PEOPLE vs. BAÑAGO

Posted: March 24, 2017 in Uncategorized

PEOPLE  vs. BAÑAGO

G.R. No. 128384

June 29, 1999

By: Karen P. Lustica

 

FACTS:

 

 

Accused-appellant Reynaldo Sahor Bañago was charged before the Regional Trial Court of Malolos, Bulacan with the crime of rape.

 

The prosecution presented the testimony of the thirteen-year-old victim, Dolores Jaurigue. She testified that on October 15, 1993, she visited her sister, Dorotea Jaurigue-Mejico, who was staying with her husband at the bodega of Bauer Company in Marilao, Bulacan. That evening, she was left alone in the bodega as her sister attended a party. She went to bed at around seven o’clock. She was later roused from her sleep when she felt someone embracing her. It turned out to be accused-appellant. Accused-appellant poked a gun at her and started to remove her short pants and underwear. She tried to shout but accused-appellant slapped her twice. Then, he took off his pants and underwear and succeeded in having carnal knowledge of Dolores. He admonished her not to tell anybody about the incident. Thereafter, accused-appellant put on his pants and left the room.

 

When Dorotea arrived from the party, she saw accused-appellant coming out of the bodega zipping his pants. Dorotea asked Dolores what happened but she did not answer.

 

The following day, Dorotea again asked Dolores what happened the previous night. Dolores told her sister that accused-appellant raped her. Afraid of what accused-appellant might do to them, Dolores and Dorotea kept the incident to themselves.

 

It was only on March 18, 1994 that Dolores had the courage to tell her aunt, Lourdes Corcuera, about the assault on her womanhood. Lourdes tried to talk to accused-appellant but nothing happened.

 

During an altercation with Dolores’ mother, Antonina Jaurigue, Lourdes divulged that Dolores was no longer a virgin. Shocked about the revelation, Antonina sought for an explanation. Dolores was compelled to tell her mother about the rape incident.

 

Antonina brought Dolores to the Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory for physical examination on March 29, 1994. The medico-legal report executed by Dr. Jesusa N. Vergara of the Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory revealed that Dolores was “in non-virgin state physically” and that “there (were) no signs of recent application of any form of violence.”

 

On July 14, 1994, Dolores, assisted by her mother, filed a criminal complaint for rape against accused-appellant.

ISSUE:

WON the court erred in ordering accused-appellant to indemnify (the) victim in the amount of P50,000.00 as moral damages

HELD:

 

The Court affirmed the conviction but modified the decision by including civil indemnity for rape. It reiterated that the award of moral damages is separate and distinct from the civil indemnity awarded to rape victims. It said:

The moral damages cannot take the place of the civil indemnity. While the award of moral damages is discretionary on the part of the court, the civil indemnity, which is actually in the nature of actual or compensatory damages, is mandatory upon the finding of the fact of rape. 16 Hence, in addition to the P50,000.00 moral damages, accused appellant is ordered to pay private complainant the amount of P75,000.00 by way of civil indemnity.

 

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