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Baleros v.

People

(483 SCRA 10, February 22, 2006)

G.R. No. 138033

Lessons Applicable: Attempted Rape

Laws Applicable: Art. 6

Parties Involved: Renato Chito Baleros, Jr. as petitioner, People as respondent

Facts:

Early morning of Dec. 13, 1991, Malou was awakened by a smell of chemical on a piece
of cloth pressed on her face. She struggled to break free but his attacker was pinning
her down, holding her tightly. When her right hand finally got free, she grabbed and
squeezed the sex organ of his attacker. The man let her go, enabling Marilou to seek
help from her maid and classmates living nearby. An investigation was conducted in
which the evidences pointed to Chito as the attacker. The RTC thus found Chito guilty
for attempted rape and ordered him to suffer an indeterminate sentence (from prision
correccional as minimum to prision mayor as maximum) and to pay Malou PHP
50,000.Chito made an appeal to the CA only to be denied. He moved for a
reconsideration but to no avail. He thus made an appeal to the SC arguing that:

1. There was not enough evidence to find him guilty of the crime

2. Prosecution failed to satisfy all requisites for conviction

3. Circumstances relied on to convict him were unreliable, inconclusive


andcontradictory.4.There was no motive.5.The awarding of damages to complainant was
improper and unjustified.6.In failing to appreciate in his favour the constitutional
presumption of innocence and that moral certainty has not been met, he should be
acquittedon the basis that the offense charged has not been proved beyondreasonable
doubt

Issues:

1. Whether the evidence adduced by prosecution has established beyond


reasonable doubt the guilt of the petitioner for the crime of attempted rape
2. Whether or not the CA erred in affirming the ruling of the RTC finding petitioner
guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of attempted rape
Held

1. No. The courts decision was merely based on speculations.

2. Yes. SC reversed and modifies the decision of the CA, acquitting Chito of attempted
rape. He is adjudged guilty of light coercion and is ordered toserve 30 days of arresto
mayor and pay PHP 200

Doctrine/Ratio:

Art. 335 of the RPC, rape is committed by a man who has carnal knowledge or
intercourse with a woman under any of the following circumstances:1.By using force or
intimidation2.When woman is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious3.When
woman is under 12 years of age or demented

Art. 6 of the RPC defines attempted rape when offender commences the commission of
rape directly by overt acts and does not perform all the acts of execution which should
produce the crime of rape by reason of some cause or accident other than his own
spontaneous desistance.

The attempt which RPC punishes is the act that has logical connection to the crime that
should it have been successful, the attempt would lead to the consummation of rape.
However, there was no carnal knowledge in the case. The pressing of a chemical-soaked
cloth while on top of Malou did not necessarily constitute an overt act of rape.
Moreover, the petitioner did not commence any act that was indicative of an intent to
rape Malou. The petitioner was fully clothed; there was no attempt to neither undress
her nor touch her private part.

In the crime of rape, penetration is an essential requisite. Therefore for an attempted


rape, accused must have commenced the act of penetrating but for some cause or
accident other than his own spontaneous desistance, the penetration was not
completed. Thus petitioners act of lying on top of her, embracing and kissing her or
touching her private part do not constitute rape or attempted rape.

o whether or not the act of the petitioner, i.e., the pressing of a chemical-soaked cloth
while on top of Malou, constitutes an overt act of rape.

o Overt or external act has been defined as some physical activity or deed, indicating
the intention to commit a particular crime, more than a mere planning or preparation,
which if carried out to its complete termination following its natural course, without
being frustrated by external obstacles nor by the voluntary desistance of the
perpetrator, will logically and necessarily ripen into a concrete offense

Chito was fully clothed and that there was no attempt on his part to undress
Malou, let alone touch her private part

Verily, while the series of acts committed by the petitioner do not determine
attempted rape, they constitute unjust vexation punishable as light coercion under the
second paragraph of Article 287 of the Revised Penal Code.

o As it were, unjust vexation exists even without the element of restraint or


compulsion for the reason that this term is broad enough to include any human conduct
which, although not productive of some physical or material harm, would unjustly annoy
or irritate an innocent person

o That Malou, after the incident in question, cried while relating to her classmates
what she perceived to be a sexual attack and the fact that she filed a case for attempted
rape proved beyond cavil that she was disturbed, if not distressed

Although the Court does not identify the petitioner to be innocent of the acts imputed
to him, such acts were not substantial enough to convict him of attempted rape. For
one, Baleros was not identified through direct evidence but only from circumstantial
identification (that is, from the congruence of Albanos identification of what the
perpetrator wore and the witnesses testimonies as to what Baleros wore that night).

Article 335 in relation to Article 6 of the Revised Penal Code states the circumstances
that shows overt acts of a perpetrator in committing the crime of rape. Moreover, the
Court has ruled in Perez v. CA that in order for a crime of rape to have been committed
in an attempted stage, the accused must have commenced the act of penetrating the
womans vagina with his sex organ but was not able to completely do so due to some
reason or accident other than his own spontaneous desistance.

Even with the acts of kissing the victim and mashing her breasts, the offense would not
have constituted attempted rape absent the accuseds commencement of penetrating
the victims vagina with his sex organ. In the present case, the perpetrator was even fully
dressed when it attacked Albano. The Court reversed and set aside the decision affirmed
by the CA and adjudges Baleros guilty of unjust vexation punishable as light coercion
under article 287 of the RPC.