DEATH OR JAIL TIME? | Senatorial bets argue on capital punishment revival

4 days ago

By: Dale De Vera, News5

March 15, 2019 — Reviving the death penalty amid the growing public clamor to address heinous crimes found contrasting views among senatorial candidates on Thursday.

Administration bet Bong Go reiterated his call to reimpose capital punishment on convicted offenders following the brutal killing of a 16-year old girl in Cebu.

“I am for death penalty especially for [heinous] crimes like this,” Go said in Filipino at the sidelines of Hugpong ng Pagbabago’s barstorming in Albay.

Go defended his stand in relation to President Rodrigo Duterte’s anti-criminality drive, centered on the ongoing war on drugs.

“The president is mad at criminals. I also feel the same. Part of my campaign promise is to support the president’s program against criminals, that’s why I’m in favor of the death penalty,” he added.

Otso Diretso senatorial candidate Mar Roxas begged to differ, stressing that a more effective approach is to punish criminals with more jail time.

“It is more important that the suspects will be persecuted since stricter penalty of longterm imprisonment is better than death penalty,” Roxas said in Filipino while campaigning in Iloilo.

The former Interior secretary also urged the government to beef up the country’s justice system as a means to totally deter crimes.

“it is important to strengthen the judicial system to ensure that those who will go against the law will be arrested, filed a case against and get convicted in the end,” he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte has been pushing for the revival of the death penalty at the onset of his war on drugs.

The House of Representatives approved the bill reimposing the death penalty on March 2017 but its its counterpart measure in the Senate is still pending after only getting a small number of support from the senators.

The lower house listed 21 crimes that may be punished by death. But the list was later trimmed to four including rape, plunder and treason but approved only those drug-related offenses.

It can be recalled that the Philippines abolished death penalty in 1987 but then President Fidel Ramos revived capital punishment during his term. Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo abolished again in 2006.