Abusive use of medical certificates in any administrative and judicial proceedings will be slapped with stiffer penalties after the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights endorsed Senate Bill No. 3211 (An Act Increasing Penalty for Falsification of Medical Certificates, Certificate of Merits or Services and the Like).

“The bill focuses on certificates, medical, merits or services that are being used to affect any government proceedings like congressional or court hearings. Oftentimes, a respondent skips a hearing by using medical condition as an excuse as attested by a medical certificate,” Senator Chiz Escudero, committee chairman, said.

The bill, which was authored by Senator Lito Lapid, aims to increase the penalties for falsifying medical certificates to prision correccional which carries six months to six years imprisonment and a fine not exceeding P200,000. The current penalty is only six months imprisonment and a fine of P1,000.

Likewise, any physician, surgeon or public officer found guilty of issuing false certificates with criminal intent will face subsidiary imprisonment.

“The one who issued the false is criminally liable. But if he was bribed, coerced and has conspired with the a party to commit such act, that party is also criminally liable and will be  a principal by inducement under the theory of conspiracy: that the crime of one is the crime of all,’” Escudero added.