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House approves bill vs indiscriminate firing

By: Ben R. Rosario

Indiscriminate firing of guns will have a punishment of 12 years in jail under a bill that was recently approved on third and final reading by the House of Representatives.

Authored by Bagong Henerasyon party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy, House Bill 5750 was unanimously approved by over 240 congressmen who believed that imposing stiffer penalties for the offense would deter its commission.

Together with co-authors Reps. Romeo Acop (LP, Antipolo City) and Jericho Nograles (PBA party-list), Herrera-Dy aired hopes that incidences of indiscriminate firing of weapons, especially during New Year’s Eve revelries, will be minimized, if not totally eradicated, as soon as HB 5750 becomes a law.

HB 5750 will 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 RA 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 will 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.

Offenders will be subjected to summary dismissal proceedings and perpetually disqualified from holding any public office.