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Death penalty DOA at PH senate?

Senator Franklin Drilon INQUIRER PHOTO/ JOAN BONDOC

IT WILL not pass.

Thus said Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Wednesday after being asked by reporters about the chances of the proposed death penalty being approved by the senators.

“By my own estimate, there are at least 13 senators who will block the passage of the death penalty bill, including the six-member minority group and seven from the majority block. It’s dead and the chances of resurrecting it before we even bring it to a vote are very slim, if not zero, at least in this [17th] Congress,” Drilon, in a statement, said.

The lawmaker from Iloilo, however, did not identify any of the senators from the majority block who would oppose the pet proposed measure of President Rodrigo Duterte, who ran and won on a platform calling for the death of criminals, especially those involved in drug trafficking.

“We are ready to lead the fight against the death penalty bill. We believe that a death penalty law was not and will never be an effective deterrence against crime,” Drilon said adding “It will be detrimental to the poor who will be made victims of this cruel and inhumane punishment due to the inefficiencies of our judicial system.”

Aside from Drilon, the other members of the minority bloc in the senate are Sens. Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Leila de Lima, Antonio Trillanes IV and Risa Hontiveros.

Drilon, Aquino, De Lima and Pangilinan all belong to the Liberal party (LP).

Another LP member, Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto, is also against the controversial measure even if he is identified with the pro-Duterte faction of the senate.

Among the pro-death senators include Senate Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, Senators Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian, and Cynthia Villar.

The House of Representatives recently passed on third reading the proposed return of the death penalty even if the country is a signatory to a number of international conventions against the death penalty.

The proposed death penalty bill is now pending before the Senate. If approved, the bill will be sent to Pres. Duterte for his signature before it can be made part of the laws of the land.

Nelson Flores, J.D., MSCK
A former reporter of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Manila Standard Today, and a regular columnist of the Metro Manila based daily tabloid newspaper Hataw; Nelson Flores is also the former Senior Associate Editor of the Houston based Fil-Am Press and former anchor of dzXL and dzRJ's weekend talk show Usaping Bayan. Mr. Flores has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Law degrees from the University of Santo Tomas and Adamson University and a holder of a study certificate from the Diocesan House of Studies, Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI). He is a Freemason and member of Reagan Lodge 1037 in Houston Heights under the jurisdiction of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Texas and a member of the Missionary Society of Christ the King (MSCK).

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