MANILA- And then there was one.
From 21 covered crimes, to 4, and now only 1, the House supermajority has decided in a closed door caucus to limit the coverage of the reimposition of the death penalty to drug related offenses except for mere possession.
Dropped from the list of covered crimes were plunder, treason and rape.
Stressing that they had the numbers to carry the bill, House Justice Committee Chair Rey Umali explained that they achieved the consensus to make it easier for those opposed to the bill to vote in its favor.
"Yung bill will be limited to drug related heinous crimes and there are only 3-4 instances na where death penalty will be imposed so tanggal na yung treason, yung plunder, yung rape kasi meron kaninang mga issues na ni-raise na meron ding effect on the economy yung sa trade natin and so forth…” he said.
“Parang it became easier when we limited it to just 1 crime. After all, this was the original intent after we conducted the illegal drug trade in NBP inquiry. We would like imposed or reimposed [death penalty] for drug related heinous crimes. Parang nauwi tayo doon."
Umali added that limiting the bill to just illegal drugs offenses also addresses the problem of presenting facts and data to justify the reimposition of the death penalty, which has been the constant criticism against the bill.
"It will be a lot easier to present facts and figures about reimposing death penalty for drug related heinous crimes because there are facts and figures that can be easily presented," he said.
Aside from watering down further the already watered down bill, the majority also rescheduled the vote for 2nd reading to Wednesday instead of Tuesday.