Death penalty sponsorship stumps Senate deliberation

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 06 2020 11:45 AM

MANILA - The Senate is seeking to resolve who will sponsor bills for the revival of death penalty, which President Rodrigo Duterte recently gave a fresh boost, a lawmaker said Thursday.

Sen. Richard Gordon is supposed to sponsor the bills as chairperson of the justice panel that would lead deliberations. However, he "is against it," said Sen. Panfilo Lacson.

"How can you defend something that you do not believe in? We are now trying to resolve whether a subcommittee chair will be appointed," he told ANC.

This is “not something new,” Lacson said, pointing out that he led discussions on the National ID System as subcommittee chair because Gordon had been preoccupied with matters under the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee that he also chaired.

"We only have to resolve who will sponsor it (death penalty) in the floor," said Lacson.

President Rodrigo Duterte in his recent State of the Nation Address urged lawmakers to reinstate capital punishment for crimes related to narcotics.

Lacson said he had filed a bill seeking the return of death penalty for "heinous crimes, even corruption, plunder."

The reimposition of capital punishment was among Duterte's campaign promises in 2016, saying the threat of death can deter the proliferation of narcotics in the country.

The death penalty was abolished in the Philippines in 2006, under the presidency of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.