FACT CHECK: A new death penalty law won’t apply to De Lima’s case


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FACT CHECK: A new death penalty law won’t apply to De Lima’s case
The 1987 Constitution of the Philippines also prohibits the passing of any retroactive law

Claim: Jailed senator Leila de Lima may get the death penalty once the Senate decides to reimpose capital punishment in the Philippines.

A post by trendingph.altervista.org ran the headline,MUST WATCH!! PARUSAN.G BI-TAY POSIBLENG ISAMPLE KAY LEILA DELIMA KAPAG NAIPASA SA SENADO!” (Leila de Lima will get the death penalty as soon as it’s passed in the Senate).

The link leads only to a YouTube video posted by ‘Pro Duterte Ka Ba?’ which features pro-Duterte blogger Trixie Cruz-Angeles who comments on the Napoles case, as well as the death penalty bill. (READ: SC slaps 3-year suspension on lawyer Trixie Cruz-Angeles)

Four Facebook groups and pages have shared the link.


The facts: Even if De Lima is found guilty, a new death penalty law passed by the Senate cannot be applied to her.

That would constitute an ex post facto law. That would be unconstitutional,” University of the Philippines constitutional law professor Dan Gatmaytan said when asked by Rappler.

The Philippine Constitution prohibits the passing of any retroactive law. Article III of the Bill of Rights, Section 22 says: “No ex post facto law or bill of attainder shall be enacted.” 

The embedded video also did not mention the death penalty for De Lima, contrary to what is stated in the post’s headline. 

The video is a trimmed version of a video blog by Cruz-Angelez that was originally posted on her Facebook page. In the trimmed video, Cruz-Angeles shared her thoughts about the Napoles case and the death penalty bill. On the topic of the death penalty, Cruz-Angeles only talked about her reservations about the bill being discussed in the Senate, such as the non-inclusion of plunder for crimes punishable by death.

This blog post joins other false articles that embed just an opinion video, then make a misleading claim in the headline, even if it isn’t mentioned in the video. – Don Kevin Hapal/Rappler.com

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