Adultery in the Philippines (Plus Concubinage)

A wife suffering because his husband committed Concubinage Philippines


Adultery in the Philippines can carry legal consequences as these are criminal cases that can be filed against a 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 a criminal case filed against a husband and his partner in sexual infidelity.

I’ll first discuss Adultery in the Philippines in this section.


Man's wife with her paramour after having sexual intercourse is considered Adultery Philippines.
“Adultery is the application of democracy to love.”
– H.L. Mencken”


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.


A mental anguished husband after discovering that his wife committed Concubinage Philippines.
Scandalous videos and photos of erring husbands with their mistresses can be strong evidence of committing concubinage.


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.


Adultery vs Concubinage is both a crime in the Philippines
In Adultery vs Concubinage, the law unintentionally puts women at a great disadvantage.


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.


A man caught having mistress in the conjugal dwelling by his wife committed Concubinage Philippines.
Infidelity cannot be used as a basis for invalidity, but it may be the basis for legal separation or allegations of concubine or adultery.


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)?


Adultery vs Concubinage only have costs when you hired a lawyer to handle the filed case at prosecutor's office.
Some petitioners of annulment cases use adultery against their wives to coercively forgo the legitimate custodial claims of children and/or to give up conjugal property claims.


Yes, Adultery in the Philippines or Concubinage is bailable.

The bail 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)?


A penalty of imprisonment can be punished to both offender.
In the Philippines, adultery and concubinage are criminal cases that are generally considered committed against the State.


The Adultery Penalty in the Philippines is prison correctional from the medium and maximum periods which translates 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)?


Both spouse can file case
Husband often accused their abandoned wives of committing adultery in order to coerce them into agreeing to nullify the marriages.


The question of “Who can file for 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 if the parties are still married.

If the marriage 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?


Legally married couple at prosecutor's office
Adultery is a type of case that falls under private crimes since the husband has the sole power to file for it and be prosecuted.


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 judgment in the court proper.


Offended party can file case at prosecutor's office for free.
After submission, the court will have full notice of the case.


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.
  • The prosecutor forwards the case to the court if the prosecutor finds the evidence strong enough.
  • The court conducts its own assessment and schedules Arraignment and Pre-Trial if the evidence is strong enough.
  • The trial commences with the Prosecution.
  • The defense can present its own witnesses or argue that insufficient evidence was presented.
  • The court pens a Decision and Promulgates Judgement.


Court processing this case in the Philippines could take few years.
Once adultery is filed, the husband cannot issue an express pardon and it will not cause case dismissal.


Expect the process for Adultery or Concubinage in the Philippines to be rather long.

This is mainly because our courts are overworked and overflowing with cases.

There are 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.


The are several places that the case could be dismissed.
Pregnancy is not sufficient evidence to strengthen a concubine case unless it is supported by the elements in which it was committed based on law.


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?


Such proceedings are not permissible if the marriage has already been annulled.
Abandoned women without enough justification are still not allowed to have paramours.


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?


Filing against the husband will include also his mistress.
It is not a legally valid defense if both spouses commit an equal fault or ‘In pari delicto’.


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?


Husband signed an agreement to separate from his wife
To be considered a crime, there are certain conditions established by law.


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?


A case filed cannot be dismissed after the couple has reconciled.
It is considered an implied pardon if the offender is still living with their spouse even after committing the offense of adultery.


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)?


It is not considered as defense against adultery philippines if the husband is alos caught cheating.
Most people cheat because they care more about what they lack than what they have.


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?


Infidelity of a husband having mistress cannot defense concubinage.
Infidelity cannot be used to seek custody of a child.


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 are met and the evidence is clear.

Let’s break this down a little.


Married man keeping his mitress under conjugal property is a concubinage crime.
Infidelity is not sufficient proof for this crime. What you can justify is how your husband’s actions caused you emotional distress and suffering that falls under the VAWC act.


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?


If the wife is absent at conjugal home husband can still be subject to concubinage.
Acquittal is based on reasonable doubt.


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.


  • emelita magdato

    my husband have sex to is mistress in our conjugal home,and my son saw both of them in our master bedroom,and it make me distress,i cannot eat,sleep because it cause me emotional pain,what case should i file,i want both the mistress to

    • Hi – if you file an concubinage case, there are very strict grounds and also it takes a lot of money to file.

      Why not just end the marriage through annulment? Or if you want to save the marriage you can go to couples therapy.

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