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After capital punishment on drug offenses approved by House

Duterte wants plunder, rape next on death penalty—Alvarez

/ 02:19 PM March 08, 2017
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte denies the allegations of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV's  that the president has P2-billion worth of bank deposits under his name. President Duterte issued the statement at the Presidential Guest House in Panacan, Davao City on  February 16, 2017. TOTO LOZANO/Presidential Photo

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. TOTO LOZANO/Presidential Photo

President Rodrigo Duterte wants plunder and rape to be next in line among the heinous crimes punishable with death penalty, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said on Wednesday.

In an ambush interview with reporters, Alvarez said he met with the President Tuesday night after the House in a vote of 217 passed House Bill 4727 seeking to restore capital punishment on final reading.

READ: House approves death penalty bill with 217 yes votes

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Duterte was pleased with the results of the House third reading vote on the death penalty, a campaign promise he vowed to fulfill as President, Alvarez said.

The death sentence in the bill however was limited to drug-related offenses.

Alvarez said while Duterte was pleased death sentence on drug offenses was approved, he wanted plunder, rape with homicide, and rape on children to be next under death row.

The majority caucus in the House agreed to limit the bill on drug-related offenses to increase its chances of being approved in the lower House. Plunder and rape were among the heinous crimes removed.

READ: Death penalty bill to be limited to drug-related offenses—Umali 

“Well, masaya siya at nagpapasalamat kahit na ‘yung illegal drugs ‘yung naipasa at ‘yun ang sabi niya dapat mapasama ‘yung plunder, rape — especially ‘yung rape with homicide at ‘yung rape nung mga children,” Alvarez said.

(Well, he’s happy and he expressed gratitude that death penalty on illegal drugs was approved. He said hopefully plunder and rape would be included, especially rape with homicide and rape on children.)

Alvarez said he assured the President that plunder and rape would be next under death row. Alvarez and Duterte are close allies with their ties going back to the 11th Congress when they were both Davao representatives.

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READ: Ties that bind: Duterte and Alvarez go back a long way 

“Ang sabi ko naman na ito ay isusunod namin. Sa bagay, tapos na ito sa committee level, pag-uusapan na lang naming sa floor (What I told him was that plunder and rape would be next. After all, the death penalty on these crimes hurdled the committee level, we can talk about it on the floor),” Alvarez said.

The Speaker earlier said the House may tackle in the future other bills punishing rape and plunder with capital punishment.

He said that House leadership has to be realistic about imposing the death penalty on drug-related offenses first before pursuing capital punishment on other offenses.

READ: Alvarez eyes piecemeal death penalty bills on plunder, rape

The death penalty bill has been amended to limit its coverage to drug-related offenses, in a bid to support the administration’s bloody narcotics crackdown that has claimed over 7,000 lives.

The bill as it has been amended excluded plunder, rape and treason from the death sentence.

The bill will not impose a mandatory death sentence, giving the judge the leeway whether to impose life sentence or the maximum penalty of death on convicts.

The bill will punish with death or life imprisonment the following drug-related offenses:

  • importation of dangerous drugs
  • sale, trading, administration, dispensation, delivery, distribution and transportation of dangerous drugs maintenance of a den, dive or resort
  • manufacture of dangerous drugs and/or controlled precursors and essential chemicals
  • misappropriation, misapplication or failure to account for confiscated, seized or surrendered dangerous drugs
  • planting of evidence

Possession of drugs will only be penalized with the maximum offense of life imprisonment.

The bill stated that the death penalty should not be imposed on children below 18 years old or senior citizens over 70 years of age at the time of the commission of the crime.

The penalty will be carried out by hanging, firing squad or lethal injection.

Now that the bill has hurdled the lower House, the ball is now in the hands of the Senate, where the deliberations over the bill face a gridlock over discussions on the country’s treaty obligations to abolish the death sentence. JE

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TAGS: Alvarez, approval, Death penalty, Death Penalty Bill, Drugs, duterte, House of Representatives, Plunder, Rape
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