(SPOT.ph) Modern technology brings about modern problems and modern problems require, well, by the look of things: social media and search engines. From the perpetual struggle of online bills payment to everything that's recently going on with Twitter, one legal aspect we didn't think would ever cross our minds was the dispute of publicizing one's marital status, but alas, here we are.
Coincidentally, two news stories about "secret husbands" of the Internet's more popular content creators have emerged over the past few weeks; one concerning OnlyFans content creator and Twitch bathtub streamer (don't ask) Amouranth outing her abusive husband while live on stream, and another revealing that TikTok influencer Bella Poarch is divorcing her hush-hush husband of four years.
While the general consensus surrounding these two unrelated stories is that these celebrities are entitled to their right to privacy, some—mostly their more, uh, passionate fans—would argue that they should have disclosed their relationship status, given the nature of their income and business model.
Whatever the case, the stories pose a couple of interesting questions: when does one need to disclose whether they're single or married? And is it illegal to keep under wraps, or even lie about one's marital status? We take a look at the Philippine law regarding this.
Also read: Fun Fact: It's Illegal to Burn PH Currency
Is it illegal to lie about your marital status?
Let's head down this road of potential lies and infidelity step-by-step. First off, it goes without saying that lying about being either single or married for whatever sort of personal gain is immoral. However, lying happens under a whole lot of circumstances (read: anywhere, everywhere, and by practically everyone), so there aren't enough laws under any justice system to penalize all that. There is a blanket religious one though, which is a whole other discussion.
You will, however, face legal ramifications for committing fraud. According to Article 1338 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, one commits fraud when "through insidious words or machinations of one of the contracting parties, the other is induced to enter into a contract which, without them, he would not have agreed to." (BSP)
It's pretty clear-cut. If you lie about marital status as part of an official contract or deal (especially one that grants you monetary gain or exclusive perks) that has marital status as a contingent factor, then you're committing fraud. For most, this would likely happen with applications for passports and/or VISAs. Job applications could also be a possibility, but less likely. It would also depend on the other party should they want to press charges.
Escalating in terms of severity, if one lies about their marital status on a legal document, then they would have committed perjury, which is essentially lying under oath, through an affidavit, or to an officer of the court, according to Article 183 of the Revised Penal Code. It's a much graver law, as it leads to jail time and a P1-million fine. (Gov.ph)
It also follows that it's a criminal offense to falsify documents such as a marriage certificate for both official government business and legal proceedings. (Gov.ph)
Those are the current laws in place which enforce that, yup, it is illegal to lie about being single, married, or widowed when you aren't. However, don't expect that they'll be stopping the adulterers from spouting lies to their sneaky links any time soon. It's unfortunately just how some people are. And as for where your favorite content creators are concerned, well, just remember they're only human too.
Keep your head up, though, if you find yourself on the other side of being lied to, we got you covered with breakup songs to fuel your heartbreak feelings of pain and betrayal.