Battered Wife Syndrome.doc - EN BANC G.R No 135981 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES appellee vs MARIVIC GENOSA appellant DECISION PANGANIBAN J Admitting she

Battered Wife Syndrome.doc - EN BANC G.R No 135981 PEOPLE...

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EN BANC G.R. No. 135981 January 15, 2004 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, appellee, vs. MARIVIC GENOSA, appellant. D E C I S I O N PANGANIBAN, J .: Admitting she killed her husband, appellant anchors her prayer for acquittal on a novel theory -- the "battered woman syndrome" (BWS), which allegedly constitutes self-defense. Under the proven facts, however, she is not entitled to complete exoneration because there was no unlawful aggression -- no immediate and unexpected attack on her by her batterer-husband at the time she shot him. Absent unlawful aggression, there can be no self-defense, complete or incomplete. But all is not lost. The severe beatings repeatedly inflicted on appellant constituted a form of cumulative provocation that broke down her psychological resistance and self-control. This "psychological paralysis" she suffered diminished her will power, thereby entitling her to the mitigating factor under paragraphs 9 and 10 of Article 13 of the Revised Penal Code. In addition, appellant should also be credited with the extenuating circumstance of having acted upon an impulse so powerful as to have naturally produced passion and obfuscation. The acute battering she suffered that fatal night in the hands of her batterer-spouse, in spite of the fact that she was eight months pregnant with their child, overwhelmed her and put her in the aforesaid emotional and mental state, which overcame her reason and impelled her to vindicate her life and her unborn child's. Considering the presence of these two mitigating circumstances arising from BWS, as well as the benefits of the Indeterminate Sentence Law, she may now apply for and be released from custody on parole, because she has already served the minimum period of her penalty while under detention during the pendency of this case. The Case For automatic review before this Court is the September 25, 1998 Decision 1 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Ormoc City (Branch 35) in Criminal Case No. 5016-0, finding Marivic Genosa guilty beyond reasonable doubt of parricide. The decretal portion of the Decision reads: "WHEREFORE, after all the foregoing being duly considered, the Court finds the accused, Marivic Genosa y Isidro, GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Parricide as provided under Article 246 of the Revised Penal Code as restored by Sec. 5, RA No. 7659, and after finding treachery as a generic aggravating circumstance and none of mitigating circumstance, hereby sentences the accused with the penalty of DEATH. "The Court likewise penalizes the accused to pay the heirs of the deceased the sum of fifty thousand pesos (P 50,000.00), Philippine currency as indemnity and another sum of fifty thousand pesos (P 50,000.00), Philippine currency as moral damages." 2
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The Information 3 charged appellant with parricide as follows: "That on or about the 15 th day of November 1995, at Barangay Bilwang, Municipality of Isabel, Province of Leyte, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, with intent to kill, with treachery and evident premeditation, did then and there wilfully,
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