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Abusive lesbian partners also covered by violence against women law – Supreme Court

Lesbian relationships are also covered by the Republic Act No. 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children (VAWC) law, according to the Supreme Court (SC) of the Philippines.

Photo by Sinitta Leunen from Unsplash.com

Lesbian relationships are also covered by the Republic Act No. 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children (VAWC) law, according to the Supreme Court (SC) of the Philippines via a 10-page decision penned by Associate Justice Henri Jean Paul Inting of the High Court’s Third Division.

This decision stemmed from the petition for review on certiorari filed by a Sandra Jane Gagui Jacinto, who sought to challenge the orders of Antipolo City Regional Trial Court Branch 73. In its earlier decision, the Antipolo City court junked Jacinto’s motion to quash the case against her; she was charged for violating the Anti-VAWC law.

As background info: A case was filed against Jacinto in 2018 after she allegedly attacked her live-in partner, Maria Eloisa Sarmiento Fouts, violating the Anti-VAWC law’s Section 5(a). Jacinto challenge the case not because of the injury caused, but on the ground that the charge could not be considered because the Anti-VAWC law does not apply to lesbian relationships. The Antipolo City RTC denied Jacinto’s motion, which prompted Jacinto to bring the case to the High Court.

For the SC, contrary to the petitioner’s position, the High Court’s pronouncement in the Garcia v. Drilon case is not obiter dictum – i.e. a judge’s expression of opinion not essential to the ruling, and does not establish a precedent. As such, the said jurisprudence can be applied to Jacinto’s case.

The SC similarly stated the Garcia vs. Drilon case can be used because “the discussion on the applicability of the Anti-VAWC Act to lesbian relationships was a resolution of the issue in Garcia of whether or not the Anti-VAWC Act was discriminatory for supposedly singling out husbands or fathers.”

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