5/04/2011

DENGUE AND LICENSE TO KILL !!!

PAMPANGA -- The Department of Health (DOH) Regional Office here has raised the alert level to critical following the surge of dengue cases in Central Luzon from January to April 16 this year.
In a media forum at Partyland on Monday, DOH Regional Director Rio Magpantay asked for media's help in disseminating information to raise awareness among its partner agencies, as well as heads oflocal government units.
Magpantay said the number of cases in the region is continuously rising, noting a 200-percent increase in the first quarter of this year.
"We are experiencing a dramatic peak in the number of cases this year and we are extensively monitoring it to avert a possible outbreak," Magpantay said.
According to the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance unit, 3,688 dengue cases were reported from January to April this year, higher than the same period last year.
Bulacan still tops the list with 1,253 cases; Nueva Ecija with 927; Tarlac with 337; Bataan with 316; and Zambales with 186. A total of 17 deaths have been noted so far.
In Pampanga, 724 cases with at least two deaths have been reported.

LICENCE TO KILL !!!

This happens too often in the movies: a husband finds his wife having sex with another man. In his rage, the husband kills his wife and her lover.

Under the Philippine law, when this happens, the husband will get a lighter penalty compared to killing his wife under other circumstances.

On Monday, a partylist representative filed a bill repealing the provision in the law-- Article 247 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) that lessens the penalty for the killing of minor daughters and spouses caught in the act of sexual intercourse.

In filing House Bill 3475, Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares said the fact that Article 247 of the RPC focuses on women, i.e. the daughter and not the son, shows the discriminatory and feudal frame of mind of the authors of law.

“Worse, the law even vaguely provides that it applies not only during sexual intercourse but also “immediately after" sexual intercourse, which practically allows for the killing even if it is no longer sure that a sexual act has indeed been committed," he said.

Article 247 of the Revised Penal Code

Article 247 states that "Death or physical injuries inflicted under exceptional circumstances. — Any legally married person who having surprised his spouse in the act of committing sexual intercourse with another person, shall kill any of them or both of them in the act or immediately thereafter, or shall inflict upon them any serious physical injury, shall suffer the penalty of destierro."

"If he shall inflict upon them physical injuries of any other kind, he shall be exempt from punishment. These rules shall be applicable, under the same circumstances, to parents with respect to their daughters under eighteen years of age, and their seducer, while the daughters are living with their parents," the article states,

"Prision correccional, suspension, and destierro: The duration of the penalties of prision correccional, suspension and destierro shall be from six months and one day to six years, except when suspension is imposed as an accessory penalty, in which case, its duration shall be that of the principal penalty," the article adds.

Passion not a license to kill

Colmenares found it incomprehensible why the law which essentially accepts killing despite the fact that the imposition of death penalty has been abolished.

“Instead of imprisonment, the killer is merely penalized with destierro or prohibited from entering a place designated by the court, surely a ’non penalty’ considering the seriousness of the crime," he added.

The lawmaker further said while adultery and concubinage are punished only with imprisonment under the criminal laws.

Article 247 transforms the same act into a criminal offense punishable by death merely because the sexual act was seen by the parent or the spouse.

“Some may argue that the passion, obfuscation and the insult is suffered by the parent or the spouse. However, insult or passion must never be a license to kill," Colmenares said.

“What makes it unacceptable is because it perpetuates the use of State power through criminal laws to define and re-define relationships, where the State engages in legal discourse to control how much love is available for whom and what reactions there should be when embroiled in such situations," he said.

Colmenares also said his proposed measure is not meant to encourage acts of infidelity but rather to discourage murder.

He said infidelity remains punishable under criminal laws. It is also subject to civil liabilities under the Civil Code.

“Rather, the bill seeks to discourage murder, especially the murder of a daughter by a parent or the murder of a spouse by the other," he said.

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