“I really would like to know the rationale of Congress… why is it that rape was taken out.”
This was the statement of President Duterte on Friday while he is in Cagayan de Oro to visit wounded soldiers.
Few days ago, the death penalty bill on second reading was approved at the House of Representatives. However, rape was removed of the list of crimes punishable by death.
Duterte said that he recognized the independence of the legislature but rape was one of the most heinous crimes that should merit the heaviest penalty.
The original draft of the death penalty bill included 21 crimes on the list, which was lowered to four after a House caucus, and then limited only to drug-related crimes when it was passed by the Congress on second reading on Wednesday.
When asked if he thought the removal of plunder from the list of crimes contradicted his anti-corruption campaign, Duterte clarified he had only vowed to stop corruption — and not to kill plunderers.
On March 17, 2017, the House of Representatives will hold its final reading of the death penalty bill.