No pressure from Duterte to reimpose death penalty–Palace
Malacañang has denied that President Rodrigo Duterte was pressuring lawmakers to immediately pass a bill for the revival of the death penalty.
“The President respects the independence of Congress as a separate co-equal branch of government,” Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said in a statement on Thursday.
“He trusts the wisdom of our lawmakers to see that the enactment of such law would benefit the nation not only by instilling respect for the law among our people but also by ending impunity and ensuring that those who commit heinous crimes are prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” he added.
The Palace official issued the statement after Buhay Party List Rep. Lito Atienza said Duterte was pressuring lawmakers to pass the reimposition of death penalty in the country.
“Ito ay initiative ng administrasyon, hindi naman ng Kongreso. The death penalty is an imposition of the leadership of this administration. Kaya kaming mga congressmen, sad to say, ay under pressure. Lahat ‘yung sumasasama sa kanilang mayorya at ito ay halo halo ng mga pulitikong sumasama sa mayorya ay susumunod lang sa utos ng nakakataas,” Atienza said in a press conference on Wednesday.
(This is the administration’s initiative, not the Congress’. The death penalty is an imposition of the leadership of this administration. We congressmen, sad to say, are under pressure. Everyone is joining their majority, a mix of politicians, following the order from the higher office.)
The revival of the death penalty was a campaign promise of Duterte, despite a strong opposition from the Catholic Church and human rights groups.
Congress approved House Bill No. 1 before Christmas which would be sent to the plenary when Congress resumes sessions next week.
The death penalty in the Philippines was abolished after the creation of the 1987 Constitution.
In 1993, Congress passed RA 7659, or the Death Penalty Law, which reimposed capital punishment.
But former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo abolished capital punishment in June 2006 when she signed Republic Act No. 9346, also known as An Act Prohibiting the Imposition of the Death Penalty in the Philippines. CDG/rga
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