The Philippines has approved a law increasing penalties for cruelty to animals, Malacañang said on Monday amid a social media outcry over a video showing three girls crushing a puppy to death.
Palace deputy spokesman Abigail Valte confirmed that President Benigno Aquino 3rd signed the bill into law before departing for Indonesia on Sunday for an Asian summit.
It raises the penalties to a maximum of three years in jail and/or a P250,000 fine. Previously, the maximum penalty was two years in jail and/or a P5,000 fine.
Aquino signed the bill on October 3, just when Philippine social media exploded in fury over a fetish video of three girls who appear to be teenagers abusing and then stepping on a wailing puppy, crushing it to death.
The video has been circulating on various websites in the past week, resulting in numerous angry remarks on the Internet.
“These people should be forced to lie on the ground and run over by a steamroller,” said one comment on a message board.
However, the Asian campaigner for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Rochelle Regodon, said the video was two to four years old and the perpetrators behind it were already in jail.
PETA had played a crucial role in the investigation of a Filipino couple who had been producing videos for sale, showing small animals being crushed to death, she said.