From the Manila Bulletin (Jul 27): Bill makes wearing cop uniforms a crime
The unauthorized wearing of military or police uniforms could soon be a criminal act punishable by a 10-year jail term if a Cebu lawmaker’s proposed measure is enacted in the 16th Congress.
Filed by Cebu City 1st district Rep. Raul Del Mar, House Bill 368 seeks to amend 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).
On top of the decade-long prison term, violators would also be slapped with a P20,000 fine. 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.
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.
In justifying the bill, Del Mar said that the indiscriminate wearing of AFP and PNP uniform by civilian has caused 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,” the solon said.
Del Mar noted that the wearing of police and military uniforms became “fashionable” as the uniforms sprung up in stores near military and police camps.
Del Mar cited RA 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, he 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,” he said.