A BILL penalizing grave robbery with imprisonment from six to 12 years is now pending consideration in the House of Representatives.
Described by various quarters as “meaningful,” the proposed piece of legislation is authored by Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
These quarters endorsed and recommended the early passage of House Bill (HB) No. 428, which seeks to amend the country’s Revised Penal Code.
Under the bill, the punishment of six to 12 years for grave robbery is higher compared to the current punishment of robbery, which is six months to six years imprisonment.
Among other things, the measure aims to address robbery of cemetery items or the ones committed in cemeteries, graveyards or other burial grounds across the country.
“The desecration of our dearly departed comes in many forms. One form is grave robbery, which has always been a perennial problem especially in a culture as rich as ours,” said Arroyo.
We cannot overemphasize the importance of the proposed legislation as the time for remembering our dead is just four days away.
In the Philippines, as in various parts of the world, people remember their departed relatives, friends and neighbors on November 1, when all roads lead to public and private cemeteries.
Of course, the people expect the government to hit hard at those who desecrate the final resting place of our love ones.
Nobody will argue with Arroyo, a former President of the Philippines who is now a House deputy speaker, when she said that Filipinos always pay their respects to the dead.