Death penalty 'priority' bill of lower house — Umali | Inquirer News

Death penalty ‘priority’ bill of lower house — Umali

/ 01:27 PM January 16, 2017

reynaldo umali

Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali. FILE PHOTO

The House of Representatives will start the year busy prioritizing the passage of a proposed bill to reimpose the death penalty before the end of the first regular session, a lawmaker said Monday.

In a press briefing at the lower house, Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynado Umali, who chairs the House justice committee, said the lower house is eyeing the approval of the bill by May or before the end of the first regular session.


Congress resumed its session today until March 17 and will have another break before continuing session from May 2 to June 2, the last day of the first regular session.


Congress will have its sine die adjournment from June 3 to July 23, before the start of the President’s State of the Nation Address that would signal the second regular session.

“We intend to pass, to fully cover this before we close the first regular session,” Umali said.

READ: Opposition solons call for ‘conscience vote’ on death penalty 

Umali said the lower house would keep busy fast tracking the passage of the death penalty bill because it is a priority legislation of President Rodrigo Duterte.

“This is on top of our priority because the priority was given by no less than the President on the matter,” Umali said.

“This is what’s expected to keep us busy for quite some time now, preparing for the sponsorship on second reading before the plenary,” he added.


The bill is expected to undergo plenary debates under second reading upon the resumption of Congress on Monday, Jan. 16.

Umali said the death penalty bill was already calendared for sponsorship and debates on the floor.

The bill hurdled the justice committee on Dec. 7.

READ: House Justice committee approves death penalty bill

Umali said the lower house will act on approving the bill regardless of its status in the Senate.

“In so far as we’re concerned, if this is what it takes for the House of Representatives to pass this, we’ll do it, regardless of what action the Senate will take on the pending bills,” Umali said.

The bill seeks to impose the death penalty on more than than 20 heinous offenses, such as rape with homicide, kidnapping for ransom, and arson with death.

Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Duterte’s staunch ally in Congress, filed the bill seeking to reimpose the death penalty after former President now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo abolished capital punishment in 2006 for its failure to deter crime.

Alvarez filed the bill pursuant to President Duterte’s campaign promise of returning capital punishment against heinous criminals.

READ: First bill in Congress seeks reinstatement of death penalty

In the bill he co-authored, Alvarez said there is a need to reimpose the death penalty because “the national crime rate has grown to such alarming proportions requiring an all-out offensive against all forms of felonious acts.”

“Philippine society is left with no option but to deal with certain grievous offenders in a manner commensurate to the gravity, perversity, atrociousness and repugnance of their crimes,” according to the bill.

Duterte won the elections on a campaign promise to restore the death penalty by hanging, even making a snide remark that the convict’s head should be severed by hanging. Alvarez said Congress would look into the cheapest way to carry out the death penalty, either by firing squad, lethal injection or by hanging. JE/rga


Death penalty: ‘The cheaper, the better’

Aguirre to solons: Death penalty will instill fear among criminals 

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Solons warn of death penalty railroad by limiting it to drug cases 

TAGS: approval, bill, Congress, House of Representatives, lower house, priority

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