The House Committee on Women and Gender Equality has pushed for the approval and implementation of House Bill (HB) 5734, which will be establishing sexual infidelity as a criminal offense and, therefore, punishable by law.
Sexual infidelity is defined as the act of having sexual intercourse with someone other than an individual’s legal spouse.
The said bill was a consolidation of five bills filed by the following: Linabelle Ruth Villarica (LP, Bulacan); Josephine Veronique Lacson Noel (LP, Malabon-Navotas); Deputy Speaker Ma. Isabelle Climaco; Teddy Brawner Baguilat (LP, Ifugao) and Susan Yap (LP, Tarlac).
The said bill would also eradicate the discrepancy between penalties for related crimes such as concubinage and adultery.
Concubinage is “committed by any husband who shall keep a mistress in the conjugal dwelling, or, shall have sexual intercourse, under scandalous circumstances, with a woman who is not his wife, or shall cohabit with her in any other place”.
Adultery, on the other hand, refers to the “carnal relation between a married woman and a man who is not her husband, the latter knowing her to be married, even if the marriage be subsequently declared void (RPC, Article 333). Each sexual intercourse constitutes a crime of adultery.” Currently, under Article 333 of the Revised Penal Code, adulterers are sentenced to a maximum of six years in jail by prison correctional.
HB 5734 includes persons whose marriage has been declared void, clarifies Lacson-Noel, but the crime can only be prosecuted once the offended spouse files a complaint.
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In the meantime, lawmakers are also proposing that an offended spouse may not file a complaint against the supposed offender if the former has also already committed the crime of sexual infidelity himself/herself, or had already abandoned his purportedly guilty spouse without any legally acceptable or sufficient reason for more than one year.
What are your reactions to this, moms and dads? We’d love to know. Share with us your thoughts by leaving a comment below.
•November 23, 2009. Atty. Fred “A brief discussion on Infidelity, Concubinage, Adultery and Bigamy” jlp-law.com
•April 22, 2012. Ben Rosario. “Congress Pushes Bill Against Sexual Infidelity” mb.com.ph