House subcommittee approves death penalty for heinous crime

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The House of Representatives justice committee would soon start deliberating on a proposed measure reimposing the death penalty after the subpanel on judicial reforms approved it in a hearing last Tuesday.

The proposal to reinstate the capital punishment for heinous crimes was approved by six while five wanted a substitute bill limiting punishment to drug-related crimes, arson and carjacking.

Two other members abstained out of their pro-life advocacies during the deliberations.

But opposition congressmen led by Rep. Edcel Lagman of Albay immediately denounced the panel’s “railroading” of the House leaders’ bill.  

“There was no report produced before the vote was taken. Members were not given sufficient notice of the scheduled voting,” Lagman said in a news conference.    

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez was one of the authors of the measures on death penalty which were tackled and consolidated by the sub-panel.

Leyte Rep. Vicente Veloso heads the subcommittee. He is among officials of the province who have been linked to illegal drugs, but alleged drug lord Kerwin Espinosa cleared his name.

The justice committee led by Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali will tackle HB 1 and the substitute bill, and fierce debates among the pro- and anti-death penalty camps are expected. 

The imposition of the death penalty has been suspended since 2006 with the enactment of Republic Act 9346, or “An Act Prohibiting the Imposition of Death Penalty in the Philippines.” 

According to Alvarez, they intend to approve HB 1 before Congress takes its christmas break.

President Duterte has been pushing for the revival of the death penalty and that his preferred method was by hanging. Alvarez said this was among the issues that the Chief Executive discussed with them when he met senators and congressmen during a recent Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council meeting in MalacaƱang.

Source: GMA News

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