5 Weird laws in the Philippines, ghosting not included

Jul 29, 2022 0 comments



Laws are a set of rules that are fundamental in every country to regulate the actions and behavior of its citizens. These have been regarded as both a science and the art of justice. But sometimes these laws sound wildly unreasonable and seriously ludicrous, while other times they highlight significant cultural norms that may differ from your own.


For example, recently Negros Oriental 3rd District Representative Arnolfo Teves got flack on the internet after filling House Bill No. 611, also known as An Act Declaring Ghosting as an Emotional Offense. The proposed bill got alot of mix attention since it clear that his priorities were rather different. 


But if you think that the proposed bill is already absurd, wait until you look at some of our existing and valid laws! Thus, we've compiled some of the strange laws in the Philippines you probably never knew existed to see how bizarre and outdated they are, because, as they say, ignorance of the law excuses no one.


Toss Coin or Drawing of Lots Will Settle An Election Tie




Elections are considered to be one of the most chaotic, divisive, and controversial events in any country, including the Philippines. It is a systematic and organized decision-making process that decides who will rule in a democratic country or a nation. A person's desire of holding a political office or position is determined by the people... but rarely by a flip of a coin.


Though a game of chance can be an arbitrary means to select who governs a territory, settling a rare election tie through drawing lots is actually allowed under Philippine laws; tossing a coin is also acceptable. 


Under the Omnibus Election Code, "the board of canvassers shall proceed to the drawing of lots of the candidates who have tied and shall proclaim as elected the candidates who may be favored by luck."


A Person May Be Imprisoned for 'Offending Religious Feelings'



The Philippines punishes the crime of notoriously offending the feelings of the faithful through words and actions "in a place devoted to religious worship or during the celebration of any religious ceremony."


Article 133 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) states that a person who will violate this penal law will be charged with an arresto mayor (imprisonment from one month and one day to six months) in its maximum period to prision correccional in its minimum period (two years, four months and one day to six months).


Meanwhile, in 2019, former Sen. Leila De Lima filed Senate Bill No. 628 which seeks to repeal a provision in the RPC, stressing that this is against a person's Constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression.


Widows Must Wait 301 Days Before They Can Marry Again



In the country, it was illegal for any widow to marry another person within 301 days of her husband's death, "or before having delivered if she shall have been pregnant at the time of his death."


Section 351 of the RPC states that the punishment for premature marriages would be an arresto mayor and a fine not exceeding Php 500. 


However, various women's rights groups expressed their dissenting stance over this law, believing that this article is discriminatory against women. Fortunately, it was repealed when former President Noynoy Aquino signed Republic Act (RA) 10655, making premature marriages legal.


You Can Charge Annoying People for Simply Being Annoying



Next time you feel annoyed by your workmates, classmates, or anyone, you can file legal charges against them under Philippine law. 


Article 287 of the RPC states that “any coercions or unjust vexations shall be punished by arresto menor  or a fine ranging from Php 5 to Php 200.” It means an individual who would be charged with this violation may be imprisoned from one day to 30 days.


You Can “Legally” Kill Somebody



"This is not a test. This is your emergency broadcast system announcing the commencement of the…"


If you think that it is only during The Annual Purge an individual may legally kill another person, well under Philippine law, there is a situation wherein someone who commits murder may avoid punishment.


Under Article 247 of the RPC, any lawfully married person who catches his spouse in the act of having sexual intercourse with another individual and murders one or both of them soon thereafter, or inflicts serious physical injuries, will only face destierro or banishment.



People believe that law is law; that no matter how harsh and unjust it is, it is the law. No one is above the law and everyone is equal before it, they say. But how can the Filipinos put their confidence in this phrase, when it is the same law that punishes the poor for stealing mangoes while protecting the rich and the elite who amassed billions of pesos.


Just because some laws have been effective from one generation to the other, doesn't mean these should remain unaltered. It is about time that we challenge the existing set of rules in the country, which favor those in power and continue to trample on human rights. Laws are meant to protect the rights of the citizens and not violate the basic principles of justice.



━━ Written By  Brix Lelis
━━  Photo by Cojanu Alexandru / Pexels


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