SECOND DIVISION
[ G.R. No. 181489, April 19, 2017 ]
STEVEN R. PAVLOW, PETITIONER, VS. CHERRY L. MENDENILLA,
RESPONDENT.
DECISION
LEONEN, J.:
The mother of a victim of acts of violence against women and their children is expressly given personality by Section
9(b)[1] of Republic Act No. 9262, otherwise known as the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of
2004 (the Anti-VAWC Law), to file a civil action petitioning for the issuance of a protection order for her child. In filing
such a petition, she avails of a remedy that is distinct from the criminal action under Section 5 of the same law. [2] The
mere filing of such a criminal complaint, without the subsequent filing of an information in court, does not
occasion litis pendentia or res judicata that precludes the filing of a petition for the issuance of a protection order.
The Rules of Court suppletorily apply in proceedings relating to the Anti-VAWC Law. Among the provisions of the
1997 Rules of Civil Procedure that continue to govern proceedings under the Anti-VAWC Law are those on
substituted service of summons. This was validly resorted to in this case, thereby enabling the Regional Trial Court to
acquire jurisdiction over petitioner's person.
This resolves a Petition for Review on Certiorari[3] under Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure praying that the
assailed October 17, 2007 Decision[4] and January 25, 2008 Resolution[5] of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No.
94540 be reversed and set aside.
The assailed Court of Appeals Decision dismissed petitioner Steven R. Pavlow's (Pavlow) Petition for Certiorari under
Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. The Decision found no grave abuse of discretion on the part of Judge
Natividad A. Giron-Dizon (Judge Giron-Dizon) of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 106 in her
denial[6] of petitioner's Omnibus Motion.[7] Petitioner's Motion included a prayer to dismiss the Petition for Issuance of
a Temporary Protection Order or Permanent Protection Order[8] under the Anti-VAWC Law. This Petition for the
issuance of a protection order was filed by respondent Cherry L. Mendenilla (Mendenilla), the mother of petitioner's
wife, Maria Sheila Mendenilla Pavlow (Maria Sheila).
In denying petitioner's Omnibus Motion, Judge Giron-Dizon ruled that Mendenilla had personality to file a petition for
the issuance of a protection order to benefit her daughter. It was equally ruled that Mendenilla did not engage in
forum shopping[9] despite the prosecutor's prior dismissal[10] of a criminal complaint[11] filed by Maria Sheila against
petitioner for slight physical injuries and maltreatment in relation to the Anti-VAWC Law. Finally, it was established
that jurisdiction over petitioner's person was properly acquired through substituted service. [12]
On March 11, 2005, petitioner Pavlow, an American citizen and President of Quality Long Term Care of Nevada, Inc.,
married Maria Sheila, a Filipino, in civil rites in Quezon City. Thereafter, they cohabited as husband and wife. [13]
Barely three (3) months into their marriage, on May 31, 2005, Maria Sheila filed a Complaint-Affidavit against Pavlow
for slight physical injuries.[14] On June 3, 2005, Maria Sheila filed an Amended Complaint-Affidavit[15] to include
maltreatment in relation to the Anti-VAWC Law as a ground.
Specifically, Maria Sheila alleged that she and Pavlow had fights on February 26, 2005 and on March 10, 2005 over a
certain Diane, an employee of the Manila Peninsula Hotel.[16] As Maria Sheila was told by Monette Tolentino
(Tolentino) and Louise Cruz, two (2) of petitioner's employees in Quality Long Term Care of Nevada, Inc., Diane liked
Pavlow and was sending him text messages and e-mails.[17] Maria Sheila added that on March 15, 2005, she and
Pavlow quarrelled over their loss of privacy and the intrusion into their affairs of the same employees. [18] She further
claimed that, on March 16, 2005, Pavlow hit her in the stomach and shouted at her for recounting her marital
experiences to her mother, respondent Mendenilla, with Pavlow telling her that despite their recent marriage there
was nothing to celebrate.[19] She also recalled that, on April 16, 2005, she and Pavlow again clashed over the phone
as regards the messages of one (1) of Steven's female employees, during which, Pavlow slapped her and hit her
upper back.[20] Maria Sheila also disclosed that Pavlow had been compelling her every night to take two (2) small

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