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 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.