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Philippines: Age of sexual consent

Source: philstar.com 9/29/21

The country has several laws to protect children from domestic violence and sexual abuse. Yet children continue to be victimized. One of the reasons has been the age of sexual consent – at 12 years old the lowest in Asia and one of the lowest in the world.

Both chambers of Congress have now given their final nod to their respective measures that will raise the age of sexual consent to 16. Adults who have sex with minors below that age can face prosecution for statutory rape. The gender-specific definition of rape is being amended to include males as victims as well as same-sex assaults. Also being proposed is the maximum punishment of life in prison for statutory rape.

With both chambers approving their versions of the measure, its enactment into law is certain. The next problem will be implementation. As many child welfare advocates have pointed out, among the biggest sexual abusers and exploiters of children are their own parents or guardians.

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Sotto’s clever. He knows that he couldn’t handle the political fallout from not acting on the bill. And yet, he refused to act on the house version of it…knowing what I know about him and what happened with his brother, the pepsi scandal from the mid 1980s, this bill would put his brother in grave danger. So it’s most likely to fail in conference committee.

Note to Americans. This is interesting but changes nothing for U.S. citizens. Americans traveling abroad are still subject to American law independent of local laws. This is termed “extra-territorial jurisdiction.” The age of consent under U.S. federal law is 16. That is unless sexual contact is for commercial purposes. i.e. prostitution. In that case, the controlling age is 18.

These laws were instituted to combat “sex tourism.” Americans traveling to the Philippines, or any other country, must comply with American federal law, as well as any local laws (I shudder at the thought of being in a 3rd world prison). If you do decide to seek sex abroad, be aware that: 1) any consensual partner must be at least 16; 2) prostitutes must be at least 18; and 3) pictures of anyone under 18 is still child pornography independent of local law.

Remember that American statutory rape and pornography laws are “strict liability” laws. This means a mistake of age is no defense. Be very careful. Moral and ethical issues are between an individual and God (at least in my worldview), but legal questions involve less omniscient beings.

Veritas.

That’s disgusting!!

I’m not so sure that raising the Age of Consent (AoC) was necessary to deter family sexual abuse of their children; no more so than chopping off a feet with a diseased toe is necessary to cure the patient with said toe disease. Less would have obviously sufficed.

What does that say for all those European and Latin American countries where the AoC is 13- to 15-years-old? What about Latin American estupro laws that make sex with teenagers (as low as 12) “not illegal per se” but is still open to prosecution if the minor complains or has been coerced by a family member or a figure of authority over that minor? Are these enforced laws wrong?

I’m not making an excuse for rape of a minor. I’m simply pointing out the facts of law that already exists in other nations; and how they have a handle on harmful rape of minors, without having to raise the AoC as a solution.

A sex witch-hunting nation as the USA will not want to admit that genuine forms of consensual sex with youth has in fact existed throughout history; and that, by extension, hastily blaming mishaps on sex with those below the legally set AoC will only cause more problems than provide meaningful solutions.

On a concluding note, why do I seem to smell the USA’s involvement in the Philippines’s decision?

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