10 year-imprisonment for wearing police and military uniforms

July 26, 2013 10:59 am 

MANILA, July 26 — Wearing of military or police uniforms could soon be declared as a criminal act under a bill amending Republic Act 493, which regulates the use and production of uniform of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Under House Bill 368, authored by Rep. Raul Del Mar (1st District, Cebu City), violators face a jail term of 10 years and a fine of P20,000.

Likewise, the bill also imposes a five-year imprisonment and a fine of P10,000 for the unauthorized sale of military and police uniforms to civilian and the production of textile, which is being used for the production of the uniforms.

Del Mar said the indiscriminate wearing of the AFP and PNP uniform by civilian is causing damage to the reputation of the military and the police, “especially by bad elements posing as good guys.”

“Unauthorized persons have taken advantage of the proliferation of imitations of uniforms bearing close resemblance to the official military and police uniforms to falsely represent themselves as members of the AFP or the PNP,” Del Mar said.

He said wearing of police and military uniforms became fashionable and were being sold in stores near military and police camps.

The solon cited Republic Act 493 which regulates the wearing, using, manufacturing and selling of insignias, decorations and medals, badges, patches and identification cards prescribed for the military and police authorities by persons not in the service.

However, Del Mar said the law has no prohibition imposing penalty against civilians who will be caught wearing the military and police uniforms.

Del Mar also cited Article 177 of the revised Penal Code, which prohibits anyone from falsely representing himself as officer, agent or representative of any department or agency of the government.

“Despite all these legal prohibitions, criminal syndicates and individuals have not been deterred in using military or police uniforms in their unlawful and illegal activities,” Del Mar said. (PNA)

FFC/PR/EBP

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