I have a friend who is a victim of domestic violence. What shall she do to prevent her former live-in partner from inflicting physical harm on her and going near her?
Any woman who experienced any form of violence from her husband, live-in partner or persons with whom she had dating or sexual relationship may be issued a protection order to prevent the latter from inflicting further acts of violence on her and her children. Aside from safeguarding the victim from further harm, protection orders are granted to minimize any disruption in the victim’s daily life and to facilitate the opportunity and ability of the victim to independently regain control over her life (Section 8, Republic Act [RA] 9262).
To immediately prevent her former live-in partner from further going to and inflicting harm on your friend, she may go to their barangay and apply for a Barangay Protection Order (BPO). Upon the receipt of her application, their Punong Barangay, or in his absence, any available Barangay Kagawad, shall make an ex-parte determination of the basis of the application, and if warranted, shall immediately issue the BPO on the same date of the application. The BPO shall be effective for fifteen (15) days.
She may also file a verified petition for permanent protection order (PPO) before the family court of the place where she is residing. Upon filing her petition for permanent protection order, the court shall make an ex-parte determination on the issuance of a temporary protection order (TPO). If warranted, the TPO issued by the court shall be effective for thirty (30) days. Thereafter, the court shall schedule a hearing on the issuance of a PPO prior to or on the date of the expiration of the TPO. (Section 15, Ibid.) If after due notice and hearing, the court is convinced of your friend’s application, it will issue a permanent protection order for her.
All temporary protection orders and permanent protection orders issued under RA 9262 shall be enforceable anywhere in the Philippines. The respondent who violates the terms of the orders shall be punished with a fine ranging from five thousand pesos (P5,000.00) to fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00) and/or imprisonment of six (6) months.
We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts that you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to email@example.com