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Garcia vs. J. Drilon and Garcia, G. R. No.

179267, 25 June 2013


Nature of the Case: Petition for Review of Republic Act (R.A.) 9262
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 ones 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. Petitioners 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.