MANILA, Philippines – Condom removal during sexual intercourse after consensual agreement to use the protective device may be classified as sexual assault or rape once House Bill No. 3957 becomes law.
The bill, filed by Ako Bicol Reps. Alfredo Garbin Jr. and Elizaldy Co penalizes “stealthing” or condom removal; tampering with or damaging the condom or other protective devices without the consent of the sexual partner, and making the partner believe a condom will be used to gain sexual consent.
In a statement on Sunday, Garbin said HB 3957 further refines the description of how sexual assault is being made because the act of “stealthing” is not expressly stated in the Revised Penal Code or in Republic Act 8353 or the Anti-Rape Law of 1997.
“We also defined in HB 3957 what sexual activity is, so that the definition of sexual assault would be strengthened with a definition which uses the gender-inclusive word ‘sexual partner’. In RA 8393, the word ‘other person’ is used to refer to the victim of the male offender,” he added.
Garbin said using the term “sexual partner” in the bill would enable any person of any sexual orientation, gender identification or expression to file charges of sexual assault against sexual violators.
“The more inclusive term of ‘protective device’ is used more often in HB 3957 so that if there are other protective devices other than the condom, then those will also be covered in the bill,” Garbin added.
With this proposed law, children, teenagers, and seniors of any gender who are victims of sexual assault through “stealthing” may bring their offenders to face the police, prosecutors, and judges, said Garbin.
The congressman also said he hopes the deterrent effect of the measure would lead to fewer cases of sexual assault and cases of sexually-transmitted diseases. /gsg
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