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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-2003 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 125297 June 6, 2003 - ELVIRA YU OH v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143675 June 9, 2003 - SPS. ROMEO and EMILY GUDA v. ALAN A. LEYNES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 145338 June 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ZALDY P. LABIANO

  • A.C. No. 4738 June 10, 2003 - VIOLETA FLORES ALITAGTAG v. VIRGILIO R. GARCIA

  • Bar Matter No. 1036 June 10, 2003 - DONNA MARIE S. AGUIRRE v. EDWIN L. RANA

  • A.M. No. 99-6-81-MTCC June 10, 2003 - REPORT ON THE JUDICIAL AUDIT CONDUCTED IN THE MTCC OF PALAYAN CITY

  • A.M. No. MTJ-99-1203 June 10, 2003 - NELIA A. ZIGA v. RAMON A. AREJOLA

  • A.M. No. P-96-1214 June 10, 2003 - BERNARDINO M. FABIAN, ET AL. v. LEILA (LAILA) M. GALO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1751 June 10, 2003 - ANDREA D. DOMINGO v. ERNESTO P. PAGAYATAN

  • G.R. No. 111159 June 10, 2003 - NORDIC ASIA LIMITED, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116463 June 10, 2003 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. thru the DPWH v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119293 June 10, 2003 - SAN MIGUEL CORP. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123054 June 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FAUSTO B. OBEDO

  • G.R. No. 125778 June 10, 2003 - INTER-ASIA INVESTMENTS INDUSTRIES, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125838 June 10, 2003 - DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126281 June 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SERGIO A. CARATAO

  • G.R. No. 131842 June 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DIONISIO JACKSON

  • G.R. No. 139561 June 10, 2003 - SPS. FEDERICO & SARAH ATUEL, ET AL. v. SPS. BERNABE & CONCHITA VALDEZ

  • G.R. No. 141115 June 10, 2003 - POSADAS-MOYA and ASSOC. CONST. CO. v. GREENFIELD DEV’T. CORP.

  • G.R. No. 142467 June 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ABELARDO DE CASTRO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143076 June 10, 2003 - PHILIPPINE RURAL ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES ASSOCIATION, ET AL. v. SECRETARY, DILG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143125 June 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL .vs. DIOSDADO R. CORIAL

  • G.R. No. 144157 June 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LOWELL SALUDES

  • G.R. Nos. 144523-26 June 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FLORENTINO QUIJANO SR.

  • G.R. Nos. 145452-53 June 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LARRY CARITATIVO

  • G.R. Nos. 146749 & 147938 June 10, 2003 - CHINA BANKING CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 149154 June 10, 2003 - RODOLFO S. DE JESUS, ET AL. v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT

  • G.R. No. 150611 June 10, 2003 - JACINTO SAGUID v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 153660 June 10, 2003 - PRUDENCIO BANTOLINO, ET AL. v. COCA-COLA BOTTLERS PHILS.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-02-1724 June 12, 2003 - RODOLFO O. MACACHOR v. ROLINDO D. BELDIA JR.

  • G.R. No. 138541 June 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSE LARRY COLONIA

  • G.R. No. 148327 June 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO P. DESALISA

  • A.M. No. P-03-1679 June 16, 2003 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. BEL EDUARDO F. NITAFAN, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. SCC-03-08 June 16, 2003 - ERMELYN A. LIMBONA v. CASAN ALI LIMBONA

  • G.R. No. 95901 June 16, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANTONIO B. SIBONGA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138692 June 16, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. OSCAR AREO

  • G.R. Nos. 141280-81 June 16, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RICKY L. SODSOD, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144589 June 16, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JUANITO PACUANCUAN

  • G.R. No. 149683 June 16, 2003 - ILOILO TRADERS FINANCE INC. v. HEIRS OF OSCAR SORIANO JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149750 June 16, 2003 - AURORA ALCANTARA-DAUS v. SPS. HERMOSO & SOCORRO DE LEON

  • A.M. No. MTJ-96-1106 June 17, 2003 - CELESTINA B. CORPUZ v. ORLANDO ANA F. SIAPNO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-02-1710 June 17, 2003 - EVANGELINA C. SAMSON v. JULES A. MEDIA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1784 June 17, 2003 - MANUEL M. ROSALES v. ROMULO S.G. VILLANUEVA

  • G.R. No. 123146 June 17, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALONA BULI-E, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128225 June 17, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANTE A. NARRA

  • G.R. No. 137042 June 17, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIPE MUSA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144225 June 17, 2003 - SPS. GODOFREDO and CARMEN ALFREDO v. SPS. ARMANDO and ADELIA BORRAS

  • G.R. No. 145993 June 17, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUFINO I. MALLARI

  • G.R. No. 148668 June 17, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TONY L. PEDRONAN

  • G.R. No. 151440 June 17, 2003 - HEIRS OF SIMPLICIO SANTIAGO v. HEIRS OF MARIANO E. SANTIAGO

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1493 June 18, 2003 - RENE BOY GOMEZ v. MANUEL D. PATALINGHUG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123161 June 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LIBERATO SOLAMILLO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125305 June 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BERNABE MONTEMAYOR

  • G.R. Nos. 127756-58 June 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENJAMIN P. MEDINA SR.

  • G.R. Nos. 131926 & 138991 June 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MICHAEL U. PAGALASAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134981 June 18, 2003 - FREDELITO P. VITTO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 135857 June 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ADRIANO ARCA

  • G.R. Nos. 140439-40 June 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIX HERMOSA

  • G.R. No. 144975 June 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. AMADOR SAPIGAO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149147 June 18, 2003 - FELIX BAROT v. COMELEC CITY BOARD OF CANVASSERS OF TANJAY CITY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 150327 June 18, 2003 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. MARILYN A. PERALTA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. 01-6-314-RTC June 19, 2003 - RE: REQUEST OF JUDGE ROBERTO S. JAVELLANA, RTC-BR. 59, SAN CARLOS CITY

  • A.M. No. MTJ-92-710 June 19, 2003 - PEDRITA M. HARAYO v. JUDGE MAMERTO Y. COLIFLORES

  • G.R. No. 154411 June 19, 2003 - NATIONAL HOUSING AUTHORITY v. HEIRS OF ISIDRO GUIVELONDO, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-03-1701 June 20, 2003 - BALTAZAR LL. FIRMALO v. MELINDA C. QUIERREZ

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1594 June 20, 2003 - PASTOR SALUD v. FLORENTINO M. ALUMBRES

  • G.R. No. 122766 June 20, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIPE ESPONILLA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127275 June 20, 2003 - PHILIPPINE COMMERCIAL INTERNATIONAL BANK v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130759 June 20, 2003 - ASIATRUST DEVELOPMENT BANK v. CONCEPTS TRADING CORP.

  • G.R. No. 139332 June 20, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. NOLI A. NOVIO

  • G.R. No. 140698 June 20, 2003 - ROGELIO ENGADA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142503 June 20, 2003 - ROMUALDO C. PEREZ v. APOLONIO CRUZ

  • G.R. No. 142820 June 20, 2003 - WOLFGANG O. ROEHR v. MARIA CARMEN D. RODRIGUEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143604 June 20, 2003 - PRISCO LANZADERAS, ET AL. v. AMETHYST SECURITY AND GENERAL SERVICES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146595 June 20, 2003 - CARLO A. TAN v. KAAKBAY FINANCE CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152436 June 20, 2003 - NPC v. SPS. IGMEDIO CHIONG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152766 June 20, 2003 - LILIA SANCHEZ v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 140872 June 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PABLITO T. INGGO

  • G.R. Nos. 142683-84 June 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SERGIO JOROLAN

  • G.R. Nos. 143760-63 June 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO B. MANLUCTAO

  • G.R. No. 144018 June 23, 2003 - FAR EAST BANK AND TRUST CO. v. TOMAS TOH, SR., ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 3849 June 25, 2003 - FELICIDAD VDA. DE BERNARDO v. JOSE R. RESTAURO

  • G.R. Nos. 105416-17, 111863 & 143715 June 25, 2003 - PHILIPP BROTHERS OCEANIC, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122109 June 25, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESUS TORIO

  • G.R. No. 123896 June 25, 2003 - ROSALINDA SERRANO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126113 June 25, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANTONIO B. GUIHAMA

  • G.R. No. 135323 June 25, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDELMA LAGATA

  • G.R. No. 136773 June 25, 2003 - MILAGROS MANONGSONG v. FELOMENA JUMAQUIO ESTIMO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146018 June 25, 2003 - EDGAR COKALIONG SHIPPING LINES v. UCPB GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY

  • G.R. Nos. 147589 & 147613 June 25, 2003 - ANG BAGONG BAYANI-OFW LABOR PARTY v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-01-1472 June 26, 2003 - ADRIANO V. ALBIOR v. DONATO A. AUGUIS

  • A.M. No. P-02-1544 June 26, 2003 - ERNESTO LUMANTA v. WILFREDO M. TUPAS

  • A.M. No. RTJ-02-1670 June 26, 2003 - SPS. CAROLINA AND VILLAMOR GRAGERA v. PABLO B. FRANCISCO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-02-1736 June 26, 2003 - SPS. ARTURO and JOSEFINA DE GUZMAN v. FERNANDO VIL PAMINTUAN

  • A.M. No. RTJ-99-1519 June 26, 2003 - GREGORIO LIMPOT LUMAPAS v. CAMILO E. TAMIN

  • G.R. No. 137296 June 26, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DIONISIO Q. VICENTE

  • G.R. No. 140967 June 26, 2003 - EMERITA ACOSTA v. EMILIO ENRIQUEZ

  • G.R. No. 141863 June 26, 2003 - BASILIO RIVERA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144090 June 26, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MICHAEL S. MAGUING

  • G.R. No. 145305 June 26, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REDANTE C. SANTOS

  • G.R. No. 145731 June 26, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GREGORIO GERAL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148730 June 26, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSE D. DELA CRUZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 154705 June 26, 2003 - REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA, ET AL. v. JAMES VINZON

  • G.R. No. 121828 June 27, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RENE GAYOT PILOLA

  • G.R. Nos. 124830-31 June 27, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GERARDO P. EVINA

  • G.R. No. 138993 June 27, 2003 - PHILIPPINE VETERANS BANK v. SANTIAGO G. ESTRELLA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 139217–24 June 27, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NELSON ESPERANZA

  • G.R. No. 143643 June 27, 2003 - NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION v. SPS. JOSE & MA. CLARA CAMPOS

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. 139332   June 20, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. NOLI A. NOVIO

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    SECOND DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 139332. June 20, 2003.]

    PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Appellee, v. NOLI NOVIO y AYASO, Appellant.

    D E C I S I O N


    CALLEJO, SR., J.:


    This is an appeal from the decision 1 of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 6, Tacloban City, in Criminal Case No. 94-09-447 finding appellant Noli Novio y Ayaso guilty beyond reasonable doubt of rape, sentencing him to thirty years of reclusion perpetua and ordering him to pay P50,000 to the victim, as civil indemnity.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The appellant was charged with rape under the Information which reads:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    That on or about the 24th day of September, 1994, in the City of Tacloban, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, did, then and there, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge with one MARICEL B. TALISAY, a minor, while the latter was deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious, as she was then asleep, against her will, with the aggravating circumstance of dwelling. 2

    On May 17, 1985, Noli was arraigned, assisted by counsel and offered to plead guilty to the lesser offense of acts of lasciviousness. The trial court asked the offended party, Maricel Talisay, whether she was in conformity with Noli’s plea. Maricel did not give her assent, thus, the plea was rejected. The trial court then entered a plea of not guilty to the crime charged. 3

    The Evidence of the Prosecution

    The spouses Wilberto and Nenita Talisay owned a sari-sari store located at Barangay 88, Costa Brava, in San Jose, Tacloban City. Their young daughter, Maricel, tended the store whenever she was free from school and had no homework. The spouses earned additional income as caretakers of the Zamora beach house, about one hundred meters away from their store.

    Noli was the younger brother of the husband of Maricel’s older sister. When Noli first met then 13-year-old Maricel, he was instantly enamored with her that he began frequenting the store owned by the spouses Talisay.

    In the evening of September 23, 1994, Maricel, together with her brothers — Jun, aged 11, and Joey, aged 9 years — slept side by side in the store while their parents slept in the beach house. Maricel was wearing a red duster and panties.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The next day, at about 3:00 a.m., Maricel felt some ticklish sensation, as if somebody was kissing her. But she also felt stabs of pain in her vagina. She opened her eyes and was horrified to see Noli completely naked on top of her. Immediately, Noli covered her mouth with his right hand and held both her hands with his left. He warned her not to make any noise. She noticed, too, that her red duster had been rolled up to her neck and her legs were being separated by Noli with the use of his legs. She struggled, but to no avail. Noli then inserted his penis in Maricel’s vagina.

    In the meanwhile, Wilberto and Nenita were awakened by a male neighbor who reported to them that he had heard the voice of a man inside their store. Nenita and Wilberto immediately got up. Nenita got a flashlight and bolo while Wilberto and their neighbor sought help from other neighbors. When she reached the store, Nenita beamed the flashlight on the store and found a pair of sandals by the door. She frantically knocked at the door, called out to Maricel and asked who was inside the store: "Maricel, hin-o iton tawo dinhi ha sakob?" (Who is in the store with you?) Hearing no reply, Nenita knocked again and said, "Maricel, hin-o iton tawo dinhi ha sakob?" When she received no response from Maricel, Nenita tried but failed to open the door of the store. Exasperated, Nenita forcefully pushed the door open and beamed the flashlight inside. She was aghast when she saw Noli completely naked on top of Maricel, with his right hand over the girl’s mouth. He was raping Maricel. Nenita noticed that her daughter was pale and terrified. Nenita pulled Noli from Maricel and attempted to hack him, but Noli held on to Maricel, using her as a shield. Nenita then ordered Maricel to free herself from Noli. As the girl was finally able to do this, Noli, sensing danger, hurriedly took his jogging pants, tucked the same under his left armpit and jumped over the window of the store. He fled, leaving his blue t-shirt, black underwear, black wallet and sandals inside the store. Nenita pursued Noli and hacked him on his left ankle with the bolo. Maricel was left inside the store, demeaned and distraught.

    When Nenita returned, she gathered the personal things that Noli left behind as he fled. When she asked Maricel how Noli was able to enter the store, Maricel could not respond as she was crying profusely and trembling with fear.

    Nenita reported the incident to Barangay Chairman Segundino Edara, saying that her daughter had been raped by Noli and sought the immediate arrest of the latter. The barangay chairman went to the store and saw Maricel crying. Noli was invited by the barangay chairman to the police station for investigation. Nenita brought Maricel to the police station, where the two executed their respective affidavits. Nenita turned over Noli’s t-shirt, underwear and wallet to the police investigator. Both Noli and Maricel were brought to the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center, where Noli was treated for his wound on the left ankle, while Maricel was subjected to surgical and genitalia examination. Dr. Irene Dacut and Dr. Morris Alve conducted the examination and found the following:chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    FINDINGS

    -Abrasions, posterior aspect, (L) thigh.

    OB-GYNE Findings: Menarch — June 1st Week ‘94

    LMP — Sept. 5, 1994 x 3 days

    PMP — Aug. 1st Week, 1994

    Ext. genitalia — Grossly normal

    Introitus — Nulliparous, hymen intact, elastic, positive

    Abrasions both inner aspects of labia minora, 2.5 cms. (R) side, 2.0 cm (L) side

    Speculum exam — Vagina admits virginal speculum with slight difficulty, cervix pinkish, small, smooth with scanty whitish mucoid discharge.

    Internal exam — Vagina admits one examining finger with slight difficulty, Cervix firm closed non tender.

    Uterus — small

    Adnexae — (-) masses/tendernesschanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Vaginal smear for presence of spermatozoa — No spermatozoa seen. 4

    The Evidence of the Accused

    Noli denied having raped Maricel. He insisted that he and Maricel were sweethearts. He testified that it was sometime in April 1994 when he met Maricel, the sister of his older brother’s wife. Attracted, appellant frequented the store she tended and started courting her. After a month, Maricel finally accepted his offer and they became sweethearts. Maricel, however, pleaded to Noli for their relationship to be kept from her mother. Noli agreed.

    On September 23, 1994, Noli suggested that they meet in the store for a date. Maricel assented. When he arrived at the store, Maricel opened the door. They then talked, and kissed. He removed his clothes and Maricel’s as well, including her panties. He went on top of her and touched her womanhood. Noli was flabbergasted when he heard knocks on the door of the store. Worse, he heard Nenita calling Maricel. However, Maricel ignored her mother’s call. Unable to get any answer, Nenita forced open the door and found him on top of Maricel. Nenita ordered Noli to dismount, to which he obliged. Noli then got his jogging pants and left the store. In his hurry, he did not notice that he was hacked on the leg by Nenita with her bolo until he reached his house. It was only then that he felt pains on his left leg. Noli claimed that when Nenita chanced upon him and Maricel, they were having consensual sexual intercourse.

    On March 17, 1999, the trial court rendered a decision 5 finding Noli guilty beyond reasonable doubt of rape and meted on him the penalty of thirty years of reclusion perpetua.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Court hereby finds the accused Noli Novio guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of consummated rape provided for in paragraph one (1), Article 355 (sic) of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Section 11 of Republic Act No. 7659 and without the Indeterminate Sentence Law applicable and neither any mitigating nor aggravating circumstance present, this court hereby sentences accused Noli Novio to indivisible penalty of reclusion perpetua with imprisonment of thirty (30) years. Full credit to the days of his liberty has been restrained or under preventive imprisonment is granted provided he had voluntarily agreed in writing to abide by the same disciplinary rules imposed upon convicted prisoners.

    The accused is also condemned to indemnify the victim the sum of Fifty Thousand (P50,000.00) pesos without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency and to pay the cost of these proceedings. 6

    The trial court found and declared that the prosecution was able to establish that Noli had raped Maricel. She clearly and positively identified Noli as the perpetrator of the crime. Her testimony was corroborated by Nenita. The trial court overruled Noli’s defense that he and Maricel were sweethearts and had consensual sexual intercourse in the early morning of September 24, 1994. The court stated that Noli failed to adduce in evidence pictures, letters or tokens to prove his and Maricel’s love affair. It stressed that if indeed they were sweethearts and had agreed to meet, Maricel should have asked her brothers Jun and Joey not to sleep with her in the store. She should have shielded Noli from the hacking blows of her mother. The evidence on record, however, showed otherwise. Maricel had slept with her brothers and did not shield Noli from her mother’s blows. The foregoing facts and circumstances, and Dr. Dacut’s medical findings of abrasions in both the labia minora and majora of her vagina, fully substantiated the claim of Maricel that she had, indeed, been raped by Noli.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Aggrieved, Noli, now the appellant, appealed from the decision of the trial court and asserts that:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    I


    THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN GIVING FULL WEIGHT AND CREDENCE TO THE INCREDIBLE TESTIMONIES OF PRIVATE COMPLAINANT AND THAT OF HER MOTHER AND IN NOT CONSIDERING THE DEFENSE INTERPOSED BY ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

    II


    THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN CONVICTING ACCUSED-APPELLANT OF THE CRIME OF RAPE DESPITE FAILURE OF THE PROSECUTION TO PROVE HIS GUILT BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT. 7

    The appellant puts in issue the credibility of Nenita and Maricel Talisay and the probative weight of their collective testimonies. He avers that if, as claimed by Maricel and her mother, he had raped Maricel, his natural reaction upon hearing Nenita calling Maricel, demanding to know who she was with, would have been to immediately stand up, dress himself and leave the store. He asserts that the mere fact that he remained on top of Maricel when Nenita opened the door belied the charge against him. The appellant also avers that it was uncommon and unnatural for Nenita, a woman, who heard from a male neighbor that a man was inside their store, to proceed to the said store and confront the intruder while her husband and their male neighbor sought help from neighbors. Noli insists that the prosecution resorted to suppression of evidence when it failed to present as witness the male neighbor of the spouses Talisay who had informed the couple that he heard a male voice inside their store. Noli also insists that the prosecution was not able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that he had raped Maricel. He contends that he was able to prove by clear and convincing evidence that he and Maricel were sweethearts.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), for its part, contends that the prosecution was able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Noli had raped Maricel. When she testified, Maricel clearly and positively identified the appellant as the one who laid on top of her, held her hands, and covered her mouth as he inserted his penis inside her vagina despite her struggles. Her testimony was corroborated by her mother Nenita, who caught the appellant on top of Maricel, raping her, and Dr. Irene Dacut who testified that when she examined Maricel, she found abrasions on the inner aspect of the labia minora of her sex organ which were indicative of forced sexual intercourse, thus belying the appellant’s defense. He miserably failed to adduce as evidence letters, tokens or pictures evidencing his relationship with Maricel. Moreover, even if they were indeed sweethearts, the appellant could not force Maricel to have sex with him as love is not a license for lust.

    The contention of the appellant does not persuade. It is stressed that when the credibility of the witness is in issue, the trial court’s assessment is accorded great weight because it has a unique opportunity to hear the testimony of witnesses and observe their deportment and manner of testifying. 8 It has the unique advantage of monitoring and observing at close range the demeanor, deportment and conduct of the witnesses as they regale the trial court with their testimonies. 9

    In reviewing rape cases, this Court had always been guided by three (3) well-entrenched principles: (1) an accusation of rape can be made with facility and while the accusation is difficult to prove, it is even more difficult for the accused, though innocent, to disprove; (2) considering that in the nature of things, only two persons are usually involved in the crime of rape, the testimony of the complainant should be scrutinized with great 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. 10

    In this case, the Court is convinced beyond cavil, as the trial court was, that Nenita and her daughter Maricel were credible witnesses and their collective testimonies entitled to full probative weight.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Maricel vividly recounted before the court her harrowing experience. She testified that she was roused from her sleep when at or about 3:00 a.m. of September 24, 1994, she felt pain in her vagina, opened her eyes and saw the appellant completely naked and on top of her. The appellant held both her hands with his left hand, covered her mouth with his right hand and warned her not to make any noise. The appellant, using his legs, separated Maricel’s legs and inserted his penis in her vagina. She struggled to free herself from the appellant’s clutches to prevent him from raping her, but to no avail. Noli was too strong for her.

    Q: Now, while you were asleep do you remember having been awakened at around three o’clock in the early morning of September 24, 1994? 11

    x       x       x


    WITNESS:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    A: When I woke up he was already on top of me; I did not wake up when he got inside the store. 12

    x       x       x


    Q: When you woke up, where was Noli Nobio (sic), when you opened your eyes?chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    A: He was on top of me.

    Q: What was Noli Nobio (sic) wearing at the time he was on top of you?

    A: He was not wearing anything; he was naked.

    Q: Now, how did you know that it was Noli Nobio (sic) who was on top of you?

    A: I learned that he was already on top of me because it was painful; I felt pain.

    COURT:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    That is not the question asked; you listen to the question very well and understand it before giving your answer.

    Interpret again the question.

    WITNESS:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    A: I recognized his face because there was light inside the store.

    PROS. TALAPIERO:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q: When you opened your eyes and you saw Noli Nobio (sic), did Noli Nobio (sic) say anything to you?

    A: Yes ma’am.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Q: What did he say?

    A: He placed his hand over my mouth and said ‘do not make any noise’.

    Q: After he covered your mouth with hand, what did you do?

    A: He was already lying on top of me and he was trying to inserted (sic) his penis into my vagina.

    Q: Was he able to insert his penis into your vagina?

    A: Yes, ma’am/ (sic)

    Q: And what did you feel?

    A: It was painful.

    Q: What were you wearing when you went to bed that night of September 24, 1994?

    A: I was in my red duster.

    Q: What else, if any, aside from the red duster?

    A: My panty.

    Q: When you opened your eyes at round three o’clock early in the morning of September 24, 1994 and you saw Noli Nobio (sic) on top of you, do you know what happened to the clothes you were wearing that night?

    A: Yes, ma’am.

    Q: What, please tell the Court.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    A: My duster had already been pulled up to my neck and my panty already gone.

    Q: What happened after Noli Nobio (sic) inserted his penis into your vagina, what happened after that? What did he do after his penis was already inside your vagina?

    A: My mother arrived. 13

    x       x       x


    Q: What did you do when you woke up and had still that ticklish sensation?

    A: I wanted to push him away from me but I could not do so because he was holding my hand and he was covering my mouth with his hand. 14

    x       x       x


    ATTY. CINCO:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q: For how many minutes did the accused have his penis stayed in your vagina?

    WITNESS:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    A: For about five (5) minutes.

    Q: Dyring (sic) this five minutes that the the (sic) penis of the accused was inside your vagina, did you struggle to free yourself from that situation?

    A: I struggled.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    COURT:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q: Were you able to free yourself?

    WITNESS:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    A: No, sir.

    COURT:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q: Why?

    WITNESS:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    A: Because he was holding my hands and he was spreading my legs with his legs.

    COURT:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Proceed.

    ATTY. CINCO

    Q: Your hands were held by Noli Nobio (sic)?

    WITNESS:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    A: Yes, ma’am.

    Q:. Your left and (sic) your hands?

    A: Yes, ma’am.

    Q: So your mouth was not covered at that time when Noli Nobio (sic) was inserting his penis into your vagina?chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    A: His right hand was covering my mouth while his left hand was holding my hands. 15

    Nenita corroborated Maricel’s testimony. When she forced open the door to the store, she saw the appellant on top of Maricel, completely naked, holding Maricel’s hands, covering her mouth and raping her.

    The Court cannot give credence to the testimony of the appellant that he and Maricel were sweethearts. His sweetheart theory is not supported by any photos or mementos to prove their alleged love relationship. 16 If, as the appellant testified, he and Maricel had been having an amorous relationship a month after April of 1994 or approximately four (4) months before the incident, tokens or mementos of their affair could have been exchanged, taken and kept.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Even if the Court assumed for the nonce that Maricel and the appellant were, indeed, sweethearts, the appellant cannot force Maricel to have sex with him. As often stated, love is not a license for lust. 17 The Court does not even believe the appellant’s testimony that he and Maricel had an agreement to meet at dawn on September 24, 1994. There were, as the trial court noted, tell-tale signs that the appellant was not welcome, or even expected by Maricel at the store at dawn on that fateful day. Maricel was with her two brothers Joey and Jun inside the store. Moreover, Maricel was fast asleep when the appellant helped himself inside. If, as the appellant claimed, he and Maricel had agreed to meet and talk in the store, Maricel surely would not have allowed her brothers to sleep beside her. She should have been fully awake for his arrival to welcome his amorous advances, and enjoy the ecstasy of their togetherness instead of resisting the same. Patently, the appellant’s story is, as this Court said in People v. Lorenzo, 18 a put-up scenario; a story "which runs against the grain of ordinary reality, controverts logic and assails common sense." chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    While testifying on direct examination, appellant claimed that he and Maricel had agreed to meet on September 24, 1994. 19 However, on cross-examination Noli appeared uncertain as he testified that he did not remember the date he and Maricel had agreed to meet and talk as he was on the sea fishing, two days thenceforth. 20

    Even if the Court assumed that indeed Maricel and the appellant had agreed to meet, there is no showing that she had consented to have sex with the appellant. Maricel valiantly struggled by pushing the appellant back to prevent him from raping her. 21

    The case for the prosecution was not enfeebled by evidence that the appellant did not flee from the store but remained on top of Maricel, even as Nenita forcibly opened the door and gained entry into the store. The appellant’s non-flight cannot be weighed in his favor. There is no established declaration that non-flight is, in every instance, an indication of innocence. 22 The Court is convinced that the appellant remained on top of Maricel instead of scampering out of the store because he thought that Nenita would go away after Maricel had failed to respond to her mother’s questions. The appellant felt sure that Nenita would not be able to open the door, as it was locked from the inside. But the appellant underestimated Nenita’s determination. She forced the door open and caught the appellant completely naked on top of Maricel, in flagrante delicto. Instinctively, the appellant grabbed Maricel and used her as a shield against Nenita who was about to hack him with her bolo. When Maricel was finally able to extricate herself from the appellant, he realized. that his life was in peril and jumped out of the store completely naked, leaving his black underwear, t-shirt, sandals and wallet behind. 23

    This Court does not agree with the appellant’s assertion that it is uncommon for a mother to confront an intruder in their store while her husband and neighbor sought help from other neighbors. Most mothers would give up their own lives and fortune to protect their children from harm’s way and shield them from embarrassment, ridicule and any taint on their reputation. 24 In this case, upon learning that a man had gained entry into their store, Nenita believed that her daughter Maricel and her younger children, Joey and Jun, were in peril. She immediately took hold of a flashlight and a bolo, and rushed to their store to protect and save her children. There is nothing unnatural for Nenita to arm herself with a bolo and rush to the store while her husband opted to seek help from neighbors. As this Court had consistently ruled: "the workings of the human mind under emotional stress are unpredictable such that people react differently to startling situations."25cralaw:red

    No prejudicial inference can be attributed to the failure of the prosecution to present the neighbor of the couple who informed them of the presence of a male person in the store as a witness. The testimony of the neighbor was merely corroborative of the testimony of Nenita. 26

    This Court agrees with the trial court that when a woman, more so if she is a minor, says that she has been raped, she says in effect all that is necessary to prove that rape was committed. 27 A young girl’s revelation that she had been raped, coupled with her voluntary submission to medical examination and her willingness to undergo public trial where she could be compelled to give out details of an assault on her dignity, cannot easily be dismissed as mere concoction. 28 Youth and immaturity are generally badges of truth. 29

    Proper Penalty on the Appellant

    Under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act 7659, the prescribed penalty for simple rape is reclusion perpetua. However, the trial court sentenced the appellant to thirty years of reclusion perpetua. The penalty imposed by the trial court is void. 30 Although under Article 27 of the Revised Penal Code as amended by Republic 7659, reclusion perpetua has a range of twenty years and one day to forty years, by nature, the penalty remains a single and indivisible penalty. It cannot be divided into periods or equal portions. If the law prescribes reclusion perpetua as a single and indivisible penalty for a felony, the trial court is mandated to impose said penalty, absent any privileged mitigating circumstances conformably with Article 63 of the Revised Penal Code. The trial court is not authorized to vary the penalty provided for by law either in the character or the extent of punishment inflicted. 31

    There was no need for the trial court to specify the duration of thirty years of reclusion perpetua whenever it is imposed as a penalty in any proper case. The Court is not impervious to Article 70 of the Revised Penal Code which pertinently provides that, in applying the so-called "three-fold rule," i.e., that" (w)hen the culprit has to serve two or more penalties, . . . the maximum duration of the convict’s sentence shall not be more than three-fold the length of time corresponding to the most severe of the penalties imposed upon him" — "the duration of perpetual penalties (penal perpetua) shall be computed at thirty years." The imputation of a thirty-year duration to reclusion perpetua in Article 70 is, as this Court recently held, "only to serve as the basis for determining the convict’s eligibility for pardon or for the application of the three-fold rule in the service of multiple penalties. 32

    The appellant testified on direct examination on June 21, 1996, that he was 17 years old when the crime was committed in 1994. However, he did not adduce in evidence his birth certificate. Neither did he state when he was born. There is thus an uncertainty as to whether the appellant was a minor at the time of the commission of the felony. Moreover, when he was asked on cross-examination if he was only sixteen years old when the crime was committed, the appellant replied that he did not know.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Q And this incident happened in 1994, about three years ago when this incident took place. So would I be correct to presume that if you are nineteen years old now, minus three years, you were only sixteen when the incident took place?

    A I do not know. 33

    In sum, the appellant failed to prove that he was a minor at the time of the commission of the felony. Hence, the appellant is not entitled to the privileged mitigating circumstance of minority under Article 68 of the Revised Penal Code.

    Civil Liabilities of the Appellant

    The trial court correctly ordered the appellant to pay to the victim, Maricel Talisay, P50,000 as civil indemnity. In addition, the victim is entitled to the award of moral damages in the amount of P50,000. This is in line with the current rulings automatically granting moral damages without need of proof, the reason being that mental, physical and psychological trauma suffered by the victim is too obvious to still require proof at the trial. 34

    WHEREFORE, the decision of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 6, Tacloban City, in Criminal Case No. 94-09-447 is hereby AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION. Appellant Noli Novio y Ayaso is found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of simple rape under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by RA 7659 and is sentenced to reclusion perpetua. The appellant is ordered to pay the victim, Maricel Talisay, P50,000 as civil indemnity and P50,000 as moral damages.

    Costs de officio.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    SO ORDERED.

    Bellosillo and Quisumbing, JJ., concur.

    Austria-Martinez, J., on official leave.

    Endnotes:



    1. Penned by Judge Santos T. Gil.

    2. Records, p. 1.

    3. Id., at 20.

    4. Exhibit "D," Records, p. 13.

    5. Records, p. 206.

    6. Id., at 224–225

    7. Brief for the Accused-appellant, Rollo, p. 79.

    8. People v. Layoso, G.R. No. 141773–76, 22 January 2003.

    9. People v. Ramos, G.R. No. 142577, 27 December 2002.

    10. Ibid.; People v. Dalandas, G.R. No. 140209, 27 December 2002; People v. Sambrano, G.R. No. 143708, 24 February 2003; People v. Bagaua, G.R. No. 147943, 12 December 2002.

    11. TSN, 24 July 1995, p. 8.

    12. Id., at 9.

    13. Id., at 9–11.

    14. TSN, 25 July 1995, pp. 32–33.

    15. Id., at 36–37.

    16. People v. Taperla, G.R. No. 142860, 16 January 2003.

    17. Id., supra.

    18. 240 SCRA 624 (1995).

    19. TSN, 21 June 1996, p. 6.

    20. TSN, 19 May 1997, pp. 7–9.

    21. TSN, 19 May 1997, p. 9.

    22. People v. Bacule, 323 SCRA 734 (2000).

    23. TSN, 28 July 1997, pp. 12–15.

    24. People v. Ramos, supra.

    25. People v. Torejos, 326 SCRA 75 (2000).

    26. People v. Paule, 261 SCRA 649 (1996).

    27. People v. Galigao, G.R. No. 140961–63, 14 January 2003.

    28. People v. Plurad, G.R. No. 138361–63, 3 December 2002.

    29. People v. Galigao, supra.

    30. People v. Gatward, 267 SCRA 785 (1997).

    31. In Re: Graham, 34 L. ed. 1051; Weems v. United States, 54 Led. 793.

    32. People v. Tena, 215 SCRA 43 (1992).

    33. TSN, 19 May 1997, p. 4 (Novio).

    34. People v. Arriola, G.R. No. 140779–80, 3 December 2002.

    G.R. No. 139332   June 20, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. NOLI A. NOVIO


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