Penalty for rape

Article 266-B of the RPC imposes different penalties for rape committed under paragraph 1 or rape by sexual intercourse and under paragraph 2 or rape by sexual assault. Article 266-B prescribes:
ART. 266-B. Penalties. - Rape under paragraph 1 of the next preceding article shall be punished by reclusion perpetua.

x x x x

The death penalty shall also be imposed if the crime of rape is committed with any of the following aggravating/qualifying circumstances:

1. When the victim is under eighteen (18) years of age and the offender is a parent, ascendant, step-parent, guardian, relative by consanguinity or affinity within the third civil degree, or the common-law spouse of the parent of the victim.

x x x x

Rape under paragraph 2 of the next preceding article shall be punished by prision mayor.

x x x x

Reclusion temporal shall also be imposed if the rape is committed with any of the ten aggravating/qualifying circumstances mentioned in this article. (Emphasis supplied)

It is clear from Article 266-B that generally the penalty for rape through sexual assault is prision mayor. If qualifying circumstances have attended the crime and the same have been properly alleged in the information the penalty imposed would be increased to reclusion temporal.

In People v. Salvador (G.R. No. 207815, June 22, 2015), the crime committed was rape through sexual assault. It was established that BBB, the private complainant, was under 18 years of age at the time of the crime and that appellant is her father, a qualifying circumstance; hence, the proper penalty to be imposed should be reclusion temporal. The penalty that was imposed against the acccused was an indeterminate penalty of nine (9) years of prision mayor, as minimum, to fourteen (14) years, eight (8) months and one (1) day of reclusion temporal, as maximum.

BBB was also held to be entitled to damages. Indeed, in People v. Buclao,[37] it was ruled that, in rape cases, the award of civil indemnity is mandatory upon proof of the commission of rape; whereas moral damages are automatically awarded without the need to prove mental and physical suffering and that exemplary damages are also imposed, as example for the public good and to protect minors from all forms of sexual abuse. However, to conform with current jurisprudence on the award of damages respecting the crime of qualified rape by sexual assault, the High Court awarded BBB P30,000.00 as civil indemnity upon the finding of the fact of rape, P30,000.00 as moral damages automatically awarded in rape case without need of proof and P30,000.00 as exemplary damages.[38]

[37] G.R. No. 208173, June 11, 2014, p.10.

[38] See People v. Castillo, G.R. No. 193666, February 19, 2014, at 135 and People v. Bonaagua, G.R. No. 188897, June 6, 2011, 650 SCRA 620, 643.

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