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- Accused Anthony Escordial, the herein accused appellant, was charged guilty of robbery with rape and sentencing him to death and to pay private complainant Michelle Darunday the amounts of Php 3,650 representing the amount taken by him Php50k as moral damages, Php30k as exemplary damages, and the costs.
- It was testified by eight witnesses namely Jason Joniega, Mark Esmeralda, Erma Blanca,4 Dr. Joy Ann Jocson, PO3 Nicolas Tancinco, Leo Asan, Ma. Teresa Gellaver, and Michelle Darunday that:
- Petitioners (Michelle Darunday, Erma Blanca and Ma. Teresa Gallaver) were all living on the ground floor of a boarding house. On the night of the crime, Jason Joniega, Mark Esmeralda and Mark Lucena were playing inside a jeepney parked in front of the boarding house. While playing, a man sitting inside the jeepney told the boys to go home and that man was later identified as the accused.
- While the petitioners were sleeping, Erma was awakened by the presence of a man who had his head covered with a t-shirt to prevent identification and carried a knife about four inches long; warned her not to shout; asked her money and was able to get P500 from her. Then the accused turned to Michelle and Teresa which he got P3,100 from Michelle only.
- Thereafter, the accused told them to blindfold one another and then proceed to have carnal knowledge with Michelle. On the other hand, Erma claimed that she was able to see the man’s face. After he had finished raping Michelle, the man sat on the bed and talked to the three women. He then raped Michelle again and threatened her that it would be much worse if he’d call his companions to rape her. Later, he left but warned them not to report the matter to anyone or he would kill them.
- Mark Esmeralda saw from his bedroom window a man wearing denim shorts coming out of the boarding house and saw that man jumped over the fence and later told his parents about what he had seen and told them to check what happened.
- After Michelle Erma and Teresa were able to find help, Michelle was taken to the police headquarters and referred to the Women’s Desk to report the rape.
- PO3 Tancinco was one of those who responded to the crime. A report was made in the police station. Subsequent searches, through the descriptions of the petitioners, the children playing in the jeep in front of the boarding house, and others led to the pinpointing of accused-appellant .Accused was playing in basketball when the police “invited” him to the Pontevedra police station for questioning. At the station Michelle saw him and she identified him as his alleged robber and rapist. He was also brought to the Bacolod police station so that the other witnesses could identify him. They picked him out of four in the line-up.
- In defense, the accused-appellant claimed that he went home to Pontevedra, wherein he was able to see and communicate with the witnesses for the defense namely Aaron Lavilla, Elias Sombito. While the accused-appellant was in that place, PO2 Rodolfo Gemarino and Ricardo Villaspen led by PO3 Tancinco, witnesses, went to Ponteverde Police asking for help to locate him, however, they were not able to show a warrant for accused-appellant’s arrest. Then, they found the accused-appellant at the basketball court watching a game. After informing him that he was a suspect in a robbery case, the group invited the accused-appellant to go with them to the police headquarters. The accused-appellant however testified that the PO3 Tancinco and his companions beat and hit him with the butt of a shotgun to admit liability for the crime and even subjected to torture.
- With the testimonies of the witnesses and evidence, the trial court rendered a decision finding the accused-appellant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the crime of Robbery with Rape under Art 294 of the RPC.
Whether or not the accused-appellant can invoke Art III, Sec 12 of the Constitution
No. Accused-appellant invokes Art. III, §12(1) of the Constitution which provides that "any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to be informed of his right to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel preferably of his own choice. If the person cannot afford the services of counsel, he must be provided with one. These rights cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence of counsel." He contends that he was subjected to custodial interrogation without being informed of his right to remain silent and to have independent counsel preferably of his choice. Hence, he contends, the trial court erred in not excluding evidence obtained from him during such interrogation for violation of accused-appellant's rights under this provision.
While it cannot be denied that accused-appellant was deprived of his right to be informed of his rights to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel, he has not shown that, as a result of his custodial interrogation, the police obtained any statement from him – whether inculpatory or exculpatory - which was used in evidence against him. The records do not show that he had given one or that, in finding him guilty, the trial court relied on such statement. In fact, accused-appellant testified that at no point, even when subjected to physical torture, did he ever admit committing the crime with which he was charged. In other words, no uncounseled statement was obtained from the accused-appellant which should have been excluded as evidence against him.