2 men meted life in prison for raping young nieces
posted 23-Apr-2018  ·  
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Life imprisonment without eligibility for parole was the harshest penalty the Regional Trial Court could give last week to two men who raped their own young nieces in separate incidents several years ago.

Given the minority of the rape victims and their respective relationships to the two accused, the Court stated, the imposition of the death penalty would have been the appropriate penalty if not for the passage of Republic Act 9346 that prohibited the extreme punishment.

RTC Branch 43 Presiding Judge Lelu P. Contreras found Sanito “Idang” Isaias of District II, Gigmoto, guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape committed against the 10-year old daughter of his sister in 2012 and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua without eligibility for parole.

He was also ordered to pay the victim the amounts of P75,000.00 as civil indemnity, P75,000.00 as moral damages, and P30,000.00 as exemplary damages subject to 6 percent interest per annum until fully paid.

In a separate decision, the same judge also meted the same penalty on Jose Torrente Jr. of Tobrehon, San Miguel, who was accused of raping the 17-year old daughter of his brother in 2015. As the victim had died during the hearing of the case, the P180,000.00 penalty would be owed to her heirs.

In the first case, AAA was in Grade III when her parents left her in the care of her grandmother at lunchtime. Sometime later, she went to a neighboring house to play with her friend. She soon slept at the house together with the homeowner’s grandchild.

It was then that the victim felt the presence of a drunk Isaias, who laid down beside her and then, after several minutes, removed her shorts and panty and raped her. She cried and told him to stop but he continued to abuse her, the prosecution stated.

When AAA heard her mother calling for Sanito to accompany her to the wake of a neighbor, she did not call her as she was afraid of her mother, who she claimed was quite strict, pinching her and hitting her with a rattan stick.

Her parents, who had adopted the girl since infancy, learned of the incident only after a year. Medical examination at the Rural Health Unit confirmed that she had been raped while a mental evaluation conducted by Dr. Gibson Gabitan found her to have mild intellectual disability.

During the trial, Isaias chose not to present evidence and, instead, repeatedly offered to enter into plea bargaining for a lesser penalty.

In convicting the accused, Judge Contreras cited Dr. Gabitan’s statement that while the victim was not able to comprehend what happened to her, she was very consistent in her story that she was sexually abused by her uncle.

“The Court finds AAA’s testimony credible and it does not entertain any doubt that Sanito, indeed, had carnal knowledge of her,” she stated, adding that there is no need to prove the presence of force as the accused had moral ascendancy over the victim.

In the other case decided last week, accused Torrente pleaded not guilty, denying the allegations of his niece who was suffering from mild mental retardation.

He claimed that while he was in Tobrehon in April 2015, he was stripping abaca in the farm when the incident occurred at the house of the victim’s parents. The Court, however, ruled that his alibi could not overcome BBB’s categorical and positive declaration.

The victim had told the San Miguel police that sometime in the morning of April 2015 while she was watching TV inside their residence together with her six-year old sister, her Tiyo Kadol entered and watched TV with here.

When she turned off the TV so he would leave, Torrente instead went straight to her, pushed her to the floor, removed her clothes and then his own before raping her while covering her mouth. She said he warned her at the time: “Dae ka mag-usip ki Papa mo ta gagadanun ko kamu!”

Although she pleaded with him to stop, the accused continued until he satisfied himself and left the house.

It was the third time she had been raped by Tiyo Kadul, she later told friends. She disclosed to the social worker who interviewed her for the case study that she was raped for so many times by her uncle that she could no longer remember the exact date and time.

There was the time when Torrente asked permission from her mother for BBB to accompany her to catch fish in the river. When they came to the river near a big rock, he removed her shorts and panty and raped her even while she begged him, “Tiyo Kadol tama na, habo ko na Tiyo.”

He threatened her not to tell her father or he would kill him and the rest of the family. He later gave her three medium-sized tilapia as her share, which she didn’t eat when she got home, preferring to lie down in bed.

The other time she remembered was when she went with him to Coripdas where her parents were stripping abaca. They were walking on the main road when he changed route and brought her to the river bank where the sexual abuse was committed.

Although her family members described her as “isip-bata,” they remembered her as very responsible and caring at home, attending formal schooling from Day Care to Grade V despite being bullied.

It was also brought out during trial that Torrente also committed lascivious acts against the victim’s friend, for which he was charged and, following a plea bargaining agreement, was meted to a straight penalty of three years’ imprisonment.

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