Duterte backs death penalty

Subscribe Now November 19, 2012 at 08:37am

DAVAO City Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is throwing full support to renewed calls of imposing the death penalty anew following the series of crime incidents in the country. Duterte said his position on the matter has not changed, saying that he strongly opposed the move of Congress to abolish death penalty when he was still congressman of the first district of Davao.

The death penalty was eventually abolished in 2006 after then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed a legislation that eliminated such punishment. This led to 1,200 prisoners in death row having their sentences changed to life imprisonment.

"In the first place, kadtong gitanggal ang death penalty, sayop ‘to. Sa among panahon sa 11th Congress, gisulayan to, wa kalusot (Removing the death penalty was a mistake. In my time in the 11th Congress, there was an attempt to lift the death penalty but this failed) because I'm one of those who opposed the measures introduced by Senator Joker Arroyo. Nag debate mi ana," Duterte said in his television program "Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa" on Sunday.

Calls to re-impose the death penalty were renewed following the murder of Cyrish Magalang, a Tourism cum laude graduate from University of Santo Tomas. Magalang was stabbed to death 49 times by two brothers, tricycle drivers both, allegedly high on drugs.

Duterte said those delinquents who deserve death penalty have a debt to pay to society. He said that even though such punishment will not deter some people from committing a crime, at least they will be punished for their unlawful actions.

Duterte added that even though death penalty was abolished, some relatives of the victims of heinous crimes that deserve such punishment often resort to vengeance, which is not good.

"So kanang mga bleeding hearts or humanist dira, pareha ra na. Imo na silang kuryentehan or tadtaron, parehos ra nang pataya (to the bleeding hearts and humanists, it’s the same death. Whether you electrocute them or chop them, they’re still dead)," Duterte said.

"Ayaw mi tagai anang drama ninyo na it's a cruel and unusual punishment kay tanan pamaagi na patyon nimo ang usa ka tao cruel and unusual jud na. Kining mga human rights, sunod-sunod mo anang mga European na against death penalty (Don’t talk to me about how execution methods are cruel and unusual punishments because all ways of killing a person is cruel and unusual. These human rights advocates are merely copycats of Europeans who are against death penalty)," he added.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte earlier said she is also in favor on the death penalty but it should be imposed for heinous crimes.

But the Catholic Church in the Philippines is strongly opposing death penalty, insisting that criminals deserve a chance to reform and repent.

Meanwhile, President Benigno Simeon Aquino III earlier said such punishment could only be applied if a judicial system is perfect and flawless. He added that the law enforcers should focus on effective law enforcement to address criminalities.

Source: Ivy C. Tejano

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