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JULY 15, 2012 DATE

NR # 2801
REF. NO.

Lawmakers want to amend the Anti-Rape law


Lawmakers have filed a bill seeking to redefine the crime of rape revolving on the issue of the absence or lack of consent, by amending Republic Act 8353 or the Anti-Rape Law of 1997. Reps. Emmi de Jesus and Luzviminda Ilagan (Party-list, Gabriela) filed House Bill 6170 in a bid to provide for clearer instances or situations as basis for the filing of rape cases against guilty parties. It will also address the special situation of those who, by reason of their mental or physical states are unable to give consent. The law needs to zero-in on the absence of consent as a central element in the crime of rape. De Jesus said. Under the bill, the lack of consent is presumed under the following circumstances: act of force, threat and intimidation; grave abuse of authority; when the victim is unconscious; a person with mental disability; when the victim is below 15 years old; and when the offender is a biological or adoptive parent. Rape is no doubt the most horrendous of all forms of sexual violence and is one of the most heinous crimes that can be committed against a person, De Jesus said. For a rape victim, each day is a painful reminder of the outrage done on their person especially if the crime is perpetrated by a spouse, father, uncle, adoptive father, stepfather, guardian or next of kin, De Jesus added. Under the bill, rape is deemed consummated when then victims genital, mouth or anal orifice is touched by the sexual organ or any part of the body or any object used to commit rape. De Jesus said a non-consensual sexual act committed through fraudulent machination, grave abuse of authority or moral ascendancy is as deplorable as a nonconsented sexual act that was perpetrated with the use of force or physical violence. The bill also does away with the requisite of proving a legal relationship between parties in cases of rape by related parties as in the case of a rape committed by parent against a child, De Jesus said. De Jesus cited the case of a university student in Las Pias who was drugged and raped by a group of young men who uploaded a video of the crime in the internet for the public to see.

JULY 15, 2012 DATE

NR # 2801
REF. NO.

Such acts of recording and public dissemination are not among the circumstances that aggravate the crime of rape in the current rape law. De Jesus said. De Jesus said the bill also seeks to recognize the other forms of unwanted sexual conduct against males, young boys or even those who belong to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) sector. Under the bill, those who can be charged with the crime of rape are members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Philippine National Police (PNP) or any law enforcement agency, elected officials or appointed officials performing a public function and person with moral ascendancy or possessing significant political or religious influence. The crime of rape under the Republic Act 8353 or the anti-rape law of 1997 still imposes the penalty of life imprisonment. The penalty was reduced to reclusion perpetua after Congress abolished the death penalty on June 24, 2006 during the Arroyo administration. (30) jsc