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Ms. A had been married to Mr. B for 10 years. Since their marriage, Mr.

B had
been jobless and a drunkard, preferring to stay with his “barkadas” until the wee
hours of the morning. Ms. A was the breadwinner and attended to the needs of
their three (3) growing children. Many times, when Mr. B was drunk, he would
beat Ms. A and their three (3) children, and shout invectives against them. In fact,
in one of the beating incidents, Ms. A suffered a deep stab wound on her tummy
that required a prolonged stay in the hospital. Due to the beatings and verbal
abuses committed against her, she consulted a psychologist several times, as she
was slowly beginning to lose her mind. One night, when Mr. B arrived dead drunk,
he suddenly stabbed Ms. A several times while shouting invectives against her.

Defending herself from the attack, Ms. A grappled for the possession of a
knife and she succeeded. She then stabbed Mr. B several times which caused
his instantaneous death. Medico-Legal Report showed that the husband
suffered three (3) stab wounds.

Can Ms. A validly put up a defense? Explain. (5%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

Yes, Ms. A can put up the defense of battered woman syndrome. It appears
that she is suffering from physical and psychological or emotional distress
resulting from cumulative abuse by her husband. Under Section 26 of RA No.
9262, “victim survivors who are found by the courts to be suffering from
battered woman syndrome do not incur any criminal and civil liability
notwithstanding the absence of any of the elements for justifying
circumstances of self-defense under the Revised Penal Code.” As a rule, once
the unlawful aggression ceased, stabbing the victim further is not self-defense.
However, even if the element of unlawful aggression in self-defense is lacking,
Ms. A, who is suffering from battered woman syndrome, will not incur
criminal and civil liability.

ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:

Ms. A may validly put up the justifying circumstance of self-defense, all


requisites thereof being present, namely:
1) Unlawful aggression which is a condition sine qua non. Here, Mr. B arrived
that night dead drunk and he suddenly stabbed Ms. A several times while
shouting invectives. This is unlawful aggression that is sudden and imminent
and places Ms. A’s life in peril.

2). Reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel it. The
sudden and imminent armed attack by Mr. B gave no other option to Ms. A
but to : attempt to disarm Mr. B of his knife and to use the same to protect
and save herself.

3) Lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person defending himself.


The circumstances obtaining is very clear on this regard. Mr. B arrived one
night dead drunk, he suddenly stabbed Ms. A several times while shouting
invectives. There is absolutely no circumstances mentioned in the problem to
indicate provocation on the part of the person defending herself.

Jack and Jill have been married for seven years. One night, Jack came home
drunk. Finding no food on the table, Jack started hitting Jill only to apologize the
following day.
A week later, the same episode occurred – Jack came home drunk and started
hitting Jill.
Fearing for her life, Jill left and stayed with her sister. To woo Jill back, Jack sent
her floral arrangements of spotted lilies and confectioneries. Two days later, Jill
returned home and decided to give Jack another chance. After several days,
however, Jack again came home drunk. The following day, he was found dead.
Jill was charged with parricide but raised the defense of "battered woman
syndrome."
Would the defense prosper despite the absence of any of the elements for
justifying circumstances of self-defense under the Revised Penal Code? Explain.
(2%)
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Yes, Section 26 of Rep. Act No. 9262 provides that victim-survivors who are found
by the courts to be suffering from battered woman syndrome do not incur any
criminal and civil liability notwithstanding the absence of any of the elements for
justifying circumstances of self-defense under the Revised Penal Code.

Romeo and Julia have been married for twelve (12) years and had two (2)
children. The first few years of their marriage went along smoothly. However, on
the fifth year onwards, they would often quarrel when Romeo comes home drunk.
The quarrels became increasingly violent, marked by quiet periods when Júlla
would leave the conjugal dwelling. During these times of quiet, Romeo would
“court” Julia with flowers and chocolate and convince her to return home, telling
her that he could not live without her; or Romeo would ask Julia to forgive him,
which she did, believing that it she humbled herself, Romeo would change: After a
month of marital bliss, Romeo would return to his drinking habit and the quarrel
would start 7 again; verbally at first, until it would escalate to physical violence.
One night, Romeo came home drunk and went straight to bed. Fearing the onset of
another violent fight, Julia stabbed Romeo while he was asleep. A week later, their
neighbors discovered Romeo’s rotting corpse on the marital bed. Julia and the
children were nowhere to be found. Julia was charged with parricide. She asserted
“battered woman’s syndrome” as her defense.

(A) Explain the “cycle of violence.” (2.5%)


(B) is Julia’s “battered woman’s syndrome” defense meritorious? Explain. (2.5%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER
(A) 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.
During the tension-building phase, minor battering occurs-it could be verbal or
slight physical abuse or another form of hostile behavior. The woman tries to
pacify the batterer through a kind, nurturing behavior; or by simply staying out of
his way. The acute battering incident is characterized by brutality, destructiveness
and, sometimes, death. The battered woman deems this incident as unpredictable,
yet also inevitable. During this phase, she has no control; only the batterer may put
an end to the violence. The final phase of the cycle of violence begins when the
acute battering incident ends. During this tranquil period, the couple experience
profound relief.
(B) Yes. Under Section 3 (c) of RA NO. 9262, “Battered Woman Syndrome”
refers to a scientifically defined pattern of psychological and behavioral symptoms
found in women living in battering relationships as a result of “cumulative abuse”.
Under Section 3 (b), “Battery” refers to an act of inflicting physical harm upon the
woman or her child resulting in physical and psychological or emotional distress
(Section 3). In sum, the defense of Battered Woman Syndrome can be invoked if
the woman in marital relationship with the victim is subjected to cumulative abuse
or battery involving the infliction of physical harm resulting to the physical and
psychological or emotional distress. Cumulative means resulting from successive
addition. In sum, there must be “at least two battering episodes” between the
accused and her intimate partner and such final episode produced in the battered
person’s 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 (People v. Genosa, G.R.
No. 135981, January 15, 2004). In this case, because of the battering episodes,
Julia, feared the onset of another violent fight and honestly believed the need to
defend herself even if Romeo had not commenced an unlawful aggression. Even in
the absence of unlawful aggression, however, Battered Woman Syndrome is a
defense. Under Section 27 of RA No. 9262, Battered Woman Syndrome is a
defense notwithstanding the absence of any of the elements for justifying
circumstances of self-defense under the Revised Penal Code such as unlawful
aggression (Section 26 of RA No. 9262).

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