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MALACAANG

Manila
PRESIDENTIAL DECREE No. 1613
AMENDING THE LAW ON ARSON
WHEREAS, findings of the police and intelligence agencies of the government reveal that fires and other crimes
involving destruction in Metro Manila and other urban centers in the country are being perpetrated by criminal
syndicates, some of which have foreign connections;
WHEREAS, the current law on arson suffers from certain inadequacies that impede the successful enforcement and
prosecution of arsonists;
WHEREAS, it is imperative that the high incidence of fires and other crimes involving destruction be prevented to
protect the national economy and preserve the social, economic and political stability of the country;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me
by the Constitution, do hereby order and decree as part of the law of the land, the following:
Section 1. Arson. Any person who burns or sets fire to the property of another shall be punished by Prision Mayor.
The same penalty shall be imposed when a person sets fire to his own property under circumstances which expose
to danger the life or property of another.
Section 2. Destructive Arson. The penalty of Reclusion Temporal in its maximum period to Reclusion Perpetua shall
be imposed if the property burned is any of the following:
1. Any ammunition factory and other establishment where explosives, inflammable or combustible materials
are stored.
2. Any archive, museum, whether public or private, or any edifice devoted to culture, education or social
services.
3. Any church or place of worship or other building where people usually assemble.
4. Any train, airplane or any aircraft, vessel or watercraft, or conveyance for transportation of persons or
property
4. Any building where evidence is kept for use in any legislative, judicial, administrative or other official
proceedings.
5. Any hospital, hotel, dormitory, lodging house, housing tenement, shopping center, public or private
market, theater or movie house or any similar place or building.
6. Any building, whether used as a dwelling or not, situated in a populated or congested area.
Section 3. Other Cases of Arson. The penalty of Reclusion Temporal to Reclusion Perpetua shall be imposed if the
property burned is any of the following:
1. Any building used as offices of the government or any of its agencies;

2. Any inhabited house or dwelling;


3. Any industrial establishment, shipyard, oil well or mine shaft, platform or tunnel;
4. Any plantation, farm, pastureland, growing crop, grain field, orchard, bamboo grove or forest;
4. Any rice mill, sugar mill, cane mill or mill central; and
5. Any railway or bus station, airport, wharf or warehouse.
Section 4. Special Aggravating Circumstances in Arson. The penalty in any case of arson shall be imposed in its
maximum period;
1. If committed with intent to gain;
2. If committed for the benefit of another;
3. If the offender is motivated by spite or hatred towards the owner or occupant of the property burned;
4. If committed by a syndicate.
The offense is committed by a syndicate if its is planned or carried out by a group of three (3) or more persons.
Section 5. Where Death Results from Arson. If by reason of or on the occasion of the arson death results, the
penalty of Reclusion Perpetua to death shall be imposed.
Section 6. Prima Facie evidence of Arson. Any of the following circumstances shall constitute prima facie evidence of
arson:
1. If the fire started simultaneously in more than one part of the building or establishment.
2. If substantial amount of flammable substances or materials are stored within the building note necessary
in the business of the offender nor for household us.
3. If gasoline, kerosene, petroleum or other flammable or combustible substances or materials soaked
therewith or containers thereof, or any mechanical, electrical, chemical, or electronic contrivance designed
to start a fire, or ashes or traces of any of the foregoing are found in the ruins or premises of the burned
building or property.
4. If the building or property is insured for substantially more than its actual value at the time of the issuance
of the policy.
4. If during the lifetime of the corresponding fire insurance policy more than two fires have occurred in the
same or other premises owned or under the control of the offender and/or insured.
5. If shortly before the fire, a substantial portion of the effects insured and stored in a building or property
had been withdrawn from the premises except in the ordinary course of business.
6. If a demand for money or other valuable consideration was made before the fire in exchange for the
desistance of the offender or for the safety of the person or property of the victim.

Section 7. Conspiracy to commit Arson. Conspiracy to commit arson shall be punished by Prision Mayor in its
minimum period.
Section 8. Confiscation of Object of Arson. The building which is the object of arson including the land on which it is
situated shall be confiscated and escheated to the State, unless the owner thereof can prove that he has no
participation in nor knowledge of such arson despite the exercise of due diligence on his part.
Section 9. Repealing Clause. The provisions of Articles 320 to 326-B of the Revised Penal Code and all laws,
executive orders, rules and regulations, or parts thereof, inconsistent with the provisions of this Decree are hereby
repealed or amended accordingly.
Section 10. Effectivity. This Decree shall take effect immediately upon publication thereof at least once in a
newspaper of general circulation.
Done in the City of Manila, this 7th day of March, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-nine.

ADMINISTRATIVE CIRCULAR NO. 12-2000 February 21, 2001


RE : PENALTY FOR VIOLATION OF B.P. BLG. 22
Section 1 of B.P. Blg. 22 (An Act Penalizing the Making or Drawing and Issuance of a Check Without Sufficient Funds
for Credit and for Other Purposes) imposes the penalty of imprisonment of not less than thirty (30) days but not more
than one (1) year or a fine of not less than but not more than double the amount of the check, which fine shall in no
case exceed P200,000, or both such fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the court.
In its decision in Eduardo Vaca, v. Court of Appeals (G.R. No. 131714, 16 November 1998; 298 SCRA 656, 664) the
Supreme Court (Second Division) per Mr. Justice V. Mendoza, modified the sentence imposed for violation of B.P.
Blg. 22 by deleting the penalty of imprisonment and imposing only the penalty of fine in an amount double the amount
of the check. In justification thereof, the Court said:
Petitioners are first-time offenders. They are Filipino entrepreneurs who presumably contribute to the
national economy. Apparently, they brought this appeal, believing in all good faith, although mistakenly that
they had not committed a violation of B.P. Blg. 22. Otherwise, they could simply have accepted the judgment
of the trial court and applied for probation to evade a prison term. It would best serve the ends of criminal
justice if in fixing the penalty within the range of discretion allowed by Section 1, par. 1, the same philosophy
underlying the Indeterminate Sentence Law is observed, namely, that of redeeming valuable human material
and preventing unnecessary deprivation f personal liberty and economic usefulness with due regard to the
protection of the social order. In this case, we believe that a fine in an amount equal to double the amount of
the check involved is an appropriate penalty to impose on each of the petitioners In the recent case of Rosa
Lim v. People of the Philippines (G. R. No. 130038, 18 September 2000), the Supreme Court en banc,
applying Vaca also deleted the penalty of imprisonment and sentenced the drawer of the bounced check to
the maximum of the fine allowed by B.P. Blg. 22, i.e., P200,000, and concluded that such would best serve
the ends of criminal justice.
All courts and judges concerned should henceforth take note of the foregoing policy of the Supreme Court on the
matter of the imposition of penalties for violations of B.P. Blg. 22. The Court Administrator shall cause the immediate
dissemination of this Administrative Circular to all courts and judges concerned.
This Administrative Circular, referred to and approved by the Supreme Court en banc, shall take effect upon its
issuance.

Issued this 21st day of February, 2001.

ADMINISTRATIVE CIRCULAR NO. 13-2001 February 14, 2001


TO : ALL JUDGES
SUBJECT : CLARIFICATION OF ADMINISTRATIVE CIRCULAR NO. 12-2000 ON THE PENALTY FOR VIOLATION OF
BATAS PAMBANSA BLG. 22, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE BOUNCING CHECK LAW.
Clarification has been sought by concerned Judges and other parties regarding the operation of Administrative Circular 12-2000
issued on 21 November 2000. In particular, queries have been made regarding the authority of Judges to:
1. Impose the penalty of imprisonment for violations of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22; and
2. Impose subsidiary imprisonment in the event that the accused who is found guilty of violating the provisions of B.P. Blg.
22, is unable to pay the fine which he is sentenced to pay considering thatAdministrative Circular No. 12-2000 adopted
the rulings in Eduardo Vaca v. Court of Appeals (G.R. No. 131714, 16 November 1998, 298 SCRA 656) and Rosa Lim v.
People of the Philippines (G.R. No. 130038, 18 September 2000) as a policy of the Supreme Court on the matter of the
imposition of penalties for violations of B.P. Blg. 22, without mentioning whether subsidiary imprisonment could be
resorted to in case of the accused's inability to pay the fine.
The clear tenor and intention of Administrative Circular No. 12-2000 is not to remove imprisonment as an alternative penalty, but to
lay down a rule of preference in the application of the penalties provided for in B.P. Blg. 22.
The pursuit of this purpose clearly does not foreclose the possibility of imprisonment for violations of B.P. Blg. 22. Neither does it
defeat the legislative intent behind the law.
Thus, Administrative Circular No. 12-2000 establishes a rule of preference in the application of the penal provisions of B.P. Blg.
22 such that where the circumstances of both the offense and the offender clearly indicate good faith or a clear mistake of fact
without taint of negligence, the imposition of a fine alone should be considered as the more appropriate penalty. Needless to say,
the determination of whether the circumstances warrant the imposition of a fine alone rests solely upon the Judge. Should the Judge
decide that imprisonment is the more appropriate penalty, Administrative Circular No. 12-2000ought not be deemed a hindrance.
It is, therefore, understood that:
1. Administrative Circular 12-2000 does not remove imprisonment as an alternative penalty for violations of B.P. Blg. 22;
2. The Judges concerned may, in the exercise of sound discretion, and taking into consideration the peculiar
circumstances of each case, determine whether the imposition of a fine alone would best serve the interests of justice or
whether forbearing to impose imprisonment would depreciate the seriousness of the offense, work violence on the social
order, or otherwise be contrary to the imperatives of justice;
3. Should only a fine be imposed and the accused be unable to pay the fine, there is no legal obstacle to the application of
the Revised Penal Code provisions on subsidiary imprisonment.
The issuance of this Administrative Circular was authorized by the Court En Banc in A.M. No. 00-11-01-SC at its session of 13
February 2001.
The Clerk of Court of the Supreme Court and the Court Administrator shall immediately cause the implementation of this
Administrative Circular.
This Administrative Circular shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation not later than 20 February 2001.
Issued this 14th day of February, 2001.