By Charmaine A. Tadalan, February 7 2019; Business World

Image Credit to Business World

THE HOUSE of Representatives on Thursday approved a second time the bill amending Republic Act No. 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, to remove on second reading provisions imposing capital punishment on certain drug offenses.

The chamber had approved House Bill No. 8909 last Monday with 172 affirmative and zero negative votes, but moved to reconsider its second and third reading approval on Wednesday.

In particular, the deleted provision imposed the death penalty on any person in possession of dangerous drugs during parties, social gatherings or meetings.

As stated under Section 11 of the bill, any person found guilty of violating the said provision will “suffer the penalty of life imprisonment to death and a fine of P500,000 to P10 million.”

Among the amendments the bill retained was introduction of penalties against negligent owners or lessors of properties used in the illegal drug trade.

It will subject a negligent owner or lessor of a property used as a laboratory for drug purposes be sentenced to 6 to 12 years of imprisonment and a fine ranging from P500,000 to P1 million.

The measure will also subject Filipino professional and non-professional athletes to mandatory drug testing twice a year.

Moreover, it proposed that the validity of drug test certificates be reduced to three months from the original one year period.