Stalking, peeking criminal acts vs women

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Persida Acosta

Persida Acosta

Dear PAO,
I’m having a problem with my ex-boyfriend who lives in the same condominium building as I do. Although we’ve parted ways for several months already, he still tries to visit my unit despite my constant plea for him not to visit me since I do not want to see him anymore.

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Things are starting to get out of hand already as I sometimes notice him trying to peep into my windows and door. Now, I’m getting really stressed and scared for my safety and privacy. Please advise me on what case I may file against him and what I can do to protect myself in this situation. Thank you.
Norma

Dear Norma,
The actions of your ex-boyfriend that you narrated can already be classified as a form of violence against women punishable under Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9262, known as the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004. According to this law:

“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:

xxx

(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:

(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;

Xxx” (Emphasis supplied)

It can be seen from this cited provision that the actions of your ex-boyfriend fall squarely among the list of prohibited acts under this law. As such, you may avail of the protections also provided for by this law.

Section 8 of RA 9262 allows for the issuance of protection order against the complained party for the purpose of preventing further acts of violence against a woman. The protection order may be applied before and issued by the barangay or the court having jurisdiction in your place of residence (Section 10, RA 9262). In relation to your situation, the protection order that may be issued under this Act includes the following reliefs:

“(a) Prohibition of the respondent from threatening to commit or committing, personally or through another, any of the acts mentioned in Section 5 of this Act;

(b) Prohibition of the respondent from harassing, annoying, telephoning, contacting or otherwise communicating with the petitioner, directly or indirectly;

(c) Removal and exclusion of the respondent from the residence of the petitioner, regardless of ownership of the residence, either temporarily for the purpose of protecting the petitioner, or permanently where no property rights are violated, and if respondent must remove personal effects from the residence, the court shall direct a law enforcement agent to accompany the respondent has gathered his things and escort respondent from the residence;

(d) Directing the respondent to stay away from 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;

Xxx” (Section 8, Ibid.).

Finally, should your ex-boyfriend be found guilty by the court for violating RA 9262 based on your accusation against him for stalking, he may be punished with a sentence of prision mayor, which has an equivalent period of six (6) years, one (1) day to twelve (12) years (Section 6(f), Ibid.). The law also provides that:

“In addition to imprisonment, the perpetrator shall (a) pay a fine in the amount of not less than One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000) but not more than three hundred thousand pesos (300,000); (b) undergo mandatory psychological counseling or psychiatric treatment and shall report compliance to the court.” (Ibid.)

This highlights the extent of the protection you may use through RA 9262, and the severity of the punishment that may be imposed against persons violating this law.

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 dearpao@manilatimes.net

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