16th Jan 2017
Why do husbands cheat on their wives? We do not know the answer to that. However, we do know that cheating on one’s wife is punishable by law.
Article 334 of the Revised Penal Code punishes the husband when he commits any of the following acts:
1. He shall keep a mistress in the conjugal dwelling;
2. He shall have sexual intercourse under scandalous circumstances with a woman other than his wife; or
3. He shall cohabit with his mistress in any other place.
The mistress shall likewise be held criminally liable if she commits the aforementioned acts knowing fully well that the man is married.
Take note that it is not enough that a married man has sexual intercourse with his mistress. It must be shown that it was done under scandalous circumstances. Don’t get the wrong idea. It does not mean that sex must be done in public. Scandalous circumstances mean that the affair was done in the general sight of the community as to offend modesty and the innate sense of morality and decency of the community. Why the need for scandalous circumstances? Honestly, we are as stumped as you are.
Concubinage is punishable by imprisonment ranging from 6 months and 1 day to 4 years and 2 months. On the other hand, the mistress is merely imposed a punishment of destierro. It is akin to a restraining order where the mistress shall not be permitted to enter designated places within the radius specified by law. Why isn’t the mistress subjected to imprisonment? Again, we also wonder why.
Concubinage is a private crime. Thus, the complaint must be lodged by the offended wife and no one else.
Unfaithfulness is also punishable under Republic Act No. RA 9262 , otherwise known as the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Law (“VAWC Law”). Repeated marital infidelity is considered as psychological violence which is punishable with a stiffer imprisonment of 6 years and 1 day to 12 years. Since violation of the VAWC law is a public crime, the complaint may be filed by any citizen having personal knowledge of the circumstances.
This is how to legally punish an unfaithful husband in the Philippines.
Nicolas & De Vega Law Offices is a Philippine law firm with family lawyers and attorneys who assist clients involving family matters in the Philippines. We are located at the 16th Flr., Suite 1607 AIC Burgundy Empire Tower, ADB Ave., Ortigas Center, 1605 Pasig City, Metro Manila, Philippines. You may also call us at +632 4706126, +632 4706130, +632 4016392.