610 Phil. 378
CARPIO MORALES, J.:
That during the period from January 15, 2004 up to January 23. 2004, in the City of Las Pinas, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, conspiring and confederating together with one ELJOY SALONGA, whose true identity and present whereabout is still unknown, without legal authority or justifiable motive, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously kidnap, carry away, detain and deprive AAA, a SIX (6) year old, minor, of her liberty, against her will and consent, and the said detention lasted for eight (8) days, and while accused RENATO TALUSAN y PANGANIBAN @ Nato, @ Roxell B. Verga, Jr., was in custody of AAA and armed with a gun, by means of force, threat, or intimidation, did then and there, willfully, unlawfully, and feloniously inserted his finger into the vagina of AAA for several instances against her will and consent thereby subjecting her to sexual abuse, which is prejudicial to her physical and psychological development.
CONTRARY TO LAW.
Findings:- Hymen: Deep fresh 3' & 9'o'clock position
- Vestibule congested
Conclusion:- Subject compatible with recent loss of virginity
- There are no ext. signs of application of any form of trauma (Emphasis supplied)
WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing discussions and finding the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt by his voluntary and spontaneous plea of guilty, while the undersigned Presiding Judge does not believe in the imposition of death penalty as a form of punishment, nevertheless, in obedience to the law which is his duty to uphold, this Court finds the accused, RENATO TALUSAN y PANGANIBAN, GUILTY, beyond reasonable doubt for the special complex crime of KIDNAPPING with RAPE and hereby sentences him to suffer the supreme penalty of DEATH.
The Court did not consider the mitigating circumstance of voluntary plea of guilty because the penalty imposable is single and indivisible and this is regardless of its presence. x x x
Accused is hereby ordered to pay the victim AAA, the amount of P50,000.00 by way of civil indemnity and an additional amount of P50,000.00 by way of moral damages which by case law is automatically awarded to rape victims without need of proof. x x x
SO ORDERED. (Emphasis in the original; underscoring supplied)
WHEREFORE, the decision dated 07 June 2004 of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 199, Las Pinas City is hereby AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION. Appellant Renato Talusan y Panganiban @ Natol @ Roxell B. Vergara, Jr. is sentenced to reclusion perpetua, conformably with R.A. No. 9346, without eligibility for parole and is ordered to indemnify the AAA the following: (a) P50,000.00 as civil indemnity; and (b) P50,000.00 as moral damages.
Costs de oficio. (Underscoring supplied)
- Ascertain from the accused himself (a) how he was brought into the custody of the law; (b) whether he had the assistance of a competent counsel during the custodial and preliminary investigations; and (c) under what conditions he was detained and interrogated during the investigations. This is intended to rule out the possibility that the accused has been coerced or placed under a state of duress either by actual threats of physical harm coming from malevolent quarters or simply because of the judge's intimidating robes.
- Ask the defense counsel a series of questions as to whether he had conferred with, and completely explained to, the accused the meaning and consequences of a plea of guilty.
- Elicit information about the personality profile of the accused, such as his age, socio-economic status, and educational background, which may serve as a trustworthy index of his capacity to give a free and informed plea of guilty.
- Inform the accused the exact length of imprisonment or nature of the penalty under the law and the certainty that he will serve such sentence. For not infrequently, an accused pleads guilty in the hope of a lenient treatment or upon bad advice or because of promises of the authorities or parties of a lighter penalty should he admit guilt or express remorse. It is the duty of the judge to ensure that the accused does not labor under these mistaken impressions because a plea of guilty carries with it not only the admission of authorship of the crime proper but also of the aggravating circumstances attending it, that increase punishment.
- Inquire if the accused knows the crime with which he is charged and fully explain to him the elements of the crime which is the basis of his indictment. Failure of the court to do so would constitute a violation of his fundamental right to be informed of the precise nature of the accusation against him and a denial of his right to due process.
- All questions posed to the accused should be in a language known and understood by the latter.
- The trial judge must satisfy himself that the accused, in pleading guilty, is truly guilty. The accused must be required to narrate the tragedy or reenact the crime or furnish its missing details.
ATTY. CABARDO Accused is ready for arraignment, Your Honor. COURT Arraign the accused in Tagalog. (Accused is arraigned and he pleads Guilty to the Criminal Information) COURT What is his plea? He's pleading guilty? COURT INTERPRETER Yes, Your Honor. COURT This Court will conduct a searching inquiry into the voluntariness of his plea. Q Mr. Renato Talusan, what is your educational attainment? ACCUSED A I reached 2nd year High School, Your Honor. Q Do you know how to read and write? A Yes, Your Honor. Q What is your occupation? A I'm a driver, Your Honor. Q When you were arraigned today, you pleaded Guilty as charged in the Criminal Information. Did you plead Guilty voluntarily, freely without anyone forcing or intimidating you? A Yes, Your Honor. Q Did Atty. Cabardo, your counsel explained [sic] to you the effects and consequences if you will plead Guilty to the Criminal Information as charged? A Yes, Your Honor. Q Is it the understanding of the Court that Atty. Cabardo explained to you fully your rights under the Constitution before you plead Guilty to the Criminal Information? A Yes, Your Honor. Q Do you know Mr. Talusan that, if you will plead Guilty to the Criminal Information, this Court will immediately sentence you and confine you at the National Penitentiary? A Yes, Your Honor. Q Did Atty. Cabardo exert pressure on you or influence you so that you will plead Guilty to the Criminal Information? A No, Your Honor. Q Are you saying, Mr. Talusan that you are doing this voluntarily, freely and of your own volition? A Yes, Your Honor. Q Did Fiscal assigned in this Court, State Prosecutor Napoleon A. Monsod intimidate you or exert pressure on you so that you will plead Guilty to the Criminal Information? A No, Your Honor.
Please speak louder. ACCUSED A No, Your Honor. COURT Q Did anyone outside or inside of this courtroom threaten you, exert pressure on you so that you will plead Guilty as charged to the Criminal Information? A None, Your Honor. Q So, it is therefore true that on January 15, 2004 up to January 23, 2004, you kidnapped, detained one AAA, a six (6) year old minor against her will and consent? A Yes, Your Honor. Q And that while in your custody, by means of force intimidation, you inserted your finger inside the vagina of the said minor for several instances against her will? A Yes, Your Honor. Q For the last time, Mr. Renato Talusan, despite the admonition given to you by this Court, do you still insist and reiterate your pleading Guilty to the Criminal Information as charged for Kidnapping with Multiple Rape? A Yes, Your Honor. COURT The Court is convinced. I admire you Mr. Talusan for taking the responsibilities and I hope that you will be completely reformed. ACCUSED Yes, Your Honor. COURT Fiscal, inspite of [sic] the fact that the accused has pleaded Guilty as charged in the Criminal Information, I am directing the Prosecution to present evidence to determine the culpability of the accused. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied)
Where the law provides a single penalty for two or more component offenses, the resulting crime is called a special complex crime. Some of the special complex crimes under the Revised Penal Code are (1) robbery with homicide, (2) robbery with rape, (3) kidnapping with serious physical injuries, (4) kidnapping with murder or homicide, and (5) rape with homicide. In a special complex crime, the prosecution must necessarily prove each of the component offenses with the same precision that would be necessary if they were made the subject of separate complaints. As earlier mentioned, R.A. No. 7659 amended Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code by adding thereto this provision: "When the victim is killed or dies as a consequence of the detention, or is raped, or is subjected to torture or dehumanizing acts, the maximum penalty shall be imposed; and that this provision gives rise to a special complex crime. (Italics in the original; underscoring supplied)
Q: Did you go voluntarily with the accused? A: He forced me, Your Honor. Q: Why did you say that the accused forced you to go with him, what did the accused do to you? A: He told me that we are going to Jollibee but it turned out that it was not true. Q: When you went with the accused and boarded a tricycle, you really wanted to go to Jollibee, is that the understanding of the Court? A: I did not want to, Your Honor. Q: What did you do when you say that you do not want to go with the accused? A: Nothing, Your Honor. Q: Did you cry? A: Yes, Your Honor. Q: How did you cry? A: I was just crying, Your Honor. x x x x Q: Can you remember how many nights and days you have not seen your mother and father? A: Yes, sir. Q: How many nights? A: Eight (8) nights, sir. Q: After you were brought to the wake, where there is a dead person and at the club, where else were you taken by Kuya Renato? A: At coastal mall, sir. Q: A while ago, AAA, you said that kuya Renato abused you and Kuya Renato inserted his penis in your vagina, do you recall that? A: Yes, sir. Q: Which was inserted, his penis or his finger? A: His finger, sir. x x x x Q: When it was inserted inside, did you cry? A: Yes, sir. Q: What did you say to Kuya Renato? A: I told him that it was painful.