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ROLUSTA, OLIVER JAY A.

BA POLIT SC 4

Polit Sc 12: 6:00-7:00 MWF; P403 September 9, 2013

Hell Hath No Fury The doctrinal case of People v. Marivic Genosa is both an act of judicial grace and legislative common sense. Will you imprison a woman who, at the time of the commission of the crime, was eight months pregnant and for six years prior, "reported six episodes of physical injuries" because of battery and "23 documented consultations" for tension, headaches and hypertension? I won't. Killing is killing. Parricide is parricide. No one has the right to take the life of another. However, this case is exceptional. To subject a person, least of all a woman to a cycle of violence by repeatedly beating her and threatening to kill her every time you get drunk is a form of aggression which sticks to the morale, which shatters self-esteem and which forms in the mind of the victim, a "neurotic anxiety." I can imagine Marivic Genosa cringing with fear whenever she hears the footsteps of her alcoholic husband as the latter arrives at their house. Maybe even just hearing the voice of her husband was enough for her to relive in her mind every sort of physical pain that he had inflicted to her during their 12 years of marriage. The act of the Supreme Court therefore of appreciating Battered Woman Syndrome (BWS) in her favor and effectively removing her from the death row is an act of grace. Indeed it was "a milestone in Philippine jurisprudence" it was the first time that her situation which arguably diminishes willpower on her part was appreciated as a mitigating circumstance thereby reducing her penalty from death to six years of imprisonment. If I had my way however, I would vote for acquittal. The subsequent enactment of Republic Act 9262 or the Anti-Violence against Women and Children Act of 2004 was not a shocking development following the case of Marivic Genosa. Because the Congress at that time was sensitive enough to notice that there was no law which may serve as a basis for an acquittal in cases similar to the Genosa case, the Legislative department exercised their lawmaking power and enacted the foregoing law. Now, the Battered Woman Syndrome (BWS) is not anymore a mitigating circumstance but rather a justifying circumstance which effectively prevent "victim-survivors" from incurring either civil or criminal liability. I fully agree with these developments. Women, especially pregnant women, should not be subjected to any form of violence and men should always keep in mind that, "Hell hath no fury than a woman scorned" or threatened. Or beaten. They can wield a gun and shoot you when you're asleep.