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LAPUZ and ASSOCIATES LAW OFFICES

Unit 405 Goldlopp Tower B, Ortigas Center,


Pasig City
TELEPHONE NO. 4535172
lapuzandassociates@gmail.com

February 7, 2018

Pia Wurtzbach - Stockinger


Purok 1, Block 2, Lot 3
Southville, Muntinlupa

Dear Mrs. Wurtzbach – Stockinger:


Thank you for your letter sent last January 31, 2018, in which you requested legal
advice concerning the situation with your husband.
My answer to your question and the reason for my answer is provided below.
Q. What are the legal steps available to me?
A. Upon examining your situation including the various acts and omissions your
husband has committed not only to you but your whole family, I am convinced that you
may file a Criminal case of violation of Republic Act 9262 or the Anti Violence Against
Women and Children otherwise known as VAWC.
Reason:
According to Section 3 of the VAWC, “ 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 xxx or
against her child whether legitimate of illegitimate”. The law punishes acts that involve Physical
violence, Sexual Violence, Economic Abuse, and Psychological Violence. Given your present
predicament, I will now discuss these acts punishable under the law and relate them accordingly
to your situation.

Anent Physical Violence, it is defined under the law as any acts that include bodily or
physical harm. Given the fact that your husband, Marlon, has repeatedly laid his hands
on you and physically manhandled you over the course of your marriage even to the
point of losing 5 of your front teeth, those acts fall squarely within one of the punishable
acts under VAWC.
With respect to Sexual Violence, the same act provides that sexual violence refers to an
act which is sexual in nature, committed against a woman which incudes treating a
woman like a sex object and making demeaning and sexually suggestive remarks. You
may be able to prosecute your husband for this as well by pointing our the several
instances during your marriage wherein whenever you will have sexual intercourse, he
would spit on your face while blurting out demeaning and other sexually abusive
LAPUZ and ASSOCIATES LAW OFFICES
Unit 405 Goldlopp Tower B, Ortigas Center,
Pasig City
TELEPHONE NO. 4535172
lapuzandassociates@gmail.com

remarks. You have to understand that not just because you are both legally married to
one another that your husband may be allowed to do these sexually abusive acts to you
in the eyes of the law.
Now, going to Economic Abuse, the law defines it as acts that make or attempt to make
the woman financially dependent which include withdrawal of financial support or
preventing the victim from engaging in any legitimate profession or occupation, as well
as deprivation of financial resources and of the conjugal property. Relating this now to
your situation, the mere fact that Marlon never provided for any financial support to you
and your family ever since he went to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia as an OFW, he fall within
the purview of this punishable act. In addition, the mere fact that he constantly
prevented from seeking employment making you more dependent on him for support
likewise is punishable under the VAWC law.
Finally, with regard to Psychological Abuse, the act defines this as acts or omissions
causing or likely to cause mental or emotional suffering of the victim such as but not
limited to intimidation, harassment, public ridicule or humiliation, repeated verbal abuse,
and mental infidelity. This act finally encapsulates all of the previous acts he has
committed against you and your family which resulted to mental anguish and self-
degradation. This include intimidation and fear of being physically abused once again
whether physically or verbally; the public humiliation that you have sustained from
literally begging for food even to the point of eating from trash of fast food restaurants
just to survive the day just because he failed to provide support for his family; and most
importantly, the mental infidelity and psychological trauma you have sustained brought
about by his illicit relationship with his paramour, Mary Jane.
By filing this case against your husband, Marlo, you may be able to prosecute him for all
of his abusive acts he has committed, as well as compel him to provide for support for
the whole family as he is legally bound to.
I hope this legal opinion has finally shed light to your situation and may you have the
courage to fight for your rights not just for yourself but for your children as well.

Atty. Jesus Ros Lapuz, Jr.


Legal Counsel