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Ang vs.

Court of Appeals
G.R. No. 182835. April 20, 2010
Ponente: Abad, J.
Rustan Ang filed a petition to the Court of Appeals to reconsider the decision of the RTC of Baler, Aurora
on the basis of the violation of Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act or RA 9262 against
Irish. He explains that the electronic evidence submitted before the RTC did not go through the right process
under Section 1, Rule 5 of the Rules on Electronic Evidence (A.M. 01-7-01-SC).
FACTS:

 Rustan and Irish became on-and-off sweethearts towards the end of 2004.
 Before Rustan got married to another woman, he got in touch with Irish and tried to convince her
to elope with him. Irish rejected the proposal.
 Irish had received messages from Rustan. He used two cellphone numbers, 0920-4769301 and
0921-8084768.
 In June 5, 2005, Irish received through MMS a picture of naked woman with her face on it. The
sender’s number was 0921-8084768.
 After she got the MMS, Rustan texted her and told her that “Madali lang ikalat yun, my chatrum
and tarlac rayt pwede ring send sa lahat ng chatter.”
 Irish sought help from the authorities and she texted Rustan’s number to meet her in Lorentess
Resort. He arrived in a motorcycle and walked towards Irish. The police intercepted and arrested
him. They searched and found a Sony Ericsson P900 and several SIM card. He also shouted at Irish
“Malandi ka kasi!”
 Joseph Gonzalez, an expert on information technology, confirmed that the photo was fabricated.
 Rustan admitted to court Irish. Their relationship ended but he claimed that Irish wanted
reconciliation. They met in December 2004 but Rustan told her that his girlfriend at that time (later
his wife) was already pregnant.
 Rustan claims that he went to Lorentess because Irish asked him to help her identify the prankster
who was sending malicious messages. Rustan got the number and he pretended to be Irish and
contacted the said number. He said that this was the reason why the obscene messages originated
from his cellphone number.
 Michelle Ang, Rustan’s wife, said that she was sure Irish sent the six pictures. She claimed that she
hid the pictures because she was angry.
 After the trial, the RTC found Irish’s testimony to be credible. Thus in its Decision dated August
1, 2001, the RTC found Rustan guilty of the violation of Section 5(h) of R.A. 9262.
 The CA denied Rustan’s motion for reconsideration in a resolution dated April 25, 2008. Thus,
Rustan filed the present for review on certiorari.
ISSUES:
The principal issue is W/N accused Rustan sent Irish by cellphone message the picture with her face pasted
on the body of a nude woman, inflicting anguish, psychological distress, and humiliation on her in violation
of Section 5(h) of R.A. 9262.
The subordinate issues are:
1. W/N a “dating relationship” existed between Rustan and Irish as this term is defined in R.A.
9262;
2. W/N a single act of harassment, like the sending of the nude picture in this case, already
constitutes a violation of Section 5(h) of R.A. 9262;
3. W/N the evidence used to convict Rustan was obtained from him in violation of his constitutional
rights; and
4. W/N the RTC properly admitted in evidence the obscene picture presented in the case.
RULINGS:
1. The parties agree that they are in a “dating relationship” pursuant to the Section 3(e) of R.A. 9262.
2. Rustan argues that the sending of the photo is not harassment, and that Irish should be used to receiving
obscene photos. The RTC, however, did not find credence in the testimony of Rustan and Michelle because
of a lack of consistency. Secondly, the RTC could only imagine the trauma this has caused to Irish.
3. Rustan argues that the evidence presented against him should be deemed inadmissible because he was
seized and arrested without warrant. The RTC ruled that the only evidence they needed are the ones that
came from Irish’s testimony.
4. Rustan claims that the obscene pictures sent to Irish constitutes and electronic document. It should have
been authenticated by means of electronic signature, as provided under Section 1, Rule 5 of the Rules on
Electronic Evidence. Rustan did not raise this objection in the first trial, thus rendering it late. He should
be deemed to have already waived such ground for objection. Besides, the rules he cites do not apply to the
present criminal action. The Rules on Electronic Evidence applies only to civil actions, quasi-judicial
proceedings, and administrative proceedings.
In conclusion, this Court finds that the prosecution has proved each and every element of the crime charged
beyond reasonable doubt.
WHEREFORE, the Court DENIES the petition and AFFIRMS the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-
G.R. 30567 dated January 31, 2008 and its resolution dated April 25, 2008.