Monday, November 12, 2007

Criminalizing Necrophilia



The Philippines has no statute criminalizing necrophilia or an act of engaging in sexual intercourse with the corpse.

At most, a necrophile may be held liable only for violation of Art. 353 of the Revised Penal Code which penalizes the act of blackening the memory of one who is dead or desecration of the dead under Art. 309 of the New Civil Code which merely gives rise to liability for damages.

In an attempt to plug the lacuna in our legal system by penalizing necrophiles or those who derive sexual satisfaction by having sexual intercourse with a female corpse, Senate President Villar filed SB No. 1038 on 4 July 2007 criminalizing necrophilia or carnal knowledge with the dead. Under the bill, a person found guilty of necrophilia shall suffer a penalty of reclusion perpetua to death plus a fine.

I do not agree that necrophilia shall be defined as a separate crime.

The author of the bill proposes to place the crime of necrophilia immediately under the crime of rape in the Revised Penal Code. That may be misplaced. As lawyers and law students know, rape is a crime against person. If it becomes a crime, necrophilia may not be placed under the category of crimes against person for the simple reason that a corpse is no longer a person upon death. At the same breath and for the same reason, the same cannot be put under the crimes against chastity.

I submit that necrophilia be defined not as a separate crime but only as a special aggravating or qualifying circumstances for the act of blackening the memory of one who is dead imposing a graver penalty thereof.

I find also the penalty too harsh. Reclusion perpetua to death is so much for a sick man. Necrophilia is a disorder. In western countries, necrophiles undergo psychoactive drug treatments including chemical castration. In the United States, there is no federal legislation specifically barring sex with a corpse.

What’s your take?

6 comments:

Joselito Basilio said...

Thank your MQ3 for mentioning this entry in your blog Daily Dose

cvj said...

While a corpse is no longer a living person, it is clear that society stills sees it as more than a mere object. I agree that rape may be the wrong category but maybe there should be a formal bill of rights for the dead which is of course, not for the dead, but more for the living.

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