The non-mandatory imposition of the death penalty for heinous crimes has made a number of lawmakers more likely to vote in favor of the restoration of capital punishment, Deputy Speaker Ferdinand Hernandez of South Cotabato said on Monday.
Hernandez added that such consensus of imposing either life imprisonment or death penalty for heinous crimes instead of a mandatory death penalty was reached during a caucus last week.
“We do consensus- building here [in Congress], and during our caucus last week, there was a positive result, that there will be no mandatory imposition of the death penalty. And because of that, a lot of members of the House changed their position. Instead of a hardline No, I now believe that this [compromise]is more palatable to lawmakers,” he told reporters.
A caucus is held among administration lawmakers if there is a crucial and priority measure that the sitting President wants passed into law.
Hernandez and fellow Deputy Speaker Frederick Abueg expressed confidence that members of the super majority coalition will eventually stand solidly behind Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez in line with the latter’s hardline stance on passing the death penalty bill.
Alvarez earlier said that Deputy Speakers would be ousted from their posts if they voted against the death penalty measure.
“Rumors of disagreement among members are not new. I don’t think it is true. Speaker Alvarez is just pushing for the agenda of the President, and we continue to build on consensus,” Hernandez said. LLANESCA T. PANTI