[ G.R. No. 212448, January 11, 2018 ]
May Philippine courts exercise jurisdiction over an offense constituting psychological violence under Republic Act
(R.A.) No. 9262,[1] otherwise known as the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004, committed
through marital infidelity, when the alleged illicit relationship occurred or is occurring outside the country?
The above question is addressed to this Court in the present Petition [2] for the issuance of a writ of certiorari under
Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, to nullify the Resolutions dated February 24, 2014 [3] and May 2, 2014[4] of the Regional
Trial Court (RTC) of Pasig City, Branch 158, in Criminal Case No. 146468. The assailed resolutions granted the
motion to quash the Information[5] which charged respondent BBB under Section 5(i) of R.A. No. 9262, committed as
On or about April 19, 2011, in Pasig City, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, [BBB], being then legally
married to [AAA], caused herein [AAA] mental and emotional anguish by having an illicit relationship with a certain
Lisel Mok as confirmed by his photograph with his purported paramour Lisel Mok and her children and the e-mailed
letter by his mother mentioning about the said relationship, to the damage and prejudice of [AAA], in violation of the
aforecited law.
Contrary to law.
We briefly recount the antecedents.
Petitioner AAA and BBB were married on August 1, 2006 in Quezon City. Their union produced two children: CCC
was born on March 4, 2007 and DDD on October 1, 2009.[6]
In May of 2007, BBB started working in Singapore as a chef, where he acquired permanent resident status in
September of 2008. This petition nonetheless indicates his address to be in Quezon City where his parents reside
and where AAA also resided from the time they were married until March of 2010, when AAA and their children
moved back to her parents' house in Pasig City.[7]
AAA claimed, albeit not reflected in the Information, that BBB sent little to no financial support, and only sporadically.
This allegedly compelled her to fly extra hours and take on additional jobs to augment her income as a flight
attendant. There were also allegations of virtual abandonment, mistreatment of her and their son CCC, and physical
and sexual violence. To make matters worse, BBB supposedly started having an affair with a Singaporean woman
named Lisel Mok with whom he allegedly has been living in Singapore. Things came to a head on April 19, 2011
when AAA and BBB had a violent altercation at a hotel room in Singapore during her visit with their kids. [8] As can be
gathered from the earlier cited Information, despite the claims of varied forms of abuses, the investigating prosecutor
found sufficient basis to charge BBB with causing AAA mental and emotional anguish through his alleged marital
The Information having been filed, a warrant of arrest was issued against BBB. AAA was also able to secure a HoldDeparture Order against BBB who continued to evade the warrant of arrest. Consequently, the case was archived. [10]
On November 6, 2013, an Entry of Appearance as Counsel for the Accused With Omnibus Motion to Revive Case,
Quash Information, Lift Hold Departure Order and Warrant of Arrest [11] was filed on behalf of BBB. Granting the
motion to quash on the ground of lack of jurisdiction and thereby dismissing the case, the trial court reasoned:
Here, while the Court maintains its 28 October 2011 ruling that probable cause exists in this case and that [BBB] is
probably guilty of the crime charged, considering, however, his subsequent clear showing that the acts complained of
him had occurred in Singapore, dismissal of this case is proper since the Court enjoys no jurisdiction over the offense
charged, it having transpired outside the territorial jurisdiction of this Court.
The Court is not convinced by the prosecution's argument that since [AAA] has been suffering from mental and
emotional anguish "wherever she goes", jurisdiction over the offense attaches to this Court notwithstanding that the
acts resulting in said suffering had happened outside of the Philippines. To the mind of the Court, with it noting that
there is still as yet no jurisprudence on this score considering that Republic Act 9262 is relatively a new law, the act
itself which had caused a woman to suffer mental or emotional anguish must have occurred within the territorial limits
of the Court for it to enjoy jurisdiction over the offense. This amply explains the use of the emphatic word "causing" in

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