De Lima lauds Senate’s ratification of amendment on higher penalties for perjury


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Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has lauded the Senate’s ratification of an amendment that seeks to impose higher penalties for perjury to prevent people from committing the crime.

De Lima made the statement after the Senators approved the bicameral conference committee report on the disagreeing provisions of Senate Bill No. 1354, which she co-authored and House Bill 8268, that seek to increase the penalties for perjury and amend Articles 183 and 184 of Republic Act No. 3815 or the Revised Penal Code.

“I am glad that the Senate ratified the bicameral report on the perjury bill, considering that I am a victim of perjury who remains unjustly detained over bogus charges based mainly on perjured testimonies of convicted felons and other shady witnesses,” she said.

“This is timely in light of many instances when those entrusted with the duty to see that justice is done are the ones coercing and using government resources to manufacture falsehood,” she added.

Under Article 183 of the Revised Penal Code, the penalty for the crime of perjury is arresto mayor in its maximum period (four months and one day to six months) to prision correccional in its minimum period (six months and one day to two years and four months).

Under the proposed measure, perjury will now be punishable with prision mayor in its minimum period (from six years and one day to eight years) to its medium period (from eight years and one day to 10 years).

The measure also seeks to impose a fine not exceeding P1 million if the person responsible for the commission of the felony is a public officer or employee, and perpetual absolute disqualification from any appointive or elective position.

Under the present administration, De Lima said the sacredness of statements made before legislative, judicial, and quasi-judicial proceedings, and that of sworn affidavits “are being disregarded, seemingly without fear of the consequences of such criminal and immoral acts.”

“Nowadays, the assertion of falsehood, under oath or affirmation, is employed, not only to harass and unjustly punish innocent persons, but also to persecute political dissenters and government critics. That is why we need this law now more than ever,” she said.

De Lima is one of the first Senators who pushed for the passage of a measure amending the country’s Anti-Perjury Law since the 17th Congress. Considering the bill as one of her priority measure, she refiled it in the current 18th Congress under SB No. 1354. (30)

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