SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
The House of Representatives, through viva voce voting, approved on second reading Wednesday night House Bill 4727 or the bill seeking to reimpose death penalty on drug-related heinous crimes.
The proposed “Death Penalty Law” defines heinous crimes as “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 orderly society.”
Under the measure, the punishment of death shall be imposed on the following offenses: (1) importation of dangerous drugs; (2) sale, trading, administration, dispensation, delivery, distribution, and transportation of dangerous drugs; (3) maintenance of a den, dive, or resort where any dangerous drug is used or sold; (4) manufacture of dangerous drugs; and (5) possession of 10 grams or more of dangerous drugs.
Death penalty shall also be enforced when the crime is committed under the influence of dangerous drugs, provided that the offense committed is punishable by reclusion temporal or 12 years and one day up to 20 years.
However, the bill states that drug test must be strictly conducted on the accused in order to establish that he was indeed under the influence of dangerous drugs when he committed the crime. The measure also provides that once the complaint has been filed against the accused, amending the complaint to include allegation that he was under the influence of dangerous drugs when the crime was committed shall no longer be allowed.
The bill also imposes capital punishment on public officials or employees who misappropriate, misapply or fail to account for confiscated, seized or surrendered dangerous drugs, plant sources of dangerous drugs.
Death sentence shall also be carried out either by hanging, firing squad, or lethal injection and shall not be earlier than one year nor later than 18 months after the judgment has become final and executory.
However, the imposition of the death penalty is not automatic, as the proposed law provides for an automatic review by the Court of Appeals or by the Supreme Court, and a majority vote is required for it to be imposed.
The penalty of death shall also not be imposed when the offender is below 18 years old or more than 70 years old when the crime was committed.
House Bill 4727 is authored by House Speaker and Davao del Norte First District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, Majority Floor Leader and Ilocos Norte First District Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas, Minority Leader and Quezon Third District Rep. Danilo Suarez, Reps. Reynaldo Umali (2nd District, Oriental Mindoro), Fredenil Castro (2nd District, Capiz), Vicente Veloso (3rd District, Leyte), Rozzano Rufino Biazon (Lone District, Muntinlupa City), Robert Ace Barbers (2nd District, Surigao del Norte), Rogelio Pacquiao (Lone District, Sarangani), Deputy Speaker and Camarines Sur First District Rep. Rolando Andaya, Michael John Duavit (1st District, Rizal), Carlos Cojuangco (1stDistrict, Tarlac), Elisa Kho (2nd District, Masbate), Deputy Speaker and Cebu Third District Rep., Gwendolyn Garcia, Deputy Speaker and Batangas Second District Rep. Raneo Abu, Benhur Salimbangon (4th District, Cebu), Rodel Batocabe (Party-list, AKO BICOL), Henry Oaminal (2nd District, Misamis Occidental), Doy Leachon (1stDistrict, Oriental Mindoro), Leopoldo Bataoil (2nd District, Pangasinan), Roger Mercado (Lone District, Southern Leyte), Ronald Cosalan (Lone District, Benguet), Maria Vida Bravo (1st District, Masbate), Jose Panganiban (Party-list, ANAC-IP), Victor Yap (2nd District, Tarlac), Antonio Floirendo (2nd District, Davao del Norte), Celso Lobregat (1st District, Zamboanga City), Michaelina Antonio (Party-list, AGBIAG), and Carmelo Lazatin (1st District, Pampanga). / (ABR)