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Lawmaker eyes repeal of 'crime of passion' as legal defense

The repeal of the Revised Penal Code provision allowing crime of passion, or the defense used if the killing or infliction of injuries were done out of a "justified burst of passion," has been proposed in the House of Representatives.

4Ps party-list Representative JC Abalos made the proposal under House Bill 7567, which deletes Article 247 of the Revised Penal Code which states that "[A]ny legally married person who having surprised his spouse in the act of committing sexual intercourse with another person, shall kill any of them or both of them in the act or immediately thereafter, or shall inflict upon them any serious physical injury, shall suffer the penalty of destierro (prohibiting from residing within 25 kilometers from the concerned individual)."

Article 247 also states that if the offender would inflict upon offending party physical injuries of any other kind, the offender will be exempt from punishment.

"Honor-based violence is gender-based violence. Killing, and inflicting violence can never be justified; even under the pretext of honor and reputation. Case records show that victims are predominantly women," Abalos said in his explanatory note.

Abalos cited Article 2 Section 11 of the Constitution, which provides that "[T]he State values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for human rights."

Abalos also argued that while the first two paragraphs of Article 247 apply to both spouses, the third paragraph only pertains to daughters, not to sons.

He was referring to Article 247's provisions stating "[T]hese rules shall be applicable, under the same circumstances, to parents with respect to their daughters under eighteen years of age, and their seducer, while the daughters are living with their parents" and that "any person who shall promote or facilitate the prostitution of his wife or daughter, or shall otherwise have consented to the infidelity of the other spouse shall not be entitled to the benefits of this article."

"The third paragraph pertains only to daughters and not sons. These reveal discriminatory gender-based presumptions under the existing law. Hence the repeal of this provision is earnestly sought," Abalos said.

House Bill 7567 has been referred to the House revision of laws panel chaired by Manila Representative Eduard Maceda last March 15, or the last session day before Congress adjourned for the Holy Week break until May 8. —Llanesca T. Panti/KBK, GMA Integrated News