If the plan of Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez succeeds, the death penalty bill will not be limited to drug-related cases after all. It will also cover rape and plunder.
Alvarez on Monday said a second bill may be filed, this time including other heinous crimes that will be punishable by death.
The House of Representatives last week approved on second reading House Bill 4727 that seeks to reimpose the death penalty on drug manufacturing and drug distribution.
The measure will go to the plenary Tuesday.
“There are a lot of possibilities and options for the death penalty bill. Of course, rape and plunder will eventually be covered,” Alvarez added when asked if the death penalty bill can still be amended to include other crimes.
“What we agreed upon in the Majority caucus is we do it one [crime]at a time, so we can finish something. If you include a lot of crimes, the debate will be prolonged. So it is one at a time, then the other crimes will follow immediately,” he explained.
Alvarez said another possibility is the filing of another death penalty bill that will cover rape and plunder.
“That is why this is not a watered down bill. We just passed this measure initially but other crimes will follow, that’s for sure. We just don’t want the process to drag on longer that it should,” he added.
But for party-list Reps. Rodel Batocabe of Ako Bicol and Mark Sambar of PBA, a drastic amendment to the House version of the measure which limits it to drug-related offenses except drug possession is unlikely because the death penalty bill gained ground in the House due to such limitation.
“Even if the Bicameral [panel]agrees to amend it with more crimes, we must remember that the bill approved by the Bicam would still get the concurrence of the House and the Senate before the measure is sent for the President’s signature en route to it becoming a law. If the amendments are too far from what was initially agreed upon, you have to bleed to get that concurrence,” Batocabe said.
“When you introduce major revisions in the Bicam level, it would not be easy to shepherd the bill into law, that’s for sure,” Sambar said.