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SHARICA MARI L. GO-TAN, petitioner, vs.

SPOUSES marriage, former marriage, or a sexual or dating


PERFECTO C. TAN and JUANITA L. TAN, relationship, it does not preclude the application of the
respondents.** principle of conspiracy under the RPC.
Same; Same; If the principle of conspiracy under Article
Anti-Violence against Women and Their Children Act of 8 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) is applied to B.P. 22 in the
2004 (R.A. No. 9262); Conspiracy; Words and Phrases; absence of a contrary provision therein, with more reason
“Violence against Women and Their Children,” could the same principle be applied suppletorily to R.A. No.
Defined; While Section 3 of R.A. No. 9262 provides that the 9262 because of the express provision of Section 47 that the
offender be related or connected to the victim by marriage, Revised Penal Code (RPC) shall be supplementary to said
former marriage, or a sexual or dating relationship, it law.—Most recently, in Ladonga v. People, 451 SCRA 673
_______________ (2005), the Court applied suppletorily the principle of
conspiracy under Article 8 of the RPC to B.P. Blg. 22 in the
* THIRD DIVISION.
** The present petition impleaded the Court of Appeals as absence of a contrary provision therein. With more reason,
respondent. Pursuant to Section 4, Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, the name therefore, the principle of conspiracy under Article 8 of the
of the Court of Appeals is deleted from the title. RPC may be applied suppletorily to R.A. No. 9262 because of
232
the express provision of Section 47 that the RPC shall be
supplementary to said law. Thus, general provisions of the
232 SUPREME COURT REPORTS RPC, which by their nature, are necessarily applicable, may
ANNOTATED be applied suppletorily. Thus, the principle of conspiracy
Go-Tan vs. Tan may be applied to R.A. No. 9262. For once conspiracy or
action in concert to achieve a criminal design is shown, the
does not preclude the application of the principle of
act of one is the act of all the conspirators, and the precise
conspiracy under the Revised Penal Code (RPC).—Section 3
of R.A. No. 9262 defines ‘‘[v]iolence against women and their extent or modality of participation of each of them becomes
secondary, since all the conspirators are principals.
children’’ as “any act or a series of acts committed by any
Same; Same; Section 5 of R.A. No. 9262 expressly
person against a woman who is his wife, former wife, or
against a woman with whom the person has or had a sexual recognizes that the acts of violence against women and their
children may be committed by an offender through another.—
or dating relationship, or with whom he has a common child,
or against her child whether legitimate or illegitimate, It must be further noted that Section 5 of R.A. No. 9262
within or without the family abode, which result in or is expressly recognizes that the acts of violence against women
and their children may be committed by an offender through
likely to result in physical, sexual, psychological harm or
suffering, or economic abuse including threats of such acts, another, thus: SEC. 5. Acts of Violence against233
battery, assault, coercion, harassment or arbitrary VOL. 567, SEPTEMBER 30, 2008 233
deprivation of liberty.” While the said provision provides that
Go-Tan vs. Tan
the offender be related or connected to the victim by
Women and Their Children.—The crime of violence Jeanie S. Pulido for respondents.
against women and their children is committed through any
234
of the following acts: x x x (h) Engaging in purposeful,
knowing, or reckless conduct, personally or through 234 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
another, that alarms or causes substantial emotional or Go-Tan vs. Tan
psychological distress to the woman or her child. This shall AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ, J.:
include, but not be limited to, the following acts: x x x Before the Court is a Petition for Review
Same; Same; Statutory Construction; The intent of the on Certiorariunder Rule 45 of the Rules of Court
statute is the law.—It bears mention that the intent of the assailing the Resolution1 dated March 7, 2005 of the
statute is the law and that this intent must be effectuated by Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 94, Quezon City in
the courts. In the present case, the express language of R.A.
Civil Case No. Q-05-54536 and the RTC
No. 9262 reflects the intent of the legislature for liberal
construction as will best ensure the attainment of the object
Resolution2 dated July 11, 2005 which denied
of the law according to its true intent, meaning and spirit— petitioner’s Verified Motion for Reconsideration.
the protection and safety of victims of violence against The factual background of the case:
women and children. On April 18, 1999, Sharica Mari L. Go-Tan
Same; Same; Same; Words and Phrases; The maxim (petitioner) and Steven L. Tan (Steven) were
“expressio unios est exclusio alterius” is only an ancillary rule married.3 Out of this union, two female children were
of statutory construction which should be applied only as a born, Kyra Danielle4 and Kristen Denise.5 On January
means of discovering legislative intent which is not otherwise 12, 2005, barely six years into the marriage, petitioner
manifest and should not be permitted to defeat the plainly filed a Petition with Prayer for the Issuance of a
indicated purpose of the legislature.—Contrary to the RTC’s Temporary Protective Order (TPO)6against Steven and
pronouncement, the maxim “expressio unios est exclusio
her parents-in-law, Spouses Perfecto C. Tan and
alterius” finds no application here. It must be remembered
that this maxim is only an “ancillary rule of statutory
Juanita L. Tan (respondents) before the RTC. She
construction.” It is not of universal application. Neither is it alleged that Steven, in conspiracy with respondents,
conclusive. It should be applied only as a means of were causing verbal, psychological and economic abuses
discovering legislative intent which is not otherwise upon her in violation of Section 5, paragraphs
manifest and should not be permitted to defeat the plainly (e)(2)(3)(4), (h)(5), and (i)7 of Republic Act (R.A.)
indicated purpose of the legislature. _______________

PETITION for review on certiorari of the resolutions of 1 Penned by Judge Romeo F. Zamora, Records, p. 209.
the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Br. 94. 2 Id., at p. 501.
3 Records, p. 21.
The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court. 4 Id., at p. 22.
Alfred Joseph T. Jamora for petitioner. 5 Id., at p. 23.
6 Id., at p. 1. own money or properties, or solely controlling the conjugal or common
7 SEC. 5. Acts of Violence against Women and Their Children.— money, or properties;
The crime of violence against women and their children is committed xxxx
through any of the following acts: (h) Engaging in purposeful, knowing, or reckless conduct,
xxxx personally or through another, that alarms or causes substantial
(e) Attempting to compel or compelling the woman or her child to emotional or psychological distress to the woman or her child. This
engage in conduct which the woman or her child has the right to desist shall include, but not be limited to, the following acts:
from or to desist from conduct which the woman or her child has the xxxx
right to engage in, or attempting to restrict or restricting the woman’s (5) Engaging in any form of harassment or violence;
or her child’s freedom of movement or conduct by force or threat of (i) Causing mental or emotional anguish, public ridicule or
force, physical or other harm or threat of physical or other harm, or humiliation to the woman or her child, including, but not limited to,
intimidation directed against the woman repeated verbal and emotional abuse, and denial of financial support
or custody of minor children or denial of access to the woman’s
235 child/children.
VOL. 567, SEPTEMBER 30, 2008 235 8 Entitled “AN ACT DEFINING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
Go-Tan vs. Tan AND THEIR CHILDREN PROVIDING FOR PROTECTIVE
MEASURES FOR VICTIMS, PRESCRIBING PENALTIES
No. 9262,8 otherwise known as the “Anti-Violence THEREFOR, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.”
against Women and Their Children Act of 2004.” 9 Records, p. 26.
On January 25, 2005, the RTC issued an 236
Order/Notice9 granting petitioner’s prayer for a TPO. 236 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
On February 7, 2005, respondents filed a Motion to
Go-Tan vs. Tan
Dismiss with Opposition to the Issuance of Permanent
Order Ad Cautelam and Comment on the
Protection
_______________ Petition,10contending that the RTC lacked jurisdiction
over their persons since, as parents-in-law of the
or her child. This shall include, but not limited to, the following acts petitioner, they were not covered by R.A. No. 9262.
committed with the purpose or effect of controlling or restricting the On February 28, 2005, petitioner filed a Comment on
woman’s or child’s movement or conduct:
Opposition11 to respondents’ Motion to Dismiss arguing
xxxx that respondents were covered by R.A. No. 9262 under
(2) Depriving or threatening to deprive the woman or her children a liberal interpretation thereof aimed at promoting the
of financial support legally due her or her family, or deliberately protection and safety of victims of violence.
providing the woman’s children insufficient financial support;
(3) Depriving or threatening to deprive the woman or her child of On March 7, 2005, the RTC issued a
a legal right; Resolution12dismissing the case as to respondents on the
(4) Preventing the woman in engaging in any legitimate ground that, being the parents-in-law of the petitioner,
profession, occupation, business or activity, or controlling the victim’s
they were not included/covered as respondents under
R.A. No. 9262 under the well-known rule of law Hence, the present petition on a pure question of law,
“expressio unius est exclusio alterius.”13 to wit:
On March 16, 2005, petitioner filed her Verified WHETHER OR NOT RESPONDENTS-SPOUSES
Motion for Reconsideration14 contending that the PERFECTO & JUANITA, PARENTS-IN-LAW OF
doctrine of necessary implication should be applied in SHARICA, MAY BE INCLUDED IN THE PETITION FOR
the broader interests of substantial justice and due THE ISSUANCE OF A PROTECTIVE ORDER, IN
ACCORDANCE WITH REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9262,
process.
OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE “ANTI-VIOLENCE
On April 8, 2005, respondents filed their Comment
AGAINST WOMEN AND THEIR CHILDREN ACT OF
on the Verified Motion for Reconsideration15 arguing 2004.”17
that petitioner’s liberal construction unduly broadened
the provisions of R.A. No. 9262 since the relationship Petitioner contends that R.A. No. 9262 must be
between the offender and the alleged victim was an understood in the light of the provisions of Section 47 of
essential condition for the application of R.A. No. 9262. R.A. No. 9262 which explicitly provides for the
_______________ suppletory application of the Revised Penal Code (RPC)
and, accordingly, the provision on “conspiracy” under
10 Records, p. 36.
11 Id., at p. 147.
Article 8 of the RPC can be suppletorily applied to R.A.
12 Id., at p. 209. No. 9262; that Steven and respondents had community
13 Latin maxim meaning “The expression of one thing is the of design and purpose in tormenting her by giving her
exclusion of another.” (San Miguel Corporation Employees Union-Phil. insufficient financial support; harassing and pressuring
Transport and General Workers Org. v. San Miguel Packaging
Products Employees Union-Pambansang Diwa ng Manggagawang her to be ejected from the family home; and in
Pilipino, G.R. No. 171153, September 12, 2007, 533 SCRA 125, 152). repeatedly abusing her verbally, emotionally, mentally
14 Records, p. 316. and physically; that respondents should be included as
15 Id., at p. 376. indispensable or necessary parties for complete
237 resolution of the case.
VOL. 567, SEPTEMBER 30, 2008 237 On the other hand, respondents submit that they are
Go-Tan vs. Tan not covered by R.A. No. 9262 since Section 3 thereof
On July 11, 2005, the RTC issued a explicitly provides that the offender should be related to
Resolution16denying petitioner’s Verified Motion for the victim only by marriage, a former marriage, or a
Reconsideration. The RTC reasoned that to include dating or sexual relationship; that allegations on the
respondents under the coverage of R.A. No. 9262 would conspiracy of respondents require a factual
be a strained interpretation of the provisions of the law. determination which cannot be
_______________
16 Id., at p. 510. “SEC. 47. Suppletory Application.—For purposes of this
17 Rollo, p. 8. Act, the Revised Penal Code and other applicable laws,
238 shall have suppletory application.” (Emphasis supplied)
238 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED Parenthetically, Article 10 of the RPC provides:
Go-Tan vs. Tan “ART. 10. Offenses not subject to the provisions of this
done by this Court in a petition for review; that Code.—Offenses which are or in the future may be
respondents cannot be characterized as indispensable punishable under special laws are not subject to the
or necessary parties, since their presence in the case is provisions of this Code. This Code shall be
not only unnecessary but altogether illegal, considering supplementary to such laws, unless the latter should
the non-inclusion of in-laws as offenders under Section specially provide the contrary.” (Emphasis supplied)
3 of R.A. No. 9262. Hence, legal principles developed from the Penal Code
The Court rules in favor of the petitioner. may be applied in a supplementary capacity to crimes
Section 3 of R.A. No. 9262 defines ‘‘[v]iolence against punished239
women and their children’’ as “any act or a series of acts VOL. 567, SEPTEMBER 30, 2008 239
committed by any person against a woman who is his Go-Tan vs. Tan
wife, former wife, or against a woman with whom the
under special laws, such as R.A. No. 9262, in which the
person has or had a sexual or dating relationship, or
special law is silent on a particular matter.
with whom he has a common child, or against her child Thus, in People v. Moreno,18 the Court applied
whether legitimate or illegitimate, within or without
suppletorily the provision on subsidiary penalty under
the family abode, which result in or is likely to result in
Article 39 of the RPC to cases of violations of Act No.
physical, sexual, psychological harm or suffering, or
3992, otherwise known as the “Revised Motor Vehicle
economic abuse including threats of such acts, battery,
Law,” noting that the special law did not contain any
assault, coercion, harassment or arbitrary deprivation provision that the defendant could be sentenced with
of liberty.”
subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency.
While the said provision provides that the offender
In People v. Li Wai Cheung,19 the Court applied
be related or connected to the victim by marriage,
suppletorily the rules on the service of sentences
former marriage, or a sexual or dating relationship, it
provided in Article 70 of the RPC in favor of the accused
does not preclude the application of the principle of
who was found guilty of multiple violations of R.A. No.
conspiracy under the RPC.
6425, otherwise known as the “Dangerous Drugs Act of
Indeed, Section 47 of R.A. No. 9262 expressly
1972,” considering the lack of similar rules under the
provides for the suppletory application of the RPC, thus:
special law.
In People v. Chowdury,20 the Court applied supplementary to said law. Thus, general provisions of
suppletorily Articles 17, 18 and 19 of the RPC to define the RPC, which by their nature, are necessarily
the words “principal,” “accomplices” and “accessories” applicable, may be applied suppletorily.
under R.A. No. 8042, otherwise known as the “Migrant Thus, the principle of conspiracy may be applied to
Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995,” because R.A. No. 9262. For once conspiracy or action in concert
said words were not defined therein, although the to achieve a criminal design is shown, the act of one is
special law referred to the same terms in enumerating the act of all the conspirators, and the precise extent or
the persons liable for the crime of illegal recruitment. modality of participation of each of them becomes
In Yu v. People,21 the Court applied suppletorily the secondary, since all the conspirators are principals.23
provisions on subsidiary imprisonment under Article 39 It must be further noted that Section 5 of R.A. No.
of the RPC to Batas Pambansa (B.P.) Blg. 22, otherwise 9262 expressly recognizes that the acts of violence
known as the “Bouncing Checks Law,” noting the against women and their children may be committed by
absence of an express provision on subsidiary an offender through another, thus:
imprisonment in said special law. “SEC. 5. Acts of Violence Against Women and Their
Most recently, in Ladonga v. People,22 the Court Children.—The crime of violence against women and their
applied suppletorily the principle of conspiracy under children is committed through any of the following acts:
Article 8 of the xxx
_______________ (h) Engaging in purposeful, knowing, or reckless
conduct, personally or through another, that alarms or
18 60 Phil. 712 (1934). causes substantial emotional or psychological distress to the
19 G.R. Nos. 90440-42, October 13, 1992, 214 SCRA 504. woman or her child. This shall include, but not be limited to,
20 G.R. Nos. 129577-80, February 15, 2000, 325 SCRA 572. the following acts:
21 G.R. No. 134172, September 20, 2004, 438 SCRA 431.
(1) Stalking or following the woman or her child in
22 G.R. No. 141066, February 17, 2005, 451 SCRA 673.
public or private places;
240 (2) Peering in the window or lingering outside the
240 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED residence of the woman or her child;
_______________
Go-Tan vs. Tan
RPC to B.P. Blg. 22 in the absence of a contrary 23 Ladonga v. People, supra note 22; People v. Felipe, G.R. No. 142505,
provision therein. December 11, 2003, 418 SCRA 146, 176; People v. Julianda, Jr., G.R. No.
128886, November 23, 2001, 370 SCRA 448, 469; People v. Quinicio, G.R.
With more reason, therefore, the principle of
No. 142430, September 13, 2001, 365 SCRA 252, 266.
conspiracy under Article 8 of the RPC may be applied
suppletorily to R.A. No. 9262 because of the express 241

provision of Section 47 that the RPC shall be


VOL. 567, SEPTEMBER 30, 2008 241 It bears mention that the intent of the statute is the
Go-Tan vs. Tan law24 and that this intent must be effectuated by the
(3) Entering or remaining in the dwelling or on the courts. In the present case, the express language of R.A.
property of the woman or her child against her/his will; No. 9262 reflects
(4) Destroying the property and personal belongings or _______________
inflicting harm to animals or pets of the woman or her child;
and 24 Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Philippine Airlines, Inc., G.R.
No. 160528, October 9, 2006, 504 SCRA 90, 101; Eugenio v. Drilon, 322
(5) Engaging in any form of harassment or violence; Phil. 112; 252 SCRA 106 (1996); Philippine National Bank v. Office of
x x x.” (Emphasis supplied) the President, 322 Phil. 6, 14; 252 SCRA 5, 11 (1996); Ongsiako v.
Gamboa, 86 Phil. 50, 57 (1950); Torres v. Limjap, 56 Phil. 141, 145-146
(1931).

242
In addition, the protection order that may be issued
for the purpose of preventing further acts of violence 242 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
against the woman or her child may include individuals Go-Tan vs. Tan
other than the offending husband, thus: the intent of the legislature for liberal construction as
“SEC. 8. Protection Orders.—x x x The protection will best ensure the attainment of the object of the law
orders that may be issued under this Act shall include any, according to its true intent, meaning and spirit - the
some or all of the following reliefs: protection and safety of victims of violence against
(a) Prohibition of the respondent from threatening to women and children.
commit or committing, personally or through another, any Thus, contrary to the RTC’s pronouncement, the
of the acts mentioned in Section 5 of this Act; maxim “expressio unios est exclusio alterius” finds no
(b) Prohibition of the respondent from harassing, application here. It must be remembered that this
annoying, telephoning, contacting or otherwise
maxim is only an “ancillary rule of statutory
communicating with the petitioner, directly or indirectly;
x x x” (Emphasis supplied) construction.” It is not of universal application. Neither
is it conclusive. It should be applied only as a means of
Finally, Section 4 of R.A. No. 9262 calls for a liberal discovering legislative intent which is not otherwise
construction of the law, thus: manifest and should not be permitted to defeat the
“SEC. 4. Construction.—This Act shall be liberally plainly indicated purpose of the legislature.25
construed to promote the protection and safety of victims of The Court notes that petitioner unnecessarily argues
violence against women and their children.” (Emphasis at great length on the attendance of circumstances
supplied)
evidencing the conspiracy or connivance of Steven and
respondents to cause verbal, psychological and
economic abuses upon her. However, conspiracy is an REVERSED and SET ASIDE insofar as the dismissal of
evidentiary matter which should be threshed out in a the petition against respondents is concerned.
full-blown trial on the merits and cannot be determined SO ORDERED.
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 centered
only on the determination of whether respondents may
be included in a petition under R.A. No. 9262. The
presence or absence of conspiracy can be best passed
upon after a trial on the merits.
Considering the Court’s ruling that the principle of
conspiracy may be applied suppletorily to R.A. No. 9262,
the Court will no longer delve on whether respondents
may be
_______________

25 Coconut Oil Refiners Association, Inc. v. Torres, G.R. No.


132527, July 29, 2005, 465 SCRA 47, 78; Dimaporo v. Mitra, Jr., G.R.
No. 96859, October 15, 1991, 202 SCRA 779, 792; Primero v. Court of
Appeals, G.R. Nos. 48468-69, November 22, 1989, 179 SCRA 542, 548-
549.
26 Superlines Transportation Company, Inc. v. Philippine
National Construction Company, G.R. No. 169596, March 28, 2007,
519 SCRA 432, 441; Insular Life Assurance Company, Ltd. v. Court of
Appeals, G.R. No. 126850, April 28, 2004, 428 SCRA 79, 85.

243
VOL. 567, SEPTEMBER 30, 2008 243
Go-Tan vs. Tan
considered indispensable or necessary parties. To do so
would be an exercise in superfluity.
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