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G.R. No. 187049, May 4, 2010


At around 7:30 a.m. on December 7, 1999, AAA, a student of Eastern Samar State Agricultural
College, was walking on the feeder road of Barangay XXX, Salcedo, Eastern Samar going to the
waiting shed where she was to take a ride to school. She was 50 to 60 meters away from the
waiting shed when the appellant, wearing a makeshift ski mask and armed with a bladed weapon
locally known as sundang, grabbed her hair. Appellant poked the sundang on her side and pulled
her towards a grassy area. She tried to free herself and pleaded for mercy, but to no avail.

When they reached a nearby stream, appellant shoved AAA towards an uninhabited house with the
knife. Inside, appellant told her to undress, but AAA did not obey. She asked appellant to remove
his mask so she could identify him. Appellant acceded and removed his mask. Then, he ordered
her anew to remove her dress. When she refused, appellant grabbed her skirt and forcibly
removed the buttons to open her skirt. Appellant then pushed her to the floor where he removed
her panty. He mounted her and succeeded in having intercourse with her. After satisfying his lust,
appellant allowed AAA to put on her dress with a warning that he would kill her if she tells anyone
about what happened.

When AAA saw plenty of people on the road, she shouted for help. Appellant then stabbed her at
the back and fled. AAA was brought to the Southern Samar General Hospital where she was
confined for nine (9) days.

On the third day of AAA’s confinement, they suspected that something more had happened to
AAA, but she merely cried and did not answer their questions. On her sixth day of confinement,
AAA, accompanied by her mother, admitted she was also raped.

ISSUE: Whether appellant’s guilt for the crime of rape has been proven beyond reasonable

Yes. The fact that AAA did not immediately reveal that she was raped by appellant does not
necessarily impair AAA’s credibility. How the victim comported herself after the incident was not
significant as it had nothing to do with the elements of the crime of rape.

In this case, the delay in reporting the sexual assault was reasonable and explained. AAA
adequately explained that she did not immediately inform anyone of her ordeal because she was
ashamed and afraid because appellant had threatened to kill her. Thus, her reluctance that caused
the delay should not be taken against her. Neither can it be used to diminish her credibility nor
undermine the charge of rape.

While appellant was not placed in a police line-up for identification by AAA, the absence of such
police line-up does not make AAA’s identification of appellant as the one (1) who raped her,
unreliable. There is no law or police regulation requiring a police line-up for proper identification
in every case. Even if there was no police line-up, there could still be proper and reliable
identification as long as such identification was not suggested or instigated to the witness by the
police. What is crucial is for the witness to positively declare during trial that the person charged
was the malefactor.
The totality of circumstances test was applied in the instant case. The Court finds AAAs
identification of appellant via a show-up as the one (1) who raped her to be credible. Appellant’s
out-of-court identification is valid. AAA positively identified appellant as her abuser because the
latter removed the mask he was wearing and revealed his face to her. AAA even recalled the tattoos
on appellant’s body and hand. The out-of-court identification made by AAA was done a few days
after the incident and confirmed during the trial. There is likewise no evidence that SPO4 Bajar
had supplied or even suggested to AAA the identity of appellant as her attacker. Even assuming
arguendo that the out-of-court identification was defective, the defect was cured by the subsequent
positive identification in court for the inadmissibility of a police line-up identification should not
necessarily foreclose the admissibility of an independent in-court identification.

Qualified rape was also present in this case as ruled by the court. For one (1) to be convicted of
qualified rape, at least one (1) of the aggravating/qualifying circumstances mentioned in Article
266-B of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, must be alleged in the Information and duly proved
during the trial. In the case at bar, appellant used a sharp-pointed bolo locally known
as sundang in consummating the salacious act. This circumstance was alleged in the Information
and duly proved during trial. Thus, both trial and appellate courts properly imposed on appellant
the penalty of reclusion perpetua.


G.R. No. 123539, June 27, 2000


The information[1], dated 15 January 1995, charged octogenarian accused-appellant Mariano

Austria with the rape of minor Prescila de Vera, as follows:

" That on or about the 22nd day of November 1994 at 12:00 o clock noon (sic) in Barangay
San Jose, Municipality of Aguilar, Province of Pangasinan, Philippines and within the
jurisdiction of this honorable court, the above-named accused armed with a scythe, taking
advantage of his superior strength, by means of force and intimidation, did then and there
willfully, unlawfully and feloniously have sexual intercourse with Prescila G. de Vera against
her will, to her damage and prejudice.

Contrary to Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code."

Upon arraignment, accused-appellant pleaded not guilty after which trial on the merits ensued. At
the time of the alleged rape, Prescila was 12 years old having been born on 01 May 1982; accused-
appellant claimed to be 82 years old at the time of the commission of the offense, having been born
on 12 September 1912.

On 22 November 1994, as Prescila was passing a ricefieldon her way home for lunch, accused-
appellant Austria, whom she refers to as "Lake Anoy," suddenly accosted her and grabbed her left
wrist. Accused-appellant then drew an eight-inch scythe and despite Prescilas resistance and
protestations, dragged the girl toward a part of the field where banana plants abound.

Thereafter, accused-appellant kissed Prescila, mashed her breast and probed his finger into her
vagina. Then, perched on top of the young girl and while in the heat of fondling himself, accused-
appellant held Prescilas hand. Prescila protested, struggled and pushed accused-appellant away
causing the latter to fall down. She attempted to escape but accused-appellant stepped on Prescilas
foot thus rendering futile her efforts to extricate from the lecherous advancement of accused-
Insatiated, accused-appellant positioned himself on top of Prescila, inserted his penis into her
vagina and worked his way with a "push-and-pull-movement".

Beyond this, accused-appellant raised the defense of impotency. On the stand, accused-appellant
testified that since reaching the age of 60 years, his penis is not anymore capable of erection
because of his rheumatic condition. Upon reaching the age of 70, he also claimed to be afflicted
with hernia; he cannot anymore run fast because his knees are already weak.

ISSUE: Whether or not the prosecution failed to overcome the presumption of impotence on the
part accused-appellant who was already eighty-two years old at the time of the alleged rape.


As ruled by Court, this contention is dissident to settled jurisprudence. Clearly, the presumption
had always been in favor of potency. Stated differently, impotency the physical inability to have
sexual intercourse is considered an abnormal condition and should not be presumed.

In rape cases, impotency as a defense must be proven with certainty to overcome the presumption
in favor of potency. Under the present circumstances, the evidence proffered by the defense failed
to discharge such burden, inasmuch as the very testimony of Dr. Wilma Flores-Peralta repudiates
the claim that accused-appellant could not have performed the sexual act.

Although Dr. Peraltas findings prove that accused-appellant was afflicted with "Epidideguio
Orchites", such piece of evidence however does not categorically conclude, nor even hint that
Austria was sexually impotent. The evidence on this point is wanting.

Assuming further that accused-appellant was 82 years old as he claimed he was at the time of the
commission of the crime, his advanced age does not ipso facto mean that sexual intercourse is no
longer possible, as age is not a criterion taken alone in determining sexual interest and capability
in middle-aged and older people. Moreover, as in People vs. De Guzman, the protestations of
accused-appellant that he could not have raped the complainant because he was already old at that
time are belied by his physical condition.

Notwithstanding, the Court considers accused-appellants old age to mitigate his liability.

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