466 Phil. 873
“Wherefore, in view of all the foregoing, this Court finds accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of two counts of Rape and hereby sentences him to suffer imprisonment of Reclusion Perpetua for each offense charged, to be served simultaneously with all accessory penalties attached thereto. He is also ordered to pay the victim Carla Espayos P50,000 representing indemnity and P75,000 as moral damages for each case, without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency.Two (2) criminal Informations, which were similarly worded except for the date of the commission of the crime, charged appellant as follows:
“The period of his preventive detention during trial shall be credited in his favor.
“The City Jail Warden of Caloocan is hereby ordered to transfer the accused Guillermo Andales to the National Bilibid Prisons, Muntinlupa City, for the service of his sentence.”
“That sometime during the month of December, 1997, in Caloocan City, Metro Manila, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, by means of force and intimidation, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully, and feloniously lie and have sexual intercourse with one CARLA ESPAYOS Y BAUTISTA, a minor of 10 yrs. old, against the latter’s will and without her consent.”Upon his arraignment on May 27, 1998, appellant pleaded not guilty to both charges after the Informations had been read and explained to him in a language that he fully understood. After trial on the merits, the RTC promulgated its assailed Decision. Counsel for appellant then filed his Notice of Appeal on October 26, 2001.
“Around noontime after Christmas day of 1997, 11-year old Carla Espayos was in their house along 7th Avenue, Caloocan City with her two younger sisters who were then sleeping. Appellant, who was their neighbor, gained entry into Carla’s house and went near Carla.
“Appellant removed his pants and then undressed Carla. When Carla was completely naked, appellant laid on top of her, inserted his penis into her vagina and proceeded to have carnal knowledge with Carla. Appellant threatened Carla with death if she would tell anybody about what had happened. He put on his pants and immediately left.
“Sometime in January of 1998, also at noontime, when Carla’s younger sisters were asleep, appellant again entered Carla’s house and repeated what he did to Carla on the day after Christmas day of 1997.
“After she was raped the second time, Carla mustered enough courage to tell her elder sister, Mary Kris about the two (2) rape incidents when Mary Kris inquired what was bothering her. Mary Kris accompanied her sister to the Caloocan City Police station to report the rape incidents. The police thereafter arrested appellant on the strength of Carla’s complaint.
“Carla executed her affidavit before the police investigator. She then went to the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) where she was examined by a Medico-Legal officer who issued a certificate dated March 25, 1998. Said affidavit and medical certificate became the bases for the present set of charges against appellant.”
“Witness Leopoldo Garino, a tricycle driver, claims to know the accused Guillermo Andales, also a tricycle driver at 7th Avenue, Caloocan City. He saw the accused in December 1997, in the morning during breakfast, at lunch and even during dinner at 6 o’clock in the evening. In January 1998, he went to his usual route at 7th Avenue, Caloocan City, at 5:00 o’clock in the morning, again he saw the accused during breakfast, lunch and at dinner at 7:00 o’clock in the evening.
“The next defense witness was Evelyn Belen, daughter of the accused who testified that she knows the complainant Carla because her father Cresencio Espayos is a ‘kumpadre’ of her father. Their families were in good terms, until these cases were filed against her father. She said the charges against her father are not true. They charged her father of rape because he helped his kumpadre Cresencio Espayos, who was charged by his daughter Mary Kris, a sister of Carla, for child abuse. She suspected they charged her father because he refused to open a water line shared by their family and Filomena Bautista, their grandmother. She believes Filomena Bautista got mad at her father saying, ‘Putang-ina mo, bakit mo pinakialaman ang tubig, sa ginawa mong iyan, maaari kitang ipakulong.’ She insisted her father did not rape Carla because he was busy earning a living as a tricycle driver at 7th Avenue, Caloocan City.
“Matilde Espayos, a paternal grandmother of Carla, testified that, since the death of her daughter-in-law Raquel Espayos, the mother of Carla, she went to live with her son Cresencio and his children. When she lived with them, she did the laundry and took care of her grandchildren whenever Cresencio was out of the house. On December 25, 1997, she went to visit her other children, she brought Carla with her. She and Carla returned at around 11:30 in the morning. She saw Cresencio but did not see the accused. The following day, December 26, 1997, she stayed in the house doing laundry work from 10:00 in the morning up to 2:00 o’clock in the afternoon. At the time, Carla was at the streets playing and even asked her to hang clothes. She and Carla took lunch together, while Cresencio went to his brother-in-law to drink alcohol ‘alak’. That same night, she asked Carla to cook food for their supper because she was already tired. After taking their supper, Carla went out to throw their garbage and she came back after an hour. In January 1998, while still staying with Cresencio and his family, Carla did not report any rape committed on her by the accused. She insists there is no truth to the alleged rape after Christmas day of December 1997 and January 1998. The truth she said is that Carla was prodded by Filomena Bautista, her ‘balae’, because she was angry with the accused. Her ‘balae’ was mad at the accused because he caused the disconnection of their water supply. When Carla informed her they have no water, she instructed Carla to go to her Kuya Gil, the accused, to ask why. When Carla came back, she informed her the accused disconnected the water line because of this, her ‘balae’ vowed to place the accused behind bars. When she learned that two (2) cases of rape were filed against the accused, she left the house of Cresencio.
“Guillermo Andales denied the accusations of rape allegedly committed in December 1997 and January 1998, because on Christmas day, December 25, 1997, he operated his tricycle along 7th Avenue, Caloocan City for 24 hours returning home only on December 26, 1997. In January 1998, he could not have raped Carla because he again operated his tricycle the whole day. He said these cases were filed against him because he interfered with their water connection. She cursed him even vowing to put him in jail. Filomena Bautista hated him because he extended help to her son-in-law Cresencio Espayos who was charged by his own daughter Mary Kris for child abuse before Branch 130 of this Court. He added, if Carla was indeed raped, then Cresensio Espayos, her father, must be responsible because his other daughter Mary Kris have complained against him for child abuse.”
In sum, the issue is whether the prosecution was able to prove beyond reasonable doubt the two (2) charges of rape.
The trial court gravely erred in convicting the accused-appellant of the crime of rape despite failure of the prosecution to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
The trial court gravely erred in not taking into consideration the defense interposed by the accused-appellant.”
Her story was replete with details that remained consistent throughout her testimony. Positively pointing to appellant as the author of the crimes committed against her, she undoubtedly sustained his complicity therein. The RTC gave an unqualified description of her testimony as follows:
“Fiscal Lomadilla: Q Do you know a person by the name of Guillermo Andales? A Yes, sir. Q Is he inside the courtroom now? A Yes, sir, that one. Interpreter: Witness pointing to a person in the name of Guillermo Andales. Q Why do you know him? A He is our neighbor, sir. Q In these 2 cases C-53686-87 you are charging this Andales as the one who raped you? A Yes, sir. Q When did this happen? A December after christmas 1997, sir. Q And when [did] the next rape [happen]? A January after New Year, sir. Q How did this rape [happen]? A He inserted his penis to my vagina, sir. Q Where did this happen? A In our house, sir. Q What time of the day? A Noon time, sir. Q Was there anybody in the house with you during the first time? A My younger sisters, sir. Q What [are] their age[s]? A 6 and 4 years, old, sir. Q Were they awake when the rape happened? A They were sleeping, sir. Q You said he inserted his penis to your vagina. A Yes, sir, and he laid on top of m[e] sir. Q What was he wearing at that time? A He was wearing pants, sir. Q How did he insert his penis to your vagina? A He removed his pants, sir. Q How about you what were you wearing at that time? A Red short and T Shirt, sir. Q Since you were wearing a short how did he insert his penis to your vagina? A He told me to remove my short, sir. No, sir, he was the one who remove[d] my short. Q You did not resist? A No, sir, because I was afraid he was threatening me that I should not tell anybody or he will kill me. Q Was that uttered by the accused before or after he inserted his penis? A After he raped me, sir. Q What did you feel when he inserted his penis to your vagina? A It was very painful, sir. Q What part of your body suffered pain? A My vagina, sir. Q Did you suffer any bleeding? A Yes, sir. Q How long did the accused [stay] on top of you? A For a while, sir. Q And during that time did you feel anything coming out of him? A Yes, sir, sticky substance. Q After that what happened next? A No more, sir. Q What did he do after the sticky substance came out from him? A No more, sir. Q What did you do next? A I [wore] my shorts, sir. Q What did he do after raping you? A He put on his pants, sir. Q After he put on his pants what happened next? A No more, he told me not to tell anybody or he will kill me. Q How many times did he [rape] you [i]n December? A Once (1) only, sir. Q [I]n January 1998, how did the rape [happen]? A The same, sir. Q What do you mean? A The same [as] what he did to me in December. Q What time did he rape you in January? A Noontime, sir. Q Were you alone at that time? A Yes, sir, my sisters were also in the house? Q Were they awake? A They were sleeping, sir. Q Where [were] your parents that time? A They [were] working, sir. Q Where is your father working? A He is a government employee, sir. Q How about your mother? A She is already dead, sir. Q
Are you the eldest?
A No, sir. Q Where is your elder sister? A She [was] not at home, sir. Q How far is the house of the accused from your house? A Opposite our house, sir. Q What was your age when he raped you? A 10 years, old, sir. Q What is your birthdate? A April 4, 1987, sir.
“The Court has scrupulously examined the testimony of the complainant Carla Espayos; it is convinced that the same, even standing alone, passes the test of credibility and may be made the basis of conviction. She was candid and truthful in her narrations, and the Court could not detect any tinge of insincerity in her testimony. There is no doubt that she is telling the truth.”There is no reason for us to doubt the assessment by the trial court of the testimony of the victim. In general, the findings of the trial court on the credibility of witnesses are not disturbed by appellate courts and are treated with much weight and great respect, since it had the unique opportunity to observe the demeanor of those on the stand and was then in a position to discern whether they were telling the truth. Needless to say, its evaluation of their testimony and credibility is binding upon appellate courts, in the absence of a clear showing that it reached such evaluation arbitrarily; or plainly overlooked certain facts of substance or value that, if considered, might affect the result of the case. 
Declared the RTC:In the present case, the narration by the victim of her horrible ordeal evinced sincerity and truthfulness and showed the innocence and naivet×™ of a child. Youth and immaturity could indeed be badges of truth. This observation is a matter of judicial cognizance borne out by human nature and experience. There could not have been a more eloquent testament to the truth than this “public baring of unspoken grief.”
“The Court is inclined to lend credence to complainant’s version of what transpired, considering not only because of her relative age of vulnerability but also because of her willingness to lay bare what should have been shrouded in secrecy and to be exposed to the shame and embarrassment a court trial entails.”
“Additionally, the defense assails the credibility of Carla by pointing out that complainant and her maternal grandmother were impelled by ill-motive in filing this case allegedly arising from the accused’s refusal to open a water line shared by them. We are not persuaded. This motive is simply too frail to bear out resentment and ill will. Even when consumed with hatred and revenge, it would be inconceivable for a grandmother to expose her granddaughter of tender age to the humiliation and ordeal of a public trial unless the charge is true. It takes nothing less than psychological depravity for a grandmother to concoct a story too damaging to the welfare and well-being of her own granddaughter.We are not convinced, as appellant would like us to believe, that the victim filed the Complaint simply at her grandmother’s prodding. Instigation by grandparents to file rape charges is not an uncommon defense. But such alleged motives as family feuds, resentment or revenge have hardly swayed the Court from lending full credence to the testimonies of complainants who remained steadfast throughout their direct and cross-examinations.
“It is for this very same reason that the Court finds it strange that Matilde Espayos, Carla’s paternal grandmother, testified for accused Guillermo Andales, when she should have been looking after the interest and well-being of her own granddaughter. We are completely astounded as to what could have impelled her to take the cudgels for the very person who defiled her own flesh and blood — her granddaughter. x x x [T]he Court does not find this circumstance compelling enough to disturb its findings to give full weight and credence to Carla’s testimony; neither is it of such magnitude as to create a doubt in the mind of the Court on the guilt of accused. Complainant’s unwavering sincerity and candor while testifying in court convinces us that she was impelled by none other than an honest desire to obtain justice for the dastardly act committed upon her person.
“In the same manner, it would be unnatural for a ten (10) year old, innocent girl to concoct a story of rape, knowing the same would drag herself to a lifetime of shame, just because she was influenced by her grandmother who may be harboring ill-feeling against the accused x x x.” (Italics supplied)
“x x x. He even offers the testimony [of] his witness Leopoldo Garino, a fellow tricycle driver, to collaborate his allegations. Unfortunately, however, no details were ever presented by the accused and his witness regarding the time when they were actually plying their tricycle to show that it would be impossible for the accused to be at the place and at the time of the alleged rape complained of.”In the light of the positive identification of appellant as the perpetrator of the crime, his denial and alibi cannot be sustained.
Under the last circumstance, if the offended woman is not yet 12 years old, carnal knowledge with her, regardless of the presence or the absence of consent, constitutes statutory rape. As carnal knowledge of a ten-year-old minor who was threatened has been proven beyond reasonable doubt, all the elements of the crime of rape have been satisfied.
1. Force, threat or intimidation is used.
2. The woman is deprived of reason or is otherwise unconscious.
3. Fraudulent machination or grave abuse of authority is committed.
4. The woman is under twelve years of age or is demented.