Alvarez files death penalty bill

DAVAO del Norte Representative Pantaleon Alvarez announced Wednesday that he has filed a bill seeking to restore the death penalty for heinous crimes.

Alvarez, the presumptive House Speaker of the 17th Congress, and Capiz Representative Fredenil Castro, jointly filed the proposed measure.

In their explanatory note, the two lawmakers said the criminal justice system "has had to make do with penal laws that are perceived to be less than dissuasive."

“There is evidently a need to reinvigorate the war against criminality by revising a deterrent coupled by its consistent, persistent and determined implementation,” the measure read.

Alvarez and Castro explained that the imposition of the death penalty for heinous crimes and the mode of its implementation, both subjects of repealed laws, “are crucial components of an effective dispensation of both reformative and retributive justice.”

The proposal seeks to restore the penalty of death for certain heinous crimes, such as plunder, trafficking in illegal drugs, and carnapping.

Meanwhile, aside from the re-imposition of the death penalty, the lawmakers also filed a separate measure, which seeks to amend the Juvenile Delinquency Act of 2006, or more the so-called, due to the rising crime rate involving minors.

The measure stated that "while the intent of the law may be highly laudable,” it has had the opposite effect of “pampering youthful offenders who commit crimes knowing they can get away with it.”

“Adult criminals knowingly and purposely make use of youths below 15 years of age to commit crimes, such as drug trafficking, aware that they cannot be held criminally liable,” it said.

The bill seeks to revert to nine years as the minimum age of criminal responsibility as set forth in the Revised Penal Code.

Under the Panglinan Law, minors aged 15 years and below are exempted from any criminal liability. (Sunnex)
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