Tuesday, February 07, 2012

People vs Ibanez

Facts: Ibanez was charged with three counts of raping his own daughter under three pieces of information before the RTC of Cavite. When arraigned he plead not guilty. On the 1st charge, AAA testified she was at their home in Cavite and did not inform anyone of the incident (June 1997). On the 2nd charge, AAA testified being raped 8 times from January to December 1998. The 3rd rape happened sometime in April 1999 while her mother was at work. After which, she told her cousin who brought her to the NBI, where complaint affidavit was executed.

Ibanez denied having raped his daughter with an alibi of being always away from home.

Issue: Whether or not the precise dates of the commission of the rape be alleged in the information

Held: NO. An information is valid as long as it distinctly states the elements of the offense and the acts or omissions constitutive thereof. The exact date of the commission of a crime is not an essential element of the crime charged. Thus, in a prosecution for rape, the material fact or circumstance to be considered is the occurrence of the rape, not the time of its commission. The gravamen of the offense is carnal knowledge of a woman. The precise time of the crime has no substantial bearing on its commission. Therefore, it is not essential that it be alleged in the information with ultimate precision.

The allegation in the pieces of information that the appellant committed the rape "sometime in June 1997” and "sometime in April 1999” was sufficient to inform appellant that he was being charged of qualified rape committed against his daughter. The allegation adequately afforded appellant an opportunity to prepare his defense. Thus, appellant cannot complain that he was deprived of his right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him.

It was also too late for appellant to question the sufficiency of the criminal pieces of information since he had himself arraigned and entered a plea of not guilty to the crime of rape which is equivalent to waiving his right to object to the pieces of information on the ground of an error as to the time of the alleged rape.

 Appellant could have filed a motion for a bill of particulars before his arraignment or a motion to quash on the ground that the pieces of information alleged erroneous dates prior to his entry of plea.


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