The debate on the adoption of the death penalty bill in the Senate will be a close fight between the pro and against it, according to Senator Aquilino ‘Kiko’ Pimentel III. Senators have their different opinions regarding the passage of House Bill 4727 at the House of the Representatives.
According to Liberal Party President Kiko Pangilinan, the Liberal Party Senators will be fighting and blocking the passage of the bill in the Senate. On his Official Facebook Account, he said:
“We are saddened that the minority in the House was not given a chance to debate the bill in full. Without the benefit of a full debate, we are now in the dark as to the compelling reasons that merit a constitutional return of the death penalty.
It is unfortunate that most of the people’s representatives voted for a bill that is proven worldwide to not work in reducing crime, and that overwhelmingly victimizes the poor and powerless.
We maintain that death penalty is cruel, degrading, and inhuman.
We commit to stopping death penalty in the Senate.”
Also, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon argued that the Philippines cannot re-impose capital punishment because it will violate the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR ratified by the Senate. These international laws prohibit death penalty as capital punishment in heinous crimes.
More senators have shown support against the passage of the bill such as Senators Ralph Recto, Antonio Trillanes IV, Grace Poe, Nancy Binay, Juan Miguel Zubiri, and Risa Hontiveros.
Meanwhile, few senators have filed separate measures on the death penalty, and these are Senators Sherwin Gatchalian, Panfilo Lacson, and Manny Pacquiao. Senator Tito Sotto maintained that the passage of the death penalty bill is not the priority of the Senate.
Senators JV Ejercito and Sonny Angara have yet to decide on the bill.
Once the Senate has reconciled the Bill with that of the House of the Representatives, the President will review and approve it. Senator Richard Gordon, chairman of the Senate Justice Committee, said that he would hold the hearings of the Death penalty bill for today, and he expects the debates to resume in June.