Justice Secretary Leila De Lima reminded all government officials that they are bound by law to uphold the highest moral standards as she noted the conviction of a police officer in Kidapawan City for marital infidelity.
The Kidapawan City Prosecutor’s Office indicted SPO2 Ricardo Caña of Violation of Section 5(h) of Republic Act (RA) No. 9262 (Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004).
The Information filed against him stated that Caña “committed substantial emotional and psychological distress on his wife “AAA” by cohabiting with a woman not his wife” since 1995. The affair bore the accused and the other woman two children.
During trial, the prosecution presented National Statistics Office – issued birth certificates of the two children stating that “the accused is the registered father.”
Caña’s brother also testified that “the accused and the other woman lived together in their parents’ house for six months. After that, the accused constructed his own house inside their parents’ compound.
In a 15-page Judgment, Kidapawan City Regional Trial Court Brach 17 Presiding Judge Arvin Sadiri Balagot said the children’s birth certificates, taken together with the testimony of Caña’s brother, “strongly support the conclusion that at present, the accused is cohabiting with a woman not his legal wife.”
The court further states that “the act of the accused in living together with another woman is within the definition of ‘psychological violence’ defined in RA 9262.
Judge Balagot sentenced Caña to imprisonment from three years of prision correctional medium as minimum to eight years and one day of prision mayor medium as maximum and a fine of P100,000.
He was also ordered to undergo mandatory psychological counselling and to pay his legal wife a total of P200,000 in damages.
De Lima further stressed that “law enforcers should be the first to obey the law and not the first to break them. Peace-keeping is their primary task. But maintaining peace and order in the community starts within the family, the basic unit of society.”