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PEOPLE vs. GENOSA, G.R. No.

135981,
January 15 2004.
People of the Philippines vs. Marivic Genosa
FACTS:
This case stemmed from the killing of Ben
Genosa, by his wife Marivic Genosa,
appellant herein. During their first year of
marriage, Marivic and Ben lived happily but
apparently thereafter, Ben changed and
the couple would always quarrel and
sometimes their quarrels became violent.
Appellant testified that every time her
husband came home drunk, he would
provoke her and sometimes beat her.
Whenever beaten by her husband, she
consulted medical doctors who testified
during the trial. On the night of the killing,
appellant and the victim quarreled and the
victim beat the appellant. However,
appellant was able to run to another room.
Appellant admitted having killed the victim
with the use of a gun. The information for
parricide against appellant, however,
alleged that the cause of death of the
victim was by beating through the use of a
lead pipe. Appellant invoked self defense
and defense of her unborn child. After trial,
the Regional Trial Court found appellant
guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the
crime of parricide with an aggravating
circumstance of treachery and imposed the
penalty
of
death.
On automatic review before the Supreme
Court, appellant filed an URGENT OMNIBUS
MOTION praying that the Honorable Court
allow (1) the exhumation of Ben Genosa
and the re-examination of the cause of his
death; (2) the examination of Marivic
Genosa by qualified psychologists and
psychiatrists to determine her state of mind
at the time she killed her husband; and
finally, (3) the inclusion of the said experts
reports in the records of the case for
purposes of the automatic review or, in the
alternative, a partial re-opening of the case
a quo to take the testimony of said
psychologists
and
psychiatrists.
The
Supreme Court partly granted the URGENT
OMNIBUS MOTION of the appellant. It
remanded the case to the trial court for
reception of expert psychological and/or
psychiatric opinion on the battered woman
syndrome plea. Testimonies of two expert

witnesses on the battered woman


syndrome, Dra. Dayan and Dr. Pajarillo,
were presented and admitted by the trial
court and subsequently submitted to the
Supreme Court as part of the records.
ISSUE:
1. Whether or not appellant herein can
validly invoke the battered woman
syndrome as constituting self defense.
2. Whether or not treachery attended the
killing
of
Ben
Genosa.
Ruling:
1. The Court ruled in the negative as
appellant failed to prove that she is
afflicted with the battered woman
syndrome.
A battered woman has been defined as a
woman who is repeatedly subjected to any
forceful physical or psychological behavior
by a man in order to coerce her to do
something he wants her to do without
concern for her rights. Battered women
include wives or women in any form of
intimate
relationship
with
men.
Furthermore, in order to be classified as a
battered woman, the couple must go
through the battering cycle at least twice.
Any woman may find herself in an abusive
relationship with a man once. If it occurs a
second time, and she remains in the
situation, she is defined as a battered
woman.
More graphically, the battered woman
syndrome is characterized by the so-called
cycle of violence, which has three
phases: (1) the tension-building phase; (2)
the acute battering incident; and (3) the
tranquil, loving (or, at least, nonviolent)
phase.
The Court, however, is not discounting the
possibility of self-defense arising from the
battered woman syndrome. First, each of
the phases of the cycle of violence must be
proven to have characterized at least two
battering episodes between the appellant
and her intimate partner. Second, the final
acute battering episode preceding the
killing of the batterer must have produced
in the battered persons mind an actual
fear of an imminent harm from her batterer

and an honest belief that she needed to


use force in order to save her life. Third, at
the time of the killing, the batterer must
have posed probable -- not necessarily
immediate and actual -- grave harm to the
accused, based on the history of violence
perpetrated by the former against the
latter.
Taken
altogether,
these
circumstances could satisfy the requisites
of self-defense. Under the existing facts of
the present case, however, not all of these
elements
were
duly
established.

the danger he posed had ended altogether.


He was no longer in a position that
presented an actual threat on her life or
safety.

The defense fell short of proving all three


phases of the cycle of violence
supposedly characterizing the relationship
of Ben and Marivic Genosa. No doubt there
were
acute
battering
incidents
but
appellant failed to prove that in at least
another battering episode in the past, she
had gone through a similar pattern. Neither
did appellant proffer sufficient evidence in
regard to the third phase of the cycle.

The first circumstance arose from the


cyclical nature and the severity of the
battery inflicted by the batterer-spouse
upon appellant. That is, the repeated
beatings over a period of time resulted in
her psychological paralysis, which was
analogous to an illness diminishing the
exercise of her will power without depriving
her of consciousness of her acts.

In any event, the existence of the


syndrome in a relationship does not in itself
establish the legal right of the woman to
kill her abusive partner. Evidence must still
be considered in the context of selfdefense. Settled in our jurisprudence, is the
rule that the one who resorts to selfdefense must face a real threat on ones
life; and the peril sought to be avoided
must be imminent and actual, not merely
imaginary. Thus, the Revised Penal Code
provides that the following requisites of
self-defense must concur: (1) Unlawful
aggression; (2) Reasonable necessity of the
means employed to prevent or repel it; and
(3) Lack of sufficient provocation on the
part of the person defending himself.
Unlawful aggression is the most essential
element of self-defense. It presupposes
actual, sudden and unexpected attack -- or
an imminent danger thereof -- on the life or
safety of a person. In the present case,
however, according to the testimony of
Marivic herself, there was a sufficient time
interval between the unlawful aggression of
Ben and her fatal attack upon him. She had
already been able to withdraw from his
violent behavior and escape to their
childrens bedroom. During that time, he
apparently ceased his attack and went to
bed. The reality or even the imminence of

The mitigating factors of psychological


paralysis and passion and obfuscation
were, however, taken in favor of appellant.
It should be clarified that these two
circumstances -- psychological paralysis as
well as passion and obfuscation -- did not
arise from the same set of facts.

As to the extenuating circumstance of


having acted upon an impulse so powerful
as to have naturally produced passion and
obfuscation, it has been held that this state
of mind is present when a crime is
committed as a result of an uncontrollable
burst of passion provoked by prior unjust or
improper acts or by a legitimate stimulus
so powerful as to overcome reason. To
appreciate this circumstance, the following
requisites should concur: (1) there is an
act, both unlawful and sufficient to produce
such a condition of mind; and (2) this act is
not far removed from the commission of
the crime by a considerable length of time,
during which the accused might recover
her
normal
equanimity.
2. NO. Because of the gravity of the
resulting offense, treachery must be proved
as conclusively as the killing itself. Besides,
equally axiomatic is the rule that when a
killing is preceded by an argument or a
quarrel, treachery cannot be appreciated as
a qualifying circumstance, because the
deceased may be said to have been
forewarned and to have anticipated
aggression from the assailant. Moreover, in
order to appreciate alevosia, the method of
assault adopted by the aggressor must
have been consciously and deliberately
chosen for the specific purpose of
accomplishing the unlawful act without risk

from any defense that might be put up by


the
party
attacked.
The appellant acted upon an impulse so
powerful as to have naturally produced
passion or obfuscation. The acute battering
she suffered that fatal night in the hands of
her batterer-spouse, in spite of the fact that
she was eight (8) months pregnant with
their child, overwhelmed her and put her in
the aforesaid emotional and mental state,
which overcame her reason and impelled
her to vindicate her life and that of her
unborn
child.
The Supreme Court affirmed the conviction
of appellant for parricide. However,
considering the presence of two (2)
mitigating circumstances and without any
aggravating circumstance, the penalty is
reduced to six (6) years and one (1) day of
prision mayor as minimum; to 14 years 8
months and 1 day of reclusion temporal as
maximum. Inasmuch as appellant has been
detained for more than the minimum
penalty hereby imposed upon her, the
director of the Bureau of Corrections may
immediately RELEASE her from custody
upon due determination that she is eligible
for parole, unless she is being held for
some
other
lawful
cause.
NOTE: After this case was decided by the
Supreme Court, R.A. 9262, otherwise
known as Anti-Violence Against Women and
their Children Act of 2004 was enacted.
Sec. 26 of said law provides that "xxx.
Victim-survivors who are found by the
courts to be suffering from battered women
syndrome do not incur any criminal and
civil liability nothwithstanding the absence
of any of the elements for justifying
circumstances of self-defense under the
Revised Penal Code.xxx"
Constitutionality of RA 9262 "AntiViolence Against Women and Their
Children Act of 2004"
JESUS C. GARCIA vs.THE HONORABLE
RAY ALAN T. DRILON
G.R. No. 179267, June 25, 2013
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, J.:

FACTS:
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 PPK.
Petitioner challenges the constitutionality
of RA 9262 for
1.
making a gender-based classification,
thus,
providing
remedies
only
to
wives/women and not to husbands/men.
2.
He claims that even the title of the law,
"An Act Defining Violence Against Women
and Their Children" is already sexdiscriminatory because it means violence
by men against women.

3.

The law also does not include violence


committed by women against children and
other women.
4.
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.
5.
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

1.

2.
3.
4.
5.

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.
UDHR
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.
xxxx

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.
ISSUE: WON
R.A.
NO.
9262
IS
DISCRIMINATORY, UNJUST, AND VIOLATIVE
OF THE EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE.
HELD:
RA 9262 is NOT UNCONSITUTIONAL.

1.

RA 9262
CEDAW

compliance

with

the

It has been acknowledged that "genderbased 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.
CEDAW
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.
2.

Philippines obligation
party to CEDAW

as

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 essential.
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:

state-

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.

3.

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.
Statistics:
The enactment of RA 9262 was in response
to
the
undeniable
numerous
cases
involving violence committed against
women in the Philippines.

4.

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.
5.

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 inequities."
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
equality.

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.
6.

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
disadvantage.
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,

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 women.
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


legitimate government objective.

to

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
status."