By Daine Mariel Chua

PHOTO: Supreme Court/Unsplash

Despite involvement in forbidden relationships, the Supreme Court established no barrier in protecting women against abuse in line with the provisions set in Republic Act 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children (VAWC) Law.

In a recent lawsuit, the SC debunked the concept of the petitioner, a 47-year-old married man, that his partner shall not be granted the Permanent Protection Order under the VAWC law since she was just a mistress.

“The illicitness of a relationship a woman engages in does not diminish her dignity in any way. She will be protected just by the law that values her and her children’s dignity” the high court said.

The woman involved sought the PPO after several violent acts towards her and their children during a secret relationship with a married man, the petitioner, whom she met back in 1979.

Moreover, the petitioner used the illicitness of their affair as grounds for disapproving the issued PPO claiming that giving protection would mean ‘tolerating adulterous relationships’.

Additionally, as the children are all in legal age, the man believed that the VAWC law would not apply based on the given definition of children in the law. However, in a similar case of Estacio v. Estacio, the court said the rightful age of children applicable to protection orders is not on the RA 9262 to be determined.

The SC stressed that the VAWC law does not make any distinctions so “neither should the courts,” thus, demonstrates full respect for women and children rights to protection regardless of the relation type.

Furthermore, the court claimed that the petition of the man was one that “sought to straightjacket the text and spirit of the law.”

Within the application of the rule of statutory construction, the court concluded the petition standing with the woman's protection with no distinction through the ruling of Associate Justice Marvic Leonen.

Copyedited by Nehmia Elyxa Relano