President-elect Rodrigo Duterte has vowed to reintroduce death penalty by hanging to stop crime.
The Davao City mayor said he will ask lawmakers to pass a measure allowing the death penalty for heinous crimes such as drug peddling, rape, murder, kidnap-for-ransom and robbery.
“What I would do is urge Congress to restore [the]death penalty by hanging especially if you use drugs,” Duterte added.
He said he will issue “shoot-to-kill” orders against those who resist arrest.
The 1987 Constitution restored the death penalty for heinous crimes.
President Gloria Arroyo repealed the law in 2006.
“Those who destroy the lives of our children will be destroyed,” Duterte said in wide-ranging comments to reporters in Davao City as he outlined his war on crime once he is sworn into office on June 30.
“Those who kill my country will be killed. Simple as that. No middle ground. No apologies. No excuses.”
Duterte also vowed to roll out Davao law-and-order measures on a nationwide basis, including a 2 a.m. curfew on drinking in public places and a ban on children walking on the streets alone late at night.
Smoking in restaurants and hotels will also be banned.
He said he preferred death by hanging to a firing squad because he did not want to waste bullets, and because he believed that snapping the spine with a noose was more humane.
For people convicted of two major crimes, Duterte said he wanted them hanged twice.
“After you are hanged first, there will be another ceremony for the second time until the head is completely severed from the body. I like that because I am mad,” he added.
Shoot to kill
The centerpiece of Duterte’s stunningly successful election campaign was a pledge to end crime within three to six months of being elected.
He promised during the campaign to kill tens of thousands of criminals, outraging his critics but hypnotizing tens of millions of Filipinos fed up with rampant crime and graft.
On one occasion, Duterte said 100,000 people would die, and so many bodies would be dumped in Manila Bay that the fish would grow fat from feeding on them.
In an initial news conference late Sunday, he clarified that his “shoot-to-kill” orders would be given for those involved in organized crime or who resist arrest.
Duterte said the military and the police will be used in his war on crime.
“I need military officers who are sharpshooters and snipers. It’s true. If you [criminals]fight, I will have a sniper shoot you,” he added.
On his ban on children walking alone late at night, Duterte warned that parents of repeat offenders would be arrested and thrown into jail for “abandonment.”
Death squad fears
Duterte has been accused of running vigilante death squads during his more than two decades as mayor of Davao, a city of about two million people that he says he has turned into one of the nation’s safest.
Rights groups say the squads — made up of police, hired assassins and ex-communist rebels — have killed more than 1,000 people.
They say children and petty criminals were among the victims.