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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
 

   
November-2001 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 137968 November 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALEJANDRE DELOS SANTOS

  • G.R. Nos. 123138-39 November 8, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILS. v. HONESTO LLANDELAR

  • A.M. MTJ-01-1375 November 13, 2001 - REPORT ON THE JUDICIAL AUDIT IN THE MTCs of CALASIAO. BINMALEY

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1601 November 13, 2001 - ELIEZER A. SIBAYAN-JOAQUIN v. ROBERTO S. JAVELLANA

  • G.R. No. 104629 November 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JULIUS KINOK

  • G.R. No. 134498 November 13, 2001 - CELIA M. MERIZ v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL

  • G.R. Nos. 135454-56 November 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. RODERICK SANTOS

  • A.M. No. CA-01-10-P November 14, 2001 - ALDA C. FLORIA v. CURIE F. SUNGA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-01-1518 November 14, 2001 - ANTONIO A. ARROYO v. SANCHO L. ALCANTARA

  • G.R. No. 122736 November 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FROILAN PADILLA

  • G.R. No. 123819 November 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. STEPHEN MARK WHISENHUNT

  • G.R. No. 133877 November 14, 2001 - RIZAL COMMERCIAL BANKING CORPORATION v. ALFA RTW MANUFACTURING CORPORATION

  • G.R. No. 133910 November 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. JOSE VIRREY y DEHITO

  • G.R. No. 135511-13 November 14, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ENTICO MARIANO y EXCONDE

  • G.R. No. 137613 November 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROSALITO CABOQUIN

  • G.R. No. 138914 November 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EFREN MANTES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142870 November 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DINDO F. PAJOTAL, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 143513 & 143590 November 14, 2001 - POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES v. COURT OF APPEALS and FIRESTONE CERAMICS

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1599 November 15, 2001 - TRANQUILINO F. MERIS v. JUDGE FLORENTINO M. ALUMBRES

  • G.R. No. 123213 November 15, 2001 - NEPOMUCENA BRUTAS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126584 November 15, 2001 - VALLEY LAND RESOURCES, INC., ET AL. v. VALLEY GOLF CLUB INC.

  • G.R. No. 127897 November 15, 2001 - DELSAN TRANSPORT LINES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129018 November 15, 2001 - CARMELITA LEAÑO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136017 November 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JERRY BANTILING

  • G.R. No. 136143 November 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. AGAPITO CABOTE a.k.a. "PITO"

  • G.R. No. 137255 November 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NOEL MAMALAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137369 November 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ALIAS KOBEN VISTA

  • G.R. No. 141811 November 15, 2001 - FIRST METRO INVESTMENT CORPORATION v. ESTE DEL SOL MOUNTAIN RESERVE

  • G.R. No. 145275 November 15, 2001 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE v. LA CAMPANA FABRICA DE TABACOS

  • G.R. No. 148326 November 15, 2001 - PABLO C. VILLABER Petitioner v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and REP. DOUGLAS R. CAGAS

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1382 November 16, 2001 - MARIO W. CHILAGAN v. EMELINA L. CATTILING

  • A.M. No. P-00-1411 November 16, 2001 - FELICIDAD JACOB v. JUDITH T. TAMBO

  • G.R. No. 120274 November 16, 2001 - SPOUSES FRANCISCO A. PADILLA and GERALDINE S. PADILLA v. COURT OF APPEALS and SPOUSES CLAUDIO AÑONUEVO and CARMELITA AÑONUEVO

  • G.R. No. 127003 November 16, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. FAUSTINO GABON

  • G.R. Nos. 132875-76 November 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO G. JALOSJOS

  • G.R. No. 132916 November 16, 2001 - RUFINA TANCINCO v. GSIS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133437 November 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. RONALD SAMSON

  • G.R. No. 134486 November 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CLEMENTE DAYNA

  • G.R. No. 135038 November 16, 2001 - ROLANDO Y. TAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142654 November 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. ROLANDO MENDOZA

  • G.R. No. 143802 November 16, 2001 - REYNOLAN T. SALES v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129175 November 19, 2001 - RUBEN N. BARRAMEDA, ET AL. v. ROMEO ATIENZA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130945 November 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALBERTO CONDINO

  • G.R. No. 132724 November 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. RENIEL SANAHON

  • G.R. Nos. 138358-59 November 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CLAUDIO B. DELA PEÑA

  • G.R. No. 138661 November 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JERSON E. ACOJEDO

  • G.R. No. 140920 November 19, 2001 - JUAN LORENZO B. BORDALLO, ET AL. v. THE PROFESSIONAL REGULATIONS COMMISSION AND THE BOARD OF MARINE DECK OFFICERS

  • G.R. No. 148560 November 19, 2001 - JOSEPH EJERCITO ESTRADA v. SANDIGANBAYAN (Third Division) and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 91486 November 20, 2001 - ALBERTO G. PINLAC v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122276 November 20, 2001 - RODRIGO ALMUETE ET AL., v. MARCELO ANDRES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126204 November 20, 2001 - NAPOCOR v. PHILIPP BROTHERS OCEANIC

  • G.R. Nos. 126538-39 November 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. RODELIO MARCELO

  • G.R. No. 129234 November 20, 2001 - THERMPHIL v. COURT OF APPEALS ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140032 November 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ANGEL C. BALDOZ and MARY GRACE NEBRE

  • G.R. No. 140692 November 20, 2001 - ROGELIO C. DAYAN v. BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144401 November 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOEL GALISIM

  • A.M. No. MTJ-99-1207 November 21, 2001 - NBI v. FRANCISCO D. VILLANUEVA

  • A.M. No. P- 01-1520 November 21, 2001 - MARILOU A. CABANATAN v. CRISOSTOMO T. MOLINA

  • A.M. Nos. RTJ-00-1561 & RTJ-01-1659 November 21, 2001 - CARINA AGARAO v. Judge JOSE J. PARENTELA

  • G.R. No. 125356 November 21, 2001 - SUPREME TRANSLINER INC. v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132839 November 21, 2001 - ERIC C. ONG v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS and THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 133879 November 21, 2001 - EQUATORIAL REALTY DEVELOPMENT v. MAYFAIR THEATER

  • G.R. No. 136748 November 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JUANITO ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137457 November 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROSAURO SIA

  • G.R. No. 141881 November 21, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. VIRGILIO BERNABE y RAFOL

  • A.M. No RTJ-01-1664 November 22, 2001 - ALFREDO CAÑADA v. VICTORINO MONTECILLO

  • G.R. No. 109648 November 22, 2001 - PH CREDIT CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS and CARLOS M. FARRALES

  • G.R. Nos. 111502-04 November 22, 2001 - REYNALDO H. JAYLO, ET AL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN

  • G.R. No. 113218 November 22, 2001 - ALEJANDRO TECSON v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113541 November 22, 2001 - HONGKONG AND SHANGHAI BANKING CORP. EMPLOYEES UNION v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118462 November 22, 2001 - LEOPOLDO GARRIDO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123893 November 22, 2001 - LUISITO PADILLA , ET AL. v. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129660 November 22, 2001 - BIENVENIDO P. JABAN and LYDIA B. JABAN v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130628 November 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PAULINO LEONAR

  • G.R. No. 132743 November 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARCIAL CAÑARES Y ORBES

  • G.R. No. 133861 November 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERTO SO

  • G.R. Nos. 135853-54 November 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. OPENIANO LACISTE

  • G.R. No. 135863 November 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VlRGILIO LORICA

  • G.R. Nos. 136317-18 November 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDUARDO YAOTO

  • G.R. No. 136586 November 22, 2001 - JON AND MARISSA DE YSASI v. ARTURO AND ESTELA ARCEO

  • G.R. No. 139563 November 22, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.. v. AMADOR BISMONTE y BERINGUELA

  • G.R. Nos. 139959-60 November 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DEOGRACIAS BURGOS

  • G.R. No. 141602 November 22, 2001 - PACSPORTS PHILS. v. NICCOLO SPORTS, INC.

  • G.R. No. 142316 November 22, 2001 - FRANCISCO A.G. DE LIANO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143939 November 22, 2001 - HEIRS OF ROSARIO POSADAS REALTY v. ROSENDO.BANTUG

  • G.R. No. 145475 November 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. EUSEBIO PUNSALAN

  • G.R. No. 145851 November 22, 2001 - ABELARDO B. LICAROS v. THE SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146683 November 22, 2001 - CIRILA ARCABA v. ERLINDA TABANCURA VDA. DE BATOCAEL, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1562 November 23, 2001 - CAVITE CRUSADE FOR GOOD GOVERNMENT v. JUDGE NOVATO CAJIGAL

  • G.R. No. 126334 November 23, 2001 - EMILIO EMNACE v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128886 November 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESUS JULIANDA, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142044 November 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TOBECHUKWU NICHOLAS

  • G.R. No. 144309 November 23, 2001 - SOLID TRIANGLE SALES CORPORATION and ROBERT SITCHON v. THE SHERIFF OF RTC QC, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1662 November 26, 2001 - VICTOR TUZON v. LORETO CLORIBEL-PURUGGANAN

  • G.R. No. 138303 November 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ELROSWELL MANZANO

  • G.R. Nos. 100940-41 November 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. AGUSTIN LADAO y LORETO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128285 November 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILS. v. ANTONIO PLANA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 130409-10 November 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSUE B. DUMLAO

  • G.R. No. 130907 November 27, 2001 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. HON. CESAR A MANGROBANG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130963 November 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIANO PASCUA

  • G.R. No. 133381 November 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMULO VILLAVER, ET. AL.

  • G.R. No. 140858 November 27, 2001 - SPOUSES PAPA and LOLITA MANALILI v. SPOUSES ARSENIO and GLICERIA DE LEON

  • G.R. No. 142523 November 27, 2001 - MARIANO L. GUMABON, ET AL. v. AQUILINO T. LARIN

  • G.R. No. 144464 November 27, 2001 - GILDA G. CRUZ and ZENAIDA C. PAITIM v. THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION

  • A.M. No. 00-8-05-SC November 28, 2001 - RE: PROBLEM OF DELAYS IN CASES BEFORE THE SANDIGANBAYAN

  • G.R. No. 128516 November 28, 2001 - DULOS REALTY and DEVELOPMENT CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET. AL.

  • A.M. No. P-01-1485 November 29, 2001 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. MARIE YVETTE GO, ET AL

  • A.M. No. P-01-1522 November 29, 2001 - JUDGE ANTONIO J. FINEZA v. ROMEO P. ARUELO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1665 November 29, 2001 - ROSAURO M. MIRANDA v. JUDGE CESAR A MANGROBANG

  • G.R. No. 119707 November 29, 2001 - VERONICA PADILLO v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 121703 November 29, 2001 - NATIVIDAD T. TANGALIN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126524 November 29, 2001 - BPI INVESTMENT CORP. v. D.G. CARREON COMMERCIAL CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129282 November 29, 2001 - DMPI EMPLOYEES CREDIT COOPERATIVE v. ALEJANDRO M. VELEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 129609 & 135537 November 29, 2001 - RODIL ENTERPRISES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 130326 & 137868 November 29, 2001 - COMPANIA GENERAL DE TABACOS DE FILIPINAS AND MANILA TOBACCO TRADING v. THE COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. Nos. 132066-67 November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BALAS MEDIOS

  • G.R. No. 132133 November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. WILLIAM ALPE y CUATRO

  • G.R. No. 136848 November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RENATO T. RAMIREZ

  • G.R. No. 137815 November 29, 2001 - JUANITA T. SERING v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138489 November 29, 2001 - ELEANOR DELA CRUZ, ET AL. v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT

  • G.R. No. 139470 November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SPO2 ANTONIO B. BENOZA

  • G.R. No. 140386 November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENNY ACOSTA

  • G.R. No. 141386 November 29, 2001 - COMMISSION ON AUDIT OF THE PROVINCE OF CEBU v. PROVINCE OF CEBU

  • G.R. Nos. 141702-03 November 29, 2001 - CATHAY PACIFIC AIRWAYS v. NLRC and MARTHA Z. SINGSON

  • G.R. No. 142606 November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. NESTOR MUNTA

  • G.R. No. 143127 November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAUL RUBARES Y CAROLINO

  • G.R. No. 143703 November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. JOSE V. MUSA

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    G.R. No. 136848   November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RENATO T. RAMIREZ

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    EN BANC

    [G.R. No. 136848. November 29, 2001.]

    PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. RENATO RAMIREZ y TEJADA, Accused-Appellant.

    D E C I S I O N


    BELLOSILLO, J.:


    Michelle T. Sibanes woke up in the early morning of 23 February 1998 to prepare breakfast for accused Renato Ramirez y Tejada, her mother’s common-law spouse. Outside her room was her mother Eleoniza Ramirez preparing to leave for the market to shop for household supplies. After bidding her mother goodbye, Michelle went to the kitchen to cook rice. Suddenly Renato pulled her from behind and pushed her to the floor. She struggled and resisted him, striking him with a pot, but the latter threatened her with harm if she did not submit to his lustful desire. Weary and terrified she succumbed to his beastly desires and was not able to stop him from removing her shorts and panty. After taking off his underwear he placed himself on top of her afterwhich he forcibly ravished her.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    After gratifying his lust, he stood up and hastily left. After recovering her strength Michelle ran outside and fled to her aunt’s house. She recounted her early morning ordeal to her aunt who could only commiserate with her. Together they repaired to the barangay hall where they sought help from the men lounging there. Sympathizing with her, the barangay captain together with his tanods went to Michelle’s rescue and searched for the accused. They found him in the rice fields and immediately took him to the police station.

    Michelle narrated her harrowing experience to the police officer on duty. According to her, Renato started molesting her when she turned twelve (12), and that lately he started showing his penis to her. 1 Determined to go after the accused for the forced coition she submitted herself to a medical examination where several freshly healed lacerations and the sperm in her vaginal area were noted and medically confirmed. 2

    On 14 April 1998 an Information for the rape of his fifteen-year old "step-daughter" was filed against the accused Renato Ramirez.

    When arraigned Renato pleaded not guilty. However, during the pre-trial he changed his plea from "not guilty" to "guilty" but imposed a condition that he be spared from the death penalty. 3 His change of plea was with the consent of the prosecution.

    Michelle was the lone witness for the prosecution. She narrated that prior to the incident the accused had already been molesting her by putting his finger inside her vagina, and that several months before he raped her he was already showing his penis to her, which prompted her to report the matter to her mother. But the mother was not sympathetic to her; in fact, she even sided with the accused everytime he would beat her. Michelle observed that ever since Renato moved in to live with them, which was some seven (7) years prior to the rape, her mother had already loved him more than she loved her, thus she developed a distrust for her own mother. She had to seek help and maternal guidance from an aunt who lived nearby. 4

    The accused contended that he could not be convicted of rape since he and Michelle were sweethearts. He admitted having had sexual intercourse with Michelle on the date complained of but stressed that no force was employed by him as it was she who provoked the sexual encounter. Renato claimed that he had been carrying on an illicit affair with her for over a year prior to the incident with his money as her primary consideration for their profligate liaison. He surmised that she would not have instituted the present case had they not been caught in an uncompromising position by her seven (7)-year old cousin Toknoy in the morning of 23 February 1998.

    Renato believed that Michelle had fallen in love with him considering the long period of time they had been carrying on with their affair. According to him, he had been regularly giving her some money to get her consent to the sexual relations. In fact, according to him, he had just gifted her with a wristwatch. 5

    With this revelation the court a quo confronted the accused and asked him to reiterate his plea. Again, with the assistance of counsel, he entered a plea of "guilty" but explained that the incident complained of was a consented sexual intercourse between two (2) lovers. With his seemingly inconsistent positions, the trial court changed his plea from "guilty" to "not guilty." 6 As a consequence, the trial court resolved to conduct a new pre-trial conference where it was agreed that the direct testimonies of the complaining witness and the accused, both of which had earlier been taken, would be adopted by the prosecution and the defense subject however to further cross-examination.chanrob1es virtua1 law library

    On rebuttal, Michelle denied Renato’s claim that he regularly gave her money. She explained that the old wristwatch was given by him to her mother who in turn gave it to her after she got tired of wearing the same old timepiece, so that he had to buy her mother a new watch. She denied having fallen for him as he did not even approximate her idol, movie actor Ian Veneracion. Michelle even disputed his claim that her cousin Toknoy saw them in an intimate embrace in the morning of 23 February 1998. According to her, Toknoy never went to their house that morning nor did she see him at any time during that day. 7

    The accused insisted that every time his common-law wife would go out of the house, Michelle would come to him and plead that he kiss her private parts. That morning of 23 February 1998, while he was in deep slumber, Michelle woke him up and started to seduce him. He failed to control himself and gave in to their mutual passionate desire. Unfortunately for them, according to the accused, Toknoy, who would go to their house every morning for a cup of coffee, saw them and hurriedly left. Renato claimed that during the period of their relationship he gave Michelle various amounts of money which he then estimated to be around P5,000.00, although she gambled it all by playing poker. He elaborated that Michelle was a tong-its aficionado who even sold the wristwatch he gave her to finance her vice. 8

    The trial court chose to give full faith and credence to the testimony of Michelle which it found to have been recounted with candor and sincerity. According to the trial court, Michelle was able to narrate her ordeal with sufficient clarity and her testimony did not contain any contradictions. It debunked the "sweetheart theory" advanced by the accused and countered that private complainant was not a girl of ill-repute or loose morals; thus, the suggestion that she initiated their sexual encounters and seduced him was unacceptable. Further, assuming ex gratia argumenti that they were indeed sweethearts, the trial court observed that love was not a license for lust to be forced upon a sweetheart.

    The trial court noted that the crime was committed with the attendant circumstances of minority and relationship as the accused was the "step-father . . . or the common law spouse of the parent of the victim." 9 Accordingly, he was sentenced to suffer the supreme penalty of death and to indemnify Michelle T. Sibanes P50,000 00 for moral damages. 10

    Forthwith, the case was elevated to this Court for automatic review. In his brief, the accused faults the court a quo for concluding that he forced Michelle to have sexual congress with him that morning of 23 February 1998. He posits that the death penalty was wrongly imposed upon him considering that his relationship with Michelle, which was a qualifying circumstance, was not properly alleged in the Information. It appears that while the accused cohabited with Michelle’s mother and treated her as his wife, the two (2) never got married. Thus, the Information wrongly referred to the accused as the "stepfather" of the victim Michelle T. Sibanes. 11

    On the other hand, the Solicitor General while praying that the finding of guilt be sustained supported Renato’s plea for a reduction of the death penalty to reclusion perpetua, noting that the qualifying circumstance of relationship should have been properly alleged in the Information consistent with the constitutional right of the accused to be informed of the charges against him. 12

    A thorough appraisal of the evidence on record sustains the finding of guilt by the trial court. It is at once manifest from the testimonies of both the complaining witness and the accused that the latter’s "sweetheart theory" cannot persuade.

    Prefatorily, we note the well-established rule that conclusions reached by the trial court on the question of credibility of witnesses are given great weight and should ordinarily be respected on appeal, as it is in a better position to decide such matter having seen and heard the witnesses unless the trial court disregarded material facts which might affect the outcome of the case. 13

    We do not consider Michelle’s story as purely fabricated or maliciously motivated. It is doctrinal that a young girl’s revelation that she had been raped coupled with her voluntary submission to medical examination and willingness to undergo public trial where she could be compelled to give out details of the forced coition, cannot be easily dismissed as mere concoction. 14 For it is difficult to imagine that she would undergo the indignities and hardships concomitant to a prosecution for rape unless motivated by a desire to have the offender apprehended and punished. Indeed, if a young girl had indeed voluntarily submitted herself to an intimate relationship with a man, her most natural reaction would have been to conceal it as this would bring disgrace to her honor and shame to her family. 15

    The testimony of Michelle that she was sexually abused is supported by the medical examination conducted on her the very same day she said she had been raped. The written report revealed that Michelle’s genitalia bore multiple fresh lacerations and that her vaginal area was positive for the presence of spermatozoa. Indeed, such findings more than bolster her cry of rape.

    Verily, the "sweetheart theory" advanced by the accused must fail. Not only did Michelle vehemently deny any amorous relationship with the accused, the latter also failed to present any credible evidence to prove the supposed intimate relations, e.g., love letters, gifts, etc. Clearly, his "sweetheart theory" is purely self-serving and carries no evidentiary weight at all. 16

    All told, the guilt of the accused has been clearly established beyond reasonable doubt. However, the death penalty was erroneously imposed for, as correctly argued by the accused and sustained by the Solicitor General, the qualifying circumstance of relationship has not been properly alleged in the Information. It appears that while the accused was the common-law spouse of Michelle’s mother, Michelle was referred to in the Information as his "step-daughter." A step-daughter is defined as the daughter of one of the spouses by a former marriage. We have consistently ruled that any of the circumstances under Sec. 11 of RA 7659 the attendance of which mandates the penalty of death, is in the nature of qualifying circumstances which cannot be proved as such unless alleged in the Information. 17 Evidently, the technical flaw committed by the prosecution spared the accused from the gallows of death and it constrains us to reduce the penalty of death to reclusion perpetua. 18

    Finally, we observe that while the trial court awarded moral damages, it did not grant civil indemnity ex delicto provided for in Art. 345 of the Revised Penal Code. Pursuant thereto and in accordance with prevailing jurisprudence, Michelle should be awarded P50,000.00 as civil indemnity 19 in addition to the award by the court a quo of P50,000.00 as moral damages for the immeasurable havoc wrought upon Michelle’s youthful feminine psyche, which we affirm. In view of the peculiar relationship of the parties, Accused-appellant should likewise be made to pay P25,000.00 as exemplary damages.

    WHEREFORE, the assailed Decision of the trial court finding accused RENATO RAMIREZ y TEJADA guilty of rape is AFFIRMED with the modification that the penalty of death is reduced to reclusion perpetua. In addition to the moral damages of P50,000;00, Accused is further ordered to pay complaining witness Michelle T. Sibanes P50,000.00 as civil indemnity and P25,000.00 for exemplary damages. Costs de oficio.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    SO ORDERED.

    Davide, Jr., C.J., Melo, Puno, Vitug, Kapunan, Mendoza, Panganiban, Quisumbing, Pardo, Ynares-Santiago, De Leon, Jr., Sandoval-Gutierrez and Carpio, JJ., concur.

    Buena, J., on official business.

    Endnotes:



    1. TSN, 2 September 1998, pp. 34-59

    2. Original Records, p. 31.

    3. Id., p. 25.

    4. See Note 1.

    5. TSN, 4 September 1998, pp. 72-79.

    6. See Note 2 at pp. 119-120.

    7. TSN, 4 November 1998, pp. 125-130.

    8. TSN, 11 November 1998, pp. 137-148.

    9. See Information, Original Records, pp. 2-3.

    10. Decision penned by Judge Cesar M. Solis, RTC-Br. 21, Malolos, Bulacan; see Note 2 at pp. 150-156.

    11. Rollo, pp. 41-63.

    12. Id., pp. 83-112.

    13. People v. Mayorga, G.R. No. 135405, 29 November 2000; People v. Andales, G.R. No. 130637, 19 August 1999, 312 SCRA 738; People v. Acciaon, G.R. Nos. 122550-57, 11 August 1999, 312 SCRA 250.

    14. People v. Cortes, G.R. No. 129693, 24 January 2000, 323 SCRA 131.

    15. People v. De Dios, G.R. No. 75293, 17 August 1988, 187 SCRA 228.

    16. People v. Tismo, G.R. No. 44773, 4 December 1991, 204 SCRA 535; People v. Hacbang, G.R. No. 58174, 6 July 1990, 164 SCRA 441.

    17. Incidentally, under Sec. 8, Rule 110, of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure, even generic aggravating circumstances should now be averred in the Information and may no longer be proved unless so alleged.

    18. People v. Dimapilis, G.R. Nos. 128619-21, 17 December 1998, 300 SCRA 279; People v. Medina, G.R. No. 126575, 11 December 1998, 300 SCRA 98.

    19. People v. Tirona, G.R. No. 128907, 22 December 1998, 300 SCRA 431.

    G.R. No. 136848   November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RENATO T. RAMIREZ


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