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SC declares Anti-Violence Against Women Law constitutional

Posted By Philippines News Agency On July 26, 2013 @ 3:15 PM In Dateline Philippines,Philippines | No Comments

MANILA, July 26 (PNA) — The Supreme Court has declared constitutional the Anti-Violence Against Women Law.

This, after the SC dismissed the petition filed by Jesus C. Garcia questioning the legality of Republic Act 9262 or An Act Defining Violence Against Women and their Children.

In a 37-page ruling dated June 25, 2013 written by Associate Justice Estela M. Perlas-Bernabe, the SC affirmed the constitutionality of Republic Act 9262 or “An Act Defining Violence Against Women and their Children” which took effect on March 27, 2004.

“Accordingly, the constitutionality of R.A. 9262 is, as it should be, sustained…Wherefore, the instant petition for review on certiorari is hereby denied for lack of merit,” the ruling said.

The SC also ruled there is no concrete evidence and convincing arguments presented in the petition “to warrant a declaration of the unconstitutionality of R.A. 9262, which is an act of Congress and signed into law by the highest officer of the co-equal executive department.”

It acted on the petition for review on certiorari filed by Jesus Garcia questioning the constitutionality of the law for “being violative of the equal protection and due process clauses, and an undue delegation of judicial power to barangay officials.”

The case arose from the petition filed against Garcia by his wife Maria Lourdes (not her real name) and in behalf of her minor children before the Bacolod City Regional Trial Court for the issuance of a temporary protection order.

She claimed to be a victim of physical abuse, emotional, psychological and economic violence as a result of marital infidelity of his husband.

The couple got married in 2002 and they have three minor children.

The wife, who is named as private respondent in the case before the SC, has asked the Bacolod City RTC for protection for herself and her children after a series of fights with his husband which left her physically and emotionally wounded and even drove her to attempt suicide.

The Bacolod City RTC issued a TPO on March 24, 2006 effective for 30 days but was renewed and extended on May 24, 2006.

The TPO ordered Garcia to leave their conjugal dwelling, stay away from his wife and her children from a distance of 1,000 meters and to pay full financial support for his wife and children including rental of a house for them, educational and medical expenses.

Another TPO was issued on Aug. 23, 2006 but it was continuously extended in an order dated Oct. 5, 2006 for 30 days after each expiration until further orders from the court.

Garcia went to the Court of Appeals and filed a petition for prohibition challenging the constitutionality of R.A. 9262 for being violative of the due process and the equal protection clauses and also, the validity of the modified TPO issued in the lower court for being “an unwanted product of an invalid law.”

The CA issued a 60-day temporary restraining order against the enforcement of the TPO.

However, the CA issued a resolution on Jan. 24, 2007 dismissing the petition filed by Garcia as he failed to “raise constitutional issue in his pleadings before the trial court in the civil case, which is clothed with jurisdiction to resolve the same.”

The CA further declared “the challenge to the validity of R.A. 9262 through a petition for prohibition seeking to annul the protection orders issued by the trial court constituted a collateral attack on the said law.”

Garcia filed a petition before the SC where he alleged the CA erred in dismissing his petition; in failing to conclude that the assailed law is discriminatory, unjust, and violative of the equal protection and due process clause of constitution and does violence to the policy of the state to protect the family as a basic social institution.

However, the SC ruled R.A. 9262 does not violate the guaranty of equal protection of the laws.


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