CHR Statement on the Passing of House Bill No. 4727 (Reimposition of the Death Penalty) on Second Reading

CHR Statement on the Passing of House Bill No. 4727 (Reimposition of the Death Penalty) on Second Reading

02 March 2017
PRESS STATEMENT

 

CHR Statement on the Passing of House Bill No. 4727 (Reimposition of the Death Penalty) on Second Reading

 

The Commission on Human Rights is alarmed with the surprising speed of the passing on second reading by the House of Representatives (HOR) of House Bill (HB) No. 4727, which seeks to reimpose the death penalty in the Philippines.

The Commission and the country as a whole bore witness to the pace of debates in the House of Representatives yesterday that closed the period of individual amendments and approved on second reading in haste of HB4727, in an unusual deviation from House rules and in a manner not befitting a transparent and human rights-based approach to legislation.

First, members of the HOR overwhelmingly voted in favor of a motion for an omnibus rejection of any proposed amendments that seek to change the nature of the bill. While the Commission recognizes the independence of the HOR, it notes that the latter’s regular processes have been suspended to the effect that individual HOR members were prevented from voicing out their concerns about HB4727. The voices of the HOR minority are thus stifled, and the independence of the HOR as a whole is now sadly suspect.

Secondly, the manner of voting throughout the process, i.e., viva voce, prevented the public from knowing the respective stands of their Representatives, and the actual count of the votes during the process itself. The traditional practice of nominal voting with HOR members explaining their votes was done away with in haste, sacrificing congressional transparency.

Lastly, the Commission notes that the HOR seriously disregarded the arguments against the very validity of the proposed legislation vis-à-vis the Constitution and international human rights law. We reiterate our objections to the passage of HB4727 and call on the entire Congress to seriously study and consider the bill’s implications on the country’s international human rights treaty obligations, as well as the bill’s unconstitutionality.

Mabuhay ang Pilipinas! Mabuhay ang Karapatang Pantao! No to the death penalty!

 

Contact Person:

Atty. Jacqueline Ann C. de Guia
OIC, Public Affairs and Strategic Communication Office
Telephone No: (02) 928-5792 / 09175919833
Email address: comms.chr@gmail.com 

 

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