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REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES

Regional Trial Court


7th Judicial Region
Branch 26
Argao, Cebu

THE PEOPLE OF THE


PHILIPPINES,
Plaintiff, Crim. Case No. AR-2523
AR-2522
For: RAPE
- versus –

DIONEL SATERA,
Respondent,
X--------------------------------------- /

REPLY
(To Accused’s Comments/Objections to Formal Offer of
Exhibits filed by the Prosecution)

THE PROSECUTION, through the undersigned private


prosecutor, unto this Honorable Court, most respectfully
states THAT:

1. On June 14, 2017, prosecution received a copy of


accused’s “opposition/comments to formal offer of exhibits”,
dated June 1, 2017, raising the following objections:

a. Exhibits A, B, C, and F, together with its sub-


markings, which are affidavits of witnesses have
serious inconsistencies on material points of the
testimony of said persons in open court which do
not correspond with their affidavits. Falsus in uno
falsus in omnibus;

b. Exhibit D, the medical certificate, does not prove or


disprove the culpability of herein accused of the
crime charged. That the fact that the alleged victim
sustained hymenal laceration does not conclusively
prove the crime of rape; and

c. Exhibit E, Birth Certificate of Lourdes Q. Entienza,


for lack of proper identification.

1
2. That the prosecution hereby submits this instant reply
with the following arguments:

I. The “inconsistencies” mentioned by the accused is


indistinct and inconsequential to discredit the
credibility of witnesses’ testimony, nor does it have
substantial effect on the nature of the offense;

II. The maxim falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus is not a


positive rule of law, rarely applied in modern
jurisprudence, and not strictly applied in this
jurisdiction;

III. The medical certificate, taken immediately after the


commission of the crime, bolsters the victim’s claim of
being raped;

IV. The birth certificate was in fact identified and


marked during the March 14, 2011 hearing and is on
record.

3. The “inconsistencies” mentioned by the accused is


indistinct, unclear, and inconsequential to discredit the
credibility of witnesses’ testimony, nor does it have substantial
effect on the nature of the offense;

4. With all due respect, accuracy in testimonial account


cannot be used as a standard in testing the credibility of
witnesses, especially in this case that the “inconsistencies”
claimed were not even specified by the accused;

5. It must be emphasized that the affidavits of the witnesses


were prepared way back February 2000 or sixteen (16) years
ago, through the assistance of Police Authorities and then
Provincial Prosecutor, hence, minor inconsistencies may not
be avoided and may even be considered innocent mistakes,
which does not necessarily destroy the credibility of the
witness;

6. In fact inaccuracies and inconsistencies in a rape victims’


testimony is generally expected, as held in the case of People of

2
the Philippines vs. Bernabe Pareja Y Cruz1, citing the ruling in
the case of People vs Saludo2, to wit:
“Besides, inaccuracies and inconsistencies in a rape victim’s
testimony are generally expected. As this Court stated in People v.
Saludo:

Rape is a painful experience which is oftentimes not


remembered in detail. For such an offense is not analogous
to a person’s achievement or accomplishment as to be worth
recalling or reliving; rather, it is something which causes
deep psychological wounds and casts a stigma upon the
victim, scarring her psyche for life and which her conscious
and subconscious mind would opt to forget. Thus, a rape
victim cannot be expected to mechanically keep and then
give an accurate account of the traumatic and horrifying
experience she had undergone.” (emphasis ours)

7. It must be remembered that the long standing rule in


this jurisdiction is that even the lone testimony of a victim of
rape, if credible and convincing, is sufficient to convict an
accused, and minor inconsistencies must not dissuade;

8. On the second argument, prosecution respectfully


submits that the maxim falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus is not
a positive rule of law, rarely applied in modern jurisprudence,
and not strictly applied in this jurisdiction;

9. It has been ruled and clarified by the Supreme Court that


the maxim falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus, is not a positive
rule of law and is not strictly applied in this jurisdiction;

10. The Supreme Court has in fact ruled in the case of


Northwest Airlines Inc., vs Steven P. Chiong3, that “before this
maxim can be applied, the witness must be shown to have
willfully falsified the truth on one or more material points. The
principle presupposes the existence of a positive testimony on
a material point contrary to subsequent declarations in the
testimony”;

1
G.R. No. 202122, January 15, 2014
2
G.R. No. 178406, April 6, 2011, 647 SCRA 374, 388
3
G.R. No. 155550 January 31, 2008
3
11. The records of this case, however, would show that
accused never attempted to explain or impugn the
testimony/evidence of the prosecution showing any falsified
part of the testimony that would indicate the falsity of their
entire testimony;

12. To repeat the affidavits of the witnesses were


prepared way back February 2000 or sixteen (16) years ago,
and inconsistencies may be generally expected and cannot
automatically assume that the entire testimony is fabricated;

13. Essentially so, before the maxim falsus in unus,


falsus in omnibus can apply and for it to completely disregard
all the testimony of a witness, his testimony must have been
false as to a material point, and the witness must have
conscious and deliberate intent to falsify a material point4,
which is absent in this case;

14. Anent the third argument, it is respectfully


submitted that the Medical Certificate showing the positive
result of the genital examination actually bolsters the victim’s
claim of being raped by the accused;

15. The medical certificate disclosed that victim’s


hymen had a healed complete laceration and admits a tube of
2.6 cm. diameter, this is consistent to a penetration or actual
carnal knowledge; the same report also mentions the presence
of an old healed hymenal laceration which is again
corroborative of the fact that accused has raped the victim in
more than one occasion;

16. The physical/genital examination conducted by the


Municipal Health Officer Dr. Farah Dacua Del Villar, barely
nine (9) hours from the actual commission of the crime can be
considered relatively proximate, and has in fact confirmed,
and strengthens the prosecution’s claim that the victim was
raped;

4
People vs Pacapac, 248 SCRA 77
4
17. Finally, contrary to accused’s contention, the birth
certificate was in fact identified and marked during the March
14, 2011 hearing and is on record;

18. Records would show that the victim/private


complainant’s, Lourdes Entienza, testimony was completed on
March 14, 2011; it was also during said hearing that private
complainant submitted and identified her birth certificate, and
was in fact marked as Exhibit “E” as can be found in page 96
of the records;

19. Nonetheless, assuming for the sake of argument,


that victim Lourdes Entienza’s birth certificate was not
identified during the course of the trial, this fact alone cannot
discredit the fact that she was a minor when the crime was
committed against her;

20. A 2017 Supreme Court ruling entitled People of the


Philippines vs Ludigario Belen Y Marasigan5, has explained
that there are numerous ways to establish the age of a rape
victim other than by a birth certificate, to wit:
While in People v. Balo, we had appreciated pieces of evidence
and circumstances, which were actually established by the
prosecution in determining the age of the victim, to wit:

In the case at bar, several documents were presented in


court indicating the very young age of the victim; first, while
assisted by her grandmother, AAA stated in her Sinumpaang
Salaysay that she was five (5) years of age; second, the
Request for Genital Exam indicated that AAA was five (5)
years old; third, the Sexual Crime (Protocol) Form stated
that the age of AAA was five (5) years old; fourth, the Initial
Medico-Legal Report showed that AAA was five (5) years of
age; fifth, Medico-Legal Report No. R07-757 reflected that
AAA was five (5) years old; sixth, the personal circumstances
of the victim when she testified on June 24, 2008 stated that
AAA was five (5) years old and she likewise answered that
she was five (5) years old when asked about her age;
and seventh, the accused failed to controvert that AAA was
four (4) years old at the time the crime was committed when
the court inquired about it while he was testifying.

5
G.R. No. 215331, January 23, 2017
5
In this particular case, these pieces of evidence, together
with the physical appearance of the victim when she
testified, would have been sufficient basis for the lower court
to ascertain the tender age of the victim when the crime was
committed. Furthermore, the Medico-Legal Report prepared
by Police S/Insp. Dr. Ebdane, a government physician who
took an oath as a civil service official, means that she is
competent to examine persons and issue medical certificates
which will be used by the government. As such, the Medico-
Legal Report carries the presumption of regularity in the
performance of her functions and duties. As regards the
other documents, under Section 44,45 Rule 130, Revised
Rules of Court, entries in official records made in the
performance of official duty are prima facie evidence of the
facts therein stated. To be sure, in the absence of proof to
the contrary, law enforcement agencies of the government
similarly enjoy the presumption of regularity in the
performance of their official functions. Verily, if baptismal
certificates or school records are allowed to be presented in
court to establish the age of the victim in the absence of a
birth certificate, with more reason should Medico-Legal
Reports and comparable documents be allowed to ascertain
such circumstance in similar cases.

Consequently, notwithstanding the fact that AAA's original


or duly certified birth certificate, baptismal certificate or
school records, were never presented by the prosecution, the
Court agrees with the lower court and the appellate court
that AAA's minority was duly established by the evidence on
record.

21. Applied in this instant case, a perusal of the records


would show that; a) the affidavit of private complainant,
Lourdes Entienza, duly subscribed before a public prosecutor,
declared that private complainant was “10 years old” when the
crime was committed, b) the Information issued by Assistant
Provincial Prosecutor Romeo Bulotano specifically mentions,
after the conduct of a preliminary investigation, that private
complainant/victim was “a minor who is only ten (10) years of
age”, and c) the Medical Certificate issued by the Municipal
Health Officer during the conduct of physical examination
states that the victim was 10 years of age at the time of the
examination;

22. The above-mentioned evidence, duly issued by


government offices which carry the presumption of regularity
6
in the performance of their functions, can be considered
sufficient basis to ascertain that the victim, Lourdes Entienza,
was a minor when the crime was committed;

23. On a final note, the prosecution would like to


respectfully implore this Honorable Court to give full credence
to the rape victim’s testimony, considering she would not
concoct a story of rape, have allowed her private parts
examined, and subject herself and her entire family to public
trial and embarrassment, if she was not motivated to obtain
justice for the crime committed against her.

PRAYER

WHEREFORE, premises considered, it is respectfully


prayed of this Honorable Court to ADMIT the foregoing
exhibits for the purposes for which they are respectively
offered.

Other reliefs just and equitable under the premises are


likewise prayed for.

June 27, 2017. Mandaue City (for Argao), Cebu, Philippines.

THE LAW OFFICE OF REDULA SANCHEZ


MONTEALEGRE BAUZON BRAGAT & DANLAG-LUIG
Room 301 to 304
C & F Ramirez Building II
S.B., Cabahug St.,
Centro, Mandaue City

By:

ATTY. OMAR B. REDULA


PTR No: 0559086 (01/04/16) Mandaue City
IBP No: 1002756 (12/17/15) Cebu City
Roll No: 63914
MCLE Compliance No: V-0008238

7
ATTY. AUGUST LIZER M. MALATE
IBP Member No. 1036995 12/28/16 Cebu City
PTR No. MC 0640206 01/04/17 Mandaue City
Roll No: 63914
MCLE Compliance No: V-0024535, Awaiting No. VI

NOTICE

The Clerk of Court


RTC Branch 26,
Argao

Please submit the foregoing Formal Offer for the


consideration and approval of the Honorable Court
immediately upon receipt thereof.

ATTY. OMAR B. REDULA

Copy furnished:

Atty. JONATHAN SAROMINES


Public Attorney’s Office
Argao, Cebu