Death penalty bill still not a Senate priority – Pimentel, Recto

Camille Elemia
Death penalty bill still not a Senate priority – Pimentel, Recto
Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III says 'the most' the Senate can do – as a 'gesture of friendship' to the House which had already passed its version – is to discuss the administration measure

MANILA, Philippines – The controversial bill seeking to reimpose the death penalty is still not a priority of the Senate in its second regular session of the 17th Congress.

Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III and Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto said the death penalty bill would have no special treatment in the chamber.

Asked about it, Pimentel told reporters on Monday, July 24, “Not a priority bill, it is in the regular course of business.”

Recto said, “I don’t see that in the radars really.”

At the very least, Pimentel assured counterpart lawmakers that the bill would be discussed in the Senate as “a gesture of friendship” to the House of Representatives, which already approved the bill pushed by Duterte. 

“As Senate President, this bill was submitted by the House so I think we owe it as a gesture of friendship to the House that since they passed it, so it means that they also want us to discuss it,” Pimentel said.

Hanggang doon na lang (That’s the most [we can do]). I will assure the House that we will discuss the death penalty bill,” he added.

Pimentel earlier said that the bill’s fate in the chamber is uncertain, as even some administration senators are against it. (READ: Unlike in House, chances of death penalty bill in Senate still unclear)

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon also earlier said that the measure is already “dead,” saying at least 13 senators are likely to oppose it.

Drilon said there are only 5 senators who have so far openly expressed support for the bill – Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, and Senators Manny Pacquiao, Joseph Victor Ejercito, Sherwin Gatchalian, and Cynthia Villar. – Rappler.com

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Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation issues, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email camille.elemia@rappler.com