Author: PSI GARY FC PUASO
Date: Tuesday, 06 September 2011 02:04
Newspapers report local government officials spearheading anti-prostitution drive with the PNP members chasing suspected prostitutes in streets. Reports include that the legal basis of this anti-prostitution drive dubbed as “Oplan Magdalena” is a local ordinance.
Policewomen in charge to file cases against these suspected prostitutes entirely embrace the practice of filing prostitution cases pursuant to an ordinance but few industrious policewomen bothered to ask from the PNP LEGAL SERVICE ALERT 24/7 about the law that punishes prostitution. It seems that they are thinking of a law with a short title “Anti-Prostitution Law” and are thinking simply of prostitution in the streets and not the fact that prostitution is actually an industry. In this jurisdiction, we do not have codified laws on prostitution. Hence, this article is written for the information of our policewomen.
Prostitution comes in different forms. The most familiar is prostitution in the streets. There are also prostitutions in establishments that disguised as legitimate businesses such as spas, massage parlors, saunas, KTVs, etc (but I am not saying that all of these businesses are indulge in prostitution). Escort service is also a form of prostitution. We also heard of sex tourism and saw for ourselves results of such sex tourism in the internet wherein our women, for a fee, agreed to have sex with visitors coming from first world countries. We can also see these visitors watching Filipino couples having sex in front of the camera.
Human trafficking that connotes slavery is actually a means of supplying prostitutes. Pimps now use the internet to offer sexual services.
In a nutshell, the parties in the flesh industry and the penalties for their respective participation in the crime are as follows:
- 1)The Prostitute.
- Under Republic Act 9208 otherwise known as “Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003”, prostitutes cannot be prosecuted as such because they are deemed victims of the act of trafficking even if they consented to the intended exploitation and even if they run against or fight back to the rescuing police officers.
- RA 10158 amended Article 202 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC). The amendment retained paragraph 5 that states that depending on the attendant circumstances, prostitutes are penalized of a penalty ranging from one day to six months and one day imprisonment; or a fine not exceeding 2,000.00 pesos; or both depending on the discretion of the court.
- RA 10158 resolved the doubts whether or not RA 9208 repealed Article 202(5) of the RPC. Hence, if a (street) prostitute is apprehended without any allegation of being trafficked, file a case pursuant to the RPC or RA 10158.
- 2)The Customer.
- Under Section 11 of RA 9208, if he engages the services of a trafficked prostitute, he will be penalized with six months community service and a fine of Php50,000.00 for the first offense; and, for second and subsequent offenses, imprisonment of one year and fine of 100 thousand pesos.
- Under Section 5(b) of Republic Act 7610 otherwise known as “Special Protection of Children Act”, for having sexual intercourse with a child exploited in prostitution (the age of the child must be between 12 years old and above but below 18 years old), he will be penalized for 14 years, four months and one day minimum to forty years maximum imprisonment.
- But if the age of the child is seven years old and above but below 12 years, he violated Republic Act 8353 or the Rape Law. The penalty is 20 years and one day to forty years imprisonment.
- if the age of the child is below seven years old, death penalty will be imposed pursuant to RA 8353.
- 3)The Pimp/Trafficker/Bugaw.
– Under Section 10(a) in relation to Section 4 of RA 9208, imprisonment for 20 years and fine ranging from one million to two million pesos. If found guilty of qualified trafficking, the penalty is life imprisonment and a fine ranging from two to five million pesos.
- Under Section 5(a) of RA 7610, he will be penalized for 14 years, four months and one day minimum to forty years imprisonment.
- It is the personal opinion of the undersigned that Section 5(a) of RA 7610 has been amended by RA 9208.
- 4)The owner of the establishment who knowingly allow prostitution to take place.
- Under Section 10(b) in relation to Section 5(a) of RA 9208, imprisonment for 15 years and fine ranging from half million to one million pesos.
- Under Section 5(c) of RA 7610, he will be penalized for 14 years, four months and one day minimum to forty years imprisonment.
- In order to be liable for the offense, the owner must also be indicted in court. Evidence to prove that he knowingly allow prostitution to take place in his establishment must be adduced.
- 5)The government employees/officials who by acts promoted trafficking in persons.
– Under section 10(h) of RA 9208, he shall be held administratively liable without prejudice to criminal liability. Upon conviction, be dismissed from the service and be barred permanently to hold public office. Retirement and other benefits shall be forfeited.
This article is a personal opinion of the writer and not of the PNP Legal Service.
Last Updated (Tuesday, 26 February 2013 03:38)