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Prof. Joselito Guianan Chan's The Labor Code of the Philippines, Annotated Labor Standards & Social Legislation Volume I of a 3-Volume Series 2019 Edition (3rd Revised Edition)
 

 
Chan Robles Virtual Law Library
 
 

 
UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
March-1996 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 91935 March 4, 1996 - RODOLFO QUIAMBAO v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106043 March 4, 1996 - CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY LANDLESS RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109645 March 4, 1996 - ORTIGAS AND COMPANY LIMITED PARTNERSHIP v. TIRSO VELASCO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115365 March 4, 1996 - ESMENIO MADLOS v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118126 March 4, 1996 - TRANS-ASIA SHIPPING LINES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-94-921 March 5, 1996 - AMPARO A. LACHICA v. ROLANDO A. FLORDELIZA

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-94-1009 March 5, 1996 - ALBERTO NALDOZA v. JUAN LAVILLES, JR.

  • G.R. No. 111501 March 5, 1996 - PHIL. FUJI XEROX CORPORATION, ET AL. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION

  • G.R. No. 113930 March 5, 1996 - PAUL G. ROBERTS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115548 March 5, 1996 - STATE INVESTMENT HOUSE INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • Adm. Matter No. P-94-1039 March 6, 1996 - FE ALBANO MADRID v. RAYMUNDO RAMIREZ

  • G.R. Nos. 112858-59 March 6, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RALPHY ALCANTARA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120193 March 6, 1996 - LUIS MALALUAN v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Case No. CBD-174 March 7, 1996 - GIOVANI M. IGUAL v. ROLANDO S. JAVIER

  • G.R. No. 66555 March 7, 1996 - LEONCIO MEJARES, ET AL. v. JUAN Y. REYES, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 95353-54 March 7, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PAULINO PAT

  • G.R. No. 109390 March 7, 1996 - JGB and ASSOCIATES v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112445 March 7, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CARLOS V. PATROLLA, JR.

  • G.R. No. 113710 March 7, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FERDINAND V. JUAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116011 March 7, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RHODESA B. SILAN

  • G.R. No. 117650 March 7, 1996 - SULPICIO LINES v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120905 March 7, 1996 - RENATO U. REYES v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 95260 March 8, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILFREDO C. PRADO

  • G.R. No. 110983 March 8, 1996 - REYNALDO GARCIA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Case No. 2024 March 11, 1996 - SALVADOR T. CASTILLO v. PABLO M. TAGUINES

  • G.R. No. 108625 March 11, 1996 - ALLIANCE OF DEMOCRATIC FREE LABOR ORGANIZATION v. BIENVENIDO LAGUESMA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113194 March 11, 1996 - NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119381 March 11, 1996 - MARCOPPER MINING CORPORATION v. JOSE BRILLANTES

  • G.R. No. 96882 March 12, 1996 - EUTIQUIANO PAGARA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109800 March 12, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILFREDO N. BAUTISTA

  • G.R. No. 114388 March 12, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DOMINGO TRILLES, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-94-4-156 March 13, 1996 - IN RE: FERNANDO P. AGDAMAG

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-96-1344 March 13, 1996 - VERONICA GONZALES v. LUCAS P. BERSAMIN

  • G.R. No. 101332 March 13, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CLARO BERNAL

  • G.R. No. 101699 March 13, 1996 - BENJAMIN A. SANTOS v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 104088-89 March 13, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VICENTE JAIN, ET AL

  • G.R. No. 108743 March 13, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARNALDO B. DONES

  • G.R. No. 112193 March 13, 1996 - JOSE E. ARUEGO, JR., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112546 March 13, 1996 - NORTH DAVAO MINING CORPORATION, ET AL. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119073 March 13, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALBERTO DIAZ

  • G.R. No. 120223 March 13, 1996 - RAMON Y. ALBA v. DEPUTY OMBUDSMAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 101070 March 14, 1996 - BALAYAN COLLEGES, ET AL. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 102062 March 14, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CAMILO FERRER, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 104685 March 14, 1996 - SABENA BELGIAN WORLD AIRLINES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119706 March 14, 1996 - PHILIPPINE AIRLINES, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 73592 March 15, 1996 - JOSE CUENCO BORROMEO v. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 94494 March 15, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DIONISIO C. LAPURA

  • G.R. No. 103695 March 15, 1996 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 105819 March 15, 1996 - MARILYN L. BERNARDO v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 106229-30 March 15, 1996 - LEOVIGILDO ROSALES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108001 March 15, 1996 - SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION, ET AL. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111651 March 15, 1996 - OSMALIK S. BUSTAMANTE, ET AL. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115106 March 15, 1996 - ROBERTO L. DEL ROSARIO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114988 March 18, 1996 - CATALINO BONTIA, ET AL. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION

  • G.R. No. 117667 March 18, 1996 - INLAND TRAILWAYS v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • Adm. Matter No. 94-5-42-MTC March 20, 1996 - QUERY OF JUDGE DANILO M. TENERIFE

  • G.R. No. 102360 March 20, 1996 - ROSITA DOMINGO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111656 March 20, 1996 - MANUEL MANAHAN, JR. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116665 March 20, 1996 - MELQUIADES D. AZCUNA, JR. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. 95-1-07-RTC March 21, 1996 - JDF ANOMALY IN THE RTC OF LIGAO, ALBAY

  • Adm. Matter No. 95-10-06-SCC March 27, 1996 - IN RE: DEMASIRA M. BAUTE

  • Adm. Matter No. P-94-1071 March 28, 1996 - ELIZABETH ASUMBRADO v. FRANCISCO R. MACUNO

  • G.R. No. 104386 March 28, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. OSCAR L. LEVISTE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121424 March 28, 1996 - IN RE: MAURO P. MAGTIBAY v. VICENTE VINARAO

  • G.R. No. 90215 March 29, 1996 - ERNESTO ZALDARRIAGA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 94594 March 29, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO REDULOSA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 96178-79 March 29, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDUARDO ESMAQUILAN

  • G.R. No. 97785 March 29, 1996 - PHILIPPINE COMMERCIAL INTERNATIONAL BANK v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 99259-60 March 29, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EMILIO D. SANTOS

  • G.R. No. 103525 March 29, 1996 - MARCOPPER MINING CORPORATION v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 104296 March 29, 1996 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. Nos. 106083-84 March 29, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. QUINTIN T. GARRAEZ

  • G.R. No. 106600 March 29, 1996 - COSMOS BOTTLING CORPORATION v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109312 March 29, 1996 - PLACIDO MIRANDA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 109614-15 March 29, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ADRONICO GREGORIO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112346 March 29, 1996 - EVELYN YONAHA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 112457-58 March 29, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO CARTUANO, JR.

  • G.R. No. 112678 March 29, 1996 - EDUARDO M . ESPEJO v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 112708-09 March 29, 1996 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112718 March 29, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VLADIMIR L. CANUZO

  • G.R. Nos. 113519-20 March 29, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO F. PANLILIO

  • G.R. Nos. 114263-64 March 29, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOHN JENN PORRAS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115988 March 29, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LEO V. LIAN

  • G.R. No. 116734 March 29, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LARRY B. LAURENTE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116792 March 29, 1996 - BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117055 March 29, 1996 - SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION

  • G.R. No. 117618 March 29, 1996 - VIRGINIA MALINAO v. LUISITO REYES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118509 March 29, 1996 - LIMKETKAI SONS MILLING INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118870 March 29, 1996 - NERISSA Z. PEREZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119193 March 29, 1996 - NEMENCIO GALVEZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120715 March 29, 1996 - FERNANDO R. SAZON v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121527 March 29, 1996 - MARCELO L. ONGSITCO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

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    G.R. No. 108743   March 13, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARNALDO B. DONES

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    FIRST DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 108743. March 13, 1996.]

    PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. ARNALDO B. DONES @ "NENE", Accused-Appellant.

    The Solicitor General for Plaintiff-Appellee.

    Luceniano E. Lancin for Accused-Appellant.

    Public Attorney’s Office for Accused-Appellant.


    SYLLABUS


    1. REMEDIAL LAW; EVIDENCE; CREDIBILITY; FINDINGS OF FACTS OF THE TRIAL COURT, GENERALLY UPHELD ON APPEAL. — As this Court has time and again held, the trial court’s evaluation of the testimony of a witness is accorded with the highest respect because it has the direct opportunity to observe the witness on the stand and determine if he or she is telling the truth or not, except when such evaluation was reached arbitrarily or when the trial court overlooked, misunderstood or misapplied some facts or circumstances of weight and substance which could affect the result of the case. None of the exceptions exists in this case.

    2. CRIMINAL LAW; RAPE; MAY BE COMMITTED IN PLACES WHERE PEOPLE CONGREGATE. — In a long line of rape cases, the Court has held that rape can be committed even in places where people congregate, in parks along the roadside, within school premises and even inside a house where there are other occupants or where other members of the family are also sleeping. Lust is no respecter of time or place.

    3. REMEDIAL LAW; EVIDENCE; CREDIBILITY; TESTIMONY OF APPELLANT’S OWN MOTHER, AND APPELLANT’S NEIGHBOR AND HIS PATIENT, BIASED. — That Agatonica and Lazara failed to notice anything unusual during the night is not difficult to explain. Agatonica de la Torre was then already 80 years old and wracked by disease, which could have impaired her senses. Even if Agatonica had full possession of her faculties, she had a motive to testify in favor of appellant, being his neighbor and patient. On the part of Lazara, she is appellant’s own mother whose desire to bail out her son is understandable. These two witnesses were, thus, naturally biased in appellant’s favor. A witness is said to be biased when his relation to the cause or to the parties is such that he has an incentive to exaggerate or give false color to his statements, or to suppress or to pervert the truth, or to state what is false. Corroborative evidence in defense of an accused, if tainted with bias, weakens his defense.

    4. ID.; ID.; ID.; AFFIRMATIVE TESTIMONY STRONGER THAN NEGATIVE ONE. — Affirmative testimony, such as Marialina’s, is stronger than a negative one. The former has more value than the latter for the reason that he who denies a certain fact may not remember exactly the circumstances on which he bases his denial.

    5. ID.. ID.; ID.; NO STANDARD FORM OF BEHAVIOR WHEN ONE IS CONFRONTED WITH A STARTLING OR FRIGHTFUL EXPERIENCE. — That Marialina went to sleep after she was raped hardly dents her credibility. There is no standard form of human behavioral response when one is confronted with a strange, startling or frightful experience. In fact, Marialina’s aforementioned conduct after she was ravished is not an extraordinary reaction considering her tender years, her ailing condition and the physical and emotional exhaustion she underwent when appellant vented his bestial desires on her, not to mention the terror she was subjected to by appellant’s warning of her impending death in the hands of the devil if she would not surrender herself to his animal instincts.

    6. ID.; ID.; ABSENCE OF SEMEN DOES NOT NEGATE RAPE. — Neither may the negative finding of semen in Marialina’s private parts negate sexual assault. As Dr. Avelino herself testified, as a rule, sperm cells survive in the genitalia of a woman for 72 hours. However, there are cases where they survive less than 30 hours depending on the acidity of the vagina. Nonetheless, it is a settled rule that the absence of spermatozoa in a victim’s sex organ does not disprove the commission of rape. The important consideration is not the emission of semen but the penetration of the female genitalia by the male organ.

    7. ID.; ID.; ABSENCE OF EXTERNAL SIGNS OR PHYSICAL INJURIES DOES NOT NEGATE RAPE. — Appellant contends that the absence of physical injuries outside the victim’s genitalia would indicate that she did not put up a struggle or that the sexual intercourse was a consensual act. For the crime of rape to exist, it is not essential to prove that the victim struggled or that there were external signs or physical injuries. Proof of physical injuries is not necessary because such injuries are not essential elements of the crime. As a matter of fact, the failure of the victim to resist does not negate rape. Physical resistance need not be established in rape when intimidation is exercised upon the victim and the latter submits herself, against her will, to the rapist’s embrace because of fear for life and personal safety.

    8. CRIMINAL LAW; RAPE; INTIMIDATION; INCLUDES THAT OF MORAL KIND THAT INCLUDES FEAR. — The straightforward testimony of Marialina reveals that she struggled to resist appellant’s advances. Apart from the force and violence that appellant employed on the victim, he also undoubtedly applied moral intimidation on her by making her believe that Satan would take her away if she did not submit herself to his sexual advances. She was not a worldly wise woman — she is a simple barrio lass in her early teens. She could not be expected to put up a fight in defense of her womanhood. Force or intimidation in rape is relative. It is viewed in the light of the victim’s perception and not by any hard and fast rule. Intimidation even includes that of the moral kind which induces fear in the mind of the rape victim.

    9. REMEDIAL LAW; EVIDENCE; CREDIBILITY; NOT ADVERSELY AFFECTED BY DELAY IN REPORTING SEXUAL ASSAULT. — Marialina’s failure to disclose her defloration to her mother when she brought her breakfast and lunch does not taint her credibility. Her silence was impelled by both fear for her life and shame for the degradation that had befallen her. It is not uncommon for a young girl of tender age to be intimidated into silence by the mildest threat against her life. Silence is not an odd behavior of a rape victim.

    10. ID.; ID.; ID.; IT IS UNNATURAL FOR PARENT TO USE HER DAUGHTER AS AN ENGINE OF MALICE. — We do not give credence to the defense’s insinuation that the rape charge was instigated by her family because of a land dispute. As we have ruled in a number of cases, it is unnatural for a parent to use her offspring as an engine of malice, especially if it will subject a daughter to embarrassment and even stigma.

    11. ID.; ID.; ID.; ACCUSED MAY BE CONVICTED ON THE SOLE TESTIMONY OF COMPLAINANT. — The trial court did not err in giving full faith and credence to the uncorroborated testimony of the victim. In rape cases, the prosecution is not bound to present witnesses other than the victim herself as an accused may be convicted solely on the testimony of the complaining witness provided such testimony is credible, natural, convincing and otherwise consistent with human nature and the course of things. Normally, no decent and sensible woman will publicly admit being a rape victim and thus run the risk of public contempt, unless she has, in fact, been raped. Marialina’s credibility merited the trial court’s approval because she related her defloration through force and intimidation in a "candid, straightforward and logical" manner "free from any taint of fabrication as insinuated by the accused."cralaw virtua1aw library

    12. CRIMINAL LAW; PENALTY; RECLUSION PERPETUA; A SINGLE INDIVISIBLE PENALTY. — Under Art. 335 of the Revised Penal Code, rape through force or intimidation is punishable by reclusion perpetua. The trial court correctly imposed this penalty because under Art. 63(1) of the same Code, where the law prescribes a single indivisible penalty, it shall be applied regardless of any mitigating or aggravating circumstances that may have attended the commission of the crime.

    13. CIVIL LAW; DAMAGES; P50,000.00 DAMAGES FOR RAPE VICTIM AWARDED. — Consistent with jurisprudence, appellant is ordered to indemnify the victim, Marialina Ruaya, in the amount of P50,000.00 in lieu of the total damages of P60,000.00 imposed by the trial court.


    D E C I S I O N


    KAPUNAN, J.:


    This is an appeal from the Decision 1 in Criminal Case No. 852 of the Regional Trial Court of Surigao del Norte, Branch 31 at Dapa, Surigao del Norte convicting appellant Arnaldo B. Dones of the crime of rape under Article 335(1) of the Revised Penal Code, imposing on him the penalty of reclusion perpetua and directing him to pay the victim, Marialina Ruaya, an indemnity in the amount of P50,000.00 plus moral and exemplary damages in the total amount of P10,000.00 without subsidiary imprisonment in the case of insolvency.

    Not satisfied with the decision, appellant interpose the present appeal alleging that trial court erred in finding him guilty of the crime charged "despite the incredible testimony of the complainant."cralaw virtua1aw library

    Appellant was charged with rape on August 27, 1991 in an information which reads as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    That on the 9th day of July, 1991 at or about 1:00 o’clock dawn in the Poblacion of Dapa, province of Surigao del Norte, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, Accused with all freedom, intelligence criminal intent and lustful designs did then and there voluntarily, unlawfully and feloniously with the use of force and intimidation, and with all pretense that he possessed healing power, secured sexual intercourse by taking advantage of superiority and coercive force upon a 14 year old girl (Marialina L. Ruaya) and successfully obtaining the dastard act consequently inflicting upon the girl and family actual, moral and exemplary damages in the sum of P80,000.00.

    CONTRARY TO LAW. 2

    Appellant pleaded not guilty to the crime charged. At the trial, the prosecution presented evidence proving the following:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Marialina Ruaya then almost 14 years old, 3 was staying at the boarding house owned by her parents in Bgy. 6, Dapa, Surigao del Norte while studying as a first year student at the Dapa National High School. Marialina would go home on weekends to her parents Abrito and Nemesia Ruaya who were residing in Cabugao, Del Carmen, Surigao del Norte.

    On Saturday July 8, 1991, Marialina arrived in Cabugao complaining of headache and fatigue. because of their daughter’s complaint and their own various ailments, the Ruaya couple decided ti submit themselves and Marialina for treatment to a quack doctor ("medico"), appellant herein who was also known by his nickname "Nene." At about 5:00 in the afternoon of July 8, 1991, they arrived at a shack, which appellant use as a "clinic." at the reclamation area located some twenty (20) fathoms away from the Dapa residence of the Ruaya’s. The "clinic" was made of bamboo and nipa and measured four by three meters with a cardboard wall dividing the sala and a small room.

    There were other patients when they arrived at the "clinic." Appellant took the pulse of both Nemesia, who was complaining of gastric pain, cough and nervousness, and her husband, Abrito, who had rheumatism. Appellant then applied "tayhop" by breathing on top of their heads, and massaged them. The couple donated P25.00 to the appellant and paid P200.00 for two belts for Abrito and Marialina. Each belt was made of an empty armalite shell which was pressed flat at one end with a hole bored thereon through which a plastic string was inserted to serve as handle. 4 Abrito was made to wear the belt because he was suffering from "barang" (witchcraft). After Abrito left the "clinic," appellant told Marialina to go inside the small room and kneel before an altar for about thirty (30) minutes. HE then told Nemesia that her daughters should remain from the "clinic" as she was suffering from a serious ailment and she might die if the devil enters her body. He also told Nemesia that she would go home, otherwise she might be affected by Satan. 5 Believing appellant, Nemesia left the "clinic." Appellant then entered the room where Marialina was kneeling, mumbled and chanted some prayers, placed his hands around her neck and kiss her on the cheek. He ordered her to lie down on a "petate", a may stretch out on the floor and put out the light from the small lamp in the altar.

    Appellant laid down beside Marialina, telling her that he had to do so to prevent Satan from taking her. Then he touched her vagina and nipples. Marialina struggled to resist his advances and tried to prevent appellant from taking off her panty. Appellant told her that should she refuse to obey him, she would be given to a "person unlike us." Appellant massaged her body twice, purportedly to get out of the devil out of her body. She became frightened but was not able to shout because his mouth was tightly covering hers. He next wrapped his arms vise-like around her to prevent her from moving and to ensure the insertion of his sex organ into her private parts. Sometime later, she felt an "ejection" streaming out of appellant’s organ inside her vagina. 6 Marialina reckoned the time to be around 1:00 in the morning because she heard a "crow-crowing." 7 Appellant then told her to sleep.

    Nemesia brought to Marialina her breakfast in the morning of July 9, 1991. Believing appellant’s warning that once she got exposed, Satan will enter her body, Marialina took her breakfast inside the room. Despite appellant’s absence at that time, she could not muster enough courage to disclose her defloration to her mother because of shame. However, she informed Nemesia that she wanted to go home. When appellant learned of Marialina’s intention to leave he refused to grant her permission, saying that he would not assume any responsibility should something happen to Marialina, referring to the "threat" of Satan entering her body.

    Thus, Marialina was constrained to stay behind. When Nemesia returned to bring her lunch at noon, Marialina refused to talk and just stayed in bed complaining of headache.

    Wondering why her daughter would not even rise from bed and had remained asleep most of the time, Nemesia fetch her at around 2:00 in the afternoon of July 9, 1991. Not along thereafter, appellant went to the Ruaya’s residence telling them that Satan followed his patient to her house. Appellant asked Marialina to sit on a stool and blew air "tayhop" on her forehead. Afraid that Satan might enter her body as warned by appellant, Marialina accede to his demand that she return to his "clinic" .

    At around 5:00 that same afternoon, Nemesia went back to the "clinic" to take her daughter home. Appellant at first would not allow Marialina to leave on the pretext that she had to be treated for five (5) more days. This time Nemesia was adamant. Appellant allowed Marialina to go but he warned her mother. Bantay kon magkuhakuha kaw dako which meant that they should be on guard for they might come back to him again. 8 Marialina spent the night with her parents in their house at reclamation area.

    The Ruaya couple went home to Cabugao with Marialina in the early morning of July 10, 1991. Finding it unusual that her daughter kept herself in bed. Nemesia insisted that her daughter tell her the truth if something happened to her. Marialina finally broke his silence. She revealed that appellant raped her. Nemesia awakened her husband and told him of the incident.

    Marialina braced herself and decided to seek justice. Accompanied by her parents, on July 11, 1991 she proceeded to the municipal hall of Dapa, Surigao del Norte and reported the matter to Pat. Pedronio Esparrago. She and her mother executed written statements which were sworn before a prosecutor. Then they proceeded to the Surigao District Hospital where Marialina underwent a medical examination. Dr. Cheryl Avelino found that Marialina’s hymen sustained lacerations in the 3, 6 and 9 o’clock positions. According to Dr. Avelino, the lacerations were fresh and could have been inflicted some twenty-four (24) hours before the examination. She found Marialina’s vagina to be negative of sperm cells she noticed Marialina’s pained expression as she conducted the examination on her.

    The following day, July 12, 1991, Marialina filed the complaint charging appellant with raped before the Municipal Circuit Trial Court of Dapa-Socorro, Surigao del Norte. On July 13, 1991, appellant posted bail in the amount of P30,000.00 which was fixed by the said court. Appellant having waived the second stage of the preliminary investigation, the record of the case was forwarded to the Regional Trial Court of Dapa, Surigao del Norte, which forthwith issued an order for his arrest with no bail recommended. Appellant was arrested on October 17, 1991 and at his arraignment on that same day, he pleaded not guilty to the charge.

    Thereafter, trial ensued.

    Appellant interposed denial as his sole defense. A 42-year old married contractual employee who used to be a forth year Forestry student, appellant became aware of his "God-given" healing power on March 10, 1989 WHEN A RESIDENT OF Caramkang, Mangagoy complained of a headache and appellant healed him through a simple massage. His healing power became known when he was able to cure his mother and sister of their ailments after their transfer to Dapa from Lingig, Surigao del Sur. He would received his patients in his mothers house but after his sister complained of his numerous patients, on July 1, 1991, he started his healing sessions in the small house of Alberto Mozo in the reclamation area which was located just across their house He had treated approximately 300 people before the incident took place.

    According to appellant, on or about 6:30 in the evening of July 9, 1991, Abrito and Nemesia Ruaya and their daughter Marialina, came to his "clinic" for treatment. Abrito wanted to be relieved of muscles pains While Marialina, who has obviously in pain, was suffering from "pasmo, empacho." Appellant prayed over Marialina after attending to her father. He requested her to sit and wait as he treated another patient, Agatonica dela Torre.

    Appellant spent that night in the "clinic" with his mother (Lazara Dones), Agatonica, a blind woman known only as Silveria, and Marialina. He does not require his patients to stay overnight even if they were seriously ill but he allowed Marialina. to stay upon the request of her mother in order that intensive care be administered to Marialina. He retired at around 10:00 that evening while Marialina slept an hour earlier.

    Appellant woke up early in the morning of July 9, 1991. He prayed over Marialina for the second time. Marialina left the house at about 5:00 in the afternoon accompanied by a woman neighbor and headed for her own home. He denied having refused to allow Marialina to be brought home by her mother. Drawing a sketch of the hut where they were slept that fateful night, appellant showed that while the distance between him and Marialina was only a couple of meters, He slept in the sala with his mother Lagara Dones, a blind woman named Silveria and Agatonica dela Torre.

    However, according to his owned mother and Agatonica, appellant slept not in the sala but in the small room with Marialina.

    The defense also presented appellant’s mother, Lazara Dones and Agatonica dela Torre, an 80-year old :patient" of appellant. Both testified that they did nit notice anything unusual during the whole night when Marialina was in the "clinic." Agatonica declared that she was awake all night and would frequently call appellant to administer his healing power.

    Professing innocence of the crime charged, appellant alleged that the rape case filed against him was a result of land dispute between his family and that of Marialina’s. The Ruayas were alleged asserting ownership over the lot in Dapa belonging to his family and on which the Ruayas had constructed the house.

    In rebuttal, Nemesia denied that her family was claiming ownership over the lot and even admitted that Lazara Dones owned the lot which they had been renting for a P15 a month since 1977. While she went to the Bureau of Lands, it was not to verify the ownership of the lot but to be informed of her family’s rights as appellant’s mother had demanded the demolition of the Ruaya’s house after the filing of the rape case against Appellant.

    On September 30, 1992, the trial court rendered the assailed decision finding the appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime charged. Hence, this appeal.

    Two briefs have been filed in behalf of appellant, one by the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) dated May 18, 1994 and another by Atty. Lucimano E. Lancin. The first brief alleges, as its lone assignment of error, that the trial court erred, in finding appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape despite "the incredible testimony of the complainant;" while the second brief argues that the lower court erred "in giving credence to the uncorroborated version of the accused" and "in finding the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape."cralaw virtua1aw library

    Clearly, the issue boil down to credibility of witnesses.

    As this Court has time and again held, the trial court’s evaluation of the testimony of a witness is accorded with a highest respect because it has the direct opportunity to observe the witness on the stand and determine if he or she is telling the truth or not, except when the trial court overlooked, misunderstood or misapplied some facts or circumstances of weight and substance which could affect the result of the case. 9 None of the exceptions exist in this case. Nevertheless, we shall proceed to discuss appellant’s contentions.

    Appellant asserts that Marialina’s alleged struggle to prevent the rape could not have gone unnoticed by other occupants of the hut which was small and rickety and would wobble at the slightest movement, not to mention the division therein made of carton which had holes and would therefore allow vision of what was going on in the small room.

    We do not agree. In a long line of rape cases, the Court has held that rape can be committed even on places where people congregate, in parks along the roadside, within school premises and even inside the house where there are other occupants 10 or where other members of the family are also sleeping. 11 Lust is no respecter of time or place. 12

    That Agatonica and Lazara failed to notice anything unusual during the night is not difficult to explain. Agatonica dela Torre was then already 80 years old and wracked by disease, which could have impaired her senses. Even if Agatonica had full possession of her faculties, she had a motive to testify in favor of appellant, being his neighbor and patient. On the part of Lazara, she is appellant’s owned mother whose desire to bail out her son is son understandable. These two witnesses were, thus naturally biased in appellant’s favor. 13 A witness is said to be biased when his relation to the cause or to the parties is such that he has an incentive to exaggerate or give false color to his statements, or to suppress or to pervert the truth, or to state what is false. 14 Corroborative evidence in defense of an accused, if tainted with bias, weakens his defense. 15

    Moreover, affirmative testimony, such as Marialina’s, is stronger than a negative one. The former has more value than the latter for the reason that he who denies a certain fact may not remember exactly the circumstances on which he bases his denial. 16

    Appellant claims that it is against human experience that the victim would go to sleep in this "clinic" after being ravished.

    That Marialina went to sleep after she was raped hardly dents her credibility. There is no standard form of human behavioral response when one is confronted with a strange, startling of frightful experience. 17 In fact, Marialina’s aforementioned conduct after she was ravished is not an extraordinary reaction considering her tender years, her ailing condition and the physical and emotional exhaustion she underwent when appellant vented his bestial desires on her, not to mention the terror she was subjected to by appellant’s warning of her impending death in the hands of the devil if she would not surrender herself to his animal instincts.

    Neither may the negative finding of semen in Marialina’s private parts negate sexual assault. As Dr. Avelino herself testified, as a rule, sperm cells survive in the genitalia of a woman for 72 hours. However, there are cases were they survive less than 30 hours depending on the acidity of the vagina. 18 Nonetheless, it is a settled rule that the absence of spermatozoa in a victims sex organ does not disprove the commission of rape. The important consideration is not the emission of semen but the penetration of the female genitalia by the male organ. 19 Appellant contends that the absence of physical injuries outside the victim’s genitalia would indicate that she did not put up a struggle or that the sexual intercourse was the consensual act. For the crime of rape to exist, it is not essential to prove that the victim struggled that there were external signs or physical injuries. Proof of physical injuries is not necessary because because such injuries are not essential elements of the crime. As a matter of fact, the failure of the victim to resist does not negate rape. 20 Physical resistance need not be established in rape when intimidation is exercised upon the victim and the latter submits herself, against her will, to the rapist embrace because of fear for life and personal safety. 21

    The straightforward testimony of Marialina reveals that she struggled to resist appellant’s advances. Apart from the force and violence that appellant employed on the victim, he also undoubtedly applied moral intimidation on her by making her believe that Satan would take her away if she did not submit herself to his sexual advances. She was not a wordly wise woman — she is a simple barrio lass in her early teens. She could not be expected to put up a fight in defense of her womanhood. Force or intimidation in rape is relative. It is viewed in the light of the victims perception and not by any hard and fast rule. 22 Intimidation even includes that of the moral kind which induces fear in the mind of the rape victim. 23 Marialina’s failure to disclose her defloration to her mother when she brought her breakfast and lunch does not taint her credibility. Her silence was impelled by both fear for the life and shame for the degradation that had befallen her. it is not uncommon for a young girl of tender age to be intimidated in to the silence by the mildest threat against her life. 24 Silence is not an odd behavior of a rape victim. 25 We do not give credence to the defense’s insinuation that the rate charge was instigated by her family because of a land dispute. As we have ruled in the number of cases, it is unnatural for a parent to use her offspring as an engine of malice, especially if it will subject a daughter to embarrassment and even stigma. 26 The trial court therefore, did not err in giving full faith and credence to the uncorroborated testimony of the victim. In rape cases, the prosecution is not bound to present witnesses other than the victim herself 27 as an accused maybe convicted solely on the testimony of the complaining witness provided such testimony is credible, natural, convincing and otherwise consistent with human nature and of the course of things. 28 Normally, no decent and sensible woman will publicly admit being a rape victim and thus run the risk of public contempt, unless she has, in fact, been raped. Marialina’s credibility merited the trial court’s approval because she related her defloration through force and intimidation in a "candid, straightforward and logical" manner "free from any taint of fabrication as insinuated by the accused. 29 Under Art. 335 of the Revised Penal Code, rape through force or intimidation is punishable by reclusion perpetua. The trial court correctly imposed this penalty because under Art, 63(1)of the same Code, where the law prescribes a single indivisible penalty, it shall be applied regardless of any mitigating or aggravating circumstances that may have attended the commission of the crime.

    Consistent with jurisprudence, 30 appellant is ordered to indemnify the victim, Marialina Ruaya, in the amount of P50,000.00 in lieu of the total damages of P60,000.00 imposed by the trial court.

    WHEREFORE, the decision of the trial court is hereby AFFIRMED, subject to the modification that the appellant indemnify Marialina Ruaya in the amount of P50,000.00. Cost against the Appellant.

    SO ORDERED.

    Padilla, Bellosillo, Vitug and Hermosisima, Jr., JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Penned by Judge Melchor M. Libarnes, RTC, Branch 31, Dapa, Surigao del Norte.

    2. Rollo, p. 6.

    3. She was born on September 24, 1977 (TSN, November 11, 1991, p. 35; Record, p. 17)

    4. TSN, February 27, 1992, p. 9.

    5. Id., at 31.

    6. TSN November 11, 1991, p. 20.

    7. Ibid.

    8. Supra, Note 4 at 12.

    9. People v. Sabelina, 238 SCRA 492, 498 (1994).

    10. People v. Ulili, 225 SCRA 594 (1993); People v. Codilla, 224 SCRA 104 (1993).

    11. People v. Cura, 240 SCRA 234, 242 (1995).

    12. People v. Segundo, 228 SCRA 691 (1993).

    13. People v. Rafanan, 182 SCRA 811 (1990).

    14. REGALADO, REMEDIAL LAW COMPENDIUM, 1988 ed., p. 553 citing 11 Moore on Facts, sec. 1091, p. 1225.

    15. People v. Minano, 220 SCRA 681 (1993).

    16. People v. Mendoza, 236 SCRA 666.

    17. People v. Arnan, 224 SCRA 38 (1993).

    18. TSN, November 11, 1991, p. 78.

    19. People v. Fortez, 223 SCRA 619 (1993); People v. Abiera, 222 SCRA 378 (1993); People v. Magallanes, 218 SCRA 109, 110 (1993).

    20. people v. Alib, 222 SCRA 517, 519 (1993).

    21. People v. Angeles, 222 SCRA 451, 462 (1993).

    22. People v. Casipit, 232 SCRA 638 (1994).

    23. People v. Tayag, 227 SCRA 169, 178 (1993).

    24. People v. Errojo, 229 SCRA 49 (1994); people v. Alib, supra.

    25. People v. Rejano, 237 SCRA 627, 629 (1994).

    26. people v. Ching, 240 SCRA 267, 282 (1995); People v. Tabao, 240 SCRA 756 (1995).

    27. People v. Ulili, supra.

    28. People v. Junio, 237 SCRA 826, 827 (1994).

    29. Decision, pp. 19-20, Rollo, pp. 31-32.

    30. People v. Bondoy, 222 SCRA 216 (1993); People v. Joya, 227 SCRA 9 (1993); People v. Sabelina, 238 SCRA 492 (1994).

    G.R. No. 108743   March 13, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARNALDO B. DONES




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