A man in the Philippines cannot legally commit adultery!   No doubt, a woman didn’t write that law.   Do you find that hard to believe?  I probably would without verification.   In the Philippines, adultery is not even grounds for an annulment.  Annulments have to be based on conditions that were present at the time of marriage.  There is no divorce in the Philippines.  If the woman was coerced into it, that could be grounds.  Even then, if she later accepts her husband willingly she can’t use that as grounds for an annulment.   Or, if the spouse was insane at the time of the wedding then they can get an annulment.  I think I would try arguing that I had to be insane since I married this mean horrible person.  :)  I doubt it is that easy.

Here is the law that covers adultery for those living in the Philippines:

The Revised Penal Code defines “adultery” in
Article 333 as follows: “Adultery is committed
by any married woman who shall have sexual
intercourse with a man not her husband and by
the man who has carnal knowledge of her
knowing her to be married, even if the marriage
be subsequently declared void. Adultery shall
be punished by prision correccional in its medium
and maximum periods.”

Does this mean if you are a man that you are in the clear?  Nope, for two reasons.  If you are in a relationship with a married woman then you are just as guilty and you too can be charged and even put in prison.  For how long?  Two to Twelve years!

philippine flag photoDon’t panic, I don’t think this happens very often.  It is more likely that a husband would charge you and accept a payment to drop the charges.   But a wife cannot charge her husband with adultery.  Not fair you say?  I won’t argue with you.  Remember though, foreigners do not have the right too free speech and Filipino do not want our opinions.  Giving them can get you into trouble with immigration and even deported!  Choose your words wisely.

So then can the husband have all the extra-marital affairs he wants without fear of legal problems?  Nope, he can’t.  There is another law that covers that. He can be charged with concubinage if he has relations with another woman in the family home or if it happens under scandalous circumstances or if he cohabits with her.  Proving this is hard under the law than adultery is. Tsismis (gossip) will not get you very far unless two or three people can confirm it.  Did they actually see it or is it hearsay?

I was stunned when I read this nearly three years ago.  It was a real eye-opener for me.  You may only be going to the other side of the planet but you are going into another world.  It is not your world, it is Asia.  It is the home of the Filipino and they generally like the way it is.  If you are going to live in the Philippines, you will need to make some adjustments and you will need to educate yourself.  Never assume it is like home.  It is the Philippines.

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Filed under: Filipino CultureLiving In The PhilippinesPhilippines Law

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