A case of a baby who’s a victim of physical abuse in the hands of the live-in-partner of her father has gone viral on the internet, and it sparked outrage among millions of netizens around the world.
The suspect was identified as Berna Espina, a resident of Bacoor City his age was still not verified, some people claimed that she’s still a minor, but most reports claim that she’s already 19 years old and already liable for committing child abuse.
The issue has gone viral after the aunt of the victim, Ella Devera posted the video of her niece who suffered bruises on her face and other parts of the body, it also received bone fracture from the suspect.
Ella also mentioned the father of the victim, Melvin De Vera for letting his live-in-partner to abuse his child who’s still in the hospital as of writing.
After that, millions of netizens repeatedly asked the authorities to hunt the suspect who’s residing in Cavite.
Two days after the issue went viral, Espina has been arrested by the Barangay authorities and quickly interviewed by officials of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to know the consequences of what she did.
According to netizen Jomer Evas Asas, a law graduate, Revised Penal Code, Art. 12, in relation with Section 6 of R.A. 9344 says that a minor can be fully exempted from criminal liability if he’s 15 years old and below.
However, he said that in the case of Berna Espina, the suspect can still be held liable for her crimes, despite being a minor.
“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.” Asas said.
“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.” he added.
Asas believes that Espina was fully aware 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.
Espina can be put in jail for violating Republic Act No. 7610 or the Special Protection of Children against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act.
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).
Watch! | Girl who’s a Victim of Physically Abusing in the Hands of the Live-in-Partner of her Father in Cavite being Interviewed by DSWD
4/ 5Oleh BNP Correspondent