Facts: Documento was charged and convicted for two counts of rape of her own daughter. Allegedly, her daughter was first raped when she was 10 years old. Upon reaching the age of 16 years old, she told her mother and doctor of the series of incidents. In her testimony, she mentioned two Baranggays but failed to mention the term ‘Butuan City’. Thus one of the accused argument was that the RTC ruled even before settling the issue on jurisdiction. Another argument of the accuses was that the case must be remanded to the court since his conviction was improper. Allegedly his plea of guilt was improvident for being made under the influence of the city prosecutor. That the RTC also failed to prove that it conducted an inquiry as to the voluntariness and comprehension of the accused about the consequences of his plea of guilt. 

Issue: 

A.) won the two baranggays are subject of mandatory judicial notice to be within the City of Butuan.

B.) won his guilt was proven by sufficient evidence aside from his plea of guilt.

Held: 

A.) Yes. Contrary to the insistence of Documento that the prosecution failed to establish that the two (2) counts of Rape were perpetrated in Butuan City, the CA pointed to specific parts of the records which show that, although AAA did not specifically mention “Butuan City” in her testimony, the incidents in the present cases transpired in Barangay Antongalon and on Ochoa Avenue, both in Butuan City.

The inclusion of the two Barangays in the City of Butuan is a matter of mandatory judicial notice by the trial court. Section 1 of Rule 129 of the Revised Rules on Evidence provides — Section 1. Judicial notice, when mandatory. — A court shall take judicial notice, without the introduction of evidence, of the existence and territorial extent of states, their political history, forms of government and symbols of nationality, the law of nations, the admiralty and maritime courts of the world and their seals, the political constitution and history of the Philippines, the official acts of the legislative, executive and judicial departments of the Philippines, the laws of nature, the measure of time, and the geographical divisions.

B.) Yes. With the trial court’s failure to comply with the guidelines, appellant’s guilty plea is deemed improvidently made and thus rendered inefficacious. This does not mean, however, that the case should be remanded to the trial court. This course of action is appropriate only when the appellant’s guilty plea was the sole basis for his conviction. As held in People v. Mira Notwithstanding the incautiousness that attended appellant’s guilty plea, we are not inclined to remand the case to the trial court as suggested by appellant. Convictions based on an improvident plea of guilt are set aside only if such plea is the sole basis of the judgment. If the trial court relied on sufficient and credible evidence in finding the accused guilty, the judgment must be sustained, because then it is predicated not merely on the guilty plea of the accused but also on evidence proving his commission of the offense charged.

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