Sen. Richard Gordon on Friday welcomed President Rodrigo Duterte’s signing into law of a measure increasing the penalty for perjury.

“The new law should be a stark reminder to everyone, especially to those who are called to testify before the courts and any other legal proceeding, that lying under oath shall be meted with stricter penalties,” Gordon said.

Gordon, who chairs the Senate justice and human rights committee, sponsored the measure in the Senate.

According to the new law, perjury is punishable with prision mayor in its minimum period (from six years and one day to eight years) to its medium period (from eight years and one day to 10 years).

If the individual charged is a public officer or employee, the penalty would be P1,000,000 and perpetual absolute disqualification from holding any government position.

The previous maximum penalty for perjury was imprisonment of two years and two months.

The new law also added the word “willfully” in Article 184, which describes the act of offering false testimonies in evidence.

“Increasing the penalties for perjury would send a strong signal to all that even those in power shall be held accountable for their lies. You cannot lie under oath and go scot-free anymore,” Gordon said.

“The higher penalties would be sufficient to deter the commission of perjury and create a culture of truth-telling. Ang kapatid ng magnanakaw ang sinungaling at kapag ikaw ay nasa gobyerno, mas malaki ang parusa,” he added. John Ezekiel J. Hirro