PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. BARTOLOME TAMPUS and IDA MONTESCLAROS – G.R. No. 181084, June 16, 2009

Facts:
The offended party, ABC, is the daughter of appellant Ida Montesclaros, and was 13 years old at the time of the incident. Ida and ABC started to rent a room in a house owned by Tampus, a barangay tanod. On April 1, 1995, about 4:30 p.m., ABC testified that she was in the house with Ida and Tampus who were both drinking beer at that time. They forced her to drink beer and after consuming three and one-half (3 ½) glasses of beer, she became intoxicated and very sleepy. While ABC was lying on the floor of their room, she overheard Tampus requesting her mother, Ida, that he be allowed to “remedyo” or have sexual intercourse with her. Appellant Ida agreed and instructed Tampus to leave as soon as he finished having sexual intercourse with ABC. Ida then went to work, leaving Tampus alone with ABC. ABC fell asleep and when she woke up, she noticed that the garter of her panties was loose and rolled down to her knees. She suffered pain in her head, thighs, buttocks, groin and vagina, and noticed that her panties and short pants were stained with blood which was coming from her vagina. When her mother arrived home from work the following morning, she kept on crying but appellant Ida ignored her.

ABC testified that on April 4, 1995 around 1:00 a.m., she was left alone in the room since her mother was at work at the beer house. Tampus went inside their room and threatened to kill her if she would report the previous sexual assault to anyone. He then forcibly removed her panties. ABC shouted but Tampus covered her mouth and again threatened to kill her if she shouted. He undressed himself, spread ABC’s legs, put saliva on his right hand and he applied this to her vagina; he then inserted his penis into ABC’s vagina and made a push and pull movement. After consummating the sexual act, he left the house. When ABC told appellant Ida about the incident, the latter again ignored her.

On May 4, 1995, after being maltreated by her mother, ABC sought the help of her aunt, ABC filed two Complaints. She accused Tampus of taking advantage of her by having carnal knowledge of her, against her will, while she was intoxicated and sleeping on April 1, 1995 at 4:30 p.m. She declared in her Complaint that this was done in conspiracy with accused Ida who gave permission to Tampus to rape her. And again, she stated that on April 3, 1995, she was threatened with a wooden club by Tampus, who then succeeded in having sexual intercourse with her, against her will.

The trial court convicted Tampus of two counts of rape, as principal and Appellant Ida was found guilty as an accomplice.

Pending resolution of the appeal before the Court of Appeals, accused Tampus. Thus, the appeal before the Court of Appeals dealt only with that of appellant Ida. The appeal was dismissed by the CA. Hence, this case.

Issue:
Whether the Trial Court erred in convicting the appellant as accomplice of his co-accused.

Held:
No, Accomplices are persons who, not being included in Article 17 of the Revised Penal Code, cooperate in the execution of the offense by previous or simultaneous acts. The following requisites must be proved in order that a person can be considered an accomplice: (a) community of design, i.e., knowing that criminal design of the principal by direct participation, he concurs with the latter in his purpose; (b) he cooperates in the execution of the offense by previous or simultaneous acts; and, (c) there must be a relation between the acts done by the principal and those attributed to the person charged as accomplice.

All the requisites concur in order to find Ida guilty as an accomplice to Tampus in the rape of ABC. The testimony of ABC shows that there was community of design between Ida and Tampus to commit the rape of ABC. Ida had knowledge of and assented to Tampus’ intention to have sexual intercourse with her daughter. She forced ABC to drink beer, and when ABC was already drunk, she left ABC alone with Tampus, with the knowledge and even with her express consent to Tampus’ plan to have sexual intercourse with her daughter.

It is settled jurisprudence that the previous acts of cooperation by the accomplice should not be indispensable to the commission of the crime; otherwise, she would be liable as a principal by indispensable cooperation. The evidence shows that the acts of cooperation by Ida are not indispensable to the commission of rape by Tampus. First, because it was both Ida and Tampus who forced ABC to drink beer, and second because Tampus already had the intention to have sexual intercourse with ABC and he could have consummated the act even without Ida’s consent.

The acts of Ida are closely related to the eventual commission of rape by Tampus. They both forced ABC to drink beer; when ABC was already drunk, Tampus asked Ida if he could have sexual intercourse with ABC and Ida gave her consent; and lastly, Ida left ABC alone with Tampus so that he proceed with his plan to rape ABC.

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