The death penalty for foreigner drug traffickers in the country has been proposed in the House of Representatives.
Senatorial candidate Samuel Pagdilao, also ACT-CIS party-list congressman, made the proposal, citing cases of Filipinos convicted of drug trafficking in China, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia, among other countries, who face capital punishment while foreigners do not get the same harsh punishment when they commit such crime within Philippine territory.
“The death penalty, which was abolished in 2006, should be reinstated for foreigners who smuggle or trade illegal drugs in our country. The principle of reciprocity should apply,” Pagdilao, a former Philippine National Police general and director of the Criminal and Investigation and Detection Group, said.
The life of Filipino Mary Jane Veloso was spared by Indonesian officials at the last minute before her scheduled execution last April 29, 2015 for her drug trafficking conviction in 2010.
Veloso, who initially applied for a job as a household service worker in Malaysia, was nabbed in Indonesia’s Yogyakarta airport in 2010 for bringing in 2.6 kilos of heroin sewn in the lining of her suitcase by her recruiter without her knowledge.
She said she accepted the suitcase as a gift because she did not have one.
“Many Filipinos sentenced to capital punishment abroad were only victims of poverty and of false accusations,” Pagdilao said.
A 2014 report of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency said 67 out of 13,792 drug traffickers caught were foreigners, mostly from China.
Last Wednesday, the National Capital Region Police Office Regional Anti-Illegal Drug Special Operations Task Group arrested two Chinese in Quezon City for smuggling 30 kilos of shabu worth P150 million.
This happened a day after P180 million worth of shabu was also confiscated from two other Chinese in a storage facility in Valenzuela City, Metro Manila.
“It is high time that the problem of drug trafficking be curbed through penalties that will deter the continued incidences of drug abuse, especially among the Filipino youth,” Pagdilao, also a lawyer, said.