Arnel Sison vs People of the Philippines

August 28, 2014
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666 SCRA 645 – Criminal Law – Crimes Against Persons – Rape; Qualified Rape

Crimes Against Public Order – P.D. 1866 – Illegal Possession of Firearms

One evening in April 2003, AAA boarded the passenger van of Arnel Sison. AAA was on her way to work. AAA was the last passenger but when she was about to reach her place of destination, Sison drove on until they reached a motel. Sison threatened AAA with a gun hence AAA was helpless. Sison was able to rape AAA inside the motel. Later, AAA reported the incident to the police. Several days later, Sison was caught driving the same passenger van. Recovered from him was a gun for which he had no license to carry (expired).

The trial court eventually convicted Sison for two crimes: kidnapping with rape and violation of P.D. 1866 (carrying of unlicensed firearm).

The Court of Appeals affirmed the guilt of Sison but ruled that the crimes should be rape and violation of P.D. 1866. The CA ruled that it is not kidnapping with rape because the intent of Sison was only to rape and the detention made upon AAA was deemed absorbed in rape. The CA likewise ruled that Sison is guilty of violation of P.D. 1866.

ISSUE: Whether or not Sison should be convicted for both crimes.

HELD: No. Sison should only be convicted for rape. Under Section 1 of P.D. 1866, an offender may be convicted of illegal possession of firearms provided that “no other crime was committed by the person arrested“. In this case, Sison also committed the crime of rape on the occasion when he was unlawfully possessing a gun. Hence, pursuant to P.D. 1866, Sison can only be convicted of rape and the charge for illegal possession should be dropped.

However, pursuant to Art. 266-B of the Revised Penal Code, the use of a deadly weapon in the commission of rape shall qualify the crime to qualified rape. Therefore, Sison is convicted for qualified rape and shall serve the penalty of reclusion perpetua.

 

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