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Bill establishing Alcatraz-type 'heinous crime penitentiary’, other measures lapsed into law

Alexis Romero - Philstar.com
Bill establishing Alcatraz-type 'heinous crime penitentiaryâ, other measures lapsed into law
Stock image of a prison fence.
Image by ErikaWittlieb from Pixabay

MANILA, Philippines — Forty-one bills passed during the time of former president Rodrigo Duterte have lapsed into law, including measures seeking to establish an Alcatraz-like facility for prisoners convicted of heinous crimes and to strengthen the protection of minors against online sexual exploitation.

The measures lapsed into law last month, data released by Malacañang Wednesday showed.

The 1987 Constitution gives the president 30 days to sign a bill into law or to veto it. If the chief executive does not act on the bill within 30 days, the measure would lapse into law.

Among the bills that have lapsed into law is the measure that aims to establish a separate facility for persons convicted of heinous crimes. Under the measure, the facility shall be built in a location away from the general population and other persons deprived of liberty, preferably within a military establishment or on an island separate from the mainland. The bill, which seeks to decongest jails and deter crimes, also directs the justice department to determine the location of the facility. The measure lapsed into law last July 30 and is now known as Republic Act No. 11929.

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, Alcatraz is a former maximum security prison located on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay, off the coast of California. Among the high-profile convicts who were imprisoned in Alcatraz were Al Capone and Robert Stroud.

In an earlier statement, Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri proposed that the maximum prison security compound may be built either at Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija or  an island off Luzon.

Another measure that has lapsed into law is the Anti-Online Sexual Abuse or Exploitation of Children and Anti-Child Sexual Abuse or Explotation Materials Act or Republic Act No. 11930. The bill became a law without the president's signature last July 30.

The law increases the responsibilities of social media platforms, electronic service providers and internet and financial intermediaries by requiring them to block and preserve materials that promote sexual abuse and exploitation of children and to cooperate with law enforcers. The measure also forms a national coordinating center against online sexual abuse and exploitation of children that will be under the Inter Agency Council against Trafficking.

Other bills that have lapsed into law include the measure penalizing willful and indiscriminate discharge of firearms; Sicogon Island Wildlife and Sanctuary Act; the measure creating the Metropolitan Baguio City, La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay Development Authority; Radio City Telephone Company Inc. franchise; Baliwag City charter; Philippine Digital Workforce Competitiveness Act; local measures related to Barangay Naibuan, San Jose, Occidental Mindoro; Barangay Poblacion B, M'lang, South Cotabato; Barangay Tulalian, Sto. Tomas, Davao del Norte; Barangay Tagukon, Kabankalan CIty, Negros Occidental; Barangay Songkoy, Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte; Barangay Pangaylan-Ip, Santiago, Agusan del Norte; Barangay Panacan-2, Narra, Palawan; Barangay Crossing, Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte; Barangay Batucan in Talacogon, Agusan del Sur; More Electric and Power Corporation franchise; Private Security Services Industry Act; and the bill increasing the social pension of indigent senior citizens.

Also in the list of measures that have lapsed into law are the National Music Competition for Young Artists Act; and Provincial Science and Technology Office Act; National Youth Day Act; the bill establishing a multi-species matine hatchery in Bagac, Bataan; the bill establishing a mangrove crab hatchery in Barangay Geratag, San Jose, Northern Samar; Summer Youth Camp Acy; Permanent Validity of the Certificates of Live Birth, Death and Marriage Act; Parent Effectiveness Service Program Act; Oro Broadcasting Network Inc. franchise; the Philippine Creative Industries Development Act; bills creating barangay Doña Maxima in San Luis, Agusan del Sur and the barangays Acma-Mariano Badelles Sr., San Roque, Luinab, Upper Hinaplanon and Ulbado Laya, Iligan province; the Agriculture Fisheries and Rural Development Financing Enhancement Act of 2022; the Vaporized Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Products Regulation Act; the Second Congressional Commission on Education Act; Extended Producer Responsibility Act of 2022; National Baptist Day Act; the bill dividing Barangay Muzon in San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan into four independent barangays; the measure establishing a multi-species marine hatchery in Tibiao, Antique, the Unicorn Communications Corporation Telcommunications franchise; and the measure converting the Land Transportation Office extension office in San Jose City, Nueva Ecija into a regular district office.

Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles denied that President Marcos went on "veto spree," noting that he only vetoed five measures.

The vetoed bills were the measure creating the Bulacan Airport City Special Economic Zone; the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel charter; the bill seeking to expand the franchise area of Davao Light and Power Company Inc.; the Philippine Transportation Safety Board Act; and the measure exempting from income taxation the honoraria, allowances and other financial benefits of persons rendering service during elections.

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