Senado inaprubahan na ang mas mabigat na parusa sa sinungaling o kasong perjury

Inaprubahan ng Senado sa ikatlo at huling pagbasa ang isang panukalang naglalayon na patawan ng mas mahabang prison sentences at mas malaking multa ang sinuman, partikular ang public officials na magsisinungaling o gagawa ng perjury o magbibigay ng kasinungalingan kapag under oath.

Sa pahayag, sinabi ni Senador Richard Gordon, chairman ng Senate committee on justice and human rights at isponsor ng Senate Bill No. 1354 na layunin ng pagtaas ng multa sa panukala upang mapigilan ang sinuman na magsinungaling habang tumetisgo under oath sa anumang proceedings tulad ng legislative hearing at lumikha ng kultura ng truth-tellling sa gobyerno.

“In other words, you lie, you pay… Do not trifle with the truth,” giit ni Gordon.

Bukod kay Gordon, co-author din ng panukala sina Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, at Senador Panfilo Lacson at Leila de Lima.

Inaprubahan ang panukala na may 20 pabor, at walang negatibong boto.

Ayon kay Gordon, aamendahan nito ang Article 183 ng Revised Penal Code (RPC), na nagpaparusa sa perjury.

“Perjury is 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,” paliwanag ni Gordon.

Sa ilalim ng panukala, sinumang tao na gagawa ng perjury o magsisinungaling, nahaharap sa mas mataas na parusa na prision menor sa minimum period hanggang prision mayor sa medium period mula anim na taon at isang araw hanggang 10 taon at isang araw na pagkakakulong.

Base sa umiiral na batas, nahaharap ang sinumang nagkasala ng perjury ng parusang arresto mayor sa maximum period at prision correctional sa minimum period o mula apat na buwan hanggang isang araw hanggang dalawang taon at apat na araw na pagkakakulong.

“For public officers or employees who would commit perjury, the penalty of imprisonment will be imposed in its maximum period, along with a fine of P1 million, as well as perpetual disqualification from holding any appointive or elective position in government,” ayon kay Gordon.

Naniniwala si Gordon na makatutulong ang reporma sa panukala na tugunan ang isyu ng mababang conviction rates sa taong kinasuhan ng perjury.

“As we uncovered during our committee hearing, a factor for the low cases 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,” ayon sa senador.

Idinagdag pa ng panukala na layunin nito na makatulong upang pigilan ang sinuman na magtutungo sa legislative hearing ng Senado at magsinungaling kahit under oath na magsasalita lamang ng pawang katotohanan.

“We must make a statement. They give false testimonies and hamper the administration of justice,” aniya.

“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,” giit pa ni Gordon.

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