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387 Phil. 82


[ G.R. No. 117324, April 27, 2000 ]




ROGELIO GUIWAN Y BAGTONG was charged before the trial court with having raped his 14-year old daughter Rochelle R. Guiwan.[1] The Information alleged that on or about 8 September 1990 at 12:00 o'clock midnight, at Purok 3, Bongaitan District, Barangay Mangagoy, Bislig, Province of Surigao del Sur, the accused by means of violence and intimidation willfully and feloniously had carnal knowledge of Rochelle R. Guiwan against her will, with the aggravating circumstance of abuse of confidence he being the father of his 14-year old victim, to her damage and prejudice.[2]

Sometime in May 1988 Elsa Guiwan together with her four (4) daughters, then aged between less than one (1) year to three (3) years old, left her husband Rogelio Guiwan in Bislig, Surigao del Sur, and settled in Panaytayon, Agusan del Norte. That was the second time she left him on account of the physical abuse she suffered in his hands. In 1990 he fetched the children and brought them back to Bislig.

On 8 September 1990, at around midnight, while Rochelle Guiwan was sleeping with her three (3) younger sisters in their bedroom in Bongaitan District, Mangagoy, Bislig, Surigao del Sur, she was awakened by her father, Rogelio Guiwan, who was already inside their room. He touched her right arm and then immediately embraced her. He was drunk. She resisted, so he poked a gun at her and ordered her to take off her clothes. Since she refused, he forcibly removed her panty, held her hands and pressed his feet on her feet. Initially, he inserted his fingers into her vagina, then followed by his penis. She felt pain. While pumping his penis into her organ, he kept his gun at his right side. In her helplessness, Rochelle could only cry. But he warned her not to disclose the matter to anyone otherwise he would kill her.

The incident was not Rogelio's first nor his last assault on his daughter's womanhood. The first was in May 1990 while the other incidents took place thereafter and stopped only in March 1991 when her mother returned home.

On 3 November 1992 at about 4:00 o'clock in the afternoon Rochelle was on her way home from school with some classmates when they met her father who appeared angry. He forced her to ride with him on his motorcycle and threatened to kill her. She went with him out of fear without even knowing where he would take her. Fortunately for her, their motorcycle broke down so she grabbed the opportunity to run away. She proceeded home at once and told her mother that her father had raped her on 8 September 1990. Rochelle explained that she did not immediately tell her about the sexual abuse because he threatened to kill her, her mother and himself. Her mother cried when she learned about Rochelle's ordeal.

Elsa played her role prudently. She did not confront Rogelio right away. She decided to wait for the proper time so that he would not get mad. She first observed his behavior. She noticed that he would go home drunk and easily got hot tempered. He would threaten them and poke a gun at them. He was jealous of any suitor of Rochelle. He even inspected her notebooks for any letter. When he would find one, he would let her eat it, followed by a glass of water. On 14 November 1992, when Elsa could no longer take his behavior, she reported the matter to the police authorities and had Rochelle physically examined. Her examining physician found her hymen no longer intact since it bore healed lacerations at 3, 6, 8, 10 and 12 o'clock positions.[3]

Rogelio denied having raped Rochelle on 8 September 1990. He however admitted having engaged her in sexual intercourse several times but claimed these were consensual as she was even the one who provoked him. According to him, the first time was on 28 August 1990 when they stayed overnight in a lodging house in Tandag, Surigao del Sur, after attending the wedding of his brother. She refused to sleep on the floor and insisted on sharing the bed with him. She initiated the act by touching different parts of his body. He was drunk at that time.

According to Rogelio, while he and Rochelle were in Bongaitan, Surigao del Sur, she treated him not as a father but as a lover. She would kiss him upon arriving home from work and would close the door of their house for fear that he would go away. She did the marketing and acted like a mother to his other children. A neighbor even observed that they did not have a father and daughter relationship, so much so that with such comment from a neighbor, he was prompted to write his wife and told her to return home. It was only when his wife arrived that Rochelle distanced herself from him. She resented the return of her mother and her parents' reconciliation because, according to her, there was no need for a mother like her. Rochelle became mad at him only when he told her that she was giving preference to her classmates over her own family.

But the trial court was convinced that Rogelio Guiwan was indeed guilty of raping his own 14-year old daughter on 8 September 1990, threatening her with his gun as alleged in the Information. The court found Rochelle's testimony very credible and took against him the circumstance that he had a weird understanding of his daughter's natural love for him as her father. It also found that the five (5) other instances of rape committed by him on different dates and places were established by the evidence as it theorized that considering the normal sexual appetite of Rogelio at age thirty-nine (39), he must have engaged in sexual intercourse with Rochelle not less than two hundred (200) times in a span of three (3) years. Thus, on 23 February 1994 it rendered judgment finding him guilty beyond reasonable doubt of five (5) counts of rape and sentencing him to five (5) penalties of reclusion perpetua.[4]

Accused-appellant now assails his conviction both on procedural and substantive grounds. According to him, the circumstance that he was first presented to testify on 14 December 1993 while Rochelle was cross-examined on 9 August 1994 is violative of the Rules of Court tantamount to denial of due process. He admits that he engaged in sexual intercourse with her less than two hundred (200) times, as theorized by the trial court, but assails her credibility by banking on her almost three (3)-year delay in reporting the rape incident. He faults the trial court for not taking into consideration the presence in this case of oedipus complex or child attachment to the parent of the opposite sex. He asserts that Rochelle was considered a "corpo" in school, meaning, she slept around with different boys. Also, he disputes the qualification of the physician as an expert witness since she was just thirty-three (33) years old and a general practitioner when she examined the complainant. Finally, he asseverates that assuming he is guilty of rape there was only one (1) Information for rape filed against him, thus, he submits that the trial court erred in convicting him of five (5) counts of rape.

We agree with accused-appellant that the Information against him charges only one (1) rape which he allegedly committed on 8 September 1990. He cannot therefore be convicted of five (5) counts of rape committed on other dates. But his conviction for raping his daughter Rochelle on 8 September 1990 must be sustained as the trial court found the testimony of Rochelle straightforward and almost flawless to the smallest detail. Hence, we find no reason to withhold concurrence to his conviction. As the trial court observed, Rochelle was composed and consistent throughout her entire testimony in the face of intense and lengthy interrogation.[5] And a barrio lass, still in her teens, innocent and naive to the ways of the world is not likely to accuse her own father of so serious a crime as rape if it was not the plain truth, or if her motive was not purely to bring her sexual ravisher to justice.[6] The insinuation of accused-appellant that Rochelle only filed the case against him because she got mad when he scolded her for preferring her classmates over her family is hardly believable. Parental punishment is not a good reason for a daughter to falsely charge her father with rape.[7] Even when consumed with revenge, it takes a certain amount of psychological depravity for a young woman to fabricate a story which would put her own father for the most of his remaining life in jail and drag herself and the rest of her family to a lifetime of shame.[8] A review of the totality of the evidence draws us to the conclusion that no material facts that may alter accused-appellant's conviction were overlooked or misunderstood by the trial court.

Not even the arguments of accused-appellant can dissuade us from upholding his conviction. The claim that the trial court violated procedural rules and corollarily denied him due process misleads. Rochelle was first presented for direct examination on 6 August 1993. She was cross-examined on 9 August and 19 November 1993. Accused-appellant must have relied on the cover page of the transcript of stenographic notes of the 9 August 1993 hearing which was erroneously dated as "August 9, 1994." However, the header of the succeeding pages of the same transcript was dated 9 August 1993. The last page even contained the order of the trial court setting the hearings on 11 and 12 October 1993.

It is well entrenched in our jurisprudence that delay in reporting a carnal violation committed by a father against his daughter due to threats is hardly unjustified. In this case, Rochelle was threatened by accused-appellant with death should she report the incident to anyone. Rogelio possessed a gun as an asset of the 28th Infantry Batallion.[9] Thus her delay of almost two (2) years and two (2) months does not produce a negative effect on her accusation. In the numerous cases of rape that have reached this Court, we find that it is not uncommon for young girls to conceal for some time the assaults on their honor because of the rapists' threat on their lives.[10] In many instances, rape victims simply suffer in silence for months or even years.[11] With more reason would a girl ravished by her own father keep quiet about what had befallen her. Furthermore, it is unfair to judge the action of children who have undergone traumatic experience by the norms of behavior expected of mature individuals under the same circumstances.[12]

Oedipus complex is the positive libidinal feelings especially of a male child that develops usually between the ages of three (3) and six (6) toward the parent of the opposite sex and are largely repressed because of the fear of retaliation by the parent of the same sex who is viewed as a rival and toward whom unconscious hostility is generated.[13] Electra complex on the other hand is the female counterpart of oedipus complex. The alleged presence of oedipus complex between accused-appellant and his daughter appears to be a plot drawn from thin air in the hope that he can get away from the present accusation. It is a puerile excuse concocted by a warped mind, and he is all alone in this defense. Not even the neighbor who allegedly observed their relationship as "other than that of father and daughter" was presented.

Viewed from a different perspective, if either oedipus or electra complex existed then that should have effectively deterred Rochelle from filing a case against her father and she should have been hostile to or jealous of her mother. Yet, according Rochelle, she would rather see her father in jail for her to obtain justice[14] and she was sympathetic to her mother's plight.[15] Still, it would have been praiseworthy had accused-appellant veered Rochelle away from such complex, if indeed it existed. As it turned out, he opted to descend to a level lower than beasts by taking advantage of the situation.

The sexual act between accused-appellant and Rochelle on 8 September 1990 was far from consensual. The moral influence of a father over his daughter suffices to establish rape.[16] Rochelle was further intimidated when he threatened her with a gun.[17] Thus, his guilt under Art. 335 of the Revised Penal Code was conclusively proved.

In his desperate attempt at exoneration, accused-appellant even resorted to blemishing his daughter's reputation by tagging her as a "corpo" in school after begriming her sexual purity. But he did not corroborate this assertion. At any rate, although a woman may be viewed by the public as unchaste or impure she can still be raped as she is still free to refuse a man's lustful advances.[18] The victim's character in rape is immaterial.[19]

The attack against the qualification of the physician at this stage will not succeed. After the physician testified on her qualifications, the trial court asked the defense counsel if he admitted the witness as an expert. Counsel replied that the prosecutor had "qualified her witness" and proceeded to question her on her findings.[20] Thus her competence was deemed admitted by the defense.

As already stated, the Court agrees that the trial court erred in convicting accused-appellant of rape on five (5) counts. Since the Information specifically charged him with only one (1) act of rape, i.e., committed on 8 September 1990, then consistent with his constitutional right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him, he cannot be held liable for the other incidents of rape committed at other times which may have been established during the trial, other than on the date alleged in the Information.[21]

At the time of the commission of the offense on 8 September 1990 the law applicable was Art. 335 of the Revised Penal Code under which this case was considered simple rape and the penalty was reclusion perpetua. The nature of the offense and the penalty attached thereto was not amended until 31 December 1993 when RA 7659 took effect. Consequently, the trial court was correct in treating the offense charged as simple rape and imposing the penalty of reclusion perpetua for the offense except that instead of convicting accused-appellant of rape on five (5) counts, he should have been declared guilty of only one (1) simple rape and punished as such. RA 7659 cannot be applied to the instant case since it took effect long after the perpetration of the crime of which accused-appellant was convicted.

We note that the trial court did not award damages to the victim. Under prevailing jurisprudence, civil indemnity of P50,000.00 is automatically awarded to the offended party without need of further evidence other than the fact of the commission of the rape.[22] As regards moral damages, the requirement of proof of mental and physical suffering has been dispensed with since we recognize the victim's injury as being inherently concomitant with and necessarily resulting from the crime of rape to warrant the award per se,[23] which we also grant in the amount of P50,000.00. The amount of P25,000.00 for exemplary damages is imposed to deter other fathers with similar perverse tendencies or aberrant sexual behaviors from sexually abusing their own daughters.[24]

WHEREFORE, the Decision appealed from finding accused-appellant ROGELIO GUIWAN Y BAGTONG guilty beyond reasonable doubt of five (5) counts of rape and sentencing him to five (5) penalties of reclusion perpetua is MODIFIED. He is found guilty instead of only one (1) count of simple rape and sentenced to reclusion perpetua and ordered to pay complaining witness Rochelle Guiwan P50,000.00 as indemnity for rape, another P50,000.00 for moral damages and P25,000.00 for exemplary damages. Costs against accused-appellant.


Mendoza, Quisumbing, Buena, and De Leon, Jr., JJ., concur.

[1] Complaining witness Rochelle R. Guiwan was born on 12 November 1976; TSN, 19 November 1993, p. 10.
[2] Records, pp. 23-24.
[3] Medico-Legal Certificate; Exh. "B," Records, p. 6.
[4] Decision penned by Judge Francisco C. Joven, RTC-Br. 29, Bislig, Surigao del Sur; Rollo, pp. 111-112.
[5] People v. Perez, G.R. No. 122764, 24 September 1998, 296 SCRA 17.
[6] People v. Betonio, G.R. No. 119165, 26 September 1997, 279 SCRA 532.
[7] People v. Cabanela, G.R. No. 127657, 24 November 1998, 299 SCRA 153.
[8] People v. Melivo, G.R. No. 113029, 8 February 1996, 253 SCRA 347.
[9] TSN, 6 August 1993, p. 9.
[10] People v. Devilleres, G.R. No. 114387, 14 March 1997, 269 SCRA 716.
[11] People v. Pacistol, G.R. Nos. 119074-75, 22 January 1998, 284 SCRA 520.
[12] People v. Bartolome, G.R. No. 129054, 29 September 1998, 296 SCRA 615.
[13] Webster's Third New International Dictionary, p. 1565.
[14] TSN, 9 August 1993, pp. 2 and 3.
[15] TSN, 19 November 1993, p. 7.
[16] People v. Balmoria, G.R. Nos. 120620-21, 20 March 1998, 287 SCRA 687.
[17] People v. Mabunga, G.R. No. 96441, 13 November 1992, 215 SCRA 694.
[18] People v. Igdanes, G.R. No. 105804, 5 May 1997, 272 SCRA 113.
[19] People v. Malagar, G.R. Nos. 98169-73, 1 December 1994, 238 SCRA 512.
[20] TSN, 6 August 1993, pp. 12 and 19-30.
[21] People v. Antido, G.R. No. 121098, 4 September 1997, 278 SCRA 425.
[22] People v. Pili, G.R. No. 124739, 15 April 1998, 289 SCRA 118.
[23] See Note 6.
[24] People v. Matrimonio, G.R. Nos. 82223-24, 13 November 1992, 215 SCRA 613.

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