A FATHER gets life imprisonment for raping his own daughter while she was ill and confined in one of the hospitals of Baguio City.

Presently detained for a separate case of attempted rape, the accused is charged of raping his then 13-year-old daughter.

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The complainant, now, 28 years old and with a family of her own, decided to sue her father to protect her growing daughter, obtain justice and put a closure to that chapter of her life.

The incident occurred in 1995 when the complainant was brought from their hometown in Benguet to a hospital in Baguio for a suspected heart ailment and typhoid fever.

She was confined in a private room when one day, it was her father who watched over her.

The complainant testified that on that day, her father carried her from her bed and put her on his lap. The complainant said she thought she would be comforted by her father as she felt weak at that time. But he later began kissing her and succeeded in raping her.

Court records showed, the complainant resisted but was too weak to stop her father. Her other hand was also connected to a dextrose intravenous drip.

She said she never informed her mother about the incident because she was threatened, until she informed an aunt that she was getting married.

The complainant lived with an aunt while studying in Baguio. When pressed why she decided to get married when she is still studying, the complainant then confided that she was raped when she was 13.

After learning that her father is detained for a similar case, she summoned the courage to sue, more than a decade after the incident occurred.

The accused entered a not guilty plea but the court said a series of letters sent to the complainant, which, among others asked for forgiveness is an admission that he committed the crime, 12 years earlier.

"Testimony of the victim who was only 13 at the time must be given weight, for the testimony of the young victims is credible," the court said.

The accused was also sentenced to suffer the accessory penalties of civil interdiction for life and perpetual disqualification from holding government office.

Further, the accused was ordered to indemnify the complainant P75,000 for damages, P50,000 for moral damages, and P25,000 as exemplary damages.