Despite Duterte push, death penalty still out of Congress priority list


Posted at Jul 26 2017 05:33 PM | Updated as of Jul 27 2017 04:22 PM

An inmate of the Philippine national prison prepares the lethal injection chamber at the National Penitentiary in Muntinlupa January 9, 2004 , following President Gloria Arroyo's declaration that she would allow 2 death row convicts to be executed in order to teach kidnapping syndicates a lesson. Joel Nito, AFP

MANILA - Proposals to revive the death penalty remain excluded from the legislative agenda of both the Senate and the House of Representatives, even after President Rodrigo Duterte called for the passage of the measure.

In his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, Duterte asked Congress to "act on all pending legislations to reimpose the death penalty on heinous crimes" in order to eradicate criminality in the country. 
Leaders of the Senate and House of Representatives, however, did not include death penalty among the 35 priority measures for the 2nd Regular Session of the 17th Congress. 

The House earlier approved the revival of death penalty for drug-related offenses. 

Similar proposals at the Senate, which cover drugs and other heinous crimes such as plunder, terrorism, rape, murder and kidnapping, however, remain pending as the chamber has yet to reach a consensus on the controversial revival call. 

The Philippines abolished death penalty in June 2006 through a law signed by then President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo, who said the punishment did not prove to be a crime deterrent.


Priority measures for the 2nd regular session identified by both chambers include the shift to a federal system of government, the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law, the Traffic and Congestion Crisis Act, the national ID system, and the eradication of labor contractualization. 

Also on the priority list were the Salary Standardization Law, the National Security Act and tax reform bill. 

-- With Robert Mano, ABS-CBN News