11 lawmakers ‘purged’ for voting against death penalty
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