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Garcia vs. J.

Drilon and Garcia,
G. R. No. 179267, 25 June 2013
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
Therefore, and for Other Purposes.”

She claimed to be a victim of physical, emotional, psychological and 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 and Decision:

1. 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.

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. WON the CA committed serious error in failing to conclude that RA 9262 is discriminatory, unjust
and violative of the equal protection clause.

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.

3. WON the CA committed grave mistake in not finding that RA 9262 runs counter to the due process
clause of the Constitution.
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 one’s
defense. The grant of the TPO exparte cannot be impugned as violative of the right to due process.


4. 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.

The non-referral of a VAWC case to a mediator is justified. Petitioner’s 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. WON the CA seriously erred in declaring RA 9262 as invalid and unconstitutional because it allows
an undue delegation of judicial power to Brgy. Officials.

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.