Malacañang on Tuesday expressed its reservation over the proposed revival of the death penalty, saying that, at this time, it is more important to reform the country’s “flawed” justice system.
In a press briefing, Presidential Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. admitted that “weaknesses” in the justice system deter them from fully supporting measures that seek to reimpose capital punishment on heinous crimes.
“One of our reservations regarding the reimposition of the death penalty is the view that there are weaknesses in our justice system. If the justice system is flawed, it is likely that the innocent may be punished,” the Palace official explained.
He maintained that while the measure has yet to be discussed by the Cabinet, it is the belief of President Benigno Aquino 3rd that the primary focus should be on judicial reforms.
“It has been repeatedly observed that there are a lot of things that must be done to improve our judicial process, especially in terms of speeding up the pace of litigation,” Coloma further said.
He was reacting to reports that Senator Tito Sotto has filed a bill seeking the return of capital punishment. The Palace official said the proposal has yet to reach Malacanang.
“Let’s just wait for that proposal,” he said.
Coloma said President Aquino had himself noted the flaws in the criminal justice system and said that these should get “priority attention.”
“Priority attention should be given not only on the reimposition of a harsher penalty but in instituting reforms in the criminal justice system in order to eliminate the flaws that have been noted,” he emphasized.
Coloma, at the same time, said the Palace is serious in running after law breakers, especially those who commit heinous crimes against innocent people and children.
He claimed that while law enforcers are preoccupied with preventing crime, he maintained that “crime prevention is best achieved through community efforts.”
“This is not only about the deterrent aspect or the punitive aspect in engaging directly with criminal elements,” added Coloma.