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[G.R. No. 133185. February 6, 2002.]

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. EDWARD OLLAMINA, Accused-Appellant.



Accused-appellant Edward Ollamina appeals from the February 6, 1998 Decision 1 of the Regional Trial Court of Davao City, Branch 15, in Criminal Case No. 38,390-97, convicting him of the crime of Rape and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua, and to pay the private complainant Julie Ann Redulla the amount of P40,000.00 as civil indemnity.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

Upon arraignment on March 3, 1992, Accused-appellant entered a negative plea. 2 Trial thereafter ensued.

Private complainant Julie Ann Redulla, who was then fifteen years of age and a sixth grader, lived with her aunt in Bucana, Davao City. Twenty four-year old accused-appellant Edward Ollamina was their neighbor. She first met him on January 8, 1997. From then on, she became familiar with him as he passes by their house everyday. 3

At around 8:30 in the evening of January 21, 1997, Edward went to Julie Ann’s house and invited her to attend his friend’s birthday party in Sasa, Davao City. She agreed but did not seek permission from her aunt as the latter was still at work. 4

That same night, the two rode a jeepney going to Sasa, Davao City, and alighted in a squatter’s area with small closely-built houses. Julie Ann asked which one is the house of Edward’s friend. He pointed to a house, the door of which was secured with a rope as a lock. The house was apparently not lighted, prompting Julie Ann to inquire why the house was dark. Edward told her to shut up. At this point, Julie Ann sensed danger and feared for her life. 5

Edward then held Julie Ann’s hand and brought her inside the house and into the bedroom. Julie Ann noticed that there were no other persons in the house. Frightened, she sat at the corner of the room. Then, Edward closed the door of the room, undressed himself and approached Julie Ann. He kissed her, but she did not shout because Edward threatened to kill her. He held her right arm and right leg, thus, causing her to lie down. Edward’s hand covered her mouth. 6

Julie Ann told Edward, "you said it’s a birthday party, you are a liar." He asked her to remove her shirt and bra, but she refused. Thus, Edward took them off. When he tried to remove her pants, she pleaded with him not to do it as she wanted to finish her studies. He did not, however, listen and proceeded to insert his penis into her vagina causing her to feel pain. Thereafter, they dressed up and Edward allowed her to go home. 7

The following day, Julie Ann told her aunt what happened. She submitted herself for physical examination, which yielded the following results:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

Fairly nourished, normally developed, conscious, coherent, cooperative, ambulatory subject.

Breasts fully developed, hemispherical, firm. Areolae, light brown, 5.0 cms. in diameter. Nipples, light brown, protruding, 8 cm. in diameter.

No extragenital physical injuries noted.

GENITAL EXAMINATION:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

Pubic hair, fully grown, sparse. Labia majora and minora, coaptated. Fourchette, lax. Vestibule, pinkish, smooth. Hymen, thick, tall, distensible. Hymenal orifice, annular, admits a tube, 2.5 cms. in diameter. Vaginal walls, tight. Rugosities, prominent.

CONCLUSION:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

1) No evident signs of extragenital physical injuries noted on the body of the subject at the time of the examination.

2) Hymen, intact, but distensible (2.5 cms. in diameter), as to allow complete penetration by an average-sized male organ in erection without causing hymenal injury.

REMARKS: Semenology: POSITIVE. 8

On the other hand, Accused-appellant Edward Ollamina claimed that he and Julie Ann were sweethearts, but denied having sexual intercourse with her on the night of January 21, 1997. He alleged that on January 21, 1997 at about 6:30 p.m, while he was in their house, a certain Bebeng told him that Julie Ann wanted to see him. When he went to see the latter, he saw her crying. She told Edward that her aunt wanted her to leave their house because she came to know her relationship with him. She begged him to elope with her, thus Edward agreed. They went to the house of a certain "Nanan" in Sasa, Davao City, and asked that they be allowed to rent one of the rooms in her house. The latter acceded. Inside the room, Edward and Julie Ann talked and assessed if they were ready for a commitment. In the end, they realized that they were not yet prepared, hence, they went home to Bucana, Davao City that very same evening. 9

On February 6, 1998, the trial court rendered the assailed judgment finding accused-appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape.

Accused-appellant raised the following errors:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library







In reviewing rape cases, we are guided with three settled principles, namely: (a) An accusation for rape can be made with facility; it is difficult to prove but more difficult for the person accused, though innocent, to disprove the same; (b) In view of the intrinsic nature of the crime of rape where only two persons are usually involved, the testimony of the complainant must be scrutinized with extreme caution; and (3) The evidence for the prosecution must stand or fall on :its own merits and cannot be allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the evidence for the defense. By the very nature of the crime, judgments in rape cases turn on the credibility of the complainant as only the participants can testify as to its occurrence. 11

The testimony of the complainant should not be received with precipitate credulity but with the utmost caution. The test for determining the credibility of complainant’s testimony is whether it is in conformity with common knowledge and consistent with the experience of mankind. Whatever is repugnant to these standards becomes incredible and lies outside of judicial cognizance. 12

Corollary thereto, it must be stressed that in rape committed through force and intimidation under Article 335, paragraph (1), of the Revised Penal Code (as amended by R.A. No. 7659), the prosecution must prove that force or intimidation was actually employed by accused-appellant upon his victim to achieve his end. Failure to do so is fatal to its cause. 13

We are not unaware of the settled jurisprudence that the findings of fact of the trial court as well as its assessment of the credibility of witnesses are accorded great respect. In the case at bar, however, there exists sufficient reasons not to apply this general rule.

The alleged force or intimidation employed by accused-appellant in consummating the rape at bar was narrated by private complainant as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

PROS. VILLAFUERTE:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

x       x       x

Q. This Edward Ollamina is he in court today?

A. Yes, sir.

x       x       x

Q. You said that he invited you?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Where?

A. Sasa.

Q. For what occasion?

A. Birthday party.

Q. Did you go with him?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. What did you take for your ride?

A. Jeep.

Q. Do you recall what time did you arrive in that place?

A. I do not know, sir.

Q. What happened when you arrive?

A. He raped me.

Q. Did you see the house...by the way what happened when you arrived at the house?

A. I asked him, where is the house of his friend and he pointed the house, I asked him why it was dark.

Q. What did he tell you?

A. He said, just keep your mouth shut.

Q. How did you feel when he told [you] that?

A. I feared for my life.

Q. What happened?

A. He held my hand and brought me up in the room.

Q. Were there other persons in the house?

A. No, sir.

Q. What happened?

A. He brought me up in the room, because I was afraid, I sat on the corner.

Q. What happened next?

A. He closed the door and undressed himself and approached me and kissed me:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

Q. What did you do?

A. I wanted to shout, I could not because he said, he will kill me.

Q. What happened next?

A. He kissed me, he held my right arm and also my right leg, because of his action I was lie down (sic) and he got my mouth using his hands. Then he undressed me.

Q. What were the words at that time?

A. I asked him, you said it’s a birthday party, you are a liar.

Q. What was his answer?

A. None, sir.

Q. Then what happened next?

A. He said, to take off my shirt (sic), but I will (sic) not, and he was the one who removed my shirt.

Q. What happened next?

A. He said to take off my bra (sic), but I did not, he removed it.

Q. What else happened?

x       x       x

A. Then he removed my pants, I plead (sic) that please [don’t] do it to me because I wanted to continue my studies, but he did not listen.

Q. What did he do?

A. He did not listen, then he raped me.

Q. What do you mean he raped me?

A. He inserted his penis into my vagina.

Q. What did you feel?

A. Pain, sir.

Q. How long did it last?

A. Just ones.

PROS. VILLAFUERTE:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

Your Honor...

ATTY. ZAMORA:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

That is her answer, your Honor...

PROS. VILLAFUERTE:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

Q. How long did it last?

A. I do not know, sir.

Q. Did he pull his penis?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. What happened after he pulled out his penis?

A. No more sir.

Q. How about you, what did you do?

A. I dressed up.

Q. How about the accused, what did he do?

A. He also dressed up.

Q. Did he talk to [you]?

A. No, sir, he let me go home.

Q. Did you go home?

A. Yes, sir.

x       x       x 14

A careful scrutiny of the foregoing, clearly shows that the alleged force or intimidation was more apparent than real. We note that accused-appellant did not threaten nor force private complainant to go with him. On their way to the house and inside the room where the purported rape happened, Accused-appellant neither dragged nor pushed her. While accused-appellant supposedly threatened to kill her, the latter was unarmed. What is more, Accused-appellant did not have a hard time removing private complainant’s clothes. Except for the words: "you said it’s a birthday party, you are a liar" and "please [don’t] do it to me because I wanted to continue my studies," accused-appellant encountered no real difficulty in undressing her. In fact, he did not employ force in taking off the shirt, bra, and pants of private complainant. From all indications, therefore, the fear testified to by private complainant is a mere product of her imagination.

The Solicitor General, however, contends that private complainant, who was then 15 years old and only a sixth grader, was clearly intimidated by accused-appellant’s threat on her life, thus, breaking her spirit to fight and put up a resistance. We do not agree.

In People v. Dreu, 15 we held that:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

The test is whether the threat or intimidation produces a reasonable fear in the mind of the victim that if she resists or does not yield to the desires of the accused, the threat would be carried out. Where resistance would be futile, offering none at all does not amount to consent to the sexual assault. It is not necessary that the victim should have resisted unto death or sustained physical injuries in the hands of the rapist. It is enough . if the intercourse takes place against her will or if she yields because of genuine apprehension of harm to her if she did not do so. Indeed, the law does not impose upon a rape victim the burden of proving resistance.

In the case at bar, the prosecution failed to establish the factors that would create a state of fear in the mind of private complainant, more so, if at all, private complainant engendered a genuine fear that effectively deterred her from putting up a tenacious resistance. While private complainant at 15 was only in the sixth grade, there was no showing that she was suffering from any mental illness or retardation that would diminish the voluntariness of her actions. Hence, the presumption is that she is of a normal state of mind, and capable of intelligible perception of her acts. Likewise, the prosecution did not present evidence as to the physical and moral attributes of Accused-Appellant. Absent any logical explanation or justification, we believe that only a willing victim would passively allow herself to be ravished and her honor tarnished simply by reason of a verbal threat of an unarmed rapist.

Mindful of the doctrine that "when a woman — more so if she is a minor — says she has been raped, she says, in effect, all that is necessary to prove that rape was committed," 16 we have painstakingly examined the testimony of private complainant but the glaring improbabilities thereof constrained us to entertain a reasonable doubt as to the guilt of Accused-Appellant. Julie Ann never objected when Edward brought her to Sasa, Davao City. Even at the point where she allegedly sensed danger, she did not seize the opportunity to escape. It appears that the door of the house where she was brought was tied with a rope. When Edward untied the rope, Julie Ann could have scampered away to safety. But she did not. She waited for Edward to open the door and allowed him to hold her hand as he led her inside the house. She did not even say that Edward was holding her hand tightly or was preventing her from extricating herself. Then, inside the house, Julie Ann obediently entered the room and meekly sat at the corner thereof, allowing Edward to close the door behind her. Even before Julie Ann entered the house, she testified that she was afraid. But it defies comprehension why she still entered the room and sat at the corner thereof. While it is true that a rape victim is not expected to resist until death, it is contrary to human experience that she did not even make an outcry or use her hands which were then free to ward off the lustful advances of Edward. She could have shouted for help considering that her cries could be easily heard by the neighbors as the houses in the said squatter’s area were closely built. Faced with the passivity and submissiveness of Julie Ann from the time she entered the house, up to the time Edward removed her clothes and all throughout the time that he was allegedly violating her, nothing could be drawn but consent and voluntariness of private complainant to the sexual advances of Accused-Appellant.

Similarly, in People v. Claudio, 17 we ruled that the unnatural behavior of the private complainant negates the crime of rape, thus:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

First. Private complainant never objected or showed any resistance when accused-appellant allegedly dragged her forcibly across the pedestrian overpass and brought her to an undisclosed place at Quiapo. Although he was holding her wrist tightly, she could have easily extricated herself from him on several occasions: (a) while they were inside the bus bound for Quiapo; (b) when they alighted from the bus and roamed the sidestreets of Quiapo; and, especially so, (c) when they entered the hotel and finally the room where the alleged rape took place. Accused-appellant was unarmed and his tight grip could not have prevented private complainant from at least shouting for help. Her demeanor was simply inconsistent with that of the ordinary Filipina whose instinct dictates that she summon every ounce of her strength and courage to thwart any attempt to besmirch her honor and blemish her purity. True, women react differently in similar situations, but it is too unnatural for an intended rape victim, as in this case, not to make even a feeble attempt to free herself despite a myriad of opportunities to do so.

Though the defense of denial and the "sweetheart theory" do not often gain approval, we will not hesitate to set aside a judgment of conviction where, as in the present case, the guilt of accused-appellant has not been proven beyond reasonable doubt: The mind of the Court cannot rest easy on the certainty of accused-appellant’s guilt. Hence, we cannot in conscience affirm his conviction for the crime of rape through force or intimidation as set forth in Article 335, paragraph (1), of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by R.A. No. 7659.

WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing, the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Davao City, Branch 15, in Criminal Case No. 38,390-97, is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Accused-appellant Edward Ollamina is ACQUITTED of the crime of Rape and he is ordered immediately released unless there are other legal grounds for his continued detention.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary


Davide, Jr., C.J., Puno, Kapunan and Pardo, JJ., concur.


1. Penned by Judge Jesus V. Quitain.

2. Records, p. 16.

3. TSN, April 21, 1997, pp. 10-12.

4. Id., pp. 12-13 and 31.

5. Id., pp. 13 and 41.

6. Id., 13-14.

7. Id., pp. 14-16.

8. Records, p. 26.

9. TSN, September 4, 1997, pp. 54-62.

10. Rollo, p. 52.

11. People v. De la Cruz, G.R. No. 137967, April 19, 2001.

12. Supra.

13. People v. Clemente, 316 SCRA 789, 800 [1999]; citing People v. Subido, 253 SCRA 196 [1996].

14. TSN, April 21, 1997, pp. 12-16.

15. 334 SCRA 63, 69 [2000]; citing People v. Fraga, 330 SCRA 699 [2000].

16. People v. Manayan, G.R. Nos. 142741-43, October 25, 2001.

17. 326 SCRA 813, 818-819 [2000].

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