Duterte wants tougher sanctions for child traffickers
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is backing harsher punishment for child traffickers, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said on Friday, September 27.
"The President wants to increase and tighten the penalites to offenses related to child trafficking. He wants these classes of crimes to be elevated to non-bailable offenses," Nograles said in a statement.
The measure is one of Duterte's "top legislative priorities," added the Cabinet official.
Current laws impose life imprisonment and a fine of up to P5 million for persons found guilty of qualified trafficking.
Promoting trafficking, for example by confiscating, tampering, or destroying any government document in order to restrict the movement of a person, is penalized with imprisonment for 15 years and a fine of up to P1 million. The same penalty is imposed on persons who aid in human trafficking.
These punishments are laid out in Republic Act No. 10364 or the Expanded Anti-Trafficking of Persons Act of 2012 which the Duterte government wants amended, said Nograles.
There are several bills filed before the 18th Congress seeking to amend this law. These include Senator Panfilo Lacson's Senate Bill No. 27 which brings back the death penalty and imposes this on human traffickers.
Senator Bong Revilla Jr, who ran as an ally of the Duterte administration in the 2019 elections, has filed Senate Bill No. 45 imposing higher penalties for child abuse, exploitation, and discrimination.
In the House, Deputy Speaker Aurelio Gonzales Jr, Bataan 1st District Representative Geraldine Roman, Zamboanga Sibugay 1st District Representative Wilter Wee Palma II, and Nueva Ecija 2nd District Representative Micaela Violago filed similar bills. – Rappler.com