CONCURRING OPINION

BELLOSILLO, J.:

I am gratified that some of the views essayed herein, which I espoused during the deliberations, are shared by the Majority and graciously incorporated by the ponente in the opinion of the Court.  Hence, the ponencia, scholarly and thorough as it is, can very well make this concurring opinion an exercise in superfluity.  Nonetheless, a few words would not be amiss if only to expound and give emphasis to certain points.

As may be gleaned from the Majority opinion, we have reaffirmed the time-tested doctrine that in incestuous rape, actual force and intimidation need not be employed by the accused for they are substituted by the moral force he wields over his victim.  This doctrine, first enunciated in People v. Erardo[1] and reechoed in People v. Matrimonio,[2] and in a relentless cascade of cases, is never an anachronism.  It is still good law, and at the moment, I find no reason, as does the Majority, to depart from its enlightened guidance.

It has been broadly hinted by some quarters that the pronouncements of this Court in People v. Mendoza[3] and People v. Supnad[4] have virtually modified if not reversed the Erardo and Matrimonio cases.  I am afraid I have to disagree.  A juxtaposition of the factual settings of those cases and that of the instant case would reveal peculiar differences to justify my position and that of the Majority.

In People v. Mendoza the complainant testified that she was “raped” by the accused and in People v. Supnad she revealed that “her uncle had sexual intercourse with her twice in February and once in March.”  In both instances, it was obvious that the inculpatory testimonies of the complainants were too general and with nary a detail to explicitly establish any carnal knowledge of the victim by the accused.  Consequently, the Court ruled that the proof of carnal knowledge with the use of force, threat or intimidation was not clear and thus aptly absolved the accused.

In contrast, the instant case has a far more detailed account of defloration by the complainant as disclosed in the following colloquy between the witness and the court –

Q:  While you were at your house at Barangay Himanag, Lagonoy Camarines Sur on June 13, 1998 x x x at about 7:00 o’clock in the morning, tell us if there was an unusual incident that took place.

A:  There was, sir.

Q:  Tell us what that was?

A:  I was abused by my father.

Q:  When you say you were abused, tell us what exactly do you mean by that?

A:  He raped me ,sir.

Q:  When you said you were raped, what do you mean by that?

A:  He “what” my organ x x x x

Court:  What do you mean by “ari”?

A:  The organ of my father was inserted in my organ.

Atty. Briones – Again may it be put on record that the answer of the witness “pinapasok” is a tagalong term.

Court:  What organ of your father?

A:  His penis was inserted in my vagina.

Fiscal Solano – When the penis of your father was inserted inside your vagina, tell us what you felt?

A:  Painful, sir.

Court:  How do you know that it was inserted?

A:  It was painful and he inserted it.

Q:  How did he insert it?

A:  He was pushing it in.

A theory has also been advanced that RA 8353, specifically Art. 266-D, makes the proof of physically overt act manifesting resistance a sine qua non in the prosecution of rape cases.  Far from it, Art. 266-D epigraphed “Presumptions” is a rule of evidence that does not in any way prescribe an exclusivity of proof.  As worded, physical overt act manifesting resistance x x x “may be accepted in evidence” to create the presumption that any of the acts punished under Art. 266-A has been committed.  A restrictive interpretation of this provision would straightjacket the prosecution, leaving him no room to maneuver by presenting a host of other evidence that can well meet the quantum of proof required in the prosecution of rape.  To torture the law with this interpretation would create an absurd situation where the accused in incest rape who, despite proof of carnal knowledge with his minor descendant, nonetheless goes off the hook by the mere failure of the minor victim to clearly express in words the act of violence or intimidation employed on her by the accused.

Granting that Ailyn failed to describe in her testimony any kind of physical overt act to manifest resistance, such as a physical struggle or an utterance of anguish at the very least, this in no way obviates the existence of force, threat and intimidation in the commission of the crime of rape.

We have to remember that in incest rape, the minor victim is placed in a decidedly unique disadvantage so that the assailant, by his overbearing moral influence, not to mention his heft bearing upon the puny victim, can afford to perpetuate his bestial act with unperturbed confidence and nonchalance.  As a consequence, proof of force or violence required in incest rape becomes unnecessary, or shall we say a redundancy, unlike where the accused is not an ascendant or blood relative of the victim.

Thus, the failure of the victim to give testimony that force, threat and intimidation were employed by the accused would not effectively demolish the case for the prosecution as long as there is adequate proof that sexual congress did take place.  The principle enunciated in People v. Matrimonio, citing People v. Erardo, gives a clear explanation of its rationale.  Thus we held –

In a rape committed by a father against his own daughter, the former’s moral ascendancy and influence over the latter substitutes for violence and intimidation.  That ascendancy or influence necessarily flows from the father’s parental authority, which the Constitution and the laws recognize, support and enhance, as well as from the children’s duty to obey and to observe reverence and respect towards their parents.  Such reverence and respect are deeply ingrained in the minds of Filipino children and are recognized by law (underscoring supplied).[5]

This principle is founded on the truism that no daughter would willingly submit to the lechery of her father.

While it may be true that most of the incest rape cases resolved by this Court almost invariably demonstrate a shred of proof of physical struggle on the part of the offended party, not one modifies the clear and categorical ruling that moral ascendancy takes the place of force, violence and intimidation.  The unqualified pronouncements of this Court need no tortuous interpretation.  To illustrate:

Furthermore, and more importantly, actual force or intimidation need not even be employed for rape to be committed, as in the present case, where the overpowering influence of accused-appellant who is private complainants’ father, suffices.[6] Undoubtedly, private complainants’ tender age and accused-appellant’s custodial control and domination over them rendered the former so meek and subservient to the lecherous advances of the latter.

In the incestuous rape of a minor, proof of force and violence exerted by the aggressor is not essential.  The moral and physical ascendancy of the father over his daughter-victim is sufficient to cow her into submission to his bestial desires.[7]

Settled is the rule that in a rape committed by a father/stepfather against his own daughter/stepdaughter, the former’s moral ascendancy and influence over the latter substitutes for violence and intimidation.  That ascendancy or influence necessarily flows from the father/stepfather’s parental authority, which the Constitution and the laws recognize, support and enhance, as well as from the children’s duty to obey and observe reverence and respect towards their parents.  Such reverence and respect are deeply ingrained in the minds of Filipino children and are recognized by law.  Abuse of both by a father/stepfather can subjugate his daughter/stepdaughter’s will, thereby forcing her to do whatever he wants (emphasis supplied).[8]

Incidentally, the case of People v. Chua[9] decided in 2001 holding the contrary view that moral ascendancy does not ipso facto lead to a presumption of force and intimidation seems not to have taken root since more recent cases, i.e., People v. Emilio,[10] People v. Tamsi,[11] People v. Miranda,[12] People v. Rodavia,[13] to name a few, have reverted to and readhered to the principle laid down in People v. Erardo.

It need not be stressed that the conduct of the complainant immediately following the alleged assault is of utmost importance to establish the truth and falsity of the charge of rape.[14] The fact that Ailyn immediately told her half-sister Mylene about her dreadful experience after which they hurriedly went to their Aunt Precy and angrily reported the matter to her, leaves not a whit of doubt that she was indeed a victim of rape.

In view of the foregoing, I concur with the Majority.



[1] No. L-32861, 31 January 1984, 127 SCRA 250.

[2] G.R. Nos. 82223-24, 13 November 1992, 215 SCRA 613.

[3] G.R. Nos. 132923-24, 10 June 2002.

[4] G.R. Nos. 133791-94, 8 August 2001, 362 SCRA 346.

[5] See Note 1.

[6] People v. Robles, G.R. No. 53569, 23 February 1989, 170 SCRA 557, 561.

[7] People v. Sagaral, G.R. Nos. 112714-15, 7 February 1997, 267 SCRA 671; People v. Escober, G.R. Nos. 122980-81, 6 November 1997, 281 SCRA 498; People v. Tan, Jr., G.R. Nos. 103134-40, 20 November 1996, 264 SCRA 425..

[8] People v. Lucas, G.R. No. 80102, 22 January 1990, 181 SCRA 316; People v. Caballes, G.R. Nos. 93437-45, 12 July 1991, 199 SCRA 152; and People v. Alcid, G.R. Nos. 66387-88, 28 February 1985, 135 SCRA 280.

[9] G.R. No. 137841, 1 October 2001, 366 SCRA 283.

[10] G.R. Nos. 144305-07, 6 February 2003.

[11] G.R. Nos. 142928-29, 11 September 2002.

[12] G.R. No. 142566, 8 August 2002.

[13] G.R. Nos. 133008-24, 6 February 2002.

[14] People v. Lamarroza, G.R. No. 126121, 24 November 1998, 299 SCRA 166; People v. Grefiel, G.R. No. 7728, 13 November 1992, 215 SCRA 596; People v. Jaca, G.R. No. 104628, 18 January 1994, 229 SCRA 332; People v. Galera, G.R. No. 115938, 10 October 1997, 280 SCRA 492.