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Cheating husband sentenced to 8 years in prison — SC

The Supreme Court (SC) has sentenced a cheating husband to eight years behind bars for violating the law prohibiting violence against women and children.

In a decision published last week, the high court’s Third Division denied the petition for review filed by the husband and affirmed with modification the decision of the Court of Appeals. A trial court in Zambales had also found the man guilty of the offense.

The SC sentenced the petitioner to a minimum of six months and one day to a maximum of eight years and one day in jail and ordered him to pay a fine of P100,000 for causing mental or emotional anguish, public ridicule or humiliation to the woman or her child, which is a violation under Section 5(i) of Republic Act 9262.

He was also directed to undergo psychological counseling or psychiatric treatment and to report his compliance to the court of origin within 15 days after completion of such counseling or treatment, according to the Court’s decision dated January 13, 2021.

The SC ruled that the CA committed no reversible error in affirming the conviction of the petitioner and that psychological violence under the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act was established.

The wife said that the petitioner had a habit of getting drunk and womanizing in their 23 years of marriage.

In October 2010, she and her children were evicted from the house after she had a fight with the petitioner. The couple’s eldest child, however, convinced his three sisters to return to their house so that their father would be forced to support them.

The wife later found out her children had started living with a woman whom the petitioner brought home and introduced as their aunt. 

The petitioner had argued that his wife could not have suffered psychological violence since she did not have personal knowledge of his marital infidelity.

“In this case, other than bare denials, herein petitioner did not proffer any convincing defense to disprove the testimony of his wife and his daughter about his marital infidelity,” the SC said in a decision written by then-Associate Justice Edgardo delos Santos.

“Indeed, gossip easily spreads in small towns like (the name of the place was not identified). All the more when the hot issue is about a husband bringing his mistress into the family home to live with his children. In this case, the mental anguish suffered by the wife is compounded by public ridicule and humiliation.”— VBL, GMA News