G.R. No. 200329, June 05, 2013
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. RICARDO PIOSANG, Accused-Appellant.
D E C I S I O N
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, J.:
That on or about the 8th day of July 1998 in Quezon City[,] Philippines, the above-named accused thru force and intimidation did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously commit acts of sexual abuse upon the person of one [AAA] a minor 4 years of age by then and there inserting his penis into the vagina of said complainant and thereafter had carnal knowledge of her.4
WHEREFORE, finding accused RICARDO PIOSANG GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape under Article 266-A par. 1, Revised Penal Code in relation to Section 5(b) Article III of R.A. 7610, he is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of RECLUSION PERPETUA. He is further ordered to pay private complainant AAA P50,000.00 as civil indemnity, P50,000.00 as moral damages and P25,000.00 as exemplary damages and the costs of suit.13nadcralavvonlinelawlibrary
On July 8, 1998, AAA was playing with some friends when then eleven-and-a-half-year-old CCC, her neighbor, called and asked her to play computer with him at the house of herein accused-appellant, RICARDO PIOSANG or “RICRIC” on instructions of the latter. At the invitation, AAA readily joined CCC, and together with accused-appellant proceeded to his house.
On the way, however, AAA and CCC were suddenly pushed inside accused-appellant’s comfort room, which was built separately from the house. Inside, accused-appellant whipped out a “bente nueve” or fan knife and pointed it to CCC, telling the two children to keep quiet, otherwise, he will kill them. After accused-appellant had barred the door shut, he instructed CCC to hold AAA from behind, which CCC obeyed by clutching AAA on her stomach. Accused-appellant removed his short pants, then applied something reddish on his penis and, while AAA was standing atop the toilet bowl being held by CCC from the back, inserted the same into her vagina and made pumping motions while standing. The victim AAA could only cry.
After having satiated his carnal desires against AAA, accused-appellant once again pointed the knife at CCC and told him to likewise insert his penis into AAA’s private part. CCC pretended to do what [he] was told, and while doing so, the latter masturbated and, when he ejaculated, wiped the semen on the helpless AAA’s mouth. Thereafter, he reiterated his threats to kill them if they told anyone of what happened, and then let them go home. Before AAA went out of the comfort room, however, accused-appellant gave her a five-peso coin to buy candy, which she threw away.
AAA did not reveal what happened to her on that fateful day. Months later, however, or on September 23, 1998, while AAA and her mother, BBB, were playing, BBB told her daughter not to let anyone touch her private part. After being silent for a moment, AAA suddenly blurted out, “Mama, bastos si Kuya Ric Ric and Kuya CCC,” because, according to AAA, they inserted their penises into her vagina. At this revelation, BBB confronted CCC’s mother, DDD, who made her son disclose what truly happened to AAA. CCC tearfully narrated what accused-appellant did on July 8, 1998 and that he threatened to kill both him and AAA if they reported the matter.
Upon medical examination, AAA was found to have “shallow healed lacerations at 3 and 8 o’clock positions” on her genital area, and that she was in non-virgin state physically.14 (Citations deleted.)
In defense, accused-appellant completely denied the charges and claimed that he was at home on the day in question, letting his hair dry at the garage of their house, when a neighbor named MARIETTA told him that DDD, CCC’s mother was looking for him. Accused-appellant then proceeded to DDD’s house where he heard CCC crying and saying, “that’s enough, that’s enough, I will not do it again.” Accused-appellant then deemed it best not to continue on, so he went home. A few minutes later, DDD arrived and called on accused-appellant, to which the latter’s mother replied that they will just follow (“Susunod na lang kami”). Accused-appellant and his mother went to the house of AAA and BBB, where CCC admitted having raped AAA, as a result of which, DDD hit him repeatedly. Accused-appellant even suggested bringing AAA to be examined by a doctor.15 (Citations omitted.)
WHEREFORE, premises considered the appealed judgment of conviction is hereby AFFIRMED with MODIFICATIONS, ordering accused-appellant RICARDO PIOSANG to pay the victim civil indemnity of P75,000.00, moral damages of P75,000.00 and exemplary damages of P30,000.00. The rest of the Decision stands.16
THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN FINDING THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT GUILTY OF THE CRIME CHARGED DESPITE THE PROSECUTION’S FAILURE TO ESTABLISH HIS GUILT BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT.17
The offended party testified in a straightforward manner and positively identified the accused in open court as the very person who inserted his penis into her vagina. Her candid narration of the dastardly act done upon her by the accused has the earmark of truth and sincerity. Her testimony was taken on three (3) different dates but not once did she waiver in pointing to the accused as the person who inserted his penis into her vagina. She even clarified that CCC only pretended to put his penis into her vagina when he was ordered by the accused to do so. x x x.
The court finds no reason why private complainant would impute against accused so grave a charge if it were not true. The tender age of the offended party and her candidness in narrating her debasing experience are badges of truth and sincerity. For her to fabricate the facts of rape and to charge the accused falsely of a crime is certainly beyond her mental capacity. x x x.20
Positive identification where categorical and consistent and without any showing of ill motive on the part of the eyewitness testifying on the matter prevails over a denial which, if not substantiated by clear and convincing evidence is negative and self-serving evidence undeserving of weight in law. They cannot be given greater evidentiary value over the testimony of credible witnesses who testify on affirmative matters.
ART. 266-A. Rape; When and How Committed. – Rape is committed –
1) By a man who shall have carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following circumstances:cralavvonlinelawlibrary
x x x x
d) When the offended party is under twelve (12) years of age or is demented, even though none of the circumstances mentioned above be present
ART. 266-B. Penalties. – Rape under paragraph 1 of the next preceding article shall be punished by reclusion perpetua.
x x x x
The death penalty shall also be imposed if the crime of rape is committed with any of the following aggravating/qualifying circumstances:cralavvonlinelawlibrary
x x x x
5) When the victim is a child below seven (7) years old.
Rape under paragraph 3 of the above-mentioned article is termed statutory rape as it departs from the usual modes of committing rape. What the law punishes is carnal knowledge of a woman below twelve years of age. Thus, the only subject of inquiry is the age of the woman and whether carnal knowledge took place. The law presumes that the victim does not and cannot have a will of her own on account of her tender years. x x x. (Citations omitted.)
* Per Raffle dated May 8, 2013.cralawlibrary
1Rollo, pp. 2-7; penned by Associate Justice Estela M. Perlas-Bernabe (now a member of this Court) with Associate Justices Bienvenido L. Reyes (also a member of this Court) and Elihu A. Ybañez, concurring.cralawlibrary
2 CA rollo, pp. 12-19; penned by Presiding Judge Roslyn M. Rabara-Tria.cralawlibrary
3 The real name of the victim is withheld to protect her identity and privacy pursuant to Section 29 of Republic Act No. 7610, Section 44 of Republic Act No. 9262, and Section 40 of A.M. No. 04-10-11-SC. See our ruling in People v. Cabalquinto, 533 Phil. 703 (2006).cralawlibrary
4 Records, p. 1.cralawlibrary
5 Id. at 25.cralawlibrary
6 TSN, January 16, 2001, March 19, 2001, and October 1, 2001.cralawlibrary
7 TSN, September 18, 2000, October 4, 2000, and October 24, 2000.cralawlibrary
8 TSN, August 8, 2000, August 21, 2000, and August 22, 2000. CCC died during the pendency of the case before the RTC.cralawlibrary
9 TSN, November 22, 2000.cralawlibrary
10 TSN, February 27, 2001. Dr. Suguitan was unable to personally testify because he was left comatose after a vehicular accident.cralawlibrary
11 TSN, June 11, 2008.cralawlibrary
12 TSN, June 6, 2006, March 12, 2007, and June 27, 2007.cralawlibrary
13 CA rollo, pp. 18-19.cralawlibrary
14 Rollo, pp. 3-4.cralawlibrary
15 Id. at 5.cralawlibrary
16 Id. at 7.cralawlibrary
17 CA rollo, p. 31.cralawlibrary
18People v. Lolos, G.R. No. 189092, August 9, 2010, 627 SCRA 509, 516.cralawlibrary
19People v. Araojo, G.R. No. 185203, September 17, 2009, 600 SCRA 295, 307.cralawlibrary
20 CA rollo, p. 17.cralawlibrary
21 Records, p. 41.cralawlibrary
22People v. Narido, 374 Phil. 489, 508 (1999).cralawlibrary
23People v. Delabajan and Lascano, G.R. No. 192180, March 21, 2012, 668 SCRA 859, 866.cralawlibrary
24 G.R. No. 174476, October 11, 2011, 658 SCRA 842, 847, cited in People v. Caisip, 352 Phil. 1058, 1065 (1998).cralawlibrary
25 Republic Act No. 8353, otherwise known as the Anti-Rape Law of 1997, took effect on October 22, 1997. AAA’s rape was committed on July 8, 1998.cralawlibrary
26 G.R. No. 188851, October 19, 2011, 659 SCRA 740, 753.cralawlibrary
27 AAA was only thirteen days short of four years.cralawlibrary
28 People v. Atadero, G.R. No. 183455, October 20, 2010, 634 SCRA 327, 348.cralawlibrary
29People v. Garcia, G.R. No. 177740, April 5, 2010, 617 SCRA 318, 335.cralawlibrary
30 People v. Atadero, supra note 28 at 349.