Incidents of rock-throwing over bridges and overpasses causing vehicular damage has escalated in the past few months and after several photos posted by victims became viral, it prompted the authorities to act.
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has recently issued a statement regarding the matter and is doing its part, while our congressmen are also getting into the act.
House Bill 4865 has just been approved by the House Committee on Justice and it carries a heavy penalty for people who are caught throwing hard objects at a motor vehicle while in motion or stationary, if the act causes vehicular damage and/or death or bodily harm to its occupants.
The bill levels a punishment of life imprisonment, a fine of Php 100,000 plus additional civil liabilities if the act results in death.
Five years imprisonment and a Php 15,000 fine along with civil liabilities for medical expenses and rehabilitation is the penalty if the act results in physical injury to the vehicle’s occupants.
If only vehicular damage is sustained, the penalty is one year imprisonment, a Php 10,000 fine in addition to the repair costs of the vehicle.
The bill author Hon. Rodolfo C. Fariñas said that 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 a deterrent to future wrongdoers.
"In the process, accidents result, putting the lives and limbs of passengers in danger and damaging the vehicle itself. This practice has to be abated," said Fariñas.
Currently, Fariñas notes that authorities have no way of strictly punish wrongdoers since it can only be labeled as a ‘crime of malicious mischief’ under Article 327, which carries a very light penalty.
"Worst, offenders go scot-free and end up making this hazardous act a habitual 'past-time.' Hence this proposal," said Fariñas.
House Bill 4865 is co-authored by Reps. Marlyn L. Primicias-Agabas (6th District, Pangasinan), Cesar V. Sarmiento (Lone District, Catanduanes) and Benjamin C. Agarao (4th District, Laguna).