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APOSTOL

1-H

RENATO BALEROS, JR., petitioner, vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondent.

G.R. No. 138033

February 22, 2006

FACTS:

Version of the private complainant (Martina Lourdes Albanao (Malou)):

Malou, a UST Med Student, lives in room 307 at Celestial Marie Building in Lacson St, Manila in
1991.

In the evening of December 12, Malou slept at around 10:30 pm, and right in front of her bedroom
door is where her maid Marvilou, slept (on a folding bed).

Early morning of Dec 13, Malou was awakened by smell of chemical on a piece of cloth pressed
on her face. She struggled but couldnt move since someone was pinning her down on the bed,
holding her tightly. She wanted to scream for help but the hands cover her mouth with cloth wet
with chemicals were very tight. Still, Malou continued to fight by kicking him until her right hand
got free. With this this, she was able to grab hold of his sex organ then squeezed.

The man let her go, and Malou went straight to the bedroom doom and roused Marvilou. Over the
intercom, Malou told S/G Ferolin that: "may pumasok sa kuarto ko pinagtangkaan ako. Who it
was she did not, however, know. The only thing she had made out during their struggle was the
feel of her attacker's clothes and weight. His upper garment was of cotton material while that at
the lower portion felt smooth and satin-like. He . . . was wearing a t-shirt and shorts

Malou, then, proceeded to go to Room 310 to seek help from her classmates Christian Alcala,
Bernard Baptista, Lutgardo Acosta, and Rommel Montes.

It was then when Malou saw her bed topsy-turvy. Her nightdress was stained with blue. Her
room had a window with grills which she had originally left opened. Another window inside her
bedroom was now open, this window had no iron grills, which the attacker used to fled from her
room to go to the left bedroom, Room 306.

Xxx xxx xx

Chito is a classmate of Malou, and they are just friends. A week prior to the attack, Chito confided
his feelings for her telling her: Gusto kita, mahal kita, but she rejected him.

According to S/G Ferolin, the guard on duty at the night of the crime, Chito arrived at the building
at 1:30 in the early morning of Dec 13, 1991, wearing a white t-shirt with "'. . . a marking on the
front of the T-shirt T M and a Greek letter SF' and below the quoted letters the word '1946' 'UST
Medicine and Surgery'" and black shorts with the brand name "Adidas" and requested permission
to go up to Room 306. This Unit was being leased by Ansbert Co and at that time when CHITO
was asking permission to enter, only Joseph Bernard Africa was in the room.

Joseph was already inside room 306 at 9 in the evening of Dec 12. By the time Chitos knocking
on the door woke him up, he saw that it was still 1:30 am. He noticed that Chito was wearing dark-
colored shorts and white t-shirt.

Around 3 am, he was awakened again by someone knocking, this time it was Bernard Baptista.
They went to Malous room and was shown the open window through which the intruder
supposedly passed.

At 6 am of the day, Joseph mentioned to Chito that something had happened and they were not
allowed to get out of the building. He also told Chito to follow him to Room 310. He did, carrying
his gray bad.

People from CIS cam before 8 am, and invited Chito and Joseph to ge with them to Camp Crame
where two of them were questioned.

Christian Alcala, occoupant of room 310 recalled that in the afternoon of Dec 13, after their class,
he and his roommates Bernard and Gary were called to the building and were asked by the CIS
people to look for anything not belonging to them in their unit. Loyloy, another roommate, found
a gray Khumbella bag cloth type inside which they did not know was there, and surrender the
same to the investigators.

Christian knew right away that it belonged to Chito since he usually brings it to school.

In their presence, CIS opened the bag and pulled out its contents which contain: a white t-shirt
with Taunu Sigma Phi sign, a Black Adidas short pants, a handkerchief, 3 white thsirts, an
underwear, and socks.

The forensic Chemist, Leslie Chambers, of the Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory in
Camp Crame,.) conducted laboratory examination on the specimen collated and submitted. She
found that the Specimen Exh C-one night dress colored salmon pink, and specimen Exh D- one
printed handkerchief were both positive with chloroform, a volatile poison.

Chitos version:

Chito denied committing the crime or making at any time amorous advances on Malou.
On Dec 12, Chito, from froom 306 of Celestial Marie Building, wearing barong tagalog over dark
pants and leather shoes, arrived at their Frat house in Dos Castillas, Sampaloc at 7 pm. He was
included in the entourage of some fifty frat members scheduled for Chritmas gathering.
At the chritmas party, he got dunked into the ppol, so Perla Duran offered dry clothes to change
into. So Chito put on the white tshit with his Frtas symbol, and a pair of shorts.

Chito left the party and arrived at Celestial Marie at around 1:30 am. He had left his gray traveling
bag at room 306 in the afternoon of the previous day.

Chito denied that he placed his black Adidas shorts in his gray bag. In fact, he was not aware that
his gray bag contains any black Adidas short pants.

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On December 14, 1994, trial court convicted Chito of attempted rape.

Petitoner moved for recon, motion denied by CA.

Petitoner filed review for certiorari.

ISSUE: WON petitioner is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of attempted rape.

HELD: No, Under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, rape is committed by a man who has
carnal knowledge or intercourse with 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 or is demented.

Under Article 6, in relation to the aforementioned article of the same code, rape is attempted when
the offender commences the commission of rape directly by overt acts and does not perform all
the acts of execution which should produce the crime of rape by reason of some cause or accident
other than his own spontaneous desistance.

There is absolutely no dispute about the absence of sexual intercourse or carnal knowledge in the
present case. The next question that thus comes to the fore is whether or not the act of the
petitioner, i.e., the pressing of a chemical-soaked cloth while on top of Malou, constitutes an
overt act of rape.

Harmonizing the above definition to the facts of this case, it would be too strained to construe
petitioner's act of pressing a chemical-soaked cloth in the mouth of Malou which would induce her
to sleep as an overt act that will logically and necessarily ripen into rape. As it were, petitioner did
not commence at all the performance of any act indicative of an intent or attempt to rape Malou.
It cannot be overemphasized that petitioner was fully clothed and that there was no attempt on his
part to undress Malou, let alone touch her private part. For what reason petitioner wanted the
complainant unconscious, if that was really his immediate intention, is anybody's guess.
In Perez vs. Court of Appeals, the Court acquitted therein petitioner of the crime of attempted rape,
pointing out that:

. . . . In the crime of rape, penetration is an essential act of execution to produce


the felony. Thus, for there to be an attempted rape, the accused must have
commenced the act of penetrating his sexual organ to the vagina of the victim
but for some cause or accident other than his own spontaneous desistance, the
penetration, however, slight, is not completed.

NOTE:

Court is not saying that petitioner is innocent, under the premises, of any wrongdoing whatsoever.
While the series of acts committed by the petitioner do not determine attempted rape, as earlier
discussed, they constitute unjust vexation punishable as light coercion under the second paragraph
of Article 287 of the Revised Penal Code.

To be sure, the information against petitioner contains sufficient details to enable him to make his
defense. As aptly observed by then Justice Ramon C. Aquino, there is no need to allege malice,
restraint or compulsion in an information for unjust vexation. As it were, unjust vexation exists
even without the element of restraint or compulsion for the reason that this term is broad enough
to include any human conduct which, although not productive of some physical or material harm,
would unjustly annoy or irritate an innocent person.

The paramount question is whether the offender's act causes annoyance, irritation, torment, distress
or disturbance to the mind of the person to whom it is directed. That Malou, after the incident in
question, cried while relating to her classmates what she perceived to be a sexual attack and the
fact that she filed a case for attempted rape proved beyond cavil that she was disturbed, if not
distressed by the acts of petitioner. S

The penalty for coercion falling under the second paragraph of Article 287 of the Revised Penal
Code is arresto menor or a fine ranging from P5.00 to P200.00 or both.