Senators Sotto and Marcos back death penalty for ‘big-time’ drug convicts

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Two senators on Tuesday said they support death penalty for big-time drug offenders.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III said he would support President Rodrigo Duterte’s call for the revival of capital punishment if this would be imposed against “big -time” drug convicts.

“Anti-poor ang death penalty eh… Makakakuha ng magagaling na abugado ang mayaman at ang mahirap ay hindi. Those who will only be meted the death penalty will be the poor ones,” Sotto said.

 

“Only for high-level drug traffickers I will support, not just the regular drug traffickers,” he added.

Senator Imee Marcos also expressed support for the reinstatement of death penalty.

“I’m for the death penalty because the nature of the time has changed… Today, what we see in the international landscape are vast syndicates of multi-national corporations involved in drugs, terrorism, gun-running, human trafficking, and it’s very, very obvious that their tentacles extend from the police, the justice system, and even narco-policiticians, so kailangan ang death penalty as a deterrent,” she said.

Asked if the death penalty she pushes for is only big-time drug convicts only, she answered in the affirmative.

“Lahat kami capital offenses under the Dangerous Drugs law [ang isinusulong]. Big fish, big fish at saka capital offenses. ‘Yung mga big-time. Huwag naman ‘yung using, possession. Kababawan. Huwag naman ganoon,” she said.

While Sotto said the death penalty bills have “better chances” in gaining the approval of the Senate, Marcos appealed to her colleagues in Congress to start the debates on the issue.

“At the very least, let us commence with the debate and let’s hear all sides, all arguments and all sectors. Kailangan eh, at least i-debate na ‘yan. Naku ha, isang taon na ‘yan maawa’t mahabag,” the senator, who has a pending death penalty bill, said.

“That’s the only time we can make a fair judgment. If we continue to keep it on the back burner, refuse to hear it, I think we will not be doing our jobs,” she added.

Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, another proponent of the reinstatement of capital punishment for drug traffickers, also pointed out the same concern.

The former chief of the Philippine National Police said he was happy that Duterte appealed to Congress once more for its passage as he stressed that his death penalty bill has been “languishing at the referred committee for one year already without actions taken.”

At least four death penalty bills are pending in the Senate.

These have been referred to the Senate justice committee chaired by Senator Richard Gordon.

former chief of the Philippine National Police said he was happy that Duterte appealed to Congress once more for its passage as he stressed that his death penalty bill has been “languishing at the referred committee for one year already without actions taken.”

At least four death penalty bills are pending in the Senate which have been referred to the Senate justice committee chaired by Senator Richard Gordon./Stacy Ang

 

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