G.R. No. 247429: September 08 2020
Offense Involved: Anti-Violence Against Women and Children
FACTS: On October 5, 1989, AAA married Araza. Initially and at the onset of their marriage, her husband Araza was hardworking, loving and faithful. She had no marital issues with Araza until he went to Zamboanga City in February 2007, for their networking business. It was at this point that she began to notice Araza’s change in behavior. One day, she received a text telling that her husband is having an affair with their best friend. She went to see it for herself and was able to confirm that her husband was living with another woman, a certain Tessie Luy Fabillar. She instituted a complaint against her husband Araza and his alleged mistress, for Concubinage. The case was subsequently amicably settled after the parties executed an Agreement whereby Araza and Fabillar committed themselves never to see each other again. After the case was settled, Araza again lived with AAA. However, it was only for a short time. Without saying a word, Araza left AAA on November 22, 2007. To her surprise, Araza had returned to live with his mistress again. In the days to come, she would receive text messages from her husband’s supposed mistress using various numbers. The messages would tell her that Araza is sick and needed money for medicines. There was also another text message threatening her that she will kill AAA’s husband. Because of this, she sought legal services believing that Araza’s liberty was being restrained by Fabillar. Based on the investigation, Araza left their conjugal abode on his own volition and he has been living with his mistress, as husband and wife. As a matter of fact, three children were born out of their cohabitation. The truth caused AAA emotional and psychological suffering. An information for crime of violence against women under Section 5(i) of R.A. No. 9262 was filed in RTC Las Pinas City. RTC ruled in favor of AAA. This was affirmed by the CA. Aggrieved, Aaraza filed this present case.
- Whether or not the CA erred in affirming Araza’s conviction for violation of Section 5(i) of R.A. No. 9262 although his conviction was based on facts not alleged in the Information?
- Whether the CA gravely erred in affirming Araza’s conviction for violation of Section 5(i) of R.A. No. 9262 on the ground that the prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt the acts allegedly committed by Araza?
- No. The elements of violation of Section 5(i) of R.A. No. 9262 were sufficiently alleged in the Information. In this case the Information contains the recital of facts necessary to constitute the crime charged. It clearly stated that: (1) The offended party AAA, is the wife of offender Araza; (2) AAA sustained emotional anguish and mental suffering; and (3) such anguish and suffering is inflicted by Araza when he had an extramarital affair with Fabillar and had three illegitimate children with her.
- No. The CA was correct in ruling that Araza committed psychological violence upon his wife AAA by committing marital infidelity, which caused AAA to suffer emotional anguish and mental suffering. The prosecution has established Araza’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt by proving that he committed psychological violence upon his wife by committing marital infidelity. AAA’s testimony was strong and credible. She was able to confirm that Araza was living with another woman. Marital infidelity, which is a form of psychological violence, is the proximate cause of AAA’s emotional anguish and mental suffering, to the point that even her health condition was adversely affected.