Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network

Philippines – House removes death penalty from bill punishing drug possession at parties

House removes death penalty from bill punishing drug possession at parties

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 7) — The House of Representatives on Thursday approved again on second reading a measure amending Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 after removing death penalty as punishment for drug possession at parties.

House Bill 8909 was passed at the plenary after a substitute bill was adopted during the period of amendments.

The House on Wednesday recalled the bill’s approval on final reading after its provision on imposing death penalty was reported. This came two days after members’ of the chamber unanimously approved the proposed measure.

READ: House reimposes death penalty for drug possession at parties, meetings

House Majority Leader Fredenil Castro said they decided to amend the bill to prevent any confusion on the death penalty.

“In order to avoid wrong signal because some people might think death penalty could now be imposed in this country, we have opted to amend or recommit the bill,” Castro said.

He added that lawmakers don’t want the public to think that the death penalty has been reinstated.

Castro denied that Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo ordered the recall of the bill’s approval on final reading, though he said it’s unlikely that a bill imposing capital punishment will be passed under her watch.

“In so far as the administration of Speaker Arroyo is concerned, considering that she is an advocate of the abolition of the death penalty, I suspect that no death penalty could be imposed in any of the laws that may be passed under her watch,” Castro said. – CNN Philippines, 8/2/2019

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