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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
 

   
July-1997 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 96649-50 July 1, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LYNDON V. MACOY

  • G.R. No. 109660 July 1, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO NELL

  • G.R. No. 124914 July 2, 1997 - JESUS UGADDAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123074 July 4, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FERNANDO M. FERNANDEZ

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-94-1017 July 7, 1997 - OSCAR B. LAMBINO v. AMADO A. DE VERA

  • Adm. Matter No. P-97-1245 July 7, 1997 - BENIGNO G. GAVIOLA v. NOEL NAVARETTE

  • G.R. No. 105760 July 7, 1997 - PNB v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107193 July 7, 1997 - EUGENIO TENEBRO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112006 July 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERTO S. DE VERA

  • G.R. No. 114275 July 7, 1997 - IÑIGO F. CARLET v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116962 July 7, 1997 - MARIA SOCORRO CACA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 118940-41 & 119407 July 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GREGORIO MEJIA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119872 July 7, 1997 - REMEDIOS NAVOA RAMOS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122206 July 7, 1997 - RAFAEL ARCEGA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 105284 July 8, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. IGNACIO ZUMIL

  • G.R. No. 106099 July 8, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. AGUSTIN SOTTO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109814 July 8, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FERNANDO MAALAT

  • G.R. No. 112797 July 8, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NIDA ALEGRO

  • G.R. No. 114265 July 8, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GREGORIO MAGALLANES

  • G.R. No. 115307 July 8, 1997 - MANUEL LAO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115703 July 8, 1997 - EPIFANIO L. CASOLITA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117501 July 8, 1997 - SOLID HOMES, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122308 July 8, 1997 - PURITA S. MAPA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. SC-96-1 July 10, 1997 - DAMASO S. FLORES v. BERNARDO P. ABESAMIS

  • Adm. Matter No. P-97-1236 July 11, 1997 - MADONNA MACALUA v. DOMINGO TIU, JR.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-97-1249 July 11, 1997 - PACITA SY TORRES v. FROILAN S. CABLING

  • G.R. No. 104865 July 11, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VICTORIANO PONTILAR, JR.

  • G.R. Nos. 113511-12 July 11, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO SINOC

  • G.R. No. 115033 July 11, 1997 - PONCIANO T. MATANGUIHAN, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123204 July 11, 1997 - NATIONWIDE SECURITY AND ALLIED SERVICES, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-95-1158 July 14, 1997 - EUFEMIA BERCASIO v. HERBERTO BENITO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106153 July 14, 1997 - FLORENCIO G. BERNARDO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108838 July 14, 1997 - PAGCOR v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 116528-31 July 14, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIETO ADORA

  • G.R. No. 108492 July 15, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NOEL BANIEL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118078 July 15, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. OSCAR VILLANUEVA

  • G.R. No. 123379 July 15, 1997 - BAROTAC SUGAR MILLS, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 115439-41 July 16, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 120437-41 July 16, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARMANDO ALVARIO

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-97-1382 July 17, 1997 - REXEL M. PACURIBOT v. RODRIGO F. LIM, JR.

  • G.R. No. 105002 July 17, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DIARANGAN DANSAL

  • G.R. No. 108634 July 17, 1997 - ANTONIO P. TAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111165 July 17, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGELIO MERCADO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113257 July 17, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOHNNY LASCOTA

  • G.R. No. 114742 July 17, 1997 - CARLITOS E. SILVA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118860 July 17, 1997 - ROLINDA B. PONO v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120262 July 17, 1997 - PAL, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125195 July 17, 1997 - SAMAHAN NG MGA MANGGAGAWA SA BANDOLINO, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-96-1362 July 18, 1997 - DSWD, ET AL. v. ANTONIO M. BELEN, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-95-1283 July 21, 1997 - DAVID C. NAVAL, ET AL. v. JOSE R. PANDAY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108488 July 21, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODENCIO NARCA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111002 July 21, 1997 - PACIFIC MARITIME SERVICES, INC., ET AL. v. NICANOR RANAY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117402 July 21, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROLLIE L. ALVARADO

  • G.R. No. 119184 July 21, 1997 - HEIRS OF FELICIDAD CANQUE v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121768 July 21, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DOMINGO CASTILLO, JR.

  • G.R. Nos. 122250 & 122258 July 21, 1997 - EDGARDO C. NOLASCO v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 124347 July 21, 1997 - CMS STOCK BROKERAGE, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125510 July 21, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RENATO LISING

  • G.R. No. 111933 July 23, 1997 - PLDT v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 112429-30 July 23, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO P. CAYETANO

  • G.R. Nos. 118736-37 July 23, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TANG WAI LAN

  • Adm. Matter No. P-96-1205 July 24, 1997 - OSCAR P. DE LOS REYES v. ESTEBAN H. ERISPE, JR.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-97-1383 July 24, 1997 - JOSE LAGATIC v. JOSE PEÑAS, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 104663 July 24, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DAVID SALVATIERRA

  • G.R. No. 105004 July 24, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DIONISIO MAROLLANO

  • G.R. No. 107723 July 24, 1997 - EMS MANPOWER & PLACEMENT SERVICES v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111211 July 24, 1997 - ABS-CBN EMPLOYEES UNION, ET AL., v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113235 July 24, 1997 - VICTORINA MEDINA, ET AL. v. CITY SHERIFF, MANILA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 113366-68 July 24, 1997 - GREGORIO ISABELO, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116635 July 24, 1997 - CONCHITA NOOL, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116736 July 24, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENJAMIN ORTEGA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118458 July 24, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RICKY DELA CRUZ

  • G.R. No. 120276 July 24, 1997 - SINGA SHIP MANAGEMENT PHILS., INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121075 July 24, 1997 - DELTA MOTORS CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121867 July 24, 1997 - SMITH KLINE & FRENCH LAB., LTD. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127262 July 24, 1997 - HUBERT WEBB, ET AL. v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL., ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter Nos. 95-6-55-MTC & P-96-1173 July 28, 1997 - REPORT ON AUDIT IN THE MTC OF PEÑARANDA, NUEVA ECIJA

  • G.R. No. 102858 July 28, 1997 - DIRECTOR OF LANDS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 103209 July 28, 1997 - APOLONIO BONDOC, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110823 July 28, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROCHEL TRAVERO

  • G.R. No. 112323 July 28, 1997 - HELPMATE, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113344 July 28, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ATANACIO LUTO

  • G.R. No. 116668 July 28, 1997 - ERLINDA A. AGAPAY v. CARLINA V. PALANG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116726 July 28, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LEONARDO P. DE LA CRUZ

  • G.R. No. 118822 July 28, 1997 - G.O.A.L., INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119000 July 28, 1997 - ROSA UY v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119649 July 28, 1997 - RICKY GALICIA, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119868 July 28, 1997 - PAL, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120072 July 28, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FLORENTINO I. MESA

  • G.R. No. 123361 July 28, 1997 - TEOFILO CACHO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126556 July 28, 1997 - NELSON C. DAVID v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117742 July 29, 1997 - GEORGE M. TABERRAH v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • SBC Case No. 519 July 31, 1997 - PATRICIA FIGUEROA v. SIMEON BARRANCO, JR.

  • G.R. No. 97369 July 31, 1997 - P.I. MANPOWER PLACEMENTS, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 99030 July 31, 1997 - PLDT v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106582 July 31, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUPERTO BALDERAS

  • G.R. No. 107802 July 31, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JASON NAREDO

  • G.R. No. 108399 July 31, 1997 - RAFAEL M. ALUNAN III, ET AL. v. ROBERT MIRASOL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108619 July 31, 1997 - EPIFANIO LALICAN v. FILOMENO A. VERGARA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113689 July 31, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIPE SANGIL, SR.

  • G.R. No. 113958 July 31, 1997 - BANANA GROWERS COLLECTIVE, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116060 July 31, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CLEMENTE DE LA PEÑA

  • G.R. No. 116292 July 31, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JIMMY PEÑERO

  • G.R. No. 119068 July 31, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANTE CASTRO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121027 July 31, 1997 - CORAZON DEZOLLER TISON, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121157 July 31, 1997 - HEIRS OF SEGUNDA MANINGDING, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123561 July 31, 1997 - DELIA R. NERVES v. CSC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 124678 July 31, 1997 - DELIA BANGALISAN, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  •  





     
     

    G.R. Nos. 120437-41   July 16, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARMANDO ALVARIO

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    SECOND DIVISION

    [G.R. Nos. 120437-41. July 16, 1997.]

    THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. ARMANDO ALVARIO, Accused-Appellant.

    The Solicitor General for Plaintiff-Appellee.

    Public Attorney’s Office for Accused-Appellant.

    SYNOPSIS


    The complainant, a 29-year old single mother of a two-year old child, and a house helper of the accused-appellant, a caretaker of the house, charged the appellant with the crime of rape for having sexually abused her on several occasions commencing the day reported for work and almost everyday for the next six days.

    The appellant did not deny the charge but invoked the "sweetheart theory" claiming that the sexual encounter with complainant is consensual and purely voluntary because he has an existing relationship with the victim. Their proofs of affection or understanding between him and complainant are evidenced by her undergarment embroidered with the words "Ester love Arman" and a handkerchief with "Ester" sewn on it. The prosecution presented the findings of the NBI Medico-Legal Officer which showed nothing except that there was "no evident sign of extragenital physical injuries."cralaw virtua1aw library

    The trial court found the accused guilty of five counts of rape and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua in each of the five separate informations.

    Reversing the trial court, the Supreme Court ruled that no rape was committed. The declarations of the sister of the complainant relating to the actual sexual assaults, as narrated by the complainant herself, were purely hearsay. The same is true with the testimony of the police officer who merely responded to the complaint of rape. The medical report reveals nothing that would prove a charge of rape and even bolsters the posture of the defense of consensual sex because of the finding that there was "no evident sign of extragenital physical injuries. Significant circumstances affected the credibility of the complainant. The other maid in the house was never utilized as a witness. The house was not in an isolated place. There was a seeming indifference to her predicament. The complainant and the other maid, alleged victim of the appellant, failure to devise a way of escaping whenever they were left alone but opted to succumb to the fear of appellant whenever they were left alone. She decided to call for help only when she had already been allegedly repeatedly raped. The undergarment and handkerchief of the complainant were proofs of affection or understanding between the complainant and the Appellant.

    Judgment reversed.


    SYLLABUS


    1. REMEDIAL LAW; EVIDENCE; WEIGHT AND SUFFICIENCY; REQUISITE TO SUSTAIN CONVICTION OF ACCUSED. — In order to sustain the conviction of an accused person, his guilt must be proven beyond reasonable doubt by the State with the prosecution relying on the strength of its evidence and not on the weakness of the defense.

    2. ID.; ID.; CREDIBILITY; TRIAL COURT’S CONCLUSIONS AS TO CREDIBILITY OF WITNESSES, GENERALLY ACCORDED RESPECT AND EVEN FINALITY ON APPEAL; EXCEPTION. — While it is true that the trial court’s conclusions as to the credibility of witnesses deserve respect and even finality on appeal, this rule admits of some exceptions, as in this case where the testimony of the complainant herself casts serious doubts on her sincerity and truthfulness.

    3. ID.; ID.; ID.; EVERY STORY OF DEFLORATION MUST NEVER BE RECEIVED WITH PRECIPITATE CREDULITY. —" (T)o obviate the danger and impiety of falsehood, and to repel any influence that the story may have been a fabrication, every story of defloration must never be received with precipitate credulity."cralaw virtua1aw library

    4. ID.; ID.; ID.; JUDGES MUST LOOK AT A RAPE CHARGE WITHOUT PROCLIVITIES AND DEAL WITH IT WITH EXTREME CAUTION AND CIRCUMSPECTION. — Admittedly," (r)ape is a very emotional word, and the natural human reactions to it are categorical: admiration and sympathy for the courageous female publicly seeking retribution for the courageous violation, and condemnation of the rapist. However, being interpreters of the law and dispensers of justice, judges must look at a rape charge without those proclivities, and deal with it with extreme caution and circumspection. Judges must free themselves of the natural tendency to be overprotective of every woman decrying her having been sexually abused, and demanding punishment for the abuser. While they ought to be cognizant of the anguish and humiliation the rape victim goes through as she demands justice, judges should equally bear in mind that their responsibility is to render justice based on the law."cralaw virtua1aw library

    5. ID.; ID.; ID.; EXCEPTION TO THE RULE THAT FINDINGS OF FACT OF THE TRIAL COURT ARE GENERALLY UPHELD ON APPEAL; CASE AT BAR. — In the case at bar, there are significant circumstances which, when taken together with the conflicting narration of facts of the protagonists, would greatly erode the credibility of the victim. First, the only witnesses she presented to corroborate her story were her sister Merlyn and SPO3 Reyes, whose testimonies failed to provide the necessary support to her allegations of rape. Second, the house was not in an isolated place. Located in an exclusive subdivision in Makati surrounded by neighbors where sentinels continuously stood guard at the gate nearby, Esterlina could have easily yelled for help whenever Alvario was out of the house, assuming she could not leave because the gate and the doors were all barred. Third, there is the element of seeming indifference to her predicament. Denied her supper on her first day of employment and allowed to eat a mere two spoonsful of leftover food the following day, that would have been sufficient warning to her that her employer was, to say the least, inconsiderate. She had every chance to escape after the initial assault on January 22, 1993, but she chose to remain a captive. She could have searched for and used anything that could unlock the doors and gate of the house because Alvario was out of the house daily from seven in the morning until lunch time and from one until five in the afternoon. Failing in this, she could have prepared for any further assault from her employer by arming herself with practically anything in the house — a knife, a piece of wood or pipe, or even a frying pan. Fourth, she knew how and where to reach her younger sister Merlyn. There was a telephone in the house which she could have used to call anybody outside while Alvario was away, assuming that she was really trapped inside yet she decided to call for help only on January 28, 1993, when she had already been, according to her story, repeatedly raped. Finally, while it is difficult to believe that she remained passive through her ordeal, as if granting sexual favors was in her job description, it is much harder to accept that she could be so cowed into silence, submission and inaction by Alvario’s threat that he would file a case against her, the nature of which she did not even bother to divulge or elaborate upon.

    6. ID.; ID.; WHEN TWO OR MORE PRESUMPTIONS ARE INVOLVED, ONE TENDING TO DEMONSTRATE THE GUILT OF THE ACCUSED AND THE OTHER HIS INNOCENCE, IT IS NECESSARY TO EXAMINE THE BASIS OF EACH AND DETERMINE WHICH SHOULD PREVAIL OVER THE OTHER. — As the Court declared in Godoy: "It frequently happens that in a particular case two or more presumptions are involved. Sometimes the presumptions conflict, one tending to demonstrate the guilt of the accused and the other his innocence. In such case, it is necessary to examine the basis for each presumption and determine what logical or social basis exists for each presumption, and then determine which should be regarded as the more important and entitled to prevail over the other. It must, however, be remembered that the existence of a presumption indicating guilt in rape cases does not in itself destroy the presumption against innocence unless the inculpating presumption, together with all of the evidence, or the lack of any evidence or explanation, is sufficient to overcome the presumption of innocence by proving the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Until the defendant’s guilt is shown in this manner, the presumption of innocence continues.

    7. ID.; ID.; BURDEN OF PROOF AND PRESUMPTIONS; PRESUMPTION OF GUILT; RATIONALE. — The rationale for the presumption of guilt in rape cases has been explained in this wise: In rape cases especially, much credence is accorded the testimony of the complaining witness, on the theory that she will not choose to accuse her attacker at all and subject herself to the stigma and indignities her accusation will entail unless she is telling the. . . Whatever the outcome of the case, she will remain a tainted woman, a pariah because her purity has been lost, albeit through no fault of hers. This is why many a rape victim chooses instead to keep quiet, suppressing her helpless indignation rather than denouncing her attacker. This is also the reason why, if a woman decides instead to come out openly and point to her assailant, courts are prone to believe that she is telling the truth regardless of its consequences. . .’

    8. ID.; ID.; ID.; PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE; BASIS. — The presumption of innocence, on the other hand, is founded upon the first principles of justice, and is not a mere form but a substantial part of the law. It is not overcome by mere suspicion or conjecture; a probability that the defendant committed the crime; or by the fact that he had the opportunity to do so. Its is to balance the scales in what would otherwise be an uneven contest between the lone individual pitted against the People and all the resources at their command. Its inexorable mandate is that, for all the authority and influence of the prosecution, the accused must be acquitted and set free if his guilt cannot be proved beyond the whisper of a doubt. This is in consonance with the rule that conflicts in evidence must be resolved upon the theory of innocence rather than upon a theory of guilt when it is possible to do so." (Italics supplied; Citations omitted)

    9. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; NOT OVERTURNED IN CASE AT BAR. — The defense advanced the so-called "sweetheart theory," where the accused does not deny the sexual encounter but claims that it is consensual because he has an existing relationship with the supposed victim. Although the Court finds this theory intrinsically weak, there may be instances where the same is applicable, such as if there is a strong possibility that the accused and the victim may, indeed, be intimately related, except that such relationship may have been strained due to extraneous circumstances, for instance, loss of trust and threat of criminal prosecution, as in the case at bar. Alvario’s claim of innocence is further buttressed by his submission of proofs of affection or "understanding" between him and Esterlina in the form of her undergarment embroidered with the words "ESTER LOVE ARMAN" and handkerchief bearing the name of "ESTER." WHEREFORE, the assailed judgment of the trial court in Criminal Cases Nos. 93-871-875, dated January 27, 1995, is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Accused-appellant ARMANDO ALVARIO is hereby ACQUITTED of all charges against him on ground of reasonable doubt, and his IMMEDIATE RELEASE from prison is hereby ORDERED, unless he is otherwise detained for any other lawful or valid cause. No pronouncement as to costs.

    10. ID.; CRIMINAL PROCEDURE; ARREST WITHOUT WARRANT; LAWFUL WHERE ARRESTING OFFICERS HAD PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE THAT RAPE WERE COMMITTED BY ACCUSED AGAINST COMPLAINANT. — Finally, The Court notes that during the trial, Alvario consistently protested his warrantless arrest. Suffice it to say that his arrest falls within the purview of Rule 113, Section 5(b) of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure, viz.: "Sec. 5. Arrest without warrant; when lawful. — A peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person: . . (b) When an offense has in fact just been committed, and he has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it; . . ." The personal knowledge of the arresting officers in the case at bar was culled from the information supplied by the victim herself who pointed to Alvario as the man who raped her at the time of his arrest. WHEREFORE, the assailed judgment of the trial court in Criminal Cases Nos. 93-871-875, dated January 27, 1995, is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE, Accused-appellant ARMANDO ALVARIO is hereby ACQUITTED of all charges against him on ground of reasonable doubt, and his IMMEDIATE RELEASE from prison is hereby ORDERED, unless he is otherwise detained for any other lawful or valid cause. No pronouncement as to costs.


    D E C I S I O N


    ROMERO, J.:


    Is there fear so great as to mute a victim of sexual assault and blunt her natural instinct for self-preservation?

    On January 21, 1993, Esterlina Quintero, a 29-year old single mother of a two-year old child, 1 took time off her job as a housekeeper at Pasong Tirad, Makati, to look for another place of employment. For this purpose, she sought the help of a certain Aling Soling who accompanied her to a friend’s house at nearby San Miguel Village. While there was no vacancy at the latter’s residence, they learned from a neighbor’s maid that someone in Bel-Air Subdivision was looking for a house helper. After the usual introductions, Esterlina agreed to cook for and do the laundry of accused-appellant Armando Alvario for a monthly salary of P800.00. He told her that she could begin that very day, then took her to a big two-story house where the only other occupant was another maid by the name of Alma Barliso, who ushered Esterlina into her designated quarters near the kitchen at the ground floor. 2 Alvario was a mere caretaker of the house. 3

    On her first day of employment, Esterlina went to bed on an empty stomach apparently because Alvario did not allow her to eat. The following day, she went through the motions of regular housework by preparing Alvario’s meals, washing his clothes and doing other household chores, despite having been allowed to eat a mere two spoonsful of leftover food. 4 Before leaving for work at seven o’clock in the morning, Alvario gave strict instructions that Esterlina should not leave the house. He went home for lunch, returned to the office at one o’clock leaving his new maid with the same directive not to leave the house, and arrived home at five o’clock in the afternoon. 5 As far as Esterlina could remember, this was his routine 6 for the rest of her lonely sojourn in that house; lonely, because commencing that day and almost everyday for the next six days, by eight or nine o’clock in the evening, when she had already retired, Alvario would barge into her room and force himself upon her.

    His routine was simple: He would enter her room with a gun in his hand, order her to remove her clothes or take them off himself, and rape her for approximately five minutes. 7 Esterlina did not make any outcry; neither did she struggle to protect her virtue. 8 She did not relate her harrowing experience to the other maid, Alma. 9 In fact, they did not speak to each other at all because that was Alvario’s instruction. It did not cross her mind to use the telephone in the house to call up her sister, 10 or to escape while he was at work because he apparently locked the gate and all the doors, or to even arm herself after the initial assault. 11 She was numb with fear and shame because Alvario constantly threatened to "file a case against her." 12

    Finally mustering enough courage, she rang her sister Merlyn who resided in Malabon on January 28th, 13 and the latter managed to come to her older sister’s succor. With the help of her own employer, Merlyn informed the Makati Police that her sister was being held captive at No. 6 Hercules St., Bel-Air, Makati by a man who supposedly raped her. In coordination with the Bel-Air security guard, the police went to the said address and pretended that they found a wallet belonging to Esterlina. When Alvario and Esterlina opened the door, she immediately pointed to him as the man who raped her. Alvario was arrested right then and there without a warrant of arrest by the police, 14 and was later charged with five counts of rape allegedly committed on January 22, 23, 25, 27 and 28, 1993. 15

    Alvario expectedly told a different story. According to him, Esterlina was an aggressive woman who was generous in granting sexual favors in exchange for financial aid. Esterlina was introduced to him by a certain Dang who knew that his employer, Atty. Rogelio San Luis, was looking for a maid for the latter’s house at Bel-Air. He gave her the address and when he arrived home in the afternoon, Esterlina was already there with her things. When she learned that he was the caretaker of the house, she immediately asked if she could get a two-month advance on her stipulated monthly salary of P1,000.00, patting his thighs as she did so. He promised to take the matter up with his boss. 16

    Atty. San Luis did not, however, report for work the following day, but Alvario still gave Esterlina the P2,000.00 she wanted and let her know it came from his own pocket. 17 Moved by such generosity and kindness, Esterlina knocked at his door at around ten o’clock that evening. Wearing nothing underneath her strapped lingerie, 18 she offered him a cup of coffee. She lay the cup on the night table, held his hand, pressed his thighs, embraced him, then kissed him twice. Only then did Alvario respond by kissing back. She caressed his manhood, then ordered him to remove his pants and even assisted him in doing so. They kissed while he fondled her breasts and she groped for his organ. Noticing that he was fully aroused, she mounted and lowered herself upon him. Alvario asked her to slow down because he had hernia. They then shifted positions. After resting awhile, Esterlina engaged in foreplay to arouse him in preparation for their second round of sex. He slept well and when he woke up in the morning, she was no longer beside him. 19 This episode was repeated regularly every night for the next six days. 20

    Meanwhile, on January 26th, Esterlina gave him as tokens of her affection and gratitude, a panty embroidered with the words "ESTER LOVE ARMAN" 21 and a handkerchief with "ESTER" 22 sewn on it. The next day, Alvario confronted Esterlina and Alma about their use of the telephone, a subject he pursued till the next day. He also asked them about his missing money and necklace, but the two maids just pointed at each other. Later, Esterlina promised him that she would look for the missing items and warned him to leave because she believed Alma might create trouble. 23 Bel-Air guards arrived that night and told him about a missing wallet that apparently belonged to Esterlina. He let them in and asked her to give them coffee. In the meantime, he went out to answer a call of nature. That was when four men who identified themselves as Makati policemen grabbed him from behind and told him that there was a complaint against him. They insisted that he come with them peacefully 24 even as he kept asking for a warrant of arrest. 25 At the police station, he learned that he was being detained on charges of rape; the complainant was, however, willing to settle the case for P350,000.00, but he refused to settle. 26

    Merlyn Quintero corroborated in part Esterlina’s story, that is, from the time the latter got in touch with her up to the time the police was accordingly notified. 27 One of the members of the arresting team, SPO3 Ricardo Reyes, was also called to the witness stand to narrate the events leading to Alvario’s arrest and investigation. 28 The prosecution presented the findings of the National Bureau of Investigation Medico-Legal officer which showed nothing except that there was "no evident sign of extragenital physical injuries." 29

    On January 27, 1995, Judge Arsenio J. Magpale of the Makati Regional Trial Court, Branch 57, rendered judgment finding Alvario guilty of five counts of rape, viz.:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "WHEREFORE, finding accused ARMANDO ALVARIO guilty of the crime of Rape as charged in the five (5) separate Informations (Crim. Cases Nos. 93-871 to 93-875) beyond reasonable doubt, the Court sentences him to suffer the afflicative (sic) penalty of reclusion perpetua in each of the said Informations and to indemnify the private complainant the amount of P30,000.00 in each of the said Informations as moral damages. The period within which accused was detained shall be credited in his favor. Costs de oficio.

    SO ORDERED."cralaw virtua1aw library

    This Court has declared often enough that, in order to sustain the conviction of an accused person, his guilt must be proven beyond reasonable doubt by the State with the prosecution relying on the strength of its evidence and not on the weakness of the defense. 30 And while it is true that the trial court’s conclusions as to the credibility of witnesses deserve respect and even finality on appeal, this rule admits of some exceptions, as in this case where the testimony of the complainant herself casts serious doubts on her sincerity and truthfulness. 31" (T)o obviate the danger and impiety of falsehood, and to repel any influence that the story may have been a fabrication, every story of defloration must never be received with precipitate credulity." 32 After a careful examination of the facts and the evidence in the case at bar, we arrive at the inevitable conclusion that while the defense is not persuasive enough, the prosecution is even less convincing in proving the guilt of Armando Alvario beyond a reasonable doubt. He must, consequently, be exonerated of all the charges against him and be set at liberty.

    Rape is penalized in this jurisdiction under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code (the Code), which states thus:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "ART. 335. When and how rape is committed. — Rape is committed by having carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following circumstances:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    1. By using force or intimidation:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    x       x       x


    In her complaints, Esterlina Quintero claimed that on several occasions in January 1993, she was sexually abused by Armando Alvario with the use of "force, violence and intimidation." The latter’s defense was that they had an "understanding" and that what transpired between them was purely voluntary. Did the prosecution successfully prove the presence of force and intimidation, as contemplated by Article 335 of the Code? After scrutinizing the records of this case, we rule in the negative.

    The only evidence proffered by the prosecution against Alvario are the testimonies of the victim herself and that of her sister and one of the arresting officers. Merlyn Quintero’s testimony merely reiterated Esterlina’s statement that the latter called her up on January 28, 1993, and sought her aid in the arrest of a man who allegedly raped her older sister. None of Merlyn’s declarations relating to the actual sexual assaults, as narrated by Esterlina, can be accepted by this Court for being purely hearsay. The same is true with the testimony of SPO3 Ricardo Reyes, who merely responded to a radio message that a certain Esterlina Quintero was raped by a man named Armando Alvario and eventually engineered the latter’s arrest. The medical report submitted by the prosecution and admitted by both parties reveals nothing that would prove a charge of rape and, in fact, even bolsters the defense’s posture of consensual sex because of the finding therein that there was "no evident sign of extragenital physical injuries." Thus, the only remaining piece of evidence upon which a conviction may be sustained is the testimony of the victim herself.

    Admittedly," (r)ape is a very emotional word, and the natural human reactions to it are categorical: admiration and sympathy for the courageous female publicly seeking retribution for her outrageous violation, and condemnation of the rapist. However, being interpreters of the law and dispensers of justice, judges must look at a rape charge without those proclivities, and deal with it with extreme caution and circumspection. Judges must free themselves of the natural tendency to be overprotective of every woman decrying her having been sexually abused, and demanding punishment for the abuser. While they ought to be cognizant of the anguish and humiliation the rape victim goes through as she demands justice, judges should equally bear in mind that their responsibility is to render justice based on the law." 33

    In the case at bar, there are significant circumstances which, when taken together with the conflicting narration of facts of the protagonists, would greatly erode the credibility of the victim. 34

    First, the only witnesses she presented to corroborate her story were her sister Merlyn and SPO3 Reyes, whose testimonies, as earlier determined, failed to provide the necessary support to her allegations of rape. Although the choice of witnesses to present for trial is a matter of prosecutorial strategy and prerogative, the Court cannot help but wonder why the other maid, Alma Barliso, who by Esterlina’s own account was always inside the house while she was allegedly being raped by Alvario, was never utilized as a witness.

    Second, the house was not in an isolated place. Located in an exclusive subdivision in Makati surrounded by neighbors where sentinels continuously stood guard at the gate nearby, Esterlina could have easily yelled for help whenever Alvario was out of the house, assuming she could not leave because the gate and the doors were all barred. Even in this regard, her statements are unconvincing, for Alvario would not have repeatedly ordered her to stay in the house if he made sure prior to his leaving the house that escape was not possible.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary:red

    Third, there is, of course, the element of seeming indifference to her predicament. Denied her supper on her first day of employment and allowed to eat a mere two spoonsful of leftover food the following day, that would have been sufficient warning to her that her employer was, to say the least, inconsiderate. Having been an experienced househelp for six of her twenty-nine years and a single mother for two years, one would expect her to bridle at such kind of treatment. It is not as if she were desperate for a job, as by her own narration, she came from Pasong Tirad where she also worked as a housekeeper when she met Aling Soling on January 21, 1993, supposedly to look for better employment opportunities. She had every chance to escape after the initial assault on January 22, 1993, but she chose to remain a captive. She could have searched for and used anything that could unlock the doors and gate of the house because Alvario was out of the house daily from seven in the morning until lunch time and from one until five in the afternoon. Failing in this, she could have prepared for any further assault from her employer by arming herself with practically anything in the house — a knife, a piece of wood or pipe, or even a frying pan. And what about Alma who was allegedly also victimized by Alvario? Having both been targets of sexual harassment, they could have plotted and devised a way of escaping whenever they were left alone, but they opted to succumb to their fear of Alvario by following his order that they should refrain even from speaking to each other while he was away. As we held in People v. Sinatao: 35

    ". . . (A) ravished woman would instinctively call for help or at best flee from her lecherous captor to safer grounds when opportunities present themselves."cralaw virtua1aw library

    Fourth, she knew how and where to reach her younger sister Merlyn. There was a telephone in the house which she could have used to call anybody outside while Alvario was away, assuming that she was really trapped inside. In fact, it is this very same telephone which she used in contacting her sister Merlyn. But why did she decide to call for help only on January 28, 1993, when she had already been, according to her story, repeatedly raped? Why not earlier?

    Finally, while it is difficult to believe that she remained passive through her ordeal, as if granting sexual favors was in her job description, it is much harder to accept that she could be so cowed into silence, submission and inaction by Alvario’s threat that he would file a case against her, the nature of which she did not even bother to divulge or elaborate upon. In fact, it is only her dread of this threat that purportedly kept her at bay even in Alvario’s absence. What possible cause of action could Alvario have that would make her a veritable martyr? While she did not reveal any ostensible reason, Alvario testified that he confronted Esterlina and Alma about his missing money and necklace, but neither admitted the theft. The threat of criminal prosecution for theft is the only plausible cause for the self-imposed silence of the two girls.

    With these facts in mind, as narrated by the victim herself, our query at the outset can finally be resolved with moral certainty. Is there fear so great as to mute a victim of sexual assault and blunt her natural instinct for self-preservation? In Esterlina Quintero’s case, the answer indicated is in the negative.

    In convicting Alvario, the court a quo totally rejected his claim that he and Esterlina had an "understanding" and, instead, relied on the presumption that a Filipina of decent repute would not concoct a charge of rape if it were not true and if she had motivations other than to seek justice. As the Court declared in Godoy: 36

    "It frequently happens that in a particular case two or more presumptions are involved. Sometimes the presumptions conflict, one tending to demonstrate the guilt of the accused and the other his innocence. In such case, it is necessary to examine the basis for each presumption and determine what logical or social basis exists for each presumption, and then determine which should be regarded as the more important and entitled to prevail over the other. It must, however, be remembered that the existence of a presumption indicating guilt does not in itself destroy the presumption against innocence unless the inculpating presumption, together with all of the evidence, or the lack of any evidence or explanation, is sufficient to overcome the presumption of innocence by proving the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Until the defendant’s guilt is shown in this manner, the presumption of innocence continues.

    The rationale for the presumption of guilt in rape cases has been explained in this wise:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    ‘In rape cases especially, much credence is accorded the testimony of the complaining witness, on the theory that she will not choose to accuse her attacker at all and subject herself to the stigma and indignities her accusation will entail unless she is telling the truth. . . . Whatever the outcome of the case, she will remain a tainted woman, a pariah because her purity has been lost, albeit through no fault of hers. This is why many a rape victim chooses instead to keep quiet, suppressing her helpless indignation rather than denouncing her attacker. This is also the reason why, if a woman decides instead to come out openly and point to her assailant, courts are prone to believe that she is telling the truth regardless of its consequences. . . .’

    The presumption of innocence, on the other hand, is founded upon the first principles of justice, and is not a mere form but a substantial part of the law. It is not overcome by mere suspicion or conjecture; a probability that the defendant committed the crime; nor by the fact that he had the opportunity to do so. Its purpose is to balance the scales in what would otherwise be an uneven contest between the lone individual pitted against the People and all the resources at their command. Its inexorable mandate is that, for all the authority and influence of the prosecution, the accused must be acquitted and set free if his guilt cannot be proved beyond the whisper of a doubt. This is in consonance with the rule that conflicts in evidence must be resolved upon the theory of innocence rather than upon a theory of guilt when it is possible to do so." (Emphasis supplied; Citations omitted)

    In effect, the defense advanced the so-called "sweetheart theory," where the accused does not deny the sexual encounter but claims that it is consensual because he has an existing relationship with the supposed victim. Although the Court finds this theory intrinsically weak, there may be instances where the same is applicable, such as if there is a strong possibility that the accused and the victim may, indeed, be intimately related, except that such relationship may have been strained due to extraneous circumstances, for instance, loss of trust and threat of criminal prosecution, as in the case at bar. 37 Alvario’s claim of innocence is further buttressed by his submission of proofs of affection or "understanding" between him and Esterlina in the form of her undergarment embroidered with the words "ESTER LOVE ARMAN" and handkerchief bearing the name of "ESTER." 38

    Finally, the Court notes that during the trial, Alvario consistently protested his warrantless arrest. Suffice it to say that his arrest falls within the purview of Rule 113, Section 5(b) of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure, viz.:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Sec. 5. Arrest without warrant; when lawful. — A peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    x       x       x


    (b) When an offense has in fact just been committed, and he has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it; . . ." (Emphasis supplied)

    The personal knowledge of the arresting officers in the case at bar was culled from the information supplied by the victim herself who pointed to Alvario as the man who raped her at the time of his arrest. 39

    WHEREFORE, the assailed judgment of the trial court in Criminal Case Nos. 93-871-875, dated January 27, 1995, is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Accused-appellant ARMANDO ALVARIO is hereby ACQUITTED of all charges against him on ground of reasonable doubt, and his IMMEDIATE RELEASE from prison is hereby ORDERED, unless he is otherwise detained for any other lawful or valid cause. No pronouncement as to costs.

    SO ORDERED.

    Regalado, Puno and Mendoza, JJ., concur.

    Torres, Jr., J., is on leave.

    Endnotes:



    1. TSN, May 6, 1994, pp. 15, 17.

    2. TSN, February 14, 1994, pp. 3-9.

    3. TSN, May 6, 1994, p. 17.

    4. TSN, February 14, 1994, pp. 11-13.

    5. Ibid., pp. 14-15.

    6. Id.; TSN, March 28, 1994, pp. 4, 14-15, 21-22, 30, 32-33.

    7. TSN, March 28, 1994, pp. 6-12, 16-20, 29, 33.

    8. Ibid., pp. 10, 17.

    9. Id., p. 20.

    10. Id., p. 22, 31.

    11. TSN, May 6, 1994, pp. 29-30; March 28, 1994, p. 23.

    12. Ibid., p. 29; pp. 7, 14.

    13. TSN, March 28, 1994, p. 34; June 13, 1994, p. 4.

    14. TSN, June 13, 1994, pp. 5-17.

    15. Records, pp. 1-14; Rollo, pp. 7-11.

    16. TSN, July 15, 1994, pp. 5-13.

    17. Ibid., pp. 18-21.

    18. Id., pp. 22-23.

    19. Id., pp. 23-28.

    20. Id., pp. 28-43, 48.

    21. Exhibit "1."cralaw virtua1aw library

    22. Exhibit "2."cralaw virtua1aw library

    23. TSN July 15, 1994, pp. 41-47.

    24. Ibid., pp. 48-52.

    25. Id., pp. 51-52.

    26. Id., pp. 53-54.

    27. TSN, June 13, 1994, pp. 4-7.

    28. Ibid., pp. 14-15.

    29. Living Case No. MG-93-112 dated January 29, 1993, by Dr. Ruperto J. Somblon, Jr.; Exhibit "B," Records, p. 86.

    30. People v. Ulpindo, 256 SCRA 201 (1996); People v. Cartuano, Jr., 255 SCRA 403 (1996).

    31. People v. Subido, 253 SCRA 196 (1996); People v. Godoy, 250 SCRA 676 (1996), citing Amante, Et. Al. v. Court of Appeals, Et Al., 155 SCRA 46 (1987).

    32. Ulpindo, supra.

    33. Godoy, supra., citing People v. Herrick, 187 SCRA 364 (1990).

    34. People v. Tiwaken, 213 SCRA, 701 (1992).

    35. 249 SCRA 554 (1996).

    36. Supra.

    37. Ibid.

    38. Inversely applying People v. Laray, 253 SCRA 654 (1996).

    39. People v. Madriaga, 211 SCRA 698 (1992).

    G.R. Nos. 120437-41   July 16, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARMANDO ALVARIO


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