In the ongoing interviews for the associate justice post, candidate Persida Acosta, chief of the Public Attorney’s Office stood by the belief that cheating women should receive much more penalties than cheating men. She’s saying that now in 2016. Has somebody told her what year it is?
The issue was raised by Justice Jose Mejia, whose line of questioning firstly focused on equality of the law among the sexes. He asked Acosta if there are laws that she thinks favors one sex over the other. Acosta pointed out that the laws on domestic violence centered more on women, disenfranchising men who were victims also. At this point, we agree with her and how she thinks there should be equality on the matter.
Mejia then asked about the existing laws on adultery and concubinage. Acosta believed that the stricter law on adultery should stand as she answers, “Dapat mas mahigpit sa babae kaysa lalaki dahil ang babae ay ang ilaw ng tahanan. Kapag nawasak ang tahanan, nagloko ang babae, wala na. Pag lalaki ang nagloko, ang babae siya ang matatag, buhay pa ang tahanan.” (“The laws on women should be stricter as the woman is the heart of the home, unlike the man. When the home is wrecked because of the women, it’s ruined. If a man cheats, the woman is strong and the home will be alive.”)
Public Attorney Office Chief Persida Acosta, with all due respect, let us just bring to light a couple of things. Your belief that the laws against adultery should remain stricter than the law on concubinage is backwards. It is fundamentally rooted on the double standard that women should be more pious and virtuous than men and lets men get away with that very outdated adage “Boys will be boys.”
For your information, the rhetoric that “boys will be boys” is an insult to men as it assumes that these logical and capable human beings are unable to make decisions free of their base instincts. This is why, Ma’am Acosta, US President-elect Donald Trump received much flak from both men and women about his “locker room talk.“This is why much uproar is voiced out with cases such as Brock Turner, and to keep things local, every time Sen. Tito Sotto opens his mouth.
Also, your answer to the question of Justice Mejia was heavily archaic and quite out of character for a woman of law. You defended a legal matter with something my grandmother only uses to emphasize a very limited view on the roles of women. “Ilaw ng tahanan” only pertaining to women is unfair to men who have stayed true to their children when their female partner ran off with another man. You say you want equality for men in light of domestic violence, Chief Acosta, then by all means do it.
In the Philippines, adultery and concubinage are punishable from two to six years of imprisonment. However, there is much less burden of proof in adultery as sexual intercourse is enough whereas concubinage is only valid if the prosecution proved that the man’s affairs were done in a scandalous way or that he kept his lover in the conjugal setup or cohabited with her in any way.
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