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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-2001 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.M. No. MTJ-00-1279 March 1, 2001 - ALICIA GONZALES-DECANO v. ORLANDO ANA F. SIAPNO

  • A.M. No. MTJ-00-1282 March 1, 2001 - SOFRONIO DAYOT v. RODOLFO B. GARCIA

  • G.R. No. 112092 March 1, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERT NUÑEZ

  • G.R. No. 123069 March 1, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PEDRO SASPA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126019 March 1, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO CALDONA

  • G.R. No. 131637 March 1, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODELIO PERALTA

  • G.R. No. 133888 March 1, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALFREDO NARDO

  • G.R. No. 134330 March 1, 2001 - ENRIQUE M. BELO, ET AL. v. PHIL. NATIONAL BANK, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 135667-70 March 1, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESSIE VENTURA COLLADO

  • G.R. No. 138666 March 1, 2001 - ISABELO LORENZANA v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 140511 March 1, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BALTAZAR AMION

  • G.R. No. 142313 March 1, 2001 - MANUEL CHU, SR., ET AL. v. BENELDA ESTATE DEV’T. CORP.

  • G.R. No. 142527 March 1, 2001 - ARSENIO ALVAREZ v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144678 March 1, 2001 - JAVIER E. ZACATE v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 146710-15 & 146738 March 2, 2001 - JOSEPH E. ESTRADA v. ANIANO DESIERTO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113236 March 5, 2001 - FIRESTONE TIRE & RUBBER COMPANY OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113265 March 5, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MANUEL PEREZ

  • G.R. No. 118680 March 5, 2001 - MARIA ELENA RODRIGUEZ PEDROSA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123788 March 5, 2001 - DOMINADOR DE GUZMAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 124686 March 5, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROQUE ELLADO

  • G.R. No. 127158 March 5, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JULIO HERIDA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132353 March 5, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALFREDO IBO

  • G.R. No. 126557 March 6, 2001 - RAMON ALBERT v. CELSO D. GANGAN

  • G.R. No. 138646 March 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOMER CABANSAY

  • G.R. No. 139518 March 6, 2001 - EVANGELINE L. PUZON v. STA. LUCIA REALTY AND DEVELOPMENT

  • G.R. Nos. 140249 & 140363 March 6, 2001 - DANILO S. YAP v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140884 March 6, 2001 - GELACIO P. GEMENTIZA v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143823 March 6, 2001 - JENNIFER ABRAHAM v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126168 March 7, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANTONIO SAMUDIO

  • G.R. No. 129594 March 7, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JUNNIFER LAURENTE

  • G.R. No. 135945 March 7, 2001 - UNITED RESIDENTS OF DOMINICAN HILL v. COMM. ON THE SETTLEMENT OF LAND PROBLEMS

  • G.R. No. 136173 March 7, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ERNESTO ICALLA

  • G.R. Nos. 137481-83 & 138455 March 7, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CONRADO SALADINO

  • G.R. Nos. 139962-66 March 7, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EUGENIO MANGOMPIT

  • A.M. No. MTJ-00-1297 March 7, 2001 - JOSEFINA BANGCO v. RODOLFO S. GATDULA

  • A.M. No. MTJ-00-1329 March 8, 2001 - HERMINIA BORJA-MANZANO v. ROQUE R SANCHEZ

  • G.R. No. 122611 March 8, 2001 - NAPOLEON H. GONZALES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125901 March 8, 2001 - EDGARDO A. TIJING, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130378 March 8, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARNEL MATARO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134279 March 8, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RICKY ROGER AUSTRIA

  • G.R. Nos. 135234-38 March 8, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALEJANDRO GUNTANG

  • G.R. No. 137649 March 8, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO VILLADARES

  • G.R. No. 138137 March 8, 2001 - PERLA S. ZULUETA v. ASIA BREWERY

  • G.R. No. 138774 March 8, 2001 - REGINA FRANCISCO, ET AL v. AIDA FRANCISCO-ALFONSO

  • G.R. No. 140479 March 8, 2001 - ROSENCOR DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, ET AL. v. PATERNO INQUING, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140713 March 8, 2001 - ROSA YAP PARAS, ET AL. v. ISMAEL O. BALDADO

  • G.R. No. 112115 March 9, 2001 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 140619-24 March 9, 2001 - BENEDICTO E. KUIZON, ET AL. v. ANIANO A. DESIERTO

  • G.R. No. 126099 March 12, 2001 - ROBERTO MITO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128372 March 12, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REMEGIO DELA PEÑA

  • G.R. Nos. 130634-35 March 12, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MANOLITO OYANIB

  • G.R. No. 131889 March 12, 2001 - VIRGINIA O. GOCHAN, ET AL. v. RICHARD G. YOUNG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136738 March 12, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EFREN VALEZ

  • G.R. No. 137306 March 12, 2001 - VIRGINIA AVISADO, ET AL. v. AMOR RUMBAUA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 140011-16 March 12, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EUSTAQUIO MORATA

  • A.M. No. P-01-1464 March 13, 2001 - SALVADOR O. BOOC v. MALAYO B. BANTUAS

  • G.R. No. 103073 March 13, 2001 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131530 March 13, 2001 - Y REALTY CORP. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136594 March 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOEL CANIEZO

  • G.R. No. 139405 March 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARTURO F. PACIFICADOR

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1530 March 14, 2001 - EDGARDO ALDAY, ET AL. v. ESCOLASTICO U. CRUZ

  • G.R. Nos. 116001 & 123943 March 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LUISITO GO

  • G.R. No. 130209 March 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LARRY LAVAPIE, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 130515 & 147090 March 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANSELMO BARING

  • G.R. Nos. 134451-52 March 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REYNALDO FRETA

  • G.R. No. 137036 March 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. HERNANDO DE MESA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138045 March 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIETTA PATUNGAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139300 March 14, 2001 - AMIGO MANUFACTURING v. CLUETT PEABODY CO.

  • G.R. No. 102985 March 15, 2001 - RUBEN BRAGA CURAZA v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133480 March 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FLORANTE AGUILUZ

  • G.R. Nos. 135201-02 March 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FLORENCIO FRANCISCO

  • G.R. No. 141616 March 15, 2001 - CITY OF QUEZON v. LEXBER INCORPORATED

  • G.R. No. 116847 March 16, 2001 - MANUFACTURERS BUILDING v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128083 March 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO M. HILARIO

  • G.R. No. 128922 March 16, 2001 - ELEUTERIA B. ALIABO, ET AL. v. ROGELIO L. CARAMPATAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129070 March 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NELLIE CABAIS

  • G.R. No. 131544 March 16, 2001 - EPG CONSTRUCTION CO., ET AL. v. GREGORIO R. VIGILAR

  • G.R. No. 135047 March 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RICARDO CACHOLA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137282 March 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALFREDO ALIPAR

  • G.R. Nos. 137753-56 March 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. NILO ARDON

  • A.M. No. 01-1463 March 20, 2001 - EVELYN ACUÑA v. RODOLFO A. ALCANTARA

  • A.M. No. MTJ-00-1306 March 20, 2001 - ROBERT M. VISBAL v. RODOLFO C. RAMOS

  • A.M. No. P-97-1241 March 20, 2001 - DINNA CASTILLO v. ZENAIDA C. BUENCILLO

  • G.R. Nos. 105965-70 March 20, 2001 - GEORGE UY v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL

  • G.R. No. 108991 March 20, 2001 - WILLIAM ALAIN MIAILHE v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130663 March 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. ANGELES STA. TERESA

  • G.R. Nos. 136862-63 March 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROLANDO SANTOS

  • G.R. Nos. 139413-15 March 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ENDRICO GALAS

  • G.R. No. 140356 March 20, 2001 - DOLORES FAJARDO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140919 March 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BUTCH BUCAO LEE

  • G.R. No. 142476 March 20, 2001 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN

  • G.R. No. 144074 March 20, 2001 - MEDINA INVESTIGATION & SECURITY CORP., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127772 March 22, 2001 - ROBERTO P. ALMARIO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 133815-17 March 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDGARDO LIAD, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134972 March 22, 2001 - ERNESTO CATUNGAL, ET AL. v. DORIS HAO

  • A.M. No. P-01-1469 March 26, 2001 - ROEL O. PARAS v. MYRNA F. LOFRANCO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1624 March 26, 2001 - REQUEST FOR ASSISTANCE RELATIVE TO SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS NO. 28

  • A.M. No. 99-731-RTJ March 26, 2001 - HILARIO DE GUZMAN v. DEODORO J. SISON

  • G.R. Nos. 102407-08 March 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDMUNDO LUCERO

  • G.R. No. 121608 March 26, 2001 - FLEISCHER COMPANY v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121902 March 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WALTER MELENCION

  • G.R. No. 125865 March 26, 2001 - JEFFREY LIANG v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 129916 March 26, 2001 - MAGELLAN CAPITAL MNGT. CORP., ET AL. v. ROLANDO M. ZOSA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 131638-39 March 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LORETO MEDENILLA

  • G.R. No. 131653 March 26, 2001 - ROBERTO GONZALES v. NLRC, ET AL

  • G.R. No. 133475 March 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ERNESTO MONTEJO

  • G.R. No. 134903 March 26, 2001 - UNICRAFT INDUSTRIES INTERNATIONAL CORP., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136790 March 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MANUEL GALVEZ

  • G.R. No. 137268 March 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EUTIQUIA CARMEN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137590 March 26, 2001 - FLORENCE MALCAMPO-SIN v. PHILIPP T. SIN

  • G.R. No. 137739 March 26, 2001 - ROBERTO B. TAN v. PHIL. BANKING CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137889 March 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO DELOS SANTOS

  • G.R. No. 142950 March 26, 2001 - EQUITABLE PCI BANK v. ROSITA KU

  • G.R. Nos. 147066 & 147179 March 26, 2001 - AKBAYAN - Youth, ET AL. v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. 00-7-09-CA March 27, 2001 - IN RE: DEMETRIO G. DEMETRIA

  • A.M. No. P-01-1473 March 27, 2001 - GLORIA O. BENITEZ v. MEDEL P. ACOSTA

  • G.R. No. 123149 March 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CORNELIO CABUG

  • G.R. No. 131588 March 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GLENN DE LOS SANTOS

  • G.R. Nos. 137762-65 March 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REYNALDO BARES

  • G.R. No. 137989 March 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SONNY MATIONG, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1357 March 28, 2001 - MONFORT HERMANOS AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT CORP. v. ROLANDO V. RAMIREZ

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1574 March 28, 2001 - GORGONIO S. NOVA v. SANCHO DAMES II

  • G.R. No. 100701 March 28, 2001 - PRODUCERS BANK OF THE PHIL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 101442 March 28, 2001 - JOSE ANGELES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL

  • G.R. No. 110012 March 28, 2001 - ANASTACIO VICTORIO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112314 March 28, 2001 - VICENTE R. MADARANG v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117964 March 28, 2001 - PLACIDO O. URBANES, JR. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122216 March 28, 2001 - ALJEM’S CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126751 March 28, 2001 - SAFIC ALCAN & CIE v. IMPERIAL VEGETABLE OIL CO.

  • G.R. No. 126959 March 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SERVANDO SATURNO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136965 March 28, 2001 - UNIVERSITY OF THE PHIL. v. SEGUNDINA ROSARIO

  • G.R. No. 137660 March 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CARLOS L. ALCANTARA

  • G.R. No. 137932 March 28, 2001 - CHIANG YIA MIN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138474 March 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FORTUNATO BALANO

  • G.R. Nos. 139571-72 March 28, 2001 - ROGER N. ABARDO v. SANDIGANBAYAN

  • G.R. No. 140153 March 28, 2001 - ANTONIO DOCENA, ET AL. v. RICARDO P. LAPESURA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141307 March 28, 2001 - PURTO J. NAVARRO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142007 March 28, 2001 - MANUEL C. FELIX v. ENERTECH SYSTEMS INDUSTRIES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143173 March 28, 2001 - PEDRO ONG, ET AL. v. SOCORRO PAREL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144169 March 28, 2001 - KHE HONG CHENG v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131836 March 30, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MELITA SINCO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137564 March 30, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DOMINADOR DOMENDED

  • G.R. No. 137648 March 30, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. IRENEO PADILLA

  • G.R. No. 140311 March 30, 2001 - DENNIS T. GABIONZA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL

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    G.R. No. 137889   March 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO DELOS SANTOS

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    EN BANC

    [G.R. No. 137889. March 26, 2001.]

    PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. ROMEO DELOS SANTOS, Accused-Appellant.

    D E C I S I O N


    MELO, J.:


    A father who ravages his own daughter reduces himself to the level of a beast and forfeits his membership in the world of civilized men.chanrob1es virtual law library

    Nenita de los Santos was only 14 years old when her father, Accused-appellant Romeo de los Santos, sexually abused her. She narrated that on July 31, 1997 at around 9 o’clock in the evening while she was about to go to sleep, her father suddenly approached her, held her waist and poked a knife at her side, threatening to kill her if she tells anyone what he was about to do to her. Then her father boxed her on the abdomen, inflicting on her so much pain and causing her to fall down on the floor. While in such a position, her father removed her short pants and panties even while she resisted; but her father overpowered her and he succeeded in having sexual intercourse with her. Accused-appellant stopped violating his daughter only after he has satisfied his lust. Nenita cried the whole night through and the days after because of the intense pain m her private part, but more so because of the betrayal of the man who gave her life and whom she trusted would protect and shield her from life’s sorrows and pains. To add ignominy to his bestial acts, Accused-appellant not only violated his daughter once but several times.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Out of shame and fear for her life, Nenita suffered in silence. She never told anyone, not even her mother, about the horrible ordeal she went through in the hands of her own father. But after several days, she mustered enough courage and went to the police to report the incident. She also submitted to a physical examination to substantiate her allegations. The necessary information for multiple rape was filed against Accused-Appellant.

    Upon arraignment, Accused-appellant pleaded not guilty to the crimes charged.

    The prosecution accordingly presented as its first witness Dr. Felma Caybot, the physician who examined the victim. Dr. Caybot testified; among other things that: (1) she was able to insert her two fingers in Nenita’s private part with minimal resistance and there was not even a change in the facial expression of the patient, and (2) in the examination of the hymen of the patient, she found healed lacerations at 6 o’clock and 3 o’clock positions (tsn, p. 3, July 7, 1998).

    The prosecution then called Nenita as its next witness. Nenita had barely started her narration of the incidents when accused-appellant manifested in court that he was changing his plea from "not guilty" to "guilty" provided the Information is amended to a single-charge of rape. The trial court put accused appellant on the witness stand, and after seemingly satisfying itself that accused-appellant understood the full consequences of his plea of guilty, the court a quo allowed the amendment of the Information to one charge of rape and changed accused-appellant’s plea of "not guilty" to "guilty" .

    Nenita continued with her testimony; after which, the prosecution rested its case. When it was accused-appellant’s turn to present his evidence, he manifested to the court that he had no evidence to present.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    On February 10, 1999, the court a quo convicted accused-appellant of the crime of rape and imposed on him the supreme penalty of death, thusly:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    WHEREFORE, the Court finds accused ROMEO DELOS SANTOS, GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt as principal of the crime of RAPE as defined and penalized under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code as amended by R.A. No. 7659, Sec. 11 thereof and hereby imposes upon the accused Romeo delos Santos the penalty of DEATH; to pay the victim Nenita delos Santos civil indemnity in the amount of FIFTY THOUSAND (P50,000.00) PESOS and the costs.

    The death penalty having been imposed by this Court, let the records of the case together with the transcript of stenographic notes be transmitted to the Supreme Court by way of an automatic review pursuant to Article 47 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Section 22 of Republic Act No. 7659.

    SO ORDERED.

    (pp. 72-73, Records.)

    In this automatic review, Accused-appellant faults the trial court "in not applying the safeguards to a plea of guilty to a capital offense set forth under section 3, Rule 116, 1985 Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure" (Brief for the Accused-Appellant, Rollo, p. 29).

    We find the contention partially meritorious, but not sufficient to warrant the reversal of the finding of guilt by the court a quo.

    Section 3, Rule 116 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure (the Rule then prevailing when the instant crime was committed and tried, and which remains unamended in the present 2000 Rules) states the procedure to be followed where the accused, with the assistance of counsel, voluntarily pleads to a capital offense:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    SECTION 3. When an accused pleads guilty to a capital offense, the court shall conduct a searching inquiry into the voluntariness and full comprehension of the consequences of his plea and require the prosecution to prove his guilt and the precise degree of culpability The accused may also present evidence in his behalf: (1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure)chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Thus, where the accused enters a plea of guilty to a capital offense, the trial court is called upon to observe the following procedure: the court shall conduct a searching inquiry into the voluntariness and the accused’s full comprehension of the consequences of his plea and require the prosecution to prove his guilt and the precise degree of his culpability. The accused may also present evidence in his behalf (People v. Dayot, 187 SCRA 637 [1990]).

    In the case at bar, the trial court asked accused-appellant the following questions to determine the voluntariness and full comprehension of his change of plea from "not guilty" to "guilty", thus:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    COURT:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    x       x       x


    Put the accused in the witness stand for the searching questions and inquiries.

    Q You just change your plea of not guilty to plead guilty to the crime of rape, is that correct?

    A Yes, Ma’am.

    Q Do you know that by pleading guilty to the crime charged you can be meted out of a penalty of death?

    A Yes, Ma’am.

    Q By the way, is your decision to plead guilty voluntary on your part?

    A Yes your Honor, because I pity her.cralaw : red

    Q Nobody is threatening you of bodily harm so that you will plead guilty to the crime charged?

    A None your Honor. It is my own will.

    Q Inspite the fact that you are already aware that the penalty provided for by law is death, will you still insist on your plea of guilty?

    A Yes, your Honor.

    Q Aside from that reason that your wife deserted you and your small children are left behind are you still bent on proceeding your plea of guilty despite that you can be meted with the penalty of death?

    A Yes your honor, I will go on with my plea of guilty.

    (pp. 4-5, tsn, July 9, 1998.)

    It is observed that the procedure followed by the trial court in respect of the affirmative plea of accused-appellant leaves much to be desired. As required under Section 3, Rule 116 of the 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure (supra), the trial court should have taken the necessary measures to see to it that accused-appellant really and freely comprehended the meaning, full significance and consequences of his plea. In the case at bar, Accused-appellant pleaded guilty to raping his daughter because he pitied her (tsn, July 9, 1998, p. 5). This is not a sufficient reason for the trial court to allow a change of plea from "not guilty" to one of "guilty." Aside from ensuring the voluntariness of accused-appellant’s plea and his full comprehension of the consequences of the same, the trial court should also have impressed on him that by changing his plea from "not guilty" to "guilty", he was, in effect, admitting authorship of the crime of rape against his own daughter. This the trial court failed to do.

    Nevertheless, even without considering said plea of guilty on the part of accused-appellant as above discussed, there is adequate evidence to warrant and justify the conviction of accused-appellant, namely: the medical certificate attesting to the fact that the victim, Nenita, has a lacerated hymen, and, the testimony of Nenita herself that her father, herein accused-appellant, forced her to have sexual intercourse with him, not just once but several times. This testimony was unrebutted as accused-appellant did not present any evidence to prove his innocence even when asked to do so by the court a quo. His plea of guilty effectively corroborated and substantiated Nenita’s allegations that her father indeed raped her. Of no small significance too is the fact that accused-appellant changed his plea of "not guilty" to one of "guilty" after arraignment, and after the prosecution has presented its witnesses — the physician who examined Nenita, and, Nenita herself.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Republic Act No. 7659 or the Death Penalty Law, punishes the rape of a minor with death. The allegation of minority must, however, be proved with equal certainty and clearness as the crime itself. Thus, in People v. Javier (311 SCRA 122 [1999]), we required the presentation of the birth certificate of the victim to prove her minority, failing which the imposition of the death penalty cannot be upheld. It is a common observance that in this age of modernity, a physically developed 14-year old girl may be mistaken for an 18-year old young woman, in the same manner that a frail and youthful-looking 18-year old lady may pass as a 14-year old minor. Thus, it is in this context that proof of the actual age of a rape victim becomes vital and essential so as to remove an iota of doubt that the victim is indeed under 18 years of age as to fall under the qualifying circumstances enumerated in Republic Act No. 7659. In the case at hand, the prosecution did not present any independent proof of Nenita’s minority. It merely alleged in the Information that Nenita was 14 years old when her father raped her. In the light of our discussion in Javier (supra), this failure effectively removes the instant case from the operation of the Death Penalty Law. It is a time-honored principle that in a criminal prosecution, especially where the life of another human being is hanging on the balance, nothing but proof beyond reasonable doubt of every fact necessary to constitute the crime with which the accused is charged must be established in order for the corresponding penalty thereto to be upheld. The prosecution, in the instant case, was remiss in this regard. The applicable penalty is, therefore, reclusion perpetua and this penalty being an indivisible penalty, the benefits under the Indeterminate Sentence Law are not applicable (Section 2, Act No. 4103, as amended).

    Pursuant to prevailing jurisprudence the indemnity for rape is now P50,000.00 (People v. Itdang, G.R. No. 136393, October 18, 2000, citing People v. Betonio, 279 SCRA 532 [1997]). Rape victims shall likewise be entitled to moral damages in the amount of P50,000.00 (People v. Clado, G.R. No. 135699-70, 139103, October 19, 2000 citing People v. Perez, 307 SCRA 276 [1999]).chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    WHEREFORE, the appealed decision is hereby AFFIRMED with the modification that the penalty to be imposed shall be RECLUSION PERPETUA, instead of death. Accused-appellant is further ordered to indemnify the victim in the amount of Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00) and to pay another Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00) as moral damages. No special pronouncement is made as to costs.

    SO ORDERED.

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

    Quisumbing, J., is on leave.

    G.R. No. 137889   March 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO DELOS SANTOS




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