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G.R. No.

208759 June 22, 2016


Criminal Law; Rape; Credibility of victim as witness. Rape may be proven

even by the lone uncorroborated testimony of the victim as long as her
testimony is clear, positive and probable. When the victim is a young girl, as
in the present case, courts are inclined to give credence to her testimony,
considering not only their vulnerability but also the shame and
embarrassment to which she would be exposed to if her testimony was

Same; Same; Absence of victims resistance. The law does not impose upon
the victim the burden of proving resistance. Absence of resistance does not
constitute voluntary submission to the perpetrators lust.

Same; Same; Alibi as a defense in rape cases. For a defense of alibi to

prosper, the accused must not only prove that they were somewhere else
when the crime was committed but they must also satisfactorily establish
physical impossibility for them to be at the crime scene at the time of its

FACTS: Two criminal charges were filed against defendants for the alleged
rape of a 13 year old girl in her residence at the Province of Albay, on or
about February 22, 2006.

The victim, on her testimony, stated that she was awaken when
Barberan and Delos Santos entered her room. She was not able to resist or
cry for help from her relatives since Barberan held her hands and covered
her mouth while Delos Santos raped her, after him Barberan took his turn.
She admitted her willingness to keep the crime in secrecy were it not for
the accused boasting that she had lost her virginity on their hands and is
spreading rumors about her. These rumors prompted her parents to
confront the victim and it was revealed that she was indeed raped. Thus,
the complaint was filed against the accused.

On their defense, Barberan and delos Santos alleged that it is

impossible for the rape to happen considering that the victims
grandparents and sibling are just outside the door. They also attacked the
statement of the victim as it is inconsistent with the medical report made by
the Forensic Physician. An alibi was also presented as Barberan claimed
that he was in Legazpi when the rape was allegedly committed. Delos
Santos, on the other hand, stated that he was with his stepfather and was
gathering copra making it impossible for both of them to be physically
present in the scene.

The trial court held the accused guilty. This decision was affirmed by
the Court of Appeals. Hence, this appeal to the Supreme Court, where the
defendants allege that they could not be convicted because of the absence
of direct proof except the victims inconsistent testimony. They also contend
that it was physically impossible for them to commit the crime since they
were not in the area when it was allegedly committed.


1. Whether or not the defendants may be convicted by the testimony of

the offended victim.
2. Whether or not the victims failure to shout or seek help negates rape.
3. Whether or not the defendants alibi deserves merit


1. AFFIRMATIVE. It is settled that rape may be proven even by the lone

uncorroborated testimony of the victim, as long as her testimony is
clear, positive, and probable. In the present case, the victim was able
to clearly narrate the circumstances attending the crime from the
time she was awaken when the defendants entered her room until
carnal knowledge was consummated. The Court reiterated that when
the victim is a young girl, as in this case, who has lived her whole life
in a faraway island wherein almost all residents know everybody,
courts are inclined to give credence to her testimony, considering not
only their vulnerability but also the shame and embarrassment to
which they would be exposed.
Ruling on the defendants contention that rape was impossible
to be consummated due to the proximity of location of the victims
grandmother and siblings, who could easily be awaken by the
commotion, the Court held that rapists are not deterred from
committing sexual abuse by the mere presence nearby of people or
even family members; rape is committed not exclusively in seclusion.
Several cases instruct that lust is no respecter of time or place and
rape defies constraints of time and space.
Even granting that there was an inconsistency between AAAs
and the forensic experts testimony, the former shall prevail over the
latter. This is because medical examination and testimony are not
indispensable elements in a prosecution for rape. An accused can be
convicted of rape on the basis of the sole testimony of the victim.
Expert testimony is merely corroborative in character and not
essential to conviction.

2. NEGATIVE. The victim should not be faulted for her lack of

resistance to the crime of rape. Failure to shout or cry for help does
not make voluntary the victims submission to the defendants lust.
Besides, physical resistance is not an essential element of rape.
Victims of rape react differently when confronted with physical abuse.
Thus, victims are not burdened to prove resistance.

3. NEGATIVE. Physical impossibility refers to distance and the facility

of access between the crime scene and the location of the accused
when the crime was committed. There must be demonstration that
they were so far away and could not have been physically present at
the crime scene and its immediate vicinity when the crime was
committed. In this case, the defendants failed to prove that there was
physical impossibility for them to be in the crime scene when the rape
was committed.