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Baleros

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PP v Baleros PP v Astorga
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  BALEROS, JR. vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINESG.R. NO. 138033 January 30, 2007FACTS:At about 1:50 in the morning or sometime thereafter of 13 December 1991 in Manila, the accused, byforcefully coveringthe face of MartinaLourdes T. Albano with a piece of cloth soaked in chemical with dizzying effects, tried to rape the victim by lying on top of her with theintention to have carnal knowledge with her but was unable to perform all the acts of executionby reason of some cause or accident otherthan his own spontaneous desistance, said acts being committed against her will and consent to her damage and prejudice. Renato Baleros, Jr.moved for a partial reconsideration of a SC decision acquitting him of the crime of attempted rapebut adjudging himguilty oflight coercion. It is Baleros' submission that his conviction for light coercion under an Information for attempted rape, runs counter to the enbanc ruling in People v. Contreras where the Court held:The SOLGEN contends that Contreras should be held liable for unjust vexation underArt. 287(2)of the RPC. However, the elements of unjust vexation do not form part of the crime of rape as defined in Art. 335. Moreover,the circumstances stated in the information do not constitute the elements of the said crime. Contreras, therefore, cannot be convicted of unjust vexation.ISSUE:Whether Renato Baleros, Jr. isguilty of unjust vexation.HELD:Yes. Heargues that the Information against him does not allege that the act of covering the face of the victim with a piece of cloth soakedin chemical caused her annoyance, irritation, torment, distress and disturbance.The SC wish to stress that malice, compulsion or restraintneed not be alleged in an Information for unjust vexation . Unjust vexation exists even without the element of restraint or compulsion for thereason that the term is broad enough to include any human conduct which, although not productive of some physical or materialharm,would unjustly annoy or irritate an innocent person. The paramount question in a prosecution for unjust vexation is whether the offender sact causes annoyance, irritation, torment, distress, or disturbance to the mind of the person to whom it is directed . That the victim, afterthe incident cried while relating to her classmates what she perceived to be a sexual attack and the fact that she filed a case for attemptedrape proved beyond cavil thatshe was disturbed, if not distressed, by the acts of the Baleros. PEOPLE VS. ASTORGA G.R. No. 110097; December 22 1997FACTS: Appellant Arnulfo Astorga appealed the court’s decision on Criminal Case No. 8243 wherein appellant was charged with violation of Article 267, paragraph 4 of the Revised Penal Code or the kidnap and detentionof a minor.Astorga insisted that the inconsistencies and the contradictions of the prosecution’s witnesses should be deemed incredible and that thedelay in the filing of the accusation weakened the case. Furthermore, Astorga claimed that he had no motiveto kidnap the 8-year-oldYvonne Traya which should’ve been apparent and proven upon conviction. Ultimately, Astorga claimed that the court erred in convictinghim despite the fact that he had not detained nor locked Yvonne up which is an important elementin kidnapping.  ISSUES: 1.)Whether or not the prosecution’s witnesses were credible.2.)Whether or not the lack of motive by the appellant is significant in the court’s decision.3.)Whether or not it was kidnapping or coercion. RULING: 1.)The delay in the making of the criminal accusation does not necessarily weaken the credibility of the witnesses especially ifithad been satisfactorily explained. In the case, one week was reasonable since the victim was a resident in Binaungan and thatthecase was filed in Tagum, Davao.2.)The court found it irrelevant to identify the motive since motive is not an element of the crime. Motive is totally irrelevantwhen ample direct evidence sustains the culpability of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. Besides, the appellant himself admittedhaving taken Yvonne to Maco Central Elementary School.3.)Thecourt agreed with the appellant’s contention. The evidence does not show that appellant wanted to detain Yvonne; muchless, that he actually detained her.Appellant’s forcible dragging of Yvonne to a place only he knew cannot be said to be an actualconfinement or restriction on the person of Yvonne. There was no “lock up”. Accordingly, appellant cannot be convicted of kidnappingunder Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code. Rather, the felony committed was grave coercion under Article 286 of the same code.
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