Photo via Flickr Creative Commons by Ramal Ramil
Sen. Manny Pacquiao believes capital punishment will decrease drug activity by stirring fear among Filipino drug lords and traffickers. He stands by President Rodrigo Duterte’s plans to reimpose the death penalty in the Philippines.
The famous boxer became a Senator of the Philippines in 2016. From the day he was elected Senator until now, Pacquiao continues to support the reimposition of capital punishment for heinous crimes that includes drug trafficking, kidnap for ransom, rape with murder, and robbery with murder.
The death penalty was suspended in the Philippines in 2006 under the presidency of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, according to ABS-CBN.
Pacquiao is one of the four senators in the 18th Congress who introduced the new death penalty bill. He said religious beliefs and the Constitution excuses the death penalty.
“And then with God, biblically, God allows governments to use capital punishment. Even Jesus Christ was sentenced to death because the government imposed to rule then,” Pacquiao said to Rappler.
Pacquiao recently suggested high-level drug traffickers to be executed by a firing squad to scare drug traffickers into obeying the law.
During the fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA), Duterte pushed for the revival of the death penalty by lethal injection as part of his “war on drugs.” Duterte also wishes to include plunder as one of the crimes to receive capital punishment.
“I reiterate the swift passage of the law reviving the death penalty by lethal injection for crimes specified under the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002,” Duterte said during his fifth SONA. He received an applause after he said, “I did not hear so much clapping so I presume that you are not interested.”
In 2016, Pacquiao said he prefers death by hanging over lethal injection because it is cheaper and doctors aren’t allowed to kill anyone, reported Rappler. Pacquiao said there will continue to be debates on which execution methods will be used, but he supports Duterte’s decisions.
Not everyone in the Philippines supports this measure.
Sen. Richard Gordon, chair of the Senate Justice Committee, said bringing back the death penalty means “[The Philippines] will earn international opprobrium unfairly to our people,” reported Inquirer. He said the revival will be a constitutional issue and will not be done easily because the law was revoked as part of an international agreement.
Gordan is concerned how other countries will view the Philippines. He said the penalty “worries” him because evidence that can prove a drug-user is guilty can be false or tampered with by law enforcers.
He refused to sponsor the bill as head of the pro-life Philippine Red Cross, reported Rappler.
During Duterte’s presidency, the “war on drugs” resulted in 12,000 deaths of Filipinos to date, according to Human Rights Watch. Of those 12,000 deaths, as least 2,555 deaths are attributed to the Philippine National Police.
Several complaints of false evidence and unlawful killings are resulting in more investigation on the “war on drugs” in the Philippines. However, Duterte and his supporters stand by the campaign to combat criminals by targeting drug lords and traffickers.
Pacquiao told Rappler he is willing to sponsor the bill and is confident the law will make a comeback.
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