Philippine Supreme Court Resolutions


Philippine Supreme Court Resolutions > Year 2012 > June 2012 Resolutions > [G.R. No. 198017 : June 13, 2012] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. EMMANUEL RAMOS Y CARBONEL ALIAS "ENGOL" :




SECOND DIVISION

[G.R. No. 198017 : June 13, 2012]

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. EMMANUEL RAMOS Y CARBONEL ALIAS "ENGOL"

Sirs/Mesdames:

Please take notice that the Court, Second Division, issued a Resolution dated 13 June 2012 which reads as follows:cralaw

G.R. No. 198017 (People of the Philippines v. Emmanuel Ramos y Carbonel alias "Engol"). - We resolve the appeal filed by accused Emmanuel Ramos y Carbonel (appellant) from the 29 December 2010 Decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-GR. CR-HC No. 03805:[1] 

The RTC Ruling 

In a Decision[2] dated 12 January 2009, the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Tayug, Pangasinan, Branch 52, found appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape[3] committed against a minor, AAA,[4]  on the evening of 2 November 2005. The trial court cited Dr. Rosalinda Caoile's psychiatric evaluation that the 14-year-old victim suffered from mild mental retardation. The RTC ruled that this mental condition accounted for her occasional difficulty in understanding the questions asked during trial, yet did not affect the truthfulness of her answers.[5] Rejecting the defense of alibi preferred by appellant,[6] the RTC sentenced appellant to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to pay AAA the sum of P50,000 as civil indemnity and P50,000 as moral damages.

The CA Ruling 

The appellate court confirmed that the store where appellant and his friends were engaged in a drinking session was a mere 4 to 5 meters away from the cemetery where the incident occurred. Thus, appellant failed to satisfy the elements of alibi as a defense, as he was unable to prove that it was physically impossible for him to be present at the scene of the crime. The CA also gave credence to the testimony of AAA, after finding no ill motive that would impel her to fabricate the charge.[7] Thus, it denied the appeal and affirmed the ruling of the RTC in toto.

Instead of simultaneously filing their respective supplemental briefs as required by this Court,[8] both parties adopted the briefs they had submitted to the CA. We now make a final ruling on the case.

Our Ruling 

We deny the appeal. 

After a thorough review of the case records and the pleadings, we see no reason to reverse the findings of the RTC, particularly wherein the CA affirmed the said findings. The CA sufficiently disposed of appellant's contention that what were inflicted upon the victim were "old healed lacerations," viz:

x x x a showing of a recent and freshly inflicted hymenal laceration is not indispensable for the Prosecution to successfully establish that AAA was raped in the evening of November 2, 2005. If at all, the presence of old healed lacerations in AAA's hymen showed that AAA is no longer a virgin´┐Ż but it does not negate that she was raped one day before she was physically examined. Significantly, Dr. Guiang testified that a woman who is no longer a virgin will not suffer any further laceration in her hymen in case she engages in subsequent sexual congress.[9] (Emphasis supplied.)

A freshly broken hymen is not an essential element of rape.[10] In rape cases, medical evidence is merely corroborative. The prime consideration in the prosecution of rape is the victim's testimony, not necessarily the medical findings; a medical examination of the victim is not indispensable.[11] 

Appellant next insists that the testimony of AAA was "flipflopping." However, the purported inconsistencies during cross-examination was clarified on re-direct when she reiterated that appellant had threatened her, dragged her to a corner of the cemetery, and raped her on the night of 2 November 2005.[12] In any case, it is doctrinally settled that the factual findings of the trial court, especially on the credibility of the rape victim, are accorded great weight and respect and will not be disturbed on appeal.[13] 

We concur in the finding of the CA that the minor inconsistencies in this case do not detract from the essential points in AAA's testimony. Notably, they even eliminate doubts that AAA was coached or rehearsed. Minor lapses are to be expected when a person is recounting details of a traumatic experience too painful to recall.[14]cralaw

WHEREFORE, the 29 December 2010 Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR-HC No. 03805 is hereby AFFIRMED.

Very truly yours, 

(Sgd.) TERESITA AQUINO TUAZON
Deputy Division Clerk of Court

Endnotes:


[1] Penned by Associate Justice Rosmari D. Carandang, and concurred in by Associate Justices Ramon R. Garcia, and Manuel M. Barrios.

[2] Penned by Presiding Judge Emma S. Ines-Parajas: Docketed as Criminal Case Nos. T-3919 and T-3920; CA rollo, pp. 36-46. 

[3] Revised Penal Code, Art. 266-A, par. 1. 

[4] On account of the minority of the rape victim, her real name is withheld and fictitious initials are used to represent her. [People v. Cabalquinto, 533 Phil. 703 (2006)]. 

[5] CA rollo, p. 44. 

[6] CA rollo, p. 46. 

[7] Rollo, p. 14. 

[8] Resolution issued by the Second Division dated 14 September 2011, rollo, p. 26. 

[9] CA Decision, rollo, p. 16. 

[10]  People v. Boromeo, GR. No. 150501, 3 June 2004, 430 SCRA 533. 

[11] People v. Otos, GR. No. 189821, 23 March 2011, 646 SCRA 380, 383. 

[12] Transcript of Stenographic Notes, 28 November 2006, pp.6-7; cited in the Brief for the Accused-Appellant, CA rollo, p. 99. 

[13] People v. Abella, GR. No. 177295, 6 January 2010, 610 SCRA 19. 

[14] People v. De Guzman, G.R. No. 188352, 1 September 2010, 629 SCRA 784.




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