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#1 Simon vs. Comm. on Human Rights G.R. No.

100150 January 05, 1994

Petitioner Mayor Simon asks to prohibit CHR from further hearing and investigating "demolition case" on
vendors of North EDSA.
Whether the CHR is authorized to hear and decide on the "demolition case" and to impose a fine for
Section 18, Article XIII, of the 1987 Constitution empowered the CHR to investigate all forms of human
rights violations involving civil and political rights. The demolition of stalls, sari-sari stores and carenderia
cannot fall within the compartment of "human rights violations involving civil and political rights".
Human rights are the basic rights which inhere in man by virtue of his humanity and are the same in all
parts of the world.
Human rights include civil rights (right to life, liberty and property; freedom of speech, of the press, of
religion, academic freedom; rights of the accused to due process of law), political rights (right to elect
public officials, to be elected to public office, and to form political associations and engage in politics),
social rights (right to education, employment and social services.
Human rights are entitlements that inhere in the individual person from the sheer fact of his
humanity...Because they are inherent, human rights are not granted by the State but can only be
recognized and protected by it.
Human rights includes all the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights defined in the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights.
Human rights are rights that pertain to man simply because he is human. They are part of his natural
birth, right, innate and inalienable.
CIVIL RIGHTS - are those that belong to every citizen and are not connected with the organization or
administration of the government.
POLITICAL RIGHTS - are rights to participate, directly or indirectly, in the establishment or administration
of the government.
January 21, 2015
On September 12, 2007, the Sandiganbayan convicted former President Estrada, a former President of
the Republic of the Philippines, for the crime of plunder in Criminal Case No. 26558, entitled People of
the Philippines v. Joseph Ejercito Estrada, et al.
On October 25, 2007, however, former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (former President Arroyo)
extended executive clemency, by way of pardon, to former President Estrada. On October 26, 2007, at
3:35 p.m., former President Estrada received and accepted6 the pardon by affixing his signature beside
his handwritten notation thereon.
On October 2, 2012, former President Estrada filed a Certificate of Candidacy for local elective post of

Mayor of the City of Manila.

On January 24, 2013, Risos-Vidal filed a Petition for Disqualification against former President Estrada
before the COMELEC.). Risos- Vidal anchored her petition on the theory that [Former President Estrada]
is Disqualified to Run for Public Office because of his Conviction for Plunder by the Sandiganbayan in
Criminal Case No. 26558 entitled People of the Philippines vs. Joseph Ejercito Estrada Sentencing Him
to Suffer the Penalty of Reclusion Perpetua with Perpetual Absolute Disqualification. She relied on
Section 40 of the Local Government Code (LGC), in relation to Section 12 of the Omnibus Election Code
The COMELEC, Second Division, opined that having taken judicial cognizance of the consolidated
resolution for SPA No. 09-028 (DC) and SPA No. 09-104 (DC) and the 10 May 2010 En Banc resolution
affirming it, this Commission will not belabor the controversy further. Moreso, [Risos-Vidal] failed to
present cogent proof sufficient to reverse the standing pronouncement of this Commission declaring
categorically that [former President Estradas] right to seek public office has been effectively restored by
the pardon vested upon him by former President Gloria M. Arroyo. Since this Commission has already
spoken, it will no longer engage in disquisitions of a settled matter lest indulged in wastage of government
On April 30, 2013, Risos-Vidal invoked the Courts jurisdiction by filing the present petition.
Whether or not the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction in ruling that former President Estrada is qualified to vote and be voted for in public office as a
result of the pardon granted to him by former President Arroyo.
The petition for certiorari lacks merit. Former President Estrada was granted an absolute pardon that fully
restored all his civil and political rights, which naturally includes the right to seek public elective office, the
focal point of this controversy. The wording of the pardon extended to former President Estrada is
complete, unambiguous, and unqualified. It is likewise unfettered by Articles 36 and 41 of the Revised
Penal Code. The only reasonable, objective, and constitutional interpretation of the language of the
pardon is that the same in fact conforms to Articles 36 and 41 of the Revised Penal Code.
Articles 36 and 41 of the Revised Penal Code should be construed in a way that will give full effect to the
executive clemency granted by the President, instead of indulging in an overly strict interpretation that
may serve to impair or diminish the import of the pardon which emanated from the Office of the President
and duly signed by the Chief Executive himself/herself. The said codal provisions must be construed to
harmonize the power of Congress to define crimes and
prescribe the penalties for such crimes and the power of the President to grant executive clemency. All
that the said provisions impart is that the pardon of the principal penalty does not carry with it the
remission of the accessory penalties unless the President expressly includes said accessory penalties in
the pardon. It still recognizes the Presidential prerogative to grant executive clemency and, specifically, to
decide to pardon the principal penalty while excluding its accessory penalties or to pardon both. Thus,
Articles 36 and 41 only clarify the effect of the pardon so decided upon by the President on the penalties
imposed in accordance with law.
A close scrutiny of the text of the pardon extended to former President Estrada shows that both the
principal penalty of reclusion perpetua and its accessory penalties are included in the pardon. The first
sentence refers to the executive clemency extended to former President Estrada who was convicted by

the Sandiganbayan of plunder and imposed a penalty of reclusion perpetua. The latter is the principal
penalty pardoned which relieved him of imprisonment. The sentence that followed, which states that (h)e
is hereby restored to his civil and political rights, expressly remitted the accessory penalties that attached
to the principal penalty of reclusion perpetua. Hence, even if we apply Articles 36 and 41 of the Revised
Penal Code, it is indubitable from the text of the pardon that the accessory.


FACTS:Secretary Of Justice Franklin Drilon, representing the Government of the Republic of the
Philippines, signed in Manila the extradition Treaty Between the Government of the Philippines and the
Government of the U.S.A. The Philippine Senate ratified the said Treaty.On June 18, 1999, the
Department of Justice received from the Department of Foreign Affairs U.S Note Verbale No. 0522
containing a request for the extradition of private respondent Mark Jiminez to the United States.On the
same day petitioner designate and authorizing a panel of attorneys to take charge of and to handle the
case. Pending evaluation of the aforestated extradition documents, Mark Jiminez through counsel, wrote a
letter to Justice Secretary requesting copies of the official extradition request from the U.S Government
and that he be given ample time to comment on the request after he shall have received copies of the
requested papers but the petitioner denied the request for the consistency of Article 7 of the RP-US
Extradition Treaty stated in Article 7 that the Philippine Government must present the interests of the
United States in any proceedings arising out of a request for extradition.ISSUE:
Whether or not to uphold a citizens basic due process rights or the governments ironclad duties under a
RULING: Petition dismissed.The human rights of person, whether citizen or alien , and the rights of the
accused guaranteed in our Constitution should take precedence over treaty rights claimed by a
contracting state. The duties of the government to the individual deserve preferential consideration when
they collide with its treaty obligations to the government of another state. This is so although we recognize
treaties as a source of binding obligations under generally accepted principles of international law
incorporated in our Constitution as part of the law of the land.The doctrine of incorporation is applied
whenever municipal tribunals are confronted with situation in which there appears to be a conflict between
a rule of international law and the provision of the constitution or statute of the local state.
Petitioner (Secretary of Justice) is ordered to furnish Mark Jimenez copies of the extradition request and
its supporting papers, and to grant him (Mark Jimenez) a reasonable period within which to file his
comment with supporting evidence.
Under the Doctrine of Incorporation, rules of international law form part of the law of the land and no
further legislative action is needed to make such rules applicable in the domestic sphere.
The doctrine of incorporation is applied whenever municipal tribunals are confronted with situations in
which there appears to be a conflict between a rule of international law and the provisions of the
constitution or statute of the local state.
Efforts should first be exerted to harmonize them, so as to give effect to both since it is to be presumed
that municipal law was enacted with proper regard for the generally accepted principles of international
law in observance of the incorporation clause in the above cited constitutional provision.
In a situation, however, where the conflict is irreconcilable and a choice has to be made between a rule of
international law and a municipal law, jurisprudence dictates that municipal law should be upheld by the

municipal courts, for the reason that such courts are organs of municipal law and are accordingly bound
by it in all circumstances.
The fact that international law has been made part of the law of the land does not pertain to or imply the
primacy of international law over national or municipal law in the municipal sphere. The doctrine of
incorporation, as applied in most countries, decrees that rules of international law are given equal
standing with, but are not superior to, national legislative enactments. Accordingly, the principle lex
posterior derogate priori takes effect a treaty may repeal a statute and a statute may repeal a treaty. In
states where the Constitution is the highest law of the land, such as the Republic of the Philippines, both
statutes and treaties may be invalidated if they are in conflict with the constitution
Facts:On April 15, 1994, the Philippine Government represented by its Secretary of the Department of
Trade and Industry signed the Final Act binding the Philippine Government to submit to its respective
competent authorities the WTO (World Trade Organization) Agreements to seek approval for such. On
December 14, 1994, Resolution No. 97 was adopted by the Philippine Senate to ratify the WTO
Agreement.This is a petition assailing the constitutionality of the WTO agreement as it violates Sec 19,
Article II, providing for the development of a self reliant and independent national economy, and Sections
10 and 12, Article XII, providing for the Filipino first policy.Issue:Whether or not the Resolution No. 97
ratifying the WTO Agreement is unconstitutionalRuling:The Supreme Court ruled the Resolution No. 97 is
not unconstitutional. While the constitution mandates a bias in favor of Filipino goods, services, labor and
enterprises, at the same time, it recognizes the need for business exchange with the rest of the world on
the bases of equality and reciprocity and limits protection of Filipino interests only against foreign
competition and trade practices that are unfair. In other words, the Constitution did not intend to pursue an
isolationalist policy. Furthermore, the constitutional policy of a self-reliant and independent national
economy does not necessarily rule out the entry of foreign investments, goods and services. It
contemplates neither economic seclusion nor mendicancy in the international community.The Senate,
after deliberation and voting, gave its consent to the WTO Agreement thereby making it a part of the law
of the land. The Supreme Court gave due respect to an equal department in government. It presumes its
actions as regular and done in good faith unless there is convincing proof and persuasive agreements to
the contrary. As a result, the ratification of the WTO Agreement limits or restricts the absoluteness of
sovereignty. A treaty engagement is not a mere obligation but creates a legally binding obligation on the
parties. A state which has contracted valid international obligations is bound to make its legislations such
modifications as may be necessary to ensure the fulfillment of the obligations undertaken.
G.R. No. 213847; August 18, 2015
Ponente: Bersamin
Primary objective of bail The strength of the Prosecution's case, albeit a good measure of the accused's
propensity for flight or for causing harm to the public, is subsidiary to the primary objective of bail, which is
to ensure that the accused appears at trial.
Bail is a right and a matter of discretion Right to bail is afforded in Sec. 13, Art III of the 1987

Constitution and repeted in Sec. 7, Rule 114 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure to wit: No person
charged with a capital offense, or an offense punishable by reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, shall
be admitted to bail when evidence of guilt is strong, regardless of the stage of the criminal prosecution.
On June 5, 2014, Petitioner Juan Ponce Enrile was charged with plunder in the Sandiganbayan on the
basis of his purported involvement in the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) Scam. Initially,
Enrile in an Omnibus Motion requested to post bail, which the Sandiganbayan denied. On July 3, 2014, a
warrant for Enrile's arrest was issued, leading to Petitioner's voluntary surrender.
Petitioner again asked the Sandiganbayan in a Motion to Fix Bail which was heard by the Sandiganbayan.
Petitioner argued that: (a) Prosecution had not yet established that the evidence of his guilt was strong;
(b) that, because of his advanced age and voluntary surrender, the penalty would only be reclusion
temporal, thus allowing for bail and; (c) he is not a flight risk due to his age and physical condition.
Sandiganbayan denied this in its assailed resolution. Motion for Reconsideration was likewise denied.
1) Whether or not bail may be granted as a matter of right unless the crime charged is punishable
byreclusion perpetua where the evidence of guilt is strong.
a. Whether or not prosecution failed to show that if ever petitioner would be convicted, he will be
punishable by reclusion perpetua.
b. Whether or not prosecution failed to show that petitioner's guilt is strong.
2. Whether or not petitioner is bailable because he is not a flight risk.
1. YES.
Bail as a matter of right due process and presumption of innocence.
Article III, Sec. 14 (2) of the 1987 Constitution provides that in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall
be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved. This right is safeguarded by the constitutional right to
be released on bail.
The purpose of bail is to guarantee the appearance of the accused at trial and so the amount of bail
should be high enough to assure the presence of the accused when so required, but no higher than what
may be reasonably calculated to fulfill this purpose.
Bail as a matter of discretion
Right to bail is afforded in Sec. 13, Art III of the 1987 Constitution and repeted in Sec. 7, Rule 114 of the
Rules of Criminal Procedure to wit:
Capital offense of an offense punishable by reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, not bailable. No
person charged with a capital offense, or an offense punishable by reclusion perpetua or life
imprisonment, shall be admitted to bail when evidence of guilt is strong, regardless of the stage of the
criminal prosecution.

The general rule: Any person, before conviction of any criminal offense, shall be bailable.
Exception: Unless he is charged with an offense punishable with reclusion perpetua [or life imprisonment]
and the evidence of his guilt is strong.
Thus, denial of bail should only follow once it has been established that the evidence of guilt is
strong.Where evidence of guilt is not strong, bail may be granted according to the discretion of the court.
Thus, Sec. 5 of Rule 114 also provides:
Bail, when discretionary. Upon conviction by the Regional Trial Court of an offense not punishable by
death,reclusion perpetua, or life imprisonment, admission to bail is discretionary. The application for bail
may be filed and acted upon by the trial court despite the filing of a notice of appeal, provided it has not
transmitted the original record to the appellate court. However, if the decision of the trial court convicting
the accused changed the nature of the offense from non-bailable to bailable, the application for bail can
only be filed with and resolved by the appellate court.
Should the court grant the application, the accused may be allowed to continue on provisional liberty
during the pendency of the appeal under the same bail subject to the consent of the bondsman.
If the penalty imposed by the trial court is imprisonment exceeding six (6) years, the accused shall be
denied bail, or his bail shall be cancelled upon a showing by the prosecution, with notice to the accused,
of the following or other similar circumstances:
(a) That he is a recidivist, quasi-recidivist, or habitual delinquent, or has committed the crime aggravated
by the circumstance of reiteration;
(b) That he has previously escaped from legal confinement, evaded sentence, or violated the conditions
of his bail without valid justification;
(c) That he committed the offense while under probation, parole, or conditional pardon;
(d) That the circumstances of his case indicate the probability of flight if released on bail; or
(e) That there is undue risk that he may commit another crime during the pendency of the appeal.
The appellate court may, motu proprio or on motion of any party, review the resolution of the Regional
Trial Court after notice to the adverse party in either case.
Thus, admission to bail in offenses punished by death, or life imprisonment, or reclusion perpetuasubject
to judicial discretion. In Concerned Citizens vs. Elma, the court held: [S]uch discretion may be exercised
only after the hearing called to ascertain the degree of guilt of the accused for the purpose of whether or
not he should be granted provisional liberty. Bail hearing with notice is indispensable (Aguirre vs.
Belmonte). The hearing should primarily determine whether the evidence of guilt against the accused is

The procedure for discretionary bail is described in Cortes vs. Catral:
1. In all cases, whether bail is a matter of right or of discretion, notify the prosecutor of the hearing of the
application for bail or require him to submit his recommendation (Section 18, Rule 114 of the Rules of
Court as amended);
2. Where bail is a matter of discretion, conduct a hearing of the application for bail regardless of whether
or not the prosecution refuses to present evidence to show that the guilt of the accused is strong for the
purpose of enabling the court to exercise its sound discretion; (Section 7 and 8, supra)
3. Decide whether the guilt of the accused is strong based on the summary of evidence of the
4. If the guilt of the accused is not strong, discharge the accused upon the approval of the bailbond
(Section 19, supra) Otherwise petition should be denied.
2. YES.
Petitioner's poor health justifies his admission to bail
The Supreme Court took note of the Philippine's responsibility to the international community arising from
its commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We therefore have the responsibility of
protecting and promoting the right of every person to liberty and due process and for detainees to avail of
such remedies which safeguard their fundamental right to liberty. Quoting fromGovernment of Hong Kong
SAR vs. Olalia, the SC emphasized:
x x x uphold the fundamental human rights as well as value the worth and dignity of every person. This
commitment is enshrined in Section II, Article II of our Constitution which provides: The State values the
dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for human rights. The Philippines, therefore,
has the responsibility of protecting and promoting the right of every person to liberty and due process,
ensuring that those detained or arrested can participate in the proceedings before a court, to enable it to
decide without delay on the legality of the detention and order their release if justified. In other words, the
Philippine authorities are under obligation to make available to every person under detention such
remedies which safeguard their fundamental right to liberty. These remedies include the right to be
admitted to bail. (emphasis in decision)
Sandiganbayan committed grave abuse of discretion
Sandiganbayan arbitrarily ignored the objective of bail to ensure the appearance of the accused during
the trial and unwarrantedly disregarded the clear showing of the fragile health and advanced age of
Petitioner. As such the Sandiganbayan gravely abused its discretion in denying the Motion to Fix Bail.It
acted whimsically and capriciously and was so patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive
duty [to allow petitioner to post bail].
Garcia vs. Drilon on the Constitutionality of RA 9262

Constitutionality of RA 9262 "Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004"
G.R. No. 179267, June 25, 2013
Petitioner Jesus Garcia (husband) appears to have inflicted violence against private respondent (wife and
daughter). Petitioner admitted having an affair with a bank manager. He callously boasted about their
sexual relations to the household help. His infidelity emotionally wounded private respondent. Their
quarrels left her with bruises and hematoma. Petitioner also unconscionably beat up their daughter, Joann, whom he blamed for squealing on him.
All these drove respondent Rosalie Garcia(wife) to despair causing her to attempt suicide on December
17, 2005 by slitting her wrist. Instead of taking her to the hospital, petitioner left the house. He never
visited her when she was confined for seven (7) days. He even told his mother-in-law that respondent
should just accept his extramarital affair since he is not cohabiting with his paramour and has not sired a
child with her.
The private respondent was determined to separate from petitioner. But she was afraid he would take
away their children and deprive her of financial support. He warned her that if she pursued legal battle,
she would not get a single centavo from him. After she confronted him of his affair, he forbade her to hold
office. This deprived her of access to full information about their businesses.
Thus, the RTC found reasonable ground to believe there was imminent danger of violence against
respondent and her children and issued a series of Temporary Protection Orders (TPO) ordering
petitioner, among other things, to surrender all his firearms including a .9MM caliber firearm and a Walther
Petitioner challenges the constitutionality of RA 9262 for
making a gender-based classification, thus, providing remedies only to wives/women and not to
He claims that even the title of the law, "An Act Defining Violence Against Women and Their
Children" is already sex-discriminatory because it means violence by men against women.
The law also does not include violence committed by women against children and other women.
He adds that gender alone is not enough basis to deprive the husband/father of the remedies under
it because its avowed purpose is to curb and punish spousal violence. The said remedies are
discriminatory against the husband/male gender.
There being no reasonable difference between an abused husband and an abused wife, theequal
protection guarantee is violated.
Important and Essential Governmental Objectives:
1. Safeguard Human Rights,
2. Ensure Gender Equality and
3. Empower Women

International Laws
By constitutional mandate, the Philippines is committed to ensure that human rights and fundamental
freedoms are fully enjoyed by everyone.
It was one of the countries that voted in favor of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
In addition, the Philippines is a signatory to many United Nations human rights treaties such as the
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination,
the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on
Civil and Political Rights, the
Convention Against Torture, and the
Convention on the Rights of the Child, among others.
As a signatory to the UDHR, the Philippines pledged itself to achieve the promotion of universal respect
for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms, keeping in mind the standards under the
Declaration. Among the standards under the UDHR are the following:
Article 1. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason
and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Article 7. All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the
law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and
against any incitement to such discrimination.
Article 8. Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts
violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.
Declaration of Policy in RA 9262

enunciates the purpose of the said law, which is to fulfill the governments obligation to safeguard
the dignity and human rights of women and children by providing effective remedies against domestic
violence or physical, psychological, and other forms of abuse perpetuated by the husband, partner, or
father of the victim.

The said law is also viewed within the context of the constitutional mandate to ensure gender
equality, which is quoted as follows:
Section 14. The State recognizes the role of women in nation-building, and shall ensure the fundamental
equality before the law of women and men.

RA 9262 - compliance with the CEDAW

It has been acknowledged that "gender-based violence is a form of discrimination that seriously inhibits
women's ability to enjoy rights and freedoms on a basis of equality with men." RA 9262 can be viewed
therefore as the Philippines compliance with the CEDAW, which is committed to condemn discrimination

against women and directs its members to undertake, without delay, all appropriate means to eliminate
discrimination against women in all forms both in law and in practice.
Known as the International Bill of Rights of Women, the CEDAW is the central and most comprehensive
document for the advancement of the welfare of women. The CEDAW, in its preamble, explicitly
acknowledges the existence of extensive discrimination against women, and emphasized that such is a
violation of the principles of equality of rights and respect for human dignity.


Philippines obligation as state-party to CEDAW

The Philippines is under legal obligation to ensure their development and advancement for the
improvement of their position from one of de jure as well as de facto equality with men. The CEDAW,
going beyond the concept of discrimination used in many legal standards and norms, focuses on
discrimination against women, with the emphasis that women have suffered and are continuing to suffer
from various forms of discrimination on account of their biological sex.
The governmental objectives of protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, which
includespromoting gender equality and empowering women, as mandated not only by our Constitution,
but also by commitments we have made in the international sphere, are undeniably important and
RA 9262 provides the widest range of reliefs for women and children who are victims of violence, which
are often reported to have been committed not by strangers, but by a father or a husband or a person with
whom the victim has or had a sexual or dating relationship.

The Gender-Based Classification in RA 9262 is Substantially Related to the Achievement of
Governmental Objectives
Historical Perspective:

A foreign history professor noted that: "from the earliest civilizations on, the subjugation of women,
in the form of violence, were facts of life,

Judeo-Christian religious ideas; Greek philosophy; and the Common Law Legal Code: all
"assumed patriarchy as natural; that is, male domination stemming from the view of male superiority."

18th century legal expert William Blackstone, reflected the theological assumption that: husband
and wife were one body before God; thus "they were one person under the law, and that one person
was the husband," a concept that evidently found its way in some of our Civil Code provisions prior to the
enactment of the Family Code.

Society and tradition dictate that the culture of patriarchy continues. Men are expected to take on
the dominant roles both in the community and in the family. This perception naturally leads to men gaining
more power over women power, which must necessarily be controlled and maintained. Violence against
women is one of the ways men control women to retain such power.

In ancient western societies, women whether slave, concubine or wife, were under the authority of

men. In law, they were treated as property.

The Roman concept of patria potestas allowed the husband to beat, or even kill, his wife if she
endangered his property right over her.

Judaism, Christianity and other religions oriented towards the patriarchal family strengthened the
male dominated structure of society.

English feudal law reinforced the tradition of male control over women.

However, in the late 1500s and through the entire 1600s, English common law began to limit the
right of husbands to chastise their wives. Thus, common law developed the rule of thumb, which allowed
husbands to beat their wives with a rod or stick no thicker than their thumb.
The enactment of RA 9262 was in response to the undeniable numerous cases involving violence
committed against women in the Philippines.

In 2012, the Philippine National Police (PNP) reported that 65% or 11,531 out of 15,969 cases
involving violence against women were filed under RA 9262.

From 2004 to 2012, violations of RA. 9262 ranked first among the different categories of violence
committed against women. The number of reported cases showed an increasing trend from 2004 to 2012,

The law recognizes, with valid factual support based on statistics that women and children are the
most vulnerable victims of violence, and therefore need legal intervention. On the other hand, there is a
dearth of empirical basis to anchor a conclusion that men need legal protection from violence perpetuated
by women.


Different treatment of women and men based on biological, social, and cultural differences

The persistent and existing biological, social, and cultural differences between women and men prescribe
that they be treated differently under particular conditions in order to achieve substantive equality for
women. Thus, the disadvantaged position of a woman as compared to a man requires the special
protection of the law, as gleaned from the following recommendations of the CEDAWCommittee:

The Convention requires that women be given an equal start and that they be empowered by an
enabling environment to achieve equality of results. It is not enough to guarantee women treatment that is
identical to that of men. Rather, biological as well as socially and culturally constructed differences
between women and men must be taken into account. Under certain circumstances, non-identical
treatment of women and men will be required in order to address such differences. Pursuit of the goal of
substantive equality also calls for an effective strategy aimed at overcoming under representation of
women and a redistribution of resources and power between men and women.

Equality of results is the logical corollary of de facto or substantive equality. These results may be
quantitative and/or qualitative in nature; that is, women enjoying their rights in various fields in fairly equal
numbers with men, enjoying the same income levels, equality in decision-making and political influence,
and women enjoying freedom from violence.
The governments commitment to ensure that the status of a woman in all spheres of her life are parallel
to that of a man, requires the adoption and implementation of ameliorative measures, such as RA 9262.
Unless the woman is guaranteed that the violence that she endures in her private affairs will not be
ignored by the government, which is committed to uplift her to her rightful place as a human being, then

she can neither achieve substantive equality nor be empowered.

RA 9262 justified under the Constitution
The Constitution abundantly authorize Congress or the government to actively undertake ameliorative
action that would remedy existing inequalities and inequities experienced by women and children brought
about by years of discrimination. The equal protection clause when juxtaposed to this provision provides a
stronger mandate for the government to combat such discrimination. Indeed, these provisions order
Congress to "give highest priority to the enactment of measures that protect and enhance the right of all
the people to human dignity, reduce social, economic, and political inequalities and remove cultural
RA 9262 is THE ameliorative action

In enacting R.A. 9262, Congress has taken an ameliorative action that would address the evil
effects of the social model of patriarchy, a pattern that is deeply embedded in the societys subconscious,
on Filipino women and children and elevate their status as human beings on thesame level as the father
or the husband.

R.A. 9262 aims to put a stop to the cycle of male abuses borne of discrimination against women. It
is an ameliorative measure, not a form of "reverse discrimination" against.Ameliorative action "is not an
exception to equality, but an expression and attainment of de facto equality, the genuine and substantive
equality which the Filipino people themselves enshrined as a goal of the 1987 Constitution." Ameliorative
measures are necessary as a redistributive mechanism in an unequal society to achieve substantive
Ameliorative measures to achieve substantive equality
In the context of womens rights, substantive equality has been defined by the Convention on the
Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) as equality which requires that women
be given an equal start and that they be empowered by an enabling environment to achieve equality of
results. It is not enough to guarantee women treatment that is identical to that of men. Rather, biological
as well as socially and culturally constructed differences between women and men must be taken into
account. Under certain circumstances, non-identical treatment of women and men will be required in
order to address such differences.
Womens struggle for equality with men has evolved under three models:
1. Formal equality - women and men are to be regarded and treated as the same. But this model does not
take into account biological and socially constructed differences between women and men. By failing to
take into account these differences, a formal equality approach may in fact perpetuate discrimination and
2. Protectionist model this recognizes differences between women and men but considerswomens
weakness as the rationale for different treatment. This approach reinforces the inferior status of women
and does not address the issue of discrimination of women on account of their gender.
3. Substantive equality model this assumes that women are "not vulnerable by nature, but suffer
from imposed disadvantage" and that "if these imposed disadvantages were eliminated, there was no
further need for protection." Thus, the substantive equality model gives prime importance to womens
contexts, realities, and experiences, and the outcomes or results of acts and measures directed, at or
affecting them, with a view to eliminating the disadvantages they experience as women.

The gender-based classification of RA 9262 does not violate the Equal Protection
Clause(application of the substantive equality model)
The equal protection clause in our Constitution does not guarantee an absolute prohibition against
classification. The non-identical treatment of women and men under RA 9262 is justified to put them on
equal footing and to give substance to the policy and aim of the state to ensure the equality of women and
men in light of the biological, historical, social, and culturally endowed differences between men and
RA 9262, by affording special and exclusive protection to women and children, who are vulnerable victims
of domestic violence, undoubtedly serves the important governmental objectives of protecting human
rights, insuring gender equality, and empowering women. The gender-based classification and the special
remedies prescribed by said law in favor of women and children are substantially related, in fact
essentially necessary, to achieve such objectives. Hence, said Act survives the intermediate review or
middle-tier judicial scrutiny. The gender-based classification therein is therefore not violative of the equal
protection clause embodied in the 1987 Constitution.
Justice Brion: As traditionally viewed, the constitutional provision of equal protection simply requires that
similarly situated persons be treated in the same way. It does not connote identity of rights among
individuals, nor does it require that every person is treated identically in all circumstances. It acts as a
safeguard to ensure that State-drawn distinctions among persons are based on reasonable classifications
and made pursuant to a proper governmental purpose. In short, statutory classifications are not
unconstitutional when shown to be reasonable and made pursuant to a legitimate government objective.
R.A. No. 9262 as a measure intended to strengthen the family. Congress found that domestic and other
forms of violence against women and children contribute to the failure to unify and strengthen family ties,
thereby impeding the States mandate to actively promote the familys total development. Congress also
found, as a reality, that women and children are more susceptible to domestic and other forms of
violence due to, among others, the pervasive bias and prejudice against women and the stereotyping of
roles within the family environment that traditionally exist in Philippine society. On this basis, Congress
found it necessary to recognize the substantial distinction within the family between men, on the one
hand, and women and children, on the other hand. This recognition, incidentally, is not the first to be
made in the laws as our law on persons and family under the Civil Code also recognize, in various ways,
the distinctions between men and women in the context of the family.

Justice Leonen: It may be said that violence in the context of intimate relationships should not be seen
and encrusted as a gender issue; rather, it is a power issue.
By concurring with these statements I express a hope: that the normative constitutional requirements of
human dignity and fundamental equality can become descriptive reality. The socially constructed
distinctions between women and men that have afflicted us and spawned discrimination and violence
should be eradicated sooner. Power and intimacy should not co-exist.

The intimate spaces created by our human relationships are our safe havens from the helter skelter of this
world. It is in that space where we grow in the safety of the special other who we hope will be there for our
entire lifetime. If that is not possible, then for such time as will be sufficient to create cherished memories
enough to last for eternity.
I concur in the ponencia. Against abominable acts, let this law take its full course.
Justice Abad: RA 9262 is a historic step in the Filipino women's long struggle to be freed from a long-held
belief that men are entitled, when displeased or minded, to hit their wives or partners and their children.
This law institutionalizes prompt community response to this violent behavior through barangay officials
who can command the man to immediately desist from harming his home partner and their children. It
also establishes domestic violence as a crime, not only against its victims but against society as well. No
longer is domestic violence lightly dismissed as a case of marital dispute that law enforcers ought not to
get into.
Chief Justice Puno on Expanded Equal protection and Substantive Equality
Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno espouses that the equal protection clause can no longer be interpreted as
only a guarantee of formal equality but of substantive equality. "It ought to be construed in consonance
with social justice as the heart particularly of the 1987 Constitutiona transformative covenant in which
the Filipino people agreed to enshrine asymmetrical equality to uplift disadvantaged groups and build a
genuinely egalitarian democracy." This means that the weak, including women in relation to men, can be
treated with a measure of bias that they may cease to be weak.
Chief Justice Puno goes on: "The Expanded Equal Protection Clause, anchored on the human rights
rationale, is designed as a weapon against the indignity of discrimination so that in the patently unequal
Philippine society, each person may be restored to his or her rightful position as a person with equal moral