Swift passage of death penalty bill seen after President Duterte’s renewed call

Published July 22, 2019, 9:54 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Charissa Luci-Atienza

President Duterte’s renewed call on Congress to pass a measure restoring the death penalty in the country would help ensure the swift passage of death penalty measures in both houses of Congress, one of the authors of the bill said Monday.

Surigao del Norte 2nd district Rep. Robert Ace Barbers (FACEBOOK / MANILA BULLETIN)
Surigao del Norte 2nd district Rep. Robert Ace Barbers

Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers said Congress will unlikely turn down the request made by President Duterte during his fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA).

“It will hasten the deliberations of my proposal and may result to no objection,” he said in a text message.

President Duterte called on Congress anew to reimpose the death penalty for heinous illegal drugs-related crimes and plunder, citing that illegal drugs and corruption remain to be the country’s problems.

Barbers earlier filed House Bill 2026 seeking to reimpose the death penalty on certain heinous crimes.

“Crimes disturb the order of society. The alarming rise of heinous crime in our country calls for the re-imposition of capital punishment. The death penalty is said to be the strongest deterrent society has against such crimes. It aims to restore order and adequately punishes criminals. The death penalty also serves as retribution for victims and their families,” he said.

“Since the government has the highest interest in preventing heinous crime, it should use the strongest punishment available to deter unlawful acts—the death penalty. If criminals charged guilty of committing heinous crimes are sentenced to death and executed, potential criminals will think twice before committing crimes for fear of losing their own life,” Barbers pointed out.

Under House Bill 2026, Barbers seeks to repeal Republic Act 9346, otherwise known as “An Act Prohibiting The Imposition of Death Penalty in the Philippines.”

Oriental Mindoro Rep. Doy Leachon, Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, and former Speaker and Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez earlier vowed to push for the passage of measures seeking to reinstate capital punishment.