M a n i l a

PRESIDENTIAL DECREE No. 533 August 8, 1974


WHEREAS, large cattle are indispensable to the livelihood and economic growth of our people, particularly the agricultural workers, because such large cattle are the work animals of our farmers and the source of fresh meat and dairy products for our people, and provide raw material for our tanning and canning industries;

WHEREAS, reports from the law-enforcement agencies reveal that there is a resurgence of thievery of large cattle, commonly known as "cattle rustling", especially in the rural areas, thereby directly prejudicing the livelihood of the agricultural workers and adversely affecting our food production program for self-sufficiency in rice, corn and other staple crops, as well as in fresh meat;

WHEREAS, there is an urgent need to protect large cattle raising industry and small time large cattle owners and raisers from the nefarious activities of lawless elements in order to encourage our hardworking cattle raisers and farmers to raise more cattle and concentrate in their agricultural works, thus increasing our source of meat and dairy products as well as agricultural production and allied industries which depend on the cattle raising industry;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Republic of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution and pursuant to Proclamations No. 1081, dated September 21, 1972 and No. 1104, dated January 17, 1973 and General Order No. 1 dated September 22, 1972, do hereby order and decree as part of the law of the land, the following:

Section 1. Title. This Decree shall be known as the "Anti-Cattle Rustling Law of 1974."

Section 2. Definition of terms. The following terms shall mean and be understood to be as herein defined:

a. Large cattle as herein used shall include the cow, carabao, horse, mule, ass, or other domesticated member of the bovine family.

b. Owner/raiser shall include the herdsman, caretaker, employee or tenant of any firm or entity engaged in the raising of large cattle or other persons in lawful possession of such large cattle.

c. Cattle rustling is the taking away by any means, method or scheme, without the consent of the owner/raiser, of any of the above-mentioned animals whether or not for profit or gain, or whether committed with or without violence against or intimidation of any person or force upon things. It includes the killing of large cattle, or taking its meat or hide without the consent of the owner/raiser.

Section 3. Duty of owner/raiser to register. The owner/raiser shall, before the large cattle belonging to him shall attain the age of six months, register the same with the office of the city/municipal treasurer where such large cattle are raised. The city/municipality concerned may impose and collect the fees authorized by existing laws for such registration and the issuance of a certificate of ownership to the owner/raiser.

Section 4. Duty of city/municipal treasurers and other concerned public officers and employees. All public officials and employees concerned with the registration of large cattle are required to observe strict adherence with pertinent provisions of Chapter 22, Section 511 to 534, of the Revised Administrative Code, except insofar as they may be inconsistent with the provisions of this Decree.

Section 5. Permit to buy and sell large cattle. No person, partnership, association, corporation or entity shall engage in the business of buy and sell of large cattle without first securing a permit for the said purpose from the Provincial Commander of the province where it shall conduct such business and the city/municipal treasurer of the place of residence of such person, partnership, association, corporation or entity. The permit shall only be valid in such province.

Section 6. Clearance for shipment of large cattle. Any person, partnership, association, corporation or entity desiring to ship or transport large cattle, its hides, or meat, from one province to another shall secure a permit for such purpose from the Provincial Commander of the province where the large cattle is registered. Before issuance of the permit herein prescribed, the Provincial Commander shall require the submission of the certificate of ownership as prescribed in Section 3 hereof, a certification from the Provincial Veterinarian to the effect that such large cattle, hides or meat are free from any disease; and such other documents or records as may be necessary. Shipment of large cattle, its hides or meat from one city/municipality to another within the same province may be done upon securing permit from the city/municipal treasurer of the place of origin.

Section 7. Presumption of cattle rustling. Every person having in his possession, control or custody of large cattle shall, upon demand by competent authorities, exhibit the documents prescribed in the preceding sections. Failure to exhibit the required documents shall be prima facie evidence that the large cattle in his possession, control or custody are the fruits of the crime of cattle rustling.

Section 8. Penal provisions. Any person convicted of cattle rustling as herein defined shall, irrespective of the value of the large cattle involved, be punished by prision mayor in its maximum period to reclusion temporal in its medium period if the offense is committed without violence against or intimidation of persons or force upon things. If the offense is committed with violence against or intimidation of persons or force upon things, the penalty of reclusion temporal in its maximum period to reclusion perpetua shall be imposed. If a person is seriously injured or killed as a result or on the occasion of the commission of cattle rustling, the penalty of reclusion perpetua to death shall be imposed.

When the offender is a government official or employee, he shall, in addition to the foregoing penalty, be disqualified from voting or being voted upon in any election/referendum and from holding any public office or employment.

When the offender is an alien, he shall be deported immediately upon the completion of the service of his sentence without further proceedings.

Section 9. Rules and Regulations to be promulgated by the Chief of Constabulary. The chief of Constabulary shall promulgate the rules and regulations for the effective implementation of this Decree.

Section 10. Repealing clause. The provisions of Articles 309 and 310 of Act No. 3815, otherwise known as the Revised Penal Code, as amended, all laws, decrees, orders, instructions, rules and regulations which are inconsistent with this Decree are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.

Section 11. Effectivity. This Decree shall take effect upon approval.

Done in the City of Manila, this 8th day of August, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-four.

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