House votes on death penalty on third and final reading

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Latest, unofficial tally of votes on Death Penalty bill in the House of Representatives

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The House of Representatives is voting on third and final reading Tuesday a bill that seeks to restore the death penalty in the Philippines.

The draft for House Bill 4727 has undergone several amendments, as lawmakers haggled over the nature of the crimes deemed punishable by death.

The House leadership finally got the nod of the majority when it only left crimes related to illegal drugs as the only offense punishable by death, and removed heinous crimes such as rape and plunder on the list.

The removal of rape and plunder was questioned by President Rodrigo Duterte last Friday. But House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez vowed to put it on the table as soon as the first draft for death penalty is finally approved.

The bill passed quickly on second reading on March 1 by viva voce, or a voice vote.

After pro-death penalty congressmen won in the voice vote, anti-death penalty solons tried, but failed, to move for nominal voting, as session was immediately adjourned after the bill was approved.

Opponents of the bill are not about to throw in the towel just yet.

Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said they would exhaust all parliamentary means to abort a third reading.

For his part, Buhay Party-list Rep. Lito Atienza said if the bill is approved on third and final reading, they would question all of these procedures, saying these were illegal.

The House of Representatives is doing nominal voting for third and final reading, to give members the chance to expound or to explain their vote.

Watch: Pimentel: 'close fight' for death penalty bill at Senate