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Legarda pushes stiffer penalty for intrigue.

Byline: Gil Cabacungan

MANILA -- Sen. Loren Legarda has filed a bill seeking to impose a longer jail sentence on individuals sowing intrigue against innocent persons.

Under Senate Bill No. 366, Legarda proposed to amend Articles 363 and 364 of the Revised Penal Code to increase the penalty for the crime of incriminatory machination or implicating a crime to an innocent person or sowing intrigue to tarnish another person's reputation.

"By its nature, incriminatory machinations refer to acts done for mere vexing, harassing or injuring one's adversary and which tend to directly cause false prosecution. The present penalties imposed by the law are not commensurate to the injury or damage caused to the victim of false prosecution and intrigue. There is therefore a need to punish with greater severity individuals who are found guilty of incriminatory machinations," said Legarda in her explanatory note.

The bill proposes to raise the penalty for incriminating innocent persons from imprisonment of a maximum of six months to six years and one day up to 12 years.

The bill also would increase the penalty for intriguing against honor from a maximum of 30 days to six months and one day up to six years. Legarda had earlier cried foul over what she called a demolition job by a fellow senatorial candidate during the last election campaign. She was accused of failing to include a Park Avenue apartment in New York City and a mansion worth hundreds of millions of pesos in Forbes Park in her statement of assets, liabilities and net worth. Legarda denied the allegations.

"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 said in a statement.

"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.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Aug 28, 2013
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