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FIFTEENTH CONGRESS OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES First Regular Session

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HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES House Bill No. _______

Introduced by Karla P. Alvarez

EXPLANATORY NOTE As early as 1186, capital punishment had entered the Philippine legal system through the old Penal Code, which was modified version of the Spanish Penal Code of 1870. The Revised Penal Code, which was enforced on January 1, 1932, provided for the death penalty in specified crimes under specific circumstances. Under the Revised Penal Code, death is the penalty for crimes of treason, correspondence with the enemy during times of war, qualified piracy, parricide, murder, infanticide, kidnapping, rape with homicide or with the use of deadly weapon or by two or more persons resulting in insanity, robbery with homicide, and arson resulting in death. The list of capital offenses lengthened as the legislature responded to the emergencies of the times. In 1941, Commonwealth Act (C.A.) No. 616 added espionage to the list. In the 1950s, at the height of the Huk rebellion, the Government enacted Republic Act (R.A.) No. 1700, otherwise known as the Anti-Subversion Law, which carried the death penalty for leaders of the rebellion. From 1971 to 1972, more capital offenses were created by more laws among them, the Anti-Hijacking Law, the Dangerous Drugs Act, and the Anti-Carnapping Law. During Martial Law, Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 1866 was enacted penalizing with death, among others, crimes involving homicide committed with an unlicensed firearm. In the aftermath of the 1986 revolution that dismantled the Marcos regime and led to the nullification of the 1973 Constitution, a new constitution was drafted and ratified. The 1987 Constitution provides in Article III, Section 19 (1) that: Excessive fines shall not be imposed, nor cruel, nor degrading or inhuman punishment inflicted. Neither shall death penalty be imposed, unless, for compelling reasons involving heinous crimes, the Congress hereafter provides for it. Any death penalty already imposed shall be reduced to reclusion perpetua. Congess passed Republic Act. No. 7659 (entitled An Act to Impose the death Penalty on Certain Heinous Crimes, Amending for that Purpose the Revised Penal Code, as Amended, Other Special penal Laws and for Other Purposes), which took effect on December 31, 1993. On June 24, 2006, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed into law Republic Act No. 9346, entitled An Act Prohibiting the Imposition of Death Penalty in the Philippines. R.A. No. 9346 took effect on June 30, 2006.

As a result of the prohibition on the imposition of death penalty, existing penalties for death were reduced to reclusion perpetua, within the possibility of parole. Here are illustrative cases: The case of People of the Philippines vs. Quiachon involves an accused who raped his 8-year old daughter a deaf-mute. Under Article 266-b of the Revised Penal Code, the imposable penalty should have been death. With the prohibition of the Death Penalty, however, the penalty was reduced to reclusion perpetua, without the possibility of parole under the Indeterminate Sentence Law. The case of People of the Philippines vs. Santos involves the rape of a 5-year old child. The accused was meted the penalty of death because rape was committed against a child below seven years old is a dastardly and repulsive crime which merits no less than the imposition of capital punishment under Article 266-B of the Revised Penal Code. The sentence was also reduced to reclusion perpetua, without the possibility of parole. The case of People vs. Salome involves a rape of a 13-year old girl (who got pregnant), committed in a dwelling and with the aid of the bladed weapon. The imposable penalty should have been death. But also reduced to reclusion perpetua without the possibility of parole. The case of People vs. Tubongbanua involves the murder of a victim who suffered 18 stab woundas which were all directed to her chest, heart and lungs. Considering the qualifying circumstance of evident premeditation and the aggravating circumstances of dwelling, and taking advantage of superior strength without any mitigating circumstance, the proper imposable penalty would have been death. However with the prohibition in the imposition of death penalty, the penalty was again reduced to reclusion perpetua, without the possibility of parole. These are only few of the thousand cases which should be the imposable penalty is death but was reduced to reclusion perpetua because of suspension of death penalty. Today we are faced with a great challenged, owing to the increased cases of murder, rapes and other heinous crime, rising day by day not just in our country but around the globe, man has wondered why death penalty was abolished though. In the past, men and women who made this painful decision to take fellows life were punished by law, though a death penalty by hanging, gas chamber, electric chair, and firing squad or even poisoning. During these days men feared to murder or its related case, as they knew its primary consequence. If we are going to take a closer look at the crime rates of countries that did adopt the capital punishment instead of death penalty, as stipulated by the Amnesty international, and compare them with that in countries that applied death penalty in 2003, such countries includes, China, Iran, US, Vietnam and the check our various results. The result proved a 51% to 49% crime rate between those that employed capital punishment to those that used death penalty respectively. Many has argued that death sentence is a barbaric act, but at the same time forgetting the fact that killing itself is barbaric. With the abolition of death penalty, killers remained killers even for life. They are always assured of life, even after committing several murder offences. We must not also forget the human reasoning and mentality when dealing with issues like this, what message are we passing to the remaining criminals and even the criminals in question? As a human myself, I strongly believe that these murderers and yet to come murderers, are not always afraid of killing others since after the act, they only get a life sentence, which they might still get freedom along the line. Another important thing that we must also consider, are the rampant cases of prison breaks and escape, and the high cost of keeping killers in jails, counseling them which is very

Comment [p1]: You can expand this argument by making a summary of the above cases. Citing the gravity of each offense and why these are your basis why death penalty should be re-imposed.

Comment [p2]: The result showed that crime rate in countries that employed capital punishment is 49% to 51% higher than those countries that implement death penalty.

costly for government to maintain properly. In general, death penalty abolition gives more room for killers to continue killing, by reassuring them of life even after jails. Since the abolition of death penalty in most countries, the number of accused murderers who admits guilty in return for a lesser sentence has increased as high as 70-80% globally. Also considering the time, cost and personnel requirements to tackle a murder case, we can see clearly that there is no better alternative to the one in question. Keeping the violent criminal in jail may pose a lot of threats to the entire society, including the prison staff and fellow inmates. This proposed measure seeks to lift the suspension of death and penalty and allow death penalty to continue. This is to ensure that the high rate of murder cases and other crimes punishable by death in the Philippines is brought down and to make people to have respect for killing fellows. In view of ensuring the

Comment [p3]: Do you mean?...Keeping the violent criminals in jail may proved to be costly, and will pose additional dangers to other inmates and the prison personnel.

Comment [p4]: You can summarized in your last paragraph all your presentations and arguments in the previous paragraphs, so you can further strengthen your proposal.

FIFTEENTH CONGRESS OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES First Regular Session

) ) )

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES House Bill No. _______

Introduced by Karla P. Alvarez

SECTION. 1. AN ACT ALLOWING THE RE-IMPOSITION OF DEATH PENALTY IN THE PHILIPPINES. REPEALING FOR THAT PURPOSE REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9346 OTHERWISE KNOWN AS AN ACT PROHIBITING THE IMPOSITION OF DEATH PENALTY IN THE PHILIPPINES

SECTION. 2. Declaration of Policy.- It is hereby declared the policy of the State to foster and ensure not only obedience to its authority, but also to adopt such measures as would effectively promote the maintenance of peace and order, the protection of life, liberty and property, and the promotion of the general welfare which are essential for the enjoyment by all the people of the blessings of democracy in a just and humane society; SECTION. 3. Definition of Terms.-