Criminal Law: Aggravating Circumstances

FACTS: On March 5, 1991 Marivel Fuentes, was cleaning her house located at DAPECOL(Davao Penal Colony), Panabo, Davao. At the same time, she was also putting her younger brother and sister to sleep. Rowena Sanchez, common-law wife of Alberto Gaorana, arrived and instructed her to go to her house which was about 20 meters away. When Marivel arrived in appellant’s house, she saw appellant and Rowena lying down. Rowena bade her to come in and told her to sit down. Rowena then stood up and Marivel that she will just urinate.

Appellant approached private Marivel, covered her mouth and pointed a hunting knife to her neck. He told her that he will kill her if she will tell her mother. Alberto dragged her in the bedroom, made her lie down on the floor. Appellant then took off his pants and opened private complainant’s duster and removed her panty. He put himself on top of private complainant and had intercourse with her. All the while, private complainant’s mouth was covered with a handkerchief. After about five minutes, Rowena came back and saw appellant still on top of Marivel.

Appellant instructed Rowena to step out of the room. After a while, appellant stood up, put on his briefs and called his wife inside the room. Both of them said, “Let us see. ” Marivel was allowed to leave appellant’s house at 5:00 o’clock in the afternoon. Private complainant’s parents arrived at 7:00 o’clock in the evening but she did not report the incident to them because she was afraid appellant might make good his threat. The second incident of rape occurred at around 3:00 o’clock in the morning of March 6, 1991.

Private complainant was sleeping in the sala with her brother and sister when she was awakened by the kisses of appellant. After satisfying his lust, appellant left. CC: 2 Counts of Rape COA: Appellant contends the inconsistencies cast serious doubts on the reliability of complainants’ testimony. At about 2 p. m. of March 5, 1991, he was in their house sleeping with his common-law-wife. He woke up at 4 0’clock in the afternoon. His wife was still with him when he woke up. On said date he did not see or meet Marivel Fuentes. COS: The complainant positively identified appellant as her ravisher.

The first rape was committed in the afternoon at appellant’s house where there was sufficient light to identify the culprit. Despite the relatively dark situs when the second rape was committed, complainant knew that the malefactor was appellant because there was sufficient moonlight; besides, she was familiar with him, as he had been their neighbor for a long time. Appellant’s alibi that he was at home sleeping during the second incident is negligible, because he failed to prove the physical impossibility of his presence at the scene of the crime.

His house and that of the complainant were only 20 meters apart. Further, it was undisputed that appellant had access to the house of the complainant because he had constructed its door. RULING: Quasi-Recidivism Was Not Established The two Information alleged that both instances of rape were attended by the aggravating circumstance of quasi-recidivism. The trial court made no express ruling that appellant was a quasi-recidivist, and rightly so. During the trial, the prosecution manifested that appellant had been convicted by the Regional Trial Court of Kabangkalan, Negros Occidental in Crim.

Case No. 013 on March 29, 1988 and was serving sentence for the crime of homicide. However, the prosecution failed or neglected to present in evidence the record of appellant’s previous conviction. Quasi-recidivism, like recidivism and reiteracion, necessitates the presentation of a certified copy of the sentence convicting an accused. The fact that appellant was an inmate of DAPECOL does not prove that final judgment had been rendered against him.