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Philippines Anti-Fencing Law

Philippines Anti-Fencing Law
"the law that punishes the person who buys stolen items or properties"

Anti Fencing Law

Avoid Buying Stolen Items

Why? You might not know that buying stolen goods or items is a violation of Anti-Fencing Law in the Philippines. If you are a foreigner living here in the Philippines, you should be aware of that. Even if you do not know that the item you bought is stolen or from an unknown thief, you are still punishable under this law. The sanctions?... you might be imprisoned for years and penalized for a big amount of money depending on the value of item. Usual victims are those who are engaged in buy and sell business.

Philippine Anti-Fencing Law Case Study

I want to share this with you, my personal experience. This experience taught me a lesson very well on this anti-fencing law. I was one of the victim of buying stolen item. I don't know the person (or the seller of the item). I'm just familiar with his face. He lives in our neighborhood. One day, he approached me to buy his "item x". (I don't want to mention the item for my privacy). He talked to me very well and convinced me to buy his "item x". Well, I was very impressed and very interested with the "item x". He told me that he owned "item x" and it was a gift from his mother abroad. Too good to be true. After a little chitchat, I bought the "item-x". After few days, a group of people came into my house and someone knocked at my door very aggressively that disturbed me so much. When I opened the door, I saw the person (seller of the "item x") and a group of people below the stairs outside my house. Angry voices slammed in my ears. I was a little nervous and curious. I asked myself "why do they talked to me like this?"... after few interrogations, I knew now that the "item-x" I bought was a stolen item. The value of the "item x" costs more than 10,000 pesos. The real owner asked me to returned the "item x", if not, they will be forced to report to the police even though I don't know that the "item x" I bought was a stolen one. I asked them a favor to give me 1 day to return the item.

I was now very nervous on how to get the "item x". I already sold out the "item x" to a certain foreigner few days ago, since I'm engaged in buy and sell business. Do you know what I did?

Ways or Steps I Did on How I Get Out of Trouble Against this Anti-Fencing Law thing
"How I defend myself"
  1. I called my father through phone. Father is the first thing that came into my mind. Mind you, you will do the same like I did. Parents are GREAT ADVISERS. They are full of experiences. My father told me to return the "item-x". My father told me about this "Anti-Fencing Law" thing. His best advice is to return "item x"
  2. Second, I search the net about "Anti-Fencing Law". I read the PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 1612 - ANTI-FENCING LAW OF 1979 (for more info regarding this law try to visit this: http://www.chanrobles.com/presidentialdecrees/presidentialdecreeno1612.html) After reading some useful articles from the net regarding Anti-Fencing Law cases, I'm thinking that I could be able to defend myself to the Police by telling them that I was unaware or I don't know that it was a stolen item. As what the Anti-Fencing Law defines the term Fencing: "Fencing is applied to the person buying the stolen item with the knowledge that the item is stolen and with an intent to gain". After this amateur conclusion in my mind, I was still curious and wanted to know more: "Could I defend myself to the Police or court and get out of trouble by just merely saying, I'm not aware or I don't know that the "item x" was stolen?... I did more research in the net and found out that there was an Anti-Fencing Law Case in the Philippines that punished and penalized the person who bought the stolen item even though he was not aware or did not know that it was stolen. So, my conclusion turned around: I will still be convicted and penalized under the Anti-Fencing Law even though I don't know that item was stolen.
  3. Third step, I've taken was... I called my uncle through phone. My uncle is a Police Technical Inspector. He specializes on Crime Investigations. I talked to him about what happened and regarding the anti-fencing law. Do you know what is his advice? The same as my father: "Return the stolen item". The reason? - to minimize expenses. More money will be spent if the item is not returned. Expenses for the attorney, proceedings, paperworks, and lots of time to be spent. Here are some very helpful techniques my uncle shared to me. He said, "Try to negotiate the owner of the stolen item. If you cannot return the item because it was already sold out to somebody who don't want to return the item, ask the real owner of the stolen item to pay for the present value of the item. Since it was already secondhand, pay it as a secondhand. Talk to them sincerely and be humble as much as possible. Abandon your pride. And be sure to bring at least 2 witnesses (people whom you and the real owner of the item know), a pen and a paper for an AGREEMENT to be signed that you already successfully returned the item to the real owner. You can pay lesser if you negotiate properly."
After all of these given steps, I made up my mind to do their advices and I have now more ideas about Anti Fencing law.

Within that days before I successfully returned the stolen item to the real owner, I suffered a lot of discomfort and fever.

This is my experience I can't forget. It taught me a lesson very well regarding this anti-fencing law. I hope you'll also learned from this.
Lessons to Be Learned (Anti Fencing Law lessons)

1. Don't buy anything from a suspicious person especially if he or she is selling something to you in a dark place.

2. You should know the seller of the item very well. Write his/her name, address, contact numbers, personal references and other personal details.

3. Require a receipt of the item if possible.

If you have the same experience with me, share it to me or what can you say about my steps I did? You can add some lessons here that you want to share. This is to educate people regarding Anti-Fencing Law in the Philippines. Don't be a victim!

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"Philippines Anti-Fencing Law" was written by under the Business category. It has been read 8531 times and generated 3 comments. The article was created on and updated on 20 September 2010 .
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Total comments : 3
miraflor   (04 January 2013 8:26 AM)
now i know whaat is the anti-fencing law ,, now I know what is this law about after i read your personal experience. :) thanks a BRO... i've learned a lot..

richelle parong   (12 March 2011 4:50 PM)
tama. . ignorancia leges nemenim excusat

aling   (21 September 2010 0:05 AM)
experience..ignorance of the law excuses no one.