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People of the Philippines vs.

Romeo De Castro and Randolf Pabanil

G.R. No. 205316, June 29, 2015;

Third Division, Villarama, Jr., J.

Topic: Murder; Qualifying circumstance of taking advantage of superior strength


Respondents were found guilty of murder for killing a police officer. On appeal they
argued that the RTC erred in considering the qualifying circumstances of abuse of
superior strength. They claimed that accused Randolf punched the victim as he thought
the latter was about to shoot co-accused Romeo. When victim fell and drew his gun,
Randolf was forced to get the LPG tank and repeatedly hit the victim.

Should the qualifying circumstance of abuse of superior strength be considered?


Yes. To take advantage of superior strength is to purposely use excessive force, out of
proportion to the means of defense available to the person attacked. In this case, the
victim was already helpless when he was repeatedly attacked with a gas tank. Appellants
clearly used excessive force against the already unarmed and defenseless victim.

Under par. 1, Art 248 of the Revised Penal Code,

Any person who, not falling within the provisions of Article 246 shall kill another, shall
be guilty of murder and shall be punished by reclusion temporal in its maximum period
to death, if committed with any of the following attendant circumstances:

1. With treachery, taking advantage of superior strength, with the aid of armed men, or
employing means to weaken the defense or of means or persons to insure or afford
impunity. XXX

GR. No. 208623, Juy 23, 2014

Two separate informations for rape were filed against accused-appellant, Virgilio
Antonio before the RTC.

Criminal Case No. 10244:

In 2001, [AAA] after her parents had separated, lived with her grandparents. Just before
lunch from helping his godfather harvest palay, AAA, a minor, 14 years old, was led to a
bamboo grove in the farm where she was threatened to be killed if she told anyone. After
which, he took off her shorts and underwear. He likewise removed his own shorts and
underwear. With both their private parts now uncovered, Antoni inserted his penis into
[AAAs] vagina. She felt pain course through her genitals.

Criminal Case No. 10245:

On Aug. 26, 2003, while his wife and children went away to a fiesta, Antonio, being then
the guardian of the private complainant AAA, 14 years old was under his care and
custody, lied on top of AAA while she was sleeping, awakening her. Antonio was
wearing a shirt and nothing else. AAA realized that her shorts and underwear had
already been removed. Antonio soon began to insert his penis into her vagina. He made
a push-pull movement for a while.

The RTC considered the qualifying aggravating circumstance of relationship since

Antonio is supposedly the guardian of AAA. The CA affirmed the decision and imposed
the penalty of reclusion perpetua for each of the two counts of rape. However, the CA
noted that the fact of being a guardian was not alleged as an aggravating circumstance in
the information.
Whether being a godfather to the victim is an aggravating circumstance.

No. Only the generic aggravating circumstances of commission of the crime in an

uninhabited place and minority can be appreciated relative to the first rape incident. As
regards to the second rape incident, guardianship was alleged in the information and was
not assailed by the defense. The Court notes, too, that the parties stipulated during the
pre-trial that the accused-appellant was AAAs godfather. Jurisprudence dictates that the
guardian must be a person who has a legal relationship with his ward, which does not
obtain in the instant case.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, vs.
EDGAR JUMAWAN, Accused-Appellant.
G.R. No. 187495 April 21, 2014


Accused-appellant and his wife, KKK, were married and have four children.
KKK filed a complaint alleging that her husband raped her in Dec 3, 1998 and boxed her
shoulder for refusing to have sex with him in December 12, 1998.

KKK mentioned that their sexual relationship used to be frequent and fulfilling.
However, 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.

One night, KKK refused to have sex with Jumawan because she was not feeling
well, but the latter forcefully and violently had carnal knowledge of her.

Accused raised the defense of denial and alleged that KKK merely fabricated
the rape charges as her revenge because he took over the control and management of
their businesses, and to cover up her extra-marital affairs.


Whether or not there can be a marital rape.


YES. The Supreme Court held that husbands do not have property rights over
their wives bodies. Sexual intercourse, albeit within the realm of marriage, if not
consensual, is rape.

Violation of equal protection clause

The Court ruled that 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 Court found that there is no rational basis for distinguishing between
marital rape and non-marital 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
Moreover, Section 1 of RA 8353 penalizes the crime without regard to the
rapists legal relationship with his victim.

Implied consent theory untenable

The Court also ruled against the application of implied consent theory which
was raised by the accused. The accused argued that consent to copulation is presumed
between cohabiting husband and wife unless the contrary is proved.

According to the Court, 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 CEDAW and its accompanying Declaration, defines and penalizes the act as rape
under R.A. No. 8353.