As carnapping incidents continue to rise, lawmakers are doing their part to revise current laws in order to deter criminals from committing auto theft.
After both Congress (House Bill 4544) and Senate (SB 2794) aligned their respective versions into the New Anti-Carnapping Act of 2015, it now awaits the signature of outgoing President Benigno Aquino III.
The new bill will replace the rather outdated Republic Act 6539 otherwise known as the "Anti Carnapping Act of 1972" to introduce stiffer penalties and measures to discourage would be offenders. The current law imposes imprisonment of only 14 to 17 years.
Under the amended bill, people who will break the New Anti-Carnapping Law will face imprisonment of:
* 20 years but not more than 30 years - if committed without violence or intimidation.
* 30 years and 1 day to 40 years - if the the offense is committed with violence or intimidation.
* Life imprisonment - if the driver, owner or occupant of the vehicle is killed on the commission of the crime.
The revision also makes the crime of carnapping a non-bailable offense.
Co-conspirators to the carnapping shall also face 6 to 12 years in prison. Public officials and government employees found involved in similar crimes shall be dismissed from service and perpetually banned from holding any public office.
The bill shall also make the act of selling second-hand spare parts from a 'carnapped' vehicle and the identity transfer of all part of the vehicle that has been declared a 'total wreck' to be illegal.
Mere use of "deed of sale" as proof of ownership without registration (a normal practice done by private second-hand car dealers) will also be illegal.
Under the new bill, Registration of Sale, Transfer, Conveyance of a Motor Vehicle, Substitution or Replacement of a Motor Vehicle Engine, Engine Block or Chassis will require registration with the Land Transportation Office (LTO) within twenty (20) days. "A motor vehicle, motor vehicle engine, engine block or chassis not registered with the LTO shall be presumed as a carnapped vehicle, an untaxed imported vehicle, or a vehicle proceeding from illegal sources unless proven otherwise and shall be confiscated in favor ofthe government."