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President Duterte signs law increasing penalties for perjury

By PINKY S. ICAMEN Published Nov 04, 2021 3:29 pm Updated Nov 04, 2021 4:30 pm

President Duterte has signed into law a measure that increases the penalties for perjury, or the act of making untruthful statements under oath.

Under Republic Act 11594 signed by the President on Oct. 29 and posted on the Official Gazette on Nov. 4, committing perjury will be punishable by a minimum of six years and one day to eight years in prison, and a maximum of eight years and one day to 10 years.

Previously, the Article 183 of the Revised Penal Code states that the penalty for the crime of perjury starts from four months and one day to six months in prison, while the maximum penalty is from six months and one to two years and four months in prison.

If the person who committed perjury is a public officer or employee, he or she may be fined up to P1 million, and be perpetually and absolutely disqualified from holding any appointive or elective position in government.

RA 11594 states that perjury is committed by any person who “knowingly makes untruthful statements under oath” or “make an affidavit, upon any material matter before a competent person authorized to administer an oath in cases in which the law so requires.”

Its Article 184 also reads: “Any person who shall willfully and knowingly offer in evidence a false witness or testimony in any judicial or official proceeding, shall be punished as guilty of false testimony shall suffer the respective penalties provided in this section.”