G.R. No. 207231, June 29, 2016
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Appellee, v. ROGER GALAGATI Y GARDOCE, Appellant.
D E C I S I O N
This is an appeal from the July 31, 2012 Decision1 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. CEB-CR-H.C. No. 00383, the dispositive portion of which states:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
IN LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the Court hereby AFFIRMS with MODIFICATION the assailed Decision dared March 8, 2005 of the Regional Trial Court, Branch , Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental in Criminal Case No. 2003-3215. The accused-appellant Roger Gardoce Galagati is found GUILTY of the crime of Rape committed on September 13, 2002 and is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. He is likewise ordered to indemnify AAA the amounts of Php50,000 as civil indemnity, Php50,000 as moral damages, and Php30,000 as exemplary damages, plus legal interest on all damages awarded at the rate of six percent (6%) [per annum] from the date of the finality of this decision.On May 13, 2003, seven (7) Informations were filed against accused-appellant Roger Gardoce Galagati (Galagati) for rape. The accusatory portion of Criminal Case No. 2003-3215 reads:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
As to accused-appellant Galagati's appeal in Criminal Case Nos. 2003-3216, 2003-3218, 2003-3219, 2003-3220 and 2003-3221, the same is GRANTED. The decision of the trial court is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Accused-appellant Galagati is, for failure of the prosecution to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt, ACQUITTED for five counts of rape through sexual assault.
That on or about September 13, 2002, in the City of Kabankalan, Province of Negros Occidental, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Elonorable Court, said accused, by means of or employing force and intimidation and exerting his moral influence and ascendancy as an adult, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously have sexual intercourse with [AAA], a minor about fifteen (15) years old, without the consent and against the will of the latter.The Information for the six other cases stated the same allegations, except for the dates of commission, particularly on October 8,4 10,5 11,6 15,7 22,8 and 25,9 2002.
CONTRARY TO LAW.3cralawred
On November 4, 2002, AAA was brought to the Kabankalan Police Station to shed some light regarding the fight that transpired between Galagati and Susie's brother. In the course of the interview, she was able to disclose the rape incidents to SPO1 Marilou Amantoy and Chona Paglumotan of the- Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Q: After September 13, 2002, were there other occasions that the accused raped you? A: Yes, sir. Q: Can you tell us the dates? A: Yes, sir. Q: What were those dates? A: October 8, 10, 11, 15, 22 and 25, 2002. Q: How could you recall those dates you mentioned [when] you were raped by the accused? A: Because at that time I have no class and at the time no one [was] in the house. Q: On October 8, 2002, what time did the accused raped you? A: After eating my lunch and [I] was about to undress myself preparing to go to school. Q: What time was that if you can recall? A: 1:00 o'clock in the afternoon. Q: On October 8, 2002, can you tell where did the accused rape you? A: At the room where we changed our clothes. Q: Was there penetration also of the penis on October 8, 2002? A: No, sir. Q: What happened when you were raped on October 8, 2002? A: He fingered me. Q: How about his penis? A: In my vagina. Q: What did he do to his penis? A: He just [rubbed] it in my vagina. Q: What finger did he use when he raped you on October 8, 2002, Madam Witness? A: Index finger. Q: Did the index finger penetrate your vagina? A: Yes, sir. Q: How about on October 10, 2002, where did the rape incident happen? A: At the same place. Q: What time? A: About that time. Q: Was there penetration of the penis or index finger? A: Index finger. Q: His penis was also rubbed against your vagina? A: Yes. Q: How about on October 11, 2002, where was the rape incident happened? A: The same place. Q: And what time? A: The same time. Q: On this date, October 11, 2002, was there penetration of the penis or index finger? A: Still finger. Q: How about the date you mentioned, October 15, 2002, where was the rape incident happened? A: The same place. Q: The same time also? A: Yes. Q: At your house? A: Yes. Q: Was there penetration in your vagina? A: Yes. Q: Penis or index finger? A: Finger. Q: How about on October 22, 2002, where the rape incident happened? A: The same place. Q: The same time? A: Yes. Q: Was there penetration in your vagina? A: Yes, sir. Q: Penis or finger? A: Finger. Q: How about on October 25, 2002, where [did] the rape incident happened? A: The same place. Q: Was there penetration? A: Yes, sir. Q: Penis or index finger. A: Index finger. Q: After all those penetration of index finger on October 8, 10, 11, 15, 22 and 25, 2002, were you still able to go to school on those dates? A: Yes, sir. Q: Did you ever inform your mother about those incidents? A: No, sir. Q: How about the police? A: No. Q: Why did you not inform your mother about those repeated rape incidents? A: Because he threatened me (sic) to kill my siblings and my mother.14
WHEREFORE, the Court finds accused Roger Galagati y Gardoce GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of one (1) count of rape under Paragraph 1 of Article 266-A of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by R.A. No. 8353, as charged in Criminal Case No. 2003-3215 for having carnal knowledge with the victim on September 13, 2002 and five (5) counts of rape under Paragraph 2 of said Article 266-A as charged in Criminal [Case] Nos. 2003-3216, 2003-3218, 2003-3219, 2003-3220 and 2003-3221 for inserting his finger in the genital orifice of the victim and hereby sentences' him to suffer the penalty of RECLUSION PERPETUA in Criminal Case No. 2003-3215[,] to pay the victim [AAA] P50,000.00 as civil indemnity, P50,000.00 as moral damages, P25,000.00 as exemplary damages[,J and applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, sentences him to suffer the penalty of imprisonment of six (6) years, as minimum, to ten (10) years, as maximum, for each of the five (5) counts of rape under Paragraph 2 of Article 266-A of the Revised Penal Code as charged in Criminal [Case] Nos. 2003-3216, 2003-3218, 2003-3219, 2003-3220 and 2003-3221, [and] to pay the victim P50,000.00 as civil indemnity in each of the said five (5) counts of rape and the costs.On appeal, however, the CA acquitted Galagati in Criminal Case Nos. 2003-3216 and 2003-3218 to 2003-3221 as it considered AAA's testimony "shallow, trifling, and half-hearted" with regard to the alleged five incidents of sexual assaults. For the appellate court, AAA's testimony with regard to the acts committed on October 8, 11, 15, 22 and 25, 2002 were mere vague generalizations and conclusions of law because she merely answered "yes" when asked by her counsel if Galagati had "raped" her on said dates. There was a complete failure of the prosecution to extract a vivid and detailed testimony from AAA, whose narration only contained inadequate recital of evidentiary facts consisting of statements of "same time," "same place," and confirmation that there was penetration of the index finger, in answer to the public prosecutor's leading question. There was no testimony as to how Galagati approached her, what, if any, he said to her, what she was doing before she was fingered, what happened after, and other details which would validate her charge that he fingered her on those occasions. Also, the CA noted that there was a complete silence in AAA's testimony that force, threat or intimidation was applied to successfully consummate the sexual assaults. What AAA merely declared was that she did not report all the incidents of rape as Galagati allegedly threatened to kill her mother and siblings. However, this explanation failed to properly show whether the threat was given before, during, or after the commission of the sexual assaults. Finally, the appellate court opined that although moral influence or ascendancy substitutes actual force and intimidation if the malefactor is a common-law spouse of the victim's mother, it does not remove the exacting requirement that the occurrence of sexual assault must be established beyond reasonable doubt.
For lack of evidence due to the failure of the prosecution to present evidence, Criminal Case No. 2003-3217 is DISMISSED.
It is ordered that the said accused be immediately remitted to the National Penitentiary.
Article 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:The elements of the offense charged are that: (a) the victim is a female over 12 years but under 18 years of age; (b) the offender is a parent, ascendant, step-parent, guardian, relative by consanguinity or affinity within the third civil degree, or the common-law spouse of the parent of the victim; and (c) the offender has carnal knowledge of the victim either through force, threat or intimidation; or when she is deprived of reason or is otherwise unconscious; or by means of fraudulent machinations or grave abuse of authority.31ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary
Article 266-B. Penalties. - Rape under paragraph 1 of the next preceding article shall be punished by reclusion perpetua.
- Through force, threat or intimidation;
- When the offended party is deprived of reason or is otherwise unconscious;
- By means of fraudulent machination or grave abuse of authority;
- When the offended party is under twelve (12) years of age or is demented, even though none of the circumstances mentioned above be present. xxx
The death penalty shall also be imposed if the crime of rape is committed with any of the following aggravating/qualifying circumstances:
1. when the victim is under eighteen (18) years of age and the offender is a parent, ascendant, step-parent, guardian, relative by consanguinity or affinity within the third civil degree, or the common-law-spouse of the parent of the victim. xxxcralawred
In People v. Flores, we ruled that in rape through force or intimidation, the force employed by the guilty party need not be irresistible. It is only necessary that such force is sufficient to consummate the purpose for which it was inflicted. Similarly, intimidation should be evaluated in light of the victim's perception at the time of the commission of the crime. It is enough that it produced the fear in the mind of the victim that if she did not yield to the bestial demands of her ravisher, some evil would happen to her at that moment or even thereafter. Hence, what is important is that because of force and intimidation, the victim was made to submit to the will of the appellant.32cralawredHere, the fact that Galagati used force, threat, and intimidation in order to have sexual intercourse with AAA is demonstrated by the latter's continuous crying while the dastardly act was being committed against her. She was helpless and afraid. The victim's act of crying during the rape was sufficient indication that the offender's act was against her will.33 The law, at any rate, does not impose upon a rape victim the burden of proving resistance.34 Physical resistance need not be established in rape when intimidation is exercised upon the victim and she submits herself against her will to the rapist's lust because of fear for her loved one's lives and safety. Moreover, had it not been for the chance that AAA was invited by the police in relation to the quarrel between her uncle and Galagati, nobody would have known about the sexual molestation due to the existing threat to kill her mother and siblings.
xxx The Court had consistently found that there is no uniform behavior that can be expected from those who had the misfortune of being sexually molested. While there are some who may have found the courage early on to reveal the abuse they experienced, there are those who have opted to initially keep the harrowing ordeal to themselves and attempted to move on with their lives. This is because a rape victim's actions are oftentimes overwhelmed by fear rather than by reason. The perpetrator of the rape hopes to build a climate of extreme psychological terror, which would numb his victim into silence and submissiveness. x x x35cralawredDelay in reporting an incident of rape due'to death threat cannot be taken against the victim because the charge of rape is rendered doubtful only if the delay is unreasonable and unexplained.36 In this case, it cannot be said that AAA's apprehension to make known her horrific experience in the hands of Galagati is unjustifiable considering that she had to deal with such frightful event in her tender age.
Rape is qualified and punished with death when committed by the victim's parent, ascendant, step-parent, guardian, or relative by consanguinity or affinity within the third civil degree, or by the common-law spouse of the victim's parent. However, an accused cannot be found guilty of qualified rape unless the information alleges the circumstances of the victim's over 12 years but under 18 years of age and her relationship with him. The reason is that such circumstances alter the nature of the crime of rape and increase the penalty; hence, they are special qualifying circumstances. As such, both the age of the victim and her relationship with the offender must be specifically alleged in the information and proven beyond reasonable doubt during the trial; otherwise, the death penalty cannot be imposed.52cralawredHere, the minority of AAA was sufficiently alleged in the Information, which stated that she was "a minor about fifteen (15) years old." The Prosecution established that age when the rape was committed on September 13, 2002 by presenting her birth certificate, which revealed her date of birth as September 11, 1987. Anent her relationship with Galagati, however, while the Prosecution established that he is the common-law husband of AAA's mother, the Information did not aver such relationship. His being the "live-in" partner of Susie at the time of the commission of the rape, even if established during the trial, could not be appreciated because the Information did not specifically allege it as a qualifying circumstance.
* Designated Additional Member in lieu of Associate Justice Francis H. Jardeleza, per Raffle dated September 22, 2014.
1 Penned by Associate Justice Pamela Ann Abella Maxino, with Associate Justices Edgardo L. Delos Santos and Zenaida T. Galapate-Laguilles, concurring; rollo, pp. 3-23.
2Rollo, p. 22.
3 Records, Criminal Case No. 2003-3215, p. 1.
4 Records, Criminal Case No. 2003-3216, p. 1.
5 Records, Criminal Case No. 2003-3215, p. 67.
6 Records, Criminal Case No. 2003-3218, p. 1.
7 Records, Criminal Case No. 2003-3219, p. 1.
8 Records, Criminal Case No. 2003-3220, p. 1.
9 Records, Criminal Case No. 2003-3221, p. 1.
10 Records, Criminal Case No. 2003-3215, p. 4.
11 TSN, November 19, 2003, pp. 4, 7, 18-19; Per birth certificate, however, the names of her parents are Susie Valenzona and Ronilo Monasque (Records, Criminal Case No. 2003-3215, p. 50)
12 TSN, November 19, 2003, p. 6; In his testimony, Galagati admitted that he is a "live-in" partner of Susie (TSN, February 23, 2005, pp. 8, 11-12).
13 TSN, November 19, 2003, pp. 3, 5-6.
14 TSN, November 19, 2003, pp. 10-15.
15 TSN, February 23, 2005, pp. 4-5.
16Id. at 5-6.
17Id. at 6.
19Id. at 6, 14-15.
20Id. at 8-10.
21 Records, Criminal Case No. 2003-3215, pp. 66-78.
22Id. at 77-78.
23People v. Villamor, G.R. No. 202187, February 10, 2016; People v. Padilla, 617 Phil. 170, 183 (2009); and People v. Lopez, 617 Phil. 733, 744 (2009).
24People v. Padilla, supra.chanrobleslaw
25People v. Villamor; G.R. No. 202187, February 10, 2016; People v. Madsali, et al., 625 Phil. 431, 451 (2010); and People v. Lopez, supra note 23.
26People v. Padilla, supra note 23, at 182-183.
27Id. at 183; People v. Villamor, G.R. No. 202187, February 10, 2016; and People v. Madsali, et al., supra note 25.
28People v. Madsali, et al., supra note 25, at 447.
29People v. Padilla, supra note 23, at 184.
30 As amended by Republic Act No. 7659 and Republic Act No. 8353.
31 See People v. Arcillas, 692 Phil. 40, 50 (2012).
32People v. Victoria, G.R. No. 201110, July 6, 2015.
33People v. Samson, G.R. No. 207297, June 9, 2014 (1st Division Resolution) and People v. Hilarion, G.R. No. 201105, November 25, 2013, 710 SCRA 562, 566.
34People v. Miralles, G.R. No. 208717, February 24, 2014 (3rd Division Resolution), citing People v. Estoya, 700 Phil. 490, 499 (2012).
35People v. Villamor, G.R. No. 202187, February 10, 2016.
36People v. Madsali, et al., supra note 25, at 443.
37Id. at 446; People v. Villamor, G.R. No. 202187, February 10, 2016. See People v. Padilla, supra note 23, at 185.
38 Records, Criminal Case No. 2003-3215, p. 49.
39 TSN, November 18, 2003, p. 3.
40People v. Llanas, Jr., 636 Phil. 611, 624 (2010).
41People v. Villamor, G.R. No. 202187, February 10, 2016 and People v. Madsali, et al., supra note 25, at 446.
42People v. Madsali, et al., supra note 25, at 446 and People v. Lopez, supra note 23, at 745.
43 See People v. Prodenciado, G.R. No. 192232, December 10, 2014, 744 SCRA 429, 451.
44People v. Padilla, supra note 23, at 184.
45 See People v. Villamor, G.R. No. 202187, February 10, 2016.
46People v. Arafiles, 382 Phil. 59, 74 (2000); People v. San Juan, 391 Phil. 479, 493 (2000); and People v. Bantayan, 401 Phil. 322, 334 (2000).
47People v. San Juan, supra note 46.
48 See People v. Precioso, G.R. No. 95890, May 12, 1993, 221 SCRA 748, 757.
49 The imposition of death penalty is now prohibited. Republic Act No. 9346, which was approved on June 24, 2006, provides that the penalty of reclusion perpetua shall be imposed in lieu of the death penalty.
50 See People v. Tejero, 688 Phil. 543, 558 (2012).
51 692 Phil. 40 (2012).
52People v. Arcillas, supra note 31, at 52. (Citations omitted).
53 G.R. No. 202124, April 5, 2016.
54People v. Cedenio, G.R. No. 201103, September 25, 2013, 706 SCRA 382, 386-387 and People v. Tejero, supra note 50.
55People v. Cabungan, 702 Phil. 177, 189 (2013).
56Id. at 190; People v. Cruz, 714 Phil. 390, 400 (2013); People v. Tejero, supra note 50, at 559.
57People v. Umanito, G.R. No. 208648, April 13, 2016 (3rd Division Resolution).
58 Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Monetary Board Circular No. 799, Series of 2013, effective July 1, 2013, in Nacar v. Gallery Frames, G.R. No. 18971, August 13, 2013, 703 SCRA 439.
59 See Republic Act. 9346; People v. Lopez, 617 Phil. 733. 746 (2009).
60 G.R. No. 202124, April 5, 2016.