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People vs Baraoil

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  PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES Vs. ANTONIO BARAOIL G.R. No. 194608, July 09, 2012. Facts: Antonio Baraoil was charged with two counts of rape. Both rapes happened on the 8th of July 2004 in the comfort room adjacent to the Apo Rice Mill in Natividad, Pangasinan. The first was committed at 2pm through insertion of the penis and the finger into the vagina of AAA (Statutory Rape), a 5 year old minor, while the second happened at 2:30pm by sucking the vagina of AAA (Sexuall Assault). Baraoil pleaded not guilty during arraignment for both charges. During the trial, AAA narrated the facts that (1) while walking near the house of Baraoil, who was a honorary uncle for her family, the latter invited her to ride with him in his bicycle (2) Baraoil drove her towards the rice mill and was seen by her elder sister (3) after parking his bicycle on the wall of the mill, accused pulled AAA into the comfort room, sat on the toilet, pulled her pants off as she has no underpants, unzipped his pants and lifted the girl to insert his penis into her vagina and later inserted a finger into her vagina. The three sisters of the victim heard thumping sounds coming from the comfort room then the accused went out and was followed by AAA . AAA’s sister told the accused that she w ill take AAA home but he replied that he will bring her home after buying slippers. The accused and AAA took off and after 30 minutes went back to the same comfort room where the accused undressed AAA again and sucked her vagina. The next day, AAA’s sist er asked her about what happened and she did not answer but after it she cried to her mom and told everything that transpired. Baraoil, told the court that he was out at the fish pond with his friend during 7:30-10am and drank gin at 3pm and went home at 4pm. He also added that the accusations against him were due to revenge for the disconnection of AAA’s family’s jumper.  The trial court sentenced Baraoil to: 6 years indeterminate (PC max) sentence to 10 years (PM max) as maximum for the charge of sexual assault and Reclusion perpetua for statutory rape [with aggravating circumstance less than 7 yo] The court of appeals modified the sentence of the direct assault to Acts of lasciviousness for imprisonment of 12 years and 1 day of reclusion temporal, as minimum, to fifteen 15 years, 6 months and 20 days of reclusion temporal, as maximum. (based on RA 7610 and Revised Penal Code) Issue:    In the case for rape, is the testimony of the child sufficient to overturn the accused’s right to be presumed innocent? Held: The CA sustained the conviction of the accused-appellant after finding that the testimony of AAA was credible, natural, convincing and consistent with human nature and the normal course of things. There was no reason to overturn the accused- appellant’ s conviction under Criminal Case No. T-3682 for the crime of statutory rape considering that AAA was undeniably under 12 years old and that the accused-appellant had carnal knowledge with her. The law presumes that an accused in a criminal prosecution is innocent until the contrary is proven. This basic constitutional principle is fleshed out by procedural rules which place on the prosecution the burden of proving that an accused is guilty of the offense charged by proof beyond reasonable doubt. Whether the degree of proof has been met is largely left to the trial courts to determine. Courts use the following principles in deciding rape cases: (1) an accusation of rape can be made with facility; it is difficult to prove but more difficult for the person accused, though innocent, to disprove; (2) due to the nature of the crime of rape in which only two persons are usually involved, the testimony of the complainant must be scrutinized with extreme caution; and (3) the evidence for the prosecution must stand or fall on its own merits and cannot be allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the evidence for the defense. Due to the nature of this crime, conviction for rape may be solely based on the complainant’s testimony provided it is credible, natural, con vincing, and consistent with human nature and the normal course of things. A young girl would not usually concoct a tale of defloration; publicly admit having been ravished and her honor tainted; allow the examination of her private parts; and undergo all the trouble and inconvenience, not to mention the trauma and scandal of a public trial, had she not in fact been raped and been truly moved to protect and preserve her honor, and motivated by the desire to obtain justice for the wicked acts committed against her. NOTE: Due to the fact that the act of sucking the vagina is in no way considered as insertion of an object or instrument in the female organ, the SC upheld the CA’s decision to modify the penalty for Sexual Assault and changed it to Acts of Lasciviousness (Art. 336 of RPC + RA 7610 - increases the penalty imposed by RPC by one degree) which became more burdensome than the srcinal sexual assault charge. (LOL.. Nadehado pa sya sa appeal kahit hindi naman tama yung information sakanya.. Pinalitan ng CA yung kaso nya ng walang paa-paalam)
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