President Duterte (MNS Photo)

MANILA, Nov 4 (Mabuhay) — President Duterte has approved a law raising the penalty for perjury or the act of making untruthful statements under oath, according to a document Malacañang released on Thursday.

Under Republic Act 11594 that Duterte signed last Friday, perjury would be punishable with prision mayor in its minimum period (from 6 years and 1 day to 8 years) to its medium period (from 8 years and 1 day to 10 years).

If the offender is a public official or worker, the imprisonment will be imposed in its maximum period, along with a fine of P1 million and perpetual disqualification from holding any appointive or elective position in government, said the law.

The previous penalty for perjury was arresto mayor in its maximum period (4 months and 1 day to 6 months) to prision correccional in its minimum period (6 months and 1 day to 2 years and 4 months).

Perjury is committed by someone who, “knowingly making untruthful statements… shall testify 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,” said RA 11594.

“The higher penalties would be sufficient to deter the commission of perjury and create a culture of truth telling,” Sen. Richard Gordon, a sponsor of the measure, said in August.

“Kapatid ng magnanakaw ang sinungaling. At kapag ikaw ay nasa gobyerno, mas malaki ang parusa,” he added. (MNS)

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