Dear Atty. Duran-Schulze,
I’m an Overseas Filipino Worker. I filed a complaint against my ex-husband. He molested my daughter and according to her it started when she was 10 years old. We already went to the police and the fiscal’s office already gave a resolution. We would like to know what will be our next step.
Child sexual abuse is the employment, use, persuasion, inducement, enticement or coercion of child to engage in, or assist another person to engage in sexual intercourse or lasciviousness conduct or the molestation or prostitution of, or the commission of incestuous acts, on, a child.
The management of cases of Child Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation provides that any person may report, either orally or in writing, a case of child abuse, neglect, or exploitation. The report may be made to any of the following:
- Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)
- Commission on Human Rights
- Local Social Welfare and Development Office (LSWDO) of the municipality, city, or province
- Philippine National Police
- National Bureau of Investigation
- Other law enforcement agencies
- Punong barangay or tribal leader
- Barangay kagawad
- Any member of the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC), or
- Barangay help desk person or violence against women (VAW) help desk officer.
The following are mandated to make a report, either orally or in writing, to DSWD/LGU within forty-eight (48) hours, the examination and/or treatment of a child who appears to have suffered from abuse.
Since you already went to the police and the fiscal has a resolution, you are going to need the assistance of a lawyer to guide you on what next steps you need to take.
In the reporting and investigation by the Law Enforcement Agency (LEA), they are to prepare a police’s affidavit and include therein the demeanor and behavior of the child victim during the investigation and interview. If a social worker assisted the child victim, the police investigation report shall also indicate the name of the assistant social worker.
Thereafter, an investigation report shall be prepared by the LEA and endorse it to the Prosecutor’s Office for the conduct of inquest or preliminary investigation. It shall be noted that no law enforcement agency shall conduct any proceedings similar to preliminary investigation to avoid multiple interviews of the child.
After inquest or preliminary investigation is conducted, the Prosecutor’s Office will either file the information to court when it finds reasonable cause or dismiss the case when there is no need to further open the case. However, even if the case is dismissed, you can still file for a motion for reconsideration of the information.
If the Prosecutor’s Office files such information to court, the court will review the case and issue a warrant of arrest. In the trial, the defendant will now be charged with either guilty or not guilty.