G.R. No. 207763, June 30, 2014
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. ROLANDO RONDINA, Accused-Appellant.
D E C I S I O N
The undersigned Public Prosecutor, based upon the sworn complaint of victim [AAA]4 hereby, accuses ROLANDO RONDINA, alias “Lando”, of the crime of Rape, committed as follows:
That on or about the 30th day of August, 1998, about 12:00 o’clock noon, at Barangay [XXX], Municipality of [YYY], Province of Samar, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, with lewd design and lustful intent and by means of force, violence and intimidation, did then and there, wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge with one [AAA], without her consent and against her will.
CONTRARY TO LAW.5cralawlawlibrary
P.E. Findings:ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary= Negative pertinent P.E. FindingsOb-Gyne findings:ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary= Pelvic examSpeculum exam:ChanRoblesVirtualawlibraryexternal genitalia - grossly normal
introitus - nulliparous
hymen - intact, elastic, open
vagina - admits one (1) examining finger with easecervix - small, pinkish= Internal exam:ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary
(+) scanty whitish dischargecervix - close, non-tender on wrigglingLaboratory results:ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary
uterus - small
adnexae - (-) masses, tendernessUCG – negative
Grams stain result: Grams (+) rods = +++e. cells = ++
CONCLUSIONS: 1. The above[-]described physical injuries are found in the body of the subject the age of which is compatible to the alleged date of infliction.
x x x x
WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, JUDGMENT is hereby rendered finding accused ROLANDO RONDINA guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of RAPE defined and penalized under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code as amended by Republic Act No. 8353 and the Court hereby sentences him to suffer the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua and to indemnify the private complainant, [AAA], in the amount of Php 50,000.00 as civil indemnity and moral damages in the amount of Php 50,000.00.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Decision dated 13 September 2004 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC), 8th Judicial Region, Branch 30, Basey, Samar, in Criminal Case No. 99-2293, finding accused-appellant Rolando Rondina guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of simple rape is hereby AFFIRMED in all respects except that he is further ORDERED to pay AAA interest on all damages awarded at the rate of six percent (6%) per annum from the finality of this judgment until fully paid.
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:ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrarya) Through force, threat or intimidation;2) By any person who, under any of the circumstances mentioned in paragraph 1 hereof, shall commit an act of sexual assault by inserting his penis into another person’s mouth or anal orifice, or any instrument or object, into the genital or anal orifice of another person.
b) When the offended party is deprived of reason or is otherwise unconscious,
c) By means of fraudulent machination or grave abuse of authority;
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;
A rape charge is a serious matter with pernicious consequences both for the accused and the complainant, so that utmost care must be taken in the review of a decision involving conviction of rape. Thus, the Court has consistently adhered to the following guiding principles, to wit: (1) an accusation for rape can be made with facility, while the accusation is difficult to prove, it is even more difficult for the accused, albeit innocent, to disprove; (2) considering that, in the nature of things, only two persons are usually involved in the crime of rape, the testimony of the complainant must be scrutinized with extreme care; and (3) the evidence for the prosecution must succeed or fail on its own merits, and cannot be allowed to derive strength from the weakness of the evidence for the defense. Corollary to the above principle is the rule that the credibility of the victim is always the single most important issue in the prosecution of a rape case.23 (Citations omitted)
[PROSECUTOR AGERICO A. AVILA:] Q Do you recall where were you around 12:00 o’clock noon of August 30, 1998? A I was in the house. Q And where is your house located? A Along the side of the road. Q What barangay, municipality and province? A Brgy. [XXX], [YYY], Samar. Q Who were with you in the house at that time? A My one[-]year[-]old sister. Q Who else were there in the house aside from you and your younger sister? A Only the two (2) of us. Q Why, where were your father and your mother then? A They were in the mountain. x x x x Q While you.... where were you particularly situated while you were lying down? A I was near the wall of the house. Q So, while you were near the wall of your house lying down, do you recall of any incident that transpired? What happened if any? A I heard a noise which noise came from a bamboo. Q From what bamboo did the noise come from? A Near the kitchen. x x x x Q So, after hearing the sound of the bamboo, what did you observe next if any? A He placed himself on top of me. Q You said he. A person? Did you understand the question? A Yes, Sir. Q And did you know the person who went on top of you? A No. Q But, would you be able to recognize this person if you will see him again? A Yes. x x x x Q After the person whom you pointed in Court went on top of you, what did he do to you? A He poked a knife at me and placed a face towel inside my mouth. x x x x Q To what part of the body was the knife pointed to? A On my chest. x x x x Q So, after this person you pointed to in Court pointed a knife and placed a hand towel in your mouth, did he say anything? A He said, “Don’t tell your father and mother because if you will tell them, I will kill you.” Q After he uttered those words, what did he do next if any? A After uttering those words, he took off my shorts and underwear. Q After taking off your shorts and your underwear, what did he do next if any? A He inserted his penis into my organ. Q So, when he inserted his penis to your organ, what did you feel if any? A I felt pain. Q So, while his penis was inside your organ, what did he do? A He was making push and pull actions. Q For how long in your estimate did he do his push and pull action? A A long time. x x x x Q What did you notice in your organ when he made the push and pull movement? A I was feeling pain. Q Did you notice if he discharged anything in your organ? A Yes. Q And what did you notice? A There was a blood. Q When did you notice this blood coming from you? A After he finished. Q When he finished, what did he do? A He sat in my side. Q How about you, what did you do? A I was crying. Q So, while he was sitting by your side, what happened if any? A My grandmother arrived. x x x x Q Where was Rolando Rondina when your grandmother arrived? A He was on my side. Q Left or right side? A Right side. Q Did he already put his pants on when your grandmother arrived? ATTY. MARIO NICOLASORA Leading, Your Honor. x x x x A Yes. PROS. AVILA Q What was he wearing at that time? A He was wearing short pants. Q Was he with an underwear? A Yes. ATTY. NICOLASORA The question is leading. COURT GO AHEAD. DID HE TAKE OFF HIS UNDERWEAR? A Yes. PROS. AVILA Q While this accused was sitting beside you, was he still naked at that time? ATTY. NICOLASORA We object, leading. COURT LET THE WITNESS ANSWER. PROS. AVILA A Yes. Q So, when your grandmother arrived, what did the accused do? A He ran towards the kitchen. Q What did your grandmother do when she arrived in your house? A My grandmother asked me, “[AAA], who was that?” Q What did you answer? A I did not answer because I was afraid that he might kill me. Q Going back when he removed his underwear. After removing his underwear, what did he do next if any? A He placed his penis inside my organ. Q Before that, did he … what did he do to your legs if any? ATTY. NICOLASORA Leading, Your Honor. COURT SUSTAINED. PROS. AVILA Q Before he inserted his organ to your organ, what did he do to you? ATTY. NICOLASORA Assuming that the accused [did] something. COURT LET THE WITNESS ANSWER. PROS. AVILA A Immediately after taking off his short pants and underwear, he placed himself on top of me and placed his organ inside my organ. Q What was your position? A I was prostrate. Q How about the person whom you pointed to, what was his position when he inserted his penis inside your organ? A He was on top of me. Q All the time while he was making the push and pull movement, where was the knife all the while? A On my chest. Q It was on your chest all the while until he finished? A No. Q So sometimes, where would he placed his knife? A It was no longer on my chest. Q Do you know the accused personally? A I don’t know him. Q So, how were you able to identify him? A I could hear his name from other persons. Q Why, where is he a resident of? A He is living with Tiying. Q Do you know the surname of this Tiying? A I don’t know the surname. Q In what barangay is the accused living? A I don’t know where he is a resident of. Q How about this Tiying, where does he resides? A In Brgy. [XXX]. Q Since you did not inform your grandmother about the incident, who was the first person whom you informed? A I did not tell anybody. Q So, how come that you were able to file a Complaint? A Because I told my mother about the incident just before I left for Tacloban. Q How long was that after the incident? A I cannot remember. Q How many days after the incident before you went to Tacloban? A About two (2) days. Q What was your purpose in going to Tacloban? A Because when the incident happened, I was working in Tacloban. x x x x Q Did you go to the house of the Brgy. Chairman? A Only my mother went there. Q With respect to this case, did you submit yourself for medical check-up? A Yes, Sir. Q Where? A In Tacloban. x x x x [CROSS-EXAMINATION BY ATTY. NICOLASORA] Q At that time of incident at 12:00 noon of August 30, 1998, the windows and door of your house were opened? A Yes, Sir. Q You mean, all the windows were opened? A Yes. Q There is a house located on the right side of your house? A Yes. Q Will you please try to tell us whose house is that? A Ging-Ging. Q If you are in your house, you could see it directly? COURT: YOU HAVE NOT SPECIFIED THE DISTANCE. ATTY. NICOLASORA Q How far is the distance of the house located on the right side of your house? A From where I am sitting, up to that wall of the Chamber, which is about two (2) meters. COURT: DO YOU KNOW ARMS LENGTH? HOW MANY ARMS LENGTH? A Two (2) arms length. ATTY. NICOLASORA Q Immediately before the incident, you noticed that the windows near your house were opened? COURT: WHETHER THERE WAS A WINDOW ON THE RIGHT SIDE. ATTY. NICOLASORA Q On the right side of your house, does the house nearest you [have] a window? A No, Sir. Q To the left side, is there a window? A Yes. Q How far is your house to that house? A About two (2) arms length. Q Who lives in this house? A I don’t know who owns the house. Q Did you notice if there were persons before the incident happened? A I did not notice. Q Is there a house at the back of your house? A None, Sir. Q How about on the front portion of your house, is there a house? A None. Q Would you agree with me that there are number of houses located in your house aside from the left and right houses? PROS. AVILA Vague, Your Honor. ATTY. NICOLASORA Q Aside from these two (2) houses located on the left and right side of your house, are there other houses in the immediate vicinity? A There are other houses. x x x x Q There are a number of people living within the vicinity? A Yes. x x x x Q Alright, at 12:00 o’clock noon of August 30, 1998? A There was none. x x x x Q At 12:00 o’clock noon, am I correct that you heard a sound of bamboo in your kitchen? A Yes. x x x x Q When for the first time did you notice a person in your house on August 30, 1998? COURT: SHE NOTICED A PERSON WHEN HE WAS ALREADY LYING DOWN ON HER AND POKING A KNIFE ON HER. ATTY. NICOLASORA Q Before the incident, you have not seen that person who laid on top of you? COURT: IMMEDIATELY BEFORE? ATTY. NICOLASORA Prior to the incident. A No, Sir. Q So, you were lying prostrate on the flooring of your house allegedly when the incident transpired? A Yes, Sir. Q You were looking directly upward when the incident transpired? A Yes, Sir. x x x x Q You did not see what was actually placed inside your organ? A No. Q You did not sustain any injury during the incident? A No. Q You said during your direct examination that after he laid on top of you, he seated on your right side? A Yes. Q He stayed there for a long period of time? A Yes. Q While he was sitting on your right side, he did not do anything to you? A He did nothing. Q Am I correct to say, to hear from you during the direct examination, you did not tell your grandmother anything about the incident? A
Q And when she arrived at your house, she did not do anything? A Yes. ATTY. NICOLASORA That will be all, Your Honor. COURT: RE-DIRECT? PROS. AVILA x x x x Q You said you did not sustain any injury during the incident. Where did the blood come from? A From my organ. Q After the incident while he was sitting along side with you, did he try to converse with you? A No. x x x x COURT: ALRIGHT, CLARIFICATORY. Q After he took out his organ from your organ, what did you do with your panty and short pants? A I put my underwear and short pants on. Q You said that while he was sitting beside you, he was still naked? A Yes. Q Was he still naked when your grandmother arrived? A Yes. Q So, when he ran to your kitchen, he was still naked? A Yes. Q What did he do with his pants and brief? A He took it with him. Q When you said you told your mother what happened to you, whom did you mention? You said you told your mother what happened, what did you tell? A I said, “Nay, I was raped by Lando.” Q So, before Lando raped you, you knew his name already? A Yes, I was familiar with his name because I could hear his name from other persons. Q And this Lando you are referring to is the person you pointed to before? A Yes. Q And he is the person you referred to, whom your mother understood? A Yes. Q Your mother knew this Lando already? A No. Q When you told your mother about this Lando, did your mother already know this Lando? A Yes, because she could hear his name from other persons. Q When you told your mother, you proceeded to Tacloban, while your mother went to the Brgy. Chairman? A My mother told the Brgy. Chairman the next day. Q But you proceeded to Tacloban? A Yes. Q But your mother went to Tacloban for your medical check-up? A Yes. x x x x.24 (Emphasis ours)
Q Do you know LANDO personally? A Yes. Q How did you know him? A He is residing in our Barangay.33
[PROS. FILOTEA M. ESTORNINOS] Q You said you are residing in [XXX] and [CCC] is also residing in [XXX], how far or how close is the house of [CCC] to your house? A One house away from my house. Q On August 30, 1998 at about 12:00 noon, can you still recall where were you then? A At that time[,] I was about to visit my daughter [CCC]. Q Were you in fact visit the house of [CCC]? A Yes, I went upstairs. Q When you went upstairs[,] were you able to get inside the house? A Yes. Q Why, is there no [shutter] of the door? A It was open when I arrived. Q When you arrived what did you see if ever? A I saw Lando. Q Who is this Lando you are referring to? A That one. ([W]itness pointing to a person when asked his name answers to the name Lando). Q What was Lando doing when you saw him? A When I arrived[,] I saw him by the side of [AAA]. Q How did you observe him? A He was naked from the waist down. Q How about your granddaughter [AAA], have you seen [her]? A Yes, I saw [her]. Q Where was she? A She was lying beside him. Q You said Lando was beside [AAA,] what was the position of Lando when you saw him? A He was sitting down. Q What happened when you went inside the house and you saw Lando? A When I arrived at the house he was already beside [AAA]. Q When you went inside the house you saw Lando, what did he do? A When I saw him he went down. Q Where did he pass through? A By the door of the kitchen. Q How about you where did you enter when you went inside the house? A At the front door. Q When Lando left through the kitchen door and you said he was naked[,] what did he do with respect to his clothings? A He was holding his short pants when he went out. Q When you said naked what do you mean by naked? A He was naked from the waist down without any clothing, he was holding his brief and short pants. Q What did you do when you saw Lando in that particular situation? A I asked [AAA] what was that all about and she said nothing. Q What was the demeanor of [AAA] when you asked her? A She was crying. Q For how long did you stay in that house of [CCC]? A Not very long. Q Why? A Because I already asked her what had happened. Q How about you[,] what did you feel as a grandmother when you saw Lando and [AAA] in that particular situation? A I got mad because he did something bad to my granddaughter. Q Who is this person as you claim when you saw? A Lando. Q Do you know his family name? A I forgot his family name. Q Is he a native of Brgy. [XXX]? A He lives there but he is not [from] that place. Q With whom is he living in Brgy. [XXX]? A He lives in the house of Remedios. Q Do you know a person by the name of Teying? A He is the son of Remedios. Q How about [AAA] at the time you saw her, what was the condition of the body of [AAA] when you first saw her? A She was naked from the waist down. Q When you went up[,] what did [AAA] do? A She was crying. Q How about her clothing[,] what did she do? A It was on her waist. Q And when you asked her[,] was she still naked when you asked her what is that? A Yes. Q Was she able to put on something on the lower portion of her body after you asked her? A Yes she was able to put on her underwear. Q As you said you got mad at Lando as he did something bad to your granddaughter what did you do if any? A I asked [AAA] what was that all about and she said nothing and she was crying. Q How about [CCC,] did you talk with [CCC] with respect to what you have seen? A Yes in the morning. Q You mean to say the following day? A Yes. Q Why did it take you to tell [CCC] on the following morning what you have seen? A Because I have so many obligation to do considering that we are only farmer. Q When you told [CCC] about what happened to your granddaughter, what did you and [CCC] do? A We went to the Brgy. Captain. x x x x ATTY. NICOLASORA [On cross-examination] Q When you arrived in the house of [AAA] you saw [AAA] lying naked is that correct? A Yes. Q What was her position[,] was she face up or was she lying on her side? A Lying face up. Q For the first time that you saw [AAA], you did not see her crying? A She was already crying because she was already half-naked. Q Before you enter[ed] the house of your daughter [CCC] on August 30, 1998 at 12:00 o’clock, you did not heard [sic] any sound emanating from the house? A I did not hear any sound only two of them inside. Q When you first saw Lando[,] he was just sitting beside AAA? A Yes. Q They were talking small voice? x x x x A Yes, they were talking to each other. Q But you were not able to hear the voice[,] what they were talking? A No, because they were talking secretly [sic]. Q At the time you saw Lando[,] you were surprised why he was naked below? [sic] A Yes. Q You could hardly speak at that time when you first saw Lando naked below? A I was not able to say anything because I was surprised. Q It was only at that time when Lando saw you and bringing along with him his brief and pants? A Yes. Q He went out of the kitchen door and went outside the house of [CCC]. A He walked. x x x x PROS. ESTORNINOS [on re-direct] Q Please tell the Court whether you have seen them talking? A Yes[,] they were talking. Q Why do you say that they were talking? A Because I could hear them talking. Q And when Lando pick[ed] up his pants and brief, he ran or walk slowly? A He walked in going the door. PROS. ESTORNINOS That is all your honor. COURT Q You said Lando and [AAA] were talking, is that correct? A Yes. Q Did you hear what Lando was talking? A No, because he is talking in a low voice. Q When Lando saw [you, he] immediately went out by the door of the kitchen? A Yes. Q Why did you say now that Lando was [stuffing] something in the mouth of [AAA] and poking [bladed] weapon on her? A Because [AAA] could not shout because the face towel was on her mouth. Q Are you sure of that? A Yes[,] I am sure about that.40 (Emphases ours)
In the re-direct examination, [BBB] claimed that she saw Lando and [AAA] talking to each other because she could hear them talking and further averred that accused just walked in going to the door after picking [up] his pants and brief. And in the court’s clarificatory questions, [BBB] contended that Lando and [AAA] were talking to each other but she could not hear what Lando was talking about because he was talking in a low voice x x x.”41 (Emphasis ours)
1 Penned by Associate Justice Zenaida T. Galapate-Laguilles, with Associate Justices Edgardo L. Delos Santos and Pamela Ann Abella Maxino, concurring; CA rollo, pp. 93-107.
2 Issued by Presiding Judge Jovito C. Abarquez; records, pp. 157-165.
3 Id. at 1.
4 The real name of the victim, her personal circumstances and other information which tend to establish or compromise her identity, as well as those of her immediate family or household members, shall not be disclosed to protect her privacy and fictitious initials shall, instead, be used, in accordance with People v. Cabalquinto, (533 Phil. 703 2006), and A.M. No. 04-11-09-SC dated September 19, 2006.
5 Records, p. 1.
6 Id. at 157-158.
7 TSN, June 7, 1999, p. 34.
8 Records, pp. 159-160.
9 Exhibit “1”, “1-A”, and “1-B”, folder of exhibits, p. 1.
10 Records, p. 161.
11 CA rollo, p. 97.
12 Records, p. 161.
13 TSN, May 3, 2004, p. 22.
14 Records, p. 165.
15 G.R. Nos. 147678-87, July 7, 2004, 433 SCRA 640.
16 CA rollo, p. 43.
17 Id. at 106-107.
18People v. Noveras, 550 Phil. 871, 881 (2007).
19People v. Nazareno, 574 Phil. 175, 191-192 (2008).
20People v. Paculba, G.R. No. 183453, March 9, 2010, 614 SCRA 755, 764; People v. Mingming, 594 Phil. 170, 190 (2008); People v. Capareda, 473 Phil. 301, 331 (2004).
21People v. Jalosjos, 421 Phil. 43, 68 (2001).
22People v. Ogarte, G.R. No. 182690, May 30, 2011, 649 SCRA 395, 406; People v. Celocelo, G.R. No. 173798, December 15, 2010, 638 SCRA 576, 584.
23People v. Cabanilla, G.R. No. 185839, November 17, 2010, 635 SCRA 300, 311-312.
24 TSN, June 7, 1999, pp. 4-33.
25People v. Clores, Jr., G.R. No. 130488, June 8, 2004, 431 SCRA 210, 216.
26 See RTC Order dated October 17, 2001, records, p. 90.
27People v. Banig, G.R. No. 177137, August 23, 2012, 679 SCRA 133, 148, citing People v. Ortoa, 599 Phil. 232, 246-247 (2009).
28People v. Colorado, G.R. No. 200792, November 14, 2012, 685 SCRA 660, 673, citing People v. Tagun, 427 Phil. 389, 403-404 (2002).
29 463 Phil. 581 (2003).
30 Exhibits “1”, “1-A”, and “1-B”, folder of exhibits, p. 1.
31 TSN, June 21, 2000, p. 11.
32 Records, p. 164.
33 Records, p. 8.
34 TSN, June 7, 1999, p. 32.
35 TSN, May 3, 2004, pp. 7-8.
36 CA rollo, p. 97.
37 TSN, June 7, 1999, p. 32.
38 TSN, June 21, 2000, p. 10,
39 Id. at 11.
40 Id. at 4-11.
41 Records, p. 159.
42People v. Aballe, 410 Phil. 131, 144 (2001).
43People v. Herrick, G.R. No. 85137, July 12, 1990, 187 SCRA 364, 373.
44People v. Cartuano, Jr., 325 Phil. 718, 745 (1996).
45 People v. Ollamina, 426 Phil. 726, 737 (2002).
46People v. Rapisora, 403 Phil. 194, 206 (2001).
47 Records, p. 159.