ALVIN AMPLOYO y EBALADA, P e t i t i o n e r, - versus PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, R e s p o n d e n t.

G.R. No. 157718

Present:

PUNO, Chairman, AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ, CALLEJO, SR., TINGA and CHICO-NAZARIO, JJ.

Promulgated:

April 26, 2005 DECISION

CHICO-NAZARIO, J.:

This is a petition for review on certiorari assailing the Decision[1] of the Court of Appeals which affirmed the Decision[2] of the RegionalTrialCourtofOlongapoCity, Branch 72, and its Resolution[3] denying petitioner's motion for reconsideration.

On 21 July 1997, petitioner was charged with violation of Section 5(b), Article III of Republic Act No. 7610, in an Information worded as follows:

That on or about the 27th day of June, 1997, and on dates prior thereto, at Brgy. Calapandayan, in the Municipality of Subic, Province of Zambales, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused, with lewd design, and by means of force, intimidation and threats, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, commit acts of lascivious conduct with one Kristine Joy Mosquera, a minor of eight (8) years old, by then and there touching, mashing and playing her breast, against her will and consent, to the damage and prejudice of the latter.[4]

Upon arraignment, petitioner pleaded 'NOT GUILTY. Trial on the merits ensued thereafter. The prosecution presented as witnesses (1) the complainant herself, Kristine Joy Mosquera;

(2) complainant's mother, Gnelida Gallardo Mosquera; and (3) Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) psychologist Lucrecia Cruz. Petitioner, on the other hand, waived his right to present evidence[5] after his demurrer to evidence[6] was denied by the trial court.[7]

The facts, as appreciated by the trial court, are as follows:

Kristine Joy Mosquera was eight years old on 27 June 1997,[8] having celebrated her eighth year the day before. A grade III student, she was walking to school (which was just a short distance from her house) at around seven oclock in the morning when she was met by petitioner who emerged from hiding from a nearby store. Petitioner and Kristine Joy were neighbors. Petitioner approached Kristine Joy, touched her head, placed his hand on her shoulder where it then moved down to touch her breast several times. Petitioner thereafter told Kristine Joy not to report to anybody what he did to her.

This was not the first time that the incident happened as petitioner had done this several times in the past, even when Kristine Joy was still in Grade II. However, it was only during this last incident that Kristine Joy finally told somebody ' her grandmother, who immediately talked to Gnelida Mosquera, Kristine Joy's mother.

Mrs. Mosquera conferred with Kristine Joy who said that petitioner would sometimes even insert his hand under her shirt to caress her breast. Mother and child then reported the matter to the barangay. From the barangay, the case was referred to the DSWD then to the Police Department of Subic, Zambales.

On 07 November 1997, Kristine Joy was seen by a psychologist, witness Lucrecia Cruz, who reported that Kristine Joy was a victim of sexual abuse and was showing unusual behavior as a result thereof. Among other things, Ms. Cruz detected in the eight-year old child feelings of insecurity, anger, anxiety and depression. Guilt feelings were also noted. All in all, Kristine Joy appeared on the surface to be a child with normal behavior despite the experience, but on a deeper level, she developed a fear of going to school as petitioner

might again be hiding in the store waiting for her. She was deeply bothered during the interview and even uttered 'Nahihiya ako sa mga magulang ko at uncle ko baka tuksuhin akong bobo na hindi ko agad sinabi.

Kristine Joy continued going to school, but this time accompanied always by an adult relative.

On 22 September 1999, the trial court rendered its decision, the dispositive portion of which reads:

WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing considerations, the Court finds the accused Alvin Amployo GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Child Abuse defined under Section 5 (b) of Republic Act 7610 and hereby sentences him to Reclusion Temporal in its medium period or FOURTEEN (14) YEARS, EIGHT (8) MONTHS and ONE (1) DAY TO SEVENTEEN (17) YEARS and to pay the costs.[9]

The Court of Appeals, as adverted to earlier, affirmed the Decision of the trial court by dismissing petitioner's appeal for lack of merit. Upon motion for reconsideration, however, the Court of Appeals modified its ruling relative to the penalty imposed, thus:

WHEREFORE, the motion for reconsideration is DENIED. However, the penalty is MODIFIED such that accused-appellant is sentenced to imprisonment of twelve (12) years and one (1) day of reclusion temporal, as minimum, to fifteen (15) years, six (6) months and twenty (20) days of reclusion temporal, as maximum.[10]

Hence, the instant petition, the following issues having been presented for resolution:

I. WHETHER OR NOT THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN CONVICTING HEREIN PETITIONER OF ACTS OF LASCIVIOUSNESS IN RELATION TO SEC. (5) ARTICLE III OF RA NO. 7610 DESPITE THAT THE FACTUAL MILIEU NEGATES THE SAME II.

WHETHER THE ALLEGED ACT OF HEREIN PETITIONER CONSTITUTES ACTS OF LASCIVIOUSNESS AS PENALIZED UNDER SEC (5) ARTICLE III OF RA NO. 7610

The first issue basically questions the sufficiency of the evidence adduced to prove acts of lasciviousness under Article 336 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC). According to petitioner, the prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt all the elements of said crime, particularly the element of lewd design.

On the second issue, petitioner contends that even assuming that the acts imputed to him amount to lascivious conduct, the resultant crime is only acts of lasciviousness under Article 336 of the RPC and not child abuse under Section 5(b) of Rep. Act No. 7610 as the elements thereof have not been proved.

Rep. Act No. 7610, the 'Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act, defines sexual abuse of children and prescribes the penalty therefor in its Article III, Section 5:

SEC. 5. Child Prostitution and Other Sexual Abuse. - Children, whether male or female, who for money, profit, or any other consideration or due to the coercion or influence of any adult, syndicate or group, indulge in sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct, are deemed to be children exploited in prostitution and other sexual abuse. The penalty of reclusion temporal in its medium period to reclusion perpetua shall be imposed upon the following; (a) (b) ... Those who commit the act of sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct with a child exploited in prostitution or subjected to other sexual abuse: Provided, That when the victim is under twelve (12) years of age, the perpetrators shall be prosecuted under Article 335, paragraph 3, for rape and Article 336 of Act No. 3815, as amended, the Revised Penal Code, for rape or lascivious conduct as the case may be: Provided, That the penalty for lascivious conduct when the victim is under twelve (12) years of age shall be reclusion temporal in its medium period; . . .

Thus, pursuant to the foregoing provision, before an accused can be convicted of child abuse through lascivious conduct on a minor below 12 years of age, the requisites for acts of

It is the presence of the first element which petitioner challenges.. by conduct that can only be interpreted as lewd or lascivious. v. 7610. The term 'lewd is commonly defined as something indecent or obscene. claiming that lewd design has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt. by its very nature.[14] What is or what is not lewd conduct. Kristine Joy was below 12 years old on the material date set in the information. b. that is. By using force or intimidation. Gomez[15] we had already lamented that ' . i. or When the offended party is under 12 years of age. First Issue: Article 336 of the RPC on Acts of Lasciviousness has for its elements the following: (1) That the offender commits any act of lasciviousness or lewdness. (3) That the offended party is another person of either sex. and c. Act No.[12] it is characterized by or intended to excite crude sexual desire. As early as U.lasciviousness under Article 336 of the RPC must be met in addition to the requisites for sexual abuse under Section 5 of Rep. (2) That it is done under any of the following circumstances: a.[11] The presence of the second element is not in dispute.[13] That an accused is entertaining a lewd or unchaste design is necessarily a mental process the existence of which can be inferred by overt acts carrying out such intention. The presence or absence of lewd designs is inferred from the nature of the acts themselves and the environmental circumstances.e. or When the offended party is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious. cannot be pigeonholed into a precise definition.S.

in a street very near the school where people abound. In herein case. subject herself to medical examination and undergo public trial. Furthermore. Finally. with concomitant ridicule and humiliation. which means to say there was nothing to entice him in the first place. as the very same petitioner did the very same act to the very same victim in the past. petitioner argues that lewd design cannot be inferred from his conduct firstly because the alleged act occurred at around seven oclock in the morning. particularly when affirmed by the Court of Appeals.[20] Moreover. Kristine Joy's testimony is indeed worthy of full faith and credence as there is no proof that she was motivated to falsely accuse petitioner. he could not have been prompted by lewd design as his hand merely slipped and accidentally touched Kristine Joy's breast. petitioner cannot take refuge in his version of the story as he has conveniently left out details which indubitably prove the presence of lewd design. if she is not impelled by a sincere desire to put behind bars the person who assaulted her. It may be quite easy to determine in a particular case that certain acts are lewd and lascivious. we stress anew that no young and decent girl like Kristine Joy would fabricate a story of sexual abuse. however.It would be somewhat difficult to lay down any rule specifically establishing just what conduct makes one amenable to the provisions of article 439[16] of the Penal Code. are binding on this Court barring arbitrariness and oversight of some fact or circumstance of weight and substance[18] for which there are none in this case. It would have been easy to entertain the possibility that what happened was merely an accident if it only happened once. assuming that he indeed intentionally touch Kristine Joy's breast. Besides. Such is not the case. thus. What constitutes lewd or lascivious conduct must be determined from the circumstances of each case.[17] Petitioner's arguments crumble under the weight of overwhelming evidence against him.[19] Clearly then. and it may be extremely difficult in another case to say just where the line of demarcation lies between such conduct and the amorous advances of an ardent lover. Well-settled is the rule that factual findings of the trial court. he could not have been motivated by lewd design as the breast of an eight year old is still very much undeveloped. the incident could never be labeled as accidental as petitioner's hand did not just slip from Kristine Joy's shoulder to her . it was merely to satisfy a silly whim following a Court of Appeals ruling. Thus.

7610. 7610 that must be proven in addition to the elements of acts of lasciviousness are the following: (1) The accused commits the act of sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct. Article III of Rep. human experience has taught us painfully well that sexual misconduct defies categorization and what might be an unusual.[22] As to petitioner's argument that human experience negates the presence of lewd design as Kristine Joy had no developed breasts with which to entice him. Second Issue: Petitioner contends that assuming he is guilty of lascivious conduct. we dismiss for being atrocious the proposition that petitioner was not compelled by lewd design as he was merely satisfying a 'silly whim. still he can only be convicted under the RPC since his conduct does not amount to sexual abuse as defined under Section 5(b). unlikely or impossible sexual conduct for most might very well be the norm for some. suffice it to say that on the contrary. Finally. whether male or female.[23] . Act No. Article III of Rep. and (3) The child. The elements of sexual abuse under Section 5. Act No. taking advantage of her tender age with his sheer size. in our book. can never be in satisfaction of a mere silly whim. invading her privacy and intimidating her into silence. Terrifying an eight-year old school girl. the theory that what happened was accidental is belied by petitioner having threatened Kristine Joy to keep silent and not tell on him. is below 18 years of age.[21] Finally. (2) The said act is performed with a child exploited in prostitution or subjected to other sexual abuse.breast as there were times when he would touch her breast from under her shirt.

That this child was cowed into silence and submission and was traumatized in the process is reflected in the psychological report[29] made by the DSWD psychologist. anus. masturbation. either directly or through clothing. As case law has it. 7610 defines lascivious conduct as follows: (T)he intentional touching.[25] It is sufficient that some compulsion equivalent to intimidation annuls or subdues the free exercise of the will of the offended party. Larin. whether of the same or opposite sex. groin. the latter stating that: BEHAVIOR OBSERVATION: . inner thigh. lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of a person. As we observed in People v.[27] Young girls cannot be expected to act like adults under the same circumstances or to have the courage and intelligence to disregard the threat. degrade or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person. but also one in which a child engages in any lascivious conduct through coercion or intimidation. Article XIII of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Rep.[28] In this case. Lucrecia Cruz. anus or mouth of any person. who constantly accosted her while she was alone and on her way to school and who consistently ordered her not to report what he had been doing to her. with an intent to abuse. of the genitalia. bestiality. based on the foregoing definition. Act No. intimidation need not necessarily be irresistible.The first element obtains. it is not hard to imagine eight-year old Kristine Joy being intimidated by her neighbor. petitioner's act of purposely touching Kristine Joy's breasts (sometimes under her shirt) amounts to lascivious conduct.[26] This is especially true in the case of young.[24] Section 5 of Rep. innocent and immature girls who could not be expected to act with equanimity of disposition and with nerves of steel. (Emphasis supplied) Undoubtedly. harass. or the introduction of any object into the genitalia. Act No. Section 32. 7610 does not merely cover a situation of a child being abused for profit. The second element is likewise present. humiliate. or buttocks. breast. a full grown adult male.

In an interview. TEST RESULT AND INTERPRETATION: Test result revealed that subject manifest anger as she quoted 'gusto ko makulong si Tikboy ng matagal. as she was only eight years old at the time of the incident in question. nightmare.Subject appeared kemp. Indicate strong fear. nahihiya ako sa magulang ko at Uncle ko baka tuksuhin akong bobo na hindi ko agad sinabi. anxiety. there is no dispute that Kristine Joy is a minor. [30] . Indicate that subject disturbed towards past as she quoted 'ang masidhing ala-ala ng aking kamusmusan ay yong panghihipo ni Tikboy.000. Thus. She [was] observed to be cooperative. The abuser hide (sic) along the store way to school. nightmare. From psychotherapeutic point of view subject needs constant counseling to overcome her presented (sic) crisis. To restore moral values. Then she was threatened not to reveal to anybody especially to her parents. Thus. The incident happened every time she went to school in the morning. Finally. As to the third element. shame. wearing white Tshirt and maong short pants. Implies low selfesteem as she quoted 'madumi na ang sarili ko.a. auditory hallucination and low self-esteem. we note that no award for moral damages was made by both the trial court and the Court of Appeals despite the fact that the mental anguish suffered by Kristine Joy on account of her harrowing experience is spread all over the records of the case and has been well documented by the psychologist who examined her as reflected in her report quoted above. attractive.00) pursuant to Article 2219 of the Civil Code. Kristine Joy Mosquera is a victim of sexual molestation committed by a certain Alvin Amployo or Tikboy. noontime and in the afternoon. subject disclosed that since she was in Grade II a certain Alvin Amployo a. She is deeply depressed and suffer from traumatic sexualization. shame and auditory hallucination. Tikboy who (sic) sexually molested her. improve her selfesteem and enhance her emotional and social functioning. poor concentration. nahihiya ako sa magulang ko at Uncle ko baka tuksuhin akong bobo na hindi ko agad sinabi and 'ang masidhing ala-ala ng aking kamusmusan ay yong panghihipo ni Tikboy. wounded feelings and social humiliation finds an express outlet in her words: 'madumi na ang sarili ko. fair complexion. poor concentration. To assist the subject to ventilate her ambivalent feeling. At the risk of being repetitive. anxiety. subject manifest from (sic) anger. attentive and expressive.k. proof of Kristine Joy's mental anguish. Subject was greatly affected psychologically and emotionally. CASE SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATION: In summary. She narrated that her private part was fondled for many times. subject aiming that Tikboy be put to jail. We therefore modify the ruling of the Court of Appeals by awarding moral damages to Kristine Joy in the amount of Twenty Thousand Pesos (P20.

the fact that complainant has suffered the trauma of mental. the rationale being: One other cognate development in the case law on rape is applicable to the present disposition.[33] It does not end there. we find relevant to discuss here the case of People v. Section 31(f). since no appropriate pleadings are filed wherein such allegations can be made. moral damages may additionally be awarded to the victim in the criminal proceeding. Article XII (Common Penal Provisions) thereof allows the imposition of a fine subject to the discretion of the court. 1990. physical and psychological sufferings which constitute the bases for moral damages are too obvious to still require the recital thereof at the trial by the victim. such as that under consideration. or any immediate member of his family if the latter is the perpetrator of the offense. Corollarily. The Court has also resolved that in crimes of rape. we imposed a fine of P30. Abadies. In People v. the conventional requirement of allegata et probate in civil procedure and for essentially civil cases should be dispensed with in criminal prosecutions for rape with the civil aspect included therein.00 as moral damages may be further awarded to the victim in the same way that moral damages are awarded to victims of rape even without need of proof because it is assumed that they suffered moral injury.000.[34] and with respect specifically to lascivious conduct amounting to child abuse under Section 5(b) of Rep. 7610 provides for the penalty of imprisonment. Considering that the crime of acts of lasciviousness or abusos dishonestos is necessarily included in rape[32] and both cases involve sexual assault albeit in different degrees. Act No. provided that the same is to be administered as a cash fund by the Department of Social Welfare and Development and disbursed for the rehabilitation of each child victim. since the Court itself even assumes and acknowledges such agony on her part as a gauge of her credibility. Solmoro[31] wherein we declared that upon a finding of guilt of the accused for acts of lasciviousness. 7610.000 for each count of lascivious conduct in addition to the award of moral damages on the justification that ' It will be noted that Section 5. the amount of P30. to which the Philippines became a party on August 21. Nevertheless. Indeed. . the rationale for foregoing with proof of moral damages in rape cases applies with equal force to crimes of acts of lasciviousness. Article II of Republic Act No. in such amount as the Court deems just. which stresses the duty of states parties to ensure the physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of abused and exploited children in an environment which fosters their self-respect and human dignity.Additionally. This provision is in accord with Article 39 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. What exists by necessary implication as being ineludibly present in the case need not go through the superfluity of still being proved through a testimonial charade. without the need for pleading or proof of the basis thereof as has heretofore been the practice.

No costs. JR. 7610. vs. accused-appellant.00) and moral damages in the amount of Twenty Thousand Pesos (P20..00). Branch 72. as maximum is AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that petitioner is hereby ordered to pay a fine of Fifteen Thousand Pesos (P15. No. premises considered. as minimum.With the case of Abadies as guidepost. we impose a fine of Fifteen Thousand Pesos (P15. to fifteen (15) years. WHEREFORE. and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of twelve (12) years and one (1) day of reclusion temporal. accused-appellee.000. 2002 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. DECISION CARPIO-MORALES. y FLORES ALIAS "PESIONG".000. G.: . SO ORDERED. 128823-24 December 27. J. six (6) months and twenty (20) days of reclusion temporal. R.00) on petitioner.000. finding accused-petitioner ALVIN AMPLOYO y EBALADA alias 'TIKBOY guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violation of Republic Act No. PEDRO FLORES. the Resolution of the Court of Appeals modifying the Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Olongapo City.

11 years old. x x x (Emphasis supplied). willfully.5 claiming that he was afraid of ghosts. did then and there. 1997. Pangasinan. at their family residence in Sitio Buenlag. Pangasinan. by means of force and intimidation.4 accused-appellant asked Filipina to accompany him to the comfort room situated outside their house. Barangay Nancamaliran West. After partaking of supper on the night of December 9. 11 years old. Filipina reported the incident to her "Inang Lorie" whose full name is . criminally and feloniously sexually abuse the herein complaining witness FILIPINA FLORES. under oath. Province of Pangasinan. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. in the morning at Sitio Buenlag. Branch 46. he ordered Filipina to remove her short pants. Nancamaliran West. and her younger sister Catherine were left to the care of their father. hereby accuses PEDRO FLORES. an 11 years old and daughter of the herein accused with the use of sharp pointed bladed weapon and all against her will. unlawfully. grade three pupil and a resident of Sitio Buenlag. 1996. Brgy. the above-named accused. Pangasinan. their mother Marcelina L.. JR. The complaints against accused-appellant filed on February 3.3 Culled from the records of the case are the following facts established by the prosecution: On December 5. 1997 read as follows: Criminal Case No. willfully. U-9184: CRIMINAL COMPLAINT1 The undersigned. Y FLORES for the crime of "RAPE". Urdaneta. all against her will. Province of Pangasinan. committed as follows: That on the 9th day of December 1996. FILIPINA FLORES Y LAZO. however. Urdaneta. and they both went home. Flores (Filipina). 1996. Urdaneta. JR.12 Accused-appellant thereafter wiped Filipina’s vagina and his hand. with deliberate intent and by means of force and intimidation. ALIAS "PESYONG". did then and there. she acquiesced because her mother had told her to always obey her father.An assault on sexual innocence can open a floodgate of emotions. hereby accuses PEDRO FLORES. herein accusedappellant. Brgy Nancamaliran West. Brgy Nancamaliran West. x x x (Emphasis supplied). threatened to kill her if she reported what he did. unlawfully. directed her to put on her shorts. 11 years old at the time. private complainant Filipina L. committed as follows: That on the 28th day of December 1996. threatening her with death if she disobeyed. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. grade three pupil and a resident of Sitio Buenlag. in the evening at Sitio Buenlag. Y FLORES.9 and made her lie down. Pangasinan finding accused-appellant Pedro Flores Jr. Arraigned on February 10.10 He then removed his short pants and brief and.6 Albeit Filipina did not believe7 him. Nancamaliran West. criminally and feloniously sexually abuse the herein complaining witness FILIPINA FLORES Y LAZO. Urdaneta. FILIPINA FLORES Y LAZO. U-9185: CRIMINAL COMPLAINT2 The undersigned. The following morning. the above-named accused. y Flores alias "Pesiong" guilty of two counts of rape of his then 11 year old daughter and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of death in each. 11 years old. he inserted his finger and later his penis into Filipina’s vagina11 where she later felt hot fluid. Municipality of Urdaneta. Municipality of Urdaneta. accused-appellant pleaded not guilty to both charges. under oath.8 When accused-appellant came out of the comfort room. against her will. This Court.. Flores having departed for Singapore to work as an overseas contract worker. cannot allow emotions to drown an accused’s right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. Criminal Case No. Brgy. For automatic review before this Court is the Joint Decision of the Regional Trial Court.

accusedappellant told her not to talk15 and ordered her to remove her short pants and panty. . Lourdes Lazo. The following morning. 1997. Filipina felt accused-appellant’s semen drop into her private organ where she noticed the presence of blood and a bit of whitish substance. of the Revised Penal Code in relation to Section 1. Y FLORES ALIAS PESIONG beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Statutory Rape. She complied. who was staying in the house of accused-appellant’s mother-in-law. Accused-appellant then inserted his finger into Filipina’s vagina for some time. Jr. she.Admits examining finger with ease. Accused-appellant’s testimony was corroborated by his mother Margarita. JUDGMENT is rendered CONVICTING PEDRO FLORES.18 On January 31.17 and to her playmate Carla Salvador.Multiple deep healed lacerations all over the labia majora. found the presence of "deep-healed lacerations all over the labia majora"20 which deep-healed lacerations connote. 1996 because she was in the house of Norielyn. and a tricycle driverneighbor. P20. Nineteen nights later or on December 28.21 was not in their house on the night of December 9. 1996 for not attending school on the 6th.000. accused-appellant claimed as follows: Filipina. Nebril. the Court sentences. . as Filipina lay asleep in their house. the examining physician. 7th and 8th of December that year and for having received money from her classmate.00 as moral damages. 1997 Joint Decision. JR. he would have him detained.Norielyn Antonio. Denying the accusations. . the aunt of her mother. she was awakened when accused-appellant touched her right foot. jailed as he begrudged him for having eloped with their mother. reported the matter to the Philippine National Police of Urdaneta where she gave a statement. private complainant again reported the matter to her grandaunt Norielyn. Jeanna B. Memorial General Hospital the results of which are contained in a medical certificate19 showing the following: (-) Negative menarche .23 Jocelyn added that Filipina had intimated to her that she fabricated the rape charges because their maternal grandmother Lourdes wanted their father. On the same day. ordering Pedro Flores. Accused-appellant later wiped her vagina with a towel. PEDRO FLORES. It was also corroborated by another teenaged child. Neither was she in their house on the night of December 28. who told her that if her father would sexually assault her again.000. and promised to give her jewelry.13 Armed with a knife14. and then inserted his penis for a long time as he was sucking her breast. Perez. Accused-appellant thereupon removed his short pants and brief and went on top of her chest during which she tried to push him away but failed. a relative.24 and that Lourdes threatened her with abandonment or detention in jail in case she defied. submitted herself to a medical examination at the Don Amadeo J. Jr. shoes and dress if she agreed to carry out her desire. also in Barangay Nancamaliran West. plus all the necessary penalties and costs. according to the doctor. Dr. the court a quo found accused-appellant guilty of Statutory Rape and sentenced her to death in both cases in its April 7. Republic Act 7659 aggravated by relationship. y Flores alias Pesiong to pay Filipina the sum of P50.(+) sticky whitish discharge. and his teenaged children Benito and Baby Jean Flores who were staying in his mother’s house. After trial.16 wiped his hands. Jocelyn Flores. U-9184 – to suffer the penalty of DEATH. the dispositive portion of which reads: WHEREFORE. accompanied by Norielyn. Filipina. JR. whom he whipped in the afternoon of December 9. the application of force. still accompanied by Norielyn. 1996. accused-appellant. possibly two weeks before the examination. Article 335. 1996 as she was at the house of his mother Margarita Flores22 in Cafloresan. an offense defined and penalized under paragraph 3. Y FLORES ALIAS PESIONG as follows: CRIMINAL CASE NO.00 as exemplary damages.

In the criminal complaints at bar. Accused-appellant assigns as errors the following: I. The allegation that accused-appellant did "sexually abuse" Filipina does not suffice. so that it may decide whether they are sufficient in law to support a conviction if one should be had. and it becomes the duty of the appellate court to correct such errors as may be found in the judgment appealed from.000.--. an indictment must fully state the elements of the specific offense alleged to have been committed. When the woman is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious. To inform the court of the facts alleged. y Flores alias Pesiong to pay Filipina the sum of P50. the complaint or information must allege that the accused had carnal knowledge of or sexual intercourse with the private complainant. This right has the following objectives: 26 1.25 It is at once apparent.34 The allegation in the instant criminal complaints that accused-appellant "sexually abuse[d]" the private . In the recent case of People v. THAT THE COURT [A QUO] ERRED IN NOT APPRECIATING THE DEFENSE OF THE ACCUSEDAPPELLANT THAT THE COMPLAINANT WAS NOT AT THE SCENE OF THE CRIME WHEN THE ALLEGED INCIDENTS TOOK PLACE. an appeal throws the whole case open for review. The right cannot be waived for reasons of public policy. and 3. however.29 The court a quo found accused-appellant guilty of Statutory Rape under Article 33530 of the Revised Penal Code. the case is now before this Court on automatic review. the evidence proffered is inadequate to establish carnal knowledge. 2. it is imperative that the complaint or information filed against the accused be complete to meet its objectives.27 Hence. By using force or intimidation.CRIMINAL CASE NO. whether they are made the subject of assignment of errors or not. The Branch Clerk of Court is hereby ordered to transmit the entire records of this case to the Honorable Supreme Court of the Philippines for automatic review of this Decision. that accusedappellant was denied the constitutional right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him.Rape is committed by having carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following circumstances: 1.00 as exemplary damages. from a reading of the above-quoted complaints. Jr.000. plus all the necessary penalties and costs. Lito Egan alias Akiao32. ordering Pedro Flores. II. even if duly proven. to sustain a conviction.00 as moral damages. To avail himself of his conviction or acquittal for protection against further prosecution for the same cause. A DEFENSE SUFFICIENT TO OVERCOME AND DESTROY THE TESTIMONY OF THE COMPLAINANT THAT WOULD HAVE WARRANTED THE ACQUITTAL OF THE ACCUSED-APELLANT. 3. Pedro Flores. sexual abuse cannot be equated with carnal knowledge or sexual intercourse. 1993) which provides: Article 335. no such allegation was made. 2."33 Hence. No. To furnish the accused with such a description of the charge against him as will enable him to make the defense. this Court ruled that "although the prosecution has proved that [the therein private complainant] Lenie was sexually abused. In view of the penalty of death imposed by the court a quo. U-9185 – to suffer the penalty of DEATH. Jr. When the woman is under twelve years of age or is demented. unless it is alleged or necessarily included in the complaint or information.28 For an accused cannot be convicted of an offense. A. THAT THE FILING OF THE CASE [AT BAR] WAS MOTIVATED BY SOME FACTORS OTHER THAN THE TRUTH AS TO ITS COMMISSION. P20. AND SO THE ACCUSED SHOULD BE ACQUITTED. As such. y Flores alias Pesiong shall be committed immediately to the National Bilibid Prisons. When and how rape is committed.31 Thus. The gravamen of the crime of rape is carnal knowledge or sexual intercourse between a man and a woman under the circumstances enumerated in the penal code. It is settled that in a criminal case. as amended by R. 7659 (which restored the death penalty for heinous crimes effective December 31.

3815. (4) Threatening or using violence towards a child to engage him as a prostitute. That when the victim is under twelve (12) years of age. the accused shall be convicted of the offense proved which is included in the offense charged. Section 5 of said Act provides: SEC. Judgment in case of variance between allegation and proof. (2) Inducing a person to be a client of a child prostitute by means of written or oral advertisements or other similar means. bar. For every crime is made up of certain acts and intent which must be set forth in the complaint or information with reasonable particularity of time. who for money. is not one of variance between allegation and proof. and circumstances. or (5) Giving monetary consideration. goods or other pecuniary benefit to a child with the intent to engage such child in prostitution.—When there is variance between the offense charged in the complaint or information and that proved. It is settled that what characterizes the charge is the actual recital of facts 36 in the complaint or information. . profit. place. or of the offense charged which is included in the offense proved. or any other consideration or due to the coercion or influence of any adult. 5. indulge in sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct. whether male or female. whether as manager or owner of the establishment where the prostitution takes place or of the sauna.38 And even under the provisions of Republic Act No. however. "sexual abuse" not being an essential element or ingredient thereof. names (plaintiff and defendant). 4. and the offense as charged is included in or necessarily includes the offense proved. -. as amended by Act No. the perpetrators shall be prosecuted under Article 335. syndicate or group. (b) Those who commit the act of sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct with a child exploited in prostitution or subjected to other sexual abuse: Provided. facilitate or induce child prostitution which include. Exploitation and Discrimination Act). resort. the accused being presumed to have no independent knowledge of the facts that constitute the offense. are deemed to be children exploited in prostitution and other sexual abuse. 7610 (The Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse.Children.39 accused-appellant cannot be held liable. In other words. Child Prostitution and Other Sexual Abuse. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied).35 The case at bar. The recital of facts in the criminal complaints simply does not properly charge rape. for rape or lascivious conduct when the victim is under twelve (12) years of age shall be reclusion temporal in its medium period. the complaint must contain a specific allegation of every fact and circumstance necessary to constitute the crime charged37. the following: (1) Acting as a procurer of a child prostitute. place of entertainment or establishment serving as a cover or which engages in prostitution in addition to the activity for which the license has been issued to said establishment. disco. This Court is not unaware of the rule in case there is a variance between allegation and proof as etched in Section 4 of Rule 120 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure which reads: SEC. for rape and Article 336 of the Revised Penal Code. Neither can accused-appellant be convicted of acts of lasciviousness or of any offense for that matter under our penal laws. The penalty of reclusion temporal in its medium period to reclusion perpetua shall be imposed upon the following: (a) Those who engage in or promote. paragraph 3. (3) Taking advantage of influence or relationship to procure a child as a prostitute. but are not limited to.complainant cannot thus be read to mean that accused-appellant had carnal knowledge or sexual intercourse with the private complainant. and (c) Those who derive profit or advantage therefrom.

A. this Court held: The Court also finds that accused-appellant cannot be convicted of rape or acts of lasciviousness under the information in Criminal Case No. non-exclusive definition. in the City of Baguio. Cruz 15368-R read: 41 is instructive. the allegation in the information that the therein accused-appellant sexually abused the therein private complainant by either raping or committing acts of lasciviousness on her "is not a sufficient averment of the acts constituting the offense as required under Section 8 [of Rule 110]. which has debased. or coercion of a child to engage in. this Court finds that the phrase "sexually abuse" in the criminal complaints at bar does not comply with the requirement that the complaint must contain a specific averment of every fact necessary to constitute the crime. Notably. which charges accusedappellant of a violation of R. JEANNIE ANN DELA CRUZ as a human being. did then and there willfully. No. none of which is reflected in the complaints at bar charging accused-appellant. 15368-R. or any special or aggravating circumstances attending the same. as required under the rules of criminal procedure. 7610 as an elemental fact but as an altogether separate offense. This Court thus takes this occasion to remind public prosecutors of their crucial role in crafting criminal complaints and information. 15368-R is therefore void for being violative of the accused-appellant’s constitutionally-guaranteed right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. The case of People v. reference shall be made to the section or subsection of the statute punishing it. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. Above-quoted Section 5 thereof enumerates the punishable acts that must be alleged in the complaint or information to hold an accused liable. The information does not cite which among the numerous sections or subsections of R. CONTRARY TO LAW. 7610 has been violated by accused-appellant. 3) prostitution. the above-named accused. the phrase "sexual abuse" is not used under R. Rule 110 thereof provides: Designation of the offense. and specify its qualifying and aggravating circumstances.A. They are void for being violative of the accused-appellant’s constitutional right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. Moreover. 7610 (The Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse. Philippines. No. 7610. If there is no designation of the offense. or 4) incest with children. The allegation in the information that accused-appellant "willfully. aver the acts or omissions constituting the offense.A.—The complaint or information shall state the designation of the offense given by the statue. That on or about the 2nd day of August.Section 2 (g) of the Rules and Regulations on the Reporting and Investigation of Child Abuse Cases40. . persuasion. defines "sexual abuse" by inclusion as follows: Sexual abuse includes 1) the employment." Nothing less can be said of the criminal complaints in the cases at bar. unlawfully and feloniously commit sexual abuse on his daughter either by raping her or committing acts of lasciviousness on her. Exploitation and Discrimination Act). Section 8. (Underscoring supplied) From this broad. (Emphasis & underscoring supplied) As held by this Court in the above-case of Cruz. not facts. use. unlawfully and feloniously commit sexual abuse on his daughter [Jeannie Ann] either by raping her or committing acts of lasciviousness on her" is not a sufficient averment of the acts constituting the offense as required under Section 8. or assist another person to engage in sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct or 2) the molestation. For all efforts may be rendered futile and justice may be denied by a failure to state "the acts or omissions complained of as constituting the offense" as exemplified by the present case. (Emphasis supplied) Finding the above-quoted information void. degraded and demeaned the intrinsic worth and dignity of his daughter. for these are conclusions of law." It is readily apparent that the facts charged in said information do not constitute an offense. for these are conclusions of law. 1997. enticement. "either by raping her or committing acts of lasciviousness. not facts. it does not state the acts and omissions constituting the offense. No. The information in Criminal Case No. There the information in Criminal Case No. issued pursuant to Section 32 of Republic Act No.

1998 of the Regional Trial Court of Baguio City. Hence. [G. DANILO DELA CRUZ y CARIZZA. Branch 6. June 21. then 11 years of age. i[1] Criminal Case No. the informations in Criminal Case Nos. against her will and consent. did then and there willfully. The informations alleged: Criminal Case No. WHEREFORE. the above-named accused. 15164-R and 15368-R finding accused-appellant Danilo dela Cruz y Carizza guilty of two (2) counts of rape and one (1) count of acts of lasciviousness. Costs de oficio. JEANNIE ANN DELA CRUZ. a minor. 2002] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. Philippines. unlawfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge of his daughter. On August 29. Jr. y Flores alias "Pesiong. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. the cases against him are hereby DISMISSED. SO ORDERED. Nos. against her will and consent. in the City of Baguio.ii[2] . vs. CONTRARY TO LAW. plaintiff-appellee. accusedappellant.The foregoing disquisition leaves it unnecessary to dwell on accused-appellant’s assigned errors or of other errors including failure to allege relationship in the first complaint." for Rape to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him.: Before the Court on automatic review is the Decision dated August 13. J. 1990. 15163-R That sometime in the month of September. CONTRARY TO LAW. DECISION KAPUNAN. and lack of proof of minority in both cases. 15164-R That sometime in the month of July. 135554-56. Philippines. then 16 years of age. 1995.R. unlawfully and feloniously and by means of force and intimidation. did then and there willfully. U-9184 and U-9185 are hereby declared null and void for being violative of the constitutional right of accused-appellant Pedro Flores. two informations for rape were filed against accused-appellant in the RTC of Baguio City. the above-named accused. JEANNIE ANN DELA CRUZ. in Criminal Cases Nos. in the City of Baguio. 15163-R. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. 1997. have carnal knowledge of his daughter. a minor. The Director of Prisons is hereby directed to forthwith cause the release of accusedappellant unless the latter is being lawfully held for another cause and to inform the Court accordingly within 10 days from notice.

The second floor had four rooms and a stairs leading to the attic. Jeannie Ann still refrained from complaining because she was convinced by the accused-appellant that the sexual activities which he performed on her were proper. Divine stayed in the second floor.On December 11. She was only 11 years old then. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. Not long after her birth. JEANNIE ANN DELA CRUZ as a human being. on Friday evening and return to Tarlac on Sunday afternoon. Tarlac on weekdays and went home every 15 days or every payday. While he helped do her homework at night. The prosecution presented as its witnesses complainant Jeannie Ann dela Cruz. her siblings or her mother if she did not give in to his desires. their family had moved to said house when her grandmother’s house in Sumulong St. in the City of Baguio. He further warned Jeannie Ann that her mother might kill them should she learn about the things that they did. In 1987. 1997.vi[6] Jeannie Ann dela Cruz (“Jeannie Ann”) testified that she was born to accused-appellant and Jean Aqui-dela Cruz on April 18. The prosecution established that accused-appellant married Jean dela Cruz in civil rites on 14 April 1977 and again in Catholic rites on 27 December 1978. He transferred to the Don Bosco Elementary School in Baguio City sometime in 1986 and taught there until the following year.vii[7] Jeannie Ann revealed that accused-appellant started molesting her when she was seven years old.xi[11] Sometime that month. Tarlac. 2 Sumulong Street. the medico-legal officer of the National Bureau of Investigation-Cordillera Administrative Region (NBI-CAR). 1979 in Tarlac. Jeannie Ann. Upon motion of the prosecution.v[5] While working there. another information was filed against accused-appellant charging him with violation of Republic Act No. he and his son Daniel stayed in Sto. 7610 (The Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse. and continuously threatened to hurt her. Cristo.iii[3] This case was docketed as Criminal Case No. was destroyed in the July 16. Nobody stayed in the second floor thereof but during the day they stayed in the main house. As she was growing up.iv[4] Accused-appellant. Ronald R.ix[9] She recounted before the trial court three particular occasions when accused-appellant molested her. Thereafter. The basement had two bedrooms. 1990 earthquake that hit Baguio City. accused-appellant would on occasion make her hold his penis and masturbate him. and SPO2 Melchor Ong of the Baguio City Police. Jean dela Cruz. a teacher. Her father removed his pants and she was made to lie down on a cushion. she was sexually abused by accusedappellant in their house in No. Baguio City. Daniel and Niño.viii[8] Accused-appellant warned Jeannie Ann not to tell her mother what he was doing to her and told her that it was a normal thing between father and daughter. Divine Grace. he worked at the Saint Louis Center in Baguio City until his dismissal therefrom in 1993. namely: Jeanie Ann (the private complainant). worked at the Don Bosco Technical Institute in Tarlac from 1978 to 1986. stayed in the basement while she and her sister. She was in the living room with Niño when her father undressed her. The information stated: That on or about the 2nd day of August. unlawfully and feloniously commit sexual abuse on his daughter either by raping her or committing acts of lasciviousness on her. Her father played with her genitalia and rubbed his penis against her private part until a white liquid came out of his penis. which served as a stockroom. her three year-old brother Niño and accused-appellant were left in the house while her mother and her sister Divine went to market. Dr. mother of complainant and spouse of accused-appellant. CONTRARY TO LAW. the trial court ordered the consolidation of the three cases. 37 Leonard Wood Road. Jeannie Ann said that sometime in September 1990. a joint trial of the cases ensued. Jeannie Ann believed accused-appellant and did not tell anyone about the sexual acts he performed on her. a comfort room and a living room. Baguio City. where the rest of their family stayed. 15368-R. Daniel Jay and Gerard Niño. Mrs. accused-appellant continued to engage in the aforementioned sexual activities with her. her family transferred to the house of her maternal grandmother in No. Jeannie Ann’s parents and her two brothers. When arraigned. There were also instances when he would put his penis inside her mouth and withdraw the same when a white liquid came out. a second floor and an attic. Her family lived in an extension of her grandmother’s house which had a basement. did then and there willfully. Bandonill. Accused-appellant again taught at the Don Bosco Technical Institute in Tarlac from 1993 until his arrest in August 1997. Philippines. degraded and demeaned the intrinsic worth and dignity of his daughter. Exploitation and Discrimination Act). which has debased. 1997. the above-named accused.x[10] They occupied the basement of the house in Leonard Wood Road. Jeannie Ann said that after said . They would go home to Baguio City. They begot four children. accused-appellant entered a plea of not guilty to each of the charges. According to Jeannie Ann.

he said. I have given you my life. as she was afraid of accusedappellant. She cried as she returned to her room to fix herself. SPO2 Bravo and SPO2 Ong. Accused-appellant proceeded to rub his penis against her vagina and thereafter inserted his penis therein and kept it there until his semen started to come out. accused-appellant asked her to join him on the bed. While he performed the aforementioned acts on his daughter. Exasperated. another boarder in their house were also there at the time of the incident. She did not resist because she thought that what her father was doing to her was a normal act. removed his pants and underwear. This is for your own good and for the good of our family. accused-appellant told her. mashed her breasts and licked her vagina. She was watching television with her siblings in the living room.xix[19] Jeannie Ann also denied accused-appellant’s claim that she had sexual relations with her boyfriend Charles. Jeannie Ann resisted. Jeannie Ann insisted on going down. and that she accused her father of rape to get back at him for causing her breakup with Charles." Accused-appellant then undressed her. And after you finish. He told her to stop crying and to relax. she went up when she was done cleaning her room. She was then 18 years old. He immediately fixed her clothes and hair. "This is only for a while. Thereafter. Accused-appellant placed his penis on Jeannie Ann’s stomach where he made his semen flow. Accused-appellant instructed Jeannie Ann not to go down and to keep quiet about the incident. she saw accusedappellant at the door. she felt pain in her vagina whenever she would urinate (mahapdi). Niño and Rogel. their mother was attending a meeting in church.xiii[13] The third incident recounted by Jeannie Ann occurred in their house in No.”xv[15] Accused-appellant only stopped what he was doing when he heard Aileen. “I love you very much. Jeannie Ann described what accused-appellant did to her on August 2. Sensing that accused-appellant would again molest her. she went out of the house to deal with what had just happened to her. Promise that I will be the only one who will touch you. 1997. If you will not follow me. When Jeannie Ann remembered that her mother had earlier instructed her to clean the attic. “Please cooperate with me and trust me. you might regret it. He talked in whispers so that the other people in the house at that time would not be able to hear what he said. When she was done. As he touched her. she saw a white L-300 van belonging to the police.xvii[17] When accused-appellant was done with her. then moved away from her.xx[20] . he repeatedly called her and asked her to go there. Jeannie Ann could only cry.xiv[14] Accused-appellant lay on the bed in the attic as Jeannie Ann swept the floor.incident. Jeannie Ann became nervous and started to cry. Accused-appellant then lifted Jeannie Ann’s t-shirt and brassier.”xvi[16] Although Aileen. accused-appellant pulled her inside one of the bedrooms and asked her to lie down on the bed saying. The policemen accompanied her back to their house where they met accused-appellant whom Jeannie Ann identified as the person who had raped her. He went near her and again asked her to sit on the bed when she refused to heed his call. Accusedappellant voluntarily went with the policemen to the Baguio City Police Station. I can already die and you will no longer have any problem. While she was cleaning the outer portion of her room. because he threatened her that he would kill her or her mother and siblings. I want you to have a bright future." Accused-appellant began touching her again. as what he was about to do would only take a while. She flagged down the vehicle and narrated to the two police officers riding therein. 2 Sumulong Street. calling Jeannie Ann.xviii[18] When they arrived at the Baguio City Police Station. Accused-appellant whispered to her that he was running out of time. mashed her breasts with his left hand and inserted his right hand inside her pants. At that time. but accused-appellant proceeded to insert a finger of his right hand inside her vagina. what accused-appellant had just done to her. and she saw anger in his eyes. While he was there. She ignored him and went directly to her room and started cleaning the same. inserted his finger inside her vagina.xii[12] Jeannie Ann narrated that accused-appellant again abused her one night in July 1995 when she was 16 years old. When she came home at around 10:30 in the morning after her classes at Saint Louis University. Divine. In her statement. Jeannie Ann narrated her experience to the police officer stationed at the Women’s Desk. she saw accused-appellant go up the attic. Baguio City on August 2. While all this was happening. While walking outside toward the bridge. He told her to proceed to the attic shortly. When accused-appellant noticed that Aileen had left because Jeannie Ann did not respond to her. accused-appellant embraced Jeannie Ann and said: "Please cooperate with me and trust me. He inserted his fingers inside her vagina. a boarder in their house. Promise me that I will be the only one who will do this to you. 1997. Accused-appellant called her three times but she refused to respond to his call as she was watching television. Jeannie Ann did not have the courage to call for help because she was very much afraid of accused-appellant.

xxxi[31] and a photograph of Maureen. Baguio City. 1997 when she arrived at home after her marketing chores. He said that accused-appellant readily agreed to go with them to the police station. Tarlac and had taught there until his incarceration in August 1997. he and his son Daniel stayed in Sto.xxix[29] and March 7.. dela Cruz also denied accused-appellant’s claims that she had a paramour and that she helped Jeannie Ann file the complaints against him because she (Mrs. Upon seeing her daughter. dela Cruz”).xxxiv[34] SPO2 Melchor Ong.xxvi[26] Emily’s photographxxvii[27] and accused-appellant’s draft love letters to Emily. Accused-appellant testified that he was a teacher at the Don Bosco Technical Institute in Tarlac. he went back to the Don Bosco Technical Institute in Tarlac. Tarlac from 1978 to 1986. testified that she learned that accused-appellant had sexually abused their daughter Jeannie Ann on August 2. Baguio City. a rigid wood or a finger could have caused these lacerations. they would go home to Baguio City the following Friday and return to Tarlac on Sunday afternoon.xxxv[35] The defense presented as witnesses the accused-appellant. 1997. he taught also in Saint Louis School Center. testified that he found two old healed lacerations at 5 o'clock and 7 o'clock positions on Jeannie Ann’s hymen. while he and his companion inside an L-300 van of the Baguio City police were passing along Sumulong St.xxxiii[33] Mrs.xxxii[32] She said that the tenor of the letters indicated that accusedappellant was having relations with other women. Cristo. Mrs. 1995.4 cm. In 1994. she went to Tarlac to get her husband's things since he usually stayed there on weekdays while he taught at Don Bosco. She was told by her daughter Divine that accused-appellant was picked up by the police. Mrs.m. Jeannie Ann’s mother and wife of accused-appellant. could have been inflicted at the same time. He further testified that the frequent insertion of a finger or other rigid object.xxviii[28] September 4. When accused-appellant was already incarcerated.xxv[25] She discovered several love letters by a certain Emily addressed to accused-appellant.xxii[22] Mrs. also testified that on August 2. dela Cruz hugged her and they cried together. Bandonill. and 12:00 noon. From 1988 to 1993.xxxvii[37] He denied all the accusations hurled against him by his daughter Jeannie Ann. Director of the Don Bosco in Trancoville. Dr. 1995. he tried to provide for the needs of his family. Ronald R. dela Cruz followed accused-appellant to the police station and found Jeanie Ann crying while the latter was reporting what had happened to her at the Women's Desk. between 11:30 a. 1996. Baguio City and worked there for a year. Dr. the police officer assigned to the Baguio City Mobile Group. especially his wife whom he .xxxviii[38] According to him. Mrs. They accompanied Jeannie Ann to her house and there the latter pointed to accused-appellant as the person who mashed her breasts and inserted his finger inside her vagina. When these dates fell on a weekday. he transferred to Don Bosco in Trancoville. In 1987. He likewise noted that the vaginal walls were lax and the vaginal rugosities were slightly flattened and smoothed.xxi[21] Jean dela Cruz (“Mrs. dela Cruz received several lettersxxiii[23] from him asking for forgiveness from her and from Jeannie Ann. 1997.xxxvi[36] On weekdays. Tarlac and they would go home to their family in Baguio City every 15th and 30th of each month to give his salary to his wife. Exequiel Veloso. could cause the lacerations as well as the lax condition of vaginal walls. with a diameter of more than an inch. since intercourse would not create further lacerations when done in the same position. The latter stopped them and tearfully reported to them that her father had just sexually molested her. Bandonill also opined that the positions of the lacerations did not rule out the possibility that the victim had sexual intercourse less than three months prior to his examination of her. as it was the first time that she learned about it. Tarlac.xxiv[24] She also informed the trial court that after accused-appellant’s incarceration. Baguio City. kicked him and scratched his face. and Fr. The victim's hymenal orifice admitted a tube 2. the NBI-CAR medico-legal officer who conducted a physical examination of Jeannie Ann on August 8. A hard rigid instrument like an erect male organ.Dr. they saw Jeannie Ann walking towards them. dela Cruz also found a letter from a certain Maureen telling accused-appellant that he had a chance of winning her heart. in diameter with ease. He said that the lacerations could have been inflicted more than three months prior to the date of the examination and considering the proximity of their location. introduced themselves as policemen and invited him to the police station. In her anger. she rushed to the other room where the accused-appellant was being questioned and slapped him. Jean Marie Tchang. Principal of the Don Bosco Technical Institute. SPO2 Ong and his companion approached accused-appellant. dela Cruz further stated that she was shocked upon hearing Jeannie Ann’s statement before the police that accused-appellant had been performing oral sex on their daughter Jeannie Ann since the latter was seven years old. She said accused-appellant denied all the accusations against him.xxx[30] Mrs. Bandonill said it was possible that penetration happened several times. Fr. Barangay Chairman of Barangay Holy Ghost. Camilo Estepa. dela Cruz) wanted to get back at him for being unfaithful to her. dated March 21.

accused-appellant asked her to come near him. Principal of the Don Bosco Technical Institute in Tarlac from 1994 to 1998. He would come to school on time and attended the flag ceremony regularly. testified that he had known accused-appellant since 1994 and was not aware of any untoward incident involving the latter. as he wanted to apologize for having scolded her earlier and to remind her that she should not have ignored him when he commanded her to go up the attic. He said Jeannie Ann blamed him for having caused her breakup with her boyfriend Charles.xli[41] At the station. Jean Marie Tchang. on the other hand. SPO2 Leonardo Cruz Bravo. He called his daughter Jeannie Ann who was cleaning her room on the second floor of the house to come to the attic and help him. a student named Freda Miguel filed a casexliii[43] against him because accused-appellant allegedly embraced her (Miguel) in the Science Laboratory Room of the school. dela Cruz. two policemen arrived in their house with Jeannie Ann. his wife admitted to him that she had an illicit relationship with a man named Alfredo dela Cruz. 1997. He did not read the document. He admitted to having gone home to Baguio City in the evening of August 1. which he recalled was a Friday. She then went down while accused-appellant stayed on to fix the things in the attic. one of their boarders. without asking the purpose of the invitation. At first. When she was done sweeping the floor. While he was talking to her. Exequiel Veloso. away from where the dead rat was. Veloso said that none of the lady teachers ever complained about accused-appellant. a boarder in the house of Mrs.xlvi[46] Camilo Estepa. accused-appellant refused to sign the document without the presence of his counsel. SPO2 Leonardo Cruz Bravo interviewed accused-appellant. the mother of Mrs. Not long afterwards. It took a while before Jeannie Ann heeded his call. His wife. Accused-appellant identified the policemen as SPO2 Leonardo Cruz Bravo and SPO2 Melchor Ong. He maintained that even when he was already in jail. he denied the truth of that complaint against him and said that the filing thereof was not the cause of his dismissal from Saint Louis Center. Barangay Captain of Barangay Holy Ghost. a namesake of his brother. his daughter Divine informed him that they had some visitors downstairs. however. According to him. he asked his mother and his sister to support his daughter's education. Fr. as he did not have his eyeglasses with him at that time. Accused-appellant alleged that Aquino was courting his wife. Accused-appellant claimed that his wife and Jeannie Ann conspired to file the cases against him because they had resentments against him. and that Emily’s reference to him as her boyfriend in one of her lettersxlv[45] was only a joke. wanted him out of her life because she had a paramour. Jeannie Ann told accused-appellant that that person was her classmate. Baguio City. On his way down from the attic. they heard someone calling her name. his wife asked him to clean the attic the following day as there was a dead rat therein.xl[40] Accused-appellant went down to meet the visitors who were looking for Rogel. told him that his refusal to sign the document may be interpreted as a sign of resistance on his part.xlviii[48] Fr. told the trial court that sometime in 1993. or to at least tell him that she could not obey his command immediately. The interview was reduced to writing and he was asked to sign the same. Tarlac because he was dismissed from the Saint Louis Center in Baguio City. He freely went with them. accused-appellant filed a case for malicious mischief against a certain Alfredo or Federico Aquino.xlii[42] Accused-appellant admitted that he transferred to the Don Bosco Technical Institute in Tarlac. Accused-appellant thereafter decided to sign the document. He said that accused-appellant and his son Daniel would go home to his family in Baguio City every weekend and returned to Tarlac either on Sunday evening or Monday morning. However. That night. Director of the Don Bosco Elementary School in Trancoville. Aqui. He acknowledged that while teaching in Saint Louis Center. When she finally went up. testified that accused-appellant was a very competent teacher in Science and had a .xliv[44] He also admitted that the letters from Emily and Maureen addressed to him were his but insisted that they were only his friends. and that he signed an amicable settlement of the complaint. August 2.xxxix[39] The following day. Aqui.xlvii[47] Fr. the case was settled amicably when Aquino agreed to leave the boarding house of Mrs. accused-appellant removed the decomposing body of the rat from the attic as requested by his wife.loved very much. Baguio City. However. After leading these visitors to Rogel. The former asked for accused-appellant’s name and thereafter invited him to the police station. he looked out of the window and saw Jeannie Ann walking beyond the bridge. 1997. His wife had a second relationship with a person named Alfredo Aquino against whom he filed a case before the barangay. she merely swept one third of the floor area of the attic.

it took her eleven years to disclose the sexual abuses which accused-appellant allegedly committed against her. SO ORDERED. or at least her mother. applying the indeterminate sentence law. Notwithstanding the fact that he was often away from their home because he stayed in Tarlac where he worked on weekdays. the Court finds the accused Danilo dela Cruz y Carizza guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the offense of Acts of Lasciviousness defined and penalized under Article 336 of the Revised Penal Code instead of violation of RA 7610 (Child Abuse Law) as charged in the Information and hereby sentences him.000. of her harrowing experience. to indemnify the offended party Jeannie Ann dela Cruz the sum of P5. 3 of Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code (Statutory Rape) and hereby sentences him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua.00 as Moral Damages without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency and to pay the costs. to indemnify the offended party Jeannie Ann dela Cruz the sum of P50. Judgment is hereby rendered as follows: 1. The accused Danilo dela Cruz being a detention prisoner is entitled to be credited 4/5 of his preventive imprisonment in the service of his sentence in accordance with Article 29 of the Revised Penal Law. . the Court finds the accused Danilo dela Cruz y Carizza guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the offense of incest rape (committed in July 1995) as charged in the Information defined and penalized under Section 11 of Republic Act 7659 (Heinous Crime Law) which amended Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code and hereby sentences him to suffer the supreme penalty of Death to be implemented in accordance with law. and Jeannie Ann was with her mother in Baguio City.xlix[49] On August 13. By using force or intimidation. Jeannie Ann dela Cruz the sum of P50. the trial court promulgated its decision. In Criminal Case No. states: When and how rape is committed. Accused-appellant argues that the delay in the reporting of the sexual acts he performed on his daughter is not normal and is indicative of the untruthfulness of complainant’s charges.l[50] In his brief. He alleges that Jeannie Ann’s testimony was fabricated and inconsistent.very good relationship with the other teachers. 1998. and which is the applicable law for the rape incidents of September 1990 and July 1995. 3. The accused Danilo dela Cruz being a detention prisoner is entitled to be credited 4/5 of his preventive imprisonment in the service of his sentence in accordance with Article 29 of the Revised Penal Code. accused-appellant contends that the trial court erred in giving credence to the testimony of Jeannie Ann and in finding him guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crimes of rape and acts of lasciviousness.li[51] Accused-appellant points out that Jeannie Ann failed to immediately notify the authorities. the dispositive portion of which reads: WHEREFORE. to indemnify the offended party.000 as Moral Damages without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency and to pay the costs. He said he regretted that accused-appellant left his teaching job at the Don Bosco Elementary School after only one year. she must have suffered great pain and should have complained about it to her mother or told the latter what accused-appellant had been doing to her. to suffer the penalty of imprisonment ranging from two (2) months and one (1) day of Arresto Mayor as Minimum to two (2) years four (4) months and one (1) day of prision correccional as Maximum. 15368-R. In Criminal Case No. 8353 (the Anti-Rape Law of 1997). which defined the crime of Rape prior to the enactment of Republic Act No.00 as Moral Damages without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency and to pay the costs. 15164-R. In Criminal Case No. 2. he claims that considering Jeannie Ann’s tender age at the time he allegedly raped her. Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code. the Court finds the accused Danilo dela Cruz y Carizza guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the offense of Rape (committed in September 1990) as charged in the Information defined and penalized under paragraph No.lii[52] Moreover.000. 15163-R.liii[53] The Court finds that the trial court did not err in finding accused-appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of raping his daughter Jeannie Ann in September 1990 and July 1995. --Rape is committed by having carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following circumstances: 1.

Then he went near me and pulled me into the other room. Don’t let the Court speculate. Baguio City? a q There was. he did bad things that I cannot imagine. misunderstood or misapplied some facts or circumstances of weight or substance that would otherwise affect the result of the case. What did your father actually do which you said (sic) he did things which you cannot imagine? a When we were in the room he let me sit on the bed. and even more difficult for the accused to disprove. unless it is shown that the trial court overlooked. coherent and touching as she recounted her harrowing experience in the hands of her father. A rape victim who testifies in a categorical. spontaneous and frank manner. Where was your mother at that time? a She was not in the house at that time because she attended a meeting in our church.2."lvii[57] as follows: xxx q Now. Thus. sometime in the month of July. you said that you and your brothers and sisters were watching TV on that night of July. straightforward. Then he started touching my vabina (sic). COURT: Continue from there. the accused may be convicted on the basis of such testimony. the Court observed the following guidelines it had previously formulated for the review of rape cases: (1) an accusation of rape can be made with facility. the trial court found Jeannie Ann’s testimony to be "natural. Make it of record that at this point the witness is crying. And he said. lowered his pants and removed his brief. the testimony of the complainant must be scrutinized with extreme caution. Will you tell us straight. is a credible witness. q Now. xxx In reviewing the cases at bar. . While I was watching TV my father was calling me but I did not heed his call because I said I was watching TV. 1995.lvi[56] In the cases at bar. and (3) the evidence for the prosecution must stand or fall on its own merits and cannot be allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the evidence of the defense. sir. And he asked me to lie down. do you remember if there was anything unusual which took place again in your house at Sumulong St. And in that other room.lv[55] The Court has adhered to the rule that when the testimony of a woman who states under oath that she has been raped meets the test of credibility. When the woman is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious. And after that he put down my pants and my underwear.liv[54] In rape cases. 1995. The trial court judge is indisputably in the best position to determine the truthfulness of the complainant’s testimony. three times he called me and I know that he was already angry. (2) in view of the intrinsic nature of the crime of rape where only two persons are usually involved. When the woman is under twelve years of age or is demented. “This is only for a while”. Madame Witness. So. and who remains consistent. COURT: (to witness) q That is why we already excluded the public.. its findings will not be disturbed on appeal. The crime of rape shall be punished by reclusion perpetua. What was that incident? [a] On that night I was watching TV with my brothers and sisters. but it is difficult to prove. and 3. Then he undressed. The trial court’s evaluation of the credibility of the victim’s statements is accorded great weight because it has the unique opportunity of hearing the witnesses testify and observing their deportment and manner of testifying. the issue invariably boils down to the credibility of the victim’s testimony.

And he played with my vagina. But that was when I was still young. After that he used his penis and rubbed it into my vagina. (At this point the witness again broke into tears) COURT: Continue. CENTENO: q Now. q a q a q What did you do when your father was doing that to you? I was just crying. Now. what else did your father do? a When he was rubbing his penis against my vagina there was a white liquid that came out. sir. Madame Witness. aside from rubbing his penis to your vagina. Why are you afraid of your father? a Because when I was still young. 37 Leonard Wood Road. 1990. what did you do? a q a q None. sir. several months after the earthquake of July 16. Did you not try to fight your father? a No. before July 1995. sir. will you tell us where you were residing? a q We were residing then at No. my brothers and sisters would be involved. and he also removed his pants and his brief and started holding your vagina. because I am really afraid of my father. And when that white liquid came out he placed his penis on my stomach where the white liquid was placed.PROS. when you felt that as you said half of the penis of your father was inside your vagina. what else happened? a He fingered my vagina and also mashed mybreasts (sic). PROS. Why did you not do anything? Because I didn’t know what to do. sir. And with his tongue he licked my vagina. CENTENO: q Now after your father had removed your pants and your underwear as you said. sir. q On what occasion was that when your father old (sic) you that it is either you or the family that will be killed? a q I cannot remember. one time he told me that either I will be killed or our family will be killed. because I was afraid of my father. sir. Because when he gets mad at my mother. How old were you? . That is what I felt. particularly in September of 1990. q Now. COURT: (to witness) q Will you tell us what you mean by his rubbing his penis to your vagina? What was being done actually? a I felt that half of the head of his penis was inside my vagina. Did you not fight back? No sir.

your sister and your brothers in September of 1990. in the record. sir. Then he rubbed his penis against my vagina. CENTENO: May we put the word “mahapdi” which was the term used by the witness. sir. COURT: (to witness) q Again. Baguio City. Why did you not fight back? Because I thought that what he was doing to me was a normal act. sir. What was that incident? a I was with my father and brother Niño at the sala. Niño was still a baby at that time. Then he took a cushion from the sala and asked me to lie down. palms up) and this is his penis (witness demonstrating with her right forefinger). do you remember if there was any unusual incident which happened to you? a q Yes. He removed his pants. he made a push and pull movement on my vagina. your mother.a xxx I was 11 years old. Did you not fight back when your father did that to you? No. For example this is my vagina (witness showing her left hand. no woman would fabricate charges of sexual abuse. PROS. xxxlviii[58] The trial court judge saw "from the face of the victim the anguish and the pain and the shame and the embarrassment as she broke down and cried several times in the course of her testimony every time she was asked [about] the despicable acts of her father. q a How about you sister Divine? She was with my mother. together with your father."lix[59] Moreover. PROS. And there he played with my vagina. (to witness) q a q a q a How long did your father rub his penis into your vagina? It was for quite a long time until a white liquid came out. in this incident will you describe actually to us the motions that took place with the rubbing of his penis into your vagina? a It is like this. q When you were staying at Leonard Wood Road. What I know is that she went to the market. CENTENO: q What did you feel while your father was doing that to you which you term as “rubbing his penis into your vagina”? a I felt pain. And at the sala he undressed me and did the same. allow an examination of her private parts and endure the humiliation of a public trial where she would be forced to . sir. q Where was your mother at that time? a My mother was not in the house at that time. sir.

since reverence and respect for one’s parents and other elders is deeply ingrained in Filipino children. R. utilized by the perpetrator in incestuous rape to intimidate his victim into submission. xxx The Court has previously explained that the circumstances of minority and relationship are considered as special qualifying circumstances because they alter the nature of the crime of rape and thus warrant the imposition of the death penalty.lx[60] The delay in reporting a rape incident does not necessarily impair the credibility of the victim where the delay can be attributed to the pattern of fear instilled by the threats of bodily harm. Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code.recount the details of her unfortunate experience had she not really been raped. The relationship of the victim and the perpetrator magnifies this terror. especially if it will subject them to embarrassment and even stigma.A. This is especially true in cases of incestuous rape. Jeannie Ann repeatedly explained that accused-appellant threatened to hurt her. 7659. It is not likely that a complainant in a rape case would fabricate a story of defloration against her own father and put to shame not only herself but her whole family as well. or on the life of the other members of her family. because the perpetrator is a person normally expected to give solace and protection to the victim. the Court finds that the lower court erred in imposing the supreme penalty of death upon him for the rape committed in July 1995. as amended by R. ascendant.A.lxvii[67] No mother would have the courage to expose an ignominious act of her husband that could lead to a breakup of the family unless she was prompted by a desire to obtain justice for her daughter. In People v. No.lxix[69] However. It is not uncommon for a young girl to conceal for sometime the assault on her virtue because of the rapist’s threat on her life. is an inherently weak defense and cannot prevail over the positive and credible testimony of the prosecution witness that the accused committed the crime. All that he offered in his defense were his bare denials. lxi [61] In the cases at bar. 7659 (the Death Penalty Law). unless it was the plain truth and her motive was purely to obtain justice. her mother or her siblings if she did not give in to his desires. he hopes. especially when made by a person who exercised moral ascendancy over the victim. like alibi. Nicolas. or the common degree. the trial court found accused-appellant to be evasive in his narration of his story. When the victim is under eighteen (18) years of age and the offender is a parent. It is through this fear that the perpetrator hopes to create a climax of extreme psychological terror which would. No. her mother and siblings if she revealed his evil deeds was what compelled her to suffer in silence for a long time.lxv[65] Accused-appellant's assertion that his daughter made up the charges against him to get back at him for causing her breakup with her boyfriend Charles is likewise unbelievable. A mere denial constitutes negative evidence which cannot be accorded greater evidentiary weight than the declaration of a credible witness who testifies on affirmative matters. is evident in virtually all cases that have reached this Court. since the offense was committed prior to the effectivity of Republic Act No. which was already in force at that time. These circumstances must be alleged in the information and established during trial for the court to be able to impose the .lxviii[68] The trial court committed no error in imposing upon accused-appellant the penalty of reclusion perpetua for the rape he committed in September 1990. Denial. 7659 provides: xxx The death penalty shall also be imposed if the crime of rape is committed with any of the following attendant circumstances.lxiii [63] the Court stated: The pattern of instilling fear. as in these cases where Jeannie Ann accused her own father of abusing her. It is unnatural for a parent to use her offspring as an engine of malice. or the common-law spouse of the parent of the victim.lxiv[64] On the other hand. 1. step-parent. guardian. relative by consanguinity or affinity within the third civil degree.lxii[62] Her fear of what accused-appellant would do to her. requires that the circumstances of the minority of the victim and her relationship with the offender must concur for the death penalty to be imposable.lxvi[66] Neither does the Court believe accused-appellant's claim that his wife urged their daughter to file rape charges against him because she (his wife) wanted to get him out of the way of her extra-marital relationship. numb his victim into silence and force her to submit to repeated acts of rape over a period of time.

representing moral damages. mental anguish. In Criminal Case No. social humiliation and similar injury. 7610 (The Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse. aver the acts or omissions constituting the offense.”lxxii[72] It is readily apparent that the facts charged in said information do not constitute an offense.lxxx[80] Thus. 7610 has been violated by accused-appellant.lxxix[79] Under prevailing jurisprudence. as required under the rules of criminal procedure. 15368-R. In addition to civil indemnity. unlawfully and feloniously commit sexual abuse on his daughter [Jeannie Ann] either by raping her or committing acts of lasciviousness on her” is not a sufficient averment of the acts constituting the offense as required under Section 8.lxxiv[74] The information in Criminal Case No. was not sufficiently proved. moral shock. the award of which is mandatory upon the finding of the fact of rape. pursuant to its ruling in Suy Sui vs. The allegation in the information that accused-appellant “willfully. serious anxiety. and it is the duty of the appellate court to correct such errors as might be found in the appealed decision. 15164-R. If there is no designation of the offense. for these are conclusions of law. which charges accusedappellant of a violation of R. Jeannie Ann’s minority. school records which would have aided the court in verifying her claim that she was a minor when she was raped by accused-appellant in July 1995.00) as civil indemnity for each count of rape is proper. All that was offered to establish her age was her bare testimony that she was born on April 18. reference shall be made to the section or subsection of the statute punishing it. fright.lxxiii[73] Moreover. 15368-R.lxxviii[78] It is not to be confused with moral damages. the penalty imposable for the offense in Criminal Case No.lxxvi [76] because the information is a patent violation of the right of the accused to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him and of the basic principles of due process.lxxvii[77] This civil liability ex delicto is equivalent to actual or compensatory damages in civil law. or in lieu thereof. Section 8.000. In the absence of adequate proof of Jeannie Ann’s minority. It failed to award the prescribed amounts for civil indemnity.lxx[70] It was. the father-daughter relationship was alleged in the information and proven in the course of the trial. when the penalty imposed on the accused is reclusion perpetua. incumbent upon the prosecution to satisfactorily prove both circumstances of minority and relationship.A. which is awarded upon a showing that the victim endured physical suffering. The information does not cite which among the numerous sections or subsections of R. 15163-R and 15164-R. moral damages are automatically granted to the victim in rape cases without need of proof for it is assumed that the private complainant has sustained mental. since said amounts are in accord with its current rulings. It is likewise necessary to increase the award of damages by the trial court. 15163-R and 15164-R. “either by raping her or committing acts of lasciviousness. People. However.lxxi[71] The Court also finds that accused-appellant cannot be convicted of rape or acts of lasciviousness under the information in Criminal Case No. 15368-R is therefore void for being violative of the accused-appellant’s constitutionally-guaranteed right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. Exploitation and Discrimination Act). in Criminal Case Nos. other documentary evidence such as her baptismal certificate. an award of Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50.000. The lower court in its decision ordered accused-appellant to indemnify the complainant in the amount of Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50.lxxxii[82] .000. physical and psychological suffering.00) should be awarded as civil indemnity to the rape victim. although likewise alleged in the information. and specify its qualifying and aggravating circumstances.death penalty. whether these errors are assigned or not. No.lxxxi[81] The Court affirms the award by the trial court of Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50. the amount of Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50. an appeal in a criminal proceeding throws the whole case open for review.000. –The complaint or information shall state the designation of the offense given by the statute. or any special or aggravating circumstances attending the same. 15164-R is reclusion perpetua. Rule 110 thereof provides: Designation of the offense. not facts. No. therefore. wounded feelings. it does not state the acts and omissions constituting the offense.lxxv[75] Although accused-appellant failed to call the attention of both the trial court and this Court regarding the defects of the information in Criminal Case No. Moreover. besmirched reputation.A. The prosecution failed to present her birth certificate. the Court may motu proprio dismiss said information at this stage. 1979.00) as moral damages in Criminal Cases Nos.00) only in each of the cases.

WHEREFORE, the Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Baguio City, Branch 6 in Criminal Cases Nos. 15163-R and 15164-R is hereby MODIFIED, as follows: 1. In Criminal Case No. 15163-R, the accused-appellant is sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and ordered to pay the victim the amounts of Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00) as civil indemnity and Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00) as moral damages; 2. In Criminal Case No. 15164-R, the appellant is sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua, and ordered to pay the amounts of Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00) as civil indemnity and Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00) as moral damages. 3. The Information in Criminal Case No. 15368-R is declared null and void for being violative of the accused-appellant's constitutionally-guaranteed right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. Hence, the case against him is DISMISSED. SO ORDERED.

i ii iiiFIRST DIVISION G.R. No. 133922 February 12, 2001

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. DEOLITO OPTANA, accused-appellant. KAPUNAN, J.: Upon a sworn complaint filed by Maria Rizalina Onciano on November 28, 1995, four (4) Informations for violation of Section 5 of Republic Act No. 7610, or known as the Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse and four (4) Informations for Rape were filed against herein accused-appellant Deolito Optana committed as follows: 1. Criminal Case No. 482-95 for rape: That on or about the 28th day of October, 1995 at Sitio Daan Naugsul, Brgy. Mangan Vaca, in the Municipality of Subic, Province of Zambales, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused, actuated by lust and by means of force, intimidation and threats, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, have carnal knowledge with his stepdaughter one Rizalina Onsiano, a girl of 13 years old and ten (10) months, against her will and consent, to the damage and prejudice of the latter. 2. Criminal Case No. 483-95 for rape: That on or about and during the month of October 1993, at Sitio Daan Naugsol, Brgy. Mangan Vaca, in the Municipality of Subic, Province of Zambales, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused, actuated by lust and by means of force, intimidation and threats, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, have carnal knowledge with his stepdaughter one Rizalina Onsiano, a girl of 11 years old and ten (10) months, against her will and consent, to the damage and prejudice of the latter. 3. Criminal Case No. 484-95 for rape: That on or about the month of September, 1995 at Sitio Daan Naugsul, Brgy. Mangan Vaca, in the Municipality of Subic, Province of Zambales, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused, actuated by lust and by means of force, intimidation and threats, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, have carnal knowledge with his stepdaughter one Rizalina Onsiano, a girl of 13 years old and nine (9) months, against her will and consent, to the damage and prejudice of the latter. Criminal Case No.485-95 for rape: That on or about and during the month of September 1993, at Sitio Daan Naugsol, Brgy. Mangan Vaca, in the Municipality of Subic. Province of Zambales, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused, actuated by lust and by means of force, intimidation and threats, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge with his stepdaughter one Rizalina Onsiano, a girl of 11 years old and nine (9) months, against her will and consent, to the damage and prejudice of the latter. 5. Criminal Case No. 486-95 for Viol. Of Sec. 5(b) ART. III of Republic Act 7610 (Child Abuse): That on or about and during the month of September, 1993, at Sitio Daan Naugsol, Brgy. Mangan Vaca, in the Municipality of Subic, Province of Zambales. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused with lewd design, and by means of intimidation, coercion, influence and other consideration (sic), did then and there willfully, unlawfully, and feloniously have sexual intercourse with his stepdaughter one Rizalina Onsiano, a minor of 11 years old and nine (9) months, to the damage and prejudice of said Rizalina Onsiano. 6. Criminal Case No. 487-95 for Viol. Of Sec. 5(b) Art. III of Republic Act 7610 (Child Abuse):

That on or about the 28th day of October, 1995 at Sitio Daan Naugsol, Brgy. Mangan Vaca, in the Municipality of Subic, Province of Zambales, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused with lewd design, and by means of intimidation, coercion, influence and other consideration, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously have sexual intercourse with his stepdaughter one Rizalina Onsiano, a minor of 13 years old and ten (10) months, to the damage and prejudice of said Rizalina Onsiano. 7. Criminal Case No. 488-95 for Viol. Of Sec. 5(b) Art. III of Republic Act 7610 (Child Abuse): That on or about the month of September, 1995 at Sitio Daan Naugsol, Brgy. Mangan Vaca, in the Municipality of Subic, Province of Zambales, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused with lewd design, and by means of intimidation, coercion, influence and other consideration, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously have sexual intercourse with his stepdaughter one Rizalina Onsiano. 8. Criminal Case No. 489-95 for Viol. Of Sec. 5(b) Art. III of Republic Act 7610 (Child Abuse): That on or about and during the month of October, 1993 at Sitio Daan Naugsol, Brgy . Mangan Vaca, in the Municipality of Subic, Province (sic) of Zambales, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused with lewd design, and by means of intimidation, coercion, influence and other consideration, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously have sexual intercourse with his stepdaughter one Rizalina Onsiano, a minor of 11 years old and ten (10) months, to the damage and prejudice of said Rizalina Onsiano.1 Upon arraignment, accused-appellant pleaded not guilty to each of the above informations. The facts are as follows: Maria Rizalina Onciano is the daughter of Nida A. Onciano who was born on December 13, 1981 at Tondo General Hospital. The father. Rau1 Gomez left Nida Onciano even before Maria Rizalina was born.2 Nida Onciano met the accused-appellant. Deolito Optana in 1985 at Doris Restaurant in Olongapo City where they were both working.3 They decided to live together in 1986 without the benefit of marriage even if accused-appellant knew that Nida Onciano already had a daughter. Out of this common-law relationship, the couple had seven children, the eldest being born in 1988 and the youngest, less than a month when the accused-appellant testified in court in June, 1997.4 In 1990, the couple moved to Subic and established residence at Sitio Daan Naugsol, Manganvaca, Subic, Zambales with Maria Rizalina and three born children in tow. Maria Rizalina started to go to school at Manggahan Elementary School, Subic, Zambales. Sometime in September, 1993, Maria Rizalina was playing in the yard with her brothers and sisters when her stepfather called for her to come up to the room. Her mother was out of the house at that time. Upon entering the room, Maria Rizalina was ordered to undress but she refused. The accused-appellant slapped her face twice on her cheeks and threatened to box her.5 He finally succeeded in removing her clothes. The accused-appellant kissed Maria Rizalina on the mouth, on her breast, and on her private parts. Thereafter, accused-appellant removed his shorts, held both hands of Maria Rizalina and went on top of her while she was lying on the wooden bed. Accused-appellant inserted his penis into the vagina of Maria Rizalina. The latter felt pain in her private part and shouted "masakit po." Accused-appellant stayed on top of Maria Rizalina for about ten (10) minutes making "downward and upward movement" or "pumping." Accused-appellant stood up, took a piece of cloth from the bed (pamunas) and wiped the blood in his sex organ. Afterwhich, he gave the rag to Maria Rizalina and told her to wipe her private part because there was blood on it. He told her to dress up quickly since Maria Rizalina' s mother would arrive shortly. Maria Rizalina did not tell her mother what happened to her because she was afraid of the accused-appellant. She was threatened to be killed once she reports the incident. Maria Rizalina was twelve (12) years old at that time of this fateful day. On several occasions, whenever Nida Onciano was out of the house since she was busy selling wares in the market, accused-appellant raped Maria Rizalina. The victim could no longer remember how many times she was raped but she particularly recalled that on October 28, 1995, the accused-appellant raped her inside the room where she and her brothers and sisters were sleeping. This was the last time that accused-appellant touched her.6 It was on November 24, 1995 when Nida Onciano noticed that Maria Rizalina's tummy was quite protruding while the latter was sleeping on the floor. Maria Rizalina at first refused to answer her mother's inquisitions but finally revealed that the accused-appellant raped her. The next day, Nida

Onciano asked her sister, Evelyn Nallos to accompany Maria Rizalina to the doctor to have her examined. At the Olongapo City General Hospital, Dr. Laila Patricio of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department found Maria Rizalina to be 6-7 months pregnant. Maria Rizalina told her that her stepfather repeatedly raped her. The Medical Report revealed the following: Medical Certification November 27, 1995 TO WHOM IT MA Y CONCERN: This is to certify that RIZALINA ONSIANO 14 y/o, of Daangbakal, Daan Naugsog Subic, Zambales was examined and treated/confined in this hospital on/from November 25, 1995 xxx with the following findings and/or diagnosis: BREAST - Enlarged, areola 3.5 x 3.5 cm, no fissures nor hematoma. ABDOMEN - FH 21. cm, FHT -/36/ min. RLQ ■ Hymen not intact, vagina admits 2 fingers with ease, Cervix closed, uneffaced, floating cephalic. ■ Pregnancy uterine 6-7 months by size, not in labor. (SGD.) LAILA S. PATRICIO, M.D. Attending Physician7 After Maria Rizalina's statement was taken at the police station, a formal complaint was filed against the accused-appellant on November 27, 1995. Considering Maria Rizalina ' s minor age, she was referred to the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office for assistance. Initial interviews revealed that Maria Rizalina was so confused considering that her mother was pressuring her to withdraw the complaint against the stepfather. It was then recommended that Maria Rizalina be committed to the Department of Social Welfare and Development for protective custody and placed under the care of the Substitute Home for Women in Especially Difficult Circumstances - Saup Lugud Center, San Ignacio Subdivision, Pandan, Angeles City.8 On February 23, 1996, Maria Rizalina delivered a baby boy at the "Hospital Ning Angeles" in Angeles City whom she named Richard Onciano. The name of the father was not indicated. At the Saup Lugud Center, Maria Rizalina manifested signs of depression and violence to the extent of killing herself. She was committed to the National Center for Mental Health for treatment and rehabilitation. The accused, on the other hand, denied having raped his stepdaughter. He testified that his stepdaughter was always out of the house with her barkadas. In fact, her mother, Nida Was always complaining that she spent so much time looking for her. He testified further that Maria Rizalina was always absent from school. He only learned about the complaint for rape filed against him when he was apprehended by the police. Deolito Optana testified that he met Nida Onciano in 1985 in a restaurant in Olongapo City .He knew that Nida had a daughter but he still courted her and promised to take care of both of them and help support in the education of Maria Rizalina. Nida Onciano corroborated the accused-appellant's testimony. She did not believe that her common-law husband would rape her daughter because she considered her sexual relationship with him as very satisfactory. She averred that it was her sister, Evelyn Nallos who insisted on pursuing the case against Optana because of an old grudge against them. Evelyn Nallos took care of two of the children of Nida Onciano and Deolito Optana but who died of pneumonia and drowning during a flood. Since the death of the children, her relationship with her sister had been estranged. Evelyn Nallos still wanted to take her other children including Maria Rizalina but she refused. On March 5, 1998, the RTC rendered a decision, the dispositive portion of which reads: WHEREFORE, finding the accused Deolito Optana guilty beyond reasonable doubt by direct participation of the crime of rape as defined and penalized under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code and for violation of Section 5(b) of Republic Act 7610, judgment is rendered in the following manner: 1. In Criminal Case No.485-95 for rape, the accused is sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua with all the accessory penalties attached thereto and

3. otherwise to only 4/5 thereof. 1âwphi1.A. The accused is acquitted of the crimes charged in Criminal Case Nos.000.000. 2. Costs against the accused.10 We agree with the trial court's decision.to indemnify the minor Ma.00.000. 488-95.nêt The victim. she gave a recount of her ordeal under her stepfather. 487-95. 483-95.00. 7610. AND WHO WITH UNCUNNY MEASURES PREVENTED THE DEFENSE THE MUCH NEEDED CORROBORATIVE EVIDENCE. II THE TRIAL COURT FAILED TO CONSIDER AND APPRECIATE THE ILL-MOTIVE AND CONSUMING HATRED OF APPELLANT'S IN-LAWS WHO ORCHESTRATED THE FILING OF THIS CASE. MISAPPRECIATED AND MISINTERPRETED MATERIAL FACTS OF IMPORTANCE AND SUBSTANCE WHICH IF CONSIDERED AND GIVEN WEIGHT AND PROBATIVE VALUE WILL TILT THE SCALE OF "LADY JUSTICE" IN FAVOR OF ACQUITTAL. Ms. moral damages in the amount of P100. POSITIVE AND CONVINCING. however. AND NOT CONSISTENT WITH HUMAN BEHAVIOR AND THE (SIC) NATURAL COURSE OF THINGS. Rizalina Onciano the amount of P50. 489-95. the said accused is sentenced to suffer an indeterminate prison term of eight (8) years and one (1) day of prision mayor as minimum to seventeen (17) years and four (4) months of reclusion temporal as maximum with all the accessory penalties attached thereto and to indemnify Ma. AND THE ACTS CHARGED ARE NOT CLEAR. for violation of Section 5 (b) R. Now very much calm and composed. She was. Rizalina Onciano's child Richard Onciano. The accused shall support Ma.11 On January 22. 5. first took the witness stand on August 7.00 and exemplary damages in the amount of P100.000.9 Accused-appellant now comes to this Court with the following assignment of errors: I THE APPELLANT'S CONVICTION BY THE TRIAL COURT IS GROUNDED ON FACTS AND ENVIRONMENTAL CIRCUMSTANCES THAT ARE INCONSISTENT AND IMPROBABLE TO HAPPEN. sir. plus moral damages in the amount of P100.000. 1997. 4. for insufficiency of evidence. Maria Rizalina was called back to the witness stand. 486-95. 484-95. In Criminal Case No. She testified as follows: q a Now. SO ORDERED.00. III THE TRIAL COURT FAILED TO CONSIDER AND APPRECIATE THAT THE ACTUATIONS AND CONDUCT OF THE COMPLAINT AFTER THE INCIDENTS AND DURING THE TRIAL WHEN INTER TWINED WITH OTHER FACTS DOES NOT CONFORM TO THE NORM OF CONDUCT OF PEOPLE WHO ARE INJURED AND RAVAGED. MISUNDERSTOOD.000. Rizalina Onciano the amount of P50. xxx q What school were you enrolled in 1993? .00. did you go to school sometime in September 1993? Yes. observed to be psychologically and emotionally unprepared to testify at that time so the trial court decided to postpone her testimony to a later date after her complete rehabilitation at the National Center for Mental Health. 6. Onsiano. IV THE COURT A QUO OVERLOOKED.00. 482-95. The accused shall be entitled in full of his preventive imprisonment if he agreed in writing to abide by all the disciplinary rules imposed on convicted prisoners. and exemplary damages of P100. 1996. Maria Rizalina.

sir. q And aside from your mother. will you be able to point him out to the court? a Yes. xxx a. Subic. sir. sir. sir. sir. COURT Point him out. And who was supporting your education? My mother. q If Deolito Optana is inside the courtroom. PROS. sir. Subic. COURT q a q a And who is your stepfather? Deolito Optana. who else. sir. Subic. do you recall sometime in the afternoon or noontime of September 1993 while you were in your house at Manganvaca. That's him. sir. Zambales. sir. Zambales. sir. was helping your mother in providing your educational expenses? a Deolito Optana. prior to September 1993? a Since I was in Grade 1.a q a q a Manggahan Elementary School. sir. xxx q Now. how long have you been living with your mother together with your stepfather Deolito Optana at Barangay Mangavaca. sir. FLORESTA q Could you please tell this Honorable Court what is that unusual incident that happened in your house at Subic sometime in September 1993? a q a I was raped. if any. Zambales? a Yes. my stepfather. do you recall if Deolito Optana was still living with your mother in your house at Mangavaca. . in September 1993. if any unusual incident that happened to you? xxx a Yes. sir. By whom? By my stepfather. School in 1993? Grade IV. q Now. q Now. Is Deolito Optana married to your mother? No.

xxx PROS FLORESTA q a q a q a q a q a q a And how did Deolito Optana raped (sic) you? He was forcing me. sir. what did he do. he is a live-in partner of your mother? Yes. sir. sir. what else happened. And when Deolito Optana failed to force you to undress. sir. xxx PROS FLORESTA q And what did you do when Deolito Optana was hurting you by slapping you on your face? a I was scared. sir. And do you know what did the accused Deolito Optana do with your clothes? He was forcing me to undress or to remove my clothes. sir. But you have clothes on your body? Yes. sir. sir. if any? He was hurting me. And what happened to you wen you were slapped on the face? My cheeks were painful. sir. sir. Do you still recall what dress were you wearing at that time? No. he repeatedly kissed me.q a So. if any? He was forcing me to undress and then. sir. and sometimes he would threaten me that he would box me. COURT q a q a How many times were you slapped on the face? Twice. sir. xxx PROS FLORESTA q a q And after you were slapped by the accused. COURT q How was he hurting you? a He was slapping me on my face. And was he able to make you undress? No. What part of your body was kissed by the accused? .

PROS FLORESTA q And what did you do when (sic) felt pain in your body after the accused had inserted his penis? a I shouted. And after he was able to move on top of you. What did you feel? It was painful. sir.a q a q a q a q a q My mouth. COURT q a q a q a q a q What did you shout? I said MASAKIT PO. what did the accused do. sir. And what did he do with his shorts? He removed his shorts. And then after removing his shorts. sir. And do you still recall what the accused was wearing at that time? Yes. shorts. sir. sir. if any? And afterwards. sir. what else did he do? He repeatedly kissed me and then. sir. Were you alone at that time? My brother and sister were there. sir. he was forcing to insert his penis into my vagina. what did the accused do. he held both of my hands and went on top of me. And how many brothers do you have? . sir. q a sir. my breast and my private part. he was forcing to insert his penis into my vagina. COURT Continue. To whom did you address that? To the accused. sir. Could you please tell us what was he wearing at that time? Yes. if any? a After removing his shorts and underwear. COURT q a q a Was he able to insert his penis into your vagina? Yes. sir. You are referring to the accused Deolito Optana? Yes. And after the accused kissed your private part. sir . sir.

also. what happened? At first. xxx PROS. sir. sir. Where was she at that time? Downstairs. ten minutes. Why was it painful? Because of his private part. How long did the accused stayed on top of you? More or less. I was having blood in my private part. COURT . FLORESTA q Now. What else did you found (sic) out in your private Part? It was painful. and I do not know where she went. He was pumping. what did the accused do? He stood up and he got a PAMUNAS. sir. How about your mother? She was not around sir. How about in your private part? Yes.a q a q a q a q a q a q a q a Two. sir. . and got a piece of cloth and. after the accused stood up. after making those downward and forward movement. sir. sir. And then after that. I sustained a wound in my private part. How many sisters do you have? One. sir. he was trembling. COURT q a q a q a q a Why would he have to take a wipe? It was because there was blood on his sex. sir. FLORESTA q a q a Now. . sir. sir. xxx PROS. Where were they? Downstairs. sir. sir. sir. What did you do during that period when he was on top of you? He was making a downward and upward movement. Where was she? She left the house at that time.

What did he do with this? He used it in wiping his face. sir. So I did not do anything because I was afraid. When was it when he told you that? After he raped me. And did you follow him? Yes. and gave the piece of cloth to me in order to wipe my vagina. So what did you do when the accused told you to wipe your private part fast? I followed him because I was afraid of him. sir. after the accused raped you sometime in September 1993. sir. xxx PROS. xxx PROS. sir. And when your mother arrived home. What else did he do? a After wiping his face. do you know if this incident was repeated by the accused? COURT . sir. And did your mother arrive home? Yes. q And what else did the accused do after you wiped your private part with the cloth he gave to you? a q a q a q He instructed me to dress up quickly because my mother would arrive. sir. COURT q a q a q a Why were you afraid (sic) of your stepfather? Because he would kill me if I report the incident. sir. FLORESTA q a q a And why did the accused in this case told (sic) you to act faster? Because my mother was about to arrive. sir. and he told me to do it faster. sir. FLORESTA q Now.q a q a q a q Was he able to get this piece of cloth? Yes. sir. sir. sir. what did you do? a I did not do anything because I was instructed not to tell my mother. sir. How did you know? Because he told me. Where? On the HIGAAN.

sir. sir. my brothers and sisters. When you said THEY. The other room is for whom? For us. q Could you still recall how many weeks or days have passed from the first incident in September 1993 when the last incident happened? a q a q a I could no longer count because it happened several times. sir. you said that everytime that your mother is out. Do you know the occupation of your stepfather Deolito Optana in 1993? He was a waiter. What kind of bed? Wooden bed. xxx PROS. You were lying down? Yes. could you please tell us what is the reason why your mother is always out of your house? a sir. sir. was there any other incident that happened to you? Yes. your stepfather used to rape you. sir. q a Sometimes she would go to the market and sometimes she would sell some things. where in the house did this happen? a q a q a q a q a q a q a q a Upstairs. sir.q Before you go to that This incident that you have described. . to whom do you refer? My mother. sir. sir. q Now. in the month of September 1993. How many rooms were there upstairs? Two. sir. he would do the same thing to me. Now. On what? On the bed. sir. In what room? In their room. do you recall how many times? I cannot. sir. FLORESTA q a q After this incident. more (or) less does this incident happened to your? Several times. sir. sir. sir. And how many times. out of the house. When was that? a I could no longer recall when but everytime my mother was out.

FLORESTA q Now. to have raped you? COURT . sir. FLORESTA q a q a And where did this 28 October 1995 rape happened? In our house. sir. How old were you then? 12 years old. PROS. sir. q Now. And how did the accused forced (sic) you . Subic. . the accused repeated the act of having raped you. Now could you please tell this honorable court how did the accused raped (sic) you after September. FLORESTA q When was the last incident? WITNESS a 28 October 1995. sir. x x x12 q During the last hearing. 1993? a q He was forcing me. sir. sir. In the same room upstairs? In our room. 1993. do you still recall if the accused is still living in your house in Manganvaca. you testified that after you were first raped by the accused in September. do you know the reason why he was no longer residing in the house of your mother in 1995? a He was already detained at that time. Zambales with you and your mother? a No more. sir.xxx q a q a q a q a And in what grade were you at the time this first incident happened? Grade IV. COURT q a You mean in the room where your brothers and sisters were sleeping? Yes. sir. xxx PROS. . xxx PROS. in 1995. sir. What is your birth day? 13 December 1981. sir. How did you know that your birth is 13 December 1981? From my mother. sir.

sir. That was the time when I told my mother about the incident. sir. xxx PROS. Where? In our house. sir. sir. xxx q Why did you not report this or why did you report your stepfather. 1995. q And what did your mother do when you reported the matter to her? a She summoned my Aunt in order to accompany me to the municipal hall to report the matter. where the first incident took place? It happens sometime in our room and sometimes in their room. q But do you remember having reported this incident to your mother? a Yes.q a q a q a He was forcing you to what? He was forcing me to undress. After that. sir. sir. When did you get pregnant? . Onsiano? a q a Yes. sir. xxx q a q What happened to you when you were raped by your stepfather? I was hurt and I got pregnant. the accused in this case. sir. sir. I was investigated by the policeman and then. What do you mean by GINAGALAW? He was using me. sir.) q So. (GINAGALAW NIYA AKO TUWING WALA ANG MAMA KO. FLORESTA q a Is that the room. my stepfather was apprehended. is that correct. sir. q Could you still recall the month after the first incident that happened to you when the accused forced you to undress inside his room? a The incident started in September 1993. the accused had been GINAGALAW you. but he would always rape me when my mother was out. sir. to anyone of what he did to you? a I was afraid because he threatened me that he would kill me if I report the matter to anyone. sir. the same room. on 24 November 1995. Where in your house? In the room. when you say that since September 1993 up to October 28. Ms. COURT q a How did he use you? He was forcing his penis into my vagina.

FLORESTA . xxx PROS. sir. And what did the police officer do when you complained to him?. q Now. was apprehended. Where? At a hospital in Angeles. sir. And to whom did you complain? Police officer. sir. sir. sir. FLORESTA Unknown because this is out of wedlock. When? 23 February 1996. your Honor. Sir. your Honor. And were you and your Aunt Evelyn Nallos able to go to the Municipal Hall? Yes. COURT Who is the father as appearing in the document? PROS.a q a q a q a I cannot say what month. q You made the registration of the child with the Office of the Local Civil Registrar of Angeles City? a The Social Worker. xxx q a And what name did you give your child? Richard Onsiano. But what happened to your pregnancy? I gave birth to a child. you mentioned awhile ago that when you reported this incident to your mother sometime in November 1995. sir. my stepfather. Deolito Optana. sir. your mother called for your Aunt Evelyn Nallos? a q a q a Yes. For what purpose? In order to accompany me to the Municipal Hall. sir. And what did you do at the Municipal Hall? A complaint was filed against my stepfather. sir. COURT q a q a q a q a What is the name of the aunt? Evelyn Nallos? Yes. sir.

sir. he was very aware that she had a daughter. Ana Ecle of the DSWD. The trial judge had these observations about the witness: Rizalina was already 14 years old when she testified in Court. sir. was there any other men who had sexual intercourse with you prior to October 1995? a None. straightforward.21 . Undeniably.q Could you still recall what month in 1995. sir. spontaneous and frank manner and remains consistent is a credible witness. who upon examination on November. Even at her young age.18 and when she was interviewed by Social Welfare Officer II. She had no reason to fabricate a story against the accused who supported her in her daily needs and spent for her education until she finished Grade 6. it was only your stepfather who had sexual intercourse with you? a Yes. she regarded the accused-appellant as such.16 The fact that the accused-appellant bad carnal knowledge with the young victim is corroborated by the findings of Dr. Zambales. Laila Patricio.14 A witness who testifies in a categorical. it was More than sufficient to sustain the accused-appellant's conviction. she recognized the parental authority the accused-appellant had over her and in return. sir. Before they agreed to live together. I could no longer recall the exact date because he has been using me several times. sir. he was made to understand that he had to accept and treat Maria Rizalina as his own daughter. sir. prior to 28 October 1995 when you were raped by the accused in this case? a sir.17 This accusation was repeated when she was investigated by SPO3 Cesar Antolin at the Subic Police Station.19 When the accused-appellant was courting Nida Onciano. I could no longer count because he would always use me each time my mother was out. At the time she testified she was succinct in her declaration and appeared to the Court to be truthful.15 Since the trial court found Maria Rizalina' s testimony to be credible and trustworthy. there was moral ascendancy on the part of the accused-appellant over the victim. You are referring to the accused? Yes. she gave the reverence and respect due him as a father. Iba. 1995 found Maria Rizalina to be 6-7 months pregnant already. my stepfather. q Prior to the birth of your child. Subic. Zambales. sir. too-caring for her and providing for her education. Maria Rizalina confided to her that her stepfather raped her. q Aside from the accused.20 Since Maria Rizalina did not have a father. xxx q a Do you have any boyfriend? None. Ingratitude is not a trait common to a provincial child still innocent of the vicissitudes of life. x x x13 Mindful of the well-settled rule that findings of facts of the trial court are accorded great respect considering that the trial judge has observed the demeanor of the witnesses. he was the only one. the Court does not find any cogent reason to depart from such rule. xxx q Did you have any sexual intercourse with any other men before you gave birth to your child? a q a Yes. q Could you still recall how many times in a month the accused has been using you since September 1993 up to 28 October 1995? a Several times.

sir. was she able to disclose to you on your initial interview with the patient Rizalina Onciano regarding the sexual abuse committed in her person? A Initially. while she was presented by this representation. Basically. the entire family. So. prior to the commission of the crime. sir. abuse especially if these abuses have taken quite a number of times or it happened several times. she broke down and refused to talk. in the case of Rizalina Onsiano. We could only conclude that it was the abuser and the trauma that she underwent which led to her deppression (sic). or the accused. For another reason. The experience has certainly caused great trauma on Maria Rizalina that she had to be committed to the National Center for Mental Health. Rizalina was an up-grown child. Q But is it normal for a child not to tell the details of the abuse committed in her person? A There is a possibility. Q Now. So. Mandaluyong City to undergo psychological and medical treatment for severe depression. in Rizalina's case. the sisters. a psychiatrist at the National Center for Mental Health is quite revealing: A After having gathered all the informations we have conceded and collated the data and we have agreed to come up with an impression as stated m the protocol or major depression. sir. especially when a threat comes along or for several reasons. . sir. she would cry. the father. Is it normal. Q Would you be able to give an example of what other factors that would prevent the child from disclosing or tell the abuse committed on her person? A Sir. sir. what could have been the cause of your findings that the patient Rizalina Onsiano suffered from major depressive (sic) disorder? A After having a thorough study of the patient's case. the mother. It would take time prior to full disclosure of such trauma. Q Now. however. so. and that it was advised that the patient be given medication and to undergo regular psycho therapy. sir. sir. Having undergone abuse for quite sometime. sir. it is not the child or the victim which is just affected. those are the major reasons why a child or adolescent would not disclose immediately that she has been sexually molested.22 The testimony of Dr. Dijamco. is it normal for a child not to tell or recall the sexual abuse committed on her person? A An abuse is a trauma in itself. It is the entire family. There are times when the patient will be able to identify him just about that. the former's moral ascendancy and influence over the latter substitutes for violence and intimidation. is that a normal behavior of Rizalina Onsiano? A Basically. Since their child is affected. she would request that we change the topic. is one of the factor that would prevent the child from disclosing? A There is a possibility. she was consistent in identifying the perpetrator of the crime. Q Would you say the influence of the mother for being uncooperative with her in her fighting for her right. for a child not to remember is quite impossible. Sir. I don't think it was normal. it is not easy for one to fully disclose what she underwent. the threat to steal. Now. the threat to property. based on my observations and the cases I have handled for one it would be shame and the guilt since the patient underwent such trauma they feel that they are to be blamed that's why they don't tell. Basically. they feel that they have a part in the crime that's why they don't tell. when this representation was about to ask her of the actual abuse committed on her person. since whenever a child is abused. it is a normal part wherein she would not automatically disclosed what happened. sir. in your honest opinion. xxx23 Q Now. The threat to life. she had difficulty. but it is possible does not disclose immediately that she has been sexually abused by some other people. q By the way. the mother and the other relatives may have stayed in the child not disclosing about the attempts or the abuse. in your honest opinion as a psychiatrist. sir. the brothers. her major and severe deppression (sic). an important reason for not disclosing is the threat the perpetrator imposes on the victim.In a rape committed by a father against the daughter. sir.

27 Since then. It can be recalled that. Maria Rizalina never said anything to her mother of the many times the accused-appellant had sexually abused her for fear of her life. sir. it is medically impossible and contrary to the natural laws and religious belief And. abundant with open windows and doors. 1994 when she revealed that it was her stepfather who was responsible for her pregnancy. the medication she took or that she underwent at the Center helped her in gradually dealing with the situation as such. categorical declarations towards the accused-appellant's accountability for the felony. she could not have conceived in September. but is off-tangent and is irreconcilable and medically and naturally impossible with the alleged commission of rape of September 1993. The course she is undergoing right now is the effect of the treatment she has undergone at our Center. 1993 because as she testified. Maria Rizalina gave birth on February 23. Evelyn Nallos as the person who allegedly pressured his stepdaughter to file the charges of rape against him considering an old grudge existing between the two of them. Evelyn Nallos took care of two of their children who. She testified that she was raped several times by her stepfather. Lust is no respecter of time or place. after she was discharged from the National Center for Mental Health specifally (sic) on January 23."25 The Court sees no impossibility for the commission of this abominable act on the victim under the alleged circumstances. when Rizalina Onsiano was presented again to testify on the abuse committed against her by the accused.26 Furthermore. she only remembered the first time she was raped which was in September.28 Maria Rizalina's straightforward and consistent testimony belies any claim of being pressured by her aunt to concoct a story of defloration against the stepfather. sir. died under her care. While she could hardly remember the exact dates of these instances. peopled by six or seven mischievous and open-eyed curious souls keen with every unusual scenarios of members involving kins and idols like their fathers. the medical books and hospital records is in dearth or paucity of four (4) months premature births. in a small house.29 To the accused-appellant. the deaths were plainly due to Evelyn's negligence.30 The case at bar is no exception to these well-founded rule. Delay in reporting the crime is understandable. 1995) which logically coincides with the months that complainant gallivanted with the "barkada". 1997. It is not uncommon for young girls to conceal for some time the assaults on their virtue because of the rapist's threat on their lives. This contention deserves scant consideration.31 Neither was there any medical impossibility to the commission of the crime as accused-appellant argues: Granting "en gratia arguendo" that accused-appellant did the act complained of in September 1993. To the defense. their relationship was estranged. she was quick to deny that her Tita Evelyn prompted her to report to the authorities about her physical condition and the person responsible thereof. whenever she has to testify against her stepfather. she was able to narrate the details of what happened to her. within school premises and even inside a house where there are occupants. her own stepfather.Q Now. later on. it strains credulity why the victim never said anything about the incidents until the discovery by the mother on November 24. that the therapy. She was definitely afraid of her stepfather who threatened to kill her once she reports the matter to her mother. Upon cross examination. 1995. or the last act on October 28. is that also normal? A That proved.32 This defense is unavailing. 1996. 1995. accused-appellant points to his sister-in-law. xxx xxx the turning point when the pregnancy became apparent and noticeable was a clear span or intereggnum (sic) of one (1) year and five (5) months from the month and year subject matter of this review (November 24. Obviously. 1993 when she was only 12 years old and was in Grade IV33 and the last time was on October 28. nay. xxx24 Accused-appellant denies having raped his stepdaughter alleging that it was quite impossible for him to have committed the crime "in broad daylight. she was not yet menstruating at . Many cases attest to the unfortunate fact that rape can be committed even in places where people congregate: in parks. along the roadside. Ill motive is never an essential element of a crime. It becomes inconsequential in a case where there are affirmative. one died of meningitis and pneumonia and the other by drowning in a flood. unfortunately.

that when the victim is under twelve (12) years of age. committed on the same date.reason or otherwise unconscious.37 . Section 5 (b) Republic Act 7610. Child Prostitution and Other Sexual Abuse. committed in October 1995 when the child was 11 years and 10 months old. does not so allow. as the case may be: Provided. the accused stands charged with two offenses: for violation of Section 5. indulge in sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct. respectively. The said law in fact provides that if the child is below 12 years old. . committed on the same date.Rape is committed by having carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following circumstances: "1. the accused was charged with rape and violation of Section 5 paragraph (b) of Republic Act 7610. Thus: (1) in Criminal Case Nos. except where the law itself so allows. if the child is above 12 years old but below 18 years old. When the woman is deprived of . we rule with moral certainty that the accused-appellant is indeed guilty of the crimes. 7610 and Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code for rape which read as follows: Section 5. When the woman is under twelve years of age. "2. "September 1995. the accused must be prosecuted under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code. 485-95 and 486-95. Charging the accused with two different offenses for the same act committed on the same date against the said victim is erroneous as it is illegal. or any other consideration or due to the coercion or influence of any adult. the accused was charged with rape and violation of the same special law. as amended. "The crime of rape shall be punished by reclusion Perpetua." xxx Anent the numerous informations filed. The penalty of reclusion temporal in its medium period to reclusion perpetua shall be imposed upon the following: "xxx "(b) Those who commit the act of sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct with a child exploited in prostitution or subjected to other sexual abuse: Provided. syndicate or group. profit. 335 When and how rape is committed. for rape and Article 336 of Act No. 1993 and October 28. and "3. Conversely. That the penalty for lascivious conduct when the victim is under twelve (12) years of age shall be reclusion temporal in its mediumperiod. 3815. She started to have her menstruation when she was in Grade V34 or in 1994."36 xxx ART.A. the accused was charged with rape and violation of the same special law. the perpetrators shall be prosecuted under Article 335. the child was definitely conceived as a result of the rape between September. and (4) in Criminal Case Nos. Given all these facts and circumstances.35 Since she maintained that her stepfather raped her several times. paragraph (b) of Republic Act 7610 and for rape committed through force and intimidation. when the victim was 13 years old and 9 months. committed in September 1993 when the victim was 11 years and 9 months old. Accused-appellant was charged for violation of Section 5(b) of R. however. that for the same act committed on the same date by the accused on the same offended party. 482-95 and 487-95. (3) in Criminal Case Nos. 483-95 and 489-95. By using force or intimidation. 1995. 484-95 and 488-95.that time. who for money. the trial court corrected the erroneous filing of these informations as it explained: It will be noted. She denies going home late after school and is not fond of being out with friends. respectively. the Revised Penal Code. paragraph 3. then the accused must be prosecuted under Republic Act 7610 for the so called "child abuse. for rape or lascivious conduct. when the victim was 13 years and 9 months old. however. . (2) in Criminal Case Nos. the Informations charged rape and violation of the same special law. even though neither of the circumstances mentioned in the two next preceding paragraphs shall be present. October 1995. respectively. respectively.Children. whether male or female. are deemed to be children exploited in prostitution and other sexual abuse.

486-95. The said act is performed with a child exploited in prostitution or subjected to other sexual abuse. the trial court acquitted the accused under Criminal Case Nos. 5(b) of R. the essence of which is profit. 1995. P100. but also other forms of sexual abuse of children. Case No.39 the Court has explained that the elements of the offense penalized under this provision are as follows. vs. unfortunately.000 as civil indemnity." It must be noted that the law covers not only a situation in which a child is abused for profit. In each of the cases. She was below 12 years old at that time. moral damages may. the foregoing provision penalizes not only child prostitution. The accused commits the act of sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct.nêt SO ORDERED. This was the first time the accused raped Maria Rizalina who was able to give a detailed account of this traumatic experience. There is still a need for proof beyond reasonable doubt that the offenses alleged in the informations were indeed committed. 7610 or the Child Abuse Law. all what Maria Rizalina could say was that she was molested by the accused for the last time on October 28. While Maria Rizalina also testified that she was raped several times after September. through coercion or intimidation. Whether there was force and intimidation to qualify this incident as rape was. cruelty. 487-95 for violation of Sec. 488-95. Case No. The child. Under RA 7610. Branch 75. 3. exploitation or discrimination because of their age or mental disability or condition. complainant. or any other consideration. failed to establish the material details as to the time.M. 2. the prosecution.000. and manner by which these offenses were committed. place.A. This is clear from the deliberations of the Senate. No.The trial court correctly convicted the accused for Rape under Article 335 of the RPC in Criminal Case No. In line with recent jurisprudence. Nonetheless. profit. MTJ-99-1207 November 21.000 as civil indemnity is in order regardless of proof In addition to civil indemnity.38 Thus. The amount of damages must.000. 1âwphi1. or (b) under the coercion or influence of any adult.000 for moral damages and another P100. From the above disquisition. 487-95. whether male or female. 483-95. A child is deemed exploited in prostitution or subjected to other sexual abuse. however. 1998 of the Regional Trial Court. 1993.000) as civil indemnify. is below 18 years of age.41 WHEREFORE. the trial court awarded the amount of P50. syndicate or group. using his moral ascendancy in intimidating the victim to engage in sexual intercourse with him. In the case of People v. the trial court convicted the accused under Criminal Case No.40 The award of exemplary damages must be deleted for lack of legal basis. Hence. . 485-95 and Crim. be awarded without the need for proving the same in the amount not exceeding P50.000. the accused is certainly guilty for sexual abuse committed on his stepdaughter. engages in any lascivious conduct. there is no dispute that Maria Rizalina was sexually abused by the accused on this occasion. the award of P50. 489-95 for want of sufficient evidence. be modified. likewise. Olongapo City is AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that the accused-appellant is ordered to pay the victim the amount of FIFTY THOUSAND PESOS (P50. the Decision dated March 5. Hence. 1993. 1. however. Larin. 482-95. but also one in which a child. when the child indulges in sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct (a) for money. 484-95. 2001 NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION. children are "persons below eighteen years of age or those unable to fully take care of themselves or protect themselves from abuse. FIFTY THOUSAND PESOS (P50. not proven.00) as moral damages in Crim. neglect. Aside from the first incident of rape. 485-95 for it was clearly proven that the accused had carnal knowledge with the victim through force and intimidation on that fateful day in September. the award of exemplary damages is deleted in the above criminal cases.000 as exemplary damages. ivEN BANC A.

'Binastos po ako ng customer. In the evening of that day Jobet saw respondent Judge Villanueva and Marian asleep together. 2001. 'Ito and asawa ko Judge Francisco Villanueva at ito naman yong mga talent na galing Davao. In the evening of February 11. Gawin nalang natin silang Dance Instructor.' all three girls stopped working at KTV Night Club which angered respondent Judge.' said Janet. She could not stand the laughter at them. said Juvylyn. Janet and Juvylyn met respondent Judge Villanueva who was introduced to them by Marian. Metropolitan Trial Court of Quezon City. and NBI Supervising Agent Julma Dizon Dapilos. Fil-Invest Batasan. Next morning at breakfast about 7:00 o'clock. They must be free of impropriety.itc-alf . Juvylyn Requilmen was rescued by the same team at Ihaw-Ihaw Balot-Balot Restaurant owned by Marian Herrera and respondent Judge. the Court referred the matter to former Court of Appeals Justice Pedro A. Villanueva (Branch 36. Janet Ramas and Juvylyn Requilmen stopped working as GROs at Bodega Night Club. Marian upon seeing her. Quezon City that he (respondent Judge Villanueva) and Marian owned.net In his Report. Castaneda Jr. 1999. 1999. Complainant presented four witnesses: Jobeth Diocales. when she (Janet) was 'binastos x x x nang customers. Quezon City where they worked as GROs for about a week. Mrs. not only with respect to the performance of their judicial duties. Murphy. The Facts The investigation on the matter began on August 24. Oscar Inocentes and Justice Catalino R. report and recommendation. Juvylyn Requilmen.for investigation. In the evening of January 23.] it was Marlyn Sumadila and Joy Elardo who recruited and brought them from Tagum to Manila where they arrived by airplane early in the morning of January 19. Benipayo. Marlyn Sumadilla. Jobet Diocales and Janet Ramas were rescued by the NBI team at respondent Judge's condominium at 15th Avenue. x x x an[g] babata pa [n]ila. Felilu Amon Ying. Awakened. Andres C.net At the recommendation of then Court Administrator Alfredo L.@lawphil.' On January 21. on the other hand. respondent. Socorro. J.@lawphil. Quezon City. the three girls were brought by respondent Judge first to Ihaw-Ihaw then to the house at Matalino Street. After January 29. Janet Ramas and Juvylyn Requilmen[. 1 Hanna Street. The Case The administrative charge before us was triggered by a letter1 from then Director Santiago Y. There they worked for two nights only because they could not stand the vulgarity of their companions. Toledo of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). recommending the prosecution of Judge Francisco D. 1999. PANGANIBAN. "After the three girls[:] Jobet Diocales.' Addressing Marian. called eight witnesses: Judge Francisco D.: The conduct and behavior of those connected with an office charged with the dispensation of justice must always be beyond reproach. executive officer of the Anti Child Abuse Division (ACADED) of the NBI. 'Love. Quezon City. after coming from Divisoria to buy clothes to wear as dance instructors. 1999 Jobet.consultant of the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) -. Janet and Juvylyn were brought by Marian and respondent Judge to Bodega Nightclub where they started working as GROs. Cubao. Nitz Tao. Janet said she was touched from the shoulders down to her thighs and was kissed. the Court in a Resolution dated June 8. After receiving the counter-affidavits of Judge Villanueva and his co-respondents in the NBI investigation. Justice Ramirez summarized the facts as follows: "As testified by Jobet Diocales. Torres-Yap. According to Jobet customers touched her legs and shoulders and kissed her. 1999 and continued until April 19. 1999. The letter also charged respondent with immorality. It was Marian Herrera and her brother Paolo who met them at the airport and brought them to the house of Marian's livein partner Judge Francisco Villanueva at No. resolved to suspend respondent until further orders. Socorro. Hindi pa sila p'wedeng makapunta sa Japan. Villanueva himself. but also in relation to their behavior outside the courtroom. Janet Ramas. The defense. Metropolitan Court of Quezon City) and three others for illegal recruitment under Republic Act (RA) 8042 and white slave trade under the Revised Penal Code in relation to RA 7610. told Jobet to massage respondent Judge which she did assisted by Juvylyn. 1999. Ramirez -. Cubao. Branch 36. on [January] 26. Marian Herrera and respondent Judge fetched them from his (respondent Judge's) condominium at Murphy. Jobet. alleging that Marian Herrera was his live-in partner. Quezon City and brought the three girls to KTV Night Club in Timog. Violeta Jarra Villanueva (wife of respondent).JUDGE FRANCISCO D. 1999. which he adopted as his answer/comment in this administrative case. respondent Judge Villanueva said. VILLANUEVA.

and (3) in AM No. He pointed out that such extramarital relation constituted immorality -. They needed no prior encouragement in spending all the money handed to them by Marian Herrera or in splurging on clothes and make-up to equip themselves for night club jobs. he was found guilty of serious misconduct and/or inefficiency in violation of the Canons of Judicial Ethics. as they in fact also did whenever they went to the discos and when they were "rescued. not only while in the performance of official duties but also outside the court."Respondent Judge denied having any amorous relation with Marian Herrera."6 Though he denies encouraging the three young women to apply for jobs as GROs.@lawphil. he was placing the then impressionable minors directly on a path of moral decay. Respondent's Administrative Liability The evidence shows that respondent is not the owner of any of the establishments involved in this case.000. They were allowed to leave their place of residence or work5 anytime. the three "victims" were free to enter and leave the condominium where they resided.two from the condominium where they were staying while looking for more acceptable jobs. where they eventually worked as GROs from January 26. MTC-99-1227. where she was already working as a cashier.9itc-alf By his acts. He was but a business adviser to her[. he was reprimanded for failure to secure a written permission from the Supreme Court to engage in business.as he is so aptly perceived to be -. "The Canons of Judicial Ethics requires a judge to keep himself free from any appearance of impropriety. His personal behavior. Moreover. Their version was more credible. He recommended that respondent be held administratively liable for serious misconduct arising from violation of RA 7610. They were free to change their jobs. The OCA investigator also found a clear indication of an illicit amorous relation between Marian Herrera and respondent." The evidence clearly shows that they were merely fetched -. Torres-Yap. A judicial office circumscribes a personal conduct and imposes a number of inhibitions. 1999.000. respondent cannot be excused for his deeds. as they did twice later. (2) in AM No. The penalties in the last two were each accompanied by a stern warning that a repetition of the same or similar infractions would be dealt with more severely. The Court's Ruling The Court agrees with the recommendation of Justice Ramirez that respondent is administratively liable for immorality and unbecoming conduct. Neither did he sleep there. The three alleged "victims" were not in need of any rescuing. . He did not have anything to do with the three girls' (Jobet. It is undisputed that he accompanied them to the Bodega Night Club one night in January 1999. for they were not in detention at the time they were fetched. 2001.] she is but his distant relative on his mother's side. considering that they had no motive to falsify their declarations. and informed the latter that the women were looking for jobs. By facilitating the employment of the three in a night club as such. He was exposing them to a seedy world where the practice of offering one's flesh in exchange for money was thrust right in front of their faces.3 They went to the disco only whenever they wanted to. they had voluntarily gone with respondent to the night clubs to seek jobs. The OCA consultant also reported that this Court administratively disciplined respondent three times as follows: (1) in AM No.] which his wife Violeta confirmed.net Furthermore. As testified to by the three young women.the visible personification of law and of justice. he was found guilty of abuse of authority and ordered to pay a fine of P2.a serious charge under Section 8. fined P10. who was still married to Violeta Jarra Villanueva. respondent clearly facilitated the employment of the three young women as GROs. his actions loudly speak otherwise. the penalty for which is dismissal from the service.itc-alf The above notwithstanding. 1999 to January 29. Janet and Juvylyn) stay at the condominium owned by Marian and their employment as GROs. there is no showing that the three alleged victims were being forced to work as "guest relations officers" (GROs) or that their private parts were fondled by customers. the OCA consultant said that respondent's denial could not prevail over the positive and clear adverse testimony of the three young women. and the third from the Ihaw-Ihaw Balot-Balot Restaurant. and suspended for one year without pay. MTJ-96-1107. must be beyond reproach. Rule 140 of the Revised Rules of Court. Our present society considers their work as morally wrong. whose faithful observance is the price one has to pay for holding an exalted position.4 It is clear from their testimonies that they were not forced to do anything against their will.7 He introduced8 them to the operator."2 Recommendation of the OCA Consultant In his Report to the Court dated April 19. According to him[. Andres C. Respondent also accompanied them when they applied at the KTV night club. but not for gross or serious misconduct. for he is -. MTJ-001245.

the acts complained of are not connected with the performance of respondent's official duties. without which the faith of the people in the judiciary so indispensable in an orderly society cannot be preserved. they were cohabiting in the same house in the aforementioned address. Do they live in the same house? Yes. "Serious misconduct is such misconduct which affects a public officer's performance of his duties as such officer and not only that which affects his character as a private individual.m. 1 Hanna Street. specifically Canon 2 which states that "[a] judge should avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all activities. ma'am. important. was there anybody who pick you up from the airport? A Q A Tita Marian Herrera and her brother Paolo. thus. When you arrived in 1 Hanna Street.Furthermore. You said also that it was the house of Judge Villanueva and Marian Herrera? A Q Yes. his actions show conduct unbecoming his office. Aside from that. we agree with the findings of the OCA consultant. the evidence clearly shows that respondent and Marian Herrera were lovers because respondent was found sleeping inside the same bedroom occupied by Herrera at No. and (3) have a direct relation to and be connected with the performance of his official duties. Batasan. ma'am. any other thing? Invited us for breakfast. was the Judge there? A Yes. because "no position exacts a greater demand on moral righteousness and uprightness than a seat in the judiciary. sir. Such acts are unacceptable. Finally. . 1 Hanna Street. ma'am. COURT: Q A Q A Q A Who's this Tita Marian you're talking about? Live-in partner of Judge. Quezon City. there must be reliable evidence showing that the judicial acts complained of were corrupt or inspired by an intention to violate the law. High ethical principles and a sense of propriety should be maintained. momentary. The Court does not agree with the OCA consultant that the said acts of respondent constitute serious misconduct in office."11 In this case. ma'am. It must (1) be serious. Q You said that it was Ate Marian and her brother Paolo who picked you up from the airport and you proceeded to 1 Hannah Street. (2) imply wrongful intention and not mere error of judgment. clear and consistent. ma'am. and not trifling. 1999 at 1:30 a. Batasan. weighty." In the matter of immorality. he's sleeping and in the morning at 7:00 o'clock Ate Marian introduced Judge Villanueva to us as her husband. However. And where did you proceed from the airport? In the house of Judge Francisco Villanueva and Tita Marian. The testimonies on this point were spontaneous. Second. by his careless acts. Q A Q A And what if any did Judge Villanueva tell upon seeing you? 'Good Morning'. they cannot be considered serious or gross misconduct. Fil-Invest. Quezon City."10 In sum. respondent never denied that he was the husband of Herrera when he was introduced to complainant's witnesses. Fil-Invest. Pertinent portions of the testimony of Jobeth Diocales are reproduced hereunder: "Q When you reached Manila on January 19. For serious misconduct to warrant dismissal from the service. Can you tell us exactly where this house is? No. ma'am. ma'am. ma'am. First.. respondent opened himself to the charges of white slave trade and violation of RA 7610. such acts are violations of the Code of Judicial Conduct.

. Q When according to you Marian Herrera said 'My husband'. Q A This was how many days after your arrival in Manila? Two (2) days.O. you had only one conversation with Judge Villanueva? A Q A Q A No. Did you see them sleeping together? Yes. Q A She was saying that in? In Tagalog. so that I can massage Judge Francisco Villanueva who wanted to know what was my pressure. tagalog or what? A Tagalog. The first time you talk with Judge Villanueva. sir. 1999 at 9:30 in the evening. sir. when you arrived in Manila. you were met according to you by Marian Herrera and you were brought to a place which you identified before the investigator as the house of Judge Villanueva.R. our customers okay? Q Now. how did you know that was the house of Judge Villanueva? A Q A Q Because they were together in the house and they were together sleeping. ma'am. sir. you were rescued when actually what you meant you were fetched by the NBI. sir. January 21. was that the kind of work that you were doing as a student of the Natural Therapeutic? A xxx Yes. sir. Pumasok ka ba sa k'warto? A Once. sir. from the time you arrived in Manila on January 19 up to the time according to you. . Hindi pa sila p'wedeng makapunta ng Japan.Q A Q What else if any? He said we are of minor age and we could not go to Japan. Gawin na lang natin silang Dance Instructor. how's being G. How many times did you talk to him? Every time that we met. how did she talk to you in English. What in exact words? A 'Ito ang asawa ko Judge Francisco Villanueva at ito naman yong mga talents na galing Davao'. sir. sir. Why not according to him? A He said 'Love' referring to Ate Marian.'12 xxx xxx xxx Q So. sir. did she say that in English or in Tagalog? A Q In Tagalog. let's make this clear. what did you talk about? He asked me how's my work. sir. Tita Marian even asked me to get inside the room. 'Ang babata pa nila. Q And did you not object and you agreed to massage Judge Villanueva."13 xxx xxx Q And when you met Marian Herrera. sir.

your Honor.I. . ma'm. did Judge Villanueva say anything if any? A When we have breakfast and he said 'Ay. sir. sir. sir."16 Juvylyn Requilmen testified on the same matter in this wise: Q A xxx Q A Q A Q A Q A Q Where is the house of Marian Herrera? No. COURT: Q A xxx Q A xxx Q A By whom was he introduced? By Ate Marian Herrera. xxx xxx Can you give us exactly the address of that house of Judge Francisco Villanueva? Yes ma'm No."15 xxx xxx And who is Ate Marian Herrera? Live-in partner of Judge Francisco Villanueva. Love ang babata pa nila."14 Janet L. sir.'. sir. Filinvest. testified thus: "ATTY PASCUAL: Q A Q Miss Ramas. do you know Judge Francisco Villanueva? Yes. sir. ma'm. sir. could you point him to us? (Witness pointing to a person who identified himself as Judge Francisco Villanueva) How did you meet Judge Francisco Villanueva? He was introduced to us by Marian Herrera as her husband. Ramas. Batasan Hills. If you were ask to point him out. xxx xxx Later in the day. 1.Q A Q A So Marilyn Herrera never used the word 'husband' with respect to Judge Villanueva? Yes. After you were introduced. on the other hand. 1 Hannah Street. did you ever meet anyone inside the house of Marian Herrera? Yes. Hana Street. Why do you know him? A Ate Marian introduced Judge Francisco Villanueva during breakfast time in the house of Judge Francisco Villanueva. Batasan Hills. ma'm. gawin na lang natin silang D. hindi pa sila p'wedeng pumunta ng Japan. What she said was 'Ito ang asawa ko'? Yes. Who was that? Judge Francisco Villanueva.

Q When Judge Villanueva said 'Ay. including government-owned or controlled corporation. xxx xxx xxx "Sec. If indeed he was merely the business consultant of Marian Herrera.A. sir. What did Judge Villanueva say. he can no longer be dismissed or suspended. Villanueva is found GUILTY of immorality and conduct unbecoming a judge. SO ORDERED. 1999? Yes.is required. he would not be so free and so comfortable sleeping in the same bedroom as she or waking up and then having breakfast with her in her house.000. respondent's denials and explanations were hollow and unworthy of belief. – Serious charges include: xxx xxx xxx "3. Sanctions. And you said that he was introduced to you as the husband of Marian Herrera? Yes. sir. He is hereby FINED in the amount of P40. Gross misconduct constituting violations of the Code of Judicial Conduct.000."18 In contrast. or "3. however. forfeiture of all or part of the benefits as the Court may determine. . Dismissal from the service. Hence. that the forfeiture of benefits shall in no case include accrued leave credits. 11. sir. In an administrative proceeding.00. Suspension from office without salary and other benefits for more than three (3) but not exceeding six (6) months. "2. Immorality. DE ALBAN: Q A Q A Q A Did you meet Judge Villanueva early morning of June 19. WHEREFORE. xxx xxx xxx "8. and disqualification from reinstatement or appointment to any public office. This is taking business consultancy much too far. Love ang babata pa nila. if any? he just laughed. sir.00 but not exceeding P40. Serious charges."17 xxx xxx ATTY.000. A fine of more than P20.19 Here. as contradistinguished from a criminal case." Considering that respondent has already retired. any of the following sanctions may be imposed: "1. Appropriate Penalty Rule 140 of the Rules of Court provides: "Sec.-. Provided. the appropriate penalty is a fine. If the respondent is guilty of a serious charge. only substantial evidence -. and then continued with this statement. 8. the existence of extramarital relations between respondent and Marian Herrera is substantially supported by the evidence on record. to whom was he talking to? A xxx Marian Herrera. Judge Francisco D.that amount of relevant evidence that a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion -.

J. DECISION CORONA. vs.v vi vii viii ix x xi xii xiii xiv xv xvi G. ROBERTO ABAY y TRINIDAD. Appellee.: . 177752 : February 24.R. 2009 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. Appellant. No.

unlawfully and knowingly commit sexual abuse and lascivious conduct against [AAA]. she immediately proceeded to the police station and reported the incident. by then and there kissing her breast and whole body. a minor. against her will and consent thereafter threatening to kill her should she report the incident. Branch 4 [1] under the following Information: chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary That sometime in December 1999. did then and there willfully. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary According to Dr. to the damage and prejudice of [AAA]. However. 2000. Whenever her mother was working or was asleep in the evening. her mother BBB and expert witness Dr. thereby gravely endangering her survival and normal growth and development. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary During trial. AAA confided to her that appellant had been sexually abusing her for six years. lying on top of her and inserting his penis into her vagina. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary AAA testified that appellant. Article III of RA 7610 in the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila. Stella Guerrero-Manalo of the Child Protection Unit of the Philippine General Hospital as its witnesses. appellant would threaten her with a bladed instrument[2] and force her to undress and engage in sexual intercourse with him. she kept her silence. 13 years of age. in the City of Manila. her mothers live-in partner. appellant Roberto Abay y Trinidad was charged with rape in relation to Section 5(b). when she caught appellant in the act of molesting her daughter on December 25. the prosecution presented AAA. 1999. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary BBB corroborated AAAs testimony. Thus. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary Appellant pleaded not guilty during arraignment. thus succeeded in having carnal knowledge of her. She testified that she knew about appellants dastardly acts. Guerrero-Manalo. [appellant] by means of force and intimidation. This was confirmed by AAAs physical examination indicating prior and recent . had been sexually abusing her since she was seven years old.On March 8. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary CONTRARY TO LAW. Philippines. because he would beat her up and accuse AAA of lying whenever she confronted him.

000 as moral damages and P25. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary The defense.[6] affirmed the findings of the RTC but modified the penalty and award of damages. on intermediate appellate review. 2003. the family would have noticed. in addition to the civil indemnity ex delicto (which is mandatory once the fact of rape is proved)[9] granted by the RTC. AAA straightforwardly narrated her horrifying experience at the hands of appellant. Appellants sister. it awarded P50.[8] the CA found appellant guilty only of simple rape and reduced the penalty imposed to reclusion perpetua. The rooms of their house were divided only by -inch thick plywood walls that did not even reach the ceiling. one wrongly accused of a crime will staunchly defend his innocence. asserted the incredibility of the charge against appellant. Moral damages are . Furthermore.000 as exemplary damages. [4] the RTC found appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape: chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary WHEREFORE. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary In view of the enactment of RA 8353[7] and RA 9346. Nenita and Rizza claimed that they often caught AAA and her boyfriend in intimate situations. they should have heard AAAs cries.[5] and to pay private complainant moral damages in the amount of Fifty Thousand (P50. on the other hand. appellant kept his silence which was contrary to human nature. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary SO ORDERED. A young girl would not have exposed herself to humiliation and public scandal unless she was impelled by a strong desire to seek justice. Here.[3] chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary In a decision dated November 25. testified that if appellant had really been sexually abusing AAA. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary The Court of Appeals (CA).000) Pesos. Moreover.penetration injuries. finding [appellant] Roberto Abay y Trinidad guilty beyond reasonable doubt of committing the crime of rape under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code in relation to Section 5. the Court imposes upon him the death penalty. and appellants daughter. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary According to the RTC. On the other hand. The RTC concluded that appellant had indeed sexually abused AAA. Rizza. Article III of RA 7610 against [AAA]. Nenita Abay. Thus.

000 as moral damages.[13] if the victim of sexual abuse[14] is below 12 years of age. The Information against appellant stated that AAA was 13 years old at the time of the incident. Furthermore.[23] chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary Indeed. the prosecutions evidence only established that appellant sexually violated the person of AAA through force and intimidation[22] by threatening her with a bladed instrument and forcing her to submit to his bestial designs. to conform with existing jurisprudence.automatically granted in rape cases without need of proof other than the commission of the crime[10] while exemplary damages are awarded by way of example and in order to protect young girls from sexual abuse and exploitation. Under Section 48 of the Revised Penal Code (on complex crimes).[19] Likewise. However. if the victim is 12 years or older. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary Under Section 5(b). Appellant is therefore found guilty of rape under Article 266-A(1)(a) of the Revised Penal Code and sentenced to reclusion perpetua. While the Information may have alleged the elements of both crimes.[16] On the other hand. the offender cannot be accused of both crimes[18] for the same act because his right against double jeopardy will be prejudiced.[11] chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary We affirm the decision of the CA with modifications.000 as civil indemnity ex-delicto[24] and P75. rape cannot be complexed with a violation of Section 5(b) of RA 7610. 1999. rape was established. Therefore. A person cannot be subjected twice to criminal liability for a single criminal act.[20] a felony under the Revised Penal Code (such as rape) cannot be complexed with an offense penalized by a special law. appellant may be prosecuted either for violation of Section 5(b) of RA 7610 or rape under Article 266-A (except paragraph 1[d]) of the Revised Penal Code.[21] chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary In this case. the offender should not be prosecuted for sexual abuse but for statutory rape under Article 266-A(1)(d) of the Revised Penal Code[15] and penalized with reclusion perpetua. the victim was more than 12 years old when the crime was committed against her. Article III of RA 7610[12] in relation to RA 8353. he is ordered to pay AAA P75. the offender should be charged with either sexual abuse[17] under Section 5(b) of RA 7610 or rape under Article 266-A (except paragraph 1[d]) of the Revised Penal Code. Thus. the records are replete with evidence establishing that appellant forced AAA to engage in sexual intercourse with him on December 25.[25] chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary .

R.C. and sentencing him for each count to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to pay a fine of P30. with force and intimidation commit acts of lasciviousness upon the person of his 17-year old daughter ROSALIE ABADIES Y MANUNGHAYA by kissing. 7 and 26. 7610 or the "Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse. said accused actuated by lewd design did then and there wilfully.000 as exemplary damages. DECISION PUNO. unlawfully and feloniously. Nos. dated May 26. JOSE ABADIES y CLAVERIA. accused-appellant. plaintiff-appellee. 1999. J.: This is an appeal from the decision[1] of the Regional Trial Court of San Pedro.000. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary SO ORDERED. finding accused-appellant Jose Abadies guilty beyond reasonable doubt of four counts of violation of Republic Act No. 01365 is hereby AFFIRMED WITH MODIFICATION. Philippines. 3.R. 2002] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. 1998. Province of Laguna. outside the territorial jurisdiction of the court. In an Order[3] dated July 16. July 11. xvii xviii xix xx xxi xxii xxiii [G. He is further ordered to pay AAA P75. 1997.000 as moral damages and P25.” The other incidents were allegedly committed on July 2. in Criminal Case Nos. 2007 decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. 139346-50." penalized under Section 5 (b). Costs against appellant. 1997. Appellant Roberto Abay y Trinidad is hereby found GUIILTY of simple rape and is sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. the trial court. hence. Article III and Section 31. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. are similarly worded as follows: “That on or about July 1. Laguna. No. in the Municipality of San Pedro. . Article XII thereof. mashing her breast and touching her private parts against her will and consent. 7610 in five separate Informations[2] which. vs. 0657-SPL on the ground that the crime charged appears to have been committed in Las Piñas City. the January 18.WHEREFORE. CR-H. P75. Exploitation and Discrimination Act. Accused-appellant Abadies was charged with a violation of Republic Act No.00. dismissed Criminal Case No.000 as civil indemnity ex-delicto. except for the dates of commission. 0658-SPL to 0661-SPL. upon motion of the public prosecutor. CONTRARY TO LAW.

. The next day. July 3. complainant was again jolted from her sleep by accused-appellant who was touching her breast. Complainant was again awakened in the early morning of July 7. accused-appellant asserts that the court a quo erred in finding the prosecution's version more credible and in convicting him despite the implied pardon given by complainant. When accused-appellant saw that Jonathan was about to turn. Complainant ran to the bathroom where she shed tears.Children. Pulo. who was sleeping beside her in a bid to wake him up. Accused-appellant likewise contends that there exists no factual basis for the trial court to consider his plea of forgiveness in his letter to complainant as an implied admission of guilt. accused-appellant. complainant was 17 years old. Complainant further testified that on December 6. Again. The appeal is not impressed with merit. complainant was brought by accused-appellant to the house of her stepsister in Las Piñas. She started to cry and asked accused-appellant why he was abusing her. he would leave for work. The facts show that accused-appellant has been living for the past twenty years with his commonlaw wife. Laguna. The family sleeps together in one room and usually Catalina wakes up early in the morning to buy bread. trial ensued. on July 26. Section 5 (b) thereof which reads: “SEC. accused-appellant entered a plea of not guilty and hence. Child Prostitution and Other Sexual Abuse. specifically Article III. he stopped only when his wife arrived from the store. On July 26.m. profit. He ordered complainant to write a letter to her mother and revealed that he was planning to kill himself and complainant. 1997. Accused-appellant stands charged with violation of Republic Act No. 1997. He also testified on the reason why the charges at bar were filed against him. accused-appellant forced her inside the bedroom where he threatened complainant to choose whether he would kill her or rape her. She reached out for the blanket of her brother. 1980. 7610 or The Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse. she was sleeping in their house when she was awakened by somebody touching her breast and other private parts of her body. San Pedro. inserted his hand inside her shorts and touched her private part. Jonathan. On the strength of their complaint. She could not shout as fear overcame her when she saw anger from accused-appellant’s face.. that complainant and her mother were already preparing breakfast. Complainant did not tell her mother about the incident for fear of accused-appellant. Nobody was in the house and strangely. Accused-appellant started kissing complainant but the latter was able to run away from him. together with their two children.m. whether male or female. When complainant refused. 1997. he warned complainant not to tell her mother about the incident. Accused-appellant simply continued touching her. Again. Complainant struggled with accused-appellant as he persisted in mashing her breast. accused-appellant wrote her a letter from his detention cell asking for forgiveness.[4] Complainant testified that on July 1. accused-appellant started to sharpen his sickle. Crying and looking very pale. or any other consideration or due to the coercion or influence of any adult. at about the same time. Exploitation and Discrimination Act. and even inflicts physical harm on them when they disobey him. she narrated to her mother her ordeal. He denies having committed acts of lasciviousness against complainant. July 2. 1997. at Bgy. having been born on July 29. She fought accused-appellant when he tried to remove her hands. Accused-appellant also declared he was too strict with his children. She likewise disclosed the past abuses of accused-appellant. 1997 by accused-appellant touching her breast. In the present appeal. Accusedappellant was forced to stop only when complainant's mother arrived from the store. Accused-appellant proffered the defense of denial and alibi. 1997. Landayan. Catalina Manunghaya. 5. Complainant reached their house and saw her mother. and after eating breakfast. 1997. who for money. Complainant threatened to end her life because she felt she was to be blamed for their problems.During the arraignment. It was during these short periods of time while Catalina was out of the house that the abuses took place. He testified that on the dates of the alleged incidents. The following day. Complainant resisted and removed accused-appellant’s hand. . at about 6:00 a. Complainant and her mother then proceeded to the barangay office where they made a report. he asked complainant what was happening to their lives as his children were aloof with him. accused-appellant was arrested. and she covered her breast with a pillow. accused-appellant desisted only when complainant's mother arrived from the store. This time. accused-appellant straddled her.. Jonathan and complainant Rosalie. She covered herself with a blanket and with her hands. However. Allegedly. he stopped. he woke up between 7:00 to 7:30 a. On the dates material to these cases. She was startled to see her father. complainant was once more roused from her sleep by accusedappellant mashing her breast.

[13] Evidently. The argument is specious. The penalty of reclusion temporal in its medium period to reclusion perpetua shall be imposed upon the following: xxx xxx xxx (b) Those who commit the act of sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct with a child exploited in prostitution or subjected to other sexual abuse. (2) that it is done (a) by using force or intimidation or (b) when the offended party is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious. We do not agree. some may faint.[7] Complainant's failure to disclose about her misfortune to her mother does not destroy her credibility. even in the same room where other members of the family are sleeping. sufficiently constitute acts of lasciviousness under the foregoing provision. some may be shocked into insensibility. or (c) when the offended party is under 12 years of age.[5] The testimony of complainant that accused-appellant touched and mashed her breasts and other private parts of her body against her will.[14] Under the circumstances. it must be buttressed by strong evidence of non-culpability and there is none. accused-appellant’s plea of forgiveness should be received as an implied admission of guilt. It is negative evidence which cannot overcome the positive testimonies of credible witnesses. who exercised moral ascendancy over her. it is inconceivable why complainant did not immediately tell her mother. x x x. Some people may cry out. Settled is the rule that in criminal cases. no one would ask for forgiveness unless he had committed some wrong and a plea for forgiveness may be considered as analogous to an attempt to compromise.[9] Indeed. while others may yet appear to yield to the intrusion.[6] Accused-appellant faults the trial court in giving credence to the testimony of complainant. his moral ascendancy over her is a sufficient substitute for the use of force or intimidation. we have also ruled that no standard form of behavior has been observed when a person is confronted by a shocking or a harrowing and unexpected incident. Some of the pertinent portions read as follows: "I made this letter to ask your 'forgiveness.’ x x x Alam mo bang sobra-sobra na ang pagsisisi ko sa ginawa kong iyon. for the workings of the human mind. We also accord great weight to the findings of the trial court having heard the witnesses and observed their deportment and manner of testifying during trial. are deemed to be children exploited in prostitution and other sexual abuse. an offer of compromise by the accused may be received in evidence as an implied admission of guilt. it is now hoary jurisprudence that lust is no respecter of time and place for rape has been committed in places where people congregate. For accused-appellant’s denial to prevail. Complainant explained that she did not tell her mother about her ordeal because she was afraid of accused-appellant. Accused-appellant admitted that his children were afraid of him because he was very strict with them. Patawarin mo na ako anak.[10] Moreover. and (3) that the offended party is another person of either sex. accused-appellant's simple denial of the crime charged is inherently weak. x x x Parang awa mo na Ne hirap na hirap na ako at ang lahat ay buong puso ko ng pinagsisisihan. when placed under emotional stress.[12] Accused-appellant further contends that there is no factual basis for the trial court to conclude that the plea for forgiveness contained in his letter is to be deemed as an implied admission of guilt. The Court has probed into the records to assess complainant's credibility and we find that her testimony deserves full faith and credit. and that there were occasions when he would hit them with anything that he could get hold of or inflict physical punishment whenever they disobeyed him. indulge in sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct. are unpredictable. x x x. It is of no moment that complainant failed to shout for help while she was being molested with her brother sleeping beside her in the same room. .” The elements of the crime of acts of lasciviousness are: (1) that the offender commits any act of lasciviousness or lewdness. and that she could not shout or fight back because she was afraid of accused-appellant.syndicate or group.[11] On the other hand. Accused-appellant was complainant’s own father. He contends that it is difficult to comprehend why complainant did not shout or do anything to ask help from her brother who was sleeping beside her. A cursory reading of the relevant parts of the letter will readily show that accused-appellant was indeed seeking pardon for his misdeeds. Although accused-appellant was not armed nor did he threaten complainant." There is no iota of doubt that accusedappellant was asking forgiveness for having committed the acts with which he now stands charged. He also claims that if the charges were true. except those involving quasi-offenses or those allowed by law to be settled through mutual concessions. Complainant's testimony was straightforward and free from contradiction as to any material point.[8] This is enough reason for complainant to be cowed into silence.

abduction. the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted on November 20. concubinage. 3 and 7.00 as cash fund for the rehabilitation of the victim and moral damages in the amount of P50. It will be noted that Section 5. rape and acts of lasciviousness. Second. to which the Philippines became a party on August 21.[18] while the executive department has issued various executive orders and proclamations in order to give teeth to the implementation and enforcement of these laws. 344. Article XII thereof provides that the penalty in its maximum period shall be imposed when the perpetrator is an ascendant. the trial court did not err in appreciating the generic aggravating circumstance of relationship and in imposing the penalty of reclusion perpetua for each count of lascivious conduct committed by accused-appellant against his daughter. we deem it relevant to stress the escalating awareness and concern for the protection of the rights of children. the accused was ordered to pay a fine of P20. nor. Section 31 (f). molestation and incest) or exploited (forced or induced into prostitution. He relies on Article 344 of the Revised Penal Code which provides: “ART. xxx xxx xxx The offenses of seduction. Reaffirming the fact that children need special care and protection because of their vulnerability. Over the past years. in any case. which incorporates the full range of human rights . 1989 the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). He alleged that the present charges were filed against him only after the Las Piñas incident which happened on July 26. 1990. The need of children for special protection was given recognition by the nations of the world as early as 1924 when the assembly of the League of Nations endorsed the Declaration of the Rights of the Child (commonly known as The Declaration of Geneva) which focused on children's welfare. or any immediate member of his family if the latter is the perpetrator of the offense. Congress has enacted a number of laws relating to the protection of children's welfare and rights. specifically their economic. Article II of Republic Act No. guardian. This provision is in accord with Article 39 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. parent.Accused-appellant likewise contends that he was impliedly pardoned by the complainant. Article 344 of the RPC and Section 5. The Convention stresses the duty of the state to take all the necessary steps to protect children from being sexually abused (as in rape. Rule 110 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure provide that the pardon must be express and cannot be based on hazy deduction. seduction. He deduced the purported implied pardon from complainant’s testimony that she did not disclose to her mother the dastardly acts committed by accused-appellant on July 1. the relationship of complainant and accused-appellant is established by the birth certificate of complainant which shows that accused-appellant is her father. and the vital role of international cooperation in securing children's rights. social and cultural . Prosecution of the crimes of adultery. 7610 is reclusion temporal in its medium period to reclusion perpetua. economic. Hence. 7610 provides for the penalty of imprisonment. shall not be prosecuted except upon a complaint filed by the offended party or her parents.00 for each count of lascivious conduct committed by accusedappellant.000.00 for each count. the trial court correctly imposed a fine of P30.civil. 1997.000. moral damages should be awarded in the amount of P50. Hence. as the case may be. which stresses the duty of states parties to ensure the physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of abused and exploited children in an environment which fosters their self-respect and human dignity. Section 31 (c). stepparent or collateral relative within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity. Article II of Republic Act No. psychological and social needs.000. Jaime Cadag Jimenez[16] where a minor victim was sexually molested by her own father. x x x.” The argument will not hold. As a final note. if the offender has been expressly pardoned by the above named persons. 1997 and that she had not intended to file charges against him. the supposed pardon cannot be implied from the fact that the complainant did not immediately reveal to her mother her defloration. As earlier stated. rape or acts of lasciviousness. In the cases at bar.000. Nevertheless. or guardian. [17] It is reassuring to note that we are not lagging far behind on the domestic front. it was her fear of accused-appellant which restrained complainant from reporting the incidents to her mother. grandparents. as well as that of accused-appellant.00 for each count of lascivious act committed by the accused. political. 2. Accused-appellant posits the thesis that the failure of complainant to report the first four acts of lasciviousness is tantamount to an implied pardon. This relationship is further supported by the testimonies of complainant and her mother. abduction. pornographic performances and others). provided that the same is to be administered as a cash fund by the Department of Social Welfare and Development and disbursed for the rehabilitation of each child victim. First.of children.[15] The imposable penalty prescribed under Section 5.[19] These international instruments and national legislation emphasize that the primodial consideration in deciding issues and cases involving children is the welfare and best interests of . In the case of People vs. In addition. in the cases at bar. Article XII (Common Penal Provisions) thereof allows the imposition of a fine subject to the discretion of the court.

0658-SPL to 0660-SPL. As the highest court of the land.000. cralawPresent: PUNO. and on Juveniles in Conflict with the Law. Chairperson. it is incumbent upon us to give life to all these covenants. cralawG. Branch 93. J. finding accused-appellant JOSE ABADIES guilty beyond reasonable doubt of four counts of violation of Republic Act No. No. in Criminal Case Nos. agreements. for each count. 147913 NAVARRETE. JJ. No costs. the Supreme Court has issued Administrative Circular No. Laguna.[20] For its part. and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to pay a fine of P30. SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ. -versuscralawCORONA. the decision of the Regional Trial Court of San Pedro.cralawPromulgated: .R. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. child labor and child abuse cases. 7610. on Commitment of Children.the child. Petitioner.000. including but not limited to pedophilia. cralaw Respondent. 23-95 enjoining trial courts to act with dispatch on all cases involving children.00 for each count. To date. AZCUNA and GARCIA. Our duty does not end here though. SO ORDERED. and statutes by enriching and enhancing our jurisprudence on child abuse cases. xxiv xxv xxvi xxvii xxviii xxix xxx xxxi xxxii xxxiii CLEMENT JOHN FERDINAND M. procedural rules applicable specifically to cases involving children have already been approved by the Court such as the Rules on Examination of a Child Witness. is hereby AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that accused-appellant is hereby ordered to pay moral damages in the amount of P50. WHEREFORE.00.. bearing in mind always the welfare and protection of children.

Branch 171.: cralawThis petition for review on certiorari[1] assails the September 29.....[5] cralaw Petitioner Clement John Ferdinand M.... 1997 decision of the Regional Trial Court (RTC)...[9] Only petitioner and BBB were there that night. .... the above-named accused.[8]On October 30. 2001 resolution[3] of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.... which was something she often did.. 5302-V-96. The facts show that BBB. 20531 which affirmed the January 16. CONTRARY TO LAW... J. their houses being adjacent to each other.. BBB went to petitioners house to watch television.. who was at that time five years old. Valenzuela... at around past 9:00 in the evening....[4] Metro Manila in Criminal Case No..[7]chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary On arraignment... petitioner pleaded not guilty. unlawfully and feloniously have sexual intercourse with one [BBB].... and petitioner were neighbors... 2007 x.. [10]BBB testified that it was on this occasion that petitioner sexually abused her....R.. age[d] 5 years old... 1995 in Valenzuela. 2000 decision[2] and May 4.....x DECISION CORONA. 1995.January 31. did then and there [willfully].... Navarrete was charged with the crime of statutory rape of BBB[6] under the following information: That on or about October 30. CR No.... Metro Manila and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court.

He found that her maidenhead was short. However. 1997. He also posited that she resented the Navarretes refusal to allow her to place a jumper on their electrical connection. as minimum to [SIXTEEN] (16) YEARS of RECLUSION TEMPORAL.[13]Afterwards.000. in diameter.000. Dr. [petitioner] Clement John Ferdinand Navarrete is sentenced to suffer an indeterminate imprisonment of TWELVE (12) YEARS and ONE (1) DAY of RECLUSION TEMPORAL.placed his penis [in her] vagina twice. as maximum with the accessory penalties prescribed by the law and to pay the costs. examined BBB. Article III of RA 7610 (Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse. petitioner brought her to the comfort room and pointed a knife to her throat..3 cm.00 pursuant to . it convicted petitioner for acts of lasciviousness under Article 336 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) in relation to Section 5(b).m. petitioner denied the accusation against him and claimed that AAA merely concocted the charge against him. BBB embraced her mother and told her that Kuya Ferdie sinundot ako. on October 31. While trembling and crying. BBB went out of petitioners house. 1995.00 as moral damages and the amount of P10. testified that around 10:30 p. [18]chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary In a decision dated January 16. intact and had a narrow opening at 0.[15] AAA. poked her vagina with a stick with cotton[11] and boxed her on the right side of her eye. The accused is hereby ordered to indemnify the victim the amount of P20.He concluded that these findings precluded complete penetration by an average-sized Filipino male organ in full erection. Exploitation and Discrimination Act): WHEREFORE. the RTC absolved petitioner of statutory rape as there was no clear and positive proof of the entry of petitioners penis into the labia of the victims vagina.[12]Then. BBBs mother.[17] Testifying in his own behalf.[16] The next day. Noel Minay.He alleged that she had ill feelings against his mother who she thought had something to do with the separation of her (AAAs) son from the Philippine Postal Corporation. medico-legal officer of the National Bureau of Investigation. she and petitioner watched a pornographic movie[14] together.

or any other consideration or due to the coercion or influence of any adult. Rule 120 of the Rules of Court:[22]chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary Judgment in case of variance between allegation and proof. Article III of RA 7610: Sec. the accused shall be convicted of the offense proved which is included in the offense charged. the perpetrators shall be prosecuted under Article 335. this petition.[20] From this fundamental precept proceeds the rule that the accused may be convicted only of the crime with which he is charged. whether male or female. The penalty of reclusion temporal in its medium period to reclusion perpetua shall be imposed upon the following: xxxxxxxxx (b) Those who commit the act of sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct with a child exploited in prostitution or subjected to other sexual abuse: Provided. syndicate or group.Section 31 of the [Act]. shall enjoy the right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. for rape and Article 336 of Act No. He likewise contends that his guilt for the said offense was not proven beyond reasonable doubt. When there is variance between the offense charged in the complaint or information. are deemed to be children exploited in prostitution and other sexual abuse. in all criminal prosecutions. or of the offense charged which is included in that which is proved. Article III of RA 7610.[19] On appeal. indulge in sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct. who for money. [or] the . as amended. profit. Child Prostitution and Other Sexual Abuse. his constitutional right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him would be violated. paragraph 3. a crime not specifically alleged in the information which charged him with statutory rape. The Constitution mandates that the accused.Thus.[21]chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary An exception to this rule is the rule on variance in Section 4. That when the victim is under twelve (12) years of age. There is no merit in the petition. 3815. 5. Children. and that proved. Petitioner asserts that he cannot be convicted of acts of lasciviousness in relation to Section 5(b). Petitioner was found guilty of violating Article 336 of the RPC in relation to Section 5(b). the CA affirmed the decision of the RTC. Otherwise. and the offense as charged is included in or necessarily includes the offense proved.

and (3) The offended party is another person of either sex. the accused shall be prosecuted under either Article 335 (for rape) or Article 336 (for acts of lasciviousness) of the RPC. as defined and penalized under Article 336 of the RPC in relation to RA 7610[26] since all the elements of this offense were established. the requisites for acts of lasciviousness under Article 336 of the RPC must be met in addition to the requisites for sexual abuse under Section 5 of RA 7610.Petitioner cannot therefore successfully argue that his constitutionally protected right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him was violated when he was found guilty under Section 5 of RA 7610. misapprehended or misapplied some facts or circumstances of weight and substance which can alter the result of the case. We. Under this provision.(emphasis supplied)[29]chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary The general rule is that the factual findings of the trial court deserve a high degree of respect and will not be disturbed on appeal in the absence of any clear showing that it overlooked. People.[27] we declared that pursuant to Section 5 (b) of RA 7610. or b.[30]We uphold the findings of fact of the RTC.[28]chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary The elements of the crime of acts of lasciviousness under Article 336 of the RPC are the following: (1) (2) The offender commits any act of lasciviousness or lewdness. carnal knowledge of a woman under twelve years of age[23]). When the offended party is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious. That the penalty for lascivious conduct when the victim is under twelve (12) years of age shall be reclusion temporal in its medium period. It is done under any of the following circumstances: a. In that case. The Court ruled that rape was not proved beyond reasonable doubt.[24] The case of People v. the accused was charged with the rape of a six-year old girl.e. Petitioner next contends that his guilt was not proven beyond reasonable doubt.Accordingly. In Amployo v..We disagree. when the victim is under 12 years old. the offender can be convicted of the lesser crime of acts of lasciviousness. as affirmed by the CA. however. By using force or intimidation. before an accused can be convicted of child abuse through lascivious conduct on a minor below 12 years of age. for rape or lascivious conduct as the case may be: Provided. or c.[RPC]. which is included in rape. although an accused is charged in the information with the crime of statutory rape (i. Bon[25] is squarely in point. . When the offended party is under 12 years of age. held that the accused was liable for the crime of acts of lasciviousness.

do you know accused Ferdinand Navarette? cralawYes.The RTC and CA did not find evidence of the entrance of petitioners penis into the labia of the victims female organ. sir. Q: cralawWhat do you mean by umano? A. what happened next. BBBs testimony established that petitioner committed lascivious acts on her: BY ATTY. Q: A: cralawThen he placed his penis to your vagina. if any? A: cralawHe stabbed me. sir. Q: A: cralaw Why do you know Clement John Ferdinand Navarette? cralawBecause he is the one who did something to me. what did you feel? cralawI felt pain. sir. PRINCIPE:(to witness) Q: A: cralaw[BBB]. when you were inside the Comfort Room and you told the Court that he got a knife.Nevertheless. Q: A: cralawWhere? cralaw(Witness pointing the throat. Q:Now.) Q:And when you said sinaksak on your throat you mean accused only pointed [to] your throat? . xxx xxx xxx Q:What else happened after Ferdinand Navarette put his penis twice on your vagina which you told the Court you felt pain? A: cralawHe locked me inside the [comfort room] and he took aknife. sir. Q: A: cralawAlso named Clement John Ferdinand Navarette? cralawYes.(pekpek) Q: cralawHow many times? A: cralawTwo times. He placed his penis into my vagina.

witness may answer. ATTY.Very clear.PRINCIPE: cralawPointing.xxx xxx xxx COURT: [All right]. TENEZA: cralawWitness holding her throat. what do you want to convey [with] the word stab? ATTY. (Witness pointing to her throat. PRINCIPE: A.Because this is xxx xxx xxx ATTY.That is. PRINCIPE: After the accused locked you in the [comfort room] with the knife. Your herinterpretation of pointing the knife. Q: cralawWhen you pointed your throat. if any? xxx xxx xxx Witness: . what happened next. Sinaksak. according to you. Honor.) Q: cralawAnd what is the meaning that she wants to convey? ATTY.

according to you. Q:After embracing your mother. PRINCIPE:(to the witness) Q: A: cralawAnd what did you tell your mother.V. if any? cralawI embraced her. Q:When you were called by your mother. did you approach your mother when hearing that she was calling you? ATTY. PRINCIPE : cralawNo. Your Honor. ATTY. Q: cralawWhat was your reply to your mama? A: cralawBecause I used to watch T. did you tell [her] something ifany? A: cralawShe [asked] me [why] I was still watching T. COURT: Witness may answer. Q:Did you report to your mother what Ferdinand Navarette did to you? . PRINCIPE:(to the witness) Q: cralawAnd where was your mother at that time? A :She was outside and waiting for my Kuya [XXX].A:Then I went [out] of the [comfort room] when I heard my mother calling me. ATTY. [in] that place.V. TENEZA: It was already answered. ATTY. when the people of the house were already sleeping.

[34] The elements of sexual abuse under Section 5 (b) of RA 7610 that must be proven in addition to the elements of acts of lasciviousness are as follows: 1. on my right side of my eye. xxx xxx xxx The Court cannot [assume] without doing violence to the precious jural yardstick but the prosecution must prove and present clear. The accused commits the act of sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct. sir. .A: cralawYes.[31] The foregoing shows that all the elements of acts of lasciviousness were proved. I told my mama Binastos ako ni Ferdie.[33] These acts are undoubtedly acts of lasciviousness or lewdness. The prosecution established that petitioner intentionally placed his penis in BBBs vagina but without any indication that he was able to penetrate her: cralaw Victim [BBB] testified that the accused placed his penis into my vagina and [placed] a stick with cotton [in] my vagina but the [specific] part of her vagina where the penis was placed was not indicated. positive and conclusive evidence of the act complained of particularly that the penis of the accused gained entrance [in] the labia majora of the organ of the victim.Not even in the medical findings and testimony of the NBI MedicoLegal Officer Dr. Q: A: cralawHow many times were you boxed by Ferdie. Ferdie [placed] his penis on my vagina and then he placed a stick with cotton on my vagina and then he boxed me. [32] Both lower courts also found that petitioner poked victims vagina with a stick with cotton and watched a pornographic movie with her. sir. Q: A: cralawHow did you relate that you were binastos ni Ferdie? cralawI told my mama: Mama. Noel Minay who conducted physical/genital examinations on the victim could [we] find support to justify an inference that there was entrance of the male organ of the accused within the labia of pudendum. the accused? cralawTwo (2) times.That BBB was less than twelve years old at the time of the commission of the offense was not disputed. cralaw Q: cralawHow did you tell your mother? A.

humiliate.2.A child is deemed subjected to other sexual abuse when he or she indulges in lascivious conduct under the coercion or influence of any adult. Hence. the lone testimony of the offended party. Petitioner insists that Section 5 (b) of RA 7610 refers only to those who commit the act of sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct with a child exploited in prostitution and argues that this does not apply in this case since the victim is not a child exploited in prostitution. either directly or through clothing. or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person. and straightforward. harass.[42]In cases of acts of lasciviousness. Larin (and reiterated in several subsequent cases).[43] Moreover. bestiality. groin. or the introduction of any object into the genitalia.[40]Here. or buttocks. is below 18 years of age. if credible. whether male or female. is sufficient to establish the guilt of the accused. inner thigh. breast. as her willingness to undergo the trouble and the humiliation of a public trial is .[37]chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary Petitioners argument is untenable. engages in any lascivious conduct. masturbation. of any person. The RTC found BBBs testimony to be clear. through coercion or intimidation. anus. Her testimony was worthy of belief since she was young and had no ill-motive to falsely testify and impute a serious crime against the accused. of the genitalia. anus or mouth. The revelation of an innocent child whose chastity has been abused deserves full credit. with an intent to abuse. whether of the same or opposite sex. The aforestated acts of petitioner undeniably amounted to lascivious conduct under this law. The child. candid. courts are inclined to lend credence to the testimony of children of tender years.In People v. The said act is performed with a child exploited in prostitution or subjected to other sexual abuse.[39]The very title of Section 5. lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of a person. 3. degrade. BBB was sexually abused because she was coerced or intimidated by petitioner (who poked her neck with a knife)[41] to indulge in lascivious conduct. Article III (Child Prostitution and Other Sexual Abuse) of RA 7610 shows that it applies not only to a child subjected to prostitution but also to a child subjected to other sexual abuse. (Emphasis supplied)[35] Lascivious conduct is defined under Section 2 (h) of the rules and regulations[36] of RA 7610 as: [T]he intentional touching. the prosecution was able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that petitioner committed acts of sexual abuse against BBB.[38] we emphasized that the law covers not only a situation in which a child is abused for profit but also one in which a child.

Instead of eroding the effectiveness of the evidence. It should not be applied to portions of the testimony corroborated by other evidence. Denial is an inherently weak defense and cannot prevail over the positive and categorical identification provided by the complainant.[48] As between the positive declaration of the prosecution witness and the negative statement of the accused. falsus in omnibus does not lay down a categorical test of credibility.We have stated that: [T]he maxim or rule falsus in [unus]. the former deserves more credence. is a self-serving assertion that deserves no weight in law. We disagree.[44]In so testifying. his testimony must have been false as to a material point.[45] The trial courts evaluation of the testimonies of witnesses is given great respect by the appellate court in the absence of proof that it was arrived at arbitrarily or that the trial court overlooked material facts.He urges this Court to apply the Latin maxim falsus in unus. she could have only been impelled to tell the truth. the rule is not mandatory but merely sanctions a disregard of the testimony of a witness if the circumstances so warrant.an eloquent testament to the truth of her complaint. such imperfections and discrepancies in the testimony can in fact be considered as signs of veracity.[52] Aside from the fact that it is very difficult to give a mechanical and accurate account of a traumatic and horrifying experience. particularly where the false portions could be innocent mistakes. petitioner could only interpose denial as defense. Denial. if unsubstantiated by clear and convincing evidence.It is not a positive rule of law or of universal application. false in everything). falsus in omnibus (false in part. In the face of the serious accusation against him. Moreover.[53] the victim here was a mere five-year old girl when she was put on the witness stand. To completely disregard all the testimony of a witness on this ground. We . and the witness must have a conscious and deliberate intention to falsify a material point.[49] The lower courts also correctly disbelieved the corroborating testimonies of petitioners aunt and sister.[47]We will not interfere with the trial courts assessment of the credibility of witnesses.[50] Petitioner asserts that the RTC should not have given evidentiary weight to the inconsistent and contradictory testimonies of the prosecution witnesses. it should be borne in mind that even the most candid witness oftentimes makes mistakes and confused statements.[46]The rationale behind this rule is that the credibility of a witness can best be determined by the trial court since it has the direct opportunity to observe the candor and demeanor of the witnesses at the witness stand and detect if they are telling the truth or not.[51] cralaw Furthermore.

WHEREFORE. SO ORDERED. in Criminal Case No. 2008] GONZALO A. xxxiv xxxv xxxvi xxxvii xxxviii xxxix xl xli[G. given her naivet and still undeveloped vocabulary and command of language. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES RESPONDENT. No. J. Article III of RA 7610. 174205.[54] Despite this limitation.000 moral damages and P10. which affirmed the Decision[2] of the Regional Trial . we find petitioner guilty beyond reasonable doubt of acts of lasciviousness under Article 336 of the RPC in relation to Section 5 (b). to sixteen years of reclusion temporal. the petition is hereby DENIED. June 27.000 fine is AFFIRMED. In sum. Costs against petitioner. 2000 decision of the Court of Appeals affirming the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Valenzuela. however. 5302-V-96 finding petitioner guilty beyond reasonable doubt of acts of lasciviousness and sentencing him to suffer imprisonment of twelve years and one day of reclusion temporal. as maximum.R. Branch 171. as well as to pay P20.: This petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court assails the Decision[1] of the Court of Appeals dated 15 February 2005. V.The September 29.S. as minimum. DECISION CHICO-NAZARIO.should not expect a five-year old child to explain with exact precision the nature of the acts done to her. ARANETA PETITIONER. the victim never wavered in her claim that petitioner molested her.

the prosecution presented the following witnesses: (1) the victim herself. Article VI of Republic Act No. Dauin. having been born on 28 March 1981. District III. 7610. then and there willfully. [12] The petitioner.[6] She did not like what she heard from petitioner and tried to hit him with a broom but the latter was able to dodge the strike. twelve years or under or ten years or more his junior. the prosecution was able to establish that at the time of the commission of the crime.000. petitioner continued hugging her and tried to threaten her with these words: "Ug dili ko nimo sugton. proved futile as petitioner was able to enter. When they were about to close the door. (2) BBB. 7610.Court (RTC) of Dumaguete City. and gratify the sexual desire of said accused. 1998. at about 11:00 o'clock in the morning. patyon tike. Their efforts. District III. by means of force and intimidation. the RTC rendered a decision totally disregarding petitioner's bare denials and flimsy assertions.[16] On 27 February 2001. It further ruminated that if the mentioned statute considers as child abuse a man's mere keeping or having in his company a minor. with intent to abuse. but to no avail. forced himself inside. I will show you how bad I can be). [11] AAA closed the door of the room and there she cried. hold and embrace said AAA. At around 10:00 o'clock in the morning of 10 April 1998. AAA's 12-year-old sister. who had been incessantly courting AAA from the time she was still 13 years old. while AAA and her two younger sisters. Meanwhile. who was also residing in the same house. At the trial. the said Gonzalo Araneta y Alabastro. it held that petitioner's act of forcibly embracing the victim against her will wrought injury on the latter's honor and constituted child abuse as defined under Section 10(a). (3) CCC. AAA left her birthplace to live near her school. however. all against the latter's will and consent. trial ensued. petitioner was charged before the RTC with violation of Section 10(a). 7610 and hereby sentences him to suffer the penalty of prision mayor in its minimum period. finding petitioner Gonzalo Araneta y Alabastro guilty of violating Section 10(a). Article VI of Republic Act No. tried to pull petitioner away from her sister AAA. Thereafter.[5] Because she was then studying at Dauin Municipal High School located at Poblacion. at Barangay Poblacion. BBB and EEE were sitting on a bench at the waiting shed located near her boarding house. he again told her of his feelings but he was merely told by her to wait until she finished her studies. otherwise known as the "Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse. who testified on matters that occurred prior. 7610. AAA's mother who testified on the fact that the victim was a minor during the alleged commission of the crime. AAA. AAA then shouted for help. As culled from the combined testimonies of the prosecution witnesses. He alone took the stand. She stayed at the house of a certain DDD as a boarder. Article VI of Republic Act No. The decretal portion of the RTC decision reads: WHEREFORE." as amended. Petitioner narrated that he met AAA and her younger sisters at the waiting shed. Negros Oriental. all the more would the unwanted embrace of a minor fall under the purview of child abuse. again expressed his feelings for her and asked her to accept his love and even insisted that she must accept him because he had a job. it was because AAA beckoned him to follow her. Exploitation and Discrimination Act. harass and degrade 17-year-old offended party AAA [3].00 as moral . Although he admitted that he followed AAA and her sisters when they went to the boarding house. in any public place. [14] When he was inside the room.[13] He said he only spoke to her and told her that he loved her. BBB. arrived and pulled petitioner away from AAA. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. On 12 October 1999. In convicting petitioner of the crime charged. Dauin. the latter. unlawfully and feloniously. in Batohon Daco. whose testimony corroborated that of the victim.[10] Andrew Tubilag. denied the charge. Dauin.[15] He further said that he had been courting and visiting AAA since she was 12 or 13 years old.[8] There petitioner embraced AAA.[4] When arraigned on 15 November 1999. allegedly committed as follows: That on April 10. Philippines. She then went to the police station to report the incident. Petitioner. AAA was 17 years old. Akong ipakita nimo unsa ko ka buang"[9] (If you will not accept my love I will kill you. who struggled to extricate herself from his hold. The three tried to bar petitioner from entering the room by pushing the door to his direction. did. during and after her abuse. Negros Oriental. Branch 41. to pay the offended party Php50. the petitioner. petitioner pleaded not guilty. but he denied having embraced or kissed the victim. the Court finds accused Gonzalo Araneta y Alabastro guilty beyond reasonable doubt of Violation of Section 10(a) of Republic Act No. petitioner approached her. after trespassing with violence into the room of the dwelling occupied by said offended party.[7] She and her two sisters dashed to the boarding house which was five meters away and went inside the room. on the other hand. who was following them.

but not covered by the Revised Penal Code. the assailed Decision is AFFIRMED in toto. but not covered by the . Hence. the instant petition. the instant appeal is DENIED and accordingly. that " The State shall defend the right of the children to assistance. which was denied by the Court of Appeals in its 10 August 2006 Resolution. (1) other acts of child abuse. Petitioner claimed that the RTC gravely erred in convicting him of child abuse despite failure of the prosecution to establish the elements necessary to constitute the crime charged. abuse. Republic Act No." From these provisions. 10. cruelty or exploitation or be responsible for other condition prejudicial to the child's development x x x. absent proof of such prejudice. in keeping with the Constitutional mandate under Article XV. 7610 is a measure geared towards the implementation of a national comprehensive program for the survival of the most vulnerable members of the population." Paragraph (a) of Section 10 thereof states: Article VI OTHER ACTS OF ABUSE SEC. 603 or the Child and Youth Welfare Code. and other conditions prejudicial to their development. as amended. petitioner elevated the case to the Court of Appeals. and to pay the costs. Cruelty or Exploitation and Other Conditions Prejudicial to the Child's Development. according to petitioner. 603. Thus. i. including proper care and nutrition. shall suffer the penalty of prision mayor in its minimum period ".[20] As a statute that provides for a mechanism for strong deterrence against the commission of child abuse and exploitation. believes that the questioned acts of petitioner fall within the definition of child abuse. cruelty or exploitation or be responsible for other conditions prejudicial to the child's development including those covered by Article Article 59 of Presidential Decree No." Article VI of the statute enumerates the "other acts of abuse.e. the Court of Appeals concurred in the opinion of the OSG. and exploitation. [17] Dissatisfied with the ruling of the RTC. petitioner cannot be found guilty of child abuse under the subject provision. paragraph 2. The petition is devoid of merit. exploitation. as amended. cruelty or exploitation and other conditions prejudicial to the child's development. the Revised Penal Code and Presidential Decree No. degrade or demean the intrinsic worth and dignity of a child as a human being. the definition of child abuse is expanded to encompass not only those specific acts of child abuse under existing laws but includes also "other acts of neglect.. on the other hand. and special protection from all forms of neglect. petitioner concludes that an act or word can only be punishable if such be prejudicial to the child's development so as to debase. In other words.damages without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. cruelty. The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG). Other Acts of Neglect. Section 10(a) provide: "Any person who shall commit any other acts of abuse. the first class does not require that the act be prejudicial to the child's development." it contemplates two classes of "other acts" of child abuse. In a decision dated 15 February 2005. and a means by which child traffickers could easily be prosecuted and penalized. It affirmed in toto the decision of the RTC. cruelty. and (2) other conditions prejudicial to the child's development. which is an essential element in the crime charged. 603. 7610 states: "Any person who shall commit any other acts of child abuse." [19] This piece of legislation supplies the inadequacies of existing laws treating crimes committed against children. petitioner was of the opinion that an accused can only be successfully convicted of child abuse under Section 10(a) if it is proved that the victim's development had been prejudiced. namely.[21] Also.[18] Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration dated 14 March 2005. Abuse. cruelty or exploitation or be responsible for other conditions prejudicial to the child's development including those covered by Article Article 59 of Presidential Decree No. when paragraph (a) of Section 10 of Republic Act No. and Section 3(b)(2) defines child abuse in this manner: "Any act by deeds or words which debases. (a) Any person who shall commit any other acts of abuse. According to the OSG. Section 3. viz: WHEREFORE. It argues that unlike the second kind of child abuse. abuse. as amended. the Filipino children. degrades or demeans the intrinsic worth and dignity of a child as a human being. the law has stiffer penalties for their commission.

(3) Unreasonable deprivation of his basic needs for survival. exploitation or discrimination because of a physical or mental disability or condition. The fourth penalized act cannot be interpreted. relentlessly followed the latter from the waiting shed to her boarding house and even to the room where she stayed.[26] The assessment by the trial court of the credibility of a witness is entitled to great weight. it is a rule in statutory construction that the word "or" is a disjunctive term signifying dissociation and independence of one thing from other things enumerated. was still a child during the incident. Contrary to petitioner's assertion. 7610 if he commits any of the four acts therein. As a young and helpless lass at that time. the provision punishes not only those enumerated under Article 59 [22] of Presidential Decree No. which were affirmed by the Court of Appeals are entitled to respect and are not to be disturbed on appeal. Section 3. might materially affect the disposition of the case. As the RTC aptly observed: It bears stressing that the mere keeping or having in a man's companion a minor. (b) child cruelty. 7610. (Emphasis supplied. cruelty. as a rule. The subject statute defines children as persons below eighteen (18) years of age. cruelty and exploitation just to show that these three acts are different from one another and from the act prejudicial to the child's development. i. degrades or demeans the intrinsic worth and dignity of a child as a human being. Undoubtedly.[25] This factual findings of the RTC. because an analysis of the entire context of the questioned provision does not warrant such construal. 603. child cruelty. third. (2) Any act by deeds or words which debases. Moreover. neglect. an unwanted embrace on a minor would all the more constitute child abuse. Indeed. an accused can be prosecuted and be convicted under Section 10(a). degraded or demeaned her intrinsic worth and dignity. Article I of Republic Act No. be construed in the sense which it ordinarily implies. such insensible act of petitioner constitutes child abuse. twelve (12) years or under or who is ten (10) years or more his junior in any public or private place already constitutes child abuse under Section 10(b) of the same Act. or (4) Failure to immediately give medical treatment to an injured child resulting in serious impairment of his growth and development or in his permanent incapacity or death. child cruelty and child exploitation have resulted in the prejudice of the child because an act prejudicial to the development of the child is different from the former acts. second. such as food and shelter. as a qualifying condition for the three other acts. being away from her parents. of the child which includes any of the following: (1) Psychological and physical abuse. cruelty. Subsection (b).[24] It is undisputed that the victim. child exploitation. the act of child abuse. The Rules and Regulations of the questioned statute distinctly and separately defined child abuse. innocent sisters. did not only traumatize and gravely threaten the normal development of such innocent girl. shall suffer the penalty of prision mayor in its minimum period. 7610 before the phrase "be responsible for other conditions prejudicial to the child's development" supposes that there are four punishable acts therein. or those over that age but are unable to fully take care of themselves or protect themselves from abuse.e.[23] It should. as petitioner suggests. such devious act must have shattered her self-esteem and womanhood and virtually debased. but also four distinct acts. (a) child abuse. The evidence of the prosecution proved that petitioner. Petitioner who was old enough to be the victim's grandfather. whether habitual or not. It is even conclusive and binding. despite the victim's protestation. Article VI of Republic Act No. The prosecution need not prove that the acts of child abuse.. unless some facts or circumstances of weight and substance. if not tainted with arbitrariness or oversight of some fact . neglect. sexual abuse and emotional maltreatment. especially considering the fact that the incident took place before the very eyes of her two younger. (c) child exploitation and (d) being responsible for conditions prejudicial to the child's development. as amended. Hence. Under such rationale. having been overlooked or misinterpreted. he was also betraying the trust that young girls place in the adult members of the community who are expected to guide and nurture the well-being of these fragile members of the society. and fourth. the use of "or" in Section 10(a) of Republic Act No. He forcibly embraced her and threatened to kill her if she would not accept his love for her.) As gleaned from the foregoing. states: (b) "Child abuse" refers to the maltreatment.Revised Penal Code. the victim must have felt desecrated and sexually transgressed. First. being responsible for conditions prejudicial to the child's development. under said law.

7610.or circumstance of weight and influence. 132875-76 February 3. including attendance at legislative sessions and committee meetings despite his having been convicted in the first instance of a non-bailable offense. Congress. 25168. To bar accused-appellant from performing his duties amounts to his suspension/removal and mocks the renewed mandates entrusted to him by the people. having suffered undue embarrassment when petitioner forcibly hugged her and threatened to kill her if she would not accept petitioner's love. Araneta guilty of violating Section 10(a). Article VI of Republic Act No. Jaloslos is a full-pledged member of Congress who is now confined at the national penitentiary while his conviction for statutory rape on two counts and acts of lasciviousness on six counts1 is pending appeal.R. The concept of temporary detention does not necessarily curtail the duty of accusedappellant to discharge his mandate. 2. The RTC imposed upon petitioner the penalty of prision mayor in its minimum period. 4. 2000 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. 3. J.000. No. As to the award of damages. CR No. A precedent-setting U. The electorate of the First District of Zamboanga del Norte wants their voice to be heard.S. 7610 and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of prision mayor in its minimum period and awarding to the victim moral damages in the amount of G. In the case under consideration.[28] The Court finds that the award of moral damages in the amount of P50.S. the victim is entitled to moral damages. There is no hard-and-fast rule in the determination of what would be a fair amount of moral damages. 6. RESOLUTION YNARES-SANTIAGO. 14246 finding Gonzalo A. or misapply any fact of value for us to overturn the said findings. The accused-appellant's "Motion To Be Allowed To Discharge Mandate As Member of House of Representatives" was filed on the grounds that — 1. Romeo F.: The accused-appellant. Does membership in Congress exempt an accused from statutes and rules which apply to validly incarcerated persons in general? In answering the query. 8. ruling allowed a detained lawmaker to attend sessions of the U. Accused-appellant's reelection being an expression of popular will cannot be rendered inutile by any ruling. To deprive the electorate of their elected representative amounts to taxation without representation. [27] The yardstick should be that it is not palpably and scandalously excessive. the 15 February 2005 Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. we are called upon to balance relevant and conflicting factors in the judicial interpretation of legislative privilege in the context of penal law. . misapprehend. vs.R. plaintiff-appellee. which affirmed in toto the Decision of the Dumaguete City Regional Trial Court.00 is reasonable under the facts obtaining in this case. The accused-appellant filed this motion asking that he be allowed to fully discharge the duties of a Congressman. giving priority to any right or interest — not even the police power of the State. accused-appellant. 5. since each case must be governed by its own peculiar facts. The issue raised is one of the first impression. Branch 41 in Criminal Case No. 7. JALOSJOS. ROMEO G. we find that the trial court did not overlook. Accused-appellant has always complied with the conditions/restrictions when allowed to leave jail. WHEREFORE. pursuant to Section 10(a). Article VI of Republic Act No. The House treats accused-appellant as a bona fide member thereof and urges a co-equal branch of government to respect its mandate. The penalty is in order.

. but the Batasang Pambansa shall surrender the member involved the custody of the law within twenty four hours after its adjournment for a recess or for its next session. by itself. otherwise such privilege shall cease upon its failure to do so. be privileged from arrest during his attendance at its sessions and in going to and returning from the same. to wit: . Sec 15. and in going to and returning from the same. The restrictive interpretation of immunity and intent to confine it within carefully defined parameters is illustrated by the concluding portion of the provision. Accused-appellant's reliance on the ruling in Aguinaldo v. . VIII. Because of the broad coverage of felony and breach of the peace. a free people expects to achieve the continuity of government and the perpetuation of its benefits. the latter customarily addressed as Congressmen. he has the duty to perform the functions of a Congressman. . However. Santos2. . inspite of its importance. felony. The history of the provision shows that privilege has always been granted in a restrictive sense. The members of Congress cannot compel absent members to attend sessions if the reason for the absence is a legitimate one. but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day and may compel the attendance of absent Members in such manner. We start with the incontestable proposition that all top officials of Government-executive. The 1973 Constitution broadened the privilege of immunity as follows: Art. For relatively minor offenses. The accused-appellant argues that a member of Congress' function to attend sessions is underscored by Section 16 (2). Article VI of the Constitution. not inferred from the duties of a position. the accused-appellant has not given any reason why he should be exempted from the operation of Section 11. However. Article VI of the Constitution which states that — (2) A majority of each House shall constitute a quorum to do business. the exemption applied only to civil arrests. For offenses punishable by more than six years imprisonment. the greater is the requirement of obedience rather than exemption. A congressman like the accused-appellant. There is an unfortunate misimpression in the public mind that election or appointment to high government office. the privileges and rights arising from having been elected may be enlarged or restricted by law. The provision granting an exemption as a special privilege cannot be extended beyond the ordinary meaning of its terms. It may not be extended by intendment. . He calls this a covenant with his constituents made possible by the intervention of the State. and breach of the peace be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the sessions of Congress. and under such penalties. arises from a provision of the Constitution. The Senators and Members of the House of Representatives shall in all cases except treason. and judicial are subject to the majesty of law. Sec. He adds that it cannot be defeated by insuperable procedural restraints arising from pending criminal cases. election is the expression of the sovereign power of the people. 9. The immunity from arrest or detention of Senators and members of the House of Representatives. it is enough that Congress is in session. in all offenses punishable by not more than six years imprisonment. In fact. as such House may provide. He was subject to the same general laws governing all persons still to be tried or whose convictions were pending appeal. The present Constitution adheres to the same restrictive rule minus the obligation of Congress to surrender the subject Congressman to the custody of the law. the higher the rank. that — . Our first task is to ascertain the applicable law. implication or equitable considerations. Having been re-elected by his constituents. The requirement that he should be attending sessions or committee meetings has also been removed." He states that the sovereign electorate of the First District of Zamboanga del Norte chose him as their representative in Congress. The 1935 Constitution provided in its Article VI on the Legislative Department. Privilege has to be granted by law. which states.The primary argument of the movant is the "mandate of sovereign will. legislative. The confinement of a Congressman charged with a crime punishable by imprisonment of more than six months is not merely authorized by law. there was no immunity from arrest. A Member of the Batasang Pambansa shall. convicted under Title Eleven of the Revised Penal Code could not claim parliamentary immunity from arrest. In the exercise of suffrage. inter alia. True. frees the official from the common restraints of general law. it has constitutional foundations.

Quezon City. when he was likewise allowed/permitted to leave the prison premises. Ironically. in the same way that preventive suspension is not removal. Emergency or compelling temporary leaves from imprisonment are allowed to all prisoners. When a people have elected a man to office. Allowing accused-appellant to attend congressional sessions and committee meeting for five (5) days or more in a week will virtually make him free man with all the privilege appurtenant to his position. a) to join "living-out" prisoners on "work-volunteer program" for the purpose of 1) establishing a mahogany seedling bank and 2) planting mahogany trees. for official or medical reasons. Gustilo.4 The accused-appellant states that the plea of the electorate which voted him into office cannot be supplanted by unfounded fears that he might escape eventual punishment if permitted to perform congressional duties outside his regular place of confinement. is public selfdefense. after his transfer at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City. To do otherwise would be to deprive the people of their right to elect their officers. c) to undergo a thorough medical check-up at the Makati Medical Center. One rationale behind confinement. by reason of such fault or misconduct. whether pending appeal or after final conviction. It will be recalled that when a warrant for accused-appellant's arrest was issued. What the accused-appellant seeks is not of an emergency nature. There is no showing that the above privileges are peculiar to him or to a member of Congress. Morfe:5 . b) to continue with his dental treatment at the clinic of his dentist in Makati City. As stated in United States v. accused-appellant commuted by chartered plane and private vehicle. For this purpose. the accused may be denied bail and thus subjected to incarceration if there is risk of his absconding. he fled and evaded capture despite a call from his colleagues in the House of Representatives for him to attend the sessions and to surrender voluntarily to the authorities. A person charged with crime is taken into custody for purposes of the administration of justice. It can be readily seen in the above-quoted ruling that the Aguinaldo case involves the administrative removal of a public officer for acts done prior to his present term of office. to practically overrule the will of the people. d) to register as a voter at his hometown in Dapitan City. it also would be a mockery of the purposes of the correction system. at the NBP reservation. Such an aberrant situation not only elevates accused-appellant's status to that of a special class. to reiterate. aside from its being contrary to welldefined Constitutional restrains. c) to be confined at the Makati Medical Center in Makati City for his heart condition. at the discretion of the authorities or upon court orders. This can not be countenanced because. otherwise.The Court should never remove a public officer for acts done prior to his present term of office. Makati City. he was assigned one guard and allowed to use his own vehicle and driver in going to and from the project area and his place of confinement. to wit. It does not apply to imprisonment arising from the enforcement of criminal law. Moreover. It is not the injury to the complainant. on the issue of whether to expel/suspend him from the House of Representatives. Society must protect itself. He remains a congressman unless expelled by Congress or. it must be assumed that they did this with the knowledge of his life and character. Of particular relevance in this regard are the following observations of the Court in Martinez v. if he had been guilty of any. it is now the same body whose call he initially spurned which accused-appellant is invoking to justify his present motion. It is not for the Court.3 it is the injury to the public which State action in criminal law seeks to redress. Accused-appellant argues that on several occasions the Regional Trial Court of Makati granted several motions to temporarily leave his cell at the Makati City Jail. confinement pending appeal is not removal. disqualified. b) to undergo dental examination and treatment at the clinic of his dentist in Makati City. it would be a mockery of the aims of the State's penal system. and that they disregarded or forgave his fault or misconduct. will not extricate him from his predicament. to wit: a) to attend hearings of the House Committee on Ethics held at the Batasan Complex. After conviction in the Regional Trial Court. In this case. He also calls attention to various instances. It also serves as an example and warning to others.

the latter urges a co-equal branch of government to respect his mandate." Accused-appellant further admits that while under detention. The accused-appellant avers that his constituents in the First District of Zamboanga del Norte want their voices to be heard and that since he is treated as bona fide member of the House of Representatives.nêt No less than accused-appellant himself admits that like any other member of the House of Representatives "[h]e is provided with a congressional office situated at Room N-214. they did so with full awareness of the limitations on his freedom of action. Necessarily the utmost latitude in free speech should be accorded them. The importance of a function depends on the need to its exercise. to be sure. he is to be treated like any other citizen considering that there is a strong public interest in seeing to it that crime should not go unpunished. Neither partiality not prejudice shall be displayed. where he attends to his constituents. not to mention the 24 members of the Senate. if notwithstanding their liability for a criminal offense. they would be considered immune during their attendance in Congress and in going to and returning from the same. such a virtue is of the essence. solicitous of the rights of an individual. To give a more drastic illustration. would constitute an obstacle to such an attempt at abuse of power. without the need for any transgression of the criminal law. Depending on the exigency of Government that has to be addressed.The above conclusion reached by this Court is bolstered and fortified by policy considerations. if voters elect a person with full knowledge that he suffering from a terminal illness. The duty of a mother to nurse her infant is most compelling under the law of nature. They did so with the knowledge that he could achieve only such legislative results which he could accomplish within the confines of prison. To the fear that may be expressed that the prosecuting arm of the government might unjustly go after legislators belonging to the minority. The accused-appellant asserts that the duty to legislative ranks highest in the hierarchy of government. The presumption of course is that the judiciary would remain independent. The duties imposed by the "mandate of the people" are multifarious. Quezon City. In the ultimate analysis. Congress continues to function well in the physical absence of one or a few of its members. When the voters of his district elected the accused-appellant to Congress. charged with the duties of legislation. entitled to the utmost freedom to enable them to discharge their vital responsibilities. the issue before us boils down to a question of constitutional equal protection. There is.1âwphi1. he is also provided with an office at the Administration Building. There is likely to be no dissent from the proposition that a legislator or a delegate can perform his functions efficiently and well. a full recognition of the necessity to have members of Congress. Batasan Hills."6 This simply means that all persons similarly situated shall be treated alike both in rights enjoyed and responsibilities imposed. accused-appellant should not even have been allowed by the prison authorities at the National Penitentiary to perform these acts. Never has the call of a particular duty lifted a prisoner into . It is trite to say that in each and every manifestation of judicial endeavor. Being a detainee. without justification in reason. it suffices to answer that precisely all the safeguards thrown around an accused by the Constitution. We remain unpersuaded. Does being an elective official result in a substantial distinction that allows different treatment? Is being a Congressman a substantial differentiation which removes the accused-appellant as a prisoner from the same class as all persons validly confined under law? The performance of legitimate and even essential duties by public officers has never been an excuse to free a person validly in prison. A police officer must maintain peace and order. . nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of laws. It also appears that he has been receiving his salaries and other monetary benefits. and likewise delegates to the Constitutional Convention. Muntinlupa City. the President or the Supreme Court can also be deemed the highest for that particular duty. it would amount to the creation of a privileged class. A doctor with unique skills has the duty to save the lives of those with a particular affliction. bowing to no other force except the dictates of their conscience of their conscience. he has filed several bills and resolutions. He also claims that the concept of temporary detention does not necessarily curtail his duty to discharge his mandate and that he has always complied with the conditions/restrictions when he is allowed to leave jail. Should such an unfortunate event come to pass. they do so knowing that at any time. Succinctly stated. Through [an] inter-department coordination. When it comes to freedom from arrest. he may no longer serve his full term in office. An elective governor has to serve provincial constituents. New Bilibid Prison. however. accused-appellant has been discharging his mandate as a member of the House of Representative consistent with the restraints upon one who is presently under detention. The Constitution guarantees: ". manned by a full complement of staff paid for by Congress. North Wing Building. House of Representatives Complex.7 The organs of government may not show any undue favoritism or hostility to any person. . The accused-appellant is only one of 250 members of the House of Representatives.

SO ORDERED. find that election to the position of Congressman is not a reasonable classification in criminal law enforcement..17 Premises considered. The right to bail shall not be impaired . Jr. including the police power of the State.. Quisumbing.a different classification from those others who are validly restrained by law.11 More explicitly. who has been convicted by the trial court of two counts of statutory rape and six counts of acts of lasciviousness. the instant motion is hereby DENIED. I concur with the main and separate opinion. is the restraint of one's liberty. including attendance of legislative sessions and committee meetings. Pardo Buena and De Leon..16 Prison officials have the difficult and often thankless job of preserving the security in a potentially explosive setting... I join the majority as well as the separate opinion. I concur in both the ponencia and the separate opinion. Necessarily. Melo. C. Kapunan. I concur in this as well as in the separate opinion of Justice Gonzaga-Reyes. See separate concurring opinion. I concur in the main and separate opinion.. Bellosillo... concurring opinion. it is restraint by judgment of a court or lawful tribunal. shall.. as well as of attempting to provide rehabilitation that prepares inmates for re-entry into the social mainstream. Purisima. J. therefore. A strict scrutiny of classifications is essential lest wittingly or otherwise. which judgment is currently pending appeal before this Court. accused-appellant claims that his constituents are deprived of representation by reason of his incarceration pending appeal of the judgment of conviction and that he should therefore be allowed to discharge his legislative functions.13 Imprisonment is the detention of another against his will depriving him of his power of locomotion14 and it "[is] something more than mere loss of freedom.9 We. J.12 The term refers to the restraint on the personal liberty of another. and also in separate opinion of Justice Reyes. Puno. The necessities imposed by public welfare may justify exercise of government authority to regulate even if thereby certain groups may plausibly assert that their interests are disregarded. insidious discriminations are made in favor of or against groups or types of individuals. before conviction.. As a member of the House of Representatives. Mendoza. be bailable by sufficient sureties. WHEREFORE. or be released on recognizance as may be provided by law. JJ. except those charged with offenses punishable by reclusion perpetua when evidence of guilt is strong. by its nature. As a punishment. coercion exercised upon a person to prevent the free exercise of his power of locomotion. It includes the notion of restraint within limits defined by wall or any exterior barrier. or of his free action according to his own pleasure and will. Jr. and is personal to the accused. J. we are constrained to rule against the accused-appellant's claim that reelection to public office gives priority to any other right or interest."15 It can be seen from the foregoing that incarceration. Jalosjos.. J. The functions and duties of the office are not substantial distinctions which lift him from the class of prisoners interrupted in their freedom and restricted in liberty of movement. For resolution in this case is a motion filed by accused-appellant Romeo G. Gonzaga-Reyes. Vitug. concur.10 Imprisonment is the restraint of a man's personal liberty.8 The Court cannot validate badges of inequality. Lawful arrest and confinement are germane to the purposes of the law and apply to all those belonging to the same class. J.J. "imprisonment" in its general sense. J. any prevention of his movements from place to place. J. I concur in the ponencia of my colleague Madame Justice Consuelo Ynares-Santiago in holding that accused-appellant's motion is bereft of any legal merit. changes an individual's status in society. Separate Opinions GONZAGA-REYES. Panganiban. both these demands require the curtailment and elimination of certain rights. Davide. The Bill of Rights provides — All persons.

7. does not fall within the scope of the constitutional privilege. the 1935 Constitution4 limited the privilege from arrests to "all cases except treason. Hence. despite the widening of its scope to include criminal offenses.3 I agree with the ponencia that to allow accused-appellant to attend legislative sessions would constitute an unjustified broadening of the privilege from the arrest bestowed by the Constitution upon members of Congress. Unlike the present Constitution. which is punishable by reclusion perpetua. the 1986 Constitutional Commission rejected the proposal of one of its members to expand the scope of the parliamentary immunity to include searches because. Capital offense or an offense punishable by reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment. Divina2 we held that the trial court's judgment of conviction imports that the evidence of guilt of the crime charged is strong. Neither may the constitutional provision granting immunity from arrest to legislators provide legal justification for accused-appellant's motion. The constitutional . be privileged from arrest while the Congress is in session. the privilege was broadened to include arrests for crimes punishable by imprisonment of six years or less. it was not demonstrated that the conduct of searches would prevent members of Congress from discharging their legislative functions.even when the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended. i. the rationale for granting members of Congress immunity from arrest remained the same — to ensure that they are not prevented from performing their legislative duties.1 (emphasis supplied) This constitutional provision denying the right to bail for offenses punishable by reclusion perpetua when the evidence of guilt is strong is reiterated in Rule 114 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure.. The Constitution states that — A Senator of Member of the House of Representatives shall. It should also be mentioned that. crimes punishable by afflictive penalties or with capital punishment.7 In fact. Under the 19736 and the 1987 Constitution. Morfe. the continued incarceration of accused-appellant is a valid and constitutionally mandated curtailment of his rights to provisional liberty pending appeal of his conviction. Excessive bail shall not be required. punishable at most by correctional penalties. No Member shall be questioned nor be held liable in any other place for any speech or debate in the Congress or in any committee thereof. Members of Congress in particular. not bailable. unlike arrest. In People v. In accordance with American precedents. who are called upon to exercise their discretion and judgment in enacting laws responsive to the needs of the people.10 "when it comes to freedom from arrest. felony and breach of the peace" have been construed to include all indictable offenses. if notwithstanding their liability for a criminal offense. — No person charged with a capital offense. felony. viz — Sec. having been convicted of statutory rape which is punishable by reclusion perpetua. a liberal construction of the constitutional privilege is not in order. A member of Congress could only invoke the immunity from arrest for relatively minor offenses. it would amount to the creation of a privileged class. shall be admitted to bail regardless of the stage of the criminal prosecution.e. when evidence of guilt is strong. the word "treason. or an offense punishable by reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment. in all offenses punishable by not more than six years imprisonment.5 Thus.8 It is a well-established principle that official immunity is a necessary adjunct to the vigorous and effective performance of official functions. and breach of the peace. Unquestionably. Thus. they would be considered immune during their attendance in Congress and in going to and returning from the same" The accused-appellant. Neither the legislative history of this provision nor the general principles of official immunity support an expanded interpretation of such privilege. As enunciated in Martinez v. The trial court found accused-appellant guilty of the crime of statutory rape. the privilege from arrest is still circumscribed by the nature or the gravity of the offenses of which the accused is charged. would certainly be impeded in the exercise of their legislative functions if every dissatisfied person could compel them to vindicate the wisdom of their enactments in an action for damages or question their official acts before the courts. which was in turn based upon the American Constitution." This provision was taken from the Philippine Autonomy Act of 1916. without justification in reason. is obviously not entitled to the privilege of parliamentary immunity and. proceeding from the above stated rationale for legislative immunity.9 It was never the intention of the framers of the 1973 and 1987 Constitutions to shield a member of Congress from the consequences of his wrongdoing. under the factual circumstances of this case. Despite the expansion of the privilege. an afflictive penalty. under the 1935 Constitution the freedom from arrest only encompassed civil arrest. the commission of serious crimes. the applicability of this privilege from arrest to accused-appellant is already moot and academic.

provision contemplates that stage of the criminal process at which personal jurisdiction is sought to be acquired over the accused by means of his arrest.nêt Penal laws are obligatory upon all who live or sojourn in Philippine territory. is AFFIRMED in toto. Comelec. SO ORDERED. Guingona13 we laid down the doctrine that a public official cannot be removed for administrative misconduct committed during a prior term.000. bbP50.14 The administrative liability of a public officer is separate and distinct from his penal liability. since his re-election to office operates as a condonation of the officer's previous misconduct to the extent of cutting off the right to remove therefor. Accused-appellant's contention that his re-election constitutes a renewal of his mandate and that such an expression of the popular will should not be rendered inutile by even the police power of the State is hollow. it follows that any expansion of such immunities must similarly be based upon an express constitutional grant. xlii xliii xliv xlv xlvi xlvii xlviii xlix l li lii liii liv lv lvi lvii lviii lix lx lxi lxii lxiii lxiv lxv .11 Aguinaldo v. As a matter of fact. Since the Constitution itself provides for the immunities from the general application of our criminal laws which a Senator or Member of the House of Representatives may enjoy. No costs.00 as moral damages. I vote to deny the motion. Accused-appellant is no longer at the point of merely being arrested. This doctrine of forgiveness or condonation cannot apply to criminal acts which the re-elected official may have committed during his previous term.1âwphi1. tried and convicted by the trial court. In Aguinaldo v. Santos12 and in Salalima v. he has already been arrested.

lxvi lxvii lxviii lxix lxx lxxi lxxii lxxiii lxxiv lxxv lxxvi lxxvii lxxviii lxxix lxxx lxxxi lxxxii .

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