Death penalty House bills filed prior to Duterte’s Sona appeal
MANILA, Philippines – Several lawmakers have filed bills on the revival of the death penalty in the country even before President Rodrigo Duterte requested it during his fourth State of the Nation Address on Monday.
Surigao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Robert Ace Barbers filed on July 11 House Bill No. 2026 which repeals Republic Act No. 9346 or “An Act Prohibiting the Reimposition of Death Penalty in the Philippines.”
Barbers argued in his explanatory note that the “alarming rise of heinous crimes in our country” calls for the reimposition of capital punishment, which he claimed as the “strongest deterrent society has against such crimes” and “serves as retribution for victims and their families.”
“Since the government has the highest interest in preventing heinous crimes, it should use the strongest punishment available to deter unlawful acts – the death penalty,” Barbers said.
“If criminals guilty of committing heinous crimes are sentenced to death and executed, potential criminals will think twice before committing crimes for fear of losing their own life,” he added.
Minority Leader and Manila 6th District Rep. Bienvenido Abante Jr. and Tarlac 2nd District Rep. Victor Yap have likewise filed House Bill Nos. 1588 and 368, respectively.
Abante’s bill seeks aims to reimpose the death penalty for heinous crimes and plunder.
Abante said he has always supported the reimposition of capital punishment which was prohibited through RA 9346 passed under the leadership of then president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
During Duterte’s Sona, he urged Congress to pass a measure reimposing the capital punishment for drug-related offenses, as well as plunder.
On March 7, 2017, the House of Representatives gave its nod to House Bill No. 4727 seeking to reimpose capital punishment for heinous and drug-related offenses, but it did not prosper in the Senate. /gsg
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