“Among the duties assumed by the husband are his duties to love, cherish and protect his wife, to give her a home, to provide her with the comforts and the necessities of life within his means, to treat her kindly and not cruelly or inhumanely. He is bound to honor her x x x; it is his duty not only to maintain and support her, but also to protect her from oppression and wrong.” (26 Am Jur SSS, p. 636)

“Husbands do not have property rights over their wives’ bodies. Sexual intercourse, albeit within the realm of marriage, if not consensual, is rape. This is the clear State policy expressly legislated in Section 266-A of the Revised Penal Code (RPC), as amended by Republic Act (R.A.) No. 8353 or the Anti-Rape Law of 1997” (People vs. Edgar Jumawan (G.R. No. 187495  April 21, 2014)

Based on the version of the prosecution in one 2014 Supreme Court case, below are the narrations of a wife’s (let us name her “Sisa”) traumatic ordeal at the hands of her own husband:

SISA met EDGAR at the farm of her parents where his father was one of the laborers. They got married after a year of courtship.

When their first child, MMM, was born, SISA and EDGAR put up a sari-sari store. Later on, they engaged in several other businesses, such as, trucking, rice mill and hardware. SISA managed the businesses except for the rice mill, which was under EDGAR’s supervision with the help of a trusted employee.

EDGAR’s keenness to make the businesses flourish was not as fervent as SISA’s dedication. Even their daughter’s observed the disproportionate labors of their parents. He would drive the trucks sometimes but SISA was the one who actively managed the businesses.

SISA wanted to provide a comfortable life for their children; EDGAR, on the other hand, did not acquiesce with that objective.

In 1994, SISA and EDGAR bought a lot and built a house in Villa Ernesto, Gusa, Cagayan de Oro City. Three of their children transferred residence therein while SISA, EDGAR and one of their sons stayed in Dangcagan, Bukidnon. She shuttled between the two places regularly and sometimes EDGAR accompanied her.

In 1998, SISA stayed in Gusa, Cagayan De Oro City most of the days of the week. On Wednesdays, she went to Dangcagan, Bukidnon to procure supplies for the family store and then returned to Cagayan de Oro City on the same day.

Conjugal intimacy did not really cause marital problems between SISA and EDGAR. It was, in fact, both frequent and fulfilling. He treated her well and she, of course, responded with equal degree of enthusiasm.

Brutal in bed.

However, in 1997, he started to be brutal in bed. He would immediately remove her panties and, sans any foreplay, insert her penis in her vagina. His abridged method of lovemaking was physically painful for her so she would resist his sexual ambush but he would threaten her into submission.

In 1998, SISA and EDGAR started quarrelling usually upon his complaint that she failed to attend to him. She was preoccupied with financial problems in their businesses and a bank loan. He wanted SISA to stay at home because “a woman must stay in the house and only good in bed (sic) x x x.” She disobeyed his wishes and focused on her goal of providing a good future for the children.

Four days before the subject rape incidents or on October 12, 1998, SISA and EDGAR slept together in Cebu City where the graduation rites of their eldest daughter were held. By October 14, 1998, the three of them were already back in Cagayan de Oro City.

The first rape.

On October 16, 1998, EDGAR, his wife SISA and their children went about their nightly routine. The family store in their residence was closed at about 9:00 p.m. before supper was taken. Afterwards, SISA and the children went to the girls’ bedroom at the mezzanine of the house to pray the rosary while EDGAR watched television in the living room. OOO and MMM then prepared their beds. Soon after, EDGAR fetched SISA and bid her to come with him to their conjugal bedroom in the third floor of the house. SISA complied.

Once in the bedroom, SISA changed into a daster and fixed the matrimonial bed but she did not lie thereon with EDGAR and instead, rested separately in a cot near the bed. Her reclusive behavior prompted him to ask angrily:
“Why are you lying on the cot?”,

and to instantaneously order:
“You transfer here to our bed.”

SISA insisted to stay on the cot and explained that she had headache and abdominal pain due to her forthcoming menstruation. Her reasons did not appease him and he got angrier. He rose from the bed, lifted the cot and threw it against the wall causing SISA to fall on the floor. Terrified, SISA stood up from where she fell, took her pillow and transferred to the bed.

EDGAR then lay beside SISA and not before long, expressed his desire to copulate with her by tapping his fingers on her lap. She politely declined by warding off his hand and reiterating that she was not feeling well.

EDGAR again asserted his sexual yearning and when SISA tried to resist by holding on to her panties, he pulled them down so forcefully they tore on the sides. SISA stayed defiant by refusing to bend her legs.

EDGAR then raised SISA’s daster, stretched her legs apart and rested his own legs on them. She tried to wrestle him away but he held her hands and succeeded in penetrating her. As he was carrying out his carnal desires, SISA continued to protest by desperately shouting:

“Don’t do that to me because I’m not feeling well.”

With a concrete wall on one side and a mere wooden partition on the other enclosing the spouses’ bedroom, SISA’s pleas were audible in the children’s bedroom where MMM lay awake.

Upon hearing her mother crying and hysterically shouting:

“Eddie, don’t do that to me, have pity on me,”.

MMM woke up her sister OOO who prodded her to go upstairs. MMM hurriedly climbed upstairs, vigorously knocked on the door of her parents’ bedroom and inquired:

         “Pa, why is it that Mama is crying?”

EDGAR then quickly put on his briefs and shirt, partly opened the door and said:

“Don ‘t interfere because this is a family trouble,”

Since she heard her mother continue to cry, MMM ignored his father’s admonition, knocked at the bedroom door again, and then kicked it. A furious EDGAR opened the door wider and rebuked MMM once more:

“Don’t interfere us. Go downstairs because this is family trouble!”

Upon seeing SISA crouching and crying on top of the bed, MMM boldly entered the room, approached her mother and asked: “Ma, why are you crying?” before asking her father:

“Pa, what happened to Mama why is it that her underwear is torn?”

When MMM received no definite answers to her questions, she helped her mother get up in order to bring her to the girls’ bedroom. SISA then picked up her tom underwear and covered herself with a blanket. However, their breakout from the room was not easy. To prevent SISA from leaving, EDGAR blocked the doorway by extending his arm towards the knob. He commanded SISA to “Stay here, you sleep in our room,” when the trembling SISA pleaded:

“Eddie, allow me to go out.”

He then held SISA’s hands but she pulled them back. Determined to get away, MMM leaned against door and embraced her mother tightly as they pushed their way out.

In their bedroom, the girls gave their mother some water and queried her as to what happened. SISA relayed:

“Your father is an animal, a beast; he forced me to have sex with him when I’m not feeling well.”

The girls then locked the door and let her rest.

The Second Rape

EDGAR’s aggression recurred the following night. After closing the family store on October 17, 1998, SISA and the children took their supper. EDGAR did not join them since, according to him, he already ate dinner elsewhere. After resting for a short while, SISA and the children proceeded to the girls’ bedroom and prayed the rosary. SISA decided to spend the night in the room’s small bed and the girls were already fixing the beddings when EDGAR entered.

“Why are you sleeping in the room of our children”,

he asked SISA, who responded that she preferred to sleep with the children.

He then scoffed:

“Its alright if you will not go with me, anyway, there are women that could be paid [P] 1,000.00.”

She dismissed his comment by turning her head away after retorting:

“So be it.”

After that, he left the room.

He returned 15 minutes later and when SISA still refused to go with him, he became infuriated. He lifted her from the bed and attempted to carry her out of the room as he exclaimed:

“Why will you sleep here? Lets go to our bedroom.”

When she defied him, he grabbed her short pants causing them to tear apart. At this point, MMM interfered,

“Pa, don’t do that to Mama because we are in front of you.”

The presence of his children apparently did not pacify EDGAR who yelled,

“Even in front of you, I can have sex with your mother because I’m the head of the family.”

He then ordered his daughters to leave the room. Frightened, the girls obliged and went to the staircase where they subsequently heard the pleas of their helpless mother resonate with the creaking bed.

The episodes in the bedroom were no less disturbing. EDGAR forcibly pulled SISA’s short pants and panties. He paid no heed as she begged,

“Do not do that to me, my body is still aching and also my abdomen and I cannot do what you wanted me to do [sic]. I cannot withstand sex.”

After removing his own short pants and briefs, he flexed her legs, held her hands, mounted her and forced himself inside her. Once gratified, EDGAR put on his short pants and briefs, stood up, and went out of the room laughing as he conceitedly uttered:

“It is nice, that is what you deserve because you are a flirt or fond of sex.”

He then retreated to the masters’ bedroom.

Sensing that the commotion in their bedroom has ceased, MMM and OOO scurried upstairs but found the door locked. MMM pulled out a jalousie window, inserted her arm, reached for the doorknob inside and disengaged its lock. Upon entering the room, MMM and OOO found their mother crouched on the bed with her hair disheveled. The girls asked:

“Ma, what happened to you, why are you crying?”

SISA replied:

“Your father is a beast and animal, he again forced me to have sex with him even if I don’t feel well.”

By giving greater weight and credence to the spontaneous and straightforward testimonies of the prosecution’s witnesses, the Court found EDGAR guilty of two (2) counts of Rape and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua for each count, without eligibility for parole.

The Supreme Court made this “Final Note” in its decision, penned by Associate Justice Bienvenido L. Reyes:

“Rape is a crime that evokes global condemnation because it is an abhorrence to a woman’s value and dignity as a human being. It respects no time, place, age, physical condition or social status. It can happen anywhere and it can happen to anyone. Even, as shown in the present case, to a wife, inside her time-honored fortress, the family home, committed against her by her husband who vowed to be her refuge from cruelty. The herein pronouncement is an affirmation to wives that our rape laws provide the atonement they seek from their sexually coercive husbands.

Husbands are once again reminded that marriage is not a license to forcibly rape their wives. A husband does not own his wife’s body by reason of marriage. By marrying, she does not divest herself of the human right to an exclusive autonomy over her own body and thus, she can lawfully opt to give or withhold her consent to marital coitus. A husband aggrieved by his wife’s unremitting refusal to engage in sexual intercourse cannot resort to felonious force or coercion to make her yield. He can seek succor before the Family Courts that can determine whether her refusal constitutes psychological incapacity justifying an annulment of the marriage.

Sexual intimacy is an integral part of marriage because it is the spiritual and biological communion that achieves the marital purpose of procreation. It entails mutual love and self-giving and as such it contemplates only mutual sexual cooperation and never sexual coercion or imposition.

The Court is aware that despite the noble intentions of the herein pronouncement, menacing personalities may use this as a tool to harass innocent husbands. In this regard, let it be stressed that safeguards in the criminal justice system are in place to spot and scrutinize fabricated or false marital rape complaints and any person who institutes untrue and malicious charges will be made answerable under the pertinent provisions of the RPC and/or other laws.”

‘Stand by things decided’ ~ Stare Decisis

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Read Full Text: People vs. Edgar Jumawan (G.R. No. 187495  April 21, 2014)