You are on page 1of 31

Li encountered Arugay out on the street on the night of 18 April 1993, a few hours before the brawl.

KINGSTON(E) LI Y NUNEZ, petitioner, vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, and the HONORABLE Arugay was carrying a bayong containing various liquors. He invited Li to a drinking session which the
COURT OF APPEALS, respondents. latter refused as he had work the following day.[12]

Early the next morning, around one oclock a.m., Li was watching television at his home with his
DECISION
friend Ricky Amerol when they heard objects being thrown at the house. Peeping through the window, they
TINGA, J.: saw Arugay and dela Camara in front of the gate throwing stones and bottles at the direction of Lis house.
The stones broke window jalousies and also struck Amerol. At the same time, Arugay was also hurling
invectives at Li.[13]
On 19 April 1993, the relative early morning calm in General Luna Street, Barangay Bangkal, Makati,
was shattered when a petty argument evolved into a street brawl. After the dust had settled, eighteen (18) Annoyed, Li opened the door asking, Pare, ano ba problema mo? Wala naman kaming kasalanan sa
-year old Christopher Arugay (Arugay) lay dying from multiple stab wounds, while his neighbor, twenty- yo. Arugay and his girlfriend just kept on stoning the house and hurling invectives at petitioner. Arugay
four (24)-year old Kingstone[1] Li (Li), staggered injured, with hack wounds on his head. kicked the gate but Li prevented him from opening it.Arugay then ran towards his house across the
street.[14]
Li was charged before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Makati, Branch 148,[2] with the crime of
Homicide.[3] On 5 January 1994, after trial, he was found guilty and sentenced to the penalty of eight (8) Li tried to fix the gate, which had become misaligned and its lock destroyed as a result of the
years and one (1) day of prision mayor to fourteen (14) years, eight (8) months and one (1) day of reclusion kicking. Reacting, he saw Arugay coming out of the house armed with two kitchen knives. In response, Li
temporal. His conviction was affirmed by the Court of Appeals Fifteenth Division in a Decision[4] dated 6 went inside his house and got a baseball bat. When he returned to the street, Arugay attacked him with a
September 1996. knife. Li managed to avoid Arugays thrusts and hit Arugay with the baseball bat on the right
shoulder. Arugay ran back to his house shouting, The long one! The long one! Li also dashed back to his
The version presented by the prosecution as to the antecedent facts leading to Arugays death differs house but before he was able to enter the door, he saw Arugay carrying a two-foot long bolo, running
sharply from the version offered by Li. The accused claims that the dispute stemmed from a spurned offer towards him. On Arugays heels were Ronaldo Tan and Aubrey dela Camara.[15]
to drink, while the prosecution traces the root of the fight to an indecorous bath in public.
Arugay tried to hit Li with the bolo. Li raised his right hand to protect himself but Arugay was able to
The story of the prosecution was told by the witnesses Aubrey dela Camara (dela Camara) and hit him on his right temple and right wrist. Not content, Arugay hit Li on the right shoulder. Li passed
Ronaldo Tan (Tan).[5] out.[16]
Shortly before his death, Arugay was watching television at home with his sisters Cristy and Baby Upon regaining consciousness, Li tried to crawl back to his house but Ronald Tan hit him at the back
Jane, his girlfriend dela Camara and Baby Janes boyfriend, Tan. At around 1:15 in the early morning, dela of his left ear with a baseball bat. Eventually, Li managed to get back to the house and was brought to
Camara and Tan suddenly heard a noise outside. Peering through the window, they saw Li and a certain the Makati Medical Center by Amerol and Barangay Tanod Eduardo Reyes.[17]
Eduardo Eddie Boy Sangalang taking a bath completely naked. The two were facing the house of the
Arugays.[6] On cross-examination, Li admitted that Eduardo Sangalang was also in his house at the time the
incident started. Sangalang was the boyfriend of Lis half-sister, Cristy.[18]
Enraged, Arugay yelled, Pare bastos kayo, bat kayo nakahubad?[7]
Dr. Alberto Reyes of the Medico Legal Section of the National Bureau of Investigation conducted the
Li shouted back, Putang Ina! and threw something at the Arugays house. Sangalang also post-mortem examination on the body of Arugay. He noted the following injuries:
yelled, Putang Ina mo, lumabas ka, papatayin kita![8]

An incensed Arugay went out the house where he was met by Li, now wearing briefs and carrying a Pallor, lips and nailbeds.
baseball bat. Li struck Arugay on the head with the bat, causing Arugay to fall. Li ran back to his
house. Tan and dela Camara assisted Arugay and were trying to drag him back to his house when Li re- Contusion, arm, right, poster-lateral, 5.0 x 3.0 cm.
emerged, this time with a knife. Li then stabbed Arugay once.[9]

Immediately thereafter, dela Camara was confronted by Lis sister, Kristine, who proceeded to pull her Wounds, incised, scalp, parieto-occipital, right, 6.0 cm.; anterior sheet, left side, suprammary
hair and slap her around. Kristine also wielded a bolo, with which she hacked dela Camara in the 6.0 cm., inframmary 4.0 cm.
arm. Although preoccupied under the circumstances, dela Camara was able to see Sangalang stab Arugay
at least once, so she claimed.[10]
Wounds stab:
Tan saw Arugay run towards the street after he was stabbed, with Li and Sangalang chasing him. He
saw nothing further of the incident, according to him.[11] 1. 3.0 cm., long, spindle[-]shaped edges, irregular, oriented, horizontally, with a sharp, medial
and a blunt lateral extremeties, located at the anterior chest wall, left side, 15.0 cm. from
In their respective testimonies, dela Camara and Tan are unable to account for the fact that before
the anterior median line, directed upwards, backwards and medially, involving the skin
the fight ended, Li also lay wounded with multiple hack wounds on his head and body. This fact lies at the
and soft tissues only with an approximate depth of 4.0 cm.
crux of the petitioners defense.

On the other hand, Li presents a different version. 2. 4.0 cm., long, spindle shaped edges irregular, with a sharp inferolateral and blunt supero-
medial extremeties, located at the anterior abdominal wall, right side, 0.5 cm. from the
Page 1 of 31
anterior median line, directed upwards , backwards and medially involving the skin and There is a difference in the factual findings of the RTC and those of the Court of Appeals. The variance
soft tissues, laceration of the diaphragm and the right lobe of the liver, with an warrants the close review of the findings of the two courts. While both courts argue that Li was guilty of
approximate depth of 10.0 cm. homicide, their respective rationales are different.

Neither court disputes that the proximate cause of the death of Arugay was the stab wounds he
3. 1.5 cm. long, spindle shape[d] edges irregular oriented almost horizontally with a sharp received. The RTC concluded though that it was Sangalang, and not Li, who stabbed Arugay:
lateral and blunt medial extremeties, located at the anterior abdominal wall, left side, 9.0
cm. from the anterior median line, directed backwards, upwards and medially involving
the skin and soft tissues, penetrating the transverse colon with an approximate depth of From all these conflicting versions, this court after piecing out the evidence presented and from what can
12.0 cm. be deduced in the circumstances obtaining finds that because of the altercation between Christopher
Arugay and Kingstone Li, Christopher Arugay armed himself with a bolo and Kingstone Li armed himself
with a baseball bat.
4. 1.5 cm. long, spindle, edges irregular oriented almost horizontally with a sharp poster-
lateral a blunt antero medial extremities located at the anterior chest wall right side, 21.0
cm. from the anterior median line, directed backward, upwards and medially involving From the evidence presented, it became clear to the court that it was Kingstone Li who hit first with a
the skin and soft tissues penetrating the 8th intercostals space, into the diaphragm and baseball bat Christopher Arugay hitting the latter not on the head but at the right arm which is near the
right lobe of the liver, with an approximate depth of 12.0 cm. shoulder. [23]

Hemoperitoneum 1,500 c.c. xxx

Brain and other visceral organs, pale. Now, after Kingstone Li has hit the deceased with a baseball bat, the deceased who is armed with a bolo,
retaliated by hacking Kingstone Li on the head and indeed he was hit on the head and right wrist causing
Kingstone Li to lose his hold on the baseball bat and fell (sic) semi-unconscious or unconscious.
Stomach, half-full with rice and brownish fluid.

At this point in time, Eduardo Sangalang, who was then also present stabbed the deceased several times
Cause of death stab wounds of the chest and abdomen.[19] at least six times.

After trial on the merits, the RTC rendered its Decision, finding Li guilty as charged. The dispositive This is explained by the findings of Dr. Alberto Reyes that Christopher Arugay sustained an incise[d]
portion reads: wound on scalp, on the left chest, and four stab wounds that are fatal.

WHEREFORE, premises considered, and finding accused KINGSTONE LI guilty beyond reasonable doubt When Christopher Arugay sustained the fatal wounds, two (2) of them piercing his liver xxx[24]
of the crime of Homicide defined and penalized under Article 249 of the Revised Penal Code, said accused
is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of from EIGHT (8) YEARS and ONE (1) day of prision mayor as
minimum to FOURTEEN (14) years, EIGHT (8) MONTHS and ONE (1) DAY of reclusion temporal as While the RTC concluded that Li had not stabbed Arugay, it nevertheless held him guilty, predicated on a
maximum with all the accessories of the law. finding of conspiracy with Sangalang. This issue shall be explored in greater detail later.

In contrast, the Court of Appeals did not rule out the possibility that Li had stabbed Arugay, and
The accused is further ordered to pay to the heirs of the late Christopher Arugay the sum of P50,000.00 rendered unnecessary a finding of conspiracy to attach guilt to the accused. It held:
for and as indemnity for causing the death of said victim.
The deceased suffered four fatal wounds, then (sic) the accused might have inflicted at least one fatal
With costs against the accused. stab wound and so with his friend Eddie Boy, who remains at large. Since it has not been established
which wound was inflicted by either one of them, they should both be held liable and each one is guilty of
homicide, whether or not a conspiracy exists.[25] (Emphasis supplied)
SO ORDERED.[20]

The appellate courts formulation is wrong as the converse is the correct rule: with the existence of
Li appealed to the Court of Appeals but it affirmed with modification the RTC Decision. He filed
conspiracy, it is no longer necessary to determine who among the malefactors rendered the fatal
a Motion for Reconsideration which the Court of Appeals denied.[21]
blow;[26] whereas in the absence of conspiracy, each of the accused is responsible only for the consequences
Li filed the present Petition for Review, seeking the reversal of his conviction for the crime of homicide. of his own acts.[27] Thus, it is necessary to determine whether a conspiracy existed between Li and
Sangalang, and if there was none, to ascertain the particular acts performed by Li.
Li denies killing Arugay. He contends that the RTC erred in holding that he was the instigator of the
events leading to Arugays death; in not basing its Decision on the evidence on record; in holding that he The Court of Appeals also cited the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses, Tan and dela Camara,
was guilty of homicide by reason of conspiracy; and in not ruling that the evidence of the prosecution does to the effect that they saw Li stab Arugay at the left portion of the body. [28] These testimonies are vital as
not prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.[22] they constitute the only evidence that Li actually stabbed Arugay. A careful examination of the case however

Page 2 of 31
cautions us from giving full faith and credence to the supposed eyewitnesses for the prosecution. The RTC Indeed, the tale weaved by Tan arouses more curiousity upon examination of his sworn statement,
itself cast doubt on the veracity of all the eyewitness testimony, whether for the prosecution or for the executed the night after the incident. Therein, Tan referred to some existing bad blood between Arugay and
accused. The RTC noted, thus: Li over a borrowed tape, a fact which subsequently none of the parties would call attention to.[36] Curioser,
Tan never mentioned any baseball bat having been used by Li during the incident. Nor did he mention any
participation of Sangalang in the actual brawl. On the other hand, dela Camara in her own sworn
At the outset, the court has to state that it has noted that the witnesses for the prosecution and that of
statement, asserted that both Li and Sangalang had stabbed Arugay and that she herself was hacked on
the defense either held back on material facts or have deliberately withheld some facts or added some
the arm by Kristine Li.[37]
matters to the real facts for these are not only gaps but holes in the versions of the witnesses for the
prosecution and the defense. What this court can do is to cull from the evidence presented what could be Both Tan and dela Camara testified that Li stabbed Arugay on the left side of the body as the latter
the approximate or near the truth. The prosecution did not help this court any to have a good view of the was being pulled towards his house after having been struck with the baseball bat.[38] However, Tan testified
facts and neither the defense.[29] that Li came from behind Arugay to inflict the stab wound,[39] while dela Camara stated that Arugay was
facing Li when he was stabbed.[40]
The relationships of the witnesses dela Camara and Tan to Arugay or the latters family cannot be
Most importantly, the testimonies of dela Camara and Tan both contradict the physical evidence. As
easily discounted. Dela Camara was the boyfriend of Arugay, while Tan was the boyfriend of Arugays sister,
consistently held:
Baby Jane. As such, they are not wholly neutral or disinterested witnesses. Both of them actually asserted
in open court that they were not willing to say anything derogatory against Arugay. Tan testified as follows:
Time and again, we have upheld the primacy of physical evidence over biased and uncorroborated
Q: Since Jane Arugay is your girlfriend, and Christopher Arugay was your friend, you did not testimony of witnesses. We have held:
like to say anything derogatory against Christopher Arugay, did you?

A: Yes, maam. Physical evidence is a mute but eloquent manifestation of truth, and it ranks high in our hierarchy of
trustworthy evidence. In criminal cases such as murder or rape where the accused stands to lose his
Q: Neither did you want to say anything also derogatory against the family of Christopher liberty if found guilty, this Court has, in many occasions, relied principally upon physical evidence in
Arugay, did you? ascertaining the truth[W]here the physical evidence on record ran counter to the testimonial evidence of
the prosecution witnesses, we ruled that the physical evidence should prevail.[41]
A: Yes, maam.[30]

Similarly, dela Camara testified as follows: It is undisputed that Li had armed himself with a baseball bat as he prepared to face Arugay. It also
appears that the baseball bat remained at the scene of the fight, as the same weapon was used to strike Li
Q: As the girlfriend of Christopher Arugay, you did not say anything derogatory [about] the said
on the head after he lay injured.[42] In order to sustain the claim of Tan and dela Camara that Li had stabbed
Christopher Arugay, am I correct? Arugay, we would have to postulate that Li was armed with both a knife and a baseball bat. This scenario
A: Yes, maam. is severely flawed.

Q: You do not like to besmirch his memory, am I correct? First. Tan and dela Camara would have us believe that Li faced off Arugay with a baseball bat, then
after having struck Arugay, he ran off to his home to get a knife, returned to the melee, then stabbed
A: Yes, maam. Arugay.[43] This projected sequence is simply incredulous. Li was already armed with a weapon that could
incapacitate or kill. He had already struck a blow that apparently forced the victim down. There is no logical
Q: So that if Christopher Arugay assaulted Kingstone Li on April 19, 1993, you did not like this, reason for Li to suddenly run off to get a knife, considering he already had a weapon capable of inflicting
do you know that, did you Ms. Dela Camara. damage and was at an advantageous position vis--vis the prostrate Arugay.
A: Yes, maam.[31] There is of course the possibility that Li was already carrying the knife when he emerged with the
baseball bat, but that was not established by the prosecution. Moreover, the scenario of Li brandishing a
The revelations serve caution against accepting the testimonies of Tan and dela Camara as gospel knife with one hand and wielding a bat with the other is highly improbable. It would require unusual
truth. They cast doubt as to whether these witnesses would be capable to attest to an unbiased narration physical dexterity for a person to wield both weapons simultaneously and still utilize them with adequate
of facts, especially if by doing so, they would be forced to impute culpability on Arugay, thereby staining proficiency. Nor is it likely that Li concealed the knife in his clothing. According to Tan, Li was only wearing
the sainted memory of their deceased friend. briefs when he attacked Arugay with the baseball bat.[44]
Moreover, the respective testimonies of dela Camara and Tan are inconsistent with each other with Second. The pathological findings likewise cast severe doubt on the possibility that Li had stabbed
respect to material points. Dela Camara claimed that she and Tan together assisted Arugay after the latter Arugay. The trial court concluded that only one knife was used in killing Arugay, and probably only one
had been struck down with the baseball bat.[32] Yet while Tan admitted that he had pulled Arugay away wielder thereof. The RTC decision said:
from the scene of the melee, he made no mention of the assistance of dela Camara. [33] In fact, Tan stated
that dela Camara remained inside the house.[34] This assertion contradicts dela Camaras claim that she
was outside the house during the whole time the incident transpired.[35] Nor did Tan advert to the scene The court noted also with particular interest the description of the four wounds as found by Dr. Reyes.
painted by dela Camara of Kristine Li wielding a bolo while pulling on the hair of Arugays girlfriend. That The first wound has been described by Dr. Reyes as 3.0 cm. long, spindle[-]shaped edges, irregular, etc;
is an unusual enough occurrence that would stick to the mind of anybody who would witness such. the No. 2 wound has also been described as 4.0 cm. long, spindle[-] shaped, edges irregular, etc.; No. 3

Page 3 of 31
wound is 1.5 cm. long, spindle-shaped, edges, irregular, etc.; and the fourth wound is 1.5 cm. long, the contusion on his head. More importantly though, the injuries were serious enough to incapacitate Li
spindle shaped edges irregular; at the scene, calling into question his ability to inflict the fatal blows on Arugay. As Dr. Solis testified:

A: [I] noticed in this particular case that there are incise[d] wound[s] on the right hand and right
Thus there are two (2) outstanding characteristics of the four (4) stab wounds sustained by Christopher shoulder. These are injuries brought about, as I said, brought about by [a] sharp edged
Arugay. All of them are spindle[-]shaped and irregular in their edges. This is significant because it would instrument. This I presumed to have been brought about by the inherent self defensive
appear to the court that only one weapon was used because all the characteristics of the four wounds (sic) mechanism of the victim. In so far as the injury on the head is concerned, it must be
were the same. Thus, to the mind of the court there is only one person who inflicted these wounds, not a hit, now, I am referring to the incise wound on the head, incise[d] wound on the head
two (2) or three (3). It could be possible that there were two who inflicted the stab wound[s] if the weapon will also cause pressure on the skull thereby producing some effect on the brain, this has
used was given to another after using the same and the other one to whom it was transferred used it been aggravated by a blunt instrument applied on the left side of his neck and joining as
also. But in this case there is no showing that such incident did happen.[45] together the two injuries the incise[d] wounds and that of contusion which is brought
about by blunt instrument it might have cause[d] him some degree of loss of
It must be qualified that Dr. Reyes, the NBI Medico-Legal, refused to definitively conclude that only consciousness.
one knife was used in stabbing Arugay though he conceded that such was possible.[46] Nevertheless, the
Q: Would that person have been able to stab somebody one time, two times, three times or four
fact that Arugay sustained the same kind of stab wounds tends to support the conclusion that only one
times after sustaining those injuries?
knife was used on him.
A: In that condition he has no complete power to perform volitional acts because he must have
Third. Dela Camara testified that she saw both Li and Sangalang stab Arugay. Considering that there
lost partially or totally his consciousness primarily the hit on the left side of the head
was only one knife used, her version would hold water only if we were to assume that the same knife passed
because the brain is a vital organ and slight jarring will cause los[s] of consciousness and
from the hands of Li to Sangalang or that they held identical or similar knives. As the RTC ruled, nothing
what we call in ordinary parlance, you saw shooting stars as a consequence.
of the sort was established. The more logical assumption would be that there was only one stabber using
one knife. The question now arises, was it Li or Sangalang who stabbed Arugay? Q: Aside from los[s] of consciousness, would that person who sustained that injury have been
able to walk without the assistance of anybody?
There is the dubious claim of Tan and dela Camara that they did see Li stab Arugay once. Assuming
this were true, this blow would not have been the fatal stab wound, as it did not prevent Arugay from A: In all [likelihood], he might have lost I said of his volitional movement, he [may be] able to
further participating in the rumble and, as subsequently established, inflicting damaging blows on walk but as I have observe[d] it must be with assistance more particularly in this case
Li. However, the physical evidence belies any conclusion that Li inflicted any of the several fatal wounds whereby the incise wound on the head is measured 12 cm., the head is a bloody organ in
on Arugay. a way that if a person is erect, blood will flow on that area and it might cause even
modification of his visual perception.[49]
Dr. Pedro P. Solis, the medico-legal consultant of Makati Medical Center who also happens to be one
of the countrys leading experts in Legal Medicine[47], examined Lis injuries on the same day of the incident, Li was slashed on the head with a bolo, causing a twelve centimeter (12 cm.)-wound, among other
and subsequently testified on his findings. He concluded that Li suffered three types of wounds on his wounds. In such a condition, it is highly improbable that he was capable of inflicting the fatal stab wounds
body. The first type consisted of abrasions, consistent with forcible contact accompanied by a hard on Arugay. Moreover, it could not be established that Li was ever armed with a knife. Difficult as it is
object. The two other types of injuries were considerably more serious: incised wounds and a contusion. already to believe that the wounded Li could have stabbed Arugay several times, the incredulity is
As found by the RTC: compounded by imagining that Li would have also groped around for a knife, dazed and severely wounded
as he was.Simply put, Li could not have stabbed Arugay. The assertions to the contrary of Tan and dela
According to (sic) Dr. Pedro Solis, who examined the accused at the Makati Medical Center on the very Camara are inherently flawed.
night after the incident and (sic) found the following injuries on Kingstone Li, to wit:
Fourth. In all, the factual determination made by the RTC is wholly believable up to a point. There
were four participants in the brawl, namely Li, Sangalang, Arugay and Tan. The first blow was struck by
1. xxx Li, who had armed himself with a baseball bat and used the same to hit Arugay on the left upper arm. This
unprovoked assault by Li establishes at least some degree of criminal culpability on his part. Arugay then
2. Wound, incised, 12 cm., scalp, fronto-parietal area, right, 9 cm., right; 9 cm. posterior armed himself with a bolo which he used to inflict an incised wound on the head of Li. After Li had fallen,
aspect, shoulder, right; 1.5 cm., postero-medial aspect, distal third, forearm, right. Sangalang, himself armed with a knife, fatally stabbed Arugay at least four times. Tan had picked up the
baseball bat dropped by the wounded Li and struck Li on the head with the bat. These findings are
consistent with the physical evidence, reliance on which should be given greater primacy over the unreliable
3. Contusion, 4 x 5 cm., scalp, parieto-occipital area (post suricular) left. eyewitness testimony of Tan and dela Camara.

Thus, Sangalang alone had stabbed Christopher Arugay. Yet the RTC still found Li guilty on the
From the expert testimony and opinion of Dr. Pedro Solis, the injuries suffered by Kingstone Li were tenuous determination that a conspiracy between Li and Sangalang existed. The RTC held:
defense wounds, and that there were two (2) weapons used in inflicting injuries on Kingstone Li. One is a
sharp edge[d] instrument such as a bolo and the other one is [a] blunt instrument.[48]
From the evidence presented, the court believes and it so holds that there was conspiracy.
The physical evidence of Lis injuries are consistent with his version that Arugay had hacked him, and
as he struggled to recover from the blow, he was struck with his own baseball bat by Tan, thus explaining

Page 4 of 31
It must be pointed out that Kingstone Li and Eduardo Sangalang were then in the same house at the-moment reaction by Sangalang upon seeing that his friend Li was struck on the head by Arugay. From
the same time. Eduardo Sangalang is the boyfriend of the half-sister of Kingtone Li. such a spontaneous reaction, a finding of conspiracy cannot arise.[61]

Moreover, it appears that the fight involved two distinct phases. The first phase commenced when Li,
The act of Kingstone Li [in] getting a baseball bat and using it as a weapon and the act of Eduardo without sufficient provocation, assaulted Arugay with the baseball bat. Lis participation in this phase,
Sangalang alias Eddie Boy in arming himself with a sharp pointed weapon and both going out to albeit as a solitary actor, was indubitably established.Sangalangs participation, much less his physical
meet Christopher Arugay whose only sin is to point to the accused his scandalous and indecent presence during this phase, was not established at all. In the second phase, Sangalang was the main
act in bathing nude not in the bathroom but in a place which is crowded by people who can see actor. Li was incapacitated by then. Clearly, the existence of conspiracy should be ruled out.
him especially the ladies and is provocative to others are patent and conclusive presumption of
conspiracy for their acts were concerted and so close to each other that there is no way but to After Arugay had been struck down, it appears that there would have been a lapse of at least a few
conclude a conspiracy.[50] (Emphasis not ours) minutes, affording him time to procure the bolo. The second phase in the brawl then commenced. No
further blows appear to have been inflicted by Li. On the other hand, Li himself became the victim of the
hack wounds on the head inflicted by Arugay. As Li lay incapacitated, possibly unconscious, it remained
Proving conspiracy is a dicey matter, especially difficult in cases such as the present wherein the
highly doubtful whether he had any further participation in the brawl. At that point, Sangalang, whose
criminal acts arose spontaneously, as opposed to instances wherein the participants would have the
previous participation was not conclusively established, emerged into the fray. Sangalang stabbed Arugay
opportunity to orchestrate a more deliberate plan. Spontaneity alone does not preclude the establishment
to death. Verily, it cannot be assumed that Sangalang did what he did with the knowledge or assent of Li,
of conspiracy, which after all, can be consummated in a moments notice through a single word of assent
much more in coordination with each other.
to a proposal or an unambiguous handshake. Yet it is more difficult to presume conspiracy in
extemporaneous outbursts of violence; hence, the demand that it be established by positive evidence. A The scenario as established by the RTC still leaves many open-ended questions and admits to a
conviction premised on a finding of conspiracy must be founded on facts, not on mere inferences and myriad of possibilities. This very uncertainty indicates that Lis liability as a conspirator was not established
presumption.[51] beyond reasonable doubt. The general principle in criminal law is that all doubts should be resolved in
favor of the accused. Consequently, when confronted with variant though equally plausible versions of
It is worth noting that while conspiracy was alleged in the Information against Li, the prosecution
events, the version that is in accord with the acquittal or the least liability of the accused should be favored.
devoted its efforts to prove that Li had actually inflicted the stab wounds on Sangalang, tagging him as a
direct participant in the crime. Thus, there seems to be no evidence that would directly establish the fact The only injury attributable to Li is the contusion on the victims right arm that resulted from Li
that Li and Sangalang had come into an agreement to commit a common felony. Any conclusion that there striking Arugay with a baseball bat. In view of the victims supervening death from injuries which cannot
was a conspiracy will have to be drawn inferentially, as the RTC did. be attributed to Li beyond reasonable doubt, the effects of the contusion caused by Li are not mortal or at
least lie entirely in the realm of speculation. When there is no evidence of actual incapacity of the offended
It is not necessary to prove a previous agreement to commit a crime if there is proof that the
party for labor or of the required medical attendance, the offense is only slight physical injuries, penalized
malefactors have acted in concert and in pursuance of the common objectives. Direct proof is not essential
as follows:
to show conspiracy since it is by its nature often planned in utmost secrecy and it can seldom be proved
by direct evidence.[52] Conspiracy may be inferred from the acts of the accused themselves when such point
to a joint purpose and design.[53] Complicity may be determined by concert of action at the moment of Art. 266. Slight physical injuries and maltreatment. The crime of slight physical injuries shall be
consummating the crime and the form and manner in which assistance is rendered to the person inflicting punished:
the fatal wound.[54]

However, caution dictates a careful examination of the established facts before concluding, as the .
RTC did, that an implied conspiracy had been established. An implied conspiracy must still be based on
facts established by positive and conclusive evidence.[55]Even if conspiracy per se is not criminal, as it rarely 2. By aresto menor or a fine not exceeding 200 pesos and censure when the offender has caused physical
is in this jurisdiction,[56] the weight of factual evidence necessary to prove conspiracy is the same as injuries which do not prevent the offended party from engaging in his habitual work nor require medical
required to establish criminal liability proof beyond reasonable doubt.[57] Suppositions based on mere attendance;[62]
presumptions and not on solid facts do not constitute proof beyond reasonable doubt.[58]

The RTCs conclusion that there was a conspiracy was drawn from these circumstances, namely: that The duration of the penalty of arresto menor is from one day to thirty days.[63] The felony of slight
Li and Sangalang were in the same house at the same time; and that they both armed themselves before physical injuries is necessarily included in the homicide charge. Since the Information against Li states that
going out to meet Arugay. The fact that they were in the same house at the same time is not in itself among the means employed to commit the felonious act was the use of the baseball bat, conviction on the
sufficient to establish conspiracy. Conspiracy transcends companionship,[59] and mere presence at the lesser offense of slight physical injuries is proper. There being no aggravating or mitigating circumstances
scene of the crime does not in itself amount to conspiracy.[60] established, the imposition of the penalty in its medium period is warranted.[64] Li was convicted by the
RTC on January 5, 1994. Having long served more than the imposable penalty, Li is entitled to immediate
The other circumstance that Li and Sangalang had emerged from Lis house, both armed, to face release unless, of course, he is being lawfully detained for another cause.
Arugay has to be weighed against other facts also relied upon by the RTC. As the RTC held, Sangalang
stabbed Arugay only after petitioner had become unconscious. Before that point, even as Li struck Arugay What transpired during the dawn hours of 19 April 1993 was an artless, spontaneous street fight
with a baseball bat, it was not proven that Li had asked for, or received, any assistance from Sangalang. devoid of any methodical plan for consummation. It arose not because of any long-standing grudge or an
Based on these circumstances, the Court is hard put to conclude that Sangalang and Li had acted in appreciable vindication of honor, but because the actors were too quick to offense and impervious to reason.
concert to commit the offense. In fact, the stabbing of Arugay could very well be construed as a spur-of- Yet, however senseless this lethal imbroglio is, a judicious examination of the circumstances must be made
to avoid leaps into hyperbole. Careful scrutiny of the evidence reveals that the criminal culpability of

Page 5 of 31
Kingstone Li in the death of Christopher Arugay was not established beyond reasonable willing victim, the acts of rape were preceded by several acts of lasciviousness on distinctly separate
doubt. Unfortunately, the person who is responsible for the death apparently remains at large. Yet absent occasions. The accused is also a most unlikely rapist. He is a member of Congress. Inspite of his having
any clear showing of conspiracy, as in this case, Kingstone Li cannot answer for the crime of Eduardo been charged and convicted by the trial court for statutory rape, his constituents liked him so much that
Sangalang. they knowingly re-elected him to his congressional office, the duties of which he could not perform.

WHEREFORE, the Decision of the Court of Appeals is MODIFIED. Petitioner Kingstone Li is Statutory rape committed by a distinguished Congressman on an eleven (11) year old commercial sex
ACQUITTED of the charge of Homicide for lack of evidence beyond reasonable doubt. However, he is found worker is bound to attract widespread media and public attention. In the words of accused-appellant, he
GUILTY of the crime of SLIGHT PHYSICAL INJURIES, as defined and punished by Article 266 of the Revised has been demonized in the press most unfairly, his image transmogrified into that of a dastardly, ogre, out
Penal Code, and accordingly sentenced to suffer the penalty of arresto menor in the medium period of ten to get his slimy hands on innocent and nave girls to satiate his lustful desires.[4] This Court, therefore,
(10) to twenty (20) days. Considering that petitioner has been incarcerated well-beyond the period of the punctiliously considered accused-appellants claim that he suffered invidiously discriminatory
penalty herein imposed, the Director of the Bureau of Prisons is ordered to cause petitioners IMMEDIATE treatment. Regarding the above allegation, the Court has ascertained that the extensive publicity generated
RELEASE, unless petitioner is being lawfully held for another cause, and to INFORM this Court, within five by the case did not result in a mistrial; the records show that the accused had ample and free opportunity
(5) days from receipt of this Decision, of the compliance with such order. to adduce his defenses.

SO ORDERED. This is an appeal from the decision[5] of the Regional Trial Court of Makati, Branch 62, in Criminal
Case Nos. 96-1985 and 96-1986, convicting accused-appellant Romeo Jalosjos of two (2) counts of
statutory rape, and in Criminal Case Nos. 96-1987, 96-1988, 96-1989, 96-1990, 96-1992, and 96-1993,
for six (6) counts of acts of lasciviousness defined and penalized under Article 336 of the Revised Penal
Code, in relation to Section 5(b) of Republic Act No. 7610, also known as the Child Abuse Law.

There were six (6) other cases, Criminal Case Nos. 96-1991, 96-1994, 96-1995, 96-1996, 96-1997,
and 96-1998, where the accused-appellant was acquitted of the charges of acts of lasciviousness for failure
of the prosecution to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

On December 16, 1996, two (2) informations for the crime of statutory rape; and twelve (12) for acts
of lasciviousness defined and penalized under Article 336 of the Revised Penal Code, in relation to Section
5(b) of Republic Act No. 7610, were filed against accused-appellant. The accusatory portion of said
informations for the crime of statutory rape state:

In Criminal Case No. 96-1985:

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs., ROMEO G. JALOSJOS, accused-appellant. The undersigned, upon prior sworn complaint by the offended party, eleven (11) year old minor ROSILYN
DELANTAR, accuses ROMEO JALOSJOS of the crime of RAPE defined and penalized under Art. 335 (3) of
DECISION the Revised Penal Code, committed as follows:

YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.:
That on or about June 18, 1996 at Room No.1702, Ritz Towers, Makati City, and within the jurisdiction
of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and
This Court has declared that the state policy on the heinous offense of rape is clear and feloniously have carnal knowledge with (sic) eleven year old minor Rosilyn Delantar against her will, with
unmistakable. Under certain circumstances, some of them present in this case, the offender may be damage and prejudice.
sentenced to a long period of confinement, or he may suffer death. The crime is an assault on human
dignity. No legal system worthy of the name can afford to ignore the traumatic consequences for the
CONTRARY TO LAW.[6]
unfortunate victim and grievous injury to the peace and good order of the community.[1]

Rape is particularly odious, one which figuratively scrapes the bottom of the barrel of moral depravity, In Criminal Case No. 96-1986:
when committed against a minor.[2]

In view of the intrinsic nature of the crime of rape where only two persons are usually involved, the The undersigned, upon prior sworn complaint by the offended party, eleven (11) year old minor ROSILYN
testimony of the complainant is always scrutinized with extreme caution.[3] DELANTAR, accuses ROMEO JALOSJOS of the crime of RAPE defined and penalized under Art. 335 (3) of
the Revised Penal Code, committed as follows:
In the present case, there are certain particulars which impelled the court to devote an even more
painstaking and meticulous examination of the facts on record and a similarly conscientious evaluation of
the arguments of the parties. The victim of rape in this case is a minor below twelve (12) years of age. As That on or about June 20, 1996 at Room No. 1702, Ritz Towers, Makati City, and within the jurisdiction
narrated by her, the details of the rape are mesmerically sordid and repulsive. The victim was peddled for of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and
commercial sex by her own guardian whom she treated as a foster father. Because the complainant was a feloniously have carnal knowledge with (sic) eleven year old minor Rosilyn Delantar against her will, with
damage and prejudice.
Page 6 of 31
CONTRARY TO LAW.[7] cupped Rosilyns left breast. Thereafter, accused-appellant assured them that he would help Rosilyn
become an actress as he was one of the producers of the TV programs, Valiente and Eat Bulaga.
For acts of lasciviousness, the informations[8] under which accused-appellant was convicted were Simplicio and Suarez then discussed the execution of a contract for Rosilyns movie career. Accused-
identical except for the different dates of commission on June 14, 1996; June 15, 1996; June 16, 1996; appellant, on the other hand, said that he would adopt Rosilyn and that the latter would have to live with
June 20, 1996; June 21, 1996; and June 22, 1996, to wit: him in his condominium at the Ritz Towers. Before Simplicio and Rosilyn went home, accused-appellant
gave Rosilyn P2,000.00.
The undersigned, upon prior sworn complaint by the offended party, eleven (11)-year old minor ROSILYN
The second time Rosilyn met accused-appellant was at his condominium unit, located at Room 1702,
DELANTAR accuses ROMEO JALOSJOS of the crime of ACTS OF LASCIVIOUSNESS in relation to Section
Ritz Towers, Makati City. Accused-appellant and Simplicio discussed the contract and his plan to finance
5 (b), Article III of Republic Act No. 7610, otherwise known as the Special Protection of Children against
Rosilyns studies. Accused-appellant gave Simplicio P500.00, thereafter, Rosilyn, Shandro and Simplicio
Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act, committed as follows:
left.

That in the evening of June 14, 1996, or thereabout, in Room No. 1702, Ritz Towers, Makati City, Metro- The third meeting between Rosilyn and accused-appellant was also at Ritz Towers to discuss her
Manila and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, with lewd design, acting career. Accused-appellant referred the preparation of Rosilyns contract to his lawyer, who was also
did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously kiss, caress and fondle said complainant's face, present. After the meeting, Simplicio and Rosilyn left. As they were walking towards the elevator, accused-
lips, neck, breasts, whole body, and vagina, suck her nipples and insert his finger and then his tongue appellant approached them and gave Rosilyn P3,000.00.
into her vagina, place himself on top of her, then insert his penis in between her thighs until ejaculation,
and other similar lascivious conduct against her will, to her damage and prejudice. On June 14, 1996, at about 8:30 to 9:00 p.m., Simplicio and Rosilyn returned to accused-appellants
condominium unit at Ritz Towers. When accused-appellant came out of his bedroom, Simplicio told Rosilyn
to go inside the bedroom, while he and accused-appellant stayed outside. After a while, accused-appellant
CONTRARY TO LAW. entered the bedroom and found Rosilyn watching television. He walked towards Rosilyn and kissed her on
the lips, then left the room again. Simplicio came in and bid her goodbye. Rosilyn told Simplicio that
In Criminal Cases Nos. 96-1988; 96-1990; and 96-1993, there were added averments that on the accused-appellant kissed her to which Simplicio replied, Halik lang naman.
different dates, the accused gave the complainant P10,000.00, P5,000.00 and P5,000.00 respectively. Rosilyn was left alone in the bedroom watching television. After some time, accused-appellant came
Upon arraignment on January 29, 1997, accused-appellant refused to enter a plea. Hence, the trial in and entered the bathroom. He came out clad in a long white T-shirt on which was printed the
court entered a plea of not guilty for him. At the trial, the prosecution presented eight (8) main witnesses word, Dakak. In his hand was a plain white T-shirt. Accused-appellant told Rosilyn that he wanted to
and seven (7) rebuttal witnesses as well as documentary evidences marked as Exhibits A to EEEE, inclusive change her clothes. Rosilyn protested and told accused-appellant that she can do it herself, but accused-
of submarkings. The defense, on the other hand presented twenty-six (26) witnesses. Its documentary appellant answered, Daddy mo naman ako. Accused-appellant then took off Rosilyns blouse and
evidence consists of Exhibits 1 to 153, inclusive of submarkings. The records of the case are extremely skirt. When he was about to take off her panties, Rosilyn said, Huwag po. Again, accused-appellant told
voluminous. her, After all, I am your Daddy. Accused-appellant then removed her panties and dressed her with the long
white T-shirt.
The Peoples version of the facts, culled mainly from the testimony of the victim, are as follows:
The two of them watched television in bed. After sometime, accused-appellant turned off the lamp
Maria Rosilyn Delantar was a slim, eleven-year old lass with long, straight black hair and almond- and the television. He turned to Rosilyn and kissed her lips. He then raised her shirt, touched her breasts
shaped black eyes. She grew up in a two-storey apartment in Pasay City under the care of Simplicio and inserted his finger into her vagina. Rosilyn felt pain and cried out, Tama na po.Accused-appellant
Delantar, whom she treated as her own father. Simplicio was a fifty-six year old homosexual whose stopped. He continued to kiss her lips and fondle her breasts. Later, accused-appellant told Rosilyn to
ostensible source of income was selling longganiza and tocino and accepting boarders at his house. On the sleep.
side, he was also engaged in the skin trade as a pimp.
The following morning, Rosilyn was awakened by accused-appellant whom she found bent over and
Rosilyn never got to see her mother, though she had known a younger brother, Shandro, who was kissing her. He told her to get up, took her hand and led her to the bathroom. He removed Rosilyns shirt
also under the care of Simplicio. At a very young age of 5, fair and smooth-complexioned Rosilyn was and gave her a bath. While accused-appellant rubbed soap all over Rosilyns body, he caressed her breasts
exposed by Simplicio to his illicit activities. She and her brother would tag along with Simplicio whenever and inserted his finger into her vagina. After that, he rinsed her body, dried her with a towel and applied
he delivered prostitutes to his clients. When she turned 9, Rosilyn was offered by Simplicio as a prostitute lotion on her arms and legs. Then, he dried her hair and told her to dress up. Rosilyn put on her clothes
to an Arabian national known as Mr. Hammond. Thus begun her ordeal as one of the girls sold by Simplicio and went out of the bathroom, while accused-appellant took a shower.
for sexual favors.
Accused-appellant ate breakfast while Rosilyn stayed in the bedroom watching television. When
Rosilyn first met accused-appellant, Romeo Jalosjos, sometime in February 1996 at his office located accused-appellant entered the room, he knelt in front of her, removed her panties and placed her legs on
near Robinsons Galleria. Rosilyn and Simplicio were brought there and introduced by a talent manager by his shoulders. Then, he placed his tongue on her vagina. Thereafter, he gave Rosilyn P10,000.00 and told
the name of Eduardo Suarez. Accused-appellant promised to help Rosilyn become an actress. When he his housemaid to take her shopping at Shoemart. When she returned to the Ritz Towers, Simplicio was
saw Rosilyn, accused-appellant asked how old she was. Simplicio answered, 10. She is going to be 11 on waiting for her. The two of them went home. Rosilyn narrated to Simplicio what accused-appellant did to
May 11. Accused-appellant inquired if Rosilyn knows how to sing. Simplicio told Rosilyn to sing, so she her, and pleaded for him not to bring her back to the Ritz Towers. Simplicio told her that everything was
sang the song, Tell Me You Love Me. Accused-appellant then asked if Rosilyn has nice legs and then raised alright as long as accused-appellant does not have sexual intercourse with her.
her skirt up to the mid-thighs. He asked if she was already menstruating, and Simplicio said yes. Accused-
appellant further inquired if Rosilyn already had breasts. When nobody answered, accused-appellant

Page 7 of 31
That same evening, at around 9:00 to 9:30 in the evening, Simplicio again brought Rosilyn to the Ritz The next morning, accused-appellant bathed her again. While he soaped her body, he fondled her
Towers. After Simplicio left, accused-appellant removed Rosilyns clothes and dressed her with the same breasts and inserted his finger in her vagina. Rosilyn felt pain and shoved his hand away. After bathing
long T-shirt. They watched television for a while, then accused-appellant sat beside Rosilyn and kissed her her, accused-appellant had breakfast. Before he left, he gave Rosilyn P5,000.00. As soon as Simplicio
on the lips. He made Rosilyn lie down, lifted her shirt above her breasts, and inserted his finger into her arrived, Rosilyn gave her the money and then they left for school.
vagina. Then, accused-appellant removed his own clothes, placed his penis between Rosilyns thighs and
made thrusting motions until he ejaculated on her thighs. Thereafter, accused-appellant kissed her and On July 20, 1996, Simplicio again brought Rosilyn to the Ritz Towers. Accused-appellant was waiting
told her to sleep. in his bedroom. He took off Rosilyns clothes, including her panties, and dressed her with a long T-shirt
similar to what he was wearing. After watching television, accused-appellant kissed Rosilyn on the lips,
The next day, June 16, 1996, accused-appellant roused her from sleep and bathed her. Again, he inserted his tongue in her mouth and fondled her breasts. Then, he made Rosilyn lie on the bed, spread
rubbed soap all over her body, washed her hair, and thereafter rinsed her body and dried her hair. While her legs apart and placed a pillow under her back. He inserted his finger in her vagina and mounted himself
accused-appellant was bathing Rosilyn, he asked her to fondle his penis while he caressed her breasts and between her legs with his hands rested on her sides.After that, he lifted his shirt, then pointed and pressed
inserted his finger into her vagina. After their shower, accused-appellant ate breakfast. He gave Rosilyn his penis against her vagina. Accused-appellant made thrusting motions, which caused Rosilyn
P5,000.00 and told her to just wait for Simplicio in the condominium unit. On their way home, Simplicio pain. Thereafter, accused-appellant told her to sleep.
told Rosilyn that if accused-appellant tries to insert his penis into her vagina, she should refuse.
In the early morning of July 21, 1996, Rosilyn felt somebody touching her sex organ, but she did not
At around 8:00 p.m. of June 18, 1996, Simplicio brought Rosilyn to the Ritz Towers. They found wake up. When she woke up later, she found P5,000.00 on the table, and she gave this to Simplicio when
accused-appellant sitting on the bed in his bedroom. Simplicio told Rosilyn to approach accused-appellant, he came to fetch her.
then he left. Accused-appellant took off Rosilyns clothes and dressed her with a long T-shirt on which was
printed a picture of accused-appellant and a woman, with the caption, Cong. Jalosjos with his Toy. They On August 15, 1996, Rosilyn and Simplicio went to the Ritz Towers at around 7:00 p.m. Accused-
watched television for a while, then accused-appellant lay beside Rosilyn and kissed her on the lips. He appellant was about to leave, so he told them to come back later that evening. The two did not return.
raised her shirt and parted her legs. He positioned himself between the spread legs of Rosilyn, took off his
The following day, Rosilyn ran away from home with the help of Yamie Estreta, one of their
own shirt, held his penis, and poked and pressed the same against Rosilyns vagina. This caused Rosilyn
boarders. Yamie accompanied Rosilyn to the Pasay City Police, where she executed a sworn statement
pain inside her sex organ. Thereafter, accused-appellant fondled her breasts and told her to sleep.
against Simplicio Delantar. Rosilyn was thereafter taken to the custody of the Department of Social Welfare
When Rosilyn woke up the following morning, June 19, 1996, accused-appellant was no longer and Development (DSWD). The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) conducted an investigation, which
around but she found P5,000.00 on the table. Earlier that morning, she had felt somebody touching her eventually led to the filing of criminal charges against accused-appellant.
private parts but she was still too sleepy to find out who it was. Rosilyn took a bath, then went off to school
On August 23, 1996, Rosilyn was examined by Dr. Emmanuel L. Aranas at Camp Crame. The
with Simplicio, who arrived to fetch her.
examination yielded the following results:
The next encounter of Rosilyn with accused-appellant was on June 21, 1996, at about 9:00 oclock in
the evening in his bedroom at the Ritz Towers. Accused-appellant stripped her naked and again put on her EXTERNAL AND EXTRAGENITAL
the long shirt he wanted her to wear. After watching television for a while, accused-appellant knelt beside
Rosilyn, raised her shirt, caressed her breasts and inserted his finger into her vagina. Then, he clipped his
penis between Rosilyns thighs, and made thrusting motions until he ejaculated. Thereafter, Rosilyn went Fairly developed, fairly nourished and coherent female subject. Breasts are conical with pinkish brown
to sleep. areola and nipples from which no secretions could be pressed out. Abdomen is flat and soft

The next day, June 22, 1996, Rosilyn was awakened by accused-appellant who was kissing her and
GENITAL
fondling her sex organ. She, however, ignored him and went back to sleep. When she woke up, she found
the P5,000.00 which accused-appellant left and gave the same to Simplicio Delantar, when the latter came
to pick her up. There is moderate growth of pubic hair. Labia majora are full, convex and coaptated with the pinkish
brown labia minora presenting in between. On separating the same disclosed an elastic, fleshy type
On June 29, 1996, Rosilyn again went to the Ritz Towers. During that visit, accused-appellant took hymen, with shallow healed laceration at 3 o'clock position and deep healed laceration at 8 o'clock
photographs of Rosilyn. He asked her to pose with her T-shirt pulled down thereby exposing her breasts. He position. External vaginal orifice offers moderate resistance to the introduction of the examining index
also took her photographs with her T-shirt rolled up to the pelvis but without showing her pubis, and finger and the virgin sized vaginal speculum. Vaginal canal is narrow with prominent rugosities. Cervix is
finally, while straddled on a chair facing the backrest, showing her legs. firm and closed.
Before Rosilyn went to sleep, accused-appellant kissed her lips, fondled her breasts and inserted his
finger into her vagina. The following morning, she woke up and found the P5,000.00 left by accused- CONCLUSION:
appellant on the table. She recalled that earlier that morning, she felt somebody caressing her breasts and
sex organ. Subject is in non-virgin state physically.
On July 2, 1996 at 7:00 p.m., Rosilyn and Simplicio returned to the Ritz Towers. Rosilyn had to wait
for accused-appellant, who arrived between 12:00 to 1:00 a.m. He again dressed her with the long white There are no external signs of application of any form of violence.[9]
shirt similar to what he was wearing. While sitting on the bed, accused-appellant kissed her lips and
inserted his tongue into her mouth. He then fondled her breasts and inserted his finger into her vagina,
causing her to cry in pain. Accused-appellant stopped and told her to sleep.

Page 8 of 31
During the trial, accused-appellant raised the defense of denial and alibi. He claimed that it was his WHEREFORE, premises considered, judgment is hereby rendered as follows:
brother, Dominador Jun Jalosjos, whom Rosilyn had met, once at accused-appellants Dakak office and
twice at the Ritz Towers. Accused-appellant insisted that he was in the province on the dates Rosilyn
1. In Criminal Cases Nos. 96-1985 and 96-1986, the prosecution has proven beyond reasonable doubt
claimed to have been sexually abused. He attributed the filing of the charges against him to a small group
the guilt of the accused, ROMEO JALOSJOS y GARCIA, as principal in the two (2) counts of statutory
of blackmailers who wanted to extort money from him, and to his political opponents, particularly Ex-
rape defined and penalized under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code. He is hereby declared
Congressman Artemio Adaza, who are allegedly determined to destroy his political career and boost their
CONVICTED in each of these cases.
personal agenda.

More specifically, accused-appellant claims that on June 16, 1996, he was on the Philippine Airlines 2. Accordingly, he is sentenced to:
(PAL) 9:40 a.m. flight from Manila to Dipolog. He stayed in Dipolog until June 18, 1996. He submitted in
evidence airline ticket no. 10792424,[10] showing that he was on board Flight PR 165; the said flights
passengers manifest,[11] where the name JALOSJOS/RM/MR appears; and photographs showing accused- 2a. suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua in each of these cases.
appellants constituents welcoming his arrival and showing accused-appellant talking with former Mayor
Hermanico Carreon and Fiscal Empainado. 2b. indemnify the victim, MA. ROSILYN DELANTAR, in the amount of FIFTY THOUSAND PESOS
(P50,000.00) as moral damages for each of the cases.
Accused-appellant further alleges that on June 28, 1996, he again took the 9:40 a.m. flight from
Manila to Dipolog City. On the same flight, he met Armando Nocom of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Upon
arrival and after talking to his representatives, he proceeded to his residence known as Barangay House in 3. In Criminal Cases Nos. 96-1987, 96-1988, 96-1989, 96-1990, 96-1992 and 96-1993, the prosecution
Taguinon, Dapitan, near Dakak Beach resort, and spent the night there. has proven beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of the accused, ROMEO JALOSJOS y GARCIA, as principal
in six (6) counts of acts of lasciviousness defined under Article 336 of the Revised Penal Code and
On June 29, 1996, accused-appellant attended the fiesta at Barangay San Pedro. He stayed in the penalized under Section 5 (b) of R.A. 7610 otherwise known as the Child Abuse Law. He is hereby
house of Barangay Captain Mila Yap until 5:30 p.m. Then, together with some friends, he visited the Rizal declared CONVICTED in each of these cases;
Shrine and the Pirate Bar at Dakak Beach Resort. Thereafter, he retired in the Barangay House in Taguilon.

On June 30, 1996, accused-appellant alleges that he attended a city-wide consultation with his 4. Accordingly he is sentenced to:
political leaders at the Blue Room of Dakak, which lasted till the afternoon. In the evening, he went home
and slept in the Barangay House. 4.a. suffer in each of the cases an indeterminate prison term of from eight (8) years, eight (8) months and
On July 1, 1996, he attended the whole day celebration of Dipolog Day. He spent the night in the one (1) day of prision mayor in its medium period, as maximum, to fifteen (15) years, six (6) months and
Barangay House. twenty (20) days of reclusion temporal in its medium period, as maximum;

On July 2, 1996, he attended the inauguration of the reception hall of Dakak Beach Resort. The 4.b. indemnify the victim, MA ROSILYN DELANTAR, in the amount of TWENTY THOUSAND (P20,000.00)
blessing ceremony was officiated by Assistant Parish Priest Adelmo Laput. as moral damages for each of the cases;
On July 3, 1996, he was the guest in the inaguration of the 3 rd Engineering District of Dapitan
City. After the mass, he visited the Jamboree site in Barangay Taguilon, Dapitan City. 5. In Criminal Case Nos. 96-1991, 96-1994, 96-1995, 96-1996, 96-1997 and 96-1998, the prosecution
has failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of the accused, ROMEO JALOSJOS y GARCIA, in
He further contended that after his arrival in Dipolog on June 28, 1996, there was never an instance six (6) counts of acts of lasciviousness. Therefore, on the ground of reasonable doubt, the accused in
when he went to Manila until July 9, 1996, when he attended a conference called by the President of the these cases is hereby ACQUITTED.
Philippines.

Accused-appellant likewise alleged that on July 21, 1996, he took the 5:00 a.m. flight of PAL from SO ORDERED.[12]
Manila to Dumaguete City. From there, he was flown by a private plane to Dipolog, where he stayed until
the President of the Philippines arrived.
Hence, the instant appeal. Accused-appellant contends:
To buttress the theory of the defense, Dominador Jun Jalosjos testified that he was the one, and not
A.
accused-appellant, whom Rosilyn met on three occasions. These occurred once during the first week of
May 1996, at accused-appellants Dakak office where Rosilyn and Simplicio Delantar were introduced to
him by Eduardo Suarez, and twice at the Ritz Towers when he interviewed Rosilyn, and later when Rosilyn THE TRIAL COURT GRIEVOUSLY ERRED IN CONVICTING THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT BASED ON
and Simplicio followed up the proposed entry of Rosilyn into the show business. TESTIMONY OF THE PRIVATE COMPLAINANT, CONSIDERING THE ATTENDANT INDICIA OF
INCONSISTENCIES AND UNTRUTHS.
Dominadors admission of his meetings with Rosilyn on three instances were limited to interviewing
her and assessing her singing and modeling potentials. His testimony made no mention of any sexual
encounter with Rosilyn. B.

After trial, the court rendered the assailed decision, the dispositive portion of which reads:
THE TRIAL COURT GRIEVOUSLY ERRED IN DISREGARDING THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE
CONFLICTING STATEMENTS GIVEN BY THE PRIVATE COMPLAINANT.
Page 9 of 31
C. repeated, is best made by the trial court because of its untrammeled opportunity to observe her demeanor
on the witness stand.
THE TRIAL COURT GRIEVOUSLY ERRED IN DISREGARDING THE SIGNIFICANCE OF PRIVATE On the demeanor and manner of testifying shown by the complainant, the trial court stated:
COMPLAINANTS FAILURE TO IDENTIFY THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

Guided by the foregoing principles, this court found no reason why it should not believe Rosilyn when
D. she claimed she was raped. Testimonies of rape victims especially those who are young and immature
deserve full credence (People v. Liquiran, 228 SCRA 62 (1993) considering that no woman would concoct
THE TRIAL COURT GRIEVOUSLY ERRED IN RULING THAT THE PRIVATE COMPLAINANT WAS A a story of defloration, allow an examination of her private parts and thereafter allow herself to be
MINOR LESS THAN TWELVE YEARS OF AGE WHEN THE CLAIMED INCIDENTS ALLEGEDLY perverted in a public trial if she was not motivated solely by the desire to have the culprit apprehended
TOOK PLACE. and punished. (People v. Buyok, 235 SCRA 622 [1996]).

E. When asked to describe what had been done to her, Rosilyn was able to narrate spontaneously in detail
how she was sexually abused. Her testimony in this regard was firm, candid, clear and straightforward,
and it remained to be so even during the intense and rigid cross-examination made by the defense
THE TRIAL COURT GRIEVOUSLY ERRED IN FINDING THAT RAPE WAS COMMITTED AGAINST counsel.[19]
THE PRIVATE COMPLAINANT.[13]

Accused-appellant next argues that Rosilyns direct and redirect testimonies were rehearsed and
In this jurisdiction, the testimony of the private complainant in rape cases is scrutinized with utmost lacking in candidness. He points to the supposed hesitant and even idiotic answers of Rosilyn on cross and
caution. The constitutional presumption of innocence requires no less than moral certainty beyond any re-cross examinations. He added that she was trained to give answers such as, Ano po?,Parang po, Medyo
scintilla of doubt. This applies with more vigor in rape cases where the evidence for the prosecution must po, and Sa tingin ko po.
stand or fall on its own merits and is not allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the evidence of
the defense. As an inevitable consequence, it is the rape victim herself that is actually put on trial. The Accused-appellants arguments are far from persuasive. A reading of the pertinent transcript of
case at bar is no exception. Bent on destroying the veracity of private complainants testimony, the errors stenographic notes reveals that Rosilyn was in fact firm and consistent on the fact of rape and lascivious
assigned by accused-appellant, particularly the first three, are focused on the issue of credibility. conduct committed on her by accused-appellant. She answered in clear, simple and natural words
customary of children of her age. The above phrases quoted by accused-appellant as uttered by Rosilyn
Accused-appellant makes much of his acquittal in Criminal Case Nos. 96-1991, 96-1994, 96-1995, are, as correctly pointed out by the Solicitor General, typical answers of child witnesses like her.
96-1996, 96-1997, and 96-1998, for acts of lasciviousness. According to him, the fact that the trial court
sustained his defense of alibi in the said cases only shows that Rosilyn concocted her stories and the rest At any rate, even assuming that Rosilyn, during her lengthy ordeals on the witness stand, may have
of her testimony ought not to be believed. Stated differently, accused-appellant urges the application of the given some ambiguous answers, they refer merely to minor and peripheral details which do not in any way
doctrine of "falsus in uno falsus in omnibus (false in part, false in everything).[14] detract from her firm and straightforward declaration that she had been molested and subjected to
lascivious conduct by accused-appellant. Moreover, it should be borne in mind that even the most candid
The contention is without merit. Falsus in uno falsus in omnibus is not an absolute rule of law and is witness oftentimes makes mistakes and confused statements. At times, far from eroding the effectiveness
in fact rarely applied in modern jurisprudence.[15] Thus, in People v. Yanson-Dumancas,[16] citing People v. of the evidence, such lapses could, indeed, constitute signs of veracity.[20]
Li Bun Juan,[17] this Court held that:
Then, too, accused-appellant capitalizes on the alleged absence of any allegation of rape in the five
... In this connection it must be borne in mind that the principle falsus in uno falsus in omnibus is not (5) sworn statements executed by Rosilyn as well as in the interviews and case study conducted by the
representatives of the DSWD. In particular, accused-appellant points to the following documents:
an absolute one, and that it is perfectly reasonable to believe the testimony of a witness with respect to
some facts and disbelieve it with respect to other facts. In People vs. Keller, 46 O.G. No. 7, pp. 3222- (1) Sworn statements dated August 22 and 26, 1996, executed before SPO5 Milagros A. Carrasco
3223, the following was quoted with approval by the Court of Appeals from 1 Moore on Facts, p. 23: of the Pasay City Police;

18. Testimony may be partly credited and partly rejected. --- Trier of facts are not bound to believe all that (2) Sworn statements dated September 5, 11, and 19, 1996, executed before NBI Agents Cynthia
any witness has said; they may accept some portions of his testimony and reject other portions, L. Mariano and Supervising NBI Agent Arlis E. Vela;
according to what seems to them, upon other facts and circumstances to be the truth Even when (3) The Initial Interview of Rosilyn by the DSWD dated August 30, 1996;
witnesses are found to have deliberately falsified in some material particulars, the jury are not required to
reject the whole of their uncorroborated testimony, but may credit such portions as they deem worthy of (4) DSWD Final Case Study Report dated January 10, 1997.
belief. (p. 945)[18]
It must be stressed that rape is a technical term, the precise and accurate definition of which could
not have been understood by Rosilyn. Indeed, without the assistance of a lawyer, who could explain to her
Being in the best position to discriminate between the truth and the falsehood, the trial court's the intricacies of rape, she expectedly could not distinguish in her affidavits and consequently disclose with
assignment of values and weight on the testimony of Rosilyn should be given credence. Significantly, it proficient exactitude the act or acts of accused-appellant that under the contemplation of law constitute
should be borne in mind that the issue at hand hinges on credibility, the assessment of which, as oft- the crime of rape. This is especially true in the present case where there was no exhaustive and clear-cut
evidence of full and complete penetration of the victims vagina. It may well be that Rosilyn thought, as any
Page 10 of 31
layman would probably do, that there must be the fullest penetration of the victims vagina to qualify a In the third assigned error, accused-appellant attempts to impress upon this Court that Rosilyn gave
sexual act to rape. the name Congressman Romeo Jalosjos as her abuser only because that was the name given to her by the
person to whom she was introduced. That same name, accused-appellant claims, was merely picked up by
In People v. Campuhan,[21] we ruled that rape is consummated by the slightest penetration of the Rosilyn from the name plate, plaque, and memo pad she saw on accused-appellants office desk. Accused-
female organ, i.e., touching of either labia of the pudendum by the penis. There need not be full and appellant presented his brother, Dominador Jun Jalosjos, in an attempt to cast doubt on his culpability. It
complete penetration of the victims vagina for rape to be consummated. There being no showing that the was Dominador Jun Jalosjos who allegedly met and interviewed Rosilyn at the Dakak office. In
foregoing technicalities of rape was fully explained to Rosilyn on all those occasions that she was advancement of this theory, accused-appellant cites the fact that out of a total of 16 pictures presented to
interviewed by the police, the NBI agents and DSWD social workers, she could not therefore be expected to Rosilyn for identification, she picked up only 4, which depict Dominador Jun Jalosjos. In the same vein,
intelligibly declare that accused-appellants act of pressing his sex organ against her labia without full entry accused-appellant claims that the resulting cartographic sketch from the facial characteristics given by
of the vaginal canal amounted to rape. Rosilyn to the cartographer, resembles the facial appearance of Dominador Jun Jalosjos. Accused-
appellant also points out that Rosilyn failed to give his correct age or state that he has a mole on his lower
In the decision of the trial court, the testimony on one of the rapes is cited plus the courts mention
right jaw.
of the jurisprudence on this issue, to wit:
Contrary to the contentions of accused-appellant, the records reveal that Rosilyn positively and
Q: You said that when Congressman Jalosjos inserted his finger into your vagina, your back was
unhesitatingly identified accused-appellant at the courtroom. Such identification during the trial cannot
rested on a pillow and your legs were spread wide apart, what else did he do?
be diminished by the fact that in her sworn statement, Rosilyn referred to accused-appellant as her abuser
A: He lifted his shirt, and held his penis; and again idinikit-dikit niya ang ari niya sa ari based on the name she heard from the person to whom she was introduced and on the name she saw and
ko. (underscoring supplied) read in accused-appellants office. Verily, a persons identity does not depend solely on his name, but also
on his physical features. Thus, a victim of a crime can still identify the culprit even without knowing his
Q: And, after doing that: Idinikit-dikit niya yong ari niya sa ari ko; what else did he do? name. Similarly, the Court, in People v. Vasquez,[24] ruled that:

A: After that, Itinutok niya po yong ari niya at idiniin-diin niya ang ari niya sa ari ko. (underscoring
supplied) It matters little that the eyewitness initially recognized accused-appellant only by face [the witness] acted
like any ordinary person in making inquiries to find out the name that matched [appellants]
(pp. 23, 25 to 30, TSN, 16 April 1997) face. Significantly, in open court, he unequivocally identified accused-appellant as their assailant.

It is well-entrenched in this jurisdiction that rape can be committed even without full penetration of the Even in the case of People v. Timon,[25] relied upon by accused-appellant to discredit his identification,
male organ into the vagina of the woman. It is enough that there be proof of the entrance of the male this Court said that even assuming that the out-of-court identification of accused-appellant was defective,
organ within the labia of the pudendum of the female organ. (People vs. Mangalino, 182 SCRA 329; their subsequent identification in court cured any flaw that may have initially attended it.
People vs. Tismo, 204 SCRA 535; People vs. Bacani, 181 SCRA 393). Penetration of the penis by entry
into the lips of the female organ suffices to warrant a conviction. (People vs. Galimba, G.R. No. 111563- In light of the foregoing, Rosilyns failure to identify accused-appellant out of the 16 pictures shown
64, February 20, 1996 citing People vs. Abonada, 169 SCRA 530).Hence, with the testimony of Rosilyn to her does not foreclose the credibility of her unqualified identification of accused-appellant in open
that the accused pressed against (idiniin) and pointed to (itinutok) Rosilyns vagina his sexual organ on court. The same holds true with the subject cartographic sketch which, incidentally, resembles accused-
two (2) occasions, two (2) acts of rape were consummated.[22] appellant. As noted by the trial court, accused-appellant and his brother Dominador Jalosjos have a
striking similarity in facial features. Naturally, if the sketch looks like Dominador, it logically follows that
the same drawing would definitely look like accused-appellant.
Moreover, it must be borne in mind that Rosilyns purpose in executing the affidavits on August 22
and 26, 1996 before the Pasay City Police was to charge Simplicio Delantar, not accused-appellant. As Likewise, Rosilyns failure to correctly approximate the age of accused-appellant and to state that he
aptly pointed out by the trial court, it is preposterous to expect Rosilyn to make an exhaustive narration of has a mole on the lower right jaw, cannot affect the veracity of accused-appellants identification. At a young
the sexual abuse of accused-appellant when he was not the object of the said complaint. age, Rosilyn cannot be expected to give the accurate age of a 56 year-old person.As to accused-appellants
mole, the Solicitor General is correct in contending that said mole is not so distinctive as to capture Rosilyns
Additionally, Rosilyns statements, given to the NBI on September 11 and 19, 1996, concerned mainly attention and memory. When she was asked to give additional information about accused-appellant,
the identification of pictures. There was thus no occasion for her to narrate the details of her sexual Rosilyn described him as having a prominent belly. This, to our mind, is indeed a more distinguishing
encounter with accused-appellant. feature that would naturally catch the attention of an eleven year-old child like Rosilyn.
As to the interviews and studies conducted by the DSWD, suffice it to state that said meetings with In his fifth assigned error, accused-appellant insists that the words idinikit, itinutok, and idiniin-
Rosilyn were specially focused on the emotional and psychological repercussions of the sexual abuse on diin, which Rosilyn used to describe what accused-appellant did to her vagina with his genitals, do not
Rosilyn, and had nothing to do with the legal actions being prepared as a consequence thereof. Thus, the constitute consummated rape. In addition, the defense argued that Rosilyn did not actually see accused-
documents pertaining to said interviews and studies cannot be relied upon to reveal every minute aspect appellants penis in the supposed sexual contact. In fact, they stressed that Rosilyn declared that accused-
of the sexual molestations complained of. appellants semen spilled in her thighs and not in her sex organ.
At any rate, the inconsistencies between the affidavits and Rosilyns testimony, if at all they existed, Moreover, in his Reply Brief, accused-appellant, citing People v. Campuhan, argued that, assuming
cannot diminish the probative value of Rosilyns declarations on the witness stand. The consistent ruling that his penis touched or brushed Rosilyns external genitals, the same is not enough to establish the crime
of this Court is that, if there is an inconsistency between the affidavit of a witness and her testimonies of rape.
given in open court, the latter commands greater weight than the former.[23]

Page 11 of 31
True, in People v. Campuhan,[26] we explained that the phrase, the mere touching of the external Q. And while he was holding his penis; what did he do?
genitalia by the penis capable of consummating the sexual act is sufficient to constitute carnal knowledge,
means that the act of touching should be understood here as inherently part of the entry of the penis into A. He pressed it in my vagina.
the labia of the female organ and not mere touching alone of the mons pubis or the pudendum. We further
ATTY. FERNANDEZ:
elucidated that:
May we request that the vernacular be used?
The pudendum or vulva is the collective term for the female genital organs that are visible in the perineal
area, e.g., mons pubis, labia majora, labia minora, the hymen, the clitoris, the vaginal orifice, etc. The A. Tapos po, idinikit-dikit po niya yong ari niya sa ari ko.
mons pubis is the rounded eminence that becomes hairy after puberty, and is instantly visible within the PROS. ZUNO:
surface. The next layer is the labia majora or the outer lips of the female organ composed of the outer
convex surface and the inner surface. The skin of the outer convex surface is covered with hair follicles May I respectfully move that the word: idinikit-dikit niya ang ari niya sa ari ko, be incorporated?
and is pigmented, while the inner surface is a thin skin which does not have any hairs but has many
sebaceous glands. Directly beneath the labia majora is the labia minora. Jurisprudence dictates that the Q. And while he was doing that; according to you, idinikit-dikit niya ang ari niya sa ari mo; what did
labia majora must be entered for rape to be consummated, and not merely for the penis to stroke the you feel?
surface of the female organ. Thus, a grazing of the surface of the female organ or touching the mons
pubis of the pudendum is not sufficient to constitute consummated rape. Absent any showing of the A. I was afraid and then, I cried.
slightest penetration of the female organ, i.e., touching of either labia of the pudendum by the penis, Q. Will you tell the Court why you felt afraid and why you cried?
there can be no consummated rape; at most, it can only be attempted rape, if not acts of
lasciviousness.[27] A. Because I was afraid he might insert his penis into my vagina.

Q. And, for how long did Congressman Jalosjos perform that act, which according to you, idinikit-dikit
In the present case, there is sufficient proof to establish that the acts of accused-appellant went
niya yong ari niya sa ari ko?
beyond strafing of the citadel of passion or shelling of the castle of orgasmic potency, as depicted in
the Campuhan case, and progressed into bombardment of the drawbridge [which] is invasion COURT:
enough,[28] there being, in a manner of speaking, a conquest of the fortress of ignition. When the accused-
appellant brutely mounted between Rosilyns wide-spread legs, unfetteredly touching, poking and pressing Place the Tagalog words, into the records.
his penis against her vagina, which in her position would then be naturally wide open and ready for
copulation, it would require no fertile imagination to belie the hypocrisy claimed by accused-appellant that A. Sandali lang po yon.
his penis or that of someone who looked like him, would under the circumstances merely touch or brush
Q. What part of your vagina, or ari was being touched by the ari or penis?
the external genital of Rosilyn. The inevitable contact between accused-appellants penis, and at the very
least, the labia of the pudendum of Rosilyn, was confirmed when she felt pain inside her vagina when xxxxxxxxx
the idiniin part of accused appellants sex ritual was performed.
Q. You said that you felt I withdraw that question. How did you know that Congressman Jalosjos was
The incident on June 18, 1996 was described by Rosilyn as follows: doing, idinikit-dikit niya yung ari niya sa ari ko?
PROS. ZUNO: A. Because I could feel it, sir.
Q. And, after kissing your lips; after kissing you in your lips, what else did he do? Q. Now, you said you could feel it. What part of the vagina in what part of your vagina was
Congressman Jalosjos, according to you, idinikit-dikit niya yong ari niya sa ari mo?
A. After that, he was lifting my shirt.
A. In front of my vagina, sir.
Q. Now, while he was lifting your shirt, what was your position; will you tell the court?
Q. In front of your vagina? O.K.; will you tell the Court the position?
A. I was lying, sir.
Will you describe the position of Congressman Jalosjos when he was doing that. Idinikit-dikit niya sa
Q. Lying on what?
ari ko?
A. On the bed, sir.
A. Ide-demonstrate ko po ba?
Q. And, after lifting your shirt, what else did he do?
FISCAL ZUNO:
A. He spread my legs sir.
Q. Can you demonstrate?
Q. And, after spreading your legs apart; what did he do?
xxxxxxxxx
A. After that, he lifted his shirt and held his penis.
A. He was holding me like this with his one hand; and was holding his penis while his other hand, or
his free hand was on the bed.
Page 12 of 31
xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx

PROS. ZUNO: PROS. ZUNO:

Now, according to you, you dont know how to say it; or what was done to you. Now, will you tell the Q. And then, after that, what else did he do
Court how can you describe what was done to you?
A. After that, he touched my breast, sir.
A. After he dinikit-dikit niya yong ari niya sa ari ko; itinutok naman niya ito.
Q. And, after touching your breast, what did he do?
Q. O.K. you said itinutok niya ito; what else did he do?
A. And after that I felt that he was (witness demonstrating to the court, with her index finger, rubbing
PROS. ZUNO: against her open left palm)

She is now trying to describe. Q. And after doing that, what else did he do?

COURT: A. After that, he instructed me to go to sleep.

Translate. xxxxxxxxx

A. He seems to be parang idinidiin po niya. A. I put down my clothes and then, I cried myself to sleep, sir.

Q. Now, what did you feel, when according to you; as I would quote: parang idinidiin niya? Q. Why did you cry? Will you tell the court, why did you cried after putting down your clothes?

A. Masakit po. A. Because I felt pity for myself.

Q. And, just to make it clear in Tagalog: Ano itong idinidiin niya? (Naaawa po ako sa sarili ko.)

COURT: x x x x x x x x x.

Q. Sabi mo itinutok. Nakita mo bang itinutok? (Emphasis supplied.)[29]

A. I saw him na nakaganuon po sa ano niya. Even the July 20, 1996 encounter between Rosilyn and accused-appellant would not tax the sketchy
visualization of the nave and uninitiated to conclude that there was indeed penile invasion by accused-
PROS. ZUNO: appellant of Rosilyns labia. On that occasion, accused-appellant was similarly ensconced between the
parted legs of Rosilyn, except that, this time, Rosilyn was conveniently rested on, and elevated with a pillow
Q. O.K., clarify. You said nakaganuon siya what do you mean by nakaganuon siya?
on her back while accused-appellant was touching, poking and pressing his penis against her
A. He was holding his penis, and then, that was the one which he itinutok sa ari ko. vagina. Topped with the thrusting motions employed by accused-appellant, the resulting pain felt by
Rosilyn in her sex organ was no doubt a consequence of consummated rape.
PROS. ZUNO:
The pertinent portions of Rosilyns account of the July 20, 1996 incident is as follows:
Q. And, when you said idinidiin po niya; to which you are referring? What is this idinidiin niya?
PROS. ZUNO:
A. Idinidiin niya ang ari niya sa ari ko.
xxxxxxxxx
Q. And what did you feel when you said: he was idinidiin niya ang ari niya sa ari ko?
Q. The moment when Cong. Jalosjos inserted his finger into your vagina, what was your position?
A. Masakit po.
INTERPRETER:
COURT:
The witness is asking he (sic) she has to demonstrate?
The answer is masakit po.
FISCAL ZUNO:
Proceed.
Q. Ipaliwanag mo lang?
PROS. ZUNO:
A. My back was rested on a pillow and my legs were spread apart.
Q. Where did you feel the pain?
Q. You said that when Congressman Jalosjos inserted his finger into your vagina, your back was
A. Inside my ari po. (Sa loob po ng ari ko.) rested on a pillow and your legs were spread wide apart, what else did he do?

Page 13 of 31
A. He lifted his shirt, and held his penis; and again idinikit-dikit niya ang ari niya sa ari ko. branded as unnatural the testimony of Rosilyn that accused-appellant contented himself with rubbing his
penis clipped between her thighs until he reached orgasm and desisted from fully penetrating her, when
Q. And what did you feel when he was doing that which according to you and I would quote in Rosilyn was then entirely at his disposal.
Tagalog: idinikit-dikit niya yong ari niya sa ari ko?
The defense seems to forget that there is no standard form of behavior when it comes to gratifying
A. I was afraid sir. ones basic sexual instinct. The human sexual perversity is far too intricate for the defense to prescribe
certain forms of conduct. Even the word perverse is not entirely precise, as what may be perverse to one
Q. And, after doing that: idinikit-dikit niya yong ari niya sa ari ko, what else did he do?
may not be to another. Using a child of tender years who could even pass as ones granddaughter, to
A. After that, itinutok niya po yong ari niya at idiniin-diin niya ang ari niya sa ari ko. unleash what others would call downright bestial lust, may be utterly nauseating and repulsive to some,
but may peculiarly be a festive celebration of salacious fantasies to others.For all we know, accused-
Q. You said: Congressman Jalosjos itinutok niya yong ari niya sa ari ko; at idiniin-diin niya yong ari appellant may have found a distinct and complete sexual gratification in such kind of libidinous stunts
niya sa ari ko; Now, while he was doing that act, what was the position of Congressman and maneuvers.
Jalosjos?
Nevertheless, accused-appellant may not have fully and for a longer period penetrated Rosilyn for fear
A. His two (2) hands were on my side and since my legs were spread apart; he was in-between them, of perpetrating his name through a child from the womb of a minor; or because of his previous agreement
and doing an upward and downward movement. with his suking bugaw, Simplicio Delantar, that there would be no penetration, otherwise the latter would
demand a higher price. This may be the reason why Simplicio Delantar gave his mocking fatherly advice to
(Witness demonstrated a pushing, or pumping movement) Rosilyn that it is bad if accused-appellant inserts his penis into her sex organ, while at the same time
ordering her to call him if accused-appellant would penetrate her. Such instance of penile invasion would
Q. For how long did Congressman Jalosjos perform that act, pushing or pumping movement while his prompt Simplicio to demand a higher price, which is, after all, as the Solicitor General calls it, the
penis, or ang ari niya ay nakatutok at idinidiin-diin yong ari niya sa ari mo? peculiarity of prostitution.
A. I dont know. The defense contends that the testimony of Rosilyn that accused-appellant ejaculated on her thighs
Q. And what did you feel when Congressman Jalosjos was making that movement, pushing, or and not in her vagina, only proves that there was no rape. It should be noted that this portion of Rosilyns
pumping? testimony refers to the June 15 and 21, 1996 charges of acts of lasciviousness, and not the rape charges. In
any event, granting that it occurred during the twin instances of rape on June 18 and July 20, 1996, the
A. I felt pain and then I cried. ejaculation on the victims thighs would not preclude the fact of rape.

Q. Where did you feel the pain? There is no truth to the contention of the defense that Rosilyn did not see the penis of accused-
appellant. As can be gleaned from the above-quoted portions of the transcripts, Rosilyn unequivocally
A. Inside my vagina, sir. testified that accused-appellant held his penis then poked her vagina with it. And even if she did not
actually see accused-appellants penis go inside her, surely she could have felt whether it was his penis or
x x x x x x x x x.[30] just his finger.
The childs narration of the rape sequence is revealing. The act of idinikit-dikit niya was followed We now come to the issue of whether or not Rosilyn was below twelve (12) years of age at the time the
by itinutok niya xxx at idiniin-diin niya. The idiniin-diin niya was succeeded by Masakit po. Pain inside rape complained of occurred. To bolster the declaration of Rosilyn that she was then eleven years old, the
her ari is indicative of consummated penetration. prosecution presented the following documents:
The environmental circumstances displayed by the graphic narration of what took place at the (1) Rosilyns birth certificate showing her birthday as May 11, 1985;[31]
appellants room from June 14 to June 16 and June 21 to June 22, 1996 are consistent with the
complainants testimony which shows that rape was legally consummated. (2) Rosilyns baptismal certificate showing her birthday as May 11, 1985;[32]
In the case of People v. Campuhan, the victim put up a resistance --- by putting her legs close together (3) Master List of Live Births stating that Ma. Rosilyn Delantar was born on May 11, 1985 to
--- which, although futile, somehow made it inconvenient, if not difficult, for the accused-appellant to Librada Telen as the mother;[33]
attempt penetration. On the other hand, the ease with which accused-appellant herein perpetrated the
sexual abuse, not to mention the absence of time constraint, totally distinguishes the instant case (4) Marked pages of the Cord Dressing Room Book;[34]
from Campuhan. Here, the victim was passive and even submissive to the lecherous acts of accused-
appellant. Thus, even assuming that his penis then was flaccid, his act of holding, guiding and assisting (5) Summary of the Cord Dressing Book, showing her birthday as May 11, 1985 and her parents
his penis with his one hand, while touching, poking and pressing the same against Rosilyn's vagina, would (Librada Telen and Simplicio Delantar) patient file number (39-10-71);[35]
surely result in even the slightest contact between the labia of the pudendum and accused-appellant's sex (6) Record of admission showing her parents patient number (39-10-71) and confinement at the
organ. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital from May 5-14, 1985.[36]
Considering that Rosilyn is a self-confessed sex worker, and the circumstances of the alleged sexual It is settled that in cases of statutory rape, the age of the victim may be proved by the presentation of
assault at bar, the defense argued that it is highly improbable and contrary to human experience that her birth certificate. In the case at bar, accused-appellant contends that the birth certificate of Rosilyn
accused-appellant exercised a Spartan-like discipline and restrained himself from fully consummating the should not have been considered by the trial court because said birth certificate has already been ordered
sexual act when there was in fact no reason for him not to do so. In the same light, the defense likewise cancelled and expunged from the records by the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 38, in Special

Page 14 of 31
Proceedings No. 97-81893, dated April 11, 1997.[37] However, it appears that the said decision has been Hence, under the above-cited P.D. 651, as amended, in connection with Rule 30, Section 44, of the
annulled and set aside by the Court of Appeals on June 10, 1999, in CA-G.R. SP No. 45289. The decision Rules of Court, it is clear that the Cord Dressing Room Book where the fact of birth, name of the mother
of the Court of Appeals was appealed to this Court by petition for review, docketed as G.R. No. and other related entries are initially recorded, as well as the Master List of Live Births of the hospital, are
140305. Pending the final outcome of that case, the decision of the Court of Appeals is presumed valid and considered entries in official record, being indispensable to and appropriate modes of recording the births
can be invoked as prima facie basis for holding that Rosilyn was indeed eleven years old at the time she of children preparatory to registration of said entries with the local civil registrar, in compliance with a duty
was abused by accused-appellant. specifically mandated by law.

However, even assuming the absence of a valid birth certificate, there is sufficient and ample proof of It matters not that the person presented to testify on these hospital records was not the person who
the complainants age in the records. actually made those entries way back in 1985, but Amelita Avenante, the records custodian of the hospital
in 1995. To reiterate, these records may be proved by the presentation of the record itself or by a certified
Rosilyns Baptismal Certificate can likewise serve as proof of her age. In People v. Liban,[38] we ruled copy or the legal keeper thereof. Proof of the unavailability of the person who made those entries is not a
that the birth certificate, or in lieu thereof, any other documentary evidence that can help establish the age requisite for their admissibility. What is important is that the entries testified to by Avenante were gathered
of the victim, such as the baptismal certificate, school records, and documents of similar nature, can be from the records of the hospital which were accomplished in compliance with a duty specifically mandated
presented. by law.
And even assuming ex gratia argumenti that the birth and baptismal certificates of Rosilyn are Therefore, the Cord Dressing Room Book and the Master List of Live Births of the hospital are
inadmissible to prove her age, the Master List of Live Births and the Cord Dressing Book of Dr. Jose Fabella admissible as evidence of the facts stated therein.
Memorial Hospital where Rosilyn was born are sufficient evidence to prove that her date of birth was May
11, 1985. These documents are considered entries in official records, admissible as prima facie evidence of The preparation of these hospital documents preceded that of the birth and baptismal certificates of
their contents and corroborative of Rosilyns testimony as to her age. Rosilyn. They establish independent and material facts prepared by unbiased and disinterested persons
under environmental circumstances apart from those that may have attended the preparation of the birth
Thus, Rule 130, Section 44, of the Rules of Court states: and baptismal certificates. Hence, these hospital records, to reiterate, are sufficient to support the
testimony of Rosilyn as to her age.
Entries in official records. --- Entries in official records made in the performance of his duty by a public
Consequently, the testimony of Simplicio Delantar that the entries in the birth certificate of Rosilyn
officer of the Philippines, or by a person in the performance of a duty especially enjoined by law,
are false and that he merely made them up, particularly her date of birth, was correctly disregarded by the
are prima facie evidence of the facts therein stated.
trial court. It should be noted that the criminal charges for child abuse filed by Rosilyn against him was
the direct cause of his incarceration. This raises a possibility that Simplicio falsely testified in the present
In Africa v. Caltex, et al., (Phil), Inc., et al.,[39] the Court laid down the requisites for the application of case, to get even with Rosilyn.
the foregoing rule, thus:
Likewise, the trial court correctly disregarded the testimonies of Gloria Binay and Angelito Intruzo
(a) That the entry was made by a public officer, or by another person specially enjoined by law because the defense failed to prove that they were knowledgeable as to the circumstances of Rosilyns
to do so; birth. Their testimonies consist mainly of observations tending to show that Rosilyns appearance belie her
claim that she was born on May 11, 1985.
(b) That it was made by the public officer in the performance of his duties or by such other
person in the performance of a duty specially enjoined by law; and In the four instances of acts of lasciviousness allegedly committed on June 29, June 30, July 2, and
July 3, 1996 (Criminal Cases Nos. 96-1994, 96-1995, 96-1996, and 96-1997, respectively), the trial court
(c) That the public office or the other person had sufficient knowledge of the facts by him stated, acquitted accused-appellant on the ground of reasonable doubt as the defense was able to prove that
which must have been acquired by him personally or through official information. accused-appellant was not in Manila but either in Dipolog or Dapitan City at the time the lascivious acts
were supposedly committed. The evidence of the defense established that accused-appellant flew to Dipolog
In order for a book to classify as an official register and admissible in evidence, it is not necessary
on June 28, 1996, and stayed there until July 9, 1996.
that it be required by an express statute to be kept, nor that the nature of the office should render the book
indispensable; it is sufficient that it be directed by the proper authority to be kept.Thus, official registers, In Criminal Cases Nos. 96-1991 and 96-1998, for two counts of acts of lasciviousness allegedly
though not required by law, kept as convenient and appropriate modes of discharging official duties, are committed both in the early mornings of June 19 and July 21, 1996, Rosilyn merely testified that she felt
admissible.[40] somebody touching her private part but failed to identify the person who was performing those lecherous
acts as she was too sleepy to wake up. Hence, accused-appellant was likewise acquitted in these cases on
Entries in public or official books or records may be proved by the production of the books or records
the ground of reasonable doubt.
themselves or by a copy certified by the legal keeper thereof.[41] It is not necessary to show that the person
making the entry is unavailable by reason of death, absence, etc., in order that the entry may be admissible With respect, however, to the acts of lasciviousness committed in the morning of June 15 and 22,
in evidence, for his being excused from appearing in court in order that public business be not deranged, 1996, and in the evening of June 14, 15, 18, and 21, 1996, as well as the rape perpetrated on June 18,
is one of the reasons for this exception to the hearsay rule.[42] 1996 and July 20, 1996, accused-appellant failed to account for his whereabouts. A careful review of the
pertinent transcript of stenographic notes reveals that accused-appellant did not give any testimony as to
Corollary thereto, Presidential Decree No. 651, as amended by P.D. No. 766,[43] mandates hospitals to
where he was at the time these crimes were committed. Clearly, therefore, the trial court correctly
report and register with the local civil registrar the fact of birth, among others, of babies born under their
disregarded his unsubstantiated defense of denial, which cannot prevail over his positive identification by
care. Said Decree imposes a penalty of a fine of not less that P500.00 nor more than P1,000.00 or
Rosilyn as the culprit.
imprisonment of not less than three (3) months nor more than six (6) months, or both, in the discretion of
the court, in case of failure to make the necessary report to the local civil registrar.
Page 15 of 31
As regards the charge of acts of lasciviousness committed in the morning of June 16, 1996, accused- gratify the sexual desire of any person, bestiality, masturbation, lascivious exhibition of the genitals or
appellant claimed that it was impossible for him to have committed the same because he flew to Dipolog pubic area of a person.
on that day. The records disclose, however, that accused-appellants flight was at 9:40 a.m. The possibility,
therefore, of accused-appellants having performed the lascivious acts on the victim before he went off to
In the case at bar, accused-appellants acts of kissing Rosilyn on the lips, fondling her breast, inserting
the airport is not at all precluded. For his failure to prove the physical impossibility of his presence at the
his finger into her vagina and placing his penis between her thighs, all constitute lascivious conduct
Ritz Towers in the morning of June 16, 1996, when the sexual abuse of Rosilyn was committed, his defense
intended to arouse or gratify his sexual desire. Hence, the trial court correctly convicted accused-appellant
of alibi must fail.
of violation of Section 5 (b) of R.A. 7610, or the Child Abuse Law, in Criminal Cases Nos. 96-1987, 96-
Article III, Section 5 of Republic Act No. 7610, states: 1988, 96-1989, 96-1990, 96-1992, and 96-1993, charging him with the above-described lascivious acts.

The penalty for violation of Section 5 (b) of R.A. 7610, or the Child Abuse Law, where the victim is
Child Prostitution and other Sexual Abuse. --- Children, whether male or female, who for money or profit, below 12 years of age, is reclusion temporal in its medium period.
or any other consideration or due to the coercion or influence of any adult, syndicate or group, indulge in
sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct are deemed to be children exploited in prostitution and other The records show that on at least nine (9) separate occasions, the accused-appellant inserted his
sexual abuse. finger into the complainants vagina. These insertions took place in 1996. A year later, Congress enacted
Republic Act No. 8353, the Anti-Rape law of 1997. It does not apply to this case but it indicates state policy
on rape. The Revised Penal Code is now amended to read as follows:
The penalty of reclusion temporal in its medium period to reclusion perpetua shall be imposed upon the
following:
Article 266-A. Rape; When and How Committed. Rape is committed

xxx xxx xxx


1. By a man who have carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following circumstances:

(b) Those who commit the act of sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct with a child exploited in
prostitution or subjected to other sexual abuse; Provided, That when the victim is under twelve (12) years a) Through force, threat or intimidation;
of age, the perpetrators shall be prosecuted under Article 335, paragraphs 3, for rape and Article 336 of
Act No. 3815, as amended, the Revised Penal Code, for rape or lascivious conduct, as the case may b) When the offended party is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious;
be: Provided, That the penalty for lascivious conduct when the victim is under twelve (12) years of age
shall be reclusion temporal in its medium period; x x x . (Emphasis supplied.)
c) By means of fraudulent machination or grave abuse of authority; and

In People v. Optana,[44] the Court, citing the case of People v. Larin,[45] explained the elements of the
offense of violation of Section 5 (b) of R.A. 7610, or the Child Abuse Law, as follows: 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.

1. The accused commits the act of sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct.


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 persons mouth or anal orifice or any instrument
2. The said act is performed with a child exploited in prostitution or subjected other sexual abuse. or object, into the genital or anal orifice of another person. (Emphasis supplied.)

3. The child, whether male or female, is below 18 years of age. Indicative of the continuing state policy towards rape, the Anti-Rape Law of 1997 now classifies the
crime as an offense against persons. Any public prosecutor, not necessarily the victim or her parents, can
A child is deemed exploited in prostitution or subjected to other sexual abuse, when the child indulges in prosecute the case.
sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct (a) for money, profit, or any other consideration; or (b) under the
The penalties for the crime of rape in the light of various circumstances, which are now set forth and
coercion or influence of any adult, syndicate or group. Under RA 7610, children are persons below
contained in Article 266-B of the Revised Penal Code, have also been increased.
eighteen years of age or those unable to fully take care of themselves or protect themselves from abuse,
neglect, cruelty, exploitation or discrimination because of their age or mental disability or condition. Considering that there are neither mitigating nor aggravating circumstance, the trial court correctly
imposed on accused-appellant the maximum penalty of fifteen (15) years, six (6) months and twenty (20)
Lascivious conduct is defined under Article XIII, Section 32 of the Implementing Rules and Regulation days of reclusion temporal, which is within the medium period of reclusion temporal medium, pursuant to
of R.A. 7610, as follows: our ruling in Dulla v. Court of Appeals.[46] Notwithstanding that R.A. 7610 is a special law, accused-
appellant may enjoy a minimum term of the indeterminate sentence to be taken within the range of the
penalty next lower to that prescribed by the Code.[47]However, the trial court erroneously fixed the minimum
[T]he intentional touching, either directly or through clothing, of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner term of the indeterminate sentence at eight (8) years, eight (8) months and one (1) day of prision mayor in
thigh, or buttocks, or the introduction of any object into the genitalia, anus or mouth, of any person, its medium period. In the aforesaid case of Dulla,[48] we held that the penalty next lower in degree
whether of the same or opposite sex, with an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade, or arouse or to reclusion temporal medium is reclusion temporal minimum, the range of which is from twelve (12) years
and one (1) day to fourteen (14) years and eight (8) months. Hence, for violation of Article III, Section 5 (b)
Page 16 of 31
of R.A. 7610, accused-appellant shall suffer the indeterminate sentence of twelve years (12) and one (1) day beyond reasonable doubt of acts of lasciviousness in six counts, is AFFIRMED with MODIFICATIONS. As
of reclusion temporal, as minimum, to fifteen (15) years, six (6) months and twenty (20) days of reclusion modified, accused-appellant is sentenced to suffer, for each count of acts of lasciviousness, the
temporal as maximum. indeterminate penalty of twelve years (12) and one (1) day of reclusion temporal, as minimum, to fifteen (15)
years, six (6) months and twenty (20) days of reclusion temporal as maximum. Further, accused-appellant
At the time of commission of the crimes complained of herein in 1996, statutory rape was penalized is ordered to pay the victim, Ma. Rosilyn Delantar, the additional amount of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity
under Section 11 of R.A. 7659, which amended Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, to wit: for each count of statutory rape and acts of lasciviousness. Finally, the award of moral damages for each
count of acts of lasciviousness is increased to P50,000.00.
When and how rape is committed. --- Rape is committed by having carnal knowledge of a woman under
SO ORDERED
any of the following circumstances:

1. By using force or intimidation; PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. RENE SIAO, accused-appellant.

2. When the woman is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious; and DECISION

3. When the woman is under twelve years of age or is demented. GONZAGA_REYES, J.:

The crime of rape shall be punished by reclusion perpetua. xxx. Accused-appellant Rene Siao together with Reylan Gimena were charged before the Regional Trial Court
of the City of Cebu with the crime of rape committed as follows:

In statutory rape, mere sexual congress with a woman below twelve years of age consummates the
crime of statutory rape regardless of her consent to the act or lack of it. The law presumes that a woman "xxx xxx xxx:
of tender age does not possess discernment and is incapable of giving intelligent consent to the sexual
act. Thus, it was held that carnal knowledge of a child below twelve years old even if she is engaged in That on or about the 27th day of May, 1994, about 3:00 P.M., in the City of Cebu,
prostitution is still considered statutory rape. The application of force and intimidation or the deprivation Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused,
of reason of the victim becomes irrelevant. The absence of struggle or outcry of the victim or even her conniving and confederating together and mutually helping each other, with deliberate
passive submission to the sexual act will not mitigate nor absolve the accused from liability.[49] intent and with force and intimidation upon person, did then and there willfully,
unlawfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge with the undersigned, Estrella
In the case at bar, the prosecution established beyond reasonable doubt that accused-appellant had
Raymundo, a minor, 14 years old, against the latters will."[1]
carnal knowledge of Rosilyn. Moreover, the prosecution successfully proved that Rosilyn was only eleven
years of age at the time she was sexually abused. As such, the absence of proof of any struggle, or for that
matter of consent or passive submission to the sexual advances of accused-appellant, was of no Accused-appellant Rene Siao and Reylan Gimena pleaded "not guilty" to the charge. Hence, trial
moment. The fact that accused-appellant had sexual congress with eleven year-old Rosilyn is sufficient to proceeded in due course. After trial, the Regional Trial Court of the City of Cebu convicted accused-
hold him liable for statutory rape, and sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. appellant Rene Siao of the crime of rape as principal by induction and acquitted Reylan Gimena. The
dispositive portion of the decision rendered on March 29, 1996 reads:
As to accused-appellant's civil liability, the amount of moral damages awarded by the trial court for
each count of acts of lasciviousness under Section 5 (b) of R.A. 7610 should be increased from P20,000.00
to P50,000.00.[50] On the other hand, the award of the amount of P50,000.00 as moral damages for each "WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing, judgment is hereby rendered finding
count of statutory rape was correct. accused Rene Siao GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt as principal by induction in the
crime of rape committed against the person of Ester Raymundo and imposes upon him
In People v. Lor,[51] citing the cases of People v. Victor,[52] and People v. Gementiza,[53] we held that the the penalty of RECLUSION PERPETUA. He is, likewise, directed to indemnify private
indemnity authorized by our criminal law as civil indemnity ex delicto for the offended party, in the amount complainant Ester Raymundo the sum of P50,000.00 as and for moral damages.
authorized by the prevailing judicial policy and aside from other proven actual damages, is itself equivalent
to actual or compensatory damages in civil law. Said civil indemnity is mandatory upon finding of the fact
Accused Reylan Gimena is hereby ACQUITTED because he acted under the impulse of
of rape; it is distinct from and should not be denominated as moral damages which are based on different uncontrollable fear of an equal, if not greater injury.
jural foundations and assessed by the court in the exercise of sound judicial discretion.[54] Hence, accused-
appellant should be ordered to pay the offended party another P50,000.00 as civil indemnity for each count
of rape and acts of lasciviousness. For want of evidence, his cross-claim against Rene Siao should be, as it is hereby
ordered, DISMISSED."[2]
WHEREFORE, the Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Makati, Branch 62, in Criminal Case Nos.
96-1985 and 96-1986 finding accused-appellant Romeo Jalosjos guilty beyond reasonable doubt of two
counts of statutory rape, and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua for each count, is Hence, this appeal by Rene Siao.
AFFIRMED. Likewise, the appealed Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Makati, Branch 62 in Criminal
Case Nos. 96-1987, 96-1988, 96-1989, 96-1990, 96-1992, and 96-1993, finding accused-appellant guilty The Office of the Solicitor General[3] summarized the evidence for the prosecution in this wise:

Page 17 of 31
Joy Raymundo and private complainant Estrella Raymundo are cousins. They worked Thereafter, Gimena got on top of Estrella (gisakyan) and did the sexual act (kayatan).
as house maids of appellants family. Reylan Gimena was also a helper of appellants She felt excruciating pain. Gimena made push-and-pull movements for around 10
family. Estrella was then a 14-year old "probinsiyana" from Palompon, Leyte (p. 5, TSN, minutes. Appellant looked on and said, "why did it take you long to penetrate?" While
September 16, 1994). Gimena was making the push-and-pull movements, appellant held the legs of Estrella
to keep them apart (pp. 21-24, TSN, September 20, 1994).
On May 27, 1994, at about 3:00 p.m., in the Siao residence located at 417-A Basak
Brotherhood, Cebu City, appellant ordered Reylan Gimena, a houseboy of the Siaos, to After Gimena had sexual intercourse with Estrella, she sat down. Not long after,
pull Estrella to the room of the women. Gimena dragged her toward the womens appellant said: "You do it again." Gimena said that he could not do it again because he
quarters and once inside, appellant pushed her to the wooden bed (naomog). Appellant was already very tired. But appellant pointed the pistol at Gimenas temple. Gimena
pointed a pistol colored white at Gimena and the face of Estrella (pp. 7-8, TSN, obeyed the order of appellant because the pistol was pointed at him (pp. 25-26, TSN,
September 16, 1994). September 20, 1994). They were made to lay side by side while appellant kept on
pointing the pistol at them. Gimena, who was behind Estrella made a push-and-pull
movements so that his organ would reach her private part (pp. 27-29, TSN, September
Producing a candle and a bottle of sprite, appellant asked Estrella to choose one
20, 1994).
among a pistol, candle or a bottle of sprite. He also told Gimena "Reylan, birahi si
Ester." (Reylan do something to Ester.) Appellant lighted the candle and dropped the
melting candle on her chest (p. 7, TSN, September 20, 1994). Estrella chose a bottle of After the side by side position, they were made to assume the dog position (patuwad).
sprite because she was afraid of the pistol. She was made to lie down on her back on Appellant commanded her to do it but she refused because she was already tired.
the bed with her head hanging over one end. Whereupon, appellant poured sprite into Appellant pointed the pistol at her, so she obeyed his order. Gimena said: "I will not do
her nostrils as she was made to spread her arms. While appellant dropped the bottle of that because I am already tired." At that, appellant pointed the pistol at Gimena. Thus,
sprite into her nostrils, he pointed the gun at her face. Estrella felt dizzy and her Gimena copulated with Estrella in the manner dogs perform the sexual intercourse.
eyesight became blurred (p. 6, TSN, September 20, 1994). She tried to fold her arms to Gimena shouted for help. Somebody knocked on the door and they heard the voice of
cover her breasts but appellant ordered Gimena to hold her hands (p. 10-15, TSN, Teresita Paares, the older sister of appellant. Appellant ignored Paares and kept on
September 16, 1994). pointing the pistol at Estrella and Gimena, as he looked at them with wide-open eyes
(siga) (pp. 30-31, TSN, September 20, 1994). Shortly, appellant told them to go to the
boys room. They complied with his order tearfully, after he followed them laughing all
Appellant then tied her feet and hands with an electric cord or wire as she was made to
the while. Appellant then warned them: "If you will tell the police, I will kill your
lie face down on the bed. After that, appellant untied her hands and feet but tied her
mothers." (pp. 33-34, TSN, September 20, 1994).
back with the same wire (p. 17, TSN, September 16, 1994).

At around 6:00 oclock in the evening of the same day, Estrella and Joy Raymundo
As appellant pointed his pistol at her, he ordered Estrella to remove her pants and T-
sought permission to go home. On their way home, they met an old man who saw
shirt, she sat on the bed and did as she was told and when she was naked, appellant
Estrella crying. The old man took them to his house. After the incident was reported to
commanded her to take the initiative (ikaw ang mauna sa lalaki.) She did not
the police, Senior Police Officer Reynaldo Omaa conducted the investigation and
understand what appellant meant. At this point, appellant poked the gun at her temple
arrested Gimena, who was identified by Esrtrella as the one who raped her on orders of
(pp. 19-20, TSN, September 16, 1994).
appellant. The police officers looked for appellant to shed light on the reported rape.
But they could not locate him (Exhibit "B"; pp. 5-7, TSN, December 13, 1994).[4]
Appellant then commanded Gimena to remove his shorts. But Gimena refused.
Gimena did not remove his shorts but let his penis out (p. 21, TSN, September 1,
Accused-appellant Rene Siao, anchoring his defense mainly on denial, presents a different version of the
1994; p. 11, TSN, September 20, 1994).
case; his story -

Appellant spread the arms of Estrella and made her lie down spread-eagled (pp. 4-5,
"Private complainant Ester or "Estrella" Raymundo, together with her cousin Joy
TSN, September 29, 1994). She felt dizzy and shouted for help twice. Appellant ordered
Raymundo, was employed as a maid by the Siao family on May 9, 1994.
Gimena to rape Estrella. At first Gimena refused to heed the command of appellant to
rape Estrella (birahi) because, according to Gimena, he has a sister. Appellant said
that if they would not obey, he would kill both of them (pp. 4-10, TSN, September 20, In the morning of May 27, 1997, a commotion in the household of Jose Siao awakened
1994. Teresita Paares, a sister of accused-appellant. Ms. Paares learned that accused Reylan
Gimena, one of the houseboys of the Siao family, was accusing private complainant of
stealing his wristwatch. This was not the first time accused Gimena confronted private
Appellant told Gimena, "Reylan, do something (birahi) to Ester!" Estrella was made to
complainant with the loss of his watch. Earlier in the week, Teresita had also lost
suck the penis of Gimena at gunpoint. She complied with the order of appellant and
money in the amount of P1,300.00, while her daughter Jan Bianca Abellana lost a
when the penis of Gimena was inside her mouth, appellant kept looking and pointing
necklace. It would turn out that the other househelpers of the Siaos had likewise lost
his handgun at them (pp. 11-14, TSN, September 20, 1994; pp. 19-20, TSN,
personal articles. Marilyn Resujent, a maid, lost a brand new panty and sleeveless
September 21, 1994).

Page 18 of 31
blouse. Simeon Siroy Jr., a houseboy, lost two T-shirts. Until the employment of the Beatriz gave her consent and even handed them money for boat fare. At about 6:00
Raymundo cousins, the household of the Siaos had not fallen victim to thievery. p.m., both housemaids left the Siao residence, bringing with them all their personal
belongings. An hour later, some people came to the house of Jose Siao looking for
private complainant and her cousin.
At around noontime of the same day, upon his return from his morning chores,
accused Gimena inquired from Ms. Paares whether his watch had been found. When
informed that his watch had not been recovered, he confronted private complainant, At this time, accused-appellant Rene Siao remained unaware of the developments that
who offered to pay for the value of the watch instead. Joy Raymundo agreed to unraveled in the residence of Jose Siao. In the morning of May 24, 1994,[6] accused-
accompany accused Gimena to the house of an aunt (of Joy and private complainant) appellant made his usual rounds ]collecting the obligations of his fathers creditors. At
for financial assistance. An hour later, accused Gimena and Joy Raymundo returned noontime, accused-appellant went directly to the retail store of his father where he had
to the Siao compound and reported to Ms. Paares that the aunt was unable willing (sic) lunch with his wife Gina, as was his habit. This was the usual hour of his fathers
to help. siesta and he would tend to the store in his fathers absence, as was his custom.

In the meantime, private complainant admitted to Ms. Paares that she stole the At about 9:00 p.m. of the same evening, a barangay tanod came to the retail store and
P1,300.00 but denied having taken the necklace. Private complainant initially returned invited accused Gimena to the barangay hall. Jose Siao and Ms. Paares would follow.
the sum of P600.00 to Ms. Paares. When Ms. Paares stated that what she lost was
P1,300.00, private complainant went to her quarters and returned with an additional
At the barangay hall, upon the complaint of a certain Rosalie Sallentes (who claimed to
P200.00. Private complainant explained that she could no longer produce the
be related to the Raymundo cousins), Barangay Captain George Rama asked accused
remaining money because she had already purchased a number of personal effects
Gimena of the whereabouts of Ester and Joy Raymundo. Accused Gimena answered
(pail, basin, pants, shorts) for herself with it.
that he did not know. During the course of the investigation, and under threat by the
Barangay Captain that his head would be broken if he did not tell the truth, accused
A little while after accused Gimena and Joy returned from the house of Joy and Esters Gimena confessed to tying up the private complainant to force her to reveal the place
aunt, accused Gimena and private complainant went to the males quarters. Sometime where his watch was being kept. He untied her after he recovered his watch from
thereafter, accused Gimena emerged from the males quarters and announced the under the ironing board.
recovery of his watch. Private complainant had revealed to accused Gimena the hiding
place of his watch, which was under the ironing board.
The following evening, on May 28, 1994, accused Gimena was picked up by policemen
at the retail store of Jose Siao and brought to the Tabo-an Police Station.
In the afternoon of May 24, 1994,[5] many people were present in the household of Jose
Siao, father of accused-appellant. Ms. Beatriz Baricuatro was in the sala praying the
Neither the police nor the barangay tanod looked for accused-appellant on the evenings
rosary as was were habit. Joy Raymundo was in the kitchen. Ms. Paares was likewise
of May 27 and 28, 1994.
downstairs going about her daily business. The grandchildren of Jose Siao were
running in and out of the house.
Private complainant would file a complaint against accused-appellant and accused
Gimena on June 21, 1994.
At about 3:00 p.m., Ms. Paares left their residence to seek the assistance of the
barangay with respect to the lost necklace of her daughter. (Until this time, private
complainant would not admit to stealing the necklace). Within an hour, Ms. Paares After the case was filed but before trial commenced, a person who presented himself as
returned to the compound accompanied by Barangay Tanod Arturo Jabines. Private the father of private complainant set a meeting with the Siaos. The father of private
complainant was inside the males quarters when the two arrived. Accused had earlier complainant demanded 1 Million Pesos from the Siaos to drop the rape case."[7]
reported for work at the retail store owned by Jose Siao. When Barangay Tanod
Jabinez introduced himself, private complainant immediately begged for his
As stated earlier, the trial court rendered a decision finding accused-appellant Rene Siao guilty of the
forgiveness and promised not to do it again. Barangay Tanod Jabinez instructed the
crime of rape as principal by induction in accordance with Article 17(2) of the Revised Penal Code.[8]
private complainant to address her pleas to her victims and not to him. Before the
barangay tanod, private complainant admitted to stealing the necklace.
Insisting on his innocence, accused-appellant assigns to the trial court the following alleged errors:
Dissatisfied with the piece-meal confession of the private complainant, Ms. Paares
decided to bring her to the barangay hall where she could report the theft. On the way "THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN FINDING ACCUSED-APPELLANT SIAO GUILTY BY
to the barangay hall, private complainant confessed to selling the necklace and begged INDUCEMENT
for forgiveness. At the last minute Ms. Paares relented and decided to give the private
complainant a second chance.
THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN CHARACTERIZING THE INCONSISTENCIES AS MINOR
AND IMMATERIAL
Upon their return to the Siao compound, private complainant and Joy Raymundo
sought permission from Ms. Baricuatro to just return to their home in Leyte. Ms.
Page 19 of 31
THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN GIVING CREDENCE TO THE TESTIMONY OF THE FISCAL BUENVIAJE
PROSECUTION WITNESSES"[9]
Q: Was he successful in penetrating you?
The Court has carefully reviewed the records of this case and has found accused-appellants contentions
to be without merit. Against the victims story, accused-appellant urges us to accept his own version. But
A: Yes.
we cannot do so, for we agree with the trial courts observation that a 14-year old girl from the province,
nave and innocent to the ways of the world, is incapable of concocting serious charges against her
employer and fabricating a story of aberrant sexual behavior as can only be told by one who has been Q: And all the time Rene Siao was holding both of your legs?
subjected to it.
ATTY. SENINING
First, accused-appellants assertion that the failure of the prosecution to present the gun used by him to
force and intimidate Ester Raymundo and Reylan Gimena to perform sexual intercourse is fatal to the
One of the . . .
prosecutions cause is clearly untenable. This Court has held in People vs. Travero, that "[t]he non-
presentation of the weapon used in the commission of the rape is not essential to the conviction of the
accused. It suffices that the testimony of the rape victim is credible because the established rule is that COURT
the sole testimony of the offended party is sufficient to sustain the accuseds conviction if it rings the
truth or is otherwise credible."[10]
Sustained. That is very leading.

As to fact that accused-appellant Rene Siao forced and intimidated at gunpoint Ester Raymundo and
Q: Now, what did you feel when Reylan penetrated you?
Reylan Gimena to have carnal knowledge of each other, we are convinced that the same has been
adequately proved by the prosecutions evidence. Even as under settled jurisprudence, the evidence for
conviction must be clear and convincing to overcome the constitutional presumption of innocence, we A: I felt excruciating pain.
find the straightforward, consistent and candid manner in which Ester Raymundo related her harrowing
experience in the hands of accused-appellant as bearing all the earmarks of verity. Not only that, the FISCAL BUENVIAJE
corroborative testimony of Reylan Gimena was consistent in material respects with that of Ester
Raymundo.
Q: So, what did you do because of that pain?
Ester Raymundo testified as follows:
WITNESS
Q: Now, in your position which you have stated awhile ago, what did Reylan do with
his penis? A: I sat down when it was finished.

COURT Q: How many minutes was Reylan doing the sexual act, the push-and-pull above you?

"If he did anything?" To avoid any leading question. You can ask, "What happened ATTY. FERNANDEZ
next?" "What did he do?" But to ask what did he do with his penis . . .
Your Honor, I would suggest, because there is no testimony to the effect that there was
FISCAL BUENVIAJE a push and pull. There was no establishment, Your Honor, the penetration was
established but whether there was a push and pull after the first penetration. Just for
justice in this matter it must be established by simple questions.
My questions are personal and very . . .

COURT
COURT

Okay, ask simple questions.


You can frame your question by just adding a few words "if he did anything."

FISCAL BUENVIAJE
WITNESS

Q: Did Reylan make a push-and-pull?


A: We did the sexual act (kayatan).
Page 20 of 31
ATTY. SENINING A: Rene Siao kept on looking and said, "Why did it take long to penetrate?

That is leading also. Q: Now, what was the position of both of the hands of Rene Siao?

FISCAL BUENVIAJE COURT INTERPRETER

That is natural, that necessarily follows: Witness demonstrating that Rene Siao held her both legs in order to spread it apart.

COURT FISCAL BUENVIAJE

Let the Court ask the question: I would like to add some comments to the interpretation. According to the witness,
while Reylan Gimena was doing the sexual act, all the time Rene Siao was holding both
her legs. That is precisely the meaning.
Q: What was the body movement of Reylan when he had a sexual intercourse with
you?
Another question.
A: He kept on push . . .
Q: Did Reylan Gimena reach that climax wherein he was like being electrocuted?
COURT
COURT
"He made a push-and-pull movement."
Sustained; she does not even know what is a climax.
ATTY. FERNANDEZ
FISCAL BUENVIAJE
Making pumping action.
Q: Was Gimena able to consummate the act of rape on you?
FISCAL BUENVIAJE
ATTY. SENINING
That is push-and-pull. I object that "pumping." This is not an artesian well.
That is a matter of law and interpretation.
COURT
COURT
You will just Americanize "pumping."
Sustained. Anyway, you have the medical certificate. Next question.
FISCAL BUENVIAJE
FISCAL BUENVIAJE
Q: For how many minutes was Reylan doing the sexual act of push-and-pull?
Q: Now, after that 10 minutes wherein Gimena raped you while Rene Siao was holding
both of your legs, what happened next?
WITNESS

ATTY. SENINING
A: Ten (10) minutes, more or less.

I would just like to correct the word "rape."


Q: Now, while Reylan was doing the push-and-pull for about 10 minutes, what was
Rene Siao doing all the time?
ATTY. FERNANDEZ

Page 21 of 31
I would also . . Reform.

ATTY. SENINING FISCAL BUENVIAJE

I would suggest . . . (not finished) Q: What did Rene Siao do when at first Gimena refused because he was tired?

FISCAL BUENVIAJE A: He pointed the handgun to Reylan Gimena.

"Sexual act." Q: What portion of the body of Gimena was pointed with a gun by Rene Siao?

ATTY. SENINING A: At the left temple.

All right. Q: So, what did Reylan do when Siao pointed the pistol on his temple?

WITNESS A: He obeyed the order because he was afraid of the handgun.

A: Rene Siao then said that "You do it again." FISCAL BUENVIAJE

COURT Q: So, what did Reylan do to you for the second sexual act?

Then continue. ATTY. FERNANDEZ

WTNESS Your Honor, please, I would object, I would rather suggest that the question, "What did
Reylan do after?"
A: Then Reylan Gimena answered that he cannot do it because he is already very tired.
FISCAL BUENVIAJE:
FISCAL BUENVIAJE
After the statement.
Q: Did Rene Siao allow Gimena to take a rest?
COURT
ATTY. SENINING
Sustained. You already assumed that there was a second.
Again, Your Honor, please.
FISCAL BUENVIAJE
COURT
Okay, I will reform.
What is your ground?
Q: What did Reylan Gimena do when Siao pointed his gun on his temple?
ATTY. SENINING
WITNESS
Leading.
A: He obeyed the order because he is pointed with a handgun.
COURT
Q: What position this time?
Page 22 of 31
A: He was made to lie at my side. COURT

Q: As you were now on your side, what did Reylan Gimena do? Q: Were you face-to-face or was he behind you?

A: Reylan Gimena also laid at his side. A: He is behind.

Q: What did Rene Siao do, if any? FISCAL BUENVIAJE

A: He kept on pointing the handgun. Q: And what did he do?

Q: To whom? ATTY. FERNANDEZ

A: Me. I think that has been answered that he made push-and-pull.

FISCAL BUENVIAJE Q: Was he able to penetrate you the second time?

Q: Was Gimena able to successfully penetrate you this second time around? WITNESS

ATTY. SENINING A: Yes, Sir.

May I just request, Your Honor, that the . . . (not finished) Q: For how many minutes, if you still remember, did Gimena do the push-and-pull
action from your behind?
COURT
A: Ten (10) minutes.
Reform.
Q: Was he able to accomplish his act?
FISCAL BUENVIAJE
ATTY. SENINING
Q: You said Gimena also . . . (not finished)
What act?
COURT
FISCAL BUENVIAJE
Just ask, "What happened next?"
Sexual act.
WITNESS
ATTY. SENINING
A: He kept on push-and-pull toward my private part.
Already answered, penetrated.
Q: Where did Gimena position himself in relation to you?
FISCAL BUENVIAJE
COURT INTERPRETER
But there is still climax that is why I am asking.
The witness demonstrated by pointing at her left back.
ATTY. FERNANDEZ
Page 23 of 31
I think I have no objection to the question whether Reylan Gimena ejaculated. A: Reylan made a push-and-pull because I was made by Rene Siao to assume the dog
position (patuwad).
ATTY. SENINING
Q: Was Reylan able to penetrate you this time?
In fact that will be part of my cross-examination.
A: Yes, and I even shouted.
WITNESS
Q: What did you shout?
A: Maybe.
A: "Tabang!" I asked for help "Tabang!" and then there was somebody who knocked.
There was a knock made by my Ate and she asked, "What are you doing there?" And
Q: Now, after that 10 minutes, what happened next?
Rene Siao did not listen.

A: After the 10 minutes he let me assume a dog position (patuwad).


FISCAL BUENVIAJE

FISCAL BUENVIAJE
Q: According to you Rene Siao did not listen. In effect, did he order you and Reylan to
continue the act?
Q: Who ordered you to do the dog position?
WITNESS
A: Rene Siao.
A: Yes, Sir.
Q: What did he do to you?
Q: While Reylan Gimena was doing the sexual act on you, what was Rene Siao doing
A: He told me to do it again but I was already tired and he pointed the handgun to me. all the time?

Q: Did you assume the dog position upon the order of Rene Siao? A: He kept on pointing the handgun and kept on looking with wide eyes (siga).

A: Yes, because I was afraid of the handgun. Q: For about how many minutes was that dog position continued until termination?

Q: And what did Reylan do this time, if any? A: Five (5) minutes.

A: Reylan answered that "I will not do that because I am already very tired." Q: After that, what happened next?

Q: What did Rene Siao do upon hearing the statement of Reylan that he would not A: Then Rene Siao told us to do the act in the room of the boys."[11]
comply?
Corroborating the foregoing, Reylan Gimena testified as follows:
A: He again pointed his handgun.
FISCAL BUENVIAJE
Q: Did Reylan comply wen Rene Siao pointed the gun to him?
Q: After the sucking incident, what happened next?
A: Yes, because he was afraid.
A: The woman was ordered to lie down.
Q: And what did Reylan do to you?
COURT

Page 24 of 31
The Court would like to ask one question. A: He wants the woman to be raped.

Q: When Ester was sucking your penis, did you ejaculate or did you feel warm liquid COURT
coming out of your penis?
Q: I think you have not answered the question of the prosecuting fiscal. If you can still
A: No, Your Honor. recall, what were the words uttered or used by Rene Siao?

Continue, Fiscal. A: He said that he wants me to fuck the woman and he wants it fast.

FISCAL BUENVIAJE Q: And did you lie on top of the woman of Ester?

Q: Now, you said Rene Siao ordered Ester to lie down, did she comply? ATTY. SENINING

A: Yes, because he pointed a firearm to her. Leading.

Q: Where did she lie down? COURT

A: On the bed, sir. Your just reform.

Q: What was the position of Ester as she was lying down? FISCAL BUENVIAJE

A: She was lying face upward. Q: What did you do?

Q: What was the position of her legs? A: I got on top of the woman.

A: Straight, sir. Q: Did you make a push and pull action on the vagina of Ester?

FISCAL BUENVIAJE ATTY. SENINING

Q: Now, as Ester was already lying down straight upon order of Rene Siao, what Leading, Your Honor.
happened then?
FISCAL BUENVIAJE
A: I was told by him to go on top of the woman.
Naturally, it follows. In the interest of justice, Your Honor.
Q: What was the exact word of Rene Siao in ordering you so?
COURT
A: He said go on top of the woman so that you can deflower her.
Let the Court ask the question.
Q: Did you understand what Rene Siao told you?
Q: Were you able to penetrate or not?
A: Yes, sir.
A: I was not able to penetrate yet.
Q: What was your understanding?
FISCAL BUENVIAJE
Page 25 of 31
Q: When you were not able to penetrate Ester, what was the reaction of Rene? (The tape was rewinded and played by the stenographer.)

A: He said, "How is that?" Is it not inserted yet?" And I answered back, "Not yet, Pard, COURT
because it is hard." And he said, "If it is hard we will separate her legs."
What is audible is the use of the word "kuan."
Q: In effect, did Rene fulfill his words of spreading the legs of Ester?
You clarify this point.
ATTY. SENINING
FISCAL BUENVIAJE
Leading, Your Honor, because the word is "we." "We will spread her legs."
We have the prerogative to ask.
COURT
COURT
You just reform.
Never mind. You ask.
Q: What, if anything, did Rene do?
FISCAL BUENVIAJE
FISCAL BUENVIAJE
Please do not refrain us from clarifying.
Q: After uttering those words that we will separate her legs?
COURT
ATTY. FERNANDEZ
Clarify.
No. He answered "bilangkad," Your Honor.
FISCAL BUENVIAJE
COURT
Because we will clarify what is not clarified.
No, Its on tape.
Q: After uttering those words, what did Rene do, if any?
ATTY. FERNANDEZ
A: He held the woman and spread her legs.
After he said "kuan, he said "bilangkad."
Q: At this juncture wherein Rene Siao was already holding the legs of Ester in order to
COURT spread it, were you able to penetrate Ester?

Although you put it on record. No. ATTY. SENINING

COURT INTERPRETER Leading again, Your Honor, please.

Witness motioning as if he was spreading. FISCAL BUENVIAJE

COURT This is cross-examination.

To satisfy Atty. Fernandez. You rewind. COURT


Page 26 of 31
I will allow. A: He told the woman to lie on her side.

FISCAL BUENVIAJE Q: Did Ester comply to lie on her side?

How can we . . . A: Yes, because a firearm was pointed at her.

COURT COURT

Never mind. I will allow. Q: Did you notice if Ester was bleeding?

WITNESS A: No, Your Honor.

A: Yes, that was the time I penetrated. Q: In her vagina?

COURT A: Yes, Your Honor.

Q: So your penis was stiff? FISCAL BUENVIAJE

A: Yes, Your Honor. Q: At that position wherein Ester was lying on her side, what did Rene do?

Q: Did you like what you do? A: He ordered another position.

A: No, Your Honor. Q: Did you comply to fuck Ester in that position as ordered by Rene

Next question. ATTY. SENINING

FISCAL BUENVIAJE There is no basis yet.

Q: Did you ejaculate? COURT

A: Yes, sir. There was no question yet. There was no evidence that he was commanded to have
sexual intercourse.
COURT
ATTY. SENINING
Q: What did you feel when you ejaculated?
He told . . .
A: I do not know because that was my first time, Your Honor, with a woman.
COURT
FISCAL BUENVIAJE
Not yet. He only testified that Ester was made to lie sideways.
Q: You said you were able to penetrate Ester while Rene Siao was holding both of her
thighs, then spreading it, and you said you ejaculated. After that, what happened FISCAL BUENVIAJE
next?
Q: After Ester complied to the order of Rene to lie on her side, what more happened?
Page 27 of 31
A: That was the time that mine penetrated. ATTY. FERNANDEZ

Q: Was that upon order of Rene? Crouching position.

ATTY. SENINING COURT

Leading again, Your Honor. Crouching.

COURT FISCAL BUENVIAJE

Sustained. Q: In effect, did Ester comply to pose in a doggy position?

FISCAL BUENVIAJE A: Yes, because a firearm was pointed to her.

Q: You said you were able to penetrate Ester as she was on her side, is that your own COURT
volition to fuck her on that position?
You just put there parenthesis (gipatuwad).
ATTY. SENINING
FISCAL BUENVIAJE
Leading, Your Honor.
Q: As Ester was in a dog position, did Rene utter anything to you?
FISCAL BUENVIAJE
ATTY. SENINING
That is precisely the consequence.
Hearsay again, Your Honor. Leading, Your Honor.
COURT
COURT
Let the Court ask the question.
You just reform.
Q: Why did you fuck her on that position?
FISCAL BUENVIAJE
A: Because it was the order of Rene, Your Honor.
Q: After Ester assumed that dog position, what did Rene do, if any?
Sometimes it is the way you phrase the question. Okay, continue.
A: He ordered me.
FISCAL BUENVIAJE
Q: What was the order?
Q: After this side position, what happened next?
ATTY. SENINING
A: He ordered the woman to assume the doggy position.
I only request that the DSWD at my back, Your Honor, should not be allowed to coach
COURT the witness. I have no objection . . .

Lets just understand. "Gipatuwad." Lets just assume. COURT


Page 28 of 31
I am warning the representative of the DSWD to leave the interpreter alone. A: Yes, because I was afraid as he kept on pointing his firearm to me.

ATTY. SENINING Q: And you were able to penetrate Ester on that position?

Are you interested in this case? A: Yes, sir.

COURT COURT

Never mind, Compaero. There is a warning already. Q: By the way, at this juncture your penis was still stiff after the third position?

(The last question of Fiscal Buenviaje was interpreted and answered by the witness). ATTY. SENINING

COURT Fourth.

I understand because he is not used to using obscene words. ATTY. FERNANDEZ

FISCAL BUENVIAJE Third, Your Honor.

He is not accustomed. COURT

ATTY. FERNANDEZ Third. The sexual intercourse. Oral sex first. After the third sexual intercourse.

We just would like to manifest that the witness is not familiar in using obscene words. ATTY. FERNANDEZ

COURT Third penetration, Your Honor.

We do not know. The understanding of the court is he is hesitant to use obscene WITNESS
words.
A: Yes, Your Honor.
ATTY. SENINING
COURT
Not because that . . .
Q: Were you afraid at that juncture or point of time?
ATTY. FERNANDEZ
A: I was still afraid, Your Honor, because he kept on pointing his firearm to me.
I would like to manifest that the witness is hesitant to use obscene words.
Q: Did you like what did the third time, that is, penetrating Ester in a doggy position?
FISCAL BUENVIAJE
A: No, Your Honor.
Q: What did you do upon that order of Rene?
Q: But you insist that your penis was still stiff?
A: He ordered me to fuck the woman, sir.
A: Yes, Your Honor.
Q: Did you comply with the order to fuck Ester?
Page 29 of 31
Q: Did you easily penetrate the vagina of Ester? perpetrate a rape even in a small room. Rape can be committed in a house where there are many other
occupants.[19] Third, Ester and Reylan could not be expected to flee or even to attempt to flee under the
circumstances. Undoubtedly, considering that Ester was only fourteen-years old and a newly employed
A: Not so easy, Your Honor."[12]
housemaid, while Reylan Gimena a seventeen-year old houseboy, they were easily intimidated and cowed
into submission by accused-appellant, who aside from being their "amo" or employer, was menacingly
To sum up, Ester Raymundo and Reylan Gimena were forced and intimidated at gunpoint by accused- threatening to kill them or their family with a gun if they did not do as he commanded them to do. Thus,
appellant Rene Siao to have carnal knowledge of each other. Rene Siao called Reylan Gimena inside the it was not improbable for them not to attempt to escape when as accused-appellant perceived they had
womens quarter. After Rene Siao closed the door, he told Reylan, "Reylan, birahi si Ester". Since Reylan an opportunity to do so. Moreover, while most victims will immediately flee from their aggressors, others
was at a loss as to what to do, Rene Siao commanded Ester at gunpoint to "suck (um-um) the penis" of become virtually catatatonic because of the mental shock they experience.[20] It was also not improbable
Reylan Gimena.[13] Both Reylan and Ester performed the sexual act because they were afraid they will be for them to report the incident to an old man they met on the road as there was no on else to turn to.
killed. Thereafter, accused-appellant commanded Reylan to rape Ester in three (3) different positions,
pointing the handgun at them the whole time.
In a bid to exculpate himself, accused-appellant presents a totally different version of the story. Accused-
appellant sought to establish by his story that since Ester was caught stealing money and the personal
The testimony of Ester and Reylan were assessed by the trial court to be credible. Unless certain facts of belongings of the people in the household she had motive to implicate accused-appellant in such a
substance and value were overlooked which, if considered, might affect the result of the case, its serious charge. We cannot see how a 14-year old girl from the rural area could fabricate such charges
assessment must be respected for it had the opportunity to observe the conduct and demeanor of the borne out of a desire for revenge. We agree with the following explanation by the trial court:
witnesses while testifying and detect if they are lying.[14] We find no reason to deviate from the findings of
the trial court. If their story had only been contrived, Ester and Reylan would not have been composed
"The court cannot believe that a 14-year-old girl who is a stranger in the city will vent
and consistent in the face of such intense and lengthy interrogation.
her ire on Rene Siao. If Rene Siao were to be believed that he did not confront Ester
about the latters act of committing the crime of theft, why would Ester take revenge on
Second, accused-appellant faults the trial court for giving credence to the testimonies of Ester Raymundo Rene Siao? The court cannot believe that this 14-year-old probinsyana will concoct a
and Reylan Gimena despite being fraught with substantial inconsistencies with regard to the following story so as to do damage against business men like Jose Siao, Beatriz Baricuatro and
points: 1. Ester testified that Reylan pulled her to the womens quarter, while Reylan testified that when Rene Siao. As a matter of fact, filing a case in court would mean untold misery and
he entered the room Ester was already tied up in the bed; 2. Ester testified that she was lying "face down" inconvenience. It will expose her to shame. She mustered enough courage if only to
on the bed, while Reylan testified that she was lying "face upward"; 3. Ester testified that before being make the truth prevail. She ventured to assume the role of David against Goliath."[21]
made to undress, accused-appellant Rene Siao wound electrical wire around her neck and Gimena made
no mention of this; 4. Ester testified that Gimena ejaculated while performing the sexual acts while
On the contrary, this theory of accused-appellant backfires on him because it appears that due to the
Gimena testified that he did not ejaculate; and lastly, 5. Ester testified that she had sought help from her
thefts allegedly committed by Ester, Rene Siao decided to vent his ire by subjecting her to a perverted
cousin Joy Raymundo on the way out from the womens quarter while Reylan testified that she just
form of punishment and using Reylan as an instrument thereof. As to the charge of accused-appellant
walked slowly towards the mens quarters as ordered by accused-appellant.
that the father of Ester tried to extort a huge sum of money from the accused-appellants family so that
the case against him will be dropped, we agree with the trial court that this contention is largely self-
It can readily be seen that the alleged inconsistencies are inconsequential considering that they refer to serving as it is uncorroborated.
trivial matters which have nothing to do with the essential fact of the commission of rape, that is carnal
knowledge through force and intimidation. This Court has consistently adhered to the rule that
All told, we agree with the trial court that the testimony of Ester Raymundo as well as the testimony of
inconsistencies on minor details of the testimonies of witnesses serve to strengthen their credibility as
Reylan Gimena corroborating the same support the prosecutions version of the fateful incident.
they are badges of truth rather than an indicia of falsehood.[15] If at all, they serve as proof that the
witnesses were not coached and rehearsed.
The rape was committed on May 27, 1994 or after the effectivity of R.A. 7659 on December 31,
1993.[22] The governing law, Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code as amended by R.A. No 7659 imposes
Third, accused-appellant contends that the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses do not conform to
the penalty of reclusion perpetua to death, if committed with the use of a deadly weapon. It reads:
common experience due to the following reasons: Reylan Gimena ejaculated three times in a span of less
than 30 minutes; the rape took place within earshot and near the presence of other people; Ester and
Reylan did not make a dash for freedom during the ten minutes it took Rene Siao to follow them from the "When and how rape is committed. Rape is committed by having carnal knowledge of a
womens quarter to the males quarter where the latter wanted them to resume their copulation; a woman under any of the following circumstances:
barangay tanod was present at the place of the alleged rape at about 4:00 p.m.; the private complainant
reported the incident to an old man she chanced upon on her way home.
1. By using force or intimidation;

Again, the points raised by accused-appellant are trite and of no consequence. First of all, the important
2. When the woman is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious; and
consideration in rape is not the emission of semen but the penetration of the female genitalia by the male
organ.[16] Well-settled is the rule that penetration, however slight, and not ejaculation, is what constitutes
rape.[17] Thus, this factor could not affect the case for the prosecution. Second, accused-appellants 3. When the woman is under twelve years of age or is demented.
argument that it is impossible to commit a rape in house where there are many occupants is untenable.
We have held in a number of cases that lust is no respecter of time and place.[18] It is not impossible to
Page 30 of 31
The crime of rape shall be punished by reclusion perpetua. the penalty, said fact should be alleged in the information, because of the accuseds right to be informed
of the nature and cause of the accusation against him.[26] Considering that the complaint (which was later
converted into the Information) failed to allege the use of a deadly weapon, specifically, that herein
Whenever the crime of rape is committed with the use of a deadly weapon, the
accused-appellant was armed with a gun, the penalty to be reckoned with in determining the penalty for
penalty shall be reclusion perpetua to death.
rape would be reclusion perpetua, the penalty prescribed for simple rape under Article 335, as amended
by R.A. No. 7659. Simple rape is punishable by the single indivisible penalty of reclusion perpetua, which
When by reason or on the occasion of the rape, the victim has become insane, the must be applied regardless of any mitigating or aggravating circumstance which may have attended the
penalty shall be death. commission of the deed.[27] Hence, the penalty of reclusion perpetua imposed by the trial court is correct.

When the rape is attempted or frustrated and a homicide is committed by reason or on As a final matter, the trial court erred in ordering accused-appellant Rene Siao to pay the complainant
the occasion thereof, the penalty shall be reclusion perpetua to death. only the civil liability arising from the offense in the amount of P50,000.00. In addition, it should have
ordered accused-appellant to pay the offended party moral damages, which is automatically granted in
rape cases without need of any proof.[28] Currently, the amount of moral damages for rape is fixed at
When by reason or on the occasion of the rape, a homicide is committed, the penalty
P50,000.00.[29] Moreover, the presence of one aggravating circumstance justifies the award of exemplary
shall be death.
damages pursuant to Article 2230 of the Civil Code of the Philippines [30] We find the amount of
P20,000.00 as exemplary damages reasonable on account of the fact that the aggravating circumstance
The death penalty shall also be imposed if the crime of rape is committed with any of of ignominy attended the commission of the crime of rape.
the following attendant circumstances:
WHEREFORE, the decision of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 13, Cebu City, is hereby AFFIRMED with
1. when the victim is under eighteen (18)years of age and the offender is a parent, the MODIFICATION that accused-appellant Rene Siao is ordered to pay P50,000.00 to Ester Raymundo
ascendant, step-parent, guardian, relative by consanguinity or affinity within the third by way of moral damages, and P20,000.00 by way of exemplary damages in addition to the amount of
civil degree, or the common-law spouse of the parent of the victim. P50,000.00 which the trial court ordered him to pay as indemnity.

2. when the victim is under the custody of the police or military authorities. SO ORDERED.

3. when the rape is committed in full view of the husband, parent, any of the children
or other relative within the third degree of consanguinity.

4. when the victim is a religious or child below seven (7) years old.

5. when the offender knows that he is afflicted with Acquired Immune Deficiency
Syndrome (AIDS) disease.

6. when committed by any member of the Armed Forces of the Philippines or the
Philippine National Police or any law enforcement agency.

7. when by reason or on the occasion of the rape, the victim has suffered permanent
physical mutilation.

Accused-appellant was held guilty of rape with the use of a deadly weapon, which is punishable
by reclusion perpetua to death.[23] But the trial court overlooked and did not take into account the
aggravating circumstance of ignominy and sentenced accused-appellant to the single indivisible penalty
of reclusion perpetua. It has been held that where the accused in committing the rape used not only the
missionary position, i.e. male superior, female inferior but also the dog position as dogs do, i.e. entry
from behind, as was proven like the crime itself in the instant case, the aggravating circumstance of
ignominy attended the commission thereof.[24]

However, the use of a weapon serves to increase the penalty.[25] Since the use of a deadly weapon
increases the penalty as opposed to a generic aggravating circumstance which only affects the period of

Page 31 of 31