Heinous Crime Law/Child Abuse


(RA 7659, Dec. 31, 1993)

The constitutional proscription against the imposition of the death penalty was lifted with the enactment of RA 7659, otherwise known as the Heinous Crime Law, which took effect 15 days after publication on December 16, 993, that is on December 31, 1993. (People v. Martin Simon, 234 SCRA 555)

Heinous crimes are those which are punishable by death for being grievous and hateful offenses and which viciousness, atrocity and perversity are repugnant and outrageous to the common standards and norms of decency and morality in a just, civilized and ordered society. (Q1, 1995 Bar; Q10, 1997 Bar)

The specific heinous crimes are:

1. Treason

2. Qualified Piracy

3. Qualified Bribery

4. Parricide

5. Murder

6. Infanticide

7. Kidnapping and serious illegal detention

8. Robbery with homicide, rape, intentional mutilation or arson.

9. Destructive Arson

10. Rape (See Anti-Rape Law of 1997)

11. Plunder (RA 7080, as amended by RA 7659)

12. Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972 (RA 6425, as amended by RA 7659)

13. Carnapping when the owner, driver or occupant is killed or raped. (RA 6539, as amended by RA 7659)


(RA 7610, June 17, 1992)

Acts Punished, among others:

1. Those who engage in or promote, facilitate or induce child prostitution.

There is an attempt to commit child prostitution when any person who, not being a relative of a child, is found alone with the said child inside the room of a house, an inn, hotel, motel or any other hidden or secluded area under circumstances which would lead a reasonable person to believe that the child is about to be exploited in prostitution and other sexual abuse.

2. Those who commit the act of sexual intercourse or lasciviousness conduct with a child exploited in prostitution or subjected to other sexual abuse.  When the victim is under 12 years of age, the perpetrators shall be prosecuted under the RPC.

3. Those who derived profit or advantage therefrom, whether as manager or owner of the establishment where the prostitution takes place.

4. Any person who shall engage in trading and dealing with children including, but not limited to, the act of buying and selling of a child for money, or for any other consideration.  This is known as Child Trafficking.

5. Any person who shall hire, employ, use, persuade, induce or coerce a child to perform in obscene exhibitions and indecent shows, whether live or in video, pose, or model in obscene publications or pornographic materials or to sell or distribute the said material.

6. Any person who shall keep or have in his company a minor, 12 years or under or who is 10 years or more his junior in any public place or private place, hotel, motel and/or similar places. (Q5, 1993 Bar)

This provision shall not apply to any person who is related within the 4th degree of consanguinity or affinity or any bond recognized by law, local custom and tradition, or acts in the performance of a social, moral or legal duty. (Sec. 10[b])

7. Any person who shall use, coerce, force or intimidate a street child or any child to beg or use begging as a means of living, act as a conduit or middleman in drug trafficking or pushing, or conduct any illegal activities.

Children are those persons below 18 years of age or those over but are unable to fully take care of themselves or protect themselves from abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation or discrimination because of a physical or mental disability or condition.


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