MANILA, Philippines--The Court of Appeals has affirmed a four-year prison term, P100,000 fine and mandatory psychiatric treatment for a man who threatened to spread a pornographic picture with his ex-girlfriend's face on it after she rebuffed his attempts to rekindle their relationship.
The appellate court, in its Jan. 31 decision, ruled there was nothing questionable about the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Baler, Aurora, which in November 2006 found Rustan Ang guilty of violating the Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Act, when he harassed his ex-girlfriend and caused her emotional distress.
The woman complained that on June 5, 2005, Ang sent her a picture through her cell phone of a nude woman with her legs apart. The face was hers.
The day before, Ang, who is married, asked her to be his textmate but she refused.
She said her face was apparently lifted from a photo taken with Ang when they visited Baguio during their three-month relationship.
Ang warned her in a subsequent text message that it would be easy to post the pornographic picture on the internet, and asked if she wanted him to send more lewd pictures of her.
Alarmed, she sought the help of the vice mayor of Maria Aurora town and the police.
Ang was arrested and tried.
In his appeal, Ang said the lower court failed to establish that it was he who sent the obscene picture. He also questioned the qualifications of a computer expert who testified that the photo was altered. He claimed he merely forwarded the offensive picture.
But the appellate court was not convinced. The decision penned by Justice Mariano del Castillo noted that the threatening text messages could only have come from a man scorned and who was now trying to spite his former lover for refusing to reconcile with him.
It said the woman had provided adequate proof that she and her ex-boyfriend exchanged text messages through two of his cell phones and the obscene photo was sent through one of them.
The appellate court also debunked Ang's contention that it was not shown that he and the woman had a continuous "dating relationship" for him to be prosecuted for violating the Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Act. He said their relationship was off and on.