VOTING 12 against six and one abstention, the House Committee on Justice yesterday approved the committee report reviving the death penalty for illegal drugs and heinous crimes.
The measure on the restoration of capital punishment is expected to be passed on third and final reading in January next year.
House Majority Floor Leader and Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo “Rudy” Fariñas said the final decision was reached following a majority caucus called by Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez.
“The Speaker agreed to pass the death penalty bill [on third and final reading] next year (January) after a month-long full blown debates in the plenary,” Fariñas told reporters, denying that the House leadership succumbed to the Catholic Church pressure after backtracking from the original plan to pass the proposal on third and final reading next week before Congress goes on Christmas break.
Fariñas also said that the House leadership is open to limiting to illegal drugs the crime punishable by death to expedite the bill’s passage in the House of Representatives.
Alvarez, a major proponent of the death penalty bill, said “the death penalty bill is a priority measure of the Duterte administration. We will pass it before Christmas break.”