Death penalty still a priority of Duterte gov't — Palace

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Reimposing the death penalty in the Philippines comes with a few possible repercussions, including treaty violations, a court battle, and the inevitability of human error. Illustration by CARINA SANTOS

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 3)— President Rodrigo Duterte's administration will continue to prioritize the reimposition of death penalty for serious crimes despite the Pope's decision to abolish it, Malacañang said Friday.

"The President would still try gentle persuasion, but it's really a decision of the senators now," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in Malaybalay, Bukidnon.

The House of Representatives approved their own death penalty bill related to manufacturing and trading illegal drugs by a 217-54 vote in March last year.

However, the Senate has yet to come up with its version of the bill. Senate President Tito Sotto proposed to reinstate death penalty for "heinous crimes" back in 2014 but did not specify what these crimes were.

The Vatican on Thursday announced that the Catholic Church will work towards the abolition of the death penalty around the world after Pope Francis said it was "inadmissible."

In the Philippines, the death penalty was already abolished twice — first under late President Cory Aquino, and then under the presidency of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.