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House approves stiffer penalties on intentional filing of false complaints.

The House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading a bill that increases the penalty imposed on intentional filing of false complaints in courts or quasi-judicial bodies.

House Bill 6148 also seeks to impose stiffer penalties for the crime of slander by deed.

Authored by Sorsogon Rep. Evelina G. Escudero, HB 6148 proposes to amend Article 359 of the Revised Penal Code which provides imprisonment and a fine of not over P1,000 for slander by deed or acts that cast dishonor, discredit, or contempt upon another person.

Under the approved bill, the prison term for the offense is increased to six months and a fine of not over P100,000 or both.

"This measure seeks to protect any individual from others who bring false accusations in court without fear of prosecution except for a counter-suit. In such cases, said victim of false accusations suffers loss of integrity which may never be regained regardless of the outcome of the counter-suit," Escuero said.

Endorsed for plenary approval by the House Committee on Revision of Laws, HB 6148 underscores the necessity of addressing the increasing number of cases filed in court and quasi-judicial bodies that are untrue and malicious.

Titled "An Act Increasing the Penalties for the Crime of Slander by Deeds," including the intentional filing of a false complaint in court with any government agency exercising quasi-judicial or administrative powers, HB 6148 amends Article 358 of the e Revised Penal Code.

"Aside from penalizing the act of intentional filing of a false complaint, the proposed amendments also provide for stiffer penalty if proven that the false complaint was used as leverage against another to gain advantage or favor," Escudero said.

Under the bill, slander by deed, which include slapping a person in the face, will be penalized with prision mayor or imprisonment of six to eight years. It also carries a P100,000 fine, instead of the present P200 to P1,000.

The current prison term for the offense is one to six months.

For intentional filing of false complaint, the penalty is increased to aresto mayor or one to six months imprisonment, from the current 21 to 30 days incarceration. It also carries a fine of P50,000.


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Title Annotation:Metro
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Date:Oct 22, 2015
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