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. While legislation to change the current adultery laws are occasionally filed nothing has changed.  

What is the Difference between Adultery and Concubinage?

Simply put, ADULTERY is a felony crime chargeable only for the wife.

The husband can only file adultery charges in the Philippines. He only needs to prove that his wife committed an act(s) of sexual infidelity.

Article 333 of the Revised Penal Code states that a married woman who engages in sexual intercourse with a man not her husband commits adultery. She can face up to six years in prison.

CONCUBINAGE is the only charge the husband can face.

Concubinage is an interpersonal and sexual relationship in which the couple are not or cannot be married. A mistress qualifies as a concubine.

However, in order for a husband to be liable for concubinage, it is not enough to prove that he had a sexual relationship with another woman. The charges must also meet the following conditions:

  1. The mistress is kept in the same home as the wife.
  2. It is committed under scandalous circumstances.
  3. He lives with his mistress in any other place. 

The man only faces up to two years in prison according to Article 334 of the Revised Penal Code.

The Revised Penal Code was first enacted in 1930.

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Legislators’ Attempts to Amend Adultery Laws

Legislators in the Philippines have been trying to amend the adultery law for years. Philippine lawmakers were seeking to change adultery laws as far back as April 1994. According to UCA News, then Senator Jose Lina Jr. had finished several bills related to adultery.

“Under present laws, married males who engage in discreet one-night stands are not liable for crimes involving marital transgression,” he said.

Senator Raul Roco, author of one of the bills before the committee at the time also was interviewed by the UCA, the Union of Catholic Asian news. Consequently, here’s what Senator Roco had to say at the time:

“If infidelity is punished in women, it should also be punished in men,” he asserted. “If the husband is punished with only two years (imprisonment), then the wife should also be punished with (only) two years.”

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Senate Bill 635, authored by Roco, would have replaced the term “adultery” in the penal code with “infidelity.” The bill would have punished men and women adulterers equally.

The bill would also have replaced the term “concubinage” in the code with “maintenance of a paramour,” under which husbands or wives who maintain partners anywhere could be prosecuted.

A “paramour” is an old school term for a lover, especially the illicit partner of a married person.

However, the proposed laws never came to fruition.

Former Senator Manny Villar also tried to amend the adultery and concubinage laws. He introduced a bill in the Senate which said in part:

“This disparate treatment of wives and husbands is recognized in the Philippine jurisprudence: To our legislators adultery is not a violation of the laws relating to marriage. It is a violation of those laws only when it is committed by a woman. The husband can break those laws without committing adultery. She, in other words, is, in reality, the only person capable of committing the crime under the law of the Philippines Islands …. (U.S. vs. Topino & Guzman, dissenting opinion of Moreland, J., 35 Phil. 901, 916.)”

Senator Villar’s attempt to end the discriminatory treatment of wives also failed.

Don’t play with fire
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Furthermore, back in 2012, a proposed law by the House Committee on Women and Gender Equality, House Bill 5734, failed to become law. Its aim was to eliminate gender bias in laws penalizing the crimes of adultery and concubinage.

In 2015, Rep. Mercedes K. Alvarez was fighting to remove gender bias in some provisions of the Revised Penal Code especially on crimes related to sexual infidelity.

“We have to ensure fundamental equality before the law between women and men,” she proclaimed.

Her House Bill 5290 never became law.

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Acosta wanted Tougher Penalties

In contrast, Chief public attorney Persida Rueda-Acosta said penalties on women caught committing adultery should be tougher, while penalties for concubinage need not be as strict.

This according to an article in a 2016 article by Rappler.com.

Acosta was responding to a question posed by Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) member Jose Mejia during the public interviews for the post of Supreme Court (SC) associate justice.

“For adultery and concubinage, it should be stricter on women more than on men. Because women are the light of the home. If the home is destroyed because the woman cheats, it’s over. But if the man cheats, the woman remains strong, and since she is the light of the home, the home remains strong.”

“For me, it’s okay to have the law stay that way, to be tougher on women committing adultery and not as much on concubinage.”

Acosta never won a seat on the Supreme Court.

Adultery Arrests Still Made

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Most noteworthy is the fact that adultery arrests are still being made. This story from the SunStar appeared on February 19th, 2019.

Caught with His Pants Down

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“Lino” filed a report with the San Pedro Police in Davao City around 9:30 pm. The 39-year-old alleged this his wife, “Jade,” had committed adultery.

“Lino” told police that he saw his wife and “Ace,” getting a room at the D’Morvie Suites along San Pedro Street, Davao City.

“Lino”and the police proceeded to D’Morvie.

“Lino” knocked on the door of Room 314. His wife opened the door.

Police found “Ace, 31,” without his pants on.

The lovers were immediately arrested.

The woman is now facing a case for violating the Article 333 of the Revised Penal Code or adultery.

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The following story is from July 2014 but I found the statements from the woman and the minister involved in the affair so ridiculous that I had to include it in this post. It comes from the PhilStar.com.

A 42-year-old woman and her minister were caught violating one of the Ten Commandments. The woman posted bail on adultery charges three nights after her husband, a lawyer, reportedly caught his wife having sex in a Pasig City motel with her pastor.

Pasig Metropolitan Trial Court Executive Judge Eduardo Ramon Reyes set bail at P12,000, 240 US dollars for the woman. The Judge set the same bail amount for the minister, 50.

The minister’s relatives posted bail for the two accused. They were released from the Eastern Police District (EPD) annex jail.  

The woman’s husband hired private detectives to monitor his wife. The husband, accompanied by a police officer and barangay officials, caught the woman and the minister naked in bed in the motel room.

Now here’s the kicker:

The woman claimed she and the minister were only chatting and eating in the room. The minister claimed his relationship with the woman was not “full-blown.”   

Really? You were sitting in a bed in a motel naked with your pastor chatting and having a snack? Were you discussing a sermon the pastor had delivered that week?

British Man and Filipina Girlfriend Jailed for Adultery

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You might have seen this story on National Geographic’s “Locked up Abroad.” The Gazette&Herald UK reported on it back in August 2008.

David Scott was a 37-year-old Brit from Swindon. Swindon is 71 miles (114 km) west of London. Scott had gone to the Philippines in early 2008 to meet a Filipina, Cynthia. However, Cynthia was still married.

Doesn’t matter if the couple were legally separated or not. The Brit and his girlfriend evidently had sexual relations as Cynthia became pregnant. However, her relationship with the Brit was posted on social media.

Frankly, not a very smart thing to do.

Cynthia’s estranged Filipino husband saw the post.

He went ballistic.

Scott and his then pregnant girlfriend Cynthia were arrested and charged with adultery.  The couple spent three days in a tiny rat-infested jail cell in Manila. They were told they would have to pay Cynthia’s husband £7,000 for the charges to be dropped.

Adultery Still Illegal in Certain Countries

In the months that followed the couple were able to flee the Philippines and fled to Thailand. Cynthia and their new-born baby Janina were eventually granted British citizenship.

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According to a September 2018 article in The Week. UK, adultery remains technically illegal in 21 states in the USA.  Hence, in Idaho, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oklahoma and Wisconsin, among others, it is a felony crime punishable by prison. Getting rid of the laws would require US politicians to vocally oppose the law. Something few are willing to do.

Countries governed by Islamic law, including Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Somalia, all strictly prohibit zina, or “fornication outside marriage.”

Adultery remains illegal in Taiwan. A Taiwanese widow faced the theoretical possibility of 298 years in jail for an affair with a married man. The 56 year-old-woman was not herself married during the five-year affair with her neighbor. She was served a sentence of two years in jail or a fine of Tw$730,000 ($24,300.)

However, court officials said she had faced the possibility of 298 years in jail. Judges used confessions from the pair to estimate they had held a total of 894 tête-à-têtes in various motel rooms.

Rappler.com reported that the 50-year-old neighbor avoided legal punishment altogether.  His wife, who had filed the complaint against the duo after learning of the affair, decided to forgive him and drop the lawsuit against him.

Unfaithful husbands in Philippine National Police to undergo rehabilitation

Iloilo police sm city

The Philippine Star recently ran a story on July 10, 2019 regarding unfaithful husbands in the PNP, Philippine National Police. Cheating husbands in the police force will be included in a revitalized reformation program of the PNP.

Policemen separated from their spouses or have mistresses will undergo the same rehabilitation program together with fellow officers facing other administrative offenses.

The PNP leadership wants to strengthen the family unit. A new strategy, the “squad concept,” puts emphasis on values formation, spiritual development and strengthening of families of police personnel.

Economic abuse raps rise

Data from the PNP Women and Children Protection Center (WCPC) showed there were 301 complaints of economic abuse against policemen in 2018. 2018 is the same year police officers received a significant pay hike from President Duterte’s administration.

The number is higher by 40 percent compared to 215 cases in 2017. As of last July 7, the WCPC has received a total of 36 complaints.

The increase in their salaries prompted former wives and mistresses of police officers to ask more financial support for their children.

What Does Jesus Say?

Of course, “Thou shalt not commit adultery” is one of the Ten Commandments.

Jesus in Matthew 5:27-28 goes on to say the following regarding adultery:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’

But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

Jimmy Carter admitted as such while running for President of the United States in an interview with Playboy magazine. Carter admitted that he “looked upon a lot of women with lust.”

Nonetheless, Carter won election as President of the United States in 1976.

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Most noteworthy, too, is what Jesus said in the following account from The Gospel of John Chapter 8 (NIV):

The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 

They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 

When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 

Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 

Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

“No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared.

“Go now and leave your life of sin.”

That last statement by Jesus is key. “…leave your life of sin.”

Adultery is a destructive force which tears apart marriages and breaks the hearts of the victims.


So if you’re an expat that comes over to the Philippines to meet a Filipina, make sure she is single. Again, legal separation doesn’t matter.

Foreigners face arrest in the Philippines for the crime of adultery.  Case in point, the Brit from Swindon mentioned earlier in this post.If you want to make sure the woman you plan to meet is really single, you can find out with a CENOMAR.

A CENOMAR isaCertificate of No Marriage Record. It’s simply what its name implies. It is a certification issued by the PSA, Philippine Statistics Authority, stating that a person has not contracted any marriage. Also called a certificate of No Record of Marriage or Certificate of Singleness.

Don’t Think with the Wrong “Head”

Protect yourself. Arm yourself with information. Do your homework. Again, don’t assume that the woman you fall in love with in the Philippines is always telling you the truth. Frankly, marrying a foreigner is like winning the lottery in many cases. Her “jackpot” could be your ticket to a prison sentence in a rat-infested, crowded jail cell in the Philippines.

Use the common sense that God gave you.

Finally, don’t think with the wrong “head.”

27 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.

  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!!!!

    • 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 🙂

  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.

  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.

    • 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

  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!

    • 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?

  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. 🙁

    • 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.

  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. 🙂

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

      • 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!

  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.

    • 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?

  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 …..

  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.

  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.

  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. 

    • 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

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