Criminal Law

People of the Philippines vs Romeo Manluctao

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G.R. Nos. 143760-63 – 404 SCRA 580 – Criminal Law – Book 1 – Aggravating Circumstance – Relationship

Romeo Manluctao was indicted four times for the rape of his own daughter, Marcelina Manluctao. He was positively identified by his daughter who was then a minor. Also the minor child gave birth to a child as a result of the rape. Manluctao pleaded guilty and death penalty was imposed upon him after trial.

ISSUE: Whether or not to appreciate “relationship” as an aggravating circumstance.

HELD: No. Incestuous rape is a psycho-social deviance that inflicts stigma, not only on the victim but on the entire family as well. It is, therefore, highly improbable for a young girl with no record of sexual perversity to file charges of serial rape against her very own father, which are so humiliating not only to herself, but also to her family, if said charges were untrue. Hence, a rape victim’s testimony as to who abused her is credible where she has absolutely no motive to incriminate and testify falsely against the accused and provided said testimony is candid, spontaneous, and straightforward. However, it appears that this aggravating circumstance was not alleged in the informations. As a rule, all aggravating circumstances should be alleged in the Information filed by the prosecutor against the accused. Otherwise, this would constitute a violation of his right to know the nature and cause of the accusation against him. His penalty is then reduced to reclusion perpetua.

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