Academic report

Death in the time of Covid-19: Efforts to restore the death penalty in the Philippines

By Jose M.Jose and Maria Corazon A.De Ungria, on 10 August 2021

Drug Offenses

The Philippine Congress recently passed a bill amending the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 and reimposing the penalty of life imprisonment to death for specific-drug related offenses. House Bill No. 7814 also allows the presumption of guilt in certain drug-related crimes unless otherwise proven, thereby overturning the long-standing constitutional presumption of innocence.

The bill has been sent to the Senate for its concurrence and could only be several steps away before being signed into law by President Rodrigo R. Duterte. This paper discusses the ramifications of the new bill and the questioned timeliness of its passage when the country continues to have a large and overcrowded prison population and a significant number of deaths due to SARS-CoV-2 in Southeast Asia.

The government’s lapses in following the 2021 national vaccination plan became apparent in the 31 March 2021 assessment made by the congressional health panel on the government’s response to the pandemic.

From the authors’ perspective, the urgency of using the country’s limited resources to help medical frontliners and local government units prevent further infections and save lives should have outweighed the efforts exerted to pass a law that legalized the death penalty for the third time in the Philippines.

  • Document type Academic report
  • Countries list Philippines
  • Themes list Drug Offenses