Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence

Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1997 > November 1997 Decisions > G.R. No. 120579 November 5, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALLAN ERESE:



[G.R. No. 120579. November 5, 1997.]

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. ALLAN ERESE y BALINGIT, Accused-Appellant.



In denying this appeal, the Court reiterates some familiar doctrines in rape cases: (1) the sole testimony of complainant, if clear and credible, is enough to sustain the conviction of appellant, and (2) alibi and denial cannot prevail over positive identification of the malefactor.chanrobles virtual lawlibrary

The Case

This is an appeal from the Decision 1 promulgated November 25, 1994 in Criminal Case No. 735-92, convicting accused-appellant of rape and sentencing him to reclusion perpetua.

On complaint 2 of Emelinda T. Luna, First Asst. Provincial Prosecutor Rodolfo E. Oribello, in an Information dated October 21, 1992, charged Appellant Allan Erese y Balingit with rape committed as follows: 3

"That on or about the 8th day of August, 1992 in the [M]unicipality of San Marcelino, Province of Zambales, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused, by means of force, intimidation and threats, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge with Emelinda T. Luna, a girl of 11 years old, (sic) against her will."cralaw virtua1aw library

After arraignment 4 and trial in due course, the Regional Trial Court of Olongapo City, Branch 74, rendered the assailed Decision, the dispositive portion of which

"WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing considerations and in the light of the above-quoted decisions of the Supreme Court, and finding the evidence presented by the prosecution against the accused to be sufficient, this Court finds said accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt and with moral certainty of the crime of RAPE defined and punishable under the provisions of Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code and pursuant to the said law, this Court hereby sentences him to an [sic] imprisonment of RECLUSION PERPETUA, to pay the amount of P30,000.00 by way of moral damages and to pay the costs, without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. The accused is entitled to the full period of his preventive imprisonment."cralaw virtua1aw library

Hence, this appeal. 5

The Facts

Version of the Prosecution

In the appellee’s brief, the Solicitor General summarized the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses as follows: 6

In the evening of August 8, 1992, [C]omplainant Emelinda T. Luna, barely 13 years old, 7 was inside the house of [A]ppellant Allan Erese situated at Barangay Consuelo Sur, San Marcelino, Zambales (p. 8, tsn, Nov. 25, 1993). Complainant, at that time, was living, together with her elder brother, in the house of appellant who is the common-law husband of her mother (p. 10, tsn, Ibid.). The two were left there by their mother who left to work in Singapore (pp. 10-11, tsn, Ibid.). Their father is still alive but is living in Isabela province, because he is separated from their mother (pp. 8-9, tsn, Ibid.)

Complainant ate her supper alone (p. 18, tsn, Ibid.). After she was through, appellant handed her a glass of water (p. 18, tsn, Ibid.). Several minutes thereafter, complainant felt dizzy so she lay down on the bed situated on the ground floor of the house, while appellant and her brother went out of the house and continued talking with each other in front of the window (pp. 19-20, tsn, Ibid.).

When complainant woke up, she saw appellant, half-naked and holding a knife on top of her (pp. 21-22, 24, tsn, Ibid.). She readily recognized appellant from the light coming from the kerosene lamp beside her (pp. 22-24, tsn, Ibid.). Complainant pleaded to appellant not to do anything bad against her (p. 24, tsn, Ibid.). Appellant merely smiled and started to kiss complainant who resisted by pushing and kicking him (pp. 24, 26, tsn, Ibid.). When finally, appellant was able to remove her clothes, he succeeded in having carnal knowledge of her (p. 26, tsn, Ibid.). Afterwards, appellant called up complainant’s brother and told him: "ikaw naman" (p. 36, tsn, Nov. 25, 1993). Complainant’s brother followed as he was asked to do and likewise had carnal knowledge of complainant (p. 39, Ibid.).

Since complainant’s mother was abroad, she sought the assistance of the friend of her mother, her [A]untie Nelia, who lost no time in referring her complaint to the San Marcelino Police Department (p. 3, Exh. "B"). 8

Ten days after the incident, complainant was brought to the San Marcelino District Hospital, Zambales by her [A]untie Nelia (p. 40, tsn, Ibid.). Thereat, she was physically examined by Dr. Ricardo Eclarin, Medical Officer of the hospital (pp. 13-14, tsn, April 27, 1994) 9 . Thereafter, a certificate was issued showing: ‘Multiple healed laceration — hymen at 4:00-8:00 o’clock position (Exh. "D") 10 .

When the case was referred to the San Marcelino Police Department, Police Investigator Alfredo Layda, who was assigned to the case, took the statement of complainant (p. 3, tsn, April 27, 1994). Thereafter, her statement was subscribed and sworn to before Municipal Judge Edilberto Fabunan of Subic, Zambales (Ibid.).

A complaint was likewise filed against complainant’s brother (p. 37, tsn, Nov. 25, 1993). However, an Affidavit of Desistance was executed by complainant and her mother (p. 37, Ibid.). Hence, trial proceeded only against appellant."cralaw virtua1aw library

Version of the Defense

The defense alleges alibi and denial — that appellant was not at his house when the alleged rape occurred. He denied raping the complainant, testifying that between 12:00 midnight on August 8, 1992 and 1:00 a.m. on August 9, 1992, appellant attended a wake. 11 Afterwards, he returned home and immediately left for his neighbor’s house which, being five to eight houses away, took him only four minutes to reach. 12 There, he and his neighbor Rudy Ancheta butchered a hog. At 4:00 a.m., appellant proceeded to the public market where he worked as a butcher. 13

He added that he had been living in his grandmother’s house with the complainant’s mother for two months, when the latter left for abroad. He knew of no grudge or hatred between the complainant and himself and, prior to the incident, they were on speaking terms with each other. 14

In corroboration, Ancheta was presented to show that appellant was at his house between twelve midnight of August 8, 1992 and one o’clock early morning of the following day. 15 According to him, it took them at least three hours to finish butchering a hog, because they had to immerse the butchered pig in boiling water first, before it could be cleaned and chopped into pieces. He insisted that appellant was with him until about four o’clock the following morning. 16

Ruling of the Trial Court

The trial court observed that the complainant’s testimony, being straightforward and candid, had a ring of truth. It ruled that appellant’s moral ascendancy over the complainant facilitated the commission of the crime. While it was true that no witness corroborated complainant’s testimony, the lower court concluded that she would not have dared stand the rigors and humiliation of a public trial if she had not indeed been raped by the Appellant.

On the other hand, appellant’s defense was rejected by the trial court because it consisted merely of alibi and denial. In the absence of clear and convincing evidence, this defense could not prevail over the complainant’s positive and categorical testimony.

The Issue

As his lone assignment of error, appellant 17

"The lower court erred in finding accused-appellant guilty of the crime of rape without his guilt proven beyond a reasonable doubt."cralaw virtua1aw library

This Court’s Ruling

The appeal is bereft of merit.

Elements of Rape

Carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following instances constitutes rape: (1) when force or intimidation is used; (2) when the woman is deprived of reason or is otherwise unconscious; and (3) when she is under twelve (12) years of age. 18 In this particular case, complainant testified that appellant used a knife to force himself upon her. She testified: 19

"FISCAL:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

q: And what did you do when you woke up?

a: I saw my step father on top of me.

q: When you saw him on top of you, will you describe to the Court how he was attired?

a: He was wearing a short sir and he was half naked up.

q: Now, you said he was on top of you, what was he doing?

a: He brought out his private part sir.

q: What else did he do if any when you saw him on top of you?

a: He kept on kissing my neck sir.

q: You said that your step father or the common law husband of your mother was on top of you, now, what else did you do if any?

a: I was crying sir.

q: How did you know that it was the common-law husband of your mother that was on top of you and who put out his private part and was kissing you?

a: Because there was a light beside me.

x       x       x

q: Other than your neck, will you tell the Court if you are also kissed by your uncle elsewhere?

a: My neck and my chest sir. (Witness is pointing to her chest).

x       x       x

q: You said that your uncle was on top of you when you saw him because of the lighted kerosine (sic) lamp room, what else happened?

a: When he was on top of me, he was holding a knife sir, I kept on pleading to him.

q: What kind of knife was it if you could remember?

a: It was like this long. (Witness indicating about a foot and it was sharp and pointed).

q: What did you tell him if any?

a: I was pleading and crying to him sir not to do anything against me but he just kept on smiling.

q: And did you resisted (sic) or did you tell him to go away or push him when he was on top of you?

a: Yes, sir.

x       x       x

q: You said that he put out his private part, what did he do with his private part if any?

a: He inserted it to my vagina sir.

q: When he did that did you resist?

a: Yes, sir.

q: And what actually did you do to resist against the action of the accused in putting his private parts in your vagina?

a: I kicked him sir. (Witness is demonstrating by kicking).

q: Will you describe to the Court how he was able to put his private part in your vagina?

a: He took hold of his penis sir and inserted to my vagina." chanrobles law library : red

The force employed by the appellant on the victim need not be irresistible. Only such force sufficient to consummate the criminal purpose of the accused is required. 20 The rape of the complainant is further corroborated by Dra. Margarita Ciervo who reported multiple healed lacerations of the complainant’s hymen at the four and eight o’clock positions. 21

In comparison, appellant’s alibi is manifestly puerile. Appellant claims that he attended a wake from 12:00 midnight of August 8, 1992 until 1:00 the following morning. Thereafter, he proceeded to Ancheta’s house to butcher a pig. In all, his alibi showed only that he was not at his house after the crime occurred. According to the complainant, she woke up in the middle of the night and found her common-law father on top of her. Appellant’s alibi did not preclude his presence at the locus criminis before he went to Ancheta’s house, which was barely four minutes away. Aside from its inherent weakness, his alibi was unavailing as against complainant’s compelling positive identification of him as her sexual aggressor. 22 That she was able to clearly identify him is shown in her testimony narrating the circumstances of the rape: 23

"q: How bright or what was the lighting condition of your room when you felt dizzy and slept?

a: Our neighbor has an electric light while we use a lamp, kerosine (sic) lamp.

q: After you slept, did you wake up?

a: Yes, sir.

COURT:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

Somebody woke you up or you woke up yourself alone?

a: I just woke up alone sir.

FISCAL:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

q: And what did you do when you woke up?

a: I saw my step father on top of me.

q: When you saw him on top of you, will you describe to the Court how he was attired?

a: He was wearing a short sir and he was half naked up."cralaw virtua1aw library

Credibility of Complainant

Noting that his conviction relied primarily on complainant’s testimony, appellant thus assails her credibility. First, appellant claims that it was utterly contrary to normal human conduct for complainant’s brother to have witnessed the dastardly act without doing anything. Thus, the defense conjectures that the complainant’s testimony was a fabrication. Having no legal or factual leg to stand on, this argument deserves scant consideration by this Court.

Second, appellant claims that complainant’s testimony, which was given after a lapse of more than a year, was inconsistent with her sworn statement which was executed only ten days after the alleged rape. It was not therefore farfetched that her testimony was coached and rehearsed. This Court is not persuaded. The complainant made it clear in open court that the sworn statement contained some inaccurate statements. 24 These statements were identified, underlined, marked and corrected or clarified during the trial, and the veracity of said corrections or clarifications was not disputed by the defense. Therefore, these statements, as amended by complainant, were admitted in evidence.

One of the clarifications made by complainant concerned her answer to the question "Paano ka naman ginahasa ng iyong kapatid ng petsa 9 Agosto 1992?" Her reply in the sworn statement was:25cralaw:red

"Ganito po yon, ng gabing iyong . . . matapos po akong magluto ay humiga muna ako sandali sa folding sa tabi lutuan namin, habang ako ay nakahiga, ay biglang sumulpot ang aking kapatid na naka-brief lang siya na may hawak na balisong tinapos sinabi niyang maghubad ako at gagamitin daw niya o gagahasain, tumanggi po ako pero binantaan akong sasaksakin at papatayin kong hindi ko siya pagbibigyan sa gusto niya. Tumanggi akong pilit at hindi ako kumilos, subalit siya ay lumapit sa akin at siya ang naghubad sa akin na tutok ang balisong sa aking leeg. . . ."cralaw virtua1aw library

In her testimony, she clarified that it was appellant, not her brother, who brought out a knife. Said the complainant: 26

"FISCAL:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

This appears in Exhibit B-1 page 6 of the records and the answer to the first question on that page, . . .

q: What is this, is this correct or wrong?

a: Wrong sir.

q: What is correct?

a: He did not approach me to remove my clothes and he was not the one who poked the knife, referring to her brother.

COURT:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

Who poked?

a: No one poked a knife at me sir.

q: So, the knife was only brought out by the accused?

a: He just brought out sir."cralaw virtua1aw library

Judicial notice is taken of the infirmity of an affidavit as a species of evidence. 27 An affidavit taken ex parte is almost always incomplete and often inaccurate, sometimes from partial suggestions or even from want of suggestions and inquiries. 28 Thus, it is generally considered to be inferior to testimony given in open court.chanrobles virtual lawlibrary

Third, appellant insists that the charge against him was a calculated scheme to repair a tarnished family reputation. This Court finds no basis to sustain this contention. In fact, it is a complete volte face from appellant’s testimony that he knew of no reason why the complainant would accuse him of such a grave crime. Moreover, it is plainly inconceivable that complainant, who was only thirteen years old, would have subjected herself to the humiliation and rigors of a public trial, if the accusation were not true. 29 Indeed, if the complainant were merely looking for a scapegoat for her defloration, she would not have gotten one from her own family.

This Court has expressed that "in view of the intrinsic nature of the crime of rape where only two persons are usually involved, the testimony of the complainant must be scrutinized with extreme caution." 30 But if a complainant’s testimony meets the test of credibility, as in this case, the accused may be convicted on the sole basis thereof. Complainant’s testimony was straightforward, unhesitating and clear. We have no reason to disagree with the trial court’s faith in her credibility.

Verily, unless some facts or circumstances of weight, which may materially affect the disposition of the case, 31 have been overlooked or misappreciated, this Court will continue to accord great respect to the trial court’s assessment of the credibility of witness. In this case, appellant failed to show why we should not apply this jurisprudentially entrenched doctrine.

The Proper Penalties

In line with current jurisprudence, complainant is entitled to civil indemnity in the sum of fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00). Additionally, the prosecution has amply proven complainant’s moral suffering as a result of her ordeal. 32 As if her sexual assault were not enough, she was locked by appellant inside her room for one whole day to prevent her from reporting the incident. 33 Under prevailing jurisprudence, moral damages are imposed in rape cases involving young girls between thirteen and nineteen years of age, taking into account the immeasurable havoc wrought on their youthful feminine psyche. 34

WHEREFORE, the appeal is hereby DENIED. The assailed Decision is AFFIRMED with the following MODIFICATION: the appellant is ORDERED to pay civil indemnity in the amount of fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00) and moral damages in the sum of thirty thousand pesos (P30,000.00), plus costs.


Romero, Melo and Francisco, JJ., concur.


1. Penned by Judge Amado M. Costales; rollo pp. 26-35.

2. Records, p. 4.

3. Rollo, p. 4.

4. Records, p. 10.

5. This case was considered submitted for resolution upon receipt by the Court of the Brief for the Appellee on August 8, 1996.

6. Rollo, pp. 75 c-f.

7. She testified that she was born on October 29, 1979 (TSN, November 25, 1993, p. 52), so she was over 12 years old when the rape occurred.

8. Complainant also testified that she was locked inside the room for one whole day after her rape. (TSN, November 25, 1993, p. 39.)

9. Dra. Margarita Ciervo, who examined the complainant with Dr. Eclarin and approved the latter’s diagnosis, testified for the prosecution (TSN, April 27, 1994, pp. 5-18).

10. Records, p. 132.

11. TSN, May 31, 1994, p. 4.

12. Id., pp. 4-8.

13. Id., p. 5.

14. Id., pp. 9-10.

15. TSN, July 5, 1994, p. 2.

16. Ibid., p. 3.

17. Appellant was represented before this Court by the Public Attorney’s Office.

18. Article 335, Revised Penal Code; People v. Caballes, G.R. No. 102723-24, June 19, 1997, p. 12; People v. Corea, G.R. No. 114383, March 3, 1997, p. 17.

19. TSN, November 25, 1993, pp. 21-26.

20. People v. Corea, supra, p. 20.

21. TSN, April 27, 1994, pp. 10-12 & 17.

22. People v. Magana, supra, p. 15; and People v. Julian, supra, p. 23.

23. TSN, November 25, 1993, pp. 20-22.

24. Ibid., pp. 43-49.

25. Records, p. 6.

26. TSN, November 25, 1993, p. 47.

27. People v. Sumbillo, G.R. No. 105292, April 18, 1992, p. 20; People v. Ong Co, 245 SCRA 733 742-743, July 11, 1995; People v. Parangan, 231 SCRA 682, 690, April 22, 1994; and People v. Gabas, 233 SCRA 77, 83-84, June 13, 1994.

28. People v. Avanzado, Sr., 158 SCRA 427, 433, February 29, 1988 per Melencio-Herrera, J.

29. People v. San Juan, G.R. 105556, April 4, 1997, p. 22;

30. People v. Butron, supra, p. 6; People v. Julian, supra, p. 13; People v. San Juan, supra, p. 10; People v. Corea, supra, p. 15; and People v. Ramirez, G.R. No. 97920, January 20, 1997, pp. 11-12.

31. People v. Corea, supra, pp. 13-14.

32. TSN, November 25, 1993, p. 34.

33. Ibid., p. 39.

34. People v. Sabellina, 238 SCRA 492, 502, December 1, 1994, per Bellosillo, J.

Back to Home | Back to Main

ChanRobles Professional Review, Inc.

ChanRobles Professional Review, Inc. :
ChanRobles On-Line Bar Review

ChanRobles Internet Bar Review :
ChanRobles CPA Review Online

ChanRobles CPALE Review Online :
ChanRobles Special Lecture Series

ChanRobles Special Lecture Series - Memory Man :

November-1997 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 117108 November 5, 1997 - DANIEL C. VILLANUEVA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120579 November 5, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALLAN ERESE

  • G.R. Nos. 124360 & 127867 November 5, 1997 - FRANCISCO S. TATAD v. SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-97-1142 November 6, 1997 - JOEL ALMERON, ET AL. v. AGUSTIN T. SARDIDO

  • G.R. Nos. 108444 & 108769 November 6, 1997 - JESUS B. FERNANDEZ v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116234 November 6, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOEL SOBERANO

  • G.R. No. 119963 November 6, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUSSELL FUENSALIDA

  • G.R. No. 120093 November 6, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DAVID GARCIA

  • G.R. No. 120122 November 6, 1997 - GLORIA R. CRUZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 122980-81 November 6, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JENELITO ESCOBER

  • G.R. No. 125038 November 6, 1997 - HONGKONG AND SHANGHAI BANKING CORP., ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. 93-9-741-0 November 7, 1997 - LETTER DATED AUGUST 25, 1993 OF SEC. FRANKLIN DRILON

  • G.R. No. 110398 November 7, 1997 - NEGROS NAVIGATION CO., INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 97841-42 November 12, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VICTOR TIMON, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 80399-404 November 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PERMONETTE JOY FORTICH, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115284 November 13, 1997 - PABLO STA. ANA, JR. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121215 November 13, 1997 - OSCAR DE LOS REYES v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 100709 November 14, 1997 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 124540 November 14, 1997 - MERLINDA JACINTO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 104145 November 17, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. OSCAR DORO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110031 November 17, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALBERTO D. CARPIO

  • G.R. No. 121627 November 17, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGER EVANGELISTA

  • G.R. No. 123231 November 17, 1997 - HEIRS OF MARCIANO NAGAÑO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129040 November 17, 1997 - NESTOR C. LIM v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. 96-10-380-RTC November 18, 1997 - REPORT OF JUSTICE FELIPE B. KALALO


  • G.R. No. 91483 November 18, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SAMUEL MAHUSAY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 100593 November 18, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WARLITO RAGON

  • G.R. Nos. 104739-44 November 18, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO CAURES

  • G.R. No. 117565 November 18, 1997 - ARSENIO P. LUMIQUED, ET AL. v. APOLONIO G. EXEVEA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119995 November 18, 1997 - CARLOS SINGSON v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120330 November 18, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WENCESLAO JAYSON

  • G.R. Nos. 121095-97 November 18, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOEL BUENA

  • G.R. No. 122445 November 18, 1997 - NINEVETCH CRUZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122671 November 18, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDGARDO CASTRO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 124128 November 18, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODRIGO GARDOCE

  • G.R. No. 125950 November 18, 1997 - CIPRIANO B. PEÑAFLORIDA, ET AL. v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • Adm. Case No. 4369 November 28, 1997 - PIKE P. ARRIETA v. JOEL A. LLOSA

  • G.R. No. 110379 November 28, 1997 - ARMAND FABELLA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 118104-06 November 28, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SIXTO RECIO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119543 November 28, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARISTON PARDILLO, JR.

  • G.R. Nos. 122757-61 November 28, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDUARDO TATON

  • G.R. No. 126383 November 28, 1997 - SAN JUAN DE DIOS HOSPITAL EMPLOYEES ASSN.-AFW, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127553 November 28, 1997 - EDDIE MANUEL, ET AL. v. N.C. CONSTRUCTION SUPPLY, ET AL.