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PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

THIRD DIVISION

[G.R. No. 99867. September 19, 1996.]

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. NARCISO BARERA, alias "Narsing", Accused-Appellant.


D E C I S I O N


PANGANIBAN, J.:


Accused of rape, the herein appellant, like many others before him, pinned his hopes on a weak alibi while viciously attacking the moral character of the victim, to no avail.

Narciso Barera alias "Narsing" was charged before the Regional Trial Court of Bataan, Third Judicial Region, Branch 4, 1 Balanga, Bataan, in an Information 2 dated February 14, 1990 which reads as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"That on or about November 4, 1989 at Sitio Manila 2, Barangay Batangas 2, Mariveles, Bataan, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused, being then armed with a kitchen knife, and by means of force and intimidation, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously lie and succeed to have sexual intercourse with the offended party, Girlie M. Flower, a 14 year old minor girl, against the will and consent of the latter, to her damage and prejudice."cralaw virtua1aw library

Upon arraignment, appellant, duly assisted by counsel de oficio, Atty. Joe Frank Zuñiga, entered a plea of Not Guilty to the charge.

The Facts


The trial court summarized the facts and evidence as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"Complainant Girlie [Girlie 3 ] Flower was at the time material to this case 14 years old, single, and a high school student. She claimed that she knew the accused, the son of Avelina Barera who she fondly called as her grandmother or ‘lola’ and with whom she has been living and who has taken care of her ever since she was three (3) years of age.

And as regards the incident in question, she declared that on November 4, 1989 (a Saturday), at about 2:00 o’clock in the afternoon, she was inside a big house owned by a Mrs. Patel of which her ‘Lola’ Avelina Barera is the care-taker or overseer and located at sitio Manila-2, Barangay Batangas 2, Mariveles, Bataan. It was in this house where she (complainant) resided together with her twin sister, Grace Flower, and ‘Lola’ Avelina Barera. At that date and time, she was all alone in the house, her sister Grace having left earlier to watch a basketball game, while her ‘Lola" was then in the neighboring town of Limay to wash clothes for someone. Thereupon, while she was asleep, having just finished doing her laundry, the accused entered her room and pointed a knife at her breast telling her not to shout or to tell her ‘Lola’ about it, otherwise he would kill her. The accused forthwith raised her skirt and remove her underwear. She tried to push him but to no avail as he was of strong and heavy built (sic). With her underwear already removed, the accused soon after took off his own shorts after which he forced her to lie down and thereupon went on top of her and started the up and down movements. Momentarily, she felt a hot substance emitting from the accused who thereafter left for the CAFGU (Citizen’s Armed Forces Geographical Unit) Camp of which unit he was a member. After he departed, all that she could do was to cry. Three hours later, she went to the house of her Ate Soly, the sister of the accused, where she saw her ‘lola’. She did not divulge what the accused did to her as she was afraid that he might carry out his threats to kill her. The following day (November 5), she told her teacher, Cecilia Icasciano [should be ‘Ino’.], about what the accused did to her and who then informed a certain Fely Adriales, a religion teacher at a Catholic convent and who, in turn told Father George Piron, the Parish priest of a (C)atholic church in Cabcaben, Mariveles, of what had happened to her. Father Piron then went to fetch her from her house and had a talk with her. Subsequently, on November 6, 1989, she underwent physical examination at the Bataan Provincial Hospital in Balanga, Bataan. She also reported the incident to the Mariveles Police Station and gave a written statement (Exh.’A’) before a police investigator wherein she narrated the details of her ravishment.

The other prosecution witness, Dr. Irma Ronquillo, testified that on November 6, 1989, she attended to a rape case involving one Girlie Flower and in her examination of said victim, which was focused on the hymen, she found hymenal ring with old laceration at 10, 11 and 12 o’clock positions and which she reflected in her Medico-legal report (Exh.’B’).

Refuting the prosecution’s version, the accused presented his own testimony corroborated by three (3) witnesses. He claimed that he is married to one Dolores dela Cruz, a resident of Naic, Cavite, with whom he has three children. He declared that the complainant, Girlie Flower, since she was three (3) years old, became the adopted child of (his) mother, Avelina Barera, though not through legal process. Girlie has a twin sister, Grace Flower, both of whom lived with his mother and he (accused) treated the twins as his younger sisters.

He denied having raped the complainant, claiming that on November 4, 1989, he, being a CAFGU member, was then on duty at their camp in Lamao, Limay, Bataan. Their headquarters is about three to four kilometers away from the house where Girlie was allegedly ravished and either place can be negotiated or reached in about five (5) minutes through motorized transportation. He did not leave their camp where he stayed from Monday through Saturday. He does not know of any reason why Girlie charged him with the crime of rape.

The accused after his examination in chief, was later recalled to the stand to give additional testimony as to the motive for his implication which, over the vigorous objection of the public prosecutor, was granted by the court for a more perfect attainment of justice. He declared that in the year 1989, there was an incident whereby (he) saw Grace Flower, the complainant’s twin sister, at about night time boarding a passenger jitney together with a drunk woman and a man and all three proceeded to Lamao, Limay. Grace did not come home for a week. He tried to look for her but to no avail. When Grace finally returned home, he spanked her for her misdeeds and she promised to behave. Later, he again saw Grace at the pier in Lamao, Limay talking with an American nigger and he again scolded her for such misbehavior. Thereafter, on October 17, 1989, between 5:00 and 6:00 o’clock in the evening, he saw Grace and Girlie boarding a cargo vessel, a conduct that was unbecoming of them and for which misbehavior he berated and spanked them in the presence of his mother. He saw the two sisters again the following day, October 18, at the same time, i.e., between 5:00 and 6:00 o’clock in the evening in Lamao, Limay.

The second defense witness, Crispin Borja, declared that as a CAFGU member, he acts as a team leader who prepared the attendance sheet of the members one of whom was the accused. He is very sure that the accused reported for duty at their camp on November 4, 1989 starting at 6:00 o’clock in the morning and did not leave the same the whole day as they were then on red alert, and this was reflected on the attendance sheet (Exh.’1’). He belied the complainant’s version of having been raped by the accused on November 4, 1989, averring that it could not have been possible inasmuch as the accused was in their camp at the time of the alleged commission of the offense.

The third witness, Solita Abelgas, a sister of the accused, declared that on February 17, 1990, in the morning, while she was at home at Manila-2, Mariveles, tending to her small store, complainant Girlie Flower arrived and wrote a letter (Exh.’1’) [should be Exh.’2’] addressed to her (witness’) mother, Avelina Barera, and which letter was left to her (witness). She explained that her mother wanted very much to see and talk to Girlie but both were unable to meet each other so that what Girlie did was to just write a letter to her ‘Lola’ and left. She later gave the letter to her mother upon seeing each other. She learned that in said letter Girlie was asking an apology [should be ‘pardon’] in charging the accused which she (Girlie) says was no really of her liking.

The last defense witness Leonora Bustamante, a niece of the accused, averred that she knows Girlie Flower who was the adopted daughter of her auntie Avelina Barera, the mother of accused. She claimed that after her school classes, she sometimes sells banana cues at the port (pier) in Lamao, Limay where several vessels are moored. On such occasions, she used to see Girlie going with two niggers inside a merchant ship. There were several occasions when she (witness) was invited by Girlie and the niggers to have lunch with them at the snackhouse in Lamao and also, to join them on board the vessels.

In the rebuttal, complainant Girlie Flower belied the testimonies of defense witness Leonora Bustamante and the accused himself that she and her sister Grace Flower used to board with two niggers the merchant vessels berthed at the pier in Lamao, Limay, and for which misconduct, as claimed by said accused, he scolded and spanked the twin sisters who might have resented the same.

In the sur-rebuttal, Leonora Bustamante was recalled to the stand and insisted on the truth of her testimony in chief of having seen Girlie with two niggers on board the merchant vessel."cralaw virtua1aw library

On February 15, 1991, the trial court rendered its Decision, the decretal portion of which reads as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Court finds the accused Narciso Barera y Bustamante, alias ‘Narsing’ guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Rape as defined and penalized under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code and without the attendance of any modifying circumstances, hereby sentences him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua, with the accessory penalties provided for by law, to indemnify the offended party Girlie Flower in the sum of P20,000.00 as moral damages without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency, and to pay the costs."cralaw virtua1aw library

On March 18, 1991, the accused through counsel filed a Notice of Appeal 4 manifesting his intention to have recourse to the Court of Appeals. Acting upon said notice, the trial court forthwith gave due course to the appeal and forwarded the record of the case to said appellate court. 5 In turn, the Chief of the Judicial Records Division of the Court of Appeals, "upon instruction of the Presiding Justice," transmitted to this Court the records "erroneously forwarded" to the Court of Appeals "considering that the penalty imposed upon the accused-appellant is reclusion perpetua." 6

Clearly, Accused should have taken appeal to this Court directly. In People v. Pagsanjan, 7 this Court, through Mr. Chief Justice Narvasa, held:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"As this Court has already stressed in other cases, the constitutional proscription on the imposition of the death penalty, has eliminated the automatic review by the Supreme Court, there(to)fore existing, of ‘cases where the death penalty is imposed.’ Hence, as the law now stands, in criminal cases, an appeal may be taken to the Supreme Court from the Regional Trial Court in only one of two ways: (a) the filing of a notice of appeal — in those cases where the latter imposes the sentence of reclusion perpetua, regardless of the questions to be raised on appeal, whether purely legal, or legal and factual; or (b) filing of a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 (Sec. 3[d], Rule 122, Rules of Court) — where the penalty imposed is not reclusion perpetua, but the appeal would involve only questions of law. It was therefore necessary for the accused . . . to file a notice of appeal within fifteen (15) days from promulgation of judgment of conviction to initiate an appeal. Since no such notice of appeal was filed, no appeal was ever perfected . . ."cralaw virtua1aw library

The blunder by accused’s counsel in taking appeal to the Court of Appeals ordinarily would be binding upon his client and would require an outright dismissal of this appeal, but in this instance, this Court decided not to dismiss the same but instead give it due course, all in the interest of substantial justice.

Errors Assigned

In seeking exculpation, appellant claims that the trial court erred in: (a) convicting him on the basis of the uncorroborated, improbable, contradictory and inconsistent testimony of the complainant; (b) not giving weight to his defense of alibi, and (c) finding him guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape.

The accused’s assignment of errors boils down to simply questioning (i) the credibility of complainant as main witness for the prosecution, and (ii) the trial court’s assessment of his defense of alibi.

This Court’s Ruling


First Issue: Inconsistencies Are Minor,

And Do Not Affect Complainant’s Credibility.

Appellant contends that complainant’s testimony is replete with inconsistencies and contradictions regarding the following matters: what the accused did with her skirt; the first time she felt a hot substance coming out of appellant’s sex organ (i.e., whether it was during the second or the fourth sexual assault); complainant’s residence at the time of the incident, (it allegedly not being clear whether complainant, her twin sister and their Lola Belen used the Patel house as their dwelling or merely as a resting place at noontime); whether or not the offended party was sleeping at the time of the incident (i.e., complainant could not have seen appellant enter the room if, as she claimed, she was asleep); the time appellant removed his shorts; and where appellant placed his knife after the rape.

Said alleged inconsistencies, however, refer to minor details only, and do not touch upon the very matter in contention — whether or not complainant was sexually abused against her will by appellant. Notably, appellant failed to controvert complainant’s testimony that the November 4, 1989 incident was the fourth sexual assault upon her by the appellant. Neither did he attempt to refute the prosecution’s attribution to him of the three previous sexual attacks on the offended party. All he tried to downgrade and erode, by means of the aforementioned "inconsistencies," was complainant’s testimony regarding the fourth and last rape incident.

This Court has time and again said that a few discrepancies and inconsistencies in the testimonies of witnesses referring to minor details and not in actuality touching upon the central fact of the crime, do not impair their credibility. 8 The inconsistencies being trivial and minor, they cannot blunt the impact of complainant’s testimony especially because at the time she testified, complainant was a mere 15-year-old lass who was unaccustomed to public trial. 9 In fact, she was expected to fall into minor lapses in her testimony considering that she was recounting details of an experience so harrowing, humiliating and painful to recall. 10 Terrified and agitated, yet helpless and at the mercy of her assailant, the offended party could not be expected to observe and accurately note the exact details of the outrage being inflicted upon her person. 11 A victim of rape does not relish remembering the ugly details of the traumatic experience, and would prefer to forget it ever happened. Hence, instead of weakening complainant’s testimony, such inconsistencies tend to strengthen her credibility 12 and discount the possibility of a rehearsed testimony. 13 They are actually badges of truth, indicating veracity rather than prevarication, especially in this case where the offended party gave her testimony more than six months after the crime was committed. 14

A review of the transcripts of stenographic notes shows that complainant’s testimony was straightforward, clear and without any equivocation or attempt at evasion. We quote from her direct testimony:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"Q On November 4, 1989, was that the first time you were raped by Narciso Barera?

A No, Sir.

Q When was the first time?

A I cannot remember but it was in 1988, sir.

Q When you were raped by Narciso Barera in 1988, did you inform your grandmother about it?

A Yes, sir, I told her because Narciso Barera or kuya Narsing attempted to rape me, sir.

Q What was the reply of your grandmother?

A She told me "we will admonish him", sir.

Q When was the second time?

A Also in 1988, sir.

Q Did he succeed in raping you for the second time?

A Yes, sir.

Q Did you inform your grandmother about it?

A No, sir.

Q Why not?

A Because she let my kuya Narsing comeback in the house that is why I have an ill-feeling with her since I told her about the attempt and yet she allowed him to comeback, sir." 15

And on cross-examination, complainant elaborated as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"Q You have stated that he was able to insert his penis to your organ, is that correct?

A Yes, sir.

Q How did you know that?

A I felt, sir.

Q What actually did you feel?

A That something hot come out from him and I felt pain, sir.

Q And where did you actually felt this hot substance, was it inside?

A Yes, sir.

Q So, you felt this hot substance inside your organ?

A Yes, sir.

Q Was that the first time you felt hot substance?

A No, sir.

Q When for the first time did you feel hot substance coming out of the penis?

A The second time he touched me, sir.

Q And how long was that before November 4, 1989?

A I do not know, sir.

COURT:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

Q When you mentioned touch, do you mean to imply intercourse?

A Yes, your Honor.

ATTY. ZUÑIGA:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

Q Was it three months before November 4?

A I do not know, sir.

Q So, it was long time ago before November 4, 1989?

A Yes, sir.

COURT:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

Q How many intercourse did you have with him prior to November 4?

A The November intercourse was the fourth time, sir.

Q And the time that you had intercourse with your Kuya, Narsing, you did not report the matter to the police?

A No, sir.

Q How about the second time?

A Also no, sir.

Q The first time?

A The first time, yes, your Honor, because it was not consummated because my twin sister arrived.

ATTY. ZUÑIGA:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

Q So, to whom did you report the matter the first time?

A To my grandmother, sir.

Q Was your Kuya Narsing the first man who had a sexual intercourse with you?

A Yes, sir.

Q Are you sure of that?

A It was his brother, actually, who first had intercourse with me, sir. I also filed a complaint against him.

ATTY. ZUÑIGA:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

Q So, when for the first time did you feel hot substance emanating from the penis, was it the first intercourse, the second intercourse, the third intercourse or the fourth intercourse you had with your Kuya Narsing?

A On the fourth, sir.

Q So, the third time you had an intercourse with your Kuya Narsing, you did not feel that hot substance?

A The third time he had an intercourse with me, sir, he was in a hurry and so told him to hurry up and I even told him to take pity on me because I was not yet at the right age to do this thing.

Q Because your told him to hurry up, so he hurried up, is that correct?

A No, sir. It was him who told me that. He told me to give in to him so that he can finish at once.

Q And so, because of that you were not able to feel that hot substance, is that correct?

A No, sir.

Q So, when he inserted his penis to your organ, you did not offer any resistance to him anymore, it that correct?

A No more, sir, because I cannot do anything anymore.

Q By the way, Miss Witness, on the fourth time that you had sexual intercourse with your Kuya Narsing, did you notice if your organ emanated any sticky substance?

A No, sir.

Q How long a time, Miss Witness, did he move his body up and down while his penis was inserted at your organ?

A I do not know, sir.

Q Could it be five minutes?

A I do not know, sir.

Q And was his penis easily inserted at your organ?

A No, sir, it took time because I was moving.

Q So, you want to impress upon us that he was able to insert his penis to your organ because you finally did not move, is that correct?

A Yes, sir, because I was feeling tired and my body was already aching." 16

In this appeal, the defense primarily raises the issue of credibility of complainant’s testimony. It is well-settled that when the issue is one of credibility, appellate courts will generally not disturb the findings of the trial court, considering that the latter is in a better position to decide the question, having heard the witnesses themselves and observed their deportment and manner of testifying at the trial. 17 We find no cogent reason why the Court should deviate from this general rule. As a matter of fact, after reviewing the record, we are in agreement with the trial court’s assessment of the credibility of the witnesses and their testimonies.

We have held that in a rape case, the complainant’s uncorroborated testimony, if credible and positive, is sufficient to declare a conviction. 18 This is because while rape may possibly be committed in a public place or in a house where there are other occupants, 19 in the normal course of things, a rapist would naturally prefer to carry it out in a deserted or isolated place where there are no eyewitnesses, and no bystanders or passerby to foil the consummation of his lust. And so the absence of corroborating testimony is only to be expected. Thus, when a woman, especially a minor, says that she has been raped, she says in effect all that is necessary to show that she has indeed been raped. 20 It is a natural instinct of the Filipina to protect her honor. 21 No Filipina of tender age, like the complainant herein, would make of public knowledge that she has been raped, abused and robbed of her virtue, nor permit the examination of her private parts by a total stranger, and suffer the humiliation of a public trial (not to mention the indignities of cross-examination at the hands of a hostile counsel bent on showing that she is liar or a woman of loose virtue), if in fact she had not actually been ravished. Her desire is simply to obtain justice and seek redress for the bestial and foul deed forced upon her, to right the wrong done her.

The defense also tried putting complainant’s moral character under a cloud by testimony to the effect that at age fourteen, complainant allegedly sold her body to black American seamen on more than one occasion. Expectedly, the offended party refuted these allegations. In any event, this obviously misguided attempt at exculpation has no beneficial significance for the accused as far as the charge of rape is concerned. Even prostitutes may be the victims of rape. 22 In People v. Lomibao, 23 the Court, quoting the unreported case of People v. Garcia, 24 said:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"It may be true that the offended person had theretofore had relations with other men, but that fact did not justify the appellant in having illicit relations with her against her will and consent and by force and violence. The law punishes those who have carnal knowledge of a woman by force or intimidation. Virginity is not one of the elements of the crime of rape.’"

Thus, even assuming that the testimonies of Leonora Bustamante and the accused were true, it does not mean that complainant could not have been raped by appellant. While the allegation that the herein complainant had sex with foreigners for a fee might reflect on her lack of moral values, it does not at all detract from the established fact of her repeated ravishment by the Appellant.

Notably, the medico-legal findings that complainant’s hymenal lacerations were old merely strengthened her claim that she had been raped by appellant on three prior occasions.

Even the absence of spermatozoa, as noted in the medical examination, can be explained by the fact that complainant was brought for medical examination only on November 6, 1989, or two days after the rape, during which interregnum the complainant may have washed herself more than a few times. In any case, a negative sperm-detection test is immaterial to the crime of rape, it being firmly settled that the important consideration in rape is penetration and not emission.

Complainant’s relationship with appellant whom she treated as an older brother may also have been a contributory factor to lessening the vigor of her resistance during the sexual assault. Added to that is the physical violence he admittedly inflicted upon her and her twin sister by way of spankings which he administered. Far from evidencing motive for inculpating him in rape, as appellant argues, these spankings which, appellant asserts, impelled her to pinpoint him as her ravisher, could account for her repeated docility to his lustful acts. The fear engendered by appellant through physical violence inflicted on the offended party could not but have been multiplied by the fear elicited by the knife that he conspicuously displayed to her as he violated her body. This Court, speaking about force or intimidation as an element of the crime of rape, said in People v. Pamor.25cralaw:red

". . . Nor is it reasonable to demand that a greater degree of intimidation be present so as to warrant conviction. Intimidation in rape cases is not calibrated or governed by hard and fast rules. Since it is addressed to the mind of the victim and is therefore subjective, it must be viewed in the light of the victim’s perception and judgment at the time of the commission of the crime. It is enough that it produces fear — fear that if the victim does not yield to the bestial demands of the accused, something would happen to her at that moment. It includes the moral kind such as the fear caused by threatening the victim with a knife or pistol. Where such intimidation exists and the victim is cowed into submission as a result thereof, thereby resistance futile, it would be extremely unreasonable, to say at least, to expect the victim to resist will all her might and strength. If resistance would nevertheless be futile because of a continuing intimidation, then offering none at all would not mean consent to the assault as to make the victim’s participation in the sexual act voluntary."cralaw virtua1aw library

Second Issue: Weak Alibi

Appellant’s alibi deserves scant consideration. The rule is well-settled that in order for the defense of alibi to prosper, it is not enough to prove that appellant was somewhere else when the offense was committed but it must likewise be demonstrated that he was so far away that it was not possible for him to have been physically present at the place of the crime or its immediate vicinity at the time of its commission. 26

"Alibi, the plea of having been elsewhere than at the scene of the crime at the time of the commission of the felony, is a plausible excuse for the accused. Let there be no mistake about it. Contrary to the common notion, alibi is in fact a good defense. But, to be valid for purposes of exoneration from a criminal charge, the defense of alibi must be such that it would have been physically impossible for the person charged with the crime to be at the locus criminis at the time of its commission, the reason being that no person can be in two places at the same time. The excuse must be so airtight that it would admit of no exception. Where there is the least possibility of accused’s presence at the crime scene, the alibi will not hold water." (Emphasis ours) 27

In this case, appellant claimed that he was, at the time of the rape, in his CAFGU camp in Lamao, Limay, Bataan, where he allegedly stayed the whole week due to a red alert. However, it was established that the camp was barely four to five kilometers away from the scene of the assault and the distance could be traversed in a matter of five minutes by motorized transportation. Moreover, he was definitely and positively identified by the complainant as the perpetrator of the dastardly deed, and there was no possibility of her having been mistaken in that regard. 28

It is sad to note that, in an effort to bolster his alibi, appellant cited People v. Somera 29 and claimed that this Court allegedly ruled therein that" (a)libi is not always false and without merit and when coupled with the improbabilities and inconsistencies of the prosecution evidence, the defense of alibi deserves merit." 30 We take umbrage at appellant’s counsel’s 31 temerity for this erroneous and misleading citation. It should be stressed that the Court made no such ruling in the Somera case. In fact, this Court rejected therein appellant’s alibi notwithstanding his allegation of inconsistencies in the prosecution witnesses’ testimony which the Court found to be minor ones. Said counsel are accordingly warned to exercise extra care in making citations and avoid attempting to mislead this Court.

Article 335 of the Revised Penal Court provides that whenever the crime of rape is committed with the use of a deadly weapon, the penalty shall be reclusion perpetua to death. In the absence of any mitigating or aggravating circumstance, the penalty that appellant shall suffer is the lesser penalty of reclusion perpetua 32 and, in accordance with jurisprudential law on civil indemnity in crimes of rape against a minor whose life is forever marred by the crime, appellant must pay complainant the amount of fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00) 33

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Decision of the trial court convicting appellant Narciso Barera y Bustamante of the crime of rape and sentencing him to reclusion perpetua is hereby AFFIRMED, subject to the modification that the civil indemnity awarded to the offended party Girlie M. Flower is hereby INCREASED to fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00), consistent with prevailing jurisprudence. Costs against Appellant.

SO ORDERED.

Narvasa, C.J., Davide, Jr., Melo and Francisco, JJ., concur.

Endnotes:



1. Judge Pedro B. Villafuerte, Jr. presiding.

2. Record, p. 1.

3. Victim’s signature reads "Gerlie" ; see Exh. A-3, record, p. 100.

4. Record, p. 272.

5. Ibid., p. 273.

6. Rollo, p. 1.

7. 221 SCRA 735, 739-340, May 12, 1993.

8. People v. Tacipit, 242 SCRA 241, 248, March 8, 1995.

9. People v. Abuyan, Jr., 211 SCRA 662, 672, July 21, 1992; People v. Abordo, 224 SCRA 725, 731, July 23, 1993.

10. People v. Dado, 244 SCRA 655, 666, June 1, 1995.

11. People v. Cayago, 158 SCRA 586, March 14, 1988; People v. Aniñon, 158 SCRA 701, March 16, 1988; People v. Salufrania, 159 SCRA 401, March 30, 1988.

12. People v. Pamor, 237 SCRA 462, 475, October 7, 1994.

13. People v. Salinas, 232 SCRA 274, 279, May 6, 1994.

14. People v. Viñas, 25 SCRA 682, October 28, 1968.

15. TSN, May 22, 1990, p. 9; record, p. 61.

16. TSN, June 19, 1990, pp. 8-10, record, pp. 124-126.

17. People v. Comia, 236 SCRA 185, 194-195, September 1, 1994.

18. People v. Vallena, 244 SCRA 685, 691, June 1, 1995.

19. People v. Quinevista, Jr., 244 SCRA 586, 593, May 31, 1995.

20. People v. Vitor, 245 SCRA 392, 402, June 27, 1995.

21. People v. Delovino, 247 SCRA 637, 649, August 23, 1995.

22. People v. Ferolino, G.R. No. 98442, 221 SCRA 604, 610, May 4, 1993.

23. 55 Phil. 616, 620 (1930).

24. G.R. No. 26150, January 15, 1927.

25. Supra at p. 472.

26. People v. Pija, supra, at p. 85. See also, People v. Bernardo, 220 SCRA 31, March 17, 1993.

27. People v. Florentino Bracamonte, G.R. No. 95939, June 17, 1996.

28. People v. Quinones, 245 SCRA 87, 92-94, June 16, 1995.

29. 173 SCRA 684, May 31, 1989.

30. Appellant’s Brief, p. 14.

31. Public Attorney’s Office of the Department of Justice. The appellant’s brief was signed by Bartolome Reus, Public Attorney III, and Rector E. Macapagal, Public Attorney II.

32. Art. 63 (2), Revised Penal Code.

33. People v. Laray, G.R. No. 101809, February 20, 1996; People v. Padilla, 242 SCRA 629, March 23, 1995; People v. Olarte, 228 SCRA 257, 261, December 7, 1993; People v. Samillano, 207 SCRA 50, 59, March 6, 1992.

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