Sharica Mari Go-Tan (petitioner) and Steven Tan were married and have two female children. Barely six years into the marriage, petitioner filed a Petition with Prayer for the Issuance of a Temporary Protective Order (TPO) against Steven and her parents-in-law, herein respondents, before the RTC. She alleged that Steven, in conspiracy with respondents, were causing verbal, psychological and economic abuses upon her in violation of R.A. No. 9262.
The RTC granted the petition and issued a TPO.
Respondents filed a Motion to Dismiss with Opposition to the Issuance of Permanent Protection Order Ad Cautelam, contending that the RTC lacked jurisdiction over their persons since, as parents-in-law of the petitioner, they were not covered by R.A. No. 9262.
The RTC dismissed the case as to respondents on the ground that, being the parents-in-law of the petitioner, they were not included/covered as respondents under R.A. No. 9262.
Whether or not respondents parents-in-law of petitioner, may be included in the petition for the Issuance of a Protective Order in accordance with R.A. NO. 9262.
The Court ruled in favor of the petitioner.
Section 3 of R.A. No. 9262 defines ”[v]iolence against women and their children” as 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 relationship, or with whom he has a common child, or against her child whether legitimate or illegitimate, within or without the family abode, which result in or is likely to result in physical, sexual, psychological harm or suffering, or economic abuse including threats of such acts, battery, assault, coercion, harassment or arbitrary deprivation of liberty.
While the said provision provides that the offender be related or connected to the victim by marriage, former marriage, or a sexual or dating relationship, it does not preclude the application of the principle of conspiracy under the RPC.
Indeed, Section 47 of R.A. No. 9262 expressly provides for the suppletory application of the RPC, thus:
SEC. 47. Suppletory Application. – For purposes of this Act, the Revised Penal Code and other applicable laws, shall have suppletory application.
Thus, the principle of conspiracy may be applied to R.A. No. 9262. For once conspiracy or action in concert to achieve a criminal design is shown, the act of one is the act of all the conspirators, and the precise extent or modality of participation of each of them becomes secondary, since all the conspirators are principals.