Co-Sponsorship Speech for Senate Bill 1354 (Anti-Perjury Bill)

Mr. President, fellow members of this august chamber, it is my honor to co-sponsor Senate Bill No. 1354 entitled ‘An Act Amending Articles 183 and 184 of Act No. 3815, As Amended, Otherwise Known as the Revised Penal Code,’ as embodied under Committee Report No. 49.

Somebody once said: “He who tells a lie, is not sensible how great a task he undertakes; for he must be forced to invent twenty more to maintain that one.” Nonetheless Mr. President, in my decades of experience as a public servant, I have come face to face with countless instances where a witness went the extra mile to invent hundreds of other lies just to maintain the first lie that he/she made under the sacred oath of truth.

I need not go far, Mr. President. I myself had been a victim of untruthful testimonies fabricated with the end goal of destroying my person. Never would I forget the unadorable persons answering the names of Ador Mawanay and Cezar Mancao, and a host of other characters who weaved unthinkable lies and narratives of the crimes that I supposedly committed.

Not only that, Mr. President. In their quest to put this representation behind bars, even government prosecutors were used and even sent abroad to assist in the preparation of affidavits containing lies and innuendos that the Court of Appeals found to be incredible to believe. This led to my acquittal with finality by the Supreme Court via the dismissal of the said cases, and served as the final nail in the saga of the vilification campaign against me since 2001.

Mr. President, this bill was initially filed by this representation on May 19, 2011 during the 15th Congress, and refiled during the 17th Congress. Unfortunately, it remained languishing in the legislative mill during the 15th and 17th Congresses. That is why I speak with a stark of sentimentality as this measure is finally advancing in our legislative agenda. Thanks to my chairman in the Committee on Justice and Human Rights, Sen. Dick Gordon.

Mr. President, when a person answers the question, “Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?” with a resounding “I do,” he affirms and answers to the sacred oath of truth.

Hence, Mr. President, this representation finds it vital to increase the penalty for the commission of false testimonies, particularly, by amending Article 183, Book II, Title Four of Act 3815 entitled “False testimony in other cases and perjury in solemn affirmation.”

It goes without saying that this measure will deter the commission of the crimes of false testimony and perjury in solemn affirmation and uphold the sacredness of oath in testimonies and sworn statements by increasing the penalty for their commission. It is for these reasons, Mr. President, that I fully support the passage of this measure.

Thank you Mr. President, thank you Mr. Majority Leader.