Zubiri wants to raise age of statutory rape to 15

MANILA- Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri on Wednesday said he proposed to raise the minimum age of consent to determine statutory rape from the current below 12 years old to 15 years old.

Zubiri said he filed Senate Bill No. 305 with the aim to provide more protection to children and prevent further cases of sexual abuse against them.

He stressed the need to amend the 89-year-old Revised Penal Code, which puts the age for determining statutory rape to under 12 years oldthe lowest age of consent for sexual acts among Asian countries.

Ibig sabihin ng statutory rape ay ituturing na rape ang pagkakaroon ng 'carnal knowledge' o pagniniig - basta ang edad ng bata ay mas mababa sa 12 taon - at hindi kailangan patunayan na gumamit ng pwersa o pananakot ang maysala. Sa aking proposal, itataas natin ang edad sa 15 taon gulang (Statutory rape is considered rape if it involves carnal knowledge of a child under 12 years old and it does not need any proof if it was done forcibly or not. In my proposal, I intend to raise the age to 15 years old)," Zubiri said.

"Naniniwala ako na maraming sexual violence ang nagaganap sa mga batang 12 taon hanggang 15 taong gulang. Ngunit hindi maparusahan ang maysala dahil sinasabi ng maysala na pumayag ang bata, kahit sa totoo ay sapilitan ang naganap (I believe that several acts of sexual violence are committed against children aged 12 to 15 years old. However, those who commit sexual abuse cannot be punished because they claim that the child gave his or her consent, when in fact it was done forcibly)," Zubiri added.

The senator noted that his proposal was based on the 2016 National Baseline Study on Violence Against Children (NBS-VAC) which found that one in every five children below 18 years experiences sexual violence.

"By raising the age to 15 years, I hope that we could put a dent on the number of children victimized since 'carnal knowledge' of children aged 12 up to 15 years will now be considered statutory rape," he said.

Huwag na nating pahirapan ang mga batang biktima at ang kanilang mga magulang o guardians na makahanap ng hustisya (Let us not make things difficult for children who are victims of sexual abuse, and their parents to find justice)," he added. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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