These days, we are encountering many legal terms in PEP articles that deal with family issues.
For non-lawyers, these terms will seem intimidating, but when it comes down to basics, they simply stand for the fundamental rights that citizens enjoy in the eyes of the law.
Last March 20, PEPsters were surprised by a headline that read: “Kris Aquino files temporary protection order against ex-husband James Yap.”
(CLICK HERE to read related article)
In her petition, Kris accused James of “overstepping his boundaries and of attempting to seduce her while visiting her home, and of inflicting psychological harm on their son Bimby.”
Note: In a TV interview aired on March 21, the very morning that Kris's petition for a PPO appeared in a national broadsheet, a rarely emotional James Yap denied that he has done anything to violate Kris.
TYPES OF PROTECTION ORDERS. When a woman feels that she or a child is under threat of physical danger, she is empowered to protect herself by obtaining a protection order.
There are three types of protection orders provided under Republic Act No. 9262, otherwise known as the "Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004."
These are (1) the Barangay Protection Order (BPO); (2) the Temporary Protection Order (TPO); and (3) the Permanent Protection Order (PPO).
In the case of Kris Aquino, on March 15, 2013, she asked the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 144 for a 30-day Temporary Protection Order against James Yap.
The petition of Kris would effectively keep James away from their son James Yap Jr. (more popularly known as Bimby) plus any of Kris's household staff and members for a distance of at least 100 meters for those 30 days. The petition would cover any place frequented by Kris and her son, including their residence, his school, and her place of employment.
On the very day of the petition, the Temporary Protection Order (TPO) was granted to Kris. It took effect the very next day, March 16.
The TV host/actress also filed for a Permanent Protection Order (PPO), which will be discussed in court on April 8.
Smart Parenting columnist Atty. Nikki Jimeno explains that a Permanent Protection Order (PPO) requires more time to grant. It can only be “issued after due notice to the respondent, and after a hearing has been conducted. If granted, the PPO shall be permanently enforced unless revoked by the same court that granted it.”
According to Republic Act No. 9262, a TPO and a PPO are not to be trifled with. Any violation of the conditions set by a TPO or PPO is punishable with “a fine ranging from Five Thousand Pesos (P5,000.00) to Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00) and/or imprisonment of six (6) months.”
Note that a TPO is automatically renewed or extended for another 30 days if the first TPO is about to expire and no judgment has been rendered by the court.
Section 16 of Republic Act 9262 states: The court shall, to the extent possible, conduct the hearing on the merits of the issuance of a PPO in one (1) day. Where the court is unable to conduct the hearing within one (1)day and the TPO issued is due to expire, the court shall continuously extend or renew the TPO for a period of thirty (30) days at each particular time until final judgment is issued. The extended or renewed TPO may be modified by the court as may be necessary or applicable to address the needs of the applicant.
Clearly, women have the advantage with the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004. In Kris's petition, therefore, she is favored by the law.
ADOPTION ISSUES. PEPsters may also have been surprised by the news that Kris and James are now fighting over the adoption of Bimby.
Why does Bimby have to be adopted? And why only by one parent?
The answer lies in the court judgment declaring the marriage of Kris and James null and void in February 2012.
With that judgment, the marriage has been considered void from the start. In other words, there was never any marriage. With Kris and James never having been married, the child Bimby is considered an illegitimate child under the law.
In December 2012, Kris asked James to sign the adoption papers for their son. She would legally adopt Bimby. James refused.
Why did Kris want James to sign these adoption papers?
Atty. Jimeno explained that Kris made this move so that Bimby would become her legitimate son.
The law says that only one parent can adopt the child, but that the other parent must give his consent.
In her Smart Parenting online article (www.smartparenting.com.ph), Atty. Jimeno pointed out that adopting Bimby has the following legal repercussions:
“Under the law, an illegitimate child is entitled to only one-half of the legitimate child’s inheritance—which means that unless Kris makes a will giving both her children the same amount of inheritance, Bimby will stand to inherit twice as much as Josh will."
However, should James consent to Kris adopting their son, he gives up all parental rights over his own son.
James, in his interview with PEP editor-in-chief Jo-Ann Maglipon on March 20, said he would not give up his rights to his son.
Repeatedly, he said: "Ipaglalaban ko yung anak ko...ipaglalaban ko yung anak ko.
"Masira man ako, ano man ang mangyari sa akin, at least alam ko sa sarili ko na ipinaglaban ko yung anak ko.
"Ayokong sabihin ng anak ko na kinukuha siya sa akin, tapos di ko siya ipinaglaban."
Indeed, as Atty. Jimeno explains: "...if James consents to the adoption, he will lose any parental rights he has over Bimby. RA 8552 provides that as an effect of the adoption, 'all legal ties between the biological parent(s) and the adoptee shall be severed and the same shall then be vested on the adopter(s).'"
Josh is Kris's first child. His father is Phillip Salvador.
To learn more about the legalities of parental authority, read Atty. Nikki Jimeno’s article in the Smart Parenting website: (CLICK HERE)