The Daily Manila Shimbun


Palace: Up to Congress if plunder to be excluded from death penalty

February 12, 2017

Malacanang on Sunday said it respects the independence of Congress amid proposal to remove plunder as a heinous crime punishable with death. "That is an issue of the Lower House. We all know that the Lower House is an independent body when it comes to framework of our Constitution," said Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar in an interview over state-run DZRB Radyo ng Bayan. "I would like to express that we at the Presidential Communications Operations Office respect their independence," Andanar added. He said the Palace will let Congress finish its deliberation on the bill restoring the death penalty until it comes out with the final version. There were proposals in the House to strike out plunder as among those crimes which could be meted out with capital punishment. At the same time, Andanar defended House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez who threatened to remove the lawmakers from committee chairmanships if they would block move to restore death penalty. "The leadership of Speaker Alvarez is his. Those pronouncements Speaker Bebot (Alvarez) said is because he is dedicated and he believes on the policy of our President," he said. He added that Alvarez is just standing on his ground since he and President Rodrigo Duterte think on the same line when it comes to policy. "I am certain that (there) will be very exciting and fruitful debates that will happen in the Senate," he said. The death penalty bill has already reached the plenary at the Lower House. Duterte had promised to restore death penalty when he was still campaigning for the presidency. Ella Dionisio/DMS