Gabriela legislators push amendments to anti-rape law-A A +A
Monday, July 16, 2012
LAWMAKERS representing the Gabriela party-list group have filed a measure seeking to redefine the crime of rape by amending the Anti-Rape Law of 1997.
Representatives Emmi de Jesus and Luzviminda Ilagan said House Bill 6170 will 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.
"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," she added.
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.
The lawmakers said a non-consensual sexual act committed through fraudulent machination, grave abuse of authority or moral ascendancy is as deplorable as a non-consented 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.
The proposed amendments also seek to recognize other forms of unwanted sexual conduct against males, young boys, and those who belong to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) sector.
The crime of rape under the Anti-Rape Law of 1997 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. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)