House to prioritize pandemic measures over death penalty bill

House to prioritize pandemic measures over death penalty bill

Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano

MANILA – Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Wednesday said the House of Representatives will still be prioritizing measures to address the current coronavirus disease (Covid-19) crisis over the deliberations on the death penalty bill.

In an interview with reporters, Cayetano said while the House would allow full and thorough discussions on the reimposition of the death penalty, the pandemic problem would still take the front row for deliberations in the chamber.

Cayetano said among the House priorities include the proposed Bayanihan to Recover as One Act, stimulus packages to aid the country’s economic recovery, the “overhaul” of the Local Government Code, and the proposed national budget for next year.

“There will be a time to debate that and when I became Speaker I promised that we will have full debates on everything but right now, Bayanihan is on our plate, and number two we will prioritize also the overhaul of the Local Government Code,” Cayetano said.

“We will also prioritize mga stimulus and how to help not only small, medium, micro-enterprises but how to have jobs, jobs, jobs. ‘Yan ang (That’s the) immediate priority and then dadating ang (the upcoming) budget hearing. I will leave it up to the committee [on Justice] to schedule it but hindi ko gustong matamaan (I don’t want to hit) right now yung (the) priorities,” he added.

The House Committee on Justice on Wednesday conducted its deliberations on a dozen death penalty measures.

President Rodrigo Duterte, in his fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA), renewed his call for Congress to pass a measure restoring the death penalty for heinous crimes linked to illegal drugs.

“This will not only help us deter criminality but also save our children from the dangers posed by the illegal and dangerous drugs,” Duterte said. (PNA)

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