Anti-Stalking Bill-A A +A
Saturday, September 1, 2012
Happy Birthday to my college buddy and successful “Iron Business-Man,” Roel ‘Jong’ Narciso who happens to be celebrating his birthday today. To wake up at this very moment is more than enough to be grateful to God for adding year of your life. May you always look at life in the eyes of faith in your heart and feel God’s abounding grace for you and your loved ones. Happy Birthday my friend, Jong! Regards and Happy Reading to the Narciso family of Brgy. Pulung Bulo, Angeles City.
THE Department of Justice (DOJ), the Philippine National Police (PNP), media practitioners and telecom companies have endorsed the early approval of a bill declaring as a criminal offense the act the stalking.
The representatives of the DOJ, PNP, National Press Club, and Globe Telecommunications have expressed their support for the measure in a position paper submitted during the recent hearing of the House Committee on Justice chaired by Rep. Niel Tupas, Jr. (5th District, Iloilo).
Tupas said the members of the House body have agreed to approve the bill in principle since no one is opposing it.
However, in a position paper, the media representatives have opposed a provision of the measure which include media practitioners as among the would-be perpetrators.
Tupas said the media groups have expressed their concern over the possibility the provision of the bill could result in curtailment of freedom of the press and expression.
However, Tupas assured the media that their rights would be respected.
"The country has no existing law on anti-stalking. The acts of stalking may give rise to a cause of action for damages under Article 26 of the Civil Code which is civil and not criminal in nature," Tupas said.
Tupas said Republic Act 386 or the Civil Code of the Philippines provides that "every person shall respect the dignity, personality, privacy and peace of mind of his neighbors and other persons."
The bill prohibits prying into the privacy of another's residence, meddling with or disturbing the private life or family relations of another, intriguing to cause another to be alienated from his friends, and vexing or humiliating another on account of his religious beliefs, lowly station in life, place of birth, physical defect, or other personal condition.
The bill defines stalking as intentionally harassing, bothering, frightening and otherwise interfering with the private lives of people.
Tupas said the act is a form of disguised intimidation, which may be a subtle attempt at harassment.
According to Tupas, the technical working group (TWG) will be composed of the principal authors and representatives from the DOJ, PNP, the National Bureau of Investigation and the media.
Tupas said the TWG will consolidate and reconcile all the provisions of the measure, particularly the penal clause.
The bill imposes jail term of 6 months to 6 years and a fine ranging from P1,000 to P5,000. If the offender subsequently commits the same crime or is a family or household member of the victim, the next higher penalty shall be imposed.
Another provision of the measure imposes six months to two years imprisonment and a fine ranging from P20,000 to P50,000, or both.
The authors of the bill are the late Rep. Salvador Escudero III (1st district, Sorsogon), Chairman of the House Committee on Basic Education, Reps. Diosdado Macapagal Arroyo (2nd district, Camarines Sur), Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (2nd district, Pampanga), Irwin Tieng and Mariano Velarde (Party-list, Buhay).
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on September 01, 2012.