'House reduced into chamber of bullies, puppets’ | Inquirer News

‘House reduced into chamber of bullies, puppets’

/ 01:13 PM March 02, 2017
edcel lagman


Opposition lawmaker Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman on Thursday slammed his colleagues in the House of Representatives for railroading the death penalty bill.

In a statement, he said the lower house has devolved into a chamber of bullies and puppets with the leadership closing the period of debates and amendments in a bid to railroad the bill.


“The precipitate termination of the period of individual amendments, like the premature closure of the debates, has led to the mutation of the House into a parliament of bullies and puppets,” Lagman said.

Lagman made the reaction after the lower house on Wednesday night approved on second reading by voice voting House Bill 4727 seeking to restore the capital punishment.


READ: Death penalty bill inches closer to approval on Ash Wednesday

Lagman scored the House leaders as “arrogant” for muzzling the lawmakers opposing the death penalty.

“The arrogance of the House leaders in depriving the oppositors of the death penalty bill of their freedom of expression and right to debate is unprecedented in the history of the House,” Lagman said.

Lagman also chided members of the supermajority of succumbing to the pressures of the leadership, making the chamber a rubber stamp of the administration typical of the martial law regime.

“The lack of will and courage of most members of the supermajority to defy the pressure and threats of the House leadership is reminiscent of the rubber stamp Batasan Pambansa during the martial law regime,” Lagman said.

READ: ‘Killer congs’ challenged to show themselves up

Lagman also taunted the lawmakers for hiding behind their voice votes, showing lack of transparency in the second reading approval of the bill.


“Members of the supermajority were hesitant to stand up and be counted on the issue of nominal voting,” Lagman said.

“The proceedings lacked transparency and accountability as most members of the supermajority voted on the cue of the majority leader and sought anonymity in the viva voce voting, even as the presiding officer was a mere pathetic adjunct of the House leadership,” he added.

At Wednesday’s session, the leadership and the supermajority shot down all the individual amendments proposed on the bill, which breezed through second reading.

The death penalty bill has been amended to limit its coverage to drug-related offenses in a bid to support the administration’s bloody narcotics crackdown that has claimed over 7,000 lives.

The bill, as it has been amended, excluded plunder, rape, and treason from the death sentence.

READ: Death penalty bill now limited to drug offenses

The bill will not impose a mandatory death sentence, giving the judge the leeway whether to impose life sentence or the maximum penalty of death on convicts.

The bill will punish with death or life imprisonment the following drug-related offenses:

  • importation of dangerous drugs
  • sale, trading, administration, dispensation, delivery, distribution and transportation of

dangerous drugs maintenance of a den, dive or resort

  • manufacture of dangerous drugs and/or controlled precursors and essential chemicals
  • misappropriation, misapplication or failure to account for confiscated, seized or surrendered

dangerous drugs

  • planting of evidence

Possession of drugs will only be penalized with the maximum offense of life imprisonment.

The bill stated that the death penalty should not be imposed on children below 18 years old or senior citizens over 70 years of age at the time of the commission of the crime.

The penalty will be carried out by hanging, firing squad, or lethal injection. IDL/rga

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Congress, Death penalty, Edcel Lagman, House of Representatives, supermajority
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

© Copyright 1997-2022 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.