Kathrine Mae M.

Hoggang Emma Pagnas Pebbles Evasco

Criminal Law 1 LLB 1-C

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, appellee vs. MARIVIC GENOSA, appellant, G.R. No. 135981, January 15, 2004. Facts: For automatic review is the decision of the RTC finding the appellant guilty of parricide. Marivic Genosa admitted killing her husband Ben by shooting him in self-defense. Evidence for the prosecution revealed however that Ben was hit by a lead pipe on the head, as he was found lying on his side, covered with a blanket and with only his briefs on. During trial, Marivic pictured Ben as a drunkard, womanizer and a wife beater. The RTC disregarded the claim of self-defense and instead convicted Marivic of parricide. The trial court further found the attendance of treachery as it gave credence to the evidence that appellant had killed the deceased while he was in bed sleeping. Pending the resolution of the Court on the instant appeal, the appellant filed on Omnibus Motion for exhumation of the victim and for remand of the case to the trial court for the reception of expert psychological opinion on the battered wife syndrome plea. The Court granted the remand of the case where the trial court heard the testimonies of Dra. Natividad Dayan and Dr. Alfredo Pajarillo – experts on domestic violence. According to Dra. Dayan, Marivic fits the profile of a battered woman. Dr. Pajarillo on the one hand, opined that at the time Marivic killed her husband, she was re-experiencing the trauma of her beating and suffering, which was beyond her control. The present appeal now centers on the appellant’s claim of self-defense anchored on the battered wife syndrome. The appellant likewise questions the trial court’s finding that Ben and Marivic were legally married and therefore liable of parricide. Issue: Whether or not appellant’s defense of Battered woman Syndrome deserves merit. Ruling: The Battered Woman Syndrome In claiming self-defense, appellant raises the novel theory of the battered woman syndrome. While new in Philippine jurisprudence, the concept has been recognized in foreign jurisdictions as a form of self-defense, or at least, incomplete self-defense. By appreciating evidence that a victim or defendant is afflicted with the syndrome, foreign courts convey their “understanding of the justifiably fearful state of mind of a person who has been cyclically abused and controlled over a period of time.” A battered woman has been defined as woman “who is repeatedly subjected to any forceful physical or psychological behavior by a man in order to coerce her to do something he wants her to do without concern of her rights. Battered women include wives or women in any form of intimate relationship with men. Furthermore, in order to 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

she had gone through a similar pattern. Underneath this miserable cycle of “tension. nurturing behavior. nonviolent) phase. loving (or at least. to her are comparatively minor. If it occurs a second time.” each partner may believe that it is better to die than to be separated. The battered woman usually realizes that she cannot reason with him. She was able to explain in adequate detail the typical characteristics of this stage. However. or by simply staying out of his way. she and her batterer are indeed emotionally dependent on each other – she for his nurturant behavior. the couple experience profound relief. only the batterer may put an end to the violence. In sum. and false hopes that the relationship will improve. The woman tries to pacify usually the batterer through a show of kind. sometimes. (2) the acute battering incident. Effect of Battery on Appellant Because of the recurring cycles of violence experienced by the abused woman.” which has three phases: (1) the tension-building period. However. Moreover. due to the repeated abuse she had suffered from her spouse over a long period of time. During this phase. the family and the female sex role. emotional dependence upon the dominant male. What actually happens is that she allows herself to be abused in ways that. she is defined as a battered woman.” In the instant case. In this phase. making her feel trapped in the relationship with no means of escape. and that resistance would only exacerbate her condition. violence and forgiveness. traditional beliefs about home. destructiveness and. the court meticulously scoured the records for specific evidence establishing the appellant. Neither one may really feel independent. the defense failed to elicit form appellant herself her factual experiences and thoughts that would clearly and fully demonstrate the essential characteristics of the syndrome. that single incident does not prove that in at least another battering episode in the past. The psychologist explains that the cyclical nature of the violence inflicted upon the battered woman immobilizes the latter’s “ability to act decisively in her own interest. she has no control. In relating to the court a quo how fatal incident that led to the death of Ben started.” Battered women exhibit common personality traits. . During this tranquil period. the tendency to accept responsibility for the batterer’s actions. capable of functioning without the other. The final phase of the cycle of violence begins when the acute battering incident ends. The acute battering incident is said to be characterized by brutality. became afflicted with the battered woman syndrome. and (3) the tranquil. he for her forgiveness. the expert witnesses for the defense failed to present in court the factual experiences and thoughts that appellant had related to them – if at all – based on which they concluded that she had BWS. More specifically. minor battering occurs – it could be verbal or slight physical abuse or another form of hostile behavior. the court failed to find ample evidence that would confirm the presence of the essential characteristics of BWS. and she remains in the situation. her state of mind metamorphoses. No doubt there were acute battering incidents. such as low self-esteem. Marivic perfectly described the tension-building phase of cycle. During the tension-building phase. death.man once. The battered woman syndrome is characterized by the so-called “cycle of violence. The defense fell short of proving all three phase of the “cycle of violence” supposedly characterizing the relationship of Ben and Marivic Genosa. the court failed to find sufficient evidence that would support such a conclusion.

There is no showing of the victim’s position relative to appellant’s at the time of the shooting. Evidence must still be considered in the context of selfdefense. . thus.Battered Woman Syndrome as Self-Defense In any event. However. there is an insufficient basis to establish the presence of treachery. Proper Penalty The conviction of Appellant Marivic Genosa for parricide is hereby AFFIRMED. however. In the case. There was. Treachery There is treachery when one commits any of the crimes against persons by employing means. treachery cannot be appreciated as a qualifying circumstance. such manifestations were analogous to an illness that diminished the exercise by appellant of her will power without. the Court reckons further that crucial to the BWS defense is the state of mind of the battered woman at the time of the offense – she must have actually feared imminent harm form her batterer and honestly believed in the need to kill him in order to save her life. depriving her of consciousness of her acts.” “psychological paralysis. methods or forms in the execution thereof without risk to oneself arising from the defense that the offended party might make. a resulting diminution of her freedom of action. Mitigating Circumstances Present The cyclical nature and the severity of the violence inflicted upon appellant resulted in “cumulative provocation which broke down her psychological resistance and natural self-control. this circumstance should be taken in her favor band considered as mitigating factor. From the expert opinions. equally axiomatic is the rule that when a killing is preceded by an argument or a quarrel. there being two (2) mitigating circumstances and no aggravating circumstance attending her commission of the offense. intelligence or intent. her penalty is REDUCED to six (6) years and one (1) day of prision mayor as minimum. 8 months and 1 day of reclusion temporal as maximum.” Based on the explanations of the expert witnesses. because the deceased may be said have been forewarned and to have anticipated aggression from the assailant. to 14 years. Besides.” and “difficulty in concentrating or impairment of memory. the existence of the syndrome in a relationship does not in itself establish the legal right of the woman to kill her abusive partner. Pursuant to paragraphs 9 and 10 of Article 13 of the Revised Penal Code.

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