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Case Digest on PEOPLE v. RADEL GALLARDE G.R. No. 133025. February 17, 2000

November 26, 2010

Case Digest on

PEOPLE v. RADEL GALLARDE

G.R. No. 133025. February 17, 2000

This is an appeal from the judgment of the RTC finding accused-appellant Radel (hereafter GALLARDE) guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua.

HELD:

We sustain GALLARDE’s contention that the trial court erred in convicting him of murder in an information charging him of rape with homicide. A reading of the accusatory portion of the information shows that there was no allegation of any qualifying circumstance. Although it is true that the term “homicide” as used in special complex crime of rape with homicide is to be understood in its generic sense, and includes murder and slight physical injuries committed by reason or on the occasion of rape it is settled in this jurisdiction that where a complex crime is charged and the evidence fails to support the charge as to one of the component offense, the accused can be convicted of the other. In rape with homicide, in order to be convicted of murder in case the evidence fails to support the charge of rape, the qualifying circumstance must be sufficiently alleged and proved. Otherwise, it would be a denial of the right of the accused to be informed of the nature of the offense with which he is charged.

The rules on evidence and precedents sustain the conviction of an accused through circumstantial evidence, as long as the following requisites are present: (1) there must be more than one circumstance; (2) the inference must be based on proven facts; and (3) the combination of all circumstances produces a conviction beyond doubt of the guilt of the accused. The importance of circumstantial evidence is more apparent in the prosecution of cases of rape with homicide. It is well settled that the absence of spermatozoa in or around the vagina does not negate the commission of rape. Our doubt on the commission of rape is based on the fact that there is at all no convincing proof that the laceration of the vagina and the rupture of the hymen of EDITHA were caused in the course of coitus or by a male organ.

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