal could not have been suspended by the
grant of probation. As petitioner himself contends, the criminal action is separate and distinct from the
administrative case. And, if only for that reason, so is administrative liability separate and distinct from
penal liability. Hence, probation affects only the criminal aspect of the case, not its administrative
dimension.48 [Emphases supplied]
All told, if there is no compelling reason to deviate from what has already been established, settled
principles and jurisprudence should be respected. To do otherwise would only create confusion and
instability in our jurisprudence.
As a final note, it must be borne in mind that a PDS is a public Document 49 required of a government
employee and official by the CSC. It is the repository of all information about any government
employee or official regarding his personal background, qualification, and eligibility. Government
employees are tasked under the Civil Service rules to properly and completely accomplish their
PDS,50 in accordance with the constitutional principle that public office is a public trust, thereby
enjoining all public officers and employees to serve with the highest degree or responsibility, integrity,
loyalty and efficiency.51 Only those who can live up to such exacting standard deserve the honor of
continuing in public service.52 WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. Accordingly, the August 31,
2012 Amended Decision53 and the February 20, 2013 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R.
SP No. 120208 are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The February 28, 2012 Decision of the Court
of Appeals is UPHELD and REINSTATED.
SO ORDERED.
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
SECOND DIVISION
G.R. No. 211465

December 3, 2014

PEOPLE OF THE :PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-appellee,


vs.
SHIRLEY A. CASIO, Accused-appellant.
DECISION
LEONEN, J.:
"Chicks mo dong?"1

31

With this sadly familiar question being used on the streets of many of our cities, the fate of many
desperate women is sealed and their futures vanquished. This case resulted in the rescue of two
minors from this pernicious practice. Hopefully, there will be more rescues. Trafficking in persons is a
deplorable crime. It is committed even though the minor knew about or consented to the act of
trafficking.
This case involves Republic Act No. 9208, 2 otherwise known as the "Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of
2003."3
Accused Shirley A. Casio was charged for the violation of Republic Act No. 9208, Section 4(a),
qualified by Section 6(a). The information against accused, dated May 5, 2008, states:
That on or about the 3rd day of May 2008, at about 1:00 oclock A.M., in the City of Cebu, Philippines,
and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused, with deliberate intent, with intent
to gain, did then and there hire and/or recruit AAA, a minor, 17 years old and BBB for the purpose of
prostitution and sexual exploitation, by acting as their procurer for different customers, for money, profit
or any other consideration, in Violation of Sec. 4, Par. (a), Qualified by Sec. 6, Par. (a), of R.A. 9208
(Qualified Trafficking in Persons).
CONTRARY TO LAW.4
The facts, as found by the trial court and the Court of Appeals, are as follows:
On May 2, 2008, International Justice Mission (IJM), 5 a nongovernmental organization, coordinated
with the police in order to entrap persons engaged in human trafficking in Cebu City.6
Chief PSI George Ylanan, SPO1 Felomino Mendaros, SPO1 Fe Altubar, PO1 Albert Luardo, and PO1
Roy Carlo Veloso composed the team of police operatives. 7 PO1 Luardo and PO1 Veloso were
designated as decoys, pretending to be tour guides looking for girls to entertain their guests. 8 IJM
provided them with marked money, which was recorded in the police blotter.9
The team went to Queensland Motel and rented Rooms 24 and 25. These rooms were adjacent to
each other. Room 24 was designated for the transaction while Room 25 was for the rest of the police
team.10
PO1 Luardo and PO1 Veloso proceeded to D. Jakosalem Street in Barangay Kamagayan, Cebu Citys
red light district. Accused noticed them and called their attention by saying "Chicks mo dong?" (Do you
like girls, guys?).11
During trial, PO1 Luardo and PO1 Veloso testified that their conversation with accused went as follows:
Accused: Chicks mo dong?(Do you like girls, guys?)
PO1 Luardo: Unya mga bag-o? Kanang batan-on kay naa mi guests naghulat sa motel. (Are they
new? They must be young because we have guests waiting at the motel.)
Accused: Naa, hulat kay magkuha ko. (Yes, just wait and Ill get them.) 12
At that point, PO1 Luardo sent a text message to PSI Ylanan that they found a prospective subject. 13
32

After a few minutes, accused returned with AAA and BBB, private complainants in this
case.14 Accused: Kining duha kauyon mo ani? (Are you satisfied with these two?)
PO1 Veloso: Maayo man kaha na sila modala ug kayat? (Well, are they good in sex?) 15 Accused gave
the assurance that the girls were good in sex. PO1 Luardo inquired how much their services would
cost. Accused replied, "Tag kinientos" (P500.00).16
PO1 Veloso and PO1 Luardo convinced accused to come with them to Queensland Motel. Upon
proceeding to Room 24, PO1 Veloso handed the marked money to accused. 17
As accused counted the money, PO1 Veloso gave PSI Ylanan a missed call. This was their prearranged signal. The rest of the team proceeded to Room 24, arrested accused, and informed her of
her constitutional rights. The police confiscated the marked money from accused. 18 Meanwhile, AAA
and BBB "were brought to Room 25 and placed in the custody of the representatives from the IJM and
the DSWD."19
During trial, AAA testified that she was born on January 27, 1991. This statement was supported by a
copy of her certificate of live birth. 20
AAA narrated that in 2007, she worked as a house helper in Mandaue City. In March 2008 she stopped
working as a house helper and transferred to Cebu City. She stayed with her cousin, but she
subsequently moved to a boarding house. It was there where she met her friend, Gee Ann. AAA knew
that Gee Ann worked in a disco club. When Gee Ann found out that AAA was no longer a virgin, she
offered AAA work. AAA agreed because she needed the money in order to help her father. AAA
recalled that she had sex with her first customer. She was paidP200.00 and given an
additional P500.00 as tip. For the first few weeks, Gee Ann provided customers for AAA. Eventually,
Gee Ann brought her to Barangay Kamagayan, telling her that there were more customers in that
area.21
AAA stated that she knew accused was a pimp because AAA would usually see her pimping girls to
customers in Barangay Kamagayan. 22 AAA further testified that on May 2, 2008, accused solicited her
services for a customer. That was the first time that she was pimped by accused. 23 Accused brought
her, BBB, and a certain Jocelyn to Queensland Motel. 24
AAA testified that Jocelyn stayed in the taxi, while she and BBB went to Room 24. It was in Room 24
where the customer paid Shirley. The police rushed in and told AAA and BBB to go to the other room.
AAA was then met by the Department of Social Welfare and Development personnel who informed her
that she was rescued and not arrested.25
AAA described that her job as a prostitute required her to display herself, along with other girls,
between 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. She received P400.00 for every customer who selected her.26
The prosecution also presented the police operatives during trial. PSI Ylanan, SPO1 Mendaros, and
SPO1 Altubar testified that after PO1 Veloso had made the missed call to PSI Ylanan, they "rushed to
Room 24 and arrested the accused." 27 SPO1 Altubar retrieved the marked money worth P1,000.00
from accuseds right hand "and upon instruction from PCINSP Ylanan recorded the same at the police
blotter prior operation. . . ."28
The trial court noted that AAA requested assistance from the IJM "in conducting the operation against
the accused."29
33

Version of the accused


In defense, accused testified that she worked as a laundry woman. On the evening of May 2, 2008,
she went out to buy supper. While walking, she was stopped by two men on board a blue car. The two
men asked her if she knew someone named Bingbing. She replied that she only knew Gingging but
not Bingbing. The men informed her that they were actually looking for Gingging, gave her a piece of
paper witha number written on it, and told her to tell Gingging to bring companions. When accused
arrived home, she contacted Gingging. Gingging convinced her to come because allegedly, she would
be given money by the two males.30 Ruling of the trial court
The Regional Trial Court, Branch 14 in Cebu City found accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt and
held31 that:
Accused had consummated the act of trafficking of person[s] . . . as defined under paragraph (a),
Section 3 of R.A. 9208 for the purpose of letting her engage in prostitution as defined under paragraph
[c] of the same Section; the act of "sexual intercourse" need not have been consummated for the mere
"transaction" i.e. the solicitation for sex and the handing over of the "bust money" of Php1,000.00
already consummated the said act.
....
WHEREFORE, the Court finds accused, SHIRLEY A. CASIO, GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of
trafficking in persons under paragraph (a), Section 4 as qualified under paragraph (a), Section 6 of
R.A. 9208 and sentenced to suffer imprisonment of TWENTY (20) YEARS and to pay a fine of ONE
MILLION (Php1,000,000.00).
Finally, accused is ordered to pay the costs of these proceedings.
SO ORDERED[.]32
Ruling of the Court of Appeals
The Court of Appeals affirmed the findings of the trial court but modified the fine and awarded moral
damages. The dispositive portion of the decision33 reads:
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing premises, the instant appeal is hereby DENIED. The assailed
Decision dated 10 August 2010 promulgated by the Regional Trial Court, Branch 14 in Cebu City in
Crim. Case No. CBU-83122 is AFFIRMED WITH MODIFICATIONS. The accused-appellant is
accordingly sentenced to suffer the penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of Php2,000,000 and is
ordered to pay each of the private complainants Php150,000 as moral damages.
SO ORDERED.34
Accused filed a notice of appeal35 on August 28, 2013, which the Court of Appeals noted and gave due
course in its resolution36 dated January 6, 2014. The case records of CA-G.R. CEB-CR No. 01490
were received by this court on March 17, 2014. 37
In the resolution38 dated April 29, 2014, this court resolved to notify the parties that they may file their
respective supplemental briefs within 30 days from notice. This court also required the Superintendent
of the Correctional Institution for Women to confirm the confinement of accused. 39
34

Counsel for accused40 and the Office of the Solicitor General 41 filed their respective manifestations,
stating that they would no longer file supplemental briefs considering that all issues had been
discussed in the appellants brief and appellees brief filed before the Court of Appeals. Through a
letter42 dated June 17, 2014, Superintendent IV Rachel D. Ruelo confirmed accuseds confinement at
the Correctional Institution for Women since October 27, 2010.
The sole issue raised by accused is whether the prosecution was able to prove her guilt beyond
reasonable doubt.
However, based on the arguments raised in accuseds brief, the sole issue may be dissected into the
following:
(1) Whether the entrapment operation conducted by the police was valid, considering that there
was no prior surveillance and the police did not know the subject of the operation; 43
(2) Whether the prosecution was able to prove accuseds guilt beyond reasonable doubt even
though there was no evidence presented to show that accused has a history of engaging in
human trafficking;44 and
(3) Whether accused was properly convicted of trafficking in persons, considering that AAA
admitted that she works as a prostitute. 45
Arguments of accused
Accused argues that there was no valid entrapment. Instead, she was instigated into committing the
crime.46 The police did not conduct prior surveillance and did not even know who their subject
was.47 Neither did the police know the identities of the alleged victims.
Accused further argues that under the subjective test, she should be acquitted because the
prosecution did not present evidence that would prove she had a history of engaging in human
trafficking or any other offense. She denied being a pimp and asserted that she was a laundry
woman.48 In addition, AAA admitted that she worked as a prostitute. Thus, it was her decision to
display herself to solicit customers. 49
Arguments of the plaintiff-appellee
The Office of the Solicitor General, counsel for plaintiff-appellee People of the Philippines, argued that
the trial court did not err in convicting accused because witnesses positively identified her as the
person who solicited customers and received money for AAA and BBB. 50 Entrapment operations are
valid and have been recognized by courts. 51 Likewise, her arrest in flagrante delicto is valid. 52 Hence,
the trial court was correct in stating that accused had "fully consummated the act of trafficking of
persons. . ."53
We affirm accused Shirley A. Casios conviction.
I.
Background of Republic Act No. 9208

35

The United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UN CTOC) was "adopted and
opened for signature, ratification and accession" 54 on November 15, 2000. The UN CTOC is
supplemented by three protocols: (1) the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in
Persons, Especially Women and Children; (2) the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land,
Sea and Air; and, (3) the Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, their
Parts and Components and Ammunition.55
On December 14, 2000, the Philippines signed the United Nations "Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and
Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children" (Trafficking Protocol). 56 This was
ratified by the Philippine Senate on September 30, 2001. 57 The Trafficking Protocols entry into force
was on December 25, 2003.58
In the Trafficking Protocol, human trafficking is defined as:
Article 3 Use of terms For the purposes of this Protocol:
(a) "Trafficking in persons" shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or
receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of
abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the
giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control
over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum,
the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour
or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs;
(b) The consent of a victim of trafficking in persons to the intended exploitation set forth in
subparagraph (a) of this article shall be irrelevant where any of the means set forth in
subparagraph (a) have been used;
(c) The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of a child for the purpose of
exploitation shall be considered "trafficking in persons" even if this does not involve any of the
means set forth in subparagraph (a) of this article;
(d) "Child" shall mean any person under eighteen years of age.
Senator Loren Legarda, in her sponsorship speech, stated that the "Anti-Trafficking Act will serve as
the enabling law of the countrys commitment to [the] protocol." 59
Senator Luisa Ejercito Estrada also delivered a sponsorship speech and described trafficking in
persons as follows:
Trafficking in human beings, if only to emphasize the gravity of its hideousness, is tantamount to
modern-day slavery at work. It is a manifestation of one of the most flagrant forms of violence against
human beings. Its victims suffer the brunt of this insidious form of violence. It is exploitation, coercion,
deception, abduction, rape, physical, mental and other forms of abuse, prostitution, forced labor, and
indentured servitude.
....
As of this time, we have signed the following: the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of
Discrimination Against Women; the 1995 Convention on the Rights of the Child; the United Nations
36

Convention on the Protection of Migrant Workers and their Families; and the United Nations
Resolution on Trafficking in Women and Girls, among others.
Moreover, we have also expressed our support for the United Nations Convention Against Organized
Crime, including the Trafficking Protocol in October last year.
At first glance, it appears that we are very responsive to the problem. So it seems.
Despite these international agreements, we have yet to come up with a law that shall squarely address
human trafficking.60
During the interpellation of Republic Act No. 9208, then numbered as Senate Bill No. 2444, Senator
Teresa Aquino-Oreta asked if there was a necessity for an anti-trafficking law when other laws exist
that cover trafficking.61
Senator Luisa Ejercito Estrada explained:
At present, Mr. President, the relevant laws to the trafficking issue are the Revised Penal Code,
Republic Act No. 8042 or the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipino Act, R[epublic] A[ct] No. 6955 or
the Mail-Order Bride Act, and Republic Act No. 8239 or the Philippine Passport Act. These laws
address issues such as illegal recruitment, prostitution, falsification of public documents and the mailorder bride scheme. These laws do not respond to the issue of recruiting, harboring or transporting
persons resulting in prostitution, forced labor, slavery and slavery-like practices. They only address to
one or some elements of trafficking independent of their results or consequence. 62(Emphasis supplied)
Thus, Republic Act No. 9208 was enacted in order to fully address the issue of human trafficking.
Republic Act No. 9208 was passed on May 12, 2003, and approved on May 26, 2003.
II.
Elements of trafficking in persons
The elements of trafficking in persons can be derived from its definition under Section 3(a) of Republic
Act No. 9208, thus:
(1) The act of "recruitment, transportation, transfer or harbouring, or receipt of persons with or
without the victims consent or knowledge, within or across national borders."
(2) The means used which include "threat or use of force, or other forms of coercion, abduction,
fraud, deception, abuse of power or of position, taking advantage of the vulnerability of the
person, or, the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person
having control over another; and
(3) The purpose of trafficking is exploitation which includes "exploitation or the prostitution of
others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery, servitude or the
removal or sale of organs."63
On January 28, 2013,Republic Act No. 10364 64 was approved, otherwise known as the "Expanded
Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012." Section 3(a) of Republic Act No. 9208 was amended by
Republic Act No. 10364 as follows:
37

SEC. 3. Section 3 of Republic Act No. 9208 is hereby amended to read as follows:
"SEC. 3. Definition of Terms. As used in this Act:
"(a) Trafficking in Persons refers to the recruitment, obtaining, hiring, providing, offering,
transportation, transfer, maintaining, harboring, or receipt of persons with or without the victims
consent or knowledge, within or across national borders by means of threat, or use of force, or other
forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or of position, taking advantage of the
vulnerability of the person, or, the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of
a person having control over another person for the purpose of exploitation which includes at a
minimum, the exploitation or the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor
or services, slavery, servitude or the removal or sale of organs.
"The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, adoption or receipt of a child for the purpose of
exploitation or when the adoption is induced by any form of consideration for exploitative purposes
shall also be considered as trafficking in persons even if it does not involve any of the means set forth
in the preceding paragraph. (Emphasis supplied)
Under Republic Act No. 10364, the elements of trafficking in persons have been expanded to include
the following acts:
(1) The act of "recruitment, obtaining, hiring, providing, offering, transportation, transfer,
maintaining, harboring, or receipt of persons with or without the victims consent or knowledge,
within or across national borders;"
(2) The means used include "by means of threat, or use of force, or other forms of coercion,
abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or of position, taking advantage of the vulnerability
of the person, or, the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a
person having control over another person"
(3) The purpose of trafficking includes "the exploitation or the prostitution of others or other
forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery, servitude or the removal or sale
of organs" (Emphasis supplied)
The Court of Appeals found that AAA and BBB were recruited by accused when their services were
peddled to the police who acted as decoys. 65 AAA was a child at the time that accused peddled her
services.66 AAA also stated that she agreed to work as a prostitute because she needed
money.67 Accused took advantage of AAAs vulnerability as a child and as one who need money, as
proven by the testimonies of the witnesses. 68
III.
Knowledge or consent of the minor is not a defense under Republic Act No. 9208.
Accused claims that AAA admitted engaging in prostitution even before May 2, 2008. She concludes
that AAA was predisposed to having sex with "customers" for money. 69 For liability under our law, this
argument is irrelevant. As defined under Section 3(a) of Republic Act No. 9208, trafficking in persons
can still be committed even if the victim gives consent.
SEC. 3. Definition of Terms. As used in this Act:
38

a. Trafficking in Persons - refers to the recruitment, transportation, transfer or harboring, or


receipt of persons with or without the victim's consent or knowledge, within or across national
borders by means of threat or use of force, or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud,
deception, abuse of power or of position, taking advantage of the vulnerability of the persons,
or, the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having
control over another person for the purpose of exploitation which includes ata minimum, the
exploitation or the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or
services, slavery, servitude or the removal or sale of organs.
The recruitment transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of a child for the purpose of exploitation
shall also be considered as "trafficking in persons" even if it does not involve any of the means set
forth in the preceding paragraph.70 (Emphasis supplied)
The victims consent is rendered meaningless due to the coercive, abusive, or deceptive means
employed by perpetrators of human trafficking. 71 Even without the use of coercive, abusive, or
deceptive means, a minors consent is not given out of his or her own free will.
Section 4 of Republic Act No. 9208 enumerates the different acts of trafficking in persons. Accused
was charged under Section 4(a), which states:
SEC. 4. Acts of Trafficking in Persons. It shall be unlawful for any person, natural or judicial, to
commit any of the following acts.
a. To recruit, transport, transfer, harbor, provide, or receive a person by any means, including
those done under the pretext of domestic or overseas employment or training or apprenticeship,
for the purpose of prostitution, pornography, sexual exploitation, forced labor, slavery,
involuntary servitude or debt bondage;72
Republic Act No. 9208 further enumerates the instances when the crime of trafficking in persons is
qualified.
SEC. 6. Qualified Trafficking in Persons. The following are considered as qualified trafficking: a.
When the trafficked person is a child;
b. When the adoption is effected through Republic Act No. 8043, otherwise known as the "InterCountry Adoption Act of 1995" and said adoption is for the purpose of prostitution, pornography,
sexual exploitation, forced labor, slavery, involuntary servitude or debt bondage;
c. When the crime is committed by a syndicate, or in large scale. Trafficking is deemed
committed by a syndicate if carried out by a group of three (3) or more persons conspiring or
confederating with one another. It is deemed committed in large scale if committed against
three (3) or more persons, individually or as a group;
d. When the offender is an ascendant, parent, sibling, guardian or a person who exercise
authority over the trafficked person or when the offense is committed by a public officer or
employee;
e. When the trafficked person is recruited to engage in prostitution with any member of the
military or law enforcement agencies;
39

f. When the offender is a member of the military or law enforcement agencies; and
g. When by reason or on occasion of the act of trafficking in persons, the offended party dies,
becomes insane, suffers mutilation or is afflicted with Human Immuno deficiency Virus (HIV) or
the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). (Emphasis supplied) 73
Section 3 (b) of Republic Act No. 9208 defines "child" as:
SEC. 3. Definition of Terms. As used in this Act:
....
b. Child- refers to a person below eighteen (18) years of age or one who is over eighteen (18) but
isunable to fully take care of or protect himself/herself from abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation, or
discrimination because of a physical or mental disability or condition. 74
Based on the definition of trafficking in persons and the enumeration of acts of trafficking in persons,
accused performed all the elements in the commission of the offense when she peddled AAA and BBB
and offered their services to decoys PO1 Veloso and PO1 Luardo in exchange for money. The offense
was also qualified because the trafficked persons were minors.
Here, AAA testified as to how accused solicited her services for the customers waiting at Queensland
Motel. AAA also testified that she was only 17 years old when accused peddled her. Her certificate of
live birth was presented as evidence to show that she was born on January 27, 1991.
The prosecution was able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that accused committed the offense of
trafficking in persons, qualified by the fact that one of the victims was a child. As held by the trial court:
[T]he act of "sexual intercourse" need not have been consummated for the mere "transaction" i.e. that
solicitation for sex and the handing over of the "bust money" of Php.1,000.00 already consummated
the said act.75
IV.
Validity of the entrapment operation
In People v. Doria,76 this court discussed the objective test and the subjective test to determine
whether there was a valid entrapment operation:
. . . American federal courts and a majority of state courts use the "subjective" or "origin of intent" test
laid down in Sorrells v. United States to determine whether entrapment actually occurred. The focus of
the inquiry is on the accused's predisposition to commit the offense charged, his state of mind and
inclination before his initial exposure to government agents. All relevant facts such as the accused's
mental and character traits, his past offenses, activities, his eagerness in committing the crime, his
reputation, etc., are considered to assess his state of mind before the crime. The predisposition test
emphasizes the accused's propensity to commit the offense rather than the officer's misconduct and
reflects an attempt to draw a line between a "trap for the unwary innocent and the trap for the unwary
criminal." If the accused was found to have been ready and willing to commit the offense at any
favorable opportunity, the entrapment defense will fail even if a police agent used an unduly persuasive
inducement.
40

Some states, however, have adopted the "objective" test. . . . Here, the court considers the nature of
the police activity involved and the propriety of police conduct. The inquiry is focused on the
inducements used by government agents, on police conduct, not on the accused and his
predisposition to commit the crime. For the goal of the defense is to deter unlawful police conduct. The
test of entrapment is whether the conduct of the law enforcement agent was likely to induce a normally
law-abiding person, other than one who is ready and willing, to commit the offense; for purposes of this
test, it is presumed that a law-abiding person would normally resist the temptation to commit a crime
that is presented by the simple opportunity to act unlawfully. (Emphasis supplied, citations omitted) 77
Accused argued that in our jurisprudence, courts usually apply the objective test in determining the
whether there was an entrapment operation or an instigation. 78 However, the use of the objective test
should not preclude courts from also applying the subjective test. She pointed out that:
Applying the "subjective" test it is worth invoking that accused-appellant procures income from being a
laundry woman. The prosecution had not shown any proof evidencing accused-appellants history in
human trafficking or engagement in any offense. She is not even familiar to the team who had has [sic]
been apprehending human traffickers for quite some time. 79 (Citations omitted)
Accused further argued that the police should have conducted a prior surveillance before the
entrapment operation.
Time and again, this court has discussed the difference between entrapment and instigation. In Chang
v. People,80this court explained that:
There is entrapment when law officers employ ruses and schemes to ensure the apprehension of the
criminal while in the actual commission of the crime. There is instigation when the accused is induced
to commit the crime. The difference in the nature of the two lies in the origin of the criminal intent. In
entrapment, the mens rea originates from the mind of the criminal. The idea and the resolve to commit
the crime comes from him. In instigation, the law officer conceives the commission of the crime and
suggests to the accused who adopts the idea and carries it into execution. 81
Accused contends that using the subjective test, she was clearly instigated by the police to commit the
offense. She denied being a pimp and claimed that she earned her living as a laundrywoman. On this
argument, we agree with the finding of the Court of Appeals:
[I]t was the accused-appellant who commenced the transaction with PO1 Luardo and PO1 Veloso by
calling their attention on whether they wanted girls for that evening, and when the officers responded, it
was the accused-appellant who told them to wait while she would fetch the girls for their perusal. 82
This shows that accused was predisposed to commit the offense because she initiated the transaction.
As testified by PO1 Veloso and PO1 Luardo, accused called out their attention by saying "Chicks mo
dong?" If accused had no predisposition to commit the offense, then she most likely would not have
asked PO1 Veloso and PO1 Luardo if they wanted girls.
The entrapment would still be valid using the objective test. The police merely proceeded to D.
Jakosalem Street in Barangay Kamagayan. It was accused who asked them whether they wanted
girls. There was no illicit inducement on the part of the police for the accused to commit the crime.

41

When accused was arrested, she was informed of her constitutional rights. 83 The marked money
retrieved from her was recorded in the police blotter prior to the entrapment operation and was
presented in court as evidence.84
On accuseds alibi that she was merely out to buy her supper that night, the Court of Appeals noted
that accused never presented Gingging in court. Thus, her alibi was unsubstantiated and cannot be
given credence.85
With regard to the lack of prior surveillance, prior surveillance is not a condition for an entrapment
operations validity.86 In People v. Padua87 this court underscored the value of flexibility in police
operations:
A prior surveillance is not a prerequisite for the validity of an entrapment or buy-bust operation, the
conduct of which has no rigid or textbook method. Flexibility is a trait of good police work. However the
police carry out its entrapment operations, for as long as the rights of the accused have not been
violated in the process, the courts will not pass on the wisdom thereof. The police officers may decide
that time is of the essence and dispense with the need for prior surveillance. 88 (Citations omitted)
This flexibility is even more important in cases involving trafficking of persons. The urgency of rescuing
the victims may at times require immediate but deliberate action on the part of the law enforcers.
V.
Imposition of fine and award of damages
The Court of Appeals properly imposed the amount of 2,000,000.00. Section 10 (b) of Republic Act No.
9208 provides that:
SEC. 10. Penalties and Sanctions. The following penalties and sanctions are hereby established for
the offenses enumerated in this Act:
....
c. Any person found guilty of qualified trafficking under Section 6 shall suffer the penalty of life
imprisonment and a fine of not less than Two million pesos (P2,000,000.00) but not more than Five
million pesos (P5,000,000.00);
However, we modify by raising the award of moral damages from P150,000.0089 to P500,000.00. We
also award exemplary damages in the amount of P100,000.00. These amounts are in accordance with
the ruling in People v. Lalli90 where this court held that:
The payment of P500,000 as moral damages and P100,000 as exemplary damages for the crime of
Trafficking in Persons as a Prostitute finds basis in Article 2219 of the Civil Code, which states:
Art. 2219. Moral damages may be recovered in the following and analogous cases:
(1) A criminal offense resulting in physical injuries;
(2) Quasi-delicts causing physical injuries;
42

(3) Seduction, abduction, rape, or other lascivious acts;


(4) Adultery or concubinage;
(5) Illegal or arbitrary detention or arrest;
(6) Illegal search;
(7) Libel, slander or any other form of defamation;
(8) Malicious prosecution;
(9) Acts mentioned in Article 309;
(10) Acts and actions referred to in Articles 21, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 32, 34, and 35.
....
The criminal case of Trafficking in Persons as a Prostitute is an analogous case to the crimes of
seduction, abduction, rape, or other lascivious acts. In fact, it is worse. To be trafficked as a prostitute
without ones consent and to be sexually violated four to five times a day by different strangers is
horrendous and atrocious. There is no doubt that Lolita experienced physical suffering, mental
anguish, fright, serious anxiety, besmirched reputation, wounded feelings, moral shock, and social
humiliation when she was trafficked as a prostitute in Malaysia. Since the crime of Trafficking in
Persons was aggravated, being committed by a syndicate, the award of exemplary damages is
likewise justified.91
Human trafficking indicts the society that tolerates the kind of poverty and its accompanying
desperation that compels our women to endure indignities. It reflects the weaknesses of that society
even as it convicts those who deviantly thrive in such hopelessness. We should continue to strive for
the best of our world, where our choices of human intimacies are real choices, and not the last resort
taken just to survive. Human intimacies enhance our best and closest relationships. It serves as a
foundation for two human beings to face lifes joys and challenges while continually growing together
with many shared experiences. The quality of our human relationships defines the world that we create
also for others.
Regardless of the willingness of AAA and BBB, therefore, to be trafficked, we affirm the text and spirit
of our laws. Minors should spend their adolescence moulding their character in environments free of
the vilest motives and the worse of other human beings. The evidence and the law compel us to affirm
the conviction of accused in this case.
But this is not all that we have done. By fulfilling our duties, we also express the hope that our people
and our government unite against everything inhuman. We contribute to a commitment to finally stamp
out slavery and human trafficking.
There are more AAA's and BBBs out there. They, too, deserve to be rescued. They, too, need to be
shown that in spite of what their lives have been, there is still much good in our world.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, we AFFIRM the decision of the Court of Appeals dated June 27,
2013, finding accused Shirley A. Casio guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating Section 4(a),
43

qualified by Section 6(a) of Republic Act No. 9208, and sentencing her to suffer the penalty of life
imprisonment and a fine ofP2,000,000.00, with the MODIFICATION that accused-appellant shall not be
eligible for parole under Act No. 4103 (Indeterminate Sentence Law) in accordance with Section 3 of
Republic Act No. 9346.92
The award of damages is likewise MODIFIED as follows:
Accused is ordered to pay each of the private complainants:
(1) P500,000.00 as moral damages; and
(2) P100,000.00 as exemplary damages.
SO ORDERED.
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
SECOND DIVISION
G.R. No.166680

July 7, 2014

ALOYSIUS DAIT LUMAUIG, Petitioner,


vs.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.
DECISION
DEL CASTILLO, J.:
A prior notice or demand for liquidation of cash advances is not a condition sine qua non before an
accountable public officer may be held liable under Article 218 1 of the Revised Penal Code.
Before us is a Petition for Review on Certiorari filed under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court of the
September 10, 2004 Decision2 of the Sandiganbayan in Criminal Case No. 26528 and its January 11,
2005 Resolution3 denying reconsideration thereof.
The Information4 dated January 25, 2001 under which petitioner Aloysius Dait Lumauig (petitioner) was
tried and convicted has this accusatory portion:
That in or about August 1994 or immediately prior or subsequent thereto, in Alfonso Lista, Ifugao and
within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused then Municipal Mayorof
Alfonso Lista, Ifugao, and as such accountable public officer, and responsible for the amount
of P101,736.00 which the accused received by way of cash advance for payment of the insurance
coverage of the twelve (12) motorcycle[s] purchased by the Municipality, and, hence with the
corresponding duty under the law to account for the same, did then and there, willfully and feloniously
fail to liquidate and account for the same to the damage and prejudice of the Government. 5
The facts are matters of record or otherwise undisputed.
44

Sometime in January 1998, Commission on Audit (COA) Auditor Florence L. Paguirigan examined the
year-end reports involving the municipal officials of Alfonso Lista, Ifugao. During the course of her
examination of the records and related documents of the municipality, she came across a
disbursement voucher6 for P101,736.00 prepared for petitioner, a former mayor of the municipality, as
cash advance for the payment of freight and other cargo charges for 12 units of motorcycles supposed
to be donated to the municipality. The amount was covered by Land Bank Check No. 11894200 7 dated
August 29, 1994 wherein the payee is petitioner. Her further investigation of the accounting records
revealed that no payment intended for the charge was made to Royal Cargo Agencies for the month of
August 1994. Thus, she issued a certification 8 to this effect on November 29, 2001. She likewise
claimed that she prepared two letters to inform the petitioner of his unliquidated cash advance but the
same were not sent to him because she could not get his exact address despite efforts exerted. She
averred that on June 4, 2001, petitioner paid the subject cash advance before the treasurer of the
municipality, for which reason, incumbent Mayor Glenn D. Prudenciano executed an Affidavit of
Desistance.9
Petitioner admitted having obtained the cash advance of P101,736.00 during his incumbency as
municipal mayor of Alfonso Lista, Ifugao. 10 This amount was intended for the payment of freight and
insurance coverage of 12 units of motorcycles to be donated to the municipality by the City of Manila.
However, instead of motorcycles, he was able to secure two buses and five patrol cars. He claimed
that it never came to his mind to settle or liquidate the amount advanced since the vehicles were
already turned over to the municipality. He alleged that he was neither informed nor did he receive any
demand from COA to liquidate his cash advances. It was only in 2001 while he was claiming for
separation pay when he came to know that he still has an unliquidated cash advance. And so as not to
prolong the issue, he paid the amount of P101,736.00 to the municipal treasurer on June 4, 2001.
From the same facts stemmed an Information for violation of Section 3 of Republic Act (RA) No.
301911 docketed as Criminal Case No. 26527 against petitioner for having allegedly utilized the cash
advance for a purpose other than for which it was obtained.
On September 10, 2004, after a joint trial, the Sandiganbayan rendered a consolidated
Decision12 disposing thusly:
WHEREFORE, premises considered the Court rules as follows:
1. In Criminal Case No. 26527, accused ALOYSIUS DAIT LUMAUIG is hereby ACQUITTED.
No civil liability shall be imposed there being no basis for its award. The cash bond posted for
his provisional liberty is ordered returned to him, subject to the usual accounting and auditing
procedure; and
2. In Criminal Case No. 26528, accused ALOYSIUS DAIT LUMAUIG is hereby CONVICTED of
the felony of Failure of Accountable Officer to Render Accounts under Article 218 of the Revised
Penal Code. He is hereby sentenced to a straight penalty of six months and one (1) day and a
fine of Php1,000.00.
SO ORDERED.13
On January 11, 2005, the Sandiganbayan promulgated its Resolution 14 denying petitioners Urgent
Motion for Reconsideration.15
45

Hence, this Petition.


After a thorough review of the records of the case and a judicious consideration of the arguments of
the petitioner, the Court does not find sufficient basis to reverse the judgment of conviction. From the
prevailing facts, we entertain no doubt on the guilt of petitioner.
The acquittal of petitioner in the antigraft case is not a bar to his conviction
for failure to render an account in the
present case.
Petitioner stakes the present Petition on the assertion that since the cases for which he was indicted
involve the same subject cash advance in the amount of P101,736.00, his exoneration in the anti-graft
case should likewise exculpate him from further liability in the present case.
We are not persuaded.
It is undisputed that the two charges stemmed from the same incident. "However, [we have]
consistently held that the same act may give rise to two or more separate and distinct
charges."16 Further, because there is a variance between the elements of the two offenses charged,
petitioner cannot safely assume that his innocence in one case will extend to the other case even if
both cases hinge on the same set of evidence.
To hold a person criminally liable under Section 3(e)of RA 3019, the following elements must be
present:
(1) That the accused is a public officer or a private person charged in conspiracy with the
former;
(2) That said public officer commits the prohibited acts during the performance of his or her
official duties or in relation to his or her public positions;
(3) That he or she causes undue injury to any party, whether the government or a private party;
(4) That such injury is caused by giving unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference to such
parties; and
(5) That the public officer has acted with manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross
inexcusable negligence.17
On the other hand, the elements of the felony punishable under Article 218 of the Revised Penal Code
are:
(1) That the offender is a public officer whether in the service or separated therefrom;
(2) That he must be an accountable officer for public funds or property;
(3) That he is required by law or regulation to render accounts to the COA or to a provincial
auditor; and,
46

(4) That he fails to do so for a period of two months after such account should be rendered. 18
The glaring differences between the elements of these two offenses necessarily imply that the requisite
evidence to establish the guilt or innocence of the accused would certainly differ in each case. Hence,
petitioners acquittal in the anti-graft case provides no refuge for him in the present case given the
differences between the elements of the two offenses.
Prior demand to liquidate is not a
requisite for conviction under Article
218 of the Revised Penal Code.
The central aspect of petitioners next argument is that he was not reminded of his unliquidated cash
advances. The Office of the Special Prosecutor countered that Article 218 does not require the COA or
the provincial auditor to first make a demand before the public officer should render an account. It is
sufficient that there is a law or regulation requiring him to render an account. The question has been
settled in Manlangit v. Sandiganbayan 19where we ruled that prior demand to liquidate is not necessary
to hold an accountable officer liable for violation of Article 218 of the Revised Penal Code:
x x x [W]e are asked to resolve whether demand is necessary for a conviction of a violation of Article
218 of the Revised Penal Code.
Citing United States v. Saberon, petitioner contends that Article 218 punishes the refusal of a public
employee to render an account of funds in his charge when duly required by a competent officer. He
argues that he cannot be convicted of the crime unless the prosecution has proven that there was a
demand for him to render an account. Petitioner asserts that COA Circular No. 90-331 provides that
the public officer shall be criminally liable for failure to settle his accounts after demand had been
made. Moreover, petitioner asserts that the case had become moot and academic since he already
submitted his liquidation report.
For the People, the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) counters that demand is not an element of
the offense and that it is sufficient that there is a law or regulation requiring the public officer to render
an account. The OSP insists that Executive Order No. 292, Presidential Decree No. 1445, the COA
Laws and Regulations, and even the Constitution mandate that public officers render an account of
funds in their charge. It maintains that the instant case differs from Saberon which involved a violation
of Act No. 1740 where prior demand was required. In this case involving a violation of Article 218, prior
demand is not required. Moreover, the OSP points out that petitioner even admitted his failure to
liquidate the funds within the prescribed period, hence, he should be convicted of the crime.
We shall now resolve the issue at hand.
Article 218 consists of the following elements:
1. that the offender is a public officer, whether in the service or separated therefrom;
2. that he must be an accountable officer for public funds or property;
3. that he is required by law or regulation to render accounts to the Commission on Audit, or to
a provincial auditor; and

47

4. that he fails to do so for a period of two months after such accounts should be rendered.
Nowhere in the provision does it require that there first be a demand before an accountable
officer is held liable for a violation of the crime. The law is very clear. Where none is provided,
the court may not introduce exceptions or conditions, neither may it engraft into the law
qualifications not contemplated. Where the law is clear and unambiguous, it must be taken to
mean exactly what it says and the court has no choice but to see to it that its mandate is
obeyed. There is no room for interpretation, but only application.
Petitioners reliance on Saberon is misplaced. As correctly pointed out by the OSP, Saberon involved a
violation of Act No. 1740 whereas the present case involves a violation of Article 218 of the Revised
Penal Code. Article 218 merely provides that the public officer be required by law and regulation to
render account. Statutory construction tells us that in the revision or codification of laws, all parts and
provisions of the old laws that are omitted in the revised statute or code are deemed repealed, unless
the statute or code provides otherwise.20
Petitioner is liable for violation of Article 218 of the Revised Penal Code.
Section 5 of COA Circular No. 90-331, the circular in force at the time petitioner availed of the subject
cash advance, pertinently provides:
5. LIQUIDATION OFCASH ADVANCES
5.1 The AO (Accountable Officer) shall liquidate his cash advance as follows:
xxxx
5.1.2 Petty Operating Expenses and Field Operating Expenses - within 20 days after the end of the
year; subject to replenishment during the year.
Since petitioner received the subject cash advance sometime in 1994, he was, thus, required to
liquidate the same on or before January 20, 1995. Further, to avoid liability under Article 218, he
should have liquidated the cash advance within two months from the time it was due, or on or before
March 20, 1995. In the case at bar, petitioner liquidated the subject cash advance only on June 4,
2001. Hence, as correctly found by the Sandiganbayan, petitioner was liable for violation of Article 218
because it took him over six years before settling his accounts.
The penalty imposed on petitioner should be modified.
Petitioner argues that assuming that he is liable for violation of Article 218, he should be meted a
lesser penalty considering that (1) he subsequently liquidated the subject cash advance when he later
discovered and was confronted with his delinquency, and (2) the COA did not immediately inform him
of his unliquidated cash advance.
On this point, we partially agree with petitioner.
In sentencing petitioner to a straight penalty of six months and one day of prisin correccional and a
fine ofP1,000.00, the Sandiganbayan correctly considered the mitigating circumstance of voluntary
surrender, as borne by the records, 21 in favor of petitioner. However, it failed to consider the mitigating
circumstance of return or full restitution of the funds that were previously unliquidated.
48

In malversation of public funds, the payment, indemnification, or reimbursement of the funds


misappropriated may be considered a mitigating circumstance being analogous to voluntary
surrender.22 Although this case does not involve malversation of public funds under Article 217 of the
Revised Penal Code but rather failure to render an account under Article 218 (i.e., the succeeding
Article found in the same Chapter), the same reasoning may be applied to the return or full restitution
of the funds that were previously unliquidated in considering the same as a mitigating circumstance in
favor of petitioner.
The prescribed penalty for violation of Article 218 is prisin correccional in its minimum period or six
months and one day to two years and four months, or by a fine ranging from 200to 6,000 pesos, or
both. Considering that there are two mitigating circumstances and there are no aggravating
circumstances, under Article 64 (5)23 of the Revised Penal Code, the imposable penalty is the penalty
next lower to the prescribed penalty which, in this case, is arresto mayor in its maximum period or four
months and one day to six months.1wphi1
The Indeterminate Sentence Law, under Section 2, 24 is not applicable to, among others, cases where
the maximum term of imprisonment does not exceed one year. In determining "whether an
indeterminate sentence and not a straight penalty is proper, what is considered is the penalty actually
imposed by the trial court, after considering the attendant circumstances, and not the imposable
penalty."25 In the case at bar, since the maximum of the imposable penalty is six months, then the
possible maximum term that can be actually imposed is surely less than one year. Hence, the
Indeterminate Sentence Law is not applicable to the present case. As a result, and in view of the
attendant circumstances in this case, we deem it proper to impose a straight penalty of four months
and one day of arresto mayor and delete the imposition of fine.
WHEREFORE, the Petition is GRANTED IN PART. The Decision of the Sandiganbayan in Criminal
Case No. 26528 dated September 10, 2004 convicting petitioner of the felony of Failure of Accountable
Officer to Render Accounts under Article 218 of the Revised Penal Code is AFFIRMED with the
following MODIFICATIONS:
1. Petitioner is sentenced to a straight penalty of four months and one day of arresto mayor, and 2. The
imposition of fine in the amount of P1,000.00 is deleted.
SO ORDERED.
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
SECOND DIVISION
G.R. No. 211002

January 21, 2015

RICHARD RICALDE, Petitioner,


vs.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.
DECISION
LEONEN, J.:
49

Even men can become victims of rape.


Before us is a criminal case for rape through sexual assault committed against a 10-year-old boy.
Accused Richard Ricalde (Ricalde) was charged with rape as described under the second paragraph
of Section 266-A of the Revised Penal Code, committed "[b ]y 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." 1
This is a Petition for Review2 assailing the Court of Appeals August 28, 2013 Decision 3 affirming
Ricaldes conviction for rape through sexual assault and January 15, 2014 Resolution 4 denying
reconsideration.
The Provincial Prosecutor of Bian, Laguna filed an Information charging Ricalde of rape through
sexual assault:
That on or about January 31, 2002, in the Municipality of Sta. Rosa, Province of Laguna, Philippines,
and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, accused Richard Ricalde, prompted with lewd
design, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously inserting [sic] his penis into the anus of
XXX who was then ten (10) years of age against his will and consent, to his damage and prejudice.
CONTRARY TO LAW.5
Ricalde pleaded not guilty during his arraignment on August 21, 2002. 6 The prosecution presented the
victim (XXX),7 his mother, and the medico-legal as witnesses, while the defense presented Ricalde as
its sole witness.8
The facts as found by the lower courts follow.
On January 30, 2002, XXX requested his mother to pick up Ricalde at McDonalds Bel-Air, Sta. Rosa
at past 8:00 p.m.9 Ricalde, then 31 years old,10 is a distant relative and textmate of XXX, then 10 years
old.11
After dinner, XXXs mother told Ricalde to spend the night at their house as it was late. 12 He slept on
the sofa while XXX slept on the living room floor.13
It was around 2:00 a.m. when XXX awoke as "he felt pain in his anus and stomach and something
inserted in his anus."14 He saw that Ricalde "fondled his penis." 15 When Ricalde returned to the sofa,
XXX ran toward his mothers room to tell her what happened. 16 He also told his mother that Ricalde
played with his sexual organ.17
XXXs mother armed herself with a knife for self-defense when she confronted Ricalde about the
incident, but he remained silent.18 She asked him to leave.19
XXXs mother then accompanied XXX to the barangay hall where they were directed to report the
incident to the Sta. Rosa police station. 20 The police referred them to the municipal health center for
medical examination.21 Dr. Roy Camarillo examined22 XXX and found no signs of recent trauma in his
anal orifice23 that was also "NEGATIVE for [s]permatozoa." 24

50

On February 4, 2002, XXX and his mother executed their sworn statements at the Sta. Rosa police
station, leading to the criminal complaint filed against Ricalde. 25
Ricalde denied the accusations.26 He testified that he met XXX during the 2001 town fiesta of Calaca,
Batangas and learned that XXXs mother is the cousin of his cousin Arlan Ricalde. 27 He and XXX
became textmates, and XXX invited him to his house. 28 On January 30, 2002, XXXs mother picked
him up to sleep at their house. 29 He slept at 10:00 p.m. on the living room sofa while XXX slept on the
floor.30 He denied the alleged rape through sexual assault. 31
The Regional Trial Court in its Decision 32 dated June 20, 2011 found Ricalde guilty beyond reasonable
doubt of rape through sexual assault:
WHEREFORE, this Court finds accused Richard Ricalde guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime
of rape by sexual assault and, accordingly, sentences him to suffer the penalty of imprisonment
ranging from four (4) years, two (2) months and one (1) day of prision correccional as minimum, to
eight (8) years of prision mayor as maximum. Accused is ordered to pay [XXX] the sums of 50,000.00
as moral damages and 50,000.00 as civil indemnity.
SO ORDERED.33
The Court of Appeals in its Decision 34 dated August 28, 2013 affirmed the conviction with the
modification of lowering the amounts of damages awarded:
WHEREFORE, the Decision dated 20 June 2011 of Branch 34 of the Regional Trial Court of Calamba,
Laguna, in Crim. Case No. 11906-B, is AFFIRMED but with MODIFICATION as to the award of
damages. Accused-appellant RICHARD RICALDE is ordered to pay the victim civil indemnity in the
amount of Thirty Thousand (30,000.00) Pesos and moral damages likewise in the amount of Thirty
Thousand (30,000.00) Pesos, both with interest at the legal rate of six (6%) percent per annum from
the date of finality of this judgment until fully paid. 35
Ricalde filed this Petition praying for his acquittal. 36
Petitioner argues the existence of reasonable doubt in his favor. First, the medico-legal testified that he
found "no physical signs or external signs of recent trauma [in XXXs] anus," 37 or any trace of
spermatozoa.38 He contends that physical evidence "ranks high in [the courts] hierarchy of trustworthy
evidence." 39
Second, XXX did not categorically say that a penis was inserted into his anal orifice, or that he saw a
penis or any object being inserted into his anal orifice. 40 XXX was also able to immediately push him
away.41 Thus, no push and pull movement happened that would explain XXXs alleged stomach
ache.42 Petitioner submits that the alleged stomach ache was an attempt to aggravate the charge
against him.43
Petitioner argues that XXXs inconsistent testimony raises reasonable doubt on his guilt. 44 XXX
claimed that he immediately pushed petitioner away, but in another instance, he testified as follows: "I
felt that he was inserting his penis inside my anus because I was even able to hold his penis. He was
also playing with my penis." 45 XXX also stated in his salaysay that "the penis reached only the
periphery of his anal orifice."46

51

Third, XXX testified that after he had pushed petitioner away, he saw that petitioner was wearing pants
with the zipper open.47 Petitioner submits that performing anal coitus while wearing pants with an open
zipper poses a challenge the risk of injuring the sexual organ or having pubic hair entangled in the
zipper. 48 Petitioner argues that the court must consider every circumstance favoring the innocence of
an accused.49
Assuming he committed an offense, petitioner contends that the court should have applied the
"variance doctrine" in People v. Sumingwa, 50 and the court would have found him guilty for the lesser
offense of acts of lasciviousness under Article 336 of the Revised Penal Code. 51 The petition then
enumerated circumstances showing possible homosexual affections between petitioner and
XXX.52 These include the fact that they were textmates and that petitioner played with XXXs penis. 53
Petitioner argues that this masturbation could have caused an irritation that XXX mistook as
penetration.54 XXX could also have mistaken the "overreaching fingers as a male organ trying to enter
his [anus]."55 Assuming these acts took place, these would only be considered as acts of
lasciviousness.56
The People of the Philippines counters that the prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt all
elements of the crime charged.
The Comment57 discussed that it is neither improbable nor contrary to human experience that XXXs
mother allowed her son to be left alone with a stranger. 58 Petitioner was not a complete stranger, and
she could not have foreseen such abuse since "rape by sexual assault or any form of sexual abuse of
a boy by a grown man is fairly uncommon in our culture." 59
Petitioners reliance on the medico-legals findings deserves scant consideration. 60 The Comment
quoted People v. Penilla61 in that "[a] medical examination of the victim is not indispensable in a
prosecution for rape inasmuch as the victims testimony alone, if credible, is sufficient to convict the
accused of the crime."62 In any case, the medico-legal testified on the sphincters flexibility and how an
insertion into the anal orifice would not necessarily cause injury.63
Lastly, the prosecution established all elements of rape through sexual assault based on XXXs clear
and categorical testimony.64 Petitioners defense of mere denial cannot outweigh positive
testimony.65 Consequently, petitioners contention that the incident only amounts to acts of
lasciviousness lacks merit.66
The issue before us for resolution is whether the prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt
petitioner Richard Ricaldes guilt for the crime of rape through sexual assault.
We affirm petitioners conviction with modification on the penalty imposed.
The Anti-Rape Law of 199767 classified rape as a crime against persons 68 and amended the Revised
Penal Code to include Article 266-A on rape through sexual assault:
Article 266A. Rape; When and How Committed.Rape is Committed
1) By a man who shall have carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following
circumstances:
a) Through force, threat, or intimidation;
52

b) When the offended party is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious;


c) By means of fraudulent machination or grave abuse of authority; and
d) When the offended party is under twelve (12) years of age or is demented, even
though none of the circumstances mentioned above be present;
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 persons mouth or anal
orifice, or any instrument or object, into the genital or anal orifice of another person. (Emphasis
supplied)
Rape under the second paragraph of Article 266-A is also known as "instrument or object
rape,"69 "gender-free rape,"70 or "homosexual rape."71 The gravamen of rape through sexual assault is
"the insertion of the penis into another persons mouth or anal orifice, or any instrument or object, into
another persons genital or anal orifice." 72
Jurisprudence holds that "the findings of the trial court, its calibration of the testimonies of the
witnesses, and its assessment of the probative weight thereof, as well as its conclusions anchored on
said findings are accorded respect if not conclusive effect." 73
The trial court found that XXXs "straightforward, unequivocal and convincing testimony" 74 sufficiently
proved that petitioner committed an act of sexual assault by inserting his penis into XXXs anal
orifice.75 There was no showing of ill motive on the part of XXX to falsely accuse petitioner. 76 The Court
of Appeals accorded great weight to the trial courts findings and affirmed petitioners conviction. 77
No cogent reason exists for this court to overturn the lower courts findings.
First, petitioners argument highlighting alleged inconsistencies in XXXs testimony fails to convince.
In a long line of cases, 78 this court has given full weight and credit to the testimonies of child victims.
Their "[y]outh and immaturity are generally badges of truth and sincerity." 79 XXX, then only 10 years
old, had no reason to concoct lies against petitioner.80
This court has also held that "[l]eeway should be given to witnesses who are minors, especially when
they are relating past incidents of abuse." 81
Petitioner contends that XXX did not categorically say that a penis was inserted into his anal orifice, or
that he saw a penis or any object being inserted into his anal orifice.
This contradicts petitioners earlier statement in his appellants brief 82 that "[a]lthough it is true that the
Supreme Court, in a long line of cases, did not rule out the possibility of rape in cases where the victim
remained physically intact at the time she or he was physically examined, still, it bears stressing that in
the instant case, the private complainant testified that the accused-appellants penis fully penetrated
his anus."83
The trial court also quoted portions of the transcript of XXXs testimony in that he "felt something was
inserted in [his] anus."84

53

Q: That early morning of January 31, 2002, while you were sleeping at your house, do you
recall any unusual incident that happened to you?
A: Yes sir, I felt something was inserted in my anus.
....
Q: When you said that you felt something was inserted in your anus, what did you do?
A: I felt that he was inserting his penis inside my anus because I was even able to hold his
penis. He was also playing with my penis.
Q: So when you said he was inserting his penis to your anus and he was even playing with your
private part, who is this person you are referring to as "he"?
A: Richard, sir.85
In People v. Soria,86 this court discussed that a victim need not identify what was inserted into his or
her genital or anal orifice for the court to find that rape through sexual assault was committed:
We find it inconsequential that "AAA" could not specifically identify the particular instrument or object
that was inserted into her genital. What is important and relevant is that indeed something was
inserted into her vagina. To require "AAA" to identify the instrument or object that was inserted into her
vagina would be contrary to the fundamental tenets of due process. 87
Second, petitioners reliance on the medico-legals finding of no recent trauma in XXXs anal orifice, or
any trace of spermatozoa, lacks merit. The absence of spermatozoa in XXXs anal orifice does not
negate the possibility of an erection and penetration. This result does not contradict the positive
testimony of XXX that the lower courts found credible, natural, and consistent with human nature.
This court has explained the merely corroborative character of expert testimony and the possibility of
convictions for rape based on the victims credible lone testimony.88
In any case, the medico-legal explained that his negative finding of trauma in the anal orifice does not
remove the possibility of an insertion considering the flexibility of the sphincter:
Q: Now, a while ago you testified that he was sodomized and your findings states [sic] that you did not
find any congestion or abrasion, can you explain to this court why you stated in your findings that you
did not find any congestion or abrasion?
A: Again, based on my examination[,] there were no external signs of recent trauma to the anus. It
should be realized that the sphincter, that is the particular portion of the anus controlling the bowel
movement, it exhibits a certain flexibility such that it can resist any objected [sic] inserted and that area
is very vascular, meaning to say, it is rich in blood supply, such that any injuries would be healed in 24
hours or less than 24 hours, sir?89
Lastly, we address petitioners invocation of the "variance doctrine" citing People v.
Sumingwa.90 Section 4 in relation to Section 5 of Rule 120 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure provides
for the "variance doctrine":
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SEC. 4. Judgment in case of variance between allegation and proof.When there is variance between
the offense charged in the complaint or information and that proved, and the offense as charged is
included in or necessarily includes the offense proved, the accused shall be convicted of the offense
proved which is included in the offense charged, or of the offense charged which is included in the
offense proved.
SEC. 5. When an offense includes or is included in another.An offense charged necessarily includes
the offense proved when some of the essential elements or ingredients of the former, as alleged in the
complaint or information, constitute the latter. And an offense charged is necessarily included in the
offense proved, when the essential ingredients of the former continue or form part of those constituting
the latter.
In Sumingwa, the accused in Criminal Case Nos. 1649 and 1654 was charged with qualified rape but
was convicted for the lesser offense of acts of lasciviousness committed against a child under Article
III, Section 5(b) of Republic Act No. 7610 91 since "there was no penetration, or even an attempt to
insert [the accuseds] penis into [the victims] vagina." 92
In the instant case, no variance exists between what was charged and what was proven during trial.
The prosecution established beyond reasonable doubt all elements of the crime of rape through sexual
assault.
XXX testified that he "felt something was inserted [into his] anus." 93 The slightest penetration into ones
sexual organ distinguishes an act of lasciviousness from the crime of rape. People v. Bonaagua94
discussed this distinction:
It must be emphasized, however, that like in the crime of rape whereby the slightest penetration of the
male organ or even its slightest contact with the outer lip or the labia majora of the vagina already
consummates the crime, in like manner, if the tongue, in an act of cunnilingus, touches the outer lip of
the vagina, the act should also be considered as already consummating the crime of rape through
sexual assault, not the crime of acts of lasciviousness. Notwithstanding, in the present case, such
logical interpretation could not be applied. It must be pointed out that the victim testified that Ireno only
touched her private part and licked it, but did not insert his finger in her vagina. This testimony of the
victim, however, is open to various interpretation, since it cannot be identified what specific part of the
vagina was defiled by Ireno. Thus, in conformity with the principle that the guilt of an accused must be
proven beyond reasonable doubt, the statement cannot be the basis for convicting Ireno with the crime
of rape through sexual assault.95 (Emphasis supplied)
People v. Bonaagua considers a womans private organ since most if not all existing jurisprudence on
rape involves a woman victim. Nevertheless, this interpretation can apply by analogy when the victim
is a man in that the slightest penetration to the victims anal orifice consummates the crime of rape
through sexual assault.
The gravamen of the crime is the violation of the victims dignity. The degree of penetration is not
important. Rape is an "assault on human dignity." 96
People v. Quintos97 discussed how rape causes incalculable damage on a victims dignity, regardless
of the manner of its commission:

55

The classifications of rape in Article 266-A of the Revised Penal Code are relevant only insofar as
these define the manners of commission of rape. However, it does not mean that one manner is less
heinous or wrong than the other. Whether rape is committed by nonconsensual carnal knowledge of a
woman or by insertion of the penis into the mouth of another person, the damage to the victims dignity
is incalculable. Child sexual abuse in general has been associated with negative psychological impacts
such as trauma, sustained fearfulness, anxiety, self-destructive behavior, emotional pain, impaired
sense of self, and interpersonal difficulties. Hence, one experience of sexual abuse should not be
trivialized just because it was committed in a relatively unusual manner.
"The prime purpose of [a] criminal action is to punish the offender in order to deter him and others from
committing the same or similar offense, to isolate him from society, reform and rehabilitate him or, in
general, to maintain social order." Crimes are punished as retribution so that society would understand
that the act punished was wrong.
Imposing different penalties for different manners of committing rape creates a message that one
experience of rape is relatively trivial or less serious than another. It attaches different levels of
wrongfulness to equally degrading acts. Rape, in whatever manner, is a desecration of a persons will
and body. In terms of penalties, treating one manner of committing rape as greater or less in
heinousness than another may be of doubtful constitutionality.
However, the discriminatory treatment of these two acts with the same result was not raised in this
case. Acknowledging that every presumption must be accorded in favor of accused in criminal cases,
we have no choice but to impose a lesser penalty for rape committed by inserting the penis into the
mouth of the victim.98(Citations omitted)
We affirm petitioners conviction but modify the penalty imposed by the lower court to the penalty under
Article III, Section 5(b) of Republic Act No. 7610 known as the "Special Protection of Children Against
Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act": 99
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, syndicate or
group, indulge in sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct, are deemed to be children exploited in
prostitution and other sexual abuse.
The penalty of reclusion temporal in its medium period to reclusion perpertua shall be imposed upon
the following:
....
(b) Those who commit the act of sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct with a child exploited in
prostitution or subjected to other sexual abuse: Provided, That when the victim is under 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 under twelve (12) years of
age shall be reclusion temporal in its medium period; (Emphasis supplied)
The Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 7610 defines "lascivious conduct": [T]he
intentional touching, either directly or through clothing, of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh,
or buttocks, or the introduction of any object into the genitalia, anus or mouth, of any person, whether
56

of the same or opposite sex, with an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade, or arouse or gratify
the sexual desire of any person, bestiality, masturbation, lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic
area of a person.100
In People v. Chingh,101 the accused was charged with rape "for inserting his fingers and afterwards his
penis into the private part of his minor victim[.]" 102 The Court of Appeals found the accused guilty of two
counts of rape: statutory rape and rape through sexual assault. 103 This court modified the penalty
imposed for rape through sexual assault to the penalty provided in Article III, Section 5(b) of Republic
Act No. 7610, discussing as follows:
It is undisputed that at the time of the commission of the sexual abuse, VVV was ten (10) years old.
This calls for the application of R.A. No. 7610, or "The Special Protection of Children Against Child
Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act," which defines sexual abuse of children and prescribes the
penalty therefor in Section 5(b), Article III, to wit:
....
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 2,
Article 266-A of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by R.A. No. 8353, for Rape Through 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 Armandos act of
inserting his finger in VVVs private part undeniably amounted to lascivious conduct, the appropriate
imposable penalty should be that provided in Section 5 (b), Article III of R.A. No. 7610, which is
reclusion temporal in its medium period.
The Court is not unmindful to the fact that the accused who commits acts of lasciviousness under
Article 366, in relation to Section 5 (b), Article III of R.A. No. 7610, suffers the more severe penalty of
reclusion temporal in its medium period than the one who commits Rape Through Sexual Assault,
which is merely punishable by prision mayor. This is undeniably unfair to the 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 passage of R.A. No. 8353, R.A. No. 7610 is
still good law, which must be applied when the victims are children or those "persons below eighteen
(18) years of age or those over but are unable to fully take care of themselves or protect themselves
from abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation or discrimination because of a physical or mental disability or
condition."104 (Emphasis supplied, citations omitted)
Thus, "for Rape Through Sexual Assault under paragraph 2, Article 266-A, [the accused Chingh was]
sentenced to suffer the indeterminate 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."105
The imposable penalty under Republic Act No. 7610, Section 5(b) "for lascivious conduct when the
victim is under twelve (12) years of age shall be reclusion temporal in its medium period." This penalty
is higher than the imposable penalty of prision correccional for acts of lasciviousness under Article 336
of the Revised Penal Code.
In enacting Republic Act No. 7610, the legislature intended to impose a higher penalty when the victim
is a child.
57

The fact that XXX was only 10 years old when the incident happened was established by his birth
certificate, and this was admitted by the defense. 106 His age of 10 years old was alleged in the
Information.107 The higher penalty under Republic Act No. 7610, as discussed in People v. Chingh,
applies in this case.
Having sex with a 10-year-old is child abuse and is punished by a special law (Republic Act No. 7610).
It is a progression from the Revised Penal Code to provide greater protection for children. Justice
Velasco suggests that this is not so. He anchors his view on his interpretation that Republic Act No.
7610 requires a showing that apart from the actual coerced sexual act on the 10-year-old, the child
must also be exploited by prostitution or by other sexual acts. This view is inaccurate on grounds of
verba legis and ratione legis.
The first paragraph of Article III, Section 5 of Republic Act No. 7610 clearly provides that "children . . .
who . . . due to the coercion . . . of any adult . . . indulge in sexual intercourse . . . are deemed to be
children exploited in prostitution and other sexual abuse." The label "children exploited in . . . other
sexual abuse" inheres in a child who has been the subject of coercion and sexual intercourse.
Thus, paragraph (b) refers to a specification only as to who is liable and the penalty to be imposed.
The person who engages in sexual intercourse with a child already coerced is liable.
It does not make sense for the law not to consider rape of a child as child abuse. The proposal of
Justice Velasco implies that there has to be other acts of a sexual nature other than the rape itself that
will characterize rape as child abuse. One count of rape is not enough. Child abuse, in his view, is not
yet present with one count of rape.
This is a dangerous calculus which borders on judicial insensitivity to the purpose of the law. If we
adopt his view, it would amount to our collective official sanction to the idea that a single act of rape is
not debilitating to a child. That a single act of rape is not a tormenting memory that will sear into a
childs memory, frame his or her view of the world, rob him or her of the trust that will enable him or her
to have full and diverse meaningful interactions with other human beings. In my view, a single act of
sexual abuse to a child, by law, is already reprehensible. Our society has expressed that this is
conduct which should be punishable. The purpose and text of the law already punish that single act as
child abuse.
Rape is rape. Rape of a child is clearly, definitely, and universally child abuse.
Justice Velasco further observes that the right to due process of the accused will be violated should we
impose the penalty under Republic Act No. 7610. I disagree.
The Information was clear about the facts constitutive of the offense. The facts constitutive of the
offense will suggest the crime punishable by law. The principle is that ignorantia legis non excusat.
With the facts clearly laid out in the Information, the law which punishes the offense should already be
clear and the accused put on notice of the charges against him.
Additionally, there is no argument that the accused was not represented by counsel. Clear from the
records is the entry and active participation of his lawyer up to and including this appeal.
On the award of damages, we maintain the amount of 30,000.00 in favor of XXX as a victim of rape
through sexual assault, consistent with jurisprudence. 108
58

This court has stated that "jurisprudence from 2001 up to the present yields the information that the
prevailing amount awarded as civil indemnity to victims of simple rape committed by means other than
penile insertion isP30,000."109
This statement considered the prevailing situation in our jurisprudence where victims of rape are all
women.1wphi1However, as in this case, men can also become victims of rape through sexual
assault, and this can involve penile insertion.
WHEREFORE, the Court of Appeals Decision in CA-G.R. C.R. No. 34387 dated August 28, 2013 is
AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION in that for rape through sexual assault under Article 266-A,
paragraph 2, accused-appellant Richard Ricalde is sentenced to suffer the indeterminate 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. He is
ordered to pay the victim civil indemnity in the amount of P30,000.00 and moral damages likewise in
the amount of P30,000.00, both with interest at the legal rate of 6% per annum from the date of finality
of this judgment until fully paid.
SO ORDERED.
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
FIRST DIVISION
G.R. No. 206393

January 21, 2015

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee,


vs.
MICHAEL JOSON y ROGANDO, Defendant-Appellant.
DECISION
PEREZ, J.:
For consideration by the Court is the Court of Appeals Decision 1 dated 31. August 2012 that affirmed
the judgment2 of conviction by the Regional Trial Court of Dasmarinas (RTC), Cavite, Branch 90 sitting
in Imus, Cavite, convicting appellant Michael Joson y Rogando of the crime of rape of his 14-year old
sister.
Appellant was charged with violation of Articles 266-A of the Revised Penal Code in relation to
Republic Act No. 7610 in an Information, the accusatory portion of which reads:
That on or about the 14th day of May 2009, in the Municipality of XXX, Province of XXX, Philippines,
and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, being the biological
brother and thus a relative within the second degree of consanguinity of [AAA], 3 a minor fourteen (14)
years of age and born on March 24, 1995, motivated by lust and with lewd design, with the use of force
and intimidation and taking advantage of his moral ascendancy over her, did then and there willfully,
unlawfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge of said [AAA], against her will and consent, thereby
59

debasing, degrading and demeaning her intrinsic worth and integrity as a child, to the damage and
prejudice of said complainant.4
On arraignment, appellant pleaded not guilty. Trial ensued. The prosecutions evidence is based on the
sole testimony of the victim. AAA lives with appellant and his common-law partner. AAA testified that at
around 1:00 in the morning of 14 May 2009, and while appellants wife was away, AAA was awakened
by appellant undressing her. AAA tried to struggle but appellant was tightly holding her arms. After
undressing her, appellant kissed and mounted her. Appellant was able to insert his penis into her
vagina. AAA felt pain in her genitalia. Thereafter, appellant went back to sleep leaving AAA crying. At
about 6:00 or 7:00 in the morning, appellant left AAA with a letter apologizing for what happened and
begging her not to tell on his wife. The letter reads:
Ne!
Sorry Ne. Patawarin mo ko. Dalalang ng kalasingan kaya ko nagawa ang ganung bagay. Sana
powala ng ibang makaalam nito lalu na si Ate Cindy mo. Ayokong masira na naman ang
pamilya ko at mga buhay natin. Paki tapon muna to pag tapos mong basahin. 5
At around 5:00 in the afternoon of that same date, AAA related to appellants wife the rape
incident.6 And on 1 June 2009, AAA, accompanied by her father, reported the incident to the police and
she executed a sworn statement detailing the rape. 7
The prosecution presented a provisional medico-legal report on the examination conducted on AAA by
Irene D. Baluyut of Philippine General Hospital which essentially states that there is no evident injury
on AAA at the time of the examination.
Also submitted as part of the prosecutions evidence is the birth certificate of AAA to prove that she
was still a minor at the time the rape was committed on 14 May 2009.
Appellant admitted that AAA is his sister but he proffered the defense of alibi and claimed that he was
staying in Alfonso, Cavite on 14 May 2009 and only went back to his house in Dasmarias on 26 May
2009. Appellant vehemently denied the accusation against him and speculated that AAA resented him
because he was strict with his sister. Appellant also denied writing the apology letter and presented his
specimen handwriting in court.8
After evaluating the evidence, the trial court found appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the
crime of rape and meted out the penalty of reclusion perpetua. The dispositive portion of the decision
reads:
WHEREFORE, the Court finds the accused MICHAEL JOSON y ROGANDO guilty beyond reasonable
doubt of the crime of rape as defined in Article 266-Aparagraph 1 of the Revised Penal Code in relation
to Republic Act No. 7610, and hereby sentences the accused to suffer the penalty of reclusion
perpetua, and the said accused is hereby ordered to indemnify the victim by way of moral damages in
the amount of Php50,000.00, civil indemnity ex-delicto in the amount of Php50,000.00 and exemplary
damages in the amount of Php25,000.00.9
The trial court found credible the testimony of AAA. It noted that appellant even wrote to the victim that
he was sorry for what he has done. The trial court considered the letter as admission against
appellants interest.
60

Appellant filed a Notice of Appeal. 10 On 31 August 2012, the Court of Appeals rendered the assailed
decision affirming the judgment of conviction.
Appellant filed a Notice of Appeal 11 with the appellate court. In a Resolution 12 dated 19 June 2013, the
Court ordered the elevation of the records and directed the parties to file their respective supplemental
briefs should they so desire. However, appellant and the Office of the Solicitor General both
manifested that they were adopting their respective appeal briefs previously filed with the Court of
Appeals.13
In his Appeal Brief, appellant maintains that the prosecution failed to prove all the elements of rape as
defined under Article 266-A of the Revised Penal Code, particularly the elements of force, threat or
intimidation. Appellant argues that AAA did not allege that she was threatened by appellant with the
use of any firearm or any bladed weapon nor did appellant say anything to threaten or intimidate her.
With respect to moral ascendancy, appellant contends that the Court in a recent case did not consider
a brother as one of those close kin who has moral ascendancy over a victim that would substitute for
force and intimidation. Appellant further points out that there was no showing of any resistance on the
part of AAA to his alleged sexual advances. Upon a careful evaluation of the case, we find no reason
to reverse appellants conviction.
For a charge of rape under Article 266-A of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, the prosecution
must prove that: (1) the offender had carnal knowledge of a woman; and (2) he accomplished this act
through force, threat or intimidation, when she was deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious, or
when she was under 12 years of age or was demented. 14
AAA gave a complete account of her ordeal in the hands of her own brother, to wit:
Q: Do you know one Michael Joson?
A: Opo.
Q: Why do you know him?
A: He is my brother.
Q: Is he inside the courtroom?
A: Opo.
Q: Please point to him. (Witness points to a man wearing a yellow tshirt, who when asked what his
name is, answered "Michael Joson.")
Q: On May 14, 2009, around 1:00 oclock in the afternoon, where were you?
A: Nasa bahay po.
Q: What were you doing in your house?
A: Tulog po.
Q: What time did you wake up?
61

A: Sa tingin ko po mga 1:00 oclock.


Q: Will you please tell this Honorable Court the reason why you woke up early?
A: Hinuhubaran po niya ako.
Q: Who are you referring to?
A: Ng kapatid ko.
Q: He was undressing you? So what did you do while he was undressing you, while you were lying or
sleeping? Thats why you were awakened?
A: Opo.
Q: So what happened next when you felt that he was undressing you?
A: Pumalag po ako, kasi hinihigpitan po niya ako sa braso ko.
Q: So what else did you do?
A: Sabi po niya kasi, wag daw po ako maingay.
Q: Who was your companion in the house, aside from your brother? Who else was there in the house?
A: Wala po.
Q: Where were they?
A: Yung asawa niya po, umuwi sa kanila.
Q: What about your parents, where were they?
A: Yung tatay ko po, nagtatrabaho.
Q: Your mother?
A: Patay na po.
Q: What happened next when you were told not to shout?
A: Hinubaran niya po yung ibaba ko, tapos pumatong po siya sa ibabaw ko tapos pinaghahalikan niya
ko.
Q: Was he able to undress you?
A: Opo.
Q: Totally?
A: Opo.
62

Q: Thereafter, what did you do?


A: Pinaghahalikan niya po ako.
Q: What were you doing?
A: Umiiyak lang po ako.
Q: What about the accused, what did he do to you?
A: Pumatong po siya sa ibabaw ko.
Q: He went on top of you? Thereafter what did the accused do next?
A: Pilit niya pong ipinapasok ang ari niya sa ari ko.
Q: Was he able to insert his penis?
A: Opo.
Q: For how long?
A: Matagal po.
Q: How did you feel when his organ was inside your organ?
A: Masakit po.
Q: And what (sic)you trying to do while his organ was inside?
A: Umiiyak lang po ako.
Q: After that, what happened next?
A: Pinaghahalikan niya pa rin po ako, tapos tumayo po siya sandali tapos humiga po uli siya. Natulog
po.
Q: What about you, you went to sleep also?
A: Hindi po, umiiyak lang po ako.
Q: The following day, in the morning, were you not able to sleep after that incident?
A: Hindi po.
Q: What did you do?
A: Doon lang po, umiiyak lang po.
Q: What about the accused?
63

A: Doon lang din po siya.


Q: Beside you?
A: Opo.
Q: And what happened next, at 6:00 oclock in the morning or 7:00 oclock?
A: May iniwan po siyang sulat.
Q: Where did he go, if you know?
A: Sa trabaho po.
Q: What was the letter all about?
A: Humihingi po siya ng sorry.15
Her testimony has established all the elements of rape required under Article 266-A of the Revised
Penal Code. First, appellant had carnal knowledge of the victim. AAA positively identified her own
brother as the assailant. She was likewise unwavering in her narration that appellant inserted his penis
into her vagina. Second, appellant employed threat, force and intimidation to satisfy his lust. At this
juncture, we quote with approval the ruling of the Court of Appeals on this point:
The Supreme Court has, time and again, ruled that the force or violence that is required in rape cases
is relative; when applied, it need not be overpowering or irresistible. That it enables the offender to
consummate his purpose is enough. The parties relative age, size and strength should be taken into
account in evaluating the existence of the element of force in the crime of rape. The degree of force
which may not suffice when the victim is an adult may be more than enough if employed against a
person of tender age.
In the case at bench, the accused-appellant employed that amount of force sufficient to consummate
the rape. It must be stressed that, at the time of the incident, AAA was only 14 years old. Considering
the tender years of the offended party as compared to the accused-appellant who was in the prime of
his life, the act of the accused-appellant in pinning the arms of AAA to avoid any form of resistance
from her suffices. Force or intimidation is not limited to physical force. As long as it is present and
brings the desired result, all consideration of whether it was more or less irresistible is beside the point.
xxxx
We are not persuaded by the accused-appellants insistence that the absence of any resistance on the
part of AAA raised doubts as to whether the sexual congress was without her consent. The failure of
the victim to shout for help or resist the sexual advances of the rapist is not tantamount to consent.
Physical resistance need not be established in rape when threats and intimidation are employed and
the victim submits herself to her attackers of because of fear.
Besides, physical resistance is not the sole test to determine whether a woman voluntarily succumbed
to the lust of an accused. Rape victims show no uniform reaction. Some may offer strong resistance
while others may be too intimidated to offer any resistance at all. After all, resistance is not an element
64

of rape and its absence does not denigrate AAAs claim that the accused-appellant consummated his
bestial act.16
Anent appellants argument that as a brother he lacks moral ascendancy over her sister, the victim,
that could substitute for force and intimidation, our ruling in People v. Villaruel, 17 as cited by the Court
of Appeals, has rejected such proposition.
The fact remains that Myra positively testified in court that her brother sexually molested her in the
morning of February 21, 1996. The accused-appellant was her older brother who had definitely moral
ascendancy over her. He, being the eldest had definitely moral ascendancy over her. He, being the
eldest among the children since both of their parents were dead, the accused-appellant stood as
guardian of the siblings. Thus, when the complainant was roused from her sleep to accompany the
accused-appellant to buy bread, the complainant obediently followed him. To the accused-appellant,
this was highly improbable that the complainant would entertain his plea to go out with him at such an
unholy hour or even allegedly knowing fully well that the latter had taken shabu and liquor. There is
nothing incredible with the complainants story. Notwithstanding the time or the physical condition of
her brother, Myra certainly did not expect that he had other ill motives against her. It certainly is not
normal for a brother to take out his lust on his sister. Myra also testified that she did not resist his
advances for fear of her life as her brother had two (2) fan knives poking at her as she was being
raped. More importantly, the moral ascendancy and influence the accused-appellant has over the
complainant sufficiently substitute for the force and intimidation required in rape. 18
Moreover, the RTC, as affirmed by the Court of Appeals found AAAs testimony credible. The trial court,
having the opportunity to observe the witnesses and their demeanor during the trial, can best assess
the credibility of the witnesses and their testimonies. Thus, the trial courts findings are accorded great
respect unless the trial court has over looked or misconstrued some substantial facts, which if
considered might affect the result of the case. 19
With respect to appellants defense of denial and alibi, it is an oft repeated rule that positive
identification where categorical and consistent and without any showing of ill-motive on the part of the
eyewitness testifying on the matter prevails over a denial which, if not substantiated by clear and
convincing evidence is negative and self-serving evidence undeserving of weight in law. They cannot
be given greater evidentiary value over the testimony of credible witnesses who testify on affirmative
matters.20
We likewise agree that appellant should suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. Article 266-B of the
Revised Penal Code provides that the death penalty shall also be imposed if the crime of rape is
committed when the victim is under eighteen (18) years of age and the offender is a parent, ascendant,
step-parent, guardian, relative by consanguinity or affinity within the third civil degree, or the commonlaw spouse of the parent of the victim. Pursuant to Republic Act No. 9346 which prohibits the
imposition of the death penalty, however, the imposable penalty is reclusion perpetua.
In conformance with the prevailing jurisprudence, we deem it proper to modify the amount of damages
awarded in this case. In People v. Gambao, 21 we increase the amounts of indemnity and damage
where the penalty for the crime committed is death but which cannot be imposed because of Republic
Act No. 9346, as follow:
1. P100,000.00 as civil indemnity;
65

2. P100,000.00 as moral damages which the victim is assumed to have suffered and thus
needs no proof; and
3. P100,000.00 as exemplary damages to set an example for the public good.
All damages awarded shall earn legal interest at the rate of 6% per annum from the date of finality of
judgment until fully paid.22
WHEREFORE, the Court of Appeals' decision dated 31 August 2012 finding appellant Michael Joson y
Rogando guilty beyond reasonable doubt of rape and sentencing him to reclusion perpetua is
AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION. The civil indemnity awarded is increased to P100,000.00; moral
damages to P100,000.00; and the exemplary damages to P100,000.00. The award of damages shall
earn interest at the rate of 6% per annum from the date of finality of the judgment until fully paid.
SO ORDERED.
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Baguio City
FIRST DIVISION
G.R. No. 194446

April 21, 2014

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee,


vs.
HERMENIGILDO DELEN y ESCO BILLA, Accused-Appellant.
DECISION
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, J.:
The accused-appellant Hermenigildo Delen y Escobilla seeks the reversal of his conviction for child
abuse under Section 10(a), Article VI of Republic Act No. 7610 and qualified rape under Article 266-A,
paragraph 1 in relation to Article 266-B of the Revised Penal Code. The Regional Trial Court (RTC) of
Batangas City, Branch 1, adjudged the accused-appellant guilty of said crimes in a Consolidated
Decision1 dated January 29, 2008. The Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction in a Decision 2 dated
February 17, 2010 in CA-G.R. CR.-H.C. No. 03324.
The accused-appellant was separately charged with child abuse under Section 10(a), Article VI of
Republic Act No. 7610 and qualified rape in separate informations, respectively docketed as Criminal
Case Nos. 13870 and 13932, before the RTC of Batangas City. Said crimes were alleged to have been
committed against AAA3 as follows:
[CRIMINAL CASE NO. 13870]
That on or about January 23, 2005 at around 6:00 oclock (sic) in the evening at [XXX] and within the
jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, while armed with a hammer, without
any justifiable cause, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously commit [a] cruel act against
[AAA], a 12-year old girl, by violently striking her head with the said hammer, kicking her and smashing
66

her head on a wooden post, thereby causing her physical injuries, which act debases, degrades or
demeans the intrinsic worth and dignity of [AAA] as a human being, in violation of the aforecited law.
That the aggravating circumstance of relationship is attendant in the commission of the offense, the
accused being the father of the offended party.4
[CRIMINAL CASE NO. 13932]
That on or about January 17, 2005 at around 6:00 oclock (sic) in the morning at [XXX] and within the
jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, motivated by lust and lewd designs,
through force and intimidation, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously have carnal
knowledge on one [AAA], a 12-year old minor, against the latters will.
That the aggravating circumstances of minority and relationship, the victim being then a 12-year old
minor and daughter of the accused, are attendant in the commission of the offense. 5
Upon arraignment, the accused-appellant pleaded not guilty to both charges. 6 On motion of the parties,
the two cases were tried jointly.7
The Prosecutions Version of Events
AAA was born on March 29, 1992 to accused-appellant and BBB. 8 AAAs parents separated as the
accused-appellant was beating BBB. AAA then lived with her aunt until the accused-appellant took her
in. In the year 2000, AAA lived in the accused-appellants house. 9 One day, she was awakened from
her sleep when the accused-appellant removed her shorts and panty. The accused-appellant then
removed his shorts and went on top of AAA. He inserted his penis into her organ and told her not to
create any noise because their neighbors might hear them. He also warned AAA that he would kill her
if she would report the incident. AAA could not do anything but cry. Subsequently, at around 6:00 a.m.
on January 17, 2005, AAA woke up with her legs spread apart and tied to wooden panels on the wall.
She was only wearing her upper clothing and was not wearing her shorts and panty anymore. The
accused-appellant removed his shorts and only wore briefs. The accused-appellant then lay on top of
her and began to insert his penis into her organ, which caused her pain. While the accused-appellant
was doing said act, he told AAA not to report the incident; otherwise, he threatened to cut her tongue
and kill her. Thereafter, the accused-appellant untied her.10
On January 23, 2005, the accused-appellant asked AAA to look for a lighter. When AAA failed to find
one, the accused-appellant told her to go inside a room in their house. There, he kicked AAA in the
buttocks, hit her head with a hammer and smashed her head on the wooden wall. She suffered injuries
on her forehead and the back of her head. Afterwards, she told the accused-appellant that she was
going to use the toilet so she was able to go out of their house. She ran to the street and went to the
house of a neighbor, Ate Annie. The accused-appellant looked for her there so she hid under the bed.
After the accused-appellant left, AAA was brought to the house of Nanay Loleng, a neighbor of Ate
Annie. They treated AAAs wounds and put her to sleep. When she woke up, the barangay tanods
were already at the place. They first talked to AAA then they called the police so that the accusedappellant could be apprehended. When the accused-appellant was arrested, AAA was brought to the
police station where she gave her statement. AAA was then taken to the hospital where she was
treated and examined by doctors.11

67

The Medico-Legal Certification executed by Dr. Rex B. Rivamonte and Dr. Aristotle R. Arellano of the
Batangas Regional Hospital showed that AAA sustained the following injuries:
SURGICAL FINDINGS:
(+) contusion hematoma right parietal area.
(+) contusion hematoma left parietal area.
(+) contusion hematoma right flank area.
(+) contusion hematoma left flank area.
(+) contusion hematoma with abrasion frontal area.
(+) contusion hematoma right lumbar area.
Multiple physical injuries secondary to mauling.
OB-GYNE FINDINGS:
PHYSICAL EXAMINATION: (+) Physical injuries on time of examination.
EXTERNAL GENITALIA: well coaptated labia majora (-) pubic hair.
HYMEN: (+) complete healed laceration at 1, 3, 6, 9 oclock position[s].
INTERNAL FINDINGS: Admits 2 fingers with ease, cervix closed, firm, uterus not enlarge, no adnexal
mass (-) tenderness.
LABORATORY RESULT: SPERM CELL DETERMINATION: No sperm cell seen.
PREGNANCY TEST: Negative.
In the opinion of the undersigned, these injuries will incapacitate or require medical attendance for a
period of less than nine (9) days barring complications; otherwise, this period of healing will vary
accordingly.12
The Defenses Version of Events
For his part, the accused-appellant testified that he has been residing at XXX since 1999. He lived in a
house shared with his eldest brother and his family. On January 17, 2005, he was at his house
together with AAA and the family of his brother but he left early at about 6:00 a.m. He denied that he
raped AAA on said date. He claimed that AAA might have been raped at her grandparents house
where she lived prior to January 17, 2005. He alleged that there was a person with a mental defect
living in said house. He further asserted that the charge of rape was instigated by the sibling of AAAs
mother who was angry with him because he separated from his wife. Moreover, the barangay kagawad
who lodged a complaint against him was also angry with him as he was a guard at the cockpit and the
kagawad did not want a cockpit in their barangay.13
68

On January 23, 2005, the accused-appellant was also at his house with AAA and the family of his
brother. He denied causing the contusions on the different parts of AAAs body. He stated that AAA was
injured when she fell in a canal at the side of their house and this fact was witnessed by his brother
and AAAs cousin. He even brought AAA to the barangay health center for treatment. The accusedappellant admitted, however, that he did hit AAA on her buttocks on January 23, 2005. He explained
that he asked her to cook rice but because she played with her playmates, the rice was overcooked. 14
The Judgment of the RTC
In a Consolidated Decision dated January 29, 2008, the RTC handed down a judgment of conviction
against the accused-appellant. The trial court ruled that AAAs testimony against the accused-appellant
was sufficiently conclusive, logical and probable to overcome the presumption of innocence in favor of
the latter. According to the trial court, AAAs testimony that she was physically and sexually abused by
the accused-appellant was amply corroborated by the medical findings of Dr. Arellano and Dr.
Rivamonte. As such, the trial court concluded that the accused-appellant was indeed guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of the crimes charged. The trial court, thus, decreed:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, finding the Accused Hermenigildo Delen y Escobilla guilty
beyond reasonable doubt, as principal, of the crimes of Child abuse (by infliction of physical injury)
defined under Section 3, Article I and penalized under Section 10, Article VI of Republic Act No. 7610
in relation to Section 2(b) of its Implementing Rules and Regulations and rape defined and penalized
under Article 266-A and Article 266-B of the Revised Penal Code, in relation to Republic Act 9346 he is
hereby sentenced to suffer an indeterminate sentence of imprisonment ranging from FOUR (4)
YEARS, TWO (2) MONTHS and One (1) DAY of Prision Correccional, as minimum, to SIX (6) YEARS,
EIGHT (8) MONTHS and ONE (1) DAY of Prision Mayor, as maximum, and to pay the costs, in
[C]riminal [C]ase [N]o. 13870 and [the] penalty of Reclusion Perpetua, in [C]riminal [C]ase [N]o. 13932,
respectively.
Further, for the rape committed the accused is ordered to indemnify [AAA] the sum of Seventy-Five
Thousand (Php75,000.00) Pesos as civil indemnity plus the sum of Fifty Thousand (Php50,000.00)
Pesos, as moral damages, the sum of Thirty Thousand (Php30,000.00) Pesos, as moral damages of
[AAA]s mother, and the sum of Thirty Thousand (Php30,000.00) Pesos, as exemplary damages, and
to pay the costs.
Considering that Accused Hermenigildo Delen y Escobilla has undergone preventive imprisonment,
being a detention prisoner, and there being no evidence to show that he is a recidivist, he shall be
credited in the service of sentence with the full time during which he has undergone preventive
imprisonment, had he agreed in writing to abide by the same disciplinary rules imposed upon
convicted prisoners, otherwise, he shall be credited only with four-fifths (4/5) of the time during which
he has undergone preventive imprisonment, as provided for in Article 29 of the Revised Penal Code,
as amended.15
The Decision of the Court of Appeals
On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the above ruling of the RTC in a Decision dated February 17,
2010. The appellate court ruled that the RTC correctly appreciated the evidence and properly
concluded that the accused-appellant indeed committed the acts of child abuse and rape against AAA.
The appellate court likewise found AAAs testimony straightforward, candid and clear. In contrast, the
69

appellate court rejected the unsubstantiated defenses of denial and alibi put forth by the accusedappellant. The Court of Appeals disposed of the case in this wise:
WHEREFORE, the challenged Consolidated Decision dated January 29, 2008 in Criminal Case Nos.
13870 and 13932 is AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION, that the moral damages awarded to the victim is
INCREASED toP75,000.00, while the award of moral damages in the amount of P30,000.00 to the
victims mother is DELETED.16
The Ruling of the Court
On appeal to this Court, the accused-appellant seeks the reversal of the allegedly erroneous judgment
of the trial court.
The appeal lacks merit.
The RTC unequivocally ruled that the testimony of AAA passed the test of credibility. The Court of
Appeals thereafter upheld the trial courts assessment of AAAs testimony. After thoroughly reviewing
the records of the present case, the Court similarly finds worthy of credence the testimony of AAA that
the accused-appellant is guilty of physically and sexually abusing her. We, thus, find no reason to
disturb, much less overturn, the trial courts reliance on the testimony of AAA. Verily, in People v.
Leonardo,17 the Court had occasion to reiterate that:
It is a fundamental rule that the trial courts factual findings, especially its assessment of the credibility
of witnesses, are accorded great weight and respect and binding upon this Court, particularly when
affirmed by the Court of Appeals. This Court has repeatedly recognized that the trial court is in the best
position to assess the credibility of witnesses and their testimonies because of its unique position of
having observed that elusive and incommunicable evidence of the witnesses deportment on the stand
while testifying, which opportunity is denied to the appellate courts. Only the trial judge can observe
the furtive glance, blush of conscious shame, hesitation, flippant or sneering tone, calmness, sigh, or
the scant or full realization of an oath. These are significant factors in evaluating the sincerity of
witnesses, in the process of unearthing the truth. The appellate courts will generally not disturb such
findings unless it plainly overlooked certain facts of substance and value that, if considered, might
affect the result of the case. (Citations omitted.)
In Criminal Case No. 13870, the RTC and the Court of Appeals found the accused-appellant guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of committing child abuse by infliction of physical injury against AAA. Under
Section 3(b), Article I of Republic Act No. 7610,18 the term "child abuse" is defined as the maltreatment
of a child, whether habitual or not, which includes the physical abuse of a child, among other acts.
In this case, AAA positively identified the accused-appellant as the person who kicked her in the
buttocks, hit her head with a hammer, and smashed her head on the wall on January 23, 2005.
Because of the said brutal and inhumane acts of the accused-appellant, AAA suffered bruises and
contusions in different parts of her body. The Medico-Legal Certification of Dr. Rivamonte and Dr.
Arellano clearly reflected the fact that AAA indeed sustained contusions, coupled with a finding that
she suffered multiple physical injuries secondary to mauling.
In Criminal Case No. 13932, the accused-appellant was also found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of
qualified rape.
Article 266-A of the Revised Penal Code defines the crime of rape by sexual intercourse as follows:
70

ART. 266-A. Rape, When and How Committed. Rape is committed


1. By a man who shall have carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following circumstances:
a. Through force, threat or intimidation;
b. When the offended party is deprived of reason or is otherwise unconscious;
c. By means of fraudulent machination or grave abuse of authority;
d. When the offended party is under twelve (12) years of age or is demented, even though none
of the circumstances mentioned above be present.
Thus, for a charge of rape to prosper under the above provision, the prosecution must prove that: (1)
the offender had carnal knowledge of a woman; and (2) he accomplished such act through force,
threat, or intimidation, or when she was deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious, or when she
was under twelve years of age or was demented.
In the instant case, the prosecution was able to establish that the accused-appellant had carnal
knowledge of AAA on January 17, 2005. AAA narrated in a straightforward manner the harrowing
details of how the accused-appellant had sexual intercourse with her. Again, the RTC found credible
and convincing AAAs testimony on this matter. Likewise, the Court finds no cogent reason to
disbelieve AAAs testimony, which was corroborated by the medical findings of Dr. Rivamonte and Dr.
Arellano that the victims hymen had "complete healed lacerations at 1, 3, 6, 9 oclock position[s]." We
held in People v. Oden19 that the "eloquent testimony of the victim, coupled with the medical findings
attesting to her non-virgin state, should be enough to confirm the truth of her charges." As to the
manner by which the rape was committed, the accused-appellants moral ascendancy over AAA takes
the place of the force and intimidation that is required in rape cases. 20
To exculpate himself from the charges of child abuse and rape, the accused-appellant merely denied
the accusations of AAA. The Court finds that the RTC and the Court of Appeals were correct in
rejecting the accused-appellants bare denials. Undeniably, the accused-appellant did not present any
clear and convincing evidence to substantiate his claims that another person with mental defect could
have raped AAA and that her injuries were caused when she fell in a canal beside their house. The
accused-appellant also failed to present any evidence to prove that AAA was impelled by ill motive to
testify against him. Settled is the rule that where no evidence exists to show any convincing reason or
improper motive for a witness to falsely testify against an accused, the testimony deserves faith and
credit.21
The Proper Penalties
Under Article 266-B of the Revised Penal Code, the minority of a rape victim and her relationship to the
accused-appellant qualify the charge of rape in this wise:
Art. 266-B. Penalties. x x x.
xxxx
The death penalty shall also be imposed if the crime of rape is committed with any of the following
aggravating/qualifying circumstances:
71

1. When the victim is under eighteen (18) years of age and the offender is a parent, ascendant,
stepparent, guardian, relative by consanguinity or affinity within the third civil degree, or the commonlaw spouse of the parent of the victim.
For the charge of rape in Criminal Case No. 13932, the qualifying circumstances of minority and
relationship attended the commission of the crime. Not only were the said circumstances specifically
alleged in the information, the same were sufficiently proved during the trial of the case. The fact that
AAA was only 12 years old when she was raped by the accused-appellant on January 17, 2005 was
established by the certification 22 issued by the Office of the Local Civil Registrar of x x x, Batangas,
which stated that AAA was born on March 29, 1992. Moreover, said certification stated that AAAs
biological father is none other than the accused-appellant Hermenigildo Delen. The accused-appellant
likewise admitted this fact when he testified in court. Still, notwithstanding the provisions of Article 266B of the Revised Penal Code, the RTC and the Court of Appeals correctly held that the appropriate
penalty that should be imposed upon the accused-appellant is reclusion perpetua. This is in
accordance with the provisions of Republic Act No. 9346, which prohibits the imposition of the death
penalty.
The Court of Appeals properly upheld the trial courts award of P75,000.00 as civil indemnity
and P30,000.00 as exemplary damages in favor of AAA, as well as the increase of the award of moral
damages in favor of AAA fromP50,000.00 to P75,000.00, in accordance with current jurisprudence.
The appellate courts removal of the separate award of moral damages in favor of AAAs mother is also
in accordance with our ruling in People v. Alajay23 where we held that "the prevailing jurisprudence is
that the award of moral damages should be granted jointly to both the victim and her parents. Stated
differently, the parents are not entitled to a separate award of moral damages."
For the charge of child abuse in Criminal Case No. 13870, the RTC found the accused-appellant guilty
of violating Section 10(a), Article VI of Republic Act No. 7610, which states:
SEC. 10. Other Acts of Neglect, Abuse, Cruelty or Exploitation and Other Conditions Prejudicial to the
Childs Development.
(a) Any person who shall commit any other acts of child abuse, cruelty or exploitation or be responsible
for other conditions prejudicial to the childs development including those covered by Article 59 of
Presidential Decree No. 603, as amended, but not covered by the Revised Penal Code, as amended,
shall suffer the penalty of prision mayor in its minimum period. (Emphasis ours.)
The Court of Appeals upheld the ruling of the RTC, which imposed against the accused-appellant an
indeterminate sentence of imprisonment ranging from 4 years, 2 months and 1 day of prision
correccional, as minimum, to 6 years, 8 months and 1 day of prision mayor, as maximum. The trial
court imposed the above penalty as it found no modifying circumstance that attended the commission
of the aforestated crime charged.1awp++i1
The Court, however, disagrees. We find that the penalty imposed by the trial court needs to be
modified since, as previously discussed, the alternative circumstance of relationship, i.e., that the
accused-appellant is the father of AAA, has been duly established by the prosecution.
In this case, the imposable penalty is prision mayor minimum, the range of which is from 6 years and 1
day to 8 years. In the imposition of the penalty herein, Section 31(c), Article XII of Republic Act No.
761024 expressly provides that the penalty provided therein shall be imposed in its maximum period
72

when the perpetrator is a parent of the victim. Now then, applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law and
taking into consideration the circumstance of relationship, the maximum term of the sentence shall be
taken from the maximum period of prision mayor minimum, which is 7 years, 4 months and 1 day to 8
years. The minimum term of the sentence shall be taken from the penalty next lower in degree, which
is prision correccional maximum, the range of which is from 4 years, 2 months and 1 day to 6 years.
Thus, in Criminal Case No. 13870, considering the gravity of the physical abuse committed against
AAA, the Court imposes upon the accused-appellant the indeterminate sentence of imprisonment
ranging from 6 years of prision correccional, as minimum, to 8 years of prision mayor, as maximum.
WHEREFORE, the Court AFFIRMS with MODIFICATIONS the Decision dated February 17, 2010 of
the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR.-H.C. No. 03324. The accused-appellant Hermenigildo Delen y
Escobilla is hereby sentenced as follows:
1. In Criminal Case No. 13932, the accused-appellant is found GUILTY beyond reasonable
doubt of one count of qualified rape and is sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua
without eligibility for parole, in lieu of death. The accused-appellant is ORDERED to pay
AAA P75,000.00 as civil indemnity,P75,000.00 as moral damages, and P30,000.00 as
exemplary damages, plus legal interest on all damages awarded at the legal rate of 6% from
the date of finality of this Decision.
2. In Criminal Case No. 13870, the accused-appellant is found GUILTY beyond reasonable
doubt of committing child abuse in violation of Section 10(a), Article VI of Republic Act No. 7610
and is sentenced to suffer imprisonment ranging from 6 years of prision correccional, as
minimum, to 8 years of prision mayor, as maximum.
Costs against the accused-appellant.
SO ORDERED.
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Baguio City
FIRST DIVISION
G.R. No. 187495

April 21, 2014

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee,


vs.
EDGAR JUMAWAN, Accused-Appellant.
DECISION
"Among the duties assumed by the husband are his duties to love, cherish and protect his wife, to give
her a home, to provide her with the comforts and the necessities of life within his means, to treat her
kindly and not cruelly or inhumanely. He is bound to honor her x x x; it is his duty not only to maintain
and support her, but also to protect her from oppression and wrong." 1
REYES, J.:
Husbands do not have property rights over their wives' bodies. Sexual intercourse, albeit within the
realm of marriage, if not consensual, is rape. This is the clear State policy expressly legislated in
73

Section 266-A of the Revised Penal Code (RPC), as amended by Republic Act (R.A.) No. 8353 or the
Anti-Rape Law of 1997.
The Case
This is an automatic review2 of the Decision3 dated July 9, 2008 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CAG.R. CR-HC No. 00353, which affirmed the Judgment 4 dated April 1, 2002 of the Regional Trial Court
(RTC) of Cagayan de Oro City, Branch 19, in Criminal Case Nos. 99-668 and 99-669 convicting him to
suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua for each count.
The Facts
Accused-appellant and his wife, KKK,5 were married on October 18, 1975. They lived together since
then and raised their four (4) children6 as they put up several businesses over the years.
On February 19, 1999, KKK executed a Complaint-Affidavit, 7 alleging that her husband, the accusedappellant, raped her at 3 :00 a.m. of December 3, 1998 at their residence in Phase 2, Villa Ernesto,
Gusa, Cagayan de Oro City, and that on December 12, 1998, the accused-appellant boxed her
shoulder for refusing to have sex with him.
On June 11, 1999, the Office of the City Prosecutor of Cagayan de Oro City issued a Joint
Resolution,8 finding probable cause for grave threats, less serious physical injuries and rape and
recommending that the appropriate criminal information be filed against the accused-appellant.
On July 16, 1999, two Informations for rape were filed before the RTC respectively docketed as
Criminal Case No. 99-6689 and Criminal Case No. 99-669.10 The Information in Criminal Case No. 99668 charged the accused-appellant as follows:
That on or about 10:30 in the evening more or less, of October 9, 1998, at Gusa, Cagayan de Oro City,
Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused by means of
force upon person did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge with
the private complainant, her [sic] wife, against the latter[']s will.
Contrary to and in Violation of R.A. 8353, the Anti-Rape Law of 1997.
Meanwhile the Information in Criminal Case No. 99-669 reads:
That on or about 10:30 in the evening more or less, of October 10, 1998, at Gusa, Cagayan de Oro
City, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused by
means of force upon person did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously have carnal
knowledge with the private complainant, her [sic] wife, against the latter's will.
Contrary to and in Violation of R.A. 8353, the Anti-Rape Law of 1997.
The accused-appellant was arrested upon a warrant issued on July 21, 1999. 11 On August 18, 1999,
the accused-appellant filed a Motion for Reinvestigation, 12 which was denied by the trial court in an
Order13 dated August 19, 1999. On even date, the accused-appellant was arraigned and he entered a
plea of not guilty to both charges.14
On January 10, 2000, the prosecution filed a Motion to Admit Amended Information 15 averring that the
name of the private complainant was omitted in the original informations for rape. The motion also
stated that KKK, thru a Supplemental Affidavit dated November 15, 1999, 16 attested that the true dates
of commission of the crime are October 16, 1998 and October 1 7, 1998 thereby modifying the dates
stated in her previous complaint-affidavit. The motion was granted on January 18, 2000. 17 Accordingly,
the criminal informations were amended as follows:
74

Criminal Case No. 99-668:


That on or about October 16, 1998 at Gusa, Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines, and within the
jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused by means of force upon person did
then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge with the private complainant,
his wife, [KKK], against the latter's will.
Contrary to and in violation of R.A. 8353, the Anti-Rape Law of 1997. 18
Criminal Case No. 99-669:
That on or about October 17, 1998 at Gusa, Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines, and within the
jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused by means of force upon person did
then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge with the private complainant,
his wife, [KKK], against the latter's will.
Contrary to and in violation of R.A. 8353, the Anti-Rape Law of 1997. 19
The accused-appellant was thereafter re-arraigned. He maintained his not guilty plea to both
indictments and a joint trial of the two cases forthwith ensued.
Version of the prosecution
The prosecution's theory was anchored on the testimonies of KKK, and her daughters MMM and 000,
which, together with pertinent physical evidence, depicted the following events:
KKK met the accused-appellant at the farm of her parents where his father was one of the laborers.
They got married after a year of courtship. 20 When their first child, MMM, was born, KKK and the
accused-appellant put up a sari-sari store. 21 Later on, they engaged in several other businesses
-trucking, rice mill and hardware. KKK managed the businesses except for the rice mill, which, ideally,
was under the accused-appellant's supervision with the help of a trusted employee. In reality, however,
he merely assisted in the rice mill business by occasionally driving one of the trucks to haul goods. 22
Accused-appellant's keenness to make the businesses flourish was not as fervent as KKK's
dedication. Even the daughters observed the disproportionate labors of their parents. 23 He would drive
the trucks sometimes but KKK was the one who actively managed the businesses. 24
She wanted to provide a comfortable life for their children; he, on the other hand, did not acquiesce
with that objective.25
In 1994, KKK and the accused-appellant bought a lot and built a house in Villa Ernesto, Gusa,
Cagayan de Oro City.26 Three of the children transferred residence therein while KKK, the accusedappellant and one of their sons stayed in Dangcagan, Bukidnon. She shuttled between the two places
regularly and sometimes he accompanied her.27 In 1998, KKK stayed in Gusa, Cagayan De Oro City
most of the days of the week.28 On Wednesdays, she went to Dangcagan, Bukidnon to procure
supplies for the family store and then returned to Cagayan de Oro City on the same day.29
Conjugal intimacy did not really cause marital problems between KKK and the accused-appellant. It
was, in fact, both frequent and fulfilling. He treated her well and she, of course, responded with equal
degree of enthusiasm.30However, in 1997, he started to be brutal in bed. He would immediately remove
her panties and, sans any foreplay, insert her penis in her vagina. His abridged method of lovemaking
was physically painful for her so she would resist his sexual ambush but he would threaten her into
submission.31

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In 1998, KKK and the accused-appellant started quarrelling usually upon his complaint that she failed
to attend to him. She was preoccupied with financial problems in their businesses and a bank loan. He
wanted KKK to stay at home because "a woman must stay in the house and only good in bed (sic) x x
x." She disobeyed his wishes and focused on her goal of providing a good future for the children. 32
Four days before the subject rape incidents or on October 12, 1998, KKK and the accused-appellant
slept together in Cebu City where the graduation rites of their eldest daughter were held. By October
14, 1998, the three of them were already back in Cagayan de Oro City.33
On October 16, 1998, the accused-appellant, his wife KKK and their children went about their nightly
routine. The family store in their residence was closed at about 9:00 p.m. before supper was taken.
Afterwards, KKK and the children went to the girls' bedroom at the mezzanine of the house to pray the
rosary while the accused-appellant watched television in the living room. 34 OOO and MMM then
prepared their beds. Soon after, the accused-appellant fetched KKK and bid her to come with him to
their conjugal bedroom in the third floor of the house. KKK complied. 35
Once in the bedroom, KKK changed into a daster and fixed the matrimonial bed but she did not lie
thereon with the accused-appellant and instead, rested separately in a cot near the bed. Her reclusive
behavior prompted him to ask angrily: "[W]hy are you lying on the c{o]t[?]", and to instantaneously
order: "You transfer here [to] our bed." 36
KKK insisted to stay on the cot and explained that she had headache and abdominal pain due to her
forthcoming menstruation. Her reasons did not appease him and he got angrier. He rose from the bed,
lifted the cot and threw it against the wall causing KKK to fall on the floor. Terrified, KKK stood up from
where she fell, took her pillow and transferred to the bed. 37
The accused-appellant then lay beside KKK and not before long, expressed his desire to copulate with
her by tapping his fingers on her lap. She politely declined by warding off his hand and reiterating that
she was not feeling well.38
The accused-appellant again asserted his sexual yearning and when KKK tried to resist by holding on
to her panties, he pulled them down so forcefully they tore on the sides. 39 KKK stayed defiant by
refusing to bend her legs.40
The accused-appellant then raised KKK's daster,41 stretched her legs apart and rested his own legs on
them. She tried to wrestle him away but he held her hands and succeeded in penetrating her. As he
was carrying out his carnal desires, KKK continued to protest by desperately shouting: "[D]on 't do that
to me because I'm not feeling well."42
With a concrete wall on one side and a mere wooden partition on the other enclosing the spouses'
bedroom,43KKK's pleas were audible in the children's bedroom where MMM lay awake.
Upon hearing her mother crying and hysterically shouting: "Eddie, don't do that to me, have pity on
me,"44 MMM woke up 000 who prodded her to go to their parents' room. 45 MMM hurriedly climbed
upstairs, vigorously knocked on the door of her parents' bedroom and inquired: "Pa, why is it that
Mama is crying?"46 The accused-appellant then quickly put on his briefs and shirt, partly opened the
door and said: "[D]on 't interfere because this is a family trouble," before closing it again. 47 Since she
heard her mother continue to cry, MMM ignored his father's admonition, knocked at the bedroom door
again, and then kicked it.48 A furious accused-appellant opened the door wider and rebuked MMM
once more: "Don't interfere us. Go downstairs because this is family trouble!" Upon seeing KKK
crouching and crying on top of the bed, MMM boldly entered the room, approached her mother and
asked: "Ma, why are you crying?" before asking her father: "Pa, what happened to Mama why is it that
her underwear is torn[?]"49

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When MMM received no definite answers to her questions, she helped her mother get up in order to
bring her to the girls' bedroom. KKK then picked up her tom underwear and covered herself with a
blanket.50 However, their breakout from the room was not easy. To prevent KKK from leaving, the
accused-appellant blocked the doorway by extending his arm towards the knob. He commanded KKK
to "[S]tay here, you sleep in our room," when the trembling KKK pleaded: "Eddie, allow me to go out."
He then held KKK's hands but she pulled them back. Determined to get away, MMM leaned against
door and embraced her mother tightly as they pushed their way out. 51
In their bedroom, the girls gave their mother some water and queried her as to what happened. 52 KKK
relayed: "[Y]our father is an animal, a beast; he forced me to have sex with him when I'm not feeling
well." The girls then locked the door and let her rest." 53
The accused-appellant's aggression recurred the following night. After closing the family store on
October 17, 1998, KKK and the children took their supper. The accused-appellant did not join them
since, according to him, he already ate dinner elsewhere. After resting for a short while, KKK and the
children proceeded to the girls' bedroom and prayed the rosary. KKK decided to spend the night in the
room's small bed and the girls were already fixing the beddings when the accused-appellant entered.
"Why are you sleeping in the room of our children", he asked KKK, who responded that she preferred
to sleep with the children.54 He then scoffed: "Its alright if you will not go with me, anyway, there are
women that could be paid [P] 1,000.00." She dismissed his comment by turning her head away after
retorting: "So be it." After that, he left the room. 55
He returned 15 minutes later 56 and when KKK still refused to go with him, he became infuriated. He
lifted her from the bed and attempted to carry her out of the room as he exclaimed: "Why will you sleep
here[?] Lets go to our bedroom." When she defied him, he grabbed her short pants causing them to
tear apart.57 At this point, MMM interfered, "Pa, don't do that to Mama because we are in front of
you."58
The presence of his children apparently did not pacify the accused-appellant who yelled, "[E]ven in
front of you, I can have sex of your mother [sic J because I'm the head of the family." He then ordered
his daughters to leave the room. Frightened, the girls obliged and went to the staircase where they
subsequently heard the pleas of their helpless mother resonate with the creaking bed. 59
The episodes in the bedroom were no less disturbing. The accused-appellant forcibly pulled KKK's
short pants and panties. He paid no heed as she begged, "[D]on 't do that to me, my body is still
aching and also my abdomen and I cannot do what you wanted me to do [sic]. I cannot withstand
sex."60
After removing his own short pants and briefs, he flexed her legs, held her hands, mounted her and
forced himself inside her. Once gratified, the accused-appellant put on his short pants and briefs, stood
up, and went out of the room laughing as he conceitedly uttered: "[I]t s nice, that is what you deserve
because you are [a] flirt or fond of sex." He then retreated to the masters' bedroom. 61
Sensing that the commotion in their bedroom has ceased, MMM and OOO scurried upstairs but found
the door locked. MMM pulled out a jalousie window, inserted her arm, reached for the doorknob inside
and disengaged its lock. Upon entering the room, MMM and OOO found their mother crouched on the
bed with her hair disheveled. The girls asked: "Ma, what happened to you, why are you crying?" KKK
replied: "[Y}our father is a beast and animal, he again forced me to have sex with him even if I don't
feel well. "62
Version of the defense

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The defense spun a different tale. The accused-appellant's father owned a land adjacent to that of
KKK's father. He came to know KKK because she brought food for her father's laborers. When they got
married on October 18, 1975, he was a high school graduate while she was an elementary graduate.
Their humble educational background did not deter them from pursuing a comfortable life. Through
their joint hard work and efforts, the couple gradually acquired personal properties and established
their own businesses that included a rice mill managed by the accused-appellant. He also drove their
trucks that hauled coffee, copra, or com.63
The accused-appellant denied raping his wife on October 16 and 17, 1998. He claimed that on those
dates he was in Dangcagan, Bukidnon, peeling com. On October 7, his truck met an accident
somewhere in Angeles Ranch, Maluko, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon. He left the truck by the roadside
because he had to attend MMM's graduation in Cebu on October 12 with KKK. When they returned to
Bukidnon on October 14, he asked KKK and MMM to proceed to Cagayan de Oro City and just leave
him behind so he can take care of the truck and buy some com. 64
Ryle Equia (Equia), the spouses' driver from January 1996 until June 1999 corroborated the above
claims. According to him, on October 16, 1998, the accused-appellant was within the vicinity of the rice
mill's loading area in Dangcagan, Bukidnon, cleaning a pick-up truck. On October 17, 1998, he and the
accused-appellant were in Dangcagan, Bukidnon, loading sacks of com into the truck. They finished
loading at 3 :00 p.m. The accused-appellant then instructed Equia to proceed to Maluko, Manolo
Fortich, Bukidnon while the former attended a fiesta in New Cebu, Kianggat, Dangcagan, Bukidnon. At
around 4:00 p.m., Equia, together with a helper and a mechanic, left for Maluko in order to tow the
stalled truck left there by the accused-appellant in October 7 and thereafter, bring it to Cagayan de Oro
City together with the separate truck loaded with com.
They arrived in Maluko at 7:00 p.m. and it took them three hours to turn the truck around and hoist it to
the towing bar of the other truck. At around 10:00 p.m., the accused-appellant arrived in Maluko. The
four of them then proceeded to Cagayan de Oro City where they arrived at 3 :00 a.m. of October 18,
1998. The accused-appellant went to Gusa while the other three men brought the damaged truck to
Cugman.65
The accused-appellant asserted that KKK merely fabricated the rape charges as her revenge because
he took over the control and management of their businesses as well as the possession of their pickup truck in January 1999. The accused-appellant was provoked to do so when she failed to account for
their bank deposits and business earnings. The entries in their bank account showed the balance
of P3,190,539.83 on October 31, 1996 but after only a month or on November 30, 1996, the amount
dwindled to a measly P9,894.88.66 Her failure to immediately report to the police also belies her rape
allegations.67
KKK wanted to cover-up her extra-marital affairs, which the accused-appellant gradually detected from
her odd behavior. While in Cebu on October 12, 1998 for MMM's graduation rites, the accusedappellant and KKK had sexual intercourse. He was surprised when his wife asked him to get a napkin
to wipe her after having sex. He tagged her request as "high-tech," because they did not do the same
when they had sex in the past. KKK had also become increasingly indifferent to him. When he arrives
home, it was an employee, not her, who opened the door and welcomed him. She prettied herself and
would no longer ask for his permission whenever she went out. 68
Bebs,69 KKK's cousin and a cashier in their Bukidnon store, gave the accused-appellant several love
letters purportedly addressed to Bebs but were actually intended for KKK. 70
KKK had more than ten paramours some of whom the accused-appellant came to know as: Arsenio,
Jong-Jong, Joy or Joey, somebody from the military or the Philippine National Police, another one is a
government employee, a certain Fernandez and three other priests. 71 Several persons told him about
the paramours of his wife but he never confronted her or them about it because he trusted her. 72
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What further confirmed his suspicions was the statement made by OOO on November 2, 1998. At that
time, OOO was listening loudly to a cassette player. Since he wanted to watch a television program, he
asked OOO to tum down the volume of the cassette player. She got annoyed, unplugged the player,
spinned around and hit the accused-appellant's head with the socket. His head bled. An altercation
between the accused-appellant and KKK thereafter followed because the latter took OOO's side.
During the argument, OOO blurted out that KKK was better off without the accused-appellant because
she had somebody young, handsome, and a businessman unlike the accused-appellant who smelled
bad, and was old, and ugly.73
KKK also wanted their property divided between them with three-fourths thereof going to her and onefourth to the accused-appellant. However, the separation did not push through because the accusedappellant's parents intervened.74 Thereafter, KKK pursued legal separation from the accused-appellant
by initiating Barangay Case No. 00588-99 before the Office of Lupong Tagapamayapa of Gusa,
Cagayan de Oro City and thereafter obtaining a Certificate to File Action dated February 18, 1999. 75
Ruling of the RTC
In its Judgment76 dated April 1, 2002, the RTC sustained the version proffered by the prosecution by
giving greater weight and credence to the spontaneous and straightforward testimonies of the
prosecution's witnesses. The trial court also upheld as sincere and genuine the two daughters'
testimonies, as it is not natural in our culture for daughters to testify against their own father for a crime
such as rape if the same was not truly committed.
The trial court rejected the version of the defense and found unbelievable the accused-appellant's
accusations of extra-marital affairs and money squandering against KKK. The trial court shelved the
accused-appellant's alibi for being premised on inconsistent testimonies and the contradicting
declarations of the other defense witness, Equia, as to the accused-appellant's actual whereabouts on
October 16, 1998. Accordingly, the RTC ruling disposed as follows:
WHEREFORE, the Court hereby finds accused Edgar Jumawan "GUILTY" beyond reasonable doubt
of the two (2) separate charges of rape and hereby sentences him to suffer the penalty of reclusion
perpetua for each, to pay complainant [P]50,000.00 in each case as moral damages, indemnify
complainant the sum of (P]75,000.00 in each case, [P]50,000.00 as exemplary damages and to pay
the costs.
SO ORDERED.77
Ruling of the CA
In its Decision78 dated July 9, 2008, the CA affirmed in toto the RTC ruling. The CA held that Section
14, Rule 110 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure, sanctioned the amendment of the original
informations. Further, the accused-appellant was not prejudiced by the amendment because he was
re-arraigned with respect to the amended informations.
The CA found that the prosecution, through the straightforward testimony of the victim herself and the
corroborative declarations of MMM and OOO, was able to establish, beyond reasonable doubt, all the
elements of rape under R.A. No. 8353. The accused-appellant had carnal knowledge of KKK by using
force and intimidation.
The CA also ruled that KKK's failure to submit herself to medical examination did not negate the
commission of the crime because a medical certificate is not necessary to prove rape.
The CA rejected the accused-appellant's argument that since he and KKK are husband and wife with
mutual obligations of and right to sexual intercourse, there must be convincing physical evidence or
manifestations of the alleged force and intimidation used upon KKK such as bruises. The CA explained
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that physical showing of external injures is not indispensable to prosecute and convict a person for
rape; what is necessary is that the victim was forced to have sexual intercourse with the accused.
In addition, the CA noted that the fact that KKK and the accused-appellant are spouses only reinforces
the truthfulness of KKK's accusations because no wife in her right mind would accuse her husband of
having raped her if it were not true.
The delay in the filing of the rape complaint was sufficiently explained by KKK when she stated that
she only found out that a wife may charge his husband with rape when the fiscal investigating her
separate complaint for grave threats and physical injuries told her about it.
Finally, the CA dismissed the accused-appellant's alibi for lack of convincing evidence that it was
physically impossible for him to be at his residence in Cagayan de Oro City at the time of the
commission of the crimes, considering that Dangcagan, Bukidnon, the place where he allegedly was,
is only about four or five hours away. Accordingly, the decretal portion of the decision read:
WHEREFORE, in the light of the foregoing, the appealed Judgment is hereby AFFIRMED.
SO ORDERED.79
Hence, the present review. In the Court Resolution 80 dated July 6, 2009, the Court notified the parties
that, if they so desire, they may file their respective supplemental briefs. In a Manifestation and
Motion81 dated September 4, 2009, the appellee, through the Office of the Solicitor General, expressed
that it intends to adopt its Brief before the CA. On April 16, 2012, the accused-appellant, through
counsel, filed his Supplemental Brief, arguing that he was not in Cagayan de Oro City when the
alleged rape incidents took place, and the presence of force, threat or intimidation is negated by: (a)
KKK's voluntary act of going with him to the conjugal bedroom on October 16, 1998; (b) KKK's failure
to put up resistance or seek help from police authorities; and ( c) the absence of a medical certificate
and of blood traces in KKK's panties.82
Our Ruling
I. Rape and marriage: the historical connection
The evolution of rape laws is actually traced to two ancient English practices of 'bride capture' whereby
a man conquered a woman through rape and 'stealing an heiress' whereby a man abducted a woman
and married her.83
The rape laws then were intended not to redress the violation of the woman's chastity but rather to
punish the act of obtaining the heiress' property by forcible marriage 84 or to protect a man's valuable
interest in his wife's chastity or her daughter's virginity.85
If a man raped an unmarried virgin, he was guilty of stealing her father's property and if a man raped
his wife, he was merely using his property.86
Women were subjugated in laws and society as objects or goods and such treatment was justified
under three ideologies.
Under the chattel theory prevalent during the 6th century, a woman was the property of her father until
she marries to become the property of her husband. 87 If a man abducted an unmarried woman, he had
to pay the owner, and later buy her from the owner; buying and marrying a wife were synonymous. 88
From the 11th century to the 16th century, a woman lost her identity upon marriage and the law denied
her political power and status under the feudal doctrine of coverture. 89
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A husband had the right to chastise his wife and beat her if she misbehaved, allowing him to bring
order within the family.90
This was supplanted by the marital unity theory, which espoused a similar concept. Upon marrying, the
woman becomes one with her husband. She had no right to make a contract, sue another, own
personal property or write a will.91
II. The marital exemption rule
In the 17th century, Sir Matthew Hale (Hale), a Chief Justice in England, conceived the irrevocable
implied consent theory that would later on emerge as the marital exemption rule in rape. He stated
that:
[T]he husband cannot be guilty of a rape committed by himself upon his lawful wife, for by their mutual
matrimonial consent and contract the wife hath given up herself in this kind unto her husband, which
she cannot retract.92
The rule was observed in common law countries such as the United States of America (USA) and
England. It gives legal immunity to a man who forcibly sexually assaults his wife, an act which would
be rape if committed against a woman not his wife. 93 In those jurisdictions, rape is traditionally defined
as "the forcible penetration of the body of a woman who is not the wife of the perpetrator." 94
The first case in the USA that applied the marital exemption rule was Commonwealth v.
Fogerty95 promulgated in 1857. The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts pronounced that it
would always be a defense in rape to show marriage to the victim. Several other courts adhered to a
similar rationale with all of them citing Hale's theory as basis. 96
The rule was formally codified in the Penal Code of New York in 1909. A husband was endowed with
absolute immunity from prosecution for the rape of his wife. 97 The privilege was personal and pertained
to him alone. He had the marital right to rape his wife but he will be liable when he aids or abets
another person in raping her.98
In the 1970s, the rule was challenged by women's movements in the USA demanding for its abolition
for being violative of married women's right to be equally protected under rape laws. 99
In 1978, the rule was qualified by the Legislature in New York by proscribing the application of the rule
in cases where the husband and wife are living apart pursuant to a court order "which by its terms or in
its effects requires such living apart," or a decree, judgment or written agreement of separation. 100
In 1983, the marital exemption rule was abandoned in New York when the Court of Appeals of New
York declared the same unconstitutional in People v. Liberta 101 for lack of rational basis in
distinguishing between marital rape and non-marital rape. The decision, which also renounced Hale's
irrevocable implied consent theory, ratiocinated as follows:
We find that there is no rational basis for distinguishing between marital rape and nonmarital rape. The
various rationales which have been asserted in defense of the exemption are either based upon
archaic notions about the consent and property rights incident to marriage or are simply unable to
withstand even the slightest scrutiny. We therefore declare the marital exemption for rape in the New
York statute to be unconstitutional.
Lord Hale's notion of an irrevocable implied consent by a married woman to sexual intercourse has
been cited most frequently in support of the marital exemption. x x x Any argument based on a
supposed consent, however, is untenable. Rape is not simply a sexual act to which one party does not
consent. Rather, it is a degrading, violent act which violates the bodily integrity of the victim and
frequently causes severe, long-lasting physical and psychic harm x x x. To ever imply consent to such
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an act is irrational and absurd. Other than in the context of rape statutes, marriage has never been
viewed as giving a husband the right to coerced intercourse on demand x x x. Certainly, then, a
marriage license should not be viewed as a license for a husband to forcibly rape his wife with
impunity. A married woman has the same right to control her own body as does an unmarried woman x
x x. If a husband feels "aggrieved" by his wife's refusal to engage in sexual intercourse, he should seek
relief in the courts governing domestic relations, not in "violent or forceful self-help x x x."
The other traditional justifications for the marital exemption were the common-law doctrines that a
woman was the property of her husband and that the legal existence of the woman was "incorporated
and consolidated into that of the husband x x x." Both these doctrines, of course, have long been
rejected in this State. Indeed, "[nowhere] in the common-law world - [or] in any modem society - is a
woman regarded as chattel or demeaned by denial of a separate legal identity and the dignity
associated with recognition as a whole human being x x x." 102 (Citations omitted)
By 1993, marital rape was a crime in all 50 states, with 17 of them, as well as the District of Columbia,
outlawing the act without exemptions. Meanwhile, the 33 other states granted some exemptions to a
husband from prosecution such as when the wife is mentally or physically impaired, unconscious,
asleep, or legally unable to consent.103
III. Marital Rape in the Philippines
Interestingly, no documented case on marital rape has ever reached this Court until now. It appears,
however, that the old provisions of rape under Article 335 of the RPC adhered to Hale's irrevocable
implied consent theory, albeit in a limited form. According to Chief Justice Ramon C. Aquino, 104 a
husband may not be guilty of rape under Article 335 of Act No. 3815 but, in case there is legal
separation, the husband should be held guilty of rape if he forces his wife to submit to sexual
intercourse.105
In 1981, the Philippines joined 180 countries in ratifying the United Nations Convention on the
Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (UN-CEDAW). 106 Hailed as the first
international women's bill of rights, the CEDAW is the first major instrument that contains a ban on all
forms of discrimination against women. The Philippines assumed the role of promoting gender equality
and women's empowerment as a vital element in addressing global concerns. 107 The country also
committed, among others, to condemn discrimination against women in all its forms, and agreed to
pursue, by all appropriate means and without delay, a policy of eliminating discrimination against
women and, to this end, undertook:
(a) To embody the principle of the equality of men and women in their national constitutions or
other appropriate legislation if not yet incorporated therein and to ensure, through law and other
appropriate means, the practical realization of this principle;
(b) To adopt appropriate legislative and other measures, including sanctions where appropriate,
prohibiting all discrimination against women;
xxxx
(f) To take all appropriate measures, including legislation, to modify or abolish existing laws,
regulations, customs and practices which constitute discrimination against women;
(g) To repeal all national penal provisions which constitute discrimination against women. 108
In compliance with the foregoing international commitments, the Philippines enshrined the principle of
gender equality in the 1987 Constitution specifically in Sections 11 and 14 of Article II thereof, thus:

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Sec. 11. The State values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for human
rights.
xxxx
Sec. 14. The State recognizes the role of women in nation-building, and shall ensure the fundamental
equality before the law of women and men. The Philippines also acceded to adopt and implement the
generally accepted principles of international law such as the CEDA W and its allied issuances, viz:
Article II, Section 2. The Philippines renounces war as an instrument of national policy, and adopts the
generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land and adheres to the
policy of peace, equality, justice, freedom, cooperation, and amity with all nations. (Emphasis ours)
The Legislature then pursued the enactment of laws to propagate gender equality. In 1997, R.A. No.
8353 eradicated the stereotype concept of rape in Article 335 of the RPC. 109 The law reclassified rape
as a crime against person and removed it from the ambit of crimes against chastity. More particular to
the present case, and perhaps the law's most progressive proviso is the 2nd paragraph of Section 2
thereof recognizing the reality of marital rape and criminalizing its perpetration, viz:
Article 266-C. Effect of Pardon. - The subsequent valid marriage between the offended party shall
extinguish the criminal action or the penalty imposed.
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 shall not be
extinguished or the penalty shall not be abated if the marriage is void ab initio.
Read together with Section 1 of the law, which unqualifiedly uses the term "man" in defining rape, it is
unmistakable that R.A. No. 8353 penalizes the crime without regard to the rapist's legal relationship
with his victim, thus:
Article 266-A. Rape: When And How Committed. - Rape is committed:
1) By a man who shall have carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following circumstances:
a) Through force, threat, or intimidation;
b) When the offended party is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious;
c) By means of fraudulent machination or grave abuse of authority; and
d) When the offended party is under twelve (12) years of age or is demented, even though none
of the circumstances mentioned above be present.
The explicit intent to outlaw marital rape is deducible from the records of the deliberations of the 10th
Congress on the law's progenitor's, House Bill No. 6265 and Senate Bill No. 650. In spite of qualms on
tagging the crime as 'marital rape' due to conservative Filipino impressions on marriage, the
consensus of our lawmakers was clearly to include and penalize marital rape under the general
definition of 'rape,' viz:
MR. DAMASING: Madam Speaker, Your Honor, one more point
of clarification in the House version on Anti-Rape Bill, House Bill No. 6265, we never agreed to marital
rape. But under Article 266-C, it says here: "In case it is the legal husband who is the offender... " Does
this presuppose that there is now marital rape? x x x.
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MR. LARA: x x x [I]n this jurisdiction, well, I only have a limited, very limited 17 years of private practice
in the legal profession, Madam Speaker, and I believe that I can put at stake my license as a lawyer in
this jurisdiction there is no law that prohibits a husband from being sued by the wife for rape. Even
jurisprudence, we don't have any jurisprudence that prohibits a wife from suing a husband. That is why
even if we don't provide in this bill expanding the definition of crime that is now being presented for
approval, Madam Speaker, even if we don't provide here for marital rape, even if we don't provide for
sexual rape, there is the right of the wife to go against the husband. The wife can sue the husband for
marital rape and she cannot be prevented from doing so because in this jurisdiction there is no law that
prohibits her from doing so. This is why we had to put second paragraph of 266-C because it is the
belief of many of us. x x x, that if it is true that in this jurisdiction there is marital rape even if we don't
provide it here, then we must provide for something that will unify and keep the cohesion of the family
together that is why we have the second paragraph.
MR. DAMASING: Madam Speaker, Your Honor, under the House version specifically House Bill No.
6265 our provision on a husband forcing the wife is not marital rape, it is marital sexual assault.
MR. LARA: That is correct, Madam Speaker.
MR. DAMASING: But here it is marital rape because there is no crime of sexual assault. So, Your
Honor, direct to the point, under Article 266-C, is it our understanding that in the second paragraph,
quote: "In case it is the legal husband who is the offender, this refers to marital rape filed against the
husband? Is that correct?
MR. LARA: No, Madam Speaker, not entirely, no. The answer is no.
MR. DAMASING: So if the husband is guilty of sexual assault, what do you call- it?
MR. LARA: Sexual assault, Madam Speaker.
MR. DAMASING: There is no crime of sexual assault, Your Honor, we have already stated that.
Because under 1 and 2 it is all denominated as rape, there is no crime of sexual assault. That is why I
am sorry that our House version which provided for sexual assault was not carried by the Senate
version because all sexual crimes under this bicameral conference committee report are all now
denominated as rape whether the penalty is from reclusion perpetua to death or whether the penalty is
only prision mayor. So there is marital rape, Your Honor, is that correct?
xxxx
MR. DAMASING: Madam Speaker, Your Honor, I am in favor of this. I am in favor of punishing the
husband who forces the wife even to 30 years imprisonment. But please do not call it marital rape, call
it marital sexual assault because of the sanctity of marriage. x x x. 110 (Emphasis ours)
HON. APOSTOL: In our version, we did not mention marital rape but marital rape is not excluded.
HON. ROCO: Yeah. No. But I think there is also no specific mention.
HON. APOSTOL: No. No. No. Silent lang 'yung marital rape.
xxxx
HON. ROCO: xx x [I]f we can retain the effect of pardon, then this marital rape can be implicitly
contained in the second paragraph. x x x So marital rape actually was in the House version x x x. But it
was not another definition of rape. You will notice, it only says, that because you are the lawful
husband does not mean that you cannot commit rape. Theoretically, I mean, you can beat up your wife
until she's blue. And if the wife complains she was raped, I guess that, I mean, you just cannot raise
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the defense x x x[:] I am the husband. But where in the marriage contract does it say that I can beat
you up? That's all it means. That is why if we stop referring to it as marital rape, acceptance is easy.
Because parang ang marital rape, married na nga kami. I cannot have sex. No, what it is saying is
you're [the] husband but you cannot beat me up. x x x. That's why to me it's not alarming. It was just a
way of saying you're [the] husband, you cannot say when I am charged with rape x x x.
PRESIDING OFFICER SHAHAN!: All right, so how do you propose it if we put it in[?]
HON. ROCO: x x x [A]ll we are saying [is] that if you are the lawful husband does not mean you can
have carnal knowledge by force[,] threat or intimidation or by depriving your wife reason, a grave
abuse of authority, I don't know how that cannot apply. Di ba yung, or putting an instrument into the,
yun ang sinasabi ko lang, it is not meant to have another classification of rape. It is all the same
definition x x x.
xxxx
HON.ROCO: What is 266-F? x x x. Now if we can retain 266-F x x x, we can say that this rule is
implicit already in the first proviso. It implies na there is an instance when a husband can be charged
[with] rape x x x.
HON. ROXAS: Otherwise, silent na.
HON. ROCO: Otherwise, we are silent na. So parang i-delete natin ito. But it is understood that this
rule of evidence is now transport[ed], put into 266-F, the effect of pardon.
PRESIDING OFFICER APOSTOL: We will retain this effect of pardon. We will remove marital rape.
HON. ROCO: No, yun ang, oo we will remove this one on page 3 but we will retain the one on page 8,
the effect of pardon. x x x [I]t is inferred but we leave it because after all it is just a rule of evidence. But
I think we should understand that a husband cannot beat at his wife to have sex. Di ha? I think that
should be made clear. x x x.
xxxx
HON. ROCO: x x x [W]e are not defining a crime of marital rape. All we are saying is that if you're [the]
legal husband, Jesus Christ, don't beat up to have sex. I almost want, you are my wife, why do you
have to beat me up.
So, ganoon. So, if we both justify it that way in the Report as inferred in proviso, I mean, we can face
up, I hope, to the women and they would understand that it is half achieved.
HON. ZAMORA: I think, Raul, as long as we understand that we are not defining or creating a new
crime but instead, we are just defining a rule of evidence. x x x.
HON. ROCO: Then, in which case we may just want to clarify as a rule of evidence the fact that he is
husband is not, does not negate.111
CHAIRMAN LARA: x x x We all agree on the substance of the point in discussion. The only
disagreement now is where to place it. Let us clear this matter. There are two suggestions now on
marital rape. One is that it is rape if it is done with force or intimidation or any of the circumstances that
would define rape x x x immaterial. The fact that the husband and wife are separated does not come
into the picture. So even if they are living under one roof x x x for as long as the attendant
circumstances of the traditional rape is present, then that is rape. 112

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PRESIDING OFFICER ANGARA-CASTILLO: Mr. Chairman, x x x [t]his provision on marital rape, it


does not actually change the meaning of rape. It merely erases the doubt in anybody's mind, whether
or not rape can indeed be committed by the husband against the wife. So the bill really says, you
having been married to one another is not a legal impediment. So I don't really think there is any need
to change the concept of rape as defined presently under the revised penal code. This do[es] not
actually add anything to the definition of rape. It merely says, it is merely clarificatory. That if indeed the
wife has evidence to show that she was really brow beaten, or whatever or forced or intimidated into
having sexual intercourse against her will, then the crime of rape has been committed against her by
the husband, notwithstanding the fact that they have been legally married. It does not change anything
at all, Mr. Chairman.
PRESIDING OFFICER APOSTOL: Yes, I think, there is no change on this x x x. 113
The paradigm shift on marital rape in the Philippine jurisdiction is further affirmed by R.A. No.
9262,114 which regards rape within marriage as a form of sexual violence that may be committed by a
man against his wife within or outside the family abode, viz:
Violence against women and their children refers to any act or a series of acts committed by any
person against a woman who is his wife, former wife, or against a woman with whom the person has or
had a sexual or dating relationship, or with whom he has a common child, or against her child whether
legitimate or illegitimate, within or without the family abode, which result in or is likely to result in.
physical, sexual, psychological harm or suffering, or economic abuse including threats of such acts,
battery, assault, coercion, harassment or arbitrary deprivation of liberty. It includes, but is not limited to,
the following acts:
A. "Physical Violence" refers to acts that include bodily or physical harm;
B. "Sexual violence" refers to an act which is sexual in nature, committed against a woman or
her child. It includes, but is not limited to:
a) rape, sexual harassment, acts of lasciviousness, treating a woman or her child as a
sex object, making demeaning and sexually suggestive remarks, physically attacking the
sexual parts of the victim's body, forcing her/him to watch obscene publications and
indecent shows or forcing the woman or her child to do indecent acts and/or make films
thereof, forcing the wife and mistress/lover to live in the conjugal home or sleep together
in the same room with the abuser;
b) acts causing or attempting to cause the victim to engage in any sexual activity by
force, threat of force, physical or other harm or threat of physical or other harm or
coercion;
c) Prostituting the woman or child.
Statistical figures confirm the above characterization. Emotional and other forms of non-personal
violence are the most common type of spousal violence accounting for 23% incidence among evermarried women. One in seven ever-married women experienced physical violence by their husbands
while eight percent (8%) experienced sexual violence. 115
IV. Refutation of the accused-appellant's arguments
The crux of the accused-appellant's plea for acquittal mirrors the irrevocable implied consent theory. In
his appeal brief before the CA, he posits that the two incidents of sexual intercourse, which gave rise
to the criminal charges for rape, were theoretically consensual, obligatory even, because he and the
victim, KKK, were a legally married and cohabiting couple. He argues that consent to copulation is
presumed between cohabiting husband and wife unless the contrary is proved.
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The accused-appellant further claims that this case should be viewed and treated differently from
ordinary rape cases and that the standards for determining the presence of consent or lack thereof
must be adjusted on the ground that sexual community is a mutual right and obligation between
husband and wife.116
The contentions failed to muster legal and rational merit.
The ancient customs and ideologies from which the irrevocable implied consent theory evolved have
already been superseded by modem global principles on the equality of rights between men and
women and respect for human dignity established in various international conventions, such as the
CEDAW. The Philippines, as State Party to the CEDAW, recognized that a change in the traditional
role of men as well as the role of women in society and in the family is needed to achieve full equality
between them. Accordingly, the country vowed to take all appropriate measures to modify the social
and cultural patterns of conduct of men and women, with a view to achieving the elimination of
prejudices, customs and all other practices which are based on the idea of the inferiority or the
superiority of either of the sexes or on stereotyped roles for men and women. 117 One of such measures
is R.A. No 8353 insofar as it eradicated the archaic notion that marital rape cannot exist because a
husband has absolute proprietary rights over his wife's body and thus her consent to every act of
sexual intimacy with him is always obligatory or at least, presumed.
Another important international instrument on gender equality is the UN Declaration on the Elimination
of Violence Against Women, which was Promulgated118 by the UN General Assembly subsequent to
the CEDA W. The Declaration, in enumerating the forms of gender-based violence that constitute acts
of discrimination against women, identified 'marital rape' as a species of sexual violence, viz:
Article 1
For the purposes of this Declaration, the term "violence against women" means any act of genderbased violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or
suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether
occurring in public or in private life.
Article 2
Violence against women shall be understood to encompass, but not be limited to, the following:
(a) Physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring in the family, including battering, sexual
abuse of female children in the household, dowry-related violence, marital rape, female genital
mutilation and other traditional practices harmful to women, non-spousal violence and violence related
to exploitation;119 (Emphasis ours)
Clearly, it is now acknowledged that rape, as a form of sexual violence, exists within marriage. A man
who penetrates her wife without her consent or against her will commits sexual violence upon her, and
the Philippines, as a State Party to the CEDA W and its accompanying Declaration, defines and
penalizes the act as rape under R.A. No. 8353.
A woman is no longer the chattel-antiquated practices labeled her to be. A husband who has sexual
intercourse with his wife is not merely using a property, he is fulfilling a marital consortium with a fellow
human being with dignity equal120 to that he accords himself. He cannot be permitted to violate this
dignity by coercing her to engage in a sexual act without her full and free consent. Surely, the
Philippines cannot renege on its international commitments and accommodate conservative yet
irrational notions on marital activities 121 that have lost their relevance in a progressive society.

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It is true that the Family Code, 122 obligates the spouses to love one another but this rule sanctions
affection and sexual intimacy, as expressions of love, that are both spontaneous and mutual 123 and not
the kind which is unilaterally exacted by force or coercion.
Further, the delicate and reverent nature of sexual intimacy between a husband and wife excludes
cruelty and coercion. Sexual intimacy brings spouses wholeness and oneness. It is a gift and a
participation in the mystery of creation. It is a deep sense of spiritual communion. It is a function which
enlivens the hope of procreation and ensures the continuation of family relations. It is an expressive
interest in each other's feelings at a time it is needed by the other and it can go a long way in
deepening marital relationship.124 When it is egoistically utilized to despoil marital union in order to
advance a felonious urge for coitus by force, violence or intimidation, the Court will step in to protect its
lofty purpose, vindicate justice and protect our laws and State policies. Besides, a husband who feels
aggrieved by his indifferent or uninterested wife's absolute refusal to engage in sexual intimacy may
legally seek the court's intervention to declare her psychologically incapacitated to fulfill an essential
marital obligation.125 But he cannot and should not demand sexual intimacy from her coercively or
violently.
Moreover, to treat marital rape cases differently from non-marital rape cases in terms of the elements
that constitute the crime and in the rules for their proof, infringes on the equal protection clause. The
Constitutional right to equal protection of the laws 126 ordains that similar subjects should not be treated
differently, so as to give undue favor to some and unjustly discriminate against others; no person or
class of persons shall be denied the same protection of laws, which is enjoyed, by other persons or
other classes in like circumstances.127
As above discussed, the definition of rape in Section 1 of R.A. No. 8353 pertains to: (a) rape, as
traditionally known; (b) sexual assault; and (c) marital rape or that where the victim is the perpetrator's
own spouse. The single definition for all three forms of the crime shows that the law does not
distinguish between rape committed in wedlock and those committed without a marriage. Hence, the
law affords protection to women raped by their husband and those raped by any other man alike.
The posture advanced by the accused-appellant arbitrarily discriminates against married rape victims
over unmarried rape victims because it withholds from married women raped by their husbands the
penal redress equally granted by law to all rape victims.
Further, the Court adheres to and hereby adopts the rationale in Liberta in rejecting the argument akin
to those raised by herein accused-appellant. A marriage license should not be viewed as a license for
a husband to forcibly rape his wife with impunity. A married woman has the same right to control her
own body, as does an unmarried woman. 128 She can give or withhold her consent to a sexual
intercourse with her husband and he cannot unlawfully wrestle such consent from her in case she
refuses.
Lastly, the human rights of women include their right to have control over and decide freely and
responsibly on matters related to their sexuality, including sexual and reproductive health, free of
coercion, discrimination and violence. 129 Women do not divest themselves of such right by contracting
marriage for the simple reason that human rights are inalienable. 130
In fine, since the law does not separately categorize marital rape and non-marital rape nor provide for
different definition or elements for either, the Court, tasked to interpret and apply what the law dictates,
cannot trudge the forbidden sphere of judicial legislation and unlawfully divert from what the law sets
forth. Neither can the Court frame distinct or stricter evidentiary rules for marital rape cases as it would
inequitably burden its victims and unreasonably and irrationally classify them differently from the
victims of non-marital rape.
Indeed, there exists no legal or rational reason for the Court to apply the law and the evidentiary rules
on rape any differently if the aggressor is the woman's own legal husband. The elements and quantum
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of proof that support a moral certainty of guilt in rape cases should apply uniformly regardless of the
legal relationship between the accused and his accuser.
Thus, the Court meticulously reviewed the present case in accordance with the established legal
principles and evidentiary policies in the prosecution and resolution of rape cases and found that no
reversible error can be imputed to the conviction meted the accused-appellant.
The evidence for the prosecution was
based on credible witnesses who gave
equally credible testimonies
In rape cases, the conviction of the accused rests heavily on the credibility of the victim. Hence, the
strict mandate that all courts must examine thoroughly the testimony of the offended party. While the
accused in a rape case may be convicted solely on the testimony of the complaining witness, courts
are, nonetheless, duty-bound to establish that their reliance on the victim's testimony is justified.
Courts must ensure that the testimony is credible, convincing, and otherwise consistent with human
nature. If the testimony of the complainant meets the test of credibility, the accused may be convicted
on the basis thereof.131
It is settled that the evaluation by the trial court of the credibility of witnesses and their testimonies are
entitled to the highest respect. This is in view of its inimitable opportunity to directly observe the
witnesses and their deportment, conduct and attitude, especially during cross-examination. Thus,
unless it is shown that its evaluation was tainted with arbitrariness or certain facts of substance and
value have been plainly overlooked, misunderstood, or misapplied, the same will not be disturbed on
appeal.132
After approximating the perspective of the trial court thru a meticulous scrutiny of the entire records of
the trial proceedings and the transcript of each witnesses' testimony, the Court found no justification to
disturb its findings.
Rather, the Court observed that KKK and her testimony were both credible and spontaneous. Hailed to
the witness stand on six separate occasions, KKK never wavered neither did her statements vacillate
between uncertainty and certitude. She remained consistent, categorical, straightforward, and candid
during the rigorous cross-examination and on rebuttal examination, she was able to convincingly
explain and debunk the allegations of the defense.
She vividly recounted how the accused-appellant forced her to have sex with him despite her refusal
on October 16, 1998. He initially ordered her to sleep beside him in their conjugal bed by violently
throwing the cot where she was resting. In order not to aggravate his temper, KKK obeyed. On the
bed, he insinuated for them to have sex. When she rejected his advances due to abdominal pain and
headache, his request for intimacy transformed into a stubborn demand. Unyielding, KKK held her
panties but the accused-appellant forcibly pulled them down. The tug caused the small clothing to tear
apart. She reiterated that she was not feeling well and begged him to stop. But no amount of
resistance or begging subdued him. He flexed her two legs apart, gripped her hands, mounted her,
rested his own legs on hers and inserted his penis into her vagina. She continued pleading but he
never desisted.133
Her accurate recollection of the second rape incident on October 1 7, 1998 is likewise unmistakable.
After the appalling episode in the conjugal bedroom the previous night, KKK decided to sleep in the
children's bedroom. While her daughters were fixing the beddings, the accused-appellant barged into
the room and berated her for refusing to go with him to their conjugal bedroom. When KKK insisted to
stay in the children's bedroom, the accused-appellant got angry and pulled her up. MMM's attempt to
pacify the accused-appellant further enraged him. He reminded them that as the head of the family he
could do whatever he wants with his wife. To demonstrate his role as patriarch, he ordered the children
to go out of the room and thereafter proceeded to force KKK into sexual intercourse. He forcibly pulled
89

down her short pants and panties as KKK begged "Dont do that to me, my body is still aching and also
my abdomen and I cannot do what you wanted me to do. I cannot withstand sex." 134But her pleas fell
on deaf ears. The accused-appellant removed his shorts and briefs, spread KKK's legs apart, held her
hands, mounted her and inserted his penis into her vagina. After gratifying himself, he got dressed, left
the room as he chuckled: "Its nice, that is what you deserve because you are [a] flirt or fond of sex." 135
Entrenched is the rule that in the prosecution of rape cases, the essential element that must be proved
is the absence of the victim's consent to the sexual congress. 136
Under the law, consent is absent when: (a) it was wrestled from the victim by force, threat or
intimidation, fraudulent machinations or grave abuse of authority; or (b) the victim is incapable of giving
free and voluntary consent because he/she is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious or that the
offended party is under 12 years of age or is demented.
Contrary to the accused-appellant's asseverations, KKK's consent was wrestled from her through force
and intimidation both of which were established beyond moral certainty by the prosecution through the
pertinent testimony of KKK, viz:
On the October 16, 1998 rape incident:
(Direct Examination)
ATTY. LARGO:
Q So, while you were already lying on the bed together with your husband, do you remember what
happened?
A He lie down beside me and asked me to have sex with him.
Q How did he manifest that he wanted to have sex with you?
A He put his hand on my lap and asked me to have sex with him but I warded off his hand.
Q Can you demonstrate to this Court how did he use his hand?
A Yes. "witness demonstrating on how the accused used his finger by touching or knocking her lap
which means that he wanted to have sex."
Q So, what did you do after that?
A I warded off his hand and refused because I was not feeling well. (at this juncture the witness is
sobbing)
Q So, what did your husband do when you refused him to have sex with you?
A He insisted and he pulled my pantie forcibly, that is why my pantie [sic] was tom.
Q Why, what did you do when he started to pull your pantie [sic]?
A I resisted and tried to hold my pantie [sic] but I failed, because he is so strong.
xx xx
Q So, when your pantie [sic] was tom by your husband, what else did he do?
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A He flexed my two legs and rested his two legs on my legs.


Q So after that what else did he do?
A He succeeded in having sex with me because he held my two hands no matter how I wrestled but I
failed because he is stronger than me.
COURT: Make it of record that the witness is sobbing while she is giving her testimony.
ATTY. LARGO: (To the witness cont'ng.)
Q So, what did you do when your husband already stretched your two legs and rode on you and held
your two hands?
A I told him, "don't do that because I'm not feeling well and my whole body is aching."
Q How did you say that to your husband?
A I told him, "don't do that to me because I'm not feeling well."
Q Did you say that in the manner you are saying now?
xxxx
A I shouted when I uttered that words.
xxxx
Q Was your husband able to consummate his desire?
xxxx
A Yes, sir, because I cannot do anything.137
(Cross-Examination)
ATTY. AMARGA;
Q Every time you have sex with your husband it was your husband normally remove your panty?
A Yes, Sir.
Q It was not unusual for your husband then to remove your panty because according to you he
normally do that if he have sex with you?
A Yes, Sir.
Q And finally according to you your husband have sex with you?
A Yes, Sir because he forcibly used me in spite of holding my panty because I don't want to have sex
with him at that time.
Q You did not spread your legs at that time when he removed your panty?
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A Yes, Sir.
Q Meaning, your position of your legs was normal during that time?
A I tried to resist by not flexing my legs.
xxxx
Q At that time when your husband allegedly removed your panty he also remove your nightgown?
A No, Sir.
Q And he did pull out your duster [sic] towards your face?
A He raised my duster [sic] up.
Q In other words your face was covered when he raised your duster [sic]?
A No, only on the breast level.138
On the October 17, 1998 rape incident:
(Direct Examination)
ATTY. LARGO
Q So, after your children went out of the room, what transpired?
A He successfully having sex with me because he pulled my short pant and pantie forcible.
Q So, what did you say when he forcibly pulled your short and pantie?
A I told him, "don't do that to me, my body is still aching and also my abdomen and I cannot do what
you wanted me to do. I cannot withstand sex."
Q So, what happened to your short when he forcibly pulled it down?
A It was tom.
Q And after your short and pantie was pulled down by your husband, what did he do?
A He also removed his short and brief and flexed my two legs and mounted on me and succeeded in
having sex with me.139
The accused-appellant forced his wife when he knowingly overpowered her by gripping her hands,
flexing her legs and then resting his own legs thereon in order to facilitate the consummation of his
much-desired non-consensual sexual intercourse.
Records also show that the accused-appellant employed sufficient intimidation upon KKK. His
actuations prior to the actual moment of the felonious coitus revealed that he imposed his distorted
sense of moral authority on his wife. He furiously demanded for her to lay with him on the bed and
thereafter coerced her to indulge his sexual craving.

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The fury the accused-appellant exhibited when KKK refused to sleep with him on their bed, when she
insisted to sleep in the children's bedroom and the fact that he exercises dominance over her as
husband all cowed KKK into submission.
The fact that KKK voluntarily went with the accused-appellant to their conjugal bedroom on October
16, 1998 cannot be stretched to mean that she consented to the forced sexual intercourse that
ensued. The accused-appellant was KKK's husband and hence it was customary for her to sleep in the
conjugal bedroom. No consent can be deduced from such act of KKK because at that juncture there
were no indications that sexual intercourse was about to take place. The issue of consent was still
irrelevant since the act for which the same is legally required did not exist yet or at least unclear to the
person from whom the consent was desired. The significant point when consent must be given is at
that time when it is clear to the victim that her aggressor is soliciting sexual congress. In this case, that
point is when the accused-appellant tapped his fingers on her lap, a gesture KKK comprehended to be
an invitation for a sexual intercourse, which she refused.
Resistance, medical certificate and blood traces.
We cannot give credence to the accused-appellant's argument that KKK should have hit him to convey
that she was resisting his sexual onslaught. Resistance is not an element of rape and the law does not
impose upon the victim the burden to prove resistance 140 much more requires her to raise a specific
kind thereof.
At any rate, KKK put up persistent, audible and intelligible resistance for the accused-appellant to
recognize that she seriously did not assent to a sexual congress. She held on to her panties to prevent
him from undressing her, she refused to bend her legs and she repeatedly shouted and begged for him
to stop.
Moreover, as an element of rape, force or intimidation need not be irresistible; it may be just enough to
bring about the desired result. What is necessary is that the force or intimidation be sufficient to
consummate the purpose that the accused had in mind 141 or is of such a degree as to impel the
defenseless and hapless victim to bow into submission. 142
Contrary to the accused-appellant's allusions, the absence of blood traces in KKK's panties or the lack
of a medical certificate do not negate rape. It is not the presence or absence of blood on the victim's
underwear that determines the fact of rape 143 inasmuch as a medical certificate is dispensable
evidence that is not necessary to prove rape. 144 These details do not pertain to the elements that
produce the gravamen of the offense that is -sexual intercourse with a woman against her will or
without her consent.145
The accused-appellant harps on the acquittal ruling in People v. Godoy, 146 the evidentiary
circumstances of which are, however, disparate from those in the present case. In Godoy, the
testimony of the complainant was inherently weak, inconsistent, and was controverted by the
prosecution's medico-legal expert witness who stated that force was not applied based on the position
of her hymenal laceration. This led the Court to conclude that the absence of any sign of physical
violence on the victim's body is an indication of consent. 147 Here, however, KKK's testimony is, as
discussed earlier, credible, spontaneous and forthright.
The corroborative testimonies of
MMM and OOO are worthy of credence.
The accused-appellant's assertion that MMM and OOO's testimonies lacked probative value as they
did not witness the actual rape is bereft of merit. It must be stressed that rape is essentially committed
in relative isolation, thus, it is usually only the victim who can testify with regard to the fact of the forced
sexual intercourse.148 Hence, the probative value of MMM and OOO's testimonies rest not on whether
93

they actually witnessed the rape but on whether their declarations were in harmony with KKK's
narration of the circumstances, preceding, subsequent to and concurrent with, the rape incidents.
MMM and OOO's testimonies substantiated significant points in KKK's narration. MMM heard KKK
shouting and crying: "Eddie, dont do that to me, have pity on me" 149 on the night of October 16, 1998
shortly after KKK and the accused-appellant went to their conjugal bedroom. When MMM went
upstairs to check on her mother, the accused-appellant admonished her for meddling. Frustrated to aid
her mother who persistently cried, MMM kicked the door so hard the accused-appellant was prompted
to open it and rebuke MMM once more. OOO heard all these commotion from the room downstairs.
MMM then saw her mother crouched on the bed, crying, with her hair disheveled while her tom panty
lay on the floor. After a brief struggle with the accused-appellant, MMM and KKK were finally able to
escape and retreat to the children's bedroom where KKK narrated to her daughters: "[Y]our father is an
animal, a beast; he forced me to have sex with him when I'm not feeling well. "
KKK gave a similar narration to MMM and OOO the following night after the accused-appellant barged
inside the children's bedroom. The couple had an argument and when MMM tried to interfere, the
accused-appellant ordered her and OOO to get out after bragging that he can have sex with his wife
even in front of the children because he is the head of the family. The girls then stayed by the staircase
where they afterwards heard their mother helplessly crying and shouting for the accused-appellant to
stop.
Indeed, the testimonies of KKK, MMM and OOO coherently depicted that the accused-appellant,
through the use of force and intimidation, had non-consensual and forced carnal knowledge of his wife,
KKK on the nights of October 16 and 17, 1998.
KKK's helpless screams and pleas from inside the bedroom coupled with her verbal and physical
resistance were clear manifestations of coercion. Her appearance when MMM saw her on the bed
after the accused appellant opened the door on October 16, 1998, her conduct towards the accusedappellant on her way out of the room, and her categorical outcry to her children after the two bedroom
episodes - all generate the conclusion that the sexual acts that occurred were against her will.
Failure to immediately report to the
police authorities, if satisfactorily
explained, is not fatal to the
credibility of a witness.
The testimonies of KKK and her daughters cannot be discredited merely because they failed to report
the rape incidents to the police authorities or that KKK belatedly filed the rape charges. Delay or
vacillation by the victims in reporting sexual assaults does not necessarily impair their credibility if such
delay is satisfactorily explained.150
At that time, KKK and her daughters were not aware that a husband forcing his wife to submit to sexual
intercourse is considered rape. In fact, KKK only found out that she could sue his husband for rape
when Prosecutor Benjamin Tabique, Jr. (Prosecutor Tabique) told her about it when she filed the
separate charges for grave threats and physical injuries against the accused-appellant. 151
It must be noted that the incidents occurred a year into the effectivity of R.A. No. 8353 abolishing
marital exemption in rape cases hence it is understandable that it was not yet known to a layman as
opposed to legal professionals like Prosecutor Tabique. In addition, fear of reprisal thru social
humiliation which is the common factor that deter rape victims from reporting the crime to the
authorities is more cumbersome in marital rape cases. This is in view of the popular yet outdated belief
that it is the wife's absolute obligation to submit to her husband's carnal desires. A husband raping his
own wife is often dismissed as a peculiar occurrence or trivialized as simple domestic trouble.
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Unfamiliarity with or lack of knowledge of the law criminalizing marital rape, the stigma and public
scrutiny that could have befallen KKK and her family had the intervention of police authorities or even
the neighbors been sought, are acceptable explanations for the failure or delay in reporting the subject
rape incidents.
The victim -S testimony on the
witness stand rendered
unnecessary the presentation of her
complaint-affidavit as evidence.
The failure of the prosecution to present KKK's complaint-affidavit for rape is not fatal in view of the
credible, candid and positive testimony of KKK on the witness stand. Testimonial evidence carries
more weight than the affidavit since it underwent the rudiments of a direct, cross, re-direct and re-cross
examinations. Affidavits or statements taken ex parte are generally considered incomplete and
inaccurate. Thus, by nature, they are inferior to testimony given in court. 152
Ill motive imputed to the victim
The ill motive, which the accused-appellant imputed to KKK, does not inspire belief as it is riddled with
loopholes generated by incongruent and flimsy evidence. The prosecution was able to establish that
the P3 Million deposit in the spouses' bank account was the proceeds of their loan from the Bank of
Philippine Islands (BPI). Exhibit J, which is a BPI ML instruction sheet dated October 31, 1996 in the
amount of P3,149,840.63 is the same amount the accused-appellant claimed to have entrusted to her
wife. Although the accused-appellant denied being aware of such loan, he admitted that
approximately P3 Million was spent for the construction of their house. These pieces of evidence
effectively belie the accused appellant's allegation that KKK could not account for the money deposited
in the bank.153
Anent, KKK's alleged extra-marital affairs, the accused-appellant failed to explain how Bebs could be
his wife KKK when the letter-sender greeted Bebs a "happy birthday" on October 28 while KKK's
birthday is June 23. The accused-appellant also did not present Bebs herself, being a more competent
witness to the existence of the alleged love letters for KKK. He likewise failed, despite promise to do
so, to present the original copies of such love letters neither did he substantiate KKK's supposed extramarital affairs by presenting witnesses who could corroborate his claims. Further, the Court finds it
unbelievable that an able man would not have the temerity to confront his wife who has fooled around
with 10 men - some of whom he has even met. The accused-appellant's erratic statements on the
witness stand are inconsistent with the theory of extra-marital romance making it reasonable to infer
that he merely made up those malicious stories as a desperate ploy to extricate himself out of this
legal quandary.
At best, the basis of the alleged illicit affairs of KKK were the accused-appellant's unfounded
suspicions that hold no evidentiary weight in law and thus incompetent to destroy KKK's credibility and
that of her testimony. In sum, the defense failed to present sufficiently convincing evidence that KKK is
a mere vindictive wife who is harassing the accused-appellant with fabricated rape charges.
Alibi
It must be stressed that in raising the irrevocable implied consent theory as defense, the accusedappellant has essentially admitted the facts of sexual intercourse embodied in the two criminal
informations for rape. This admission is inconsistent with the defense of alibi and any discussion
thereon will thus be irrelevant.
At any rate, the courts a quo correctly rejected his alibi.

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Alibi is one of the weakest defenses not only because it is inherently frail and unreliable, but also
because it is easy to fabricate and difficult to check or rebut. It cannot prevail over the positive
identification of the accused by eyewitnesses who had no improper motive to testify falsely. 154
For the defense of alibi to prosper, the accused must prove not only that he was at some other place at
the time of the commission of the crime, but also that it was physically impossible for him to be at the
locus delicti or within its immediate vicinity. Physical impossibility refers not only to the geographical
distance between the place where the accused was and the place where the crime was committed
when the crime transpired, but more importantly, the facility of access between the two places. 155
Even granting in arguendo that the accused-appellant had indeed attended a fiesta in Dangcagan,
Bukidnon or was hauling com with Equia on the dates of commission of the crime, the same will not
easily exonerate him. The accused-appellant failed to adduce clear and convincing evidence that it
was physically impossible for him to be at his residence in Cagayan de Oro City at the time of the
commission of the crime. Dangcagan, Bukidnon can be traversed by about four or five hours from
Cagayan de Oro City, and even less by private vehicle which was available to the accused appellant at
any time.156 Thus, it was not physically impossible for him to be at the situs criminis at the dates and
times when the two rape incidents were committed.
Between the accused-appellant's alibi and denial, and the positive identification and credible testimony
of the victim, and her two daughters, the Court must give weight to the latter, especially in the absence
of ill motive on their part to falsely testify against the accused-appellant.
Conclusion
All told, the presumption of innocence endowed an accused-appellant was sufficiently overcome by
KKK's clear, straightforward, credible, and truthful declaration that on two separate occasions, he
succeeded in having sexual intercourse with her, without her consent and against her will. Evidence of
overwhelming force and intimidation to consummate rape is extant from KKK's narration as believably
corroborated by the testimonies of MMM and OOO and the physical evidence of KKK's tom panties
and short pants. Based thereon, the reason and conscience of the Court is morally certain that the
accused-appellant is guilty of raping his wife on the nights of October 16 and 17, 1998.
Penalties
The Court affirms the penalty of reclusion perpetua, for each count of rape, meted upon the accusedappellant for being in accord with Article 266-A in relation to 266-B of the RPC. Further, he shall not be
eligible for parole pursuant to Section 3 of R.A. No. 9346, which states that "persons convicted of
offenses punished with reclusion perpetua, or whose sentences will be reduced to reclusion perpetua,
by reason of this Act, shall not be eligible for parole under Act No. 4180, otherwise known as the
Indeterminate Sentence Law, as amended."157
The Court sustains the moral damages awarded in the amount of P50,000.00. Moral damages are
granted to rape victims without need of proof other than the fact of rape under the assumption that the
victim suffered moral injuries from the experience she underwent. 158
The award of civil indemnity is proper; it is mandatory upon the finding that rape took
place.1wphi1 Considering that the crime committed is simple rape, there being no qualifying
circumstances attendant in its commission, the appropriate amount is P50,000.00159 and
not P75,000.00 as awarded by the RTC.
To serve as an example for public good and in order to deter a similar form of domestic violence, an
award ofP30,000.00 as exemplary damages is imperative. 160

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The damages awarded shall earn legal interest at the rate of six percent (6%) per annum to be
reckoned from the date of finality of this judgment until fully paid. 161
A Final Note
Rape is a crime that evokes global condemnation because it is an abhorrence to a woman's value and
dignity as a human being. It respects no time, place, age, physical condition or social status. It can
happen anywhere and it can happen to anyone. Even, as shown in the present case, to a wife, inside
her time-honored fortress, the family home, committed against her by her husband who vowed to be
her refuge from cruelty. The herein pronouncement is an affirmation to wives that our rape laws provide
the atonement they seek from their sexually coercive husbands.
Husbands are once again reminded that marriage is not a license to forcibly rape their wives. A
husband does not own his wife's body by reason of marriage. By marrying, she does not divest herself
of the human right to an exclusive autonomy over her own body and thus, she can lawfully opt to give
or withhold her consent to marital coitus. A husband aggrieved by his wife's unremitting refusal to
engage in sexual intercourse cannot resort to felonious force or coercion to make her yield. He can
seek succor before the Family Courts that can determine whether her refusal constitutes psychological
incapacity justifying an annulment of the marriage.
Sexual intimacy is an integral part of marriage because it is the spiritual and biological communion that
achieves the marital purpose of procreation. It entails mutual love and self-giving and as such it
contemplates only mutual sexual cooperation and never sexual coercion or imposition.
The Court is aware that despite the noble intentions of the herein pronouncement, menacing
personalities may use this as a tool to harass innocent husbands. In this regard, let it be stressed that
safeguards in the criminal justice system are in place to spot and scrutinize fabricated or false marital
rape complaints and any person who institutes untrue and malicious charges will be made answerable
under the pertinent provisions of the RPC and/or other laws.
WHEREFORE, all the foregoing considered, the Decision dated July 9, 2008 of the Court of Appeals in
CA-G.R. CR-HC No. 00353 is hereby AFFIRMED with MODIFICATIONS. Accused-appellant Edgar
Jumawan is found GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of two (2) counts of RAPE and is sentenced to
suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua for each count, without eligibility for parole. He is further
ordered to pay the victim, KKK, the amounts of PS0,000.00 as civil indemnity, P50,000.00 as moral
damages, and P30,000.00 as exemplary damages, for each count of rape. The award of damages
shall earn legal interest at the rate of six percent (6%) per annum from the finality of this judgment until
fully paid.
SO ORDERED.

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