Woman gets 4 years for remarks vs minor

Nillicent Bautista - The Philippine Star
Woman gets 4 years for remarks vs minor
This file photo shows the Supreme Court of the Philippines in Manila.
Philstar.com / EC Toledo

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court (SC) has sentenced a woman to four years in prison and ordered her to pay P20,000 in moral damages for uttering degrading remarks to a minor.

In a decision promulgated on Oct. 23, 2023 and released yesterday, the SC’s Second Division denied the petition of Rowena Plasan, who sought to reverse the rulings of the Court of Appeals (CA) and a regional trial court (RTC) that convicted her of child abuse.

In 2013, a case was filed against Plasan before an RTC, alleging that she inflicted emotional abuse and psychological maltreatment on a 16-year-old girl.

The case stemmed from a conversation Plasan shared with a female friend allegedly making fun of the victim’s body.

“Look at the body of (undisclosed). That body is not a virgin anymore. It looks like she has undergone an abortion. They went to (undisclosed), she had an abortion,” Plasan told her friend.

The victim, who was two meters away from Plasan, heard the conversation.

Following the incident, the victim claimed that she felt ashamed and refused to leave their house.

The RTC found Plasan guilty of violating the anti-child abuse law for “willfully, unlawfully and feloniously committing emotional abuse upon (the victim).”

The CA affirmed Plasan’s conviction, prompting her to file the petition before the high court.

In affirming the rulings of the lower courts, the SC said, “It must be emphasized that the subject of Rowena’s remarks, which were expressed in the presence of (the victim), attacked her character, reputation and dignity.”

The SC pointed out that Plasan’s remarks were neither offhand nor provoked by emotional outrage.

The high court also noted that Plasan was not triggered by “any instance immediately prior to the incident that could have justified her conduct and absolved her from liability.”

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