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People vs. Calimlim, GR 123980, 30 August 2001
Limin had been living with the family of Kagawad Manny Ferrer and Cresencia Ferrer for the past 3 years. On the night of 2 April 1995, she was left alone in one of the two houses of the Ferrers since her usual companions, the sons of Manny and Cresencia, were out for the night (disco). The Ferrers were in the other house about 15 meters away. At around 11:30 P.M., she was awakened when she heard somebody, later identified as Manuel Calimlim y Muyano, enter her room. Calimlim immediately poked a knife at the left side of her neck and said "Accompany me because I killed my wife." She was then dragged to the pig pen, about 8-9 meters away from the place where she slept. Afterwards, she was again forcibly taken back to her room, then to her cousin's room and to the kitchen. In each of these places, Calimlim forcibly had sexual intercourse with her while he poked a knife against her neck. According to Limin, she first recognized Calimlim while they were in the kitchen when she was able to remove the cloth covering his face. She stated that she knew Calimlim because she had seen him always following her whenever she went to school. Limin claimed that she did not struggle nor shout nor resist because she was afraid that appellant might kill her. After the fourth intercourse, Calimlim threatened that he would kill her if she reported the incidents. Despite the threat, she told her cousin, Manicris Ferrer, who then reported the matter to Dr. Nancy Quinto who lived nearby. The rapes were reported to the station of SPO1 Mario Suratos by Kagawad Ferrer. Dr. Ricardo Ferrer conducted the physical examination on Lanie, and found that there was minimal vaginal bleeding and there were lacerations in the hymen, the positions of which were at 9:00 o'clock, 6:00 o'clock and 3:00 o'clock, all fresh, indicating that there were insertions within the past 24 hours. There was also a whitish vaginal discharge which was found positive for spermatozoa. Manuel Calimlim denied the accusations. Calimlim was charged in 4 informations for rape in Criminal Cases U-8525, 8638 to 8640. On 17 November 1995, the Regional Trial Court, First Judicial Region, Branch 46, Urdaneta, Pangasinan found Calimlim guilty of 4 counts of rape and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of death, to pay the offended party the amount of P50,000.00 as damages, and to pay the costs, in each of the cases. Hence, the automatic review.
Whether Calimlim may raise the illegality of the warrantless arrest conducted against him, especially as the arrest was made a day after the crime was committed.
Calimlim avers that his arrest violated Section 5 of Rule 113, 40 since his arrest was made one day after the crime was committed, but without any judicial warrant, although the police had ample time to get one. This he claims is also in violation of Article III, Sec. 2 of the Constitution. But here it will be noted that Calimlim entered a plea of not guilty to each of the informations charging him of rape. Thus, he had effectively waived his right to question any irregularity which might have accompanied his arrest and the unlawful restraint of his liberty. This is clear from a reading of Section 9 of Rule 117 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, which provides that "the failure of the accused to assert any ground of a motion to quash before he pleads to the complaint or information, either because he did not file a motion to quash or failed to allege the same in said motion, shall be deemed a waiver of any objections except those based on the grounds provided for in paragraphs (a), (b), (g) and (i) of section 3 of this Rule." Given the circumstances of his case, the exceptions do not apply here and the Court is constrained to rule that Calimlim is estopped from raising the issue of the legality of his arrest. Moreover, the illegal arrest of an accused is not sufficient cause for setting aside a valid judgment rendered upon a sufficient complaint after a trial free from error. The defense's claim of warrantless arrest which is illegal cannot render void all other proceedings including those leading to the conviction of Calimlim, nor can the state be deprived of its right to convict the guilty when all the facts on record point to his culpability.