WHEREAS, the Constitution, specifically Article III, Section 19 paragraph (1) thereof, states "Excessive fines shall not be imposed nor cruel, degrading or inhuman punishment inflicted. Neither shall death penalty be imposed, unless, for compelling reasons involving heinous crimes, the Congress hereafter provides for it"; WHEREAS, the crimes punishable by death under this Act are heinous for being grievous, odious and hateful offenses and which, by reason of their inherent or manifest wickedness, viciousness, atrocity and perversity are repugnant and outrageous to the common standards and norms of decency and morality in a just, civilized and ordered society; WHEREAS, due to the alarming upsurge of such crimes which has resulted not only in the loss of human lives and wanton destruction of property but also affected the nation's efforts towards sustainable economic development and prosperity while at the same time has undermined the people's faith in the Government and the latter's ability to maintain peace and order in the country; WHEREAS, the Congress, in the interest of justice, public order and the rule of law, and the need to rationalize and harmonize the penal sanctions for heinous crimes, finds compelling reasons to impose the death penalty for said crimes; chanrobles virtual law library Now, therefore,
Sec. 1. Declaration of Policy. - It is hereby declared the policy of the State to foster and ensure not only obedience to its authority, but also to adopt such measures as would effectively promote the maintenance of peace and order, the protection of life, liberty and property, and the promotion of the general welfare which are essential for the enjoyment by all the people of the blessings of democracy in a just and humane society; Sec. 2. Article 114 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, is hereby amended to read as follows: "Art. 114. Treason. - Any Filipino citizen who levies war against the Philippines or adheres to her enemies giving them aid or comfort within the Philippines or elsewhere, shall be punished by reclusion perpetua to death and shall pay a fine not to exceed 100,000 pesos.
"No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses at least to the same overt act or on confession of the accused in open court.
"Likewise, an alien, residing in the Philippines, who commits acts of treason as defined in paragraph 1 of this Article shall be punished by reclusion temporal to death and shall pay a fine not to exceed 100,000 pesos." Sec. 3. Section Three, Chapter One, Title One of Book Two of the same Code is hereby amended to read as follows: "Section Three. - Piracy and mutiny on the high seas
or in the Philippine waters
"Art. 122. Piracy in general and mutiny on the high seas or in the Philippine waters. - The penalty of reclusion perpetua shall be inflicted upon any person who, on the high seas, or in the Philippine waters, shall attack or seize a vessel or, not being a member of its complement nor a passenger, shall seize the whole or part of the cargo of said vessel, its equipment or passengers.
The same penalty shall be inflicted in case of mutiny on the high seas or in the Philippine waters.
"Art. 123. Qualified piracy. - The penalty of reclusion perpetua to death shall be imposed upon those who commit any of the crimes referred to in the preceding article, under any of the following circumstances:
"1. Whenever they have seized a vessel by boarding or firing upon the same; "2. Whenever the pirates have abandoned their victims without means of saving themselves or;
"3. Whenever the crime is accompanied by murder, homicide, physical injuries or rape." Sec. 4. There shall be incorporated after Article 211 of the same Code a new article to read as follows: "Art. 211-A. Qualified Bribery. - If any...