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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
 

   
June-2001 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.M. No. P-00-1446 June 6, 2001 - PATERNO R. PLANTILLA v. RODRIGO G. BALIWAG

  • A.M. No. P-91-642 June 6, 2001 - SOLEDAD LAURO v. EFREN LAURO

  • G.R. No. 92328 June 6, 2001 - DAP MINING ASSO. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 100579 June 6, 2001 - LEANDRO P. GARCIA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113918 June 6, 2001 - MARCELINA G. TRINIDAD, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121272 June 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REYDERICK LAGO

  • G.R. No. 122353 June 6, 2001 - EVANGELINE DANAO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129534 & 141169 June 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NESTOR MACANDOG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138949 June 6, 2001 - UNION BANK OF THE PHIL. v. SEC

  • G.R. No. 138971 June 6, 2001 - PEZA v. RUMOLDO R FERNANDEZ

  • G.R. No. 139034 June 6, 2001 - DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139323 June 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CARLO ELLASOS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140128 June 6, 2001 - ARNOLD P. MOLLANEDA v. LEONIDA C. UMACOB

  • G.R. No. 140277 June 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. GUILLERMO BALDAGO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141529 June 6, 2001 - FRANCISCO YAP, JR. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142888 June 6, 2001 - EVELIO P. BARATA v. BENJAMIN ABALOS JR.

  • G.R. No. 143561 June 6, 2001 - JONATHAN D. CARIAGA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110335 June 18, 2001 - IGNACIO GONZALES, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1615 June 19, 2001 - WINNIE BAJET v. PEDRO M. AREOLA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1633 June 19, 2001 - ANTONIO and ELSA FORTUNA v. MA. NIMFA PENACO-SITACA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 99433 June 19, 2001 - PROJECT BUILDERS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114944 June 19, 2001 - MANUEL C. ROXAS, ET AL. v. CONRADO M. VASQUEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120701 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JONATHAN CRISANTO

  • G.R. No. 123916 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LYNTON ASUNCION

  • G.R. No. 130605 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIX UGANAP, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132160 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO DE LEON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132223 June 19, 2001 - BONIFACIA P. VANCIL v. HELEN G. BELMES

  • G.R. No. 134895 June 19, 2001 - STA. LUCIA REALTY and DEV’T., ET AL. v. LETICIA CABRIGAS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137164 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALBERT NUBLA

  • G.R. No. 137752 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERT AYUNGON

  • G.R. Nos. 138298 & 138982 June 19, 2001 - RAOUL B. DEL MAR v. PAGCOR, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139313 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FLORANTE LEAL

  • G.R. No. 140690 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NAZAR U. CHAVEZ

  • G.R. No. 141441 June 19, 2001 - JOSE SUAN v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. 00-10-230-MTCC June 20, 2001 - RE: JULIAN C. OCAMPO III AND RENATO C. SAN JUAN

  • A.M. No. 00-11-521-RTC June 20, 2001 - RE: AWOL OF MS. LILIAN B. BANTOG

  • A.M. No. P-99-1346 June 20, 2001 - RESTITUTO L. CASTRO v. CARLOS BAGUE

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1606 June 20, 2001 - PATRIA MAQUIRAN v. LILIA G. LOPEZ

  • G.R. No. 84831 June 20, 2001 - PACENCIO ABEJARON v. FELIX NABASA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109666 June 20, 2001 - ROGERIO R. OLAGUER, ET AL. v. EUFEMIO DOMINGO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113564 June 20, 2001 - INOCENCIA YU DINO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115851 June 20, 2001 - LA JOLLA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127129 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROLANDO CABAYA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128617 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CESAR BACUS

  • G.R. Nos. 129292-93 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARLENGEN DEGALA

  • G.R. No. 130524 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUDY MADIA

  • G.R. No. 131036 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DONATO DEL ROSARIO

  • G.R. Nos. 135976-80 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CLAUDIO GALENO

  • G.R. No. 138629 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAMON CAMACHO

  • G.R. No. 139430 June 20, 2001 - EDI STAFF BUILDERS INTERNATIONAL v. FERMINA D. MAGSINO

  • G.R. Nos. 139445-46 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODRIGO GONZALES

  • G.R. No. 142304 June 20, 2001 - CITY OF MANILA v. OSCAR SERRANO, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1342 June 21, 2001 - BISHOP CRISOSTOMO A. YALUNG, ET AL. v. ENRIQUE M. PASCUA

  • G.R. No. 108558 June 21, 2001 - ANDREA TABUSO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109197 June 21, 2001 - JAYME C. UY, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 111580 & 114802 June 21, 2001 - SHANGRI-LA INTERNATIONAL HOTEL MNGT. LTD. ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 116200-02 June 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ELEUTERIO TAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131131 June 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ABELARDO SALONGA

  • G.R. No. 134138 June 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDMUNDO BRIONES AYTALIN

  • G.R. Nos. 135552-53 June 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ABEL ABACIA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139542 June 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. INOCENCIO GONZALEZ

  • G.R. No. 140206 June 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO MATYAONG

  • G.R. No. 142023 June 21, 2001 - SANNY B. GINETE v. SUNRISE MANNING AGENCY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 103068 June 22, 2001 - MEAT PACKING CORP. OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-96-1110 June 25, 2001 - MANUEL N. MAMBA, ET AL. v. DOMINADOR L. GARCIA

  • G.R. No. 116710 June 25, 2001 - DANILO D. MENDOZA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117857 June 25, 2001 - LUIS S. WONG v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128126 June 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAFAEL M. CATAPANG

  • G.R. No. 132051 June 25, 2001 - TALA REALTY SERVICES CORP. v. BANCO FILIPINO SAVINGS AND MORTGAGE BANK

  • G.R. No. 134068 June 25, 2001 - UNION BANK OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136221 June 25, 2001 - EQUATORIAL REALTY DEVELOPMENT v. MAYFAIR THEATER

  • G.R. No. 136382 June 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FIDEL ALBORIDA

  • G.R. Nos. 138439-41 June 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO PANGANIBAN

  • G.R. No. 141141 June 25, 2001 - PAGCOR v. CARLOS P. RILLORAZA

  • G.R. No. 141801 June 25, 2001 - SOLOMON ALVAREZ v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 143428 June 25, 2001 - SANDOVAL SHIPYARDS, ET AL. v. PRISCO PEPITO, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. 99-11-423-RTC June 26, 2001 - RE: Report on the Judicial Audit Conducted in the Regional Trial Court

  • A.M. No. RTJ-99-1461 June 26, 2001 - RICARDO DELA CRUZ v. HERMINIA M. PASCUA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-99-1486 June 26, 2001 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. ISMAEL SANCHEZ

  • G.R. Nos. 110547-50 & 114526-667 June 26, 2001 - JOSE SAYSON v. SANDIGANBAYAN ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120859 June 26, 2001 - METROPOLITAN BANK AND TRUST COMPANY v. FRANCISCO Y. WONG

  • G.R. No. 123542 June 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGELIO BULOS

  • G.R. Nos. 132848-49 June 26, 2001 - PHILROCK v. CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY ARBITRATION COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133990 June 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. HECTOR MARIANO

  • G.R. No. 134764 June 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. BENJAMIN FABIA

  • G.R. Nos. 139626-27 June 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DOMINGO DELA CRUZ

  • G.R. No. 143204 June 26, 2001 - HYATT TAXI SERVICES INC. v. RUSTOM M. CATINOY

  • G.R. Nos. 147589 & 147613 June 26, 2001 - ANG BAGONG BAYANI-OFW LABOR PARTY, ET AL. v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130661 June 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO I. TORRES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 135882 June 27, 2001 - LOURDES T. MARQUEZ v. ANIANO A. DESIERTO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140001 June 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDUARDO BUENAFLOR

  • A.C. No. 3910 June 28, 2001 - JOSE S. DUCAT v. ARSENIO C. VILLALON, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 4073 June 28, 2001 - ARACELI SIPIN-NABOR v. BENJAMIN BATERINA

  • A.M. No. P-01-1480 June 28, 2001.

    AMADO S. CAGUIOA v. CRISANTO FLORA

  • A.M. No. P-99-1343 June 28, 2001 - ORLANDO T. MENDOZA v. ROSBERT M. TUQUERO, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1576 June 28, 2001 - SIMPLICIO ALIB v. EMMA C. LABAYEN

  • G.R. No. 105364 June 28, 2001 - PHIL. VETERANS BANK EMPLOYEES UNION-N.U.B.E., ET AL. v. BENJAMIN VEGA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110813 June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ERNESTO PARDUA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110914 June 28, 2001 - ALFREDO CANUTO; JR., ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 112453-56 June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GERARDO LATUPAN

  • G.R. Nos. 112563 & 110647 June 28, 2001 - HEIRS OF KISHINCHAND HIRANAND DIALDAS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120630 June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARCELO PALERMO

  • G.R. No. 131954 June 28, 2001 - ASELA B. MONTECILLO, ET AL v. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION

  • G.R. Nos. 132026-27 June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO ABENDAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132362 June 28, 2001 - PIO BARRETTO REALTY DEV’T. CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132837 June 28, 2001 - JO CINEMA CORP., ET AL. v. LOLITA C. ABELLANA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133605 June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENJAMIN BARRIAS

  • G.R. No. 135846 June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. NOEL ORTEGA

  • G.R. No. 138270 June 28, 2001 - SEA POWER SHIPPING ENTERPRISES INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142314 June 28, 2001 - MC ENGINEERING, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143723 June 28, 2001 - LITONJUA GROUP OF CO.’s., ET AL. v. TERESITA VIGAN

  • G.R. No. 144113 June 28, 2001 - EDWEL MAANDAL v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL

  • G.R. No. 144942 June 28, 2001 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE v. LA SUERTE CIGAR.

  • G.R. No. 146062 June 28, 2001 - SANTIAGO ESLABAN v. CLARITA VDA. DE ONORIO

  • A.M. No. 00 4-166-RTC June 29, 2001 - Re: Report on the Judicial Audit

  • A.M. No. 01-4-03-SC June 29, 2001 - HERNANDO PEREZ, ET AL. v. JOSEPH E. ESTRADA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-00-1380 June 29, 2001 - GLORIA O. DINO v. FRANCISCO DUMUKMAT

  • G.R. No. 110480 June 29, 2001 - BANGKO SILANGAN DEVELOPMENT BANK v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111860 June 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESUS CLEDORO

  • G.R. No. 116092 June 29, 2001 - SUSANA VDA. DE COCHINGYAN, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118251 June 29, 2001 - METROPOLITAN BANK AND TRUST COMPANY v. REGINO T. VERIDIANO II, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121597 June 29, 2001 - PHIL. NATIONAL BANK v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125944 June 29, 2001 - DANILO SOLANGON, ET AL. v. JOSE AVELINO SALAZAR

  • G.R. No. 126396 June 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. FELIXBERTO LAO-AS

  • G.R. No. 128705 June 29, 2001 - CONRADO AGUILAR v. COMMERCIAL SAVINGS BANK, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129782 June 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BALWINDER SINGH, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131968 June 29, 2001 - ERNESTO PENGSON, ET AL v. MIGUEL OCAMPO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132059 June 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WENEFREDO DIMSON ASOY

  • G.R. No. 138598 June 29, 2001 - ASSET PRIVATIZATION TRUST v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144542 June 29, 2001 - FRANCISCO DELA PEÑA, ET AL v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

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    G.R. No. 120630   June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARCELO PALERMO

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    EN BANC

    [G.R. No. 120630. June 28, 2001.]

    PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. MARCELO PALERMO Y CARIAS, Accused-Appellant.

    D E C I S I O N


    PER CURIAM:


    Another despicable case of incestuous rape, involving appellant Marcelo C. Palermo, has once more reached this Court. He was convicted and was meted out the penalty of death by the Regional Trial Court, Branch 38, of Boac, Marinduque in Criminal Case No. 60-94 for having raped his very own 14-year old daughter.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Hence, this automatic review. 1

    On September 9, 1994, an Information was filed with the said trial court, docketed as Criminal Case No. 60-94, charging Marcelo C. Palermo with the crime of rape. The Information reads:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "The undersigned Provincial Prosecutor upon sworn complaint originally filed by Merly Palermo y Mandac before the Municipal Trial Court, accuses Marcelo Palermo y Carias, alias ‘Celo’, of the crime of Rape, committed as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "That on or about the 2nd day of April, 1994 in the evening, in Barangay Nangka II, Municipality of Mogpog, Province of Marinduque, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the accused, by means of force, violence and intimidation, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously lie and succeed in having carnal knowledge of his fourteen-year old daughter, Merly Palermo y Mandac, against her will and to her damage and prejudice.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    "CONTRARY TO LAW, with the aggravating circumstances of (1) recidivism, Accused having been convicted by final judgment of the crime of rape, on August 31, 1994, a certified copy of the judgment is attached hereto as Annex "A" and forming part hereof; (2) abuse of confidence and moral ascendancy, the accused being the father and in custody of complainant; and (3) nighttime, which was purposely sought to insure the commission of the offense with impunity." 2

    Upon arraignment, Marcelo entered a plea of "not guilty." 3 Trial ensued thereafter.

    The evidence for the prosecution is anchored on the testimony of complainant 14-year old Merly M. Palermo, then a high school student. Born on April 30, 1980, 4 Merly is the eldest of the five children of appellant Marcelo Palermo and Marilyn Mandac. 5 In the evening of April 2, 1994, Merly was with her only brother Marvin (12) and three sisters Maricel (9), Babylyn (6) and Marilyn (3) in their hut (kubo) at Barangay Nangka II, Municipality of Mogpog, Marinduque. 6 At that time, her mother was in Manila. 7 At about 10:00 o’clock in that same evening, Marcelo arrived. He then ordered Merly to spread a mat on the floor — which she complied — about four feet away from her brother and sisters who were already asleep at the adjacent section of the hut separated by a wall. 8 When Merly was about to lie down beside her brother and sisters, Marcelo asked her to sleep instead on the mat she had spread. 9 Merly tried to persuade him that she sleep with her brother and sisters, but failed. 10 Marcelo’s vehement insistence by telling her, "Dine (referring to where the mat was spread) na tulog!" 11 was too strong a command to be disobeyed by his daughter. And so while she was lying on the mat and was about to sleep, she sensed that Marcelo was removing her shorts, including her panty. 12 Instinctively, she resisted his advances by boxing him and at the same time crying. 13 She struggled hard to prevent him from what he was doing to her. 14 Merly described her reaction, "Nagawala (sic) po ako." 15 as she clearly noticed that "Gusto po niya akong pagsamantalahan." 16 But Merly’s fierce resistance suddenly ended when Marcelo boxed her on the belly, causing her to lose consciousness. 17chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    When she regained consciousness at dawn of the following day, Merly found herself already beside her brother and sisters. 18 Her vagina was then aching and her panty splattered with blood. 19 Explaining what happened to her, Merly said bitterly, "Dahil pinagsamantalahan ako ng aking ama." 20 She admitted, though, that during her state of unconsciousness as a result of Marcelo’s punching on her belly, she did not know what he did to her. 21 But Merly insisted that Marcelo boxed her" (d)ahil gusto po niya akong pagsamantalahan." 22 That early morning, Marcelo was already out of their hut gathering tuba (coconut wine). 23chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    On June 17, 1994, or more than two (2) months after that sexual assault, Merly was confined at the Marinduque Provincial Hospital at Boac due to profuse vaginal bleeding. 24 She was diagnosed to have an incomplete abortion, as indicated in the Medico-Legal Certificate 25 issued by her attending physician, with the following findings:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Vaginal bleeding, profuse; shocky with BP 0/0 Uterine enlarged to 2 months size. vagina admits 2 fingers; cervix admits tip. Curettage done, obtaining placental tissues.

    "Diagnosis: Incomplete Abortion, completed by Dilatation and Curettage."cralaw virtua1aw library

    Merly revealed that she was also raped by Marcelo three months back, or on March 13, 1994. 26 Thus, he was charged with rape in Criminal Case No. 48-94 to which he pleaded guilty. He was sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua by the same trial court in its order dated August 31, 1994. 27

    Merly further testified that after the April 2, 1994 incident, Marcelo again succeeded in forcing her to have sexual intercourse with him against her will "about ten (10) more times" until she was confined at the hospital due to a miscarriage. 28 But Merly did not immediately report these sexual ravishment on her to anyone, not even to her mother, because Marcelo threatened to kill her if she did so. 29

    It was only after her discharge from the hospital, or on June 23, 1994, that Merly became undaunted in reporting to the authorities Marcelo’s sexual assaults on her by executing a sworn complaint 30 before the Philippine National Police (PNP) of Mogpog, Marinduque. 31 This resulted in the filing with the court below of the corresponding Information for rape against him.

    The prosecution rested its case after the trial court admitted its testimonial and documentary evidence which were formally offered without any objection from the defense. 32chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    At the start of the presentation of evidence for the defense, the defense counsel, Atty. Diosdado Sotto, Jr., manifested in open court that he is "presenting the accused for the purpose of . . . denying the allegation in the Information regarding the alleged rape committed against Merly Palermo." 33

    But when Marcelo was asked the first direct examination question as to what he can say about the charge against him, he boldly and categorically admitted having raped his daughter, saying, "Nagawa ko po sa anak ko ang panggagahasa ko kaya ako nakademanda." 34 This prompted the defense counsel to ask a follow-up question: "Are you in effect saying that you committed that alleged rape on April 2, 1994?" 35 Again, Marcelo gave an emphatic affirmative answer. 36 He also admitted that at the time of the rape incident on April 2, 1994 he "was drunk," having taken one-half (1/2) gallon of tuba. 37 In confessing he committed the crime, Marcelo stressed no one has threatened or coerced him. 38chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The public prosecutor, obviously, did not cross-examine Marcelo anymore. But the court a quo, bearing in mind the imposable penalty of death for such crime under Republic Act No. 7659, asked him some questions to determine if he understood the consequences of his confession. Thus, in reply to the query by the trial court, Marcelo further declared that he knew he will be penalized with death by reason of his confession, but despite such penalty he is not changing his avowal because, in his own words, "Ako po’y nagkasala kaya aaminin." 39 He confirmed that Merly is truly his eldest daughter. 40 Long before this incident happened, he has been drinking tuba and consumes one-half (1/2) gallon everyday. 41

    Upon formally offering Marcelo’s lone testimony, the defense rested its case and prayed that his "judicial confession be considered as analogous to the mitigating circumstance of voluntary plea of guilty." 42

    The case was then considered submitted for decision.

    On May 9, 1995, the trial court rendered its decision 43 convicting Marcelo of the crime charged. The decision further states that "with the attendant aggravating circumstances of (1) recidivism, having been convicted for rape on August 31, 1994 in Crim. Case No. 48-94, and (2) abuse of confidence and moral ascendancy, without any mitigating circumstance to offset the same, MARCELO PALERMO Y CARIAS is hereby sentenced to suffer DEATH penalty prescribed under (Section 11 of Republic Act No. 7659)." 44 Concerning the matter of damages, the decision holds: "There being no declaration for moral damages, this court found no basis to award the same." 45cralaw : red

    In his brief filed with this Court, appellant Marcelo Palermo, thru counsel, claims that the trial court "erred in sentencing (him) the maximum penalty of death despite his voluntary admission of guilt." 46

    Appellant’s counsel argues that "for being man enough to admit his guilt (and) for not giving the court a hard time to determine his culpability, the accused-appellant deserves a reduction of penalty for the sake of compassionate justice. Reclusion perpetua would be good enough for him, to pay his wrongdoing to his daughter in particular and to society in general." 47

    Thus, the only issue raised here by appellant is whether his confession of guilt, made in the course of his testimony and after the prosecution has rested its case, is a mitigating circumstance; and if so, whether the penalty of death can be reduced to reclusion perpetua.

    Although this is the sole question appellant has presented before us for resolution, it is, nevertheless, a well-established rule that in a criminal case, an appeal to the Supreme Court throws the whole case open for review, and it becomes the duty of the Court to correct such errors as may be found in the appealed judgment, whether they are made the subject of assignments of error or not. 48

    Before resolving the said issue which pertains to the penalty imposed upon appellant, we deem it proper in this automatic review to first determine whether the judgment of the trial court finding him guilty of rape as charged is correct.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    In rape cases, we have consistently held that the victim’s lone testimony, if credible and free from fatal and material inconsistencies and contradictions, can be the basis of an accused’s prosecution and conviction for such crime. 49 This is so because, by the very nature of the offense, only the offender and the victim can normally testify to its occurrence. 50 Consequently, the issue in cases of rape usually boils down to the credibility of the victim. 51

    After having meticulously examined the evidence presented by the prosecution and carefully weighed the testimony of Merly, the complainant-victim, we find her to be a credible witness and her story untainted with bias, inconsistencies and contradictions. In bravely telling the court her heart-rending tale of defloration — which we have scrupulously narrated earlier — she gave a positive, candid and straightforward account of how she, at a tender age of 14 years, was ravished by her very own father on April 2, 1994. Such a harrowing narrative coming from a very young and innocent barrio lass is, undoubtedly, reflective of an honest and unrehearsed witness.

    Specifically, we have noted Merly’s candidness when she admitted not having actually seen her father Marcelo ravished her during her unconscious state on the night of April 2, 1994. But we accord full faith and credence on her insistence that no other man but her father had sexually assaulted her on that dreadful night.

    The following chain of events as narrated by Merly lucidly and logically lead to the conclusion that appellant did have carnal knowledge of his daughter against her will: 1) Appellant did not allow her to sleep with her brother and sisters in the adjacent room of their hut on the night in question. 2) When Merly was about to sleep on the mat as ordered by appellant, she noticed him removing her shorts and panty, whereupon she boxed him to stop his advances. 3) But appellant, earnestly desirous to pursue his evil motive, instead punched Merly on her belly, rendering her totally unconscious. 4) Upon regaining consciousness, Merly felt her vagina was aching and noticed her panty was bloody. 5) Appellant threatened Merly that he would kill her if she reports the horrifying incident to anyone, including her mother. 6) Although he pleaded "not guilty" during arraignment, appellant, apparently conscience-stricken, categorically admitted having committed the crime charged when testifying for his defense.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The trial court itself likewise found Merly a trustworthy witness. And rightly so. Its findings on the credibility of witnesses are even accorded great respect and weight on appeal as it is in a better position to decide the question of credibility, having seen and heard the witnesses themselves and observed their behavior and manner of testifying. 52

    Now to the penalty for the crime of rape committed by Appellant.

    The Information specifically alleges, inter alia, that in the evening of April 2, 1994, "Marcelo Palermo y Carias" had employed "force, violence and intimidation . . . and succeed(ed) in having carnal knowledge of his fourteen-year old daughter, Merly Palermo y Mandac, against her will and to her damage and prejudice." chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The allegation in the Information concerning the minority of the victim (who was under 18 years of age at the time the crime was committed) and her relationship as daughter of the offender, are considered special qualifying circumstances 53 which would categorize the crime as qualified rape under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Section 11 of Republic Act No. 7659, 54 the prescribed penalty of which is death.

    These special qualifying circumstances of minority and relationship have been pleaded in the Information and duly proven by the prosecution. These were even admitted/confirmed by appellant himself.

    While the penalty of death imposed on appellant is correct, since that is what the aforecited law prescribes, we disagree, however, with the trial court’s reasoning in the dispositive portion of its decision that such penalty is likewise imposed because of the presence of "aggravating circumstances of (1) recidivism . . . and (2) abuse of confidence and moral ascendancy, without any mitigating circumstance to offset the same . . ."cralaw virtua1aw library

    It must be stressed that even assuming arguendo that aggravating (or even mitigating) circumstances have been proven in the instant case, the same should no longer be taken into account because the prescribed penalty for qualified rape is death, which is single and indivisible. This is clear in Article 63 (1st paragraph) of the Revised Penal Code, which provides: "In all cases in which the law prescribes a single indivisible penalty, it shall be applied by the courts regardless of any mitigating or aggravating circumstances that may have attended the commission of the deed." 55

    Clearly, appellant’s stance that his confession of guilt should mitigate his criminal liability and reduce his penalty to reclusion perpetua is seriously flawed. In the first place, such incident is not even a mitigating circumstance within the contemplation of Article 13 (paragraph 7) of the Revised Penal Code. To be considered a mitigating circumstance, paragraph 7 of said Article 13 requires that the offender "had voluntarily confessed his guilt before the court prior to the presentation of the evidence for the prosecution." In the instant case, appellant did not only plead "not guilty" upon arraignment, but waited for the prosecution to rest its case. It was only during his turn to present evidence that he confessed having committed the crime charged. Certainly, his confession of guilt was not spontaneous, which is what the law requires.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    On the matter of damages, the dispositive portion of the trial court’s decision did not award moral damages to the victim simply because there was "no declaration for moral damages . . ." chanrob1es virtua1 1aw library

    That pronouncement by the trial court is inaccurate. The Information in the present case actually alleges that Merly was deflowered by appellant "against her will and to her damage and prejudice." Her testimony in court reveals that she was violently harmed when appellant punched her on the belly causing her to pass out; that it was then he mercilessly ravished her, and upon regaining consciousness, her vagina was aching and her panty stained with blood; that he ravaged her again more than ten (10) times from April 2, 1994; that she was later rushed to the hospital due to profuse vaginal bleeding as a result of a miscarriage; and that due to her great fear that he would kill her if she tells anyone about this incident, it took her awhile to report to the authorities his sexual assault on her. When Merly narrated her harrowing experience in open court, she, undoubtedly, exposed herself to public humiliation, disgrace and ridicule.

    These undisputed facts are eloquent and sufficient proof to warrant the award of moral damages to the victim in this prosecution for rape. The trial court should not have simply brushed aside these facts especially because it correctly found the existence of rape. It is plain from Merly’s testimony that she has suffered physical injury, mental anguish, fright, serious anxiety, besmirched reputation, wounded feelings, moral shock, social humiliation and similar injury, which, under Article 2217 of the Civil Code, constitute the bases for awarding moral damages. The said Article 2217 further provides that" (t)hough incapable of pecuniary computation, moral damages may be recovered if they are the proximate result of the defendant’s wrongful act or omission."cralaw virtua1aw library

    The recent case law on rape, it must be stressed, even permits the automatic grant of civil indemnity and moral damages to the victim once the fact of rape has been established. As we have held in People v. Prades, 56 through Justice Florenz D. Regalado, "the conventional requirement of allegata et probata in civil procedure . . . should be dispensed with in criminal prosecutions for rape with the civil aspect included therein, since no appropriate pleadings are filed wherein such allegations can be made." The obvious reason for this ruling was eloquently stated in People v. Villamor, 57 through Justice Flerida Ruth P. Romero, thus: ". . . the anguish and pain that the victim had to endure are so evident that it would be expecting too much for her to recite in detail her traumatic experience, simply to obtain pecuniary restitution. We need not belabor the fact that a rape victim is a victim many times over. She is physically, socially, psychologically and emotionally scarred resulting in trauma which may last a lifetime. Simply put (citing the ponencia of Justice Reynato S. Puno 58), ‘rape stigmatizes the victim worse than the perpetrator, as our culture puts premium into purity and virginity as virtues.’" cralaw : red

    Accordingly, this Court, based on recent jurisprudence, 59 has adopted a new policy in cases of rape to the effect that the award of "civil indemnity is mandatory upon the finding of the fact of rape;" that "the indemnification for the victim shall be in the increased amount of P75,000.00 if the crime of rape is committed or effectively qualified by any of the circumstances under which the death penalty is authorized by the applicable amendatory laws;" and that moral damages may additionally be awarded to the rape victim "without need of pleading or proof of the basis thereof as has heretofore been the practice."cralaw virtua1aw library

    Thus, the victim in the case at bar should be awarded civil indemnity in the amount of P75,000.00, and moral damages of P50,000.00. Since the appellant is the father of the victim, he should likewise pay her exemplary damages which, pursuant to controlling case law, has been fixed at P25,000.00. 60

    Finally, appellant’s counsel pleads for "compassionate justice" by allowing the reduction of his penalty from death to reclusion perpetua.

    Such plea is legally impermissible.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Compassionate justice is accorded only to one deserving of compassion within the bounds of the law. As perfectly stated in People v. Malagar, 61 through Justice Jose C. Vitug," (a) father is looked up to as the protector and . . . guardian of his family, remaining ever wary of even the slightest harm that might befall it. It is difficult to thus imagine that any such man could instead stand as the predator of his own flesh and blood."cralaw virtua1aw library

    Appellant has shown his bestiality and deserves the supreme penalty, lest he might feast again on Merly’s younger sisters to satisfy his insatiable greed for lust.

    It may now be trite, but nonetheless apt, to restate the legal maxim "Hoc quidem per quam durum est sed ita lex scripta est." (The law may be exceedingly hard, but so the law is written.). 62 Appellant himself knows he is facing the death penalty for his crime, but he is ready for it because, as he said, "Ako po’y nagkasala. . . ." 63

    Four members of the Court maintain their position that Republic Act No. 7659, insofar as it prescribes the death penalty, is unconstitutional. Nevertheless, they submit to the ruling of the majority members that the said law is constitutional and that the death penalty should be imposed in this case.

    WHEREFORE, the Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Boac, Marinduque, Branch 38, in Criminal Case No. 60-94, convicting MARCELO PALERMO Y CARIAS of the crime of rape and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of DEATH, is AFFIRMED. The appealed decision is MODIFIED insofar as the civil aspect of the case is concerned. Appellant is thus ordered to PAY the offended party, Merly Palermo y Mandac, P75,000.00 as compensatory damages; P50,000.00 as moral damages; and P25,000.00 as exemplary damages, with costs.

    In accordance with Article 83 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Section 25 of Republic Act No. 7659, upon finality of this decision, let the certified true copy of the record of this case be forthwith forwarded to the Office of the President for possible exercise of the pardoning power.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    SO ORDERED.

    Davide, Jr., C.J., Bellosillo, Melo, Puno, Vitug, Kapunan, Mendoza, Panganiban, Quisumbing, Pardo, Buena, Gonzaga-Reyes, Ynares-Santiago, De Leon, Jr., Sandoval-Gutierrez, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Article 47, Revised Penal Code, as amended by Section 22, Republic Act No. 7659; Section 3(d), Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, as amended (effective December 1, 2000).

    2. RTC record of Criminal Case No. 60-94, p. 7.

    3. Ibid., p. 8.

    4. Exhibit "A-5" (Birth Certificate), RTC record of Criminal Case No. 48-94, p. 6.

    5. Transcript of Stenographic Notes (TSN), December 21, 1994, pp. 2-3, 7.

    6. Ibid., p. 7.

    7. Ibid., pp. 10-11.

    8. Ibid., pp. 6-8, 15.

    9. Ibid., p. 8.

    10. Ibid., January 31, 1995, p. 6.

    11. Ibid., December 21, 1994, p. 16.

    12. Ibid., p. 9; January 31, 1995, p. 6.

    13. Ibid, p. 14.

    14. Ibid.

    15. Ibid.

    16. Ibid., p. 9.

    17. Ibid., pp. 9-10, 14: January 31, 1995, p. 6.

    18. Ibid., December 21, 1994, p. 10.

    19. Ibid.

    20. Ibid.

    21. Ibid.

    22. Ibid., pp. 11-12.

    23. Ibid., p. 11.

    24. Ibid., pp. 17-18.

    25. Exhibit "A-4", RTC record of Criminal Case No. 48-94, p. 4.

    26. TSN, December 21, 1994, pp. 13-20.

    27. Exhibit "B", supra, pp. 22-23.

    28. TSN, supra, p. 20.

    29. Ibid. p. 17.

    30. Exhibit "A-2", supra, p. 2.

    31. TSN, supra.

    32. Ibid., April 11, 1995, p. 4.

    33. Ibid., p. 6.

    34. Ibid., p. 7.

    35. Ibid.

    36. Ibid.

    37. Ibid.

    38. Ibid.

    39. Ibid., p. 8.

    40. Ibid.

    41. Ibid., pp. 8-9.

    42. Ibid., p. 9.

    43. Penned by Judge Romulo A. Lopez, RTC Record of Criminal Case No. 60-94, pp. 33-37.

    44. Ibid., p. 37.

    45. Ibid.

    46. Rollo, p. 28.

    47. Ibid., p. 29.

    48. People v. Calayca, 301 SCRA 192 (1999), citing People v. Medina, 300 SCRA 98 (1998); People v. Correa, 285 SCRA 679 (1998); People v. Garcia, 281 SCRA 463 (1997); People v. Borbano, 76 Phil. 702 (1946); and People v. Olfindo, 47 Phil. 1 (1924), citing U.S. v. Abijan, 1 Phil. 83 (1902).

    49. People v. Gementiza, 285 SCRA 478 (1998), citing People v. Rivera, Et Al., 242 SCRA 26 (1995); People v. Plaza, 242 SCRA 724 (1995); People v. Gasapan, 243 SCRA 53 (1995); and People v. Dado, Et Al., 244 SCRA 655 (1995).

    50. People v. Ching, 240 SCRA 267 (1995), cited in People v. Gementiza, supra.

    51. People v. Jaca, 229 SCRA 332 (1994), cited in People v. Gementiza, supra.

    52. People v. Lakibul, 217 SCRA 575 (1993), cited in People v. Ching, supra.

    53. People v. Garcia, supra, cited in People v. Calayca, supra.

    54. This amendatory law, entitled "AN ACT TO IMPOSE THE DEATH PENALTY ON CERTAIN HEINOUS CRIMES, AMENDING FOR THAT PURPOSE THE REVISED PENAL CODE, AS AMENDED, OTHER SPECIAL LAWS, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES," took effect on December 31, 1993 (see People v. Simon, 234 SCRA 555, 569 [1994]; People v. Prades, 293 SCRA 411 [1998].

    55. See also People v. Perez, 296 SCRA 17 (1998).

    56. Cited in Fn. 52.

    57. 297 SCRA 262 (1998).

    58. People v. Ibay, 233 SCRA 15 (1994).

    59. People v. Prades, supra, citing People v. Caballes, Et Al., 274 SCRA 83 (1997); People v. Gementiza, supra; People v. Victor, 292 SCRA 186 (1998). These cases were reiterated in people v. Malapo, 294 SCRA 579 (1998); People v. Mostrales, 294 SCRA 701 (1998); People v. Perez, supra; People v. Fuertes, 296 SCRA 602 (1998); People v. Villamor, 297 SCRA 262 (1998); People v. Emocling, 297 SCRA 214 (1998); People v. Medina, supra; and People v. Calayca, supra.

    60. People v. Arillas, G.R. No. 130593, June 19, 2000, cited in People v. Elpedes, G.R. Nos. 137106-07, January 31, 2001.

    61. 238 SCRA 512 (1994).

    62. Lee, Jr., German G., Handbook of Legal Maxims, Central Professional Books, Inc., Q.C., 2nd Revised Ed., 1998, p. 182.

    63. TSN, April 11, 1995, p. 8.

    G.R. No. 120630   June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARCELO PALERMO


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