A bill has been filed in the Philippines House of Representatives proposing an amendment to the Revised Penal Code relating to adultery and concubinage – which is currently considered discriminatory towards woman.
Under House Bill No. #5290, the bill is seeking equal application of the law pertaining to marital infidelity regardless of one’s gender as mandated by Article II, Section #14, of the Constitution of the Philippines.
The bill seeks to amend provisions under the Revised Penal Code to ensure the fundamental equality before the law of women and men.
Currently under Article #333 of the Revised Penal Code, Adultery may only be committed by a married woman and by the man who had the sexual relations with her. Under Article #334 of the same code, concubinage may be committed by a husband only under certain condition which are difficult to prove.
The provisions have allowed married persons not falling within the coverage to perpetuate their marital infidelity but remain unscathed from the application of the law – the new measure seeks to eliminate this gender bias.
The law also seeks to amend the name of the offense from “adultery” and “concubinage” to “sexual infidelity.” In essence the crime committed will change to “any legal married person” and would carry the law to those that separated or annulled.
Under the proposed new Article #345 the amended bill would use the phrase “the adulterer and the concubine” to read “persons guilty of sexual infidelity.”
It defines sexual infidelity as a crime committed by “any legally married person who shall have sexual intercourse with another person other than the married person, knowing that person to be legally married, even if the marriage is subsequently declared void.”
Under Article 345, the bill amends the phrase “the adulterer and the concubine” to read “persons guilty of sexual infidelity.”