• House bill seeks jail term for philandering spouses

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    A six-year jail term for philandering husbands and wives has been proposed in the House of Representatives.

    In his House Bill 2352 Neophyte Rep. Edcel “Grex” Lagman Jr. of Albay proposed six months to six years imprisonment for a man who has sex with another woman who is not his wife, and a wife engaging in a sexual intercourse with another man who is not her husband.

    The measure considers an extramarital relationship as adultery, an upgrade from the present law where a philandering wife can be charged with adultery but a philandering husband can be charged with concubinage which carries a lesser penalty.

    More importantly, Lagman’s proposal imposes the same penalty to a husband who maintains a sexual relationship with another man, and a wife who has a sexual relationship with another woman.

    “I am supportive of gender equality and rights of the LGBT (lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender) community, but we must not limit its concept with the positive side of things. Just like in marriage, equality should be present for better or for worse. Every person must also be prepared to accept and carry the burden of equal liability and responsibility,” Lagman said.

    “The law as it now stands provides a cause of action against men and women who carry on extra marital affairs with full knowledge that their lovers are married. With these amendments, there will also be a cause of action for gay and/or lesbian lovers,” Lagman said.

    Ariel Enrile-Inton Jr., a former Quezon City councilor who heads a group of lawyers advocating gay rights, welcomed the measure.

    “I will lend my group’s support for this timely measure that amends obsolete provisions of the Revised Penal Code even as the LGBT (lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender) community hopefully takes on a mindset that they are not only to be beneficiaries of progressive laws that advances their interests but also puts them on the same footing for laws that provide penal sanctions,” Inton said in a statement.

    LLANESCA T. PANTI

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