Demandahan: What is concubinage?

Posted at 02/21/13 8:22 PM


In this episode, Demandahan features an Overseas Filipino Worker who seeks "revenge" on her cheating husband. How does the law protect spouses and the institution of marriage?

Women have long been known to have a sixth sense about certain things--women's intuition. Many people's experience has shown that it can be trusted despite the lack of scientific proof for it.

Because of her intuition, an Overseas Filipino Worker suddenly returned to the Philippines. She felt that there was something amiss with her husband, and she turned out right.

Angeline, a wife and mother, was betrayed by her husband of ten years. She was hurt by his betrayal, as she felt that she had already sacrificed much for him and their family. To make matters worse, he was cheating on her with her friend.

She pleaded with her friend to stop seeing her husband. But because they lived in the same building, her request was futile.

Angeline decided to fight back--she felt that her husband made a fool of her.

What is concubinage?

Anthony Taberna accompanied Angeline to Atty. Rodrigo Moreno so she could seek legal help. She wanted to file a concubinage case against her husband and his lover.

Under the provisions of article 334 of the Revised Penal Code, concubinage is committed by any husband who (1) shall keep a mistress in the conjugal dwelling; (2) shall have sexual intercourse, under scandalous circumstances, with a woman who is not his wife; and (3) shall cohabit with such woman in any other place.

Sanctity of marriage

A Supreme Court case decided in 1941 showed how strict the law is in protecting the sanctity of marriage and how concubinage is a violation of marital vows.

At the time, concubinage was not only a legal violation; it was also considered taboo.

Reenactment: “Luisa” and “Alfonso”

The illicit relations between “Alfonso” and his mistress “Luisa” began in 1937. That same year, they went to the provinces where they dwelt in rental houses as if they were husband and wife and, even attended events together. They were eventually discovered by his real wife, “Corazon”.

Upon finding out about her husband’s affair, "Corazon" filed a concubinage case against him and his lover.

“Alfonso” was found guilty because such instances were deemed “sufficient to constitute cohabitation within the meaning of the law even disregarding proofs of actual sexual intercourse.”

He was then “sentenced to an indeterminate penalty of from six (6) months of arresto mayor to two (2) years, eleven (11) months and ten (10) days of prision correccional, and to the accessories of the law.” The judgment was affirmed by the Court of Appeals.

Marital infidelity

In 2004, Republic Act No. 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women And Their Children Act was ratified.

The Act provides protection for women and their children from different kinds of violence and threat, including marital infidelity.

According to the Act, “Psychological violence" refers to acts or omissions causing or likely to cause mental or emotional suffering of the victim such as but not limited to intimidation, harassment, stalking, damage to property, public ridicule or humiliation, repeated verbal abuse and marital infidelity.

Angeline learned that she could opt to charge her husband with a violation of this Act. She could also represent her six-year old son in filing charges for emotional violence since he witnessed his father’s philandering ways.

Aired on: February 14, 2013