Moral ascendancy

Moral ascendancy in substitution of violence and intimidation.

With respect to the element of violence or intimidation, it is settled in jurisprudence that said element may be substituted by moral ascendancy.[1] The Supreme Court reiterated this rule in numerous cases where the offender and the victim were the uncle and niece.[2]In People v. Galvez,[3] the 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,[4] 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.

[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, id.; 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).

[3] G.R. No. 212929, July 29, 2015.

[4] People v. Gonzales, 393 Phil. 338, 353 (2000).

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