G.R. No. 186460 - People of the Philippines v. Gualberto Cinco y Soyosa
[G.R. NO. 186460 : December 4, 2009]
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. GUALBERTO CINCO y SOYOSA, Accused-Appellant.
D E C I S I O N
For review is the Decision1 dated 30 January 2008 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR-HC No. 01537 which affirmed in toto the Decision, dated 14 July 2005, of the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 106, Quezon City, in Criminal Cases No. Q-98-79944, No. Q-99-89097 and No. Q-89098,2 finding accused-appellant Gualberto Cinco y Soyosa guilty of two counts of simple rape.
The facts gathered from the records are as follows:
In November 1998, an information3 was filed before the RTC accusing appellant of acts of lasciviousness, thus:
Criminal Case No. Q-98-79944
That on or about the 30th day of November 1998, in Quezon City, Philippines, the said accused with lewd design, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously commit an act of sexual abuse upon the person of AAA,4 a minor, 14 years old, by then and there touching her body and mashing her breast, against her will and without her consent which act debases, degrades, or demeans the intrinsic worth and human dignity of said complainant as a human being, to the damage and prejudice of the said offended party.
Subsequently, on 18 August 1999, two separate informations5 were filed with the RTC charging appellant with rape. The accusatory portions of the informations read:
Criminal Case No. Q-99-89097
That on or about the month of November, 1998 in Quezon City, Philippines, the said accused, by means of force and intimidation, to wit: by then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously undressed [AAA], a minor, 14 years of age, inside her room of the house located at XXX, and thereafter have carnal knowledge with [AAA] against her will and without her consent.
Criminal Case No. Q-99-89098
That on or about the 1st day of November, 1998 in Quezon City, Philippines, the said accused, by means of force and intimidation, to wit: by then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously undressed [AAA], a minor, 14 years of age, in the sala of their house located at XXX, and thereafter have carnal knowledge with [AAA] against her will and without her consent.
Thereafter, the aforementioned cases were consolidated. When arraigned on 7 February 2000, appellant, assisted by counsel de oficio, pleaded "not guilty" to the charges. Trial on the merits followed.
The prosecution presented as witnesses Dr. Mariella Castillo and AAA. Their testimonies, woven together, bear the following:
Herein private complainant, AAA, was born on 21 August 1984 in the province of YYY. When she was 12 years old, her aunt, BBB, took her from the custody of her paternal grandmother and brought her to BBB's residence located at XXX. Since then, AAA lived in the said house with BBB and herein appellant (BBB's common-law spouse/live-in partner).
On 1 November 1998, at around 6:00 p.m., AAA, then 14 years old, was inside the house watching television. Appellant entered the house and proceeded to the kitchen. He took a knife therefrom and poked it at AAA. He told her not to shout or he would kill her. He tied her two hands at the back of her head and removed her skirt and panty. She began to cry, but he told her to stop doing so. He went on top of her, spread her thighs, and inserted his penis into her vagina. He then made push and pull movements. As she felt pain in her vagina, she tried to push him away but to no avail. He pinched her breast which was very painful. After satisfying his lust, he untied her hands, put on his shorts and left her. She then stood up and put on her clothes. She went to the comfort room and saw her panty stained with blood.
In the latter part of November 1998, at about 4:00 p.m., AAA was inside the house while appellant was drinking with friends outside. Later, appellant, then armed with a knife, entered AAA's room and approached AAA. He pointed the knife at her neck and told her not to make noise. He covered her mouth with a handkerchief and tied her hands with a nylon rope. He then removed his pants and brief, stripped her of her shorts and panty, and went on top of her. He inserted his penis into her vagina and made up and down movements. Before leaving her, he warned her not to tell anyone of the incidents or he would kill her.
Subsequently, AAA went to the barangay hall to report the incidents. However, upon arriving thereat, she told the barangay officials that she was merely "touched" and not raped by appellant. She was forced to make such statement because appellant's siblings, namely, Sonia and Roel, threatened to kill her if she would divulge the truth. Appellant was eventually arrested and detained. She then filed with the Office of the Prosecutor, Quezon City, a complaint for acts of lasciviousness against appellant.
Thereafter, AAA confided to BBB that appellant raped her. BBB accompanied AAA to the office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Marilac Hills, Alabang, Muntinlupa. Thereupon, AAA disclosed to a social worker that she was raped by appellant. After the interview, the social worker and BBB accompanied AAA to Camp Crame where the latter underwent physical and genital examination, which was conducted by Dr. Mariella Castillo (Dr. Castillo). In the said genital examination, Dr. Castillo found that AAA had an estrogenized hymen with healed laceration at the 6:00 o'clock and 8:00 o'clock positions. The deep notches, being in the posterior part of the hymen, indicate that the same had been lacerated before, but were now healed. The notches were caused by penetration injuries or by an object being inserted through the hymen opening to the vaginal canal.
Afterwards, appellant was charged with two counts of rape.6
The prosecution also proffered documentary evidence to buttress the testimonies of its witness, to wit: (1) provisional medical certificate of AAA issued by Dr. Castillo (Exhibit A);7 (2) final medical certificate of AAA issued by Dr. Castillo (Exhibit B);8 (3) sworn statement of AAA (Exhibit C);9 and (4) AAA's birth certificate (Exhibit D).10 ???ñr?bl?š ??r
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