I’m a bit late for the weekly prompt about cheating and I have said that I’ll write more about law. I’m pretty excited about this one as this is a governing law in our country, Philippines, that not a lot of people know.
Here is my take on the weekly prompt about cheating, @JonicaBradley
Article 247 of the Revised Penal Code (Republic Act No. 3815)
Any legally married person who having surprised his spouse in the act of committing sexual intercourse with another person, shall kill any of them or both of them in the act or immediately thereafter, or shall inflict upon them any serious physical injury, shall suffer the penalty of destierro.
If he shall inflict upon them physical injuries of any other kind, he shall be exempt from punishment
Article 247 of the Revised Penal Code
The penalty of destierro is under correctional penalty.
Article 25 of the Revised Penal Code
To translate it in a more digestible manner, any spouse who caught their husband or wife committing sexual intercourse with another person and he or she had an outburst of emotion, having killed them and or caused serious physical injury shall only suffer a penalty of banishment. If the physical injury is less than serious, there would be no corresponding penalty.
Destierro is mere banishment and, as held in a case, is intended more for the protection of the accused from retaliation of the family members of the deceased than a punishment. On the other hand, if the physical injuries inflicted are less than serious, the offender is exempt from punishment
First, you should note the term “any legally married person”, this article shall only apply to those couples who are having the benefit of marriage. So if you’re only in the manner of cohabiting with each other or most commonly known as live-in partners, this article shall not be applicable to you and you will suffer the corresponding punishment related to the acts done.
Second, the spouse should be surprised at the act of committing adultery and not just a mere suspicion and hearsay. You should have been in the right moment as having to caught them doing and committing the act of adultery.
If you’re thinking as to why this is included in the revised penal code, this is to protect the family honor and might be considered as just a burst of passion, if and only if the circumstances in the said articles are all present.
This is a hard topic to defend to be honest, as much as for other people it might be a “Oh, if my husband or wife is cheating on me, I can kill him and get away with it” proving innocence and providing evidence are another story.
This can also be seen as a violation of the Human Rights and can be seen as we are effectively giving more importance to a person’s reputation, image and esteem than to actual lives of people.
Article II Section 11 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution provides that “the State values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for human rights.” Further, Article III, Section I provides that, “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.”
This is a good topic to debate on, if this should be amended or should it still be part of the revised penal code and the more people are aware of this, it can actually be subject to abuse.
As my law professor told me, there is nothing wrong with the law, it’s in the implementation and interpretation where things get twisted and fucked up. The law has always been right and just, except that people are using it to their own benefit that's why we think that justice are only for selected individuals.
I can’t say all of the provisions and legal references related to this, as I am not a law student or professional and my fondness for law is the only thing that helps me discover these things.
For a detailed case, you can read the case of THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, Plaintiff-Appellee, vs. FELICIANO EMBALIDO, Defendant-Appellant.
See you around!
Lead Image: Photo by Sandy Millar on Unsplash
Hehe yeah. I know about that if you caught your husband in the act of cheating you can kill 'em. Hahaha. The things that get retained in your head when talking with your college professors. I didnt think about the part where id need to defend my action though haha. Thanks again deedum!