PHILIPPINES: DEATH PENALTY REMOVED FROM BILL AMENDING DANGEROUS DRUGS ACT
February 8, 2019:
The House of Representatives removed all provisions that would reimpose the death penalty in the bill seeking to amend provisions of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. (Sources: rappler.com, 07/02/2019)
During the session on 7 February 2019 House Senior Deputy Majority Leader Rodante Marcoleta moved for a substitute bill to replace House Bill (HB) 8909, whose earlier version sought to punish drug possession at parties or social gatherings with "life imprisonment to death."
The House withdrew its 3rd reading approval of the earlier version of HB 8909 on 6 February.
The phrase "life imprisonment to death" was removed from the substitute bill and replaced with just "reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment."
The amended version of HB 8909 was immediately approved on 2nd reading by lawmakers through viva voce voting or a vote of ayes and nays. The original version of HB 8909 was already approved on 3rd reading on 4 February. But it seems several lawmakers – even the authors themselves – were unaware of the existence of the phrase "life imprisonment to death," which in effect means the bill also seeks to revive the capital punishment for drug crimes.