Makabayan condemns death penalty bill

THE Makabayang Koalisyon ng Mamamayan or the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives condemned the course of the death penalty bill after this was approved on second reading Wednesday evening.

Bayan Muna party-list representative lawyer Carlos Isagani Zarate, in a statement, said the pro-death penalty majority did not only cut short the period of the interpellation but also the period to propose individual amendments.

"This effectively deprived House members, including those from the Makabayan, to exercise their rights and register their strong opposition, as well as those of their constituents," Zarate said.

Zarate said the Makabayan bloc is vehemently against the measure even with its supposedly watered down version, as the death penalty bill is deliberately anti-poor, as shown on the data of the human rights groups and the government during the administration of former President Fidel Ramos.

He added that this will be no different from the current spate of extra-judicial killings (EJKs) wherein 99 percent of the victims were poor.

"This patently anti-people bill opens the door for creeping death penalty legislation through subsequent amendments of existing penal laws that can lead to more crimes being added to those punishable by death," he said.

Zarate said it will just be the start of the installment imposition of the death penalty on other crimes, which people have to be cautious of and watchful.

The Makabayan bloc appealed that the House members have the right to interpellate and to propose amendments, whatever is the interpretation or the opinion of those in the majority.

"Whatever amendment will be proposed by any member will eventually be put to a vote," Zarate said.
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