Senator Panfilo Lacson will push amendments to the country’s anti-plunder law to enable the imposition of the death penalty on public officials found habitually stealing from government coffers.
Lacson, who was recently proclaimed as senator, also wants the prosecution of suspected habitual plunderers even if the amount involved is less than P50 million.
Republic Act (RA) 7080 or the Anti-Plunder Law states that plunder is committed when “a public officer who, by himself or in connivance with members of his family, relatives by affinity or consanguinity, business associates, subordinates or other persons, amasses, accumulates or acquires ill-gotten wealth through a combination or series of overt or criminal acts in the aggregate amount of P50 million.”
Lacson said the law should bear down hard on those who habitually steal public funds.
The amount stolen by a public official, according to him, is no longer important when the government official involved is a recidivist.
He said if the death penalty were to be reimposed in plunder cases, those found guilty of habitually stealing public money should be subject to this penalty.
Lacson noted that the severe punishment he is seeking for habitual plunderers is justified owing to the resulting sorry state of the people deprived of government resources stolen by crooked government officials.
The veteran lawmaker had been pushing for the reimposition of the death penalty during his previous stints as senator, also noting that it would help lessen crime in the country.
But he wants the reimposition of the capital punishment to apply not only to those guilty of committing heinous crimes, but also to big-time drug traffickers and plunderers.