MANILA, Philippines – If all goes well for the majority bloc, the House of Representatives will pass on 3rd and final reading the contentious death penalty measure next Tuesday, March 7.
Asked when House Bill (HB) Number 4727 will be scheduled for 3rd reading, Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas told Rappler, "Tuesday, March 7."
The Ilocos Norte 1st District Representative is also the chairperson of the committee on rules, which is tasked to calendar the agenda for plenary sessions.
Under the Rules of the House of Representatives, nominal voting is required for bills up for 3rd and final reading. Under this scheme, congressmen will cast their vote one by one and they will be allowed to explain their vote if they wish.
The House already approved the measure reimposing the death penalty for drug offenses on 2nd reading through viva voce voting or a vote of ayes and nays. (WATCH: Death penalty bill breezes through 2nd reading in House)
Last-ditch efforts of opposition lawmakers to introduce amendments removing the penalty of death provisions were thumbed down by their colleagues at the plenary.
A majority of congressmen also refused to conduct nominal voting for the 2nd reading.
Albay 1st District Representative Edcel Lagman was dismayed at the turn of events, calling the House of Representatives a "chamber of puppets and bullies."
Ifugao Representative Teddy Baguilat Jr said he now belongs to a "House of Horrors."
Once the House approves HB 4727 on 3rd and final reading, the measure will be transmitted to the Senate, where it will undergo another 3 readings.
The Senate must pass the measure on 3rd and final reading as well before it can be submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte, who supports the death penalty, for signing.
Expose 'killer congs'
Ellecer Carlos, spokesperson for the In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement (iDefend), vowed to publicize the names of congressmen who will vote in favor of HB 4727.
"The In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement will expose the killer congs, the killer congresspersons who do not have a conscience in spite of the presence of the religious sector and the basic sectors who were here watching them," said Carlos after the 2nd reading vote on Wednesday night.
He urged lawmakers to follow House rules and "not railroad something as dangerous" as the death penalty bill.
"It was crystal clear that they are hell-bent, that the leadership of the House of Representatives is hell-bent on passing this abusive law, this abusive legislative proposal, and that is an attack on the most vulnerable, the most exploited, and the most oppressed of Philippine society," said Carlos. – Rappler.com