Men and women can now both cry rape

Persida Acosta

Persida Acosta

Dear PAO,
My friend was sexually abused by his brother’s friend. He told me that several months ago, his brother’s friend came by their house looking for his brother. When he told him that his brother was already working in the province and won’t be home until the end of the month, his brother’s friend opted to stay and chatted with him. He thought that his brother’s friend was a nice and decent guy so he did not assume that he was at any risk. They ended up drinking beer and talking about a lot of things from sports to celebrities. After a few hours, my friend started feeling really drunk so he asked his brother’s friend to go home. He refused to go and instead forced himself on my friend. My friend is thinking of filing a rape case but he read somewhere that there is no rape against a male. Is this true? Please advise.
Mac Mac

Dear Mac Mac,
Perhaps what your friend read was about old legal provisions of rape. Under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines (RPC), the crime of rape can only be committed by a man against a woman. But this provision of our criminal law has been amended by Republic Act (RA) 8353 or the Anti-Rape Law of 1997. Such amendment took effect on October 22, 1997.

Under Section 2 of RA 8353, the crime of rape has been classified as a crime against persons, and the victim of such crime is no longer confined to the female gender and the assailant may also be either a male or a female. To be more specific, the law reads:

“Article 266-A. Rape: When And How Committed. – Rape is committed:

(1) By a man who has carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following circumstances: (a) Through force, threat or intimidation; (b) When the offended party is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious; (c) By means of fraudulent machination or abuse of authority; and (d) When the offended party is under twelve (12) years of age or demented, even though none of the circumstances mentioned above be present.

(2) By any person who, under any of the circumstances mentioned in paragraph 1 hereof, shall commit an act of sexual assault by inserting his penis into another person’s mouth or anal orifice, or any instrument or object, into the genital or anal orifice of another person.”

Accordingly, your friend may institute a criminal complaint for rape if his situation falls under the circumstances mentioned under the second paragraph above-stated. Should he be able to establish the guilt of his brother’s friend, the latter may be made to suffer the penalty of prision mayor (Article 266-B, id.).

We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.

Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to


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