What Is The Purpose Of RA 8353 | What Is The Purpose Of RA 8505
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Introduction

The evolution of rape laws is actually traced to two ancient English practices of ‘bride capture’ whereby a man conquered a woman through rape and ‘stealing an heiress’ whereby a man abducted a woman and married her. The rape laws then were intended not to redress the violation of the woman’s chastity but rather to punish the act of obtaining the heiress’ property by forcible marriage or to protect a  man’s  valuable interest in his wife’s chastity or her daughter’s virginity. [1]People of the Philippines vs. Edgar Jumawan, GR No. 187495, April 21, 2014

But now, even men can become victims of rape. Whether rape is committed by nonconsensual carnal knowledge of a woman or by insertion of the penis into the  mouth of another person, the damage to the victim’s dignity is  incalculable.  Child sexual abuse in general has been associated with negative psychological impacts such as trauma, sustained fearfulness, anxiety, self-destructive behavior, emotional pain, impaired sense of self, and interpersonal difficulties. Hence, one experience of sexual abuse should not be trivialized just because it was committed in a relatively unusual manner. Rape, in whatever manner, is a desecration of a person’s will and body. Rape is rape.[2]Richard Ricalde vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 211002, January 21, 2015

What is RA 8353 in the Philippines? How is it violated?

Republic Act [RA] No. 8353[3]RA 8353 also known as “The Anti-Rape Law of 1997” was enacted by the Congress to reclassify rape as a crime against person.

It can be violated in two ways. The first one is when a man who shall have carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following circumstances:

  1. Through force, threat, or intimidation;
  2. When the offended party is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious;
  3. By means of fraudulent machination or grave abuse of authority; and
  4. When the offended party is under twelve (12) years of age or is demented, even though none of the circumstances mentioned above be present.

This form can only be committed by a man against women through sexual intercourse.

On the other hand, the second way is 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 form of rape may be committed by a man and a woman by inserting a finger inside the genital of a woman or man is rape through sexual assault within the context of object

What is the purpose of RA 8505?

To give assistance and protection for rape victims in the litigation of their cases and their recovery, the Congress likewise enacted Republic Act [RA] 8505 for the purpose establishing Rape Crisis Center in every province and city.

It is hereby declared the policy of the State to provide necessary assistance and protection for rape victims. Towards this end, the government shall coordinate its various agencies and non-government organizations to work hand in hand for the establishment and operation of a rape crisis center in every province and city that shall assist and protect rape victims in the litigation of their cases and their recovery.[4]Section 2. Declaration of Policy., RA 8505

What are the agencies tasked to provide rape crisis center and for what purpose?

A rape crisis center must be located in a government hospital or health clinic or in any suitable place, which will be established through the following agencies:

  1. Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD);
  2. Department of Health (DOH);
  3. Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG);
  4. Department of Justice (DOJ); and
  5. a lead non-government organization (NGO) with proven track record or experience in handling sexual abuse cases.

As explicitly provided under Section 3 of the said Act, rape crisis center shall:

  1. Provide rape victims with psychological counselling, medical and health services, including their medico-legal examination;
  2. Secure free legal assistance or service, when necessary, for rape victims;
  3. Assist rape victims in the investigation to hasten the arrest of offenders and the filing of cases in court;
  4. Ensure the privacy and safety of rape victims;
  5. Provide psychological counselling and medical services whenever necessary for the family of rape victims;
  6. Develop and undertake a training program for law enforcement officers, public prosecutors, lawyers, medico-legal officers, social workers, and barangay officials on human rights and responsibilities; gender sensitivity and legal management of rape cases; and
  7. Adopt and implement programs for the recovery of rape victims.

Distinguish the prior rape law under the Revised Penal Code [RPC] and the new rape law under RA 8353

Before, the crime of rape was under the crimes against chastity. Nevertheless, since RA 8353 amended the provision in the RPC relating to rape, the same has been reclassified and placed under crimes against persons.

Moreover, RA 8353 introduced a new form of rape, which is commonly known as the “generic” rape. It means that the crime cannot only be committed against a female. There will be rape when the offended party is also a male.

The qualifying circumstances under the new rape law have also been broadened.

Can one commit rape against a male person?

As discussed above, there are two forms of rape. A rape against a male person falls under the ambit of the second form of rape, which is the sexual assault.

Rape is committed against a male person when the there is insertion of any instrument or  object into his anal orifice by another person.

How do you distinguish attempted rape from acts of lasciviousness?

Attempted rape and acts of lasciviousness are different from each other. As to  the gender of the victim, in acts of lasciviousness, either sex may be the offended  party. Not just like in attempted rape by sexual intercourse, the victim is only a woman.

In both crimes, the presence of sexual intercourse is not required. In acts of lasciviousness, only lewd design is required, which will be manifested by any lascivious acts coming from the offender.

While on the other hand, in attempted rape, there must be an intent to have carnal knowledge upon the offended party.

And lastly, in acts of lasciviousness, consent cannot be used as a defense, when the victim is under 18 years of age but over 12 years, or a sister or descendant regardless of her reputation or age

In attempted rape, consent can be used as a defense. If there is consent that is given  by the offended party, then it would fall under consensual sex, hence, not punishable.

What laws are violated when the rape victim is a minor?

In the current state of laws, RA No. 8353, being an amendment to the Revised Penal Code, is violated when the rape victim is minor.

It is provided under  Article 266-A(d) that when the offended party is under twelve (12) years of age or is demented, even though none of the circumstances mentioned in Article 266-A be present, there is statutory rape.

This usually happens when an offender has a sexual relation with a person below the legal age of sexual consent, that is 12 years old.

Likewise, RA 7610,[5]RA 7610 otherwise known as the “Special Protection of Children against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act” is violated. Thus:

“Children, whether male or female, who for money, profit, or any other consideration or due to the coercion or influence of any adult, syndicate or group, indulge in sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct, are deemed to be children exploited in prostitution and other sexual abuse.”[6]Section 5, RA 7610

What are the two forms of rape under RA 8353?

Rape under RA 8353 comes in two forms, such as Rape by sexual intercourse and rape by sexual assault. Rape by sexual intercourse may be committed by any  man, who shall have carnal knowledge of a woman under  the  following  circumstances:

  1. Through force, threat, or intimidation;
  2. When the offended party is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious;
  3. By means of fraudulent machination or grave abuse of authority; and
  4. When the offended party is under twelve (12) years of age or is demented, even though none of the circumstances mentioned above be present.

On the other hand, rape by sexual assault may be committed by any person who, under any of the circumstances mentioned, 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.

Is violation of RA 8353 a bailable offense?

Section 13, Article III of the 1987 Constitution provides that all persons, except those charged with offenses punishable by reclusion perpetua when evidence of guilt is strong, shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient sureties, or be released on recognizance as may be provided by law.

As discussed above, there are two types of rape. All offenders who commit the crime of rape through sexual assault have the right to bail.

However, if the offender commits the crime of rape through sexual intercourse, the penalty imposed to such offense is reclusion perpetua. In this case, the offender has the right to bail except when the evidence of guilt is strong, regardless of the stage of the  criminal  prosecution.

The right to bail, in this regard, is now a matter of discretion upon the court, which can be determined trough a petition [petition for bail] for that purpose.

Is there any special complex crime under RA 8353? 

Special complex crime, under the RPC, exists when there is more than one  crime but from the eyes of the law, there is only one.

The law treats it as a single crime for which it prescribes a single penalty. In RA 8353, when by reason or on the occasion of the rape, homicide is committed, the penalty shall be death.

Rape with Homicide is a special complex crime since there are two crimes but the law punishes such crimes  with a single penalty.

Is Forcible Abduction with Rape a Complex Crime under Article 48 of RPC or a Special Complex Crime? 

In the case of People of the Philippines v Jupiter Villanueva,[7]G.R. No. 230723, February 13, 2019 the Court explained that forcible abduction under Article 342 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC)  is  committed when the following elements exist:

(1) the victim is a woman, regardless of age, civil status, or reputation,[8]Ibid.

(2) she is taken against her will, and[9]Ibid.

(3) the abduction was done with lewd designs.[10]Ibid.

However, the crime is considered complexed by rape under Article 266-A of the RPC when the abductor has carnal knowledge of the abducted woman and there is (1) force or intimidation; (2) the woman is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious; or (3) she is under 12 years of age or demented.[11]Ibid.

This will mean that, in order to commit the crime of rape, the offender needs to forcibly abduct the victim. Consequently, forcible abduction is a necessary means to commit the felony of rape, under the circumstances.

Can Forcible Abduction with Rape be converted to Kidnapping with Rape?

Forcible abduction with rape cannot be converted with kidnapping with rape. Under the Revised Penal Code, in forcible abduction with rape the abduction is accompanied with lewd design; while in kidnapping with rape, the taking of the is the main intent but rape is merely committed in the course of detention.

However, an additional crime of Kidnapping with Rape may be possible. This may happen when subsequent rape is committed and afterwards the offenders demanded ransom from the parents or relatives of the victim.

Thus, initially, there is a consummated crime of Forcible Abduction with Rape [Article 48, RPC], then, afterwards, there will be an occasion to charge the perpetrators with the felony of Kidnapping with Rape [Special Complex Crime]

Is Kidnapping with Rape a Complex Crime under Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code or a Special Complex Crime?

RPC provides that there is special complex crime when the law fixes a single penalty for two or more crimes committed. Kidnapping with Rape is a Special Complex Crime because the law provides for its penalty under Article 267.

In this scenario, rape is committed as a consequence of kidnapping the female victim. Thus:

“Section 8. Article 267 of the same Code is hereby amended to read as follows:[12]RA 7659

“Art. 267. Kidnapping and serious illegal detention. – Any private individual who shall kidnap or detain another, or in any other manner deprive him of his liberty, shall suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua to death:[13]Ibid.

“1. If the kidnapping or detention shall have lasted more than three days.[14]Ibid.

“2. If it shall have been committed simulating public authority.[15]Ibid.

“3. If any serious physical injuries shall have been inflicted upon the person kidnapped or detained; or if threats to kill him shall have been made.[16]Ibid.

“4. If the person kidnapped or detained shall be a minor, except when the accused is any of the parents, female or a public officer.[17]Ibid.

“The penalty shall be death penalty where the kidnapping or detention was committed for the purpose of extorting ransom from the victim or any other person, even if none of the circumstances above-mentioned were present in the commission of the offense.[18]Ibid.

“When the victim is killed or dies as a consequence of the detention or is raped, or is subjected to torture or dehumanizing acts, the maximum penalty shall be imposed.”[19]Ibid.

Thus, if the person kidnapped is raped in the course of the detention, regardless of whether the rape was purposely sought or was merely an afterthought, the crime is a Special Complex Crime of Kidnapping with Rape.

What are the Qualifying Circumstances in the crime of Rape as Sexual Assault and as Rape Per Se?

RA 8353 provides that if the crime of rape is committed with any of the following aggravating/qualifying circumstances, the penalty of death shall be imposed:[20]Supra, RA 8353

  1. 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;[21]Id.
  2. When the victim is under the custody of the police or military authorities or any law enforcement or penal institution;[22]Id.
  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;[23]Id.
  1. 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;[24]Id.
  2. When the victim is a child below seven (7) years old;[25]Id.
  3. When the offender knows that he is afflicted with Human ImmunoDeficiency Virus (HIV)/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) or any other sexually- transmissible disease and the virus or disease is transmitted to the victim;[26]Id.
  4. 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;[27]Id.
  5. When by reason or on the occasion of the rape, the victim has suffered permanent physical mutilation or disability;[28]Id.
  6. When the offender knew of the pregnancy of the offended party at the time of the commission of the crime; and[29]Id.
  7. 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.[30]Id.

Discuss briefly marital rape

Prior to Republic Act 8353, a husband cannot be guilty of rape. However, since rape was reclassified as a crime against person, a husband may now be held guilty under Article 266-C of RA 8353.

Sexual intimacy entails mutual love and self-giving from married couples, hence, marriage does not give license to husbands to force their wives.

The lack of consent and willingness of wives to engage themselves in sexual intimacy may amount to marital rape.

Related Jurisprudence

Husbands do not have property rights over their wives’ bodies. Sexual intercourse, albeit within the realm of marriage, if not consensual, is rape.

“A woman is no longer the chattel-antiquated practices labeled her to be. A husband cannot be permitted to violate this dignity by coercing her to engage in a sexual act without her full and free consent.[31]Supra., G.R. No. 187495

“It is now acknowledged that rape, as a form of sexual violence, exists within marriage. A man who penetrates her wife without her consent or against her will commits sexual violence upon her, and the Philippines, as a State Party to the CEDA W and its accompanying Declaration, defines and penalizes the act as rape under R.A. No. 8353.[32]Supra., G.R. No. 187495

Although not he controlling dictum in the case, this may be a relevant Court of Appeals’ pronouncement in People vs. Jumawan, supra. Thus:

“The absence of any superficial abrasion or contusion on the person of the offended party does not militate against the claim of the latter whose clear and candid testimony bears the badges of truth, honesty, and candor. It must be stressed that the absence or presence of visible signs of injury on the victim depends on the degree of force employed by the accused to consummate the purpose which he had in mind to have carnal knowledge with the offended woman. Thus, the force employed in rape need not be so great nor of such a character as could not be resisted. It is only that the force used by the accused is sufficient to enable him to consummate his purpose.[33]Supra., G.R. No. 187495

The case of People v. Vicente Balora y Delantar[34]G.R. No. 124976 May 31, 2000 explicitly states that the lack of lacerated wounds does not negate sexual intercourse. A freshly broken hymen is not an essential element of rape. Even the fact that the medical report states that the hymen of the victim was still intact does not negate rape.

Conclusion

As discussed above, rape can be committed in many ways and it can happen, not only to women, but also to men, and to innocent children.

This crime causes so much trauma and life-long emotional effects on its victims, which may subsequently lead to their depression and worst, to their death.

Make a change by helping fight rape culture and stop normalizing rape in our country by simple speaking out when you hear someone making offensive joke regarding rape.

Getting raped is never the victim’s fault. Someone’s appearance or clothing are not invitations for rape. Again, rape is rape.

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RALB Law | RABR & Associates Law Firm

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