Arroyo wants carnapping to be a non-bailable offense

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Saturday, April 26, 2014

DETAINED Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has filed bill seeking to declare car thief as a non-bailable offense to end the prevalence of the crime that has become a business for organized syndicates.

Arroyo noted that in some instances carnappers kill the vehicles' owners.
"The sense of security one feels inside his or her vehicle is now severely undermined," the former President said.

House Bill 312, filed by Arroyo and her son Camarines Sur Representative Diosdado Macapagal Arroyo, seeks to amend Section 14 of the Anti-Carnapping Act of 1972.


"Oftentimes, carnapped vehicles are used to commit other crimes such as bank robberies, murder, kidnapping and even terrorist activities," she said.

Arroyo said while there are existing laws penalizing carnapping, it appears these are not enough to address the prevalence of the crime.

She cited in particular the Anti-Carnapping Act, which imposes a penalty of imprisonment ranging from not less than 14 years and eight months until life imprisonment or even death depending on the circumstances attending the commission of the crime.

"The crime of carnapping is considered as only a less serious offense, which allows the accused or perpetrator to post bail," Arroyo said.

Section 13 Article III of the Constitution provides that "[a] all persons, except those charged with offenses punishable by reclusion perpetua when evidence of guilt is strong, shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient sureties, or be released on recognizance as may be provided by law."

"This constitutional right to post bail enables perpetrators to commit carnapping repeatedly since they are entitled to post bail during trial and pendency of the case with the courts," Arroyo said.

She noted that due to this limitation of the law, it is imperative to impose a stricter penalty to the crime of carnapping and to prevent perpetrators from repeating their heinous and violent acts by declaring the crime as a non-bailable offense.

Arroyo's bill increases the penalty of imprisonment for the crime of carnapping from 14 years and eight months and not more than 17 years and eight months to not less than 20 years and one day and not more than 30 years when the carnapping is committed without violence or intimidation of persons.

When carnapping is committed by means of violence against or intimidation of any person or force upon things, imprisonment shall be increased from 17 years and four months and not more than 30 years to 30 years and one day and not more than 40 years.

The penalty of life imprisonment to death shall be imposed when the owner, driver or occupant of the carnapped motor vehicle is killed in the commission of the carnapping.

The bill provides that "any person charged with carnapping as penalized hereof shall be denied bail when evidence of guilt is strong." (Sunnex)

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