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THIRD DIVISION

[G.R. No. 91734. March 30, 1993.]

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. VICTOR


BORMEO, accused-appellant.

The Solicitor General for plaintiff-appellee.


Public Attorney's Office for accused-appellant.

SYLLABUS

1. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW; RIGHTS OF THE ACCUSED; PRESUMPTION OF


INNOCENCE UNTIL THE CONTRARY IS PROVEN, MUST BE UPHELD. — A mere
accusation is not synonymous with guilt. Every accused is presumed innocent
until the contrary is proven. This presumption is solemnly guaranteed by the
Constitution. To overcome the same, proof beyond reasonable doubt, or that
degree of proof which produces conviction in an unprejudiced mind, must be
established by the prosecution. Short of this, it is not only the right of the
accused to be freed; it is, furthermore, the constitutional duty of the court to
acquit him. The freedom of the accused is forfeit only if the requisite quantum of
proof necessary for conviction be in existence.
2. REMEDIAL LAW; BURDEN OF PROOF REPOSED IN THE PROSECUTION; MUST
STAND OR FALL ON ITS OWN MERIT AND MUST NOT RELY ON THE WEAKNESS OF
THE EVIDENCE OF THE DEFENSE. — Save in certain instances as where, for
example, the accused admits the commission of the imputed criminal act but
interposes justifying circumstances, the burden of showing the necessary proof
which is reposed in the prosecution is never shifted to the accused or diminished
by the weakness of the defense for unless the prosecution discharges such
burden, the accused need not even offer evidence in his behalf. Stated a little
differently, the prosecution's evidence must stand or fall on its own merits and
cannot be allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the evidence for the
defense.
3. CRIMINAL LAW; STATUTORY RAPE; CARNAL KNOWLEDGE, DEFINED. — Carnal
knowledge has been defined as the act of a man having sexual bodily
connections with a woman; sexual intercourse. An essential ingredient thereof is
the penetration of the female sexual organ by the sexual organ of the male. In
cases of rape, however, mere proof of the entrance of the male organ into the
labia of the pudendum or lips of the female organ is sufficient to constitute a
basis for conviction. In this jurisdiction, when a man has carnal knowledge of a
woman who is under twelve (12) years of age, as in the case of Raylin, statutory
rape is committed. Punished under the Revised Penal Code, its elements are: 1)
that the offender had carnal knowledge of a woman and (2) that such act is
committed when the victim is under twelve (12) years of age.
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4. ID.; ID.; NOT A CASE OF. — There exists no credible and competent evidence to
show carnal knowledge in this case. No one, save perhaps Raylin, saw whatever
it is the accused did to her. The fresh laceration of Raylin's hymen and the fact
that she had lost her virginity do not at once support a conclusion that they were
caused by sexual intercourse. It is to be noted that Dr. Veneracion did not
categorically testify that the injury in the hymen could have been caused by a
male organ; as a matter of fact, the prosecutor did not even ask him if it is
possible that it could be caused by such an organ. The prosecutor did not proceed
further by asking, hypothetically, what that object could be or whether it is
possible that an erect penis could have caused the laceration. Instead, it was the
counsel for the accused who recklessly suggested such a possibility when he
cross-examined Dr. Veneracion; but then, the latter was forthright enough to
state that he could not pinpoint what particular object caused the laceration.
5. REMEDIAL LAW; EVIDENCE; ADMISSIBILITY OF A DECLARATION AS PART OF
RES GESTAE. — We have already mentioned the requisites for the admission of
evidence as part of the res gestae. In People vs. Ner, Supra., at pages 1161-1162,
citing authorities, We ruled: "All that is required for the admissibility of a given
statement as part of the res gestae, is that it be made under the influence of a
startling event witnessed by the person who made the declaration before he had
time to think and make up a story, or to concoct or to contrive a falsehood, or to
fabricate an account, and without any undue influence in obtaining it, aside from
referring to the event in question or its immediate attending circumstances."
6. ID.; ID.; ACQUITTAL OF ACCUSED IN CASE AT BAR, WARRANTED. — This Court
concludes that the weakness of the accused's defense of alibi, which the Solicitor
General stresses to further bolster the case for the prosecution, is entirely
irrelevant. Since the prosecution has failed to prove the accused's guilt beyond
reasonable doubt, he is, as a matter of right, entitled to an acquittal.

DECISION

DAVIDE, JR., J : p

At around 3:00 o'clock in the afternoon of 2 April 1989, in barangay San


Fernando, Laur, Nueva Ecija, while Carmelita Galzote was walking back to her
home after peddling eggplants and tomatoes, she was met by her 2 1/2-year old
granddaughter, Raylin, who was running "pabisaklat" (with legs wide apart) and
crying. Carmelita put her basket down and cradled Raylin on her lap. She then
discovered that the child's private organ was bleeding. When queried as to why it
was bleeding, Raylin replied, "Tatay," referring to the accused, the common-law
husband of Carmelita Galzote.
The following morning, Carmelita brought Raylin to the Rural Health Unit in
Laur, Nueva Ecija. The latter was examined by Dr. Felimon V. Veneracion after
Carmelita gave her written consent in the form of a "Salaysay" . 1 Upon
examination, Dr. Veneracion discovered a fresh laceration of Raylin's hymen "at
3:00 to 9:00 o'clock position in the face of the clock" and some slight bleeding;
there was, however, no extra-genital, physical injury. The doctor concluded that
Raylin's virginity was lost. Such findings are embodied in the medical certificate
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which he subsequently issued. 2
Carmelita then proceeded to the Laur Police Headquarters where here statement,
"Kusang loob na Salaysay", was taken by Pfc. Bienvenido P. Carse and sworn to
before P/Lt. Hipolito Bernardo. 3 In the afternoon of 3 April 1989, the accused was
arrested and detained at the Laur municipal jail. Being Raylin's only living
relative, Carmelita filed on 7 April 1989 a criminal complaint for rape dated — 4
April 1989 — against the accused before the Municipal Circuit Trial Court (MCTC)
of Laur and Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija. 4
In due course, the records of the case were forwarded by the MCTC to the Office
of the Provincial Fiscal of Nueva Ecija. On 26 June 1989, the Office of the
Provincial Fiscal filed an Information 5 with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of
Nueva Ecja charging the accused with the crime of rape allegedly committed as
follows: LibLex

"That on or about the 2nd day of April, 1989, at Brgy. San Fernando,
Municipality of Laur, Province of Nueva Ecija, Philippines, and within the
jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, did then
and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously had (sic) carnal knowledge of
Raylin Galzote, a 2 1/2 year old girl, deprived of reason and who is the
step-granddaughter of said accused, by having sexual intercourse with
her, to her damage and prejudice."

The information, docketed as Criminal Case No. 0135-P, was raffled off to


Branch 40 of the said court at Palayan City. No bail was recommended for the
accused's temporary liberty.
Arraigned on 12 July 1989, 6 the accused's pleaded not guilty; trial on the merits
thereafter followed.
The prosecution presented Carmelita Galzote and Dr. Felimon V. Veneracion as its
witnesses. It dispensed with the presentation of Raylin Galzote on account of her
tender age. The accused testified in his behalf with the prosecution not even
attempting to cross-examine him. 7
On 28 September 1989, the trial court promulgated its decision, dated 14
September 1989, 8 finding the accused guilty of the crime charged. The
dispositive portion thereof reads as follows:
"WHEREFORE, finding the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the
crime of rape, he is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion
perpetua and to indemnify the offended party the amount of P50,000.00,
without subsiding (sic) imprisonment in case of insolvency, plus costs." 9

The conviction is anchored on the evidence for the prosecution which the trial
court gave full faith and credit and which it summarized as follows:
"The evidence of the prosecution tends to establish that on April 2, 1989,
at around 3:00 o'clock in the afternoon, Carmelita Galzote was on her
way home to Barangay San Fernando, Laur, Nueva Ecija, after selling
tomatoes and eggplants. As she was nearing her house, she was met on
the shoulder of the road by her granddaughter Raylin Galzote, running
'pabisaklat' (with legs wide apart) and crying. Earlier, she left her at the
house with 4-year old Riva and the accused. The accused was no longer
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there having gone to a drinking session.

Carmelita put her basket down and carried Raylin on her lap. The former
noticed that her lap was smeared with blood so she started examining
the different parts of the body of the latter and found that her vagina was
the one bleeding. Carmelita then asked Raylin, 'Bakit anak, bakit
dumudugo ang kiki mo?' To which Raylin, replied, 'Tatay', she was referring
to accused Victor Bormeo, common-law husband of Carmelita. 'Tatay'
may also refer to grandfather. Forthwith, Carmelita brought Raylin to
Barangay Captain Boy Paraiso but (sic) who told them that he cannot
solve the problem they brought before him. He advised them to go to
town.
The following morning of April 3, 1989, Carmelita brought Raylin to the
Rural Health Unit in Laur, Nueva Ecija. Before examining 2-year old Raylin,
Dr. Felimon V. Veneracion asked for Carmelita's consent which she gave
by means of a 'Salaysay' (Exh. A). Dr. Veneracion then performed the
examination the result of which is embodied in a 'Medical Certificate' (Exh.
A-1) with following statements:

'FINDINGS

1) External examination-negative for extra-genital, physical


injury — Fairly nourished child, weighing 12.1 kilos.

2) Internal examination — absence of pubic hair.


Hymen-presence of fresh laceration of the hymen at 3:00 to
9:00 o'clock position in the face of the clock. Presence of slight
bleeding.
Conclusion:

Physicial (sic) virginity loss.'


Dr. Veneracian informed Carmelita that Raylin was molested.

Immediately after coming from the doctor, Carmelita and Raylin went to
the Police Headquarters of Laur, Nueva Ecija, where the former gave a
'Kusang Loob na Salaysay' before PFC Bienvenido F. Carse (Exh. B) and
then swore to (sic) (Exh. B-1) before P/LT Hipolito T. Bernardo. And since
Carmelita is the only relative living with Raylin, Carmelita was the one who
personally filed a complaint against the accused on April 4, 1989, before
the Municipal Circuit Trial Court of Laur & Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija.

Carmelita has been living with the accused for over 10 years. Her first
husband was the late Julian Bastawa with whom she begot the following
children namely, Flordeliza, Victoria, the deceased Aurelia (mother of
Raylin) and Anna. LibLex

The accused has been a problem to Carmelita. He attempted to rape her


eldest daughter Flordeliza by entering thru a window and then pulled (sic)
out his belt. He molested Victoria by pulling out her skirt while dressing
up. He entered the mosquito net of Aurelia when they were in Bulacan.
He also attempted to rape her youngest daughter 7-year old Anna when
they were in Baler. She did not bother to file cases against the accused
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they were in Baler. She did not bother to file cases against the accused
because his actuations did not materialize. She admonished him though."
10

Although it considered as hearsay Carmelita's testimony with respect to Raylin's


answer when asked why her private organ was bleeding, the trial court
nevertheless admitted the same as part of the res gestae. 11
It rejected the version of the defense, which it condensed in this wise:
"On the other hand, the evidence of the defense tends to show that the
accused is (sic) living with Carmelita Galzote without benefit of marriage
for more than 15 years. He knows Raylin, who is almost 3 years old,
because she resides with them. She is a granddaughter of Carmelita.

In the morning of April 2, 1989, he was at their house with his common-
law wife Carmelita and 4 children, namely, Raylin, 2 1/2-year old Oscar
Bormeo, 7-year old Cesar and 4-year old Annabelle. At about 11:30 that
same morning, Carmelita left the house to sell tomatoes. The accused
went to a drinking session at around 12: 00 o'clock in the store of his
compadre, a place about 100 meters, more or less away from their
house. He left the 4 children playing. The drinking spree stopped at 8:00
o'clock in the evening. Carmelita was already at their house when he
arrived. He did not have any conversation with her. cdll

The following day, he had a conversation with Carmelita about her going
to town to borrow money. She left at 7:00 o'clock in the morning and
returned home without obtaining the loan at about 2:00 o'clock in the
afternoon, more or less.
Prior to April 2, 1989, the accused had a misunderstanding with
Carmelita. The argument was about his coming home after watching TV
when he saw a man coming out from their house. When he confronted
her about it, she become angry at him.
Raylin calls the accused 'Tatay' and he treats her as if she is a daughter to
him. She can talk but one cannot easily understand what she is saying.
However, when he communicates to her he could somehow understand
what she is saying to him.

The accused was apprehended by policemen in the afternoon of April 3,


1989. He learned from them that his wife has lodge (sic) a complaint for
rape (sic) of his step-granddaughter Raylin. He told them that he did not
do it. He was brought to the Municipal Hall and detained in jail. Although
he wanted to give a sworn statement about the alleged rape, the police
did not bother to take the same.
The accused denies that he molested and/or attempted to rape her (sic)
stepdaughters, Flordeliza, Victoria, Aurelia and Anna, at one time or
another." 12

because it "cannot make anything clear (sic) out of the same, whether it is
one of alibi or imputing ill motive on Carmelita, his common-law wife, whom
he suspected of having relationship (sic) with a man he allegedly saw coming
out of their house one evening before the subject incident happened and that
Carmelita got angry at him when confronted of (sic) the same." 13
Dissatisfied with the judgment, accused filed his Notice of Appeal on 11 October
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1989. 14 This Court accepted the appeal in the Resolution of 14 February 1990. 15

In his Appellant's Brief filed on 8 June 1990, accused insists that he should be
acquitted and submits the following assignment of errors:
"I

THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN FINDING THAT THERE WAS CARNAL


KNOWLEDGE WITH IT CONVICTED ACCUSED-APPELLANT OF THE CRIME
OF RAPE.
II

THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN CONCLUDING THAT THE GUILT OF THE


ACCUSED WAS ESTABLISHED BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT BASED ON
THE UNCORROBORATED TESTIMONY OF CARMELITA GALZOTE AND IN
ADMITTING IT AS PART OF RES GESTAE." 16

As regards the first assigned error, the appellant contends that there was no
eyewitness to the alleged rape and that the testimony of Carmelita Galzote is
not conclusive as to the fact of carnal knowledge. Despite the finding that the
victim had lost her virginity, it is averred that the prosecution failed to establish
carnal knowledge or sexual intercourse as its cause. It is his theory that such loss
may have been occasioned by the insertion of an object other than an erect male
organ, a possibility which Dr. Veneracion himself admitted. 17 Moreover, the
absence of any injury outside Raylin's private organ, as attested to by the
medical certificate, indicates that the latter was not molested. It is highly
improbable that a girl of Raylin's age would not have suffered external injuries if
she were indeed ravished or sexually molested. The appellant therefore
maintains that there is no positive and conclusive proof to show that someone
had carnal knowledge of Raylin.
Anent the second assigned error, appellant asserts that the evidence relied upon
by the trial court to convict him consisted merely of Carmelita Galzote's
testimony regarding the declaration of the victim, which it considered as part of
the res gestae, and the testimony of Dr. Veneracion. He disagrees with the
conclusion of the trial court that Carmelita's testimony is admissible as part of
the res gestae — an exception to the hearsay rule — and submits that such
testimony should not be given credence because Raylin's utterance of "Tatay"
does not convey a categorical directness to the question asked by Carmelita, to
wit: 'Bakit anak, bakit dumudugo ang kiki mo.' " Such declaration cannot be
considered as part of the res gestae since the same cannot be categorized within
any of its two (2) types, viz., spontaneous exclamation and verbal acts. 18 It
likewise fails to meet the three (3) requisites for admissibility of a declaration as
part of the res gestae, namely: (a) there must be a startling occurrence, (b) it
was made before the declarant could contrive or devise and (c) it must refer to
the occurrence in question and its immediately attending circumstances. 19
Accused further maintains that the testimony of the doctor does not prove carnal
knowledge; its probative value merely supports the fact that Raylin had lost her
virginity. Carmelita's declarations that the appellant had made advances to her
daughters in the past do not inspire belief; these are unsupported and do not
stand on factual bases.

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In the Appellee's Brief filed on 17 September 1990, the Office of the Solicitor
General rejects all the contentions of the appellant and instead prays for the
affirmance of the appealed decision in toto. It claims that the trial court was
correct in giving full credit to the testimony of complainant Carmelita Galzote
which clearly, positively and convincingly proved carnal knowledge. It then cites
several circumstances which further bolster the claim of the prosecution, to wit;
"(1) the bleeding of the victim's vagina and her own word that it was appellant
who caused the injury; (2) appellant was in the house with the victim when
Carmelita left the house; (3) appellant was no longer in the house when
Carmelita arrived only to see her granddaughter already molested; (4)
appellant's past history shows his lascivious tendency in his attempts to seduce
or violate the daughters of his common-law wife; (5) appellant's unconvincing
alibi, his inability to give the name of his drinking partner or that of the
storeowner where (sic) he allegedly had a drinking session, information which in
view of his reluctance to reveal them, undoubtedly would be unfavorable." 20
In refutation of the second assigned error, the Solicitor General cites the
statement in People vs. Nartea 21 to the effect that the marked trend of decisions
is to extend, rather than narrow, the scope of the doctrine admitting declarations
as part of the res gestae. He contends that the question of whether specific
statements are admissible as part of the res gestae is a matter within the sound
discretion of the trial court; he asseverates that the latter's determination
thereof is ordinarily conclusive upon appeal in the absence of clear abuse of
discretion. He finally concludes that there was full compliance with the
requirement for the admission of the testimony of Carmelita as part of the res
gestae.
If rape was indeed committed on 2 1/2-year old Raylin, this Court would be the
first to condemn the detestable act and would not hesitate to impose the proper
penalty. As We declared in People vs. Desuyo. 22 Defilers of women are an
especially despicable ilk of evil men, and more so those who would inflict their
lasciviousness upon innocent and defenseless children. They are filthier that the
slime where they belong; whatever punishment is imposed on them can never
expiate their loathsome offense for which forgiveness itself, from a mortal court
at least, would be a sin."

Our careful scrutiny of the records of this case and exacting evaluation of the
testimonies of the witnesses lead to nothing but an unearthing of the scant and
unreliable evidence for the prosecution. On the basis thereof, Our minds cannot
rest easy upon the certainty of guilt of the accused. He may without doubt be an
evil man, but for as long as the evidence against him is not enough to satisfy the
degree of proof required for conviction, Our feelings for Raylin and Our human
prejudice against her defiler, who has certainly descended to the level of a beast,
must not color Our judgment.
A mere accusation is not synonymous with guilt. 23 Every accused is presumed
innocent until the contrary is proven. This presumption is solemnly guaranteed
by the Constitution. 24 To overcome the same, proof beyond reasonable doubt, or
that degree of proof which produces conviction in an unprejudiced mind, 25 must
be established by the prosecution. Short of this, it is not only the right of the
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accused to be freed; it is, furthermore, the constitutional duty of the court to
acquit him. 26 The freedom of the accused is forfeit only if the requisite quantum
of proof necessary for conviction be in existence. 27 Save in certain instances as
where, for example, the accused admits the commission of the imputed criminal
act but interposes justifying circumstances, the burden of showing the necessary
proof which is reposed in the prosecution is never shifted to the accused or
diminished by the weakness of the defense for unless the prosecution discharges
such burden, the accused need not even offer evidence in his behalf. Stated a
little differently, the prosecution's evidence must stand or fall on its own merits
and cannot be allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the evidence for
the defense. 28
In the instant case, the prosecution relied solely on the testimonies of Carmelita
Galzote and Dr. Veneracion. The victim herself was not, for obvious reasons,
called to the witness stand to testify. Being only 2 1/2-years old at that time, she
was disqualified from testifying as a witness under Section 21, Rule 130 of the
Rules of Court; by reason of her tender age, she was incapable of perceiving the
facts respecting her ordeal and intelligently making known such perceptions or
narrating them truthfully.
In its decision, the court a quo stated that the prosecution opted to dispense with
her testimony "on account of her tender age and inability to communicate
coherently." 29
Carmelita was not an eyewitness to the alleged rape. She frankly admitted that
the only piece of evidence she has against the accused is Raylin's response of
"Tatay" to her question "Bakit anak, bakit dumudugo ang kiki mo?" Thus, upon
being questioned by the trial court, she offered the following answers:
"Q I would like to ask some clarificatory questions. In your early (sic)
answer you stated you linked your husband to the alleged rape by
the word 'tatay,' is that correct?
A Yes, sir.
Q Aside from that do you have any ether proofs that it was actually your
husband who raped her?
A No more, sir.
Q By the word 'tatay' you would like to link your husband that he has
done (sic) the crime of rape to (sic) your granddaughter?
A Yes, sir because my granddaughter will not state that if he did not do it.
Q What was your question? Is it 'Sino ba ang gumawa nito?'

A My question is, 'Why is your vagina bleeding' and she answered, 'Tatay.'
" 30

It is clear from Carmelita's answers that she merely concluded that the bleeding
of Raylin's private organ resulted from carnal knowledge. Carnal knowledge has
been defined as the act of a man having sexual bodily connections with a
woman; sexual intercourse. 31 An essential ingredient thereof is the penetration
of the female sexual organ by the sexual organ of the male. In cases of rape,
however, mere proof of the entrance of the male organ into the labia of the
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pudendum 32 or lips of the female organ 33 is sufficient to constitute a basis for
conviction. In this jurisdiction, when a man has carnal knowledge of a woman
who is under twelve (12) years of age, as in the case of Raylin, statutory rape is
committed. 34 Punished under the Revised Penal Code, its elements are: 1) that
the offender had carnal knowledge of a woman and 2) that such act is committed
when the victim is under twelve (12) years of age. 35
There exists no credible and competent evidence to show carnal knowledge in
this case. No one, save perhaps Raylin, saw whatever it is the accused did to her.
The fresh laceration of Raylin's hymen and the fact that she had lost her virginity
do not at once support a conclusion that they were caused sexual intercourse. It
is to be noted that Dr. Veneracion did not categorically testify that the injury in
the hymen could have been caused by a male organ; as a matter of fact, the
prosecutor did not even ask him if it is possible that it could be caused by such an
organ. Thus:
"Q Could you tell us what are the reasons for such a laceration?
A An object which could have been inserted into the vagina of the patient
but most probably the object was not fully inserted it was only on
the outside part but the object is big that to fully introduce the
object would or could create an extensive laceration. It is
anatomically impossible without having extensive (sic) laceration,
sir.
Q You said it could have been caused by an insertion of an object, could it
be a result of bumping (sic) of some object?
A I think that would not be the cause of the laceration because the
position of the laceration is on two parts of the hymen, sir." 36

The prosecutor did not proceed further by asking, hypothetically, what that object
could be or whether it is possible that an erect penis could have caused the
laceration. Instead, it was the counsel for the accused who recklessly suggested
such a possibility when he cross-examined Dr. Veneracion: but then, the latter
was forthright enough to state that he could not pinpoint what particular object
caused the laceration. Thus:
"CROSS-EXAMINATION BY
ATTY. DIONISIO LEDDA:
Q Doctor you mentioned in your findings that probably an object was
inserted or introduced on the vagina of the patient could you tell to
(sic) this court if that object that could rather could you tell to (sic)
this court would or could it be possible (sic) an erect male organ?

A That is possible, sir.


Q So it can not he alone an erect male organ which cause (sic) the
laceration of the vagina of the patient?

A I can not say what kind of object but since you ask me the possibility it
is possible, sir.

Q Like for example or instance (sic) a blunt object or instrument?


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A As I said a while ago, I cannot pinpoint what kind of object, sir.
Q So it is now possible if you cannot pinpoint what kind of object it may
be an object with (sic) the size of an erect male organ is that
correct?
A That is possible, sir." 37

The trial court, however, gave undue weight to the word "Tatay" which Raylin
uttered in answer to Carmelita's question — "Bakit anak, bakit dumudugo ang
kiki mo?" Although such a declaration is hearsay because Raylin was not
presented as a witness and could not be cross-examined, the trial court
considered her alleged utterance as part of the res gestae and, therefore,
admissible in evidence as an exception to the hearsay rule under Section 42, Rule
130 of the Rules of Court. We have already mentioned the requisites for the
admission of evidence as part of the res gestae. In People vs. Ner, 38 We ruled:
"All that is required for the admissibility of a given statement as part of
the res gestae, is that it be made under the influence of a startling event
witnessed by the person who made the declaration before he had time to
think and make up a story, or to concoct or to contrive a falsehood, or to
fabricate an account, and without any undue influence in obtaining it,
aside from referring to the event in question or its immediate attending
circumstances."

The first two requisites of admissibility of a declaration as part of res gestae may
be conceded in this case. There are, however, serious doubts as to the existence
of the third requirement. Due precisely to the incompetence of Raylin, which
flows from her inability to communicate coherently, it is unclear if her utterance
of the word "Tatay" has reference to sexual intercourse. As earlier shown,
Carmelita Galzote admitted that this utterance was not in answer to the
question "Sino ba ang gumawa nito ?" — which she did not even ask — but to the
question "Why is your vagina bleeding?" 39 Such bleeding need not necessarily
have been caused by or through sexual intercourse. The trial court's conclusion
that it was so caused appears to be tenuous and speculative that it cannot
convince a reasonable mind of its soundness and the accused's alleged
responsibility therefor.
Carmelita's declaration on the witness stand that the accused attempted to: (1)
rape her eldest daughter, Flordeliza, by entering through a window and pulling
out his belt; (2) molest her other daughter, Victoria, by pulling out her skirt while
she was dressing up; (3) rape her third daughter, Aurelia, by entering the
mosquito net while they were in Bulacan and; (4) rape her fourth daughter Anna
while they were in Baler, cannot sway Our judgment. While proof of such prior
acts is admissible under Section 34, Rule 150 of the Revised Rules of Court to
prove, inter alia, a specific intent or habit, We are not prepared to give full faith to
Carmelita's testimony on such acts. If the accused truly committed such deeds,
We are unable to understand why and how Carmelita continued to maintain her
common-law union with him for more than ten (10) years. Moreover, none of her
daughters who were allegedly the victims of the lascivious advances of the
accused came out to denounce him.
Finally, this Court concludes that the weakness of the accused's defense of alibi,
which the Solicitor General stresses to further bolster the case for the
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prosecution, is entirely irrelevant. Since the prosecution has failed to prove the
accused's guilt beyond reasonable doubt, he is, as a matter of right, entitled to an
acquittal. LLjur

WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered REVERSING the Decision of Branch


40 of the Regional Trial Court of Palayan City in Criminal Case No. 0135-P and
ACQUITTING, on the ground of reasonable doubt, the accused VICTOR BORMEO.
His immediate release from detention is hereby ordered.
SO ORDERED.
Feliciano, Romero and Melo, JJ., concur.
Bidin, J., in the result.
Gutierrez, Jr., Chairman, is on leave.

Footnotes

1. Exhibit "A"; Original Records, 8.


2. Exhibit "A-1"; Original Records, 9.
3. Exhibit "B"; Id., 10.

4. Exhibit "C"; Id., 11.


5. Id., 1.

6. Original Records, 4.

7. TSN, l7 August 1989, 16.


8. Per Judge Conrado P. Labrador; Original Records, op. cit., 43-50.

9. Id., 50.
10. Original Records, 43-46.

11. Original Records, 49

12. Original Records, 47-48.


13. Id., 50.

14. Id., 51.


15. Rollo, 21.

16. Rollo, 31.

17. TSN, 8 August 1989, 8-9.


18. People vs. Ner, 28 SCRA 1151 [1969].

19. People vs. Ricaplaza, 23 SCRA 374 [1958].

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20. Brief for the Appellee, 15-16; Rollo, 36, et seq.

21. 74 Phil. 8 [1942].

22. 164 SCRA 210, 214-215 [1988].


23. People vs. Dramayo, 42 SCRA 59 [1971].

24. Section 14(2), Article III, 1987 Constitution.


25. Section 2, Rule 133, Revised Rules of Court.

26. People vs. Maisug, 27 SCRA 742 [1969].

27. People vs. Dramayo, supra; People vs. Pido, 200 SCRA 45 [1991].
28. People vs. Quintal, 125 SCRA 734 [1983]; People vs. Torrejas, G.R. No. 94187, 4
November 1992.

29. Original Records, 48.


30. TSN, 8 August 1989, 30.

31. Black's Law Dictionary, Fifth Ed. 193.

32. People vs. Pastores, 40 SCRA 498 [1971].


33. People vs. Conchada, 88 SCRA 683 [1979].

34. Article 335(3), Revised Penal Code.


35. Id.; People vs. Santos, 183 SCRA 25 [1990].

36. TSN, 8 August 1989, 7.

37. TSN, 8 August 1989, 9.


38. Supra, at pages 1161-1162, citing authorities.

39. TSN, 8 August 1989, 30.

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