Adultery in the Philippines (Plus Concubinage)
Adultery in the Philippines can carry legal consequences as these are criminal cases that can be filed against husband or wife for sexual infidelity.
This article discusses an Adultery Philippines case (or a Concubinage Philippines case) in depth, focusing on:
- Chapter 1: Explaining what Adultery in the Philippines is, the differences between Adultery vs Concubinage and who, where and how to file it.
- Chapter 2: 8 FAQ on Adultery and Concubinage cases (With jurisprudence)
As a senior paralegal for years, I’ve drawn on my experience to make this easy to read and factual by citing relevant laws and 9 landmark Philippine cases cited throughout.
What is Adultery Philippines?
An Adultery Philippines case is a criminal case filed against a married woman and her partner in adultery for each act of sexual infidelity. On the other hand, Concubinage is the criminal case filed against a husband and his partner in sexual infidelity.
I’ll first discuss Adultery in the Philippines in this section.
Adultery in the Philippines has the following elements:
- The woman is married
- The woman had sexual intercourse with a man other than her husband
- The man she had sexual intercourse with knew she was married.
So, in an Adultery Philippines case, the case is filed against the wife.
If the husband is unfaithful, the correct case to file is Concubinage Philippines.
Concubinage in the Philippines has the following elements:
- The man is married
- The man does any one of the following:
- Keep a mistress in the conjugal dwelling
- Have sexual intercourse, under scandalous circumstances, with a woman who is not his wife
- Cohabiting with such woman in any other place
- The woman should know that the man is married.
There are clear differences in Adultery vs Concubinage which I’ll go though in more detail in our next section.
What’s the difference between Adultery vs Concubinage?
Adultery vs Concubinage has several differences as to who is charged and the elements that must be proven, with Concubinage requiring not just sexual intercourse but living together or sex under scandalous circumstances.
The differences between Adultery vs Concubinage are below:
- Adultery is filed against the wife while Concubinage is filed against the husband
- Adultery vs Concubinage treats each act of adultery as a separate crime while Concubinage does not.
- Adultery vs Concubinage has lesser penalties.
There is a pronounced difference in the way that an erring wife is treated vs an erring husband.
An erring wife is treated more harshly than a husband.
In addition, the requirements to legally hold an erring husband to account for his infidelity requires not just that he commit sexual infidelity but that he lives with or commits a scandal (implying that a sexual act that is not scandalous or sexual infidelity outside of the conjugal home or if they are not living together is permissible.)
Adultery vs Concubinage thus seems to have a double standard and thus it has been proposed that the law be amended.
Is Adultery in the Philippines Bailable? (or Concubinage in the Philippines)?
Yes, Adultery in the Philippine or Concubinage is bailable.
The bail for is Php 36,000 for Adultery in the Philippines.
Meanwhile, the bail is Php 30,000 for Concubinage in the Philippines.
What is the Adultery Penalty Philippines? (or Concubinage Penalty Philippines)?
The Adultery Penalty Philippines is prision correctional from the medium and maximum periods which translate to 2 years, 4 months and 1 day to 6 years for the wife and her paramour.
The Concubinage Penalty Philippines on the other hand, is prison correctional in its minimum to medium term which translates to 6 months and 1 day up to 4 years and 2 months imprisonment for the husband. The mistress is published by destierro.
Who can file Adultery Philippines (or Concubinage Philippines)?
The question to “Who can file Adultery Philippines?” is that only a husband can file for Adultery in the Philippines and only a wife can file for Concubinage in the Philippines.
These cases can only be filed the parties are still married.
If the married was annulled or otherwise legally ended, then the case cannot be filed.
Where do I file a case for Adultery in the Philippines or Concubinage in the Philippines?
The case is filed where the adulterous acts were committed or where the concubinage was committed.
So, if the adultery was committed in Baguio, then the case must be filed in Baguio.
And if the acts of concubinage were committed in Davao, then the case must be filed in Davao.
Note that if the acts were committed abroad, then these acts cannot be tried in the Philippines since they are out of our jurisdiction.
How to file a case for Adultery Philippines? (or Concubinage Philippines)
Filing a case for Adultery in the Philippines or for Concubinage in the Philippines follows the same process a criminal case does, from filing a Complaint at the prosecutor’s office to the Promulgation of judgement in the court proper.
The Adultery or Concubinage in the Philippines case process goes like this:
- File a complaint with all the evidence at the Prosecutor’s Office
- Prosecutor’s office will determine whether there is probable cause.
- Prosecutor forwards the case to the court, if the prosecutor finds the evidence strong enough.
- Court conducts its own assessment and schedules Arraignment and Pre-Trial, if the evidence is strong enough.
- Trial commences with the Prosecution.
- Defense can present its own witnesses or argue that insufficient evidence was presented.
- Court pens a Decision and Promulgates Judgement.
Expect the process for Adultery or Concubinage in the Philippines to be rather long.
This is mainly because our courts are overworked and are overflowing with cases.
There is often several weeks or months between hearings.
Considering that there is a trial and so much must be proven, this case can take several hearings. Even at the prosecutor’s level, the case can be subject to several back and forth exchanges.
If you read the process in detail, you can also see that there are several places that the case for Adultery or Concubinage in the Philippines can be dismissed for lack of evidence.
So, evidence is very important.
When you file an Adultery Philippines case or a Concubinage Philippines case, you need to gather all the evidence and all the testimony you can. The case should be as complete as it possibly can be.
There is a temptation to do it yourself, but the quality of evidence that you need requires an Adultery Lawyer in the Philippines to handle the case for you.
This helps ensure that that the case is the strongest it can be.
Adultery Philippines or Concubinage Philippines: Frequently Asked Questions
Can I file an Adultery Philippines case if I am Annulled or the marriage has legally ended?
No, you cannot file an Adultery Philippines case if you are Annulled or the marriage has legally ended.
Only the offended spouse can file the case.
If the offended spouse is no longer married to the adultress, then he can no longer file a case for Adultery in the Philippines.
Likewise, if the offended spouse was a foreigner and he divorced his Filipina wife abroad, he is also no longer eligible for an Adultery Philippines case. Pilapil v. Ibay-Somera, G.R. No. 80116, 1989
Can I file Adultery in the Philippines only against my spouse or my spouse’s lover?
No, you must file a case for Adultery in the Philippines against both your wife and your wife’s lover.
Similarly, you must file a Concubinage Philippine case against both your husband and his lover.
If one of the parties is excluded, then the case may be dismissed.
Can I file an Adultery case in the Philippines if I have agreed to separate from your wife?
No, you cannot file an Adultery case in the Philippines if you already signed an agreement to separate from your wife.
In G.R. No. L-38672 October 27, 1933, the husband had signed an agreement to separate from his wife.
The court said that this agreement barred the husband from filing an Adultery Philippines case against his wife.
(Please note that the court stated that this agreement was void as only the court can end a marriage. However, the agreement did mean that the husband could not file a case for Adultery in the Philippines against his wife.)
Can I cancel the case for Adultery in the Philippines if I forgive my spouse?
No, you cannot cancel your case for Adultery in the Philippines if you forgive your spouse.
In this case, the husband tried to recant his testimony.
However, the court stated that he should have done this prior to filing the case for Adultery in the Philippines.
The court said, “…once the complaint has been filed, the control of the case passes to the public prosecutor.”
Is the fact that we both had affairs a defense against being charged in an Adultery Philippines case (or a Concubinage Philippines case)?
No, the fact that both of the spouses had affairs is not a defense against an Adultery Philippines case.
You can still be held liable for Adultery or Concubinage in the Philippines even if the other party was also involved in an affair.
Can I file a Concubinage Philippines case against my husband for a single act of infidelity?
No, you can only file Concubinage Philippines if your husband keeps a mistress in the Conjugal home or lives together with her or has sex under scandalous circumstances.
He cannot be charged if these criteria are absent.
Do I have to prove the sexual act took place when filing a Concubinage Philippines case if they cohabitated or the mistress lived in the Conjugal H0me?
No, you don’t have to prove that the sexual act took place so long as the criteria for a Concubinage Philippines case is met and the evidence is clear.
Let’s break this down a little.
In People vs. Bacon, C.A., 44 O.G. 2760, the court stated no proof of actual intercourse was needed since the mistress lived in the family home and they were surprised in bed together.
Additionally, in Ocampo vs. People, 72 Phil. 268, the court did not need proof of actual intercourse since they lived together as husband and wife in one room where they slept alone.
Proof of the actual intercourse is thus not needed in such situations.
If the wife was absent from the Conjugal Home does that detract from the case for Concubinage in the Philippines?
No, that does not detract from the case if the wife was absent from the Conjugal Home as found in People vs. Cordova, C.A., G.R. No. 19100-R, June 23,1959,55 O.G. 1042.
A Conjugal Home is the home of the husband and wife, even if the wife was absent.
A home constructed from their Conjugal property fits the definition even if the wife never had a chance to live in it.