You are on page 1of 6

Criminal Law-Revised Penal Code

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. LUDIGARIO MARASIGAN BELEN


G.R. No. 215331, January 23, 2017, SECOND DIVISION, (Peralta, J.)

DOCTRINE:
It is doctrinally settled that the moral ascendancy of an accused over the victim
renders it unnecessary to show physical force and intimidation since, in rape
committed by a close kin, such as the victim's father, stepfather, uncle, or the
common-law spouse of her mother, moral influence or ascendancy takes the
place of violence or intimidation.

FACTS:
In the afternoon of July 1999, AAA, a minor, was playing outside their house
when she was called by the accused Ludigario Belen. Belen locked the door and
poked a knife at the child and ordered her to remove her clothes. Thereafter,
Belen inserted his penis on the child’s vagina. The rape incident happened for
about half an hour in her mother’s room. Another incident of rape occurred in
July 1999, while AAA’s mother was at work. The rape incident happened for
about half an hour while she was crying. The accused did not employ any means
of force to the victim. The accused Belen raped her several times more which only
stopped when her grandmother took her to her uncle's house in Divisoria. It was
only in 2005, when confronted by her mother as to the truth of repeated raping
incident. The accused Belen was charged of two counts of rape qualified by
relationship the victim being the daughter of his common-law wife, and minority
and aggravated by the circumstances of treachery, evident premeditation, abuse
of superior strength and dwelling. The RTC rendered a decision convicting the
accused Belen of Simple Rape since the qualifying circumstance of minority was
not proven in the absence of birth certificate of the victim and the CA affirmed
the decision of the lower court.

ISSUE:
Is the prosecution able to prove the guilt of the accused Belen on the crime of
rape under Article 266-A (1) (a), in relation to Article 266-B (6) (1) of the Revised
Penal Code.

RULING:
YES. The Court gave credence to the candid and straightforward testimony of
AAA which proved the guilt of the accused Belen on the crime rape. The
prosecution clearly established that the first rape incident was accomplished with
the use of a knife which proved that accused Belen employed threat in AAA's life.
As to the second rape, while there was no force and intimidation used by accused
Belen on AAA, the fact that accused Belen is the live-in partner of her mother
and with whom she had been living with since she was 2 years old, established
his moral ascendancy as well as physical superiority over AAA. Accused Belen’s
moral ascendancy and influence over AAA substitutes for threat and
intimidation which made AAA submit herself to accused Belen’s bestial desire. It
is doctrinally settled that the moral ascendancy of an accused over the victim
renders it unnecessary to show physical force and intimidation since, in rape
Criminal Law-Revised Penal Code

committed by a close kin, such as the victim's father, stepfather, uncle, or the
common-law spouse of her mother, moral influence or ascendancy takes the
place of violence or intimidation.
Criminal Law-Revised Penal Code

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. LUDIGARIO MARASIGAN BELEN


G.R. No. 215331, January 23, 2017, SECOND DIVISION, (Peralta, J.)

DOCTRINE:
A medical examination of the victim is not indispensable in the prosecution for
rape, and no law requires a medical examination for the successful prosecution.
The medical examination of the victim or the presentation of the medical
certificate is not essential to prove the commission of rape as the testimony of the
victim alone, if credible, is sufficient to convict the accused of the crime.

FACTS:
In July 1999, AAA, a minor, was playing outside their house when she was called
by the accused Ludigario Belen. Belen locked the door and poked a knife at the
child and ordered her to remove her clothes. Thereafter, Belen inserted his penis
on the child’s vagina. Another incident of rape occurred in same month of the
year, while AAA’s mother was at work. The rape incident happened for about half
an hour while she was crying. The accused Belen raped her several times more
which only stopped when her grandmother took her to her uncle's house in
Divisoria. It was only in 2005, when confronted by her mother as to the truth of
repeated raping incident. The accused Belen was charged of two counts of rape
qualified by relationship the victim being the daughter of his common-law wife,
and minority and aggravated by the circumstances of treachery, evident
premeditation, abuse of superior strength and dwelling. The accused Belen
contended that AAA's testimony is doubtful as it is inconsistent with the medico-
legal report findings of only one laceration in the victim's hymen. The RTC
rendered a decision convicting the accused Belen of Simple Rape since the
qualifying circumstance of minority was not proven in the absence of birth
certificate of the victim and the CA affirmed the decision of the lower court.

ISSUE:
Is the discrepancy between the testimony of AAA and her medico legal regarding
the lacerations in the vagina of the victim can negate the existence of rape?

RULING:
NO. The Court held that a medical examination of the victim is not indispensable
in the prosecution for rape, and no law requires a medical examination for the
successful prosecution. The medical examination of the victim or the
presentation of the medical certificate is not essential to prove the commission of
rape as the testimony of the victim alone, if credible, is sufficient to convict the
accused of the crime. The medical examination of the victim as well as the medical
certificate is merely corroborative in character.

Accordingly, AAA's testimony meets the test of credibility, which serves as the
basis for accused Belen’s conviction. It is possible that a person being raped or a
hymen, or a vagina being penetrated by a penis would create a laceration at the
same spot just like a lightning hitting on the same spot. Therefore, AAA's
Criminal Law-Revised Penal Code

straightforward testimony that appellant had raped her twice is not at all negated
by a finding of only one laceration in her hymen.
Criminal Law-Revised Penal Code

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. LUDIGARIO MARASIGAN BELEN


G.R. No. 215331, January 23, 2017, SECOND DIVISION, (Peralta, J.)

DOCTRINE:
Rape is qualified when the victim is under eighteen (18) years of age and
the offender is a parent, ascendant, step-parent, guardian, relative by
consanguinity or affinity within the third civil degree, or the common-law
spouse of the parent of the victim.

FACTS:
In July 1999, AAA, 8 years old, was playing outside their house when she was
called by the accused Ludigario Belen, the common law partner of victim’s
mother. Belen locked the door and poked a knife at the child and ordered her to
remove her clothes. Thereafter, Belen inserted his penis on the child’s vagina.
Another incident of rape occurred in same month of the year, while AAA’s mother
was at work. The accused Belen raped her several times more which only stopped
when her grandmother took her to her uncle's house in Divisoria. It was only in
2005, when confronted by her mother as to the truth of repeated raping incident.
The accused Belen was charged of two counts of rape qualified by relationship
the victim being the daughter of his common-law wife, and minority and
aggravated by the circumstances of treachery, evident premeditation, abuse of
superior strength and dwelling. The RTC rendered a decision convicting the
accused Belen of two counts of Simple Rape since the qualifying circumstance of
minority was not proven in the absence of birth certificate of the victim and the
CA affirmed the decision of the lower court.

ISSUE:
Are the circumstances of minority and relationship of the victim to accused Belen
can be appreciated to qualify the crime of rape?

RULING:
NO. Rape is qualified when the victim is under eighteen (18) years of age and the
offender is a parent, ascendant, step-parent, guardian, relative by consanguinity
or affinity within the third civil degree, or the common-law spouse of the parent
of the victim.

In this case, the prosecution presented a copy of AAA's birth certificate but the
same was not authenticated, hence, could not be given any probative value. While
attached to the records is AAA's baptismal certificate which showed that she was
born on July 27, 1991, however, the same was not offered in evidence. Several
documents were presented in court indicating the very young age of the victim,
these pieces of evidence, together with the physical appearance of the victim when
she testified, would have been sufficient basis for the lower court to ascertain the
tender age of the victim when the crime was committed. However, AAA’s
Sinumpaang Salaysay and the initial medico legal report showed that she was 14
years old when examined. Hence, AAA's allegation that she was 8 years old when
Criminal Law-Revised Penal Code

she was raped was not proved by these documents. Lastly, the circumstance of
relationship of the victim to the accused Belen was not alleged in the information;
hence, it could not be appreciated by the Court as a qualifying circumstance in
the case of rape.