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rhalperi at smu.edu
Sat Sep 10 17:41:13 CDT 2011
For drug trafficking: Death penalty return pushed
Senator Vicente Sotto III is seeking for the re-imposition of capital
punishment, especially on drug trafficking.
Speaking before delegates to the 5th National Convention of the Philippine
Society of Industrial Security at Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino last
Friday, Sotto said he will re-file the bill re-imposing death penalty which he
authored during the 9th Congress.
“I will (move to) reimpose the death penalty for drug trafficking. Right now we
are still on the debate on how to go about it kasi marami na ang kumukontra.
Pagka dinamay naman yong ibang crimes, mahihirapan ako, kapag drug trafficking
lang, may pag-asa ho,” Sotto said.
The bill of Sotto, who chairs the Senate committee on dangerous drugs, deals
mainly with drug trafficking.
In 2006, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo signed a law abolishing Republic Act
No. 7659, otherwise known as the Death Penalty Law.
During the convention’s open forum, a participant said in some countries like
China, imposition of death penalty through public executions has been effective
in anti-drug campaign.
One of the reasons Sotto cited in pushing for the re-imposition of death
penalty is the proliferation of illegal drugs in the country.
Sotto, however, said his bill has met a lot of oppositions when it was referred
to the committee after a lot of insertions have been made to include other
“This is the only crime in the world where the victim is a criminal and the
criminal is the victim. Lahat na ibang krimen, maliwanag kung sino ang kriminal
at biktima,” Sotto added.
Originally abolished in 1987, the death penalty was reintroduced in 1993. Since
then, at least seven people had been executed.
But Cebu City officials are not in favor of the move restoring the death
penalty, saying it is a violation of the Constitution.
Mayor Michael Rama, who arrives today from his official trip to Xiamen, China,
said he is against the restoration of death penalty.
Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young said being imprisoned is enough punishment for
“I don’t think I am in favor of restoring the death penalty law because I think
that being in our prison is worst punishment,” Young told The FREEMAN in a text
Councilor Edgardo Labella, a lawyer, said he is also strongly against the
re-imposition of the death penalty.
“Our judicial system is not perfect, it is for this concern that I am against
the death penalty. There is a danger that we may put to death an innocent man.
An innocent accused could be convicted and put to death if not ably assisted by
a good lawyer,” Labella said.
When asked about the issue, south district Rep. Tomas Osmeña said he would just
listen to all the arguments from both sides.
Section 19 (1) of the Bill of Rights provides that “excessive fines nor cruel,
degrading or inhuman punishment inflicted shall not be imposed against any
convicts in the country, unless for compelling reasons involving heinous
In 1988, the military started lobbying for the imposition of capital
Then Armed Forces Chief of Staff Fidel Ramos was among those calling for the
reintroduction of the death penalty for rebellion, murder and drug trafficking.
(source: Philippine Star)
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