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People of the Philippines, Appellee vs. Saturnino Villanueva, Appellant GR no.

181829 September 1, 2010

FACTS: Appellant was convicted with 3 counts of qualified rape both in the trial court and the Court of Appeals and sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and pay damages worth P 75,000.00 as civil indemnity, P 75,000.00 as moral damages and P 25,000.00 as exemplary damages for each count. The victim, AAA is appellants daughter and is allegedly is a minor. The crime was committed in three separate occasions. During the trial, the prosecution presented their witness who identified the appellant as her rapist. AAAs birth certificate proving she was under the age of 12 years old and the medical certificate were marked as Exhibit during the pre-trial but was not formally offer as evidence. The appellant contested that the documentary evidence used to convict him should not be subjected for the appreciation of the court. ISSUE: Whether or not appellants contention that the documentary evidence should not be admitted in court for the failure to formally offer it in court RULING: The appeal is partly meritorious. The Supreme Court agree with the appellant that both the medical certificate and birth certificate of AAA though marked as exhibits during the pre-trial should not have been considered by the trial court and the Court of Appeals because they are not formally offered in evidence. Rule 132 Section 34 of the Rules of Court explicitly provide that: The court shall consider no evidence which has not been formally offered. The purpose for which the evidence is offered must be specified. The mere fact that a particular document is identified and marked as an exhibit does not mean that it has already been offered as part of evidence. It must be emphasized that any evidence which a party desires to submit for the consideration of the court must formally be offered by the party; otherwise, it is excluded and rejected. However it must also be considered that appellant can still be convicted without a medical certificate. In rape cases, the accused may be convicted solely on the testimony of the victim provided that the testimony is credible, natural, convincing and consistent with human nature and the normal course of things. The trial court is bound to consider only the testimonial evidence presented and exclude the documents not offered. WHEREFORE, the court find appellant GUILTY of three counts of simple rape and accordingly sentence him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to indemnify his victim the amountd of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity, P 50,000 as moral damages and P30,000 as exemplary damages to each count. Prepared by: Ma.Cristina G. Magallones Evidence Wed 5-9pm CW 6

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