Let us visit a 2000 Supreme Court case involving a 13-year old girl from Bulacan who was raped in a manner considered by “few” as very unorthodox.

The facts of the case

Between 9:00 and 10:00 in the morning of October 5, 1993, Marites was watching television inside their house at Ligas, Malolos, Bulacan, when Jesus Tanail (accused), knocked at the door and requested that he be allowed to watch television. Marites was alone because her mother, Narcisa, was washing clothes at the Villapa residence in Guiguinto, Bulacan while her father, Rosendo was out in the field, farming.

Since Marites was familiar with the accused who was occupying a small room adjacent to the kitchen of their house, she opened the door and let him in.

Once inside the house, the accused immediately closed the door and pointed a kitchen knife at Marites. He took off her panties, tied her hands and feet, placed a rag inside her mouth and brought her inside her room.

In her room, the accused told Marites to kneel on top of the bed. He ordered her to bend with her chest touching the bed and had sexual intercourse with her in a “dog-style” manner. Marites was ordered to kneel on top of her bed, while the accused was behind her, standing. Her face was touching the bed and her buttocks were raised. In this position, the accused spread her legs and inserted his penis into her vagina. Though Marites felt pain when the accused inserted his penis into her vagina, she could not shout because her mouth was gagged.

After the sexual assault, the accused untied Marites hands and feet and threatened her that she would be killed if she told anyone about the incident. Out of fear, she did not tell her parents.brando

Marites was repeatedly raped by the accused thereafter.  It only stopped when her parents came to know about the rape sometime in January of the following year.

Narcisa S. dela Cruz, mother of the victim, was working at the Villapa residence in Masagana, Sta. Rita, Guiguinto, Bulacan on January 7, 1994 when her sister-in-law Viring fetched her because Marites was not feeling well. Marites was then tending the store of Viring in Plaridel, Bulacan. They immediately brought Marites to the County Hospital in Sabang, Plaridel, Bulacan where they learned that she was pregnant. When she confronted her daughter to ask who was responsible for her pregnancy, Marites told her that it was the accused. Thereafter, they went to the Malolos police station and filed a complaint.

During the trial, Marites demonstrated in court how she had been sexually abused:

“Q: And can you tell us, can you demonstrate before this Court the exact position, your position and that of the accused when the accused at that time was inserting his penis into your vagina?

“A: Yes, sir.

“FISCAL: May we make it of record, Your Honor, that the witness step down from the witness stand and assumed in kneeling position (demonstrating the position) and the accused was at her back at that time the witness was on top of her bed and the accused was down on the floor.

“Q: How did the accused perform the assault? novero

“A: He spread my legs, sir.

“Q: How did the accused spread your legs when you were tied?

“A: My face was touching the bed, sir.

(Witness demonstrating again how it was done)

“FISCAL: “We make it of record, Your Honor, that the head of the witness was on top of the floor and her buttocks was raised.”

After trial, the trial court rendered decision finding the accused guilty of rape.

The Decision of the Supreme Court

The accused claimed that the trial court was wrong in finding him guilty. He argued, among others, that Marites’ story of rape was merely concocted considering that more than three months had lapsed before she reported the alleged rape and that contrary to Marites’ claim that she was a virgin, no blood oozed from her vagina.

When the court reached the Supreme Court, it affirmed the decision of the trial court.

The Court said that “the failure of the victim to immediately report a rape is not an indication of a fabricated charge.”

The Court has again reiterated its oft-repeated adage that “A girl of such age as the victim would not concoct a tale of defloration, allow the examination of her private parts, and undergo the expense, trouble, inconvenience, not to mention the trauma, of a public trial, unless she was in fact raped.”

Accused pointed out that there was a contradiction to Marites’ testimony when she claimed that she was a virgin the first time she was raped because no blood oozed from her vagina.

The Court did not buy it.

“Any prior sexual encounter (other than that with the alleged rapist) which could have resulted in hymenal lacerations is entirely immaterial, for virginity is not an element of rape under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code”, the Court said.

The accused was eventually sentenced to reclusion perpetua and ordered to indemnify the victim Marites S. de la Cruz in the amount of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity, plus P50,000.00 moral damages. (Source: People vs. Tanail [G.R. No. 125279. January 28, 2000]) See: Case Digest

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