This is the law which many could have been waiting for.
Carnapping in the country will soon be a non-bailable crime with a longer stay in the prison for offenders. It is because the new anti-carnapping law will soon take effect 15 days after its publication.
These are the salient features of the law which effectively repeals RA 6539, also known as the Anti-Carnapping Act of 1972:
- A person found guilty of carnapping is penalized with 20 to 30 years of jail term, while the old law only imposes 14 years and eight months to 17 years and four months imprisonment.
- If violence, intimidation or use of force were used, the person found guilty would be imprisoned for 30 years and one day to 40 years.
- When the owner, driver, occupant of the carnapped motor vehicle was killed or raped, the person found guilty would be sentenced to life imprisonment.
- Any person involved in the concealment of the crime of carnapping would be imprisoned from six to 12 years and fined with the acquisition cost of the motor vehicle, engine or any other part involved in the violation.
- Carnapping is a non-bailable offense especially if evidence of guilt is strong.
- Public officials involved in carnapping also face dismissal from service and perpetual disqualification from public office.
- An original registration of a vehicle is necessary to apply for clearance from the Philippine National Police and the Land Transportation Office (LTO).
- It mandates the LTO to keep a permanent registry of motor vehicles, motor vehicle engines, engine blocks and chassis of all motor vehicles stating the type, make, serial numbers as well as the the names and addresses of the vehicles’ present and previous owners.
- Tampering of serial numbers and transfer of vehicle plates without approval from the LTO will also be considered a criminal act under the measure.
- The law also penalizes the sale of second hand spare parts obtained from a carnapped vehicle. Identity transfer of parts of a vehicle declared a total wreck will also be a violation.
Senator Grace Poe sponsored the bill which became a law due to non-action by the executive department.
Poe cited that President Rodrigo Duterte has allowed the Anti-Carnapping Act to lapse into law, which has been enrolled in Malacanang before former President Benigno Aquino III stepped down last June 30.
Under the 1987 Constitution, the President has 30 days to sign or veto a bill approved and submitted by Congress.