Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Does RA 9262 apply to the EB Babes?

Two nights ago, GMA 7 (24 Oras) and ABS-CBN (TV Patrol) both reported an incident in a San Juan donut shop involving members of the EB Babes, a noontime show dance group, on one side and a man and his family on the other side. Allegedly, one EB Babe got hurt when the man threw a cup of hot water at her. The EB Babes (without any make-up and in plain T-shirts) looked like they were just minors but what really got my attention was the Channel 2 reporter's comments that the police investigators were filing against the man charges for “violence against women.”

Excuse me, come again? Violence against women? RA 9262?

RA 9262 “Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004” is our country’s landmark law on domestic violence. Take note of the term “domestic violence.” Violations of RA 9262 can only be committed against a woman and/or her children by a husband, former husband, live-in partner, former live-in partner, boyfriend, former boyfriend, dating or sexual partner, or a former dating or sexual partner. Thus, RA 9262 cannot be filed against the man who allegedly threw that cup of hot water against the EB Babe concerned.

It is sad (unforgivable may be the better term) that four years after RA 9262 became effective, police officers, barangay officials, social workers, and news reporters still do not know what the law is all about. I have been told of numerous instances when social workers or barangay officials have mediated conflicts between parties covered by RA 9262 (for example, settling disputes on custody of children, financial support). RA 9262 expressly prohibits government officials and employees from mediating such cases. Please read my post entitled “Mediation not allowed in domestic violence cases (with apologies to Pia Guanio)” which discusses why the law does not allow the mediation of this kind of cases.

Please review my other posts on RA 9262:

Hope and help for the battered woman (1): Statistics on domestic violence
Hope and help for the battered woman (2): RA 9262 essential provisions
Hope and help for the battered woman (3): RA 9262 Protection Orders
Hope and help for the battered woman (4): Emotional abuse / psychological violence
Hope and help for the battered woman (5): Biblical response to abuse; evangelical Christians are best husbands – University of Virginia study
Hold Departure Orders for OFWs under RA 9262
The "Battered Woman Syndrome" as defense
The "Battered Woman Syndrome" explained

If RA 9262 cannot be filed against that man who allegedly hurt one of the EB Babes, what case can be filed? If it is true that the EB Babes are below 18 (they look like they’re only 15 or 16), then Republic Act No. 7610 "Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act" will apply. Please take note that under RA 7610 the "child abuse" does not need to be habitual. If the EB Babes involved in the incident are beyond 18, then the Revised Penal Code provision on physical injuries will apply, not RA 7610.

6 comments :

John said...

My Fiancée in Cagayan De Oro and I are having problem with the Australian Embassy in manila about her 4 year old illegitimate daughter having 2 birth certificate.We suspect the boyfriend relatives made the first birth certificate and the date of birth on it is 9th October 2004 and when my Fiancée was ask to have a passport for her daughter she went to the NSO to get the birth a certificate there was none on her name.She was told to make a new one and got her passport under the new name and the birth date is 1st Jan 2005.Now the Australian embassy is asking about the other b/certificate.How does she cancel one to have only one birth certificate for her daughter
Best regards:John

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Do you have a copy of the first birth certificate? Does it contain the ex boyfriend’s surname as that of the child? Please read my post “What surname should illegitimate children use? Problems and issues with RA 9255 and its implementing guidelines” (ofor the link in the sidebar).

Your fiancée should file a petition under Rule 108 for the cancellation or correction of the first birth certificate. Please surf to the Legal Procedures section of my website www.familymatters.org.ph for a copy of Rule 108.

John said...

Dear Atty.
The case officer at the Australian embassy is now asking for my fiancee to get a consent letter from the father of her illegitimate child who abandoned them when the child was 2 months old and he is now living in Saudi since 2005 for her 4 year old child to migrate to Australia with her mother.My fiancee called him on the phone several times and he keep abusing her and hanging up the phone.Art. 176. Illegitimate children shall use the surname and shall be under the parental authority of their mother, and shall be entitled to support in conformity with this Code. However, illegitimate children may use surname of their father if their filiation has been expressly recognized by the father through the record of birth appearing in the civil register, or when an admission in a public document or private handwritten instrument is made by the father. Provided, the father has the right to institute an action before the regular courts to prove non-filiation during his lifetime. The legitime of each illegitimate child shall consist of one-half of the legitime of a legitimate child.(As amended by Republic Act 9255, approved February 24,2004.)Obviously the embassy is not aware of this law.
Best regards:john

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

John,

You can try to ask for a certification from the Department of Justice or from the Public Attorneys Office as to what Article 176 of the Family Code provides. You can then try submitting this certification to the Australian embassy.

Anonymous said...

Good day!

I am Filipina, recently married in Portugal with a Portuguese citizen, and have a daughter with my ex Filipino boyfriend . I really need your help for me to be able to bring my daughter in Portugal, but the problem is, my daughter bearing the name of her biological father and not my name, but it is written on the birth certificate that we are not married (me and her biological father), and we both signed at the back part of my daughters birth certificate. After i gave birth i stayed with my parents house, and i didn't received any support from the biological father, in short i handle all the financial stuffs, even now, our daughter is 1year old but he never go to our house to visit the child and give the things that our daughters need. The embassy of Portugal in Jakarta asked me to have a father consent. i already talked with my daughters biological father to signed the father consent but he don't want to signed the paper. My Questions are:

- Is there any chance that i could bring my daughter with me outside the country?
- What i am going to do now, because the father didn't signed the father consent?

thank you so much, hope you can response me.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Numerous women and/or their foreign fiancés or husbands) have e-mailed me about problems similar to your situation.

Your child is illegitimate and so under Article 176 of the Family Code, sole parental authority belongs to you. Even if your child is using the biological father’s surname in the birth certificate, she is still illegitimate. Full custody belongs to you. What the father has is visitation rights.

The problem is that foreign embassies are not aware of the provision of Article 176 of the family Code. Several people have e-mailed me because their embassies (US, Canadian, Australian, etc) have been asking for consent from the biological fathers for their children to immigrate with them.

Filing a case in court is practically useless since the courts will not declare that you have sole parental authority and full custody over your illegitimate daughter. This is because Article 176 already expressly provides for these authority and custody in your favor.

Perhaps you can ask the following to issue a letter or certification addressed to you and your future husband, with copy furnished to the Portuguese embassy, (or directly addressed to the embassy) as to what Article 176 provides:

[1] The PAO or the Public Attorney’s Office located at the DOJ compound in Padre Faura St. Manila; the PAO is headed by Atty. Persida Acosta who is very accommodating. She’s got an online column for the Manila Times.

[2] The UP Law Center in Diliman, Quezon City is the official repository of Philippine laws. You can ask for a certified copy of Article 176 or of the whole Family Code. At the same time you can try to ask the OLA (Office of Legal Aid) of the UP College of Law, also in Diliman, to issue this letter or certification.

[3] Makati City-based law firms (especially those with international practice or clientele) which can issue this letter or certification directly to the French embassy.