Members of the House have advocated for the reinstatement of the death penalty or capital punishment by introducing several House Bills (HB) in the 19th Congress.
“Although it can be said that a person’s death will never match his crimes,” read HB No. 501 filed by Davao City 1st District Representative Paolo Duterte, Benguet District Representative lone Eric Yap and ACT-CIS party list representatives Edvic Yap and Jeffrey Soriano, “fear if death as a punishment serves as a deterrent preventing potential criminals from committing such a crime.”
The particular measure suggests the re-application of the death penalty in the local penal system by hanging, firing squad and/or lethal injection.
Based on the proposal, the offenders who will be slapped with the death penalty are those convicted of treason, aggravated piracy, aggravated bribery, parricide, murder, infanticide, rape, kidnapping during ‘serious unlawful possession, theft with violence, destructive arson, looting, importing, manufacturing and dealing in dangerous drugs, carnapping and filing of evidence.
“Now more than ever, it is time to restore the death penalty to the country because we must not be too complacent with these criminals at the expense of the safety of the whole nation,” the authors of HB #501 said.
Meanwhile, Surigao del Norte 2nd District Representative Robert Ace Barbers drafted and filed HB No. 1543, which sought to repeal Republic Act (RA) No. 9346.
Enacted June 24, 2006, RA No. 9346, the law prohibiting the imposition of the death penalty in the Philippines.
“Since the government has the greatest interest in preventing heinous crimes, it should use the most severe punishment available to deter unlawful acts – the death penalty,” wrote Barbers, who chairs the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs.
For the representative of the 2nd district of Cagayan de Oro, Rufus Rodriguez, foreigners who introduce or sell illegal drugs in the Philippines deserve the death penalty.
“Many foreign nationals are now encouraged to establish their drug factories in the Philippines because once convicted they are only sentenced to life imprisonment,” said Rodriguez, chairman of the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments, in his own measure in favor of the death penalty, HB No.2459. .
“It’s a sad, even unfair situation because when Filipinos are caught for drug smuggling abroad, they can face the death penalty,” he said, alluding to a reality faced by Filipino migrants.
Rodriguez said that while the laws of other countries cannot be questioned, the Philippines must impose the harshest punishment on foreign drug traffickers.
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