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Cebu News

CA upholds conviction of frat man in rape case

- Mylen P. Manto - The Philippine Star

CEBU, Philippines - The Court of Appeals Cebu Station affirmed the conviction of Robert Balanza, the alleged founder the Junior Krist King Kappa fraternity, for sexually abusing a 14-year old girl in 2006.

Associate Justice Edgardo delos Santos found no evidence to reverse the ruling of the trial court.

“During the trial, the victim positively identified the accused-appellant as the one who ravaged her. Time and again we have continually held that positive identification prevails over self-serving denial. Herein accused-appellant’s denial cannot prevail over victim’s positive identification of him as the one who raped her,” the decision reads.

The incident happened on October 7, 2006, at 8:00 p.m. in Cebu City.

The lower court convicted accused-appellant for rape. He was sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua or 20 to 40 years imprisonment and was meted to pay P50,000 as civil indemnity.

In her complaint, the victim said that while she was walking home from work, she was approached by a certain Ronel, a member of the fraternity, who told her that accused-appellant wanted to talk to her. She refused.

Despite her refusal, she said Ronel and other members of the fraternity forcibly took her to a nipa hut 20 meters away.

Based on records, the nipa hut was owned by Balanza. While inside the nipa hut, she said she saw Balanza and other members of the fraternity. To her surprise, she said accused-appellant offered her a position as treasurer despite the fact that she was not a member of the group.

Thereafter, she said she was brought to a cornfield where she was raped by the Balanza and a 13-year old boy.

Because the other perpetrator was a minor, the court ruled pursuant to Section 6 in relation to Section 20 of Republic Act 9344 or Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006 and he was exempted from criminal liability. He was subjected to an intervention program under the Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS).

Balanza denied the allegation and said he was in his neighbor’s house during the incident.

“He claims that on the night of the commission of the crime charged, he was in the house of their neighbor, whose house is located one hundred (100) meters away from the house of the accused-appellant,” his statement reads.

Balanza filed an appeal and questioned the lower court’s ruling and argued that there was no positive identification.

However, delos Santos in his ruling said the victim did positively identified him.

“It bears stressing that no young and decent lass will publicly cry rape if such were not the truth,” he ruled adding he found no reason that the victim will concoct such story just to implicate accused-appellant. —/MIT (FREEMAN)

ACCUSED

APPELLANT

ASSOCIATE JUSTICE EDGARDO

BALANZA

CEBU CITY

COURT OF APPEALS CEBU STATION

DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL WELFARE AND SERVICES

JUNIOR KRIST KING KAPPA

JUVENILE JUSTICE AND WELFARE ACT

REPUBLIC ACT

ROBERT BALANZA

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