There are different results of recklessness.

But under the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines, particularly Article 365, prison terms for reckless imprudence resulting in a crime are watered down, no matter how gross is the resulting damage.

The highest penalty for reckless imprudence is only 4 years and 2 months.

The most common example of reckless example is homicide through reckless imprudence when a person is killed after being run over by a vehicle.

The Glorietta blast on October 19, 2007, at 1:25 pm, killed 11 people and injured more than a hundred. Many, including this writer, suspected that this was the fault of Glorietta management.  An LPG tank was suspected to be culprit but no result has been released as to what really happened.

Now, the blast occurred at a condominium unit at Serendra at the Global City in Taguig.  Three were killed and a few others were injured, including the unit owner.  Authorities have been wondering why there has been no traces of explosive and they are looking at a big possibility it was caused by a gas leak inside the same unit. It was reported that Serenda units have gas outlets.  The three persons killed were riding on a van that accidentally passed by the street beneath the unit where the explosion took place.  Exactly while the van was passing by, it was smashed by a huge boulder of concrete wall falling from the unit where the explosion occurred.  Witnesses saw that the van, including the engine, was flattened like a tin can.

It happened that both Glorietta and Serendra were built and owned by the Ayala realty company.

Does it mean to say that Ayala is bad in terms of safety in the high-end projects they construct?

Assuming that the blasts in Glorietta and Serendra were caused by leaking gas pipes, they were caused by reckless disregard of the safety procedures.

Compare also the recklessness that caused a bus full of passengers to fall to a ravine and killing all, including the driver.  Sure, the damage must also be gross.

However, no matter how gross the damage is, the punishment is the same: 4 YEARS & 2 MONTHS in maximum.

This is already revolting to the conscience.

Now, it becomes more revolting when the sinner is not imprisoned because he or she applied for probation that is granted for crimes punishable with imprisonment of 6 years and below.

The owners of Sampoong Department Store that collapsed on June 29, 1995 in Seoul, South Korea were sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.  The worst engineering disaster killed 502 persons and injured 937.

If the Sampoong disaster occurred in the Philippines, the owners will only be sentenced to 4 years and 2 months regardless of the number of persons killed and injured.

As people nowadays are more and more reliant on shopping malls, it is high time to put primary attention to these.  Any disaster resulting from recklessness in malls, condominiums and other big projects must be meted out with a harsher punishment that cannot be subject to probation or pardon or parole.
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