SENADO, PINATINDI ANG PARUSA SA ‘PERJURY’

IPINASA ng mataas na kapulungan ng Kongreso ang mas matinding parusa sa kasong “perjury” (pagsisinungaling sa mga sinumpaang pahayag o salaysay) upang mabawasan ang ganitong krimen, kundi man tuluyang mawala.

Matapos aprubahan ng 20 senador sa ikatlo at pinal na pagbasa ang Senate Bill No. 1354 nitong Mayo 18, umaasa ang isponsor nito na si Senador Richard Gordon, chairman ng Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, na magiging ganap na batas ang panukala.

Ani Gordon, pangunahing layunin ng SB 1354 ay hadlangan ang sinomang, lalo na mga opisyal ng pamahalaan sa pagsisinungaling sa mga imbestigasyong isinasagawa hinggil sa katiwalian, korapsyon o anomang kahalintulad na mga krimen.

Ang perjury, ayon sa kanya ay krimen “[that was] committed by a person when he knowingly makes untruthful statements and not being included in the provisions of the crimes of false testimony under judicial proceedings, shall testify under oath, or make an affidavit, upon any material matter before a competent person authorized to administer an oath in cases in which the law so requires.”

Pinalitan ng SB 1354 ang Artikulo 183 ng Revised Penal Code (RPC) na parusang “four months and one day to two years and four months of imprisonment” laban sa taong napatunayan ng korte na gumawa ng perjury sa “six years and one day to 10 years of imprisonment.”

Ayon kay Gordon, kung opisyal o kawani ng pamahalaan ang nakagawa ng perjury, ang parusa ay anim na taon hanggang sampung taon na pagkabilanggo, multang P1 milyon at hindi na puwedeng italaga o mahalal sa anomang posisyon sa pamahalaan.

Ang pagbabagong ginawa sa perjury ay upang matigil na ang mababang “[C]onviction rates for people charged with perjury… [a] factor [of which] is the low penalty imposed on the crime of perjury. The current penalty for perjury is subject to probation and the bail imposed is also low, roughly Php6,000 only. Given the high costs involved in prosecuting a crime, there is no motivation to prosecute the crime of perjury,” paliwanag ni Gordon.

“Perjury does not only damage the victim of the crime but also damages the administration of justice — which is the most important. The law of perjury was created not only because the man lies or somebody lies, but because he practically impugns the time of the tribunals, hence, he damages the time and efforts of our people,” susog ng mambabatas. NELSON S. BADILLA

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