House panel approves revival of death penalty
MANILA — The House of Representatives’ justice committee will soon start deliberating on a bill to reinstate the death penalty, after a sub-panel approved the proposal on Tuesday.
During a hearing by the judicial reforms subcommittee, six congressmen voted to submit a substitute bill re-imposing capital punishment for heinous crimes, such as illegal drugs, murder, rape, arson, and kidnapping.
Another five voted for a version of the proposal that would have limited the death penalty to illegal drug-related crimes.
After the hearing, the measure will be forwarded to the mother committee. Once approved, it will be brought to the plenary for debates.
The reimposition of capital punishment is one of the House’s priority measures (the other being the proposal to revert the minimum age of criminal responsibility to nine) which Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said would be passed before the Christmas break of Congress.
The imposition of death penalty was prohibited in 2006 after then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed Republic Act No. 9346 into law. The penalty for offenses previously punishable by death was downgraded to reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment.
Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman, who was one of the lawmakers who passed the bill that abolished death penalty, reiterated on Tuesday that the House has been “railroading” its revival.
“In other words, the message of the House leadership is: ‘have a deadly Christmas,’” Lagman said in a briefing. SFM/rga
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