The House Committee on Women and Gender Equality has pushed for the approval of House Bill 5724, otherwise known as an Act Defining the Crime of Sexual Infidelity, MB.com.ph reports. If passed, the bill will penalize any individual who commits sexual infidelity, defined here as the act of having sexual intercourse with a person other than your legal spouse.
The bill also aims to eliminate gender bias in current laws pertaining to adultery and concubinage. According to Article 333 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC), adultery is "committed by any married woman who shall have sexual intercourse with a man not her husband and by the man who has carnal knowledge of her knowing her to be married, even if the marriage be subsequently declared void."
Meanwhile, concubinage is defined in Article 334 of the RPC as the act of a husband keeping a mistress in or out of the conjugal dwelling or having sexual intercourse with a woman who is not his wife.
Both crimes are punishable with prision correccional or a maximum jail term of six years. The latter crime punishes the concubine with the penalty of destierro or temporary banishment from the community.
Under HB 5734, both acts will be considered sexual infidelities. Any married individual who keeps a "paramour in the conjugal dwelling" will be punishable with prision correccional in its maximum period of six years. If the cohabitation takes place in a house other than the conjugal dwelling, on the other hand, the act will be punishable with prision correccional in its medium period of four years.
Under the bill, sexual infidelity can be prosecuted by the offended spouse and includes even those individuals whose marriages have been declared void. The offended spouse automatically loses his right to file charges, however, if he has also committed sexual indiscretions or if he has abandoned his spouse for more than a year.
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