Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence

Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1996 > December 1996 Decisions > G.R. No. 117737 December 27, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NEMECIO B. CERVANTES:



[G.R. No. 117737. December 27, 1996.]

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. NEMECIO B. CERVANTES, Accused-Appellant.



The accused, Nemecio B. Cervantes, appealed to this Court from the judgment of the Regional Trial Court of Pasay City, in Criminal Case No. 92-0567, convicting him of the rape of a 16-year old girl. He was charged with the commission of the offense in an information that

"The undersigned State Prosecutor of the Department of Justice upon prior sworn complaint of Rosalyn M. Salvador, the offended party, hereby accuses NEMECIO B. CERVANTES of the crime of rape penalized under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, committed as

"That in or about June 1991, in Pasay City, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, armed with a knife, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously threatened and succeeded in having sexual intercourse with the said ROSALYN M. SALVADOR against her will and consent, to her damage and prejudice.


The Solicitor General, adopting by and large the findings of the trial court, gives a brief narration of the evidence for the prosecution.

"VICTIM ROSALYN SALVADOR (who was crying until the end of her testimony) testified that sometime on June 1991 at 7:00 p.m., she was alone inside their house at No. 87 R. Higgins Street, Pasay City, because her mother was in the store at Villamor Airbase, her eldest brother was with a friend and the younger one, was playing. While watching a TV show (pp. 6-7, tsn, Sept. 14, 1992), Accused Nemecio Cervantes whom she fondly called Kuya Dodong,’ who was renting part of their house for more than 6 years, knocked on the door of the victim’s house. Rosalyn Salvador peeped at the window to find out who was knocking at the door, she discovered, it was Nemecio Cervantes. The latter asked for some water, so, the victim opened the door and gave him water (pp. 7-10, supra). The accused did not drink the water; instead, he entered the house then dragged the victim inside the comfort room. The accused kept on kissing the face, neck and all parts of the body of the victim who was crying and resisting (pp. 10-11, supra). Later on, the victim was asked by the accused, with a knife poked on the middle portion of her throat, to take off her t-shirt and short pants and to lay down, to which she gave in (pp. 11-12, supra). The accused removed victim’s bra and panty and inserted his penis. to the vagina of Rosalyn Salvador. She felt pain (pp. 11-1 3, supra). Immediately thereafter, the accused left the victim in the comfort room with a warning not to tell anybody; otherwise, she and her brothers will be killed by the accused (pp. 13-14, supra). The victim washed her face and her entire body then she met her mother in the store. She never told her mother earlier about the rape because of the death threat (pp. 14-15, supra).

"Sometime on August 1991 and November 1991, the same rape incident happened between Rosalyn Salvador and Nemecio Cervantes under the same circumstances of death threats to her, her brothers and her mother (pp. 17-18, supra).

"The victim first reported the rape incident to her Tita then to her mother on February 3, 1992 (pp. 18-19, supra). She was accompanied by her Tita and her mother to the NBI where she executed a sworn statement (Exhs. B to B-6). By reason of the sexual abuse, Rosalyn Salvador failed to go to school for few months and she got failing grades. As to moral damages, she cannot quantity the same in terms of money. Her feelings was pagkainis at pagkasuklam’ to Nemecio Cervantes (pp. 21-22, tsn, Sept. 14, 1992).

"Dr. Ruperto Sombilon, Jr., Medico Legal Officer, NBI, Manila, testified that on February 2, 1992 at 8.30 p.m., he conducted a genital examination on the person of Rosalyn Salvador. His findings were old-healed hymenal lacerations, in 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions; the age of which correlates to the date of commission of rape cases (Exhs. A to A-2). Said lacerations were caused by a male organ and that at the time of the rape, Rosalyn Salvador was still a virgin." 2

The accused, in his defense, asserted that the incident complained of had come about because of mutual desire and consent of both parties, he and private complainant still then being "sweethearts."cralaw virtua1aw library

On 05 September 1994, the trial court found for the prosecution, and it rendered judgment convicting Cervantes of rape. The court

"IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the Court finds Nemecio Cervantes guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the charge of Rape against him. Accordingly, he is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to pay Rosalyn Salvador the sum of P500,000.00 as moral damages.

"Costs against Nemecio Cervantes." 3

In this appeal, Accused-appellant raised a lone assignment of error, i.e., that —

"The Court a quo erred in convicting the accused guilty as charged for the crime of rape the same being contrary to the facts, the evidence and the law/jurisprudence on the matter." 4

The Court, almost invariably, is asked in rape cases to choose between the discordant, often essentially irreconcilable, declaration of the victim and that of the accused. In that determination, an appellate court, realizing many times that it cannot hope to be in a position greater than, or even equal to, that of the trial court which can observe up close the demeanor of witnesses in giving their testimony, simply would accord due respect to the findings of the lower court. Here, the records do not give any trace of whim or arbitrariness on the part of the court a quo in its assessment of the facts; quite the contrary, it appears to have been judicious in its findings.

Rosalyn, who was barely 16 years of age when she underwent her harrowing experience, in tears 5 gave this detailed account of the

"Q On the second week of June 1991 at around 7:00 in the evening what are you doing at that time?

"A I was watching T.V.

"Q While you were watching T.V. at around 7:00 in the evening of the second week of June 1991 do you recall if there was any unusual incident that happened?

"A Yes sir.

"Q And what was this unusual incident that happened?

"A Kuya Dodoy knocked at our door.

"Q Now you mentioned the name ‘kuya Dodoy’ who was this ‘kuya Dodoy?’

"A He is renting in our house.

"Q And what is his full name if you know?

"A Nemecio Cervantes.

"Q Why do you call him Miss Salvador ‘kuya Dodoy?’

"A Because I respect him as a renter in our house.

"Q And how long has he been renting in your house?

"A For more than 6 years.

"Q In other words you are around ten years old when ‘kuya Dodoy’ or Nemecio Cervantes started renting in your house?

"A Yes sir.


"I would like to make of record that the witness while testifying she is continuously crying your honor.


"Put it in record.

"Q What part of your house, ‘kuya Dodoy’ is renting?

"A He was with the other who rented at our house.

"Q Also inside your house?

"A No sir.

"Q Where in particular?

"A After at the left side.

"Q Now in going to his room does he have to pass the same door in going inside your house?

"A No sir the way to our house is different from the way to the room he had rented.

"Q Now you mentioned while ago that ‘kuya Dodoy’ or Nemecio Cervantes knocked at your door while you were watching T.V. at around 7 00 in the evening what did you do?

"A I peeped at the window to find out who is knocking at the door and I saw him.

"Q When you saw him what happened?

"A He was asking for water, I opened the door and give the water.

"Q Now do you recall whether he drank the water that you gave to him?

"A No sir.

"Q Was he able to enter your house when you gave the water?

"A Yes sir.

"Q While he was able to get inside your house what did he do if any?

"A He dragged me ‘hinatak’ going to the comfort room.

"Q Was he able to drag you at the comfort room?

"A Yes sir.

"Q While inside the comfort room what did ‘kuya Dodoy’ or Nemecio Cervantes do to you if any?

"A He kept kissing me.

"Q What part of your body did he kiss you?

"A On the face, neck, all the parts of my body.

"Q While he was doing this to you what did you do?

"A I was just crying.

"Q Now while he was kissing you what did he do if any?

"A He asked me to remove my clothes.

"Q By the way what were you wearing at that time?

"A I was in T-shirt and walking short.

"Q And when he told you to remove your clothes what did you do?

"A I did what he told me because he was pointing his knife on me.

"Q What particular part of your body does he poke his knife to you?

"A Witness pointing to the middle portion of her throat.

"Q Did he says anything when he poke his knife to you at your throat?

"A Yes sir.

"Q What did he say?

"A He told me not to tell anybody about it because if I do so he will kill me.

"Q And were you able to remove your clothes as ordered by Nemecio Cervantes?

"A Yes sir.

"Q What else were you wearing aside from your T-shirt and walking short?

"A Bra and panty.

"Q And will you inform this honorable court who remove your panty and bra?

"A He was the one who remove the bra.

"Q How about your panty?

"A Nemecio Cervantes sir.

"Q Now after the accused removed your bra and panty what things he do if any?

"A He was inserting his sex organ to my organ.

"Q Do you recall if he was able to place his organ to your organ?

"A Yes sir.

Q What did you feel when you felt his organ inside your organ?

"A Pain.

"Q Now after he was able to insert his organ to your organ what happened next?

"A He left me inside the comfort room and warned me not to tell anybody.

"Q What else did he do other than warning you not to tell anybody.

"A He told that he would kill me and my brothers.

"Q How while he was kissing you inside the comfort room did you not think to shout and ask for help?

"A No sir, because I was surprised of what he was doing to me.

"Q Now after he left you in the comfort room what did you do if any?

"A I washed my face and my entire body.

"Q And when you washed your entire body what did you feel or see if any?

"A I saw blood on my panty.

"Q Now after you had washed yourself after that incident what did you do?

"A I left the house and I went to the store where my mother was.

"Q Were you able to see your mother at your store?

"A Yes sir.

"Q And what transpired when you arrived at the store of your mother?

"A My mother asked where I came from.

"Q What did you tell her?

"A I told her I came from the house.

"Q What did she ask you if any?

"A She told me why I was sad and my eyes are red.

"Q What did you tell to your mother?

"A I told her that I have just woke up.

"Q What other things transpired if any?

"A She did not ask any more.

"Q You stated a while ago kuya Dodoy’ will you please point him if he is inside the court room?

"A Person pointed to identified himself as Nemecio Cervantes." 6

Appellant would instead point to complainant’s mother Angelina, his paramour, to be the real instigator of the complaint against him, supposedly because she was outraged when appellant broke off their relationship and, consequently, in a "fit of jealousy, anger and revenge," she induced her daughter to falsely accuse him of rape. Quite unlikely! No mother would stoop so low as to subject her daughter to shame merely to assuage her own hurt feelings. 7 The "sweetheart theory," likewise, should deserve no better treatment. Except for a spurious "love letter" allegedly sent by the victim, no evidence was adduced to support the claim. Such a letter, even if genuine, could not have been a carte blanche or an open invitation for sexual indulgence. Indeed, had the two really been sweethearts, it would be hard to accept their having chosen a comfort room, rather than a more suitable rendezvous, for their tryst. 8

Accused-appellant stresses on the delay of the complainant in reporting the incident. This court has upheld the conviction of an accused for rape even when the complainant discloses the incident days or even months after its occurrence. It is not uncommon for young girls to conceal for some time the assaults on their virtue particularly when there is a threat by the rapist on the victim or her family. 9 The complainant has

"Q What did he say?

"A He told me not to tell anybody about it because if I did so he will kill me.

x       x       x

"Q What else did he do other than warning you not to tell anybody.

"A He told that he would kill me and my brothers." 10

The Court agrees with the sentence imposed but finds the award of P500,000.00 by way of damages to be far in excess of that currently set under prevailing jurisprudence. In People v. Joya, 11 the Court has reiterated the rule of adjudging against the convicted accused "moral damages of P50,000.00 in (the) rape of young girls, with ages ranging from thirteen to nineteen years."cralaw virtua1aw library

WHEREFORE, the judgment appealed from is AFFIRMED with the modification that the award of moral damages is reduced to P50,000.00. Costs against Accused-Appellant.


Padilla, Bellosillo, Kapunan and Hermosisima, Jr., JJ., concur.


1. Records, p. 2.

2. Rollo, pp. 70-73.

3. Rollo, p. 22.

4. Rollo, p. 37.

5. In People v. Joya (227 SCRA 9), the Court ruled that "the crying of the victim during her testimony is evidence of the credibility of the rape charge."cralaw virtua1aw library

6. TSN, 14 September 1992, pp. 7-16.

7. People v. Ching, 240 SCRA 267.

8. People v. Budol, 143 SCRA 241.

9. See People v. Malagar, 238 SCRA 512.

10. TSN, 14 September 1992.

11. Supra.

Back to Home | Back to Main

ChanRobles On-Line Bar Review

ChanRobles Internet Bar Review :

ChanRobles MCLE On-line

ChanRobles Lawnet Inc. - ChanRobles MCLE On-line :

December-1996 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 105746 December 2, 1996 - MUNICIPALITY OF JIMENEZ v. HON. VICENTE T. BAZ. JR, ET. AL.

  • G.R. No. 115686 December 2, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PEDRO V. MALABAGO

  • G.R. No. 116610 December 2, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILSON VILLANUEVA

  • G.R. No. 117217 December 2, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GENER S. DE GUZMAN

  • G.R. No. 119005 December 2, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SABAS RAQUEL, ET.AL.

  • G.R. No. 119722 December 2, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NEMESIO V. GANAN., ET.AL.

  • G.R. No. 105213 December 4, 1996 - ERLINDA DE LA CRUZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.


  • G.R. No. 114266 December 4, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGELIO VILLANUEVA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121158 December 5, 1996 - CHINA BANKING CORP., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter Nos. MTJ-91-567 & MTJ-91-588 December 6, 1996 - MODESTO T. UALAT v. JOSE O. RAMOS

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-95-1033 December 6, 1996 - MAMAMAYAN NG ZAPOTE v. ISAURO M. BALDERIAN

  • G.R. No. 94516 December 6, 1996 - LUCIO SAN ANDRES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111857 December 6, 1996 - JAIME CALPO, ET AL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.


  • G.R. No. 118770 December 6, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GEORGE GONDORA

  • G.R. No. 123991 December 6, 1996 - FELIX LADINO v. ALFONSO S. GARCIA, ET. AL.

  • G.R. No. 88043 December 9, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANTONIO PAREJA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 95049 December 9, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NESTOR ESCANDOR, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110569 December 9, 1996 - DIOSDADO MALLARI v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.


  • G.R. No. 119359 December 10, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERT CLOUD

  • G.R. No. 124292 December 10, 1996 - GREGORIO C. JAVELOSA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET.AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 110100-02 December 11, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ISIDORO PEREZ, ET.AL.

  • G.R. No. 119619 December 13, 1996 - RICHARD HIZON, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. 92-6-326-MeTC December 16, 1996 - IN RE: FRANCISCO D. VILLANUEVA

  • G.R. No. 92153 December 16, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARTEMIO OBZUNAR

  • G.R. Nos. 112716-17 December 16, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDUARDO S. HERBIAS

  • G.R. Nos. 114011-22 December 16, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VEVINA BUEMIO

  • G.R. No. 115401 December 16, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDILBERTO FABULA, ET.AL.

  • G.R. No. 120958 December 16, 1996 - FIL-ESTATE GOLF AND DEVELOPMENT v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET.AL.


  • Adm. Matter No. P-90-454 December 17, 1996 - CARLOS MENDOZA v. NICOLAS TIONGSON

  • Adm. Matter No. P-94-1063 December 17, 1996 - BERNARDITA B. CHUA v. BENJAMIN A. GONZALES

  • G.R. Nos. 93026-27 December 17, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CONRADO PAJARO

  • G.R. No. 101771 December 17, 1996 - SPOUSES MARIANO and GILDA FLORENDO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET. AL.

  • G.R. No. 111541 December 17, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MAX MEJOS

  • G.R. No. 119601 December 17, 1996 - DANILO BUHAT v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET. AL.

  • G.R. No. 120365 December 17, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILSON B. QUE

  • G.R. Nos. 103727 & 106496 December 18, 1996 - INTESTATE ESTATE OF DON MARIANO SAN PEDRO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET.AL.

  • Adm. Matter Nos. RTJ-90-372-B & P-93-992 December 23, 1996 - COURT EMPLOYEES OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT v. JUDGE VIVENCIO A. GALON

  • Adm. Matter No. SC-96-1 December 23, 1996 - DAMASO S. FLORES v. BERNARDO P. ABESAMIS



  • G.R. No. 118079 December 24, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARMANDO ESTANISLAO, ET AL.


  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-96-1112 December 27, 1996 - ANTONIO ADAPON v. JUDGE HERNANDO C. DOMAGTOY

  • G.R. No. 117737 December 27, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NEMECIO B. CERVANTES

  • G.R. No. 82188 June 30, 1988