Having been watered-down, the bill proposing re-imposition of death penalty has chances to pass muster in todayâ€™s votation at the Lower House.
House Bill 4727, proposing the reinstatement of death penalty is authored byÂ House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.
It isÂ entitled “An act imposing the death penalty on certain heinous crimes, repealing for the purpose Republic Act No. 9346, entitled ‘An act prohibiting the imposition of death penalty in the Philippines,’ and amending Act. No. 3815, as amended, otherwise known as the ‘Revised Penalty Code,’ and other special penal laws.”
Second District Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado believes the trimming down of the list of punishable acts to only drug-related crimes made it easy to get votes.
Aumentado admitted that he remained undecided as of last night, hinting that it needs longer examination supposedly.
However, since there is now only one punishable act to focus, it made it easier to come up with a stand regarding the proposed law for those who already had a stand on the illegal drugs issue in the country.
Aumentado said that if he has his way, it would be better to include murder, rape and plunder.
Third District Rep. Arthur Yap reserves his statement after the votation.
First District Rep. Rene Relampagos has also not issued a statement on the matter and might just have to comment after tomorrows scheduled votation on the reinstatement of death penalty.
Aumentadoâ€™s father, the late Erico Aumentado, had drafted a bill proposing to reinstate the death penalty for heinous crimes when he returned to the House of Representatives in 2010.
Alvarez expressed confidence to get the required votes of 50 percent plus one for the bill.
There areÂ 238 district representatives and 59 representatives from party-list groups.
Originally, the House of Representatives scheduled the voting on March 8.
With its watered-down version now where there is only one type of crimes proposed to be punishable by death, drug-related crimes, the debates had been shortened and the votation on the bill had been moved to March 1.
Anti-death penalty congressmen described it as a way to railroad the bill.
Leading theÂ anti-death penalty blocÂ areÂ Edcel Lagman of Albay First District, Kaka Bag-ao of Dinagat Islands, Raul del Mar of Cebu City 1st District, Lawrence Fortun of Agusan Del Norte 1st District, Tom Villarin of Akbayan, Ramon Rocamora of Siquijor, Teddy Baguilat Jr. of Ifugao, Antonio Tinio of ACT Teachers, Jocelyn Limkaichong of Negros Oriental 1st District, Gabriel Bordado Jr.Â of Camarines Sur 3rd District, Geraldine Roman of Bataan 1st District, Emmi de Jesus of Gabriela Women’s Party, Gary Alejano of Magdalo, Sarah Elago of Kabataan, Emmanuel Billones of Capiz 1st District, Carlos Isagani Zarate of Bayan Muna, Ariel Casilao of Anakpawis, Jorge Banal of Quezon City 3rd District, Edgar Erice of Caloocan City 2nd District, France Castro of ACT Teachers, Sitti Djalin Turabin-Hataman of Anak Mindanao, Arlene Brosas of Gabriela Women’s Party, Manuel Zubiri of Bukidnon 3rd District, Raul Daza of Northern Samar 1st District, Henedina Abad of Batanes.
It will be known today of the anti-death penalty bloc remains intact or have grown in numbers.
Alvarez had earlier expressed that PDP-Laban takes â€œa party stand on the death penaltyâ€.
Earlier this month, Alvarez warned to oust those who will oppose to the bill.
He was quoted saying even Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who abolished death penalty during her presidency, might be replaced if she would oppose.
Alvarez had also told national media that Arroyo and chairpersons of House committees would be replaced if they would oppose.
He described it wonâ€™t be good for a deputy speaker and committee chairpersons not to support an â€œadministration-sponsored billâ€.
Arroyo, who is part of the 100 members of the House supermajority formed by PDP-Laban in coalition with other parties.
Arroyo and members of the leftist Makabayan bloc had earlier expressed opposition.
The statement of Alvarez contradicted to the assurance that Arroyo got from Duterte when they talked in December that there would be no problem if she has to oppose the bill.
The Liberal Party members for their part, stand pat in theirÂ position against the capital punishment, describing it as â€œineffectiveâ€ and â€œoverly inflicted on the poor and powerlessâ€.