SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
The House of Representatives on Tuesday unanimously approved on third and final reading House Bill 7163 seeking to penalize the act of throwing hard objects at motor vehicles while these are in motion or stationary.
All 171 members present during the session presided by Deputy Speaker Mercedes Alvarez thumbed up the measure.
The bill provides that 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 shall be penalized with the following:
a) Twenty-five years imprisonment and a fine of P100,000, in addition to the civil liabilities, if such act results in the death of any person;
b) Five years imprisonment and a fine of P15,000, in addition to the civil liabilities for medical expenses and rehabilitation, if such act results in any physical injury to a person; and
c) One year imprisonment and a fine of P10,000, in addition to the cost of repair of the vehicle.
Majority Leader Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas, principal author of the bill, said it is a fact that there are unscrupulous persons, who throw, for whatever reason, hard objects at motor vehicles, particularly public transport plying major thoroughfares.
“In the process, accidents result, putting the lives and limbs of passengers and damaging the vehicle itself. This practice has to be abated,” said Fariñas.
Fariñas 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.
Worse, offenders go scot-free, making the hazardous act a “habitual past-time,” according to Fariñas.
He said 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 well-being of travelers, drivers and owners of vehicles is ensured,” said Fariñas.
The bill is co-authored by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Rep. Reynaldo Umali, and Deputy Minority Leader Danilo Suarez, among others. (R. Bundang)