Press Release
August 25, 2021

(An Act increasing the age for determining statutory rape and other acts of sexual abuse and exploitation to protect children)

Just a very brief manifestation, Mr. President, as the principal author of this measure to raise the age of sexual consent.

I would just like to express my gratitude to the Sponsor, Chair Richard Gordon, for his sponsorship of this groundbreaking legislation to raise the age of sexual consent. Sa totoo lang, kahindik-hindik ang kwento ng mga advocates na may mga batang 13 years old, 14 years old, who are asked to prove in court that they did not consent to the sexual act, with some even being asked kung nag-enjoy ba sila. Kaya ang malimit na nangyayari, hindi nalang nagsasalita ang mga biktima. As a mother, I am disgusted that the current state of our laws subjects a 13-year-old to this kind of cruelty. As a policymaker, I am pleased that we now take an advantage of an historical opportunity to correct this.

The 18th Congress will be the Congress waylaid by the pandemic, the Congress that faced unprecedented challenges. But with this measure -- along with other measures such as the Anti Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children law which this Chamber passed on third reading -- I hope it will also be the Congress that leaves an enduring legacy for our children.

I only have a few friendly questions during interpellation, and perhaps a few amendments at the proper time if the good Sponsor so permits, but it would be my honor to co-sponsor this measure.

Thank you.

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