[G.R. No. L-45966. December 14, 1978.]
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. MARIO MARIANO Y ALEJANDRO alias Negro, Defendant-Appellant.
Upon being arraigned and after due information was translated to Tagalog, a language he understood, the accused assisted by counsel de oficio, manifested spontaneously his desire to enter a plea of guilty to the offense of rape and homicide despite the warning of the trial judge that the imposable penalty is death. Considering the gravity of the offense charged, the trial court set the case for hearing. During the hearing the accused was assisted by his counsel de parte. The prosecution presented several witnesses. Again, the lower court took pains in explaining to the accused in simple words the precise nature of the crime charged. He still insisted in pleading guilty. The trial court concluded from the evidence that the accused really committed the offense charged and sentenced him to death and to indemnify the heirs of the victims.
On automatic review, the Supreme Court noted that independent of the plea of guilty of the accused, there is sufficient evidence to convict the accused-appellant beyond reasonable doubt.
1. CRIMINAL PROCEDURE; PLEA OF GUILTY; REGULARITY OF PROCEEDINGS. — Where it appears that after the information was read to the accused in Tagalog, a language which he understands and after the trial court took pains in explaining in simple words to the accused the precise nature of the crime charged (rape with homicide) and the effect of his plea of guilty, the accused, then assisted by a counsel de oficio, entered a plea of guilty; and where it appears furthermore that when accused was arraigned for the second time, during which he was assisted by a counsel of his choice, and in spite of the efforts of the trial judge again to explain the nature of the charges and the effect of a plea of guilty, the accused reiterated his plea of guilty to the crime charged, it cannot be said that he was sentenced to death on an improvident plea.
2. CRIMINAL LAW; RAPE WITH HOMICIDE; DEFENSES. — The testimony of the accused that he was prompted to rape the victim because he was not in his right senses inasmuch as he was an addict is no defense at all. Drug addiction is punishable by law. Nobody should profit therefrom.
3. ID.; EVIDENCE; PROOF BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT. — The accused was properly convicted of the crime of homicide with rape and sentenced to death. where independent of his plea of guilty, there is sufficient evidence to convict him beyond reasonable doubt. He executed an extra-judicial confession the regularity of which was never assailed. The extra-judicial confession shows that he gave coherent answer to the question propounded to him. Moreover, the accused re-enacted the commission of the crime, he could not have recalled the events that transpired if he was not in his right senses when he committed the crime.
4. ID.; RESPONSIBILITY OF ACCUSED FOR THE CONSEQUENCES OF HIS ACT. — Where the death of the victim was brought about the by the rape committed by the accused, it was no moment that he did not intend to kill her. A person who performs a criminal act is responsible for all consequences of said act regardless of his intention.
5. ID.; EVIDENCE; EXTRA-JUDICIAL CONFESSION; CORPUS DELICTI. — An extra-judicial confession fully corroborated by proof of corpus delicti is sufficient to support conviction.
Makasiar, J., concurring:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library
1. CRIMINAL LAW; MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCE; LACK OF INTENT TO COMMIT AS GRAVE A WRONG AS THAT COMMITTED AND ILLNESS WHICH DIMINISHES WILL POWER. — In the crime of rape with homicide where the accused’s statement after pleading guilty, that the 6-year old victim died by accident as she hit her head on the pavement while struggling and that he was not in his right senses because he is an addict, is not disputed nor contradicted by any evidence, the mitigating circumstances of lack of intent to commit so grave a wrong as that committed and illness of the offender which diminishes the exercise of all power may be considered to warrant a commutation of the sentence by the Chief Executive.
2. ID.; ID.; DRUG. — Our criminal law jurisprudence recognizes that a drug, like opium, is pernicious and dangerous to a degree in its effect, mental, moral and physical, upon the individual addicted thereto. . . . Its usual concomitants are imbecility, pauperism and crime." Opium or any other drug is dangerous, because "the weak and unwary, unless prevented, may use it to their physical and mental ruin. . . . indulgence in this unwholesome, disgusting and degrading habit generates diseases, pauperism and crime. The usual concomitants are degeneration, neglect of appearance, of family and of duty, abject poverty and criminal propensities." American jurisprudence regards criminal responsibility where an act in committed under the influence of drugs the same as when it is committed under the influence of intoxicating liquor. In some cases, it may lead to acquittal, akin to the exempting circumstances of compulsion of an irresistible force under paragraph 5 of Article 12 of the Revised Penal Code.
3. ID.; ID.; COMMUTATION OF SENTENCE. — While under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, the death penalty for rape with homicide is mandatory, regardless of the presence of mitigating circumstances, the unusual or abnormal predicament of the accused who is a drug addict, however, may justify the interposition of the executive benign prerogative of mercy to commute the sentence from death to life imprisonment. He can still be rehabilitated and ultimately rescued from addiction. The fault does not live entirely with the accused where he is a victim of his own poverty as well as the failure of the government to completely eliminate all drug pushers and peddlers to effectively control the smuggling and marketing of narcotics or prohibited drugs.
It appearing that the accused has died and this case has been dismissed in so far as the criminal liability of the accused is concerned, with justice Barredo voting for the unqualified dismissal thereof, the dispositive part of the decision is modified to read as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is hereby affirmed with the elimination of the death penalty imposed. The heirs of the victim, Luningning Mapola y Diwata, are entitled to recover from the estate of the accused, Mario Mariano y Alejandro alias Negro, the sum of Twelve Thousand Pesos (P12,000.00) for the death of the victim and the sum of Eight Thousand Pesos (P8,000.00) as moral damages.
SO ORDERED."cralaw virtua1aw library
, Fernando, Teehankee, Barredo, Makasiar, Antonio, Concepcion Jr., Santos, Fernandez and Guerrero, JJ.
, concurring:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library
Appellant’s civil liability was not extinguished by his death on July 2, 1978 or during the pendency of his appeal (People v. Sendaydiego, 81 SCRA 120; Concurring opinion in People v. Satorre, 72 SCRA 439, 441).