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Republic of the Philippines

SUPREME COURT
Baguio City

SECOND DIVISION

G.R. No. 182835 April 20, 2010

RUSTAN ANG y PASCUA, Petitioner,
vs.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and IRISH SAGUD, Respondents.

FACTS

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.

That on or about June 5, 2005, in the Municipality of Maria Aurora, Province of Aurora, in a
purposeful and reckless conduct, respondent 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.

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.

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 Irish’s face superimposed on the figure
(Exhibit A). The sender’s 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.

M. psychological harm or suffering. Thus. 2. but not be limited to.A. coercion. or reckless conduct. 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. This shall include. personally or through another. Engaging in any form of harassment or violence. and humiliation on her in violation of Section 5(h) of R. h. (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. as provided under Section 1. COURT'S RULINGS Answer to the first Issue: Yes. 3. or economic abuse including threats of such acts.After she got the obscene picture. knowing. psychological distress. harassment or arbitrary deprivation of liberty. Section 3(a) of R. 01-7-01-SC) is applicable in criminal action. 01-7- 01-SC).A.” As a defense Rustan claims that the obscene picture sent to Irish through a text message constitutes an electronic document. inflicting anguish. Irish got other text messages from Rustan. it should be authenticated by means of an electronic signature. Rule 5 of the Rules on Electronic Evidence (A. or with whom he has a common child.– As used in this Act. Engaging in purposeful. Thus: SEC. 9262. And he threatened to spread the picture he sent through the internet. within or without the family abode. assault. written in text messaging shorthand. battery. ISSUES 1. that alarms or causes substantial emotional or psychological distress to the woman or her child. One of the messages he sent to Irish. Whether accused Rustan sent Irish by cellphone message the picture with her face pasted on the body of a nude woman. which result in or is likely to result in physical. He boasted that it would be easy for him to create similarly scandalous pictures of her. or against a woman with whom the person has or had a sexual or dating relationship.M. read: “Madali lang ikalat yun. the following acts: 5. . Definition of Terms. sexual. or against her child whether legitimate or illegitimate. Whether or not Section 1. Rule 5 of the Rules on Electronic Evidence (A. my chatrum ang tarlac rayt pwede ring send sa lahat ng chatter. former wife.

conclusion. Answer to the second Issue : NO. Here. 2. What is obscene and injurious to an offended woman can of course only be determined based on the circumstances of each case. indicate that the elements of the crime of violence against women through harassment are: 1. by himself or through another. and administrative proceedings. Irish and the police used such numbers to summon him to come to Lorentess Resort and he did. Surely. Consequently. In. Exhibit A. The offender. Rustan sent the picture with a threat to post it in the internet for all to see.The above provisions. would be scandalized and pained if she sees herself in such a picture. The harassment alarms or causes substantial emotional or psychological distress to her. any woman like Irish. quasi-judicial proceedings. taken together. was clearly an obscene picture and. 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. to prove that the cellphone numbers belonged to Rustan. He should be deemed to have already waived such ground for objection. and 3. her legs spread open and bearing Irish’s head and face. this Court finds that the prosecution has proved each and every element of the crime charged beyond reasonable doubt. as Irish testified. commits an act or series of acts of harassment against the woman. the naked woman on the picture. The rule cited do not apply to the present criminal action. The Court cannot measure the trauma that Irish experienced based on Rustan’s low regard for the alleged moral sensibilities of today’s youth. though. the bulk of the evidence against him consisted in Irish’s testimony that she received the obscene picture and malicious text messages that the sender’s cellphone numbers belonged to Rustan with whom she had been previously in communication. Rustan is raising this objection to the admissibility of the obscene picture. What makes it further terrifying is that. . The Rules on Electronic Evidence applies only to civil actions. That must have given her a nightmare. the prosecution did not have to present the confiscated cellphone and SIM cards to prove that Rustan sent those messages. Besides. for the first time before this Court. who is not in the pornography trade. Actually. The offender has or had a sexual or dating relationship with the offended woman. Indeed. to Irish a revolting and offensive one.

. 9262 would be a strained interpretation of the provisions of the law. 2008 SHARICA MARI L. as parents-in-law of the petitioner. paragraphs (e)(2)(3)(4). were causing verbal. 168852 September 30. otherwise known as the “Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004. Petitioner.A.” The RTC reasoned that to include respondents under the coverage of R. 9262. Sharica filed a Petition with Prayer for the Issuance of a Temporary Protective Order against Steven and her parents-in-law. Sharica argued otherwise. 9262 under the well-known rule of law “expressio unius est exclusio alterius.A. GO-TAN. No. She alleged that Steven. they were not included/covered as respondents under R. vs. Respondents filed a Motion to Dismiss contending that the RTC lacked jurisdiction over their persons since. No.” The RTC granted such. TAN and JUANITA L. No. TAN. Tan (respondents) before the Regional Trial Court (RTC).A. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila THIRD DIVISION G. No. Barely six years into the marriage. The RTC dismissed the case stating that being the parents-in-law. 9262. they were not covered by R. psychological and economic abuses upon her in violation of Section 5. FACTS Sharica and Steven were married with two daughters. Spouses Perfecto C. Respondents.R. (h)(5). Tan and Juanita L. and (i) of R. Parents-in-law can be violators of RA 9262 under the principle of conspiracy in the RPC. No.A. SPOUSES PERFECTO C. in conspiracy with respondents.

battery. 9262. 9262 must be understood in the light of the provisions of Section 47 of R. psychological harm or suffering. or economic abuse including threats of such acts. the provision on "conspiracy" under Article 8 of the RPC can be suppletorily applied to R.A. One of the basic fundamental rights not only affirmed in the CEDAW but all the other major human rights treaties is the principle of non-discrimination. or with whom he has a common child. former wife. or against a woman with whom the person has or had a sexual or dating relationship. or against her child whether legitimate or illegitimate. that Steven and respondents had community of design and purpose in tormenting her by giving her insufficient financial support. No. 9262 expressly provides for the suppletory application of the RPC. coercion. it does not preclude the application of the principle of conspiracy under the RPC. and in repeatedly abusing her verbally. No. which result in or is likely to result in physical. or a sexual or dating relationship.A. that respondents should be included as indispensable or necessary parties for complete resolution of the case.” While the said provision provides that the offender be related or connected to the victim by marriage. No. harassment or arbitrary deprivation of liberty.A. mentally and physically. No. assault. ISSUE Sharica Mari L. No. Go-Tan contends that R. 9262 defines ”violence against women and their children” as “any act or a series of acts committed by any person against a woman who is his wife. Indeed. harassing and pressuring her to be ejected from the family home.A. former marriage. within or without the family abode.A. COURT’S RULINGS Section 3 of R. emotionally. Section 47 of R. accordingly. sexual. . 9262 which explicitly provides for the suppletory application of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) and.