Republic vs Daisy Yahon G.R. No. 201043 Facts: Sgt Yahon was married to respondent. A TPO has been issued against Sgt Yahon to protect the respondent from further abuses. In the TPO, Sgt Yahon was ordered to provide reasonable financial spousal support to the respondent. In his failure to appear before the court with a counsel and with an answer to the charges against him, the court has granted PPO for the respondent against Sgt Yahon. It was also reiterated that Sgt Yahon should provide for the financial spousal support to his wife from his retirement benefits. However, the Armed Forces of the Philippines Finance Center contended that half of the retirement benefits of Sgt Yahon cannot be given to the respondent as it is from a military institution. The petitioner contended that money due to government employees is not liable to the creditors of the said employees in the process of garnishment. Issue: Whether or not the retirement benefits of Sgt Yahon be subject to the ruling of the court to provide for the financial spousal support of respondent. Held: Retirement benefits of Sgt Yahon are subject to the financial spousal support of respondent. As a rule in statutory construction, when the law does not distinguish, the court should not distinguish. As section 8 (g) of RA No. 9262 used the general term 'employer', it includes in its coverage the military institution, which is the employer of Sgt Yahon. Garcia vs drilon and garcia Facts: Private respondent Rosalie filed a petition before the RTC of Bacolod City a Temporary Protection Order against her husband, Jesus, pursuant to R.A. 9262, entitled “An Act Defining Violence Against Women and Their Children, Providing for Protective Measures for Victims, Prescribing Penalties Therefor, and for Other Purposes.” She claimed to be a victim of physical, emotional, psychological and economic violence, being threatened of deprivation of custody of her children and of financial support and also a victim of marital infidelity on the part of petitioner. The TPO was granted but the petitioner failed to faithfully comply with the conditions set forth by the said TPO, private-respondent filed another application for the issuance of a TPO ex parte. The trial court issued a modified TPO and extended the same when petitioner failed to comment on why the TPO should not be modified. After the given time allowance to answer, the petitioner no longer submitted the required comment as it would be an “axercise in futility.” Petitioner filed before the CA a petition for prohibition with prayer for injunction and TRO on, questioning the constitutionality of the RA 9262 for violating the due process and equal protection clauses, and the validity of the modified TPO for being “an unwanted product of an invalid law.” The CA issued a TRO on the enforcement of the TPO but however, denied the petition for failure to raise the issue of constitutionality in his pleadings before the trial court and the petition for prohibition to annul protection orders issued by the trial court constituted collateral attack on said law. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but was denied. Thus, this petition is filed. Issues: WON the CA erred in dismissing the petition on the theory that the issue of constitutionality was not raised at the earliest opportunity and that the petition constitutes a collateral attack on the validity of the law. WON the CA committed serious error in failing to conclude that RA 9262 is discriminatory, unjust and violative of the equal protection clause. WON the CA committed grave mistake in not finding that RA 9262 runs counter to the due process clause of the Constitution WON the CA erred in not finding that the law does violence to the policy of the state to protect the family as a basic social institution WON the CA seriously erredin declaring RA 9262 as invalid and unconstitutional because it allows an undue delegation of judicial power to Brgy. Officials. Decision: 1. Petitioner contends that the RTC has limited authority and jurisdiction, inadequate to tackle the complex issue of constitutionality. Family Courts have authority and jurisdiction to consider the constitutionality of a statute. The question of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest possible time so that if not raised in the pleadings, it may not be raised in the trial and if not raised in the trial court, it may not be considered in appeal. 2. RA 9262 does not violate the guaranty of equal protection of the laws. Equal protection simply requires that all persons or things similarly situated should be treated alike, both as to rights conferred and responsibilities imposed. In Victoriano v. Elizalde Rope Workerkers’ Union, the Court ruled that all that is required of a valid classification is that it be reasonable, which means that the classification should be based on substantial distinctions which make for real differences; that it must be germane to the purpose of the law; not limited to existing conditions only; and apply equally to each member of the class. Therefore, RA9262 is based on a valid classification and did not violate the equal protection clause by favouring women over men as victims of violence and abuse to whom the Senate extends its protection. 3. RA 9262 is not violative of the due process clause of the Constitution. The essence of due process is in the reasonable opportunity to be heard and submit any evidence one may have in support of one’s defense. The grant of the TPO exparte cannot be impugned as violative of the right to due process. 4. The non-referral of a VAWC case to a mediator is justified. Petitioner’s contention that by not allowing mediation, the law violated the policy of the State to protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution cannot be sustained. In a memorandum of the Court, it ruled that the court shall not refer the case or any issue therof to a mediator. This is so because violence is not a subject for compromise. 5. There is no undue delegation of judicial power to Barangay officials. Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on any part of any branch of the Government while executive power is the power to enforce and administer the laws. The preliminary investigation conducted by the prosecutor is an executive, not a judicial, function. The same holds true with the issuance of BPO. Assistance by Brgy. Officials and other law enforcement agencies is consistent with their duty executive function. The petition for review on certiorari is denied for lack of merit. BBB v AAA CASE DIGEST [G.R. No. 193225, February 9, 2015, REYES, J.] Topic: Parental Authority & Custody of Children: Who May Exercise Doctrine: The SC affirms the CA’s order to remand the case for the RTC to resolve the question of custody. Since the children are now all older than seven years of age, they can choose for themselves whom they want to stay with. FACTS: BBB and AAA allege that they started to date seriously only in 1996. AAA was then a medical student and was raising her first child borne from a previous relationship, named CCC, a boy. During their relationship, AAA bore two more children namely, DDD (born on December 11, 1997) and EEE (born on October 19, 2000). BBB and AAA married in civil rights to legalize their relationship. The birth certificates of the children, including CCC’s, was amended to change their civil status to legitimated by virtue of the said marriage. Later on, their relationship turn sour and they decided to live separately. Citing economic and psychological abuse, AAA filed an application for the issuance of a Temporary Protection Order with a request to make the same permanent after due hearing, before the RTC. Finding good ground in AAA’s application, the RTC issued a TPO. The TPO was thereafter, made permanent by virtue of a Decision of the RTC dated August 14, 2007. BBB appealed before the CA. CA affirmed RTC’s decision but ordered the remand of the case for the latter to determine in the proper proceedings to determine who shall be awarded custody of the children. The CA found that under the provisions of RA9262, BBB had subjected AAA and their children to psychological, emotional and economic abuses. BBB displayed acts of marital infidelity which exposed AAA to public ridicule causing her emotional and psychological distress. While BBB alleged that FFF was only a professional colleague, he continued to have public appearances with her which did not help to dispel AAA’s accusation that the two had an extra-marital relation. BBB filed a Manifestation and Motion to Render Judgment Based on a MOA alleging that he and AAA had entered into a compromise regarding the custody, exercise of parental authority over, and support of DDD and EEE: that BBB shall have the custody over both children. ISSUE: Whether or not the RTC should determine who shall be awarded custody over the children. HELD: YES. All told, the Court finds no merit in BBB’s petition, but there exists a necessity to remand the case for the RTC to resolve matters relative to who shall be granted custody over the three children, how the spouses shall exercise visitation rights, and the amount and manner of providing financial support. The RTC and the CA found substantial evidence and did not commit reversible errors when they issued the PPO against BBB. Events, which took place after the issuance of the PPO, do not erase the fact that psychological, emotional and economic abuses were committed by BBB against AAA. Hence, BBB’s claim that he now has actual sole care of DDD and EEE does not necessarily call for this Court’s revocation of the PPO and the award to him of custody over the children. This Court, thus, affirms the CA’s order to remand the case for the RTC to resolve the question of custody. Since the children are now all older than seven years of age, they can choose for themselves whom they want to stay with. If all the three children would manifest to the RTC their choice to stay with AAA, then the PPO issued by RTC shall continue to be executed in its entirety. However, if any of the three children would choose to be under BBB’s care, necessarily, the PPO issued against BBB relative to them is to be modified. The PPO, in its entirety, would remain effective only as to AAA and any of the children who opt to stay with her. Consequently, the RTC may accordingly alter the manner and amount of financial support BBB should give depending on who shall finally be awarded custody over the children. Pursuant to Articles 201 and 202 of the Family Code, BBB’s resources and means and the necessities of AAA and the children are the essential factors in determining the amount of support, and the same can be reduced or increased proportionately. The RTC is reminded to be circumspect in resolving the matter of support, which is a mutual responsibility of the spouses. The parties do not dispute that AAA is now employed as well, thus, the RTC should consider the same with the end in mind of promoting the best interests of the children. Tua vs mangrobang Facts: Rosanna Honrado-Tua and Ralph P. Tua were legally married with three minor children. On May 20, 2005, the wife, and in behalf of her children, filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Imus, Cavite for the issuance of a protection order pursuant to Republic Act (R.A.) 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act. The filing of the said protection order was brought because of the husband’s abusive conduct towards his children and spouse; imputing physical harm and threatening them for the purpose of controlling their actions or decisions; and the deprivation of the children’s custody as well as the family’s financial support. On May 23, 2005, the RTC issued a Temporary Protection Order (TPO) pursuant to the application. By virtue of said issuance, a hearing was set for the issuance of the Permanent Protection Order. Thereafter, respondent filed a petition with Urgent Motion to Lift TPO. In his comment, petitioner denied the allegations and contended that he had been living separately with his wife and children since November 2004. According to him, his wife has been involved with a certain Rebendor Zuniga despite their marriage and that she violated their agreement when she and their children moved out of their conjugal dwelling to stay with Zuniga. Aside from denying the allegations, petitioner further claimed that the issuance of the TPO violated his right of due process under the Constitution. Without waiting for the resolution of his Comment on the petition and motion to lift TPO, petitioner filed with the Court of Appeals (CA) a petition for certiorari with prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction and hold departure order on the decision of the RTC. In order not to render the petition mood and to avoid grave and irreparable injury, the CA initially issued a temporary restraining order but later denied the petition for lack of merit. The CA in said ruling opined that the factual matters could not be passed upon by virtue of the petition for certiorari since there is a pending petition under RA 9262 before the RTC. Also, the TPO was validly issued and there was no grave abuse of discretion attendant to it. As regards the claim of unconstitutionality, the CA ruled that the requisites to question the constitutionality of the law were not met. Hence, this petition for review on certiorari before the Supreme Court. Issues: 1. Whether or not, the provision for the issuance of the TPO in RA 9262 is unconstitutional as it is in contravention with the right to due process afforded by the constitution? 2. Whether or not, there is an invalid delegation of legislative power to the court and to barangay officials to issue protection orders? 3. Whether or not, there was grave abuse of discretion committed by the RTC and/or the CA in this case? Ruling: The petition was denied. The decision of the CA affirming the RTC’s issuance of the TPO was affirmed. The Supreme Court was order to resolve with dispatch the petition for a permanent protection order. Ratio Decidendi: As to the first issue The Supreme Court was not impressed by the contention of petitioner on the question of constitutionality of RA 9262, particularly Sec. 15 of the law. In Garcia v. Drilon (699 SCRA 352, 401), where the same argument was raised and where the court struck down the challenge and held: a protection order is an order issued to prevent further acts of violence against women and their children, their family or household members, and to grant other necessary reliefs. Its purpose is to safeguard the offended parties from further harm, minimize any disruption in their daily life and facilitate the opportunity and ability to regain control of their life. The court further said that the grant of a TPO ex parte cannot, therefore, be challenged as violative of the right to due process. Just like a writ of preliminary attachment which is issued without notice and hearing because the time in which the hearing will take could be enough to enable the defendant to abscond or dispose of his property, in the same way, the victim of VAWC may already have suffered harrowing experiences in the hands of her tormentor, and possibly even death, if notice and hearing were required before such acts could be prevented. The essence of due process is to be found in the reasonable opportunity to be heard and submit any evidence one may have in support of one's defense. "To be heard" does not only mean verbal arguments in court; one may be heard also through pleadings. Where opportunity to be heard, either through oral arguments or pleadings, is accorded, there is no denial of procedural due process. As to the second issue The Supreme Court was also not persuaded as to the allegation of an invalid legislative power to the court and to barangay officials to issue protection orders. The high court said that the court is authorized to issue a TPO on the date of the filing of the application after ex parte determination that there is basis for the issuance thereof. Ex parte means that the respondent need not be notified or be present in the hearing for the issuance of the TPO. Thus, it is within the court’s discretion, based on the petition and the affidavit attached thereto, to determine that the violent acts against women and their children for the issuance of a TPO have been committed. The violent acts which the court use for its basis are those enumerated in Section 5 of R.A. 9262 (Acts of Violence Against Women and Their Children). In this case, petitioners actions would fall under the enumeration of the said portion of the law and these are enough for the issuance of a TPO. As to the third issue The Supreme Court did not found that the CA committed an erroneous decision as to its affirmance of the RTC’s issuance of the TPO. It is settled doctrine, according to the court, that there is grave abuse of discretion when there is a capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment as is equivalent to lack of jurisdiction, such as where the power is exercised in an arbitrary or despotic manner by reason of passion or personal hostility, and it must be so patent and gross so as to amount to an evasion of positive duty or to a virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined or to act at all in contemplation of law.