MANILA, July 28 (Mabuhay) — The House of Representatives will thoroughly deliberate the revival of death penalty for drug-related crimes which President Rodrigo Duterte urged Congress to work on during his fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA), Majority Leader Martin Romualdez said Tuesday.
In a statement, Romualdez said the House is ready to take on the task given by the President and pass the priority bills he outlined during his SONA, including the revival of death penalty by lethal injection for drug-related offenses, the proposed Bayanihan to Recover As One Act, and the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives Enterprises Act.
“The House also assures that the death penalty measures will be deliberated on thoroughly. We, in the House of Representatives, are committed to deliver to the President the measures needed to support his vision for the nation in the years to come,” he said.
“Despite the uncertain times brought by the global pandemic, we will ensure that the administration’s priority bills will be realized with efficiency for the welfare of the Filipino people,” he added.
In calling for the return of capital punishment, Duterte said the death penalty bill “will help us deter criminality and save our children from the dangers posed by illegal and dangerous drugs.”
House committee on dangerous drugs chairperson Robert Ace Barbers also supported the call for the return of death penalty for drug-related crimes.
“Re-imposing the death penalty now on drug related offenses will surely stop the criminals on their tracks and deter them from further plying their trade, thus giving our youth the much needed breather as we put in place more measures to secure their future, free from drugs and protected from criminals,” he said.
Bayan Muna party-list Representative Carlos Zarate, however, maintained that bringing back the death penalty will not deter the drug menace in the country.
“Halos 30,000 na ang namatay sa kampanya laban sa droga, hindi naman nahinto ang droga. So hindi deterrent talaga ang death penalty kahit sa maramihang pagpatay na nangyari,” he said.
Meanwhile, Romualdez said he will work with Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri to discuss and harmonize the priority legislation outlined by the President in his SONA this year as well as last year.
“We expect that the Senate will work hand-in-hand with the House to smoothen the deliberations and passage of these vital bills,” he said.
“Of course this will be done without sacrificing the quality of debates and discussions in both the committee and plenary levels,” he added.(MNS)