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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
 

   
May-2001 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 128822 May 4, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALBERTO PASUDAG

  • G.R. No. 147571 May 5, 2001 - SOCIAL WEATHER STATIONS, ET AL. v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129285 May 7, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERTO PALABRICA

  • G.R. No. 142840 May 7, 2001 - ANTONIO BENGSON III v. HRET, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 145401 May 7, 2001 - MANUEL L. ONTIVEROS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106028 May 9, 2001 - LILIA Y. GONZALES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106763 May 9, 2001 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109087 May 9, 2001 - RODZSSEN SUPPLY CO. INC. v. FAR EAST BANK & TRUST CO.

  • G.R. No. 110203 May 9, 2001 - DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138556 May 9, 2001 - PIGLAS-KAMAO, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139961 May 9, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARSENIO TOLEDO SR.

  • G.R. No. 143616 May 9, 2001 - NEGROS ORIENTAL ELECTRIC COOP. 1 v. SECRETARY OF THE DOLE, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 144261-62 May 9, 2001 - PRUDENTE D. SOLLER, ET AL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-00-1400 May 10, 2001 - MANUEL M. ROSALES v. GIL STA. ANA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132662 May 10, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ENRIQUE HINDOY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134129 May 10, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAMON SALIPDAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138235 May 10, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERTO PALERO

  • G.R. No. 147741 May 10, 2001 - MA. CATALINA L. GO v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 147780, 147781, 147799 & 147810 May 10, 2001 - PANFILO LACSON, ET AL. v. HERNANDO PEREZ, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. 99-5-162-RTC May 11, 2001 - RE: REPORT ON THE JUDICIAL AUDIT CONDUCTED IN THE RTC

  • G.R. No. 133997 May 17, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIXBERTO ABALLE

  • G.R. No. 138451 May 17, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGELIO REPIROGA

  • G.R. No. 114231 May 18, 2001 - MANILA ELECTRIC COMPANY v. NELIA A. BARLIS

  • G.R. No. 119679 May 18, 2001 - ALFREDO AND SUSANA BUOT v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. 4215 May 21, 2001 - FELICISIMO M. MONTANO v. INTEGRATED BAR of the PHIL., ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-95-1056 May 21, 2001 - INOCENCIO C. SIAWAN v. AQUILINO A. INOPIQUEZ

  • G.R. No. 116280 May 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PAQUITO DUMAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123547 May 21, 2001 - DANTE MARTINEZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123892 May 21, 2001 - JASMIN SOLER v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130366 May 21, 2001 - LILIA T. AARON v. TEOFILO L. GUADIZ, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132247 May 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RONALDO F. LOBRIGO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134294 May 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDILBERTO VILLALOBOS

  • G.R. No. 136825 May 21, 2001 - CITY GOVERNMENT OF DAVAO v. JULIANA MONTEVERDE-CONSUNJI, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138780 May 22, 2001 - NORBERTO ORCULLO, JR. v. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. 01-1-01-SC May 23, 2001 - IN RE: SONIA LLAMAS-TAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132364 May 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALFREDO ALVERO

  • G.R. No. 136737 May 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BEN LIBO-ON

  • G.R. No. 138983 May 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GENER B. AGONCILLO

  • G.R. Nos. 130144 & 130502-03 May 24, 2001 - MELECIA PAÑA, ET AL. v. FLORIPINAS C. BUYSER, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137048 May 24, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CASTRO GERABAN

  • G.R. No. 139552 May 24, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REYNALDO REBATO

  • G.R. No. 143389 May 25, 2001 - PFIZER INC. ET AL. v. EDWIN V. GALAN

  • G.R. No. 110131 May 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FRANCISCO DEACOSTA

  • G.R. No. 110340 May 28, 2001 - WESTERN SHIPYARD SERVICES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112990 May 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LEMUEL COMPO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112661 May 30, 2001 - SIMEON DE LEON, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112710 May 30, 2001 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 137051-52 May 30, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VICENTE VALDESANCHO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1563 May 31, 2001 - ROSEMARIE LATORRE v. LEONARDO P. ANSALDO

  • G.R. No. 116488 May 31, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. AARON FLORES

  • G.R. No. 116941 May 31, 2001 - TIRSO ANTIPORDA, JR., ET AL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128466 May 31, 2001 - REMEGIO P. YU, ET AL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 130627 & 139477-78 May 31, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. AGUEDA T. ALBA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142295 May 31, 2001 - VICENTE DEL ROSARIO v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. 132364   May 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALFREDO ALVERO

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    EN BANC

    [G.R. No. 132364. May 23, 2001.]

    PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. ALFREDO ALVERO y TARADO, Accused-Appellant.

    D E C I S I O N


    PER CURIAM:


    For automatic review is the September 30, 1997 Decision 1 of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 128, of Caloocan City, rendered in Crim. Case No. C-51046, convicting accused-appellant Alfredo Alvero y Tarado of the rape of a four-year old child and imposing upon him the death penalty.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    In an Information 2 dated October 14, 1996, appellant was charged, as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    That on or about the 7th day of October, 1996, in Area D, Camarin, Novaliches, Caloocan City, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, Accused ALFREDO ALVERO y TARADO with lewd designs, and by means of threat or violence, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously, lie and succeeded in having sexual intercourse with minor Ameerah Abu-Hanieh, a four-year old child.

    On November 6, 1996, Accused-appellant was arraigned and, through the assistance of his counsel de oficio, Atty. Ojer Pacis of the Public Attorneys Office, entered a plea of "not guilty." Trial on the merits thereafter ensued.

    The prosecution presented three witnesses: the four-year-old victim Ameerah Abu-Hanieh, her mother Josephine and Dr. Aurea Villena, medico-legal officer of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). Their testimonies are summarized by the Solicitor General in the Appellee’s Brief, as follows: 3

    At around 1:00 p.m. of October 7, 1996, 4 year old Ameerah Abu-Hamieh was lying on her bed when appellant, a houseboy in the Abu Hamieh household, barged into her room. Appellant then kissed Ameerah and forced his penis into her vagina (TSN, Jan. 27, 1997, pp. 5 and 9; TSN, Feb. 4, 1997, p. 3).chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Ameerah’s private parts subsequently bled, which prompted appellant to wash it with water. Moments after the rape, the victim’s aunt Evy arrived to replace appellant in taking care of Ameerah and the other children, causing appellant to suddenly leave (TSN, Jan. 27, 1997, pp. 9-10).

    After two (2) days, or on October 9, 1996, Ameerah confided to her mother Josephine Abu-Hamieh about the incident. The latter was naturally shocked by such revelation. She promptly brought Ameerah to the NBI the following morning for medical examination (TSN, Feb. 4, 1997, pp. 5-6).

    Dr. Aurea Villena of the NBI Medico Legal Division, after conducting a genital examination on Ameerah, found a hymenal laceration on the victim’s genitals, which is normally caused by sexual intercourse (TSN, Jan. 29, 1997, p. 4).

    On the other hand, according to the sole defense witness, appellant Alvero himself, the pertinent facts are the following: 4

    ALFREDO ALVERO accused in the case at bar testified that on October 7, 1996 while he was at the store of the Abu-Hanieh’s, he was fetched by Mrs. Abu-Hanieh and brought to their house. She (Mrs. Abu-Hanieh) requested the accused to take care of the children while she is attending to some important matters. After Mrs. Abu-Hanieh left, he watched television while the three (3) children of Mrs. Abu-Hanieh (Ameerah, Aizor and Amir) were sleeping in their room. After a while, Ameerah came out of her room and told him she wanted to urinate. He led her outside the house and after Ameerah was able to relieve herself, he washed her vagina with water then carried her back to her room and he resumed watching television. He left the house when Ameerah’s aunt, Tita Evy, came to take his place.

    After both parties rested their case, the court a quo convicted appellant as charged. The dispositive portion of the assailed Decision reads:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    WHEREFORE, premises considered, the accused Alfredo Alvero y Tarado is hereby found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape and the penalty of DEATH is hereby imposed upon him and to pay the amount of P50,000.00 to the victim as for moral damages.

    Let the entire records of this case be elevated to the Supreme Court for review.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    In convicting accused-appellant, the trial judge explained: 5

    In statutory rape cases where the victim is below 12 years old, the circumstances of force, intimidation or that the victim was deprived of reason or was rendered unconscious need not be proven. Proof that sexual intercourse had indeed taken place is sufficient to convict. There are three vital witnesses for the prosecution: First, the testimony of the victim herself Ameerah, who unequivocally stated in the witness stand that the accused inserted his penis into her vagina (TSN, Jan. 27, 1997, p. 9); second, the testimony of the Medico-Legal Officer that there was hymenal laceration on the vagina of the victim which is normally caused by sexual intercourse (TSN, Jan. 29, 1997, p. 6); and last, the testimony of the mother of Ameerah the victim of what her daughter confided to her of the rape committed by the accused against her (TSN, Feb. 4, 1997, pp. 5 & 6).

    Furthermore, the Court noted how the victim demonstrated on the witness stand how she was raped by the accused with the use of two dolls, one representing male and the other female and then putting the male doll on top of the female doll and demonstrating by a pumping motion with the aid of the dolls (TSN, Jan. 27, 1997, p. 11).

    To this Court, the foregoing testimonial and illustrative evidence constitute proof that coitus had indeed taken place between the accused and victim Ameerah. The victim who is such a tender age and absent any evidence that she was coached as there was no evidence to show she was taught or induced to say that she was raped when in fact she was not, for her to fabricate the facts of rape thus charging the accused falsely of the crime of rape is to the mind of the Court certainly beyond her mental capacity. To invent the idea of charging the accused for the crime of rape is simply beyond the mental capacity of this child who was only 4-years old if she was not a victim of the lustful act of rape committed against her. At this point, it is stressed, that the narration of how the rape was committed was delivered by the victim in a straight forward manner. She did not hesitate in her answers to preposterous questions propounded by the defense counsel. The Court debunks the insinuation by the defense of the possibility of coaching by the mother of the victim. The Court believes that no mother of sound mind would expose her child to the possibility of public ridicule and trauma of such a demeaning experience that she will live with throughout her life.

    In his Brief, Accused-appellant assigns a single error in the RTC Decision, thus: 6

    THE LOWER COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN CONVICTING ACCUSED-APPELLANT OF THE CRIME CHARGED IN THE INFORMATION DESPITE FAILURE OF THE PROSECUTION TO PROVE HIS GUILT BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT.

    In reviewing trial court convictions for rape, this Court has generally been guided by the following principles: (1) an accusation for rape can be made with facility and while it is difficult to prove, it is more difficult for the person accused, though innocent, to disprove it; (2) 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 (3) 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. 7

    Guided by these principles, we examined closely the evidence for the prosecution. The principal complainant is an innocent four-year-old child, Ameerah. She described her ordeal in a clear, straightforward and categorical manner, as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q Ameera[h], do you know Jonjon Alvero y Tarado?chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    A Yes, sir.

    Q If you will see him again in this Court room, will you be able to identify him?

    A Yes, sir.

    Q Will you point to this Honorable Court Jonjon Alvero?

    Witness

    A Yes, sir. (Witness pointing to a male person whom when asked answered by the name of Alfredo Alvero).

    State Prosecutor Lao

    May we manifest your honor that Alfredo Alvero is also known as Jonjon Alvero by the witness and, also by the households for which the accused was formerly employed.

    Court

    Manifestation noted. Proceed counsel.

    State Prosecutor Lao

    Q Ameerah, did Jonjon ever do something against you, to your body?

    Witness

    A Yes, sir.

    Q What did the accused Jonjon Alvero do to you?

    Witness

    A He inserted his penis into my vagina, sir.

    State Prosecutor Lao

    Q What did you feel when Jonjon inserted his penis into your vagina?

    A And he kissed me sir. (Witness pointing to her lips).chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Q Were you hurt when Jonjon was able to penetrate his penis into your vagina?

    A Yes, sir.

    State Prosecutor Lao

    Q After that, what did Jonjon do?

    Witness

    A He washed my vagina, sir.

    Q After that what happened next?

    A Somebody knocked at the door and it was my Tita Evy. Jonjon opened the door and when Tita Evy came inside, Jonjon left, sir.

    Q When Jonjon inserted his penis into your vagina, where were you at that time?

    A I was in the room, sir.

    Q What were you doing inside the room?

    A I was sleeping, sir.

    State Prosecutor Lao

    Q So, when Jonjon came to your room, you were sleeping and what did Jonjon do when you were sleeping?

    Witness

    A He raped me, sir.

    Q What do you mean rape?

    A He inserted his penis into my vagina, sir.

    Q I am showing to you a pair of doll[s], a male and a female doll. Now, will you describe to this Honorable Court the act that Jonjon [did] to you when you were in your room?

    State Prosecutor Lao

    May we manifest you honor that the witness is showing how, by the use of two (2) dolls, male and female, and she demonstrated what was done to her by the accused in this case.

    That would be all for the witness, your honor. 8

    On cross-examination by the defense counsel, she did not waver one whit from her story. She maintained that the accused-appellant inserted his penis into her vagina. Thus:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Atty. Pacis:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    (to witness)

    Did any male person inserts his penis in your pek-pek other than Jhon-Jhon?

    A Only Jhon-Jhon, sir.

    Q Do you know what do you mean by rape? Do you know the meaning of rape?

    A The penis was inserted to my vagina.

    Q How did Jhon-Jhon inserts his penis in your pek-pek?

    A (witness demonstrated by push and pull motion) He kissed me on my lips, sir.

    Q What was inserted in your pek-pek, is it his finger?

    A His penis, sir.

    Q Did you see the penis of Jhon-Jhon?chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    A No, sir.

    Q Awhile ago, you demonstrated that the penis of the accused was inserted in your pek-pek by using your finger. Do you mean to say that the penis or finger of the accused was used?

    A Penis, sir.

    Q What did Jhon-Jhon do with his fingers?

    A He did not inserts his fingers in my vagina but his penis, sir.

    Q You said that you did not see the penis of the accused. Is it not?

    A No, sir.

    Q Why did you say that the penis of the accused was inserted in your pek-pek, if you did not see it?

    A Because it was very painful, sir.

    Q What do you mean by painful?

    A Bleeding, sir.

    Q What was bleeding?

    A My vagina, sir.

    Q Did the hand or fingers of the accused touch your pek-pek?

    A No, sir.

    Q Was your pek-pek washed by Jhon-Jhon by using his hand?

    A After the incident, Jhon-Jhon washed my vagina immediately, thereafter, Ate Babes arrived and then Jhon-Jhon left.

    Q Your urinated at that time that is why Jhon-Jhon washed your pek-pek. Is it not?

    A No, sir.

    Q You did not urinate at that time?

    A No, sir.

    Q Was your panty removed by Jhon-Jhon?

    A Yes, sir.

    Q Now, did you tell to your mother what Jhon-Jhon did to you?

    A Yes, sir.

    Q What did you tell your mother?

    A "Mama so Jhon-Jhon nirape ako" .

    Q Do you know the meaning of rape?

    A Yes, sir. He inserted his penis in my vagina and kissed my lips.

    Q Is that what you understand the meaning of rape?

    A Yes, sir.

    Q Is what you understand that when a man inserted his penis in the pek-pek of a woman, you called it rape?

    A Yes, sir.

    Q You demonstrated yesterday two dolls. Would you determine who is the man and who is the woman?

    A Yes, sir.

    Q [Which] is the woman which you exhibited yesterday?

    A Witness is pointing to the fact that on the left side was the girl and the man was on top of her.

    Q Which is the man of the two dolls?

    A Witness is pointing to the right.

    Q Yesterday, your lawyer presented two dolls. One was naked and the other one was with clothing. Which of these two dolls is the woman?

    A The dressed dolls, sir.

    Q This one which is without clothing?

    A The man, sir.

    Q Where was Jhon-Jhon, when you reported to your mother that you were raped?

    A He was at the store, sir.

    Q Now, when you were sleeping in your room, where were your sisters or brothers if any?chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    A Witness is demonstrating by the used of her fingers. Aizar, she was referring to her little finger, her ring finger referring to her, and her middle finger, referring to Amir.

    Q Were they awakened when you were being raped?

    A No, sir.

    Q They were sleeping?

    A Yes, sir.

    Q Isn’t true that Jhon-Jhon merely washed your vagina?

    A He washed my vagina, sir. 9

    The tender age of the victim and her candidness in narrating her debasing experience are badges of truth and sincerity. As the trial judge observed, for her to fabricate the facts of rape and to charge the accused falsely of such crime "is to the mind of the Court certainly beyond her mental capacity." Indeed, no woman, particularly a four-year old girl, inexperienced in the ways of the world, would concoct a story of rape, allow an examination of her private parts and subject herself to the embarrassment and humiliation, not to mention the trauma, of a public trial unless she has, in fact, been sexually defiled. 10 Her testimony deserves full weight and credit.

    Furthermore, witness Josephine Abu-Hanieh, mother of the victim, corroborated the latter’s testimony in part. Thus:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q On October 9 1996 at around 6:00 p.m, did you still recall where you were at that time?

    A I was in the house sir.

    Q What were you doing?

    A I was preparing a meal for dinner.

    Q And what event if any that happened on October 9, 1996?

    A While I was cooking, my daughter Ameera said "Mama si Jon-Jon nirape ako."cralaw virtua1aw library

    Q And how did you react?

    A Of course I was shocked, I did not believe, I asked her again and she told me the same story.

    Q What else did Ameera tell you regarding the sexual abused committed by Jon-Jon?

    A She told me that "Si Jon-Jon Mama, pinasok yong titi niya sa aking pek-pek" .

    Q Upon hearing that information from your child, what else did you do?

    A Of course, I could not sleep that night, I was crying, I could not believe, I was very shocked.

    Q What else did you do in relation to this revelation of your child?

    A The next morning, I brought my daughter to the NBI, we filed a complaint there, we proceeded to the Medico Legal.

    Q What happened to the Medico-Legal Division of the NBI?

    A They told me that the hymen of my daughter was lacerated at 9:00 o’clock position, her hymen was already broken. I felt that her future was destroyed. 11

    Time and again, we have said that no mother would use her own daughter, especially a child of tender age, and subject her to the shame and the travails of a public trial for rape, if the charge were not true and she were not motivated only by an honest desire to have the perpetrator punished. 12 It is unnatural for a parent, more so a mother, to sacrifice her daughter’s honor to give vent merely to a grudge, knowing that such an experience would damage her daughter’s psyche and disgrace her for life. 13chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Finally, the findings 14 of Dr. Aurea P. Villena, medico-legal officer of the National Bureau of Investigation, confirmed the allegation of the child-victim that she was sexually assaulted. The victim’s hymen, according to Dr. Villena’s report, was "thin, short, with deep healing laceration at 9:00 o’clock position corresponding to the face of a watch, edges congested, edematous." Although, she noted that there was" [n]o evident sign of extragenital physical injuries . . . on the body of the subject at the time of examination," she concluded that a "healing hymenal laceration [was] present."cralaw virtua1aw library

    In contrast, Accused-appellant could only proffer a bare denial for his defense. He admits, though, practically all the surrounding circumstances of the incident, except only the act of rape. His version is as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Atty. Pacis:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q And on October 7, 1996, what time did Josephine left the house?

    Witness:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    A At noontime, sir.

    Q What else did Josephine ask you if you can still remember?

    A Since I have no more work to do, she told me to go to the house because she had to do some important matters.

    Q Who was left in the house?

    A I was left there and her three (3) children, sir.

    Q Who were these three (3) children?

    A Gener, Almira and the youngest sir.

    Atty. Pacis:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q Were there any other person in that house when Josephine left at 12:00 noon other than you and the three (3) children?

    Witness:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    A None, sir, except the three (3) children.

    Q How about the father of Josephine, where is he?

    A In the store, sir.

    Q Will you describe the house of Josephine as to the roof, kitchen, . . . how many rooms were there in that house?

    A Only one (1) sir.

    Q One storey house and there is one (1) room only?

    A One room only, sir.

    Atty. Pacis:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q What was the instruction of Josephine when she left the house?

    Witness:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    A She instructed me to let the children sleep and wash the dishes, sir.

    Q In other words, you were instructed to take care of her children and the house?

    A Yes, sir.

    Atty. Lao:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q How many times if you can still remember that your were requested to take care of her children?

    A At that time, sir.

    Q So at 12:00 noon, can you still remember what happened to the children of Josephine?

    A I remember that the three (3) children were sleeping and that the daughter wanted to take her urine so I brought her to the comfort room, sir.

    Q May I be clarified whose child is he referring to?chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Witness:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    A Almira, sir.

    Court:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Proceed Atty. Pacis.

    Atty. Pacis:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q When Josephine left her house, her three (3) children were sleeping?

    Witness:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    A Not yet, sir.

    Q So when you arrived there to attend to the house hold chores, all these three (3) children were awake?

    A Yes, sir, they were still awake and they have just eaten their lunch.

    Q Who assisted the three (3) children when they took their lunch . . . . By the way where did you take your lunch?

    Witness:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    A In their house, sir.

    Atty. Pacis:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q Did these three (3) children sleep after Josephine left?

    A They slept at around 1:30 o’clock in the afternoon, sir.

    Q What did you do when these three (3) children were sleeping?

    A I made them to go to sleep, sir, as per instruction of Mrs. Abu-Hanieh.

    Q Did you comply to the instruction of Josephine to have them sleep?

    A Yes, sir.

    Q When they went to sleep, what did you do?

    Witness:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    A I was watching the TV when the child told me that she wanted to urinate.

    Atty. Pacis:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q You are referring to Almira, the private complainant in this case?

    A Yes, sir.

    Q Now when Almira told you that she wanted to urinate, what did you do?

    A I let her . . . urinate and have some water to wash her vagina.

    Q Where did Almira make to urine?

    A Outside the house, sir.

    x       x       x


    Q Was Almira able to urinate?

    A Yes, sir.

    Q Where were you when Almira able to urinate?

    Witness:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    A Inside the house watching the TV, sir.

    Atty. Pacis:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q After Almira able to urinate, what happened next?

    A Then I carried her inside the house and we continued watching the TV, sir.

    Q Why do you have to carry her inside the house.

    A Because there is a door in going inside the house, sir, and we cannot passed that door if I will not hold her.

    Q After Almira urinated and you brought her inside the house, what did you do?

    A I let her sleep, sir.

    Q You mentioned that you washed her vagina is that correct?chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Witness:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    A Yes, sir.

    Atty. Pacis:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q Where did . . . where was Almira when you washed her vagina?

    A Outside, sir.

    Q Where did you get the water in washing the vagina?

    A There is a pail of water, sir.

    Q How did you wash her?

    A Like this, sir. (Witness demonstrating as if in the act of washing).

    Q Did you insert your finger in the vagina of Almira in washing her vagina?

    A No, sir, I just washed her vagina (Witness demonstrating as if in the act of washing).

    Atty. Pacis:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q Why did you wash her vagina?

    Witness:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    A Because her mother used to do that also and so I did.

    Q Did Almira ask you to wash her vagina?

    A No, sir. She did not tell me.

    Q What time did this happen when you washed the vagina of Almira?

    A Around 2:00 o’clock in the afternoon, sir.

    Q Were there persons who witnessed the washing of the vagina of Almira by you because according to you, you washed Almira outside the house?

    A There were many people who can see it because there were many people passed by.

    Atty. Pacis:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q What was the reaction of Almira when you washed her vagina?

    Witness:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    A She told me it is finished.

    Q Did she speak to you in English or Tagalog?

    A Tagalog, sir.

    Q And Almira told you . . . by the way, what does it mean when she said ‘tapos na po’.

    A Urinating, sir.

    Q After Almira urinated what happened next?

    A She sleep again, sir.

    Q What did you do when she sleep again?

    A I watched the TV, sir.

    Atty. Pacis:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q What happened next when you watched the TV?

    Witness:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    A After that a woman arrived and told me that she will be the one who will take care of the children.

    Q Who is that woman?

    A Wife of Jerry, sir.

    Q What time did that woman arrive?

    A About 3:00 o’clock in the afternoon, sir.

    Q Do you know the woman who arrived there?

    A Yes, sir.

    Q After she told you that she will take care of the children, what did you do?

    Witness:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    A I went out and go to the store because she told me that it is time to sell rice. 15

    Appellant’s sheer denial cannot overthrow the unequivocal and positive testimony of his child-victim. Without being substantiated by clear and convincing evidence, his defense deserves no weight in law and cannot be given greater evidentiary value than the testimony of Ameerah, whom we find to be a credible witness. 16 In any event, appellant failed to satisfactorily rebut or discredit the prosecution evidence.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Based on the foregoing discussion, the Court finds no reason to overturn the trial court’s assessment of the credibility of the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses. As a general rule, the trial judge’s evaluation of the witnesses is binding upon the appellate court. Judges, having the advantage of directly observing the witnesses’ demeanor and manner of testifying, can be expected to have determined reasonably whose testimony to accept and which witness to disbelieve. Thus, as long as there is no showing that their assessment was made arbitrarily, or that they overlooked or misinterpreted certain significant facts which, if considered, could materially affect the result of the case, their factual findings should not be disturbed on appeal. 17 In the instant case, we find no reason to deviate from these principles.

    Under Article 335 18 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, the penalty of death shall be imposed when the rape victim is a child below seven. Ameerah’s mother positively declared was only four years old when the appellant defiled her. 19 To substantiate her testimony, she submitted to the court Ameerah’s birth certificate 20 showing that she was born on March 23, 1992.

    In order to avoid the supreme penalty, the appellant claimed that he was only seventeen (17) years old during the alleged incident. He, however, failed to show any proof to corroborate his bare statement. Instead, he even unwittingly admitted that he has a voter’s ID and has been able to vote in the past. 21 Under the law, however, only citizens aged eighteen (18) years or more are qualified to vote. Significantly, in his Appeal Brief, appellant no longer pursued the defense of minority in his attempt to evade death.

    Being a single indivisible penalty, death is mandatorily imposed in the light of Article 47 of the Revised Penal Code, regardless of the attendance of any mitigating or aggravating circumstance in the commission of the crime. 22

    The Court notes that the assailed Decision, while granting moral damages, failed to award civil indemnity to the private complainant. It is now well settled that moral damages is separate and distinct from indemnity ex delicto, which is in the nature of actual or compensatory damages automatically awarded to rape victims. While the award of moral damages is discretionary on the part of the court, the imposition of civil indemnity is mandatory upon the finding of the fact of rape. 23 Indemnification is in the amount of P75,000.00, if the rape is qualified by any of the circumstances under which the death penalty is imposed. 24 Hence, in addition to the P50,000.00 moral damages appellant Alvero should pay his victim P75,000.00 by way of civil indemnity.

    Four (4) justices of the Court however continue to maintain the unconstitutionality of R.A. No. 7659 insofar as it prescribes the death penalty; nevertheless, they submit to the ruling of the majority to the effect that the law is constitutional and that the death penalty can be lawfully imposed in the case at bar.

    WHEREFORE, the Decision of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 128, of Caloocan City is hereby AFFIRMED. In addition, the appellant is ORDERED to pay the victim indemnity ex delicto in the amount of P75,000.00, consistent with current jurisprudence.

    In accordance with Section 25 of Republic Act No. 7659, amending Article 83 of the Revised Penal Code, upon finality of this Decision, let the records of the case be forwarded to Her Excellency, the President, for the possible exercise of her pardoning power.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    SO ORDERED.

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

    Bellosillo, Melo and Kapunan, JJ., are on leave.

    Endnotes:



    1. Rollo, pp. 12-15.

    2. Rollo, pp. 4-5.

    3. Brief for the Appellee, pp. 3-4; rollo, pp. 102-103.

    4. Brief for the Accused-Appellant, pp. 4-5; rollo, pp. 35-36.

    5. Assailed Decision, pp. 2-3; rollo, pp. 84-85.

    6. Rollo, p. 32.

    7. People v. De Guzman, 265 SCRA 228, 241 (1996); People v. Baygar, 318 SCRA 358 (1999); People v. Tabanggay, G.R. No. 130504, June 29, 2000; People v. Aloro, G.R. No. 129208, September 14, 2000.

    8. TSN, January 27, 1997, pp. 7-12.

    9. TSN, January 29, 1997, pp. 9-12.

    10. People v. Baygar, supra; People v. Atienza, 326 SCRA 802 (2000); People v. Cutamora, G.R. No. 133448-53, October 6, 2000.

    11. TSN, February 4, 1997, pp. 5-6.

    12. People v. Alvero, G.R. No. 134536-38, April 5, 2000; People v. Tabanggay, supra; People v. Tumala, Jr., 284 SCRA 436 (1998); People v. Bersabe, 289 SCRA 685 (1998); People v. Baygar, supra.

    13. People v. Alvero, ibid.

    14. Exh. "A" ; records, p. 8.

    15. TSN, February 24, 1997, pp. 11-16, 18-24.

    16. People v. Pecayo Sr., G.R. No. 132047, December 14, 2000; People v. Belga, 258 SCRA 583 (1996); People v. Amaguin, 229 SCRA 166, 174-175 (1994).

    17. People v. Paraiso, G.R. No. 131823, January 17, 2001; People v. Barcelona, 325 SCRA 168 (2000); People v. Panique, 316 SCRA 757 (1999).

    18. Now Articles 266-A and 266-B, as amended by R.A. 8353.

    19. TSN, February 4, 1997, pp. 7-8.

    20. Exh. "C."cralaw virtua1aw library

    21. TSN, February 24, 1997. p. 30.

    22. Article 63, RPC; People v. Salonga, G.R .No. 128647, March 31, 2000.

    23. People v. Barcelona, supra; People v. Banago, 309 SCRA 417 (1999); People v. Victor, 292 SCRA 186 (1998).

    24. People v. Victor, ibid.; People v. Magdato, 324 SCRA 785 (2000).

    G.R. No. 132364   May 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALFREDO ALVERO


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