Brothers guilty of minor’s rape
 
Bato, Catanduanes  ·  
posted 18 days ago  ·  
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Ten years after a 16-year old girl with mental incapacity was raped twice in Bato town, justice was finally served last week with a guilty verdict on two brothers who were accused of the crime.

Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 43 Presiding Judge Lelu P. Contreras sentenced Loui Lagata Bitarra and Jovel Arbilla Bitarra, both of San Roque, to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua without eligibility of parole and ordered them to pay the victim, now 26 years old, the total sum of P225,000 as civil indemnity, moral damages and exemplary damages.

“There is no iota of doubt that both Loui and Jovel succeeded in having carnal knowledge of AAA, who is considered to be deprived of reason because of her mental condition, and they both knew this when they sexually abused her,” the Court stated.

Their mere denial cannot overcome the positive testimony of the victim, it added, recalling that both accused repeatedly offered to enter into plea bargaining, tantamount to a compromise which may be received in evidence as an implied admission of guilt.

AAA was considered mentally incapacitated when sometime in February 2009, Jovel, then 18 and an out-of-school youth, waved at her, brought her to the mountain near a brook and raped her. On March 4, 2009, Loui, an abaca stripper, also waved at her, brought her to a secluded place and raped her. At both times, it was averred, both her parents were in the farm stripping abaca.

Her mother told the Court that she learned of the incidents from AAA’s grandfather, who had noticed that the girl had changed in behavior and became restless.

In his defense, Jovel stated that he was with his brother Loui stripping abaca in Nursery, San Miguel during the whole month of February 2009.

However, he admitted that the house of the complainant could be reached in 10 to 15 minutes by walking from their house.

He recalled that his brother Loui had a fistfight with AAA’s father during a drinking session on Dec. 25, 2008 and that the latter threatened them by saying: “kamo ang nag-ani ngonian, sa susunod ako naman.”

Jovel said he left the place because he was scared, confused and angry that he was being accused yet he did do anything wrong.

On the other hand, Loui declared that on March 4, 2009 he was in Domaguini, San Roque, where he and his brother Jovel stripped abaca for three days earlier.

He said they went back and forth from their home to Domaguini and they did not pass by AAA’s house. He went to Novaliches when he learned about the subpoena.

More than 10 years passed before the two accused were arrested in Gulod, Novaliches, Quezon City, reviving the archived case against them.


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