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Celebs and personalities help UN in urging Congress to amend Philippine Anti-Rape law

Under Philippine law, specifically enshrined in the country’s revised penal code (RPC) and the Anti-Rape Law or R.A. 8353, children as young as 12 years old are allowed to give permission when it comes to sex.

Celebrities help the United Nations (UN) urge Congress to act fast in approving House Bill No. 7836.

Actress Anne Curtis, Beauty Queen Catriona Gray, TV host Daphne Oseña Paez, blogger Ria Jose, and Twitter personality Mrs. Han supported the UN’s notion.

Under Philippine law, enshrined explicitly in the country’s revised penal code (RPC) and the Anti-Rape Law or R.A. 8353, children as young as 12 years old are allowed to give permission when it comes to sex.

The RPC defines rape as “having carnal knowledge of a woman” through the use of force when the woman is unconscious​, “deprived of reason,” — or “when the woman is under 12 years of age.”

This is what the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) is aiming to change.

In a series of tweets, Curtis shared how she was shocked to know that a Philippine law protects child molesters.

In her first tweet, the actress was disgusted that the Philippines allows a minor as young as 12 years old to have sex as long as it is consensual. Curtis was sick to the stomach after finding out.

The actress then expressed her support with the UNICEF in making Congress amend the previous law by “increasing the age of statutory rape to at least 16 years old.” Curtis even argued that a study from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) showed that most rape victims and child incest were between the ages 14 and below 18.

The actress then pointed out that the age of consent should be “way above” the minimum age set by R.A. 8353.

R.A. 8353 specifically explained how and when rape had been committed. It says in Article 266-A sec. 1.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.”

Curtis also stressed that rape does not choose its victim as it similarly affects both genders, especially on children. The actress noted that children should be equally protected against rape and incest.

In her final tweet, Curtis urged everyone to help Congress take this concern as a matter of importance.

Beauty queen Catriona Gray also urged Congress to increase the requirement for sexual consent on rape. Gray noted that the age requirement as a requisite for rape is the lowest in Asia and the whole world.

Paez and Jose also shared the same sentiment as Curtis and Gray as she emphasized that this requirement should be changed.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Han called out Representatives Rodante Marcoleta, Jesus Crispin Remulla, and Mike Defensor to focus on ending child rape rather than push on the ivermectin drug as a cure for Covid-19.

She also called out Cong. Lucy Torres to not defend the Anti-Terrorism Law or the Republic Act No. 11479 and instead give her attention in proving that the RPC’s definition of rape must be changed.

On December 1, 2020, the House of Representatives (HoR) had approved House Bill 7836 (End Child Rape Bill) into the third and final reading. HB7836 aims to increase the age of sexual consent to 16, amending the 23-year-old Anti-Rape Law, as well as the RPC’s definition of rape.

The Bill received 207 affirmative votes last year to amend the Republic Act No. 7610 or the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act.

But six months have passed, and the Bill remains pending to be passed as law. The House will start its third regular session of the 18th Congress next week, and UNICEF and Filipinos are hoping that they will give the Bill into law.

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