Atienza: Death penalty won’t curb crime

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Buhay party-list Rep. Jose “Lito” Atienza expressed full support for President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s strong anti-crime stance, but he cautioned the incoming Congress against a “mad rush” to reinstate the death penalty.

Duterte earlier said in a news conference that he would ask Congress to approve capital punishment, carried out through hanging, for heinous crimes such as drug-related offenses and rape.

“We want our new President to succeed in the war on crime. He deserves everybody’s help in rooting out corruption in law enforcement, the prosecution service, the judiciary and corrections,” Atienza, former three-term mayor of Manila, said in a statement issued on Sunday.

But the lawmaker said that restoring the death penalty will not help curb rampant crime, as he maintained that the best deterrent to crime is the certainty of being caught and punished.


“That killing convicts will somehow lessen crime is a false premise. On the contrary, executions will only engender a culture of violence that will in turn breed even more brutal crimes,” Atienza warned.

“We maintain that the certainty of the swift capture and punishment of felons is our best deterrence to crime,” he said.

The lawmaker pointed out that most countries have recognized that the maximum sentence of life imprisonment is more than enough to serve the ends of justice and to keep societies safe.

According to Atienza, 102 countries have already abolished the death penalty while 38 more have not carried out any executions in the last decade.

“In the years ahead, we envision a highly progressive and humane republic firmly grounded on a culture of life — on respect for the sanctity of human life. We are not dreaming of a backward and callous nation anchored on a medieval culture of death,” he said.

“Our peace and order campaign has long been beset by corruption, if not by ineptitude. We have to address this problem to restore public confidence in our criminal justice system. Reviving the death penalty is not the solution,” he said.

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2 Comments

  1. The reason that Atienza opposed the return of death penalty because most of the criminals that would be hanged are Chinese drug lord.

  2. Juan T. Delacruz on

    The reason why many politicians are against death penalty is because Digong included “plunder” as one of the offense punishable by death penalty. I remember this guy, Lito Atienza, when he was DENR Secretary, that he spent his Agency’s Budget in going to Las Vegas, Nevada to watch Manny Paquiao fight. I personally saw these dickheads, to include Chavit Singson that I almost slap them at the back of their heads. I was aware at that time that Singson has the RA 7171 money but I was not sure where Atienza got his money from, living comfortably with the rich and famous. The bottom line is this: These two guys expenditures were paid by taxpayers money.

    President Duterte should reduce the amount of P2 Million to be classified as plunder and Pork Barrel for the legislator should be eliminated, especially the Senators. These Senators do not have “districts or region to represent” , therefore, they do not have any business and should not have anything to do with “Pork Barrel”.