The Philippines, just like any other country, has its own set of laws that are either absurd, obsolete or both. Here are three of them:
1. An election tie can be broken by drawing of lots.
The Omnibus Election Code states that “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…”
The said code is seconded by Comelec Resolution No. 9648, stating that “the Board immediately notify the said candidates to appear before them for the drawing of lots to break the tie. The drawing of lots should be conducted within one (1) hour after issuance of notice by the Board to the candidates concerned.”
This, in fact, was practiced in the 2013 elections, where two candidates tossed a coin after they ended up in a tie for the mayoral seat in the town of San Teodoro, Oriental Mindoro and again in the recently conclude 2016 election for the mayoral seat in Bocaue, Bulacan.
Thankfully, the Philippines is not the only place practicing this weird law. Several states in the US make use of this method as well.
2. Widows need to observe the “301-day rule” before re-marrying.
Young Filipinos who are fans of romantic comedies believe in following the three-month rule after a breakup. That means, they have to stay single and refrain from dating for three months.
Little did these youngsters know that such a rule actually exists in the country – for a longer period, however, and applicable to widows only.
Section 351 of the Revised Penal Code states that “any widow who shall marry within three hundred and one day from the date of the death of her husband, or before having delivered if she shall have been pregnant at the time of his death, shall be punished by arresto mayor and a fine not exceeding 500 pesos.”
The period is said to be an “enforced mourning period” for women who lost their husbands.
However, Senator Nancy Binay has a bill (Senator Bill 1647) that seeks to revoke the validity of such law, arguing that the existence of such law is a form of discrimination against women.
3. Wives and daughters can be killed “legally”.
Article 247 of the Revised Code, states that anyone “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.”
However, there is an addition to this rule that is also surprising. It states that “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 law, however, has been the subject of debates as it concentrates on wives and daughters, raising issues about gender equality, women empowerment, and human rights.
Remember: Ignorance of the laws excuses no one.