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Caneda vs.

People of the Philippines

In August 2000, thirteen-year-old AAA5 was playing with her friend BBB in the second
floor of her family’s house in Palatiw, Pasig. The petitioner arrived holding a knife and
told AAA and BBB that he wanted to play with them. The petitioner then undressed BBB
and had sexual intercourse with her. Afterwards, he turned to AAA, undressed her, and
also had sexual intercourse with her by inserting his male organ into hers. The petitioner,
Robert Sierra, warned AAA not to tell anybody of what they did.

AAA subsequently disclosed the incident to Elena Gallano (her teacher) and to Dolores
Mangantula (the parent of a classmate), who both accompanied AAA to the barangay
office. AAA was later subjected to physical examination that revealed a laceration on her
hymen consistent with her claim of sexual abuse. On the basis of the complaint and the
physical findings, the petitioner was charged with rape under the following Information:

On or about August 5, 2000, in Pasig City and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable
Court, the accused, a minor, 15 years old, with lewd designs and by means of force,
violence and intimidation, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously have
sexual intercourse with his (accused) sister, AAA, thirteen years of age, against the
latter’s will and consent.

The trial court and Court of Appeals convicted Robert Sierra to suffer the penalty of


Supreme Court ruled that that the petitioner committed the rape before R.A. No. 9344
took effect and that he is no longer a minor (he was already 20 years old when he took
the stand) will not bar him from enjoying the benefit of total exemption that Section 6 of
R.A. No. 9344 grants.

Thereby, pursuant to Section 64 of R.A. No. 9344, Criminal Case No. 120292-H for rape
filed against petitioner Robert Sierra y Caneda is hereby DISMISSED. Petitioner is
REFERRED to the appropriate local social welfare and development officer who shall
proceed in accordance with the provisions of R.A. No. 9344. Petitioner is ORDERED to
pay the victim, AAA, P50,000.00 as civil indemnity, P50,000.00 as moral damages, and
P30,000.00 as exemplary damages.
People of the Philippines vs. Morial, et al

Two of the three appellants, Leonardo Morial and Nonelito Abinon, herein were
sentenced to death by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Southern Leyte for Robbery
with Homicide. The other, Edwin Morial, 18 years old, was sentenced to suffer only the
penalty ofreclusion perpetua on account of minority. The judgment of conviction is now
before this Court on automatic review.

The information charging appellants reads as follows:

That on the 6th day of January 1996, at about 6:30 o'clock [sic] in the evening
more or less, in [B]arangay Cagnituan, [M]unicipality of Maasin, [P]rovince of
Southern Leyte, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court,
the above-named accused conspiring, confederating and mutually helping one
another, with intent to kill and with intent of [sic] gain, entered into [sic] the
house of Paula Bandibas and Benjamin Morial and once inside did then and there
willfully and unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault, box, beat and stab the
victims Paula Bandibas and Albert Bandibas, with the use of sharp-pointed
weapons and stones which the accused had provided themselves for the purpose,
thereby inflicting upon the victims mortal wounds which caused their
instantaneous death, after [which], said accused took, stole and carried away
therefrom Cash in the amount of Eleven Thousand Pesos (P11,000.00) Philippine
Currency, belonging to said Paula Bandibas and Benjamin Morial, to the damage
and prejudice of the victims and of social order.


WHEREFORE, finding the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of
"Robbery with Homicide," with the aggravating circumstance of dwelling, Leonardo
Morial and Nonelito Abiñon are hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of death by lethal
injection, while Edwin Morial, on account of his minority, is hereby sentenced to the
indeterminate penalty of from ten (10) years and one (1) day ofprision mayor as
minimum; to seventeen (17) years, four (4) months and one (1) day ofreclusion temporal
as maximum.
People of the Philippines vs. Laranaga

Most jurisdictions recognize age as a barrier to having full responsibility over one’s
action.1 Our legal system, for instance, does not punish a youth as it would an adult, and
it sees youthful misconduct as evidence of unreasoned or impaired judgment. Thus, in a
myriad of cases, we have applied the privileged mitigating circumstance of minority
embodied in Article 68 of the Revised Penal Code -- the rationale of which is to show
mercy and some extent of leniency in favor of an accused who, by reason of his age, is
presumed to have acted with less discernment.

On February 3, 2004, we rendered a Decision3 convicting the Uy brothers, together with

Francisco Juan Larrañaga, Josman Aznar, Rowen Adlawan, Alberto Caño and Ariel
Balansag of the crimes of (a) special complex crime of kidnapping and serious illegal
detention with homicide and rape; and (b) simple kidnapping and serious illegal

Thus the motion for reconsideration.

In their motion, the Uy brothers claim that James Andrew was only seventeen (17) years
and two hundred sixty two (262) days old at the time the crimes were committed. To
substantiate such claim, he begs leave and pleads that we admit at this stage of the
proceedings his (1) Certificate of Live Birth issued by the National Statistics Office, and
(2) Baptismal Certificate. In the ultimate, he prays that his penalty be reduced, as in the
case of his brother James Anthony.

Considering that the entry of James Andrew’s birth in the proffered Certificate of Live
Birth is not legible, the Solicitor General is required (a) to secure from the City Civil
Registrar of Cotobato, as well as the National Statistics Office, a clear and legible copy of
James’ Certificate of Live Birth, and thereafter, (b) to file an extensive comment on the
Uy brothers’ motion, solely on the issue of James Andrew’s minority.

In Criminal Case No. CBU-45303 for the special complex crime of kidnapping and
serious illegal detention with homicide and rape, the death penalty should be reduced to
reclusion perpetua.

In Criminal Case No. CBU-45304, for the crime of simple kidnapping and serious illegal
detention, the penalty of reclusion perpetua should be reduced to twelve (12) years of
prision mayor in its maximum period, as minimum, to seventeen (17) years of reclusion
temporal in its medium period, as maximum, similar to the penalty imposed on his
brother James Anthony in Criminal Case No. CBU-45303.

WHEREFORE, the motion for reconsideration is hereby GRANTED. Our Decision
dated February 3, 2004 is AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that in Criminal Case
No. CBU-45303, James Andrew Uy is sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion
perpetua; while in Criminal Case No. CBU-45304, the penalty of twelve (12) years of
prision mayor in its maximum period, as MINIMUM, to seventeen (17) years of
reclusion temporal in its medium period, as maximum.