Republic of the Philippines



G.R. No. 112035 January 16, 1998

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,
PANFILO CABILES alias "NONOY", accused-appellant.


Accused-appellant, Panfilo Cabiles, alias Nonoy, seeks the reversal of the decision of the Regional Trial Court of the National Capital Judicial Region (Branch 124, Kalookan City), finding him guilty of the crime of Robbery with Rape, as follows:

WHEREFORE, IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, this Court finds the accused Panfilo Cabiles alias Nonoy guilty beyond reasonable doubt of Robbery with Rape as charged and hereby sentences him to suffer imprisonment of Reclusion Perpetua in accordance with Paragraph 2 of Art. 294 of the Revised Penal Code; to indemnify the victim Luzviminda Aquino in the amount of P30,000.00 as consequential damages. Said accused is also ordered to return to Marites Nas Atienza the stolen Seiko Wrist watch worth P1,500.00 and one gold ring worth P500.00 and if unable to do so, to pay said victim the corresponding prices of these articles as shown above; to reimburse Marites Nas Atienza the amount of P1,000.00 in cash and to pay the costs.

The accused shall be entitled to the full period of his preventive imprisonment, pursuant to Art. 29 of the Revised Penal Code provided with the conditions enumerated thereon have been complied with.


(pp. 86-87, Rollo.)

Through an Amended Information, accused-appellant, together with the additional accused, was charged as follows:

That on or about the 5th day of November 1989, in Caloocan City, Metro Manila and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused by means of force and violence, with intent of gain, conspiring together and mutually helping one another, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously take, rob, and carry away one (1) gold ring worth P500.00, one (1) ladies seiko watch worth P1,500.00, cash money worth P1,000.00, one (1) bracelet worth P500.00 and wristwatch (Channel) worth P800.00 belonging to one Marites Nas Atienza, to the latter's damage and prejudice, and by reason or on occasion of said robbery, with the use of a deadly weapon, and lewd designs, had carnal knowledge of one LUZVIMINDA AQUINO Y AREVALO, and then attacked, assaulted and stabbed one ARNEL CERICOS Y MICIANO with the same weapon, thereby inflicting upon the latter serious physical injuries.

(p. 7, Rollo.)

Accused-appellant's co-accused, Jaime Mabingnay, was neither apprehended nor arraigned, whereas accused-appellant was arraigned on both original and amended informations. After trial, following the entry of a not guilty plea, the above-quoted verdict was rendered. Hence, the instant appeal.

As deduced from the prosecution's evidence which came primarily from the testimony of Marites Nas Atienza and Luzviminda Aquino, the inculpatory facts are as follows:

Marites Nas Atienza, a housewife whose husband was abroad, was residing at No. 224 Malambing St., Amparo Subdivision, Kalookan City. On the eve of November 5, 1989, she was asleep with her 1 1/2-year old daughter, Erica Dianne Atienza, inside her room at her house. Approximately two steps away from her bed, Luzviminda Aquino, Marites' housemaid, was sleeping on a sofa. The house has an area of about 29 square meters. The main door is located at the kitchen. In the kitchen, there is a stairway leading to a store. To the left of the house is the bedroom where the three were asleep. The place was illuminated by the light coming from a 25-watt electrical bulb which was outside the room's window (tsn, March 5, 1990, p. 6; tsn, April 5, 1990, pp. 20-24, 28; tsn, April 26, 1990, pp. 4, 6, 8, 10, 17).

At around 1:15 o'clock on the morning of November 5, 1989, a man suddenly barged into the house of Marites by destroying the kitchen door and removing the lawanit wall thereof, thus enabling him to reach the lock inside. The man suddenly poked a 6-inch kitchen knife on the right side of Marites' neck. This awakened her. She was told not to shout, otherwise she would be killed. Then the man placed masking tape on her mouth and ordered her to bring out her money and jewelry. At the point of the knife, Marites, while carrying her baby, went to the cabinet outside the room, took cash amounting to P1,000.00, a Seiko watch worth P1,500.00, a lady's wristwatch with the trademark "Chanel" (also referred to in the records as "Channel") worth P850.00, a bracelet worth P500.00, and a ring worth P500.00, and gave them to the man. Afterwards, they went back inside the bedroom and Marites sat on her bed, still cuddling her baby (tsn, March 5, 1990, pp. 7-8, 11-12, 40; tsn, April 5, 1990, pp. 19, 30, 31). Marites later identified the man as accused-appellant.

Meanwhile, Luzviminda was awakened by the crying of Marites' baby. When she was about to shout, the man poked the knife on her left side, causing her an injury. The man then told her, "Huwag kang sisigaw kundi papatayin kita." Meanwhile, Marites sat on the bed, trembling with fear, as she cuddled her baby. The man also placed masking tape on Luzviminda's mouth. Thereafter, he forcibly held both of her arms in front of her. Notwithstanding her struggle to hide her hands at her back, accused-appellant succeeded in tying her hands at the front with the use of a piece of shoestring (tsn, March 5, 1990, pp. 9-10, 16; tsn, April 5, 1990, pp. 34-35; tsn, April 26, 1990, pp. 6-9, 27, 34, 44). Luzviminda likewise later identified the man as accused-appellant.

The man then went to the store which was only about 4 to 5 steps away from Marites' bed. He ransacked the same in search for more valuables. Thereafter, he took a bottle of beer from the refrigerator and began drinking. Afterwards, he returned to the room and sat beside Luzviminda (tsn, March 5, 1990, p. 10; tsn, April 5, 1990, p. 25).

While the man continued to hold the knife, he tapped Luzviminda's thigh. When he was about to consume the beer, he started removing Luzviminda's pants and underwear while still holding the knife with his right hand. The man then rolled down his short pants to his thighs. He poked the knife on Luzviminda's right side and despite the latter's resistance, he succeeded in inserting his sexual organ into Luzviminda's private parts after forcibly lying on top of her. Luzviminda struggled and kicked, accidentally hitting with her right foot the knife thus causing her injury. All the while, Marites was still cuddling her daughter, as she sat on her bed in extreme fear. She was witnessing Luzviminda being raped by the man. While on top of Luzviminda and continuously doing the sexual act, the man uttered: "Isusunod ko ang Ate mo pagkatapos ko sa iyo." Upon hearing those words, Marites tried to escape by asking permission to prepare milk for her baby (tsn, March 5, 1990, pp. 11-14, 16-17; tsn, April 5, 1990, pp. 36, 38, 40, 42; tsn, April 26, 1990, pp. 10-11, 13-14, 27).

While carrying her child, Marites was able to run to the house of her neighbor, Arnel Cericos, from whom she asked for help. Ceriro's house was approximately twelve steps away from Marites' house. Marites decided to hide at Ceriro's house. When Cericos entered the room, the man was still on top of Luzviminda. However, upon seeing Cericos, the man stood up right away and stabbed Cericos four times. Afterwards, they chased each other outside the house. Meanwhile Luzviminda put on her pants and ran toward Cericos' house (tsn, March 5, 1990, pp. 18-19; tsn, April 26, 1990, pp. 15, 18).

When Marites learned that Cericos was injured, she rushed back to her house to administer first aid to him. Cericos sustained a stab wound on his chest, two stab wounds on his left arm, and a stab wound on his right arm. Cericos then complained of difficulty in breathing. Consequently, Marites brought him to a physician, one Col. Javier, for treatment. When Cerico's complaints continued, Marites decided to bring him to the V. Luna Hospital in Quezon City at about 4 o'clock that morning (tsn, March 5, 1990, pp. 19-22).

Attending physician Dr. Emmanuel Quedding noted that Cericos sustained four stab wounds of different sizes, the most serious of which was the lacerated wound on the interior chest which required Cericos to be placed under observation for 8 to 12 hours. Dr. Quedding found that the wounds, if deep enough, could result in the laceration of the lung, heart, and some arteries and consequently, the victim's death. After advising Cericos not to work for about one week or more, he was permitted to leave the hospital at about 1 o'clock that afternoon (tsn, April 5, 1990, pp. 4-5, 10, 12).

For her part, Luzviminda, at 9 o'clock that morning, went to the Kalookan Police Department and reported what happened to her. On November 6, 1989, upon referral by the chief of the Northern Police District, Kalookan City, Luzviminda subjected herself to a physical examination conducted by Dr. Carmelita Belgica, a medico-legal officer. Resultantly, Dr. Belgica found on Luzviminda's right foot "a laceration, healing, measuring 3.5 cm. with scab formation and peripheral edema at the medine melcolus, right side . . ." Her genital examination results showed an old healed laceration indicative of sexual intercourse possibly occurring three months before the date of examination. Dr. Belgica expounded that although the physical examination results manifested that the occurrence of sexual intercourse three months before could have caused the laceration, she did not discount the possibility that sexual intercourse also took place on November 5, 1989 without any injury at the genital area, as it "cannot be consulted medically because the opening is wide enough" (tsn, January 10, 1990, pp. 3-6, 8-10).

Later, on November 8, 1989, at about 1:40 o'clock in the afternoon, Corporal Luciano Cañeda and Pcf. Manuel Rodriguez of the Kalookan City Police Station, along with Romeo Nas, brother of Marites, went to a sash factory warehouse at the Marivic Compound, Kalookan City. Outside the factory edifice, they saw accused-appellant sleeping on a bench. Romeo Nas saw that accused-appellant was wearing a bracelet which the former recognized as the bracelet taken from Marites. Upon being awakened, accused-appellant, told the three men that the other things he took from Marites were inside a plastic bag at the factory building. Consequently, Pcf. Rodriguez went inside the building to get the plastic bag and it was found to contain a woman's undershirt, a light blue shirt, and a wristwatch with the brand name "Chanel" which was the one taken from Marites (tsn, April 10, 1990, pp. 4-5, 7-8, 11, 14, 16, 25).

The following day, November 9, 1989, at about 3:30 o'clock in the afternoon, Marites saw accused-appellant at the Kalookan City Police Station. The latter admitted his guilt and pointed to Jaime Mabingnay, Marites' brother-in-law, as the one who asked him to commit the crime. Marites further recalled that she saw accused-appellant at Mabingnay's house on November 5, 1989, before the crime took place (tsn, March 5, 1990, p. 30; tsn, April 10, 1990, pp. 33-36).

Accused-appellant, on the other hand, relied and banked on denial and alibi.

Accused-appellant denied even having gone to Amparo Village, Kalookan City. He denied having raped Luzviminda Aquino. He said that the first time he ever saw Marites was at the Kalookan City Police Station on November 9, 1989. He said the same thing about Luzviminda (tsn, August 23, 1990, pp. 4-6).

Regarding the day of the incidence, accused-appellant testified that on November 5, 1989, at 1:30 o'clock in the morning, he was at Marivic Subdivision, sleeping with his wife. He had been residing at the Marivic compound starting October 30, 1989 as he was designated by the owner of the place to watch over the premises (tsn, August 23, 1990, p. 4).

As to accused-appellant's arrest which took place on November 8, 1989 at around 1 o'clock in the afternoon, he testified that he was lying on a bench at the Marivic Compound when three men in civilian clothes arrived. He did not know the reason for his arrest. He, however, admitted that a "Chanel" lady's watch was recovered from him at the time of the arrest but insisted that he owns the watch, the same having been pledged to him by his cousin Elizabeth Abantao when he was still at Wright, Samar, and which was later sold to him. He denied that a plastic bag with stolen contents was recovered from him by his captors. He said he only saw the contents of the bag when he was under detention at the Kalookan City Jail. As regards his sworn statement containing a confession to the commission of the crime, he said he was forced by the policemen at the station to execute the same. He did not read it and was just forced to sign it. He was not assisted by counsel during that time (tsn, August 23, 1990, pp. 6-9).

Accused-appellant's version of the event was corroborated by: (a) his wife Soledad Cabiles who testified that she slept with accused-appellant at Marivic Subdivision in the evening of November 4, 1989; (b) Conrado Bacoy, Sr., owner of the woodcarving factory watched over by accused-appellant, who testified that accused-appellant and his wife were allowed to sleep within the factory premises; and (c) Melchor Mabini who aside from supporting accused-appellant's alibi, also said that accused-appellant's captors did not have a warrant when they made the arrest.

The trial court found no merit in accused-appellant's defense. It found that his identity was well established, based on the testimony of Marites and Luzviminda who were adjudged as credible witnesses. From the testimony of said witnesses, the trial court likewise observed that: (1) at the time of accused-appellant's arrest, he was wearing a bracelet which was said to be owned by Marites; (2) that a shoestring was found inside the plastic bag which accused-appellant stated as his own when he led the arresting officers to the factory compound at Marivic, Baesa, Kalookan City; and (3) that said shoestring was the one used by accused-appellant in tying Luzviminda's hands before she was raped. The trial court likewise noted accused-appellant's confession before Marites and in the presence of Amy Maliwanag, a council woman of Amparo Subdivision and Linda Pilahan, that accused-appellant's robbed and raped Luzviminda, and that Jaime Mabingnay instructed him to do so, to cause the blindness of Marites, and to kill her. Mabingnay was said to have promised to help accused-appellant to get a job abroad and to help the latter financially. However, accused-appellant took pity on Marites' child.

As regards the crime of serious physical injuries, which, as charged in the Amended Information, was allegedly committed by reason or on occasion of the robbery, the trial court found that the evidence is insufficient to prove the commission of the same or any of the physical injuries penalized in Subdivision 1 of Art. 263 of the Revised Penal Code.

We affirm the trial court's decision.

Accused-appellant argues as his sole assignment of error that the trial court erred in finding him guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime charged. He stresses the following arguments, to wit: (1) that the medico-legal officer said several times that the sexual intercourse occurred three months before the incident complained of; (2) that verbal admissions are inadmissible against the accused; (3) that the bracelet and the "Chanel" watch and even the "improbable" shoestring were the products of a poisonous tree, not having been the fruits of a lawful warrantless arrest; and (4) that his identification based on his built and voice is not an effective one.

We shall first discuss the procedural matters and circumstances surrounding the charge.

Accused-appellant, corroborated by defense witness Melchor Mabini, contends that his arrest was an alleged warrantless one. However, such irregularity was only raised during trial. In regard to this delay, this Court has consistently ruled that any objection involving a warrant of arrest or procedure in the acquisition by the court of jurisdiction over the person of an accused must be made before he enters his plea, otherwise the objection is deemed waived (People v. Lopez, Jr., 245 SCRA 95 [1995]; People vs. Rivera, 245 SCRA 421 [1995]). Verily, the illegal arrest of an accused is not sufficient cause for setting aside a valid judgment rendered upon a sufficient complaint after trial free from error; such arrest does not negate the validity of the conviction of the accused (People vs. Manzano, 248 SCRA 239 [1995]). And it is much too late in the day to complain about the warrantless arrest after a valid information had been filed and the accused arraigned and trial commenced and completed and a judgment of conviction rendered against him (People vs. Llanaresas, 248 SCRA 629 [1995]).

As regards the evidentiary weight of accused-appellant's sworn statement wherein he confessed to the crime charged, and his verbal confession made before robbery victim, Marites Nas Atienza, we rule against the validity of the written confession but uphold the admissibility of the verbal confession.

In People vs. Deniega, 251 SCRA 626 [1995], we laid down the four fundamental requirements needed for admissibility of a confession, to wit: (1) the confession must be voluntary; (2) the confession must be made with the assistance of competent and independent counsel; (3) the confession must be express; and (4) the confession must be in writing.

Accused-appellant testified that he was forced to execute the sworn statement containing his confession (tsn, August 23, 1990, p. 9). Although this assertion is uncorroborated, accused-appellant's free will and volition in signing his confession will not cure the defect that it was made without assistance of counsel. An admission made without the assistance of counsel during custodial investigation is inadmissible in evidence. (People vs. Cascalla, 240 SCRA 482 [1995]). Even if the confession of an accused speaks the truth, if it was made without the assistance of counsel, it is inadmissible in evidence regardless of the absence of coercion or even if it had been voluntarily given (People vs. Agustin, 240 SCRA 541 [1995]). An uncounselled extrajudicial confession without a valid waiver of the right to counsel that is, in writing and in the presence of counsel is inadmissible in evidence (People vs. Cabintoy, 241 SCRA 442 [1995]).

In contrast, accused-appellant's verbal confession before Marites Nas Atienza is, however, admissible in evidence. The case in point is People vs. Andan (G.R. No. 116437, March 3, 1997) where we ruled that the accused's verbal confession made in a private meeting with the municipal mayor, spontaneously, fully and voluntarily done, is admissible in evidence since it is not covered by the requirements of Section 12(1) and (3) of Article III of the Constitution. When said accused talked with the mayor as a confidant and not as a law enforcement officer, his uncounselled confession did not violate his constitutional rights. Constitutional procedures on custodial investigation do not apply to a spontaneous statement, not elicited through questioning by the authorities, but given in an ordinary manner whereby the accused orally admitted having committed the crime as in the case at bar.

In any event, we agree with the prosecution's contention that accused-appellant's conviction was deduced not on the basis of his admission of guilt, but on the trial court's assessment of the evidence presented before it.

We find no reason to disturb the trial court's finding as to the credibility of prosecution witnesses Marites Nas Atienza and Luzviminda Aquino, the victims of robbery and rape, respectively. The time-tested jurisprudence is that the findings and conclusions of the trial court on the credibility of witnesses enjoy a badge of respect for the reason that trial courts have the advantage of observing the demeanor of witnesses as they testify (People vs. Gamiao, 240 SCRA 254 [1995]; People vs. Ramos, 240 SCRA 191 [1995]; People vs. Cajambab, 240 SCRA 643 [1995]; People vs. Moran, 241 SCRA 709 [1995]). A perusal of the testimony of both witnesses convinces us even more that there is no strong and cogent reason to disregard the trial court's findings.

We agree that the identity of accused-appellant was sufficiently established through the following circumstances:

1. The room where the crime was committed covered a very small area of 29 square meters (tsn, April 5, 1990, p. 24). It was illuminated by a lighted electric bulb outside the jalousie window of said room (tsn, April 26, 1990, p. 17). The victims could have easily noticed the physical features of their assailant, who was later identified as accused-appellant.

2. Two witnesses (Marites Nas Atienza and Corporal Luciano Cañeda) testified that at the time of accused-appellant's arrest, he was wearing a bracelet (Exh. "F") which Marites recognized as the one she surrendered to accused-appellant during the robbery on November 5, 1989 (tsn, March 5, 1990, p. 35).

In this light, we are swayed by Marites' spontaneous and straightforward testimony on how she recognized the culprit, to wit:

Q Now, what was your basis in saying that it was the accused who was the one who poked a kitchen knife on you?

A His height, his built, especially his voice, were my basis, sir, in saying that he was the person who poked the knife on me.

Q What is so particular in his voice that you know that it was the voice of the accused in this case?


The question has already been answered, your Honor, his height, his built and his voice are the basis for her knowing accused Panfilo Cabiles.


Witness may answer.


A. Because I have seen him once and I heard his voice when he went to the house of my brother-in-law, Jaime Mabingnay, on the last week of October, 1989.


Q When you said Jaime Mabingnay, he is one of the accused in this case?

A Yes, sir.

Q Now, tell us how far is that house of Jaime Mabingnay to your house?

A. About six (6) steps away from our house, sir.

Q. And when you heard the voice of Panfilo Cabiles, what were they doing then inside the house of Jaime Mabingnay?

A They were having a drinking spree in the sala of the house of Jaime Mabingnay which is just in front of the door of my house, sir.

Q When you saw them drinking, what time was that?

A Around 8:00 o'clock in the evening, sir.

Q And up to what time did you see him inside the house of Jaime Mabingnay?

A I saw him there for about an hour and I don't know whether or not he slept there.

Q Before last week of October, have you seen him?


We object to the question on the basis of, first, there is no basis; second, the Fiscal interpreting in Tagalog gives an advance sign for an answer to the witness, your Honor.


Q So that at the time in October, that was the first time you saw the accused in this case, I am referring to Panfilo Cabiles?

A Yes, sir.

Q Have you heard what he said?

A No, sir. But I heard his voice when he greeted my sister Imelda Nas.

Q When he greeted your sister Imelda Nas, where was he?

A He was there sitting at the sala while he was drinking with Jaime Mabingnay.

Q Where was your sister at that time?

A. She was standing at the door of Jaime's house and I was behind her.

Marites' identification of accused-appellant is corroborated by Luzviminda's identification of accused-appellant as her rapist, as follows:

Q. Aside from that admission, what other basis have you to say that the accused was that person if there is still any?


I object, your Honor, because there is no basis and after the witness answered that the only sign she knows of the accused is when at the police headquarters he admitted before De Leon to have allegedly sexually played on her, so I object.


If she has other basis, your Honor, aside from that admission he made.


Witness may answer.


His voice and his built, sir.


You mentioned about his built, when he had sexual intercourse with you that was you said at about 1:15 in the morning, how come you were able to see the built of the accused at that time?

A: Because the light coming inside thru the jalousie window illuminates the inside of the room, sir.

(tsn, April 26, 1990, pp. 16-17)

Q: What awakened you?

A: Because the baby of Ate Tes was crying and that awakened me, sir, and when I opened my eyes I saw that there was somebody standing.

Q: And that person that you saw standing was facing his back to you, correct?

A: No, sir. He was facing my direction.

Q: So this person you said was facing in your direction was between you and your Ate Marites, is that what you want us to understand?

A: Yes, sir.

(tsn, April 26, 1990, p. 34.)

3. Aside from the bracelet, the arresting officers found a "Chanel" lady's wristwatch (Exh. "G") which Marites likewise recognized as another of the objects taken by accused-appellant during the robbery. Accused-appellant's assertion that said watch is his own is not persuasive. Aside from the fact that his testimony is not corroborated, we likewise make the practical observation that "Chanel" is not an ordinary watch brand. It would be too much of a coincidence that a watch of the same not very ordinary brand as that involved in the robbery subject hereof was pledged to accused-appellant.

The trial court correctly cited the evidentiary presumption that a person found in possession of a thing taken in the doing of a recent wrongful act is the taker and doer of the whole act (Sec. 3[7], Rule 131, Revised Rules of Evidence). In People vs. Newman (163 SCRA 496 [1988]), we ruled that where the accused offers no satisfactory explanation as to the fact of his possession of stolen properties, such evidence would abundantly incriminate him and proves that he took them with animus lucrandi. In the case at bench, all that accused-appellant could offer as defense was denial which is a weak defense. The defense of denial, if uncorroborated by clear and convincing proof, is considered self-serving evidence undeserving of any weight in law (People vs. Macario, 240 SCRA 531 [1995]).

Accused-appellant strongly relies on the finding of NBI Medico-Legal Officer, Carmelita Belgica, that upon physical examination of the rape victim, it was found that the hymenal lacerations took place three months before the date of examination, to rule out his commission of the crime of rape. We are not persuaded.

Any prior sexual intercourse which could have resulted in hymenal laceration is irrelevant in rape cases for virginity is not an element of rape (People vs. Delovino, 247 SCRA 519 [1995]). Hence, it is of no moment that there is a finding that sexual intercourse occurred three months earlier than November 5, 1989. Too, the rape could have been so slight as to leave no traces upon examination, for complete penetration of the female organ is not necessary to constitute rape (People vs. Soan, 243 SCRA 622). The mere penetration of the penis by entry thereof into the labia majora of the female organ suffices to warrant a conviction for rape (People vs. Sanchez, 250 SCRA 14 [1995]). The following circumstances are significant:

1. Luzviminda testified that she was raped by accused-appellant. No young Filipina would publicly admit that she had been criminally abused and ravished unless that is the truth, as it is her natural instinct to protect her honor. (People vs. Delovino, supra; People vs. Namayon, 246 SCRA 646 [1995]; People vs. Rivera, 242 SCRA 26 [1995]).

2. Luzviminda's testimony is corroborated by that of Marites who herself witnessed the rape (tsn, March 5, 1990, p. 16).

3. The shoestring that was found inside the plastic bag is also an indication of accused-appellant's commission of the crime of rape. Luzviminda identified said shoestring as that which was used on her to effect the crime of rape.

Lastly, accused-appellant's defense of denial and alibi must fail considering that he was positively identified by Marites and Luzviminda as the author of the crime. We have consistently ruled that alibi, like denial, is inherently weak and easily fabricated. In order to justify an acquittal based on this defense, the accused must establish by clear and convincing evidence that it was physically impossible for him to have been at the crime scene during its commission (People vs. Pontilar, G.R. No. 104865, July 11, 1997; People vs. Sumbillo, et. al., G.R. No. 105292, April 18, 1997; People vs. Gamiao, supra).

In the case at bench, accused-appellant admitted being at Marivic Compound at Baesa, Quezon City, during the night of the incident. He was allegedly with his wife (tsn, August 23, 1990, p. 4). Defense witness Melchor Mabini even attested that the couple spent the night at the compound on the eve of November 5, 1989. But did Mabini watch over the couple the whole night? It is not impossible for accused-appellant to sleep at the Marivic Compound on the night of November 4, 1989 and surreptitiously leave the premises at midnight to get to Kalookan City. The distance between Quezon City and Kalookan City is not significant.

Anent the award of consequential damages, we increase the indemnity in favor of rape victim Luzviminda Aquino from P30,000.00 to P50,000.00 in line with recent jurisprudence. We affirm the awards concerning the amounts corresponding to the value of the items stolen, the same having been established through the testimony of Marites Nas Atienza, including the P1,000.00 awarded for costs.

WHEREFORE, finding the conviction of accused-appellant justified by the evidence on record, the assailed decision is hereby AFFIRMED with the modification above-stated.


Narvasa, C.J., Romero, Francisco and Panganiban, JJ., concur.

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