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Lima urges lawmakers to cross party lines on death penalty bill

Sen. Leila M. de Lima today urged her colleagues in the two Houses of Congress to cross party lines as they deliberate on a measure calling for the immediate re-imposition of the death penalty for heinous crimes.

De Lima made her appeal as the House leadership has called the members of the so-called supermajority for a party stand on the death penalty measure whose immediate passage into law is reportedly being rushed by the present administration.

“The issue of possible re-imposition of death penalty is addressed more to the conscience of the members of both houses of Congress,” she told Senate reporters.

“Lawmakers should transcend political affiliations in this particular issue, especially with the points raised by some members of the Senate that treaty commitment cannot be taken for granted,” she added.

House Speaker Alvarez earlier threatened House members, particularly those holding key positions or chairmanships in his chamber, to strip them from their posts if they do not vote in favor of the administration-sponsored death penalty measure.

The senator from Bicol said she believes that unlike the House of Representatives, the Senate will deliberate on the measure based on the cogency and the soundness of the arguments and would not succumb to any type of coercion or arm-twisting.

“I won’t be surprised anymore if iyan ang tactic nila palagi. But that is something that they cannot do, hopefully, here in the Senate. That’s why mas mahihirapan sila dito sa Senado,” she said.

The Senate panel earlier decided to suspend public hearing to review the implications of the country’s commitment to treaties and international agreements which prohibit executions and compel member states to abolish death penalty. #

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