MANILA, Philippines – The House committee on dangerous drugs has passed and endorsed for plenary approval a bill imposing stiffer penalties, including death, on foreigners found guilty of engaging in drug-related activities in the country.
The panel, chaired by Iligan City Rep. Vicente Belmonte Jr., recently approved House Bill 1213 principally authored by Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez and Abante Mindanao party-list Rep. Maximo Rodriguez Jr.
“The measure allows the imposition of death penalty if prescribed under the national laws of the alien offender,” the authors said.
The bill is entitled “An Act Adopting the Higher Prescribed Penalty, Including Death, of the National Law of An Alien Found Guilty of Trafficking Dangerous Drugs and Other Similar Substances, Amending for the Purpose Republic Act 9165, Otherwise Known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.”
“This means that the imposition of the penalty for drug offenses as prescribed under the national law of the foreigner or the penalty under Republic Act 9165, whichever is higher, is the rule to follow,” the authors said.
Rodriguez originally introduced the bill during the 15th Congress.
He said the previous measure was approved on second, third and final reading by the House during the 15th Congress. But it was not acted upon by the Senate.
The authors noted that in June 2006, RA 9346 was enacted into law prohibiting the imposition of death penalty in the Philippines.
“While the rationale for passing the law was clear and noble, there are some sectors of society who believe that this law is not just and equitable because while foreigners may not be executed in the Philippines for drug trafficking, Filipinos who commit drug offenses are executed in other countries with death penalty,” they said.
Source: Nov 22 Philstar