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[ GR No. 25604, Dec 06, 1926 ]



49 Phil. 679

[ G. R. No. 25604, December 06, 1926 ]




This is an appeal taken  by the accused  Eligio Amante, Francisco Sanchez, Vicente  Sanchez and  Pedro  Amante from a judgment of the Court of First Instance of  Camarines  Sur,  convicting them of the crime of abduction with consent, with rape, and sentencing the first three to seventeen years, four  months and one day  reclusion temporal, and the last named, on account of being  under 18 years of age, to  twelve years prision  mayor, with  the accessories of the law, and all of them, jointly and severally, to indemnify the  offended party Patrocinio Botardo in the sum of P500, and  each to pay one-fourth  of the costs of the action.

In support  of their appeal, the appellants Vicente  and Francisco Sanchez assign the following  errors alleged to have been committed by the lower court in  its judgment, to wit: (1) The lower court erred in not giving the accused Vicente and  Francisco  Sanchez the benefit of reasonable doubt, in view of the contradictory testimony of the witnesses for  the prosecution; (2) the lower court erred in holding that  the relations, which,  according to the prosecution existed between  the offended party Patrocinio Botardo and the accused, were against the will of the former and were brought about by the use of force.

The accused Pedro Amante and Eligio Amante assign the following alleged errors as committed by the lower court in its judgment, to wit: (1)  In not acquitting the accused Pedro and Eligio  Amante for reasonable doubt;  (2)  in convicting  said  accused Pedro and Eligio Amante of the crime of abduction with rape.

The following facts were  proven beyond  a reasonable doubt at the  trial of the case:

Mariquita Motos, mother of Jose Sanchez, uncle of the accused Vicente Sanchez, at that time, was erecting a house in the municipality of Baao, Province of Camarines Sur, under the supervision of head carpenter Julio Amante, and the herein  accused Eligio  Amante,  his brother, and Pedro Amante, his son, as carpenters.  All of them were residents of the municipality  of Ligao, but during the course  of construction of the house they lived  in  Mariquita Motos' house.  The  other accused Francisco Sanchez is also Vicente Sanchez's uncle.

Patrocinio  Botardo, a young girl 15 years  of age and a pupil in the fourth grade of the public school of Baao, lived alone with  her mother, Martiniana Botardo, in said municipality.   On an afternoon  early in the month of July, while Patrocinio  Botardo was going to the market with her mother, she met Vicente Sanchez who was taking a walk in company  with  Pedro Amante, and taking advantage  of the opportunity, Vicente Sanchez introduced Pedro Amante to the girl.  Pedro Amante began to visit Patrocinio Botardo at her house.  After two or three visits, Pedro Amante, who had  also attended the public school of his town, began to make love to the girl and proposed marriage  to  her. Patrocinio Botardo told Pedro Amante that she could not accept his proposal  unless he first asked her mother and because she was still going to school.  On the the afternoon of July 8,1925, Pedro Amante and Vicente Sanchez together called upon Patrocinio Botardo at her home,  Vicente Sanchez tried to persuade her to marry Pedro Amante, saying that he was a good man; but she insisted in her refusal, because Pedro Amante had  not  as yet spoken to her mother. On July 22, 1925, Vicente  Sanchez and Pedro Amante called on her again and spoke to her mother.  They afterwards spoke to the girl alone and tried  to persuade her to accept the  proposal of marriage.   That  night  the mother  and daughter did not  sleep in their house but in the house of the former's cousin in order to keep her company.  During their absence, Vicente Sanchez entered Patrocinio Botardo's house and took her clothes from her trunk.  The following day, before sunrise, Martiniana Botardo left for Iriga to sell fish.  Patrocinio Botardo had asked her mother's  permission to go to  her aunt  Simeona's  house to  iron  some clothes.  Before  leaving, Martiniana  Botardo  told  her daughter to return to their house after ironing the clothes, but not if it was too late so she  would not take cold.  At 7 o'clock that morning Patrocinio Botardo left  her house and went to the market,  and from there she went to her aunt Simeona's house.  Before arriving at her aunt's house she met  the accused Vicente Sanchez and Eligio Amante, who persuaded her to follow them by train from the station at Baao  to the municipality of Ligao, Province  of Albay, in order to marry Pedro Amante.   As she was already predisposed to marry Pedro Amante, she agreed and they went to the  railroad station at  Baao.  Upon arriving there, Vicente Sanchez and Eligio  Amante said to her: "We should first go  to the  chapel, lest your mother might find  you here,"  referring to the San Juan's Chapel.  The offended party at  first hesitated, but Vicente Sanchez said to her: "Let us take the train at San Juan, because my fiancee Pascuala is there."  Upon arriving at San Juan, where they said they would take the truck, Vicente Sanchez and Eligio Amante took her to the house of one Josef a Sto. Domingo, and upon arriving there, Vicente  Sanchez said: "We had better go  along the road for Pascuala and Pedro Amante ought to  be there"  They immediately went  downstairs and followed a long path, bordered by tall weeds,  in the direction of a coconut grove.  Upon arriving at a certain place, Vicente Sanchez said to them: "Let us go back because Pascuala  and  Pedro are not there."  They did so, and upon  arriving at Josefa's house, Vicente Sanchez left them saying: "I am going to town for a moment, you wait here  with Eligio Amante."  Just as Vicente Sanchez had left to buy something to eat, Francisco Sanchez arrived. Eligio Amante then said: "Let us  go to the coconut grove because Vicente, Pedro and Pascuala ought to be there now." Francisco Sanchez agreed saying: "Let us go now  to the road because they might be waiting for us."  As Patrocinio Botardo refused to go with  them, Eligio Amante said  to her:  "As you  will not come with us, I will tie you with a 'panela' (rope)."  Patrocinio Botardo then remarked: "Am I a carabao  that you need to tie me?;" and Eligio Amante replied: "Certainly, if you do not  want to Gome with us I will tie you  with this rope.   When a young woman elopes she has an earnest desire to carry it to a finish."  Francisco  Sanchez  and Eligio Amante told her afterward that somebody had  told them that Vicente was waiting for them on  the road.  Whereupon she consented to go, and  they left the house.  Upon seeing that they  were  going to  a forest where there was no road, Josefa Sto. Domingo said to them: "That is not the way to the road."  Patrocinio Botardo repeated the  same remark, but Eligio Amante insisted, saying: "This is the way to the road."  When they were a good distance from the house, Vicente Sanchez left them saying:  "You  go  ahead, I  will  meet you on the road." While Eligio Amante and Patrocinio Botardo were alone, the  former insisted upon taking the latter to an Indian almond tree (talisay).  Patrocinio  Botardo wanted to take the way  that led to the road, but Eligio Amante took hold of her hands and wanted to take her to a bamboo grove.  She refused  to go with him and said: "What shall we do there?" and Eligio Amante replied: "Why won't you go  with  me?,  why won't you obey me?  Obey me because it will only take a few minutes."  As she resisted, he took hold of her hands and feet, threw her on the ground, and tried to violate her.   She stood up, but he again took hold of her hands and feet and threw her  on  the ground; and as  she was down, he held  and mounted her.  The girl succeeded in getting  up again, but she  could not stand and dropped  down.  Eligio Amante  then lay down beside her, but she stood up  for the  third time.   For the fourth time, he  threw her  on  the ground and held her hands.  Weakened by exhaustion,  Patrocinio Botardo tried to shout, but could not do so, because Eligio Amante covered her mouth with a handkerchief.  Having completely overpowered her, he raised her dress and succeeded in violating her.  It was then about 8.o'clock in the  morning.  After having sexually abused  her, Eligio  Amante invited  her  to  stand up and leave the place  with him.  They had not gone very far  when  Francisco Sanchez  appeared,  and  addressing Eligio  Amante, said: "Eligio, first go and  buy tuba, for I want a drink of tuba very much."  When Eligio Amante had left, Patrocinio Botardo  said to Francisco  Sanchez: "Your companion wanted to violate me;" and Francisco said: "Why did you not shout," and she replied that she could not because Eligio Amante covered her mouth with a handkerchief.  A little later, Eligio Amante returned and said "There is no tuba, I was unable to buy it."  He then turned and walked  toward  a coconut grove.  Francisco Sanchez,  who remained alone with the girl, wanted to take his  turn  and violate  her, but as she resisted, he said to Eligio Amante: "She refuses."  Whereupon Eligio Amante pinned her to an inclined coconut tree and held her by the feet, while Francisco Sanchez held her by the hands and threatened her with a knife, saying: "If you do not consent, I will stab you with this knife."   At the same time, Eligio Amante  raised her dress, and  Francisco  Sanchez, after slapping her face, caught her around the neck.  Francisco Sanchez  was thin and  weak,  but with the aid of Eligio Amante, he succeeded in violating the girl, who was greatly weakened by the  resistance which she offered against the two  satyrs.   After violating the girl, Francisco Sanchez and Eligio Amante left her alone, and immediately thereafter Pedro Amante and Vicente Sanchez appeared.   Upon seeing them, the  girl wanted to flee, but Vicente Sanchez said to her:  "Now that we are here, will you go?" and she replied:  "Naturally, because Francisco  Sanchez and his companion wanted  to violate me."   Exhausted and weakened she sat on  the trunk of a guava tree, when Pedro Amante  and Vicente Sanchez approached  her,  the  latter saying:  "Please me also,  now that Francisco  and Eligio have already abused you."  "I do not want to," she replied. Vicente Sanchez then said: "Why not?, I have helped you so that  your mother might not overtake  you!"  As the girl refused to consent to their lewd desires, Vicente Sanchez and Pedro Amante took hold  of her hands, and she said: "Why  do you hold me, you are like dogs."  The girl had not as yet recovered her strength, and it was an easy matter for Vicente Sanchez and Pedro Amante to throw her on the ground, which they  covered" with their shirts. She  wanted  to shout,  but Vicente Sanchez covered her mouth with  a handkerchief and violated her, while Pedro Amante  held her  feet and looked on.  When Vicente Sanchez had satisfied his passion, Pedro Amante took his turn, notwithstanding her protest and remarks, telling him that the actions of his companions were more than those of animals.  Pedro Amante  took  hold of her hands, and succeeded in violating her.  After  the consummation  of the carnal act, Pedro Amante helped the girl to stand up and to walk until they arrived hear Josefa Sto.  Domingo's house, where he left her,  Vicente Sanchez then said; "You wait here, I will see if Pedro is in Josefa Sto. Domingo's house," promising to return  for her. As she thought that it was probably about 11 o'clock and Vicente Sanchez has not yet  arrived, she went alone to Josefa Sto. Domingo's house and inquired for Vicente Sanchez.  The former replied  that  he had already  gone.  After a  short  while Vicente  Sanchez and Pedro Amante arrived.   She asked the former: "Why did you  leave me?, you promised to return for me."   He  then replied:  "I merely  went to get your dress and Eligio Amante's shirt."  Pedro Amante gave her his shirts  and told her that he would go to the house where Vicente Sanchez stayed and get her clothes.  When Vicente  Sanchez and Pedro  Amante had left, Patrocinio Botardo asked Josefa Sto. Domingo to let her lie down for a short time because  she felt very weak.  Josefa Sto. Domingo asked her: "Why are you so weak?" and she replied: "Because those four  men violated me." Josefa Sto. Domingo gave  her a mat and  a blanket upon  which she lay down, while the former prepared the food.  Patrocinio Botardo fell asleep and Josefa Sto. Domingo  awakened her to eat.  While she was eating, Pedro Amante arrived with her clothes,  and told  her  that she should go on ahead to the municipality of Oas,  Province of Albay, and wait for him there.  She alked Pedro Amante: "Why won't you go with me, after taking me away from home, now you want to leave me alone?"   After  eating, Pedro Amante said to her: "You dress because I have to take an  auto," and he gave her P0.75 to pay her fare from Baao to Oas, telling her that he could not go with her because he  already found work, but that he would go to Ligao the following Saturday to get her and marry her.  After having waited  together on the road for some time at about 2 o'clock in the afternoon a truck for Oas came  along and she took it.   Upon arriving  at Oas, the girl went to her aunt  Florencia Angelo's house where she stopped to wait for Pedro Amante. She  remained in Oas for about three  weeks, but Pedro Amante did not appear, and she did not want to return to Baao because she  was ashamed of what had happened to her.  After three  weeks her mother,  Martiniana Botardo, came to get her,  but she did not want to go with  her mother saying that  she was ashamed because Pedro and Eligio Amante, and Vicente and  Francisco Sanchez had violated her.  Martiniana Botardo then  returned to Baao to tell Juan Botardo, her brother, what had happened, who went back to Oas with her to get the girl.  When all of them had returned to Baao, Juan Botardo filed a complaint against Pedro Amante, Eligio Amante,  Vicente Sanchez, Francisco Sanchez and Norberto Iballa, husband of Josefa Sto. Domingo.

When the girl left the house with Pedro Amante, Josefa Sto. Domingo saw that the blanket which  she had used was stained with blood, which could not be removed by the first washing.

Upon examination of Patrocinio Botardo by Dr, Bienvenido P. Caro on August 12, 1926, he found  the girl's hymen ruptured and a large amount of a  mucouslike secretion in the vaginal canal due to a slight inflammation of the vagina, which might have been caused by a sexual intercourse.

The defense of the accused consists of a general denial and an alibi. Vicente Sanchez claims that on July 21, 1925, he went to Naga,  a distance of 30 kilometers from Baao, to order a silk shirt from his old sewing woman Esperanza Margallo, living in his aunt  Pilar Sanchez' house until  the following  day, when he  returned to Baao, arriving there at 3 o'clock in the  afternoon.  The accused Francisco Sanchez attempted to prove that on July 15,1925, at the request of his sister Pilar, he went to Naga to supervise the repairs on her house and did not return to Baao until the 4th of the following  August.  The accused Pedro and Eligio Amante tried to prove that during the day in question, they were working on the construction of Mariquita Motos' house in Baao, and that  they had not left the place.

Josefa Sto. Domingo, testifying as a witness for the defense, denied having seen any of the accused in, or in front of, her house, and said that Patrocinio Botardo had been in her house accompanied by two unknown men different from the accused.  She also stated that what she had testified to in the preliminary investigation was taught her by Juan Botardo, who told her that if she did  not  testify as he wanted her to, her husband would not be excluded from the complaint and would  not be released.

Juan Botardo, on cross-examination,  denied having induced Josefa Sto, Domingo to testify against the accused and said that he included Josefa  Sto. Domingo's husband in the complaint because he believed him to be in connivance with the accused.

The defense points out several contradictions in the testimony of the witnesses for the prosecution.  A careful examination  of  said contradictions shows that far from destroying the  probative force of said  testimony they strengthen the same, inasmuch as it will be seen therefrom that neither could there have  been a conspiracy nor a preconceived plan as to what they were to testify  to. Considering the varied points of view of persons and their perceptive ability, it is but natural that they should differ in the narration  of their observations.  It is psychologically impossible  that they should agree in all details.  Hence, when the testimony of two witnesses agrees  even in its minutest details, it ceases to be an accurate statement of the subjective truth.

There is no question that Patrocinio Botardo was taken from her home and brought to Josefa Sto. Domingo's  house. Neither is there any question  that she was taken from Josefa Sto. Domingo's house to  a coconut grove where she was outraged.  The only  question to determine is whether or not she was  outraged by two  unknown persons  or by the four herein accused, one after the other.  The offended party is a young girl fifteen years of age against  whom there cannot be the least doubt as to her chastity  and honor.  Like  all maidens of  her race, the loss of her virginity made her so ashamed  that at first she did not want to return to her town where two of those who had outraged her lived.  A  girl who has hardly  begun to know the ways of the world, and who has such a  high and delicate regard for purity, is  not capable of  fabricating such a bestial and shameful act  of which she was a victim; her own sentiment of purity would rebel against such an idea, inasmuch as she  would be  exposed to the scorn and  disrespect of honest people.  This  is  shown  by the  fact that she  was ashamed to tell even those who had violated her that she had been violated, and in accusing those who first had sexual intercourse with her, she only said to those who succeeded them that they wanted to violate her.

Her attitude  in having confidence in  Pedro Amante's promise after  she had been violated by him and the other accused, would seem to belie her testimony on the alleged outrage which she had suffered at the hands of the accused, but if the position in which she found herself and  the loss of what all  reputable women consider as their most precious possession are taken into consideration, it is not strange that in order to save herself from  dishonor  she should still continue believing him, as a drowning man who clings to the smallest floating object to save  himself from drowning.

Taking into consideration all the evidence for the prosecution and the circumstances of the case  not overthrown by the weak not to say improbable proof of the alibi of the accused, the mind is forced to rest on the conviction that the offended girl has told the whole truth.   This is  not the first case in the annals of the courts of justice of  the Philippines when inhuman and depraved men have taken advantage  of  the  weakness  of a  poor  innocent girl, and have successively satiated on a  single occasion, their bestial lust.

For the foregoing considerations, we are of the opinion that the  evidence presented  at the trial  proves beyond a reasonable  doubt  the guilt of  each and everyone of the accused of the complex crime charged, and finding no error in the judgment  appealed from,  the same is affirmed in all its parts, with costs against the appellants.  So ordered.

Johnson, Malcolm,  Villamor, Ostrand,  and Johns,  JJ,, concur.

ROMUALDEZ, J., with whom concurs AVANCE√ĎA, C. J.,  dissenting :

The evidence of the prosecution does  not convince me beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendants are guilty of rape.  I think they are guilty only of abduction with consent.