alleged inconsistencies in the testimonies of the witnesses can be explained by their age and their inexperience with court proceedings, and that even the most candid of witnesses commit mistakes and make confused and inconsistent statements. This is especially true of young witnesses, who could be overwhelmed by the atmosphere of the courtroom. Hence, there is more reason to accord them ample space for inaccuracy. 20 Accused-appellant capitalizes on AAA’s inability to recall the exact date when the incident in 1996 was committed. Failure to recall the exact date of the crime, however, is not an indication of false testimony, for even discrepancies regarding exact dates of rapes are inconsequential and immaterial and cannot discredit the credibility of the victim as a witness. 21 In People v. Purazo, 22 We ruled: We have ruled, time and again that the date is not an essential element of the crime of rape, for the gravamen of the offense is carnal knowledge of a woman. As such, the time or place of commission in rape cases need not be accurately stated. As early as 1908, we already held that where the time or place or any other fact alleged is not an essential element of the crime charged, conviction may be had on proof of the commission of the crime, even if it appears that the crime was not committed at the precise time or place alleged, or if the proof fails to sustain the Page | 4
existence of some immaterial fact set out in the complaint, provided it appears that the specific crime charged was in fact committed prior to the date of the filing of the complaint or information within the period of the statute of limitations and at a place within the jurisdiction of the court. Also in People v. Salalima, 23 the Court held: Failure to specify the exact dates or time when the rapes occurred does not ipso facto make the information defective on its face. The reason is obvious. The precise date or time when the victim was raped is not an element of the offense. The gravamen of the crime is the fact of carnal knowledge under any of the circumstances enumerated under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code. As long as it is alleged that the offense was committed at any time as near to the actual date when the offense was committed an information is sufficient. In previous cases, we ruled that allegations that rapes were committed "before and until October 15, 1994," "sometime in the year 1991 and the days thereafter," "sometime in November 1995 and some occasions prior and/or subsequent thereto" and "on or about and sometime in the year 1988" constitute sufficient compliance with Section 11, Rule 110 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure. In this case, AAA’s declaration that the rape incident took place on December 15, 1996 was explained by the trial court, and we quote: The rape took place in 1996. As earlier noted by the Court the date December 15, 1996 mentioned by [AAA] may have been arbitrarily chosen by the latter due to the intense cross-examination she was subjected but the Court believes it could have been in any month and date in the year 1996 as
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- Fall '16
- Dimphna Dulay