Malacañang on Friday clarified that the bill criminalizing enforced disappearances, or the "desaparecidos" bill, has yet to be signed into law by President Benigno Aquino III, contrary to the claim of Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, the bill's principal author.
“It has not been signed yet,” presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda told GMA News Online in a text message.
Lagman, in a statement Thursday, said Aquino has already signed into law the proposed Republic Act 10350, or the “Anti-Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance Act of 2012.
Related News: House ratifies bill vs. enforced disappearances
Palace spokespersons, however, said that while the bill has been transmitted to the Office of the President for signature, Aquino has yet to sign it.
Lacierda said the bill will lapse into law on Sunday, December 23.
According to the government page dedicated to the legislative branch, if the President does not act on a proposed law submitted by Congress, it will lapse into law after 30 days of receipt.
Other News: Pinoys among world's most positive people
Under the proposed law, enforced disappearances will be considered a distinct crime, separate from kidnapping, serious illegal detention or murder.
The proposed law imposes lifetime imprisonment on persons directly involved in the crime of enforced disappearances. They are also barred from receiving any form of amnesty. — Patricia Denise Chiu/KBK, GMA News
Other News: CPP declares 26-day holiday truce
As predominantly Catholic Philippines and the rest of the Christian world observe the Holy Week, peace advocates like the Young Muslim Professionals Network (YMPN) are appealing to Filipinos of various creeds and persuasion to embrace the universal message of kindness, love and peace. The group issued the call as peace negotiations between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front teeter due to the Mamasapano incident where members of the rebel group killed 44 police commandos on a …