ALL the 217 lawmakers in the House--including eight from Cebu--who voted “yes” to the return of the death penalty most likely won’t see any judicial execution during their current term (2016-2019).
They’ll survive the period, good health permitting, but no one may yet be executed under the law they helped pass. The Senate might kill the bill. But even if it passes there, it’s not like the hangings or lethal injections can start right away.
President Duterte promised five or six executions daily if he had the law. Whoa. Maybe not one in his entire term, including three years of the current Congress.
Causes of delay
Here’s why the prospect of seeing judicial executions soon is dim:
--A manual on how the killings will be conducted is required after the law is signed. Once the rules are adopted, opposers to the law will go to the Supreme Court to contest its constitutionality. The legal dispute is not as urgent as, say, the petition to disqualify Grace Poe from the 2016 election. (Squabble over the death bill is not really a matter of life and death. No one dies if the SC takes its usual pacing.) Give three to five years.
--Cases involving the penalty of death take a lot more time than ordinary criminal cases. Automatic appeal/review would drag it further on the justice trail. Not counting delays caused by protests for clemency or commutation. The judicial process alone could take another five years or so.
EJKs or illegal killings don’t have the complications of judicial executions, the reason dirty cops and vigilantes famously prefer EJKs.
The probability of not seeing an execution during this term must have occurred to the yes-to-death lawmakers. But that didn’t count as reason to give the public.
Favorite justifications were deterrence (false) and retribution (lame), followed by: constituents’ consensus, family-held precept, and religious or personal belief.
No surprise, of course, that no lawmaker publicly talked about the elephant on the House floor: I-wouldn’t-want-to-lose-my-perks-as-loyalist-dammit.
Which would’ve been closer to the real motive. rule?