PRRD nais buhayin ang death penalty, mga senador hati ang posisyon sa isyu

Ni Raiza F. Cabugwang

Hati ang posisyon ng mga senador sa isyu ng pagbabalik ng death penalty sa pamamagitan ng lethal injection matapos itong bigyang-diin ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte sa kanyang 5th State of the Nation Address noong Hulyo 28.

Matatandaang sinabi ng Pangulo sa kanyang talumpati na makatutulong ang death penalty sa pagpigil sa paglaganap ng krimen at maililigtas aniya nito ang mga kabataan mula sa panganib bunsod ng iligal na droga sa bansa.

“I reiterate the swift passage of law reviving the death penalty by lethal injection for crimes and specified under the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002,” pagbibigay-diin ng Pangulo. 

Kaugnay rito, ipinahayag ni Senador Richard Gordon, lider ng Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, na hindi magiging madali ang hakbang na ito dahil ang Pilipinas ay isa sa mga bansang lumagda sa International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1976 na nagsasaad na ang bawat indibidwal ay may karapatang mabuhay at walang sinuman ang dapat pagkaitan nito. Ang nasabing kasunduan ay inaprubahan din ng Senado noong 1986. 

Saad pa ng Senador na tutol sa nasabing hakbang, lahat ng mga bansang lumagda sa kasunduan ay hindi maaaring magpataw ng death penalty at maaari aniyang magkaroon ng isyung konstitusyonal sakaling pahintulutan ito.

“I’m the chairman of the Committee on Justice. If they think that I’m going to be biased… but I promise you if we do hearings, we will hear everybody and if they think that I’m not able to do the job fairly and objectively then sasabihin ko,” pahayag ng Senador.

Sa kabila nito, nagbigay naman ng kanilang suporta ang ilang mga Senador sa muling pagpapatupad ng nasabing capital punishment, katulad na lamang ni Sen. Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, ang chair ng  Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs.

“As a former military officer, law enforcement officer, and Bureau of Corrections chief, and now as a lawmaker, I cannot, and will never be, at peace as I continue to witness, with so much desolation, the sufferings of our countrymen and women in the hands of drug-crazed individuals,” wika ni Dela Rosa sa kanyang privilege speech sa Senado noong Hulyo 29. 

Aniya, bagama’t batid niya ang obligasyon ng bansa na tumupad sa mga pandaigdigang kasunduan, naniniwala siyang nararapat na dinggin pa rin ang isyung ito ng Kongreso. 

Nagpahayag din ng kaniyang pagsuporta sa muling pagsasabatas ng death penalty si Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go.

“In addition to the strengthened campaign of law enforcers to eradicate illegal drugs and criminality, reimposing the death penalty can be a strong deterrent for the commission of heinous crimes. In effect, if we can stop crimes from happening, unfortunate encounters in police operations will also be avoided and lives of both police and the public can be protected,” sabi ni Sen. Go. 

Handa naman si Sen. Gordon na gumawa ng sub-committee, sa pangunguna ni Sen. Manny Pacquiao, na didinig sa nasabing usapin.

“I already told Manny Pacquiao. Gustong-gusto niya no’n. ‘Ikaw ang mag-sponsor,’” pahayag ni Sen. Gordon.

Sang-ayon naman sina Senador Vicente Sotto III, Imee Marcos, at Sherwin Gatchalian sa kagustuhan ng Pangulo kung ipapatupad lang aniya ito sa mga bigating indibidwal na lumalabag sa batas.

“I’ll be willing to sponsor if they want me to. I will make myself available if the committee or the members of the Senate wish. I will make myself available only if it is confined to high-level drug trafficking,” ayon sa Senate President. 

Bagamat isa si Sotto sa mga nagsulong ng death penalty noong 1990s, sinabi niya na nakikita niya na ngayon ang punto ng mga salungat sa pagsasabatas nito sapagkat ang pagsasakdal sa maling suspek ay posible umano sa halos 95 porsyento ng mga krimen. 

Ayon naman kay Sen. Imee Marcos, ang death penalty ay nararapat lamang na ipatupad sa mga “big-time” na kriminal, katulad ng drug lords, at dapat aniyang ikonsidera ang bilang ng mga biktima, lebel ng karahasan, at social impact sa paggawa ng desisyon.

Naniniwala rin si Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian na nararapat na isabuhay ang nasabing batas para lamang sa mga malawakang paglabag ukol sa iligal na droga at mga krimeng may kinalaman sa sekswal na pananamantala sa mga kabataan.

“Criminals who wage war against our society by corrupting it with drugs and sexual violence against children must be put to death. They cannot be rehabilitated, and they should not be forgiven, [as] this type of criminal is beyond saving,” ani Sen. Gatchalian.

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