DEPUTY Speaker and Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has filed a proposed law penalizing the robbery of cemetery articles from six to 12 years.
Macapagal-Arroyo filed House Bill (HB) No. 428 to amend the Revised Penal Code to address robbery of cemetery items or the ones committed in cemeteries, graveyards or burial grounds.
“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. “In Philippine society, we have always paid our respects to our dead. More often than not, we adorn many gifts in their final resting places or provide them with sprawling mausoleums to commemorate their lives.”
The proposed punishment of six to 12 years for robbery of cemetery articles is higher compared to the existing punishment of robbery which is six months to six years.
Her proposed law will include the phrase grave robbery as among the acts to be punished by the Revised Penal Code of Article 302 A.
“As we eagerly anticipated the time for remembering those who preceded us, there are unfortunate incidents where we find that the final resting place of our love ones have been desecrated by grave robbers,” Arroyo said. “The damage done goes beyond the measurable as it dishonors the deceased and caused anguish to those who survived them. This type of theft must be severely addressed.”