Premarital sex 'immoral,' says Justice Reyes
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Supreme Court (SC) Associate Justice Jose Reyes Jr said on Wednesday, October 2, that premarital sex is "immoral" and may even constitute "perhaps adultery or concubinage depending on circumstances."
Reyes, a devout Catholic, was asked for his views on the matter by the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) in light of Indonesia's revision of its criminal code that would criminalize sex outside of marriage.
Retired justice Noel Tijam, a JBC member, prodded Reyes for his thoughts on Wednesday as the latter applied for the position of chief justice. (READ: How they voted: Meet the chief justice aspirants for 2019)
"As a Catholic, it's immoral for two people to engage in premarital sex," Reyes said, but not before grilling by Tijam.
Tijam pointedly asked Reyes: What is the law that bans premarital sex?
"I would say it's violative of moral law, your honor, meaning its law and morals. Well, if two consenting adults lived together, it may either constitute perhaps adultery or concubinage...depending on the circumstances, your honor," said Reyes.
In the reverse, Tijam also asked Reyes if there were any provision in the 1987 Constitution that would be violated if premarital sex is banned.
"Right now, your honor, I have no idea, but as far as the Family Code is concerned, your honor, the Family Code protects marriage, your honor, meaning as an institution," said Reyes.
Associate Justice Estela Perlas Bernabe, for her part, said banning premarital sex would violate the Constitution.
"As of now, I don't think there is really a prohibition in our law and in the Constitution, and then, it may be argued that to restrict that, or to render it unconstitutional, would infringe on the right to liberty and freedom of expression," Bernabe said.
Earlier in the interview, Reyes was asked if his religiosity was a factor in his success.
"My religiosity has helped me a lot in pursuing my career in the judiciary, meaning, by religiosity, it's my love for God and my love for country," he said.
During the most recent oral arguments on martial law in Mindanao, Reyes had told Solicitor General Jose Calida that "maybe we have forgotten to pray."
"Other than the economic solution, then perhaps we should start to pray. Maybe we have forgotten to pray," Reyes said then.
Associate Justice Marvic Leonen said later in the oral arguments, "This is not an issue of whether people pray or not, is that not correct?"
Reyes is the most junior applicant for chief justice. He was appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte to the SC in August 2018, and has since voted consistently in favor of the Duterte administration. – Rappler.com