Press Release
May 9, 2015


The Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs chaired by Sen. Grace Poe is set to conduct a public hearing on Tuesday, May 12, on the rising incidents of carnapping and car theft in the country.

The hearing, joint with the committee on public services, is scheduled at 1 p.m. at the (Senate) Session Hall.

Numerous reports of carnapping and car theft have triggered widespread fear among private vehicle owners, Poe said, as she pushed for a measure seeking to impose stiffer penalties on these criminal activities.

Poe has filed Senate Resolution No. 1327 directing the committees to conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, on the alleged existence of a flourishing carnapping industry amid increasing and rampant incidence of crimes directed against motor vehicles and their owners.

The lawmaker has also filed Senate Bill No. 2756 seeking to repeal Republic Act No. 6539 or the Anti-Carnapping Act of 1972, proposing a stronger law that will provide for stiffer penalties to effectively dismantle carnapping syndicates and ultimately protect the interest of motor vehicle owners.

In filing the Senate measure, citing data from the National Statistical and Coordination Board, Poe said a total of 44,438 carnapping incidents had been reported from 2009 to 2013, equivalent to 8,888 stolen cars per year. In the first quarter of 2014 alone, the Philippine National Police reported a whopping increase of 68.5 percent in carnapping cases, representing 3,170 cases compared with 1,881 cases recorded in the same period of 2013.

Under the bill, any person charged with carnapping shall be denied bail when the evidence of guilt is strong.

Carnapping shall be punished by imprisonment of not less than 20 years and not more than 30 years, regardless of the motor vehicle taken, when the carnapping is committed without violence against or intimidation of persons, or force upon things. The present punishment under RA No. 6539 provides a penalty of imprisonment from 14 years to 17 years.

Imprisonment of not less than 30 years and not more than 40 years shall be imposed when the illegal act is committed by means of violence against or intimidation of persons, or force upon things. The existing law provides imprisonment of 17 years to 30 years.

Life imprisonment, however, shall be imposed when the owner, driver or occupant of the carnapped motor vehicle is killed, as was indicated in the law.

Among the topics to be discussed in the public hearing are Senate Resolution Nos. 708 and 1327 by Poe, Senate Bill Nos. 596 (Sen. Francis Escudero), 798 (Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV), 1124 (Trillanes), 1744 (Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago) and 2756 (Poe), and House Bill No. 4544 by Malabon Rep. Josephine Lacson-Noel.

Invited resource persons are Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa of the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force, Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya, Justice Secretary Leila De Lima, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, PNP Deputy Director-General Leonardo Espina, Director Benjamin Magalong, head of the PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, Senior Supt. Arnold Gunnaco, chief of the PNP Highway Patrol Group, Metropolitan Manila and Development Authority Chairman Francis Tolentino and Land Transportation Office chief Alfonso Tan.

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