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Duterte OKs community service penalty for minor offenses

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By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law a measure allowing community service for minor offenses.

Republic Act (RA) 11362 authorizes the courts to require the rendering of community service instead of jail terms for minor offenders.

The new law provides that community service shall consist of any actual physical activity which inculcates civic consciousness, and is intended towards the improvement of a public work or promotion of a public service.

If the defendant violates the terms of the community service, the court shall order his re-arrest and the defendant shall serve the full term of the penalty, as the case may be, in jail.

The court shall order the release of the defendant unless detained for some other offense once the defendant has fully complied with the terms of the community service, RA 11362 stated.

The measure also requires the defendant to undergo rehabilitative counseling under the social welfare and development officer of the city or municipality concerned with the assistance of the Development of Social Welfare and Development.

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