Stiff fines for stoning vehicles

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TWENTY-FIVE years imprisonment and P100,000 fine.

That’s the penalty for any person who throws stones, rocks, bricks, bottles, pieces of wood or metal, or any other hard object of any kind or character, that damages, ruins, destroys or wrecks the vehicle, or causes death or bodily harm to its passengers.

The House of Representatives has approved on second reading House Bill 7163 setting the penalty for such act.

If such act results in a physical injury to a person, the penalty is five years imprisonment and a fine of P15,000, in addition to the civil liabilities for medical expenses and rehabilitation of the injured.

For such act that result in property damage, the penalty is one year imprisonment and a fine of P10,000, in addition to the cost of repair of the vehicle.

Majority Leader and Ilocos Norte First District Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas, the principal author of the bill, said throwing hard objects at motor vehicles, particularly public transport plying major thoroughfares, has to stop as it put lives of passengers in danger and damages vehicle.

The House leader said authorities are at a loss on how to prevent the commission of the act because at most, the culprits could be dealt with only with the crime of malicious mischief under Article 327 of the Revised Penal Code, punishable by a light penalty.

Worst, offenders go scot-free making the hazardous act a “habitual past-time,” according to Fariñas.

“By penalizing the act of throwing stones and hard objects at vehicles and providing stiff penalties for the crime, people will be forewarned of the consequences of such crime, thereby serving as deterrent to future wrongdoers. Thus, the wellbeing of the travelers as well as the drivers and the owners of the vehicles is ensured,” said Fariñas.

The bill was sponsored on the floor by Deputy Minority Leader Eugene Michael de Vera. Co-authors of the bill include Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Rep. Reynaldo Umali, and Deputy Minority Leader Danilo Suarez, among others.

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