People v. Cabales


People v. Cabales

G.R. No. 213831

September 25, 2019


                The RTC and CA convicted the accused for the crime of rape. On January 16, 2005, at around 3 o'clock in the afternoon, 13-year-old AAA was sleeping in a bedroom inside their house when she was woken up by Cabales' kiss on her face. Cabales is AAA's uncle, being the husband of BBB' s  sister. AAA bolted upright and tried to push Cabales away. Cabal es, however, held her hand and pointed a  fan knife at her neck, and warned her not to shout or move. He proceeded to remove AAA's jogging pants and panty, undressed himself, and inserted his penis into her vagina. Cabales ignored AAA's pleas for him to stop and instead made push-and-pull movements inside her for ten (10) minutes. After he was done, Cabales threatened AAA not to tell anybody, and left. Immediately thereafter, one Noel Maguib (Maguib),7 the husband ofBBB's cousin who at that time was tending their eggplant garden, knocked at their door and asked for water. When AAA opened the door, Maguib asked AAA what she and Cabales were doing. She initially denied but Maguib told her that he saw the sexual act and advised her to tell her parents about it. With Maguib's assistance, AAA's family learned about the incident. AAA stated that she would never have reported it to her parents were it  not for Maguib witnessing her and Cabales having sexual intercourse.


                Whether or not the CA erred in affirming the RTC


                No. Finding AAA's testimony to be incredible, Cabales now questions the circumstances of the alleged rape. He notes that AAA utterly failed to thwart his advances despite her claim that it was not the first time he violated her. AAA also never tried to push him away or escape. Manguib was not even presented as a witness despite the prosecution's allegation that Manguib saw the incident. AAA even denied the incident when inquired upon by Maguib. Cabales asserts that no rape can be concluded even from the medical findings of Dr. Prieto-J abines, as her medical certificate did not state that AAA suffered any physical injury resulting from his alleged use of force. From these observations, Cabales theorizes that the sexual encounter between him and AAA was unforced and consensual; thus, rape therefrom is inconceivable.

                These arguments notwithstanding, Cabales' guilt has already been established beyond reasonable doubt. There is great premium accorded to a victim of rape, as it is  usually the victim alone who can testify on the forced sexual intercourse. If the victim's testimony meets the test of credibility, the accused can justifiably be convicted on the basis of her lone testimony. Here, AAA categorically pointed to Cabales as the perpetrator of her rape and laid out her accusations with overt clarity. The inconsistencies alleged are deemed minor details that can be overlooked. We accord due respect to the factual findings and appreciation thereof by the trial court as it had the opportunity to observe the witnesses' demeanor and hear their testimonies at the first instance, much more as the CA affirmed the trial court's judgment of conviction in all its substantial respects.


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