Criminal Law

House to ‘cleanse' Recalled Drug Bill of Death Penalty Provisions

Date: 07 February 2019; Type: Legal News; Source: Philippine News Agency

MANILA, Feb 7 (PNA) - House Majority Leader Fredenil Castro on Thursday said an invalidated drug bill would be "cleansed" of any provision imposing capital punishment before being presented again for second and third reading, preferably before Congress goes on break for the campaign period. He said the bill will be substituted with another measure that contains no death penalty provision and will be presented for second reading and third reading immediately.

“We decided to reconsider final reading approval in order to clarify provisions of the bill that refer to the death penalty. This will prevent double or multiple interpretations of the death penalty provisions that might mislead Filipinos into believing that death sentence has been restored,” Castro said.

“With all provisions containing the imposition of death penalty deleted, the controversial drug bill whose final reading approval was invalidated will be presented for second and third reading approval preferably before the start of congressional break,” Castro said.

House Bill 8909, which seeks to amend Republic Act 9165 or the Dangerous Drug Act of 2002, was passed on final reading last Monday with a vote of 172-0.

However, it was recommitted to the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs Wednesday after one of its sections referenced a death penalty provision.

Section 13 of the proposed measure provides that “any person found possessing any dangerous drug during a party, or at a social gathering or meeting, or in the proximate company of at least two persons shall suffer the penalty of life imprisonment to death and a fine of PHP500,000 and PHP10 million regardless of the quantity and purity of such dangerous drugs.”

Prior to its recommitment last Wednesday, former president and now Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was seen talking to Castro and other House leaders.

A staunch anti-death penalty advocate, Arroyo abolished the death penalty in 2006 during her presidency.

In 2017, she was relieved as deputy speaker when she voted against the bill re-imposing the capital punishment, which incidentally was a pet measure of her predecessor, former Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.

Arroyo’s name, together with other death penalty advocates in the lower house, was included as among those who voted to approve on final reading HB 8909 during Monday’s plenary session.

They were apparently oblivious of the death penalty provision.

Even Makabayan bloc lawmakers who were also against the death penalty admitted that they were not aware that the proposed measure contained a provision re-imposing the death sentence in the country’s penal system.

Castro pointed out that even if the bill is passed in its original form, the death penalty provisions will still not be implemented "unless Congress passes a law that restores death as capital punishment."

“We have to be categorical that the maximum penalty to be imposed is reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment,” Castro said.

HB 8909, which seeks to strengthen drug prevention and control, provides for a legal presumption of who is considered as importer, financier, and protector or coddler of illegal drugs.

The bill also provides for an amended definition of drug trafficking, which shall be “the illegal cultivation, culture, delivery, administration, dispensation, manufacture, sale, trading, transportation, distribution, importation, exportation, chemical diversion, and possession of any dangerous drug and/or controlled precursor and essential chemical.”

The measure seeks to penalize exportation from the Philippines of dangerous drugs and/or controlled precursors and essential chemicals. Section 4 of RA 9165, as amended, penalizes only their importation.

It also seeks to penalize negligent lessors of properties used as clandestine laboratories. Lessors of properties shall be required to submit documents to avoid their properties from being used for illegal drug purpose.

It seeks to ensure that Filipino professional and non-professional athletes, in any kind of sport, are drug-free, by providing for their mandatory drug testing twice a year.

Any athlete found positive of use of dangerous drugs shall be suspended, subject to further investigation by appropriate government agencies.

Notice: The Publishers of Asean LIP acknowledge the permission granted by the relevant official/ original source for the reproduction of the above/ attached materials. You shall not reproduce the above/ attached materials in whole or in part without the prior written consent of the Publishers and/or the original/ official source. Neither the Publishers nor the official/ original source will be liable for any loss, injury, claim, liability, or damage caused directly, indirectly or incidentally to errors in or omissions from the above/ attached materials. The Publishers and the official/ original source also disclaim and exclude all liabilities in respect of anything done or omitted to be done in reliance upon the whole or any part of the above/attached materials. The access to, and the use of, Asean LIP and contents herein are subject to the Terms of Use.

Get ASEAN LAW ALERT

Legal updates by e-mail. It's Free.

INDUSTRY UPDATES

Decision on Minimum Wage Increases due in March

BANGKOK, Feb 13 (NNT) - The final decision on Minimum Wage increases will be made in March, with new rates to vary in accordance with economic conditions in each province.

Read More

INDUSTRY UPDATES

No Violation of Ressa's Civil Rights: DOJ

MANILA, Feb 14 (PNA) - Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Thursday assured full protection of the civil rights of online news website Rappler's publisher Maria Ressa, who was arrested on Wednesday in connection with a cyber libel complaint filed against her and the media firm by a private individual.

Read More

INDUSTRY UPDATES

DOTr inks Deal on Common Station Construction

MANILA, Feb 13 (PNA) - The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Wednesday signed a contract with a private consortium for the construction of Area A of the Unified Grand Central Station (UGCS) or the common station which is located between SM North Edsa and Trinoma in Quezon City.

Read More

INDUSTRY UPDATES

Men too face Sexual Harassment at Workplace

SUNGAI PETANI, Feb 14 (Bernama) - Men too have been recorded as being victims of sexual harassment at the workplace, said Women, Family and Community Development Deputy Minister, Hannah Yeoh.

Read More

INDUSTRY UPDATES

LHDN launches eProcurement System, Suppliers' Portal

CYBERJAYA, Feb 13 (Bernama) - The Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) has launched the eProcurement (eP) system and the Suppliers’ portal as a continuous effort to improve service delivery to suppliers or tenderers dealing with the agency.

Read More

INDUSTRY UPDATES

Government affirms NCPO Order 2/2019 is Fake

BANGKOK, Feb 11 (NNT) - The Government has affirmed that the circulating NCPO Order 2/2019 is fake.

Read More

INDUSTRY UPDATES

ASEAN Secretariat calls for Nominations for ASEAN Prize 2019

Jakarta(ANTARA News) - Jakarta-based ASEAN Secretariat calls for nominations for the prestigious regional award ASEAN Prize 2019 acknowledging an individual`s or organization`s inspiring and outstanding achievements in fostering the ASEAN identity, promoting ASEAN spirit, and championing ASEAN way.

Read More

INDUSTRY UPDATES

Thousands of Workers march for stronger Labour Laws

Thousands of workers on Sunday marched in downtown Yangon to demand that the country’s labour laws meet International Labour Organisation (ILO) standards.

Read More

INDUSTRY UPDATES

ASEAN NCAP labelling Guideline Compliance to become Compulsory from March 2020

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 12 (Bernama) - Starting March 1 next year, automotive companies selling motor vehicles in Malaysia will be compelled to comply with the ASEAN New Car Assessment Programme (ASEAN NCAP) Labelling Guideline.

Read More

INDUSTRY UPDATES

New Policies, Incentives needed under EAC to spur Investments

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 12 (Bernama) - New policies and incentives must be formulated to encourage both domestic and foreign private investments for the newly minted Economic Action Council (EAC) to achieve its aim of stimulating sustainable growth.

Read More

INDUSTRY UPDATES

SC Chairman elected Vice Chair of International Organisation of Securities Commission

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 12 (Bernama) - The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) chairman Datuk Syed Zaid Albar has been elected vice-chair of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) Growth and Emerging Markets (GEM) Committee.

Read More

INDUSTRY UPDATES

Economic Action Council formed

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 11 (Bernama) - The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) today announced the establishment of the Economic Action Council, which is tasked with scrutinising and making decisions regarding economic and financial affairs as well as the people's well-being.

Read More

INDUSTRY UPDATES

NGOs call for Speedy Passage of Information Freedom Law

A group of 19 non-governmental organisations and associations have urged the Kingdom’s legislative and executive bodies to expedite the passage of a draft law on freedom of information, which the group said had been delayed for years.

Read More

INDUSTRY UPDATES

Najib's New Money Laundering Case transferred to High Court

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 11 (Bernama) - The case of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak involving three additional charges of money laundering to the tune of RM27 million of SRC International funds will be heard in the High Court.

Read More

INDUSTRY UPDATES

Labor Minister holds event to Promote Health Insurance

CHONBURI, Feb 8, (NNT) - The Ministry of Labour has held an event to promote health among insurance policyholders in Amata City Industrial Estate in Chonburi Province, providing medical check-ups for employees from various companies operating in the estate.

Read More