Photo Release

September 20, 2021

‘Romeo and Juliet’ provision: Sen. Panfilo Lacson, during Monday’s hybrid plenary session, September 20, 2021, seeks clarification on the “Romeo and Juliet” provision of Senate Bill No. (SBN) 2332, which seeks to increase the age for determining statutory rape from 12 years old to 16 years old. Lacson said there is a provision in the bill stating that “there shall be no criminal liability on the part of the perpetrator if the victim is 16 years of age and below; the age difference between the victim and the perpetrator is not more than four years; and the sexual act in question is proven to be consensual, non-abusive and non-exploitative.” The senator said there is a clear statutory rape if the victim is 12 years old and below, whether the sexual act is consensual or not. Lacson said: “I think we should insert a provision to mitigate, or at least put some sort of a flexibility, (the so-called) Romeo and Juliet (provision),” which should not apply if the victim is 12 years old and below. (Henzberg Austria/Senate PRIB)