A MANDATE AGAINST HATE: FINDING AND FOUNDING A PHILIPPINE LAW ON HATE CRIMES

Raoul Angelo de Fiesta Atadero (JD'11)

ABSTRACT

Crimes motivated by bias or hate (Hate Crimes) are especially vicious, producing grave emotional and psychological impact on the victim and the group that shares the victim’s characteristic. These acts destroy the bonds of democratic society, fragment communities, and are an invidious form of discrimination. As the Philippines is no stranger to these crimes, the state of Philippine law vis-à-vis these acts must be determined in order that they may be adequately addressed, and vulnerable groups properly protected. This study provides a survey of relevant Philippine Laws and reveals that while a ,few scattered provisions exist touching on the issue, notably an Aggravating Circumstance and Crimes Against Religion in the Revised Penal Code, domestic law is woefully inadequate or in many instances silent on Hate Crimes. Legislation must therefore be updated and completed to protect vulnerable groups against Hate Crimes. To this end, this inquiry proposes that through legislation, a bias motive in crimes should he treated as an aggravating circumstance to enhance penalties for offenders and serve as a deterrent against similar acts. Further, a mandate for law enforcement agencies to recognize, record, and report bias-motivated crimes is recommended in order that the various organs of the State may craft a more tailored response to these acts.