by Rey Panaligan, Manila Bulletin, 11 Oct 2021
Supreme Court’s (SC) warning to abusive, drunkard and philandering husbands: You will be jailed for a maximum of eights years and be fined at least P100,000.
The warning was, in effect, issued by the SC in its decision that affirmed the conviction of a husband by the trial court and the Court of Appeals (CA) for violation of the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act under Republic Act No. 9262.
The names of the husband, his wife and their children were redacted in the SC decision and replaced with fictitious initials to safeguard the honor and reputation of the victims.
A copy of the decision written by the now retired Associate Justice Edgardo L. Delos Santos was made public last Oct. 7
Aside from the jail term and the fine, the husband was ordered to undergo a mandatory psychological counseling or psychiatric treatment and to report his compliance to the trial court within 15 days after the completion of such counseling or treatment.
The SC decision dismissed the petition filed by the husband.
A summary of the decision released by the SC’s public information office (PIO) stated that the wife testified that in their 23 years of marriage, the petitioner (husband) had a habit of getting drunk and womanizing.
In October 2010, she and the petitioner had a fight and evicted her and their children from their conjugal home. The eldest of the children convinced his three sisters to return to the house to compel the petitioner to support them, leaving the fifth sibling with their mother.
The three, through text messages, reported to their mother that petitioner was always drunk and brought home one night a woman, whom the petitioner introduced to them as their aunt.
The wife later learned that the woman was already living with petitioner and their children conjugal home.
The SC PIO said: “The Court ruled that ‘a judicious study of the case reveals that all the elements of the crime charged were duly established.’”
Under Section of Section 5(i) of RA 9262, the elements of the violation are “the offended party is a woman and/or her child or children; the woman is either the wife or former wife of the offender, or is a woman a woman with whom such offender has a common child, and for the woman’s child or children, they may be legitimate or illegitimate, or living within or without the family abode,”
Also the elements of the crime state that “the offender causes on the woman and/or child mental or emotional anguish; and the anguish is caused through acts of public ridicule or humiliation, repeated verbal and emotional abuse, denial of financial support or custody of minor children or access to the children or similar such acts or omissions.”
The SC said the evidence in the charge filed against the husband showed that the offended party is a woman with whom he has five children. One of the children testified on the infidelity of her father and how his mistress lived with them in her parents’ conjugal home.
Also, it said, the evidence established that the husband committed psychological violence through marital infidelity and public ridicule or humiliation, which caused mental anguish and emotional suffering upon his wife.
The SC ruled:
“WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Petition for Review on Certiorari is DENIED. The Decision dated March 19, 2018 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR No. 39690 are hereby AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION: (1) Petitioner XXX is found GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of violation of Section S(i) of Republic Act No. 9262 and is hereby sentenced to suffer an indeterminate penalty of six (6) months and one (1) day of prision correccional as minimum, to eight (8) years and one (1) day of prision mayor as maximum. (2) Petitioner is ORDERED to PAY a fine in the amount of Pl00,000.00; and (3) Petitioner is DIRECTED to UNDERGO mandatory psychological counseling or psychiatric treatment and to report his compliance therewith to the court of origin within 15 days after the completion of such counseling or treatment. SO ORDERED.”