House sets ple­nary de­bates on re­viv­ing death penalty

Manila Bulletin - - National News - By CHARISSA M. LUCI and GENALYN D. KABILING

The House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives (HOR) will jump­start ple­nary de­bates on the bill seek­ing to reim­pose death penalty on il­le­gal drugs and heinous crimes when Congress re­sumes its ses­sions next week.

Deputy Speaker and Cadiz Rep. Fre­de­nil Cas­tro said the Lower Cham­ber will pri­or­i­tize the pas­sage of the mea­sure, heav­ily op­posed by the Catholic Church hi­er­ar­chy.

Cas­tro, one of the prin­ci­pal au­thors of the bill, will de­fend the mea­sure in the ple­nary.

“The pur­pose of this bill is to pro­tect life,” he said, an­tic­i­pat­ing long and in­tense ple­nary de­bates on the con­tro­ver­sial pro­posal.

Vot­ing 12-6 with one ab­sten­tion, the House Com­mit­tee on Jus­tice ap­proved on Dec. 7, 2016 the com- mit­tee re­port on the sub­sti­tute bill seek­ing to reim­pose death penalty on il­le­gal drugs and heinous crimes.

Cas­tro said he is “ready at all time” to de­fend the House lead­er­ship-backed bill.

The bill seek­ing the reim­po­si­tion of the death penalty is a pri­or­ity bill of Pres­i­dent Duterte but he has not co­erced the law­mak­ers into pass­ing it, Mala­cañang said yes­ter­day.

“The re­vival of death penalty is a cam­paign prom­ise of Pres­i­dent Duterte and part of the pri­or­ity leg­isla­tive mea­sure of his ad­min­is­tra­tion,” said Pres­i­den­tial Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Sec­re­tary Martin An­da­nar, adding that the Pres­i­dent re­spects the in­de­pen­dence of Congress and counts on its wis­dom on the pas­sage of the mea­sure.

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