Press Release
May 18, 2020


Senator Richard J. Gordon today welcomed the passage on third and final reading of his bill proposing higher penalty for perjury, saying it would deter the commission of the crime.

Senate Bill No. 1354 was approved with 20 affirmative votes and no negative vote. Along with Gordon, the bill was co-authored by Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, and Senators Panfilo Lacson and Leila de Lima.

"We won because we managed to make it (Perjury law) more serious by giving it more teeth," Gordon said.

The chairman of the Committee on Justice and Human Rights earlier expressed confidence that the higher penalties meted for perjury proposed in SBN would deter people from committing the crime, especially under oath.

Gordon also said the proposal to impose penalties two degrees higher than those currently provided in the Revised Penal Code would already be sufficient to achieve the intention of the bill, which is to deter the commission of perjury and create a culture of truth telling.

"The penalties we proposed are already sufficient to ensure that the intention of the bill is achieved. With the higher penalties, the crime would no longer be covered by the Probation Law. We also made sure that we do not give a harsher penalty outside of the court so that we won't end up imposing harsher penalties outside of judicial proceedings," he said.

The principal sponsor and author also thumbed down proposed amendments to impose higher penalties for perjury during congressional inquiries or investigations, explaining that it would only deter people from attending such proceedings as he pointed out that there are other remedies that could be taken.

"It might create an unequal protection of law, if we impose higher penalties on perjury committed during congressional inquiries. It might deter people from attending or make them very reticent about attending or giving testimonies. There is no need to distinguish since the bill already covers all proceedings outside of judicial procedures. Besides, Congress still has the power of contempt that we can exercise against those who will attempt to deceive us by giving falsehoods and we can also file criminal charges against them," he said.

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