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THIRD DIVISION

G.R. No. 170701, January 22, 2014


RALPH P. TUA, Petitioner, v. HON. CESAR A. MANGROBANG, PRESIDING JUDGE, BRANCH 22,
REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, IMUS, CAVITE; AND ROSSANA HONRADO-TUA, Respondents.
DECISION
PERALTA, J.:
Before us is a petition for review on certiorari which seeks to annul the Decision1 dated October 28, 2005 of the Court of
Appeals (CA) issued in CA-G.R. SP No. 89939.
On May 20, 2005, respondent Rossana Honrado-Tua (respondent) filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Imus,
Cavite a Verified Petition2 for herself and in behalf of her minor children, Joshua Raphael, Jesse Ruth Lois, and Jezreel
Abigail, for the issuance of a protection order, pursuant to Republic Act (RA) 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women
and their Children Act of 2004, against her husband, petitioner Ralph Tua. The case was docketed as Civil Case No.
0464-05 and raffled-off to Branch 22. Respondent claimed that she and her children had suffered from petitioners
abusive conduct; that petitioner had threatened to cause her and the children physical harm for the purpose of controlling
her actions or decisions; that she was actually deprived of custody and access to her minor children; and, that she was
threatened to be deprived of her and her childrens financial support.
Respondent and petitioner were married on January 10, 1998 in Makati City. They have three children, namely, Joshua
Raphael born on February 9, 1999, Jesse Ruth Lois, born on June 27, 2000, and Jezreel Abigail, born on December 25,
2001. In her Affidavit3 attached to the petition, respondent claimed, among others, that: there was a time when petitioner
went to her room and cocked his gun and pointed the barrel of his gun to his head as he wanted to convince her not to
proceed with the legal separation case she filed; she hid her fears although she was scared; there was also an instance
when petitioner fed her children with the fried chicken that her youngest daughter had chewed and spat out; in order to
stop his child from crying, petitioner would threaten him with a belt; when she told petitioner that she felt unsafe and
insecure with the latters presence and asked him to stop coming to the house as often as he wanted or she would apply for
a protection order, petitioner got furious and threatened her of withholding his financial support and even held her by the
nape and pushed her to lie flat on the bed; and, on May 4, 2005, while she was at work, petitioner with companions went
to her new home and forcibly took the children and refused to give them back to her.
On May 23, 2005, the RTC issued a Temporary Protection Order (TPO), 4 which we quote in
full:chanRoblesVirtualawlibrary
Pursuant to the provisions of R.A. 9262, otherwise known as the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of
2004, a Temporary Protection Order (TPO) effective for thirty (30) days from date of receipt is hereby issued against
respondent Ralph P. Tua.
For the purpose of the implementation of the Temporary Protection Order, the respondent (herein petitioner Ralph) is
hereby ordered to:chanRoblesVirtualawlibrary
1. Enjoin from committing and threatening to commit personally or through another, physical, verbal and emotional harm
or abuse against the herein petitioner (respondent) and other family and household members;
2. Restrain from harassing, annoying, texting, telephoning, contacting or otherwise communicating with the petitioner
(respondent) whether directly or indirectly or engaged in any psychological form of harassment;
3. Stay away from the petitioner (respondent) and other family and household members at a distance of 100 meters radius
from the place of residence of the plaintiff and likewise to stay away from the residence, school, place of employment and
other places frequented by the herein petitioner (respondent), and other family and household members.
4. Give and deliver the three (3) minor children of the petitioner (respondent) to the [latter] who shall have their temporary
custody pending the determination of whether or not a permanent protection order shall issue.
VIOLATION OF THIS ORDER IS PUNISHABLE BY LAW.
The Sheriff of this Court, the PNP Imus, Cavite, or any Officers of the Law are hereby commanded to effect this Order
immediately and to use necessary force and measures under the law to implement this Order.
Let the hearing for Permanent Protection Order be set on June 9, 2005 at 2:00 oclock in the afternoon.
SO ORDERED.5crallawlibrary

In his Comment6 to respondents Petition with Urgent Motion to Lift TPO, petitioner denied respondents allegations and
alleged, among others, that he had been maintaining a separate abode from petitioner since November 2004; that it was
respondent who verbally abused and threatened him whenever their childrens stay with him was extended; that
respondent had been staying with a certain Rebendor Zuiga despite the impropriety and moral implications of such setup; that despite their written agreement that their minor children should stay in their conjugal home, the latter violated the
same when she surreptitiously moved out of their conjugal dwelling with their minor children and stayed with said
Zuiga; and, that respondent is mentally, psychologically, spiritually and morally unfit to keep the children in her custody.
Petitioner contended that the issuance of the TPO on May 23, 2005 is unconstitutional for being violative of the due
process clause of the Constitution.
Without awaiting for the resolution of his Comment on the petition and motion to lift TPO, petitioner filed with the CA a
petition for certiorari with prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction and/or temporary restraining order
and preliminary injunction and hold departure order assailing the May 23, 2005 TPO issued by the RTC.
On June 9, 2005, the CA, in order not to render the petition moot and to avoid grave and irreparable injury, issued a
temporary restraining order to temporarily enjoin the parties and their agents from enforcing the assailed May 23, 2005
TPO issued in Civil Case No. 0464-05.7crallawlibrary
Petitioner later filed an Urgent Motion for Issuance of a Writ of Preliminary Injunction with Manifestation, 8 praying that
the enforcement of all orders, decision to be issued by the RTC and all the proceedings therein be restrained. A hearing 9
was, subsequently, conducted on the motion.
On October 28, 2005, the CA issued its assailed decision, the decretal portion of which reads:chanRoblesVirtualawlibrary
WHEREFORE, based on the foregoing premises, the instant petition is hereby DENIED for lack of merit. Accordingly,
the assailed Temporary Protection Order dated May 23, 2002 (sic) issued by the Regional Trial Court of Imus, Cavite,
Branch 22 in Civil Case No. 0464-05 is UPHELD.10
In so ruling, the CA found that the petition filed by respondent under RA 9262 is still pending before the RTC; thus, the
factual matters raised therein could not be passed upon in the petition for certiorari filed with it. The CA noted that during
the pendency of the herein proceedings, petitioner filed an urgent motion to quash warrant issued by the RTC and which
matter could not also be a subject of this petition which assails the TPO dated May 23, 2005 and that the motion to quash
should have been filed with the RTC.
The CA found that the TPO dated May 23, 2005 was validly issued by the RTC and found no grave abuse of discretion in
the issuance thereof as the same were in complete accord with the provision of RA 9262.
As to petitioners argument that there was no basis for the issuance of the TPO, considering that the provision authorizing
such issuance is unconstitutional, the CA ruled that since the matter raised herein was the RTCs alleged grave abuse of
discretion in issuing the TPO, such matter could be resolved without having to rule on the constitutionality of RA 9262
and its provisions. And that the requisites that the constitutionality of the law in question be the very lis mota of the case
was absent.
Dissatisfied, petitioner files the instant petition raising the following issues:chanRoblesVirtualawlibrary
I
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS WITH DUE RESPECT SERIOUSLY ERRED IN HOLDING AND
FINDING IN A MANNER CONTRARY TO ESTABLISHED RULES AND JURISPRUDENCE THAT PUBLIC
RESPONDENT COMMITTED NO GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION WHEN THE LATTER ISSUED THE
TEMPORARY PROTECTIVE ORDER (TPO) DATED 23 MAY 2005 WITHOUT OBSERVING DUE PROCESS OF
LAW AND CONSIDERATIONS OF JUSTICE AND BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS.
II
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS IN REFUSING TO RULE ON THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF THE
PROVISIONS OF RA 9262 HAS DECIDED THE CASE IN A MANNER NOT IN ACCORD WITH ESTABLISHED
LAWS AND JURISPRUDENCE CONSIDERING THAT CONTRARY TO ITS FINDINGS THE
CONSTITUTIONALITY OF THE SAID LAW IS THE LIS MOTA OF THE CASE.11
Petitioner claims that contrary to the stance of the CA in not deciding the issue of the constitutionality of RA 9262, the
issue presented is the very lis mota in the instant case.
The issue of constitutionality of RA 9262 was raised by petitioner in his Comment to respondents Petition with Urgent
Motion to Lift TPO dated May 23, 2005 filed with the RTC. However, without awaiting for the resolution of the same,
petitioner filed a petition for certiorari with the CA assailing the TPO issued for violating the due process clause of the
Constitution. Contrary to the CAs finding that the matter raised in the petition filed with it was the RTCs alleged grave

abuse of discretion in issuing the TPO which could be resolved without having to rule on the constitutionality of RA 9262
and its provisions, we find that since petitioner is assailing the validity of RA 9262 wherein respondents right to a
protection order is based upon, the constitutionality of the said law must first be decided upon. After all, the alleged
unconstitutionality of RA 9262 is, for all intents and purposes, a valid cause for the non-issuance of a protection order. 12
Notwithstanding, however, we still find no merit to declare RA 9262 unconstitutional.
Petitioner particularly directs his constitutional attack on Section 15 of RA 9262 contending that had there been no ex
parte issuance of the TPO, he would have been afforded due process of law and had properly presented his side on the
matter; that the questioned provision simply encourages arbitrary enforcement repulsive to basic constitutional rights
which affects his life, liberty and property.
We are not impressed.
Section 15 of RA 9262 provides:chanRoblesVirtualawlibrary
SECTION 15. Temporary Protection Orders. - Temporary Protection Orders (TPOs) refers to the protection order issued
by the court on the date of filing of the application after ex parte determination that such order should be issued. A court
may grant in a TPO any, some or all of the reliefs mentioned in this Act and shall be effective for thirty (30) days. The
court shall schedule a hearing on the issuance of a [Permanent Protection Order] PPO prior to or on the date of the
expiration of the TPO. The court shall order the immediate personal service of the TPO on the respondent by the court
sheriff who may obtain the assistance of law enforcement agents for the service. The TPO shall include notice of the date
of the hearing on the merits of the issuance of a PPO.
In Garcia v. Drilon,13 wherein petitioner therein argued that Section 15 of RA 9262 is a violation of the due process
clause of the Constitution, we struck down the challenge and held:chanRoblesVirtualawlibrary
A protection order is an order issued to prevent further acts of violence against women and their children, their family or
household members, and to grant other necessary reliefs. Its purpose is to safeguard the offended parties from further
harm, minimize any disruption in their daily life and facilitate the opportunity and ability to regain control of their life.
The scope of reliefs in protection orders is broadened to ensure that the victim or offended party is afforded all the
remedies necessary to curtail access by a perpetrator to the victim. This serves to safeguard the victim from greater risk of
violence; to accord the victim and any designated family or household member safety in the family residence, and to
prevent the perpetrator from committing acts that jeopardize the employment and support of the victim. It also enables the
court to award temporary custody of minor children to protect the children from violence, to prevent their abduction by
the perpetrator and to ensure their financial support.
The rules require that petitions for protection order be in writing, signed and verified by the petitioner thereby undertaking
full responsibility, criminal or civil, for every allegation therein. Since time is of the essence in cases of VAWC if further
violence is to be prevented, the court is authorized to issue ex parte a TPO after raffle but before notice and hearing when
the life, limb or property of the victim is in jeopardy and there is reasonable ground to believe that the order is necessary
to protect the victim from the immediate and imminent danger of VAWC or to prevent such violence, which is about to
recur.
There need not be any fear that the judge may have no rational basis to issue an ex parte order. The victim is required not
only to verify the allegations in the petition, but also to attach her witnesses affidavits to the petition.
The grant of a TPO ex parte cannot, therefore, be challenged as violative of the right to due process. Just like a writ of
preliminary attachment which is issued without notice and hearing because the time in which the hearing will take could
be enough to enable the defendant to abscond or dispose of his property, in the same way, the victim of VAWC may
already have suffered harrowing experiences in the hands of her tormentor, and possibly even death, if notice and hearing
were required before such acts could be prevented. It is a constitutional commonplace that the ordinary requirements of
procedural due process must yield to the necessities of protecting vital public interests, among which is protection of
women and children from violence and threats to their personal safety and security.
It should be pointed out that when the TPO is issued ex parte, the court shall likewise order that notice be immediately
given to the respondent directing him to file an opposition within five (5) days from service. Moreover, the court shall
order that notice, copies of the petition and TPO be served immediately on the respondent by the court sheriffs. The TPOs
are initially effective for thirty (30) days from service on the respondent.
Where no TPO is issued ex parte, the court will nonetheless order the immediate issuance and service of the notice upon
the respondent requiring him to file an opposition to the petition within five (5) days from service. The date of the
preliminary conference and hearing on the merits shall likewise be indicated on the notice.
The opposition to the petition which the respondent himself shall verify, must be accompanied by the affidavits of
witnesses and shall show cause why a temporary or permanent protection order should not be issued.
It is clear from the foregoing rules that the respondent of a petition for protection order should be apprised of the charges

imputed to him and afforded an opportunity to present his side. x x x. The essence of due process is to be found in the
reasonable opportunity to be heard and submit any evidence one may have in support of ones defense. To be heard does
not only mean verbal arguments in court; one may be heard also through pleadings. Where opportunity to be heard, either
through oral arguments or pleadings, is accorded, there is no denial of procedural due process. 14
Petitioner also assails that there is an invalid delegation of legislative power to the court and to barangay officials to issue
protection orders.
Section 2 of Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution provides that the Congress shall have the power to define, prescribe,
and apportion the jurisdiction of the various courts but may not deprive the Supreme Court of its jurisdiction over cases
enumerated in Section 5 hereof. Hence, the primary judge of the necessity, adequacy, wisdom, reasonableness and
expediency of any law is primarily the function of the legislature. 15 The act of Congress entrusting us with the issuance of
protection orders is in pursuance of our authority to settle justiciable controversies or disputes involving rights that are
enforceable and demandable before the courts of justice or the redress of wrongs for violations of such
rights.16crallawlibrary
As to the issuance of protection order by the Punong Barangay, Section 14 pertinently
provides:chanRoblesVirtualawlibrary
SEC. 14. Barangay Protection Orders (BPOs); Who May Issue and How. - Barangay Protection Orders (BPOs) refer to
the protection order issued by the Punong Barangay ordering the perpetrator to desist from committing acts under Section
5 (a) and (b) of this Act. A Punong Barangay who receives applications for a BPO shall issue the protection order to the
applicant on the date of filing after ex parte determination of the basis of the application. If the Punong Barangay is
unavailable to act on the application for a BPO, the application shall be acted upon by any available Barangay Kagawad.
If the BPO is issued by a Barangay Kagawad, the order must be accompanied by an attestation by the Barangay Kagawad
that the Punong Barangay was unavailable at the time of the issuance of the BPO. BPOs shall be effective for fifteen (15)
days. Immediately after the issuance of an ex parte BPO, the Punong Barangay or Barangay Kagawad shall personally
serve a copy of the same on the respondent, or direct any barangay official to effect its personal service.
The parties may be accompanied by a non-lawyer advocate in any proceeding before the Punong Barangay.
Hence, the issuance of a BPO by the Punong Barangay or, in his unavailability, by any available Barangay Kagawad,
merely orders the perpetrator to desist from (a) causing physical harm to the woman or her child; and (2) threatening to
cause the woman or her child physical harm. Such function of the Punong Barangay is, thus, purely executive in nature,
in pursuance of his duty under the Local Government Code to enforce all laws and ordinances, and to maintain public
order in the barangay.17crallawlibrary
Petitioner assails that the CA erred in finding that the RTC did not commit grave abuse of discretion in issuing the TPO
dated May 23, 2005 as the petition was bereft of any indication of grounds for the issuance of the same. Petitioner claims
that while the issuance of the TPO is ex parte, there must be a judicial determination of the basis thereof. He contends
that the allegations in respondents affidavit attached to the petition, and without admitting the same to be true, are nothing
more than normal or usual quarrels between a husband and wife which are not grave or imminent enough to merit the
issuance of a TPO.
We are not persuaded.
We quote again Section 15 of RA 9262 for ready reference, thus:chanRoblesVirtualawlibrary
SECTION 15. Temporary Protection Orders. - Temporary Protection Orders (TPOs) refers to the protection order issued
by the court on the date of filing of the application after ex parte determination that such order should be issued. A court
may grant in a TPO any, some or all of the reliefs mentioned in this Act and shall be effective for thirty (30) days. The
court shall schedule a hearing on the issuance of a PPO prior to or on the date of the expiration of the TPO. The court shall
order the immediate personal service of the TPO on the respondent by the court sheriff who may obtain the assistance of
law enforcement agents for the service. The TPO shall include notice of the date of the hearing on the merits of the
issuance of a PPO.
Clearly, the court is authorized to issue a TPO on the date of the filing of the application after ex parte determination that
there is basis for the issuance thereof. Ex parte means that the respondent need not be notified or be present in the hearing
for the issuance of the TPO. Thus, it is within the courts discretion, based on the petition and the affidavit attached
thereto, to determine that the violent acts against women and their children for the issuance of a TPO have been
committed.
And Section 5 of the same law provides:chanRoblesVirtualawlibrary
SECTION 5. Acts of Violence Against Women and Their Children.- The crime of violence against women and their
children is committed through any of the following acts:chanRoblesVirtualawlibrary
(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 womans or her childs 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 child. This shall include, but
not limited to, the following acts committed with the purpose or effect of controlling or restricting the womans or her
childs movement or conduct:chanRoblesVirtualawlibrary
(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, or
deliberately providing the womans 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
victims own money or properties, or solely controlling the conjugal or common money, or properties;
(f) Inflicting or threatening to inflict physical harm on oneself 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. This shall include, but not be limited to, the following
acts:chanRoblesVirtualawlibrary
(1) Stalking or following the woman or her child in public or private places;
(2) Peering in the window 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 or inflicting harm to animals or pets of the woman or her child; and
(5) Engaging in any form of harassment or violence;
(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 of access to
the womans child/children.
In this case, the alleged acts of petitioner among others, i.e., he cocked the gun and pointed the same to his head in order
to convince respondent not to proceed with the legal separation case; feeding his other children with the food which
another child spat out; and threatening the crying child with a belt to stop him from crying which was repeatedly done;
and holding respondent by her nape when he got furious that she was asking him not to come often to their conjugal home
and hold office thereat after their agreed separation and threatening her of withholding half of the financial support for the
kids, while not conclusive, are enough bases for the issuance of a TPO. Petitioners actions would fall under the
enumeration of Section 5, more particularly, paragraphs a, d, e (2), f, h, and i.
It is settled doctrine that there is grave abuse of discretion when there is a capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment
as is equivalent to lack of jurisdiction, such as where the power is exercised in an arbitrary or despotic manner by reason
of passion or personal hostility, and it must be so patent and gross so as to amount to an evasion of positive duty or to a
virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined or to act at all in contemplation of law.18 We find that the CA did not err when
it found no grave abuse of discretion committed by the RTC in the issuance of the TPO.
The factual matters herein raised by petitioner should be presented during the hearing on the merits on the issuance of the
Permanent Protection Order.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The Decision dated October 28, 2005 of the Court of Appeals issued in CAG.R. SP No. 89939, upholding the Regional Trial Courts issuance of the Temporary Protection Order dated May 23,
2005, is AFFIRMED. The Regional Trial Court of Imus, Cavite is hereby ORDERED to resolve with dispatch
respondents Petition for a Permanent Protection Order.
SO ORDERED.

2. DABALOS (Y SAN DIEGO) v. RTC, BR 59, ANGELES CITY (PAMPANGA), ET AL.

[G.R. No. 193960, January 07, 2013]


PERLAS-BERNABE, J.:
FACTS:
Before the Court is a petition for certiorari and prohibition assailing the Orders of the (RTC) of Angeles City, Branch 59 which denied
petitioner's Motion for Judicial Determination of Probable Cause with Motion to Quash the Information.
Petitioner was charged with violation of Section 5(a) of RA 9262 before the RTC of Angeles City, Branch 59, in an Information: x x x
the above- named accused, being then the boyfriend of the complainant, x x x did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously
use personal violence [on] the complainant, by pulling her hair, punching complainant's back, shoulder and left eye, thereby
demeaning and degrading the complainant's intrinsic worth and dignity as a human being, in violation of Section 5(a) of the Republic
Act 9262.4rl1
RTC found probable cause and consequently, issued a warrant of arrest. The latter posted a cash bond and on August 12, 2010, filed
a Motion for Judicial Determination of Probable Cause with Motion to Quash the Information.
Petitioner averred that at the time of the alleged incident on July 13, 2009, he was no longer in a dating relationship with private
respondent; hence, RA 9262 was inapplicable.
In her affidavit, private respondent admitted that her relationship with petitioner had ended prior to the subject incident. She narrated
that she sought payment of the money she had lent to petitioner but the latter could not pay. She then inquired from petitioner if he
was responsible for spreading rumors about her which he admitted. Thereupon, private respondent slapped petitioner causing the
latter to inflict on her the physical injuries alleged in the Information. The RTC denied petitioner's motion. It did not consider material
the fact that the parties' dating relationship had ceased prior to the incident.
ISSUES:
W/n the act of petitioner which resulted in physical injuries to private respondent is not covered by RA 9262 because its proximate cause was
not their dating relationship. Instead, he claims that the offense committed was only slight physical injuries under the Revised Penal Code which
falls under the jurisdiction of the Municipal Trial Court.
HELD:
The petition has no merit.
The Court is not persuaded. Sec. 3(a) of RA 9262 reads: SEC. 3. Definition of Terms.- As used in this Act, (a) "Violence against women and
their children" refers to any act or a series of acts committed by any person against a woman who is his wife, former wife, or against a woman
with whom the person has or had a sexual or dating relationship, or 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. x x x.
The law is broad in scope but specifies two limiting qualifications for any act or series of acts to be considered as a crime of violence
against women through physical harm, namely: 1) it is committed against a woman or her child and the woman is the offender's wife,
former wife, or with whom he has or had sexual or dating relationship or with whom he has a common child; and 2) it results in or is
likely to result in physical harm or suffering.
In Ang v. Court of Appeals,5 the Court enumerated the elements of the crime of violence against women through harassment, to wit: 1. The
offender has or had a sexual or dating relationship with the offended woman; 2. The offender, by himself or through another, commits an act or
series of acts of harassment against the woman; and 3. The harassment alarms or causes substantial emotional or psychological distress to
her.6rl1
Notably, while it is required that the offender has or had a sexual or dating relationship with the offended woman, for RA 9262 to be applicable, it
is not indispensable that the act of violence be a consequence of such relationship. Nowhere in the law can such limitation be inferred. Hence,
applying the rule on statutory construction that when the law does not distinguish, neither should the courts, then, clearly, the punishable acts
refer to all acts of violence against women with whom the offender has or had a sexual or dating relationship. As correctly ruled by the RTC,
it is immaterial whether the relationship had ceased for as long as there is sufficient evidence showing the past or present existence
of such relationship between the offender and the victim when the physical harm was committed. Consequently, the Court cannot
depart from the parallelism in Ang and give credence to petitioner's assertion that the act of violence should be due to the sexual or dating
relationship.
Neither can the Court construe the statute in favor of petitioner using the rule of lenity 7 because there is no ambiguity in RA 9262 that would
necessitate any construction. While the degree of physical harm under RA 9262 and Article 266 8 of the Revised Penal Code are the same,
there is sufficient justification for prescribing a higher penalty for the former. Clearly, the legislative intent is to purposely impose a more severe
sanction on the offenders whose violent act/s physically harm women with whom they have or had a sexual or dating relationship, and/or their
children with the end in view of promoting the protection of women and children.
Accordingly, the Information having sufficiently alleged the necessary elements of the crime, such as: a dating relationship between the
petitioner and the private respondent; the act of violence committed by the petitioner; and the resulting physical harm to private respondent, the
offense is covered by RA 9262 which falls under the jurisdiction of the RTC in accordance with Sec. 7 of the said law.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. SHIRLEY A. CASIO, Accused-Appellant.


DECISION
LEONEN, J.:

Chicks mo dong?1
With this sadly familiar question being used on the streets of many of our cities, the fate of many desperate
women is sealed and their futures vanquished. This case resulted in the rescue of two minors from this
pernicious practice. Hopefully, there will be more rescues. Trafficking in persons is a deplorable crime. It is
committed even though the minor knew about or consented to the act of trafficking.
This case involves Republic Act No. 9208,2 otherwise known as the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003.3
Accused Shirley A. Casio was charged for the violation of Republic Act No. 9208, Section 4(a), qualified by
Section 6(a). The information against accused, dated May 5, 2008, states:
That on or about the 3rd day of May 2008, at about 1:00 oclock A.M., in the City of Cebu, Philippines, and
within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused, with deliberate intent, with intent to gain, did
then and there hire and/or recruit AAA, a minor, 17 years old and BBB for the purpose of prostitution and
sexual exploitation, by acting as their procurer for different customers, for money, profit or any other
consideration, in Violation of Sec. 4, Par. (a), Qualified by Sec. 6, Par. ( a), of R.A. 9208 (Qualified Trafficking
in Persons).
chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

CONTRARY TO LAW.4
The facts, as found by the trial court and the Court of Appeals, are as follows:
On May 2, 2008, International Justice Mission (IJM),5 a non-governmental organization, coordinated with the
police in order to entrap persons engaged in human trafficking in Cebu City.6
Chief PSI George Ylanan, SPO1 Felomino Mendaros, SPO1 Fe Altubar, PO1 Albert Luardo, and PO1 Roy
Carlo Veloso composed the team of police operatives.7 PO1 Luardo and PO1 Veloso were designated as decoys,
pretending to be tour guides looking for girls to entertain their guests.8 IJM provided them with marked money,
which was recorded in the police blotter.9
The team went to Queensland Motel and rented Rooms 24 and 25. These rooms were adjacent to each other.
Room 24 was designated for the transaction while Room 25 was for the rest of the police team.10
PO1 Luardo and PO1 Veloso proceeded to D. Jakosalem Street in Barangay Kamagayan, Cebu Citys red light
district. Accused noticed them and called their attention by saying Chicks mo dong? (Do you like girls,
guys?).11
During trial, PO1 Luardo and PO1 Veloso testified that their conversation with accused went as follows:
Accused: Chicks mo dong? (Do you like girls, guys?)
PO1
Luardo:

chanrobl esvirtuallawlibrary

Unya mga bag-o? Kanang batan-on kay naa mi guests naghulat sa motel. (Are they new? They must
be young because we have guests waiting at the motel.)

Accused: Naa, hulat kay magkuha ko. (Yes, just wait and Ill get them.)12
At that point, PO1 Luardo sent a text message to PSI Ylanan that they found a prospective subject.13
After a few minutes, accused returned with AAA and BBB, private complainants in this case.14
Accused: Kining duha kauyon mo ani? (Are you satisfied with these two?)
PO1
Maayo man kaha na sila modala ug kayat? (Well, are they good in sex?)15
Veloso:
Accused gave the assurance that the girls were good in sex. PO1 Luardo inquired how much their services
would cost. Accused replied, Tag kinientos (P500.00).16
PO1 Veloso and PO1 Luardo convinced accused to come with them to Queensland Motel. Upon proceeding to
Room 24, PO1 Veloso handed the marked money to accused.17
As accused counted the money, PO1 Veloso gave PSI Ylanan a missed call. This was their pre-arranged signal.
The rest of the team proceeded to Room 24, arrested accused, and informed her of her constitutional rights. The
police confiscated the marked money from accused.18 Meanwhile, AAA and BBB were brought to Room 25
and placed in the custody of the representatives from the IJM and the DSWD.19
During trial, AAA testified that she was born on January 27, 1991. This statement was supported by a copy of

her certificate of live birth.20


AAA narrated that in 2007, she worked as a house helper in Mandaue City. In March 2008 she stopped working
as a house helper and transferred to Cebu City. She stayed with her cousin, but she subsequently moved to a
boarding house. It was there where she met her friend, Gee Ann. AAA knew that Gee Ann worked in a disco
club. When Gee Ann found out that AAA was no longer a virgin, she offered AAA work. AAA agreed because
she needed the money in order to help her father. AAA recalled that she had sex with her first customer. She was
paid P200.00 and given an additional P500.00 as tip. For the first few weeks, Gee Ann provided customers for
AAA. Eventually, Gee Ann brought her to Barangay Kamagayan, telling her that there were more customers in
that area.21
AAA stated that she knew accused was a pimp because AAA would usually see her pimping girls to customers
in Barangay Kamagayan.22 AAA further testified that on May 2, 2008, accused solicited her services for a
customer. That was the first time that she was pimped by accused.23 Accused brought her, BBB, and a certain
Jocelyn to Queensland Motel.24
AAA testified that Jocelyn stayed in the taxi, while she and BBB went to Room 24. It was in Room 24 where
the customer paid Shirley. The police rushed in and told AAA and BBB to go to the other room. AAA was then
met by the Department of Social Welfare and Development personnel who informed her that she was rescued
and not arrested.25
AAA described that her job as a prostitute required her to display herself, along with other girls, between 7 p.m.
to 8 p.m. She received P400.00 for every customer who selected her.26
The prosecution also presented the police operatives during trial. PSI Ylanan, SPO1 Mendaros, and SPO1
Altubar testified that after PO1 Veloso had made the missed call to PSI Ylanan, they rushed to Room 24 and
arrested the accused.27 SPO1 Altubar retrieved the marked money worth P1,000.00 from accuseds right hand
and upon instruction from PCINSP Ylanan recorded the same at the police blotter prior operation. . . .28
The trial court noted that AAA requested assistance from the IJM in conducting the operation against the
accused.29
Version of the accused
In defense, accused testified that she worked as a laundrywoman. On the evening of May 2, 2008, she went out
to buy supper. While walking, she was stopped by two men on board a blue car. The two men asked her if she
knew someone named Bingbing. She replied that she only knew Gingging but not Bingbing. The men informed
her that they were actually looking for Gingging, gave her a piece of paper with a number written on it, and told
her to tell Gingging to bring companions. When accused arrived home, she contacted Gingging. Gingging
convinced her to come because allegedly, she would be given money by the two males.30
Ruling of the trial court
The Regional Trial Court, Branch 14 in Cebu City found accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt and held31
that:
Accused had consummated the act of trafficking of person[s] . . . as defined under paragraph (a), Section 3 of
R.A. 9208 for the purpose of letting her engage in prostitution as defined under paragraph [c] of the same
Section; the act of sexual intercourse need not have been consummated for the mere transaction i.e. the
solicitation for sex and the handing over of the bust money of Php1,000.00 already consummated the said
act.
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WHEREFORE, the Court finds accused, SHIRLEY A. CASIO, GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of
trafficking in persons under paragraph (a), Section 4 as qualified under paragraph (a), Section 6 of R.A. 9208
and sentenced to suffer imprisonment of TWENTY (20) YEARS and to pay a fine of ONE MILLION
(Php1,000,000.00).
Finally, accused is ordered to pay the costs of these proceedings.
SO ORDERED[.]32

Ruling of the Court of Appeals


The Court of Appeals affirmed the findings of the trial court but modified the fine and awarded moral damages.
The dispositive portion of the decision33 reads:
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing premises, the instant appeal is hereby DENIED. The assailed
Decision dated 10 August 2010 promulgated by the Regional Trial Court, Branch 14 in Cebu City in Crim. Case
No. CBU-83122 is AFFIRMED WITH MODIFICATIONS. The accused-appellant is accordingly sentenced to
suffer the penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of Php2,000,000 and is ordered to pay each of the private
complainants Php150,000 as moral damages.
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SO ORDERED.34
Accused filed a notice of appeal35 on August 28, 2013, which the Court of Appeals noted and gave due course in
its resolution36 dated January 6, 2014.
The case records of CA-G.R. CEB-CR No. 01490 were received by this court on March 17, 2014.37
In the resolution38 dated April 29, 2014, this court resolved to notify the parties that they may file their
respective supplemental briefs within 30 days from notice. This court also required the Superintendent of the
Correctional Institution for Women to confirm the confinement of accused.39
Counsel for accused40 and the Office of the Solicitor General41 filed their respective manifestations, stating that
they would no longer file supplemental briefs considering that all issues had been discussed in the appellants
brief and appellees brief filed before the Court of Appeals. Through a letter42 dated June 17, 2014,
Superintendent IV Rachel D. Ruelo confirmed accuseds confinement at the Correctional Institution for Women
since October 27, 2010.
The sole issue raised by accused is whether the prosecution was able to prove her guilt beyond reasonable
doubt.
However, based on the arguments raised in accuseds brief, the sole issue may be dissected into the following:
(1)

Whether the entrapment operation conducted by the police was valid, considering that there was no prior
surveillance and the police did not know the subject of the operation;43

(2)

Whether the prosecution was able to prove accuseds guilt beyond reasonable doubt even though there was
no evidence presented to show that accused has a history of engaging in human trafficking;44 and

(3)

Whether accused was properly convicted of trafficking in persons, considering that AAA admitted that she
works as a prostitute.45

Arguments of accused
Accused argues that there was no valid entrapment. Instead, she was instigated into committing the crime.46 The
police did not conduct prior surveillance and did not even know who their subject was.47 Neither did the police
know the identities of the alleged victims.
Accused further argues that under the subjective test, she should be acquitted because the prosecution did not
present evidence that would prove she had a history of engaging in human trafficking or any other offense. She
denied being a pimp and asserted that she was a laundrywoman.48 In addition, AAA admitted that she worked as
a prostitute. Thus, it was her decision to display herself to solicit customers.49
Arguments of the plaintiff-appellee
The Office of the Solicitor General, counsel for plaintiff-appellee People of the Philippines, argued that the trial
court did not err in convicting accused because witnesses positively identified her as the person who solicited
customers and received money for AAA and BBB.50 Entrapment operations are valid and have been recognized
by courts.51 Likewise, her arrest in flagrante delicto is valid.52 Hence, the trial court was correct in stating that
accused had fully consummated the act of trafficking of persons. . .53
We affirm accused Shirley A. Casios conviction.
I.

Background of Republic Act No. 9208


The United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UN CTOC) was adopted and opened
for signature, ratification and accession54 on November 15, 2000. The UN CTOC is supplemented by three
protocols: (1) the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and
Children; (2) the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air; and, (3) the Protocol against
the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, their Parts and Components and Ammunition.55
On December 14, 2000, the Philippines signed the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish
Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (Trafficking Protocol).56 This was ratified by the
Philippine Senate on September 30, 2001.57 The Trafficking Protocols entry into force was on December 25,
2003.58
In the Trafficking Protocol, human trafficking is defined as:
Article 3

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Use of terms
For the purposes of this Protocol:
(a) Trafficking in persons shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of
persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception,
of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to
achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation
shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation,
forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs;
(b) The consent of a victim of trafficking in persons to the intended exploitation set forth in subparagraph (a) of
this article shall be irrelevant where any of the means set forth in subparagraph (a) have been used;
(c) The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of a child for the purpose of exploitation shall
be considered trafficking in persons even if this does not involve any of the means set forth in subparagraph
(a) of this article;
(d) Child shall mean any person under eighteen years of age.
Senator Loren Legarda, in her sponsorship speech, stated that the Anti-Trafficking Act will serve as the
enabling law of the countrys commitment to [the] protocol.59
Senator Luisa Ejercito Estrada also delivered a sponsorship speech and described trafficking in persons as
follows:
Trafficking in human beings, if only to emphasize the gravity of its hideousness, is tantamount to modern-day
slavery at work. It is a manifestation of one of the most flagrant forms of violence against human beings. Its
victims suffer the brunt of this insidious form of violence. It is exploitation, coercion, deception, abduction,
rape, physical, mental and other forms of abuse, prostitution, forced labor, and indentured servitude.
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....
As of this time, we have signed the following: the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of
Discrimination Against Women; the 1995 Convention on the Rights of the Child; the United Nations
Convention on the Protection of Migrant Workers and their Families; and the United Nations Resolution on
Trafficking in Women and Girls, among others.
Moreover, we have also expressed our support for the United Nations Convention Against Organized Crime,
including the Trafficking Protocol in October last year.
At first glance, it appears that we are very responsive to the problem. So it seems.
Despite these international agreements, we have yet to come up with a law that shall squarely address human
trafficking.60
During the interpellation of Republic Act No. 9208, then numbered as Senate Bill No. 2444, Senator Teresa
Aquino-Oreta asked if there was a necessity for an anti-trafficking law when other laws exist that cover

trafficking.61
Senator Luisa Ejercito Estrada explained:
At present, Mr. President, the relevant laws to the trafficking issue are the Revised Penal Code, Republic Act
No. 8042 or the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipino Act, R[epublic] A[ct] No. 6955 or the Mail-Order Bride
Act, and Republic Act No. 8239 or the Philippine Passport Act. These laws address issues such as illegal
recruitment, prostitution, falsification of public documents and the mail-order bride scheme. These laws do not
respond to the issue of recruiting, harboring or transporting persons resulting in prostitution, forced labor,
slavery and slavery-like practices. They only address to one or some elements of trafficking independent of their
results or consequence.62 (Emphasis supplied)
Thus, Republic Act No. 9208 was enacted in order to fully address the issue of human trafficking. Republic Act
No. 9208 was passed on May 12, 2003, and approved on May 26, 2003.
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II.
Elements of trafficking in persons
The elements of trafficking in persons can be derived from its definition under Section 3(a) of Republic Act No.
9208, thus:
(1) The act of recruitment, transportation, transfer or harbouring, or receipt of persons with or without the
victims consent or knowledge, within or across national borders.
(2) The means used which include threat or use of force, or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud,
deception, abuse of power or of position, taking advantage of the vulnerability of the person, or, the giving
or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another; and
(3) The purpose of trafficking is exploitation which includes exploitation or the prostitution of others or
other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery, servitude or the removal or sale of
organs.63
On January 28, 2013, Republic Act No. 1036464 was approved, otherwise known as the Expanded AntiTrafficking in Persons Act of 2012. Section 3(a) of Republic Act No. 9208 was amended by Republic Act No.
10364 as follows:
SEC. 3. Section 3 of Republic Act No. 9208 is hereby amended to read as follows:
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SEC. 3. Definition of Terms. As used in this Act:


(a) Trafficking in Persons refers to the recruitment, obtaining, hiring, providing, offering, transportation,
transfer, maintaining, harboring, or receipt of persons with or without the victims consent or knowledge, within
or across national borders by means of threat, or use of force, or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud,
deception, abuse of power or of position, taking advantage of the vulnerability of the person, or, the giving or
receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person for the
purpose of exploitation which includes at a minimum, the exploitation or the prostitution of others or other
forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery, servitude or the removal or sale of organs.
The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, adoption or receipt of a child for the purpose of
exploitation or when the adoption is induced by any form of consideration for exploitative purposes shall also
be considered as trafficking in persons even if it does not involve any of the means set forth in the preceding
paragraph. (Emphasis supplied)
Under Republic Act No. 10364, the elements of trafficking in persons have been expanded to include the
following acts:
(1) The act of recruitment, obtaining, hiring, providing, offering, transportation, transfer, maintaining,
harboring, or receipt of persons with or without the victims consent or knowledge, within or across
national borders;
(2) The means used include by means of threat, or use of force, or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud,
deception, abuse of power or of position, taking advantage of the vulnerability of the person, or, the giving
or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another
person
(3) The purpose of trafficking includes the exploitation or the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual
exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery, servitude or the removal or sale of organs (Emphasis
supplied)
The Court of Appeals found that AAA and BBB were recruited by accused when their services were peddled to
the police who acted as decoys.65 AAA was a child at the time that accused peddled her services.66 AAA also
stated that she agreed to work as a prostitute because she needed money.67 Accused took advantage of AAAs
vulnerability as a child and as one who need money, as proven by the testimonies of the witnesses.68
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III.
Knowledge or consent of the minor is not a defense under Republic Act No. 9208.
Accused claims that AAA admitted engaging in prostitution even before May 2, 2008. She concludes that AAA
was predisposed to having sex with customers for money.69 For liability under our law, this argument is
irrelevant. As defined under Section 3(a) of Republic Act No. 9208, trafficking in persons can still be committed
even if the victim gives consent.
SEC. 3. Definition of Terms. As used in this Act:
a. Trafficking in Persons - refers to the recruitment, transportation, transfer or harboring, or receipt of
persons with or without the victim's consent or knowledge, within or across national borders by means of
threat or use of force, or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or of
position, taking advantage of the vulnerability of the persons, or, the giving or receiving of payments or
benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person for the purpose of
exploitation which includes at a minimum, the exploitation or the prostitution of others or other forms of
sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery, servitude or the removal or sale of organs.
The recruitment transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of a child for the purpose of exploitation
shall also be considered as trafficking in persons even if it does not involve any of the means set forth
in the preceding paragraph.70 (Emphasis supplied)
The victims consent is rendered meaningless due to the coercive, abusive, or deceptive means employed by
perpetrators of human trafficking.71 Even without the use of coercive, abusive, or deceptive means, a minors
consent is not given out of his or her own free will.
Section 4 of Republic Act No. 9208 enumerates the different acts of trafficking in persons. Accused was
charged under Section 4(a), which states:
SEC. 4. Acts of Trafficking in Persons. It shall be unlawful for any person, natural or judicial, to commit any
of the following acts.
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a. To recruit, transport, transfer, harbor, provide, or receive a person by any means, including those done under
the pretext of domestic or overseas employment or training or apprenticeship, for the purpose of prostitution,
pornography, sexual exploitation, forced labor, slavery, involuntary servitude or debt bondage;72
Republic Act No. 9208 further enumerates the instances when the crime of trafficking in persons is qualified.
SEC. 6. Qualified Trafficking in Persons. The following are considered as qualified trafficking:
a. When the trafficked person is a child;
b. When the adoption is effected through Republic Act No. 8043, otherwise known as the Inter-Country
Adoption Act of 1995 and said adoption is for the purpose of prostitution, pornography, sexual
exploitation, forced labor, slavery, involuntary servitude or debt bondage;
c. When the crime is committed by a syndicate, or in large scale. Trafficking is deemed committed by a
syndicate if carried out by a group of three (3) or more persons conspiring or confederating with one
another. It is deemed committed in large scale if committed against three (3) or more persons,
individually or as a group;
d. When the offender is an ascendant, parent, sibling, guardian or a person who exercise authority over the
trafficked person or when the offense is committed by a public officer or employee;
e. When the trafficked person is recruited to engage in prostitution with any member of the military or law
enforcement agencies;
f. When the offender is a member of the military or law enforcement agencies; and
g. When by reason or on occasion of the act of trafficking in persons, the offended party dies, becomes
insane, suffers mutilation or is afflicted with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) or the Acquired
Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). (Emphasis supplied)73
Section 3 (b) of Republic Act No. 9208 defines child as:

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SEC. 3. Definition of Terms. As used in this Act:


....
b.

Child - refers to a person below eighteen (18) years of age or one who is over eighteen (18) but is unable
to fully take care of or protect himself/herself from abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation, or discrimination
because of a physical or mental disability or condition.74
Based on the definition of trafficking in persons and the enumeration of acts of trafficking in persons, accused
performed all the elements in the commission of the offense when she peddled AAA and BBB and offered their
services to decoys PO1 Veloso and PO1 Luardo in exchange for money. The offense was also qualified because
the trafficked persons were minors.
Here, AAA testified as to how accused solicited her services for the customers waiting at Queensland Motel.
AAA also testified that she was only 17 years old when accused peddled her. Her certificate of live birth was
presented as evidence to show that she was born on January 27, 1991.
The prosecution was able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that accused committed the offense of trafficking in
persons, qualified by the fact that one of the victims was a child. As held by the trial court:
[T]he act of sexual intercourse need not have been consummated for the mere transaction i.e. that
solicitation for sex and the handing over of the bust money of Php.1,000.00 already consummated the said
act.75
IV.
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Validity of the entrapment operation


In People v. Doria,76 this court discussed the objective test and the subjective test to determine whether there
was a valid entrapment operation:
. . . American federal courts and a majority of state courts use the subjective or origin of intent test laid
down in Sorrells v. United States to determine whether entrapment actually occurred. The focus of the inquiry is
on the accused's predisposition to commit the offense charged, his state of mind and inclination before his
initial exposure to government agents. All relevant facts such as the accused's mental and character traits, his
past offenses, activities, his eagerness in committing the crime, his reputation, etc., are considered to assess his
state of mind before the crime. The predisposition test emphasizes the accused's propensity to commit the
offense rather than the officer's misconduct and reflects an attempt to draw a line between a trap for the unwary
innocent and the trap for the unwary criminal. If the accused was found to have been ready and willing to
commit the offense at any favorable opportunity, the entrapment defense will fail even if a police agent used an
unduly persuasive inducement.
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Some states, however, have adopted the objective test. . . . Here, the court considers the nature of the police
activity involved and the propriety of police conduct. The inquiry is focused on the inducements used by
government agents, on police conduct, not on the accused and his predisposition to commit the crime. For the
goal of the defense is to deter unlawful police conduct. The test of entrapment is whether the conduct of the law
enforcement agent was likely to induce a normally law-abiding person, other than one who is ready and willing,
to commit the offense; for purposes of this test, it is presumed that a law-abiding person would normally resist
the temptation to commit a crime that is presented by the simple opportunity to act unlawfully. (Emphasis
supplied, citations omitted)77
Accused argued that in our jurisprudence, courts usually apply the objective test in determining the whether
there was an entrapment operation or an instigation.78 However, the use of the objective test should not preclude
courts from also applying the subjective test. She pointed out that:
Applying the subjective test it is worth invoking that accused-appellant procures income from being a
laundry woman. The prosecution had not shown any proof evidencing accused-appellants history in human
trafficking or engagement in any offense. She is not even familiar to the team who had has [sic] been
apprehending human traffickers for quite some time.79 (Citations omitted)
Accused further argued that the police should have conducted a prior surveillance before the entrapment
operation.
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Time and again, this court has discussed the difference between entrapment and instigation. In Chang v.
People,80 this court explained that:
There is entrapment when law officers employ ruses and schemes to ensure the apprehension of the criminal
while in the actual commission of the crime. There is instigation when the accused is induced to commit the
crime. The difference in the nature of the two lies in the origin of the criminal intent. In entrapment, the mens
rea originates from the mind of the criminal. The idea and the resolve to commit the crime comes from him. In
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instigation, the law officer conceives the commission of the crime and suggests to the accused who adopts the
idea and carries it into execution.81
Accused contends that using the subjective test, she was clearly instigated by the police to commit the offense.
She denied being a pimp and claimed that she earned her living as a laundrywoman. On this argument, we agree
with the finding of the Court of Appeals:
[I]t was the accused-appellant who commenced the transaction with PO1 Luardo and PO1 Veloso by calling
their attention on whether they wanted girls for that evening, and when the officers responded, it was the
accused-appellant who told them to wait while she would fetch the girls for their perusal.82
This shows that accused was predisposed to commit the offense because she initiated the transaction. As
testified by PO1 Veloso and PO1 Luardo, accused called out their attention by saying Chicks mo dong? If
accused had no predisposition to commit the offense, then she most likely would not have asked PO1 Veloso
and PO1 Luardo if they wanted girls.
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The entrapment would still be valid using the objective test. The police merely proceeded to D. Jakosalem
Street in Barangay Kamagayan. It was accused who asked them whether they wanted girls. There was no illicit
inducement on the part of the police for the accused to commit the crime.
When accused was arrested, she was informed of her constitutional rights.83 The marked money retrieved from
her was recorded in the police blotter prior to the entrapment operation and was presented in court as evidence.84
On accuseds alibi that she was merely out to buy her supper that night, the Court of Appeals noted that accused
never presented Gingging in court. Thus, her alibi was unsubstantiated and cannot be given credence.85
With regard to the lack of prior surveillance, prior surveillance is not a condition for an entrapment operations
validity.86 In People v. Padua87 this court underscored the value of flexibility in police operations:
A prior surveillance is not a prerequisite for the validity of an entrapment or buy-bust operation, the conduct of
which has no rigid or textbook method. Flexibility is a trait of good police work. However the police carry out
its entrapment operations, for as long as the rights of the accused have not been violated in the process, the
courts will not pass on the wisdom thereof. The police officers may decide that time is of the essence and
dispense with the need for prior surveillance.88 (Citations omitted)
This flexibility is even more important in cases involving trafficking of persons. The urgency of rescuing the
victims may at times require immediate but deliberate action on the part of the law enforcers.
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V.
Imposition of fine and award of damages
The Court of Appeals properly imposed the amount of P2,000,000.00. Section 10 (b) of Republic Act No. 9208
provides that:
SEC. 10. Penalties and Sanctions. The following penalties and sanctions are hereby established for the
offenses enumerated in this Act:
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....
c.

Any person found guilty of qualified trafficking under Section 6 shall suffer the penalty of life
imprisonment and a fine of not less than Two million pesos (P2,000,000.00) but not more than Five
million pesos (P5,000,000.00);
However, we modify by raising the award of moral damages from P150,000.0089 to P500,000.00. We also award
exemplary damages in the amount of P100,000.00. These amounts are in accordance with the ruling in People
v. Lalli90 where this court held that:
The payment of P500,000 as moral damages and P100,000 as exemplary damages for the crime of Trafficking
in Persons as a Prostitute finds basis in Article 2219 of the Civil Code, which states:
Art. 2219. Moral damages may be recovered in the following and analogous cases:
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(1) A criminal offense resulting in physical injuries;


(2) Quasi-delicts causing physical injuries;
(3) Seduction, abduction, rape, or other lascivious acts;
(4) Adultery or concubinage;

(5) Illegal or arbitrary detention or arrest;


(6) Illegal search;
(7) Libel, slander or any other form of defamation;
(8) Malicious prosecution;
(9) Acts mentioned in Article 309;
(10) Acts and actions referred to in Articles 21, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 32, 34, and 35.
....
The criminal case of Trafficking in Persons as a Prostitute is an analogous case to the crimes of seduction,
abduction, rape, or other lascivious acts. In fact, it is worse. To be trafficked as a prostitute without ones
consent and to be sexually violated four to five times a day by different strangers is horrendous and atrocious.
There is no doubt that Lolita experienced physical suffering, mental anguish, fright, serious anxiety, besmirched
reputation, wounded feelings, moral shock, and social humiliation when she was trafficked as a prostitute in
Malaysia. Since the crime of Trafficking in Persons was aggravated, being committed by a syndicate, the award
of exemplary damages is likewise justified.91
Human trafficking indicts the society that tolerates the kind of poverty and its accompanying desperation that
compels our women to endure indignities. It reflects the weaknesses of that society even as it convicts those
who deviantly thrive in such hopelessness. We should continue to strive for the best of our world, where our
choices of human intimacies are real choices, and not the last resort taken just to survive. Human intimacies
enhance our best and closest relationships. It serves as a foundation for two human beings to face lifes joys and
challenges while continually growing together with many shared experiences. The quality of our human
relationships defines the world that we create also for others.
Regardless of the willingness of AAA and BBB, therefore, to be trafficked, we affirm the text and spirit of our
laws. Minors should spend their adolescence moulding their character in environments free of the vilest motives
and the worse of other human beings. The evidence and the law compel us to affirm the conviction of accused
in this case.
But this is not all that we have done. By fulfilling our duties, we also express the hope that our people and our
government unite against everything inhuman. We contribute to a commitment to finally stamp out slavery and
human trafficking.
There are more AAAs and BBBs out there. They, too, deserve to be rescued. They, too, need to be shown that in
spite of what their lives have been, there is still much good in our world.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, we AFFIRM the decision of the Court of Appeals dated June 27, 2013,
finding accused Shirley A. Casio guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating Section 4(a), qualified by Section
6(a) of Republic Act No. 9208, and sentencing her to suffer the penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of
P2,000,000.00, with the MODIFICATION that accused-appellant shall not be eligible for parole under Act No.
4103 (Indeterminate Sentence Law) in accordance with Section 3 of Republic Act No. 9346.92
The award of damages is likewise MODIFIED as follows:
Accused is ordered to pay each of the private complainants:
(1) P500,000.00 as moral damages; and
(2) P100,000.00 as exemplary damages.
SO ORDERED.

PEOPLE VS HASHIM
June 13, 2012

Facts: The accused were charged as having been engaged in the recruitment and deployment of workers
without having previously obtained from the POEA a license or authority to do so. They promised employment
abroad particularly in Brunei and Malaysia, thus causing and prompting the persons of BBB and AAA to apply
which employment however did not materialize because in truth and in fact, the promised employment is nonexistent, in flagrant violation of the above-mentioned law and causing damage and prejudice to said
complainants. Instead of getting decent jobs, they were forced to become sex workers to earn money and
became prostitutes. The lower court found the accused guilty of illegal recruitment defined under Section 6 and
penalized under Section 7(b) of Republic Act No. 8042 otherwise known as the Migrant Workers and
Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995, as principals by direct participation, committed by a syndicate, against BBB
and AAA, and SENTENCES each of said accused to suffer the penalty of life imprisonment and to pay a fine of
P1,000,000.00 each; to pay each of the above victims P50,000.00 as moral
damages; P300,000.00 as exemplary damages, and to pay the costs. The Court of Appeals affirmed with
modification that the amount of exemplary damages in favor of the victims (private complainants) to be reduced
to P25,000.00 each.
ssue: Whether or not the award of damages was proper.
Ruling: No. The Supreme Court modified the ruling of the Court of Appeals. It held that Congress passed R.A.
9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act. Such law was approved on 26 May 2003. Ironically, only a few
days after, victims found themselves in a situation that the law had sought to prevent.
In Lalli, the Supreme Court increased the amount of moral and exemplary damages from P50,000 to P500,000
and from P50,000 to P100,000, respectively, having convicted the accused therein of the crime of trafficking in
persons.
The payment of P500,000 as moral damages and P100,000 as exemplary damages for the crime of Trafficking
in Persons as a Prostitute finds basis in Article 2219 of the Civil Code, which states:
Art. 2219. Moral damages may be recovered in the following and analogous cases: (1) A criminal offense
resulting in physical injuries;
(2) Quasi-delicts causing physical injuries;
(3) Seduction, abduction, rape, or other lascivious acts;
xxx xxx xxx.
The criminal case of Trafficking in Persons as a Prostitute is an analogous case to the crimes of seduction,
abduction, rape, or other lascivious acts. In fact, it is worse. To be trafficked as a prostitute without ones
consent and to be sexually violated four to five times a day by different strangers is horrendous and atrocious.
There is no doubt that Lolita experienced physical suffering, mental anguish, fright, serious anxiety, besmirched
reputation, wounded feelings, moral shock, and social humiliation when she was trafficked as a prostitute in
Malaysia. Since the crime of Trafficking in Persons was aggravated, being committed by a syndicate, the award
of exemplary damages is likewise justified.
The Supreme Court found no legal impediment to increasing the award of moral and exemplary damages in the
case at bar. Neither is there any logical reason why we should differentiate between the victims herein and those
in that case, when the circumstances are frighteningly similar. To do so would be to say that we discriminate one
from the other, when all of these women have been the victims of unscrupulous people who capitalized on the
poverty of others. While it is true that accused-appellant was not tried and convicted of the crime of trafficking
in persons, this Court based its award of damages on the Civil Code, and not on the Anti-Trafficking in Persons
Act, as clearly explained in Lalli.
Hence the Decision of the Court of Appeals in is affirmed with modifications. Accused-appellant Bernadette
Pansacala a.k.a. Neneng Awid is ordered to pay AAA and BBB the sum of P500,000 each as moral damages
and P100,000 each as exemplary damages and to pay the costs.
FULL txt

DECISION

SERENO, J.:

On appeal is the Decision1[1] of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. CR-HC No. 00644-MIN
promulgated on 20 July 2010, which affirmed the conviction of herein accused-appellant Bernadette Pansacala
a.k.a Neneng Awid, together with co-accused Nurfrasir Hashim y Saraban a.k.a Franz/Frans, Makdul Jamad y
Bukin a.k.a. Macky, a certain Tas and a certain Jun for the crime of illegal recruitment as defined under Section
6 in relation to Section 7(b) of Republic Act. No. (R.A.) 8042 or the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos
Act of 1995.

The Facts

On 10 March 2004, accused-appellant was charged as follows:2[2]

That on or about June 11, 2003 and for sometime prior or subsequent thereto, in the City
of Zamboanga, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named
accused, conspiring and confederating together, mutually aiding and assisting with one another
without having previously obtained from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration,
license or authority to engage in the recruitment and deployment of overseas workers, did then
and there willfully [sic], unlawfully and feloniously, illegally recruit for a promised employment
abroad particularly in Brunei and Malaysia, thus causing and prompting the persons of BBB and
AAA3[3] to apply which employment however did not materialize because in truth and in fact,
the promised employment is non-existent, in flagrant violation of the above-mentioned law and
causing damage and prejudice to said complainants; further, the commission of the above stated
offense tantamount to economic sabotage in that the same was committed by a syndicate.

Only accused-appellant and Nurfrasir Hashim y Saraban were arrested, and both entered a plea of not
guilty when arraigned.

Private complainants AAA and BBB, Police Chief Inspector Ronald Aonuevo, and police officers
Edmond Ranel Villareal and Renato Rabuya dela Pea were presented by the prosecution to prove the following:

On 10 June 2003, accused-appellant approached AAA, who was then doing her job as a waitress at a
stall in Paseo de Zamboanga, Buenavista, Zamboanga City, to encourage AAA to work in Malaysia, as accusedappellant knew certain persons who would soon be leaving for that country.

On the next day, 11 June 2003, private complainant BBB was at her house in Talon-talon Loop,
Zamboanga City, when accused-appellant paid her a visit and invited her to work as a saleslady in Brunei. After
being assured that the prospective employment was above board and that she would be well compensated, BBB
accepted the invitation.
1
2
3

The day after, accused-appellant, together with co-accused Makdul Amad y Bukin a.k.a. Macky (Macky)
and a certain Jun, returned to the house of BBB. Accused-appellant informed BBB that the latter would be
escorted to Malaysia by the two men, and that they would meet the next day at 1:00 p.m. at Plaza Pershing,
Zamboanga City.

On 13 June 2003, BBB, Macky and Jun met as planned. They proceeded to Shop-O-Rama, where they
met with co-accused Nurfrasir Hashim, a.k.a. Franz (Franz), who assured BBB that she would be easily hired
because of her beauty and height. They then agreed to meet at 3:00 p.m. that same day at Paseo de Zamboanga.

At Paseo de Zamboanga, BBB, accused-appellant, Macky, and Jun met with AAA, a certain CCC
(allegedly another recruit) and Arlene (allegedly AAAs employer). Then at 7:00 p.m. of that same day, they all
proceeded to the wharf, where they met accused Franz and a certain Cristy, who was also allegedly invited by
accused-appellant to work in Malaysia.

Thereafter, AAA, BBB, CCC, Cristy, Macky and Jun boarded the M/V Grand Flora and were given
pieces of paper containing a name. Franz, accused-appellant Bernadette and a certain Titing did not board the
boat. Accused-appellant informed private complainants and their companions that she and Franz would follow
and bring their passports. We quote the Decision of the CA to describe the journey of the group after boarding
the M/V Flora bound for Bongao, Tawi-Tawi, at 10:00 p.m.:4[4]

On June 14, 2003, they (BBB, AAA, CCC, Cristy, accused Macky) and Jun disembarked
at Bongao, Tawi-Tawi, and then they proceeded to Sitangkai, Tawi-Tawi where they stayed for
two days. On June 16, 2003, they went to Pundohan, which is a terminal going to Lahad Datu,
Sabah, Malaysia.
On June 17, 2003, at 6:00 oclock [sic] in the morning[,] they arrived at Lahad Datu and
soon thenafter [sic] they boarded a van going to Samporna, Malaysia where they met accused
Mackys cousin named Pat. They waited at Samporna until 5:00 oclock [sic] in the afternoon
when accused Franz and Tash[,] who was allegedly their financier[,] arrived. Accused Franz then
distributed to AAA, BBB, CCC and Cristy their respective passports.
Thereafter, they boarded a bus going to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, and they arrived thereat
at 7:00 oclock [sic] in the morning of June 18, 2003. Later, they boarded again a bus going to
Minumpo, Malaysia and then a barge going to Labuan, Malaysia where they stayed at a hotel
[the Classic Hotel] for three nights or from the night of June 18, 2003 until June 20, 2003.
On June 21, 2003, accused Franz instructed BBB, AAA, CCC and Cristy to wear sexy
clothes because they were going to meet their supposed boss named Bunso at Cape Imperial
located at Labuan, Malaysia.
When they arrived at Cape Imperial, accused Macky and Jun talked to Bunso but they
failed to reach an agreement on the purported compensation of the four girls. So, accused Macky
and Jun brought the girls to Golden Lotus Barber Salon (Salon for brevity) where the latter were
introduced to a certain person named Mommy Cindy, the alleged owner of the salon, and their
purported manager Hako who was called Mommy Susan.

The prosecution also alleged that while the group was staying at the Classic Hotel in Labuan, BBB was
forced on numerous occasions to have sexual intercourse with Franz at his bidding, even in the presence of
other people. She followed his orders for fear that he would inflict physical harm on her.

At first, private complainants were not aware of the circumstances surrounding their employment at the
Golden Lotus. It was only after they agreed to stay there for employment that they were forced to become sex
workers to earn money and pay off the debts they incurred from their travel from Zamboanga City to Labuan,
Malaysia.

Thus, from 21 June 2003 to 13 July 2003, AAA and BBB worked as prostituted women. Each of the
girls would be booked to a customer for the whole night for 300 Ringgit at a certain hotel near the Golden
Lotus. Meanwhile, during the day, they would be hired by customers for a short time for 150 Ringgit in one of
the rooms of the Golden Lotus. The girls were told that they would be made to pay a fine of 150 Ringgit if they
refused to have sexual intercourse with the customers.

On 12 July 2003, BBB had a customer who was a law enforcer at Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. She sought
his help for her return to the Philippines, and he agreed.

The following day, on 13 July 2003, the Golden Lotus was raided by the Immigration Officers of Kota
Kinabalu, Malaysia, and the prostituted Filipino women, including AAA and BBB, were detained at the Balay
Polis (Police Department) in Labuan until all the women were deported to the Philippines.

The defense, on the other hand, presented three witnesses: accused-appellant Bernadette, her commonlaw partner Majujie Jailya Misuari, and co-accused Franz.

According to accused-appellant, she and BBB were friends and neighbors in Talon-talon, Zamboanga
City. Sometime in April 2003, when asked by BBB why accused-appellant returned to the Philippines from
Malaysia, the latter said that she had been made a prostituted woman in Malaysia.

Accused-appellant denied having offered BBB a job in Malaysia, a denial corroborated by Majujie
Jailya Misuari. Accused-appellant also denied knowing AAA and Franz. She claimed that she only met AAA
when the latter, together with BBB, visited her in jail and offered to withdraw the case if accused-appellant
would give them money.

Co-accused Franz merely denied knowing AAA, BBB or accused-appellant.

On 27 June 2008, after trial on the merits, the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Zamboanga City rendered a
Decision,5[5] the dispositive portion of which states:6[6]

WHEREFORE, the Court finds both accused NURFRASIR HASHIM y SARABAN


a.k.a FRANZ/FRAS and BERNADETTE PANSACALA a.k.a NENENG AWID GUILTY
BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT of the crime of ILLEGAL RECRUITMENT defined
under Section 6 and penalized under Section 7(b) of Republic Act No. 8042 otherwise known as
the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995, as principals by direct participation,
committed by a syndicate, against BBB and AAA, and SENTENCES each of said accused to
suffer the penalty of LIFE IMPRISONMENT and to pay a fine of 1,000,000.00 each; 7[7] to
pay each of the above victims 50,000.00 as moral damages; 300,000.00 as exemplary
damages, and to pay the costs.
SO ORDERED.

The trial court considered that, in the course of the trial, the prosecution and the defense had entered into
a stipulation that neither accused-appellant Bernadette nor Franz had a license or an authority to recruit or
deploy workers for overseas employment.

Moreover, the trial court found that the crime was committed in conspiracy by the accused and other
persons. It painstakingly enumerated the overt acts of the accused-appellant showing her direct participation in
the commission of the crime. These acts included inducing AAA and BBB to work in Malaysia; introducing
Macky, Jun and Franz to the victims; and escorting them to the wharf, where the victims boarded the vessel that
took them away from their families and their country and brought them to Malaysia, where heretofore
unbeknownst to them they were made to work as prostituted women.

It further held that the credible and positive testimonies of the witnesses for the prosecution prevailed
over those of the defense of mere denial, absent any showing that the witnesses for the prosecution had any ill
motive to falsely testify and implicate the accused in the commission of the crime charged.

On appeal, the CA affirmed the findings of fact of the trial court in the formers assailed Decision, but
modified the award of damages, to wit:8[8]

WHEREFORE, the Appeal is DISMISSED. The assailed Decision dated June 27, 2008
of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 16 of Zamboanga City in Criminal Case No. 19921 is
AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION that the amount of exemplary damages in favor of the
private complainants be reduced to 25,000.00 each.
SO ORDERED.
5
6
7
8

In the present appeal, instead of filing a supplemental brief, both accused-appellant and the Office of the
Solicitor General opted to adopt their respective Briefs filed with the CA.

The appeal is unmeritorious.

To be convicted of the crime of illegal recruitment committed by a syndicate, the following elements
must occur:9[9]

1. The accused have no valid license or authority required by law to enable them to lawfully engage in
the recruitment and placement of workers.
2. The accused engaged in this activity of recruitment and placement by actually recruiting, deploying
and transporting.
3. Illegal recruitment was committed by three persons conspiring and confederating with one another.

As to the first element, accused-appellant admitted that she did not have a valid license to recruit persons
for overseas employment, consistent with her defense that she did not engage in the recruitment of persons for
employment.

Anent the second element, both victims, AAA and BBB, narrated in great detail how they were induced
by accused-appellant to accept an employment opportunity, and how they were successfully transported from
Zamboanga City to Malaysia where they eventually worked as prostituted women.

On the third element, accused-appellant posits that the prosecution failed to prove that there were more
than two persons involved in the alleged crime of illegal recruitment, since the trial court held only two of the
accused liable for the crime. The prosecution, she alleges, failed to establish that the other accused Macky, Jun,
and Tas also had no license or authority to recruit workers for overseas employment.

In the recent case People v. Lalli,10[10] we affirmed the trial courts findings in which 2 of the 3 accused
were convicted of illegal recruitment committed by a syndicate, even though the third accused was at-large. In
so ruling, we took note of the fact that the victim would not have been able to go to Malaysia were it not for the
concerted efforts of the three accused. We held thus:

Flight in criminal law is the evading of the course of justice by voluntarily


withdrawing oneself in order to avoid arrest or detention or the institution or continuance
of criminal proceedings. The unexplained flight of an accused person may as a general rule
be taken into consideration as evidence having a tendency to establish his guilt. Clearly, in
this case, the flight of accused Relampagos, who is still at-large, shows an indication of guilt
in the crimes he has been charged.

9
10

It is clear that through the concerted efforts of Aringoy, Lalli and Relampagos, Lolita was
recruited and deployed to Malaysia to work as a prostitute. Such conspiracy among Aringoy,
Lalli and Relampagos could be deduced from the manner in which the crime was
perpetrated each of the accused played a pivotal role in perpetrating the crime of illegal
recruitment, and evinced a joint common purpose and design, concerted action and
community of interest.
For these reasons, this Court affirms the CA Decision, affirming the RTC Decision,
declaring accused Ronnie Aringoy y Masion and Hadja Jarma Lalli y Purih guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of the crime of illegal recruitment committed by a syndicate in Criminal Case
No. 21930, with a penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of 500,000 imposed on each of the
accused. (Emphasis supplied.)

In the case at bar, the prosecution was similarly able to establish that accused-appellant Bernadette and
Franz were not the only ones who had conspired to bring the victims to Malaysia. It was also able to establish at
the very least, through the credible testimonies of the witnesses, that (1) Jun and Macky were the escorts of the
women to Malaysia; (2) a certain Tash was their financier; (3) a certain Bunso negotiated with Macky for the
price the former would pay for the expenses incurred in transporting the victims to Malaysia; and (4) Mommy
Cindy owned the prostitution house where the victims worked. The concerted efforts of all these persons
resulted in the oppression of the victims.

Clearly, it was established beyond reasonable doubt that accused-appellant, together with at least two
other persons, came to an agreement to commit the felony and decided to commit it. It is not necessary to show
that two or more persons met together and entered into an explicit agreement laying down the details of how an
unlawful scheme or objective is to be carried out. Conspiracy may be deduced from the mode and manner in
which the offense was perpetrated; or from the acts of the accused evincing a joint or common purpose and
design, concerted action and community of interest.11[11]

Findings of fact of the CA, when they affirm those of the trial court, are binding on this Court, unless the
findings of the trial and the appellate courts are palpably unsupported by the evidence on record, or unless the
judgment itself is based on a misapprehension of facts.12[12]

Likewise, we have time and again ruled that mere denial cannot prevail over the positive testimony of a
witness. A mere denial, just like an alibi, is a self-serving negative evidence, which cannot be accorded greater
evidentiary weight than the declarations of credible witnesses who testify on affirmative matters. As between a
categorical testimony that has the ring of truth on the one hand and a bare denial on the other, the former is
generally held to prevail.13[13]

We, however, find it proper to modify the amount of moral and exemplary damages awarded by the CA.
11
12
13

On 12 May 2003, Congress passed R.A. 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act. This law was
approved on 26 May 2003. Ironically, only a few days after, private complainants found themselves in a
situation that this law had sought to prevent.

In Lalli, we increased the amount of moral and exemplary damages from 50,000 to 500,000 and from
50,000 to 100,000, respectively, having convicted the accused therein of the crime of trafficking in persons.
In so doing, we said:

The Civil Code describes moral damages in Article 2217:


Art. 2217.Moral damages include physical suffering, mental anguish, fright, serious
anxiety, besmirched reputation, wounded feelings, moral shock, social humiliation, and
similar injury. Though incapable of pecuniary computation, moral damages may be
recovered if they are the proximate result of the defendant's wrongful act for omission.
Exemplary damages, on the other hand, are awarded in addition to the payment of
moral damages, by way of example or correction for the public good, as stated in the
Civil Code:
Art. 2229.
Exemplary or corrective damages are imposed, by way of example or
correction for the public good, in addition to the moral, temperate, liquidated or
compensatory damages.
Art. 2230.
In criminal offenses, exemplary damages as a part of the civil liability may
be imposed when the crime was committed with one or more aggravating circumstances.
Such damages are separate and distinct from fines and shall be paid to the offended party.
The payment of 500,000 as moral damages and 100,000 as exemplary damages for the
crime of Trafficking in Persons as a Prostitute finds basis in Article 2219 of the Civil Code,
which states:
Art. 2219.

Moral damages may be recovered in the following and analogous cases:

(1)

A criminal offense resulting in physical injuries;

(2)

Quasi-delicts causing physical injuries;

(3)

Seduction, abduction, rape, or other lascivious acts;

(4)

Adultery or concubinage;

(5)

Illegal or arbitrary detention or arrest;

(6)

Illegal search;

(7)

Libel, slander or any other form of defamation;

(8)

Malicious prosecution;

(9)

Acts mentioned in Article 309;

(10)

Acts and actions referred to in Articles 21, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 32, 34, and 35.

The parents of the female seduced, abducted, raped, or abused, referred to in No. 3 of this
article, may also recover moral damages.
The spouse, descendants, ascendants, and brothers and sisters may bring the action
mentioned in No. 9 of this article, in the order named.
The criminal case of Trafficking in Persons as a Prostitute is an analogous case to
the crimes of seduction, abduction, rape, or other lascivious acts. In fact, it is worse. To be
trafficked as a prostitute without ones consent and to be sexually violated four to five times

a day by different strangers is horrendous and atrocious. There is no doubt that Lolita
experienced physical suffering, mental anguish, fright, serious anxiety, besmirched
reputation, wounded feelings, moral shock, and social humiliation when she was trafficked
as a prostitute in Malaysia. Since the crime of Trafficking in Persons was aggravated, being
committed by a syndicate, the award of exemplary damages is likewise justified. (Emphasis
supplied.)
We find no legal impediment to increasing the award of moral and exemplary damages in the case at bar.
Neither is there any logical reason why we should differentiate between the victims herein and those in that
case, when the circumstances are frighteningly similar. To do so would be to say that we discriminate one from
the other, when all of these women have been the victims of unscrupulous people who capitalized on the
poverty of others. While it is true that accused-appellant was not tried and convicted of the crime of trafficking
in persons, this Court based its award of damages on the Civil Code, and not on the Anti-Trafficking in Persons
Act, as clearly explained in Lalli.

WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR-HC No.
00644-MIN dated 20 July 2010 is hereby AFFIRMED with MODIFICATIONS. Accused-appellant
Bernadette Pansacala a.k.a. Neneng Awid is ORDERED to pay AAA and BBB the sum of 500,000 each as
moral damages and 100,000 each as exemplary damages and to pay the costs.

SO ORDERED.
People vs Hadja Jarma Lalli

FACTS:
Lolita was a 23 years old single woman who was recruited by the accused Hadja Jarma Lalli,
Aringoy and Relampagos to work to Malaysia as Restaurant waitress. She was convinced to use
the passport of her sister to travel to Malaysia with the employment opportunity. But she was
forced to be a prostitute in her new employment which she has no choice but to be a prostitute
from June 14 to July 8, 2005. She was rescued b the husband of her sister who pretended to be a
costumer. Upon arrival to Zamboanga she filed a case against the accused-appellant for illegal
recruitment and Trafficking in person. Aringoy claims that he cannot be convicted of the crime of
Trafficking in Persons because he was not part of the group that transported Lolita from the
Philippines to Malaysia on board the ship M/V Mary Joy. In addition, he presented his niece,
Rachel, as witness to testify that Lolita had been travelling to Malaysia to work in bars.

ISSUE:
1. Whether or not consent or knowledge of a victim in Trafficking of persons cases is material for
the conviction or acquittal of the accused.

HELD:

NO. Even if it is true that Lolita had been travelling to Malaysia to work in bars, the crime of
Trafficking in Persons can exist even with the victims consent or knowledge under Section 3(a) of
RA 9208.

Trafficking in Persons under Sections 3(a) and 4 of RA 9208 is not only limited to transportation of
victims, but also includes the act of recruitment of victims for trafficking. In this case, since it has
been sufficiently proven beyond reasonable doubt, as discussed in Criminal Case No. 21930, that
all the three accused (Aringoy, Lalli and Relampagos) conspired and confederated with one
another to illegally recruit Lolita to become a prostitute in Malaysia, it follows that they are also
guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Qualified Trafficking in Persons committed by a
syndicate under RA 9208 because the crime of recruitment for prostitution also constitutes
trafficking.

PEOPLE vs. GENOSA, G.R. No. 135981, January 15 2004.


People of the Philippines vs. Marivic Genosa
FACTS: This case stemmed from the killing of Ben Genosa, by his wife Marivic Genosa, appellant herein.
During their first year of marriage, Marivic and Ben lived happily but apparently thereafter, Ben changed and
the couple would always quarrel and sometimes their quarrels became violent. Appellant testified that every
time her husband came home drunk, he would provoke her and sometimes beat her. Whenever beaten by her
husband, she consulted medical doctors who testified during the trial. On the night of the killing, appellant and
the victim were quarreled and the victim beat the appellant. However, appellant was able to run to another
room. Appellant admitted having killed the victim with the use of a gun. The information for parricide against
appellant, however, alleged that the cause of death of the victim was by beating through the use of a lead pipe.
Appellant invoked self defense and defense of her unborn child. After trial, the Regional Trial Court found
appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of parricide with an aggravating circumstance of
treachery and imposed the penalty of death.
On automatic review before the Supreme Court, appellant filed an URGENT OMNIBUS MOTION praying that
the Honorable Court allow (1) the exhumation of Ben Genosa and the re-examination of the cause of his death;
(2) the examination of Marivic Genosa by qualified psychologists and psychiatrists to determine her state of
mind at the time she killed her husband; and finally, (3) the inclusion of the said experts reports in the records
of the case for purposes of the automatic review or, in the alternative, a partial re-opening of the case a quo to
take the testimony of said psychologists and psychiatrists. The Supreme Court partly granted the URGENT
OMNIBUS MOTION of the appellant. It remanded the case to the trial court for reception of expert
psychological and/or psychiatric opinion on the battered woman syndrome plea. Testimonies of two expert
witnesses on the battered woman syndrome, Dra. Dayan and Dr. Pajarillo, were presented and admitted by the
trial court and subsequently submitted to the Supreme Court as part of the records.
ISSUE:
1. Whether or not appellant herein can validly invoke the battered woman syndrome as constituting self
defense.
2. Whether or not treachery attended the killing of Ben Genosa.
Ruling: 1. The Court ruled in the negative as appellant failed to prove that she is afflicted with the battered
woman syndrome.
A battered woman has been defined as a 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 for
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 a man once. If it occurs a second time,
and she remains in the situation, she is defined as a battered woman.

More graphically, the battered woman syndrome is characterized by the so-called cycle of violence, which has
three phases: (1) the tension-building phase; (2) the acute battering incident; and (3) the tranquil, loving (or, at
least, nonviolent) phase.
The Court, however, is not discounting the possibility of self-defense arising from the battered woman
syndrome. First, each of the phases of the cycle of violence must be proven to have characterized at least two
battering episodes between the appellant and her intimate partner. Second, the final acute battering episode
preceding the killing of the batterer must have produced in the battered persons mind an actual fear of an
imminent harm from her batterer and an honest belief that she needed to use force in order to save her life.
Third, at the time of the killing, the batterer must have posed probable -- not necessarily immediate and actual -grave harm to the accused, based on the history of violence perpetrated by the former against the latter. Taken
altogether, these circumstances could satisfy the requisites of self-defense. Under the existing facts of the
present case, however, not all of these elements were duly established.
The defense fell short of proving all three phases of the cycle of violence supposedly characterizing the
relationship of Ben and Marivic Genosa. No doubt there were acute battering incidents but appellant failed to
prove that in at least another battering episode in the past, she had gone through a similar pattern. Neither did
appellant proffer sufficient evidence in regard to the third phase of the cycle.
In any event, the existence of the syndrome in a relationship does not in itself establish the legal right of the
woman to kill her abusive partner. Evidence must still be considered in the context of self-defense. Settled in
our jurisprudence, is the rule that the one who resorts to self-defense must face a real threat on ones life; and
the peril sought to be avoided must be imminent and actual, not merely imaginary. Thus, the Revised Penal
Code provides that the following requisites of self-defense must concur: (1) Unlawful aggression; (2)
Reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel it; and (3) Lack of sufficient provocation on the
part of the person defending himself.
Unlawful aggression is the most essential element of self-defense. It presupposes actual, sudden and unexpected
attack -- or an imminent danger thereof -- on the life or safety of a person. In the present case, however,
according to the testimony of Marivic herself, there was a sufficient time interval between the unlawful
aggression of Ben and her fatal attack upon him. She had already been able to withdraw from his violent
behavior and escape to their childrens bedroom. During that time, he apparently ceased his attack and went to
bed. The reality or even the imminence of the danger he posed had ended altogether. He was no longer in a
position that presented an actual threat on her life or safety.
The mitigating factors of psychological paralysis and passion and obfuscation were, however, taken in favor of
appellant. It should be clarified that these two circumstances -- psychological paralysis as well as passion and
obfuscation -- did not arise from the same set of facts.
The first circumstance arose from the cyclical nature and the severity of the battery inflicted by the battererspouse upon appellant. That is, the repeated beatings over a period of time resulted in her psychological
paralysis, which was analogous to an illness diminishing the exercise of her will power without depriving her of
consciousness of her acts.
As to the extenuating circumstance of having acted upon an impulse so powerful as to have naturally produced
passion and obfuscation, it has been held that this state of mind is present when a crime is committed as a result
of an uncontrollable burst of passion provoked by prior unjust or improper acts or by a legitimate stimulus so
powerful as to overcome reason. To appreciate this circumstance, the following requisites should concur: (1)
there is an act, both unlawful and sufficient to produce such a condition of mind; and (2) this act is not far
removed from the commission of the crime by a considerable length of time, during which the accused might
recover her normal equanimity.
2. NO. Because of the gravity of the resulting offense, treachery must be proved as conclusively as the killing
itself. Besides, equally axiomatic is the rule that when a killing is preceded by an argument or a quarrel,
treachery cannot be appreciated as a qualifying circumstance, because the deceased may be said to have been
forewarned and to have anticipated aggression from the assailant. Moreover, in order to appreciate alevosia, the
method of assault adopted by the aggressor must have been consciously and deliberately chosen for the specific
purpose of accomplishing the unlawful act without risk from any defense that might be put up by the party
attacked.
The appellant acted upon an impulse so powerful as to have naturally produced passion or obfuscation. The
acute battering she suffered that fatal night in the hands of her batterer-spouse, in spite of the fact that she was

eight (8) months pregnant with their child, overwhelmed her and put her in the aforesaid emotional and mental
state, which overcame her reason and impelled her to vindicate her life and that of her unborn child.
The Supreme Court affirmed the conviction of appellant for parricide. However, considering the presence of
two (2) mitigating circumstances and without any aggravating circumstance, the penalty is reduced to six (6)
years and one (1) day of prision mayor as minimum; to 14 years 8 months and 1 day of reclusion temporal as
maximum. Inasmuch as appellant has been detained for more than the minimum penalty hereby imposed upon
her, the director of the Bureau of Corrections may immediately RELEASE her from custody upon due
determination that she is eligible for parole, unless she is being held for some other lawful cause.
NOTE: After this case was decided by the Supreme Court, R.A. 9262, otherwise known as Anti-Violence
Against Women and their Children Act of 2004 was enacted. Sec. 26 of said law provides that "xxx. Victimsurvivors who are found by the courts to be suffering from battered women syndrome do not incur any criminal
and civil liability nothwithstanding the absence of any of the elements for justifying circumstances of selfdefense under the Revised Penal Code.xxx"

People vs Francisco Jumawan, et.al.


G.R. Nos. 39303-39305
March 17, 1934
Facts:
On the basis of a written statement made by Vicente Recepeda on July 18, 1976, and an affidavit executed by
Trinidad Alcantara on July 19, 1976, a complaint for murder was filed in the Municipal Court of Sariaya,
Quezon, on July 19, 1976, by Station Commander Sisenando P. Alcantara, Jr. against Francisco Jumawan,
Cesario Jumawan, Manuel Jumawan and Presentacion Jumawan for the death of Rodolfo Magnaye.
The lower court finds Cesario Jumawan, Presentacion Jumawan-Magnaye, Manuel Jumawan, and Francisco
Jumawan guilty as principals beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Murder as defined and punished under
Art. 248 of the Revised Penal Code and hereby sentences each of them to suffer a penalty of life imprisonment
and to indemnify jointly and severally the parents of the victim in the amount of Twenty-four Thousand
(P24,000.00) Pesos.
It appears from the evidence adduced during the trial that Rodolfo Magnaye was married on 26 January 1974 to
Presentacion Jumawan, one of the accused in the above entitled criminal case. Presentacion Jumawan-Magnaye
left the conjugal home and stayed with her sister Sebastiana Jumawan. Rodolfo Magnaye, on the other hand,
went and stayed with his mother Trinidad Alcantara.
The mother of Mrs. Presentacion Jumawan-Magnaye made several attempts to secure the signature of Rodolfo
Magnaye on a document agreeing to a separation from his wife so that both he and his wife will be free to marry
again but Rodolfo Magnaye persisted in refusing to sign said document.
On one occasion the mother of Mrs. Presentacion Jumawan-Magnaye even brought Rodolfo Magnaye and his
mother to the Provincial Constabulary Command to ask for the assistance of Sgt. Mortilla to assist her daughter
in securing a separation from Rodolfo Magnaye but they were told by Sgt. Mortilla that it cannot be legally
done.
Issue:
W/O accused-appellants be liable of the crime of parricide or simply murder?
Held:
Presentacion should have been accused of parricide but as it is, since her relationship to the deceased is not
alleged in the information, she, like the others, can be convicted of murder only qualified by abuse of superior
strength.
Although not alleged in the information, relationship as an aggravating circumstance should be assigned against
the appellants. True, relationship is inherent in parricide, but Presentacion stands convicted of murder. And as to
the others, the relationships of father-in-law and brother-in-law aggravate the crime. The penalty for murder

with an aggravating circumstances is death. However, for lack of necessary votes, the penalty is reduced to
reclusion perpetua. The jugment of the court a quo is hereby affirmed in toto. No costs. So Ordered.

G.R. No. 193652

August 5, 2014

Infant JULIAN YUSA Y CARAM, represented by his mother, MA. CHRISTINA YUSAY CARAM,
Petitioner,
vs.
Atty. MARIJOY D. SEGUI, Atty. SALLY D. ESCUTIN, VILMA B. CABRERA, and CELIA C.
YANGCO, Respondents.
DECISION
VILLARAMA, JR., J.:
Before us is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended,
and Section 191 of the Rule on the Writ of Amparo2 seeking to set aside the August 17, 20103 and September 6,
20104 Orders of the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 106 of Quezon City, in Sp. Proc. Case No. Q-1067604. The RTC had dismissed petitioners petition for the issuance ofa writ of amparo which petitioner filed in
order for her to regain parental authority and custody of Julian Yusay Caram (Baby Julian), her biological child,
from the respondent officers of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). The factual
antecedents as gleaned from the records follow:
Petitioner Ma. Christina Yusay Caram(Christina) had an amorous relationship with Marcelino Gicano
Constantino III (Marcelino) and eventually became pregnant with the latters child without the benefit of
marriage. After getting pregnant, Christina mislead Marcelino into believing that she had an abortion when in
fact she proceeded to complete the term of her pregnancy. During this time, she intended to have the child
adopted through Sun and Moon Home for Children (Sun and Moon) in Paraaque City to avoid placing her
family ina potentially embarrassing situation for having a second illegitimate son.5
On July 26, 2009, Christina gavebirth to Baby Julian at Amang Rodriguez Memorial MedicalCenter, Marikina
City.6 Sun and Moon shouldered all the hospital and medical expenses. On August 13, 2009, Christina
voluntarily surrendered Baby Julian by way of a Deed of Voluntary Commitment7 to the DSWD.
On November 26, 2009, Marcelino suffered a heart attack and died8 without knowing about the birth of his son.
Thereafter, during the wake, Christina disclosed to Marcelinos family that she and the deceased had a son that
she gave up for adoption due to financial distress and initial embarrassment. Marcelinos family was taken
aback by the revelation and sympathized with Christina. After the emotional revelation, they vowed to help her
recover and raise the baby.9 On November 27, 2009, the DSWD, through Secretary Esperanza I. Cabral issued a
certificate10 declaring Baby Julian as "Legally Available for Adoption." A local matching conference was held
on January 27, 2010 and on February 5, 2010, Baby Julian was "matched" with the spouses Vergel and Filomina
Medina (Medina Spouses) of the Kaisahang Bahay Foundation. Supervised trial custody then commenced.11
On May 5, 2010, Christina who had changed her mind about the adoption, wrote a letter to the DSWDasking for
the suspension of Baby Julians adoption proceedings. She alsosaid she wanted her family back together.12
On May 28, 2010, the DSWD, through respondent Atty. Marijoy D. Segui, sent a Memorandum13 to DSWD
Assistant Secretary Vilma B. Cabrera informing her that the certificate declaring Baby Julian legally available
for adoption had attained finality on November 13, 2009, or three months after Christina signed the Deed of
Voluntary Commitment which terminated her parental authority and effectively made Baby Julian a ward of the
State. The said Memorandum was noted by respondent Atty. Sally D. Escutin, Director IV of the Legal Service,
DSWD.

On July 12, 2010, Noel Gicano Constantino, Marcelinos brother, sent a letter to Atty. Escutin informing her that
a DNA testing was scheduled on July 16, 2010 at the DNA Analysis Laboratory at the University of the
Philippines.14
On July 16, 2010, Assistant Secretary Cabrera sent a letter15 to Noel Constantino stating that it would not allow
Baby Julian to undergo DNA testing. Assistant Secretary Cabrera informed Noel Constantino that the
procedures followed relative to the certification on the availability of the child for adoption and the childs
subsequent placement to prospective adoptive parents were proper, and that the DSWD was no longer in the
position to stop the adoption process. Assistant Secretary Cabrera further stated that should Christina wish to
reacquire her parental authority over Baby Julian or halt the adoption process, she may bring the matter to the
regular courts as the reglementary period for her to regain her parental rights had already lapsed under Section 7
of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9523.16
On July 27, 2010, Christina filed a petition17 for the issuance of a writ of amparo before the RTC of Quezon
City seeking to obtain custody of Baby Julian from Atty. Segui, Atty. Escutin, Assistant Secretary Cabrera and
Acting Secretary Celia C. Yangco, all of the DSWD.
In her petition, Christina accused respondents of "blackmailing" her into surrendering custody of her childto the
DSWD utilizing what she claims to be an invalid certificate of availability for adoption which respondents
allegedly used as basis to misrepresent that all legal requisites for adoption of the minor child had been
complied with.
Christina argued that by making these misrepresentations, the respondents had acted beyond the scope of their
legal authority thereby causing the enforced disappearance of the said child and depriving her of her custodial
rights and parental authority over him.
On the basis of the said petition,the RTC, Branch 106 of Quezon City, through its Presiding Judge, the
Honorable Angelene Mary W. Quimpo-Sale, issued a Writ of Amparo18 on July 28, 2010 commanding the four
respondents to produce the body of Baby Julian at a hearing scheduled on August 4, 2010. Respondents were
alsorequired to file their verified written return to the writ pursuant to Section 919 of the Amparo Rule, within
five working days from the service of the writ.
The respondents complied with the writ and filed their Return20 on August 2, 2010 praying that the petition be
denied for being the improper remedy to avail of in a case relating toa biological parents custodial rights over
her child.
On August 4, 2010, respondents appeared before the RTC but respondents did not bring the child, stating that
threats of kidnapping were made on the child and his caregivers. To give respondents another chance, the RTC
reset the hearing to August 5, 2010.
At the August 5, 2010 hearing, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) entered its appearance as
representative of the State and prayed that its lawyers be given time to file their memorandum or position paper
in this case. In turn, the RTC acknowledged the appearance of the OSG and allowed its representatives to
actively participate in the arguments raised during the said hearing. Relative to the matter of the parties
submitting additional pleadings, Judge Sale narrowed the issues to be discussed by providing for the following
guidelines, thus:
To abbreviate the proceedings, in view of all the manifestations and counter-manifestations made by the
counsels, the court enjoined the parties to file their respective position papers on the following issues:
1. Whether or not this court has jurisdiction over the instant case;
2. Whether or not this petition isthe proper remedy based on the facts of the case and prayer in the petition; and
3. Whether or not the prayer in the petition should be granted and custody of the child be given to his biological
mother.

The parties were given five (5) days from today to file their respective position papers based on these three
main issues. They may include other related issues they deem essential for the resolution of this case. Set this
case for further hearing, if necessary, on August 18, 2010 at 9:00 a.m.21
In the same order, Judge Sale alsoacknowledged that the child subject of the case was brought before the court
and the petitioner was allowed to see him and take photographs of him.
On August 17, 2010, the RTC dismissed the petition for issuance of a writ of amparo without prejudice to the
filing of the appropriate action in court. The RTC held that Christina availed of the wrong remedy to regain
custody of her child Baby Julian.22 The RTC further stated that Christina should have filed a civil case for
custody of her child as laid down in the Family Code and the Rule on Custody of Minors and Writ of Habeas
Corpus in Relation to Custody of Minors. If there is extreme urgency to secure custody of a minor who has been
illegallydetained by another, a petition for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus may be availed of, either as a
principal or ancillary remedy, pursuant to the Rule on Custody of Minors and Writ of Habeas Corpus inRelation
to Custody of Minors.23
On August 20, 2010, Christina filed a motion for reconsideration24 arguing that since the RTC assumed
jurisdiction of the petition for the issuance of a writ of amparo, the latter is duty-bound to dispose the case on
the merits.25 The RTC, however, deniedChristinas motion for reconsideration on September 6, 2010
maintaining that the latter availed of the wrong remedy and that the Supreme Court intended the writ of amparo
to address the problem of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances.26
On September 28, 2010, Christina directly elevated the case before this Court, via a petition for review on
certiorari under Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended, in relation to Section 19 of the Rule
on the Writ of Amparo. In her petition, Christina prayed that the Court (1) set aside the August 17, 2010 and
September 6, 2010 Orders of the RTC, (2) declare R.A. No. 9523 unconstitutional for being contrary to A.M.
No. 02-6-02-SC,27 which was promulgated by the Supreme Court, and for violating the doctrine of separation
of powers, (3) declare the "enforced separation" between her and Baby Julian as violative of her rights to life,
liberty and security, and (4) grant her the privilege of availing the benefits of a writ of amparo so she could be
reunited with her son.28
The only relevant issue presented before the Court worthy of attention is whether a petition for a writ of amparo
is the proper recourse for obtaining parental authority and custody of a minor child. This Court will not belabor
to discuss Christinas argumentsrelating to the supposedunconstitutionality or R.A. No. 9523 as Congress has
the plenary power to repeal, alter and modify existing laws29 and A.M. No. 02-6-02-SC functions only as a
means to enforce the provisions of all adoption and adoption-related statutes before the courts.
Now, in her petition, Christina argues that the life, liberty and security of Baby Julian is being violated or
threatened by the respondent DSWD officers enforcement of an illegal Deed of Voluntary Commitment
between her and Sun and Moon. She claims thatshe had been "blackmailed" through the said Deed by the
DSWD officers and Sun and Moons representatives into surrendering her child thereby causing the "forced
separation" of the said infant from his mother. Furthermore, she also reiterates that the respondent DSWD
officers acted beyond the scope of their authority when they deprived her of Baby Julians custody.30
The Court rejects petitioners contentions and denies the petition.
Section 1 of the Rule on the Writ of Amparo provides as follows:
SECTION 1. Petition. The petition for a writ of amparois a remedy available to any person whose right to life,
liberty and security is violated or threatened with violation by an unlawful actor omission of a public official or
employee, or of a private individual or entity.
The writ shall cover extralegal killings and enforced disappearances or threats thereof.
In the landmark case of Secretary of National Defense, et al. v. Manalo, et al.,31 this Court held:

[T]he AmparoRule was intended to address the intractable problem of "extralegal killings" and "enforced
disappearances," its coverage, in its present form, is confined to these two instances or to threats thereof.
"Extralegal killings" are "killings committed without due process of law, i.e., without legal safeguards or
judicial proceedings." On the other hand, "enforced disappearances" are "attended by the following
characteristics: an arrest, detention or abduction of a person by a government official or organized groupsor
private individuals acting with the direct or indirect acquiescence of the government; the refusal of the State to
disclose the fate or whereabouts of the person concerned or a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty
which places such persons outside the protection of law.
This pronouncement on the coverage of the writ was further cemented in the latter case of Lozada, Jr. v.
Macapagal-Arroyo32 where this Court explicitly declared that as it stands, the writ of amparo is confined only
to cases of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances, or to threats thereof. As to what constitutes
"enforced disappearance," the Court in Navia v. Pardico33 enumerated the elementsconstituting "enforced
disappearances" as the term is statutorily defined in Section 3(g) of R.A. No. 985134 to wit:
(a) that there be an arrest, detention, abduction or any form of deprivation of liberty;
(b) that it be carried out by, or with the authorization, support or acquiescence of, the State ora political
organization;
(c) that it be followed by the State or political organizations refusal to acknowledge or give information
on the fate or whereabouts of the person subject of the amparopetition; and,
(d) that the intention for such refusal isto remove subject person from the protection of the law for a
prolonged period of time.1wphi1
In this case, Christina alleged that the respondent DSWD officers caused her "enforced separation" from Baby
Julian and that their action amounted to an "enforced disappearance" within the context of the Amparo rule.
Contrary to her position, however, the respondent DSWD officers never concealed Baby Julian's whereabouts.
In fact, Christina obtained a copy of the DSWD's May 28, 2010 Memorandum35 explicitly stating that Baby
Julian was in the custody of the Medina Spouses when she filed her petition before the RTC. Besides, she even
admitted in her petition for review on certiorari that the respondent DSWD officers presented Baby Julian
before the RTC during the hearing held in the afternoon of August 5, 2010.36 There is therefore, no "enforced
disappearance" as used in the context of the Amparo rule as the third and fourth elements are missing.
Christina's directly accusing the respondents of forcibly separating her from her child and placing the latter up
for adoption, supposedly without complying with the necessary legal requisites to qualify the child for adoption,
clearly indicates that she is not searching for a lost child but asserting her parental authority over the child and
contesting custody over him.37 Since it is extant from the pleadings filed that what is involved is the issue of
child custody and the exercise of parental rights over a child, who, for all intents and purposes, has been legally
considered a ward of the State, the Amparo rule cannot be properly applied.
To reiterate, the privilege of the writ of amparo is a remedy available to victims of extra-judicial killings and
enforced disappearances or threats of a similar nature, regardless of whether the perpetrator of the unlawful act
or omission is a public official or employee or a private individual. It is envisioned basically to protect and
guarantee the right to life, liberty and security of persons, free from fears and threats that vitiate the quality of
life.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The August 17, 2010 and September 6, 2010 Orders of the Regional
Trial Court, Branch 106, Quezon City in Sp. Proc. Case No. Q-10-67604 are AFFIRMED without prejudice to
petitioner's right to avail of proper legal remedies afforded to her by law and related rules.
No costs.
SO ORDERED.