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HB No.

4727: Death Penalty Law

Life-a matter of choice not a matter of chance

By: Arnold V. De Castro

“A leader must be a terror to the few who are evil in order to protect the lives and well-being of the
many who are good.”
-President Rodrigo Duterte

Philippine Arena

The Philippines’ overall index crime rate went down but the murder rate soared during the
first five (5) months of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, according to latest figures
from the Philippine National Police (PNP)1. This supports the idea that there may be a high
probability that comparison be created in the minds of the Filipino people as between the then
Aquino administration and the present Duterte administration. It is indeed clear that the two
administrations have uncommon advocacies or should we say hierarchy of advocacies. Despite the
fact that said overall index decreased, President Duterte has signified his firm support to the more
effective vehicle in order to totally eliminate the heinous crime rate in our State. In fact, Pres.
Duterte has sought the restoration of death penalty because that, according to him, would be the
only way to win justice for the victims of heinous crimes2. In other words, the restoration of capital
punishment underlines the Duterte administration's goal to reduce criminality, the death penalty,
with its strong deterrent effects, protects innocent lives3. At the same time, its punitive aspect
ensures that criminals recompense grievous loss.

Theories Collide
It is elementary that one of the essences of criminal law is the imposition of penalty4. With
this fact, several concepts were formed as to what is really the purpose of imposing penalty. The
following Schools of Thought are instructive on this matter:

First, the Utilitarian Theory which provides that the penalty is purposely for the protection
of the society from actual or potential wrongdoers;
Second, the Classical theory which elucidates that the basis of penalty is human free will,
endeavoring to establish a direct proportion between crime and penalty;
“PNP: Crime rate down, but murder rate up. ” News Abs n.p. Dec 19 2016. Accessed September 20,
2017. Available from <>.

Gil Cabacungan, “Duterte: Death penalty for heinous crimes in case there’s no God.” News Info
n.p. September 26, 2016. Accessed September 20, 2017. Available from
Mara Cepeda, “Death for drug convicts: House passes bill on final reading”. n.p. March 8, 2017.
Accessed September 21, 2017. Available from <

Luis B. Reyes, The Revised Penal Code Criminal Law, (Manila: Rex Printing Company, Inc., 2006.

No. the supreme law provides under Section 19 par. Available from <http://news. atrocity and perversity are repugnant and outrageous to the common standards and norms of decency and morality in a just.p. 10 Ibid.III.p.R. its professed mandate should always prevail. 1997. Indeed. the Philippines adheres to the Mixed Theory. 2017. death-penalty-as-a-heinous-crimes-deterrent/> 9 People vs. March 7. Article III that: x-x-x-x-x-x Neither shall death penalty involving be imposed. As a matter of fact.mb. and Fourth. thus. 5 “University of the Philippines Bar Reviewer”. hereafter provides for par. Heinous crimes are those “House passes death penalty bill on third reading”. Available from <http://mediafire. The phrase “unless for compelling reasons involving heinous crimes.1. THE BILL’S BACKBONE I. viciousness. Art. 2013. “Duterte argues death penalty as a heinous crimes deterrent”. (1). . G. n. 2017. x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x- Granting the fact that the Constitution does not absolutely prohibit the imposition of death penalty. unless. Accessed September 22. death-penalty-bill-third-reading> 7 Sec. February Accessed September 21. February 11. 6 Audrey Morallo. a need for capital punishment which is death5. n. News>. Philstar. odious and hateful offenses. for compelling reasons involving heinous crimes. n. MANDATE OF THE SUPREME LAW As the Constitution is fundamental law of the land. the Positivist Theory professing that the primary purpose of penalty is reformation. 4727 admitted that they were guided by the constitutional provision regarding the imposition of death penalty6. 2017. Accessed September 20. 117472. which by reason of their inherent or manifest wickedness. Third. the Congress shall thereafter provide for it” was introduced as an amendment by then Commissioner Christian Monsod9. 2017. it is crystal clear that the controlling factor that may give rise to its restoration is the commission by the people of heinous crimes8. the Eclectic or Mixed Theory combines the positivist and classical thinking treating heinous crimes in a classical manner. the civilized and ordered society10. the framers who introduced HB No. Echagaray. Media Fire. 1987 Constitution 8 Genalyn Kabiling. Available from <http://www. In connection with this.

et. 28 of RA 916520. 21. v. 16. Reynaldo Umali. 8. 19 Ibid. 15 16. Sec.Rape.The organizer. Sec. ii. 2017. INCIDENTAL POINTS CONSISTENT WITH THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF THE BILL 11 “FULL TEXT: Death penalty is 'not anti-God' – Veloso”. IV. II. Sec. Accessed September 23. 2017. 13. iv. financier in the Sale. dive or Resort of dangerous drugs. manufacturer. financier. 12 “House Bill No. 13 Ibid.rappler. Delivery. iii. 320 of RPC if Arson results in death15 . 15. manager. 10. 5 of RA 916516 . that is violative of Sec. 16 Ibid.congress. 10. Penalized by death alone are: i. manager. RA 916518 . Dispensation. that is violative of Sec.pdf>. n. 15. speech-death-penalty-bill-full-text>.Any “person” who is guilty of “planting” in evidence any “dangerous drug and/or precursor and essential chemical. Importation of Drugs. 17 Ibid. 21 Supra note 3 . 18 Ibid.Destructive Arson under Art. 1727: Proposed by Rep. Sec. Sec. RA 916519 .Rape with Homicide13 . February 8. Sec.p. The said Bill will not impose death penalty on guilty persons below eighteen (18) years old or more than seventy (70) years old at the time of the commission of the financier.The organizer. 14 Ibid. Administration. vii. in the manufacture of dangerous drugs. Available from <http://www. the bill proposes to merely give courts the option of penalizing “heinous crimes” with Reclusion Perpetua to Death on all of the 21 crimes enumerated from Section 4 to Section 22 thereof11. manufacturer. 8. Sec. n. Submitted on January 11. Accessed on September 22. III.The organizer.p.” Congress. regardless of quantity and purity”’ which is violative of Sec. Available from < https://www. RA 916517 . 18. financier in the cultivation or culture of plants classified as Dangerous Drugs or are sources thereof that is violative of Sec. 20 Ibid. Distribution. Generally. 2017. viii. manager. 266-B of RPC14 . Trading. controlled precursors that is violative of Bribery under Art. and ix. attended by any of the 10 aggravating/qualifying circumstances enumerated in Art. Sec. 2017. Sec.6. etc. etc.The organizer.. in the maintenance of den. 211 of the Revised Penal Code if the public officer demands gift or present12 .

it is within every citizen to refrain from temptation of chances to commit mistakes or at worst to commit any heinous crime. the most important decision still rests upon us. The choices that one has made. Cessante ratione legis cessat ipsa lex. 4 of the 1987 Constitution mandate that “The prime duty of the Government is to serve and protect the people”.” C. Hence. as of now. or has been making. In ASEAN.19(1) provides that “ for compelling reasons involving the heinous crimes. 22 Supra Note 11 23 Ibid. not a religious issue. whether or not said bill will be enacted as a law. It is for said reason that Art. . does not have the death penalty law22. A. or will be making are binding upon him/her. All consequences of actions depend upon one’s choice for after all life is not a matter of chance but a matter of choice. the law itself ceases. III. If such evil will no longer be in the scenario. The reason of the law being at an end. Sec.II. What the State has is a legal question. only the Philippines. Art. Legislation on death penalty is the sole concern of Congress23. Sec. The battleground is not the Bible but the Constitution. CHANCE At the end. It is within the person’s power to make choices that will benefit him and the society-at large. the law ceased to be a law. B. The Philippines is not bound by the “State Party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Second Optional Protocol on the ICCPR” because such is not generally accepted principle of international law. the Congress” shall enact a death penalty law. Reason is always the acknowledged soul of the law. CHOICE vs. Why? Let every person be enlightened that every penal law is created in order to devastate any evil it seeks to devastate.