Mario is my live-in partner for six years. I suffered so much pain during our cohabitation because of his abusive conduct. He always hit me every time that he was under the influence of liquor. His son from his previous partner would also join him in inflicting physical injuries on me whenever they were both drunk. I am now living alone here in Pasay City but, every now and then, Mario and his son would go to my place in order to harass me. I would like to stop them from going to my place. If I will apply for protection order, can I also ask that Mario’s son be also prohibited from harassing me.
Section 8 of Republic Act (RA) 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004, provides:
“A protection order is an order issued under this Act for the purpose of preventing further acts of violence against a woman or her child specified in Section 5 of this Act and granting other necessary reliefs. The reliefs granted under [the]protection order serve the purpose of safeguarding the victim from further harm, minimizing any disruption in the victim’s daily life, and facilitating the opportunity and ability of the victim to independently regain control over her life. The provisions of the protection order shall be enforced by law enforcement agencies. The protection orders that may be issued under this Act are the Barangay Protection Order (BPO), Temporary Protection Order (TPO) and Permanent Protection Order (PPO). The protection orders that may be issued under this Act shall include any, some or all of the following reliefs:
Xxx xxx xxx
b. Prohibition of the respondent from harassing, annoying, telephoning, contacting or otherwise communicating with the petitioner, directly or indirectly;
xxx xxx xxx
xxx xxx xxx
d. Directing the respondent to stay away from the petitioner and designated family or household member at a distance specified by the court, and to stay away from the residence, school, place of employment or any specified place frequented by the petitioner and any designated family or household member.”
Based on the above-stated provisions of the law, you can apply for a protection order against Mario and his son, so that they will be prohibited from harassing you or told to stay away from you or from your residence at a distance specified by the court.
The protection order that can be issued may include Mario’s son or any other person. This finds support in the
case entitled AAA vs Spouses Tan (G.R. No. 168852, September 30, 2008), where former Associate Justice Alicia Austria-Martinez ruled:
“With more reason, therefore, the principle of conspiracy under Article 8 of the RPC [Revised Penal Code] may be applied suppletorily to RA 9262 because of the express provision of Section 47 that the RPC shall be supplementary to the law. Thus, general provisions of the RPC, which by their nature, are necessarily applicable, may be applied suppletorily.
Thus, the principle of conspiracy may be applied to RA 9262. For once conspiracy or action in concert to achieve a criminal design is shown, the act of one is the act of all the conspirators, and the precise extent or modality of participation of each of them becomes secondary, since all the conspirators are principals.
It must be further noted that Section 5 of RA 9262 expressly recognizes that the acts of violence against women and their children may be committed by an offender through another xxxx”.
Applying this decision to your case, Mario and his son are deemed to be in conspiracy in committing the acts considered as abuse under RA 9262; hence, it follows that the protection order that may be issued by the court will also cover his son or any other person who joins the principal in the commission of abuse.
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 enlighten you on the matter.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org