A resident of Talisay City, Negros Occidental, was sentenced yesterday to 40 years imprisonment for raping his niece when she was 9 years old.
Bacolod Regional Trial Court Branch 41 Judge Ray Alan Drilon sentenced the man, whose name is being withheld to protect the identity of his victim, to reclusion perpetua, and to pay his niece P75,000 in moral damages and P25,000 as exemplary damages.
The victim said she was 9 years old when the first cousin of her mother raped her at her home on April 19, 2006. He warned her not to tell her mother or anybody what had happened.
Her father had gone out to harvest crabs and her mother and two brothers had accompanied him at the time of incident.
The incident was reported only on Jan. 5, 2008, when her mother quarreled with two female neighbors and they told her she was only good at taking care of her other children but she was unaware that her daughter had been raped, the court was told.
The mother then confronted her daughter and brought her to the Talisay Police Station to report the rape.
The accused uncle claimed he was out at sea at the time of the rape, fishing for crabs.
But the judge said the defense of denial by the accused is much too weak against the direct, positive and straightforward testimony of the child complainant.
“The child withstood the rigors of skilled cross-examination and her account of the incident remained consistent, that she could not have been coached or taught to invent a story, simply to put up a false accusation against the defendant,” the judge said.
“There is no appearance of malice or falsity in the testimony (of the victim) as to cast reasonable doubt that it was rehearsed or concocted,” he added.*CPG