11 law­mak­ers ‘purged’ for vot­ing against death penalty

New Straits Times - - World -

MANILA: Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte’s rul­ing party stripped a dozen law­mak­ers of con­gres­sional lead­er­ship posts for vot­ing against the death penalty, which crit­ics warned yesterday was part of a “dan­ger­ous slide to­wards au­thor­i­tar­i­an­ism”.

In a rare move lo­cal me­dia dubbed a “purge”, ex-pres­i­dent Glo­ria Ar­royo was, on Wed­nes­day, dumped as deputy speaker of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives and 11 leg­is­la­tors — all mem­bers of Duterte’s rul­ing coali­tion — lost com­mit­tee chair po­si­tions.

This ful­filled a threat by the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives’ speaker to pun­ish any­one who voted against a bill this month to in­tro­duce the death penalty for drug-re­lated crimes.

“Kick­ing out the ‘ No’ vot­ers from House lead­er­ship po­si­tions be­trays the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s in­tol­er­ance to dis­sent, a dis­turb­ing in­di­ca­tor of a dan­ger­ous slide to­wards au­thor­i­tar­i­an­ism,” the ri­val Lib­eral Party said in a state­ment yesterday.

The Philip­pines abol­ished the death penalty in 2006, when Ar­royo was pres­i­dent. AFP

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