Published: Wednesday 07 December, 2016

Death Penalty Bill Approved by Congress Panel for Deliberation

The death penalty is now one step closer to re-imposition in the Philippines. This after the death penalty bill was approved by the justice committee in Congress for plenary deliberation.

Death Penalty Philippines

Death penalty in the Philippines now a step closer to re-imposition. (PHOTO Source: newwsourcegy.com)

The -re-imposition of capital punishment is one of President Rodrigo Duterte’s goals. The death penalty was abolished in the Philippines by the 1987 Constitution. However, it was reimposed during the administration of President Fidel Ramos to address the rising crime rate in the Philippines at the time.

The death penalty was eventually abolished again during the term of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo with the enactment of Republic Act No. 9346, or “An Act Prohibiting the Imposition of Death Penalty in the Philippines.”

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The death penalty bill was the first proposal filed at the House of Representatives in this 17th Congress.

At the House of Representatives Wednesday, the justice committee approved the report containing House Bill Number 1, which seeks to reimpose the death penalty for heinous crimes. By a vote of 12-6-1, the committee sent the bill for plenary deliberation despite opposition from some lawmakers.

Under the proposed bill, the heinous crimes covered by the death penalty are trafficking in illegal drugs, arson, treason, murder, rape, kidnapping, and carnapping. Meanwhile, the method of capital punishment could either be through hanging, by firing squad or lethal injection.

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Groups opposed to the death penalty include the Catholic Church, human rights groups, NGO, and some lawmakers. During the committee hearing, congressmen scored the lack of statistics on the country’s crime rate, which are crucial in determining if the re-imposition of capital punishment is really necessary. But this argument was parried by proponents of the bill, who said that such arguments are better addressed during the plenary deliberation.

Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez has vowed to pass the measure at the House of Representatives before Congress adjourns for the Christmas break.



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