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358 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED

Peoplevs.Pangilinan
*
G.R.No.171020.March14,2007.

PEOPLEOFTHEPHILIPPINES,plaintiffappellee,vs.ALFREDO
PANGILINANyTRINIDAD,accusedappellant.

JurisdictionsSettledistherulethatjurisdictionoverthepersonofthe
accusedisacquireduponhisarrestorvoluntaryappearance.Appellantis
mistaken. When the hearings for his petition for bail were conducted, the
trial court had already acquired jurisdiction over his person. Settled is the
rule that jurisdiction over the person of the accused is acquired upon his
arrest or voluntary appearance. In the case at bar, the trial court acquired
jurisdiction over the person of the appellant when he was arrested on 19
March 1997. His arrest, not his arraignment, conferred on the trial court
jurisdictionoverhisperson.

Criminal Procedure Arraignment Arraignment is the formal mode


and manner of implementing the constitutional right of an accused to be
informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him.
Arraignment is the formal mode and manner of implementing the
constitutional right of an accused to be informed of the nature and cause of
theaccusationagainsthim.Thepurposeof

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*ENBANC.

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Peoplevs.Pangilinan

arraignmentis,thus,toapprisetheaccusedofthepossiblelossoffreedom,
evenofhislife,dependingonthenatureofthecrimeimputedtohim,orat
the very least to inform him of why the prosecuting arm of the State is
mobilizedagainsthim.

Same Same His counsels active participation in the hearings is a


clear indication that he was fully aware of the charges against him,
otherwise, his counsel would have objected and informed the court of this
blunder.Appellants belated arraignment did not prejudice him. This
proceduraldefectwascuredwhenhiscounselparticipatedinthetrialwithout
raising any objection that his client had yet to be arraigned. In fact, his
counselevencrossexaminedtheprosecutionwitnesses.Hiscounselsactive
participationinthehearingsisaclearindicationthathewasfullyawareof
the charges against him otherwise, his counsel would have objected and
informed the court of this blunder. Moreover, no protest was made when
appellant was subsequently arraigned. The parties did not question the
procedureundertakenbythetrialcourt.Itisonlynow,afterbeingconvicted
and sentenced to two death sentences, that appellant cries that his
constitutional right has been violated. It is already too late to raise this
proceduraldefect.ThisCourtwillnotallowit.

Same Same We held that while the arraignment of appellant was


conductedafterthecaseshadbeensubmittedfordecision,theerrorisnon
prejudicial and has been fully cured.In People v. Cabale and People v.
Atienza where the same issue was raised under similar circumstances, we
held that while the arraignment of appellant was conducted after the cases
had been submitted for decision, the error is nonprejudicial and has been
fullycured.Sinceappellantsrightsandinterestswerenotprejudicedbythis
lapseinprocedure,itonlyfollowsthathisconstitutionalrighttobeinformed
ofthenatureandcauseoftheaccusationagainsthimwasnotviolated.

Criminal Law Rape This Court has held time and again that
testimonies of rape victims who are young and immature deserve full
credence,consideringthatnoyoungwoman,especiallyoftenderage,would
concoct a story of defloration, allow an examination of her private parts,
and thereafter pervert herself by being subject to a public trial, if she was
notmotivatedsolelybythedesiretoobtainjusticeforthewrongcommitted
againsther.This Court has held time and again that testimonies of rape
victimswhoareyoungand

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360 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED

Peoplevs.Pangilinan

immature deserve full credence, considering that no young woman,


especially of tender age, would concoct a story of defloration, allow an
examination of her private parts, and thereafter pervert herself by being
subject to a public trial, if she was not motivated solely by the desire to
obtainjusticeforthewrongcommittedagainsther.Youthandimmaturityare
generallybadgesoftruth.Itishighlyimprobablethatagirloftenderyears,
one not yet exposed to the ways of the world, would impute to any man a
crime so serious as rape if what she claims is not true. A rape victims
testimonyagainstherparentisentitledtogreatweightsinceFilipinochildren
have a natural reverence and respect for their elders. These values are so
deeply ingrained in Filipino families and it is unthinkable for a daughter to
brazenly concoct a story of rape against her, if such were not true. Her
credibility was bolstered beyond reproach by her spontaneous emotional
breakdownduringtrial.

Same Same There is no rule that a woman can only be raped in


seclusion.It has been oft said that lust is no respecter of time or place.
Neitherthecrampnessoftheroom,northepresenceofotherpeopletherein,
nor the high risk of being caught, has been held sufficient and effective
obstacle to deter the commission of rape. There have been too many
instances when rape was committed under circumstances as indiscreet and
audaciousasaroomfulloffamilymemberssleepingsidebyside.Thereis
norulethatawomancanonlyberapedinseclusion.

SameSameThedelayandinitialreluctanceofarapevictimtomake
public the assault on her virtue is neither unknown nor uncommon.The
delayandinitialreluctanceofarapevictimtomakepublictheassaultonher
virtue is neither unknown nor uncommon. Particularly in incestuous rape,
this Court has consistently held that delay in reporting the offense is not
indicativeofafabricatedcharge.Ithasbeenrepeatedlyheldthatthedelayin
reporting a rape incident due to death threats cannot be taken against the
victim.Thefactofdelaydoesnotnecessarilyleadtoanacquittal.Inseveral
caseswehavedecided,thedelaylastedfortwoyearsormorenevertheless,
the victims were found to be credible. The charge of rape is rendered
doubtfulonlyifthedelaywasunreasonableandunexplained.

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Peoplevs.Pangilinan

CriminalLawEvidenceSettledistherulethataffidavits,beingtaken
ex parte, are almost always incomplete and often inaccurate for lack of
searchinginquiriesbytheinvestigatingofficerorduetopartialsuggestion,
and are thus generally considered inferior to the testimony given in open
court.Settled is the rule that affidavits, being taken ex parte, are almost
alwaysincompleteandofteninaccurateforlackofsearchinginquiriesbythe
investigating officer or due to partial suggestions, and are thus generally
consideredtobeinferiortothetestimonygiveninopencourt.Intheinstant
case, the said contradiction between private complainants sworn statement
and her statement in court was fully explained by her. She made it clear in
court that this portion of her sworn statement was wrong and what was
correctwasherdeclarationincourt.Sheexplainedincourtthatsheinformed
the investigator about the mistake in her sworn statement but the latter told
her to just sign it and that he will change this portion. However, the
investigator never corrected the same. Having fully explained the
discrepancy,hercredibilityhasnotbeenimpaired.

SameSameInconsistenciesinthetestimonyofthewitnesswithregard
tominororcollateralmattersdonotdiminishthevalueofhistestimonyin
terms of truthfulness or weight.These inconsistencies refer to minor and
collateralmatters.Inconsistenciesinthetestimonyofthewitnesswithregard
to minor or collateral matters do not diminish the value of his testimony in
terms of truthfulness or weight. The gravamen of the felony is the carnal
knowledge by the appellant of the private complainant under any of the
circumstances provided in Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, as
amended. Where the inconsistency is not an essential element of the crime,
such inconsistency is insignificant and cannot have any bearing on the
essentialfacttestifiedto.Infact,theseinconsistenciesbolsterthecredibility
ofthewitnessstestimonyastheyerasethesuspicionofthewitnesshaving
beencoachedorrehearsed.Itiswhenthetestimonyappearstotallyflawless
that a court might have some misgiving on its veracity. This is especially
trueinrapecaseswherevictimsarenotexpectedtohaveatotalrecallofthe
incident.

SameSameIt is a settled rule that for rape to be consummated, the


hymenoftheprivatecomplainantneednotbeperpetratedorruptureditis
enoughthatthepenisreachesthepudendum,orattheveryleast,thelabia.
Onthethirdinconsistency,appellant

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Peoplevs.Pangilinan

makes a big fuss as to where appellants sperm was ejected. Whether the
sperm was ejected inside or outside the vagina of private complainant is of
no moment. It is clear from the testimony of private complainant that
appellant already consummated the crime of rape when the latter tried to
inserthissexualorganintohervaginaduringthefirsttimethathemolested
herbecausehispenisalreadytouchedherhymen.Itisasettledrulethatfor
rape to be consummated, the hymen of the private complainant need not be
penetratedorruptured.Itisenoughthatthepenisreachesthepudendum,or
at the very least, the labia. The briefest of contacts under circumstances of
force, intimidation or unconsciousness, even without laceration of the
hymen,isdeemedtoberapeinourjurisprudence.Themereintroductionof
thepenisintotheapertureofthefemaleorgan,therebytouchingthelabiaof
thepudendum,alreadyconsummatesthecrimeofrape.

Same Same And when the consistent and forthright testimony of a


rape victim is consistent with medical findings, there is sufficient basis to
warrantaconclusionthattheessentialrequisitesofcarnalknowledgehave
beenestablished.Though there were no longer physical manifestations of
violence outside the sexual organ of private complainant, there was,
however, an indication that the vagina had been injured. The medical
certificate issued by Dr. Layug contains, among other things, a finding that
readsInternal Examination revealed nonparous introitus with old healed
hymenallacerationat4oclockposition.Thefindingthatthevictimhada
healedlacerationat4oclockpositiononherhymensubstantiatesherclaim
thatappellanthadsexualintercoursewithher.Hymenallacerations,whether
healed or fresh, are the best evidence of forcible defloration. And when the
consistent and forthright testimony of a rape victim is consistent with
medical findings, there is sufficient basis to warrant a conclusion that the
essentialrequisitesofcarnalknowledgehavebeenestablished.

SameSameMotiveWhenthereisnoevidencetoshowanyimproper
motiveonthepartoftherapevictimtotestifyfalselyagainsttheaccusedor
tofalselyimplicatehiminthecommissionofacrime,thelogicalconclusion
is that the testimony is worthy of full faith and credence.Appellants
statement that he does not know of any reason why his daughter filed the
rape charges further bolstered the credibility of private complainant. When
thereisnoevidenceto

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Peoplevs.Pangilinan

show any improper motive on the part of the rape victim to testify falsely
againsttheaccusedortofalselyimplicatehiminthecommissionofacrime,
the logical conclusion is that the testimony is worthy of full faith and
credence.

Same Same Rape The gravamen of the offense of rape is sexual


congresswithawomanbyforceandwithoutconsent.Thegravamenofthe
offense of rape is sexual congress with a woman by force and without
consent. If the woman is under 12 years of age, proof of force is not an
element of statutory rape, but the absence of a free consent is presumed.
Conviction will therefore lie, provided sexual intercourse is proven. But if
the woman is 12 years of age or over at the time she was violated, sexual
intercoursemustbeprovenandalsothatitwasdonethroughforce,violence,
intimidationorthreat.

AUTOMATICREVIEWofadecisionoftheCourtofAppeals.

ThefactsarestatedintheopinionoftheCourt.
TheSolicitorGeneralforplaintiffappellee.
PublicAttorneysOfficeforaccusedappellant.

CHICONAZARIO,J.:
1
Forreviewisthedecision oftheCourtofAppealsinCAG.R.CR
H.C. No. 01414 dated 162
November 2005 which affirmed with
modification the decision of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of
Dinalupihan,Bataan,Branch5,inCriminalCasesNos.DH58697
and58797,findingappellantAlfredoTrinidadPangilinanguiltyof
two counts of rape. The Court of Appeals upheld the two death
sentencesimposedonappellantbutmodifiedtheawardofdamages.

_______________

1 Penned by Associate Justice Arturo G. Tayag with Associate Justices Jose L.

Sabio,Jr.andJoseC.Mendoza,concurringRollo,pp.189209.
2Records,Vol.1,pp.117133.

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364 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
Peoplevs.Pangilinan
3
Two informations were filed charging appellant with raping AAA,
hisdaughter.Theinformationsread:

Crim.CaseNo.DH58697

That in or about the month of September 1995 at Brgy. Pita, Dinalupihan,


Bataan,Philippines,andwithinthejurisdictionofthisHonorableCourt,the
said accused, thru force and intimidation, did then and there willfully,
unlawfully and feloniously lie and succeed to have sexual intercourse with
the offended party, AAA, an eleven (11) year old minor girl, who is his
daughter against
4
the will and consent of the latter, to her damage and
prejudice.

Crim.CaseNo.DH58797

That in or about the month of January 1997 at Brgy. Pita, Dinalupihan,


Bataan,Philippines,andwithinthejurisdictionofthisHonorableCourt,the
said accused, thru force and intimidation, did then and there willfully,
unlawfully and feloniously lie and succeed to have sexual intercourse with
the offended party, AAA, an eleven (11) year old minor girl, who is his
daughter against
5
the will and consent of the latter, to her damage and
prejudice.

On5May1997,appellant,whowasarrestedanddetainedwithno
6
bailrecommended,filedapetitionforbail.
Inthehearingsforthepetitionforbail,theprosecutionpresented
theprivatecomplainantvictim,BBB,andDr.MelindaLayug.

_______________

3 Pursuant to Republic Act No. 9262, otherwise known as the AntiViolence


AgainstWomenandTheirChildrenActof2004anditsimplementingrules,thereal
nameofthevictim,togetherwiththatofherimmediatefamilymembers,arewithheld
and fictitious initials instead are used to represent her, both to protect her privacy.
Peoplev.Cabalquinto,G.R.No.167693,19September2006,502SCRA419.
4Records,Vol.1,p.1.

5Records,Vol.2,p.1.

6Records,Vol.1,p.9.

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VOL.518,MARCH14,2007 365
Peoplevs.Pangilinan

From the evidence presented, the prosecutions version of what


transpired,assummarizedbytheOfficeoftheSolicitorGeneral,is
quotedbytheCourtofAppeals:

BBB is the wife of appellant Alfredo Pangilinan. On May 9, 1985, BBB


gave birth to AAA. Their family lived in Barangay Pita, Bayanbayanan,
Bataan.
On September 9, 1995, around 9 oclock in the evening, AAA, her
brotherandtwo(2)sisterswereasleep.Suddenly,shefeltherfather,herein
appellant, approach their bed, remove her shorts and lay on top of her. She
couldnotmove.Appellantproceededtoremovetherestofherclothes.AAA
struggledwithallherstrengtheventhoughherhandswerepinneddownby
appellant above her head. AAA cried and shouted for help, but appellant
quicklycoveredhermouth.Whenappellantattemptedtoinserthispenisinto
her vagina, AAA unceasingly resisted until appellant finally stopped his
attackandlefther.
Around 11 oclock the following night, appellant once again crawled
beside AAA while she was asleep beside her siblings. He removed all her
clothes.WhenAAAwokeup,sheresistedappellantwithallherstrengthand
shoutedforhergrandmothershelp,buthequicklycoveredhermouth,thus
stifling her cries. Appellant, who was naked, mounted AAA and kissed her
ondifferentpartsofherbody.Afterawhile,AAAsenergywaned.AAAfelt
excruciatingpainwhenappellantforciblyinsertedhispenisinhervaginaand
hadsexualintercoursewithher.Thefollowingmorning,AAAwasfeverish.
Shesawbloodoozingoutofhervagina.Scaredandconfused,AAAconfided
to her eight (8) yearold brother CCC that appellant raped her the previous
night.
The following week, appellant repeated his dastardly act. While his
childrenwereplayinginthecreekbehindtheirhouse,appellantpulledAAA,
who was busy washing dishes, inside their house. Appellant brought her
upstairs and pushed her down to the floor. As before, AAA tried to push
appellant away and scream for help but he covered her mouth and easily
overcameherresistance.AppellantremovedAAAsclothes,mountedherand
hadsexualintercoursewithher.Afterafewminutes,appellantstoodup,put
onhisclothesandorderedAAAtotakeabath.
That same evening, appellant raped AAA again. After doing so, he
threatenedtokillherandhersiblingsshouldshereporthimto

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Peoplevs.Pangilinan

theauthorities.DuringthemonthofSeptemberin1995,appellantrepeatedly
rapedAAA.AAAlostcountofthenumberoftimesappellanthadrapedher.
Fearingforhersafetyandthatofhersiblings,AAAkepthersilence.
Forawhile,AAAthoughtthatappellantwouldnolongerabuseher.She
waswrong.Around11oclockintheeveningofJanuary5,1997,AAAfelt
her father grope for her while she was sleeping in their room. Like in the
past, appellant removed her clothes. AAA resisted and struggled to free
herselfinvain.Appellantwastooheavy.Appellantmountedher,insertedhis
penisintohervaginaandhadsexualintercoursewithher.
AAAs fear of her father intensified. His stares stopped her from
confidingherordealtohermother,whohadjustarrivedfromSingapore.
OnMarch16,1997,BBBinformedherchildrenthatshewasleavingfor
Singapore again. DDD, AAAs grandmother, advised BBB not to leave her
children.ShetoldBBBthatappellanthadbeenmolestingAAA.Shockedby
the revelation, BBB confronted AAA. AAA tearfully confessed everything
to her mother. BBB could only embrace her daughter tightly after hearing
thesordiddetails.
Thatsameday,BBBconfrontedappellant.Asexpected,appellantdenied
anywrongdoingandhastilylefttheirhouse.
Aftertheconfrontation,BBBdecidedtoleaveappellant.
On March 17, 1997, BBB brought AAA to the Dinalupihan District
HospitalwhereshewasexaminedbyDra.MelindaLayug.Theexamination
revealed that the victim had a nonparous introitus with an old healed
hymenal
7
laceration at the 4 oclock position. Thus the instant case was
filed.

On 30 October 1997, the prosecution formally offered its evidence


consisting of Exhibits A to E, with submarkings, and the
testimonies of its witnesses, praying that they be admitted and
consideredintheresolutionofthepetitionforbail,andthatthesame
beconsideredaspartofitsevidence

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7Rollo,pp.191193.

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VOL.518,MARCH14,2007 367
Peoplevs.Pangilinan
8
inchief. On15December1997,appellantfiledhiscommentand/or
9
oppositiontotheprosecutionsofferofevidence.
InanOrderdated23April1998,thetrialcourt,findingthatthe
evidence10against the accused is strong, denied appellants petition
for bail. Thereafter, the defense presented its evidence with
appellantasthesolewitness.Appellanttestifiedasfollows:
AppellantnarratedthatheleftforSaudiArabiaon27May1990
andreturnedon22September1992.Uponhisreturn,alotofpeople
informedhimthathiswifewashavinganaffair.Complainanteven
toldhimheisnotthefatherofhisyoungestdaughter.Asaresult,he
lost interest in going back to Saudi Arabia, merely stayed at home
anddidnotlookforwork.HerevealedthatbeforeheleftforSaudi
Arabia,hisdaughterAAAwassweettohim,thatis,shehuggedand
kissed him. When he returned from Saudi Arabia, he said AAA
becamesweeter.
In September 1995, his wife was in Singapore working as an
overseascontractworker.Hekeptintouchwithherthroughphone
andletters.Once,whilehewaswritingalettertohiswife,hesaidhe
becamedrunkandwasnotabletofinishtheletter.Hefeltdizzy,lay
downandslept.Hewasawakenedbytheembracesandkissesofa
personwhoturnedouttobehisdaughter,AAA.Hesaidtherewas
malice in the way his daughter embraced and kissed him. He
wondered why his daughter was kissing him the way she did. He
embracedherbuthedidnotallowanythingtohappen,shebeinghis
daughter.
Appellantfurthertestifiedthatthesameincidenthappenedagain,
but this time, he was not drunk. He said AAA approached him
wantingtohavesexwithhimbypointingherfingeronherpalm.He
advisedherthatsexisonlydoneby

_______________

8Id.,atpp.3949.

9Id.,atpp.5253.

10Id.,atp.82.
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368 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
Peoplevs.Pangilinan

marriedcouples.Heclaimedhedidnothaveanysexualrelationship
with her although she seduced him. He added he did not know of
anyreasonwhysheismadathimandwhyshefiledtherapecases
againsthim.
On9June1999,thetrialcourt,havingdiscoveredthatappellant
hadnotyetbeenarraigned,scheduledhisarraignment.On17June
1999,appellant,withtheassistanceofcounseldeoficio,pleadednot
11
guiltytothechargesagainsthim. Sincetheprosecutionadoptedall
theevidenceitadducedduringthehearingforthepetitionforbailas
partofitsevidenceinchief,whichevidencethetrialcourtadmitted,
thetrialcourtdeemedthecasessubmittedfordecision.
InitsDecisiondated9September1999,thetrialcourtconvicted
appellant of two counts of rape and imposed on him the capital
punishment for each count. The dispositive portion of the decision
reads:

WHEREFORE,thisCourtfindstheaccusedAlfredoPangilinanYTrinidad
GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of RAPE in both cases, Criminal Cases
Nos.DH58697and58797,andherebysentenceshimtosufferthepenalty
ofDEATHforeachcaseandtoindemnifythevictim,AAA,withthesumof
12
FIFTYTHOUSAND(P50,000.00)PESOS.

The trial court was convinced that private complainant was raped
severaltimesbyherfatherduringthemonthofSeptember1995,and
once on 5 January 1997. It accorded credence to the testimony of
privatecomplainantwho,at12yearsoldtestifiedinaspontaneous
and direct manner. It found private complainant to be immature,
innocent, nave, unfamiliar with sex and incapable of inventing or
fabricatingchargesagainstherownfatherwhenthesexualassaults
werecommittedinSeptember1995andJanuary1997whenshewas
only10or11yearsold.

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11Id.,atp.115.

12Id.,atp.133.

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VOL.518,MARCH14,2007 369
Peoplevs.Pangilinan
Thetrialcourtbrushedasideappellantsdefenseofdenial.Itsaidit
is simply unbelievable for a tenyear old girl to be as malicious as
appellant described his daughter. It explained that the minor
inconsistencies in private complainants testimony did not in any
wayaffecthercredibility.
Inconclusion,thetrialcourtsaid:

Inthissociety,atatimewhenincestuousactsarenotuncommon,andwith
thesituationwheretheaccusedandoffendedpartywerein,whenthewifeof
the accused was away working in Singapore, it is easy to believe that his
lonelinessurgedhimtosexuallyabusehisdaughter.Theoffendedpartyhad
no ill motive in filing the case against him. It was even the paternal
grandmother who initially informed her mother that the accused was raping
hisdaughterwhileshewasgone.Forfearthattheaccusedmightdoitagain,
the paternal grandmother was trying to prevail over the mother who was
again planning to leave for abroad. The one responsible for bringing the
mattertotheattentionofthemotherwholaterreportedtothepolicewasno
less tha(n) the mother of the accused. A mother would not allow herself to
beusedtomakehersonsuffer,(e)speciallyifthechargesarefabricated.She
heard the cries/shouts from the offended party while the accused was
sexually assaulting her. What she did was to tell13the truth. Is accused
blamingherownmotherforsimplytellingthetruth?

Inasmuch as the penalty it imposed was the death penalty, the trial
court forwarded the records of the case to the Supreme Court for
automaticreviewpursuanttoSection10,Rule122ofthe2000Rules
14
ofCriminalProcedure.
15
However,pursuanttoourrulinginPeople
v. Mateo, the case was transferred
16
to the Court of Appeals for
appropriateactionanddisposition.
On16November2005,theCourtofAppealsaffirmedthedeath
penaltiesimposedbythetrialcourtbutmodifiedthe

_______________

13Id.

14Id.,atp.134.

15G.R.Nos.14767887,7July2004,433SCRA640.

16Rollo,p.186.

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370 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
Peoplevs.Pangilinan

amounts of damages awarded. The decretal portion of the decision


reads:

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Decision dated September 9,


1999 of the Regional Trial Court, Branch V, Dinalupihan, Bataan in
Criminal Case Nos. 58697 and 1257 (sic), finding appellant Alfredo
Pangilinan guilty beyond reasonable doubt of rape in both cases and
sentencing him to suffer the supreme penalty of death is AFFIRMED with
the modification that he is ordered to pay the victim AAA, P75,000.00 as
civilindemnityandP50,000.00asmoraldamagesineachcase.Appellantis
further ordered to pay an additional
17
amount of P25,000.00 as exemplary
damages,alsoineachcase.

On 27 January 2006, the Court of Appeals elevated18 the records of


thecasetotheSupremeCourtforautomaticreview. Thereafter,in
ourresolutiondated28February2006,thepartieswererequiredto
submit supplemental briefs, if they so desired, within thirty (30)
daysfromnotice.Thepartiesoptednottofilesupplementalbriefon
the ground they had fully argued their positions in their respective
briefs.
Appellantmakesthefollowingassignmentoferrors:

THETRIALCOURTGRAVELYERREDINFINDINGTHEACCUSED
APPELLANTGUILTYOFTWO(2)COUNTSOFRAPEDESPITETHE
FACTTHATHEWASNOTPROPERLYARRAIGNED,ANDWASNOT
INFORMED OF THE NATURE AND CAUSE OF THE ACCUSATION
AGAINST HIM BEFORE THE EVIDENCE FOR THE PROSECUTION
WASPRESENTED.

II

THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN FINDING THE


ACCUSEDAPPELLANT GUILTY BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT
DESPITE THE INSUFFICIENCY OF EVIDENCE FOR THE
PROSECUTION.

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17Id.,atp.22.

18Id.,atp.1.

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VOL.518,MARCH14,2007 371
Peoplevs.Pangilinan

Onthefirstassignederror,appellantassailshisconvictionbecause
hewasnotproperlyarraigned.Sincehewasarraignedonlyafterthe
case was submitted for decision, said irregularity, he argues, is a
procedural error which is prejudicial to the appellant and is
tantamounttodenialofhisconstitutionalrighttobeinformedofthe
accusation against him. He claims that his subsequent arraignment
did not cure the defect in the trial proceedings because at the time
the petition for bail was heard, the trial court had not yet acquired
jurisdictionoverhisperson.
Appellantismistaken.Whenthehearingsforhispetitionforbail
wereconducted,thetrialcourthadalreadyacquiredjurisdictionover
hisperson.Settledistherulethatjurisdictionoverthepersonofthe 19
accusedisacquireduponhisarrestorvoluntaryappearance. Inthe
caseatbar,thetrialcourtacquiredjurisdictionoverthepersonofthe
appellant when he was arrested on 19 March 1997. His arrest, not
his arraignment, conferred on the trial court jurisdiction over his
person. Arraignment is the formal mode and manner of
implementing the constitutional right of an accused to 20
be informed
ofthenatureandcauseoftheaccusationagainsthim. Thepurpose
ofarraignmentis,thus,toapprisetheaccusedofthepossiblelossof
freedom, even of his life, depending on the nature of the crime
imputed to him, or at the very least to inform him 21
of why the
prosecutingarmoftheStateismobilizedagainsthim.
Admittedly,appellantwasarraignedafterthecasewassubmitted
for decision. The question is: Were appellants rights and interests
prejudicedbythefactthathewasarraignedonlyatthisstageofthe
proceedings?

_______________

19Mirandav.Tuliao,G.R.No.158763,March31,2006,486SCRA377,389Alvav.

CourtofAppeals,G.R.No.157331,April12,2006,487SCRA146,169.
20Section14(2),ArticleIII,1987PhilippineConstitution.

21Peoplev.Monteron,428Phil.401,406378SCRA340,345(2002).

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372 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
Peoplevs.Pangilinan

We do not think so. Appellants belated arraignment did not


prejudice him. This procedural defect was cured when his counsel
participatedinthetrialwithoutraisinganyobjectionthathisclient
hadyettobearraigned.Infact,hiscounselevencrossexaminedthe
prosecution witnesses. His counsels active participation in the
hearingsisaclearindicationthathewasfullyawareofthecharges
against him otherwise, his counsel would have objected and
informedthecourtof this blunder. Moreover, no protest was made
when appellant was subsequently arraigned. The parties did not
questiontheprocedureundertakenbythetrialcourt.Itisonlynow,
after being convicted and sentenced to two death sentences, that
appellant cries that his constitutional right has been violated. It is
already too late to raise this procedural defect. This Court will not
allowit.
22 23
In People v. Cabale and People v. Atienza where the same
22 23
In People v. Cabale and People v. Atienza where the same
issuewasraisedundersimilarcircumstances,weheldthatwhilethe
arraignment of appellant was conducted after the cases had been
submitted for decision, the error is nonprejudicial and has been
fully cured. Since appellants rights and interests were not
prejudiced by this lapse in procedure, it only follows that his
constitutional right to be informed of the nature and cause of the
accusationagainsthimwasnotviolated.
Withtheproceduralissueresolved,wenowgotothesubstantial
issuesraisedbyappellant.
Appellanttriestodiscreditprivatecomplainantbycitingseveral
circumstancesthattendtocreatedoubtastohisguilt,towit:(1)the
alleged molestations could not have been perpetrated within the
confinesofthesmallroomintheupstairsportionoftheirhousein
thepresenceandwithinthehearingdistanceofthevictimsbrother
and two sisters in September 1995, and of her mother in January
1997(2)thefailureof

_______________

22G.R.Nos.7324950,8May1990,185SCRA140,145146.

2386Phil.576,579580(1950).

373

VOL.518,MARCH14,2007 373
Peoplevs.Pangilinan

privatecomplainanttoimmediatelyreportthesexualattackstoher
maternal relatives and to her mother upon her arrival from abroad,
andthedelayofmorethanone(1)yearfromtheallegedoffensein
September 1995 and more than two (2) months from the alleged
felonyinJanuary1997beforetheywerereportedtothepoliceorto
any barangay official, before private complainant reported the
incidents, render doubtful her charges of rape (3) private
complainants declaration in her sworn statement contradicted her
testimony in court as to how she reported the incidents (4) the
alleged material inconsistencies in the testimony of private
complainantand(5)theresultofthemedicalexaminationthatthere
wasnosignofviolenceonthepersonofprivatecomplainantisan
indicationthatshewasnotavictimofrape.
Todeterminetheinnocenceorguiltoftheaccusedinrapecases,
the courts are guided by three wellentrenched principles: (1) an
accusation of rape can be made with facility and while the
accusation is difficult to prove, it is even more difficult for the
accused, though innocent, to disprove (2) considering that in the
natureofthings,onlytwopersonsareusuallyinvolvedinthecrime
ofrape,thetestimonyofthecomplainantshouldbescrutinizedwith
greatcautionand(3)theevidencefortheprosecutionmuststandor
fallonitsownmeritsandcannotbeallowedtodrawstrengthfrom
24
theweaknessoftheevidenceforthedefense.
After examining the testimony of the private complainant, we
find no compelling reason to deviate from the findings of the trial
court as affirmed by the Court of Appeals. When it comes to
credibility,thetrialcourtsassessmentdeservesgreatweight,andis
even conclusive and binding, if not tainted with arbitrariness or
oversightofsomefactorcircumstanceofweightandinfluence.The
reasonisobvious.Havingthefullopportunitytoobservedirectlythe
witnessesdeport

_______________

24Peoplev.Bascugin,G.R.No.144195,25May2004,429SCRA140,146.

374

374 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
Peoplevs.Pangilinan

mentandmanneroftestifying,thetrialcourtisinabetterposition25
thantheappellatecourttoevaluateproperlytestimonialevidence.
Inthecaseatbar,therebeingoverwhelmingevidenceshowingthat
in September 1995 and in January 2000 appellant had carnal
knowledge of private complainant by means of force and
intimidation, we have no reason not to apply the rule and to apply
theexception.
In a clear and straightforward manner, private complainant
recountedherordealasfollows:

Prosec.Tanciongco:
Now,inthismonthofSeptember1995,whileyouwerethereatyour
housetogetherwithyourbrotherandsisters,andwithyourfather,do
yourecallofanyunusualincidentthathappenedtoyou?
Witness:
Yes,sir.
Prosec.Tanciongco:
Whatwasthatunusualincidentthatyourememberthathappenedtoyou?
a. Iwasmolestedbymyfather,sir.
Atty.Danan:
Ginamit?
Court:
Whatdoyoumeanbeginamit.
a. Iwasraped,sir.
Atty.Danan:
Ginamit,ginahasa,rape.
Prosec.Tanciongco:
Iwasrapedbymyfather.
q. Whenyousaidyouwererapedbyyourfather,youarereferringtothe
accusedinthiscase,AlfredoPangilinan?
Witness:
Yes,sir.

_______________

25Peoplev.Escultor,G.R.Nos.14936667,27May2004,429SCRA651,661.

375

VOL.518,MARCH14,2007 375
Peoplevs.Pangilinan

Prosec.Tanciongco:
Howwereyourapedbyyourfather?
a. Itwasnighttime,sir,mybrotherandsisters,sir,includingme,sir,
werealreadysleeping,Ijustfeltthatmyfatherwasremovingmy
short.
q. Wherewereyouthenatthetimewhenyoufeltthatyourfatherwas
removingyourshort?
a. Iwasinmybed,sir.
q. Yousaidawhileagothatnighttime,whattimemoreorlessofthe
night?
a. Betweenthehoursof9and10oclockintheevening,sir.
Prosec.Tanciongco:
Wewouldliketomakeonrecordthatthewitnessiscryingatthetime
sheistestifying.
Court:
Takenoteofthat.TheCourthasobservedthatthewitnessiscrying.
Prosec.Tanciongco:
Andwherewereyourbrotherandsistersatthattimethatyourfather
wasmolestingyou?
a. Theywerealreadysleeping,sir.
q. Werewereyourbrotherandsisterssleepingatthattime?
a. Upstairs,sir.
q. Wherewereyousleeping?
a. Upstairsalso,sir.
Prosec.Tanciongco:
Howaboutyourfather,wherewashesleeping?
a. Alsoupstairs,sir.
q. Inrelationtoyourfather,wherewereyousleeping?Inwhatpartofthe
housewereyousleeping?
Court:
Samasamabakayo?
a. Wewereinthesameroom,sir.
Prosec.Tanciongco:
Now,accordingtoyouyourfatherwasremovingyourshorts,washe
abletoremoveyourshorts?

376

376 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
Peoplevs.Pangilinan

a. Yes,sir.
q. Whatelsedidyourfatherdoasidefromremovingyourshortsifhedid
anything?
Witness:
Heraisedmyclothes,sir.
Prosec.Tanciongco:
Howaboutyou,whatwereyoudoingatthattimethatheraisedyour
clothesandremovingyourshorts,whatwereyoudoingthen?
a. Iwaspreventinghimfromdoingso,buthewassostrongIcannot
controlhim.
q. Aftertheaccused,yourfatherraisedyourshirt,whathappenednext?
a. Iwasfightingbacksir,butbothofmyhandswerepinnedbyhim.
q. Youmeanbothofyourhandswerepinnedbyyourfather?
a. Yes,sir.
q. Andthenwhathappenedtoyou?
Witness:
Sumigawpoako.Inang,inangtulunganponinyoakoinaasawapoako
ngpapako.(Iwasshouting.Inang,inangtulunganponinyoako,
inaasawapoakongPapako.)
xxxx
Witness:
Hindiparinniyapoakotinitigilan,taposposumisikadnapoako,hindi
parinposiyaumaalis.Tapospohinahalikanniyaangsusoko.
Court:
Youtranslateitfirst.
CourtInterpreter:
Hestillcontinuedwithwhathewasdoing,Iamkickinghim,butheis
(sic)continuetokissmybreast,sir.
Prosec.Tanciongco:
Whatelsedidtheaccuseddoifany,asidefromkissingyourbreast?

377

VOL.518,MARCH14,2007 377
Peoplevs.Pangilinan

a. Hefollowedmyvagina,sir.
Court:
Whatdoyoumeanbythat?
Prosec.Tanciongco:
Whatdoyoumeanbythatwhenyousaid,hefollowedyourvagina?
Witness:
Heplacedhimselfontopofme,sir.
q. Whathappenedwhenhewasontopofyou?
a. Tapospokumikinyudposiyasaakin.(Hewaspumping,sir.)
q. Howlongwashepumpingifyouknow?
a. Lessthanfive(5)minutes,sir.
q. Now,afterhewaspumping,whathappenednext?
a. Hindiniyamakuhaanggustoniya.Umalisnaposiya.(Hewasnotable
tosucceedofwhathewantedtodo,soheleft)
Court:
Whatdoyoumean?
Prosec.Tanciongco?
Why?
Witness:
BecauseIwasfightingback,sir.
q. Washeabletoinserthispenisintoyourvagina?
a. Hewasforcingtoinsertit,sir.
q. Buthewasnotabletocompletelyinserthispenis?
xxxx
Court:
Yes,thatisthequestion.Andtheansweris,Yes,sir.
Prosec.Tanciongco:
Now,afterthat,whathappened?
a. Thefollowingevening,sir,thesamethingwasalsorepeatedbymy
father.Herepeatedwhathehaddonetome.
q. Whenyousaidthesamethingwasrepeatedwhatdoyoumean?

378

378 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
Peoplevs.Pangilinan

Witness:
Herepeatedwhathehaddoneonthefirstnight.
Prosec.Tanciongco:
CanyoutellthisHonorableCourt,whatwasthatsamethingthatwas
donetoyouagainbyyourfather?
a. Heremovedmypantsandpantyandraisedmyclothes,sir.
q. Whatwereyoudoingthenatthetimeyourfatherwasdoingthat?
a. Iwasshoutingandstruggling,sir,becausemyfatherwasveryheavy.
q. Whattimemoreorlessofthenightwasthatdonebyyourfather?
a. Betweenten(10)toeleven(11),sir.
q. Wherewereyourbrotherandsistersatthattimewhileyourfatherwas
doingthattoyou?
a. Thereweresleepingduringthattime,sir.
Prosec.Tanciongco:
Andyourfatherwastheonlypersonawakeatthattime?
a. Yes,sir.
q. Now,afterthatheraisedyourskirtandremovedyourshortsandpanty,
whathappenednext?
a. Iwasshoutingsir,buthewascoveringmymouth,sir.
q. Coveringyourmouth?
a. Yes,sir.
q. Afterthatwhathappenednext?
a. Hewaskissingmybreast,sir,thenheplacedhimselfontopofme,sir.
Prosec.Tanciongco:
Howaboutyou,whenheplacedhimselfontopofyou,whatwereyou
doing?
a. Iwaskickingmyfeet,sir.
q. Afterhewasontopofyou,canyoutelluswhatwashedoingwhenhe
wasontopofyou?
a. Hewaspumping,sir.
q. Whilehewaspumping,whathappened?

379

VOL.518,MARCH14,2007 379
Peoplevs.Pangilinan

a. Hewasabletotakemyvirginity,sir.
Court:
Whatdoyoumeanby,hewasabletotakeyourvirginity?
a. Hewasabletocompletelypenetratehispenisinsidemyvagina,sir.
Prosec.Tanciongco:
Howaboutyouwhenyoufeelthathewasabletocompletelypenetrate
hispenisinsideyourvagina,whatisyourreaction?Howdoyoufeel?
Witness:
Itspainful,sir.
Prosec.Tanciongco:
Whatdidyoudo?
26
a. Afterhispenetrationathickfluidcameoutfromhispenis.
question:
Now,whileyouwerethereatyourhouseinthemonthofJanuary1997,
bythewayinthefirstweekofJanuarytobespecific,YourHonor,do
yourecallofanyincidentthathappenedtoyou?
Witness:
Yes,sir.
question:
WillyoupleasetellthatbeforethisHonorableCourt?
answer:
Iwasrapedbymyfather,sir.
Prosec.Tanciongco:
YouarereferringtotheaccusedAlfredoPangilinan,inthiscase?
Witness:
Yes,sir.
question:
Wherewereyourapedbyyourfather?
answer:
Inourhouse,sir.

_______________

26TSN,15May1997,pp.1129.

380

380 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
Peoplevs.Pangilinan

question:
Inwhatportionofyourhousewereyourapedbyyourfather?
answer:
Upstairs,sir.
question:
Whattimemoreorlesswereyourapedbyyourfather?
answer:
Betweenthehoursoften(10)toeleven(11)oclockintheevening,
sir.
Prosec.Tanciongco:
Intheeveningorinthemorning?
answer:
Intheevening,sir.
question:
CanyoutellthisHonorableCourt,howwereyou[raped]byyour
father?
answer:
IwassleepingthenandsuddenlyIfeltmyfatherwasremovingmy
clothesincludingmyshortandpantyandhewasraisingmyshirt,sir.
Andthen,Ifelthewasontopofme.
question:
Bytheway,whatwasyourfatherwearingatthattime?
answer:
Hewaswearingshorts,sir.
Prosec.Tanciongco:
Atthattimethathewasontopofyou,washewearinganything?
answer:
Nomore,sir.
question:
Now,atthetimehewasremovingyourpanty,raisedyourshirt,what
didyoudo?
answer:
Iwasfightingback,sir.Iwaskickingandpushinghim,buthewasso
heavysoIcantpushhim,sir.

381

VOL.518,MARCH14,2007 381
Peoplevs.Pangilinan

question:
Whenyoustatedthathewasontopofyou,whathappenedwhenhe
wasontopofyou?
Witness:
Hewaspumping,sir.
Prosec.Tanciongco:
Whilehewaspumping,whatwereyoudoingatthattime?
answer:

Iwaspushinghimsir,buthewassoheavy,Iwasnotabletopush
him.
Prosec.Tanciongco:
Iwouldliketomakeofrecordthatthewitnessiscryingwhile
testifying.
Court:
Makethatonrecord.
Prosec.Tanciongco:
Now,whilehewaspumpingandyouweretryingtopushhimand
failedtodoso,whathappenednext?
Witness:
27
Somethingstickycameoutfromhim,sir.Andthen,hestopped.

ThisCourthasheldtimeandagainthattestimoniesofrapevictims
whoareyoungandimmaturedeservefullcredence,consideringthat
noyoungwoman,especiallyoftenderage,wouldconcoctastoryof
defloration,allowanexaminationofherprivateparts,andthereafter
pervert herself by being subject to a public trial, if she was not
motivated solely by the
28
desire to obtain justice for the wrong
committedagainsther.
29
Youthandimmaturityaregenerallybadges
oftruth. Itishighlyimprobablethatagirloftenderyears,one

_______________

27TSN,4June1997,pp.1116.

28Peoplev.Villafuerte,G.R.No.146854,28April2004,428SCRA427,433.

29Peoplev.Espinosa,G.R.No.138742,15June2004,432SCRA86,99.

382

382 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
Peoplevs.Pangilinan

notyetexposedtothewaysoftheworld,wouldimputetoanyman 30
a crime so serious as rape if what she claims is not true. A rape
victimstestimonyagainstherparentisentitledtogreatweightsince
Filipino children have a natural reverence and respect for their
elders.ThesevaluesaresodeeplyingrainedinFilipinofamiliesand
itisunthinkableforadaughtertobrazenlyconcoctastoryofrape
31
against her, if such were not true. Her credibility was bolstered
beyond32
reproach by her spontaneous emotional breakdown during
trial.
In this case, considering that the victim was of tender age, has
undergone a harrowing experience, and has exposed herself to the
rigorsofpublictrial,wefinditveryunlikelythatshewouldimpute
sograveacrimetoherfather.
Appellants contention that it is impossible for him to have
consummated the rapes in the upstairs room without her brother
andtwosistersbecomingawarethereofisuntenable.
It has been oft said that lust is no respecter of time or place.
Neitherthecrampnessoftheroom,northepresenceofotherpeople
therein, nor the high risk of being caught, has been held
33
sufficient
andeffectiveobstacletodeterthecommissionofrape. Therehave
been too many instances when rape was committed under
circumstances as indiscreet and34 audacious as a room full of family
memberssleepingsidebyside. Thereisnorulethatawomancan
onlyberapedin

_______________

30Peoplev.Andales,G.R.Nos.15262425,5February2004,422SCRA253,265.

31Peoplev.Mangitngit,G.R.No.171270,20September2006,502SCRA560.

32TSN,15May1997,p.144June1997,p.15Peoplev.Marcellana,426Phil.739,

749376SCRA349,357(2002).
33Peoplev.Layugan,G.R.Nos.13049398,28April2004,428SCRA98,114.

34Peoplev.Manahan,455Phil.658,672673408SCRA255,265(2003).

383

VOL.518,MARCH14,2007 383
Peoplevs.Pangilinan
35
seclusion. As testified to by the private complainant, her brother
andtwosistersweresleepingsoundlyandwerenotawakenedbythe
36
commotion Shefurthersaidthatwhentherapewasperpetratedon
5 January 1997, her mother was in the sala downstairs sleeping
while
37
her father proceeded upstairs to commit the dastardly act on
her. Withherbrotherandsisterssleepingsoundly,andhermother
sleepingdownstairs(duringtherapecommittedon5January1997),
appellant had all the opportunity to carry out, which he did, his
dissoluteplan.
Appellants argument that the delay of more than one (1) year
fromSeptember1995 and more than two (2) months from January
1997 before reporting the sexual attacks to her maternal relatives,
mother or to the authorities is a clear indication that the claimed
sexualassaultsneverhappeneddoesnotpersuade.
Thedelayandinitialreluctanceofarapevictimtomakepublic
the assault on her virtue is neither unknown nor uncommon.
Particularlyinincestuousrape,thisCourthasconsistentlyheldthat
delay in
38
reporting the offense is not indicative of a fabricated
charge. Ithasbeenrepeatedlyheldthatthedelayinreportingarape 39
incident due to death threats cannot be taken against the victim.
Thefactofdelaydoesnotnecessarilyleadtoanacquittal.Inseveral

40
cases we have decided, the delay lasted for two years or more
40
cases we have decided, the delay lasted for two years or more
nevertheless,

_______________

35Peoplev.Tonyacao,G.R.Nos.13453132,7July2004,433SCRA513,530.

36TSN,24September1997,pp.811,1815May1997,p.30.

37TSN,24September1997,p.33.

38Peoplev.Silvano,368Phil.676,705309SCRA362,392(1999).

39Peoplev.Lucas,G.R.No.80102,22January1990,181SCRA316,325.

40Peoplev.Dimaano,G.R.No.168168,14September2005,469SCRA647, 663

Peoplev.Salvador,444Phil.325,332396SCRA298,304(2003).

384

384 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
Peoplevs.Pangilinan

thevictimswerefoundtobecredible.Thechargeofrapeisrendered
doubtfulonlyifthedelaywasunreasonableandunexplained.
Private complainant was only 10 years old when she was
sexuallymolestedbyherfatherinSeptember1995and11yearsold
whenherfathersatisfiedhisbestialdesireinJanuary1997.Private
complainant explained to the satisfaction of the Court why she did
notimmediatelyreportthemattertoanybody.Shedisclosedthatshe
isafraidofherfatherandthatthelatterthreatenedtokillherandher
siblings if she would report the matter. Though she told her eight
yearoldbrotherofherordeal,herbrotherlikewisedidnotreportto
41
theauthoritiesbecausehewasalsoafraidofhisfather. Sheadded
that she really wanted to tell her mother after she arrived from
abroad but every time she went near her mother, her father kept
staring at her. Exercising moral ascendancy and influence over his
children,appellantclearlyinstilledfearinthem,causingthemnotto
go totheauthorities. Her unwillingness to report which caused the
delaydoesnotdiminishhercredibilityorweakenthechargeofrape.
Appellant further attacks private complainants credibility
becausethelattersdeclarationinherswornstatementastohowshe
reported the incidents
42
contradicted her testimony in court. In her
sworn statement, it was stated that she reported the rapes to her
motherinJanuary1997,butinhertestimonyincourt,shesaidthat
shereportedthematteron16March1997.
Settledistherulethataffidavits,beingtakenexparte,arealmost
always incomplete and often inaccurate for lack of searching
inquiries by the investigating officer or due to partial suggestions,
andarethusgenerallyconsideredtobeinfe

_______________
41TSN,15May1997,p.42.

42ExhibitCRecords,p.46.

385

VOL.518,MARCH14,2007 385
Peoplevs.Pangilinan
43
rior to the testimony given in open court. In the instant case, the
said contradiction between private complainants sworn statement
andherstatementincourtwasfullyexplainedbyher.Shemadeit
clearincourtthatthisportionofherswornstatementwaswrongand
whatwascorrectwasherdeclarationincourt.Sheexplainedincourt
that she informed the investigator about the mistake in her sworn
statementbutthelattertoldhertojustsignitandthathewillchange 44
this portion. However, the investigator never corrected the same.
Havingfullyexplainedthediscrepancy,hercredibilityhasnotbeen
impaired.
Appellant ascribes to private complainant several alleged
material inconsistencies that affect the veracity of private
complainants testimony. These are: (1) whether the rapes were
committed inside or outside the room in the upstairs portion of
their house (2) whether private complainant was able to shout or
utter the words Inang, inang tulungan po ninyo ako inaasawa po
ako ng papa ko (3) whether the sticky fluid coming out of her
fathers penis was ejected inside or outside her vagina and (4)
whetheritwasprivatecomplainantorhergrandmotherwhotoldDr.
MelindaLayugthatshewasabused.
These inconsistencies refer to minor and collateral matters.
Inconsistenciesinthetestimonyofthewitnesswithregardtominor
or collateral matters do not diminish the value of his testimony in
terms of truthfulness or weight. The gravamen of the felony is the
carnalknowledgebytheappellantoftheprivatecomplainantunder
any of the circumstances provided in Article 335 of the Revised
PenalCode,asamended.Wheretheinconsistencyisnotanessential
elementofthecrime,suchinconsistencyisinsignificantandcannot
haveanybear

_______________

43Peoplev.Sara,463Phil.94,109110417SCRA431,443(2003).

44TSN,4June1997,pp.4548.

386

386 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
Peoplevs.Pangilinan
45
ing on the essential fact testified to. In fact, these inconsistencies
45
ing on the essential fact testified to. In fact, these inconsistencies
bolster the credibility of the witnesss testimony as they erase 46
the
suspicion of the witness having been coached or rehearsed. It is
whenthetestimonyappearstotallyflawlessthatacourtmighthave
somemisgivingonitsveracity.Thisisespeciallytrueinrapecases47
wherevictimsarenotexpectedtohaveatotalrecalloftheincident.
Appellant tries to utilize the first and second inconsistencies in
ordertoshowthattherapescouldnothavehappenedinaroomin
the presence and within hearing distance of other people. As
discussedabove,arapecanbecommittedinsideahousewherethere
are other occupants, and even in the same room where there are
other members of the family who are sleeping. More importantly,
whatisclearfromtheevidenceadducedisthefactthat,regardless
of whether private complainant was able to shout or not, appellant
wasshowntohavecarnalknowledgeofprivatecomplainantinthe
roomlocatedintheupstairsportionoftheirhouse.
Onthethirdinconsistency,appellantmakesabigfussastowhere
appellantsspermwasejected.Whetherthespermwasejectedinside
oroutsidethevaginaofprivatecomplainantisofnomoment.Itis
clear from the testimony of private complainant that appellant
alreadyconsummatedthecrimeofrapewhenthelattertriedtoinsert
his sexual organ into her vagina during the first time 48that he
molestedherbecausehispenisalreadytouchedherhymen. Itisa
settled rule that for rape to be consummated, the hymen of the
privatecomplainantneednotbepenetratedorruptured.Itisenough
thatthepenisreachesthepudendum,orattheveryleast,the

_______________

45Peoplev.Sabardan,G.R.No.132135,21May2004,429SCRA9,19.

46Peoplev.Murillo,G.R.Nos.12885156,19February2001,352SCRA105,118.

47Peoplev.Albior,G.R.No.115079,19February2001,352SCRA35,46.

48TSN,15May1997,pp.1925.

387

VOL.518,MARCH14,2007 387
Peoplevs.Pangilinan

labia. The briefest of contacts under circumstances of force,


intimidation or unconsciousness, even without laceration of the
hymen, is deemed to be rape in our jurisprudence. The mere
introduction of the penis into the aperture of the female organ,
thereby touching49the labia of the pudendum, already consummates
thecrimeofrape.
As to the last inconsistency regarding the person who informed
Dr. Melinda Layug that private complainant had been abused, we
findthistobeverytrivialastoaffecthercredibility.
Tosupporthisclaimthatprivatecomplainantwasnotavictimof
rape,appellantusestheanswerelicitedfromDr.Layugthatshehad
notobservedanyphysicalviolenceorforceperpetratedonthebody
of private complainant, specifically on the area surrounding the
privateorgan.
Thisisnotsufficienttoexoneratehim.Thetrialcourtaddressed
thisissueinthiswise:

As to the absence of violence, accused pointed out that the physical


examination revealed that there were no signs of violence. This is
understandable since the offense took place in September 1995 and January
5,1997whilethephysicalexaminationwasconductedonMarch17,1997or
almost two (2) years and two (2) months, respectively. Whatever signs of
physical violence or wounds/ injuries there may be50at the time of the
commissionoftheoffensethesamehadhealedintime.

Though there were no longer physical manifestations of violence


outsidethesexualorganofprivatecomplainant,therewas,however,
51
an indication that
52
the vagina had been injured. The medical
certificate issued by Dr. Layug contains, among other things, a
findingthatreadsInternalEx

_______________

49Peoplev.Arango,G.R.No.168442,30August2006,500SCRA259.

50Records,Vol.1.pp.130131.

51TSN,22October1997,pp.1314.

52Records,Vol.1,p.45.

388

388 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
Peoplevs.Pangilinan

amination revealed nonparous introitus with old healed hymenal


lacerationat4oclockposition.Thefindingthatthevictimhada
healed laceration at 4 oclock position on her hymen substantiates
her claim that appellant had sexual intercourse with her. Hymenal
lacerations,whetherhealedorfresh,arethebestevidenceofforcible
53
defloration. Andwhentheconsistentandforthrighttestimonyofa
rape victim is consistent with medical findings, there is sufficient
basis to warrant a conclusion that
54
the essential requisites of carnal
knowledgehavebeenestablished.
Against a deluge of damning evidence from the prosecution,
appellant merely raises the defense of denial. He denies sexually
molesting her daughter. He even claimed that private complainant
seducedhimandwantedtohavesexwithhim,butherefused.
His defense, unsubstantiated and uncorroborated, must certainly
fail. Mere denial, if unsubstantiated by clear and convincing
evidence, has no weight in law and cannot be given greater55
evidentiary value than the positive testimony of a rape victim.
Denial is56 intrinsically weak, being a negative and selfserving
assertion. Thetrialcourthadthistosay:

Itisunbelievableforaten(10)yearoldgirltobeasmaliciousasaccused
described the offended party. At age ten (10), girls still play games that
children normally play, but definitely not sex. If indeed accused had good
relationship with the offended party, he would not destroy the reputation or
character of his daughter just to save himself from punishment of his
immoralandbestialact.Followinghislineofdefense,offendedpartywould
notfilechargesagainsttheaccusedhadthelattertreatedherwell,respected
heras

_______________

53Peoplev.Limio,G.R.Nos.14880406,27May2004,429SCRA597,610.

54Id.,atp.611.

55Peoplev.Esperas,G.R.No.128109,19November2003,416SCRA216,225226.

56Peoplev.Agsaoay,Jr.,G.R.Nos.13212526,3June2004,430SCRA450.

389

VOL.518,MARCH14,2007 389
Peoplevs.Pangilinan

a child and cared for her like a precious jewel. Had the offended party
enjoyedthistreatmentanddidnotsufferinhishands,theformerwouldnot 57
haveanyreasonnorhaveahearttofilechargesagainstthe(latter).xxx.

Moreover,appellantsstatementthathedoesnotknowofanyreason
58
why his daughter filed the rape charges further bolstered the
credibility of private complainant. When there is no evidence to
showanyimpropermotiveonthepartoftherapevictimtotestify
falsely against the accused or to falsely implicate him in the
commissionofacrime,thelogicalconclusionisthatthetestimony
59
isworthyoffullfaithandcredence.
Since the felonies were committed in September 199560
and in
January1997,theprovisionsofRepublicActNo.7659, whichwas
the law in effect on the day when the rapes were committed, shall
apply.
The gravamen of the offense of rape is sexual congress with a
woman by force and without consent. If the woman is under 12
yearsofage,proofofforceisnotanelementofstatutoryrape,but
theabsenceofafreeconsentispresumed.Convictionwilltherefore
lie, provided sexual intercourse is proven. But if the woman is 12
yearsofageoroveratthetimeshe

_______________

57Records,Vol.1,p.130.

58TSN,11November1998,pp.2223.

59Peoplev.Malabago,G.R.No.108613,18April1997,271SCRA464Peoplev.

Gagto,G.R.No.113345,9February1996,253SCRA455.
60 AN ACT TO IMPOSE THE DEATH PENALTY ON CERTAIN HEINOUS
CRIMESAMENDINGFORTHATPURPOSETHEREVISEDPENALCODE,AS
AMENDED, OTHER SPECIAL PENAL LAWS, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.
R.A.7659tookeffecton31December1993.RepublicActNo.8353,otherwiseknown
as The AntiRape Law of 1997, took effect on 22 October 1997. Even if we are to
applytheprovisionofR.A.8353,theproperpenaltytobeimposedisstilldeath.

390

390 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
Peoplevs.Pangilinan

wasviolated,sexualintercoursemustbeprovenandalsothatitwas
61
donethroughforce,violence,intimidationorthreat. 62
AsprovidedforintheRevisedPenalCode, sexual intercourse
withagirlbelow12yearsoldisstatutoryrape.Thetwoelementsof
statutory rape are: (1) that the accused had carnal knowledge of a
woman and (2) that the woman is below 12 years of 63
age. Sexual
congresswithagirlunder12yearsoldisalwaysrape.
In the present case, appellant was charged with two counts of
statutoryrape.Thefirstelementwasprovedbythetestimonyofthe
victim herself, while the second element was established by
appellantsadmissionandthepresentationofprivatecomplainants
64
Certificate of Live Birth showing that she was born on 9 May
1985. When the crimes were committed in September 1995 and in
January1997,privatecomplainantwasnotyet12yearsold.
For one to be convicted of qualified rape, at65
least one of the
attendantcircumstancesmentionedinArticle335 mustbe

_______________

61Peoplev.Dimaano,G.R.No.168168,14September2005,469SCRA647,665.

62Art.335.RapeWhenandHowCommitted.Rapeiscommitted:

xxxx
3.Whenthewomanisundertwelveyearsofageorisdemented.
63Peoplev.Jusayan,G.R.No.149785,28April2004,428SCRA228,234235.

64Records,Vol.1,p.44.

65Art.335.WhenandHowCommitted.Rapeiscommitted:

xxxx
Thedeathpenaltyshallalsobeimposedifthecrimeofrapeiscommittedwithany
ofthefollowingattendantcircumstances:
1)Whenthevictimisundereighteen(18)yearsofageandtheoffenderisaparent,
ascendant,stepparent,guardian,relativebyconsanguinityoraffinitywithinthethird
civildegree,orthecommonlawspouseoftheparentofthevictim.

391

VOL.518,MARCH14,2007 391
Peoplevs.Pangilinan
66
allegedintheinformationanddulyprovedduringthetrial. Inthe
instant case, since the attendant circumstances of the victims
minority and her relationship with the offender have been properly
alleged in the informations and established during trial, the trial
courtsimpositionofthepenaltyofdeathonappellantisjustified.
67
With the effectivity, however, of Republic Act No. 9346
entitled,AnActProhibitingtheImpositionofDeathPenaltyinthe
Philippines, the imposition of the supreme penalty of death has
been prohibited. Pursuant to Section 2 thereof, the penalty to be
metedonappellantshallbereclusionperpetua.Saidsectionreads:

SECTION2.Inlieuofthedeathpenalty,thefollowingshallbeimposed:

(a) thepenaltyofreclusionperpetua,whenthelawviolatedmakesuse
ofthenomenclatureofthepenaltiesoftheRevisedPenalCodeor
(b) the penalty of life imprisonment, when the law violated does not
makeuseofthenomenclatureofthepenaltiesoftheRevisedPenal
Code.

Notwithstandingthereductionofthepenaltyimposedonappellant,
he is not eligible for parole following Section 3 of said law which
provides:

SECTION 3. 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. 4103,
otherwiseknownastheIndeterminateSentenceLaw,asamended.

_______________

xxxx
66Peoplev.Caliso,439Phil.492,507508390SCRA624,635(2002).

67 Republic Act No. 9346 took effect immediately after its publication in two

newspapersofgeneralcirculation,namelyMalayaandManilaTimeson29June2006
inaccordancewithSection5thereof.

392
392 SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
Peoplevs.Pangilinan

Asregardstheawardofdamages,thesamemustbemodified.The
P50,000.00 awarded by the trial court as civil indemnity was
correctlyincreasedbytheCourtofAppealstoP75,000.00whichis
theamountawardedifthecrimeisqualifiedbycircumstanceswhich
68
warrant the imposition of the death penalty. With respect to the
award of moral damages, the P50,000.00 awarded by the Court of
AppealsshouldbeincreasedtoP75,000.00withoutneedofpleading
69
or proof of basis thereof. In addition, the amount of P25,000.00
awardedbytheCourtofAppealsasexemplarydamageswasproper
duetothepresenceofthequalifyingcircumstancesofminorityand
70
relationship.
WHEREFORE,alltheforegoingconsidered,thedecisionofthe
Court of Appeals dated 16 November 2005 finding appellant
Alfredo Pangilinan y Trinidad guilty beyond reasonable doubt of
two counts of qualified rape is AFFIRMED with the
MODIFICATIONthateachpenaltyofdeathimposedonappellantis
reducedtoreclusionperpetuawithouteligibilityforparolepursuant
to Republic Act No. 9346. He is also ordered to pay private
complainantAAA,foreachcountofrape,theamountofP75,000.00
ascivilindemnity,P75,000.00asmoraldamagesandP25,000.00as
exemplarydamages.Costsagainstappellant.
SOORDERED.

Puno (C.J.), Quisumbing, YnaresSantiago, Sandoval


Gutierrez, Carpio, AustriaMartinez, Corona, CarpioMorales,
Azcuna,Tinga,GarciaandVelasco,Jr.,JJ.,concur.
Callejo,Sr.,J.,OnLeave.

_______________

68Peoplev.Barcena,G.R.No.168737,16February2006,482SCRA543,561.

69Peoplev.Alfaro,458Phil.942,963412SCRA293,309(2003).

70Peoplev.Arsayo,G.R.No.166546,26September2006,503SCRA275.

393

VOL.518,MARCH16,2007 393
Peoplevs.Laguio,Jr.

Nachura,J.,Nopart.

Judgmentaffirmedwithmodification.

Notes.The testimony of a rape victim of tender or immature


agedeservesfullcredit.(Peoplevs.Suarez,456SCRA333[2005])
The revelation of an innocent child whose chastity has been
abuseddeservesfullcredit,asherwillingnesstoundergothetrouble
andthehumiliationofapublictrialisaneloquenttestamenttothe
truthofhercomplaint.(Peoplevs.Dimaano,469SCRA647[2005])

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