Saturday, May 27, 2006

Hope and help for the battered woman (2): Essential provisions of RA 9262 "Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004"

Related posts:
Update: Supreme Court upholds Constitutionality of RA 9262 (Garcia vs. Drilon, G.R. No. 179267, June 25, 2013)

R.A. 9262 does not violate the guaranty of equal protection of the laws. It is not an “anti-male,” “husband-bashing,” and “hate-men” law.

R.A. 9262 covers lesbian relationships.

The grant of a TPO (Temporary Protection Order) without a hearing does not violate the Constitutional right to due process.

The non-referral of a VAWC (violence against women and children) case to a mediator is justified.

RA 9262 does not unduly delegate judicial power to barangay officials. The BPO (Barangay Protection Order) is purely executive in nature in keeping with the barangay captain’s duty under the Local Government Code to “enforce all laws and ordinances,” and to “maintain public order in the barangay.”

Enumerated below in question and answer format are some of the salient provisions of Republic Act 9262 and pertinent information regarding domestic violence.

What is the legal definition of “violence against women and their children?”

“Violence against women and their children”
is any act or series of acts committed by any person against a woman with whom the person has or had a sexual or dating relationship, 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 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.

Can RA 9262 apply even to those who are not married?


Yes, RA 9262 applies also to those persons involved in a “dating relationship.” The term refers to “a situation where the parties live as husband and wife without the benefit of marriage, or are romantically involved over time and on a continuing basis during the course of the relationship. A casual acquaintance or ordinary socialization between two individuals in a business or social context is not a dating relationship.

What does RA 9262 mean by “sexual relations?”

The term refers to “a single sexual act which may or may not result in the bearing of a common child.” Persons involved in such are covered by the provisions of RA 9262.

What do the terms “battery” and “Battered Woman Syndrome” mean?


“Battery” refers to an act of inflicting physical harm upon the woman or her child resulting to physical and psychological or emotional distress.

“Battered Woman Syndrome” refers to a scientifically defined pattern of psychological and behavioral symptoms found in women living in battering relationships as a result of cumulative abuse.

What is stalking?


The term refers to an intentional act committed by a person who, knowingly and without lawful justification follows the woman or her child or places the woman or her child under surveillance directly or indirectly or a combination.

What kinds of violence are prohibited by RA 9262?


RA 9262 prohibits physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and economic abuse.

What is sexual violence?


It refers to an act which is sexual in nature, committed against a woman or her child. It includes but is not limited to:

  1. rape, sexual harassment, acts of lasciviousness, treating a woman or her child as a sex object, making demeaning and sexually suggestive remarks, - physically attacking the sexual parts of the victim’s body, forcing him/her to watch obscene publications and indecent shows or forcing the woman or her child to do indecent acts and/or to make films thereof, forcing the wife and mistress/lover to live in the conjugal home or sleep together in the same room with the abuser;
  2. acts causing or attempting to cause the victim to engage in any sexual activity by force, threat of force, physical or other harm or coercion;
  3. prostituting the woman or child.
What is psychological violence?

“Psychological Violence” refers to acts or omissions causing or likely to cause mental or emotional suffering of the victim such as but not limited to:

  1. intimidation
  2. harassment
  3. stalking
  4. damage to property
  5. public ridicule or humiliation
  6. repeated verbal abuse
  7. marital infidelity
  8. causing or allowing the victim to witness the physical, sexual or psychological abuse of a member of a family to which the victim belongs
  9. causing victim to witness pornography in any form or to witness abusive injury to pets
  10. unlawful or unwanted deprivation of the right to custody and/or visitation of common children.
Why does RA 9262 seem to overemphasize psychological violence? What are the effects of psychological or emotional abuse?

Neil Jacobson and John Gottman in their study “When Men Batter Women” relate the insidious effects of psychological or emotional abuse as follows:
  • Emotional abuse is harder to live with than being beaten and it means something different to women when it occurs with physical abuse.
  • Despite the pain and bruises inflicted by punching, kicking and worse mayhem, it is the scarring left by an emotionally abusive husband that is more likely to trigger a battered wife’s decision to leave her spouse.
  • Emotional abuse is more oppressive, particularly when it is frequent. It can be present every day, every waking hour, 24 hours a day. What men are doing with emotional abuse is almost like mind control.
What is economic abuse?

“Economic Abuse” refers to acts that make or attempt to make a woman financially dependent which includes but is not limited to the following:
  1. withdrawal of financial support or preventing the victim from engaging in any legitimate profession, occupation, business or activity, except in cases wherein the other spouse/partner objects on valid, serious and moral grounds as defined in Article 73 of the Family Code.
  2. deprivation or threat of deprivation of financial resources and the right to the use and enjoyment of the conjugal, community or property owned in common;
  3. destroying household property;
  4. controlling the victims’ own money or properties or solely controlling the conjugal money or properties.
What are the specific acts of violence punishable under RA 9262?

Section 5 of RA 9262 enumerates the specific acts of violence against women and their children. These are the following:

[a] Causing physical harm to the woman or her child;

[b] Threatening to cause the woman or her child physical harm;

[c] Attempting to cause the woman or her child physical harm;

[d] Placing the woman or her child in fear of imminent physical harm;

[e] Attempting to compel or compelling the woman or her child to engage in conduct which the woman or her child has the right to desist from or desist from conduct which the woman or her child has the right to engage in, or attempting to restrict or restricting the woman’s or her child’s freedom of movement or conduct by force or threat of force, physical or other harm or threat of physical or other harm, or intimidation directed against the woman or her child.

[f] Inflicting or threatening to inflict physical harm on one’s self for the purpose of controlling her actions or decisions;

[g] Causing or attempting to cause the woman or her child to engage in any sexual activity which does not constitute rape, by force or threat of force, physical harm, or through intimidation directed against the woman or her child or her/his immediate family;

[h] Engaging in purposeful, knowing, or reckless conduct, personally or through another, that alarms or causes substantial emotional or psychological distress to the woman or her child.

[i] Causing mental or emotional anguish, public ridicule or humiliation to the woman or her child, including but not limited to, repeated verbal and emotional abuse, and denial of financial support or custody of minor children or access to the woman’s child/children.
What prohibited acts are included under paragraph [e] above?

Paragraph [e] of Section 5 states: “Attempting to compel or compelling the woman or her child to engage in conduct which the woman or her child has the right to desist from or desist from conduct which the woman or her child has the right to engage in, or attempting to restrict or restricting the woman’s or her child’s freedom of movement or conduct by force or threat of force, physical or other harm or threat of physical or other harm, or intimidation directed against the woman or her child.”

This includes the following acts committed with the purpose or effect of controlling or restricting the woman’s or her child’s movement or conduct:
  1. Threatening to deprive or actually depriving the woman or her child of custody to her/his family;
  2. Depriving or threatening to deprive the woman or her children of financial support legally due her or her family, deliberately providing the woman’s children insufficient financial support;
  3. Depriving or threatening to deprive the woman or her child of a legal right;
  4. Preventing the woman in engaging in any legitimate profession, occupation, business or activity or controlling the victim’s own money or properties, or solely controlling the conjugal or common money or properties.
What prohibited acts are included under paragraph [h] of Section 5?


Paragraph [h] of Section 5 states: “Engaging in purposeful, knowing, or reckless conduct, personally or through another, that alarms or causes substantial emotional or psychological distress to the woman or her child.” This includes the following acts:
  1. Stalking or following the woman or her child in public or private places;
  2. Peering in the widow or lingering outside the residence of the woman or her child;
  3. Entering or remaining in the dwelling or on the property of the woman or her child against her/his will;
  4. Destroying the property and personal belongings of inflicting harm to animals or pets of the woman or her child; and
  5. Engaging in any form of harassment or violence.
What are the penalties for acts of violence against women?


Section 6 of RA 9262 provides for penalties for various prohibited acts of violence against women and their children. These are the following:
[1] Acts falling under Section 5(a) constituting attempted, frustrated or consummated parricide or murder or homicide shall be punished in accordance with the provisions of the Revised Penal Code.
[2] If these acts resulted in mutilation, it shall be punishable in accordance with the Revised Penal Code; those constituting serious physical injuries shall have the penalty of prision mayor; those constituting less serious physical injuries shall be punished by prision correccional; and those constituting slight physical injuries shall be punished arresto mayor.
[3] Acts falling under Section 5(b) shall be punished by imprisonment of two degrees lower than the prescribed penalty for the consummated crime as specified in the preceding paragraph but shall in no case be lower than arresto mayor.
[4] Acts falling under Section 5(c) and 5(d) shall be punished by arresto mayor;
[5] Acts falling under Section 5(e) shall be punished by prision correccional;
[6] Acts falling under Section 5(f) shall be punishable by arresto mayor;
[7] Acts falling under Section 5(g) shall be punished by prision mayor;
[8] Acts falling under Section 5(h) and Section 5(i) shall be punished by prision mayor.
If the acts are committed while the woman or child is pregnant, or committed in the presence of her child, the penalty to be applied shall be the maximum period of penalty prescribed in this section. 

What do the terms “prision mayor,” “arresto mayor,” etc. mean?

Prision mayor –
Penalty of imprisonment is from 6 years and 1 day to 12 years; minimum - from 6 years and 1 day to 8 years; maximum - from 10 years and 1 day to 12 years.

Prision correctional - Penalty of imprisonment is from 6 months and 1 day to 6 years ; minimum - from 6 months and 1 day to 2 years and 4 months; maximum - from 4 years, 2 months and 1 day to 6 years

Arresto mayor - Penalty of imprisonment is from 1 month and 1 day to 6 months; minimum - from 1 to 2 months; maximum - from 4 months and 1 day to 6 months.

Beside imprisonment, are there any other penalties provided by RA 9262?


Yes, in addition to imprisonment, the perpetrator must:
  1. pay a fine in the amount of not less than One Hundred Thousand Pesos but not more than Three Hundred Thousand Pesos;
  2. undergo mandatory psychological counseling or psychiatric treatment and must report compliance to the court.
What court has jurisdiction over RA 9262 cases?

The Regional Trial Court designated as a Family Court has original and exclusive jurisdiction over cases of violence against women and their children.


In the absence of such court in the place where the offense was committed, the case must be filed in the Regional Trial Court where the crime or any of its elements was committed at the option of the complainant.

Is it only the woman-victim of abuse who can report the offense to the police authorities?

Under Section 25 of RA 9262, violence against women and their children are considered as a public crime. This means that the case may be prosecuted upon the filing of a complaint by any citizen having personal knowledge of the circumstances involving the commission of the crime.


If a person witnesses abuse being committed against a woman or her child and intervenes, does that person have any liability?


Section 34 of RA 9262 provides: "In every case of violence against women and their children, any person, private individual or police authority or barangay official, who acting in accordance with law, responds or intervenes without using violence or restraint greater than necessary to ensure the safety of the victim, shall not be liable for any criminal, civil or administrative liability resulting therefrom."


What are the rights of victims under RA 9262?


Section 35 of RA 9262 that in addition to their rights under existing laws, victims of violence against women and their children have the following rights:

[a] to be treated with respect and dignity;

[b] to avail of legal assistance from the PAO of the Department of Justice (DOJ) or any public legal assistance office;

[c] to be entitled to support services from the DSWD and LGUs;

[d] to be entitled to all legal remedies and support under the Family Code; and

[e] to be informed of their rights and the services available to them including their right to apply for a protection order.
Section 36 also provides that any victim of violence under this Act are entitled to actual, compensatory, moral and exemplary damages.

Section 40 obligates the DSWD and local government units to provide mandatory programs and service for victims such as temporary shelters, provide counseling, psycho-social services or recovery, rehabilitation programs and livelihood assistance. The DOH must provide medical assistance to victims.

A woman-victim might be prejudiced in her employment if she takes time off to get medical treatment or to seek police and legal assistance in filing her case. What provision if any does RA 9262 have in this situation?


Section 43 of RA 9262 provides that victims are entitled to take a paid leave of absence up to ten days in addition to other paid leaves under the Labor Code and Civil Service Rules and Regulations, extendible when the necessity arises as specified in the protection order.

Any employer who prejudices the right of the person under this section must be penalized according to the provisions of the Labor Code and Civil Service Rules and regulations.

Likewise, an employer who prejudices any person for assisting a co-employee who is a victim under this Act must be held liable for discrimination.

What if the perpetrator of abuse against a woman or her child tries to evade prosecution by leaving the country?

Section 37 of RA 9262 states: "The court shall expedite the process of issuance of a hold departure order in cases prosecuted under this Act."

What are the responsibilities of doctors, nurses and healthcare workers under RA 9262?



Section 31 of RA 9262 provides, among other things, that healthcare providers should:
[a] automatically provide the victim free of charge a medical certificate concerning the examination or visit;

[b] safeguard the records and make them available to the victim upon request at actual cost; and

[c] provide the victim immediate and adequate notice of rights and remedies under RA 9262, and the services available to them.
Why is there a need for information and training of healthcare providers? By the nature of their work, aren’t they already familiar with domestic violence, their causes and manifestations?

A study by Evan Stark and Ann Flitcraft (“Medical Therapy as Repression: The Case of the Battered Woman,” Health and Medicine, 1982) discovered that out of one million women who sought medical treatment for injuries inflicted by their husbands or boyfriends, doctors correctly identified the injuries as a result of battering only four percent of the time.

What prevents a woman or her children or both from filing a case is the possible shame and embarrassment in their community. What are the provisions of RA 9262 to ensure the confidentiality of the victims and the case?


Section 44 provides the following safeguards and penalties so as to ensure confidentiality:

  1. All records pertaining to cases of violence against women and their children including those in the barangay shall be confidential and all public officers and employees and public or private clinics to hospitals shall respect the right to privacy of the victim.
  2. Whoever publishes or causes to be published, in any format, the name, address, telephone number, school, business address, employer, or other identifying information of a victim or an immediate family member, without the latter’s consent, shall be liable to the contempt power of the court.
  3. Any person who violates this provision shall suffer the penalty of one year imprisonment and a fine of not more than Five Hundred Thousand Pesos.
What can be done for the offenders?

Section 41 provides that the DSWD must provide rehabilitative counseling and treatment to perpetrators towards learning constructive ways of coping with anger and emotional outburst and reforming their ways. When necessary, the offender must be ordered by the Court to submit to psychiatric treatment or confinement.

Next time around we will discuss the provisions of RA 9262 on protection orders – BPO (Barangay Protection Order), and the TPO (Temporary protection Order) and PPO (Permanent Protection Order) issued by the court.

27 comments :

Angela said...

Dear Atty,
My mother will file RA 9262, we have a numbers file of blotters of my father in the Barangay and in the Police Station. The Investigator and the Kapitan of the Barangay said that we cannot file complaint until we settle conflict first in to barangay. The problem is my mother is already in trauma and she cannot manage to face my father in the barangay. Can we file the RA 9262 directly without settling in the barangay?
thank you..

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

The police investigator and barangay captain are grossly ignorant of the law. You should file administrative cases against them with the Office of the Ombudsman.

RA 9262 expressly excludes RA 9262 cases from the coverage of the Katarungang Pambarangay.
Please read my post “Mediation not applicable to domestic violence cases, with apologies to Pia Guanio” (look for the link in the sidebar).

Anyway, here are the specific provisions which prohibit mediation or conciliation of domestic violence cases:

RA 9262

Sec. 33. Prohibited Acts. – A Punong Barangay, Barangay Kagawad or the court hearing an application for a protection order shall not order, direct, force or in any way unduly influence he applicant for a protection order to compromise or abandon any of the reliefs sought in the application for protection under this Act. Section 7 of the Family Courts Act of 1997 and Sections 410, 411, 412 and 413 of the Local Government Code of 1991 shall not apply in proceedings where relief is sought under this Act.

Failure to comply with this Section shall render the official or judge administratively liable.

Implementing Rules and Regulations

Section 27. Prohibited Acts – A Punong Barangay, Barangay Kagawad, or the court hearing an application for a protection order shall not order, direct, force or in any way unduly influence the applicant to compromise or abandon any of the reliefs sought in the application for protection order under the Act. Section 7 of the Family Courts Act of 1997 and Sections 410, 411, 412 and 413 of the Local Government Code of 1991 shall not apply in proceedings where relief is sought under the Act.

Failure to comply with this Section shall render the official or judge administratively liable.

Law enforcers and other government personnel shall not mediate or conciliate or influence the victim-survivor or applicant for a protection order to compromise or abandon the relief sought.

Section 47, paragraph (o): Shall not attempt to influence the victim-survivor to abandon her claims. All forms of amicable settlement under the Katarungang Pambarangay such as mediation, settlement, conciliation, arbitration shall not apply to cases of VAWC in the Act.

Anonymous said...

Ano po ang dapat kong gawin my anak po ako pero di kami kasal ng lalaki at nasa saudi siya ngayon. Humingi po ako sa kanya ng financial support para sa aming anak pero ayaw niya pong magbigay. Pwede po ba akong mg sampa ng kaso regarding sa hindi pagbibigay ng financial support para sa aking anak.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Please read my post titled “Support for abandoned woman and family” (look for the link in the sidebar).

Anonymous said...

hello po atty..
based on this article..di yata pwd dito ang prob ko sa neighbor..
ganito po kasi.. were living in an apartment..taoat tapat po kami at halos napakalapit na nga.. yong room namin ng daughter ko,nasa tapat ng other room ng neighbor.. so twing manonood anak ko or kami ng tv kakatok sila ng akala ko eh masisira na door namin sa lakas IMPOSING us to super lower the volume of out tv.ok lang sana if makikiusap sila kaso para silang nag uutos talaga at nananakot pa dahl sa pagkakatok nila. even my daughter is not comfortable with it anymore.. wala po ang aking husband at isang ofw 3 lang kami sa house at all girls pa. pati ako ngayon parang tumataas na ang heart rate twing meron ako naririnig na katok kasi sila agad naiisip ko..yong daughter ko parang nagkakatrauma din.
ano po ba ang maganda gawin dito?Thanks.
yours truly,
pacing

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Pacing,

Your situation is what lawyers call “away kapitbahay.” You should try to settle things amicably between you and your neighbor between yourselves or through the help of your barangay. Avoid going to court over this problem.

sarah said...

Atty., magkaiba kami ng municipality ng tatay ng mga anak ko. He's living in mandaluyong with his livin-in partner while ako naman I'm living with my parents here in caloocan. Where should I file my complaint? Is having sleepless nights or sometimes having nightmeres considred valid to file a case against the man who left me 3 months pregnant? He said we can no longer continue our relationships because he wanted to give his life direction. That he can't leave his live-in partner because it might cause her insanity and might even kill herself. I told him that, that might happened to me if he leave me like this but he just said "Hindi ko kayang mawala si ---(the other girl's name) sa buhay ko. Yung sitwasyon mo, sa umpisa lang yang galit ng magulang mo pero maiintindihan ka rin nila..". My family told me that I should not holler for the support he could give me but instead I should give him what he deserve, to be imprison at least for a week for him to realized what he had put me through. That's what I want right now but I'm having hesitations because I might not have enough evidence to prove na dumadanas talaga ako ng emotional and psychological distress. Hope you could give me some advise. Thanks and more power to you.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

RA 9262 criminal cases can be filed in the place where the offense took place; for civil case for damages, in the place of residence of the offended party; or for Protection Order, even in the place where the woman took or sought shelter.

In your situation, you can file your civil case in Caloocan. If the criminal act under RA 9262 however happened in Mandaluyong, you have to file the criminal case there. If you are just asking for a Protection Order, then you can file the petition in caloocan.

Psychological violence covers a wide ground. Marital infidelity by itself is a ground for filing a case of psychological violence. Abandoning you while you are pregnant in order to live with another wo0man, that is enough ground to file an RA 9262 case against your husband. Not supporting you financially falls under “economic abuse.”

The penalty for psychological violence is not one week but six years imprisonment as minimum. Since you are pregnant when these acts of violence were committed against you, the penalty is twelve years imprisonment.

Anonymous said...

Dear Attorney,

Ako po ay isang maybahay na nakatira sa probinsya kasama ang aking nag-iisang anak. May trabaho po ako at ang aking asawa ay isang pulis ilang beses ko na pong nahuling may iba siyang babae sa mga text po at sa tawag ng babae. At nitong huli nga po ay nakita namin sila na nagsasama na. Hindi rin po sya nagbibigay ng buwanang sustento sa amin bagkus ay hinahanapan pa po niya ako ng suweldo ko kung saan ko daw po ginagamit ito. Gusto ko na pong makawala sa kanya, dahil nuong nabuntis po ako sa pangalawang anak namin ay binugbog po nya ako nang mahuli ko na naman siyang may ibang babae at nakita namin ng anak ko ang picture nila ng babae nya na magkakandong ano po ang dapat kong gawin. Hinahamon din po nya ako ng legal na hiwalayan...
Maraming salamat po sana pahabain pa ng Diyos ang inyong buhay upang mas marami pa kayong taong matulungan lalo na sa mga katulad ko...

Naguguluhang misis,

Maritess

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Maritess,

You should consider filing (1) administrative cases against your husband with the Internal Affairs Service of the PNP, or the PLEB, or the NAPOLCOM; and/or (2) RA 9262 cases.For free legal assistance, please contact the DOJ Action Center. The DOJAC acts on complaints, requests for assistance and legal queries of walk-in clients of the DOJ. For legal assistance please visit the Department of Justice Action Center (DOJAC) Main Office, Ground Floor, Multi-Purpose Building, Padre Faura Street, Ermita, Manila; Telephone no: 523-84-81; Email Address: dojac@doj.gov.ph or visit any Regional/Provincial/City Prosecution Offices in your town or city.

You can also ask for help from the non-governmental organization “SALIGAN” or Sentro ng Alternatibong Lingap Panligal” in Manila, G/F Hoffner Building, Social Development Complex, Ateneo de Manila University, Loyola Heights, Quezon City, Philippines; Tel. (632) 426-6001 loc. 4858-4860, Telefax: (632) 426-6124; E-mail: saligan@saligan.org; Website: www.saligan.org

Anonymous said...

Dear Atty,
Ako po ay isang OFW na ngaun ay nasa qatar po. Ang problema ko, ang wife ko,kasal kami. nag rereklamo sa sustento ko sa isa naming anak po. Gusto niya lahat nang sweldo ko kukunin niya para siya ang hahawak at magdedesisyon kung anu at saan gagamitin. meron ako mga resibo sa mga padala ko sa kanya, para sa financial support ko sa anank namin na 2 year old pa. siya ay may anak sa pagkadalaga din, babae at 4 year old na din. Nagreklamo siya sa agency ko, at nagdemand na kukunin niya ang lahat na sweldo ko. hindi po ako pumayag, at ngauun po nanakot siya na magfile siya nang kaso against sa akin, under sa RA9262, at ang kaso ko raw ay kulang ang padala ko na financial support. pwede ba siya makapagfile nang kaso against sa akin, at magkano po ba ang kelangan ko ibigay na finacial support sa anak ko na 2 year old,Atty, pwede ba niya gawin un, na meron p ako resibo sa mga padala ko, sana po mabasa niyo ang post ko, at maliwanagan ang isip ko ngaun atty. currently andito po ako sa qatar.

andy said...

atty,

magandang araw po. hindi na kami in good terms nang wife ko na nasa pinas, since last 3 years po, currently po andito ako sa qatar for work. Nagreklamo ang wife ko sa agency at sa POEA at lumapit pa sa GABRIELA upang idulog ang problema niya, gusto niya magfile nang kaso against sa akin, na kulang ang padala ko para sa anak namin na 2 year old, ngaun po nanakot siya na pauwiin ako o ma deport kung hindi ako mag bigay sa gusto niya na lahat kukunin niya ang sweldo ko.. attty, pwede ba siya makapagfile nang kaso sa akin, under RA9262, dahil sa reklamo niya na kulang ang padala ko, meron po ako mga resibo sa mga pinadala ko sa kanya. Ini extort po niya ako, sa mga text niya at email na kung hindi ako magbigay nang gusto niya ay magfile siya nang kaso at ipa blacklist ako para di na makapag work abroad. atty, sana po sagutin mo ang tanung ko,,,,.. at magulo po ang isip ko ngaun ...
sana po tulungan mo ako,...

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Andy,

Please read my post “Support for abandoned woman and family” (look for the link in the sidebar). Or download my free PDF newsletter Issue no. 004 July 31, 2008 "Financial support for abandoned woman and her children"

Essentially, through a Protection Order, the court will order you and your employer to set aside a certain percentage of your salary to be remitted directly to your wife and your child on a monthly basis. If you and/or your employer fail to do so, you can be charged with contempt of court.

Please take note that the amount of support is balanced by the court between the necessities of the person asking for support and the financial capability of the person from whom support is being asked.

You can present the receipts that you have to prove that you are complying with your financial obligations to your family.

ria said...

Dear Atty. Gerry,

I am a mother of 3 kids, just this week i experienced a major trauma in my marriage life bec of my husband's infidelity. Dahil sa galit nya of me finding out about his affair with his former officemate, he beat me up & even spit on my face. It was so traumatic & so painful & I was so mad I wanted to get even with the girl(who is also married & still living with her husband) bec she is also the cause to all this trouble. I wanted to end this marriage as I suffered so much emotional, verbal & physical abuse with him, even our kids were already affected emotionally. My questions are, where do I go for counseling to help me file a case against my husband? can I also file a case against the other woman? I still have my bruises and I haven't done any medical reports bec of shame & fear of where it will lead me, my mind is so pre-occupied with a lot of things. Pls help me, I'm so confused. thanks.

ria

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Ria,

For emergency situations, you can contact the Melissawatch project of the DSWD for abused women. I am not sure if the number is still current but try mobile 0917-503-4264, or surf to the DSWD website.

Right now, you should go to the nearest PNP station and look for the Women and Children’s Concerns officer (a female PNP officer). Have yourself medically checked up and give your statement.

For free legal assistance, please contact the DOJ Action Center. The DOJAC acts on complaints, requests for assistance and legal queries of walk-in clients of the DOJ. For legal assistance please visit the Department of Justice Action Center (DOJAC) Main Office, Ground Floor, Multi-Purpose Building, Padre Faura Street, Ermita, Manila; Telephone no: 523-84-81; Email Address: dojac@doj.gov.ph or visit any Regional/Provincial/City Prosecution Offices in your town or city.

You can also try asking for help from SALIGAN (Sentro ng Alternatibong Lingap Panligal) Manila, G/F Hoffner Building, Social Development Complex, Ateneo de Manila University, Loyola Heights, Quezon City, Philippines; Tel. (632) 426-6001 loc. 4858-4860, Telefax: (632) 426-6124; E-mail: saligan@saligan.org; Website: www.saligan.org

You can also try asking for free legal help from the OLA (Office of Legal Aid) of the University of the Philippines College of Law in Diliman, Quezon City.

Please read my post “Adultery, concubinage and psychological violence” (look for the link in the sidebar).

If you want people to pray for you for whatever your needs are, please follow this link to a prayer room for men and women: http://womentodaymagazine.com/chat/share.html

Sarah said...

hi! po atty. ako po yung nag post ng comment dated May 10, 2009 5:38PM. As what you have advised me, nagfile po ako ng criminal case in rel to RA 9262 "economic abuse & psychological violence". Lahat po ng mga kaibigan, kamag-anakan at ka-opisinaan ko na nakaka-alam sa ginawa sa akin ng tatay ng anak ko ay nagsasabing may laban ako. Pati nga po yung asst.prosecutor ganun din ang sinabi sa akin. Pero nung nagpunta na po ako sa PAO, sabi naman ng atty ko pumayag na daw ako sa amount na ino-offer ng respondent sa akin at unawain ko daw yung financial capacity nya. Ayaw ko na po tanggapin yung offer kasi gusto ko po bigyan ng lesyon yung tatay ng mga anak ko dahil 2 beses na nya akong ginanito. Sa tingin nyo po dapat ko na lang tanggapin yung offer ng respondent ko? Minimun wager po sya at hindi daw nya kaya yung 3K na demand ko para sa 2 anak namin. 2K po yung offer nya. Dapat ko po ba i-demand sa kanya yung palya nyang sustento? Ano-anu po ba yung dapat ko i-demand kasi ayaw po akong turuan ng atty ko? Sana po ay matulungan nyo po ako..

lubos na gumagalan,
Sarah

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Sarah,

If you are going to accept a settlement, it should be done through a Protection Order granted by the court. This means that you have to go through the preliminary investigation with the fiscal. When the fiscal files the case with the court, you can tell the court that you are willing to drop the case if the man settles with you. You can ask the court to issue a Protection Order for financial support.

What the PAO lawyer did in trying to ask you to settle the case is against the provisions of RA 9262. The law prohibits barangay officials, police, DSWD workers, the judge, etc from discouraging the abused woman from pursuing her case.

Anonymous said...

Dear Attorney,

I am 31 years old, living with my husband, my 1 1/2 year old daughter, and my inlaws. Based on what I have read in your articles, I am a pyschologically abused wife. However, I have not said anything to anyone, not even my parents, about what I am going through. I have caught my husband trying out relationships with other women through his cellphone, since the time that I was pregnant. And when I do confront him about it, he denies it every time, and gets mad at me for doing so. I have stopped looking for signs of his infidelity and have stopped raising a confrontation with him, because I am emotionally exhausted. And frankly, I don't care anymore. He tells me that I'm stupid for having spilled food on the dashboard of his most loved car; restrains me and my daughter from visiting my parents' house, or tells me that I can go but I can't bring my daughter with me; he disconnects the phone that is a direct link to my mother's phone in the US, saying that he was not informed beforehand about it, and that he would oppose to anyway; he doesn't like any of my friends, and I haven't seen any one of them since we got married; he is suspicious of my friends in my friendster and facebook accounts, and accuses me of having something going on with my ex and my past suitor (who has a family now) when he discovered that they are part of my friends there. I have not been out of the house by myself, except to go to the hospital where I do volunteer work three times a week. I resigned from work since we got married because of his wish. I thought that it was my welfare that he's thinking of at that time, since I was already pregnant. Many times he demanded that I look for work since then, so that he could buy stuff that he needs (he runs a small business). I feel worthless because he's blaming me for being not able to get what he needs. He demands that I ask my parents for support with our daughter since my mother is in the US working in a hospital. I doubt that he asks support from his own parents. My concern is that should we separate, will I get the custody of our daughter? My husband sometimes threaten to take away my daughter from me, which really tears me apart. I am unemployed at the moment, and that is my major concern. I only care about my daughter now, and I am staying in this relationship because of her. I just couldn't bear to be separated from her. And although I can see that my husband loves our daughter, I fear that he will impose unreasonable restraints on her when she grows up, or choose her friends, or run her life, like he did to me and to his own parents as well. At this early, he restrains her from playing with her 5-year old cousin, who is just next door, and who is his sister's and my brother's son, because he doesn't like him. I am positive that he will keep her away from me too, in case we separate. Please help. Thank you so much.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. In terms of custody, the bias of the law is in favor of the mother, especially if the child is below seven. Article 213 of the Family Code states that “in case of separation of the parents, parental authority shall be exercised by the parent designated by the Court. The Court shall take into account all relevant considerations, especially the choice of the child over seven years of age, unless the parent chosen is unfit.”

Please read my posts (a) Can a mother be deprived of custody of her child? and (b) Custody battles over children: what determines fitness of a parent over another? Look for the links in the sidebar.

The lack of a job is not a ground for depriving a mother of custody of her child.

2. In case of a separation, you can compel your husband to support you and your child through a Protection Order under RA 9262. Please read the post “Support for abandoned woman and family” (look for the link in the sidebar). You can also download my free PDF newsletter on this topic from www.familymatters.org.ph

3. Please seek personal counseling from Ptr. Clem Guillermo and his wife, well-known marriage and family counselors, through their nightly radio program “Heartline” aired over DZAS 702 Khz, 10:30 to 12. I think the DZAS tel. no. is 92-11-52. Its website is http://www.febc.ph/stations/dzas/index.html . Ptr. Clem’s office is in the Back to the Bible Building, corner of West Avenue and EDSA (opposite SM City North EDSA).

Anonymous said...

hello atty,

2 years na po na wala kaming communication ng asawa ko.pumunta po ako ng poea at check ko po dun kung talagang nakalabas na sya ng bansa..nasa kuwait na po sya ngayun nagwowork,may isa po kaming anak at mag 2 years na rin po di sya nagbibigay ng financial suppot sa anak namin..saaan po ba ako pwedeng lumapit at anung gagawin?pwede po ba ako lumapit sa agency na inaplayan nya? thank you atty.
lsr

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Please read my post “Support for abandoned woman and family” (look for the link in the sidebar).

For free legal assistance, please contact the DOJ Action Center. The DOJAC acts on complaints, requests for assistance and legal queries of walk-in clients of the DOJ. For legal assistance please visit the Department of Justice Action Center (DOJAC) Main Office, Ground Floor, Multi-Purpose Building, Padre Faura Street, Ermita, Manila; Telephone no: 523-84-81; Email Address: dojac@doj.gov.ph or visit any Regional/Provincial/City Prosecution Offices in your town or city.

You can also try asking for help from SALIGAN (Sentro ng Alternatibong Lingap Panligal) Manila, G/F Hoffner Building, Social Development Complex, Ateneo de Manila University, Loyola Heights, Quezon City, Philippines; Tel. (632) 426-6001 loc. 4858-4860, Telefax: (632) 426-6124; E-mail: saligan@saligan.org; Website: www.saligan.org

The IBP (Integrated Bar of the Philippines) chapter offices found usually in the Hall of Justice of cities provides free legal help for those with a monthly income of less than fourteen or ten thousand pesos, I think.

You can also ask for free legal help from the free legal clinics of the San Beda College of Law (Mendiola, Manila) or from the the OLA (Office of Legal Aid) of the UP College of Law, Diliman, Quezon City.

Anonymous said...

Hello.

I am married for 5 years and recently i just found out my husband is having an affair. We are currently separated now because he wants to think by himself, since he cannot choose between me and his mistress. In the event that he chooses his mistress and lives with her, can I ask for spousal support even though we dont have a child? Is this still covered by RA 9262? What are other cases can I file against him?

Thank you very much.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

I already answered your e-mail.

Anonymous said...

Hello Sir,

I had filed a case against my husband a week ago (violation against R.A. 9262). Now, I am decided that I am not really interested to put him in jail but and I already forgive him. I processed some papers needed and have my affidavit of Desistance notarized...etc with some papers from his consular office in Cebu. I still have the affidavit as I was informed that I have to wait first for the arraignment of his case and I have to make some follow-up next week. How do I speed this process when I don't have money to pay for a lawyer? I want the case to be dismissed while there is no scheduled arraignment yet. I don't understand law terms but is it possible that way?

Thank you so much.

Azel

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Since you are the complainant, you do not have to retain the services of a private lawyer. The fiscal (public prosecutor) assigned to the court will automatically be your lawyer. You will have to submit your affidavit of desistance through him/her.

The judge, the fiscal and probably even your husband’s lawyer will require that your husband be arraigned first before your desistance is acted upon. Why? The legal principle of “double jeopardy” is the issue. Let me explain.

If the desistance is granted by the court after your husband has been arraigned, then on the basis of “double jeopardy” you can no longer re-file the case against him.

If the court grants your desistance and your husband has not been arraigned, then there is no double jeopardy; you can possibly re-file the case against him.

If your husband’s lawyer is competent, he will have your husband arraigned first.

Anonymous said...

I would like to know what the statute of limitations is about this psychological and physical abuse. My husband was unfaithful in a very open way, just having a child delivered a couple of days ago. He lived with his girlfriend's family and in their own apartment. (I'm in the States, a citizen, but we had been working on getting his Visa.) There were other times that he hit me and abused me physically, but I didn't complain to anyone because I only knew his family there, and didn't speak the language well. But his family did see the bruises that he left on me, more than once. I've sent you an email about the concubinage law, but I hadn't seen this. I'd really appreciate any advice you could give me.

RJC

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

RJC,

I already answered your e-mail.