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Republic of the Philippines AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ, J.

Supreme Court Before the Court is a Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of
Court assailing the Resolution[1] dated March 7, 2005 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC),
Manila Branch 94, Quezon City in Civil Case No. Q-05-54536 and the RTC Resolution[2] dated
July 11, 2005 which denied petitioner's Verified Motion for Reconsideration.
THIRD DIVISION
The factual background of the case:
SHARICA MARI L. GO-TAN
On April 18, 1999, Sharica Mari L. Go-Tan (petitioner) and Steven L. Tan (Steven) were
G.R. No. 168852 married.[3] Out of this union, two female children were born, Kyra Danielle[4] and
Kristen Denise.[5] On January 12, 2005, barely six years into the marriage, petitioner
Petitioner, filed a Petition with Prayer for the Issuance of a Temporary Protective Order (TPO)[6]
against Steven and her parents-in-law, Spouses Perfecto C. Tan and Juanita L. Tan
Present: (respondents) before the RTC. She alleged that Steven, in conspiracy with respondents,
were causing verbal, psychological and economic abuses upon her in violation of Section
YNARES-SANTIAGO, J., 5, paragraphs (e)(2)(3)(4), (h)(5), and (i)[7] of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9262,[8] otherwise
known as the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004.
Chairperson,
On January 25, 2005, the RTC issued an Order/Notice[9] granting petitioner's prayer for
- versus - a TPO.

AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ, On February 7, 2005, respondents filed a Motion to Dismiss with Opposition to the
Issuance of Permanent Protection Order Ad Cautelam and Comment on the Petition,[10]
CHICO-NAZARIO, contending that the RTC lacked jurisdiction over their persons since, as parents-in-law of
the petitioner, they were not covered by R.A. No. 9262.
NACHURA, and
On February 28, 2005, petitioner filed a Comment on Opposition[11] to respondents'
REYES, JJ. Motion to Dismiss arguing that respondents were covered by R.A. No. 9262 under a
liberal interpretation thereof aimed at promoting the protection and safety of victims of
SPOUSES PERFECTO C. TAN violence.
On March 7, 2005, the RTC issued a Resolution[12] dismissing the case as to
and JUANITA L. TAN, respondents on the ground that, being the parents-in-law of the petitioner, they were
not included/covered as respondents under R.A. No. 9262 under the well-known rule of
Promulgated: law expressio unius est exclusio alterius.[13]

Respondents.* On March 16, 2005, petitioner filed her Verified Motion for Reconsideration[14]
contending that the doctrine of necessary implication should be applied in the broader
September 30, 2008 interests of substantial justice and due process.

x----------------------------------------------------------x On April 8, 2005, respondents filed their Comment on the Verified Motion for
Reconsideration[15] arguing that petitioner's liberal construction unduly broadened the
DECISION provisions of R.A. No. 9262 since the relationship between the offender and the alleged
victim was an essential condition for the application of R.A. No. 9262.
1
While the said provision provides that the offender be related or connected to the
On July 11, 2005, the RTC issued a Resolution[16] denying petitioner's victim by marriage, former marriage, or a sexual or dating relationship, it does not
preclude the application of the principle of conspiracy under the RPC.
Verified Motion for Reconsideration. The RTC reasoned that to include respondents
under the coverage of R.A. No. 9262 would be a strained interpretation of the provisions Indeed, Section 47 of R.A. No. 9262 expressly provides for the suppletory application of
of the law. the RPC, thus:

Hence, the present petition on a pure question of law, to wit: SEC. 47. Suppletory Application. - For purposes of this Act, the Revised Penal Code and
other applicable laws, shall have suppletory application. (Emphasis supplied)
WHETHER OR NOT RESPONDENTS-SPOUSES PERFECTO & JUANITA, PARENTS-IN-LAW
OF SHARICA, MAY BE INCLUDED IN THE PETITION FOR THE ISSUANCE OF A PROTECTIVE Parenthetically, Article 10 of the RPC provides:
ORDER, IN ACCORDANCE WITH REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9262, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE
ANTI-VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND THEIR CHILDREN ACT OF 2004.[17] ART. 10. Offenses not subject to the provisions of this Code. Offenses which are or in the
future may be punishable under special laws are not subject to the provisions of this
Petitioner contends that R.A. No. 9262 must be understood in the light of the provisions Code. This Code shall be supplementary to such laws, unless the latter should specially
of Section 47 of R.A. No. 9262 which explicitly provides for the suppletory application of provide the contrary. (Emphasis supplied)
the Revised Penal Code (RPC) and, accordingly, the provision on conspiracy under Article Hence, legal principles developed from the Penal Code may be applied in a
8 of the RPC can be suppletorily applied to R.A. No. 9262; that Steven and respondents supplementary capacity to crimes punished under special laws, such as R.A. No. 9262, in
had community of design and purpose in tormenting her by giving her insufficient which the special law is silent on a particular matter.
financial support; harassing and pressuring her to be ejected from the family home; and
in repeatedly abusing her verbally, emotionally, mentally and physically; that Thus, in People v. Moreno,[18] the Court applied suppletorily the provision on
respondents should be included as indispensable or necessary parties for complete subsidiary penalty under Article 39 of the RPC to cases of violations of Act No. 3992,
resolution of the case. otherwise known as the Revised Motor Vehicle Law, noting that the special law did not
On the other hand, respondents submit that they are not covered by R.A. No. 9262 since contain any provision that the defendant could be sentenced with subsidiary
Section 3 thereof explicitly provides that the offender should be related to the victim imprisonment in case of insolvency.
only by marriage, a former marriage, or a dating or sexual relationship; that allegations
on the conspiracy of respondents require a factual determination which cannot be done In People v. Li Wai Cheung,[19] the Court applied suppletorily the rules on the service of
by this Court in a petition for review; that respondents cannot be characterized as sentences provided in Article 70 of the RPC in favor of the accused who was found guilty
indispensable or necessary parties, since their presence in the case is not only of multiple violations of R.A. No. 6425, otherwise known as the Dangerous Drugs Act of
unnecessary but altogether illegal, considering the non-inclusion of in-laws as offenders 1972, considering the lack of similar rules under the special law.
under Section 3 of R.A. No. 9262.
In People v. Chowdury,[20] the Court applied suppletorily Articles 17, 18 and 19 of the
The Court rules in favor of the petitioner. RPC to define the words principal, accomplices and accessories under R.A. No. 8042,
otherwise known as the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995, because
Section 3 of R.A. No. 9262 defines ''[v]iolence against women and their children'' as any said words were not defined therein, although the special law referred to the same
act or a series of acts committed by any person against a woman who is his wife, former terms in enumerating the persons liable for the crime of illegal recruitment.
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 In Yu v. People,[21] the Court applied suppletorily the provisions on subsidiary
legitimate or illegitimate, within or without the family abode, which result in or is likely imprisonment under Article 39 of the RPC to Batas Pambansa (B.P.) Blg. 22, otherwise
to result in physical, sexual, psychological harm or suffering, or economic abuse known as the Bouncing Checks Law, noting the absence of an express provision on
including threats of such acts, battery, assault, coercion, harassment or arbitrary subsidiary imprisonment in said special law.
deprivation of liberty.

2
Most recently, in Ladonga v. People,[22] the Court applied suppletorily the principle of
conspiracy under Article 8 of the RPC to B.P. Blg. 22 in the absence of a contrary SEC. 8. Protection Orders. x x x The protection orders that may be issued under this Act
provision therein. shall include any, some or all of the following reliefs:

With more reason, therefore, the principle of conspiracy under Article 8 of the RPC may (a) Prohibition of the respondent from threatening to commit or committing, personally
be applied suppletorily to R.A. No. 9262 because of the express provision of Section 47 or through another, any of the acts mentioned in Section 5 of this Act;
that the RPC shall be supplementary to said law. Thus, general provisions of the RPC,
which by their nature, are necessarily applicable, may be applied suppletorily. (b) Prohibition of the respondent from harassing, annoying, telephoning, contacting or
otherwise communicating with the petitioner, directly or indirectly; x x x (Emphasis
supplied)
Thus, the principle of conspiracy may be applied to R.A. No. 9262. For once conspiracy
or action in concert to achieve a criminal design is shown, the act of one is the act of all Finally, Section 4 of R.A. No. 9262 calls for a liberal construction of the law, thus:
the conspirators, and the precise extent or modality of participation of each of them
becomes secondary, since all the conspirators are principals.[23] SEC. 4. Construction. - This Act shall be liberally construed to promote the protection
and safety of victims of violence against women and their children. (Emphasis supplied)
It must be further noted that Section 5 of R.A. No. 9262 expressly recognizes that the
acts of violence against women and their children may be committed by an offender It bears mention that the intent of the statute is the law[24] and that this intent must be
through another, thus: effectuated by the courts. In the present case, the express language of R.A. No. 9262
reflects the intent of the legislature for liberal construction as will best ensure the
SEC. 5. Acts of Violence Against Women and Their Children. - The crime of violence attainment of the object of the law according to its true intent, meaning and spirit - the
against women and their children is committed through any of the following acts: protection and safety of victims of violence against women and children.

xxx Thus, contrary to the RTC's pronouncement, the maxim "expressio unios est exclusio
alterius finds no application here. It must be remembered that this maxim is only an
(h) Engaging in purposeful, knowing, or reckless conduct, personally or through another, ancillary rule of statutory construction. It is not of universal application. Neither is it
that alarms or causes substantial emotional or psychological distress to the woman or conclusive. It should be applied only as a means of discovering legislative intent which is
her child. This shall include, but not be limited to, the following acts: not otherwise manifest and should not be permitted to defeat the plainly indicated
purpose of the legislature.[25]
(1) Stalking or following the woman or her child in public or private places;
The Court notes that petitioner unnecessarily argues at great length on the attendance
(2) Peering in the window or lingering outside the residence of the woman or her child; of circumstances evidencing the conspiracy or connivance of Steven and respondents to
cause verbal, psychological and economic abuses upon her. However, conspiracy is an
(3) Entering or remaining in the dwelling or on the property of the woman or her child evidentiary matter which should be threshed out in a full-blown trial on the merits and
against her/his will; cannot be determined in the present petition since this Court is not a trier of facts.[26] It
is thus premature for petitioner to argue evidentiary matters since this controversy is
(4) Destroying the property and personal belongings or inflicting harm to animals or pets centered only on the determination of whether respondents may be included in a
of the woman or her child; and petition under R.A. No. 9262. The presence or absence of conspiracy can be best passed
upon after a trial on the merits.
(5) Engaging in any form of harassment or violence; x x x. (Emphasis supplied)
Considering the Court's ruling that the principle of conspiracy may be applied
In addition, the protection order that may be issued for the purpose of preventing suppletorily to R.A. No. 9262, the Court will no longer delve on whether respondents
further acts of violence against the woman or her child may include individuals other may be considered indispensable or necessary parties. To do so would be an exercise in
than the offending husband, thus: superfluity.

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WHEREFORE, the instant petition is GRANTED. The assailed Resolutions dated March 7,
2005 and July 11, 2005 of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 94, Quezon City in Civil Case
No. Q-05-54536 are hereby PARTLY REVERSED and SET ASIDE insofar as the dismissal of
the petition against respondents is concerned.

SO ORDERED.

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Baguio City

SECOND DIVISION

G.R. No. 182835 April 20, 2010

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RUSTAN ANG y PASCUA, Petitioner, In the early morning of June 5, 2005, Irish received through multimedia message service
vs. (MMS) a picture of a naked woman with spread legs and with Irish’s face superimposed
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and IRISH SAGUD, Respondents. on the figure (Exhibit A).2 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
DECISION picture of her face from a shot he took when they were in Baguio in 2003 (Exhibit B).3

ABAD, J.: 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
This case concerns a claim of commission of the crime of violence against women when he threatened to spread the picture he sent through the internet. One of the messages
a former boyfriend sent to the girl the picture of a naked woman, not her, but with her he sent to Irish, written in text messaging shorthand, read: "Madali lang ikalat yun, my
face on it. chatrum ang tarlac rayt pwede ring send sa lahat ng chatter."4

The Indictment 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
The public prosecutor charged petitioner-accused Rustan Ang (Rustan) before the used in sending the picture and his text messages. Irish asked Rustan to meet her at the
Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Baler, Aurora, of violation of the Anti-Violence Against Lorentess Resort in Brgy. Ramada, Maria Aurora, and he did. He came in a motorcycle.
Women and Their Children Act or Republic Act (R.A.) 9262 in an information that reads: 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
That on or about June 5, 2005, in the Municipality of Maria Aurora, Province of Aurora, several SIM cards. While Rustan was being questioned at the police station, he shouted
Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused willfully, at Irish: "Malandi ka kasi!"
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 Joseph Gonzales, an instructor at the Aurora State College of Technology, testified as an
Sagud, who was his former girlfriend, whereby the face of the latter was attached to a expert in information technology and computer graphics. He said that it was very much
completely naked body of another woman making it to appear that it was said Irish possible for one to lift the face of a woman from a picture and superimpose it on the
Sagud who is depicted in the said obscene and pornographic picture thereby causing body of another woman in another picture. Pictures can be manipulated and enhanced
substantial emotional anguish, psychological distress and humiliation to the said Irish by computer to make it appear that the face and the body belonged to just one person.
Sagud.1
Gonzales testified that the picture in question (Exhibit A) had two distinct irregularities:
The Facts and the Case the face was not proportionate to the body and the face had a lighter color. In his
opinion, the picture was fake and the face on it had been copied from the picture of
The evidence for the prosecution shows that complainant Irish Sagud (Irish) and accused Irish in Exhibit B. Finally, Gonzales explained how this could be done, transferring a
Rustan were classmates at Wesleyan University in Aurora Province. Rustan courted Irish picture from a computer to a cellphone like the Sony Ericsson P900 seized from Rustan.
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 For his part, Rustan admitted having courted Irish. He began visiting her in Tarlac in
gotten pregnant, Irish broke up with him. October 2003 and their relation lasted until December of that year. He claimed that
after their relation ended, Irish wanted reconciliation. They met in December 2004 but,
Before Rustan got married, however, he got in touch with Irish and tried to convince her after he told her that his girlfriend at that time (later his wife) was already pregnant,
to elope with him, saying that he did not love the woman he was about to marry. Irish Irish walked out on him.
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 Sometime later, Rustan got a text message from Irish, asking him to meet her at
get hold of it and sent her text messages. Rustan used two cellphone numbers for Lorentess Resort as she needed his help in selling her cellphone. When he arrived at the
sending his messages, namely, 0920-4769301 and 0921-8084768. Irish replied to his text place, two police officers approached him, seized his cellphone and the contents of his
messages but it was to ask him to leave her alone. pockets, and brought him to the police station.

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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 3. Whether or not the evidence used to convict Rustan was obtained from him in
sender’s number and, pretending to be Irish, contacted the person. Rustan claims that violation of his constitutional rights; and
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 4. Whether or not the RTC properly admitted in evidence the obscene picture presented
originated from his cellphone number. Rustan claims that it was Irish herself who sent in the case.
the obscene picture (Exhibit A) to him. He presented six pictures of a woman whom he
identified as Irish (Exhibits 2 to 7).5 The Court’s Rulings

Michelle Ang (Michelle), Rustan’s wife, testified that she was sure Irish sent the six Section 3(a) of R.A. 9262 provides that violence against women includes an act or acts of
pictures. Michelle claims that she received the pictures and hid the memory card a person against a woman with whom he has or had a sexual or dating relationship.
(Exhibit 8) that contained them because she was jealous and angry. She did not want to Thus:
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, SEC. 3. Definition of Terms. – As used in this Act,
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. (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
After trial, the RTC found Irish’s testimony completely credible, given in an honest and woman with whom the person has or had a sexual or dating relationship, or with whom
spontaneous manner. The RTC observed that she wept while recounting her experience, he has a common child, or against her child whether legitimate or illegitimate, within or
prompting the court to comment: "Her tears were tangible expression of pain and without the family abode, which result in or is likely to result in physical, sexual,
anguish for the acts of violence she suffered in the hands of her former sweetheart. The psychological harm or suffering, or economic abuse including threats of such acts,
crying of the victim during her testimony is evidence of the credibility of her charges battery, assault, coercion, harassment or arbitrary deprivation of liberty.
with the verity borne out of human nature and experience."6 Thus, in its Decision dated
August 1, 2001, the RTC found Rustan guilty of the violation of Section 5(h) of R.A. 9262. xxxx

On Rustan’s appeal to the Court of Appeals (CA),7 the latter rendered a decision dated Section 5 identifies the act or acts that constitute violence against women and these
January 31, 2008,8 affirming the RTC decision. The CA denied Rustan’s motion for include any form of harassment that causes substantial emotional or psychological
reconsideration in a resolution dated April 25, 2008. Thus, Rustan filed the present for distress to a woman. Thus:
review on certiorari.
SEC. 5. Acts of Violence Against Women and Their Children. – The crime of violence
The Issues Presented against women and their children is committed through any of the following acts:

The principal issue in this case is whether or not accused Rustan sent Irish by cellphone xxxx
message the picture with her face pasted on the body of a nude woman, inflicting
anguish, psychological distress, and humiliation on her in violation of Section 5(h) of R.A. h. Engaging in purposeful, knowing, or reckless conduct, personally or through another,
9262. 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:
The subordinate issues are:
xxxx
1. Whether or not a "dating relationship" existed between Rustan and Irish as this term
is defined in R.A. 9262; 5. Engaging in any form of harassment or violence;

2. Whether or not a single act of harassment, like the sending of the nude picture in this The above provisions, taken together, indicate that the elements of the crime of
case, already constitutes a violation of Section 5(h) of R.A. 9262; violence against women through harassment are:
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Rustan himself admits, from October to December of 2003. That would be time enough
1. The offender has or had a sexual or dating relationship with the offended woman; for nurturing a relationship of mutual trust and love.

2. The offender, by himself or through another, commits an act or series of acts of An "away-bati" or a fight-and-kiss thing between two lovers is a common occurrence.
harassment against the woman; and 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"
3. The harassment alarms or causes substantial emotional or psychological distress to meant, Irish explained that at times, when she could not reply to Rustan’s messages, he
her. would get angry at her. That was all. Indeed, she characterized their three-month
romantic relation as continuous.10
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 Two. Rustan argues that the one act of sending an offensive picture should not be
relationship" includes a situation where the parties are romantically involved over time considered a form of harassment. He claims that such would unduly ruin him personally
and on a continuing basis during the course of the relationship. Thus: 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
(e) "Dating relationship" refers to a situation wherein the parties live as husband and harassment, which translates into violence, would be enough. The object of the law is to
wife without the benefit of marriage or are romantically involved over time and on a protect women and children. Punishing only violence that is repeatedly committed
continuing basis during the course of the relationship. A casual acquaintance or ordinary would license isolated ones.
socialization between two individuals in a business or social context is not a dating
relationship. (Underscoring supplied.) Rustan alleges that today’s women, like Irish, are so used to obscene communications
that her getting one could not possibly have produced alarm in her or caused her
Here, Rustan claims that, being "romantically involved," implies that the offender and substantial emotional or psychological distress. He claims having previously exchanged
the offended woman have or had sexual relations. According to him, "romance" implies obscene pictures with Irish such that she was already desensitized by them.
a sexual act. He cites Webster’s Comprehensive Dictionary Encyclopedia Edition which
provides a colloquial or informal meaning to the word "romance" used as a verb, i.e., "to But, firstly, the RTC which saw and heard Rustan and his wife give their testimonies was
make love; to make love to" as in "He romanced her." 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
But it seems clear that the law did not use in its provisions the colloquial verb clearly show on them.
"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 Michelle, Rustan’s wife, claimed that she deleted several other pictures that Irish sent,
couple’s relationship, i.e., "a love affair."9 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,
R.A. 9262 provides in Section 3 that "violence against women x x x refers to any act or a however, she said that she did not have time to delete them.11 And, if she thought that
series of acts committed by any person against a woman x x x with whom the person she had deleted all the pictures from the memory card, then she had no reason at all to
has or had a sexual or dating relationship." Clearly, the law itself distinguishes a sexual keep and hide such memory card. There would have been nothing to hide. Finally, if she
relationship from a dating relationship. Indeed, Section 3(e) above defines "dating knew that some pictures remained in the card, there was no reason for her to keep it for
relationship" while Section 3(f) defines "sexual relations." The latter "refers to a single several years, given that as she said she was too jealous to want to see anything
sexual act which may or may not result in the bearing of a common child." The dating connected to Irish. Thus, the RTC was correct in not giving credence to her
relationship that the law contemplates can, therefore, exist even without a sexual testimony.1avvphi1
intercourse taking place between those involved.
Secondly, the Court cannot measure the trauma that Irish experienced based on
Rustan also claims that since the relationship between Irish and him was of the "on-and- Rustan’s low regard for the alleged moral sensibilities of today’s youth. What is obscene
off" variety (away-bati), their romance cannot be regarded as having developed "over and injurious to an offended woman can of course only be determined based on the
time and on a continuing basis." But the two of them were romantically involved, as circumstances of each case. Here, the naked woman on the picture, her legs spread
open and bearing Irish’s head and face, was clearly an obscene picture and, to Irish a
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revolting and offensive one. Surely, any woman like Irish, who is not in the pornography In conclusion, this Court finds that the prosecution has proved each and every element
trade, would be scandalized and pained if she sees herself in such a picture. What makes of the crime charged beyond reasonable doubt.
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. 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,
Three. Rustan argues that, since he was arrested and certain items were seized from 2008.
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 SO ORDERED.
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 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. 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 SECOND DIVISION
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 CHERRYL B. DOLINA, G.R. No. 182367
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 Petitioner,
messages to him to authenticate the same. The RTC did not give credence to such
version and neither will this Court. Besides, it was most unlikely for Irish to pin the Present:
things on Rustan if he had merely tried to help her identify the sender.

Four. Rustan claims that the obscene picture sent to Irish through a text message CARPIO, J., Chairperson,
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 - versus - NACHURA,
Evidence (A.M. 01-7-01-SC).
PERALTA,
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 ABAD, and
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 MENDOZA, JJ.

Besides, the rules he cites do not apply to the present criminal action. The Rules on GLENN D. VALLECERA,
Electronic Evidence applies only to civil actions, quasi-judicial proceedings, and
administrative proceedings.15 Respondent. Promulgated:

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prerequisite for support. Unsatisfied, Dolina filed the present petition for review directly
December 15, 2010 with this Court.

x --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- x The Issue Presented

The sole issue presented in this case is whether or not the RTC correctly dismissed
Dolinas action for temporary protection and denied her application for temporary
DECISION support for her child.

The Courts Ruling


ABAD, J.:
Dolina evidently filed the wrong action to obtain support for her child. The object of R.A.
9262 under which she filed the case is the protection and safety of women and children
who are victims of abuse or violence.[6] Although the issuance of a protection order
against the respondent in the case can include the grant of legal support for the wife
This case is about a mothers claim for temporary support of an unacknowledged child, and the child, this assumes that both are entitled to a protection order and to legal
which she sought in an action for the issuance of a temporary protection order that she support.
brought against the supposed father.
Dolina of course alleged that Vallecera had been abusing her and her child. But it
The Facts and the Case became apparent to the RTC upon hearing that this was not the case since, contrary to
her claim, neither she nor her child ever lived with Vallecera. As it turned out, the true
In February 2008 petitioner Cherryl B. Dolina filed a petition with prayer for the issuance object of her action was to get financial support from Vallecera for her child, her claim
of a temporary protection order against respondent Glenn D. Vallecera before the being that he is the father. He of course vigorously denied this.
Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Tacloban City in P.O. 2008-02-07[1] for alleged woman and
child abuse under Republic Act (R.A.) 9262.[2] In filling out the blanks in the pro-forma To be entitled to legal support, petitioner must, in proper action, first establish the
complaint, Dolina added a handwritten prayer for financial support[3] from Vallecera for filiation of the child, if the same is not admitted or acknowledged. Since Dolinas demand
their supposed child. She based her prayer on the latters Certificate of Live Birth which for support for her son is based on her claim that he is Valleceras illegitimate child, the
listed Vallecera as the childs father. The petition also asked the RTC to order Philippine latter is not entitled to such support if he had not acknowledged him, until Dolina shall
Airlines, Valleceras employer, to withhold from his pay such amount of support as the have proved his relation to him.[7] The childs remedy is to file through her mother a
RTC may deem appropriate. judicial action against Vallecera for compulsory recognition.[8] If filiation is beyond
question, support follows as matter of obligation.[9] In short, illegitimate children are
Vallecera opposed the petition. He claimed that Dolinas petition was essentially one for entitled to support and successional rights but their filiation must be duly proved.[10]
financial support rather than for protection against woman and child abuses; that he
was not the childs father; that the signature appearing on the childs Certificate of Live Dolinas remedy is to file for the benefit of her child an action against Vallecera for
Birth is not his; that the petition is a harassment suit intended to force him to compulsory recognition in order to establish filiation and then demand support.
acknowledge the child as his and give it financial support; and that Vallecera has never Alternatively, she may directly file an action for support, where the issue of compulsory
lived nor has been living with Dolina, rendering unnecessary the issuance of a protection recognition may be integrated and resolved.[11]
order against him.
It must be observed, however, that the RTC should not have dismissed the entire case
On March 13, 2008[4] the RTC dismissed the petition after hearing since no prior based solely on the lack of any judicial declaration of filiation between Vallecera and
judgment exists establishing the filiation of Dolinas son and granting him the right to Dolinas child since the main issue remains to be the alleged violence committed by
support as basis for an order to compel the giving of such support. Dolina filed a motion Vallecera against Dolina and her child and whether they are entitled to protection. But
for reconsideration but the RTC denied it in its April 4, 2008 Order,[5] with an of course, this matter is already water under the bridge since Dolina failed to raise this
admonition that she first file a petition for compulsory recognition of her child as a
9
error on review. This omission lends credence to the conclusion of the RTC that the real condition for the employment of Ms. Yee in the Family Program of the Office of the
purpose of the petition is to obtain support from Vallecera. accused, thus constituting sexual harassment.[1]

While the Court is mindful of the best interests of the child in cases involving paternity Upon his arraignment, petitioner pled not guilty to the offense charged; hence, trial
and filiation, it is just as aware of the disturbance that unfounded paternity suits cause proceeded.
to the privacy and peace of the putative fathers legitimate family.[12] Vallecera disowns
Dolinas child and denies having a hand in the preparation and signing of its certificate of Juliet Q. Yee, then a 22-year old fresh graduate of nursing, averred that on 28 November
birth. This issue has to be resolved in an appropriate case. 1995 her father accompanied her to the office of petitioner at the City Health Office to
seek employment. Juliets father and petitioner were childhood friends. Juliet was
ACCORDINGLY, the Court DENIES the petition and AFFIRMS the Regional Trial Court of informed by the doctor that the City Health Office had just then filled up the vacant
Tacloban Citys Order dated March 13, 2008 that dismissed petitioner Cherryl B. Dolinas positions for nurses but that he would still see if he might be able to help her.
action in P.O. 2008-02-07, and Order dated April 4, 2008, denying her motion for
reconsideration dated March 28, 2008. The following day, 29 November 1995, Juliet and her father returned to the City Health
SO ORDERED. Office, and they were informed by petitioner that a medical group from Texas, U.S.A.,
was coming to town in December to look into putting up a clinic in Lapasan, Cagayan de
Oro, where she might be considered. On 01 December 1995, around nine oclock in the
morning, she and her father went back to the office of petitioner. The latter informed
her that there was a vacancy in a family planning project for the city and that, if she
were interested, he could interview her for the job. Petitioner then started putting up to
THIRD DIVISION her a number of questions. When asked at one point whether or not she already had a
boyfriend, she said no. Petitioner suggested that perhaps if her father were not around,
[G.R. No. 140604. March 6, 2002] she could afford to be honest in her answers to the doctor. The father, taking the cue,
decided to leave. Petitioner then inquired whether she was still a virgin, explaining to
DR. RICO S. JACUTIN, petitioner, vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondent. her his theory on the various aspects of virginity. He hypothetically asked whether she
would tell her family or friends if a male friend happened to intimately touch her.
DECISION Petitioner later offered her the job where she would be the subject of a research
program. She was requested to be back after lunch.
VITUG, J.:
Before proceeding to petitioners office that afternoon, Juliet dropped by at the nearby
In an accusatory Information, dated 22 July 1996, petitioner, City Health Officer Rico church to seek divine guidance as she felt so confused. When she got to the office,
Jacutin of Cagayan de Oro City, was charged before the Sandiganbayan, Fourth Division, petitioner made several telephone calls to some hospitals to inquire whether there was
with the crime of Sexual Harassment, thusly: any available opening for her. Not finding any, petitioner again offered her a job in the
family planning research undertaking. She expressed hesitation if a physical examination
That sometime on or about 01 December 1995, in Cagayan de Oro City, and within the would include hugging her but petitioner assured her that he was only kidding about it.
jurisdiction of this Honorable Court pursuant to the provisions of RA 7975, the accused, Petitioner then invited her to go bowling. Petitioner told her to meet him at Borja Street
a public officer, being then the City Health Officer of Cagayan de Oro City with salary so that people would not see them on board the same car together. Soon, at the
grade 26 but a high ranking official by express provision of RA 7975, committing the designated place, a white car driven by petitioner stopped. She got in. Petitioner held
offense in relation to his official functions and taking advantage of his position, did there her pulse and told her not to be scared. After dropping by at his house to put on his
and then, willfully, unlawfully and criminally, demand, solicit, request sexual favors from bowling attire, petitioner got back to the car.
Ms. Juliet Q. Yee, a young 22 year-old woman, single and fresh graduate in Bachelor of
Science in Nursing who was seeking employment in the office of the accused, namely: While driving, petitioner casually asked her if she already took her bath, and she said
by demanding from Ms. Yee that she should, expose her body and allow her private she was so in a hurry that she did not find time for it. Petitioner then inquired whether
parts to be mashed and stimulated by the accused, which sexual favor was made as a she had varicose veins, and she said no. Petitioner told her to raise her foot and lower
her pants so that he might confirm it. She felt assured that it was all part of the
10
research. Petitioner still pushed her pants down to her knees and held her thigh. He put The Sandiganbayan, through its Fourth Division, rendered its decision, dated 05
his hands inside her panty until he reached her pubic hair. Surprised, she exclaimed hala November 1999, penned by Mr. Justice Rodolfo G. Palattao, finding the accused, Dr.
ka! and instinctively pulled her pants up. Petitioner then touched her abdomen with his Rico Jacutin, guilty of the crime of Sexual Harassment under Republic Act No. 7877. The
right hand saying words of endearment and letting the back of his palm touch her Sandiganbayan concluded:
forehead. He told her to raise her shirt to check whether she had nodes or lumps. She
hesitated for a while but, eventually, raised it up to her navel. Petitioner then fondled WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered, convicting the accused RICO JACUTIN Y
her breast. Shocked at what petitioner did, she lowered her shirt and embraced her bag SALCEDO of the crime of Sexual Harassment, defined and punished under R.A. No. 7877,
to cover herself, telling him angrily that she was through with the research. He begged particularly Secs. 3 and 7 of the same Act, properly known as the Anti-Sexual
her not to tell anybody about what had just happened. Before she alighted from the car, Harassment Act of 1995, and is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of imprisonment
petitioner urged her to reconsider her decision to quit. He then handed over to her of six (6) months and to pay a fine of Twenty Thousand (P20,000.00) Pesos, with
P300.00 for her expenses. subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. Accused is further ordered to indemnify
the offended party in the amount of Three Hundred Thousand (P300,000.00) Pesos, by
Arriving home, she told her mother about her meeting with Dr. Jacutin and the money way of moral damages; Two Hundred Thousand (P200,000.00) Pesos, by way of
he gave her but she did not give the rest of the story. Her mother scolded her for Exemplary damages and to pay the cost of suit.[2]
accepting the money and instructed her to return it. In the morning of 04 December
1994, Juliet repaired to the clinic to return the money to petitioner but she was not able In the instant recourse, it is contended that -
to see him until about one oclock in the afternoon. She tried to give back the money but
petitioner refused to accept it. I. Petitioner cannot be convicted of the crime of sexual harassment in view of the
inapplicability of Republic Act No. 7877 to the case at bar.
A week later, Juliet told her sister about the incident. On 16 December 1995, she
attempted to slash her wrist with a fastener right after relating the incident to her II. Petitioner [has been] denied x x x his constitutional right to due process of law and
mother. Noticing that Juliet was suffering from some psychological problem, the family presumption of innocence on account of the insufficiency of the prosecution evidence
referred her to Dr. Merlita Adaza for counseling. Dr. Adaza would later testify that Juliet, to sustain his conviction.[3]
together with her sister, came to see her on 21 December 1995, and that Juliet
appeared to be emotionally disturbed, blaming herself for being so stupid as to allow Dr. The above contentions of petitioner are not meritorious. Section 3 of Republic Act 7877
Jacutin to molest her. Dr. Adaza concluded that Juliets frustration was due to post provides:
trauma stress.
SEC. 3. Work, Education or Training-related Sexual Harassment Defined. Work,
Petitioner contradicted the testimony of Juliet Yee. He claimed that on 28 November education or training-related sexual harassment is committed by an employer,
1995 he had a couple of people who went to see him in his office, among them, Juliet employee, manager, supervisor, agent of the employer, teacher, instructor, professor,
and her father, Pat. Justin Yee, who was a boyhood friend. When it was their turn to talk coach, trainor, or any other person who, having authority, influence or moral
to petitioner, Pat. Yee introduced his daughter Juliet who expressed her wish to join the ascendancy over another in a work or training or education environment, demands,
City Health Office. Petitioner replied that there was no vacancy in his office, adding that requests or otherwise requires any sexual favor from the other, regardless of whether
only the City Mayor really had the power to appoint city personnel. On 01 December the demand, request or requirement for submission is accepted by the object of said
1995, the afternoon when the alleged incident happened, he was in a meeting with the Act.
Committee on Awards in the Office of the City Mayor. On 04 December 1995, when
Juliet said she went to his office to return the P300.00, he did not report to the office for (a) In a work-related or employment environment, sexual harassment is committed
he was scheduled to leave for Davao at 2:35 p.m. to attend a hearing before the Office when:
of the Ombudsman for Mindanao. He submitted in evidence a photocopy of his plane
ticket. He asserted that the complaint for sexual harassment, as well as all the other (1) The sexual favor is made as a condition in the hiring or in the employment, re-
cases filed against him by Vivian Yu, Iryn Salcedo, Mellie Villanueva and Pamela Rodis, employment or continued employment of said individual, or in granting said individual
were but forms of political harassment directed at him. favorable compensation, terms, conditions, promotions, or privileges; or the refusal to
grant the sexual favor results in limiting, segregating or classifying the employee which

11
in any way would discriminate, deprive or diminish employment opportunities or retorted she was not. As they were seated side by side, the accused held her pulse and
otherwise adversely affect said employee. told her not to be scared. He informed her that he would go home for a while to put on
his bowling attire. After a short while, he came back inside the car and asked her if she
Petitioner was the City Health Officer of Cagayan de Oro City, a position he held when has taken a bath. She explained that she was not able to do so because she left the
complainant, a newly graduated nurse, saw him to enlist his help in her desire to gain house hurriedly. Still while inside the car, accused directed her to raise her foot so he
employment. He did try to show an interest in her plight, her father being a boyhood could see whether she has varicose veins on her legs. Thinking that it was part of the
friend, but finding no opening suitable for her in his office, he asked her about accepting research, she did as instructed. He told her to raise it higher, but she protested. He then
a job in a family planning research project. It all started from there; the Sandiganbayan instructed her to lower her pants instead. She did lower her pants, exposing half of her
recited the rest of the story: legs. But then the accused pushed it forward down to her knees and grabbed her legs.
He told her to raise her shirt. Feeling as if she had lost control of the situation, she raised
x x x. Succeeding in convincing the complainant that her physical examination would be her shirt as instructed. Shocked, she exclaimed, hala ka! because he tried to insert his
a part of a research, accused asked complainant if she would agree that her private hand into her panty. Accused then held her abdomen, saying, you are like my daughter,
parts (bolts) would be seen. Accused assured her that with her cooperation in the Day! (Visayan word of endearment), and let the back of his palm touch her forehead,
research, she would gain knowledge from it. As complainant looked upon the accused indicating the traditional way of making the young respect their elders. He again told
with utmost reverence, respect, and paternal guidance, she agreed to undergo the her to raise her shirt. Feeling embarrassed and uncomfortable, yet unsure whether she
physical examination. At this juncture, accused abruptly stopped the interview and told was entertaining malice, she raised her shirt up to her breast. He then fondled her
the complainant to go home and be back at 2:00 oclock in the afternoon of the same breast. Reacting, she impulsively lower her shirt and embraced her bar while silently
day, December 1, 1995. Complainant returned at 2:00 oclock in the afternoon, but did asking God what was happening to her and asking the courage to resist accuseds
not proceed immediately to the office of the accused, as she dropped by a nearby physical advances. After a short while, she asked him if there could be a right place for
church to ask divine guidance, as she was confused and at a loss on how to resolve her physical examination where there would be many doctors. He just exclaimed, so you like
present predicament. At 3:00 oclock in the afternoon, she went back to the office of the that there are many doctors! Then he asked her if she has tooth decay. Thinking that he
accused. And once inside, accused called up a certain Madonna, inquiring if there was a was planning to kiss her, she answered that she has lots of decayed teeth. He advised
vacancy, but he was told that she would only accept a registered nurse. Complainant her then to have them treated. Finally, she informed him that she would not continue
was about to leave the office of the accused when the latter prevailed upon her to stay with the research. The accused retorted that complainant was entertaining malice and
because he would call one more hospital. In her presence, a call was made. But again reminded her of what she earlier agreed; that she would not tell anybody about what
accused told her that there was no vacancy. As all efforts to look for a job in other happened. He then promised to give her P15,000.00 so that she could take the
hospitals failed, accused renewed the offer to the complainant to be a part of the examination. She was about to open the door of the car when he suddenly grabbed her
research in the Family Planning Program where there would be physical examination. thigh, but this time, complainant instantly parried his hand with her bag.[4]
Thereafter, accused motioned his two (2) secretaries to go out of the room. Upon
moving closer to the complainant, accused asked her if she would agree to the offer. While the City Mayor had the exclusive prerogative in appointing city personnel, it
Complainant told him she would not agree because the research included hugging. He should stand to reason, nevertheless, that a recommendation from petitioner in the
then assured her that he was just kidding and that a pre-schooler and high schooler appointment of personnel in the municipal health office could carry good weight.
have already been subjected to such examination. With assurance given, complainant Indeed, petitioner himself would appear to have conveyed, by his words and actions, an
changed her mind and agreed to the research, for she is now convinced that she would impression that he could facilitate Juliets employment. Indeed, petitioner would not
be of help to the research and would gain knowledge from it. At this point, accused have been able to take undue liberalities on the person of Juliet had it not been for his
asked her if she was a tomboy, she answered in the negative. He then instructed her to high position in the City Health Office of Cagayan de Oro City. The findings of the
go with him but he would first play bowling, and later proceed with the research Sandiganbayan were bolstered by the testimony of Vivian Yu, petitioners secretary
(physical examination). On the understanding of the complainant that they will proceed between 1979 to 1994, of Iryn Lago Salcedo, Public Health Nurse II, and of Farah
to the clinic where the research will be conducted, she agreed to go with the accused. Dongallo y Alkuino, a city health nurse, all of whom were said to have likewise been
But accused instructed her to proceed to Borja St. where she will just wait for him, as it victims of perverse behavior by petitioner.
was not good for people to see them riding in a car together. She walked from the office
of the accused and proceeded to Borja St. as instructed. And after a while, a white car The Sandiganbayan rightly rejected the defense of alibi proffered by petitioner, i.e., that
arrived. The door was opened to her and she was instructed by the accused to come he was at a meeting of the Committee on Awards; the court a quo said:
inside. Inside the car, he called her attention why she was in a pensive mood. She
12
There are some observations which the Court would like to point out on the evidence
adduced by the defense, particularly in the Minutes of the meeting of the Awards WHEREFORE, the questioned decision of the Sandiganbayan in Criminal Case No. 23799,
Committee, as testified to by witness Myrna Maagad on September 8, 1998. finding Dr. Rico Jacutin y Salcedo GUILTY of the crime of Sexual Harassment defined and
punished under Republic Act No. 7877, particularly Sections 3 and 7 thereof, and
First, admitted, Teresita I. Rozabal was the immediate supervisor of witness Myrna penalizing him with imprisonment of six (6) months and to pay a fine of Twenty
Maagad. The Notices to hold the meeting (Exh. 3-A and 3-B) were signed by Teresita Thousand (P20,000.00) Pesos, with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency, is
Rozabal. But the Minutes of the meeting, Exh. 5, was signed by Myrna Maagad and not AFFIRMED. The Sandiganbayans award of moral and exemplary damages are MODIFIED;
by Teresita Rozabal. The documents, Exhs. 3-A and 3-B certify that the officially instead, petitioner is ordered to indemnify the offended party, Juliet Yee, in the amount
designated secretary of the Awards Committee was Teresita Rozabal. of P30,000.00 and P20,000.00 by way of, respectively, moral damages and exemplary
damages. Costs against petitioner.
Second, why was Myrna Maagad in possession of the attendance logbook and how was
she able to personally bring the same in court when she testified on September 8, 1998, SO ORDERED.
when in fact, she admitted during her testimony that she retired from the government
service on December 1, 1997? Surely, Myrna Maagad could not still be the custodian of
the logbook when she testified.

And finally, in the logbook, under the sub-heading, Others Present, the attendance of
those who attended was individually handwritten by the persons concerned who wrote
and signed their names. But in the case of Dr. Tiro and Dr. Rico Jacutin, their names
were handwritten by clerk Sylvia Tan-Nerry, not by Dr. Tiro and Dr. Jacutin. However,
Myrna Maagad testified that the logbook was passed around to attending individuals
inside the conference room.[5]

Most importantly, the Supreme Court is not a trier of facts, and the factual findings of
the Sandiganbayan must be respected by, if not indeed conclusive upon, the tribunal,[6]
no cogent reasons having been sufficiently shown to now hold otherwise. The
assessment on the credibility of witnesses is a matter best left to the trial court because
of its unique position of being able to observe that elusive and incommunicable
evidence on the deportment of witnesses at the stand, an opportunity that is denied the
appellate court.[7]

Conformably with prevailing jurisprudence, the grant of moral and exemplary damages
by the Sandiganbayan must be tempered to reasonable levels. Moral damages are not
intended to enrich a complainant but are awarded only to enable an injured party
obtain some means that would help obviate the sufferings sustained on account of the
culpable action of an offender. Its award must not appear to be the result of passion or
undue prejudice,[8] and it must always reasonably approximate the extent of injury and
be proportional to the wrong committed. Indeed, Juliet should be recompensed for her
mental anguish. Dr. Merlita F. Adaza, a psychological counseling expert, has found Juliet
to be emotionally and psychologically disturbed and suffering from post trauma stress
following her unpleasant experience with petitioner. The Court finds it fitting to award EN BANC
in favor of Juliet Yee P30,000.00 moral damages. In addition, she should be entitled to
P20,000.00 exemplary damages to serve as a deterrent against, or as a negative [G.R. No. 135981. January 15, 2004]
incentive to curb, socially deleterious actions.[9]
13
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, appellee, vs. MARIVIC GENOSA, appellant.
The Court likewise penalizes the accused to pay the heirs of the deceased the sum of
DECISION fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00), Philippine currency as indemnity and another sum of
fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00), Philippine currency as moral damages.[2]
PANGANIBAN, J.:
The Information[3] charged appellant with parricide as follows:
Admitting she killed her husband, appellant anchors her prayer for acquittal on a novel
theory -- the battered woman syndrome (BWS), which allegedly constitutes self- That on or about the 15th day of November 1995, at Barangay Bilwang, Municipality of
defense. Under the proven facts, however, she is not entitled to complete exoneration Isabel, Province of Leyte, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court,
because there was no unlawful aggression -- no immediate and unexpected attack on the above-named accused, with intent to kill, with treachery and evident premeditation,
her by her batterer-husband at the time she shot him. did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault, hit and wound
one BEN GENOSA, her legitimate husband, with the use of a hard deadly weapon, which
Absent unlawful aggression, there can be no self-defense, complete or incomplete. the accused had provided herself for the purpose, [causing] the following wounds, to
wit:
But all is not lost. The severe beatings repeatedly inflicted on appellant constituted a
form of cumulative provocation that broke down her psychological resistance and self- Cadaveric spasm.
control. This psychological paralysis she suffered diminished her will power, thereby
entitling her to the mitigating factor under paragraphs 9 and 10 of Article 13 of the Body on the 2nd stage of decomposition.
Revised Penal Code.
Face, black, blownup & swollen w/ evident post-mortem lividity. Eyes protruding from
In addition, appellant should also be credited with the extenuating circumstance of its sockets and tongue slightly protrudes out of the mouth.
having acted upon an impulse so powerful as to have naturally produced passion and
obfuscation. The acute battering she suffered that fatal night in the hands of her Fracture, open, depressed, circular located at the occipital bone of the head, resulting
batterer-spouse, in spite of the fact that she was eight months pregnant with their child, [in] laceration of the brain, spontaneous rupture of the blood vessels on the posterior
overwhelmed her and put her in the aforesaid emotional and mental state, which surface of the brain, laceration of the dura and meningeal vessels producing severe
overcame her reason and impelled her to vindicate her life and her unborn childs. intracranial hemorrhage.

Considering the presence of these two mitigating circumstances arising from BWS, as Blisters at both extrem[i]ties, anterior chest, posterior chest, trunk w/ shedding of the
well as the benefits of the Indeterminate Sentence Law, she may now apply for and be epidermis.
released from custody on parole, because she has already served the minimum period
of her penalty while under detention during the pendency of this case. Abdomen distended w/ gas. Trunk bloated.

The Case which caused his death.[4]

For automatic review before this Court is the September 25, 1998 Decision[1] of the With the assistance of her counsel,[5] appellant pleaded not guilty during her
Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Ormoc City (Branch 35) in Criminal Case No. 5016-0, finding arraignment on March 3, 1997.[6] In due course, she was tried for and convicted of
Marivic Genosa guilty beyond reasonable doubt of parricide. The decretal portion of the parricide.
Decision reads:
The Facts
WHEREFORE, after all the foregoing being duly considered, the Court finds the accused,
Marivic Genosa y Isidro, GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Parricide as Version of the Prosecution
provided under Article 246 of the Revised Penal Code as restored by Sec. 5, RA No.
7659, and after finding treachery as a generic aggravating circumstance and none of The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) summarizes the prosecutions version of the
mitigating circumstance, hereby sentences the accused with the penalty of DEATH. facts in this wise:
14
Meanwhile, in the morning of the same day, SPO3 Leo Acodesin, then assigned at the
Appellant and Ben Genosa were united in marriage on November 19, 1983 in Ormoc police station at Isabel, Leyte, received a report regarding the foul smell at the Genosas
City. Thereafter, they lived with the parents of Ben in their house at Isabel, Leyte. For a rented house. Together with SPO1 Millares, SPO1 Colon, and Dr. Refelina Cerillo, SPO3
time, Bens younger brother, Alex, and his wife lived with them too. Sometime in 1995, Acodesin proceeded to the house and went inside the bedroom where they found the
however, appellant and Ben rented from Steban Matiga a house at Barangay Bilwang, dead body of Ben lying on his side wrapped with a bedsheet. There was blood at the
Isabel, Leyte where they lived with their two children, namely: John Marben and Earl nape of Ben who only had his briefs on. SPO3 Acodesin found in one corner at the side
Pierre. of an aparador a metal pipe about two (2) meters from where Ben was, leaning against
a wall. The metal pipe measured three (3) feet and six (6) inches long with a diameter of
On November 15, 1995, Ben and Arturo Basobas went to a cockfight after receiving their one and half (1 1/2) inches. It had an open end without a stop valve with a red stain at
salary. They each had two (2) bottles of beer before heading home. Arturo would pass one end. The bedroom was not in disarray.
Bens house before reaching his. When they arrived at the house of Ben, he found out
that appellant had gone to Isabel, Leyte to look for him. Ben went inside his house, About 10:00 that same morning, the cadaver of Ben, because of its stench, had to be
while Arturo went to a store across it, waiting until 9:00 in the evening for the masiao taken outside at the back of the house before the postmortem examination was
runner to place a bet. Arturo did not see appellant arrive but on his way home passing conducted by Dr. Cerillo in the presence of the police. A municipal health officer at
the side of the Genosas rented house, he heard her say I wont hesitate to kill you to Isabel, Leyte responsible for medico-legal cases, Dr. Cerillo found that Ben had been
which Ben replied Why kill me when I am innocent? That was the last time Arturo saw dead for two to three days and his body was already decomposing. The postmortem
Ben alive. Arturo also noticed that since then, the Genosas rented house appeared examination of Dr. Cerillo yielded the findings quoted in the Information for parricide
uninhabited and was always closed. later filed against appellant. She concluded that the cause of Bens death was
cardiopulmonary arrest secondary to severe intracranial hemorrhage due to a
On November 16, 1995, appellant asked Erlinda Paderog, her close friend and neighbor depressed fracture of the occipital [bone].
living about fifty (50) meters from her house, to look after her pig because she was
going to Cebu for a pregnancy check-up. Appellant likewise asked Erlinda to sell her Appellant admitted killing Ben. She testified that going home after work on November
motorcycle to their neighbor Ronnie Dayandayan who unfortunately had no money to 15, 1995, she got worried that her husband who was not home yet might have gone
buy it. gambling since it was a payday. With her cousin Ecel Arao, appellant went to look for
Ben at the marketplace and taverns at Isabel, Leyte but did not find him there. They
That same day, about 12:15 in the afternoon, Joseph Valida was waiting for a bus going found Ben drunk upon their return at the Genosas house. Ecel went home despite
to Ormoc when he saw appellant going out of their house with her two kids in tow, each appellants request for her to sleep in their house.
one carrying a bag, locking the gate and taking her children to the waiting area where he
was. Joseph lived about fifty (50) meters behind the Genosas rented house. Joseph, Then, Ben purportedly nagged appellant for following him, even challenging her to a
appellant and her children rode the same bus to Ormoc. They had no conversation as fight. She allegedly ignored him and instead attended to their children who were doing
Joseph noticed that appellant did not want to talk to him. their homework. Apparently disappointed with her reaction, Ben switched off the light
and, with the use of a chopping knife, cut the television antenna or wire to keep her
On November 18, 1995, the neighbors of Steban Matiga told him about the foul odor from watching television. According to appellant, Ben was about to attack her so she ran
emanating from his house being rented by Ben and appellant. Steban went there to find to the bedroom, but he got hold of her hands and whirled her around. She fell on the
out the cause of the stench but the house was locked from the inside. Since he did not side of the bed and screamed for help. Ben left. At this point, appellant packed his
have a duplicate key with him, Steban destroyed the gate padlock with a borrowed steel clothes because she wanted him to leave. Seeing his packed clothes upon his return
saw. He was able to get inside through the kitchen door but only after destroying a home, Ben allegedly flew into a rage, dragged appellant outside of the bedroom
window to reach a hook that locked it. Alone, Steban went inside the unlocked bedroom towards a drawer holding her by the neck, and told her You might as well be killed so
where the offensive smell was coming from. There, he saw the lifeless body of Ben lying nobody would nag me. Appellant testified that she was aware that there was a gun
on his side on the bed covered with a blanket. He was only in his briefs with injuries at inside the drawer but since Ben did not have the key to it, he got a three-inch long blade
the back of his head. Seeing this, Steban went out of the house and sent word to the cutter from his wallet. She however, smashed the arm of Ben with a pipe, causing him
mother of Ben about his sons misfortune. Later that day, Iluminada Genosa, the mother to drop the blade and his wallet. Appellant then smashed Ben at his nape with the pipe
of Ben, identified the dead body as that of [her] son. as he was about to pick up the blade and his wallet. She thereafter ran inside the
bedroom.
15
couple had already transferred to the house in Bilwang and she saw that Bens hand was
Appellant, however, insisted that she ended the life of her husband by shooting him. plastered as the bone cracked.
She supposedly distorted the drawer where the gun was and shot Ben. He did not die on
the spot, though, but in the bedroom.[7] (Citations omitted) Both mother and son claimed they brought Ben to a Pasar clinic for medical
intervention.
Version of the Defense
5. Arturo Basobas, a co-worker of Ben, testified that on November 15, 1995 After we
Appellant relates her version of the facts in this manner: collected our salary, we went to the cock-fighting place of ISCO. They stayed there for
three (3) hours, after which they went to Uniloks and drank beer allegedly only two (2)
1. Marivic and Ben Genosa were allegedly married on November 19, 1983. Prior to her bottles each. After drinking they bought barbeque and went to the Genosa residence.
marriage, Marivic had graduated from San Carlos, Cebu City, obtaining a degree of Marivic was not there. He stayed a while talking with Ben, after which he went across
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, and was working, at the time of her the road to wait for the runner and the usher of the masiao game because during that
husbands death, as a Secretary to the Port Managers in Ormoc City. The couple had time, the hearing on masiao numbers was rampant. I was waiting for the ushers and
three (3) children: John Marben, Earl Pierre and Marie Bianca. runners so that I can place my bet. On his way home at about 9:00 in the evening, he
heard the Genosas arguing. They were quarreling loudly. Outside their house was one
2. Marivic and Ben had known each other since elementary school; they were neighbors Fredo who is used by Ben to feed his fighting cocks. Basobas testimony on the root of
in Bilwang; they were classmates; and they were third degree cousins. Both sets of the quarrel, conveniently overheard by him was Marivic saying I will never hesitate to
parents were against their relationship, but Ben was persistent and tried to stop other kill you, whilst Ben replied Why kill me when I am innocent. Basobas thought they were
suitors from courting her. Their closeness developed as he was her constant partner at joking.
fiestas.
He did not hear them quarreling while he was across the road from the Genosa
3. After their marriage, they lived first in the home of Bens parents, together with Bens residence. Basobas admitted that he and Ben were always at the cockpits every
brother, Alex, in Isabel, Leyte. In the first year of marriage, Marivic and Ben lived Saturday and Sunday. He claims that he once told Ben before when he was stricken with
happily. But apparently, soon thereafter, the couple would quarrel often and their fights a bottle by Marivic Genosa that he should leave her and that Ben would always take her
would become violent. back after she would leave him so many times.

4. Bens brother, Alex, testified for the prosecution that he could not remember when Basobas could not remember when Marivic had hit Ben, but it was a long time that they
Ben and Marivic married. He said that when Ben and Marivic quarreled, generally when had been quarreling. He said Ben even had a wound on the right forehead. He had
Ben would come home drunk, Marivic would inflict injuries on him. He said that in one known the couple for only one (1) year.
incident in 1993 he saw Marivic holding a kitchen knife after Ben had shouted for help
as his left hand was covered with blood. Marivic left the house but after a week, she 6. Marivic testified that after the first year of marriage, Ben became cruel to her and
returned apparently having asked for Bens forgiveness. In another incident in May 22, was a habitual drinker. She said he provoked her, he would slap her, sometimes he
1994, early morning, Alex and his father apparently rushed to Bens aid again and saw would pin her down on the bed, and sometimes beat her.
blood from Bens forehead and Marivic holding an empty bottle. Ben and Marivic
reconciled after Marivic had apparently again asked for Bens forgiveness. These incidents happened several times and she would often run home to her parents,
but Ben would follow her and seek her out, promising to change and would ask for her
Mrs. Iluminada Genosa, Marivics mother-in-law, testified too, saying that Ben and forgiveness. She said after she would be beaten, she would seek medical help from Dr.
Marivic married in 1986 or 1985 more or less here in Fatima, Ormoc City. She said as the Dino Caing, Dr. Lucero and Dra. Cerillo. These doctors would enter the injuries inflicted
marriage went along, Marivic became already very demanding. Mrs. Iluminada Genosa upon her by Ben into their reports. Marivic said Ben would beat her or quarrel with her
said that after the birth of Marivics two sons, there were three (3) misunderstandings. every time he was drunk, at least three times a week.
The first was when Marivic stabbed Ben with a table knife through his left arm; the
second incident was on November 15, 1994, when Marivic struck Ben on the forehead 7. In her defense, witnesses who were not so closely related to Marivic, testified as to
using a sharp instrument until the eye was also affected. It was wounded and also the the abuse and violence she received at the hands of Ben.
ear and her husband went to Ben to help; and the third incident was in 1995 when the
16
7.1. Mr. Joe Barrientos, a fisherman, who was a [neighbor] of the Genosas, testified that in the sala and I had heard something was broken like a vase. She said Marivic ran into
on November 15, 1995, he overheard a quarrel between Ben and Marivic. Marivic was her room and they locked the door. When Ben couldnt get in he got a chair and a knife
shouting for help and through the open jalousies, he saw the spouses grappling with and showed us the knife through the window grill and he scared us. She said that
each other. Ben had Marivic in a choke hold. He did not do anything, but had come Marivic shouted for help, but no one came. On cross-examination, she said that when
voluntarily to testify. (Please note this was the same night as that testified to by Arturo she left Marivics house on November 15, 1995, the couple were still quarreling.
Busabos.[8])
7.5. Dr. Dino Caing, a physician testified that he and Marivic were co-employees at
7.2. Mr. Junnie Barrientos, also a fisherman, and the brother of Mr. Joe Barrientos, PHILPHOS, Isabel, Leyte. Marivic was his patient many times and had also received
testified that he heard his neighbor Marivic shouting on the night of November 15, treatment from other doctors. Dr. Caing testified that from July 6, 1989 until November
1995. He peeped through the window of his hut which is located beside the Genosa 9, 1995, there were six (6) episodes of physical injuries inflicted upon Marivic. These
house and saw the spouses grappling with each other then Ben Genosa was holding injuries were reported in his Out-Patient Chart at the PHILPHOS Hospital. The
with his both hands the neck of the accused, Marivic Genosa. He said after a while, prosecution admitted the qualifications of Dr. Caing and considered him an expert
Marivic was able to extricate he[r]self and enter the room of the children. After that, he witness.
went back to work as he was to go fishing that evening. He returned at 8:00 the next
morning. (Again, please note that this was the same night as that testified to by Arturo xxxxxxxxx
Basobas).
Dr. Caings clinical history of the tension headache and hypertention of Marivic on
7.3. Mr. Teodoro Sarabia was a former neighbor of the Genosas while they were living in twenty-three (23) separate occasions was marked at Exhibits 2 and 2-B. The OPD Chart
Isabel, Leyte. His house was located about fifty (50) meters from theirs. Marivic is his of Marivic at the Philphos Clinic which reflected all the consultations made by Marivic
niece and he knew them to be living together for 13 or 14 years. He said the couple was and the six (6) incidents of physical injuries reported was marked as Exhibit 3.
always quarreling. Marivic confided in him that Ben would pawn items and then would
use the money to gamble. One time, he went to their house and they were quarreling. On cross-examination, Dr. Caing said that he is not a psychiatrist, he could not say
Ben was so angry, but would be pacified if somebody would come. He testified that whether the injuries were directly related to the crime committed. He said it is only a
while Ben was alive he used to gamble and when he became drunk, he would go to our psychiatrist who is qualified to examine the psychological make-up of the patient,
house and he will say, Teody because that was what he used to call me, mokimas ta, whether she is capable of committing a crime or not.
which means lets go and look for a whore. Mr. Sarabia further testified that Ben would
box his wife and I would see bruises and one time she ran to me, I noticed a wound (the 7.6 Mr. Panfilo Tero, the barangay captain in the place where the Genosas resided,
witness pointed to his right breast) as according to her a knife was stricken to her. Mr. testified that about two (2) months before Ben died, Marivic went to his office past 8:00
Sarabia also said that once he saw Ben had been injured too. He said he voluntarily in the evening. She sought his help to settle or confront the Genosa couple who were
testified only that morning. experiencing family troubles. He told Marivic to return in the morning, but he did not
hear from her again and assumed that they might have settled with each other or they
7.4. Miss Ecel Arano, an 18-year old student, who is a cousin of Marivic, testified that in might have forgiven with each other.
the afternoon of November 15, 1995, Marivic went to her house and asked her help to
look for Ben. They searched in the market place, several taverns and some other places, xxxxxxxxx
but could not find him. She accompanied Marivic home. Marivic wanted her to sleep
with her in the Genosa house because she might be battered by her husband. When Marivic said she did not provoke her husband when she got home that night it was her
they got to the Genosa house at about 7:00 in the evening, Miss Arano said that her husband who began the provocation. Marivic said she was frightened that her husband
husband was already there and was drunk. Miss Arano knew he was drunk because of would hurt her and she wanted to make sure she would deliver her baby safely. In fact,
his staggering walking and I can also detect his face. Marivic entered the house and she Marivic had to be admitted later at the Rizal Medical Centre as she was suffering from
heard them quarrel noisily. (Again, please note that this is the same night as that eclampsia and hypertension, and the baby was born prematurely on December 1, 1995.
testified to by Arturo Basobas) Miss Arano testified that this was not the first time
Marivic had asked her to sleep in the house as Marivic would be afraid every time her Marivic testified that during her marriage she had tried to leave her husband at least
husband would come home drunk. At one time when she did sleep over, she was five (5) times, but that Ben would always follow her and they would reconcile. Marivic
awakened at 10:00 in the evening when Ben arrived because the couple were very noisy
17
said that the reason why Ben was violent and abusive towards her that night was 12. Trial took place on 7 and 14 April 1997, 14 May 1997, 21 July 1997, 17, 22 and 23
because he was crazy about his recent girlfriend, Lulu x x x Rubillos. September 1997, 12 November 1997, 15 and 16 December 1997, 22 May 1998, and 5
and 6 August 1998.
On cross-examination, Marivic insisted she shot Ben with a gun; she said that he died in
the bedroom; that their quarrels could be heard by anyone passing their house; that 13. On 23 September 1998, or only fifty (50) days from the day of the last trial date, the
Basobas lied in his testimony; that she left for Manila the next day, November 16, 1995; Hon. Fortunito L. Madrona, Presiding Judge, RTC-Branch 35, Ormoc City, rendered a
that she did not bother anyone in Manila, rented herself a room, and got herself a job as JUDGMENT finding Marivic guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of parricide,
a field researcher under the alias Marvelous Isidro; she did not tell anyone that she was and further found treachery as an aggravating circumstance, thus sentencing her to the
leaving Leyte, she just wanted to have a safe delivery of her baby; and that she was ultimate penalty of DEATH.
arrested in San Pablo, Laguna.
14. The case was elevated to this Honorable Court upon automatic review and, under
Answering questions from the Court, Marivic said that she threw the gun away; that she date of 24 January 2000, Marivics trial lawyer, Atty. Gil Marvel P. Tabucanon, filed a
did not know what happened to the pipe she used to smash him once; that she was Motion to Withdraw as counsel, attaching thereto, as a precautionary measure, two (2)
wounded by Ben on her wrist with the bolo; and that two (2) hours after she was drafts of Appellants Briefs he had prepared for Marivic which, for reasons of her own,
whirled by Ben, he kicked her ass and dragged her towards the drawer when he saw were not conformed to by her.
that she had packed his things.
The Honorable Court allowed the withdrawal of Atty. Tabucanon and permitted the
9. The body of Ben Genosa was found on November 18, 1995 after an investigation was entry of appearance of undersigned counsel.
made of the foul odor emitting from the Genosa residence. This fact was testified to by
all the prosecution witnesses and some defense witnesses during the trial. 15. Without the knowledge of counsel, Marivic Genosa wrote a letter dated 20 January
2000, to the Chief Justice, coursing the same through Atty. Teresita G. Dimaisip, Deputy
10. Dra. Refelina Y. Cerillo, a physician, was the Municipal Health Officer of Isabel, Leyte Clerk of Court of Chief Judicial Records Office, wherein she submitted her Brief without
at the time of the incident, and among her responsibilities as such was to take charge of counsels to the Court.
all medico-legal cases, such as the examination of cadavers and the autopsy of cadavers.
Dra. Cerillo is not a forensic pathologist. She merely took the medical board exams and This letter was stamp-received by the Honorable Court on 4 February 2000.
passed in 1986. She was called by the police to go to the Genosa residence and when
she got there, she saw some police officer and neighbor around. She saw Ben Genosa, 16. In the meantime, under date of 17 February 2000, and stamp-received by the
covered by a blanket, lying in a semi-prone position with his back to the door. He was Honorable Court on 19 February 2000, undersigned counsel filed an URGENT OMNIBUS
wearing only a brief. MOTION praying that the Honorable Court allow the exhumation of Ben Genosa and the
re-examination of the cause of his death; allow the examination of Marivic Genosa by
xxxxxxxxx qualified psychologists and psychiatrists to determine her state of mind at the time she
killed her husband; and finally, to allow a partial re-opening of the case a quo to take
Dra. Cerillo said that there is only one injury and that is the injury involving the skeletal the testimony of said psychologists and psychiatrists.
area of the head which she described as a fracture. And that based on her examination,
Ben had been dead 2 or 3 days. Dra. Cerillo did not testify as to what caused his death. Attached to the URGENT OMNIBUS MOTION was a letter of Dr. Raquel Fortun, then the
only qualified forensic pathologist in the country, who opined that the description of the
Dra. Cerillo was not cross-examined by defense counsel. death wound (as culled from the post-mortem findings, Exhibit A) is more akin to a
gunshot wound than a beating with a lead pipe.
11. The Information, dated November 14, 1996, filed against Marivic Genosa charged
her with the crime of PARRICIDE committed with intent to kill, with treachery and 17. In a RESOLUTION dated 29 September 2000, the Honorable Court partly granted
evidence premeditation, x x x wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault, hit and Marivics URGENT OMNIBUS MOTION and remanded the case to the trial court for the
wound x x x her legitimate husband, with the use of a hard deadly weapon x x x which reception of expert psychological and/or psychiatric opinion on the battered woman
caused his death. syndrome plea, within ninety (90) days from notice, and, thereafter to forthwith report

18
to this Court the proceedings taken, together with the copies of the TSN and relevant usually think that they provoke it, that they were the one who precipitated the violence,
documentary evidence, if any, submitted. they provoke their spouse to be physically, verbally and even sexually abusive to them.
Dra. Dayan said that usually a battered x x x comes from a dysfunctional family or from
18. On 15 January 2001, Dra. Natividad A. Dayan appeared and testified before the Hon. broken homes.
Fortunito L. Madrona, RTC-Branch 35, Ormoc City.
Dra. Dayan said that the batterer, just like the battered woman, also has a very low
Immediately before Dra. Dayan was sworn, the Court a quo asked if she had interviewed opinion of himself. But then emerges to have superiority complex and it comes out as
Marivic Genosa. Dra. Dayan informed the Court that interviews were done at the Penal being very arrogant, very hostile, very aggressive and very angry. They also had (sic) a
Institution in 1999, but that the clinical interviews and psychological assessment were very low tolerance for frustrations. A lot of times they are involved in vices like
done at her clinic. gambling, drinking and drugs. And they become violent. The batterer also usually comes
from a dysfunctional family which over-pampers them and makes them feel entitled to
Dra. Dayan testified that she has been a clinical psychologist for twenty (20) years with do anything. Also, they see often how their parents abused each other so there is a lot
her own private clinic and connected presently to the De La Salle University as a of modeling of aggression in the family.
professor. Before this, she was the Head of the Psychology Department of the
Assumption College; a member of the faculty of Psychology at the Ateneo de Manila Dra. Dayan testified that there are a lot of reasons why a battered woman does not
University and St. Josephs College; and was the counseling psychologist of the National leave her husband: poverty, self-blame and guilt that she provoked the violence, the
Defense College. She has an AB in Psychology from the University of the Philippines, a cycle itself which makes her hope her husband will change, the belief in her obligations
Master of Arts in Clinical [Counseling], Psychology from the Ateneo, and a PhD from the to keep the family intact at all costs for the sake of the children.
U.P. She was the past president of the Psychological Association of the Philippines and is
a member of the American Psychological Association. She is the secretary of the xxxxxxxxx
International Council of Psychologists from about 68 countries; a member of the
Forensic Psychology Association; and a member of the ASEAN [Counseling] Association. Dra. Dayan said that abused wives react differently to the violence: some leave the
She is actively involved with the Philippine Judicial Academy, recently lecturing on the house, or lock themselves in another room, or sometimes try to fight back triggering
socio-demographic and psychological profile of families involved in domestic violence physical violence on both of them. She said that in a normal marital relationship, abuses
and nullity cases. She was with the Davide Commission doing research about Military also happen, but these are not consistent, not chronic, are not happening day in [and]
Psychology. She has written a book entitled Energy Global Psychology (together with day out. In an abnormal marital relationship, the abuse occurs day in and day out, is
Drs. Allan Tan and Allan Bernardo). The Genosa case is the first time she has testified as long lasting and even would cause hospitalization on the victim and even death on the
an expert on battered women as this is the first case of that nature. victim.

Dra. Dayan testified that for the research she conducted, on the socio-demographic and xxxxxxxxx
psychological profile of families involved in domestic violence, and nullity cases, she
looked at about 500 cases over a period of ten (10) years and discovered that there are Dra. Dayan said that as a result of the battery of psychological tests she administered, it
lots of variables that cause all of this marital conflicts, from domestic violence to was her opinion that Marivic fits the profile of a battered woman because inspite of her
infidelity, to psychiatric disorder. feeling of self-confidence which we can see at times there are really feeling (sic) of loss,
such feelings of humiliation which she sees herself as damaged and as a broken person.
Dra. Dayan described domestic violence to comprise of a lot of incidents of And at the same time she still has the imprint of all the abuses that she had experienced
psychological abuse, verbal abuse, and emotional abuse to physical abuse and also in the past.
sexual abuse.
xxxxxxxxx
xxxxxxxxx
Dra. Dayan said Marivic thought of herself as a loving wife and did not even consider
Dra. Dayan testified that in her studies, the battered woman usually has a very low filing for nullity or legal separation inspite of the abuses. It was at the time of the
opinion of herself. She has a self-defeating and self-sacrificing characteristics. x x x they tragedy that Marivic then thought of herself as a victim.
usually think very lowly of themselves and so when the violence would happen, they
19
xxxxxxxxx constitutional stamina of the victim is stronger, it will take more repetitive trauma to
precipitate the post-traumatic stress disorder and this x x x is very dangerous.
19. On 9 February 2001, Dr. Alfredo Pajarillo, a physician, who has since passed away,
appeared and testified before RTC-Branch 35, Ormoc City. In psychiatry, the post-traumatic stress disorder is incorporated under the anxiety
neurosis or neurologic anxcietism. It is produced by overwhelming brutality, trauma.
Dr. Pajarillo was a Diplomate of the Philippine Board of Psychiatry; a Fellow of the
Philippine Board of Psychiatry and a Fellow of the Philippine Psychiatry Association. He xxxxxxxxx
was in the practice of psychiatry for thirty-eight (38) years. Prior to being in private
practice, he was connected with the Veterans Memorial Medical Centre where he Dr. Pajarillo explained that with neurotic anxiety, the victim relives the beating or
gained his training on psychiatry and neurology. After that, he was called to active duty trauma as if it were real, although she is not actually being beaten at that time. She
in the Armed Forces of the Philippines, assigned to the V. Luna Medical Center for thinks of nothing but the suffering.
twenty six (26) years. Prior to his retirement from government service, he obtained the
rank of Brigadier General. He obtained his medical degree from the University of Santo xxxxxxxxx
Tomas. He was also a member of the World Association of Military Surgeons; the
Quezon City Medical Society; the Cagayan Medical Society; and the Philippine A woman who suffers battery has a tendency to become neurotic, her emotional tone is
Association of Military Surgeons. unstable, and she is irritable and restless. She tends to become hard-headed and
persistent. She has higher sensitivity and her self-world is damaged.
He authored The Comparative Analysis of Nervous Breakdown in the Philippine Military
Academy from the Period 1954 1978 which was presented twice in international Dr. Pajarillo said that an abnormal family background relates to an individuals illness,
congresses. He also authored The Mental Health of the Armed Forces of the Philippines such as the deprivation of the continuous care and love of the parents. As to the
2000, which was likewise published internationally and locally. He had a medical batterer, he normally internalizes what is around him within the environment. And it
textbook published on the use of Prasepam on a Parke-Davis grant; was the first to use becomes his own personality. He is very competitive; he is aiming high all the time; he is
Enanthate (siquiline), on an E.R. Squibb grant; and he published the use of the drug so macho; he shows his strong faade but in it there are doubts in himself and prone to
Zopiclom in 1985-86. act without thinking.

Dr. Pajarillo explained that psychiatry deals with the functional disorder of the mind and xxxxxxxxx
neurology deals with the ailment of the brain and spinal cord enlarged. Psychology, on
the other hand, is a bachelor degree and a doctorate degree; while one has to finish Dr. Pajarillo emphasized that even though without the presence of the precipator (sic)
medicine to become a specialist in psychiatry. or the one who administered the battering, that re-experiencing of the trauma occurred
(sic) because the individual cannot control it. It will just come up in her mind or in his
Even only in his 7th year as a resident in V. Luna Medical Centre, Dr. Pajarillo had mind.
already encountered a suit involving violent family relations, and testified in a case in
1964. In the Armed Forces of the Philippines, violent family disputes abound, and he has xxxxxxxxx
seen probably ten to twenty thousand cases. In those days, the primordial intention of
therapy was reconciliation. As a result of his experience with domestic violence cases, Dr. Pajarillo said that a woman suffering post traumatic stress disorder try to defend
he became a consultant of the Battered Woman Office in Quezon City under Atty. themselves, and primarily with knives. Usually pointed weapons or any weapon that is
Nenita Deproza. available in the immediate surrounding or in a hospital x x x because that abound in the
household. He said a victim resorts to weapons when she has reached the lowest rock
As such consultant, he had seen around forty (40) cases of severe domestic violence, bottom of her life and there is no other recourse left on her but to act decisively.
where there is physical abuse: such as slapping, pushing, verbal abuse, battering and
boxing a woman even to an unconscious state such that the woman is sometimes xxxxxxxxx
confined. The affliction of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder depends on the vulnerability
of the victim. Dr. Pajarillo said that if the victim is not very healthy, perhaps one episode Dr. Pajarillo testified that he met Marivic Genosa in his office in an interview he
of violence may induce the disorder; if the psychological stamina and physiologic conducted for two (2) hours and seventeen (17) minutes. He used the psychological
20
evaluation and social case studies as a help in forming his diagnosis. He came out with a lower court to report thereafter to this Court the proceedings taken as well as to submit
Psychiatric Report, dated 22 January 2001. copies of the TSN and additional evidence, if any.

xxxxxxxxx Acting on the Courts Resolution, the trial judge authorized the examination of Marivic
by two clinical psychologists, Drs. Natividad Dayan[10] and Alfredo Pajarillo,[11]
On cross-examination by the private prosecutor, Dr. Pajarillo said that at the time she supposedly experts on domestic violence. Their testimonies, along with their
killed her husband Marivicc mental condition was that she was re-experiencing the documentary evidence, were then presented to and admitted by the lower court before
trauma. He said that we are trying to explain scientifically that the re-experiencing of finally being submitted to this Court to form part of the records of the case.[12]
the trauma is not controlled by Marivic. It will just come in flashes and probably at that
point in time that things happened when the re-experiencing of the trauma flashed in The Issues
her mind. At the time he interviewed Marivic she was more subdued, she was not super
alert anymore x x x she is mentally stress (sic) because of the predicament she is Appellant assigns the following alleged errors of the trial court for this Courts
involved. consideration:

xxxxxxxxx 1. The trial court gravely erred in promulgating an obviously hasty decision without
reflecting on the evidence adduced as to self-defense.
20. No rebuttal evidence or testimony was presented by either the private or the public
prosecutor. Thus, in accord with the Resolution of this Honorable Court, the records of 2. The trial court gravely erred in finding as a fact that Ben and Marivic Genosa were
the partially re-opened trial a quo were elevated.[9] legally married and that she was therefore liable for parricide.

Ruling of the Trial Court 3. The trial court gravely erred finding the cause of death to be by beating with a pipe.

Finding the proffered theory of self-defense untenable, the RTC gave credence to the 4. The trial court gravely erred in ignoring and disregarding evidence adduced from
prosecution evidence that appellant had killed the deceased while he was in bed impartial and unbiased witnesses that Ben Genosa was a drunk, a gambler, a womanizer
sleeping. Further, the trial court appreciated the generic aggravating circumstance of and wife-beater; and further gravely erred in concluding that Ben Genosa was a
treachery, because Ben Genosa was supposedly defenseless when he was killed -- lying battered husband.
in bed asleep when Marivic smashed him with a pipe at the back of his head.
5. The trial court gravely erred in not requiring testimony from the children of Marivic
The capital penalty having been imposed, the case was elevated to this Court for Genosa.
automatic review.
6. The trial court gravely erred in concluding that Marivics flight to Manila and her
Supervening Circumstances subsequent apologies were indicia of guilt, instead of a clear attempt to save the life of
her unborn child.
On February 19, 2000, appellant filed an Urgent Omnibus Motion praying that this Court
allow (1) the exhumation of Ben Genosa and the reexamination of the cause of his 7. The trial court gravely erred in concluding that there was an aggravating circumstance
death; (2) the examination of appellant by qualified psychologists and psychiatrists to of treachery.
determine her state of mind at the time she had killed her spouse; and (3) the inclusion
of the said experts reports in the records of the case for purposes of the automatic 8. The trial court gravely erred in refusing to re-evaluate the traditional elements in
review or, in the alternative, a partial reopening of the case for the lower court to admit determining the existence of self-defense and defense of foetus in this case, thereby
the experts testimonies. erroneously convicting Marivic Genosa of the crime of parricide and condemning her to
the ultimate penalty of death.[13]
On September 29, 2000, this Court issued a Resolution granting in part appellants
Motion, remanding the case to the trial court for the reception of expert psychological
and/or psychiatric opinion on the battered woman syndrome plea; and requiring the
21
In the main, the following are the essential legal issues: (1) whether appellant acted in Second, the lower court did not err in finding as a fact that Ben Genosa and appellant
self-defense and in defense of her fetus; and (2) whether treachery attended the killing had been legally married, despite the non-presentation of their marriage contract. In
of Ben Genosa. People v. Malabago,[16] this Court held:

The Courts Ruling The key element in parricide is the relationship of the offender with the victim. In the
case of parricide of a spouse, the best proof of the relationship between the accused
The appeal is partly meritorious. and the deceased is the marriage certificate. In the absence of a marriage certificate,
however, oral evidence of the fact of marriage may be considered by the trial court if
Collateral Factual Issues such proof is not objected to.

The first six assigned errors raised by appellant are factual in nature, if not collateral to Two of the prosecution witnesses -- namely, the mother and the brother of appellants
the resolution of the principal issues. As consistently held by this Court, the findings of deceased spouse -- attested in court that Ben had been married to Marivic.[17] The
the trial court on the credibility of witnesses and their testimonies are entitled to a high defense raised no objection to these testimonies. Moreover, during her direct
degree of respect and will not be disturbed on appeal in the absence of any showing examination, appellant herself made a judicial admission of her marriage to Ben.[18]
that the trial judge gravely abused his discretion or overlooked, misunderstood or Axiomatic is the rule that a judicial admission is conclusive upon the party making it,
misapplied material facts or circumstances of weight and substance that could affect the except only when there is a showing that (1) the admission was made through a
outcome of the case.[14] palpable mistake, or (2) no admission was in fact made.[19] Other than merely attacking
the non-presentation of the marriage contract, the defense offered no proof that the
In appellants first six assigned items, we find no grave abuse of discretion, reversible admission made by appellant in court as to the fact of her marriage to the deceased was
error or misappreciation of material facts that would reverse or modify the trial courts made through a palpable mistake.
disposition of the case. In any event, we will now briefly dispose of these alleged errors
of the trial court. Third, under the circumstances of this case, the specific or direct cause of Bens death --
whether by a gunshot or by beating with a pipe -- has no legal consequence. As the
First, we do not agree that the lower court promulgated an obviously hasty decision Court elucidated in its September 29, 2000 Resolution, [c]onsidering that the appellant
without reflecting on the evidence adduced as to self-defense. We note that in his 17- has admitted the fact of killing her husband and the acts of hitting his nape with a metal
page Decision, Judge Fortunito L. Madrona summarized the testimonies of both the pipe and of shooting him at the back of his head, the Court believes that exhumation is
prosecution and the defense witnesses and -- on the basis of those and of the unnecessary, if not immaterial, to determine which of said acts actually caused the
documentary evidence on record -- made his evaluation, findings and conclusions. He victims death. Determining which of these admitted acts caused the death is not
wrote a 3-page discourse assessing the testimony and the self-defense theory of the dispositive of the guilt or defense of appellant.
accused. While she, or even this Court, may not agree with the trial judges conclusions,
we cannot peremptorily conclude, absent substantial evidence, that he failed to reflect Fourth, we cannot fault the trial court for not fully appreciating evidence that Ben was a
on the evidence presented. drunk, gambler, womanizer and wife-beater. Until this case came to us for automatic
review, appellant had not raised the novel defense of battered woman syndrome, for
Neither do we find the appealed Decision to have been made in an obviously hasty which such evidence may have been relevant. Her theory of self-defense was then the
manner. The Information had been filed with the lower court on November 14, 1996. crucial issue before the trial court. As will be discussed shortly, the legal requisites of
Thereafter, trial began and at least 13 hearings were held for over a year. It took the self-defense under prevailing jurisprudence ostensibly appear inconsistent with the
trial judge about two months from the conclusion of trial to promulgate his judgment. surrounding facts that led to the death of the victim. Hence, his personal character,
That he conducted the trial and resolved the case with dispatch should not be taken especially his past behavior, did not constitute vital evidence at the time.
against him, much less used to condemn him for being unduly hasty. If at all, the
dispatch with which he handled the case should be lauded. In any case, we find his Fifth, the trial court surely committed no error in not requiring testimony from
actions in substantial compliance with his constitutional obligation.[15] appellants children. As correctly elucidated by the solicitor general, all criminal actions
are prosecuted under the direction and control of the public prosecutor, in whom lies
the discretion to determine which witnesses and evidence are necessary to present.[20]
As the former further points out, neither the trial court nor the prosecution prevented
22
appellant from presenting her children as witnesses. Thus, she cannot now fault the More graphically, the battered woman syndrome is characterized by the so-called cycle
lower court for not requiring them to testify. of violence,[27] which has three phases: (1) the tension-building phase; (2) the acute
battering incident; and (3) the tranquil, loving (or, at least, nonviolent) phase.[28]
Finally, merely collateral or corroborative is the matter of whether the flight of Marivic
to Manila and her subsequent apologies to her brother-in-law are indicia of her guilt or During the tension-building phase, minor battering occurs -- it could be verbal or slight
are attempts to save the life of her unborn child. Any reversible error as to the trial physical abuse or another form of hostile behavior. The woman usually tries to pacify
courts appreciation of these circumstances has little bearing on the final resolution of the batterer through a show of kind, nurturing behavior; or by simply staying out of his
the case. way. What actually happens is that she allows herself to be abused in ways that, to her,
are comparatively minor. All she wants is to prevent the escalation of the violence
First Legal Issue: exhibited by the batterer. This wish, however, proves to be double-edged, because her
placatory and passive behavior legitimizes his belief that he has the right to abuse her in
Self-Defense and Defense of a Fetus the first place.

Appellant admits killing Ben Genosa but, to avoid criminal liability, invokes self-defense However, the techniques adopted by the woman in her effort to placate him are not
and/or defense of her unborn child. When the accused admits killing the victim, it is usually successful, and the verbal and/or physical abuse worsens. Each partner senses
incumbent upon her to prove any claimed justifying circumstance by clear and the imminent loss of control and the growing tension and despair. Exhausted from the
convincing evidence.[21] Well-settled is the rule that in criminal cases, self-defense (and persistent stress, the battered woman soon withdraws emotionally. But the more she
similarly, defense of a stranger or third person) shifts the burden of proof from the becomes emotionally unavailable, the more the batterer becomes angry, oppressive
prosecution to the defense.[22] and abusive. Often, at some unpredictable point, the violence spirals out of control and
leads to an acute battering incident.[29]
The Battered Woman Syndrome
The acute battering incident is said to be characterized by brutality, destructiveness and,
In claiming self-defense, appellant raises the novel theory of the battered woman sometimes, death. The battered woman deems this incident as unpredictable, yet also
syndrome. While new in Philippine jurisprudence, the concept has been recognized in inevitable. During this phase, she has no control; only the batterer may put an end to
foreign jurisdictions as a form of self-defense or, at the least, incomplete self- the violence. Its nature can be as unpredictable as the time of its explosion, and so are
defense.[23] By appreciating evidence that a victim or defendant is afflicted with the his reasons for ending it. The battered woman usually realizes that she cannot reason
syndrome, foreign courts convey their understanding of the justifiably fearful state of with him, and that resistance would only exacerbate her condition.
mind of a person who has been cyclically abused and controlled over a period of
time.[24] At this stage, she has a sense of detachment from the attack and the terrible pain,
although she may later clearly remember every detail. Her apparent passivity in the face
A battered woman has been defined as a woman who is repeatedly subjected to any of acute violence may be rationalized thus: the batterer is almost always much stronger
forceful physical or psychological behavior by a man in order to coerce her to do physically, and she knows from her past painful experience that it is futile to fight back.
something he wants her to do without concern for her rights. Battered women include Acute battering incidents are often very savage and out of control, such that innocent
wives or women in any form of intimate relationship with men. Furthermore, in order to bystanders or intervenors are likely to get hurt.[30]
be classified as a battered woman, the couple must go through the battering cycle at
least twice. Any woman may find herself in an abusive relationship with a man once. If it The final phase of the cycle of violence begins when the acute battering incident ends.
occurs a second time, and she remains in the situation, she is defined as a battered During this tranquil period, the couple experience profound relief. On the one hand, the
woman.[25] batterer may show a tender and nurturing behavior towards his partner. He knows that
he has been viciously cruel and tries to make up for it, begging for her forgiveness and
Battered women exhibit common personality traits, such as low self-esteem, traditional promising never to beat her again. On the other hand, the battered woman also tries to
beliefs about the home, the family and the female sex role; emotional dependence upon convince herself that the battery will never happen again; that her partner will change
the dominant male; the tendency to accept responsibility for the batterers actions; and for the better; and that this good, gentle and caring man is the real person whom she
false hopes that the relationship will improve.[26] loves.

23
A battered woman usually believes that she is the sole anchor of the emotional stability
of the batterer. Sensing his isolation and despair, she feels responsible for his well- A He is following me, after that he sought after me.
being. The truth, though, is that the chances of his reforming, or seeking or receiving
professional help, are very slim, especially if she remains with him. Generally, only after Q What will happen when he follow you?
she leaves him does he seek professional help as a way of getting her back. Yet, it is in
this phase of remorseful reconciliation that she is most thoroughly tormented A He said he changed, he asked for forgiveness and I was convinced and after that I go
psychologically. to him and he said sorry.

The illusion of absolute interdependency is well-entrenched in a battered womans Q During those times that you were the recipient of such cruelty and abusive behavior
psyche. In this phase, she and her batterer are indeed emotionally dependent on each by your husband, were you able to see a doctor?
other -- she for his nurturant behavior, he for her forgiveness. Underneath this
miserable cycle of tension, violence and forgiveness, each partner may believe that it is A Yes, sir.
better to die than to be separated. Neither one may really feel independent, capable of
functioning without the other.[31] Q Who are these doctors?

History of Abuse A The company physician, Dr. Dino Caing, Dr. Lucero and Dra. Cerillo.

in the Present Case xxxxxxxxx

To show the history of violence inflicted upon appellant, the defense presented several Q You said that you saw a doctor in relation to your injuries?
witnesses. She herself described her heart-rending experience as follows:
A Yes, sir.
ATTY. TABUCANON
Q Who inflicted these injuries?
Q How did you describe your marriage with Ben Genosa?
A Of course my husband.
A In the first year, I lived with him happily but in the subsequent year he was cruel to me
and a behavior of habitual drinker. Q You mean Ben Genosa?

Q You said that in the subsequent year of your marriage, your husband was abusive to A Yes, sir.
you and cruel. In what way was this abusive and cruelty manifested to you?
xxxxxxxxx
A He always provoke me in everything, he always slap me and sometimes he pinned me
down on the bed and sometimes beat me. [Court] /to the witness

Q How many times did this happen? Q How frequent was the alleged cruelty that you said?

A Several times already. A Everytime he got drunk.

Q What did you do when these things happen to you? Q No, from the time that you said the cruelty or the infliction of injury inflicted on your
occurred, after your marriage, from that time on, how frequent was the occurrence?
A I went away to my mother and I ran to my father and we separate each other.
A Everytime he got drunk.
Q What was the action of Ben Genosa towards you leaving home?
24
Q Is it daily, weekly, monthly or how many times in a month or in a week? Q Did you actually physical examine the accused?

A Three times a week. A Yes, sir.

Q Do you mean three times a week he would beat you? Q Now, going to your finding no. 3 where you were the one who attended the patient.
What do you mean by abrasion furuncle left axilla?
A Not necessarily that he would beat me but sometimes he will just quarrel me. [32]
A Abrasion is a skin wound usually when it comes in contact with something rough
Referring to his Out-Patient Chart[33] on Marivic Genosa at the Philphos Hospital, Dr. substance if force is applied.
Dino D. Caing bolstered her foregoing testimony on chronic battery in this manner:
Q What is meant by furuncle axilla?
Q So, do you have a summary of those six (6) incidents which are found in the chart of
your clinic? A It is secondary of the light infection over the abrasion.

A Yes, sir. Q What is meant by pain mastitis secondary to trauma?

Q Who prepared the list of six (6) incidents, Doctor? A So, in this 4th episode of physical injuries there is an inflammation of left breast. So,
[pain] meaning there is tenderness. When your breast is traumatized, there is
A I did. tenderness pain.

Q Will you please read the physical findings together with the dates for the record. Q So, these are objective physical injuries. Doctor?

A 1. May 12, 1990 - physical findings are as follows: Hematoma (R) lower eyelid and xxxxxxxxx
redness of eye. Attending physician: Dr. Lucero;
Q Were you able to talk with the patient?
2. March 10, 1992 - Contusion-Hematoma (L) lower arbital area, pain and contusion (R)
breast. Attending physician: Dr. Canora; A Yes, sir.

3. March 26, 1993 - Abrasion, Furuncle (L) Axilla; Q What did she tell you?

4. August 1, 1994 - Pain, mastitis (L) breast, 2o to trauma. Attending physician: Dr. A As a doctor-patient relationship, we need to know the cause of these injuries. And she
Caing; told me that it was done to her by her husband.

5. April 17, 1995 - Trauma, tenderness (R) Shoulder. Attending physician: Dr. Canora; Q You mean, Ben Genosa?
and
A Yes, sir.
6. June 5, 1995 - Swelling Abrasion (L) leg, multiple contusion Pregnancy. Attending
physician: Dr. Canora. xxxxxxxxx

Q Among the findings, there were two (2) incidents wherein you were the attending ATTY. TABUCANON:
physician, is that correct?
Q By the way Doctor, were you able to physical examine the accused sometime in the
A Yes, sir. month of November, 1995 when this incident happened?

25
A As per record, yes.
What is this all about?
Q What was the date?
A Because she has this problem of tension headache secondary to hypertension and I
A It was on November 6, 1995. think I have a record here, also the same period from 1989 to 1995, she had a
consultation for twenty-three (23) times.
Q So, did you actually see the accused physically?
Q For what?
A Yes, sir.
A Tension headache.
Q On November 6, 1995, will you please tell this Honorable Court, was the patient
pregnant? Q Can we say that specially during the latter consultation, that the patient had
hypertension?
A Yes, sir.
A The patient definitely had hypertension. It was refractory to our treatment. She does
Q Being a doctor, can you more engage at what stage of pregnancy was she? not response when the medication was given to her, because tension headache is more
or less stress related and emotional in nature.
A Eight (8) months pregnant.
Q What did you deduce of tension headache when you said is emotional in nature?
Q So in other words, it was an advance stage of pregnancy?
A From what I deduced as part of our physical examination of the patient is the family
A Yes, sir. history in line of giving the root cause of what is causing this disease. So, from the
moment you ask to the patient all comes from the domestic problem.
Q What was your November 6, 1995 examination, was it an examination about her
pregnancy or for some other findings? Q You mean problem in her household?

A No, she was admitted for hypertension headache which complicates her pregnancy. A Probably.

Q When you said admitted, meaning she was confined? Q Can family trouble cause elevation of blood pressure, Doctor?

A Yes, sir. A Yes, if it is emotionally related and stressful it can cause increases in hypertension
which is unfortunately does not response to the medication.
Q For how many days?
Q In November 6, 1995, the date of the incident, did you take the blood pressure of the
A One day. accused?

Q Where? A On November 6, 1995 consultation, the blood pressure was 180/120.

A At PHILPHOS Hospital. Q Is this considered hypertension?

xxxxxxxxx A Yes, sir, severe.

Q Lets go back to the clinical history of Marivic Genosa. You said that you were able to Q Considering that she was 8 months pregnant, you mean this is dangerous level of
examine her personally on November 6, 1995 and she was 8 months pregnant. blood pressure?
26
A When he arrived, I was not there, I was in Isabel looking for him.
A It was dangerous to the child or to the fetus. [34]
Q So when he arrived you were in Isabel looking for him?
Another defense witness, Teodoro Sarabia, a former neighbor of the Genosas in Isabel,
Leyte, testified that he had seen the couple quarreling several times; and that on some A Yes, sir.
occasions Marivic would run to him with bruises, confiding that the injuries were
inflicted upon her by Ben.[35] Q Did you come back to your house?

Ecel Arano also testified[36] that for a number of times she had been asked by Marivic A Yes, sir.
to sleep at the Genosa house, because the latter feared that Ben would come home
drunk and hurt her. On one occasion that Ecel did sleep over, she was awakened about Q By the way, where was your conjugal residence situated this time?
ten oclock at night, because the couple were very noisy and I heard something was
broken like a vase. Then Marivic came running into Ecels room and locked the door. Ben A Bilwang.
showed up by the window grill atop a chair, scaring them with a knife.
Q Is this your house or you are renting?
On the afternoon of November 15, 1995, Marivic again asked her help -- this time to find
Ben -- but they were unable to. They returned to the Genosa home, where they found A Renting.
him already drunk. Again afraid that he might hurt her, Marivic asked her to sleep at
their house. Seeing his state of drunkenness, Ecel hesitated; and when she heard the Q What time were you able to come back in your residence at Bilwang?
couple start arguing, she decided to leave.
A I went back around almost 8:00 oclock.
On that same night that culminated in the death of Ben Genosa, at least three other
witnesses saw or heard the couple quarreling.[37] Marivic relates in detail the following Q What happened when you arrived in your residence?
backdrop of the fateful night when life was snuffed out of him, showing in the process a
vivid picture of his cruelty towards her: A When I arrived home with my cousin Ecel whom I requested to sleep with me at that
time because I had fears that he was again drunk and I was worried that he would again
ATTY. TABUCANON: beat me so I requested my cousin to sleep with me, but she resisted because she had
fears that the same thing will happen again last year.
Q Please tell this Court, can you recall the incident in November 15, 1995 in the
evening? Q Who was this cousin of yours who you requested to sleep with you?

A Whole morning and in the afternoon, I was in the office working then after office A Ecel Arao, the one who testified.
hours, I boarded the service bus and went to Bilwang. When I reached Bilwang, I
immediately asked my son, where was his father, then my second child said, he was not Q Did Ecel sleep with you in your house on that evening?
home yet. I was worried because that was payday, I was anticipating that he was
gambling. So while waiting for him, my eldest son arrived from school, I prepared dinner A No, because she expressed fears, she said her father would not allow her because of
for my children. Ben.

Q This is evening of November 15, 1995? Q During this period November 15, 1995, were you pregnant?

A Yes, sir. A Yes, 8 months.

Q What time did Ben Genosa arrive? Q How advance was your pregnancy?

27
A Eight (8) months. his challenge, so he went to the kitchen and [got] a bolo and cut the antenna wire to
stop me from watching television.
Q Was the baby subsequently born?
Q What did he do with the bolo?
A Yes, sir.
A He cut the antenna wire to keep me from watching T.V.
Q Whats the name of the baby you were carrying at that time?
Q What else happened after he cut the wire?
A Marie Bianca.
A He switch off the light and the children were shouting because they were scared and
Q What time were you able to meet personally your husband? he was already holding the bolo.

A Yes, sir. Q How do you described this bolo?

Q What time? A 1 1/2 feet.

A When I arrived home, he was there already in his usual behavior. Q What was the bolo used for usually?

Q Will you tell this Court what was his disposition? A For chopping meat.

A He was drunk again, he was yelling in his usual unruly behavior. Q You said the children were scared, what else happened as Ben was carrying that bolo?

Q What was he yelling all about? A He was about to attack me so I run to the room.

A His usual attitude when he got drunk. Q What do you mean that he was about to attack you?

Q You said that when you arrived, he was drunk and yelling at you? What else did he do A When I attempt to run he held my hands and he whirled me and I fell to the bedside.
if any?
Q So when he whirled you, what happened to you?
A He is nagging at me for following him and he dared me to quarrel him.
A I screamed for help and then he left.
Q What was the cause of his nagging or quarreling at you if you know?
Q You said earlier that he whirled you and you fell on the bedside?
A He was angry at me because I was following x x x him, looking for him. I was just
worried he might be overly drunk and he would beat me again. A Yes, sir.

Q You said that he was yelling at you, what else, did he do to you if any? Q You screamed for help and he left, do you know where he was going?

A He was nagging at me at that time and I just ignore him because I want to avoid A Outside perhaps to drink more.
trouble for fear that he will beat me again. Perhaps he was disappointed because I just
ignore him of his provocation and he switch off the light and I said to him, why did you Q When he left what did you do in that particular time?
switch off the light when the children were there. At that time I was also attending to
my children who were doing their assignments. He was angry with me for not answering A I packed all his clothes.

28
Q What was your reason in packing his clothes? Q What happened when you were brought to that drawer?

A I wanted him to leave us. A He dragged me towards the drawer and he was about to open the drawer but he
could not open it because he did not have the key then he pulled his wallet which
Q During this time, where were your children, what were their reactions? contained a blade about 3 inches long and I was aware that he was going to kill me and I
smashed his arm and then the wallet and the blade fell. The one he used to open the
A After a couple of hours, he went back again and he got angry with me for packing his drawer I saw, it was a pipe about that long, and when he was about to pick-up the
clothes, then he dragged me again of the bedroom holding my neck. wallet and the blade, I smashed him then I ran to the other room, and on that very
moment everything on my mind was to pity on myself, then the feeling I had on that
Q You said that when Ben came back to your house, he dragged you? How did he drag very moment was the same when I was admitted in PHILPHOS Clinic, I was about to
you? vomit.

COURT INTERPRETER: COURT INTERPRETER:

The witness demonstrated to the Court by using her right hand flexed forcibly in her (The witness at this juncture is crying intensely).
front neck)
xxxxxxxxx
A And he dragged me towards the door backward.
ATTY. TABUCANON:
ATTY. TABUCANON:
Q Talking of drawer, is this drawer outside your room?
Q Where did he bring you?
A Outside.
A Outside the bedroom and he wanted to get something and then he kept on shouting
at me that you might as well be killed so there will be nobody to nag me. Q In what part of the house?

Q So you said that he dragged you towards the drawer? A Dining.

A Yes, sir. Q Where were the children during that time?

Q What is there in the drawer? A My children were already asleep.

A I was aware that it was a gun. Q You mean they were inside the room?

COURT INTERPRETER: A Yes, sir.

(At this juncture the witness started crying). Q You said that he dropped the blade, for the record will you please describe this blade
about 3 inches long, how does it look like?
ATTY. TABUCANON:
A Three (3) inches long and 1/2 inch wide.
Q Were you actually brought to the drawer?
Q Is it a flexible blade?
A Yes, sir.
A Its a cutter.
29
Q How do you describe the blade, is it sharp both edges? A I believe I had an idea of the case, but I do not know whether I can consider them as
substantial.
A Yes, because he once used it to me.
xxxxxxxxx
Q How did he do it?
Q Did you gather an information from Marivic that on the side of her husband they were
A He wanted to cut my throat. fond of battering their wives?

Q With the same blade? A I also heard that from her?

A Yes, sir, that was the object used when he intimidate me. [38] Q You heard that from her?

In addition, Dra. Natividad Dayan was called by the RTC to testify as an expert witness to A Yes, sir.
assist it in understanding the psyche of a battered person. She had met with Marivic
Genosa for five sessions totaling about seventeen hours. Based on their talks, the Q Did you ask for a complete example who are the relatives of her husband that were
former briefly related the latters ordeal to the court a quo as follows: fond of battering their wives?

Q: What can you say, that you found Marivic as a battered wife? Could you in laymans A What I remember that there were brothers of her husband who are also battering
term describe to this Court what her life was like as said to you? their wives.

A: What I remember happened then was it was more than ten years, that she was Q Did she not inform you that there was an instance that she stayed in a hotel in Ormoc
suffering emotional anguish. There were a lot of instances of abuses, to emotional where her husband followed her and battered [her] several times in that room?
abuse, to verbal abuse and to physical abuse. The husband had a very meager income,
she was the one who was practically the bread earner of the family. The husband was A She told me about that.
involved in a lot of vices, going out with barkadas, drinking, even womanizing being
involved in cockfight and going home very angry and which will trigger a lot of physical Q Did she inform you in what hotel in Ormoc?
abuse. She also had the experience a lot of taunting from the husband for the reason
that the husband even accused her of infidelity, the husband was saying that the child A Sir, I could not remember but I was told that she was battered in that room.
she was carrying was not his own. So she was very angry, she was at the same time very
depressed because she was also aware, almost like living in purgatory or even hell when Q Several times in that room?
it was happening day in and day out. [39]
A Yes, sir. What I remember was that there is no problem about being battered, it really
In cross-examining Dra. Dayan, the public prosecutor not merely elicited, but wittingly happened.
or unwittingly put forward, additional supporting evidence as shown below:
Q Being an expert witness, our jurisprudence is not complete on saying this matter. I
Q In your first encounter with the appellant in this case in 1999, where you talked to her think that is the first time that we have this in the Philippines, what is your opinion?
about three hours, what was the most relevant information did you gather?
A Sir, my opinion is, she is really a battered wife and in this kind happened, it was really
A The most relevant information was the tragedy that happened. The most important a self-defense. I also believe that there had been provocation and I also believe that she
information were escalating abuses that she had experienced during her marital life. became a disordered person. She had to suffer anxiety reaction because of all the
battering that happened and so she became an abnormal person who had lost shes not
Q Before you met her in 1999 for three hours, we presume that you already knew of the during the time and that is why it happened because of all the physical battering,
facts of the case or at least you have substantial knowledge of the facts of the case?
30
emotional battering, all the psychological abuses that she had experienced from her well-meaning friends in spite of her feeling ashamed of what was happening to her. But
husband. incessant battering became more and more frequent and more severe. x x x.[43]

Q I do believe that she is a battered wife. Was she extremely battered? From the totality of evidence presented, there is indeed no doubt in the Courts mind
that Appellant Marivic Genosa was a severely abused person.
A Sir, it is an extreme form of battering. Yes.[40]
Effect of Battery on Appellant
Parenthetically, the credibility of appellant was demonstrated as follows:
Because of the recurring cycles of violence experienced by the abused woman, her state
Q And you also said that you administered [the] objective personality test, what x x x [is of mind metamorphoses. In determining her state of mind, we cannot rely merely on
this] all about? the judgment of an ordinary, reasonable person who is evaluating the events
immediately surrounding the incident. A Canadian court has aptly pointed out that
A The objective personality test is the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory. The purpose expert evidence on the psychological effect of battering on wives and common law
of that test is to find out about the lying prone[ne]ss of the person. partners are both relevant and necessary. How can the mental state of the appellant be
appreciated without it? The average member of the public may ask: Why would a
Q What do you mean by that? woman put up with this kind of treatment? Why should she continue to live with such a
man? How could she love a partner who beat her to the point of requiring
A Meaning, am I dealing with a client who is telling me the truth, or is she someone who hospitalization? We would expect the woman to pack her bags and go. Where is her
can exaggerate or x x x [will] tell a lie[?] self-respect? Why does she not cut loose and make a new life for herself? Such is the
reaction of the average person confronted with the so-called battered wife
Q And what did you discover on the basis of this objective personality test? syndrome.[44]

A She was a person who passed the honesty test. Meaning she is a person that I can To understand the syndrome properly, however, ones viewpoint should not be drawn
trust. That the data that Im gathering from her are the truth.[41] from that of an ordinary, reasonable person. What goes on in the mind of a person who
has been subjected to repeated, severe beatings may not be consistent with -- nay,
The other expert witness presented by the defense, Dr. Alfredo Pajarillo, testified on his comprehensible to -- those who have not been through a similar experience. Expert
Psychiatric Report,[42] which was based on his interview and examination of Marivic opinion is essential to clarify and refute common myths and misconceptions about
Genosa. The Report said that during the first three years of her marriage to Ben, battered women.[45]
everything looked good -- the atmosphere was fine, normal and happy -- until Ben
started to be attracted to other girls and was also enticed in[to] gambling[,] especially The theory of BWS formulated by Lenore Walker, as well as her research on domestic
cockfighting. x x x. At the same time Ben was often joining his barkada in drinking violence, has had a significant impact in the United States and the United Kingdom on
sprees. the treatment and prosecution of cases, in which a battered woman is charged with the
killing of her violent partner. The psychologist explains that the cyclical nature of the
The drinking sprees of Ben greatly changed the attitude he showed toward his family, violence inflicted upon the battered woman immobilizes the latters ability to act
particularly to his wife. The Report continued: At first, it was verbal and emotional decisively in her own interests, making her feel trapped in the relationship with no
abuses but as time passed, he became physically abusive. Marivic claimed that the means of escape.[46] In her years of research, Dr. Walker found that the abuse often
viciousness of her husband was progressive every time he got drunk. It was a painful escalates at the point of separation and battered women are in greater danger of dying
ordeal Marivic had to anticipate whenever she suspected that her husband went for a then.[47]
drinking [spree]. They had been married for twelve years[;] and practically more than
eight years, she was battered and maltreated relentlessly and mercilessly by her Corroborating these research findings, Dra. Dayan said that the battered woman usually
husband whenever he was drunk. has a very low opinion of herself. She has x x x self-defeating and self-sacrificing
characteristics. x x x [W]hen the violence would happen, they usually think that they
Marivic sought the help of her mother-in-law, but her efforts were in vain. Further provoke[d] it, that they were the one[s] who precipitated the violence[; that] they
quoting from the Report, [s]he also sought the advice and help of close relatives and
31
provoke[d] their spouse to be physically, verbally and even sexually abusive to
them.[48] In the instant case, we meticulously scoured the records for specific evidence
establishing that appellant, due to the repeated abuse she had suffered from her spouse
According to Dra. Dayan, there are a lot of reasons why a battered woman does not over a long period of time, became afflicted with the battered woman syndrome. We,
readily leave an abusive partner -- poverty, self-blame and guilt arising from the latters however, failed to find sufficient evidence that would support such a conclusion. More
belief that she provoked the violence, that she has an obligation to keep the family specifically, we failed to find ample evidence that would confirm the presence of the
intact at all cost for the sake of their children, and that she is the only hope for her essential characteristics of BWS.
spouse to change.[49]
The defense fell short of proving all three phases of the cycle of violence supposedly
The testimony of another expert witness, Dr. Pajarillo, is also helpful. He had previously characterizing the relationship of Ben and Marivic Genosa. No doubt there were acute
testified in suits involving violent family relations, having evaluated probably ten to battering incidents. In relating to the court a quo how the fatal incident that led to the
twenty thousand violent family disputes within the Armed Forces of the Philippines, death of Ben started, Marivic perfectly described the tension-building phase of the
wherein such cases abounded. As a result of his experience with domestic violence cycle. She was able to explain in adequate detail the typical characteristics of this stage.
cases, he became a consultant of the Battered Woman Office in Quezon City. As such, However, that single incident does not prove the existence of the syndrome. In other
he got involved in about forty (40) cases of severe domestic violence, in which the words, she failed to prove that in at least another battering episode in the past, she had
physical abuse on the woman would sometimes even lead to her loss of gone through a similar pattern.
consciousness.[50]
How did the tension between the partners usually arise or build up prior to acute
Dr. Pajarillo explained that overwhelming brutality, trauma could result in posttraumatic battering? How did Marivic normally respond to Bens relatively minor abuses? What
stress disorder, a form of anxiety neurosis or neurologic anxietism.[51] After being means did she employ to try to prevent the situation from developing into the next
repeatedly and severely abused, battered persons may believe that they are essentially (more violent) stage?
helpless, lacking power to change their situation. x x x [A]cute battering incidents can
have the effect of stimulating the development of coping responses to the trauma at the Neither did appellant proffer sufficient evidence in regard to the third phase of the
expense of the victims ability to muster an active response to try to escape further cycle. She simply mentioned that she would usually run away to her mothers or fathers
trauma. Furthermore, x x x the victim ceases to believe that anything she can do will house;[58] that Ben would seek her out, ask for her forgiveness and promise to change;
have a predictable positive effect.[52] and that believing his words, she would return to their common abode.

A study[53] conducted by Martin Seligman, a psychologist at the University of Did she ever feel that she provoked the violent incidents between her and her spouse?
Pennsylvania, found that even if a person has control over a situation, but believes that Did she believe that she was the only hope for Ben to reform? And that she was the sole
she does not, she will be more likely to respond to that situation with coping responses support of his emotional stability and well-being? Conversely, how dependent was she
rather than trying to escape. He said that it was the cognitive aspect -- the individuals on him? Did she feel helpless and trapped in their relationship? Did both of them regard
thoughts -- that proved all-important. He referred to this phenomenon as learned death as preferable to separation?
helplessness. [T]he truth or facts of a situation turn out to be less important than the
individuals set of beliefs or perceptions concerning the situation. Battered women dont In sum, the defense failed to elicit from appellant herself her factual experiences and
attempt to leave the battering situation, even when it may seem to outsiders that thoughts that would clearly and fully demonstrate the essential characteristics of the
escape is possible, because they cannot predict their own safety; they believe that syndrome.
nothing they or anyone else does will alter their terrible circumstances.[54]
The Court appreciates the ratiocinations given by the expert witnesses for the defense.
Thus, just as the battered woman believes that she is somehow responsible for the Indeed, they were able to explain fully, albeit merely theoretically and scientifically, how
violent behavior of her partner, she also believes that he is capable of killing her, and the personality of the battered woman usually evolved or deteriorated as a result of
that there is no escape.[55] Battered women feel unsafe, suffer from pervasive anxiety, repeated and severe beatings inflicted upon her by her partner or spouse. They
and usually fail to leave the relationship.[56] Unless a shelter is available, she stays with corroborated each others testimonies, which were culled from their numerous studies
her husband, not only because she typically lacks a means of self-support, but also of hundreds of actual cases. However, they failed to present in court the factual
because she fears that if she leaves she would be found and hurt even more.[57]
32
experiences and thoughts that appellant had related to them -- if at all -- based on
which they concluded that she had BWS. Had Ben still been awaiting Marivic when she came out of their childrens bedroom --
and based on past violent incidents, there was a great probability that he would still
We emphasize that in criminal cases, all the elements of a modifying circumstance must have pursued her and inflicted graver harm -- then, the imminence of the real threat
be proven in order to be appreciated. To repeat, the records lack supporting evidence upon her life would not have ceased yet. Where the brutalized person is already
that would establish all the essentials of the battered woman syndrome as manifested suffering from BWS, further evidence of actual physical assault at the time of the killing
specifically in the case of the Genosas. is not required. Incidents of domestic battery usually have a predictable pattern. To
require the battered person to await an obvious, deadly attack before she can defend
BWS as Self-Defense her life would amount to sentencing her to murder by installment.[65] Still, impending
danger (based on the conduct of the victim in previous battering episodes) prior to the
In any event, the existence of the syndrome in a relationship does not in itself establish defendants use of deadly force must be shown. Threatening behavior or communication
the legal right of the woman to kill her abusive partner. Evidence must still be can satisfy the required imminence of danger.[66] Considering such circumstances and
considered in the context of self-defense.[59] the existence of BWS, self-defense may be appreciated.

From the expert opinions discussed earlier, the Court reckons further that crucial to the We reiterate the principle that aggression, if not continuous, does not warrant self-
BWS defense is the state of mind of the battered woman at the time of the offense[60] - defense.[67] In the absence of such aggression, there can be no self-defense -- complete
- she must have actually feared imminent harm from her batterer and honestly believed or incomplete -- on the part of the victim.[68] Thus, Marivics killing of Ben was not
in the need to kill him in order to save her life. completely justified under the circumstances.

Settled in our jurisprudence, however, is the rule that the one who resorts to self- Mitigating Circumstances Present
defense must face a real threat on ones life; and the peril sought to be avoided must be
imminent and actual, not merely imaginary.[61] Thus, the Revised Penal Code provides In any event, all is not lost for appellant. While she did not raise any other modifying
the following requisites and effect of self-defense:[62] circumstances that would alter her penalty, we deem it proper to evaluate and
appreciate in her favor circumstances that mitigate her criminal liability. It is a hornbook
Art. 11. Justifying circumstances. -- The following do not incur any criminal liability: doctrine that an appeal in a criminal case opens it wholly for review on any issue,
including that which has not been raised by the parties.[69]
1. Anyone who acts in defense of his person or rights, provided that the following
circumstances concur; From several psychological tests she had administered to Marivic, Dra. Dayan, in her
Psychological Evaluation Report dated November 29, 2000, opined as follows:
First. Unlawful aggression;
This is a classic case of a Battered Woman Syndrome. The repeated battering Marivic
Second. Reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel it; experienced with her husband constitutes a form of [cumulative] provocation which
broke down her psychological resistance and natural self-control. It is very clear that she
Third. Lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person defending himself. developed heightened sensitivity to sight of impending danger her husband posed
continuously. Marivic truly experienced at the hands of her abuser husband a state of
Unlawful aggression is the most essential element of self-defense.[63] It presupposes psychological paralysis which can only be ended by an act of violence on her part. [70]
actual, sudden and unexpected attack -- or an imminent danger thereof -- on the life or
safety of a person.[64] In the present case, however, according to the testimony of
Marivic herself, there was a sufficient time interval between the unlawful aggression of Dr. Pajarillo corroborates the findings of Dra. Dayan. He explained that the effect of
Ben and her fatal attack upon him. She had already been able to withdraw from his repetitious pain taking, repetitious battering, [and] repetitious maltreatment as well as
violent behavior and escape to their childrens bedroom. During that time, he apparently the severity and the prolonged administration of the battering is posttraumatic stress
ceased his attack and went to bed. The reality or even the imminence of the danger he disorder.[71] Expounding thereon, he said:
posed had ended altogether. He was no longer in a position that presented an actual
threat on her life or safety. Q What causes the trauma, Mr. Witness?
33
Q But just the same[,] neurosis especially on battered woman syndrome x x x affects x x
A What causes the trauma is probably the repetitious battering. Second, the severity of x his or her mental capacity?
the battering. Third, the prolonged administration of battering or the prolonged
commission of the battering and the psychological and constitutional stamina of the A Yes, your Honor.
victim and another one is the public and social support available to the victim. If nobody
is interceding, the more she will go to that disorder.... Q As you were saying[,] it x x x obfuscated her rationality?

xxxxxxxxx A Of course obfuscated.[73]

Q You referred a while ago to severity. What are the qualifications in terms of severity In sum, the cyclical nature and the severity of the violence inflicted upon appellant
of the postraumatic stress disorder, Dr. Pajarillo? resulted in cumulative provocation which broke down her psychological resistance and
natural self-control, psychological paralysis, and difficulty in concentrating or
A The severity is the most severe continuously to trig[g]er this post[t]raumatic stress impairment of memory.
disorder is injury to the head, banging of the head like that. It is usually the very very
severe stimulus that precipitate this post[t]raumatic stress disorder. Others are Based on the explanations of the expert witnesses, such manifestations were analogous
suffocating the victim like holding a pillow on the face, strangulating the individual, to an illness that diminished the exercise by appellant of her will power without,
suffocating the individual, and boxing the individual. In this situation therefore, the however, depriving her of consciousness of her acts. There was, thus, a resulting
victim is heightened to painful stimulus, like for example she is pregnant, she is very diminution of her freedom of action, intelligence or intent. Pursuant to paragraphs 9[74]
susceptible because the woman will not only protect herself, she is also to protect the and 10[75] of Article 13 of the Revised Penal Code, this circumstance should be taken in
fetus. So the anxiety is heightened to the end [sic] degree. her favor and considered as a mitigating factor. [76]

Q But in terms of the gravity of the disorder, Mr. Witness, how do you classify? In addition, we also find in favor of appellant the extenuating circumstance of having
acted upon an impulse so powerful as to have naturally produced passion and
A We classify the disorder as [acute], or chronic or delayed or [a]typical. obfuscation. It has been held that this state of mind is present when a crime is
committed as a result of an uncontrollable burst of passion provoked by prior unjust or
Q Can you please describe this pre[-]classification you called delayed or [atypical]? improper acts or by a legitimate stimulus so powerful as to overcome reason.[77] To
appreciate this circumstance, the following requisites should concur: (1) there is an act,
A The acute is the one that usually require only one battering and the individual will both unlawful and sufficient to produce such a condition of mind; and (2) this act is not
manifest now a severe emotional instability, higher irritability remorse, restlessness, far removed from the commission of the crime by a considerable length of time, during
and fear and probably in most [acute] cases the first thing will be happened to the which the accused might recover her normal equanimity.[78]
individual will be thinking of suicide.
Here, an acute battering incident, wherein Ben Genosa was the unlawful aggressor,
Q And in chronic cases, Mr. Witness? preceded his being killed by Marivic. He had further threatened to kill her while
dragging her by the neck towards a cabinet in which he had kept a gun. It should also be
A The chronic cases is this repetitious battering, repetitious maltreatment, any recalled that she was eight months pregnant at the time. The attempt on her life was
prolonged, it is longer than six (6) months. The [acute] is only the first day to six (6) likewise on that of her fetus.[79] His abusive and violent acts, an aggression which was
months. After this six (6) months you become chronic. It is stated in the book specifically directed at the lives of both Marivic and her unborn child, naturally produced passion
that after six (6) months is chronic. The [a]typical one is the repetitious battering but the and obfuscation overcoming her reason. Even though she was able to retreat to a
individual who is abnormal and then become normal. This is how you get neurosis from separate room, her emotional and mental state continued. According to her, she felt her
neurotic personality of these cases of post[t]raumatic stress disorder. [72] blood pressure rise; she was filled with feelings of self-pity and of fear that she and her
baby were about to die. In a fit of indignation, she pried open the cabinet drawer where
Answering the questions propounded by the trial judge, the expert witness clarified Ben kept a gun, then she took the weapon and used it to shoot him.
further:

34
The confluence of these events brings us to the conclusion that there was no been fatally attacked, however, the prosecution failed to establish indubitably. Only the
considerable period of time within which Marivic could have recovered her normal following testimony of appellant leads us to the events surrounding his death:
equanimity. Helpful is Dr. Pajarillos testimony[80] that with neurotic anxiety -- a
psychological effect on a victim of overwhelming brutality [or] trauma -- the victim Q You said that when Ben came back to your house, he dragged you? How did he drag
relives the beating or trauma as if it were real, although she is not actually being beaten you?
at the time. She cannot control re-experiencing the whole thing, the most vicious and
the trauma that she suffered. She thinks of nothing but the suffering. Such reliving COURT:
which is beyond the control of a person under similar circumstances, must have been
what Marivic experienced during the brief time interval and prevented her from The witness demonstrated to the Court by using her right hand flexed forcibly in her
recovering her normal equanimity. Accordingly, she should further be credited with the front neck)
mitigating circumstance of passion and obfuscation.
A And he dragged me towards the door backward.
It should be clarified that these two circumstances -- psychological paralysis as well as
passion and obfuscation -- did not arise from the same set of facts. ATTY. TABUCANON:

On the one hand, the first circumstance arose from the cyclical nature and the severity Q Where did he bring you?
of the battery inflicted by the batterer-spouse upon appellant. That is, the repeated
beatings over a period of time resulted in her psychological paralysis, which was A Outside the bedroom and he wanted to get something and then he kept on shouting
analogous to an illness diminishing the exercise of her will power without depriving her at me that you might as well be killed so there will be nobody to nag me
of consciousness of her acts.
Q So you said that he dragged you towards the drawer?
The second circumstance, on the other hand, resulted from the violent aggression he
had inflicted on her prior to the killing. That the incident occurred when she was eight A Yes, sir.
months pregnant with their child was deemed by her as an attempt not only on her life,
but likewise on that of their unborn child. Such perception naturally produced passion Q What is there in the drawer?
and obfuscation on her part.
A I was aware that it was a gun.
Second Legal Issue:
COURT INTERPRETER
Treachery
(At this juncture the witness started crying)
There is treachery when one commits any of the crimes against persons by employing
means, methods or forms in the execution thereof without risk to oneself arising from ATTY. TABUCANON:
the defense that the offended party might make.[81] In order to qualify an act as
treacherous, the circumstances invoked must be proven as indubitably as the killing Q Were you actually brought to the drawer?
itself; they cannot be deduced from mere inferences, or conjectures, which have no
place in the appreciation of evidence.[82] Because of the gravity of the resulting A Yes, sir.
offense, treachery must be proved as conclusively as the killing itself.[83]
Q What happened when you were brought to that drawer?
Ruling that treachery was present in the instant case, the trial court imposed the penalty
of death upon appellant. It inferred this qualifying circumstances merely from the fact A He dragged me towards the drawer and he was about to open the drawer but he
that the lifeless body of Ben had been found lying in bed with an open, depressed, could not open it because he did not have the key then he pulled his wallet which
circular fracture located at the back of his head. As to exactly how and when he had contained a blade about 3 inches long and I was aware that he was going to kill me and I
smashed his arm and then the wallet and the blade fell. The one he used to open the
35
drawer I saw, it was a pipe about that long, and when he was about to pick-up the A Ben tried to pick-up the wallet and the blade, I pick-up the pipe and I smashed him
wallet and the blade, I smashed him then I ran to the other room, and on that very and I ran to the other room.
moment everything on my mind was to pity on myself, then the feeling I had on that
very moment was the same when I was admitted in PHILPHOS Clinic, I was about to Q What else happened?
vomit.
A When I was in the other room, I felt the same thing like what happened before when I
COURT INTERPRETER was admitted in PHILPHOS Clinic, I was about to vomit. I know my blood pressure was
raised. I was frightened I was about to die because of my blood pressure.
(The witness at this juncture is crying intensely).
COURT INTERPRETER:
xxxxxxxxx
(Upon the answer of the witness getting the pipe and smashed him, the witness at the
Q You said that he dropped the blade, for the record will you please describe this blade same time pointed at the back of her neck or the nape).
about 3 inches long, how does it look like?
ATTY. TABUCANON:
A Three (3) inches long and inch wide.
Q You said you went to the room, what else happened?
Q It is a flexible blade?
A Considering all the physical sufferings that Ive been through with him, I took pity on
A Its a cutter. myself and I felt I was about to die also because of my blood pressure and the baby, so I
got that gun and I shot him.
Q How do you describe the blade, is it sharp both edges?
COURT
A Yes, because he once used it to me.
/to Atty. Tabucanon
Q How did he do it?
Q You shot him?
A He wanted to cut my throat.
A Yes, I distorted the drawer.[84]
Q With the same blade?
The above testimony is insufficient to establish the presence of treachery. There is no
A Yes, sir, that was the object used when he intimidate me. showing of the victims position relative to appellants at the time of the shooting.
Besides, equally axiomatic is the rule that when a killing is preceded by an argument or a
xxxxxxxxx quarrel, treachery cannot be appreciated as a qualifying circumstance, because the
deceased may be said to have been forewarned and to have anticipated aggression
ATTY. TABUCANON: from the assailant.[85]

Q You said that this blade fell from his grip, is it correct? Moreover, in order to appreciate alevosia, the method of assault adopted by the
aggressor must have been consciously and deliberately chosen for the specific purpose
A Yes, because I smashed him. of accomplishing the unlawful act without risk from any defense that might be put up by
the party attacked.[86] There is no showing, though, that the present appellant
Q What happened? intentionally chose a specific means of successfully attacking her husband without any
risk to herself from any retaliatory act that he might make. To the contrary, it appears
that the thought of using the gun occurred to her only at about the same moment when
36
she decided to kill her batterer-spouse. In the absence of any convincing proof that she episodes between the appellant and her intimate partner. Second, the final acute
consciously and deliberately employed the method by which she committed the crime battering episode preceding the killing of the batterer must have produced in the
in order to ensure its execution, this Court resolves the doubt in her favor.[87] battered persons mind an actual fear of an imminent harm from her batterer and an
honest belief that she needed to use force in order to save her life. Third, at the time of
Proper Penalty the killing, the batterer must have posed probable -- not necessarily immediate and
actual -- grave harm to the accused, based on the history of violence perpetrated by the
The penalty for parricide imposed by Article 246 of the Revised Penal Code is reclusion former against the latter. Taken altogether, these circumstances could satisfy the
perpetua to death. Since two mitigating circumstances and no aggravating circumstance requisites of self-defense. Under the existing facts of the present case, however, not all
have been found to have attended the commission of the offense, the penalty shall be of these elements were duly established.
lowered by one (1) degree, pursuant to Article 64 of paragraph 5[88] of the same
Code.[89] The penalty of reclusion temporal in its medium period is imposable, WHEREFORE, the conviction of Appellant Marivic Genosa for parricide is hereby
considering that two mitigating circumstances are to be taken into account in reducing AFFIRMED. However, there being two (2) mitigating circumstances and no aggravating
the penalty by one degree, and no other modifying circumstances were shown to have circumstance attending her commission of the offense, her penalty is REDUCED to six (6)
attended the commission of the offense.[90] Under the Indeterminate Sentence Law, years and one (1) day of prision mayor as minimum; to 14 years, 8 months and 1 day of
the minimum of the penalty shall be within the range of that which is next lower in reclusion temporal as maximum.
degree -- prision mayor -- and the maximum shall be within the range of the medium
period of reclusion temporal. Inasmuch as appellant has been detained for more than the minimum penalty hereby
imposed upon her, the director of the Bureau of Corrections may immediately RELEASE
Considering all the circumstances of the instant case, we deem it just and proper to her from custody upon due determination that she is eligible for parole, unless she is
impose the penalty of prision mayor in its minimum period, or six (6) years and one (1) being held for some other lawful cause. Costs de oficio.
day in prison as minimum; to reclusion temporal in its medium period, or 14 years 8
months and 1 day as maximum. Noting that appellant has already served the minimum SO ORDERED.
period, she may now apply for and be released from detention on parole.[91]

Epilogue

Being a novel concept in our jurisprudence, the battered woman syndrome was neither
easy nor simple to analyze and recognize vis--vis the given set of facts in the present
case. The Court agonized on how to apply the theory as a modern-day reality. It took
great effort beyond the normal manner in which decisions are made -- on the basis of
existing law and jurisprudence applicable to the proven facts. To give a just and proper
resolution of the case, it endeavored to take a good look at studies conducted here and
abroad in order to understand the intricacies of the syndrome and the distinct
personality of the chronically abused person. Certainly, the Court has learned much.
And definitely, the solicitor general and appellants counsel, Atty. Katrina Legarda, have
helped it in such learning process.

While our hearts empathize with recurrently battered persons, we can only work within
the limits of law, jurisprudence and given facts. We cannot make or invent them.
Neither can we amend the Revised Penal Code. Only Congress, in its wisdom, may do so.

The Court, however, is not discounting the possibility of self-defense arising from the
battered woman syndrome. We now sum up our main points. First, each of the phases
of the cycle of violence must be proven to have characterized at least two battering
37
2003, "female violence comprised more than 90o/o of all forms of abuse and violence
and more than 90% of these reported cases were committed by the women's intimate
partners such as their husbands and live-in partners."3

Thus, on March 8, 2004, after nine (9) years of spirited advocacy by women's groups,
Congress enacted Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9262, entitled "An Act Defining Violence
Against Women and Their Children, Providing for Protective Measures for Victims,
Prescribing Penalties Therefor, and for Other Purposes." It took effect on March 27,
2004.4

R.A. 9262 is a landmark legislation that defines and criminalizes acts of violence against
women and their children (VAWC) perpetrated by women's intimate partners, i.e,
husband; former husband; or any person who has or had a sexual or dating relationship,
or with whom the woman has a common child.5 The law provides for protection orders
from the barangay and the courts to prevent the commission of further acts of VAWC;
and outlines the duties and responsibilities of barangay officials, law enforcers,
prosecutors and court personnel, social workers, health care providers, and other local
government officials in responding to complaints of VAWC or requests for assistance.

Republic of the Philippines A husband is now before the Court assailing the constitutionality of R.A. 9262 as being
SUPREME COURT violative of the equal protection and due process clauses, and an undue delegation of
Manila judicial power to barangay officials.

EN BANC The Factual Antecedents

G.R. No. 179267 June 25, 2013 On March 23, 2006, Rosalie Jaype-Garcia (private respondent) filed, for herself and in
behalf of her minor children, a verified petition6 (Civil Case No. 06-797) before the
JESUS C. GARCIA, Petitioner, Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Bacolod City for the issuance of a Temporary Protection
vs. Order (TPO) against her husband, Jesus C. Garcia (petitioner), pursuant to R.A. 9262. She
THE HONORABLE RAY ALAN T. DRILON, Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court-Branch 41, claimed to be a victim of physical abuse; emotional, psychological, and economic
Bacolod City, and ROSALIE JAYPE-GARCIA, for herself and in behalf of minor children, violence as a result of marital infidelity on the part of petitioner, with threats of
namely: JO-ANN, JOSEPH EDUARD, JESSE ANTHONE, all surnamed GARCIA, deprivation of custody of her children and of financial support.7
Respondents.
Private respondent's claims
DECISION
Private respondent married petitioner in 2002 when she was 34 years old and the
PERLAS-BERNABE, J.: former was eleven years her senior. They have three (3) children, namely: Jo-Ann J.
Garcia, 17 years old, who is the natural child of petitioner but whom private respondent
Hailed as the bastion of Christianity in Asia, the Philippines boasts of 86.8 million adopted; Jessie Anthone J. Garcia, 6 years old; and Joseph Eduard J. Garcia, 3 years old.8
Filipinos- or 93 percent of a total population of 93.3 million – adhering to the teachings
of Jesus Christ.1 Yet, the admonition for husbands to love their wives as their own Private respondent described herself as a dutiful and faithful wife, whose life revolved
bodies just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her2 failed to prevent, or around her husband. On the other hand, petitioner, who is of Filipino-Chinese descent,
even to curb, the pervasiveness of violence against Filipino women. The National is dominant, controlling, and demands absolute obedience from his wife and children.
Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW) reported that, for the years 2000- He forbade private respondent to pray, and deliberately isolated her from her friends.
38
When she took up law, and even when she was already working part time at a law previously warned her that if she goes on a legal battle with him, she would not get a
office, petitioner trivialized her ambitions and prevailed upon her to just stay at home. single centavo.14
He was often jealous of the fact that his attractive wife still catches the eye of some
men, at one point threatening that he would have any man eyeing her killed.9 Petitioner controls the family businesses involving mostly the construction of deep
wells. He is the President of three corporations – 326 Realty Holdings, Inc., Negros
Things turned for the worse when petitioner took up an affair with a bank manager of Rotadrill Corporation, and J-Bros Trading Corporation – of which he and private
Robinson's Bank, Bacolod City, who is the godmother of one of their sons. Petitioner respondent are both stockholders. In contrast to the absolute control of petitioner over
admitted to the affair when private respondent confronted him about it in 2004. He said corporations, private respondent merely draws a monthly salary of ₱20,000.00
even boasted to the household help about his sexual relations with said bank manager. from one corporation only, the Negros Rotadrill Corporation. Household expenses
Petitioner told private respondent, though, that he was just using the woman because amounting to not less than ₱200,000.00 a month are paid for by private respondent
of their accounts with the bank.10 through the use of credit cards, which, in turn, are paid by the same corporation
together with the bills for utilities.15
Petitioner's infidelity spawned a series of fights that left private respondent physically
and emotionally wounded. In one of their quarrels, petitioner grabbed private On the other hand, petitioner receives a monthly salary of ₱60,000.00 from Negros
respondent on both arms and shook her with such force that caused bruises and Rotadrill Corporation, and enjoys unlimited cash advances and other benefits in
hematoma. At another time, petitioner hit private respondent forcefully on the lips that hundreds of thousands of pesos from the corporations.16 After private respondent
caused some bleeding. Petitioner sometimes turned his ire on their daughter, Jo-Ann, confronted him about the affair, petitioner forbade her to hold office at JBTC Building,
who had seen the text messages he sent to his paramour and whom he blamed for Mandalagan, where all the businesses of the corporations are conducted, thereby
squealing on him. He beat Jo-Ann on the chest and slapped her many times. When depriving her of access to full information about said businesses. Until the filing of the
private respondent decided to leave petitioner, Jo-Ann begged her mother to stay for petition a quo, petitioner has not given private respondent an accounting of the
fear that if the latter leaves, petitioner would beat her up. Even the small boys are businesses the value of which she had helped raise to millions of pesos.17
aware of private respondent's sufferings. Their 6-year-old son said that when he grows
up, he would beat up his father because of his cruelty to private respondent.11 Action of the RTC of Bacolod City

All the emotional and psychological turmoil drove private respondent to the brink of Finding reasonable ground to believe that an imminent danger of violence against the
despair. On December 17, 2005, while at home, she attempted suicide by cutting her private respondent and her children exists or is about to recur, the RTC issued a TPO18
wrist. She was found by her son bleeding on the floor. Petitioner simply fled the house on March 24, 2006 effective for thirty (30) days, which is quoted hereunder:
instead of taking her to the hospital. Private respondent was hospitalized for about
seven (7) days in which time petitioner never bothered to visit, nor apologized or Respondent (petitioner herein), Jesus Chua Garcia, is hereby:
showed pity on her. Since then, private respondent has been undergoing therapy almost
every week and is taking anti-depressant medications.12 a) Ordered to remove all his personal belongings from the conjugal dwelling or family
home within 24 hours from receipt of the Temporary Restraining Order and if he
When private respondent informed the management of Robinson's Bank that she refuses, ordering that he be removed by police officers from the conjugal dwelling; this
intends to file charges against the bank manager, petitioner got angry with her for order is enforceable notwithstanding that the house is under the name of 236 Realty
jeopardizing the manager's job. He then packed his things and told private respondent Holdings Inc. (Republic Act No. 9262 states "regardless of ownership"), this is to allow
that he was leaving her for good. He even told private respondent's mother, who lives the Petitioner (private respondent herein) to enter the conjugal dwelling without any
with them in the family home, that private respondent should just accept his danger from the Respondent.
extramarital affair since he is not cohabiting with his paramour and has not sired a child
with her.13 After the Respondent leaves or is removed from the conjugal dwelling, or anytime the
Petitioner decides to return to the conjugal dwelling to remove things, the Petitioner
shall be assisted by police officers when re-entering the family home.
Private respondent is determined to separate from petitioner but she is afraid that he
would take her children from her and deprive her of financial support. Petitioner had

39
The Chief of Police shall also give the Petitioner police assistance on Sunday, 26 March j) The petitioners are given the continued use and occupation of the house in
2006 because of the danger that the Respondent will attempt to take her children from Parañaque, the continued use of the Starex van in Metro Manila, whenever they go to
her when he arrives from Manila and finds out about this suit. Manila.

b) To stay away from the petitioner and her children, mother and all her household help k) Respondent is ordered to immediately post a bond to keep the peace, in two
and driver from a distance of 1,000 meters, and shall not enter the gate of the sufficient sureties.
subdivision where the Petitioner may be temporarily residing.
l) To give monthly support to the petitioner provisionally fixed in the sum of One
c) Not to harass, annoy, telephone, contact or otherwise communicate with the Hundred Fifty Thousand Pesos (Php 150,000.00) per month plus rental expenses of Fifty
Petitioner, directly or indirectly, or through other persons, or contact directly or Thousand Pesos (Php 50,000.00) per month until the matter of support could be finally
indirectly her children, mother and household help, nor send gifts, cards, flowers, letters resolved.
and the like. Visitation rights to the children may be subject of a modified TPO in the
future. Two days later, or on April 26, 2006, petitioner filed an Opposition to the Urgent Ex-
Parte Motion for Renewal of the TPO21 seeking the denial of the renewal of the TPO on
d) To surrender all his firearms including a .9MM caliber firearm and a Walther PPK and the grounds that it did not (1) comply with the three-day notice rule, and (2) contain a
ordering the Philippine National Police Firearms and Explosives Unit and the Provincial notice of hearing. He further asked that the TPO be modified by (1) removing one
Director of the PNP to cancel all the Respondent's firearm licenses. He should also be vehicle used by private respondent and returning the same to its rightful owner, the J-
ordered to surrender any unlicensed firearms in his possession or control. Bros Trading Corporation, and (2) cancelling or reducing the amount of the bond from
₱5,000,000.00 to a more manageable level at ₱100,000.00.
e) To pay full financial support for the Petitioner and the children, including rental of a
house for them, and educational and medical expenses. Subsequently, on May 23, 2006, petitioner moved22 for the modification of the TPO to
allow him visitation rights to his children.
f) Not to dissipate the conjugal business.
On May 24, 2006, the TPO was renewed and extended yet again, but subject only to the
g) To render an accounting of all advances, benefits, bonuses and other cash he received following modifications prayed for by private respondent:
from all the corporations from 1 January 2006 up to 31 March 2006, which himself and
as President of the corporations and his Comptroller, must submit to the Court not later a) That respondent (petitioner herein) return the clothes and other personal belongings
than 2 April 2006. Thereafter, an accounting of all these funds shall be reported to the of Rosalie and her children to Judge Jesus Ramos, co-counsel for Petitioner, within 24
court by the Comptroller, copy furnished to the Petitioner, every 15 days of the month, hours from receipt of the Temporary Protection Order by his counsel, otherwise be
under pain of Indirect Contempt of Court. declared in Indirect Contempt of Court;

h) To ensure compliance especially with the order granting support pendente lite, and b) Respondent shall make an accounting or list of furniture and equipment in the
considering the financial resources of the Respondent and his threat that if the conjugal house in Pitimini St., Capitolville Subdivision, Bacolod City within 24 hours from
Petitioner sues she will not get a single centavo, the Respondent is ordered to put up a receipt of the Temporary Protection Order by his counsel;
BOND TO KEEP THE PEACE in the amount of FIVE MILLION PESOS, in two sufficient
sureties. c) Ordering the Chief of the Women's Desk of the Bacolod City Police Headquarters to
remove Respondent from the conjugal dwelling within eight (8) hours from receipt of
On April 24, 2006, upon motion19 of private respondent, the trial court issued an the Temporary Protection Order by his counsel, and that he cannot return until 48 hours
amended TPO,20 effective for thirty (30) days, which included the following additional after the petitioners have left, so that the petitioner Rosalie and her representatives can
provisions: remove things from the conjugal home and make an inventory of the household
furniture, equipment and other things in the conjugal home, which shall be submitted to
i) The petitioners (private respondents herein) are given the continued use of the Nissan the Court.
Patrol and the Starex Van which they are using in Negros Occidental.

40
d) Deliver full financial support of Php200,000.00 and Php50,000.00 for rental and
Php25,000.00 for clothes of the three petitioners (sic) children within 24 hours from 2) Prohibited from harassing, annoying, telephoning, contacting or otherwise
receipt of the Temporary Protection Order by his counsel, otherwise be declared in communicating in any form with the offended party, either directly or indirectly;
indirect contempt of Court;
3) Required to stay away, personally or through his friends, relatives, employees or
e) That respondent surrender his two firearms and all unlicensed firearms to the Clerk of agents, from all the Petitioners Rosalie J. Garcia and her children, Rosalie J. Garcia's
Court within 24 hours from receipt of the Temporary Protection Order by his counsel; three brothers, her mother Primitiva Jaype, cook Novelita Caranzo, driver Romeo
Hontiveros, laundrywoman Mercedita Bornales, security guard Darwin Gayona and the
f) That respondent shall pay petitioner educational expenses of the children upon petitioner's other household helpers from a distance of 1,000 meters, and shall not
presentation of proof of payment of such expenses.23 enter the gate of the subdivision where the Petitioners are temporarily residing, as well
as from the schools of the three children; Furthermore, that respondent shall not
Claiming that petitioner continued to deprive them of financial support; failed to contact the schools of the children directly or indirectly in any manner including,
faithfully comply with the TPO; and committed new acts of harassment against her and ostensibly to pay for their tuition or other fees directly, otherwise he will have access to
their children, private respondent filed another application24 for the issuance of a TPO the children through the schools and the TPO will be rendered nugatory;
ex parte. She alleged inter
4) Directed to surrender all his firearms including .9MM caliber firearm and a Walther
alia that petitioner contrived a replevin suit against himself by J-Bros Trading, Inc., of PPK to the Court;
which the latter was purportedly no longer president, with the end in view of recovering
the Nissan Patrol and Starex Van used by private respondent and the children. A writ of 5) Directed to deliver in full financial support of Php200,000.00 a month and
replevin was served upon private respondent by a group of six or seven policemen with Php50,000.00 for rental for the period from August 6 to September 6, 2006; and support
long firearms that scared the two small boys, Jessie Anthone and Joseph Eduard.25 in arrears from March 2006 to August 2006 the total amount of Php1,312,000.00;

While Joseph Eduard, then three years old, was driven to school, two men allegedly 6) Directed to deliver educational expenses for 2006-2007 the amount of Php75,000.00
attempted to kidnap him, which incident traumatized the boy resulting in his refusal to and Php25,000.00;
go back to school. On another occasion, petitioner allegedly grabbed their daughter, Jo-
Ann, by the arm and threatened her.26 The incident was reported to the police, and Jo- 7) Directed to allow the continued use of a Nissan Patrol with Plate No. FEW 508 and a
Ann subsequently filed a criminal complaint against her father for violation of R.A. 7610, Starex van with Plate No. FFD 991 and should the respondent fail to deliver said
also known as the "Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and vehicles, respondent is ordered to provide the petitioner another vehicle which is the
Discrimination Act." one taken by J Bros Tading;

Aside from the replevin suit, petitioner's lawyers initiated the filing by the housemaids 8) Ordered not to dissipate, encumber, alienate, sell, lease or otherwise dispose of the
working at the conjugal home of a complaint for kidnapping and illegal detention conjugal assets, or those real properties in the name of Jesus Chua Garcia only and
against private respondent. This came about after private respondent, armed with a those in which the conjugal partnership of gains of the Petitioner Rosalie J. Garcia and
TPO, went to said home to get her and her children's belongings. Finding some of her respondent have an interest in, especially the conjugal home located in No. 14, Pitimini
things inside a housemaid's (Sheryl Jamola) bag in the maids' room, private respondent St., Capitolville Subdivision, Bacolod City, and other properties which are conjugal assets
filed a case for qualified theft against Jamola.27 or those in which the conjugal partnership of gains of Petitioner Rosalie J. Garcia and the
respondent have an interest in and listed in Annexes "I," "I-1," and "I-2," including
On August 23, 2006, the RTC issued a TPO,28 effective for thirty (30) days, which reads properties covered by TCT Nos. T-186325 and T-168814;
as follows:
9) Ordered that the Register of Deeds of Bacolod City and E.B. Magalona shall be served
Respondent (petitioner herein), Jesus Chua Garcia, is hereby: a copy of this TEMPORARY PROTECTION ORDER and are ordered not to allow the
transfer, sale, encumbrance or disposition of these above-cited properties to any
1) Prohibited from threatening to commit or committing, personally or through another, person, entity or corporation without the personal presence of petitioner Rosalie J.
acts of violence against the offended party; Garcia, who shall affix her signature in the presence of the Register of Deeds, due to the
41
fear of petitioner Rosalie that her signature will be forged in order to effect the of R.A. 9262 through a petition for prohibition seeking to annul the protection orders
encumbrance or sale of these properties to defraud her or the conjugal partnership of issued by the trial court constituted a collateral attack on said law.
gains.
His motion for reconsideration of the foregoing Decision having been denied in the
In its Order29 dated September 26, 2006, the trial court extended the aforequoted TPO Resolution37 dated August 14, 2007, petitioner is now before us alleging that –
for another ten (10) days, and gave petitioner a period of five (5) days within which to
show cause why the TPO should not be renewed, extended, or modified. Upon The Issues
petitioner's manifestation,30 however, that he has not received a copy of private
respondent's motion to modify/renew the TPO, the trial court directed in its Order31 I.
dated October 6, 2006 that petitioner be furnished a copy of said motion. Nonetheless,
an Order32 dated a day earlier, October 5, had already been issued renewing the TPO THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN DISMISSING THE PETITION ON THE THEORY THAT THE
dated August 23, 2006. The pertinent portion is quoted hereunder: ISSUE OF CONSTITUTIONALITY WAS NOT RAISED AT THE EARLIEST OPPORTUNITY AND
THAT, THE PETITION CONSTITUTES A COLLATERAL ATTACK ON THE VALIDITY OF THE
xxxx LAW.

x x x it appearing further that the hearing could not yet be finally terminated, the II.
Temporary Protection Order issued on August 23, 2006 is hereby renewed and extended
for thirty (30) days and continuously extended and renewed for thirty (30) days, after THE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED SERIOUS ERROR IN FAILING TO CONCLUDE THAT
each expiration, until further orders, and subject to such modifications as may be R.A. 9262 IS DISCRIMINATORY, UNJUST, AND VIOLATIVE OF THE EQUAL PROTECTION
ordered by the court. CLAUSE.

After having received a copy of the foregoing Order, petitioner no longer submitted the III.
required comment to private respondent's motion for renewal of the TPO arguing that it
would only be an "exercise in futility."33 THE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED GRAVE MISTAKE IN NOT FINDING THAT R.A. 9262
RUNS COUNTER TO THE DUE PROCESS CLAUSE OF THE CONSTITUTION.
Proceedings before the CA
IV.
During the pendency of Civil Case No. 06-797, petitioner filed before the Court of
Appeals (CA) a petition34 for prohibition (CA-G.R. CEB-SP. No. 01698), with prayer for THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN NOT FINDING THAT THE LAW DOES VIOLENCE TO THE
injunction and temporary restraining order, challenging (1) the constitutionality of R.A. POLICY OF THE STATE TO PROTECT THE FAMILY AS A BASIC SOCIAL INSTITUTION.
9262 for being violative of the due process and the equal protection clauses, and (2) the
validity of the modified TPO issued in the civil case for being "an unwanted product of V.
an invalid law."
THE COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY ERRED IN NOT DECLARING R.A. No. 9262 AS
On May 26, 2006, the appellate court issued a 60-day Temporary Restraining Order36 INVALID AND UNCONSTITUTIONAL BECAUSE IT ALLOWS AN UNDUE DELEGATION OF
(TRO) against the enforcement of the TPO, the amended TPOs and other orders JUDICIAL POWER TO THE BARANGAY OFFICIALS.38
pursuant thereto.
The Ruling of the Court
Subsequently, however, on January 24, 2007, the appellate court dismissed36 the
petition for failure of petitioner to raise the constitutional issue in his pleadings before Before delving into the arguments propounded by petitioner against the
the trial court in the civil case, which is clothed with jurisdiction to resolve the same. constitutionality of R.A. 9262, we shall first tackle the propriety of the dismissal by the
Secondly, the challenge to the validity appellate court of the petition for prohibition (CA-G.R. CEB-SP. No. 01698) filed by
petitioner.

42
As a general rule, the question of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest where such constitutionality happens to be in issue." Section 5, Article VIII of the 1987
opportunity so that if not raised in the pleadings, ordinarily it may not be raised in the Constitution reads in part as follows:
trial, and if not raised in the trial court, it will not be considered on appeal.39 Courts will
not anticipate a question of constitutional law in advance of the necessity of deciding SEC. 5. The Supreme Court shall have the following powers:
it.40
xxx
In defending his failure to attack the constitutionality of R.A. 9262 before the RTC of
Bacolod City, petitioner argues that the Family Court has limited authority and 2. Review, revise, reverse, modify, or affirm on appeal or certiorari, as the law or the
jurisdiction that is "inadequate to tackle the complex issue of constitutionality."41 Rules of Court may provide, final judgments and orders of lower courts in:

We disagree. a. All cases in which the constitutionality or validity of any treaty, international or
executive agreement, law, presidential decree, proclamation, order, instruction,
Family Courts have authority and jurisdiction to consider the constitutionality of a ordinance, or regulation is in question.
statute.
xxxx
At the outset, it must be stressed that Family Courts are special courts, of the same level
as Regional Trial Courts. Under R.A. 8369, otherwise known as the "Family Courts Act of Thus, contrary to the posturing of petitioner, the issue of constitutionality of R.A. 9262
1997," family courts have exclusive original jurisdiction to hear and decide cases of could have been raised at the earliest opportunity in his Opposition to the petition for
domestic violence against women and children.42 In accordance with said law, the protection order before the RTC of Bacolod City, which had jurisdiction to determine the
Supreme Court designated from among the branches of the Regional Trial Courts at same, subject to the review of this Court.
least one Family Court in each of several key cities identified.43 To achieve harmony
with the first mentioned law, Section 7 of R.A. 9262 now provides that Regional Trial Section 20 of A.M. No. 04-10-11-SC, the Rule on Violence Against Women and Their
Courts designated as Family Courts shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction over Children, lays down a new kind of procedure requiring the respondent to file an
cases of VAWC defined under the latter law, viz: opposition to the petition and not an answer.49 Thus:

SEC. 7. Venue. – The Regional Trial Court designated as a Family Court shall have original SEC. 20. Opposition to petition. – (a) The respondent may file an opposition to the
and exclusive jurisdiction over cases of violence against women and their children under petition which he himself shall verify. It must be accompanied by the affidavits of
this law. In the absence of such court in the place where the offense was committed, witnesses and shall show cause why a temporary or permanent protection order should
the case shall be filed in the Regional Trial Court where the crime or any of its elements not be issued.
was committed at the option of the complainant. (Emphasis supplied)
(b) Respondent shall not include in the opposition any counterclaim, cross-claim or
Inspite of its designation as a family court, the RTC of Bacolod City remains possessed of third-party complaint, but any cause of action which could be the subject thereof may
authority as a court of general original jurisdiction to pass upon all kinds of cases be litigated in a separate civil action. (Emphasis supplied)
whether civil, criminal, special proceedings, land registration, guardianship,
naturalization, admiralty or insolvency.44 It is settled that RTCs have jurisdiction to We cannot subscribe to the theory espoused by petitioner that, since a counterclaim,
resolve the constitutionality of a statute,45 "this authority being embraced in the cross-claim and third-party complaint are to be excluded from the opposition, the issue
general definition of the judicial power to determine what are the valid and binding laws of constitutionality cannot likewise be raised therein. A counterclaim is defined as any
by the criterion of their conformity to the fundamental law."46 The Constitution vests claim for money or other relief which a defending party may have against an opposing
the power of judicial review or the power to declare the constitutionality or validity of a party.50 A cross-claim, on the other hand, is any claim by one party against a co-party
law, treaty, international or executive agreement, presidential decree, order, arising out of the transaction or occurrence that is the subject matter either of the
instruction, ordinance, or regulation not only in this Court, but in all RTCs.47 We said in original action or of a counterclaim therein.51 Finally, a third-party complaint is a claim
J.M. Tuason and Co., Inc. v. CA48 that, "plainly the Constitution contemplates that the that a defending party may, with leave of court, file against a person not a party to the
inferior courts should have jurisdiction in cases involving constitutionality of any treaty action for contribution, indemnity, subrogation or any other relief, in respect of his
or law, for it speaks of appellate review of final judgments of inferior courts in cases opponent's claim.52 As pointed out by Justice Teresita J. Leonardo-De Castro, the
43
unconstitutionality of a statute is not a cause of action that could be the subject of a
counterclaim, cross-claim or a third-party complaint. Therefore, it is not prohibited from In view of all the foregoing, the appellate court correctly dismissed the petition for
being raised in the opposition in view of the familiar maxim expressio unius est exclusio prohibition with prayer for injunction and temporary restraining order (CA-G.R. CEB - SP.
alterius. No. 01698). Petitioner may have proceeded upon an honest belief that if he finds succor
in a superior court, he could be granted an injunctive relief. However, Section 22(j) of
Moreover, it cannot be denied that this issue affects the resolution of the case a quo A.M. No. 04-10-11-SC expressly disallows the filing of a petition for certiorari,
because the right of private respondent to a protection order is founded solely on the mandamus or prohibition against any interlocutory order issued by the trial court.
very statute the validity of which is being attacked53 by petitioner who has sustained, or Hence, the 60-day TRO issued by the appellate court in this case against the
will sustain, direct injury as a result of its enforcement. The alleged unconstitutionality enforcement of the TPO, the amended TPOs and other orders pursuant thereto was
of R.A. 9262 is, for all intents and purposes, a valid cause for the non-issuance of a improper, and it effectively hindered the case from taking its normal course in an
protection order. expeditious and summary manner.

That the proceedings in Civil Case No. 06-797 are summary in nature should not have As the rules stand, a review of the case by appeal or certiorari before judgment is
deterred petitioner from raising the same in his Opposition. The question relative to the prohibited. Moreover, if the appeal of a judgment granting permanent protection shall
constitutionality of a statute is one of law which does not need to be supported by not stay its enforcement,55 with more reason that a TPO, which is valid only for thirty
evidence.54 Be that as it may, Section 25 of A.M. No. 04-10-11-SC nonetheless allows (30) days at a time,56 should not be enjoined.
the conduct of a hearing to determine legal issues, among others, viz:
The mere fact that a statute is alleged to be unconstitutional or invalid, does not of itself
SEC. 25. Order for further hearing. - In case the court determines the need for further entitle a litigant to have the same enjoined.57 In Younger v. Harris, Jr.,58 the Supreme
hearing, it may issue an order containing the following: Court of the United States declared, thus:

(a) Facts undisputed and admitted; Federal injunctions against state criminal statutes, either in their entirety or with
respect to their separate and distinct prohibitions, are not to be granted as a matter of
(b) Factual and legal issues to be resolved; course, even if such statutes are unconstitutional. No citizen or member of the
community is immune from prosecution, in good faith, for his alleged criminal acts. The
(c) Evidence, including objects and documents that have been marked and will be imminence of such a prosecution even though alleged to be unauthorized and, hence,
presented; unlawful is not alone ground for relief in equity which exerts its extraordinary powers
only to prevent irreparable injury to the plaintiff who seeks its aid. (Citations omitted)
(d) Names of witnesses who will be ordered to present their direct testimonies in the
form of affidavits; and The sole objective of injunctions is to preserve the status quo until the trial court hears
fully the merits of the case. It bears stressing, however, that protection orders are
(e) Schedule of the presentation of evidence by both parties which shall be done in one granted ex parte so as to protect women and their children from acts of violence. To
day, to the extent possible, within the 30-day period of the effectivity of the temporary issue an injunction against such orders will defeat the very purpose of the law against
protection order issued. (Emphasis supplied) VAWC.

To obviate potential dangers that may arise concomitant to the conduct of a hearing Notwithstanding all these procedural flaws, we shall not shirk from our obligation to
when necessary, Section 26 (b) of A.M. No. 04-10-11-SC provides that if a temporary determine novel issues, or issues of first impression, with far-reaching implications. We
protection order issued is due to expire, the trial court may extend or renew the said have, time and again, discharged our solemn duty as final arbiter of constitutional
order for a period of thirty (30) days each time until final judgment is rendered. It may issues, and with more reason now, in view of private respondent's plea in her
likewise modify the extended or renewed temporary protection order as may be Comment59 to the instant Petition that we should put the challenge to the
necessary to meet the needs of the parties. With the private respondent given ample constitutionality of R.A. 9262 to rest. And so we shall.
protection, petitioner could proceed to litigate the constitutional issues, without
necessarily running afoul of the very purpose for the adoption of the rules on summary Intent of Congress in enacting R.A. 9262.
procedure.
44
Petitioner claims that since R.A. 9262 is intended to prevent and criminalize spousal and
child abuse, which could very well be committed by either the husband or the wife, Senator Estrada. Yes, Mr. President.
gender alone is not enough basis to deprive the husband/father of the remedies under
the law.60 As a matter of fact, that was brought up by Senator Pangilinan during the interpellation
period.
A perusal of the deliberations of Congress on Senate Bill No. 2723,61 which became R.A.
9262, reveals that while the sponsor, Senator Luisa Pimentel-Ejercito (better known as I think Senator Sotto has something to say to that.
Senator Loi Estrada), had originally proposed what she called a "synthesized
measure"62 – an amalgamation of two measures, namely, the "Anti-Domestic Violence Senator Legarda. Mr. President, the reason I am in support of the measure. Do not get
Act" and the "Anti-Abuse of Women in Intimate Relationships Act"63 – providing me wrong. However, I believe that there is a need to protect women's rights especially
protection to "all family members, leaving no one in isolation" but at the same time in the domestic environment.
giving special attention to women as the "usual victims" of violence and abuse,64
nonetheless, it was eventually agreed that men be denied protection under the same As I said earlier, there are nameless, countless, voiceless women who have not had the
measure. We quote pertinent portions of the deliberations: opportunity to file a case against their spouses, their live-in partners after years, if not
decade, of battery and abuse. If we broaden the scope to include even the men,
Wednesday, December 10, 2003 assuming they can at all be abused by the women or their spouses, then it would not
equalize the already difficult situation for women, Mr. President.
Senator Pangilinan. I just wanted to place this on record, Mr. President. Some women's
groups have expressed concerns and relayed these concerns to me that if we are to I think that the sponsor, based on our earlier conversations, concurs with this position. I
include domestic violence apart from against women as well as other members of the am sure that the men in this Chamber who love their women in their lives so dearly will
household, including children or the husband, they fear that this would weaken the agree with this representation. Whether we like it or not, it is an unequal world.
efforts to address domestic violence of which the main victims or the bulk of the victims Whether we like it or not, no matter how empowered the women are, we are not given
really are the wives, the spouses or the female partners in a relationship. We would like equal opportunities especially in the domestic environment where the macho Filipino
to place that on record. How does the good Senator respond to this kind of observation? man would always feel that he is stronger, more superior to the Filipino woman.

Senator Estrada. Yes, Mr. President, there is this group of women who call themselves xxxx
"WIIR" Women in Intimate Relationship. They do not want to include men in this
domestic violence. But plenty of men are also being abused by women. I am playing safe The President Pro Tempore. What does the sponsor say?
so I placed here members of the family, prescribing penalties therefor and providing
protective measures for victims. This includes the men, children, live-in, common-law Senator Estrada. Mr. President, before accepting this, the committee came up with this
wives, and those related with the family.65 bill because the family members have been included in this proposed measure since the
other members of the family other than women are also possible victims of violence.
xxx While women are most likely the intended victims, one reason incidentally why the
measure focuses on women, the fact remains that in some relatively few cases, men
Wednesday, January 14, 2004 also stand to be victimized and that children are almost always the helpless victims of
violence. I am worried that there may not be enough protection extended to other
xxxx family members particularly children who are excluded. Although Republic Act No.
7610, for instance, more or less, addresses the special needs of abused children. The
The President Pro Tempore. x x x same law is inadequate. Protection orders for one are not available in said law.

Also, may the Chair remind the group that there was the discussion whether to limit this I am aware that some groups are apprehensive about granting the same protection to
to women and not to families which was the issue of the AWIR group. The men, fearing that they may use this law to justify their abusive behavior against women.
understanding that I have is that we would be having a broader scope rather than just However, we should also recognize that there are established procedures and standards
women, if I remember correctly, Madam sponsor.
45
in our courts which give credence to evidentiary support and cannot just arbitrarily and Senator Sotto. Yes, Mr. President.
whimsically entertain baseless complaints.
The President Pro Tempore. Yes, please proceed.
Mr. President, this measure is intended to harmonize family relations and to protect the
family as the basic social institution. Though I recognize the unequal power relations Senator Sotto. Mr. President, I am inclined to believe the rationale used by the
between men and women in our society, I believe we have an obligation to uphold distinguished proponent of the amendment. As a matter of fact, I tend to agree. Kung
inherent rights and dignity of both husband and wife and their immediate family may maaabuso, mas malamang iyong babae kaysa sa lalake. At saka iyong mga lalake,
members, particularly children. puwede na talagang magulpi iyan. Okey lang iyan. But I cannot agree that we remove
the children from this particular measure.
While I prefer to focus mainly on women, I was compelled to include other family
members as a critical input arrived at after a series of consultations/meetings with So, if I may propose an amendment –
various NGOs, experts, sports groups and other affected sectors, Mr. President.
The President Pro Tempore. To the amendment.
Senator Sotto. Mr. President.
Senator Sotto. – more than the women, the children are very much abused. As a matter
The President Pro Tempore. Yes, with the permission of the other senators. of fact, it is not limited to minors. The abuse is not limited to seven, six, 5-year-old
children. I have seen 14, 15-year-old children being abused by their fathers, even by
Senator Sotto. Yes, with the permission of the two ladies on the Floor. their mothers. And it breaks my heart to find out about these things.

The President Pro Tempore. Yes, Sen. Vicente C. Sotto III is recognized. Because of the inadequate existing law on abuse of children, this particular measure will
update that. It will enhance and hopefully prevent the abuse of children and not only
Senator Sotto. I presume that the effect of the proposed amendment of Senator women.
Legarda would be removing the "men and children" in this particular bill and focus
specifically on women alone. That will be the net effect of that proposed amendment. SOTTO-LEGARDA AMENDMENTS
Hearing the rationale mentioned by the distinguished sponsor, Sen. Luisa "Loi" Ejercito
Estrada, I am not sure now whether she is inclined to accept the proposed amendment Therefore, may I propose an amendment that, yes, we remove the aspect of the men in
of Senator Legarda. the bill but not the children.

I am willing to wait whether she is accepting this or not because if she is going to accept Senator Legarda. I agree, Mr. President, with the Minority Leader.
this, I will propose an amendment to the amendment rather than object to the
amendment, Mr. President. The President Pro Tempore. Effectively then, it will be women AND CHILDREN.

xxxx Senator Sotto. Yes, Mr. President.

Senator Estrada. The amendment is accepted, Mr. President. Senator Estrada. It is accepted, Mr. President.

The President Pro Tempore. Is there any objection? The President Pro Tempore. Is there any objection? [Silence] There being none, the
amendment, as amended, is approved.66
xxxx
It is settled that courts are not concerned with the wisdom, justice, policy, or
Senator Sotto. x x x May I propose an amendment to the amendment. expediency of a statute.67 Hence, we dare not venture into the real motivations and
wisdom of the members of Congress in limiting the protection against violence and
The President Pro Tempore. Before we act on the amendment? abuse under R.A. 9262 to women and children only. No proper challenge on said
grounds may be entertained in this proceeding. Congress has made its choice and it is
46
not our prerogative to supplant this judgment. The choice may be perceived as I. R.A. 9262 rests on substantial distinctions.
erroneous but even then, the remedy against it is to seek its amendment or repeal by
the legislative. By the principle of separation of powers, it is the legislative that The unequal power relationship between women and men; the fact that women are
determines the necessity, adequacy, wisdom and expediency of any law.68 We only more likely than men to be victims of violence; and the widespread gender bias and
step in when there is a violation of the Constitution. However, none was sufficiently prejudice against women all make for real differences justifying the classification under
shown in this case. the law. As Justice McIntyre succinctly states, "the accommodation of differences ... is
the essence of true equality."70
R.A. 9262 does not violate the guaranty of equal protection of the laws.
A. Unequal power relationship between men and women
Equal protection simply requires that all persons or things similarly situated should be
treated alike, both as to rights conferred and responsibilities imposed. The oft-repeated According to the Philippine Commission on Women (the National Machinery for Gender
disquisition in the early case of Victoriano v. Elizalde Rope Workers' Union69 is Equality and Women's Empowerment), violence against women (VAW) is deemed to be
instructive: closely linked with the unequal power relationship between women and men otherwise
known as "gender-based violence". Societal norms and traditions dictate people to think
The guaranty of equal protection of the laws is not a guaranty of equality in the men are the leaders, pursuers, providers, and take on dominant roles in society while
application of the laws upon all citizens of the state. It is not, therefore, a requirement, women are nurturers, men's companions and supporters, and take on subordinate roles
in order to avoid the constitutional prohibition against inequality, that every man, in society. This perception leads to men gaining more power over women. With power
woman and child should be affected alike by a statute. Equality of operation of statutes comes the need to control to retain that power. And VAW is a form of men's expression
does not mean indiscriminate operation on persons merely as such, but on persons of controlling women to retain power.71
according to the circumstances surrounding them. It guarantees equality, not identity of
rights. The Constitution does not require that things which are different in fact be The United Nations, which has long recognized VAW as a human rights issue, passed its
treated in law as though they were the same. The equal protection clause does not Resolution 48/104 on the Declaration on Elimination of Violence Against Women on
forbid discrimination as to things that are different. It does not prohibit legislation which December 20, 1993 stating that "violence against women is a manifestation of
is limited either in the object to which it is directed or by the territory within which it is historically unequal power relations between men and women, which have led to
to operate. domination over and discrimination against women by men and to the prevention of the
full advancement of women, and that violence against women is one of the crucial social
The equal protection of the laws clause of the Constitution allows classification. mechanisms by which women are forced into subordinate positions, compared with
Classification in law, as in the other departments of knowledge or practice, is the men."72
grouping of things in speculation or practice because they agree with one another in
certain particulars. A law is not invalid because of simple inequality. The very idea of Then Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno traced the historical and social context of gender-
classification is that of inequality, so that it goes without saying that the mere fact of based violence and developments in advocacies to eradicate VAW, in his remarks
inequality in no manner determines the matter of constitutionality. All that is required delivered during the Joint Launching of R.A. 9262 and its Implementing Rules last
of a valid classification is that it be reasonable, which means that the classification October 27, 2004, the pertinent portions of which are quoted hereunder:
should be based on substantial distinctions which make for real differences; that it must
be germane to the purpose of the law; that it must not be limited to existing conditions History reveals that most societies sanctioned the use of violence against women. The
only; and that it must apply equally to each member of the class. This Court has held patriarch of a family was accorded the right to use force on members of the family
that the standard is satisfied if the classification or distinction is based on a reasonable under his control. I quote the early studies:
foundation or rational basis and is not palpably arbitrary. (Emphasis supplied)
Traditions subordinating women have a long history rooted in patriarchy – the
Measured against the foregoing jurisprudential yardstick, we find that R.A. 9262 is institutional rule of men. Women were seen in virtually all societies to be naturally
based on a valid classification as shall hereinafter be discussed and, as such, did not inferior both physically and intellectually. In ancient Western societies, women whether
violate the equal protection clause by favoring women over men as victims of violence slave, concubine or wife, were under the authority of men. In law, they were treated as
and abuse to whom the State extends its protection. property.

47
The Roman concept of patria potestas allowed the husband to beat, or even kill, his wife and women who are homeless or in institutions or hospitals when the survey is
if she endangered his property right over her. Judaism, Christianity and other religions conducted. According to the AMA, "researchers on family violence agree that the true
oriented towards the patriarchal family strengthened the male dominated structure of incidence of partner violence is probably double the above estimates; or four million
society. severely assaulted women per year."

English feudal law reinforced the tradition of male control over women. Even the Studies on prevalence suggest that from one-fifth to one-third of all women will be
eminent Blackstone has been quoted in his commentaries as saying husband and wife physically assaulted by a partner or ex-partner during their lifetime... Thus on an
were one and that one was the husband. However, in the late 1500s and through the average day in the United States, nearly 11,000 women are severely assaulted by their
entire 1600s, English common law began to limit the right of husbands to chastise their male partners. Many of these incidents involve sexual assault... In families where wife
wives. Thus, common law developed the rule of thumb, which allowed husbands to beat beating takes place, moreover, child abuse is often present as well.
their wives with a rod or stick no thicker than their thumb.
Other studies fill in the rest of this troubling picture. Physical violence is only the most
In the later part of the 19th century, legal recognition of these rights to chastise wives or visible form of abuse. Psychological abuse, particularly forced social and economic
inflict corporeal punishment ceased. Even then, the preservation of the family was given isolation of women, is also common.
more importance than preventing violence to women.
Many victims of domestic violence remain with their abusers, perhaps because they
The metamorphosis of the law on violence in the United States followed that of the perceive no superior alternative...Many abused women who find temporary refuge in
English common law. In 1871, the Supreme Court of Alabama became the first appellate shelters return to their husbands, in large part because they have no other source of
court to strike down the common law right of a husband to beat his wife: income... Returning to one's abuser can be dangerous. Recent Federal Bureau of
Investigation statistics disclose that 8.8 percent of all homicide victims in the United
The privilege, ancient though it may be, to beat one's wife with a stick, to pull her hair, States are killed by their spouses...Thirty percent of female homicide victims are killed
choke her, spit in her face or kick her about the floor, or to inflict upon her like by their male partners.
indignities, is not now acknowledged by our law... In person, the wife is entitled to the
same protection of the law that the husband can invoke for himself. Finally in 1994, the United States Congress enacted the Violence Against Women Act.

As time marched on, the women's advocacy movement became more organized. The In the International front, the women's struggle for equality was no less successful. The
temperance leagues initiated it. These leagues had a simple focus. They considered the United States Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirmed the
evils of alcoholism as the root cause of wife abuse. Hence, they demonstrated and equality of all human beings. In 1979, the UN General Assembly adopted the landmark
picketed saloons, bars and their husbands' other watering holes. Soon, however, their Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
crusade was joined by suffragette movements, expanding the liberation movement's In 1993, the UN General Assembly also adopted the Declaration on the Elimination of
agenda. They fought for women's right to vote, to own property, and more. Since then, Violence Against Women. World conferences on the role and rights of women have
the feminist movement was on the roll. been regularly held in Mexico City, Copenhagen, Nairobi and Beijing. The UN itself
established a Commission on the Status of Women.
The feminist movement exposed the private invisibility of the domestic violence to the
public gaze. They succeeded in transforming the issue into an important public concern. The Philippines has been in cadence with the half – and full – steps of all these women's
No less than the United States Supreme Court, in 1992 case Planned Parenthood v. movements. No less than Section 14, Article II of our 1987 Constitution mandates the
Casey, noted: State to recognize the role of women in nation building and to ensure the fundamental
equality before the law of women and men. Our Senate has ratified the CEDAW as well
In an average 12-month period in this country, approximately two million women are as the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its two protocols. To cap it all,
the victims of severe assaults by their male partners. In a 1985 survey, women reported Congress, on March 8, 2004, enacted Rep. Act No. 9262, entitled "An Act Defining
that nearly one of every eight husbands had assaulted their wives during the past year. Violence Against Women and Their Children, Providing for Protective Measures for
The [American Medical Association] views these figures as "marked underestimates," Victims, Prescribing Penalties therefor and for other Purposes." (Citations omitted)
because the nature of these incidents discourages women from reporting them, and
because surveys typically exclude the very poor, those who do not speak English well, B. Women are the "usual" and "most likely"
48
*2011 report covers only from January to August
victims of violence.
Source: Philippine National Police – Women and Children Protection Center (WCPC)
At the time of the presentation of Senate Bill No. 2723, official statistics on violence
against women and children show that – On the other hand, no reliable estimates may be obtained on domestic abuse and
violence against men in the Philippines because incidents thereof are relatively low and,
x x x physical injuries had the highest number of cases at 5,058 in 2002 representing perhaps, because many men will not even attempt to report the situation. In the United
55.63% of total cases reported (9,903). And for the first semester of 2003, there were Kingdom, 32% of women who had ever experienced domestic violence did so four or
2,381 reported cases out of 4,354 cases which represent 54.31%. xxx (T)he total number five (or more) times, compared with 11% of the smaller number of men who had ever
of women in especially difficult circumstances served by the Department of Social experienced domestic violence; and women constituted 89% of all those who had
Welfare and Development (DSWD) for the year 2002, there are 1,417 physically experienced 4 or more incidents of domestic violence.75 Statistics in Canada show that
abused/maltreated cases out of the total of 5,608 cases. xxx (T)here are 1,091 DSWD spousal violence by a woman against a man is less likely to cause injury than the other
cases out of a total number of 3,471 cases for the first semester of 2003. Female way around (18 percent versus 44 percent). Men, who experience violence from their
violence comprised more than 90% of all forms of abuse and violence and more than spouses are much less likely to live in fear of violence at the hands of their spouses, and
90% of these reported cases were committed by the women's intimate partners such as much less likely to experience sexual assault. In fact, many cases of physical violence by
their husbands and live-in partners.73 a woman against a spouse are in self-defense or the result of many years of physical or
emotional abuse.76
Recently, the Philippine Commission on Women presented comparative statistics on
violence against women across an eight-year period from 2004 to August of 2011 with While there are, indeed, relatively few cases of violence and abuse perpetrated against
violations under R.A. 9262 ranking first among the different VAW categories since its men in the Philippines, the same cannot render R.A. 9262 invalid.
implementation in 2004,74 thus:
In a 1960 case involving the violation of a city ordinance requiring drivers of animal-
Table 1. Annual Comparative Statistics on Violence Against Women, 2004 - 2011* drawn vehicles to pick up, gather and deposit in receptacles the manure emitted or
discharged by their vehicle-drawing animals in any public highways, streets, plazas,
Reported parks or alleys, said ordinance was challenged as violative of the guaranty of equal
Cases 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 protection of laws as its application is limited to owners and drivers of vehicle-drawing
Rape 997 927 659 837 811 770 1,042 832 animals and not to those animals, although not utilized, but similarly pass through the
Incestuous Rape 38 46 26 22 28 27 19 23 same streets.
Attempted Rape 194 148 185 147 204 167 268 201
Acts of The ordinance was upheld as a valid classification for the reason that, while there may
Lasciviousness 580 536 382 358 445 485 745 625 be non-vehicle-drawing animals that also traverse the city roads, "but their number
Physical must be negligible and their appearance therein merely occasional, compared to the rig-
Injuries 3,553 2,335 1,892 1,505 1,307 1,498 2,018 1,588 drawing ones, as not to constitute a menace to the health of the community."77 The
Sexual mere fact that the legislative classification may result in actual inequality is not violative
Harassment 53 37 38 46 18 54 83 63 of the right to equal protection, for every classification of persons or things for
RA 9262 218 924 1,269 2,387 3,599 5,285 9,974 9,021 regulation by law produces inequality in some degree, but the law is not thereby
Threats 319 223 199 182 220 208 374 213 rendered invalid.78
Seduction 62 19 29 30 19 19 25 15
Concubinage 121 102 93 109 109 99 158 128 C. Gender bias and prejudices
RA 9208 17 11 16 24 34 152 190 62
Abduction From the initial report to the police through prosecution, trial, and sentencing, crimes
/Kidnapping 29 16 34 23 28 18 25 22 against women are often treated differently and less seriously than other crimes. This
Unjust Vexation 90 50 59 59 83 703 183 155 was argued by then United States Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr., now Vice President, chief
Total 6,271 5,374 4,881 5,729 6,905 9,485 15,104 12,948 sponsor of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), in defending the civil rights
49
remedy as a valid exercise of the U.S. Congress' authority under the Commerce and The distinction between men and women is germane to the purpose of R.A. 9262, which
Equal Protection Clauses. He stressed that the widespread gender bias in the U.S. has is to address violence committed against women and children, spelled out in its
institutionalized historic prejudices against victims of rape or domestic violence, Declaration of Policy, as follows:
subjecting them to "double victimization" – first at the hands of the offender and then
of the legal system.79 SEC. 2. Declaration of Policy. – It is hereby declared that the State values the dignity of
women and children and guarantees full respect for human rights. The State also
Our own Senator Loi Estrada lamented in her Sponsorship Speech for Senate Bill No. recognizes the need to protect the family and its members particularly women and
2723 that "(w)henever violence occurs in the family, the police treat it as a private children, from violence and threats to their personal safety and security.
matter and advise the parties to settle the conflict themselves. Once the complainant
brings the case to the prosecutor, the latter is hesitant to file the complaint for fear that Towards this end, the State shall exert efforts to address violence committed against
it might later be withdrawn. This lack of response or reluctance to be involved by the women and children in keeping with the fundamental freedoms guaranteed under the
police and prosecution reinforces the escalating, recurring and often serious nature of Constitution and the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the
domestic violence."80 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women,
Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international human rights instruments
Sadly, our own courts, as well, have exhibited prejudices and biases against our women. of which the Philippines is a party.

In a recent case resolved on March 9, 2011, we fined RTC Judge Venancio J. Amila for In 1979, the U.N. General Assembly adopted the CEDAW, which the Philippines ratified
Conduct Unbecoming of a Judge. He used derogatory and irreverent language in on August 5, 1981. Subsequently, the Optional Protocol to the CEDAW was also ratified
reference to the complainant in a petition for TPO and PPO under R.A. 9262, calling her by the Philippines on October 6, 2003.86 This Convention mandates that State parties
as "only a live-in partner" and presenting her as an "opportunist" and a "mistress" in an shall accord to women equality with men before the law87 and shall take all appropriate
"illegitimate relationship." Judge Amila even called her a "prostitute," and accused her measures to eliminate discrimination against women in all matters relating to marriage
of being motivated by "insatiable greed" and of absconding with the contested and family relations on the basis of equality of men and women.88 The Philippines
property.81 Such remarks betrayed Judge Amila's prejudices and lack of gender likewise ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its two protocols.89 It is,
sensitivity. thus, bound by said Conventions and their respective protocols.

The enactment of R.A. 9262 aims to address the discrimination brought about by biases III. The classification is not limited to existing
and prejudices against women. As emphasized by the CEDAW Committee on the
Elimination of Discrimination against Women, addressing or correcting discrimination conditions only, and apply equally to all members
through specific measures focused on women does not discriminate against men.82
Petitioner's contention,83 therefore, that R.A. 9262 is discriminatory and that it is an Moreover, the application of R.A. 9262 is not limited to the existing conditions when it
"anti-male," "husband-bashing," and "hate-men" law deserves scant consideration. As a was promulgated, but to future conditions as well, for as long as the safety and security
State Party to the CEDAW, the Philippines bound itself to take all appropriate measures of women and their children are threatened by violence and abuse.
"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 R.A. 9262 applies equally to all women and children who suffer violence and abuse.
are based on the idea of the inferiority or the superiority of either of the sexes or on Section 3 thereof defines VAWC as:
stereotyped roles for men and women."84 Justice Puno correctly pointed out that "(t)he
paradigm shift changing the character of domestic violence from a private affair to a x x x any act or a series of acts committed by any person against a woman who is his
public offense will require the development of a distinct mindset on the part of the wife, former wife, or against a woman with whom the person has or had a sexual or
police, the prosecution and the judges."85 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
II. The classification is germane to the purpose of the law. 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. It includes, but is not limited to, the following acts:

50
A. "Physical Violence" refers to acts that include bodily or physical harm; acts described here are also found in the U.N. Declaration on the Elimination of Violence
Against Women.90 Hence, the argument advanced by petitioner that the definition of
B. "Sexual violence" refers to an act which is sexual in nature, committed against a what constitutes abuse removes the difference between violent action and simple
woman or her child. It includes, but is not limited to: marital tiffs is tenuous.

a) rape, sexual harassment, acts of lasciviousness, treating a woman or her child as a sex There is nothing in the definition of VAWC that is vague and ambiguous that will confuse
object, making demeaning and sexually suggestive remarks, physically attacking the petitioner in his defense. The acts enumerated above are easily understood and provide
sexual parts of the victim's body, forcing her/him to watch obscene publications and adequate contrast between the innocent and the prohibited acts. They are worded with
indecent shows or forcing the woman or her child to do indecent acts and/or make films sufficient definiteness that persons of ordinary intelligence can understand what
thereof, forcing the wife and mistress/lover to live in the conjugal home or sleep conduct is prohibited, and need not guess at its meaning nor differ in its application.91
together in the same room with the abuser; Yet, petitioner insists92 that phrases like "depriving or threatening to deprive the
woman or her child of a legal right," "solely controlling the conjugal or common money
b) acts causing or attempting to cause the victim to engage in any sexual activity by or properties," "marital infidelity," and "causing mental or emotional anguish" are so
force, threat of force, physical or other harm or threat of physical or other harm or vague that they make every quarrel a case of spousal abuse. However, we have stressed
coercion; that the "vagueness" doctrine merely requires a reasonable degree of certainty for the
statute to be upheld – not absolute precision or mathematical exactitude, as petitioner
c) Prostituting the woman or child. seems to suggest. Flexibility, rather than meticulous specificity, is permissible as long as
the metes and bounds of the statute are clearly delineated. An act will not be held
C. "Psychological violence" refers to acts or omissions causing or likely to cause mental invalid merely because it might have been more explicit in its wordings or detailed in its
or emotional suffering of the victim such as but not limited to intimidation, harassment, provisions.93
stalking, damage to property, public ridicule or humiliation, repeated verbal abuse and
marital infidelity. It includes causing or allowing the victim to witness the physical, There is likewise no merit to the contention that R.A. 9262 singles out the husband or
sexual or psychological abuse of a member of the family to which the victim belongs, or father as the culprit. As defined above, VAWC may likewise be committed "against a
to witness pornography in any form or to witness abusive injury to pets or to unlawful woman with whom the person has or had a sexual or dating relationship." Clearly, the
or unwanted deprivation of the right to custody and/or visitation of common children. use of the gender-neutral word "person" who has or had a sexual or dating relationship
with the woman encompasses even lesbian relationships. Moreover, while the law
D. "Economic abuse" refers to acts that make or attempt to make a woman financially provides that the offender be related or connected to the victim by marriage, former
dependent which includes, but is not limited to the following: marriage, or a sexual or dating relationship, it does not preclude the application of the
principle of conspiracy under the Revised Penal Code (RPC). Thus, in the case of Go-Tan
1. withdrawal of financial support or preventing the victim from engaging in any v. Spouses Tan,94 the parents-in-law of Sharica Mari L. Go-Tan, the victim, were held to
legitimate profession, occupation, business or activity, except in cases wherein the other be proper respondents in the case filed by the latter upon the allegation that they and
spouse/partner objects on valid, serious and moral grounds as defined in Article 73 of their son (Go-Tan's husband) had community of design and purpose in tormenting her
the Family Code; by giving her insufficient financial support; harassing and pressuring her to be ejected
from the family home; and in repeatedly abusing her verbally, emotionally, mentally and
2. deprivation or threat of deprivation of financial resources and the right to the use and physically.
enjoyment of the conjugal, community or property owned in common;
R.A. 9262 is not violative of the
3. destroying household property; due process clause of the Constitution.

4. controlling the victims' own money or properties or solely controlling the conjugal Petitioner bewails the disregard of R.A. 9262, specifically in the issuance of POs, of all
money or properties. protections afforded by the due process clause of the Constitution. Says he: "On the
basis of unsubstantiated allegations, and practically no opportunity to respond, the
It should be stressed that the acts enumerated in the aforequoted provision are husband is stripped of family, property, guns, money, children, job, future employment
attributable to research that has exposed the dimensions and dynamics of battery. The and reputation, all in a matter of seconds, without an inkling of what happened."95
51
sheriffs. The TPOs are initially effective for thirty (30) days from service on the
A protection order is an order issued to prevent further acts of violence against women respondent.104
and their children, their family or household members, and to grant other necessary
reliefs. Its purpose is to safeguard the offended parties from further harm, minimize any Where no TPO is issued ex parte, the court will nonetheless order the immediate
disruption in their daily life and facilitate the opportunity and ability to regain control of issuance and service of the notice upon the respondent requiring him to file an
their life.96 opposition to the petition within five (5) days from service. The date of the preliminary
conference and hearing on the merits shall likewise be indicated on the notice.105
"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 The opposition to the petition which the respondent himself shall verify, must be
to the victim. This serves to safeguard the victim from greater risk of violence; to accord accompanied by the affidavits of witnesses and shall show cause why a temporary or
the victim and any designated family or household member safety in the family permanent protection order should not be issued.106
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 It is clear from the foregoing rules that the respondent of a petition for protection order
custody of minor children to protect the children from violence, to prevent their should be apprised of the charges imputed to him and afforded an opportunity to
abduction by the perpetrator and to ensure their financial support."97 present his side. Thus, the fear of petitioner of being "stripped of family, property, guns,
money, children, job, future employment and reputation, all in a matter of seconds,
The rules require that petitions for protection order be in writing, signed and verified by without an inkling of what happened" is a mere product of an overactive imagination.
the petitioner98 thereby undertaking full responsibility, criminal or civil, for every The essence of due process is to be found in the reasonable opportunity to be heard
allegation therein. Since "time is of the essence in cases of VAWC if further violence is to and submit any evidence one may have in support of one's defense. "To be heard" does
be prevented,"99 the court is authorized to issue ex parte a TPO after raffle but before not only mean verbal arguments in court; one may be heard also through pleadings.
notice and hearing when the life, limb or property of the victim is in jeopardy and there Where opportunity to be heard, either through oral arguments or pleadings, is
is reasonable ground to believe that the order is necessary to protect the victim from accorded, there is no denial of procedural due process.107
the immediate and imminent danger of VAWC or to prevent such violence, which is
about to recur.100 It should be recalled that petitioner filed on April 26, 2006 an Opposition to the Urgent
Ex-Parte Motion for Renewal of the TPO that was granted only two days earlier on April
There need not be any fear that the judge may have no rational basis to issue an ex 24, 2006. Likewise, on May 23, 2006, petitioner filed a motion for the modification of
parte order. The victim is required not only to verify the allegations in the petition, but the TPO to allow him visitation rights to his children. Still, the trial court in its Order
also to attach her witnesses' affidavits to the petition.101 dated September 26, 2006, gave him five days (5) within which to show cause why the
TPO should not be renewed or extended. Yet, he chose not to file the required comment
The grant of a TPO ex parte cannot, therefore, be challenged as violative of the right to arguing that it would just be an "exercise in futility," conveniently forgetting that the
due process. Just like a writ of preliminary attachment which is issued without notice renewal of the questioned TPO was only for a limited period (30 days) each time, and
and hearing because the time in which the hearing will take could be enough to enable that he could prevent the continued renewal of said order if he can show sufficient
the defendant to abscond or dispose of his property,102 in the same way, the victim of cause therefor. Having failed to do so, petitioner may not now be heard to complain
VAWC may already have suffered harrowing experiences in the hands of her tormentor, that he was denied due process of law.
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 Petitioner next laments that the removal and exclusion of the respondent in the VAWC
procedural due process must yield to the necessities of protecting vital public case from the residence of the victim, regardless of ownership of the residence, is
interests,103 among which is protection of women and children from violence and virtually a "blank check" issued to the wife to claim any property as her conjugal
threats to their personal safety and security. home.108

It should be pointed out that when the TPO is issued ex parte, the court shall likewise The wording of the pertinent rule, however, does not by any stretch of the imagination
order that notice be immediately given to the respondent directing him to file an suggest that this is so. It states:
opposition within five (5) days from service. Moreover, the court shall order that notice,
copies of the petition and TPO be served immediately on the respondent by the court
52
SEC. 11. Reliefs available to the offended party. -- The protection order shall include any,
some or all of the following reliefs: Petitioner contends that protection orders involve the exercise of judicial power which,
under the Constitution, is placed upon the "Supreme Court and such other lower courts
xxxx as may be established by law" and, thus, protests the delegation of power to barangay
officials to issue protection orders.111 The pertinent provision reads, as follows:
(c) Removing and excluding the respondent from the residence of the offended party,
regardless of ownership of the residence, either temporarily for the purpose of SEC. 14. Barangay Protection Orders (BPOs); Who May Issue and How. – Barangay
protecting the offended party, or permanently where no property rights are violated. If Protection Orders (BPOs) refer to the protection order issued by the Punong Barangay
the respondent must remove personal effects from the residence, the court shall direct ordering the perpetrator to desist from committing acts under Section 5 (a) and (b) of
a law enforcement agent to accompany the respondent to the residence, remain there this Act.1âwphi1 A Punong Barangay who receives applications for a BPO shall issue the
until the respondent has gathered his things and escort him from the residence; 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
xxxx 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
Indubitably, petitioner may be removed and excluded from private respondent's by an attestation by the Barangay Kagawad that the Punong Barangay was unavailable
residence, regardless of ownership, only temporarily for the purpose of protecting the at the time of the issuance of the BPO. BPOs shall be effective for fifteen (15) days.
latter. Such removal and exclusion may be permanent only where no property rights are Immediately after the issuance of an ex parte BPO, the Punong Barangay or Barangay
violated. How then can the private respondent just claim any property and appropriate Kagawad shall personally serve a copy of the same on the respondent, or direct any
it for herself, as petitioner seems to suggest? barangay official to effect its personal service.

The non-referral of a VAWC case The parties may be accompanied by a non-lawyer advocate in any proceeding before
to a mediator is justified. the Punong Barangay.

Petitioner argues that "by criminalizing run-of-the-mill arguments, instead of Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies
encouraging mediation and counseling, the law has done violence to the avowed policy involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine
of the State to "protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess
institution."109 of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government.112 On
the other hand, executive power "is generally defined as the power to enforce and
Under Section 23(c) of A.M. No. 04-10-11-SC, the court shall not refer the case or any administer the laws. It is the power of carrying the laws into practical operation and
issue thereof to a mediator. The reason behind this provision is well-explained by the enforcing their due observance."113
Commentary on Section 311 of the Model Code on Domestic and Family Violence as
follows:110 As clearly delimited by the aforequoted provision, the BPO issued by the Punong
Barangay or, in his unavailability, by any available Barangay Kagawad, merely orders the
This section prohibits a court from ordering or referring parties to mediation in a perpetrator to desist from (a) causing physical harm to the woman or her child; and (2)
proceeding for an order for protection. Mediation is a process by which parties in threatening to cause the woman or her child physical harm. Such function of the Punong
equivalent bargaining positions voluntarily reach consensual agreement about the issue Barangay is, thus, purely executive in nature, in pursuance of his duty under the Local
at hand. Violence, however, is not a subject for compromise. A process which involves Government Code to "enforce all laws and ordinances," and to "maintain public order in
parties mediating the issue of violence implies that the victim is somehow at fault. In the barangay."114
addition, mediation of issues in a proceeding for an order of protection is problematic
because the petitioner is frequently unable to participate equally with the person We have held that "(t)he mere fact that an officer is required by law to inquire into the
against whom the protection order has been sought. (Emphasis supplied) existence of certain facts and to apply the law thereto in order to determine what his
official conduct shall be and the fact that these acts may affect private rights do not
There is no undue delegation of constitute an exercise of judicial powers."115
judicial power to barangay officials.
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In the same manner as the public prosecutor ascertains through a preliminary inquiry or
proceeding "whether there is reasonable ground to believe that an offense has been
committed and the accused is probably guilty thereof," the Punong Barangay must
determine reasonable ground to believe that an imminent danger of violence against
the woman and her children exists or is about to recur that would necessitate the
issuance of a BPO. The preliminary investigation conducted by the prosecutor is,
concededly, an executive, not a judicial, function. The same holds true with the issuance
of a BPO.

We need not even belabor the issue raised by petitioner that since barangay officials
and other law enforcement agencies are required to extend assistance to victims of
violence and abuse, it would be very unlikely that they would remain objective and
impartial, and that the chances of acquittal are nil. As already stated, assistance by
barangay officials and other law enforcement agencies is consistent with their duty to
enforce the law and to maintain peace and order.

Conclusion

Before a statute or its provisions duly challenged are voided, an unequivocal breach of,
or a clear conflict with the Constitution, not merely a doubtful or argumentative one,
must be demonstrated in such a manner as to leave no doubt in the mind of the Court.
In other words, the grounds for nullity must be beyond reasonable doubt.116 In the
instant case, however, no concrete evidence and convincing arguments were presented
by petitioner to warrant a declaration of the unconstitutionality of R.A. 9262, which is
an act of Congress and signed into law by the highest officer of the co-equal executive
department. As we said in Estrada v. Sandiganbayan, 117 courts must assume that the
legislature is ever conscious of the borders and edges of its plenary powers, and passed
laws with full knowledge of the facts and for the purpose of promoting what is right and
advancing the welfare of the majority.

We reiterate here Justice Puno's observation that "the history of the women's
movement against domestic violence shows that one of its most difficult struggles was
the fight against the violence of law itself. If we keep that in mind, law will not again be
a hindrance to the struggle of women for equality but will be its fulfillment."118
Accordingly, the constitutionality of R.A. 9262 is, as it should be, sustained.

WHEREFORE, the instant petition for review on certiorari is hereby DENIED for lack of
merit.

SO ORDERED.

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