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Bill to impose stiffer penalty for possessing illegal drugs in parties, social gatherings

/ 12:55 PM February 06, 2019
Bill to impose stiffer penalty for possessing drugs in parties, social gatherings

Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, chairman of the House committee on dangerous drugs. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / NINO JESUS ORBETA

MANILA, Philippines — Any person found possessing dangerous drugs at a party, social gathering or meeting may soon face penalties of “life imprisonment to death” after the House of Representatives approved on Monday House Bill No. 8909.

Section 13 of HB 8909 states that “any person found possessing any dangerous drugs during a party, or at a social gathering or meeting, or in the proximate company of at least two persons shall suffer the penalty of life imprisonment to death and a fine of P500,000 to P10 million, regardless of the quantity and purity of such dangerous drugs.”

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The proposed law, an amendment to the Republic Act No. 9165 or the “Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002,” was approved on third and final reading by the lower chamber with 172 votes and zero negative votes or abstention.

INQUIRER.net has reached Surigao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Robert Ace Barbers for clarification if the provision meant death penalty for offenders, as well as HB 8909’s implications on the previously approved death penalty bill by the chamber in 2017. Barbers, who chairs the House dangerous drugs committee, has yet to respond as of posting time.

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HB 8909 also seeks to penalize negligent lessors of properties used as clandestine laboratories.

Once the measure is enacted into law, negligent lessors may face imprisonment ranging from six years and one day to 12 years, and a fine ranging from P500,000 to P1 million. The maximum penalty would be imposed upon the owner or lessor or his duly authorized representative who has discovered the illegal activity but failed to report the same to proper authorities, the bill added.

On March 7, 2017, the House already gave its nod to House Bill No. 4727 seeking to reimpose capital punishment for heinous drug-related offenses with a vote of 217-54-1.

House Speaker and Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, deputy speaker at the time, opposed this measure.

READ: House OKs death penalty bill on final reading | House approves death penalty bill with 217 yes votes

Click here to read HB 8909

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TAGS: Crime, House, Local news, Philippine news update, proposed law
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