Make Carnapping Non-Bailable

After posting the Carnapping Prevention Tips of the Philippine National Police (PNP) earlier, we learned that car jackers struck yet again Thursday morning in Quezon City. The criminals stole a van owned by Carl Balita, a radio announcer and proprietor of several review centers in Manila.

Coincidentally (and in perfect timing), a blog reader who goes by the name “jigger b” emailed us with a suggestion that a topic about “making carnapping a non-bailable offense” be posted here.

Yes, “jigger”'s request has been granted; and yes we do support his idea.

It is sad to note that although carnapping/carjacking is a dangerous crime and is no different from other crimes that physically harm victims (or worst kill them just like what happened recently), the law allows car thefts to post bail.

Under the law, carnapping suspects can post a bail of between P100,000 and P180,000 which is “peanuts” compared to the proceeds they earn from the sale of a carnapped vehicle.

The possibility that they will do the same offense over and over again is very high.

Section 14 of Republic Act 6539, also known as the Anti-Carnapping Act of 1972, provides:
Any person who is found guilty of carnapping, as this term is defined in Sec. two of this Act, shall, irrespective of the value of motor vehicle taken, be punished by imprisonment for not less than fourteen years and eight months and not more than seventeen years and four months, when the carnapping is committed without violence or intimidation of persons, or force upon things; and by imprisonment for not less than seventeen years and four months and not more than thirty years, when the carnapping is committed by means of violence against or intimidation of any person, or force upon things; and the penalty of life imprisonment to death shall be imposed when the owner, driver or occupant of the carnapped motor vehicle is killed in the commission of the carnapping.
Death penalty in the Philippines was abolished on June 24, 2006. President Benigno S. Aquino III recently said he will study the re-imposition of the capital punishment in the wake of calls from various groups following several heinous crime cases.

While some lawmakers expressed opposition to the death penalty stating the reason that it does not deter crimes but will put innocent people to the risk of miscarriages of justice, yadda yadda yadda, the people want change and everyone concerned should act now before more cars are stolen and lives are put in danger.

Our take:

President Aquino should go ahead and proceed with the re-imposition of the death penalty. Congress, on the other hand, should amend RA 6539 to make carnapping non-bailable.

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