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MANILA, Philippines Husbands, beware.

Marriage is not a license to forcibly rape your wife,


so says the Supreme Court as it upholds the conviction of a man accused of raping his wife twice
more than 15 years ago.
The high court upheld a July 9, 2008 Court of Appeals (CA) ruling to affirm an earlier lower
court decision in April 1, 2002 that found a husband guilty of two counts of rape and was
sentenced reclusion perpetua for each count. He is also not eligible for parole.
Evidence of overwhelming force and intimidation to consummate rape is extant from the wifes
narration as believably corroborated by the testimonies of their two children and the physical
evidence of wifes torn panties and short pants, said the SC decision.
The Cagayan de Oro couple got married on October 18, 1975 and have four children. They also
own a number of businesses that started from a small store.
The first rape occurred on October 16, 1998, while the second happened the next day, just one
day before their 16th year wedding anniversary.
Here are the circumstances surrounding the marital rape as narrated by a Philippine Daily
Inquirer article:
On the night of October 16, the wife refused to sleep beside the husband in the couples bedroom
because she was not feeling well and decided instead to sleep outside. Angered, the man threw
her bed into the wall causing her wife to fall.
Without much choice, the woman was forced to sleep beside her husband where she was raped
against her will and despite her pleadings which was overheard by the children in the next room.
The children tried to interfere, but were told to go away.
On second night, the wife decided to sleep in the childrens room, but was again demanded to
return to their bedroom. After she refused, a struggle between the couple ensued as the man tore
her shorts and forced himself on her while the children watched.
Again the children tried to stop their father, but the man insisted being the head of the family, he
can do anything he wants, and told the children to leave the room, then proceeded to rape her
again.
The wife filed the two counts of rape in December 1999.
As a defense, the husband initially said the rape never took place because he was someplace else
tending to their business on both dates. He also accused his wife of having an affair and of
misusing about P3 million from their account.
Later on however, the husband told the court the sexual intercourse between them were
theoretically consensual, obligatory even, because he and the victim were a legally married and
cohabiting couple.
But the Supreme Court contended, husbands do not have property rights over their wives bodies
by reason of marriage.
Sexual intercourse, albeit within the realm of marriage, if not consensual, is rape, it added.
By marrying, she does not divest herself of the human right to an exclusive autonomy over her
own body and thus, she can lawfully opt to give or withhold her consent to marital coitus.
The high court also agreed with the earlier findings by CA and the lower court that the wifes
clear, straightforward, credible, and truthful declaration that on two separate occasions, he
succeeded in having sexual intercourse with her, without her consent and against her will
sufficiently overcomes the presumption of innocence of the husband.
While the husband argued the woman did not show resistance during the intercourse, the SC said
resistance is not an element of rape and existing Philippine laws does not require victims the
burden of its proof.
Apart from the reclusion perpetua for each count of rape, the SC decision penned by Justice
Bienvenido Reyes and concurred by four other magistrates also imposed on the accused penalty
of P50,000 in moral damages, P50,000 civil indemnity and P30,000 exemplary damages.