Want to Spend Six Years in a Philippines Jail? Commit Adultery.


Would you care to spend up to six years in a Philippines jail? I believe the majority of my readers would probably answer with a resounding “NO” to that question. However, a new bill proposed by a House of Representatives committee in the Philippines has been approved that would impose stiff penalties on married citizens engaging in sexual intercourse with an individual other than his or her legal spouse. That’s according to a recent April 22, 2012 report in the Manila Bulletin.


Despite the proposed new legislature, adultery is already considered a crime in the Philippines. Here’s what the Revised Penal Code Book Two, Title Eleven Article 333 states:

“Who are guilty of adultery. — Adultery is committed by any married woman who shall have sexual intercourse with a man not her husband and by the man who has carnal knowledge of her knowing her to be married, even if the marriage be subsequently declared void.

Adultery shall be punished by prison correccional in its medium and maximum periods.

If the person guilty of adultery committed this offense while being abandoned without justification by the offended spouse, the penalty next lower in degree than that provided in the next preceding paragraph shall be imposed. ”

But the new proposed law by the House Committee on Women and Gender Equality, House Bill 5734also eliminates gender bias in laws penalizing the crimes of adultery and concubinage.

In an article I did back in November 2010, I was amazed to learn that under Filipino law, murder is essentially allowed for spouses caught in adultery!   but the new law, as mentioned above, is going to eliminate the current gender bias.

HB 5734, a consolidation of five bills filed by various House member,  defines sexual infidelity as an act committed by any legally married person who shall have sexual intercourse with another person other than his or her legal spouse.

It does not exempt a person whose marriage has been subsequently declared void.

However, the crime cannot be prosecuted by anybody except upon the complaint of the offended spouse.

The bill eliminates the disparity between the penalties imposed by existing laws on the crimes of concubinage and adultery.

Again, under the above-mentioned current Article 333 of the Revised Penal Code, adultery is committed by a married woman who engages in sexual intercourse with a man not her husband. Offenders are punishable by a maximum jail term of six years.

On the other hand, Article 333 of RPC only metes out on the offender a penalty of “destierro” or banishment from the community where the couple lives for a certain period of time.

HB 5734 treats the two crimes as the same acts that constitute sexual infidelity.

Also, lawmakers proposed that an offended party can no longer file charges against the alleged offender if the former is also guilty of sexual infidelity or had abandoned the guilty spouse without just cause for more than one year.

So for you expats that come over to meet a married Filipina and think you don’t have a thing to worry about, think again. It is a very distinct possibility that you could wind up in a Philippines jail. Don’t think it can happen to you? Yeah, I’m sure that’s what those foreigners already languishing in jail for committing adultery thought, also. Better make sure you know what “head” you’re thinking with.


Author: The Kano

POST AUTHOR: "THE KANO." Dave DeWall, "The Kano", is the Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of "Philippines Plus" in publication since August 2009. He is also the CEO of Lizard Poop Productions and author of the best-selling guide book "The Philippines Expat Advisor." Dave moved to the Philippines in July 2009 from Central Illinois with his lovely wife of over 19 years, "The Sainted Patient Wife." The couple reside in a rural province in Western Visayas, Guimaras. The small island province is said to have the sweetest mangoes in the world. They do not have any children but are the proud owners of eight active canines, including a Belgian Shepherd called "Killer" "Killer" has bitten five people in the last two years along with one goat and a carabao. "Killer" doesn't like strangers. Or goats. Or carabaos.

53 thoughts on “Want to Spend Six Years in a Philippines Jail? Commit Adultery.

  1. Interesting article Dave,It seems like everybody needs a private investigator just for dating!!…only in the Philippines.

    1. Rod, you’re absolutely right. I’ve had many emails from guys coming over to meet the “true love” of their life. Some of the girls tell them that they are married but separated. Doesn’t matter if they are separated or not. There is no divorce in the Philippines, and the estranged husband can file charges against the new boyfriend. Some do. If you’re a foreigner you’re even more of a target.

      Guys, with all the single ladies in the Philippines, think first before you put yourself through the heartache of starting a relationship with a married one. Annulments are rare and expensive. And then remember my number one rule: ‘IF THEY ASK FOR MONEY, RUN!”

  2. It’s more fun in the Philippines! Sounds like your friend Tomcat will be having fun in jail. There are too many single ladies here in the Philippines to be messing around with a married woman. Just plain dumb!!!!

    1. I completely agree with you, Gary. With all the single ladies available in the Philippines, it’s much safer to date one that’s not married. Doesn’t matter how long the couple may have been separated, they are still married in the eyes of the law in the Philippines.

      1. Trouble is Dave, ladies sometimes “forget” to tell the Kano suitor that she’s actually still married to someone else. And of course, guess who is expected to pay for the annulment fees which can run from $3000 to $6000? Also annulments can drag on for years and no guarantees that it will be granted.

        So yes definitely safer to make sure your lady is 100% single 🙂

        1. Yes, that’s true, Christine. That’s why I always recommend obtaining a Certificate of No Marriage Record a (CENOMAR) from the National Statistics Office (NSO) of the Philippines. It is simply what its name implies. It is a certification issued by the NSO stating that a person has not contracted any marriage. Also called a certificate of No Record of Marriage or Certificate of Singleness.And I would recommend applying for the CENOMAR yourself, it can be done. That way a guy can avoid any possible fake or forged documents.

          And you’re correct about the annulment process, also. I spoke to a reporter from The Daily Guardian in Iloilo several months ago. The reporter had a friend that married someone after his true love had an annulment and took years and thousands of dollars to obtain it. Tried to get her into the United States. It didn’t happen. Thanks for your input, Christine.

  3. In reality really, prison should be your last concerns if you’re having an affair with a married lady. Few Filipinos have the patience and resources (money) to take you to court for adultery with his wife. They usually resort to using a weapon, like knives, bolos, or guns. It’s instant justice. I was watching the Filipino news this morning and heard that a Cebuano farmer hacked his own cousin caught having sex with his wife. The wife only escaped by jumping out of the window totally naked.

    Your Kano life is as cheap as a glass of “tuba” (coconut wine) if the offended party (husband) comes from an influential family or has the right connections.

    1. Christine, you’re right again. I cannot tell you how many stories such as the one about the Cebuano farmer I’ve read in almost three years of living in the Philippines. “Instant justice” indeed! Readers, if you’ve spent any time in the Philippines you will know that what Christine says is 100% true. The Philippines can be akin to the Wild Wild West sometimes. Don’t come to the Philippines expecting there to be any rules. There aren’t any. Thanks again, Christine.

      1. You’re welcome Dave 🙂 And yes, the Philippines is in many ways like the wild, wild west. 🙂 I prefer it that way though 🙂

  4. There are Filipina women that don’t ask for money? I’m surprised to hear this. I never met anyone in a LTR where a Filipina women didn’t ask for money. Can you tell me where to find one? All my friends start off this way but the financial demands grow with time.

    1. While we were corresponding for six months as pen pals, Brian, my future Filipina bride never asked for one peso. She was working overseas in Taiwan. Before we starting writing each other, a Filipina working in Singapore called me. She asked for money. That was the last call I took from her. I’m a fortunate guy.

    1. That’s the key word, Gary, “LADIES.” I know many of my readers that also have Filipina spouses that are like yours and mine. There are plenty of ladies in the Philippines that are not gold-diggers.

      1. i met my wife in palua where she was an ofw, was introduced to her by my american friend who married a filipina while he was in the navy.my wife and i now have been married for 5 years and when we met she never asked for money ands after we married we both work hard and she and i save our money for the future. she is truly a lady

        1. Congratulations, Karl, for marrying a Filipina. Marrying my Filipina wife was the smartest thing I have ever done in my life. 😉

  5. This is nice to hear. Next time I’m back in the Phil, I’ll be avoiding these girls all together and looking for some of those ladies you are talking about. My friends and I have been very disappointed on what we’ve found. In fact one of my friends who had a child with a Filipina left the Philippines because he couldn’t handle the pressure. I originally thought he was a bum but now I can understand the demands from some of these women never stop. Now he just sends “child support” from afar!

    1. Well, Brian, I think one of the things a guy should try and do right away is set some boundaries. Have a discussion with your girlfriend or potential wife, and explain that you are not a walking ATM that she or the relatives can withdraw money from anytime they wish. If she doesn’t go along with it, find someone else. Believe it or, there are plenty of sincere, loyal Filipinas that are NOT out just to get your money. I hope you and your friends can find one.

      1. Brian, getting deliberately pregnant is a well-known entrapment method to 1) get a marriage commitment from a foreigner and 2) ensure the flow of money will not stop when you depart.

        Not all Filipinas do this, but quite a bit do. And for some it backfires when the foreigner will not acknowledge or won’t care to support the child. The Koreans are known for doing this, hence there is a small orphanage in Cebu that takes in half-Korean and also half-Japanese children abandoned by their mothers when they can not support the child. Such children have become known as “Kopinos”.

        Hopefully your friend is indeed the father. Did he demand a DNA test?

        1. Thanks, Christine, good information to know. I never had heard the term “Kopinos” before. Thanks for enlightening us.

  6. Well Brian your friend is still a bum! His child needs a father and you cannot do that “afar.” Sorry but the guys that come to the Philippines for the sex give the rest of us expats a bad name. 🙁

    1. Wigle,
      My friend lived with her the Phil for about 5 years then finally left. I think he is somewhat a bum. He lived as a family for most of that time. He offered her the chance to go overseas but she never left with him preferring to stay with Filipinos. Until I and another friend experienced our relationships getting out of hand, I had though he was a bum. Now I just think because it was a hopeless situation with a women that had no desire to grow.

  7. I have tried for 3 years to get my GF to teach her daughter English. Bought books 3 years ago and she has yet to teach her child English. I’ve I have lived in the Phil 1/2 of my time for the past 3 years and treated the child as if it was my own. But mom makes all kinds of excuses about why she can’t teach the kid. I’ve seen little to no growth in Mom either, she has a college degree now, we’ll see what she does with it. Unless something changes greatly, both myself and my friend plan to start over w/ Phil girls who have good jobs and see if it will be any better the next time.

    1. Well, Brian, it might be better just to start fresh. My wife was working overseas in Singapore and Taiwan for years before we got married. Even those Filipinos with a college degree can’t find any employment in the Philippines. You have to follow your heart. But I can guarantee you that there are a LOT of good ladies out there waiting for a good guy. Take my word for it. I married one. Gary married one. A BUNCH of the guys that follow this website have also found a good Filipina. Good luck on your search, Brian.

  8. Brian, I can tell you for sure that unless you marry the woman she will not trust you for very long. Why would she trust, you don’t trust her enough to marry her. At least that is the way they look at it.

    I couldn’t be more happy with Meriam. WOW! She is a great wife. We are on the same page with our world view. As a Baptist Bible Woman she is everything I was looking for in a wife. Never married and no kids. How rare is that in the States? Many Bible Women get married and many don’t.

    I know a few Bible women that are still single and looking for that special man. They are very picky. Don’t give up, that special woman is out there waiting for her special man to sweep her off her feet. 🙂

    1. Amen, Gary. That special woman IS out there for Brian. As a young girl, my future asawa, Melinda, saw a local lady in her small village in Guimaras walking with an American guy. Melinda thought the guy was so handsome. She looked at the stars in the night sky and prayed to God that she would one day marry such an American. Her prayer was answered (be careful what you pray for.) That said, I could never in my whole life find a better, more loyal, more loving wife than Melinda. She’s the best!

      1. Mariam prayed the same prayer Dave. Then she waited on God for the answer. I know Meriam is the answer to my prayers. 😛

          1. My GF told me she always dreamed of marrying a foreign guy too. She is married and seperated from a pinay and we would need to get an annulment but that idea has been put on hold due to her lack of best behavior over the last 1 1/2 years. Inability to stay on any budget, and do the minor things I’ve asked her to do. It’s great to hear that both of you have found such good wives. Maybe there is hope for my friend and I both!

            1. There’s hope my friend. Brian, I would forget the annulment route. 95% are denied. They’re costly. Could take years. You have to be well-connected to get one. Plenty of single ladies out there, Brian. Good luck. And don’t give up. 😀

  9. Was interested in your original post on Infidelity but notice two significant omissions and that appear to me to be quite significant. I quote from another article:

    “In the meantime, lawmakers are also proposing that an offended spouse may not file a complaint against the supposed offender if the former has also already committed the crime of sexual infidelity himself/herself, or had already abandoned his purportedly guilty spouse without any legally acceptable or sufficient reason for more than one year.”

    This seems like a sensible and practical amendment which could allow couples to move on and rebuild their lives.

    We all know that there are a huge number of unmarried couples who have had previous marriages in the Philippines and many who will not get married for fear of entrapment in a potentially miserable relationship. The institution of marriage and Family is a shambles . Their voices seem silent in an ocean of self-righteousness from Catholic pressurised Government. The ordinary Filipino has been inflicted with rough justice. More especially for the unsuspecting foreigner who unwittingly falls into the snare of a Gold Digging spouse.

    1. Thanks, Tony, that’s some good additional information. From my viewpoint, there does seem to be a need to institute some kind of divorce law in the Philippines, the only country in the world now (and I’m not counting Vatican City as one) without such a law. I have a sister-in-law in the Philippines “married” to her second Filipino husband after the first one left her. Now the second “husband” has several mistresses and locks her out of the house sometimes, but she doesn’t have much recourse. She went to her local DSWD, Department of Social and Welfare Development, Women’s “Help” Desk in Manila to file a complaint against him only to discover no one in the office can suddenly find the complaints she filed had previously filed against him. What a joke! Rough justice, indeed! Thanks for your input, Tony.

      1. Dave, I’m not actually sure if this amendment to HB 5734 has been carried through. I did spot a copy of the Bill on the Web but is hard to find the second time around.

        That is why I am interested to know if anyone has more information. The main focus of interest seemed to be in the severity of the punishment with no mention on any check and balances that may have been put into place.

        Surely most would agree that the law should not be allowed to be used as a weapon of hatred against a departed or ejected spouse as a means to extort money or inflict cruel imprisonment after a miserable failed marriage where time and separation have persisted without obligations of child support?

        1. I don’t believe the law has passed, Tony. Like many proposed laws in the Philippines, the RH Bill, a proposed divorce law, etc., there are many bills floating out there that garner some media attention (big election next year, and the politicians want to get their name out there), but that’s the last you hear of them.

  10. I got here by accident as I was looking for an article or court decision about “Unjust enrichment” in the Philippines. For some reason I got curious about your title. lol!

    The moment I started reading, I could not stop and proceeded to read even the comments. This is an excellent post about many issues in the Philippines and coming especially from a foreigner who experienced living in the country.

  11. Hi Dave ..Ive just finished watching a utube ..”locked up abroad ” on the case of a British guy(david Scott) locked up in the philippines ..charged with adultery (This may have been the inspiration for your story ) …he is now back in Britain after securing fake id and a visa for his gf ..God knows how …..some comments I would like to make ..seems he did very little research before coming to the philippines to meet his sweetheart .The gf was obviously aware that adultery is illegal as she was upset to find she was pregnant to Mr Scott …..The estranged husband asked for $10,ooo compensation from the Britain (he refused to negotiate at all ..on moral grounds ..After the couple were arrested he refused a bribe offer of only $400 from the police but was later released on a technicality but later lowered his moral standing as he secured fake id for his gf and baby to flee the Philippines …..

    1. Hi, Clarrie, good to hear from you. I recently saw that episode that you mentioned. It is amazing how stupid that Brit was. He absolutely had to do zero research about laws of adultery in the Philippines. And I agree with you, I think the woman he ended up smuggling to the U.K. knew the consequences. Some people will resort to desperate measures to escape their poverty. A latest survey from the Social Weather Stations in the Philippines reports more Filipinos consider themselves living in poverty and “food poor,” going hungry. Self-rated poverty worsened in Metro Manila (from 35 percent in August to 42 percent in December), from 38 percent to 43 percent in Luzon outside Metro Manila, and from 57 percent to 72 percent in Mindanao. It was unmoved at 62 percent in the Visayas, from 63 percent in August. (Source: Inquirer News)

      Here’s a LINK to a post I did about the consequences of committing adultery in the Phililppines.

  12. So many countries are hopeful that one day the Philippines will join the modern times and the rest of the world. It is frustrating to know the potential of the Philippine people but policy, dependence and corruption stagnate their growth. This law is an example of how Asian men preserve their freedom to constrain women while they are free to enjoy privileges of men. They do not want to disturb their control over woman. When I read the proposed Article 333, it does not say, ‘…committed by any married man or women” but says “…committed by any married woman”. This preserves the Filipino man’s right to have affairs while keeping his wife faithful in accordance to law. Woman caught are guilty. Men caught are subject to interpretation under the men-favored court system. No other country would permit this. Laws of this nature are just as unacceptable as the act of adultery itself – the lawmakers themselves have created a greater crime than the act of adultery itself. Another step back for the Filipino society.

    1. The Philippines is indeed a macho, male-dominated society, Donavan. The adultery laws are certainly stacked in the men’s favor. And I completely agree with your conclusion that “the potential of the Philippine people” and their growth is stagnated by “…policy, dependence and corruption.” Sad, but unfortunately, so true. Thanks for your input, Donavan. It’s appreciated.

  13. Do we need a mullah catholic taliban state here? if someone cheated on you, move on, break off,s tart a new life, punishing people won’t change their inner heart’s issues or other problems that have gone on since the dawn of mankind. Punishing people for having a sexual affair is not going to change nothing. Rather use the laws to punish corrupt officials that steal public money and criminal dons running loose in the country as well as catholic priests that take altar boys to the next room, hidden hidden. A day is coming when these religious barbarians are going to be chucked into the sea along with other cave man laws and practices. I support the Child support payments laws though. if you are responsible for bringing a child into the world, support him. If you go cheat, then God will judge you, not the Government’s business to interfere into your bedroom life.

    1. Couldn’t agree with you more, Practical. I’ll be featuring a new post soon regarding the adultery law in the Philippines. Thanks for your input.

      1. I was wowing the crowd the other night, Gary. In my own mind, I think my singing gets better the more I drink.

        Sorry you can’t make it. We’ll have to do a tour in Mindanao some day even with the heightened security alert. I’m sure The Tom Cat would be open to it. He’s quite the adventurer.

  14. I like Bleacher View got here by accident and read the Article and comments below and Wow very interesting. I was watching a show called Locked Up Abroad and it was talking about the Adultery Law and I wanted to see what the penalties where since I couldn't believe such a law exist. 

    1. Hi Angelo, yep, a person could go to jail for a very long time if they commit adultery and if charges are pressed. People have to realize that the Philippines is a COMPLETELY different world than what they might be used to and it’s good to be aware of what laws are on the books. 

      1. Hi, i have been talking to a filipino girl for about a month now and things are strting to get serious. Where do i start to get a visa etc

        1. Hi, Iain. Do you mean a visa for you to visit the Philippines or a visa for your girlfriend? Also, have you checked to see if your friend is really single or not? I would advise that you check out this post on obtaining a CENOMAR, Certificate of No Marriage Record. A CENOMAR is a certification issued by the NSO,National Statistic Office of the Philippines, stating that a person has not contracted any marriage. Also called a certificate of No Record of Marriage or Certificate of Singleness.

          For most countries you can visit the Philippines for up to 30 days without obtaining a tourist visa extension. Check out the Philippine Bureau of Immigration website for more info.
          Good luck.

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