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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
 

   
March-1997 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 51765 March 3, 1997 - REPUBLIC PLANTERS BANK v. ENRIQUE A. AGANA, SR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 93397 March 3, 1997 - TRADERS ROYAL BANK v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 99425 March 3, 1997 - ANTONIO RAMOS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 100487 & 100607 March 3, 1997 - ARTURO JULIANO v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106581 March 3, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RENATO FLORES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110419 March 3, 1997 - UERM-MEMORIAL MEDICAL CENTER, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114383 March 3, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOEL COREA

  • G.R. No. 116437 March 3, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PABLITO ANDAN

  • G.R. No. 117161 March 3, 1997 - RAMON INGLES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120704 March 3, 1997 - BARTOLOME C. CARALE, ET AL. v. PAMPIO A. ABARINTOS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123321 March 3, 1997 - ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF MANILA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123361 March 3, 1997 - TEOFILO CACHO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125198 March 3, 1997 - MSCI-NACUSIP v. NWPC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 84449 March 4, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENEDICTO JAVIER, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 102876 March 4, 1997 - BATAAN SHIPYARD AND ENG’G CORP. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118607 March 4, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JULITO FRANCO

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-96-1335 March 5, 1997 - INOCENCIO BASCO v. LEO H. RAPATALO

  • G.R. No. 126576 March 5, 1997 - RICARDO M. ANGOBUNG v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 83598 March 7, 1997 - LEONCIA BALOGBOG, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 94994-95 March 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LILIBETH CACO

  • G.R. No. 106212 March 7, 1997 - PROGRESS HOMES, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108395 March 7, 1997 - HEIRS OF TEODORO GUARING, JR. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 108604-10 March 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FEDERICO A. BURCE

  • G.R. No. 113420 March 7, 1997 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113905 March 7, 1997 - LEOPOLDO ALICBUSAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116211 March 7, 1997 - MEYNARDO POLICARPIO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116512 March 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILLIAM O. CASIDO, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-96-1353 March 11, 1997 - DANILO B. PARADA v. LORENZO B. VENERACION

  • G.R. No. 127066 March 11, 1997 - REYNALDO O. MALONZO v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117169 March 12, 1997 - PHILTREAD WORKERS UNION, ET AL. v. NIEVES R. CONFESOR, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121917 March 12, 1997 - ROBIN CARIÑO PADILLA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 99301 & 99343 March 13, 1997 - VICTOR KIERULF, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 100333 March 13, 1997 - HILARIO MAGCALAS, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 103611 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CESAR HERBIETO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107131 March 13, 1997 - NFD INT’L. MANNING AGENTS, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108454 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TEDDY QUINAO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109779 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NESTOR MAÑOZCA

  • G.R. No. 110067 March 13, 1997 - LINDA T. ALMENDRAS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111478 March 13, 1997 - GEORGE F. SALONGA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111567 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TEODORICO AVILLANO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116123 March 13, 1997 - SERGIO NAGUIAT, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116228 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EPIFANIO GAYON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116352 March 13, 1997 - J. & D.O. AGUILAR CORP. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 116596-98 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LORENZO TOPAGUEN

  • G.R. No. 117266 March 13, 1997 - CONTEMPT PROCEEDINGS AGAINST VENTURA O. DUCAT, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 117955-58 March 13, 1997 - HERMINIGILDO TOMARONG, ET AL. v. ANTONIO C. LUBGUBAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119058 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ERLINDA VILLARAN

  • G.R. No. 120853 March 13, 1997 - RUDY ALMEDA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122427 March 13, 1997 - BENJAMIN LAZA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123881 March 13, 1997 - VIVA PRODUCTIONS, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 91694 March 14, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SABAS CALVO, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 97626 March 14, 1997 - PHIL. BANK OF COMMERCE, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114387 March 14, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALEJANDRO DEVILLERES

  • G.R. No. 120592 March 14, 1997 - TRADERS ROYAL BANK EMPLOYEES UNION v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121765 March 14, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RANDOLF B. MONTEALTO

  • G.R. No. 122646 March 14, 1997 - ADELIA C. MENDOZA v. ANGELITO C. TEH, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112229 March 18, 1997 - RAYMOND PE LIM v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 114924-27 March 18, 1997 - DANTE NACURAY, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119321 March 18, 1997 - CATALINO F. BAÑEZ, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Bar Matter No. 712 March 19, 1997 - PETITION OF AL ARGOSINO TO TAKE THE LAWYER’S OATH

  • G.R. Nos. 100382-100385 March 19, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO TABACO

  • G.R. No. 111157 March 19, 1997 - ITOGON-SUYOC MINES, INC. v. OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117029 March 19, 1997 - PELTAN DEVELOPMENT, INC., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121112 March 19, 1997 - FELICIDAD MIRANO, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127325 March 19, 1997 - MIRIAM DEFENSOR SANTIAGO, ET AL. v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-95-1159 March 20, 1997 - COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. WILLIAM C. SEVILLO

  • G.R. No. 88684 March 20, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CESAR LACBANES

  • G.R. No. 95551 March 20, 1997 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. CONCEPCION S. ALARCON VERGARA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107019 March 20, 1997 - FRANKLIN M. DRILON, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116404 March 20, 1997 - FRANCISCO LUNA, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117218 March 20, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GERRY NALANGAN

  • G.R. No. 119599 March 20, 1997 - MALAYAN INSURANCE CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127456 March 20, 1997 - JESUS A. JARIOL, ET AL. v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-96-1091 March 21, 1997 - WILFREDO NAVARRO v. DEOGRACIAS K. DEL ROSARIO

  • G.R. No. 107699 March 21, 1997 - ALEX JACOBO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116692 March 21, 1997 - SAMAR II ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117097 March 21, 1997 - SAMAHAN NG OPTOMETRISTS SA PILIPINAS, ET AL. v. ACEBEDO INTL. CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118436 March 21, 1997 - HEIRS OF MANUEL A. ROXAS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118836 March 21, 1997 - FEDERICO DORDAS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122728 March 21, 1997 - CASIANO A. ANGCHANGCO, JR. v. OMBUDSMAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123037 March 21, 1997 - TEODORO Q. PEÑA v. HRET, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-96-1184 March 24, 1997 - NBI, ET AL. v. RODOLFO TULIAO

  • G.R. No. 106588 March 24, 1997 - RAUL H. SESBREÑO v. CENTRAL BOARD OF ASSESSMENT APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-89-318 March 25, 1997 - LUCIANA Vda. DE ARAGO v. PATERNO T. ALVAREZ

  • G.R. No. 96229 March 25, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GLORIOSA S. NAVARRO

  • G.R. No. 124137 March 25, 1997 - ROY M. LOYOLA v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126298 March 25, 1997 - PATRIA C. GUTIERREZ v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 99032 March 26, 1997 - RICARDO A. LLAMADO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 101817 March 26, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIPE IMMACULATA

  • G.R. No. 107801 March 26, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROSARIA V. IGNACIO

  • G.R. No. 110613 March 26, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDGAR VILLANUEVA

  • G.R. No. 113470 March 26, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO CORBES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115951 March 26, 1997 - ZEBRA SECURITY AGENCY, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117378 March 26, 1997 - GIL CAPILI, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117408 March 26, 1997 - NATIONAL INVESTMENT AND DEV. CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117604 March 26, 1997 - CHINA BANKING CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118332 March 26, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. IRENEO PEREZ

  • G.R. No. 119528 March 26, 1997 - PAL, INC. v. CIVIL AERONAUTICS BOARD, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121031 March 26, 1997 - ROSAURO I. TORRES v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122013 March 26, 1997 - JOSE C. RAMIREZ v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 124333 March 26, 1997 - NATIVIDAD P. ARAGON v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119877 March 31, 1997 - BIENVENIDO ONGKINGCO, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  •  




     
     

    G.R. No. 118332   March 26, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. IRENEO PEREZ

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    SECOND DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 118332. March 26, 1997.]

    PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. IRENEO PEREZ Y RICAFORT, Accused-Appellant.

    The Solicitor General for Plaintiff-Appellee.

    Public Attorney’s Office for Accused-Appellant.


    SYLLABUS


    1. CRIMINAL LAW; RAPE; GUIDING PRINCIPLES IN REVIEWING RAPE CASES. — In reviewing rape cases, this Court has always been guided by the following principles: (a) an accusation of rape can be made with facility; it is difficult to prove, but more difficult for the person accused, though innocent, to disprove; (b) in view of the intrinsic nature of the crime where only two persons are usually involved, the testimony of the complainant must be scrutinized with extreme caution; and (c) the evidence for the prosecution must stand or fall on its own merits, and cannot be allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the evidence for the defense.

    2. REMEDIAL LAW; EVIDENCE; CREDIBILITY; FINDINGS OF FACT OF THE TRIAL COURT, ENTITLED TO GREAT RESPECT ON APPEAL. — This Court is well aware of the fine line it is treading when deciding rape cases where conviction invariably hinges upon the credibility of the offended woman who is almost always the sole witness of the actual occurrence. It is, therefore, with meticulous care that the testimony of the complainant is scrutinized. This Court once again finds occasion to reiterate the established rule that the findings of fact of a trial court carry great weight and are entitled to respect from the appellate courts absent any strong and cogent reason therefor since the trial court is in a better position to decide the question of credibility. "This policy is predicated upon the circumstance that the trial court has had an opportunity, denied to the appellate court, to observe the behaviour of the witnesses during the hearing, gauging their bias and veracity." As observed by the trial court, the complainant testified in a clear, straightforward and convincing manner.

    3. ID.; ID.; ID.; COURTROOM ATMOSPHERE CAN AFFECT THE ACCURACY OF TESTIMONY. — The alleged inconsistencies refer, at best, only to trivial, minor, and insignificant details. They bear no materiality to the commission of the crime of rape of which accused-appellant was convicted. As pointed out by the Solicitor General in the Appellee’s Brief, the seeming inconsistencies were brought about by confusion and merely represent minor lapses during the rape victim’s direct examination and cannot possibly affect her credibility. Minor lapses are to be expected when a person is recounting details of a traumatic experience too painful to recall. The rape victim was testifying in open court, in the presence of strangers, on an extremely intimate matter, which, more often than not, is talked about in hushed tones. Under such circumstances, it is not surprising that her narration was less than letter-perfect. "Moreover, the inconsistency may be attributed to the well-known fact that a courtroom atmosphere can affect the accuracy of testimony and the manner in which a witness answers questions."cralaw virtua1aw library

    4. ID.; ID.; ID.; WHEN A VICTIM SAYS SHE HAS BEEN RAPED, SHE SAYS IN EFFECT ALL THAT IS NECESSARY TO SHOW THAT RAPE HAS BEEN COMMITTED. — What is important is the victim’s testimony that the accused sexually abused her. When a victim says that she has been raped, she says in effect all that is necessary to show that rape has been committed and if her testimony meets the test of credibility, the accused may be convicted on the basis thereof.

    5. ID.; ID.; ID.; AUNT, UNCLE AND GRANDPARENTS OF AN 11 YEAR OLD CHILD WOULD NOT ALLOW HER TO BE SUBJECTED TO THE ORDEAL AND EMBARRASSMENT OF A PUBLIC TRIAL UNLESS THE CHARGE OF RAPE IS TRUE. — Even in these trying times of poverty and greed, it is difficult to believe that the aunt, uncle and grandparents of an eleven-year old child would allow her to be subjected to the ordeal and embarrassment of a public trial and to expose her private parts to examination just to relieve them of the burden of feeding her father, knowing fully well that such an experience would damage her psyche and mar her for life, unless the charge was true. What we have here is a case of an ingenue — a naive and guileless barrio girl, a mere teenager who was not animated by any mercenary or dishonest motive in imputing rape to her own father. Family relations are not so easily imperilled, with the father at risk of being imprisoned for banal and flimsy reasons, such as that alleged by Accused-Appellant. We hold that the complainant went to court to bring to justice the satyr whose beastliness was the cause of her loss of virginity at a tender age.

    6. ID.; ID.; ID.; FAILURE OF VICTIM TO IMMEDIATELY REPORT RAPE, NOT AN INDICATION OF A FABRICATED CHARGE. — It is immaterial that the delay was due to threats or some other reason, for the failure of the victim to immediately report a rape is not an indication of a fabricated charge. Moreover, an eleven-year old girl such as the herein victim can hardly be expected to act as an adult or as a mature and experienced woman would and have the courage and intelligence to disregard a threat to her life and complain immediately that she had been sexually assaulted.

    7. ID.; ID.; ID.; MANIFEST BY THE CATEGORICAL, STRAIGHT FORWARD, SPONTANEOUS AND CONSTANT MANNER OF TESTIMONY. — As borne out by the records and transcript of stenographic notes, this Court agrees with the court a quo that the victim testified in a categorical, straightforward, spontaneous and consistent manner. She is, therefore, considered a credible witness and her testimony is worthy of judicial acceptance. The rule is that "an affirmative testimony is far stronger than a negative testimony, especially so when it comes from the mouth of a credible witness."cralaw virtua1aw library

    8. CRIMINAL LAW; ALTERNATIVE CIRCUMSTANCES; RELATIONSHIP; AGGRAVATING IN CRIMES AGAINST CHASTITY. — The Trial Court should have appreciated against accused-appellant the alternative circumstance of relationship provided for in Article 15 of the Revised Penal Code considering that the offended party was his descendant. In crimes against chastity, such as rape, relationship is aggravating. However, it would not affect the penalty herein of reclusion perpetua because it is an indivisible penalty which must, under Article 63 of the Revised Penal Code, be applied regardless of any mitigating or aggravating circumstances that may have attended the commission of the crime.


    D E C I S I O N


    ROMERO, J.:


    There is nothing more abhorrent and shocking to one’s sensibilities than the desecration of a woman’s chastity by her own father. The abomination is made even worse by the fact that the victim concerned is a mere wisp of a girl, only eleven years old. This Court is once again called upon to decide a case at once odious and revolting — the rape of one’s own daughter.

    Accused-appellant Ireneo R. Perez appeals to this Court from a judgment 1 of the Regional Trial Court of Macabebe, Pampanga, Branch 54 2 in Criminal Case No. 93-1110 (M), convicting him of the rape of his eleven-year old daughter. He was charged with the commission of the offense in an information 3 which reads:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "That on or about the 9th day of December 1991, in the municipality of Macabebe, province of Pampanga, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, Ireneo Perez y Ricafrente, by means of force, threat and intimidation, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge with his own daughter Racquel M. Perez, a minor below 12 years of age while she was asleep inside their house against her will and consent.

    All Contrary to Law."cralaw virtua1aw library

    The prosecution’s evidence shows clearly the following facts:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    On the night of December 9, 1991, Racquel Perez was sleeping beside her seven-year old sister Irene inside the only bedroom of their family home in Telacsan, Macabebe, Pampanga. Her deep slumber was interrupted when she felt something heavy on top of her which turned out to be her own father who proceeded to remove her panty and inserted his sex organ into hers. He held her hands and covered her mouth but she struggled and managed to shout for help to attract her brother who was sleeping in the kitchen six meters away from the room. Instead, it was Irene who woke up and tried futilely to leave the room to seek their brother’s help, but their father prevented her from doing so by holding on to her feet while threatening to spank her. Hence, the cowed sister just turned her back on them. Accused-appellant then perpetrated the vile act without further disturbance except for the struggles of his own child who was greatly overpowered by his strength. The defilement left her bleeding and in pain.

    Accused-appellant threatened to hurt her if she ever reported the incident to anyone. The next morning, she moved to her maternal grandparent’s house where she has stayed to date. Her father was constantly in her grandparent’s house, however, and interaction was inevitable. She was repeatedly threatened to keep her silence whenever her grandparents’ and aunt were not around. On November 13, 1992, or almost one year after the incident, she summoned enough courage to confide the incident to her maternal aunt, Francisca Maniacop who, together with her uncle, brought her to Dr. Jocelyn Go for internal examination. She was found to have healed hymenal lacerations at 4 o’clock and 7 o’clock positions. The matter was immediately reported to the Barangay Captain, then to the police at the Municipal Hall of Macabebe, which eventually led to the arrest of Accused-Appellant.

    Upon arraignment, Accused-appellant pleaded not guilty to the crime charged. He claimed that he went home to Telacsan, Macabebe, Pampanga on the evening of December 9, 1991 to find his three children namely Ronald, Erick and Irene, already asleep. Racquel had allegedly been living with her grandparents at Colgante, Apalit, Pampanga since November 1991 and, therefore, was not home that day. He swore that no unusual incident transpired on that fateful night.

    On October 19, 1994, the trial court found accused-appellant guilty and sentenced him to reclusion perpetua. It also ordered him to indemnify Racquel Perez P50,000 as moral damages and to pay the costs of the suit.

    In this appeal, Accused-appellant contends that:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    "I


    The trial court erred in giving full weight and credence to the contradicting and inconsistent testimonies of the prosecution’s witness, Racquel Perez.

    II


    The trial court erred in finding the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt despite insufficiency of evidence to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt." 4

    The appeal is bereft of merit.

    In reviewing rape cases, this Court has always been guided by the following principles: (a) an accusation of rape can be made with facility; it is difficult to prove, but more difficult for the person accused, though innocent, to disprove; (b) in view of the intrinsic nature of the crime where only two persons are usually involved, the testimony of the complainant must be scrutinized with extreme caution; and (c) the evidence for the prosecution must stand or fall on its own merits, and cannot be allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the evidence for the defense. 5

    This Court is well aware of the fine line it is treading when deciding rape cases where conviction invariably hinges upon the credibility of the offended woman who is almost always the sole witness of the actual occurrence. 6 It is, therefore, with meticulous care that the testimony of the complainant is scrutinized. This Court once again finds occasion to reiterate the established rule that the findings of fact of a trial court carry great weight and are entitled to respect from the appellate courts absent any strong and cogent reason therefor since the trial court is in a better position to decide the question of credibility. 7 "This policy is predicated upon the circumstance that the trial court has had an opportunity, denied to the appellate court, to observe the behaviour of the witnesses during the hearing, gauging their bias and veracity." 8 As observed by the trial court, the complainant testified in a clear, straightforward and convincing manner.

    Accused-appellant, however, points out that the credibility of the offended party was tainted by the following inconsistencies:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    1) Complainant’s statement that when she shouted for help, nobody was awakened; and her later statement that her sister was actually awakened by the incident.

    2) Her conflicting statements on whether or not her brothers were sleeping outside her room.

    3) Her conflicting statements as to whether she actually saw her father’s penis or not. 9

    We note that these alleged inconsistencies refer, at best, only to trivial, minor, and insignificant details. 10 They bear no materiality to the commission of the crime of rape of which accused-appellant was convicted. 11 As pointed out by the Solicitor General in the Appellee’s Brief, 12 the seeming inconsistencies were brought about by confusion and merely represent minor lapses during the rape victim’s direct examination and cannot possibly affect her credibility. Minor lapses are to be expected when a person is recounting details of a traumatic experience too painful to recall. The rape victim was testifying in open court, in the presence of strangers, on an extremely intimate matter, which, more often than not, is talked about in hushed tones. Under such circumstances, it is not surprising that her narration was less than letter-perfect. 13 "Moreover, the inconsistency may be attributed to the well-known fact that a courtroom atmosphere can affect the accuracy of testimony and the manner in which a witness answers questions." 14chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    "What is important is the victim’s testimony that the accused sexually abused her. When a victim says that she has been raped, she says in effect all that is necessary to show that rape has been committed and if her testimony meets the test of credibility, the accused may be convicted on the basis thereof." 15

    Accused-appellant would have us believe that the alleged rape was merely an illusion concocted by his in-laws, to get rid of another mouth being fed by his wife who works in Saudi Arabia. 16

    Such contention is preposterous. Even in these trying times of poverty and greed, it is difficult to believe that the aunt, uncle and grandparents of an eleven-year old child would allow her to be subjected to the ordeal and embarrassment of a public trial and to expose her private parts to examination just to relieve them of the burden of feeding her father, knowing fully well that such an experience would damage her psyche and mar her for life, unless the charge was true. 17

    Accused-appellant likewise contends that the trial court misappreciated the facts by holding that the delay in reporting the offense was due to threats he made, when prosecution witness Francisca Maniacop stated that she did not notice any animosity between father and daughter. 18 "A little insight into human nature is of utmost value in judging matters of this kind." 19 Fear may manifest itself, not only through insolence or impertinence, but also through timidity or diffidence. The latter behaviour would be expected of an eleven-year old daughter toward her father, especially in the context of traditional Philippine culture where family members are servile towards their elders. Accused-appellant must have acted normally when everyone was present at his in-laws’ house. This is the reason why Francisca did not notice anything unusual between him and her niece. The victim, however, testified that she was threatened repeatedly whenever her aunt and grandparents were not home. 20 The presence of her father in her grandmother’s house almost daily at different hours must have caused her unbounded anxiety and paranoia making it more difficult for her to decide on what action to take. It is immaterial that the delay was due to threats or some other reason, for the failure of the victim to immediately report a rape is not an indication of a fabricated charge. 21 Moreover, an eleven-year old girl such as the herein victim can hardly be expected to act as an adult or as a mature and experienced woman would and have the courage and intelligence to disregard a threat to her life and complain immediately that she had been sexually assaulted. 22

    What we have here is a case of an ingenue — a naive and guileless barrio girl, a mere teenager who was not animated by any mercenary or dishonest motive in imputing rape to her own father. 23 Family relations are not so easily imperilled, with the father at risk of being imprisoned for banal and flimsy reasons, such as that alleged by Accused-Appellant. We hold that the complainant went to court to bring to justice the satyr whose beastliness was the cause of her loss of virginity at a tender age. 24

    As borne out by the records and transcript of stenographic notes, this Court agrees with the court a quo that the victim testified in a categorical, straightforward, spontaneous and consistent manner. She is, therefore, considered a credible witness and her testimony is worthy of judicial acceptance. 25 The rule is that "an affirmative testimony is far stronger than a negative testimony, especially so when it comes from the mouth of a credible witness." 26

    Undoubtedly, the trial court acted correctly in upholding the case for the People and rejecting the arguments of accused-appellant which consisted principally of a denial. It correctly awarded moral damages to the victim as mandated by Article 2219 27 in relation to Article 2217 28 of the Civil Code, but it should have appreciated against accused-appellant the alternative circumstance of relationship provided for in Article 15 of the Revised Penal Code considering that the offended party was his descendant. In crimes against chastity, such as rape, relationship is aggravating. 29 However, it would not affect the penalty herein of reclusion perpetua because it is an indivisible penalty which must, under Article 63 of the Revised Penal Code, be applied regardless of any mitigating or aggravating circumstances that may have attended the commission of the crime. 30

    WHEREFORE, the appeal is DISMISSED and the decision of the trial court finding accused-appellant Ireneo Perez y Ricafort guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape committed against his own daughter Racquel Perez is hereby AFFIRMED. Costs against Accused-Appellant.

    SO ORDERED.

    Regalado, Puno, Mendoza and Torres, Jr., JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Rollo, pp. 15-20.

    2. Judge Sesinando B. Villon, presiding.

    3. Original Records, p. 2.

    4. Rollo, p. 34.

    5. People v. Ramirez, G.R. No. 97920, January 20, 1997; People v. Guamos, 241 SCRA 528 (1995), citing People v. Casinillo, 213 SCRA 777 (1992); People v. Pizarro, 211 SCRA 325 (1992); People v. Dela Cruz, 207 SCRA 449 (1992), People v. Matrimonio, 215 SCRA 613 (1992).

    6. People v. Domingo, 226 SCRA 156 (1993).

    7. People v. Catoltol, Sr., G.R. No. 122359, November 28, 1996; People v. Balisnomo, G.R. No. 118990, November 28, 1996, People v. Vallena, 244 SCRA 685 (1995); People v. Gerones, 193 SCRA 263 (1991).

    8. Delos Santos v. Republic, 96 Phil. 577 (1955).

    9. Rollo, p. 67.

    10. People v. Olivar, 215 SCRA 765 (1992).

    11. People v. Sagaral, G.R. No. 112714-15, February 7, 1997.

    12. Rollo, p. 68.

    13. People v. Magaluna, 205 SCRA 266 (1992); cited in People v. Abuyan, 211 SCRA 662 (1992).

    14. People v. Como, 202 SCRA 200 (1991); People v. Serdan, 213 SCRA 329 (1992).

    15. People v. Mabunga, 215 SCRA 694 (1992); People v. Catoltol, G.R. No. 122359, November 28, 1996; citing People v. Soterol, 140 SCRA 400 (1985); People v. Rosare, G.R. No. 118823, November 19, 1996; People v. Repollo, 237 SCRA 476 (1994); People v. Sanchez, 250 SCRA 14 (1995), citing U.S. v. Ramos, 1 Phil. 81 (1901).

    16. Rollo, p. 41.

    17. People v. Mabunga, supra.

    18. TSN, August 11, 1993, pp. 17-18.

    19. People v. Fausto, 51 Phil. 852.

    20. TSN, April 29, 1993, p. 17.

    21. People v. Catoltol, supra; People v. Casil, 241 SCRA 285 (1995); People v. Pamor, 237 SCRA 462 (1994).

    22. People v. Tampus, 88 SCRA 217 (1979); cited in People v. Olivar, 215 SCRA 765 (1992).

    23. Ibid.

    24. Id.

    25. People v. Rosare, supra.

    26. People v. Ramirez, supra, citing People v. Digno, 250 SCRA 237 (1995).

    27. Art. 2219. Moral damages may be recovered in the following and analogous cases:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    (1) A criminal offense resulting in physical injuries;

    (2) Quasi-delicts causing physical injuries;

    (3) Seduction, abduction, rape, or other lascivious acts;

    (4) Adultery or concubinage;

    (5) Illegal or arbitrary detention or arrest;

    (6) Illegal search;

    (7) Libel, slander or any other form of defamation;

    (8) Malicious prosecution;

    (9) Acts mentioned in article 309;

    (10) Acts and actions referred to in articles 21, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 34, and 35.

    The parents of the female seduced, abducted, raped, or abused, referred to in No. 3 of this article, may also recover moral damages.

    The spouse, descendants, ascendants, and brother and sisters may bring the action mentioned in No. 9 of this article, in the order named.

    28. Art. 2217. Moral damages include physical suffering, mental anguish, fright, serious anxiety, besmirched reputation, wounded feelings, moral shock, social humiliation, and similar injury. Though incapable of pecuniary computation, moral damages may be recovered if they are the proximate result of the defendant’s wrongful act for omission.

    29. People v. Porres, 58 Phil. 578 (1993); People v. Lucas, 181 SCRA 316 (1990).

    30. People v. Matrimonio, supra, citing People v. Porres, supra; People v. Lucas, supra.

    G.R. No. 118332   March 26, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. IRENEO PEREZ




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