Rape; moral ascendancy; violence, intimidation

With respect to the element of violence or intimidation, it is settled in jurisprudence that said element may be substituted by moral ascendancy. The Supreme Court has reiterated this rule in numerous cases where the offender and the victim were, for example, the uncle and niece respectively. (People v. Betonio, 345 Phil. 35, 1997)

In the case of People v. Galvez (G.R. No. 212929. July 29, 2015), the Court of Appeals (CA) recognized the existence of moral ascendancy because accused-appellant is AAA’s uncle and AAA lived with him and his wife during the time the acts of rape occurred. The Supreme Court agreed with the CA that accused-appellant had moral ascendancy over AAA who was a young girl living in accused-appellant’s house where the only adults to provide for and discipline AAA were the accused and his wife.In People v. Gonzales (393 Phil. 338, 353, 2000), the High Court also found moral ascendancy because the victim lived in a house with an uncle who raped her while her parents were not living in the same house.

ADDITIONAL READINGS:

[1] Reyes, L.B., THE REVISED PENAL CODE CRIMINAL LAW BOOK TWO 561 [17th ed. (2008)], citing People v. Betonio, 345 Phil. 35 (1997).

[2] See People v. Betonio, 345 Phil. 35 (1997).; People v. Aquino, 430 Phil. 915, 931 (2002); People v. Dumlao, 422 Phil. 156, 173 (2001); People v. Gonzales, 393 Phil. 338, 353 (2000); People v. Zaballero, 340 Phil. 731, 744 (1997).

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