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Civil Law – Persons and Family Relations – Article 37- Incest
Marian Mandap was raped four times by her father, Alejandro Mandap, who was a military man. The first three incidents were not witnessed by anyone because every time her father would rape her, Alejandro would direct her siblings to go elsewhere before doing the heinous crime. In the fourth instance however, Marian’s brother, Marvin, witnessed the evil act. Alejandro ran after Marvin and threatened him that he will kill him if he would tell anyone. The same threat was made by Alejandro to Marian every time.
Marian got pregnant. After giving birth she found an opportunity to report the rape incidents to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
In court, Marian and Marvin testified against their father.
Alejandro attacked the testimonies of Marian and Marvin as he claimed that they are incredible.
ISSUE: Whether or not the testimonies of Marian and Marvin are credible.
HELD: Yes. The Supreme Court agreed with the findings of the trial court which ruled: [t]he testimony of Marian Mandap was direct and straightforward. Her narration of the sordid details of the four (4) occasions that her father raped her was clear and without a hint of fabrication or contrivance. This is punctuated by the testimony of her younger brother, Marvin, who with exemplary courage, exposed the despicable and perverted act of their father in raping Marian. xxx Granting that Marian is not a woman of impeccable virtue, having sired a son without a husband, the Court, nevertheless, cannot believe that she would spin a tale of defloration by her own father, risking public trial, embarrassment and humiliation, unless it was the truth. How about Marvin? What evil motive has he to lie about the rape unless it was true? Are these two children so evil that they would like to send their own father to jail for the rest of his life? For a lie, can they risk public scandal, family shame, humiliation and gossip? In fact, their lack of motive to testify falsely is the best test for the veracity of the rape especially against their own father. While human experience has shown that unfounded charges of rape have frequently been filed, yet in the cases at bar, it could not be so in the absence of ulterior motive.
SIDE ISSUE: Why is incestuous relationship frowned upon?
Man is endued with qualities that place him on the highest level among all living creatures. In his relationship with humans he is guided by a sense of morality. He knows that it is highly immoral for persons so closely related by marriage or by blood to indulge in sexual intercourse. Incestuous relations are abhorrent to the nature of man, not only to civilized men but also to semi-civilized and barbarous people. Also, they tend to confuse rights incident to family relations. Most important of all, science and experience have established beyond cavil that they very often result in deficient and degenerate offsprings, seriously deteriorating the race.