How is the crime of rape now classified?
Under Section 2 of Republic Act No. 8353, otherwise known as the “Anti -Rape Law of 1997,” the crime of rape is now classified as a crime against persons. Before, it was classified as a crime against chastity (with seduction, abduction, etc.)
What is the significance of this?
Being a crime against persons, the prosecution thereof does not need to be initiated by the offended party only. More often than not, the rape victim does not or chooses not to pursue a case against the rapists due to extreme shame.
Now, law enforcement or even a witness to the crime can trigger prosecution for rape.
Is “marital rape” now covered?
Yes. This law effective reversed established jursiprudence that rape cannot be committed by the lawful husband on the wife because by marriage, she has given consent (or even obliged to) give herself to her husband sexually.
The new Section 260-C of the Revised Penal Code now states:
In case it is the legal husband who is the offender, the subsequent forgiveness by the wife as the offended party shall extinguish the criminal action or the penalty: Provided, That the crime shall not be extinguished or the penalty shall not be abated if the marriage is void ab initio.
So how is rape committed?
Before, rape is committed by a man having carnal knowledge of a woman without her consent, through force, intimidation, due to unconsciousness or age. Penetration of the penis on the labia, even the slightest, was a must.
The revision now states that rape is committed by a man who shall have 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 grave abuse of authority; and
d) When the offended party is under twelve (12) years of age or is demented, even though none of the circumstances mentioned above be present.
The third circumstance, by fraudulent machinations or grave abuse of authority is new.
Now, there is a new twist. Rape can also be committed “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.”
This already indicates that rape can also be committed by a man or a woman on another man or woman, by means of sexual assault. No penetration of the penis is necessary. It could even be achieved through objects. The penetration need not even be on the genitals. Inserting object on the anal orifice or the mouth is now sufficient for rape.
What circumstances will get the rapist the automatic death penalty under the first type of rape?
l) When the victim is under eighteen (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;
2) When the victim is under the custody of the police or military authorities or any law enforcement or penal institution;
3) When the rape is committed in full view of the spouse, parent, any of the children or other relatives within the third civil degree of consanguinity;
4) When the victim is a religious engaged in legitimate religious vocation or calling and is personally known to be such by the offender before or at the time of the commission of the crime;
5) When the victim is a child below seven (7) years old;
6) When the offender knows that he is afflicted with the Human Immuno-Deficiency Virus (HIV)/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) or any other sexually transmissible disease and the virus or disease is transmitted to the victim;
7) When committed by any member of the Armed Forces of the Philippines or para-military units thereof or the Philippine National Police or any law enforcement agency or penal institution, when the offender took advantage of his position to facilitate the commission of the crime;
8) When by reason or on the occasion of the rape, the victim has suffered permanent physical mutilation or disability;
9) When the offender knew of the pregnancy of the offended party at the time of the commission of the crime; and
10) When the offender knew of the mental disability, emotional disorder and/or physical handicap of the offended party at the time of the commission of the crime.
Also, when on the occassion of the rape, a homicide is committed, the penalty shall be death.
What circumstances will get the rapist reclusion perpetua to death?
Whenever the rape is committed with the use of a deadly weapon or by two or more persons, the penalty shall be reclusion perpetua to death.
When by reason or on the occasion of the rape, the victim has become insane, the penalty shall become reclusion perpetua to death.
When the rape is attempted and a homicide is committed by reason or on the occasion thereof, the penalty shall be reclusion perpetua to death.
Is the punishment under the second type of rape lesser than the first?
Yes. Penalty for this type of rape starts at prision mayor, unlike the first type which starts at reclusion perpetua.
What are the specific aggravating circumstances to this type of rape?
Whenever the rape is committed with the use of a deadly weapon or by two or more persons, the penalty shall be prision mayor to reclusion temporal.
When by reason or on the occasion of the rape, the victim has become insane, the penalty shall be reclusion temporal.
When the rape is attempted and a homicide is committed by reason or on the occasion thereof, the penalty shall be reclusion temporal to reclusion perpetua.
When by reason or on the occasion ofthe rape, homicide is committed, the penalty shall be reclusion perpetua.
Reclusion temporal shall be imposed if the rape is committed with any of the ten aggravating/ qualifying that merited the automatic death penalty on the first type of rape.
How about a case of six people that gang raped a girl in a van?
On the basis of conspiracy or even by principal by indispensable cooperation, each rapist is liable for each other’s rape. Hence, each of them will be convicted on six counts. The driver of the van should also be liable.
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