On Wednesday, in front of the Judicial and Bar Council, Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) chief Persida Acosta expressed that she is in favor of maintaining the law handing out tougher penalties on women regarding cases of adultery even with numerous concerns coming from women’s groups who find it discriminatory.
According to Acosta, “Yung sa issue ng adultery and concubinage ang aking patakaran pa rin ay dapat mas mahigpit sa babae kaysa sa lalaki dahil ang babae ang ilaw ng tahanan.”
She further adds, “Kapag nawasak ang tahanan nagloko ang babae wala na. Kapag ang lalaki ang nagloko, ang babae ay matatag, siya ang ilaw, buhay pa ang tahanan. So para sa akin okay lang na iyan pa rin ang batas mas mahigpit sa kababaihan sa adultery at ‘di masyadong mahigpit sa concubinage.”
Found under Article 333 of the Revised Penal Code, a single act of sexual intercourse with another man who is not her husband gives the right to convict the wife of the crime of adultery.
Both the married woman and lover will undergo imprisonment for a maximum period of six years if they are found guilty of the deed.
On the other hand, under Article 334, a married man will only be convicted if found guilty of keeping a mistress in the conjugal dwelling, having sexual intercourse under scandalous circumstances with another woman besides his wife, or cohabiting with the mistress in another dwelling.
If found guilty, the husband’s penalty is lower by one degree in that he may be imprisoned for only a maximum period of four years and one day while the concubine is only banished and not imprisoned.
Gabriela Representatives Emmi De Jesus and Arlene Brosas filed House Bill 101, which seeks to decriminalize adultery and concubinage and asks to release all individuals who are serving these sentences provided no other crime was committed.
The bill has noted that a number of women receive blackmail from their estranged husband due to Article 333. The bill also states, “In many cases, women who are faced by these threats are forced to forego legitimate custodial claims of their children while some are forced to give up their claims over conjugal properties, assets and the like.”