Senate starts death penalty talks today

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09:31 PM February 6th, 2017

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By: Inquirer.net, February 6th, 2017 09:31 PM
Parishioners in San Carlos City, Pangasinan province add their collective voice to calls against the reimposition of death penalty.  /Inquirer.net

Parishioners in San Carlos City, Pangasinan province add their collective voice to calls against the reimposition of death penalty.
/Inquirer.net

At least eight of 24 senators have openly expressed their opposition to the proposed revival of the death penalty in the country even before a joint panel in the Senate starts its deliberations on Tuesday. Six were either supportive or “open” to the proposal.

The Senate committees on justice and human rights, and on constitutional amendments and revision of codes are scheduled to start the discussion on the issue at 10 a.m. on Tuesday.

The eight are Senate President Pro Tempore Franklin Drilon, Senators Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Leila de Lima, Bam Aquino, Risa Hontiveros and Senator Richard Gordon — all six are part of the Senate majority bloc.

The two others are Senate Minority Leader Ralph Recto and Senator Francis “Chiz” Escdero, who is also part of the minority bloc.

“The LP senators are united in opposing the death penalty filed by Senator (Manny) Pacquiao,” Pangilinan, president of Liberal Party, said in a text message on Monday.

Pacquiao is a staunch supporter of the proposed restoration of the capital punishment in the country.

“The death penalty is antipoor, is cruel and inhumane and PNP’s (Philippine National Police) statistics show that (it) does not serve as a deterrent to crime. Killing a criminal does not solve it nor does it achieve what it seeks to defeat,” he added.

Aside from Pangilinan, the three other LP senators are Drilon, De Lima and Aquino. Hontiveros of Akbayan partylist also ran under their LP-led senatorial ticket in the last May 2016 elections.

Gordon, chair of the justice committee, and Escudero reiterated in separate interview last week their position against the measure.

Aside from Pacquiao, five senators were either supportive or “open” to the proposal but with “reservations.”

The five are Senate Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, Senators Joel Villanueva, Sonny Angara, Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, and Sherwin Gatchalian. /Inquirer.net

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