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G.R. No. 212336 July 15, 2015


On the 18th day of October 2004 at about 12:00 p.m. in the City of Talisay, Cebu, the accused, with deliberate intent, and by means of
force and intimidation, did then and there have carnal knowledge with one AAA, a minor, 8 years of age, without the consent and against
the will of the latter. The Information was later on amended changing AAA's age to eleven years old. AAA testified that she and BBB, her
younger sister, were walking back to school after taking their lunch at home, appellant called out to the sisters. Appellant told them that he
would tell AAA's fortune by reading her palm. He then grabbed AAA' s hand and examined her palm. He told AAA that any person who
would court her will die. When AAA asked why that was so, appellant ignored the question and told her to shut up. Appellant then handed
AAA twenty pesos and BBB five pesos. After handing BBB the money, the appellant then told her to go to class and threatened to hit her
forcefully on the head if she disobeyed. Out of fear, BBB obeyed. Appellant then grabbed AAA's hand and dragged her to the back portion
of the school compound. There being a lot of children, the appellant hailed a trisikad and forced AAA to board with him. They disembarked
near a farm lot. Appellant dragged AAA to an area where several banana trees grew. Appellant thereafter ordered AAA to lie down on the
ground. He undressed her and proceeded to take liberties on her person. He took off her underwear and licked her vagina. Appellant then
removed his pants and had carnal knowledge with AAA making her bleed. Throughout the ordeal appellant held a sharp pointed object to
coerce her into submission. After appellant was done, he left AAA in the middle of the banana farm. BBB corroborated AAA' s testimony up
to the point where she was ordered by the appellant to enter her classroom. Dr. Poca, the representative of the hospital where AAA was
examined, verified the contents of the Medical Certificate where it was found that AAA was "DEFINITE FOR SEXUAL ABUSE" due to the
victim's swollen genital area, abrasions and semen found thereat. Appellant denied knowing AAA and raping her. He alleged that he could
not have been the perpetrator because on the day of the supposed incident he was working as a conductor plying the Tabunok-Carcar
route and that he did not match the cartographic sketch of the alleged rapist. RTC found appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of
statutory rape. CA affirmed and modified the judgment to simple rape since the minority of the victim was not proven. Hence this appeal.


1. How is rape committed

2. Minority as a qualifying circumstance in rape


Firstly, a person commits rape when he sexually assaults another who does not consent or is incapable of giving consent to a sexual
act.The crime of rape is defined and punished under Article 266-A and Article 266-B of the Revised Penal Code. It provides:

ART. 266-A. Rape, When and How Committed. - Rape is committed

1. By a man who shall have carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following circumstances:

a. Through force, threat or intimidation;

b. When the offended party is deprived of reason or is otherwise unconscious;

c. By means of fraudulent machination or grave abuse of authority; and

d. When the offended party is under twelve (12) years of age or is demented, even though none of the circumstances mentioned above be

Secondly, for a successful prosecution for the crime of statutory rape there are two elements which must be proven: (1) that the victim was
under 12 years of age at the time of the incident and (2) carnal knowledge by the assailant of the victim. Both must be proven before an
accused may be found guilty of statutory rape.

This Court has held that for minority to be considered as an element of a crime or a qualifying circumstance in the crime of rape, it must not
only be alleged in the Information, but it must also be established with moral certainty. Under Rule 130 of the Rules on Evidence, it is
inferred that the victim's birth certificate is the best evidence of her age. We are guided by the guidelines set in People v. Pruna in
appreciating age as an element of the crime or as an aggravating or qualifying circumstance:

1. The best evidence to prove the age of the offended party is an original or certified true copy of the certificate of live birth of such party.

2. In the absence of a certificate of live birth, similar authentic documents such as baptismal certificate and school records which show the
date of birth of the victim would suffice to prove age.
3. If the certificate of live birth or authentic document is shown to have been lost or destroyed or otherwise unavailable, the testimony, if
clear and credible, of the victim's mother or a member of the family either by affinity or consanguinity who is qualified to testify on matters
respecting pedigree such as the exact age or date of birth of the offended party pursuant to Section 40, Rule 130 of the Rules on Evidence
shall be sufficient under the following circumstances:

a. If the victim is alleged to be below 3 years of age and what is sought to be proved is that she is less than 7 years old;

b. If the victim is alleged to be below 7 years of age and what is sought to be proved is that she is less than 12 years old;

c. If the victim is alleged to be below 12 years of age and what is sought to be proved is that she is less than 18 years old.

4. In the absence of a certificate of live birth, authentic document, or the testimony of the victim's mother or relatives concerning the victim's
age, the complainant's testimony will suffice provided that it is expressly and clearly admitted by the accused.

5. It is the prosecution that has the burden of proving the age of the offended party. The failure of the accused to object to the testimonial
evidence regarding age shall not be taken against him. The trial court should always make a categorical finding as to the age of the victim.

Absent AAA's certificate of live birth and other means by which her age as alleged in the Information could have been ascertained beyond
doubt, this Court is constrained to agree with the CA and deem the crime committed as simple rape. WHEREFORE, the appeal is
DISMISSED for lack of merit.