Traversing the Condemned: Perspectives of Selected Experts
Extramarital affairs are mostly clandestine. However, in contemporary Philippine society it is the new "talk of the town". It is permeated in social media such as films and tv shows with the "mistress theme". This faddish phenomenon really caught every Filipinos attention. Extramarital affair is a top secret for both the married man and his concubine same goes with a married woman who commits the same act. It is a "Standard Operating Procedure" to be observed at all times, for the sake of its continuity and keeping their family's integrity. They meet mostly at hotels, a proper place to make love in private, not in the conjugal dwellings to eliminate possible grounds for criminal case of concubinage as provided in Art. 333 of the Revise Penal Code of the Philippines.
This particular ground for concubinage is what makes the groundbreaking Ortigas-Madrigal case, the most celebrated, if not the most famous, concubinage case in the Philippines. It is groundbreaking for two reasons: First, it is a norm, at least in the upper class society, to keep their marriage, no matter how faulty it may be. Probably, to protect their wealth. Second, it is not easy to prove a case of concubinage, usually women must take extra effort to collect evidences of the said crime. Ms. Madrigal's filing of lawsuit and eventually winning the case is momentous. As written in the Revise Penal Code of the Philippines, the legal wife must prove that the sexual intercourse took place under scandalous circumstances, or that the husband kept a mistress in the conjugal dwelling or cohabited with her in any other place. As opposed to succeeding an adultery case a proof of sexual intercourse is enough for the prosecution. Susana Madrigal-Bayot, 64, from one of a wealthy clan in the Philippines, doesn't just show her emancipation as a battered wife. As a woman and a wife, she emphasizes that winning a case against her spouse in this highly patriarchal society is possible.
Concubinage, as one form of extramarital affair, is a breach of marriage. Whereas, marriage is a sexual property (Davis in Collins, 1939). By sexual property, Davis refers to a social relationship and not property as a thing to be owned by someone. Furthermore, it is a kind of consensual agreement between a man and a woman on how they will act toward particular things. Violation of this agreement is considered a crime, in most countries. This violation is known as adultery. But law has defined the difference between the term adultery as committed by a married woman, and concubinage committed by a married man.
In his book, Collins (1941) suggests that there are three kinds of property involved in the family. " (1) Rights of sexual possesion includes the rights of sexual intercourse and prohibitions on intercourse with outsiders. Sometimes the rights also extend to claims over a person's emotions of affection, although this is mainly found in modern societies. (2) Economic property rights include the material household itself, the income that supports the family, and the labor that different family members put into making the household a living concern. (3) Intergenerational property rights include the rights that children have to inherit the family's economic property, and also the rights that parents have over their own children, economically and otherwise."
The phenomenon of extramarital affairs, specifically concubinage, is widespread. What remains to be explored, however, is the reasons for its persistence, as well as its implication for the women in general and for Philippine society. Despite of the people's awareness of the issue, it is not surprising that people see it as something taken for granted. In this light, it is relevant to present the reasons why married men and the concubines, engage in the said affair.
The main purpose of this study is to investigate the...
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