MANILA - Senator Francis Escudero on Tuesday said imposing stiffer penalties against those involved in ATM fraud would need further study.
Bank of the Philippine Islands last week urged legislators to classify such a crime as "economic sabotage" during a Senate hearing on fraud and glitches affecting the banking industry.
"We will look into that because it’s still theft. It’s still theft, and theft depends on the amount in the Revised Penal Code. It’s not robbery," Escudero, chair of the Senate Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies, told ANC's Headstart.
"This is plain and simple theft and they did not harm or hurt anyone," he added.
Asked if new legislation was needed, Escudero said: "Perhaps not, but we will look into it, depending on exactly what they want."
During the same hearing last week, the country's largest lender, BDO Unibank confirmed that 7 of its ATM machines were compromised in a "skimming" attack, wherein clients' card details are stolen.