People vs. Deliola
G.R. No.200157, August 31, 2016
Sometime in the month of June, 2002 and on or about the 1st day of July 2002, in the Municipality of Manapla, Province of Negros Occidental, Philippines, accused, Deliola, 15 years old, with the use of a bladed weapon, through force, threat and intimidation, with the attendant qualifying aggravating circumstances of relationship and minority, the accused being the uncle of herein victim who was less than eighteen years of age, did then and there, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge of one MMM, a minor, 11 years old, against her will, to the damage and prejudice.
Afraid of accused appellant's threats of killing her, MMM kept mum and did not disclose to anyone the tragedy that happened to her. MMM' s grandmother noticed that there was something unusual in the way MMM was walking. This prompted her to confront MMM. Upon learning of what happened to MMM, the victim's aunt, brought the former to the Municipal Health Office of Manapla, Negros Occidental for examination, and thereafter to the police authorities, before whom the victim executed her sworn statement.
1) Whether or not the minor accused-appellant shall be held criminally liable for the crime
2) Whether or not the accused-appellant shall be confined in a regular penal institution
1. Yes. The Supreme Court in A.M. No. 02-l-18- SC49 defined the age of criminal responsibility as the age when a child, 15 years and one (1) day old or above but below 18 years of age, commits an offense with discernment. In this case, that the accused-appellant acted with discernment when he raped the victim as demonstrated by the following surrounding circumstances: (1) the victim was a helpless minor; (2) accused-appellant secured the consummation of the offense with a weapon; (3) he satisfied his lust by penetrating the victim from behind; and (4) he threatened the victim not to report what happened. Accused-appellant shall be criminally liable for the crime of Qualified Statutory Rape.
2. No. Due to the accused-appellant’s age when the crime was committed, the privileged mitigating circumstance of minority should be appreciated; thus, the penalty next lower in degree than that prescribed by law shall be imposed. In accordance with the controlling jurisprudence on the matter, the penalty of death is still the penalty to be reckoned with. Thus, the ruling of the lower courts was affirmed and impose upon accused-appellant the penalty of reclusion perpetua. Although it is acknowledged that accused-appellant was qualified for suspension of sentence when he committed the crime, Section 40 of R.A. 9344 provides that the same extends only until the child in conflict with the law reaches the maximum age of 21 years old.