At around 2:00 in the morning of February 11, 1997, Honorata who was then sleeping inside her house with her three daughters, was awakened by the sound of their door opening. She initially thought that it was her husband coming home from work. When Honorata opened her eyes, however, she saw a man armed with a knife standing by her feet. More terrifying, the man already had his pants and briefs down on his knees and he was pointing to her eldest daughter. Alarmed, Honorata told the man not to touch her daughter. The man poked his knife at her and told her to stand up and then was made to lie down on the adjacent sofa. Thereafter, the man removed Honorata’s panties and had sex with her. All this time, he had his knife at Honorata’s neck. Honorata noticed that the man reeked of alcohol. After slaking his lust, Honorata’s assailant stood up then asked for money. Since the man still had his knife pointed at her, Honorata could do nothing but comply. She gave him the only money she had, several bills amounting to P500.00.

After threatening Honorata and her daughters with death if she reports the incident, the man left. Honorata, out of fear, could do nothing but close the door. Later that day, however, Honorata mustered enough courage to narrate her defilement to her sister-in-law.

Honorata pointed to Edgar Legaspi as the person who defiled her.

Two Information were then filed with the Regional Trial Court charging Legaspi with the crimes of Rape and Robbery.

Legaspi advanced a strong defense – there was a discrepancy in the statements of Honorata in the police blotter and her testimony in open court.

It appears that, Honorata, in the Police Blotter Entry, she decribed Legaspi as having an “ala Babalu face” (having an attenuated chin similar to that of the late comedian Babalu) and has a mole on the upper left part of his lips. However, when she was called to testify, she stated that Legaspi is not “Babalu” and his mole is located not on the left but on the right side of his face.

When the case reached the Supreme Court, it found Legaspi  guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape. The Court ruled that “entries in police blotters, though regularly done in the course of the performance of official duty, are not conclusive proof of the truth stated in such entries since they are usually incomplete and inaccurate, we hold that any discrepancy in the police blotter entry and the open court testimony of Honorata does not affect her credibility.”

The Court explained further that:

“It must also be remembered that the entry in the police blotter was made at 6:30 on the morning of February 12, 1997, only a few hours after the rape and robbery. At that time, Honorata may not have yet fully recovered from the traumatic ordeal she had gone through, resulting in an inaccurate entry in the police blotter: Besides, minor lapses are to be expected when a person is recounting details of a traumatic experience too painful to recall.”

See People of the Philippines vs Edgar Legaspi y Libao [G.R. Nos. 136164-65 April 20, 2001]

Tenor