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G.R. No. 217764, August 07, 2017


Facts: In an Information, appellant was charged with child abuse under Section 10(a) of
Republic Act No. 7610, alleging that accused, unlawfully and intentionally, beat with the
use of a belt, pinched, and strangulated the child victim AAA, who was then eight (8)
years old, thereby inflicting physical injuries that affected the normal development of the
said child victim. A subsequent physical examination conducted by Dr. Abiera confirmed
AAA's story. His findings were as follows: Multiple abrasions on different parts of the body
secondary to pricking, nail marks/scratches, there is redness on the peripheral
circumference of the hymen, No hymenal laceration noted and there is weakness of (L)
knee joint upon walking.

Appellant denied that she pinched, beat and hit AAA and that she inserted her finger into
AAA's vagina. She claimed that she usually cleaned AAA's vagina and bathed her with
hot water.

Issue: Whether or not appellant is guilty of child abuse.

Ruling: Yes. As defined in the law, child abuse includes physical abuse of the child,
whether it is habitual or not. Section 10 of RA 7610 provides that any person who shall
commit any other acts of child abuse, cruelty or exploitation or be responsible for other
conditions prejudicial to the child's development including those covered by Article 59 of
Presidential Decree No. 603, as amended, but not covered by the Revised Penal Code,
as amended, shall suffer the penalty of prision mayor in its minimum period.

In this case, AAA's testimony was corroborated by Dr. Abierra. First, there were "multiple
abrasions on different parts of [AAA's] body." Additionally, he observed a "redness on the
peripheral circumference of the hymen," which could have been caused by a hard
pinching. Finally, there was an evident "weakness on the left knee joint," which could have
been caused by the victim falling to the ground or being beaten by a hard object.
Strangulating, severely pinching, and beating an eight (8)-year-old child to cause her to
limp are intrinsically cruel and excessive. These acts of abuse impair the child's dignity
and worth as a human being and infringe upon her right to grow up in a safe, wholesome,
and harmonious place. It is not difficult to perceive that this experience of repeated
physical abuse from petitioner would prejudice the child's social, moral, and emotional

Ratio Decidendi: The crime under Republic Act No. 7610 is malum prohibitum. Hence,
the intent to debase, degrade, or demean the minor is not the defining mark.

Gist: This is a petition assailing the CA’s Decision which affirmed the RTC’s Decision
finding appellant guilty of child abuse under Section 10(a) [6] of Republic Act No. 7610.