By Ben R. Rosario
Indiscriminate firing of guns would be meted out 12 years of imprisonment under a bill that was approved on third and final reading by the House of Representatives.
House Bill 5750, authored by Bagong Henerasyon Party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy, won unanimous approval from over 240 congressmen who believe that imposing stiffer penalties for the offense would deter its commission.
Together with co-authors Representatives Romeo Acop (LP, Antipolo City) and Jericho Nograles (PBA Partylist), Herrera-Dy aired hopes that incidences of indiscriminate firing of weapons, especially during NewYear’s eve reveries, would be minimized, if not totally eradicated, as soon as HB 5750 becomes a law.
HB 5750 would amend Article 254 of the Revised Penal Code and Republic Act No. 10591 that imposes light penalty for acts that endanger human life.
The bill provides for the inclusion of the offense of indiscriminate discharge of firearms among offenses punishable under Republic Act 10591.
“This bill will provide for stiffer penalties for discharge of firearms in order to prevent deaths or injuries resulting from such reckless act,” Herrera-Dy explained.
The legislative measure also includes as unlawful act indiscriminate firing of firearms and any device that could discharge bullets.
Under the bill, persons found guilty of indiscriminate firing of armed weapons face a prison sentence of six years.
The RPC currently penalizes violators with imprisonment of two to four years. The penalty would be considered as distinct and separate offense if the shooting results to injuries to any person or damage to property.
The bill penalizes with a minimum 12 years imprisonment any member of the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines or any law enforcement agency found guilty of the offense.
Said offenders would be subjected to summary dismissal proceedings and perpetually disqualified from holding any public office.
Herrera-Dy said the bill provides for the cancellation of the firearm license or permit of the offender who would also be perpetually disqualified from owning a firearm.