top of page

EDITORIAL: Dignity Defended

THE recent decision by the Supreme Court to uphold the conviction of Rowena Plasan for child abuse marks an essential step in safeguarding the dignity and well-being of minors in our society.

Plasan’s case, centered on her utterance of degrading remarks towards a 16-year-old girl, highlights the importance of holding individuals accountable for the emotional and psychological harm inflicted upon vulnerable members of our community.

In the ruling promulgated on Oct. 23, 2023, the SC’s Second Division stood firm in denying Plasan’s petition to reverse the lower courts’ decisions.

Plasan had sought to overturn her conviction for emotional abuse and psychological maltreatment, arguing against the judgments of both the Court of Appeals and a regional trial court. However, the high court’s reaffirmation of her guilt sends a clear message: actions, even verbal ones that demean and degrade minors will not be tolerated.

The conversation in question, where Plasan made disparaging remarks about the victim’s body, not only violated the victim’s dignity but also inflicted lasting emotional harm.

The SC rightly emphasized that such remarks, made in the victim’s presence, attacked her character, reputation, and dignity. This ruling underscores the gravity of the offense and the responsibility we all bear in ensuring the protection of children from abuse in all its forms.

Significantly, the court’s decision highlights that Plasan’s remarks were not impulsive or provoked by emotional distress. Instead, they were calculated and deliberate, lacking any justification or mitigating circumstances.

This distinction is vital in setting a precedent for accountability, ensuring that perpetrators cannot evade responsibility by claiming spur-of-the-moment actions or emotional outbursts.

The impact of Plasan’s actions extended far beyond the immediate moment of utterance. The victim’s subsequent feelings of shame and isolation illustrate the profound and lasting effects of such abuse.

By affirming the rulings of the lower courts, the SC sends a strong message that emotional and psychological harm inflicted upon minors will be met with swift and decisive legal action.

Moving forward, this ruling should serve as a reminder to all members of society of our collective duty to protect the rights and dignity of children. It reinforces the need for vigilance in identifying and addressing instances of abuse, whether overt or subtle.

Moreover, it underscores the importance of fostering a culture of respect and empathy, where every individual, regardless of age, is treated with dignity and compassion.

The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Rowena Plasan’s conviction for child abuse is a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to combat abuse and protect the rights of minors.

It reaffirms our commitment to ensuring that every child grows up in an environment free from harm, where their dignity and well-being are valued and protected above all else.


bottom of page