THE SENATE unanimously approved on third and final reading a bill implementing stricter penalties for willful and indiscriminate discharge of firearms.
“We are not strangers to the incidents that gave rise to the need for this measure, we have heard too many stories of mothers, fathers and children expressing their sorrows and weeping for their family members who became victims of indiscriminate use of firearms,” Senator Ronald “Bato” M. Dela Rosa, the primary sponsor of the bill, said during the Senate session on Thursday.
Under Senate Bill 2501, the penalty for a person who discharges any rocket, firecracker or other explosives in any public place, causing alarm or danger, would be P40,000.
Anyone who shoots at another with any firearm will be imprisoned for up to six years unless the facts of the case show that it is due to attempted parricide, murder, homicide or any other crime prescribed a higher penalty under the law.
Discharge of any firearm or other device willfully and indiscriminately penalizes the offender with six months in jail. If the perpetrator is a member of the military or law enforcement agencies, and the discharge is not part of official duties, a penalty one degree higher will be imposed and the offender may be held administratively liable.
A counterpart bill in the House of Representatives was approved in 2020. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan