June 3, 2015
SPONSORSHIP SPEECH OF SEN. GRACE POE
I rise this afternoon to sponsor Committee Report 170. The legislation is a consolidation of six (6) bills and resolution on anti-carnapping and similar issues separately filed by Senators Escudero, Trillanes, Defensor-Santiago and this representation. The Committee Report recognizes too the Third Reading version passed by the House of Representatives.
Automotive Sector is a Pillar of Economic Growth.
The automotive industry, according to the Philippine Automotive Competitiveness Council, Inc. (PACCI), is deemed an essential component of economic growth. PACCI recognizes the Philippine automotive manufacturing industry as one of the eight (8) sectors that has huge potential for success in the world market
In 2014, the ASEAN Automotive Federation (AAF) reported that Philippine sales of motor vehicles grew by 29% (from 181,738 units in 2013 to 234,747 units in 2014), making it the region's third-best performer next to Vietnam and Singapore. For the first quarter of 2015 alone, the Philippine automotive industry continues to improve with a 22 percentage growth based on the report of the Chamber of Automobile Manufacturers and Truck Manufacturers Association. The said statistics is a manifestation that consumer-spending plays a big role in the country's economic growth. As we can see, the business end of the motor vehicle industry is booming and is of substantial help to our economy.
Sa mga ordinaryong mamamayan, ang pagkakaroon ng sasakyan ay kabuuan ng kanilang mga pangarap at tagumpay. Ang bawat bumibili ng sasakyan ay may kanya-kanyang dahilan: marami ay para mapaginhawa ang kanilang paglalakbay patungo sa trabaho o pangnenegosyo, iyong iba ay para pang-sundo at panghatid ng mga anak sa eskwela, maaari ring ang isang young professional ay bibili ng sasakyan para sa kanyang magulang o para sa kanyang sarili bilang reward bilang indikasyon ng tagumpay.
The Problem of Carnapping in the Philippines
But the success in an industry is always matched by an equal threat. As discussed in our public hearing on the issue, the crime of carnapping continues to rear its ugly and evil head in the country. Not only have we seen an increase in the spate of carnapping incidents, but we have likewise been shaken by media reports on the senseless and gruesome murders, as exemplified in the cases of Emerson Lozano, Ernane Sensil and Venson Evangelista.
The statistics of the Philippine National Police (PNP) is also relevant: from January to June 2014, 3,170 cases of carnapping were reported, up 68.5 percent from the 1,881 cases reported in the same period in 2013. Again, that is up 68.5 percent. In the first half of 2014, the records of the Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) indicated that an average of 2 cars and 15 motorcycles were stolen on a daily basis in the Philippines. Sometimes, even as much as four cars a day.
The following data are significant as the Chamber considers a New Anti-Carnapping Law for the country:
Why A New Anti-Carnapping Law Should be Passed.
The present law of the Philippines addressing carnapping is circa 1972, although amended. Republic Act 6539 or the Anti-Carnapping Law passed during the Seventh Congress (the Senate President then, was Senator Gil Puyat in whose honor we have the entire Buendia Avenue named today) was enacted to curb theft of motor vehicles. Based on available data, cases of stolen vehicles ranged from 400 - 420 cars at that time.
Times have indeed changed dramatically. It should be noted that substantial transformation in the economic landscape has happened, with more motor vehicles on the road, the presence of bolder criminal syndicates and the evolution of motorcycle-transport system.
Acts have been more brazen, too. For example, the mastermind of a carnapping ring has reportedly been able to evade detention and post bail no less than nineteen (19) times--nineteen times posted bail--despite the numerous charges levelled against him.
In short, carnapping has become more rampant, more blatant and more heinous over the past years.
And it is now time to plug the loopholes in the law to adjust to the economic requirements of the present and to stop the reign of terror of criminal syndicates engaged in carnapping.
Highlights of the Committee Report.
Senate Bill 2794 under Committee Report 170 is highlighted by the following provisions:
1. It provides stiffer penalties for carnapping or car theft:
2. Under the measure, any person charged with carnapping shall be denied bail when the evidence of guilt is strong or when the crime of carnapping is committed by a group, gang or syndicate or when attended by violence and intimidation or forced upon things or when the owner, driver, occupant or passenger is killed or raped.
3. While the definition of Carnapping is the same in both the 1972 Law and the proposed bill, there are new violations or offenses considered in the proposed law:
A. Identity Transfer. The act of transferring the engine number, chassis, body tag and all other identifying marks of a motor vehicle - This is "cannibalizing" in the present lingo;
B. The so-called KAMBAL Registration (or double registration);
C. Unlawful use of vehicle plates;
D. The act of "replacing" original serial numbers or motor vehicle engines, engine blocks or chassis as a means of furthering carnapping. The rationale, to cover new modus operandi like the "Lipat Bahay" modus operandi wherein the working or serviceable parts inside a carnapped vehicle engine are transferred inside the engine block of a legitimate motor vehicle, often previously declared as total wreck.
Carnapping is still defined as "the taking, with intent to gain, of a motor vehicle belonging to another without the latter's consent, or by means of violence against or intimidation of persons, or by using force upon things."
4. Coordination amongst PNP-HPG, LTO, Customs, DOTC, MARINA, and other relevant offices is strengthened, especially in easy online access and registration to expedite motor vehicle data/details verification.
5. The PNP-HPG is given the main tasks on all concerns involving carnapping and measures to forestall it. LTO, as the focal point for Motor Vehicle registration.
6. The immediate return of carnapped vehicles to the lawful owner is warranted under the new Code. Regardless of whether one is a buyer of good faith, upon demand by the registered owner or his duly authorized representative, the stolen motor vehicle must be returned to the rightful and legal owner within 72 hours from demand.
7. To avert the widely-illegal acts of mounting motor vehicle engines to motor boats, motor bancas, water crafts and other light water vessels, the applicant shall secure a permit from the PNP-HPG.
I appeal for the Philippine Senate's favorable consideration in this regard. Ipasa po natin ang panukalang ito dahil makakatulong ito sa pagsugpo ng krimen ng carnapping, gayundin, ito ay napapanahon para mabigyang proteksyon natin ang ating mga sasakyan at lalong-lalo na ang ating mga kababayan.
Maraming salamat po, Mr. President.
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