An Act Defining and Penalizing Marital Infidelity, Amending for the Purpose Act No. 3815, Otherwise Known as the Revised Penal Code
Over the years, arguments have been raised on how Article 333 and 334 of the Revised Penal Code deal with marital infidelity. The current law distinguishes whether the act of infidelity is committed by a married man or woman,thus, raising a concern for gender bias on cases of adultery and concubinage.
In the present framework, an offended wife could only file a case of concubinage if the male spouse is guilty of all three (3) elements. Adultery, on the contrary, needs to satisfy only a single element to be eligible for prosecution. In addition, disparity on the punishment also reflects a bias in favor of the male spouse. Such unequal treatment on different genders and strict rules on female spouses creates an impression that married women have greater vulnerability towards infidelity as compared to married men—an assumption in contrary with the constitution’s goals towards equality and upholding the rights of women.
This bill aims to provide a single definition of “marital infidelity” and to prescribe the same penalties regardless of who committed it.
In the proposed bill, marital infidelity is defined as any married person who shall have sexual intercourse with another person who is not his/her legitimate spouse, even if the marriage be subsequently declared void, and by the person whom he/she has sexual intercourse with, knowing the guilty spouse to be married punishable by prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods.