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PEOPLE VS. MONTECLAROS - 589 SCRA 320
PEOPLE VS. MONTECLAROS - 589 SCRA 320
The offended party, ABC, is the daughter of appellant Ida, and was 13 years old at the time of the incident. Ida worked as a waitress in Bayanihan Beer House, Cebu. Ida and ABC rented a room in a house owned by Tampus, a barangay tanod. On April 1, 1995, about 4:30 p.m., ABC testified that she was in the house with Ida and Tampus who were both drinking beer at that time. They forced her to drink beer and after consuming three and one-half glasses of beer, she became intoxicated and very sleepy. While ABC was lying on the floor of their room, she overheard Tampus requesting her mother, Ida, that he be allowed to remedyo or have sexual intercourse with her. Appellant Ida agreed and instructed Tampus to leave as soon as he finished having sexual intercourse with ABC. ABC fell asleep and when she woke up, she noticed that the garter of her panties was loose and rolled down to her knees. She suffered pain in her head, thighs, buttocks, groin and vagina, and notice that her panties and short pants were stained with blood which was coming from her vagina. When her mother arrived home from work the following morning, she kept on crying but appellant Ida ignored her.
ABC testified that on April 4, 1995 around 1:00am, Tampus went aside their room and threatened to kill her if she would report the previous sexual assault to anyone. He abused her again. After consummating the sexual act, he left the house. When ABC told appellant Ida about the incident, the latter again ignored her.
On May 4, 1995, after being maltreated by her mother, ABC sought the help of her aunt, Nellie Montesclaros (Nellie). She told Nellie about the rape and that her mother sold her, ABC, together with Nellie and Norma Andales, a traffic enforcer, reported the incident of rape to the police.
Tampus was found guilty of two counts of rape as principal, and Ida was found guilty of being an accomplice in one crime of rape. Tampus died pending appeal in the CA, hence the CA passed judgement upon Ida.
The trial court ordered Tampus and Ida “jointy and severally”, to indemnify the offended party, P50,000.00 in Criminal Case No. 013324-L. “The Court of Appeals, however, did not award any civil indemnity to ABC, and only awarded moral and exemplary damages”.
Whether or not the trial court erred in convicting the accused Bartolome Tampus of the crimes of rape despite failure of the prosecution to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
No. The trial court does not erred in convicting the accused Bartolome Tampus. Tampus was positively identified by ABC as the person who had carnal knowledge of her against her will on April 1, 1995. The denial of Tampus cannot prevail over the positive and direct identification by the victim, ABC. Although ABC was asleep and unconscious at the time the sexual debasement was committed by Tampus, circumstantial evidence established beyond doubt that it is Tampus who raped ABC. Circumstantial evidence is sufficient for conviction if: (a) there is more than one circumstance; (b) the facts from which the inferences are derived are proven; and (c) the combination of all the circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt. In cases like the one at bar, the Court takes into consideration the events that transpired before and after the victim lost consciousness in order to establish the commission of the act of coitus.
The trial court correctly determined, thus:
The prosecution has clearly established by its evidence that accused Bartolome Tampus had carnal knowledge of [ABC] on April 1, 1995 under the circumstance set forth in Article 335 (2) of the Revised Penal Code, as amended; that is, when the woman is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious.
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