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MARCH 9, 2012 DATE

NR # 2673B
REF. NO.

Lawmaker wants to upgrade penalties under the Revised Penal Code


A lawmaker today moved to upgrade what he described as antiquated fines still imposed under the 82-year old Revised Penal Code of the Philippines. Rep. Lord Allan Jay Velasco (Lone District, Marinduque) has filed nine separate bills to effect an amendment to the code or Republic Act 3815. Velasco is the author of House Bills 5812, 5813, 5814, 5824, 5825, 5826, 5764, 5765, and 5771 which seek to amend Articles 129, 140, 141, 313, 318, 331, 154, 155, and 164 of RA 3815. These bills humbly suggest new amounts, subject to the committees discretion, replacing the old ones using a formula utilizing the available data from the National Statistics Coordination Board relating to Consumer Price Indices, Velasco said. Velasco said the massive inflation and devaluation that the countrys currency has gone through renders the punitive fine component of the RA 4815 negligible. Velasco explained that in adjusting the fines accurately the inflation rate computed from 1930 up to the present must be considered. However, Velasco said there is no data available for the Consumer Price Index (CPI) earlier than 1955 in the country and no data available for the CPI from 1986 to 1988. Moreover, there had been a total of eight rebasing of base years for the computation of inflation rates, the purpose of which is to make it relevant or update the items included in the basket of goods, Velasco said. HB 5825 proposes to increase the fine imposed on a leader of a sedition from the present P10,000 to not exceeding P800,000, and other persons participating therein, to a fine of not exceeding P400,000 from a mere P5,000, aside from their prison terms or both. Under HB 5824, it is proposed that a person conspiring to commit the crime of sedition shall be fined not exceeding P160,000 from the current P2,000 aside from the prescribed prison terms. Under HB 5764, any person who shall alter the boundary marks or monuments of towns, provinces, or estates, or any other marks intended to designate the boundaries of the same shall be fined not exceeding P8,000.00 from the current fine of P100.00, aside from the prescribed prison terms or both. HB 5826 proposes that in addition to the liability attaching to the offender for the

MARCH 9, 2012 DATE

NR # 2673B
REF. NO.

commission of any other offense, the penalty of arresto mayor in its maximum period to prision correccional in its minimum period and a fine not exceeding P80,000 (from the current P1,000) shall be imposed upon any public officer or employees who shall procure a search warrant without just cause, or, having legally procured the same, shall exceed his authority or use unnecessary severity in executing the same. HB 5812 proposes to increase the fine from P2,000 to P160,000 on any person who shall mutilate coins of the legal currency in connivance with mutilators or importers, aside from its prescribed prison term. HB 5813 proposes that for the crime of alarms and scandals, the penalty of arresto mayor or a fine not exceeding P16,000 (from the current P200) shall be imposed. HB 5814 increases the fine ranging from the current P200 to P1,000 to the range of from P16,000 to P80,000 for any person who by means of printing, lithography, or any other means of publication shall publish or cause to be published as news any false news which may endanger the public order. HB 5771 increases the fine from P200 to not exceeding P16,000, aside from the prescribed prison terms, on any person who shall destroy or damage any useful or ornamental painting of a public nature. HB 5765 increases the fine not exceeding P200 to not exceeding P16,000 on any person who, for profit or gain, shall interpret dreams, make forecasts, tell fortunes, or take advantage of the credibility of the public in any other similar manner. These are just a few of negligible amounts of fines imposed under our Revised Penal Code, which could, at the current value of money, could even encourage commission of the corresponding crimes, Velasco said. (30) dpt