MANILA (Mabuhay) – The Revised Anti-Carnapping Act, which imposes stiffer penalties for the perpetrators of carnapping, is now up for President Aquino’s approval.
House Bill 4544, authored by re-elected Reps. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (2nd District, Pampanga), Evelina Escudero (1st District, Sorsogon) and Winston Castelo (2nd District, Quezon City), aims to increase the years of imprisonment for carjackers and gives a more elaborate description of who can be considered as violators of the anti-carnapping law.
Under the proposed measure, the person guilty of the crime regardless of the vehicle’s value shall be imprisoned for 20 years but not more than 30 years. The current anti-carnapping law only imposes 14 to 17 years and four months of imprisonment.
When the crime is committed without violence, imprisonment years shall be 30 up to 40 years while carnapping with violence shall be life imprisonment as the penalty.
HB 4544 also entails carnapping as a non-bailable offense especially if the evidence of guilt is strong.
The bill also adds punishment from six to 12 years imprisonment to persons who participate in the concealment of the crime.
Public officials and government employees who are involved are also subject to dismissal in service and shall be perpetually disqualified from holding any public office if found guilty.
The revised measure also requires any person asking for the original registration of the vehicle to apply for clearance from the Philippine National Police (PNP) with the Land Transportation Office (LTO).
Section 7 of the Act also requires LTO to keep a permanent registry of motor vehicle, motor vehicle engines, engine blocks and chassis of all motor vehicles stating the type, make, serial numbers and the names and addresses of the vehicle’s present and previous owners.
Furthermore, tampering of serial numbers and transfer of vehicle plates without LTO’s approval shall be considered as a violation of the Act.
Selling of second hand spare parts from a carnapped vehicle and identity transfer of all parts of the vehicle declared as “total wreck” shall also be in violation of HB 4544.
The Revised Anti-Carnapping Act repeals Republic Act 6539 or the “Anti-Carnapping Act of 1972.” (MNS)