MANILA MalacaAang on Friday said the reimposition of death penalty for heinous drug-related crimes remains the government's priority despite Pope Francis' declaration that capital punishment is unacceptable in all cases.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, however, said the revival of the death penalty for serious drug-related offenses is now up to the Senate.
It is still the priority of the administration to reimpose the death penalty for serious drug-related offenses but the decision, because it was already passed by Congress, is now up to the Senate, Roque said in a press conference in Malaybalay, Bukidnon.
Roque said President Rodrigo Duterte would still try his "gentle persuasion" but it is the decision of the senators now.
Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, who hails from Bukidnon, was with Roque at the press briefing but did not comment on death penalty issue.
In March 2017, the House of Representatives passed House Bill No. 4727, seeking to reimpose the death penalty for heinous drug-related offenses.
So we leave it to the Senate whatever decision they may have, Roque said.
Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto III previously declared support for the restoration of death penalty for high-level drug trafficking cases.
In 2014, Sotto filed a Senate bill seeking to reimpose capital punishment for heinous crimes".
The death penalty was abolished in the Philippines in 2006. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency