‘Lawmakers won’t toe the line on death penalty’


TWO lawmakers on Wednesday claimed members of the House won’t toe Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez’s line on the death penalty bill, and that voting would depend on conscience, not party affiliation.

Party-list Representatives Jose Atienza of Buhay and Alfredo Garbin of Ako Bicol made the stance a day after Alvarez declared that lawmakers belonging to the majority bloc would have to vote in favor of the death penalty bill, a pet measure of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The House justice committee approved on December 7 a bill seeking the reinstatement of capital punishment for heinous and drug-related crimes in which the possession of 10 grams of narcotics could be considered drug trafficking.

“I don’t see it being on a party basis, even if the s peaker pushes for it. The members will use their conscience.
Many of them are Christians, Catholics. This is not only a legal issue. It is a moral issue. How can you allow life to be treated as if it is a commodity that the government can take, to think that it is not the government who gives a life?” House Deputy Minority Leader Atienza told reporters.

“Are we not scandalized enough with the 5,000 people who have been killed? We must first solve the bigger problem here: our weak criminal justice system,” he added.

The former Manila mayor was referring to the 5,000 drug suspects who were killed in police operations or by vigilantes since President Duterte assumed office last June 30.

Not commensurate

The vote on death penalty will transcend political affiliation, said Garbin, also a deputy minority leader.

“Why? Get this: Anybody can just plant 10 grams of illegal drugs on somebody and that person in possession can be charged without bail and could be sentenced to death. Yes, death penalty could deter crime, but our justice system should be reformatory in character,” he said.

“The penalty of death is not being commensurate with the crime committed,” Garbin added.

The bill lists 21 “heinous crimes,” including treason, qualified piracy, qualified bribery, parricide, murder, infanticide, rape, kidnapping and serious illegal detention, robbery with violence against persons, destructive arson, plunder and car theft.

‘Sunset provision’ eyed

For House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez who is one of the authors of the death penalty bill, the chances of the restoration of capital punishment will improve if its implementation will be limited to the Duterte presidency, which ends in June 2022.

“As it is, the voting will be close, but the death penalty will still win by plurality. But I have to tell you that a lot of bishops have asked me to reconsider my position, and so I thought of inserting this sunset provision of implementing the death penalty only until the end of President Duterte’s term,” Suarez said.

“If we go with this [window], we could see later on that it will be able to reduce crime incidents and eliminate lawless elements. But if it turns out to be the other way around and fails to curb criminality, there’s a remedy. This sunset provision could appease the Catholic Church,” he added.

Speaker Alvarez is adamant that Congress will be doing the right thing in restoring the death penalty, despite the staunch opposition of the Catholic Church.

“Just imagine those people who commit heinous crimes. They are like demons. Now, why would the Church protect evil? Why would they let evil triumph over good?” he said.

“Satan comes in many robes,” Alvarez added.


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  1. Voice of the people is the voice of God. The people voice out restoration of death penalty. Is the church and state listening? …….

  2. We need pragmatic laws that promote the survival of our countries.

    This act/law is one of them. But change the target of this law from he small time crime of poverty to the big crimes of plunder, treason, gross incompetence and corruption in government services, enforcement, regulators, banking, education, military, health, utilities.

    Get accurate information by opening the bank records, allow unhampered intel gathering, get third parties to investigate, not self investigation/coverup. Add to that – hang any erring judge, firing squad for police military staff involved in criminal activities, illegal activities including logging, fishpens, white slavery and prostitution, etc.

    Then there will be little risk that a small time street criminal will be abused. Analyze the risk versus benefit if need be, just do it right.

    All progressive nations have a strong system of deterrence and applied discipline to their government staff and business and commerce.

    But biggest hindrance and real reason the elites and “law makers kuno” don’t like this proposed law is because they will mostly be wiped out – they are simply the big crime perpetrators, plunderers, cartel operators, and protectors.

  3. The blood of those who have been killed, being killed and will be killed in all drugs related, and those innocent people killed, being killed and will be killed by drug addicts etc. are all in the hands of those supposed leaders of our land who perpetuated it. Thinking that they can get out of it. Yes! they can get out in the law of the land; but not in the law of God….

    I’ll wage my war in the spiritual…
    Father God! i thank you that Your justice is perfect. That there is no escape for those who continue to indulge in such act of abomination despite the warnings. I pray that while there is still a chance, that there will be a spirit of collective change that will struck the hearts of our leaders and those people who perpetuated these out of love for money. The the stronghold of love for mammon will will go down in Jesus name. And may Your righteousness, the fear of God reign in our land the Philippines. It is only You Lord who can bring total change in our land. So help us God! That in the Philippines, there will always be God! That in the Philippines, there will always be Jesus Christ! And our Jesus Christ and His Words will be the guiding light in every homes, government, institutions and every aspect of governance face by our leaders. So be it Lord! so be it! Sweep our nation Lord. In Jesus most precious Name i pray! Amen!

  4. Its the church that is creating any bottleneck in any legislation… They should not interfere as they are not even tax paying enterprise , but freeloaders of the state.. manipulating people minds to their own selfish benefit in the guise of spiritual salvation.. Enough is enough, let everyone be responsible for their morality and ethics.,.. not some organization as the church which hypocrisy is rampant..

  5. “Just imagine those people who commit heinous crimes. They are like demons. Now, why would the Church protect evil? Why would they let evil triumph over good?” he said.

    “Satan comes in many robes,” Alvarez added.

    Alvarez is now calling the church evil if they oppose what the government wants. Calling the church Satan is what i expect from these fanatics who play to the least educated.

    A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves.

    • CrucialPunishment on

      True, just recently an old womem got raped by an addict, pregnant women stabbed by a thief, a 6 yr. old girl got nabbed and raped, etc.

      These kind of Demonic Beings have no fear since they’ll just be jailed anyway.