The Death Penalty Bill is Already Approved by the House on Its Final Reading

House approves death penalty bill on final reading.

The House of Representatives on March 7 approved on third and final reading a bill reimposing the death penalty, but only for drug-related offenses.

This is in a bid to bolster the President Rodrigo Duterte administration’s anti-narcotics drive.

Last week, he House approved on second reading the version which makes the death penalty an option for judges to impose it on those convicted for drug-related offenses.

There were 216 votes in favor; 54 votes against and 1 vote abstained.

The House listed 21 crimes punishable by death in its initial proposal

It was later trimmed to four, including plunder, treason, and rape from the list of covered crimes, and then reduced further to only drug-related offenses.

The Philippines was the first Asian country to abolish death penalty in 1987, but the Ramos administration reinstated it in 1993 in response to allegedly increasing crime rates.

Under President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s administration in 2006, it was abolished again.

Last year, Duterte said he will restore the death penalty if he won the election, and indicated after it was clear he had won that he prefers capital punishment by hanging rather than by lethal injection.

He said the re-imposition of the death penalty is not meant to deter crime but is for retribution.

A similar bill is also pending before the upper chamber.