House Committee on Justice Chairman, Rep. Rey Umali on Monday (February 27) said that the crime of plunder doesn’t deserve inclusion under the bill restoring death penalty in the Philippines since it “doesn’t kill directly.”
“In fact kinuwestiyon nga, tatanggalin na sana namin yung plunder, kasi merong ano no, ang isip kasi nung iba, including myself, pag may buhay na kinuha yun yong…for us parang tit for tat yan ano,” Umali told House reporters.
Hours later, the House leadership did agree to remove plunder from the list of four crimes deemed punishable with death penalty. The proposed revision to the bill was raised in a majority caucus.
“Pag may buhay dapat may buhay din ang ipalit. Eh yung plunder indirect siguro, sasabihin natin marami naghirap, marami namatay because of that marami ding causes kung bakit naghirap o namatay baka naman kapabayaan o katamaran and so on and so forth,”Umali said.
Plunder is the stealing of public funds worth at least P50 million. It’s a crime usually slapped against high-ranking politikos, like lawmakers.
The act of ditching plunder under the death penalty bill has been frowned upon by observers since it appears like the solons are trying to save their own skin.
It should be noted that treason and rape were also removed from the bill, leaving only drug-related crimes under its coverage. [source]