First bill in Congress seeks reinstatement of death penalty
Death penalty was the main push of the first bill filed in the 17th Congress under the Duterte administration.
Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez, President Rodrigo Duterte’s pick to be the next Speaker, filed a bill seeking to reinstate death penalty on heinous crimes through lethal injection.
In House Bill 1 he authored with Capiz Rep. Fredenil Castro, Alvarez said there is a need to reimpose death penalty because “the national crime rate has grown to such alarming proportions requiring an all-out offensive against all forms of felonious acts.”
“Philippine society is left with no option but to deal with certain grievous offenders in a manner commensurate to the gravity, perversity, atrociousness and repugnance of their crimes,” according to the bill.
The bill added that “the basic tenets of equity and justice demand that our penal system be one not only of reformation but corresponding retribution.”
Lethal injection according to the bill should be adopted as the method to carry out the capital punishment.
In the explanatory note, the authors said there is a need to reimpose death penalty because of the prevalence of heinous crimes and illegal drugs.
“There is no denying the scourge illicit drugs have foisted upon our society, and neither is there denying the audacity with which malefactors, whether under the influence or otherwise, have perpetuated the most perverse and atrocious crimes in the most repugnant of manners,” the authors said.
The authors said there is a need to reimpose death penalty as a retribution of justice against heinous criminals.
“The imposition of the death penalty for heinous crimes and the mode of its implementation, both subjects of repealed laws, are crucial components of an effective dispensation of both reformative and retributive justice,” the authors said.
“It is thus, imperative, that this Congress, in the exercise of its mandate to take every conceivable step to protect the honor and dignity and the very life of each and every law-abiding Filipino, pass in the most expeditious manner such laws reimposing the penalty of death for the most abhorrent of offenses and provide for its execution,” the authors added.
The bill sought to reimpose death penalty on heinous crimes listed under Republic Act 7659, including murder, plunder, rape, kidnapping and serious illegal detention, sale, use and possession of illegal drugs, carnapping with homicide, among others.
The bill sought to reenact into the law Republic Act 8177 which designated lethal injection as a method of carrying out capital punishment.
According to the bill, all laws that are inconsistent with this measure would be repealed.
The bill would then repeal Republic Act 9346, or the law signed by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2006 which abolished death penalty.
Alvarez filed the bill to fulfill the mandate of the Duterte administration to bring back death penalty as a deterrent to the rising criminality and use of illicit drugs in the country.
Duterte had wanted Congress to bring back death penalty by hanging. RAM