Reimposing the death penalty as a solution to the current peace and order situation brought about by a worsening drug problem will not solve the problem, former Manila Mayor and now Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza said on Wednesday.
“There is no doubt whatsoever about the breakdown in the country’s peace and order situation. However, reimposing the death penalty is not the solution to this problem. It is not, and never will be, an effective deterrent to the commission of crimes. The problem lies in government’s failure to enforce the law,” Atienza pointed out.
He was reacting to a statement of Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada that he would endorse the presidential candidate whose stand on the re-imposition of the death penalty would jibe with his.
“While we agree with Mayor Estrada that government must do something to address the country’s very serious problem with illegal drugs which, according to him, has affected 92 percent of barangay in Metro Manila and many communities in other parts of the country as well, we strongly disagree that reimposing the death penalty is the solution. It is nothing but a temporary, band-aid remedy conveniently used as an alibi for government’s failure to enforce the law,” Atienza said.
“We believe that the next government should be one that promotes the proper valuing of life, good governance, effective law enforcement and a sound economic program that will provide opportunities for everyone. Our present criminal justice system is in dire need of reforms,” he added.
“I think that being a former President himself, Mayor Estrada can be effective in combating the drug menace without the reimposition of the death penalty. Rather than give the incoming President an alibi for failure, we would rather choose a pro-life [leader]who would promote and strengthen our basic Filipino values like respect for life and the family, as well as harnessing the Filipino’s inherent God-given talent and industry to give the country a good, workable economic program that would provide everyone a better life,” Atienza said.
Atienza noted that the mayor’s statement comes at an inopportune time when the country is about to celebrate Pro-Life Month and Respect and Care for Life Week this February.