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MICHAEL JOHN Z. MALTO v.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES


G.R. No. 164733, September 21, 2007
Corona, J.
Doctrine:
The sweetheart theory cannot be invoked for purposes of sexual intercourse and
lascivious conduct in child abuse cases under RA 7610. Consent is immaterial because
the mere act of having sexual intercourse or committing lascivious conduct with a child
who is subjected to sexual abuse constitutes the offense. Moreover, a child is presumed
by law to be incapable of giving rational consent to any lascivious act or sexual
intercourse.
Facts:
Sometime during the month of November 1997 to 1998, Malto seduced his student,
AAA, a minor, to indulge in sexual intercourse several times with him. Prior to the
incident, petitioner and AAA had a mutual understanding and became sweethearts.
Pressured and afraid of the petitioners threat to end their relationship, AAA succumbed
and both had sexual intercourse.
Upon discovery of what AAA underwent, BBB, AAAs mother lodged a complaint in the
Office of the City Prosecutor of Pasay City which led to the filing of Criminal Case No.
00-0691.
The petitioner did not make a plea when arraigned. Hence, the trial court entered for him
a plea of not guilty. The trial court found the evidence for the prosecution sufficient to
sustain petitioners conviction. The trail court rendered a decision finding petitioner guilty
and sentenced him to reclusion temporal and to pay an indemnity of Php. 75,000 and
damages of Php. 50,000.
Petitioner questioned the trial courts decision in the CA. The CA modified the decision of
the trial court. The appellate court affirmed his conviction and ruled that the trial court
erred in awarding Php. 75,000 civil indemnity in favor of AAA as it was proper only in a
conviction for rape committed under the circumstances under which the death penalty
was authorized by law.
Issue:
Whether the CA erred in sustaining petitioners conviction on the grounds that there was
no rape committed since their sexual intercourse was consensual by reason of their
sweetheart relationship
Held:
No. The sweetheart theory cannot be invoked for purposes of sexual intercourse and
lascivious conduct in child abuse cases under RA 7610. Consent is immaterial because
the mere act of having sexual intercourse or committing lascivious conduct with a child
who is subjected to sexual abuse constitutes the offense. Moreover, a child is presumed

by law to be incapable of giving rational consent to any lascivious act or sexual


intercourse.

FIRST DIVISION, G.R. No. 173988, October 08, 2014, FELINA ROSALDES,
PETITIONER, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT.

Reflecting her impressions of the physical injuries based on the testimonial explanations
of Dr. Castigador, the trial judge observed in the decision of June 26, 2003:

Michael Ryan, a Grade 1 pupil at a public elementary school in Lambunao, Iloilo, was in
a hurry to enter his classroom when he accidentally bumped the knee of his teacher,
Felina, who was then sleeping in a bamboo sofa. Instead of apologizing, Michael
proceeded to his seat, where upon, Felina pinched him on his thigh, held him up by the
armpits, and pushed him to the floor. As he fell, Michael hit a desk, and he lost
consciousness. Even so, Felina picked him up by the ear and repeatedly slammed him
on the floor. Felina then proceeded to teach class. Michael went home crying and
reported the incident to his mother, who, accompanied by her sister reported the incident
to the Barangay Captain. A medical examination was conducted on Michael, and
corresponding medical certificate issued by Dr. Teresita Castigador. Thereafter, Felina
was charged with violation of Republic Act 7610. Felina was convicted by the Regional
Trial Court for violation of Section 10 (a) of Republic Act 7610, duly affirmed by the Court
of Appeals, hence she elevated her case to the Supreme Court.

A petechiae (wound no. 1), according to Dr. Castigador is a discoloration of the skin
caused by the extravasation of blood beneath it. She opined that the petechiae and
tenderness of the ears of the victim could have been caused by pinching. As to the
lumbar pain and tenderness at the third and fourth level of the vertebrae (wound no. 2),
the doctor testified that during her examination of the victim the latter felt pain when she
put pressure on the said area. She stated that this could be caused by pressure or
contact with a hard object. Wound No. 3 is located on the victims left inner thigh.
According to her this could not have been caused by ordinary pinching with pressure.
Wound No. 4 is located on the upper part of the left thigh. Dr. Castigador testified that
she noticed that the boy was limping as he walked.

The Supreme Court:


The contention of the petitioner is utterly bereft of merit.
Although the petitioner, as a schoolteacher, could duly discipline Michael Ryan as her
pupil, her infliction of the physical injuries on him was unnecessary, violent and
excessive. The boy even fainted from the violence suffered at her hands. She could not
justifiably claim that she acted only for the sake of disciplining him. Her physical
maltreatment of him was precisely prohibited by no less than the Family Code, which
has expressly banned the infliction of corporal punishment by a school administrator,
teacher or individual engaged in child care exercising special parental authority (i.e., in
loco parentis), viz:

Section 3 of Republic Act No. 7610 defines child abuse thusly:


xxxx
(b) Child abuse refers to the maltreatment, whether habitual or not, of the child which
includes any of the following:
(1) Psychological and physical abuse, neglect, cruelty, sexual abuse and emotional
maltreatment;
(2) Any act by deeds or words which debases, degrades or demeans the intrinsic worth
and dignity of a child as a human being;
(3) Unreasonable deprivation of his basic needs for survival, such as food and shelter;
or

Article 233. The person exercising substitute parental authority shall have the same
authority over the person of the child as the parents.

(4) Failure to immediately give medical treatment to an injured child resulting in serious
impairment of his growth and development or in his permanent incapacity or death.

In no case shall the school administrator, teacher or individual engaged in child care
exercising special parental authority inflict corporal punishment upon the child, (n)

xxxx

Proof of the severe results of the petitioners physical maltreatment of Michael Ryan was
provided by Dr. Teresita Castigador, the Medico-Legal Officer of the Dr. Ricardo Y.
Ladrido Memorial Hospital in Iloilo who examined the victim at about 1:00 oclock in the
afternoon of February 13, 1996, barely three hours from the time the boy had sustained
his injuries. Her Medical Report stated as follows:
1. Petechiae and tenderness of both external ears 12 cm. and 11 cm.;
2. Lumbar pains and tenderness at area of L3-L4;
3. Contusions at left inner thigh 11 and 11 cm.;
4. Tenderness and painful on walking especially at the area of femoral head.

In the crime charged against the petitioner, therefore, the maltreatment may consist of an
act by deeds or by words that debases, degrades or demeans the intrinsic worth and
dignity of a child as a human being. The act need not be habitual. The CA concluded that
the petitioner went overboard in disciplining Michael Ryan, a helpless and weak 7-year
old boy, when she pinched hard Michael Ryan on the left thigh and when she held him in
the armpits and threw him on the floor[; and as] the boy fell down, his body hit the desk
causing him to lose consciousness [but instead] of feeling a sense of remorse, the
accused-appellant further held the boy up by his ears and pushed him down on the
floor. On her part, the trial judge said that the physical pain experienced by the victim
had been aggravated by an emotional trauma that caused him to stop going to school
altogether out of fear of the petitioner, compelling his parents to transfer him to another
school where he had to adjust again. Such established circumstances proved beyond

reasonable doubt that the petitioner was guilty of child abuse by deeds that degraded
and demeaned the intrinsic worth and dignity of Michael Ryan as a human being.
It was also shown that Michael Ryans physical maltreatment by the petitioner was
neither her first or only maltreatment of a child. Prosecution witness Louella Loredo
revealed on cross examination that she had also experienced the petitioners cruelty.
The petitioner was also convicted by the RTC in Iloilo City (Branch 39) in Criminal Case
No. 348921 for maltreatment of another child named Dariel Legayada. Such previous
incidents manifested that the petitioner had a propensity for violence, as the trial judge
stated in her decision of June 26, 2003.
XXX
Thirdly, the petitioner submits that the information charging her with child abuse was
insufficient in form and substance, in that the essential elements of the crime charged
were not properly alleged therein; and that her constitutional and statutory right to due
process of law was consequently violated.
The petitioners submission deserves scant consideration.
Under Section 6, Rule 110 of the Rules of Court, the information is sufficient if it states
the name of the accused; the designation of the offense given by the statute; the acts or
omissions complained of as constituting the offense; the name of the offended party; the
proximate date of the commission of the offense; and the place where the offense was
committed.

as the Court pointed out in Bacolod v. People, it was imperative that the courts prescribe
the proper penalties when convicting the accused, and determine the civil liability to be
imposed on the accused, unless there has been a reservation of the action to recover
civil liability or a waiver of its recovery, explaining the reason for doing so in the following
manner:
It is not amiss to stress that both the RTC and the CA disregarded their express mandate
under Section 2, Rule 120 of the Rules of Court to have the judgment, if it was of
conviction, state: (1) the legal qualification of the offense constituted by the acts
committed by the accused and the aggravating or mitigating circumstances which
attended its commission; (2) the participation of the accused in the offense, whether as
principal, accomplice, or accessory after the fact; (3) the penalty imposed upon the
accused; and (4) the civil liability or damages caused by his wrongful act or omission to
be recovered from the accused by the offended party, if there is any, unless the
enforcement of the civil liability by a separate civil action has been reserved or waived.
Their disregard compels us to act as we now do lest the Court be unreasonably seen as
tolerant of their omission. That the Spouses Cogtas did not themselves seek the
correction of the omission by an appeal is no hindrance to this action because the Court,
as the final reviewing tribunal, has not only the authority but also the duty to correct at
any time a matter of law and justice.

We also pointedly remind all trial and appellate courts to avoid omitting reliefs that the
parties are properly entitled to by law or in equity under the established facts. Their
judgments will not be worthy of the name unless they thereby fully determine the rights
and obligations of the litigants. It cannot be otherwise, for only by a full determination of
such rights and obligations would they be true to the judicial office of administering
The information explicitly averred the offense of child abuse charged against the
petitioner in the context of the statutory definition of child abuse found in Section 3 (b) of justice and equity for all. Courts should then be alert and cautious in their rendition of
judgments of conviction in criminal cases. They should prescribe the legal penalties,
Republic Act No. 7610, supra, and thus complied with the requirements of Section 6,
which is what the Constitution and the law require and expect them to do. Their
Rule 110 of the Rules of Court.
prescription of the wrong penalties will be invalid and ineffectual for being done without
jurisdiction or in manifest grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction.
Moreover, the Court should no longer entertain the petitioners challenge against the
They should also determine and set the civil liability ex delicto of the accused, in order to
sufficiency of the information in form and substance. Her last chance to pose the
challenge was prior to the time she pleaded to the information through a motion to quash do justice to the complaining victims who are always entitled to them. The Rules of Court
mandates them to do so unless the enforcement of the civil liability by separate actions
on the ground that the information did not conform substantially to the prescribed form,
or did not charge an offense. She did not do so, resulting in her waiver of the challenge. has been reserved or waived.
Fourthly, the RTC did not grant civil damages as civil liability ex delicto because no
evidence had been adduced thereon. The CA saw nothing wrong with the omission by
the trial court. The explanation tendered by the trial judge for the omission was
misplaced, however, because even without proof of the actual expenses, or testimony on
the victims feelings, the lower courts still had the authority to define and allow civil
liability arising from the offense and the means to fix their extent. The child abuse surely
inflicted on Michael Ryan physical and emotional trauma as well as moral injury. It
cannot also be denied that his parents necessarily spent for his treatment. We hold that
both lower courts committed a plain error that demands correction by the Court. Indeed,

Moral damages should be awarded to assuage the moral and emotional sufferings of the
victim, and in that respect the Court believes and holds that P20,000.00 is reasonable.
The victim was likewise entitled to exemplary damages, considering that Article 2230 of
the Civil Code authorizes such damages if at least one aggravating circumstance
attended the commission of the crime. The child abuse committed by the petitioner was
aggravated her being a public schoolteacher, a factor in raising the penalty to its
maximum period pursuant to Section 31(e) of Republic Act No. 7610. The amount of
P20,000.00 as exemplary damages is imposed on in order to set an example for the
public good and as a deterrent to other public schoolteachers who violate the ban

imposed by Article 233 of the Family Code, supra, against the infliction of corporal
punishment on children under their substitute parental authority. The lack of proof of the
actual expenses for the victims treatment should not hinder the granting of a measure of
compensation in the form of temperate damages, which, according to Article 2224 of the
Civil Code, may be recovered when some pecuniary loss has been suffered but its
amount cannot be proved with certainty. There being no question about the injuries
sustained requiring medical treatment, temperate damages of at least P20,000.00 are
warranted, for it would be inequitable not to recognize the need for the treatment. Lastly,
interest of 6% per annum shall be charged on all the items of civil liability, to be reckoned
from the finality of this decision until full payment.
The penalty for the child abuse committed by the petitioner is that prescribed in Section
10(a) of Republic Act No. 7610, viz:
Section 10. Other Acts of Neglect, Abuse, Cruelty or Exploitation and Other Conditions
Prejudicial to the Childs Development.
(a) Any person who shall commit any other acts of child abuse, cruelty or exploitation or
to be responsible for other conditions prejudicial to the childs development including
those covered by Article 59 of Presidential Decree No. 603, as amended, but not
covered by the Revised Penal Code, as amended, shall suffer the penalty of prision
mayor in its minimum period.
xxxx
The CA revised the penalty fixed by the RTC by imposing the indeterminate penalty of
four years, two months and one day of prision correccional, as minimum, to 10 years and
one day of prision mayor, as the maximum, on the ground that the offense was
aggravated by the petitioner being a public schoolteacher. It cited Section 31(e) of
Republic Act No. 7610, which commands that the penalty provided in the Act shall be
imposed in its maximum period if the offender is a public officer or employee. Her being
a public schoolteacher was alleged in the information and established by evidence as
well as admitted by her. The revised penalty was erroneous, however, because Section
10 (a) of Republic Act No. 7610 punishes the crime committed by the petitioner with
prision mayor in its minimum period, whose three periods are six years and one day to
six years and eight months, for the minimum period; six years, eight months and one day
to seven years and four months, for the medium period; and seven years, four months
and one day to eight years, for the maximum period. The maximum of the indeterminate
sentence should come from the maximum period, therefore, and the Court fixes it at
seven years, four months and one day of prision mayor. The minimum of the
indeterminate sentence should come from prision correccional in the maximum period,
the penalty next lower than prision mayor in its minimum period, whose range is from
four years, two months and one day to six years. Accordingly, the minimum of the
indeterminate sentence is four years, nine months and 11 days, and the maximum is
seven years, four months and one day of prision mayor.

Sanchez vs. People

The undersigned, Second Assistant Provincial Prosecutor, hereby accuses Leonilo


Sanchez alias Nilo of Lajog, Clarin, Bohol of the crime of Other Acts of Child Abuse,
committed as follows:

As gleaned from the foregoing, the provision punishes not only those enumerated under
Article 59 of Presidential Decree No. 603, but also four distinct acts, i.e., (a) child abuse,
(b) child cruelty, (c) child exploitation and (d) being responsible for conditions prejudicial
to the childs development. The Rules and Regulations of the questioned statute
distinctly and separately defined child abuse, cruelty and exploitation just to show that
these three acts are different from one another and from the act prejudicial to the childs
development. Contrary to petitioners assertion, an accused can be prosecuted and be
convicted under Section 10(a), Article VI of Republic Act No. 7610 if he commits any of
the four acts therein. The prosecution need not prove that the acts of child abuse, child
cruelty and child exploitation have resulted in the prejudice of the child because an act
prejudicial to the development of the child is different from the former acts.

That on or about the 2nd day of September, 2000 in the municipality of Clarin, province
of Bohol, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, acting as a
Family Court, the above-named accused, with intent to abuse, exploit and/or to inflict
other conditions prejudicial to the child's development, did then and there willfully,
unlawfully and feloniously abuse physically one [VVV],[7] a sixteen (16) year old minor,
by hitting her thrice in the upper part of her legs, and which acts are prejudicial to the
child-victim's development which acts are not covered by the Revised Penal Code, as
amended, but the same are covered by Art. 59, par. 8 of P.D. No. 603 as amended; to
the damage and prejudice of the offended party in the amount to be proved during the
trial.

Moreover, it is a rule in statutory construction that the word or is a disjunctive term


signifying dissociation and independence of one thing from other things enumerated. It
should, as a rule, be construed in the sense which it ordinarily implies. Hence, the use of
or in Section 10(a) of Republic Act No. 7610 before the phrase be responsible for
other conditions prejudicial to the childs development supposes that there are four
punishable acts therein. First, the act of child abuse; second, child cruelty; third, child
exploitation; and fourth, being responsible for conditions prejudicial to the childs
development. The fourth penalized act cannot be interpreted, as petitioner suggests, as
a qualifying condition for the three other acts, because an analysis of the entire context
of the questioned provision does not warrant such construal.

The appellant argues that the injuries inflicted by him were minor in nature that it is not
prejudicial to the child-victims development and therefore P.D. No. 603 is not applicable
and he should be charged under the Revised Penal Code for slight physical injuries.

Appellant contends that, after proof, the act should not be considered as child abuse but
merely as slight physical injuries defined and punishable under Article 266 of the
Revised Penal Code. Appellant conveniently forgets that when the incident happened,
VVV was a child entitled to the protection extended by R.A. No. 7610, as mandated by
the Constitution. As defined in the law, child abuse includes physical abuse of the child,
whether the same is habitual or not. The act of appellant falls squarely within this
definition. We, therefore, cannot accept appellant's contention.

G.R. No. 179090, June 5, 2009


FACTS:
Appellant was charged with the crime of Other Acts of Child Abuse in an Information[6]
dated August 29, 2001 which reads:

ISSUE:
Whether or not P.D. 603 as amended is applicable to the case at hand.
HELD:
In this case, the applicable laws are Article 59 of P.D. No. 603 and Section 10(a) of R.A.
No. 7610. Section 10(a) of R.A. No. 7610 provides:
SECTION 10. Other Acts of Neglect, Abuse, Cruelty or Exploitation and Other Conditions
Prejudicial to the Child's Development.
(a)
Any person who shall commit any other acts of child abuse, cruelty or
exploitation or be responsible for other conditions prejudicial to the child's development
including those covered by Article 59 of Presidential Decree No. 603, as amended, but
not covered by the Revised Penal Code, as amended, shall suffer the penalty of prision
mayor in its minimum period.

Acts committed contrary to the provisions of Section 10(a) in relation to Sections 3(a)
and 3(b) No. 1 of Rep. Act No. 7610 and Sec. 59(8) of PD 603, amended.

GONZALO A. ARANETA VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES


G.R. No. 174205 June 27, 2008
Facts:

despite failure of the prosecution to establish the elements necessary to constitute the
crime charged. Petitioner concludes that an act or word can only be punishable if such
be prejudicial to the childs development so as to debase, degrade or demean the
intrinsic worth and dignity of a child as a human being. In other words, petitioner was of
the opinion that an accused can only be successfully convicted of child abuse under
Section 10(a) if it is proved that the victims development had been prejudiced. Thus,
according to petitioner, absent proof of such prejudice, which is an essential element in
the crime charged, petitioner cannot be found guilty of child abuse under the subject
provision.

As culled from the combined testimonies of the prosecution witnesses, the prosecution
was able to establish that at the time of the commission of the crime, AAA was 17 years
old, having been born on 28 March 1981, in Batohon Daco, Dauin, Negros Oriental.
Because she was then studying at Dauin Municipal High School located at Poblacion,
District III, Dauin, AAA left her birthplace to live near her school. She stayed at the house
The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), on the other hand, believes that the
of a certain DDD as a boarder.
questioned acts of petitioner fall within the definition of child abuse. According to the
OSG, when paragraph (a) of Section 10 of Republic Act No. 7610 states: Any person
At around 10:00 oclock in the morning of 10 April 1998, while AAA and her two younger who shall commit any other acts of child abuse, cruelty or exploitation or be responsible
sisters, BBB and EEE were sitting on a bench at the waiting shed located near her
for other condition prejudicial to the childs development x x x, it contemplates two
boarding house, petitioner approached her. Petitioner, who had been incessantly
classes of other acts of child abuse, i.e., (1) other acts of child abuse, cruelty, and
courting AAA from the time she was still 13 years old, again expressed his feelings for
exploitation; and (2) other conditions prejudicial to the childs development. It argues
her and asked her to accept his love and even insisted that she must accept him
that unlike the second kind of child abuse, the first class does not require that the act be
because he had a job. She did not like what she heard from petitioner and tried to hit
prejudicial to the childs development.
him with a broom but the latter was able to dodge the strike. She and her two sisters
dashed to the boarding house which was five meters away and went inside the
Court of Appeals concurred in the opinion of the OSG. It affirmed in toto the decision of
room. When they were about to close the door, the petitioner, who was following them,
the RTC.
forced himself inside. The three tried to bar petitioner from entering the room by pushing
the door to his direction. Their efforts, however, proved futile as petitioner was able to
HELD:
enter. There petitioner embraced AAA, who struggled to extricate herself from his hold.
AAA then shouted for help. Meanwhile, petitioner continued hugging her and tried to
As gleaned from the foregoing, the provision punishes not only those enumerated under
threaten her with these words:
Article 59 of Presidential Decree No. 603, but also four distinct acts, i.e., (a) child abuse,
Ug dili ko nimo sugton, patyon tike. Akong ipakita nimo unsa ko ka buang (If you will
(b) child cruelty, (c) child exploitation and (d) being responsible for conditions prejudicial
not accept my love I will kill you. I will show you how bad I can be). BBB, tried to pull
to the childs development. The Rules and Regulations of the questioned statute
petitioner away from her sister AAA, but to no avail. Andrew Tubilag, who was also
distinctly and separately defined child abuse, cruelty and exploitation just to show that
residing in the same house, arrived and pulled petitioner away from AAA. AAA closed
these three acts are different from one another and from the act prejudicial to the childs
the door of the room and there she cried. She then went to the police station to report
development. Contrary to petitioners assertion, an accused can be prosecuted and be
the incident.
convicted under Section 10(a), Article VI of Republic Act No. 7610 if he commits any of
the four acts therein. The prosecution need not prove that the acts of child abuse, child
The RTC rendered a decision totally disregarding petitioners bare denials and flimsy
cruelty and child exploitation have resulted in the prejudice of the child because an act
assertions. In convicting petitioner of the crime charged, it held that petitioners act of
prejudicial to the development of the child is different from the former acts.
forcibly embracing the victim against her will wrought injury on the latters honor and
constituted child abuse as defined under Section 10(a), Article VI of Republic Act No.
Moreover, it is a rule in statutory construction that the word or is a disjunctive term
7610. It further ruminated that if the mentioned statute considers as child abuse a mans signifying dissociation and independence of one thing from other things enumerated. It
mere keeping or having in his company a minor, twelve years or under or ten years or
should, as a rule, be construed in the sense which it ordinarily implies. Hence, the use of
more his junior, in any public place, all the more would the unwanted embrace of a minor or in Section 10(a) of Republic Act No. 7610 before the phrase be responsible for
fall under the purview of child abuse.
other conditions prejudicial to the childs development supposes that there are four
punishable acts therein. First, the act of child abuse; second, child cruelty; third, child
Dissatisfied with the ruling of the RTC, petitioner elevated the case to the Court of
exploitation; and fourth, being responsible for conditions prejudicial to the childs
Appeals. Petitioner claimed that the RTC gravely erred in convicting him of child abuse development. The fourth penalized act cannot be interpreted, as petitioner suggests, as

a qualifying condition for the three other acts, because an analysis of the entire context
of the questioned provision does not warrant such construal.
Subsection (b), Section 3, Article I of Republic Act No. 7610, states:
Child abuse includes:
(2)
Any act by deeds or words which debases, degrades or demeans
the intrinsic worth and dignity of a child as a human being;
The evidence of the prosecution proved that petitioner, despite the victims
protestation, relentlessly followed the latter from the waiting shed to her boarding house
and even to the room where she stayed. He forcibly embraced her and threatened to kill
her if she would not accept his love for her. Indeed, such devious act must have
shattered her self-esteem and womanhood and virtually debased, degraded or
demeaned her intrinsic worth and dignity. As a young and helpless lass at that time,
being away from her parents, the victim must have felt desecrated and sexually
transgressed, especially considering the fact that the incident took place before the very
eyes of her two younger, innocent sisters. Petitioner who was old enough to be the
victims grandfather, did not only traumatize and gravely threaten the normal
development of such innocent girl; he was also betraying the trust that young girls place
in the adult members of the community who are expected to guide and nurture the wellbeing of these fragile members of the society. Undoubtedly, such insensible act of
petitioner constitutes child abuse. As the RTC aptly observed:
It bears stressing that the mere keeping or having in a mans companion a minor, twelve
(12) years or under or who is ten (10) years or more his junior in any public or private
place already constitutes child abuse under Section 10(b) of the same Act. Under such
rationale, an unwanted embrace on a minor would all the more constitute child abuse

KARLO ANGELO DABALOS v. RTC, BRANCH 59, ANGELES CITY (PAMPANGA),


ET. AL., G.R. No. 193960, January 7, 2013
Criminal law; Sec. 3(a) of RA 9262; Elements. The law is broad in scope but specifies
two limiting qualifications for any act or series of acts to be considered as a crime of
violence against women through physical harm, namely: 1) it is committed against a
woman or her child and the woman is the offenders wife, former wife, or with whom he
has or had sexual or dating relationship or with whom he has a common child; and 2) it
results in or is likely to result in physical harm or suffering.
In Ang v. Court of Appeals the Court enumerated the elements of the crimeof violence
against women through harassment, to wit:
1. The offender has or had a sexual ordating relationship with the offended woman;
2. The offender, by himself or through another, commits an act or series of acts of
harassment against the woman; and,
3. The harassment alarms or causes substantial emotional or psychological distress to
her.
Notably, while it is required that the offender has or had a sexual or dating relationship
with the offended woman, for RA 9262 to be applicable, it is not indispensable that the
act of violence be a consequence of such relationship. Nowhere in the law can such
limitation be inferred. Hence, applying the rule on statutory construction that when the
law does not distinguish, neither should the courts, then, clearly, the punishable acts
refer to all acts of violence against women with whom the offender has or had a sexual
or dating relationship. As correctly ruled by the RTC, it is immaterial whether the
relationship had ceased for as long as there is sufficient evidence showing the past or
present existence of such relationship between the offender and the victim when the
physical harm was committed.

FIRST DIVISION

The RTC Proceedings

G.R. No. 206957, June 17, 2015


CHERITH A. BUCAL, Petitioner, v. MANNY P. BUCAL, Respondent.
DECISION
PERLAS-BERNABE, J.:
Assailed in this petition for review on certiorari1 are the Decision2 dated October 16,
2012 and the Resolution3 dated April 15, 2013 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R.
SP No. 117731, which affirmed the Orders dated June 22, 20104 and November 23,
20105 of the Regional Trial Court of Trece Martires City, Branch 23 (RTC) in Protection
Order No. PPO-002-10 granting visitation rights to respondent Manny P. Bucal (Manny).
The Facts

After due proceedings, the RTC, in an Order12 dated May 14, 2010, issued a TPO
granting the above-mentioned reliefs, effective for a period of thirty (30) days. However,
Manny was given visitation rights every Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with
instruction that Francheska be brought to his residence by Cheriths
relatives.13chanrobleslaw
Anticipating the expiration of the TPO, Cherith filed an Ex-Parte Motion for Extension
and/or Renewal of the Temporary Restraining Order14(Motion) on June 10, 2010, which
further sought a clarification of the visitation rights granted to Manny.15chanrobleslaw
In an Order16 dated June 22, 2010, the RTC granted Cheriths Motion and issued a
PPO. It also ordered Manny to provide support to Francheska in the amount of
P5,000.00. The RTC also clarified that the visitation rights would only be from 8:00 a.m.
to 5:00 p.m. every Saturday and that the petitioners guardian will bring the child,
Francheska, to Mannys home and accompany her until 5:00 p.m.17chanrobleslaw

Petitioner Cherith A. Bucal (Cherith) and Manny were married on July 29, 20056 and
have a daughter named Francheska A. Bucal (Francheska), who was born on November On July 30, 2010, Cherith filed an Ex-Parte Motion to Amend Order,18seeking the
reversal of the grant of visitation rights.19 She alleged that upon perusal of her RTC
22, 2005.7chanrobleslaw
Petition in the records of the court, she noticed an unauthorized intercalation praying for
visitation rights for Manny.20 Moreover, citing the further strained relations between her
On May 7, 2010, Cherith filed a Petition for the Issuance of a Protection Order8(RTC
Petition) based on Republic Act No. (RA) 9262,9 otherwise known as the Anti-Violence and Manny, Cherith argued that continuing Francheskas weekly visits to her father
defeated the purpose of the protection order granted to them as the obligation made her
Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004. She alleged that Manny had never
and the child vulnerable to the abuse from which they sought
shown her the love and care of a husband, nor supported her and Francheska
financially. Furthermore, due to Mannys alcoholism, he was always mad and would even protection.21chanrobleslaw
shout hurtful words at her. Mannys demean or even affected her health detrimentally,
On August 12, 2010, Manny filed an Omnibus Motion22 praying that:(a) the attached
leading her to suffer dizziness and difficulty in breathing on one occasion.10Thus,
Cherith prayed that the RTC issue in her favor a Temporary Protection Order (TPO): (a) Answer23 be admitted; (b) the PPO issued on June 22, 2010 be set aside; and (c) the
case be set for trial. Manny also sought Cheriths citation for contempt due to her failure
prohibiting Manny from harassing, annoying, telephoning, contacting, or otherwise
to abide by the visitation rights granted to him.24 In his Answer, Manny belied Cheriths
communicating with her, directly or indirectly; (b)ordering a law enforcement officer and
court personnel to accompany her to the residence of Manny to supervise the removal of accusations of abuse by alleging delusion and paranoia on her part and claiming himself
to be a responsible and dedicated family man.25 Cherith opposed26 Mannys Omnibus
her personal belongings in order to ensure her personal safety; (c) directing Manny
and/or any of his family members to stay away from her and any of her designated family Motion, alleging that after she filed her petition,Manny personally appeared before the
court but did not file any pleading, nor oppose the prayer in her RTC
or household member at a distance specified by the court, and to stay away from the
Petition.27chanrobleslaw
residence, school, place of employment, or any specified place frequented by her and
any of her designated family or household member; (d) enjoining Manny from
Pending resolution of Mannys Omnibus Motion, Manny filed a Manifestation and
threatening to commit or committing further acts of violence against her and any of her
family and household member; (e) granting her custody and charge of Francheska, until Opposition to Petition,28basically reiterating his averments in the Omnibus Motion. In
response, Cherith filed her comment,29 positing that the Manifestation and Opposition to
further orders from the court; (f) ordering Manny to absolutely desist and refrain from
Petition was a prohibited pleading for it sought, among others, the reconsideration of the
imposing any restraint on her personal liberty and from taking from her custody or
PPO and the re-opening of trial.30In the same pleading, Cherith prayed that her
charge of Francheska; and (g) directing Manny to provide support to her and
previous Ex-Parte Motion to Amend Order, which sought the reversal of the grant of
Francheska. Cherith also prayed that after hearing, the TPO be converted into a
visitation rights, be granted.31chanrobleslaw
Permanent Protection Order (PPO).11chanrobleslaw

After due hearing, the RTC, in an Order32 dated November 23, 2010 modified its June
22, 2010 Order, ordering Cherith to bring Francheska to McDonalds in Tanza at exactly
9:00 a.m. on Saturdays where she will be picked up by her father, Manny, and be
returned in the same place the following day, Sunday, at 5:00 p.m.
Dissatisfied, Cherith filed a petition for certiorari33 before the CA, arguing that it was
beyond the RTCs authority to grant visitation rights to Manny because the trial court
cannot grant a remedy that was not prayed for.34chanrobleslaw
The CA Ruling

In a Decision35 dated October 16, 2012, the CA dismissed Cheriths petition


for certiorari and affirmed the RTC Orders dated June 22, 2010 and November 23,
2010.36chanrobleslaw
At the outset, it pointed out that Cheriths failure to file a motion for reconsideration
before the RTC, without any justification therefor, rendered her resort
to certiorari premature.37 On the merits,it held that the RTC did not commit grave abuse
of discretion in granting visitation rights to Manny because the same was only based on
Cheriths own prayer.38chanrobleslaw
Aggrieved, Cherith moved for reconsideration,39 which was denied in a
Resolution40 dated April 15, 2013; hence, this petition.

defined exceptions, such as: (a) where the order is a patent nullity, as where the court a
quo has no jurisdiction; (b) where the questions raised in the certiorari proceedings have
been duly raised and passed upon by the lower court, or are the same as those raised
and passed upon in the lower court; (c) where there is an urgent necessity for the
resolution of the question and any further delay would prejudice the interests of the
Government or of the petitioner or the subject matter of the action is perishable; (d)
where, under the circumstances, a motion for reconsideration would be useless; (e)
where petitioner was deprived of due process and there is extreme urgency for relief; (f)
where, in a criminal case, relief from an order of arrest is urgent and the granting of such
relief by the trial court is improbable; (g) where the proceedings in the lower court are a
nullity for lack of due process; (h) where the proceeding were ex-parte or in which the
petitioner had no opportunity to object; and (i) where the issue raised is one purely of law
or where public interest is involved.41chanrobleslaw
The second and third exceptions obtain in this case.
During the course of the RTC proceedings, Cherith filed three(3) pleadings, namely: (a)
an Ex-ParteMotion for Extension and/or Renewal of the TPO;42 (b) an Ex-Parte Motion
to Amend Order;43 and (c) a Comment to Respondents Manifestation and Opposition to
the Petition,44 all seeking for the clarification of, or the withdrawal of the visitation rights
granted to Manny. Each was resolved by the RTC reiterating the award of visitation
rights to the latter.45 As such, it cannot be denied that Cheriths opposition to the award
of visitation rights had been squarely and definitively presented to the RTC which arrived
at the same result. Thus, there was no need for the prior filing of a motion for
reconsideration.

The Issue Before the Court

The urgency for resolution also rendered such filing unnecessary. It should be
emphasized that Cherith had already been issued a PPO. As defined in Section 8 of RA
The essential issue for the Courts resolution is whether or not the CA erred in dismissing 9262, [a] protection order is an order issued x x x for the purpose of preventing further
acts of violence against a woman or her child specified in Section 5 of this Act and
Cherithscertiorari petition, thus, affirming the June 22, 2010 and November 23, 2010
granting other necessary relief. The relief granted under a protection order serve the
RTC Orders granting visitation rights to Manny.
purpose of safeguarding the victim from further harm, minimizing any disruption in the
victims daily life, and facilitating the opportunity and ability of the victim to independently
The Courts Ruling
regain control over her life. x xx. With a standing PPO issued for the purpose of
protecting not only the woman, but also her child against acts of violence committed by
the person against whom the order is issued in this case, Manny the resolution of the
The petition is meritorious.
issue of whether or not Manny should be given visitation rights, despite any discernible
basis therefor, is urgent,else Cherith and Francheska be unduly exposed to the very
On the matter of procedure, the Court finds that the CA erred in dismissing
Cheriths certioraripetition on account of her failure to file a motion for reconsideration of danger which they are seeking protection from. As the Court sees it, any further delay
would substantially prejudice their interests, thus, allowing a direct recourse to certiorari.
the assailed RTC Orders.
The settled rule is that a motion for reconsideration is a condition sine qua non for the
filing of a petition for certiorari. Its purpose is to grant an opportunity for the court to
correct any actual or perceived error attributed to it by the re-examination of the legal
and factual circumstances of the case. The rule is, however, circumscribed by well-

That being said, the Court now proceeds to the substantive aspect of this case.
It is well-settled that courts cannot grant a relief not prayed for in the pleadings or in
excess of what is being sought by a party to a case.46The rationale for the rule was

explained in Development Bank of the Philippines v.


Teston,47viz.:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
Due process considerations justify this requirement. It is improper to enter an order
which exceeds the scope of relief sought by the pleadings, absent notice which affords
the opposing party an opportunity to be heard with respect to the proposed relief. The
fundamental purpose of the requirement that allegations of a complaint must provide the
measure of recovery is to prevent surprise to the defendant.48
For the same reason,this protection against surprises granted to defendants should also
be available to petitioners. Verily, both parties to a suit are entitled to due process
against unforeseen and arbitrary judgments. The very essence of due process is the
sporting idea of fair play which forbids the grant of relief on matters where a party to the
suit was not given an opportunity to be heard.49chanrobleslaw
The records do not show that Manny prayed for visitation rights. While he was present
during the hearing for the issuance of the TPO and PPO, he neither manifested nor filed
any pleading which would indicate that he was seeking for such relief.
Neither was it shown that Cherith sought the award of visitation rights for her estranged
husband. In fact, Cheriths RTC Petition specifically prayed that the RTC prohibit Manny
from harassing, annoying, telephoning, contacting or otherwise communicating with her,
directly or indirectly (which would tend to occur if Francheska would be turned-over to
Manny during weekends), order Manny to absolutely desist and refrain from imposing
any restraint on her personal liberty and from taking from her custody or charge of
Francheska, and direct Manny and/or any of his family members to stay away from her
and any of her designated family or household members under the limitations set by the
court. Further, as above-intimated, Cherith has repeatedly contested the award of
visitation rights during the course of the proceedings before the RTC, but to no avail.
While there appears an intercalation of a prayer for visitation rights in Cheriths RTC
Petition, it is evident that she never authorized such intercalation because: (1) she had
consistently contested the grant of visitation rights in favor of Manny, and (2) it was
merely penned in the handwriting of an unidentified person, which, thus, renders the
same dubious. Meanwhile, Manny or any of the courts a quo did not proffer any credible
explanation to the contrary.
Hence, for all these reasons, the Court concludes that the grant of visitation rights by the
RTC in favor of Manny, as contained in the PPO, and reiterated in its assailed Orders,
being both unexplained and not prayed for, is an act of grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction which deserves correction through the
prerogative writ of certiorari. With this pronouncement, there is no need to delve into the
other ancillary issues raised herein.
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The Decision dated October 16, 2012 and the
Resolution dated April 15, 2013 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 117731 are

hereby REVERSED andSET ASIDE.


The portions of the Orders dated June 22, 2010 and November 23, 2010 of the Regional
Trial Court of Trece Martires City, Branch 23granting visitation rights to respondent
Manny P. Bucal are hereby declared VOID.
SO ORDERED.cralawlawlibrary

G.R. No. 199522, June 22, 2015


RICKY DINAMLING, Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.
DECISION
PERALTA, J.:
Before the Court is a Petition for Review on certiorari, under Rule 45 of the Rules of
Court, assailing the Decision1 dated August 11, 2011 and Resolution2 dated November
25, 2011 of the Court of Appeals, in CA-G.R. CR No. 32912, which affirmed with
modification the conviction of petitioner for violation of Section 5(i), in relation to Section
6(f) of Republic Act (RA) No. 9262, otherwise known as the Anti-Violence Against
Women and their Children Act of 2004.
The facts of the case follow.
On the night of March 14, 2007, petitioner Ricky Dinamling and a friend came from a
drinking session and went to the boarding house of AAA.3 At that time, Dinamling and
the woman AAA were in an ongoing five-year relationship and they had two common
children (then aged four and two years old). Dinamling and his friend arrived as AAA
was putting the two children to bed. Suddenly, Dinamling started to evict AAA and the
children, ordering AAA to pack her things in a trash bag and a carton box for ducklings.
His reason for the eviction was that she was allegedly using the place as a whore
house wherein she brought (her) partners. AAA initially did not want to leave as she
could not carry the children and their things, but she left when Dinamling threw a baby's
feeding bottle outside the house, causing it to break. She then went to the house of BBB
and requested the latter to fetch her children. When BBB and another friend went for the
children, Dinamling already had left with the older child and only the baby was left. The
baby was brought by the friends back to AAA. In the past, there were similar incidents
that happened between Dinamling and AAA. Dinamling would hit AAA's head, pull her
hair and kick her. When AAA went to the police, she was merely told that it was a family
problem that could be talked over. Dinamling was, at that time, a policeman
himself.4chanrobleslaw
Six days later, or on March 20, 2007, at around 9:00 p.m., another incident occurred.
AAA was at the house of CCC when Dinamling arrived. He shouted and counted down
for AAA to come out. When she came out, Dinamling punched her at the left ear, which
subsequently bled. When AAA asked him why he kept on following her when she already
had left him, Dinamling shouted her family name and told her she was good-fornothing. AAA left for the barangay captain's house, but Dinamling caught up with her
and kicked her until she fell to the ground. On the road, Dinamling pulled down AAA's
pants and panty and shouted at her while people looked on. Dinamling then threw the
pants and panty back at AAA and shouted her family name. Dinamling, then intoxicated,
left on a motorcycle.5AAA stayed at her friend's home until she felt some back pain in
the next morning. She found out she was bleeding and about to miscarry so she was

immediately brought to the hospital. There, she was told that she was 19 weeks
pregnant and had an incomplete abortion. She was hospitalized for four days. Dinamling
visited her but showed no remorse over his acts.6chanrobleslaw
As a result of the above incidents, petitioner Ricky Dinamling was charged in two (2)
criminal Informations in the Regional Trial Court (RTC) for violation of Section 5(i), in
relation to Section 6(f)7of RA No. 9262. The two Informations against him
read:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
Criminal Case No. 1701:
That on or about the evening of March 14, 2007, at XXX, Ifugao, the above-named
accused did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously inflict psychological
violence upon AAA, a woman with whom he has two common children, resulting to
mental and emotional anguish and public ridicule or humiliation by repeated verbal and
emotional abuse consisting of several bad and insulting utterances directed against the
victim and a feeding bottle being thrown against the latter in anger.
CONTRARY TO LAW, with the offense being attended by the special qualifying
aggravating circumstance of the victim being pregnant at the time.
Criminal Case No. 1702:
That on or about the evening of March 20, 2007 at XXX, Ifugao, the above-named
accused did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously inflict psychological
violence upon AAA, a woman with whom he has two common children, resulting to
mental and emotional anguish and public ridicule or humiliation by boxing the victim on
the head, kicking her at the back and removing her pant (sic) and panty (sic).
CONTRARY TO LAW, with the offense being attended by the special qualifying
aggravating circumstance of the victim being pregnant at the
time.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

Upon arraignment, Dinamling pleaded Not Guilty to both


charges. Thereafter, the cases were tried jointly.8chanrobleslaw
For the prosecution, AAA, her mother DDD and Dr. Mae
Codamon-Diaz testified. For the accused, only petitioner
testified for and in his own defense. His defense was denial and
alibi, claiming that he was on duty at the town's police station
at the time that the offenses were committed.9chanrobleslaw
After trial, the RTC rendered its decision on August 4, 2009
finding Dinamling guilty of both charges. For Criminal Case No.

1701, the court sentenced him to suffer imprisonment of from


ten (10) years and one (1) day to twelve (12) years of prision
mayor.10 For Criminal Case No. 1702, the court ordered him to
suffer imprisonment of from ten (10) years and one (1) day to
twelve (12) years ofprision mayor in its maximum period.
On appeal to the Court of Appeals, the decision in Criminal
Case No. 1701 was affirmed and the one in Criminal Case No.
1702 was affirmed with the modification on the penalty, by
applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, such that Dinamling
was sentenced to imprisonment of nine (9) years, four (4)
months and one (1) day of prision mayor, as minimum, to
twelve (12) years of prision mayor, as maximum.
Hence, the present petition.
The petition assails the findings of the Court of Appeals for
allegedly disregarding his defenses of denial and alibi as well as
in discounting the supposedly exculpatory nature of a part of a
prosecution witness' testimony. Allegedly, the witness, Dr. Diaz,
testified that she was unsure if the abortion was a result of the
mauling that AAA suffered or could have been caused by an
infection or other factors.11chanrobleslaw
This Court resolves to deny the petition for lack of merit, but
will modify some of the penalties imposed by the appellate
court.
The petition raises issues that call for an examination of the
factual findings of the trial court and the appellate court. As a
general rule, under Rule 45, no questions of fact but only
questions of law may be raised in a petition for review brought
before this Court.12Time and again, the Court has consistently
declared that questions of facts are beyond the pale of a
petition for review.13 Factual findings of the trial court,
particularly when affirmed by the appellate courts, are
generally binding on this Court.14chanrobleslaw
But there are recognized exceptions to the rule that questions of fact may not be
entertained by this Court in a petition for review, to wit:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
(1) When the factual findings of the Court of Appeals and the trial court are
contradictory;

(2) When the conclusion is a finding grounded entirely on speculation, surmises or


conjectures;
(3) When the inference made by the Court of Appeals from its findings of fact is
manifestly mistaken, absurd or impossible;
(4) When there is grave abuse of discretion in the appreciation of facts;
(5) When the appellate court, in making its findings, went beyond the issues of the
case, and such findings are contrary to the admissions of both appellant and
appellee;
(6) When the judgment of the Court of Appeals is premised on a misapprehension of
facts;
(7) When the Court of Appeals failed to notice certain relevant facts which, if properly
considered, would justify a different conclusion;
(8) When the findings of fact are themselves conflicting;
(9) When the findings of fact are conclusions without citation of the specific evidence on
which they are based; and
(10) When the findings of fact of the Court of Appeals are premised on the absence of
evidence but such findings are contradicted by the evidence on record,15
None of the above-mentioned exceptions, however, are cited by the petitioner as a
ground to grant his petition. But even assuming arguendo, and in the interest of
substantial justice, that any of the exceptions above were indeed invoked, as the petition
alleges that the appellate court failed to give weight to petitioner's defenses of denial and
alibi as well as to his stance that the testimony of Dr. Diaz exculpates him from the
crime, this Court, upon a close examination of the case records, still found no error in the
appellate court's finding of guilt in petitioner.
On its face, there is no reason to doubt the veracity and truthfulness of the victim AAA's
evidence. In particular, AAA's testimony narrating the specific incidents which gave rise
to the charges was clear, categorical and straightforward and, therefore, worthy of
credence. Herein below are excerpts of her testimony:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
Q. Specifically inviting your attention to that incident in the evening of March 14, 2007,
could you please tell the court what transpired?
A. In the evening of March 14, 2007, somewhere around seven or eight o'clock in the
evening, I was letting my kids sleep (w)hen (Dinamling) came with a friend. They
had a drinking spree and x x x he started to evict us from that boarding house
because according to him, I (was) using that boarding house as a whore house (by)
bringing in partners, et cetera to that boarding house. That (was) why he was letting
us out of it. And he even told me that if I (had) no travelling bag, I (could) use
the basura (garbage) bag outside and I (could) use the carton where he placed the
ducklings to pack our things and leave the place. That night, I (did) not know how to
carry them out and I was waiting for him to stop talking and leave but he never left
us up to the time he threw the feeding bottle of my baby outside that caused it to
break and that was also the time I decided to go to the house of BBB because it is
the place where my landlady (was) staying.

xxxx
Q. You mentioned of a feeding bottle.
A. He threw it outside, Sir.
Q. How did you feel as regards these actuations of the accused that evening?
A. That is worst. He was inflicting pain (on) me but that time it was directed (at an)
innocent individual and that is very painful.

go back, he kicked me. He pulled my pants down and pulled even my panty and he
said x x x he (did) that to me because I was worthless.
Q. (At) what particular spot did the accused pull down your pants and your panty?
A. Front of CCC.
Q. What was that spot, road or backyard?
A. Road.

Q. Personally, did you feel distressed or stressed or fearful at the time the accused was Q. Could you describe the place? Were there houses nearby, that road, that spot where
acting that way?
he pulled down your pants and panty?
A. When he started acting that way, I fear(ed) he would again inflict those pain (on) us. A. There is a small store and people were looking at us. There are houses above and
then one of them told me he saw but he is afraid to come out.
Q. So when you went to the house of BBB, what happened next?
A. x x x He (BBB) went to fetch the kids and came home with one of the kids but to my Q. Was it already dark (at) that time?
dismay, even the milk of my baby was not there any more; that night because it was A. Dark but then there was a street light near the residence.
around 11:00 o'clock, we had to use the feeding bottle of BBB's son together with
the milk because when they went to fetch the kids, the milk was gone.
Q. Was it still early evening?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Was the incident on March 14, 2007 the first time or it happened (sic) previously?
A. It happened previously. Those were the time(s) that (I was) prompted to go back
Q. About what time?
home and to my relatives for protection but he (came, followed) us where we (went). A. Around 9 o'clock.
Q. In those previous incidents before March 14, 2007, what did he do, if any?
Q. After pulling down your pants and your panty along that road, what else happened?
A. There are times he did that in public. He usually starts hitting my head, pulls my hair A. He threw my pants and panty back to me and he left shouting at me, my family
kicks me and there was a time I went to the police station but they said that (it) is
name. It is very hurting because my family (had) nothing to do with this.
some kind of family problem that we could talk xxx over and so it was left that way. I
thought leaving him would be the best thing to do but he kept on following us.16
xxxx
xxxx

Q. And what happened the following day?


A. I stayed at my friend's house then at 5:00 o'clock early morning of March 21, there
Q. I am inviting your attention to that incident of March 20, 2007. Will you please tell the
was pain at my back. That night when he kicked me, there was pain at my back. I
court what happened that late afternoon or early evening?
said I (would) just go tomorrow for medication but I did not reach the day because I
A. I was at the house of CCC waiting for a friend because of what happened on March
was bleeding. When I went to the bathroom, there (was) blood so I said I think I am
14, 2007 when we left the boarding house.
going to abort. There (was) blood already so I decided to go to bath before I (went)
to the hospital but when I went to take a bath, I already had profuse bleeding so they
xxxx
(had) to carry me with the use of a blanket to the hospital.17
AAA also stated that the baby that she claims was aborted would have been her third
Q. What transpired thereat, when you were at that place?
child with Dinamling. She also testified about always being afraid of Dinamling, even
A. After sometime, around 9 o'clock, (Dinamling) came and shouted words that (on)
fearing the sound of his motorcycle as that signalled that she or her children would be
final count, (I) should be out of that place.
abused. She previously filed with the police a complaint for physical injuries but nothing
came of it. Later, she learned from Dinamling that he had been discharged as a
Q. And what else happened?
policeman.18chanrobleslaw
A. After shouting, he boxed me at the left ear.
Q. What transpired next?
A. (T)hen I felt there was blood in my ear. I followed him outside and I inquired (as to)
why he (kept on) following us when we (already) left the boarding house and then he
started shouting at me, shouting my family name, x x x x that I (was) good for
nothing and that I (could) sue him (in) court and he (would) pay me. So I said I
thought when we already left, you were at peace with yourself already. When I was
going down, going to the barangay captain's house, he followed me. When I tried to

The trial court specifically ascribed credibility on the said testimony of AAA which the
Court of Appeals has affirmed. Under such circumstances, this Court has little option but
to accord said findings with great respect, if not finality. The findings of fact of the trial
court, as regards the credibility of a witness, when affirmed by the Court of Appeals and
supported by the evidence on record are accorded finality.19chanrobleslaw

In addition to AAA's testimony, her mother DDD also testified that her daughter was like
a corpse because of Dinamling's maltreatment. DDD narrated the history of
maltreatment of her daughter, including the times that she saw her with bluish spots
and when AAA had a miscarriage from all the boxing and kicking that she had received
from Dinamling.20 She knew that Dinamling was a married man when he had his
relationship with AAA21 and she knew for a fact that Dinamling did not live with AAA and
the children because he always went home to his own wife.22chanrobleslaw

AAA brought sexual partners in that place. Dinamling further humiliated AAA by telling
her to pack her clothes in a trash bag and in a carton box used to pack ducklings. He
then threw a baby bottle outside and broke it. This forced AAA to hastily leave even
without her children. Dinamling also left and took with him the elder child and left the
baby behind. AAA had to ask for her friends to fetch the children but the latter found only
the baby. According to AAA and her mother DDD, that incident was not an isolated one,
as similar incidents had happened previously.

The above testimonies suffice to establish the elements of the crime as defined in
Section 5(i) of RA No. 9262 and as alleged in the two Informations filed against
petitioner. The provision of the law states:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary

As for the second case, Criminal Case No. 1702, the crime's elements were likewise
proven. In addition to the first two elements of the victim being a woman and in a
relationship with the offender, the prosecution was able to prove another incident of
mental or emotional anguish through public ridicule or humiliation when it showed
Dinamling acting in the following manner:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary

Section 5. Acts of Violence Against Women and Their Children.- The crime of violence
against women and their children is committed through any of the following
acts:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary

a)

by calling and counting down on AAA for the latter to come out of the house where
she was staying;

b)

by punching AAA at the left ear upon seeing her;

c)

by shouting AAA's family name and calling her good-for-nothing;

d)

by saying that AAA could sue him but he would just pay her;

e)

by kicking AAA to the ground and then pulling off her pants and underwear (panty)
and calling her worthless;

f)

by throwing the pants and panty back at AAA while shouting AAA's family name as
he left.

xxxx
(i) Causing mental or emotional anguish, public ridicule or humiliation to the woman or
her child, including, but not limited to, repeated verbal and emotional abuse, and denial
of financial support or custody of minor children or access to the woman's
child/children.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
From the aforequoted Section 5(i), in relation to other sections of RA No. 9262, the
elements of the crime are derived as follows:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
(1) The offended party is a woman and/or her child or children;23
(2) The woman is either the wife or former wife of the offender, or is a woman with
whom the offender has or had a sexual or dating relationship, or is a woman with
whom such offender has a common child. As for the woman's child or children, they
may be legitimate or illegitimate, or living within or without the family abode;24

All such acts were committed while in full view and hearing of the public, highlighting the
public ridicule and humiliation done on AAA and causing her mental and emotional pain.
AAA's suffering is so much that even the sound of petitioner's motorcycle would put fear
in her.

(3) The offender causes on the woman and/or child mental or emotional anguish; and

All the above, as established during trial, lead to no other conclusion than the
commission of the crime as prescribed in the law.

(4) The anguish is caused through acts of public ridicule or humiliation, repeated verbal
and emotional abuse, denial of financial support or custody of minor children or
access to the children or similar such acts or omissions.25
As for the first case, Criminal Case No. 1701, filed against petitioner Dinamling, the
elements have been proven and duly established. It is undisputed that AAA, as the
victim, is a woman who was then in a five-year ongoing relationship with petitioner
Dinamling. At that time, AAA and Dinamling had two common children. AAA was often in
fear of petitioner due to the latter's physical and verbal abuse. In the evening of March
14, 2007, an incident occurred in which she and her children were actually evicted by
Dinamling from a boarding house. Dinamling, in the presence of his own friend and the
children, accused AAA of using the boarding house as a whore-house and alleged that

It matters not that no other eyewitness corroborated AAA's testimony of the actual
incidents. The testimony of the complainant as a lone witness to the actual perpetration
of the act, as long as it is credible, suffices to establish the guilt of the accused because
evidence is weighed and not counted.26 If, in criminal cases of rape27 or
homicide,28the positive, categorical and credible testimony of a lone witness is deemed
enough to support a conviction, then, in the case at bar, involving a case of violation of
Section 5(i) of RA No. 9262, this Court shall treat in the same manner the testimony of a
single but credible witness for the prosecution. Especially if the testimony bears the
earmarks of truth and sincerity and was delivered spontaneously, naturally and in a
straightforward manner, corroborative testimony is not needed to support a

conviction.29chanrobleslaw
It bears emphasis that Section 5(i) penalizes some forms of psychological violence that
are inflicted on victims who are women and children. Other forms of psychological
violence, as well as physical, sexual and economic violence, are addressed and
penalized in other sub-parts of Section 5.
The law defines psychological violence as follows:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
Section 3(a)
xxxx
C. Psychological violence refers to acts or omissions causing or likely to cause mental
or emotional suffering of the victim such as but not limited to intimidation, harassment,
stalking, damage to property, public ridicule or humiliation, repeated verbal abuse and
mental infidelity. It includes causing or allowing the victim to witness the physical, sexual
or psychological abuse of a member of the family to which the victim belongs, or to
witness pornography in any form or to witness abusive injury to pets or to unlawful or
unwanted deprivation of the right to custody and/or visitation of common
children.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
Psychological violence is an element of violation of Section 5(i) just like the mental or
emotional anguish caused on the victim. Psychological violence is the means employed
by the perpetrator, while mental or emotional anguish is the effect caused to or the
damage sustained by the offended party. To establish psychological violence as an
element of the crime, it is necessary to show proof of commission of any of the acts
enumerated in Section 5(i) or similar such acts. And to establish mental or emotional
anguish, it is necessary to present the testimony of the victim as such experiences are
personal to this party.30 All of this was complied with in the case at bar.
In the face of the strong and credible testimony of AAA, petitioner Dinamling relies on a
defense of denial and alibi. On the nights of March 14 and 20, 2007, he claimed that he
was on duty at XXX Police Station.31 He denied seeing AAA on those
dates.32 However, on cross examination, he admitted that it takes only two to three
minutes to go from the police station to AAA's boarding house.33chanrobleslaw
Denial and alibi, as defenses of an accused in a criminal case, have been consistently
held as inherently weak34 and which, unless supported by clear and convincing
evidence, cannot prevail over the positive declarations of the victim.35 In general, a plea
of denial and alibi is not given much weight relative to the affirmative testimony of the
offended party.36 The only exception to this rule is where there is no effective
identification, or where the identification of the accused has been fatally tainted by
irregularity and attendant inconsistencies.37chanrobleslaw

In the case at bar, nothing in Dinamling's defense overcomes the clear, straightforward,
unequivocal and positive declarations of AAA. For one, the positive identification of
Dinamling as the perpetrator is not an issue. It is not disputed that he and AAA knew
each other very well as, in fact, they were at that time carrying on a five-year relationship
which had borne two common children.
Then, as for alibi, such a defense would prosper only if the accused was able to prove
that not only was he at some other place when the crime was committed, but also that
he could not have been physically present at the place of the crime, or in its immediate
vicinity, during its commission.38Using such standards, Dinamling's alibi holds no water.
Not only was his alleged location at the time of commission, that is, the XXX Police
Station where he was on duty, in the same municipality as the crimes' place of
commission, Dinamling himself also admited that this police station is just two to three
minutes away from AAA's boarding house. Where the accused admits that he was in
the same municipality as the place where the offense occurred, it cannot be said that it
was physically impossible for him to have committed the crime, and his defense of alibi
cannot prosper.39chanrobleslaw
Therefore, the trial and appellate courts correctly found petitioner Dinamling guilty
beyond reasonable doubt and such conviction must be upheld. To reiterate, the denial of
the accused is a negative assertion that is weaker than the affirmative testimony of the
victim.40 It almost has no probative value and may be further discarded in the absence
of any evidence of ill motives on the part of the witness to impute so grave a wrong
against the accused.41 As for alibi, it is not given weight if the accused failed to
demonstrate that he was so far away and could not have been physically present at the
scene of the crime and its immediate vicinity when the crime was
committed.42chanrobleslaw
But petitioner Dinamling also harps on the allegedly exculpatory testimony of Dr. Diaz,
the substance of which allegedly frees him from responsibility for the incomplete abortion
of AAA's unborn child.
By way of background, a witness, who is an officer of the Ifugao Provincial Hospital,
brought a copy of a medical certificate issued by a Dr. Johan Baguilat stating
that:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
a) AAA was hospitalized at the said hospital from March 21 to March 24, 2007;
b) AAA had an incomplete abortion secondary to the mauling, and;
c) AAA had anemia, contusion, hematoma and abrasion of the left elbow.43
The witness testified that she herself typed the medical certificate and had it signed by
Dr. Baguilat.44 Dr. Baguilat, however, was unable to testify, due to the alleged distance
of the court from his current place of work.45 Instead of Dr. Baguilat, it was Dr. Mae

Codamon-Diaz, an obstetrician-gynecologist of the Ifugao Provincial Hospital, who


testified that the medical certificate indicated that AAA was pregnant, but that her
incomplete abortion might or might not have been caused by her mauling.46 Dr. Diaz
added that the anemia was caused by profuse bleeding, while the contusion and
hematoma were caused by a fall, trauma, blow or impact to the patient's body.47 When
cross-examined, Dr. Diaz stated that other possible causes of abortion include infection
of the reproductive organ or urinary tract infection and intake of strong medicines,
while another cause of anemia is malnutrition.48chanrobleslaw

physical suffering, that is, mental or emotional distress, or even anxiety and social
shame or dishonor on the offended party, and not of direct bodily harm or property
damage which are covered by the other sub-sections of the law's provision. The use of
physical violence, whether or not it causes physical or property harm to the victim, falls
under Section 5(i) only if it is alleged and proven to have caused mental or emotional
anguish. Likewise, the physical injuries suffered are similarly covered only if they lead to
such psychological harm. Otherwise, physical violence or injuries, with no allegation of
mental or emotional harm, are punishable under the other provisions of the law.

Petitioner Dinamling's position is that such testimony of Dr. Diaz, which expresses an
uncertainty as to whether the mauling of AAA caused her abortion, exculpates him from
the crime.

As to the alleged miscarriage or incomplete abortion, the allegedly exculpatory testimony


of Dr. Diaz, or even the complete disregard of any evidence surrounding such fact does
not lead to petitioner Dinamling's acquittal. Like the physical injuries that was discussed
above, the fact of AAA's miscarriage or incomplete abortion is not essential to proving
The Court disagrees. Petitioner barks up the wrong tree because the fact of AAA's
the elements of the crime, unless it is alleged to have caused mental or emotional
physical injuries from the mauling, including her abortion, do not constitute an element of suffering. It is not among the crime's elements. In fact, it is not abortion but the mere fact
the crime with which he is charged. Such injuries are likewise not alleged in the two
of pregnancy of the victim at the time of commission which is an aggravating
informations against him. Therefore, the testimony of Dr. Diaz or any physician as to the circumstance, not an element, of the offense. Section 6 of RA 9262
fact or existence of such physical injuries is not indispensable to petitioner's conviction or reads:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
acquittal. Simply put, AAA's physical condition is not an element of the crime that
petitioner was charged with, hence, proof of the same is, strictly speaking, unnecessary. SECTION 6. Penalties.- The crime of violence against women and their children, under
Section 5 hereof shall be punished according to the following
rules:ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary
In fact, neither the physical injuries suffered by the victim nor the actual physical
violence done bythe perpetrator are necessary to prove the essential elements of the
crime as defined in Section 5(i) of RA 9262. The only exception is, as in the case at bar,
when the physical violence done by the accused is alleged to have caused the mental
and emotional suffering; in which case, such acts of physical violence must be proven. In
this instance, the physical violence was a means of causing mental or emotional
suffering. As such, whether or not it led to actual bodily injury, the physical violence
translates to psychological violence since its main effect was on the victim's mental or
emotional well-being. In the case at bar, petitioner Dinamling's acts of publicly punching,
kicking and stripping AAA of her pants and underwear, although obvious acts of physical
violence, are also instances of psychological violence since it was alleged and proven
that they resulted in AAA's public ridicule and humiliation and mental or emotional
distress. The clear, unrebutted testimony of the victim AAA, as to the physical violence
done on her as well as to the mental and emotional suffering she experienced as a result
thereof, suffices to prove such facts.
The victim's resulting actual bodily injuries are immaterial unless such injuries are also
alleged to have led to her mental or emotional anguish. There was no such allegation in
the information in the case at bar. Thus, proof of physical injuries is not needed for
conviction. Likewise, proof of the absence thereof or lack of proof of such injuries would
not lead to an acquittal. Physical violence or physical injuries, in isolation, are not
elements of this particular crime.
As earlier discussed, the focus of this particular criminal act is the causation of non-

xxxx
(f) Acts falling under Section 5(h) and Section 5(i) shall be punished by prision mayor.
If the acts are committed while the woman or child is pregnant or committed in the
presence of her child, the penalty to be applied shall be the maximum period of penalty
prescribed in the section.
In addition to imprisonment, the perpetrator shall (a) pay a fine in the amount of not less
than One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00) but not more than three hundred
thousand pesos (P300,000.00); (b) undergo mandatory psychological counseling or
psychiatric treatment and shall report compliance to the court.49
For this crime, pregnancy or the presence of the woman's child are aggravating
circumstances which increase the imposable penalty, thus, they must be alleged and
proven with competent evidence for the penalty to be properly imposed.50chanrobleslaw
It is true that the fact of AAA's incomplete abortion or miscarriage does not establish any
of the crime's elements, as indeed the information itself did not allege the same.
However, from the fact of miscarriage one may logically derive the fact of AAA's
pregnancy, which is an aggravating circumstance for the crime and which is alleged as
such in the information. The pregnancy is proven by AAA's unrebutted testimony as well

as by the medical certificate that she presented in the course of such testimony to show
that she was indeed hospitalized and suffered an incomplete abortion secondary to the
mauling.
Although petitioner Dinamling, up to this stage of the case, denies having caused the
incomplete abortion or miscarriage, he does not deny the fact of pregnancy itself. He did
not present contradictory evidence during trial to controvert the prosecution's assertions
and proof of pregnancy. The pregnancy was never put in issue during trial and on
appeal. Neither is the same in question in this petition. Therefore, it may be safely
concluded that the fact of AAA's pregnancy has been established and it may be taken
account of and considered as a circumstance that aggravates Dinamling's criminal
liability.
Therefore, given such finding, this Court will now accordingly modify the penalties
imposed by the trial court and appellate court.51chanrobleslaw

applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, the minimum should be derived from the
penalty next lower in degree, which is prision correccional. Therefore, the new penalty to
be imposed shall be imprisonment of six (6) years of prision correccional as minimum to
twelve (12) years of prision mayor as maximum. The rest of the penalties, like the
imposition on the petitioner of a fine of one hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00) and
the order for him to undergo psychological counseling, as upheld by the appellate court,
are hereby affirmed.
Both Criminal Case Nos. 1701 and 1702 involve the same offense as defined in RA
9262 and are punishable by the same range of penalties as prescribed in the said law.
However, due to the greater ignominy of the acts done by the accused in Criminal Case
No. 1702, the minimum and maximum lengths of the sentence imposed should therefore
be greater than in Criminal Case No. 1701.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is DENIED for failure of petitioner to
show any reversible error in the assailed CA decision. The assailed Decision dated
August 11, 2011 and Resolution dated November 25, 2011 of the Court of Appeals, in
CA-G.R. CR No. 32912, are herebyAFFIRMED and MODIFIED only as to the penalties
imposed, to wit:ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary

As for Criminal Case No. 1701, no mitigating and only one (1) aggravating circumstance
attends the crime. Although it was stated during trial that the offense was committed in
the presence of AAA's children, such fact was not alleged in the information and
therefore will not be taken into consideration.52 Nighttime, though alleged, is not
1) in Criminal Case No. 1701, petitioner Ricky Dinamling is ORDERED to serve to an
considered aggravating because it neither facilitated the commission of the offense nor
indeterminate sentence of imprisonment of two (2) years, four (4) months and one
was it shown to have been purposely sought by the offender.53 The fact of AAA's
(1) day of prision correccional as minimum to eleven (11) years of prision mayor as
pregnancy during the crime's commission, however, has been alleged and established.
maximum. He is, likewise,ORDERED to PAY a fine of one hundred thousand pesos
This single circumstance aggravates the accused's liability and automatically raises his
(P100,000.00) and to undergo psychological counseling;
penalty to the maximum period of the penalty prescribed, per Section 6 of RA 9262 and
also Article 64(3) of the Revised Penal Code. Hence, petitioner Dinamling should be
sentenced to a maximum penalty that is derived from prision mayor in its maximum
period, which is imprisonment of ten (10) years and one (1) day to twelve (12) years.
2) in Criminal Case No. 1702, petitioner Ricky Dinamling is hereby ORDERED to serve
Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law,54the minimum penalty should come from the
an indeterminate sentence of imprisonment of six (6) years of prision correccional as
penalty one degree lower than prision mayor which isprision correccional, whose range
minimum to twelve (12) years of prision mayor as maximum. He is
is from six (6) months and one (1) day to six (6) years.55Therefore, this Court modifies
also ORDERED to PAY a fine of one hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00) and to
the trial court's Order dated September 17, 2009,56 which was affirmed by the Court of
undergo psychological counseling.
Appeals, and imposes on petitioner Dinamling an indeterminate sentence of
imprisonment of two (2) years, four (4) months and one (1) day of prision correccional as
SO ORDERED.
minimum to eleven (11) years of prision mayor as maximum. The trial court's order for
petitioner to pay a fine of one hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00) and to undergo
psychological counseling, as affirmed by the Court of Appeals, is upheld.
As for Criminal Case No. 1702, there is likewise no mitigating and only one (1)
aggravating circumstance. Again, the single circumstance of pregnancy aggravates the
accused's liability and automatically raises his penalty to the maximum period of the
penalty prescribed, per Section 6 of RA No. 9262 and Article 64(3) of the Revised Penal
Code. Therefore, the penalty imposed by the Court of Appeals are to be modified. The
maximum penalty should be derived from prision mayor in its maximum period, which,
again, is imprisonment of ten (10) years and one (1) day to twelve (12) years. And again,

The public prosecutor charged petitioner-accused Rustan Ang (Rustan) before the
Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Baler, Aurora, of violation of the Anti-Violence Against
Women and Their Children Act or Republic Act (R.A.) 9262 in an information that reads:
That on or about June 5, 2005, in the Municipality of Maria Aurora, Province of Aurora,
Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused willfully,
unlawfully and feloniously, in a purposeful and reckless conduct, sent through the Short
Messaging Service (SMS) using his mobile phone, a pornographic picture to one Irish
Sagud, who was his former girlfriend, whereby the face of the latter was attached to a
completely naked body of another woman making it to appear that it was said Irish
Sagud who is depicted in the said obscene and pornographic picture thereby causing
substantial emotional anguish, psychological distress and humiliation to the said Irish
Sagud.1
The Facts and the Case
The evidence for the prosecution shows that complainant Irish Sagud (Irish) and
accused Rustan were classmates at Wesleyan University in Aurora Province. Rustan
courted Irish and they became "on-and-off" sweethearts towards the end of 2004. When
Irish learned afterwards that Rustan had taken a live-in partner (now his wife), whom he
had gotten pregnant, Irish broke up with him.
Before Rustan got married, however, he got in touch with Irish and tried to convince her
to elope with him, saying that he did not love the woman he was about to marry. Irish
rejected the proposal and told Rustan to take on his responsibility to the other woman
and their child. Irish changed her cellphone number but Rustan somehow managed to
get hold of it and sent her text messages. Rustan used two cellphone numbers for
sending his messages, namely, 0920-4769301 and 0921-8084768. Irish replied to his
text messages but it was to ask him to leave her alone.

G.R. No. 182835

April 20, 2010

RUSTAN ANG y PASCUA, Petitioner,


vs.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and IRISH SAGUD, Respondents.
DECISION
ABAD, J.:
This case concerns a claim of commission of the crime of violence against women when
a former boyfriend sent to the girl the picture of a naked woman, not her, but with her
face on it.
The Indictment

In the early morning of June 5, 2005, Irish received through multimedia message service
(MMS) a picture of a naked woman with spread legs and with Irishs face superimposed
on the figure (Exhibit A).2 The senders cellphone number, stated in the message, was
0921-8084768, one of the numbers that Rustan used. Irish surmised that he copied the
picture of her face from a shot he took when they were in Baguio in 2003 (Exhibit B).3
After she got the obscene picture, Irish got other text messages from Rustan. He
boasted that it would be easy for him to create similarly scandalous pictures of her. And
he threatened to spread the picture he sent through the internet. One of the messages
he sent to Irish, written in text messaging shorthand, read: "Madali lang ikalat yun, my
chatrum ang tarlac rayt pwede ring send sa lahat ng chatter."4
Irish sought the help of the vice mayor of Maria Aurora who referred her to the police.
Under police supervision, Irish contacted Rustan through the cellphone numbers he
used in sending the picture and his text messages. Irish asked Rustan to meet her at the
Lorentess Resort in Brgy. Ramada, Maria Aurora, and he did. He came in a motorcycle.

After parking it, he walked towards Irish but the waiting police officers intercepted and
arrested him. They searched him and seized his Sony Ericsson P900 cellphone and
several SIM cards. While Rustan was being questioned at the police station, he shouted
at Irish: "Malandi ka kasi!"

After trial, the RTC found Irishs testimony completely credible, given in an honest and
spontaneous manner. The RTC observed that she wept while recounting her experience,
prompting the court to comment: "Her tears were tangible expression of pain and
anguish for the acts of violence she suffered in the hands of her former sweetheart. The
crying of the victim during her testimony is evidence of the credibility of her charges with
Joseph Gonzales, an instructor at the Aurora State College of Technology, testified as an the verity borne out of human nature and experience."6 Thus, in its Decision dated
expert in information technology and computer graphics. He said that it was very much
August 1, 2001, the RTC found Rustan guilty of the violation of Section 5(h) of R.A.
possible for one to lift the face of a woman from a picture and superimpose it on the
9262.
body of another woman in another picture. Pictures can be manipulated and enhanced
by computer to make it appear that the face and the body belonged to just one person.
On Rustans appeal to the Court of Appeals (CA),7 the latter rendered a decision dated
January 31, 2008,8affirming the RTC decision. The CA denied Rustans motion for
Gonzales testified that the picture in question (Exhibit A) had two distinct irregularities:
reconsideration in a resolution dated April 25, 2008. Thus, Rustan filed the present for
the face was not proportionate to the body and the face had a lighter color. In his
review on certiorari.
opinion, the picture was fake and the face on it had been copied from the picture of Irish
in Exhibit B. Finally, Gonzales explained how this could be done, transferring a picture
The Issues Presented
from a computer to a cellphone like the Sony Ericsson P900 seized from Rustan.
The principal issue in this case is whether or not accused Rustan sent Irish by cellphone
For his part, Rustan admitted having courted Irish. He began visiting her in Tarlac in
message the picture with her face pasted on the body of a nude woman, inflicting
October 2003 and their relation lasted until December of that year. He claimed that after anguish, psychological distress, and humiliation on her in violation of Section 5(h) of R.A.
their relation ended, Irish wanted reconciliation. They met in December 2004 but, after
9262.
he told her that his girlfriend at that time (later his wife) was already pregnant, Irish
The subordinate issues are:
walked out on him.
1. Whether or not a "dating relationship" existed between Rustan and Irish as this term is
Sometime later, Rustan got a text message from Irish, asking him to meet her at
Lorentess Resort as she needed his help in selling her cellphone. When he arrived at the defined in R.A. 9262;
place, two police officers approached him, seized his cellphone and the contents of his
2. Whether or not a single act of harassment, like the sending of the nude picture in this
pockets, and brought him to the police station.
case, already constitutes a violation of Section 5(h) of R.A. 9262;
Rustan further claims that he also went to Lorentess because Irish asked him to help her
identify a prankster who was sending her malicious text messages. Rustan got the
senders number and, pretending to be Irish, contacted the person. Rustan claims that
he got back obscene messages from the prankster, which he forwarded to Irish from his
cellphone. This explained, he said, why the obscene messages appeared to have
originated from his cellphone number. Rustan claims that it was Irish herself who sent
the obscene picture (Exhibit A) to him. He presented six pictures of a woman whom he
identified as Irish (Exhibits 2 to 7).5
Michelle Ang (Michelle), Rustans wife, testified that she was sure Irish sent the six
pictures. Michelle claims that she received the pictures and hid the memory card (Exhibit
8) that contained them because she was jealous and angry. She did not want to see
anything of Irish. But, while the woman in the pictures posed in sexy clothing, in none did
she appear naked as in Exhibit A. Further, the face of the woman in Exhibits 2, 4, 5 and
6 could not be seen. Irish denied that she was the woman in those four pictures. As for
Exhibits 3 and 7, the woman in the picture was fully dressed.

3. Whether or not the evidence used to convict Rustan was obtained from him in
violation of his constitutional rights; and
4. Whether or not the RTC properly admitted in evidence the obscene picture presented
in the case.
The Courts Rulings
Section 3(a) of R.A. 9262 provides that violence against women includes an act or acts
of a person against a woman with whom he has or had a sexual or dating relationship.
Thus:
SEC. 3. Definition of Terms. As used in this Act,
(a) "Violence against women and their children" refers to any act or a series of acts
committed by any person against a woman who is his wife, former wife, or against a
woman with whom the person has or had a sexual or dating relationship, or with whom
he has a common child, or against her child whether legitimate or illegitimate, within or

without the family abode, which result in or is likely to result in physical, sexual,
psychological harm or suffering, or economic abuse including threats of such acts,
battery, assault, coercion, harassment or arbitrary deprivation of liberty.

sexual act. He cites Websters Comprehensive Dictionary Encyclopedia Edition which


provides a colloquial or informal meaning to the word "romance" used as a verb, i.e., "to
make love; to make love to" as in "He romanced her."

xxxx

But it seems clear that the law did not use in its provisions the colloquial verb "romance"
that implies a sexual act. It did not say that the offender must have "romanced" the
offended woman. Rather, it used the noun "romance" to describe a couples
relationship, i.e., "a love affair."9

Section 5 identifies the act or acts that constitute violence against women and these
include any form of harassment that causes substantial emotional or psychological
distress to a woman. Thus:
SEC. 5. Acts of Violence Against Women and Their Children. The crime of violence
against women and their children is committed through any of the following acts:
xxxx
h. Engaging in purposeful, knowing, or reckless conduct, personally or through another,
that alarms or causes substantial emotional or psychological distress to the woman or
her child. This shall include, but not be limited to, the following acts:
xxxx
5. Engaging in any form of harassment or violence;
The above provisions, taken together, indicate that the elements of the crime of violence
against women through harassment are:
1. The offender has or had a sexual or dating relationship with the offended woman;
2. The offender, by himself or through another, commits an act or series of acts of
harassment against the woman; and
3. The harassment alarms or causes substantial emotional or psychological distress to
her.
One. The parties to this case agree that the prosecution needed to prove that accused
Rustan had a "dating relationship" with Irish. Section 3(e) provides that a "dating
relationship" includes a situation where the parties are romantically involved over time
and on a continuing basis during the course of the relationship. Thus:
(e) "Dating relationship" refers to a situation wherein the parties live as husband and wife
without the benefit of marriage or are romantically involved over time and on a continuing
basis during the course of the relationship. A casual acquaintance or ordinary
socialization between two individuals in a business or social context is not a dating
relationship. (Underscoring supplied.)

R.A. 9262 provides in Section 3 that "violence against women x x x refers to any act or a
series of acts committed by any person against a woman x x x with whom the person
has or had a sexual or dating relationship." Clearly, the law itself distinguishes a sexual
relationship from a dating relationship. Indeed, Section 3(e) above defines "dating
relationship" while Section 3(f) defines "sexual relations." The latter "refers to a single
sexual act which may or may not result in the bearing of a common child." The dating
relationship that the law contemplates can, therefore, exist even without a sexual
intercourse taking place between those involved.
Rustan also claims that since the relationship between Irish and him was of the "on-andoff" variety (away-bati), their romance cannot be regarded as having developed "over
time and on a continuing basis." But the two of them were romantically involved, as
Rustan himself admits, from October to December of 2003. That would be time enough
for nurturing a relationship of mutual trust and love.
An "away-bati" or a fight-and-kiss thing between two lovers is a common occurrence.
Their taking place does not mean that the romantic relation between the two should be
deemed broken up during periods of misunderstanding. Explaining what "away-bati"
meant, Irish explained that at times, when she could not reply to Rustans messages, he
would get angry at her. That was all. Indeed, she characterized their three-month
romantic relation as continuous.10
Two. Rustan argues that the one act of sending an offensive picture should not be
considered a form of harassment. He claims that such would unduly ruin him personally
and set a very dangerous precedent. But Section 3(a) of R.A. 9262 punishes "any act or
series of acts" that constitutes violence against women. This means that a single act of
harassment, which translates into violence, would be enough. The object of the law is to
protect women and children. Punishing only violence that is repeatedly committed would
license isolated ones.
Rustan alleges that todays women, like Irish, are so used to obscene communications
that her getting one could not possibly have produced alarm in her or caused her
substantial emotional or psychological distress. He claims having previously exchanged
obscene pictures with Irish such that she was already desensitized by them.

Here, Rustan claims that, being "romantically involved," implies that the offender and the But, firstly, the RTC which saw and heard Rustan and his wife give their testimonies was
offended woman have or had sexual relations. According to him, "romance" implies a
not impressed with their claim that it was Irish who sent the obscene pictures of herself

(Exhibits 2-7). It is doubtful if the woman in the picture was Irish since her face did not
clearly show on them.

version and neither will this Court. Besides, it was most unlikely for Irish to pin the things
on Rustan if he had merely tried to help her identify the sender.

Michelle, Rustans wife, claimed that she deleted several other pictures that Irish sent,
except Exhibits 2 to 7. But her testimony did not make sense. She said that she did not
know that Exhibits 2 to 7 had remained saved after she deleted the pictures. Later,
however, she said that she did not have time to delete them.11 And, if she thought that
she had deleted all the pictures from the memory card, then she had no reason at all to
keep and hide such memory card. There would have been nothing to hide. Finally, if she
knew that some pictures remained in the card, there was no reason for her to keep it for
several years, given that as she said she was too jealous to want to see anything
connected to Irish. Thus, the RTC was correct in not giving credence to her
testimony.1avvphi1

Four. Rustan claims that the obscene picture sent to Irish through a text message
constitutes an electronic document. Thus, it should be authenticated by means of an
electronic signature, as provided under Section 1, Rule 5 of the Rules on Electronic
Evidence (A.M. 01-7-01-SC).

Secondly, the Court cannot measure the trauma that Irish experienced based on
Rustans low regard for the alleged moral sensibilities of todays youth. What is obscene
and injurious to an offended woman can of course only be determined based on the
circumstances of each case. Here, the naked woman on the picture, her legs spread
open and bearing Irishs head and face, was clearly an obscene picture and, to Irish a
revolting and offensive one. Surely, any woman like Irish, who is not in the pornography
trade, would be scandalized and pained if she sees herself in such a picture. What
makes it further terrifying is that, as Irish testified, Rustan sent the picture with a threat to
post it in the internet for all to see. That must have given her a nightmare.
Three. Rustan argues that, since he was arrested and certain items were seized from
him without any warrant, the evidence presented against him should be deemed
inadmissible. But the fact is that the prosecution did not present in evidence either the
cellphone or the SIM cards that the police officers seized from him at the time of his
arrest. The prosecution did not need such items to prove its case. Exhibit C for the
prosecution was but a photograph depicting the Sony Ericsson P900 cellphone that was
used, which cellphone Rustan admitted owning during the pre-trial conference.
Actually, though, the bulk of the evidence against him consisted in Irishs testimony that
she received the obscene picture and malicious text messages that the senders
cellphone numbers belonged to Rustan with whom she had been previously in
communication. Indeed, to prove that the cellphone numbers belonged to Rustan, Irish
and the police used such numbers to summon him to come to Lorentess Resort and he
did.12 Consequently, the prosecution did not have to present the confiscated cellphone
and SIM cards to prove that Rustan sent those messages.
Moreover, Rustan admitted having sent the malicious text messages to Irish.13 His
defense was that he himself received those messages from an unidentified person who
was harassing Irish and he merely forwarded the same to her, using his cellphone. But
Rustan never presented the cellphone number of the unidentified person who sent the
messages to him to authenticate the same. The RTC did not give credence to such

But, firstly, Rustan is raising this objection to the admissibility of the obscene picture,
Exhibit A, for the first time before this Court. The objection is too late since he should
have objected to the admission of the picture on such ground at the time it was offered in
evidence. He should be deemed to have already waived such ground for objection.14
Besides, the rules he cites do not apply to the present criminal action. The Rules on
Electronic Evidence applies only to civil actions, quasi-judicial proceedings, and
administrative proceedings.15
In conclusion, this Court finds that the prosecution has proved each and every element
of the crime charged beyond reasonable doubt.
WHEREFORE, the Court DENIES the petition and AFFIRMS the decision of the Court of
Appeals in CA-G.R. CR 30567 dated January 31, 2008 and its resolution dated April 25,
2008.
SO ORDERED.

her minor children, Joshua Raphael, Jesse Ruth Lois, and J ezreel Abigail, for the
issuance of a protection order, pursuant to Republic Act (RA) 9262 or the Anti-Violence
Against Women and their Children Act of 2004, against her husband, petitioner Ralph
Tua. The case was docketed as Civil Case No. 0464-05 and raffled-off to Branch 22.
Respondent claimed that she and her children had suffered from petitioners abusive
conduct; that petitioner had threatened to cause her and the children physical harm for
the purpose of controlling her actions or decisions; that she was actually deprived of
custody and access to her minor children; and, that she was threatened to be deprived
of her and her childrens financial support.
Respondent and petitioner were married on January 10, 1998 in Makati City. They have
three children, namely, Joshua Raphael born on February 9, 1999, Jesse Ruth Lois, born
on June 27, 2000, and Jezreel Abigail, born on December 25, 2001. In her
Affidavit3 attached to the petition, respondent claimed, among others, that: there was a
time when petitioner went to her room and cocked his gun and pointed the barrel of his
gun to his head as he wanted to convince her not to proceed with the legal separation
case she filed; she hid her fears although she was scared; there was also an instance
when petitioner fed her children with the fried chicken that her youngest daughter had
chewed and spat out; in order to stop his child from crying, petitioner would threaten him
with a belt; when she told petitioner that she felt unsafe and insecure with the latter's
presence and asked him to stop coming to the house as often as he wanted or she
would apply for a protection order, petitioner got furious and threatened her of
withholding his financial support and even held her by the nape and pushed her to lie flat
on the bed; and, on May 4, 2005, while she was at work, petitioner with companions
went to her new home and forcibly took the children and refused to give them back to
her.
On May 23, 2005, the RTC issued a Temporary Protection Order (TPO),4 which we
quote in full:
G.R. No. 170701

January 22, 2014

RALPH P. TUA, Petitioner,


vs.
HON. CESAR A. MANGROBANG, Presiding Judge, Branch 22, Regional Trial
Court, Imus, Cavite; and ROSSANA HONRADO-TUA, Respondents.
DECISION
PERALTA, J.:
Before us is a petition for review on certiorari which seeks to annul the Decision1
dated October 28, 2005 of the Court of Appeals (CA) issued in CA-G.R. SP No. 89939.

Pursuant to the provisions of R.A. 9262, otherwise known as the "Anti-Violence Against
Women and their Children Act of 2004, a Temporary Protection Order (TPO) effective for
thirty (30) days from date of receipt is hereby issued against respondent Ralph P. Tua.
For the purpose of the implementation of the Temporary Protection Order, the
respondent (herein petitioner Ralph) is hereby ordered to:
1. Enjoin from committing and threatening to commit personally or through another,
physical, verbal and emotional harm or abuse against the herein petitioner (respondent)
and other family and household members;
2. Restrain from harassing, annoying, texting, telephoning, contacting or otherwise
communicating with the petitioner (respondent) whether directly or indirectly or engaged
in any psychological form of harassment;

On May 20, 2005, respondent Rossana Honrado-Tua (respondent) filed with the
VIOLATION OF THIS ORDER IS PUNISHABLE BY LAW.
Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Imus, Cavite a Verified Petition2 for herself and in behalf of

The Sheriff of this Court, the PNP Imus, Cavite, or any Officers of the Law are hereby
commanded to effect this Order immediately and to use necessary force and measures
under the law to implement this Order.

In so ruling, the CA found that the petition filed by respondent under RA 9262 is still
pending before the RTC; thus, the factual matters raised therein could not be passed
upon in the petition for certiorari filed with it. The CA noted that during the pendency of
the herein proceedings, petitioner filed an urgent motion to quash warrant issued by the
Let the hearing for Permanent Protection Order be set on June 9, 2005 at 2:00 oclock in RTC and which matter could not also be a subject of this petition which assails the TPO
the afternoon.
dated May 23, 2005 and that the motion to quash should have been filed with the RTC.
SO ORDERED.5
In his Comment6 to respondent's Petition with Urgent Motion to Lift TPO, petitioner
denied respondents allegations and alleged, among others, that he had been
maintaining a separate abode from petitioner since November 2004; that it was
respondent who verbally abused and threatened him whenever their children's stay with
him was extended; that respondent had been staying with a certain Rebendor Zuiga
despite the impropriety and moral implications of such set-up; that despite their written
agreement that their minor children should stay in their conjugal home, the latter violated
the same when she surreptitiously moved out of their conjugal dwelling with their minor
children and stayed with said Zuiga; and, that respondent is mentally, psychologically,
spiritually and morally unfit to keep the children in her custody. Petitioner contended that
the issuance of the TPO on May 23, 2005 is unconstitutional for being violative of the
due process clause of the Constitution.

The CA found that the TPO dated May 23, 2005 was validly issued by the RTC and
found no grave abuse of discretion in the issuance thereof as the same were in complete
accord with the provision of RA 9262.
As to petitioner's argument that there was no basis for the issuance of the TPO,
considering that the provision authorizing such issuance is unconstitutional, the CA ruled
that since the matter raised herein was the RTCs alleged grave abuse of discretion in
issuing the TPO, such matter could be resolved without having to rule on the
constitutionality of RA 9262 and its provisions. And that the requisites that the
constitutionality of the law in question be the very lis mota of the case was absent.
Dissatisfied, petitioner files the instant petition raising the following issues:
I

THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS WITH DUE RESPECT SERIOUSLY ERRED


IN HOLDING AND FINDING IN A MANNER CONTRARY TO ESTABLISHED RULES
AND JURISPRUDENCE THAT PUBLIC RESPONDENT COMMITTED NO GRAVE
ABUSE OF DISCRETION WHEN THE LATTER ISSUED THE TEMPORARY
PROTECTIVE ORDER (TPO) DATED 23 MAY 2005 WITHOUT OBSERVING DUE
On June 9, 2005, the CA, in order not to render the petition moot and to avoid grave and PROCESS OF LAW AND CONSIDERATIONS OF JUSTICE AND BASIC HUMAN
irreparable injury, issued a temporary restraining order to temporarily enjoin the parties
RIGHTS.
and their agents from enforcing the assailed May 23, 2005 TPO issued in Civil Case No.
II
0464-05.7
Without awaiting for the resolution of his Comment on the petition and motion to lift TPO,
petitioner filed with the CA a petition for certiorari with prayer for the issuance of a writ of
preliminary injunction and/or temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction and
hold departure order assailing the May 23, 2005 TPO issued by the RTC.

Petitioner later filed an Urgent Motion for Issuance of a Writ of Preliminary Injunction with
Manifestation,8 praying that the enforcement of all orders, decision to be issued by the
RTC and all the proceedings therein be restrained. A hearing9 was, subsequently,
conducted on the motion.
On October 28, 2005, the CA issued its assailed decision, the decretal portion of which
reads:
WHEREFORE, based on the foregoing premises, the instant petition is hereby DENIED
for lack of merit. Accordingly, the assailed Temporary Protection Order dated May 23,
2002 (sic) issued by the Regional Trial Court of Imus, Cavite, Branch 22 in Civil Case
No. 0464-05 is UPHELD.10

THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS IN REFUSING TO RULE ON THE


CONSTITUTIONALITY OF THE PROVISIONS OF RA 9262 HAS DECIDED THE CASE
IN A MANNER NOT IN ACCORD WITH ESTABLISHED LAWS AND JURISPRUDENCE
CONSIDERING THAT CONTRARY TO ITS FINDINGS THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF
THE SAID LAW IS THE LIS MOTA OF THE CASE.11
Petitioner claims that contrary to the stance of the CA in not deciding the issue of the
constitutionality of RA 9262, the issue presented is the very lis mota in the instant case.
The issue of constitutionality of RA 9262 was raised by petitioner in his Comment to
respondent's Petition with Urgent Motion to Lift TPO dated May 23, 2005 filed with the
RTC. However, without awaiting for the resolution of the same, petitioner filed a petition
for certiorari with the CA assailing the TPO issued for violating the due process clause of
the Constitution. Contrary to the CA's finding that the matter raised in the petition filed

with it was the RTCs alleged grave abuse of discretion in issuing the TPO which could
be resolved without having to rule on the constitutionality of RA 9262 and its provisions,
we find that since petitioner is assailing the validity of RA 9262 wherein respondent's
right to a protection order is based upon, the constitutionality of the said law must first be
decided upon. After all, the alleged unconstitutionality of RA 9262 is, for all intents and
purposes, a valid cause for the non-issuance of a protection order.12 Notwithstanding,
however, we still find no merit to declare RA 9262 unconstitutional.
Petitioner particularly directs his constitutional attack on Section 15 of RA 9262
contending that had there been no ex parte issuance of the TPO, he would have been
afforded due process of law and had properly presented his side on the matter; that the
questioned provision simply encourages arbitrary enforcement repulsive to basic
constitutional rights which affects his life, liberty and property.
We are not impressed.
Section 15 of RA 9262 provides:
SECTION 15. Temporary Protection Orders. Temporary Protection Orders (TPOs)
refers to the protection order issued by the court on the date of filing of the application
after ex parte determination that such order should be issued. A court may grant in a
TPO any, some or all of the reliefs mentioned in this Act and shall be effective for thirty
(30) days. The court shall schedule a hearing on the issuance of a [Permanent
Protection Order] PPO prior to or on the date of the expiration of the TPO. The court
shall order the immediate personal service of the TPO on the respondent by the court
sheriff who may obtain the assistance of law enforcement agents for the service. The
TPO shall include notice of the date of the hearing on the merits of the issuance of a
PPO.

custody of minor children to protect the children from violence, to prevent their abduction
by the perpetrator and to ensure their financial support.
The rules require that petitions for protection order be in writing, signed and verified by
the petitioner thereby undertaking full responsibility, criminal or civil, for every allegation
therein. Since "time is of the essence in cases of VAWC if further violence is to be
prevented," the court is authorized to issue ex parte a TPO after raffle but before notice
and hearing when the life, limb or property of the victim is in jeopardy and there is
reasonable ground to believe that the order is necessary to protect the victim from the
immediate and imminent danger of VAWC or to prevent such violence, which is about to
recur.
There need not be any fear that the judge may have no rational basis to issue an ex
parte order. The victim is required not only to verify the allegations in the petition, but
also to attach her witnesses' affidavits to the petition.
The grant of a TPO ex parte cannot, therefore, be challenged as violative of the right to
due process. Just like a writ of preliminary attachment which is issued without notice and
hearing because the time in which the hearing will take could be enough to enable the
defendant to abscond or dispose of his property, in the same way, the victim of VAWC
may already have suffered harrowing experiences in the hands of her tormentor, and
possibly even death, if notice and hearing were required before such acts could be
prevented. It is a constitutional commonplace that the ordinary requirements of
procedural due process must yield to the necessities of protecting vital public interests,
among which is protection of women and children from violence and threats to their
personal safety and security.

It should be pointed out that when the TPO is issued ex parte, the court shall likewise
order that notice be immediately given to the respondent directing him to file an
In Garcia v. Drilon,13 wherein petitioner therein argued that Section 15 of RA 9262 is a
opposition within five (5) days from service. Moreover, the court shall order that notice,
violation of the due process clause of the Constitution, we struck down the challenge and copies of the petition and TPO be served immediately on the respondent by the court
held:
sheriffs. The TPOs are initially effective for thirty (30) days from service on the
respondent.
A protection order is an order issued to prevent further acts of violence against women
and their children, their family or household members, and to grant other necessary
Where no TPO is issued ex parte, the court will nonetheless order the immediate
reliefs. Its purpose is to safeguard the offended parties from further harm, minimize any issuance and service of the notice upon the respondent requiring him to file an
disruption in their daily life and facilitate the opportunity and ability to regain control of
opposition to the petition within five (5) days from service. The date of the preliminary
their life.
conference and hearing on the merits shall likewise be indicated on the notice.
The scope of reliefs in protection orders is broadened to ensure that the victim or
offended party is afforded all the remedies necessary to curtail access by a perpetrator
to the victim. This serves to safeguard the victim from greater risk of violence; to accord
the victim and any designated family or household member safety in the family
residence, and to prevent the perpetrator from committing acts that jeopardize the
employment and support of the victim. It also enables the court to award temporary

The opposition to the petition which the respondent himself shall verify, must be
accompanied by the affidavits of witnesses and shall show cause why a temporary or
permanent protection order should not be issued.
It is clear from the foregoing rules that the respondent of a petition for protection order
should be apprised of the charges imputed to him and afforded an opportunity to present
his side. x x x. The essence of due process is to be found in the reasonable opportunity

to be heard and submit any evidence one may have in support of one's defense. "To be
heard" does not only mean verbal arguments in court; one may be heard also through
pleadings. Where opportunity to be heard, either through oral arguments or pleadings, is
accorded, there is no denial of procedural due process.14
Petitioner also assails that there is an invalid delegation of legislative power to the court
and to barangay officials to issue protection orders.
Section 2 of Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution provides that "the Congress shall have
the power to define, prescribe, and apportion the jurisdiction of the various courts but
may not deprive the Supreme Court of its jurisdiction over cases enumerated in Section
5 hereof." Hence, the primary judge of the necessity, adequacy, wisdom, reasonableness
and expediency of any law is primarily the function of the legislature.15 The act of
Congress entrusting us with the issuance of protection orders is in pursuance of our
authority to settle justiciable controversies or disputes involving rights that are
enforceable and demandable before the courts of justice or the redress of wrongs for
violations of such rights.16
As to the issuance of protection order by the Punong Barangay, Section 14 pertinently
provides:
SEC. 14. Barangay Protection Orders (BPOs); Who May Issue and How. Barangay
Protection Orders (BPOs) refer to the protection order issued by the Punong Barangay
ordering the perpetrator to desist from committing acts under Section 5 (a) and (b) of this
Act. A Punong Barangay who receives applications for a BPO shall issue the protection
order to the applicant on the date of filing after ex parte determination of the basis of the
application. If the Punong Barangay is unavailable to act on the application for a BPO,
the application shall be acted upon by any available Barangay Kagawad. If the BPO is
issued by a Barangay Kagawad, the order must be accompanied by an attestation by the
Barangay Kagawad that the Punong Barangay was unavailable at the time of the
issuance of the BPO. BPOs shall be effective for fifteen (15) days. Immediately after the
issuance of an ex parte BPO, the Punong Barangay or Barangay Kagawad shall
personally serve a copy of the same on the respondent, or direct any barangay official to
effect its personal service.
The parties may be accompanied by a non-lawyer advocate in any proceeding before
the Punong Barangay.1wphi1
Hence, the issuance of a BPO by the Punong Barangay or, in his unavailability, by any
available Barangay Kagawad, merely orders the perpetrator to desist from (a) causing
physical harm to the woman or her child; and (2) threatening to cause the woman or her
child physical harm.
Such function of the Punong Barangay is, thus, purely executive in nature, in pursuance
of his duty under the Local Government Code to "enforce all laws and ordinances," and
to "maintain public order in the barangay."17

Petitioner assails that the CA erred in finding that the RTC did not commit grave abuse of
discretion in issuing the TPO dated May 23, 2005 as the petition was bereft of any
indication of grounds for the issuance of the same. Petitioner claims that while the
issuance of the TPO is ex parte, there must be a judicial determination of the basis
thereof. He contends that the allegations in respondent's affidavit attached to the
petition, and without admitting the same to be true, are nothing more than normal or
usual quarrels between a husband and wife which are not grave or imminent enough to
merit the issuance of a TPO.
We are not persuaded.
We quote again Section 15 of RA 9262 for ready reference, thus:
SECTION 15. Temporary Protection Orders. Temporary Protection Orders (TPOs)
refers to the protection order issued by the court on the date of filing of the application
after ex parte determination that such order should be issued. A court may grant in a
TPO any, some or all of the reliefs mentioned in this Act and shall be effective for thirty
(30) days. The court shall schedule a hearing on the issuance of a PPO prior to or on the
date of the expiration of the TPO. The court shall order the immediate personal service
of the TPO on the respondent by the court sheriff who may obtain the assistance of law
enforcement agents for the service. The TPO shall include notice of the date of the
hearing on the merits of the issuance of a PPO.
Clearly, the court is authorized to issue a TPO on the date of the filing of the application
after ex parte determination that there is basis for the issuance thereof. Ex parte means
that the respondent need not be notified or be present in the hearing for the issuance of
the TPO. Thus, it is within the courts discretion, based on the petition and the affidavit
attached thereto, to determine that the violent acts against women and their children for
the issuance of a TPO have been committed.
And Section 5 of the same law provides:
SECTION 5. Acts of Violence Against Women and Their Children.- The crime of violence
against women and their children is committed through any of the following acts:
(a) Causing physical harm to the woman or her child;
(b) Threatening to cause the woman or her child physical harm;
(c) Attempting to cause the woman or her child physical harm;
(d) Placing the woman or her child in fear of imminent physical harm;
(e) Attempting to compel or compelling the woman or her child to engage in conduct
which the woman or her child has the right to desist from or desist from conduct which
the woman or her child has the right to engage in, or attempting to restrict or restricting
the woman's or her child's freedom of movement or conduct by force or threat of force,

physical or other harm or threat of physical or other harm, or intimidation directed against
the woman or child. This shall include, but not limited to, the following acts committed
with the purpose or effect of controlling or restricting the woman's or her child's
movement or conduct:
(1) Threatening to deprive or actually depriving the woman or her child of custody to
her/his family;
(2) Depriving or threatening to deprive the woman or her children of financial support
legally due her or her family, or deliberately providing the woman's children insufficient
financial support;

legal separation case; feeding his other children with the food which another child spat
out; and threatening the crying child with a belt to stop him from crying which was
repeatedly done; and holding respondent by her nape when he got furious that she was
asking him not to come often to their conjugal home and hold office thereat after their
agreed separation and threatening her of withholding half of the financial support for the
kids, while not conclusive, are enough bases for the issuance of a TPO. Petitioner's
actions would fall under the enumeration of Section 5, more particularly, paragraphs a, d,
e (2), f, h, and i.

It is settled doctrine that there is grave abuse of discretion when there is a capricious
and whimsical exercise of judgment as is equivalent to lack of jurisdiction, such as where
the power is exercised in an arbitrary or despotic manner by reason of passion or
(3) Depriving or threatening to deprive the woman or her child of a legal right;
personal hostility, and it must be so patent and gross so as to amount to an evasion of
positive duty or to a virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined or to act at all in
(4) Preventing the woman in engaging in any legitimate profession, occupation, business
contemplation of law.18We find that the CA did not err when it found no grave abuse of
or activity or controlling the victim's own money or properties, or solely controlling the
discretion committed by the RTC in the issuance of the TPO.
conjugal or common money, or properties;
The factual matters herein raised by petitioner should be presented during the hearing
(f) Inflicting or threatening to inflict physical harm on oneself for the purpose of controlling
on the merits on the issuance of the Permanent Protection Order.
her actions or decisions;
(g) Causing or attempting to cause the woman or her child to engage in any sexual
activity which does not constitute rape, by force or threat of force, physical harm, or
through intimidation directed against the woman or her child or her/his immediate family;

WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The Decision dated October 28, 2005 of the
Court of Appeals issued in CA-G.R. SP No. 89939, upholding the Regional Trial Court's
issuance of the Temporary Protection Order dated May 23, 2005, is AFFIRMED. The
Regional Trial Court of

(h) Engaging in purposeful, knowing, or reckless conduct, personally or through another,


Imus, Cavite is hereby ORDERED to resolve with dispatch respondent's Petition for a
that alarms or causes substantial emotional or psychological distress to the woman or
Permanent Protection Order.
her child. This shall include, but not be limited to, the following acts:
(1) Stalking or following the woman or her child in public or private places;
(2) Peering in the window or lingering outside the residence of the woman or her child;
(3) Entering or remaining in the dwelling or on the property of the woman or her child
against her/his will;
(4) Destroying the property and personal belongings or inflicting harm to animals or pets
of the woman or her child; and
(5) Engaging in any form of harassment or violence;
(i) Causing mental or emotional anguish, public ridicule or humiliation to the woman or
her child, including, but not limited to, repeated verbal and emotional abuse, and denial
of financial support or custody of minor children of access to the woman's child/children.
In this case, the alleged acts of petitioner among others, i.e., he cocked the gun and
pointed the same to his head in order to convince respondent not to proceed with the

SO ORDERED.

economic violence, being threatened of deprivation of custody of her children and of


financial support and also a victim of marital infidelity on the part of petitioner.
The TPO was granted but the petitioner failed to faithfully comply with the conditions set
forth by the said TPO, private-respondent filed another application for the issuance of a
TPO ex parte. The trial court issued a modified TPO and extended the same when
petitioner failed to comment on why the TPO should not be modified. After the given
time allowance to answer, the petitioner no longer submitted the required comment as it
would be an axercise in futility.
Petitioner filed before the CA a petition for prohibition with prayer for injunction and TRO
on, questioning the constitutionality of the RA 9262 for violating the due process and
equal protection clauses, and the validity of the modified TPO for being an unwanted
product of an invalid law.
The CA issued a TRO on the enforcement of the TPO but however, denied the petition
for failure to raise the issue of constitutionality in his pleadings before the trial court and
the petition for prohibition to annul protection orders issued by the trial court constituted
collateral attack on said law.
Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but was denied. Thus, this petition is filed.
Issues: WON the CA erred in dismissing the petition on the theory that the issue of
constitutionality was not raised at the earliest opportunity and that the petition constitutes
a collateral attack on the validity of the law.
WON the CA committed serious error in failing to conclude that RA 9262 is
discriminatory, unjust and violative of the equal protection clause.
WON the CA committed grave mistake in not finding that RA 9262 runs counter to the
due process clause of the Constitution
WON the CA erred in not finding that the law does violence to the policy of the state to
protect the family as a basic social institution

Garcia vs. J. Drilon and Garcia, G. R. No. 179267, 25 June 2013


posted in RESWRI2 cases by katcobing
Nature of the Case: Petition for Review of Republic Act (R.A.) 9262
Facts:
Private respondent Rosalie filed a petition before the RTC of Bacolod
City a Temporary Protection Order against her husband, Jesus, pursuant to R.A. 9262,
entitled An Act Defining Violence Against Women and Their Children, Providing for
Protective Measures for Victims, Prescribing Penalties Therefor, and for Other
Purposes. She claimed to be a victim of physical, emotional, psychological and

WON the CA seriously erredin declaring RA 9262 as invalid and unconstitutional


because it allows an undue delegation of judicial power to Brgy. Officials.
Decision:
1. Petitioner contends that the RTC has limited authority and jurisdiction,
inadequate to tackle the complex issue of constitutionality. Family Courts have authority
and jurisdiction to consider the constitutionality of a statute. The question of
constitutionality must be raised at the earliest possible time so that if not raised in the
pleadings, it may not be raised in the trial and if not raised in the trial court, it may not be
considered in appeal.
2. RA 9262 does not violate the guaranty of equal protection of the laws. Equal
protection simply requires that all persons or things similarly situated should be treated

alike, both as to rights conferred and responsibilities imposed. In Victoriano v. Elizalde


Rope Workerkers Union, the Court ruled that all that is required of a valid classification
is that it be reasonable, which means that the classification should be based on
substantial distinctions which make for real differences; that it must be germane to the
purpose of the law; not limited to existing conditions only; and apply equally to each
member of the class. Therefore, RA9262 is based on a valid classification and did not
violate the equal protection clause by favouring women over men as victims of violence
and abuse to whom the Senate extends its protection.

The petitioner is not the victim in this case. He does not have legal standing to raise the
constitutional issue.

3. RA 9262 is not violative of the due process clause of the Constitution. The essence of
due process is in the reasonable opportunity to be heard and submit any evidence one
may have in support of ones defense. The grant of the TPO exparte cannot be
impugned as violative of the right to due process.

All these drove respondent to despair causing her to attempt suicide on December 17,
2005 by slitting her wrist. Instead of taking her to the hospital, petitioner left the house.
He never visited her when she was confined for seven (7) days. He even told his motherin-law that respondent should just accept his extramarital affair since he is not cohabiting
with his paramour and has not sired a child with her.

4. The non-referral of a VAWC case to a mediator is justified. Petitioners contention that


by not allowing mediation, the law violated the policy of the State to protect and
strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution cannot be sustained. In a
memorandum of the Court, it ruled that the court shall not refer the case or any issue
therof to a mediator. This is so because violence is not a subject for compromise.
5. There is no undue delegation of judicial power to Barangay officials. Judicial power
includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights
which are legally demandable and enforceable and to determine whether or not there
has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on any
part of any branch of the Government while executive power is the power to enforce and
administer the laws. The preliminary investigation conducted by the prosecutor is an
executive, not a judicial, function. The same holds true with the issuance of BPO.
Assistance by Brgy. Officials and other law enforcement agencies is consistent with their
duty executive function.
The petition for review on certiorari is denied for lack of merit.
See Justice Leonens concurring opinion. Interesting read

CONCURRING OPINION
LEONEN, J.:

I join the ponencia in denying the challenge to the constitutionality of Republic Act No.
9262 otherwise known as the "Anti-Violence against Women and their Children Act of
2004" at least for this case. I write separately to clarify the basis of my agreement.

He appears to have inflicted violence against private respondents. Petitioner admitted


having an atTair with a bank manager. He callously boasted about their sexual relations
to the household help. His infidelity emotionally wounded private respondent. Their
quarrels left her with bruises and hematoma. Petitioner also unconscionably beat up
their daughter, Jo ann, whom he blamed for squealing on him.

The private respondent was determined to separate from petitiOner. But she was afraid
he would take away their children and deprive her of financial support. He warned her
that if she pursued legal battle, she would not get a single centavo from him. After she
conf onted him of his affair, he forbade her to hold office at JBTC Building. This deprived
her of access to full information about their businesses.
Thus, the Regional Trial Court found reasonable ground to believe there was imminent
danger of violence against respondent and her children and issued a series of
Temporary Protection Orders (TPO) ordering petitioner, among other things, to surrender
all his firearms including a .9MM caliber firearm and a Walther PPK.
This is the quintessential case where the full effects of Republic Act No. 9262 or the
VAWC should take effect.
Seen in this light, petitioners belated challenge to the law is nothing but a cheap attempt
to raise cherished fundamental constitutional principles to escape legal responsibility for
causing indignities in another human being. There is enough in our legal order to prevent
the abuse of legal principles to condone immoral acts.
For us to proceed to rule on Constitutional issues, we have required that: (1) there must
be an actual case or controversy calling for the exercise of judicial power; (2) the person
challenging the act must have "standing" to challenge; he must have a personal and
substantial interest in the case, such that he has sustained or will sustain, direct injury as
a result of its enforcement; (3) the question of constitutionality must be raised at the
earliest possible opportunity; and (4) the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis
mota of the case.1
Legal standing in cases that raise constitutional issues is essential. Locus standi is
defined as "a right of appearance in a court of justice on a given question."2 The
fundamental question is whether a party alleges such personal stake in the outcome of

the controversy as to assure that concrete adverseness which sharpens the presentation justiciability must be carefully exercised in cases involving social legislation that seeks to
of issues upon which the court depends for illumination of difficult constitutional
rectify historical and cultural injustices present in our communities and societies. As
questions.3
carefully pointed out in the erudite ponencia of Justice Perlas-Bernabe, Republic Act No.
9262 was borne out of the struggles of countless women who suffered indignities. It
In private suits, standing is governed by the "real-parties-in-interest" rule under Section
cannot be undone by a petition filed by someone who cannot, by any stretch of the most
2, Rule 3 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure in that "every action must be prosecuted
fertile imagination, be considered the victim.
or defended in the name of the real party- in-interest."4 Interest means material interest
or an interest in issue to be affected by the judgment of the case, as distinguished from
Nevertheless, in a future case more deserving of our attention, we should be open to
mere curiosity about the question involved.5
realities which may challenge the dominant conception that violence in intimate
relationships only happens to women and children. This may be predominantly true, but
Thus, there must be a present substantial interest as distinguished from a mere inchoate even those in marginal cases deserve fundamental constitutional and statutory
expectancy or a future, contingent, subordinate, or consequential interest.6 Standing is
protection. We should be careful that in correcting historical and cultural injustices, we
based on ones own right to the relief sought.
may typecast all women as victims, stereotype all men as tormentors or make invisible
the possibility that in some intimate relationships, men may also want to seek succor
The doctrine of locus standi in cases raising constitutional issues frames the power of
against acts defined in Section 5 of Republic Act No. 926210 in an expeditious manner.
judicial review that we wield. This is the power to settle actual controversies involving
rights which are legally demandable and enforceable as well as to determine whether
Husband abuse may be an underreported form of family violence.11 According to a
or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess
Quezon City Police District Crime Laboratory chief, in his 10 years as medico-legal
jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government.7
officer, he had only received three cases of men complaining of spousal abuse.12
The presence of an actual case prevents this Court from providing advisory opinions or
using its immense power of judicial review absent the presence of a party with real and
substantial interests to clarify the issues based upon his/her experience and standpoint.
It prevents this Court from speculating and rendering rulings on the basis of pure theory.
Our doctrines on justiciability are self-imposed applications of a fundamental view that
we accord a presumption of constitutionality to acts done by the other constitutional
organs and departments of government. Generally, we do not strike down acts done by
co-equal departments until their repugnancy to the Constitution can be shown clearly
and materially.
I am aware of our precedents where this Court has waived questions relating to the
justiciability of the constitutional issues raised when they have transcendental
importance to the public.8 In my view, this accommodates our power to promulgate
guidance concerning the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights.9 We
choose to rule squarely on the constitutional issues in a petition wanting all or some of
the technical requisites to meet our general doctrines on justiciability but raising clear
conditions showing imminent threat to fundamental rights. The imminence and clarity of
the threat to fundamental constitutional rights outweigh the necessity for prudence. In a
sense, our exceptional doctrine relating to constitutional issues of transcendental
importance prevents courts from the paralysis of procedural niceties when clearly faced
with the need for substantial protection.
That necessity is wanting in this case.
The extraordinary discretion to move beyond the well established doctrines on

Another recent study found the same underreporting but explored the experiences of
abuse in intimate relationships of six Filipino husbands.13
Their experiences were described as follows:cralavvonlinelawlibrary

All the participants acknowledged that they experienced abuse, but the forms differed
from one husband to another. Four out of the six participants admitted that their spouses
abusive behavior would initially start with verbal attacks and put-downs then would shift
to physical abuse as their verbal tussle intensified. Most of the abuses cited by the
participants happened in the confines of their home, but could also happen in public
places.
The constant threats, in the long term, affected the emotional and psychological well
being of the participants. Four of the husbands felt that their spouses were capable of
carrying out their threats. The frequent and long fights could be emotionally draining.
Throughout the duration of marriage, EC suffered emotionally from the weird marital
set-up. For TG, emotional abuse was associated with shattered trust.
The physical abuse for some participants became life-threatening to the extent that the
injury incurred needed medical attention. Their spouses could use weapons against
them. Four participants described the incidents that led to their injuries. Coming home
one night, RE saw this mono block chair flyinghit meright on the nose. DL
narrated pumunta ako ng doctor on my own para ipalinis yung sugat ko. According to

HM, his wound from a knife attack was wide and deep and needed some stiches. JL
had to contend with the long scratches in his chest and back. RE almost lost an eye
when he was hit with a straight punch of the spouse. JL, RE, and DL would lie to
colleagues to avoid being laughed at. DL had to be absent from his work after being hit
by a flying de lata (canned good) thrown at him during a fight.

Feminism also has its variants among Muslims. In 2009, Musawah (equality in Arabic)
was launched as a global movement for equity and justice in the Muslim family. It
brought together activists, scholars, legal practitioners, policy makers, and grassroots
women and men from all over the world.24 Their belief is that there cannot be justice
without equality, and its holistic framework integrates Islamic teachings, universal human
rights, national constitutional guarantees of equality, and the lived realities of women and
men.25

Emotional abuse co-existed with verbal and/or physical abuse. The participants who
were recipients of physical abuse were also emotionally abused when they became
susceptible to stress and threats of the abuser. JL felt guilty when the spouse carried out There is now more space to believe that portraying only women as victims will not
her threat of killing herself by intentionally taking an overdose of pills in the middle of an always promote gender equality before the law. It sometimes aggravates the gap by
intense disagreement.
conceding that women have always been dominated by men. In doing so, it renders
empowered women invisible; or, in some cases, that men as human beings can also
Emotional abuse could occur without physical abuse and yet its effects were still
become victims.
devastating. For instance, EC and TG were devastated by the lies and deceit of their
spouses. The spouses threats of suicide (JL), abandonment (RE), or taking their
In this light, it may be said that violence in the context of intimate relationships should not
children away after a fight (DL) were as distressing as the other forms of abuse
be seen and encrusted as a gender issue; rather, it is a power issue.26 Thus, when laws
experienced by the participants.14
are not gender-neutral, male victims of domestic violence may also suffer from double
victimization first by their abusers and second by the judicial system.27 Incidentally,
focusing on women as the victims entrenches some level of heteronormativity.28 It is
Social and cultural expectations on masculinity and male dominance urge men to keep
blind to the possibility that, whatever moral positions are taken by those who are
quiet about being a victim, adding to the unique experience of male victims of domestic
dominant, in reality intimate relationships can also happen between men.29
abuse.15 This leads to latent depression among boys and men.16 In a sense, patriarchy
while privileging men also victimizes them.
I accept that for purposes of advocacy and for a given historical period, it may be
It is true that numerous literature relate violence against women with the historically
unequal power relations between men and women, leading to domination over and
discrimination against the latter.17Sociologists cite the 18th-century English legal
tradition on the rule of thumb giving husbands the right to beat their wives with a stick
no thicker than a thumb.18 In America, women were regarded as property until the latter
half of the 19th century with marital violence considered a husband's privilege and men,
as of right, exercised physical domination over women.19

important to highlight abuse of women qua women.30 This strategy was useful in the
passing of Republic Act No. 9262. It was a strategy that assured that the problem of
battered women and children in the context of various intimate relationships becomes
publicly visible. However, unlike advocacy, laws have the tendency to be resilient and
permanent. Its existence may transcend historical periods that dictate effective
advocacy. Laws also have a constitutive function - the tendency to create false
consciousness when the labels and categories it mandates succeed in reducing past
evils but turn a blind eye to other issues.

The perspective portraying women as victims with a heritage of victimization20 results in For instance, one of the first cases that laid down the requisites for determining whether
the unintended consequence of permanently perceiving all women as weak. This has not there was a violation of the equal protection of the law clause of the Constitution was the
always been accepted by many other strands in the Feminist Movement.
1939 case of People v. Cayat.31 It laid down the requirements of reasonable
classification which requires that it (a) must rest on substantial distinctions, (b) must be
As early as the 70s, the nationalist movement raised questions on the wisdom of a
germane to the purposes of the law, (c) must not be limited to existing conditions only,
womens movement and its possible divisive effects, as class problems deserve unified and (d) must apply equally to all members of the same class.32 Even as early as 1919,
and concentrated attention [while] the women question is vague, abstract, and does not the Court in Rubi v. Provincial Board of Mindoro33 recognized the concept of reasonable
have material base.21
classification holding that [t]he pledge that no person shall be denied the equal
protection of the laws is not infringed by a statute which is applicable to all of a class.
In the early 80s, self-identifying feminist groups were formed.22 The emancipation
The classification must have a reasonable basis and cannot be purely arbitrary in
theory posits that female crime has increased and has become more masculine in
nature.34
character as a result of the women's liberation movement.23
Yet, it is in these two cases that the Court concluded the following:cralavvonlinelawlibrary

We have declared that [a]n unconstitutional act is not a law; it confers no rights; it
imposes no duties; it affords no protection; it creates no office; it is x x x as inoperative
as though it had never been passed.44 However, the seemingly all-inclusive statement
As authority of a judicial nature is the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of
United States vs. Tubban [Kalinga] ([1915], 29, Phil., 434). The question here arose as to of absolute retroactive invalidity may not always be justified.45 One established
the effect of a tribal marriage in connection with article 423 of the Penal Code concerning exception is the doctrine of operative fact.
the husband who surprises his wife in the act of adultery. In discussing the point, the
court makes use of the following language:cralavvonlinelawlibrary
x x x we are not advised of any provision of law which recognizes as legal a tribal
marriage of so-called non-Christians or members of uncivilized tribes, celebrated within
that province without compliance with the requisites prescribed by General Orders No.
68 x x x. We hold also that the fact that the accused is shown to be a member of an
uncivilized tribe, of a low order of intelligence, uncultured and uneducated, should be
taken into consideration as a second marked extenuating circumstance...35 (Emphasis
supplied)

The doctrine of operative fact, as an exception to the general rule, only applies as a
matter of equity and fair play. It nullifies the effects of an unconstitutional law by
recognizing that the existence of a statute prior to a determination of unconstitutionality
is an operative fact and may have consequences which cannot always be ignored. The
past cannot always be erased by a new judicial declaration.
The doctrine is applicable when a declaration of unconstitutionality will impose an undue
burden on those who have relied on the invalid law.46

The description of the label and the stereotype of non-Christian tribe would later on be
corrected by the Constitution,36 law,37 and jurisprudence.38

The possibility that the constitutionality of Republic Act No. 9262 may be challenged by
male victims of abuse in intimate relationships ventures to carve another exception if this
The description of the label and the stereotype that only women can be considered
court is to ensure the guarantee of . fundamental equality before the law of women and
victims may also evolve in the same way. We should hope that the situation of patriarchy men 47 as well as value the dignity of every human person.48 Applying the general rule
will not be permanent. Better cultural structures more affirming of human dignity should
or the existing doctrine of operative facts would mean removing the protection afforded
evolve.39
to women. It will thus contradict the very reason it is being assailed and result to an even
worse state of laws where none is protected from intimate violence.
In a future case, the fact that there may be battered men should not cause the
nullification of protections given to women and children.
But again, it is not in this case that we consider these possibilities.
The Constitution states that: [t]he State values the dignity of every human person and
guarantees full respect for human rights.40 The guarantee of full respect should not
mean that protections already given to those who suffer historical or cultural prejudices
should be automatically rescinded if only the scope of the law is found wanting.
Our Constitution also mandates that the State shall ensure the fundamental equality
before the law of women and men.41 This is similar to the Convention on the
Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)42 which requires
that the Philippines as state party take all appropriate measures [to] modify the social
and cultural patterns of conduct of men and women, with a view to achieving the
elimination of prejudices and customary and all other practices which are based on the
idea of the inferiority or the superiority of either of the sexes or on stereotyped roles for
men and women.43 The use of affirmative language should imply that in the proper suit,
a declaration of unconstitutionality on the ground of the equal protection should not
automatically mean that the entire social legislation that provides effective and efficient
protection of women be set aside.

By concurring with these statements I express a hope: that the normative constitutional
requirements of human dignity and fundamental equality can become descriptive reality.
The socially constructed distinctions between women and men that have atllicted us and
spawned discrimination and violence should be eradicated sooner. Power and intimacy
should not co-exist.
The intimate spaces created by our human relationships are our safe havens from the
helter skelter of this world. It is in that space where we grow in the safety of the special
other who we hope will be there for our entire lifetime. If that is not possible, then for
sucl;t time as will be sufficient to create cherished memories enough to last for eternity.
I concur in the ponencia. Against abominable acts, let this law take its full course.