Press Release
August 25, 2021

#ENDChildRape: Revilla airs support to bill increasing age of statutory rape

Senator Ramon Bong Revilla, Jr. co-sponsored on Wednesday Senate Bill 2332 which increases the age for determining statutory rape and other acts of sexual abuse and exploitation, from twelve years old to sixteen years old.

Revilla is one of the authors of the measure as he filed Senate Bill 1258 which was consolidated under Committee Report 279 of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

In his sponsorship speech, he noted that just last month there was the #ENDChildRape social media campaign participated by celebrities and advocates calling on lawmakers to prioritize the legislation which amends the Anti-Rape Law of 1997 and strengthens the protection of children against sexual abuse and exploitation.

Said campaign cites that the age of sexual consent in the Philippines is one of the lowest in Asia and the world. In addition, it also highlighted that one cannot get married, vote, sign contracts and get a driver's license until 18 years old, and yet adults can have sex with children as young as 12 years old and claim it was consensual.

"Talaga pong nakakakulo ng dugo at nakakapanginig ng kalamnan ang mga balita ng pagsasamantala sa ating mga kabataang nasa edad dose anyos, na walang kamuwang-muwang at walang kalaban-laban. Nararapat lamang po na magkaroon tayo ng mas matibay na batas upang mapanagot at maparusahan ang sinumang gumagawa ng karumal-dumal na gawaing ito," Revilla emphasized.

In his version of the bill, Revilla noted that the Philippines is party to the Convention on the Rights of a Child which obliges all State parties to take all measures to protect children from all forms of sexual exploitation and abuse, including coercion of a child to engage in any unlawful sexual activity.

He explained that the establishment of a minimum age of sexual consent is a critical component in shielding children from sexual violence, as children below such age are considered without the power to resist and to give their genuine and fully informed consent to any sexual activity.

Revilla also thanked the Chairman of the Justice Committee, Sen. Richard Gordon, for elevating the bill before the plenary for further discussion, and for bringing this urgent measure closer to becoming enacted into law.

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