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Legarda Wants Harsher Penalties for False Criminal Accusations Against Innocent Persons

August 26, 2013

Senator Loren Legarda has proposed a measure seeking to increase penalties for accusing an innocent person the commission of a crime or intriguing an individual for the purpose of damaging his reputation.

“Our reputation is an aspect of our lives that we continuously seek to protect, as public perception about us undeniably extends to our loved ones, our families. Even with diligent efforts to maintain good standing and display acceptable character in our society, we still might be faced with circumstances that can inevitably place our long-safeguarded reputation to disgrace,” Legarda explained.

“Whether it is the simple deed of spreading intrigues against a person, or the more serious act of implicating someone in a crime that he has not committed, incriminatory machinations blemish an individual’s character and may eventually ruin a person’s life,” she added.

Legarda said that while incriminatory machinations are penalized under Articles 363 (Incriminating innocent person) and 364 (Intriguing against honor) of the Revised Penal Code, penalties fail to sufficiently compensate the resulting damage to victims and thus prevent them from attaining full justice.

In this regard, the Senator filed Senate Bill 336, An Act Amending Articles 363 and 364 of Act No. 3815, Otherwise Known as the Revised Penal Code.

This proposed legislation aims to intensify the punishment for those proven guilty of incriminating innocent persons and intriguing against honor.

Under the proposed measure, penalties will be increased. The penalty for incriminating innocent persons will increase from arresto mayor or imprisonment of one month and one day to six months, to prision mayor, or imprisonment of six years and one day to 12 years.

This bill likewise increases the penalty for intriguing against honor from arresto menor or imprisonment of one to 30 days, to prision correccional, or imprisonment of six months and one day to six years.

“It is my hope that with the positive action of the Senate on this measure, we will be able to ensure a society that fully respects the dignity of its citizens,” Legarda concluded.