What is a Barangay Protection Order (BPO)?
According to to Section 4 of A.M. No. 04-10-11-S:
(p) "Barangay protection order" (BPO) refers to the protection order issued by the Punong Barangay, or in his absence the Barangay Kagawad, ordering the perpetrator to desist from committing acts of violence against the family or household members particularly women and their children under Sections 5a and 5b of R.A. No. 9262.
Additionally, according to RA 9262:
SECTION 8. Protection Orders.- A protection order is an order issued under this act for the purpose of preventing further acts of violence against a woman or her child specified in Section 5 of this Act and granting other necessary relief. The relief granted under a protection order serve the purpose of safeguarding the victim from further harm, minimizing any disruption in the victim's daily life, and facilitating the opportunity and ability of the victim to independently regain control over her life. The provisions of the protection order shall be enforced by law enforcement agencies. The protection orders that may be issued under this Act are the barangay protection order (BPO), temporary protection order (TPO) and permanent protection order (PPO). The protection orders that may be issued under this Act shall include any, some or all of the following reliefs:
(a) Prohibition of the respondent from threatening to commit or committing, personally or through another, any of the acts mentioned in Section 5 of this Act;
(b) Prohibition of the respondent from harassing, annoying, telephoning, contacting or otherwise communicating with the petitioner, directly or indirectly;
(c) Removal and exclusion of the respondent from the residence of the petitioner, regardless of ownership of the residence, either temporarily for the purpose of protecting the petitioner, or permanently where no property rights are violated, and if respondent must remove personal effects from the residence, the court shall direct a law enforcement agent to accompany the respondent has gathered his things and escort respondent from the residence;
(d) Directing the respondent to stay away from petitioner and designated family or household member at a distance specified by the court, and to stay away from the residence, school, place of employment, or any specified place frequented by the petitioner and any designated family or household member;
(e) Directing lawful possession and use by petitioner of an automobile and other essential personal effects, regardless of ownership, and directing the appropriate law enforcement officer to accompany the petitioner to the residence of the parties to ensure that the petitioner is safely restored to the possession of the automobile and other essential personal effects, or to supervise the petitioner's or respondent's removal of personal belongings;
(f) Granting a temporary or permanent custody of a child/children to the petitioner;
(g) Directing the respondent to provide support to the woman and/or her child if entitled to legal support. Notwithstanding other laws to the contrary, the court shall order an appropriate percentage of the income or salary of the respondent to be withheld regularly by the respondent's employer for the same to be automatically remitted directly to the woman. Failure to remit and/or withhold or any delay in the remittance of support to the woman and/or her child without justifiable cause shall render the respondent or his employer liable for indirect contempt of court;
(h) Prohibition of the respondent from any use or possession of any firearm or deadly weapon and order him to surrender the same to the court for appropriate disposition by the court, including revocation of license and disqualification to apply for any license to use or possess a firearm. If the offender is a law enforcement agent, the court shall order the offender to surrender his firearm and shall direct the appropriate authority to investigate on the offender and take appropriate action on matter;
(i) Restitution for actual damages caused by the violence inflicted, including, but not limited to, property damage, medical expenses, childcare expenses and loss of income;
(j) Directing the DSWD or any appropriate agency to provide petitioner may need; and
(k) Provision of such other forms of relief as the court deems necessary to protect and provide for the safety of the petitioner and any designated family or household member, provided petitioner and any designated family or household member consents to such relief.
Any of the reliefs provided under this section shall be granted even in the absence of a decree of legal separation or annulment or declaration of absolute nullity of marriage.
The issuance of a BPO or the pendency of an application for BPO shall not preclude a petitioner from applying for, or the court from granting a TPO or PPO.
Who may issue a BPO and how long is the duration of BPOs?
According to RA 9262:
SECTION 14. Barangay Protection Orders (BPOs); Who May Issue and How. - Barangay Protection Orders (BPOs) refer to the protection order issued by the Punong Barangay ordering the perpetrator to desist from committing acts under Section 5 (a) and (b) of this Act. A Punong Barangay who receives applications for a BPO shall issue the protection order to the applicant on the date of filing after ex parte determination of the basis of the application. If the Punong Barangay is unavailable to act on the application for a BPO, the application shall be acted upon by any available Barangay Kagawad. If the BPO is issued by a Barangay Kagawad the order must be accompanied by an attestation by the Barangay Kagawad that the Punong Barangay was unavailable at the time for the issuance of the BPO. BPOs shall be effective for fifteen (15) days. Immediately after the issuance of an ex parte BPO, the Punong Barangay or Barangay Kagawad shall personally serve a copy of the same on the respondent, or direct any barangay official to effect is personal service.
The parties may be accompanied by a non-lawyer advocate in any proceeding before the Punong Barangay.
What is the procedure in acquiring a BPO?
According to A.M. No. 04-10-11-S:
SEC. 41. Venue. - Applications for barangay protection orders shall observe the following rules on venue:
(a) where the parties reside, in the same barangay, the dispute shall be brought for settlement in said barangay;
(b) where the parties reside in different barangays in the same city or municipality, the dispute shall be settled in the barangay where the respondent or any one of the respondents actually resides, at the choice of the complainant;
(c) disputes arising at the workplace where the contending parties are employed or at the institution where such parties are enrolled for study, shall be brought in the barangay where such workplace or institution is located; and
(d) any objection relating to venue shall be raised before the Punong Barangay during the proceedings before him. Failure to do so shall be deemed a waiver of such objections.
SEC. 42. Where to file complaint for violation of a barangay protection order. - A complaint for violation of a barangay protection order may be filed with any metropolitan trial court, municipal trial court in cities, municipal trial court or municipal circuit trial court that has territorial jurisdiction over the barangay which issued the said protection order.
SEC. 43. Procedure. - (a) The complaint shall be accompanied by affidavits and other evidence proving the alleged violation;
(b) Upon receipt of the complaint, the court shall issue an order requiring the accused to submit within five days his counter-affidavit, the affidavits of his witnesses and other evidence in his behalf;
(c) If the court, upon a consideration of the complaint, the counter-affidavits of the accused and other evidence submitted by the parties, finds no cause or ground to hold the accused for trial, it shall order the dismissal of the case; otherwise, it shall set the case for arraignment and trial;
(d) Violation of a barangay protection order shall be punishable by imprisonment of thirty days without prejudice to any other criminal or civil action that the offended party may file for any of the acts committed; and
(e) A judgment of violation of a barangay protection order may be appealed to the regional trial court whose decision shall be final. An appeal from a judgment of violation of a barangay protection order shall not stay the enforcement of a protection order that might have been issued by the trial court during the trial.
SEC. 44. Issuance of protection order when warranted; contempt of court for violation. - During trial or upon judgment, the trial court may motu proprio issue a protection order when warranted. Violation of any protection order issued under this Section shall constitute contempt of court punishable under Rule 71 of the Rules of Court, without prejudice to any other criminal or civil action that the offended party may file for any of the acts committed.