IF a bill filed by allies of President Rodrigo Duterte in Congress gets passed into law, even children convicted of heinous crimes will be hanged.
Davao del Norte Pantaleon Alvarez of PDP Laban and Capiz Rep. Frednil Castro of the National Unity Party filed two bills that seek to restore death penalty on heinous crimes and lower the age of criminal liability to nine from 15.
In the still unnumbered bill on restoring the death penalty, Alvarez and Castro identified heinous crimes as plunder, drug trafficking and car theft.
As for lowering the age of criminal liability, the lawmakers said adult criminals knowingly and purposely make use of young children to commit crimes such as drug trafficking, aware that they cannot be held criminally liable.
“While the intent of the law may be highly laudable, it has had the opposite effect of pampering youthful offenders who commit crimes knowing they can get away with it,” the authors said in a statement.
“Criminal justice system has had to make do with penal laws that are perceived to be less than dissuasive. There is evidently a need to reinvigorate the war against criminality by revising a deterrent coupled by its consistent, persistent and determined implementation,” they added.
Duterte has earlier said that death penalty is not for deterring crime, but to make someone pay for the sin he or she committed.
“The imposition of the death penalty for heinous crimes and the mode of its implementation—both subjects of repealed laws, are crucial components of an effective dispensation of both reformative and retributive justice,” the lawmakers said.