The Plunder Law: R.A. 7080 (full text)

(There is already a discussion on the Philippine Plunder Law. Nevertheless, for the convenience of everyone, the full text of the law is reproduced below)

Republic Act No. 7080

AN ACT DEFINING AND PENALIZING THE CRIME OF PLUNDER

Section 1. Definition of terms. As used in this Act, the term –

1. “Public Officer” means any person holding any public office in the Government of the Republic of the Philippines by virtue of an appointment, election or contract.
2. “Government” includes the National Government, and any of its subdivisions, agencies or instrumentalities, including government-owned or controlled corporations and their subsidiaries.
3. “Person” includes any natural or juridical person, unless the context indicates otherwise.
4. “Ill-gotten wealth” means any asset, property, business enterprise or material possession of any person within the purview of Section two (2) hereof, acquired by him directly or indirectly through dummies, nominees, agents, subordinates and/or business associates by any combination or series of the following means or similar schemes:

1. Through misappropriation, conversion, misuse, or malversation of public funds or raids on the public treasury;
2. By receiving, directly or indirectly, any commission, gift, share, percentage, kickbacks or any/or entity in connection with any government contract or project or by reason of the office or position of the public officer concerned;
3. By the illegal or fraudulent conveyance or disposition of assets belonging to the National government or any of its subdivisions, agencies or instrumentalities or government-owned or controlled corporations and their subsidiaries;
4. By obtaining, receiving or accepting directly or indirectly any shares of stock, equity or any other form of interest or participation including the promise of future employment in any business enterprise or undertaking;
5. By establishing agricultural, industrial or commercial monopolies or other combinations and/or implementation of decrees and orders intended to benefit particular persons or special interests; or
6. By taking undue advantage of official position, authority, relationship, connection or influence to unjustly enrich himself or themselves at the expense and to the damage and prejudice of the Filipino people and the Republic of the Philippines.

Sec. 2. Definition of the Crime of Plunder, Penalties. Any public officer who, by himself or in conivance with members of his family, relatives by affinity or consanguinity, business associates, subordinates or other persons, amasses, accumulates or acquires ill-gotten wealth through a combination or series of overt or criminal acts as described in Section 1 (d) hereof, in the aggregate amount or total value of at least Seventy-five million pesos (P75,000,000.00), shall be guilty of the crime of plunder and shall be punished by life imprisonment with perpetual absolute disqualification from holding any public office. Any person who participated with the said public officer in the commission of plunder shall likewise be punished. In the imposition of penalties, the degree of participation and the attendance of mitigating and extenuating circumstances shall be considered by the court. The court shall declare any and all ill-gotten wealth and their interests other incomes and assets including the properties and shares of stocks derived from the deposit or investment thereof forfeited in favor of the State.

[Note: Section 2 was amended by Republic Act No. 7659, which provides for this amendment:

“Sec. 2. Definition of the Crime of Plunder; Penalties. – Any public officer who, by himself or in connivance with members of his family, relatives by affinity or consanguinity, business associates, subordinates or other persons, amasses, accumulates or acquires ill-gotten wealth through a combination or series of overt criminal acts as described in Section 1 (d) hereof in the aggregate amount or total value of at least Fifty million pesos (P50,000,000.00) shall be guilty of the crime of plunder and shall be punished by reclusion perpetua to death. Any person who participated with the said public officer in the commission of an offense contributing to the crime of plunder shall likewise be punished for such offense. In the imposition of penalties, the degree of participation and the attendance of mitigating and extenuating circumstances, as provided by the Revised Penal Code, shall be considered by the court. The court shall declare any and all ill-gotten wealth and their interests and other incomes and assets including the properties and shares of stocks derived from the deposit or investment thereof forfeited in favor of the State.”

Sec. 3. Competent Court. Until otherwise provided by law, all prosecutions under this Act shall be within the original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan.

Sec. 4. Rule of Evidence. For purposes of establishing the crime of plunder, it shall not be necessary to prove each and every criminal act done by the accused in furtherance of the scheme or conspiracy to amass, accumulate or acquire ill-gotten wealth, it being sufficient to establish beyond reasonable doubt a pattern of overt or criminal acts indicative of the overall unlawful scheme or conspiracy.

Sec. 5. Suspension and Loss of Benefits. Any public officer against whom any criminal prosecution under a valid information under this Act in whatever stage of execution and mode of participation, is pending in court, shall be suspended from office. Should he be convicted by final judgment, he shall lose all retirement or gratuity benefits under any law, but if he is acquitted he shall be entitled to reinstated and to the salaries and other benefits which he failed to receive during suspension, unless in the meantime, administrative proceedings have been filed against him.

Sec. 6. Prescription of Crime. The crime punishable under this Act shall prescribe in twenty (20) years. However, the right of the State to recover properties unlawfully acquired by public officers from them or from their nominees or transferees shall not be barred by prescription, laches, or estoppel.

Sec. 7. Separability of Provisions. If any provisions of this Act or the application thereof to any person or circumstance are held invalid, the remaining provisions of this Act and the application of such provisions to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.

Sec. 8. Scope. This Act shall not apply to or affect pending prosecutions or proceedings, or those which may be instituted under Executive Order No. 1, issued and promulgated on February 28, 1986.

Sec. 9. Effectivity. This Act shall take effect after fifteen (15) days from its publication in the Official Gazette and in a newspaper of general circulation.

Approved, July 12, 1991.

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