Instead of death penalty, De Lima pushes 50 years in jail without parole

MANILA, Philippines – Detained opposition Senator Leila de Lima has filed a bill seeking to impose a 50-year prison term without parole for heinous crimes, including violations of the law she had been charged with.

De Lima filed Senate Bill No. 187 or the qualified reclusion perpetua bill in lieu of the death penalty which is being pushed by President Rodrigo Duterte's allies in Congress.

“As the efficacy and morality of the death penalty is questionable at best, there is a need to legislate an alternative punishment against extraordinary heinous crimes,” said De Lima.

The bill, she said, would still send a strong signal that the government is tough on henious crimes.

"To impose death penalty at a time when the Philippine justice system is still plagued by perceived corruption and inefficiency will open our country to irrerversible errors and the possibility of executing innocent citizens," said De Lima.

In De Lima's bill, extraordinary heinous crimes are treason, piracy in the high seas, murder, infanticide, kidnapping and serious illegal detention, robbery with violence against or intimidation of persons, destructive arson, rape, plunder, carnapping, human trafficking, violence against women which results in her death or her child or which results in insanity, genocide, torture, terrorism, and several violations of the dangerous drugs act.

De Lima has been detained for over two years over alleged conspiracy to commit illegal drug trade, a violation of Republic Act No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.  (READ: Another DOJ witness vs De Lima linked to prison drug trade)

In her bill, the drug offenses included as extraordinary heinous crimes are the following:

De Lima is on trial for Section 26(b) or conspiracy to commit illegal drug trade.

De Lima has also recently filed Senate Bills 180 and 181 which seek to institutionalize prison reforms.

De Lima said she will submit 10 more measures next week, including an anti-extrajudicial killing (EJK) bill, an amendment to the bank secrecy law, and a proposal to establish a joint congressional committee to scrutinize intelligence funds.

De Lima filed from jail 116 bills out of the total 153 which she was either the principal author of or a co-sponsor. –


Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email or tweet @lianbuan.