Friday, December 21, 2007

Solon pushes stiffer penalties for crimes of indecency

By Maila Ager

MANILA, Philippines -- To help curb, if not eradicate, crimes of indecency, a member of the House of Representatives has filed a bill seeking to impose stiffer penalties for perpetrators of “highly scandalous crimes against decency.”

Aside from longer jail sentences, House Bill 2856 filed by Cebu Representative Antonio Cuenco also seeks to increase the fines provided for in the Revised Penal Code for such offenses as grave scandal, indecency and pornography, among others, to between P100,000 to P2,000,000, among others.

Currently, such offenses carry sentences of only six months or less.

“The current law seems to be taken lightly by offenders since its penalties are minimal compared to the gravity of crime,” Cuenco said in a statement Thursday.

“There is no justice if we let the criminals responsible for the grim days ahead of these victims walk away unscathed -- only to be incarcerated be for a mere six months or less,” he said.

Cuenco said crimes against decency continue to increase because perpetrators are “insufficiently punished, and some, even worse, [continue committing the crime] with impunity.”

The lawmaker also said there is a need to amend some provisions in the law “to curtail, if not totally eradicate the conduct of inappropriate and obscene behavior.”

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