Supreme Court: Fathers can seek protection for kids abused by mothers
MOTHERS can be sued for abusing their children, the Philippine Supreme Court (SC) ruled, as it granted a plea by a father to protect his daughter from physical abuse by his estranged wife.
In a decision dated July 12 last year and made public on Feb. 1, the tribunal said mothers can be offenders under a law that protects women and children against violence.
“Logically, a mother who maltreated her child resulting in physical, sexual, or psychological violence defined and penalized under the law is not absolved from criminal liability notwithstanding that the measure is intended to protect both women and their children,” Associate Justice Mario V. Lopez said in the ruling.
“The court refuses to be an instrument of injustice and mischief perpetrated against vulnerable sectors of the society such as children victims of violence.”
It noted that while the law excludes men from being victims, the law does not deny fathers from filing legal remedies for their children.
Under the law, parents or guardians of the victim may file a petition for protection orders.
In 2017, a Taguig trial court denied Randy Michael Knutson’s petition for a protection order in favor of his daughter.
The trial court ruled that the protection order could not be issued against Rosalina Knutson, his wife, since it said remedies under the law were not available to Mr. Knutson because he was not a “woman victim of violence.”
The Supreme Court said the law explicitly allows “parents” of the victim to apply for protection orders.
“The fact that a social legislation affords special protection to a particular sector does not automatically suggest that its members are excluded from violating such law,” the tribunal said. — John Victor D. Ordoñez