Supreme Court says law protects women in intimate relationships

·Contributor
·2 min read
Manila, PHILIPPINES: In this photo taken 25 October 2006 shows the Philippine Supreme Court building in Manila. (Photo: ROMEO GACAD/AFP via Getty Images)
Manila, PHILIPPINES: In this photo taken 25 October 2006 shows the Philippine Supreme Court building in Manila. (Photo: ROMEO GACAD/AFP via Getty Images)

The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday (July 7) said that Republic Act (RA) 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act protects even women in illicit relationships, including so-called mistresses and paramours, and their children.

In a decision in the Cabañez v. AAA penned by Associate Justice Marvic M.V.F. Leonen, the SC’s second division upheld the issuance of a permanent protection order (PPO) against the petitioner who was seeking to invalidate the order by her longtime live-in partner and their children.

According to the high court, the petitioner was already 47 and the woman only 20 at the time they met in 1979, and he argued that RA 9262 does not include protection for women who has or had an intimate relationship with a man with any legal impediment to marry each other.

Otherwise, the petitioner argued further, “the law would effectively tolerate adulterous relationships.”

However, the SC argued that since the law does not distinguish between a relationship that can and cannot marry one another, the court will neither make any distinction as well, following a statutory construction.

“‘[The law] protects women and their children from various forms of violence and abuse committed within a setting of an intimate relationship’ – including the respondent woman and their children,” the Court said.

The court also applied the same statutory construction in scrapping the petitioner’s other request to vacate the PPO made against him by his children to the woman and argued that they’re already adults and thus cannot be protected by the law.

Citing the precedent Estacio v. Estacio, the SC said that “neither [RA 9262] nor the Rule on Violence Against Women and Their Children distinguishes the age at which children are included in protection orders.”

“On both issues, the Court upheld the State policy of protecting women and children from violence and threats to their security and safety, declaring that it ‘will not interpret a provision of [RA 9262] as to make it powerless and futile,” the Court in a press release said.

Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments in politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. The views expressed are his own.

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