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Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Trenas bats for different penalities for politically-motivated killings

PIA Press Release
2010/12/03

Trenas bats for different penalities for politically-motivated killings

Iloilo City (3 December) -- Former Iloilo City Mayor and now Congressman Jerry P. Trenas has filed House Bill 3594 which seeks to provide a different set of penalities for political, extrajudicial or extralegal and political abductions that lead to enforced or involuntary disappearance of persons who may eventually turn up murdered and their bodies secretly disposed of.

Trenas said that politically motivated killings and abductions are no ordinary crimes and that there is a need to define these acts and to impose the maximum penalty or life imprisonment for such crimes because at present those accused are merely charged with murder or kidnapping under the Revised Penal Code.

Although at present a person whose right to life, liberty and security has been threatened or violated, may ask for the issuance of a writ of amparo, this cannot stop extralegal killings and enforced disappearances.

Hence Trenas said there is still a need for a substantive law in order to prosecute the crimes.

Trenas, former President of the League of Cities of the Philippines, who is serving his first term, also said the proposed bill would also deter the abduction and killing of media as the bill will "create a legal presumption" that the killing or abduction of a member of media is done with a political motive.

Those found guilty of extralegal killing or enforced disappearances will suffer life imprisonment. If they are public officers, they will suffer a lifetime ban from both elective and appointive office.

The bill states that government officials, public officers, persons in authority or agents of a person in authority, officers and members of social organizations, belligerent groups and private corporations who acted as principals, as principals by inducement, or in conspiracy with any of the principals, will be punished with the same penalty. (PIA6)

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