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House approves bill expanding list of crimes not covered by indeterminate law

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The House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading a bill disallowing the granting of parole to persons who were convicted of crimes against minors.

House Bill 1215, authored Rep. Diosdado "Dato" M. Arroyo (2nd District, Camarines Sur), seeks to amend the Philippine Act 4103, which provides for an indeterminate sentence and parole for all persons convicted of certain crimes by the courts of the Philippines. It was enacted into law on December 5, 1933.

"This bill intends to include criminal offenses against minors in the enumeration of certain crimes to which the provisions of RA 4103 do not apply," Arroyo said.

Section 2 of Act 4103 will include the new provision which reads that convicted persons will not be eligible for parole "if their crimes committed against minors, which is comparable to kidnapping; false imprisonment of a minor; solicitation of a minor to practice prostitution or any conduct that by its nature is a sexual offense against a minor, or production and distribution of child pornography."

The present Section 2 of Act 4103 or parole does not apply to persons convicted of offenses punished with the death penalty or life imprisonment, of treason, conspiracy to commit treason, or proposal to commit treason, misprision of treason, rebellion, sedition or espionage, convicted of piracy, persons who are habitual delinquents, persons who have escaped from confinement or evaded sentence, those who having been granted conditional pardon by the President shall have violated their terms, and those whose maximum term of imprisonment does not exceed one year.

Citing the Supreme Court, Arroyo said the positivist theory of criminal law states that the basis for criminal liability is the sum total of the social and economic phenomena to which the offense is expressed.

The SC further stated that the State is concerned not only with the imperative necessity of protecting the social organization against criminal acts of destructive individuals but also with redeeming the individual for economic usefulness and other social ends, citing the case of People of the Philippines vs. Ducosin, 59 Phil. 109 (1933).

"The adoption of this theory is exemplified in the Indeterminate Sentence Law, the subject of our proposed amendments contained in the bill," Arroyo said.

However, Arroyo explained that the application of the law was limited by excluding persons convicted of certain crimes or offenses due to its heinous nature, severity and gravity of the offense.

"The mere nature and seriousness of offenses especially sexual offenses against a minor justifies its inclusion in the enumeration of crimes or offenses not covered by the said law," Arroyo said.

The co-authors of the bill are Reps. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (1st District, Pampanga), Augusto Syjuco (2nd District, Iloilo), Ferdinand Martin Romualdez (1st District, Leyte) and Marlyn Primicias-Agabas (6th District, Pangasinan).

By D. Tubianosa / J. Camero, MRS-PRIB







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