Showing posts with label People v. Avelino G.R. No. 231358. Show all posts
Showing posts with label People v. Avelino G.R. No. 231358. Show all posts

People v. Avelino


People v. Avelino

G.R. No. 231358

July 8, 2019


                AAA and her family had been renting a house from appellant's father since May 2006, which house was adjacent to the house where appellant and his family were staying. Sometime in May 2006, AAA was on the second floor of appellant's house putting the latter's son to sleep. After appellant's son had already fallen asleep, AAA decided to leave but she was prevented by appellant, who was armed with a knife. Appellant threatened AAA that he would kill "all" of them, presumably referring to AAA's family. AAA testified that while poking a knife at her, appellant told her to lie down and thereafter undressed her. She resisted but appellant went on undressing her, after which he removed his own shorts and briefs. Appellant then went on top of AAA and inserted his penis into her vagina. After the sexual intercourse, appellant told AAA, while poking a knife at her, not to tell her parents about what had happened. AAA narrated that it was only when she and her family had already transferred to another house and when she became pregnant that her family learned about the rape incident. Thereafter, AAA and her family reported the incident to the police, which led to the filing of the complaint for rape against appellant.

On September 30, 2006, AAA had an anogenital examination at the PNP Crime Laboratory in Camp Crame, Quezon City. Police Senior Inspector Edilberto S. Antonio (PSI Antonio), in his Medico-Legal Report No. R06-1894,found clear evidence of blunt force or penetrating trauma. PSI Antonio likewise found that AAA's hymen had a shallow healed laceration. During trial, PCI Baluyot testified on the findings of PSI Antonio, as the latter was no longer connected with the PNP Crime Laboratory in Camp Crame. In her testimony, PCI Baluyot categorically stated that the shallow healed laceration in AAA's hymen, as indicated in Medico-Legal Report No. R06-1894, could have been caused by a blunt penetrating trauma, such as an erect penis.


                Whether or not appellant is guilty of rape.


                Yes. AAA's testimony was credible. It is settled that the RTC's findings on the credibility of witnesses and their testimonies are entitled great weight and respect and the same should not be overturned on appeal in the absence of any clear showing that the trial court overlooked, misunderstood, or misapplied some facts or circumstances which would have affected the case. Questions on the credibility of witnesses are best addressed to the trial court due to its unique position to observe the witnesses' deportment on the stand while testifying. In this case, both the RTC and the CA held that AAA was credible and her testimony categorically identified appellant as the person who, with the use of a knife, intimidated her and raped her. The Court finds no reason to doubt the findings of both the RTC and CA, especially since no evidence was adduced showing that AAA had ill motive to falsely charge appellant with the crime of rape.

Faced with such serious accusation, appellant raised the defense of denial and argued that he did not commit the same and that he did not know why he was being charged with rape in the first place. His defense, however, is untenable. As held by the CA, denial cannot prevail over the positive and categorical testimony of the victim identifying him as the perpetrator of the crime of rape. As against appellant's bare denial, the Court upholds the CA's ruling that the positive and categorical testimony of AAA identifying appellant as her rapist should prevail.