Rep. Lord Allan Jay Velasco seeks to increase fines against libel

Rep. Lord Allan Jay Velasco (Lone District, Marinduque)
A libel committed by means of writing or similar means, under Article 355 of the Revised Penal Code imposes a penalty of prision correccional in its minimum and medium periods or a fine ranging from 200 to 6,000 pesos, or both.

Rep. Lord Allan Jay Velasco (Lone District, Marinduque), author of House Bill 5835, said the fine components are still based on 1930 prices and is yet to be amended.

The bill seeks to amend Article 355 of the Revised Penal Code to reflect the adjusted fine components.

Velasco said under the bill, a libel committed by means of writing, printing, lithography, engraving, radio, phonograph, painting, theatrical exhibition, cinematographic exhibition, or any similar means shall be punished by prision correccional in its minimum and medium periods or a fine ranging from P16,000 to P480,000 or both, in addition to the civil action which may be brought by the offended party.

Velasco said the outdated monetary fines and penalties punishing crimes remain unchanged since Act 3815 also known as the Revised Penal Code was enacted way back in December 8, 1930.

"There is really a need to uphold the full force and teeth of our penal laws in order that punishment for offenses/crimes including the fine, imprisonment and civil disqualification components must be up to date," Velaso emphasized.