Pacquiao cites need for death penalty on his first privilege speech

Sen. Manny Pacquiao yesterday delivered his first privilege speech imposing the importance of reimposition of death penalty in the country.

During the past administrations, death by lethal injection was implemented but was repealed during the term of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

In 2015, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, released a report that 11,309 out of 42,029 barangays in the country are drug-affected, but what's more alarming is the statistic showing 92.44 percent in National Capital Region alone is infested with drugs.

Pacquiao explained having these factors, this reimposition is needed more now that drug-related crimes are heightened.

He also quoted references pointing out that although suspended it, death penalty was never abolished citing Article III Section 19 of the Philippines' 1987 Constitution, which stated: Excessive fines shall not be imposed, nor cruel, degrading or inhuman punishment inflicted. Neither shall the death penalty be imposed, unless, for compelling reasons involving heinous crimes, the Congress hereafter provides for it. Any death penalty already imposed shall be reduced to reclusion perpetua.

Pacquiao said the death penalty was only stopped based on the recommendation of former presidents passing the Republic Act 9346, repealing Republic Act 7659 or the Death Penalty Law.

The neophyte senator delivered his passionate speech featuring his life in poverty, mentioning that he already witnessed the horrors of crimes induced under the influence of drugs, stressing that its passage will put an end to this problem.

When asked by Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III during the interpellation, Pacquiao illustrated that death by hanging would be done should it be enforced.

Death penalty is lawful, moral and sanctioned government action. Having read the Bible on a regular basis, I am convinced that God is not only just a God of mercy, but also a God of justice, the senator/pastor said in his speech.

He pacified that there is no need to fear since death penalty is only for those who give in to committing horrific crimes.

It is more effective to enforce law if we administer strong conviction with, he added.

While the senator discussed a wide array of factors to justify the capital punishment, his colleagues still offered differing views on this matter, a perspective that shows the legislators' point if this motion comes in deliberation.

Among the interpellators were Senators Sotto, Joel Villanueva, Leila de Lima, Riza Hontiveros and Kiko Pangilinan.

In this event, Hontiveros, who is against the death penalty revival, found the need to point out how Pacquiao visited the innocent Mary Jane Veloso in Indonesia asking him if a similar situation happens in the country, but Pacquiao reiterated that he only targets big-time drug traffickers.

Villanueva in support to his co-pastor, believed that deterrent laws like this should be passed, but only if the judicial system is strengthened, I'm open for the reimposition of the death penalty, he said.

In past events, Senate President Koko Pimentel III already lined that it is theoretically possible for the passage of this law moreover if it's toward punishing heinous crimes and those convicted due to illegal narcotics, but to avoid presumptions a definite deliberation is still needed.

This proposal was unsurprisingly timed and outlined by President Duterte's staunch war against illigal drugs and his full support on having the Death Penalty Law. With the supermajority bloc in the Senate, increased possibility for its passage is hoped.

Source: Daily Tribune

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