PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law a measure amending the Revised Penal Code, which will now impose stiffer penalties and fines on certain crimes, such as treason, sedition, and conspiracy to commit rebellion.
The President signed Republic Act 10951 titled “An Act Adjusting the Amount or the Value of Property and Damage on which a Penalty is Based, and Fines Imposed Under the Revised Penal Code” on August 29.
The new law makes revisions on the penalties and fines of around 97 crimes determined under the Revised Penal Code.
Fines for individuals who commit light felonies to P40,000 from the current P200.
In case of treason, or any Filipino citizen who “levies war against the Philippines, or adheres to her enemies, giving them aid or comfort within the Philippines or elsewhere,” will face a fine not exceeding P4 million, over P3 million higher than the current P100,000.
For any Filipino who commits conspiracy and proposal to commit coup d’etat, rebellion or insurrection, he will suffer prision mayor and a fine not exceeding P1,000 in minimum period; prision correccional and a fine not exceeding P400,000 in medium period; and prision correccional and a fine not exceeding P1 million in maximum period.
Penalties previously set for conspiracy and proposal to commit rebellion or insurrection were prision correccional and a fine not exceeding P2,000 in medium period and prision correccional and a fine not exceeding P5,000 in maximum period.
A person conspiring to commit sedition will be punished by a fine of P400,000 from the existing P2,000 while someone inciting to sedition will face a fine of P200,000 from the current P2,000.
Any individual who commit direct assaults will now suffer a fine of P100,000 from P500 in minimum period and P200,000 from P1,000 in medium and maximum periods.
The new law also mandates to punish any person who publishes false news by imposing a fine ranging from P40,000 to P200,000, far different from the current fines of P200 to P1,000.
Fines ranging from P40,000 to P1.2 million will be charged against libel committed by means of writings or similar means. Previous fines ranged from P200 to P2,000.
In the case of unlawful arrest, a fine not exceeding P100,000 will be slapped to any violators, higher than the P500 currently imposed.
Any person who commits grave threats will also face a fine of P100,000 from the existing P500.
“This act shall have retroactive effect to the extent that is favorable to the accused or person serving sentence by final judgment,” the law read.
“For cases pending before the courts upon the effectivity of this Act, where trial has already started, the courts hearing such cases shall not lose jurisdiction over the same by virtue of this Act,” it added. (SunStar Philippines)