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G.R. No.

169533 – March 20, 2013 Issue:


George Bongalon vs. People of the Whether Petitioner’s acts constitutes “Child
Philippines Abuse”
Bersamin, J.
SC:
Facts: Court agreed the factual findings of RTC and
CA that petitioner struck Jayson at the back
Petitioner was convicted for the crime of with his hand and slapped Jayson’s face, but
child abuse under Section 10 (a) of Republic disagreed with their holding that his acts
Act 7610, for striking a twelve year-old child, constituted child abuse within the purview of
named Jayson, by hitting the latter at the Section 10 (a) of RA 7610.
back, slapping his left cheek and uttering
derogatory remarks to the child’s family. The records did not establish beyond
reasonable doubt that his laying of hands on
The child joined a procession of Sto. Niño Jayson had been intended to debase the
with his brother, and when they passed by the "intrinsic worth and dignity1" of Jayson as a
house of the petitioner, the latter’s daughters human being, or that he had thereby intended
threw stones at Jayson and uttering the words to humiliate or embarrass Jayson.

RTC ordered the imprisonment of the The records showed the laying of hands on
petitioner for 6y and 1d to 8y of prision Jayson to have been done at the spur of the
mayor in its minimum. moment and in anger, indicative of his being
then overwhelmed by his fatherly concern for
CA affirmed the conviction but modified the the personal safety of his own minor
penalty to 4y 2m and 1d of prision daughters who had just suffered harm at the
correccional, as minimum to 6y 8m and 1d of hands of Jayson and Roldan. With the loss of
prision mayor as maximum. his self-control, he lacked that specific intent
to debase, degrade or demean the intrinsic
Petitioner then filed a petition for certiorari worth and dignity of a child as a human being
under Rule 65. that was so essential in the crime of child
abuse.
He’s defense was, we was just merely
protecting her two minor daughters.

1
RA 7610, Section 3 (b). “Child Abuse” – refers to the being; (3) Unreasonable deprivation of his basic
maltreatment, whether habitual or not, of the child needs for survival, such as food and shelter; or (4)
includes any of the following: (1) Psychological and Failure to immediately give medical treatment to an
physical abuse, neglect, cruelty, sexual abuse and injured child resulting in serious impairment of his
emotional maltreatment; (2) Any act by deeds or growth and development or in his permanent
words which debases, degrades or demeans the incapacity or death.
intrinsic worth and dignity of a child as a human
The question now is What crime did the
petitioner commit if not Section 10 (a) of
RA7610:

The Court said that, considering that the


physical injury suffered by Jayson requires 5
to 10 days of medical attention, the petitioner
shall now be liable for Slight Physical
Injuries under Article 266 (1) of the Revised
Penal Code