• Minor incestuous rape victim’s woes

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    Persida Acosta

    Dear PAO,
    I found out recently that my sisters and I were actually abused by our father simultaneously beginning age five. I am now 14 years old and he only stopped his abuses on me three years ago. Dreadfully, he has not stopped what he was doing to my other two sisters, who are both below ten. We are afraid to come out since our mother might die because our father repeatedly told us he will kill her if ever we would tell anyone about what he was doing to us. Moreover, since we have no witness to our horrific experience, we are afraid that our father will just deny our accusations and he will not be imprisoned, making it more possible for him to kill our mother. Will his denial stand from our accusations against him?

    Sincerely yours,
    Trina

    Dear Trina,
    The case of People of the Philippines vs. Avelino Subesa (G.R. No. 193660,16 November 2011) penned by the Honorable Associate Justice Jose C. Mendoza can enlighten you in your situation. It clearly stated:

    “In almost all cases of sexual abuse, the credibility of the victims’ testimony is crucial in view of the intrinsic nature of the crime where only the persons involved can testify as to its occurrence.”

    xxx xxx xxx

    “The defense of denial interposed by Subesa cannot prevail over the positive testimony of his children. Denial is one of the weakest of all defenses because it is easy to concoct and fabricate. To be believed, denial must be supported by a strong evidence of innocence; otherwise, it is regarded as purely self-serving.”

    xxx xxx xxx

    “It has been repeatedly held that a young girl’s revelation that she had been raped, coupled with her voluntary submission to a medical examination and willingness to undergo public trial where she could be compelled to give out the details of an assault on her dignity, cannot be so easily dismissed as mere concoction. When a woman or a girl-child says that she was raped, she says in effect all that is necessary to show that rape has indeed been committed.” (Emphasis supplied)

    Clearly, your fear that your father’s probable denial of your accusations should be allayed, because the defense of denial is viewed the weakest by the Courts. Nevertheless, your positive testimony against him is sufficient to convict him as the truth can be derived from your straightforward, spontaneous and factual testimony. While your age and reputation will be taken into consideration by the Courts in your favor, the consistencies and candidness in your testimony shall further help you in your case. We suggest that you come out, along with your sisters, as soon as possible in order to prevent further abuses of your father. You may relay the message to your mother and/or other trusted relative, and you may personally visit the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) at 5th Floor DOJ Agencies Building, NIA Road corner East Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City. You may also call us through our 24/7 Hotlines: (02) 426-2801, 426-2450, 426-2987, or 929-9436 local 106 or 107 during office hours, and local 159 after office hours,nighttime, weekends, and holidays, so we can assist you on the same.

    Again, we find it necessary to mention that this opinion is solely based on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. The opinion may vary when the facts are changed or elaborated.
    We hope that we were able to enlighten you on the matter.

    Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to dearpao@manilatimes.net

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