Anti-death penalty lawmakers face ax: Speaker


Posted at Mar 08 2017 10:31 AM | Updated as of Mar 08 2017 10:32 PM

MANILA - House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said Wednesday he would make good on his threat to remove from top posts lawmakers who voted against the death penalty.

Fifty-four congressmen voted against President Rodrigo Duterte's priority measure, including his ally, Deputy Speaker Gloria Arroyo. The bill was passed with 217 voting in favor.

Alvarez said leadership positions held by anti-death penalty lawmakers would be declared vacant.

"Tingnan ko mamaya kung kaya nang i-dinig 'yan. I have to ask the committee on rules," he told radio DZMM. (I'll see if it can be tackled today. I have to ask the committee on rules.)

Aside from former president Arroyo, other lawmakers who voted against the bill include Batangas Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto, Gabriela Rep. Emmi de Jesus, Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate, ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio, Quezon City Rep. Kit Belmonte, Akbayan Rep. Kaka Bag-ao, and Occidental Mindoro Rep. Josephine Ramirez Sato.

The bill seeks capital punishment only for drug-related offenses and excluded 20 other crimes from the original proposal, including plunder, treason, and rape.

Alvarez said he would file a new bill to expand the list of crimes punishable by death after Duterte questioned the exclusion of some offenses.