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LLAVE v. PEOPLE In his defense, Llave presented Dr. Castillo as a witness.

He testified that he
April 26, 2006 | Callejo, Sr., J. | Exempting Circumstances - Minority was a freshman at Pasay City High School, where he was an outstanding student and
received awards. He also finished a computer course and a Certificate of Completion
PETITIONER: Niel F. Llave from the Philippine Air Force Management Information Center. He denied having
RESPONDENTS: People of the Philippines raped Debbielyn.

SUMMARY: Llave was convicted of rape for having carnal knowledge of a 7- The trial court and the CA found him guilty of rape on the ground that
year old girl. He contends that he is a minor over 9 and below 15 who did not act based on evidence of the prosecution that Llave pushed Debbielyn towards the
with discernment and should be exempted from liability. The SC ruled that he vacant house and sexually abused her, Llave acted with discernment. The courts also
acted with discernment and is criminally liable. His acts before, during, and after considered Llave's declaration that he had been a consistent honor student. His
the commission of the crime and his testimony of his academic achievements subsequent MR, where he contends that the prosecution failed to adduce proof that
show that he knew the nature and consequences of his actions. he acted with discernment and should be acquitted, was denied.

DOCTRINE: ISSUE/s:
Art. 12. Circumstances which exempt from criminal liability. — the following are WoN Llave, who was a minor above 9 years but below 15 years of age at the time of
exempt from criminal liability: the crime, acted with discernment – YES.
(3) A person over nine years of age and under fifteen, unless he has acted with
discernment, in which case, such minor shall be proceeded against in accordance RULING: SC denied the petition for lack of merit.
with the provisions of Art. 80 of this Code.
Xxx RATIO:
The basic reason behind the exempting circumstance is complete absence of Llave acted with discernment. Article 12, paragraph 3 of the Revised
intelligence, freedom of action of the offender which is an essential element of a Penal Code provides that a person over nine years of age and under fifteen is
felony either by dolus or by culpa. It is the burden of the prosecution to prove that exempt from criminal liability, unless he acted with discernment. The basic
the accused acted with discernment by evidence of physical appearance, attitude, reason behind the exempting circumstance is complete absence of intelligence,
or deportment not only before and during the commission of the act, but also after freedom of action of the offender which is an essential element of a felony either
and during the trial. by dolus or by culpa. Intelligence is the power necessary to determine the
morality of human acts to distinguish a licit from an illicit act. Discernment is
the mental capacity to understand the difference between right and wrong. It is
FACTS: the burden of the prosecution to prove that the accused acted with discernment
Llave, then 12 years old, was charged with the rape of a 7-year old girl, by evidence of physical appearance, attitude, or deportment not only before and
Debbielyn Santos. Adjacent to Debbielyn’s house was that of Teofisto Bucud, which during the commission of the act, but also after and during the trial. The
had a vacant house next to it. Debbielyn testified that while she was on her way to surrounding circumstances must show that the minor knew what he was doing and
her mother’s store, Llave pulled her behind a pile of hollow blocks in front of the that it was wrong.
vacant house and raped her. Teofisto heard Debbielyn’s cries, rushed to them, and
shouted at Llave. Llave fled from the scene. Debbielyn later informed her parents Llave, with methodical fashion, dragged Debbielyn behind the pile of
about what happened and they reported it to the police. They found Llave at his hollow blocks near the vacant house to insure that passersby would not be able to
grandmother’s house and Llave was arrested. Teofisto and Debbielyn’s father, discover his dastardly acts. When he was discovered by Teofisto who shouted at him,
Domingo Santos, testified to the same. Llave hastily fled from the scene to escape arrest. Upon the prodding of his parents,
Llave hid in his grandmother's house to avoid being arrested by policemen and
Dr. Mariella Castillo examined Debbielyn and found an abrasion of the remained thereat until barangay tanods arrived and took him into custody. Further,
perineal skin near the anal opening but found no spermatozoa in the vaginal area or his academic achievements show that he possessed intelligence well beyond his
injury at the external genitalia. She concluded that her findings were consistent with years and thus acted with discernment and was conscious of the nature and
Debbielyn’s claim that she was sexually abused. consequences of his acts.
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