People vs Sabardon (GR No. 132135 May 21, 2004)

People of the Philippines vs Sabardon
GR No. 132135 May 21, 2004

Facts: Sometime in 1990, the Banluta Family transferred their residence at No. 5 Linaluz Street, San Carlos subdivision, Tayuman, Binangonan, Rizal. Opposite their house was that of Elizabeth de Lima. Another neighbour of the Banluta family was the appellant, then 5 y/o, Domingo Sabardon, a cathecist who resided in a two-storey apartment about 15m away from the Banluta residence. The appellant came to meet Richelle as he frequented the Banluta house and befriended Rico Banluta, Nimfa’s 21 y/o son. At about 10pm on September 15, 1991, Nimfa berated Richelle for playing with the diaper of her niece. Richelle who was then a little more than 12 y/o, placed some underwear, shorts, long pants, and four shirts in her school bag and surreptitiously left the house. She passed by the appellant’s apartment while the latter was on his way out to throw garbage. The appellant inquired where she was going, and Richelle replied that she was earlier berated by her mother and was leaving the house. The appellant invited Richelle to his apartment, and to spend the night therein. Richelle agreed. She felt happy, thinking that she was in good hands. Besides, she had nowhere to go. During Richelle’s stay at the accused’s apartment, there were instances when she was forced to drink beer or juice after which she fell unconscious and upon waking up, she will find herself naked with his body in pain especially her vagina and that the same is bleeding. She also find the accused beside her also naked. She would ask the accused of what happened but the latter will just leave her in the in the room. After days of staying in the accused’s apartment, when Elizabeth, the neighbour saw Richelle in there, they rescued her while the accused is away.

Issue: Whether or not the finding of the presence of drugs in the drinks of Richelle was necessary to make liable the accused of the crime charged.

Held: No. The drug or substance in question is only corroborative to Richelle’s testimony that she became dizzy and unconscious when the appellant forced her to drink beer and juice. There can be no other conclusion that the appellant mixer a sedative in the beverage which he forced Richelle to drink. It must be stressed that Richelle was then barely 12 y/o. The alcoholic content of the beer must have caused her to feel dizzy and lose consciousness. She was rendered to such steeper, weakness of the body and mind as to prevent effectual resistance and preclude the possibility of consent.

A tests to determine the presence of any sedative on drug in the drinks given to a victim is not an indispensable element in the prosecution for rape.

True, there was no test conducted to determine the presence of any sedative or drug in the drinks given to the victims which caused them to lose momentary control of their faculties. But this is of little consequence as the same is not an indispensable element in the prosecution for rape. Under the circumstances, it suffices that the victim was found to have been unconscious at the time the offender had carnal knowledge of her.

In rape cases, carnal knowledge of the victim by the accused may be proven not only by direct evidence but also by circumstantial evidence, provided that there is more than one circumstances; the facts from which the inferences are derived are proven; the combination of all the circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt.

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