House OKs 25 years in prison for car van­dals

A per­son throw­ing any hard ob­ject at a ve­hi­cle could soon face im­pris­on­ment of up to 25 years.

The Philippine Star - - METRO - By JESS DIAZ

The House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives has unan­i­mously ap­proved on third and fi­nal read­ing Bill 7163, which seeks to pe­nal­ize the act of throw­ing hard ob­jects at mov­ing or sta­tion­ary mo­tor ve­hi­cles.

The bill pro­vides heavy penal­ties for any per­son who throw a stone, rock, bot­tle, piece of wood or metal, or any other hard ob­ject of any kind or char­ac­ter, that dam­ages, ru­ins, de­stroys or wrecks the ve­hi­cle or causes death or bod­ily harm to any of its pas­sen­gers.

A van­dal faces im­pris­on­ment of 25 years and a fine of P100,000 in ad­di­tion to civil li­a­bil­i­ties if his of­fense re­sults in the death of any per­son.

The penal­ties of a five-year im­pris­on­ment and a P15,000 fine would be im­posed if the crime causes phys­i­cal in­jury to a per­son.

A prison term of one year and a P10,000 fine, in ad­di­tion to the cost of re­pair of the ve­hi­cle, await a vi­o­la­tor if the of­fense dam­ages the ve­hi­cle.

Ma­jor­ity leader and Ilo­cos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Far­iñas, prin­ci­pal au­thor of the bill, said there are “un­scrupu­lous per­sons, who throw, for what­ever rea­son, hard ob­jects at mo­tor ve­hi­cles, par­tic­u­larly pub­lic trans­port ply­ing ma­jor thor­ough­fares.”

“In the process, ac­ci­dents re­sult, en­dan­ger­ing the lives and limbs of pas­sen­gers and dam­ag­ing the ve­hi­cle it­self. This prac­tice has to be abated,” he said.

He said au­thor­i­ties are at a loss on how to pre­vent the com­mis­sion of the act “be­cause at most, the cul­prits could be dealt with only with the crime of ma­li­cious mis­chief un­der Ar­ti­cle 327 of the Re­vised Pe­nal Code, pun­ish­able by a light penalty.”

“Worse, of­fend­ers go scot­free, mak­ing the haz­ardous act a ha­bit­ual past-time,” he added.

Far­iñas pointed out that by pe­nal­iz­ing the act of throw­ing stones or hard ob­jects at ve­hi­cles and pro­vid­ing stiff penal­ties for the crime, “peo­ple will be fore­warned of the con­se­quences of such crime, thereby serv­ing as de­ter­rent to fu­ture wrong­do­ers.”

“Thus, the well-be­ing of trav­el­ers, driv­ers and own­ers of ve­hi­cles is en­sured,” he stressed.

He ex­pressed the hope that the Se­nate would sup­port his bill.

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