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People of the Philippines v Solomon (Disqualification by reason of mental incapacity or

immaturity)
GR No 130517-21
July 16, 2002
Kapunan

Facts:
 Candido Solomon y Marquez was found guilty of 5 counts of rape, imposing 5 death
penalties hence automatic review by the SC
 He WUF had carnal knowledge with his own step-daughter – Charlyn Fernandez y
Angeles, 15 years of age, against her will
 Charlyn Fernandez, born to Felizardo and Julia Fernandez, had five siblings ranging in
age from 11-25 years. In 1985, three years after Charlyn was born, the couple
separated
 Charlyn’s mother started living together with the appellant. At the time of Charlyn’s
testimony, Julia bore the five children of the appellant.
o Pilar (7), Fernando and Angeline (twins, 5), Valentino (3), Robert (1), and
Carding (5 months). Pilar and Fernando Passed away
 During the time material to these cases, Charlyn was living with the appellant, Julia,
the couple’s three surviving children, Charlyn’s full-blooded siblings, Felizardo, Jr and
Joven.
o They lived in a one-room nipa house with stairs leading to the lumber floor
where the family slept.
o Nearest naighbor lived about 300 meters away
 First Rape: 1pm at home, June 16, 1995. She and her half-brothers (valentine and
Robert), were sleeping when she felt someone on top of her
o He was holding her right shoulder as his left hand removed her panty.
Frightened she repeatedly yelled (No ma ya Pang!)
o Charlyn did not know if appellant ejaculated but he stood up, put on his briefs
and shorts, and went out of the house. Charlyn sat up and cried. Her brothers,
who awoke as appellant inserted his finger into her sex organ, were also crying
 Second Rape: less than a month later, July 5, 1995 at around 1pm
o Charlyn was sleeping on the floor with Valentino and Robert again, as she felt
someone on top of her
o Appellant removed her shorts and panty, she struggled but he pressed down
o Appellant threatened to choke Charlyn.
o He inserted his penis in her vagina. While she didn’t see it he felt it inside of
her
o Appellant after finished got dressed and warned them all not to tell her mother
or he would kill all of them.
o Brothers remained asleep and did not witness what happened
 Third Rape: July 10, 1995 – Charlyn was at home putting her brothers Valentino and
Robert to sleep
o Appellant arrived and asked Charlyn for a cake of soap. After Charlyn handed
him one, appellant left, so she slept next to her brothers
o 30 minutes later he came back and began to rape her again
o Similar account as previous two rapes,
o Both brothers were awake when the incident took place
 Fourth Rape August 3, 1995 at 4pm
o Charlyn fought back this time, she kicked him as he attempted to rape her
o Brothers witnessed what happened
 Fifth Rape: August 12, 1995.
o She was in tears afterwards. This time her brothers had not awakened to see
Charlyn raped
 On each occasion she was raped, Charlyn’s mother was in the market selling tuba. She
didn’t tell her mother about the rapes because she was afraid that the appellant
would carry out his threat to kill them
 She left home for Tugbungan on September 1995, to work as a maid in Dr Allan
Navarro’s home – Julia’s Cousin. She couldn’t bear to be raped anymore
o She revealed to Kuya Allan that the appellant raped her
o Allan told Charlyn also about the sexual abuse Julia suffered in the hands of the
appellant
 Julia, after confronting Charlyn, reported the rape incidents to Barangay Captain Bing
Ungab, who in turn reported to the police.
o On April 15, 1996, the Police brought Charlyn and appellant and brought them
to the police station, where Charlyn executed a written statement.
o A physical examination revealed she was 7 months pregnant. The police
brought her to the DSWD where she stayed for a month
 Defense presented appellant as only witness. Argued that Charlyn willingly had sexual
intercourse with him
 To Rebut defense, Charlyn claimed that she and her siblings never slept at the
tapahan. Also that she denies having orgasm… She didn’t know what an orgasm was
 RTC rendered decision: Accused is Guilty beyond reasonable doubt of five counts of
rape
 Appellant challenges decision, Contends Chalyn’s credibility as a witness, which is
what the trial court heavily relied on for their decision
o SC chose not to disturb the wisdom of the RTC, citing the innocence of Charlyn
(third grade, associated bomba films with war pictures, had no idea where
babies came from)

WON the victim’s testimony can solely be used to convict the accused on five counts of rape?
YES for two counts. In the other three, the prosecution failed to prove intimidation, one of the
elements of rape
Appellant’s observation of the incredible behaviour displayed by complainants two half-
brothers, his own sons, who witnessed the sexual assaults thrice and slept through them twice,
have no merit. The two boys were mere toddlers who would have no idea that their father was
committing rape before their very eyes. Neither could they be expected to defend their twelve-
year old half-sister against their own father

The prosecutions failure to present the two toddlers as corroborative witnesses is not fatal to
its cause. Under Section 5, Rule 110 of RoC, all criminal actions shall be prosecuted under the
direction and control of the prosecutor. The defense therefore, may not dictate to the
prosecution the coice of its witnesses.
- Moreover, children may be disqualified as witnesses by reason of their mental capacity
or immaturity. In any case, the sole testimony of the victim is sufficient basis for
conviction in rape, a crime usually committed in seclusion.

Article 335:

Art. 335. When and how rape is committed. - Rape is committed by having carnal
knowledge of a woman under any of the following circumstances:

1. By using force or intimidation;

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The death penalty shall also be imposed if the crime of rape is committed with any of
the following attendant circumstances:

1. When the victim is under eighteen (18) years of age and the offender is a parent,
ascendant, step-parent, guardian, relative by consanguinity or affinity within the third
civil degree, or the common law-spouse of the parent of the victim;

x x x x x x x x x.

Rape may thus be committed with the use of either force or intimidation. In this case,
each of the five complaints alleges that the crime was committed by means of threats and
intimidation. There was, therefore, no need to prove the use of force. What the
prosecution needed to prove was the presence of sufficient intimidation to cow
complainant to submit to appellants lustful desires

The Prosecution successfully established that the appellant employed intimidation when he
had sexual intercourse with complainant on June 16, 1995. As appellant inserted his penis into
complainant’s vagina, he warned her – Do not make any noise. If you will make any noise I will
kill you.
Intimidation was also present on the July 5 1995 Rape. The complainant kicked the accused,
and the accused warned not to keep moving or else he would choke her

On the three other occasions on the other hand, he used her weight to press against the
appellant, rendering resistance futile
- No evidence that the appellant uttered any threatening words or that he brandished
any weapon. He used force rather than intimidation to subdue complainant to
submission

Trial court appears to considered the overbearing moral influence that the appellant exercised
over complainant as a substitute for intimidation. However, jurisprudence hodls that moral
ascendancy of the accused in incestuous rapes alone, does not lead to the conclusion that
intimidation was present. Neitehr do threats against the victim not to report the rape, by
themselves constitute sufficient intimidation

Because the prosecution failed to prove intimidation in the three other occasions, the accused
must be acquitted of those three charges

As for death penalty, the information must clearly allege and the evidence must prove beyond
reasonable doubt the existence of the twin conditions of:
- Minority of the victim
- Her relationship to the accused

Complaints in this case erroneously allege that appellant was her stepfather. The word step,
when used as a prefix in conjunction with a degree relationship, indicates relationship by
affinity.
- Allegation that appellant was complainant’s stepfather is belied by Julia Fernandezs
testimony that she was not married to appellant and that she was only living in with
him.
- Appellant testified that he was married to a certain Arsenia Noblesala, making him but
a common-law spouse to Julia
- While a common-law husband is subject to punishment by death for raping his
common-law wife’s daughter, death penalty cannot be imposed on appellant because
the relationship alleged in the complaints is different from that actually proven. This
makes the appellant liable only for the crime of simple rape punishable by reclusion
perpetua

DISPOSITION; Criminal Case No. 14114, Candido Solomon y Marquez is found GUILTY of rape
and sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua
Criminal Case 14115, appellant is found GUILTY of Rape and is sentenced to suffer the penalty
of reclusion perpetua
Criminal Case Nos 14116, 14117 and 14118, Appellant is ACQUITTED for failure of the
prosecution to establish his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.