Tuesday, February 21, 2012

People vs. Oso [G.R. No. L-425711, October 10, 1935]

Facts: Sovida, married to Masumbid, who belongs to the same tribe of Mandaya, was drawing water from the well in an unhinhabited place at a certain distance from her house in Cabaihan, within the municipality of Manay, Province of Davao, when she was seized by Oso, another Mandaya. Dumagulong her brother tried to help her but due to Oso’s warning of killing him desisted from purpose to free Sovida. Dumagulong went to Masumbid who the same failed to free Sovida. So the two went to the authorities and finally Oso was apprehended. Charges having been filed in the Court of First Instance of Davao against Oso (Mandaya) for the complex crime of forcible abduction with rape, judgment have been rendered sentencing the accused to an indeterminate penalty of from twelve years of prision mayor, as minimum, to twenty years of reclusion temporal, as maximum, with the accessory penalties and the costs. From this judgment the defendant appealed. 

Issue: Whether or not Oso should be guilty of the crime of complex crime forcible abduction with rape based on the information filed by the offended party

Held: There is no doubt that the facts considered as proven by the lower court this court constitute the complex crime of forcible abduction with rape. It appears, however, that Sovida's complaint upon which this case was formally instituted in the justice of the peace court of Manay, alleges facts which, while sufficient to constitute the crime of the forcible abduction, are not sufficient to determine the crime of rape. In fact, the mere allegation that the accused cohabited with the complainant, without her consent, does not concretely describe the crime of rape in any of its forms which, according to article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, are: the use force or intimidation; that the woman is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious; or that the victim is under twelve years of age, even though neither of the circumstances above-mentioned is present. Every accused has the right to be duly informed of the nature of the accusation and this legal requisite has not been complied with in this case. It is true that in the information later filed by the fiscal, when the case was forwarded to the Court of First Instance for trial on the merits, an attempt was made to correct this defect by supplying the omission of the allegations of the original complaint, but it is also true that the allegation omitted is jurisdictional in character, the crime involved being one which cannot be prosecuted de oficio, and the omission thereof, is fatal and cannot be corrected in the latter stages of the proceedings. The appellant should not therefore be convicted of the complex crime of forcible abduction with rape, but only of forcible abduction. Not finding any merit in the other assignments of error relied upon the counsel de oficio in his brief, we hold that the appellant is guilty of the crime of forcible abduction, with the aggravating circumstances of having been committed in an uninhabited place compensated by the lack of instruction of the accused.

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