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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)
 

 
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UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
August-1997 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 112354 August 4, 1997 - LUVIMINO P. CASUELA v. OMBUDSMAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115903 August 4, 1997 - ROBERTO CORDENILLO v. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106194 August 7, 1997 - SANTIAGO LAND DEVELOPMENT CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117188 August 7, 1997 - LOYOLA GRAND VILLAS HOMEOWNERS ASSN. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121275 August 7, 1997 - CENTRO ESCOLAR UNIVERSITY v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122391 August 7, 1997 - FELIPE L. LAODENIO v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-95-1303 August 11, 1997 - GLADDY S. BERNABE v. SALVADOR A. MEMORACION

  • G.R. No. 95089 August 11, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NICOMEDES FABRO

  • G.R. No. 97898 August 11, 1997 - FLORANTE F. MANACOP v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 99355 August 11, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DOMINGO S. SALAZAR, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108234 August 11, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FIDEL RAGAY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109617 August 11, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIPE SION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111824 August 11, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ELIZA D. BAGUS

  • G.R. No. 120988 August 11, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROSEMARIE N. DE LA CRUZ

  • G.R. No. 121210 August 11, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RIZAL SAGUCIO

  • G.R. No. 121983 August 11, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JUANILLO BAXINELA

  • G.R. No. 123240 August 11, 1997 - STATE INVESTMENT HOUSE, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107307 August 11, 1997 - PNCC v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110129 August 12, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDELCIANO AMACA

  • G.R. No. 110397 August 14, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARMANDO A. BINAMIRA

  • G.R. Nos. 116307-10 August 14, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUFINO BACALTO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127255 August 14, 1997 - JOKER P. ARROYO, ET AL. v. JOSE DE VENECIA, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-96-1219 August 15, 1997 - COURT OF APPEALS v. MARCELO ESCALANTE

  • G.R. No. 121466 August 15, 1997 - PMI COLLEGES v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 109645 & 112564 August 15, 1997 - ORTIGAS & CO. LTD. PARTNERSHIP v. TIRSO VELASCO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110399 August 15, 1997 - SAN MIGUEL CORP. SUPERVISORS, ET AL. v. BIENVENIDO E. LAGUESMA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 111066-67 August 15, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VILLAMOR ORDOÑA

  • G.R. No. 112180 August 15, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MILDRED N. VILLAS

  • G.R. No. 115844 August 15, 1997 - CESAR G. VIOLA v. RAFAEL M. ALUNAN III, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117398 August 15, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANDRES DABBAY

  • G.R. No. 120064 August 15, 1997 - FERDINAND PALOMARES, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121377 August 15, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSEPH GELERA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123290 August 15, 1997 - AURORA DE LEON v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-97-1234 August 18, 1997 - CRISTETA ORFILA v. RONA S. QUIROZ

  • G.R. No. 95523 August 18, 1997 - REYNALDO R. GONZALES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119252 August 18, 1997 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, ET AL. v. APOLINARIO B. SANTOS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 124520 August 18, 1997 - NILO CHA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-96-1350 August 18, 1997 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. DELIA H. PANGANIBAN

  • G.R. No. 95449 August 18, 1997 - PHILIPPINE-SINGAPORE TRANSPORT SERVICES, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 98107 August 18, 1997 - BENJAMIN C. JUCO v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 101832 August 18, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSE O. TABALESMA

  • G.R. Nos. 113245-47 August 18, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RICARDO DISIPULO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115527 August 18, 1997 - ROSSELINI L. DE LA CRUZ, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117682 August 18, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SILVINO SALARZA, JR.

  • G.R. No. 118815 August 18, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANITA MELGAR-MERCADER

  • G.R. No. 119288 August 18, 1997 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119368 August 18, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARCELINO ERARDO

  • G.R. No. 119696 August 18, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAZUL GUIAMIL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120256 August 18, 1997 - HERMITO CABCABAN v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123276 August 18, 1997 - MARIO TIU, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108611 August 20, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSE ASTO, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. 93-9-1237-RTC August 21, 1997 - LOSS OF COURT EXHIBITS AT RTC, BR. 136, MAKATI CITY

  • Adm. Matter No. 96-11-402-RTC August 21, 1997 - REPORT ON THE JUDICIAL AUDIT CONDUCTED IN THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT

  • Adm. Matter No. 97-2-12-MTC August 21, 1997 - ISSUANCE OF SUBPOENA TO PRISONER NICANOR DE GUZMAN, JR.

  • G.R. No. 94723 August 21, 1997 - KAREN E. SALVACION, ET AL. v. CENTRAL BANK OF THE PHIL., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 96176 August 21, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ZENAIDA ISLA

  • G.R. No. 110249 August 21, 1997 - ALFREDO TANO, ET AL. v. SALVADOR P. SOCRATES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 101829 August 21, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BONIFACIO ZAMORA

  • G.R. No. 102018 August 21, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JERRY GABAYRON

  • G.R. No. 103959 August 21, 1997 - REGALADO SANTIAGO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 108183-85 August 21, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DIONE PALOMAR, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112513 August 21, 1997 - EDGAR R. DEL CASTILLO v. CSC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113032 August 21, 1997 - WESTERN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY INC., ET AL. v. RICARDO T. SALAS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116294 August 21, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANTONIO CHAVEZ

  • G.R. Nos. 116602-03 August 21, 1997 - CARMELITA SARAO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120691 August 21, 1997 - BIONIC HEAVY EQUIPMENTS, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123053 August 21, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LEONARDO L. CARIZO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123492 August 21, 1997 - DANILO A. YAP v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126749 August 21, 1997 - ERIBERTO M. SUSON v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127896 August 21, 1997 - ADRIANO A. ARELLANO, JR. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109578 August 27, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RONALDO FABRO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 97642 August 29, 1997 - AVON INSURANCE PLC, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123581 August 29, 1997 - RODRIGO B. BANGAYAN, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115581 August 29, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VACITA LATURA JONES

  • G.R. Nos. 116744-47 August 29, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BERNARDO PANES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119332 August 29, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JACK V. SORREL

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. 101832   August 18, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSE O. TABALESMA

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    FIRST DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 101832. August 18, 1997.]

    THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. JOSE TABALESMA y OLEVETE, Accused-Appellant.


    D E C I S I O N


    HERMOSISIMA, JR., J.:


    Accused-appellant Jose Tabalesma comes before us by way of appeal, seeking the reversal of his conviction for the rape of a mental retardate.

    On June 26, 1990, a criminal complaint 1 was filed by Rosemarie Eco before the Municipal Circuit Trial Court of Teresa-Baras, Rizal, against the accused-appellant, which stated:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "That on or about 8:00 o’clock in the evening, on the 26th day of June 1990, in the Municipality of Baras, Province of Rizal, Philippines, and a place within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused by means of force and intimidation, did then and there, willfully, unlawfully, and feloniously had carnal knowledge with the person of ROSEMARIE ECO y CALMA, against her will and consent, in violation of Article 335 of the R.P.C." chanrobles virtual lawlibrary

    On June 27, 1990, Rosemarie was brought to Camp Crame to be examined. The medico-legal findings 2 were as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "GENERAL AND EXTRAGENITAL:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Fairly developed, fairly nourished and coherent female subject. Breasts are hemispherical with dark brown areola and nipples from which no secretion could be pressed out. Abdomen is flat and soft.

    GENITAL:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    There is moderate grown of pubic hair, Labia majora are full, convex and gaping with the pinkish brown, hypertrophied labia minora presenting in between. On separating the same is disclosed an elastic, fleshy-type hymen with shallow, healed lacerations at 3, 8 and 9 o’clock and a deep, healed laceration at 11 o’clock. External vaginal orifice offers moderate resistance to the introduction of the examining index finger and the virgin-sized vaginal speculum. Vaginal canal is narrow with prominent rugosities. Cervix is congested with moderate amount of whitish secretions.

    CONCLUSION :chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Subject is in non-virgin state physically.

    There are no external signs of recent application of any form of trauma.

    REMARKS :chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Vaginal and pari-urethral smears are negative for gram-negative diplococci and for spermatozoa."cralaw virtua1aw library

    On August 30, 1990, Jose Tabalesma was charged with rape before the Regional Trial Court of Rizal. During his arraignment on December 5, 1990, the accused-appellant pleaded not guilty to the crime charged. Trial proceeded thereafter.

    Here following, based on the prosecution’s evidence, were the events which transpired that fateful night.

    It appears that on June 26, 1990, at about 8:30 in the evening, Rosemarie was sent on an errand by her mother to buy candy from a nearby store. After buying the candy, Rosemarie decided to visit her sister Sally Eco. On the way to Sally Eco’s house, Rosemarie was accosted by the accused-appellant, who pulled her and brought her to his sister’s two-story house, where he was residing at that time, located a few meters away. She began to shout, but the accused-appellant threatened to kill her if she would not stop. When they reached the house, he dragged her onto a folding bed located at the ground floor, pushed her down, then began to undress her. While he was removing her clothes, she began to cry. She shouted for help twice but the accused threatened to kill her, and kept covering her mouth. He succeeded in having sexual intercourse with her.

    Manuel Perez, a resident of the same neighborhood, happened to pass by the accused’s house. He heard a woman crying "ilabas mo ako rito," and recognized the voice as that of Rosemarie Eco’s. He went to Enrique Eco, Rosemarie’s brother, and told him that Rosemarie was in the house of the accused’s sister. Enrique immediately went to the said house, banged on the door and demanded that Rosemarie be set free. The accused denied that Rosemarie was inside and refused to open the door. Rosemarie, upon hearing her brother’s voice, shouted: "Ricky, ilabas mo ako rito!" Because of the commotion, the people in the neighborhood began to arrive, including the Barangay Tanod. It was only at that point when the accused’s sister Veronica Hermono, known as "Ading", came down from the second floor and opened the door. Enrique rushed in and saw his sister crying. When he asked her what happened, she told him that the accused forced her to have sexual intercourse with him. Angered, Enrique tried to maul the accused, but was restrained by his mother and the people around them.

    After deliberating on the evidence, the trial court rendered a Decision 3 , of which the dispositive portion states as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "WHEREFORE, the court finds the accused JOSE TABALESMA y OLEVETE GUILTY of RAPE under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, and hereby sentences him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua plus costs. Further, to indemnify the offended party, Rosemarie Eco, with the amount of P20,000.00 as damages.

    SO ORDERED."cralaw virtua1aw library

    The accused-appellant now comes before this Court with a lone assignment of error, viz:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN CONVICTING THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT OF RAPE NOTWITHSTANDING THE PROSECUTION’S UTTER FAILURE TO PROVE HIS GUILT BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT."cralaw virtua1aw library

    The accused-appellant’s defense is denial. He contends that Rosemarie Eco went to his sister’s house out of her own free will. 4 In his testimony, the accused-appellant claimed that Rosemarie knocked on his door, and that when he opened it, she was crying and told him that she no longer wanted to go home because her mother was punishing her. 5 He asserts that when Rosemarie’s relatives come to the house looking for her, he vehemently denied raping her. 6

    We are not persuaded by accused-appellant’s arguments.

    Rosemarie Eco, who was twenty years old at the time of the incident, is a mental retardate with the mental faculties of a ten year old Grave IV student. The accused-appellant himself admitted that he knew Rosemarie to be a mental retardate. 7 This fact was further observed by the trial court during her testimony, wherein she narrated her sordid experience in a halting manner:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "PROSECUTOR SALANGA:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    x       x       x


    Q: When you went to the house of your sister Sally Eco, what happened, if any?

    A: No, Sir. I did not reach the house of my sister because on the way accosted (inabangan) by him. (The witness is pointing to a person inside the courtroom who when asked gave his name as Jose Tabalesma.)chanrobles.com : virtual law library

    Q: What happened if any?

    A: He pulled me from the store and brought me to his house.

    Q: Where is the house of the accused located?

    A: Near the store at Pinugay, Baras, Rizal.

    Q: What happened next?

    A: He undressed me.

    Q: After that what happened?

    A: He kissed me. He inserted his organ into my organ. (Ipinasok niya ang ari niya sa ari ko.)

    Q: After that what happened?

    A: I was going to shout but I could not shout because he threatened me that something will happen to me if I will shout he will kill me.

    Q: When you said that you were walking and he pulled you when walking on the street what did you do if any when he pulled you?

    A: When he was pulling me forcefully I shouted.

    Q: What did he do when you shouted?

    A: He said something bad will happen to me if I will continue shouting.

    Q: When you were brought inside the house what did you do if any before he undressed you?

    A: I was crying when he brought me to his house.

    Q: Why were you crying?

    A: I wanted to go out but he prevented me.

    Q: What else?

    A: Because I would like to go home but he does not like to let me go.

    Q: While he was undressing you what did you do if any?

    A: When he was undressing me I was crying.

    Q: Why were you crying as he was undressing you?

    A: I was crying because I do not like what was happening.

    Q: What do you mean by that you do not like what was happening?

    A: I don’t like him to have sexual intercourse with me. (Ayokong magalaw niya.)

    Q: You said he put his organ into your organ. What did he do first? What were you undress off?

    A: He took off my t-shirt, bra, skirt and panty.

    Q: During all this time that he was taking off your t-shirt, bra, skirt and panty, what were you doing if any?

    A: I was crying and shouting.

    Q: What were you shouting?

    A: I was shouting help me, get me out from here.

    Q: How many times did you shout?

    A: I shouted twice, Sir.

    Q: What did he do if you shouted for help?

    A: He just covered my mouth.

    Q: To what he covered your mouth.

    A: With his hands.

    Q: In what particular place of his house did he do the act of putting his organ into your organ?

    A: Inside the house, Sir.

    PROSECUTOR SALANGA:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    I would like to make it of record, Your Honor, please, that although it seems she is 20 years old she is only Grade IV and this is on account of the fact that according to her mother and we will prove the fact on that effect that she suffered meningitis when she was a small child and that is why she appears to be hard in understanding and more peering to abnormality. I would just want to make of record and call the attention of the court that this representation is trying to narrate the incident as the complainant find difficulty in expressing this incident as she appear to have a mentality of 10 years old or less.

    Q: What did you do when he inserted his organ into your organ?

    A: I was trying to get out when he put his organ into my organ but he would not allow me to get out.

    Q: While you were there inside his house after he put his organ into your organ and you like to get out what happened after that, if any?

    A: He lay on top of me and pressed my stomach.

    Q: What else?

    A: He was touching my breast. (Hinihipo po niya ang dede ko.)

    Q: What else did he do if any?

    A: He was kissing me.

    Q: How long did he do that he insert his organ into your organ?

    A: He inserted his organ into my organ for a long time.

    Q: During all this time that he is on top of you inserted his organ into your organ what were you doing?

    A: I was trying to get up because I do not like what was happening to me.

    Q: What else?

    A: He took hold of my shoulder and pushed me back to the folding bed.

    Q: Now while you were there already on the folding bed him on top of you what happened if any?

    A: He raped me. (Ginahasa po ako.)

    Q: Why do you say he raped you?

    A: Because I don’t like what happened to me.

    Q: You said that you like to get out of the house but he don’t like you to. Were you able to finally went out of the house?chanrobles law library : red

    A: I was able to get out of the house only when my companion arrived.

    PROSECUTOR SALANGA:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q: Who is this companion of yours who arrived?

    A: My brother, Enrique Eco.

    Q: What happened next when your brother arrived?

    A: My brother kicked the accused.

    Q: What else?

    A: And mauled him.

    Q: What did Jose do when your brother was mauling him?

    A: He did nothing but covered up sitting on the chair.

    Q: What happened next?

    PROSECUTOR SALANGA:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    May we make it of record, Your Honor, please, that the witness takes a long time to answer this simple question because of her mental deficiency.

    WITNESS:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    He uttered bad words to the accused.

    PROSECUTOR SALANGA:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    At this juncture, Your Honor, please, may we suspend the testimony of this witness because as we feel because of her mental deficiency she could no longer withstand to grasp the simple question propounded to her that is why she could not answer for a long time." 8

    Despite her mental state, the trial court nonetheless upheld Rosemarie’s credibility as a witness. In its Decision, 9 the trial court declared that:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "The Court observed that complainant Rosemarie Eco, while testifying, could not immediately grasp the simple questions propounded to her by the prosecutor. Her direct examination was suspended several times to give complainant ample time to rest and understand the questions of the prosecutor. In a nutshell, it was shown by the prosecution that the complainant is a mental retardate. The complainant, although twenty years old, [has shown that] her mental development is that of a child. In fact, in describing what the accused did to her, she averred that the former touched her ‘dede’, the word used by a child to describe her breasts. The prosecution painstakingly elicited from the complainant, with patience, what transpired on the date of the incident. We could glean from Rosemarie Eco’s recitations that she resisted the carnal desire of the accused by crying and shouting for help, but to no avail, since the latter covered her mouth and threatened to kill her. We could not expect the tenacious and manifest resistance of a mentally normal woman [to be] that of a mentally defective victim, [as] the complainant [is] in this case. Fortunately, the crying of the complainant caught the attention of Manuel Perez, a passerby, who, upon recognition [of] her voice, immediately informed complainant’s brother."cralaw virtua1aw library

    It is well-settled that findings of the trial court regarding the credibility of the witness are to be given great weight and a high degree of respect by the appellate court. 10 We see no cogent reason to make an exception to this rule. The judge presiding during the trial is one who can give the most reliable analysis of how a witness comports himself. As such, the trial judge’s observations and impressions regarding a witness are considered to be highly dependable.

    Appellant has not shown any ill-motive on the part of Rosemarie in accusing him of so grave a crime. This lack of motive on the victim’s part renders her testimony highly believable. It is also difficult to comprehend why Enrique, Rosemarie’s brother, would try to maul the accused-appellant for no reason, and for the accused-appellant to fail to defend himself. Moreover, during his cross-examination, Tabalesma admitted that his sister and brother-in-law did not even resist when Enrique Eco barged into their house, followed by the Barangay Tanod and a number of their neighbors:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "FISCAL SALANGA —

    Q: When the door was opened, was your sister Ading or her husband already there at the ground floor or not yet?

    A: They were there already.

    Q: And so, they were already there also when Enrique Eco charged you of having raped Rosemarie Eco, is it not?

    A: Yes, sir.

    Q: In fact, you will agree with me, that Enrique even boxed and kicked you when he was inside the house already, is it not?

    A: Yes, sir.

    Q: And you did not at all fight back or retaliate, is it not?

    A: No, sir.

    Q: And your sister and her husband were also present already when Enrique was boxing and kicking you, is it not?

    A: Yes, sir.

    Q: And neither you nor your sister nor your brother-in-law ever retaliated back?

    A: They just pacified.

    Q: When you say pacified, you referred to your sister and your brother-in-law?

    A: Yes, sir.

    Q: In fact, your brother-in-law and your sister did not ever complaint (sic) against the people who barged into their house that night, is it not?

    A: They complaint (sic).

    Q: Are you sure of that?

    A: Yes, sir.

    Q: It is not a fact that from the house of your sister you were brought by the people at the house and before Barangay Captain Ruba?

    A: Yes, sir.

    Q: And your sister and her husband were also there?

    A: Yes, sir.

    Q: But you will agree with me, that your sister and her husband did not complain against any of those people who barged into their house that evening of June 26, 1990 before the barangay captain?

    A: No, sir."cralaw virtua1aw library

    Well-entrenched is the rule that the testimony of a rape victim is credible where she has no motive to testify against the accused. 11 In the case at bench, Accused-appellant has not shown any plausible and acceptable reason why the offended party, as well as the latter’s relatives, would impute upon him an offense so grave and heinous as rape. 12 It is also highly doubtful why accused-appellant’s sister and brother-in-law did not raise any defense on his behalf when Rosemarie accused him, right in their home, of having raped her, nor did they provide any assistance when Enrique Eco tried to maul him. Most telling of all is the fact that neither his sister nor his brother-in-law were presented as witnesses in his defense.

    Accused-appellant’s assertion 13 that he could not have raped Rosemarie since there were other occupants present in the house at the time of the incident is not deserving of belief. Rape can be committed even in places where people congregate; in parks, along the road side, within school premises, and even inside a house where there are other occupants. 14 In this case, the other occupants of the house were located at the second floor; the crime took place at the ground floor, far enough to have escaped detection. Moreover, Tabalesma’s failure to present his sister and brother-in-law, who were present in the house at the time of the incident, to corroborate his claim, if only to say that they did not hear anything unusual, cast serious doubts upon his contention. We quote with favor what the Solicitor General 15 had to say regarding this point:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "If appellant were truly innocent, it would have been so easy to present his sister and/or brother-in-law to corroborate his claims. He did not. There is no reason for his failure except that if they had testified, they would have declared otherwise. They would not have sworn to appellant’s innocence." chanrobles.com : virtual law library

    Tabalesma’s insistence that Rosemarie went to him voluntarily is devoid of credibility. In the light of the circumstances attendant to the incident, we can only conclude that this claim is merely self-serving on the part of the Accused-Appellant. As ably brought out by the prosecution during Tabalesma’s cross-examination, there was no showing that Rosemarie and the accused were close friends, nor did they have any form of relationship which would justify why Rosemarie would voluntarily seek his company:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Q: And you will agree with me, that you have never courted Rosemarie Eco because you are married?

    A: I did not court Rosemarie Eco.

    x       x       x


    Q: And you will agree with me, that on or before June 26, 1990, Rosemarie Eco and yourself are not in any way intimate in relationship either as a friend or as a sweetheart?

    A: No sir, not friend or sweetheart of Rosemarie Eco.

    Q: In fact, you will also agree, that at no time before June 26, 1990 has Rosemarie Eco ever went(sic) to the house of your sister Ading where you are staying?

    A: She usually goes to the house of my sister.

    Q: Of course, her going to the house of your sister was not to see you, is it not?

    A: No sir?"

    It must also be noted that Rosemarie immediately told her brother Enrique what the accused-appellant had done to her when the former barged through the door. Considering her intellectual level, it is difficult to imagine that Rosemarie, in shock over her painful experience, would be sophisticated enough to blurt out anything but the simple truth. In rape cases, the conduct of the woman immediately following the alleged assault is of utmost importance. 16 Moreover, Rosemarie’s family, outraged by what had befallen her in the hands of the accused-appellant, wasted no time in having her examined in Camp Crame. They also assisted Rosemarie in filing a complaint against him before the Baras Police Station within the same day that the rape was committed.

    We find, however, that the indemnity awarded by the trial court in the amount of P20,000.00 to be insufficient. The Supreme Court has awarded moral damages of P50,000.00 in the rape of young girls with ages ranging from thirteen to nineteen years, rape of a mental retardate, forcible abduction with rape and statutory rape. 17 So it should be in this case.

    WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Decision of the trial court in Criminal Case No. 0839-M is hereby AFFIRMED, finding the accused-appellant Jose Tabalesma y Olevete to be GUILTY of the crime of RAPE. The Decision is however, MODIFIED, with regard to the award of damages, which is hereby INCREASED to P50,000.00.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary:red

    SO ORDERED.

    Padilla, Bellosillo, Vitug and Kapunan, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Exhibit "A"

    2. Exhibit "C"

    3. Penned by Judge Nestorio R. De Leon; Crim. Case No. 0839-M; promulgated on August 27, 1991.

    4. TSN, May 28, 1991, p. 2.

    5. Ibid.

    6. TSN, May 28, 1991, p. 3.

    7. Cross-examination of Jose Tabalesma; TSN, May 28, 1991, p. 6.

    8. TSN, April 23, 1991, pp. 2-5.

    9. Rollo, pp. 71-72.

    10. People v. Adap, 189 SCRA 413 (1991).

    11. People v. Matamorosa, 231 SCRA 509 (1994).

    12. People v. Tismo, 204 SCRA 535 (1991).

    13. Appellant’s Brief, p. 6; Rollo, p. 46.

    14. People v. De los Reyes, 203 SCRA 707 (1991)

    15. Appellee’s Brief, p. 10; Rollo, p. 87.

    16. People v. Domingo, 226 SCRA 156 (1993); People v. Mejias, 168 SCRA 33 (1988).

    17. People v. Joya, 227 SCRA 9 (1993).

    G.R. No. 101832   August 18, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSE O. TABALESMA


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