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Mary Grace G. Durana



People v Malapo (294 SCRA 586)

Sometime on September 1991 at Salvacion, Iriga City, Philippines, the accused,
entered the house of one Nenita I. No, aunt of Complainant AMALIA TRINIDAD. The
latter was alone at the house and by means of force and intimidation, the accused did
then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously succeeded in having carnal
knowledge of said Amalia Trinidad against her will and consent and as a result she has
become pregnant and delivered a baby at the Iriga City Puericulture Center.
It appears that Amalia is a retardate and was living under the care of her aunt.
Amalia Trinidad recounted how at around 9:30 in the morning in September 1991, while
she was alone at home, accused-appellant Nixon Malapo entered their house. Amalia
was then cooking. Upon seeing accused-appellant, she tried to run away, but Malapo
caught her hand and brought her to the dining room. The accused-appellant then
caused her to fall on the floor, covered her mouth, and forcibly removed her short pants
and undergarment. Next, he removed his pants, lay on top of her, and forced his sexual
organ into her private part, causing lacerations and bleeding in her vagina. Amalia said
she tried to punch the accused-appellant and to remove his hand from her mouth, but
he was too strong for her. After he had succeeded in having sexual intercourse with her,
accused-appellant left after warning her that he would kill her if she reported the incident
to Mrs. No or to anyone else.
Accused-appellant Nixon Malapo testified on his behalf, basically claiming alibi as his
defense. He presented as witnesses Felipe Edroso and Santos Ramos to corroborate
his claim that he and Ramos worked together as duck watchers hired by Edroso in San
Jose, Buhi, Camarines Sur, about fifteen kilometers away from Salvacion, Iriga City,
from July 1991 until January 1992. And that if he raped the complainant on September
1991, it is not possible for her to give birth to a full term baby by May 1992.
Whether or not the accused Nixon Malapo is guilty of rape defined and penalized
under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code
Yes. The impregnation of a woman is not an element of rape. Proof that the child
was fathered by another man does not show that accused-appellant is not guilty,
considering the positive testimony of Amalia that accused-appellant had abused her.
Under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, rape is committed by having carnal
knowledge of a woman under any of the following circumstances:
(1) By using force or intimidation;
(2) When the woman is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious; and
(3) When the woman is under twelve years of age, even though neither of the
circumstances mentioned in the two next preceding paragraphs shall be present.
It is therefore quite clear that the pregnancy of the victim is not required. For the
conviction of an accused, it is sufficient that the prosecution establish beyond
reasonable doubt that he had carnal knowledge of the offended party and that he had
committed such act under any of the circumstances enumerated above. Carnal
knowledge is defined as the act of a man having sexual bodily connections with a

We hold that the trial court correctly found accused-appellant guilty of rape. However, it
failed to order accused-appellant to pay indemnity. After reciting that, in all criminal
cases, unless the offended party reserves the right to institute a separate civil action,
she has a right to recover civil indemnity, the trial court awarded the complainant in this
case moral damages only.
The decision of the Regional Trial Court is AFFIRMED, with the MODIFICATION that the
accused-appellant is ordered to pay complainant Amalia Trinidad the sum of P50,000.00
as indemnity, in addition to the amount of P50,000.00 granted by the trial court as moral
damages, as well as to acknowledge the filiation of complainants offspring and to give
support, the amount of which shall be determined by the trial court.


People v Medina (G.R. No. 113691, February 6, 1998)

From June to October of 1982, Medina was confined at the National Mental Hospital for
schizophreniform disorder. After his release from the hospital, Medina lived with his
mother and his two children in Batangas. His condition did not seem to improve, though,
according to his relatives. He was referred to Dr. Teresita Adigue, an accredited
psychologist of the Philippine National Police. She testified that on January 20, 1992,
she administered a psychological evaluation on Medina.
On May 20, 1992, Medina attended a party with the victim Dalisay and other friends.
Afterwards, Dalisay invited Andal to go home, with Dalisay walking in front of Larry.
They were waylaid by Medina who stabbed Dalisay. Dalisay fell down and the two
grappled on the ground. Dalisay was able to run away but he was chased and once
more stabbed repeatedly by Medina. Andal was so stunned that he wasnt able to help
Dalisay, who was brought DOA to the hospital.
Upon realizing that he has stabbed a person, accused-appellant surrendered himself
and the weapon on the same evening to the authorities.
Medina used insanity as his defense.
Dr. Adigue testified that the latter has been shown to be suffering from depression and
was exhibiting homicidal tendencies, and that he did not know the difference between
right and wrong. She also affirmed that a person suffering from depression may be
The Trial Court convicted Medina of murder & said that his defense of insanity is not
meritorious since Dr. Adigue was not qualified as an expert witness, that his sisters
testimony didnt constitute sufficient proof of insanity, and that he was actually mentally
agile during trial.
1. Whether or not Medina was insane therefore exempt from criminal liability.
2. Whether or not the trial court erred in not appreciating Medinas voluntary
1. No. The decision was not based on the qualifications of Dr. Adigue as a
doctor but as a witness. What mattered was the failure of Dr. Adigues testimony to
establish the legal insanity of Medina as shown in the results of the tests she conducted
which merely says that Medina has a mild depression and emotional disturbances.
The testimony also did not establish the complete deprivation of reason on Medinas

part. Art. 12, par. 1 of the Revised Penal Code, requires a complete deprivation of
rationality in committing the act; i.e., that the accused be deprived of reason, that there
be no consciousness of responsibility for his acts, or that there be complete absence of
the power to discern. The presumption of law, per Art. 800 of the Civil Code, always lies
in favor of sanity, and, in the absence of proof to the contrary, every person is presumed
to be of sound mind. The defense of insanity or imbecility must be clearly proved.
Hence, in the absence of positive evidence that the accused had previously lost his
reason or was demented moments prior to or during the perpetration of the crime, the
courts will always presume that he was in a normal state of mind. Care must be taken to
distinguish between insanity or lack of reason and failure to use reason or good
judgment due to extreme anger or passion. Moral insanity or mere mental depravity
results not from the disease of the mind but from a perverted condition of the moral
system; person is sane and is not exempted from the criminal liability.
2. The mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender should have been credited
in favor of the appellant. The solicitor general concurs and notes that appellant, after
having earlier given himself up to a certain Col. Faltado, surrendered at midnight on
May 20, 1992, or about an hour after the stabbing incident, to Wilfredo Sevillano, former
desk officer of the Batangas City Police Station. Hence, the evidence sufficiently
established the elements of voluntary surrender, namely: (1) the offender has not been
actually arrested; (2) he surrendered himself to a person in authority or an agent of a
person in authority; and (3) his surrender was voluntary.


People v Bonoan (64 Phil. 93)

In December 1934, Celestino Bonoan met Carlos Guison near a barbershop. Francisco
Beech, who was at the time in the barbershop heard Bonoan say in Tagalog, I will kill
you. Beech turned around & saw Bonoan withdrawing his right hand, which held a
knife, from the side of Guison who said, I will pay you. But Bonoan simply replied
saying that he would kill him & then stabbed Guison three times on the left side. The
incident was witnessed by policeman Damaso Arnoco; Bonoan was arrested on the
same day. A month later, the Prosecuting attorney of Manila filed an information
charging Celestino Bonoan with the crime of murder.
Bonoans defense counsel objected to the arraignment on the ground that the defendant
was mentally deranged and was at the time confined in the psychopathic hospital. The
court issued and order requiring the Director of the hospital to report on Bonoans
mental condition, which was complied with.
Upon his discharged from the hospital, Bonoan was arraigned and pleaded not guilty
and the trial was held. To prove motive and mental normalcy of Bonoan the prosecution
called on Damaso Arnoco who testified that the reason for Bonoans attack was that
Guison owed him P55 and would not pay him back.
Bonoan had bought the knife with which he stabbed Guison for 50 centavos and had
been waiting 2 days to kill him. He acquired this information when he arrested and
questioned Bonoan. Bonoan was charged with the murder of Carlos Guison, and
sentenced him to life imprisonment and to pay P1K to indemnify the heirs of Guison.
The defendant appealed the case and his counsel cited that the lower court had erred in
finding that Bonoan had dementia intermittently and not immediately prior to the
commission of the offense, in finding that the accused did not show any abnormality
either in behavior, action, language, appearance, or action that he was mentally

deranged, in finding that the burden of proof lay in the defendant to prove that he was
mentally deranged at the time of the crime, and in not acquitting Bonoan.
W/N the lower court erred in finding the accused guilty
Yes. The Court finds the accused demented at the time he perpetrated the crime, which
consequently exempts him from criminal liability, and orders for his confinement in San
Lazaro Hospital or other hospital for the insane. This ruling was based on the following
Uncontradicted evidence that accused was confined in the insane department of San
Lazaro Hospital and diagnosed with dementia praecox long before the commission of
the offense and recurrence of ailments were not entirely lacking of scientific foundation.
Persons with dementia praecox are disqualified from legal responsibility because they
have no control of their acts; dementia praecox symptoms similar to manic depression
Accused had an insomnia attack, a symptom leading to dementia praecox, four days
prior to act according to Dr. Francisco.
Accused was sent the Psychopatic hospital on the same day of crime and arrest,
indicating the polices doubt of his mental normalcy.


People v Bascos (44 Phil. 204)

The accused Donato Bascos was charged with the murder of Victoriano Romero while
the latter was sleeping. On arraignment, he entered a plea of not guilty. The defense
was that of insanity.
Bascos' relatives testified that he had been more or less continuously out of his mind for
many years. Doctor Gonzalo Montemayor, assistant district health officer, who, by order
of the judge, examined the accused and conducted an investigation, found that the
accused is a violent maniac, and that from the information he had received from the
neighbors of the accused, the latter had been insane for some time. The physician
expressed the opinion that the accused was probably insane when Victoriano Romero
was killed. The total lack of motive of Bascos to kill Romero bears out the assumption
that the former was insane.
The presiding judge rendered judgment based on Article 100 of the Penal Code finding
the accused guilty of the crime of homicide, and sentencing him to seventeen years,
four months, and one day of reclusion temporal, with the accessory penalties, to
indemnify the heirs of Victoriano Romero in the sum of P1,000, and to pay the costs,
provided, however, that the execution of the sentence should be suspended in
accordance with article 100 of the Penal Code, and the accused placed in a hospital for
the insane, there to remain until such time as his mental condition shall be determined.
Whether or not the trial court erred in finding Bascos guilty of homicide

Yes. We are convinced that the accused was a lunatic when he committed the grave
felony described in the record and that consequently he is exempt from criminal liabity,
and should be confined in an insane asylum.
The defendant acquitted, with costs of both instances de officio; but the defendant shall
be kept in confinement in the San Lazaro Hospital, or such other hospital for the insane
as the Director of Health may direct, and shall not be permitted to depart therefrom
without the prior approval of the Court of First Instance of the Province of Pangasinan.
So ordered.

5. People vs. Formigones (87 Phil. 658)

In November 1946 Formigones was living with his wife and children on his farm in
Camarines Sur. From there they went to live in the house of his half-brother, Zacarias
Formigones to find employment as harvesters of palay. After about a month's stay, late
in the afternoon, Julia was sitting at the head of the stairs of the house. The accused,
without any previous quarrel or provocation whatsoever, took his bolo from the wall of
the house and stabbed his wife, Julia, in the back, the blade penetrating the right lung
and causing a severe hemorrhage resulting in her death not long thereafter. The blow
sent Julia toppling down the stairs to the ground, immediately followed by her husband
Abelardo who, taking her up in his arms, carried her up the house, laid her on the floor
of the living room and then lay down beside her. In this position he was found by the
people who came in response to the shouts for help made by his eldest daughter, Irene
Formigones, who witnessed and testified to the stabbing of her mother by her father.
He was convicted of parricide and was sentenced to prison. The defendant entered a
plea of not guilty. His counsel presented testimonies of two guards of the provincial jail
where defendant was confined. They said that he behaved like an insane person, that
sometimes he would remove his clothes in front of others, would not take a bath, and
remained silent and indifferent to his surroundings. His counsel claimed that e is an
imbecile therefore exempt from criminal liability. Dr. Francisco Gomez told that Abelardo
was suffering only from feeblemindedness and not imbecility and that he could
distinguish right from wrong. An imbecile so as to be exempt from criminal liability, he
must be deprived completely of reason or discernment and freedom of the will at the
time of committing the crime.
WON the defendant who is suffering from feeblemindedness is exempt from criminal
No. In order that an exempting circumstance may be taken into account, it is necessary
that there be a complete deprivation of intelligence in committing the act, that is, that the
accused be deprived of reason; that there be no responsibility for his own acts; that he
acts without the least discernment; that there be a complete absence of the power to
discern, or that there be a total deprivation of freedom of the will. As to the strange
behaviour of the accused during his confinement, assuming that it was not feigned to
stimulate insanity, it may be attributed either to his being feebleminded or eccentric, or
to a morbid mental condition produced by remorse at having killed his wife. He could
distinguish right from wrong.


People vs. Mancao and Aguilar (49 Phil. 887)

This was an appeal by Crispino Mancao and Ciriaco Aguilar from a judgment of the
Court of First Instance of Cebu in convicting them of the crime of homicide, alleging that
the lower court erred in not holding that the accused Ciriaco Aguilar is mentally deficient
and is, therefore, not criminally liable.
The issue ensued when Crispino Mancao, accompanied by three men and several
women, inquired to Graciano Sedimo, Roberto Villelas tenant, and ordered the persons
with him to begin harvesting the corns. Roberto Villela then asked the harvesters who
ordered them to harvest the corn. Crispino Mancao, replied that he was the one who
ordered them to do so and started towards Roberto Villela. The latter then asked the
former if he had an order from the court to harvest the products. Crispino Mancao struck
him with a bamboo stick and said: "This is the order." Thus, Roberto Villela dodged the
blow and snatched the cane. Having been deprived of his bamboo stick, Crispino
Mancao took hold of his bolo and attempted to strike Roberto Villela which the latter
warded off with a stick he had in his hand. Crispino Mancao continued to strike Roberto
Villela inflicting but slight wounds. Upon being attacked, Roberto Villela rushed at
Crispino Mancao and a hand to hand fight ensued. A man dressed in khaki immediately
appeared after Mancao had shouted for help and struck RobertoVillela a blow on the
thigh as a result of which he fell to his knees. Crispino Mancao then took hold of
Roberto Villela by the hands and while thus held, the accused Ciriaco Aguilar struck him
with his sickle in the back as a result of which Roberto Villela fell to the ground
Whether or not Crispino Mancao be acquitted on the crime of homicide for his alleged
mental deficiency and action for self-defence
No. Based on a careful and detailed examination of the oral and documentary evidence
presented by both parties, the antecedents given and the circumstances surrounding
the commission of the criminal act, it has been proven that the accused Crispino
Mancao was the instigator and aggressor. Thus, the allegation of self-defense made by
the accused is groundless because the evidence sufficiently proves that he carried a
stick and a bolo while Roberto Villela was unarmed. Neither can the defense of lack of
free will of the accused Ciriaco Aguilar, who is an epileptic, be sustained. While Ciriaco
Aguilar, as an epileptic, was susceptible to nervous attacks that may momentarily
deprive him of his mental faculties and lead him to unconsciously attempt to take his
own life and the lives of others, nevertheless, it has not been shown that he was under
the influence of an epileptic fit before, during, and immediately after the aggression.
Hence, SC affirmed the decision of the lower court having no errors found on the
judgment of guilty beyond reasonable doubt and each being criminally liable for having
taken direct part in the commission of the crime.


People vs. Taneo (58 Phil. 255)

On January 16, 1932, a fiesta was being celebrated in the said barrio and guests were
entertained in the house, among them were Fred Tanner and Luis Malinao. Early that
afternoon, Potenciano went to sleep and while sleeping, he suddenly got up, left the

room bolo in hand and, upon meeting his wife who tried to stop him, wounded her in the
abdomen. He also attacked Fred and Luis and tried to attack his father, after which, he
wounded himself. Potenciano's wife, who was 7 months pregnant at that time, died five
days later as a result of the wound. The trial court found Potenciano guilty of parricide
and was sentenced to reclusion perpetua.
The defendant stated that when he fell asleep, he dreamed that Collantes was trying to
stab him with a bolo while Abadila held his feet. That's why he got up and it seemed to
him that his enemies were inviting him to come down; he armed himself with a bolo and
left the room. At the door, he me this wife who seemed to say to him that she was
wounded. Then, he fancied seeing his wife really wounded and in desperation wounded
himself. As his enemies seemed to multiply around him, he attacked everybody that
came his way.
Whether or not defendant acted while in a dream.
Yes. The defendant acted while in a dream & his acts, therefore, werent voluntary in
the sense of entailing criminal liability. The apparent lack of motive for committing a
criminal act does not necessarily mean that there are none, but that simply they are not
known to us. Although an extreme moral perversion may lead a man to commit a crime
without a real motive but just for the sake of committing it. In the case at hand, the court
found not only lack of motives for the defendant to voluntarily commit the acts
complained of (read: he loved his wife dearly, he tried to attack his father in whose
house the lived and the guests whom he invited), but also motives for not committing
the acts. Dr. Serafica, an expert witness in the case, stated that considering the
circumstances of the case, the defendant acted while in a dream, under the influence of
a hallucination and not in his right mind. The wife's wound may have been inflicted
accidentally. The defendant did not dream that he was assaulting his wife, but that he
was defending himself from his enemies.

8. People vs. Gimena (55 Phil. 604)

On the morning of April 9, 1930, defendant Gimena helped his father-in-law, Gregorio
Diana, in cleaning bamboo. After having finished the cleaning he went home and upon
arriving there he found his wife Crispina Diana and a child 2 weeks of age sleeping
together on the floor. Shortly afterwards Gregorio Diana heard his daughter, the
defendant's wife, cry for help. He went to the defendant's house which was close to his
own and there found the defendant attacking Crispina with a bolo. With the assistance
of Teodulo Gimena, a brother of the defendant, Gregorio succeeded in disarming the
defendant and tied him to a post of the house.
The defendant said he attacked his wife and received the answer that it was because
she had given the sum of P2.70 to one Apolinar Sereno whom he, the defendant,
suspected of illicit relations with the wife. A few hours later on the same day Crispina
Diana died. The trial court found the defendant guilty of parricide and considering in his
favor the mitigating circumstances of obfuscation and lack of instruction. From this
judgment the defendant appealed.
The appellant's argument in his favor is that he was in a state of somnambulism when
he attacked his wife.

Whether or not somnambulism is a valid defense
No. The doctor who examined him apparently did not discover any somnambulism on
the part of the defendant. A defense of that character must be proven and such proof is
lacking in this case.
The defense that the offense charged was committed by the accused during the
prevalence of or in a state of somnambulism has been recognized; but the latest holding
of courts is to the effect that it does not constitute a defense other than that embraced in
a plea of insanity.


People vs. Baid (G.R. No. 129667. July 31, 2000)

Complainant was a 27-year old single woman, who was diagnosed as having suffered
from schizophrenia since 1988. In December 1996, she was confined at the Holy Spirit
Clinic in Cubao, Quezon City because of a relapse of her mental condition.
Accused-appellant was a nurse-aide of said clinic. On December 22, 1996, at around 3
a.m., accused-appellant sneaked into the patients' room. He woke the complainant up
and offered her a cigarette, at the same time touching her foot. Complainant took the
cigarette. As she smoked it, accused-appellant caressed her and had a sexual
intercourse with the victim with the latters consent.
Complainant was brought later during the day before Dr. Emmanuel Reyes for medicolegal examination. She told him what happened. Dr. Reyes reduced her narration of
the incidentinto writing and then gave her a physical examination. The court found the
accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape defined in and penalized
by Art. 335 of the Revised penal Code as amended by Rep. Act. 7659, and sentenced
the said accused to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. The accused was further
ordered to indemnify the victim the amount of 50,000 as moral damages.
Hence, this petition.
WoN the victim is qualified as a witness to warrant the accused conviction of the crime
of rape.

Yes. The victim is a qualified witness notwithstanding the fact of her mental disorder.
The court ruled that notwithstanding her mental illness, complainant showed that she
was qualified to be a witness, i.e., she could perceive and was capable of making
known her perceptions to others. Her testimony indicates that she could understand
questions particularly relating to the incident and could give responsive answers to
them, it is established that schizophrenic persons do not suffer from a clouding of
consciousness and gross deficits of memory. It has long been settled that a person
should not be disqualified on the basis of mental handicap alone.


People v Lacena (69 Phil 350)

At about 3 oclock in the morning of August 16, 1938, Mariano Dante woke up startled
because his wife, the appellants defendant, who was sick with a high fever, while
saying Patay ka ngayon stabbed him in the abdomen with a pair of scissors. Mariano
eventually died due to acute peritonitis which was triggered b" the inflicted wound. It
was alleged that on the day of the incident, the accused was suffering from high fever.
The appellant was then delirious and rushing to any of those who lived with her in the
house. An examination of her blood was conducted, which was verified on October 12,
1938, and it was found out that she was suffering from Plasmodium falciparum or
malignant malaria.
Whether or not the accused is criminally liable for the crime committed while she is
suffering from high fever due to malignant malaria
No. The Supreme Court ruled that the accused was not criminally liable for the acts
committed while she was suffering from high fever due to malignant malaria for the
same presupposes lack of intelligence and is embraced within the plea of insanity.
According to the Supreme Court, malignant malaria is a disease that causes
disturbance in the nervous system, causing complications including acute melancholia
and insanity at times.
The circumstances in which the appellant stabbed her husband revealed that at the time
of the execution of such act, she was suffering from madness as a result of her illness
and therefore in accordance with the provisions of Article 12 of the Revised Penal, she
has not incurred criminal liability.


Jimenez vs. Republic (109 Phil. 274)

Plaintiff Joel Jimenez prayed for a decree annulling his marriage to the defendant
Remedios Caizares contracted on 3 August 1950 upon the ground that the orifice of
her genitals or vagina was too small to allow the penetration of a male organ for
copulation. For this reason he left the conjugal home two nights and one day after they
had been married. The wife did not file an answer.
The Court ordered the defendant to submit to a physical examination by a competent
lady physician to determine her physical capacity for copulation but she refused.
After hearing, at which the defendant was not present, the Court entered a decree
annulling the marriage between the plaintiff and the defendant.
Whether or not the marriage in question may be annulled on the
strength only of the lone testimony of the husband who claimed and testified that his
wife was and is impotent
No. The lone testimony of the husband that his wife is physically incapable of sexual
intercourse is insufficient to tear asunder the ties that have bound them together as
husband and wife. It was the testimony of the husband who was expected to give

testimony tending or aiming at securing the annulment of his marriage he sought and
Whether the wife was really impotent cannot be deemed to have been satisfactorily
established, because from the commencement of the proceedings until the entry of the
decree she had abstained from taking part therein.


Salita vs. Magtolis (233 SCRA 100)

Erwin Espinosa, 32, and Joselita Salita, 22, were married at the Roman Catholic Church
in Ermita, Manila.2. They separated in fact in 1988. Subsequently, Erwin sued for
annulment on the ground of Joselitas psychological incapacity.
The petition for annulment was filed before the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City.
Therein it is alleged that petitioner came to realize that respondent was psychologically
incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligations of their marriage, which
incapacity existed at the time of the marriage although the same became manifest only
thereafter. "Edwin specified that at the time of their marriage, respondent (Joselita
Salita) was psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligations
of their marriage in that she was unable to understand and accept the demands made
by his profession that of a newly qualified Doctor of Medicine upon petitioners
time and efforts so that she frequently complained of his lack of attention to her even to
her mother, whose intervention caused petitioner to lose his job.4. Dissatisfied with the
allegation in the petition, Joselita moved for a bill of particulars.
She argued that the "assertion (in the Bill of Particulars) is a statement of legal
conclusion made by petitioners counsel and not an averment of ultimate facts, as
required by the Rules of Court, from which such a conclusion may properly be
inferred . . . ." But finding the questioned Billof Particulars adequate, the trial court
issued an order upholding its sufficiency and directing Joselita to file her responsive
She filed a petition for certiorari before the Supreme Court but the SC referred it to the
CA. The CA denied her petition.
WON the Bill of Particulars submitted by herein respondent is of sufficient definiteness
or particularity as to enable herein petitioner to properly prepare her responsive
pleading or for trial.
Yes. A complaint only needs to state the "ultimate facts constituting the plaintiffs cause
or causes of action." Ultimate facts have been defined as "those facts which the
expected evidence will support."
As stated by private respondent, "[t]he term does not refer to the details of probative
matter or particulars of evidence by which these material elements are to be
established." It refers to "the facts which the evidence on the trial will prove, and not the
evidence which will be required to prove the existence of those facts."
And a motion for bill of particulars will not be granted if the complaint, while not very
definite, nonetheless already states a sufficient cause of action. A motion for bill of
particulars may not call formatters which should form part of the proof of the complaint

upon trial. Such information may be obtained by other means. We sustain the view of
respondent Court of Appeals that the Bill of Particulars filed by private respondent is
sufficient to state a cause of action, and to require more details from private respondent
would be to ask for information on evidentiary matters. Indeed, petitioner has already
been adequately apprised of private respondents cause of action against her thus . . .
. (she) was psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligations
of their marriage in that she was unable to understand and accept the demands made
by his profession that of a newly qualified Doctor of Medicine upon petitioners
time and efforts so that she frequently complained of his lack of attention to her even to
her mother, whose intervention caused petitioner to lose his job.
On the basis of the aforequoted allegations, it is evident that petitioner can already
prepare her responsive pleading or for trial. Private respondent has already alleged that
"she (petitioner) was unable to understand and accept the demands made by his
profession . . . upon his time and efforts . . . " Certainly, she can respond to this. To
demand for more details would indeed be asking for information on evidentiary facts
facts necessary to prove essential or ultimate facts. For sure, the additional facts called
for by petitioner regarding her particular acts or omissions would be evidentiary, and to
obtain evidentiary matters is not the function of a motion for bill of particulars.


Chi Ming Tsoi vs. CA (266 SCRA 100)

The defendant admitted that since their marriage on May 22, 1988, until their separation
on March 15, 1989, there was no sexual contact between them. But, the reason for this,
according to the defendant, was that every time he wants to have sexual intercourse
with his wife, she always avoided him and whenever he caresses her private parts, she
always removed his hands. The defendant claims, that he forced his wife to have sex
with him only once but he did not continue because she was shaking and she did not
like it. So he stopped.
Petitioner contended that the lower court erred in concluding that there was no sexual
intercourse between the parties without making any findings of fact:

In holding that the refusal of private respondent to have sexual communion

with petitioner was a psychological incapacity inasmuch as proof thereof is
totally absent.

In holding that the alleged refusal of both the petitioner and the private
respondent to have sex with each other constitutes psychological incapacity
of both.

In affirming the annulment of the marriage between the parties decreed by the
lower court without fully satisfying itself that there was no collusion between

Whether or not the refusal of the petitioner to have sex with his wife constitutes a
Psychological Incapacity and therefore a ground for the annulment of their marriage?
Yes, if a spouse, although physically capable but simply refuses to perform his or her
essential marriage obligations, and the refusal is senseless and constant, Catholic

marriage tribunals attribute the causes to psychological incapacity than to stubborn

refusal. Senseless and protracted refusal is equivalent to psychological incapacity.
Thus, the prolonged refusal of a spouse to have sexual intercourse with his or her
spouse is considered a sign of psychological incapacity.
Evidently, one of the essential marital obligations under the Family Code is "To
procreate children based on the universal principle that procreation of children through
sexual cooperation is the basic end of marriage." Constant non-fulfillment of this
obligation will finally destroy the integrity or wholeness of the marriage. In the case at
bar, the senseless and protracted refusal of one of the parties to fulfill the above marital
obligation is equivalent to psychological incapacity.
The admission that the husband is reluctant or unwilling to perform the sexual act with
his wife whom he professes to love very dearly, and who has not posed any
insurmountable resistance to his alleged approaches, is indicative of a hopeless
situation, and of a serious personality disorder that constitutes psychological incapacity
to discharge the basic marital covenants within the contemplation of the Family Code.
While the law provides that the husband and the wife are obliged to live together,
observe mutual love, respect and fidelity (Art. 68, Family Code), the sanction therefor is
actually the "spontaneous, mutual affection between husband and wife and not any
legal mandate or court order" (Cuaderno vs. Cuaderno, 120 Phil. 1298). Love is useless
unless it is shared with another. Indeed, no man is an island, the cruelest act of a
partner in marriage is to say "I could not have cared less." This is so because an
ungiven self is an unfulfilled self. The egoist has nothing but himself. In the natural
order, it is sexual intimacy which brings spouses wholeness and oneness. Sexual
intimacy is a gift and a participation in the mystery of creation. It is a function which
enlivens the hope of procreation and ensures the continuation of family relations.
It appears that there is absence of empathy between petitioner and private respondent.
That is - a shared feeling which between husband and wife must be experienced not
only by having spontaneous sexual intimacy but a deep sense of spiritual communion.
Marital union is a two-way process. An expressive interest in each other's feelings at a
time it is needed by the other can go a long way in deepening the marital relationship.
Marriage is definitely not for children but for two consenting adults who view the
relationship with love amor gignit amorem, respect, sacrifice and a continuing
commitment to compromise, conscious of its value as a sublime social institution.The
reasoning, or rationale, is the chain of argument which led the judges in either a majority
or a dissenting opinion to rule as they did. This should be outlined point by point in
numbered sentences or paragraphs.


Aurelio vs. Aurelio (G.R. No. 175367)

Petitioner Danilo A. Aurelio and respondent Vida Ma. Corazon Aurelio were married on
March 23, 1988. They have two sons, namely: Danilo Miguel and Danilo Gabriel.
On May 9, 2002, respondent filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Quezon City,
Branch 94, a Petition for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage. In her petition, respondent
alleged that both she and petitioner were psychologically incapacitated of performing
and complying with their respective essential marital obligations. In addition, respondent
alleged that such state of psychological incapacity was present prior and even during
the time of the marriage ceremony. Hence, respondent prays that her marriage be
declared null and void under Article 36 of the Family Code. It alleged among others that

said psychological incapacity was manifested by lack of financial

husband; his lack of drive and incapacity to discern the plight of his
husband exhibited consistent jealousy and distrust towards his
alternated between hostile defiance and contrition. He refused
maintenance of the family.

support from the

working wife. The
wife. His moods
to assist in the

On the side of the wife on the other hand, is effusive and displays her feelings openly
and freely. Her feelings change very quickly from joy to fury to misery to despair,
depending on her day-to-day experiences. Her tolerance for boredom was very low. She
was emotionally immature; she cannot stand frustration or disappointment. She cannot
delay to gratify her needs. She gets upset when she cannot get what she wants. Selfindulgence lifts her spirits immensely. Their hostility towards each other distorted their
relationship. Their incapacity to accept and fulfill the essential obligations of marital life
led to the breakdown of their marriage.
On November 8, 2002, petitioner filed a Motion to Dismiss the petition. Petitioner
principally argued that the petition failed to state a cause of action and that it failed to
meet the standards set by the Court for the interpretation and implementation of Article
36 of the Family Code.
RTC denied the petition. CA affirmed.
Whether or not the marriage shall be declared null and void?
Petition denied. Marriage is null and void.
First, contrary to petitioners assertion, this Court finds that the root cause of
psychological incapacity was stated and alleged in the complaint. We agree with the
manifestation of respondent that the family backgrounds of both petitioner and
respondent were discussed in the complaint as the root causes of their psychological
incapacity. Moreover, a competent and expert psychologist clinically identified the same
as the root causes.
Second, the petition likewise alleged that the illness of both parties was of such grave a
nature as to bring about a disability for them to assume the essential obligations of
marriage. The psychologist reported that respondent suffers from Histrionic Personality
Disorder with Narcissistic Features. Petitioner, on the other hand, allegedly suffers from
Passive Aggressive (Negativistic) Personality Disorder. The incapacity of both parties to
perform their marital obligations was alleged to be grave, incorrigible and incurable.
Lastly, this Court also finds that the essential marital obligations that were not complied
with were alleged in the petition. As can be easily gleaned from the totality of the
petition, respondents allegations fall under Article 68 of the Family Code which states
that the husband and the wife are obliged to live together, observe mutual love, respect
and fidelity, and render mutual help and support.


Te vs. Te (G.R. No. 175367)

The parties whirlwind relationship lasted more or less six (6) months. They met in
January 1996, eloped in March, exchanged marital vows in May, and parted ways in
June. After almost four years, or on January 18, 2000, Edward filed a petition before the

Regional Trial Court (RTC) Quezon City for the annulment of his marriage to Rowena
on the basis of the latters psychological incapacity. The psychologist who provided
expert testimony found both parties psychologically incapacitated. Petitioners
behavioral pattern falls under the classification of dependent personality disorder, and
the respondents, that of the narcissistic and antisocial personality disorder.
The trial court, on July 30, 2001, rendered its decision declaring the marriage of the
parties null and void on the ground that both parties were psychologically incapacitated
to comply with the essential marital obligations. On review, the appellate court reversed
and set aside the trials court ruling. It ruled that petitioner failed to prove the
psychological incapacity of respondent, for the clinical psychologist did not personally
examine respondent, and relied only on the information provided by petitioner. Further,
the psychological incapacity was not shown to be attended by gravity, juridical
antecedence and incurability. In sum, the evidence adduced fell short of the
requirements stated in the Molina case needed for the declaration of nullity of the
marriage under Art. 36 of the Family Code. Dissatisfied, petitioner filed before the SC
the instant petition for review on certiorari. He posited that the trial court declared the
marriage void, not only because of respondents psychological incapacity, but rather due
to both parties psychological incapacity. He also pointed out that there is no
requirement for the psychologist to personally examine respondent.
Whether, based on Article 36 of the Family Code, the marriage between the parties is
null and void?
The petition for review for certiorari was granted. The decision of the CA was reversed
and set aside, and the decision of the trial court was reinstated. Both parties afflicted
with grave, severe and incurable psychological incapacity, the precipitous marriage is,
thus, declared null and void. For the fulfillment of the obligations of marriage depends
on the strength of this interpersonal relationship. A serious incapacity for interpersonal
sharing and support is held to impair the relationship and consequently, the ability to
fulfill the essential marital obligations.
The root cause of the psychological incapacity must be (a) medically or clinically
identified, (b) alleged in the complaint, (c) sufficiently proven by experts and (d) clearly
explained in the decision. Article 36 of the Family Code requires that the incapacity must
be psychological not physical, although its manifestations and/or symptoms may be
In dissolving the marital bonds on account of either partys psychological incapacity, the
Court is not demolishing the foundation of families, but it is actually protecting the
sanctity of marriage, because it refuses to allow a person afflicted with a psychological
disorder, who cannot comply with or assume the essential marital obligations, from
remaining that sacred bond. Let it be noted that in Art. 36, there is no marriage to speak
of in the first place, as the same is void from the very beginning.


People v Cruz (G.R. No. 186129, August 4, 2009)

On June 6, 1998, AAA, then a nine-year old, was at her house watching television with
her cousin Jady. It was past three in the afternoon when Jady left to go to her
grandmothers house. Upon her departure, Cruz abruptly entered the house and turned

off the television. He closed the windows and told AAA to remove her shorts. She did as
instructed. Cruz later kissed AAA and touched her vagina. She felt pain as he inserted
his penis into her vagina. She did not do anything, however, as she was fearful of Cruz.
To intimidate her further, Cruz threatened to kill her should she report what had just
happened. He then left in a hurry and closed the door of the house.
AAA tried her best to keep the rape a secret as she was terrified that Cruz would
comeback and kill her. Nevertheless, she told her mother BBB what happened to her a
few months later. BBB subsequently told Cruzs wife of what she had just discovered.
Thereafter, BBB took her daughter to the barangay hall and then to the police station to
report the matter to the authorities. A medical examination was conducted on AAA by Dr.
Winston Tan. His report showed that AAA had two hymenal lacerations. Accused Jesus
Paragas Cruz was then found guilty beyond reasonable doubt by the RTC of Paraaque
for the crime of Rape. In an appeal before the Court of Appeals, RTCs decision was
affirmed, hence this appeal.
Whether or not the court erred in finding the accused-appellant guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of the crime of rape?
The appeal is DENIED. The CAs Decision finding accused-appellant JesusParagas
Cruz guilty of statutory rape is affirmed with the modification that the award of
exemplary damages is increased to P30,000.
Courts use the following principles in deciding rape cases: (1) an accusation of rape can
be made with facility; it is difficult to prove but more difficult for the person accused,
though innocent, to disprove; (2) due to the nature of the crime of rape in which only two
persons are usually involved, the testimony of the complainant must be scrutinized with
extreme caution; and (3) the evidence for the prosecution must stand or fall on its own
merits and cannot be allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the evidence for
the defense. Due to the nature of this crime, conviction for rape may be solely based on
the complainants testimony provided it is credible, natural, convincing, and consistent
with human nature and the normal course of things.
The crime of rape, under the old provisions of the Revised Penal Code, was considered
a "Crime against Chastity," implying that only "virtuous" or "chaste" women can be
victims of rape. More emphasis was placed on the "loss of chastity" of a woman or the
denigration of her "value" and the staining of her honor, rather than a violation of her
being. It was considered a private crime, and only the injured party or specific family
members could file a complaint against the perpetrator.
The Supreme Court laid down requirements for domestic violence, so defined, has
many forms, including physical aggression or assault or threats thereof; sexual abuse;
emotional abuse; controlling or domineering; intimidation; stalking; passive/covert
abuse; and economic deprivation. One of the crimes that fall under this category is rape,
under the law it is classified as a crime against chastity and is committed by having
carnal knowledge of a woman by a man using force and intimidation; when the woman
is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious. The following classifications are
present in the case of People of the Philippines v. Jesus Paragas Cruz where the
accused locked the house with only him and the nine year old victim inside. He told the
victim to remove her shorts. Then he later kissed and touched her vagina. Lastly, the
accused inserted his organ to the victims organ.


Agustin vs. CA & Martin (G.R. No. 162571, June 15, 2005)

Respondents Fe Angela and her son Martin Prollamante sued Martins alleged
biological father, petitioner Arnel Agustin, for support and support pendente lite before
the Quezon City RTC.
In their complaint, respondents alleged that Arnel courted Fe, after which they entered
into an intimate relationship. Arnel supposedly impregnated Fe on her 34th birthday but
despite Arnels insistence on abortion, Fe decided to give birth to their child out of
wedlock, Martin. The babys birth certificate was purportedly signed by Arnel as the
father. Arnel shouldered the pre-natal and hospital expenses but later refused Fes
repeated requests for Martins support despite his adequate financial capacity and even
suggested to have the child committed for adoption. Arnel also denied having fathered
the child.
On January 2001, while Fe was carrying five-month old Martin at the Capitol Hills Golf
and Country Club parking lot, Arnel sped off in his van, with the open car door hitting
Fes leg. This incident was reported to the police. Several months later, Fe was
diagnosed with leukemia and has, since then, been undergoing chemotherapy. Fe and
Martin then sued Arnel for support.
Fe and Martin moved for the issuance of an order directing all the parties to submit
themselves to DNA paternity testing, which Arnel opposed by invoking his constitutional
right against self-incrimination and moving to dismiss the complaint for lack of cause of
The trial court denied the MTD and ordered the parties to submit themselves to DNA
paternity testing at the expense of the applicants. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial
court, thus this petition.
W/N the respondent court erred in denying the petitioners MTD
W/N the court erred in directing parties to subject to DNA paternity testing and was a
form of unreasonable search
1. No. The trial court properly denied the petitioners motion to dismiss because the
private respondents complaint on its face showed that they had a cause of action
against the petitioner. The elements of a cause of action are: (1) the plaintiffs primary
right and the defendants corresponding primary duty, and (2) the delict or wrongful act
or omission of the defendant, by which the primary right and duty have been violated.
The cause of action is determined not by the prayer of the complaint but by the facts
2. No. In Ople v. Torres,the Supreme Court struck down the proposed national
computerized identification system embodied in Administrative Order No. 308, we said:
In no uncertain terms, we also underscore that the right to privacy does not bar all
incursions into individual privacy. The right is not intended to stifle scientific and
technological advancements that enhance public service and the common good...
Intrusions into the right must be accompanied by proper safeguards that enhance public
service and the common good.

Historically, it has mostly been in the areas of legality of searches and seizures, and the
infringement of privacy of communication where the constitutional right to privacy has
been critically at issue. Petitioners case involves neither and, as already stated, his
argument that his right against self-incrimination is in jeopardy holds no water.

18. Lucas v Lucas (G.R. No. 190710, June 6, 2011)

Petitioner, Jesse Lucas filed a Petition to Establish Filiation with a Motion for the
Submission of Parties to DNA Testing before the Regional Trial Court (RTC). Jesse
alleged that he is the son of his mother Elsie who got acquainted with respondent,
Jesus S. Lucas in Manila. He also submitted documents which include (a) petitioners
certificate of live birth; (b) petitioners baptismal certificate; (c) petitioners college
diploma, showing that he graduated from Saint Louis University in Baguio City with a
degree in Psychology; (d) his Certificate of Graduation from the same school; (e)
Certificate of Recognition from the University of the Philippines, College of Music; and
(f) clippings of several articles from different newspapers about petitioner, as a musical
Jesus learned of this and he filed a Special Appearance and Comment manifesting that
the petition was adversarial in nature and therefore summons should be served on him.
Meanwhile, Jesse filed a Very Urgent Motion to Try and Hear the Case which the RTC
found to be sufficient in form and hence set the case for hearing. Jesus filed a Motion
for Reconsideration arguing that DNA testing cannot be had on the basis of a mere
allegation pointing to him as Jesses father.
Acting on Jesus Motion for Reconsideration, the RTC dismissed the case and held that
Jesse failed to establish compliance with the four procedural aspects for a paternity
action enumerated in the case of Herrera v. Alba namely, a prima facie case, affirmative
defences, presumption of legitimacy, and physical resemblance between the putative
father and the child.
This prompted Jesse to file a Motion for Reconsideration which the RTC granted. A new
hearing was scheduled where the RTC held that ruling on the grounds relied upon by
Jesse for filing the instant petition is premature considering that a full-blown trial has not
yet taken place. Jesus filed a Motion for Reconsideration which was denied by the RTC.
He then filed a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals (CA). The CA ruled in
favour of Jesus, it noted that Jesse failed to show that the four significant aspects of a
traditional paternity action had been met and held that DNA testing should not be
allowed when the petitioner has failed to establish a prima facie case.
Whether a prima facie showing is necessary before a court can issue a DNA testing
Yes, but it is not yet time to discuss the lack of a prima facie case vis--vis the motion
for DNA testing since no evidence has, as yet, been presented by petitioner.
Misapplication of Herrera v. Alba by the Regional Trial Court and the Court of Appeals.
The statement in Herrera v. Alba that there are four significant procedural aspects in a
traditional paternity case which parties have to face has been widely misunderstood and
misapplied in this case. A party is confronted by these so-called procedural aspects
during trial, when the parties have presented their respective evidence. They are

matters of evidence that cannot be determined at this initial stage of the proceedings,
when only the petition to establish filiation has been filed. The CAs observation that
petitioner failed to establish a prima facie case is herefore misplaced. A prima facie case
is built by a partys evidence and not by mere allegations in the initiatory pleading.
Section 4 of the Rule on DNA Evidence merely provides for conditions that are aimed to
safeguard the accuracy and integrity of the DNA testing. It states that the appropriate
court may, at any time, either motu proprio or on application of any person, who has a
legal interest in the matter in litigation, order a DNA testing. Such order shall issue after
due hearing and notice to the parties upon a showing of the following: (a) A biological
sample exists that is relevant to the case;(b) The biological sample: (i) was not
previously subjected to the type of DNA testing now requested; or (ii) was previously
subjected to DNA testing, but the results may require confirmation for good reasons; (c)
The DNA testing uses a scientifically valid technique; (d) The DNA testing has the
scientific potential to produce new information that is relevant to the proper resolution of
the case; and (e) The existence of other factors, if any, which the court may consider as
potentially affecting the accuracy or integrity of the DNA testing. This Rule shall not
preclude a DNA testing, without need of a prior court order, at the behest of any party,
including law enforcement agencies, before a suit or proceeding is commenced. This
does not mean, however, that a DNA testing order will be issued as a matter of right if,
during the hearing, the said conditions are established.
In some states, to warrant the issuance of the DNA testing order, there must be a show
cause hearing wherein the applicant must first present sufficient evidence to establish a
prima facie case or a reasonable possibility of paternity or good cause for the holding
of the test. In these states, a court order for blood testing is considered a search,
which, under their Constitutions (as in ours), must be preceded by a finding of probable
cause in order to be valid. Hence, the requirement of a prima facie case, or reasonable
possibility, was imposed in civil actions as a counterpart of a finding of probable cause.
Courts in various jurisdictions have differed regarding the kind of procedures which are
required, but those jurisdictions have almost universally found that a preliminary
showing must be made before a court can constitutionally order compulsory blood
testing in paternity cases. We agree, and find that, as a preliminary matter, before the
court may issue an order for compulsory blood testing, the moving party must show that
there is a reasonable possibility of paternity. As explained hereafter, in cases in which
paternity is contested and a party to the action refuses to voluntarily undergo a blood
test, a show cause hearing must be held in which the court can determine whether there
is sufficient evidence to establish a prima facie case which warrants issuance of a court
order for blood testing The same condition precedent should be applied in our
jurisdiction to protect the putative father from mere harassment suits. Thus, during the
hearing on the motion for DNA testing, the petitioner must present prima facie evidence
or establish a reasonable possibility of paternity.


Perla vs. Baring and Perla (G.R. No. 172471, November 12, 2012)

Mirasol (and Randy) filed before the RTC a Complaint for support against Antonio.
According to Mirasol, she and Antonio had a common law relationship for 2 years, and
that Randy was the result of their affair.
Randy was made to testify in Court, he said that he has been in the house of his Aun
tLelita (sister of Antonio) and that the Perla family treated him as a member of their
family. Antonio denied Mirasols allegations, saying that Randy isnt his (he came in
Manila only after his graduation in 1981 and He claimed that he had sexual intercourse

with Mirasol only once which happened in the month of September or October of 1981).
Antonio also said that Randys birth certificate has a lot of inaccuracies.
RTC: Antonio was ordered to support Randy (as illegitimate child).
CA: Upheld RTC decision.
Whether or not Randy is entitled to receive support from Antonio.
NO. Respondents failed to establish Randys illegitimate filiation to Antonio. The rules
for establishing filiation are found in Articles 172 and 175 of the Family Code which
provide as follows:
Article 172. The filiation of legitimate children is established by any of the following:
(1) The record of birth appearing in the civil register or a final judgment; or
(2) An admission of legitimate filiation in a public document or a private handwritten
instrument and signed by the parent concerned. In the absence of the foregoing
evidence, the legitimate filiation shall be proved by:
(1) The open and continuous possession of the status of a legitimate child; or (2) Any
other means allowed by the Rules of Court and special laws.
x x x x Article 175. Illegitimate children may establish their illegitimate filiation in the
same way and on the same evidence as legitimate children.
Respondents presented the Certificate of Live Birth of Randy identifying Antonio as the
father. However, said certificate has no probative value to establish Randys filiation to
Antonio since the latter had not signed the same. It is settled that [a] certificate of live
birth purportedly identifying the putative father is not competent evidence of paternity
when there is no showing that the putative father had a hand in the preparation of said
certificate.61 We also cannot lend credence to Mirasols claim that Antonio supplied
certain information through Erlinda. Aside from Antonios denial in having any
participation in the preparation of the document as well as the absence of his signature
thereon, respondents did not present Erlinda to confirm that Antonio indeed supplied
certain entries in Randys birth certificate. Besides, the several unexplained
discrepancies in Antonios personal circumstances as reflected in the subject birth
certificate are manifestations of Antonios non-participation in its preparation. Most
important, it was Mirasol who signed as informant thereon which she confirmed on the
witness stand.

20. In Re: The Writ of Habeas Corpus for Reynaldo de Villa (Detained at New
Bilibid Prison, Muntinlupa City) Reynaldo de Villa, Petitioner, June de Villa,
Petitioner-Relator, vs. The New Director, New Bilibid Prison, Respondent. (G.R.
No. 158802, November 17, 2004)
At about 10 in the morning, 12-year old Aileen Mendoza woke up to find De Villa on top
of her. She was unable to call for help because De Villa covered her mouth with a pillow
and threatened to kill her. He then proceeded to rape her and eventually Aileen became

pregnant. Her mother noticed the pregnancy and confronted her about it, and Aileen
eventually admitted that she was raped by De Villa. A criminal complaint was then filed
against the petitioner by Aileens parents. Aileen was examined by Dr. Cosidon, who
confirmed her pregnancy (she was already 8 months pregnant at that time), and found
healed lacerations in her hymen. During the trial, De Villa pleaded not guilty because at
the time of the alleged rape, he was already 67 years old, and was incapable of an
erection. He also interposed an alibi that he was not in the scene of the crime at the
time of the rape. De Villa was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt by the trial court for
the rape of Aileen Mendoza, his niece by affinity, and was sentenced to suffer the
penalty of reclusion perpetua, as well as the payment of civil indemnity, moral damages,
costs of the suit, and support for Leahlyn Corales Mendoza, the putative child born of
the rape. Three years after the decision, June (the son of Reynaldo) alleged that during
the trial of the case, he was unaware that there was a scientific test that could
determine whether Reynaldo was Leahlyns father.
They sought for DNA testing to resolve the issue of paternity, but the same was denied.
At the petitioners insistence, they gathered samples from Leahlyn, from the
grandchildren of Reynaldo, and from Reynaldo himself and was submitted to the DNA
Laboratory. The DNA Laboratory rendered a preliminary report showing that there was
no match between the DNA samples.
Was the DNA result a valid basis for habeas corpus, new trial, and acquittal?
(1) As to Habeas Corpus:
The most basic criterion for the issuance of the writ, therefore, is that the
individual seeking such relief be illegally deprived of his freedom of movement or
placed under some form of illegal restraint. If an individual's liberty is restrained
via some legal process, the writ of habeas corpus is unavailing. In the recent
case of Feria v. Court of Appeals, the court ruled that review of a judgment of
conviction is allowed in a petition for the issuance of the writ of habeas corpus
only in very specific instances, such as when, as a consequence of a judicial
proceeding, (a) there has been a deprivation of a constitutional right resulting in
the restraint of a person; (b) the court had no jurisdiction to impose the sentence;
or (c) an excessive penalty has been imposed, as such sentence is void as to
such excess. This Court stated the general rule that the writ of habeas corpus is
not a writ of error, and should not be thus used.
(2) As to new trial:
A motion for new trial based on newly-discovered evidence may be granted only
if the following requisites are met: (a) that the evidence was discovered after trial;
(b) that said evidence could not have been discovered and produced at the trial
even with the exercise of reasonable diligence; (c) that it is material, not merely
cumulative, corroborative or impeaching; and (d) that the evidence is of such
weight that, if admitted, it would probably change the judgment.
Petitioner-relator's claim that he was "unaware" of the existence of DNA testing
until the trial was concluded carries no weight with this Court. Lack of knowledge
of the existence of DNA testing speaks of negligence, either on the part of
petitioner, or on the part of petitioner's counsel. In either instance, however, this
negligence is binding upon petitioner. As to acquittal: Even with all of the
compelling and persuasive scientific evidence presented by petitioner and his
counsel, we are not convinced that Reynaldo de Villa is entitled to outright
acquittal. As correctly pointed out by the Solicitor General, even if it is

conclusively proven that Reynaldo de Villa is not the father of Leahlyn Mendoza,
his conviction could, in theory, still stand, with Aileen Mendozas testimony and
positive identification as its bases. The Solicitor General reiterates, and correctly
so, that the pregnancy of the victim has never been an element of the crime of
rape. Therefore, the DNA evidence has failed to conclusively prove to this Court
that Reynaldo de Villa should be discharged. Although petitioner claims that
conviction was based solely on a finding of paternity of the child Leahlyn, this is
not the case. The courts conviction was based on the clear and convincing
testimonial evidence of the victim, which, given credence by the trial court, was
affirmed on appeal.