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Philippines - Page 5
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  1. #41
    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
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    House justice panel seeks swift passage of death penalty revival

    The House of Representatives' Justice Committee hopes to pass the bills on the revival of the death penalty and the lowering of the age of criminal liability before the end of their first regular session.

    Committee Chair Reynaldo Umali told reporters on Monday committee members have already endorsed their committee report on death penalty last week and it is now up for the discussion of the Committee on Rules if it will be included in the agenda for today.

    "Yung personal target ko dito is before the end of first regular session yung passage namin. I don't know if this has already moved sa Senate but I think it will probably coincide with the action of the Senate on the matter," he said.

    The House of Representatives reopens their session on Monday, and it will end sometime in May according to Umali.

    The Philippines was the first Asian country to abolish death penalty in 1987, but President Fidel V. Ramos reinstated it in response to increasing crime rates. It was abolished once again under President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

    Last year, then presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte said he will restore the death penalty if he won the election.

    Also among the legislative priorities under the Duterte administration in line with reforms in the criminal justice system is the lowering of the minimum age of criminal liability.

    Umali said they have created subcommittees precisely to be able to conduct simultaneous hearings on the matter and "produce outputs simultaneously in time for the presentation of this and approval before the first regular session of Congress."

    http://news.abs-cbn.com/news/01/16/1...enalty-revival
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  2. #42
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    House to discuss if death penalty applicable to minors

    Intention of death penalty bill does not cover children in conflict with law, says solon

    A congressman on Monday urged his colleagues to discuss whether or not the proposed reimposition of the death penalty would apply even to children who are in conflict with the law.

    In a press briefing at the House of Representatives, Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali was asked if the proposed bills to reimpose the death penalty would allow capital punishment even on juveniles.

    The congressman, who chairs the House justice committee, was asked if children as young as nine years old caught carrying at least 10 grams of shabu as couriers may be punished with death under the proposed revival of the death penalty.

    Umali said the intention of the death penalty bill does not cover children in conflict with the law.

    He added that the proposed bill seeking to lower the minimum age of criminal responsibility allows for rehabilitation and not capital punishment.

    “To my recollection, when you lower the juvenile age… it’s not necessarily like they will be jailed together with the hardened criminals,” Umali said.

    He said children accused as drug couriers should be seen as victims of the drug trade because they are being used by drug syndicates.

    “Yung lowering the juvenile age, mayroong proseso of reforming them, at saka sila naman ay mga biktima, hindi naman sila talaga ang may kagagawan,” Umali said.

    (In lowering the juvenile age, there’s a process of reforming them. And they are the victims. It’s not as if they are liable.)
    Umali said it is up to Congress to thresh out the conflicting interpretations of the bills.

    “Nag-e-evolve pa ang mga ito, so hindi pa natin masabi (This is still evolving, so we really can’t say)… Hopefully, we can come up with a more acceptable version that will pass the whole of Congress, including the Senate,” Umali said.

    “I’m sure there will be a lot of inputs coming from all sectors before this law is passed. Let’s cross the bridge when we get there,” Umali added.

    Umali said he hopes this serves as a wake-up for his colleagues to discuss this during committee hearings and on the floor during plenary debates.

    “Let’s continue raising this issue so that members of my committee will be mindful of things that we need to consider,” Umali said.

    The move to reimpose capital punishment coincided with the bill seeking to lower the minimum age of criminal responsibility from the current 15 years old to as young as nine years old.

    Umali said both bills may be passed on third and final reading by May or before the end of the first regular session.

    While the death penalty bill has hurdled the committee level and is up for second reading sponsorship and debate, the bill lowering the minimum age of criminal liability is pending before the House justice subcommittee on correctional reforms.

    In House Bill 2, authors Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and Deputy Speaker Fredenil Castro sought to revert the minimum age of criminal liability from the current 15 years old to as young as nine years old.

    The House leaders’ bill entitled “Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility Act” seeks to amend the “Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006” or Republic Act 9344, which sets the minimum age for criminal liability at 15 years old.

    The authors said children are being used by criminals as accomplices in their crimes, particularly drug trafficking, because these minors could not be held criminally liable.

    “While the intent of protection of the Filipino youth may be highly laudable, its effects have had the opposite effects – the pampering of youthful offenders who commit crimes knowing they can get away with it,” Castro and Alvarez said in their explanatory note.

    The proposed bill however exempts from criminal liability those under nine years old at the time of the commission of an offense.
    But they would be subjected to a government intervention program, the bill read.

    In a July 2016 interview, Alvarez had said that his bill would seek to put minors in detention to rehabilitate them, but not to punish them with death.

    Alvarez then said the death penalty would be too harsh a punishment for children whom he believed are not capable of heinous crimes, such as murder, rape or plunder.

    “Masyado namang malupit yun (That’s too harsh). I don’t think they’re capable of heinous crimes,

    http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/862641/...able-to-minors

  3. #43
    Senior Member CnCP Legend Mike's Avatar
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    Only 7 executed' after death penalty reimposed in 1998 - DOJ

    The death penalty was not given an opportunity to be enforced properly after only 7 executions were carried out after capital punishment was reimposed in 1998, the Department of Justice said Tuesday.

    Speaking before the Senate, Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Richard Anthony Fadullon reiterated the justice department's support for the restoration of death penalty for heinous crimes.

    "We would like to reiterate the support for the proposed bills for the restoration of death penalty for heinous crimes and that this department has not interposed any Constitutional or legal objections thereto," he said.

    "It was not given an opportunity to be actually enforced properly, it was not given an opportunity to see whether the effects would be one of deterrence or not," he added.

    Fadullon rejected arguments that the death penalty is not a deterrent to heinous crimes and denies due process for suspected criminals. Court trials for heinous crimes, he said, guarantee rights of the accused and go through many levels of appeal.

    He added that "only 7" executions occurred after death penalty was reimposed in the country in 1998.

    The Senate committee on justice is deliberating on 6 bills seeking capital punishment. Three bills were filed by Senator Manny Pacquiao, while the 3 others were filed separately by Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, Senator Panfilo Lacson and Senator Sherwin Gatchalian.

    http://news.abs-cbn.com/video/news/0...ed-in-1998-doj
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  4. #44
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    No execution of death row convicts in Duterte term possible–Farias

    Majority leader Rudy Farias on Tuesday said it is possible there will be no convicts executed during the term of President Rodrigo Duterte even if the death penalty is reimposed.

    In an ambush interview with reporters, the Ilocos Norte congressman said the gestation period for convicting a heinous criminal would take more than five years, which means even if the bill is passed into law, a criminal can only be convicted to death row after the administration of Duterte, who is limited to a six-year term.

    It’s possible no one will be executed under the term of the President. The President has about five years and four months left. Think about how long the gestation period would be in securing a conviction for death penalty. That would take long.)

    Farias said an execution of a death row convict is not possible in the next four to five years after the passage of the death penalty bill into law.

    “Even with the reimposition of the death penalty, you cannot expect an execution in the next four or five years,” he added.

    Farias said it is also possible that the death penalty may be improved in the future by using better equipment in executing death row convicts.

    The bill proposes three methods of capital punishment–lethal injection, firing squad and hanging.

    Farias added that the death penalty bill would be amended to provide safeguards for the protection of a person accused of committing a heinous crime

    http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/874204/...ssible-farinas
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  5. #45
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    Philippines Takes Big Step Back Towards Death Penalty

    MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's campaign to bring back the death penalty for drug-related crimes has cleared a major hurdle, with supporters backing it in congress but critics denouncing the plans as "inhumane". The death penalty bill, along with a proposed measure to punish children as young as nine as adult criminals, are key planks of Mr Duterte's controversial drug war that has already claimed more than 6,500 lives.

    A majority of politicians in the lower house of congress passed a second reading of the bill on Wednesday night, clearing one of the biggest obstacles in proponents' plans to have make the death penalty legal by May.

    A third and final reading still needs to be held next week, although with no more debates both sides agree passage is a formality. Then the Senate, which is similarly dominated by Mr Duterte's allies, would pass a counterpart bill.

    "We have hurdled the most difficult part," Congressman Reynaldo Umali, a sponsor of the bill, told AFP.

    Opponents voiced anger the Philippines would bring back the death penalty, 11 years after it was revoked, highlighting among many concerns a corrupt justice system that would lead to innocent people being executed.

    "The decision is inhumane, shameful and blatantly disrespectful," Father Jerome Secillano, executive secretary for public affairs at the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, said in a statement sent to AFP.

    "Let me reiterate this, criminals should be punished and victims should be aided, but the punishment should not be death. Due to our flawed and dysfunctional criminal justice system, there is a great chance that innocent people may become victims of wrongful convictions."

    The Catholic Church, which counts 80 per cent of Filipinos as followers, had led the opposition to abolish the death penalty in 2006.

    Secillano and opposition lawmakers also criticised the tactics used to ensure the bill was passed, such as curtailing of debates and only allowing a vote by voice so lawmakers would not be specifically identified as having supported it.

    The speaker of the house also threatened to strip lawmakers of committee leadership positions if they voted against the bill.

    "This is a chamber of puppets and bullies," congressman Edcel Lagman, a longtime opponent of capital punishment, said after his efforts to block the bill were voted down.

    Just drug crimes

    The bill limits the death penalty to drug-related crimes.

    Possessing 500 gram of marijuana, or 10 gram of cocaine, heroin or ecstasy, would be crimes punishable by execution, as would manufacturing and selling drugs.

    People who commit serious crimes such as murder and rape while under the influence of drugs could also be executed.

    However committing those crimes without being under the influence of drugs would only be punishable with jail terms.

    The bill allows for execution by hanging, firing squad or injection.

    Mr Duterte won presidential elections last year after pledging an unprecedented campaign to eradicate illegal drugs in society by killing tens of thousands of people.

    Since he took office in May, police have reported killing more than 2,550 people in the drug crackdown, claiming all the deaths were in self-defence, while more than 4,000 others have died in unexplained circumstances.

    Rights groups and other critics have said Mr Duterte is presiding over widespread human rights violations, with Amnesty International warning the killings could amount to a crime against humanity.

    Many Filipinos support Mr Duterte and his drug war, arguing extreme measures must be taken to halt crime.

    The United Nations had warned bringing back the death penalty would violate international conventions the Philippines had already ratified.

    After capital punishment, another priority bill for Mr Duterte is a companion bill lowering the age of criminal liability to as low as nine years old, from 15 currently.

    http://www.ndtv.com/world-news/phili...enalty-1665209
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  6. #46
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    Duterte tells EU mind your own business over death penalty

    Philippine president swears at European MPs for criticisms to reinstate death penalty

    By Clifford Coonan
    Irish Times

    Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte has launched an expletive-laced attack on the European Union for demanding that he stop efforts in the countrys congress to reinstate the death penalty.

    Why are you trying to impose on us? Why dont you mind your own business? Why do you have to f**k with us, goddamn it? he told a meeting of Philippine residents in Myanmar during a visit.

    In September, the maverick Philippines leader launched the same expletive against the EU when it criticised his war on drugs, which has killed an estimated 7,080 people since July last year and earned widespread criticism internationally.

    Do not impose your culture, or your belief in what would be a government in this planet. Do not impose on other countries, especially us, he continued, pointedly expressing this part of his speech in English.

    Last week, the European Parliament called for the Philippines to immediately halt ongoing proceedings to reinstate the death penalty.

    Mr Duterte is trying to reinstate the death penalty to support his war on drugs.

    Earlier this month, the Philippine House of Representatives approved a death penalty bill, which allows for the execution of drug convicts by hanging, firing squad, or lethal injection.

    The EU also expressed alarm at Mr Dutertes call to lower the age for criminal responsibility to nine years.

    In the same resolution, the lawmakers called for the release detained Philippine Senator Leila de Lima, who has been Mr Dutertes fiercest critic. She has been held on drugs charges, which Ms de Lima says are trumped up.

    Mr Duterte did not mention this aspect of the EUs demands but last week his spokesman Ernesto Abella condemned the call as interference in domestic affairs.

    Mr Duterte said many countries in Southeast Asian countries, such as Indonesia and Malaysia, used the death penalty and that was why he was trying to revive.

    He also said that European countries also imposed the death penalty, which is not technically true, with the exception of Belarus.

    As if the other countries of EU theres no more death penalty. There are still a lot, Mr Duterte said.

    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world...alty-1.3017089
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    "There are some people who just do not deserve to live,"
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    "Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
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  7. #47
    Senior Member CnCP Legend CharlesMartel's Avatar
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    July 28, 2017

    LP expresses victory over exclusion of death penalty in Congress priority list

    The once ruling Liberal Party (LP) on Friday said Congress decision not to include the death penalty bill from the list of priority measures is a small but substantial victory.

    The discussions do not end here, but this delay provides more time for our lawmakers and fellow Filipinos to delve further into the issues surrounding capital punishment and the risks it poses should it ever pass into law, the LP said in a statement.

    We believe in a Philippines that offers justice without killing. Ours is a country of life and vitality. Let us always remember it, it added.

    The bill restoring the imposition of death penalty was passed on third reading at the House of Representatives. It is also one of the measures pushed by President Rodrigo Duterte during his second state of the nation address last Monday.

    However, this was not included in the priority list of Congress common legislative agenda.

    The Congress, instead, intend to prioritize bills on tax reforms, traffic emergency powers and the end of endo, or contractualization, before the end of 2017, as well as to revise the 1987 Constitution and approve the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

    http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/918402/...priority-list#

  8. #48
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    'We don't need the death penalty': 20% of inmates die each year in Philippines jail

    By Jamie Fullerton
    The Guardian

    More than 5,000 inmates at a maximum security jail in the Philippines, or around 20% of all inmates, die each year, a Filipino prison hospital chief has claimed.

    Ernesto Tamayo of the national Bilibid prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa, a few kilometres south of Manila, said that the “mortality rate is 20%” for the jail’s population of around 26,000, with most of the deaths occurring due to infectious diseases in overcrowded cells.

    Rappler reported that Tamayo attributed many of the deaths to pulmonary tuberculosis, a highly contagious disease that can easily spread in crowded conditions. He said that stabbings also contributed to the high death rate.

    Tamayo made the claim on Thursday at a senate hearing on the Good Conduct Time Allowance law, which allows the early release of prisoners for positive behaviour. Following the claim, senate president Vicente Sotto III was quoted as saying: “We don’t need [the] death penalty anymore.”

    Woeful prison conditions in the Philippines, which has not had the death penalty since 2006 despite some politicians calling for its return, have been highlighted by the hearing.

    Last month it was reported by Rappler that one hospital ward in the NBP, which has been criticised by the United Nations as well as Filipino authorities, did not provide showers for inmates. Prisoners washed with water poured from drums.

    Godfrey Gamboa, a former inmate at the NBP, claimed that many prisoners there died due to being given food that had gone bad. “A lot of them die because most of the food is already spoiled. They get weak,” he said.

    Ursicio Ceas, a doctor at the NBP, was accused of taking bribes from influential prisoners in exchange for granting them extended access in the hospital section, away from the main prison areas.

    Serial killers and high-profile drug lords have been detained in the NBP, where around 43% of inmates are incarcerated for homicide and physical injury-related crimes.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...ilippines-jail
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  9. #49
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    Duterte makes another push for death penalty by lethal injection

    MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has made another push for the reimposition of the death penalty in the Philippines for drug-related charges.

    “I reiterate the swift passage of the law reviving the death penalty by lethal injection for crimes specified under the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002,” Duterte said in his fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the Batasang Pambansa on Monday.

    Duterte has repeatedly expressed openness to revive the death penalty, which the country suspended in 2006, for drug trafficking and other heinous crimes, noting that it will instill fear among criminals.

    The reimposition of the death penalty was the first priority legislative measure he mentioned in his SONA last year.

    https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/131277...thal-injection
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  10. #50
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    Philippines’ Duterte will ‘die first’ before facing ICC

    By JOEAL CALUPITAN and DAVID RISING
    The Associated Press

    Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte would rather “die first” before facing an international tribunal, his spokesman said Thursday, the day after the International Criminal Court announced it would investigate allegations of crimes against humanity during his bloody war on drugs.

    Duterte’s spokesman, Harry Roque, said the president was unfazed when he’d informed him late Wednesday of the court’s decision.

    “The president didn’t have any reaction, because from the get go, he has said that he’ll die first before he faces any international courts,” Roque told reporters.

    “If there are any complaints, they should file it here in the Philippines.”

    The court on Wednesday said it had authorized an investigation requested by former prosecutor Fatou Bensouda into Duterte’s anti-drugs campaign, saying it could not “be seen as a legitimate law enforcement operation.”

    More than 6,000 mostly poor drug suspects have been killed during the campaign, according to the government, but human rights groups say the death toll is considerably higher and should include many unsolved killings by motorcycle-riding gunmen who may have been deployed by police.

    Duterte, who has cheered many of the deaths but denied condoning extrajudicial killings of drug suspects, is constitutionally prohibited from running for another term as president in elections next year. But he has announced he will run as vice president instead in a maneuver critics have said is an attempt to both maintain power and insulate himself from the ICC investigation, which has been expected.

    Amnesty International’s Secretary General Agnes Callamard said the ICC’s announcement comes at a “pivotal time” and that “human rights should be at the center of discussions when the Philippines chooses its next leaders.”

    “No one is above the law,” she said in a statement. “Duterte’s government must immediately end the cycle of killings, remove those involved from the ranks of the police and bring all those suspected of criminal responsibility to trial.”

    Duterte’s chief legal counsel, Salvador Panelo, alleged that the Netherlands-based international court was “being utilized as a political and propaganda apparatus” by Duterte’s political opponents.

    “While we expect that more theatrics will be employed by the detractors of the president as election season draws near, this blatant and brazen interference and assault on our sovereignty as an independent country by the ICC is condemnable,” he said in a written statement.

    In her 57-page request, a partially redacted version of which the court released to the public, Bensouda argued that Duterte’s aggressive approach and bellicose rhetoric toward drug traffickers had already taken shape when he served as mayor of Davao City, before he was elected president in 2016.

    “Throughout his tenure as mayor, a central force of his efforts was fighting crime and drug use, earning him the nicknames ‘The Punisher’ and ‘Duterte Harry’ for the violent manner in which he sought to combat crime,” Bensouda wrote.

    “On multiple occasions, Duterte publicly supported and encouraged the killing of petty criminals and drug dealers in Davao City.”

    She dismissed the contention by Philippine authorities that deaths in the war on drugs resulted from police acting in self defense, noting that “statements by some public officials suggest that they considered the killings an achievement and an integral component” of the campaign, and that they were encouraged by Duterte as president.

    “Duterte praised the increasing number of police killings as proof of the “success” of his “war on drugs,” she argued, adding that Duterte made public statements encouraging security forces to kill drug suspects, regardless of the level of threat.

    The investigation will look at killings that took place during some of the time Duterte was mayor, and during his time as president between July 1, 2016 and March 16, 2019, the date the Philippines withdrew from the court.

    Panelo, the presidential legal counsel, argued that if the court wanted to investigate it should have done so while the Philippines was a member of the ICC, and that now it has no jurisdiction.

    Last year, the court decided not to pursue an investigation into crimes allegedly committed by China against Uyghur and other minorities there, saying it did not have jurisdiction over non-members. The United States and Russia are other notable non-members of the ICC.

    But Carlos Conde, senior Philippine researcher for Human Rights Watch, said by focusing on the years that the country was still a member of the court, the ICC is well within its rights to investigate Duterte’s actions.

    He told reporters in Manila that Duterte’s run for vice president does “not in any way afford him immunity from suit or investigation by the ICC.”

    “He will of course try everything in his power to frustrate the ICC from doing its job and its mandate,” Conde said.

    https://apnews.com/article/elections...3d3e911f00b0f8
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