People vs. Jumawan, G.R. No. 187495 – Case Digest

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FACTS

Accused-appellant and his wife, KKK, were married and have four children. On February 19, 1999, KKK executed a Complaint-Affidavit, alleging that her husband raped her at their residence in Cagayan de Oro City and that on December 12, 1998, the accused-appellant boxed her shoulder for refusing to have sex with him.

As to the charge of rape according to KKK, conjugal intimacy did not really cause marital problems between her and the accused-appellant. It was, in fact, both frequent and fulfilling. He treated her well and she, of course, responded with an equal degree of enthusiasm. However, in 1997, he started to be brutal in bed. He would immediately remove her panties and, sans any foreplay, insert her penis in her vagina. His abridged method of lovemaking was physically painful for her so she would resist his sexual ambush but he would threaten her into submission. The accused-appellant again asserted his sexual yearning and when KKK tried to resist by holding on to her panties, he pulled them down so forcefully they tore on the sides. KKK stayed defiant by refusing to bend her legs. She tried to wrestle him away but he held her hands and succeeded in penetrating her. As he was carrying out his carnal desires, KKK continued to protest by desperately shouting: “Don’t do that to me because I’m not feeling well.”

Accused raised the defense of denial and alleged that KKK merely fabricated the rape charges as her revenge because he took over the control and management of their businesses, and to cover up her extra-marital affairs.

ISSUE

Whether or not there can be a marital rape in this case.

RULING

YES. The Supreme Court held that husbands do not have property rights over their wives’ bodies. Sexual intercourse, albeit within the realm of marriage, if not consensual, is rape. 

The Court ruled that to treat marital rape cases differently from non-marital rape cases in terms of the elements that constitute the crime and in the rules for their proof, infringes on the equal protection clause.

The Court found that there is no rational basis for distinguishing between marital rape and non-marital rape. The various rationales which have been asserted in defense of the exemption are either based upon archaic notions about the consent and property rights incident to marriage or are simply unable to withstand even the slightest scrutiny.

The Court declared the marital exemption for rape in the New York statute to be unconstitutional. Said exemption states that a husband was endowed with absolute immunity from prosecution for the rape of his wife. The privilege was personal and pertained to him alone. He had the marital right to rape his wife but he will be liable when he aids or abets another person in raping her. Moreover, Section 1 of RA 8353 penalizes the crime without regard to the rapist’s legal relationship with his victim.

The Court also ruled against the application of implied consent theory which was raised by the accused. The accused argued that consent to copulation is presumed between cohabiting husband and wife unless the contrary is proved.

According to the Court, it is now acknowledged that rape, as a form of sexual violence, exists within marriage. A man who penetrates her wife without her consent or against her will commits sexual violence upon her, and the Philippines, as a State Party to the CEDAW and its accompanying Declaration, defines and penalizes the act as rape under R.A. No. 8353.