• Lawmakers file measure seeking to criminalize incestuous relationships

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    While incestuous rape and marriages are prohibited under the law, two lawmakers seek to criminalize incestuous relationships between consenting parties of legal age.

    Reps. Rufus Rodriguez of Cagayan de Oro City and Maximo Rodriguez Jr. of Abante Mindanao Party-list filed House Bill 3329, or the Anti-Incest Act, to address the rising incest statistics among families of overseas Filipino workers.

    “There is no law which penalizes sexual relations between consenting parties 18 years of age and above,” the representatives said.

    Under the proposed measure, incestuous sexual relations with consent shall be unlawful and prohibited between ascendants and descendants of any degree, brothers and sisters whether of the full or half blood, collateral blood relatives whether legitimate or illegitimate up to the fourth civil degree, step-parents and step-children and parents-in-law and children-in-law.

    Also covered by the act is incest between adopting parent and adopted child, surviving spouse of the adopting parent and the adopted child, surviving spouse of the adopted child and the adopter, adopted child and a legitimate child of the adopter, and adopted children of the same adopter.

    Violators shall be punished by prison correctional in its minimum and maximum periods, or six months to six years of imprisonment.

    The descendant, younger brother or sister, younger blood relative, step-child, son or daughter-in-law, the adopted or the surviving spouse of the adopted shall be punished two degrees lower if he or she is between the ages of 18 and 25 at the time of the sexual relations.

    “The maximum penalty shall be imposed when the incestuous sexual relations occur while the spouse of the ascendant, step parent, parent-in-law, adopting parent, or the adopted is employed in another city, municipality or province, within a radius of at least 150 kilometers from his or her habitual residence or is employed abroad,” the bill stated.

    Under Articles 37 and 38 of Executive Order 209, otherwise known as the Family Code of the Philippines, incestuous marriages are void ab initio for being contrary to public policy.

    On the other hand, Article 335 paragraph 7 No. 1 of Act 3815, as amended, or the Penal Code, imposes the death penalty for rape when “the victim is under 18 years of age and the offender is a parent, ascendant, step-parent, guardian, relative by consanguinity or affinity within the third civil degree, or the common-law spouse of the parent of the victim.”

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