LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Rep. Ronald M. Cosalan said most members of the House of Representatives will embrace the conscience vote when the proposed death penalty will be subjected to votation after the on-going plenary debates.
The Liberal Party (LP) stalwart said that it is still uncertain if the proposed death penalty will be passed into law because there is a slim margin between the number of lawmakers who are in favor and those who are against the revival of the death penalty in the country.
“It could go either way depending on how the pro-death penalty and anti-death penalty lawmakers will win the votes of their colleagues to their side. We have to wait for further developments in the coming days because the debates are heating up,” Cosalan stressed.
The three-term lawmaker pointed out pro-death penalty advocates seem not to be able to articulate their position for the revival of capital punishment in the country, especially on the over 3000 percent growth of capital offenses since the scrapping of the death penalty in 2006, thus, there is still a long way to go for the re-enactment of the death penalty law in the House.
Cosalan, who is an anti-death penalty lawmaker, said the implementation of the death penalty from 1993 to 2006 was not able to solve the proliferation of capital offenses that is why it would again be futile for the government to restore the death penalty to address the surge in heinous crimes.
On the other hand, Kalinga Rep. Allen Jesse Mangaoang said based on his consultations with his constituents, he is inclined to vote for the death penalty because most of the people in the province are in favor of restoring the death penalty in the country.
“ We are in a very difficult situation that is why it is best to go back to our people and ask if they are in favor of the re-imposition of the death penalty for us to be sure about our position when the proposed law will be submitted to us for votation,” Mangaoang stressed.
The Kalinga lawmaker claimed there is a need to highlight the importance of restoring death penalty to teach a lesson to hardened criminals who continue to commit offenses posing a serious threat to life and limb because victims deserve justice for the crimes committed against them.
He said the proposed re-imposition of capital punishment in the country will likely be subjected to votation in the House of Representatives before Congress goes on recess for the Holy Week by the middle of March.
He agreed with Cosalan’s contention that most lawmakers will use their conscience vote when voting on the proposed bill.
Mangaoang said the effects of the implementation of the death penalty from 1993 to 2006 was not felt because of the many reprieves granted by the officials then instead of allowing the death penalty to take its course against convicted criminals.
By Dexter A. See