It is the law penalizing acts of violence against women and their children as a public crime. These acts include physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence and economic abuse These acts are punishable even if committed outside the house. Q: What is violence against women and their children or “VAWC” under the law?A: this refers to any act or a series of acts committed by any person against a woman who is his wife, former wife, or against a woman with whom the person has or had a sexual or dating relationships, or with whom he has a common child, or against her child whether legitimate or illegitimate, inside or outside the family residence, which result or is likely to result in physical, sexual, psychological harm or suffering, or economic abuse. It includes threats of the above acts, battery, assault, coercion, harassment or arbitrary deprivation of liberty.Q: Who are protected by the law? A: Women and their children. “Children” means the children of the abused woman, below 18 years old, legitimate or illegitimate, or 18 years old and above who are incapable of taking care of themselves, including children who are not her biological children but who are under her care. If the acts are committed in the presence of the woman’s child, or if the woman or child is pregnant, the penalty shall be the maximum period prescribed by law.Example: the woman’s niece who lives with her is a child under her care. Q: Who are liable? A: husbands, former husbands, present and former boyfriends or live-in partners, those with whom the woman has a common child, or anyone with whom she has/had sexual or dating relationship. Women can also be liable under “sexual or dating relationship. ” These are the lesbian partners or former partners of the victim. Example: A woman who has a child by her rapist who harasses or abuses her is protected by this law because they have a common child.Q: What is “sexual relationship? ” A: It refers to at least a single sexual act. Example: A prostituted woman can avail of the remedies under the law if she is being harassed or abused or publicly humiliated by a man with whom she had a single sexual contact. Q: What are examples of punishable acts? A: Economic abuse: a) not giving adequate financial support to the wife and/or minor children, b) controlling the conjugal business or conjugal or community property or the woman’s own moneyPsychological violence: a) marital infidelity, b) repeated verbal abuse, c) public humiliation, c) threatening the woman that she will lose her child, d) stalking or following the woman in her workplace, school or any public or private place without justification Physical abuse: battery (physical injuries); frustrated parricide Sexual violence : a) causing or attempting to make the woman or her child to perform sexual acts (that do not constitute Rape) by use of force, threats, intimidation directed against the woman, her child, or her immediate family, b) prostituting the woman or her child.Q: What does “public crime” mean? A: Any citizen who has personal knowledge of the crime can file a criminal complaint. Q: What are the remedies of the victim? She and/or her children can request for: a) Barangay Protection Order, and/or b) Temporary Protection Order (TPO) and Permanent Protection Order with the court, and c) file a criminal action for violation of R. A. 9262. Q: What is a Barangay Protection Order or BPO?A: A BPO is issued by the Punong Barangay(PB) or the PB is unavailable, by kawagad ordering the offender to desist from committing or threatening physical harm to the victim. It is effective for 15 days and is not extendible. Q: How does the victim get a BPO? 1. She or her child can go to the Punong Barangay or if he/she is not available, to any kagawad, and apply for a Barangay Protection Order ( BPO). The application must be in writing, signed and under oath. 2. If there is no notary or public prosecutor and the BPO is urgent, the applicant can ttest to the truth of her statements before the PB. (manumpa – please supply the correct word in Pilipino)) Q: What is another option for the woman or her child? A: Without or without a BPO, she can apply for a Temporary Protection Order (TPO) from the Family Court in her place of residence, or if there is no Family Court, in Regional Trial Court, the Municipal Trial Court or Municipal Circuit Trial Court or Metropolitan Trial Court. Q: Who can apply for a protection order from the barangay or court?A: the offended party; parents or guardians; ascendants, descendants or collateral relatives within 4th degree, social workers of DSWD or the local government; police, Punong Barangay or Kagawad (for Temporary Protection Order in court); lawyer, counselor, therapist; healthcare provider of victim; or at least 2 citizens of the city who have personal knowledge of the commission of the crime. Example: If the woman is unable to file for a protection order, her sister or first cousin can file for her, but the application must state that the woman consented.Q: What should the Barangay Officials do when the victim applies for a BPO? A: 1. Assist her in writing her application. If there is no notary public or it is an emergency, have the applicant take an oath before the PB that her statements are true. 2. Ask questions on the “salaysay” or statement of the applicant. Be sure the date of commission of the offense, place and specific circumstances are in the statement. 3. Allow a non-lawyer advocate or non-government organization worker to be ith the victim during the proceedings. If a child, request for a social worker. 4. Do not send notice to the respondent. Do not allow the respondent or her/his representative to be present during the ex-parte proceeding. 5. Issue the BPO on the same day of application and immediately serve a copy to the respondent. 6. Assist the victim in applying for a Temporary Protection Order with the court as soon as possible. Q: What if the BPO is violated?A: The PB or any kagawad must file a criminal case for violation of RA 9262 in the Municipal Trial Court or Municipal Circuit Trial Court. Penalty: 30 days imprisonment. Q: What does the BPO cover? Does it include an order for the respondent to give financial support to his wife and minor children? A. It is an order for the respondent to stop committing or threatening physical harm only. It cannot include support for the woman and her minor children, or custody of minor children.Q: So what is the best thing to do to help the woman wants financial support and other remedies? A: Help her file for a Temporary and Permanent Protection Order in the court where she resides. Q: What is a Temporary Protection Order (TPO) and Permanent Protection Order (PPO)? A: A Temporary Protection Order shall be issued by the court on the same day of application. It is effective for 30 days but is extendible or renewable until the hearings on the Permanent Protection Order are finished and a Decision is rendered by the court to grant or deny the PPO.It can include an order to: a) stay away from the woman and/or her child or any family or household member specified in the order, and from specific places such as the woman’s workplace, school of the children, b ) give custody of minor children to the woman, b) give support to the wife and minor children, c) the respondent to leave the house temporarily or permanently (if PPO) regardless of who owns the house, d) give the woman one car or vehicle, e) surrender firearms, f) file a Bond to Keep the Peace. Q: Where do you file for a TPO? A. In the Family Court where the woman or her child resides.If there is no Family Court, file in the Regional Trial Court, Municipal Trial Court, Municipal Circuit Trial Court or Metropolitan Trial Court where the woman or her child resides. Q: Is there a filing fee for a Petition for TPO and PPO? A: Yes, but if the petitioner is an indigent or even if she is not an indigent but there is an immediate necessity for the issuance of a TPO, the law provides that she is exempt from paying the filing fee. Q: What is a Bond to Keep the Peace for? A It is for the purpose of ensuring that the respondent will not violate the TPO or PPO.The amount of the bond is up to the judge. If the respondent violates the TPO or PPO, this bond will be forfeited. Q: Can the barangay officials mediate or conciliate? A: No. conciliation and mediation of acts of violence against women and their children are not allowed under this law (Sec. 33, RA 9262). R. A. 9262 amended Secs. 410-413 of the Local Government Code. The barangay officials, police or social workers should not attempt to mediate or influence the woman to give up her legal action or application for a BPO,TPO or PPO.Q: What are the duties of barangay officials and law enforcers? A: 1. enter the house of the victim if necessary, whether or not a B PO or Temporary Protection Order has been issued 2. confiscate any deadly weapon 3. arrest the offender even without a warrant when the act is being committed, or they have personal knowledge that the abuse has just been committed 4. transport victim to a safe place or to a clinic 5. assist victim in getting personal things from the house 6. nsure the enforcement of Protection Orders issued by the barangay or by the courts. Q: Can barangay officials arrest the perpetrator without a warrant? A: Yes. Arrest him or her when any of the acts under R. A. 9262 is occurring, or when the barangay official has personal knowledge that any act of abuse has just been committed, and there is imminent danger to the life or limb of the victim. Any citizen or law enforcer can also arrest the perpetrator if the situation also falls under the Rules on Warrantless Arrests, or when…. (TO BE SIMPLIFIED HERE)Q: Can barangay officials, police, social workers or private individuals be sued for trespassing if they enter the house of the victim? A: No. They are exempt from civil, criminal or administrative liability. Even private individuals, including foreigners who intervene to help the victim are exempt from civil and criminal liability. Q: What are the rights of victims under this law? 1. A: 1. to be treated with respect and dignity 2. legal assistance from the Public Attorney’s Office or any public legal assistance, including from the local government unit. . support services from DSWD and local government 4. to be informed of their rights and services available, including their right to a protection order 5. if the victim is an indigent, or even if she is not but there is an immediate necessity to act on the protection order, the victim can file for a protection order in court without payment of court fees. Q: When was the law signed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo? A: March 8, 2004. It took on March 27, 2004. CHAPTER TWO COMMON QUESTIONS ASKED BY BARANGAY OFFICIALS AFTER CHAPTER TWO: TO BE SUPPLIED:DIRECTORY OF PNP STATIONS IN METRO MANILA AND REGIONAL OFFICES WITH PHONE NUMBERS, DSWD METRO MANILA AND REGIONAL OFFICES AND LAWYERS AND NGOs WHO AGREE TO PRINT THEIR NAMES AND PHONE NUMBERS IN THIS PRIMER —————————————————————– * This Primer was prepared for barangay officials by Atty. Rowena V. Guanzon, Consultant on Gender and Local Governance of the DILG. As Consultant on Women’s Rights and Children’s Rights to Senate President Franklin Drilon she helped draft RA 9262. She was former Mayor of Cadiz City, Negros Occidental (1986-1992).
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