R.A. 9262: Permanent Protection Order

 Posted By: je froilan m. clerigo
12-Sep-2009

     Can a Court grant a PPO even if the applicant-victim is out of the country?

     An opponent of ours thinks not. According to him, the PPO will be useless since it’s only enforceable within Philippine territory; in fact, as ridiculous as it sounds, he wants our case dismissed because he says that at present, our client is already out of the country, and apparently no longer needs the PPO.

     We disagree, of course.

     The issuance of a PPO is a result of the court’s exercise of its jurisdiction. After the court acquires jurisdiction over the case, its decision on the merits of the application for the PPO is but just an exercise of that jurisdiction.

     It doesn’t matter that the applicant is already out of the country. The court should not concern itself with that; otherwise, courts will be bogged down with trying to know the whereabouts of a party every time. In fact, that’s why they have lawyers, don’t they?

     In other words, we were trying to explain to this opponent of ours that once a court acquires jurisdiction over the case and over the persons of the parties, the Court is not ousted of it just because one of the parties departed from the Philippines (in fact, in civil cases, even if a party dies, the case will have to continue to its conclusion.).

     And there is no merit in trying to convince the court that because the applicant is no longer in country, it should be concerned about whether the PPO it issues will or will not be enforced. That’s the applicant’s call; the court’s mandate is to settle controversies. If the beneficiary of the ruling does not want to avail of the fruits of his or her suit, then it’s up to him or her; but the court should still do its duty and decide the case on its merits.