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People vs Alberto Tirona Case Digest


The exact date of the commission of the rape is relevant in the proper determination of penalty.

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Facts: 

Tirona charged with the crime of rape against a 6-year old child. The information states that the crime occurred between June 1993 to May 1994. He was found guilty of the crime and was sentenced to suffer the penalty of death. He appealed to the SC arguing that that since there is no clear indication on the exact date of commission of the offense, the death penalty should not be imposed.


Issue:

Whether or not the death penalty should be imposed upon the accused.


Held:

Republic Act No. 7659 which reimposed the death penalty on certain heinous crimes took effect on December 31, 1993. The prosecution has been able to prove that on at least one occasion, accused-appellant has had carnal knowledge of the six-year old complaining witness. However, neither the Information nor the evidence introduced by the prosecution is definite on the exact date of the actual commission of the crime. The Information charging the offense merely stated that the offense was committed “sometime between June 1993 to May 1994. Since the evidence has failed to account for the exact date of its commission,  i.e., whether it took place prior to or on or after 31 December 1993, the doubt should be resolved in favor of accused-appellant, and the penalty of death imposed upon him by the trial court must perforce be reduced to reclusion perpetua. (People vs Alberto Tirona, G.R. No. 128907, December22, 1998)

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