SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
The House of Representatives has approved on second reading House Bill 7163, seeking to penalize the act of throwing hard objects at motor vehicles while these are in motion or stationary.
The bill provides that any person who throws stones, rocks, bricks, bottles, pieces of wood or metal, or any other hard object of any kind or character, that damages, ruins, destroys or wrecks the vehicle or causes death or bodily harm to its passengers shall be penalized with the following:
a) Twenty-five years imprisonment and a fine of P100,000, in addition to the civil liabilities, if such act results in the death of any person;
b) Five years imprisonment and a fine of P15,000, in addition to the civil liabilities for medical expenses and rehabilitation, if such act results in any physical injury to a person; and
c) One year imprisonment and a fine of P10,000, in addition to the cost of repair of the vehicle.
Majority Leader and Ilocos Norte First District Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas, the principal author of the bill, said it is a fact that there are unscrupulous persons, who throw, for whatever reason, hard objects at motor vehicles, particularly public transport plying major thoroughfares.
“In the process, accidents result, putting the lives and limbs of passengers and damaging the vehicle itself. This practice has to be abated,” said Fariñas.
The House leader said authorities are at a loss on how to prevent the commission of the act because at most, the culprits could be dealt with only with the crime of malicious mischief under Article 327 of the Revised Penal Code, punishable by a light penalty.
Worst, offenders go-scot free and making this hazardous act a “habitual past-time,” according to Fariñas.
“By penalizing the act of throwing stones and hard objects at vehicles and providing stiff penalties for the crime, people will be forewarned of the consequences of such crime, thereby serving as deterrent to future wrongdoers. Thus, the wellbeing of the travelers as well as the drivers and the owners of the vehicles is ensured,” said Fariñas.
The bill was sponsored on the floor by Deputy Minority Leader Eugene Michael de Vera. Co-authors of the bill include Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Rep. Reynaldo Umali, and Deputy Minority Leader Danilo Suarez, among others. (W Bundang)