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PEOPLE v GAUDIA

G.R. No. 146111. February 23, 2004, Puno, J.


Digested by JF Law 126 - Evidence
Topic: Res Inter Alias Acta

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Rolando Gaudia was convicted for raping a minor, Remelyn Loyola. Gaudias father offered money to Remelyns
mother to settle what his son has committed. This offer of compromise was used by Amalia, the mother of the victim,
against the Gaudia to convict him. SC said that the offer of compromise allegedly made by appellant to Amalia
Loyolas husband is hearsay evidence, and of no probative value.
FACTS

That on or about March 24, 1997 at about 6:30 oclock in the evening, in Davao, Rolando Gaudia, by means
of force and intimidation, did, then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge with
Remelyn Loyola, a minor, against her will to her damage and prejudice.
Remelyns morhter, Amalia, the primary witness, testified that on 24 March 1997, she left her two children
Remelyn (3 1/2 years old) and Kimberly (1 year old) at their house.
At the time, her husband was working in Tulunan, South Cotabato. At about 4:00 in the afternoon, Amalia
returned home and could not find Remelyn. She went to fetch water and proceeded to a neighbor to ask
about the whereabouts of Remelyn. Nobody could provide her any information.
On her way home, she shouted and called out Remelyns name. At about 6:00 p.m., Amalia heard Remelyn
calling out to her, Ma, I am here, from a grove of ipil-ipil tree. Amalia rushed toward the place, but was met
by Remelyn at the mango trees, some thirty (30) meters from their house.
She found Remelyn crying, naked, nagbakaang (walking with her legs spread apart) and with fresh and
dried blood on her body. Ipil-ipil leaves clung to her forehead. Blood was oozing from her private
organ. Amalia brought Remelyn home and washed her. Upon closer inspection, she found a whitish mucuslike substance coming from Remelyns private organ.
The following day, 2 March 1997, Amalia brought Remelyn to the house of a certain Tiya Coring, a quack
doctor, for treatment. Among the people present in the premises were the relatives and parents of the
appellant.The quack doctor found both dried blood and fresh blood oozing in Remelyns vagina, and told
Amalia, Hoy! Amalia, your daughter has been raped.
At about 10:00 a.m., Tulon Mik, a neighbor, came and informed Amalia that he had seen the appellant pass
by her house and take Remelyn.
At this point, the parents of appellant told Amalia, Mal, let us talk about this matter, we will just settle this, we
are willing to pay the amount of P15,000.00, for the crime that my son committed.
Police officers came and brought Amalia, Remelyn and two barangay officials (kagawads) to the police
precinct of Hagonoy for investigation. Amalias statement was taken.
On 25 March 1997, Amalia brought Remelyn to the Hagonoy Health Center in Davao del Sur. Dr. Patricio
Hernane, the municipal health officer, conducted a genital examination of Remelyn, and found that there
was a physical loss of virginity. The doctor opined that the lacerations could have been caused by the
insertion of a foreign object, such as the penis of a man.
There where several circumstantial evidence that were presented which led to the conviction of Rolando
Gaudia of the crime of rape and was sentenced to death
o

The first circumstantial evidence against the appellant is the testimony of prosecution witness Tulon Mik that at 4:00 p.m. on 24
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March 1997, he saw him carrying Remelyn toward the direction of the ipil-ipil grove, some 130 meters from her house. As a
neighbor and relative of Remelyns stepfather, Mik had sufficient familiarity with the child Remelyn. The possibility that he could
have been mistaken in identifying the victim is nil.

The second circumstantial evidence against the appellant is Amalias testimony that Remelyn emerged naked from the same ipilipil grove, with ipil-ipil leaves clinging to her forehead. Remelyn was crying and walking with her legs spread far apart. Remelyns
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private organ was bleeding and excreting a white mucus-like substance.

The third circumstantial evidence against appellant is Remelyns statement to her mother that it was appellant who had brought
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her to the ipil-ipil grove and forced her to do something against her will.

There is no question that Remelyn was violated. After examining Remelyn, Dr. Patricio Hernane, the Municipal Health Officer of
Hagonoy, found her to have a broken hymen, as well as fresh vaginal lacerations.

Hence this review by the SC.

ISSUE & HOLDING:


Whether or not the offer of compromise made by the parents of Lendoy / Rolando Gaudia should be taken
against him?
NO it is merely considered as a hearsay evidence. No probative value. Guilty of only simple rape.
RATIO:

The Court rejected the appellants arguments and deened his attempt to discredit the circumstantial evidence
against him is futile.
o Appellant contends, first, that Tulon Miks testimony is weak, on the ground that Mik is a relative of
the husband of Amalia. He also questions the credibility of Mik because of his failure to confront
appellant when he saw him carrying Remelyn.
o Neither did Mik inform Amalia about what he saw when Amalia was looking for Remelyn. Appellant
insists that it was Daylen whom he carried and not Remelyn. Second, he stresses the fact that
Remelyn did not make any categorical statement that he sexually molested her.
o Third, he maintains that the accusation of flight against him is false.
o Fourth, he avers that the offer of compromise by his parents as tendered to Amalia Loyola
should not be taken against him, while the offer of compromise he allegedly made to Amalias
husband, as relayed by Amalia in her testimony, should be excluded as evidence for being
hearsay.
o Finally, he submits that inconsistencies in the testimony of Alex Loyola and Cabano should not be
counted against him on the ground that any finding of guilt must rest on the strength of the
prosecutions evidence.
Appellants charge that the offers of compromise allegedly made by the parents of the appellant to Amalia,
and by the appellant himself to Amalias husband should not have been taken against him by the trial
court, even if sustained, will not exculpate him.
The offer of compromise allegedly made by appellant to Amalia Loyolas husband is hearsay
evidence, and of no probative value.
It was only Amalia who testified as to the alleged offer, and she was not a party to the conversation which
allegedly transpired at the Hagonoy Municipal Jail.
A witness can only testify on facts which are based on his personal knowledge or perception.
The offer of compromise allegedly made by the appellants parents to Amalia may have been the subject of
testimony of Amalia.
However, following the principle of res inter alios acta alteri nocere non debet, the actions of his parents
cannot prejudice the appellant, since he was not a party to the said conversation, nor was it shown that he
was privy to the offer of compromise made by them to the mother of the victim.
They cannot be considered as evidence against appellant but we reiterate that these errors are not enough
to reverse the conviction of the appellant.
Appellants defense hardly impresses. It is interesting to note that appellant and his witnesses claim that it
was at around 5:00 p.m. when appellant carried the child Daylen toward her grandmother Catalina at the
place where she was gathering tuba. Mik testified that it was around 4:00 p.m. when he saw appellant
carrying Remelyn toward theipil-ipil grove. Given the 130-meter distance between the ipil-ipil grove and the
houses of appellant and of Amalia Loyola, appellant could have easily taken Remelyn from her house, raped
her at the ipil-ipil grove, and left her there, all in a matter of a few minutes. Sometime past 4:00 p.m., he
could then have returned to his house, and together with Alex Loyola, proceeded to the COMELEC office to
register, and did all the subsequent acts he claims to have done.
Dispositive portion:

Wherefore, the judgment of conviction of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 19, of Digos, Davao del Sur in Criminal
Case No. 213(97) is hereby MODIFIED. Appellant is found guilty of the crime of simple rape, and is sentenced
to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. He is ordered to pay to complainant Remelyn Loyola the amounts
of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity ex delicto,P50,000.00 as moral damages, and P25,000.00 as exemplary damages.
Costs against the appellant.