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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Senate urged to amend death penalty bill


A DAVAO-BASED representative urged the Senate to amend the house-passed version of House Bill 4727 that seeks to restore death penalty in the country's justice system particularly on the modes of execution.

Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta party-list Representative Jericho Nograles, who is a supporter of the Duterte administration, said Friday, March 22, the modes of execution, according to the latest version of the bill are unacceptable.

“I want the Senate to do something about it. The modes of executions remain to be three: lethal injection, public hanging and firing squad,” he said, adding that the last two modes are inhumane.

On the death penalty, in general, Nograles said the passage of the lower house is a compromise that is acceptable.

“The latest version is certainly better when it first started out. When it was first filed, there are 21 crimes now it was narrowed down to only drugs and drug-related crimes. It is not automatic death penalty, it is life imprisonment to death penalty,” Nograles said.

Last January, Nograles stood against the early version of the bill and saying, “I am pro admin. However, I am also pro-life. I cannot support the death penalty bill.”

On March 7, a total of 216 legislators at the House of the Representatives approved on third and final reading the death penalty bill. Only 54 opposed the proposed measure while one abstained. The latest version of the bill seeks to punish seven major drug-related offenses.

The bill said the penalty of life imprisonment to death and a fine ranging from P500,000 to P10 million shall be imposed upon any person involved in any of the following acts:

- 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 precursor and essential chemicals;

- Qualifying aggravating circumstances in the commission of a crime by an offender under the influence 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; and

- Criminal liability for planting evidence

The death penalty was abolished in the Philippines in 2006, under the term of former president and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.


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