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G.R. Nos. 146897-917. August 6, 2002
Ynares-Santiago, J.

Doctrine: Qualifying circumstances must be properly pleaded in the indictment in order not
to violate the constitutional right of the accused to be properly informed of the nature and
cause of the accusation against him.

The accused in this case was charged with the crime of raping the daughter of his live-in
partner. It was alleged in the information that one day, the accused carried Rosemarie, then 10
years old to the second floor of their house, brought her to a corner and started raping her.
Thereafter, he warned the victim not to cry for help or else he would kill her. However, on the
following day, the victim and her sister proceeded to the house of their aunt wherein they narrated
the whole ordeal. The aunt then brought the victim to the hospital wherein she was examined by
the doctor and found incomplete laceration of the hymen. After which, they went to the police
station and reported the said manner. This was denied by the accused and interposed an alibi that
he was with his neighbor when the crime allegedly happened. He also put forwards the contention
that the charges filed against him were mere fabrications by the aunt to take the custody of the two
children. The RTC then rendered the decision which convicted the accused of the crime charged
and imposed the penalty of death plus ordered the accused to pay 50,000 for moral damages.
On appeal, the accused faults the trial court in imposing the death penalty upon him
contending that the same is anti-poor and the same should be suspended.


1. W/N the trial court erred in imposing the penalty of death upon the accused? - YES.
Nowhere in the information filed against the appellant will it show that the
qualifying circumstance of relationship between the offender and the victim was
alleged. While it is proven that the appellant is the common-law husband of the
complainant’s mother, the failure to allege such relationship in the information bars
the conviction of the qualified form of rape which is punishable by death. As a
result of which, the penalty shall be reduced to reclusion perpetua.

WHEREFORE, the judgment rendered by Branch 33, Regional Trial Court of Laguna in Criminal
Case No. S-1797 is AFFIRMED but with the modifications that appellant Pedro Gabiana y
Carubas is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to pay private
complainant Rosemarie C. Argosino civil indemnity of P50,000.00, and the additional sum of
P50,000.00 as moral damages. Costs against appellant.

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