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‘STEALTHING’

House bill to punish condom-removal during sex as sexual assault


A measure was filed at the House of Representatives seeking to punish the removal of a condom during sexual intercourse, if there was a consensual agreement to use the contraceptive, as sexual assault.

In House Bill 3957, Ako Bicol party-list Representative Alfredo Garbin and Elizaldy Co moved to refine the description of sexual assault done through the act of "stealthing" which, according to them, was not expressly stated in the Revised Penal Code or in the Anti-Rape Law of 1997.

Under the measure, "stealthing" would occur when a person causes his or her partner to believe that he or she had used or is currently using a protective device, causing his or her partner to consent to having sexual activity, when in fact, such a person was not using or did not use any contraceptive device.

Other incidents of stealthing during sexual activity include removing any protective device without the consent of the partner, tampering or damaging any protective device, or intentionally infecting or impregnating the sexual partner through the said acts.

The first three acts would still be considered "stealthing" even after their discovery by the sexual partner or even if a protective device was subsequently used during the sexual activity.

Moreover, Garbin and Co deliberately used the word "sexual partner" in their bill to refer to the victim.

"Even if the victim is not a woman, the victim can avail of protection and remedies provided by the law on rape and sexual assault," Garbin explained.

This, Garbin said, would enable any person regardless of sexual orientation, gender identification or expression to file sexual assault charges against the male who violated them.

Individuals who will be found guilty of committing the acts of "stealthing" during sexual activity would be slapped with jail time of 12 years and one day to 14 years and eight months, and a fine of not less than P100,000 but not more than P500,000.

If the victim was infected with a sexually transmitted disease or was impregnated, the penalty to be imposed on the violator would be jail time of 17 years and 4 months to 20 years, and a fine of not less than P200,000 but not more than P700,000.

If the violator intentionally infects or impregnates their partners through the acts of "stealthing," the penalty would be jail time of 20 years and 1 day to 40 years, and a fine of not less than P1 million but not more than P5 million.

Meanwhile, if the victim withdraws consent after knowing that an act of "stealthing" was being committed, yet the violator continued with the sexual act, the latter would be liable for rape.

If House Bill 3957 became law, Garbin hoped that it would "lead to fewer cases of sexual assault involving sexually-transmitted diseases and help in the war against HIV-AIDS." — Erwin Colcol/DVM, GMA News

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