RELIGION

Philippine House OKs bill to restore death penalty

  • Protesters lie on the streets as they shout slogans during a rally outside the House of Representatives in Quezon city, north of Manila, Philippines on Tuesday, March 7, 2017. Various rights groups held demonstrations to oppose the revival of the death penalty by the Philippine Congress. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

    Protesters lie on the streets as they shout slogans during a rally outside the House of Representatives in Quezon city, north of Manila, Philippines on Tuesday, March 7, 2017. Various rights groups held demonstrations to oppose the revival of the death penalty by the Philippine Congress. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)  (The Associated Press)

  • A protester holds a slogan during a rally outside the House of Representatives in Quezon city, north of Manila, Philippines on Tuesday, March 7, 2017.  Various rights and church groups held demonstrations to oppose the revival of the death penalty by the Philippine Congress. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

    A protester holds a slogan during a rally outside the House of Representatives in Quezon city, north of Manila, Philippines on Tuesday, March 7, 2017. Various rights and church groups held demonstrations to oppose the revival of the death penalty by the Philippine Congress. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)  (The Associated Press)

  • A protester shows the thumbs down sign as she hold a noose to symbolize their opposition of the death penalty during a rally outside the House of Representatives in Quezon city, north of Manila, Philippines on Tuesday, March 7, 2017.  Various rights and church groups held demonstrations to oppose the revival of the death penalty by the Philippine Congress. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

    A protester shows the thumbs down sign as she hold a noose to symbolize their opposition of the death penalty during a rally outside the House of Representatives in Quezon city, north of Manila, Philippines on Tuesday, March 7, 2017. Various rights and church groups held demonstrations to oppose the revival of the death penalty by the Philippine Congress. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)  (The Associated Press)

The Philippine House of Representatives has approved a bill to restore the death penalty by hanging, lethal injection or firing squad for drug offenses, despite opposition from the influential Roman Catholic church.

The House said 216 members approved the proposed legislation, 54 voted against it and one abstained Tuesday, bringing nearer to reality President Rodrigo Duterte's campaign promise to restore capital punishment for hardcore criminals, especially drug traffickers.

The House bill must be merged with the version being discussed in the Senate and then signed by Duterte before becoming law.

Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo abolished the death penalty in 2006. Now the deputy House speaker, she voted against its reimposition Tuesday.