PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. RONALD BACALAN GABUYA AND RYANNEAL MENESES GIRON, Accused-Appellants.
G.R. No. 209038, June 08, 2016
Topic: Cases penned by Del Castillo, crime of robbery with rape, Article 294, paragraph 1 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC)
Criminal Case Digest by John Paul C. Ladiao (22 September 2017)
DEL CASTILLO, J.:
This is an appeal from the June 20, 2013 Decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-GR. CR-H.C. No. 00441, which affirmed the January 31, 2006 Decision2 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Cebu City, Branch 24, in Criminal Case No. CBU-62026, finding appellants Ronald Bacalan Gabuya (Gabuya) and Ryanneal Meneses Giron (Giron) guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of robbery with rape defined and penalized in Article 294, paragraph 1 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC), and sentencing them to death.
Gabuya and Giron were charged with the crime of robbery with rape for robbing "AAA" by taking her personal belongings through violence and intimidation and thereafter taking turns raping her. The charge against them stemmed from the following Information:
That on or about the 18th day of March, 2002, at about 12:20 A.M., in the City of Cebu, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused, armed with a knife, conniving and confederating together and mutually helping each other, poked said knife at one "AAA" and announced a "hold-up" with deliberate intent, with violence and intimidation upon person, took turns in divesting her bag, with its contents such as wristwatch, one casio calculator; cash money and coin purse with a total value of P2,965.00 from the possession of and belonging to said "AAA" while the latter was walking along Visitacion St., a public highway against her will, to the damage and prejudice of the latter in the amount aforestated, and on the occasion thereof, dragged said victim to a vacant lot and then there take turns in having sexual intercourse with said victim while the other accused held her shoulders, without the consent and against the will of the complainant.
Whether or not, the accused appellants Gabuya and Giron interposed a valid defense of denial and alibi.? NO
After a careful review of the records of the case, this Court finds the appeal devoid of merit. Both the RTC of Cebu City, Branch 24, and the CA correctly found the appellants guilty beyond reasonable doubt of robbery with rape under Article 294, paragraph 1 of the RPC. Indeed, the State in this case had satisfactorily established the following essential elements of that felony: "a) the taking of personal property is committed with violence or intimidation against persons; b) the property taken belongs to another; c) the taking is done with animo lucrandi, and d) the robbery is accompanied by rape."
Under Article 294, paragraph 1, when robbery is accompanied by rape, the penalty is reclusion perpetua to death. Although the trial court imposed the death penalty, the CA correctly modified the penalty to reclusion perpetua, without eligibility for parole, pursuant to RA 9346.
The amount of civil damages awarded by the CA, should be modified, however. Based on prevailing jurisprudence, the awards of civil indemnity and moral damages in favor of "AAA" should be increased from P75,000.00 to P100,000.00.14 The same jurisprudential teaching also directs that the award of exemplary damages should also be upgraded from P30,000.00 to P100,000.00.
WHEREFORE, the appeal is DISMISSED. The Decision of the Court of Appeals dated June 20, 2013 in CA-GR. CR-H.C. No. 00441, is AFFIRMED, subject to the MODIFICATION that the appellants Ronald Bacalan Gabuya and Ryanneal Meneses Giron are ordered to solidarily pay "AAA" the increased amounts of P100,000.00 as civil indemnity; P100,000.00 as moral damages; and another PI00,000.00 as exemplary damages.