MANILA (AFP) – The Philippine justice secretary said Sunday she is seeking to block extramarital dating site Ashley Madison in the country – under charges it facilitates crime.
“The website is a platform that allows illegal acts to be eventually committed. A ban may be enforced,” Secretary Leila de Lima said in an SMS statement, referring to Ashley Madison.
The Canada-based firm, which has the slogan: “Life is short. Have an affair”, recently launched their website in the Philippines, where the population is largely Roman Catholic and divorce is illegal.
De Lima stressed that “adultery” also remains against the law in the Philippines, even though it has largely been un-enforced and is a country where many powerful men flaunt their mistresses.
Adultery and “concubinage,” are punishable by at least six months in jail under Philippine law.
She said: “The (telecommunications companies) will have to do their part to ensure that illegal content and websites that are used to drive illicit conduct are not used,” she said.
De Lima did not specify if they could be compelled to block the website.
Local press reports say that at least 2,500 Filipinos have already signed up to the website since its recent launch.
Singapore and South Korea have previously banned Ashley Madison, citing that it threatened family values.