Solon: Rape, plunder can still be included in death penalty by amendments

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — After the President raised some questions regarding the proposed crimes to be punished by death penalty, a co-author of the bill thinks the lower house may need to amend the future law.

"This should be discussed by the proponents and the leadership of the House. This procedural issue must have to be subjected to top level discussion on whether we have to reopen the period of amendment in order to restore the deleted crimes," said Capiz 2nd district Representative Fredenil Castro.

In a text message to CNN Philippines, he said proponents of the bill and the House leadership will meet Sunday to discuss the issue.

The House of Representatives took out rape and plunder from the disputed bill to expedite the passage of the bill, which will support the administration's war on drugs.

Only drug-related crimes remained in the bill, which is on its way to the third and final reading in the lower chamber.

Castro said rape and plunder can still be included by passing an amendatory law.

Duterte said he recognizes the independence of the legislative department, but wondered why one of the most heinous crimes that merits the death penalty was taken out.

"I really would like to know the rationale of the Congress. Why is it that rape has been taken out?" Duterte said in a press conference.

According to a March 2016 report of the Center for Women's Resources, a woman or a child is raped every 53 minutes, with seven in 10 victims of rape being children.