|Senator Emmanuel. M. Pacquiao: 'it is now time to restore the death penalty."|
House Justice Committee Chairman Rey Umali hopes the bill that seeks the revival of death penalty will pass the 3rd and final reading before the 1st regular session of the 17th Congress ends in May.
Umali says, he used to be against the reimposition of the measure but he changed his mind.
"I'm not in favor of passing death penalty but after the Bilibid hearings, I'm now in favor of the death penalty for heinous drug crimes," he explains.
Umali is referring to the recent House inquiry on the proliferation of illegal drug trade in New Bilibid Prison (NBP).
He notes that lawmakers will have to finalize the decision on whether or not to lower the age of criminal liability that will be covered by the bill.
"When you lower the juvenile age, may corresponding rehabilitation (there is corresponding rehabilitation). It is still evolving and we cannot yet say what it will be," he says.
Umali says, the seeming lack of interest of the Senate in passing the bill does not bother him.
"We respect that. We will do what is needed to pass it in the House," he adds.
Umali spoke at a press briefing in the House of Representatives on Monday morning.
Under the consolidated bill of the House, 21 heinous crimes are punishable by death penalty.
These include penalties relating to terrorism and illegal drugs.
Death penalty for terrorists - Senator Manny
Senator Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao on Monday said terrorists should be penalized with death penalty. This was stressed by Pacquiao in his speech during the celebration of the 38th anniversary of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Intelligence Group in Camp Crame, Quezon City where he was guest of honor.
Pacquiao said Senate Bill No. 186, which imposes death penalty for terrorism and other heinous crimes, would be a big help in the PNP's anti-crime drive.
He added it is now time to restore the death penalty because criminals, especially the terrorists, seem to have nothing to fear anymore.
The senator said the terrorism has 4 reasons such as hatred, katuwaan (just for fun), opposition to the government and religion.
Nevertheless, Pacquiao said the crime of terrorism is not only against some individuals, but rather, against mankind.
Hence, he said, everybody should unite against terror threats.
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