President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. does not appear to have made up his mind on the death penalty yet, saying it is a sensitive topic that involves both practical and moral issues.
Marcos said it in his interview with one of his biggest supporters: TV host and actress Toni Gonzaga aired on ALLTV on her 65th birthday on September 13.
According to the president, he found it difficult to take a position on the death penalty.
“The death penalty is a difficult sentence because there is a practical issue and a moral issue at stake,” he said.
“And the question is, does society have the right to kill its own people? And it’s hard to get around,” he added.
Marcos also raised the question of whether bringing back the death penalty would actually help deter crime.
“In practice, does the death penalty deter people from committing heinous crimes? And I think the data, not just from the Philippines but from other countries, shows that we have to be very strict in enforcing the law,” he said.
Marcos’ predecessor, former President Rodrigo Duterte, never failed to call on Congress to reinstate the death penalty after it had been abolished twice since the 1987 Constitution was created.
Congress, however, did not respond to Duterte’s call.
The 1987 Constitution allows Congress to reinstate capital punishment for heinous crimes. It was revived under the Ramos administration but was again abandoned under the Arroyo administration.
Under the Duterte administration, the House Majority bloc voted to exclude looting, rape and treason from the list of crimes punishable by death.
The exclusion is meant to help them reach a compromise after some lawmakers balked at voting in favor of Bill 4727.
In 2017, President Duterte questioned why Congress decided to exclude looting and rape from the list of crimes punishable by death under said House Bill.
Duterte said that while he didn’t say he wouldn’t kill looters or corrupt officials, rape remains one of the most heinous crimes that deserves the heaviest punishment.
Malacañang had said that reimposing capital punishment was an important part of keeping the Philippines crime-free and drug-free.
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