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341 Phil. 583


[ G.R. No. 111165, July 17, 1997 ]




The proclivity of some men to satisfy their bestial urges upon innocent and unwilling young girls is inhumanly atrocious and calls for unmitigated condemnation in the form of severe penalty.

Accused were charged with rape in an Information reading as follows:
 That on or about October 24, 1986, at Barangay Banlic, Municipality of Calamba, Province of Laguna, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused while armed with long firearm with lewd design by means of force, violence and intimidation, conspiring, confederating and mutually helping one another did, then and there, wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge of ELIZABETH ILAGAN, a minor against her will and consent, to her damage and prejudice.

(p. 11, Rollo.)
After trial, the court a quo rendered a decision, disposing as follows:

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the Court finds the accused Rodelio Guerrero y Matienzo, Rogelio Mercado y Pedro, Reynaldo Mercado y Pedro, Jr., guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Rape, punishable under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, and are sentenced each to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua, and to indemnify, jointly and severally, Elizabeth Ilagan the amount of P50,000.00. With proportionate cost against the accused.

In the service of sentence, the preventive imprisonment undergone by the accused shall be credited in their favor.

The surety bonds posted for the accused are cancelled.

As to the accused Gerardo Matienzo, there being no evidence presented against him, the case is DISMISSED.

(p. 27, Rollo.)
The convicted accused appealed and impute to the trial court the following errors:







(p. 8, Appellants’ Brief.)

The facts of the case, as established by the evidence and summarized by appellee, are as follows:
In the evening of October 24, 1986, 15-year-old complainant, Elizabeth Ilagan and her aunt Aurora Matienzo attended a birthday party at the house of Rodelio Gumapang at Gitnang Looc, Brgy. Banadero, Calamba, Laguna (TSN, October 22, 1987, pp. 9 to 10). Around 8:40 o’clock of the same night, Elizabeth left the house of Rodelio Gumapang and walked alone going to her house located in the same barangay (Ibid). Along the way, Elizabeth saw Rodelio Guerrero walking towards the same direction (Ibid, p. 15). Elizabeth walked on with Rodelio Guerrero near her (Ibid). A little later, Elizabeth and Rodelio met Rogelio Mercado and Reynaldo Mercado (Ibid, pp. 16 to 17). Whereupon, Rodelio said, “Pare, ikaw na ang bahala diyan.” At that, Reynaldo, Rodelio and Rogelio laughed. Thereafter, Rodelio boxed Elizabeth three (3) times, hitting her on the breast and on the stomach (TSN, October 22, 1987 p. 20 & TSN, March 10, 1988, p. 31). Elizabeth felt half conscious only and fell on the ground (Ibid, p. 21). Rogelio and Reynaldo held Elizabeth on her arms and legs while Rodelio started to remove her T-shirt and jogging pants (TSN, October 22, 1987). She struggled to free herself from the three of them, but was not able to do so (Ibid, p. 22).

After Rodelio had removed Elizabeth’s clothing, he placed himself on top of her while Rogelio and Reynaldo continued to hold Elizabeth’s arms and legs (Ibid, p. 23). In that situation, Rodelio parted Elizabeth’s thighs and forcibly inserted his private organ into hers (Ibid, pp. 23 to 25). Elizabeth felt pain and as she tried to shout for help, she lost her consciousness (Ibid, pp. 25 to 29).

After about ten (10) minutes, Elizabeth regained her consciousness and noticed that Rodelio, Rogelio and Reynaldo were no longer there (Ibid, pp. 30 to 34). She then stood up and felt pain on her private part and right thigh (Ibid).

Elizabeth left the place and proceeded to the house of her uncle, Virgilio Ilagan, at Gitnang Looc, Calamba, Laguna, in order to look for a companion going home. Unfortunately, her uncle was not around and Elizabeth reached home by herself (Ibid, pp. 34 to 35).

Elizabeth cried upon reaching home. This prompted her parents to ask what had happened to her. At that time, Elizabeth did not tell them that she had been raped because she did not want to give a problem to her parents (Ibid, pp. 364-37).

The following day, sensing that Elizabeth was acting strangely, her father Guillermo asked her again what was wrong. This time, Elizabeth revealed to her father that she had been raped by Rodelio Guerrero the previous night (TSN, September 12, 1988, pp. 5 to 7).

Upon request of Elizabeth’s father, Dr. Solita Plastina, Municipal Health Officer of Calamba, Laguna, examined Elizabeth (TSN, November 21, 1988, p. 18, Exhibit “D”). Dr. Plastina testified that at the time she examined Elizabeth, she (Dr. Plastina) found her in a state of shock possibly because of the pain on the hymen which was found to have 3:00 o’clock and 9:00 o’clock lacerations (Ibid, pp. 8 to 9). Dr. Plastina further testified that the 3:00 o’clock and 9:00 o’clock lacerations could have been caused by penetration of the penis of a man to a woman” (Ibid, p. 14).

Pat. Teodore Gecale, the investigator assigned in the case filed by Elizabeth before the Calamba Police Station in Calamba, Laguna testified that at the time Elizabeth was investigated at the Calamba Police Station on October 28, 1986, she was “chilling”, hence, he gave her a piece of paper on which she could narrate her story (TSN, January 16, 1989, pp. 7 to 8). In the written statement executed by Elizabeth, she wrote the following: “inano ako sa daan noong gabi xxx pinagsamantalahan ako ni Rodelio Matienzo, Gerardo Matienzo, Rogelio Mercado and Rogelio Guerrero.” (Exhibit “E”, TSN, Ibid).

Elizabeth’s father caused a complaint to be filed before the Municipal Court of Calamba, Laguna (Ibid, pp. 11 to 13). Two weeks after the complaint was filed, Melencio Matienzo, Pablo Gumapa and Ruben Banaticla, who all represented appellants, went to the Ilagan house and made an offer to settle the case. The offer was rejected by Guillermo (TSN, September 12, 1988, p. 9).

(pp. 4-8, Appellee’s Brief.)
Accused-appellants contend that there are glaring inconsistencies in the testimony of the victim.

It is said that in the initial part of Elizabeth’s direct testimony, she failed to identify accused-appellants as the persons who raped her, but that on cross-examination, she testified that she had known accused-appellants since childhood. Such argument does not find support in the evidence. On the contrary, the evidence clearly shows that Elizabeth, during the early part of her direct testimony, positively identified accused-appellants as the persons directly involved in the crime committed against her. She testified as follows:


Q : Miss Ilagan, do you know the accused Rogelio Mercado?
A : Yes, sir.

Q : If he is in Court, can you point to him?
A : Yes, sir.

Q : Please do.
A : Witness pointing to Rogelio Mercado.

Q : How about the accused Reynaldo Mercado, do you know him?
A : Yes, sir.

Q : If he is in Court, can you point to him?
A : Witness pointing to a man wearing yellow t-shirt.


What is your name?

= Rodelio Guerrero, your Honor.

The other man with the t-shirt, what is your name?

= Rogelio Mercado, your Honor.



Q : How about the accused Rodelio Guerrero, do you know him?
A : Yes, sir.

Q : Please point to him if he is Court? (sic)
A : Witness pointing to a person wearing yellow stripe t-shirt when asked to his name answered Rodelio Guerrero. (sic)

(TSN, Oct. 22, 1987, pp. 5-8.)
Accused-appellants belittle the testimony of Elizabeth describing the sexual organ of Rodelio Guerrero when she had allegedly lost consciousness after she was hit three times by Rodelio Guerrero.

Accused-appellants have misapprehended the facts on record. Elizabeth did not lose consciousness after she was hit by Guerrero. She was rendered only partially unconscious.

Q :And that was the point and time that you said you were allegedly boxed, is that correct?
A : Yes, sir.

Q : And as you previously testified you were hit hurt three times?
A : Yes, sir.

Q : And as you said you were hit somewhere in your breast?
A : Yes, sir.

Q : And that rendered you unconscious, is that correct?
A : I am not totally unconscious, sir.

Q : In short you lost your consciousness partially?
A : Yes, sir.

(TSN, May 10, 1988, p. 11)
Consequently, Elizabeth was still in possession of her mental faculties to perceive the sexual organ of Guerrero.

We also find no inconsistency in Elizabeth’s statement that she was taken to the doctor to determine whether she was pregnant. Having been raped she must have feared that she became pregnant. Furthermore, in the course of being examined whether or not she was pregnant, it can be ascertained whether or not she was raped. The medico-legal report and testimony of the examining physician categorically stated that Elizabeth was examined relative to her complaint that she had been raped.

The further purported inconsistencies in the testimony of Elizabeth pointed out by accused-appellants are:
(1) That the complaint filed in the Municipal Trial Court states that accused-appellants used a long firearm in committing the rape; while on direct examination Elizabeth testified that “no firearm was used by the accused in committing the alleged rape”;

(2) That the complaint filed in the Municipal Trial Court avers that accused-appellants took turns in having sexual intercourse with Elizabeth; whereas, on direct examination she testified that it was only Rodelio Guerrero who had sexual intercourse with her.

(3) Elizabeth declared that she was raped in the middle of a muddy road going to their house in Brgy. Banlic, Calamba, Laguna, while her father testified that according to Elizabeth she was raped under a star apple tree.
The complaint filed in the Municipal Trial Court of Calamba, Laguna was signed by Elizabeth’s father, Guillermo Ilagan and not by Elizabeth herself. Her father filed the complaint because at that time Elizabeth was not in a physical and mental condition to file the complaint due to her being in a state of shock. This was confirmed by Dr. Plastina in her testimony.

The testimony of her father that Elizabeth was raped under a star apple tree should not be taken against her for the simple reason that her father was not present when she was raped.

The statement in the complaint filed in the Municipal Trial Court that accused-appellants took turns in having sexual intercourse with Elizabeth should not be considered as inconsistent with her testimony that it was only Rodelio Guerrero who had sexual intercourse with her for the simple reason that the statement made in the Municipal Trial Court was made by her father and not by Elizabeth. She categorically testified that it was only Rodelio Guerrero who raped her. We have steadfastly adhered to the rule that when a woman testifies that she has been raped, she says, in effect, that all that is necessary to constitute the commission of the crime has been committed, provided the woman’s testimony is credible (People vs. Tabao, 240 SCRA 758 [1995]; People vs. Tami, 244 SCRA 1 [1995]). There is nothing on record to show that Elizabeth’s testimony is not credible, for which reason, the same must be given full faith and credit for she has no motive to falsely testify against accused-appellant (People vs. Casil, 241 SCRA 285 [1995]).

Unpersuasive too is accused-appellants’ asseverations that the rape is disproven by the medico legal report of the examining physician stating that no sign of violence was noted upon the person of the victim. Elizabeth testified that accused-appellant Rodelio Guerrero boxed her in the stomach and breast. Medical authorities vouch that when force is applied on the stomach, no marks of violence may be detected (People vs. Renojo, 132 SCRA 365 [1984]). As to the blow at her breast, possibly she was hit lightly thereon as no mark appears on her breast. Or possibly she might have mistaken the brushing of Guerrero’s hand against her breast as a blow as it would have been unavoidable for his hand to brush against her breast while they were grappling. In any event, the absence of marks of violence does not negate the commission of rape (People vs. Gapasan, 243 SCRA 53 [1995]).

Accused-appellants assail the findings of the trial court that they acted in conspiracy. They contend that they were not seen together at any place or immediately before the commission of the rape in such a manner as to indicate a community of criminal resolution or design. There is no need to prove a previous agreement among the malefactors to commit the crime if by their overt acts it is clear that they acted in concert in the pursuit of their unlawful design (People vs. Amaguin, 229 SCRA 166 [1994]). Concerted acts of the accused to obtain a common criminal objective signify conspiracy (People vs. Silong, 232 SCRA 487 [1994]).

The concerted acts of accused-appellants clearly established their conspiracy to rape Elizabeth even if there is absence of evidence that they had previously come to an agreement to rape her. The act of Reynaldo and Rogelio in holding Elizabeth’s arms and legs to enable Rodelio to rape her manifestly shows the existence of conspiracy and their common design to rape her.

Plainly then, accused-appellants’ argument “that the court erred in finding all the accused as (sic) guilty of the crime of rape and sentencing all to reclusion perpetua” runs counter to existing jurisprudence. Where conspiracy is established, the act of one is the act of all (People vs. Mallari, 241 SCRA 113 [1995]). Where conspiracy is adequately shown, the precise modality or extent of participation of each individual conspirator becomes secondary; the applicable rule is that the act of one conspirator is the act of all of them (People vs. De Roxas, 241 SCRA 369 [1995]).

WHEREFORE, the appealed decision is hereby AFFIRMED.

Narvasa, C.J., (Chairman), Davide, Jr., Francisco, and Panganiban JJ., concur.

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