NOV.

24, 2013

NR # 3297B

Heavy penalties for public officers who refuse to testify in criminal cases
Heavy penalties await members of law enforcement agencies and government officials or employees who fail to testify in any criminal proceeding without justifiable reason. Reps. Rufus Rodriguez (2nd District, agayan de !ro ity" and #a$imo Rodriguez (%bante #indanao &arty'list" filed House (ill 2)*+2, saying ,uite a number of criminal cases, including those involving grave penal offenses have been dismissed due to the failure or deliberate refusal of the prosecution witnesses to appear or testify despite due notice. -he authors clarified that the omprehensive Dangerous Drugs %ct of 2..2 or Republic %ct )+/0 e$plicitly provides that sanctions imposable against defiant prosecution witnesses can be applied only in dangerous drugs related cases. 1%s such, said punishment cannot be imposed upon erring prosecution witnesses in other criminal cases, regardless of gravity,2 Rodriguez said, adding that 1we see no logic or reason in limiting the protection from miscarriage of justice to dangerous drugs related cases.2 1&roper disposition of other criminal cases deserve the same concern and protection,2 Rodriguez stressed. 3nder the bill, any member of a law enforcement agency or any other government official or employee who, after due notice, fails or refuses deliberately or negligently, to appear and testify in any criminal proceeding without justifiable reason, shall be penalized with imprisonment of not more 2. years, a fine of not more than &0..,..., and perpetual dis,ualification to hold office. -he immediate supervisor of the erring prosecution witness shall be penalized with imprisonment of not more than si$ years and a fine of not more than &0.,... and perpetual absolute dis,ualification to hold office. (4." dpt