• Child abuse draws six to 12-year jail term

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    dearpao

    Dear PAO,
    My 15-year-old son was physically abused by our male neighbor who is of legal age. He banged the head of my son twice against a playmate’s head, also a minor. He felt pain on his head and had blurry vision right after the incident. With such, I have decided to rush my son to the hospital. Based on the medical test, he is free from any fracture or blood clot on his head. What criminal case can I file against my neighbor?

    Thanks and more power!
    Dianne

    Dear Dianne,
    Any person who inflicts physical injuries to another shall be held criminally liable for physical injuries under the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines and shall be meted the penalty of imprisonment. The duration of imprisonment depends on the nature and gravity of the injuries suffered or the time needed to heal the wounds thus inflicted.

    In the same vein, if the victim is a minor, the perpetrator may be held liable for violation of Republic Act No. 7610 or the Special Protection of Children against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act. Under Section 3 of this act, child abuse is defined as follows:

    “(b) “Child abuse” refers to the maltreatment, whether habitual or not, of the child which includes any of the following:

    (1) Psychological and physical abuse, neglect, cruelty, sexual abuse and emotional maltreatment;

    xxx”

    Any person who shall be found guilty of the above law shall suffer the penalty of prision mayor in its minimum period or imprisonment ranging from six (6) years and one day to twelve (12) years (Section 10(a), Republic Act No. 7610).

    In your son’s situation, you may file a criminal complaint before the office of the prosecutor who shall conduct an investigation and/or file the appropriate case in court, if warranted by the facts and evidence on hand.

    Again, we find it necessary to mention that this opinion is solely based on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. The opinion may vary when the facts are changed or elaborated.

    We hope that we were able to guide you with our opinion on the matter.

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