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PRESIDENTIAL DECREES

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MALACAÑANG
M a n i l a

PRESIDENTIAL DECREE No. 1612

ANTI-FENCING LAW OF 1979

WHEREAS, reports from law enforcement agencies reveal that there is rampant robbery and thievery of government and private properties;

WHEREAS, such robbery and thievery have become profitable on the part of the lawless elements because of the existence of ready buyers, commonly known as fence, of stolen properties;

WHEREAS, under existing law, a fence can be prosecuted only as an accessory after the fact and punished lightly;

WHEREAS, is imperative to impose heavy penalties on persons who profit by the effects of the crimes of robbery and theft.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution, do hereby order and decree as part of the law of the land the following:

Section 1. Title. This decree shall be known as the Anti-Fencing Law.

Sec. 2. Definition of Terms. The following terms shall mean as follows:

(a) "Fencing" is the act of any person who, with intent to gain for himself or for another, shall buy, receive, possess, keep, acquire, conceal, sell or dispose of, or shall buy and sell, or in any other manner deal in any article, item, object or anything of value which he knows, or should be known to him, to have been derived from the proceeds of the crime of robbery or theft.

(b) "Fence" includes any person, firm, association corporation or partnership or other organization who/which commits the act of fencing.

Sec. 3. Penalties. Any person guilty of fencing shall be punished as hereunder indicated:

(a) The penalty of prision mayor, if the value of the property involved is more than 12,000 pesos but not exceeding 22,000 pesos; if the value of such property exceeds the latter sum, the penalty provided in this paragraph shall be imposed in its maximum period, adding one year for each additional 10,000 pesos; but the total penalty which may be imposed shall not exceed twenty years. In such cases, the penalty shall be termed reclusion temporal and the accessory penalty pertaining thereto provided in the Revised Penal Code shall also be imposed.

(b) The penalty of prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods, if the value of the property robbed or stolen is more than 6,000 pesos but not exceeding 12,000 pesos.

(c) The penalty of prision correccional in its minimum and medium periods, if the value of the property involved is more than 200 pesos but not exceeding 6,000 pesos.

(d) The penalty of arresto mayor in its medium period to prision correccional in its minimum period, if the value of the property involved is over 50 pesos but not exceeding 200 pesos.

(e) The penalty of arresto mayor in its medium period if such value is over five (5) pesos but not exceeding 50 pesos.

(f) The penalty of arresto mayor in its minimum period if such value does not exceed 5 pesos.

Sec. 4. Liability of Officials of Juridical Persons. If the fence is a partnership, firm, corporation or association, the president or the manager or any officer thereof who knows or should have known the commission of the offense shall be liable.

Sec. 5. Presumption of Fencing. Mere possession of any good, article, item, object, or anything of value which has been the subject of robbery or thievery shall be prima facie evidence of fencing.

Sec. 6. Clearance/Permit to Sell/Used Second Hand Articles. For purposes of this Act, all stores, establishments or entities dealing in the buy and sell of any good, article item, object of anything of value obtained from an unlicensed dealer or supplier thereof, shall before offering the same for sale to the public, secure the necessary clearance or permit from the station commander of the Integrated National Police in the town or city where such store, establishment or entity is located. The Chief of Constabulary/Director General, Integrated National Police shall promulgate such rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of this section. Any person who fails to secure the clearance or permit required by this section or who violates any of the provisions of the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder shall upon conviction be punished as a fence.

Sec. 7. Repealing Clause. All laws or parts thereof, which are inconsistent with the provisions of this Decree are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.

Sec. 8. Effectivity. This Decree shall take effect upon approval.

Done in the City of Manila, this 2nd day of March, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-nine.

RULES AND REGULATIONS TO CARRY OUT THE PROVISIONS OF Sec. 6 OF PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 1612, KNOWN AS THE ANTI-FENCING LAW.

Pursuant to Sec. 6 of Presidential Decree No. 1612, known as the Anti-Fencing Law, the following rules and regulations are hereby promulgated to govern the issuance of clearances/permits to sell used secondhand articles obtained from an unlicensed dealer or supplier thereof:

I. Definition of Terms

1. "Used secondhand article" shall refer to any goods, article, item, object or anything of value obtained from an unlicensed dealer or supplier, regardless of whether the same has actually or in fact been used.

2. "Unlicensed dealer/supplier" shall refer to any persons, partnership, firm, corporation, association or any other entity or establishment not licensed by the government to engage in the business of dealing in or of supplying the articles defined in the preceding paragraph.

3. "Store", "establishment" or "entity" shall be construed to include any individual dealing in the buying and selling used secondhand articles, as defined in paragraph hereof.

4. "Buy and Sell" refer to the transaction whereby one purchases used secondhand articles for the purpose of resale to third persons.

5. "Station Commander" shall refer to the Station Commander of the Integrated National Police within the territorial limits of the town or city district where the store, establishment or entity dealing in the buying and selling of used secondhand articles is located.

II. Duty to Procure Clearance or Permit

1. No person shall sell or offer to sell to the public any used secondhand article as defined herein without first securing a clearance or permit for the purpose from the proper Station Commander of the Integrated National Police.

2. If the person seeking the clearance or permit is a partnership, firm, corporation, or association or group of individuals, the clearance or permit shall be obtained by or in the name of the president, manager or other responsible officer-in-charge thereof.

3. If a store, firm, corporation, partnership, association or other establishment or entity has a branch or subsidiary and the used secondhand article is acquired by such branch or subsidiary for sale to the public, the said branch or subsidiary shall secure the required clearance or permit.

4. Any goods, article, item, or object or anything of value acquired from any source for which no receipt or equivalent document evidencing the legality of its acquisition could be presented by the present possessor or holder thereof, or the covering receipt, or equivalent document, of which is fake, falsified or irregularly obtained, shall be presumed as having been acquired from an unlicensed dealer or supplier and the possessor or holder thereof must secure the required clearance or permit before the same can be sold or offered for sale to the public.

III. Procedure for Procurement of Clearances or Permits

1. The Station Commanders concerned shall require the owner of a store or the president, manager or responsible officer-in-charge of a firm, establishment or other entity located within their respective jurisdictions and in possession of or having in stock used secondhand articles as defined herein, to submit an initial affidavit within thirty (30) days from receipt of notice for the purpose thereof and subsequent affidavits once every fifteen (15) days within five (5) days after the period covered, which shall contain:

(a) A complete inventory of such articles acquired daily from whatever source and the names and addresses of the persons from whom such articles were acquired.

(b) A full list of articles to be sold or offered for sale as well as the place where the date when the sale or offer for sale shall commence.

(c) The place where the articles are presently deposited or kept in stock.

The Station Commander may, at his discretion when the circumstances of each case warrant, require that the affidavit submitted be accompanied by other documents showing proof of legitimacy of the acquisition of the articles.

2. A party required to secure a clearance or permit under these rules and regulations shall file an application therefor with the Station Commander concerned. The application shall state:

(a) The name, address and other pertinent circumstances of the persons, in case of an individual or, in the case of a firm, corporation, association, partnership or other entity, the name, address and other pertinent circumstances of the president, manager or officer-in-charge.

(b) The article to be sold or offered for sale to the public and the name and address of the unlicensed dealer or supplier from whom such article was acquired.

In support of the application, there shall be attached to it the corresponding receipt or other equivalent document to show proof of the legitimacy of acquisition of the article.

3. The Station Commander shall examine the documents attached to the application and may require the presentation of other additional documents, if necessary, to show satisfactory proof of the legitimacy of acquisition of the article, subject to the following conditions:

(a) If the legitimacy of acquisition of any article from an unlicensed source cannot be satisfactorily established by the documents presented, the Station Commander shall, upon approval of the INP Superintendent in the district and at the expense of the party seeking the clearance/permit, cause the publication of a notice in a newspaper of general circulation for two (2) successive days enumerating therein the articles acquired from an unlicensed dealer or supplier, the names and addresses of the persons from whom they were acquired and shall state that such articles are to be sold or offered for sale to the public at the address of the store, establishment or other entity seeking the clearance/permit. In places where no newspapers are in general circulation, the party seeking the clearance or permit shall, instead, post a notice daily for one week on the bulletin board of the municipal building of the town where the store, firm, establishment or entity concerned is located or, in the case of an individual, where the articles in his possession are to be sold or offered for sale.

(b) If after 15 days, upon expiration of the period of publication or of the notice referred to in the preceding paragraph, no claim is made with respect to any of the articles enumerated in the notice, the Station Commander shall issue the clearance or permit sought.

(c) If, before expiration of the same period for publication of the notice or its posting, it shall appear that any of the articles in question is stolen property, the Station Commander shall hold the article in restraint as evidence in any appropriate case to be filed. Articles held in restraint shall be kept and disposed of as the circumstances of each case permit, taking into account all considerations of right and justice in the case. In any case where any article is held in restraint, it shall be the duty of the Station Commander concerned to advise/notify the Commission on Audit of the case and comply with such procedure as may be proper under applicable existing laws, rules and regulations.

4. The Station Commander concerned shall, within seventy-two (72) hours from receipt of the application, act thereon by either issuing the clearance/permit requested or denying the same. Denial of an application shall be in writing and shall state in brief the reason/s therefor.

5. The application, clearance/permit or the denial thereof, including such other documents as may be pertinent in the implementation of Sec. 6 of P.D. No. 1612 shall be in the forms prescribed in Annexes "A", "B", "C", "D", and "E" hereof, which are made integral parts of these rules and regulations.

6. For the issuance of clearances/permit required under Sec. 6 of P.D. No. 1612, no fee shall be charged.

IV. Appeals

Any party aggrieved by the action taken by the Station Commander may elevate the decision taken in the case to the proper INP District Superintendent and, if he is still dissatisfied therewith may take the same on appeal to the INP Director. The decision of the INP Director may also be appealed to the INP Director-General whose decision may likewise be appealed to the Minister of National Defense. The decision of the Minister of National Defense on the case shall be final. The appeal against the decision taken by a Commander lower than the INP Director-General should be filed to the next higher Commander within ten (10) days from receipt of notice of the decision. The decision of the INP Director-General should be appealed within fifteen (15) days from receipt of notice of the decision.

V. Penalties

1. Any person who fails to secure the clearance or permit required by Sec. 6 of P.D. 1612 or who violates any of the provisions of these rules and regulations shall upon conviction be punished as a fence.

2. The INP Director-General shall recommend to the proper authority the cancellation of the business license of the erring individual, store, establishment or the entity concerned.

3. Articles obtained from unlicensed sources for sale or offered for sale without prior compliance with the provisions of Sec. 6 of P.D. No. 1612 and with these rules and regulations shall be held in restraint until satisfactory evidence or legitimacy of acquisition has been established.

4. Articles for which no satisfactory evidence of legitimacy of acquisition is established and which are found to be stolen property shall likewise be held under restraint and shall, furthermore, be subject to confiscation as evidence in the appropriate case to be filed. If, upon termination of the case, the same is not claimed by their legitimate owners, the article/s shall be forfeited in favor of the government and made subject to disposition as the circumstances warrant in accordance with applicable existing laws, rules and regulations. The Commission on Audit shall, in all cases, be notified.

5. Any personnel of the Integrated National Police found violating the provisions of Sec. 6 of P.D. No. 1612 or any of its implementing rules and regulations or who, in any manner whatsoever, connives with or through his negligence or inaction makes possible the commission of such violations by any party required to comply with the law and its implementing rules and regulations, shall be prosecuted criminally without prejudice to the imposition of administrative penalties.

VI. Visitorial Power

It shall be the duty of the owner of the store or of the president, manager or responsible officer-in-charge of any firm, establishment or other entity or of an individual having in his premises articles to be sold or offered for sale to the public to allow the Station Commander or his authorized representative to exercise visitorial powers. For this purpose, however, the power to conduct visitations shall be exercise only during office or business hours and upon authority in writing from and by the INP Superintendent in the district and for the sole purpose of determining whether articles are kept in possession or stock contrary to the intents of Sec. 6 of P.D. No. 1612 and of these rules and regulations.

VII. Other Duties Imposed Upon Station Commanders and INP District Superintendent and Directors Following Action on Applications for Clearances or Permits

1. At the end of each month, it shall be the duty of the Station Commander concerned to:

(a) Make and maintain a file in his office of all clearances/permit issued by him.

(b) Submit a full report to the INP District Superintendent on the number of applications for clearances or permits processed by his office, indicating therein the number of clearances/permits issued and the number of applications denied. The report shall state the reasons for denial of an application and the corresponding follow-up actions taken and shall be accompanied by an inventory of the articles to be sold or offered for sale in his jurisdiction.

2. The INP District Superintendent shall, on the basis of the reports submitted by the Station Commander, in turn submit quarterly reports to the appropriate INP Director containing a consolidation of the information stated in the reports of Station Commanders in his jurisdiction.

3. Reports from INP District Superintendent shall serve as basis for a consolidated report to be submitted semi-annually by INP Directors to the Director-General, Integrated National Police.

4. In all cases, reports emanating from the different levels of the Integrated National Police shall be accompanied with full and accurate inventories of the articles acquired from unlicensed dealers or suppliers and proposed to be sold or offered for sale in the jurisdictions covered by the report.

These implementing rules and regulations, having been published in a newspaper of national circulation, shall take effect on June 15, 1979.

FOR THE CHIEF OF CONSTABULARY DIRECTOR-GENERAL, INP: