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
That 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
The Facts According to the Prosecution
At 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 uncle CCC.
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 gather firewood.
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.
Feeling 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.
When 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 17, 2000.
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
Accused-appellant 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.
According 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.
They 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 together.
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
WHEREFORE, 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.
IN 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 this decision.
SO ORDERED. 11
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).
19People v. Veloso, G.R. No. 188849, 13 February 2013, 690 SCRA 586, 597.