Pacquiao, Go file bills to revive death penalty

Patricia Lourdes Viray - Philstar.com
Pacquiao, Go file bills to revive death penalty
Sens. Bong Go and Manny Pacquiao have filed Senate bills seeking to reinstate the death penalty in the Philippines.
The STAR / Mong Pintolo

MANILA, Philippines — Bills seeking to reinstate capital punishment in the Philippines have been revived in the Senate ahead of the opening of the 18th Congress.

Among the senators who filed bills seeking to impose death penalty in the country were neophyte Sen. Bong Go and Sen. Manny Pacquiao, both from the administration PDP-Laban party.

Go filed Senate Bill (SB) 207 on Tuesday, one of the first bills that he filed in the Senate.

The first-term senator's proposed measure seeks to reinstate the death penalty for drug-related offenses and for plunder.

Under Go's proposed measure, the death penalty would be imposed through lethal injection.

"Towards this end, the State shall rationalize penal sanctions and impose the befitting penalty reserved by the Constitution for the most heinous crimes, for being grievous, odious, and hateful offenses, which by reason of their inherent or manifest wickedness, viciousness, atrocity, and perversity, are repugnant and outrageous to the common standards and norms of decency and morality in a just, civilized, and ordered society," SB 207 read.

Pacquiao's SB 189 also seeks to amend Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Drugs Act of 2002.

The boxing icon-turned-senator proposed to impose a penalty of life imprisonment to death and a fine ranging from P1 million to P10 million on those found guilty of importing and selling illegal drugs.

Those who would protect or coddle any violator of the Comprehensive Drug Act would also face a penalty of life imprisonment to death and a fine ranging from P500,000 tp P1 million.

In his explanatory note, Pacquiao said drug trafficking remains "a highly lucrative illicit business with limited risks due to systemic poverty, ineffective criminal justice institutions, outdated drug control laws, poorly controlled maritime borders and public corruption."

Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto III earlier said the death penalty bill may be marked as a priority in the next session of Congress. He also said, though, that that would not automatically mean smooth passage through the Senate.

"It is possible but I cannot say if it will have higher chances because of the non-cloture rule in the Senate," Sotto said in May. 

Cloture means cutting discussions and debates short, or ordering a member of the chamber to stop speaking so others may take the floor. Although this is allowed at the House of Representatives, the Senate rules do not have any provision on cloture.



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