Carnapping under Republic Act No. 10883
Republic Act No. 10883, or otherwise known as the New Anti-Carnapping Act of 2016 (RA 10883) is a law which punishes carnapping in the Philippines.
For purposes of knowing what carnapping is, one must be able to know what motor vehicle is, in the first place. As defined under this law, motor vehicle refers to any vehicle propelled by any power other than muscular power using the public highways.
Note that the following are not embraced in the definition of a motor vehicle under the law and thus cannot be the subject of carnapping, to wit:
- road rollers, trolley cars, street sweepers, sprinklers, lawn mowers, bulldozers, graders, forklifts, amphibian trucks, and cranes if not used on public highways;
- vehicles which run only on rails or tracks; and
- tractors, trailers and traction engines of all kinds used exclusively for agricultural purposes
RA 10883 punishes the crime of carnapping which refers to 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.
The Supreme Court has ruled in the case of People of the Philippines vs. Garcia and Bernabe, G.R. No. 138470, 1 April 2003, that it does not matter if the person from whom the motor vehicle was taken is not the owner thereof. What is simply required is that the property taken does not belong to the offender.
Penalty for Carnapping
Just like any other serious crime, any person who is found guilty of carnapping shall, regardless of the value of the motor vehicle taken, be punished by imprisonment.
When the carnapping is committed without violence against or intimidation of persons, or force upon things, the imprisonment shall be for a period not less than twenty (20) years and one (1) day but not more than thirty (30) years.
When the carnapping is committed by means of violence against or intimidation of persons, or force upon things, the imprisonment shall be for a period not less than thirty (30) years and one (1) day but not more than forty (40) years.
Take note that when the owner, driver, or occupant of the carnapped motor vehicle is killed or raped in the commission of the carnapping, the penalty of life imprisonment shall be imposed.
Concealment of carnapping shall also be punishable under the new law. Any person guilty of concealment of carnapping shall be imprisoned for six (6) years up to twelve (12) years and fined equal to the amount of the acquisition cost of the motor vehicle, motor vehicle engine, or any other part involved in the violation.
If Violator is a Juridical Person or Public Official or Foreign National
If the person violating any provision of this Act is a juridical person, the penalty shall be imposed on its president, secretary, and/or members of the board of directors or any of its officers and employees who may have directly participated in the violation.
Any public official or employee who directly commits the unlawful acts defined in this Act or is guilty of gross negligence of duty or connives with or permits the commission of any of the said unlawful acts shall, in addition to the penalty stated above, be dismissed from the service, and his/her benefits forfeited and shall be permanently disqualified from holding public office.
Foreign nationals convicted under the provisions of this Act shall be deported immediately after service of sentence without further proceedings by the Bureau of Immigration.
Is carnapping bailable?
The right to bail can be availed of provided the evidence of guilt is not strong. Bail shall be denied when the evidence of guilt is strong in the following instances:
- when charged with carnapping;
- when the crime of carnapping is committed by criminal groups, gangs or syndicates
- when carnapping is committed by means of violence or intimidation of any person or persons or forced upon things
- when the owner, driver, passenger or occupant of the carnapped vehicle is killed or raped in the course of the carnapping.
Special Provision on Reward who reports carnapping
Any person who voluntarily gives information leading to the recovery of carnapped vehicles and for the apprehension of the persons charged with carnapping shall be given monetary reward as the PNP may determine. Any information given by informers shall be treated as confidential matter.
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