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9/5/2017 G.R. No.

223528

TodayisTuesday,September05,2017

THIRDDIVISION

January11,2017

G.R.No.223528

PEOPLEOFTHEPHILIPPINES,PlaintiffAppellee,
vs.

JEFFREYHIRANGyRODRIGUEZ,DefendantAppellant.

DECISION

REYES,J.:

This is an appeal from the Decision1 dated March 9, 2015 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CAG.R. CRHC No.
05129, which affirmed the conviction of defendantappellant Jeffrey Hirang y Rodriguez (Hirang) for violation of
Section6ofRepublicAct(R.A.)No.9208,otherwiseknownastheAntiTraffickinginPersonsActof2003.

TheFacts

Hirang, also known as Jojit and Jojie, was charged before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Pasig City with the
crimeofqualifiedtraffickinginpersons,asdefinedandpenalizedunderSection4(a),inrelationtoSection6(a)and
(c),andSection3(a),(b)and(c)ofR.A.No.9208,viaanAmendedInformation2thatreads:

ThatonoraboutJune27,2007,atTaguigCityandwithinthejurisdictionofthisHonorableCourt,the
abovenamedaccused,didthenandthere,willfully,unlawfullyandfeloniouslyrecruited,transported
andprovidedinalargescaleminors[AAA],317yearsold,[BBB],17yearsold,[CCC],14years
old and [DDD], 17 years old, for the purpose of prostitution by taking advantage of their
vulnerabilityasyounggirlsthroughpromiseofagoodtimeor"gimik"inadiscoandgoodfoodifthey
would simply accompany him in meeting and entertaining his Korean friends and to induce their full
consent further promise them Five Thousand Pesos (Php5,000.00) to Ten Thousand Pesos
(Php10,000.00)eachafterwardswhenintruthandinfactpeddledthemforsexualfavorsandpleasure
in consideration of Twenty Thousand Pesos (Php20,000.00) each and engaged' their services in
prostitution as in fact he already received Seven Thousand Pesos down payment from the Korean
nationalwhoengagedtheirservices.

CONTRARYTOLAW.4(Emphasisandunderliningintheoriginal)

Uponarraignment,Hirangenteredapleaofnotguilty.Afterpretrial,trialonthemeritsensued.5

VersionoftheProsecution

TheprivatecomplainantsareminorvictimsofHiranginhisprostitutionactivities.Thefollowingpersonstestifiedfor
theprosecution:victimsDDD,AAA,CCCandBBB,InternationalJusticeMission(UM)InvestigatorsAlvinSarmiento
(Sarmiento) and Jeffrey Villagracia (Villagracia), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Special Investigator (SI)
MenandroCariaga(Cariaga),SIAnsonL.ChumaceraandforensicchemistLorenJ.Briones.6

AAAwasbornonNovember25,1989.Shewasonly16yearsoldwhenHirangrecruitedherinAugustof2006asa
sexworker,forwhichshewaspaid1,000.00perday,lessHirang'scommissionof200.00.Shewaslaterprodded
to work as a sexy dancer and prostitute at the Catwalk Club along Quezon Avenue. She joined her customers in
their tables at the club, and gave sexual services in hotels. She left the club after two nights, upon her livein
partner's order. Still, Hirang sourced several other prostitution jobs for AAA. He convinced AAA to work in a
cybersexdeninMuoz,QuezonCity.Shereceived700.00amonth,less200.00commissionreceivedbyHirang.
InSeptember2006,HirangmadeAAAworkagainasasexydanceratPhilippineVillagebarinPuertoGalera.AAA
hadtoquitherjobwhenshegotpregnant,butresumedworkforHirangaftershegavebirth.7

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CCC was born on December 19, 1992. She was 14 years old when she was recruited by Hirang for his illicit
activities.ShemetHirangatthehouseofKaLolet,herbestfriend'smother.SheknewHirangtobescoutingyoung
girls who could be traded for sex. Sometime in June 2007, Hirang asked CCC to go with him and meet some
Koreans.8

DDD,whowasbornonFebruary11,1991,was16yearsoldwhensheranawayfromhomein2007andstayedata
friend's house in Sta. Ana, Taguig City. As she was then in need of money, she accepted an offer from one Ate
Lolet,apimp,thatshebeintroducedtoamalecustomer,withwhomshehadsexualintercoursefor2,500.00.It
wasAteLoletwholaterintroducedDDDtoHirang.9

BBBwasbornonMarch28,1990.CCCisheryoungersister.Shewas17yearsoldwhenonJune27,2007,she
visitedCCCatKaLolet'shouse.ThereshesawHirang,whoinvitedhertocomewithhiminmeetingsomeKoreans
thatevening.Laterintheevening,ataround8:00p.m.,BBBwentbacktothehouseofKaLolettomeetHirang.It
was then on June 27, 2007 that Hirang sold BBB, along with AAA, CCC and DDD, to his Korean customers for
sexual activities. Hirang told his victims that they would receive 5,000.00 after a "gimik" 10 with them. At around
10:00 p.m., their group proceeded to meet with the Koreans at Chowking restaurant, C5 in Taguig City. Hirang
instructedthegirlstotelltheKoreansthattheywere16yearsofage,asthiswastheircustomers'preference.11

WhentheirgrouparrivedatChowking,HirangtalkedtoaKoreanandthenintroducedthegirlstohim.TheKorean
handedmoneytoHirangandasthelatterwascountingit,NBIagentsarrivedatthesceneandannouncedaraid.
NBI agents arrested Hirang, while a social worker approached the girls and brought them to the NBI for their
statements.12

TheraidwasconductedfollowingapriorinvestigationconductedbyIJM,anonprofitorganizationthatrenderslegal
servicesandisbasedinWashington,D.C.IJM'sinvestigatorsSarmientoandVillagraciagathereddataonhuman
traffickinginMetroManila,afterinformationthatHirangwassellingminorsforprostitution.Hirangwasintroducedby
aconfidential informantto Villagracia,whoposedasatravelagencyemployeehavingKoreanfriends.Villagracia
claimedtohaveKoreanfriendsastheyknewHirangtobetransactingonlywithforeigncustomers.13

HirangandVillagraciafirstagreedtomeetonJune20,2007atChowkingrestaurantalongC5RoadinTaguigCity.
VillagraciaintroducedHirangtoSarmiento,whointroducedhimselfasKoreannationalstudyingEnglishinManila.
HiranginformedSarmientothathehadwithhimAAA,whowasgoodinbed,only15yearsoldandcouldperform
anysexualposition,forafeeof20,000.00.Sarmiento,however,toldHirangthatheandhisotherKoreanfriends
hadotherplansforthenight.Hirangdemandedacancellationfeeof1,500.00andscheduledanothermeetingwith
SarmientoandtheotherKoreansonJune26,2007.14

Thereafter, IJM submitted a report to the NBIField Office Division, and asked for the agency's investigative
assistanceandoperationagainstHirang.OnJune26,2007,IJMandNBIoperativesagreedduringaconference
that they would conduct an entrapment operation on June 27, 2007. Sarmiento reset his meeting with Hirang to
June 27, 2007. Hirang initially got mad, but was appeased after Sarmiento promised to give a bonus of
20,0000.00. Cariaga prepared the marked money to be used during the entrapment, and was tasked to be the
driverofposeurcustomerSarmiento.SeveralotherNBIandIJMagentsservedasbackupduringtheoperation,in
caseanyuntowardincidentshouldhappen.15

On June 27, 2007, the entrapment was conducted with proper coordination with local authorities. A social worker
fromtheDeartmentofSocialWelfareandDevelopmentandmembersofthemediaforthesegmentXXXofABS
CBNChannel2joinedtheoperation.VillagraciasecretlyrecordedhisconversationwithHirang.16

HirangintroducedAAA,BBB,CCCandDDDtoSarmiento,whofeignedhisdesiretopursuethetransaction.Hirang
specified the sexual services that the girls could offer, and assured Sarmiento that the girls could fulfill their
customers'sexualfantasies. 17SarmientothenhandedtoHirangafictitiouscheckamountingto20,000.00,while
Cariagahandedthe7,000.00markedmoney.AsHirangwascountingthecash,hecomplainedthattheamount
wasnotenoughashecharged20,000.00pergirl,plusbonus.Atthispoint,Cariagaperformedtheprearranged
signal with NBI operatives, who declared the entrapment operation and arrested Hirang. An ultraviolet dust
examinationlaterperformeduponHirangrenderedpositiveresultforfluorescentpowderspecks.18

VersionoftheDefense

HirangandhismotherMyrnaHirang(Myrna)testifiedforthedefense.

Hirangclaimedtobeselfemployed,sellinglongganisaandotherwaresforaliving.Hedenieddealingwithsexual
trade.ItwasupontheinstigationofVillagracia,whowasintroducedtohimbyhisfriendJunValentin(Valentin),that
he agreed to bring the girls for the supposed Korean clients. Hirang described Villagracia as a drug addict who
frequentlyvisitedValentin'shouseforpotsessions.VillagraciatoldHirangthatheknewofKoreanslookingforgirls
andwerewillingtopay20,000.00to25,000.00foreachgirlwhomustbe13to14yearsold.19

OnJune20,2007,Hirang,ValentinandtwogirlswenttomeetupwithVillagraciaatChowkinginC5Road,butthe
Koreans cancelled the transaction. Villagracia was disappointed that the girls brought by Hirang were already 23
years old. They agreed to meet again, but Villagracia reminded Hirang to bring young girls next time. Hirang
promisedtodoso,andthenreceived500.00fromVillagracia.20

Whentheylatertalkedagainoverthetelephone,VillagraciaadvisedHirangtoconvincetheKoreanstohirethegirls
so that Hirang and Valentin could receive the 5,000.00 commission per girl. Another Korean promised to give a
bonusof10,000.00ifHirangcouldprovideyounggirls.SinceHirangclaimedtohavenogirlsfortheservice,he
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went to the house of Ka Lolet with whom he had previously transacted whenever he needed girls for sexual
services.KaLoletprovidedBBB,CCCandDDD,whileHirangpersonallytalkedtoAAA.HirangandKaLoletagreed
to give each girl 5,000.00, while a 5,000.00 commission for each girl would be divided among him, Ka Lolet,
VillagraciaandValentin.21

Hirang and Villagracia met again on June 26, 2007 at Valentin's house. Villagracia reminded Hirang that the girls
shouldbeyoung.Healsogaveinstructionsonthedressesthatthegirlsshouldwearduringtheirmeeting.Onthe
evening of June 27, 2007, Hirang went to Ka Lolet's house and from there, brought the girls to Chowking in C5
RoadonboardavanprovidedbyKaLolet.OneKoreannationalgaveHirangmoneyfortheirfood.Astheirorder
wasbeingservedattherestaurant,NBIoperativesapproachedHirangandarrestedhim.22

Inhertestimony,defensewitnessMyrnaclaimedknowingVillagracia,asthelatterfrequentlytalkedtoHirangover
thecellphone.ThereweretimesthatsheansweredVillagracia'scalls,andthelatterintroducedhimselfasafriendof
Hirangwithwhomhehadanarrangement.23

RulingoftheRTC

OnJune25,2011,theRTCofPasigCity,Branch163,TaguigCityStationrendereditsDecision24convictingHirang
ofthecrimeofhumantrafficking.Thedispositiveportionofthedecisionreads:

WHEREFORE,[HIRANG]isherebyfoundGUILTYbeyondreasonabledoubtofthecrimeofViolation
ofSection6of[R.A.]No.9208andisherebysentencedtosufferthepenaltyoflifeimprisonmentanda
fineofTwoMillionPesos(Php2,000,000.00).

SOORDERED.25

Feelingaggrieved,Hirangappealed26totheCAbasedonthefollowingassignmentoferrors:

I.THETRIALCOURTGRAVELYERREDINREJECTING[HIRANG'S]DEFENSE.

II. THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN GIVING CREDENCE TO THE CONFLICTING AND IMPROBABLE
TESTIMONIESOFTHEPROSECUTIONWITNESSES.

III.THETRIALCOURTGRAVELYERREDINNOTFINDINGTHAT[HIRANG'S]RIGHTSUNDER[R.A.]NO.7438
(AN ACT DEFINING CERTAIN RIGHTS OF PERSON ARRESTED, DETAINED OR UNDER CUSTODIAL
INVESTIGATION AS WELL AS THE DUTIES OF THE ARRESTING, DETAINING AND INVESTIGATING
OFFICERS,ANDPROVIDINGPENALTIESFORVIOLATIONSTHEREOF)WEREVIOLATED.27

RulingoftheCA

TheCAdeniedtheappealviaaDecision28datedMarch9,2015,withdispositiveportionthatreads:

WHEREFORE,theappealisDENIED.TheDecisiondatedJune25,2011ofthe[RTC]ofPasigCity,
Branch163,TaguigCityStationinCriminalCaseNo.135682isAFFIRMEDintoto.

SOORDERED.29

Hence,thisappeal.30

ThePresentAppeal

On June 13, 2016, the Court issued a Resolution notifying the parties that they could file their respective
supplementalbriefs.31However,bothHirangandtheOfficeoftheSolicitorGeneral,ascounselforplaintiffappellee
PeopleofthePhilippines,manifestedthattheywouldnolongerfilesupplementalbriefs,astheirrespectivebriefs
filedwiththeCAsufficientlyaddressedtheirparticulararguments.32

Basedontheparties'contentionsasraisedbeforetheCA,theCourtiscalledupontoresolvethefollowingissues:
(1)whethertheprosecutionwasabletoprovebeyondreasonabledoubttheguiltofHirangforthecrimecharged
and(2)whetherHirangshouldbeacquittedinviewofthefailureofthearrestingofficerstoobserveR.A.No.7438.

RulingoftheCourt

TheCourtaffirmsHirang'sconviction.

HirangwaschargedandconvictedforqualifiedtraffickinginpersonsunderSection4(a),inrelationtoSection6(a)
and(c),andSection3(a),(b)and(c)ofR.A.No.9208,whichread:

Section 4. ActsofTraffickinginPersons. It shall be unlawful for any person, natural or juridical, to


commitanyofthefollowingacts:

(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
purposeofprostitution,pornography,sexualexploitation,forcedlabor,slavery,involuntaryservitudeor
debtbondage

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Section6.QualifiedTraffickinginPersons.Thefollowingareconsideredasqualifiedtrafficking:

(a)Whenthetraffickedpersonisachild

xxxx

(c)Whenthecrimeiscommittedbyasyndicate,orinlargescale.Traffickingisdeemedcommittedbya
syndicateifcarriedoutbyagroupofthree(3)ormorepersonsconspiringorconfederatingwithone
another. It is deemed committed in large scale if committed against three (3) or more persons,
individuallyorasagroup

Section3.DefinitionofTerms.AsusedinthisAct:

(a)TraffickinginPersonsreferstotherecruitment,transportation,transferorharboring,orreceiptof
personswithorwithoutthevictim'sconsentorknowledge,withinoracrossnationalbordersbymeans
ofthreatoruseofforce,orotherformsofcoercion,abduction,fraud,deception,abuseofpowerorof
position,takingadvantageofthevulnerabilityoftheperson,or,thegivingorreceivingofpaymentsor
benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person for the purpose of
exploitationwhichincludesataminimum,theexploitationortheprostitutionofothersorotherformsof
sexualexploitation,forcedlabororservices,slavery,servitudeortheremovalorsaleoforgans.

Therecruitment,transportation,transfer,harboringorreceiptofachildforthepurposeofexploitation
shallalsobeconsideredas"traffickinginpersons"evenifitdoesnotinvolveanyofthemeanssetforth
intheprecedingparagraph.

(b)Childreferstoapersonbeloweighteen(18)yearsofageoronewhoisovereighteen(18)butis
unable to fully take care of or protect himself/herself from abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation, or
discriminationbecauseofaphysicalormentaldisabilityorcondition.

(c) Prostitution refers to any act, transaction, scheme or design involving the use of a person by
another, for sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct in exchange for money, profit or any other
consideration.

In People v. Casio,33 the Court defined the elements of trafficking in persons, as derived from the aforequoted
Section3(a),towit:

(1)Theactof"recruitment,transportation,transferorharbouring,orreceiptofpersonswithorwithout
thevictim'sconsentorknowledge,withinoracrossnationalborders"

(2)Themeansusedwhichinclude"threatoruseofforce,orotherformsofcoercion,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)Thepurposeoftraffickingisexploitationwhichincludes"exploitationortheprostitutionofothersor
otherformsofsexualexploitation,forcedlabororservices,slavery,servitudeortheremovalorsaleof
organs."34(Citationomittedanditalicsintheoriginal)

The information filed against Hirang sufficiently alleged the recruitment and transportation of the minor victims for
sexualactivitiesandexploitation,withtheoffendertakingadvantageofthevulnerabilityoftheyounggirlsthrough
theguaranteeofagoodtimeandfinancialgain.PursuanttoSection6ofR.A.No.9208,thecrimecommittedby
Hirang was qualified trafficking, as it was committed in a large scale and his four victims were under 18 years of
age.

Thepresenceofthecrime'selementswasestablishedbytheprosecutionwitnesseswhotestifiedduringthetrial. 1wphi1

Theyoungvictimsthemselvestestifiedontheirrespectiveages,andhowtheywereluredbyHirangtoparticipatein
thelatter'sillicitsextrade.Hirangrecruitedthegirlstobecomevictimsofsexualabuseandexploitation.Mainlyupon
apromiseoffinancialbenefit,thegirlsagreedand,thus,joinedhimonJune27,2007inmeetingwiththeKorean
customers in search for prostitutes. Police authorities personally, witnessed Hirang's unlawful activity, as they
conducted the entrapment operations and arrested him after Hirang transacted with the supposed customers and
receivedpaymenttherefor.

Hirang still sought an acquittal by claiming that the prosecution witnesses' testimonies were conflicting and
improbable.SuchallegedinconsistenciespertainedtothesupposedparticipationofKaLoletintherecruitmentof
the victims, how the IJM agents came to personally know of Hirang, and other incidents that involved prior
surveillance and the entrapment operation itself. It is evident, however, that the supposed inconsistencies in the
witnesses'testimoniespertainedtominordetailsthat,inanycase,couldnotnegateHirang'sunlawfulactivityand
violationofR.A.No.9208.Moreover,theCourthasruledtimeandagainthatfactualfindingsofthetrialcourt,its
assessmentofthecredibilityofwitnessesandtheprobativeweightoftheirtestimoniesandtheconclusionsbased
onthesefactualfindingsaretobegiventhehighestrespect.Asarule,theCourtwillnotweighanewtheevidence
alreadypassedonbythetrialcourtandaffirmedbytheCA.35

Hirang argued that he was merely instigated to commit the offense, but even such defense deserves scant
consideration. It has been established by the prosecution that Hirang has been engaged in the illegal activities
1wphi1

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leadingyoungwomentoprostitution,andthepoliceofficersmerelyemployedmeansforhiscapture.Traffickingof
women was his habitual trade he was merely entrapped by authorities.36 Entrapment is an acceptable means to
capture a wrongdoer. In People v. Bartolome,37the Court distinguished between entrapment and instigation, as it
explained:

Instigationisthemeansbywhichtheaccusedisluredintothecommissionoftheoffensechargedin
ordertoprosecutehim.Ontheotherhand,entrapmentistheemploymentofsuchwaysandmeansfor
thepurposeoftrappingorcapturingalawbreaker.Thus,ininstigation,officersofthelawortheiragents
incite,induce,instigateorlureanaccusedintocommittinganoffensewhichheorshewouldotherwise
not commit and has no intention of committing. But in entrapment, the criminal intent or design to
committheoffensechargedoriginatesinthemindoftheaccused,andlawenforcementofficialsmerely
facilitatetheapprehensionofthecriminalbyemployingrusesandschemesthus,theaccusedcannot
justifyhisorherconduct.Ininstigation,wherelawenforcersactascoprincipals,theaccusedwillhave
tobeacquitted.Butentrapmentcannotbarprosecutionandconviction.Ashasbeensaid,instigationis
a"trapfortheunwaryinnocent"whileentrapmentisa"trapfortheunwarycriminal."38

Inthiscase,itwasestablishedduringtrialthatHiranghadbeenrecruitinganddeployingyounggirlsforcustomers
inthesextrade.TheIJMpersonnelapproachedhimforgirlspreciselybecauseofhisillicitactivities.Also,Hirang
wasnotfirstapproachedforprostitutesbypoliceorgovernmentauthorities,butbyinvestigatorsofIJM,whichisa
nonprofit and nongovernmental organization. IJM only sought coordination with the police officers after Hirang,
SarmientoandVillagraciahaddeterminedtomeetonJune27,2007forthetransactionwiththepurportedKorean
customers.Clearly,therecouldbenoinstigationbyofficers,asbarredbylaw,tospeakof.

EvenastheCourtconsiderstheallegedfailureoftheapprehendingpoliceofficerstoinformHirangoftheMiranda
rightsuponhisarrest,thereisnosufficientgroundfortheCourttoacquithim.TheCAcorrectlyexplainedthatany
defect in the arrest of the accused was cured by his voluntary act of entering a plea and participating in the trial
withoutraisingtheissue.39InPeoplev.Vasquez,40theCourtheld:

[T]he Court rules that the appellant can no longer assail the validity of his arrest. We reiterated in
Peoplev.Tampisthat"[a]nyobjection,defectorirregularityattendinganarrestmustbemadebefore
theaccusedentershispleaonarraignment.Havingfailedtomoveforthequashingoftheinformation
against them before their arraignment, appellants are now estopped from questioning the legality of
theirarrest.Anyirregularitywascuredupontheirvoluntarysubmissiontothetrialcourt'sjurisdiction.x
xx.41(Citationsomitted)

Giventheforegoing,thereisnocogentreasonfortheCourttoreverseHirang'sconvictionforqualifiedtrafficking
under R.A. No. 9208. The RTC and CA correctly imposed the penalty of life imprisonment and fine of
2,000,000.00,applyingSection10(c)ofR.A.No.9208,towit:

Section10.PenaltiesandSanctions.Thefollowing penaltiesandsanctionsareherebyestablished
fortheoffensesenumeratedinthisAct:

xxxx

(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
millionpesos(5,000,000.00)[.]

Damages in favor of the victims should, however, also be awarded. In line with prevailing jurisprudence,42 each
victimisentitledto500,000.00asmoraldamages,and100,000.00asexemplarydamages.Thisissupportedby
Article2219oftheNewCivilCode,whichreads:

Article2219.Moraldamagesmayberecoveredinthefollowingandanalogouscases:

(1)Acriminaloffenseresultinginphysicalinjuries

(2)Quasidelictscausingphysicalinjuries

(3)Seduction,abduction,rape,orotherlasciviousacts

(4)Adulteryorconcubinage

(5)Illegalorarbitrarydetentionorarrest

(6)Illegalsearch

(7)Libel,slanderoranyotherformofdefamation

(8)Maliciousprosecution

(9)ActsmentionedinA1iicle309

(10)ActsandactionsreferredtoinArticles21,26,27,28,29,30,32,34and35.

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The criminal case of Trafficking in Persons as a Prostitute is an analogous case to the crimes of seduction,
abduction,rape,orotherlasciviousacts.Infact,itisworse,therebyjustifyingtheawardofmoraldamages.When
thecrimeisaggravated,theawardofexemplarydamagesisalsojustified.43

WHEREFORE,theappealisDISMISSED.TheDecisiondatedMarch9,2015oftheCourtofAppealsinCAG.R.
CRHCNo.05129isAFFIRMEDwithMODIFICATIONinthatvictimsAAA,BBB,CCCandDDDareeachentitledto
500,000.00asmoraldamagesand100,000.00asexemplarydamages.

SOORDERED.

BIENVENIDOL.REYES
AssociateJustice

WECONCUR:

PRESBITEROJ.VELASCO,JR.
AssociateJustice
Chairperson

TERESITAJ.LEONARDODECASTRO* LUCASP.BERSAMIN
AssociateJustice AssociateJustice

ALFREDOBENJAMINS.CAGUIOA**
AssociateJustice

ATTESTATION

IattestthattheconclusionsintheaboveDecisionhadbeenreachedinconsultationbeforethecasewasassigned
tothewriteroftheopinionoftheCourtsDivision.

PRESBITEROJ.VELASCO,JR.
AssociateJustice
Chairperson

CERTIFICATION

PursuanttotheSection13,ArticleVIIIoftheConstitutionandtheDivisionChairpersonsAttestation,Icertifythat
theconclusionsintheaboveDecisionhadbeenreachedinconsultationbeforethecasewasassignedtothewriter
oftheopinionoftheCourtsDivision.

MARIALOURDESP.A.SERENO
ChiefJustice

Footnotes
*
AdditionalMemberperRaffledatedMay18,2016viceAssociateJusticeFrancisH.Jardeleza.
**
DesignatedFifthMemberoftheThirdDivisionperSpecialOrderNo.2417datedJanuary4,2017.
1
Penned by Associate Justice Melchor Q.C. Sadang, with Associate Justices Celia C. LibreaLeagogo and
AmyC.LazaroJavierconcurringCArollo,pp.131148.
2
Id.at1112.
3
The real names of the minor victims were disclosed in the RTC and CA decisions. However, their real
namesarenowwithheldandreplacedwithfictitiousinitialstoprotectthevictims'identities,asrequiredunder
Section6ofR.A.No.9208.
4
CArollo,p.11.
5
Id.at34.
6
Id.at3435.
7
Id.at37.
8
Id.at38.
9
Id.at3536.
10
Acolloquialtermforhangout,nightoutorparty.
11
CArollo,pp.3839.

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12
Id.at39.
13
Id.at3940.
14
Id.
15
Id.at40.
16
Id.at4041.
17
Id.at41.
18
Id.
19
Id.at4243.
20
Id.at43.
21
Id.
22
Id.at4344.
23
Id.at44.
24
IssuedbyJudgeLeiliCruzSuarezid.at3448.
25
Id.at48.
26
Id.at4950.
27
Id.at60.
28
Id.at131148.
29
Id.at148.
30
Id.at152153.
31
Id.at2526.
32
Id.at3335,2729.
33
G.R.No.211465,December3,2014,744SCRA113.
34
Id.at128129.
35
Peoplev.Mamaruncas,etal,680Phil.192,211(2012).
36
CArollo,pp.143144.
37
703Phil.148(2013).
38
Id.at161,citingPeoplev.Bayani,577Phil.607,616617(2008).
39
CArollo,p.146.
40
724Phil.713(2014).
41
Id.at730731.
42
Peoplev.Casio,supranote33,citingPeoplev.Lalli,etal.,675Phil.126,157159(2011).
43
Peoplev.Casio,supranote33,at140,citingPeoplev.Lalli,etal.,id.at159.

TheLawphilProjectArellanoLawFoundation

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