House panel OKs bill doubling prescriptive period for graft charges

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Thursday, April 3, 2014


A MEASURE recently filed in the House of Representatives that seeks to increase the prescriptive period of the anti-graft law has been endorsed for plenary approval.

Pangasinan Representative Marlyn Primicias-Agabas said House Bill 4146 will run after violators of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, adding that future possible offenders should not be allowed to escape criminal liability by mere technicality of prescription.

"Records show that those accused of violating the anti-graft laws are often made liable for their crimes only upon its discovery either after their term or tenure in public or even after the change in government administration. By the time an information in the graft court is to be filed, the crime is about to prescribe to has already prescribed," the lawmaker said.

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The proposed law aims to expand the time table from 15 to 30 years in filing of graft charges against alleged corrupt officials in the government.

"The extension of another 15 years would ensure that those who violate the said Act would not be able to escape liability by mere technicality of the current 15-year prescription period," Agabas said.

Agabas added that the proposed amendment to the prescriptive period is also in compliance with the provisions of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) to which the Philippines is a signatory.

The lawmaker added that the recent plenary endorsement of the measure is timely in light of the involvement of high-ranking government officials in alleged pocketing of multibillion-peso taxpayers' money highlighted by the pork barrel scam.

The House committee on rules is expected to calendar HB 4146 for floor deliberations when Congress resumes sessions on May 5. (Sunnex)

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