Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Thursday raised the possibility of statutory rape cases among teen mothers.
In an interview on Unang Balita, Gatchalian said he observed a "trend" on the data provided by the Philippine Statistics Authority which showed that almost 10 percent of teen mom's partners are 10 years older than them.
"Makikita natin na teenager ang babae pero 'yung kanilang mga boyfriend or karelasyon ay 10 years and older," Gatchalian said.
(We can see that the mother bearing the child is a teenager while their partner is 10 years older.)
He mentioned Republic Act 11648 which defined the crime of statutory rape and raising the age of sexual consent from 12 to 16 years old.
"Meron na tayong batas ngayon, kung ang ganitong edad, matatanda na, ay makikipagtalik sa mga teenager, makukulong sila dahil don sa ating batas. Magiging considered yan as rape," Gatchalian said.
(We already passed a law which defines statutory rape.)
Under RA 11648, there will be no criminal liability on the part of a person having carnal knowledge of another person under 16 when the age difference between the parties is not more than three years and the sexual act in question is proven to be “consensual, non-abusive, and non-exploitative.”
"Dapat din paigitingin... ng ating kapulisan lalo na 'yung Violence Against Women and Children's desk 'yung mga ganitong kaso dahil yung partner pwedeng makasuhan sila," Gatchalian said.
(The police and the Violence Against Women and Children's Desk should intensify the monitoring of these cases because the partners of these teen moms could possibly face charges.)
The chairman of the Senate committee on basic education also agreed with Senator Raffy Tulfo's suggestion to impose stricter regulations on alcohol sale as this is being considered as one of the factors that contribute to the problem of teenage pregnancy.
"Sang-ayon ako... Lalo na pag maagang edad dahil kung sila ay nakaka-inom at nalalasing at hindi nila alam ang epekto nito eh baka saan pa mapunta iyan," he said.
(I agree with that suggestion because people at a young age might not control themselves once they are already drunk.)
At a Senate hearing last Tuesday, Tulfo proposed passing a law which will give liquor licenses to all alcohol sellers. The senator said this license could be revoked if the retailers sell liquor to minors — Hana Bordey/ VAL, GMA Integrated News