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Sanchez vs.

People
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:
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:
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 abovenamed 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.
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.
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.

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.
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.
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.
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.