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Apr 18, 2008

G.R. No. 127845, March 10, 2000


Some time in 1994, when victim was still 12 years old, her father, the accused, forced her at the point of a knife to have sexual intercourse with him. He repeated the bestial act in their house about twice a week afterwards, and then later used her four (4) times a month, the last she remembered being on July 5, 1995.

During the trial, appellant unhesitatingly admitted having carnal knowledge of his daughter twice but theorized that he was "out of his mind" when he committed the incestous rape. In view of the facts established, the trial court rendered judgment of conviction, sentencing appellant to suffer the ultimate penalty of death.

Upon appeal, appellant questioned thepenalty imposed under R.A. 7659, considering that the Information filed against him was silent about the applicability of the same. He alleged denial of his constitutional right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him.


Whether or not there was a transgression of appellant's right to be informed of the nature and cause of accusation against him


A careful perusal of the Information indicting the appellant reveals a crucial omission in its averments of the minority of the victim. The objectives of the defendant's right to be informed are: (1) to furnish the accused with such a description of the charge against him as will enable him to make the defense; (2) to avail himself of his conviction or acquittal for protection against further prosecution for the same cause; and (3) to inform the court of the facts alleged, so that it may decide whether the are sufficient in law to support a conviction, if one should be had.

The Information does not allege the minority of the victim although the same was proven during trial as borne by the records. It matters not how conclusive and convincing evidence of guilt may be, but an accused cannot be convicted of any offense not charged in the Complaint or Information on which he is tried or therein necessarily included.

The Information charges nothing more than simple rape as absent are the special qualifying circumstances of relationship and minority which had the capacity of increasing the penalty by degrees.

"WHEREFORE, the judgment of conviction under review is AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that appelant LODRIGO BAYYA is adjudged guilty of simple rape and is sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua...."


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