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MARIANO MARCOS STATE UNIVERSITY

College of Law

A LEGAL RESEARCH PAPER ON


REPUBLIC ACT 8353
AN ACT EXPANDING THE DEFINITION OF THE CRIME OF RAPE,
RECLASSIFYING THE SAME AS A CRIME AGAINST PERSONS,
AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE ACT NO. 3815, AS AMENDED,
OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE REVISED PENAL CODE, AND FOR
OTHER PURPOSES.
OTHERWISE KNOWNS AS THE ANTI-RAPE LAW OF 1997

Submitted by:
Roque Benjamin C. Ablan
Marie Stella U. Gaspar

Submitted to:
Atty. Brian J. Corpuz
Legal Research Professor

AUGUST 18, 2013

I.

INTRODUCTION
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Rape is one of the most prevalent forms of violence against


women in the Philippines. Reported rape cases ranked third (13.1%) of
the total reported violence against women cases in the country from
1999 to 2009. The hard fact is that this is not yet the true
representation

of

the

problem.

(http://www.pcw.gov.ph/focus-

areas/violence-against-women/rape. Philippine Commission on Women,


retrieved 2013/08/16)
Statistics show that from 1999 to 2009, rape has become one of
the most prevalent forms of violence against women (VAW) in the
Philippines, with reported rape cases ranked third (13.1%) of the total
reported VAW cases in the country, according to the Philippine
Commission on Women. During the first semester of 1999 alone, there
were 2,393 children who fell prey to rape, attempted rape, incest, acts
of lasciviousness and prostitution. Moreover, a total of three thousand
three hundred fifty-nine rape cases were reported to the authorities
countrywide in the twelve months of 2009 (Talio-Mendoza, 2010). As
of 2006, Rape continued to be a problem, with the PNP reporting 685
cases, alongside unreported ones. There were reports of rape and
sexual abuse of women in police or protective custodyoften women
from marginalized groups, such as suspected prostitutes, drug users,
and lower income individuals arrested for minor crimes. The situation
continued in 2007, with the number of reported rape cases increasing
to approximately 879 (Asian Women's Resource Exchange).
The Philippines as a signatory to the Convention on the
Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) aims to
condemn violence against women and should not invoke any custom,
tradition, or religious considerations to avoid their obligations with
respect to its elimination. To pursue bu all appropriate means and
without delay a policy eliminating violence against women. The
Philippines is also committed to the implementation of the 1993
Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women and the
1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. (Two Laws on Rape:
Twin Imperatives for Justice and Healing by Merci Llarinas-Angeles)

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Women rights are now acknowledged, there is no time that


should be lost in ascertaining that these rights are translated into
policies that will be implemented by the governments of the world,
including our own. Womens groups in the Philippines have been active
in organizing and lobbying so that these rights shall be translated into
policies that will be implemented by the government. The passage of
the revised law on rape involved a long process of advocacy work
among Filipino men and women struggling to advance womens rights.
In connection with this, the government with the aid of NGOs also have
taken initiatives to set up crisis centers for rape survivors in
collaboration with the different sectors of the community to help
victims deal with the trauma and encourage them to report rape.
Several rape-related laws have also been passed to address the
concern. Through the provision of suitable legal support and health
services, it is hoped that women victims of rape be encouraged to
come forward for proper intervention and justice to be served
accordingly.
When the new anti-rape law was passed, there has been a
perceptible rise in the reported rape cases. Because of the lack of
reliable baseline data and statistics on rape incidence, it is hard to say
whether this reflects an increase in incidence or in reporting, and if the
latter, whether this is due to the impact of the Anti Rape Law of 1997
and The Rape Victim Assistance and Protection Act of 1998. Those who
are in the frontline receiving end of reporting, the policewomens desk
officers, tend to attribute this to increased public awareness and victim
confidence coming with the establishment of new mechanisms,
programs and efforts. For example, in Camarines Sur, Bicol, the report
of rape cases filed for the calendar year of 1999 when the PNP WCCD
was opened, shows that 22 rape cases committed in previous years
were filed only in 1999, thus increasing the incidence of reported case
by 100%. In the first six months of the year 2000 as many as 28 rape
cases committed in the previous years were reported in addition to 24
new rape cases.
The awareness itself may not be necessarily due to the operation
of the law but also to media reports and public information and
education about a new anti-rape law. There is, therefore, a crucial role
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for the latter to be undertaken by all concerned. In evaluating the


implementation of the laws against rape during the early period of
effectivity, it might be said that there is no much to report on. During
the three years after the approval of R.A. 8353, there is only one
significant Supreme Court decision applying it, particularly the
important evidentiary presumptions therein bearing on resistance or
consent. There is also the first martial rape conviction under R.A. 8353
by a Regional Trial Court. This is not surprising because the new law
applies to rapes definitely not earlier than September 30, 1997, and it
is a rare thing that, within three years time, any case filed in the
Regional Trial Court would have already gone all the way up to a
Supreme Court decision. Be that as it may, many of the Supreme Court
rape decisions during that period make mention of R.A. 8353 even
though it was not applied based on the effectivity date. The earliest of
these decisions was that on July 9, 1998 in the People v Esteban
Victory y Penis (292 SCRA 186). And so it may be said that not later
than July 1998 the new Anti-Rape law had come into the decisional
consciousness of the Supreme Court.
This legal research paper shows the development of the law per
se with new and updated information, its strengths and weaknesses,
alternative or possible actions through the recommendations given by
the researchers.

The purpose of this research is to make the

discussions about rape a public issue. We believe that these will


contribute big in raising the consciousness of the public, so that people
can appreciate that it is only proper that the issue of such violence
especially against women should be a national issue.
I.
Rape

DEFINITION OF TERMS
It is defined pursuant to Article 266-A of the Revised
Penal Code, as amended by RA 8353, as a crime against
persons committed as follows:
1. by a man who shall have carnal knowledge of a
woman under any of the following circumstances:

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a. through force, threat, or intimidation;


b. when the offended party is deprived of reason or
otherwise unconscious;
c. by means of fraudulent machinations 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.
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
persons mouth or anal orifice, or any instrument or
object, into genital or anal orifice of another person.
Rape Victim

It shall refer to the offended party, male or female,


minor or adult who has been a victim of rape as defined
above. Rape victim shall also be known as rape
survivor.

Sexual

A wide range of victimizations, separate from rape or

assault

attempted rape. These crimes include attacks or


attempted attacks generally involving unwanted sexual
contact between victim and offender. Sexual assaults
may or may not involve force and include such things
as grabbing or fondling. Sexual assault also includes
verbal threats.

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Violence,

Rape or sexual assault. This category includes both

crimes of

attempted and completed crimes. Completed violence The sum of all completed rapes, sexual assaults,
robberies, and assaults. See individual crime types for
definition of completed crimes. Attempted/threatened
violence - The unsuccessful attempt of rape, sexual
assault,

personal

robbery

or

assault.

Includes

attempted attacks or sexual assaults by means of


verbal threats. See individual crime types for definition
of attempted crimes.
Rape Crisis

It shall refer to a facility where a comprehensive

Center

network of services and support activities are available


in a particular province or city to victims of rape and
other forms of sexual abuse, their family and the
community, in general, including programs for sexual
assault awareness and prevention. The Rape Crisis
Center will be established in areas where there are high
incidences of rape cases. It may be located in any
suitable place or government hospital or health clinic
and will be established by creating or upgrading
existing facilities or by establishing or building upon
existing networks providing support and assistance to
victims of rape (and other forms of sexual abuse). The
center may be known by some other name to prevent
stigmatization of the survivor.

Reclusion

It is an imprisonment from 20 to 40 years and is

Perpetua

imposed on the offender if rape is committed through


sexual intercourse.

Prision

It is an imprisonment from 6 to 12 years and is imposed

Mayor

on the offender if rape was committed through oral or


anal sex or through the use of any object or instrument
that was inserted into the mouth or anal orifice of the
woman

or

man.

This

may

also

be

elevated

to reclusion temporal (imprisonment from 12 to 20


years)

or

reclusion

perpetua

depending

on

the

circumstances surrounding the crime.

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Sexual Abuse Includes the employment, use, persuasion, inducement,


enticement or coercion of a child to engage in, or assist
another person to engage in, sexual intercourse or
lascivious conductor the molestation, prostitution, or
incest with children
Acts of

It is the intentional touching, either directly or through

Lasciviousne clothing, of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner


ss

thigh, or buttocks, or the introduction of any object into


the genitalia, anus or mouth, of any person, whether of
the same or opposite sex, with an intent to abuse,
humiliate, harass, degrade, or arouse or gratify the
sexual desire of any person, bestiality, masturbation,
lascivious exhibition of the genitals or public area of a
person.

II.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY
Republic Act No. 8353, also known as the Anti-Rape Law of 1997,

amended Chapter Two entitled Rape and Acts of Lasciviousness,


Articles 335 and 336 of the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines,
whereby it states that:
Art. 335. When and how rape is committed. Rape is committed by
having carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following
circumstances:
1. By using force or intimidation;
2. When the woman is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious;
and
3. When the woman is under twelve years of age, even though neither
of the circumstances mentioned in the two next preceding paragraphs
shall be present.
The crime of rape shall be punished by reclusion perpetua

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Whenever the crime of 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 be death.
When rape is attempted or frustrated and a homicide is committed by
reason or on the occasion thereof, the penalty shall be likewise death.
When by reason or on the occasion of the rape, a homicide is
committed, the penalty shall be death. As amended by R.A. 2632,
approved June 18, 1960, and R.A. 4111, approved June 20, 1964 states
as follows:
"Republic Act No. 2632
Art. 335. When and how rape is committed Penalties. Rape is
committed by having carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the
following circumstances:
1. By using force or intimidation;
2. When the woman is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious;
and
3. When the woman is under twelve years of age, even though neither
of the circumstances mentioned in the two next preceding paragraph
shall be present:
The crime of rape shall be punished by reclusion temporal.
Whenever the crime of rape is committed with the use of a deadly
weapon or by two or more persons, the penalty shall be imposed in its
maximum period.
When by reason or on the occasion of the rape, a homicide is
committed the penalty shall be reclusion perpetuato death.

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When rape is frustrated or attempted and a homicide is committed by


reason or on the occasion thereof, the penalty shall be reclusion
perpetua.
When by reason or on the occasion of the rape, the victim has become
insane the penalty shall be likewisereclusion perpetua.
and
"Republic Act No. 4111
Art. 335. When and how rape is committed Penalties. Rape is
committed by having carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the
following circumstances:
1. By using force or intimidation;
2. When the woman is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious;
and
3. When the woman is under twelve years of age, even though neither
of the circumstances mentioned in the two next preceding paragraphs
shall be present:
The crime of rape shall be punished by reclusion perpetua.
Whenever the crime of 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 be death.
When the rape is attempted or frustrated and a homicide is committed
by reason or on the occasion thereof, the penalty shall be likewise
death.
When by reason or on the occasion of the rape, a homicide is
committed, the penalty shall be death.
Art. 336. Acts of lasciviousness. Any person who shall commit any act
of lasciviousness upon other persons of either sex, under any of the
9 | Page

circumstances mentioned in the preceding article, shall be punished


by prision correccional.
The Rape Law of 1997 authored by Senator Leticia Ramos
Shahani, signed into law by President Fidel V. Ramos on September 30,
1997, and became Article 266-A to 266-D under Crimes Against
Persons (Title Eight) of the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines on
October 22, 1997, sought to remedy the failings of the old provisions of
the law. It expanded the definition of the crime of rape and re-classified
it as a crime against persons after seventy-years. (Monitoring the
Philippine

Rape

Laws:

The

Policy

and

the

Myths.

http://www.austdvclearinghouse.unsw.edu.au retrieved on 2013/08/15)


Previously, it was classified as a crime against chastity, and belonged
to the group of crimes which included adultery, concubinage, acts of
lasciviousness, seduction, corruption of minors and white slave trade.
On February 13, 1998, a law which provides state support to rape
victims was passed: Republic Act 8505 An Act Providing Assistance
and Protection for Rape Victims, establishing for the Purpose A Rape
Crisis Center in every province and city, authorizing the appropriations
of funds therefore, and for other purposes.
The Anti-Rape Law of 1997 should be considered with Republic
Act 8505. This simply means that in rape, evidence of a complainants
past sexual conduct, opinion thereof or of his/her reputation shall not
be admitted unless, and only to the extent that the court finds, that
such evidence is material and relevant to the case.
Moreover, the enactment of this law made the crime of rape a
public crime, meaning, anyone who knew about the crime could file a
complaint against the offender. This Republic Act also broadened the
definition of the crime of rape in making marital rape punishable, and
providing certain circumstances wherein rape can be considered a
heinous crime.
In September 2000, the Philippine Legislators Committee on
Population and Development (PLCPD) commissioned a study funded by
the Ford Foundation to evaluate the status of implementation and
impact of the twin laws against Rape, R.A. No. 8353 (The Anti-Rape
10 | P a g e

Law of 1997) and R.A. No. 8505 (The Rape Victim Assistance and
Protection Act of 1998), more or less three years after their passage in
the Philippines.
In July 1, 2013, the Philippine House of Representatives filed
House Bill No. 6170 entitled An Act Amending Chapter 3 of Republic
Act 8353, also known as the Anti-Rape Law of 1997. The said bill was
sponsored by Congresswoman Emmi A. De Jesus and was co-sponsored
by other solons namely Luzviminda C. Ilagan, Neri Colmenares,
Fernando L. Hicap, James Mark Ridon, Carlos Isagani T. Zarate and
Antonio L. Tinio. House Bill No. 6170 was read in the Lower House in
July 24, 2013. It is currently pending with the Committee on Revisions
of Laws.
III.

DISCUSSION

Difference of Old and New Rape Law


The old rape law defined rape as a crime against chastity. It was
a direct translation form the old Spanish Penal Code and was outdated
in the sense that it defined rape as a crime against chastity because
the loss of chastity of a woman and the abuse of her value and the
staining of her honor is, since time immemorial, a societal issue;
However, the implication was that virtuous or pure women were
the only victims of rape, and that it was not a violation of a womans
being. As a private crime, most rape survivor-victims kept quiet about
the violation against them, because prosecution of the case leads to
embarrassment, as the defense-respondents often sought to prove that
the victim was not "chaste", thus no rape occurred.
Carolina S. Ruiz Austria, UP College of Law lecturer, in her
blog post entitled Of Legal Defenses (and Offenses) in Rape Trials:
A Deconstruction, stated:
In current black letter law, that is, the literal text of the
provisions of rape law, neither sexual inexperience nor the
possession of some form of reputation of inexperience ( a.k.a
"virginity") is an element, nor a legal pre-condition for the crime
of rape. In fact, the set of amendments to the rape law contained
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a "rape shield" provision, which discourages the defense from


making inquiries into the victim's sexual history (2006).
Hence, it perpetuates discrimination against women. With the
change in law defining rape as crimes against persons, it recognizes
the crime against the person itselfas abuse to a womans humans
rights ,

a violation against the very persons right to life, security,

health. The new definition also works towards the non-judgemental,


gender-sensitive, and successful prosecution of all women survivors of
rapewhether they have had previous sexual relations, they are
engaged in prostitution, they are married or single, or they are from
rural or urban communities.
The circumstances of the rape were also expanded to include use
of threat, by means of fraudulent machination or grave abuse of
authority or if the offended party is demented.
Also, the definition included violation by insertion of foreign
objects or instruments in the oral or anal orifice, not just penile
penetration, which is classified as rape by sexual assault. However,
there is a lower penalty or punishment for rape by sexual assault. (See
Appendix A for Table Comparison)
When Rape Is Committed
Under the Anti-Rape Law, rape is committed by a man who shall
have carnal knowledge of a woman through force, threat, or
intimidation, when the offended party is deprived of reason or
otherwise unconscious, by means of fraudulent machination or grave
abuse of authority, and when the offended party is under twelve (12)
years of age or is demented, even though none of the circumstances
first mentioned are present.

Moreover, rape is committed by any

person who, under the circumstances aforementioned, commits 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.
Anyone of any age and gender may be a rape victim; even a
prostitute, a non-virgin, or one with an active sexual life may be
12 | P a g e

victimized. It is also possible that a daughter be raped by her father,


stepfather, the common-law spouse of her mother, her brother,
grandfather, uncle, cousin, or anyone in the family (People of the
Philippines Vs. Ruben Corpuz, G.R. No. 175836). A love affair also
doesnt justify rape (People of the Philipines Vs. Elmer Baldo, G.R. No.
175238). A married woman, when forced to have sexual intercourse or
to be entered against her will or without her consent, may be raped
by her own husband, an act known as marital rape, as she has the
right to decide when she wants to have sexual intercourse. However, in
cases where forgiveness of the wife is sought, the victim eventually
stops authorities from filing criminal charges against the husband;
same is true when the rape victim marries the rapist.
Rape can be committed not only in private places, but even in
places where people congregate in parks, along the roadside, within
school premises, inside a house or where there are other occupants,
and even in the same room where there are other members of the
family who are sleeping (People vs. Diunsay-Jalandoni, 515 SCRA 227).
Attempted and Consummated Rape
It is carnal knowledge, not pain, that is the element to
consummate rape. The complete penetration of the penis into the
vagina is not necessary to convict for consummated rape since the
slightest penetration of one into the other will suffice. There must be
positive proof of even the slightest penetration, more accurately, the
touching of the labias by the penis, before rape could be deemed
consummated (People of the Philippines Vs. Alfredo Bon G.R. No.
166401). To sustain a conviction for rape, there must be proof of the
penetration of the female organ (People of the Philippines vs Carmelito
Laurente Capwa, G.R. No. 174058).
However,

in

People

v.

Campuhan,

the

term

"slightest

penetration" was clarified to mean that there must be sufficient and


convincing proof of the penis indeed touching at the very least the
labias of the female organ. Mere epidermal contact between the penis
and the external layer of the victim's vagina (the stroking and the
grazing of the male organ upon the female organ or the mons pubis)
categorizes the crime as attempted rape or acts of lasciviousness.
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There is an attempt to commit rape when the offender commences its


commission directly by overt acts but does not perform all the acts of
execution which should produce the felony by reason of some cause or
accident other than his own spontaneous desistance (People of the
Philippines Vs. Antonio Mendoza G.R. No. 152589 and 152758).
Punishment of Sexual Assault and Rape
Rape by sexual assault is punished by prision mayor with a
prison term of 6 years and 1 day 12 years while rape is punished by
reclusion perpetua with a prison term of 20 years, 1 day 40 years.
Rape of Children
Research studies conducted in schools show that for every 3
Filipino children, one child experiences abuse. During the first semester
of 1999 alone, there were 2,393 children who fell prey to rape,
attempted rape, incest, acts of lasciviousness and prostitution. (Child
Abuse: A Silent Epidemic, Child Protection in the Philippines, retrieved
2013-08-16)
Date Rape
As long as there is force, intimidation or threat, then it may be
classified as rape. There were several cases where the women were
brought to motels or a hotel room by using different types of methods
to mislead the women, e.g, one woman was made to believe by the
man that there was a party at the hotel room, one man pretended he
was too drunk to go home and told her woman companion that hed
like to sleep in the motel first, one young domestic helper was
brought to a motel without her knowing that the placed she was
brought to was a motel. When they got inside the hotel room or motel,
they were forcibly raped.
Marital Rape Love is not a license for Lust
Marital rape is now considered as a crime, however, there is a
specific clause that stipulates that if the perpetrator is the husband
and the wife decides to forgive him, then all charges will be dropped or
the penalty will be extinguished. In reality, many wives still do not file
complaints for rape against their husbands.

Some men even batter

their wives if they refuse to have sex with them.


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Rape and Sexual Abuse in Custody


Women in the custody of law enforcement officials in the
Philippines are vulnerable to torture, including rape and sexual abuse.
Between 1995 and 2000 Amnesty International received reports of
more than 30 incidents of rape or other sexual abuse of women or girls
in custody. The organization fears that this figure represents only a
fraction of the real number of cases. Rape of women detainees by
police officers, jail guards or military officials always constitutes
torture. It is a physical violation and injury as well as a humiliating
assault on a woman's mental and emotional integrity. Other forms of
sexual abuse by law enforcement officials, including the threat of rape,
verbal sexual abuse and mocking, designed to degrade and humiliate,
may also constitute torture or other forms of cruel, inhuman and
degrading treatment. According to Amnesty International's information,
there have been only a small number of convictions of police officers
for rape of female detainees. (PHILIPPINES: Fear, shame and impunity:
Rape and sexual abuse of women in custody, Amnesty International,
retrieved 2013-05-12)
The Victims Silence
The silence of a victim of rape or her failure to disclose her
misfortune to the authorities without loss of material time does not
prove that her charge is baseless and fabricatedit is not uncommon
for young girls to conceal for some time the assault on their virtues
because of the rapists threat on their lives, more so when the offender
is someone whom she knew and who was living with her. (People vs.
Cornelio, 523 SCRA 419).
Due to cultural and social stigmatization associated with rape,
many women victims prefer to maintain their silence and not report
their ordeal to the authorities. This can be seen in the following
circumstances:
Accused-appellant failed to tell her husband that she was
allegedly raped that morning. She kept on crying the entire day of the
incident. And while she was not able to tell her husband directly what
had happened, probably due to the unbearable pain of personally
telling her husband, she did not hesitate to tell his mother that she was
15 | P a g e

raped. (People of the Philippines v. Pedro Nogpo. G.R. No. 184791 April
16, 2009)
AAAs reluctance and hesitation in breaking her agonizing silence
were sufficiently established by her testimony that appellant was able
to instil fear in her by threatening to kill her mother should the
incidents be made known to anyone. Such intimidation is sufficient to
cower AAA and make her choose to suffer privately instead of
disclosing her sordid tale of abuse in the hands of appellant. (People of
the Philippines v. Arturo Domingo. G.R. No. 177136 June 30, 2008)
Obet

Montes,

coordinator

for

services

of

the

women's

group GABRIELA, says this is due to the victims fear of societys


judgment, of not wanting to be branded as maruming babae ("dirty
woman"). The group says further that a rape victim becomes so afraid
that she is going to be blamed for the crime, and that she denies that
she was violated. (Rape Victims Viewed as 'Dirty Women' VI (12),
Bulatlat, retrieved 2013-08-16) No woman would want to go through
the humiliation of trial unless she has been so brutalized that she
desires justice for her sufferingit takes a certain amount of
psychological depravity for a young woman to concoct a story which
could cost the life of her own father and drag the rest of her family,
including herself, to a lifetime of shame. (People vs. Abellano, 524
SCRA 388)

Confidentiality of the Rape Victim


Confidentiality is actually tackled in RA 8505, which provides that
the names and personal circumstances of the complainant that would
lead to recognizing the complainants identities should be kept
confidential by the police officer, prosecutor or the court. However, this
confidentiality rule is not mandatory because the law only uses may
order in the non-disclosure. In practice, the name of the complainant
still appears in the medico-legal report and in the decision itself.
Filing a Case
A survivor of rape can go to the police who will then give her a
referral form to go to the medico-legal for an examination. Ideally, she
should get her examination within 24 hours.

She should not take a

bath between the time of the rape and the time of filing of a complaint
16 | P a g e

because it may destroy evidence. She should bring her soiled clothes
and other garments to be entered as evidence.
The medico-legal will take a swab of the mouth and the genital
area and will check for injuries and bruises. She may also examine the
fingernails to see if there are skin sediments of the perpetrator under
the fingernails in case the woman scratched the perpetrator.
After that, the police will take a sworn statement from the
complainant which she should file with the Prosecutors Office. A
preliminary investigation will be done to establish probable cause. If
probable cause is established, a warrant of arrest will be issued by the
court and a trial will ensue.
Implementing Rules of Republic Act 8353
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the
Department of Health (DOH), the Department of the Interior and Local
Government (DILG), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and a lead nongovernment organization (NGO) with proven track record or experience
in handling sexual abuse cases, shall establish in every province and
city a rape crisis center located in any suitable place, or in a
government hospital or health clinic.
The DSWD shall be the lead agency in the establishment and
operation of a rape crisis center. The PNP and DSWD both maintained
help desks to assist victims of violence against women and to
encourage the reporting of crimes. With the assistance of NGOs,
officers received gender sensitivity training to deal with victims of
sexual crimes and domestic violence. Approximately seven to eight
percent of PNP officers were women. The PNP has a Women and
Children's Unit to deal with these issues. (Country Reports on Human
Rights Practices - 2006, U.S. Department of State: Bureau of
Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 6, 2007, retrieved 201308-16)
These mandated agencies shall perform the following functions
and responsibilities:
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The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)


shall provide support services to rape victims and their families such as
residential services like the Haven for Women, Substitute Home Care
for Women and Group Home for Girls and community-based service.
They are also tasked to establish linkage with the academe and all
NGOs for the necessary support services to rape victims or survivors
and their families. Also, to conduct training to Social Workers and other
service providers for the effective operation and management of Rape
Crisis Centers. They are responsible to conduct training for counselors
on basic approaches in dealing with victims of rape, to provide
technical assistance to local government units for the operation and
maintenance of Rape Crisis Center and develop programs that
facilitate

the

recovery

of

rape

survivors

and

other

support

interventions.
The Department of Health (DOH) on the other hand will provide a
space at the Regional Hospitals for the Rape Crisis Centers and make
available immediate medical assistance to victims of rape. They are
tasked to develop and adopt uniform medical examination procedures
including the accomplishment of forms or report, such as the conduct
of physical examination within 48 hours. Also to conduct training to
examining physicians and other health workers on gender sensitivity
core messages in the training of medical and health professionals.
Laslty, to ensure both the validity and confidentiality of the medical
records required in cases of litigation.
The Department of Interior and Local Governments (DILG) role is
for the establishment of Womens Desk in every precinct throughout
the country authorized among others to conduct investigation of rape
cases through the Philippine National Police (PNP). As well as to
conduct training to law enforcement officers and barangay officials on
human rights, gender sensitivity and legal management of rape cases
in coordination with appropriate officer or agencies. They are to
provide support to LGUs to assist victims of rape and to ensure the
sustainability of such services and to issue a memorandum order to

18 | P a g e

LGUs to support the establishment of rape crisis centers in every


province city.
The task of ensuring for the speedy disposition of rape cases is
given to the Department of Justice (DOJ), they are to ensure the
efficiency of legal services supporting the free legal assistance to
victims of rape and to conduct training of prosecutors and other
officers at the justice system
For the part of the Lead Non-Government Agencies, they are
responsible for conducting public information and dissemination. They
are to assist in the development and implementation of training
programs for law enforcers, prosecutors, social workers, physicians and
other health workers, barangay officials and the like. Also, they will
stand as advocates for community-based programs supporting for
victims of rape and their families. Lastly, to be advocates for the
elimination of all forms of violence against women and children
Supreme Court Principles in Deciding a Rape Case
A rape case usually involves the word of one person against
another. In several cases, the Supreme Court has stated that the
following principles should be applied in deciding rape cases:
(1) an accusation of rape can be made with facility; it is difficult to
prove but more difficult for the person accused, though innocent, to
disprove;
(2) due to the nature of the crime of rape in which only two persons are
usually involved, the testimony of the complainant must be scrutinized
with extreme caution; and
(3) the evidence for the prosecution must stand or fall on its own
merits
and cannot be allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the
evidence
for the defense.

19 | P a g e

Due to the nature of this crime, conviction for rape may be solely
based on the complainants testimony provided it is credible, natural,
convincing, and consistent with human nature and the normal course
of things. (People of the Philippines vs. Baraoil, G.R. No. 194608, July 9,
2012).
Strengths and Weaknesses of Republic Act 8353
Most of the basic features provided in Republic Act 8353 that are
considered as the strengths of the said law are; first, we have the
reclassification of rape from a crime against chastity to a crime against
persons (Sec. 2 of RA 8353). The significance of this policy is the
change in the way the state views rape; no longer as a sexual crime
but rather a violation of womens human rights.
Second, the definition of the crime of rape has been expanded in
which the scope of the law has broaden compared that of before; other
than penile penetration of the vaginal orifice, it is under the current law
that insertion of any instruments or objects, into the genital or anal
orifice of another person is now considered rape.
Third, in Chapter Three par. 1 (a) of the law, it states that a rape
is committed by a man who shall have carnal knowledge of a woman
through force, threat, or intimidation. The traditional perception was
that rape victims should establish physical resistance during the act. In
this part of the law, in which the researchers consider as one of its
strengths; here, physical resistance in rape need not be established,
now if threats and intimidation are employed it is considered rape.
In the case of People v. Adajio, the Court found that fear of bodily
harm and fear for the safety of her family prevented the therein
complainant from shouting for help, caused her to spread her legs
upon the order of her rapist, and compelled her to follow him to the
place where the second charge of rape occurred. It thus held that
physical resistance need not be established in rape when threats and
intimidation are employed and the victim submits herself to the
embrace of her rapist because of fear, as in the cases at bar. It is not
necessary that actual force or intimidation be employed; moral
influence or ascendancy takes the place of violence or intimidation.
20 | P a g e

Failure to resist or to cry for help during those times that a victim
was raped, it cannot be taken against them. Verily, when threat,
intimidation and fear are employed there is no need to establish
physical resistance. In rape committed by a father against his
daughter, the fathers moral ascendancy and influence over the latter
substitute for violence and intimidation. (People of the Philippines v.
Felix Palgan G.R. No. 186234, December 21, 2009)
The moral and physical dominion of the father is sufficient to cow
the victim into submission to his beastly desires, and no further proof
need be shown to prove lack of the victims consent to her own
defilement. The familiar rule is that in passing upon the credibility of
witnesses, the highest degree of respect must be afforded to the
findings of the trial court unless there is proof of its misappreciation of
evidence. People vs. Balonzo, 533 SCRA 760. The law does not impose
a burden on the rape victim to prove resistance. (People of the
Philippines v. Salvino Sumingwa, G.R. No. 183619 October 13, 2009)
On the other hand, one of the weaknesses of the law was already
seen subsequent its passage. The new law applies to rapes definitely
not earlier than September 30, 1997, within three years time, any case
filed in the Regional Trial Court would have already gone all the way up
to a Supreme Court decision. Be that as it may, many of the Supreme
Court rape decisions during that period make mention of R.A. 8353
even though it was not applied based on the effectivity date. The said
gains during that time will be negated by at least two judicial factors.
First are the existing and continuing judicial doctrines, foremost being
the three fundamental guiding principles in the review of rape cases,
which perpetuate the various rape myths. And these are carried down
the line of the pillar of the criminal justice system, from the Supreme
Court to the lower courts and judges, to the Department of Justice and
its public prosecutors, and to the Philippine National Police the very
implementators of the law.
In connection, though there have been no R.A. No. 8353 cases
during the three-year period after it approval, there are many Supreme
Court decisions which state and restate what it considers as the three
fundamental guiding principles in the review of rape cases. In other
21 | P a g e

words, three years of the new Anti-Rape law has so far had no
appreciable impact on a rethinking of these principles. Because of the
crucial role these principles play in deciding rape case, the study
focused on them with a view to legislative and judicial reform that the
new Anti-Rape law ha not brought about. (Two Laws on Rape: Twin
Imperatives for Justice and Healing by Merci Llarinas-Angeles)
The principles are invariably stated as follows:
1.

An accusation of rape can be made with facility; it is difficult to

prove but more difficult for the person accused, though innocent, to
disprove it;
2.

In view of the intrinsic nature of the crime where two persons are

usually

involved,

the

testimony

of

the

complainants

must

be

scrutinized with extrme caution; and,


3.

The evidence for the prosecution must stand or fall on its own

merits and cannot be allowed to draw strength from the weakness of


the evidence for the defense.
Even not counting the third principle that is a general rule for all
kinds of criminal cases, the gender bias against rape victims is very
clear in these guidelines. And yet, they continue to be perpetuated in
case after case of Supreme Court rape decisions, very much part of the
full law on rape.
The first principle can be traced back to the cautionary
instructions given to jurors based on the words of Sir Mathew Hale,
Lord Justice of the Kings Bench, in the 17th century that rape is an
accusation easily to be made and hard to be proved, and harder to be
defended by the party accused, tho never so innocent. This most
explicitly reflects the attitude or myth that women lie and make false
reports. These instructions have in fact been abolished already but the
belief is perpetuated by the fear that men will be wrongly condemned
and victimized by womens false charges.
As for the second principle, why must the testimony of the
complainant, but not the accused, be scrutinized with extreme
caution? This also reflects the myth and stereotype about woman as
22 | P a g e

the lying temptress. And in Western culture, Spenser shows this can
be traced back to the story of Adam and Eve in Genesis (55). With
more reason is this attitude entrenched in Catholic Philippines.
Speaking

of

rape

myths,

especially

those

entrenched

in

jurisprudence, it is these which would undermine whatever gains were


made in the new Anti-Rape law. It is, therefore, important to be
conscious of these myths which persist lest the application and
interpretation of the law be tainted by them. The 1995 Womens Legal
Bureau survey 478 Supreme Court decisions on rape from 1961 to
early 1992 sought to validate or disprove at least ten prevalent notions
about rape: (Making Sense of Rape: A Review of Presumptions Relied
Upon by the Supreme Court in Decisions on Rape. Occasional Paper No.
1, 1995)

Rape happens only to young, pretty or desirable women.

Rape is a crime of lust or passion.

Rape

involves

the

loss

of

womans

most

prized

possession, her chastity.

Men can have sex freely with women deemed to be of


loose morals because these women have nothing to lose.

Rape is committed by sex maniacs or perverts.

Rape happens in poorly lit or secluded places.

Sexy clothes incite men to rape.

When a womans chastity is threatened she exerts every


effort to protect it, whether by violent resistance, escape
attempts or screams for help

When violated, a womans first reaction is to tell her family,


particularly her menfolk father, brother, husband who
must be informed of the assault upon the womans, and
this the familys honor.

23 | P a g e

Rape charges are fabricated by women seeking to avenge


a slight or to extort money.

A journal article by Dan Gatmaytan, focuses on the judicial


construction of the typical Filipina in Supreme Court rape decisions
since

1991.

The

credibility

of

the

complainant

is

significantly

determined by using a judicially-crafted model of a typical Filipina


which is basically a romanticized version of the country lass who is
modest and unsophisticated. When the complainant fits this mold, the
accused is usually convicted. The atypical Filipinas among the
complainants the older, sophisticated, educated, urbanite, and those
with prior sexual experience are disadvantaged in SC rape decisions.
The articles author advocates the abandonment of the use of the
typical Filipina notion in deciding rape cases because those who do
not fit this cast are unjustly held responsible for their own tragedy. In
his epilogue on the two new laws - R.A. No. 8353 and R.A. No. 8505, he
notes that neither law seriously addressed this issue and as quoted,
as a result, the Filipina still faces the dangers of judicial construction.
(Character, Credibility and Contradiction: Rape Law and the Judicial
Construction of the Filipina, 1998)
Another considered weakness of the law is from its Article 266C. Effect of Pardon, in which states that the subsequent valid marriage
between the offended party shall extinguish the criminal action or the
penalty imposed. One of the circumstances that may possibly happen
is when in the case it is the legal husband who is the offender. Under
this article, subsequent forgiveness 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. The
researchers concur with the idea that a man does not have an
unbridled license to subject his beloved to his carnal desires.
A sweetheart cannot be forced to have sex against her will love
is not a license for lust. (People of the Philippines Vs. Pedro Nogpo, G.R.
No. 184791 April 16, 2009)
The sweetheart defense is a much-abused defense that rashly
derides the intelligence of the Court and sorely tests its patienceto
be worthy of judicial acceptance, such a defense should be supported
24 | P a g e

by documentary, testimonial or other evidence. (People vs. San


Antonio, Jr., 532 SCRA 411.)

IV.

CONCLUSION
Rape is an egregious violation of human dignity.

At its most

basic level, rape is defined as forced sexual intercourse via physical


threat or psychological coercion.

The effects of rape, however, go

beyond the actual physical trauma. It is an attack on a persons selfesteem, autonomy, integrity, security, and even his or her humanity.
Although effects of rape are not limited to women, they are
disproportionately targeted. Violence against women in the form of
rape is not a new phenomenon.
The Congress of the Philippines, passed RA 8353, The Anti-Rape
Law of 1997. In 1998, the twin law, RA 8505, the Rape Assistance and
Protection Act, was also enacted. Although the women did not get all
the provisions that they wanted, they considered the passage of the
law a victory because a major policy change had occurred in the way
the state viewed rape.
In finality, a change in the existing mindset on rape, the
government, as the duty bearer in protecting womens rights can do
many things including the amendment of the Anti-Rape Law to
whereby the recommendations of the researchers be included such as
the use of electronic gadgets during the act of rape as one of its subprovisions, the issue of lack of consent, to ensure that proof of
resistance of any form will not be required of the complainants and the
revival of corporal punishment as one of the laws penalty.
V.

SUGGESTIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS


The researchers recommend for Republic Act 8353 to include

additional provisions whereby the term rape be redefined, the


enumeration of circumstances where there is a presumption of lack of
consent, the inclusion of cases where there are non-penile penetration,
the repeal of 266-C and 266-D, and the specification of aggravating
25 | P a g e

circumstances such as recording the act of rape with the use of


electronic gadgets as well as its dissemination.

Electronic Gadgets
The use of electronic gadgets during the act of rape should be
included because there are many instances where this has happened.
Most of the victims are teenagers, students, who are raped, the act
recorded and then the video distributed. The researchers believed that
this should be articulated in the law and that it should be given ample
punishment.
Issue of Consent
The issue of consent is often the reason why most suspects of
rape are not prosecuted properly. There are many victims who agree
or, in a sense, forced to submit to the actions of the perpetrator
because the perpetrator is a person who is in a position of authority, or
is a threat, or someone who has moral ascendancy. That is why, when
they use their position, power and influence, it creates a situation
wherein the accuser will be forced, victimized because of the use of
power, influence, and moral ascendancy.
The researchers would want to include this under Section 2 of
Republic Act 8353, or the Presumption of Lack of Consent, of the said
law, are the following circumstances (House Bill No. 6170):

When the act is attended by force, threat, or intimidation;


When there is fraudulent machination, grave abuse of authority

or moral
ascendancy;

When the victim

is

deprived

of

reason

or

is

otherwise

unconscious;

When the victim is incapable of giving consent due to his or her


mental or
physical state or capacity;

When the victim is below fifteen years (15) of age or if fifteen


(15) years of

26 | P a g e

age and above, but he or she has the mental capacity of that of a
fifteen
(15) year old or below and the offender is of legal age.

When the offender is a biological or adoptive parent or de facto


parents or
a person who has raised the offended parent without the benefit
of legal adoption, ascendant, step-parent, de facto or legal
guardian, relative by consanguinity or affinity within the third
civil degree, or the common-law spouse or live-in partner of the
parent of the victim.
There are circumstances showing lack of consent on the part of
the victim, and therefore, this should be included in the law so that it
will be clear and that justice be given to the victims.
The Death Penalty
It may be recalled that the Philippines was the first country in
Asia to abolish the death penalty in 1987, when the new Constitution
was ratified. It was, however, restored in 1992 through Republic Act
No. 759, which cited the deteriorating crime situation then prevailing
as compelling reason for its re-imposition. On 24 June 2006, it was
again abolished with the enactment of Republic Act No. 9346, which
received overwhelming support from members of Congress. The
researchers recommend the reimposition and revival of death penalty
in the Philippines only on persons found guilty of committing heinous
crimes, such as rape and murder. The penalties at present are
sometimes

not

strong

(http://www.doj.gov.ph,

enough
Philippine

to

serve

as

Government

deterrent.

Makes

Global

Commitment Against Death Penalty in Madrid World Congress, June 13,


2013, retrieved 2013/08/17)
The

researchers

also

recommends

for

the

allocation

of

appropriate funds to properly implement the Rape Victim Assistance


and Protection Act of 1998, and most importantly the implementation
of appropriate training for judges, court personnel, and other law
enforcement officers to better understand rape and remove the rape
myths surround it.
The important discussions on myths about rape that have
influenced the judiciaries decisions on many cases; it should be
27 | P a g e

eliminated if government is to protect womens rights. These myths


are all gender-based stereotypes but are so widely believed, create a
mindset that discriminates against women, further aggravate their
situation and prevent justice to prevail.

28 | P a g e