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PEOPLE v.

OCAMPO 1993 / Melo / Self-serving evidence > Admission by conduct Fernando Ocampo was charged with rape with homicide of Evelyn Bildan (10 years, 3 months, 4 days old). Ocampo is Evelyn's uncle [he is the widower of a sister of Evelyn's mother]. It is important to note that Ocampo's house is just adjacent to the house of Evelyn's family. Around 11 AM, Mary Jane (an elder sister of Evelyn) was coming from the house of her aunt, which was just across the road from their house. As Mary Jane was entering their house's gate, she saw Ocampo going up the stairs. As she was curious at what Ocampo was up to, she stayed under the house. Four minutes later, she heard a loud thud coming from inside the house, so she immediately went upstairs. As the door was locked, she peeped through a hole and saw that Ocampo was naked and was making coital movements over the naked body of her sister Evelyn, who appeared to be unconscious. Mary Jane shouted for help, so the naked Ocampo jumped out of the window, bringing with him his clothes. Upon hearing the shout, Jerry Lorenzo, a cousin of Mary Jane who was strolling nearby, arrived at the scene (and the usual onlookers came over as well). Weird / dubious part of the story: Ten minutes later, Ocampo arrived and opened the door by climbing through a window by means of a ladder. As soon as the door opened, Mary Jane and Jerry Lorenzo went inside the house and saw the lifeless body of Evelyn, lying prostate and naked on the floor. Mary Jane noticed discoloration on Evelyn's stomach and nose. Post-mortem exam by the rural health physician - slight bleeding of clitoris and hematoma on the tip; victim was sexually abused; victim did not commit suicide; Autopsy by medico legal officer - cause of death was asphyxia by strangulation The RTC found Ocampo guilty of qualified rape or rape with homicide. Ocampo's arguments 1. Mary Jane was prodded by her relatives, for lack of any other suspect, to point to him as the culprit. 2. Mary Jane's delay in revealing the identity of the rapist-killer is a clear indication that her testimony, pointing to Ocampo as the perpetrator, is pure concoction. 3. (Not clear WON Ocampo was the one who argued this, or if this was just SC's phrasing of an issue) There is a question as to WON the identity of Ocampo was adequately established, because there seems to be a variance between Mary Jane's declaration vis-a-vis Jerry Lorenzo's own statement. a. Jerry Lorenzo testified that he heard Mary Jane shouting that her sister was dead without anything said about the identity of the culprit. 4. If he was indeed responsible, he should not have immediately returned to the situs of the crime, much less opened the door to the house after passing through the window from where he escaped; such actuations are incongruous with human nature. 5. Ocampo's alibi: From 11 AM to 1 PM, he was playing paris-paris (card game) at his house with four others, when he was informed by Angelita (another sister of Evelyn) that Evelyn died, such that he responded to the call for help by going to Evelyn's house. Remember that the houses are adjacent to each other! ISSUE & HOLDING WON Ocampo is guilty. YES ISSUE #1 Such conjecture, without any shred of evidence, cannot prevail over Mary Jane's positive identification of Ocampo as the perpetrator. ISSUE #2 Delay or vacillation in making a criminal accusation does not impair the witness' credibility, if such delay is satisfactorily explained. In this case, Mary Jane testified that she did not immediately name Ocampo because she was afraid that he might do something to her. Judging from her age at the time she witnessed the crime until she sat on the witness stand, Mary Jane's timidity to relay what she saw is understandable for a 15-year old teenager who could not be expected to act like a mature woman. Her procrastination was brought about by the natural reticence and abhorrence of most individuals to get involved in a criminal case. ISSUE #3 When the testimony of two witnesses contradict each other, the court is not precluded from adopting the testimony which it believes to be true, as in this case where the RTC relied on Mary Jane's positive testimony in support of its finding of Ocampo's culpability. In practical terms, Ocampo is engaged in a subtle experiment to impeach or assail Mary Jane's credibility. The issue should no longer be reviewed, in light of the rule that the faculty of assigning values to declarations at the witness stand is primarily and almost exclusively conferred upon a trial court judge. ISSUE #4 Flight from the scene of the felony is one of the indicia of a guilty conscience. However, in exceptional cases, culprits have become bolder by returning to their prey to ensure that the victim was successfully eliminated under the pretext of feigning innocence. The fact that this form of reverse psychology does not happen as often as flight does not mean that it can never take place. ISSUE #5 For the defense of alibi to be tenable, the accused must prove that it was physically impossible for him to be at the scene of the crime at the time of its commission. By Ocampo's own admission, his house is adjacent to the house of the victim Evelyn where the crime was committed. Definitely, there was no physical impossibility for Ocampo to be present at the scene of the crime at the time of the commission thereof. Also, not one of the persons whom Ocampo mentioned were with him was presented to corroborate his version. RTC DECISION AFFIRMED.