FORMER Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr., on Sunday said that he would rather have the death penalty reinstated instead of having extra-judicial killings as punishment for those who committed heinous crimes.
But the ex-lawmaker was quick to clarify that he is against the death penalty because he believes in the importance of life and everyone is entitled to the right to life.
“In effect, what I’m saying is… kung may pagpipilian ang taumbayan na extrajudicial killings o death penalty, mas mabuti na na idaan sa batas, (if given a choice between extra judicial killings or death penalty, it would be better if it will be coursed through the law),” he said.
The former lawmaker at the same time sees the possibility of the re-imposition of the capital punishment under the Duterte administration because of his popularity.
A political ally of Duterte, Pimentel was one of the authors of the law that repealed the death penalty in 2006.
Meanwhile, the former Senator also appealed to media and the general public to give Duterte a chance noting that the president elect would not do anything that is against the Constitution.
As a lawyer, Pimentel said Duterte knows the law and is aware of the bounds of his actions, although there are some occasions when he committed speech errors or slips of the tongue.
“I am sure that when he takes his oath as President, he will uphold the Constitution, that is why we should give him a chance,” Pimentel added.
Duterte was criticized for justifying the murder of journalists saying that some of them were killed because they are corrupt.
Pimentel said that members of the media have all the reasons to react negatively or show concern regarding Duterte’s remarks but he noted that what the incoming president wanted to say is that there are limitation to press freedom.
“Meron din kayong responsibility… In other words, may hangganan ang press freedom. Ang hangganan is what is allowed by law, (media also has a responsibility… in other words, press freedom has limitations. The limitation is what is allowed by law)” he explained.
The former Senator said Duterte is determined to ensure that members of the media who commit a mistake will also be held liable in accordance with the law.