Despite being a minor Berna Espina can still be held liable for violating Republic Act No. 7610 or the Special Protection of Children against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act - The Daily Sentry

Monday, August 13, 2018



Despite being a minor Berna Espina can still be held liable for violating Republic Act No. 7610 or the Special Protection of Children against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act



Berna Espina at DSWD Bacoor. Image credit to The Philippines News
A baby girl who was physically abused by her Father’s live-in-partner went viral on the social media; it started shock among huge number of netizens in the world. Berna Espina is the identified suspect, she is a resident of Bacoor City her age was still not verified, however, some people guaranteed that she is still a minor, but most reports asserts that she is as of now 19 years of age and already liable for committing child abuse.

Image credit to The Philippines News

Image credit to The Philippines News
This issue went viral after Ella De Vera the aunt of the victim posted a video of her niece who is suffering from bruises on her face and wounds all over her body, the victim also got a bone fracture from the suspect. Melvin De Vera the Father of the victim was also mentioned by Ella for letting his live-in-partner abuse his child who is still in the hospital during that time.
Image credit to The Philippines News

Image credit to The Philippines News
A huge number of people constantly requested the authorities to chase the suspect who is living in Cavite.

Espina has been arrested by the Barangay authorities two days after the issue went viral, she was immediately questioned by the Department of Social Welfare and Development to know the consequences of what she did to the child. 

As indicated by Jomer Evas Asas a concerned citizen, law graduate, “Revised Penal Code, Art. 12, in connection with Section 6 of R.A. 9344 say that a minor can be completely exempted from criminal obligation if he's 15 years of age and below.”


Yet in the case of Berna Espina, despite being a minor she can still be held liable for her crimes.

According to Asas, “If the minor is over 15 years old and below 18 years old, he or she can be criminally liable if the said minor committed the crime with discernment. Discernment is that the mental capacity of a minor to fully appreciate the consequences of his unlawful act.”

He also said that, “The court can decide whether he or she acted with discernment during the commission of the crime based on the acts in the said crime. If the court found her to be guilty, the sentence will be suspended and will be imposed when she reaches the age of 18.”

Image credit to The Philippines News

Image credit to The Philippines News

Image credit to The Philippines News
Asas also believes that Espina was completely mindful of the crime that she committed against the child of her live-in-partner.

“The defense of minority is not absolute. You can’t rely on your minority to defend your horrendous act of brutality unto this child. I hope and pray that this piece of human filth will be behind bars and hopefully will be reformed,” Asas said.


For violating Republic Act No. 7610 or the Special Protection of Children against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act the suspect can be put in prison. Any person who shall be found guilty of the above law shall suffer the penalty of prison mayor in its minimum period or imprisonment ranging from six (6) years and one day to twelve (12) years (Section 10(a), Republic Act No. 7610).



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