House justice panel seeks swift passage of death penalty revival


Posted at Jan 16 2017 08:01 PM

The House of Representatives' Justice Committee hopes to pass the bills on the revival of the death penalty and the lowering of the age of criminal liability before the end of their first regular session.

Committee Chair Reynaldo Umali told reporters on Monday committee members have already endorsed their committee report on death penalty last week and it is now up for the discussion of the Committee on Rules if it will be included in the agenda for today.

"Yung personal target ko dito is before the end of first regular session yung passage namin. I don't know if this has already moved sa Senate but I think it will probably coincide with the action of the Senate on the matter," he said.

The House of Representatives reopens their session on Monday, and it will end sometime in May according to Umali.

The Philippines was the first Asian country to abolish death penalty in 1987, but President Fidel V. Ramos reinstated it in response to increasing crime rates. It was abolished once again under President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Last year, then presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte said he will restore the death penalty if he won the election. 

Also among the legislative priorities under the Duterte administration in line with reforms in the criminal justice system is the lowering of the minimum age of criminal liability.

Umali said they have created subcommittees precisely to be able to conduct simultaneous hearings on the matter and "produce outputs simultaneously in time for the presentation of this and approval before the first regular session of Congress."