FALSE: British accountant 'faces the death penalty' in the Philippines
Claim: An article in the British newspaper Daily Mail claimed that a British man faces the death penalty in the Philippines.
The headline of their article, which was published on Saturday, May 18, reads, "British accountant, 47, faces the death penalty in the Philippines 'after being caught with meth in a drugs raid.'"
In the short summary of the article under the headline, the Daily Mail repeated the claim, saying "If found guilty of dealing, he could face the death penalty."
One of the photo captions also says about the man, Philip Joseph Craid: "Joseph could face the death penalty if found guilty of dealing. He moved to the Philippines to work in the financial sector as an accountant and legal collections manager."
However, the last two sentences of the article clarify that the death penalty in the Philippines is still being debated: "There is an ongoing debate about the death penalty in the Philippines with President Rodrigo Duterte keen on its use for serious drug offenses."
"It was suspended in 2006 but the current administration has stressed it is a priority to bring it back."
As of Monday, May 20, their website says the article has been shared 1,000 times and has 197 comments.
The Daily Mail's official Facebook page posted the article on May 19, and has since received 367 reactions, 303 comments, and 122 shares.
Similar claims have been made in UK publications Daily Star, Metro, and Mirror.
The facts: There is no death penalty in the Philippines, though there is a death penalty bill pending with the Senate. (READ: Death penalty for high-level drug traffickers 'possible' under new Senate)
The death penalty was abolished by members of Congress on June 24, 2006, via Republic Act (RA) No. 9346.
RA 9346 repealed the Act Designating Death by Lethal Injection (RA No. 8177), and the Death Penalty Law (RA No. 7659).
Instead of death, the act imposed reclusion perpetua, which provides that criminals will serve 20 to 40 years in prison and are eligible for parole after 30 years.
However, the House of Representatives approved House Bill (HB) No. 4727 on March 7, 2017. The bill seeks to impose the death penalty on those found guilty of drug-related crimes.
This came as no surprise, as President Rodrigo Duterte, who was voted into power in 2016, believes the death penalty is retribution for heinous crimes.
However, the death penalty bill is not a Senate priority and has been pending since 2017. (READ: Death penalty bill already 'dead' in Senate – Drilon)
Even if the bill is passed by the Senate in the future, it will not be retroactive or apply to crimes done in the past. As Article III (Bill of Rights) Section 22 of the 1987 Constitution states, "No ex post facto law or bill of attainder shall be enacted." – Vernise L. Tantuco/Rappler.com