403 Phil. 736
That on or about the month of April, 1994, in the Municipality of Pasig, Metro Manila, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, with lewd designs and by means of force and intimidation did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously have sexual intercourse with a thirteen (13) year old girl, Aileen Mendoza y Corales, without her consent and against her will.On January 26, 1995, accused-appellant entered a plea of not guilty.
CONTRARY TO LAW.
Sometime in the third week of April 1994, at about 10:00 o'clock in the morning, Aileen Mendoza, 12 years and ten (10) months old, woke up in their rented room in Sagad, Pasig, Metro Manila, and found the accused on top of her. Aileen was unable to shout for help because accused covered her mouth with a pillow and threatened to kill her. Aileen could not do anything but cry, while accused succeeded in inserting his penis inside her vagina and then ejaculated after making up and down motions with his body, resulting in the pregnancy of Aileen which was noticed by Aileen's mother, Leonila Mendoza, in November, 1994. When confronted by her mother, Aileen revealed that she was raped by the accused. Aileen's parents brought her to the Pasig Police Station, where they lodged their complaint against the accused. At the Police Station, Aileen's and her mother's statements were taken by the police. Dr. Rosaline Cosidon, who examined Aileen, confirmed that Aileen was eight (8) months pregnant and found in her hymen healed lacerations at 5:00 o'clock and 8:00 o'clock positions. On December 19, 1994, Aileen, assisted by Dr. Purisima Barbosa, gave birth to her baby.Accused-appellant raised the defense that at the time of the alleged rape committed in April 1994, he was 67 years old. Ten years previous to that, he was suffering from stomach ulcer and confined in a hospital. Since that time, he has been incapable of having an erection. He further alleged that from the time that he got married to the sister of Aileen's father, the family of his father-in-law has held a grudge against him.
THAT THE TRIAL COURT COMMITTED MANIFEST ERROR AMOUNTING TO GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION IN ADMITTING PARAGRAPH 11 OF THE SWORN STATEMENT OF THE COMPLAINING WITNESS AS HER DIRECT TESTIMONY WITH RESPECT TO THE ALLEGED INCIDENT, AS IF THE CASE IS COVERED BY THE RULES ON SUMMARY PROCEDURE;More specifically, accused-appellant assails the credibility of the victim since she was not asked details on how the rape was committed, but was merely made to identify her sworn statements. However, the Solicitor General pointed out that, contrary to accused-appellant's claim, Aileen in fact testified that she was raped by her uncle.
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THAT THE TRIAL COURT COMMITTED MANIFEST ERROR IN NOT GIVING CREDENCE TO THE PHYSICAL IMPOSSIBILITY OF ACCUSED TO COMMIT THE ALLEGED OFFENSE OF RAPE; CONSIDERING HIS AGE OF 68 YEARS OLD AND HIS DETERIORATING HEALTH;
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THAT THE TRIAL COURT COMMITTED MANIFEST ERROR AMOUNTING TO GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION IN ATTRIBUTING THE BIRTH OF A CHILD OF THE COMPLAINING WITNESS TO A 68-YEAR OLD ACCUSED, AFTER THE LAPSE OF EIGHT (8) MONTHS FROM THE ALLEGED DATE OF INCIDENT; AND THE ALLEGED BIRTH WAS NOT EVEN REGISTERED/REPORTED WITH THE OFFICE OF THE LOCAL CIVIL REGISTRY OF PASIG CITY;
Neither can the claim of impotency by accused-appellant be countenanced. In People v. Palma (G.R. No. 69152, 23 September 1986, 144 SCRA 236), we ruled that impotency as a defense in rape cases must be proved with certainty to overcome the presumption in favor of potency. We even rejected that defense in People v. Olmedillo (No. L-42660, 30 August 1982, 116 SCRA 193) where a doctor had examined the accused by stimulating his organ with a wisp of cotton for three (3) minutes and there was no erection.Accused-appellant denies having sired the victim's child, who was born some eight months from the time of the alleged rape by normal delivery. He cites the case of People v. Lao, where this Court acquitted the accused of the crime of rape because the logical date of conception did not coincide with the alleged occasions of rape. Said ruling, however, finds no application in the case at bar, because in said case, the victim gave birth seven months from the dates of the supposed rapes, and she admitted that she had no sexual contact with the accused prior to the seven-month period.
With more reason must we reject such defense in the face of the unsubstantiated allegation of Ablog. For at no time did he present himself for the same kind of examination. Even the expert witness he presented, Dr. Arnold Pasia, could not state with unequivocal conviction that his hypertension was of a permanent nature and of such gravity that it rendered him bereft of sexual desires and potency. On the contrary, Dr. Pasia stressed that the hypertension that Ablog suffered was merely symptomatic and could be healed by proper medication. Neither can accused-appellant invoke old age. In People v. Bahuyan (G.R. No. 105842, 24 November 1994, 238 SCRA 330), we convicted an octogenarian of rape as we brushed aside his claim of impotency. There we said that assuming arguendo that this was the truth, his advanced age did not mean that sexual intercourse for him was no longer possible, as age taken alone could not be a criterion in determining sexual interest and capability of middle-aged and older people.
The death penalty shall also be imposed if the crime of rape is committed with any of the following attendant circumstances:The Court has consistently declared that the circumstances under the amendatory provisions of R.A. 7659, Section 11, the attendance of which would mandate the imposition of the single indivisible penalty of death, are in the nature of qualifying circumstances which should be alleged in the information and proved at the trial. Indeed, the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, which took effect on December 1, 2000, now specifically require both qualifying and aggravating circumstances to be alleged in the information, viz:
- When the victim is under eighteen (18) years of age and the offender is a parent, ascendant, step-parent, guardian, relative by consanguinity or affinity within the third civil degree, or the common law spouse of the parent of the victim. x x x.
SEC. 8. Designation of the offense. - The complaint or information shall state the designation of the offense given by the statute, aver the acts or omissions constituting the offense, and specify its qualifying and aggravating circumstances. If there is no designation of the offense, reference shall be made to the section or subsection of the statute punishing it.Both circumstances of minority of the victim and her relationship with the accused must be alleged in the information. In the case at bar, the prosecution only alleged the minority of the victim; it failed to allege that accused-appellant is her relative by consanguinity or affinity within the third civil degree of relationship. Consequently, accused-appellant cannot be convicted of qualified rape. It must be borne in mind that the requirement for complete allegations on the particulars of the indictment is based on the right of the accused to be fully informed of the nature of the charges against him so that he may adequately prepare for his defense pursuant to the due process clause of the Constitution. Hence, the crime committed is only simple rape, punishable by reclusion perpetua.
SEC. 9. Cause of the accusation. - The acts or omissions complained of as constituting the offense and the qualifying and aggravating circumstances must be stated in ordinary and concise language and not necessarily in the language used in the statute but in terms sufficient to enable a person of common understanding to know what offense is being charged as well as its qualifying and aggravating circumstances and for the court to pronounce judgment.
The Court has also resolved that in crimes of rape, such as that under consideration, moral damages may additionally be awarded to the victim in the criminal proceeding, in such amount as the Court deems just, without the need for pleading or proof of the basis thereof as has heretofore been the practice. Indeed, the conventional requirement of allegata et probata in civil procedure and for essentially civil cases should be dispensed with in criminal prosecution for rape with the civil aspect included therein, since no appropriate pleadings are filed wherein such allegations can be made.WHEREFORE, the judgment of the Regional Trial Court, finding accused-appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape, is AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATIONS that he is sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and ordered to pay the offended party P50,000.00 as civil indemnity; P50,000.00 as moral damages; costs of the suit and to provide support for the child Lealhyn Corales Mendoza.
Corollarily, the fact that complainant has suffered the trauma of mental, physical and psychological sufferings which constitute the bases for moral damages are too obvious to still require the recital thereof at the trial by the victim, since the Court itself even assumes and acknowledges such agony on her part as a gauge of her credibility. What exists by necessary implication as being ineludibly present in the case need not go through the superfluity of still being proved through a testimonial charade.