G.R. No. 206768, December 03, 2014 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. LEONARDO CASTRODES, Accused-Appellant.
G.R. No. 206768, December 03, 2014
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. LEONARDO CASTRODES, Accused-Appellant.
R E S O L U T I O N
is no rule that rape is committed only in seclusion.1
A man’s carnality is
not hindered by time or place—his prurient desire impels him to commit
rape even in the most public of places.
This is an appeal of the
Honorable Court of Appeals (CA) dated 31 May 2012 in CA-G.R. CEB-CR HC
No. 00875, which affirmed the Decision3
of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) dated 26 July
2007, convicting accused-appellant Leonardo Castrodes alias “Adok”
(Castrodes) for the crime of Rape (Crim. Case No. 00-731) in
“People of the Philippines v. Leonardo Castrodes
on or about the 17th day of April, (sic) 2000,
in the municipality of San Miguel, province of Bohol, Philippines, and
within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court as a Family Court, the
above-named accused with lewd designs and by means of force and
intimidation, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously
inserted his penis into the vagina of the victim, AAA,4 a 15 year old (sic)
minor against her will and without her consent; to the damage and
prejudice of the offended party.
Acts committed contrary to the
provision of Art. 335 of the Revised Penal Code as amended by Republic
Act No. 7659.5
We hereby adopt, by
way of reference, the findings of facts of the appellate court, as
integral part of this Resolution. The facts as presented by the CA are:
The Facts According to the Prosecution
around ten o’clock in the morning of April 17, 2000, fifteen year (sic)
old AAA was busy gathering firewood on (sic) the coconut plantation
located just downhill from the house she shared with her aunt BBB and
Preoccupied with the chore at hand, she was surprised
when her neighbor, accused-appellant Leonardo Castrodes suddenly
appeared behind her and wrested from her the bolo she was then using to
With the bolo in his hand, accused-appellant
embraced and carried AAA to a spot underneath a coconut tree. Shocked,
AAA could not do anything due to fear of being hacked by
accused-appellant with the bolo.
Accused-Appellant then started
kissing AAA and caressing her breasts. Accused-Appellant then forced AAA
to lie on the ground and then removed her shorts and panty. He also
removed his own shorts and brief. With both of them naked waist down,
accused-appellant Leonardo Castrodes then laid on top of AAA and
attempted to insert his penis into her vagina.
accused-appellant’s efforts penetrating her, AAA tried to evade from his
advances by squirming underneath his hold. Yet, all her efforts were
for naught, as she was not strong enough to free herself from him.
he finally was able to penetrate her, AAA felt pain and cried. After
ravaging AAA, accused-appellant then stood up and put on his clothing.
As he was towering over AAA, accused-appellant then threatened her that
should she reveal to anyone what had happened, he will kill her and
anyone she confided to.
In her daze, AAA continued crying and
slowly put on her clothes. She picked up the firewood she had previously
gathered and returned home.
AAA kept her silence about the
ordeal she encountered with accused-appellant until the evening of April
26, 2000 when her uncle, [CCC], noticed her crying inside their house.
Concerned as to what had happened to her, [CCC] asked AAA, why she was
crying. AAA then told [CCC] what had transpired in the morning of April
The next day, BBB with AAA’s father reported the matter
to the barangay officials in their village and had her examined by the
Municipal Health Officer.
Version of the Defense
Leonardo Castrodes for his part, however, interposes a different
version of the story. To corroborate his defense, his first cousin,
Jovenciano Castrodes took the witness stand to affirm his innocence.
to the defense, accused-appellant Leonardo Castrodes on the fateful day
of April 17, 2000, was nowhere near the area where the alleged rape
happened. As on that same day, at around 6:30 in the morning,
accused-appellant, together with Jovenciano Castrodes, left the former’s
house and walked towards the latter’s farm.
After twenty minutes
of walking, they finally arrived at the farm. They then started working
around seven o’clock in the morning and only took a break from working
to take their lunch and again resumed around 1:00 in the afternoon.
finished working around five o’clock in the afternoon. After the hard
day’s toil in the farm, the pair returned to accused-appellant’s house
Jovenciano Castrodes affirmed that he was physically
beside his cousin the whole day and there was no moment that he could
not see Leonardo.6
Castrodes pleaded not guilty to the crime charged. During the
presentation of evidence, the prosecution presented three (3) witnesses:
(1) AAA; (2) Dr. Hamilcar Saniel; and (3) AAA’s uncle, CCC. On the
other hand, the defense presented Castrodes and Jovencio Castrodes,
Castrodes’ cousin, as witnesses.
After trial, the RTC found Castrodes guilty beyond doubt of the crime of rape. The dispositive portion of the decision reads:
finding the accused, LEONARDO CASTRODES guilty beyond reasonable doubt
of the crime of rape penalized under paragraph 1, Article 266-B of
Republic Act 8353 amending Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, the
Court metes upon him the penalty of reclusion perpetua
with all the accessory penalties of the law, with costs. The
accused is further ordered to pay the offended party, AAA, the amount of
P50,000.00 as civil indemnity and another P50,000.00 as moral damages.
appeal, the CA affirmed with modification Castrodes’ conviction. The CA
rejected Castrodes’ attempt to cast doubt on AAA’s credibility.
According to the CA, “testimonies of rape victims who are young and
immature deserve full credence, considering that no young woman,
especially of tender age, would concoct a story of defloration, allow an
examination of her private parts, and thereafter pervert herself by
being subject to a public trial, if she was not motivated solely by the
desire to obtain justice for the wrong committed against her.”8
On AAA’s delay
in reporting her ordeal, the CA ruled that delay in reporting the rape
incident does not weaken the case for the prosecution. The CA opined
that is not uncommon for a young girl to conceal assaults on her
regard to Castrodes’ defense of alibi, the defense failed to prove that
it was physically impossible for him to be at the crime scene at the
time of the incident because the crime scene and the farm where
Castrodes was allegedly working was only a twenty-minute walk from the
scene of the crime.10
The dispositive portion of the CA Decision reads:
LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the Court hereby AFFIRMS with MODIFICATION
the assailed Decision dated July 26, 2007 of the Regional Trial Court,
Branch 52, Talibon, Bohol in Criminal Case No. 00-731. The
accused-appellant Leonardo Castrodes is found GUILTY of the crime of
Rape and is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion
perpetua. He is likewise ordered to indemnify AAA Php
50,000.00 as civil indemnity, Php 50,000.00 as moral damages, and Php
30,000.00 as exemplary damages, plus legal interest on all damages
awarded at the rate of six percent (6%) from the date of the finality of
SO ORDERED. 11
defense pointed to several circumstances and inconsistencies in the
prosecution’s evidence, namely: (1) it was highly incredible for AAA to
bring a bolo when she was just merely gathering firewood; (2) it was
highly improbable that AAA was raped in broad daylight and in a very
highly visible area surrounded by eight (8) houses; (3) AAA’s delay in
reporting the incident, which showed the incredulity of AAA’s
allegation; and (4) there were no vaginal lacerations found in AAA based
on the Municipal Health Officer’s report.
repeat that there is no rule that rape is committed only in
Castrodes’ contention that it was highly improbable that he raped AAA in
broad daylight and in a very visible area surrounded by eight (8)
houses deserves scant consideration. A man’s carnality is not hindered
by time or place—his prurient desire impels him to commit rape even in
the most public of places.13
Delay in reporting an incident of rape
does not discredit the credibility of a victim. Human experience
dictates that a rape victim, especially a young girl, who experienced
sexual assault, is expected to conceal assaults on her virtue;14
validates the social stigma a rape victim may suffer after she discloses
her ordeal, especially in a conservative society such as ours. In
effect, “the victim may choose to keep quiet rather than expose her
defilement to the harsh glare of public scrutiny.”15
Therefore, AAA’s failure to
immediately report the rape incident does not undermine her credibility
as a witness.
The defense alleged that it was highly improbable
that there was a crime of rape because AAA suffered no vaginal
lacerations based on the medical examination.16
We rule in the negative. Time and
again, we have held that in prosecuting crimes of rape, the medical
examination is dispensable.17
In fact, there could be a finding of rape even
if the medical examination showed no vaginal laceration.18
that he was working in a farm when AAA was raped is not exculpatory
because he failed to prove the physical impossibility of his presence at
the scene of the crime at the time of the incident. As borne by the
records, Castrodes was just twenty (20) minutes away from the crime
scene. To merit credence, Castrodes must adduce clear and convincing
evidence that he was in a place other than the situs
at the time when the crime was committed, such that
it was physically impossible for him to have been at the scene of the
crime when it was committed.19
Clearly, Castrodes failed to prove the fact
vital to the credibility of the alibi.WHEREFORE
the Decision of the Honorable Court of Appeals dated 31 May 2012 in
CA-G.R. CEB-CR HC No. 00875 finding accused-appellant LEONARDO
guilty beyond reasonable doubt of rape is
AFFIRMED in toto.SO ORDERED.Sereno,
C.J., (Chairperson), Leonardo De-Castro, Bersamin
1People v. Montinola,
567 Phil. 387, 402 (2008), citing People v. Abellera,
553 Phil. 307, 320 (2007).
2 Penned by Associate Justice Pamela
Ann Abella Maxino with Associate Justices Gabriel T. Ingles and Victoria
Isabel A. Paredes, concurring; CA rollo, pp. 82-95.
3 Penned by Presiding
Judge Irma Zita V. Masamayor; records, pp. 158-168.
4 Pursuant to Republic
Act No. 7610 or the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse,
Exploitation and Discrimination Act and its Implementing Rules, Republic
Act No. 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act
of 2004 and its Implementing Rules, and Supreme Court Resolution dated
19 October 2004 in A.M. No. 04-10-11-SC or the Rule on Violence Against
Women and their Children.
5 Records, p. 29.
6 CA rollo, pp. 84-86.
7 Records, p. 168.
8 CA rollo, p. 92.
9 Id. at 93.
10 Id. at 93-94.
11 CA rollo, pp. 94-95.
12People v. Montinola, supra note 1.
13 People v.
Lindo, G.R. No. 189818, 9 August 2010, 627 SCRA 519, 527.
14People v. Mauro, 447 Phil. 207, 223 (2003).
15People v. Ariola, 418 Phil. 808, 821 (2001).
16 Exhibit “C-4”; records, p. 15,
17People v. De los Reyes, 383 Phil. 801, 814 (2000).
18 Id., citing
People v. Sapurco, 315 Phil. 561, 572 (1995).
Veloso, G.R. No. 188849, 13 February 2013, 690 SCRA 586,
Back to Home | Back to Main