Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said on Wednesday vigilante killings of alleged criminals was “fine” with him in the absence of death penalty in the mostly Catholic country.
His statement came a day after the House leadership failed to start plenary debates on the measure restoring the capital punishment for heinous crimes.
Alvarez said he was actually “fine” with vigilante killings of criminals who commit “evil deeds,” citing the case of an Australian pedophile who was caught abusing street children.
“If they (House members) don’t want to pass it, then just kill it… shoot to kill,” Alvarez said.
He said President Duterte told him during the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council in Malacañang on Monday that there was nothing he could do if Congress failed to pass the bill, one of the administration’s priority measures.
On Tuesday, lawmakers opposed to the death penalty stalled the commencement of debates using parliamentary tactics, such as questioning the quorum and delivering privilege speeches on unrelated topics.
Leaders of the 293-seat chamber had tabled the measure for plenary deliberations right at the start of the session, but the delays forced them to reschedule the debate for the next day.
Alvarez said such tactics were par for the course, though he added that such methods would not work forever.
As many as 50 lawmakers have expressed their intent to pose questions during the debate, which is expected to last for a month.