August 2012 Philippine Supreme Court Decisions on Criminal Law and Procedure

Here are select August 2012 rulings of the Supreme Court of the Philippines on criminal law and procedure:

1.            REVISED PENAL CODE

Rape; elements. Accused appealed to the Supreme Court (“SC”) the decision of the Court of Appeals convicting him of the crimes of statutory rape (in Criminal Case No. 4467) and qualified rape (in Criminal Case No. 4468) committed against his daughter “AAA.” The SC affirmed both convictions. Since AAA was 10 years and 9 months old when the crime charged in Criminal Case No. 4467 was committed, then, the crime charged and proven is one of statutory rape. The two elements of statutory rape are: (1) that the accused had carnal knowledge of a woman; and (2) that the woman is below 12 years of age. Proof of force and consent is immaterial if the woman is under 12 years of age, not only because force is not an element of statutory rape, but also because the absence of free consent is presumed. Conviction will lie provided sexual intercourse is proven. On the other hand, AAA was 12 years and five days old when the second incident of rape occurred. Consequently, accused-appellant cannot be convicted in Criminal Case No. 4468 for statutory rape, which requires that the victim be below 12 years of age. However, even though accused-appellant cannot be convicted of statutory rape in Criminal Case No. 4468, and despite the absence of evidence of resistance on the part of AAA, his criminal liability for rape nevertheless remains. The SC cited People v. Orillosa, which held: “Actual force or intimidation need not be employed in incestuous rape of a minor because the moral and physical dominion of the father is sufficient to cow the victim into submission to his beastly desires. When a father commits the odious crime of rape against his own daughter, his moral ascendancy or influence over the latter substitutes for violence and intimidation.” People of the Philippines v. Antonio Osma, Jr. y Agaton, G.R. No. 187734, August 29, 2012.

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