Rape still included in death penalty bill — Fariñas

MANILA — Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas on Tuesday clarified that rape is still included in the list of crimes punishable by death even in the watered-down version of the bill reinstating capital punishment.

In a statement, Fariñas said that members of the supermajority coalition have agreed in a caucus on Monday to whittle down the number of crimes covered by the death penalty bill to just four offenses including plunder, treason, rape, and certain drug-related offenses.

“This clarification is being issued due to my earlier statement that the reimposition of the death penalty will be reimposed for three crimes only,” said Fariñas.

Fariñas earlier said that the congressmen reached a consensus to water down the bill by reducing the number of offenses punishable by death from the original 21 to just three: treason, plunder and drug-related crimes.

Of the eight-drug related offenses included in the bill, drug possession will be struck off the list, he noted.

The changes, however, will reflect once the bill undergoes the period of amendments, which is set either on Monday or Tuesday next week.

Fariñas is targeting to put the bill to a vote on second reading on February 28, earlier than the expected date of March 8.

Before the majority caucus, the current substitute bill covers 21 heinous crimes to be slapped with death including treason, piracy in general and mutiny on the high seas or in Philippine water, qualified piracy, qualified bribery, parricide, murder, infanticide, rape, kidnapping and serious illegal detention, robbery with violence against or intimidation of persons, destructive, arson and plunder.

Also included are the importation of dangerous drugs and/or controlled precursors and essential chemicals; sale, trading, administration, dispensation, delivery, distribution and transportation of dangerous drugs and/or controlled precursor and essential chemicals; maintenance of a den, dive or resort where any dangerous drug is used or sold in any form; manufacture of dangerous drugs and/or controlled precursors and essential chemical; possession of dangerous drugs; cultivation or culture of plants classified as dangerous drugs or are sources thereof; unlawful prescription of dangerous drugs; criminal liability of a public officer or employee for misappropriation, misapplication or failure to account for the confiscated, seized and/or surrendered dangerous drugs, plant sources of dangerous drugs, controlled precursors and essential chemicals, instruments/ paraphernalia and/or laboratory equipment including the proceeds or properties obtained from the unlawful act committed; criminal liability for planting evidence and carnapping.

The mode of capital punishment could either be through hanging, by firing squad or lethal injection. PNA-northboundasia.com