Iloilo lawmakers back death penalty bill

Among those who voted in favor of the bill were Rep. Raul Tupas of Iloilo’s 5th district, Rep. Richard Garin of the 1st district, Rep. Arthur Defensor Jr. of the 3rd district and Rep. Jerry Treñas of Iloilo City.
Among those who voted in favor of the bill were Rep. Raul Tupas of Iloilo’s 5th district, Rep. Richard Garin of the 1st district, Rep. Arthur Defensor Jr. of the 3rd district and Rep. Jerry Treñas of Iloilo City.

The bill that seeks to restore the death penalty in the country is being supported by congressmen from the city and province of Iloilo.

The House of Representatives on Wednesday, March 1, approved House Bill 4727 or the proposed Death Penalty Law on second reading in a viva voce vote.

Among those who voted in favor of the bill were Rep. Raul Tupas of Iloilo’s 5th district, Rep. Richard Garin of the 1st district, Rep. Arthur Defensor Jr. of the 3rd district and Rep. Jerry Treñas of Iloilo City.

Deputy Speaker Sharon Garin of AAMBIS-OWA also supports the passage of the bill.

Rep. Arcadio Gorriceta of the 2nd district and Rep. Ferjenel Biron of the 4th district will make public their stand during their next session on March 7.

The approved version of the bill limits the number of crime punishable by death to just drug-related offenses.

Justice Committee Chair Reynaldo Umali, in a report by the Philippine News Agency, explained that the bill was narrowed down to just drug-related crimes in order to gain more support and push for a consensus among members of the lower chamber.

“It is more of getting the consensus of the group. It became easier when we limited it to just one crime. After all, this was the original intent after we have conducted (the) illegal drug trade in Bilibid prison inquiry,” Umali said.

The bill makes the death penalty an option for judges to impose on those convicted of the following drug-related offenses:

  • importation of dangerous drugs and/or controlled precursors and essential chemicals;
  • sale, trading, administration, dispensation, delivery, distribution and transportation of dangerous drugs and/or controlled precursor and essential chemicals;
  • maintenance of a den, dive or resort where any dangerous drug is used or sold in any form;
  • manufacture of dangerous drugs and/or controlled precursors and essential chemical; possession of dangerous drugs;
  • cultivation or culture of plants classified as dangerous drugs or are sources thereof;
  • unlawful prescription of dangerous drugs;
  • criminal liability of a public officer or employee for misappropriation, misapplication or failure to account for the confiscated, seized and/or surrendered dangerous drugs, plant sources of dangerous drugs, controlled precursors and essential chemicals, instruments/ paraphernalia and/or laboratory equipment including the proceeds or properties obtained from the unlawful act committed.

The death penalty will not be imposed on a guilty person below 18 years of age at the time of the commission of a drug-related crime.

The bill allows hanging, firing squad, or lethal injection as methods of execution.

It was in 2006 when the death penalty was abolished in the Philippines.

The reimposition of capital punishment is one of the campaign promises of President Rodrigo Duterte.

“I believe in retribution. Why? You should pay. When you kill someone, rape, you should die,” Duterte said. IMT