Swift passage of death penalty revival eyed by House justice panel

Swift passage of death penalty in the country is underway as the House of Representatives’ Justice Committee is contemplating passing the bills on the revival of the death penalty as well as the lowering of the age of criminal liability before the end of their first regular session. According to Committee Chair Reynaldo Umali, the committee members have taken the initial step of endorsing their committee report on death penalty and it is now up for the discussion of the Committee on Rules. “Yung personal target ko dito is before the end of first regular session yung passage namin. I don’t know if this has already moved sa Senate but I think it will probably coincide with the action of the Senate on the matter,” Umali was quoted saying.

The House of Representatives reopened their session on January 16 and it will end sometime in May. As a backgrounder, the Philippines was the first Asian country to abolish death penalty in 1987. It was President Fidel V. Ramos who reinstated it in response to increasing crime rates. However, it was again abolished under the tenure of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Under the administration of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte, the restoration of death penalty was listed among the legislative priorities in parallel with reforms in the criminal justice system along with the lowering of the minimum age of criminal liability. As such, Umali said they have created subcommittees precisely to be able to conduct simultaneous hearings regarding the matter citing that they expect to “produce outputs simultaneously in time for the presentation of this and approval before the first regular session of Congress.”
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