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COMPROMISES

G.R. No. 21911 September 15, 1924

EL VARADERO DE MANILA, plaintiff-appellant,


vs.
INSULAR LUMBER COMPANY, defendant-appellee.

Ernesto Zaragoza for appellant.


Ross, Lawrence & Selph and Antonio T. Carrascoso, Jr., for appellee.

MALCOLM, J.:

El Varadero de Manila completed satisfactorily certain repairs on the lighter Tatlo, the property of the
Insular Lumber Company. The work was performed pursuant to no express agreement, but with the
implicit understanding that the price would be as low as, or lower than, could be secured from any
other company.

The Insular Lumber Company being of the opinion that the bill as presented by El Varadero de
Manila was grossly exorbitant and a proposed compromise having failed of realization, the matter
was taken to court with the result that in the Court of First Instance of Manila, El Varadero de Manila,
the plaintiff, secured judgment against the Insular Lumber Company, the defendant, in the amount of
P5,310.70, with legal interest from the presentation of the complaint, and costs. Still dissatisfied, the
plaintiff has appealed to this court and here as asked us to increase the amount of the judgment to
P12,412.62.

To arrive at as correct a judgment as is possible, it will first be necessary to set down a number of
figures and thereafter to seize upon a few salient facts as having influence.

The itemized bill presented by the plaintiff, the amount which it still claims, totals P12,412.62. At one
time during the course of the negotiations, the plaintiff was willing to accept P10,241.37. (Exhibit I.)
The witnesses for the plaintiff naturally took the view that the bill was correct. But the trial judge was
of the opinion that it was excessive.

The defendant, on the other hand, says that a reasonable figure for the work would be P5,310.70.
Witnesses were offered to substantiate this contention. Their testimony so impressed the trial judge
that he adopted their statements as his own. During the course of the abortive negotiations,
however, the defendant expressed a willingness to pay the plaintiff P8,070.12. (Exhibit G.)

Now to emphasize three points which will materially assist us in rendering judgment. The first point
relates to the offer of compromise which naturally, under the general rules of evidence, must be
excluded, except that as the amounts named in the offers to accept certain sums in settlement
appear to have been arrived at as a fair estimate of value, they are relevant. (City of
Springfield vs. Schmook [1878], 68 Mo., 394; Daniels vs. Town of Woonsocket [1874], 11 R. I., 4;
Teasley vs. Bradley [1900], 110 Ga., 497.) Here, there was no denial of liability and the only question
discussed was the amount to be paid which the plaintiff insisted should not be more than P8,070.12.
The second point of interest relates to the testimony of Mariano Yengko, inspector of vessels,
admittedly a disinterested witness, who in one synopsis of a fair value of the repairs, arrived at
P5,134.20, but which, on cross-examination, he raised to between seven and eight thousand pesos.
And the third point is that the tacit understanding between the parties was that the cost of the repairs
should be approximately the same as what other companies would charge. The defendant admits
that El Varadero de Navotas would have done the work for about P8,000.

Basing our findings, therefore, on the foregoing considerations, we are of the opinion that the
reasonable value of the repairs performed by El Varadero de Manila on the Tatlo owned by the
Insular Lumber Company, was something less than P8,000. We fix the sum definitely at P7,700.

Judgment is modified, and in lieu of the judgment rendered in the lower court, another shall issue in
favor of the plaintiff and against the defendant for the recovery of P7,700, with legal interest to begin
to run from the date when this judgment shall become final and to continue until payment, without
express finding as to costs in either instance. So ordered.

Street, Avancea, Villamor, Ostrand and Romualdez, JJ., concur.

[G.R. No. 10566. August 20, 1915. ]

THE UNITED STATES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. REGINO TORRES AND PABLO


PADILLA, Defendants-Appellants.

Ledesma, Clarin, Gabaldon & Recto for appellant Torres.

P. E. del Rosario for appellant Padilla.

Attorney-General Avancea for Appellee.

SYLLABUS

1. OPIUM; PRESUMPTION OF POSSESSION OF DRUG. Where a person entertains an offer to


sell his opium, goes to the house of the vendor, examines the drug and leaves the house with three
tins of it, and where the person is not authorized to have the drug in his possession, it is presumed
that he was the owner thereof by purchase.

2. POSSESSION DEFINED. Civil possession is the holding of a thing with the intention of
acquiring ownership. (Civil Code, art. 430.)

3. OFFER TO COMPROMISE. An offer to compromise is not a confession of debt and is not


admissible in evidence.

DECISION

ARELLANO, C.J. :
The reason in this case has come before us on appeal by both defendants from the judgment of the
Court of First Instance of Cebu whereby they were convicted of a violation of Act No. 1761. Regino
Torres was sentenced to imprisonment for three years, Pablo Padilla to one year and one month,
and each to pay one-half of the costs. The three tins of opium, the corpus delicti, were ordered
confiscated.

On examination of the record it appears:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

That the testimony of George W. Walker and Juan Samson, secret service agents of the Cebu
Customhouse who arrested the defendants, and the seizure of the corpus delicti (Exhibits A, B, and
C) were held by the trial court to be conclusive evidence against defendants.

That Walker testified that he had received information that on the night of January 20, 1914, Regino
Torres would go to the house of the widow of one Franco to get some opium; that at 7:30 that
evening they stationed themselves in Calle de Colon, where the said house stood, and a short while
afterwards saw the two defendants come out of the door of the garage on the premises; that
Samson seized Torres, and as Padilla started to run away Walker went in pursuit of him and on
passing by Samson and Torres saw two tins of opium; that three times he ordered Padilla to halt,
and, as the latter continued to run, witness fired a shot into the air, whereupon Padilla stopped, after
he had thrown one tin over a fence; that, after the arrest of both defendants, Walker and Samson set
out with lights to search for the tins and found the one thrown by Padilla inside the inclosure, and the
other two tins, about a meter from the place where Samson had been holding Torres.

That the other officer, Samson, gave nearly the same testimony. He added, however, when
questioned by the defense as to whether Walker had said anything to him on his return from his
pursuit of Padilla, that Walker did say that he saw Regino Torres throw away two tins and that he
was looking for them. He was also asked by the defense whether Walker had proposed to the
defendants that they pay a fine in the form of a compromise, to which he replied that he had not, but
that, on the contrary, it was the defendants who made this offer.

That the defendant Regino Torres testified that Padilla told him that there was a large amount of
opium, and they agreed that at 6 oclock in the evening they would go to the house above
mentioned; that Padilla went to Torres house at 6 oclock in the evening and hurried him up, saying:
"Eat in a hurry, for the owner of the opium needs money" ; that when they arrived at the house of
Francos widow, Padilla entered the door of the place where the automobiles were kept, and five
minutes afterwards called witness to enter the garage and there Padilla showed Torres a tin of
opium, at the same time saying that it was first class and cost P60 without haggling; that witness
replied that he would first show it to some trustworthy friends to determine its class; that Padilla
agreed and they both left for this purpose, but that when they had gone about ten brazas from the
door, he was seized by Samson and saw that Padilla had run away and was being pursued by
Walker. The court asked Torres whether he had wished to investigate first and buy afterwards, to
which he replied that he did, and that if he had been convinced of the quality of the opium he would
have bought about 20 or 25 tins. "But have you so much money?" inquired the judge. The defendant
replied: "Yes, sir."cralaw virtua1aw library

That, upon arraignment, Pablo Padilla pleaded guilty. "The defendants counsel," says the trial court
in his decision, "requested that his client be permitted to state the circumstances that surrounded the
case and which induced this defendant to commit the crime under prosecution." The court further
says therein: "It is preferable that counsel himself state the circumstances that, in his opinion,
attended the crime and which may be considered as extenuating."cralaw virtua1aw library

Pantaleon del Rosario, Padillas counsel, stated that according to the information given by his client,
the latter is a poor man who accompanied the other defendant Regino Torres principally in order
that, in case they were caught by the authorities, Torres might transfer the material possession of the
opium to counsels client and the latter would assume liability for such possession and suffer the
legal consequences.

That the trial court took that statement into consideration in extenuation of the penalty he imposed
upon Padilla, concluding by saying that this defendant appeared to be a poor man who, impelled by
poverty, had accompanied Torres for the purpose, as every probability indicated, of obtaining a
relatively small share in the business in which Torres was engaged; while, with respect to Torres, the
court said that he played the most important role, for he confessed to have sufficient means to
purchase opium to the amount of twenty tins at P60 a tin.

From the judgment of conviction Regino Torres bases his appeal on four assignments of error: (1) In
that the trial court concluded that two tins were taken from the appellants possession; (2) in holding
that the appellant had incurred the penalties provided in section 31 of Act No. 1761; (3) in holding
been engaged in the business of buying and selling opium, and in grounding the judgment of
conviction on the said confession; (4) in accepting, as evidence for the prosecution, the compromise
that it is asserted he proposed to the agent George Walker; and (5), in that the penalty imposed
upon the appellant was excessive.

Pablo Padilla bases his appeal only on this last assignment.

Errors 1, 2, and 3 will not lie. Where a person entertains an offer to sell, goes to the house where the
sale is to be effected, making haste because the vendor needs money and because he was urged to
do so by the agent who made him the offer, enters the house, examines the article, leaves the house
with three tins which contained the thing offered for sale and which is a prohibited article by a reason
of its being opium, and if the purchaser is not a person authorized to have it in his possession, it can
not be held that the purchaser took the three tins with him to sample their contents; such a purpose
must be proven and unless it is there can be no other inference than that he carried away with him
the thing purchased and that its acquisition was a consummated fact, for the presumption is that the
acts took place in the ordinary course of things and the general routine of dealings between men,
and it cannot be doubted that the person who had the control over the opium at the moment it was
seized, whoever it was that carried it, could be no other than the owner of the money which the
vendor so urgently desired to acquire on that day in exchange for the opium. Civil possession is the
holding of a thing by a person with the intention of acquiring ownership thereof (Civ. Code, art. 430).
It was Torres who had the intention of having the opium as belonging to him, and as he intended, so
he had it, and it was afterwards taken from him, as being a thing that he could not hold, possess nor
lawfully have as his own. Padilla was not the owner of the money which the person who sold the
opium needed. Padilla was but an agent who made the offer to Torres. Padilla had no intention of
holding, possessing and having as his own the opium which, on the part of another, he had offered
to Torres. The possession or material holding in this case gives way to the civil possession which,
according to Torres confession, was the reason that took him to the house of Francos widow, thus
putting into effect the intention to possess which he had a priori entertained as the cause of his
presence in the place of the sale. After all, the seizure of the two tins at a place one meter away from
the spot where Torres was arrested by Samson, and the seizure of one tin in the possession of
Padilla, who had thrown it into an inclosure, are facts held by the trial court to have been proven, and
this finding, which does not violate any law and which we do not find to be erroneous, should not be
changed in this review of the evidence. We confirm the finding and hold that it is in accord with the
merits of the case.

With regard to the fourth cause of action, the facts are as follows: The witness, Walker, testified,
among other things, that Regino Torres endeavored to compromise the case and that he (Walker)
was willing to accept the compromise through the payment of P1,500, but subject to the approval of
his superiors. The defense asked that this testimony be stricken out, alleging that, in accordance
with the Code of Civil Procedure, the compromise in such cases must be made in writing. "When
made in civil cases, it is proper; but in criminal causes, it is not," the court said, and accordingly
overruled the objection. The defense excepted.

We have already seen above what Samsons testimony was concerning this point and how thereby
he corroborated that given by Walker.

An offer to compromise is not a confession of debt and is not admissible in evidence (Code of Civ.
Proc., sec. 346). In a criminal cause for theft (U. S. v. Maqui, 27 Phil. Rep., 97) this court said that
the weight both of authority and reason sustains the rule which admits evidence of offers to
compromise, in criminal cases, but permits the accused to show that such offers were not made
under a consciousness of guilt, but merely to avoid the inconvenience of imprisonment or for some
other reason which would justify a claim by the accused that the offer to compromise was not in truth
an admission of his guilt and an attempt to avoid the legal consequences which would ordinarily
ensue therefrom.

It is a legal maxim, which assuredly constitutes one of the bases of the right to penalize, that in the
matter of public crimes which directly affect the public interest, in so far as public vengeance and
private interests are concerned, no compromise whatever may be entered into as regards the penal
action, however it may be with respect to the civil liability. But section 25 of Act No. 1761, under
which this cause was prosecuted, expressly authorizes the Collector of Internal Revenue to
compromise a case after action has been begun, "instead of commencing or prosecuting suit
thereon." The words in quotation marks are textual. A compromise necessarily implies two elements,
one of which is the offer and the other the acceptance, in order that the penal action may be
extinguished and there remain only the civil liability to deal with. Of course ordinarily it is the
defendant who makes the offer, a lawful act sanctioned by law in this class of prosecutions,
and because it is made, no presumption of guilt must be raised against the maker, as occurs in other
criminal causes for public crimes in which the offer is not lawful because it is a thing prohibited by
law. The offer may have been prompted simply to avoid the annoyance of a prosecution, as
sometimes happens in a civil case where a person involved in the litigation is perhaps entirely in the
right but prefers to lose a sum of money rather than commence and prosecute an action. This case
is, therefore, on all fours with that of section 346 of the Code of Civil Procedure, above cited. At all
events, for the conviction of the defendants it is not necessary to consider and weigh this evidence; it
could only be considered as cumulative, and it was not taken into account by the trial court.

With regard to the 5th assignment of error which alleges that the penalty was excessive, it must be
remembered that the trial court exercised his discretion in fixing the penalty within the limits
established by law and that, in principle, what is authorized by law cannot be held to be arbitrary. But
the penalty imposed by the trial court in his discretion will not necessarily have to stand for that
reason. If such a principle governed, appeals would be useless. This Supreme Court also exercises
its discretion, and, in a higher degree, by its right of review in criminal causes brought up on appeal
or consultation and of high inspection over the administration of justice, it has the power to modify
within the limits of the penalty provided by law, in order to maintain uniformity in its application. If
judicial decisions vary in the different provinces of the Archipelago, even in identical or at least
analogous cases, it is principally due to the fact that the judges, acquainted with the extent of crime
in their respective jurisdictions, are justified, in order to suppress crime, in applying the law more
strictly and severely in some provinces than in others in accordance with the greater or lesser
propensity to disobey the laws and the peculiar circumstances that prevail in each locality. But within
the same province such variation would not be justifiable, as it would transgress the law which fits
the penalty to the crime. In the Province of Cebu the court sentenced Lao Lock Hing, for the
possession of 70 tins of opium, to five years imprisonment and a fine of P10,000, or, in case of
insolvency, to subsidiary imprisonment; but this Supreme Court reduced the penalty to two years
imprisonment and a fine of P3,000 (14 Phil. Rep., 86 1). In the same Province of Cebu, Miguel
Villano was charged with having bought and sold 190 tins of opium although one of the charges
was for 100 tins only, valued at P3,000, because the 190 tins were received on different dates
and was sentenced on the charge for the 100 tins, to one year and two months imprisonment and to
pay a fine of P2,500, a judgment which was affirmed by this Supreme Court (18 Phil. Rep., 359 2). In
another cause also tried in Cebu against one Look Chaw for the sale of 30 tins of opium, the penalty
imposed was one years imprisonment and a fine of P2,000; this also was affirmed by this Supreme
Court (19 Phil. Rep., 343 3).

The foregoing sentences are in notable contrast to the case at bar in which Regino Torres is
sentenced to three years imprisonment for the possession of two tins of opium, valued at scarcely
P120, and Pablo Padilla to one year and one month for the possession of one tin of the same drug,
worth probably P60.

The judgment appealed from is affirmed, with the understanding that the imprisonment to be
imposed upon Regino Torres shall be that of nine months, and that upon Pablo Padilla, six months,
each of them to pay the costs of this instance in equal shares. So ordered.

Torres, Johnson, Carson, Trent and Araullo, JJ., concur.

G.R. Nos. 115908-09 December 6, 1995

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,


vs.
DANNY GODOY, * accused-appellant.

REGALADO, J.:

Often glossed over in the emotional arguments against capital punishment is the amplitude of legal
protection accorded to the offender. Ignored by the polemicist are the safeguards designed to
minimally reduce, if not altogether eliminate, the grain of human fault. Indeed, there is no critique on
the plethora of rights enjoyed by the accused regardless of how ruthlessly he committed the crime.
Any margin of judicial error is further addressed by the grace of executive clemency. But, even
before that, all convictions imposing the penalty of death are automatically reviewed by this Court.
The cases at bar, involving two death sentences, apostrophize for the condemned the role of this
ultimate judicial intervention.

Accused-appellant Danny Godoy was charged in two separate informations filed before the Regional
Trial Court, for Palawan and Puerto Princesa City, Branch 47, with rape and kidnapping with serious
illegal detention, respectively punished under Articles 335 and 267 of the Revised Penal Code, to
wit:

In Criminal Case No. 11640 for Rape:

That on or about the evening of the 21st day of January, 1994, at Barangay Pulot Center,
Municipality of Brooke's Point, Province of Palawan, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this
Honorable Court, the said accused by means of force, threat and intimidation, by using a knife and
by means of deceit, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge
with one Mia Taha to her damage and prejudice. 1

In Criminal Case No. 11641 for Kidnapping with Serious Illegal Detention:

That on or about the 22nd day of January, 1994, at Barangay Ipilan, Municipality of Brooke's Point,
Province of Palawan, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said
accused, a private individual, and being a teacher of the victim, Mia Taha, and by means of deceit
did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously kidnap or detained (sic) said Mia Taha, a girl of
17 years old (sic), for a period of five (5) days thus thereby depriving said Mia Taha of her liberty
against her will and consent and without legal justification, to the damage and prejudice of said Mia
Taha. 2

During the arraignment on both indictments, appellant pleaded not guilty to said charges and, after
the pre-trial was terminated, a joint trial of the two cases was conducted by the trial court. 3

According to complainant Mia Taha, at around 7:00 P.M. of January 21, 1994, she went to the
boarding house of her cousin, Merlylyn Casantosan, at Pulot Center, Brooke's Point which is near
the Palawan National School (PNS), Pulot Branch, where she was studying. When she saw that the
house was dark, she decided to pass through the kitchen door at the back because she knew that
there was nobody inside. As soon as she opened the door, somebody suddenly grabbed her, poked
a knife on her neck, dragged her by the hand and told her not to shout. She was then forced to lie
down on the floor. Although it was dark, complainant was able to recognize her assailant, by the light
coming from the moon and through his voice, as accused-appellant Danny Godoy who was her
Physics teacher at PNS.

When she was already on the floor, appellant removed her panty with one hand while holding the
knife with the other hand, opened the zipper of his pants, and then inserted his private organ inside
her private parts against her will. She felt pain because it was her first experience and she cried.
Throughout her ordeal, she could not utter a word. She was very frightened because a knife was
continually pointed at her. She also could not fight back nor plead with appellant not to rape her
because he was her teacher and she was afraid of him. She was threatened not to report the
incident to anyone or else she and her family would be killed.

Thereafter, while she was putting on her panty, she noticed that her skirt was stained with blood.
Appellant walked with her to the gate of the house and she then proceeded alone to the boarding
house where she lived. She did not see where appellant went after she left him at the gate. When
she arrived at her boarding house, she saw her landlady but she did not mention anything about the
incident.

The following morning, January 22, 1994, complainant went home to her parents' house at Ipilan,
Brooke's Point. She likewise did not tell her parents about the incident for fear that appellant might
make good his threat. At around 3:00 P.M. of that same day, appellant arrived at the house of her
parents and asked permission from the latter if complainant could accompany him to solicit funds
because she was a candidate for "Miss PNS Pulot." When her parents agreed, she was constrained
to go with appellant because she did not want her parents to get into trouble.

Appellant and complainant then left the house and they walked in silence, with Mia following behind
appellant, towards the highway where appellant hailed a passenger jeep which was empty except for
the driver and the conductor. She was forced to ride the jeep because appellant threatened to kill her
if she would not board the vehicle. The jeep proceeded to the Sunset Garden at the poblacion,
Brooke's Point where they alighted.
At the Sunset Garden, appellant checked in and brought her to a room where they staye d for three
days. During the entire duration of their stay at the Sunset Garden, complainant was not allowed to
leave the room which was always kept locked. She was continuously guarded and constantly raped
by appellant. She was, however, never drunk or unconscious. Nonetheless, she was forced to have
sex with appellant because the latter was always carrying a knife with him.

In the early morning of January 25, 1994, appellant brought her to the house of his friend at
Edward's Subdivision where she was raped by him three times. She was likewise detained and
locked inside the room and tightly guarded by appellant. After two days, or on January 27, 1994,
they left the place because appellant came to know that complainant had been reported and
indicated as a missing person in the police blotter. They went to see a certain Naem ** from whom
appellant sought help. On that same day, she was released but only after her parents agreed to
settle the case with appellant.

Immediately thereafter, Mia's parents brought her to the District Hospital at Brooke's Point where she
was examined by Dr. Rogelio Divinagracia who made the following medical findings:

GENERAL: Well developed, nourished, cooperative, walking, conscious, coherent Filipina.

BREAST: Slightly globular with brown colored areola and nipple.

EXTERNAL EXAM.: Numerous pubic hair, fairly developed labia majora and minora, hymenal
opening stellate in shape, presence of laceration superficial, longitudinal at the fossa navicularis,
approximately 1/2 cm. length.

INTERNAL EXAM.: Hymenal opening, stellate in shape, laceration noted, hymenal opening admits 2
fingers with slight resistance, prominent vaginal rugae, cervix closed.

CONCLUSION: Hymenal opening admits easily 2 fingers with slight resistance, presence of
laceration, longitudinal at the fossa navicularis approximately 1/2 cm. length. Hymenal opening can
admit an average size penis in erection with laceration. 4

Dr. Divinagracia further testified that the hymenal opening was in stellate shape and that there was a
laceration, which shows that complainant had participated in sexual intercourse. On the basis of the
inflicted laceration which was downward at 6 o'clock position, he could not say that there was force
applied because there were no scratches or bruises, but only a week-old laceration. He also
examined the patient bodily but found no sign of bruises or injuries. The patient told him that she
was raped.

During the cross-examination, complainant denied that she wrote the letters marked as Exhibits "1"
and "2"; that she never loved appellant but, on the contrary, she hated him because of what he did to
her; and that she did not notice if there were people near the boarding house of her cousin. She
narrated that when appellant started to remove her panty, she was already lying down, and that even
as appellant was doing this she could not shout because she was afraid. She could not remember
with which hand appellant held the knife. She was completely silent from the time she was made to
lie down, while her panty was being removed, and even until appellant was able to rape her.

When appellant went to their house the following day, she did not know if he was armed but there
was no threat made on her or her parents. On the contrary, appellant even courteously asked
permission from them in her behalf and so they left the house with appellant walking ahead of her.
When she was brought to the Sunset Garden, she could not refuse because she was afraid.
However, she admitted that at that time, appellant was not pointing a knife at her. She only saw the
cashier of the Sunset Garden but she did not notice if there were other people inside. She likewise
did not ask the appellant why he brought her there.

Complainant described the lock in their room as an ordinary doorknob, similar to that on the door of
the courtroom which, even if locked, could still be opened from the inside, and she added that there
was a sliding lock inside the room. According to her, they stayed at Sunset Garden for three days
and three nights but she never noticed if appellant ever slept because everytime she woke up,
appellant was always beside her. She never saw him close his eyes.

Helen Taha, the mother of complainant, testified that when the latter arrived at their house in the
morning of January 22, 1994, she noticed that Mia appeared weak and her eyes were swollen.
When she asked her daughter if there was anything wrong, the latter merely kept silent. That
afternoon, she allowed Mia to go with appellant because she knew he was her teacher. However,
when Mia and appellant failed to come home at the expected time, she and her husband, Adjeril,
went to look for them at Ipilan. When they could not find them there, she went to the house of
appellant because she was already suspecting that something was wrong, but appellant's wife told
her that he did not come home.

Early the next morning, she and her husband went to the Philippine National Police (PNP) station at
Pulot, Brooke's Point and had the incident recorded in the police blotter. The following day, they went
to the office of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) at Puerto Princess City, then to the police
station near the NBI, and finally to the radio station airing the Radyo ng Bayan program where she
made an appeal to appellant to return her daughter. When she returned home, a certain Naem was
waiting there and he informed her that Mia was at Brooke's Point. He further conveyed appellant's
willingness to become a Muslim so he could marry Mia and thus settle the case. Helen Taha readily
acceded because she wanted to see her daughter.

In the morning of January 27, 1994, she went to the house of Naem who sent somebody to fetch
complainant. She testified that when Mia arrived, she was crying as she reported that she was raped
by appellant, and that the latter threatened to kill her if she did not return within an hour. Because of
this, she immediately brought Mia to the hospital where the latter was examined and then they
proceeded to the municipal hall to file a complaint for rape and kidnapping. Both Mia and Helen Taha
executed separate sworn statements before the PNP at Brooke's Point.

Later, Fruit Godoy, the wife of appellant, went to their house and offered P50,000.00 for the
settlement of the case. On their part, her husband insisted that they just settle, hence all three of
them, Adjeril, Helen and Mia Taha, went to the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor where they met
with the mother of appellant who gave them P30,000.00. Adjeril and Helen Taha subsequently
executed an affidavit of desistance in Criminal Case No. 7687 for kidnapping pending in the
prosecutor's office, which was sworn to before Prosecutor II Chito S. Meregillano. Helen Taha
testified that she agreed to the settlement because that was what her husband wanted. Mia Taha
was dropped from the school and was not allowed to graduate. Her father died two months later,
supposedly because of what happened.

The defense presented a different version of what actually transpired.

According to appellant, he first met Mia Taha sometime in August, 1993 at the Palawan National
School (PNS). Although he did not court her, he fell in love with her because she often told him "Sir, I
love you." What started as a joke later developed into a serious relationship which was kept a secret
from everybody else. It was on December 20, 1993 when they first had sexual intercourse as lovers.
Appellant was then assigned at the Narra Pilot Elementary School at the poblacion because he was
the coach of the Palawan delegation for chess. At around 5:00 P.M. of that day, complainant arrived
at his quarters allegedly because she missed him, and she then decided to spend the night there
with him.

Exactly a month thereafter, specifically in the evening of January 20, 1994, Erna Baradero, a teacher
at the PNS, was looking inside the school building for her husband, who was a security guard of
PNS, when she heard voices apparently coming from the Orchids Room. She went closer to listen
and she heard a girl's voice saying "Mahal na mahal kita, Sir, iwanan mo ang iyong asawa at tatakas
tayo." Upon hearing this, she immediately opened the door and was startled to see Mia Taha and
Danny Godoy holding hands. She asked them what they were doing there at such an unholy hour
but the two, who were obviously caught by surprise, could not answer. She then hurriedly closed the
door and left. According to this witness, complainant admitted to her that she was having an affair
with appellant. Desirous that such illicit relationship must be stopped, Erna Baradero informed
appellant's wife about it when the latter arrived from Manila around the first week of February, 1994.

Upon the request of appellant's wife, Erna Baradero executed an affidavit in connection with the
present case, but the same was not filed then because of the affidavit of desistance which was
executed and submitted by the parents of complainant. In her sworn statement, later marked in
evidence as Exhibit "7", Erna Baradero alleged that on January 21, 1994, she confronted Mia Taha
about the latter's indiscretion and reminded her that appellant is a married man, but complainant
retorted, "Ano ang pakialam mo," adding that she loves appellant very much.

Appellant testified that on January 21, 1994, at around 7:00 P.M., Mia Taha went to his office asking
for help with the monologue that she would be presenting for the Miss PNS contest. He agreed to
meet her at the house of her cousin, Merlylyn Casantosan. However, when he reached the place,
the house was dark and he saw Mia waiting for him outside. Accordingly, they just sat on a bench
near the road where there was a lighted electric post and they talked about the matter she had
earlier asked him about. They stayed there for fifteen minutes, after which complainant returned to
her boarding house just across the street while appellant headed for home some fifteen meters
away.

It appears that while complainant was then waiting for appellant, Filomena Pielago, a former teacher
of Mia at PNS and who was then on her way to a nearby store, saw her sitting on a bench and asked
what she was doing there at such a late hour. Complainant merely replied that she was waiting for
somebody. Filomena proceeded to the store and, along the way, she saw Inday Zapanta watering
the plants outside the porch of her house. When Filomena Pielago returned, she saw complainant
talking with appellant and she noticed that they were quite intimate because they were holding
hands. This made her suspect that the two could be having a relationship. She, therefore, told
appellant that his wife had finished her aerobics class and was already waiting for him. She also
advised Mia to go home.

Prior to this incident, Filomena Pielago already used to see them seated on the same bench.
Filomena further testified that she had tried to talk appellant out of the relationship because his wife
had a heart ailment. She also warned Mia Taha, but to no avail. She had likewise told complainant's
grandmother about her activities. At the trial, she identified the handwriting of complainant appearing
on the letters marked as Exhibits "1" and "2", claiming that she is familiar with the same because Mia
was her former student. On cross-examination, Filomena clarified that when she saw the couple on
the night of January 21, 1994, the two were talking naturally, she did not see Mia crying, nor did it
appear as if appellant was pleading with her.

In the afternoon of the following day, January 22, 1994, appellant met Mia's mother on the road near
their house and she invited him to come up and eat "buko," which invitation he accepted. Thirty
minutes thereafter, complainant told him to ask permission from her mother for them to go and solicit
funds at the poblacion, and he did so. Before they left, he noticed that Mia was carrying a plastic bag
and when he asked her about it, she said that it contained her things which she was bringing to her
cousin's house. Appellant and Mia went to the poblacion where they solicited funds until 6:30 P.M.
and then had snacks at the Vic Tan Store.

Thereafter, complainant told appellant that it was already late and there was no more available
transportation, so she suggested that they just stay at Sunset Garden. Convinced that there was
nothing wrong in that because they already had intimate relations, aside from the fact that Mia had
repeatedly told him she would commit suicide should he leave her, appellant was prevailed upon to
stay at the hotel. Parenthetically, it was complainant who arranged their registration and
subsequently paid P400.00 for their bill from the funds they had solicited. That evening, however,
appellant told complainant at around 9:00 P.M. that he was going out to see a certain Bert Dalojo at
the latter's residence. In truth, he borrowed a motorcycle from Fernando Rubio and went home to
Pulot. He did not bring complainant along because she had refused to go home.

The following morning, January 23, 1994, appellant went to the house of complainant's parents and
informed them that Mia spent the night at the Sunset Garden. Mia's parents said that they would just
fetch her there, so he went back to Sunset Garden and waited for them outside the hotel until 5:00
P.M. When they did not arrive, he decided to go with one Isagani Virey, whom he saw while waiting
near the road, and they had a drinking session with Virey's friends. Thereafter, Virey accompanied
him back to Sunset Garden where they proceeded to Mia's room. Since the room was locked from
the inside, Virey had to knock on the door until it was opened by her.

Once inside, he talked to complainant and asked her what they were doing, but she merely
answered that what she was doing was of her own free will and that at that moment her father was
not supposed to know about it for, otherwise, he would kill her. What complainant did not know,
however, was that appellant had already reported the matter to her parents, although he opted not to
tell her because he did not want to add to her apprehensions. Isagani Virey further testified that
when he saw appellant and complainant on January 23 and 24, 1994, the couple looked very happy.

Appellant denied that they had sexual intercourse during their entire stay at Sunset Garden, that is,
from January 22 to 24, 1994, because he did not have any idea as to what she really wanted to
prove to him. Appellant knew that what they were doing was wrong but he allegedly could not avoid
Mia because of her threat that she would commit suicide if he left her. Thus, according to appellant,
on January 24, 1994 he asked Isagani Virey to accompany him to the house of Romy Vallan, a
policeman, to report the matter.

Additionally, Virey testified that appellant and Mia went to see him at his aunt's house to ask for
assistance in procuring transportation because, according to appellant, the relatives of Mia were
already looking for them and so they intend to go to Puerto Princesa City. Virey accompanied them
to the house of Romy Vallan, whose wife was a co-teacher of appellant's wife, but the latter refused
to help because of the complicated situation appellant was in.

Nevertheless, Vallan verified from the police station whether a complaint had been filed against
appellant and after finding out that there was none, he told appellant to just consult a certain Naem
who is an "imam." Appellant was able to talk to Naem at Vallan's house that same day and bared
everything about him and Mia. Naem suggested that appellant marry complainant in Muslim rites but
appellant refused because he was already married. It was eventually agreed that Naem would just
mediate in behalf of appellant and make arrangements for a settlement with Mia's parents. Later that
day, Naem went to see the parents of complainant at the latter's house.
The following day, January 25, 1994, allegedly because complainant could no longer afford to pay
their hotel bills, the couple were constrained to transfer to the house of appellant's friend, Fernando
Rubio, at Edward's Subdivision where they stayed for two days. They just walked along the national
highway from Sunset Garden to Edward's Subdivision which was only five hundred to seven
hundred meters away. The owner of the house, Fernando Rubio, as well as his brother Benedicto
Rubio, testified that the couple were very happy, they were intimate and sweet to each other, they
always ate together, and it was very obvious that they were having a relationship.

In fact, Fernando Rubio recalled that complainant even called appellant "Papa." While they were
there, she would buy food at the market, help in the cooking, wash clothes, and sometimes watch
television. When Fernando Rubio once asked her why she chose to go with appellant despite the
fact the he was a married man, Mia told him that she really loved appellant. She never told him, and
Fernando Rubio never had the slightest suspicion, that she was supposed to have been kidnapped
as it was later claimed. He also testified that several police officers lived within their neighborhood
and if complainant had really been kidnapped and detained, she could have easily reported that fact
to them. Mia was free to come and go as she pleased, and the room where they stayed was never
locked because the lock had been destroyed.

On cross-examination, Fernando Rubio declared that appellant was merely an acquaintance of his;
that it was Naem who went to the lodging house to arrange for Mia to go home; that complainant's
mother never went to his house; and that it was Chief of Police Eliseo Crespo who fetched appellant
from the lodging house and brought him to the municipal hall.

Shortly before noon of January 26, 1994, Naem again met with appellant at Edward's Subdivision
and informed him that complainant's parents were willing to talk to him at Naem's house the next
day. The following morning, or on January 27, 1994, appellant was not able to talk to complainant's
parents because they merely sent a child to fetch Mia at Edward's Subdivision and to tell her that her
mother, who was at Naem's house, wanted to see her. Appellant permitted complainant to go but he
told her that within one hour he was be going to the police station at the municipal hall so that they
could settle everything there.

After an hour, while appellant was already on his way out of Edward's Subdivision, he was met by
Chief of Police Eliseo Crespo who invited him to the police station. Appellant waited at the police
station the whole afternoon but when complainant, her parents and relatives arrived at around 5:00
P.M., he was not given the chance to talk to any one of them. That afternoon of January 27, 1994,
appellant was no longer allowed to leave and he was detained at the police station after Mia and her
parents lodged a complaint for rape and kidnapping against him.

During his detention, Mia's cousin, Lorna Casantosan, delivered to appellant on different occasions
two letters from complainant dated February 27, 1994 and March 1, 1994, respectively. As Mia's
teacher, appellant is familiar with and was, therefore, able to identify the handwriting in said letters
as that of Mia Taha. After a time, he came to know, through his mother, that an affidavit of desistance
was reportedly executed by complainants. However, he claims that he never knew and it was never
mentioned to him, not until the day he testified in court, that his mother paid P30,000.00 to Mia's
father because, although he did not dissuade them, neither did he request his mother to talk to
complainants in order to settle the case.

Under cross-examination, appellant denied that he poked a knife at and raped Mia Taha on January
21, 1994. However, he admitted that he had sex with Mia at the Sunset Garden but that was already
on January 24, 1994. While they were at Edward's Subdivision, they never had sexual relations.
Appellant was told, when complainant visited him in jail, that her father would kill her if she refused to
testify against him, although by the time she testified in court, her father had already died.
Appellant further testified that complainant has had several illicit relations in the boarding house of
her cousin, Merlylyn Casantosan, which was a well-known fact in Pulot. However, he decided to
have a relationship with her because he wanted to change her and that was what they had agreed
upon. Appellant denied that, during the time when they were staying together, Mia had allegedly
asked permission to leave several times but that he refused. On the contrary, he claimed that on
January 27, 1994 when she told him that her parents wanted to see her, he readily gave her
permission to go.

He also identified the clothes that Mia brought with her when they left her parents' house on January
22, 1994, but which she left behind at the Rubios' lodging house after she failed to return on January
27, 1994. The bag of clothes was brought to him at the provincial jail by Benedicto Rubio.

Appellant likewise declared that he had been detained at the provincial jail since January 27, 1994
but the warrant for his arrest was issued only on January 28, 1994; and that he did not submit a
counter-affidavit because according to his former counsel, Atty. Paredes, it was no longer necessary
since the complainants had already executed an affidavit of desistance. He admits having signed a
"Waiver of Right to Preliminary Investigation" in connection with these cases.

On rebuttal, Lorna Casantosan, the cousin of Mia Taha, denied that she delivered any letter to
appellant when the latter was still detained at the provincial jail. She admitted, on cross-examination,
that she was requested by Mia Taha to testify for her, although she clarified that she does not have
any quarrel or misunderstanding with appellant.

Mia Taha was again presented on rebuttal and she denied the testimony of Erna Baradero regarding
the incident at the Orchids Room because, according to her, the truth was that she was at the
boarding house of Toto Zapanta on that date and time. She likewise negated the claim that Erna
Baradero confronted her on January 21, 1994 about her alleged relationship with appellant
contending that she did not see her former teacher on that day. Similarly, she disclaimed having
seen and talked to Filemona Pielago on the night of January 21, 1994. She vehemently disavowed
that she and appellant were lovers, much less with intimate relations, since there never was a time
that they became sweethearts.

She sought to rebut, likewise through bare denials, the following testimonies of the defense
witnesses: that she told appellant "iwanan mo ang iyong asawa at tatakas tayo;" that she answered
"wala kang pakialam" when Erna Baradero confronted her about her relationship with appellant; that
she was the one who registered them at Sunset Garden and paid for their bill; that appellant left her
at Sunset Garden to go to Ipil on January 22, 1994; that Isagani Virey came to their room and stayed
there for five minutes, because the only other person who went there was the room boy who served
their food; that they went to the house of Virey's aunt requesting help for transportation; and that she
was free to roam around or to go out of the lodging house at Edward's Subdivision.

Mia Taha also rejected as false the testimony of appellant that she went to see him at Narra,
Palawan to have sex with him and claims that the last time she went to Narra was when she was still
in Grade VI; that she ever told him "I love you, sabik no sabik ako sa iyo" when she allegedly went to
Narra; that she wrote to him, since the letters marked as Exhibits "1" and "2" are not hers; that she
threatened to commit suicide if appellant would leave her since she never brought a blade with her;
and that at Sunset Garden and at Edward's Subdivison, she was not being guarded by appellant.

However, on cross-examination, complainant identified her signature on her test paper marked as
Exhibit "4" and admitted that the signature thereon is exactly the same as that appearing on Exhibits
"1" and "2". Then, contradicting her previous disclaimers, she also admitted that the handwriting on
Exhibits "1" and "2" all belong to her.
On sur-rebuttal, Armando Pasion, a provincial guard of the Provincial Jail, Palawan who volunteered
to testify in these cases, identified Lorna Casantosan as the person who visited appellant in jail on
February 27, 1994 at around 4:00 P.M. Since he was on duty at that time, he asked her what she
wanted and she said she would just visit appellant. Pasion then called appellant and told him he had
a visitor. Lorna Casantosan and appellant talked at the visiting area which is around ten meters
away from his post, and then he saw her hand over to appellant a letter which the latter immediately
read. This witness declared that appellant never requested him to testify.

Another sur-rebuttal witness, Desmond Selga, a jeepney driver, testified that in the afternoon of
January 22, 1994, he was plying his regular route in going to Brooke's Point and, when he passed by
Ipilan, he picked up appellant and Mia Taha. At that time, there were already several passengers
inside his jeepney. The two got off at the poblacion market. He denied that he brought them to the
Sunset Garden.

On May 20, 1994, the court a quo rendered judgment 5 finding appellant guilty beyond reasonable
doubt of the crimes of rape and kidnapping with serious illegal detention, and sentencing him to the
maximum penalty of death in both cases. 6 By reason of the nature of the penalty imposed, these
cases were elevated to this Court on automatic review.

The records show that, on the basis of the complaints for rape 7 and kidnapping with serious illegal
detention 8 filed by Mia Taha and Helen Taha, respectively, the Municipal Trial Court of Brooke's Point
issued a resolution 9 on February 4, 1994 finding the existence of a prima facie case against
appellant. On February 10, 1994, the spouses Adjeril Taha and Helen Taha executed an affidavit of
desistance withdrawing the charge of kidnapping with serious illegal detention. 10 However, pursuant
to a joint resolution 11 issued on March 11, 1994 by Prosecutor II Reynaldo R. Guayco of the Office of
the Provincial Prosecutor, two separate informations for rape and for kidnapping with serious illegal
detention were nevertheless filed against appellant Danny Godoy with no bail recommended in both
charges.

Appellant is now before us seeking the reversal of the judgment of the court below, on the following
assignment of errors:

I. The trial court erred in convicting the accused-appellant (of) the crime of rape despite the fact that
the prosecution failed to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

II. The trial court erred by failing to adhere to the doctrine/principle in reviewing the evidence
adduced in a prosecution for the crime of rape as cited in its decision reiterating the case of People
vs. Calixto (193 SCRA 303).

III. The trial court erred in concluding that the accused-appellant had consummated the crime of rape
against private complainant.

IV. The trial court erred by its failure to give any credence to Exhibits "1" and "2" as evidence of the
defense.

V. The trial court erred in convicting the accused-appellant of the crime of kidnapping with serious
illegal detention as the prosecution failed to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

VI. The trial court erred in giving full faith and credence to the testimonies of prosecution witnesses
and completely ignoring the testimonies of the defense witnesses.
VII. The trial court erred in concluding that there was implied admission of guilt on the part of the
accused-appellant in view of the offer to compromise.

VIII. The trial court erred in ordering that the complainant be indemnified in the sum of one hundred
thousand pesos (P100,000.00) for each of the alleged crimes committed.

IX. The trial court gravely erred by imposing the death penalty for each of the crimes charged on the
accused-appellant despite the fact that the crimes were allegedly committed prior to the effectivity of
Republic Act No. 7659. 12

A. The Rape Case

A rape charge is a serious matter with pernicious consequences. It exposes both the accused and
the accuser to humiliation, fear and anxieties, not to mention the stigma of shame that both have to
bear for the rest of their
lives. 13 By the very nature of the crime of rape, conviction or acquittal depends almost entirely on the
credibility of the complainant's testimony because of the fact that usually only the participants can
testify as to its occurrence. 14 This notwithstanding, the basic rule remains that in all criminal
prosecutions without regard to the nature of the defense which the accused may raise, the burden of
proof remains at all times upon the prosecution to establish his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If
the accused raises a sufficient doubt as to any material element, and the prosecution is then unable
to overcome this evidence, the prosecution has failed to carry its burden of proof of the guilt of the
accused beyond a reasonable doubt and the accused must be acquitted. 15

The rationale for the rule is that, confronted by the full panoply of State authority, the accused is
accorded the presumption of innocence to lighten and even reverse the heavy odds against him.
Mere accusation is not enough to convict him, and neither is the weakness of his defense. The
evidence for the prosecution must be strong per se, strong enough to establish the guilt of the
accused beyond reasonable doubt. 16 In other words, the accused may be convicted on the basis of
the lone uncorroborated testimony of the offended woman, provided such testimony is clear,
positive, convincing and otherwise consistent with human nature and the normal course of things.

There are three well-known principles that guide an appellate court in reviewing the evidence
presented in a prosecution for the crime of rape. These are: (1) while rape is a most detestable
crime, and ought to be severely and impartially punished, it must be borne in mind that it is an
accusation easy to be made, hard to be proved, but harder to be defended by the party accused,
though innocent; 17 (2) that in view of the intrinsic nature of the crime of rape where only two persons
are usually involved, the testimony of the complainant must be scrutinized with extreme
caution; 18and (3) that the evidence for the prosecution must stand or fall on its own merits and
cannot be allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the evidence for the defense. 19

In the case at bar, several circumstances exist which amply demonstrate and ineluctably convince
this Court that there was no rape committed on the alleged date and place, and that the charge of
rape was the contrivance of an afterthought, rather than a truthful plaint for redress of an actual
wrong.

I. Two principal facts indispensably to be proven beyond reasonable doubt for conviction of the crime
of rape under paragraph (1), Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code are, first, that the accused had
carnal knowledge of the complainant; and, second, that the same was accomplished through force
or intimidation.
1. The prosecution has palpably failed to prove beyond peradventure of doubt that appellant had
sexual congress with complainant against her will. Complainant avers that on the night of January
21, 1994, she was sexually assaulted by appellant in the boarding house of her cousin, Merlelyn
Casantosan. Appellant, on the other hand, denied such a serious imputation and contends that on
said date and time, he merely talked with complainant outside that house. We find appellant's
version more credible and sustained by the evidence presented and of record.

According to complainant, when she entered the kitchen of the boarding house, appellant was
already inside apparently waiting for her. If so, it is quite perplexing how appellant could have known
that she was going there on that particular day and at that time, considering that she does not even
live there, unless of course it was appellant's intention to satisfy his lustful desires on anybody who
happened to come along. But then this would be stretching the imagination too far, aside from the
fact that such a generic intent with an indeterminate victim was never established nor even intimated
by the prosecution.

Moreover, any accord of credit to the complainant's story is precluded by the implausibility that
plagues it as regards the setting of the supposed sexual assault. 20 It will be noted that the place
where the alleged crime was committed is not an ordinary residence but a boarding house where
several persons live and where people are expected to come and go. The prosecution did not even
bother to elucidate on whether it was the semestral break or that the boarding house had remained
closed for some time, in order that it could be safely assumed that nobody was expected to arrive at
any given time.

Appellant, on the other hand, testified that on that fateful day, he went to the boarding house upon
the invitation of complainant because the latter requested him to help her with her monologue for the
Miss PNS contest. However, they were not able to go inside the house because it was locked and
there was no light, so they just sat on a bench outside the house and talked. This testimony of
appellant was substantially corroborated by defense witness Filomena Pielago. She affirmed that in
the evening of January 21, 1994, she saw both appellant and complainant seated on a bench
outside the boarding house, and that she even advised them to go home because it was already late
and appellant's wife, who was the head teacher of witness Pielago, was waiting for him at the school
building. On rebuttal, complainant could only deny that she saw Pielago that night. Doctrinally, where
the inculpatory facts and circumstances are capable of two or more explanations one of which is
consistent with the innocence of the accused and the other consistent with his guilt, then the
evidence does not fulfill the test of moral certainty and is not sufficient to support a conviction. 21

It was further alleged by complainant that after her alleged ravishment, she put on her panty and
then appellant openly accompanied her all the way to the gate of the house where they eventually
parted ways. This is inconceivable. It is not the natural tendency of a man to remain for long by the
side of the woman he had raped, 22and in public in a highly populated area at that. Given the stealth
that accompanies it and the anxiety to end further exposure at the scene, the logical post-incident
impulse of the felon is to distance himself from his victim as far and as soon as practicable, to avoid
discovery and apprehension. It is to be expected that one who is guilty of a crime would want to
dissociate himself from the person of his victim, the scene of the crime, and from all other things and
circumstances related to the offense which could possibly implicate him or give rise to even the
slightest suspicion as to his guilt. Verily, the guilty flee where no man pursueth.

It is of common knowledge that facts which prove or tend to prove that the accused was at the scene
of the crime are admissible as relevant, on the theory that such presence can be appreciated as a
circumstance tending to identify the appellant. 23 Consequently, it is not in accord with human
experience for appellant to have let himself be seen with the complainant immediately after he had
allegedly raped her. 24 It thus behooves this Court to reject the notion that appellant would be so
foolhardy as to accompany complainant up to the gate of the house, considering its strategic
location vis-a-vis complainant's boarding house which is just across the street, 25 and the PNS
schoolbuilding which is only around thirty meters away. 26

Complainant mentioned in her narration that right after the incident she went directly to her boarding
house where she saw her landlady. Yet, the landlady was never presented as a witness to
corroborate the story of complainant, despite the fact that the former was the very first person she
came in contact with from the time appellant allegedly left her at the gate of the Casantosan
boarding house after her alleged traumatic ordeal. Even though they supposedly did not talk, the
landlady could at least have testified on complainant's physical appearance and to attest to the
theorized fact that indeed she saw complainant on said date and hour, possibly with dishevelled hair,
bloody skirt and all.

We are, therefore, justifiedly inclined to believe appellant's version that it was Mia Taha who invited
him to the boarding house to help her with the monologue she was preparing for the school contest.
This is even consonant with her testimony that appellant fetched her the following day in order to
solicit funds for her candidacy in that same school affair.

In contrast, complainant's professed reason for going to the boarding house is vague and tenuous.
At first, she asserted that she was at the boarding house talking with a friend and then, later, she
said it was her cousin. Subsequently, she again wavered and said that she was not able to talk to
her cousin. Furthermore, she initially stated that on January 21, 1994 at around 7:00 P.M., she was
at the boarding house conversing with her cousin. Then in the course of her narration, she gave
another version and said that when she reached the boarding house it was dark and there was
nobody inside.

The apparent ease with which she changed or adjusted her answers in order to cover up or realign
the same with her prior inconsistent statements is readily apparent from her testimony even on this
single episode, thus:

Q Sometime on January 21, 1994, at about 7:00 o'clock in the evening, do you remember where you
were?

A Yes, sir.

Q Where were you?

A I was in the boarding house of Merlylyn Casantosan, Sir.

xxx xxx xxx

Q Why were you there?

A I was conversing with my friend there, Sir.

COURT:

Q Conversing with whom?

A With my cousin, Your Honor.


Q Your cousin's name?

A Merlylyn Casantosan, Your Honor.

xxx xxx xxx

PROSECUTOR GUAYCO:

Q You said that this Dane or Danny Godoy raped you, will you please relate to this Honorable Court
how that rape happened?

A On Friday and it was 7:00 o'clock in the evening.

COURT:

Q Of what date?

A January 21, 1994, Your Honor.

xxx xxx xxx

PROSECUTOR GUAYCO:

Q Then what happened?

A I went to the boarding house of my cousin Merlylyn Casantosan. I passed (through) the kitchen
and then when I opened the door somebody grabbed me suddenly.

xxx xxx xxx

Q During that time were there other people present in that boarding house where you said Danny
Godoy raped you?

A None, Sir.

COURT:

Q So, the house was empty?

A Yes, Your Honor.

Q I thought your cousin was there and you were conversing?

A When I went there she was not there, Your Honor. 27 (Corrections and emphasis supplied.)

2. Complainant testified that appellant raped her through the use of force and intimidation,
specifically by holding a knife to her neck. However, the element of force was not sufficiently
established. The physical facts adverted to by the lower court as corroborative of the prosecution's
theory on the use of force are undoubtedly the medico-legal findings of Dr. Rogelio Divinagracia.
Upon closer scrutiny, however, we find that said findings neither support nor confirm the charge that
rape was so committed through forcible means by appellant against complainant on January 21,
1994.

The reported hymenal laceration which, according to Dr. Divinagracia, was a week old and already
healed, and the conclusion therefrom that complainant had sexual intercourse with a man on the
date which she alleged, do not establish the supposed rape since the same findings and conclusion
are likewise consistent with appellant's admission that coitus took place with the consent of
complainant at Sunset Garden on January 24, 1994. 28 Further, rather than substantiating the
prosecution's aforesaid theory and the supposed date of commission of rape, the finding that there
were no evident signs of extra-genital injuries tends, instead, to lend more credence to appellant's
claim of voluntary coition on a later date and the absence of a struggle or the lack of employment of
physical force. 29 In rape of the nature alleged in this case, we repeat, the testimony of the
complainant must be corroborated by physical evidence showing use of force. 30

Thus, on the basis of the laceration inflicted, which is superficial at 6 o'clock position, the aforesaid
medico-legal expert opined that it could not be categorically stated that there was force involved. On
further questioning, he gave a straightforward answer that force was not applied. 31 He also added
that when he examined the patient bodily, he did not see any sign of bruises. 32 The absence of any
sign of physical violence on the complainant's body is an indication of complainant's consent to the
act. 33 While the absence in the medical certificate of external signs of physical injuries on the victim
does not necessarily negate the commission of rape, 34 the instant case is clearly an exception to this
rule since appellant has successfully cast doubt on the veracity of that charge against him.

Even granting ex gratia argumenti that the medical report and the laceration corroborated
complainant's assertion that there was sexual intercourse, of course the same cannot be said as to
the alleged use of force. It has been held that such corroborative evidence is not considered
sufficient, since proof of facts constituting one principal element of the crime is not corroborative
proof of facts necessary to constitute another equally important element of the crime. 35

Complainant testified that she struggled a little but it was not really strong because she was afraid of
appellant. Again assuming that a sexual assault did take place as she claims, we nevertheless
strongly believe that her supposed fear is more imaginary than real. It is evident that complainant did
not use the manifest resistance expected of a woman defending her honor and chastity. 36 She failed
to make any outcry when appellant allegedly grabbed her and dragged her inside the house. There
is likewise no evidence on record that she put up a struggle when appellant forced her to lie on the
floor, removed her panty, opened the zipper of his trousers, and inserted his organ inside her
genitals. Neither did she demonstrate that appellant, in committing the heinous act, subjected her to
any force of whatever nature or form.

Complainant's explanation for her failure to shout or struggle is too conveniently general and ruefully
unconvincing to make this Court believe that she tenaciously resisted the alleged sexual attack on
her by appellant. And, if ever she did put up any struggle or objected at all to the involuntary
intercourse, such was not enough to show the kind of resistance expected of a woman defending
her virtue and honor. 37 Her failure to do anything while allegedly being raped renders doubtful her
charge of rape, 38 especially when we consider the actual mise-en-scene in the context of her
asseverations.

There is a rule that the rape victim's panty and blood-stained dress are not essential, and need not
be presented, as they are not indispensable evidence to prove rape. 39 We incline to the view,
however, that this general rule holds true only if there exist other corroborative evidence sufficiently
and convincingly proving the rape charge beyond reasonable doubt. The rule should go the other
way where, as in the present case, the testimony of complainant is inherently weak and no other
physical evidence has been presented to bolster the charge of sexual abuse except for the medical
report which, as earlier discussed, even negated the existence of one of the essential elements of
the crime. We cannot, therefore, escape the irresistible conclusion that the deliberate non-
presentation of complainant's blood-stained skirt, if it did exist, should vigorously militate against the
prosecution's cause.

II. The conduct of the outraged woman immediately following the alleged assault is of the utmost
importance as tending to establish the truth or falsity of the charge. It may well be doubted whether a
conviction for the offense of rape should even be sustained from the uncorroborated testimony of the
woman unless the court is satisfied beyond doubt that her conduct at the time when the alleged rape
was committed and immediately thereafter was such as might be reasonably expected from her
under all the circumstances of the
case. 40

Complainant said that on the day following the supposed rape, appellant went to her parents' house
and asked permission from them to allow her to go with him to solicit funds for her candidacy.
Nowhere throughout her entire testimony did she aver or imply that appellant was armed and that by
reason thereof she was forced to leave with him. In brief, she was neither threatened nor intimidated
by appellant. Her pretense that she was afraid of the supposed threat previously made by appellant
does not inspire belief since appellant was alone and unarmed on that occasion and there was no
showing of any opportunity for him to make good his threat, even assuming that he had really voiced
any. On the contrary, complainant even admitted that appellant respectfully asked permission from
her parents for her to accompany him.

Complainant's enigmatic behavior after her alleged ravishment can only be described as
paradoxical: it was so strangely normal as to be abnormal. 41 It seems odd, if not incredible, that
upon seeing the person who had allegedly raped her only the day before, she did not accuse, revile
or denounce him, or show rage, revulsion, and disgust. 42 Instead, she meekly went with appellant
despite the presence of her parents and the proximity of neighbors which, if only for such facts,
would naturally have deterred appellant from pursuing any evil design. From her deportment, it does
not appear that the alleged threat made by appellant had instilled any fear in the mind of
complainant. Such a nonchalant, unconcerned attitude is totally at odds with the demeanor that
would naturally be expected of a person who had just suffered the ultimate invasion of her
womanhood. 43

III. Rape is a very emotional word, and the natural human reactions to it are categorical: admiration
and sympathy for the courageous female publicly seeking retribution for her outrageous violation,
and condemnation of the rapist. However, being interpreters of the law and dispensers of justice,
judges must look at a rape charge without those proclivities, and deal with it with extreme caution
and circumspection. Judges must free themselves of the natural tendency to be overprotective of
every woman decrying her having been sexually abused, and demanding punishment for the abuser.
While they ought to be cognizant of the anguish and humiliation the rape victim goes through as she
demands justice, judges should equally bear in mind that their responsibility is to render justice
based on the law. 44

The rule, therefore, that this Court generally desists from disturbing the conclusions of the trial court
on the credibility of witnesses 45 will not apply where the evidence of record fails to support or
substantiate the lower court's findings of fact and conclusions; or where the lower court overlooked
certain facts of substance and value that, if considered, would affect the outcome of the case; or
where the disputed decision is based on a misapprehension of facts. 46
The trial court here unfortunately relied solely on the lone testimony of complainant regarding the
January 21, 1994 incident. Indeed, it is easy to allege that one was raped by a man. All that the
victim had to testify to was that appellant poked a knife at her, threatened to kill her if she shouted
and under these threats, undressed her and had sexual intercourse with her. The question then that
confronts the trial court is whether or not complainant's testimony is credible. 47 The technique in
deciphering testimony is not to solely concentrate on isolated parts of that testimony. The correct
meaning of the testimony can often be ascertained only upon a perusal of the entire testimony.
Everything stated by the witness has to be considered in relation to what else has been stated. 48

In the case at bar, the challenged decision definitely leaves much to be desired. The court below
made no serious effort to dispassionately or impartially consider the totality of the evidence for the
prosecution in spite of the teaching in various rulings that in rape cases, the testimony of the
offended party must not be accepted with precipitate credulity. 49 In finding that the crime of rape was
committed, the lower court took into account only that portion of the testimony of complainant
regarding the January 21, 1994 incident and conveniently deleted the rest. Taken singly, there would
be reason to believe that she was indeed raped. But if we are to consider the other portions of her
testimony concerning the events which transpired thereafter, which unfortunately the court a
quo wittingly or unwittingly failed or declined to appreciate, the actual truth could have been readily
exposed.

There are easily perceived or discernible defects in complainant's testimony which inveigh against its
being accorded the full credit it was given by the trial court. Considered independently of any other,
the defects might not suffice to overturn the trial court's judgment of conviction; but assessed and
weighed conjointly, as logic and fairness dictate, they exert a powerful compulsion towards reversal
of said judgment. 50 Thus:

1. Complainant said that she was continuously raped by herein appellant at the Sunset Garden and
around three times at Edward's Subdivision. In her sworn statement she made the same allegations.
If this were true, it is inconceivable how the investigating prosecutor could have overlooked these
facts with their obvious legal implications and, instead, filed an information charging appellant with
only one count of rape. The incredibility of complainant's representations is further magnified by the
fact that even the trial court did not believe it, as may be inferred from its failure to consider this
aspect of her testimony, unless we were to uncharitably assume that it was similarly befuddled.

2. She claims that appellant always carried a knife, but it was never explained how she was
threatened with the same in such a manner that she was allegedly always cowed into giving in to his
innumerable sexual demands. We are not unaware that in rape cases, this claim that complainant
now advances appears to be a common testimonial expedient and face-saving subterfuge.

3. According to her, they stayed at Sunset Garden for three days and three nights and that she never
noticed if appellant slept because she never saw him close his eyes. Yet, when asked if she slept
side by side with appellant, complainant admitted that everytime she woke up, appellant was
invariably in bed beside her. 51

4. She alleged that she could never go out of the room because it was always locked and it could not
be opened from the inside. But, this was refuted by complainant's own testimony, as follows:

Q And yet the door could be opened by you from the inside?

A No, Sir, it was locked.

Q Can you describe the lock of that room?


A It's like that of the door where there is a doorknob.

ATTY. EBOL:

Let it be recorded that the lock is a doorknob and may I ask that the door be locked and opened from
the inside.

COURT:

Alright (sic) you go down the witness stand and find out for yourself if you can open that door from
the inside.

CLERK OF COURT:

Witness holding the doorknob.

COURT:

The key is made to open if you are outside, but as you're were (sic) inside you can open it?

A Yes, sir.

Q Is there no other lock aside from that doorknob that you held?

A There was, Your Honor.

Q What is that?

A The one that slides, Your Honor.

Q And that is used when you are already inside?

A Yes, Your Honor. 52 (Emphases ours.)

5. During their entire stay at the Sunset Garden or even at Edward's Subdivision, beyond
supposedly offering token or futile resistance to the latter's sexual advances, she made no outcry, no
attempt to flee or attract attention to her plight. 53 In her own declaration, complainant mentioned that
when they checked in at Sunset Garden, she saw the cashier at the information counter where
appellant registered. She did not do anything, despite the fact that appellant at that time was
admittedly not armed. She likewise stated that a room boy usually went to their room and brought
them food. If indeed she was bent on fleeing from appellant, she could have grabbed every possible
opportunity to escape. Inexplicably, she did not. What likewise appears puzzling is the prosecution's
failure to present these two people she mentioned and whose testimonies could have bolstered or
corroborated complainant's story.

6. When appellant fetched complainant in the afternoon of January 22, 1994, they left the house
together and walked in going to the highway. In her own testimony, complainant stated that appellant
went ahead of her. It is highly improbable, if appellant really had evil motives, that he would be that
careless. It is likewise beyond comprehension that appellant was capable of instilling such fear in
complainant that she could not dare take advantage of the situation, in spite of the laxity of appellant,
and run as far away from him as possible despite all the chances therefor.

7. Helen Taha, the mother of Mia, testified that as a result of the filing of the rape case, complainant
was dropped from school and was not allowed to graduate. This is absurd. Rather than support and
commiserate with the ill-fated victim of rape, it would appear that the school authorities were
heartless people who turned their backs on her and considered her an outcast. That would be
adding insult to injury. But what is more abstruse yet significant is that Mia and her parents were
never heard to complain about this apparent injustice. Such complacency cannot but make one think
and conclude that there must necessarily have been a valid justification for the drastic action taken
by the school and the docile submission thereto by the Taha family.

On the other hand, in evaluating appellant's testimony, the trial court's decision was replete with
sweeping statements and generalizations. It chose to focus on certain portions of appellant's
testimony, declared them to be preposterous and abnormal, and then hastened to conclude that
appellant is indeed guilty. The court in effect rendered a judgment of conviction based, not on the
strength of the prosecution's evidence, but on the weakness of that of the defense, which is totally
repugnant to the elementary and time-honored rule that conviction should be made on the basis of
strong, clear and compelling evidence of the prosecution. 54

IV. The main defense proffered by appellant is that he and complainant were sweethearts. While the
"sweetheart theory" does not often gain favor with this Court, such is not always the case if the hard
fact is that the accused and the supposed victim are, in truth, intimately related except that, as is
usual in most cases, either the relationship is illicit or the victim's parents are against it. It is not
improbable that in some instances, when the relationship is uncovered, the alleged victim or her
parents for that matter would rather take the risk of instituting a criminal action in the hope that the
court would take the cudgels for them than for the woman to admit to her own acts of indiscretion.
And this, as the records reveal, is precisely what happened to appellant.

Appellant's claim that he and complainant were lovers is fortified by the highly credible testimonies of
several witnesses for the defense, viz.:

1. Filomena Pielago testified that on the night of January 21, 1994, she saw appellant and
complainant sitting on a bench in front of the house where the sexual attack allegedly took place,
and the couple were talking intimately. She had warned Mia about the latter's illicit affair with
appellant.

2. Fernando Rubio, an acquaintance of appellant and owner of the house at Edward's Subdivision,
testified that he asked Mia why she decided to have an affair with appellant who is a married man.
Mia answered that she really loves him. 55 He heard her call appellant "Papa". 56 The couple looked
happy and were sweet to each other. 57

3. Benedicto Rubio, the younger brother of Fernando, testified on redirect examination that he asked
Mia if she knew what she getting into and she answered, "Yes;" then he asked her if she really loved
Sir Godoy, and she again answered in the affirmative. When he was trying to give counsel to
appellant, complainant announced that if appellant left her, she would commit suicide. 58 He could
see that the couple were happy together. 59

4. Isagani Virey, who knew appellant because the Municipal Engineering Office where he worked
was located within the premises of PNS, attested that he was able to talk to the couple and that
when he was advising appellant that what he was doing is wrong because he is married and Mia is
his student, complainant reacted by saying that no matter what happened she would not leave
Godoy, and that if she went home her father would kill her. 60 He also observed that they were
happy. 61

5. Erna Baradero, a co-teacher of appellant, saw the couple the day before the alleged rape incident,
inside one of the classrooms and they were holding hands, and she heard Mia tell appellant, "Mahal
na mahal kita Sir, iwanan mo ang iyong asawa at tatakas tayo." 62 She tried to dissuade complainant
from continuing with her relationship with appellant. 63

The positive allegations of appellant that he was having an intimate relationship with complainant,
which were substantially corroborated by several witnesses, were never successfully confuted. The
rebuttal testimony of complainant merely consisted of bare, unexplained denials of the positive,
definite, consistent and detailed assertions of appellant. 64 Mere denials are self-serving negative
evidence. They cannot obtain evidentiary weight greater than the declarations of credible
disinterested witnesses. 65

Besides, appellant recounted certain facts that only he could have supplied. They were replete with
details which could have been known only to him, thereby lending credence and reliability
thereto. 66 His assertions are more logical, probable and bear the earmarks of truth. This is not to say
that the testimony of appellant should be accorded full credence. His self-interest must have colored
his account, even on the assumption that he could be trusted to stick to the literal truth. Nonetheless,
there is much in his version that does not strain the limits of credulity. More to the point, there is
enough to raise doubts that do appear to have some basis in reality. 67

Thus, the trial court's hasty pontification that appellant's testimony is improbable, ridiculous,
nonsensical and incredible is highly uncalled for. The rule of falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus is not
mandatory. It is not a positive rule of law and is not an inflexible one. 68 It does not apply where there
is sufficient corroboration on many grounds of the testimony and the supposed inconsistencies arise
merely from a desire of the witness to exculpate himself although not completely. 69

Complainant's denial that she and appellant were lovers is belied by the evidence presented by the
defense, the most telling of which are her two handwritten letters, Exhibits "1" and "2", which she
sent to the latter while he was detained at the provincial jail. For analysis and emphasis, said letters
are herein quoted in full:

27 Feb. 94

Dane,

Kumusta kana? Kong ako hito hindi na makatiis sa sakit.

Sir, sumulat ako sa inyo dahil gusto kong malaman mo ang situation ko. Sir, kong mahal mo ako
gagawa kang paraan na mailayo ako dito sa bahay. nalaman ng nanay at tatay ko na delayed ang
mens ko ng one week. pinapainom nila ako ng pampalaglag pero ayaw ko. pagnalaman nila na hindi
ko ininom ang gamot sinasaktan nila ako.

Sir, kong maari ay huwag ng maabutan ng Martes. dahil naabutan nila akong maglayas sana ako.
kaya ngayon hindi ako makalabas ng bahay kong wala akong kasama, kong gaano sila kahigpit
noon doble pa ngayon. ang mga gamit ko ngayon ay wala sa lalagyan ko. tinago nila hindi ko
makita, ang narito lang ay ang bihisan kong luma. Sir kong manghiram ka kaya ng motor na
gagamitin sa pagkuha sa akin. Sa lunes ng gabi manonood kami Ng Veta eksakto alas 9:00 ay
dapat dito ka sa lugar na may Veta. tanungin mo lang kay Lorna kong saan ang Veta nila Navoor
Lozot. Mag busina ka lang ng tatlo bilang senyas na lalabas na ako at huwag kang tatapat ng bahay
dahil nandoon ang kuya ko. kong ano ang disisyon mo maari bang magsulat ka at ipahatid kay
Lorna.

alang-alang sa bata. Baka makainon ako ng gamot dahil baka pagkain ko hahaluan nila.

Please sir . . .

(Sgd.) Mia Taha 70

3/1/94

Dane,

I'm sorry kong problem ang ipinadala o sinulat sa iyo sa halip sa kasiyahan. oo nag usap na tayo
nagawa ko lang naman ang sumulat sa iyo dahil naiinis na ako sa pagmumukha ng mga magulang
kong suwapang. Ang paglayas ko sana ay dahil sa narinig ko. Sir narinig ko na magreklamo si
nanay kay Arquero yong superentende sa Palawan high tapos ang sabi ay magreklamo itong si
Arquero sa DECS para matanggal ka sa pagtuturo yan ang dahilan kong bakit naisipan kong
lumayas ng wala sa oras at wala akong tensyon na masama laban so iyo. hindi ko sinabi sa kanila
na delayed ako ay sinabi sa iyo ni Eden na sa harap niya mismo binigyan ako ng gamot
samantalang noong Sabado ng gabi lang nalaman dahil gusto kong masuka. Oo aaminin ko
nagkasala ako sa iyo, pinabilanggo kita dahil nagpanig ako sa mga magulang ko nadala nila ako sa
sulsul nila. hindi ko naipaglaban ang dapat kong ipaglaban ngunit kong iniisip mong minahal lang
kita dahil sa may kailangan lang ako sa iyo nagkakamali ka. alam ng Diyos na hindi ganon ang
hangarin ko sa iyo. higit pa sa binilanggo ang kalagayan ko kong alam mo. kinukunsinsiya, nagtitiis
na saktan at pagsasakripisyo ng damdamin ko na gusto kang makita at yakapin ka pero ano ang
magagawa ko kong ang paglabas ko ng bahay ay hindi ako makalabas ng mag isa may guardiya pa.
tanungin mo si Lorna kong ano ginagawa nilang pagbantay sa akin para akong puganti. hindi ito
ayon sa kagustuhan ng mga magulang ko sarili kong plano ito. Magtitiis pa ba akong hindi makakain
maghapon tubig lang ang laman ng tiyan, kong may masama akong hangarin sa iyo.

Oo, magtiis ako para maipakita kong mahal rin kita. March 2 darating ako sa bahay na sinasabi mo.
hindi ko matiyak kong anong oras dahil kukuha pa ako ng tiyempo na wala rito ang tatay ko. Alam
mo bang pati ang kapatid kong si Rowena ay inuutusan akong lumayas dahil naawa no siya sa
situation ko. siya lang ang kakampi ko rito sa bahay malaki ang pag-asa kong makalabas ako ng
bahay sa tulong niya.

Love you

(Sgd.) Mia Taha 71

There is absolutely nothing left to the imagination. The letters eloquently speak for themselves. It
was complainant's handwriting which spilled the beans, so to speak. Aside from appellant, two other
defense witnesses identified the handwriting on the letters as belonging to Mia Taha. They are
Filomena Pielago and Erna Baradero who were admittedly the former teachers of complainant and
highly familiar with her handwriting. The greatest blunder committed by the trial court was in ignoring
the testimonies of these qualified witnesses and refusing to give any probative value to these two
vital pieces of evidence, on the dubious and lame pretext that no handwriting expert was presented
to analyze and evaluate the same.

Well-entrenched by now is the rule that resort to questioned document examiners, more familiarly
called handwriting experts, is not mandatory. Handwriting experts, while probably useful, are not
indispensable in examining or comparing handwriting. 72 This is so since under Section 22, Rule 132
of the Rules of Court, the handwriting of a person may be proved by any witness who believes it to
be the handwriting of such person, because he has seen the person write, or has seen writing
purporting to be his upon which the witness has acted or been charged, and has thus acquired
knowledge of the handwriting of such person. The said section further provides that evidence
respecting the handwriting may also be given by a comparison, made by the witness or the court,
with writings admitted or treated as genuine by the party against whom the evidence is offered or
proved to be genuine to the satisfaction of the judge. 73

The defense witnesses were able to identify complainant's handwriting on the basis of the
examination papers submitted to them by her in their respective subjects. This Court has likewise
carefully examined and compared the handwriting on the letters with the standard writing appearing
on the test papers as specimens for comparison and, contrary to the observations and conclusions
of the lower court, we are convinced beyond doubt that they were written by one and the same
person. More importantly, complainant herself categorically admitted that the handwriting on the
questioned letters belongs to her.

It is, therefore, extremely disconcerting, to say the least, why the trial court again chose to turn a
deaf ear to this conclusive portion of complainant's testimony:

ATTY. EBOL:

Q Did I get you right on rebuttal that Mrs. Erna Baradero and Filomena Pielago were your teachers?

A Yes, sir.

Q And they have been your teachers for several months before this incident of January 21, 1994, am
I not correct?

A That is true, sir.

Q And you have (sic) during these past months that they have been your teachers you took
examinations in their classes in their particular subject(s)?

A Yes, sir.

Q And some of those test papers are in the possession of your teachers, am I correct?

A Yes, sir.

Q I will show you Exhibit "4" previously marked as Exhibit "4", it appears to be your test paper and
with your signature and the alphabet appears in this exhibit appears to be that of Mia Taha, please
examine this and tell the Honorable Court if that is your test paper?

A Yes, sir.
Q That signature Mia Taha I understand is also your signature?

A Yes, sir.

Q I will show you Exhibit "4-A", will you please examine this Exhibit "4-A" and tell this Honorable
Court if you are familiar with that.

A What subject is that?

Q I am just asking you whether you are familiar with that.

A I cannot remember if I have this kind of subject, sir.

Q How about this signature Mia Taha, are you not familiar with that signature?

A That is min(e), sir.

Q I will show you Exhibit "4-C" which appears to be that in Math, are you familiar with that signature?

A Yes, sir.

Q That is your signature?

A Yes, sir.

Q In fact, these letters in alphabet here are in your own handwriting?

A Yes, sir.

xxx xxx xxx

Q You will deny this Exhibit "1" your signature?

xxx xxx xxx

Q You will deny that this is your handwriting?

A That is my handwriting, sir.

Q Also Exhibit "2"?

A Yes, sir. 74

While rebuttal witness Lorna Casantosan insisted that she never delivered any letter of complainant
to herein appellant, the witness presented by the defense on sur-rebuttal, Armando Pasion, who was
the guard on duty at the provincial jail at that time, testified of his own accord because he knew that
what Casantosan said was a blatant lie. Appellant never talked to Amando Pasion nor requested him
to testify for the defense, as related by the witness himself. Hence, there exists no reason
whatsoever to disbelieve the testimony of witness Pasion to the effect that Lorna Casantosan
actually went to visit appellant in jail and in truth handed to him what turned out to be the letters
marked as Exhibits "1" and "2" for the defense.

V. The prosecution insists that the offer of compromise made by appellant is deemed to be an
admission of guilt. This inference does not arise in the instant case. In criminal cases, an offer of
compromise is generally admissible as evidence against the party making it. It is a legal maxim,
which assuredly constitutes one of the bases of the right to penalize, that in the matter of public
crimes which directly affect the public interest, no compromise whatever may be entered into as
regards the penal action. It has long been held, however, that in such cases the accused is permitted
to show that the offer was not made under a consciousness of guilt, but merely to avoid the
inconvenience of imprisonment or for some other reason which would justify a claim by the accused
that the offer to compromise was not in truth an admission of his guilt or an attempt to avoid the legal
consequences which would ordinarily ensue therefrom. 75

A primary consideration here is that the evidence for the defense overwhelmingly proves appellant's
innocence of the offense charged. Further, the supposed offer of marriage did not come from
appellant but was actually suggested by a certain Naem, who is an imam or Muslim leader and who
likewise informed appellant that he could be converted into a Muslim so he could marry complainant.
As a matter of fact, when said offer was first made to appellant, he declined because of the fact that
he was already married. On top of these, appellant did not know, not until the trial proper, that his
mother actually paid P30,000.00 for the settlement of these cases. Complainant's own mother, Helen
Taha, testified that present during the negotiations were herself, her husband, Mia, and appellant's
mother. Appellant himself was never present in any of said meetings. 76

It has been held that where the accused was not present at the time the offer for monetary
consideration was made, such offer of compromise would not save the day for the prosecution. 77 In
another case, this Court ruled that no implied admission can be drawn from the efforts to arrive at a
settlement outside the court, where the accused did not take part in any of the negotiations and the
effort to settle the case was in accordance with the established tribal customs, that is, Muslim
practices and traditions, in an effort to prevent further deterioration of the relations between the
parties. 78

VI. Generally, an affidavit of desistance by the complainant is not looked upon with favor. It may,
however, create serious doubts as to the liability of appellant, especially if it corroborates appellant's
explanation about the filing of criminal charges. 79

In the cases at bar, the letters written by complainant to appellant are very revealing. Most probably
written out of desperation and exasperation with the way she was being treated by her parents,
complainant threw all caution to the winds when she wrote: "Oo, aaminin ko nagkasala ako sa iyo,
pinabilanggo kita dahil nagpanig ako sa mga magulang ko nadala nila ako sa sulsul nila, hindi ko
naipaglaban ang dapat kong ipaglaban," obviously referring to her ineptitude and impotence in
helping appellant out of his predicament. It could, therefore, be safely presumed that the rape charge
was merely an offshoot of the discovery by her parents of the intimate relationship between her and
appellant. In order to avoid retribution from her parents, together with the moral pressure exerted
upon her by her mother, she was forced to concoct her account of the alleged rape.

The Court takes judicial cognizance of the fact that in rural areas in the Philippines, young ladies are
strictly required to act with circumspection and prudence. Great caution is observed so that their
reputations shall remain untainted. Any breath of scandal which brings dishonor to their character
humiliates their entire families. 80 It could precisely be that complainant's mother wanted to save face
in the community where everybody knows everybody else, and in an effort to conceal her daughter's
indiscretion and escape the wagging tongues of their small rural community, she had to weave the
scenario of this rape drama.

Although the trial court did observe that a mother would not sacrifice her daughter to tell a story of
defloration, that is not always the case as this Court has noted a long time ago. The books disclose
too many instances of false charges of rape. 81 While this Court has, in numerous cases, affirmed the
judgments of conviction rendered by trial courts in rape charges, especially where the offended
parties were very young and presumptively had no ill motives to concoct a story just to secure
indictments for a crime as grave as rape, the Court has likewise reversed judgments of conviction
and acquitted the accused when there are strong indications pointing to the possibility that the rape
charges were merely motivated by some factors except the truth as to their commission. 82 This is a
case in point. The Court, therefore, cannot abdicate its duty to declare that the prosecution has failed
to meet the exacting test of moral certainty and proof of guilt of appellant beyond reasonable doubt.

This is not to say that the Court approves of the conduct of appellant. Indisputably, he took
advantage of complainant's feelings for him and breached his vow of fidelity to his wife. As her
teacher, he should have acted as adviser and counselor to complainant and helped her develop in
manners and virtue instead of corrupting her. 83Hence, even as he is freed from physical detention in
a prison as an instrument of human justice, he remains in the spiritual confinement of his conscience
as a measure of divine retribution. Additionally, these ruminations do not rule out such other legal
options against him as may be available in the arsenal of statutory law.

VII. The trial court, in holding for conviction, relied on the presumptio hominis that a young Filipina
will not charge a person with rape if it is not true. In the process, however, it totally disregarded the
more paramount constitutional presumption that an accused is deemed innocent until proven
otherwise.

It frequently happens that in a particular case two or more presumptions are involved. Sometimes
the presumptions conflict, one tending to demonstrate the guilt of the accused and the other his
innocence. In such case, it is necessary to examine the basis for each presumption and determine
what logical or social basis exists for each presumption, and then determine which should be
regarded as the more important and entitled to prevail over the other. It must, however, be
remembered that the existence of a presumption indicating guilt does not in itself destroy the
presumption against innocence unless the inculpating presumption, together with all of the evidence,
or the lack of any evidence or explanation, is sufficient to overcome the presumption of innocence by
proving the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Until the defendant's guilt is shown in this
manner, the presumption of innocence continues. 84

The rationale for the presumption of guilt in rape cases has been explained in this wise:

In rape cases especially, much credence is accorded the testimony of the complaining witness, on
the theory that she will not choose to accuse her attacker at all and subject herself to the stigma and
indignities her accusation will entail unless she is telling the truth. The rape victim who decides to
speak up exposes herself as a woman whose virtue has been not only violated but also irreparably
sullied. In the eyes of a narrow-minded society, she becomes a cheapened woman, never mind that
she did not submit to her humiliation and has in fact denounced her assailant. At the trial, she will be
the object of lascivious curiosity. People will want to be titillated by the intimate details of her
violation. She will squirm through her testimony as she describes how her honor was defiled, relating
every embarrassing movement of the intrusion upon the most private parts of her body. Most
frequently, the defense will argue that she was not forced to submit but freely conjoined in the sexual
act. Her motives will be impugned. Her chastity will be challenged and maligned. Whatever the
outcome of the case, she will remain a tainted woman, a pariah because her purity has been lost,
albeit through no fault of hers. This is why many a rape victim chooses instead to keep quiet,
suppressing her helpless indignation rather than denouncing her attacker. This is also the reason
why, if a woman decides instead to come out openly and point to her assailant, courts
are prone to believe that she is telling the truth regardless of its consequences. . . . 85

The presumption of innocence, on the other hand, is founded upon the first principles of justice, and
is not a mere form but a substantial part of the law. It is not overcome by mere suspicion or
conjecture; a probability that the defendant committed the crime; nor by the fact that he had the
opportunity to do so. 86 Its purpose is to balance the scales in what would otherwise be an uneven
contest between the lone individual pitted against the People and all the resources at their
command. Its inexorable mandate is that, for all the authority and influence of the prosecution, the
accused must be acquitted and set free if his guilt cannot be proved beyond the whisper of a
doubt. 87 This is in consonance with the rule that conflicts in evidence must be resolved upon the
theory of innocence rather than upon a theory of guilt when it is possible to do so. 88

On the basis of the foregoing doctrinal tenets and principles, and in conjunction with the
overwhelming evidence in favor of herein appellant, we do not encounter any difficulty in concluding
that the constitutional presumption on the innocence of an accused must prevail in this particular
indictment.

B. The Kidnapping/Illegal Detention Case

It is basic that for kidnapping to exist, there must be indubitable proof that the actual intent of the
malefactor was to deprive the offended party of her liberty. 89 In the present charge for that crime,
such intent has not at all been established by the prosecution. Prescinding from the fact that the
Taha spouses desisted from pursuing this charge which they themselves instituted, several grave
and irreconcilable inconsistencies bedevil the prosecution's evidence thereon and cast serious
doubts on the guilt of appellant, as hereunder explained:

To recall, complainant testified that appellant by himself went to fetch her at her parents' house the
day after the alleged rape incident. In her own words, appellant courteously asked her parents to
permit her to help him solicit contributions for her candidacy. When they left the house, appellant
walked ahead of her, obviously with her parents and their neighbors witnessing their departure. It is
difficult to comprehend how one could deduce from these normal and innocuous arrangement any
felonious intent of appellant to deprive complainant of her liberty. One will look in vain for a case
where a kidnapping was committed under such inauspicious circumstances as described by
complainant.

Appellant declared that when they left the house of the Taha family, complainant was bringing with
her a plastic bag which later turned out to contain her clothes. This bag was left behind by Mia at
Edward's Subdivision, as hereinbefore noted, and was later delivered to appellant by Benedicto
Rubio. Again, we cannot conceive of a ridiculous situation where the kidnap victim was first allowed
to prepare and pack her clothes, as if she was merely leaving for a pleasant sojourn with the
criminal, all these with the knowledge and consent of her parents who passively looked on without
comment.

Complainant alleged that appellant always kept her locked inside the room which they occupied,
whether at Sunset Garden or at Edward's Subdivision, and that she could not unlock the door from
the inside. We must, however, recall that when she was asked on cross-examination about the kind
of lock that was used, she pointed to the doorknob of the courtroom. The court then ordered that the
door of the courtroom be locked and then asked complainant to open it from the inside. She was
easily able to do so and, in fact, she admitted that the two locks in the room at Sunset Garden could
also be opened from the inside in the same manner. This demonstrably undeniable fact was never
assailed by the prosecution. It also failed to rebut the testimony of Fernando Rubio that the room
which was occupied by the couple at Edward's Subdivision could not even be locked because the
lock thereof was broken.

When the couple transferred to Edward's Subdivision, they walked along the national highway in
broad daylight. Complainant, therefore, had more than ample opportunity to seek the help of other
people and free herself from appellant if it were true that she was forcibly kidnapped and abused by
the latter. 90 In fact, several opportunities to do so had presented themselves from the time they left
complainant's home and during their extended stay in the hotel and in the lodging house.

According to appellant, he went to see the parents of complainant the day after they went to Sunset
Garden to inform them that Mia spent the night in said place. This was neither denied nor impugned
by Helen Taha, her husband, or any other person. On the other hand, the allegation of Helen Taha
that she made a report to the police about her missing daughter was not supported by any
corroborative evidence, such as the police blotter, nor was the police officer to whom she allegedly
reported the incident ever identified or presented in court.

We agree with appellant's contention that the prosecution failed to prove any motive on his part for
the commission of the crime charged. In one case, this Court rejected the kidnapping charge where
there was not the slightest hint of a motive for the crime. 91 It is true that, as a rule, the motive of the
accused in a criminal case is immaterial and, not being an element of a crime, it does not have to be
proved. 92 Where, however, the evidence is weak, without any motive being disclosed by the
evidence, the guilt of the accused becomes open to a reasonable doubt and, hence, an acquittal is
in order. 93 Nowhere in the testimony of either the complainant or her mother can any ill motive of a
criminal nature be reasonably drawn. What actually transpired was an elopement or a lovers' tryst,
immoral though it may be.

As a closing note, we are bewildered by the trial court's refusal to admit in evidence the bag of
clothes belonging to complainant which was presented and duly identified by the defense, on its
announced supposition that the clothes could have easily been bought from a department store.
Such preposterous reasoning founded on a mere surmise or speculation, aside from the fact that on
rebuttal the prosecution did not even seek to elicit an explanation or clarification from complainant
about said clothes, strengthens and reinforces our impression of an apparently whimsical exercise of
discretion by the court below. Matters which could have been easily verified were thus cavalierly
dismissed and supplanted by a conjecture, and on such inferential basis a conclusion was then
drawn by said court.

We accordingly deem it necessary to reiterate an early and highly regarded disquisition of this Court
against the practice of excluding evidence in the erroneous manner adopted by the trial court:

It has been observed that justice is most effectively and expeditiously administered where trivial
objections to the admission of proof are received with least favor. The practice of excluding evidence
on doubtful objections to its materiality or technical objections to the form of the questions should be
avoided. In a case of any intricacy it is impossible for a judge of first instance, in the early stages of
the development of the proof, to know with any certainty whether the testimony is relevant or not;
and where there is no indication of bad faith on the part of the attorney offering the evidence, the
court may as a rule safely accept the testimony upon the statement of the attorney that the proof
offered will be connected later. Moreover, it must be remembered that in the heat of the battle over
which he presides, a judge of first instance may possibly fall into error in judging the relevancy of
proof where a fair and logical connection is in fact shown. When such a mistake is made and the
proof is erroneously ruled out, the Supreme Court, upon appeal, often finds itself embarrassed and
possibly unable to correct the effects of the error without returning the case for a new trial, a step
which this court is always very loath to take. On the other hand, the admission of proof in a court of
first instance, even if the question as to its form, materiality, or relevancy is doubtful, can never result
in much harm to either litigant, because the trial judge is supposed to know the law and it is its duty,
upon final consideration of the case, to distinguish the relevant and material from the irrelevant and
immaterial. If this course is followed and the cause is prosecuted to the Supreme Court upon appeal,
this court then has all the materials before it necessary to make a correct judgment. 94

At any rate, despite that procedural lapse, we find in the records of these cases sufficient and
substantial evidence which warrant and demand the acquittal of appellant. Apropos thereto, we take
this opportunity to repeat this age-old observation and experience of mankind on the penological and
societal effect of capital punishment: If it is justified, it serves as a deterrent; if injudiciously imposed,
it generates resentment.

Finally, we are constrained to reiterate here that Republic Act No. 7659 which reimposed the death
penalty on certain heinous crimes took effect on December 31, 1993, that is, fifteen days after its
publication in the December 16, 1993 issues of the Manila Bulletin, Philippine Star, Malaya and
Philippine Times Journal, 95 and not on January 1, 1994 as is sometimes misinterpreted.

WHEREFORE, the judgment appealed from is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE, and accused-
appellant Danny Godoy is hereby ACQUITTED of the crimes of rape and kidnapping with serious
illegal detention charged in Criminal Cases Nos. 11640 and 11641 of the Regional Trial Court for
Palawan and Puerto Princesa City, Branch 49. It is hereby ORDERED that he be released forthwith,
unless he is otherwise detained for any other valid cause.

SO ORDERED.

Narvasa, C.J., Feliciano, Padilla, Davide, Jr., Romero, Bellosillo, Melo, Vitug, Kapunan, Mendoza,
Francisco, Hermosisima, Jr. and Panganiban, JJ., concur.

Puno, J., took no part.

Footnotes

* He is also referred to as Dane Godoy in some parts of the record.

1 Rollo, 10.

2 Ibid., 11.

3 In its decision, the trial court declares that it "took only eight (8) days to conduct and finish the joint
trial of these cases on April 27, 28 and 29, 1994, and on May 10, 11, 12, 13 and 18, 1994. The
promulgation of the decision in these cases is set on Monday, May 23, 1994, five (5) days after these
cases are finally terminated and submitted for decision." (Rollo, 57).

** His name is spelled Naim in some portions of the record.

4 Original Record, Vol. I, 42.

5 Ibid., 126; per Judge Eustaquio Z. Gacott, Jr.


6 The trial court imposed the death penalty for kidnapping with illegal detention pursuant to Art. 267
of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Sec. 8 of R.A. 7659, which provides for the death
penalty where the victim was raped. However, the conviction for the rape which was allegedly
committed with the use of a deadly weapon and punished in Art. 335 of the said Code, as amended
by Sec. 11 of R.A. 7659, with reclusion perpetua to death, the said court does not state what
aggravating circumstance was present to warrant the death penalty by the application of Art. 63 of
the same Code.

7 Original Record, Vol. I, 40.

8 Ibid., 41.

9 Ibid., 7.

10 Ibid., 115.

11 Ibid., 44.

12 Brief for Accused-Appellant, 1-2; Rollo, 184-185.

13 People vs. Managbanag, G.R. No. 66550, November 27, 1987, 155 SCRA 669.

14 People vs. Alfonso, G.R. No. 72573, August 31, 1987, 153 SCRA 487.

15 Wharton's Criminal Evidence, Vol. I, 12th ed., Sec. 14, pp. 41-42.

16 People vs. Sequerra, G.R. No. 58574, October 12, 1987, 154 SCRA 657.

17 People vs. Del Pilar, G.R. No. 75852, August 11, 1988, 164 SCRA 280.

18 People vs. Capilitan, G.R. No. 73382, February 15, 1990, 182 SCRA 313.

19 People vs. Bacdad, G.R. Nos. 71719-20, May 8, 1991, 196 SCRA 786.

20 People vs. Co, L-38052, July 14 1988, 163 SCRA 453.

21 People vs. Taruc, G.R. No. 74655, January 20, 1988, 157 SCRA 178.

22 People vs. Herrick, G.R. No. 85137, July 12, 1990, 187 SCRA 364.

23 Wharton's Criminal Evidence, Vol. I, 12th ed., sec. 185, p. 367.

24 People vs. Sujetado, G.R. No. 103967, April 7, 1993, 221 SCRA 382.

25 TSN, May 10, 1994, 27.

26 Ibid., id., 8.

27 TSN, April 27, 1994, 8-18.


28 TSN, May 13, 1994, 68.

29 People vs. Baderes, et al., L-38413, August 27, 1987, 153 SCRA 253.

30 People vs. Ganduma, G.R. No. 64507, April 25, 1988, 160 SCRA 799.

31 TSN, April 28, 1994, 12.

32 Ibid., id., 15.

33 People vs. Co, supra, fn. 20.

34 People vs. Alfonso, supra, fn. 14.

35 State vs. Raymond, 124 P. 495.

36 People vs. Cabading, G.R. No. 74352, June 6, 1989, 174 SCRA 48.

37 People vs. Geneveza, G.R. No. 74047, January 13, 1989, 169 SCRA 153.

38 State vs. Raymond, supra, fn. 35.

39 People vs. Managbanag, supra, fn. 13.

40 People vs. Baderes, et al., supra, fn. 29.

41 People vs. Martinez, G.R. No. 95849, March 4, 1993, 219 SCRA 502.

42 People vs. Nuez, G.R. No. 79316, April 10, 1992, 208 SCRA 34.

43 Ibid., id.

44 People vs. Herrick, supra, fn. 22.

45 People vs. Ola, L-47147, July 3, 1987, 152 SCRA 1.

46 Amarante, et al. vs. Court of Appeals, et al., G.R. No. 76386, October 26, 1987, 155 SCRA 46.

47 People vs. De la Cruz, G.R. Nos. 92442-43, March 23, 1992, 207 SCRA 449.

48 People vs. Reception, et al., G.R. No. 94127, July 1, 1991, 198 SCRA 670.

49 Gatmaitan vs. Court of Appeals, et al., G.R. No. 76500, August 2, 1991, 200 SCRA 37.

50 People vs. Nuez, supra, fn. 42.

51 TSN, April 27, 1994, 74.

52 Ibid., id., 72-74.


53 See People vs. Llarena, G.R. No. 74182, December 19, 1989, 180 SCRA 289.

54 People vs. Austria, et al., G.R. No. 55109, April 8, 1991, 195 SCRA 700.

55 TSN, May 10, 1994, 39.

56 Ibid., id., 57.

57 Ibid., id., 38.

58 Ibid., id., 81-81.

59 Ibid., id., 63.

60 TSN, May 11, 1994, 10-11.

61 Ibid., id., 29.

62 TSN, May 12, 1994, 12.

63 Ibid., id., 29.

64 See People vs. Villarin, G.R. No. 96950, January 29, 1993, 218 SCRA 165.

65 See People vs. Sonico, G.R. No. 70308, December 14, 1987, 156 SCRA 419.

66 People vs. Damaso, et al., G.R. Nos. 41490-92, October 18, 1990, 190 SCRA 595.

67 People vs. Godoy, L-31177, July 15, 1976, 72 SCRA 69.

68 People vs. Pacis, et al., L-32957-58, July 25, 1984, 130 SCRA 540; People vs. Baao, G.R. No.
68574, July 7, 1986, 142 SCRA 476.

69 People vs. Ocimar, et al., G.R. No. 94555, August 17, 1992, 212 SCRA 646.

70 Original Record, Vol. I, 113.

71 Ibid., 114.

72 Bautista vs. Castro, etc., et al., G.R. No. 61260, February 17, 1992, 206 SCRA 305.

73 Court Administrator vs. Villanueva, etc., et al., A.M. No. MTJ-90-460, June 3, 1993, 223 SCRA 41.

74 TSN, May 18, 1994, 34-38.

75 U.S. vs. Maqui, 27 Phil. 97 (1914).

76 TSN, April 28, 1994, 38.


77 People vs. Pido, G.R. No. 92427, August 2, 1991, 200 SCRA 45.

78 People vs. Macatana, et al., G.R. No. 57061, May 9, 1988, 161 SCRA 235.

79 Alonzo vs. Intermediate Appellate Court, et al., G.R. No. 68624, June 30, 1987, 151 SCRA 552.

80 People vs. Castillon, et al., G.R. No. 100586, January 15, 1993, 217 SCRA 76.

81 People vs. Pascua, G.R. No. 82303, December 21, 1989, 180 SCRA 472, and cases therein
cited.

82 People vs. Ganduma, supra, fn. 30.

83 See People vs. Padero, G.R. No. 106274, September 28, 1993, 226 SCRA 810.

84 Wharton's Criminal Evidence, Vol. 1, 12th ed., Sec. 89, pp. 173-174.

85 People vs. Andaya, G.R. No. 86364, May 6, 1991, 196 SCRA 660.

86 Wharton, op. cit., Sec. 93, p. 186.

87 People vs. De Guzman, G.R. No. 86172, March 4, 1991, 194 SCRA 601.

88 Wharton, loc. cit., p. 188.

89 People vs. Puno, et al., G.R. No. 97471, February 17, 1993, 219 SCRA 85.

90 People vs. Leoparte, G.R. No. 85328, July 4, 1990, 187 SCRA 190.

91 People vs. Manliguez, et al., G.R. No. 91745, March 4, 1992, 206 SCRA 812.

92 People vs. Tiengo, et al., G.R. No. 55832, November 20, 1984, 133 SCRA 290.

93 People vs. Cunanan, et al., L-17599, April 24, 1967, 19 SCRA 769.

94 Prats & Co. vs. Phoenix Insurance Co., 52 Phil. 807 (1929).

95 People vs. Simon, G.R. No. 93028, July 29, 1994, 234 SCRA 555. Since it was declared effective
15 days after its publication, this means that its effectivity was on the 15th day after such publication.
Had it been made effective after 15 days following its publication, the effectivity would have been on
the 16th day thereafter. This is an accepted mode of computing dates of effectivity and was last
adopted in fixing the effectivity of the Family Code (see Art. 257, Executive Order No. 209 and
Memorandum Circular No. 85, Office of the President, dated November 7, 1988).

THIRD DIVISION
[G.R. No. 117217. December 2, 1996]

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. GENER DE GUZMAN y SICO, accused-


appellant.

DECISION
DAVIDE, JR., J.:

On 1 April 1992, complainant Gilda Ambray filed with the Municipal Trial Court (MTC) of
Bacoor, Cavite, a complaint[1] charging accused Gener de Guzman y Sico with the crime of rape
allegedly committed at 9:00 p.m. of 31 March 1992 in Meadow Wood, Executive Village, Barangay
Panapaan, Bacoor, Cavite. On even date, Gener de Guzman was arrested and detained at the
Municipal Jail of Bacoor, Cavite, but was released on 14 April 1992 upon the filing and approval of
his bail bond.[2]
Gener de Guzman did not submit any counter-affidavit as required in the subpoena[3] issued by
the MTC on 14 April 1992. Finding a prima facie case against him on the basis of the evidence for
the prosecution, the MTC forwarded the record of the case to the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor
for the filing of the necessary information with the appropriate court. [4]
On 14 July 1992, the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Cavite filed with the Regional Trial
Court (RTC) of Bacoor, Cavite, Branch 19, an information [5] charging accused Gener de Guzman
with the crime of rape, allegedly committed as follows:

That on or about the 31st day of March 1992 at around 9:00 oclock in the evening at Meadow
Wood Subd., Executive Village, Barangay Panapaan, Municipality of Bacoor, Province of Cavite,
Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, with lewd
design, by means of force, violence and intimidation, did, then and there, wilfully, unlawfully and
feloniously, have carnal knowledge of one Gilda B. Ambray, against her will and consent, to the
damage and prejudice of said Gilda B. Ambray.

Contrary to law.
The case was docketed as Criminal Case No. B-92-216.
Upon arraignment on 10 August 1992, accused Gener de Guzman entered a plea of not guilty.
[6]
Trial on the merits thereafter ensued and the prosecution moved for the cancellation of the bail
bond.
On 9 December 1992, after complainant Gilda Ambray, Police Officer Efren Bautista, and Dr.
Valentin Bernales of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), completed their testimony as
witnesses for the prosecution, the trial court cancelled the bail bond of Gener de Guzman on the
ground that the evidence of his guilt was strong. [7] He was re-arrested, and on 22 January 1993, his
motion for reconsideration[8] of the order cancelling his bail bond was denied by the trial court for lack
of merit as he was charged with a capital offense punishable by reclusion perpetua and the evidence
of his guilt was strong.[9]
Two other witnesses were presented by the prosecution, namely: Resurreccion Talub Quiocho,
a kumadre of the accused, and Aquilino Flores Ambray, the husband of the complainant.
The testimonies of the witnesses for the prosecution established the following facts:
Homeward bound on 31 March 1992 from Anson Department Store where she worked
as a sales clerk, complainant Gilda Ambray, the 32-year old wife of Aquilino Flores Ambray
and a mother of two children, was at the gate of Meadow Wood Subdivision, Panapaan,
Bacoor, Cavite, at about 8:45 p.m. waiting for a tricycle ride toward her residence. She
waited for about ten minutes. When she noticed the accused, then wearing army pants,
sitting at the guardhouse, she approached him and asked him some questions. He
answered in a stammering manner. The complainant recognized the accused very well
because it was summertime and the gate of the subdivision was well-lit. [10]

After Gilda started to walk, the accused mounted his tricycle, followed her and offered her a ride, to
which she agreed. While on board the tricycle, Gilda noticed that the accused took a different route.
She got scared but managed not to show it. The accused would once in a while stop the tricycle and
tell her that it was not in good condition.[11] When they reached Phase II of the same subdivision near
an unfinished house, the accused stopped and told Gilda to push the tricycle. She alighted from the
tricycle and paid him P5.00, which he did not accept. Gilda then walked away, but after she had
taken about ten steps, the accused embraced her from behind, covered her mouth and held her
neck tightly. She tried to shout but the accused threatened her. The accused then dragged her to a
vacant lot ten meters away from the unfinished house. She attempted to shout again, but he
threatened to kill her if she made noise. She fought to free herself from his hold, but the accused
pushed and slapped her. He tried to raise her T-shirt while holding her neck tightly. He shouted and
commanded her to raise her T-shirt, which she obligingly followed because of fear. He removed her
bra and kissed her breast. She shouted Saklolo! Tulungan ninyo ako, but the accused covered her
mouth and again held her neck that she could hardly breathe. He held her hand tightly and
positioned himself on top of her. He unzipped her pants and pulled it down her knees. She struggled
to liberate herself, but to no avail. The accused then tried to insert his penis into her, but failed to do
so because she struggled and fought back, then slapped him while covering her vagina with her
hand. When she tried to stand, he pushed her down and, in the process, was able to completely pull
down her pants and underwear. She pleaded to him to have mercy on her and told him that she had
two children. He warned her: Huwag kang sisigaw, papatayin kita. The accused again tried to insert
his penis into her, but she prevented him from doing so. The accused took her hand and let her hold
his penis to make it stiff. As Gilda became too weak to struggle against the accuseds sexual
advances, the accused was able to finally consummate his dastardly desire. He then pulled out his
penis and fingered her private organ for a short while. The accused then warned Gilda not to tell
anybody, otherwise, he would kill her and all members of her family.[12] He told her that she was his
third victim but the two did not complain. He then dressed up. Gilda picked up her pants and
underwear and hurriedly ran toward her home, without looking back. [13]

When Gilda arrived home, she told her mother and her husband, Aquilino Flores Ambray, that she
was raped by the accused. Aquilino got angry and wanted to retaliate but was prevailed upon not to
by Gildas mother.[14]

At almost midnight of 31 March 1992, Gilda and her mother reported the incident to one Tony
Antonio, the President of the Homeowners Association and President of the National Press Club.
Antonio radioed the Bacoor Police Station to send an investigator. PO3 Efren Bautista and Sgt.
Saguisame responded to the alarm immediately. Upon their arrival at the house of Antonio, PO3
Bautista saw Gilda with her mother. Gilda, who was crying, related to PO3 Bautista that she was
raped and described to him her assailant as a tricycle driver, tall, strong, with curly hair and in army
cut.[15] Gilda also gave PO3 Bautista a vivid description of the accuseds tricycle, viz., blue in color
with the name Dimple at the back.[16] The policemen left and went to the house of the accused. PO3
Bautista invited the accused to go with him because the Mayor wanted to talk to him. The accused,
together with P03 Bautista, went to the residence of Antonio. When the accused entered the house
of Antonio, Gilda Ambray cried hysterically while pointing to the accused as her rapist. The accused
was then brought to the municipal jail.[17]

Gilda Ambray was medically examined at the Las Pias Hospital and issued a medical certificate.
[18]
She then proceeded to the NBI for a medico-legal examination. Dr. Valentin Bernales, a medico-
legal officer of the NBI, conducted the examination on Gilda. His findings, contained in his medico-
legal report,[19] were as follows:

I. Physical Injuries:

Abrasion, brownish; lips, upper, left side, mucosal, 2.0 x 1.5 cm.; elbow, right, postero-lateral aspect,
2.0 x 1.5 cm. and postero-medial aspect, multi-linear, with brown scab formation, 3.0 x 1.0 cm.
Contusion, reddish; back, right, scapular area, 7.0 x 5 .0 cm. and left, 15.0 x 8.0 cm. Contused
abrasion, reddish black, scapular area, left, medial aspect, 3.0 x 2.0 cm.

II. Genital Examination:

Pubic hair, fully grown, moderate. Labia majora, gaping. Labia minora, coaptated. Fourchette, lax.
Vestibulae, pinkish, smooth. Hymen, reduced to carunculae myrtiformis. Vaginal orifice, admits a
tube, 3.0 cm. in diameter. Vaginal wall, lax. Rugosities, obliterated.

III. Conclusions:

1. The above physical injuries were noted on the body of the subject at the time of the
examination.

2. Medical evidence indicative of recent sexual intercourse with man on or about the
alleged date of examination.

IV. Remarks:

Laboratory Report S-92-94[20] shows positive result for the presence of human spermatozoa.

Dr. Bernales opined that the physical injuries sustained by Gilda Ambray resulted from force
applied to her,[21] while the presence of human spermatozoa in Gildas genitals indicated recent
sexual intercourse.[22]
On 3 April 1992, Bebey and Linda de Guzman, the parents of the accused, asked the help of
Resurreccion Talub Quiocho, the accuseds kumadre, to beg for Gildas forgiveness for the accuseds
sake. The following day, Resurreccion accompanied the accuseds parents, wife, children and sister-
in-law to Gildas house.[23] Gilda met them, but to their plea for forgiveness, she told them that should
not be tolerated.[24]
Gilda further testified that she suffered moral damages, had to resign from her job due to shame,
and had spent P28,500.00 for attorneys fees.[25]
Gener de Guzman interposed the defense of alibi and presented Alfredo Fernandez and Teotimo
Camagong as his witnesses.
According to Gener de Guzman, on 31 March 1992 at around 9:00 p.m., he was about to go home
and was at the corner of Meadow Wood Subdivision coming from Justineville Subdivision. On his
way home on his tricycle, he saw Gilda Ambray, who flagged him down and boarded his
tricycle. After traveling about half a kilometer, his tricycle malfunctioned. He told her that she better
walk home because her house was already near. He pushed his tricycle home, and on his way, one
Alfredo Fernandez approached him and inquired what was wrong with his tricycle. Alfredo helped
him push the tricycle towards his (accuseds) home, and upon arrival thereat, he told Alfredo not to
leave at once. At around 9:10 p.m., they started to drink liquor until 11:00 p.m., and after their
drinking spree, he cleaned their mess and slept. Then at around 12:50 a.m. of 1 April 1992, PO3
Efren Bautista fetched and apprised him that he was accused of rape by a certain Gilda
Ambray. Thereafter, an investigation was conducted and he was brought to the Bacoor Police
Station.
Alfredo L. Fernandez, 37 years old, jobless, and a resident of Justineville Subdivision,
corroborated Geners story about the malfunctioning tricycle and the drinking session. [26]
Teotimo Camagong testified that he was present when the accused was investigated at the
residence of Tony Antonio and that the complainant did not pinpoint and identify the accused as her
alleged molester.[27]
In its Decision[28] dated 30 June 1994 and promulgated on 25 July 1994, the trial court found the
accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape as charged, and rendered judgment as
follows:

WHEREFORE, premises considered herein accused GENER SICO DE GUZMAN is hereby found
GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape punishable by Art. 335 of the Revised Penal
Code.He should suffer the prison term of reclusion perpetua and indemnify herein private
complainant Gilda Ambray the following: actual damages representing her lost monthly salary when
she resigned from her office due to shame for being a rape victim, in the sum of P30,000.00, moral
damages in the sum of P30,000.00, exemplary damages of P10,000.00, litigation expenses
of P5,000.00, and attorneys fee[s] including appearance fees for the private prosecutor in the sum
of P28,500.00.

It gave full gave weight to the testimony of Gilda Ambray because [w]ithout doubt, the complainant
had endured the rigors of recalling her harrowing ordeal and had vividly, credibly and candidly
portrayed in detail how she was raped by the accused.[29]
As to whether sexual intercourse was consummated against the will or consent of the offended
party, the trial court said:
No less than NBI Medico Legal Officer Dr. Valentin Bernales had corroborated the stance of
herein private complainant that she was raped by the accused. The victim had sustained
contusions and abrasions at her body that indicated that she struggled against the sexual
advances of the accused. As a result of the doctors examination on the victim, he
confirmed the occurrence of a recent sexual intercourse and presence in her private part of
human spermatozoa as denoted in his Medico Legal Report (Exh. F) and Laboratory
Report (Exh. D).[30]
Likewise it ruled that since the accused was drunk, he was more aggressive and sexually capable.
[31]
Finally, it considered as evidence of the accuseds guilt the plea of his parents, wife and relatives
for forgiveness and compromise.[32]
The accused seasonably appealed from the trial courts judgment of conviction, and in urging us to
acquit him, interposes the following assignment of errors in his Appellants Brief:
1. THE COURT ERRED IN FINDING THAT ACCUSED HAS INDUBITABLY EMPLOYED
FORCE AND INTIMIDATION IN THE RAPE OF THE VICTIM.
2. THE COURT ERRED IN FINDING THAT ACCUSED WAS POSITIVELY IDENTIFIED BY THE
VICTIM.
3. THE COURT ERRED IN STRESSING THAT THE ACCUSED WAS DRUNK AT THE TIME OF
THE COMMISSION OF RAPE.
In the Brief for the Appellee, the Office of the Solicitor General disagrees with the accused and
prays that we affirm in toto the appealed decision.
The first and second assigned errors may be taken up together. The upshot of the accuseds
stance in these alleged errors is that he was not positively identified and that neither force nor
intimidation was proven. As to the latter he cites these facts: (a) Gildas assailant had three acts of
sexual intercourse with her; (b) the physical examination showed that she suffered injuries on the
dorsal portion only, and none was found on her neck; (c) her personal belongings -- bra, pants, T-
shirt and underwear -- were completely intact; and (d) no signs of physical violence were discernible
on both the persons of the accused and Gilda Ambray.
Rape is essentially an offense of secrecy, not generally attempted except in dark or deserted and
secluded places away from prying eyes, and the crime usually commences solely upon the word of
the offended woman herself and conviction invariably turns upon her credibility, as the Peoples
single witness of the actual occurrence.[33]
In the review of rape cases, therefore, this Court is guided by the following principles: (1) an
accusation for rape can be made with facility: it is difficult to prove but more difficult for the person
accused, though innocent, to disprove it; (2) in view of the intrinsic nature of the crime of rape where
two persons are usually involved, the testimony of the complainant must be scrutinized with extreme
caution; and (3) the evidence for the prosecution must stand or fall on its on merits, and cannot be
allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the evidence for the defense. [34]
The resolution then of the first two assigned errors and the determination of the guilt of the
accused depend primarily on the credibility of the complainant Gilda Ambray, since only she and the
accused witnessed the incident when it happened. Her testimony alone, if credible, would render the
accuseds conviction inevitable.
A meticulous assessment of Gildas testimony demonstrates beyond doubt the truthfulness of her
story, which she narrated in a categorical, straightforward and candid manner. Further strengthening
her credibility in recounting her ordeal at the hands of the accused was her conduct immediately
after the sexual assault. She ran home without looking back, and upon her arrival she reported the
rape to her husband and her mother at once. Immediately thereafter, she reported it to Tony Antonio,
the President of the Homeowners Association and President of the National Press Club, who then
sought police assistance. When the policemen arrived at Antonios residence in response to the
latters call, Gilda narrated the rape to the policemen and gave them the description of the
assailant. When the policemen brought the accused to the residence of Antonio, Gilda forthwith
pointed to the accused as the person who raped her. Gilda voluntarily submitted herself to a medical
examination at the Las Pias Hospital and then to an examination of her private parts by Dr. Bernales
of the NBI. The following day she submitted herself to an investigation [35] by the PNP of Bacoor,
Cavite, and filed on the same day a complaint for rape against the accused with the MTC of Bacoor,
Cavite.
All the foregoing acts of Gilda were done within twenty-four hours after the commission of the
crime. The quickness and spontaneity of these deeds manifested the natural reactions of a virtuous
woman who had just undergone sexual molestation against herself, [36] and evinced nothing more
than her instant resolve to denounce the beast who criminally abused and ravished her, and to
protect her honor. Moreover, she rejected the plea for forgiveness sought by the accuseds parents,
wife, and children, then suffered the travails of a public trial which necessarily exposed her to
humiliation and embarrassment by unraveling the details of the rape and enduring a cross-
examination which sought to discredit her.
What Gilda endured could only come from one whose obsession was to bring to justice the
person who had abused her and vindicate her honor, even if such vindication would never erase
from her memory that excruciatingly painful chapter in her life which left her psychologically and
emotionally scarred forever. This Court has repeatedly held that no complainant would admit that
she has been raped, make public the offense, allow the examination of her private parts, undergo
the troubles and humiliation of public trial and endure the ordeal of testifying to all its gory details if
she had not in fact been raped.[37]
We likewise agree with the trial court that the accused used force and intimidation upon Gilda.
Another established rule in rape cases is that the force need not be irresistible; all that is
necessary is that the force used by the accused is sufficient to consummate his evil purpose, or that
it was successfully used. It need not be so great or of such character that it could not be repelled.
[38]
Intimidation, on the other hand, must be viewed in light of the victims perception and judgment at
the time of the commission of the crime and not by any hard and fast rule; it is enough that it
produces fear -- fear that if the victim does not yield to the bestial demands of the accused,
something would happen to her at that moment, or even thereafter as when she is threatened with
death if she would report the incident.[39]
In this case, the accused embraced Gilda from behind, held her neck tightly, and covered her
mouth. As she struggled to free herself, she sustained her injuries. Dr. Bernales confirmed the use of
force, and according to him, the abrasions and contusions on Gildas body were due to force applied
on her. Moreover, the accused also threatened Gilda with death if she would not yield to his bestial
desires. The threat certainly constituted intimidation.
The accuseds contention that it was highly incredible that there was force or intimidation since the
assailant committed three acts of sexual intercourse with Gilda in three hours, deserves scant
consideration. In the first place, Gilda explained in her re-direct examination that the three hours
mentioned in her cross-examination referred to the time which elapsed from the moment she was at
the gate of Meadow Wood Subdivision and until she reported the incident to Tony Antonio. [40] The
principal object of re-direct examination is to prevent injustice to the witness and the party who has
called him by affording an opportunity to the witness to explain the testimony given on cross-
examination, and to explain any apparent contradiction or inconsistency in his statements, an
opportunity which is ordinarily afforded to him during cross-examination. The re-direct examination
serves the purpose of completing the answer of a witness, or of adding a new matter which has
been omitted, or of correcting a possible misinterpretation of testimony. [41] In the second place, on
direct examination, Gilda categorically declared that the accused tried to thrice insert his penis into
her vagina. He failed in the first and second attempts because she struggled, but succeeded on the
third because she was already weak. While it may be true that on cross-examination she testified
that she was raped once, yet on re-direct examination she said that she was raped three times, no
inconsistency at all may be deduced therefrom. There was merely confusion as to the legal
qualifications of the three separate acts, i.e., Gildas answers were conclusions of law. A witness is
not permitted to testify as to a conclusion of law, among which, legal responsibility is one of the most
conspicuous. A witness, no matter how skillful, is not to be asked or permitted to testify as to whether
or not a party is responsible to the law. Law in the sense here used embraces whatever conclusions
belonging properly to the court.[42]
What is clear to us is that there were, at least, two acts of attempted rape and one consummated
rape, committed in light of the testimony of Gilda. The information, however, charged the accused
with only one act of rape; hence, consistent with the constitutional right of the accused to be
informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him, [43] he cannot be held liable for more
than what he was charged. There can only be one conviction for rape if the information charges only
one offense, even if the evidence shows three separate acts of sexual intercourse. [44]
Neither are we persuaded by the claim that Gilda was not able to positively identify the
accused. He was familiar to Gilda one or two weeks before the incident because she saw him driving
a tricycle and had, in fact, been once a passenger of his. She saw him clearly at the guardhouse
before the incident because the guardhouse was well-lit; she was his passenger that evening until
he stopped his tricycle near the unfinished house; and she had ample opportunity to see and
recognize him during the assault. Then, Gilda did not hesitate to point to and identify the accused as
her rapist when the latter was brought by the policemen to the house of Tony Antonio.
The accuseds defense of alibi, which is the weakest of all defenses for it is easy to concoct and
fabricate, cannot prevail over his positive identification by Gilda.[45]
Moreover, any scintilla of doubt both as to the identification of the accused and as to his guilt was
dissolved by the overtures of his parents, wife, children and sister-in-law on pleading for forgiveness
from Gilda. The accused did not disown their acts, which were testified to by his kumadre,
Resurreccion Talub Quiocho, and Gilda herself. He chose not to deny their testimony. Finally, despite
the unequivocal pronouncement by the trial court that his guilt was strongly established by the acts
of his parents, wife and relatives, who had gone to the house of the victim to ask her forgiveness and
to seek a compromise, the accused dared not assign that finding and conclusion as an error and his
Appellants Brief is conspicuously silent thereon. Indubitably then, the accused was a party to the
decision to seek for forgiveness, or had prior knowledge of the plan to seek for it and consented to
pursue it, or confirmed and ratified the act of his parents, wife, children and sister-in-law. A plea for
forgiveness may be considered as analogous to an attempt to compromise. In criminal cases, except
those involving quasi-offense (criminal negligence) or those allowed by law to be compromised, an
offer of compromise by the accused may be received in evidence as an implied admission of guilt.
[46]
No one would ask for forgiveness unless he had committed some wrong, for to forgive means to
absolve, to pardon, to cease to feel resentment against on account of wrong committed; give up
claim to requital from or retribution upon (an offender). [47] In People vs. Calimquim,[48] we stated:

The fact that appellants mother sought forgiveness for her son from Corazons father is an
indication of guilt. (See People vs. Olmedillo, L-42660, August 30, 1982, 116 SCRA 193).
The accused may be correct in the third assigned error because no testimony of a witness
established that the accused was in a state of drunkenness when he sexually assaulted Gilda.The
trial court may have formed its conclusion that the accused was drunk from his testimony that he and
Alfredo Fernandez were drinking liquor in his house from 9:00 to 11:00 p.m. of 31 March 1992. In
any event, that erroneous conclusion is innocuous.
We do not then hesitate to conclude that the accused, having had carnal knowledge of
complainant Gilda Ambray through the use of force and intimidation, committed the crime of rape as
defined and penalized in Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, the prescribed penalty
being reclusion perpetua.
The damages awarded by the trial court stand modification. No damage for loss of income due to
Gildas resignation from her employment should have been awarded, the resignation being
unnecessary. Conformably however with the current jurisprudence, she is entitled to indemnity
of P50,000.00. For her shame, as well as mental anguish, fright, serious anxiety, besmirched
reputation, moral shock and social humiliation which rape necessarily brings to the offended party,
[49]
she is entitled to recover moral damages under Article 2219 in relation to Article 2217 of the Civil
Code. However, since no aggravating circumstance had been proved, exemplary damages may not
be awarded. In Article 2230 of the Civil Code, such damages may be awarded in criminal cases
when the crime was committed with one or more aggravating circumstances.
WHEREFORE, the instant appeal is DISMISSED and the challenged decision of 30 June 1994 of
Branch 19 of the Regional Trial Court of Bacoor, Cavite, in Criminal Case No. B-92-216
is AFFIRMED, subject to the modification on the civil liabilities, and as so modified, the awards
of P30,000.00 as actual damages for loss of monthly salary and P10,000.00 as exemplary damages
are deleted, and accused-appellant Gener de Guzman y Sico is further ordered to pay the
complainant Gilda Ambray the sum of P50,000.00 as indemnity. The awards for moral damages,
litigation expenses and attorneys fees stand.
Costs against the accused-appellant.
SO ORDERED.
Narvasa, C.J. (Chairman), Melo, Francisco, and Panganiban, JJ., concur.

[1]
Docketed as Criminal Case No. 13953. Original Record (OR), 2; Rollo, 3.
[2]
OR, 17.
[3]
Id., 18.
[4]
Id., 19.
[5]
Id., 20.
[6]
OR, 23.
[7]
Id., 55.
[8]
Id., 61.
[9]
Id., 66.
[10]
TSN, 25 August 1992, 6-9.
[11]
TSN, 25 August 1992, 11.
[12]
Id., 14.
[13]
TSN, 1 September 1992, 5-16.
[14]
Id., 17.
[15]
Id., 17-19.
[16]
TSN, 12 October 1992, 11; TSN, 2 March 1993,10-15.
[17]
TSN, 2 March 1993, 15.
[18]
Exhibit E; OR, 7.
[19]
Exhibit F; TSN, 12 October 1992, 5.
[20]
Exhibit J; OR, 9.
[21]
TSN, 19 October 1992, 15.
[22]
Exhibit J-1; OR, 9.
[23]
TSN, 1 February 1993, 6-10.
[24]
TSN, 1 September 1992, 26.
[25]
TSN, 2 March 1993, 3-7.
[26]
TSN, 13 May 1993, 6-11.
[27]
TSN, 17 May 1993, 13.
[28]
OR, 224-233; Rollo, 15-24. Per Judge Edelwina C. Pastoral.
[29]
OR, 231; Rollo, 22.
[30]
Id.; Id.
[31]
Citing People v. Copro, 126 SCRA 403 [1983].
[32]
OR, 231; Rollo, 22.
[33]
People v. Domingo, 226 SCRA 156, 166 [1993].
[34]
People v. de los Reyes, 203 SCRA 707, 727 [1991]; People v. Casinillo, 213 SCRA 777, 788-789
[1992]; People vs. Lucas, 232 SCRA 537, 546 [1994].
[35]
Exhibit G, OR, 8.
[36]
People v. Jaca, 229 SCRA 332, 337 [1994].
[37]
People v. Patilan, 197 SCRA 354, 366 [1991]; People v. Grefiel, 215 SCRA 596, 609-610 [1992];
People v. Alib, 222 SCRA 517, 528-529 [1993].
[38]
People v. Grefiel, supra, note 37; People v. Matrimonio, 215 SCRA 613,630 [1992];
People v. Antonio 233 SCRA 283, 299 [1994].
[39]
People v. Grefiel, supra, note 37; People vs. Matrimonio, supra, note 38; People v. Pamor, 237
SCRA 462, 472 [1994].
[40]
TSN, 24 September 1992, 6.
[41]
RICARDO J. FRANCISCO, EVIDENCE, 464 [1984].
[42]
Whartons Criminal Evidence, 11th Ed., Section 1282.
[43]
Section 19, Article VI, Constitution; see Section 1, Rule 115, Rules of Court.
[44]
People v. Joya, 227 SCRA 9, 28 [1993].
[45]
People v. Kempis, 221 SCRA 628, 642 [1993]; People v. Kyamko, 222 SCRA 183, 194 [1993];
People v. Enciso, 223 SCRA 675, 686 [1993].
[46]
Second paragraph, Section 27, Rule 130, Rules of Court.
[47]
Websters Third New International Dictionary [1993], 891.
[48]
125 SCRA 499, 520 [1983].
[49]
People v. Saldivia, 203 SCRA 461, 473 [1991]; People v. Tismo, 204 SCRA 535, 559 [1991].
SECOND DIVISION
[G.R. No. 117702. February 10, 1997]

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. CRISPIN YPARRAGUIRRE, accused-


appellant.

DECISION
PUNO, J.:

Accused-appellant Crispin Yparraguirre was charged with the crime of rape in an


Information that reads as follows:
"That on or about July 6, 1990, in the Municipality of XXX, Province of Davao, Philippines,
and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, armed with a
hunting knife, by means of force and intimidation, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and
feloniously have carnal knowledge of AAA, against her will." [1]
The prosecution established that AAA was a housemaid of appellant and his wife; that on or
about 7:00 in the evening of July 6, 1990 at the spouses' room in Panabo, Davao, AAA was cooking
porridge for the spouses' two children, one aged four years old and the other nine months
old. Accused-appellant arrived from work and found the two children asleep. He approached AAA
and gave her a small white envelope said to contain medicine for her skin disease. AAA was
afflicted with rashes on her thighs and stomach which she allegedly contracted from one of the
children. AAA opened the envelope and counted fifteen (15) tablets inside. As instructed by
appellant, AAA took all the tablets. A few minutes later, she felt weak and fell down. Suddenly, she
realized that appellant was dragging her to the spouses' bed. She tried to get up but appellant
pushed her down the bed and pointed a hunting knife at her neck. He ordered AAA not to move or
he would kill her. Then he removed her clothes and went on top of her. He kissed her face, breasts,
stomach and private parts and then entered her. AAA cried out in pain but appellant continued
entering her. After satisfying his lust, appellant pulled out and punched AAA in the stomach. She
lost consciousness.Exsm
A few minutes later, AAA woke up and saw blood in her private parts. She wiped the blood and
changed her clothes. Seeing her awake, appellant threatened to kill her should she report the
incident to her parents. Appellant then left the house.[2]
AAA did not say a word about the incident. She continued serving the Yparraguirres for one
month before leaving them to return to her mother's house in Barrio YYY. Her mother found AAA in
a state of shock. She could not eat nor talk, neither could she perform ordinary daily functions such
as dressing herself. In short, AAA became helpless. She was brought to the Municipal Health
Officer by her mother for examination. On August 22, 1990, the Municipal Health Officer, Dr. Imelda
T. Bendijo, interviewed the girl and found her unresponsive and unable to talk. She conducted a
physical examination and also found that:
"x x x Physical examination externally no abnormal findings;
Pelvic examination -- normal vagina with old laceration found at 2:00 [position]; hymen not
intact;
Internal examination -- admits one finger;
Advised for pregnancy test and for consultation by [sic] psychiatrist.
x x x."[3]
Upon the Municipal Health Officer's advice, AAA was confined at the Davao City Mental Hospital for
observation and treatment. After a week of treatment, AAA began to talk and revealed that she was
raped by appellant.[4]
Accused-appellant pled not guilty to the crime charged. He claimed that on the night of the
alleged rape he was selling fish at the public market. Allegedly, he was at the market at 4:00 in the
morning, and worked straight until 8:00 in the evening. He never left the fish stall until after 8:00 in
the evening because of his many customers.[5]
The trial court found accused-appellant guilty and sentenced him to reclusion perpetua. It also
ordered him to indemnify AAA P50,000.00 as moral damages and pay P5,000.00 as attorney's fees,
thus:
"WHEREFORE, IN LIGHT OF THE FOREGOING, the court finds accused
Crispin Yparraguirre guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape punishable under
Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code. Correspondingly, the court hereby sentences the
said accused to suffer and undergo the penalty of RECLUSION PERPETUA with all the
accessory penalties provided for by law and to pay the costs.
Accused Crispin Yparraguirre is also ordered to indemnify the victim Rosita Bacaling the
amount of P50,000.00 as moral damages, plus payment of P5,000.00 as attorney's fees.
SO ORDERED."[6]
In this appeal, accused-appellant contends that:
I
"THE COURT ERRED IN HOLDING THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT GUILTY OF THE
CRIME OF RAPE;
II
THE COURT ERRED IN HOLDING THAT WITNESS MARY ANN YPARRAGUIRRE WENT
TO THE MOTHER OF THE ACCUSED ON NOVEMBER 23, 1990 TO NEGOTIATE FOR
THE DROPPING OF THE CASE."[7]
The appeal has no merit. After reviewing the records, we find that the prosecution evidence,
which rests mainly on the testimony of AAA, is credible, reliable and trustworthy. AAA testified in a
straightforward, spontaneous and candid manner and never wavered even on cross-examination
and rebuttal. The inconsistencies in her testimony are minor which tend to buttress, rather than
weaken, the conclusion that her testimony was not contrived. [8]
The question of whether AAA contracted the skin disease from the children of appellant is not
important. The undisputed fact is that she was afflicted with the disease and that appellant gave her
tablets for treatment of the disease. Appellant's allegation that AAA should have fallen asleep for
hours after ingesting the tablets is speculative. There is no evidence that the tablets were sleeping
tablets. They, however, weakened AAA and prevented her from making any resistance to appellant's
lewd acts.[9] The delay in filing the complaint does not in any way affect AAA's credibility. [10] She was
afraid of appellant's threat to her life. The complaint was filed three months after AAA told her
mother of the incident, and three months is not too long a period to file a complaint for rape.
AAA was a seventeen-year old barrio lass and a high school dropout. She was also the
breadwinner of the family.[11] It is hard to believe that AAA would fabricate a story of defloration, open
herself to public trial and place her family, who depended on her, in a very humiliating and
compromising situation for no reason at all. [12] AAA suffered psychologically from the incident. Before
the rape, she had been working for the Yparraguirres for two months[13] and the spouses actually
found her to be a good worker. [14] When AAA returned to her family, however, she lost her speech
and could not perform ordinary daily functions that she had to seek psychiatric treatment. Indeed,
AAA's psychological condition could not have been the product of ill-motive and fabrication.
Anent the second assigned error, there is evidence that after AAA revealed the rape to her
mother, appellant's wife, Mary Ann Yparraguirre, offered the victim's mother, BBB, fifteen thousand
pesos (P15,000.00) to dissuade her from filing the complaint. [15] When BBB refused, Mary Ann
increased the offer to twenty-five thousand pesos (P25,000.00). Still BBB refused to accept it. [16] As
pointed out by appellant, no criminal complaint had been filed at the time the compromise offer was
made. Nevertheless, the rape incident was already known to appellant's wife. Mary Ann herself
testified that BBB told her about it on November 3, 1990, the day when Mary Ann first offered the
money.[17] An offer to compromise does not require that a criminal complaint be first filed before the
offer can be received in evidence against the offeror.[18] What is required is that after committing the
crime, the accused or his representative makes an offer to compromise and such offer is proved.
The positive identification of accused-appellant as the rapist prevails over his defense of alibi.
[19]
It was not physically impossible for appellant to have been at the scene of the crime. The public
market was merely a ten-minute walk from their rented room[20] and during work breaks, appellant
would sometimes go home to bring food to his children. [21]
IN VIEW WHEREOF, the decision dated May 10, 1994 of the Regional Trial Court, Branch
4, Panabo, Davao is affirmed. Costs against appellant.
SO ORDERED.
Regalado, (Chairman), Romero, Mendoza, and Torres, Jr., JJ., concur.

[1]
Information dated July 8, 1991, Rollo, p. 3.
[2]
TSN of October 22, 1991, pp. 7-19.
[3]
Exhibit "A," Records, p.12.
[4]
TSN of October 22, 1991, pp. 20-22.
[5]
TSN of May 7, 1993, pp.10-11; TSN of February 3, 1993, pp.5-9.
[6]
Decision dated May 10, 1994, p. 19, Rollo, p. 29.
[7]
Appellant's Brief, p.1, Rollo, p.76.
[8]
People v. Ching, 240 SCRA 267 [1995]; People v. Querido, 229 SCRA 745 [1994]; People v. de la
Cruz, 224 SCRA 506 [1993]; People v. Caco, 222 SCRA 49 [1993].
[9]
TSN of October 23, 1991, pp. 15-16.
[10]
People v. Cabresos, 244 SCRA 362 [1995]; People v. Plaza, 242 SCRA 724 [1995];
People v. Casil, 241 SCRA 285 [1995].
[11]
Rosita had three sisters and one brother -- TSN of October 23, 1991, p.12.
[12]
People v. Vitor, 245 SCRA 392 [1995]; People v. Dado, 244 SCRA 655 [1995]; People v. Querido,
229 SCRA 745 [1994]; People v. Codilla, 224 SCRA 104 [1993].
[13]
TSN of October 22, 1991, pp. 6-7.
[14]
TSN of May 7, 1993, p.18; TSN of December 20, 1993, p.8.
[15]
TSN of October 19, 1993, pp. 6-7.
[16]
TSN of October 19, 1993, pp. 6-8.
[17]
TSN of December 20, 1993, pp. 4-5.
[18]
Revised Rules on Evidence, Rule 130, Section 27, paragraph 2 reads:
"Sec. 27. x x x
In criminal cases, except those involving quasi-offenses (criminal negligence) or
those allowed by law to be compromised, an offer of compromise by the accused may be received in
evidence as an implied admission of guilt.
xxx."
[19]
People v. Umali, 242 SCRA 17 [1995]; People v. Miranday, 242 SCRA 620 [1995];
People v. Cabresos, 244 SCRA 362 [1995].
[20]
TSN of May 7, 1993, pp. 11-12.
[21]
Id., p. 14.

G.R. No. L-8931 March 14, 1914

THE UNITED STATES, plaintiff-appellee,


vs.
JUAN MAQUI, defendant-appellant.

Alejo Mabanag for appellant.


Office of the Solicitor-General Harvey for appellee.

CARSON, J.:

The appellant in this case was convicted in the court below of the theft of the caraballa and her calf,
and sentenced to imprisonment for the period of five years, to suffer the accessory penalties
prescribed by law, and to pay his share of the costs of the proceedings.

Counsel for the accused contends that the trial court erred in giving probative value to the testimony
of one Dagsa, the principal witness for the prosecution; in accepting proof as to certain extrajudicial
admissions alleged to have been made by the accused, including an offer to compromise the case
by the payment of a sum of money; and in declining to accept as true the testimony of the accused
in his own behalf at the trial. We find nothing in the record, however, which would justify us in
disturbing the findings of the trial judge as to the degree of the credit which should be accorded the
various witnesses called at the trial.

Counsel rests his contention that the evidence as to the extrajudicial statements made by the
accused should have been excluded on the ground that, as counsel insists, there is no formal proof
n the record that they were made voluntarily, and that they were therefore inadmissible as proof in so
far as they can be construed as admission or confession of guilt. In answer to this contention it is
sufficient to say that there is no suggestion in the record in the court below that these extrajudicial
statements were not made voluntarily, and we are satisfied that if the evidence as to the
circumstances under which these incriminating statements were made be accepted as true it clearly
rebuts the possibility that they were made involuntarily, or extorted by force, threats, or promise of
reward. The record clearly discloses that these extrajudicial statements were made in the course of
offers to compromise and that they were made by the accused voluntarily, though doubtless these
offers to compromise were made in the hope that it accepted he would escape prosecution.

The question as to the admissibility of offers to compromise in criminal cases has frequently been
discussed in the courts of the United States, and the practice there does not appear to be wholly
uniform. We think, however, that the weight both of authority and of reason sustains the rule which
admits evidence of offers to compromise, but permits the accused to show that such offers were not
made under a consciousness of guilt, but merely to avoid the inconvenience of imprisonment or for
some other reason which would justify a claim by the accused that the offer to compromise was not
in truth an admission of his guilt and an attempt to avoid the legal consequences which would
ordinarily ensue therefrom.

Satisfaction to the owner of the goods stolen is admissible, as evidence against the accused, but if
made merely to avoid the inconvenience of imprisonment, and not under a consciousness of guilt, it
is not evidence. (U. S. vs. Hunter, 1 Cranch, C. C., 317.)

In a prosecution for seduction, evidence that the accused had sought an adjustment with the
prosecutrix is inadmissible, if such offer of adjustment did not contain an admission of guilt.
(Wilson vs. State, 73 Ala., 527.)

On a prosecution for assault with intent to commit rape upon a married woman, evidence is
admissible on behalf of the prosecution to show that the defendant sent a third person to the father
of the prosecutrix to ascertain if the case could be compromised. (Barr vs. People, 113 Ill., 471.)

In a larceny case, evidence is not admissible to show that defendant stated that he would pay $50 if
it could be settled, in reply to threats by the owner of the goods stolen that he would be prosecuted
for damages, and a solicitation to settle. (Frain vs. State, 40 Ga., 530.)

In a prosecution for larceny, evidence is not admissible that defendant paid a sum of money in
settlement of a civil action brought to recover the property alleged to have been stolen.
(State vs. Emerson, 48 Iowa, 172.)

An offer of compromise, voluntarily made by the accused, without threat or promise, and the reply
thereto, are admissible in evidence upon his trial for a crime. (State vs. Bruce, 33 La. Ann., 186.)

An offer of compromise of a crime, unaccepted by the prosecutor, may be proven by the state as an
admission of guilt, or as disclosing possession of the property which is the subject of the burglary
and larceny charged in the indictment. (State vs. Rodriguez, 45 La. Ann., 1040; 13 Southern, 802.)

It may be shown that the prisoner sent a massage to the prosecutor, proposing to take a whipping
and to be let go. (State vs. DeBerry, 92 N. C., 800.)

We are satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt as to the guilt of the accused, but we are opinion that in
imposing the penalty the trial court should have taken into consideration as a mitigating
circumstance the manifest lack of "instruction and education" of the offender. It does not clearly
appear whether he is or not an uncivilized Igorot, although there are indications in the record which
tend to show that he is. But in any event, it is very clear that if he is not a member of an uncivilized
tribe of Igorots, he is a densely ignorant and untutored fellow, who lived in the Igorot country, and is
not much, if any, higher that are they in the scale of civilization. The beneficent provisions of article
11 of the Penal Code as amended by Act No. 2142 of the Philippine Legislature are peculiarly
applicable to offenders who are shown to be members of these uncivilized tribes, and to other
offenders who, as a result of the fact that their lives are cast with such people far away from the
centers of civilization, appear to be so lacking in "instruction and education" that they should not be
held to so high a degree of responsibility as is demanded of those citizens who have had the
advantage of living their lives in contact with the refining influences of civilization.

It is true that this court has quite uniformly held that convicts of the crimes of theft and robbery are
not entitled to the benefits of the provisions of article 11 of the Penal Code prior to its amendment by
Act No. 2142, this on the theory that under the provisions of the article prior to its amendment the
ground upon which the courts were authorized in their direction to mitigate the penalties prescribed
by the code was "the circumstance of the offender being a native, mestizo, or Chinese." As to crimes
of this nature we declined to hold that the mere fact that one is a native of the Philippine Islands, a
mestizo or a Chinese would justify a claim that upon conviction of crimes such as theft or robbery he
should be treated more leniently than the members of any other race or people, no sounds
presumption arising from the mere racial affiliation of the convict that he was less or to resist the
temptation to commit them than are they.

Under the provisions of the article as amended by Act No. 2142, the ground upon which the courts
are authorized to mitigate the prescribed penalties is not racial affiliation of the convict, but "the
degree of instruction and education of the offender;" and while mere ignorance or lack of education
will not always be sufficient to justify the mitigation of the prescribed penalties for crimes such as
theft and robbery, there can be no doubt that cases may and will arise wherein under all the
"circumstances attending" the commission of these offenses the exercise of a sound discretion will
justify a more lenient treatment of an ignorant and semicivilized offender, than that which should be
accorded one who has the advantage of such a degree of instruction and education as would justify
the court in believing that he was capable of fully and properly understanding and appreciating the
criminal character of the offense committed by him.

We conclude, therefore, that under the provisions of article 111 as amended by Act No. 2142, the
courts may and should, even in cases of theft and robbery, take into consideration where it appears
that under all the circumstances attending the commission of the offense, he should not be held to
the strict degree of responsibility prescribed in the code for the ordinary offender.

The larceny of large cattle and falls within articles 517, 518, and 520 of the Penal Code, as amended
by Act No. 2030. According to those sections, as amended, the value of the animals stolen being
650 pesetas, a penalty one degree higher than arresto mayor in its medium degree to presidio
correccional in its minimum degree should have been imposed; in other words, presidio
correccional in its medium degree to presidio mayor in its minimum degree. Giving the convict the
benefit of the provisions of article 11 of the Penal Code, as amended, this penalty should be
imposed in its minimum degree that is to say, the penalty applicable in this case is that of presidio
correccional in its medium degree.

Modified by imposing the penalty prescribed for the offense of which the defendant and appellant
was convicted in the minimum degree that is to say, by, imposing upon the accused the penalty of
two years four months and one day of presidio correccional, in lieu of that of five years' imprisonment
imposed by the court below the judgment convicting and sentencing him should be and is hereby
affirmed, with the costs of this instance against the appellant.

Arellano, C.J., Moreland, Trent and Araullo, JJ., concur.