A dark Father’s Day for rape victims

Cebu as holder of most wins for Reyna ng Aliwan

Atty. Dennis R. Gorecho

Fatherhood extends beyond simple procreation and biology.

“Every family needs a father — a father who shares in his family’s joy and pain, hands down wisdom to his children, and offers them firm guidance and love,” says Pope Francis in one of his homilies on fatherhood.

Pope Franics added: “A good father knows how to wait and knows how to forgive from the depths of his heart. Certainly, he also knows how to correct with firmness: He is not a weak father, submissive and sentimental. The father who knows how to correct without humiliating is the one who knows how to protect without sparing himself.”

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Father’s Day in the Philippines is celebrated on the third Sunday of June to honor the vital, unique, and important role they play in the personal and spiritual development of their children.

But to some, a father is the cause of their sorrow and pain as shown in the cases decided by the Supreme Court on rape and other sexual abuse.

“It is not for humans to ravish what they produced. The rape committed by a father against his own daughter regardless of whether it is done under the cloak of parental discipline has no place in our society. That is why, it is considered as a heinous felony meted with the supreme penalty of termination of the assailant’s life. For indeed those who lust must not last,” thus declared the SC in People vs, David Silvano ( G.R. No. 127356, June 29, 1999 )

The SC stressed that it is “once again saddled with another nightmare of lustful and incestuous defloration committed by one from the victim expects protection.”

In People v. Barcela (652 Phil. 134), the Court underscored that in incestuous rape of a minor, actual force or intimidation need not be proven.

The Court added that the moral and physical domination of the father is sufficient to intimidate the victim into submission to his carnal desires. The rapist, by his overpowering and overbearing moral influence, can easily consummate his bestial lust with impunity. Consequently, proof of force and violence is unnecessary, unlike when the accused is not an ascendant or a blood relative of the victim.

Whatever beastly motive drove him to commit such a vile and despicable act on his own daughter is something he should ponder on for the rest of his life. For a man who rapes his own daughter violates not only her purity and her trust but also the mores of society which he had scornfully defied. (People v. Ramos, 247-A Phil. 484.)

By inflicting his animal greed on her in a disgusting coercion of incestuous lust, he forfeits all respect as a human being and is justly to be spurned by all, not least of all by the fruit of his own loins whose progeny he has forever stained with his shameful and shameless lechery. [ People vs CCC, G.R. No. 220492, July 11, 2018 ]

In many instances, rape victims simply suffer in silence. With more reason would a girl ravished by her own father keep quiet about what befell her. It is unfair to judge the action of children who have undergone traumatic experiences by the norms of behavior expected of mature individuals under the same circumstances (People vs. Mosqueda G.R. Nos. 131830-34 September 3, 1999).

The bedroom where the beastly acts were committed was shared with other families does not detract from the fact that rape was committed.

There is no rule that rape can be committed only in seclusion. Lust is no respecter of time or place. Rape defies constraint of time and space. Rapists are not deterred from committing the odious act of sexual abuse by mere inconvenience or awkwardness of the situation or even by the presence of people or family members nearby (People vs XXX  G.R. No. 263396 June 14, 2023)

A stepfather’s moral ascendancy or influence over his stepdaughter, who grew up knowing him as the only father she has ever had, supplants the element of violence or intimidation in a charge of rape. Such influence over the stepdaughter is the reason why she silently endured years of sexual abuse without fighting back or confiding in anyone. ( People vs Austria G.R. No. 210568, November 08, 2017)

A child would not concoct a story of incest especially if it would result in losing one’s father to prison. 

No sane girl would concoct a story of defloration, allow an examination of her private parts and subject herself to public trial or ridicule if she has not in truth, been a victim of rape and impelled to seek justice for the wrong done to her. 

It is against human nature for a girl to fabricate a story that would expose herself and her family to a lifetime of dishonor, especially where her charges would mean the death or the long-term imprisonment of her own father. (People vs Baun 584 Phil. 560)

(Peyups is the moniker of the University of the Philippines. Atty. Dennis R. Gorecho heads the Seafarers’ Division of the Sapalo Velez Bundang Bulilan Law Offices. For comments, e-mail info@sapalovelez.com, or call 09175025808 or 09088665786.)

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