SC: Kitchen may be dwelling place, aggravating circumstance

The Information alleges the presence of the aggravating circumstance of dwelling in the commission of the offense. This should have been appreciated by the court a quo. It appears from the records that the kitchen at the La Fiesta Farm where Marita was dragged by appellant is her "dwelling," albeit the same does not belong to her. In People v. Parazo, this Court stressed that the "dwelling" contemplated in Article 14(3) of the Revised Penal Code does not necessarily mean that the victim owns the place where he lives or dwells. Be he a lessee, a boarder, or a bedspacer, the place is his home, the sanctity of which the law seeks to protect. The fact that the crime was consummated in the nearby house is also immaterial. Marita was forcibly taken by appellant from her dwelling house (kitchen) and then raped her. Dwelling is aggravating if the victim was taken from his house although the offense was not completed therein. (People vs. Dela Torre, G.R. No. 98431, 15 January 2002, 373 SCRA 104)