Reynaldo Umali, house justice committee chairperson is hoping that the measures to reimpose death penalty as well as lower the minimum age of criminal responsibility would be passed by June.
“My personal target is for the death penalty bill to be passed by the end of the first regular session… I don’t know if this has already moved in the Senate, but this will probably coincide with the action of the Senate on the matter,” Umali shares.
He adds, “But this is on top of our priority because of the priority given by no less than the President (Rodrigo Duterte) on the matter and of course the Speaker of the House (Pantaleon Alvarez) and the rules committee. This is what kept me busy for quite some time now, preparing for the [bill’s] sponsorship on 2nd reading before the plenary.”
Last year, Umali’s panel approved the bill that sought to bring back capital punishment in the Philippines.
They also want to lower the age of criminal responsibility to 9
In addition to bringing back the death penalty, Umali hopes to pass the bill that lowers the age of criminal responsibility from 15 to 9 before the Congress adjourns it’s first regular session on June 3.
He adds that the reason why they created subcommittees in order to speed up the process of passing the bills.
However, numerous pro-life and pro-children groups have criticized the attempts to lower the age of criminal responsibility and bring back the death penalty, saying that it might lead to young people being sentenced to death in the future.
To this, Umali responds, “Well, to my recollection, when you lower the juvenile age, merong (there is) corresponding rehabilitation or ‘yung (the) penalty is not necessarily like they will be jailed together with hardened criminals. Sabi ko nga nag-e-evolve pa ito. ‘Di pa natin masabi how it will be (Like I said, these are still evolving. We can’t say yet how it will be).”
“Hopefully, we can come up with a more acceptable version that will pass the whole of Congress, including the Senate. Please continue raising these issues so that the members of my committee will be reminded of things we need to consider in voting for or against the measure.”
READ: Are you for or against lowering the criminal age of responsibility? Vote through this poll!
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