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Before Christmas: House to approve Death Penalty Bill


The House of Representatives plans to approve a bill that would bring back the death penalty on the third and final reading.It is a priority measure of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Alvarez’s bill sought to reimpose the death penalty for heinous crimes listed under Republic Act 7659, including murder, plunder, rape, kidnapping and serious illegal detention, sale, use and possession of illegal drugs, carnapping with homicide, among others.


House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said that the House would work to approve the death penalty bill.
“I don’t know with the Senate, I don’t control it, but as far as the House is concerned, we will approve it before the Christmas break,” Alvarez said.

The President  said that the House plans to leave it up to the executive to set the method of execution for the hardened criminals.But according to the Chief Executive,the cheaper the method,the better.“If they want to hang them, shoot them by firing squad, it’s up to them. The criminals would be dead either way,” he said.

President Duterte noted the critics often insisted that death penalty is not effective in lowering the crime,but, the President said that the death penalty did not work during the time of his predecessors because the state did not kill enough when it is in effect.It would have been different had it been implemented properly, he said.

The restoration of death penalty is a hot issue in the Philippines because of the widespread of drug related heinous crimes.The history of death penalty in the Philippines rooted since the Spanish period (1521-1898),American period (1898-1934),even during the Japanese occupation (1941-1945) and the Post-World war era.

During the former President Marcos years,death penalty is carried out by firing squad or electrocution.Jaime Jose, Basilio Pineda, and Edgardo Aquino were executed for the gang rape of movie star Maggie dela Riva in 1972.

However,during the time of the former President Corazon Aquino,the death penalty was abolished under the 1987 Constitution and all death sentences were reduced to life imprisonment or reclusion perpetua.


A series of  high profile heinous crimes rises during the time of former President Fidel Ramos.The Ramos administration reimposed the death penalty by virtue of Republic Act No. 7659 in December 1993 to address the rising criminality and incidence of heinous crimes.Republic Act No. 8177 mandates that a death sentence shall be carried out through lethal injection.

After the execution of rape convict Leo Echegaray by lethal injection,former President Estrada issued a de facto moratorium on executions in the face of church-led campaigns to abolish the death penalty and in observance of the Jubilee Year.

During  the term of former President Gloria Arroyo,the rise in crimes related to drugs and kidnappings that targeted the Filipino-Chinese community,  she lifted the moratorium issued by Estrada on December 5,2003 and resumed the executions “to sow fear into the hearts of criminals”.
Even the executions were set to resume on January 2004,it did not push through by the virtue of Supreme court decision.

There is no death penalty implementation until former President Noynoy Aquino's term ended.

President Duterte wants the death penalty restored and now the Congress will approve the death penalty bill before Christmas break. [Source]

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