An anti-carnapping bill which increases the length of imprisonment and makes it a nonbailable offense has lapsed into law, according to Senator Grace Poe.
Poe, sponsor of the measure in the Senate, said new administration of President Rodrigo Duterte has allowed the Anti-Carnapping Act to lapse into law, which has been enrolled in Malacanang before former President Benigno Aquino III stepped down last June 30.
Under the 1987 Constitution, the President has 30 days to sign or veto a bill approved and submitted by Congress.
“It is our hope that this new and comprehensive anti-carnapping law imposing much stiffer penalties, alongside strict implementation by our law enforcers, will hinder the commission of this crime and give vehicle owners peace of mind,” Poe, chair of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs in the 16th Congress, said.
The New Anti Carnapping Law of the Philippines takes effect 15 days after publication. The new law repeals RA 6539, otherwise known as the The Anti-Carnapping Act of 1972.
Under the law, a person found guilty of carnapping is penalized with 20 to 30 years of jail term, while the old law only imposes 14 years and eight months to 17 years and four months imprisonment.
If violence, intimidation or use of force were used, the person found guilty would be imprisoned for 30 years and one day to 40 years.
When the owner, driver, occupant of the carnapped motor vehicle was killed or raped, the person found guilty would be sentenced to life imprisonment.
On the other hand, any person involved in the concealment of the crime of carnapping would be imprisoned from six to 12 years and fined with the acquisition cost of the motor vehicle, engine or any other part involved in the violation.
The new law also considers carnapping a nonbailable offense especially if evidence of guilt is strong. Public officials involved in carnapping also face dismissal from service and perpetual disqualification from public office.
The bill also requires those asking for the original registration of a vehicle to apply for clearance from the Philippine National Police and the Land Transportation Office (LTO).
The proposed measure also mandates the LTO to keep a permanent registry of motor vehicles, motor vehicle engines, engine blocks and chassis of all motor vehicles stating the type, make, serial numbers as well as the the names and addresses of the vehicles’ present and previous owners.
Tampering of serial numbers and transfer of vehicle plates without approval from the LTO will also be considered a criminal act under the measure.
The law also penalizes the sale of secondhand spare parts obtained from a carnapped vehicle. Identity transfer of parts of a vehicle declared a total wreck will also be a violation. (PNA)