I convulsed and felt nauseated reading a story about a father who raped his own daughter, threatened to kill her should she report the incidents to anyone and when confronted in the Supreme Court, he even turned things around saying the daughter wanted, but he did not permit, to go out with friends.
Between the daughter’s narrative and medical records, his alibi did not stand a chance in court and was meted two life sentences by the High Tribunal.
What commanded my attention was the declaration of the SC:
“A father who rapes his own daughter, whom he is supposed to protect, descends to a level lower than the lowly animal….” (So very true. Gosh he is worse than a beast).
“Such a ‘father’ deserves no place in Philippine society, whose fundamental law considers the family as a basic autonomous social institution and the foundation of the nation, recognizes the sanctity of family life, and cloaks with special protection the right of children against all forms of neglect, abuse, cruelty, exploitation, and other conditions prejudicial to their development,” the SC stressed.
With its declaration contained in a resolution made public last Feb. 9, the SC affirmed the two life imprisonments imposed on the father who sexually abused (incestuous rape) his own daughter in 2014 and 2016.
Aside from the jail terms, the father was ordered to pay P100,000 in civil indemnity, P100,000 in moral damages and P100,000 in exemplary damages in each of the two cases, the Manila Bulletin reported.
The identities of the father, his daughter, the mother, and other persons, and the place where the crime was committed were redacted in the resolution.
The SC said “the identity of the victim or any information which could establish or compromise her identity, as well as those of her immediate family or household members, shall be withheld” in line with the provisions of several laws like Republic Act No. 7610, An Act Providing for Stronger Deterrence and Special Protection against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination, and RA 9262, an Act Defining Violence Against Women and Their Children.
Case records showed that the victim’s parents separated when she was still young and when she was five years old her father was detained. Her mother started a new family. She stayed with her aunt.
When she was 13 years old, her father was released from jail and she was taken in his custody.
In her testimony before the trial court, she said she was raped by her father several times and could only recall two specific dates of the sexual abuse – Aug. 13, 2014 and Oct. 14, 2016. The paper omitted mention of the gory details.
After every abuse, she said she was threatened by her father not to tell anyone or she would be killed.
But after the Oct. 14, 2016 incident, she said she decided to tell everything to her neighbor whom she called “Ate” (elder sister) who helped her report the abuses to the police.
Two criminal cases were filed against the father for violations of Paragraph (1), Article 266-A of the Revised Penal Code (RPC), in relation to RA 7610.
The father denied all the accusations and claimed that her daughter was mad at him because he prevented her from gallivanting.
The daughter and her “Ate” testified during the trial of the cases. Also presented as witness by the prosecution was a policewoman who responded to a call from a concerned citizen on physical abuse committed against the daughter.
The police officer testified that she saw the daughter crying after she was mauled by the father.
On May 16, 2019, the trial court convicted the father and sentenced him to two life imprisonments and ordered the payment of damages.
The trial court further declared that between self-serving denials of the father and the positive account of the incident made by the daughter, it is the version of the latter that inspires and deserves belief.
It also said that it would be incredible for a girl to falsely impute to his own father the commission of the crime of rape against her.
The father elevated his convictions before the Court of Appeals (CA) which upheld the rulings of the trial court. The cases reached the SC on appeal.
The SC ruled:
“We find no cogent reason to disturb the findings of both the appellate and trial courts.
It is settled that when a woman says that she has been raped, she says in effect all that is necessary to show that rape has been committed, and that if her testimony meets the test of credibility, the accused may be convicted on the basis thereof.”
“The testimony of a rape victim is credible where she has no motive to testify against the accused. For a conviction for Qualified or Incestuous Rape under Art. 266-A and Art. 266-B of the RPC to hold, the prosecution must categorically prove the following elements: (1 )Accused had carnal knowledge of a woman; (2) Such act was accomplished through force, threat or intimidation; (3) The victim is under 18 years of age at the time of the rape; and (4)The offender is a parent of the victim.”
“The Court affirms the finding of the courts below (trial court and CA) that the prosecution successfully established all the elements of Qualified Rape.
“The first and second elements were proven through the testimony of the victim herself. The positive testimony of (daughter) narrating her harrowing experience was given credence by the lower courts which the Court herein sustains.
“The trial court and the CA also found that accused-appellant’s moral ascendency and threats to kill the victim facilitated the consummation of the crimes. The prosecution presented the birth certificate of (daughter) to prove her age and her relationship with the accused-appellant (father), thus, successfully establishing the last two elements of the crime.
“The defenses of alibi and denial of the accused-appellant cannot prevail. His alibi was unsubstantiated by clear and convincing evidence.
“Based on the foregoing, the Court upholds the ruling of the appellate court finding accused-appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of two counts of Qualified Rape in view of the concurrence of the qualifying circumstances of relationship and minority. WHEREFORE, the appeal is DISMISSED.”